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The EVE Online community was a little surprised this week by what appeared to be the accidental early reveal of the feature list for this summer's update. Someone noticed that the official EVE Updates page had a new "summer" section filled with details of upcoming features but with placeholder images attached. The page disappeared shortly thereafter, but not before someone snapped a screenshot of it and published it to Reddit. CCP Falcon tweeted that this wasn't a leak but that "a few cards were published early without images" and they'll be re-published properly on Monday. This hasn't stopped the EVE community and bloggers from speculating heavily on the content of the early reveal, and I must admit that I can't resist doing the same.
The summer update comes ahead of the Drilling Platforms discussed in my previous article, but it looks like part of the impending resource-gathering revolution is coming early in the form of a complete re-design of the mechanics behind asteroid belts. Strategic cruisers will also be getting a significant balance pass across the board, and the recently announced Exoplanet search minigame will be coming to Project Discovery. The update also includes graphical overhauls for several space station types, redesigns of the Vexor and Ishtar drone ships, new explosion graphics, and improvements to the new player experience. Outside the game, we'll be getting all-new forums boasting new features for sharing and engagement, and a chat system that keeps going even when the server is offline.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into a few of these early reveals and speculate on what they might mean for EVE. Is a total mining overhaul coming earlier than expected, and could we get EVE chat on our phones?
What's going on with Lost Ark anyway? It's been a good long time since we heard anything about this promising and stunning-looking MMOARPG, including whether or not it was actually confirmed to arrive in the west.
We are tracking a rumor this week from Steparu that Lost Ark is planning on a new Korean CBT for sometime this summer. "Although just a rumor and nothing set in stone, someone from LostArkDB had a chat with a Smilegate employee, and they mentioned that the next closed beta for the Korean version of Lost Ark is scheduled to start sometime in June or July," he posted.
If true, that means that the title is still slowly progressing through its overseas beta cycle and will probably be a while yet to arrive in North America and Europe -- if ever at all. Still, it's something, so cling to hope!
The next Overwatch hero is a quadraped Omnic named Anchora, and she appears to be a tank. This isn't a new announcement, though; it's from a leak that's months old. The question is whether or not it's accurate, and at the time of the leak, it certainly didn't seem accurate. Then again, at the time of the leak we also didn't have an interview with a robotics prodigy talking about her next project, so that certainly changes the evaluation.
The leak successfully forecasted the Lunar New Year event and the accompanying Mei skin, as well as going into more detail on Mei's origin story. It is, of course, a leak rather than an official announcement, so it could prove to be completely incorrect. But if the next hero really is scuttling around on all fours, perhaps we shouldn't be all that surprised after all.
The next expansion or adventure for Hearthstone
might have been spotted, thanks to eagle-eyed fans who apparently spend their free time combing through resumes of voice actors.
Indeed, in the resume for Lani Minella is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it mention of a Hearthstone expansion we have yet to see: Lost Secrets of Un'Goro. Minella lists previous work on Hearthstone and is credited with voicing several dinosaurs and beasts for the possible upcoming release.
If true, this means that Hearthstone will be diving into one of the more famous (and infamous) locales from vanilla World of Warcraft. Un'Goro Crater was a jungle zone filled with primeval creature, including one aspiring T-Rex who liked to jump out of the shadows and bite your head off when you were just trying to quest in peace.
This has been confirmed. See the end of this post for the statement.
We've had multiple reports this week that PWE has laid off an unknown number of employees from its MMORPG teams and substudios. At least one appears to have been Community Manager @LaughingTrendy, who worked on multiple PWE games, including Star Trek Online.
Former STO Community Manager (and Massively-that-was alumnus!) Brandon Felczer seemingly confirmed the nature of the departure, tweeting, "They are insane for doing that to her. What a loss to their communities."
Over the weekend, the official Elder Scrolls Online Twitter account tweeted a brief video of what appears to be smoldering volcanic vent, prompting players to renew the rumor already backed up by datamining that points to a possible Vvardenfell DLC for the MMORPG. Gamers will recall that Vvardenfell was the massive volcanic island at the heart of TES III: Morrowind, which just so happens to turn 15 years old in May of this year, making 2017 the perfect time for such an expansion in the MMORPG.
It's for that reason that we suggest you follow Elder Scrolls Online's other clue: It's using that same video as backdrop for its announcement of a stream tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST.
Sure, it could just be more housing info; that comes out next week. But our money's on DLC, especially since the PR says the team will be "revealing the next great Chapter for the game."
If you've been living under a volcano... perhaps a red one... for the last couple of months, you may have missed all the speculation and datamining pointing to a possible Vvardenfell DLC for Elder Scrolls Online.
Here's more fuel for the fire: The official Elder Scrolls Twitter account just tweeted a new clue, video of what surely looks like a smoldering volcanic vent.
Gamers will recall that Vvardenfell was the massive volcanic island at the heart of TES III: Morrowind. That game turns 15 years old in May of this year, making 2017 the perfect time for such an expansion in the MMORPG.
What does the future hold for Black Desert? The present holds the game releasing in Taiwan, but the future is a bit more up in the air. Still, there are hints to be found in an interview that took place during the aforementioned Taiwan release, or you can read a translated and summarized version from Dulfy if you'd rather not futz about with Google Translate.
The team is looking into adding second Awakenings for classes, with the caveat that these new Awakenings will use the original class weapons simply because the current Awakenings easily overpower them. There are also plans to port the game to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, although there are no firm announcements to be made there and the developers haven't decided if the title will share servers across platforms. Revamps are planned for some of the game's life skills, like Fishing, and the developers haven't yet started any new games due to a desire to get Black Desert into an optimal state first. It's a short summary, but it contains lots of interesting information for fans of the title.
releases in June, Final Fantasy XIV
fans are going to be able to play Red Mage and... at least one
other job. The other job is a secret to speculate about until the final Fan Festival in February. Unless, of course, you look at the datamining that's been taking place for patch 3.5's files
, which suggest that the next job is abbreviated SAM... which would mean that Samurai is on deck for our next big reveal. It's still technically speculation, and there are no mechanical details, but it's on the right side of plausibility.
The development team has also released a lengthy video showing off what you can find in the collector's edition for Stormblood and what the pricing will be for both the physical and digital editions, which is useful for pre-orders starting on January 24th. If you don't have time to watch the whole video (it is more than an hour long), you can catch up with a quick set of slides capturing the relevant data.
So NCsoft is working on another MMORPG. This in and of itself isn't terribly surprising, since this is how the company makes money. You might not even think it's all that noteworthy, since thus far absolutely nothing has been announced about it. All that's known is the name: Project A2.
Except that that name actually implies something, because NCsoft has a specific way of naming its projects: They're usually named for the first letter of the upcoming title. But "Project A2" implies that it's not a new project, but a sequel... say, an Aion sequel?
Of course, nothing is written in stone yet; it's all speculation based on a name and might turn out to be something else altogether. But that "A2" sure is suspicious, and if you're hoping for another go at Aion, there's something to hang speculation about a sequel upon now.
Speak quickly, Outlander, or go away!
Fancy a trip back to nostalgia town? Elder Scrolls Online Redditors have datamined what appears to be a map of Vvardenfell, the massive volcanic island at the heart of Morrowind and the location of the fan-favorite 2002 TES III: Morrowind RPG. It's no stretch to assume that Vvardenfell DLC is on the way.
It's a little bit odd that buildings and boats would be in exactly the same place an age later, but if it's legit, it's time to get excited, especially in context with Matt Firor's hints about something "amazing" coming in 2017 beyond housing.
We deal with a lot of rumors here, and while we generally filter out the entirely implausible ones, usually there are a lot of rumors that might be true until it turns out they're completely true or utterly false. This time, however, the Bless Online rumor mill has produced a rumor that turns out to be nothing at all.
Over the weekend, the teaser site for Bless Online being published by Aeria went down unexpectedly, with no official word as to why. That prompted players to panic and spread rumors that the title had been quietly dropped off of the schedule. However, other fans on Reddit were skeptical of the rumor, and with good reason.
We reached out to the studios involved ourselves; here's what a representative for Aeria told us:
"This maintenance is due to a migration to a new data center for all our services from game to portal, so there is no need to be worried. It'll improve the experience of the players. However, we are still working on it and the website will be back online soon! On the side, we are working closely with Neowiz on the gameplay improvement aimed for the North American and European version!"
is reporting this morning that CCP Games
is "exploring strategic options including a sale of the business after receiving interest from potential bidder" -- the publication's words, not CCP's.
CCP is well known to MMORPG fans for its long heraldship of sci-fi MMO EVE Online, which just went free-to-play under the massive Ascension expansion last month. Most recently, it launched a sequel to VR title Gunjack 2 yesterday. The company turned to VR following its massive investment -- $30 million in venture capital -- in the sector last year. This past September, CCP Games CEO Hilmar Petursson told DICE Europe attendees that the company is on track to "break even" in the VR field and that under his "conservative outlook," he expects VR to pick up in 2018 and 2019.
Bloomberg's sources are anonymous "people with knowledge of the matter."
We've reached out to CCP for clarity.