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Final Fantasy XIV shows off patch 2.4's story and Shiva

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

This image is nothing to Sneeze at.
The next major Final Fantasy XIV patch will bring more story content. Every major patch does, after all. A new preview on the official site makes it clear that players will continue working with the Crystal Braves, delving further into the conflict that's brewing deep within Ishgard the threatens all of Eorzea. It also makes it very clear that players will be facing off against fan favorite Ultros in the next installment of the ongoing Gentleman Inspector Hildibrand storyline, which should delight Final Fantasy VI fans even more than their magitek armor mounts.

You can also take a peek at a preview of the coming battle against Shiva; the Hard version is part of the storyline, while the Extreme battle requires players to first clear The Striking Tree (Extreme). It promises to be a pretty cool fight. Take a look at the previews, and keep your eyes peeled for when the patch is going live.

World of Warcraft launching patch 6.0.2 on October 14th

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Subscription

Tired of orcs?  No you aren't.  Have more.
It's been a while since a real patch hit the live servers of World of Warcraft, but that's all going to change soon. Specifically, it's going to change in four days from today. The pre-expansion patch for Warlords of Draenor will be hitting the live game on October 14th, bringing with it stat squishes, new character models, and all of the general improvements you'd expect going into the expansion.

Of course, there aren't many new systems to play around with aside from a handful of new talents... and the limited-time level 90 version of Upper Blackrock Spire. This 5-person dungeon will pit players against the forces of the Iron Horde and will, again, be available for only a little bit of time. The same is true of the pre-launch invasion event, which forces players to fight off Iron Horde attacks from beyond the Dark Portal. Take some screenshots of your current character model now, buy things with Justice and Valor points, and get ready for the patch in less than a week.

WildStar's state-of-the-game missive promises new content, quality-of-life adjustments

Sci-Fi, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription

Carbine Studios has just posted another WildStar state-of-the-game letter to fans. In it, the studio says that an upcoming content update will provide two content chapters: The first, Mystery of the Genesis Prime, will introduce a new level 50 zone and tie into the plot from The Strain. The second, Journey to OMNIcore-1, opens up the "galaxy-spanning Nexus Saga," which the devs say includes "content for players of all stripes, from lore-filled immersive solo content, to fast and furious 5-player quests and massive 20-player public events."

Carbine also mentions sweeping bug fixes, ELO tweaks, housing remodeling, extensive quality-of-life adjustments for lowbies, and tutorial-skipping for alts.

The studio does not provide a date for the release; Carbine has previously floated November for the patch's likely arrival. The devs do say they're putting more into this release "than [they've] put into any update so far."

The Think Tank: Autumn is the season of MMO expansions

Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, MMO Industry, Patches, Opinion, Massively Meta, Miscellaneous, The Think Tank

Happy autumn! It's a season of MMO expansions. World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, EverQuest II, Star Trek Online, and bunches more are all getting major updates or expansions in the next few months. Presumably, expansions aren't meant only to give existing players something to do; they're also meant to give old players reasons to come back. But do they work?

That's the question I asked Massively's writers in this week's Think Tank. Do we return for expansions? Do we avoid them? Do we even like them? Let's talk expansions.

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Lord of the Rings Online begins Update 15 testing

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Classes, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

Good news for those spinning their wheels in Lord of the Rings Online: Update 15, with its brand-new class and additional high-level content, is heading to the test server this Friday.

Executive Producer Aaron Campbell posted an update of LotRO's development on the forums today. He said that Update 15 would be the final big release for the year, and it includes the Beorning class, Central Gondor, a continuation of the epic story, and a new epic battle centered around Pelargir. As for the shapeshifting class, the Beorning will have three trait lines that will allow for choices between tank, DPS, and heal/utility, and will begin in a new mini-zone, Vales of Anduin.

Campbell did notify players that there would be a few adjustments to the previously stated schedule, most notably that the legendary item update is now pushed back to Update 16 in early 2015. Other 2015 additions include Osgiliath and Minas Tirith.

Check out Dragon's Prophet's newest zone, Thadrea

Fantasy, Galleries, Trailers, Video, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play

dragons prophet
Thadrea, the newest zone for Dragon's Prophet, is coming soon, and if these previews are any indication, it will be a land of both beauty and challenges. And also -- spoilers -- dragons.

"Your journey will take you to some of the most exciting places you will ever see," the team posted today. "This place is full of history, and there are many ancient sights to behold."

You can check out this "ancient land" in the gallery below and in a video after the break.

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Age of Wushu: Winds of Destiny releases on October 15th

Fantasy, Historical, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

If everything could only be this good forever.
It's happening, just like the headline says: Age of Wushu's next major update is launching next week, giving you just a few more days to prepare for everything that's coming. That means new areas, new gameplay, and a whole host of new challenges for experienced masters and relative novices alike.

The update looks to build player bonds and alliances with the new Companion system, which allows players to establish a mutually beneficial partnership via the game's existing offline occupation system. There are also new areas to explore, like Delightful Isle and Lingxiao City. You won't have to wait long to go through all of this for yourself, though; it's just a little over a week until the patch goes live.

Allods Online offers ship test arenas

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, PvP, Free-to-Play, Allods Online, Dev Diaries

Players looking to learn the ropes of their flying ships in Allods Online will soon have a friendlier and cheaper option: the Astral Arena.

Coming with the 5.0.02 update, the Astral Arena is essentially a series of test rooms for players to pit their ship against others with a variety of rulesets. The arena won't be as hardcore as normal PvP encounters, as ships can be repaired after fighting in them for no cost.

The Astral Arena is divided into the maintenance system (for ship repair), the firing zone (with dummy ships), the stable zone (PvP with three astral anomalies), and the scintilliation zone (another PvP mode with two anomalies).

Final Fantasy XI launches the October version update

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Classes, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Subscription

I think what's in here is a puppy.
If you're an avid Final Fantasy XI player and you've missed your Wings of the Goddess characters, you'll be happy to know that you're getting a big dose of nostalgia in the game's most recent update. A new quest has been added that allows Summoners to call forth Atomos and everyone to summon Lilisette's Alter Ego, provided that you've already finished off the Wings of the Goddess missions. And that's only the metaphorical tip of the iceberg.

The October update also rolls out new battlefields pitting players against Ifrit Prime, Shiva Prime, Titan Prime, Ramuh Prime, Garuda Prime, and Leviathan Prime at a higher level of difficulty. There are also several job improvements, including wide-scale buffs to pets over level 100, weapon skill improvements (such as Puppetmasters getting an A+ rank in Fists), and other assorted buffs (Ninja shuriken are now far more attractive and usable). Take a look at the full update notes for more fixes, improvements, and general buffs.

Not So Massively: Star Citizen's Guinness record, Dota 2's mega patch, and GTAO's last team standing

Betas, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Crime, World of Tanks, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Shroud of the Avatar, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Dota 2
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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Shroud of the Avatar's update 10 stresses stability, challenge dungeons

Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Shroud of the Avatar

That's quite a shroud you have there, Mr. Avatar, sir.
Any game with a strong online component is only as strong as its servers. You could make the best game in history, but if no one can log in and play it, it's not going to be worth much. The latest update on Shroud of the Avatar's development notes that one of the big issues plaguing the game's 10th major update was stability. That means that the team needs more people connected and playing (or trying to) so that the issues can be documented and solved.

The team also introduced the Challenge Dungeon to get a clearer picture of PvE combat, noting that it had become a bit too single-note even against different sorts of enemies. PvP, meanwhile, is a matter of constantly moving, which is very network-intensive. The update discusses some of the patches planned to address both issues in the future, including better enemy AI and skills reworked to not make constantly darting about the most attractive update. Take a look at the full developer dispatch for more information.

Final Fantasy XIV shows off the dungeons of patch 2.4

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Dungeons, Subscription

Take a shot every time pirates are involve in a story around Limsa Lominsa.  Oh dear, now you've died of alcohol poisoning.
We don't know exactly when patch 2.4 will drop for Final Fantasy XIV, but we know it will be soon -- and not just because it's been about three months since the last major patch, but we've also got a peek at the three new hard mode dungeons coming in patch 2.4. The Sunken Temple of Qarn and Sastasha will be updated in new forms, while Snowcloak takes the role of the completely new dungeon for players to navigate.

While the massive ice wall of Snowcloak is visible in the game now, a series of tunnels will be navigable in 2.4, allowing players to enter the depths searching for the source of this formidable barrier. Meanwhile, Sastasha has become invested with a new group of apparent pirates straight from the depths of the sea, and the Sunken Temple of Qarn has proven to be less conquered by adventurers than originally thought. Take a look at the full preview for more details; you can also check out the details on viewing livestreams from the upcoming fanfest in Las Vegas.

The Repopulation is focusing on feature completion

Betas, Sci-Fi, Patches, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, The Repopulation

In what its devs are calling a "very busy month," The Repopulation pushed out three major patches in September, not to mention another one this past week. Above and Beyond says is all being done to fill out the game: "We've been pushing hard to get our experimental tweaks and additions out of the way now as we push towards feature completion."

In addition to pages and pages of patch notes, The Repopulation made significant changes to Medics, added a Points of Ingrigue extension to its enemy camp system, and completely overhauled the tutorial. The sandbox title promises that another round of testers will be invited into the game in the middle of October.

ArcheAge restricts chat for low-level characters

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge

Papa Trion is lowering the boom on naughty chat in ArcheAge, as the studio announced recently that it will be restricting chat accessibility for low-level characters.

From now on, players will need to reach level 15 to access faction, shout, trade, need party, and nation chat channels. Presumably this is intended to combat gold-selling spam and other unwanted advertisements from free accounts.

Other changes for build 4.11 include a tougher Kraken, healer weapons as quest rewards, and larger warehouses. Trion says that over two million players registered for the sandpark MMO.

[Thanks to Varth for the tip!]

PlanetSide 2 patches in Directive improvements and space pumpkins

Sci-Fi, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Subscription

We're up all night to get spoopy.
The latest PlanetSide 2 patch is a pretty big one even without the pumpkins. Yes, there are pumpkins. Space pumpkins. You will need to shoot them to get currency, which you can then cash in for Halloween-themed masks, maximizing your character's spookiness through the month. But the patch has a lot of other changes in it as well, starting with major improvements to Directive tracking and overall Directive progression, complete with a new Leadership tree.

Experience awards are also adjusted slightly, changing certain bonuses and how they're distributed to make life a bit easier for players. Offline cert points have also been removed from non-Member accounts and added exclusively to Members, thus making your subscription seem just a bit more worthwhile. For a full rundown of these changes, other balance tweaks, and the like, check out the full patch notes.

[Thanks to theKavorka for the tip!]

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