dev blog

Dark and Light continues to woo the elemental demographic

Apparently Dark and Light’s elemental scene is so captivating, so rich, and so diverse that it requires a follow-up developer diary to fully cover this essential topic during the game’s alpha period.

All kidding aside, elementals are more than just another mob type in Dark and Light. Since players can eventually craft their own from the remnants of defeated foes, it’s important to know which type does what. For example, the stone elemental is ideal for guarding a base, while light elementals are the most powerful (and deadliest to attack) for an offensive partner.

Or what about befriending your own Olaf? “Tamed Ice Imps loyally follow their masters, lending a hand in combat and using their natural iciness to preserve food and various perishable reagents while you’re exploring the world! This property makes keeping an Ice Imp around a major priority for any adventurer struck with wanderlust.”

Source: Steam

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Destiny 2: ‘The life of a cheater will be nasty, brutish, and short’

Bungie’s weekly dev blog is still riding high off the big Destiny 2 reveal, but that doesn’t mean the text doesn’t share anything in new. In fact, we learn just what the team meant when it said the game won’t make use of “dedicated servers.”

Destiny 2 uses a hybrid of client-server and peer-to-peer technology, just like Destiny 1,” Engineering Lead Matt Segur explains. “The server is authoritative over how the game progresses, and each player is authoritative over their own movement and abilities. This allows us to give players the feeling of immediacy in all their moving and shooting – no matter where they live and no matter whom they choose to play with.”

The decision isn’t about money, Bungie says, as it’s “invested heavily in new server infrastructure” and cloud servers already. “We really believe this is the best model for all of Destiny 2’s varied cooperative and competitive experiences,” Segur says.

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Legends of Aria charges straight at the Knight prestige class

What is a skill-based, freeform character system doing with classes? While it might seem like an oxymoron, Legends of Aria says that it has good reason for including optional prestige classes in its skill-based MMO, which is that it offers more choice for enhanced playstyles without destroying the game’s balance. To tell the truth, the explanation for all of this seems a little murky after the team’s strongly worded diatribe against classes, but we’ll hope they know what they’re doing.

A new dev blog goes into depth about the “defensively minded” Knight prestige class, including its skills. The Knight has an AoE taunt, can bash opponents with his shield, and can activate a “vanguard” mode to become an unmovable pain-returning champion. Right now the game is limiting players to a single prestige class each, with these classes only sporting three abilities, although this is expected to change.

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APB Reloaded brainstorms a ‘gangland survival mode’

See if you can follow the chain of progression here. In APB Reloaded’s most recent dev diary, the team says that it’s about done ironing out issues and fighting DDoS attacks in its console versions (problems that have been going on since early April). Once that is done, the devs want to bring some of these improvements and optimizations to the PC and figure the best way to do that is… by creating a new game mode. Because stress testing or something?

Honestly, it sounds like they’re trying hard to emulate the popularity of other titles: “Seeing the success of Battlegrounds and H1Z1 survival mode, we realized we have almost all the ingredients in APB to create a gangland survival game, and we want to your help to make this event as fun as possible.”

Jump on that survival bandwagon! If the proposed event is popular enough, APB hopes to incorporate it as a regular game mode following the summer.

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Allods Online’s Creation update lands May 23

Next week is shaping up to be a big one for the MMO industry, unsurprisingly, as Memorial Day approaches and schools begin leaking out for the season. Allods Online has its own release in store next week: the 8.0.1 Creation update, an apparent thematic extension of last winter’s Immortality expansion. On deck for the update:

  • an althetic competition – “Join chariot races, descend into the Minotaur’s Labyrinth, and fight in the gladiator games!”
  • a new storyline revolving around the newly raised Dominus
  • new artifacts through raid adventures, with 5 upgrade levels
  • fabled items — or some of them, anyway — will be demoted to lootable and craftable status
  • a rating system for players who own a Maze
  • a new order trial, party skirmishes

My.com has a separate dev blog out for gearing up too. MOP’s MJ Guthrie poked her head into Allods — for the first time! — just a few weeks ago; you can watch her show below. Warning: Gibberlings ahead!

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Dark and Light lets you kill, harvest, and stitch together magic pets

Imagine you’re a hunter. Imagine that for every deer you kill, you take a part of it home with you and keep it in a jar, like that’s a sane thing to do. And imagine that if you collect enough parts, you can velcro them together to make a loyal deer pet of your very own. Your mind just went to a dark place, didn’t it? Sorry about that.

Well, this totally normal activity is programmed into the feature set of Dark and Light, but instead of your stock deer, you can harvest elementals to make your own companion. We wonder how they feel about that, being sentient magical Frankenstein monsters assembled from murdered relatives.

“Newer explorers should steer clear if they happen across a wild one,” the devs advise in a new dev blog, “but more experienced players can kill elementals and harvest them for powerful magical cores. These cores can be used as crafting reagents for high-level items and spells, or, once enough cores have been collected, they can be used to summon a tamed elemental of your very own.”

Source: Steam

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Unpacking Guild Wars 2’s Flashpoint

I’ve managed to calm myself enough after finishing my Guild Wars 2 Flashpoint initial impressions piece two weeks ago to bring you a much more detailed look at the action-packed episode that is the penultimate instalment in the Living World’s eventful third season. The story contains so many twists and turns that you’ll be dizzy by the end, and in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months and missed all the hype about this content drop, you’ll want to know that Lazarus’ true identity is revealed within Flashpoint.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll unpack the reveals and angles taken by the penultimate episode of Season 3 and will share my most and least favourite aspects of the episode while I’m at it. This article will contain significant spoilers and is not safe to read for those who haven’t completed Flashpoint and have managed to avoid the spoilers so far. You can always bookmark this one to come back to whenever you have managed to find time to enjoy the content for yourself.

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Identity announces SpatialOS integration, delays town square module

It’s time to play catch-up on another interesting indie MMORPG, Identity. You may remember this as the contemporary life simulator sandbox that has raised over a half-million dollars in funding and promises to let people inhabit a virtual world not unlike our own.

The team at Asylum Entertainment has been chatty over the past few weeks, announcing some big developments for the project. The first piece of news is that the team behind Identity is partnering with Improbable to use SpatialOS to become a “scope-changer” for the project.

“The Identity team has been testing the waters with SpatialOS for a couple of months now and we’re incredibly excited about what it’s going to mean for Identity,” the team said. “Identity can now be what we all hoped it would be, a true MMORPG in scale. SpatialOS is going to power Identity behind the scenes, allowing absolutely enormous scale for our world and the people playing in it.”

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Conan Exiles goes nuts with home decoration and defense

If interior decoration gets your motor running, then Conan Exiles is about to become your favorite haunt. The survival sandbox just unloaded a slew of home decor — as well as a sneaky trap or two.

There are over 50 “placeables” that were added to the game’s housing options in Update 26. These include stackable pillows, a stuffed crocodilie head, a flaming brazier, a giant carpet, a warm campfire, and for the discerning barbarian, windchimes. Conan likes to hear the lamentations of the little tinkles that it makes.

The game also introduced two new traps, in case you want a little old-fashioned home security: “While exploding traps do a great amount of damage, vapor traps create a cloud of poisonous gas and will do increasing damage the longer you stay in the cloud. Though they take longer to kill enemies, vapor traps can for example be placed in corridors or other confined spaces, where exploding traps would not only kill your opponents, but also do great damage to your own constructions as well.”

Hospitality!

Source: Dev blog

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Revelation Online adds Snowpine Reach to its travelogues

My.com has a pair of new dev blogs out this week. The first focuses on Snowpine Reach, a snowy Alpine zone in the northeast corner of Nuanor, and yeah, screenshots like these are why you play Revelation Online.

“Snowpine Reach is cold enough to dampen the spirits of those unused to such chilling environments, thus those who stay there must quickly learn how to craft the warmest clothes using the hides and furs of local wildlife,” says the studio. “Given Snowpine Reach is also the staging ground for one of the most bitter rivalries in Nuanor, staying warm isn’t the only factor one must adapt to when trying to survive.” That’s because the baddies are also trying to kill you, as are the factions — at least until you pick a side.

The other piece covers the lore behind Shinji. Poor, poor, Shinji, doomed to be the king of everything. Have a look — pretty, yeah?

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Conan Exiles moves to biweekly patch cadence, reshuffles development priorities

You might have noticed there was no Conan Exiles patch this week. That was intentional. Funcom says it hasn’t been happy with the quality of its patches on a quick turnaround; indeed, Joel Bylos apologizes. “In an effort to increase the quality of our patches we’ve made the call to step back from releasing a patch every week and instead hold patches back until we are certain they reach the bar of quality we’ve set for the game,” writes the studio.

It’s all part of a dev blog detailing the results of the game’s recent player survey. Turns out a majority of players prefer private PvP servers, play weekly, care most about combat and building, and want the exploits wiped off the map. And as for features? Conveniently, players want what’s already being worked on: mounts, thralls, and sorcery, followed by The Purge, exploration, farming, and sieging at the bottom, which surprised Funcom as sieging includes Avatar fixes, highly requested by players. “This could be a failure on our end to emphasize that this feature was included in sieging. In any case, Avatar defense is close to completion and we expect to roll it out soon, which hopefully covers the part of sieging that people have desired the most.”

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Indie sandbox El Somni Quas answers Q&A, features Rogues Guild and Sparrow Port

It’s been a while since we checked in with El Somni Quas, the indie sandbox from a Czech studio that cut its teeth on Ultima Online emulators and is porting its ideas into its own game with 3-D sensibilities. We’ve already run multiple exclusive dev diaries on the game’s arena design, its free-for-all PvP and sandbox features like housing, and how the game has been built from scratch for modern players.

Today we’re getting a listen rather than a read, as the studio’s principals have lined up for a vidcast and player Q&A on the game. The conversation of the vidcast is in Czech, but the team has kindly translated the whole thing into English for us; just make sure you turn on subtitles!

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Neverwinter’s Shroud of Souls update is now live on PC

Shroud of Souls is live in Neverwinter today as promised — at least if you’re on PC. Console folks, you’ll be waiting a bit longer as usual to get your eyeballs on the patch, which includes a new storyline, customizable guild halls, a new stronghold siege event for guilded players, and of course, the loadouts feature, which allows players to put together their own gear sets to swap in and out as they please.

“The events of The Cloaked Ascendancy have unleased something sinister below the River District. A dragonborn necromancer has taken control of an artifact known as the Shroud of Souls, allowing her to summon an army of wraiths to overwhelm Neverwinter. Sergeant Knox tasks adventurers with halting this menace before the necromancer recruits powerful spirits to lead her ghostly army. Shroud of Souls brings the story of the Cloaked Ascendancy to an end and introduces several features to Neverwinter, including an all-new adventure, the long-awaited Loadouts feature, a new Stronghold Siege event, a customizable Guild Hall social space and more.”

Lead Designer Thomas Foss has a new video dev diary out on the content dump too — you can check that out below!

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