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One Shots: Life isn't fair

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

ff14
Today, this boss mob woke up to the harsh realization that life just is not fair. Even with his impressive stature and the rather expensive sword that his grandma gave him for Christmas, he's unable to hold down any full-time job. What's worse is that every would-be "hero" in the world keeps ganging up on him. Even if he emerges victorious, everyone sneers and jeers at him. He just can't win.

So let's meet our first antagonist, reader William, who documented this shameful moment from Final Fantasy XIV. "The new hunts are incredibly fun and have added a lot of variety to the game!" he chirped. "My friends and I recently tackled this S-Rank Hunt, Agrippa the Mighty, along with some additional help from people in the zone. Don't worry; I healed that poor Black Mage lalafell after taking this screenshot."

But did you heal Agrippa and try to make friends with him? That's what would lead to a true storybook ending!

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Elder Scrolls Online offers new guild heraldry

Fantasy, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Lore, Previews, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
If you're excited for August's Elder Scrolls Online upcoming update, then today's ZeniMax devblog will be a welcome one... though not one that promises sweeping changes for the game. Specifically, the new post previews some of the new symbols that guilds can adopt as their official crests. "You'll probably recognize some of them, like the symbols for the Divines and the Daedric Princes," write the developers. "Combine these with even more crests, a huge color palette, and different tabard shapes, and your guild will have its own memorable look."

We've included the images below. See one you like?

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Skyforge previews its Lanber Forest zone

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Lore, Previews, News Items, Dev Diaries, Skyforge

Skyforge
Obsidian and Mail.ru have just unveiled Lanber Forest, a key area in the companies' upcoming sci-fantasy MMO Skyforge. Lanber Forest was once "an oasis of pristine nature" distant from industry and politics but is now overrun with a dark evil awakened by a traitorous god, along with more mundane baddies like "looters, smugglers, [and] evil men, who have decided to cash in on the grief of others." That, of course, is where you come in.

Read on for the complete lore description and a few screenshots of the (damn pretty) zone.

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Guild Wars 2 launches Entanglement today

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Launches, Lore, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 fans, prepare yourselves for some tangly living world action today as ArenaNet launches Entanglement, episode two of the ongoing second season of the game's story content. Players will continue the established plot arc that has them joining a now-familiar cast of NPCs in the newly opened zone in the Maguuma Wastes.
The lethal, fast-growing vines that have plagued the Brisban Wildlands have begun to spread. Word reaches you of trouble in the town of Prosperity, where the asuran prodigy Taimi was left alone to research the threat. Get back to Prosperity, meet up with Braham, and check in on Taimi. [...] There are secrets hidden within the newly revealed area of Dry Top, just waiting to be discovered. Learn more about the mysterious denizens lurking beyond Prospect Valley and come face-to-face with never-before-seen foes. Follow the trail you picked up in the last release and continue your search for the ley line hub. Stay wary! In Dry Top, danger and discovery go hand in hand.
Don't forget that if you can't play the episode in the next two weeks, you can log into the game and save the episode for a later date.

ArenaNet has also released new screenshots for the event's launch; enjoy them below.

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One Shots: Requiem for a rancor

Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous, WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, Landmark

SWTOR
You know what scene from Return of the Jedi that always got me teared up? When Luke kills the rancor and the beast's owner breaks down sobbing. You just know that thing was his best friend and now... now there is a large, monstrous hole in his life.

Reader Chris could have had a lifelong companion but chose to go the Luke route in Star Wars: The Old Republic. "I let a Sith escape Belsavis in order to save the injured fighter pilot Conrad Gall from an 'ancient beast' -- a rancor, as it turns out. It was a close fight, as you can tell by where my Trooper finally took it down."

Hats off to the brave rancor, whose only crime was being born a big, fat, sharp-toothed freak. Stop the bullying, I say!

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ArcheAge's closed beta begins on July 17th

Fantasy, Screenshots, Video, Interviews, Free-to-Play, ArcheAge, Sandbox

The time has finally come: ArcheAge fans who've been been anxiously awaiting a beta date now can mark their calendars and start canceling other plans. Next weekend the closed beta doors will swing open at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday the 17th and remain so until they close at the same hour on Monday the 21st. Founders and invited testers will have a chance to dive in and experience ArcheAge's sandbox world, including -- but not limited to -- pirating, farming, questing, crafting, fishing, PvPing, or even just in gliding from the mountaintops.

With so many possible adventures by land and by sea, it may be impossible to get to them all during the first beta weekend. But don't despair -- there will be more! We sat down with Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman to chat about the upcoming beta tests. We've also got the beta trailer for you.

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SOE teases H1Z1's dynamic weather

Horror, Galleries, Screenshots, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Post-Apocalyptic, Sandbox, H1Z1

H1Z1
We all know that the most important thing to your MMO immersions when you're neck-deep in zombies and dastardly corpse-looting player-killers is whether you can wear a t-shirt in a blizzard with impunity. Worry not, roleplay fiends, for SOE has today teased its dynamic weather system for upcoming survival MMO H1Z1 via a septet of screenshots that show the effect of changing seasons on the environment. Enjoy!

One Shot: The eternal vigil

Screenshots, Aion, Culture, One Shots, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online

ESO
Some MMO tableaus attempt to tell a wordless story, and some of those stories are up for personal interpretation. I love finding these scattered around the world because they invite my imagination to be a part of the experience instead of spelling it out for me.

Reader Chiara came across our first screenshot of the week here in Elder Scrolls Online, and it brought out strong emotions: "I don't really know what this man's story is -- but I can't help but wonder about it since I've first seen him. Did he die there? Did someone arrange his skeleton? I've no idea, but the scene just struck me as incredibly sad."

Maybe he was keeping a vigil for a loved one. Maybe that vigil is not yet over. Who knows?

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One Shots: Regrets, I've had a few

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Anarchy Online, Culture, Warhammer Online, One Shots, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

ffxiv
Staring at a sunset is a perfectly legitimate time to look back at one's day (and one's life) to muse upon victories won and defeats suffered. The regrets are then cast upon the sinking sun to be taken into the void of yesterday. Tomorrow? Tomorrow is a clean slate of possibilities.

Reader Dynatos submitted this warm and fuzzy Final Fantasy XIV picture. "Here's another sunset, this time in Thanalan with my tanky Carbuncle. I kinda miss him after he was replaced."

Regrets? We've all had a few. And if you don't read the rest of this column, you will regret it. That's friendly advice, not a threat.

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WildStar unveils Strain-themed customization options

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Patches, Previews, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Home is where corruption lies.
It is the doom that slumbers beneath Nexus. It is dread and loathing. It is a vile plague that both the Dominion and Exiles are desperately striving to purge. It's your new housing decor! Yes, the WildStar fashion police have spoken, and with the game's first major update, covering your home in the tentacles, eyeballs, and various protrusions of the Strain is all the rage this year. Also covering your clothing and mounts, because at that point why not, right?

Players will be able to pick up new plugs and decor for houses, new costume items and dyes for their personal equipment, a new hoverboard, and new mount customizations, all of which should make your character look completely Strain-infested. If that's what you want, at least. No word on what functions the new plugs will perform, but we're betting it'll be gross. Take a look at the official drop page for a few more pictures of these customizations in action.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]

TERA: Rising previews Wounded World update, Rift's Edge encounters

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

TERA
En Masse Entertainment is gearing up for its next TERA: Rising update in the west, which we now know is called Wounded World. The studio told Massively this week that the update is loaded with fresh content, including a three-man scenario in Lakan's Prison, a solo rescue mission in the primal forest of Ghillieglade, a seven-man foray into the Abscess instance, and a 10-person Big Boss BAM Slam in Rift's Edge, complete with new gear and bosses and rewards.

We've got an exclusive video and screenshots of some of the new bosses and encounters coming in the update. Enjoy them below.

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FFXIV releases Defenders of Eorzea trailer, screenshots

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Trailers, Video, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Final Fantasy XIV, Dungeons, Crafting, Subscription

FFXIV
Square-Enix has just released a brand-new and lengthy trailer for Final Fantasy XIV's upcoming Defenders of Eorzea patch. The video and the new promo site preview new boss battles, new quests, the Syrcus Tower dungeon, several dungeon hard-mode variants, private chamber customization, chocobo raising, desynthesis, and the new crafting recipes

Patch 2.3 goes live on July 8th. We've got the trailer and some new screenies below.

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WildStar previews the zones of the Strain drop

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Patches, News Items, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

Can we be fighting a war on one front just for once?  Just to mix things up?  Try it out, see how it feels.
The first major update for WildStar is due out in early July, and it's bringing plenty of content along with it including two zones for players to explore. Blighthaven and the Northern Wastes are being unveiled in more detail today, both of which contain plenty of opportunities for adventurers to take on all sorts of new challenges.

Blighthaven is a landscape dominated by the Strain's mutated minions along with uncontrolled Eldan machinery, featuring such comfortable-sounding regions as the Cankertube Swamps, the Globellum, the Sanctuary of the Keepers, and the Genesis Chamber. It's prime territory for new content to explore what happened to the Eldan as well as understand the virulent opponent that is the Strain.

The Northern Wastes, meanwhile, brings players back to the Northern Wilds after the events in the early game, with both Dominion and Exiles struggling to claim the territory... until a new threat emerges from the Eldan bio-labs in the area. New events, challenges, missions, and path content awaits players in the zone. It's all adding up to plenty of content for a first update; you can check out the official reveal page for a few extra details.

[Source: Carbine Studios press release]

Here's a purty World of Speed gallery

Real-Life, Galleries, Screenshots, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play

Need some auto-related eye candy to shake those Monday blahs? We've got just the thing, courtesy of a new World of Speed screenshot gallery. We could write some more words, but really all you need to know is that there's a link below.

See it? No, no, the green text. Just a little lower... there you go. Enjoy!

One Shots: Child's play

Screenshots, EverQuest, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, One Shots, The Secret World, RIFT, Miscellaneous

TSW
Today, my friends, you are going to be disturbed by this column -- disturbed and delighted, puzzled and tantalized. But I'm afraid that we're going to have to begin with a sight that is quite unsettling, so if there are any small children in the room, get them to hold your hand because there's no way you are brave enough to witness this.

"I recently returned to The Secret World and have been having a blast, but I think this is the scariest scene I have come across whilst playing," reader Balsbigbrother. "OK, so it's a little gory with the meat cleaver in the head but those dolls and the shadows they make on the walls, eeek! The game atmosphere kind of builds up to a point where your own imagination takes over. So while I was in that room, I kept thinking if all those dolls suddenly turned around to face me, I would seriously lose it and maybe need psychiatric counseling for several months afterwards."

You're not alone, man. The Nursery was one of the most terrifying places I've ever visited in a video game. Let's see who dares to see the whole tableau after the break!

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