factions

Factions is a standalone expansion for Guild Wars that released on April 28, 2006. It may also refer to the combat module release of Origins of Malu.

EVE Online plans Blood Raider capital ships with dedicated bays for player corpses

Perhaps the most disturbing of the pirate factions in EVE Online's dystopian universe is the Blood Raider Covenant, a radical Amarrian cult who drain the blood of captured citizens and literally paint their ships with it. Players can occasionally loot the blueprints for rare Blood Raider ships from PvE sites and build their own blood-splattered vessels, and this week CCP revealed details of powerful new Blood Raider capital ships that will be added to the game in an upcoming patch this May.

The new capital ships are the "Dagon" Force Auxiliary, the "Chemosh" Dreadnought, and the colossal "Molok" Titan. All three ships have special bonuses to Nosferatu modules that will let them rapidly drain the capacitor of enemy ships, and another macabre twist: Massive corpse bays that can only store the frozen corpses of your enemies (or your friends, because ... well, it's EVE). Some ships in EVE have useful specialised cargo compartments for items such as ore or fuel, but the corpse bay is just a bit of fun as corpses don't actually serve a purpose in-game at the moment.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Star Wars The Old Republic will finally allow us to switch factions

Long-time players of Star Wars: The Old Republic: In the next update 5.2: The War for Iokath, you will finally be able to switch factions. Insert disco horn here.

That's right: If you are a Republic character, you will finally be able to fight alongside the best people in the universe: the Sith Empire. And if you're a traitor to the Empress, you can fight alongside the Galactic Republic.

I also wanted to amplify another announcement about a couple of long-awaited companions. Republic Troopers, you will finally get your love interest Elara Dorne back, and Sith Warriors, you will finally be able to Force choke Malavai Quinn again, just as you always wanted.

I'll explain the details, my opinion, and show a teaser video on the matter below in this edition of Hyperspace Beacon.

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The Survivalist: Massively OP's guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya'll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn't as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.

I'm not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller -- and oft times privately managed -- scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we're going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here's a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
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How Frostkeep's Rend compares to other MMOs and survival sandboxes

I was pretty well taken by multiplayer survival sandbox Rend as soon as I saw it at this year's PAX East 2017, as I wrote yesterday. The concept immediately spoke to me as taking a lot of the cool ideas from other survival games while making the game as a whole into something very different. But I also entirely understand that sometimes you can look at the game and wonder what makes it so different. After all, it's hardly the first time that we've had a game using a lot of the building blocks. So why am I over the moon about Rend but not its obvious inspirations and close cousins?

The answer is that in some cases, I am over the moon about its close cousins. But it's also important to understand the distinction and the fact that Rend is not, say, Crowfall or Conan Exiles or any other game. So what makes Rend different? Not necessarily better, but how does it stack up to the obvious points of comparison?

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PAX East 2017: Introducing Rend, a three-way survival sandbox from Frostkeep Studios

I don't really like survival games, typically -- I understand why a lot of people do like them, don't get me wrong, but I don't care for them myself, for a whole forest of reasons. To make a survival game that I want to play, you have to really come at the genre from a side angle, which can be hard to do while retaining the things that people like about the genre.

At this early juncture, I can't say that Rend (official site) will do all of that. But I can say that the groundwork is in place for something that might be worth getting excited about.

I was incredibly fortunate to be granted one of the first meetings with Frostkeep Studios and a first look at Rend itself, in a conspiratorial PAX meeting on the second floor of a fish restaurant on the Boston piers. It felt a bit as if I were being shown something that should not be seen, some artifact of great power that had been hidden away from prying eyes. Perhaps that's as it should be.

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Dark and Light has special mounts for faction leaders

Here's some incentive for climbing the political ladder in Dark and Light to become the leader of one of the game's three factions: your very own leader-exclusive mount. Nothing like trotting around and being the envy of everyone else while you literally lord it over them!

"Players can be elected to the position of Lord within their faction and gain special privileges during that time, including the right to use their faction's guardian creature as a mount!" the team said on Facebook.

Dark and Light recently confirmed that it will be going into early access followed by a launch in 2017. Check out the human leader mount below!

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Pantheon's lorekeeper on the Perception system and elves

It's lore day over at Visionary Realms, where this month's newsletter for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is all about the story behind the game. What, did you just think it was about showing up for kobold genocide?

Pantheon lorekeeper Justin Gerhart knows your secret. "One of the most critical and often overlooked elements is lore," the newsletter laments. "Creating the story for an MMORPG has many similarities to writing a serialized screenplay, as you continually move the narrative along and to shape the theme of the world. Justin’s main inspiration in creating the lore of Pantheon was to craft something that would be interesting and meaningful to both veterans and new players alike, and would continue to be engaging no matter how far into your journey you were. One of the main Pantheon differentiators is our Perception system, and lore plays a massive role in that system. It will really reward those players who take the time to gain an understanding of the world around them."

Yeah, you're gonna have to read.

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The Game Archaeologist: Earth and Beyond

Personally, I prefer science fiction over fantasy nine times out of ten, even though most of the MMOs that grace my desktop are fantasy games. Sci-fi has had an awfully difficult time making headway into the field of MMOs, with plenty of underperforming or canceled titles littering the way. I've heard it explained that the fantasy genre is easier for the common person to grasp because it uses elements of our past -- primarily the medieval period -- to provide a familiar baseline, whereas sci-fi's futuristic setting requires world-building from scratch.

Whatever the case may be, Earth & Beyond never really caught on the way that EVE Online did just a couple of years later, and its miniscule population was not enough for Electronic Arts to keep it running. But between 2002 and 2004, Earth & Beyond reached for the stars and gave its own spin on how a space-faring MMO could work. Let's take a look today at what made Earth & Beyond unique, what it gave the industry, and how it may help upcoming space MMOs avoid a similar fate.

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Perfect Ten: MMORPGs that help you get your spaceship on

Sometimes even the most die-hard MMORPG player finds him or herself a little tired of constantly looking at the back of a head and a running butt. We yearn to slip the surly bonds of the world to explore the cosmos in our very own rocket ship to see what is out there. E.T., are you taking house calls? Can we hang for a little while? I brought Reese's Pieces!

Getting this experience isn't quite as easy as, say, finding an MMO that caters to the dragon-slaying crowd. It's well-known that sci-fi MMORPGs are in the minority, and only a fraction of those center around or contain some element of space flight and combat. However, over the years we've seen online games here and there allow us to live out our fantasies of being a space jockey, whether in the form of a trader, a fighter pilot, or an explorer.

Today, let's look at 10 MMOs, past and present, that helped us get our spaceship on!

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Crowfall preps faction system, playtests, and houses

Coming soon -- not in time for this weekend's pre-alpha test, but soon -- is the first version of Crowfall's faction system. At some point in Pre-Alpha 4.0, players will be able to pick and fight for a faction, officially joining a team until the end of a campaign's run. While a date for the start of faction play hasn't been announced, the Templar will be available to test this weekend.

The devs said that this initial foray into factional warfare won't be as full-featured as the launch game: "This isn't a 'mini-campaign,' per se, so don't expect win conditions, castle sieging or limitations on import/export just yet... all of that will come in due time. This is simply the jumping-off point."

ArtCraft is also running a housing promotion by selling three of its units at 20% off (which range from $52 to $144). Whether or not you're interested in buying them, you might want to check out the "Parade of Houses" video after the break to get an idea of what homesteading in Crowfall might look like.

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Star Trek Online designs nine new starship variants

Get out your abacus and your wallet, because Star Trek Online is getting ready to wow you with ship options and suck your funds dry to pay for them.

Cryptic announced that it is preparing nine versions of the Tier 6 Vesta Multimission Explorer. The variants break down into three types (science, tactical, and engineering) for each of the three factions (Klingon, Federation, and Romulan). Besides looking sharp, each ship will come with a set for a universal Lt. Commander or a temporal bridge officer, a unique console, and a starship trait, such as heavy tachyon mines.

You'll have the choice to pay for them a la carte, in faction bundles, or a "super-bundle" containing all nine.

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Massively Overthinking: Breaking your immersions in MMORPGs

Veteran MOP reader and tipster Nordavind is going to break your immersions. Just kidding. He does have a question for us all on that topic, however:

"After the discussion about the recent Worlds Adrift article, I started to think about what my limit is when it comes to plausibility in games. I do not need a game to be realistic; I can easily accept no fall damage 'because strong,' shooting flames from your fingertips 'because magic,' and faster-than-light travel 'because sci-fi,' but things like those serial turbines in the article's image [shown above] just utterly shatters the little immersion I bring to games. Don't mess with the physics! Where do you guys draw the line? What odd things do you accept 'because' and what pet peeves can break your immersion in even the most fantasy world of them all? (And the answer "other players" does not count!)"

We're gonna hold you all to that! We posed Norda's question to the MOP staff for this week's Massively Overthinking.

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Ten life lessons I learned from the Asheron's Call series

As Asheron's Call 1 & 2 are going offline shortly, I thought I might give it a final send-off with a list of things I learned from the series. Maybe it's cheesy, but I really did grow up in Dereth. Some kids get their life lessons from sports, girl/boy scouts, farm life, church life, alien abduction camp life, and so on, but I learned a lot with the help of the AC series and the people I played with. I'll focus on 10 life lessons learned from the Asheron's Call series, but trust me, it's more than that.

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