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Patches

ZeniMax seeking feedback on Elder Scrolls' Update 5

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online's Update 5 is big. It's so big that ZeniMax is offering test server players a lengthy list of suggestions as to what they should be testing.

More specifically, the dev team is seeking feedback on the veteran City of Ash dungeon as well as on crafting writs and the new crafting tutorials. That's just a partial list, too. You can view the full breakdown on the official ESO forums.

World of Warcraft moves toward Warlords of Draenor with Patch 6.0.2

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Promotions, Subscription

wow
You won't need to wait until next month to start experiencing Warlords of Draenor, as the expansion's preparation patch released today with several new features.

Patch 6.0.2: The Iron Tide will destroy World of Warcraft's famous Dark Portal landmark, prune away some class abilities, enact the talked-about "stat squish," update most of the racial models with better visuals, put in a toybox, include a special revised version of the Upper Blackrock Spire dungeon, and add prologue quests in the Blasted Lands against the Iron Horde.

With the patch also comes a change in the game's retail package. The Mists of Pandaria expansion is now bundled with with the rest of World of Warcraft and is on sale for $20. You can get an overview of Patch 6.0.2 in the video after the jump.

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Star Trek Online: Delta Rising is live today

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Launches, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

I look forward to the patch in which Kate Mulgrew reveals that Janeway is now running a kitchen in a prison.
It's time to start boldly going all over again. Star Trek Online's second expansion, Delta Rising, is live today. That means that players can find their way into the Delta Quadrant, explore an expanded level cap, and take flight in a new set of starships as they take on familiar and yet novel enemies. The expansion also brings in several veteran Star Trek actors to reprise their roles: Robert Picardo (The Doctor), Garrett Wang (Harry Kim), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine), Tim Russ (Tuvok), and Ethan Phillips (Neelix).

Delta Rising introduces captain specializations for leveling past the previous cap of 50, allowing players to reach the ranks of Fleet Admiral and Dahar Master while exploring new specialization trees and unlocking passive and active benefits. But there's no need to take our word for it, as the expansion is live now. Log in, patch up, and head out into the Delta Quadrant.

Not So Massively: RuneScape's TCG, Destiny's playerbase, and Firefly Online's engine

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, Diablo III, Destiny, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, E-sports, OARPG

NSM - Chronicle
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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SWTOR dev spoilers from the NYC cantina tour

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR
During this past weekend's New York City cantina tour, BioWare fielded shiploads of player questions about Star Wars: The Old Republic. MillionsKNives on the official forums has compiled a partial list; the devs say they're unhappy with PvP balance, will continue to monitor the difficulty of expanding guild ships, and plan to use the 3.0 patch as a "testing ground" for more class story, though we won't see "full storylines like pre-50 stuff." They also confirmed that while there will be no companion story in 3.0, there will be NPCs romanceable regardless of the player character's gender.

BioWare Senior Producer Bruce Maclean spilled some wonderful spoilers to Gaddock Gaming as well. Of note, he says that Togrutas are coming as a playable race post-3.0, an appearance gear system is being discussed for 3.0 or beyond, the pod-racing prototype was abandoned in the testing stages due to lag, and faction-changing might be considered in the future.

[Thanks to greatwildhunk for the tip!]

WildStar's megaservers deploy this week

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription

WildStar
Carbine has just announced that WildStar's megaserver implementation, first revealed in September, will deploy this Wednesday. Megaservers are intended to increase server capacities and deal with fading populations without disrupting players, though they have the side effect of muddying server communities and eliminating the ruleset servers on which players originally rolled.

The servers will go offline on Wednesday, October 15th, at 8 a.m. EDT, for up to 24 hours. To make up for the extended downtime, Carbine is giving all players a month's worth of in-game Boom-Boxes and a free day of game-time.

Characters level 3 and up, as well as guild, arena teams, circles, mail, and auction items, will move intact, but characters under level 3 that haven't been played in the last month will be nuked. The team is simultaneously introducing surnames to avoid duplicate name conflicts.

Watch previews of LotRO's new Gondor zones and epic battle

Fantasy, Video, Lord of the Rings Online, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play

lotro
Get out the popcorn or whatever snacking treat that the inhabitants of Middle-earth enjoy, for it's time to view the landscapes and conflicts of Lord of the Rings Online's Update 15.

LOTRO Players has put together several videos showcasing the new zones: Central Gondor, Lebennin, and Pelargir. There's also a film of the Pelargir epic battle, which the fansite says is a vast improvement from Helm's Deep: "Retaking Pelargir is the shot in the arm the epic battle system needs. It gives purpose to the system and has a clear and satisfying ending."

You can watch all four videos after the jump.

[Thanks to Joel for the tip!]

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EVE Evolved: Fixing EVE's player activity

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, Culture, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
It's been a sort of running gag in EVE Online throughout the years that players spend inordinate amounts of time docked in stations and spinning their ships around in the hangar, but this is oddly close to the truth. Those of us who have been hooked to EVE for years know just how intense the game can get at its most frantic and how incredible it is to be present for historic events and important PvP battles, but those moments are rare, and there's typically a lot of downtime between periods of activity. For every PvP battle fought, incursion fleet formed or wormhole op organised, players often have to spend hours in stations or in space amusing themselves or doing busywork.

With gamers now spreading their increasingly limited free time across a growing catalogue of online games, some EVE players log in for only a few minutes per day to queue skills, chat with corpmates, and see if anything interesting is happening. The recent announcement that the upcoming Phoebe release will contain infinite length skill queues has some players concerned that people will lose the motivation to pop their heads into New Eden each day and see what's going on. Since the best sandbox gameplay is emergent in nature, just getting players to log in so they're available to take part in something awesome when it happens is extremely important.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I ask whether EVE is in trouble due to its recent decline in player activity, look at the impact of people with just a few hours per week to play, and suggest a new app idea that could help solve all of those problems.

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Pathfinder Online begins alpha stress test

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Sandbox, Subscription, Pathfinder Online

pathfinder
Pathfinder Online has thrown open its doors to all of its supporters for an important alpha stress test as the game transitions into Alpha 9.1.

The Alpha 9.1 update is primarily focused on bug fixes but also includes "more fluid and lifelike" animations, a faster character selection process, the ability to tab-target enemy players, and a doubled drop rate for common refining recipes. The team has also removed energy resistance from heavy armor to make light armor more desirable in various situations.

This stress test is part of the build-up to the repeatedly delayed early enrollment launch, which is currently scheduled for October 30th.

Darkfall makes plans for a localized economy

Fantasy, Darkfall, Economy, Patches, Previews, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

darkfall
The Darkfall team is deep in preparations for the creation of a "localized economy package" to boost this critical part of this fantasy title. "For us, as well as the community from what we see, a functional economy is the stepping stone for a proper sandbox, so our attention is focused on it," the team stated.

In a forum post today, the goals of these plans were outlined. This package will include new raw materials, additional recipes, a better inventory system, tiered clan vaults, nerfed instant travel, quicker land travel, beasts of burden, and a focus on localized markets instead of a worldwide trading system.

This economy update is tentatively planned for either December 2014 or January 2015.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

EVE Online: Phoebe improves quality-of-life for subscribers and trial members

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

eve
Unpacking EVE Online's Phoebe content update is so involved that it takes another one of CCP's epic posts to do it. The big thing to take away from the notes is that this update features several quality-of-life improvements for both regular and trial players.

When Phoebe hits on November 4th, players will have to adjust to jump fatigue during long-distance travel. To offset that, there will be the ability to set skill queues to unlimited length, place multiple market sell orders, enjoy better exploration rewards, and experience new cloaking effects.

Trial players will also see some of their limitations lifted after the update, such as being allowed to fly battleships and be a part of faction fights.

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

SWTOR
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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