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General : John Smedley Steps Down as CEO of Daybreak Game Company

Posted Jul 23, 2015 by Suzie Ford

In an unexpected move, VentureBeat.com is reporting that John Smedley has resigned as the CEO and president of Daybreak Game Company, formerly Sony Online Entertainment. Current COO Russell Shanks will temporarily step into Smedley's place until a replacement is found.

“I can confirm that John Smedley will be taking some time off from the company for the near-term and transitioning to a different role to be determined,” a spokesperson for Daybreak told GamesBeat. “Upon finalization of his plans, further communication will be provided.”

While not confirmed by a company spokesman, the resignation comes on the heels of the recent Twitter war Smedley engaged in after Julius Kivimaki from Lizard Squad received what Smedley ascertained was a too-light sentence for his part in a bomb threat that caused a plane he was flying on to be grounded.

From our story on July 9th:

A day after the sentencing of a member of Lizard Squad and subsequent Twitter tirade by Daybreak Game Studio's John Smedley, it appears that all of DGS's titles and its website are under DDOS attack, with players unable to log into either.

The altercation between Smedley and remaining Lizard Squad members began after Julius Kivimaki, the now-convicted criminal of more than 50,000 counts of computer crimes, was sentenced yesterday. Smedley took to Twitter to express his strong feeling that the sentence meted out by the court in Finland was too light.

A Twitter user claiming to be a member of Lizard Squad announced the attacks were imminent. Within minutes, the predicted DDOS began.

At this time, all Daybreak games are down and the team is actively working on a solution.

Shortly after this series of Twitter posts, and the subsequent DDOS attacks on all of Daybreak's games and its site, Smedley removed himself from the social network completely, leading, perhaps, to today's announcement.

Smedley has been a lightning rod of controversy over the years that he has been with the company, yet has been instrumental in the MMO and computer video games genres beginning with EverQuest, one of the first MMOs to hit the internet, and continuing through more recent MMOs including EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, and Landmark.

You can check out more at VentureBeat.com and a co-attendant thread on the MMORPG.com forum, as well as leave your thoughts in this article's thread.

Thanks PudgyBunnyBry!

Phantasy Star Online 2 : UPDATE: Region Lock Reinstated

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

UPDATE (July 22, 2015) Our own Bill Murphy has confirmed that the region locked dropped late last week has been reinstated on SEA versions of Phantasy Star Online 2. Sorry to say, this means that playing on these servers means using a VPN.

MMOsite.com is reporting that the region lock has reportedly (and inexplicably) been removed from the SEA version of Phantasy Star Online 2. Players can now access the game without the use of a VPN.

Check out the Phantasy Star Online 2 site for more.

Hearthstone : New Expansion Announced - The Grand Tournament

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Blizzard has kicked off a Hearthstone event in San Francisco with the name of the next expansion, The Grand Tournament. TGT will include new cards and a new play mat. To celebrate the announcement, a new trailer was released.

The expansion will feature 132 new cards and is expected to go live in August.

We’re celebrating The Grand Tournament with an exciting bundle pack offer! Starting next week, players will be able to pre-purchase a bundle of 50 Grand Tournament card packs for $49.99. In addition to 50 Grand Tournament card packs ready to bust open upon launch, the bundle also includes a triumphant new card back!

Check out the brand new Grand Tournament page on the Hearthstone site.


Diablo 3 : Ruins of Sescheron Previewed

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Diablo III will be updated soon with the v2.3 patch that will bring big changes to the game including a new location called The Ruins of Sescheron, once a shining city symbolizing Barbarian unity.

Blizzard has posted a new preview of Sescheron that includes a pair of videos, onethat flies through the ruins as they stand today and the second, a throwback lore video from Diablo II, is a cinematic that shows the story behind Sescheron and the lone Barbarian chieftan, Kanai, who dared to deny Baal entrance into the city. Following that denial, Baal laid waste to Sescheron and its inhabitants, leaving all in ruin. For those who love Diablo II, this is a walk down memory lane.

On a more practical note, players will also find the new Kanai's Cube on a quest from Zoltun Kulle, a tool for crafting enhancements, rerolling item stats and more.

Read more on the Diablo III community site and check out the videos below. The forthcoming update is currently live on the PTR.




Skyforge : Obsidian Says Spark Limits Are Not the End of Progression

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

A new blog post has been published on the Skyforge site to give players insight into how they can effectively double the weekly spark limit by accessing the Order, a source of player strength as measured by Prestige. According to the post, Order is often overlooked by players, but that it is essential for its many statistical bonuses.

Adept missions are divided into three distinct types:

  • “Yellow” for Gathering Resources (Supplies and Ammo)
  • “Blue for spending Supplies to bring in more followers and earn charms
  • “Red” for spending Ammo or Supplies to gain Gifts from those you’ve helped

To send your Adepts on more rewarding missions it is necessary to obtain resources from “Yellow” Gathering Resource missions followed by spending them on “Red” Combat missions or “Blue” Order Development missions. However, the resources you earn from Yellow missions will become scarcer the more Blue or Red missions you decide to take on, requiring you to obtain more resources from outside the Order. To help cover this difference players are capable of completing Adventures in exchange for Ammo and Supplies after reaching certain resource limits.

Developers are actively monitoring threads about weekly spark limits and simultaneously creating a more intuitive and easily-understood interface to ensure players are taking advantage of the Order mechanic.

Read the full post on the Skyforge site.

Blade & Soul : Seven Launch Classes Revealed

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

The Blade & Soul team is ramping up the information release as the western release of Blade & Soul nears. In a brand new reveal, the seven launch classes have been detailed.

Players can look forward to these classes, some being race-locked:

  • Blade Master (Hard) - Yun, Jin
  • Destroyer (Normal) - Gon
  • Summoner (Easy) - Lyn
  • Force Master (Normal) - Yun, Lyn, Gon
  • Kung Fu Master (Expert) - Gon, Jin, Yun
  • Assassin (Hard) - Jin
  • Blade Dancer (Normal) - Lyn

You can read up a bit on each class on the Blade & Soul page.

Michael Bitton : My Love/Hate Relationship with Skyforge

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Michael Bitton

Don’t get me wrong, Skyforge is a pretty fun game, but it’s obviously flawed in so many ways. So much so that my desire to keep plugging away at the Ascension Atlas, repetition be damned, is something that boggles my mind whenever I click play.

Read more of Michael Bitton's My Love/Hate Relationship with Skyforge.

Guild Wars 2 : The Tempest Confirmed

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Our friends at Ten Ton Hammer have scored an exclusive confirmation of the elite Guild Wars 2 Elementalist profession called the Tempest. More will be revealed during this week's live stream when ArenaNet shows the Tempest in action as well.

Tempests will wield a warhorn to both get hold of the elements to damage enemies and support allies.  The four main abilities are:

  • Overload Fire - an infernal tornado that damages foes and empowers allies with might
  • Overload Water - Tempests create a bubble that allows for healing and cleansing of conditions and, when it pops, gives a large heal to the immediate area and all allies within
  • Overload Air - a cloud forms that strikes enemies with lightning
  • Overload Earth - the earth literally moves beneath the Tempest's feet, crippling enemies and protecting nearby allies
Besides the overload skills and as previously mentioned, the tempest also gains access to a warhorn. Although it's perhaps not what some were expecting, the warhorn is thematically fitting and has allowed ArenaNet to design a set of eight skills that are visually striking. Perhaps some of the community reaction to the prospect of a warhorn is based solely on the typical "wail" that emits from them. Fortunately, that's not going to be the case here as the tempest will have access to boon sharing and will be able to unleash a variety of skills (see images below). One particular skill when using air attunement allows the tempest to create a cyclone that will pull enemies to a point, while its lightning orb will fire projectiles at enemies in its path.

Shouts include:

  • Healing - Wash the pain away! Heals and cleanses conditions
  • Utility - Feel the burn! - flames erupt from the ground at the location of the shout
  • Utility - Eye of the storm! - calls down a storm to break stun and grant super speed
  • Utility - Aftershock! - earth force that cripples enemies and an aftershock to immobilize them
  • Utility - Freeze - cools the air causing damage and chilling effects
  • Elite - Rebound - an arcane skill that grants a reduced recharge by 25%
Want to know more? Head to the link above and read the finer details!
 

Elder Scrolls Online : Console Sales Are Good - So What’s Next for All Players?

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Now that we’re over a month since The Elder Scrolls Online’s release on consoles, we have the next step: the announcement of the first major DLC update and how that will work, as well as hints at other features to come. It seemed like a good time to take a look at how ESO is faring on console, how PC is back on track, and what the Imperial City DLC may tell us about what we can expect from the game in the future.

Read more of Christina Gonzalez's Elder Scrolls Online: Console Sales Are Good - So What’s Next for All Players?

Path of Exile : First Weekly Winner Announced - Congrats ShikuTeshi!

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

MMORPG.com, Grinding Gear Games, and Plays.tv have revealed the first weekly winner in our ongoing Path of Exile contest. Congratulations to ShikuTeshi for the awesome "suicide build"! Check out the video and the sweet list of awesome prizes below.

What ShikuTeshi wins:

  • 200 Points
  • Premium Stash Tab Bundle
  • Skin Transfer Bundle
  • The Choice of One of Four Armour Packs (Seraph, Vampiric, Elite or Verdant)
  • Ghostflame Weapon Effect
  • Ebony Footprints Effect

Want to try your hand at scoring a great package of Path of Exile goodies? Check out our Path of Exile contest page to see how to participate.


WildStar : Deep Dive Reveals Class Stat Refactor

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Wildstar's Lead Combat Designer Steven Engle has penned a new "Deep Dive" post on the game's official site. In it, Engle details the forthcoming class stat refractor and why it is a necessary step for WildStar. He indicates that the team is excited about the changes and that it is "a pretty big change".

One of the main goals the team wanted is for players to be able to understand at a glance what a particular stat is and what it does for any given class. For instance, Engle brings up Moxie along with the notion that its identifying term "obfuscates the purpose of the stat itself".

Second, Engle reveals that stats had become imbalanced and provided players with uninteresting gear choices and also included a power creep by the end game.

With these things in mind, the team has decided on the following changes to WildStar:

  • Removal of primary stats and those stats deriving into secondary stats.
  • Players will no longer be able to increase Assault or Support power through Runes. In addition, all stats are going through a balance pass to make their power relative with each other.
  • Re-adjusting the power curve and adjustment of ilevels. While overall power should be relatively the same at Datascape from Live to 1.4.0, some other areas of the leveling curve might feel a slight difference.

By removing the previous stats, room is made for the new stats of Assault/Support Power, Armor, Health, Shield Max which run alongside the new PvP stats of PvP Power and PvP Defense.

Several secondary stats will remain essentially the same, though some will be altered slightly. For instance, Life Steal and CC Reduction will be gained through Rating with Strikethrough, Multihit Chance, and several others either being significantly altered, or are entirely new to the game.

The main goal, according to the post is that Carbine wants to give players more and different ways to play, with stats that enhance that experience in the game. Stats should be intuitive and clear and they are hopeful that players will find this new system fitting that wish.

Read the full post on the WildStar site.

 

WildStar : The Great Stat Reboot

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

As part of WildStar’s free-to-play transition, character stats are getting a radical overhaul. Terms like Moxie and Finesse are out, and secondary stats are being revamped. To help understand the reasons behind the change, Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer caught up with Lead Designer Steven Engle.

Read more of Gareth Harmer's WildStar: The Great Stat Reboot.

Devilian : Shadowhunter Class Detailed

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

The Devilian site has been updated with the first in a series of class profiles. This time, the Shadowhunter takes center stage, a cloaked whip-wielding class that hangs in the shadows waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.

The Shadowhunter can choose from any one of the following three skill trees:

  • The Shuriken tree allows the Shadowhunter to move quickly in combat, attacking with ranged weapons while staying agile enough to avoid attacks. This skill tree is great if you want to play the Shadowhunter with a “run and gun” style.
  • The Assassination tree focuses on dealing massive single-target damage and evading attacks. Skills in this tree allow the Shadowhunter to appear behind enemies and strike hard, then retreat before they can be counter-attacked.
  • The Shadow tree is focused on area-of-effect attacks and damage shields. This is perfect for players who want a playstyle with less focus on aiming and movement, but requires careful management of resources and cooldowns.

Check out the full post on the Devilian site.

MechWarrior Online : EU Servers Come Online, Oceanic Servers Coming Soon

Posted Jul 22, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Piranha Games has announced that the EU server cluster for MechWarrior Online are now up and running in Strassbourg. Oceanic servers will be coming online in August. Servers were added to reduce ping lag to give MWO players a more competitive edge and the project was completed within just a couple of months.

"The MechWarrior Online community has always been competitive by nature given the fundamentals of the MechWarrior gameplay, and now that we've added European servers a huge portion of our player base that lives in that region can experience MechWarrior Online at the highest competitive level,” said Russ Bullock, president of developer and publisher of Piranha Games.  

To show off server improvement and other interesting stats from MechWarrior Online, Piranha has released a great infographic. Check it out by clicking below.

Find out more about MechWarrior Online on the game's official site.

Crowfall : Centaur Powers Revealed

Posted Jul 21, 2015 by Suzie Ford

The Crowfall site has been updated with a first look at one of the more popular Archetypes revealed so far, the Centaur Legionnaire. In this latest article, fans can find out about power sources that fuel rotations, mechanics involved for a primary melee attack (L-Mouse) and a dodge (R-Mouse) as well as passives and more. The Legionnaire's skill tree is also previewed to give an idea of how it will grow over time.

There you have it! The Legionnaire is currently very focused on melee attacks, movement and a few critical support powers. He also has a handful of secondary control tactics available via physics impulses on his powers. Our goal for the Legionnaire is to be that frontline melee-healer, not a very common role in MMOs, but very interesting in a physics-based combat model. Additionally, it also seems to fit this archetype very well as a character who is well-suited for melee and also geared towards group-play.

Read the full work in progress on the Crowfall site.

Hearthstone : Mobile Version Outpaces PC Version in Revenue Generated

Posted Jul 21, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Superdata is reporting that, for the first time since its debut, the mobile version of Hearthstone is bringing in more money than the PC/Desktop version. The rise seems to coincide with Hearthstone's release for phones, as prior monetary gains had been low following last year's iPad release. Currently, all mobile versions have crossed the $10M mark, while PC revenue has tumbled to about $6M from a high of over $15M in preceding years.

Check out the Superdata graph below.

Source: MMOSite

Heroes of the Storm : Diablo's King Leoric Spotted in New Trailer

Posted Jul 21, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Blizzard Entertainment has released the latest spotlight trailer for Heroes of the Storm. This time, Diablo's undead King Leoric takes center stage. Check it out and leave us your thoughts in the comments.

Trait

  • Undying: Become a ghost when you die, regenerating Health over time, and resurrecting upon reaching full Health. Your Abilities don’t deal damage while in ghost form, but can still heal.

Basic Abilities

  • Skeletal Swing (Q): Swing your mace in front of you, dealing damage and slowing enemies by 40% for 2.5 seconds. Deals double damage to all non-Heroic sources.
  • Drain Hope (W): Grab an enemy Hero’s soul for up to 4 seconds, dealing up to 25% of their maximum Health as damage and healing you for up to 25% of your maximum Health, so long as you remain within range of the target. You are slowed by 20% while Drain Hope is active.
  • Wraith Walk (E): Separate from your body, becoming Unstoppable and gaining Movement Speed, accelerating up to 50% over 2.5 seconds. Your body jumps to your wraith when Wraith Walk ends or is canceled.

Heroic Abilities

  • Entomb (R): Create an unpathable tomb in front of you for 4 seconds
  • March of the Black King (R): Become Unstoppable and swing your mace three times, dealing damage and healing you for 7% of your maximum Health for each enemy Hero hit.

General : Knights of the Old Republic 2 Patched: 5K Res & Widescreen

Posted Jul 21, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Knights of the Old Republic 2 is getting a large PC update today along with a new Steam launch that supports PC, Mac, Linux and SteamOS with up to 5k resolution, Steam Workshop, widescreen support, achievements, and controller support.

In addition, a partnership agreement with the Restored Content Mod team has been struck that should see the Sith Lords Restored Content mod released via Steam Workshop. The mod was released in 2012 and restored content cut by Obsidian when KOTOR 2 was released in 2004 in order to speed up launch.

If that's not enough to pique your interest, perhaps the $10 price tag will. You can grab a copy on Steam or via the Mac App Store.

Check out  the links above for more information. Also, be sure to swing by the KOTOR 2 Wiki for a handy guide to getting "the game patched, fixed and restored with widescreen resolution for Steam/retail"

General : Fantasy War Tactics - Showing Its Love of Classic Strategy RPGs

Posted Jul 21, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Nexon is ready to unleash Fantasy War Tactics on the world in the near future, a game with roots firmly in the best strategy role-playing games of the past. We had the opportunity to interview Jungkeun Lee, Director, Nexon GT to find out more about Fantasy War Tactics and why you should be paying attention.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Fantasy War Tactics: Showing Its Love of Classic Strategy RPGs.

Guild Wars 2 : Latest Points of Interest Reveals Revenant Changes & More

Posted Jul 21, 2015 by Suzie Ford

Last week's Guild Wars 2 Points of Interest stream showcased the Revenant in two significant ways. First, Roy Cronacher spoke about the changes to the Revenant based on feedback from the previous weekend's event. Second, the newly-announced Shiro Tagachi Revenant legend took the spotlight. See for yourself how the Revenant is shaking up once the Heart of Thorns expansion is released.

Playing a revenant also felt a bit slow and underpowered in previous tests, so cast times on some abilities have been reduced. Several weapon skills in the axe and mace sets have also had their condition output increased. Roy said that damage output in beta tests might be low because the most important part of testing is making sure the profession plays well; raw numbers can always be adjusted later. He also confirmed that underwater weapons are in development for the revenant.

You can also read a summary of the stream on the Guild Wars 2 page.


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