Defiance switches up leads while ArcheAge and RIFT elaborate on game worlds

Trick Dempsey is out as Defiance’s creative lead, but he’s pleased to pass the project on to his successor: Carble Cheung. Cheung has been with the team since 2013 and has grand plans for Defiance going forward. “Speaking of the future: ‘YES!’ we are planning for Season 3 and beyond,” he said. “This includes updates to arkfalls, sieges, expeditions, and more.”

In other Trion Worlds news, ArcheAge posted a dev diary about the Ayanad Library and RIFT spent time interviewing Lead Content Designer Julia Fleming. Fleming did drop a not-so-subtle hint about one change coming with Patch 3.2: “One of the Senior Designers (Tacitus) and I have been talking a lot about improving some of the INSTANT aspects of the game, especially those related to ADVENTURE. He’s got some interesting plans on how to make the current system more engaging for players of all levels — and a few surprises as well.”

[Source: Defiance, ArcheAge, RIFT. Thanks to Celestial for the tip!]

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Star Citizen developers respond to feedback on Rental Equipment Credits

When Star Citizen recently announced its plans to sell temporary rental equipment this week, the online response was pretty mixed. While most backers seemed happy with the idea of adding some much-needed progression to the Arena Commander dogfighting module, questions were raised as to how much grinding would be involved, why equipment needs to be temporary, and how the rental will eventually tie into the main game. In response to feedback, Star Citizen producer Travis Day and tech designer Calix Reneau joined this week’s episode of Around the Verse to discuss the thought process behind the system’s design and answer some player feedback.

As Reneau explains it, the REC system was developed because the Arena Commander developers were adding cool new pieces of equipment but they were generally lost on people. The goal behind the REC system is to let players set equipment goals and then spend a few hours working toward accomplishing them. This turns Arena Commander into a place where players can earn new equipment and test out certain ship builds before buying the equipment in the main game or the online persistent shard. Clarifying how the duration system will work, Reneau explains that each item will come with seven days of usage, which can be activated one day at a time. For more details, check out Reneau and Day’s in-deph discussion of the REC system in the video below.

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Camelot Unchained teases alpha start, ‘major feature’

Yesterday’s Camelot Unchained update delivered quite a bit of good news to fans of the fantasy RvR sandbox. City State boss Mark Jacobs revealed the fourth iteration of the pre-alpha test checklist, several items of which have already been addressed, leaving the dev team in a good spot relative to its end-of-the-month alpha goal.

Jacobs says that potential snags may still delay the alpha launch a week or two, but he does promise “one major feature that wasn’t expected to be in until this summer” for the kickoff. “It is safe to say that by the time summer comes along, that major feature will be a lot further along than we thought it would be based on our last year’s schedule,” Jacobs writes.

[Source: Afternoon update. Thanks Amber!]

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WoW’s Iron Docks have been delayed to patch 6.2

Are you looking forward to the Iron Docks quests in World of Warcraft‘s patch 6.1? Even though they haven’t been mentioned in any patch notes or by developers or shown any signs of materializing? Because despite what was expected by players, they’re not in there. Community manager Bashiok confirmed that the Iron Docks, which were expected to be a new quest hub centering around Blackrock Foundry, have been moved to patch 6.2. He also took the time to stress that this is simply a quest chain, not a hub or any “substantial content.”

Player reaction has been intensely negative, with patch 6.1 and the current expansion already meeting with significant critique on the lack of meaningful content at the level cap. The changes coming to Apexis Crystals may serve to ameliorate some of the frustration, but it’s still easy to feel a bit slighted by the absence of new content in this patch. But on the bright side, you will be able to post to Twitter with your updated Blood Elf models whilst you explore the same content that has been in place since the expansion launch.

[Source: Twitter, Forums, Gearing up with Apexis Crystals, via: Blizzard Watch]

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Old School RuneScape releases permanent F2P servers

Originally released back in 2001 when the MMO genre was in its infancy, browser MMO RuneScape has endured through over a decade of development and two complete game reboots. Today’s RuneScape bears little resemblance to the game many of us grew up with, and naturally not everyone thinks the game has been changed for the better. In an effort to please players of all kinds, developer Jagex has experimented over the years with re-opening old versions of the game in a limited fashion through a handful of retro servers.

The most successful of these experiments is Old School RuneScape, a relaunch of 2004’s RuneScape 2 release that boasts healthy player numbers and celebrates its second birthday this Sunday. Jagex has always had to charge a monthly membership fee for access to the game in order to keep the servers running and pay for support staff, but that’s all changed as of today!

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The Daily Grind: Are you optimistic about WildStar’s future?

I’m sure this won’t serve as a grand surprise to anyone reading this, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of WildStar ever since we saw NCsoft’s financials last week. While it’s all well and good to try and cast the news as a positive by pointing out that it’s nearing the range of City of Heroes in terms of revenue, it behooves us to remember that CoH was unceremoniously shut down. Considering the hostile takeover NCsoft is facing, I think it’s enough to start one seriously thinking about the future.

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The Division is on track for a 2015 release

Getting your next Tom Clancy gaming fix shouldn’t be too hard this year. Ubisoft announced this past week that The Division will be coming out in 2015 in addition to Rainbow Six Siege.

Of course, you might not even know much about this open-world online RPG yet, which is understandable. If that’s the case, then there’s an excellent 12-minute “everything we know” overview video after the break that sums up the progress and features of this post-apocalyptic military title.

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APB: Reloaded improving server tech for console launches

Twitch reflexes are all for naught if an MMO’s servers are super-laggy, which is why the APB: Reloaded team is dedicating itself to the task of bringing better tech online in order to improve gameplay performance and prepare for the upcoming console launches

As part of this effort, the team is looking into potential cloud hosting solutions and is improving European servers to match their US counterparts. The team announced that this switch is imminent: “The good news: We are launching the final ‘Gen 2’ servers for testing in the EU later this week!”

When APB does release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the servers will be divided into three US and three EU worlds, one for each platform per region (PC, XBox One, and PS4). The server improvements will allow for even more players to congregate on a single world.

[Source: APB blog]

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The Stream Team: MOBA madness

It’s Thursday night, which means it’s too early to start partying but too late to start caring about work. Instead, join MassivelyOP’s Mike Foster as he jumps into a MOBA double-header featuring League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm. The right-clicking starts at 7:00 p.m. EST on OPTV.

What: League of Legends/Heroes of the Storm
Who: Mike Foster
When: 7:00p.m. EST on Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Enjoy the show!

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Marvel Heroes to start selling limited edition costumes

One of Marvel Heroes’ big money makers is the game’s sale of iconic costumes for player heroes. In addition to creating and selling normal costumes, Marvel Heroes will begin rolling out limited edition costume variants this Saturday.

The first batch includes three costumes: Winter Soldier Movie (Maskless Variant), Hawkeye Hawkguy (Sweatpants Variant), and Star-Lord Movie (Headphones Variant). As the “limited” implies, there will only be a certain number of these on sale, and once they are sold out, they will be gone forever. Each costume comes with a special power (to display the limited edition seal), an emote, and a title.

The forums have been awash with heated debate over whether or not this is a good idea, with the topic pushing to 96 pages thus far. Will artificial scarcity plus sweatpants equal big profits for Marvel Heroes? Stay tuned and see.

Update: Gazillion announced that the costume variants will no longer be limited editions, but will be sold for a limited time (two weeks) with a price matching guarantee if it ever reappears in the store.

[Source: Marvel Heroes forums, update. Thanks to Paul and Markillion for the tip!]

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EVE Online tests potentially revolutionary tutorial replacement

Throughout its over 10-year life span, EVE Online has always been regarded as having an insane learning curve. New players are dropped into the sandbox at the deep end, confronted by a complicated user interface and gameplay that is very different to anything else in the MMO genre. A common refrain among players is the fact that they had to try the game two or three times before it finally clicked, meaning the new game experience could use some improvement. The developers at CCP Games have made huge strides in overhauling the user interface in recent years, and the game’s tutorial has been overhauled several times, but they’re not finished yet.

At last year’s EVE Online Fanfest, developers revealed the early stages of a potentially revolutionary new feature called Opportunities that they hoped would eventually replace the in-game tutorial with a more immersive experience. It was little more than a vague concept at Fanfest 2014, but this week the first prototype of the finished gameplay has made its way into public testing. Players who log into EVE‘s test server Singularity will find the feature available for testing and can provide feedback on the test server forums. Read on for a brief breakdown of how the new feature works.

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Skyforge’s guilds will offer stat bonuses, sub-guilds, and housing

From the sound of Skyforge’s first dev diary on pantheons (guilds), it sounds as though joining a group of players will be a near-mandatory move, especially if you want to reap the benefits of cool features like stat bonuses or special missions.

Pantheons will be easy to create but will require effort and resources to grow in its capabilities. One interesting feature is that guild leaders can create several clans to function as sub-guilds that officers oversee in order to share the load of leadership.

Individuals can benefit from being part of a pantheon by receiving character stat bonuses, special missions, and useful items. Pantheons can build up their own bases (strongholds) and participate in wars with other pantheons.

[Source: Welcome to the Pantheon!]

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Trion Worlds weathers DDoS assault

If you’ve been having a hard time logging into one of Trion Worlds’ games today, you can thank DDoS instigators for that.

On both the ArcheAge and Defiance forums, the team said that Trion’s servers are currently under attack. “The North American servers are experiencing crashes due to a DDoS attack pointed at our Dallas center,” the team posted. “This instability is unrelated to this morning’s maintenance. We’re in the process of getting the affected servers back online.”

[Source: ArcheAge forums, Defiance forums]

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