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EVE Evolved: What does Thera mean for EVE?

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Lore, Patches, Previews, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
If you've been keeping up with the recent news updates on EVE Online, you've probably heard about the upcoming Rhea update scheduled for December 9th. This mega patch will introduce the new tech 3 Tactical Destroyer ship class, Sleeper incursions into normal space, hands-on WASD flight controls, and 101 new wormhole systems (including 25 that are limited to small ships). The new wormhole systems have had all of their planets shattered by an as-yet unknown stellar phenomenon, and clues as to what transpired there will be hidden in the rubble. This infusion of new content and story will mark the first time the wormhole storyline and gameplay have been significantly expanded in over four years.

Each of the new shattered star systems is guaranteed to have at least one outgoing wormhole leading to normal space at all times, increasing the likelihood that pirates will catch you exploring or farming them. And since these systems won't have any in-tact moons, you won't be able to put up a permanent starbase to retreat to if hostiles appear. I'm pretty excited for exploring this new lawless frontier, but it's a unique shattered star system called Thera that I'm most looking forward to finding. Thera will be the first and only wormhole system to have fully kitted NPC stations and will serve as neutral ground for anyone who wants to live there. It's been described as the Mos Eisley of EVE, a permanent home to pirates, PvP corps, and smugglers looking to make some quick ISK.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at how the Thera system could revolutionise EVE for a lot of players and where the EVE storyline could go as a result.

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Star Citizen aims to redefine avatar death, combat realism

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

Remember way back in February of 2013 when Chris Roberts posted his Death of a Spaceman concept? It was a high-level look at how character death would function in Star Citizen, and it broke from gaming industry norms by aiming for an immersive system with strategy and consequences rather than the typical run-and-gun and die-and-respawn mechanics common to MMOs, FPSs, and most other games.

This week Roberts and company have released another extensive design doc called Healing Your Spacemen, which greatly expands the original concept. "In the end, the team decided to run counter to the standard FPS mechanics of regenerating health and instantly respawning on death to make every fight a calculated decision that can have ramifications that impact your character and place in the 'Verse," Cloud Imperium says.

Character health involves a limb-based system featuring four levels of health for each limb, and the system deliberately avoids "the current trend of hiding behind cover for blood to clear off your screen and jumping back in the fight ready for more." The post also explains how characters may be dragged to safety and how the spaceflight portion of the game will include "a robust rescue system" that complements the character death and damage mechanics. Read all about it via the official site links below!

[Thanks Cardboard!]

H1Z1 dev vid talks cities, barricades, and more

Horror, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Sandbox, H1Z1

SOE has published another H1Z1 dev spotlight vid. Environment artist Ruby Opfer is your host, and she spends the clip's three-minute running time expounding on various fan-submitted questions.

Want to know about the zombie gankbox's underwater exploration potential? What about cities and the ability for players to take them over? How about structural barricades and whether or not you can line your bunker with crafted wooden spikes?

All these questions and a few more are touched on just past the break.

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'This is EVE,' and it's pretty slick

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

If you've got even a passing interest in sci-fi sandbox EVE Online, you'll want to take a look at the new trailer just unveiled by developer CCP at today's EVE Down Under player event in Australia.

The clip runs for nearly four minutes and is comprised entirely of in-game footage. It's also underscored by the voice comms of actual EVE players (NSFW!), which CCP has cut together to form a rather scintillating soundtrack that attempts to answer the question "what is EVE."

This is EVE, according to the trailer's title, and you can soak it up just after the cut!

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Guild Wars 2 streamlines PvP queuing, adds map voting

Fantasy, PvP, Guild Wars 2, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

gw2
How can Guild Wars 2's PvP experience be improved? By streamlining the flow, baby!

A new dev diary posted today talks about how ArenaNet is working to improve match flow, starting with the elimination of PvP rosters and simply allowing players to queue solo or with a party. Other significant changes include replacing AFK players before matches begin, group voting on favorite maps, and using the dishonor system to ding those who leave or go AFK during matches.

To get into PvP matches, players will now be required to go to the Heart of the Mists, which is being outfitted with additional core services so that it can be a fun social hub between games.

TOME: Immortal Arena MOBA lands on Steam today

Trailers, Video, Launches, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items

TOME
KIXEYE's brawler-MOBA -- not to be confused with those other daisy-picking MOBAs -- TOME: Immortal Arena officially launches on Steam this afternoon.

TOME's claim to fame is the voice of Evil Dead's Bruce Campbell, who acts as the title's in-game announcer. Feature-wise, it boasts short matches, in-lane healing, no last-hitting, auto-buying, and 20 playable characters to date.

The latest trailer awaits your eyes below.

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Ultima Online publish brings holiday gifts, veteran rewards

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, Ultima Online, Sandbox, Crafting, Subscription, MMORPG

UO
You might forgive 17-year-old Ultima Online for long stretches between patches, but fortunately, you don't have to. The antique sandbox's Halloween event is now over, being replaced yesterday with a new patch that ushers in the winter holiday event and its attendant gifts. This year, Santa's bringing us a fireplace, a plant grinder, a power scroll book, and "a steam powered beverage maker that can be used in conjunction with the cooking system to create new items listed in the 'Beverage' section of the cooking menu." Yum.

The update also includes a new monthly game hunting competition sponsored by the Skara Brae Ranger's Guild, with special hunter-themed rewards like a new title and weapon. PvPers can look forward to a new leaderboard to track PvP progress in the still-fresh vice-vs.-virtue PvP system, and long-term players will find new veteran rewards are available, including new statuettes for youngish accounts, an ethereal hell hound mount at the 15-year-mark, and a sewing machine and smithing press for sevenbies.

The Crew gets an everything-you-need-to-know trailer

Betas, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Races

Ready for another trailer featuring Ubisoft's The Crew? This one is a bit meatier than previous clips, as it runs for nearly eight minutes and serves as a sort of everything-you-need-to-know visual guide to the upcoming open world racer.

You'll learn about the world and its 12 major cities as well as everything from skills to missions to factions to customization and the game's "CarPG" progression mechanics. Hop in and go for a spin just past the cut.

Don't forget about the game's console open beta which starts on November 25th!

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PlanetSide 2 turns two, celebrates with double XP

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2, Anniversaries

PlanetSide 2 turns two years old today, and if that doesn't make you feel old, well, it should! There's a dev-driven anniversary livestream going on right now, and SOE has also turned on double XP through Sunday, November 23rd.

[Source: SOE press release]

Guild Wars 2's revamped sPvP rewards skillful play, not just wins

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

GW2
ArenaNet's Justin O'Dell is on dev blog duty today for Guild Wars 2, and his post is all about planned updates to the game's sPvP matchmaking and ladder ranking systems.

"We decided to move to a score-based search method that takes into consideration several metrics that we believe are important for a match to be fun," he explains. "We chose a score-based system over other methods because we found that it's a good compromise between the often competing goals of match quality and short queue times." The system will do its best to match players by skill level, rank, party size, and so forth.

Points awarded through the ladder ranking system are determined by final score and odds of victory in an attempt to ensure that playing well in spite of a loss is encouraged and that luck isn't the driving force in ranking.

"Imagine a world where everyone took the saying 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game' seriously," O'Dell says. "Wouldn't that be great?"

The Stream Team: Poking around in ArcheAge's PvP lands

Fantasy, Video, Aion, PvP, Free-to-Play, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team

ArcheAge has had a rough week, and some players are already crying the game is dead. Is it, though? Massively's MJ still sees plenty of signs of life; her adventurous activities have not been curtailed. Since players seem to be drawn to red names like a moth to the flame, what better way to go and scout out the population than poking around in PvP-enabled lands? It may not be the most accurate of testing methodologies, but it's bound to be fun. Will she stay on the Haranya continent or venture deep into Nuian territory? And what about Auroria? Survival is definitely not assured, so join us live at 9:00 p.m. to see just how long she makes it!

Game: ArcheAge
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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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.

New SMITE vid reveals the Dragon King of the Eastern Seas

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items

I keep thinking that SMITE is going to run out of minor gods to turn into MOBA characters. And I keep being wrong since every week or so, Hi-Rez takes a deity I've never heard of and plops him or her down in the middle of its free-to-play fight club.

The latest example is Ao Kuang, the Dragon King of the Eastern Seas that we mentioned last week. This week, though, he's got a video! Click past the cut to see how he fares in the online battleground of the gods.

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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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Guild Wars 2 plans a big PvP patch for December 2nd

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, PvP, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Aw, right in the face.
On December 5th, the first World Tournament Series for Guild Wars 2 will conclude with a showdown between the four best teams across the United States, Europe, and China. Right before that, on December 2nd, the Guild Wars 2 team will be deploying several large-scale updates to the game's PvP. So if you've been watching the tournament with rapt interest, you'll have a number of shiny new systems to test out; if you haven't, you can still reap the benefits of an improved PvP system in the game.

Matchmaking is one of the biggest game mechanics seeing alterations. Players will be sorted by Glicko2 ratings for matchmaking purposes and subjected to a dishonor system that punishes behavior like leaving mid-match. The net result is a full ladder system for the game that will serve as a foundation for large-scale league play, with a test season planned for mid-December to make sure all of the parts work properly. There are more adjustments to be revealed over the next two weeks, but for now, dedicated PvP fans can rest easy knowing that more boosts are coming.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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