The business model of Pathfinder Online‘s current testing phase is odd, since you have to pay a box price and a subscription fee to take part in the testing — at least, you did have to, before now. The game is revising that in two important ways, starting with a removal of the box price. Testing is now as simple as paying for a month of time and starting to play.
You also don’t need to even do that to get a sense of the game, as free 15-day trials are now available for everyone to experience. While the buddy system remains in place for existing players to get more time off of converts, new would-be players no longer need to seek out passes to try the game out. They’re welcome changes with the most recent Early Enrollment patch, which is primarily a patch for polish and quality of life fixes.
The downside of E3 pre-conferences coming earlier and earlier is that the event just gets longer and longer, but the upside is that you can find out some pretty neat stuff ahead of time. Bethesda held a pre-E3 event yesterday, and it contained some pretty fascinating information for players of The Elder Scrolls Online, including video of the Imperial City and Orsinium, both slated for release to players this year.
The former is covered with vicious monstrosities eager to counter any player efforts to venture into the fallen capital, whilst the latter spreads across multiple zones, from ominous mountains to underground structures. This is in line with a tweet from earlier this year stating these additions to the game would be seen before the year was out.
The news is just in time for the UK to crown Elder Scrolls Online #1 on the retail charts, making it the third game in 2015 to muster 100,000 sales in its opening week.
There’s also a new card game, The Elder Scrolls Legends, that looks to be Hearthstone but draws on the franchise set in Tamriel instead. Check out the trailers below.
MMO companies do their collective best to make sure that people don’t find out certain pieces of information ahead of time, which makes it all the more obvious when people do find out ahead of time. And it happens with fair regularity. Rumors come out, leaks happen, teaser images go out, and someone posts a byte-by-byte analysis that concludes what’s coming next. You’ve probably seen it happen with your favorite title more than once.
Of course, leaks and rumors can both be false, and speculation can be wrong. But in the wake of the most recent set of leaks, you might be wondering whether you generally trust rumors, leaks, and speculation. Does it strike you as worthwhile listening, or do you generally assume that rumors are false until definitively proven true? And do these unplanned bits of information make you less excited for the official announcement or more?
I’m relatively certain that I left the theater showing Mad Max: Fury Road on the same day that I went in, but I’m not altogether sure. It was two hours of movie that felt like four weeks, see. If you ever want to see a movie that spends an hour and a half not slowing down in the slightest and really making you feel the tension of an ongoing car chase, boy, this is the film for you.
I am also not entirely sure that this was actually a post-apocalyptic film and not just, like, the Australian outback on a normal Tuesday.
Leaving aside the subject of movies I enjoyed immensely, it’s time for this week’s installment of What Are You Playing, in which your friendly neighborhood staff members (and our marvelous patrons) let us know what they’re going to be up to over the weekend. You can also chime in yourself down in the comments, if you like! Witness.
Could it be? Is Skyforge going to release soon, or go into an open beta which is indistinguishable from release? It certainly seems like it, as the title is hosting its last closed beta week on June 24th. The time approaches! But, of course, there were other bits of beta news this week besides that.
As always, we’ve got more games on the list below. Did a game change status? Did we miss something? Let us know down in the comments, like always.
The next patch for World of Warcraft is sending players back in time, just a little bit. With an expansion based on nostalgia, that makes a certain amount of sense. The Arcatraz is the first timewalking dungeon to be previewed, and like its contemporaries it hasn’t been scaled up for new players so much as current endgame players are being scaled down to match what the dungeon is designed to face.
If you never saw the original dungeon or simply haven’t been inside for so long that you’ve forgotten how it looks, the preview should serve as an effective crash course on what to expect. While players are scaled down to level 70 for runs of the dungeon, the loot dropped therein will still be appropriate for level 100 characters. Take a gander at the article and look forward to taking part in a rather direct blast from the past, since it looks as if this patch will be in the wild sooner rather than later.
Overwatch‘s Pharah is a pretty straightforward character in terms of play philosophy. She has a rocket launcher, jump jets, and a wrist rocket to break down barriers. Nothing super difficult to understand. But seeing her in action is something else entirely because you get to see just how destructive her rains of rockets can be — especially once she has the height advantage.
Yes, Pharah’s the star of the latest gameplay video for Blizzard’s upcoming shooter, and it’s pretty impressive, with Pharah racking up a substantial kill streak and making good use of her arsenal. Jump on down below to see her blow almost everything to bits with style, grace, and enough rockets to blot out the sky.
The shift to widespread use of 64-bit operating hardware and systems is a good thing in many ways; for one thing, it means that we don’t need to hear quite as much about the Year 2038 Problem. But it does have downsides for those using older hardware, as PlanetSide 2 has demonstrated. With the game’s next update, the 32-bit client will no longer be officially supported, thus placing those on older machines out of the game.
According to the post announcing that support will be discontinued, a minority of players still use the 32-bit client, so the development team clearly feels it will have a minimal impact. Still, it means that some players will be locked out of the game. Whether or not it’s a necessary price for the ongoing march of technology is left as an exercise for the reader.
Did anyone else get flashbacks to the Xbox One launch with World of Warcraft‘s flying announcement? I pictured a lot of arm-folding and sulking as it was being delivered. “All right, I guess we’ll do what you guys say you want, but we were still totally right to say you didn’t want it.” Maybe it’s just me. The point is that players have finally sort of been listened to about an issue that’s been getting serious blowback since the expansion launch.
Pretty much everyone expects that this year’s BlizzCon will feature another expansion announcement for the game, of course, which makes the development team’s attitude particularly relevant. I can tell a convincing story in which this year’s expansion is an actual return to form; I can also tell a story in which it’s a pretty major misstep again. So let’s look at what could come next for the game, from the really good to the really, really bad.
Do you feel your home on Tatooine in Star Wars: The Old Republic
just filled up too quickly? The developers think it did. A new patch is live on the test server
, and in addition to balance changes for the Sith Sorcerer and the Jedi Sage, the patch greatly expands the number of hooks available on the Tatooine homestead.
Why the change? Essentially, the developers found that based upon the size of the stronghold players were filling up the area too quickly, with a skewed ratio compared to the other possible locations. The change should be a positive one for the amount of space and for players who want to get more decorations; the downside will be felt primarily by players who had already unlocked bonuses and will need to fill up the Tatooine stronghold all over again.
Getting back up to speed in any game can be tricky. If you’re out of the loop for a while, you miss out on quite a bit. The Secret World is certainly going out of its way to help you catch up, though, with the launch of the new Ultimate Edition of the game. It comes with every update of the game’s first season, exclusive starter weapons, AP boosts, and an exclusive outfit for players to use in dressing up.
Players who have never played the game before can obviously use the new edition as a quick way of getting into the action, while veterans who have stepped away can buy the edition to access all the content within whilst getting a bonus copy of the game to give away. The bundle is also on sale until June 25th; you could even pick it up on Steam right now for $42. You know how summer sales are.
Lifetime and veteran subscribers for Star Trek Online
have long had access to a special ship that shows off their elite status. Unfortunately, the game’s most recent patch has left that ship a bit less elite; you can upgrade your Heavy Destroyer, but it’s still just a Tier 5 ship instead of a Tier 6. So it’s good news that a new Tier 6 Heavy Destroyer is being rolled out for all three factions
, allowing long-time players to unlock a new starship trait and take on space with an improved craft.
The new Heavy Destroyers feature an enhanced version of the transformation ability present in the earlier versions along with a specialist officer bridge seat and the new Weapon System Synergy trait, which buffs projectile weapons after concentrated barrages from energy weaponry. If you desperately want the new ships but aren’t a veteran, you’re in luck; it’s not a coincidence that they’re being added to the game at the same time that a sale on lifetime subscriptions is being offered.
is a successful title on phones and tablets. It’s successful all around. And yet if you look within the field of mobile free-to-play titles, it breaks a lot of the “accepted” rules about how you have to monetize these titles. An article on Gamasutra takes the time to analyze how its different assumptions
about progression and rewards produce a different game environment that generally feels more welcoming and rewarding for players.
The short version is that Hearthstone uses just a single currency for both paying and free players, but your progress at earning that currency drops off sharply if you’ve already done your new quest for the day. However, you still have the option of playing, earning, and advancing via ranked play despite that restriction, so purchases feel more convenient and satisfying without being mandatory. Check out the full article if you can’t get enough examination of the mobile free-to-play model and want a close analysis.