Omeed Dariani and Lead Content Designer Steve Denuser are the stars of the latest EverQuest Next Roundtable that discusses how players want to consume the lore of the game. After polling the community, Dariani and Denuser respond to the results. Check it out and then leave us your thoughts in the comments.
Hunted Cow Studios has announced that Eldevin is ready for its launch date this Saturday, November 30th. After eight years in development, Eldevin is playable in all browsers and takes players on a journey to find out more about the Elemental Spheres of Power.
“Eldevin's launch marks the culmination of many years of hard work by our small and dedicated 15-member team,” said John Stewart, studio manager of Hunted Cow. “Development won't stop here, however, as new features and content are already in the works so the game will continue to grow over the coming years. We'd like to thank all our fans and beta testers for their dedication and support, and we look forward to seeing everyone in game on the 30th.”
Find out more on the Eldevin site.
Tabletop gamers will understand what we mean when we say "directed experience" by fondly remembering their favorite Dungeon Masters of yore. In today's column, Mark Miller talks about how MMOs of today could benefit from a more directed experience for players. Find out what else he thinks on the topic and then leave your ideas in the comments.
Tabletop GMs may even be using a published adventure module, which is closer to the type of game that MMO players experience today. Go here, do X thing, kill Y monster, collect Z loot. The benefit to playing with a small group of players was that the Game Master was free to improvise and customize the adventure to the players involved. Has a player been pursuing a specific magic item? He could put it into the boss’ treasure trove. Is one of the characters wanted for crimes they didn’t commit? Have one of the encounters be bounty hunters looking to make a quick buck.
Read more of Matt Miller's The Directed Experience.
ArenaNet has announced the deployment of the latest Guild Wars 2 update. Called "Fractured", the update is primarily focused on fractals with new boss fractals and leaderboards announced. In addition, the Tower of Terrors story arc continues with a new episode.
Ellen Kiel, who recently earned a seat on the Captain’s Council of Lion’s Arch after a cutthroat campaign, has made good on her promises to her supporters! By sponsoring research in the Fractals of the Mists, Kiel has opened up a momentous event from Tyria’s recent history, the Thaumanova Reactor meltdown, for exploration!
Inside the Reactor
Head through the Fractals asura gate near Fort Marriner in Lion’s Arch (right next to the
Consortium Gift Shop) to meet up with Kiel for a special story instance of the new Thaumanova Reactor Fractal. Experience the explosion of the reactor first-hand and discover its mysteries!
The Nightmare Continues
The Tower of Nightmares is heading towards its collapse, but the fight isn’t over yet! Join in the fight against the vile Toxic Alliance and destroy the foul structure. Bring it to ruin before its evil spreads any further! Learn more.
Read more about Fractured on the Guild Wars 2 site.
The latest WildStar DevSpeak has been released. In it, the team discusses and reintroduces the Stalker class. The Stalker has been previously introduced but the team has some new information to share. Check it out!
A new blog post has been released on the Neverwinter site that gives players a comprehensive look at the Hunter Ranger, the new character class that will arrive with next month's Module 2. The write up includes a look at both melee and ranged skills.
Because the Hunter Ranger can switch between combat modes, s/he also benefits from having two versions of each At-Will and Encounter power. The separate versions of the powers have different cooldowns, so you can really get strategic with your rotation and playstyle. Additionally, some of the powers compliment their counterparts very well. For instance, Marauder’s Escape / Marauder’s Rush are both big movement powers. Marauder’s Rush can allow you to lunge into combat from a long distance and Marauder’s Escape can let you jump back out.
For some of the even more spectacular combinations, you’ll have to look outside of just the ranged/melee versions of a single power. Let me give an example:
- (Melee) Cast Hawkeye to buff your next attack
- (Ranged) Open the fight with Hawk Shot, which deals additional damage at long range
- (Melee) Dash in with Marauder’s Rush
- (Melee) Apply a bleed with Aimed Strike
- (Melee) Hindering Strike to root your target
- (Ranged) Dash backwards with Marauder’s Escape
- (Ranged) Immediately cast Aimed Shot, which is a high damage At-Will that can be interrupted if you take damage
- (Ranged) Continue casting Hindering Shot (3 charges) and use Rapid Shot or another At-Will until your powers come off cooldown, or you can use a daily.
With this combination you can deal a pretty deadly rotation against either a single enemy or a player in PvP. There are lots of other combos available and I think there’s a lot of room to get creative with the Hunter Ranger.
Read more on the Neverwinter site.
ArenaNet is poised to give away thousands of free copies of Guild Wars 2 with the announcement of the Great MMO Migration contest. Potential players are invited to enter a video contest where they recite the Guild Wars 2 oath renouncing other MMOs.
- Video Contest: Players can enter the “Great MMO Migration” video contest by creating a 30-second video reciting “The Guild Wars 2 Oath” in a public place. Winners receive one of 5,000 free copies of Guild Wars 2 Heroic Edition. The Mad Libs-style oath (see below), as well as official contest rules and submission guidelines, can be found at http://migration.guildwars2.com.
Guild Wars 2 Oath:
I, [name], renounce [adjective] games and pledge my allegiance to Guild Wars 2.
I likewise declare my freedom from [noun] subscription fees!
That I turn my back forever on [noun] which is/are totally [adjective].
That I will take up arms to defend the [noun] and crush evil with my [noun].
I take this oath to Guild Wars 2 freely, without [noun] because I am [noun].
- 40 Percent Sale: Players can save big and enter the subscription-free world of Tyria by taking advantage of historically low prices for Guild Wars 2 now through Dec. 3 on both the Heroic Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition at https://buy.guildwars2.com/en/.
Video contest winners will be announced via email and on the website on or around Tuesday, Dec. 10. For more details on Guild Wars 2 or the “Great MMO Migration,” visit www.guildwars2.com.
Find out more at the links above.
Ironically, the next Guild Wars 2 update, Fractured, will not likely fracture the player-base. In fact, a lot of the changes to the game’s signature dungeon (Fractals of the Mists) will do for Tyria what other open world updates have done: bring players together and give them a reason to do so. The Fractured update is where Commander Ellen Kiel will make good on her election campaign promise. Read on for more reasons why.
During the elections held a few months back, Ellen won over Evon Gnashblade by promising a host of things, but none so enticing as bringing the Thaumanova Reactor event to the Fractals. Additionally, two previous Living World events (the Aetherblade Retreat and Molten Weapons Facility) have been revamped to be a part of the Fractals too. And that’s kind of the idea behind FotM in general: it’s ArenaNet’s tool to revisit the past of all Tyrian lore and Fractured is only the beginning.
Read the rest of Bill Murphy's GW2: Fractured Update Will Unite Players.
In today's RPG Files, we introduce our readers to a new project on Kickstarter for a single-player RPG called Festival of Magic. The team behind the game advertises it as a game where players will need to "fight & farm [their] way to glory".
Festival of Magic is a throwback to the classic Japanese RPGs of yore, but puts a spin on the formula by fusing harvesting with turn-based combat.
In the game you join Amon, a desert scavenger, and his reluctant companion Gnart, as they unravel the ancient mysteries of Umbra - a world that has stopped spinning and is now divided by the forces of technology and magic.
The game combines turn-based combat and farming gameplay with exploration and puzzle-packed quests. Grow spuds, tend barnacles and use your harvest as powerful ammunition and spells; load your weapons, team up your companions and get ready for a grand adventure!
Find out more about Festival of Magic.
SMITE will officially launch out of beta and into retail release on March 25, 2014 in both North America and the EU. To celebrate the game's release, Hi-Rez will be hosting a $100,000 tournament in Atlanta, the home of the development studio.
The company also announced their mythology-themed 3D action MOBA game has accrued over 2,500,000 registered players to date through its extended Open Beta phase. The $100,000 SMITE Launch Tournament will take place on Saturday, March 29, and Sunday, March 30, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia in front of a live audience. The tournament will include the top four teams in Europe and the top four in North America who will have qualified from the SMITE Weekly Tournament Series beginning on January 4, 2014. The event will also be live-streamed via SMITE's Twitch.tv channel.
Find out more about SMITE and get in on the waning days of the open beta.
How exactly will FFXIV's housing work? What will the Forbidden Grounds be all about in Age of Wushu's upcoming expansion? And when will City of Steam's Arkadia relaunch land on the internets?
Watch on to find out. This is MMORPG's MMOrning Report, and this is what you need to know for November 26th, 2013.
EQNextFans.com has gotten hold of the latest PC Gamer magazine in which several EverQuest Next classes are revealed. Among them are the Beast Lord, Cleric, Necromancer and Tempest.
- Cleric: Wields either a two-handed hammer or a hammer and shield. Buffing and protecting allies is the typical clerical duty, but these magic men and women do it with the power of fire, which gives them some killing power too.
- Necromancer: Wielding a tome or a dagger and focus object, the necromancer summons destructive chaotic energies and comes with a companion: a Monstrosity that grows in power with its master.
- Beast Lord: If you're a fan of 'trampling' and 'savaging', the Beast Lord's furry friends make excellent companions. You can do your own savaging too, with a flail and shield combination, or a spear for medium range attacks.
- Tempest: With two blades, or one two-handed blade, the Tempest dances across the battle field and unleashes power of winds and blasts of lightning. Out to appeal to fans of action RPGs.
Thanks to EQNextFans.com for ferreting that out for us!
What do you think of the newly announced classes? Let us know!
Heroes of the Storm's Justin Browder was recently interviewed by Rock, Paper, Shotgun. During the interview, Browder was asked about the "hypersexualization" of female character models, most notably Kerrigan from Starcraft. Browder responded by saying "We're not sending a message to anybody. We're just making characters that look cool." To say that a brouhaha erupted is to sell the understate things.
Browder has been taken aback (or his bosses at Blizzard have) and he has issued an apology on the official Heroes of the Storm page.
In a recent interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I responded poorly to a statement the interviewer made about over-sexualized character designs in games, and I want to apologize for that. This is a serious topic and I don’t want anyone to think that I, or anyone else at Blizzard, is insensitive about how we portray our characters.
It takes work to make compelling characters, but it’s important to take a step back to ensure that we’re not alienating our players. We have an amazing roster of heroes and we will always strive to make sure that everyone can have a hero that they identify with and feel powerful using. And at the end of the day, we all want the same thing. A great game where we can all have fun battling for glory and maybe some bragging rights.
On the stage at BlizzCon, I spoke about Heroes being a collaborative project, shaped by the passion, love, and support of gamers like you. We’re building this game together, we’re listening, and your thoughts are valued.
I would like to thank Rock, Paper, Shotgun as well as our players for their feedback on this important issue. We want to do better, so keep the feedback coming and thanks for the continued support. We’ve got some pretty amazing things in store for you and we’re looking forward to seeing you in the Storm.
Game Director, Heroes of the Storm
What do you think of Browder's statement and later apology? Let us know in the comments.
The latest Firefall game update has been published. In it, the team lays out some of the big changes coming to both inventory systems and about creature updates. Most notably, the team also reveals a bit about new content coming to the MMOFPS.
The content designers are working on the campaign missions and have made great progress. We’ve had a lot of great ideas being implemented and new tools coming online to really take the story-telling to the next level. The goal for the campaign is to keep on trucking after we release the first set of missions and have those same folks keep working on the next Act and Chapters to keep releasing new campaign missions as often as we can. Dev Update 11 22 13You may have seen some sneak preview shots of the expansion of Diamondhead. We have an entire team working on that content, but we do not expect it to be ready for this milestone. Building out an entire zone with new content and the first part of Pushing Back the Melding will take some time. We hope to have it come online shortly after the milestone is done, but it’s one of our “stretch goals”. We’re very excited about what’s happening there, we just aren’t ready to share the details yet.
Our new band of content designers working on wandering encounters are doing an amazing job and are ahead of schedule which just means that they can continue to pump out even more amazing content. Dave Lee, one of the designers on that team was recently on Firefall Live and shared some of the ideas that they are currently working on and we are extremely geeked to see more of that content coming online.
Read more on the Firefall Reddit page.
The Cryptic team has published a new developer blog to lay out more specific detail for other Neverwinter character classes and the new Paragon paths that each can expect when Module 2 goes live next month. This time players can learn a little bit more about the Control Wizard's, Great Weapon Fighter's and Guardian Fighter's new Paragon paths.
The Control Wizard’s new path, Master of Flame, adds a new element – Fire – to the class’ spell repertoire, much as the Spellstorm Mage Paragon Path added Lightning. To help with the burning theme, this new path features a special damage over time effect called Smolder, which is added by most of the path’s powers. Smolder deals additional damage based on your Arcane stacks, and when exposed to Chill, becomes Rimefire. Rimefire is a cold-based flame, and its duration can be extended by additional Chill effects. This interaction was included largely to help make using Ice- and Fire-style powers feel more natural when used together. Theme-wise, Fanning the Flames pushes the Fire Mastery angle further by setting a target ablaze and then automatically directing flames from nearby Smoldering targets to the Fanning the Flames target.
Read the rest on the Neverwinter site.
There is a lot of gloom and doom surrounding the longevity of the entire MMO genre. In today's Social Hub, we take a look at the notion that games seem to be trending to niches. See why we think so before leaving your thoughts in the comments.
Where we are today in the MMORPG genre is a certain turning point. Most of us know that how we've gotten to where the genre is today is a mixture of development choice and what gamers have proven they want to play, through play metrics or surveys, focus groups, and more sources. Certainly, there's a significant segment that wishes for more games like the handful we had a decade ago, but there are many more who want a connected play experience without necessarily being super connected. I say that not as a negative, but because the populations are certainly segmented. Barring another lightning in a bottle event like WoW, this segmentation, which gets at the genre itself, is likely permanent. And that is where the promising crop of more niche games might come in to play. While segmentation might sound like a bad thing, or an extension of problems some have had with MMOS, it might actually be for the best.
Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: Will Niche Games Save the Genre?
Looking back at days of yore, Shining Force Online is an arcade gamer's delight, hearkening back to the old SEGA days. SFO is set to go into live beta service on Thursday, November 28th, just the thing to play after a glut of turkey on the American Thanksgiving Day.
Shining Force Online features a large cast of playable character (20+ from the original title!). It uses a combination of graphics from the Gameboy Advance remake (Resurrection of the Dark Dragon) and original art by unFun Games. This game is not intended to be canon inside the Shining Force universe. Therefore most storylines from SEGA's original games have been left untouched. Instead, you will see characters you recognize in completely new scenarios.
The game will be constantly evolving. New quests, character, and story missions will be added on a weekly basis. The goal is to make this one of (if not) the biggest MMO ever in terms of story and world size.
Read more on the Shining Force Online site.
Thanks to Massively for picking up the story of this unique title.
CCP Games has announced that tickets for Fanfest 2014 are on sale for the annual event. Fanfest will be held from May 1-3 in Iceland. The event will focus on EVE Online, Dust 514 and EVE: Valkyrie.
Activities at EVE Fanfest 2014 include:
- EVE Online, DUST 514 and EVE: Valkyrie presentations and reveals
- Live tournaments
- Player/developer roundtable discussions
- Exclusive charity dinner with CEO, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson and other CCP staff The infamous Developer Pub Crawl
- The climactic "Party at the Top of the World"
- Blue Lagoon Hangover Party
In addition to the above, more activities will be announced in the coming months.
Read more on the EVE Online site.
Mechanist Games has announced that City of Steam: Arkadia will launch on December 4th. Arkadia is the newest version of City of Steam after Mechanist retook the English language version of the game from R2 Games.
The official release date is December 4th, 9:00PM EST.
Sound the steam trumpets! That’s early next month—that’s next week—that’s amazing! Keep reading to find out some steam-tacular details!
CoS: Arkadia will bring in a slew of new features such as Mercenaries, Alchemy, Fishing, etc, along with redesigned dungeons and improved gameplay. We do think it has a good chance to reach a wider player demographic than before and satisfy the appetites of our loyal fans.
Thanks for all the input on the forums and in-game on the Chinese servers. We heard you! (nice game guide btw :P). Please don’t get the idea that the English version will be the same. It won’t. There are some important changes and differences you will notice right off-the-bat.
Heads up! For players who received our confirmation regarding compensation packs, stay active, codes will go out within this week. If you are an early supporter who purchased alpha/beta packs, there’s nothing extra required, just check “already-recharged” Electrum after 2.0 is up. And remember, there will be free giveaway campaigns as well, we’ll announce a list of mainstream gaming sites when everything is ready to go, get yourself prepared!
Read more on the City of Steam site.