The Shards Online newsletter for September has been sent out with a great new video that gives fans a pre-alpha look at housing that will be included in the game. Additionally, Project Lead Derek "Supreem" Brinkmann talks about some of what the team has been up to in the past month.
Pre-Alpha 3 is coming along with developers focused on a trio of game features: Game Balance, User Interface, and Polish. A new UI seems to have hit the right notes with the team:
Our new and improved UI for Pre-Alpha 3 has a ton of improvements. The biggest of which is the fully dynamic hotbar that lets you activate all of your spells, combat abilities, skill abilities, and consumable items with a single keystroke. Beyond that, we are tackling new conversation, crafting, and taming windows. I could go on and on about it but I think the screenshots speak for themselves.
You can read the full Shards Online newsletter here.
The Trove team has revealed the first information about the new class coming to the game called the Lunar Lancer. Lunar Lancers will be in fox form and will take on opponents using spears.
A couple of skills LLs will have access to include:
Crescent Combo (1)
This powerful two-hit combo attack knocks enemies into the air, leaving them briefly stunned. While in Lunatic form, enemies are knocked even higher into the air, and remain stunned longer.
Ultimate: Blessing of the Moon (2)
Summon a giant spear from the heavens that slams into the Trovian terrain, damaging all enemies caught in the impact. Once the spear lands, it radiates a soothing buff that increases Health and Energy regeneration for all your friends! If Blessing of the Moon is used in Lunatic form, the spear is followed by a barrage of meteorites that do additional damage.
Read more on the Trove site.
Blizzard Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft is on hand at this weekend's DragonCon and conducted a special World of Warcraft: Legion panel that saw a few nuggets of information revealed that had not been heard before.
LeCraft spoke some about Demon Hunters and included these new pieces of information:
Territory control system is one of the unique features of Gloria Victis. It will not only be strictly connected to the player-driven economy, but will also involve entire nations in massive conflicts, not just the most powerful guilds. How?
Read more of our exclusive developer diary, Gloria Victis: Territory Control System.
ARK: Survival Evolved is one of the few survival games I can get behind. I think it’s because the game ditched the zombie thing, which let’s face it, is a bit overdone. Zombies have invaded pop culture to the point of over saturation being on TV, movies, books, games, and occasionally real life if you feel like visiting a state that has “legalized it”. ARK was right to go with dinosaurs, because it has been a smash hit.
Read more of TheHiveLeader's ARK: Survival Evolved - The Hunger Games Goes Prehistoric.
Victor looks at FFXIV from the lens of comparison after playing through three other games.
Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s Eorzea Reborn: FFXIV From the Eyes of a Game Hopper.
Since the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, players have been hoping to see more romance dialog with Triss and Yennifer with fans creating 933 page forum thread on the very subject. CD Projekt Red is responding to that wish in a future patch, according to a statement made to Kotaku.
“We’ll be adding some additional dialogue for Triss and Yennefer in the upcoming patch due to the fan feedback. We’ve read many opinions on our forums where gamers weren’t satisfied with the way their romance choices were fleshed out, so we wanted to change that by adding some extra conversational options.”
At this point, there is no specific release date for the update, but it is a welcome addition. You can read the full article on Kotaku.
A new trailer has been released by the Order & Chaos 2: Redemption team that reveals some very interesting new features. Solo dungeons will be featured to allow individual players to gain experience and rewards. There will be four dungeons at launch with more in the works as time goes on.
Instanced quests will activate when players enter zones throughout the game where they can be completed. The goal is to alleviate the need to track down and speak to NPCs by letting players get right to the action. Rewards and loot are automatically given at the completion of the quest as well.
Check out the video below and then head to the Order & Chaos 2: Redemption site for more.
The Diablo 3 team took to Reddit yesterday for an AMA about the recently released 2.3.0 patch and some questions about the future of the game as well. Notable topics included bringing in a useful and desirable gold sink, item set upgrades and whether or not there are secret cube recipes yet to be discovered.
One item of particular interest is the update to Demon Hunters that would essentially give them a viable melee option. According to Richie Marella about update 2.4:
The Shadow's Mantle set is the redesign that I'm the most excited about for 2.4 so far. The idea of a melee-weapon oriented build that doesn't involve bows/xbows has always been in the back of my mind. Here's what it currently looks like:
2pc While equipped with a melee weapon, all damage is increased by 1000%. 4pc Shadow Power gains all runes and lasts forever. 6pc Impale deals 30000% weapon damage to the first enemy it hits.
The idea is that the set is extremely strong on single-target damage, but weak on AoE. To help with that, a new dagger will have the power "Every second, the damage of your next Fan of Knives is increased by 250-300%." To help with movement, a pair of bracers has the power "After using Impale, Vault costs no resource for 2 seconds." That item will allow you to Vault into position to Impale the high-value targets.
Additionally, we're also allowing Demon Hunters to use melee weapons with quivers because the fantasy of this quick-moving assassin build is about speed, not walking around with a shield ;)
Read the full Diablo 3 AMA on Reddit.
Goblinworks went through a major transformation this week. It’s been on a slow descent for the past year and finally crash landed the other day. Read on for Rob Lashley’s take on what went wrong and what we hope to see for the Pathfinder IP going forward.
Read more of Rob Lashley's Goblinworks: Looking Back.
We’ve been covering Motiga’s Gigantic for what seems an age, and yet I’ve never been fortunate enough to play the thing. This year’s PAX Prime changed that, and I am really glad it did. With my Player Coaches over my shoulder (I wish I’d gotten their names!) I charged into battle with Lord Knossos and never looked back.
Read more of Bill Murphy's Gigantic: A Gigantically Good Time -- See What We Did There?
After the Mumble chat with the Pathfinder Online community last night, much has been speculated about what all the changes mean. With Ryan Dancey and all but three employees removed from the development team, the future of the game is in question. In a new post today, new CEO Lisa Stevens has written a very frank letter to the community. We present it here in its entirety and invite your analysis.
To the Pathfinder Online Community:
From the beginning of the three-year journey to create Pathfinder Online, the one constant has been the support of our community and for this I thank you. We have had ups and downs including heated debates on design, implementation and overall gameplay. We have literally battled together (or against each other) and I know you enjoy playing the game as much as I do. I also know that the community comes together during tough times, and it is probably no surprise that we are currently in a tough spot right now. There are a number of things that have occurred in the past two weeks that you need to be brought up to date on.
As we have been on this journey to create Pathfinder Online with you for over three years now, we have striven to be as transparent as possible with you. We just shared the following message with the community during our weekly Keepside Chat. In full transparency, here is a quick run down of the state of our game:
- EE10.2 is on ZOG for final testing and should roll out to the live server very soon.
- EE11 is targeted for the end of September
- Ryan Dancey has resigned from the company for personal reasons (Lisa Stevens will be acting CEO)
- Finances are tight at Goblinworks, which has resulted in the layoff of the majority of Goblinworks staff
- CTO Mark Kalmes, Art Director Mike Hines, and Designer Bob Settles continue to push the game forward (your monthly subscriptions are what keep these three employed and the server up)
- Goblinworks is in talks with multiple game publishers to take the game on and bring it to Open Enrollment
I know that is a lot to take in, so I will share what details we can below:
Game status (EE10.2 and EE11):
We are in final testing before pushing EE10.2 to the live server with its fully revamped and improved new player experience, buy orders for the auction house as well as auction sales histories, settlement chat, and the new crystal ogres monthly event, as well as turning the previous event (The Wrath of Nhur Athemon and its Shadow counterpart) into an ongoing escalation, and making a bunch of bug fixes and improvements. The team has been working hard on this and on EE11 for most of July and August. EE11 is done in design, almost entirely done in art, and just needs a bit more programming to get it to the point where we can test. It will take settlement activities to the next level by allowing you to customize and build your settlements the way you want to. Building a settlement will be a large group task, with lots of raw materials to gather and refine before buildings can be erected. We will also have the dark elves monthly event ready, providing more PVE content for those who are focused on that aspect of the game. The core team has the goal of shipping EE11 by the end of September, and we'll keep you updated on our progress.
Ryan Dancey needed to resign from the company for personal reasons. We were very sad that he needed to leave us, but supported his decision because it is in the best interests of Ryan’s life outside Goblinworks. In Ryan’s absence, the board of directors has appointed me Acting CEO.
We have always known that we would need a certain amount of money to make Pathfinder Online a reality. Some delays in getting the game to market coupled with some anticipated funding falling through have left us about 25% short of the money we need to finish the game and bring it to Open Enrollment. We knew that we could cut our burn rate (the rate at which expenses burn your cash reserves) by having folks participate in Early Enrollment and that was always the plan, though we never thought that the Early Enrollment subscribers could carry the company to Open Enrollment. We knew we needed that full investment amount to do that. We had numerous times this year where the full funding was dangling in front of us only to be snatched away at the last moment. Very frustrating, but we moved forward and kept looking for somebody to come through with the money we needed to see the game through.
Due to the commitment that you have made to the game, your current subscriptions are able to keep the core team employed and the servers live. We will continue to move the game forward with that team and keep the servers live as long as the continued financial support from the community is there. But that means we need you, the Pathfinder Online Community, to continue to support us with your monthly subscription fees. They are very literally what is keeping the servers paid for, and keeping our core team employed, working on EE11, and talking with various potential partners about purchasing the game so they can finish it. If you wish to see the game through to its finish, we need you to support it financially for the next few months, and if you know people that want to support it, encourage them to subscribe now. (During this period, we will offer only month-to-month subscriptions.)
On August 28, we had to lay off the majority of the Goblinworks staff. Continuing to push the game forward are CTO Mark Kalmes, Art Director Mike Hines, and Designer Bob Settles. We have been keeping the staff abreast of our efforts to find funding for Pathfinder Online and that we would likely have to lay them off on the 28th. We felt it was super important to give our employees warning so they could plan their lives accordingly. Their efforts to line up new jobs led to some of the rumors about layoffs. So why didn’t we announce this earlier? Because there was and still remains a chance for Pathfinder Online to get its funding and continue forward, so it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that we would have to lay the staff off until Friday, the 28th.
For the past few weeks, we have been shopping Pathfinder Online to a number of other game publishers, looking for a good fit to take the game on and fund it over the finish line. There have been quite a few companies coming out of the woodwork to discuss this with us and we are in ongoing talks with a number of them about the possibilities. More companies enter the fray every day. These kinds of things take some time, though we are motivated to see them through as quickly as we can. At any moment, one of these publishers could agree to buy the game and we could quickly ramp up to full tilt again. Due to confidentiality, we can’t provide information on these negotiations. Rest assured that you will be the first people we tell when there is news we can share.
This isn’t a super rosy picture, but we aren’t dead yet! The Goblinworks team and the Pathfinder Online community have been underdogs for pretty much the entire project’s history. But we have persevered and survived. Sometimes it is darkest right before the dawn. When I was at White Wolf, we were close to having our electricity and phones shut off in the month before Vampire: The Masquerade released and became a huge hit. At Wizards of the Coast, we had to lay off the entire staff for 9 months before Magic: The Gathering launched and became one of the most successful games in history. You have my word that I will work relentlessly to find the right partner to take Pathfinder Online through to the finish line. The team has brought the ball down the field to the red zone, and now we just need somebody to punch it over the goal line.
I will be hosting another Keepside Chat on Wednesday, September 8th at its normal time of 5pm PST. You can join the chat live by going to:
The ability for us to make Pathfinder Online has always been entirely dependent upon you, the Pathfinder Online Community and the support you have given us. I would like to thank the Pathfinder Online community for your fierce dedication, support, feedback, and drive to see this game made well. The only reason to make Pathfinder Online is you, our customer. I hope you will stay with us over the next few months as we search for that proper partner to finish the game. It is your support, literally, that will allow this to happen. Without you, there is no Pathfinder Online.
You have my eternal gratitude,
The Champions Online site has been updated with a special post to let players know that a big sixth anniversary party is in the works throughout September. Players can look forward to special events and lots of free items as well.
The site has a listing of several events including the Destroid Invasion and at least a pair of in-game birthday celebrations.
As for the free swag, check out this list:
- Wasp Grav Bike
- Defender 2015 Action Figure
- Serpent Armor Costume
- Redeemed Villain Costume
- Free Costume Change Token
Check out the full list of details on the Champions Online site.
In a three part series, our staff writer Carolyn Koh takes a look at some of the many Indie games to be found at PAX. Starting with two very different RPGS, Dragon Fin Soup and Guild of Dungeoneering.
Read more of Carolyn Koh's PAX Prime 2015 Indie Round-Up Part One.
UPDATE: We reached out to Gazillion Entertainment and a company representative has confirmed the layoffs:
Yesterday, as a result of company restructuring, we at Gazillion unfortunately parted ways with some truly excellent personnel. We wish them well in their future endeavors, and would recommend them to other employers in a heartbeat. To our players – the best community in gaming – rest assured that Gazillion remains very healthy, and we’re as dedicated as ever to continuing to deliver the stellar new content you’ve come to expect from us.
Michael Parks, currently with Kongregate, is reporting on his Twitter account that a round of layoffs has gone down at his former employer Gazillion Entertainment, developers of Marvel Heroes 2015. From his posts, it appears a significant number of employees are affected.
Super sad for all my friends at Gazillion looking for work today. Again, if anybody knows of anything in SF, speak up. They're good people.— Michael Parks (@Cuthpaste) September 2, 2015
Super sad for all my friends at Gazillion looking for work today. Again, if anybody knows of anything in SF, speak up. They're good people.— Michael Parks (@Cuthpaste) September 2, 2015
We have reached out to Gazillion for confirmation and will keep you posted.
The third in a series of Guild Wars 2 World v World Borderland stress tests has been announced for Tuesday, September 8th and set to run through Thursday, September 10th. The number of included players has been significantly increased and potential testers are urged to check email to see if an invitation has arrived.
In addition to the above, a new 'deep dive' article has been published to give WvW fans a look at Guild Objective Claiming.
First, I’ll quickly go over how upgrading a claimed objective works. We’ve added a new piece of UI to WvW called the Objective Upgrades panel. This UI can be accessed either by clicking on an objective’s map marker (on the compass or the world map) or by speaking with a quartermaster at the objective. This panel has two tabs. The first tab displays information relating to the general upgrade level of the objective—a list of which upgrades are currently active—and timers indicating when the next upgrade tier is unlocked.
The second tab manages the guild upgrade system. On the left side of the Guild tab is the guild’s war chest. This is a list of all the objective upgrades that your guild owns. These are unlocked over time and crafted in your guild hall. To the right of the war chest is where we display the guild upgrade tiers. There are two to three tiers per objective (supply camps have two), and each tier offers two upgrade slots.
The post goes on to list the interesting tier upgrades that include supply drops, centaur banners, camps, and much more.
Read it on the Guild Wars 2 site.
In the meeting halls of the Grand Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle last weekend Rob Lashley sat down to play Sword Coast Legends for the first time. He was limited in time, only 20 minutes, but these are his first impressions as playing as the DM.
Read more of Rob Lashley's Sword Coast Legends: To Be the DM.
Nope, Master of Orion is not an MMO. It’s even less of one than the mega-popular World of Tanks from Wargaming. But when the founder of Wargaming wins a bidding war to secure the MOO franchise because he’s a dyed in the wool fan, you want to see what will come of such a nostalgia grab. And so it was with trepidation that we stepped into Wargaming’s booth this year to see how the reboot of one of PC Gaming’s most vaunted series was coming along…
Read more of Bill Murphy's Master of Orion: Not So MMO, But Big on Roleplaying in the Galaxy.
As announced to our own Bill Murphy during last weekend's PAX Prime, the Friends & Family alpha for Devilian has started today. Included in that number are founders of the "Obsidian" level as well.
You can find out more about Founders' Packages on the Devilian site.
NeoCore Games has announced the release date for Van Helsing: Final Cut, a new iteration of the trilogy packed into one for $44.99. The all-in-one game version can be picked up on September 23rd. Players who already own all three titles in the series will receive the Final Cut for free.
When the creatures of the night are threatened by mad science, their only hope is an unlikely ally: a monster hunter with a ghost lady on his side. The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut is an Action-RPG set in a gothic-steampunk world filled with monsters, weird science, humor and pop-cultural references. With more than 50 hours in the campaign, several multiplayer modes and massive endgame content, Van Helsing: Final Cut will grant players entertainment, excitement and fun for a very long time.
Read the rest of the details about Van Helsing: Final Cut.