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Issue 277, March 21, 2011
In the news
Hi-Rez Studios released new concept art showing off the Blood Eagles of Tribes Universe.

Read more here.
While no one knows when exactly Star Wars: The Old Republic will be released, we can tell you for sure when it is not being released: anytime between now and July 1st, 2011.

Read more here.
Following the catastrophic events in Japan, Square Enix has decided to temporarily shut down the Final Fantasy XIV and Final Fantasy XI servers.

Read more here.
Get more news on our site here!
Aion: Assault on Balaurea Re-Review
Originally released in 2009, Aion was cast as a mold-breaking MMO by NCSoft. It didn't, however, measure up to its hype. In the years since then, the dev team has worked quite hard to make Aion into the game it should have been on release. With the Assault on Balaurea expansion, did the team reach its goal? Find out in Lead Writer Bill Murphy's re-review of Aion in the post Assault on Balaurea era.

Back on September 7th of 2010, Assault on Balaurea launched as a massive free expansion to Aion. Its aim was to give more life to the high level experience, as well as flatten out the curve and grind that turned off many western gamers shortly after the title's original launch. A host of other features came bundled in and recent patches have further addressed many issues players once found off-putting. The result is an Aion of today that is much more approachable by western gaming standards. It's a traditionally molded fantasy MMORPG with an Eastern artistic flare, and if you haven't yet tried the game now would be a great time to do so.

You can read the full review here.

More reviews can be found on our site here.
Guild Wars 2: Norn Thief Impressions
Arena.Net's Guild Wars 2 was one of the most keenly anticipated games for fans to see at last week's PAX East trade show. Lead Writer Bill Murphy was able to get a hands on look at the game, including character creation. Bill chose to take a look at a Norn Thief and has some terrific impressions to share.

Once I arrived to the stairs leading up to the Great Hunt, I was greeting with a rousing little speech from our leader. Several NPC Norn warriors were with me, and some players as well, as we all charged up the steps and into a massive icy clearing. Out of nowhere a massive ice wurm sprung up from the center of the clearing. Spit flung from its mouth and icy cracks formed on the screen as it roared. Again, this is at level one. This is also the first Dynamic Event Norn players will meet in the game. I was told later that the event began with dozens of smaller wurms that needed to be killed, and that my party arrived just in time to see the massive creature emerge.

What's great about these events is that they scale constantly based on how many players are partaking in them. The strength and defenses of the monster increased as more players arrived so that it couldn't just be overtaken with sheer numbers. After a lot of whacking and stabbing, and very few heals (though the NPCs could have used it), the wurm died and we were victorious in the Great Hunt.

Check out the preview here.

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RIFT is a fantasy MMORPG developed and published by Trion Worlds. In RIFT, the world of Telara is being invaded by six different planes (fire, earth, air, water, life, death) through tears in the world called "Rifts." Players fighting for either the Guardian or Defiant factions are tasked with keeping the planar forces at bay in order to save Telara and drive back the forces of the game's villain, Regulos, the dragon god of extinction.

The aforementioned rifts make up the game's dynamic content features, as the rifts can open up in any part of the game world. The forces that spill out of these rifts will seek to spread their influence throughout the game world and even take over territory, leaving both a tangible and visible mark upon the game world.

RIFT also features the "Soul Attunement" system, which essentially allows players to multi-class. Different souls are acquired throughout the course of the game and up to three can be arranged at a time to create a build. Builds can be stored for use in several loadouts, allowing players to prepare different builds for different situations.

Learn more about Rift here, or check out our game list here.
The Week that Was
Monday, March 14
Star Wars: The Old Republic: Taral V & Jedi Guardian Impressions

Tuesday, March 15
Grinding My Gears: Monotheistic Gaming

Wednesday, March 16
FireFall: PAX East Overview

Thursday, March 17
PAX East: The Best of PAX East 2011

Friday, March 18
Marvel Super Hero Squad Online: Gazillion Entertainment
Did You Know?
The network is looking for experienced and / or enthusiastic freelance writers as we get set to launch our new site: As the name implies, RTSGuru will operate in much the same way as does, but with a focus on the Real Time Strategy genre.
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