Elite: Dangerous names planet after soldier’s late mother

One of Elite: Dangerous’ community is grieving this summer after losing his mother in June. Citing his love for the game and his missed opportunity to show his mom some of the sights in the galaxy, Sataris86 petitioned Frontier to name a planet somewhere in the game “McBrayer’s Rest” in honor of his mother.

“I have always used video games to unwind and deal with PTSD since I returned home from Iraq in 2006,” he wrote to the studio. “My mother was a large influence and encouraged my love of space and science throughout my life. She also encouraged my love of gaming by doing things like playing Pokemon Red and Blue with me when I was a child.”

Frontier swung into action and sent him back this note: “We found and renamed a planet in BD+26 2184. While it’s not an inhabited world, it is a rather unusual planet. I hope you will like it.”

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EverQuest Next has a big internal playtest today

EverQuest Next is still very much a thing according to Daybreak producer Terry Michaels. On a livestream recorded earlier this afternoon, Michaels said that a big internal playtest happens today. It’s an opportunity for Daybreak to bring in people who haven’t been working on the game for usability tests and to provide feedback on the work the team has been doing for the past several months.

What specifically is the dev team working on right now? “We’re focused on combat and how the world is going to be built,” Michaels says. Click through the link below if you want to watch the video. The good stuff starts around the four-minute mark.

Source: Twitch; thanks SliceOfLife93!

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Skyforge offers tips on playing with others

Playing well with others is important when you’re playing online games, and Skyforge is indeed an online game. Fortunately, a new round of tips from the developers is available for both new players and veterans alike, so you can find out all of the vital tips about how to group with other players. For example, the tips recommend that you actually play a tanking class if you want to tank!

Some of the tips are going to be fairly familiar to veterans, but others are unique to the game, and it’s useful to see the tips on eliminating enemy groups with the weakest foes dying first. Check out all of the tips to see if there’s anything you don’t yet know and would do well to learn, and go on to dazzle your group companions with your amazing skills.

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ESPN is hiring an e-sports editor

Remember a year or so ago when ESPN CEO John Skipper created a minor stink in the nerdosphere by pooh-poohing e-sports and intimating that the worldwide cheerleader didn’t care about the competitive gaming scene?

“It’s not a sport, it’s a competition,” Skinner told Recode regarding e-sports. “Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition. Mostly, I’m interested in doing real sports.”

Apparently that’s out the window now, since the megalithic sports news network is currently shopping for an e-sports editor. Preferred qualifications include knowledge of StarCraft 2, Dota 2, League of Legends, and others.

Source: ESPN; Via: Destructoid

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Heroes of the Storm to downsize ranked match party size

The size of parties queuing for Heroes of the Storm’s ranked play will be downsized come the next patch, Blizzard has announced.

A short post on the official site lays out the studio’s reasoning for restricting Hero League queues to solo or duo players. Skill disparities and odd-player-out situations were cited as being problematic for four- and five-member teams.

“What’s more, parties of three and four players appear in Hero League queues far less often than solo players and parties of two,” Blizzard wrote. “As such we feel that large parties represent a small enough portion of ranked games that we’re comfortable removing them from Hero League in order to improve overall match quality.”

Source: Heroes of the Storm. Thanks to Armsbend for the tip!

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Crowfall answers community questions on development

A small number of players are getting their first taste of what Crowfall is going to be, and that’s a good thing. The result is that players can ask both about how skills play as well as asking about larger questions. The most recent development question and answer session reflects that, with several questions centering around archetype capabilities as well as bigger ideas like being able to modify the server rulesets.

If you were wondering about why the three archetypes in the Hunger Dome are the Confessor, Knight, and Centaur, for example, the reason is multi-faceted – Centaurs are very iconic, Knights are the most basic class, and Confessors round out the archetypes while also allowing another playstyle. There’s also a discussion about using abilities in the air and modding the game in general (planned for post-launch if successful). Watch the full set of answers in the video just below.

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Guild Wars 2 overhauls WvW guild objective system

Guilds will have a lot more to do in world vs. world encounters when Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns launches next month. ArenaNet posted a new dev diary stating that the team has overhauled the guild claiming system to give player organizations more strategic options.

By claiming an objective, guilds can choose from several options to upgrade that structure to provide additional benefits. More benefits can be gained by employing tactics, which activate temporary effects that can make the difference on the larger battlefield. The devs will go into more detail about the guild objective overhaul in tomorrow’s livestream.

Some players will be able to test these changes out next week, as ArenaNet is scheduling a limited-run WvW Borderlands stress test for September 8th through the 10th. The studio said that it will be opening up the test to even more applicants, although it will not be a public event.

Source: Borderlands stress test, WvW dev diary, livestream. Thanks to Siphaed for the tip!

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EverQuesting: A guide to EverQuest II’s city festivals

It’s that time of the month again — a glorious time that I look forward to and makes me cackle with glee just a little bit. Why? Because it’s when EverQuest II’s city festivals begin! Hey, what else would I be talking about? Starting the first and running through the seventh of every month, the denizens of Norrath have the chance to revel, race, and get rewards at one of the six main cities. This week-long party includes food and drink to celebrate with, a fortune teller to dispense words of wisdom (for the price of five gold!), and a chance to zip through the aerial race course. On top of that, there is really no better one-stop shop for housing decorations that players can take advantage of at any level.

Right now the Far Seas festival has stopped in Neriak, so folks have a limited time to get any of the Neriak-themed goodies they want for their homes or secure that zone’s aether racing title. Unsure on how to make most of your time so you don’t miss anything before the Far Seas packs up the fair and moves on? Here’s a guide that outlines the various city celebrations along with a few tips to maximize your efforts. (And for the more visually minded folks, here’s a video walkthrough we recently streamed.)

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PAX Prime 2015: Don’t hate me because I don’t like Gigantic

If you’ve not heard of the game Gigantic, then I’m going to have to ask where you’ve been because Motiga‘s cross between a MOBA and third-person shooter has been everywhere. Its presence at PAX Prime was impossible to miss. The lines to play this game were nearly stacked on top of each other. Clearly, the world is hyped-up and in love with this game. So I had to see what the excitement was about, and Motiga offered me a chance to play the game with a group of other games journalists and a handful of developers. So that’s exactly what I did.

Everyone on this site knows the games that I cover, and they are all solidly MMOs. But what they might not know is that I also like third-person shooters. I’m a fan of Team Fortress 2 and SMITE, but I dislike League of Legends. My primary reason for disliking LoL has nothing to do with the objectives or community; I highly dislike the control scheme, which is why SMITE is OK for me. But even after playing Gigantic next to some very enthusiastic developers, I can’t say that I’m a fan.

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Perfect Ten: The 10 MMO memories we all have

I have been playing MMOs with varying degrees of intensity for the past 12 years. That is really weird to me. It also means that I’ve had time to develop a robust set of memories, and not everyone has the exact same memories. But I’ve also found that we all have the same general categories of memories despite that, even if you weren’t first playing Final Fantasy XI when I was.

So let’s be a little bit universal. Not everyone has the memories I do of running through Qufim or dealing with goblins in every leveling spot ever, but whatever your first game was, I’m pretty sure you have these same memories. The details just change.

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Here’s a helpful summary of Star Citizen’s release schedule

The best laid plans of mice and men don’t hold a candle to those creating a virtual universe from scratch. The shifting dates and missed development targets of Star Citizen have been of some concern and confusion this year, especially considering that the game is being released piecemeal instead of all of once.

To help set things straight, Star Citizen fan site Imperial News has done the footwork to compile all information pertaining to the release schedule going forward. The article also draws in rumors and developer quotes to provide as accurate a picture of the future as possible.

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World of Warships launches September 17th

If you’ve been waiting until the official release to launch your naval career in World of Warships, mark your calendar: In two weeks, the game goes live.

Wargaming has announced that after a successful open beta, its naval warfare MMO will officially and formally throw open its doors on Thursday, September 17th. Those interested in captaining various historical battleships, cruisers, aircraft carriers, and destroyers — such as Warspite, Tirpitz, Midway, Aurora, and Yamato — will have two complete tech trees from the U.S. and Japan to work through. Additionally, a number of ships from Germany, the U.S.S.R., and the U.K. will be available, with more nations slated to join in the war later this year. In total, over 80 different ships will be available to help you set sail and decimate your enemies.

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Trion Worlds shies away from sub-only games, praises Defiance’s console success

RIFT fans with long memories will recall how the game first launched in 2011 as a subscription-only title, staying that way for about a year before going free-to-play. These days Trion Worlds is harboring a library of hybrid free-to-play and buy-to-play titles with nary a sub-only game in sight. So would the studio ever consider another sub-only MMO?

“I don’t think I would,” CEO Scott Hartsman said in a recent interview. “I don’t have a religion about business models. What I really care about is matching the design of the game to an audience for the game. If somebody said hey, here is a game and we know for a fact that the model that makes sense is a subscription. Then I’m all on board here. I’m really just about, what is the right model that will get enough players to make the game make financial sense, so it will live a happy and long life. And it’s just become more challenging to do that with subscription.”

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