citadel

See: Citadel Studios

The Stream Team: Interview with Citadel Forged With Fire devs

We’ve been hearing a bit about Citadel: Forged With Fire, a new sandbox under development that focuses on magic. Now we have a chance to see it live in action: Massively OP’s MJ is jumping in the closed beta ahead of the public weekend to check it out. Even better, she’ll have a Denis Lanno, Community Manager/dev with her to talk about the game. Join us live at 11:00 a.m. to ask your questions about the upcoming sandbox.

What: Citadel: Forged With Fire
Who: MJ Guthrie & Devs
When: 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, July 21st, 2017

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You will believe that a player can fly in Citadel

If you’re populating an online fantasy game with nothing but adeptly magical players, then it’s not a big jump to accepting that all sorts of seemingly impossible feats will become commonplace in that world. Like flight, for instance.

“Why walk when you can fly?” asked Citadel: Forged With Fire’s devs. “Growing in experience should feel significant, and flight is one of the many things we added to make sure this was the case.”

There are three avenues for the aspiring wizard pilot. Players can craft and use a magical broomstick, although these suck up mana when in flight. Another option is to use a pacify spell on a winged creature like a dragon and then use the beast as your personal transportation. Finally, it is possible to make flight potions using one’s alchemy skill, although the devs warn that if your mana runs out mid-flight, you’ll be taking an express trip to ground town.

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Citadel: Forged With Fire patches up, plans weekend beta excursion

Citadel: Forged With Fire has been a whirlwind of activity since its sudden early access announcement last week, and it’s not letting up, as now it’s plotting what looks to be a closed beta round beginning this Saturday, July 22nd. Blue Isle Studios points players toward its official beta signup page and promises it’s releasing “tens of thousands of keys.”

What will you be testing if you get in? Why, the contents of the game’s first public patch notes, which address AI, spell balance, maps, and VOIP.

“We noticed most players encountered issues with our NPC behavior. Enemies would give chase to players infinitely, and the only option to deal with them was to jump in a pool of water and snipe them from safety. To fix this, we’ve made a number of changes to our NPC AI, which should hopefully resolve this issue. Spell balance was another thing we decided to take a look at coming out of last weekend. Players expected spells to be more powerful, so we went ahead and gave them some significant buffs. Additionally, we also addressed some audio and graphical issues that may have occurred (I’m looking at you Haste). In addition to the above, we made some key changes to building and map presentation, and added a few small things here and there to make some confusing things a little more obvious. Oh, and we added VOIP!”

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 127: EVE walks no more

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree recount the odd history of Walking in Stations, debate the Mordor pre-order, tackle a trio of MMO updates, talk with ARK’s soundtrack composer, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Hearthstone’s Ice Cream Citadel is chilling at SDCC

Proving once again there’s no end to the Hearthstone gimmicks and pranks it will pull, Blizzard has announced Ice Cream Citadel, a pop-up ice cream stand at San Dieco Comic-Con this week, all in honor of Knights of the Frozen Throne.

“Located in the PetCo parking lot just a short walk from the San Diego Convention Center, Ice Cream Citadel will provide visitors with free ice cream in two flavors: ‘Villain-illa’ and ‘Scourgeberry Sorbet.’ In partnership with Yelp, Blizzard has also created a Yelp business page for the pop-up, titled ‘The Lich King’s Ice Cream Citadel,’ where users can rate, review, and post photos of their experience. Starting July 18, those brave enough to call the business (1-855-LIC-HKNG) will be greeted by the Lich King’s chilling voice.”

Of course there’s a live-action trailer to go with it. Maybe fallen Arthas will be better as a soda jerk than as a game dev? And you guys thought our puns were terrible!

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Here’s how magic in Citadel: Forged With Fire will work

This morning, we wrote about a new “massive online sandbox RPG,” Citadel: Forged With Fire, built by Slender devhouse Blue Isle Studios and expected to hit early access later this month. The studio clearly plans a press blitz in the lead up to that Steam release, beginning with a brand-new “feature highlight” on the game’s magic system.

“At launch, Citadel will offer you a diverse range of powerful spells, with many more to come in the future,” say the devs. “You can do some really cool stuff with our magic system: not just combat, but also beast taming, telekinesis, resource collection and much more.” For example:

“We decided a high level wizard would have too much dignity to be caught hunched over gathering sticks and stones, so we came up with the Extract spell. Using this power, mages can effortlessly suck materials out of giant rocks, trees and other objects to accumulate large quantities of building resources with ease. Build massive castles and fortresses without the crushing tedium of resource gathering.”

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EVE Online is killing off the last remnants of walking in stations

Hey remember EVE Online’s walking in stations, the talk of the genre a decade ago? Remember when all we really got was a captain’s quarters where you could finally see your character moving around as more than a flat avatar? Even that is now coming to an end.

In a dev blog this week, CCP says that “development time involved in maintaining the current state of the feature is significantly disproportionate to the number of pilots using the feature,” due largely, we assume, to the fact that the feature was a half-measure to begin with that was never developed further. While usage increased when EVE Online went free-to-play last year, it’s shown “steady decline,” and CCP doesn’t want to devote 4-6 weeks of art team dev time on it any longer.

“It is of course important to note that while use has been falling steadily over time, part of the reason for further decline recently has been a change in the default view that occurs when a character docks in a citadel, which doesn’t offer captain’s quarters and switches the account setting to hangar view,” says the studio.

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Citadel: Forged With Fire is a brand-new ‘massive online sandbox RPG’ debuting this month

Well well, lookie what popped up on Steam: It’s a new “massive online sandbox RPG,” Citadel: Forged With Fire, and it came out of nowhere this week to announce an early access debut soon — really soon. Early access begins on July 26th and is expected to last 8-12 months, with a formal launch in 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Citadel: Forged With Fire is a massive online sandbox RPG with elements of magic, spellcasting and inter-kingdom conflict. As a newly minted apprentice of the magic arts, you will set off to investigate the dangerous world of Ignus. Your goal: create a name for yourself and achieve notoriety and power among the land’s ruling Houses. You have complete freedom to pursue your own destiny; hatch plots of trickery and deceit to ascend the ranks among allies and enemies, become an infamous hunter of other players, build massive and unique castles, tame mighty beasts to do your bidding, and visit uncharted territories to unravel their rich and intriguing history. The path to ultimate power and influence is yours to choose.”

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EVE Evolved: Does EVE Online need more conflict-drivers?

Of all the terminology associated with EVE Online, the one thing that’s always made me a bit uncomfortable is to hear players describe PvP as “generating content.” It’s an oddly sterile euphemism that seemed to surface years ago during the era of the blue donut when large alliances organised faux wars for the entertainment of their restless troops, and it doesn’t sit right with me. PvP in EVE is supposed to be about real conflict for solid reasons, not generating content for its own sake. It’s about smashing a gang of battleships into a pirate blockade to get revenge, suicide ganking an idiot for transporting PLEX in a frigate, or forcibly dismantling another alliance’s station because you just hate them so much.

EVE PvP can be visceral and highly personal, not just something fun to do or a game of strategy but a way to settle old grudges and punish people for whatever the hell you want. World War Bee was a brutal mix of Machiavellian politics and massive fleets of highly motivated players coming together, not just for some fun gameplay but to try and completely annihilate the goons. So what the hell happened? Why are so many people sitting in nullsec fortresses and farming ISK, building huge capital fleets and complaining about the “lack of content” in PvP today? Does EVE‘s conflict engine need a tune-up?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at some of the factors limiting real conflict in EVE today and suggest three possibly controversial changes that would drive further conflict in New Eden.

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Hearthstone’s next expansion is Knights of the Frozen Throne

Will Hearthstone have as much success in the frozen northlands as World of Warcraft did with Wrath? We’re about to find out, as last night Blizzard announced Knights of the Frozen Throne is the name of the card battler’s next big expansion.

“In Knights of the Frozen Throne™, Azeroth’s greatest heroes are called to Northrend once again to battle the Lich King . . . in the tavern! Blizzard Entertainment’s newest Hearthstone® expansion brings players to the Icecrown Citadel, where they will encounter terrifying bear sharks, ridiculous geists, indigenous Tuskarr ice fishermen, and the mysterious influence of runic magic. With 135 icy new cards, the tavern is about to get a whole lot cooler!”

Among the highlights of the expansion are new legendary hero cards, the Lifesteal keyword, and free Northrend-themed missions (“including a prologue, two wings of three bosses, and a final epic showdown against The Lich King himself”). The whole shebang launches in August, alongside a prepurchase 50-card bundle that by itself costs $49.99. The new pics and trailer are down below!

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EVE Evolved: How much trust is too much in EVE Online?

Of all the headlines to come out of EVE Online over the years, the biggest and most far-reaching have been the stories of massive thefts and underhanded scams. The MMO community has grown up hearing these tales, from the embezzlement of EVE‘s first public bank in 2009 and the estimated $45,000 US Titans4U scam in 2011 to the trillion ISK Phaser Inc scandal and beyond. EVE has been embedded with this narrative of mistrust and betrayal for most of its life, the most famous example still being the Guiding Hand Social Club heist from all the way back in 2005.

Yet when a player recently stole three extremely rare ships using social engineering, the victims expressed only disappointment that they had lost a friendship they valued. The question for players and the wider MMO community today is simple: How much trust is too much to give someone in an MMO? To what degree should the game mechanics automatically protect your assets and privacy, and how much of that protection should you be able or expected to give up in order to make progress or join a group?

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EVE Evolved: The controversy over EVE Online’s capital ship nerfs

EVE Online players have been up in arms this week over sweeping nerfs that are about to hit to high-end farming gameplay styles in the player-owned nullsec territories. It started when CCP Games announced that the Excavator drones used by Rorqual capital industrial ships would be getting a sizeable mining yield reduction and that a respawn delay would be added to ore sites in nullsec. As players were still reeling from that unexpected news, developers then announced a surprise general nerf to fighter damage with the goal of making carriers and supercarriers less effective in PvE and PvP. This significant balance change was just announced on Friday 9th June and goes live on Tuesday 13th, prompting outcry from the community over the lack of feedback-gathering on such a significant change to capital ship balance.

These nerfs both seem to be reactions to the latest few Monthly Economic Reports, which showed that the total money supply in the game economy is over a quadrillion ISK and rising rapidly. The detailed breakdowns of economic activity in the reports tell a more complex story, with ISK supply from bounty prizes roughly doubling over the past year and mining in the Delve region shooting off the scale in the past few months. It seems that a large number of nullsec players are spending more time farming and building up resources, and it’s the scale and efficiency of the top-tier farming setups that has CCP worried.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I discuss the upcoming Rorqual and fighter nerfs, look at the economics of farming, and explain why this trend could be a more serious indicator than CCP realises.

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EVE Evolved: War declarations need revamped for the citadel era

It’s a universally accepted fact in EVE Online that you’re never truly safe from attack. Low-security space is littered with pirates looking for an easy kill, nullsec alliances respond to invasion of their territory with overwhelming force, and cloaked ships could lurk around every wormhole. Even in the friendliest parts of high-security space, you can still be blown up by a squad of suicide gankers or find yourself the target of a highsec war declaration. Wardecs are intended to allow player-run corporations to fight with each other in highsec without interference from the police, but over EVE‘s entire lifetime they’ve been almost exclusively used to grief and harass small corporations.

Some wardec alliances log literally thousands of wars per year, with almost all of them being against small industrial and social corporations whose members have no intention of fighting back. The aggressors typically just camp trade hub such as Jita 4-4 and declare war on any corp caught hauling valuables through the system, turning a potential sandbox content-generator into a boring pay-to-grief mechanic. With the landscape of EVE being transformed by player-owned citadels and a dynamic PvE revolution on the horizon, I think the time is right to revamp war declarations for the new citadel era. The current wardec system isn’t fit for purpose, and we deserve something more engaging.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I give some thoughts on the wardec problem, a suggestion on how they could be revamped to fit the new citadel era, and an idea for how they could even provide a more immersive PvE experience.

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