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WildStar's Sabotage update is now live

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, WildStar, Subscription

WildStar
PvP fans who were miffed at the PvE focus of WildStar's first major content update, Strain, will be mollified by today's release, Sabotage, which is now live. It introduces a new level 30+ 15v15 battleground called Daggerstone Pass and adds new achievements and decorative housing items -- because nothing says PvP like new housing items.

PvE gamers needn't worry, however; Carbine says "the next drop is for you!"

Massively's WildStar expert Eliot Lefebvre previewed Daggerstone Pass and the rest of the patch earlier this month.

Square offers 14-day Final Fantasy XIV trial

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Square is looking to spread the gospel of Final Fantasy XIV via a newly announced 14-day free trial. The fantasy MMORPG normally features a client fee and a monthly subscription, but you can get a taste of what Eorzea has to offer by downloading the trial software and giving it a whirl.

There are a few restrictions to be aware of including a level 20 cap, a currency cap of 20,000 gil, and the inability to join guilds, trade, or use the market. A full list of terms is available on the official Square support website.

Final Fantasy XIV gets a real-world theme cafe in Tokyo

Fantasy, Culture, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

Like this, but slightly less armor.
Have you ever looked at the vistas of Eorzea in Final Fantasy XIV and thought that they looked like a place you want to be in real life? Good news: You can. A new real-world themed restaurant in Tokyo called the Eorzea Cafe is opening soon, and it's based on the Carline Canopy in Gridania, complete with Eorzean dishes, beverages, and decorations. If you ever wanted to see a bladed lantern shield on the wall whilst you have your dinner, this is the place.

Opening on July 31st, the cafe features drinks inspired by the jobs, moogle-themed desserts, and what appears to be a burger based on the Lord of the Crags himself, Titan. There are also PCs set up for people to play the game at their leisure. It's going to be a bit of a hike out to the Akihibara district, but where else are you going to find a Titan Burger while drinking a Dragoon cocktail?

[Thanks to Kythas for the tip!]

WoW's Warlords of Draenor expansion is making faces at you

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Screenshots, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Races, Subscription

WoW
When Blizzard launches World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion later this year, players will be getting more than just the long-awaited character body model upgrades; they're also getting new facial geometry. Art Director Chris Robinson wrote today on the game's official blog,
Our next big focus is doing justice to the facial options. With the original models and their simplistic geometry and low-resolution textures, a lot of facial expressions were simply painted on. Now that we've moved to higher-polygon models with lips, teeth, and fully articulated faces-not to mention higher-resolution textures-recreating those same facial options isn't as simple as painting them onto a flat surface. Previously, to get a sneer out of a model, you'd just paint a sneer on its face, and that was that. To do it correctly now-and make it look great-we have to fully pose a sneer, create a custom texture, and mesh that base pose with all of the existing emotes and animations.
Robinson also said that Blizzard is "committed" to launching all of the new models together rather than roll them out independently post-launch, but a later tweet indicated that Blood Elf models will not make it in for launch.

Captain's Log: Star Trek Online's eternal crafting problem

Sci-Fi, Patches, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Captain's Log, Crafting, Subscription

Out of the wreckage.
I haven't had the chance to really dive into the new crafting system in Star Trek Online just yet, but I can tell it's certainly a valid effort to revitalize the crafting system for the third time in the game's lifespan, this time with an even more fundamental teardown. Memory Alpha is gone now, along with the exploration clusters that used to provide oh-so-many spots to analyze in the hopes of getting more materials.

Back at the start of this year, the column took a look at the state of Star Trek Online's crafting and asked whether there really is a future left for it. After all, crafting as a source of items was up against the fleet stores and reputation items. Could you make something better than those systems without replacing those systems? Would it even be worth it? What could be done to clean up crafting? We've gotten our answer about what will be done, but is it a net benefit for the game as a whole?

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Get the full story of Warcraft in 40 minutes

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Video, Lore, Subscription

wow
The story of Warcraft is large, if I'm in the mood to be understating the real truth. If you feel overwhelmed by the decades of lore that Blizzard's built up around the game and have only scratched the surface of who did what and why this is here, then we have a way to help you get a handle on it all.

In just a little over 40 minutes, an annotated video covers the highlights of the entire Warcraft timeline and universe. Even without going into great depth, it's an excellent crash course for the aspiring loremaster. It's too bad you don't get an achievement once you've mastered it! You can give it a watch after the break.

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EU Elder Scrolls megaserver migration scheduled for July 30

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

European Elder Scrolls Online fans, consider this your heads-up for the datacenter migration which will take the EU megaserver offline for much of July 30th. The migration is scheduled to run from 8:00 a.m. EDT to 5:00 p.m. EDT (1:00 p.m. BST to 10:00 p.m. BST).

ZeniMax says that nothing will change with your characters, and there won't be a patch to download, either. The company explains that the migration is happening during Euro prime time because many of its engineers and support staff hail from both Europe and North America, and it's vital that "everyone we need for the process is awake, ready, and available."

Dark Age of Camelot adjusting New Frontiers again

Fantasy, Dark Age of Camelot, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Subscription

Shedding a bit of light on the dark age, am I right?  Huh?  I'm sorry.  I'll show myself out.
Sometimes adjustments seem like a good idea right up until they're implemented. That's the case with Dark Age of Camelot's recent changes to New Frontiers. The game's most recent producer's letter states that they were made and quickly proved to not have the desired effects, which means that several elements need to be tweaked and re-balanced. This includes several rollbacks -- Relics will return to Relic Temples, docks will be returned to their original location, and players will no longer be able to port to shore-keeps.

The updates to the game in the near future won't be limited to PvP, however, as the development team is also looking for ways to spruce up PvE content by modernizing mechanics and adding in new loot. In the longer term, there are also plans to revamp the game's LFG interface and provide a Champion Level increase. Check out the full producer's letter for all the details.

The Nexus Telegraph: Another WildStar patch approaches!

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, PvP, PvE, Opinion, WildStar, The Nexus Telegraph, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

It's where I have my fun, It's where I point my gun.
I honestly expected the second patch for WildStar to take much longer to show up on test servers, but here it is. In some ways, I'm not surprised, since we're in the just-after-launch pattern of finishing and polishing stuff that wasn't quite ready for launch with the rest of the game, but still. It's a small one, but you know, I can live with frequent small patches just as well as I can live with more spaced-out large patches.

As it stands right now, we've had about a month to get used to the Strain drop, and I imagine we'll be seeing Daggerstone pass on live sooner rather than later. (With my luck, tomorrow.) So let's talk a little about the last patch, the upcoming patch, and what we can see about how Carbine Studios handles its patches overall.

Oh, and dropping bombs on your teammates. I'm sure that'll factor into this discussion at some point.

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Massively interviews EVE executive producer Andie Nordgren

Sci-Fi, Video, EVE Online, Culture, Expansions, Interviews, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, Dev Diaries, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

EVE Online title image
If you've been following the development of EVE Online lately, chances are you've heard of Andie 'CCP Seagull' Nordgren and her mission to make deep space colonisation and player-built stargates a reality. Andie has spearheaded the direction of EVE's development over the past few expansions and has gathered a considerable following in the EVE community. At EVE Fanfest 2014, we heard her plans to overhaul EVE's outdated sovereignty and corporation management systems, and to eventually introduce new deep space colonisation gameplay.

Today CCP announced that Andie Nordgren has been promoted to the position of Executive Producer on EVE Online. I caught up with her for a chat about development on EVE and to find out what this promotion means for the future the game. I've pulled together the important details from the interview in this article, and if you still have burning questions for Andie Nordgren, she's doing an AMA thread on Reddit right now!

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Darkfall creates a new customizable user interface

Fantasy, Darkfall, Patches, PvP, Subscription

darkfall
Today's patch for Darkfall brings a major revamp to the user interface that's long been in the making.

"We started changing things with the revisions we did to windows like chat, feats, and roles, and as it was expected, the time had come to give some attention to what we call internally the 'Front of Darkfall,' aka the Action Mode HUD (Heads-Up Display)," Aventurine posted.

The action HUD has several new components including crosshair, healthbar, and target information. This then can be customized in regard to location, opacity, icon selection, and size.

World of Warcraft shows off revamped Tauren ladies

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Races, Subscription

No word on whether or not their portraits will finally open their eyes.
As Warlords of Draenor approaches release, the art team behind World of Warcraft continues finishing the revamped models for the game's races. The latest race to get a revamp is the female Tauren; while male Tauren have been in the beta client for quite some time, players have until now seen only quick shots of what the new female model would look like. Now you can see her in all her glory, and even at a glance it's a massive improvement.

The original model was extremely angular and low-detail due to the technology available when the game was first made, but the revamped model has much more definition in her fur and body shape. The only big silhouette change is a shrinking of her hands, with the official design blog calling the original model's hands "out of control." Take a peek at the official preview for more details on the updated ladycows.

Final Fantasy XI previews Alluvion Skirmishes

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, Subscription

So I had this great new shield, I put it down in here for a minute, and now it's gone!
Alluvion Skirmishes are the next evolution of skirmish battles for Final Fantasy XI players, pitting adventurers against a changing layout and shifting foes. Why would you take it on? Well, for a chance at great items and shields, naturally. Did you really expect otherwise? And, you know, for content that accommodates a variety of different party sizes and roles, that's nice too.

Players can take on Alluvion Skirmishes solo or in groups containing up to six players; Alter Egos are usable to fill out a party's ranks. The NPC Oston will assemble a special statue called a eudamon for players who can then enter through the pre-existing Augural Conveyers, with Rala Waterways and Cirdas Caverns being the first pair to function with Alluvion Skirmishes. For more details on time limits and inscribing shields with Arcane Glyptics, take a look at the full preview on the official site.

World of Warcraft posts details on the Arena Invitational World Championships

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, Subscription

Just chlling.  Hey.
This year's BlizzCon will feature a no-holds-barred fight to the finish. Sadly, that doesn't mean that an official MMA tournament event will be taking place; it just means that the World of Warcraft Arena Invitational World Championships will be going down, pitting teams against one another for glory, honor, and the satisfaction of taking home up to $120,000 dollars. Who wouldn't like that?

The eight teams selected for play will be fighting in a best-of-seven format, starting with the Nagrand Arena and moving on to other maps at the selection of the losing team. The matches will last until elimination or until 15 minutes have passed, whichever happens first. Those unable to attend BlizzCon on November 7th and 8th will be able to stream the matches online, although no details on doing so are yet available. If you are attending, though, get ready to watch the best of the best mix it up in the arenas.

Elder Scrolls Online publishes video of its QuakeCon panel reveals

Fantasy, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

ESO
If you missed the hoopla of last week's QuakeCon, you lost out on some startlingly cool Elder Scrolls Online announcements, including news about an "active world PvP" system for thievin' and murderin' that makes the game feel just a bit more like a true Elder Scrolls title. Fortunately for you, ZeniMax has today released a video of the entire Future of The Elder Scrolls Online panel, which runs almost two hours and covers everything from PvP to the veteran ranks overhaul. Enjoy!

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