destiny

Official Site: Destiny
Studio: Bungie/Activision
Launch Date: September 9, 2014
Genre: Sci-Fi third-person shooter
Business Model: B2P (Cash Shop, DLC)
Platform: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Rumor: Destiny 2 leak hints at September 8 launch

Reddit is buzzing this morning over posters uploaded across the internet that if legit -- and they do look legit -- seem to reveal a September 8th release date for Bungie's Destiny 2.

That revelation comports with Activision-Blizzard's last investor call in February, during which the companies said the game was on track for a fall 2017 rollout and would be catering to a "casual first-person experience."

The posters also suggest a June beta. Is everyone excited about watching the world chase this game and hearing people fight over whether it's an MMO? No? Yeah.

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Jukebox Heroes: Your favorite MMO themes, #24-19

What are the best and most popular MMO theme songs of all time? A couple of weeks ago I posed this question to the Massively OP community and encouraged fans to submit their own list of music themes in response. We saw a healthy amount of email votes and comment nominations since then, and I was able to compile a nice list of the top 24 MMORPG themes from it.

There were several surprises, at least to me, in the final results. I thought some games would've gotten more nods, while others seemed to come out of nowhere to demand a spot on the list. Each of the themes on this list was put out there by at least two fans, which is why we're going to start with number 24. I'm thinking we might have an honorable mentions column as a post-script, but we'll see how it goes.

Today we will begin our countdown to number one, looking at your favorite MMO themes with my own take on each. Let's get started!

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Beat Destiny, earn a personalized t-shirt

The beginning of the end of Destiny is upon us, as 2017 will mark the transition between the first game and its upcoming sequel. Bungie has already talked about how there will be one last big update for Destiny and after that players will be able to import their characters into Destiny 2.

But what about a memento of your journey? If you've been there and done that, don't you deserve a t-shirt? Bungie thinks you do, which is why it's going to make personalized t-shirts available to players who hit rank 7 in this spring's update achievement charts.

The good news is that the t-shirts will include your PSN or XBL name on them so that you can strut around town with physical proof of your geekery. The bad news? You still have to buy them even after you earn them.

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Destiny plans a final hurrah before Destiny 2

Just because Bungie is ramping up production and talk of this year's Destiny 2 doesn't mean that the studio has completely written off the popular original just yet. In fact, this spring the team will release one last big update for Destiny to keep gamers occupied and happy before the sequel arrives.

According to a teaser video released this week, Destiny's Age of Triumph update will contain the game's biggest record book yet and bring back retired raids for a final hurrah. The full reveal of the update is happening today at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Twitch.

Get a preview of the Age of Triumph update in the video after the break!

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Destiny 2 will import your characters -- but not much else

If you've invested hundreds of hours into Destiny so far, you may be experiencing a mix of anticipation and apprehension over this year's sequel to the online shooter. What will happen to your precious character and all of that hard-won gear?

Let's get the bad news out of the way first: You won't be able to carry over any of your gear, power, or items with you to Destiny 2 when it launches. The good news is that players will be able to import characters in to the sequel, as long as those characters have reached level 20 and done the Black Garden mission. There will also be some sort of "honors" awarded for accomplishments done in the first game.

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Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Wildlands launches next week

If you're a fan of The Division and Ubisoft, you've probably already got your eye on Ghost Recon Wildlands, yet another entry in the ubiquitous Tom Clancy franchise. It's been labeled a tactical shooter, but gamers comfortable with calling games like Destiny MMOs will be at home in four-man multiplayer mode, particularly given that it features one of the studio's biggest open worlds ever, thanks to the gorgeous deserts of Bolivia being used as backdrop.

The game is launching for PC, PS4, and Xbox One next week on March 7th, though the game's open beta just closed down, hence the buzz (which is mostly positive, mind you, though folks are side-eyeing performance on console). Are you giving it a go?

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ARK: Survival Evolved rockets up Superdata's January revenue rankings

The latest Superdata Research report is in for the month of January 2017, and in addition to an increase of 9.8% of digital game sales, several online titles are sitting comfortably in the top 10.

One notable entry is the rise of ARK: Survival Evolved in the console chart to the number four spot. "Launching on PS4 in December, the game is an unusual standout on the AAA-publisher-heavy top 10 console list," the report noted. "In January, the game continued a rise as it becomes popular on the latest generation of platforms and took the number 4 slot, ahead of titles like Battlefield 1."

League of Legends, Dungeon Fighter Online, Overwatch, Lineage, Destiny, and Pokemon Go all made expected showings. World of Warcraft is also on the list, but twice, as the game's sales are being split between "west" and "east." That seem a little unfair to anyone else? You can check out the full chart after the break.

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The Daily Grind: What's the most boring part of MMORPGs?

While MMORPGs are supposed to be these giant buffets of entertainment options available at our fingertips, the truth is that there are always parts of these games that are... less exciting, shall we say, than the others.

I can think of a few that are usually systems I avoid because they're pretty boring. Crafting is unfortunately one of these. In concept, I love the idea of making your own gear and forging your economic destiny, but in practice, most MMO crafting interfaces are so dull and repetitive that I can't ever stick with them.

What is the most boring part of MMORPGs to you? And for bonus points, how would you fix it?

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Jukebox Heroes: The best of SWTOR expansion soundtracks

I have a confession to make: I was fairly underwhelmed by the original soundtrack release for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Sure, it did the job, hit some of those familiar Star Wars notes, and slathered the myriad of game worlds in music, but I found it either too weird (the cantina tunes, mostly) or too long and bombastic to enjoy. Wasn't the worst I'd ever heard, but certainly not near what I would expect from a game bearing the Star Wars moniker.

Yet while I wasn't looking, BioWare has produced some incredible musical chops for the past two expansions. My mouth was often agape when I was listening to Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne, because I kept thinking, "What is this! What is this! This is the soundtrack this game deserved all along!" It was quite the pleasant surprise, let me just say, and today I'm going to share some of my favorite pieces from these recent expansions with you.

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Blizzard Q4 2016 financials: Record quarter for Blizzard thanks to World of Warcraft and Overwatch

Activision-Blizzard's quarterly financial reports have gotten boring since the companies decided to stop reporting World of Warcraft subscribers in 2015, am I right?

But in this case, boring is good. ActiBlizz's net revenues for Q4 2016 were up 42% year-over-year and 49% quarter-over-quarter, setting records for the company left and right.

Bobby Kotick praises Overwatch, the King acquisition, and e-sports in particular, but WoW was no slouch, seeing "an increase in total play time for the quarter, surpassing the Q3 expansion launch quarter and all non-launch quarters in the last four years." Yep, more records.

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Perfect Ten: Ranking MMORPG combat pets, from best to worst

It's an objectively known fact that Warhammer Online's squigs were the peak of MMORPG pet design and functionality. Giant balls of attitude and appetite with a mouth to match, squigs made me proud to be a gamer. Before and since, there have been no better combat pets in existence, which is why it is a tragedy that they went down with that particular sinking ship.

Yet as an MMO pet expert and the best-selling author of "For the fiftieth time, turn off your pet's taunt, Kevin!" I am here to share my wisdom about the rest of the companions that may trot, fly, or slither alongside your character in games. Which are best? Which are worst? Why are you picking on Kevin? These are the questions that I will answer today as I rank common MMO combat pets from best to worst.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: First impressions of Guild Wars 2's The Head of the Snake

If you're reading this, then the poor ArenaNet team has finally managed to battle the crazy weather and pressed the big red button: The Living World season 3's fourth installment will be playable right now should you log in. Minor delay aside, I am absolutely thrilled to see another episode of gripping story is already with us, especially since the episode in question focuses on the stunning surroundings of Divinity's Reach and wider Kryta. The Head of the Snake can be unlocked on each player's Guild Wars 2 account simply by logging in any time from now until the next episode releases, so don't forget to dust off your account if you're not actively playing right now but wish to bank the story for later.

I was invited along to have a quick playthrough with the devs on the stage client before the launch today so that my first impressions would be with you as soon as the episode dropped in this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles. While I can't say that the small glimpse at the episode's content ranked as highly in my estimations as episode 2 did, I very much enjoyed the freeform skirmishes and political subterfuge that I experienced in the one chapter I played in its entirety during my guided run-through and short excursion on my own over the weekend. As ever, I'll attempt to keep this piece as spoiler-free as I can, so anything questionable will be placed behind spoiler tags to make your reading experience better.

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Perfect Ten: The best MMORPG updates and expansions of 2016 (that aren't Legion)

Sometimes you have to exclude something from a list. I could, for example, praise World of Warcraft: Legion for being a really good expansion yet again... but I already did that. Heck, we already did that. It won an award and everything. And it deserves that award, but let's be real, we did not suffer at all from a paucity of updates over the past year. So it's time to honor some of the other updates that were great this past year that haven't gotten enough recognition.

Of course, this is my own curated list, so if you're looking for objectivity combined with a subjective rating like "best," you may be looking for love in all of the wrong places. Let's take one last look through 2016 at all of the really cool game updates that made the onslaught of deaths and tragedy at least slightly more pleasant.

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