NCSoft has released its Q4 2015 revenue report that shows quarter-over-quarter growth across the board, including a significant surge for Guild Wars 2 seemingly tied to the release of the Heart of Thorns expansion.
Lineage, Lineage 2, Aion, Blade & Soul and WildStar all experienced growth from Q3 2015 to Q4 2015. You can check out the graph below or download the full PDF here.
You can also check out this MMORPG.com forum thread for more reactions.
The Elder Scrolls Online site has been updated with a comprehensive look at the new Thieves Guild systems and skill lines that will arrive with the new DLC later this month. Players can look forward to a new TG passive skill line, the Larceny System, Mementos and Assistants.
In the Passive Skill Line, players will be able to choose from six passive abilities that will add to the already-existing lockpicking.
Here is a brief summary of the Thieves Guild skill line passive abilities:
- Finders Keepers: Thieves Troves are special caches that are located all around Tamriel. They have a distinct blue glow around them. If you happen to spot a Thieves Trove, it's yours to keep if you can open it. You'll need this Thieves Guild passive to secure your prize!
- Swiftly Forgotten: Experienced thieves know the value of being inconspicuous. Swiftly Forgotten decreases your accrued bounty and heat after three seconds, making you a distant memory with those who would have you arrested.
- Haggling: The art of haggling is admired among members of the Thieves Guild. With this passive, your haggling skills grant you the ability to get up to 10% more for stolen items you sell to any fence. Haggling won't give you benefits for Laundering—fences have to make a living too, after all.
- Clemency: Every thief has at least one tale of giving town guards the slip. With Clemency, you can do just that. When used, a guard that was going to arrest you will have a turn of heart and won't take your money and stolen goods. Also, guards will not attempt to accost you for one minute after you use Clemency unless you commit other crimes. Clemency is usable once a day, so use it wisely!
- Timely Escape: “Thick as thieves" is more than just a saying, especially among members of the Thieves Guild. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, a fellow thief may come to your aid. With Timely Escape, there is a chance a “Footpad" may appear in any town with an Outlaws Refuge when you have heat and are in combat. Interacting with the Footpad will whisk you away to the safety of the nearest Outlaws Refuge.
- Veil of Shadows: Long shadows and dark alleys are a boon to any thief. With Veil of Shadows, witnesses and guards have their detection range decreased by 10%. With decreased detection range, witnesses are less likely to notice crimes and guards won't challenge you until they get closer. They can't catch what they don't see!
The Larceny System allows players to make a bit of coin by completing quests and repeatable content through the use of the Tip Board that send players across the game world to pickpocket, unlock safeboxes, gather specific consignment items and more. Even more options are available to steal additional items.
With the Heist Board, members will see their skills pushed to the max in sneaking, trap avoidance, lockpicking and more. These take place in instanced locations that can be completed alone or in groups. Each also comes with a bonus objective with all leading to a lucrative reward at the end.
The Reacquisition Board that sends players on quest item recovery in and around Hew's Bane.
Mementos are unique trickets with a special effect that can be obtained in lots of different ways. Mementos also don't take up bank space, but instead have their own collection tab!
Lastly Assistants are summonable NPCs that provide specific services. These Assistants can sometimes only be used by those summoning them, or can be used by anyone in the vicinity. Assistants can be bankers, merchants, or fences.
Read the full guide on the Elder Scrolls Online site.
With the latest game update, the ability for EVE Online players to remove their own accrued skills through something called a Skill Extractor. These are then used to create a Skill Injector that can be traded or even sold for in-game currency via markets with buyers able to use them to boost skill levels on a character of their choosing.
In essence, Skill Trading is trading character experience from one character to another, a particular bonus for any secondary (or “alt”) characters if a player’s main character has a surplus of skillpoints in areas he or she might not currently use. It’s also a way for any pilot to reassign skills and further craft their characters, accelerate supporting skills, quickly get into an Alliance’s fleet doctrine, or jump into a new ship class a bit quicker than waiting out the training time.
Today's update also brings new camera controls, new seeded skills to prepare for the Citadel expansion and much more.
You can read more about Skill Trading on the EVE Online site.
Blade & Soul players looking for more content will be happy to hear that the Rising Waters content expansion will deploy today. To show off what can be expected, the development team has posted the official patch notes.
Alongside the new areas to explore, new Hongmoon levels, new Daily Dash activities that will run for eight weeks, multi-lingual loading screens, a new skill page.
- New Hongmoon Skills are available for each class! Unlock them by using the secret Hongmoon Skill scrolls from 4-member Bloodshade Harbor.
- All Hongmoon skills now cost 2 skill points to train.
- New Recommended Skill Builds are available for very class.
- If you are affected by Knock Down and are inflicted with Stun or Daze you will no longer be able to use an ability that requires Knock Down status.
- If you are affected by Knock Down or Daze and are inflicted with Stun you can no longer Retreat (F).
The PvP preseason also begins with today's release with a new UI that helps evaluate skills and to earn PvP currency called "Zen Beans". The team is promising more information to be released prior to the beginning of PvP Season 1.
Lastly, NCSoft announced that there are now over two million players taking part in the game in just over three weeks of release!
Read the full update notes on the Blade & Soul site.
Neverwinter will be expanding again soon with the arrival of The Maze Engine. In a new post on the official site, developers reveal a few of the famous faces players are likely to encounter along the journey.
Here's a list of the Who's Who from The Maze Engine:
Read full lore backgrounds for Linu La'neral and Makos and a bit of information about the rest on the Neverwinter site.
The latest update has been deployed on Heroes of the Storm servers that bring a number of balance changes to several heroes. The group that has received the most attention is the Assassin line that includes Falstad, Jaina, Kael'thas, Nova and Thrall. Other heroes seeing a bit of love from the devs are Rehgar and Diablo.
Check out the full notes on the Heroes of the Storm site.
The last Feedback Friday of January touched on an issue many players have strong opinions about - how important is casting your spells before your opponents? For those who are unaware, Kingsisle releases a Feedback Friday every week to gather player opinions and suggestions on different topics.
Read more of Vanessa Mythdust's Wizard101: How Important Is Going First?
The Sword Coast Legends site has been updated with good news for console owners. Both XBox One and PlayStation 4 owners will be able to get hands on the game in Spring 2016.
Both the PS4 and XBOne versions will run $19.99 and come complete with all the content that has been released since the PC version came out.
Some new features include: the drow as a new playable sub-race, additional character skill trees, hundreds of new placeable objects for DMs, new areas, new visual effects, hardcore gameplay options for the most rugged of adventurers, and much more.
The Standard Edition also includes special in-game items, such as: Tome of Knowledge, an Order of the Burning Dawn Cloak, Armor and Weapons, Beholder, Lost Mines dungeon tile set, and Wisps (DM use cursors).
Check out the Sword Coast Legends site for more information.
The Star Citizen site has been updated with a new FAQ to clear up some of the confusion that last week's announcement caused with regard to the separation between Star Citizen, the persistent world, and Squadron 42, the single-player campaign.
The most important piece of the write up is the plainly stated fact that those who have already backed Star Citizen will retain access to both games without requiring any additional purchase with the same for anyone who purchased Squadron 42 prior to the announced split. The split only affects sales after the announcement.
Additionally, the Fly Free program has been extended through February 14th for those who would like to see the game in its current state.
Why split Squadron 42 and Star Citizen?
When we started Star Citizen’s crowdfunding campaign, the plan was that earlier backers would get a lower price on the Star Citizen starter package than those that backed later. The plan was to first gradually increase the price and then split up various modules for “a la carte options.” This gave backers who joined the project early on and helped get it off the ground an advantage. With the package split, we’re accomplishing this objective without increasing the amount of money needed to join the persistent universe. The ‘package split’ is the first introduction of the anticipated a la carte option: you can pick which part of the game you’re interested in, for now the single player campaign or the persistent universe, and then can choose whether or not to purchase the other module as an add-on.
Head to the Star Citizen site to read the full FAQ.
The Austin Game Conference has been dated for September 21-22, 2016 and is aiming to provide "critical insight into developing live, connected, participatory games with real-time engagement between developers, players and spectators." Of particular interest are the co-chairs of AGC, Gordon Walton of Artcraft Entertainment and Rich Vogel of Bethesda's BattleCry Studios.
AGC is truly the venue for developers, technologists and business professionals to network with colleagues, learn from industry leaders, stay informed about the latest techniques, tools and technologies and get business done in a relaxed atmosphere.
The attendees are decision-makers, setting the standards and looking for insights to improve their businesses and they come to AGC for the opportunity to drill down on key issues.
Find out more by visiting the Austin Game Conference site.
Patch 2.3.0, aka The Thieves Guild was released on the PTS last week. As long as you own the game you have the opportunity to login to the PTS and give this new DLC a try for FREE. Let me tell you, this expansion is extremely enjoyable. Between doing the Guild Jobs and Heists you’ll always have something to do, not to mention main story quest for the Thieves Guild and the side quests that partake in Hew’s Bane.
Read more of Ryan Getchell's Elder Scrolls Online: Everything You Need to Know About Thieves Guild.
After last week’s announcement from Funcom about the latest sandbox MMO Conan: Exiles we quickly got the team to do an interview about the game. Conan remains a hugely popular franchise and Funcom has a rich history with the brand after Age of Conan’s release. Now with games coming out in early access and offering a much more hardcore style of survival play, the company wants to bring Conan into the new age of smaller scale MMOs.
Read more of Garrett Fuller's Conan Exiles: Bringing Hyboria into the New Age of MMOs.
Hi-Rez Studios has announced that it has opened a branch office in Brighton, United Kingdom to support the growing European SMITE community. The new EU team will be primarily focused on community management, localization and marketing operations with development to continue in Hi-Rez's Atlanta, Georgia office.
Veronique Lallier has been appointed as Vice President of European Publishing to build and lead the Brighton office. Lallier is the former Vice President of Digital Publishing at Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment International and has 15 years of experience in the gaming industry, with particular expertise in the European Online Gaming market.
Learn more here.
Marvel Heroes recently underwent yet another rebrand and the corresponding game update was suitably massive. Now Marvel Heroes 2016, Gazillion has kicked off the New Year with a bang by introducing some long awaited additions, with even more to come.
Read more of Michael Bitton's Marvel Heroes: Kicking Off 2016 With a Bang.
The latest Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen newsletter has been published on the official site that begins the process of introducing fans to the classes that will be coming with the game. Brad McQuaid begins the discussion by outlining the design objectives behind classes in general and then he provides a first look at the Cleric.
Overall, classes in Pantheon will be iconic and traditional simultaneously, alongside new and interesting ways to play them. Also key is the interdependence of all of the game's classes, each one with its role to fulfill. Classes will work cooperatively to create synergistic spells that can change environments or that are dependent on certain environmental features such as, for example, a lightning storm.
As expected, the Cleric is a focused healer that wears plate armor and utilizes blunt weapons. Clerics are diverse in healing and are adept at self-, target, group/raid wide through direct, heal-over-time and heal-on-hit abilities.
You can find out more about the Cleric by visiting the Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen site.
Funcom has revealed the new membership perks for The Secret World. Members will receive a number of pretty cool boons including 30% bonus XP, 10% item store discount, token capacity increase and more. In addition, members will receive loyalty rewards at 30, 60, 90, 180 and 360 days that can include cosmetic items, emotes, and mounts, to name a few.
In addition to the membership bonus revealed, the team also let TSW players know that Dream Palace has arrived for Valentine's Day. The event runs through February 23rd.
Read the full notice on The Secret World site.
A new article has been posted on the Motiga web site by Chris Chung that reveals that a significant percentage of the studio staff has been temporarily laid off. The letter goes on to say that the company intends to continue to support Gigantic, but that the lay offs will have a huge impact on every portion of the game.
Here is the letter in its entirety:
It is with deep heartache that Motiga announces the temporary layoff of a significant percentage of our studio today. Our financial situation is such that we are unable to continue supporting the entirety of the studio at this time. Though we are in active and promising discussions with a number of potential investors, the timing for those negotiations extends beyond the resources we have to maintain the staffing required to continue development on Gigantic.
While we intend to continue supporting Gigantic game services for as long as we are able, the reality is that a decision of this magnitude will impact all departments across the studio, an impact that will be felt by our community of beta testers as the services they depend on will operate without the key staff on hand to support those services.
Owing to our commitment to transparency, both to our studio and the Gigantic community, this is a decision that has been shared with every member of our team before the posting of this article.
Motiga continues to engage in active discussions with our partners to identify ways to remedy this situation, but we are not in a position to provide any specific information on our next steps at this time. It is of course our goal, and our deep hope, that we are able to secure the necessary funding in the near future in order to bring Gigantic to market.
We would like to thank everyone for their support over the last few months, and while the situation is far from ideal, the sheer number of people that have enjoyed playing Gigantic has affirmed what we’ve believed all along: while we still have a lot of work to do to polish the experience for the players, the current closed beta version of our game introduces a legitimately fun gameplay experience with great promise for the future.
Our goal at this time is to work aggressively to identify the resources we need to rehire the members of the Motiga family that were laid off today, securing our financial future so that the Gigantic community can continue to work with us to develop this title, and ultimately bring the complete Gigantic experience to the marketplace.
We will continue to keep our community, and the world-at-large, apprised of this situation as it continues to unfold over the coming weeks.
This past week Ub3rgames has been successful in finalizing a contract for the rights to DarkFall. This hardcore MMO has been a fan favorite on the site for years. So, we thought to chat with Marc Thompson from Ub3rgames about some of the upcoming changes and features we will see. DarkFall New Dawn is set to re-launch the game and bring back some of the old school fun of the original. There are a lot of updates the team is working on as well. Let’s hear what Marc had to say.
Read more of Garrett Fuller's Darkfall: Ub3rgames Aiming to Bring Back Old School Fun.
Jeff Kaplan is hosting a new Developer Update video that discusses the Overwatch progression system. As players participate in matches, experience is earned that at certain intervals will result in being given a loot box that can contain a number of random cosmetic items including skins, sound files, player icons, emotes, sprays, victory poses and highlight intros. Each of these can come in common, rare, epic, and legendary quality.
In an interesting twist, if an item is awarded that a player already has in inventory, credits will instead be issued that can be spent in the Hero Gallery to unlock items not yet owned.
According to Kaplan and the videos below, this is just a start, is already in the now-ongoing restarted closed beta and the team is looking for player feedback.
Currently, you can gain experience by completing Quick Play and Play vs A.I. games. The amount of experience you earn will be determined by a variety of factors including overall participation, whether or not your team won, what medals and commendations you received, and more. Quick Play games will also award more experience than Play vs A.I. games to account for the difference in difficulty between the two modes.
Read the full video on the Overwatch site.