News Category

Just the facts, as they happen. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Camelot Unchained hires a sound designer, preps for alpha

Camelot Unchained‘s Mark Jacobs says that his team is currently in “soft crunch” mode as CU moves closer to its alpha phase. Said alpha will be “tech-heavy and feature-light,” and the devs will need “large crowds” to log in and break stuff.

City State has also hired a full-time sound engineer by the name of Daniel Beck, who has helpfully posted one of his spec pieces on YouTube. We’ve embedded that just past the cut if you’d like to have a listen.

[Source: Friday update. Thanks for the tip, Mark M.]

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EVE Fanfest to feature Worlds Collide server competition

Planning a trip to Iceland for this year’s EVE Online Fanfest? If so you’ll probably want to look at CCP’s latest blog post, which focuses on what there is to see and do when you’re not watching panels or consuming vast quantities of alcohol.

One of the main events is Worlds Collide, a PvP contest that pits pilots from EVE’s original server, Tranquility, against capsuleers from Serenity, the Chinese server launched in 2012. If you can’t make the trip, you can watch the competition on Twitch, and all active players from the winning server will receive a Victorieux Luxury Yacht.

[Source: CCP blog post. Our original article conflated the servers Serenity and Singularity and has been corrected with thanks to reader Seamus.]

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Marvel Heroes adds Arachne team-up, starts Mardi Gras

It does seem as though any popular superhero will inevitably drum up a bunch of me-too imitators, from Batgirl to Wonder Dude (who totally doesn’t exist but should). So if you have a penchant for the Spider-Man family but would like a female version to tag along with you, then Marvel Heroes has a new Arachne team-up available for the asking (and paying).

In other news, the game is throwing a conjoined Mardi Gras/Carnival event in addition to Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year drops. During Mardi Gras, players can trade beads and masks to Gambit for rewards, get extra daily rewards (including eternity splinters), fight bosses who may drop double loot, and enjoy a 100% boost to XP and rare item find.

[Source: Arachne team-up, Mardi Gras event]

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Spread the love with The Secret World’s Valentine’s Day event

Just because the world is being taken over by secret cabals and an unstoppable wave of filth from the outer darkness doesn’t mean that there’s no time for love! Just keep telling yourself that as you participate in The Secret World’s romantic event going on right now in the game.

For this year’s Valentine’s Day event, players can purchase Bags of Saint Valentinus to spread gifts to others around you — and reward you with a special dance emote. Players can buy two bags per day from in-game vendors (and additional ones from the store). The bags, which contain new clothing options among other goodies, will be available through February 25th.

[Source: Official site. Thanks to Nordavind for the tip!]

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Star Citizen adds progression to its dogfight module

Star Citizen chairman Chris Roberts has posted a blurb outlining a new system called Rental Equipment Credits that is coming to Arena Commander’s 1.1 patch. In a nutshell, REC will enable a form of progression so that backers can test all of the game’s ships without pledging additional money.

Roberts says that REC or something like it has always been the goal for the game’s persistent universe, but until now it has been unavailable in the alpha dogfight module. “One of the design tenets of Star Citizen is that it needs to be a complete experience regardless of what you have purchased,” Roberts says. “Someone buying a starter package needs to have exactly as much potential as someone supporting development by pledging for a new ship or purchasing a new weapon. I do not want to make a game where you feel compelled to spend anything but time to continue playing.”

Roberts then hands the mic to designer Calix Reneau, who outlines the REC mechanic in further detail.

[Source: REC; must be logged in to view. Thanks, Mohoc!]

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Daybreak teams reassure MMO players, deflect DDoS attacks

More assurances are coming your way from Daybreak Games, this time from reps of each of the studio’s games.

“Absolutely nothing” has changed, according to a Greg “SOELegion” Henninger post on the H1Z1 forums. “We’re properly staffed to move forward with our current development strategy. We’ll continue to be a transparent development team and we’ll continue on our promise and commitment to making this a player-driven game,” he writes before going on to mention a revised male player model and a female avatar “in the works.”

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The EFF wants to exempt some emulated game servers from copyright laws

How many times have you dusted off an old game you used to love to play online, only to find that the official servers have long since been shut down? It’s an unfortunate fact that unprofitable online games frequently get the axe, often leaving it to the games’ communities to try to put together an unofficial server. Dozens of early multiplayer games now have emulated servers and even player-made patches, all in an effort to keep the games we love alive, but technically those servers are breaking copyright law.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation announced this week that it’s pushing for changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that would make it legal for players to run their own emulated servers in cases of a game’s abandonment by developers. The proposal would also make it legal to eliminate any server-based DRM in lawfully acquired copies of a game in cases where the DRM server has been shut down.

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SWTOR adds hardmode flashpoints, season four PvP, and double XP

Did you patch up your Star Wars: The Old Republic install yesterday? If not, you’d better hop to it because the 3.1 update added a couple of level 60 hardmode flashpoints and kicked off the fourth season of competitive PvP.

Not only that, but there’s a double XP weekend happening from February 13th through the 17th. Wait, today’s the 13th so… enjoy!

[Source: SWTOR website]

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World of Warcraft’s graphics to improve in Patch 6.1

While many of you World of Warcraft players will be squeeing over your new Twitter integration and making the world a much more dangerous place to exist by driving recklessly when Patch 6.1 arrives, some will also take a moment to appreciate new and returning video options that will make this 10-year-old title sparkle.

A new dev diary posted yesterday talks about some of these additional graphics options, including the return of a couple of types of anti-aliasing. Even better, the team is adding something called “per-pixel deferred point lights” that will allow illumination sources such as campfires and torches to throw off more realistic lighting.

These and more graphic options are currently available on the test realm.

[Source: Engineer’s Workshop]

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The Repopulation offers $20 early access

Getting into The Repopulation’s early access program is now cheaper than ever, as Above and Beyond has announced a new silver membership tier for only $20. Previously, getting into the alpha cost $50 for a gold membership.

Those who buy a silver membership will not only get into the currently running early access program but be treated to a repop token and the ability to reserve a name. Interested parties can purchase this on both the official site and through Steam.

The team is also testing the new 15.1.1 build and is seeking out QA testers to help with the process. Finally, Josh Halls will be present at at a panel at PAX East later this spring.

[Source: Official site, patch notes. Thanks to Crow for the tip!]

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Glitch releases two-volume soundtrack

While Glitch hasn’t been available to play since 2012 (and won’t be again until Children of Ur and Eleven finish their revival projects), the music that helped to make it so memorable now lives on thanks to the efforts of crowdfunding.

Composers Daniel Simmons and Xavier Vochelle recently released a two-volume soundtrack for the sunsetted title, which has since been the focus of a news segment on CBCSoundscapes of Ur and Glitch Variations are both available to purchase on BandCamp for $11 CAD apiece. Both albums come with a PDF of Glitch art and a hefty dose of nostalgia.

[Source: Soundscapes of Ur, Glitch Variations, CBC news]

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Run, Valiance Online, run!

There’s always a world of difference between viewing MMO screenshots and videos. Sometimes you just have to see a game in action to get a good feel for it, which is why it might please you to watch a test model run, jump, and fly around a town in Valiance Online.

Valiance, one of three spiritual successors to City of Heroes, has finished its transition to the new Mecanim animation solution. The team said that this is just part of the effort to get the title launched on Steam: “We’ve also decided to add the new testing environment in preparation for our venture to Steam. This huge patch has been delayed for quite sometime, but we’re certain that everyone will be most happy with the improvements once it’s released.”

You can watch the test environment video as well as see a pre-alpha screenshot after the break!

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Mortal Online has ‘a few thousand’ active players

Ever wondered how many people are playing Mortal Online? Star Vault CEO Henrik Nystrom was unexpectedly candid about the question on the forums, saying that there are a few thousand subscribers powering the game’s PvP scene.

“There are currently a few thousand players that [are] currently active players,” Nystrom posted. “Not counting [free-to-play gamers] as they [vary] a lot every week.” He also said that a majority of the players are located in the US and that there has been a “small but steady increase” of subscribers as of late.

Mortal Online is preparing an expansion into the Sarducaa region some time this year.

[Source: Mortal Online forums, Sandboxer]

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