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Sci-Fi

StarCraft II: An MMO player's perspective

Sci-Fi, PvP, Hands-On, MMORTS, Buy-to-Play

StarCraft II
StarCraft is of immense importance to the world of online gaming. It's one of the franchises responsible for establishing Blizzard Entertainment as a titan (get it!?) of the games industry. It serves, for many, as the ideal example of what an RTS game should aspire to be. And it was among the first titles to transcend one-off competitions and contests to become a global e-sport featuring pros who make the big bucks and events watched by millions.

Without StarCraft, there would be no Dota 2, no League of Legends, perhaps no SMITE or Infinite Crisis. The MOBA niche, now one of the most profitable areas of online gaming, might not exist if not for the original StarCraft's custom three-lane Aeon of Strife map. StarCraft and its sequel, StarCraft II, represent the quintessential essence of small-scale online warfare.

As a fan of MOBAs and an ardent lover of clicking things quickly, I took a spin in StarCraft II in an effort to better understand the foundation of the games I enjoy. What I discovered was a difficult, punishing game that demands your full attention and gives you plenty of reasons to keep coming back.

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E-thugs target Destiny with DDoS attacks

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

This seems like the exact opposite of worthwhile discourse on the quality of a game.
Destiny has been made the target of a round of DDoS attacks, coming from the same group that previously took credit for executing a similar attack against Sony Online Entertainment and a bomb threat on John Smedley's plane (among other harassment). Players were told that the game was facing issues with logging in and matchmaking across the board, but Bungie declined to elaborate further at the time; the tweet on the matter has since been deleted. Our sister site Joystiq reports that the servers are up again.

Hacker group Lizard Squad has taken credit for taking parts of the game offline, an attack which also affected Call of Duty: Ghosts. Congratulations are in order for Destiny, since nothing says you've arrived like people taking down your servers as part of a petty show of power.

This EVE LEGO ship will rock you like a hurricane

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

Imgur user Dinklebob has uploaded pics of his latest LEGO creation, an homage to EVE Online's Hurricane battlecruiser. The project is currently in-progress, according to Kotaku, and it even features a drone bay filled with cute widdle LEGO drones.

Elite: Dangerous beta 2 coming September 30

Betas, Sci-Fi, Giveaways, Anniversaries, Elite: Dangerous

elite
Those cockpits weren't meant to look fresh off the factory floor forever; it's time to take Elite: Dangerous' ships out for another tour of duty. Frontier announced that beta 2 for Elite: Dangerous will begin on September 30th.

This round of testing is being promoted as a great improvement on the last, with combat ratings, reputations, 500 new star systems, and the Lakon Asp Explorer ship added to the mix. The team is still on track for a late 2014 release for the space sim, but in the meanwhile Frontier is giving away free copies of the original Elite as part of the franchise's 30th anniversary celebration.

[Source: Frontier press release]

EVE wormholes getting visual makeover with Oceanus

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

Ready for another Oceanus-focused EVE Online dev diary? We hope so, because that's the subject of this here post. Wormhole space is getting a visual update in the sci-fi sandbox's next content drop, and CCP details the discussions that led up to the decision as well as the particulars of the decision itself in the blog.

As you might expect, there are also a number of pretty screenshots.

Star Trek Online explains the Voyager MSD redesign

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

With this much attention to detail, you would think that the powers that be could ensure that the same button fires all weapons from one week to the next.
If you're even passingly familiar with the various Star Trek shows, you'll recognize the MSD. It shows up on the bridge of every single Federation ship, offering a detailed breakdown of what is where for eagle-eyed viewers. Star Trek Online's next expansion is bringing the game into the Delta Quadrant, the stomping grounds of the eponymous USS Voyager, so it was only fair that the Intrepid-class MSD could get a nice new redesign to reflect the years of upgrades that the ship has received.

The new MSD represents a much clearer picture of the ship from the series, with several elements improved to more accurately reflect in-show layouts and incorporating modifications made after Voyager's maiden flight such as the airponics bay. Take a look at the full development blog for a closer look at how much work has gone into what seems like a little detail but still forms a vital part of the aesthetics.

Watch the fourth EVE Online video in the Clarion Call series

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Opinion, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Subscription

EVE
Back in 2009, player corporation Rooks and Kings produced an EVE Online video called Clarion Call: Triage Special, which went viral among space MMO enthusiasts and had a profound influence on PvP tactics in the game. Clarion Call 2 and 3 were released to similar acclaim, and now a fourth installment has arrived. The lushly illustrated, hour-long Clarion Call 4 narrates one perspective of modern EVE tactical history with footage and sound from individual pivotal battles. Don't worry if you're not an EVE aficionado; it's accessible even for a newbie. Just be warned that some of the language and terminology is graphic. Enjoy the video below.

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New burner missions scrap nearly 20,000 EVE Online ships, CCP happy with results

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

eve
CCP is "extremely happy" with the positive player reception of EVE Online's new burner missions that came in Hyperion. The studio said that the high level of difficulty in these missions was intentional in order to challenge the playerbase, and cited a bloodbath of 19,962 destroyed player ships as of September 14th as proof. The cost of the lost ships has topped 870 billion ISK so far.

Due to the embrace of these missions, CCP is prepping a new batch of burner missions for September 30th. These new burners, believe it or not, will be even tougher than the current ones, working in teams of three against players. CCP will be putting these missions on the test servers later this week.

Forumgoers speculate on the name of SWTOR's next expansion

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

So Obviously Revan
Forum poster Jerba explored the files posted on the official teaser page for the next Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion... and may just have stumbled on its name. Without any datamining or any breach of EULA, he found three files with the initials SOR in the filenames (SORTeaser_854x480.jpg, SORTeaser_550x120.jpg, and gt_sor_FINAL_US.mp4).

Forumgoers speculate that it stands for "Shadow of Revan," although some runners up are "Spawn of Revan" or "Shroud of Revan." Unfortunately, BioWare is not commenting on the name just yet, but that gives players room to continue speculating. Maybe it's "Same Old Revan" or "So, Obviously Revan."

Look for more information regarding the new expansion later this month.

Star Trek Online's Delta Rising arrives October 14th

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Crafting, Subscription

Have you tried reversing the polarity though.
Cryptic has just announced that Star Trek Online's Delta Rising expansion will be released on October 14th, 2014. As previously discussed, it will not only raise the level cap but jump into Voyager story space with new territory and famous figures from the franchise.

Developers have also released a new dev blog detailing equipment in the expansion. One of the simple rules of existence is that when Delta Rising goes live, a lot of your old equipment in Star Trek Online is going to be a lot less relevant. There's no way around it. A jump in the level cap that leads to Mark XIV equipment naturally makes Mark XI stuff less potent by comparison. But rather than forcing you to earn a whole new set of loot, the expansion's upgrade system for gear should allow you to take an old favorite and bring it up to par. Players can buy, trade, or craft upgrade kits, which add a certain number of tech points to an item being upgraded. Once enough tech points are acquired, a small dilithium fee is paid and the item can be upgraded to the next rank, possibly increasing in quality along the way. For more details on how to accelerate the procedure, check out the full blog entry; it looks as if you won't have to say farewell to all of your old equipment after all.

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WildStar's housing gets huge with Drop 3

Sci-Fi, Video, Patches, Previews, Housing, Subscription

wildstar
Housing fanatics (including those eternal level 14s) in WildStar have great reason to cheer for the upcoming Drop 3. Carbine Studios is giving a ton of love to the player housing system, including a huge expansion of how many items can be placed.

In yesterday's Nexus Report, the team answered many housing questions and outlined some of the big changes coming with Drop 3. When it hits, players will be able to place up to 1,000 decor items both indoors and outdoors, which is an increase from the current 300 exterior and 800 interior limits. Other improvements include musical selection, more lights, separate sharing privileges for gardens, and a blank housing choice. The team has also been discussing new base terrains and the ability to move FABkits around.

We've got the full video for you after the break, so chow down!

[Thanks to Greg for the tip!]

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Choose My Adventure: Exploring exploration via Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Polls, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Being an explorer is overrated. Sure, Lewis and Clark are remembered as bold adventurers who set out across the untamed American west, charting charts and mapping maps and becoming famous along the way. It's less memorable that the expedition frequently feasted on dogs, slept with more locals than a touring indie rock band, and included at least one accidental butt shooting. In other words, between an explorer and fame there lies a whole lot of gristle.

Last week, Choose My Adventure voters set me on the exploration path in Frontier Development's Elite: Dangerous. While exploration hasn't yet been implemented as a viable career, it's still a thing you can do just because you feel like doing it. It's also a pretty great way to see your life end in a cacophony of flames and shrapnel or to find yourself staring at a map in complete and utter confusion.

Still, it beats roasting a Labrador and passing it around the campfire.

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Latest EVE dev blog outlines notifications in Oceanus

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

CCP's latest dev blog details another feature coming in EVE Online's September 30th's Oceanus update. That feature is notifications, which "will give you feedback and information about all the deadly, creative, regretful, and/or awesome things your characters are doing in New Eden."

Notifications are sort of a pre-cursor to EVE's eventual new player experience revamp, with the end goal being a more user-friendly sandbox and a removal of the current tutorial in favor of "a more open-ended experience."

The Stream Team: Black market dealings in Elite: Dangerous

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, PvE, Massively Meta, Hands-On, Livestream, Sandbox, The Stream Team, Elite: Dangerous, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

Elite: Dangerous
Massively's Mike Foster has spent the last two weeks investigating the friendlier and more legal areas of Frontier Developments' Elite: Dangerous. In tonight's stream, however, he'll be investigating the shady underbelly of Elite by attempting to take on (and complete) black market contracts for some of the game's less-than-honorable individuals. Choose My Adventure's voters have spoken; it's time for Mike to get his hands dirty.

Will he end up blown to bits by overzealous federal ships? Or can he make a career as one of Elite's next great outlaws? Tune in at 7:00 p.m. EDT to find out.

Game: Elite: Dangerous
Host: Mike Foster
Date: Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Firefall patch 1.1 brings elemental destruction

Sci-Fi, Patches, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Firefall

firefall
A major new update has gone live for Firefall, bringing with it new types of weapons and weapon damage types.

As the name suggests, Patch 1.1: Elemental Destruction is all about ways to unleash different elements upon enemies to bring about their ruin. The update's newest weapons are the plasma flak cannon and bio injector, however even older weapons can get new modifiers to change their damage type. The additional weapon modifiers include thermal, flaming thermal, bioactive, virulent bioactive, electrical, charged electrical, beam, laser beam, microplasma, and emissive microplasma. Even grenade launchers have gotten love with new ways to throw out explosives in a spread or cluster.

Patch 1.1 also adds five dynamic encounters, two new ARES job boards, and a hardcore version of Kanaloa the Destroyer.

Check out Massively's previous in-depth look at the new weapon types of Patch 1.1.

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