RIFT’s Hammerknell instant adventures open for business

While the new Hammerknell instant adventure was originally slated for RIFT’s 3.2 update, the team held it back for additional work and testing. The good news is that as of right now, Hammerknell is open for any and all who want to jump into the brand-new adventures that await in its ancient halls.

Changing the subject, the RIFT community team (including new Director of Community Relations Linda “Brasse” Carlson) will be hosting a special livestream today about our changing bodies during puberty. OK, that’s a lie; the team will actually be discussing how to break into the game industry for people who for some reason still think that’s a good idea. You can watch at on Trion Worlds’ Twitch channel at 5:30 p.m. EDT.

[Source: RIFT #1, #2]

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The Stream Team: Touring a whole new Landmark world

There isn’t anything built in Landmark right now to gaze upon, but that’s not really the point today, is it? With the newest landmasses to traverse and new biomes available to experience, it’s all about getting a gander at the volcanoes, the inland waterways, and the new forests that now make up the world. And massively OP’s MJ can’t wait to get in and find the perfect plot to stake her claim. Tune in live at 12:30 p.m. for a tour of the landscape — after she recreates a character!

What: Landmark
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 8th, 2015

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Why Eternal Crusade can’t do a global megaserver

The dream to create a PvP-centric game on a single global megaserver might be just that — a dream.

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade Senior Producer Nathan Richardson said that current tech can’t support such a server, hence why his game will be divided up into regional shards: “Whatever the technology we have, what partners we chose and hardware we deploy, changing the speed of light is a bit out of our reach. As a shooter, latency is important and we simply can’t work around that. […] It’s sad, but sometimes when dreams have to be turned into reality, tough decisions have to be made.”

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Talking with Trion about the future of Trove

If you dismissed Trove early on as an insignificant game or a thinly veiled Minecraft clone, then it might be time to take a second look. Trion Worlds’ colorful sandbox has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past year, incorporating new features such as sailing as well as hundreds of player-submitted designs. The result is a vibrant, silly, and creative world that’s starting to develop some strong word-of-mouth from its fans.

We sat down to talk about the future of Trove with Trion, asking about the game’s launch status, marketing, and how player creativity has helped the game’s potential explode.

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EverQuest Next invites players to the Elf workshop competition

The games aren’t explicitly linked quite the same way any longer, but there’s still plenty of space for Landmark players to strut their stuff in EverQuest Next style. Hence the new forum posting that gives players a style guide for the elves of the setting as well as the architecture found in the now-ruined Takish empire. While the elves had once traveled the stars, the fall of the once glorious empire means that they simply look up at the stars at night… and, you know, incorporate those designs into their clothes, buildings, and so forth whenever they can.

Why would you care about any of this beyond the lore? Because Daybreak is beginning another building competition, this one asking players to submit Elf- and Takish Empire-style builds in Landmark for consideration in EQN.

More details on the competition are forthcoming, but in the meantime, you can check out the pictures of structures, materials, and layouts on the full style guide.

[Source: EverQuest Next forums, competition]

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Smedley has bright predictions for PlanetSide 2’s future

It’s been said before and will be said again a few more times before it’s no longer true: Fans of Daybreak games are a bit jittery at the moment. The company’s sudden shift away from Sony and subsequent layoffs and upheaval have not inspired confidence. That jittery nervousness is what president John Smedley has been addressing, most recently with a posting on Reddit to the PlanetSide 2 community. In short, according to Smedley, good things are in the wings for the game.

The plan is simple – We are going to be taking Planetside 2 to where it needs to be and finally address the stuff should have already. The metagame. We will once and for all be getting the Meta to where it just has to be. That means a comprehensive change that will involve completely revamping resources, changing what territory control means and spending a lot of time giving you reasons to fight. All of this will be done in a fully transparent manner in which we actually put our internal design docs out there for your comment and feedback.

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The Daily Grind: Does WoW’s dramatic sub dip worry you?

So World of Warcraft lost three million subs in the wake of Warlords of Draenor, bringing it back down to right about where it was before it began the Draenor ramp up — not quite to its published low point after Mists of Pandaria, but damn close. I suppose it’s not a surprise; Blizzard’s languorous content pace since the expansion hasn’t restored much faith that the studio learned anything from the drought that drove MoP so low just a year ago. But it’s not a pretty graph after the big spike up for Draenor. It’s the steepest, fastest decline for the game ever.

One of my amusing guildies summed it up like this:

Gather round, my disciples, for I have seen THE FUTURE! 2040: Hearthstone, Blizzard’s flagship MMO, has finally integrated the “World of Warcraft” as an amusing retro mini-game you can play between matches. And lo, the rivers shall run purple with the discarded gear of the unbelievers, and the wails of the hardcore raiders shall be swallowed by the sound of a billion decks being shuffled.

Hyperbole, I know, but who isn’t at least thinking this? WoW’s still the biggest subscription MMORPG in town, yes. It’s not hurting for money. But it bothers me that Blizzard doesn’t seem to care much about such a massive game or the genre anymore and that it’s driving off not just expansion tourists now but hardcore loyalists who don’t want to pay a sub to play Garrisons Online: With Selfies But Not Flight after all. The implications for the genre always worry me. How about you — does WoW’s dramatic sub dip worry you?

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The Stream Team: Breaking into a Secret World safehouse

So close, and yet so far! Part of The Secret World’s Issue #10 remains unfinished for Massively OP’s MJ; after completing the clubhouse, she made it only as far as the door of the third safehouse. Getting past all those booby traps is going to be tricky, but she’s got Justin with her to help navigate them. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous TSW duo continues to chase the White Rabbit in…

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie & Justin Olivetti
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 7th, 2015

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Massively Overthinking: The return of ‘consequences’ to MMOs

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic comes to us from Kickstarter donor Antonia “Toni” Phillips aka ToniLyran, who’s hit on a sore point with our writers, it seems:

In indie game development, we are seeing a resurgence of games with “real consequences.” With the coming of Crowfall, do you think that we will start to see a trend back to MMO’s with real consequences once again?

What exactly constitute real consequences? Are games like Crowfall actually creating real consequences? Are we trending that way in general? And if we are, should we be? I pitched these questions to the team and got an earful.

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Here’s how you build your airship in Worlds Adrift

If you’re curious about building your own airship in indie sandbox MMO Worlds Adrift, look no further than the latest dev blog. You’ll need to find a good spot for a ship yard and then construct your hull frame. After that you’ll build a crafting station which will in turn produce ship parts. These parts are added to the hull in a freeform manner and can be done cooperatively with your friends.

The blog barely scratches “the surface of shipbuilding and all its associated decisions,” the developers say. You’ll need to take materials, weight, stats, and positioning into account, and you’ll have to mind your surroundings in order to avoid construction mishaps like the one pictured in the blog!

[Source: Dev blog; thanks Dengar!]

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New EVE dev blog details nullsec and sov changes

If you’ve got an interest in EVE Online’s upcoming changes to nullsec and sovereignty mechanics, and you’ve got a lot of time, you’ll probably want to peruse CCP’s latest dev blog. It’s a lengthy one, and it covers everything from the sov capture system and the Entosis Link mechanic to activity defense multipliers, vulnerability, and time zone mechanics.

CCP also mentions that it has refined the release timeline for all this new stuff, and that it will spread the features across multiple releases between June 2nd (Carnyx) and July 7th (Aegis).

[Source: Dev blog]

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E-sports, permadeath, and completionist are now in the dictionary.com

Dictionary.com has granted a bit of legitimacy to a trio of gaming terms. E-sports, permadeath, and completionist were among the latest batch of words enshrined in the online reference site’s ever-growing lexicon.

The site relies on “research in traditional publications, as well as technology like corpus research. In our case, we are currently using a corpus that has over 19 billion words. The corpus contains a massive collection of sources, from literature to news articles to television and interview transcripts, balanced to reflect actual usage of language.”

[Via: IGN; Source: Dictionary.com]

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Albion tweaks its trees, resources, and landscapes for summer alpha

Albion is gearing up for its summer alpha, and one of the new features on display during the test will be a landscape redesign.

“The layout, vegetation, and overall look of a region will change dramatically depending on what resources can be found in it,” the dev team explains. Areas include grasslands and deadlands, with “large tasty-looking apples” populating the trees in the former while “dry, wrinkled fruits” that you wouldn’t even feed your horse are the order of the day in the deadlands.

The developers plan to make a similar revamp to rock formations and types in the near future, all with the goal of fleshing out Albion’s environments and more clearly representating an area’s unique characteristics.

[Source: Tree update]

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