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Sci-Fi

PlanetSide 2 video takes you into the thick of the war

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, PlanetSide 2

PS2
SOE has posted a new episode of its PlanetSide 2 War Correspondent series, this time showing a battle in the Indar and Amerish zones. Presented as a faux news report shot on locale, the video showcases some of the brutal ambushes and sieges that the game has to offer.

You can check out the full report after the jump!

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Transformers Universe shows off Catapult and Shellshock

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Transformers Universe, MOBA

More Arcee than Arcee.
Two new warriors are being shown off by Transformers Universe today. First on the list is Catapult, an Autobot sniper with a penchant for long-ranged abilities. Catapult's core arsenal depends upon her long-range sniper rifle and electro-cloud launcher, but she also carries a shotgun for backup in close-range combat. She also heals nearby Autobots slightly each time she manages to take a Decepticon off-line, making her ranged support that much more helpful to her allies in the fray.

On the other side of the coin is Shellshock, a massive Decepticon warrior covered in heavy armor and wielding a pair of cannons and an axe. His two cannons focus on dealing shield damage or spark damage, while his axe allows him to carve up and knock down nearby enemies. Shellshock also heals nearby allies when he downs an opponent, making this behemoth a force to be reckoned with in closer engagements. To see a glimpse of both characters in action, check out the videos past the break.

[Source: Jagex press release]

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Funcom yanks mankini costume from The Secret World

Horror, Sci-Fi, The Secret World, Humor, Buy-to-Play

TSW
Players who logged in this week to The Secret World might have noticed that there was a new male costume option in the game store: a neon green mankini that covered very, very little. However, those who purchased said mankini discovered the costume gone today, as Funcom pulled the April Fools' Day outfits from characters' dressing rooms, refunded the points spent on them, and gave each previous owner a free mystery box.

While there was no explanation as to why the outfit was removed, Funcom apologized for the handling of the joke on the forums: "You may or may not be aware, but the mankini was removed. Anyone that purchased the item has been refunded points and has received a mystery box for the inconvenience. However, if you had purchased points in order to buy the mankini, you can contact customer service for a refund of those points. We're terribly sorry for the trouble, folks. Our CS staff will be happy to help."

The Stream Team: Returning to my Exile roots in WildStar

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Video, Livestream, WildStar, The Stream Team

She couldn't hack it: Masssively's MJ just wasn't cut out to be Dominion, so during this WildStar beta weekend, she's returning to her Exile roots. She'll be bounding across Nexus with a spring in her step, searching for adventure on her Esper and hoping to right the wrongs of the universe (read: Dominion). Join us live at 3:15 p.m. to start your beta weekend off with a bounce... er, a bang!

Game: WildStar
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Friday, April 4th, 2014
Time: 3:15 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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SWTOR 'make good' double XP weekend starts April 11

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR cantina
BioWare is hosting what it calls a "make good" double XP weekend in Star Wars: The Old Republic starting on April 11th. Community manager Eric Musco posted the details yesterday on the game's official forums, where he explained that the event is intended as a goodwill gesture due to the problems some players experienced with double XP in the Kuat Drive Yards flashpoint.

[Thanks Dengar!]

CCP introduces EVE's newest buddy program and rewards

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Business Models, News Items, Sandbox

As part of its ongoing initiative to "reduce the barriers for players joining -- and rejoining -- EVE Online," CCP Games has today revealed the latest version of EVE's buddy program, dubbed the Recall Program. Under the new plan, current EVE subbers will be able to send out seven-day game passes to their friends whose accounts have lain dormant for six months.

What's in it for existing players, other than the comforting camaraderie of BFFs in a cutthroat space sandbox? If your invitees resub, you can claim not-necessarily-exclusive rewards, up to three per month, including new clothing, a cosmetic ship skin blueprint for the Mackinaw Exhumer, and PLEX.

Star Trek Online shows off new head options for Season 9

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

It's good to see that lizard people and cave-dwelling mutants are getting more equal representation.
The character creator in Star Trek Online is pretty robust, but it has its limitations. There are only so many complexion options and only so many head shapes, and trying to create certain looks took an extraordinary amount of effort. So it's good news for all captains that Season 9 will bring with it a far more robust character creation setup with three new head shapes and three new complexions for everyone.

It all started with bringing Tuvok into the game; creating a model that matched Tim Russ' actual face required the creation of a framework that segued naturally into more robust player options. It also gave the team an excuse to redo facial textures that had always been seen as problematic, replacing them with slightly higher-resolution versions that have better mapping. Take a look at the full development blog for more details on the process as well as a closer look at what can be done with the new options.

WildStar LEGO rocket house landing at PAX East

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), WildStar, Subscription

WildStar
If the Venn diagram of your interests overlaps at "loves LEGO" and "looking forward to WildStar," then boy howdy will PAX East appeal to you.

Carbine Studios has commissioned a LEGO artist (yes, that is a real thing) to create a massive 50,000-piece rocket house for PAX East's main lobby. This ship will be donated to Child's Play with $10,000 after the convention, and a smaller version of the LEGO rocket house will be given away to one fan who pre-orders WildStar while there.

WildStar will be at booth #562 during the show.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]

Star Wars: The Old Republic Update 2.7 invading on April 8th

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

SWTOR
The invasion is coming! The invasion is coming! Break out your lightsabers and rev up your starfighter because Star Wars: The Old Republic is releasing Update 2.7: Invasion on Tuesday, April 8th.

The title of Update 2.7 comes from two "invasion" flashpoints on Tython and Korriban, as well as the events in a new level 55 story arc. Players will be invading the Jedi and Sith home worlds while investigating mysteries in enemy territory.

The update also contains some PvP action, including a new Quesh Huttball experience and the Denon Exosphere space battle. The excitement for 2.7 now comes in video form, so check it out.

Defiance throws an extended anniversary celebration

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), MMOFPS, Defiance, Anniversaries, Buy-to-Play

Defiance
Today is Defiance's one-year anniversary and Trion is pulling out all of the stops to celebrate... twice.

Defiance will host a global boost to XP gain, skill gain, and loot drops from Wednesday, April 2nd, at 3:00 p.m. EST through Thursday, April 3rd, at the same time. The studio acknowledged that some people can't play during the week, so this global boost will be re-activated from Friday, April 4th, at 3:00 p.m. EST and continue through Monday, April 7th, at the same time.

Star Citizen updates backers on progress in March

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

It looks like it's loaded for bear.  But there are few bears in space.
Eagerly anticipating Star Citizen? Then you'll be happy to see that the latest development update from the team is now live, focusing on the many projects in development for the game. At the top of the list, of course, is the much-anticipated dogfighting module, which has dominated the attention of all departments. The update goes to great lengths to try and show off just what has been the result of the extra time and effort sunk into the module as a whole.

The dogfighting HUD has been revised to ensure that a great deal of information is accessible without cluttering the display. There's also been a push to improve the visuals on the ships, making them look more realistic and detailed when in motion. And that's not getting into the other work being done in fields like personal weaponry... but you don't have to take our word for it. Take a look at the March progress update and see for yourself.

Ex-Red 5 staffers blast Mark Kern's 'destructive' behavior

Sci-Fi, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Firefall

Mark Kern
If you wondered what was going on behind the scenes of Red 5 Studios turbulent past year, then a new exposé on Game Front might illuminate you.

Anonymous former employees of the Firefall studio allegedly came forward to spill the beans about mass layoffs, questionable decisions, and ex-CEO Mark Kern's erratic behavior. One person said that Kern's constantly shifting decisions caused severe stress on the team: "Months of work would be thrown out simply because he would change his mind, or he would have another 'revolutionary' idea."

Another anonymous ex-staffer said that Kern was worse than that: "When he did get involved in the production of the game itself he was simply destructive. He would swoop in one afternoon and berate a series of features several teams had spent months on, declaring they begin again and LISTEN to what he told them to do. He'd be back in a few days to see if it was done. This crushed morale, and forced people into spontaneous, isolated crunch mode. He would shout and scream his perspectives."

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip! Part three of the expose is now live as well.]

Player Studio goes international in Landmark and more this spring

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Economy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Consoles, MMOFPS, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Player-Generated Content, Landmark

You've already seen a number of the amazing player-designed creations in Landmark; come Spring, you will be able to own some as well! SOE has announced that Player Studio will be live in the sandbox game on or before May 1st, 2014. But the even bigger news is that Player Studio will expand internationally for all the studio's games that support it!

Designers in select regions outside the United States will be able to submit items for consideration to be sold to their peers in EverQuest, EverQuest II, and PlanetSide 2 as well as Landmark. Approved items will then be added to the marketplace and the creators will make a real-life profit from each sale. In Landmark, Player Studio is a vehicle by which players will submit templates for various building contests, and winners could see their creations end up in EverQuest Next.

[Source: SOE press release]

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Star Trek Online shows off a revamp to player kits

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

Hooray for fabrications!
Kits are your main method for grabbing ground combat abilities in Star Trek Online. You equip a kit and you're good to go. Despite that, they're also rather limited, as there are a limited number of different kit types and each kit of a given type contains a very set number of abilities. Season 9 is thus deploying an extensive overhaul of the kit system, allowing players to build the sorts of kits that they want to use in a more flexible framework.

The core of the system is simple. Abilities are split into two categories for each profession: Assault and Strategic for Tactical, Medical and Research for Science, and Fabrication and Mechanic for Engineering. Kits will become frameworks that contain skill bonuses as well as slots to equip abilities, with each slot allowing any skill within a given category. For more details on how the new kits can be acquired and how the flexibility will benefit players, take a look at the full development blog.

EVE Online plans drone renaissance

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

EVE
EVE Online is giving much-needed love to its drones come this summer, and a new dev blog posted today has all of the copious details. "There are several aspects of drone balance that are not yet up to our current standards," the devs posted. "In the summer release we will be implementing a wide ranging balance rework for drones of all sizes."

The changes will include balancing drones between the different empires, between quality levels, and between drone sizes. There will also be modifications made to drone skills and sentry drones.

These changes will also impact skills and modules for fighters and fighter bombers. After the update, these "larger drones" will have reduced base damage and can only be hosted 10 at a time on a supercarrier instead of 20.

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