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ArcheAge FAQ mentions testing plans, optional subscription, and housing limitations [Update]

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing

Trion Worlds has published a new FAQ for ArcheAge today that concentrates on testing plans and core features of its upcoming Western version.

The team said that alpha testing is imminent and will be followed by beta events leading up to launch, still set for sometime in 2014. While fans can sign up on the site for a chance at a key, Trion said that soon-to-be-revealed founders packs will guarantee beta access.

ArcheAge will be adopting a hybrid F2P model including an optional subscription. This subscription will be necessary if a player wants to own his or her own house in the game, as the "limited real estate" will be earmarked for paying customers only.

Trion addressed its level of control over the title in its relationship with developer XLGAMES and indicated that the Korean 1.0 patch changes will not be coming to the West: "We work with XLGAMES to understand and new features that are added to ArcheAge in the East to determine how well they will be accepted in our regions, and then offer feedback. XLGAMES has been fantastic in addressing that feedback as best as they can. In situations where a feature is added that we don't think will be appropriate for our audiences, we work with XLGAMES to modify or remove that feature from our version."

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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The Secret World's first mission pack announced for next week

Horror, Real-Life, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, The Secret World, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

Those thirsting for new content in The Secret World are getting a little something to help tide them over until Tokyo is opened. In his latest Game Director Letter, Joel Bylos announced the game's first ever mission pack. Available in the item store next week, Sidestories: Further Analysis contains four new investigation missions spanning the TSW map and a new undisclosed feature. These missions will delve players deeper into the backstories and lives of various groups and characters like Dr. Aldini and the Draculesti.

Bylos also gives more details on the AEGIS system, explaining that these items will be equipped in new gear slots and how the core of the system, controllers, come in three distinct types. On top of that, he noted that a few PvP fixes in patch 1.9 change the way relics are handled in El Dorado. You can catch all the details of these changes in the March letter.

Massively's Elder Scrolls Online launch diary: Day four - PvP

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO - PvP mages in a keep
My fourth day In The Elder Scrolls Online didn't start until well after 3:00 p.m. thanks to the North American megaserver going down in the wee watches of Wednesday morning and remaining down for several hours.

When it came back up, the first thing I did was load into Doshia's Lair outside Daggerfall with a pickup group that intended to finish a Fighter's Guild quest called Anchors From the Harbour. Unfortunately none of us could see the others' avatars inside the instance, so after several attempts at reloading and relogging, we abandoned ship [Ed. note: Yes it's a solo quest, which wasn't in any way made clear to the group trying to enter it!].

While additional data like this has caused me to reassess my earlier observations about ESO's smooth (pre-)launch, it hasn't affected my overall enjoyment of the game. In fact, ESO would need quite a few more bugs and several more days of downtime to qualify as a "bad" launch. If you disagree, well, I question how many MMO launches you've actually experienced.

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Here's Age of Wushu's new 'warrior maiden' sect

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

Age of Wushu Palace of Shifting Flowers girl
Snail has updated its Age of Wushu website with another new sect preview from the martial sandbox's upcoming Tempest of Strife expansion.

Today's reveal is the Palace of Shifting Flowers, which boasts "a balanced set of skills featuring both melee and ranged attacks." The Palace is a group of female-only apostles that Snail calls a "zealous cadre of warrior maidens sworn to seek vengeance from the the men who wronged them."

Click past the cut for the class preview trailer, and don't forget that AoW is now available on Steam.

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Leaderboard: What's your favorite aspect of Elder Scrolls Online so far?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Roleplaying, Leaderboard, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Elder Scrolls Online Imperial horse
Judging by the masses of players I see running around in The Elder Scrolls Online, it's a safe bet that many of you are joining me in the game's early access launch. So far I'm having a good time with it, but I'm more interested in what you think.

Assuming you're playing and enjoying ESO, what's your favorite aspect of the game thus far? Questing? PvP? Lore? Something else? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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World of Tanks unveils new 7v7 combat mode

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, World of Tanks, Dev Diaries

Wargaming.net has just announced a brand-new combat mode for its tank-flavored MMO World of Tanks. The mode is a 7v7 random battles mode called Labyrinth. David Bowie is not included, but a new vehicle is:
The only vehicle available in the upcoming mode will be the German self-propelled gun Karl-Gerät that will be added with Update 1.04 as well. Tankers will also get an original battle arena, developed specially for Labyrinth, as well as a new medal, awarded for exceptional performance in the new mode.
The translated version of the latest WoT developer diary discusses the new combat mode in depth; we've got it embedded below.

[Source: Wargaming press release]

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Nival officially releases Prime World MOBA

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, MOBA

Prime World gameplay
Nival wants you to know that it has officially launched its Prime World MMO on platforms including Steam and Amazon. The game has been in open beta since fall 2013 and has been sampled by over 7 million players, according to the company's press release.

"Prime World adds the best features of deep MMORPGs to a fast paced MOBA," Nival says. "It merges persistent hero development and character customization with PvP and PvE gameplay. In addition, the game features story-driven battles and castle building all within a competitive online setting."

There's a launch trailer as well as the full PR blurb after the cut.

[Source: Nival press release]

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WoW Archivist: Warlords of Draenor hates The Burning Crusade

World of Warcraft, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Family, Dungeons, Subscription, MMORPG, WoW Archivist

Draining a naaru
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on March 28th and is included here by permission.

In many ways, The Burning Crusade was the birth of modern WoW. Most of TBC's innovations are still going strong in WoW today and have been ever since their introduction. Looking back, I find it's striking how many key features of WoW were absent in classic, unveiled only during the game's first expansion.

Even more striking, however, is how many of these innovations Warlords of Draenor seems poised to undo. Just as Garrosh will undo the transformation of Draenor into Outland, Warlords seeks to unravel most of what Blizzard innovated during TBC. The next expansion will take us through a portal into a very different WoW.

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Hands-on with TUG, The Untitled Game

Betas, Fantasy, Economy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, Sandbox, Crafting, Crowdfunding, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

In my youth, my father handed me nails, wood, and a hammer and told me to build whatever I wanted. I managed to create swollen fingers and a few tangled heaps of wood and nails. Nerd Kingdom is a lot like my father, but instead of wood, the studio is handing me TUG, or as I like to call it, everything.

TUG is a sandbox RPG akin to Landmark or Minecraft, but something about TUG is different. Maybe it's the development team that contains working titles like Economist or Behavioral Scientist. Or perhaps it's the data-driven design philosophy, which claims to deliver a better experience by analyzing how we play. Regardless, it's clear that Nerd Kingdom is attempting to give us more tools to create, both for the players in game and the modders outside of it.

My recent demo, interview, and hands-on session showed me how TUG will unlock the creator's imagination -- with fewer swollen fingers.

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CCP: Real-life harassment 'morally reprehensible,' in-game villainy integral to EVE

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Sandbox

EVE Online
EVE Online developer CCP has released an official statement regarding real-life harassment in the wake of the sandbox title's latest brouhaha.

CCP Falcon says that the company, in collaboration with the player-powered Council of Stellar Management, "have agreed and would like to state in the strongest possible terms and in accordance with our existing Terms of Service and End User License Agreement, that real life harassment is morally reprehensible, and verifiable examples of such behavior will be met with disciplinary action against game accounts in accordance with our Terms of Service."

The forum post also states that "the freedom to scam and commit piracy, espionage, and extortion are all fundamental to the EVE Online experience, and CCP will never change that."

[Thanks Pierre!]

Guild Wars 2 reworks PvP with its major April update

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

Do you hate this PvP gear?  Then so do I!  Hit the road, gear!  Ever seen a man say goodbye to gear before?
As of April 15th, Guild Wars 2 will have no more PvP gear. None. Your appearance in PvP will be the same as it is in WvW and PvE, and you'll enjoy complete statistical parity with everyone else on the battlefield. That's one of the biggest takeaways from the game's latest development blog, but it's hardly the only one. PvP is seeing a major overhaul like everything else, and it ties directly into more rewarding experiences via the new reward tracks.

The reward tracks set down a series of objectives for players to accomplish by taking part in PvP, with several smaller rewards along the way and a big bonus at the end. There are also rotating dungeon reward tracks, allowing players to unlock dungeon skins and rewards by taking part in PvP challenges, ensuring that you can unlock what you want through the game mode that you like the most. For more details, as well as a look at the upcoming PvP build interface and other changes, take a gander at the full development blog.

RIFT opens up player PvP dimensions

Fantasy, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

This move is in no way meant to interact with WildStar's Warplots.  We don't know what those are.  We've never heard of WildStar.  In fact, we were out of town.  What's new?
Do you like instanced PvP but hate being subject to the PvP maps that the game's designers have put together? Maybe you have an idea for an even better map in RIFT, one that would really give even veteran players a run for their money. Good news, then: Now you can go ahead and make that map a reality with the addition of player PvP dimensions to the game's cash shop.

PvP dimensions are available as part of two-team or three-team Starter Packs, or they can be purchased individually. These maps also give you access to another personal dimension, but their real purpose is letting you build custom maps with the use of scoreboards, damage areas, invisible tiles, and plenty of other tricks to create a truly memorable experience. If you've ever wanted to design an MMO battleground like an old DOOM deathmatch arena, you can go ahead and get started crafting your ideal arena now.

The Elder Scrolls Online announces PvP campaign names

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription, MMORPG

If you're hoping to get organized for mass PvP in The Elder Scrolls Online, then there's good news for you today, as ZeniMax has just announced the names of the PvP campaigns that will be available across the game's megaservers. You can choose your home campaign at level 10, and each one will track progress separately and be available on both US and EU megaservers. The campaign names will be familiar to Elder Scrolls vets:
Bloodthorn, Scourge, Chrysamere, Auriel's Bow, Wabbajack, Volendrung, Skull Crusher, Dawnbreaker, Goldbrand, Hopesfire
ZeniMax also reminded players that they can use the beta client for the final game rather than reinstall. You can begin patching in prep for early access as of today.

WildStar hosts a PvP AMA

Betas, Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

We've got knife fights, gun fights, sword fights, insult fights, even dance fights!  Ever been in a dance fight?  It's energetic!  Try it out.
Are you ready to fight for your faction in WildStar? Are you eager to feel blood and gore and guts and veins in your teeth? Then you're probably all eager to jump into the game's PvP. We've hosted some previews, but you probably still have questions, and that's why the PvP design team took to Reddit to host a PvP AMA. While the team couldn't answer every question posed by players, you can go on over and find out a lot more about how facing off against your opposite numbers will feel.

Some of it is probably expected, like the fact that there will be no cross-factional communication during battlegrounds. Other pieces of information are a bit more interesting. For instance, the developers haven't placed much emphasis on open-world PvP for launch, mostly because they want to see what areas are the most densely populated in terms of PvE content, which will give a good idea of what can be made more interesting with PvP. Take a look at the full AMA for more details on how you can smash faces against your enemies when the game goes live in a couple of months.

Nightmare Supes coming to Infinite Crisis on April 9

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

Infinite Crisis Supermen
Nightmare Superman is coming to Infinite Crisis on April 9th! Turbine's latest press release explains how the Man of Steel defeated a Phantom Zone beastie named Aethyr "but was infested with unearthly Phantom Zone energy in the process."

Nightmare Supes is a Controller who harnesses Phantom Zone energy to hinder enemies and help allies. You probably want to see him in action, though, right? Fortunately for you we've embedded his new trailer just past the cut.

[Source: Turbine press release]

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