Patches & Expansions Category

We’re not even going to try to sort out the patches from the updates from the iterations from the campaigns and expansions and expanshalones. If it’s something going into an MMO that’s already out, it lands in this category! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

Star Trek Online’s new sector space looks beautiful

The walls of sector space are coming down in Star Trek Online, creating a more wide-open galaxy for captains to explore. But what will that look like?

A new dev diary from the team goes through the lengthy explanation of how sector space will function after the next big update. Instead of having several galactic zones, the new map will have three large areas: alpha, beta, and delta quadrants.

The team reorganized over 350 systems to fit with the new map and even added a few new systems (such as Tellar, Trill, and Betazed) for Foundry use and future content expansion. Astrometrics has received an overhaul, and players will experience stars and planets on the map that are significantly bigger than their ship in order to give the impression of true size.

[Source: Dev diary. Thanks to Michael for the tip!]


Wisdom of Nym: Gold Saucer impressions in Final Fantasy XIV

After a madcap week, I got to come home to the Gold Saucer. Traveling to Seattle on short notice was a mixture of the good and the bad, and I was certainly happy to be back home, but I was all the happier when I had Final Fantasy XIV‘s den of gambling-but-not-really to look forward to upon arrival. What could be better?

Well, a system that was actually ready to account for the vast influx of people who wanted to take part in the minigames would have been a good idea, but let’s not get crazy, hmm?

Thematically, the Gold Saucer comes at a highly inappropriate time, since Eorzea is kind of tearing itself apart at the seams while people gamble ceaselessly. But it’s also something that’s both fun and almost infinitely expandable, a feature that will fit well into the game after the initial rush has worn off. So let’s take a look at the Saucer, the many games therein, and how everything shakes down on the average.

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Guild Wars 2 elaborates on camera improvements

Forget the living world; it may be that finally allowing players to zoom into a first-person view will be the most significant event that’s ever happened to Guild Wars 2 — and perhaps the world. OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but for those of us who have been frustrated trying to take screenshots without a giant noggin in the way, it’s a revelation.

A new dev diary talks about both the first-person camera view as well as the other camera options coming in March. “A new feature we’re excited about is something we’re calling collision sensitivity,” the team posted. “We’ve all been there — you’re running along, happily dispatching ambient rabbits, when suddenly a small tree comes between your camera and your character, causing the camera to snap in very close and completely ruin your immersion. Well, we fixed this!”

Other camera changes include zoom sensitivity, a field of view slider, an update to the position slider, and an option to restore to the default camera settings. The latest episode of Ready Up, which demonstrates the new changes in action, is embedded below.

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Darkfall makes ‘massive changes to combat,’ removes chaos banks

Well, Darkfall is blowing itself up again. Aventurine’s latest update, titled Darkfall Reload, describes a patch that isn’t quite as dramatic as the Unholy Wars reboot, but it’s still chock-full of changes. Chief among those are “massive changes to combat,” including a sweeping rework/removal of the game’s crowd control mechanics.

Chaos banks and outposts have been removed, too, and the devs have added a new clan perk system and leaderboards.

[Source: Patch notes; thanks Dengar!]


Elite: Dangerous makes it easier for friends to find you

Elite: Dangerous pilots who feel frustrated that hooking up with friends in deep space might be relieved to know that the team is preparing a nifty feature for Update 1.2 that will help in this regard.

In a forum dev post, Executive Producer Michael Brookes discusses wing beacons that can be activated to clearly show your location to any wing members in a solar system: “Your wing will be able to see the signal — regardless of distance — as long as they are in super cruise in the system; they can use it just like a wake and drop down to your location.”

Other changes coming with the next patch include the ability to transmit open broadcasts, a balance pass on repair costs, a debug camera that allows players to see their ship, and a jury-rig feature that will allow broken ships to cannibalize healthy modules to fix busted ones.

[Source: Official forums. Thanks to Cotic for the tip!]


Here are the progression servers up for vote in EverQuest

Classic EverQuest’s dev team casually announced last week that it has plans for new progression servers, signalling that at least Daybreak isn’t planning on maintenance-moding the old game. Now, Holly “Windstalker” Longdale has updated players on the plan and urged them to log into the game to vote on the server’s style.

Progression servers generally pace out expansions and content to keep the server in time with the original level caps and progression of the game. Here’s what’s up for vote:

Existing stat rules: Players vote for expansion unlocks according to a set timer.

Slower progression: Like the existing rules, only the timers are longer.

Locked progression: Like the existing rules, but the devs can step in and change the unlock rates too.

Seasonal challenge: Like locked progression, only the servers are reset every season and top players collect rewards.

You can lodge your vote by logging into the game.

[Source: Forums]


Today’s Repopulation patch makes ‘massive changes’ to combat

If you’re looking to test The Repopulation this morning, well, it’s going to be down for four to eight hours. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the extensive break is allowing the devs to apply the 15.1.1 patch, which features “massive changes to the combat system.”

Every skill in the game has been examined with an eye toward balance and improvement, with melee skills receiving the most upgrades. New stats have been introduced, while buffs and debuffs have been tweaked to be more reliable and “reduce the amount of chance in an encounter.”

Combat is also getting a visual upgrade, chiefly in regard to ranged weapon animations. Above & Beyond says that a melee animation pass is planned. 15.1.1 includes texture upgrades, too, as well as a healthy portion of other stuff that you’ll find in the official build notes.

[Source: 15.1.1. notes; thanks Crow and Grimjakk!]


Rumor: Hearthstone may be prepping a Blackrock Mountain adventure

What’s next for the ever-hot Hearthstone? Hearthhead reported that a data mining expedition has uncovered references to Blackrock Mountain dungeon cards, meaning that card players could be heading to adventures in Molten Core before too long.

In other Hearthstone news, Nvidia is planning a Pro/Am international tournament with a $25,000 prize pool. It’s free to register and will begin on May 16th. The game also had a minor patch yesterday that included improvements to the spectator mode and a lunar card back for those doing well in ranked play this month.

[Source: Hearthhead, Droid Gamers, patch notes; via Blizzard Watch]


Guild Wars 2 rethinks the defiance system for Heart of Thorns

Just when you thought it was safe to enter an expansion jungle, think again. The Guild Wars 2 dev team is hard at work making Heart of Thorns as intimidating to the veteran adventurer as possible, and one of its tools is the fearsome wyvern.

The devs used the champion creature as an example of how the expansion’s improved defiance mechanic will work. The new system will show an additional bar under the boss’ health bar that represents its defiance (i.e., anti-crowd control protection). The more CC used on the creature, the more the bar degrades until the creature can be affected by such skills. However, the bar is always regenerating, so player groups will need to hit it fast and frequently to make a difference.

The new system can be used for interesting encounter, such as the wyvern. Players will attempt to stop the creature from taking off by depleting its defiance bar, and if they are successful, they will get a few seconds of free attack time. It may be worth it to let the creature attack you at least a few times, if only to see the wyvern’s “believable” fire effects.

[Source: Guild Wars 2]


Shroud of the Avatar upgrades to Unity 5 for Release 15

Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 15 begins today. In fact, it begins this morning at 11:30 a.m. EST. The new build features Unity 5, the latest version of the engine that Portalarium says provides it “with both improved performance opportunities and graphical upgrades” that will “dramatically improve the visual presentation of SotA.”

The conversion is such a big deal that it required the devs to redo nearly every graphical asset in the game. As such, you should expect a “particularly large” patch for R15. The patch announcement post contains a full list of deliverables including new mainland scenes, new sun and moon magic skills, new crafting skills, and more.

[Source: Release 15 instructions]


Guild Wars 2 will implement first-person POV in March

File this one under things we didn’t see coming: ArenaNet has just announced that it will fulfill a long-running fan request by adding a first-person point-of-view to Guild Wars 2. The new feature goes live on March 10th and will be accompanied by a field-of-view slider, over-the-shoulder vs. vertical position sliders, camera snap collision sensitivity, and camera tracking by character height.

First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any restrictions on where first-person can be used.

Field of View: A much requested feature, the field of view slider is a setting that will allow players to adjust how much can be seen in the game world. Players can use a slider to shrink or enlarge the field of view.

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War Thunder’s ‘Big Guns’ patch adds IL-2, B-29, and more

Gaijin announced a “major update” for War Thunder this week. The 1.47 Big Guns patch adds the game’s largest tank (the Pz.Kpfw.VIII Maus) and the game’s largest aircraft (the B-29 Superfortress). It also includes an early version of the IL-2 Sturmovik featuring 30 individually modeled parts, which makes for “the most detailed and accurate IL-2 ever recreated in a flight simulator.”

Gaijin says that future War Thunder aircraft will follow the standard set by the new IL-2.

Finally, Big Guns adds 14 new combat vehicles, the Steel Generals ground forces tree, more realistic environmental details and interaction for tank battles, and open cockpits and contrails for most of the game’s aircraft. You can get a glimpse of the patch via the video after the break.

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SMITE adds the warrior Bellona to the fray

SMITE has taken another giant step forward as the MOBA has introduced its first true female warrior to the champion pantheon.

Bellona is a take-no-prisoners fighter who wields several different giant weapons (including sword and hammer) depending on the attack. The more Bellona hits or gets hit, the faster she moves and the more protected she becomes, making her an agile tank.

The recent patch also added new champion skins, emotes, voice packs, and a new god rotation. You can watch the patch overview video after the jump.

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