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Patches

Diablo III's 2.0.4 patch makes resplendent treasure feel more resplendent

Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Crafting, Diablo III, Buy-to-Play

D3 2.0.4 logo
Blizzard has patched Diablo III to version 2.0.4 in the Americas. There are a decent number of class tweaks in the patch as well as an adjustment to the drop of unique legendary crafting materials. They've been "significantly increased," if you're wondering.

There are a few itemization changes, too, including an adjustment to to treasure drops from resplendent chests. "The treasure from Resplendent Chests has been improved to feel more resplendent," Blizzard says.

WildStar's beta patch expands character customization, balances classes

Betas, Sci-Fi, Bugs, Classes, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, MMORPG

WildStar
Carbine has just released WildStar's UI 2.0 patch notes, and while most relate to bug fixes and modest game enhancements, there are some real gems casually included in the list. Like these two:
Added new character hair options in Character Creation.
Character Creation now offers various body types for all races and genders.
Oh, you care more about gameplay than about customization? Fine, fine: The patch notes have that too. All the classes got a hefty balance pass with plenty of bug fixes to boot. So did tradeskills. And the UI. And pretty much everything else. "Promise me no one's going to freak out about balance changes until you've had a chance to play with the new patch. Deal? Deal," the game's Community Lead David Bass implored on Twitter.

If you're recovered from reading the Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes, then enjoy another helping courtesy of WildStar's over on the official forums.

Flameseeker Chronicles: Customization and playing together in Guild Wars 2's feature pack

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

Plush bobblegriffon!
As of last week, ArenaNet has revealed all of the major features Guild Wars 2 players can expect to see in April 15th's highly anticipated feature pack. When I say "highly anticipated," I mean that a large part of the playerbase is collectively vibrating and may soon gain enough momentum to will April 15th into arriving immediately. If they don't manage it, at least we've only got a week to wait.

Until then, we've got plenty of GW2 discussion to tide us over. Most of the feature pack announcements have been well-received, and there's a lot to look forward to, but I still have a few minor nits to pick. Blame it on nits being easier to find when everyone's head is 200% bigger.

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Villagers and Heroes announces April 17th Steam launch and new expansion

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG

Villagers and Heroes
Free Realms refugees, if you're looking for a new home with cute graphics and quests and housing and crafting, then indie F2P MMO Villagers and Heroes might just be it. The game itself isn't new, but with its new expansion, Fury of the Stone Lord, it's receiving a major graphical upgrade and content patch revolving around gargoyles. Expect 30 new adventure maps (bringing the count to 110), new quests and monsters, new spells and heroic feats, and 15 extra skill levels to boot.

Developer Mad Otter Games says the sandbox MMO will launch on Steam on April 17th. We previewed the upgrades and new client back in February. Check out the trailer below!

[Source: Mad Otter Games press release]

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The Secret World's Sidestories: Further Analysis is now live

Fantasy, Horror, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, The Secret World, Buy-to-Play

TSW Sidestories: Further Analysis
Funcom's latest Secret World DLC is now available for purchase. Sidestories: Further Analysis marks a departure from the regular issue-based release structure and features four new investigation missions designed to test your puzzle-solving skills and deliver "four fresh stories spread throughout the game world."

The DLC is available in the game's item store. It costs 960 Funcom points if you have a F2P account, with discounted rates applying to subscribers and lifetime members.

SWTOR's Game Update 2.7 is live

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

SWTOR 2.7
BioWare has published Star Wars: The Old Republic's 2.7 update. It includes a new story arc spanning two new level 55 flashpoints: Assault on Tython and Korriban Incursion. The story "will continue to be expanded through the year culminating in an incredible finale," the company says.

Other additions include the Quesh Huttball Pit warzone, Dread Fortress nightmare mode, a new Galactic Starfighter domination map called Denon Exosphere, and "a plethora of bug fixes."

Darkfall's territory control update has arrived

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Darkfall, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, MMORPG

Darkfall
Greek indie dev Aventurine has just announced that the much-foreshadowed territory control update for PvP sandbox Darkfall: Unholy Wars arrives today. The studio hopes to draw upon its "sandbox PvP and massive-battles heritage" for the update, which allows players to claim, hold, and control "areas of influence" and tax each other into oblivion -- just in time for tax day in the US!

Enjoy the patch notes on the official site and the new trailer below.

[Source: Aventurine press release]

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Guild Wars 2 encourages patch mystery and player speculation

Fantasy, Interviews, Patches, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

GW2
Death to Guild Wars 2 patch notes? ArenaNet might not be going that far, but it may be getting a lot more secretive about them in the coming months.

In an interview on IGN today, Lead Developer Colin Johanson said that the team learned a lot from the first season of GW2's living world, especially how much the players loved to speculate and discover patch additions organically. He said that the team observed players becoming more engaged when ArenaNet dropped in content that wasn't spelled out in the patch notes.

Johanson said this trend will continue: "You don't know what's going to happen and you don't know what you're going to find. Every week you want to search every corner of the world because the next hint for the living world could be hidden anywhere."

Johanson talked about the great changes to the world, especially in regard to the team nuking the city of Lion's Arch. He mentioned a player who predicted that the event would occur back in January: "It was really interesting for us to see that, and to be able to point back at him and say, 'Hey man, you nailed it!' and to be able to call that out was really cool."

Here's a look at ESO's first major content update

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO Craglorn
Ready for Elder Scrolls Online's first major content update? Me too, but since it's not out yet, we'll have to make do with this video preview. It's a four-minute clip detailing the Craglorn adventure zone, which is aimed at high-level players and features new quests, incentives to explore, main story updates, dungeons, and quite a bit more. Click past the cut to see for yourself!

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Trove offers a peek at March improvements

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Trove

Lousy Smarch zombies.
If you want to invest yourself in voxel-based crafting and destruction, you're not starved for options. Trove might not be the highest-profile option within that field, but the game is still in heavy development and updating regularly. An official update shares what the team has been working on in March for anyone who hasn't been kicking around in the game itself, starting with laser mining. Yes, you're not hacking away with a pick any more; you're burning things out with laser beams.

March also saw the inclusion of ultimate abilities for the Knight and Gunslinger and the rollout of Personal and Adventure worlds. Players can also forge their own dungeons and wear gear free of the threat of decay. For April, the development team will be hard at work with a forging system to upgrade equipment as well as the inclusion of the Fae Trickster. Isn't it nice to have options?

WoW's Warlords of Draenor alpha patch notes are huge

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Subscription

WoW
Blizzard has released today a massive dev blog with preliminary annotated patch notes for the Warlords of Draenor alpha test, which itself was just officially announced yesterday.

The big additions relate to garrisons, stat squish and balancing, talents and Draenor perks, racial traits, crowd control, and yet another major healing revamp. Nearly every class in the game has a hefty entry outlining which skills are being changed and which are being deleted from the game entirely. Sounds as if returning players might be needing that newbie tutorial for Draenor after all. Have a look at your class changes and let us know whether you think you're getting buffed, nerfed, or just set up for another cataclysmic reset of the game's combat meta.

Next Darkfall patch to introduce Areas of Influence

Fantasy, Darkfall, Guilds, Patches

Darkfall
A new patch is coming to Darkfall next week that is said to bring new features tied to territory control that offer special bonuses and more visual indicators of that control.

The Aventurine team has been teasing the Areas of Influence feature for a few days on its Facebook page, but next week's patch will put it in the game. The Area of Influence is an expanded bit of land that's attached to each capturable control point. These areas show up on the map and offer a set of stackable buffs to the clan members and allies that control the area.

Read through the forum post for complete info on the addition.

[Thanks for the tip, Dengar!]

Star Trek Online shows off new head options for Season 9

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

It's good to see that lizard people and cave-dwelling mutants are getting more equal representation.
The character creator in Star Trek Online is pretty robust, but it has its limitations. There are only so many complexion options and only so many head shapes, and trying to create certain looks took an extraordinary amount of effort. So it's good news for all captains that Season 9 will bring with it a far more robust character creation setup with three new head shapes and three new complexions for everyone.

It all started with bringing Tuvok into the game; creating a model that matched Tim Russ' actual face required the creation of a framework that segued naturally into more robust player options. It also gave the team an excuse to redo facial textures that had always been seen as problematic, replacing them with slightly higher-resolution versions that have better mapping. Take a look at the full development blog for more details on the process as well as a closer look at what can be done with the new options.

How Guild Wars 2 megaservers affect guilds, WvW, events, and world bosses

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

GW2
Yesterday, ArenaNet announced that it will soon begin to roll out megaserver technology for Guild Wars 2 in order to eliminate overflow and underpopulated servers. Today, it has delivered a pair of blog posts intended to clarify those plans.

The first post tackles guilds and WvW. ArenaNet aims to unify guild chapters split across home-worlds so that all members contribute to and benefit from the same version of the guild. But the studio does note that WvW won't be negatively affected by megaservers and will continue to be based on competition between worlds.

The second and more meaty entry focuses on world bosses and events. The API governing boss timers on individual worlds will be replaced by a more consistent schedule such that world boss events will start at the same time across the entire game. There's even a 24-hour proposed schedule ready to go.

Elder Scrolls Online downtime prepares for launch day [Updated: The game is back, and we are go for launch]

Fantasy, Launches, Patches, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
Early access to Elder Scrolls Online is ending, and as such the team has taken both of the megaservers offline in preparation for launch day tomorrow. The downtime for the game, store, and account services is estimated at a few hours.

Once ZeniMax plugs everything back in, players will see a few big changes in the game's store. The updated store will offer subscription billing, upgrades to the Digital Imperial Edition, and the Palomino horse mount. In-game mail will also be restored.

[Thanks to Space Cobra for the tip!]

[Update: The game is back up and ZeniMax has officially declared it a launch!]

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