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Stardust adds an amusement park inside Revelation Online

If you weren't sure before that Revelation Online's open beta is really a soft launch, does the fact that the game is getting a massive new update convince you?

It's called Stardust, which is adorable, and in fact I thought it might be an early April Fools' Day joke based on the pics alone until I read the text. It's not a joke, but it is for fun!

"This update includes the new Guild vs. Guild map Starshatter Island, the long-awaited Faerie’s Funland map, localization refinements and various gameplay enhancements. Revelation’s new Funland is an amusement park that offers leisure activities and is the magical place where players can become part of a living board game in which the tiles represent various games within the game. Roll the dice, complete the minigames and challenges and walk away with the latest rewards!"

FFXIV's Golden Saucer, anyone? My.com is dubbing the new content as endgame content and saying it's coming "soon." Check out the trailer below!

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Check out Ularra, The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind's third and final battleground map

ZeniMax is previewing the third and final battleground coming to The Elder Scrolls Online when Morrowind releases in June: It's called Ularra. Unlike Ald Carac (always bring a knife to a knife fight) and Foyada Quarry (crowd controlling people into hot lava is hilarious), Ularra is set in an abandoned temple to Mehrunes Dagon, exactly nobody's favorite daedric prince, and it combines the steep drops of the Quarry with the close quarters of the Dwemer keep.

"Ularra provides a varied arena with an emphasis on control of the high ground. Dominated by a large central shrine in the middle of the map, the center is an open space that can only be accessed by using one of the three teleporters set on platforms located between each base. Surrounding the center is dense vegetation and long-fallen ruins, providing a fair amount of cover and line-of-sight breakers. If you want to avoid the center completely and travel without fear of being spotted or attacked from above, you can move underneath the central shrine free from prying eyes."

Both capture-the-flag and domination modes will take place on all three of the maps. Massively OP's own Larry Everett has previously detailed how the new battleground gametype could change the game forever. We shall see!

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Star Trek Online announces Season 13: Escalation, coming April 25 on PC

PWE has just announced Star Trek Online's next season: Escalation. It lands on April 25th for PC players and continues the ongoing Tzenkethi plotline. "Season 13 – Escalation takes the player on a journey to discover where the previously isolationist Lukari came from. Once they begin to understand their previous place in the galaxy, a Tzenkethi fleet arrives, presenting an immediate threat," says the studio.

Intriguingly, players are getting more than just story with the update; there's also a new gameplay system on the way.

"In addition to these exciting events, players will also be able to participate in the War Games system. This new type of queue allows two five-person teams to battle head-to-head in competitive PvE scenarios. To keep players on an even playing field, a new Player Potential system has been introduced that will match players of similar skill in the same matches. The War Game system will also have a new reputation tied to it, including for the first time ever, class specific-ship and captain gear. Captains can mix and match new gear they earn from any class and also have the option to specialize. To support the new War Games system, a full rebalance pass has been made to ground and space combat to ensure that no matter what choice captains make when outfitting their skills or ship, it isn’t a wrong one."

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RIFT's Forged in Flame update today will treat endgamers to new content, LFR tools

MMORPG players can use some happy news today, yeah? How about this: RIFT's Forged in Flame patch is officially live.

The core of the update is Tartaric Depths, a 10-man raid, as well as the new Life Fortress Siege dubbed Xarth's Skull and level 70 reworks for Rise of the Phoenix and Gyel Fortress. How will you access the raid if you don't have a giant mass of friends? Why, with the brand-new looking-for-raid tool, of course.

"Similar to Looking for Group in dungeons, the Looking for Raid (LFR) system gives players the opportunity to quickly and easily join up with others and take down epic bosses where they are rewarded with gear that will help them progress into normal raids. Players are rewarded individually through the Individual Reward System."

Trion's promised to talk more about the update in its weekly Stream on Friday; in the meantime, the patch launch trailer and new screenies are tucked down below. Anybody giving it a go?

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Enter to win a copy of Guardians of Ember courtesy of InselGames and Massively OP

Guardians of Ember [official site] has today updated its early access with a brand-new class: the wicked poisoner known as The Dark Knight.

"The Dark Knight represents the sixth and final class being added to the Hack’n’Slash MMORPG Guardians of Ember. Born out of the desperation and hopelessness that befell Olyndale, the Dark Knight is a merciless fighter who uses both black magic and toxic attacks. Players utilize his or her skills to their advantage by poisoning groups of enemies in one strike, sucking them dry like a leech. Because of their cold nature, Dark Knights are extraordinary lone fighters, who trust in their strength alone. This affords them magnificent attack capabilities but gives them the disadvantage of not being able to heal their allies."

In honor of the launch, InselGames has granted us some lovely Steam keys for copies of the whole game to raffle to our readers, open to anyone who is capable of purchasing and playing the game on Steam. Read on to enter to win!

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Guild Wars 2's Super Adventure Box begins tomorrow... with red weapons, without World 3

If you were holding out hope that this year's edition of Guild Wars 2's Super Adventure Box would come with loads of new content... better let go that hope.

The patch notes released yesterday reaffirm that the Super Adventure Festival will begin on Thursday, but there's no mention of World 3, which honestly does comport with ArenaNet's longstanding assertions that it was unlikely to expand it further, at least this year, as they're working on a not-so-secret expansion.

However, if you were hoping for a new round of holographic skins, that seems assured, as the patch notes (and datamining alike) confirm the new Crimson Assassin set (they're red). It also looks like there's a fresh reward track for SAB as well as new cash shop buyables, including a new music box.

The rest of the patch is a motley assortment of bug fixes, the return of Basket Brawl, tweaks for SAB, tweaks for fractals, some new crafting mats, and the updated lockbox.

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Skyforge's PlayStation 4 version is now playable in early access

Skyforge's PlayStation 4 version has officially launched today -- without much hoopla -- into an early access (head start) period for those who picked up the $14.99 pre-register package. If you don't want to shell out for it, you'll be waiting until April 11th for the full freebie experience.

Redditors are wading through the server-up process, finding frustration in realizing PS4 is region-locked, struggling with MMO concepts like class unlock fees, and debating whether the PS4 edition should be considered a standalone game. Happy launch day!

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Grab a pair of SMITE skins in honor of Celestial Voyage, courtesy of Hi-Rez and Massively OP

SMITE is kicking off a new event today, this one sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone obsessed with Stargate or Indy IV or just "alien astronaut" sci-fi in general. Dubbed Celestial Voyage, the event will ask players to complete quests to unlock goodies and hieroglyphs, the latter of which function as a puzzle for more loot.

As is traditional for SMITE, the update comes with a ton of exclusive themed skins. We've got two extra existing skins that match the theme to give away to our readers today: Celestial Isis and Stargazer Anubis. Onward to the giveaways!

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Final Fantasy XIV launches patch 3.56 and removes free trial time restrictions

Patch 3.56 has arrived for Final Fantasy XIV, bringing with it the end of the Heavensward main story quests, Season 4 of the competitive Feast rankings, and an increase to the weekly Allagan Tomestone cap, which you're probably not going to hit on a regular basis. (900 tomestones a week is a lot.) It's enough stuff to give you good reason to keep working your way across Eorzea until the game's second expansion comes out in June.

But maybe you haven't actually bought the game yet. Does the patch still hold something of interest for you? The answer is yes; this patch marks the abolition of the 14-day free trial's time limitations. So the free trial is now unlimited, although you can't get higher than level 35 and you're limited to the base game without Heavensward content. You can check out some screenshots for the patch just below if that's what you need as an eventual motivator, at that.

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Shroud of the Avatar's new 'outskirts' maps should be a big help for newbies

Shroud of the Avatar's latest newsletter -- its 220th for those keeping track at home -- got a fresh coat of paint to celebrate, and as usual, it's stuffed full of screenshots. Some of those pics feature the Verdantis Mines, a gemstone-studded underground area, and the Kas Ruins (Helm's Deep, anyone?), both being built for Release 41 or 42. There's also a spotlight on a player-owned town, Owl Sky City, and a ton of videos on Obsidian Cabalist weapons.

What caught my attention, however, was the Solace Bridge Outskirts section, as its entry marks a bit of a design shift for Portalarium. "For several years now our backers have been providing us feedback that the first few hours of our game have several major issues," explains the studio. "Those issues include too many loading screens, scenes that are too small, and starting towns that include player housing / vendors. As we shift our focus to improving the New User Experience (NUE) and as we are able to measure new player progress through events like our recent free trial we realize that we must address these issues sooner versus later."

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One Shots: I took a picture THIS big!

When you take the best screenshot in the world and want to impress your friends, do you find that you end up exaggerating a tiny bit? Perhaps with wide-flung arm motions and tall tales of shutter speed and multiple lenses?

Reader Matthew dishes up a boast for us from Elder Scrolls Online: "This screenshot amuses me for two reasons. Firstly, my friend Jacob and I met up yesterday for the first time in a week and discovered that we'd somehow dyed our gear almost the same color. Secondly, Jacob decided to mess around whilst I was taking a screenshot but his dancing animation plus my character's idle 'look around' animation has randomly made it look as though Jacob's Dragon Knight is telling my Sorceror how big the monster he just killed in the dungeon behind us was!"

This is when kobolds mysteriously transform into elder dragons through the power of storytelling. Onward and upward!

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Camelot Unchained attacks its own test server with an army of bots

While it's always important to get players on to test servers for that human element, what if you need a huge army of characters on demand that never give up? That's when you take Camelot Unchained's approach by unleashing an army of bots on its test server to stress it out as much as possible.

"Right now, we have bots firing off 20,000 skills per hour, and logging in and out 16 times per minute, to help us not only track down issues like this, but also to stress test the ability system," the team said in this week's newsletter.

And when there's a Camelot Unchained newsletter, there's always a list of Camelot Unchained tasks that the team has tackled over the past week. Some of the items of note include work on archery mechanics, figuring out where your character respawns when it dies, and the first pass of the "banes and boons" system.

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Kickstarted survival sandbox Planet Nomads hits early access on April 18

Planet Nomads is one of those gorgeous sci-fi multiplayer survival sandboxes that's been kicking around on our Make My MMO list for so long that I'd almost forgotten about it. Not anymore!

"After the 2+ years of caring, cuddling and upbringing, Planet Nomads has finally grown up tall enough to get out there and fight for its future," studio Craneballs (best name ever) says, as the actual "survival" update has this week arrived in the game's alpha, and the early access is now slated for April 18th.

The game originally pulled in $140,000 in Kickstarter funding in early 2016 -- no mean feat the past few years. Another game for our new survival sandbox column, eh?

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