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Heroes & Generals gets a huge update

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Browser

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Heroes & Generals is badass
We haven't heard from Heroes & Generals in a while, but that's because the devs at Reto-Moto have been working like dogs to update the F2P FPS.

What's Heroes & Generals, you say? It's a nifty blend of massive online shooter and strategic persistent elements that gives you the ability to fight in the trenches, in the air, or as a campaign mastermind. If you'd like to know more about it, see our various hands-on articles, or just go to the game's website and play it for yourself.

The latest update, codenamed Oster, adds plenty of new weapons, more campaign battlefields, improved weapon handling and avatar behavior, the ability to steal vehicles, and more. Click past the cut for the update vid.

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Defiance's Arktech Revolution DLC is live for PC and Xbox 360

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Defiance

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Defiance Arktech Revolution
Defiance's fifth DLC pack -- Arktech Revolution -- is now live for PC and Xbox 360 players. PlayStation 3 ark hunters will have access to the new content on April 29th (North America) and April 30th (Europe).

Trion's update page divides the DLC into free and paid feature lists, the former of which includes an EGO cap rating increase, EGO rating progression, new enemy difficulty tiers, expert co-op maps, and more. Paid features include a new titles, a new outfit, daily contracts, 15 new perks, and more.

In addition to the release notes, the Defiance website also features an article by creative lead Trick Dempsey on the game's EGO changes.

PAX East 2014: WildStar shows off Warplots at last

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Previews, PvP, Endgame, WildStar, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

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To fight monsters we created monsters.
Do you want to go to war in WildStar? Then you're going to want a stronghold. No, that's not right, you're going to want a fortress. You're going to want a fortification that makes others quake in terror. And then you're going to want to drop that fortification down on your enemy's front lawn and claim their territories while laying waste to their fortifications.

Welcome to Warplots. They're the game's answer to player-made fortresses and high-end battlegrounds all at once. More specificially, they're team-based 40 vs. 40 maps that drop you into a race to tear down your enemy. At either end sits the carefully constructed fortress held by each team, in the middle sit resource nodes, and both sides are pushed together to be the last side standing or the one putting a fortress back together post-battle.

Want to know more? That's a good thing. Take a look at the typical WildStar trailer past the cut, and then let's talk details.

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The Daily Grind: Are you for or against data mining?

Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

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Big Brother
I'm just as much of an information and news junkie as most of you are. I probably wouldn't be working for Massively if I weren't, really! So yes, I like to know the full scoop as soon as possible, and I really can't resist getting sneak peeks at the good stuff. But there's a line that can be crossed in this relentless pursuit of information, which is being totally OK with data mining.

Data mining is the act of combing through game files to find hints of upcoming content or to completely spoil current content in the game. Sometimes it's employed by sites to break NDAs and spill secrets that devs want kept until a later date. Sometimes it's used to grab maps or discover the existence of a new class in the making. There have been plenty of times that data mining efforts resulted in rather large spoilers that robbed the official reveals of their impact.

So I'm curious: Are you for or against data mining? Is it too spoilery for you or do you appreciate the sleuthing efforts of dedicated fans?

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!

Super Hero Squad Online commemorates its third birthday

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Casual, Kids, Family, Anniversaries

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SHSO
Who says kids MMOs are dead? Not Super Hero Squad Online! The adorable chibi-superhero MMO turns three this week, boasting seven million registrations since launch, 144 different playable heroes, playable villains, and even a new crafting system.

The celebratory game additions and perks include new characters (Spider-Ham, Captain America Stealth, Falcon EXO-7, and Winter Solider), new world event heroes, hero sales, Facebook giveaways, a 20%-off sub sale through April, and a birthday card contest.

Enjoy the festivities in the brand-new trailer below.

[Source: Gazillion press release]

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Infinite Crisis recruits Blue Beetle

Super-hero, Video, Classes, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

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Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis has recruited a new warrior in its fight against property damage and excess jungling: Blue Beetle.

Blue Beetle, aka Jamie Reyes, came across a blue scarab that wrapped him up in battle armor. The sentient armor and Jamie came to a mutual understanding to fight for whatever player was controlling them that session.

Blue Beetle comes equipped with an energy cannon, a scarab scanner, a dash, and even an infiltrator mode. Bad guys get too close? Time for a little mandible taser, am I right? Turbine touts Blue Beetle as a highly mobile champion that can sneak up and smack down solo targets.

Check out Blue Beetle in action after the jump.

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Jukebox Heroes: Talking to HEX Composer Michael Shapiro

Fantasy, Interviews, Trading Card Games, Jukebox Heroes, Music, HEX

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HEX
Massively: On today's column we have the composer of the upcoming TCG MMO, HEX. Now that's a lot of capital letters all in a row, so take a deep breath, get over it, and please welcome composer Michael Gordon Shapiro. Mike, can you give us a bit of your background in music?

Michael Gordon Shapiro: When I started my career I was only interested in film music. Game audio was just starting to emerge from the low-tech era, and there was a kind of stigma associated with it, much as there used to be with television music. As fate would have it, I was offered an in-house composer position at a game studio and was pleasantly surprised to find myself recording the same kind of live orchestral music that I loved doing for film. I also came to appreciate the high artistic effort going into both console and PC game scores.

So from that point, the stigma dissolved in my mind and my artistic palette widened. Today I love doing both film and game music, for both overlapping and complementary reasons.

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City of Steam patch optimizes and improves across the board

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, City of Steam, Steampunk

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City of Steam
It's the big patch day that you've been waiting for! City of Steam: Arkadia has updated to version 2.5, and with it comes a slew of quality-of-life improvements for the game as a whole.

In patch 2.5, City of Steam has added tutorial quests, included more offerings in the in-game store, refined elements of the interface, and optimized the quest tracking system. There are also new challenges and heroic dungeons for high-level players as well as a team-up boss raid.

Check out all of the changes, additions, and bug fixes in the patch notes.

The latest Swordsman trailer features three martial arts classes

Betas, Fantasy, Historical, Trailers, Video, Classes, News Items, Free-to-Play

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Swordsman
Last month, we learned that Perfect World Entertainment is bringing its martial arts MMO Swordsman westward, and that means more hack'n'slashy trailers heavy on the particle effects and lush landscapes. The latest video is a brief trailer highlighting three of the game's planned 10 classes. They are:
Wu-Tang: These masters of Taoism combine inner force and physical strength to become superb group fighters. Swinging heavy two-handed blades with ease, masters of the Wu-Tang styles supplement their raw physical damage with effects that buff and heal themselves and their entire group.

Sun and Moon: The heretical disciples of the Sun and Moon Cult become deadly assassins with high mobility and heavy damage. Armed with twin blades linked by chain, many of their skills focus on single targets and let them attack in close quarters or at range. Their sinister powers can steal away the life force of enemies, distributing it to the cultist and their group.

House Tong: Unlike the other schools, House Tong members rely on guns rather than blades. A family-like school, famous for their firearms and throwing weapons, House Tong members use traps to keep enemies at distance and attack from afar. These masters of firearms provide excellent damage in group combat situations, and with high attack speed and quick movement, the House Tong skills will frustrate any enemy.
Enjoy the video below!

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Lord of the Rings Online turns seven

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Anniversaries

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LOTRO
Happy birthday Lord of the Rings Online!

Today marks the seventh anniversary for LotRO, and as such, Turbine is handing out presents. All players who log in today will get fireworks, with premium and VIP players receiving extra gifts. The new seven-year gifts include a new portrait frame, a shield-cloak, a loot box key, and a dancing emote for your monster play character.

LotRO's in-game anniversary festival begins tomorrow, April 16th, and will continue through April 29th.

Star Wars: The Old Republic brings changes to second PvP season

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

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SWTOR
While Star Wars: The Old Republic is currently on a break between PvP seasons, the dev team has a few words to say about what awaits in Season 2.

A new dev blog posted today outlines the changes that Season 2 will bring. These include a shorter season length of three months, quicker rewards, slower rollouts of new gear sets, and daily and weekly PvP quests. The team is also going to hand out a unique reward to the top 96 PvP players.

Season 2 will commence with Update 2.7.1.

Massively Speaking Episode 293: H1Bree1

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

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H1Z1
With convention season in full swing and a rather big-name zombie MMO announced during this past week, your humble neighborhood podcasters have plenty to gab about. Warning: There might be rants. There might be many rants. This might be the most ranty show that ever ranted. Be prepared.

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
[RSS] Add Massively Speaking to your RSS aggregator.
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.
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Listen here on the page:



Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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PAX East 2014: Upsilon Circuit is an MMO like no other

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Culture, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play

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This is the first time that a rough pre-alpha build has excited me so deeply.
A lot of what I see in the MMO industry is fairly predictable. That's not an insult; it's just that most of the new games you see are either a result of elegant mechanics solving a problem that's always been there or a new take on an old system, and that's OK. There's nothing wrong with taking old favorites and refining them. But then I see something like Upsilon Circuit and I wind up being completely blown away because the very idea is a fundamental rewriting of how we understand MMOs.

Upsilon Circuit is a new game currently in very early development from indie studio Robot Loves Kitty (of Legend of Dungeon fame), and when I say early, I do mean early. The animations are rough, the build is very much in a proof-of-concept stage rather than a fully playable state, and none of that matters. The game is the love child of Twitch Plays Pokémon, the Hunger Games, and Diablo III, a game that not only encourages streaming but demands it while interacting with the audience

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CCP is 'reviewing the status' of the World of Darkness IP

Horror, MMO Industry, World of Darkness, Sandbox, Sunsets

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WoD
In the aftermath of World of Darkness' cancellation and the layoffs at its Atlanta studio, CCP said that it is taking time to "review" the White Wolf IP.

"We believe that the World of Darkness IP is very valuable and will be reviewing the status of it in the coming weeks and months, but we have no specific plans under consideration at this time," a CCP spokesperson said to CVG.

In the search to understand why World of Darkness got shuttered, players might turn to last December's financials for CCP. In these, the studio lodged a loss of $21 million for the year despite increasing revenue year-over-year. This was mostly due to a "massively increased R&D budget" that was feeding into projects such as WoD.

Darkfall clarifies vision to get 'back on track'

Fantasy, Darkfall, Previews, PvP, Dev Diaries, Sandbox

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Darkfall
Aventurine admitted today that it has faltered on its core vision for Darkfall due to "compromises" but is rededicating itself to restoring its focus.

"We are committed to our original vision of a politically and economically driven sandbox PvP MMO where risk dictates the reward, leading to meaningful massive battles," the studio posted.

As such, Aventurine revealed that it will be introducing mix-and-match custom roles, rebalancing the economy, adding in siege engines, and conjuring a quest system to beef up the new player experience. On the way out are timed events and "the purpose of safe zones."

War Thunder's 1.39 update adds player-generated content and more

Historical, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Player-Generated Content

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War Thunder's Twin Mustang
Gaijin has published War Thunder's 1.39 update. The patch introduces new aircraft including the F-82 Twin Mustang and the F-84 Thunderjet. There's also a new Kursk map and associated missions for War Thunder's various game modes.

What else is new in 1.39? How about PvP ladders, progression adjustments, and AI behavior tweaks?

The devs have also enabled Ground Forces tank battling functionality on the main game server, although currently said functionality is limited to closed beta testers and special events. Finally, the War Thunder CDK enables creative players to build missions, locations, and even unique planes, according to the 1.39 teaser trailer. Click past the cut to watch it!

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Snail previews Age of Wushu's scheming eunuch Rootless Clan

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Age of Wushu

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Age of Wushu's Rootless Clan
Want to get castrated and join "a cabal of scheming eunuchs?" Age of Wushu's Rootless Clan is for you. The martial arts sandbox game's upcoming Tempest of Strife expansion introduces the "mysterious yet heinous" new class which is an expert at both ranged and melee attacks.

The AoW website features more info about the archetype's skills and abilities as well as a teaser video. Or you could just click past the cut to watch the latter. Hey, don't say Massively never did anything for you!

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Tamriel Infinium: Seriously, you should craft in Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, News Items, Opinion, Mac, Guides, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online, MMORPG, Tamriel Infinium

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Tamriel Infinium: Seriously, you should craft in Elder Scrolls Online
I've come to the conclusion that Elder Scrolls Online is not a game you want run through quickly. If you fly past each town just running from quest marker to quest marker, you'll miss some of the most important things the game has to offer and burn-out comes that much faster. In the first day, we had a player reach max level in less than 18 hours. Of course, some players cry "exploit," but for me, that's not really the point. I would feel I was missing something if I rushed to the end. And because I didn't rush to the end, I can try out some parts of Elder Scrolls Online that I would not even think about trying in any other MMO, like crafting.

I have a long-standing angst toward crafting in MMOs. I played Ultima Online, but I didn't really craft in that game. I didn't start to understand the importance of crafting until I played Star Wars Galaxies. As we know, crafting was central to the success of that game. But after ZeniMax announced that an auction house would not exist in ESO, I wrote off crafting as unimportant and ultimately a waste of my time.

Then late in beta, a friend of mine crafted a set of armor for me. I was surprised. The armor she made was better than my looted armor. I had to find out more. I put this little primer together for those who want to get started making their own weapons and armor.

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Star Citizen tops $42 million, adds towels

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Humor, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Star Citizen, Buy-to-Play

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Star Citizen's damaged towel
The Star Citizen money train is still chugging along, as Chris Roberts' latest chairman letter makes clear. What's the occasion? The crowdsourced space sim sandbox just passed $42 million in funding, which unlocked several "celebratory goals" including an updated observist guide, an explorer-class mobiGlas rig for backers, a new Squadron 42 fighter craft called the Gladius, and most crucially, a towel for your hangar that comes complete with its own damage state.

Roberts says that the SC team is back at work on the dogfighting module after its PAX East hiatus, and he also provides a poll for choosing the next stretch goal reward.

Take a look at Star Trek Online's Earth Spacedock revamp

Sci-Fi, Patches, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

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STO
Star Trek Online's main hub is about to get a massive facelift, and Cryptic wants to give you a preview of the new design of Earth Spacedock as well as a tour through it.

In a dev blog posted yesterday, the studio went through the process of coming up with the ideas for a much improved Spacedock, including how it would be structured and what players would see: "A few solid points were decided. 1. It was all going to be on one floor. 2. We had to have a view both of Earth AND of the Shipyard. Point two meant that there was only one place for it. It had to be within the outer wall of the docking bay."

The blog also contains a link to an animated graphic showing a time-lapsed construction of one of the new areas. The Earth Spacedock revamp will come with Season 9's release on April 22nd.

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