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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR conquests are good but not there yet

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Guilds, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, Crafting, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR conquests are good but not there yet
I'm writing this late on Sunday night, and I have some disappointing news: My Star Wars: The Old Republic guild did not make the top 10 on the planet we were attempting to conquer. It's partly my fault; I happened to choose the planet that would be the most hotly contested. Who knew that other guilds would flock to Makeb when conquests went live?

It wasn't all bad. In fact, I'd say that SWTOR kind of pulled our guild together a bit. We participated in content we hadn't done in a long time. It was a rallying cry for us: "Hey, look, this stuff is fun, and you can still have fun doing it." On top of that, it's reintroduced the idea that open-world PvP is possible. But with all the good that it's done -- player housing, guild housing, and open-world PvP -- there are somethings that have fallen short of what it could be.

I think the best way to explain is to tell you about my week.

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EVE Online's Hyperion update adds PvE missions, tweaks wormholes

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

CCP pushed EVE Online's latest update to the game's live server this morning. Hyperion features "the biggest wormhole changes since they were first discovered" as well as new PvE missions. CCP Guard also notes the patch's "ton of quality-of-life features" during the latest In-Development video dev diary, which you can view by clicking past the cut.

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Not So Massively: Hellgate's resurrection, Path of Exile's expansion, and Destiny's launch trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Hellgate: London, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, Crime, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Buy-to-Play, Hearthstone

Hellgate
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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Allods Online provides a new Priden trailer

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Races, Allods Online

Kitty!
The next major update for Allods Online is on its way, and version 6.0 is bringing with it a brand-new race. The Priden were first seen a while back on the game's Russian servers, and they're going to be going worldwide in the near future, starting off as a neutral race before choosing a faction after reaching level 20.

Want to see the race in action? You can get a sense for what they're about in the trailer hidden just past the break. In short, they're a race of warriors, first and foremost; the members live by a rather simple credo of "dare or die" and seek to have their deeds recorded in memory. If you want to play something a little bit different, check out the trailer and see if the Priden are your cup of tea.

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Guild Wars 2 improving megaserver guilds in September

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Patches, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

You'll have to come up with a whole new set of excuses for not joining guilds now.
Another feature pack is rolling out for Guild Wars 2 in September, and it's bringing improvements to guild functions along with it. It's starting with the rollout of global guilds, allowing the resources earned by a given guild on all worlds to feed into the same central group, rather than creating small-scale copies of the guild on every individual world. That includes guild vaults, guild merits, and guild influence, all of which will be pooled with the feature pack update.

Guild missions and finding allies on different maps will also receive improvements, making it easier to take care of objectives with your friends across the globe. The official post also discusses the language divisions found on European servers, with the team electing not to split players based upon language at this time to bolster population. Read the full update for more details on how the changes will affect guilds and players when the patch goes live in September.

Quests, Elves, and Dwarves coming soon to Pathfinder Online

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Races, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Pathfinder Online

pathfinder online
Pathfinder Online's alpha is growing by leaps and bounds as evidenced by two upcoming builds that will take shape over the next few weeks. In them, the devs are adding in essential systems like questing along with new races.

With next week's alpha 7 build, questing and companies will be introduced into the game as will possible new terrain types. Then when alpha 8 comes along, the sandbox MMO will make the jump to its early enrollment servers. This update will also include Elves, Dwarves, a graphical upgrade, expendables, storage, auction houses, banks, and more terrain options.

Part of the purpose of these new builds is to conduct what the devs are calling a "cold start" to see how players advance when they begin with nothing but a club and the clothes on their back. "Everything your character possesses and every ability your character learns after that point will be totally dependent on how you choose to play the game," the devs posted.

[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]

WildStar elaborates on change to update cadence

Sci-Fi, Patches, Dev Diaries, WildStar, Subscription

wildstar
Today, Carbine Studios posted a follow-up to the breaking news that WildStar would be dropping its monthly update pace for more of a "when it's done" approach. Product Director Mike Donatelli elaborated on the decision:
The plan was to roll out a zone next month, and a pretty badass one at that. The new zone and its contents not only sets up the epic ongoing world story of WildStar, but provides more group and solo content along with costumes, items, etc. What we hadn't planned for was the mountain of feedback. You guys have been vocal about everything from bugs, early level content, attunement, PvP, and Elder Game. And we were listening.

Because of that, we decided to make a change. We are adding a month's worth of feedback and bugfixes to the mix based on player feedback and user experiences. These are changes to core systems such as economy, classes, PvP, crafting -- you name it. We're knocking out bugs and making changes to improve your gameplay experience. We want to roll these issues into the patch with the new zone content and that's going to take some more time.

How much time you ask? That's an excellent question! We're going to take the time to make sure that this next patch is not only badass but bug free. I'll update you again shortly with the list of details on what's being addressed in the game and the timeframe.

Gamescom 2014: WildStar abandons monthly update pace

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Patches, WildStar, Subscription

wildstar
Yet another MMO has fallen into the trap of promising monthly updates after launch only to realize that it's not as feasible as once thought. A mere two content updates into the live game, WildStar announced that it will be abandoning its monthly pace in favor of major drops every few months.

At Gamescom, Senior Game Designer Megan Starks fessed up to the change of release cadence: "Originally our idea was to have a really aggressive post-launch schedule, just constantly provide stuff for our players so that there's always things for you to do. Now that we've put out two of our updates, our schedule is still planned out. [...] We decided to work on [the upcoming patch Defile] until it's a really good quality state. We do know that we want it to come out in the next few months. Instead of saying that we have this hard deadline, that it's going out no matter what, we're going to take the time to make sure that the quality is there."

When asked if this is going to be the case for updates in the future, Starks said, "Yes."

World of Warplanes 1.5 adds PvE

Historical, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, War, Free-to-Play, World of Warplanes

World of Warplanes' 1.5 update is now live, and with it comes a new PvE mode called Battle Against Bots. Wargaming says it's the perfect tool for newcomers looking to learn the game alongside a few co-op companions.

Ground targets have been redesigned as a collection of smaller parts rather than a single objective, meaning that attack aircraft pilots now must account for things like AA guns, ship towers, tank squads, and buildings when planning their approach.

The 1.5 patch has also added a new map called Canyon that offers "a mix between Asian Border and Fjords. There's more to the update, but you'll need to visit the official WoWP website to read about it.

Path of Exile launches Forsaken Masters

Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

I have too many choices about where to go from here!
If you've been following Path of Exile news at all, you know that Forsaken Masters is set to shake up a fair amount of the game with its addition of masters, hideouts, crafting changes, new challenge leagues, and so forth. But did you realize that you can start exploring all of that right now? It's live! Well, maybe you can't explore it right now, you might be at work. But once you get home.

The biggest addition is the eponymous masters, who will show up randomly throughout the game world in search of players willing to aid their personal missions. Earning their trust will unlock access to their hideouts, crafting facilities, and special item rewards. Players can also take part in the new challenge leagues or just enjoy reduced mana costs across the board; they're all in place now, providing new entertainment to veterans and new players alike.

[Source: Grinding Gear Games press release]

EVE Online previews overview and incursion changes in Hyperion

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Sandbox, Subscription

Just a forever-falling pit in space.
The next major update for EVE Online, Hyperion, is going live in less than a week. Two new development blogs are available to enlighten players about what's going on with the changes to the game, starting with new shareable overviews. This new feature will allow players to share these settings with others while still allowing the recipient to make changes as needed; it's functionality that players have wanted for a while, allowing both new players and veterans to see through someone else's eyes, as it were.

Incursion changes are also on the way, reducing the respawn timers so incursion runners have more to do while also upping rewards. The NCN Wall is also being taken down, and there are new incursions to be concerned with in nullsec space. If you're unclear on what's being added in the update, you can jump past the cut for a video explaining Hyperion's major system changes before it goes live on August 26th.

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The Elder Scrolls Online plans 4v4 arenas, veteran rewards

Fantasy, Business Models, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
In a fresh entry on The Elder Scrolls Online's official site, Game Director Matt Firor has penned the latest Road Ahead update, in which he discusses the game's recent patch as well as what's in store for players next month. Of note, Firor says ZeniMax aims to make combat "more responsive," push out new Craglorn content, complete the last trial in the constellation storyline, and introduce a new 4v4 PvE arena. Work on the champion system, which revamps the MMO's character development and customization mechanics, continues; in fact, ZeniMax implores players to help test the inbound content on the public test server.

The team plans to formally announce a loyalty program later this week; it's expected to dole out traditional MMO veteran rewards like minipets.

Guild Wars 2 retools commander icons, fees

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2As Massively's Anatoli Ingram discussed in his Flameseeker Chronicles column yesterday, Guild Wars 2's September feature pack will include significant changes to the commander system that marks player volunteers as leaders on various world maps.

After the patch, commander tags will become account-bound rather than character-bound, meaning your newbie Asura can strut around Metrica Province as if she owns the place. Consequently, tags will triple in price to 300 gold. Players will also be able to customize their icons with spiffy new colors intended to "facilitate a range of tactical uses" like organizing groups in PvE and PvP.

Already a commander? Lucky you: ArenaNet says you'll be grandfathered into the new system for no extra fee. The studio plans to consider "possibilities for recognizing experienced and prestigious commanders" in the future.

Carbine Studios explains WildStar housing prices for music

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

Because this deserves a stirring march.
If you'd like to change the music on your housing plot in WildStar, you'll be able to do so with the next major update. But it's going to cost you a pretty penny. Players have been a little upset about this for understandable reason, so Social Systems Lead Victoria Dollbaum took to the forums to explain why the prices for this feature -- as well as wallpaper options, atmosphere, and similar points -- were being set so high.

Dollbaum explains that rather than simple changes, these purchases unlock the feature forever, rather than incurring another cost each time you decide to change. While the current system is less expensive, it also requires you to buy changes to wallpaper, sky, and so forth every time you change; with the new system, once you've bought it once, you'll never have to do so again. It doesn't fully ameliorate the issue, but understanding the reason might make it a bit more palatable.

SWTOR's Galactic Strongholds expansion is live

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dungeons

SWTOR
Early access to Star Wars: The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds expansion is now live for subscribers.

BioWare Producer Jack Wood welcomed players to SWTOR's third expansion with a lengthy developer blog about the studio's goals in this housing-centric update, boasting that it offers "something for everyone," whether you want to "sit back and relax in your personal stronghold," establish a guild base, participate in conquest leaderboard content, or take on the new tactical flashpoint, Depths of Manaan.

We've included a brand-new guild flagship launch trailer below.

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