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Swordsman launches July 29th

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Video, Launches, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Swordsman

It's official, wuxia games are the new Omaha Beach.
Are you excited for Swordsman but not willing to jump into an open beta test without a launch date? Then all we can tell you is that it's time to get jumping because Swordsman will fully launch on July 29th. The launch will bring along the Demon Pit event, pitting players against demons underground in exchange for the most powerful equipment in the game.

Launch will also apparently bring "streamlining" to the player experience, although we don't know the details just yet. If you're not even sure what Swordsman is, the short version is that it's a wuxia action MMO based on the novels of Louis Cha. The long version can be found in the producer's trailer just past the break or in our recent stream of the game. The even longer version... well, the game is in open beta, so you can always just download it and try it out for yourself. That would work.

[Source: Perfect World Entertainment press release]

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APB shames cheaters, talks usage and purchasing stats

Real-Life, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, All Points Bulletin, Dev Diaries

APB Reloaded's latest dev blog post details the implementation of cheat detector FairFight into the MMO shooter. The update also reveals some pretty interesting stats related to cheaters as well as the game's overall performance. "The number of cheaters who log in to the game stayed pretty constant around 1.2 percent of all players (some of which were re-rolls)," wrote GamersFirst's Bjorn Book-Larsson.

Surprisingly, 60 percent of those cheaters were paying players. Book-Larsson says that only about 10 percent of APB's monthly unique players make new purchases in a given month, while 30 percent of players have made a purchase at some point during their account history.

Book-Larsson goes on to say that APB is the 19th most-played game in the history of Steam, just ahead of Borderlands 2 and just behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Finally, GamersFirst has publicized a list of banned cheaters for the month of July, complete with player and clan names and various other account statistics.

Defiance gets new TV show crossover content

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Defiance

Defiance players who have access to the game's Arkbreaker DLC pack can now "deploy ark spikes with a chance to pull new modules out of orbit," according to a news post on the game's website. Said modules feature "new Grid enemies and a Gulanee warrior in massive battles at the center of the arkfall."

The new content is part of Trion's weekly tie-in to the Defiance television show, the second season of which is currently airing on SyFy.

[Thanks Gaius Cavadus!]

Skyforge defrosts the Cryomancer class

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Miscellaneous, Skyforge

Skyforge
Obsidian and My.com have just revealed Skyforge's Cryomancer, the latest addition to the playable roster of this class-switching MMO. As you might have guessed from the name, the Cryomancer is an ice mage, a "lord of ice and snow," who slows, immobilizes, and shatters enemies. Enjoy the full reveal, including screenshots, a class trailer, a partial spell list, and even a bit of lore.

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Previewing WildStar's Daggerstone Pass PvP battleground

Sci-Fi, Video, Patches, PvP, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

What a beautiful day it's going to avoid being.
Before I talk about the upcoming PvP map for WildStar, I feel I should really defend myself for my usual performance in PvP. Here's the simple version: I am all right at PvP. I know enough about what I'm supposed to do to avoid completely shaming myself. I am not the best. But can I turn a ragtag group of other journalists into a fighting force capable of defeating preformed groups of people wearing PvP gear?

Definitely not.

Along with several other journalists, I took to the field with Carbine Studios staff members yesterday, boosted my fresh Exile character up to 50, and took on all comers in the rated version of the new Daggerstone Pass. We lost several times. On the bright side, we lost in such a way that I was able to get a better sense of the map and can talk about it with some confidence, so that's good. In my weak defense, I don't think we had a chance against a fully premade team in PvP gear anyway.

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Valve scrapped an MMORPG at the dawn of the genre

Video, Culture, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Miscellaneous

Prospero
Did you know that Valve was once hard at work on a third-person MMORPG called Prospero? Alas, the studio scrapped the project around 1997 in favor of a little tiny game called Half-Life, which "absorbed" the developers working on the MMO.

Website Valve Time has dipped into the mysterious history of the game, said to be a "moody, literary" science-fantasy epic influenced by Myst with its focus on story and exploration. Though Prospero was canceled, some of its groundbreaking social and map features were eventually realized in Steam and Portal.

The video also includes some wonderfully dated screenshots and quotes from developers who worked on the title.

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Not So Massively: Destiny's big beta, Dota 2's big tourney

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Launches, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Shroud of the Avatar, Hearthstone, The Division

Destiny
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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UemeU shows off concept video and screenshots

Betas, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, New Titles, Previews, News Items, Miscellaneous, Sandbox

Home, home on the range!  Where OH DEAR LORD THE SKY IS SWALLOWING ALL.
If you want to roll your own game these days, you're certainly not lacking in tools to do so. UemeU is another game aimed at giving players the ability to do whatever they want, whether they'd like to build a huge, sprawling online game or just a nice house to settle down and call your own. The official reveal trailer past the break explains the goals of developer Omnigon Games in detail: The game is meant as a sandbox allowing players to create their own servers, structures, rules, and settings as they desire.

Lead developer Jeremy Hindle explains that the game will allow players to both create and play, with creation governed by a simple set of basic shapes that can be combined as players wish. Players will be able to create and modify abilities, change the rules for servers, and create a robust series of interactions via the use of action triggers. Check out the full video just past the cut if this sounds right up your alley.

[Souce: Omnigon Games press release]

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DC Universe Online highlights the creation of Batman

Super-hero, Video, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, DC Universe Online

Batman created by Bill Finger, credit swiped by Bob Kane.
It's been 75 years since Batman's creation, and that means everyone is talking about the Dark Knight. More than usual, even. DC Universe Online has gotten in on the action with a series of short videos exploring how Gotham's protector was brought into the game, what players can do to really feel like a part of the bat-family, and what the future holds for everyone's favorite nocturnal billionaire aside from beating up clowns.

The videos feature artist Jim Lee, voice actor Kevin Conroy, and various members of the DCUO development team looking at every aspect of the character in the game. There are three different videos past the break, but each one is fairly short -- you can watch them all at once or take them in chunks, whichever you'd prefer. It's a great dose of bat-nostalgia for fans of the game.

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LotRO's Summer Festival runs July 22 - August 5

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play

There's no shortage of things to do in Lord of the Rings Online these days, what with the recent release of Update 14, Western Gondor, and the level cap bump to 100. If you're already burned through all of that, though, you'll be glad to know that the game's annual Summer Festival starts tomorrow and continues through August 5th.

Events include keg races, horse races, fishing challenges, the Taste of Hobbiton, and the usual Ale Association vs. Inn League shenanigans.

See the savage beasts of WoW's Shadowmoon Valley

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Subscription

Blizzard released a dev blog on World of Warcraft's Shadowmoon Valley over the weekend, and it's filled with prose and images detailing the regions beasts. These include riverbeasts, podlings, elekk, and even "enormous sentient trees" that may give would-be lumber collectors a bit of pause.

Elite's expansions to include planetary landing, ship interiors

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

Frontier's latest newsletter for Elite: Dangerous talks post-launch plans for the sci-fi space sim sandbox. Launch is currently scheduled for sometime in Q4 of 2014, after which Frontier will continue to expand the game.

"Major new features will include planetary landings and even walking around inside ships, stations, and planet surfaces," the firm says. Elite users with a lifetime expansion pass will get "all such significant expansions" at no extra charge. The LEP is currently packaged with the game's premium beta access or available separately via the Frontier store.

[Thanks Peteris!]

The Daily Grind: What's your favorite LotRO update or expansion?

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Daily Grind

I'm kinda slow-poking my way through Blackroot Vale in Lord of the Rings Online's latest update. So far it's pretty standard fantasy themepark fare, but I'm enjoying it well enough thanks to the setting (Gondor!) and the general ease with which I can wander through it.

As far as LotRO updates go, I think my favorite would have to be the Riders of Rohan expansion, both because of its sweeping vistas and a delightful soundtrack. What about you, Massively readers? What's your favorite major update or LotRO expansion?

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!

Make My MMO: July 13 - July 19, 2014

Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Camelot Unchained dominated the headlines. Oh sure, Star Citizen made its money and the Elite: Dangerous devs said a couple more interesting things, but by and large we were all oohing and ahhing over City State's week-long batshit-crazy reveal schedule.

Whether or not the finished game actually incorporates all of these awesome ideas is anyone's guess, but for now it sure makes for fascinating reading! Click past the cut for the rundown on the rest of this week's crowdsourcing news.

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Elder Scrolls Online shows new zones, active world PvP, and more at Quakecon

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Quakecon is the place to be if you want the latest Elder Scrolls Online news. Last night during the Future of ESO panel, ZeniMax showed off a boatload of upcoming features including video of new zones, further discussion of the veteran rank revamp, and details on the justice system.

This last bit is particularly interesting since it involves some sort of "active world PvP" outside of Cyrodiil. In a nutshell, the system allows players to murder NPCs and steal items. If caught, you can choose to pay a bounty (and lose the stolen goods) or run, exposing yourself to guards. You can also be a guard and hunt down player bounties, hence the PvP.

In terms of new zones, there are videos for Imperial City, Murkmire, and Wrothgar after the cut, as well as a look at the stealing and justice system mechanics. Dulfy has a breakdown of the panel, too, including info on new armor and weapons, spellcrafting, and more!

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