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Final Fantasy XIV gets a real-world theme cafe in Tokyo

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Like this, but slightly less armor.
Have you ever looked at the vistas of Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV and thought that they looked like a place you want to be in real life? Good news: You can. A new real-world themed restaurant in Tokyo called the Eorzea Cafe is opening soon, and it's based on the Carline Canopy in Gridania, complete with Eorzean dishes, beverages, and decorations. If you ever wanted to see a bladed lantern shield on the wall whilst you have your dinner, this is the place.

Opening on July 31st, the cafe features drinks inspired by the jobs, moogle-themed desserts, and what appears to be a burger based on the Lord of the Crags himself, Titan. There are also PCs set up for people to play the game at their leisure. It's going to be a bit of a hike out to the Akihibara district, but where else are you going to find a Titan Burger while drinking a Dragoon cocktail?

[Thanks to Kythas for the tip!]

Combatless MMO Wander releases Gamescom trailer

Betas, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, News Items, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

Wander
We last looked at Wander in detail at PAX Prime 2013, but the indie "collaborative exploration" MMO has been hard at work on its cross-platform, VR-friendly, combat-free experience since then. Today, the game's creator, Loki Davison, has released a brief trailer ahead of Gamescom, where Wander will be one of a very few MMOs featured at the Indie MEGABOOTH.

Enjoy the video below.

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WoW's Warlords of Draenor expansion is making faces at you

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Races, Subscription

WoW
When Blizzard launches World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion later this year, players will be getting more than just the long-awaited character body model upgrades; they're also getting new facial geometry. Art Director Chris Robinson wrote today on the game's official blog,
Our next big focus is doing justice to the facial options. With the original models and their simplistic geometry and low-resolution textures, a lot of facial expressions were simply painted on. Now that we've moved to higher-polygon models with lips, teeth, and fully articulated faces-not to mention higher-resolution textures-recreating those same facial options isn't as simple as painting them onto a flat surface. Previously, to get a sneer out of a model, you'd just paint a sneer on its face, and that was that. To do it correctly now-and make it look great-we have to fully pose a sneer, create a custom texture, and mesh that base pose with all of the existing emotes and animations.
Robinson also said that Blizzard is "committed" to launching all of the new models together rather than roll them out independently post-launch, but a later tweet indicated that Blood Elf models will not make it in for launch.

Defiance's Silicon Valley expansion arrives next week

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Post-Apocalyptic, Defiance

Defiance
Trion Worlds aims to publish Defiance's next expansion, Silicon Valley, next week on August 5th. The "completely free world expansion" will bolster the newly free-to-play MMO with new story content as well as a new modifier, Encryption, for weapons and shields. Says the studio,
Within the world expansion, players will find Karl Von Back has disappeared into Silicon Valley with his EGO-imbued followers, but it's not the paradise they promised. The valley is overrun with Grid, and a strange cult, the Pilgrims of the Guiding Light, have taken hold in locations across the zone. As all new mysteries unravel, the populace of Silicon Valley calls for help, and only ark hunters have what it takes to face the trials ahead.
Trion intends to stream on Twitch this evening at 6 p.m. EDT to answer questions about the update.

[Source: Trion press release]

NCsoft launches Lineage II's Ertheia expansion today

Fantasy, Galleries, Video, Lineage 2, Classes, Expansions, Lore, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Races, Dungeons

L2
Lineage II's latest expansion, Ertheia, launches today, bringing with it a new race (the Ertheia), two new classes (Ertheia Fighter and Ertheia Wizard), a new racial skill (Alchemy), new stats (Charisma and Luck), a level 99 instance (The Dimensional Barrier), and two new hunting zones for -- you guessed it -- Ertheia characters.

Former players can take advantage of a welcome-back promotion that includes a pack of goodies for veteran characters and a free mount for freshly rolled toons.

We've included some concept art as well as videos describing the lore and new classes below.

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RuneFest tickets on sale this week

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

If you're a RuneScape fan and you'll be in London on October 11th, you might want to know that tickets for this year's edition of RuneFest are now on sale. Passes are £99 each, or you can get in for free (and even get a hotel room!) with RuneScape's in-game bonds.

The event starts at 10:00 a.m. local time and runs through 7:00 p.m., with an afterparty and late-night gaming scheduled through 11:00 p.m.

A whole lot of you played Destiny's beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Destiny's beta phase was what you might call successful, according to a Bungie press release. The company says that 4,638,937 players participated in the testing period that began on July 17th.

"Hosting a beta at this scale is an incredible feat, so we're thrilled to see the phenomenal response. But the beta is just a taste of what's to come," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. "This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date."

[Source: Bungie press release]

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Elite's Beta 1 starts today, here's a new trailer

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Frontier has released its Beta 1 build of Elite: Dangerous. It "covers a greatly expanded 38,000 cubic light-year volume of Elite: Dangerous' accurately modeled Milky Way galaxy centered around the Boötes constellation."

Beta 1 also introduces new features including fuel consumption, player communication, docking computers, mission system functionality, and friend management/matchmaking capability. There's more, including a new trailer, which is embedded along with the official press release after the break.

[Source: Frontier press release]

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Neverwinter coming to Xbox One in 2015

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Neverwinter

Perfect World is porting Neverwinter to the Xbox One in China this year followed by a worldwide release in "the first half of 2015," according to IGN.

The site interviewed lead producer Andy Velasquez who says that a consolized Neverwinter will boast "all the same races, all the same classes, [and] all the same maps. The content will be there with some minor exceptions."

The Xbox One version of Neverwinter will not feature cross-play with the PC version, and Perfect World offered no comment on plans for other platforms.

Avalon Lords gears up for its Kickstarter campaign

Fantasy, Video, News Items, MMORTS, Crowdfunding

It sounds like the area around Camelot is really going through a dark age.
How do you feel about the MMORTS genre? The folks behind Avalon Lords don't have many nice things to say about it, which is why they're making an MMORTS game that, in their own words, is meant to elevate the game beyond free-to-play titles with microtransactions. The game launches its Kickstarter today, and it's put a trailer into the wild so potential backers can get a sense for what the game will look like.

Backers are being asked for $150,000 for the base game, a fairly humble sum considering other titles. The official support page for the game includes stretch goals starting at $250,000 and moving up, including fully customizable cities, NPC armies, and at the high end, a full-access mobile application. You can check the trailer out past the break, and if you like what you see and think the title will go all the way, you can toss in a few dollars.

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Firefall drops a launch trailer

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Launches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Firefall

In the game of shooting, you either shoot or be shooted.
After what seemed to be an interminable period of testing, Firefall is finally officially launched -- and in a very different state from its initial testing, at that. Did you play the game once and step away? Are you wondering what it's even like these days? The launch trailer is meant to address exactly that.

A two-minute trailer can provide only a top-level overview, but this one does so while keeping its narrative entirely in-character, which is commendable. Click on past the break to get a picture of just what you can do within the game now, and if it sounds like your sort of shoot-happy armor-swapping festival, you can start playing the game now.

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League of Legends properly introduces Gnar

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

What would you use to describe other, similar champions?
After teasing players about the nature of the newest champion arriving in League of Legends, Riot Games has provided a full introduction for the prehistoric yordle known as Gnar. He looks nice enough, actually, even sort of cute. At least until he gets angry and transforms into Mega Gnar, a hulking brute who's happy to crush everything in his path and then start down a new path so he can crush more things. Anger issues, in short.

So how does Gnar play? It's all about managing the rage. In mini form, he's a quick attacker with some range who also has access to a handy escape ability. When he enrages, though, he's a tank-happy fighter with plenty of durability and burst damage. Both forms have their own weaknesses and strengths, so the art of playing him comes down to carefully maximizing his fits of rage before getting back out of danger. After all, who'd believe the little cute guy could get that angry?

Swordsman launches today

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play

Did you know that Perfect World is launching Swordsman today in the West? Well, now you do. You can view a gameplay teaser for the free-to-play wuxia MMO -- along with today's press release -- after the break.

[Source: Perfect World press release]

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Massively Speaking Episode 307: Oh to be a dragon

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

Dragons are great and all, but why can't we be one? The podcasters make a wish on a falling star and then -- poof! -- they find out that they can, indeed, become one of the dragon people. MMOs: Making little boys' and girls' wishes come true since 1981. Other topics on today's show include a new business model for an old MMO, an imminent launch, and the continuation of a story in a galaxy far, far away.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Black Gold bumping level cap, adding cross-server PvP and more

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold is entering its second month of open beta, and Snail Games wants you to know that significant changes are on the way. Said changes include a level cap bump to 45, a new tier of skill upgrades, cross-server PvP functionality, and more.

How much more? Well, you'll just have to click past the cut and read the full press release, won't ya?

[Source: Snail Games press release]

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