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EVE Vegas 2014: December's Rhea update adds tech 3 destroyers

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Classes, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

During the Keynote speech at EVE Vegas 2014, EVE Online developers revealed some big news for the game's next two major updates. We heard the broad strokes of CCP's plans at the latest EVE Fanfest back in March, when it was revealed that the company would switch from releasing two expansions per year to around ten smaller releases. The upcoming Phoebe release planned for November 4th will improve Tech 2 Invention, improve life in the lawless nullsec regions with heavy nerfs to capital ship movement, and introduce a highly requested unlimited length skill queue system.

While players are certainly looking forward to Phoebe, it's December's Rhea update that will really pack a punch. The Blackbird, Falcon, and Rook electronic warfare ships will get new models, and a new type of freighter codenamed the "Tug" will be introduced that can move large numbers of fitted ships around the game. But the big news coming out of EVE Vegas 2014 today is that a completely new set of tech 3 ships will be added for the first time since 2009's Apocrypha expansion. The new ships are tactical destroyer, and they aren't just smaller versions of the tech 3 strategic cruisers.

Instead of being built out of a set of subsystems, tactical destroyers will have the ability to switch between several modes on the fly, transforming them from snipers or tanks to speed demons as required. If you've ever wanted to transfer full power to your engines or shields like something out of Star Trek, these new ships are for you. Thanks to winning a recent research race event, the Amarr version of the ship will be released before the other races.

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Make My MMO: October 12 - 18, 2014

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

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Kickstarter hopeful Seldon Crisis came back to earth when Isaac Asimov's estate took issue with the developers appropriating the Foundation IP. Star Citizen, meanwhile, showed off some spiffy planetside gameplay as well as a full livestream recording of its recent Citizen Con event.

Oh yeah, and Skara: The Blade Remains moved to Steam early access. Click past the cut for the rest of this week's MMO crowdfunding roundup.

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EVE Vegas 2014: Tune in with our free livestream

Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), Livestream, Dev Diaries

EVE Vegas
While the main event of the EVE Online calendar is undoubtedly the annual Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland, new events have popped up around the world over the years. Player-run meetups are frequently organised in London, and EVE Down Under is starting to gain major traction with the Australian playerbase, but the most well-established by far is EVE Vegas. The two day event runs each year in Las Vegas in the USA and is attended by hundreds of fans and is kind of like a mini Fanfest, with presentations on the future of EVE and roundtable discussions with developers.

Today's schedule includes a keynote speech from CCP Seagull on the future of EVE Online, a screening of Rooks & Kings celebrated video Clarion Call 4, and talks from three nullsec alliance players on the topics of Fleet Commanding and Alliance Logistics. There will also be talks from CCP Rise and CCP FoxFour on changes to the new player experience, altered restrictions on trial accounts, and the plan for third party developers. All 500 tickets for the event were sold out in record time this year, but those at home can tune in for free right now on CCP's Twitch livestream. I'll also be tuning into the stream throughout the weekend to bring you the highlights on important reveals and information.

Whether you're a die-hard fan of internet spaceships or just a gawker on the sidelines, EVE Vegas is the EVE Online and EVE Valkyrie event of the season. Follow Massively's Brendan Drain as he reports on the Vegas event's starpower, scheming, and spoilers, and watch CCP's streams of the best panels live here on Massively!

APB's lead designer on the changes in 1.18.0

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

If you're curious about what's happening in the world of APB: Reloaded, why not read the latest dev blog? Lead designer Ricardo Viana writes that the team's focus for the forthcoming 1.18.0 update is on APB's missions, dynamic events, and visual effects.

He also mentions that the patch will tweak APB's team leader system, primarily by adding messaging, the ability to request the leader role, and an AFK parameter for the existing demerit system.

Elite gets mining on October 28, premiere event on November 22

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Elite: Dangerous

This is the best header image in the history of header images
The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter brings word of a premiere event for the space sim sandbox to be held on November 22nd. It's all happening at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK, but if you can't make it in the flesh you can tune in via Twitch.

Newsletter #45 also looks at mining, which is scheduled to arrive in Elite's Beta 3 on October 28th. Click through the links below to give it a read.

[Thanks Cotic!]

A Pox (Nora) on Steam

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items

Turn-based tactical online game Pox Nora resurfaced on Steam this week. The free-to-play title, originally released by Octopi Media in 2006 and at one time owned and operated by SOE, is now being published by Desert Owl Games.

You can get an idea of Pox Nora's gameplay via the tutorial video embedded after the break.

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Xsyon opens guilds, housing to F2P players

Business Models, Game Mechanics, Guilds, News Items, Free-to-Play, Xsyon, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, Housing

Xsyon
Hardcore indie sandbox Xsyon introduced a free-to-play option almost two years ago, but the restrictions were brutal. Free players couldn't build in or terraform the world, and they couldn't lead guilds, which the game calls tribes. (Originally, they couldn't even join guilds at all!)

But as of this week, Notorious Games has lifted some of those restrictions. In a press release issued today, the studio explained,
Starting this week, new players can join the Xsyon community and start their own tribe for free. Creating their own homesteads, new free players can shape the land explore the game's extensive architecture system on their own, without the aid of other game citizens!
If you're a free player chafing at ArcheAge's housing restrictions, well, here's a sandbox willing to accommodate you.

Have any PWE ZEN left? Better spend it soon [Updated]

Business Models, News Items, Star Trek Online, Champions Online, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter, Swordsman

PWE
If you happen to have any ZEN currency sitting around in your Perfect World Entertainment ARC Wallet, now is apparently the time to spend it. Players with unused currency were sent an email yesterday informing them that the ARC Wallet is being discontinued and that leftover currency must be transferred to one of PWE's games.
We've noticed that you still have ZEN sitting in your Arc Wallet. The Arc Wallet system will be going away soon, but we'll have more details on that later. In the meantime, don't let your hard earned money go to waste. There are tons of amazing items available. Log in and transfer your ZEN to one of your favorite games today!
PWE's more popular western games include Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, Swordsman, and Champions Online. We've asked PWE for clarification and will update this post when we have it.

[Thanks, Omedon!]

[Update: askray1 in our comments pointed us to a post on the PWI forums that helps clarify the situation: "You may have gotten a recent email from us regarding the transferring of your ZEN. This is a legitimate email, and in no ways does it mean you need to actually spend your ZEN. We are removing the wallet function and working on a more Arc integrated system, which means that you will need to transfer your ZEN from your wallet, to a game of your choice to avoid any potential delays. The wallet will go away, but your funds will still be available. We're simply sending this message out so you do not experience any delays in using the contents of your wallet when it does. By moving it over now, you should not experience any delays when this change goes live. I can't say for certain when or how long, even if there will be delays when the wallet goes away, but this will help those that do not want deal with that when it happens."]

Darkfall relics to add CTF mechanics, promote clan raiding

Fantasy, Darkfall, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

Relics are coming to Darkfall, sometime in November according to an Aventurine forum post. What are relics? They're basically items that will spawn randomly around Agon that players may pick up and transport to a clan holding.

The mechanic is intended to add a capture-the-flag activity to Darkfall while simultaneously increasing the value of clan holdings and promoting clan raids.

ArcheAge's northern continent opens November 4

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Crafting

Trion has announced that ArcheAge's Auroria continent will officially launch on November 4th.

The northern landmass features six additional zones, four of which will be claimable by guilds. Trion also notes that "30 percent more housing space will be available to players throughout these four claimable zones."

A new dungeon is also included, as is a farm wagon and a submarine. Full details are yours on the official ArcheAge website.

RIFT's newest dungeon is called the Citadel of Insanity

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, RIFT, Dungeons

Citadel of Insanity has a nice ring to it, don't you think? It'd probably make a swell guild name or at the very least, a subforum title on a particularly crotchety MMORPG message board.

Alas, Trion has already put it to work as the name of a new RIFT dungeon. It includes a giant armored crustacean called Glacieus, a "massive nightmare worm," and a couple of other bosses who may cause your party to break a sweat.

You can read all about the new dungeon on RIFT's official website.

Elder Scrolls game director talks Update 5, performance upgrades

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor has just released a new Road Ahead update post. Much of what he has to say relates to the forthcoming Update 5, which includes a new vet dungeon, new facial animations, repeatable pledges and writs, dungeon level-scaling, and additional stuff like the Dwemer crafting style and chat bubbles.

Firor also mentions "a series of stability and performance improvements for Cyrodiil in the works right now." Additionally, ESO players will be getting new performance options to "cull visual effects" and improve client framerates.

Warframe studio Digital Extremes partners with Perfect World

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles

Sky status: probably falling?
Back in July there were rumblings that Digital Extremes, the studio behind Warframe, would soon be added to the lineup of Perfect World Entertainment's studios. After three months of negotiations, the deal has finally gone through, with PWE and Sumpo Food Holdings Limited acquiring a majority share in the company. The deal also includes giving Perfect World exclusive rights to publishing Warframe in mainland China.

A post on the official forums is meant to assuage any player fears or concerns, stressing that the functional changes for players will be limited; the same people are in charge of the game's development as before. What it will mean, chiefly, is that the studio has more money to spend on updates and improvements to the game. Whether or not more of the game will change over time remains to be seen, but the current statement is a definite no.

[Thanks to Revrent for the tip!]

Skara: The Blade Remains moves to Steam early access

Betas, Fantasy, News Items, Miscellaneous, MOBA

Oh, Early Access, you salacious minx.
Have you been longing for a violent multiplayer combat game on Steam with no regard for how early it may be in testing? Then you'll be happy to learn that Skara: The Blade Remains will be landing on the Early Access service on October 27th. Players will initially be limited to one-on-one battles in the earliest client, although the ultimate plan is to make the game play as an 8v8 mix of RPG and MOBA elements.

You can get a sense for how the game will look in action in the gameplay trailer just past the break. Purchasers will ultimately have their money refunded in the form of virtual currency once the game launches as free-to-play in 2015. If you want to get involved in the testing and don't want to fund the game directly from the developer's site, just hold on a little longer and you can pick it up through Steam.

[Source: 8-Bit Studios press release]

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SWTOR's experience boost enables altaholics, story-lovers

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Classes, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Promotions, Dev Diaries

SWTOR
Eagle-eyed gamers probably noticed the "leveling boost" tucked in with Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan pre-order announcement, but just in case you missed it, BioWare wants to make absolutely sure you understand what it entails, and it entails story -- a whole bunch of stories in a short amount of time, in fact. In a new dev blog, the studio is calling the boost a "class leveling event" in which players are effectively "treated to an all-new epic BioWare roleplaying campaign, uninterrupted." The 12.32 multiplier to experience that players pick up by preordering the expansion and subbing up for a month is "enough to play through the game all the way to level 55 playing only epic story missions," meaning that you can play through the class stories with no quest grind in between. Skill training is free during the promotion too. But you'll have to move quickly; the promo ends on December 1st.

I've already lost two writers and three guildies to the leveling frenzy. Jef thinks he'll be done leveling all eight of his characters in 10 more days. Who'll be next?!

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