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Quirky indie MMOFPS Hunternet boasts 700-player battles

Betas, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Game Mechanics, New Titles, PvP, News Items, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous

Hunternet
Indie developer Fernando Zapata of CPU Dreams is taking on a subgenre not often challenged by indies, the MMOFPS, but he doesn't seem daunted. In fact, his fledgling MMOFPS, Hunternet, can already handle 700 players on a map, more than PlanetSide 2 -- more "any other MMOFPS."

The video below includes footage from a Hunternet network stress test, with "700 clients spread across the cloud connected to a single dedicated server," a server where "players are not limited in their interaction by network culling as done in other large scale MMOs that spread out players and limit when you can see other players."

After two years in development, the game is in alpha, so placeholder art is seen throughout the tech demo video and screenshots. Zapata says he's revisited and rethought many genre tropes, like "controls, health, scoring, shooting, spawning, teamwork," along with more "mundane" bits like a scaling UI and integrated voice chat. The website welcomes tester signups from gamers who "embrace failure as an integral part of learning" and "value mechanics over aesthetics." Skip the signup, says the dev, if you think shooters must be ultra-realistic "big macho war fests."

Check out the alpha assets below, and notice we didn't use the word Kickstarter.

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Neverwinter resurrects its April Fools' Day event next week

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Roleplaying, Humor, Promotions, Neverwinter

Neverwinter
Nope, it's not April Fools' Day, but it's going to look like it next week in Neverwinter. Cryptic is reintroducing Respen's Marvelous Game, its 2014 April 1st event, from November 13th to November 17th. The minigame turns your character into a tabletop miniature that slides around the tabletop skirmish map as you collect special dice currency and other rewards. Massively's Justin Olivetti included the event in his roundup of the top 10 MMO pranks of all time.

The event's reprise leads into the launch of Neverwinter: Rise of Tiamat, which launches on November 18th. We've included pics of the event below![Source: Neverwinter press release]

Marvel Heroes' Juggernaut, multi-speccing, and upcoming story content

Super-hero, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Classes, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, OARPG

After a bit of a delay, Marvel Heroes fans saw the release of Juggernaut as a playable hero over the weekend. A new hero alone is enough for many players to dive in and try things out, but Juggernaut also comes with a power system unlike that of any other on the game's roster. To learn a little bit more about this villainous hero, we talked with Ryan Collins, Creative Designer and Community Manager of Gazillion, who also dished some details on the much anticipated multi-spec feature a well as upcoming story content.

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War Thunder prepares to roll out Steel Generals

Galleries, Screenshots, Patches, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Miscellaneous

And the train conductor says take a break, driver eight.
Do you enjoy being able to roll around on the ground in War Thunder while taking out anything on the business end of your tank's main guns? Good! The game's next update is giving you new ways to do just that. War Thunder: Steel Generals is due out by the end of the year and is aimed at spicing up the ground game with the addition of US military hardware to the game's lineup.

How many pieces of hardware, exactly? Try 30 new tanks and AA units from the appropriate time period. It's exactly the sort of update that can appeal to players who like the game so far but feel it just doesn't feature quite enough tanks. No specific release date has yet been announced, but it's due out before the end of the year, so you won't have to wait long to get your US-based tank on.

[Source: Gaijin Entertainment press release]

One Shots: Jolly pumpkins

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, City of Heroes, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, Miscellaneous

wow
Halloween may be over, but its spirit remains alive in MMOs! Alive, that is, as long as there are spooky locales to explore and a population that's more than willing to dress up in costume and face down the terrors that slip between the shadows.

Our friend David here may be taking Halloween at face value in World of Warcraft, but can you really blame him? He and his demonic minion look to be having a heck of a time. Plus, there's a whole-hearted embrace of a pumpkin motif that will be all but extict come December. Enjoy it while it lasts!

The rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots may not be creepy in the least, but they do all share the same jolly attitude that exists in this moment. In a world that brought back One Shots, really anything is possible!

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Get your first look at Star Citizen's FPS gameplay

Betas, Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Video, MMOFPS, Sandbox, Star Citizen

star citizen
Star Citizen's first-person shooter gameplay has often gone overlooked in its large (and mostly space-bound) features package, but this weekend it's been the star of the show at PAX Australia.

In a 10-minute demo, the devteam ran a four-player co-op mission through a dilapidated space station. Eurogamer notes that animations are synced between viewpoints and players, and that players can move their heads independent of their guns.

The FPS module is currently scheduled to be released (among other things) in 2015. You can get your first look at this combat in the screenshots and video 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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One Shots: Foot-in-Chest disease

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

tsw
I don't think a lot of us fantasize about the way that we're going to die. My philosophy is, if it must happen, it should be as cool as possible. I think that getting kicked off of the top of a speeding train after a penultimate boss fight would fit the bill. Of course, I'd probably rather be the one kicking than being kicked, especially if the kickee is a supernatural terrorist like this jerk.

Reader Jonathan shares our first screenshot of the week: "This is from the cutscene as I was finishing the Last Train to Cairo in The Secret World. I think it's a great action shot, even if you can't see my character's face."

Don't forget to do a proper Wilhelm scream, my friend! So what other gruesome fates await us in this collection of deadly images?

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TERA announces Fate of Arun expansion

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, TERA

TERA
En Masse Entertainment has just announced Fate of Arun, the first-ever expansion coming to action-MMO TERA. And at least on paper, it actually looks like a classic MMO expansion, too, complete with a level cap bump and new zones.
The mysterious continent of Northern Arun is finally open – and it's under siege by a soul-sucking bloodmage army. In Fate of Arun, players will explore this lost world, discover the home city of the Barakan race, fight for the freedom of the native Khirians, and take on a powerful new evil.

Fate of Arun represents the first and biggest expansion for TERA to date, featuring a new level cap of 65 and the lands of Northern Arun to explore through a brand-new storyline, new quests, zones, dungeons, skills, gear and a new PvP battleground, in addition to vast systematic improvements to the gameplay experience.
Producer Patrick Sun declates that "Fate of Arun will be, without a doubt, the biggest addition to the world of TERA new and returning players have ever seen." A launch date has not yet been confirmed. Enjoy the teaser pics and video below.

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Star Trek Online's Delta Rising cinematic has... arisen

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

STO
Star Trek Online's Delta Rising expansion technically went live yesterday, but today's the official launch, and that means a brand-new cinematic and fresh screenshots. The update bumps the character level cap to 60, ushers in a partial Voyager cast, and adds a new tier of ships, gear, and officers to the roster. Enjoy the trailer and pics!

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Sneaking a peek at EQII's Altar of Malice with SOE

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, EverQuest II, Expansions, Interviews, Free-to-Play

When EverQuest II's next expansion, Altar of Malice, was announced at SOE Live in August, we heard about upcoming features, perused concept drawings, and even saw some screenshots. As exciting as all that can be, nothing compares to actually getting in the game and seeing the living breathing world of Norrath. And that's exactly what I got to do last week on a tour with Senior​ Producer Holly Longdale and Creative Director Akil Hooper.

While we have to wait a bit longer to hear more about the Aerakyn (the new winged dragonkind race) and what special goodies will be included in the collector's edition, the tour of the zones allowed me to bask in the beauty of the artwork while weaving through dinosaurs, pygmies, and my favorite-yet-long-lost starting zone. And it definitely made me even more excited for the upcoming release of Altar of Malice!

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SWTOR dev spoilers from the NYC cantina tour

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR
During this past weekend's New York City cantina tour, BioWare fielded shiploads of player questions about Star Wars: The Old Republic. MillionsKNives on the official forums has compiled a partial list; the devs say they're unhappy with PvP balance, will continue to monitor the difficulty of expanding guild ships, and plan to use the 3.0 patch as a "testing ground" for more class story, though we won't see "full storylines like pre-50 stuff." They also confirmed that while there will be no companion story in 3.0, there will be NPCs romanceable regardless of the player character's gender.

BioWare Senior Producer Bruce Maclean spilled some wonderful spoilers to Gaddock Gaming as well. Of note, he says that Togrutas are coming as a playable race post-3.0, an appearance gear system is being discussed for 3.0 or beyond, the pod-racing prototype was abandoned in the testing stages due to lag, and faction-changing might be considered in the future.

[Thanks to greatwildhunk for the tip!]

One Shots: Hitchhorsing

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

aa
I'm learning new things about ArcheAge every day. For example, did you know that you can hitch a ride on a mount in that game? Jef even informs me that you can do so uninvited, although the driver may shove you off along the way. That's pretty cool, even if it lends itself to a very specific new form of griefing.

Reader Sean demonstrates how one poor horse can handle two riders in our lead screenshot: "The picture is of my main, Kadrassius, and my wife's main, Keziah, as they take a ride through Marianople. I really liked this scene with the way the characters react when the horse rears up. Now I just need to get barding for my horse."

Now if we can only get a college fraternity to all pile on the same beast of burden, then we'd be making progress in this industry!

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Infinite Crisis reveals Stargirl, complete with pink stars

Super-hero, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, Lore, Previews, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

Infinite Crisis
Turbine has today previewed Infinite Crisis' latest playable MOBA hero, the youthful Stargirl, who fell into her sidekick role after discovering and donning her stepfather's old costume. In her heroic form, she's a blaster who wields a glowing staff to damage and crowd control enemies. Her skills include a cutesy buff called Family Heirlooms and a even-more-cutesy nuke that beams pink stars at her enemies; her ultimate, however, is a powerful nuke, slow, debuff, and shield all in one.

Stargirl goes live on October 15th. We've included new screenies and her intro video below.

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One Shots: No airbags at 125 kph

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

swtor
So here's what I'm always wondering: Why do all science fiction worlds and technology look far, far more dangerous than anything we have in the present? Star Wars is horrible in this regard. Lightsabers should be lopping off users' appendages left and right, even if they have the so-called "Force." Walkways without handrails over bottomless pits are commonplace in space stations. And their trash compactors are full of metal-devouring monsters, whereas mine has but the faint odor of eggshells.

Anyway, reader Joe's picture of his jaunt accross Tatooine in Star Wars: The Old Republic on a speeder made me muse about the safety issues of operating what is essentially a rocket-powered flying motorcycle in the middle of a canyon of jagged rock. Ain't no airbag on that thing that's going to save you when you dink into a wall, my friend.

Safety issues are but the start of our journey through this week in player-submitted MMO screenshots!

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