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Camelot Unchained fleshes out books, clothes, and the new Dragonfang scenario

They aren’t dressing it up with “burndown” hoopla, but City State Entertainment’s devs are in just that kind of check-it-off testing mode with Camelot Unchained’s development as they push their way to the long-delayed beta one. In this week’s dev update, Tyler Rockwell explains that the team continues work on its template component system, the Dragonfang scenario and Place of Power maps, scenario automation, NPC tech, the world space UI, combat effects, lady clothes, armor animations, the patcher art, and skill buttons – although really they could’ve saved themselves a lot of trouble and just made a single I-win button, am I right?

Books are also on the agenda! “Jon began work sculpting out different Realm variations of books, the magic tomes a caster might use as a type of focus,” Rockwell says. “These, like our other weapons, are being designed to include interchangeable pieces that can be used in crafting.”

“We continue to push forward on the needs for Beta 1, while making improvements to not only combat, but also gameplay. This is part of our commitment, through the Dragon Circle concept, to provide our patient Backers with a more fun experience during testing, up to and into Beta 1.”

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Dragon of Legends starts Steam early access testing next week

It has been a long, long while in the coming, but gorgeous pixelart RPG Dragon of Legends is finally coming to the public stage next week. Thrive Games announced that the title will launch on Steam early access next Friday, December 15th.

Dragon of Legends is a Norse-themed 2-D action RPG with a retro style that ran a successful Kickstarter last year. It offers a lot of character customization, seven classes, and lots of hand-designed pixel art.

While the early access version will be single-player only, the team will be working on getting multiplayer functionality ready for the full launch version. Also planned between now and release are additional classes, Steam Workshop integration, and cross-platform play with mobile devices.

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Betawatch: There’s factions in them there hills of Wild West Online (December 8, 2017)

Let’s start with something that you probably already ascertained: Wild West Online is being delayed. It delayed its early access alpha, and that delay leads rather naturally into a delay for for full early access into 2018. But the good news for those who aren’t fond of free-for-all PvP is that the game appears to be moving to a factional PvP system instead of a free-for-all. So less like the hypothetical wild west and more like the actual wild west as it existed in history, then.

Meanwhile, the beta band plays on.

That got a bit sad toward the end, didn’t it? Let’s see if we can’t ameliorate that with a nice shiny list just below. Let us know about the tests you’re taking part in down in the comments, or just let us know if something has soft launched without us noticing it.

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Guardians of Ember needs your help to QA test its live update

Well, here’s a weird situation to be in as both a game and a player of said game. Guardians of Ember pushed out a sizable content update this week to the community — but did so as beta, as the team does not have the capability to perform full QA testing in the office.

“Why did we roll out the expansion as a beta?” the team asked. “Act VI is a big update and as a small team we need your help to QA it. We decided against a separate test server so not to split the population… but playing Act VI is completely optional and you could easily hold off until full release hopefully later this month.”

Act VI brings a level cap increase to 60, more maps, and legendary gear to this MMOARPG. The team also activated its Christmas event with special daily quests and a new mount.

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Ask Mo: Counting the hits and misses of our 2017 predictions

As we do every year, today we’re going to peer back into the depths of last year’s staff predictions for the genre and the games within it to determine just how we fared. After all, what would be the fun of making predictions if we couldn’t have a laugh at how wrong we were a year later? So let’s dig in and find out whether we nailed it or failed it!

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WoW Factor: Reconsidering the next few months of World of Warcraft

There’s a lot of information coming out about patch 7.3.5 at this point. Not everything, of course, and a lot of it is based more on datamining than actual stuff that has been announced. But it seems fair to say that World of Warcraft’s immediate future for the next lengthy expansion gap is on the test servers right now, and some of it is obvious while some pieces are… less so. And, if I might be so bold, it even gives us a pretty clear picture of the next few months right out of the gate.

Right now the live game is, obviously, focused on Antorus. That’s the focus for the actual gameplay, and the slow trickle of wings into the group finder are the big thing to do and look forward to until the whole of the content is available by January. For that matter, I think that part of the goal of the next month or so is to give people all the reason in the world to run and explore Antorus and see the story for themselves if they’re interested in having a personal stake in what happens next.

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Sea of Thieves announces March launch date for PC and Xbox One

Well this is a bit of welcome news before the year rounds out! Rare finally announced a launch date for Sea of Thieves: March 20th, 2018. That’s for both PC and Xbox One.

The announcement came in the form of a new trailer that gives a quick overview of the general gameplay and quirkiness that comes with this pirate title. We are especially excited about the quick bit where they showed a rapid succession of cosmetic outfits — because a buccaneer has to look fashionable, after all!

Pre-orders will get into a January five-day closed beta and secure a Black Dog pack for the live game. Get pumped up with the launch trailer below (and say hello to the chicken when you do so)!

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Escape from Tarkov preps massive New Year’s stress test ahead of 2018 open beta

Did you think Christmas came too early this year? One of my hobbies was already rolling out Valentine’s Day hoopla in August, so I feel you. Escape from Tarkov, however, has already moved on to New Year’s. We’ll let this one slide, however, since the game is focused on its open beta launch, so the New Year’s event is really a stress test that kicks off on December 28th and is intended to attract people who’ve never tested before. “Seven-day access to the game will be granted to a part of the players, who will be picked randomly among the total number of subscribers, with bias for those who have been registered earlier,” says the team.

Previous beta testers (and preorder purchasers, of course) will also pick up a pair of week-long access keys to hand out to their mates.

So what’s on the horizon for the game?

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Chronicles of Elyria to start taking name reservations next month

Thinking about reserving a character name in Chronicles of Elyria? It’s going to cost you, but if you’re willing to pony up the dough, you should be sitting pretty some time next month.

Soulbound Studios announced this week that it will start taking family surname reservations in January. The studio explained that this is more important than your typical MMO: “When you reserve a surname, that surname becomes a part of the game’s history. Every character is born to a family in Chronicles of Elyria, and it’s possible new characters will be born into your dynasty and will inherit your surname! Once you reserve a surname, no other player can claim it; it belongs to you, and you alone!”

There are some hoops to be jumped through in order to lock in your surname, however. You’ll need to either buy a minimum $135 pledge package by itself or unlock the a la carte store by buying a minimum $45 pledge package and then picking up the surname option for another $25 (so, $70 total). Additionally, surnames will be reserved according to player influence, so those with more in their account get dibs over the rest of the crowd.

Yeah, you’re probably not going to get “Stark” and “Baggins.” Sorry to break it to you.

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MU Online activates exclusive server while MU Legend hauls out the PvP

Here’s a two-for-one update on what’s going on with the MU universe of games. First up is MU Online, which just activated a new Eldorado server that offers exclusive access to a special city and the wealth of upgrades tucked inside.

The free-to-play MMO also rolled out Season 12: Part 2, a patch that contains 4th class quests and skill enhance trees, master skill tree renewal, a Deep Dungeon zone, and a handy quest guide. The studio is offering a free character boost for any players who clock at least an hour a day of playtime during a two-week window.

Over at MU Legend, the mobile MMO added 3v3 PvP to the game a month following the title’s open beta launch. The update also comes with cross-server functionality, which allows for a greater range of matches. Webzen said that this PvP update will help prepare the community for the upcoming guild wars, which will arrive at some point down the line.

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Conan Exiles might have to cut some PC features for launch

This week’s Conan Exiles newsletter covers some of the changes coming to the PC version (a plant-harvesting sickle!) and hints that the team might be cutting some of the planned features to get the title launch-ready.

“We’re reviewing the various features to look at what we’ll be able to implement, what needs to be scaled down and what, unfortunately, might need to be cut before full launch,” Funcom said. “We’ll be able to do a lot in four months, but we won’t be able to do everything.”

If you were thinking of picking up Conan Exiles on Xbox One or PlayStation 4, do it very, very soon. As we reported earlier this week, the price of the early access survival sandbox will increase on consoles from $35 to $50 to bring it in line with the pre-order pricing. However, the studio is also throwing a sale before that price increase arrives, selling Conan Exiles for $17.50 from December 8th through the 10th.

The PC version will remain at $30, as it will see “a very small retail presence and at a different price tag at launch.”

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Dragon’s Prophet sequel Savage Hunt is supposed to launch tomorrow

While Dragon’s Prophet took a stiff nosedive in North America and was ultimately shuttered by Daybreak in 2015, the dragon taming MMO didn’t die off entirely. It has a stronger following and support over in Europe, so much so in fact that Gamigo is preparing a sequel that was announced for launch back in September, got delayed almost immediately, and is now set to go live this week.

Community Manager Ildruin confirmed the upcoming launch on the forums yesterday: “Savage Hunt will be released on Wednesday, December 6th 2017! That’s just two days! Buckle up!”

If you need a refresher course — and you do, since just about no one has heard of this game — Savage Hunt: Dragon’s Prophet is a free-to-play MMO that retains the dragon hunting and taming core. There are over 600 of the beasts in the game, as well as thousands of quests and PvP battles.

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Saga of Lucimia lays the foundation for a holiday alpha test

Forget cookies with Santa and New Year countdowns: Saga of Lucimia hopes that you’ll be too immersed in its next alpha test to care about real-life trivialities.

The team revealed that it will be running a ninth early access alpha test from December 22nd through January 5th, which is substantially longer than previous weekend tests. “There are a slew of new mechanics and features in place,” the team said, “and we will be doing a blog post closer to the date to let people know exactly what to expect while still leaving room for plenty of Easter eggs for our community to discover!”

Saga of Lucimia has been making a lot of news lately with its announcement of independent funding and the defense of a lack of in-game minimap or looking for dungeon tool. We’ve gotten in on the discussion here too, with both a soapbox and today’s podcast tackling the issues of immersion, inconvenience, and UI standards.

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