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Sci-Fi

Star Citizen's latest patch adds ESP, improves control

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

Cloud Imperium has officially released version 0.9.2 of Star Citizen's Arena Commander. It's kind of a big deal thanks to something that the company is dubbing ESP, or Enhanced Stick Precision. CIG's Chris Roberts explains how this latest version of the alpha software, which combines ESP with significant changes to the ITTS and HUD systems, comes the closest so far to achieving "the level of control and sense of dogfighting that I had in my head when I first pictured how space combat should feel back when I started the journey that is Star Citizen."

The latest patch also doubles the size of Arena's Commander's maps. You can read the full patch notes here.

CIG also unveiled the Drake Herald this afternoon. Be sure to click the web page's decrypt button to see all the details.

[Thanks Cardboard!]

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade announces $15 pioneer founder packs

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, News Items, Free-to-Play, Warhammer 40k, Miscellaneous

Warhammer 40k Eternal Crusade
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade has just announced a new founder pack option, the pioneer pack. Pre-order founder packs running from $40 to $450 went live last June, but the newly announced pioneer packs cost only $15. They're aimed squarely at gamers "who want to contribute to the founder's program [...] without as much of an investment," says Behaviour Online's Miguel Caron.

The game's planned hybrid model will restrict free-to-play gamers to the Ork Boyz faction. Pioneer packs "extend the Ork experience" with perks including an Ork-only character slot, 15,000 RTP, badges, gear, and the opportunity to pay for access to the game module planned for early 2015.

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Trove plans open beta for November 5th

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Classes, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Trove

trove
Step by blocky step, Trove is working its way toward release. Next week, the colorful sandbox will reach another milestone as it goes into open beta on Wednesday, November 5th.

Trion Worlds announced the upcoming transition today along with one happy fact: There will be no wipes from closed beta. The studio also mentioned that the game's sixth class, the Candy Barbarian (seriously), will be coming "soon."

Trove transitioned from alpha to beta testing late in September.

EVE Online uses jump fatigue to discourage long-distance travel

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

eve
Hold your horses, space buckaroo. Where do you think you're going so fast?

EVE Online is preparing to deliberately slow down pilots with the introduction of jump fatigue in the upcoming Phoebe patch. Jump fatigue adds a timer following a jump that must be endured until the next jump is allowed. According to a dev blog (that includes an appendix!) on the subject, "This allows us to discourage people travelling longer distances using jump travel, while keeping penalties relatively light for tactical/occasional movement."

Another dev blog tackles the changes to invention and manufacturing that are planned with the patch. One big change is the merge of invention with reverse engineering, which comes with an algabraic forumla because spaceships and laser battles are not exciting enough on their own.

Star Trek Online introduces playable Talaxians, discounts lifetime sub

Sci-Fi, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Races, Promotions

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Big things are afoot in the Delta Quadrant, as Star Trek Online has not only added the Talaxians as a playable race but thrown them into the lifetime subscription package and then discounted that sub by $100 for a limited time.

From now through November 20th, the Star Trek Online lifetime sub can be bought for $199. This marks the player as an eternal gold member, with the Talaxian race, a ship upgrade token for Delta Rising, a monthly ZEN allowance, and other veteran rewards.

As for the Talaxians, players who pick one as a captain will not only have the honor of looking like Voyager's resident space hedgehog but also get access to two unique traits: salvage specialist and loyalty.

Line of Defense's Derek Smart recaps ongoing test phase

Betas, Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, News Items, MMOFPS, Dev Diaries

Line of Defense
3000AD's Derek Smart has penned a new Line of Defense developer blog outlining the current state of the MMOFPS title's early access test phase. Smart explains that more than half of the game's world stations have been opened to testers so far, with two more stations expected to open soon. The final four will unlock when aircraft are patched in.

Smart also says that his team is working on a public roadmap website so that players can track release progress and vote on new features. He thanks his testers for their patience with the "staggered" test schedule. " It is for the greater good," he writes. "Been doing this a very – very – long time, so you just have to trust that I know what I'm doing."

Earlier this fall, Line of Defense launched on Steam's early access program, but an error allowed the public to download the game without paying for a founder's pack, leading to negative reviews when the games were confiscated and eliciting a fiery response from Smart.

Halloween goes live in Anarchy Online

Sci-Fi, Anarchy Online, Events (In-Game), Patches, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

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Halloween is officially a "go!" for Anarchy Online, which brings back the seasonal festivities as well as the sinister Uncle Pumpkin Head.

In an October development update posted today, Gameplay Designer Henry Senger confirmed the start of the holiday. Senger said that there will be many varieties of returning Pumpkin Heads in the game, as well as an assault by the Entvined on Enigma Grove. Players can get cool loot not only by defeating these mobs but by merely logging in to claim several free items including a pumpkin helmet.

Anarchy Online recently installed a quality of life patch and confirms that testing is ongoing for the 18.7 update. "Once the Inferno Missions have been patched to Live, the majority of focus will shift back to 18.7, which includes, but is not limited to, the NPE and profession rebalance," Senger said.

CCP explains EVE's upcoming mission guidance system, CSM changes

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

CCP released another Phoebe-focused dev diary earlier today, this one detailing the new mission objective system coming to EVE Online next month. The firm is walking a fine line between general guidance and "brain-dead instructions to follow," and as such it is asking for feedback relative to how the new feature is presented in today's diary. It's a lengthy read, but you can also see the new system in action if you log onto EVE's Singularity test shard.

CCP has also delivered minutes from the Council of Stellar Management's summer summit earlier than expected. CCP Leeloo explains that the studio will make further changes to the CMS next year, starting with lengthening the winter summit and shortening the current CMS's term to better align with next year's Fanfest. Applications for CSM10 open on January 30th.

Elite: Dangerous' third beta is now live with new systems, ships, and interdiction mechanics

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Elite: Dangerous

Elite
After a brief technical delay, Elite: Dangerous' "Beta 3.00 is now available," declares a post on the official Frontier forums. The patch notes are extra long; new and updated features include new ships, player-driven interdiction, fuel scooping from stars, asteroid mining, visual overhauls to planets, philanthropy missions, and an expanded game map with now over 2400 systems. Frontier has also added hundreds of audio tweaks and bug fixes. Players have continued reporting stability issues with the new patch.

This episode of beta, like the phases before it, is exclusive to those who've pre-purchased the game and beta access. Massively's Mike Foster spent September playing the game in beta 1 and had enough fun to say that he "would happily recommend it" but for the beta price tag.

We've included the new beta 3 trailer below.

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Destiny's The Dark Below expansion launches December 9th

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Business Models, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Consoles, Dungeons, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Destiny
The Dark Below, Destiny's first expansion -- sorry, "Expansion I" -- releases on December 9th, Bungie announced today. What's in store for players?
  • New weapons, armour and gear
  • A new Light Level cap of 32 with 5 additional Bounty slots
  • New story quests and missions revolving around a new character Eris and the Hive
  • A new co-op Strike called The Will of Crota (with a second co-op Strike, The Undying Mind, exclusive to PlayStation gamers for a year)
  • Three new competitive multiplayer arenas: Pantheon, Skyshock, and The Cauldron
  • And a new six-player Raid called Crota's End.
Bungie says the expansion will cost £19.99 standalone or £34.99 for a bundle that includes this expansion plus Expansion II. We've included a few of the new screenshots and concept art pieces below.

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EVE video dev diary talks Phoebe features

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

CCP has published a new dev diary video focused on EVE Online's upcoming Phoebe release. The clip runs for nearly seven minutes and features a who's who of current EVE devs talking about various bits and pieces scheduled to hit Tranquility on November 14th.

Phoebe features nullsec travel tweaks, an unlimited skill queue, a revamped invention system, mission objective guidance, and more. Click past the cut to watch the dev diary!

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SWTOR brings back the Rakghoul event

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

swtor
What's both the most terrifying and exhilerating thing that could happen this Halloween? For Star Wars: The Old Republic players, it might just be the return of the Rakghoul Resurgence.

The event is currently live and will run for a week or so. There are a few tweaks to the popular event, such as two new housing decorations to purchase (because everyone wants a plague bulb in hers or his living room, right?) and a brand-new world boss to fight. Toxxun, the world boss, is located in Axial Park and drops a cute little plague pet.

Space strategy title AD2460 jumps into open beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, New Titles, Browser, Mobile, Subscription

ad2460
The stars and beyond are the limit for AD2460, a new science-fiction strategy MMO that just went into open beta this past week.

AD2460 places players in charge of a homeworld and space-faring fleets in an effort to research technology, conquer worlds, and form alliances. This so-called "WMMO" ("W" stands for "web-based") is playable in a PC browser as well as on tablets and capable smartphones. While developer Fifth Season welcomes any and all players into the open beta, it urged participants to log bug reports to help the title become more polished.

When it goes live, AD2460 will offer a 14-day trial followed by a subscription model of $1 a week. AD2460 is the spiritual successor to Fifth Season's Planetarion, and if you're interested, you can check out the story trailer after the break.

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The Otherland MMO has returned from the dead

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Otherland, Crowdfunding, Sunsets

Otherland
It appears that the Tad Williams-inspired cyberpunk Otherland MMO has a new lease on life.

The first version of Otherland was still in production back in March 2013, when developer RealU laid off most of its staff and work on the title ground to a halt. Now it seems Drago-Entertainment, a Polish outfit, has taken over the project and its assets, having launched a new website and Facebook page earlier in October with the declaration, "Otherland the MMO is back!" Drago-Entertainment was last in MMO news in April 2013 when it, perhaps not coincidentally, canceled its Kickstarter for a Grimlands MMO in favor of working with other investors. Both games were set to be published by Gamigo at the time.

According to posts on the forums, Otherland's closed beta has not yet begun, though a registration link is prominently displayed on the website.

[Many thanks to tipster Joe.]

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Star Citizen explains its ship design pipeline

Betas, Sci-Fi, Previews, News Items, Sandbox, Star Citizen

Not included: the part where it costs half a million to get the new ship added.
How does a ship for Star Citizen go from a vague concept to a functional design in the game? That's a great question! It's also one with a concrete answer, as a new official blog on the site explains the whole design pipeline process for new Star Citizen ships, starting with the highest level of concept and moving on to the level where the ship is ready for everyone to take into space.

The process is a fairly straightforward one, moving from initial renders and tweaks during the concept stages to having a specific internal layout and then a map of damage areas on the final model. You can also check out the blog for a complete listing of all the ships currently in planning and moving through the concept process. It's not an easy path to go from the idea to a full, working version of the ship, so if you want to get a more detailed look, check out the full breakdown.

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