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PvP robot battler The Maestros programs a closed beta weekend

If you’ve ever had the desire to send in hordes of minions to fight at your command, yet you also felt anguished about causing so much human suffering, then The Maestros has a kinder, more technological solution. The PvP team battler puts players in charge of creatures and robots as technology faces off against nature.

Who will win? We might find out this weekend, when The Maestros kicks off a three-day closed beta test from May 25th through the 27th. It’s a perfect time to figure out whether or not this title, which the devs describe as “League of Legends meets Pikmin,” is for you.

The Maestros is a team-vs.-team action-strategy arena about transforming cute animals and clunky robot minions into battle-ready beasts and bots,” the team described. “Pick a commander and beat down leafy monsters to build up your squad, then mutate them into a walking wombo combo your enemies won’t soon forget.”

Source: Steam

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Rumors swirl about a Warcraft 3 announcement… like a remaster

If you’re looking for the source of the story behind World of Warcraft, you can look no further than Warcraft 3. Most of the conflicts that have kept the game going through its many expansions got their start there, and so it’s kind of a lodestone for the game’s overarching story and plot. So it’s worth paying attention when there are rumors that the game will be getting some sort of major update, based on a new installer and a secret event that had several top players flown out for a meeting.

So what’s happening next? We don’t know yet, although a remaster along the lines of the recent StarCraft remaster seems like the most likely reason. We don’t know yet, though, so people can feel free to speculate endlessly about what might be next for the venerable RTS game. A remaster would certainly help a lot of fans get new familiarity with a very big part of the Warcraft universe lore, after all.

Source: Blizzard Watch, Icy Veins; thanks to Sally for the tip!

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Win That War hauls out a ‘truly massive scale RTS”

Remember when real-time strategy games were all the rage and not games where you did weird things with dino poop to stay alive? Insane Unity does, which is why the studio is building a MMORTS called Win That War.

“The heart of the Win That War experience lies in a massively multiplayer online campaign, in which opposing factions wage merciless war to conquer territories at planetary scale,” the team explains. Players join up with one of three retro-futuristic factions to conquer the galaxy one planet at a time.

Win That War just launched on Steams early access and includes a PvE mode for those who would rather beat up a computer than a fellow gamer. The game’s not free to check out, alas; it costs $20 to purchase at this stage of testing. Check out the trailer after the break!

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The 2022 Asian Games will include e-sports events

Go ahead and keep mocking e-sports, but they are only getting bigger and more respectable as they keep creating tremendous piles of money. In addition to winning coveted spots on television and earning floor space in casinos, now e-sports are inching toward the Olympic stage, at least in Asia.

“The Olympic Council of Asia and Alisports of China today announced a strategic partnership to bring the Electronic Sports video game phenomenon to the official sports programme of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China,” declares a press release from earlier this week. “E-Sports, which is enjoyed by millions of youngsters around Asia and the world, has already been added to the OCA’s 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, this September as a demonstration sport.”

Youngsters! Aww.

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Blizzard is rolling out StarCraft: Remastered for hardcore fans

It’s been a very long time since StarCraft was first released. By this point, the original game is just part of the landscape, and the gameplay itself has aged pretty well. The game has not, however; it was never really designed for modern systems, and the graphics look like a blurry mess between story cutscenes that are literally talking heads on monitors. It’s the sort of game that’s ripe for an upgrade with a delicate touch, something that doesn’t touch the actual game but adjusts the metaphorical wrapper. You know, like what Blizzard announced for StarCraft: Remastered.

No changes will be made to the actual gameplay, game balance, or so forth of StarCraft with this release; however, the developers are promising modern matchmaking and Blizzard app integration along with redone graphics (complete with the ability to zoom in and out), re-recorded audio and music, and new comic book-style scenes between missions to tell the story more organically. If you’ve never really moved on from the game, this is unambiguously good news; you can put your long-in-the-tooth Brood War CD away and still get all of the same actual gameplay.

Source: Blizzard press release

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Marching Legions launches on mobile in seven countries

Hands up if you happen to reside in Singapore. India? Lots of people in India, or so we heard. How about Germany or Australia? Canada? Malaysia or Thailand? If so, then you can go ahead and download Marching Legions, because it has released in those countries and nowhere else. The rest of the world? You can sit on your hands and be patient for now.

Marching Legions is a Nexon MMORTS in which players build up a city base, train armies, and then attempt to conquer foreign cities. While the aesthetic definitely skews to medieval fantasy, the 600-odd cities that you can invade are all named after real-world locations. Ye Olde New Yorke, we guess? The title promises a lot of battlefield tactics, including flanking and decoys, so it’s hopefully more than a mere number crunch game.

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Online RTS Grey Goo releases free Descent of the Shroud DLC

It’s been a tough year for online RTS Grey Goo, which released in January 2015 to less than stellar reception. The game promises classic RTS gameplay and has some impressive cinematics and decent reviews, but players have complained of balance problems and a lack of content. There are also typically fewer than 100 players of the game online at any given time, which has made it difficult for players to get balanced matches in multiplayer. Developer Petroglyph recently ran a tournament with $30,000 worth of prizes in the hopes of bolstering those concurrent player numbers, with limited success.

Now developers are hoping to give the game a shot in the arm with the release of a free piece of DLC to all existing and future players. The Descent of the Shroud update adds the game’s fourth playable faction, an extra mission, one new unit for each of the existing factions, and an extensive gameplay balance overhaul. A new Definitive Edition of the game has been released for the reduced price of $29.99; it comes with Descent of the Shroud, the three-mission Emergence campaign, and the soundtrack. All existing players have been upgraded to the Definitive Edition for free, so if you’ve picked up Grey Goo previously, you’ll log in to find some new missions waiting for you. Check out the DLC reveal trailer below for more information.

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Final Fantasy XIV devotes a full trailer to Lord of Verminion’s strategic pet battles

If you’ve never played Final Fantasy XIV or stopped playing some time ago, you might not be aware of the fact that there’s a new way to fight for glory these days. A chance to not simply march into battle, but to take command of an entire army… of cute fluffy animals and some dolls. It’s Lord of Verminion, and yes, it’s all about battling with your pets.

The flip side, of course, is that Lord of Verminion also serves as a fully featured RTS game in the middle of the existing MMORPG, so there’s some meat on those bones. If you haven’t looked into it at all, or just like to watch battle footage of fat cats rolling about on the battlefield, check out the trailer just below.

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Player-scripted MMORTS Screeps is launching on August 12

Billing itself as “The world’s first strategy sandbox MMO game for programmers,” Screeps is heading out of beta next week when it officially releases on August 12th.

So what is this unusual game? Screeps is an open-world MMORTS sandbox in which players control a colony of “creeps” by programming actions for them in Javascript. Creeps will continue to follow their scripts whether or not a player is online, offering a round-the-clock persistent world of action. Screeps was partially funded by Indiegogo and will charge for “CPU credits” to power scripts.

You can watch Screeps’ game trailer after the break.

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Chronicles of Elyria features aging, death, and destructible environments

Chronicles of Elyria is a thing, and a thing that features character aging, character death, and a fully destructible environment, at that.

The game’s website says that the fantasy title is “fearless in its design,” and while said website probably isn’t the most objective judge, we must admit that making a game for 2015’s MMO audience with “a closed economy, finite resources, and non-repeatable quests” takes stones.

Chronicles of Elyria’s FAQ says that to an adventuring character, the game is “mostly an AARPG,” while building a town leans toward sim-like gameplay and running a duchy dips into RTS gameplay. Oh, and the whole thing is skill-based, so there’s that.

Source: Official site; thanks Zenaphex!

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Empyrean Rule combines RTS gameplay with a persistent world

You can’t accuse the makers of Empyrean Rule of thinking small. Instead of trying to just create a persistent fantasy sandbox for $40,000, the team is trying to create a persistent fantasy RTS sandbox, with players taking the role of a general commanding vast armies and fighting for dominance. It would be ambitious at any budget, really.

The game is currently up on Kickstarter with the aforementioned target funding, promising players the ability to customize armies, freely mix and match units from different races, and a completely player-driven economy. If that sounds like the sort of project you’d like to back if it succeeds, toss some money at it; you have 24 days remaining as of this writing.

[Source: Kickstarter; thanks to Dylan for the tip!]

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Not So Massively: D3’s ladder reset, HOTS’ team league mode, and Starfall Tactics

Diablo III is getting ready to close its second ladder only two months in on April 5th but will be providing a 100% gold and XP boost for the remainder of the season. Blizzard discussed how the development of Project Titan led to its new online FPS Overwatch and revealed that the title will be the first of a series of games set in the same universe. Path of Exile‘s Torment and Bloodlines leagues ended today, and a tournament this weekend awarded four of the game’s top players with some nice Alienware swag.

Indie RTS Starfall Tactics announced its intention to develop a persistent online shard in which players can wage wars and conquer each other’s territories. Riot Games announced a new contest in the EU region that will give university-based League of Legends clubs €1,500 toward the costs of running an event. Warframe‘s massive Sanctuary update landed this week, introducing new quests, weapons, tons of bugfixes, and the Chroma warframe. And Blizzard announced an upcoming Team League mode for Heroes of the Storm that aims to let everyone take part in competitive team play.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of the stories above and a roundup of all the other big news this week from the wider world of not-quite-massive online gaming.

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