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Touring Trove’s new Eclipse expansion with the Trion team

The big solar eclipse may have been yesterday, but today marks the beginning of Trove’s Eclipse! And luckily, this one will last much more than a couple of minutes. Today’s the launch day for the pixel game’s big expansion that devs have been showing off on streams throughout the month. If you’ve been following the news, you know that there will be some exciting editions to Trove once those expansion doors open. I sat down with Trion Producer Rick White, Senior Animator Ted Sanger, and Art Lead Robin Luera to talk more about these changes that White noted will offer something for everyone.

“For the Eclipse expansion,” he said, “we really tried to push adding new content for our three different segments of players: our beginning players, our mid-ranged players, and our power users and endgame players.” These new features include subclasses, a gem forging system, an expanded Shadow Tower, and the worlds atlas. Let’s dig in!

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SkySaga shuts down production and goes on hold indefinitely

Very sad news today out of Radiant Worlds, which announced that Smilegate, its publishing partner, ordered that SkySaga’s development be shut down immediately and pulled support from the project. While the studio said that the game is only “on hold” and that Radiant is in a “strong financial position,” it doesn’t look good for the multiplayer title. It also sounds like there will be some serious layoffs at Radiant Worlds as a result.

Radiant Worlds is sad to announce that its work on PC-based creative sandbox and adventure game SkySaga: Infinite Isles will now cease, following the decision of its publishing partner Smilegate Entertainment to put the game on hold for an unknown period of time.

This has resulted in the failure to renew our recently expired contract, and as SkySaga is currently our only project, this has inevitably meant that we now have no ongoing source of income.

This unfortunately means that all positions at Radiant Worlds are now under threat and we expect to shortly enter a period of consultation with all staff, which is likely to lead to a large number of redundancies across the board, potentially affecting everyone.

The business has made every effort to negotiate an alternative outcome, but without success.

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Sea of Thieves confirms crossplay between Xbox One and PC

Here’s some exciting news coming out of Gamescom’s early Microsoft presentation this week: Sea of Thieves will be linking up its PC and Xbox One communities in game thanks to crossplay capabilities.

Rare confirmed that both editions will contain “complete feature parity” between them, allowing for console and computer players to share the same severs and game edition. The dev team is already running crossplay internally and will be doing so for all technical alpha tests going forward. Additionally, the upcoming Xbox One X will be included in Sea of Thieves’ testing and crossplay, which is great for those who want to play on a 4K TV.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Impressions of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire preview weekend experience

I’m delighted to have found a moment to bring you an extra edition of Flameseeker Chronicles that outlines my thoughts on the first Guild Wars 2Path of Fire preview weekend. From last Friday until Sunday, every player was invited along to take some tentative steps into the Crystal Desert and get to grips with the raptor mount. We were also treated to a little bit of introductory story that ties the new zone directly to the Living World Season 3 finale without missing a beat.

So today, I will break down my preview experience into the main points, including my highlights and unfortunately ending on a pretty crummy negative. I’m hoping that further development based on the feedback from this weekend will help to lessen or negate my issue though, so I won’t be frowning for very long! Note that this article will contain some spoilers regarding the introductory story, so it’s best avoided if you are waiting until September to find out more on that front.

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Camelot Unchained teases beta with a new ‘guiding principles’ doc

If it feels like we’ve been waiting for Camelot Unchained’s beta forever, well, it hasn’t – it’s only been half of forever. And the wait is almost over, if the first part of City State’s brand-new beta 1 doc is any guide.

“It’s been a longer road to Beta 1 than we expected it would be last year,” CSE’s Mark Jacobs begins. “For that, you have our most sincere and humble apologies.” After admitting he’s “committed more money to the studio than” planned, he says the result has been worth it, such that “by the time you read this, [CSE] will have moved achingly close to the first of the SNS trials, will be back up to 2.1K ARCs/Bots, the new ability, animation, and VFX systems will be performing as expected, and the programmers’ focus will have turned more heavily than ever to gameplay and not tech.”

The doc itself outlines the beta’s “guiding principles” for a “minimum viable vision” — namely, that it should be solid, intermittent, accessible, and more about fun than the tech-oriented alpha. While this is just the first part of the larger doc we’re told is incoming, it does tick off a number of specific features on immediate order, including improved UI, help files and links for newbies, updated patcher and player count, daily issues, class/race combos, attribute clarity, unique player names, and starting gear.

Plus? A peek at the login screen, which is slick!

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EVE Online revenge war update: The war machine stalls

Last week we brought you the news of a massive new war brewing in the north of EVE Online, and The Imperium’s threat of revenge to the alliances that live there. The Imperium has been farming hard in the southern Delve region for months and has built up a massive war chest since it was kicked out of its northern territory during the colossal World War Bee conflict last year. Meanwhile, military alliance Pandemic Legion has been throwing its weight around all over nullsec, interfering in TEST Alliance’s war with Guardians of the Galaxy in the north and dropping supercapital fleets on The Imperium in the south.

The revenge war kicked off as The Imperium formed a pact with TEST Alliance and then moved over 1,000 capital ships to a staging system in the low-security system of Hakonen in the north of EVE. This war seems to be mostly about creating engaging PvP content, but for The Imperium it’s also an opportunity to get revenge on those who sided against them during World War Bee. For TEST Alliance, it’s a continuation of its conflict with the Guardians of the Galaxy coalition and perhaps a way to give Pandemic Legion the bloody nose it deserves.

This week has seen some interesting developments in the war, with several failed attempts to anchor citadels and possible strategic blunders and supply issues. Read on for a breakdown of the latest in EVE Online‘s latest revenge war.

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Final Fantasy XIV passes 10 million worldwide players and gets a small patch

Looking forward to more ranked PvP in Final Fantasy XIV or just the removal of the game’s automatic logout? Both of those features have been brought around with the game’s latest minor patch, which also makes some balance tweaks to several jobs and adds in the latest incarnation of the Moonfire Faire to the game. (There’s even a development dispatch on what you can expect from the event if you’re at work and can’t start it up yet.)

This patch coincides with the announcement that the game has reached 10 million players worldwide, with the caveat that it’s a cumulative number including free and trial accounts. It’s credited to the game’s frequent and robust content updates giving players all over the world reason to subscribe. Certainly it doesn’t hurt that the game’s staff resolves issues like the recent Russian/Brazilian Steam subscription increase by crediting all affected players with 30 days of play time and locking the lower prices for 60 additional days due to the lack of forewarning. So that’s a fine ending to that story, and a fine reason for the game’s growing player count.

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Chaos Theory: Guide to Secret World Legends’ Whispering Tide event

Have you met Flappy? If you haven’t yet, you might want to do so very soon else you’ll miss your chance. That dirty bird has made its appearance in Secret World Legends as the star of the much-anticipated The Whispering Tide event, but unlike its Secret World counterpart, this event lasts only two weeks. And like any event, it also brings exclusive loot! But with such a condensed time frame to participate, if you want to get your hands on the loot and the lore you’ve got to jump in ASAP. This guide will help you make the most of your time.

What is The Whispering Tide, and why does it matter? More than just an excuse to get goodies, the appearance of Flappy — technically named Bird of the Zero-Point Pathogen — heralds the imminent opening of the Tokyo portal in Agartha. And sometime after Tokyo comes the next season of story! Veterans of the previous event will be familiar with the Flappy raid, but folks who’ve never played The Secret World are at a disadvantage in knowing what is going on. Even those who’ve participated in the original will find that there are some significant changes to The Whispering Tide. Some of these changes, most notably how the loot is dispersed, are much improved from the TSW version; some aspects, unfortunately, are not.

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Activision-Blizzard Q2 2017 financials: Destiny 2 outperforms Destiny, WoW ‘time spent’ improves over 2016

We could practically copypasta last quarter’s Activision-Blizzard report to this one and nobody would notice. That’s because once again, it’s the Blizzard segment of the company driving the revenue flow; Blizz’s incomes rose 4% year-over-year to account for 42% of the revenue (with King and Activision itself trailing behind).

“Blizzard had the biggest quarterly online player community in its history with a record 46 million MAUsB, up 38% year-over-year. The Overwatch community continued to grow more than a year after launch, setting another all-time MAUB record with the release of two seasonal events in the quarter. Hearthstone MAUsB grew year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter to an all-time record, driven by its expansion, Journey to Un’Goro.”

Blizz is also talking up its “time spent” metric and claiming that it’s increased in World of Warcraft year-over-year, which should shock absolutely no one given Legion:

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Chaos Theory: To Steam or not to Steam your Secret World Legends account

To Steam or not to Steam, that is the Secret World Legends question — now that the horror game has relaunched on that platform, that is. For those who have never played this game or The Secret World before, that could be an easier question to answer. However, anyone who has a TSW account or who has played SWL already will have to make some decisions as to which platform to utilize going forward. There’s a chance that the choice might also have an time limit on it, though none has been expressly stated, so putting it off too long may become a problem in and of itself.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of each choice, and what is the process to switch if desired? We’ve got some answers right here to help you untangle that web. Speaking of the Steam launch, how has that gone? We’ll discuss that here along with our Secret World Legends Steam/No Steam guide.

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Conan Exiles announces The Frozen North expansion coming August 16

Just because they aren’t known for wearing shirts doesn’t mean that barbarians mind a little cold now and then.

Rugged and bloodthirsty player fighters will be forging into new territory later this month, as Conan Exiles is planning to release The Frozen North for the survival sandbox. Funcom announced that the expansion is coming out on August 16th, the same day that the game will go live on Xbox One. And as a reminder, this particular expansion is free for all owners of the game.

The Frozen North will greatly expand the game’s territory by 70%, adding icy biomes, rain, and snow. Players will explore this land while fighting new enemies, making a best friend of the god Ymir, brewing up strong drinks, cooking tasty meals, and — most important to the barbarian culture — taking care of honeybees.

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Lord of the Rings Online’s Mordor expansion is officially live with a launch trailer

After just a brief delay (but still probably way too soon), Lord of the Rings Online has officially launched its Mordor expansion. I’m sure I owe somebody something for wagering all those years ago that we’d never get to this day, but here we are.

“This expansion allows players the ability to explore the shadowy lands beyond the Black Gate and includes:
Over 300 new quests: Players journey into Mordor and plunge into a new adventure, filled with lost stories, unfamiliar enemies, and the opportunity to fight through the lands around Mount Doom and beyond.
A new allegiance system: Pledge support to one of the factions seeking to reclaim this long-lost piece of Middle-earth. Players will be able to gain bonuses, story and exclusive gear along the way!
Crafting and gear updates: Players are able to customize their Hero with all-new armor, weapons, accessories, and more!
A new race – the High Elf. With the purchase of the Collector’s Edition or the Ultimate Fan Bundle, players will be able to ally with the High Elf.
Extensive landscape updates. Explore the beautiful and terrifying landscape of Gorgoroth to discover hidden treasures and additional rewards.”

You can pick up the expansion on the official site, but maybe take a look at our thoughts on the different tier packages first — you’re looking at at least $40. We’ve tucked our Mordor coverage to date down below along with the launch trailer, which, well… it doesn’t really show the game’s best look. Happy patch day!

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