cosmetic gear

Elite Dangerous addresses ship nameplate concerns

Yesterday's Elite Dangerous community livestream is full of good news for sci-fi fans anxiously watching the 2.3 beta. Of note, Frontier's Sandro Sammarco and Ed Lewis address the ship nameplates issue -- and the fact that these tools will be available as cash shop items only -- saying the studio means to keep to its plans. Keep your eyes locked on mega ships too; the studio promises these gargantuan edifices are super important and that it'll divulge more in the future.

Lewis reiterated the studio's plans on name plates in a forum post this morning, explaining that every ship will have a name, but "the ship name plates will offer an added layer of cosmetic personalisation for Commanders wanting to wear their name with pride, much like paint jobs and other cosmetics currently available in the store."

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How to farm 570 LOTRO points in under three hours

One of the interesting quirks of Lord of the Rings Online's free-to-play setup is that players can earn premium currency -- LOTRO points, or LP -- through various in-game activities. Since LP is otherwise purchased with cash and can be used to buy quest packs, cosmetics, classes, and even expansions, earning that currency through gameplay can be a literal money-saver.

What if you could get a good chunk of LP in under three hours? LOTRO player Edward Gibson mapped out and executed a run in which he used a brand-new character to farm 570 LP in two hours and 43 minutes by completing deeds. The player did use a couple of skill and deed boosts to assist with the effort.

Check out the following video to see how this feat was performed and perhaps be inspired to replicate this farming pattern to help you earn your next LOTRO store purchase.

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PAX East 2017: Hands-on with the surprisingly fun Kritika Online

It's pretty much a rule of nature that at least one game is going to be far better and more fun to play than I expected on the PAX East show floor. This has been true every year, and while the past couple of years have involved my spending a bit less time on the show floor overall, I've still walked away with some surprises. This year, it was Kritika Online.

What I expected from Kritika Online was... well, nothing particularly impressive. I didn't expect it to be bad, but that was because I didn't expect much from it at all. It was a game that En Masse was bringing over that sounded, at a glance, like the sort of game which fades from memory shortly after you play it. What I actually got was a game that has a clean purpose and remarkably fun mechanics, like the pure product of an MMO marrying a Dynasty Warriors clone.

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PAX East 2017: Dauntless reveals new trailer, plans 2017 launch

Keeping an ear to the ground for Dauntless news? You should be: It's a co-op ARPG from Phoenix Labs, an indie studio made up of former BioWare, Riot Games, and Blizzard devs. It's expected to launch on PC later this year as a free-to-play (and apparently online) title that focuses on basic cosmetics and boosts to fund development costs.

It's not massive, mind you, but it's worth a look for multiplayer fans. The new PAX trailer is below.

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Final Fantasy XIV brings out new delivery and weapon quests with patch 3.55a

Ready to take on Proto-Ultima with several other people? Ready to finish off your anima weapon quests? Or are you just looking forward to new delivery content for a catgirl in Final Fantasy XIV? Patch 3.55a provides all of the above and even a bit more, including a new map for the Feast and some lowered requirements for previous steps of the anima weapon questline. It should be plenty of stuff to keep you occupied in the game for a while.

Not enough for you? Well, maybe you can distract yourself with the Little Ladies' Day quests starting up on March 1st. Players will earn new emotes, housing decorations, and cosmetic gear by helping the Songbirds take Ul'dah by storm once again. So that should keep you occupied for a while, as well. There are also some new cosmetic items available for purchase in the store, including the oft-sought cherry blossom trees.

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Check out Grim Dawn's new cosmetic system

Online ARPG Grim Dawn has a new NPC on the way this year that'll change how players interact with gear, specifically cosmetic gear: The Illusionist NPC.

"For a modest fee, the Illusionist will transform your gear to look like any other item of the same category," says Crate. "Using proprietary Illusionist mind-meld technology, any item you discover will automatically have its appearance stored. In fact, the first time you launch the expansion, every item you have in your inventory and stash will be automatically added to start your collection. That’s a lot of different looks! To facilitate your soon to be growing collection, we have created a brand new UI that stores and previews all of your appearances, accessible at any Illusionist."

The rules are pretty similar to rules in other MMOs and ARPGs, including the fact that the Illusionst doesn't work for free, and you can't turn a greatsword into a dirk.

The game formally emerged from early access a year ago, having been deemed "feature complete" at the end of 2015, having been successfully Kickstarted to the tune of a half a million bucks back in 2012. Since then, it's pumped out seven content updates, including the Crucible DLC, and has plans for its first big expansion -- including the Illusionist -- by this coming summer.

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Chaos Theory: The Secret World predictions 2016 vs 2017

It's no secret that The Secret World had a rough year in 2016. I just really wish I could say differently. And it's especially sad because I had such hopes for my favorite game. Granted, I knew it wasn't going to miraculously get the funding and staff to give me all the story and things my heart so desired, but I did anticipate a bit more than what we actually got. When 2016 dawned, I pieced together our available clues to try and draw a map of where the year was going. A cartographer I apparently am not, and Google maps won't be hiring me anytime soon. Perhaps for this year I shall consult with the Magic Eight ball? Here's a look at the scorecard for my 2016 predictions, and a modest list of 2017 hopes, dreams, and predicted happenings. (We'll just have to wait to see how those ultimately pan out!).

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Love and skates: The Secret World offers Valentine goodies and new challenge

Love is in the air! And according to The Secret World, it's more of a plague. But players may actually be interested in catching what's going around; throughout the rest of February, there are various Valentine's Day-themed apparel and goodies to collects, including corsages and jewelry, stuffed bears, and even a red scooter. Satchels of Amorous Delights, filled with these cosmetics and consumables, are available from both the Merchant of Eros in the city hubs (for Black Bullion or Pax) and the item store (for Funcom or bonus points). Players can also grab a pair of heart pajamas from the item store as well as a Bag of Saint Valentinus to share.

Speaking of love, if you'd love a pair of roller skates but weren't lucky enough to get one from the RGN bags before, you can earn yourself a pair now. Funcom has introduced a new challenge (remember the Doomboard?), the completion of which nets a spiffy pair of gravity skates. This time you have over a month to complete just 35 challenges. With six different challenges offered each day and eight each week, you could be zipping along on your very own pair before the weekend is out. However, if this week is already busy with *ahem* other stuff, you've still got until March 19th before the challenge ends and your chance to get the skates skitters away.

Source: Valentine's goodies, gravity skate challenge. Thanks to John and Crow for the tips!

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Love is stalking you in Skyforge

"Thanks to Flavius' latest laboratory shenanigans, be prepared for love to find YOU during Skyforge's Valentine's Event!"

Even if you are feeling romantically lonely, you have to admit that the above statement sounds more ominous than hopeful. Thanks to the game's new Valentine's Event, a dryad in the game has fallen in love with you and is virtually stalking you with notes and gifts.

If you want to turn the tables and find love for others, you or your followers can take on missions to play cupid and meddle in the affairs of lesser beings. Naturally, there are all sorts of cosmetics, emotes, and (yes) wings to buy if you want to creep the heck out that special dryad in your life.

The event is live and will conclude on March 1st.

Source: Skyforge

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LOTRO's housing changes arrive on Monday

One of the biggest changes to Lord of the Rings Online's housing system in years is arriving on Monday, giving Hobbit interior decorators something new to do.

Update 19.3 will allow players to adjust housing decor on all dimensions inside of its hook box, allowing for items to be moved around on all axis and grouped together to look more natural instead of being artificially spaced out. Players will also be able to buy premium houses via writs, which do double duty in securing home ownership if a player transfers servers or gives up the house.

Other changes with the update include three new global chat channels, four additional user-defined chat channels, a fix for the /say bug, and a 9,999 gold cap for currency. It should also be noted that starting on Monday, VIP players can get a free mount and warsteed cosmetics by logging into the game.

Source: Patch notes

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PAX South: Co-op RPG Dauntless demos its gameplay

This past weekend at PAX South, the co-op RPG Dauntless made its public debut, offering attendees a chance to try out a demo of the monster-slaying title. As you may recall from December's reveal of the game, Dauntless is a free-to-play multiplayer game being developed by former Blizzard and BioWare employees.

PC Gamer caught some time with the demo and reported that it seemed (initially) impressive: "I was initially skeptical of its free-to-play model, but developer Phoenix Labs assured me it wants to stay far away from paying for power -- focusing more on the standard cosmetics and boosts we see in other free-to-play games -- and after playing it, I really liked the idea of being able to drop in to hunt giant monsters with friends without them having to make a purchase to do so."

You can check out that site's hands-on video below.

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LOTRO saddles a free horse for VIP members

To both reward current subscribers and encourage new ones to hop on board, Lord of the Rings Online is gifting VIP accounts with a free horse starting next month.

Standing Stone announced that it is giving out account-wide Steeds of the Eldar to any accounts that are flagged as VIP and that log in between February 6th and March 13th. The horse has top stats for a traditional mount, boasting a +68% mount speed and 250 morale. As a bonus, the gift also comes with warsteed cosmetics to dress up that horse with the same look.

This promotion works for current subscribers, lifetime subscribers, and anyone who subs during that window. Some players noted that the email that Standing Stone sent about the promotion also include a line stating that accounts currently subscribed will be unsubscribed if they do not log in between February 6th and March 13th.

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Choose My Adventure: Nice things about Lord of the Rings Online

The thing about the level of Lord of the Rings Online that I'm playing at is that they are not exactly replete with choices. I am reliably informed (by you lovely readers, no less) that you can pretty easily dart between starter areas if you so desire, but that's about it; the lower levels are a fairly linear experience. It kind of makes sense, seeing as how it's a game with a pretty straightforward narrative and drive, but it also means that the whole process is a bit straightforward.

However, last week I feel like I did a fair bit of grousing about the game, which isn't entirely fair. Another week of pointing out the same things wouldn't really accomplish much of use, would it? Instead, I want to talk today about all of the stuff I'm liking about the game. I can't promise that one or two minor complaints might work their way in there, but that's not my focus for the day.

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