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Final Fantasy XIV drops the preliminary patch notes for patch 2.5

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

It's coming down.
The patch notes for Final Fantasy XIV always include a surprise or two. Yes, the preliminary patch notes for patch 2.5 are out, and they contain lots of things that players had known to expect. But aside from the three new dungeons, the World of Darkness, the previewed trials, the new quests -- whew! -- there's even more new stuff tucked away into the patch.

For example, there's a new form of PvP match added to the game, which pits alliances against one another in a straight deathmatch. There's a new mystery trial unlocked through the main storyline. There's the new Aetherial Wheel furnishing, which allows free companies to charge up their company credits through alternate means. That's not even counting system adjustments or usability improvements or the items not previewed but expected such as new hairstyles. Take a look at the preliminary patch notes to get an idea of what's coming around once the patch goes live on January 20th.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will address balance and ranked PvP for update 3.1

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Subscription

Locked in mortal staffblade combat, as always.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is launching update 3.1 in about a month, and the developers are using this patch to address some standing issues. The patch also kicks off the game's fourth ranked play season, which is scheduled to last about three months. This season will be used as the basis for some new ranked play adjustments, such as implementing a "floor" rating for picking up the lowest-tier season rewards in Season 5. The season's titles will also be class-specific based on forum feedback.

Designers are also looking into balancing classes, starting with the Darkness Assassin and the Kinetic Combat Shadow, addressing issues with survivability and damage in the class. If you've been feeling squishier or less resilient or noticed oddities with abilities, you can take part in the thread yourself. Early versions of these changes have already been rolled out to the test servers for the coming update.

[Thanks to Mikey Moo for the tip!]

Final Fantasy XI drops a new patch for the new year

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Subscription

Still standing!
Another year has come to Final Fantasy XI, and it brings with it a new year's version update with a host of new improvements. From a system standpoint, players can now equip two linkshells at the same time, complete with two separate chat modes. The game will also allow players to send tells and invite other players by clicking their names in the log window rather than relying purely upon text commands.

In terms of content, new quests have been added to Adoulin regions, several Records of Eminence objectives have either been added or had their requirements lowered, and new Wanted objectives have been implemented. Puppetmaster players can also benefit from improved spell lists for their automaton and a new set of automaton improvements. Take a gander at the full list of changes, all of which should make the game less punishing and more engaging for veteran players.

Elite: Dangerous maps out update beta schedule, teases expansions

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Elite: Dangerous, Buy-to-Play

In a development post released today, Elite: Dangerous Executive Producer Michael Brookes laid out Frontier's plans for the game's inbound major updates following the tiny 1.05 patch this morning. Update 1.1 is set to enter beta the first week of February, Brookes says, and will focus on mechanics for player collaboration and route planning. Who gets to join that beta?
Currently beta testing will be available for those who already have beta access for the main game. For players participating in the beta tests there will be a separate mechanism for playing so testing does not affect your game and that you can continue to play the retail version as well. Options for players currently without beta access to be able to purchase beta access will be available. Details will be made available nearer the time. Depending on how the update Betas go in test, we expect them to be released to everyone a week or so after the Beta release.‚Äč
Brookes also teased E:D's upcoming paid DLC as well as the multiplayer-focused 1.2 update, the beta for the latter of which is expected in March.

Final Fantasy XIV shows off story content and trials for 2.5

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

Run on, for a long time; Run on, ducking and dodging; Run on, for a long time; Let me tell you, child, Odin gonna cut you down.
The last pre-expansion patch for Final Fantasy XIV is titled Before the Fall, not That Time When The Heroes Fixed Everything. There needs to be a fall, doesn't there? And there's a lot of stuff that can start falling, as demonstrated in today's preview from the official site. Ul'dah can fall. The Scions can fall. Ishgard can fall. Eorzea can fall. Or if you decide to face off against the Dark Divinity himself, you can fall.

Players not confronting the dread primal directly will still have plenty of opportunities for pratfalls, as the Hildibrand storyline is wrapping up with the final confrontation between the Gentleman Inspector and his thieving rival. There's also a second confrontation with Gilgamesh Greg in the Battle at the Big Keep, with the victor winning the Treaty-Blade... which sounds like pretty good loot, but Greg carries a lot of weapons, so it seems rather natural.

Patch 2.5 drops on January 20th.

Diablo III patches 2.1.2 and ends season one

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Patches, Diablo III, Buy-to-Play

There's a lot happening around the rainbow-and-glitter landscapes of Diablo III, although perhaps the biggest is the implementation of Patch 2.1.2 to the game. This patch adds in powerful ancient items, increases the drop rate for legendary items, and gives players more survivability with additional life and higher life-on-hit percentages.

As Diablo III ushers in the patch, so it too prepares to say goodbye to the first season. The game is preparing to end season one and has posted a guide to aid players as they make the transition to the limbo that exists before season two. Season one is expected to end some time in early February, possibly February 3rd.

Players on both the PC and consoles soon will enjoy an event full of boosts, including additional treasure goblins and higher drop rates. These boosts will begin tomorrow and continue through Friday, January 23rd.

WildStar will reduce grind, focus on 'a multitude of playstyles' in 2015

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

You can see this as something to be repaired or something beyond repair, you're going to argue about it in the comments either way.
Where does WildStar go from here? That's the question that director Mike Donatelli seeks to answer with his latest address to the community. Donatelli says this morning that while he's thankful for the praise the game received toward the end of 2014, there are several areas where the game needs to improve, and thus the team is working on making a better game experience for everyone moving forward. He lays out three chief foci for the team over the next year: listen to feedback to make the game more fun and "less grindy"; support "a multitude of playstyles," group sizes, and levels; and invest, expand, and improve the existing game.

Donatelli targets for these plans the first half of 2015, which will contain better-tuned endgame reward systems to fight fatigue along with a wider breadth of content for solo and small-group players. Over the rest of the year, the team plans to introduce a new Contract system to support different playstyles, continue tuning the rewards, and greatly expand the game's customization options. It's a lot of changes, but the Carbine team seems dedicated to making them work.

Final Fantasy previews dungeons and plans maintenance for patch 2.5

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

Oh, good, two decades of dragon corpse can still move around and fight us.  Super.
The last pre-expansion patch for Final Fantasy XIV is going to be a big one. So big, in fact, that the game is dropping 12 hours of maintenance for the first part. Servers will go down at 6:00 p.m. EST on January 19th before coming back online at 6:00 a.m. EST on January 20th. As always, exact completion time is subject to change.

If you missed yesterday's trailer, you can get an idea of some of the fuss by checking out today's dungeon preview, which shows off the Keeper of the Lake, Amdapor Keep (Hard), Wanderer's Palace (Hard), and the World of Darkness. While the exact item level requirements for these dungeons are hidden, it is clear that the Keeper of the Lake will once again be part of the main scenario quests like Snowcloak was in patch 2.4. So get ready to fight a dragon corpse, slaughter various voidsent, and most importantly rescue a whole lot of far-less-rancorous Tonberries.

EVE Online patches in Proteus

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Patches, Sandbox, Subscription

Deep space never looked as good in EVE Online as it does today, now that the Proteus release has gone live. This monthly update has made visual improvements to the Gallente Exequror and the asteroid fields that players will encounter on a regular basis.

Other Proteus features include a balance pass on recon ships, additional high-end exploration sites, improvements to the beta star map, new player mining locations, and a streamlining of some module groups.

You can check out the Proteus features page or read up on the patch notes for more info. EVE's next update, Tiamat, is scheduled for February 12th.

RIFT plans improvements to dimensions and minions

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dev Diaries, Housing

Two of RIFT's more popular systems, dimensions and minions, will be getting some major dev love when Patch 3.1 arrives.

In a new dev diary that went out yesterday, the team lays out a list of improvements for these systems. Dimensions will be getting a free-fly camera to allow for even more building precision, permissions options for visitors, ban lists, and -- prepare for this to blow your mind -- a bigger +1 button.

As for minions, players will have even more options in how they deploy these hard-working followers. The team is adding minion stamina potions, the ability to shuffle adventures, and the option to link to minions in the chat window.

Final Fantasy XIV drops a trailer for patch 2.5, Before the Fall

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

Although since it's coming out in the winter, it's more like AFTER the fall!  Haha!  Seriously, though, every single part of Eorzea is getting wrecked.
The final patch before Final Fantasy XIV's first expansion is a week away, and it's got plenty going on, so much that it's being split into three parts. A new trailer for the patch has been unleashed today, showing off bits and pieces of the whole thing but focusing chiefly on the content that will be going live on January 20th. You can view the whole thing just past the break, assuming you have 10 minutes to see all of the various hints and spoilers.

Patch 2.5 brings with it more main scenario quests, three new dungeons (Keeper of the Late, Amdapor Keep Hard, and Wanderer's Palace Hard), the World of Darkness raid, a battle against the primal Odin, and a continuation of the Hildibrand storyline. Patch 2.51 is confirmed in the trailer for late February and will include the Manderville Gold Saucer, while part 2 of Before the Fall will wrap up the main scenario and set up the story of Heavensward in late March.

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Guild Wars 2's Point of No Return launches today amidst 'Heart of Thorns' expansion rumors

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2

Last week we showed you the preview vid for Guild Wars 2's latest living story update. Today ArenaNet is publishing the full patch, as Point of the No Return has officially gone live. The firm says that "in addition to bringing the Season 2 storyline to its epic conclusion, Point of No Return delivers new gameplay and access to new treasures." Completing the story will get you the Carapace armor set headgear while fighting the Mordrem Vinewrath gives you a chance to loot the Carapace chest, according to the latest GW2 press release.

In other Guild Wars 2 news, thanks to a recent ArenaNet trademark filing, clever Redditors have uncovered what they suspect is the name of the game's rumored expansion: Heart of Thorns. Think they're right? We've included the logo below.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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Shroud of the Avatar's elementals run (not so) wild

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Buy-to-Play

The elemental forces of nature are one of many inhabitants of Shroud of the Avatar that can be either friend or foe, depending on the situation -- and the binding. In a recent newsletter, the devs showed off several of the elementals and golems in both bound and unbound varieties. Mages will be able to use magic to subdue and order these beings to protect and serve.

The newsletter also showed the progress being made on Dragon Pass and promoted the Release 14 grand tour quest reward, which is a very pointy hat called a Hennin. You know you want to wear a princess hat, you pretty little thing. Well, you'll get your chance when that update comes out on January 29th.

Elder Scrolls Online tweaks champion points conversion rate

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Endgame, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

The new endgame champion system coming to Elder Scrolls Online in Update 6 is the talk of Tamriel, and ZeniMax is evaluating feedback carefully to make sure that it launches without a hitch. The studio announced on Friday that it will be making a change to how it will convert veteran ranks to champion points.

Originally, the studio was going to give a blanket 30 champion points to any player who had at least one veteran rank on a character. Based on feedback, ZeniMax will now be converting veteran ranks to champion points at the rate of 200,000 XP per point at the moment of Update 6's release, for a maximum of 70 potential champion points for one's entire account.

The studio made it clear that champion points will not cost 200,000 XP after Update 6; this conversion rate is specifically for veteran ranks pre-release.

You'll soon be able to buy WoW garrison followers directly

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Economy, Patches, Previews, Subscription

If you missed out on snagging one of your World of Warcraft garrison followers or are willing to trade gold for time to complete your collection, then Blizzard is prepared to humbly accept your patronage. The studio announced on the forums that it will be adding a follower vendor in the next patch.

"One specific change I can share is in the next patch we're planning to add a new NPC to tier 3 garrisons who will sell followers you might not have access to based upon which buildings and outposts you've chosen," Community Manager Crithto wrote. "You'll be able to browse for followers you did not choose from quests and any you might have missed from failed missions."

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