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News Items

Here's Destiny's launch trailer

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

Can you spare two minutes and 29 seconds? Are you looking forward to Destiny? If you answered "yes" to both of those questions, you should click that big green button down there and watch Bungie's newly released launch trailer!

The sci-fantasy shooter releases for PlayStation and Xbox platforms on September 9th.

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TERA Korea is getting guild fortresses that float

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

Let's all take a moment to lament that what I'm about to share is currently specific to the Korean version of TERA. There. Now that that's out of our system, we can appreciate the fact that Bluehole's new guild sky fortresses are pretty dang impressive, even if we won't see them in the En Masse version of the game for a while.

MMO Culture reports that TERA Korea is also removing side quests from the fantasy MMO's quest log and placing them in a new interface nugget called Scouting Command, ostensibly to allow for more focus on the game's main story. But you really wanted to see the guild fortresses, right? Click past the cut for the vid.

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Elder Scrolls Online introduces subscriber loyalty program

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ZeniMax has just announced a subscriber loyalty program for Elder Scrolls Online that is slated to start in September. If you're eligible, you'll receive an email and subsequently a High Hrothgar Wraith vanity pet provided that you've been subscribed for three months.

"The loyalty program will keep expanding over time," ZeniMax says, and you'll be able to collect pets and other upcoming rewards once you meet the requirements, so don't worry if you've canceled your sub already but plan to return.

World of Warplanes 1.5 adds PvE

Historical, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, War, Free-to-Play, World of Warplanes

World of Warplanes' 1.5 update is now live, and with it comes a new PvE mode called Battle Against Bots. Wargaming says it's the perfect tool for newcomers looking to learn the game alongside a few co-op companions.

Ground targets have been redesigned as a collection of smaller parts rather than a single objective, meaning that attack aircraft pilots now must account for things like AA guns, ship towers, tank squads, and buildings when planning their approach.

The 1.5 patch has also added a new map called Canyon that offers "a mix between Asian Border and Fjords. There's more to the update, but you'll need to visit the official WoWP website to read about it.

Path of Exile launches Forsaken Masters

Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

I have too many choices about where to go from here!
If you've been following Path of Exile news at all, you know that Forsaken Masters is set to shake up a fair amount of the game with its addition of masters, hideouts, crafting changes, new challenge leagues, and so forth. But did you realize that you can start exploring all of that right now? It's live! Well, maybe you can't explore it right now, you might be at work. But once you get home.

The biggest addition is the eponymous masters, who will show up randomly throughout the game world in search of players willing to aid their personal missions. Earning their trust will unlock access to their hideouts, crafting facilities, and special item rewards. Players can also take part in the new challenge leagues or just enjoy reduced mana costs across the board; they're all in place now, providing new entertainment to veterans and new players alike.

[Source: Grinding Gear Games press release]

EVE Online previews overview and incursion changes in Hyperion

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

Just a forever-falling pit in space.
The next major update for EVE Online, Hyperion, is going live in less than a week. Two new development blogs are available to enlighten players about what's going on with the changes to the game, starting with new shareable overviews. This new feature will allow players to share these settings with others while still allowing the recipient to make changes as needed; it's functionality that players have wanted for a while, allowing both new players and veterans to see through someone else's eyes, as it were.

Incursion changes are also on the way, reducing the respawn timers so incursion runners have more to do while also upping rewards. The NCN Wall is also being taken down, and there are new incursions to be concerned with in nullsec space. If you're unclear on what's being added in the update, you can jump past the cut for a video explaining Hyperion's major system changes before it goes live on August 26th.

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The Elder Scrolls Online plans 4v4 arenas, veteran rewards

Fantasy, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
In a fresh entry on The Elder Scrolls Online's official site, Game Director Matt Firor has penned the latest Road Ahead update, in which he discusses the game's recent patch as well as what's in store for players next month. Of note, Firor says ZeniMax aims to make combat "more responsive," push out new Craglorn content, complete the last trial in the constellation storyline, and introduce a new 4v4 PvE arena. Work on the champion system, which revamps the MMO's character development and customization mechanics, continues; in fact, ZeniMax implores players to help test the inbound content on the public test server.

The team plans to formally announce a loyalty program later this week; it's expected to dole out traditional MMO veteran rewards like minipets.

Pantheon previews Halnir, promises to show more soon

Fantasy, Screenshots, News Items, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Yep, that... sure is light.  Cool.
Still waiting eagerly for the release of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen? While development has been fairly quiet, the official Facebook page has just seen an update showing off the zone of Halnir in six new screenshots. They show a small hint of the game's day/night cycle, as well as a few other relevant landmarks in the zone.

The post also promises that the development team is getting ready to demonstrate some major forward progress on the game. Although there's no exact time frame, the goal is before the weekend hits. Fans can take a look at the preview and keep their eyes peeled for more on the official Facebook page.

Guild Wars 2 retools commander icons, fees

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2As Massively's Anatoli Ingram discussed in his Flameseeker Chronicles column yesterday, Guild Wars 2's September feature pack will include significant changes to the commander system that marks player volunteers as leaders on various world maps.

After the patch, commander tags will become account-bound rather than character-bound, meaning your newbie Asura can strut around Metrica Province as if she owns the place. Consequently, tags will triple in price to 300 gold. Players will also be able to customize their icons with spiffy new colors intended to "facilitate a range of tactical uses" like organizing groups in PvE and PvP.

Already a commander? Lucky you: ArenaNet says you'll be grandfathered into the new system for no extra fee. The studio plans to consider "possibilities for recognizing experienced and prestigious commanders" in the future.

Darkfall quest system aims to provide an 'alternative PvE experience'

Fantasy, Darkfall, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Sandbox

Aventurine has published a lengthy forum post detailing the logic behind its decision to add quests to Darkfall. As you're probably aware, Darkfall is a FFA full-loot PvP MMO, which on the surface makes the devs' decision to spend significant time and resources adding PvE-focused activities seem like a curious one.

It makes sense, though, as Darkfall featured world bosses and plenty of opportunities for fun, group-centric PvE even prior to its Unholy Wars reboot. Aventurine says that its new questing system is borne of three distinct goals: to teach new players about the game in an interactive manner, to present Agon's extensive lore and allow players to explore it, and to offer an "alternative PvE experience" including goals and motivation that reaches beyond "for the loot (or for the prowess)."

[Thanks Jane!]

Carbine Studios explains WildStar housing prices for music

Sci-Fi, Culture, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Housing, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Because this deserves a stirring march.
If you'd like to change the music on your housing plot in WildStar, you'll be able to do so with the next major update. But it's going to cost you a pretty penny. Players have been a little upset about this for understandable reason, so Social Systems Lead Victoria Dollbaum took to the forums to explain why the prices for this feature -- as well as wallpaper options, atmosphere, and similar points -- were being set so high.

Dollbaum explains that rather than simple changes, these purchases unlock the feature forever, rather than incurring another cost each time you decide to change. While the current system is less expensive, it also requires you to buy changes to wallpaper, sky, and so forth every time you change; with the new system, once you've bought it once, you'll never have to do so again. It doesn't fully ameliorate the issue, but understanding the reason might make it a bit more palatable.

EVE Online lottery site SOMER Blink shutting down [Updated]

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

Spin the wheel, but you will no longer win.
Fans of popular EVE Online lottery site SOMER Blink received some bad news yesterday. After four years of operation, the site is going inactive, with a shutdown that its front page calls a temporary and perhaps permanent hiatus. All players with prizes waiting will be able to claim those prizes, and all ISK in the system will be returned to players over the next several months, starting with those players who had over 5 million ISK in their accounts.

What led to this shutdown? The site administrators claim that CCP created a toxic environment and reversed previous statements without warning, resulting in a situation which made the site no longer enjoyable to work with. CCP has issued its own statement, expressing regret at the loss of a community site while stating that the promotion that caused the controversy "was not representative of the original proposal that was brought to CCP." The community team will provide further information soon, although there will be no interference in the refund process.

[Thank to Dab for the tip!]

[Update: CCP has today commented in detail on the situation. We've included CCP Falcon's full statement below.]

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Star Citizen's next stretch goal is a player dispute staff position at CIG

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

If you missed Star Citizen at Gamescom this year, Chris Roberts' latest Letter from the Chairman is worth parsing both for its written content and for the one-hour video embed that hits the highlights.

Roberts explains how Cloud Imperium's Gamescom goal was to demonstrate how SC will grow beyond dogfighting. The big focus over the weekend was co-op crewed ship play, centered around the Constellation, which Roberts says is something he's wanted to achieve since his Wing Commander days. He also thanks backers for pushing the game past the $50 and $51 million stretch goals before outlining the next two goals.

The $53 million milestone is the most interesting, as it seeks to establish a staffed position at CIG for dealing with in-game player disputes "without leaving our world." Click through the links below to read more, and don't forget about the Gamescom embed after the cut.

[Thanks Cardboard!]

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Transformers Universe introduces Macro and Firebreaker

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Transformers Universe, MOBA

Transformers Universe
Jagex hopes to add "diversity" to Transformers Universe's character roster with the addition of two new warriors announced today: Macro and Firebreaker.
Macro, in his warrior form, carries a heavy broadsword for up close melee combat which he wields like a chivalrous knight. In addition, his shield dome cloaks all allies within its boundaries, removing them from enemy line of sight for a limited time.

At the other end of the spectrum, Firebreaker is the first Decepticon in Transformers Universe to feature cloaking capabilities. Sacrificing his shield meter he can extend the duration of the cloak, and can also unleash a computer virus on himself that will devastate the first Autobot he comes into contact with.
The studio says over 700,000 players have participated in beta so far. Videos for both characters are embedded below.

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SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds expansion is live

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dungeons

SWTOR
Early access to Star Wars: The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds expansion is now live for subscribers.

BioWare Producer Jack Wood welcomed players to SWTOR's third expansion with a lengthy developer blog about the studio's goals in this housing-centric update, boasting that it offers "something for everyone," whether you want to "sit back and relax in your personal stronghold," establish a guild base, participate in conquest leaderboard content, or take on the new tactical flashpoint, Depths of Manaan.

We've included a brand-new guild flagship launch trailer below.

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