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Hyperspace Beacon: Six things to do before SWTOR’s Knights of the Fallen Empire launch

When Knights of the Fallen Empire launches for Star Wars: The Old Republic, certain activities will not be available in game anymore — specifically, quests like the Makeb staged weeklies and the Nightmare achievements for Eternity Vault. You should also remember that many of the regular story missions will also not be available once you start on the KotFE missions, and the developers have said that many of those quests will affect the story in KotFE.

We have only a month until the expansion launches, so we have to prioritize which missions and achievements we want to get before the expansion. And if you’re looking for recommendations from me, how handy — I happen to have six suggestions.

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Chaos Theory: Tips and tactics for The Secret World’s Manufactory dungeon

After my initial dev tour through The Secret World’s Issue #12 , I couldn’t wait to get back into the newest dungeon, The Manufactory, on my own Illuminati. Heck, I was so excited that I went ahead and poked into it without a full group — an endeavor that did not end so well, I might add. The Manufactory is no pushover by any means, especially in the Nightmare version, which leaves little margin for error during the fights. Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to go through my first time with Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen, who shared tips and tactics on how to face the trouble down in the Orochi Tower’s basement — tips and tactics I am happy to pass along to you! And for those who aren’t as geared up as a dev-tour toon (like all my personal characters!), I’ve got a few tips I have gleaned from my own run-through.

In the interest of letting folks discover all tactics on their own if they prefer, I forewarn you that this little guide does contain spoilers! However, I am not providing a step-by-step walkthrough to lay out exactly how everything should go; rather I am just giving a peek so players know a bit of what to expect. If you’ve got plenty of time to kill (our run went nearly three hours) and want to see the fights through the eyes of a front-line battle photographer (me), you can check out our streamed run.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR’s Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior changes aren’t bad

It’s been two weeks since I visited Star Wars: The Old Republic in this column, and it’s clear that two weeks is far too long to stay away from a game that will launch an expansion in less than two months. Much of the information we’ve been begging for has started to flow in, despite the datamining. On the 26th, the developers gave us a livestream of a few sequences from the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion. They also answered a couple of questions about companions, but not nearly as many as we’d have liked. One of the Massively OP readers Master Liu expressed my feelings on the subject matter succinctly on his blog. However, The developers did answer a few questions after on the forum, which does make me feel a little bit better, but ultimately, the questions about crafting were not answered.

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EverQuesting: A guide to EverQuest II’s city festivals

It’s that time of the month again — a glorious time that I look forward to and makes me cackle with glee just a little bit. Why? Because it’s when EverQuest II’s city festivals begin! Hey, what else would I be talking about? Starting the first and running through the seventh of every month, the denizens of Norrath have the chance to revel, race, and get rewards at one of the six main cities. This week-long party includes food and drink to celebrate with, a fortune teller to dispense words of wisdom (for the price of five gold!), and a chance to zip through the aerial race course. On top of that, there is really no better one-stop shop for housing decorations that players can take advantage of at any level.

Right now the Far Seas festival has stopped in Neriak, so folks have a limited time to get any of the Neriak-themed goodies they want for their homes or secure that zone’s aether racing title. Unsure on how to make most of your time so you don’t miss anything before the Far Seas packs up the fair and moves on? Here’s a guide that outlines the various city celebrations along with a few tips to maximize your efforts. (And for the more visually minded folks, here’s a video walkthrough we recently streamed.)

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Here’s a helpful summary of Star Citizen’s release schedule

The best laid plans of mice and men don’t hold a candle to those creating a virtual universe from scratch. The shifting dates and missed development targets of Star Citizen have been of some concern and confusion this year, especially considering that the game is being released piecemeal instead of all of once.

To help set things straight, Star Citizen fan site Imperial News has done the footwork to compile all information pertaining to the release schedule going forward. The article also draws in rumors and developer quotes to provide as accurate a picture of the future as possible.

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Skyforge offers tips for adventuring in regions

Would you say that you’re great at Skyforge or would you say you’re super great? Or would you blush, look around, and admit in a moment of humility that you may not be super great after all? It’s all right if you’re not because the game’s official site has just kicked off a new series of columns dubbed “Tips from Flavius,” with this installment offering some advice from the scientifically minded NPC about how to adventure through regions.

Some of the tips will be fairly familiar to MMO veterans, like the suggestion to wait in the Adventure queue whilst hacking your way through a region. Others are rather unique to Skyforge, like evaluating how quests for a region work and progressing toward the final bosses. Take a glance at the tips even if you’ve been playing the game diligently since launch; you may well find some things you hadn’t previously noticed.

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Marvel Heroics: Fighting the inventory blues

Diablo-type games balance on a see-saw of distribution and acquisition; the games explode with loot while giving you limited space to store all of your treasures. The agonizing decision of what to keep in your precious inventory space is a minigame unto itself (and probably helps us from becoming digital hoarders).

Everyone I’ve met in Marvel Heroes has, at one time, struggled with how to handle the game’s inventory space. When starting out a new account, you’ll be given a 60-slot character inventory (shared between all characters) and a single 48-slot S.T.A.S.H. (bank) tab. Now, 108 slots might sound like a lot, but that’s only before you see how much stuff you’ll end up picking up in Marvel Heroes and how many types of goodies there are.

To make matters worse for space-limited players, right now there’s no way to earn more S.T.A.S.H. tabs without forking over cash. So how do you get a handle on your inventory before it buries you? I’ve formulated a few strategies over the past year that have served me well.

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EVE Evolved: Fitting Tech 3 Tactical Destroyers as PvP brawlers

The past few months have seen a flood of frequent updates hitting EVE Online, and among them we got a whole new class of ship with the Tech 3 Tactical Destroyer. Unlike their cruiser-sized bigger brothers, tech 3 destroyers can transform mid-battle to choose between three separate roles: Defense, Propulsion, and Sharpshooter. These versatile little ships have carved out a niche for themselves in small scale PvP such as Faction Warfare, each functioning as an effective tackler and brawler rolled into one. Tech 3 destroyers can also fit a combat probe launcher to get a warp-in on enemy fleets and have become a popular anti-tackle tool that can snipe from over 50km and track interdictors and interceptors.

I’ve previously written a guide on fitting the Amarr Confessor, the first of the new tech 3 destroyers to be released, but since then a balance patch has made those setups obsolete. Now that all four races have got their own tactical destroyers and the prices have come down to an affordable 35-60 million ISK, I’d like to take a look at how we can fit each of them for PvP. EVE has become a testing ground for dozens of experimental ship setups for each of the tech 3 destroyers as players compete to find out what fitting works best for a variety of situations. The dust has far from settled, but some pretty decent brawling and kiting fits have been gracing the killboards lately and I’ve put together four of my favourite brawling fits. All of the fittings in this article use only tech 2 and named items, but they require good fitting skills and sometimes a 2-3% CPU or powergrid from implants. They’ve been put together with the aid of the fantastic EVE Fitting Tool.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at PvP brawler fittings and strategies for the Amarr Confessor, Caldari Jackdaw, Minmatar Svipul, and Gallente Hecate.

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Marvel Heroics: Help! What hero should I play?

Superheroes are quite used to hearing cries of distress and pleas for help, but who lends a hand when the caped crusaders need assistance? I do, that’s who! Also the wider Marvel Heroes community. And probably Daredevil; he seems like a good sort.

Probably one of the most-asked questions that’s asked both in-game and on the outside — and the one that is the most difficult to answer — is, “What hero should I pick? Whom should I play?” When Gazillion recently gave away a free superhero of one’s choice to everyone for the game’s second anniversary, players formed countless threads and spammed the in-game chat with entreaties for others to help them decide. After all, Marvel Heroes is going on its 49th hero with no signs of stopping, and making decisions which characters to save up for or buy can be one of the toughest calls that any player has to continually make.

With the assistance of a lot of observation, research, and my own personal experience, I put together the following guide to hopefully guide such seekers in finding the hero who best complements them and their playstyles. However, the true answer to that question will always be the hero that looks like the most fun!

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Here’s a guide to Elder Scrolls Online’s Imperial City

ZeniMax has updated its Elder Scrolls Online website with a basic guide to Imperial City. It covers how to get there and what to do once you’ve arrived, including the White-Gold Tower and Imperial City Prison dungeons, PvP in the sewers and six Imperial Districts, and earning Daedric trophies from mob kills which will enable you to open treasure vaults around the map.

There’s also an Imperial City storyline, naturally, and new VR16 weapons and armor are available along with collectibles and achievements.

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Marvel Heroics: Ten Marvel Heroes resources to bring you from zero to hero

Before a few months ago, the time that I spent in Marvel Heroes was largely uninformed and aimless. I figured it was just a Diablo click-fest that required very little knowledge other than how to work my index finger. That led me to meandering through the story mode and experiencing leveling that was so painfully slow that it almost drove me away from the game.

This all changed when I decided to buckle down and do some actual research into how Marvel Heroes was set up and its different systems functioned. After a few days of this, everything started to “click” for me, and I found my excitement and enjoyment of subsequent game sessions skyrocket.

Since I ended up bookmarking half of the internet in this journey to get my Marvel Heroes diploma (I imagine that Mr. Fantastic is the one who gives it to me), I wanted to share those resources with you in the hopes of passing along some great information that could take you from zero to hero in no time at all.

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Wisdom of Nym: The leveling dungeons of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Final Fantasy XIV takes you on quite a ride on the way to level 60. There are indisputably fewer dungeons than there are from 1-50 (or more appropriately, 15-50), but the actual dungeons are more involved and fun. They’re certainly more filled with loot, dropping a much higher number of items in a given run, which makes the greedy little monster within me very happy simply because I like getting things.

I realize that by this point most of the front vanguard has already gotten through these dungeons, so this week’s column won’t be just about strategies but about the dungeons as a whole as well as strategy for those who haven’t been through the dungeons yet. Also note that the names of some bosses have been redacted, and I’ll be making an effort to avoid spoilers as much as possible; that being said, there will be some minor spoilers here and there regarding locations. Fairly warned be ye.

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Chaos Theory: Guide to The Secret World’s third anniversary celebration

Are you ready to party? Because it’s birthday time! The Secret World is celebrating its third year, and you’re invited to a two-week bash that brings back the Guardians of Gaia event introduced the first year as well as the added Tokyo festivities from the second. That means now is the time to catch up on collecting all the lore, pets, and costumes from the earlier anniversaries that you’ve missed! It’s also the perfect time to stock up on gobs of AP from the world bosses, and it’s the only time you can score the newest loot and dance (well, at least until next year!).

The soiree lasts until July 15th, but to help players have an extra good time, Funcom has added some major buffs and bonuses for the first week; until July 8th, players can take advantage of double AP, extra black bullion, and 50% more of all the following: Aureus (the currency you earn in scenarios), Marks of Venice from PvP, and AEGIS research XP from Tokyo.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a guide to help you get the most out of the celebration, from lore locations to tips and tricks to complete your collections.

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