Sword Art Online is largely an unknown to me. I know it’s an anime, manga, and videogame series about a group of kids who play a virtual reality MMO known as Sword Art Online. I also know they the main characters were stuck in this world fighting to the death (as if you died you died in real life). It’s a pretty heady storyline, but Lost Song is my first real dive into the world of Sword Art Online, and I’m left feeling like there’s a lot of great ideas here… backed by archaic and clunky execution.
Read more of Bill Murphy's Sword Art Online: Lost Song - Charming, but Archaic.
The folks at Bitbox Ltd. have hooked us up with 20 copies of medieval life simulator, Life is Feudal.
Entering for a chance to win is simple: post in the comments below telling us why you're interested in Life is Feudal. We'll accept entries through Tuesday, November 24. Winners will be announced and codes distributed on Wednesday, November 25.
Please ensure that you only submit a single entry. Users found to have submitted multiple entries will be disqualified.
Cryptic Studios has revealed the design and statistics for the new Jupiter Class Carrier, the one voted into the game by the Star Trek Online Community. In addition to stats and abilities, players will find out what items will come with the new ship, including its console and the new Starship trait.
Very early on, we were pretty sure this ship could potentially replace the Jupiter class Dreadnought. It later occurred to us that the ship could truly do so by assuming the Jupiter class name. It was our intention to have this ship be massive since it would be both a carrier and taking on the Jupiter-class namesake. The new Jupiter class Carrier would serve as a mobile fighter launching support platform, and it was for this reason we decided to give it a universal console with a team support ability. We knew we wanted the Jupiter’s starship trait to interact with its hangar pets. Many options were considered; ultimately one came out on top. The Insult to Injury trait was decided to be a clear winner and would allow for some interesting gameplay options.
Read the full design journal on the Star Trek Online site.
We are hearing various reports from several anonymous sources that major layoffs have occurred at Firefall's Red 5 Studios. We do not know the amounts, or what will happen to the sci-fi MMO, but we'll keep you posted as we learn more.
As of this writing, Firefall is still active and in development according to the website, as few updates have come from the community or development staff in recent weeks.
As we learn more about the situation, you can bet we'll fill you in everything.
UPDATE 11/24: We've gotten word and a small statement from Red 5 Studios now. It seems the game is still in development and that the layoffs are likely due to no longer needing the staff that pushed to get the China version of Firefall out the door. We've inquired for further comment, but I suspect the below is about all we'll get from the studio itself for now. The PS4 version continues to be developed.
"The organization optimization was due to our strategy modification, which includes empowering the support to the operation in various global markets and the upcoming PS4 project. Doing so requires specific skill sets and experiences. Red 5 will continue its commitment to developing AAA games and bringing the best game experience to its audiences.
We appreciate your inquiry and interest in Red 5 Studios and Firefall as we take it worldwide on multiple platforms."
UPDATE 11/23: We've heard directly from one of the affected employees as of this morning. Apparently, the China launch actually happened in the wee hours last Wednesday morning. What came shortly after was unexpected. We'll let the employee (who asked to remain anonymous) put it in their own words:
"It was almost like launch never happened, because we never received any updates besides a vague feeling that the game wasn’t doing very well. At 3:15 on Friday (11/20), about forty of us were called into a meeting where, after some hemming and hawing about how hard a decision this was to make, we were let go with no severance, health insurance expires at the end of the month, thanks for all your overtime. The rest of the office was sent home early, I assume because they didn’t want people talking to each other, but it’s 2015 and Facebook exists, so...
The cuts were from basically every department and didn’t follow any kind of rhyme or reason, and they definitely weren’t performance based. Aside from myself, we lost several leads, seniors, and people who’d been with the company a really long time. In total, I’d say between 20 and 25% of the studio lost their job in the cuts.
Honestly, they asked us to remake the game in a year, including doing full development on 22 instanced missions and an overhaul of every major system, using art assets from 2008. I don’t know what they expected to happen. Everything that’s going wrong with Firefall isn’t from a lack of talent or passion on behalf of the dev team - it’s corporate mismanagement."
GTArcade has announced that Magerealm players can now check out the awesome power of the Zodiac Angels. To win a Zodiac Angel, players will need a strong Battle Rating and the "grace of the Zodiac Angel". This month's featured ZA is the Sagittarius angel.
Read more on the Magerealm site.
The Albion Online team has sent happy word that the first closed beta event is now underway as of Monday, November 23rd. All Founders are taking part in the first-ever CBT.
Since the end of the Summer Alpha, the development team has put great efforts into further updating and improving the game:
- Economy Updates. Economic PvP and removal of crafting costs.
- Combat 2.0. Armor diversity, weapon characteristics and flattened gear progression curve.
- Open World PvP. Treasure Chests and Shrines.
- Food & Consumables. Improved buffs and the new herb garden.
- Duel. 1vs1 PvP with the option to put up a wager on the outcome.
Find out more of the details on the CBT and new features by visiting the Albion Online site.
Each week, players can look forward to battling each other in often zany scenarios and rules with often hilarious results. This week, we’ll be taking a look at our five favorite Tavern Brawls, so go ahead and take a seat by the hearth!
Read more of Michael Bitton's The List: Hearthstone’s Best Tavern Brawls.
Fans of Quake looking forward to the release of the ARPG, Bombshell, will be interested to hear that the game's release has been delayed to January 29, 2016. In addition, the digital deluxe edition contents have been revealed. Bombshell's standard edition will run $34.99, with the digital deluxe edition coming in at $39.99.
Over the last several weeks, we’ve been exhaustively testing Bombshell to get it ready for ship. Unfortunately, and honestly, the game isn’t entirely bug free at this point. Our first instinct was to just get this puppy out-the-door, and that we could fix the remaining issues with a quick patch after launch. But within ten seconds we realized that’s no way to treat paying fans of our games.
Read more on the Bombshell Steam site.
Stash is a fully funded turn-based MMORPG currently closing up a Kickstarter. We caught up with the CEO Michael Hartman at Frogdice to talk all about the project, its housing system, its unique take on combat, and what players can expect now that the game is moving deeper into the development phases.
Read more of Rob Lashley's Stash: No Loot Left Behind - Aiming to Bring Back the Magic to MMORPGs.
ROCCAT has announced the immediate availability of the precision gaming mouse called Kova. Kova retails for 59,99 Euro in the EU and will be available in the US early December.
- Pro-Optic Sensor R6 with up to 3500dpi
- Up to 7000dpi with Overdrive Mode
- 1000Hz polling rate
- 1ms response time
- 20G acceleration
- 12-bit data channel
- 72MHz Turbo Core V2 32-bit Arm based MCU
- 512kB onboard memory
- 1.8m braided USB cable
Blizzard has announced that from November 24 to December 8 players can take advantage of an epic length Black Friday Sales Event.
Here are the items that will be featured during the event:
- All Heroes, Mounts, and Skins will be on sale at a 50% discount
- A new 360 Day Stimpack will be added at a deeply discounted price
- A new Second Chance bundle will be added with the following items:
- Winter Veil Jaina Skin
- Greatfather Winter Rehgar Skin
- Reigndeer Mount
- Nazeebra Mount
- Lunar Tiger Mount
- Magic Carpet Mount
Read more on the Heroes of the Storm site.
Portalarium has sent out weekly Shroud of the Avatar newsletter, packed as usual with screenshots, player events and more. Of particular note this week is the formation of the first player run two way delivery system (aka a postal service) between Port Phoenix and Serenite.
According to the players who formed the delivery service:
The creation of this system also marked the creation of one of - if not the very first - outright trade agreement with agreed-upon resource per resource exchange rates established and posted in the post office.So far in 48 hours people from 4 different clusters in 13 main towns and accounting for almost 50 total player owned towns jumped on board.
Other things you can read about include:
Read the rest of the letter on the Shroud of the Avatar site.
Astral Terra is an Indie, fantasy-themed sandbox RPG developed by Tethys Interactive that has been in early access on Steam since November 10th. At this stage in its development, Astral Terra is in Alpha and allows players to get a look at the most basic elements of the game with an eye to the future. The future of Astral Terra will include such things as procedurally generated world created by players, complete with survival elements, character progression and much more.
Read more of Catherine Daro's Astral Terraform-ing in Early Release.
During the Friday update for Camelot Unchained the team has revealed the lastest Class Archetype, the Spirit Mages. Spirit Mages come in three forms: Dread Caller, Slaughterwolf and Morrigan.
Here is a short background for the Morrigan:
One of the darkest classes of the Tuatha Dé Danann, Morrigans feed off the death around them. Their strongest associations are with crows, wolves, and cows. Morrigans have the ability to change the spirits they control into other spirits. The original Morrigan was a Bean Sidhe who learned how to control the spirits of the dead. For this, she earned the moniker Phantom Queen.
Spacetime Studios, developers of Pocket Legends, has announced the release of Android version of Call of Champions MOBA. Call of Champions is considered the perfect MOBA for mobile devices due to its 5 minute match system.
Immersing players in an arena that takes place in a time beyond the cosmos, Call of Champions is a next-generation MOBA specifically designed for mobile devices. Distilling traditional MOBA elements down to their core, the game introduces unique Power-Up and Orb mechanics which can quickly change the tide of battle in the thrilling 5-minute matches. Players can take one of 19 Champions from five distinct classes into each 3v3 battle, wielding their unique abilities and playstyle alongside their team in intense and decisive games on the go. Built on the foundation of competition, Call of Champions provides players with a full featured social hub and toolset to recruit team members, plan matches, earn achievements and loot as well as spectate or broadcast matches live.
You can grab your copy of Call of Champions at Google Play.
Frogdice has announced that second Kickstarter initiative for MMORPG Stash: No Loot Left Behind will be coming to a close on Monday, November 23rd. While the desired funding was only $1000, the team wanted to raise more to add more features to the game that developers felt would make a great title even better.
We can support more full time artists, commission more professional music and soundscapes, and even add a few tools and features that are currently out of reach. We will discuss those in more detail throughout the campaign. The most important purpose of this campaign is to get more people involved. Our backers will make up the core of our launch player base and we want that group to be as large and engaged as possible.
You can find out more on the Stash: No Loot Left Behind Kickstarter Page.
Earlier this week Epic Games has released a new trailer to reveal the next hero in its upcoming MOBA, called Paragon. The character's name is Sparrow, who uses a bow. You can check out her look in the video below!
Find out more about Paragon on its official site.
During the recent Funcom investors' meeting, the company revealed that it is in the process of developing three new titles for 2016. According to the documentation, 2 small innovative games are in the development as well as one larger title. What these games are or based on remains to be seen.
Also revealed in the investor packet is the news that Funcom will continue to support and develop content for existing MMOs, including Age of Conan and The Secret World.
You can read the full investor report on the Funcom site.
Daum EU has answered a metric ton of the Black Desert community's 500 submitted questions on the official forums. They have taken on everything including mega-servers, service area, pre-order packages and more.
Other topics include:
There were many questions regarding those issues above, unfortunately we are not yet able to share details as this is still work in progress.
Our focus will be on vanity items and a few convenience items that will give you a minor advantage in matters of convenience, such as inventory slots and alike. Items such as the "Shout to Augsburg", an item that was included as bonus in some cash shop packages, has been removed for our service. (This item could be used to increase your chances in succeeding your upgrade attempts of equipment)
Once we have finalized internally our final cash shop setup, we will share the details in our forum. So please be patient in that regards
All questions regarding economy and PvP need to remain unanswered in this stage, as we are still tweaking and adjusting on all ends.
Inquiries about new in-game features and/or about adjusting existing ones can't be answered right now, as it will require a direct feedback from developers. We will consider the next interview (after CBT 1) to be with the developers directly [to be confirmed].
Within each of these general categories, Daum answered anywhere from one or two questions up to a dozen or more.
I hope I managed to cover at least some ground of those 500 questions. I know many of you will feel not fully satisfied as many important questions about PvP, in-game economy and the cash shop remain unanswered, but please understand that we are still adjusting those features from the Korean to the Western version, so it will take some more time to verify, benchmark and finalized those matters at our end before they are ready for sharing.
Read the full Q&A on the Black Desert Online (NA/EU/Oceania) forum.
The Korean version of Dragomon Hunter Online called X-Legend will be getting an update soon that will include a new class called the Sniper. Snipers will come in two flavors, the Hunter who uses a boomerang and the Sharpshooter who uses a bow.
Source and images courtesy of: MMO-Culture