Offer your feedback on Skyforge in a new survey

As Skyforge ramps up for its next closed beta test, the developers are eager to know what can be done to make the game better. How can you answer that question? Why, by taking a survey on the official site. Take some time, click some options, make for a better game experience all around!

“But what’s in it for me?” you ask. And we’re glad you did because there might be something in it for you; the developers are giving away the ultimate $70 founder’s pack to 20 random people who take the survey. So it’s really all upside if you’re interested in the game, unless you already have the founder’s pack, in which case you’re probably invested enough that just getting your opinions heard is probably reward enough.

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LOTRO musicians prepare for Weatherstock VII

For seven years now, it’s been a tradition among the Lord of the Rings Online community to assemble at the summit of the iconic Weathertop and throw a player concert to end all player concerts. Well, that time is drawing nigh, and Weatherstock VII is coming on July 25th.

Subtitled “A night of stars,” Weatherstock VII is hosted by the Lonely Mountain Band kinship on the Landroval server and will feature 10 bands performing using LOTRO’s music system. While band registration is closed, anyone can plan to attend in July and cast a vote for their favorite performance. The sponsors will offer protective escorts to lowbies and hand out all sorts of treats.

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ARK: Survival Evolved launches today on Steam early access

Before you go see Jurassic World this summer, why not experience it yourself? The dino-hunting simulator, ARK: Survival Evolved, launches today on Steam early access.

The team said that it will be hard at work addressing bugs, dealing with optimization issues, and quickly patching improvements into the game. The devs hope that this alpha release won’t scare fans off: “Even in this first early access build, it can take hundreds of hours to explore the mechanics and depth of content, burrowing deep into the foundations of the ARK and up above the clouds.”

ARK throws players onto an island populated by dinosaurs and challenges them to survive and thrive in that environment. The multiplayer shooter will eventually be branching out to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and it plans to release in summer 2016.

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Voxelnauts gets Greenlit, posts a new Kickstarter video

Looking forward to playing Voxelnauts? So are lots of people on Steam, it appears; as the game approaches the halfway point in its Kickstarter campaign, it’s successfully been greenlit. It’s good news for everyone hoping to nab the game via that popular service and a good sign of the title’s positive word of mouth thus far.

There are 17 days remaining in the crowdfunding campaign as of this writing, with the total goal a little under halfway. To reward backers and onlookers alike, the team has released a new video showing off the game’s teleportation, which you can check out just below.

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A guide to Heroes of the Storm for MOBA newbies and MMORPG fans

So you’ve heard about MOBAs by now, right? Maybe you tried League of Legends, or the idea behind DOTA 2 was too confusing to inspire a download. Now there’s this Heroes of the Storm thing coming out and you find yourself oddly excited (or being badgered by friends to get in game). Plus, it’s Blizzard, and you can’t pass up a Blizzard game. What’s an MMO fan to do?

Worry not, dear reader! As someone who has played quite a few MOBAs, I’m here to give you a quick rundown of the genre, how Heroes of the Storm works, and some tips on surviving and thriving in the game.

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Infinite Crisis is shutting down on August 14th

DC-themed superhero MOBA Infinite Crisis is shutting down on August 14th, according to an announcement posted on the front page of Turbine’s official site.

After much deliberation, we regret to announce the official shutdown of Infinite Crisis. We will end development efforts today and will close the service on August 14, 2015.

Between now and August 14th, the game will remain available to play completely free. If you have any questions, contact Customer Service for assistance at http://support.infinitecrisis.com.

This was an extremely difficult decision to make. On behalf of the entire Infinite Crisis team we want to thank all of you for your feedback, support and for joining together to create one of the best communities in gaming.

The announcement is echoed on the official forums by Community Manager Celestrata. The game officially launched in March of this year after an extended testing period and impressed even MMORPG critics.

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Star Trek Online highlights summer events, addresses klesbiangate

Summer comes yet again, and while the distinction is kind of arbitrary in deep space, for those of us pretending to be in deep space in Star Trek Online it’s a good reason to head back to Risa for another summer event. This year’s rewards have been previewed on the official site, and it’s a mix of options for players to enjoy the sun and the beaches or take a bit of the tropical planet with them.

New powerboards are available, including one inspired by the passing of Leonard Nimoy earlier this year, along with new swimwear and floaters. Players can also pick up a new companion pet, a new floral shirt for off-duty outfits, and a set of kit modules for each of the three careers. So sit back, enjoy the beach, and take on some new challenges for fantastic leisure rewards.

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World of Warcraft’s Ashran expands to a new area in patch 6.2

If you’ve been taking part in the battles over Ashran in World of Warcraft, it’s understandable that you could be a little tired of the open PvP zone. That’s why the zone is getting a bit of an overhaul in patch 6.2, starting with a mechanical change that removes Conquest Point rewards from killing faction bosses and events. Instead, players will be awarded Conquest Points through new repeatable quests requesting some dead faction bosses and some event victories. It’s not functionally all that different, but there’s an added step.

The big addition, however, is the rush to the Ashran Excavation, which will pit both factions against one another in a race to collect more Apexis Marks of Redemption. Players are charged with cutting down Arakkoa ghosts to collect the marks, turning them in to a neutral ghost and collecting a powerful artifact for hitting 50 first. Take a look at the full preview for all of the details.

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ArcheAge’s server merges will spark another land rush

When ArcheAge first announced that there would be some sort of server consolidation, players were understandably nervous. Merges can be a messy business at the best of times, but when you have a game with limited land and a huge amount of pressure to get that land, there’s a very real fear that you might lose all of your land. The bad news is that in the official server evolution thread (and yes, they’re really just merges), Trion has confirmed that there will, in fact, be another land rush on the servers.

This comes on the heels of a castle-based issue that has been found in the game: When a castle is removed, it’s possible for another guild to immediately place a new castle on a different lodestone, even if players had already claimed the land around that (inactive) lodestone for personal use, creating a very real chance for players to lose their lands. With the importance of housing and the difficulty in getting land in ArcheAge, this is an issue that will need to be addressed sooner rather than later, certainly well before the server merges take place.

Source: Server Evolution thread, Castle issue thread; thanks to Someone for the tip!

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Guild Wars 2 teases a Ventari image

You have probably noticed by now that ArenaNet likes to be a bit cryptic with its Guild Wars 2 teasers. Case in point: a Ventari teaser image posted on Twitter yesterday with a tiny bit of lore text. What does that mean? Who knows!

Presumably the game’s staff know; they’re just not telling us yet. That’s the definition of cryptic.

Fan speculation has run between another Elite Specialization to a new Ventari legendary for the Revenant. Of course, it could just as easily be that Ventari’s come back from the dead somehow; it would fit with the same amount of information presented. Cryptic teases are just that. Enjoy speculating in the comments!

Source: Twitter via Dulfy; thanks to Siphaed for the tip!

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Crowfall supporters unlock localization stretch goal

Is English not your first language? If not, thanks for struggling through and reading our site anyway, and you can also take heart in the fact that Crowfall‘s latest stretch goal has been unlocked. That means localization for a variety of different languages, so even those for whom English isn’t a first language or who otherwise would be locked out of the game can log in and play.

Current plans are to localize the game in French, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, German, and Russian. The next stretch goal has also been announced: unlocking the Shadow World ruleset. Good news all around.

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The Daily Grind: How would you run an ethical MMO cash shop?

Today’s Daily Grind topic comes to us in a roundabout way from Kickstarter donor Le Entrepreneur, who asks,

Why do MMOs use cash shops they know hurt players?

There’s an easy answer to this — because money — but it’s worth exploring in more detail, I think. Cash shops in general, after all, don’t hurt players, but cash shops that exploit players’ desire to win or that tinker with lockboxes are deliberately preying on games’ weakest customers. On the one hand, it’s just business, but on the other, it makes me uncomfortable that whales — some of whom are just terrible with money, not actually wealthy — are subsidizing many of the MMOs we play.

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Not So Massively: Heroes of the Storm’s launch; Need for Speed’s online DRM

Nintendo’s quriky new online paint-battle game Splatoon officially launched this week to very positive reviews. Monster-battling game Moonrise entered early access and promises Pokémon-like online arena battles. EA revealed that the recently announced Need for Speed reboot will require an internet connection to play. Star Citizen‘s devs accidentally leaked secret assets from the game’s development, including hidden star systems and jump points on the game’s map. And Path of Exile revised the release estimate of its upcoming expansion from late June to early July.

League of Legends released new champion Ekko this week as part of a huge balance patch and revived the old Hexakill featured game mode. Heroes of the Storm announced plans for its official launch, including a live show, game livestreams, and a week-long XP bonus for players. Elite: Dangerous detailed a ton of additional improvements and features coming in its upcoming Powerplay update. And as the prize pool for Dota 2‘s upcoming world championship tournament broke the $10,000,000 mark, two Korean teams decided to spend over $13,000 flying to Singapore to lower their latency and increase their chances of qualifying.

Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively, and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for weekly updates!
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