Devilian begins alpha testing for Obsidian founders

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting your chance to get your hands on Devilian even in just a test stage, your wait is over. At least, it’s over if you purchased the appropriate level of founder’s pack for the game: The alpha testing has begun, and all holders of the Obsidian tier are able to start downloading and playing the game now.

Lower-tier holders can wait for further progress or upgrade from Silver or Gold. There’s no word on how long the test cycles for the game will last, although since this is primarily a matter of localization, the test phases may be short. It all depends on how the testing goes, and if you’re one of the upper-tier founders, you can find that out for yourself.

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RSI’s attorney responds to Smart’s Star Citizen demands

The strange saga of Derek Smart’s quixotic campaign against Star Citizen continues. The game developer sicced his lawyer on RSI last month, delivering a series of legal demands that include a public audit of the company paid for by Smart and the resignation of Chris Roberts. While RSI declined to post its response by its lawyers, the studio did anticipate that Smart would make it public anyway.

Sure enough, Smart posted what he claims is the gist of the response on his blog, arguing that the letter was meant to “intimidate and silence” him. He also confirmed that his “investigators” are continuing to compile information that will be sent to the feds.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the oldest MMORPG you still play?

Later this fall, Ultima Online turns 18 years old. Even more crazy? It’s launching its ninth expansion before the year is out (it’s on the test server now). Even more crazy?

I still play it.

I don’t play it all the time, just for a month every couple of months or so. I check out the latest patch, play with my house, shuffle around some skills, listen to the music box, go shopping, murder some wyrms and take their stuff, tinker with the latest crafting meta, and generally mess around my old haunts. And sometimes I have a project. One year I built a massive rune library. A few returns ago, I screenshotted in-game memorials.

Sure, it’s not the same as it was in 1997, and the UO buddies I still have don’t usually return to it with me, but I like it. Playing it still makes me feel good. And I can’t really say that about all the games I played way back in the day.

How about you? What’s the oldest MMORPG you still play?

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The Stream Team: The Secret World’s Manufactory dungeon, take two

The last time MassivelyOP’s MJ poked into The Secret World’s new Manufactory dungeon, she couldn’t get past the first room. Apparently it would help to have a full group! So this time she’s prepared: She has gathered together an assortment of daredevils in order to delve deeper into this dungeon. Join us live at 9:30 p.m to see how much further this group can go!

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

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Massively Overthinking: Building your dream MMORPG

Massively OP Kickstarter donor xenaphex wants to hear about our dream MMOs. What really makes you tick? What would you build with a million-bajillion buckaroos?

“If you were to design an MMOG, what would be your dream game? Please be specific on the setting, major features, style, etc. You can use existing games as an example as long as you mention the game and the specifics about it that you like.”

I posed xenaphex’s question to the staff for this week’s edition of Massively Overthinking.

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Heroes & Generals releases Xylander patch

Reto-Moto has updated World War II shooter Heroes & Generals with a patch called Xylander. It adds new killing tools for Soviet players as well as new weapon skins, camouflage uniforms, XP bonuses, a new credit-earning model, and something called the Battle Director.

The Battle Director is an algorithm that identifies “suitable” war battles and allows players to join them, as opposed to the occasionally unbalanced battles that result when player generals manage resources and maneuver units. Players will gain extra bonuses for rank and ribbon XP when they join these new curated battles.

The devs have also tweaked the base salary mechanic to reflect active play time instead of completed battles. Base salary increases with rank increases, and you get additional money by capping and killing. You’ll also get a bonus if you stay until the end of a battle. Click past the cut to watch the Xylander preview video.

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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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