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Face of Mankind starts open beta on April 18th

Betas, Sci-Fi, Sandbox

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Face of Mankind
If you've been interested in giving Face of Mankind a spin, you'll be able to do so as early as Friday.

Nexeon Technologies announced today that the MMO will be going into open beta on April 18th for anyone who would like to play it. Face of Mankind will be have its closed beta wiped on the 16th, and the open beta client is available right now to anyone who would like to preload in preparation for Friday.

"It is only thanks to all of you that the game lives on and has the opportunity to become something far greater than ever imagined," the studio said.

World of Tanks Xbox 360 gets Update 1.1

Trailers, Video, Patches, War, Free-to-Play, World of Tanks, MOBA

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World of Tanks
World of Tanks' console drivers have a reason to rejoice: Update 1.1 has arrived for the Xbox 360.

The update has a slew of goodies for players to dig through, including recruitable crews for tanks, the map of Himmelsdorf, and five British vehicles. Crews earn experience through battles, level up, and add perks and abilities to the tank commander.

We've got the new trailer for World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition and its 1.1 update after the break.

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The new player experience in EverQuest Next and Landmark

Betas, Fantasy, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Landmark

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EQN
In this week's EverQuest Next roundtable video, Senior Brand Manager Omeed Dariani and Lead Designer Darrin McPherson tackle the new user experience in Landmark and EQN. The pair say they recognize that developers don't always see the game the same way players do and that players need to be caught early by the game, especially a free-to-play game, or they'll leave.

"In both games, we won't have a lock-step approach to a tutorial... we definitely want to have something more free," McPherson explained. Learning the game will be a set of achievements. For example, when you equip an axe, the game will tell you you can chop wood with it, and when you chop wood, the game will tell you how to craft, granting achievements along the way without forcing players to complete any one element of gameplay to proceed.

Enjoy the full dev video after the break.

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Get Trove alpha access for $20

Betas, Fantasy, Business Models, Free-to-Play, Sandbox

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Trove
Brick by brick, Trove's world has been shaped by both its alpha community and dev team. Now, Trion Worlds has announced that the alpha program is about to get even bigger.

Starting now, Trove has expanded the benefits of its Adventurer supporter tier to include instant access to the game's alpha. The Adventurer tier, which costs $20, also includes a few thousand in-game credits, an inventory upgrade, and other goodies in addition to alpha access.

Elder Scrolls Online answers Craglorn questions

Fantasy, Lore, Patches, Previews, Community Q&A, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

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ESO
If you were intrigued by the reveal of Elder Scrolls Online's upcoming Craglorn zone expansion but felt as though there were gaps in your formal education, prepare to get schooled.

ZeniMax posted a new community Q&A today about Craglorn. The studio said that there will be rewards for everyone, not just those who make the leaderboards. Players can expect to spend between a half-hour to 1.5 hours per trial with 60 resurrections allowed for the group as a whole, and they will need to be at least veteran rank 11 to participate.

Some players had asked what these Celestials are, to which ZeniMax responded, "The Celestials are a new concept based on the existing lore of the constellations in The Elder Scrolls games. There's quite a bit of lore in Craglorn that will be interesting for fans to discover."

PAX East 2014: Erin Roberts on Star Citizen's development

Sci-Fi, Interviews, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen

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It's a game about space shooters shooting space in space.
Star Citizen's backers have been waiting to see the game's dogfighting module in action for quite some time now, and it finally happened just before PAX East 2014. Unfortunately, it also wound up having some technical difficulties right at the beginning, which wasn't exactly what anyone had in mind when showing off the whole thing in action. It wasn't quite as bad as having the computer running the module burst into flames and die, but it was bad.

Do the developers regret it? Not a chance. We got a chance to sit down and talk to Squadron 42 producer Erin Roberts and were told, in no uncertain terms, that even hitting technical hiccups like that don't make a more private development cycle feel better. In a way, having the development cycle be so public actually makes technical hurdles less problematic for the company when they're encountered because the language is in place to keep a meaningful dialogue going with the fans.

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PAX East 2014: Pre-launch words with WildStar's Jeremy Gaffney

Sci-Fi, Economy, Interviews, Launches, Endgame, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

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This is the sort of stuff that got me excited for the game in the first place.
WildStar is being released in about a month and a half. It feels as if it's been forever since the game first revealed its announcement trailer. Now we've finally got a release date in sight, and the last few features for the game are being revealed to the public. It's one of the last chances that we'll have to talk about the game before it releases.

On the last day of this year's PAX East, I had a chance to sit down with executive producer Jeremy Gaffney to chat a little bit more about the game before it launches. While the game has gone gold and the discs are being manufactured, the team is still refining and improving the game and plans to do so up until the day of launch. That meant talking about the endgame, the development process, and the changes that have been made already in the most recent stages of beta.

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Istaria revamps Island of Ice with new patch

Fantasy, Patches, Dev Diaries

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Istaria
A new update named A Bitter Wind came to Istaria this past week, and with it we see a revamped region, the return of the Spring Festival, bug fixes, and much more.

The Island of Ice is the revamped region, with changes including a new quest hub called the Expedition Camp, a new set of ruins protected by the dead, renamed mobs, and "more reasons for players to actually visit and enjoy the region," according to the patch notes.

Check out the notes in their entirety for more on how busy the Virtrium team has been this last week.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip!]

The Mog Log: More time in Final Fantasy XIV's 2.2

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, Endgame, Opinion, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, The Mog Log, Dungeons, Subscription

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Writing ahead to not get blindsided by PAX, it's witchcraft!
I was pressed for time when Final Fantasy XIV patched at just the wrong time. I'm on a schedule, you know. My first impressions of the patch were far less comprehensive than I would have liked, although I did try to fill in the blanks as best I could down in the comments. But that was two weeks ago, and you doubtlessly expected that by now I would have gotten through the rest of the patch for more impressions.

Honestly, I could probably spend quite a bit of time talking about all the various aspects of the game altered by this particular patch, but I'd prefer to narrow my focus slightly and zoom in on the most immediately relevant bits. So let's talk a little bit more about 2.2. Let's talk about the dungeons I didn't cover last time, the quest lines, the big battles (sometimes on a bridge), and a couple of problematic elements that have cropped up.

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CCP shuttering World of Darkness

Horror, MMO Industry, News Items, World of Darkness, Sandbox

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World of Darkness
After a weekend full of Reddit rumors, CCP has formally announced that it is ceasing development on World of Darkness.

The company laid off 56 employees from its Atlanta-based studio and will now focus exclusively on games set in its EVE Online universe. "To our current and former employees and fans of World of Darkness, I am truly sorry that we could not deliver the experience that we aspired to make," CEO Hilmar Petursson said in a statement. "We dreamed of a game that would transport you completely into the sweeping fantasy of World of Darkness, but had to admit that our efforts were falling regretfully short. One day I hope we will make it up to you."

New Black Desert trailer boasts formation-based combat

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Black Desert

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Black Desert group
Last month we learned about Black Desert's formation-based combat gameplay. While it sounds slick and -- dare we say it -- innovative, it was greeted with a healthy amount of skepticism by Massively commenters.

To recap, Black Desert eschews traditional trinity roles for combat formations. For example, a group that arranges itself in a circle will boast higher defenses while a straight-line formation will boost the DPS of the lead avatar. If you're still not convinced, well, that's probably why Pearl Abyss has released a new party-based gameplay trailer. Give it a look-see after the break!

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Here's FFXIV's PS4 launch trailer

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, Final Fantasy XIV, Subscription

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Final Fantasy XIV cutscene
It's Final Fantasy XIV's launch day... on the PlayStation 4. Square's fantasy MMO reboot -- and Massively's 2013 MMO of the year -- has been dazzling gamers on the PC and the PlayStation 3 for some time now, but a new trailer reminds us that next-gen console owners can now join in the fun.

You can view the clip in its entirety after the break.

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LotRO launches The Breaking of Isengard, reveals new Beorning class

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play

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LotRO logo
Turbine surprised us with its recent announcement of a new class coming to Lord of the Rings Online. This morning executive producer Aaron Campbell revealed that new class to be the Beorning. Campbell says that it is "a light armor casting class with a focus on control of the battlefield."

"When a Beorning gathers sufficient rage, they may transform into a mighty bear," he continues. The post contains a few other nuggets, among them the fact that a housing revamp is officially off the table, at least for 2014.

Meanwhile, the game has launched update 13, The Breaking of Isengard.

[Thanks Darasimi!]

Pantheon slows development, cites lack of funding

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, Crowdfunding

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Pantheon
After Brad McQuaid's Pantheon Kickstarter campaign fell short of its $800,000 goal in February, Visionary Realms said that development would continue. But today we've gotten word that it will slow until further funding is secured.

"The downside now is that our initial resources have depleted," a post on the official site states. "Which regrettably means that development is going to slow down until finances can be secured. It's not something we want to do by any means, but as we cannot guarantee paychecks to the team, they each need to be able to spend time on other things to pay the bills."

The post goes on to say that all donations at this point will be used for website maintenance and not development until a large enough investment is made to get studio space. Check out the official announcement on Pantheon's main site for more info.

The Daily Grind: Do you feel pressured to level faster?

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

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ESO Redguard Nightblade
I've been playing Elder Scrolls Online pretty much daily since early release, but I just now dinged level 25 on my main character. I'd probably be a bit further along if I hadn't been consumed with altitis and some early-game decisional paralysis, not to mention I've spent a significant chunk of time crafting.

I'm seeing a bunch of level 50s, though, and even though ESO is one of those rare themeparks that offers incentives for exploration and things to do off of the beaten paths, I'm feeling somewhat envious of all these higher-level folk.

What about you, Massively readers? Do you feel any pressure -- either from yourself or from others -- to speed up your leveling process?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

MMO Week in Review: PAX East 2014

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Massively Meta, Events (Massively's Coverage), Week in Review, Miscellaneous

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Blizzness
At the end of every week, we round up the best and most popular news stories, exclusive features, and insightful columns published on Massively and then present them all in one convenient place. If you missed a big MMO or WoW Insider story last week, you've come to the right post.

Massively took on the wilds of PAX East 2014 this weekend. Here's what we've seen so far:
PAX East 2014: WildStar's panel was all about the endgame
PAX East 2014: First impressions of Warlords of Draenor
PAX East 2014: Landmark's current tools and future crafts
PAX East 2014: The Repopulation's Josh Hall on the future of the game
PAX East 2014: Hands-on with Infinite Crisis
PAX East 2014: State of Decay eyes multiplayer, stays offline
PAX East 2014: Guns of Icarus Online's expanding environment
PAX East 2014: PlanetSide 2's Matt Higby on weekly updates
PAX East 2014: Hearthstone reveals Naxxramas single-player adventure
PAX East 2014: Star Citizen and the DFM are 'more than just PvP'
There's more to come over the next few days. Read on for the rest of this week's top stories!

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EVE Evolved: Anatomy of a mining op

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Economy, Game Mechanics, PvE, EVE Evolved, Guides, Sandbox, Subscription, MMORPG

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EVE Evolved title image
When EVE Online was first released in 2003, it was designed as a massive universe of competition and conflict between space-faring megacorporations in the distant future. Players bought into the premise completely and soon set about building their own empires and waging wars with neighbours. Corporations ran regular mining operations for resources to build frigates and cruisers for their members, and some of the larger corps co-operatively mined to build the first ever battleships in the game. The mining op has been a staple activity in the game ever since, providing a way for groups to work together on large manufacturing projects or just make some ISK during their down-time.

Mining gets a lot of flak for being one of the most boring and least profitable professions in the game, but that's not exactly true. Solo mining can be a great way to spend your downtime while doing other activities, and it ensures that you're online when something exciting happens like a live event, your wormhole system being invaded, or a titan being tackled by your alliance. Co-operative mining ops also offer the social value of bonding with your corpmates when there's nothing else going on. Some players even run dozens of accounts at the same time to turn this ordinarily placid activity into an intensive profit-making activity focused on efficiency and organisation skills.

With mining due to make a resurgence in the summer expansion, this edition of EVE Evolved is dedicated to the humble mining operation. I'll take a look at the various options for mining ships, the different haulers available, and the four different areas you can mine in.

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SMITE brings out the Hindu god Kumbhakarna

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Free-to-Play, MOBA

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SMITE
The Sleeping Giant, Kumbhakarna, is the latest god to enter into SMITE's cage match pantheon.

This Hindu god might not be the most nimble or even the most awake, but he has power nevertheless. Kumbhakarna doesn't die when he hits zero hit points; he falls asleep and eventually wakes up at 25% health. He can also throw back enemies, root bad guys with a smash, and... yawn for a mez. You can check out his moves in the god reveal after the break.

[Source: Hi-Rez press release]

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WoW Archivist: WoW's talent system has come full circle

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Opinion, WoW Archivist

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Circle of Healing
WoW Archivist is a biweekly column by WoW Insider's Scott Andrews, who explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold? It first appeared on our sister site on April 11th and is included here by permission.

The Warlords of Draenor patch 6.0 notes have revealed the latest changes to WoW's ever-evolving talent system. Talents have remained a core system in WoW since its earliest days; it's the primary method that allows players to make their characters distinct.

In the beta for WoW and throughout vanilla, talent trees were a bit of a mess, as Archivist covered. Today, we'll examine how those early trees came to be expanded, refined, and then scrapped for a very different system. We'll also look at how Warlords is bringing back the earliest version of talent trees in a brand-new way.

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PAX East 2014: Hands-on with Infinite Crisis

Super-hero, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), MOBA, Infinite Crisis

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Soundtrack by Blondie.
I don't know what Superman's problem is, man. I was expecting my confrontation with Doomsday to be something epic, something horrifying, but instead it turned into a pretty standard affair. Grab him with my enormous telescoping force arm, yank him over, slow him, then put up a shield while I beat the stuffing out of him. Seriously, I can only assume that Last Son of Krypton's death was largely a result of his desire for a vacation.

Of course, soon thereafter I fell victim to the eternal nemesis of Green Lantern -- enormous red-hued turrets surrounded by support drones. But I did all right.

MOBAs are not really my cup of tea, but superheroes are in a big way. I hadn't gotten a chance to play Infinite Crisis before now, but on the show floor at PAX East this year, I was given the chance to sit down and get a coaching session from one of the more experienced members of the team while I smashed heads. So I picked up Atomic Green Lantern and walked in fully expecting to fail left and right. To my pleasant surprise, the whole thing played out much better than I had expected, making excellent use of the license and providing a fun match all around.

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Elder Scrolls Online April 4, 2014
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Firefall 2014
WoW Warlords of Draenor 2014

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