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Sci-Fi

Get a 3-D virtual preview of Skyforge's Naori Island

Betas, Sci-Fi, Previews, Free-to-Play, Skyforge

If a picture is valued at a thousand words, how much is an interactive panorama worth?

That's a question that you might just have to answer yourself when you check out this jaw-dropping gorgeous tableau of Naori Island from Skyforge. Naori Island is a tropical resort that got caught up in the war, leaving it scarred yet still beautiful.

You can check out the interactive 3-D screenshot of the island on the game's official website, which allows you to scope out the key landmarks and warm visuals all around you.

Here's everything new and noteworthy in EVE's Rhea patch

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

Still wondering what's under the hood of EVE Online's Rhea patch? You must've missed all those CCP dev blogs, then. In any case, wonder no more, thanks to this newly released video that takes you on a tour of the sci-fi sandbox's newest features including PBR rendering, the new Thera system, 100 new wormhole systems, and more.

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SWTOR releases Shadow of Revan trailer to celebrate official launch

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Launches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR
Early access for Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan expansion technically opened last week, but for non-subscribers, the formal digital launch date is today. Predictably, BioWare has released a new trailer to coincide with the official launch. Spoilers: Revan, lightsabers, ominous proclamations, etc.

Massively's Larry Everett explored the plotline and soloability of the expansion in his column last week. Enjoy the trailer below.

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Carbine's Chad Moore on WildStar's fresh focus on lore

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Lore, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Sure, you could make some jokes about corresponding events, but that just seems like a series of cheap shots.
There's a big focus on WildStar's lore recently. Aside from the big lore drops, dubbed "Loremageddon" by Carbine Studios, the game's official site has begun releasing a series of short stories detailing important moments in the game's history, from the first space voyage of the Cassian people to dealing with the Genesis Prime now. That's a lot of storytelling, the sort that should be continuing on well into next year.

We had a chance to sit down and ask a few questions of creative director Chad Moore regarding what we've seen thus far for the game and what the goals are with this renewed focus on the game's setting and story. If you'd like to know a little more about the setting and what players can expect from the ongoing history lesson, check out the interview just past the break. There's also a new story available today detailing the first contact between the Cassians and the Eldan.

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Destiny: The Dark Below is live today [Updated: Crota has already been defeated]

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

So not such good news if you bought an Xbox One, although if you bought an Xbox One you're probably used to bad news.
Destiny isn't leaving players in the dark today; the game is actively sending players into the dark. Why? Because The Dark Below launches today, bringing along with it updates and expansions for several parts of the game along with some exclusive content for players who buy early and/or play on a PlayStation system.

The new content includes a new raid, three new competitive arena maps, new loot, new story missions, and another cooperative Strike. Players who purchase before January 15th, 2015, will also receive an exclusive vehicle, and PlayStation players get a special shotgun and access to an additional Strike exclusive to the platform. So if you're ready to start shooting the Hive in the darkest places you can think of, jump in today; we've placed the trailer just after the break.

[Source: Bungie press release]

[Update: Aaaaaaand the new raid has already been beaten.]

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Not So Massively: Hearthstone's expansion, The Crew's launch, and Dead Island: Epidemic's beta

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Expansions, Launches, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warplanes, MOBA, League of Legends, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Hearthstone

NSM - Hearthstone
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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CCP dev blog talks PBR and 'making EVE look real'

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

Have you ever wondered about the math behind the visuals in your favorite games? If so, look no further than the latest EVE Online dev blog, which regales us with tales of the Phong Reflection Model and how it's giving way to something called Physically Based Rendering or PBR.

The post features a bunch of equations, literally, and plenty of associated smart-person talk. Fortunately for me it also features quite a few pretty pics of internet spaceships! You can read it for yourself via the links below.

Destiny's 10-year plan includes character-hopping to sequels

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, MMOFPS, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

destiny
The strange approach of Destiny that has the game with one foot squarly planted in MMO territory and one firmly in the realm of standard console shooters has never been illustrated as strongly as in this story from IGN.

In the interview, Bungie said that players will be able to save and import characters and progress between Destiny and a proposed sequel while ignoring how MMOs simply build upon game worlds so that importing isn't necessary. One of the devs even expressed the revelation that players tend to form attachments to their avatars: "If you take a look at the way people have played other games for a long period of time, they've had a relationship with the same character for a very long time."

Bungie said it has "a 10-year plan for the expansion and evolution of this franchise."

PlanetSide 2 opens beta signups for PlayStation 4

Betas, Sci-Fi, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

Elsewhere, in a dirty and nearly empty bar, DUST 514 demands another shot of whiskey before falling off of its bar stool.
It's been a while since PlanetSide 2 fans have heard much about the game making the leap to the next generation of console hardware. But that's changing today, as the game has opened closed beta signups for testing its PlayStation 4 version. As always, the closed beta signup is no assurance that you'll actually get to test the game, but it does mean that it's closer than ever to being a reality. Signups currently require nothing more than an email address, although it's probably a good idea to have a PSN ID beforehand. (And a PS4.)

The last word on the beta was that it should be coming before the end of the year, according to creative director Matt Higby. We'll keep hopeful players posted as we get more information.

Borderlands Online confirmed for a Chinese release

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, MMOFPS, Post-Apocalyptic, Miscellaneous

So this is the world we live in now, wherein a franchise that was Diablo but guns is now branching into totally different directions.  This world is a fat lot of nonsense.
Remember that crazy rumor from last week that Borderlands was going to be an MMO? It was so crazy and unbelievable you just had to laugh. It was also completely true, and it's now confirmed that Borderlands Online will be coming to China, published by Shanda Games and developed by Gearbox. There are no apparent plans to bring the game to the US.

Four classes will be available in Borderlands Online: Warrior, Ranger, Wizard, and Berserker. The game is planned for a release in 2015; a mobile title is also in development, although it's unclear whether it will be a tie-in to the online game or a port of an existing title. So, yes, that crazy rumor was apparently right on the money.

EVE Evolved: The Sleepers are coming!

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Previews, PvE, Opinion, Hands-On, Roleplaying, EVE Evolved, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Evolved title image
Ever since the announcement of 100 new wormhole systems and the unique Thera wormhole hub system, some interesting things have been going on in EVE Online. A new star appeared in the night sky and began rapidly growing in brightness like a supernova, and curiously, the light from that star was able to be seen from every star system in New Eden simultaneously in clear violation of the laws of physics. Two days prior to the event, Sansha's Nation were seen scattering from an Incursion site and leaving the area without using wormholes, hinting that something big was happening in their home system. Combined with the intruiging story of Thera, this has had even non-roleplayers scrambling through the EVE lore to come up with theories about what's to come.

Players slowly set apart picking the mystery to pieces, conducting a galaxy-wide search to find the origin of the bright star and sending people into the test server to get clues. The mystery intensified when players discovered that the star was likely near or within restricted Jove space, and soon after they began finding strange cloaked structures throughout known space. While observing these structures, players even found that an all-new form of Sleeper NPC called the Circadian Seeker was periodically warping into the site and using some kind of scanning beam on the cloaked structure. All of this comes in anticipation of the public release of the Rhea patch on Tuesday 9th, which will introduce hidden Sleeper sites in known space and kick off the arms race to discover tech 3 destroyers.

In this lore-heavy edition of EVE Evolved, I look at everything we know of EVE's new Sleeper storyline event and try to figure out how it all fits together.

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Star Citizen's Hornet available to all backers this week

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

I'm a Star Citizen backer, but I didn't pledge enough to pilot the Anvil Hornet prior to launch. Thanks to Cloud Imperium, though, I'll be flying it in Arena Commander anyway, at least for the next week. The Hornet has been unlocked for all backers, according to a posting on the game's website.

"The Hornet is the civilian version of the F7A Hornet flown off of the elite Bengal carrier vanguard of the UEE Navy," CIG explains. "It may not be the prettiest ship but it is the go-to short range fighter due to Anvil's sturdy design and ability to take as much punishment as it can dish out."

In other SC news, Chris Roberts published another Letter from the Chairman last night which includes tidbits on multicrew ships, modular ship design, and exterior customization options.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic axes skill training costs

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

swtor
SWTOR penny-pinchers rejoice, for the oppressive tyranny of skill costs are about to become history. In a post on the forums this afternoon, BioWare announced that it will be abandoning skill training costs as of next week.

"One thing has become clear from the player feedback in not only this thread, but since launch: players do not like training costs. It is a situation where every level you will see your hard earned credits go to a holographic Hutt doctor in order to make yourself a bit stronger. We have been talking about this topic internally for quite some time and when you add player feedback to the mix one thing becomes clear... We should make training costs a thing of the past," the studio said.

[Thanks to the five million people who sent this tip in!]

EVE Online's Rhea update launches with photo-realistic spaceships

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Patches, Previews, Sandbox

eve
The many sleek and styling spaceships of EVE Online are about to get a visual upgrade with today's Rhea update, thanks to something called physically-based rendering. By applying this tech, spaceships will have "a natural, photo-realistic look."

Of course, when it comes to visuals, they must be seen or they didn't happen. So see! After the break, that is. CCP says that this new tech will be initially limited to spaceships but eventually will be used on stations and other space objects. You can also check out the patch notes for Rhea as well.

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Frontier teases Elite: Dangerous trailer, gives away old-school Elite for Mac

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Promotions, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Elite: Dangerous

Frontier has published newsletter #52 for Elite: Dangerous. It contains a bit of lore, a sneak peek at the game's newest trailer, and a nifty offer for Mac users in the form of the original 1984 Elite game.

It's free, and all you need to do is log into Frontier's store, put the title in your cart, and check out. If you're currently playing the Elite: Dangerous Gamma or you're planning to play at launch later this month, don't forget to peruse the newsletter's comm chatter section to see how your fellow pilots are flying.

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