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MMOFPS

Destiny parts ways with composer, growing 'close to shipping'

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, MMOFPS, Music, Destiny

Destiny
Destiny Composer Marty O'Donnell was either fired or peacefully left Bungie last week, depending on whether you take his or the studio's testimony on the event. In either case, the fact remains that O'Donnell is no longer part of the studio.

Bungie Chief Operating Officer Pete Parsons refused to comment on the specifics of the decision but said that the game is still on track for release. He said that O'Donnell's contributions will remain part of the soundtrack, which is also being worked on by a few others.

"We have a fantastic team. We're pretty close to shipping. There's a lot of polish left to do, lots of tweaking and tuning, but a lot is already complete," Parsons said to Eurogamer.

Bungie claims that the studio and O'Donnell parted as "friends" while the composer tweeted yesterday that he was "terminated without cause."

Not So Massively: Heroes of the Storm's new heroes, Dawngate's beta launch, and Diablo III's latest patch

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Launches, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Diablo III, Hearthstone

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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PAX East 2014: Guns of Icarus Online's expanding environment

Game Mechanics, Opinion, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Steampunk

If I don't look at you, you can't shoot me out of the sky!  I think?  Those are the rules, right?
PAX East taught me that I am apparently not the right person to pilot a ship in Guns of Icarus Online. In my defense, I was trying to do what my ship was designed to do. The co-op mode on display is all about delivering supplies to a final point on a map, and I was flying the fast scoutship. So I figured, why bother slowing down? Why not just jink left and right and avoid anything in my way?

As it turns out, the reasons to not do that are quite simple: The boss encounter at the cargo dropoff requires two people, and you need to actually retain control of the point rather than just wing to it at full speed. So I may have sent my ship crashing to the ground in a tumble of burning wood and broken steel. (By "may have" I of course mean "I definitely did this.")

This isn't a failing on the part of the game, just a failing on my part for trying to bull-rush through something. But it's still fun; the game gives players a variety of things to do while they're busy crewing the various stations across the ship. And it's just one place the developers are going with the game.

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PAX East 2014: PlanetSide 2's Higby on weekly updates

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

The influx is coming.
It's been three months since PlanetSide 2 started updating once every week, if you don't count one update that was pushed back simply because it wasn't quite ready. As creative director Matt Higby put it to me at this year's PAX East, the schedule comes second to making sure that every update is the best it can be. But it's still been quite a ride, and it means that the game has kept up a schedule that's astonishingly fast.

More than a year out from launch, Higby has a lot to say about the game's development process as well as the updates it's already undergone. It's not an unmitigated success story, but it's filled with a lot of lessons and improvements. And like any MMO, the game's development is far from finished. In PlanetSide 2's case, it's a complex process that requires supporting new players, veterans, casual gamers, and professional gaming, sometimes in unconventional fashions.

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Destiny screenshots show the wonders and horrors of space

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, MMOFPS, Destiny

Destiny
Outer space won't be the technocolor thrill-romp that one might assume from pulp sci-fi, at least when it comes to Destiny.

Bungie released five new screenshots showing some of the visually impressive if intimidating vistas as well as one or two of the threats that players will encounter in the game. The studio also mentioned that it won't be utilizing NPC companions, players will be able to customize and upgrade gear, and Guardians can change loadouts on the fly.

Check out the new screenies in the gallery below.

PlanetSide 2 video takes you into the thick of the war

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

PS2
SOE has posted a new episode of its PlanetSide 2 War Correspondent series, this time showing a battle in the Indar and Amerish zones. Presented as a faux news report shot on locale, the video showcases some of the brutal ambushes and sieges that the game has to offer.

You can check out the full report after the jump!

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Defiance throws an extended anniversary celebration

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), MMOFPS, Defiance, Anniversaries, Buy-to-Play

Defiance
Today is Defiance's one-year anniversary and Trion is pulling out all of the stops to celebrate... twice.

Defiance will host a global boost to XP gain, skill gain, and loot drops from Wednesday, April 2nd, at 3:00 p.m. EST through Thursday, April 3rd, at the same time. The studio acknowledged that some people can't play during the week, so this global boost will be re-activated from Friday, April 4th, at 3:00 p.m. EST and continue through Monday, April 7th, at the same time.

Ex-Red 5 staffers blast Mark Kern's 'destructive' behavior

Sci-Fi, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Firefall

Mark Kern
If you wondered what was going on behind the scenes of Red 5 Studios turbulent past year, then a new exposé on Game Front might illuminate you.

Anonymous former employees of the Firefall studio allegedly came forward to spill the beans about mass layoffs, questionable decisions, and ex-CEO Mark Kern's erratic behavior. One person said that Kern's constantly shifting decisions caused severe stress on the team: "Months of work would be thrown out simply because he would change his mind, or he would have another 'revolutionary' idea."

Another anonymous ex-staffer said that Kern was worse than that: "When he did get involved in the production of the game itself he was simply destructive. He would swoop in one afternoon and berate a series of features several teams had spent months on, declaring they begin again and LISTEN to what he told them to do. He'd be back in a few days to see if it was done. This crushed morale, and forced people into spontaneous, isolated crunch mode. He would shout and scream his perspectives."

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip! Part three of the expose is now live as well.]

Player Studio goes international in Landmark and more this spring

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Economy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

You've already seen a number of the amazing player-designed creations in Landmark; come Spring, you will be able to own some as well! SOE has announced that Player Studio will be live in the sandbox game on or before May 1st, 2014. But the even bigger news is that Player Studio will expand internationally for all the studio's games that support it!

Designers in select regions outside the United States will be able to submit items for consideration to be sold to their peers in EverQuest, EverQuest II, and PlanetSide 2 as well as Landmark. Approved items will then be added to the marketplace and the creators will make a real-life profit from each sale. In Landmark, Player Studio is a vehicle by which players will submit templates for various building contests, and winners could see their creations end up in EverQuest Next.

[Source: SOE press release]

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Defiance powers up weapons and enemies with Arktech Revolution

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Defiance, Buy-to-Play

I'm living in that 21st century, shooting lots of guns in it, fighting bigger aliens than you have ever seen in it.  Screams from the hellbugs, got a nice ring to it, I guess that every Ark Hunter need his theme music.  No one gun should have all that power.
If you're playing Defiance, you could probably use a bit more gun. The designers certainly thought so. As often as not, higher-rated weapons just weren't worth upgrading to compared to your older weapons with lower ratings. But that's not true with the next major patch. Your EGO rating will be a lot more important than it was, and that means that higher-rating guns are going to become a lot more powerful and a lot more rewarding to use... which has some larger effects on the game as a whole.

For starters, in order to compensate for bigger guns, there need to be larger enemies about that won't just dissolve into a red mist when you fire your gun. Players who still want to be able to get out and enjoy the world will also need some means of doing so, which is achieved by a dynamic scaling system which ensures that even lower-rated players can still take part in big stuff. For more details on the numbers and specifics, check out the latest development update at the official site.

APB: Reloaded team details Unreal Engine upgrade

Patches, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Crime, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries

APB:R
APB: Reloaded's Unreal Engine upgrade is detailed in the latest dev blog at GamersFirst. In it, we get word that progress is slow but steady as the current version (from 2008) needs to be stripped and rebuilt due to the custom-built additions made in the original engine. Think of it like when you have to manually update your mods every time World of Warcraft has a new patch.

Although the latest version of Unreal will aid with performance and compatibility improvements, the Reloaded team says that you may not even notice much of a difference visuals-wise.

GamersFirst hopes to roll the new upgrade out soon, although a release estimate is still to come. Check out the full dev blog for more details on the Unreal Engine upgrade.

PlanetSide 2 rolls out new missions system

Sci-Fi, Patches, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

PS2
Players logging into PlanetSide 2 today will find a brand-new missions system perfect for their trigger fingers.

The missions system is designed to help funnel players to specific offensive or defensive objectives. These include attack and defend missions and will assist coordinating squads and platoons to finding the best action. This is only the first phrase of the system, however. A future phase will include player-created missions and new mission types.

PlanetSide 2 is also giving increased incentive to subscribe with a monthly members-only double-XP weekend. Even if you aren't subbing, significant store sales during this weekend could entice you to check out the game.

Choose My Adventure: My final week with PlanetSide 2

Sci-Fi, Opinion, War, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, MMOFPS, Choose My Adventure, PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide 2
I'm sad to say that this is my final week in PlanetSide 2 for Choose My Adventure, but I did come away with some new thoughts on the game. Playing the Heavy Assault, Light Assault, and MAX opened up my eyes to the other side of the fence and showed me that these are more than just run-and-gun classes.

And with more information on the Valkyrie aircraft revealed over the weekend, we can certainly see that Sony Online Entertainment is still dedicated to supporting the game. This is a good thing considering so many MMOs with PS2's ambition often fall flat merely months after launch when the numbers inevitably drop. Not so for this one, it seems.

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Defiance's Arktech Revolution DLC beefs up progression and protagonists

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, MMOFPS, Defiance, Buy-to-Play

Defiance
Defiance announced its fifth DLC pack today, Arktech Revolution, and with it a host of changes to make good guys stronger and bad guys nastier.

On the player side of things, Defiance will be increasing the EGO rating cap, adding in new EGO perks, scaling up weapon damage, modifying weapon damage types, and throwing in armor plates for added defensive capabilities. Over at enemy H.Q., mobs will become more difficult with new enemy difficulty tiers and skills introduced into the game.

Arktech Revolution will also contain expert co-op maps, dynamic event scaling, and tweaks to how consumables work.

PlanetSide 2 video reveals the Valkyrie

Sci-Fi, Video, Previews, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries, PlanetSide 2

PS2
SOE Creative Director Matt Higby and his dreamy blue eyes are at the forefront of a new preview video for PlanetSide 2, running down the upcoming features as well as an exclusive look at the Valkyrie aircraft.

Higby said that in April, the team will be doing a "large-scale balance pass" and bringing in the missions and implant systems. May will see a Combat Medic update, improvements to outfits, and a resource revamp.

The video concludes with a sneak peek of the Valkyrie fast-attack aircraft that will allow a small squad of four to quickly hop from fight to fight. This vehicle will be coming out in the summer, and you can check it out after the break!

[Thanks to BabaGraPL for the tip!]

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