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LOTRO’s new allegiance system will take you to fantastic places

One of the new major systems that’s coming with Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor deals with your pledged allegiance to certain Middle-earth factions. Players will choose between four races to dedicate their Mordor adventures, opening up a special headquarters and unlocking rewards over time.

Allegiance can be pledged to the Court of Celeborn (Elves), Hall of the King (Man), Erebor (Dwarves), or Bar Thorenion (Hobbits). As players progress in their allegiances, they will open up a special quest line. “Allegiances do have you filling up a bar, and there are repeatable quests and rewards, but for me the significant addition is that each of them tells a continuing story,” said developer MadeOfLions on the forums.

Get an early look at all four class halls allegiance halls after the break!

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Wisdom of Nym: The numbers game in Final Fantasy XIV

It’s not really hard to figure out the best stats for melding in order to do the maximum damage in Final Fantasy XIV. You have, ultimately, only a few real options, and with the removal of Accuracy as an option, none of them is actually going to make or break important points. The problem is that asking “what can I meld to do maximum damage” is perhaps not always the right question to ask.

The matter of stat weights and best-in-slot gear has already been attracting ferocious debate in various parts of the community, and you know the debate has gotten to a fever pitch when Yoshida actually addresses one of the stupider new customs in a live letter. (That would be tanks wearing 270 STR accessories, for the record.) So I think it’s well past the point to talk about the issue of tank damage, tank scaling, and numbers in general. They may not carry the allure of story sequences, but they’re still important.

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Secret World Legends deals with community server issues following yesterday’s patch

Will Secret World Legends’ auction house ever stay online? For the second time since the reboot’s launch, Funcom has disabled the system, although this time has little to do with a currency duping situation.

“We’re aware of some issues going on with the community server, which governs many social functions such as friends lists, cabal lists, auction house, etc,” the studio posted yesterday. “While we look into resolving these issues, the auction house and exchange have been brought offline temporarily to help with alleviating the issues. Sorry for the trouble; we’ll work to iron these issues out as quickly as possible.”

As of this writing, the exchange was restored but the auction house remained offline. This follows yesterday’s patch, which made several quality-of-life changes to the game (and introduced a host of incredibly annoying sounds).

Update: The team tossed out a small hotfix patch today that changed, among other things, mission objective sounds, cabal bank permissions, and various bugs.
Source: Reddit, Twitter

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Anarchy Online celebrates its sweet sixteen

Maintenance mode or no, Anarchy Online is going to celebrate its birthday in style. The MMO, which launched back in 2001, turns 16 this month and is bringing back its anniversary celebration to mark the occasion.

“Today, Anarchy Online celebrates its 16th year of active service,” Funcom posted. “Not a whole lot of games can boast this kind of accomplishment, and we sincerely thank you for your continued love and support of Anarchy Online. You are the very matter that makes up this universe, so thank you again.”

As part of the anniversary event, players can run quests for the Tinker to earn a gift bundle with 500(!) items, defeat the Desert Rider for his loot, and take advantage of multi-month subscription deals to secret bonus loot. There’s also a new cybernetic helmet as a loyalty reward for those who have stuck with the game thus far.

Source: Steam

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E3 2017: Hands-on with Dauntless shows it’s more than a Monster Hunter clone

Phoenix Labs’ not-Monster Hunter monster-hunting game Dauntless is obviously standing in a big shadow after E3 2017. I wasn’t yet fully aware of what Monster Hunter World was doing, but I’ve seen solid games lose to their larger rivals who are slower to innovate in the past. Capcom, while constantly disappointing Mega Man fans, is generally quite good with its co-op hunting series. RaiderZ, a Perfect World published not-MH game that also tackled the monster hunter genre, made minor changes to the formula and came as an actual MMO but still shut down. Though the Phoenix Labs guys weren’t aware of RaiderZ‘s failure, they seemed barely fazed by Capcom’s announcement, and maybe they’re right. Surprisingly, they’ve innovated a few things Capcom itself is doing while also adding a few things Capcom isn’t.

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Enter to win a Star Trek Online Fluidic Antiproton Wrist Lance for Xbox One

In honor of the launch of Star Trek Online‘s season 13 Escalation for console, PWE has granted Massively OP a stack of Fluidic Antiproton Wrist Lances, a rare ground weapon, to raffle to our readers!

“Undine weaponry utilizes cohesive antiproton streams to damage foes. These streams are known to sometimes knock their opponents away while dealing additional physical damage. The primary fire of this particular wrist-mounted antiproton lance is similar to those adapted into Assault weapons that use this same energy technology. The secondary fire is radically different however, incorporating something akin to the ‘focused beam’ technology sometimes seen in use on Undine starships. It can charge up a massive blast that will scar the surface of whatever the foe is standing on, sending out antiproton energy ripples that cause additional damage to anything they cross paths with.”

Read on to enter to win!

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Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott on launch and philosophy following equity crowdfunding announcement

Last week during its seasonal telethon, Shroud of the Avatar’s lead developers surprised watchers by announcing an equity crowdfunding campaign that allows players and other parties to invest directly in the game.

To try to glean more information about the state of the company and the decision to launch this year, we fired off an interview to Portalarium’s Richard Garriott. But one extremely tricky (and frustrating for everyone) issue that crops up with these equity crowdfunding interviews is that the SEC has implemented strict rules for what studios can talk about, meaning they are not legally allowed to discuss deal terms with the press. In fact, if we mention specific deal terms of their campaign in this interview, we can get them in trouble, which is obviously not our goal here. For example, we asked additional questions about the company’s financial position, who has invested in it, what happens to Portalarium if the investor round fails to meet its minimum, whether the game’s income is currently covering its costs, and how the game’s valuation was determined, but Garriott couldn’t answer in fear of running afoul of SEC regulations.

So we’ve proceeded with what we can discuss, and investors can ask questions in public on SeedInvest where everything is posted in accordance with the law.

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Echo of Soul and the order of the Phoenix update

For a game that once promised it would provide “everything an MMO player could want,” Echo of Soul hasn’t exactly toppled popular culture and established itself as digital king in any hemisphere. Yet it’s far from dead, as developer Mr. Blue has signed a contract with Aeria Games to develop a “massive update” for the game that will arrive before the end of 2017. Little is known of this update other than its title: Phoenix.

While the patch is slated for North America and Europe, Mr. Blue hasn’t given up trying to get Echo of Soul into other regions. The MMO developer attempted to reenter the Chinese and Korean markets after initially failing in those countries, and it has recently signed publishing deals to get Echo of Soul out in Turkey and the Middle East.

For those of you playing, you can get yourself a free seahorse mount in time for summer if you drop the devs a line on Facebook. Sounds efficient.

Source: MMO Culture

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Virtual world creator Improbable receives $502M investment from SoftBank

Here’s another reminder that we really shouldn’t take our eyes off of Improbable Worlds, even for a second. The five-year-old software company, which is specializing in creating massive virtual worlds for simulations and games, just received over a half-billion dollar investment from a Japanese telecommunications corporation.

SoftBank injected $502 million into Improbable this week in one of the largest U.K. venture capital deals of all time. This investment puts one of SoftBank’s members on Improbable’s boards and sees SoftBank create a non-controlling stake in the company.

To make a good week even better for Improbable, venture firms Andreessen Horowitz and Horizon Ventures also committed additional funds to the tech startup and its SpatialOS software. “Having backed Improbable from the start, we continue to see huge potential in the application of its technology, both for solving real-world problems and in changing the future of the games industry,” said Horizons Ventures founder Solina Chau.

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Revelation Online deals with infestation of adorable and cuddly raccoon-people

If there is a species of land animal that MMOs haven’t made into a weird or adorable NPC race, developers haven’t met them yet. Case in point, Revelation Online’s Volopine, which are party-loving raccoon-people that exist as a non-playable faction.

The Volopine spend most of their time getting ready for a daily festival and a night’s worth of fireworks. That level of dedication to partying down requires a lot of help, which is where adventurers fit into their society. The raccoons are interesting in other ways, as they apparently specialize in illusion and transformation magic.

Apparently there is a significant difference between the sexes: “Volopine males look similar to raccoons on two legs, while the females look very much human in comparison, bar the giveaway detail that is their raccoon ears.” Because God forbid you make a female character in a video game look anything less than a date-worthy prospect for lonely and imaginative players.

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Exclusive Interview: Secret World Legends’ story, monetization, membership, Tokyo, and more

Did you get your fill of Secret World Legends answers from the first half of our exclusive interview with Game Director Romain Amiel? Us neither. Luckily, we have the scoop on much more regarding the Secret World reboot. (Hey, we did mention we had lots of questions!) Here, Amiel focuses on the story and the missions, monetization, transferring your favorite cosmetics, content releases, optimization, and more. Keep reading to learn the 411.

Story changes

Don’t panic! Nothing has been taken away from the story. In fact, it has been added to. Amiel described how in some places you move to the next part of the main story mission without even knowing why — you just do. Illustrating with the example of Egypt, he noted that bits have been added to make it clearer why players must move from one place to another The basic story is the same, and the awesome cut scenes are the same, there’s just more. Whew.

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Meet City of Titans’ six heroic archetypes

Thanks to some website spring cleaning, City of Titans made a previously hidden article visible to the masses. This particular page outlines the upcoming superhero MMO’s six archetypes, their mottos, and the general playstyle that each will offer.

City of Heroes veterans may be familiar with some of the archetypes here, although some offer slightly different twists. There is the Stalwart, a tank that can take large amounts of damage; the Enforcer, a melee DPS type; the Guardian, a tough paladin-like role; the Ranger, which deals out damage from a long way off; the Commander, which fiddles with crowd control and enemy manipulation; and the Operator, a pet-controlling mastermind.

Each archetype then branches out into three subtypes, such as the Centurion, the Warden, or the Ringleader. Simple math tells us that City of Titans is aiming for at least 18 different classes in its final product.

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