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Star Trek Online lays out the path to level 60 with stellar rewards

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Previews, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

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One of the selling points (so to speak) of Star Trek Online: Delta Rising is the game's first-ever level cap increase. Ever since player captains heard that they'll be able to level up to 60, they've wondered what that might entail. Fortunately, today Cryptic posted a dev blog that gives a good idea of what to expect as players progress to become Fleet Admiral or Dahar Master.

"The level cap increase is meant to be a simple solution to rank progression and yet the resulting change to the endgame play will be very noticeable," the team said.

The big change with these new levels is that skill points will be used for specialization trees, the details of which are still forthcoming. Players can keep earning specialization points after hitting 60 until they max out these trees. Cryptic also has several rewards planned along the way, including a duty officer pack, upgrades to abilities, and a new bridge officer.

Transformers Universe introduces Macro and Firebreaker

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, Transformers Universe, MOBA

Transformers Universe
Jagex hopes to add "diversity" to Transformers Universe's character roster with the addition of two new warriors announced today: Macro and Firebreaker.
Macro, in his warrior form, carries a heavy broadsword for up close melee combat which he wields like a chivalrous knight. In addition, his shield dome cloaks all allies within its boundaries, removing them from enemy line of sight for a limited time.

At the other end of the spectrum, Firebreaker is the first Decepticon in Transformers Universe to feature cloaking capabilities. Sacrificing his shield meter he can extend the duration of the cloak, and can also unleash a computer virus on himself that will devastate the first Autobot he comes into contact with.
The studio says over 700,000 players have participated in beta so far. Videos for both characters are embedded below.

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Not So Massively: Path of Exiles' Master of the Hunt, Destiny's expansion, and BioWare's Shadow Realms

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, League of Legends, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile

POE
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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Diablo III previews the Vault

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Diablo III

One of them is here because of greed, and the other one is... also here for that reason.  Huh.  I think we've reached a nadir.
There's nothing worse in Diablo III than seeing a treasure goblin waltz up and snatch a valuable item away from you whilst you're dealing with a pack of monsters. It's endlessly satisfying to catch the little monster and take it down. But what if you could head back to the goblins' base and start taking stuff from them for a change? That's the idea behind the Vault, a new area being added to Diablo III with patch 2.1.

Whenever you take down a treasure goblin in 2.1, there's a chance that a portal to the Vault will spawn. Inside the Vault there's a ton of items pilfered by the treasure goblins, as you'd expect. There's also the Baroness Greed, who doesn't take kindly to having her space invaded and her pilfered goods re-pilfered by someone else. Still, it turns the game on its head; instead of being annoyed when a treasure goblin pinches your loot, now you'll have a chance to get something even better.

How your Guild Wars 2 class will change in September

Fantasy, Classes, Patches, Previews, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

gw2
When Guild Wars 2's second feature pack crashes down on our heads next month, there will be none of us unscathed from its impact. A new dev diary posted today reveals that the feature pack will contain balance changes for all of the game's classes.

Among the changes are a rework of Elementalist and Thief grandmaster traits, love for Engineer kits and elixirs, an improved Spirit Bow ability for the Guardian, a revamp of the mimic skill for the Mesmer, improved survivability for the Necromancer, more flexible pet choices for the Ranger, and tweaks to the Warrior's adrenaline resource. Overall, it all sounds pretty positive, although there could be a nerf or two lurking in the mix.

World of Warcraft adding party finder functionality

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Dungeons, Subscription

You might think this is the same functionality that's been in addons and in other games for a year or more, but there are key differences.  For example, this one is part of the expansions!  That's a big different.  Also, look over there.
World of Warcraft is expanding the functionality of its group finder tool in Warlords of Draenor so that making a group is easier than just inviting your friends and shouting in a city. The new group finder interface is designed to help players locate parties looking for the same content, from pre-made PvP groups to teams trying to take out a particularly obnoxious group quest in the zone.

Group finder groups can be designated for PvE or PvP, with the former allowing for a variety of group-based PvE encounters (quests, dungeons, raids) and the latter opening up for PvP options (rated battlegrounds, arenas of all sizes, faction leader assaults, and so on). Players can either join a group or start a new one, with leaders setting both the designated goal and the requirements for would-be party members to join. Take a look at the full preview for more information on this expanded functionality.

Guild Wars 2 will let you replace PvP opponents with standardized clones

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, PvP, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

How you look and move in PvP is sometimes more important than just for cosmetic vanity, which is why Guild Wars 2 is planning to add "model standardization" as an option with the September feature pack.

In today's dev diary, ArenaNet explains that since all of the races and classes have different animations for the same skills, it might be difficult for competitive players to identify what's coming at them. By being able to replace all enemy characters with standardized human models, PvPers will be able to clearly identify the class, weapon, and skill animations being used.

The team's also finishing up work on two new sets of PvP-exclusive armor that draws inspiration from Guild Wars 1's Hall of Heroes. Players can earn one of those sets of armor by progressing with the new PvP reward track that's also slated for the feature pack update.

Massively Exclusive: Previewing Path of Exile's Tora, Master of the Hunt

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

Girls don't like boys, girls like hunts and nature.
The newest expansion to Path of Exile is all about the eponymous Masters -- their goals, their attitudes, and what they can teach the player. Tora is fairly straightforward in all of the above. She is all about the hunt, taking out the monsters that surround Wraeclast, and in her own words, she wants to root out the corruption that has taken root in her world now, before it does any further harm to the natural balance.

I had a chance to speak with producer Chris Wilson about Tora and the expansion as a whole the other day, and he happily shared details both about Tora herself and one of the new challenge leagues that will be going live with the expansion on August 20th. Hop on past the break to see Tora's video introduction and to learn more about what players can expect from the huntress, the challenge league, and the expansion in general.

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World of Warcraft spotlights Draenor's new Troll models

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Previews, News Items, Races

WoW
Today's World of Warcraft Artcraft blog is all about Trolls. No, not the trolls who plague internet comment sections everywhere; the playable Troll race that outcools all the other Horde races. Blizzard's Chris Robinson spotlights the new models for both the male and female Trolls, noting that the race's tusks posed "unique challenges":
In the character customization options, you have the ability to select from a number of tusk "styles." While other race models (like the Tauren) have similar customization options, the additional modeling, texturing, and animation articulation of the Troll face-and mouth especially-made this a distinctive challenge. We actually had to model the Troll with a flat lower lip; then, for each facial customization option, we went in and posed their lips to naturally wrap around each tusk option.
We've included a pic of the female Trolls below.

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Massively Exclusive: Elsword shows off Add's new job

Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous

The media continues to provide unrealistic portrayals for power-crazed psionic powerhouses.
Getting a new job is an exciting time. It means that you have new coworkers to meet, new procedures to observe, and in some cases, the ability to shoot homing psionic bullets that cover the map and kill enemies you didn't even know were there yet. The last case is more pronounced if your new job looks like Elsword's new job path for the character Add, but it could happen with your new data entry job, too! Maybe. Probably not.

A preview video just past the cut shows off the Lunatic Psyker path in action, which features... well, about what you'd expect from the title: psionic explosions, powerful lines of energy, all the fun stuff you could ask for. Add also gets the ability to redirect damage that he's dealt directly into enemies, which should make stringing together combo attacks and otherwise crushing his foes that much easier.

[Source: KOG Games press release]

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Star Trek Online highlights the path of Voyager

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

You're allowed to start humming the theme song, really.
Captain Kathryn Janeway led the crew of the USS Voyager across the Delta Quadrant, traveling 70,000 lightyears in seven years and encountering a variety of species and phenomena during the journey. Star Trek Online's next expansion, Delta Rising, is retracing her steps, bringing players back into the Delta Quadrant to explore both strange new worlds and ascertain the fate of the known ones. The most recent development blog takes a look at Voyager's journey through the region as well as where players will wind up relative to that lengthy trip.

The expansion will cover a region of space starting at the Nekrit Expanse and extending toward the Alpha Quadrant, including encounters with races heretofore unseen in Star Trek Online such as the Kazon, the Ocampa, and the Talaxians. Players will also encounter the Borg Cooperative (a splinter group from the Collective) and the Benthan Guard, as well as a mysterious adversary that's harassing the entire region and giving every race pause. Whether you want to see the long-term effects of the Borg's failed Alpha Quadrant invasion or just pick up a Talaxian officer to handle your ship's mess hall, it seems you'll be getting the chance.

ArcheAge highlights its trade mission mechanics

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

See?  You can indeed be productive while sitting on your... donkey.
There's plenty of stuff to do in ArcheAge besides attack people in PvP. For example, you can be one of the people who are attractive targets to attack in PvP. That's not the biggest reason to get involved in the game's Trade missions, however. Sure, you'll be carrying around valuable cargo that's attractive to marauders, pirates, and scavengers alike, but successfully bringing a package from one point to another can provide you with plenty of wealth and fame, so it's got an appeal.

Trade Packs allow players to earn valuable crafting materials as well as Gilda Stars, valuable for endgame play. The further you transport a pack, the more rewards you receive for its transport. However, packs also slow you down and force you to forego the use of World Gates or gliders, making the journey that much more harrowing. For the full rundown, check the official preview and get ready to start shipping things around the world.

An early look at Heroes of the Storm's alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Culture, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, MOBA

HOTS
Heroes of the Storm: Just another MOBA, right? Well, maybe. I have to admit two things before we jump into this article. First, I like MOBAs, but I'm an MMO player first and foremost. I keep trying MOBAs as they come out, and I've sunk some serious hours into the genre, so I do have a decent working knowledge of the bare basics, especially starting experiences.

Second, I'm neither a fan nor a hater of Blizzard. Blizzard often sticks to safe rather than unique features, but it also makes games for the masses, which is great because I love to drag my friends into my games. But a game that attracts everyone also attracts the kind of people I don't want to play with.

So why should I -- or you -- play Heroes of the Storm?

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Chaos Heroes Online video shows hero roster

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Previews, Free-to-Play, MOBA

chaos heroes online
There's not going to be any of that gradual "drip, drip, drip" of character reveals for Chaos Heroes Online. Nay, Aeria Games has released a trailer that opens up the faucet to pour out the game's first 10 heroes all at once.

According to the beta sign-up page, the free-to-play MOBA will have a cast that well exceeds that number; there are 50 "coming soon" slots on the chart begging for a future reveal. As for now, you can get a feel for this first batch of characters and their abilities, although apart from their names and visuals, deeper details will have to wait for a later date. We've got the full video after the jump, so check it out!

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Albion Online offers a new gameplay trailer

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Sandbox

You move sixteen tons, what do you get?
Excited about Albion Online? Ambivalent about Albion Online? Never heard of Albion Online before this very moment whilst being extremely tired of this narrative device? Whichever category describes you, you can click on past the break to get a look at a new trailer for the game, showing just what players can expect once they load up the game.

Albion Online boasts a variety of features including a player-driven economy, freeform progression, a lack of levels, and abilities defined by your choice of equipment. You can see some of it in action in the trailer; you can also support the game now to purchase alpha access and watch as the game moves through development. It's a cross-platform game designed for Windows, Macs, Android, Linux, and iOS devices.

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