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Final Fantasy XIV is creating its first European data center

Final Fantasy XIV is not a game with action combat, but you can still be pretty thoroughly screwed whilst trying to play the game if your connection is bad. This has been a major problem for European players, since the game’s server clusters are located in North America and Japan. So European players will likely be happy to know that the game is moving one of its data centers to Europe, allowing players on the Chaos server cluster to have a more local and less laggy play experience.

The down side is that players on those servers will be experiencing several days of downtime; players who had characters on those worlds before today and have an active subscription will be compensated for lost play time, which is expected to be anywhere between three to five days. Players on those servers will also be given the option to transfer off for free. You can check out all of the the details on the official site, but the practical upshot will hopefully be a more pleasant play experience for European players.


EVE Online reintroduces large-scale expansions

Earlier this week, EVE Online Executive Producer Andie “CCPSeagull” Nordgren announced that the game will be returning to large-scale expansions in addition to frequent patches. What can we say — it’s a trend this season.

“The new Structures will be our biggest step yet to building player-driven space colonization in EVE from the ground up, and truly put space infrastructure into your hands in an unlimited way. That’s why the introduction of them is at the heart of our next expansion. […] Yes, I said expansion. We want to give you EVE Online expansions with a more epic feel to them again, but in a new form.”

Nordren explains that while CCP liked the ability to push out smaller updates, the chance to collect feedback on features as they rolled out, and the timeline flexibility, the team also believes the smaller patches created a “disjointed experience” and “put a lot of responsibility on you players to figure out what’s coming and when, and what the future of EVE is, instead of [CCP’s] packaging big changes together and telling you about them all at once.”

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Elite producer talks updates, events, and CQC testing

Frontier’s latest website update talks up Elite’s CQC beta and stress testing. The firm will throw Xbox and PC/Mac players together into one testing environment next week, and it’s also highlighting community created “mayhem” events to help stress the servers.

Producer Michael Brookes also outlines Frontier’s upcoming event appearances and previews the Horizons release as well as the 1.5 ships release for season one. The audio team also hosted a recent AMA that’s worth reading.

Source: Dev update


Gaming industry reports identify leading studios and online trends

Details strewn within a trio of industry reports offer clues as to the health and direction of online gaming in 2015.

First up is a report from Research and Markets, which says that digital distribution is on the rise and will continue to be for the future. It identified “key and prominent vendors” in the industry, which included MMO studios and publishers such as Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., NCsoft, Nexon, and Square-Enix.

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Bless’ action combat is currently ‘a bit wonky’

Inquiring minds want to know if Korean fantasy import Bless is an actual action MMO or the usual tab-targeting mishmash with a twist.

Steparu has answers based on his playtime in the game’s final beta test. “Monsters are locked on to you, so even if you dodge a frontal attack, they will 360 degree spin and hit your character,” he writes. You can still dodge attacks, apparently, but Steparu describes the process as “a bit wonky” and he says that lag may be a factor since he’s connecting to an overseas server.

His post also features a couple of gameplay videos which you can view after the break.

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World of Warships makes history come alive (and shoot you)

In honor of World of Warships official launch today, we’re celebrating what makes this naval combat game come alive. Previously, I explored the details and realism in the sights and sounds of the game, but there’s another aspect that really amps up the immersion factor: the historical accuracy of the vessels. WoWS is not just about blowing enemies out of the water with battleships, cruisers, and aircraft carriers; it’s about doing so with authentic historical recreations of said ships!
During my behind-the-scenes tour of the Wargaming office earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of speaking with Sergey Gornostaev, who as the “Museums and Militaria Relations Specialist” has arguably one of the coolest jobs at the studio. Gornostaev shared the great lengths the team goes to in order to ensure historical accuracy in the ships sent into battle in WoWS.
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ArcheAge adds $250 item pack to its store

Sometimes everything comes down to timing. Take ArcheAge‘s latest store pack, for example. In and of itself it’s just a $250 pack, which is hardly new, and the game’s one-year anniversary in North America just came around yesterday. But coming on the heels of lengthy downtime and server merges, more lengthy downtime, rollbacks, and compensation for those rollbacks and the downtime… it’s not the best possible time to ask players to shell out a hearty chunk of money. Let’s just say that.

The pack also includes a version of the house that had previously been given away at PAX, codes for which had been getting quite pricey on the secondary market. Players have also done the math and concluded that the majority of the price is made up of vanity items, which makes the actual value rather personal. So how much do you like your plushies?


The Daily Grind: What makes a good MMO spiritual successor?

News of Divergence Online’s third crowdfunding campaign sparked a bit of discussion about MMO spiritual sequels earlier this week. Stained Glass Llama’s sci-fi sandbox purports to carry the Star Wars Galaxies torch, though it’s departing rather radically from SWG’s original design by introducing open world PvP and full corpse-looting.

Such a major design change disqualifies Divergence from being a successor, at least in my book, though I’ll probably play it anyway just to see what it’s like. What do you think, MOP readers? What makes a good spiritual successor or sequel? What makes a bad one? Which MMOs, if any, deserve a spiritual successor?

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Star Trek Online is revamping a few Cardassian episodes

Star Trek Online content designer Jaddua Ross has revealed the first episode in the game’s updated Cardassian Struggle arc. Spoils of War will kick things off, followed by three additional episodes that will replace existing episodes starting with Badlands and going through Cage of Fire.

The new missions will be playable at level 35 and up after the launch of season 11. Accessing the new content is as easy as opening your mission journal, choosing the Cardassian Struggle tab, and hailing your mission contact.


DC Universe Online’s GU52 is live

Game Update 52 went live in DC Universe Online earlier today, according to the superhero MMO’s Twitter feed. Patch notes for the drop were published earlier this week, and they highlight a new progress point display, interaction cam skipping, the new Watchtower Containment Facility for Legends PvE, and a few other tweaks.

Daybreak is also giving away a “special 52” gift in the form of a multiverse orrery base item.

Update: Daybreak has published its Episode 17 reveal now; we’ve included it below.

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Ghost in the Shell shooter now taking closed beta apps

Nexon’s attempt at a Ghost in the Shell online shooter is now taking closed beta signups. First Assault, which the firm bills as a tactical team-based shooter, allows gamers to play as super soldiers fighting terrorists on the streets of the famous Japanese cyberpunk IP.

Characters may be customized with body augmentations, weapon attachments, and enhanced abilities. The game also features something called SkillSync, which allows players to share cyber-abilities with nearby teammates while engaging in combat.

You can watch the latest trailer after the break.

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Imperial City DLC is now on consoles

Cyrodiil’s capital district is now available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 systems. Elder Scrolls Online’s Imperial City DLC pack includes new PvE and PvP content, additional dungeons, new weapons, armor, currency, and more. You can buy the DLC via the game’s cash shop, or receive it for free if you opt for the monthly ESO Plus subscription.

Elder Scrolls Online is heading overseas, as well, with details of a Japanese server surfacing in a recent trailer.

If you need a guide to what’s what in Imperial City, ZeniMax published a lengthy look at the new content last August.

Source: Announcement


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