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Ambitious Project Gorgon is back on Kickstarter

Third time’s the charm for Project Gorgon’s Kickstarter, right? We hope so, as the ambitious indie fantasy sandpark is asking for a modest $20,000 to further its development. Unlike most Kickstarter MMOs, Gorgon has already been greenlit on Steam. The game’s alpha is also freely available to the public, so there’s nothing stopping you from seeing whether or not Asheron’s Call veteran Eric Heimburg’s feature-rich sandpark mashup is worthy of your time and money.

Gorgon has “a heavy concentration on discovery and exploration,” according to the Kickstarter intro vid. The game’s other big thing is immersion, and in addition to a robust skill-based progression system, the title features player-managed shops and stalls, player-created quest content, story-focused live events, and shopkeeper NPCs whose inventory depends on what other players sell them.

Source: Kickstarter; thanks everyone who tipped us!


Betawatch: July 24th, 2015

John Smedley is no longer with us, by which I mean that he is still entirely alive and has not left us in the least, he’s just no longer Daybreak’s CEO. But his legacy is improving the bear AI in H1Z1. Except that that isn’t really his legacy, and that also wasn’t the focus of that patch. So pretty much none of that was accurate.

Look, I have to use what I can for this week’s opening. The beta world has been quiet, it’s like everyone in the world is off doing something else this time of year or something.

Is that really everything? Huh. Well, we do have that usual list of games just below the break. Let us know if something jumped test phases without us catching it in the comments below, dear readers.

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Shroud of the Avatar on troll fights and more

Shroud of the Avatar’s latest newsletter was published this weekend, and Portalarium uses it to talk further about the fantasy sandbox’s obsidian architecture. As per usual, there are plenty of spiffy screenshots to give you an idea as to how this particular section of the game is coming together.

Update of the Avatar #135 also talks about “very large creatures,” with particular attention paid to a troll mob that Portalarium says will feature a different combat experience than that of normal-sized opponents. The troll boasts a large AoE attack including a ground strike and thrown boulders for distant foes. You’ll be able to see him in action in next week’s Release 20.

Source: Update of the Avatar #135


Camelot Unchained’s Jacobs offers progress report, praise for his dev team

Camelot Unchained’s traditional Friday update has been published, and CityState’s Mark Jacobs has a lot to talk about on the heels of the recent beta delay announcement. He says that less than 50 of the game’s 22,000 backers opted for a refund after the news, though a handful of those were higher end pledges. The good news is that those limited rewards will be made available again to founders.

Further good news takes the form of Beta 1 backers being granted access to extended alpha as of today.

This afternoon’s update also recaps CityState’s recent livestreams, and Jacobs says that work is proceeding “quite nicely on all tech fronts, from our stance editor to our animations, particle effects, etc.” Finally, Jacobs praises his dev team for its work thus far in building an engine from scratch and staying under budget. “Maybe it’s time that I began to emphasize the great progress a small, underfunded (by typical MMORPG standards) and young (well, not me) team has made on delivering not only an engine, but a game, albeit in the early stages; and a standard for treating our backers that is, IMO, the best in the industry,” he writes.


The Elder Scrolls Online introduces players to the Drake of Blades

The Imperial City in The Elder Scrolls Online is on the dangerous side, and if you didn’t already know that the introduction to the Drake of Blades would make that pretty obvious. She is some kind of psycho woman who leaves severed heads around the city and seems to speak chiefly in insults. You are not sitting down and getting a pamphlet from her on things to do in the city’s nightlife, that’s for sure.

She also serves as a point of contact for players first entering the city, though, so that’s something to note. Her introduction is offered in the form of light fiction, so if you want to know what sort of people you’ll be working with once your feet touch the paving of the Imperial City, you owe it to yourself to give it a read.


Neverwinter is changing its vote-to-kick system

The upside of having a system to vote-kick players in Neverwinter is that abusive players can be identified and removed from a run before they ruin the experience. The downside is that players can also vote to kick out others just as loot is being distributed, thereby opening the doors to a whole different sort of abuse. Thus, the game’s vote-to-kick system is being revised in the near future to curb loot-related exploits.

Vote-kicking players will no longer be possible while loot is being rolled for or while players are in the middle of a boss fight, thus preventing two rather common forms of griefing. The change will be rolled out shortly before the Strongholds patch on the PC, with an Xbox patch and announcement coming “soon.” Hopefully, this will curtail abuse of the abuse-prevention system, because nothing is ever easy.


Kevin Sorbo headlines SMITE 10M player Hercules promotion

Actor Kevin Sorbo, a ’90s geek icon for his title role in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, will voice a mostly new character in MOBA SMITE.

… That character is Hercules, of course.

In fact, it’s Retro Herc, a resurrected version of Hercules from early on in SMITE’s development, and he’s a gift to the community meant to celebrate the game’s 10 millionth player. Yes, a gift:

“Anyone who wins 10 PvP matches in August will unlock Hercules as a playable god, along with the Hercules retro skin and a new Hercules voice pack featuring Kevin Sorbo, the star of TV’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys – all for free.”

Hi-Rez further reminds everyone about its unannounced game, playable at Gamescom.

The video is below, and yes, Kevin Sorbo’s in it.

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Crowfall posts an art fly-through, discusses money and stretch goals

Crowfall has been sporting a pretty distinctive art style from the word go, which is to its credit. The past few big updates on the game have been all about the combat, and that’s all well and good, but it has meant that stuff like art has been shuffled off to one side. But the most recent update from the studio is all about, well, art, which you probably guessed from the headline.

Two new videos from the team are available down below – a flythrough of the greybox model for the game’s castle structures and an interview with one of the members of the art team, Allison Theus. Even if you’re not sure if you’d like the game itself very much, you should go ahead and watch them if you’ve got any interest in the elaborate and lovely concept paintings the game has put forth thus far.

Earlier this week, Crowfall also published a founder’s update discussing its plans for licensing overseas, its upcoming rules of conduct update, and its finances, its new $80,000 stretch goal to make permanent its video contractor,.

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Skyforge producer says current server instability is ‘not acceptable’

If you were hoping that Skyforge had left its earlier server issues behind and a glorious new future awaited it free of queues, disconnections, or lag, we have some bad news for you. Another rash of server problems have hit the game, and producer Aaron Biedma wrote a brief letter to the community last night stating that the current state of the servers for the game is simply unacceptable.

Fixing the problem will require setting up additional server hardware and upgrading both the game’s client and the server software to provide greater stability. Of course, the process of upgrading all of this will result in more instability and maintenance, so it’s one of those “big picture” things. Still, if the net result is that Skyforge can move on to a better and less server-crippled state, that’s a net positive.

And if you don’t think so, maybe you’ll be soothed by the promise of “special in-game gift[s] to thank players for their ongoing patience and understanding as the team weathers these growing pains.”


The Daily Grind: Have you ever used performance-enhancing drugs while MMOing?

Last week, a former pro e-sports player went on the record to say that he — and pretty much everyone else in the top brackets of competitive gaming — takes performance-enhancing drug Adderall to help keep ultra-alert and hyper-focused during events. Some of our readers scoffed at the report, saying that everyone does it, from college students cramming for exams to top-tier World of Warcraft raiders, bringing the term “hardcore” to all-new lows.

But it appears to have been news to the ESL, which stopped just short of accusing the e-sports player a troll this week while promising to alter its tournament procedures to test for doping rather than just forbid it. “We are hoping to have a waterproof strategy for identifying PEDs, testing for their presence and punishing players who were caught using any of the forbidden substances,” the organization told Wired. “Full blown drug tests at esports events are far away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t try to tackle the issue.”

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MMO devs pay tribute to Smedley

Former Daybreak CEO John Smedley may have been a polarizing figure to MMO gamers, but several high profile devs have spoken up in the wake of Smedley’s resignation announcement. Former PlanetSide 2 creative director Matt Higby says that he and many other devs owe Smedley a great deal, and he also says that if you’re a gamer, Smedley is exactly the sort of “maverick, passionate, risk-taking leader you want running a company” as opposed to many industry CEOs who prefer “insipid reliably-profitable clones.”

Trion boss Scott Hartsman says that Smedley “always led with his heart, and there are easily a thousand people’s careers, [Hartsman’s] included, that he’s touched or helped grow in meaningful ways.”

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Borderlands Online preps for another closed beta test

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for your daily installment of Things You’re Never Going To Have! Probably not, anyway. Borderlands Online has opened registration for the second wave of closed beta testing, although the game’s developers have not yet specified when this second test will be taking place. A new PvP mode will be introduced that functions as a capture-the-flag scenario with the series’ recurring mascot robot Claptrap, but no new PvE features appear to be in the pipe.

Borderlands Online is currently in development by Shanda Games for the Chinese market, with no announcement of a port or localization or anything for an American release despite being based off of an American IP. Life is strange like that. You can check out a video of the PvE gameplay just past the break and let yourself decide if you’re missing much.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic developers want to know what you want to ride

There are always a lot of things you could potentially ride in video games. Star Wars: The Old Republic is no exception. There are lots of different speeder styles. There are tauntauns. There are various animals on specific planets. There are really big player characters if you’re a smaller sort. So the developers have turned to the forums with a simple question: what do you want to ride around on?

The point of the thread is not to serve as a preview of what mounts will be added to the game, but to offer suggestions about what players would like to see. Obviously, the suggestions should be limited to the creatures and vehicles actually present in the game. So jump on into the thread if you have something new and exciting that you just can’t wait to ride around the game.

Source: Forums Via: Dulfy


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