Final Fantasy XIV opens up Heavensward preorders on Steam and consoles

If you’re playing Final Fantasy XIV on Steam, the wait for Heavensward has been a bit difficult, as there’s been no clear method for pre-ordering the expansion. Players were told that a separate expansion purchase could not be applied to a Steam client, which meant waiting until the expansion was available on the client. The good news is that players can now pre-order on Steam, getting both the pre-order code for Early Access and the full code for when the expansion goes live.

Players on the consoles should also be happy that the digital pre-order option is now available through the PlayStation Store, so you can go the “no physical media” route there as well. The development team has also posted a new lore entry on the main site, but it’s just news that players watching the expansion site saw about a month ago.


CCP financials for 2014 continue their downward slide

It’s become a cottage industry for EVE Online fans to try to figure out whether CCP Games is doing well or not. Gone are the days with regular crowing about subscriber numbers, and as with most companies, the focus is on publicizing the good rather than admitting what’s not going so well. A fan blog, however, legally obtained a copy of the most recent finanical report for the company and posted a lengthy and in-depth analysis of the company’s numbers through the end of 2014.

The short version is that the company reported significant losses, but analysis suggests that may have a great deal to do with writing off DUST 514 and World of Darkness assets. With some assumptions and estimates, the analysis looks solid for EVE Online itself despite the company’s 10% drop in revenue year-on-year and $15 million in negative equity. Take a look at the full analysis to check the numbers and see whether you agree with the estimates being made.

Source: marketsforISK; thanks to Hagu for the tip!


The Daily Grind: Should mature MMOs consider crowdfunding?

Massively OP commenter The_Grand_Nagus recently pointed us to a conversation on the Star Trek Online forum where a Cryptic Studios employee discussed the studio’s games’ revenues and staffing:

Game Development is directly proportional to revenue generated.

So long as a game is making more money than it costs to run, it will continue to run. And luckily, the costs to run a game are very scalable. The Dev team is most of the cost of running a game, and we can have more or fewer devs depending on the money coming in.

STO has a dev team proportional to its revenue.
NW has a dev team proportional to its revenue.
Champs has a dev team proportional to its revenue.

For the most part, there are very few scenarios where a game will simply shut down out of the blue.

It’s a dirt-simple declaration, of course, one that should give comfort to people concerned about Champions Online’s health in particular. And it made The_Grand_Nagus wonder whether the games wouldn’t be better off if players were more directly involved in directing that revenue.

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Massively Overthinking: The language barriers of MMORPGs

This week’s Massively Overthinking topic comes from Kickstarter donor XanadoX, who wants us to talk about “playing MMOs in another language: Korean, Japanese, or even English if English is not your mother tongue.”

Have you done it? Do you do it? Is there anything to be learned from it? Are there any games where it’s totally worth it? Let’s talk about the upsides and downsides of playing foreign games and language barriers in MMOs in general.

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The Stream Team: The first footsteps in Wander

What exactly is Wander? Now is your chance to see! An explorer at heart, MassivelyOP’s MJ can’t wait to dive into the newly launched cooperative exploration game devoid of combat. That’s right — no combat. She’ll begin life as a tree-being and be shaped (literally) by whatever she discovers as she goes along. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to experience this beautiful world and for a chance to win a copy of the game for yourself.

What: Wander
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 4th, 2015

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Revival devs talk character creation, whaling, and more

Revival’s latest newsletter is essential reading if you’ve missed any of the fantasy sandbox’s developer updates over the past month. Illfonic links back to missives on whaling, the mercenary life, farming, and arena combat.

Illfonic also says that the month of May included progress on the game’s character creation system, which is ” designed to give players the freedom to create a look that they genuinely identify with, while keeping their appearance in line with their heritage and their physique in tune with their stats.”

Source: Newsletter


Ascent adds ‘full disembark’ to colonies, lots more

Have you been keeping up with Ascent: The Space Game lately? I haven’t, and shame on me because an interesting round of updates hit the sci-fi sandbox title over the past week. One of the more notable feature adds is the ability to fully disembark from your ship at colonies. “Now you can travel around the transport grid network of your colony, meet your own colonists at an entertainment center, and even hire them as crew or to fly ships with you,” developer Fluffy Kitten Studios says in its Steam notes.

The dev team has also fixed a laundry list of bugs and upgraded to a new version of the Unity game engine.

Source: Steam; thanks ageofmyth!


Heroes & Generals’ Vasilevsky patch tweaks melee and adds assault team morale

Reto-Moto has updated its Heroes & Generals FPS with the Vasilevsky update. The patch includes improved melee mechanics, optimized visual effects, weapon tweaks, and “deeper gameplay for generals with a new morale system for assault teams, new combat badges and ribbons, and much more,” according to a new press release.

The dev team has also released a seven-minute summary video for the patch. You can view it after the break.

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Tree of Life persecutes thieves and stymies griefers

Since landing on Steam early access last week, Tree of Life has been patching frequently and furiously. The team is not only working on the underlying hardware but also adding several features to make players feel safe and secure in this sandbox.

Now players can lock up their goods in an effort to thwart robbers. And if those thieves abscond with hard-earned materials? Why, they’ll find themselves branded a criminal (apparently, stealing didn’t trigger this before now). The team also fixed a bug that allowed the worst of the worst evil players to shed their criminal status by being bad for 600 hours.

Other changes that have arrived include improved walls to shut out griefers and a nerf to the destructive efforts of the wildlife.

Source: Steam #1, #2, #3. Thanks to Sorenthaz for the tip!


EVE is getting a bunch of new ship skins this summer

CCP’s dev blogs are usually pretty wordy. It makes sense, given EVE Online’s complexity, but occasionally it’s nice to see some pretty pictures from the sci-fi sandbox title as opposed to walls of text.

Such is the case with today’s post featuring ship skins. Don’t fret because there’s some verbiage, too, but basically the take-away is that there are a lot of new ship skins coming to New Eden this summer and there are a lot of pretty pictures of said skins available for your perusal at the link below.

Source: Dev blog


Star Trek Online’s Lohlunat Festival kicks off

Summer fun starts now in Star Trek Online, as the annual Lohlunat Festival kicks off for another year of flying around, riding powerboards, and building sand castles. The sand castles are very important. As always, the event brings captains back to Risa for several minigames and according rewards, with a new Ferengi ship serving as the ultimate reward.

The Ferengi Nandi warship is a new Tier 6 design with a new metaphasic shield console and a list of Destroyer traits, including the brand-new Greedy Emitters trait. It’s kitted out for fast turns and a wealth of tactical consoles, with its four fore and aft weapons allowing it firepower in both directions. So if you want a new Ferengi ship or just can’t wait to start building those aforementioned sand castles, get into the game and on your way to Risa.


Marvel Heroes adds Doctor Doom, free heroes for everyone, and more

As I tried to log into Marvel Heroes this afternoon, I ran afoul of the 6 GB patch that Gazillion pushed out to Steam users today. Fortunately there’s a lot of good stuff in this update, including plenty of birthday gifts for you the player in celebration of the game’s anniversary month.

This week Gazillion is treating gamers to version 2.0 of the team-up system, the launch of Dr. Doom, permanent retcons, and more. Next week, everyone gets a free (pre-Doctor Doom) hero of his or her choice! You can read all the details via the patch notes.

Source: Forums


Iron Realms creates user-friendly MUD client

It’s easy for the modern MMO gamer to be put off by multi-user dungeons (MUDs), what with their lack of graphical frills and their overabundance on pesky words. However, for a subset of gamers and developers, there’s still a very special magic that takes place in the realm of MUDs, and one company isn’t giving up on trying to draw in new players.

Iron Realms Entertainment has announced that it has developed a new HTML5 client to serve as a bridge between the text-based core of its MUDs and the modern graphical overlays gamers are used to seeing. The client works on PC browsers, on tablets, and conditionally on smaller devices as well.

“We’ve made it somewhat easier for new players to overcome the learning curve inherent in a text game so they can discover the truly deep and broad worlds that we’ve built,” Iron Realms said. The studio has a stable of five MUDs and has been in operation since 1997.


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