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Black Desert Online

2016-06-09

Black Desert Online Review

Aubrielle sets out to uncover why Black Desert Online isn't your average MMO.
» Continue reading the article...

Asheron's Call: Throne of Destiny

2015-03-12

Asheron's Call Retrospective

Fluent takes us back to the past in his new retrospective article for Asheron's Call.
» Read the article

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Picture Watch

Armello
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Poll Watch

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31.15%

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47.54%

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3.28%

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1.64%

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1.64%

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Expected Releases

Jan: Pantheon

June

Elder Scrolls Online - Dungeons, Player Housing

by Aubrielle, Monday - June 20, 2016 11:42

Big updates are coming for The Elder Scrolls Online, including a dungeon pack slated for August and player housing coming in 2017.

Two years after the PC release and one after launching on PS4&XB1, The Elder Scrolls Online is thriving. The Dark Brotherhood DLC just came out and Zenimax Online announced more updates at E3 2016.

eso_dark_brotherhood_skeletons

During Bethesda’s E3 Showcase, it was revealed that over 7 million players bought The Elder Scrolls Online since its release. Game Director Matt Firor then announced One Tamriel, a new feature that allows players to group with friends anywhere in the PvE world regardless of the character level or alliance. This sounds very similar to the system used in Guild Wars 2.

Here’s how it works:

  • Characters will have their level scaled the same way that the game currently scales players to the level of DLC zones (Imperial City, Orsinium, Thieves Guild, and Dark Brotherhood).
  • You will be able to explore the entire world in any sequence you wish – just walk across the world and you will always find appropriately leveled content.
  • You will be able to play and group with anyone in the game at any time (outside of PvP). No longer will you have to create a lower level character to play with a friend who has just joined the game. You will be able to group and adventure together from the moment your friend emerges from the tutorial.
  • All PvE Alliance restrictions are being dropped. You will be free to explore of all Tamriel, including other Alliances. It is up to you how you want to role-play your character while doing this. “Silver” and “gold” versions of zones will be replaced by Cadwell quest storylines that you can do in any order you wish.
  • Alliance restrictions will still be enforced in all PvP areas, of course. One Tamriel will not affect the PvP systems in Cyrodiil.
  • In general, higher level players will be the same “level” as lower level players, but they will have far more tools in their arsenal: better gear, more abilities, and of course more Champion points.
  • Gear rewards will be scaled appropriately to make sure that there is always a way to get more powerful via crafting, questing, PvP, and dungeon/trial boss loot drops.
  • All Trials and Dungeons will continue with standard and Veteran difficulty modes, and you will have to be Veteran level to play veteran dungeon modes.
  • The Coldharbour zone will be “roped off” from players who have not yet completed the quests that lead there. However, if you are invited to a group that is already there, or travel to a friend who is there, you can immediately access the zone.

Chances are we’ll get a lot more information on both those upcoming DLC packs at Quakecon, due August 4-7 in Dallas, Texas.

A couple days later, Firor revealed to IGN that the next DLC will be an Argonian Dungeon Pack, due to release this August alongside the barber shop. Player housing, on the other hand, is planned to become available in the first quarter of 2017.

Elder Scrolls Online

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - One Tamriel Details

by Aubrielle, Friday - June 17, 2016 04:55

Since One Tamriel was announced, more details have emerged on the coming world change for The Elder Scrolls Online.

Since taking to the stage at E3 to announce their plans for "One Tamriel", the update that will make all content in The Elder Scrolls Online playable at any character level, the web is now home to a couple of previews regarding Zenimax Online's ambitious plans. The first one comes to us via MMORPG.com, where they briefly break down how this is going to work:

It’s something they’ve been perfecting since the game was released. First it was in Cyrodiil, then Orsinium, Hew’s Bane and most recently the Gold Coast. So all content will essentially be boosted to “max level” and all characters, regardless of actual character progression, will also be scaled. This will put every new player and old player at the same content and they will be able to explore and do quests together without any barriers.

The impediment of opposing of factions is also being removed with One Tamriel. No matter if you originally sided with Daggerfall, Ebonheart Pack, or even the filthy Aldmeri Dominion, you’ll be able to group with and play alongside anyone. This is something that had been requested well before the game launched. The Elder Scrolls community felt that with the faction lock the game wouldn’t feel like an Elder Scrolls game. They were right, the faction lock took out a lot of the single player Elder scrolls game feeling and gave it more of a MMORPG feel to it.


And then PC Gamer offers up a slightly shorter piece to fill in a couple of gaps:

When One Tamriel goes live, character levels will be scaled for the full game in the same way that they're currently scaled to the Imperial City, Orsinium, Thieves Guild, and Dark Brotherhood DLC zones. You'll be able to take on the entirety of Tamriel however you wish—“Just walk across the world and you will always find appropriately leveled content”—and, aside from PvP, players will be able to group and play with whoever they want, regardless of level or allegiance.

PvE Alliance restrictions are also being dropped, and “silver” and “gold” versions of zones will be replaced by Cadwell quest storylines that can be completed in any order. Trials and Dungeons will continue to offer Standard and Veteran difficulties, and the Coldharbour zone will be inaccessible to players who haven't finished the questline that leads there; if you're invited to join a group that's already there, however, you'll be able to access it immediately.

Source: GameBanshee

Elder Scrolls Online

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Fable Legends - Interview with Phil Spencer

by Aubrielle, Friday - June 17, 2016 04:40

Head of Microsoft's XBox division Phil Spencer spoke to PC Gamer about the Fable IP. (Courtesy of WCCFTech)

The fact that we want to own Fable is true. I think there could be a future in the Fable IP. And, yeah, I’ll want to continue to own that. The truth that there was a lineup of buyers ready to buy Lionhead is not true. I mean, there were some—here’s a little bit of a different way of looking at it. I worked with Lionhead since the time we acquired them, the team there, Peter Molyneux who’s obviously not there anymore, the leadership of that studio. I used to live in London, I spent a lot of time down in Guildford at the studio. Closing a studio sucks. It’s not something that I look forward to, especially a studio that I’ve been around such a long time, but any time, I don’t want people to lose their jobs. So if somebody came in and wanted to retain the studio and the people there in order to go forward with it, and really had the funding to go do that, I’d be totally supportive of that. You know, somebody who’s coming in and trying to maybe take advantage of a fire sale situation or something, that’s something different. You know, the thing I want to do is have the right—you know, the UK actually has good laws around disclosure of, ‘Hey, what’s going to happen with the studio,’ the consultancy period, and all that stuff that happens. So I wanted to be very transparent with the team there and what was going on. I saw the same articles you saw, afterwards, and I understand people’s frustration.

The frustration I completely appreciate, especially when the studio gets closed, then the frustration kind of is going to hit, a culmination. Game development always goes through its own pulls and pulls, just because of the natural creative process. We were trying to do something new with Fable Legends, which was take a console RPG franchise and see if we could make something more service based and free-to-play with it. The fundamental issue we ran into, and the articles actually allude to this but I don’t think it actually portrays it as much as the reality as it was: the players and retention that we had of people playing the game, it wasn’t working the way any of us wanted it to. And the articles say that.

So then I’m left in the end, or we are as a leadership team, with the decision, do I launch something that I know isn’t going to delight the fans the way we want it to, or do we make the harder decision to not launch it, and try to think about where we can deploy the resources elsewhere to see if these other things, get behind things that seem to be working. That’s a tough part of the business in managing the portfolio, and the human element of that is tough, and the creative decisions. It’s a difficult thing. But the fundamental issue, I would love to have Fable Legends out, in so many ways. It was a DX12 game, a cross-play game, like it ticked so many of the boxes that we’re talking about right here. But I also know, creatively it wasn’t delivering on the gameplay and the stickiness that it needed to, that it would be a momentary feel good and something and I just didn’t want to do that. It doesn’t mean every game we’re going to ship is going to be 90 rated, like we’ll ship games that miss the mark, but we kind of knew this one wasn’t actually hitting the metrics we needed.

And it’s an expensive decision we made, in the end, to develop it so far and then stop. But the other decision for us would’ve been to ship it, and then if I ship it I feel like I’ve got to go support it, for a while, because it’s not like you launch a game like that and it doesn’t work, so two weeks later you say ‘OK no longer,’ because people are going to invest. It’s a little different retail, but when you’re talking about a service-based game. So we were trying to make decisions we think were right for the customers who would be coming in. I know we I get a lot of, ‘Hey, just release it and let us play it,’ but you can’t release a service-based game and just let people play it.

They’ll probably want to establish a suitable design direction and find another studio before venturing in another Fable project. In the meantime, franchise aficionados can only turn to the collectible card game Fable Fortune, currently fighting an uphill battle to get funded on Kickstarter.

Essentially, he said that Microsoft would have supported a serious buyer for Lionhead but there wasn’t anyone meeting such standard. As for the Fable IP itself, it doesn’t sound like anything will happen for a while from Microsoft’s end.

Fable Legends

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Release: Canceled

Details

Star Citizen - 2.4 Brings Persistent Universe

by Aubrielle, Wednesday - June 15, 2016 08:31

Star Citizen's update 2.4 has finally introduced the persistent universe, making it available to all backers.

That’s right folks, today we bring you news of the first ever persistent version of the Star Citizen Persistent Universe! Those of you who have been following the game closely will no doubt already be aware and like me have been massively anticipating (and possibly even testing on the test universe servers CIG run) this latest huge milestone in Star Citizen’s development. Well, as we leaked last month, 2.4 is here and it brings with it a huge amount of new functionality and content. I’m happy to say that the leak itself was largely accurate and our decision to publish it worthwhile.

Due to the huge update, we’ll forego our usually monthly report on Star Citizen to focus on the game systems which have arrived with 2.4 with one single exception that I’ll come to at the end.

PERSISTENCE!

Yes, in case it wasn’t obvious yet, Star Citizen 2.4 brings with it the first implementation of persistence! CIG have given every backer some alpha currency (aUEC) for testing the initial persistence in game. Up until now, your Star Citizen backer account has only contained the data for what you have bought on it in the real world via the website. In session, you only had the reputation, items you found etc for that individual game session. As soon as you logged out, your account was reset to what you started the game with. Well, no longer! For the first time in Star Citizen, the actions you take in game will persist between sessions. At a high level, this includes the following:

  • Credits balance
  • Reputation (criminal
  • Items purchased
  • Ship loadouts
  • Hangar configuration
  • Character loadouts

This is the big one folks. Although at this stage the currency is only an alpha version and it is being used for balancing and testing cost of items vs. rewards for missions etc and will be periodically reset as it is balanced, the gameplay mechanics have now changed substantially.

Read more.

Star Citizen

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - One Tamriel

by Aubrielle, Wednesday - June 15, 2016 08:10

Elder Scrolls Online will soon launch an update called One Tamriel, which will remove all content barriers and make group play and exploration easier.

Big changes are coming later this year to The Elder Scrolls Online in the form of One Tamriel, an overhaul of the Zenimax MMO that Director Matt Firor said will “make it easier for ESO players to group together, and to promote the sense of freedom to explore that Elder Scrolls games are known for.” The plan, in a nutshell, is to remove all content barriers from the game and make everything available to everyone. 

When One Tamriel goes live, character levels will be scaled for the full game in the same way that they're currently scaled to the Imperial City, Orsinium, Thieves Guild, and Dark Brotherhood DLC zones. You'll be able to take on the entirety of Tamriel however you wish—“Just walk across the world and you will always find appropriately leveled content”—and, aside from PvP, players will be able to group and play with whoever they want, regardless of level or allegiance.

PvE Alliance restrictions are also being dropped, and “silver” and “gold” versions of zones will be replaced by Cadwell quest storylines that can be completed in any order. Trials and Dungeons will continue to offer Standard and Veteran difficulties, and the Coldharbour zone will be inaccessible to players who haven't finished the questline that leads there; if you're invited to join a group that's already there, however, you'll be able to access it immediately. 

“In general, higher level players will be the same 'level' as lower level players, but they will have far more tools in their arsenal: better gear, more abilities, and of course more Champion points,” Firor wrote. “We will adjust gear rewards to scale appropriately to make sure that there is always a way to get more powerful via crafting, questing, PvP, and dungeon/trial boss loot drops.” 

More information about One Tamriel will be announced over the summer and leading up to its launch, currently slated for sometime this autumn.

Source: PC Gamer

Elder Scrolls Online

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

RPGWatch Feature - Black Desert Online Review

by Myrthos, Thursday - June 09, 2016 22:42

Aubrielle received a copy of Black Desert Online and found out why the game isn't your average MMO in this review.

Killing hordes of enemies in spectacular fashion with lightning-fast moves and bloody combos is, for me, one of the game's high points.  At the moment, the character I've played most aggressively is my ranger.  She's a heartstoppingly hot redhead with girl-next-door freckles and a milkmaid complexion.  She's also one of the deadliest characters I've played in any game.  When whole squads of rebel soldiers or filthy imps step up, my chick is gracefully dancing past killing blows and showering a killing rain of arrows on her enemies.  If they get too close, the daggers come out and I chop them into fine mincemeat.  If I'm feeling snarky, I start kicking.  And by kicking, I mean, like...in the air, Bruce Lee style.  Then I'm doing backflips, the bow is out faster than you can blink, and they're sinking to the muddy ground with three arrows in their throat.  Lining up and trading hits until that mob dies is so 2004.  Combat in Black Desert is entirely about your personal skill, and depending on your class, you may not need to get hit at all.

...

One difference you'll quickly find between MMO staples like WoW and avant-garde games like BDO is the combo system.  See, you're not just limited to hotbar rotations anymore.  Depending on what's happening in combat - and no two fights are ever the same - you'll need to change how you fight.  Each class has its own button combinations that feel oddly natural to use.  As a ranger, holding down shift and pressing your left mouse button fires explosive arrows over and over.  That's super easy to do while you're in the flow of dodging a heavy blow and getting in position to launch a powerful attack by pressing another two buttons.  It sounds complex but it becomes second nature.  If you're absolutely uncomfortable with not using your number keys to unleash special attacks, many classes offer you the ability to bind your fun skills to those number keys.

Black Desert

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

RuneScape - Celebrates the Falador Massacre Glitch

by Silver, Monday - June 06, 2016 15:18

If you remember old school Runescape you probably remember the Falador Massacre. In remembrance the Old School Runescape team have set up a tournament server-World 666.

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Old School Runescape is marking the 10-year anniversary of one of the all-time best MMO bugs: the Falador Massacre.

The Falador Massacre started with a house party. Player Cursed You had become the first person in Runescape to max their Construction skill and invited a few dozen friends round to mark the occasion. Things got rowdy, as such events tend to, and people took to the combat ring for some sparring, which flagged them for PvP as intended.

However, when Cursed You kicked them from the house, the PvP flag remained. The horde of revellers marauded through Falador, killing everyone in their path. Plaintive cries of "Bank your items" echo to this day.

In remembrance, the Old School Runescape team have set up a tournament server-World 666-that makes Falador a battleground once more.

Source: PC Gamer

RuneScape

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Black Desert - WCCFtech Review

by Aubrielle, Sunday - June 05, 2016 00:09

WCCFtech reviews Black Desert Online and gives it a thumbs-up score of 8.  They've included some in-game footage to whet your appetite.

Our own review will be out soon, so stay tuned!

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Black Desert Online puts me in an awkward position. For a while now I’ve had a big issue with the stagnation of the MMORPG genre, the fact that beyond the visual there was rarely anything new, original and refreshing to grab my attention, beyond a few exceptions like The Secret World, Guild Wars 2 and, to an extent, Elder Scrolls Online. Games like Devilian and Blade & Soul have come and gone with me giving no second thought to them. I’ve been looking for something fresh, Black Desert Online delivers.

Read more.

Black Desert

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - Dark Brotherhood Trailer

by Silver, Wednesday - June 01, 2016 08:40

Bethesda have released a trailer for the Dark Brotherhood DLC game pack ahead of its release.

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Blood will flow. Prepare for your life as one of Tamriel’s most feared assassins with this assassination trailer featuring of Blade of Woe kills, courtesy of the Dark Brotherhood. The Dark Brotherhood DLC game pack is available now on PC and Mac. Coming to Xbox One and PlayStation®4 on June 14!

Elder Scrolls Online

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Star Citizen - Not Coming to E3

by Aubrielle, Wednesday - June 01, 2016 00:26

Instead of appearing at E3 this year, Chris Roberts has elected to stay at home and use the time to produce more content for Star Citizen.

The PC Gaming show is sliding into a new time slot at E3 this year, taking over EA’s old position. The lineup has gotten a little thinner since the show was announced though, with one big participant dropping out.

Cloud Imperium Games, the studio behind Star Citizen won’t be appearing at the PC Gaming show. The developer confirmed to us that it pulled out weeks ago.

“We are not able to have Chris at the PC Gaming Show due to his commitments in the UK making the game,” a Cloud Imperium Games representative told us via email. “I informed PC Gamer of this several weeks ago. It’s important to note that we were never committed to be at E3 as an exhibitor or in any other capacity (except for the PCG show). In fact we’ve never had a booth at E3. Our focus has pretty much always been Gamescom, and it will be again this year.”

To-date, Star Citizen has raised more than $114 million via Kickstarter and an ongoing self-run crowdfunding campaign. Currently, the game is in alpha with a number of different modules in development simultaneously.

According to the official site, current playable pieces include eight open world missions with approximately 20 random encounters, a section of the first-person shooting gameplay available in a space station dedicated to that mode, and a multiplayer component with both player-versus-player and wave-based combat. 

Star Citizen has the subject of much controversy, in part due to its enormous crowdfunding success and continued setbacks. In January 2015, founder Chris Roberts (Wing Commander), issued a revised timeline for the game. According to that document, Star Citizen should be releasing this year. 

The first of three episodes in the single-player campaign, Squadron 42, was supposed to be out in 2015. It is now scheduled for some time in 2016.

[Source: Cloud Imperium Games via Polygon]

 

Our Take
Given the controversy surrounding Star Citizen, pulling out of an extremely visible stage presentation is going to make ripples amongst detractors. It also has the effect of weakening an already tepid PC Gaming Show lineup. After last year, that event needs streamlining and big beats instead of being an overlong slog. Given how late Star Citizen is, this might be the best use of Roberts' time. The game has enormous expectations to meet.

Source.

Source: Game Informer

Star Citizen

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

May

Black Desert - Valencia Update Delayed

by Aubrielle, Monday - May 30, 2016 12:06

Those of us eagerly awaiting the Ninja/Kunoichi class, as well as the huge new Valencia desert area, will have to wait a little longer. Daum Games has delayed Black Desert Online's Valencia update for NA/EU due to technical issues.

Unfortunately, it would appear that the Valencia update for Black Desert Online, scheduled to be released on June 1, has been delayed due to technical difficulties.

According to the Black Desert Online team, the release of both Valencia Part 1 and the Siege Mode updates were not compatible with the game’s current build. Instead of releasing the update in a buggy state, Daum Games wants to make sure that it isn’t overshadowed by a glitches and compromised security.

On the bright side, this delay is allowing the development team to improve security features, crack down on bots, and target unapproved third-party software. There is currently no new date for the update’s release, but the “Blackstone” and “Pirate Rhum” events have been extended an extra week.

The Valencia Part 1 update will include new weather effects, armor/weapons/accessories, mounts, hundreds of additional quests, and it will expand enhancement to +20. Furthermore, the PvP update scheduled for June 15 is also expected to be delayed. It will include the highly anticipated Node and Castle Siege Warfare modes.

Source.

Black Desert

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Ultima Online - Ultima Online Wars Announcement

by Silver, Wednesday - May 25, 2016 03:32

There is a new development in the realm of Ultima with the announcement of Ultima Online Wars set for June 24th. Head to the link to see the release announcement trailer.

We're extremely excited to reveal our release announcement trailer today! The beautiful, and chaotic world of Ultima Online Wars (UOW) offers so much to do and explore. We can't wait to see players experiencing everything to be discovered in UOW.

In other news the UO Wars Launcher has been officially completed and, once UOW has been released on June 24th, will even offer the ability to directly connect to the game itself through the launcher. As of this post onward you can download the UOW client and any updates with the launcher here: http://www.uowars.com/client/Ultima%20Online%20Wars%20Launcher%20Installer.exe

Mirror: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2HPUyuJnu3cMDROc3ZvSmtzeGM/view?usp=sharing

We have even included our own version of Sallos with the launcher installation as well. Hope to see you all on June 24th!

Ultima Online

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Shroud of the Avatar - Capital City of Brittany

by Hiddenx, Sunday - May 22, 2016 18:10

Couch spotted a walkthrough of Shroud of the Avatar's Capital City of Brittany:

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Take a guided tour with Level Designer Esteben Zaldivar, as he walks you through Brittany, the Capital of Novia, in Lord British's epic game, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.

Shroud of the Avatar

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Black Desert - Valencia Update Coming Soon

by Aubrielle, Friday - May 20, 2016 01:26

Black Desert Online's next update will add the Arab-esque land of Valencia, which will increase the world size by 30%.  It is scheduled to launch for NA and EU on the 1st of June.  No official trailer was released, so here's a video showing off the Korean version.

Thanks, Couch.

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Daum Games Europe announced today that the massive Valencia Part 1 expansion for Black Desert Online will hit North America and Europe on June 1st. They also released a batch of screenshots of the beautiful and dangerous desert region, which you can check at the bottom of the post.

Like Mediah before it, it will add a further 30% to the landmass you can explore including the desert itself and the beautiful (and enormous) Middle East-inspired city of Valencia. It’s actually quite a lot bigger than the Mediah expansion, but I guess this is calculated as 30% of the original plus Mediah.

The new content increases the size of the world by an additional 30% and also brings hundreds of new quests, some of which extend the main storyline.

With Valencia Part One, players will be able to journey to an expansive desert region where exploration will take a completely different turn. Extreme heat during daytime requires proper hydration, and intense cold at night requires players to stay warm. Additionally, a new weather effect, sandstorm, inflicts damage unless players set up a tent to protect themselves. The minimap will be unavailable, but getting lost is not all bad―who knows what treasure your shovel may strike?

Regular horses and wagons are not ideal to traverse the desert and will see their speed lowered. Thankfully, players will be able to purchase Camels from NPCs, which fare much better in these harsh conditions. Another new mount, the Guild-owned Elephant, serves as a powerful war mount in sieges.

On top of that, node and castle siege warfare will be added on June 15th, starting a trial period to let players familiarize themselves with the system. After two weeks, results will be wiped and the real deal will start. Node and castle siege is a guild vs guild PvP system that involves truly massive battles.

The valencia part one expansion also brings new weapons, armor and accessories (like the Rocaba armor set that grants an evasion bonus and the Rosar weapons that ignore resistances), new crafting recipes and crops, and the increase of enchantment limits to +20.

More.

Black Desert

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

SW:TOR - The Bioware Story- Video

by Corwin, Monday - May 16, 2016 02:03

Don't know how we missed this one, but many of you should find this extremely interesting.

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SW:TOR

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

SW:TOR - Lead Designer Interview

by Hiddenx, Thursday - May 12, 2016 21:41

Alrik spotted this Venturebeat interview with Charles Boyd - Star Wars: The Old Republic’s lead designer:

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s lead designer: Players want to do more in less time

[...]

GamesBeat: How is the MMO space different today than when TOR launched?

Charles Boyd: Great question!  We are seeing a couple of interesting trends in the industry. Players want to do more in less time, advance at their own pace, and plan ahead — players today are leading busy lives, and they want to maximize the opportunity to have fun and get rewarded every time they play.

This was a big factor in our move to an episodic storyline as it allows players to experience the story the way they want to and with maximum flexibility. Players are even more savvy now, and they want to know that there is a next chapter coming and appointment set for when — so we actually started announcing our “next” chapter the week after the current chapter releases to meet that goal.

[...]

SW:TOR

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

D&D Online - Update #31 Released

by Aubrielle, Thursday - May 12, 2016 14:11

Update #31 for Dungeons and Dragons Online launched yesterday.

Umber Hulks have officially reared their mandible-sporting heads in Dungeons & Dragons Online, as Turbine has released Update 31: Gnomework for the venerable MMORPG and ushered in the classic creature (within The Temple of Elemental Evil, no less), a handful of new quests, and a few other notable gameplay tweaks. I'll quote things directly from the release notes, while also sending you to the item list:

Of Special Note:

Free Quests!

  • Search and Rescue - An adventurer in Eveningstar learns the hard way to "never split the party!" While exploring an ancient tomb, her group get separated, and she needs your help to find them. However, it turns out the tomb is just the beginning. The problems here are much deeper – and bigger – than they first seem.
  • Memoirs of an Illusory Larcener - A DDO take on the classic choose-your-own adventure story. A Gnome Illusionist in the Harbor has a tale to tell, and brings the story to life using the power of his illusory magic. As the tale unfolds, your choices will affect the outcome. Is his story just for good ol' amusement - or does he have something else up his sleeve?
  • Good Intentions - Find out why good intentions can lead to bad results! A mysterious enchanter's greatest invention creates an instant workforce to repair damaged sections of Stormreach, and you are there to see its debut. What could possibly go wrong?

Fighter Kensei

The Fighter Kensei enhancement line has been updated. See the full details below in the Release Notes.
News and Notes: Daily Dice
  • The Daily Dice reward tables have been updated. No items have been removed, and Invisible Stalker Creature Companion Certificates, Treasure Hunter's Elixirs, and Bigby's Pointing Fingers have been added to both the Silver and Gold tables.
DDO Store
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the DDO Store to crash when being opened.
Enhancements
  • Fixed an issue with the DC of Vanguard's Shield Charge.
  • The Fighter Kensei has been updated:
    • ​Core Abilities:
      • ​Strike With No Thought: Gain a +1 competence bonus to critical multiplier.
      • Power Surge now gains a +8 Psionic bonus to all attributes for 60 seconds. If you possess the ability to generate Ki, you gain on hit +2 Ki.
      • Alacrity now provides a +2 to all ability scores, and the additional action boosts have been increased to four.
    • ​Tier One:
      • ​Action Boost's Attack Boost now adds +4/6/8 to hit and damage for 20 seconds.
      • Haste Boost's third tier no longer erroneously lists its duration as 30 seconds, and now states its proper 20 seconds.
      • Reed in the Wind's cooldown is reduced to 15 seconds, and now does +1/2/3[W].
    • ​Tier Two:
      • ​Improved Dodge's AP cost has been changed to 1/1/1.
      • Improved Dodge now has a multiselector.
      • Weapon Meditation has been removed.
      • Ascetic Training's AP cost has been reduced to 1/1/1.
      • Conditioning has been changed to +1/2/3 Fortitude saving throws, +5/10/15 hit points, and +5/10/15 Fortification.
      • Weapon Group Specialization: Gain +1 to hit and +2 damage with one handed weapons and repeating crossbows, and +1 to hit and +3 damage with two-handed weapons and non-repeating crossbows.
    • ​Tier Three:
      • ​Critical Accuracy has been changed to Critical Mastery: +1/2/3 bonus to critical damage and to confirm critical hits.
      • Improved Mobility has been removed and replaced with Athletic Mastery: +1/2/3 Maximum Dexterity Bonus and Dodge Cap, -1/2/3 Armor Check Penalty. Works in any armor. Cost: 1/1/1
      • Shattering Strike's cooldown has been reduced to 10 seconds. Fortification loss no longer has a saving throw, and no longer requires Weapon Mediation.
      • Weapon Group Specialization: Gain +1 to hit and +2 damage with one handed weapons and repeating crossbows, and +1 to hit and +4 damage with two-handed weapons and non-repeating crossbows.
    • ​Tier Four:
      • ​Critical Damage has been removed and combined into Tier Three's Critical Mastery.
      • Weapon Group Specialization: Gain +1 to hit and +2 damage with one handed weapons and repeating crossbows, and +1 to hit and +4 damage with two-handed weapons and non-repeating crossbows.
    • ​Tier Five:
      • ​A Good Death: Cooldown has been reduced to 15 seconds. Extra damage now activates if the target is below 30% health. Extra damage scales with 400% Melee or Ranged Power. Requirements have been removed.
      • One with the Blade: Passive: Gain +20 Melee and Ranged Power. Requirements have been removed.
      • Deadly Shot/Strike: No longer requires an action boost. Cooldown reduced to 20 seconds. Change the vorpal ability to cause an extra 500 damage which scales with Melee or Ranged Power.
      • Weapon Master: You gain +3 to hit and damage with all weapons.
      • NOTE: We expect to add two additional enhancement options in the fourth tier of Kensei soon.
Items
  • Fixed an issue where equipped quivers were not automatically gathering items correctly.
  • Fixed some end reward lists that could still have +0 items appear in them.
  • Fixed some item properties that could still appear with a +0 benefit.
Quests and Adventure Areas
  • Temple of Elemental Evil
    • ​Flying Griffons and Umber Hulks can now be found in this dungeon.
​Races
  • Two new hairstyles are now available for human male characters.
  • Six new beards are now available for gnomes.
  • Several new beards are now available for human male characters.
  • Fixed an issue where the projectile offset was incorrect for gnomes.
  • Deep Gnome Iconic tattoos now display correctly.
UI
  • A Default Group Volume preference has been added to the Voice section of the Audio options UI. This volume slider sets the default voice volume level of new group members.
  • The default group volume slider and party UI slider is now 75% by default.

More.

Source: GameBanshee

D&D Online

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

STO - Agents of Yesterday Announced

by Silver, Tuesday - May 10, 2016 12:37

@GameBanshee With the 50th anniversary of Star Trek coming up Star Trek Online have decided to announce a brand new content expansion titled "Agents of Yesterday". Star Trek Online executive producer Stephen Ricossa has written a letter to the community outlining his thoughts on the expansion.

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From the letter:

Agents of Yesterday will allow players to create a new captain in Star Trek: The Original Series era and will set them on an adventure featuring classic story lines, locations, celebrities, and era-appropriate starships. In 2270, the year following the third season of the original series, the player will adventure with Walter Koenig, reprising his role of Chekov, and Chris Doohan, filling in for his father as Scotty. There is a new threat to the security of the Federation, and they are invading with hopes of overwhelming the past to destroy our future.

In addition to the ability to create a brand new Star Trek: The Original Series Starfleet captain, we will be introducing a new episode arc for players of every faction, the Temporal Initiative Resistance Reputation, a Temporal Operative Primary Specialization along with brand new Bridge Officer powers. Players who create their captains during the first six weeks of launch will also be able to participate in the new Temporal Agent Recruitment system for bonus personal and account-wide rewards, a new iteration of the popular Delta Recruitment system that released a year ago. This release is packed with content to keep you engaged in the classic Star Trek: The Original Series era - and beyond.

Source: GameBanshee

STO

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

April

Fable Legends - Wasn't a Disaster

by Myrthos, Tuesday - April 26, 2016 20:01

Without the game ever being releeased, Eurogamer concludes that Fable Legends wasn't a great Fable game, but was no disaster either.

Was Fable Legends another victim of the Xbox One's wayward direction in its early days? Maybe so, Lionhead's illustrious career coming to a miserable conclusion with two titles were hamstrung by the wider ideals imposed upon them, The Journey by its marriage to Kinect and Legends by its association with online that was always an awkward fit for the world of Fable. For all its troubles - and, more specifically, the failings of motion control - The Journey contained enough craft and heart to warrant its existence. Legends looked like it had enough to deserve a shot at a wider audience, even if it was never going to be a huge success. It was destined never to be. Fable Legends' closed beta was switched off last week, and its chances of being resurrected look slim. Albion might live on through another studio's work, but Lionhead's own take on its own fabled land is no more.

Fable Legends

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Release: Canceled

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - New DLC May 31st on PC

by Silver, Tuesday - April 26, 2016 10:04

New DLC has been announced as reported by Gamespot. Titled 'Dark Brotherhood' the DLC sees you return to the Gold Coast last seen in Oblivion. PC players get it first with a release date of May 31st.

The Elder Scrolls Online continues to grow and evolve, with its latest DLC pack, Dark Brotherhood, scheduled to come out on May 31 for PC and Mac. Bethesda announced the release date today, also confirming that console versions will come out on June 14 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

[...]

The new Dark Brotherhood DLC pack sees players joining an "infamous guild of assassins" in the region of the Gold Coast, which was last seen in 2006's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

The content comes with a new passive skill line, "hours" of new quests to take on, more gear, and new world boss encounters, among other things.

"Become the deadliest assassin with a new and exclusive passive skill-line, defend the Brotherhood against a mysterious foe in hours of new story content, prove your skill for homicide in new repeatable assassination quests, and more," reads a line from the DLC's description.

Though Dark Brotherhood doesn't officially launch until next month, PC players can test it out on The Elder Scrolls Online's public test server starting today, April 25. For lots more on Dark Brotherhood, check out this blog post.

Elder Scrolls Online

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

RuneScape - NXT - Game Client Released

by Silver, Tuesday - April 19, 2016 12:21

Runescape have released a new game client NXT.

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NXT - New Game Client | Now Live for Everyone

NXT - RuneScape's all-new game client - is here!

This means better RuneScape performance than ever before, and it looks great too - vast viewing distances, dynamic shadows and beautiful lighting effects.

To celebrate, embark on Benedict's World Tour: a globe-trotting mini-adventure that's perfect for taking in the sights.

NXT is available to download now - for everyone. Enjoy!

 

RuneScape

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Shroud of the Avatar - Just a World for Digital Goods

by Myrthos, Friday - April 01, 2016 12:10

Clicqist's Joanne Mueller has written a piece about Shroud of the Avatar, which states that the game is nothing more than a world to store digital goods in and that Portalarium are milking their backers and players for more money.

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is currently available as an “Early Pre-Access” Alpha build on Steam. For a title that promised to be the first of five I think it’s a little disappointing that they haven’t managed to advance to a complete version of the first game yet. How many years will it be before the story finds a conclusion at this rate? Despite the lack of polish, the game retails for $44.99 and is updated frequently, though many promised features are still noticeably lacking.

This seems to own in large part to Portalarium Inc.’s focus on the MMO aspects of the game over the solo experience that role playing fans were so passionate about when they backed Shroud of the Avatar.

Portalarium has stated that they needed to fully build the infrastructure for the multiplayer mode first, then go back and layer the single-player narrative on top of that. This may very well be true, I’m no game developer, but some of the things they’ve allotted time and resources to working on don’t seem necessary, except as a means of squeezing more funds out of their player-base.

Thanks Couch.

Shroud of the Avatar

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

March

Otherland - Update

by Myrthos, Thursday - March 31, 2016 12:23

Otherland, the MMORPG based on Tad Williams' novels and which is currently in Early Access on Steam, has seen a large patch.

Hamburg, March 31, 2016 – Otherland, the Online RPG based on Tad Williams's famous novels, is available on Steam as an early access version with a brand-new update including three factions, various game optimizations, and numerous new quests.

Otherland's most important new feature is the much-anticipated introduction of factions. From now on, players will have the chance to actively take part in the conflict between the Red and White Armies – and the Hackers will also play an important role. Traders of the corresponding factions will provide players with epic endgame gear that will be essential for the dungeons and raids currently in development. Also part of the update are a raise of the level cap up to level 60, a total of 90 all-new daily quests, 20 new locations, optimized enemy skills and balancing, 12 new Mars quests, and a re-worked SOMA drop rate.

Additionally, the update will fix a number of display problems, improve the overall performance of the location 8Squared, and include extensively optimized collision models and detection as well as character and NPC pathfinding.

In the MMO Otherland, the players explore a gigantic multiverse composed of various fantasy and sci-fi worlds and constantly improve their extraterrestrial equipment to succeed in challenging fights. 4 character classes, PvE and PvP battles, an action-oriented combat system, 5 unique locations, a virtual home for every player, and clan wars in individually designed worlds will make Otherland fans lose all sense of time and space. The game's story, a sequel to the famous novels, is a treat for both fantasy and science fiction enthusiasts.

Patch notes can be found here.

Otherland

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Guild Wars 2 - Legendary Weapons Suspended

by Myrthos, Wednesday - March 30, 2016 12:31

TechRaptor have an article about the indefinite suspension of the development on a new set of legendary weapons for Guild Wars 2, which was originally scheduled to be released with the Heart of Thorns expansion.

The decision has created division in the community as fans rush both to defend and condemn ArenaNet for the removal of content felt promised by an expansion long-since purchased. O’Brien has taken to the forums in effort to defend the decision and point out the slew of features that did indeed launch with Heart of Thorns, including Guild Halls, new Elite Specializations, and The Revenant, an entirely new profession. For some, however, his defense has fallen on deaf ears in the wake of ArenaNet’s instances of over-promising on what exists now as unfinished raids and missing Fractals content and updates, both part of an expansion launched last year. This is in addition to the stagnation of Living World content and abundant, long-standing issues with WvW population imbalances.

Guild Wars 2

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - Thieves Guild Released

by Myrthos, Wednesday - March 23, 2016 23:07

The third DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online, Thieves Guid, has been released.

Thieves Guild, the third DLC game pack for the award-winning multiplayer roleplaying game The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, is now available worldwide for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Join the Thieves Guild of Abah's Landing to become the newest recruit in their organization of pickpockets, burglars, robbers, and thieves. The latest DLC game pack for the award-winning The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited takes you to Hew's Bane - an all new zone to explore located in the southern peninsula of Hammerfell. Combined with new story content that will bring you back to all your favorite areas of Tamriel, Thieves Guild offers unexplored delves, powerful group bosses, and much more!

Thieves Guild is included with an active ESO Plus membership or will be available for 2,000 crowns via the ESO Crown Store.

Additional DLC Details:

Brand New Story Content
Help restore the Thieves Guild in Abah's Landing, currently besieged by the mercenary force known as the Iron Wheel. After a high-stakes heist gone horribly wrong, the Iron Wheel will stop at nothing to destroy the Guild. Hours of story content await as you solve the mystery of the Iron Wheel and restore glory to the Thieves Guild.

New Criminal Activities.

Leveraging ESO's Outlaw Refuges, Thieves Guild quests take you all over Tamriel to engage in - and profit from - criminal activity such as stealing, looting, and pickpocketing. Heists, a new quest type, allow you to hone your thieving skills by adding trespassing and stealth/hiding mechanics that enable you to break into warehouses and homes in Abah's Landing to relieve merchants and citizenry of their goods. Beware of the guards!

New 12-Player Trial
With both Normal and Veteran difficulty modes, the Maw of Lorkhaj 12-Player Trial will test your allies and your courage. Breach the gates of an ancient Khajiiti shrine, and confront the ghostly legions of Namiira in eerie lamp-lit corridors - complete with ruthless new enemies, terrifying bosses, and a wealth of treasure from the depths of Oblivion.

All-New Skill Line
Want to enhance your character with all-new thieving, sneaking, and stealing-related passive skills? You're in luck! The Thieves Guild in Abah's Landing will teach you these skills as your progress through the ranks of the organization.

Thieves Guild-Exclusive Rewards and Items
Earn new items through in-game quests and browse Thieves Guild-themed items coming to the Crown Store soon.

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Elder Scrolls Online

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Neverwinter - Portobello's Campaign Game

by Myrthos, Tuesday - March 22, 2016 12:21

A new in-game campaign for Neverwinter's Portobello's Campaign, will be available at the end of the month.

A New Dungeon Master Enters Neverwinter!

Portobello DaVinci now joins Respen Durothil with his own “marvelous” game in Neverwinter’s newest event – Portobello’s Campaign. Chris Perkins, principal story designer for Dungeons & Dragons, joins the cast of Neverwinter as adventurers play through an all-new Dungeons & Dragons tabletop experience inspired by the popular Acquisitions Inc. live games presented by Wizards of the Coast and Penny Arcade. This brand new event will be available for Neverwinter PC on March 31.

In the effort to bring the best Dungeons & Dragons tabletop experiences to the digital space, the content in Portobello’s Campaign is heavily inspired by the Acquisitions Inc. live game from PAX Prime 2015. Dungeon master Portobello DaVinci brings adventurers to the Burrow Dawn Inn to participate in a brand-new, super-meta tabletop adventure. The new MMORPG campaign brings a cast of new characters including Flabbergast and his cat, Mr Snibbly, as well as two gargoyles that appeared in the live game. A full replay of the PAX Prime 2015 live game can be found here.

Cryptic Studios has included a full-fledged, in-game campaign for the month-long Portobello’s Campaign that will give players progression through the content and more rewards than previous iterations of the event. These rewards include a new artifact item and companion, including the Apocalypse Dagger artifact and Staldorf modeled after the items from the live game.

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Neverwinter

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details