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Patches

World of Warcraft deals with downtime, bugs, DDoS attacks [Updated]

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

What do you call an expansion that's late and still rushed?
If you had been hoping to experience the launch of World of Warcraft's expansion without queues, well, that was never going to happen. If you had hoped to face the launch without issues like disconnecting from the servers as soon as your character moved or major Garrison bugs, well, that shouldn't be happening, but it apparently is. A number of hotfixes have already been applied to the game with more on the way, including several increased spawn rates for enemies in heavily congested zones. This comes on the heels of DDoS attacks that have made logging in and playing even more difficult and make it difficult to identify genuine bugs amidst server issues.

Fans have compiled a list of the most common errors experienced on launch, some of which seem perfectly normal (long queue times after many server merges prior to launch) and some of which are not (server crashes from flying mounts). If you want to take a little time off from trying to get in and play, you can take a look at the recently posted glance at the creatures of Nagrand. Otherwise, there's not much to be done other than waiting for the latest round of hotfixes and hoping that corrects the major issues.

[Massively's sister site WoW Insider has published a detailed editorial explaining the launch issues and who bears responsibility for which ones. Managing Editor Adam Holisky argues that while Blizzard is responsible for the quest bottlenecks, broken terrain, server funneling, and griefing toys, it can't do much about DDoS attacks and their resulting latency and lag and queues, and therefore the studio should not be blamed for them.]

Wormholes opening up 101 new EVE Online systems

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Subscription

eve
Think you've explored most of the known galaxy in EVE Online? First of all, that's a lie as the game is stupid big, and second, you won't as of next month anyway. CCP announced that one of the big features coming with the December 9th Rhea update will be 101 new wormhole systems opening their doors for business.

The wormholes will be separated into three categories, starting with 75 "standard shattered" systems filled with broken planets and minable ice fields. Then 25 of the new systems will only allow smaller vessels to jump through. And finally, the 101st will be Thera, a story-heavy location that will be the largest system in the game. Like small ship shattered systems, Thera won't admit capital ships, but will host four stations for those who venture into its domain.

SWTOR's Sage, Sorcerer discipline changes detailed

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Sages and Sorcerers, this Star Wars: The Old Republic dev diary's for you. BioWare has revealed the upcoming changes to two more of its advanced classes that will go live when the Shadow of Revan expansion launches on December 9th.

Both classes "have seen some changes to their baseline ability package," and all three specs for each class get at least one new active and two new passives. Learn more at the official SWTOR website!

Final Fantasy XIV's Yoshida on housing, test servers, and post-Fanfest

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Interviews, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Housing, Subscription

Two Massively employees in the same game at once?  The world is madness.  (No, you get no hints about who.)
Final Fantasy XIV has had a busy year, and it looks to be having a busy next year to boot. The game's first expansion is in the works and planned for a release in spring of 2015, along with another major patch to cap off the game's current patch cycle. And director/producer Naoki Yoshida continues steering the ship, working what I can only assume is a 200-hour week.

I had a chance to ask a few questions of Yoshida around the time of the first two fanfests of the year (the final one is scheduled for December in Tokyo), ranging from housing questions to the promise of public test servers to how hard it will be to establish an Eternal Bond. Jump on past the break to read the full interview!

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NCsoft 'sees a future' for WildStar

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Interviews, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription

I also see a future for WildStar. I'm not sure it's the same future.
Eurogamer recently spoke to WildStar Creative Director Chad Moore and Product Director Mike Donatelli to counter concerns that WildStar is a "sinking ship." Fortunately for players, NCsoft, which controls Carbine, apparently doesn't think so. "They specialise in MMOs, that's what they do. And they see a future for WildStar," Donatelli explained. "And as far as NCsoft is concerned, they're going to support us, and I take them at their word for that when they've made a commitment to us for the future, so I feel very comfortable making that statement." Moore noted that Carbine still has "hundreds" of employees in spite of recent layoffs, and while he wouldn't outright condemn negative Glassdoor reviews, he did recommend they be taken "with a grain of salt."

Regarding sales, Donatelli told Eurogamer the game sold "many, many, many times" the hoped-for 250,000 boxes, but he doesn't mention current subs. Back in October, he told Massively that the game had "hundreds of thousands of active players." NCsoft declined to clarify that ambiguous phrasing when asked.

WildStar's Mystery of the Genesis Prime patch launched yesterday.

RuneScape's Lost City of the Elves expands further

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, RuneScape, Free-to-Play

runescape
RuneScape's been going gaga over the unveiling of its Lost City of the Elves since it opened its doors for business back in September. However, that release was only part of the Lost City, since Jagex "found" more of it to put out the door today.

After much anticipation, the second half of Prifddinas is now live in RuneScape. The city was "designed for and by the high-level community" and now includes four new clans with specialized offerings. Jagex said that there are eight additional skills for players to learn and plenty of secrets tucked away in nooks and crannies.

We've got a video of the Lost City that you can check out after the break!

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EverQuest II: Altar of Malice goes live

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Patches, Free-to-Play

eq2
Everyone must be drawn to the magical allure of "11/11" as a release date, for here's another one for you: EverQuest II's expansion, Altar of Malice, is now available to play.

Altar of Malice adds the new playable Aerakyn race as well as bumps the level cap for adventurers, tradeskillers, and guilds up to 100. There's a gob of more stuff in this expansion, including an additional 29 zones of various types, an increase of prestige abilities to level 100, gem sets for armor, over a hundred new quests, and spiffy PvP gear. And since Altar of Malice is the new expansion on the block, free players can now access Chains of Eternity without paying.

To help you jump into the expansion, we have not only the patch notes but also a preview and an interview about Altar of Malice's controversies for you to read while you update!

Flameseeker Chronicles: Learning from Tyria's past in Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Guild Wars 2, Flameseeker Chronicles, Buy-to-Play

Below the cut is one of the worst jokes I've ever made. Sorry, Trahearne.
The latest Guild Wars 2 living world release, Echoes of the Past, seems to be a big hit. It's nice to see fans so unreservedly happy with an update since the past few months have been a little rocky for GW2, but ArenaNet has hit it out of the park this time.

If you haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, I strongly recommend checking it out before reading further, if possible. There are spoilers below the cut, and hardly anybody likes spoilers. Except me: the guy who flips to the end of the book sometimes. I'm a monster.

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WildStar's Mystery of the Genesis Prime is live today [Updated]

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

It'd be nice to actually learn what Drusera has spent the entire lifespan of the game apologizing for, yes.
It's been a long road getting from there to here, but players who have been waiting patiently for the next WildStar patch can stop waiting. Mystery of the Genesis Prime adds two major new pieces of content: the Defile, a new zone extending off of Blighthaven; and Journey to Omnicore-1, a new solo instance that allows players to explore more of the story behind Nexus.

The Defile includes the Black Focus (which we toured), the Siege of the Lightspire, and a variety of solo quest chains. Journey to Omnicore-1 kicks off the game's ongoing story, exploring more of the details behind what took place on Nexus and how the events on the planet could have long-lasting consequences for everyone on the planet and off. The patch also increases loot rewards from enemies fought in groups, adds rental mount vendors for low-level players, and increases money rewards from quests and junk items. You can take the patch for a drive today; it took a while to land, but there's a lot of new stuff therein.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]
[Update: Carbine has posted a list of known patch issues on the official site; they include currency display issues, non-functioning gardens, and borky public events.]

Not So Massively: Overwatch's reveal, Hearthstone's expansion, and Dawngate's sunset

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Lore, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, HEX, Hearthstone, The Division, OARPG, Overwatch

NSM - Overwatch
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.
  • Blizzard announced online team-shooter Overwatch at BlizzCon. Chris Metzen says Blizzard is trying to build a more representative game with less hypersexualization.
  • Hearthstone is launching in December and getting a new expansion: Goblins vs. Gnomes.
  • EA's MOBA Dawngate is shutting down in three months.
  • League of Legends introduced Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance.
  • MMOTCG HEX dropped its beta key requirement but denied that it is in open beta.
  • Heroes of the Storm's closed beta starts January 13th. It's also getting a sweet Diablo III-themed map.
  • Diablo III previewed its upcoming season. According to content designer Kevin Martens, Diablo was once considered for an MMO, but no longer.
  • David Braben says Elite: Dangerous' December 16th launch date is "sensible."
  • Star Citizen passed $60 million in fundraising.
  • Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles.
  • World of Tanks' 9.4 patch added Stalingrad map and tweaked strongholds.
  • The Crew hinted at a new "PvP mode" and season passes.
  • MechWarrior Online's latest dev vlog covered inner sphere quirks and faction switching.
  • Ubisoft said that The Division's PC experience won't suffer because of consoles.
  • Some jerk swatted a Bungie/Destiny exec; the internet demands prison time for said jerk.
  • The latest World of Speed vid features nearly four minutes of gameplay.
  • Bigpoint's Shards of War introduced a new sentinel, Vox.
  • Undead Labs discussed balance in Moonrise.
  • Dota is now the subject of a course at Chongqing Energy College in China.

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Shroud of the Avatar preps for Steam launch

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Shroud of the Avatar

Remember to purchase the add-on that allows for atmosphere for just a small additional fee.
On November 24th, Shroud of the Avatar will be launching on Steam's Early Access service. Backers of the game should already have their Steam keys. Once the game is launched, the development team wants to keep the game's servers on at all times, leading to the current state of the game. In this round of testing, contrary to past tests, players can this time access the game servers according to the game's most recent development update.

The newsletter also highlights the ominous Tower of the Shuttered Eye, a rather unpleasant place that will be added to the game with the next major patch scheduled for release on November 20th. There's also a post-mortem on the launch of the game's most recent test patch, which saw a big increase in numbers over previous events. Take a look at the full update for a clearer picture of how the game is doing and what's just around the corner.

Neverwinter's Rise of Tiamat gameplay trailer is here

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

Neverwinter
Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic have been pimping the heck out of the upcoming Rise of Tiamat module for Neverwinter, the fifth episode in the season of dragons storyline. While the module itself doesn't land on official servers until November 18th, the gameplay trailer is here right now. Spoiler: Thar be dragons!

Don't forget that Neverwinter's April Fools' Day event returns this Thursday for a reprise lasting until the Rise of Tiamat launch.

Check out the trailer below.

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The Mog Log: Final Fantasy XIV and approaching the end of the story

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Subscription

All things go, all things go.
All right, Final Fantasy XIV isn't really approaching the end of its story. If you think that Heavensward won't include its own set of story missions, well, suffice it to say you are almost certainly wrong. But the ending of the 2.0 storyline will be like closing a chapter in a book, and this patch is the first step along that path. The next patch will close the chapter and begin anew, bringing us down unfamiliar roads.

As a result, parts of this patch flirted with important story parts. Others flung themselves right ahead in ways that I hadn't expected. As always, this post will contain spoilers for 2.4's story, so if you haven't already seen all of it yet, be warned. It will not, however, contain spoilers for the Final Coil in any meaningful way. So if you've held off from the spoilers already swirling about that, fear not. Some of you are quite possibly working on that now.

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EVE Evolved: Clone upgrades and skill loss are gone!

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Economy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, News Items, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription

EVE Evolved title image
While the player activity stats might suggest otherwise, the past few years have been a real rennaisance for EVE Online. Developers have gone back and iterated on dozens of old game features that were starting to show their age, and some of them have been pretty huge. The war declaration and criminality overhauls in 2012 were fundamental changes to core gameplay that had been stagnant for almost a decade, and the recent industry and warp acceleration changes were equally fundamental shifts. These were all features we had previously been told were essentially off-limits for iteration because they relied on undocumented legacy code from 2003, and none of the programmers wanted to poke that sleeping beast.

Now it seems that no idea is off-limits, and developers aren't afraid to challenge fundamental parts of EVE's original design that may not make sense today. This week's Phoebe update revisited capital ship force projection for the first time since the ships were added in 2004, for example, and it removed the 24-hour skill queue limit that CCP insisted on adding in Apocrypha. In Thursday's episode of The EVE Online Show, developers announced the next big legacy feature to be put on the chopping block in the game of progress: As part of December's Rhea release, clone upgrades and skill point loss on death will be completely removed from the game.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the problems caused by the cloning system, why it needs to be removed, and what could possibly replace it.

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Touring DCUO's War of Light Part II before next week's release

Super-hero, Interviews, Patches, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online

The DC universe is a big one, and DC Universe Online has multiple storylines involving various heroes and villains playing out through its DLC trilogies. So far, however, only the first part of each trilogy has been available to play. But that's all about to change! Starting next week, players finally get to sink their teeth into the continuation of one when the second part of War of Light, which premiered earlier this year, finally releases. Members will be granted early access to War of Light Part II on November 11th while everyone else gets the DLC on the 18th (with the exception of European players who will get it on the 19th). But thanks to a tour with Creative Director Jens Andersen and Assistant Creative Director SJ Mueller, we didn't have to wait until next week to see what's in store.

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