World of Warcraft dev spills the secrets of Patch 6.1

We can’t blame World of Warcraft fans for being in an excitement tizzy (that’s a thing, right?) over the upcoming Patch 6.1, as it looks to add a slew of improvements to the game. While we can’t shorten the wait for you, we can point you to the following informative video interview with Blizzard Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas.

Hazzikostas fields questions on 6.1 for 25 minutes, including the Blood Elf visual upgrade, the heirloom UI, summonable raid bosses, Twitter integration, customizable music for strongholds, and efforts being made to encourage players to visit friends’ strongholds. He also hinted that the team is already hard at work on stories and other features for Patch 6.2.

If you’ve got a half-hour, give the interview a watch after the break!

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Hyperspace Beacon: Eight reasons to return to SWTOR

In the midst of this rebirth of Massively, I found myself suddenly placed in charge of my Star Wars: The Old Republic guild. We are on a roleplay server because we like to be friendly to roleplayers, but we are not strictly a roleplay guild. I’m actually happy with that stance. I would like there to be more roleplay in my guild on a roleplay server, but being accepting of non-roleplayers allows us to recruit the player and not the character. And that’s the way guilds should be, right? With my taking over as guild leader, it’s a time for new beginnings.

Just as it’s a new beginning for my guild, this is also a new beginning for this column. This is the second or third new beginning for this column, but it’s still here because I still love SWTOR, and the readers here have stuck by it, too. Of course, we’ve all had some negative things to say about the game, but overall, the community and the game itself have been a positive experience.

Right now just happens to be a good time to get into the game for the first time or as a returning player. In fact, let me give you eight reasons why now is the perfect time to jump back into Star Wars: The Old Republic. Read more

NCsoft buys Netmarble stock to block hostile takeover by Nexon

How do you prevent a hostile takeover? In NCsoft‘s case, you buy something. Specifically, you buy a large portion of shares from Netmarble while also engaging in a large-scale swap of stock between the two companies to provide a buffer against Nexon‘s moves toward a hostile takeover. The deal in question involved a purchase of $345 million worth of Netmarble shares along with a stock swap worth roughly $635 million, providing a larger financial hurdle for Nexon to jump if it still wants to take NCsoft by force.

Nexon is currently the largest single shareholder in NCsoft and recently put forth a list of demands for the company. A hostile takeover is still possible during NCsoft’s next shareholder meeting in March.

[Source: MMO Culture, Thanks to Paul for the tip!]

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Crowfall thinks you play games to crush… voxels

Crowfall developer ArtCraft Entertainment has announced today that the game will employ the Voxel Farm technology platform. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Voxel Farm is licensed to several other high-profile MMORPGs, including Landmark and EverQuest Next.

The best part is how the studio leads describe what they’re doing with the tech. “We want to create hundreds of unique worlds, with unique maps — mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, dungeons, ruins — for players to explore and destroy,” says ArtCraft president Gordon Walton. Sounds peaceful, right? Wrong! Creative Director Todd Coleman says ArtCraft is out to subvert that trope: “Most games are using voxel technology for creation — effectively, giving players a sandbox to build things. We’re using them for a very different reason; we are using Voxels for destruction. We’re creating sandcastles for the players to kick over.”

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Das Tal’s latest dev blog talks bug squashing and upcoming tests

Das Tal’s latest dev blog is live, and with it all manner of detail as to what the team’s been up to lately.

Last month’s build update led to a couple of serious bugs — including player invisibility — which have since been squashed. The blog also gives readers a sneak peek at the sandbox PvP title’s next world map and teases extensive progress on Das Tal’s audio, which should be available for testers to experience in March. Test events will follow the now-familiar 12- to 24-hour format and will involve “a large amount of alpha signups.”

[Source: Dev blog]

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EVE Online launches the Tiamat update

The face of war is changing in EVE Online with the Tiamat update, and not just because of the introduction of a mysterious new faction known as the Drifters. Players will have to deal with a new Tech 3 destroyer capable of transforming into three modes with an eye toward projectile weapons, which comes along with a rebalancing and improvement of projectile weapons in general. The rebalancing should provide more diversity and quality in fittings, making the weapons more appealing and allowing more specialization.

Players can also deal with CONCORD interactions in corporate warfare with the new update, which improves management tools while also allowing “friendly fire” incidents to be considered legal. Top that off with a variety of visual and audio improvements and players will have plenty of new potential threats and advantages to keep in mind when gliding through the depths of space. If you’d rather see the update bullet points explained by the developers, you can check out a video doing just that past the break.

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The Daily Grind: Do you see hate speech in your MMO?

The other day one of our readers, Joe F., pointed us at a conversation between Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman and an ArcheAge customer who was banned. In the exchange, Hartsman said he reviewed the chat log that led to the ban, concluding, “In 2015, those two words aren’t ‘cussing.’ One is hate speech, the other racism. We wish you the best.”

Obviously, there are lots of kind players who exist together in peace in MMOs, but there are also bad eggs who do like to sling slurs against others out of anger or as part of their “gaming vocabulary.” In your MMOs, do you see much hate speech in chat and tells, or are most folks pretty much behaving themselves?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Not So Massively: Star Citizen offers rental gear, Diablo III player hits level 1000, and Dota 2’s Year Beast controversy

Welcome to Not So Massively, Massively Overpowered’s weekly roundup of all the news from the world of MOBAs, lobby-based games, and other online multiplayer games that aren’t quite MMOs. If this column looks familiar, that’s probably because back on Massively we had a similar column called Not So Massively. With the site’s rebirth, the column is back with a new name and full-featured coverage!

It’s been a bumper week for online gaming news, with Star Citizen announcing its new equipment rental scheme for Arena Commander and Destiny streaming its latest Raid dungeon at Crota’s End. Both SMITE and Path of Exile have announced the beginning of new competitive seasons, and League of Legends released Patch 5.3 with nerfs to Ahri and a new Nemesis Draft game mode. Blizzard revealed that the next playable character in Heroes of The Storm will be The Lost Vikings (yes, all three at once), and Infinite Crisis revealed new champion Katana. In more bizarre news, a Russian Diablo III player has managed to hit paragon level 1000 in hardcore mode, and Dota 2 faces intense community backlash to its Year Beast Brawl event.

Read on for a full breakdown of the week’s biggest online gaming news.

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SkySaga’s NA alpha test begins on February 19

You won’t have long to wait at all to get a shot at playing SkySaga if you’re in the US or Canada. The sandvox title is preparing to open its closed alpha test to North American players from Thursday, February 19th through February 26th. Thus far, SkySaga’s alpha has been contained to Europe only. Interested players will need to register on the website.

We’ve got the announcement trailer and a post-mortem of the alpha to date after the break. Be forewarned: After you see the trailer, you will believe that a bear can fly!

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Player creates EverQuest missions in Neverwinter’s foundry

MMO player and blogger Tipa (of West Karana) decided that she wanted to marry her long-running interest in EverQuest to her current online adventures in Neverwinter. Thus, she began what she called the “EverQuest in Neverwinter” campaign: a series of foundry quests that revolve around classic EQ lands and continue stories from that game.

Last year she released a few EQ-themed quests using the foundry editor, including Crushbone’s Revenge and Tempest in a Freepot. Tipa is currently working on a module called Newfallen that takes inspiration from EverQuest’s Plight of the Undead trial.

Fortunately, she says that quests such as Crushbone’s Revenge are accessible to even the most ignorant of Norrath: “While this story takes place in and around EverQuest locations, no knowledge of EQ is necessary (though background information is optionally provided).”

[Source: Neverwinter forums, West Karana]

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Age of Wulin is bringing secrets and betrayals on March 10

The martial arts sandbox Age of Wulin is preparing to move into the next phase of its evolution with Chapter 4: Betrayal & Forgiveness. The newest update to the game will be arriving next month on March 10th.

As the name implies, the update will add a new betrayal system that will allow players to hop to a faction, another sect, or go rogue as a vagabond. In addition, it isn’t just about leaving one’s sect, but how players will leave; players will be offered the choice of departing their faction in one of three ways, each with its own pros and cons.

To tempt players into changing sides, the team is including the choice of six new “secret” factions, including new stories, areas, and special abilities. Chapter 4 will also be adding a weather system to the game.

[Source: Age of Wulin, press release]

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Final Fantasy XI previews its February version update

February’s a short month, so it’s easy to not expect much out of it. The team behind Final Fantasy XI is still bringing new content for the month just the same with the February Version Update planned for February 19th. Headlining the update is a new Alluvion Skirmish in the Yorcia Weald wherein players summon monsters to help assault an enemy stronghold. The new skirmishes reward new armor and improved forms of the older weapons.

Players can also look forward to further improvements to job point categories and new gifts for each job. For those who don’t feel like investing too deeply in combat for this update, there will also be new quests, improvements to the Mog Garden, and quality-of-life boosts. You can get a decent picture of what’s coming with the update by checking out the official trailer just past the break.

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This WoW boss fight is causing motion sickness

When you jump into a World of Warcraft raid, you’re hoping to get some keen new armor, maybe a weapon or two, that sort of thing. You are not hoping to get a fresh case of unexpected motion sickness. Surprise! That might be exactly what you’re getting when you jump into the Hans’gar and Franzok fight in Blackrock Foundry, which already has a lengthy thread on the official forums in which people have complained of getting motion sickness during the fight.

The fight involves a large number of moving conveyer belts and moving elements, and even players with no history of motion sickness are reporting feelings of disorientation, nausea, and the like. Player solutions include aiming your camera at the wall rather than the floor, taking over-the-counter medications, and playing in a more brightly lit room to help alleviate the problem. No word yet from Blizzard on the matter, but it seems reasonable to bet that nausea and severe disorientation are not intended parts of the loot table.

In other WoW vision news — yes, really — Blizzard revealed the new colorblind-friendly UI options due in patch 6.1.

[Source: Thread, Official Site, dev blog; via: Blizzard Watch]

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