citadel

See: Citadel Studios

CCP's live-action EVE Online ARG looks like the best thing at this year's EVE Fanfest

Got your tix for EVE Online's EVE Fanfest 2017? Ready to set aside your in-game enmity and play nice with your fellow gamers for a few days -- or not, depending on what sort of corp you're in? Decided cowering in your house watching streams is the wiser choice?

Good news for you then no matter which way you roll: CCP has released a detailed blog post today laying out the structure of this year's event. Expect the usual round of keynotes, panels, debates, and player presentations, plus beer, a check-in with the Project Discovery scientists, a 2v2 single elimination tourney, more beer, tours for people who got dragged along and want to see Iceland's beauty, and beer. But the best bit looks to be a genuinely cool live-action game called The YC119 Kyonoke Inquest:

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Legends of Aria begins focused testing, delays Steam launch

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.

Source: Newsletter

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 108: PAX East power-up

As Massively OP is on the scene at PAX East this year, we've got plenty of juicy news and interviews to discuss on the show! What game is coming to console this year? What secret is Eliot hiding? Which MMO just got a name change? Find out in today's episode!

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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PAX East 2017: Citadel Studios on Shards Online's switch to Legends of Aria

Big changes for MMOs frequently involve giving up almost as much as you gain. Not so with Legends of Aria, the not-actually-new title from Citadel Studios. Legends of Aria is Shards Online, you see, but it's also not Shards Online. It's everything you liked about Shards Online, but it's also placed into a larger context in which the ideas behind the game can have more space to develop and grow. If you liked the game before, you'll like it now, but if you didn't like the game before, you might think a bit more fondly of it once you see the changes.

The short version is that Legends of Aria has a robust "main" server set up. That means a large-scale map, plenty of things for players to go find, and a variety of different regions with different environmental effects. It is, in other words, a full-scale MMO which you can play as much as you'd like. But it's also a full-scale MMO that allows you to look at what the developers have done and say that you don't like it... and then make your own version of the game server.

We spoke to the folks from Citadel at this year's PAX East. Read on!

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PAX East 2017: Shards Online changes its name to Legends of Aria and goes full MMORPG

Shards Online is no more: The game is now officially called Legends of Aria. Better still? It's now being marketed by Citadel Studios as a full-fledged MMORPG.

Citadel's Derek "Supreem" Brinkmann says that the name change will be a big help to the game ahead of its Steam early access -- that Shards had a "stigma" for being limited by small maps and low player counts, as you'd expect from a game focused on custom shards in a classic UO style. Legends of Aria, on the other hand, will launch with a heavily expanded map and no player limits at all -- in other words, it's a real MMO.

"It's the same game, it's just a bigger scale, a bigger scope," he assures backers -- everything in the old game, including modding, is still happening in Aria.

The trailer and address from Citadel is below. Stay tuned for this weekend, too, as we'll be meeting with the studio at PAX East!

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Lineage II announces Grand Crusade update

The next major chapter of Lineage II's long-running story arc is set to arrive later this month, as NCsoft revealed the Grand Crusade update yesterday.

The free update will include more story quests, class updates, changes to the ability system, improvements to the faction system, a new monster card collection system, an increase to the Adena cap, and UI tweaks.

"Adventurers will be called upon to aid in the defense of the Keucereus Alliance Base, journey through the Mystic Tavern to witness Kain’s fateful fall from hero to Embryo apostle, lead the offensive into the Messiah Citadel, and embark on all-new Exalted Quests to reach even greater power and renown," the studio said.

Grand Crusade is set to arrive on March 29th. Check out its trailer below!

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EVE Evolved: What do we want from Drilling Platforms?

If you followed our EVE Fanfest coverage last year, you might remember CCP announcing plans to add a whole series of new deployable structures to EVE in the form of Engineering Complexes and Drilling Platforms. The Citadel expansion added new deployable space stations that players can put anywhere in space, with medium-sized Astrahus citadels for small corporations all the way up to the colossal Keepstars designed for massive military alliances. This was expanded on in the second half of 2016 with the release of Engineering Complexes as specialised citadels with bonuses to industry and research, but what ever happened to the Drilling Platforms?

Drilling Platforms were touted as an upcoming revolution in the way we collect resources in EVE Online, but the feature was still firmly in the early design stage when we discussed it with CCP at last year's Fanfest. There were general ideas floating around about automated mining structures that require different levels of player interaction and disrupting enemy resources by attacking their drills, but nothing concrete at the time. We've now been promised a solid development roadmap update at this year's Fanfest on April 6th and more information on Drilling Platforms in devblogs before then, and it's got me wondering what EVE's upcoming resource-gathering revolution might look like.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I speculate about what Drilling Platforms might be like, discuss the kinds of gameplay I'd like to see from them, and lay out a few of my dream features.

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Shards Online pumps up early access hype with a community roundtable

Last week we reported that Shards Online is winding down its alpha program and gearing up for Steam early access launch sometime in the next few months. As a follow-up to this and other improvements to the game, the team sat down for a community roundtable to talk about the next phase of Shards Online's development.

Topics include expanding loyalty options in the store, the week-long head start, the confirmation of a full wipe with the Steam launch, rewarding players retroactively with extra loyalty, the possibility for minigames, and the assurance that PvE players will have a lot of area to romp around without worrying about being ganked.

Drink in the full community roundtable and the alpha feature highlights video after the break!

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One Shots: The power of pink hair

Wherever there is trouble, Manastu Utakata will be there to fight it with her lightning-fast screenshot button and trademark pink hair. Villains, start running right now! The pink is coming for you and it will never, ever give up until you are six feet under the ground (in your hidey hole, shaking in your boots because you never saw it coming).

Pink: It's what's for winners.

As we rebuild our One Shots catalogue from the ruins of Livefyre, let us be blinded by the neon colors of WildStar and dye all of our hair pink in honor of a certain famous pig-tailed commenter.

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Shards Online plans wipe, drops NDA ahead of impending Steam launch

Shards Online's latest newsletter is homing in on the game's Steam launch. The game hit always-on alpha back in January, but now it's eyeing plans for backer head-start on Steam -- everyone who's pledged ahead of the close of crowdfunding will be guaranteed a week-long early access period before the launch. The servers will be wiped, note, but backers will get a refund of their loyalty points to spend again and keep their loyalty titles to boot.

Citadel Studios also says that it's waiving the NDA for the game's normal client (not for the experimental client, though). The main alpha client's most recent hotfix included stability and lag fixes, plus improvements to the pet system, AI, and PvP balance, as well as a new sunken treasure system for fishermen.

Source: Newsletter

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EVE Evolved: Would EVE Online make a good survival game?

EVE Online has practically dominated the sci-fi sandbox MMO niche for nearly 14 years, with its harsh PvP-oriented gameplay and massive single-server universe combining to provide something that's remained compelling in an ever-changing industry. From its humble foundation as a mostly empty sandbox with a smattering of people and limited resources has sprung political intrigue, war, espionage, charity, theft, and economics that often mirrors the real world in startling detail. In over a decade of virtual history, we've seen the rise and fall of massive empires, the birth and collapse of industries, the emergence of heroes and villains, and the forging of thousands of real life friendships.

While EVE's long-term success can be attributed partly to the absolute persistence of a single-shard universe, I often wonder what would happen if a fresh server opened today. What could players achieve with a level playing field and blank slate for all, and what would the EVE universe even look like without 14 years of accumulated wealth and skillpoints behind it? A tantalising hint of what that gold rush might look like comes from survival sandbox games such as RUST and DayZ, which have hundreds of small servers and very little focus on persistence. It's got me thinking about what a shorter-term survival sandbox game with EVE's core gameplay would be like, and I honestly think it could be amazing.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I make the argument for an EVE Online survival sandbox game and the massive gameplay opportunities that periodic server wipes can present.

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WildStar takes you on a tour of its two new instances

Struggling though it may be, WildStar is still dreaming big -- and designing big as well. The team is working hard to test and put the final touches on its upcoming Power of the Primal Matrix update, which the devs say is a "huge" drop for the game.

Part of that update is the addition of a new scalable five-player dungeon (Coldblood Citadel) and a new prime expedition (Evil from the Ether). If you don't mind spoilers much and crave dev commentary, you can take a tour of these instances with two of the team leads responsible for their creation thanks to a recent livestream.

Head out on the hour-long tour after the break (and don't forget to pack a lunch!).

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