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Tree of Life launches and goes ‘beyond the journey’

Last week, colorful sandbox MMO Tree of Life slipped the bonds of early access and launched itself into the wild blue yonder of live operation. If you played it a while back, you may be startled to see how much it’s changed in the meantime. In fact, the team has subtitled the game “Beyond the Journey” to indicate that this is almost a completely rebuilt game.

The release version of Tree of Life includes the warden tree building system, guilds, factions, the mastery system, a better UI, more mounts (ever want to ride a chicken for some reason?), more decorations, and the new Clay Engine 2 game client.

The team re-released an official launch trailer but also threw in a nice new wrap-up video of the early access period to thank the community for all of its help. You can view both of these after the jump.

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Sci-fi sandbox MMO Dual Universe’s pre-alpha launches September 30

Dual Universe today etched a date on its pre-alpha launch: September 30th. “Access to this first playable version of Dual Universe will be limited to Kickstarter and crowdfunding backers that have pledged at Gold Founder level and above, prior September 7th,” says Novaquark’s press release today, which characterizes the sci-fi sandbox as a “highly anticipated disruptive MMO.” The forums further explain that the originally planned alpha is in fact not actually ready, hence the pre-alpha label.

“You probably noticed that we’re calling this first public access Pre-Alpha and not Alpha, as originally intended. Why? Because we are not quite ready yet to switch the game into Alpha, but we still wanted to honor our commitment to our backers. This first public glimpse of the game won’t feature a proper game loop as we originally wanted but, after postponing the release a few months ago, we felt like a new delay was not appropriate. We think any additional delays, even though the game is not in the true Alpha state we had anticipated, would not be in keeping with the spirit of our commitments to our community and backers.

“We decided it would be better to give you access to the game at an even earlier state than to delay again. That it would be better to give you a look at where we are, rather than wait again for where we had hoped to be at this stage.”

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Perfect Ten: MMO experiments in transmedia synergy

We’re not going to argue that MMORPGs are the dominant form of media entertainment these days, but they do have endurance and a devoted following among gamers. And whenever a crowd of players have been paying into a game for a long time, it will attract the attention and interest of marketers who start wondering what else they could do to siphon off a few more bucks.

Enter “transmedia synergy,” a stupidly awesome term that represents links between two or more forms of media that are connected through the same IP. The thinking here is that fans of one of these forms of entertainment will cross over into the related media and vice-versa, growing an audience together.

Today we’re going to look at 10 experiments in transmedia synergy, for better or for worse, that have attempted to cross over from MMORPG to something else entirely. To make things more challenging, we’re not going to include novels, since we’ve already done that.

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ARK won’t be featuring console crossplay any time soon

Friends and family separated by gaming platforms won’t be coming together for a joyous reunion any time soon if they’re playing ARK: Survival Evolved.

Crossplay between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 crowds remains a future dream, as Sony is stubbornly refusing to allow its kids to play with the neighbors. What makes this situation that much more agonizing is the fact that such crossplay is functional right here and now. ARK’s Jeremy Stieglitz reported on Twitter that “we have it working internally, but currently Sony won’t allow it.”

Perhaps it’s only a matter of time as the industry starts to shift in that direction. Earlier this week, we reported the Sea of Thieves will be featuring crossplay between Xbox One and PC crowds when it launches next year.

ARK: Survival Evolved is looking to finally launch the game across all platforms on August 29th.

Source: Gamasutra

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Path of Exile debuts in China, teases next expansion for December

First it was the launch of its nest expansion, The Fall of Oriath. Then it was its launch on the Xbox One. And now Path of Exile is rounding out an exciting and exhausting month of activity by coming to China for the first time.

“For two years, we have been working with Tencent to bring Path of Exile to China,” Grinding Gear Games said. “After many months of beta testing, we are proud to announce that it has entered open beta today. Their release includes all of the 3.0.0 content and some specific changes for the Chinese region.”

The studio said that this was a “big thing” for the game’s worldwide plans, but that’s not all it’s working on: In fact, GGG is working planning its next expansion.

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Moonlight Blade charges toward a final closed beta in September

It’s the final countdown to the final closed beta for Moonlight Blade! Right now, Nexon is laying the groundwork for the game’s final beta test in Korea. And you know what that means: launch and hopefully movement toward the western shores!

Right now through September 3rd, Moonlight Blade is accepting sign-ups for the test. Following that, the closed beta will run from September 7th through the 20th. There’s even a brand-new website up to make the whole deal look that much more official and bump up the hype somewhat.

Go flying with all of the classes and their styles after the break!

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Exclusive: Elsword’s fourth Elrianode dungeon, El Tower Defense, launches tomorrow – here’s the trailer!

Elsword fans, a huge update is dropping for you tomorrow: The fourth and final dungeon in the Elrianode series, El Tower Defense, is going live on August 23rd. “This is the big lead up to a huge boss fight,” KOG Games promises.

“The crazed Henir Fanatics descend upon the last bastion of Elrianode, the El Tower. As Elsword and the El Search Party throw everything they have at keeping the fanatics at bay, Hennon, the Order’s arrogant leader, has discovered that the El Search Party won’t back down, and they’re putting up the fight of their lives. In a desperate attempt to overpower them, he combines the light and dark El fragments together, turning him into the nightmarish Interdimensional Colossus. For the first time, Elsword has realized that there is nothing left to lose. Chaos and devastation have done nothing more than temper metal and rally their spirits. Now, they go on the offensive and take the fight to the enemy.”

We’ve got the exclusive dungeon trailer down below!

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Touring Trove’s new Eclipse expansion with the Trion team

The big solar eclipse may have been yesterday, but today marks the beginning of Trove’s Eclipse! And luckily, this one will last much more than a couple of minutes. Today’s the launch day for the pixel game’s big expansion that devs have been showing off on streams throughout the month. If you’ve been following the news, you know that there will be some exciting editions to Trove once those expansion doors open. I sat down with Trion Producer Rick White, Senior Animator Ted Sanger, and Art Lead Robin Luera to talk more about these changes that White noted will offer something for everyone.

“For the Eclipse expansion,” he said, “we really tried to push adding new content for our three different segments of players: our beginning players, our mid-ranged players, and our power users and endgame players.” These new features include subclasses, a gem forging system, an expanded Shadow Tower, and the worlds atlas. Let’s dig in!

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Lost Ark sails into closed beta 2 this Friday

Countdowns could mean many things. Missile launches. Christmas. New Year’s Day. Or in the case of Lost Ark, the start of its second closed beta test in Korea.

The official (Korean) site is currently sporting a countdown to this Friday, when Lost Ark’s CBT2 is set to begin. This time around, the beta is greatly expanding to include a focus on sailing, so there’s a whole lot of ocean, ship, and harbor imagery going on with the previews.

Smilegate said that the beta will also feature a new class, the opening of a brand-new continent, and more stories to experience. If you feel proficient in your Korean, you can attempt to sign up for a spot on the site!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2 Elite Specialization preview weekend impressions

Over the weekend Guild Wars 2 players had the chance to get to grips with the new Path of Fire elite specializations in a PvP setting, so I, of course, jumped in with both feet and tried out some of the specializations for myself.

You’ll know already if you’re familiar with my ramblings that PvP isn’t a massive love of mine, but I simply couldn’t resist giving it a go for the sake of the elite specializations. I didn’t get to sample each one for myself because I had some key family events that fell over the weekend too, but I’ve been sure to provide a brief as-I-saw-it summary of the elite specializations I didn’t get to spend time actively playing.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll share my thoughts on my preview time spent playing around with the Weaver, Holosmith, Mirage, Scourge, and Spellbreaker and watching the work of the other elite specializations. These are simply rapid-fire impressions — I had to be brief to fit them all into the span of one column — but they should nevertheless be helpful to those who didn’t get hands-on over the weekend.

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Lawbreakers nerfs a bunch of abilities post-launch

When one looks at a gravity-challenged game like Lawbreakers, one cannot help but wonder when the devs will add an update where your characters will have to fight a “nausea” meter while spinning and flipping through the air like some demented carnival ride.

No nausea meter yet, but the team did put out a small post-launch patch last week that adjusted downward (read: nerfed) some abilities that turned out to be a wee bit overpowered. These include the Harrier’s Convergence skill and the Wraith’s Wasp Sting. Gunslingers also felt the nerf bat pretty hard, but they did get a new mechanic that grants them a warp charge for every omega headshot. We assume that if you play the game, you’ll understand the words in the previous sentence.

Lawbreakers has been struggling with low numbers and rankings ever since the shooter’s launch several weeks ago. Boss Key CEO Cliff Bleszinski recently said that streaming the game during testing hurt its prospects.

Source: Patch notes

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Destiny 2’s launch trailer is clucking awesome

“Do you see all that I have done?”

The stakes are high for this fall’s Destiny 2, with a near-unstoppable villain smashing through the status quo to set himself on the top of a rubble of worlds and Destiny 1 character accomplishments.

On top of this morning’s news about some of the bells and whistles coming for the PC version, Destiny 2 released its launch trailer today to set the stage for the events to come. It’s a wild ride through a broken landscape with desperate sorties, Tron-style frisbees, massive guns, and even a chicken. Our money is on the chicken.

Treat yourself to some cinematic adrenaline after the break!

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Sea of Thieves confirms crossplay between Xbox One and PC

Here’s some exciting news coming out of Gamescom’s early Microsoft presentation this week: Sea of Thieves will be linking up its PC and Xbox One communities in game thanks to crossplay capabilities.

Rare confirmed that both editions will contain “complete feature parity” between them, allowing for console and computer players to share the same severs and game edition. The dev team is already running crossplay internally and will be doing so for all technical alpha tests going forward. Additionally, the upcoming Xbox One X will be included in Sea of Thieves’ testing and crossplay, which is great for those who want to play on a 4K TV.

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