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Make My MMO: Dual Universe’s Kickstarter, ECO’s PAX trailer, and Hero’s Song’s ladies (September 3, 2016)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, sci-fi sandbox Dual Universe is making the final preparations for its Kickstarter, which launches this coming Wednesday. “For those who are still wondering why we are going the crowdfunding road, here is the short answer: while we are an indie studio which has been helped by business angels, to make a game with the scope of Dual Universe, we need to raise more funds,” says studio Novaquark. “The more backing we will have, the stronger we will be, and the more independent we can remain: either by having the game entirely funded by the community, or simply by making us stronger in negotiations with third parties.

Meanwhile, Shards Online told players it’s tripling the size of its map before launch; Project Gorgon unleashed a spider form for Labor Day (“If you’ve ever wanted to spit acid, inject your eggs into your enemy’s still-living body, or coat everyone in poison, Spider is for you”); Smedley gave a teaser about Hero’s Song; and edu-sandbox ECO released a new trailer for PAX.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding this week and the roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on!

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MU Legends’ global closed beta begins this fall

Webzen announced this morning that it’s kicking off the global closed beta for MU Legend this fall, to be followed by a second global test in the first part of 2017 alongside extensive localization for non-English western audiences. The game is intended as a sequel for MU Online, which originally launched in 2003.

“Like its predecessor, a third-person and isometric view is utilized in the game. The highly anticipated MMO features powerful hack ‘n’ slash combat, various PVP modes and stunning graphics. Players can choose from four playable classes – Darklord, Whisperer, Blader, and Warmage – and engage in the endless battle between the races in the world of MU.”

There doesn’t appear to be a signup forum yet; the company invites players to the game’s new Facebook portal in the interim.

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Take a look at Crowfall’s male Ranger and female Champion

Each of Crowfall‘s archetypes tends to be associated with a specific gender because the game’s archetypes are a bit more comprehensive than simply classes. But that’s not to say that all Champions are men; it’s just the default “face” of the archetype. A new post looks at both the female Champion designs and the male Ranger designs, both of which look… well, remarkably similar to the other gender, really. But with some slight differences.

Male Rangers retain the same basic shape of armor as the female Rangers, but their armor is slightly less ornate. Female Champions, meanwhile, get armor that has the same sort of brutal gladiatorial appearance as the male version, with slightly more round lines and a touch of extra filigree here and there. One of the key goals for both gendered versions was to maintain a distinct silhouette for each archetype, regardless of gender; the final versions of these designs are certainly recognizably linked.

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Albion Online introduces the Hell artifacts

A new batch of artifacts is arriving in Albion Online, and it’s hellish. These are literally called the Hell Artifacts, you see, and are forged with the aids of Hell Fragments obtained from Hellgates or melding Artifact fragments (which may be rather hellish itself). As we all know, wielding the horrifying powers of demons will have no long-term negative consequences and is in fact a superb idea, especially when said Hell Artifacts have the array of powers being shown off.

Each Hell Artifact weapon has its own unique ability, from the sword’s charge-and-snare technique to the shrinking power of the mace. Meanwhile, the offhands also boost various abilities, and the armor sets boast new powers to shut down your enemies whilst buffing yourself. You can wield all sorts of demonic powers with the new artifacts, and all it takes is… well, you know, lots of Hell. That’s probably fine.

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ARK: Survival Evolved’s first expansion, Scorched Earth, is now on Steam

Studio Wildcard has made good on the ARK: Survival Evolved tease it issued earlier this week: It’s just announced its first expansion pack, ARK: Scorched Earth.

“Scorched Earth is an completely new and different experience from The Island. Stranded naked, dehydrated and starving on a fiery, drought-ridden desert world, Survivors must immediately seek water, hunt for food, harvest new flora, craft new items, and build shelter from the extreme heat. Scorched Earth is an entirely new map, composed of seven unique, desert themed biomes – dunes, high desert, mountains, canyons, badlands, oasis and the ever-dangerous dragon trench – each with their own aesthetics, resources & ecosystems, and littered with ruins, geysers, and intricate ancient cave systems.”

Among the niftier features in the expansion is The Gateway, which allows player to transfer between old and new maps. The pack is $19.99 on Steam early access right now, and yes, you’ll need to own the original game to play this one. Check out the trailer below!

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My.com is porting its pirate MOBA here as Cloud Pirates

Remember back in July when we wrote about Pirates: Allods Online, a 10v10 shooter/MOBA/thing that landed in beta in Russia? I have good news for you: Now it’s coming here, and the name has gotten a refurbish. Now called Cloud Pirates, the game will feature both PvP and PvE and the requisite floating dirigibles.

The trailer’s been redone in English, and beta signups are a go!

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Riders of Icarus has dungeons galore incoming

Give the Riders of Icarus team credit: It seems to be very gung-ho in pumping out more content for the relatively new MMO. So what’s coming down the pike for the game? A new dev blog gives a quick preview of three major features that are coming in a future patch.

First up will be the Lair of Ienos, a solo dungeon that can be accessed once a day for a chance to beat the bosses and tame a new familiar. Fans of aerial action should get excited for the Tritael Rift, an old battlefield in the sky that still contains plenty of dangers (not to mention a dungeon!).

The last piece of upcoming content teased was the Gusting Isles: “Sealed away since the end of the War of Light, the titan Trauna was a weapon used by the God of Ruin. Now free, players must put an end to the dangers presented by this returning threat. This 10-player dungeon will push your skills to the limit with incredible gear awaiting those who are victorious.”

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Crowfall answers more questions on building in your Eternal Kingdom

Player housing? Pah. That’s thinking small. Now Crowfall, Crowfall is working on delivering its players the keys to citadels, castles, and palaces. It’s a big project that’s just a small part of the so-called Eternal Kingdoms, and the devs have a few more answers for fans about the ins and outs of working on these pocket regions.

There sounds like there will be a lot of options concerning how players set up their kingdom, from allowing PvP and building damage to creating these areas jointly with friends or guilds.

“You can work with friends and guildmates, pooling your resources to build an EK together,” ArtCraft said. “Your parcels and buildings will still belong to you; if you choose to move them to another EK later you’ll be able to do so.”

Check out some of the concept art and models of the grand strongholds for Eternal Kingdoms below.

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Black Desert’s Valencia II, desert PvP system, and Warrior Awakening arrive today

Part II of Black Desert’s Valencia expansion releases today alongside the Warrior class Awakening, which allows level 55+ Warriors to unlock the Greatsword weapon. “The Greatsword will not replace the Warrior’s Sword and Shield,” Kakao cautions, “but instead introduce a more destructive aspect to their typically defensive fighting style, offering a seamless transition between the two.”

Valencia itself sees the introduction of a new PvP system in the desert that isn’t beholden to the karma rules of other zones: The penalties for being killed with negative karma are reduced, but you’ll be branded as a villain, and if it was another player who did you in, you’ll wake up in what Kakao is calling the “criminal camp.” You’ll have to escape that to get back to your usual activities.

Expect new outdoor dungeons and a new boss as well; Kakao is promising two new world bosses in September, and of course, more Awakenings are on the way.

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Livelock is live on PC and console today

Perfect World’s co-op shooter Livelock has formally launched today on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 after a brief delay from its original planned August 2nd launch. If you’re buying the game as a group, do note that you can score a big discount on a three-pack through Arc and the Humble Store.

Take a look at our hands-on time with the game and the launch goodies below.

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Shroud of the Avatar is working on new city templates, lot raffling system

Shroud of the Avatar’s latest newsletter celebrates the additional $200,000 in crowdfunding raised during the latest telethon and recaps the launch of the 33rd release patch, which introduced new areas, the newbie experience revamp, NPC AI tweaks, emotes, and fresh random encounters. Among the newest player-owned town templates headed to the game are the Swamp Islands, which I can’t laugh at because my guild was infamous for having built a city in another game in the middle of a swamp.

“These new templates are lowland islands covered in swampy terrain. We offer two versions, a normal version and one that has an Obsidian Style spiked wall surrounding the large island. While this is based on the original Island template, the terrain has been lowered to better represent a swampy area. This also has the nice byproduct of creating much more flat space for building placement! In fact, this template is only rivaled by the Grassland templates and Inland Forest (a modified Grassland) in available space for building.”

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Guardians of Ember hack’n’slash MMO launches early access next month

You might remember InselGames as the studio that tried to bring back L.A.W. as Trinium Wars, which didn’t go well in the west and in fact sunsets this week. But now the company is touting a new MMORPG, Guardians of Ember, due out at the end of September for NA and EU fans – or at east those willing to shell out $19.99 to $49.99 for Steam early access.

InselGames is calling it a “unique combination of Hack’n’Slash and traditional MMORPG” with a dual class system, four races, randomized dungeons with difficulty settings, crafting and enchanting, housing, endgame missions, and several PvP gameplay types. It actually has an Indiegogo campaign running now to crowdfund the German localization:

Guardians of Ember is a hack’n’slash game like grandmother’s apple pie: You are missing it and you love it when it’s on your plate! As a small publisher we initally decided to launch the new game from the developers of Runes of Magic and Dragon’s Prophet in English only. But with your help we can start with the German localization right away.”

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H1Z1 King of the Kill touts ‘completely redesigned’ interface

H1Z1: King of the Kill’s development updates are coming as fast as the game updates, as there’s a new producer’s letter out this week hot on the heels of its Gamescom map preview. Daybreak reiterates that Z2 arena map has seen a significant overhaul. “Our plan is to take another week to focus on it and then look for an optimal time to make The Arena available on the Test server,” writes the studio. Skirmishes are also due for big changes — in fact, the Reanimation skirmish retires after this weekend, and Ignition will be moved from a game mode to a skirmish ruleset option, chiefly because “most players have gravitated back into the core experience of King of the Kill.”

Perhaps the biggest news is that the UI has seen a complete ground-up redesign. With the new UI,

“[Y]ou no longer have to select servers, just what type of game you want to play. You will have the ability to skin your character in the front end PRIOR to joining a match, so there will be no more need for weird hiding and skinning in game. You’ll be able to do the expected things like adjust your settings, but you’ll also have the ability to look at leaderboards, which will have complete search functionality. Everyone will be able to see where they are, not just the top players. The in game HUD is now built to be informative with your character info that matters to you, along with surfacing important game data to help you make the best decisions as you work your way through a match. The Inventory is really being streamlined as well. Just one large combined container to worry about, no need to worry about managing your pants pockets versus your backpack. The addition of a new, dedicated consumable slot for med-kits and bandages make it a lot easier to manage that part of the game.”

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