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Three games you've never heard of: Lothgar Online, Little War Online, Age of Rivals

When I add news to our newsroom for our reporters to pick up, I often add links that just say "such-and-such a game exists" -- because just existing is what's new, or at least new to us. Today, we had three of those, and I'm combining them all for this quick look at three MMOs and orbiting games that you've probably never heard of: Age of Rivals, Lothgar Online, and Little War Online.

Lothgar Online

Lothgar Online (Asylumsoft) launched yesterday. Let me warn you upfront: If you aren't into retro pixel graphics and hardcore gameplay, you probably won't like this MMO. The devs, who are also the folks behind the similarly styled Elderlands, call it an "Online RPG built in a classic style, paying homage to 1980s RPGs," and yes, that means PvP, corpse looting, and attunement in addition to a giant world, guilds, skills, and questing. On the other hand? There's no cash shop either. Old school isn't always a bad thing! (via Reddit)
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Snag an AQ3D 'GDC blade' from Artix and Massively OP

Back at GDC, AdventureQuest 3D whipped up a special in-game sword for folks who stopped by the booth: the GDC Blade. But as Artix's reps told me, the studio felt bad that regular players -- who couldn't attend GDC -- weren't able to pick up the blade.

That all changes today, as the studio has granted Massively OP 1000 codes for these exclusive swords for our readers! Click the Mo button below (and prove you're not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Star Citizen will drop DX11, avoid DX12 support

Over the weekend, Cloud Imperium fielded questions from players on some of the more technical elements on display in Star Citizen's last Around the Verse. Turns out that some major DirectX changes are on the horizon.

"Years ago we stated our intention to support DX12, but since the introduction of Vulkan which has the same feature set and performance advantages this seemed a much more logical rendering API to use as it doesn't force our users to upgrade to Windows 10 and opens the door for a single graphics API that could be used on all Windows 7, 8, 10 & Linux," explains Director of Graphics Engineering Ali Brown. "As a result our current intention is to only support Vulkan and eventually drop support for DX11 as this shouldn't effect any of our backers. DX12 would only be considered if we found it gave us a specific and substantial advantage over Vulkan. The API's really aren't that different though, 95% of the work for these APIs is to change the paradigm of the rendering pipeline, which is the same for both APIs."

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AdventureQuest 3D will launch this October after a mega-patch

Following a year of open beta testing, the cross-platform AdventureQuest 3D will launch on October 13th, 2017. Just prior to that launch, however, the team is planning on "one final massive round of interface, character, and art improvements" to go into the game.

Part of these improvements will be a revamp of character faces to make them more expressive and attractive than the current "alien-esque" mugs that have some players jeering. In a post this week, the team walked through the inspiration and process of creating more likable faces that respond to a variety of situations.

"I strongly feel that characters that are 'out of combat' should have a friendly yet determined look," AQ3D's creator wrote. "Some of the governing pillars of Artix Entertainment games is hope, friendliness, and giant vicious fanged man-eating monsters. We are still working on this... but getting closer."

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The Stream Team: An AQ3D afternoon with Artix in Ashfall

Did someone say story? AQ3D recently released its big Ashfall update, the game's first big story-driven saga, and you know Massively OP's MJ is all about the story! She's excited to pop into the new dragon-filled lands of lava and explore. Even better, she's bringing Artix along as a guide (or as someone to get her killed -- you never know with him). Join us live at 3:00 p.m. for a fun time exploring and chatting about the game. Maybe Artix will have some GDC stories to share!

What: AdventureQuest 3D
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 14th, 2016

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AdventureQuest 3D opens Ashfall, nears 1M registered players

Vowing to get the new update out today "no matter what," AdventureQuest 3D's devs pushed its Ashfall patch live. This marks the game's "first story-driven saga," taking place in a volcanic zone full of dragons and fire.

Apparently it was absolutely vital to get Ashfall out today, as the team is taking the game to GDC on Wednesday and needed to have the update live for the demo to function well. "Ashfall will probably be 'that thing' that we all persevered through together, and finally succeeded at, that our gaming community will always remember [...] In our wildest nightmares we never dreamed it would not be released by now," the devs said last Friday.

Players can try out the game in virtual reality at the conference and snag themselves a free exclusive in-game sword by showing the team that they have AQ3D loaded on a phone or tablet.

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AdventureQuest 3D cranks it up with its open beta trailer

It has been a while since AdventureQuest 3D kicked off its open beta phase -- since last October, to be more specific -- but the team wants to keep excitement high for this cross-platform MMO. After presumably considering a massive publicity stunt involving cloud writing, Mount Rushmore, and legendary crooner Wayne Newton, the dev team decided instead to produce an open beta trailer. Which is pretty good too, even if it lacks a certain danke schoen.

Are you prepared for what awaits you after the break? Trust us, you are not, but go ahead and look anyway.

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ARK: Survival Evolved's Jeremy Stieglitz on Scorched Earth and console launch

ARK: Survival Evolved Co-Founder Jeremy Stieglitz has posted to Reddit an unreleased interview he did for Eurogamer, which apparently won't be published there. In it, he addresses some of the criticisms the game has received, specifically the Scorched Earth expansion -- paid DLC for a game that hasn't technically launched yet.

"We should have messaged it sooner and explained our goals with it before launch, rather than at the last-minute of release. In the long-run though, it’s been good for ARK’s gameplay: the new metagame-expanding feature called 'Cross-ARK Travel' which allows players to dynamically travel their characters, items, & creatures between servers is entirely due to the technical work done for the launch of Scorched Earth, which was the intent: to get our key technical & design systems to support expansion ARKs down the road."

He also says that he was surprised the game ever made back its original $2M budget and that the console launch is a necessity.

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AdventureQuest 3D previews the dragon-infested Firefields

AdventureQuest 3D's newest region should be arriving any day now, giving level 15 players a chance to test their mettle against dragons in their native environment.

The Dragons of Ashfall, Part 1 will contain two additional zones, the Lower and Upper Firefields. As the name implies, there's a whole lot of lava going on here, although the good guys have established DragonSlayer Camp as a base of operations. The team said that the story for this zone "is darker and more serious" than anything the game has produced so far.

Take a tour through the Firefields after the break!

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Little War Online is an adorable cross-platform MMO

Looking for a simple and streamlined MMO that you can play on... well, pretty much anything? Here's a tip: Little War Online. The game is a cross-platform MMO that puts players in the role of a blob with one eye, a weapon, and an experience bar.

Little War Online is built atop the bare bones of the Dikumud format, including combat, PvP, looting, and leveling up. The combat leans more on the action side, requiring you to face targets and aim if you're going to hit anything. There are six classes, and for some reason, the game uses the Diablo Exocet font in a most distracting way.

Players can check out the early access in the browser version right now, but there are plans to bring Little War Online to Android, iOS, OSX, and Linux as well. The team recently suffered a setback, as the game's database was hacked on January 4th, requiring a complete wipe and restart. You can check out the gameplay trailer below.

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MMOs Chronicles of Elyria, Dual Universe, and AQ3D were among top crowdfunded games of 2016

Fig, the gaming crowdfunding platform that surged in popularity in 2016 thanks to successful Wasteland 3 and Psychonauts 2 campaigns, has released a list of the top 10 biggest gaming crowdfunds of last year -- and it includes three MMOs.

Fig is touting the games that raised cash on its own platform, of course, but the data also include three MMORPGs in the top 10, backed off Fig: Soulbound's PvP sandbox, Chronicles of ElyriaNovaquark's builder-centric sci-fi sandbox, Dual Universe; and Artix's cutesy cross-platform MMO, AdventureQuest 3D. All three were funded through Kickstarter.

Fig, like the Indiegogo/Microventures platform Crowfall has used for its latest investment round, takes advantage of relatively new U.S. laws that allow non-accredited investors to invest in startups online, making some of these crowdfunds true investment, not just donations, though they come with plenty of restrictions and caveats. Check out the full infographic below.

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AdventureQuest 3D patches in bank functionality

Let's face it, no matter how careful you are with your inventory in AdventureQuest 3D, you are going to run out of space. It's a universal law of MMOs. You could have a million inventory spaces and yet somehow, you would wind up needing to carry a million and one items. So what do you do? Well, you toss some of your spare items in the bank, obviously; that's what the game's first patch for the new year adds in.

Players will all receive one bank vault for free and can purchase up to six additional vaults for a grand total of seven; the size of the bank vaults will vary depending on whether the player is a regular player, a Guardian player, or a Collector Guardian player, with each individual vault getting larger as you move up in player tiers. There's also new target highlighting and a new font for quest text, enough to make the game feel just a little bit better as you shove piles of storage items into bank vaults.

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AdventureQuest 3D previews its new bank vault

Inventory woes in AdventureQuest 3D might not be going away anytime soon, but they should be lessening come next week's patch thanks to the new bank vault.

In a preview video, the team talks about the bank that's coming to AQ3D's city hub. All players will start off with a free vault tab and the option to buy up to seven more. Each tab contains 30 slots for a basic player, 40 slots for a Guardian player, and 50 slots for a Dragon Guardian player.

You can get a brief preview of the new bank UI after the break.

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