WildStar outlines its PvP seasons as the first season ends

The next major patch for WildStar is bringing the end of a season of PvP. Did you know you were taking part in the first PvP season? Quite possibly not. But with the one-year anniversary of the game’s launch looming just over the horizon, the first season is ending; personal and team ratings will be wiped, with the highest-rated teams earning special titles to show off for bragging rights.

This announcement comes along with a fairly detailed breakdown of the game plan for future seasons, as well, starting with “floors” for rating brackets – below a rating of 400 you can’t lose any rating, and every subsequent increment of 400 introduces a floor that you cannot fall below. So once you hit 1200, no matter how many times you lose, you can’t drop below 1200. There’s also an in-depth system of planned rewards; you can check out the full breakdown for more details as the next patch ushers in a transitional time before season 2 starts up properly.

[Source: Goodbye Season 1, Hello Season 1.5]

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Shards Online prepares for pre-alpha test on May 9th

Shards Online is preparing to give players a brief taste of its future potential, as Citadel Studios is planning on a pre-alpha test to run on May 9th at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The playtest is one of several announcements in the April newsletter, as the team mentioned that it’s implemented a day/night cycle and finished the prototype for the metalsmithing and salvaging skills.

The game also has a new executive producer — and he is in love with the game’s modding potential. The new EP is Brett Robinson, formerly of Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online, and FusionFall, and in the newsletter he talked about what’s thrilling him about Shards’ potential.

“I have had a chance to tinker with modding, and even in pre-alpha and without our full spectrum of planned tools I am amazed at how powerful and flexible it is,” Robinson said. “The ability to completely mod the game from top to bottom to create your own unique Shards to experience is going to be one of SO’s most exciting and powerful facets.”

[Source: April Newsletter]

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An aircraft spotter’s guide to GTA Online, part one

I love airplanes. I love the Grand Theft Auto series. A big reason I love the Grand Theft Auto series is its airplanes, and more specifically, the way they’re basically comic book analogues of real-world craft. GTA has always been more of an arcade game than a sim, at least when it comes to control inputs, but developer Rockstar has nonetheless done a bang-up job with what I like to call pseudo-realism.

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World of Warcraft guides players to the jungle, enters the hall of fame

The opening moments of World of Warcraft‘s most recent expansion involve an assault on the Iron Horde’s base of operations, the Tanaan Jungle. Now, for patch 6.2, players are headed back to the jungle to take on the full might of the Iron Horde and knock them down once and for all. There will be vicious wildlife, quest hubs, enemies to kill, and new chapter-based quests to really put paid to everything started so far within the game’s storyline.

Outside of the game itself, World of Warcraft was announced as one of 15 finalists for the Strong National Museum of Play’s Video Game Hall of Fame. That puts it alongside titles including Tetris, The Oregon Trail, and Pac-Man. Considering the impact that the game has had on games in general and MMOs in particular, it seems appropriate.

[Source: Tanaan Jungle preview, 2015 World Video Game Hall of Fame Finalists via Blizzard Watch]

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A guide to building and using your kingdom in Crowfall

Crowfall‘s individual campaign worlds are intended to be reset over time. That’s by design; each world will flourish, then wither, then die. But the game still has a perpetual element in the form of eternal kingdoms, and a great deal of information about these never-ending spaces of personal land has just been revealed by the development team.

If players want to focus on customizing their lands and structures, there’s plenty of opportunity to do exactly that; several different sorts of structures and the like can be added to the expandable kingdom region. Of course, doing so requires resources that are found in campaign worlds, meaning that players either have to brave those tumultuous regions themselves or pay others who are willing to do so. Check out the full piece for more details on making a kingdom in the game that can stand the test of time.

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Eternal Crusade lead level designer is the latest in a string of desertions

Eternal Crusade seems to have a retention problem with its employees, as Lead Level Designer Steven Lumpkin just became the latest of a series of devs who have left the project this year.

Lumpkin announced that he is leaving Behaviour Interactive for another game studio: “In a week, I will be departing my role as Lead Level Designer on Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. I feel gratified to have worked with this team for the past two years, and they’re well positioned to deliver a strong founder’s access. I look forward to battling alongside you all when it gets into our hands later this year.”

When he departs, Lumpkin will join the ranks of fellow ex-Eternal Crusade developers Studio Head Miguel Caron and Lead Programmer Patrick Balthazar, both of whom have left in the past few months.

[Source: TwitLonger, official forums]

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The Daily Grind: When should MMO devs just stop tweaking?

Yesterday’s reveal of Lord of the Rings Online’s legendary item imbuing system struck me as a promising show of faith from the devs but nevertheless a truly terrible idea because they’re just building a new house on top of a shaky foundation (LIs, not the game). It reminded me of something I once read from a very clever Ultima Online player a few years ago on the news that the veteran game was getting yet another item-fussing system intended to balance the last one:

“Why stop with Enhancing, Imbuing, Reforging, and Refining? They should add Improving, Spiffing, Refracting, Adjusting, Tweaking, and Twerking too, each with one or two hundred random items and math problems to solve. Just keep piling on crap until the system collapses under its own weight and we all end up in GM-crafted armor again because no one knows what’s good anymore.”

I am glad Turbine is doing something about LIs, I really am. But if LOTRO’s legendary item system is so broken, why not just gut it or delete it? Why create yet another potentially flawed system to patch its problems? Why do MMO devs, especially the ones working on older games, keep falling into that trap — why can’t they just stop touching it?

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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The Stream Team: Clubbing Tokyo-style in The Secret World

It’s crunch time! The Secret World‘s Issue #11: Reaping the Whirlwind is launching next week, and MassivelyOP’s MJ still hasn’t found the White Rabbit! That means she’s got to wrap up Issue #10 as quick as she can in order to be ready for the conclusion of the Tokyo story arc. With Justin along to help (or is that hinder?) her progress, MJ aims to unmask that murderer tonight. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as the duo adventures through the Fear Nothing Clubhouse, hot on the trail of that elusive bad bunny. Warning: story spoilers ahead!

What: The Secret World
Who: MJ Guthrie & Justin Olivetti
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 30th, 2015

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Massively Overthinking: Are boutique MMOs the future?

This week’s Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor Taemys, who just so happens to be a guildie of mine. He’s clever, and so is his concern:

“Are all the smaller, ’boutique’ MMO’s the future? To put it another way, do you think we’ll see anything as big as World of Warcraft or EverQuest again?”

I put his questions to the Massively OP writers, who as usual were happy to overthink them!

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Darkfall dev clarifies ‘personal’ pre-Unholy Wars poll

A Darkfall developer recently caused a bit of a stir by posting an informal poll on Reddit that asked whether or not fans would be interested in the pre-Unholy Wars version of the fantasy sandbox. Axilmar has since clarified his intentions with a forum post that says his poll was a personal exercise done to satisfy his curiosity.

“Yes, we still are working on Darkfall Unholy Wars and don’t intend to stop,” he said. An economy/inventory patch is scheduled to go live in approximately three weeks “if there are no serious technical regressions.”

[Source: Aventurine forums]

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Alganon is coming to Steam on May 5

Remember Alganon? It’s still alive and kicking, and it’s probably about to get a player infusion since it’s heading to Steam on May 5th. The game’s latest expansion, Rise of the Ourobani, added a new playable race, a new leveling experience on the continent of Aeon, flying mounts, and mercenary companions that players can hire to help them in combat.

Alganon’s April newsletter also mentions a one-shot comic book as well as a fix to some of the bugs that cropped up with the expansion’s launch.

[Source: April newsletter; thanks Zariarn!]

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Marvel Heroes adds achievements and Vision

Life is moving ever-faster for Marvel Heroes. Not only is the game currently in the grips of the movie tie-in Avengers Assemble event, but now it’s added an achievement system for those who love to chase higher and higher numbers. This new system isn’t pure epeen boosting, as some of the achievements will unlock usable rewards such as titles and pets.

Players have plenty of other content to check out as well. There’s the Ultron challenge for level 60 heroes and the addition of Vision to the roster. Vision is a ranged character with 24 powers spread across three trees: density control, solar power, and android. You can see him (it?) in action after the break!

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Smedley: We will support EQ and EQII ‘for the very long haul’

“I firmly believe the days of the WoW-style MMO are over,” Daybreak’s John Smedley told GI.biz earlier this week. Apparently that ruffled a few feathers in Norrath, since Smedley felt compelled to clarify the remark on Reddit this afternoon.

“Don’t mistake that comment for me not believing in raiding or knowing that there are a ton of people that play MMOs that still absolutely love to do it! We also plan on continuing to support EQ, and EQ2 for the very long haul and providing exactly the kind of cool content our players have expected. None of that is changing.

However, when we’re choosing what new games to make we’re focused on games with shorter average session lengths. Why? Because that’s the way the gaming world has evolved and we need to adapt.”

[Source: Reddit; thanks Kinya!]

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