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Previews

Final Fantasy XIV introduces two new jobs and new races for Heavensward

Fantasy, Classes, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Previews, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Well, at least we finally got it.
The last Final Fantasy XIV fan festival of the year is going on now in Japan, and the event's keynote speech has already contained big revelations for the game's first expansion, Heavensward. Players can look forward to the first new race for the game, the Au Ra, a race of dragon-esque people from Othard. It's been established that heretofore masked NPC Yugiri belongs to this race, and she will be revealing her face in patch 2.5.

Fans were also treated to preview footage of the Dark Knight in-game as well as two new jobs, the Machinist and the Astrologian. Astrologians are a new style of healer, drawing cards from decks to aid party members while debilitating enemies. Machinists are ranged DPS with a single large handgun and a style of play based on laying down turrets and paying attention to positioning. The keynote also contained information on the next multi-part raid and the Collector's Edition for the game, currently scheduled for release in spring of 2015.

Dark Age of Camelot takes aim at group finder and bug fixes

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dark Age of Camelot, Bugs, Patches, Previews, PvP, Community Q&A

daoc
An end-of-the-year community Q&A at Dark Age of Camelot revealed that the team has a lot on the docket for Patch 1.117, including the long-awaited casual group finder and a heap of bug fixes.

"We think that focusing our development resources on bug fixing for an entire patch cycle is something that hasn't been done in a long time and is something that will make everyone's gameplaying experience that much better!" Broadsword posted.

Other topics discussed include freeing up space in quest logs, plans to update the patcher, and ideas to help out starter guilds. The Q&A even revealed that there will be "official Broadsword player reps" and "scheduled raids of all sorts" for trial accounts, although details on those will be coming later.

MapleStory 2 begins closed beta signups next week, will include a jail system

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG

MapleStory 2
Another day, another game we can't have yet. This one's MapleStory 2, the sequel to Nexon's MapleStory, which in spite of its cuteness is still one of the biggest MMORPGs in the world. Steparu reports that MS2 is set to enter its first closed beta phase on January 21st; signups go live for Korean players on Christmas eve.

Over on the official site (in Korean), Nexon further discusses the MMO's jail system, something fans of games like Ultima Online and ArcheAge know well. This particular jail is meant to hold those who make wreckage of chat channels, though Nexon says will punish counter-abuse "severely." What could possibly go wrong?

We don't yet know whether the game will come here, but since classic MapleStory has a global version that's earned Nexon boatloads of money, it's pretty darn likely.

We've embedded Steparu's MapleStory 2 customization video below.

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Black Desert is officially in open beta... in Korea

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Classes, New Titles, Previews, News Items, Hands-On, Sandbox, Black Desert

Black Desert
Still pinning hopes and dreams on Daum's breathtaking sandbox MMORPG Black Desert? If you're in South Korea, those hopes and dreams are a reality this week, as the game officially entered open beta in that region yesterday.

Blogger Steparu has already posted one video from the event, a snapshot of progress on a mid-level Sorceress. We've included it below. If you're bilingual and already enjoying the game, we'd love to hear about it, as those of us in the West will be waiting until at least 2016.

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World of Warcraft proposes tradable subscription currency

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

wow
Six-point-one. That's all you World of Warcraft players need to hear to get psyched for the new year. The dev team took a brief pause in rolling in all of the money from Warlords of Draenor sales to talk about what's coming up with Patch 6.1 as well as a proposed new subscription currency.

The patch, which will go into testing soon, will contain improvements to garrisons, a legendary follower, the ability to send tweets from the game, the new Blood Elf models, shorter flight master routes, incentives for visiting friends' garrisons, and the new heirloom collection tab.

Even bigger than this news is word that Blizzard is "exploring" adding a subscription currency that sounds like EVE Online's PLEX. The proposed idea would allow players to buy and sell game-time tokens for in-game gold: "Our current thought on this is that it would give players a way to use their surplus gold to cover some of their subscription cost, while giving players who might have less play time an option for acquiring gold from other players through a legit and secure system."

EVE Online speeds up game installation and access

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

eve
To "get people into the game quicker," CCP is smoothing out the download and installation process for EVE Online. This new method of deployment is scheduled to go into service at the start of 2015.

This means that the installation package will go from a 7GB download to a zippy 200MB one instead. Once that game client is up and running, it will then download the rest of the game's resources as needed.

"On a fast connection you probably won't notice much of a difference -– load times may be slightly longer at times. As you play more, more resources will be cached and fewer and fewer need to be downloaded. The client will be smart about pre-fetching resources it expects will be needed soon," the team said.

WildStar's next big update and holiday surprise

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

Now if you'd jut say that Glory is available from shiphands, we'd be moving somewhere!
The first major WildStar update of 2015 is available on the test servers now. Yes, there's a little time before it actually goes live for everyone. Creative Director Chad Moore took the opportunity today to explain to the community everything contained within the new update, starting with the addition of two new dungeons (the Protostar Academy and the Ultimate Protogames), a new Shiphand mission, and the addition of veteran-level Shiphand missions that can still be cleared solo or in a group as you'd like.

This update also includes new housing options, cosmetic options for characters (including the ability to edit your appearance post-character creation), and the addition of the new Glory currency for completing dungeons and raids, which can be exchanged for high-end equipment. Last but not least, it's the update that includes the long-discussed drop of the Datascape raid down to 20 players, making it less of a challenge to assemble a roster for this content. While it remains to be seen how well the update actually plays, it looks to be filled with a number of positive changes for the game.

In other WildStar news today, the studio is running holiday promotion during December. "Carbine wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and spread some cheer by giving out 12 Days of Boom Boxes," wrote Community Manager Tony Rey yesterday. "Everyone that has logged into WildStar during the month of December (12/1-12/15) will receive these sweet little bundles of potential."

Tree of Savior reveals more classes, promises a surprise on December 12th

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Previews, News Items

Be all that you can be, sometimes with little rhyme or reason.
Whether or not you think that Tree of Savior is going to be a game to watch out for, you have to respect the game's dedication to class diversity. A new batch of classes has been unveiled by fan translation work, and it's certainly a far cry from the usual fare. How many other games expect you to choose between Doppelsoldner, Pied Piper, Murmillo, and Schwarze Reiter? And that's just out of this group!

At character creation, players will choose between four basic classes (Swordsman, Wizard, Cleric, and Archer), which leads into the extremely diverse lineup of advanced classes such as the aforementioned additions. You can see some of these classes on display in the game's trailer from G-Star 2014, embedded past the break. The game has just put up a teaser site promising a reveal on December 12th, possibly the game's first beta test.

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WildStar begins testing Drop 4 and 20-player Datascape raid

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, WildStar, Dungeons, Subscription

wildstar
WildStar's upcoming Drop 4 is now on the public test realm, and despite Carbine's reluctance to post patch notes, the news on the street is that this content update will be a doozy.

Among the changes and additions coming to next year's Drop 4 are new costumes for all of the races, more daily and weekly quests, an underground bunker housing option, the ability to see different armor models at character creation, a character customization vendor, loads of class changes, and a low-level shiphand mission called Fragment Zero.

Datascape, the former 40-player raid that is now being retooled as a 20-player instance, is also on the test server for those with 19 good friends.

A dragon interloper is approaching ArcheAge

Fantasy, Lore, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Subscription

I think he's kind of angry.
ArcheAge is gearing up for its December update, and that means getting ready for a dragon. A long time ago in the in-game lore, the dragon Misagon tried to take the land of Erenor for himself and his kin, which led to the Nuon rising up and killing him because that's just a really rude way to move in. The dragons panicked and left, but one among them started planning for Dragon Invasion II: The Dragoning.

That invasion is going down as part of the December update, with the somewhat uncreatively named Red Dragon leading his minions in an assault on Erenor. This is the same dragon who resorted to feeding on other dragons to get stronger, so you know he's... well, not a good guy. Go ahead and check out the lore post for a slightly less irreverent explanation of what flies forth on crimson wings, and get ready to undertake some dragon hunting in the game's next major patch.

Hearthstone players struggle to buy expansion packs

Fantasy, Bugs, Expansions, Previews, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

hearthstone
While a new expansion to the hit card game Hearthstone is cause for much celebration, in some corners it's also been cause for consternation as players have struggled to buy the right packs from the in-game store. This and other expansion issues got so bad, in fact, that getting these CS requests sorted out forced Blizzard to slightly delay Goblins vs. Gnomes' European launch (although it is now live in that region).

The problem, as dismayed players and streamers discovered, is that the default pack purchase option in Hearthstone's store was for the base game's cards, not the expansions. Gung-ho players would then accidentally mass-purchase a whole lot of packs thinking that they were from Goblins vs. Gnomes, only to discover that they just wasted hundreds of dollars on cards they already had. Touch Arcade has come to the rescue by pointing to a handy guide how to buy the right packs for the expansion.

Get a 3-D virtual preview of Skyforge's Naori Island

Betas, Sci-Fi, Previews, Free-to-Play, Skyforge

If a picture is valued at a thousand words, how much is an interactive panorama worth?

That's a question that you might just have to answer yourself when you check out this jaw-dropping gorgeous tableau of Naori Island from Skyforge. Naori Island is a tropical resort that got caught up in the war, leaving it scarred yet still beautiful.

You can check out the interactive 3-D screenshot of the island on the game's official website, which allows you to scope out the key landmarks and warm visuals all around you.

SWTOR releases Shadow of Revan trailer to celebrate official launch

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Launches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR
Early access for Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan expansion technically opened last week, but for non-subscribers, the formal digital launch date is today. Predictably, BioWare has released a new trailer to coincide with the official launch. Spoilers: Revan, lightsabers, ominous proclamations, etc.

Massively's Larry Everett explored the plotline and soloability of the expansion in his column last week. Enjoy the trailer below.

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Black Desert's latest trailers tour the massive open world

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Black Desert

Black Desert
How about another round of Black Desert videos? Daum's released a pair of them today. The first is over 12 minutes of extensive, dizzying fly-over of the seamless open world. The second, shorter video is a bit harder to parse if you don't read Korean, but there's a lot of running and jumping and sailing and playing drums and blowing up boulders and stealing sheep and milking cows and getting kicked in the face by cows and why are you looking at me like that?

The action-sandbox enters closed beta in South Korea next week. Daum has already uploaded videos featuring the game's combat and non-combat activities. Enjoy today's vids!

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Shroud of the Avatar introduces the desert with Release 13

Betas, Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Shroud of the Avatar, Buy-to-Play

shroud
Release 13 is prepped and raring to hit Shroud of the Avatar's servers on Thursday, December 18th. One of the new additions that will be coming to the game is the inclusion of desert biomes for the sandbox title.

Release 13 will also allow players to see part of their hair while still wearing hats, which is more of a big deal than one might expect. It will also contain a new "grand tour" quest that will dish out an exclusive reward to those who complete it before the next release.

Shroud of the Avatar recently launched on Steam Early Access, and keys for this version of the game are available to all backers.

Featured Stories

Make My MMO: December 14 - 20, 2014

Posted on Dec 20th 2014 7:00PM

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