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.
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The Elder Scrolls Online made its way to consoles this week, though it’s not been without login problems and setbacks that linger even today as I type this. Here on MOP, we discussed the pros and cons of the console version and whether it was worth the wait, while Bethesda threw a few million guides and videos at clueless newbies.
Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Old Republic casually announced a new expansion, followed by a leak that if true suggests a major shift in BioWare’s story plotline.
Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.
Torchlight has no shortage of fans devoted to the stylized action RPG, and this week those fans have a new reason to rejoice. The series will soon be making its way to mobile platforms, perhaps this year.
Torchlight Mobile is being developed by Perfect World and Runic Games, which could both indicate a free-to-play model and multiplayer aspects. The website is taking sign-ups for those who want to stay in the loop on the game’s development, and it’s expected that we’ll be hearing more about the title from E3 next week.
The RvR frontier of Dark Age of Camelot is about to heat up, as Broadsword is on the verge of unleashing its multi-month Otherworlds Campaign.
The Otherworlds Campaign, which will commence when Patch 1.118 releases, will take players through a story arc in the summer and fall. Players will have opportunities in both PvE and PvP to progress through the campaign’s multiple stages, and by doing so they’ll be able to help their realms and secure rewards (including new stat caps).
The campaign is currently on the test server for those too excited to wait for the official start.
It’s a dark day for those who were hoping to see a return to the classic era of Darkfall. A few weeks ago, player enthusiasm for a pre-Unholy Wars server had prompted Aventurine to investigate the possibility of creating such a world. Now the studio says that it has decided to kill the project and redouble its efforts on Unholy Wars.
“We realized, despite the initial excitement, players that played [Darkfall Unholy Wars] would not return to play [Darkfall Online],” said CEO Zad Mehdawi. “Players were getting bored with the DFO game after a month or two. It is too hard to get into the game. The sad truth is that this is not a game that anyone would play for years. Our dream is to create games that people will remember for many years to come.”
BioWare accidentally revealed its Star Wars: The Old Republic announcement for E3 this weekend, and — spoiler alert — this could be a game changer.
The leaked page, which began, “A man can have anything… if he’s willing to sacrifice everything,” tells the players about a shake-up that will hit the primary storyline in October. It mentions a new major faction in the galaxy: the Empire of Zakuul. It also mentions that our characters are now called “Outlander, veteran of the Great Galactic War,” suggesting that we’re no longer a part of the Sith Empire or the Galactic Republic.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Das Tal failed to meet its Kickstarter goal, but developer Fairytale Distillery intends to soldier on. “Das Tal will continue with development. That is the simplest way to put it,” the firm explained. “The Kickstarter was never our one and only path, and we would not have kicked it off so early if we were risking everything.”
The rest of this week’s news roundup is just past the break.
If you’re itching for a PvE-focused space sandbox, now’s probably a good time to check out Ascent: The Space Game. It’s 20 percent off during Steam’s summer sale, and Fluffy Kitten Studios has recently patched in the ability to talk to NPCs and explore player-made colonies.
The “new update to NPCs will radically change the landscape of the game,” according to a Fluffy Kitten press release. “NPCs have personalities, needs, wants, and even approval ratings of their colonial governor, but much of that is hidden away waiting for new features. For now, players can seek out NPCs in colonies and hire them to ferry goods to and from destinations, removing the burdensome task of having to do it yourself.”
Fluffy Kitten says that as Ascent evolves, NPCs will “act on their own,” including going rogue, stealing ships, getting addicted to substances, and attempting to fill their own wants and needs. “These NPC needs will be tied together, where completing one task will likely result in the change of needs and wants of other NPCs on the planet, opening new options to explore,” the firm explains.
Source: Fluffy Kitten press release
Remember the very first Star Citizen trailer from 2012? I’m sure you do because it was completely badass, even though way back then it was sort of a tech demo for Squadron 42. It featured an enemy craft called a Scythe, and while the design has been tweaked since then, the ship retained its asymmetrical alien look as it was ported into the Arena Commander dogfighting module as an AI opponent.
Soon Star Citizens will get to fly the Scythe, though fortunately they won’t have to speak Vanduul to decipher the ship’s systems. “In Star Citizen’s fiction, the Scythes currently available have been modified by a human aerospace company,” Cloud Imperium explains in its latest website update. “They include human-designed control surfaces and HUD software that has been modified with human-appropriate text and graphics. These systems will still retain an alien style, but will be fully usable by those who don’t speak (grunt?) Vanduul.”
If you only had one life in a FPS match, how would it change your playstyle? Think about the implications of such a rule carefully because this is the premise of new multiplayer shooter Burstfire.
Made by ex-Hawken devs, Burstfire is a 5v5 tactical shooter in which every player has one life per round. This is done with the hope of promoting strategic thinking and a slower, more nail-biting pace. Players aren’t restricted as to the weapons they use and can utilize tools and ingenuity to alter the battlefield and create new paths to objectives.
The game is currently accepting alpha signups on its website.
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.
getting serious about its competitive game, as the title is launching new PvP seasons for player rewards and glory.
The Neverwinter Combat League challenges players to compete for rankings in the game’s different PvP modes during timed seasons. It is currently in its first pre-season period that will run from now through July 11th. During this period, players can brush up on their PvP skills and even earn an armored bulette mount or some epic-quality armor.
There’s a FAQ to address some of the nitty-gritty details about the NCL including eligibility, rewards, and regional access. Currently the league is only for the game’s PC population, although Cryptic said that it might come to the Xbox One in the future.
Who would have thought that, three years later, both Defiance the television series and Defiance the MMO would still be chugging along? But here we are, 2015, and Defiance is debuting its third season premiere tonight on Syfy.
The show picks up from season two’s cliffhanger which introduced a new alien warrior race called the Omec. Since the series and the MMO are linked in plot and subject matter, the aliens could be making their way over to the game as well.
Players of the game would do well to check out the episodes, as each one will feature a code that can be redeemed for in-game goodies. Those who collect all 12 will get an additional reward as well.