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Trion boosts RIFT's subscriber benefits

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT

RIFT subscribers are getting some benefit boosts, according to a new Trion website blurb. Patrons already enjoy extra currency, summons, mount speed, artifact tracking, daily quests, bonus loot, and store discounts. Now, though, they'll also receive 40 percent experience, favor, notoriety, prestige, and token boosts.

New benefits also include faster planar ability cooldowns, a fast pass teleport, and more!

In other RIFT news, Trion adjusted the Stormcaller soul in yesterday's hotfix.

Watch a TUG artist design a hostile predator

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Mountain lion butts! That's what's in store for you in the latest TUG "In the Works" behind-the-scenes video. Nerd Kingdom "Ninja Rigger and 3-D Artist" Eric Stodolnik is featured in the brief clip as he shows viewers how one of the game's many hostile predators is modeled from start to finish. The video is included below!

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Elder Scrolls Online offers new guild heraldry

Fantasy, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Lore, Previews, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
If you're excited for August's Elder Scrolls Online upcoming update, then today's ZeniMax devblog will be a welcome one... though not one that promises sweeping changes for the game. Specifically, the new post previews some of the new symbols that guilds can adopt as their official crests. "You'll probably recognize some of them, like the symbols for the Divines and the Daedric Princes," write the developers. "Combine these with even more crests, a huge color palette, and different tabard shapes, and your guild will have its own memorable look."

We've included the images below. See one you like?

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Massively Exclusive: Grand Chase goes live on Steam tomorrow

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, Promotions, Miscellaneous

Buy it again, Sam.
Grand Chase is pursuing its way onto Steam on Thursday, July 17th, and you know what that means: welcome events. After all, when a free-to-play game shows up on a popular digital service, there will be a lot of new arrivals. New players can look forward to the Welcome Heroes event, which provides a free bundle of prizes to any one character on a player's account. They can also take advantage of the Character Jumping event, which allows everyone to kick a character straight to level 70 (the current cap is 85).

A Steam-specific stat-boosting title is also available to everyone, along with new item packages. These packages include a new set of equipment with stats and a new pet, both of which have never been available elsewhere. If you're a long-time Grand Chase player or just can't wait to get a free-to-play brawler on your hard drive, take heart because the game will be available tomorrow.

[Source: KOG Games press release]

Camelot Unchained plans a robust, anti-mule crafting economy

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Economy, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Crafting, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this afternoon, we're digging into my personal favorite: crafting and economy.
Massively: I just wrote about a game with excessive recovery time for crafters, likewise implemented for economic reasons, and wow, players hate those restrictions. Doesn't introducing (I'm going to say it) "designed downtime" for crafters encourage crafter mules and arbitrarily interfere with the natural economy? Aren't there more organic ways to slow down crafting? Why allow combatants to fight 24/7 but not allow crafters to craft equivalently?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: It's a really good question and a definite concern for us. My feeling was that I wanted to create a system where crafters don't have to sit around, crafting 24/7 in a manner that could lead to carpal tunnel. Other games, including Dark Age of Camelot, were more like that. Crafters shouldn't have to sit around and simply click-click-click, etc. The comparison isn't totally correct though, because combatants have downtime to recover their health or power, during travel, etc. (especially in an RvR MMORPG), while crafters can sit in a shop and use the Vox Magus to craft.

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Wizard101 introduces Fishing

Fantasy, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Kids, Wizard101, Family

It's also fishing for your money, but that's sort of how games stay in operation.
Fishing is the eternal side activity of MMOs, the reason for players to sit about and cast their line over and over in the hopes of receiving something worthwhile. Wizard101 joins the lineup of fantasy games offering a fishing option today with a new patch, although you will be fishing in an appropriately magical fashion. Rather than a mundane line and sinker, players summon magical orbs to help snare fish; the ones they catch can be sold, used for crafts, or displayed as trophies around your house.

If this is the one thing you've been waiting for before you get into the game, you can also take advantage of the new promotional bundle on sale at Target. The Spiral Cup Gauntlet Bundle includes a new housing item, a new pet, new clothes, and a new mount for players, along with either a month's subscription or 5000 crowns. You can pick it up for $39 and then jump right back into casting orbs and looking for fish. Or doing other things, presumably.

[Source: Kingsisle Entertainment press release]

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Camelot Unchained's UI powered by Chromium, community

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

Camelot Unchained's information dump continues with a brief blurb about the fantasy PvP sandbox's UI. City State says that UIs typically "consume a large amount of developer bandwidth on the design and engineering side," and as such the firm will not only be building CU's UI "out of the web" but it will also be open-sourcing the entire codebase.

The UI is powered by Chromium, and City State has already made the code available on GitHub and is inviting the community to contribute to it (pending developer approval, of course).

Das Tal alpha starts July 20

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items

Das Tal has tabbed July 20th as the official start of its alpha testing period. The build will focus on "good old-fashioned PvP combat," according to a Fairytale Distillery press release. Gameplay will feature clans battling to control five landmarks as well as three armor classes, three weapon sets, and "fast-paced and diverse combat situations."

You can still apply for an alpha slot, and you can also read the full press drop after the break.

[Source: Fairytale Distillery press release]

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Camelot Unchained will feature a customizable 'component combat' system

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Camelot Unchained, MMORPG

CU
Welcome back to our coverage of City State Entertainment's batshit-crazy days for Camelot Unchained! A few weeks ago, we spoke with CSE co-founder Mark Jacobs about each of the topics being revealed this week via livestream; this morning, we picked his brain about the game's innovative combat system.
Massively: Can you explain why the component combat system and player design of combat abilities doesn't render the concept of classes moot?

CSE's Mark Jacobs: Absolutely! Think of the combat system in the same way you would magic. As a member of a certain Realm, you might not have access to particular components, whether for magic or melee combat. Further, your class might have further restrictions in terms of combinations of components. For example, the HelBound will be able to use some healing components that pure fighter classes can't, but they won't have access to the vast majority of magical components.

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SWTOR's legacy storage detailed

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Crafting

BioWare community manager Eric Musco has highlighted some details of Star Wars: The Old Republic's legacy storage on the game's official forums. The system will debut with the Galactic Strongholds expansion, and players will obtain legacy storage for free by completing the introductory stronghold mission. Legacy storage will also be craftable and it will appear in the game's cash shop.

The storage default is one 80-slot bay, with additional unlocks available for purchase with in-game credits or cash shop currency.

World of Speed zips through Moscow in a new trailer

Betas, Real-Life, Trailers, Video, Previews, News Items, Miscellaneous

World of Speed
Vroooooooooom!

World of Speed today unveils its latest trailer, this one featuring what the devs are calling a "Dream Drive" through Moscow. The game is currently accepting applications for its upcoming closed beta test; you can sign up on the official site. Enjoy the video below!

[Source: Slightly Mad Studios press release]

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Motiga's new multiplayer game, Gigantic, is a MOBA

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

That's not as big as it could be.
Are you ready to let another MOBA into your life? How about one with stylized cartoon art and a twist that some might call... large? Gigantic was formally announced by Motiga today, and it's got a couple of tricks the usual MOBA doesn't. For one thing, it's all about third-person play, and you'll be hopping about with your keyboard rather than by clicking your mouse. For another, players are aided by enormous Guardians, behemoths that use their own massive attacks and will force players to contend with an even more powerful force on the field.

Players can get a sense of the game's style just past the break in the game's first announcement trailer and sign up for alpha testing on the official site. The game will be at PAX Prime, as well, which should be something for fans to keep a close watch on. It might just be big, you know.

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Massively Speaking Episode 305: Bubbles bursting

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

lotro
Are the virtues of free-to-play still up for debate? Apparently so, as several industry figures questioned the long-term prospects and benefits of the business model this past week, which means that Justin and Bree will also be taking a hard look at F2P once more. Also there is a lecture by economist Prof. Royce at the conclusion of the 'cast. Take notes as there will be a test.

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!

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Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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Firefall reintroduces its open-world PvP

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Endgame, News Items, MMOFPS, Firefall

Firefall
In the lead up to Firefall's official launch on July 29th, Red 5 Studios has released a new video outlining the game's open-world PvP.

Formal PvP takes place in a separate zone called Broken Peninsula, where players are divided into corporate teams to beat the crap out of each other over resources, territorial bases, and a series of outposts and watchtowers that grant their holders special bonuses. NPCs called the Chosen do their best to interfere with players along the way.

How soon can a newcomer participate? "Firefall's open world PvP is primarily intended to be end-game content," says the studio, but skilled lowbies can "make an impact" at their own peril. Check out the video after the cut.

[Source: Red 5 press release]

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Neverwinter shows off the Scourge Warlock for Tyranny of Dragons

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

NOT ALL DRAGONS
Do you want to fight some dragons? The next expansion to Neverwinter is all about fighting dragons, hence the title Tyranny of Dragons. Would you prefer to do so whilst conjuring up forbidden and evil magic from beyond to help smite your foes and empower your party? Then the Scourge Warlock is right up your alley. You can check the new class out in the trailer just past the break.

Scourge Warlocks are casters who can summon a Soul Puppet from the beyond, using their magical prowess to leech health and empower allies while leaving enemies as shambling shells. They also have access to a new paragon path, Hellbringer, which... well, it doesn't summon bunnies and stomach rubs. Take a look at the official development blog for a clearer picture of what these casters are capable of, and watch the trailer to see the class in action before Tyranny of Dragons goes live on August 14th.

[Source: Cryptic Studios press release]

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