It has been widely reported that Square Enix has big things to say about Final Fantasy XV in March but anything further than that has remained shrouded in mystery...that is until one intrepid NeoGaf user dug into the announcement page's source code. According to "KupoNut", there are placeholders in the code for both Steam, Windows 10, PlayStation 4 and XBox One.
It will remain to be seen whether or not Square Enix will confirm or deny KupoNut's findings or, more likely, we'll be waiting until March to find out.
Human players looking for a new character class to try out will be interested to hear that Beastmasters will be joining Nosgoth after next week's update. Beastmasters, in addition to their more mundane skills with firearms and primal magic, have the ability to turn into a bird of prey in the hunt for Vampires.
The most infamous call themselves Beastmasters or Skinwalkers, forging cruel bonds with the wild creatures of Nosgoth, usurping their senses or stealing their forms. Even though most people simply call them by the name of their best-known members, and while as a group they usually disdain official titles, they have collectively become known as the Scourge of the Wild.
Read more of the lore behind the class by visiting the Nosgoth site.
Ub3rgames has announced the final negotiations have been completed with Aventurine and that the company has secured licensing for Darkfall Online. Ub3rgames is currently at work on its iteration of the game called Darkfall: New Dawn.
So, what now?
Well, last week we talked about medium to long term time frames, today we’ll talk about the short term next steps:
We will first audit and analyze the code base and make a few modifications. We expect this phase to last from a few weeks to a couple months. We’ll be thorough as we don’t want to take any chances and will keep the community posted weekly, as usual.
We will open our store and announce a server opening date only once we are certain that we have a working product to sell. You can already read up on our business model.
There will be a three weeks long public stress test phase.
This will be free and open to all, we want to collect as many metrics as possible and catch server issues before New Dawn becomes a paying product.Its purpose is also to let players experience the game again as soon as possible.
Read the full announcement on the Darkfall: New Dawn site.
Among the normal bug fixes and feature enhancements, the Bombshell team is on record with an explanation of how certain aspects of the game are being reworked to fit into the next update. Among other things, Hard Mode will be enabled, boss battles evened out with exploits set to be closed and most of the one-liners that have annoyed the player community will be removed.
As for the less-than-stellar reviews, the team says:
We've been going through every single review and comment about Bombshell we could find. What we’ve noticed is that users generally like the game, while career reviewers generally dislike the game. And within those two groups, there’s some really valid overlap in criticism that I think we definitely could have done better.
Expectations: Some reviewers were expecting to be playing a “Diablo in space.” Ever since previewers started comparing us to some really great ARPG’s, we sort of ran with that comparison because of how flattering it was. But our RPG elements are super lightweight by comparison to most other ARPG’s, and so moving forward we’re going to work harder to set expectations more accurately. This is an action-shooter with weapon progression.
You can read the full post by visiting the Bombshell site.
Aeria Games has announced that a new class and two new dungeons have been added to Dragomon Hunter Online. The Samurai is a dual-wielding close contact fighter who can utilize Katanas or Twin Halberds.
In addition to the new class, the free-to-play title has just opened two thrilling dungeons for both mid- and high-level players. Get your bunny on in the "Hoppalong Wonderland," a worthy challenge for solo and group players of level 35 or higher that pits them against a horde of bloodthirsty Hoppalongs and their giant boss-the shrewd, the heinous, Hoppalong Honcho, Rottontail! If that's not enough, the terrifying Trial Tower is now available for solo and group players of level 50.
Read the full patch notes on the Dragomon Hunter Online site.
Blizzard has uncovered the first details of changes coming to Hearthstone. Players will find that "Play Mode" has been renamed "Standard" and includes Friendly Challenges, Ranked and Casual Play. There is no affect on Arena, Solo or Adventure modes.
In Standard Mode, players use decks built from cards from the current and previous year plus all basic and classic cards.
Wild Mode is described as:
In terms of gameplay, nothing is changing for Wild: you’ll be able to finish quests, earn gold, rank up on the ladder, get card backs, earn Legend rank, and use all the cards you’ve already collected to build a Wild deck, just like you always have. When you queue up for Ranked or Casual play with a Wild deck, you’ll always be matched with other players who are also using Wild decks.
The team will be using the next several months re-evaluating cards in both basic and classic card sets in order to make long-needed alterations and adjustments.
Read the full post on the Hearthstone site.
The oldest MMORPG ever, Meridian 59, is making a comeback, and we got the scoop on the project at PAX South.
Read more of Jason Winter's Meridian 59: Back to the Beginning with the Open Meridian Project.
Blizzard has announced that Heroes of the Storm has been updated with the latest patch that sees the commencement of the Lunar Festival that includes a new daily event quest, a new character portrait, new Hero skins, the Diablo Wizard character Li-Ming and more.
Read more about the Lunar Festival by visiting the Heroes of the Storm site.
Fans of indie sandbox MMOs will want to check out Islet Online now that it has landed on Steam as part of the Early Access program. Interested parties can gain access to the game by pre-purchasing it for $19.99 through February 8th or for $24.99 after that date.
Welcome to Islet Online. Islet Online is a sandbox-style MMORPG. It is all about digging and placing bricks to build your own land. And with various materials from wildlife, bricks can be combined to make useful items, too.
Whenever you act, your character gets experience. When your character gets experience, your character’s mastery skill level goes up. With enough skill level, you will be able to accomplish extraordinary results.
Check out the Islet Online Steam page for more information.
Neverwinter players looking to delve even further into the Underdark will be happy to hear about the ninth expansion called "The Maze Engine". Players will continue to travel alongside iconic characters including Drizzt Do'Urden and will be taking the fight to Baphomet and Orcus.
The Maze Engine will launch for PC in the spring with the XBox One version to hit live service at a later date.
The ninth expansion to Neverwinter also sees the return of five dungeons that have been reworked to offer more content as players push towards to level 70 cap. Castle Never, one of the hardest dungeons previously in the game, has received a massive overhaul as Orcus has taken over following Valindra’s exodus. Neverwinter: The Maze Engine will also bring new gameplay updates, including a new campaign, The Stable – a system that gives further customization to mounts – and an improved queue system.
Read more on the Neverwinter site.
This weekend Ubisoft opened up the PC beta for the Division. Read on to find out why Rob is excited about what the Division represents and what he thinks of the game's potential.
Read more of Rob Lashley's Reasons to be Excited About The Division.
Harebrained Schemes has announced via the company Facebook page that over five hours of free content has been added to Shadowrun: Hong Kong. Players can look forward to new gameplay experiences and developer commentary about the game. Those who purchase Shadowrun: Hong Kong will have the content included automatically while current owners will receive the update for free.
Find out more at the link above.
Webzen has announced the release of the latest update to Rappelz. Called Epic IX Part 3: Rise of Power, the patch brings a brand new dungeon, new monsters, new quests and the final awakening system among other additions.
Epic 9.3, Rise of Power also adds the final awakening system that boosts players' skills like never before, will generate a blast of power that will shake the lands of Gaia and unleash players' full potential. In order to awaken armor such as helmets, gloves, and boots with these special powers, players have to buy the Awakening Stone from an NPC in game. There is no real money involved in this process. However, if players wish to optimize their equipment, they may want to "reset" the randomness of the second option with a Cash Shop item (Final Awakening Seal Scroll).
Read more on the Rappelz site.
As part of the celebration prior to the release of Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition (February 9th), Techland has put together a fascinating time lapse that shows the evolution of the zombie over the last century. Check it out!
The RuneScape team continues to bring new features to the venerable title, this time in the form of a brand new elite skill called "invention". Invention allows high-level layers to augment and customize gear with a large variety of perks. Players will first to need to level three other skills (Smithing, Crafting, Divination) in order to access invention.
The introduction of Invention opens the possibility for players to optimise their favourite weapons to make them killers in all situations, or create armouries of gear perfect against dragons, demons, and other malevolent creatures. Players can even choose to take on bosses with negative perks to see if they can overcome the challenge, or search out the weird and wacky perks like ‘Hallucination’. Furthermore, technologically advanced devices can be discovered, such as mechanised chinchompas and pogo sticks, allowing players to feel like a true scientific pioneer in Gielinor.
Read more on the Runescape site.
The evolution of the "massive online game" has been an interesting one to track over the last decade plus, never more so than in the last few years as traditional MMORPGs became bogged down in the theme park mentality and seemed unable to get out from under the looming shadow of World of Warcraft. We have witnessed the rise of the MOBA, the MMOFPS, the MMORTS and more. While each has had its moment in the sun, the industry and the players who revel in online game play have continued to search for "the next big thing".
Enter the Age of Survival.
Read more of Suzie Ford's The List: 5 Reasons We Love the Rise of Survival Games.
March is shaping up to be a great month for gamers, no less so than for today's announcement that Path of Exile: Ascendancy will be launching on March 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern. Ascendancy features the Lord's Labyrinth with daily quests that are designed to test player skills to the maximum.
Players will have much to look forward to with new skills, new Ascendancy classes and much more. Check out this impressive list:
- Trials of Ascendancy
- Six types of lethal traps have been crafted by Izaro into elaborate puzzle rooms - an entirely new gameplay type for Path of Exile.
- The Lord's Labyrinth
- An entirely new system for generating sequences of random areas, the overall layout of the Labyrinth shifts every day, uncovering new puzzles and secrets.
- Emperor Izaro
- You will face Izaro multiple times during the Labyrinth and the fight will evolve depending on your actions in previous encounters.
- Ascendancy Classes
- There are 19 new Ascendancy classes, each with its own additional Ascendancy Skill Tree to master.
- Izaro's power can also be used to infuse items with powerful magic. These enchantments trigger specific skills and effects to occur on certain conditions. Each time the Labyrinth is completed, you may add one of these enchantments to an item.
- New Skills
- Ascendancy introduces a set of devastating new skills and support gems to customize your character with.
- New Items
- Featuring dozens of Unique Items and Divination Cards designed by Path of Exile's community, Ascendancy adds tantalizing power for players to discover.
Find out more on the Path of Exile: Ascendancy site.
Jeff Grubb has announced via his personal blog that he is leaving ArenaNet after ten years with the company. Grubb will exit the company on February 12th and begin working at Amazon Game Studios on February 15th. Grubb joins Eric Flannum, Jon Peters, and Stephen Fowler at Amazon Game Studios.
February 15th will be my first day at Amazon Game Studios. I have accepted a position as senior narrative designer. I can't say much at this point, but readers of this blog know that I rarely share information until it is time to do so (So yeah, you'll find out what I'm working on when it ships). I'm really looking forward to the new opportunities (though not, of course, the commute).
What do you suppose these MMO luminaries, and doubtless others, are creating? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.
With the dawn of February comes the many Valentine's Day game celebrations. First off the bat is DC Universe Online and Love Conquers All running from now through February 29th. The event brings new feats, quests, events, base items, style rewards and auras to players choosing to participate.
You can read all of the details, including a list of vendors and quest givers, by visiting the DC Universe Online site.
Daum has a pair of great news items for fans of the forthcoming game. Black Desert Online is set to be released on March 3rd and players have until February 26th to secure preorder packages that will expire after that date. In addition, today is the start of the registration period for the second closed beta that will begin on February 18th and end on February 22nd. Explorer and Conqueror package owners will be automatically granted access.
You can learn more at any of the links above, as well as get your character's look squared away by downloading the Black Desert Online character creation tool.
Lastly, be sure to check out the newest Black Desert Online trailer, "The Manifestation", below.