My.com and Obsidian Entertainment have announced that the next Skyforge Closed Beta event will run from Jun 23rd through June 29th. Players will gain access to two more classes: The Knight and the Alchemist.
Players will be able to see in action several major changes made as a direct result of player feedback in previous closed beta tests.
(During the test only) Exclusive instant access to two high-tier classes, Knight and Alchemist – Players will get a chance to try two high tier classes available only in the upper ascension atlas: the Knight – a powerful tank class armed with a shield and spear, and the Alchemist – a half-mad scientist support class with mastery of corrosive chemical compounds and invigorating elixirs.
Client Optimization – The data collected during the previous CBTs helped to improve the game’s optimization and provide support for more configuration types. The maximum frames per second are now 30% higher than when beta testing began.
Orders and Followers – Since this is one of the most important parts of the game, the development team has put a lot of effort into improving the user experience and as a result, managing followers and their resources has been improved.
PVE and PVP adventures
Big changes were made for different aspects of gameplay. The difficulty level of adventures now can be chosen by the player after they’ve unlocked them. There will be no more prestige limitations between players who want to participate in adventures as a group, with players receiving rewards based on the range of the group’s prestige.
Grouping with others for adventures is now easier than ever, with recently vacated spots being automatically filled with new players during the adventure. Players can now automatically search for others interested in tackling PVE adventures, so if players don’t have a group they can choose to be matched with others automatically. For 5-man group adventures, pre-formed groups can now enter regardless of class makeup.
In PvP, the matchmaking system has optimized how players are grouped for battle in order to make it easier to find matches.
Ascension Atlas – The Ascension Atlas has been changed in order to promote a more streamlined experience, allowing the upper portions of the Atlas to be unlocked by players sooner, enabling them to more quickly progress towards other classes. The interface of the Ascension Atlas has also been changed to be much cleaner and easier to look at.
Along with the addition of three new classes, progression through each class has been streamlined to enable players to progress while still progressing through the upper layers of the Ascension Atlas.
Outside of the initial talents and abilities, classes now use their own unique class sparks to progress. This way you no longer need to choose between advancing one class or progressing towards others.
Pantheons – Pantheons are now available, allowing players to create their own or join others. Many of the features Pantheons provide will not be accessible in the timeframe of the closed beta test. Those will be in the upcoming open beta test!
Equipment – During previous closed beta tests players showed an interest in being able to acquire additional pieces of equipment. With that in mind, Amulets and Trophies have been added to the game to create four and two new equipment slots respectively.
Portal – Skyforge’s new, all-inclusive web interface, the portal, provides integration with the game, including a forum, chatting with players that are in the game, viewing player items or equipment, a talent calculator, managing your Order, and more. While not all of these features will be readily available during closed beta testing they will be made accessible during open beta testing.
UI – A large portion of the UI has seen changes to improve readability. Some of these changes include the Skill, Order, Equipment and Options menus.
Chat – The chat system is now more in line with the chat systems found in other games, resulting in a much simpler and user friendly chat experience.
Character creation – Character creation has seen many additions and general fine tuning for personalizing your character. Some of these additions include the ability to select a voice for your character and choose from a variety of facial tattoos.
Read the full change log on the Skyforge site.
The latest Albion Online video developer diary has been published to give players new information about Hellgates. Players in the game work together to bring down gatekeepers which, on death, can spawn a hellgate that leads to a special 5-player dungeon. The twist? A second hellgate that leads to the same dungeon may spawn elsewhere in the world with a second group of players in the same dungeon leading to PvE / PvP mayhem.
It's certainly an interesting way to handle the Zerg mentality most other PVP games fall into, and we're anxious to try it out ourselves come the end of June.
Check out the video developer diary for more, or head to this forum post, and let us know what you think in the comments.
The Steam Monster Sale has officially kicked off. If that doesn't send you to the penny jar to start tabulating how much you can spend, nothing will. It's a great chance for players to expand their Steam games list with some of the best deals ever on the hottest titles out there.
The promotion will also include a playable Monster Game, allowing users to level up and gain new abilities, earn Steam Trading Cards, and achieve community milestones to unlock additional discounts.
Check it out on the Steam Monster Sale page and get gaming!
Backers of the Bard's Tale IV KickStarter from the $20 tier and upward will receive the series' first three games for free. The original trilogy will be released on successful funding of BTIV and there is an agreement in place for updating the original Apple IIe versions to run natively on Windows and Mac PCs.
“It’s pretty amazing to see how far the graphics have come since these first games and it’s fun to think that people will still be playing these classics decades after release. These games made my career so it’s only fitting that we are doing another game.” said Brian Fargo, CEO. “Of course playing them will not be necessary to understand the new title, but we wanted to give our backers the opportunity to and are always happy to give our supporters some free extra value!”
Find out more on the Bard's Tale IV KickStarter page.
The Crowfall team has posted a brand new video that takes some of the best backer questions of the recent past and answers them. The team takes on questions about gear, archetype balance and something called "bending the knee". It's nine minutes of great questions and answers that you won't want to miss.
The latest in a series of Overwatch character gameplay videos has been unleashed. This time, protector of the innocent, Pharah, shines in over nine minutes of wild gameplay action. Check it out!
Find out more about Pharah at the link above.
A new RPG will soon be headed gamers' way with the release later this year of Legend of Legacy. Legend of Legacy is being developed by some of the industry's most experienced designers who have worked on games including Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy XIII, to name a few.
Other gameplay features in The Legend of Legacy include:
- Seven Unique Perspectives - Each character in The Legend of Legacy has their own motivation for exploring Avalon, and their individual conclusion at the story's resolution. Play through as each character to see them all!
- Combat Gets Classless - Managing formations to instruct specific combat roles instead of fixed classes adds a different level of challenge for battle enthusiasts.
- Legendary Development - Illustrator Tomomi Kobayashi (SaGa series), renowned composer Masashi Hamauzu (SaGa, Final Fantasy XIII), writer Masato Kato (Chrono Trigger), game designer Kyoji Koizumi (SaGa series), and Masataka Matsuura (999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors) all come together to create this brand new experience.
- Balanced for the West - Based on user feedback following the Japanese release, several gameplay adjustments were made to enhance the gameplay. More details to come later!
Learn more about the game on the Legend of Legacy site.
It’s been a long but insanely productive year for Zenimax Online Studios. Elder Scrolls Online came out, held its own, but was a rather contentious title for such a widely adored franchise. Fast forward several months and ESO is now buy to play, rebranded as “Tamriel Unlimited”, and quite frankly, it’s one of the best theme park MMORPGs on the market. And now it’s also on the PS4 and XBOX ONE. So, how does it play?
Read more of Bill Murphy's Elder Scrolls Online: The Console Version Review in Progress #1.
ArenaNet will be on hand during next week's E3 convention with something special for Guild Wars 2 players: A first-look at the forthcoming Guild Halls arriving with the Heart of Thorns expansion later this year.
Game Director Colin Johanson will be at E3 on June 16 to take part in PC Gamer’s PC Gaming Show. In this presentation, Colin will reveal how Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ will create new ways for you and your guild to play, battle, socialize, and progress together through the guild hall system.
We'll keep you posted, but you can read more on the Guild Wars 2 site.
ArtCraft Entertainment is taking Crowfall down a slightly different path than that walked by most crowdfunded games. I smell what Gordon Walton’s got cooking, and it’s the scent of success. How will it impact backers, though?
Read more of Red Thomas's Crowfall: The Crowfall School of Business.
After Elder Scrolls Online went live for consoles yesterday, megaservers were burdened to the point of breaking log in for of new players. According to the ESO site, millions of new players logging in created issues with queue displays and times that have largely been resolved or are being investigated pending resolution in soon-to-be released patches.
Log in errors should now correct resolve by placing players into queues. Increased server capacity is being investigated that should also reduce queue time. The queue placement time and status is displaying incorrectly, though this is simply a visual error. This will be addressed in the next patch. Lastly, several other smaller bugs are being investigated and will be resolved in future patches.
Check out the full post on the Elder Scrolls Online site.
Join Beau Hindman and members of the Mad Otter crew as they check out the newly-relaunched Villagers and Heroes client. If you like sandbox gameplay with themepark elements and have not tried Villagers and Heroes yet, this might be a good place to start. If you have questions about the game, or if you simply want to watch as Beau asks silly questions about the relaunch, check it out right here.
Join Beau and the Villagers & Heroes Team today at 4:00 pm Eastern / 1:00 pm Pacific in the MMORPG.com live stream channel.
Based on the MMO Age of Wushu, Snail Games has revealed its entry into the ever-growing MOBA marketplace with King of Wushu. Matches will take place 5v5 along some of the more traditional MOBA mechanics with a number of what Snail Games calls innovative features.
- Vivid gaming world rendered in 3D using Crysis 3 engine
- Traditional martial arts realized in growing cast of unique heroes
- Fast-paced action TPS-style style gameplay
- Hero progression and customization system
King of Wushu will launch across multiple platforms later this year.
The ARK: Survival Evolved team has updated its Steam portal page with the contents of this Friday's big patch.
Along with the emphasis on bug fixes and performance optimizations, players can expect to see these new features added:
- Tribe Governance features: do you want to be full utopian Communist where everything is shared, rapacious Capitalists with absolute private property, or something in between? Now Tribe founders can choose!
- New Structures: The Metallic Spike Blockade for stopping incoming Dinosaur attacks, and the Food Storage Bin for preserving your food over extended periods of time and turning beef into jerky... mmmm beef jerky!
- Flyers can now carry other dinosaurs, not just humans. C4-Packing Dodo Air Drop anyone?
Read the full post on the ARK: Survival Evolved Steam page.
2K and Gearbox have announced a new contest with one lucky winner being sent to the San Diego Comic Con and for a first hand chance to play Battleborn. All that is required is to "like" the post and to respond to it with which revealed character is your favorite. The contest runs from today through June 22nd.
Read more on the special Battleborn 2K blog.
Like World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm has been derided for dumbing things down, but the reality is that Heroes makes MOBA more accessible while also preserving what makes the genre fun.
Read more of Michael Bitton's Heroes of the Storm: Smash Bros. Meets MOBA.
After several weeks of spirited debate about the "no flying in Draenor" issue, World of Warcraft devs have come up with a compromise to give players the chance to fly but with the caveat that they will have to work for it by completing a new meta achievement.
In the coming weeks, a new patch will be applied to the Public Test Realm that will feature the meta achievement called Draenor Pathfinder that will require players to complete the following in order to secure the account-wide ability to fly in Draenor:
You’ll earn this achievement in Patch 6.2 by mastering the outdoor environment of Draenor—exploring Draenor’s zones, collecting 100 treasures in Draenor, completing the Draenor Loremaster and Securing Draenor achievements, and raising the three new Tanaan Jungle reputations to Revered. Initially, this achievement will award a rylak mount: the Soaring Skyterror, one of the native beasts that roam Draenor’s skies. Players will remain ground-bound on Draenor until a small follow-up patch (6.2.x), when all players who have earned Draenor Pathfinder on at least one character will unlock the ability to fly in Draenor on all their level 90+ characters.
Read the full water cooler post on the World of Warcraft community site.
Blizzard has released the latest in its series of gameplay video featuring Overwatch heroes. This time, Reinhardt takes center stage, a defensive "tank" type. See how he does in this 9+ minutes of gameplay action.
ArenaNet has announced that war torn Lion's Arch will once again shine as the jewel of Tyria when the next Guild Wars 2 update goes live. Said to be heavy on defenses, yet easy on the eyes, Lion's Arch will also sport several new names submitted by the players.
Renamed zones in LA include:
- Canal Ward → Commodore’s Quarter
- Lighthouse → Phoenix Roost
- Lion’s Court → Lion’s Court
- Air Base → Lion’s Arch Aerodrome
- Memorial → Field of the Fallen
The team will be announcing in-game events to celebrate the rebirth of the grandest city in Guild Wars 2.
You can also find out upcoming combat changes penned by Roy Cronacher:
Soon, each intensity-stacking damaging condition will stack to a much larger number. While I can’t reveal that number today because we’re still doing performance tests, let’s just say it’s large enough that you should never notice it while you’re playing, even during world boss fights. Essentially, there will be no more limit on damaging conditions. You’ll no longer be punished or punish others when you choose a playstyle that focuses on causing damage over time.
Condition removal will work just as it does now—using a skill that removes a condition will remove the entire stack of a condition, whether it’s two stacks of bleeding or four hundred stacks of bleeding. A player with four hundred stacks of bleeding would be a dead player, but you get my point.
Lastly, the monthly ESL Go4GuildWars2 Monthly finals are going on according to the following schedule:
- German livestream, hosted by Sputti and ChroNick: http://www.twitch.tv/guildnews
- French livestream, hosted by Waffle and Audio: http://www.twitch.tv/fureurwebtv
- Spanish livestream, hosted by Reihn and FariFariNos: http://www.twitch.tv/farifarinos
The event begins at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) with the European finals, as Daniel “Jebro” Littleton is joined by James “Kaelaris” Carrol live from ESL Studios in Cologne, Germany. Afterward, join Joe “Storm” Nowasell and Randal “Ruukil” Holcombe at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time (UTC-7) for the North American finals, live from ESL Studios in Los Angeles, California.
The Civilization Online Korean team has posted a new video to show off some of the transportation vehicles and mounts that will be part of the Industrial Era. Check it out!