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Betawatch: September 6 - 12, 2014

Betas, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Betawatch, Crowdfunding

We say farewell to ArcheAge this week as it emerges from open beta into its head start period. What else is new in the land of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup lies ahead.

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Elite gets release pricing but no release date yet

Sci-Fi, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous is still on track for a Q4 2014 launch. As such, Frontier today revealed the sci-fi sandbox's launch pricing plan as well as a pre-order option.

The standard game will set you back $59.99 (or £39.99 and €49.99 for our friends across the pond). The pre-order Mercenary edition -- available to purchase from now until release day -- will run you $50 (£35.00 or €40) and features an Eagle fighter, a digital guide, a digital concept art book, decals, and more. If you've already pre-ordered or backed through alpha and beta, you'll receive a Merc edition by default.

In other Elite news, Eurogamer reports that the game's original budget was £8 million, most of which came out of Frontier's own pocket prior to its successful crowdfunding campaign. And don't forget about this week's Elite newsletter, which talks more about the Mercenary edition and plans for the franchise's 30th anniversary celebration.

[Source: Frontier press release]

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Exclusive: The weapons of Firefall's Elemental Destruction

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Firefall

In the wake of Firefall's announcement of its September 16th Elemental Destruction launch date, Red 5's RudiKazootie returns with another dev diary about the update, this one focusing on the new elemental weapons, new weapon modifiers, and new primary archetype weapons arriving next week. Enjoy!

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World of Warcraft features its next Lord of War: Durotan

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Video, Lore, News Items, Subscription

World of Warcraft's Lords of War lore series has so far regaled fans with the backstories of Kargath Bladefist and Grommash Hellscream in the lead up to Warlords of Draenor's launch. So who's up next?

If you guessed "an Orc," you're right: It's Durotan, Warchief of the Frostwolf clan, the kinder, gentler Orc. Enjoy the full clip below.

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ArcheAge's head start is now live for founders

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Events (Real-World), New Titles, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox

Rush the gates and roll those toons because you gotta get the best hardcore farmland, am I right?

After a brief technical delay, ArcheAge's head start has now gone live for founders. Trion says that the servers are up and ready for the influx of players. Your server choices are...
North America: Aranzeb, Naima, Kyrios, Ollo, Tahyang, Salphira
Europe: Shatigon, Kyprosa, Eanna, Dahuta
There is no wipe planned for the head start, so this is the real deal. You can still nab a founders pack on the official site for $49.99-$149.99, depending on your tier. All three come with the four-day patron head start access.

The Siege of Neverwinter begins next week [Updated]

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Humor, Neverwinter

Perfect World Entertainment has just announced a new in-game Tyranny of Dragons-themed event for Neverwinter: the Siege of Neverwinter. Apparently, Justin was right not to trust those dragons. Those guys are always up to no good, trying to kick your favorite fantasy city in the knees. Are you going to take that? Are you? No. I didn't think so.
From September 18, 2014 until September 25, 2014, players are tasked with defending Neverwinter from encroaching foes in the new Siege Battlefield area. Two new Heroic Encounters will challenge players with a variety of different battle types and assaults from furious dragons. Additionally, a new profession will enable players to craft defensive supplies and work to protecting the brave warriors who venture past the safety of the walls.
Neverwinter promises "new fashion items, enchantments, companions, and more" for participation in the event.

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You can race your Star Citizen spaceship today

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races, Sandbox, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

Before I get too deep into this news post, I'd like to take a moment to thank Cloud Imperium for releasing Star Citizen's racing module on ArcheAge's launch day.

Now that that's out of my system, let's see here. Arena Commander 0.9 is officially patchable right now. It brings with it the Murray Cup racing simulator, co-op play, leaderboards, and "too many bug fixes to list," according to CIG's announcement post.

[Thanks Oliver!]

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EVE's Oceanus laying the groundwork for visual ship customization

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

EVE Online's next release is called Oceanus, and it's coming to a PC near you on September 30th. CCP has published a feature overview dev blog in case you're not up to speed. Major tweaks include French language support, new cloak effects, and a "big visual update" for wormhole space.

There's a substantial under-the-hood update, too, and it has to do with how CCP stores and manages ship visual data. The dev blog says that this particular tweak is necessary "for being able to deliver visual customization of ships in the future." You can read about the rest of Oceanus via the links below.

Mortal Online sets out territory control in a new patch

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Mortal Online, Sandbox, Housing, Player-Generated Content

No one man should have all that power.
Ready to make your mark on the world of Mortal Online? Your time is now. The game's latest patch implements the territory control system, allowing guilds to war over choice bits of land, build keeps and cities, and generally shape the landscape into what they want to see. There's even a trailer for it past the cut, showing off what players can expect to get when breaking ground on a new city and building its defenses.

Cities alone would be a welcome addition, but the patch also brings with it a variety of improvements to quality of life. The game's mail system has been rebuilt, several UI elements and chat commands have been implemented, and the world map has seen some trimming and adjustments. The patch is live now, so you can check out the notes for all the details or just log in and start staking your guild's claim.

[Thanks to Zakiyya for the tip!]

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Final Fantasy XI welcomes back old players with a free week

Fantasy, Video, Final Fantasy XI, News Items, Consoles, Promotions, Subscription

When Shantotto is the face of public relations, the subscriber slide has a clear explanation.
If you once walked the fields of Vana'diel in Final Fantasy XI but haven't been back in some time, you've missed a lot of updates. The game's run for 13 years now, after all; whenever you stopped playing, it's likely a lot of new content awaits you. And if you've got the hankering to check back in and see if it's how you remember, you can do so for a week. Completely free.

Until September 17th, former players can log in for free and explore all of the content available in the game. Players will need to transfer their old PlayOnline IDs to Square-Enix IDs if they have not done so already. A promotional video has also been released, detailing some of the changes made to the game for its current incarnation. So if you've got a hankering to step back into the world of Vana'diel, now might be the time to do so.

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New World of Speed trailer wub wubs its way through Moscow

Real-Life, Trailers, Video, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Races

I like fast cars. I like driving fast cars fast. I'm pretty sure I would like driving fast cars fast through the streets of Moscow. Sadly I've yet to visit Russia's famed capital, so I'm having to make do with World of Speed's latest teaser trailer which features a lot of turning, burning, and wub wubbing through the city's rain-soaked streets.

Click past the cut to ride along.

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The Crew fires up a new gameplay trailer

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

Terminate your dialogue and operate your vehicle.
The latest trailer for The Crew might blow your mind. It turns out the game will feature cars. And driving. And... all right, maybe it's all stuff that you've known about if you've followed the game with any sort of enthusiasm up to this point. But it's still a glimpse into how the game will play beyond its cross-country driving.

The trailer shows off a great deal of both driving mechanics and interface pieces, giving potential players a clearer picture of what the game will look like in play as well as how the game is meant to be played. If you like the idea of hooking up with other drivers and hitting the road to explore, race, and take out targets, catch a glimpse of the gameplay just past the break.

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Jagex CEO resigning in December

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard is leaving his post in December according to an open letter on the RuneScape website. Gerhard writes passionately about the game's community and his efforts to combat gold-farming during his five-year stint as CEO.

Gerhard, who has been with Jagex a total of seven years, did not specify the reasons for his departure nor who will take his place.

Citizen Con 2014 celebrating SC in LA on October 10

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

Are you a Star Citizen fan? Will you be in Los Angeles on October 10th? You might want to grab some tickets to this year's Citizen Con if you answered both of those questions in the affirmative. The two-year(!) anniversary of Star Citizen's announcement will serve as a platform for Cloud Imperium to "celebrate the progress of the game's development to date and honor the contribution of the community."

There will be a livestream, a recap of what's been accomplished thus far, and a sneak peak at what's upcoming. Tickets go on sale tomorrow. They're $40 each, but there are only 300 available so mark it on your calendar! Further details are available via the links below.

WildStar trims back attunement requirements

Sci-Fi, Patches, Endgame, News Items, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

So that got fixed up real nice.
If you're still slamming your head against the wall of WildStar's raid attunement, the game's most recent small patch will make your life a bit easier. The medal requirements for Veteran dungeons have been lowered to only Bronze, achieved simply by clearing the dungeons. Players will also be required to kill only 12 out of 18 bosses to complete a step of the chain, with progress applied retroactively via achievements where applicable. It won't strip away the overall length and complexity of the process, but it will make it a bit less onerous.

This patch also improves the process of acquiring new AMP and Ability Tier points, adding them to PvP vendors, including them in Path progression, and upping their world drop rates. Aside from a handful of bugfixes and balance changes, the patch doesn't contain any new content, but it should give players trying to get into content a little more incentive to keep moving.

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