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Lore

Your worship of EverQuest Next's deities will shape the world

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, Lore, Free-to-Play, EverQuest Next, Sandbox

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The gods of Norrath are slated to return for EverQuest Next, and who players choose to worship will have a profound effect on the game itself.

Lead Content Designer Steve Danuser penned a lore blog to introduce Veeshan and the Nor'I for the upcoming fantasy MMO. He said that the team is striving to stick to the "thematic core" of Veeshan for her reimagining: "Veeshan looms large in our story. It wouldn't be an EverQuest game without her!" And while Veeshan is well known by fans, the Nor'l is a new figure, the world spirit of Norrath. The Nor'l gives birth to mortals and flows through the entire world, communicating only through song.

"Your actions in the world determine who controls territory and resources, and one of those key resources is the belief of Norrath's inhabitants," Danuser said. "How strong will Veeshan's influence grow after the Combine return to Antonica? Will the Nor'I be protected or exploited? These are questions that you'll get to decide through the choices you make in game."

RIFT explores the heights of Tarken Glacier

Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

I can't hear you!  I said, what's cooler than being cool?
Beneath the waves lies the city of nightmares, but RIFT players exploring the Nightmare Tide expansion will not stop there. Far above those waters sits Tarken Glacier, a massive edifice of frost that stretches to the very boundaries of the cosmos. Players will be exploring this towering mass of ice, obviously, starting at the most basic ascent before moving up to the most distant reaches of the land.

Along the way, players will be working with Skelf pilgrims, fighting off vicious frost giants, and seeking the last stronghold of the near-annihilated Pelagic Order. There are port cities nestled within the glacier, great structures devoted to researching the frostbitten land, and marauding enemies from all sides. In short, it's exactly the sort of place players will love exploring and fighting through when the expansion goes live; check out the full preview for more details on the lore of this region. The open beta for the expansion went live yesterday, with the full launch planned for October 8th.

Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2's gender divide

Fantasy, Culture, Lore, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

I'm about to disappoint anyone who thought I might be okay with GamerGate.
When I sit down to write an installment of this column that is strongly critical of Guild Wars 2 -- a game I love, in case that was ever in doubt -- I try to follow a simple format in order to keep my criticism from turning into a venting session. That format is to establish that there is a problem, explain why it's a problem requiring a solution, and finally to offer any ideas or suggestions I think might be useful to that end. I do this because I want my articles to be helpful on some level to both ArenaNet and other fans, and while blowing off steam is excellent for the bilious humors, it's not so great for creating actual change.

Sometimes, though, the only suggestion I can offer is to please stop doing something because the fact that it's a problem is reason enough for it to require that solution. This is especially important when the issue isn't gameplay or monetization but rather something that personally affects me and the people I play with.

As a warning, several of the source links in this article lead to discussions of graphic and disturbing language and events.

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The Daily Grind: Are character bios due for revival?

Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying, Miscellaneous, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content

SWG
One of my favorite things about classic MMOs is that they refused to give up on the "RPG" part of MMORPG. As in a tabletop game, in classic MMOs you were often given an opportunity to write a biography for your character, then import it into the game and attach it to your profile in some way so that other players could read it. In some games, having a superb character bio could snag the attention of a gamemaster and land you even more recognition in the form of a badge or achievement.

It bothers me that these little touches are missing from so many modern MMOs. They don't take much effort on the part of the designers, and they sell the impression that creativity still matters, that your character is more than just a chat handle and a suit of armor.

Are character bios due for a revival? Did you ever or would you use the option in your game of choice if you could?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Star Trek Online: Delta Rising exposes androids and isolationist aliens

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, Previews, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

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We're mere weeks away from entering the delta quadrant in Star Trek Online, but there is so much more left to learn about this new space and its inhabitants. Cryptic posted an intelligence briefing today about two additional races that one might encounter in Delta Rising: the Automatic Personnel Units and the Turei.

The APUs are androids built by a long-dead civilization to wage war by proxy. The androids turned on their creators, continued fighting with each other, and searched for a way to reproduce (pro tip: Newegg should have some in stock). In contrast, the Turei are reptilian, isolationist aliens who use the Underspace corridors to traverse the delta quadrant. They're kind of jerks but have been known to engage in trading in their journeys.

WoW's final Lords of War video is not about an Orc

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Video, Culture, Lore, News Items, Subscription

WoW
The fifth and final entry in World of Warcraft's Lords of War video series has arrived, and if you're tired of Orclords of Orcnor, then rejoice because this one is about a Draenei: Vindicator Maraad, the narrator of the series. On the downside, Maraad's backstory is still mostly about Orcs; he's Garona Halforcen's uncle, for example. On the upside, his backstory also involves a lot of killing of Orcs. So there's that.

The full video is below.

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Star Trek Online updates Seven of Nine's backstory

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

Three decades have been kind.
Seven of Nine, former tertiary adjunct to Unimatrix 01, is being added to Star Trek Online with the launch of the Delta Rising expansion. It was imperative that Cryptic Studios update the character's backstory to explain where the character has been since the conclusion of the Voyager's eponymous television series and the commencement of game services. To that end, the development team has posted a dossier explaining her activities in full as well as what brought her back into active duty.

At the beginning of Star Trek Online's storyline, Seven of Nine was working as a researcher for the Daystrom Institute. She declined to return to Starfleet service after the Borg attacks on the Alpha Quadrant, but following Admiral Tuvok's request for experienced personnel to explore the Delta Quadrant, she accepted a non-commissioned position aboard the USS Callisto as a scientific consultant for the fleet. More details on the character and creating her in-game model may be found in the official entry; you will comply.

The Elder Scrolls Online asks players for a tale of the dead

Fantasy, Lore, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

And I bet someone's wondering why he doesn't write any more.
Aw, jeez. That can't have been happy. There's a story behind that picture, you just know it; people don't just grow spears while sitting down with some wine and cheese. And what is that story, you ask? Well, that's up to you! The Elder Scrolls Online is challenging players to construct yet another tale of the dead, a 500-word story in any format outlining how the unnamed skeleton in this screenshot wound up in this unfortunate predicament.

Players who'd like to participate need only post their entry to the official contest thread before 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 26th. The three winners will each receive a $25 electronic gift certificate to the Bethesda store as well as a free t-shirt. If that sounds good to you and you think you can tell a convincing story about this guy, it's time to crack your knuckles and get writing.

Neverwinter announces Rise of Tiamat module

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Classes, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dungeons, Neverwinter

Neverwinter
Perfect World Entertainment has today announced Neverwinter: Rise of Tiamat, another chunk of the Tyranny of Dragons plotline that just so happens to coincide with the story in new Wizards of the Coast tabletop series of the same name. The module "brings a new paragon path for the recently released Scourge Warlock class" with both solo and group play. Highbies can hunt for artifact gear as they prep for the resurrection of the goddess Tiamat and the epic battle being so heavily foreshadowed.

We've got screenies and the new trailer below.

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World of Warcraft drops spoiler-filled cinematics

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Subscription

Actually none here, but you get the idea.
Some World of Warcraft players want to know the whole story of an expansion before they've even started playing. Some others would prefer to know nothing about the game until it's time to play, experiencing everything completely fresh. If you belong to the latter group, you won't want to click on the latest update from Blizzard Entertainment because it's full of spoilers. It is, in fact, the spoiler-filled cinematics from all through Warlords of Draenor, conveniently collected in a single place.

Why? Essentially, the development team would rather give players a clear picture of the story than force them to rely upon datamined reveals and guesses. If you'd like to be spoiled on the storyline before you can even play it, you can click on over and watch through all of the in-game cinematics in quick succession, painting a broad if not detailed picture of the game as a whole. If you'd rather not be spoiled... well, avoid that link. And the comments. And the forums. Basically, just shut off your discussion venues for a couple of months.

World of Warcraft's next Lord of War is Kilrogg Deadeye

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Culture, Expansions, Lore, News Items, Subscription

WoW
Were you tired of the parade of Orcs in World of Warcraft's Lords of War video series? We're sorry to disappoint you once again. Today's Warlords of OrcnorDraenor lore video features Kilrogg Deadeye, the one-eyed chieftan of the Bleeding Hollow clan. This guy is so brutal that he tore out his own eye and ran headlong into his foretold doom. OK, maybe he's worthy of a video after all. Enjoy it below!

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RIFT shows off the City of Nightmares

Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

Would you like to hear about the good word of going to work naked and having all of your teeth fall out?
What's your next vacation spot in RIFT? Have you not yet decided? Then perhaps you'd like to consider Draumheim, City of Nightmares! Don't worry; it's just a name. It's really more of a collection of eldritch horrors and faceless creatures shaped of dread. Some of them are even downright pleasant!

Draumheim is home to the Onir, creatures of dream born in the unconscious thoughts of Telara's residents. Some of them are perfectly happy and well-adjusted people who will be happy to make your acquaintance, while others are just as nightmarish as their place of residency would imply. Lord Arak has taken much of the city, however, raising new nightmares and taking control of the local government through violent means. As you can imagine, that means it will be up to the player characters to set things right. So get ready for a visit to the city of nightmares itself! (For the record, Silent Hill is just a small town of nightmares.)

Star Trek Online explains the Voyager MSD redesign

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

With this much attention to detail, you would think that the powers that be could ensure that the same button fires all weapons from one week to the next.
If you're even passingly familiar with the various Star Trek shows, you'll recognize the MSD. It shows up on the bridge of every single Federation ship, offering a detailed breakdown of what is where for eagle-eyed viewers. Star Trek Online's next expansion is bringing the game into the Delta Quadrant, the stomping grounds of the eponymous USS Voyager, so it was only fair that the Intrepid-class MSD could get a nice new redesign to reflect the years of upgrades that the ship has received.

The new MSD represents a much clearer picture of the ship from the series, with several elements improved to more accurately reflect in-show layouts and incorporating modifications made after Voyager's maiden flight such as the airponics bay. Take a look at the full development blog for a closer look at how much work has gone into what seems like a little detail but still forms a vital part of the aesthetics.

The Mog Log: On the twilight of Final Fantasy XIV's story

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

I want to talk about the screaming, because by rights it's probably coming, but I just don't know it yet.
As I write this, we don't yet have the patch notes for Final Fantasy XIV 2.38. Supposedly this is when we're getting personal housing, and people are abuzz with speculation about how that will be rolled out, what will work, what will be broken, and so forth. Alas, I can't yet address any of it -- not prices, not availability, not any of that. It's all just guesswork until the powers that be let us know what's going on, which will likely be in the evening after you read this.

My guess is that there's going to be something to make people angry, but there usually is.

So since I've nothing to offer regarding Final Fantasy XIV's mini-update other than speculation, it's best to turn to something that can be much more clearly seen. We're not at the end of the 2.0 update cycle just yet, but it seems pretty obvious that we're on the back nine, so to speak. So where are we going from here? What awaits? And what does all this mean from a storyline perspective? (If you'd like to avoid any potential spoilers, do look away now.)

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The first chunk of Champions Online's Steel Crusade is live

Super-hero, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Endgame, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Champions Online

Champs
As we previewed back in August, the first leg of Champions Online's Steel Crusade update went live last week. Your task in the update? Stop people from spontaneously bursting into flames. No, really.
The Steel Crusade update begins in Millennium City, where things are really heating up as citizens are spontaneously bursting into flame. With the help of Professor Silverback, you'll need to help save citizens by shrinking down to microscopic size to enter the human brain and investigate the cause of the malady.
The update introduces a new archetype for max level characters (Reawakened Automaton), new missions to combat Mechanon, and yeah, a new lockbox with a chance at new costumes and a vehicle.

The second and final part of the update launches this Thursday with a "space-station showdown."

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