One of the things Lord of the Rings Online players are most looking forward to as 2014 wears on is the introduction of the first new playable class since Mines of Moira. In the latest LOTRO producer's letter, all is revealed with the announcement that the shape-shifting Beorning is coming soon. The rest of the letter details 2014's assertive schedule of meaty updates.
Of Bears and Bees
Recently we confirmed that LOTRO will be releasing a new class this year. I’m pleased to announce that this class is the Beorning! This will be LOTRO’s first class since the Mines of Moria expansion introduced the Warden and Rune-keeper.
Beornings are noted in The Lord of the Rings trilogy as a race of Man, with close origins to the Rohirrim and the Men of Dale. Most Men are not shape-changers, so we envision the Beorning as a light armor casting class with a focus on control of the battlefield. When a Beorning gathers sufficient rage, they may transform into a mighty bear.
We’ll be sharing early class designs with the new Players Council. Expect more details later this year, as the class progresses through alpha and beta.
Read the rest of the letter on the Lord of the Rings Online forum.
Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has officially launched. To celebrate the big day, the team has released a new game play trailer. Check it out!
Players who own the PlayStation®3 system version of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn can upgrade* their accounts to the PlayStation®4 system for free. Please note that, once upgraded, PlayStation®4 system players will no longer be allowed access to the PlayStation®3 system version. To play both versions, a player must purchase the PlayStation®4 system version. Additional account transfer details can be found here.
We've posted this week's Live Stream schedule to give ample time for you to plan which events to attend. Check out the list below and mark your calendars.
Monday - 4/14
Tuesday - 4/15
Wednesday - 4/16
Thursday - 4/17
Friday - 4/18
Saturday - 4/19
Sunday - 4/20
The panel featured Heroes game director Dustin Browder, senior producer Kaeo Milker, and senior artist Phil Gonzales. Things kicked off with a short trailer that gave fans a look at the stuff Blizzard has been working on for Heroes in the intervening months since the game’s unveiling at last year’s BlizzCon.
Read more of Michael Bitton's Heroes of the Storm: PAX East Panel Recap.
Brad McQuaid has posted a short note on his Facebook page (now removed, it appears) that reveals the news that development on Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has slowed. According to McQuaid, initial funding by the team to develop Pantheon has dried up and until further funding is secured, the slow down in production is required.
In the past few months we have seen some of the most passion bubble up from the Internet than we have in some time; all for an idea of a game we all want to see happen. It has been an exciting time for all of us.
Over the first month of development through crowdfunding, we’ve been able to achieve what was needed to be done in order to gain investor interest. That is, we’ve shown there is interest in a game like Pantheon, we’ve built the term sheets and business plan, and now have a prototype we can show to potential investors.
The downside now is that our initial resources have depleted, which regrettably means that development is going to slow down until finances can be secured. It’s not something we want to do by any means, but as we cannot guarantee paychecks to the team, they each need to be able to spend time on other things to pay the bills.
Once we’re able to get that level of funding we can then secure much-needed studio space and be able to pick up the pace of production dramatically. We are deeply thankful to this community for getting Pantheon to this critical point, where we have been able to put together an attractive package to present to potential investors.
In the interim, any donations made at this point until further notice will be going directly to maintaining the website during this phase, and not towards development.
Once-stalled Kickstarter aspirant Trials of Ascension achieved new life this week when it collected $30,000 (75%)of its "Light the Forge" milestone. Developer Forged Chaos LLC has high hopes this will pave the way to a renewed Kickstarter campaign. The money gathered will fund additional staff who will build a new playable demo to power the new Kickstarter efforts.
For more information about Trials of Ascension, visit the game's official website.
Spiders Studios' Bound by Flame is set for release on PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4 on May 9th of this year, and a video just released demonstrates what players can expect from the game's combat system. Available to players will be three skill trees: Warrior, Pyromancer and Ranger, crafting system, bestiary, and strategic companion play.
For more information about Bound by Flame, visit the game's official website.
The Shroud of the Avatar celebrated its one year anniversary with a telethon, raising more than $95,000 to be spent on new content. Update #68 will feature a slew of new enhancements including:
The Heroes of the Storm team has taken its unique entry into the MOBA space to PAX East. To give players a bird's eye view of what they can expect, a new Heroes of the Storm features trailer has been released. Check it out!
Wargaming's flagship title, World of Tanks, boasts more than 80 million registered players world-wide—a colossal number born not only from the game's simple-but-addictive gameplay, but also from the publisher's willingness to give the players what they want. Last week, Wargaming held the first ever World of Tanks Grand Finals in Warsaw, Poland, an event that Wargaming hopes will bolster the profile of both it and e-sports as a whole.
Read more of Neilie Johnson's Wargaming's WoT Grand Finals.
Trion Worlds has put its ArcheAge team to work in a brand new ArcheAge live stream. This time, the AA team takes viewers on a virtual world tour that includes several locations around the game world.
In this episode, World Tour, we traverse the continents of Nuia, Harayna, and beyond to showcase the diverse cities, stunning vistas, and hidden realms of ArcheAge. Learn trivia and tips about the different stops on our journey while we guide you through a variety of environments you'll encounter while adventuring through this strikingly beautiful world.
Marvel Heroes players will have the opportunity to recruit a super hero thanks to the addition of the new "Team-Up" feature. Players can grab Team-Up with Eternity Splinters or via the game shop. To celebrate the addition of the new feature, Gazillion has announced a double drop rate for Team-Up Gear, Uniques, Team Insignias, Rings and Cosmic Medallions and that Cosmic Doop spawn rates will also be doubled.
Long thought to only be a prototype, blueprint tank, Wargaming and the Kubinka Tank Museum are partnering to recreate the legendary Panzerkampfwagen VIII "Maus". The team plans to have parts, most of which did not survive modeling, created at locations around the world to make the Maus a working machine. Check out this fascinating video for more information.
Regarded as the epitome of excellent tank design, the colossal Panzerkampfwagen VIII Maus is the heaviest, fully enclosed armored fighting vehicle to see completion during World War II. Weighing 188 tonnes, only two prototypes were ever completed. The sole surviving tank is housed at the Kubinka Museum with an empty hull.
The museum and Wargaming intend to re-build its interior from scratch based on authentic diagrams. Missing parts will be restored in single quantities at a number of tank-building plants, with the entire process supervised by experienced warfare instaurators. The conserved Maus will be stored at the Kubinka Museum so that people from all over the world may come see the renowned vehicle with their own eyes.
Wargaming is involved in a number of socially significant projects that aid in the preservation of historic heritage. The company has launched a global campaign to assist in the search for and conservation of military warfare worldwide, including the support of the Soviet T-34-76 tank restoration in Belarus and the lifting and reconstruction of the KV-1 USSR tank in Voronezh, Russia. Other activities include the recovery of the world’s last remaining Dornier Do 17, now on display at the Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford, United Kingdom, the Wargaming Education Center at the Tank Museum at Bovington, United Kingdom, and the on-going sponsorship of the USS Iowa, docked in the Port of Los Angeles, California.
Blizzard has announced a new single player adventure mode for Hearthstone. The first campaign is titled "Curse of Naxxramas" and will give players the opportunity to take their favorite deck into the famous floating citadel from World of Warcraft's Northrend location. Players will face off against the boss of each of Naxxramas' five wings.
Curse of Naxxramas will be a new single player campaign for Hearthstone. Straight out of Warcraft lore, Naxxramas is a floating necropolis filled with the stuff of nightmares. In Hearthstone, the Naxxramas Adventure will have players use their deck of choice to take on a host of creepy-crawly bosses in a series of card battles representing the five different wings of Naxxramas.
Victors will earn cards along the way, leaving a trail of defeated bosses in their wake, and ultimately unlock a chest containing an all-new Legendary card at the end of each wing! Curse of Naxxramas will add a total of 30 brand-new cards to Hearthstone, which players will be able to add to their decks only by completing the Adventure. Each boss will bring its own unique abilities, minions, Hero art, and taunt-filled emotes to the playing table.
The different wings of Naxxramas will be added to the game over the course of five weeks. As with The Arena, price of entry for Naxx will be payable with in-game gold OR real cashola, take your pick.
We’re currently working hard to get Curse of Naxxramas out to players as Soon™ as possible.
Find out more about Hearthstone.
The latest Bioware blog has been posted that gives insight into the design process behind Dragon Age: Inquisition. In this post, the team discusses the creation of the Dales' Exalted Plains. It's not just a matter of looks, but also logic that goes into creating a zone complete with a viable ecosystem and more.
“The first thing we [did] was try to portray the civil war and the impact it’s having on the environment and the people of that region,” says senior environment artist Andrew Farrell. “In these spaces, we try to provide opportunities for the Inquisition to come in and make its mark on the area. Then the people there rally around that.”
The Inquisition arrives at the Exalted Plains during a ceasefire between two armies at war. The bodies of fallen soldiers mysteriously rose from the dead and have driven the armies back to their respective castles in retreat.
As this is the Dales, one might wonder: what’s become of the Dalish elves?
Read more on the Bioware Dragon Age: Inquisition blog.
Age of Wushu is turning one year old and the Snail Games team has tons of activities and more for players to participate in. Among other things, there are in-game rewards for returning players and an in-depth preview of the forthcoming expansion, Tempest of Strife.
The martial arts MMO Age of Wushu is celebrating its first anniversary today!
In honor of reaching this significant milestone, Snail Games has launched a special anniversary webpage (www.ageofwushu.com/oneyear) to inform players about activities, which include:
- 10 Special In-Game Events starting today
- 3 Social Media Events - More info can be found on the official Facebook page
- Special In-Game Rewards for qualifying returning players
- An in-depth preview of the latest expansion for Age of Wushu: Tempest of Strife, available soon.
We also wanted to share the latest Community Letter from Game Director Hao Han summarizing features for the upcoming expansion, as well as discussing other planned game improvements and content updates coming soon.
Find out more on the Age of Wushu site.
Welcome back to Tripping the Rift! It's been a while readers but we're back to dive into all that's interesting in Telara. This week we're heading into hostile territory to take a look at the latest exciting addition to RIFT, PVP dimensions! Are they all they're chalked up to be? We'll let you know! Not sure where to begin? We've got you covered! Buckle in and prepare for murder, mayhem, and a weapons-belt full of new gadgets to play with.
Read more of Chris Coke's Tripping the Rift: PvP Dimensions Review.
This week's Landmark column goes back to the tried and tested formula of discussing recent goings-on in the Landmarky-mark world of Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). Aside from an incoming Landmark patch, which should be active by the time you're reading this, one other point of discussion is the update to the All-Access subscription plan.
Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s Landmark: All-Access Revisions & a Landmark Update.
Welcome back to week two of our Elder Scrolls Online Review in Progress. I’m writing this one a bit earlier than I normally would, because many of us at the site are headed off to PAX East on Thursday. For the first week’s article, head here. I’ve locked in around 30 hours so far, I’m sitting at level 17, and just finally completed the first main zone of the Ebonheart Pact. By completed, I mean I’ve finished the quests achievement, unlocked all the POIs on the map, and collected every skyshard available. And yet, I’ve not completed the Fungal Grotto (the first group dungeon for the Pact) and I’ve not even set foot in Cyrodiil. I could gloat about how my Guild’s campaign (Hopesfire) is dominated by the Ebonheart, but as Mike B pointed out to me earlier: that’s like saying we’re winning the war even though we’re the only side that’s showing up.
Read more of Bill Murphy's Elder Scrolls Online Review In Progress #2.