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The Soapbox: In praise of SWTOR's 12X experience

Sci-Fi, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Roleplaying, Star Wars: The Old Republic

It's taken 12 times the normal XP rate, but Star Wars: The Old Republic is finally my main MMO (at least for another week or so). Well, OK, it's also taken a series of spectacularly ill-considered decisions by XLGAMES and Trion, but that's a rant for another day.

I've been playing SWTOR quite a lot over the past month since BioWare's subscriber-only pre-expansion boost has cut all of the godawful grindpark garbage right out of a galaxy far, far away. Too bad it's just a temporary fix, though -- here's hoping that the devs give veterans the option of keeping the XP bonus long after December 1st.

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SWTOR's Guardian, Juggernaut discipline changes detailed

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Another day has brought us another Star Wars: The Old Republic dev blog detailing the class changes coming in the Shadow of Revan expansion. This time around, the focus falls squarely on Jedi Guardians and Sith Juggernauts.

BioWare says that both versions of SWTOR's single-saber tank will get new passives, new utilities, and more thanks to the discipline tweaks scheduled to hit the game's class trees in December 9th's 3.0 update.

Destiny demo now available

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Promotions, Destiny

Bungie is dangling a demo of megahit Destiny in front of the three of you who haven't played it yet. You can now pick up a digital download of the sci-fantasy shooter in both the Xbox and PlayStation storefronts.

The download is a whopping 20 GB on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems, while last-gen users will only need six GB of console hard drive space. If you decide to upgrade and purchase the full version of the game, all of your character's progress will carry over from your demo.

Click through to Bungie's website to read the rest of the details.

Black Gold's water-themed Bloodied Tides DLC arrives next week

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Steampunk, Black Gold

Black Gold
Snail Games has today announced that a huge new update will land in Black Gold on November 24th. Bloodied Tides, the steampunk MMO's second DLC since its soft launch last summer, will up the level cap as well as add Aurek Brute and Upyrian Vampire races, a brawler class, a new 4v4 arena, tweaks to the time vial system, and a weapon engraving system. There's also a ton of water-themed content in the form of underwater dungeons, underwater maps, naval warfare, and aquatic battle carriers, which had better be as cool in practice as they sound, darnit.

We've got the update's teaser video embedded for you below.

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Choose My Adventure: Final Fantasy XIV's thaumaturgery

Fantasy, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription, MMORPG

FFXIV
One of the more frustrating elements of helming Choose My Adventure is that I start every game with hopeless incompetence and spend four weeks trying desperately to reach some level of understanding with that game's core mechanics. MMO players take for granted the basic masteries they have over the systems they command and forget that the first 20 or so levels of any new game are usually spent in a fog of half-understandings and misconceptions.

Because it's so difficult to continually learn a game's idiosyncrasies, I was a bit wary of last week's Choose My Adventure polls. Having just grown comfortable with our Miqo'te Pugilist and the basic rotations that power her damage, I found the thought of taking on an entirely new class fairly intimidating. Aren't Thaumaturges hard to play? Don't they have confusing ability combos and weird buffs?

Luckily, Final Fantasy XIV understands the challenge in switching classes and isn't afraid to babysit you while you re-learn the ropes.

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DCUO's War of the Light Part II now available

Super-hero, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, DC Universe Online

SOE wants you to know that War of the Light Part II, the 12th DLC pack for DC Universe Online, is available now.

The update allows players to travel to Zamaron, otherwise known as the home of the Star Sapphires. New content includes four- and eight-player operations, a four-player alert, a two-player duo, a single-player challenge mode, and new open world solo missions. New gear is available, too, as are six additional skill points, new collections, new feats, and new base items.

Don't forget the new trailer after the break!

[Source: SOE press release]

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SWTOR's Sentinel, Marauder discipline changes detailed

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dev Diaries

No, Sentinels and Marauders, BioWare hasn't forgotten you. Star Wars: The Old Republic's latest class-based dev diary went live today and it's focused on -- you guessed it -- Sentinels and Marauders. More specifically it outlines how your favorite dual-saber class will play after December 9th's Shadow of Revan expansion.

Head to the official SWTOR website to read all about the changes.

Hyperspace Beacon: Concerns about SWTOR's 3.0 combat

Sci-Fi, Classes, Expansions, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Concerns about SWTOR 3.0 combat
BioWare has finally begun revealing the specifics of the Discipline system landing in the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion. We have seen the Bounty Hunter, Trooper, Inquisitor, and Consular paths. We have seen in detail how the Discipline system changes the leveling process in SWTOR. We've seen that tanks become tanky faster; we've seen that healers gain healing abilities earlier in the leveling process. A primary goal of the new system has been to ensure advanced classes learn role-specific abilities earlier without worrying about those abilities being exploited by hybridization.

With characters now able to level to 60, BioWare gave each advanced class at least one new ability. For instance, Deception Assassins gain Ball Lightning, a 10-meter ranged ability that inflicts 2652 to 2780 damage and costs 32 Force. Many of the new abilities were specifically designed to make your character feel more powerful, which makes sense, right? You should feel that your character is growing with each level. But do these changes and additions actually make you feel more powerful, or are they just unnecessary impedences to the current priority flow or rotation?

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NCsoft promises a simultaneous global release for Lineage Eternal

Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Mobile

Lineage Eternal
​NCsoft has today announced that Lineage Eternal, the third in the big-in-Korea series, will feature a simultaneous worldwide release both for the PC game and for the mobile edition. Yes, there's a mobile edition.

Steparu.com has translated all of the G-Star 2014 documents relating to the game and confirms that it is indeed an "open-world MMORPG" with mouse cursor movement, 20-man raids, random and dynamic dungeons, PvP, and no "generic questing system." According to Steparu, NCsoft is testing a new cloud gaming system that will nullify the need for a Korean account to play the company's games. Instead, gamers can just link a social media account to play.

Lineage Eternal is apparently slated for a "2016 or later" release; closed beta is now planned for the first half of 2015. Check out the new G-Star videos below.

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The Stream Team: World of Warcraft has a new thing

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Launches, Patches, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Livestream, The Stream Team, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Massively's Mike Foster started his MMO career with World of Warcraft, cruising the hills of Stranglethorn on a completely incompetent priest. Later he became a Mage, Death Knight, a Rogue, a Shaman, and... everything but Paladin, basically. Thus, it's only fitting that he dive immediately into Warlords of Draenor, WoW's most recent expansion, to see what's new. Tune in tonight to watch Mike as he investigates some Warlords of Draenor content and attempts to re-learn his PvP-centric hotkeys.

The action starts at 7:00 p.m. EST, as long as the queue gods treat him right.

Game: World of Warcraft
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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BioWare explains SWTOR's commendation changes

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Star Wars: The Old Republic

BioWare community manager Eric Musco has published a "one stop shop" post that details what's happening to Star Wars: The Old Republic's commendations in the forthcoming Shadow of Revan expansion.

In a nutshell, all basic, classic, planetary, elite, and ultimate comms will be converted to basic commendations. The classic and planetary types are going away completely, while warzone and ranked warzone comms will remain as they are now. There are more details -- including bits about the basic conversion rates -- on the official SWTOR forums.

Marvel Heroes publishes Thor's level 52 review

Super-hero, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Marvel Heroes, Dev Diaries, OARPG

Gazillion has published one of its Marvel Heroes level 52 reviews, which is basically a dev blog focused on endgame goals and designs for a particular hero. In this case, that hero is Thor.

Thor's Odinforce is a big part of his current review. It functions as his secondary resource and allows players to unlock upgraded versions of his powers by building Odinforce and managing its decay over time. And don't forget about God Blast, his new ultimate that unleashes "the full might of the mighty Mjolnir in a terrifying, concentrated blast of white-hot divine intervention."

Lost Continent: Lucking into a breezy ArcheAge bungalow

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing, Lost Continent

My ArcheAge avatar is pretty fortunate. Last Friday night he became the proud owner of a breezy bungalow, which is that big bamboo marine house that you've probably seen in screenshots, videos, and the like.

The bungalow's blueprint costs a whopping 300 gilda stars -- i.e., no small amount for a guildless guy like me who mostly duos his way through Haranya. I'd managed to save 250 of the character-bound gilda by doing various dailies over the past several weeks, but I had a few days to go before I'd finally be able to afford the plans. How did I come up with the balance ahead of schedule, not to mention the boat load of materials required to actually build the house? That's an interesting story, and it's another example of how ArcheAge's mechanics are a necessary breath of fresh air in a stale genre.

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Marvel Heroes adds new game mode

Super-hero, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Marvel Heroes

Gazillion has added a new game mode to its Marvel Heroes online action RPG. It's called Industry City Patrol and it features new bosses, artifacts, medallions, and "uniques found nowhere else," according to the game's website. Gazillion says that it has also added "improved spawning technology to reduce lag," as well as multi-phase events that encourage players to cooperate and progress together.

WildStar gold exploiters may get lifetime bans

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, WildStar

Carbine is working on a hotfix for a WildStar gold exploit that many players have mentioned via social media and the game's forums. Community manager Tony Rey says a rollback isn't necessary because "the current scope of abuse is not outside of our ability to manually correct where necessary."

Rey goes on to mention the possibility of lifetime bans, though he does note that players who have used the exploit have until tomorrow to contact customer support for a reduced punishment to include the removal of ill-gotten gains.

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