announced this afternoon that Star Trek Online
will drop the Reckoning update
on console players next month on April 18th -- that's a pretty quick clip for console players, who just got Agents of Yesterday mid-February
. Heck, PC players only just got Reckoning in January
. What's in it? A brand-new-to-you featured episode, the new crafting school, two Tzenkethi-themed space queues, and the new space battlezone.
"Season 12 – Reckoning centers around the new featured episode, Of Signs and Portents. Captains will join the Lukari on a mission to investigate weaponized use of protomatter in a new region of the Alpha Quadrant. Further evidence leads them to the Tzenkethi, a highly intelligent, militant species who plan on using the deadly substance to build a bomb capable of wiping out entire planets. Teaming up with legendary Klingon General Rodek (voiced by actor Tony Todd), the Alliance must find a way to stop the Tzenkethi from enacting a potentially cataclysmic attack. Season 12 also unlocks expansive new content for players to discover, including the Lukari Restoration Reputation, the new Kits and Modules Research School, a full space battlezone and two new space queues, Gravity Kills and The Tzenkethi Front."
Don't forget there's a double experience bonus event running this weekend!
Thanks to this past week's introduction of a free-to-play model, Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade saw a massive jump in its player population. The team reports that concurrency doubled practically overnight while daily active users tripled to 44,619.
While this is certainly a cause for celebration among the team, the huge influx of players caused some technical issues that required a weekend of hard work to sort out. There's still more to be done, as some guild services and the world map are being reworked to accommodate the larger crowd.
The team also said that it's making a few adjustments to its Steam offerings, such as bundling together the four DLCs into a single purchasable package. Also: "Steam is working on the giftable version of the game for all players that bought the game before we launched the free version. Apparently, this is not straightforward but we'll figure out something, or an equivalent."
When I add news to our newsroom for our reporters to pick up, I often add links that just say "such-and-such a game exists" -- because just existing is what's new, or at least new to us. Today, we had three of those, and I'm combining them all for this quick look at three MMOs and orbiting games that you've probably never heard of: Age of Rivals, Lothgar Online, and Little War Online.
Lothgar Online (Asylumsoft) launched yesterday. Let me warn you upfront: If you aren't into retro pixel graphics and hardcore gameplay, you probably won't like this MMO. The devs, who are also the folks behind the similarly styled Elderlands, call it an "Online RPG built in a classic style, paying homage to 1980s RPGs," and yes, that means PvP, corpse looting, and attunement in addition to a giant world, guilds, skills, and questing. On the other hand? There's no cash shop either. Old school isn't always a bad thing! (via Reddit)
There's certainly a lot to digest in the most recent Project Genom newsletter, although perhaps the most important item is buried all of the way at the end. The team said that despite getting asked about it a lot, it simply does not know when the next big update will be pushed out to the game. Perhaps in the first half of this year, but no promises.
Even so, it sounds as if the game is making terrific progress as of late. The team listed several accomplishments, including multi-racial female heads, more polish to the world around the main camp, a futuristic tow truck that you can drive, NPC animations and the final integration of the male model. The team is asking the community about whether or not NPCs should follow a day/night cycle in their activities, even if it interferes with quest pickup and delivery.
Who needs wings or a fancy mount to experience the fun of flight in an MMORPG? Upcoming Moonlight Blade will give every player clearance for take-off, granted that they've reached level 50 and have a supply of flight potions.
As Steparu investigated, flying in Moonlight Blade looks pretty neat, with each class sporting their own unique animations while zipping through the air like Iron Man. There's a lot of flames, twisting about, and generally looking cool as all get out. But you really do want to make sure you have enough pots on hand, because it would stink to find yourself plummeting to your doom or having to hoof it back to civilization on your own two feet.
Need to see it for yourself? Check out the videos after the break and see if you don't feel your excitement level rising a bit for this Chinese import!
Legends of Aria is shaking things up from the old Shards Online paradigm. In addition to the name change and broader focus, the fantasy title announced that it is going to adopt a "more conventional MMO testing platform" going forward.
"Future play-tests will now be conducted in phases of focused testing, geared towards specific areas of gameplay in preparation for final implementation," Citadel Studios said in this week's newsletter. "To accommodate the need for extra testing periods, our Steam launch will coincide with the release of the Legends of Aria Beta instead of Alpha 2."
The current Alpha 1 test will conclude on March 26th, to be followed by Alpha 2's start on April 28th. The team said that its taken a shine to the concept of a single large official server (in addition to the private ones) and that it will start to talk about all of the changes in store for Legends of Aria on March 31st in a new development blog.
If players or guilds are going to put the effort in purchasing and building up a castle in Gloria Victis, they are going to be rewarded with one fine-looking structure. Thanks to this past week's alpha patch, the biggest building in each of the six main settlements has received new and improved models for the keep's final form.
The patch contains an additional hodge-podge of changes, including the ability to interact with non-dialogue NPCs, bigger buffs for countries being dominated by others, and smiths that sell better wares than before.
The team also reported that it is continuing to work on making combat look and feel better: "We know, that combat/animations overhaul is long overdue and community is getting impatient, to say the least. So, just a quick heads up for you guys: we are polishing. It’s a long, yet rewarding process, as we are tweaking little details over and over again to exterminate bugs and make sure it feels great to roam and fight."
This week CCP Games
announced that some big changes are on the way for PLEX
in EVE Online
. The PLEX or "30-day Pilot's License EXtension" is a virtual item that represents 30 days of subscription time and can be bought for cash and then sold to other players for in-game ISK. This simple mechanic has proven to be one of the most important innovations in the subscription MMO business model over the years, allowing players with lots of in-game wealth to effectively play for free while permitting cash-rich players to buy in-game currency without funding dodgy farming operations that can disrupt the game world. Dozens of games now support some kind of player-mediated currency roughly like PLEX
The proposed changes are intended to simplify EVE's business model by merging PLEX with the microtransaction currency Aurum. Players will also be able to put their PLEX into invulnerable account-wide PLEX Vaults that are accessible at all times rather than having to move the valuable items manually by ship. There's been significant backlash from the EVE community over the newfound invulnerability of PLEX, plans to delete some microtransaction currency from the game without compensation, and the possibility that someone leaked the announcement to friends early in order to make a profit. So what's the deal with these PLEX changes, and why are some EVE players going nuts over them?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the upcoming changes to the safety of PLEX, the opportunities that more granular PLEX could have for EVE, and why players are up in arms over plans to delete Aurum from thousands of accounts.
While it's certainly tempting to focus on Camelot Unchained's progress in creating weeds (or as the devs put it, "the unsung heroes of the grass plains"), the star of this week's newsletter is most definitely the game's improved animated stances.
"We’ve been talking quite a bit about the progress we’re making on the new animation system, which has allowed us to see some of these assets for the very first time," Mark Jacobs wrote. "The other exciting thing is that characters now use the appropriate animation within their stance, per the weapon(s) they have equipped."
For a look at some of these stances, some environmental scenes, and, yes, the thrill-a-minute weeds, check out the new screenshots from the following gallery.
If you decided to eschew the purchase of a reasonably priced car in favor of buying your way to a pretend throne in a video game, you would probably want assurance that your money would be well-spent. But what if loads of other players tried to buy their way to the top too? What if there were too many kings? What if you couldn't feel superior for having blown so much cash?
Soulbound Studios is dealing with the increased demand for Chronicles of Elyria's $10,000 monarchies by putting a fixed cap on the number of kingdoms (and hence, monarchs) for each of its planned four servers. The new number for this "pay-to-rule" is six: six monarchs ruling over six kingdoms per shard (with 12 dukes per kingdom and 24 counts per duchy).
It has been an odd and not altogether happy ride for The Repopulation, but the good news is that the game is back into a playable state. It's also the exact same game from when it got shut down, so if you were expecting some huge changes, you will be somewhat disappointed. And, you know, there's the whole change in ownership that's left a bad taste in many people's mouths. Still, it's online!
Other beta stuff also happened this week as it turns out. Which is good and hopefully will be less depressing. Let's see.
- Dark & Light is promising special mounts for faction leaders, so that's pretty cool! That's uplifting! And it's also... delayed once again, this time until summer. So slightly less than uplifting. Darn it.
- Shall we check in on SMITE Rivals? Perhaps that game will be more... oh, wait, that game's development has been put on hold indefinitely, which doesn't rhyme with "cancelled" but has a lot of the same syllables.
- Even Dual Universe has managed to contract Disappointment Fever by pushing back its first testing until September, so that's not fun.
- Now, for some genuinely happier news: Trove has fully launched on consoles, allowing all of the pixel-esque building and blasting you could want on your television.
- The first closed beta for LawBreakers has gone live with a massive patch, for all the shoot-shoot bang-bang you could want.
- Paragon celebrated a full year of early access with a big patch and a new hero, as well. It's almost like a normal anniversary.
Some of that still found a way to be sort of a downer, huh? Well, you can check out the full list of games in testing below, perhaps that will bring you more joy. As always, let us know if something hopped test phases in the comments! We're trying to get rid of all the cash shops that take your money in supposed beta tests, but they're remarkably resilient. Some of us suspect there's a hive.
Now that Life is Feudal has turned on the power to its closed beta program, more players than ever before are getting to see what this medieval sandbox MMO looks like first-hand. For the rest of us there are always screenshots, those tantalizing glimpses into this developing game world.
The studio released a baker's dozen of new pictures from the game this week to show that this world isn't just bland designs and colors. In fact, from the looks of these shots, Life is Feudal is shaping up to be a nice-looking title, with interesting vistas, natural-looking scenery, and even a giant sword in the stone. See for yourself below!
Source: Press release
Even hulking, skilled, or savvy beast hunters have a weak spot, and that weak spot is the inner need to preen and show off for the rest of the crowd. To show that they are the special peacocks with the brightest and shiniest of tail feathers. To fly into the imaginations of... OK, this metaphor got away from me.
Anyway, this is just to say that the fantasy co-op game Dauntless will feature a robust cosmetic system complete with transmog options: "Slayers with an eye for fashionable accessories will also discover rare cosmetic equipment. While these items don’t have the combat prowess of behemoth-forged armour, they do make a great impression."
Customization in Dauntless doesn't just end at armor, however. Players will also have the opportunity to select different kinds of banners and flares to make their mark on the world as they journey through it. Some of these will be available through in-game activities, with others sold through the cash shop.