There are some weeks when I sit down to write this column and it takes me a while to find four or five really great links to share with you all. I have a number of considerations when selecting blogs to highlight, including making sure I don’t repeat the same sites too often and finding posts about “current” issues for MMO and RPG fans. Occasionally finding the perfect links can take longer than actually writing the column!
Read more of Jessica Cook's Tales from the Neighborhood: Blaugust, Gamescom, and WoW: Legion.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has announced that Gauntlet: Slayer Edition has now officially launched for PlayStation 4. Interested players can grab hold of a copy via the PlayStation Network for $19.99.
Based on one of the first multiplayer arcade games, this new Gauntlet experience is a perfect couch co-op game, allowing players to select from four classic fantasy-based characters - Warrior, Wizard, Valkyrie or Elf - each with a distinctive play style, unique strengths and weaknesses. In this enhanced edition of the game, players will encounter new hero weapons and abilities, new monster types, and additional features that increase team dynamics and strategy, including spin attacks, shield throws, summoning, and magic abilities for the iconic characters, as well as a new, anticipated Endless gameplay mode.
Check out the Gauntlet page on the PlayStation Store site.
NCSoft and Carbine Studios have announced that the closed beta for the forthcoming free-to-play transition for WildStar has officially kicked off. Players will get a hands on look at the new features in the game's largest update thusfar, as well as many of the quality of life improvements made for the F2P version.
- The Alpha Sanctum - A new instance that brings players into WildStar's world storyline much earlier in the game than ever before. Featuring creative gameplay, a unique environment, and a compelling narrative, the Alpha Sanctum introduces players to the mysteries of Nexus in an unforgettable way.
- Madame Fay’s Fortunes - Discover all-new treasures with Madame Fay's Fortunes, an exciting, randomized reward system that can turn a tiny investment into big, big shinies with the help of everyone's favorite Lopp fortune-teller, Madame Fay.
- New Player Experience - A revamped Arkship and arrival sequence welcomes newcomers to WildStar and offers everyone the option of choosing where to start their Nexus adventure based on their level of MMO experience. Character creation has also been overhauled, giving players a better understanding of the choices they're making and the customization options available.
- Loyalty Program - Any player who has ever invested money in WildStar by subscribing to the game, redeeming C.R.E.D.D., or purchasing MTX items will now earn points in the game’s Loyalty Program. These reward points, which are also earned retroactively, give players access to additional gear, items, pets, mounts and more.
- Quality-of-Life - A multitude of quality-of-life improvements have been added, including a revamped sprint function, navpoints to help players keep track of their next objective, daily player login rewards, and much more.
Read the full announcement on the WildStar site.
About 4 months ago, Carbine Studios announced that WildStar would be going Free to Play. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about what the transition would look like, including a sneak peek at E3, and a deep dive into character stat refactoring. But the studio was also eager to get fan feedback, promising a beta period for new and existing players to give feedback on this reloaded version of WildStar.
Read more of Gareth Harmer's WildStar: Free-to-Play Opens for Testing.
In this design journal Soulbound Studios Creative Director Jeromy Walsh ventures back inside the Akashic Records, taking a revealing look inside the Chronicles of Elyria Soul Chamber to talk about soul selection, destiny, achievements, and soul mates.
Read more of our exclusive developer diary, Chronicles of Elyria: Design Journal #2 –Soul Selection, Destiny, Achievements and Soul Mates.
A new advertisement has cropped up on the Blizzard site for an "unannounced project" that in and of itself seems like nothing too exciting. However, the addition of "A passion for games with a deep understanding of the Diablo franchise" is the clue. Whether this is an expansion to Diablo III or if it's an entirely new entry into the series, Diablo IV, remains to be seen, though Blizzcon could see a big announcement for fans of the legendary IP.
Read more at the link above.
What do you think? Expansion or new ARPG or, heaven have mercy, a Diablo-themed MMO? Leave us your thoughts.
A day ahead of tomorrow's big Neverwinter update, Cryptic Studios has published the patch notes for Strongholds, the next module to be added to the game.
Strongholds brings several new features into the game including:
I do love me some theorycrafting. I'm not necessarily the best player, but I love coming up with ways to build characters and then put them to the test in a game. So I'd say I'm looking forward to the elite specializations in Heart of Thorns as much as I am to the new zones and gameplay. After relatively little change to Guild Wars 2's professions over three years, I don't think I'm alone in thinking it's a pretty big deal, so I made the elite professions my focus during the recent beta weekend event.
Read more of Jason Winter's Guild Wars 2: Feeling Elite.
Sword Coast Legends' multiplayer component is a (up to) five player experience set in the classic Dungeons and Dragons region of the Sword Coast. Or if you prefer, Neverwinter, Baldurs Gate and Icewind Dale can all call the Sword Coast home. Classic Dungeons and Dragons. Dare I say, proper Dungeons and Dragons? That I'll leave up to dyed in the wool D&D fans to debate.
A cryptic, or not so cryptic depending on your viewpoint, tweet and image has arrived on the Guild Wars 2 Twitter feed that seems to indicate that Glint is going to be revealed as the elite specialization for the Revenant.
Do you agree or disagree? Leave us your thoughts!
As for "Who or what's a Glint"? Check out the GW2 wiki for more information.
It’s an incredible year for Star Wars fans. Episode VII: The Force Awakens arrives in cinemas later this year. Star Wars: Battlefront hits PCs and consoles in November. And with our own genre, Knights of the Fallen Empire, the latest expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, will open from October 27. Our own Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer caught up with James Ohlen, Game Director on SWTOR, over at Gamescom. to find out more.
Read more of Gareth Harmer's Star Wars: The Old Republic - James Ohlen on Bioware Storytelling.
In a brief statement on the Funcom Investor Relations page, it is revealed that the company is seeking "investment, acquisition, merger or other available options" as it seems to be struggling to maintain financial viability.
Following the completion and launch of the LEGO Minifigures Online game, and based on the situation described in the stock notice from Funcom issued on 23 July this year, Funcom N.V. (hereafter the “Company”) has retained ABG Sundal Collier to undertake a broad review of the strategic options available to the Company. The Company is actively seeking interested parties for discussions surrounding a possible investment, acquisition, merger, or any other available options.
Funcom will update the market about the outcome of the review and potential other developments in due course.
Any enquiries may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
We have reached out to Funcom representatives regarding this announcement and will keep you posted.
Thanks anonymous tipster!
Tyranids will play a prominent part in Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade, just not as a player-run faction. We had the opportunity to chat with Brent Ellison about the PVE in Eternal Crusade and how it's tied to Tyranids so keep reading.
Read more of Terry O'Brien's Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade - Tyranids & How They Work.
In a new blog post on the Guild Wars 2 site, the team reveals that new PvP leagues will be a prominent feature of the upcoming Heart of Thorns expansion. Players will begin each season in the Beginners' tier and work their way up by defeating opponents. Each tier will feature unique rewards, goals for players and improved matchmaking.
Each player begins in the Amber division and can progress through Legendary division allowing players of all skill levels to have a competitive place in which to hone skills. Wins will earn "pips" which can also be earned through achieving any one of a number of goals within a match, even if defeated.
Players will receive visual rewards for attaining ranks in the PvP league that will show off progress as seen below.
Read more about league play including what happens to AFK or to players abandoning a match and more about guild leaderboards on the Guild Wars 2 site.
Warlords of Draenor has not been a successful expansion for World of Warcraft. It started out with a huge amount of hype and lots of potential, but all of that quickly faded once the honeymoon period wore off. After the fresh coat of paint on the surface rubbed away, players were left with repetitive garrison missions and a neverending grind. The story was interesting, but that only lasts for a short while.
Read more of David Jagneaux's The List: 5 Things We Want from WoW's Legion Expansion.
The Project Gorgon site has been updated with a short post that reveals the first information about the Fae alongside a new screenshot.
The Fae are an immortal race that originate from the realm of Fae. They have the ability to glide through the air with the use of their wings and levitation magic. Those Fae who truly embrace their heritage can master full flight. Their alien biology allows them to gain additional benefits from food and potions, but they are fragile and more vulnerable to injury when compared to some of the tougher races. The Fae have spent an uncountable number of years interacting with magic and this special interaction has allowed them to master certain magical combat techniques that no other can.
Check out the Project Gorgon site for more information about the game and more details as they emerge.
Lionhead has announced that Windows 10 users are invited to sign up to beta test Fable Legends. Beta testing on XBox One began late last year so new PC users will be joining the community to assist the team getting the game into shape for final release.
Sign up on the Fable Legends site.
The latest Shroud of the Avatar newsletter was sent out, packed with a lot of new information on what the team has been up to this week. Among other things some new devs have been hired, new information on the design of Desolate Hills as well as well as Architecture of the Obsidians.
Michael Hutchison has been working on the newest player owned town in the Snowy Mountains. The newsletter contains several beautiful screenshots of his design.
You can read the entire Shroud of the Avatar newsletter online.
11:35 Demon Hunter is very different from Death Knights and other tanks, being more similar to the Monk. DH is very aggressive doing a lot of damage, lots of mitigation. The team's expectations are that those who will play Demon Hunters are those who are currently playing other melee classes.
11:32 Demon Hunter - It has a lot of history in the franchise starting with Warcraft 3. They're high mobility oriented melee class.
Everyone will get a 12th character slot.
11:26 Professions are a focus. Garrisons replaced them too much. We have a bigger team working on professions (individual quest lines for each type) than ever before. We're looking into updates to improve the UI and new functionality with new recipes and things like that.
11:22 Artifacts - Artifacts are your most trusted ally in Legion. DPS will be derived from relics you find that you socket that are obtained in many ways. These will take the place of traditional weapon drops. You progress your Artifact.
What about dual specs? We want to make sure it's not a complicated process. You'll start with one, but have the opportunity to earn more. You'll have catch up mechanisms to make them more powerful to equal your primary. You'll still have to earn relics specific to your Artifact. As it currently is, players will be able to choose loot specialization which would affect the type of relic that would drop.
11:20 New Zones - Dalaran - Is the Northrend Dalaran moving? Conceptually, yes, but the Northrend Dalaran will remain.
Eventually, you will fly in the Broken Isles, not immediately. The way we did it in WoD is a good compromise to allow the ground-based gameplay to shine and then reward players who have experienced the content with the ability to fly.
The first steps of the flying achievement will be introduced from the start of Legion so that players can work on it.
11:14 How did the Legion get to the Broken Isles? Twelve thousands years ago on this exact spot has been a huge festering wound on the face of the world. Night elves have sealed it by using the five Pillars of Creation and build Temple of Elune. Now it has burst open again and the Legion is pouring out.
11:10 Lore - We are in "our current" Azeroth. We need to fight off the Legion in a world we actually care about.
The core question is "why is the Legion so focused on taking over our world?"
Gul'Dan is under orders, plans he has to fulfill. Illidan is important to those plans.
Is Illidan a bad guy or is he on our side and won't he resent us? Illidan's pretty pissed off. We put him down and now we need to find him to help us. We don't know how he'll react, hope you're prepared for it!
11:08 We've been working on this expansion for a year, year and a half. It's something we kept under wraps and knew it would be happening since before Warlords.
11:07 am Tom Chilton, Ion Hazzikostas and Alex Afrasiabi take the stage.
11:00 am And we're off.
10:38 am Eastern Blizzard developers are on hand on the final day of Gamescom to talk to the world about the World of Warcraft expansion, Legion. The presentation is to begin at the top of the hour and we'll be live blogging the event, or you can watch for yourself in the embedded stream below.
Vostok Games has sent word that Survarium has been updated with a large new patch that includes a new PvP mode similar to Deathmatch, as well as "Knowledge of the Forest" which reduces damage from anomalies. In addition, new weapons and equipment have been added, in-game tutorial was overhauled and players will have 4 new faces to choose from on character creation.
You can read the full update notes on the Survarium site and check out the patch overview video below. Let us know what you think!