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Prosperous Universe wraps up first alpha test after 100 weeks of development

With nearly two years under the small indie team’s belt, Prosperous Universe successfully survived the launch and reentry of its first alpha test.

“We are still quite surprised by how well the overall system performed,” the team reported. “To be honest, we expected for things to fall apart rather quickly, with people discovering major game-breaking problems or blocking bugs that would keep players from accessing the game. Except for one such bug, everything went surprisingly smoothly, though […] This unexpected lack of major problems meant that people could actually play the game the way it was intended to.”

As the Prosperous Universe team prepares for another test in the future, there’s a lot to do in the here and now. The crew said that its members are busy incorporating feedback from the first alpha, redesigning the production interface, and improving the starter base building experience.

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Albion Online’s new trial is a referral system that costs the referrer in-game gold

If last week’s rumors about a new trial version in Albion Online had you excited, good news for you: It’s actually happening and in fact is already in place as of today’s update to the Joseph version of the game.

The trick is that it’s not just a trial where you show up and get to play; it’s a referral system. Currently active players – i.e., players who’ve bought the box – will have to buy “trial keys” for 1000 gold in-game and then pass along the keys to friends through the referral email system. Naturally, you’ll be rewarded for recruiting friends this way, and if your buddy buys the game, you get your gold back – plus another 5000 gold. The rewards will change up over time, so hopefully you have a long list of mates to invite.

The game’s latest patch also tweaks the UI, hub positioning in most cities, and a whole bunch of bug issues.

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Camelot Unchained builds boats for beta

A diverse smattering of projects kept the Camelot Unchained team busy this past week, per the game’s newsletter report. It sounds as though players will have to earn their sea legs at some point, as more designs for Viking and Arthurian ships are being made.

Other points of interest include drafting up character creation backgrounds, whipping together a developer UI for fast-and-dirty testing, the ability to spawn NPCs in the game, and animating characters with great swords.

And just in case you were worried about getting ganked fresh out of the character creation screen, Camelot Unchained is preparing a save haven for your starter experience: “For Beta 1, we’ll want to have starting zones and safe zones. Colin’s work will allow us to spawn new players in designated starting zones and spawn returning players in those zones if the zone they logged out from is no longer up. Additionally, this work will gate access to a zone by faction. You wouldn’t want filthy Vikings running around on your TDD safe island, would you?”

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Star Wars: The Old Republic GU 5.5 ‘United Forces Foundation’ is live

Hey, Star Wars fans. I know you’re kinda busy with that trailer for Episode VIII and all, but if you actually want to play some MMO Star Wars between now and December, Star Wars: The Old Republic is probably your jam. And good news: It’s just patched up!

Yep, 5.5 is live today with the promised prepwork for United Forces, the massive server merge update coming in November. This leg of the patch adjusts stronghold caps, stronghold cutscenes, and the commanding legacy perk that ups your command experience bonuses, plus the server interface is already seeing a spruce-up that may panic folks who don’t read the patch notes before they log in:

“In preparation for United Forces, the server select interface has been updated to only show five servers at a time. If a player needs to access a server which is not displayed, the scroll wheel will move through the list. Servers are displayed by last used, number of characters, and server name.”

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Camelot Unchained fleshes out character creation backgrounds, animations, and UI

This week’s Camelot Unchained update is a top 10 list with 17 items, which is the sort of thing our own Perfect Ten writers would do, so we’ve got to get onboard with that. City State says its minions have been busy working on client lockups, web tools, the dev UI, progression tracking, archery, bow models, siege abilities, a big ol’ boat, and the usual assortment of VFX, art, and animations, plus character creation:

“AJ has been working on updating the character creation process. Not only are the new animated backgrounds hooked up, but the individual screens and general flow have gotten some TLC. Some examples include: changing attribute points updates your character stat values, and we’ve added a help button, where we can add relevant info to inform your choices.”

The highlight, however, is the WIP background for the Viking character creation screen – love those runestones. We’ve got the new images and Q&A video down below.

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Valiance Online confirms sidekicking, talks visual effects upgrades

One of City of Heroes’ best features is going to be making a reappearance in its spiritual successor. Valiance Online confirmed to Massively OP that a sidekicking system is in the works for the superhero MMO.

“We have sidekicking coded already,” the team tweeted. “Working on the UI. We’re adding the ability to right-click on someone and get a radial menu with options.”

Over on the visual side of the project, a recent Unity3d magic effects video by Kripto289 has both the development team and fans salivating over the idea of bringing this creator on board for good. It could happen in the future, says one of the game’s developers.

“He’s already provided us with these, and most are integrated into the game along with a few others he did to replace our lower level to mid-level power sets,” Developer IronSight writes. “The guy is quite amazing in regards to his visual effects talents. I always consider being able to pay him full-time with absolute exclusivity, and knowing that one day that will be possible truly excites me.”

Are you looking forward to Valiance or one of the other CoH spiritual successors? Make sure you vote in our poll!

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Final Fantasy XIV simplifies job gauges and veteran rewards with patch 4.1

How long have you been playing Final Fantasy XIV? If the answer is “years,” you probably already have most of the game’s veteran rewards, but considering that the top-tier veteran reward requires 1440 subscribed days (for reference, that’s nearly four years) you can all but give up on seeing those rewards if you’re new. Which is probably why the system is changing with patch 4.1; players will now get the top-tier reward of the much-compressed system within 330 days, and eligible players will get all retroactive rewards. Players can acquire removed rewards via achievement certificates if they didn’t already have them before the change.

The patch is also simplifying the job gauges for those who prefer a more straightforward display; simplified gauges offer the same information, but much more compact formats, and can be customized per gauge and per job where applicable. Check out the full post on all of the trimmed-down forms, which should make it a little easier to make a clean layout unfettered by too much visual noise. You can also check out a pile of screenshots for hairstyles, emotes, and other content just below.

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Shroud of the Avatar is not launching this year, but it will have a launch date this year

There’s a lot still to be done in the development of Shroud of the Avatar. Even with the most recent major patch for the game having just been released, the newest update on the game’s development outright states that the game will not be hitting honest-to-goodness launch state this year; there’s still a great deal to be done, such as polishing up the game’s performance, improving rewards, improving in-game direction, and enriching the game’s narrative. All that having been said, the game should receive a launch date by the end of the year, so that’s at least a step in the right direction.

The development dispatch includes a roadmap for the remaining patches of the year; the October patch is meant to improve the UI, client performance, and the story flow of the game’s opening scenes. November will see more progress on that front along with holiday content and more sidequests, and December will be focused on optimizing FPS and another batch of holiday content. It’s still part of the lengthy journey through early access, even if the game seems as if it can finally spy the finish line.

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One Shots: Starlight, starbright

As someone very much on the outside of this whole Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire thing, my observations is that this is some sort of night sky simulator coupled with a public transportation PSA. It does look very pretty, though.

“I’ve been having an absolute blast with Path of Fire so far,” writes Xephyr. “The maps are HUGE and insanely detailed, there’s stuff to do everywhere! And mounts, omg, THE MOUNTS! Joy of movement indeed. Anyways, here’s me and my griffin bro doing some exploring.”

In Mother Russia, mount rides you to work!

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Camelot Unchained strives for a well-rounded experience as it focuses on siege gameplay

In making the transition from limited-focus tests to larger siege gameplay to the long-awaited beta, the team behind Camelot Unchained is “sprinting” as it rounds out the MMO experience with numerous small improvements.

“The intrinsic sense of fun in games instead tends to come from a massive number of small subtle details, which cumulatively add up to an enjoyable experience,” wrote designer Ben Pielstick. “In our case with Camelot Unchained, the details we’re working on at present have to do with things like smoothness of animations for drawing arrows from quivers, the speed at which characters swing their swords, and the time it takes characters to change directions due to WASD movement input.”

You can read up on more of these smaller projects in this week’s newsletter, which includes mentions of shortbow animations, the progression system, the siege user interface, and more faces for characters.

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Wild Terra’s latest update adds guild storage, reset scrolls, and pet taming

Ever feel lonesome while playing Wild Terra? No need for that with the latest patch! You can tame animals and have them follow you around, serving as your new set of best friends as you adventure through the world. Of course, the patch also adds new guild-based systems including guild warehouses to the game, so perhaps you’ll notice the difference between having lots of friends playing the game and having a small army of animals following you around, but you go to war with what you have, right?

The patch also adds in new scrolls to reset your stats, several UI confirmation windows for various actions, improvements for castles, and a large array of bug fixes. If you’ve been hoping to be able to reset your stats or just hoping that you could have an army of animals following you about at all times, this is the patch you want.

Source: Steam

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Albion Online adds 5v5 PvP arenas with today’s Joseph update

The long-awaited Joseph patch has just landed in Albion Online, its first update since its launch this past summer. Albion heard you liked PvP, see, so it’s adding a side of PvP to go with the rest of the game, which is already mostly PvP. Specifically, Joseph adds a new 5v5 PvP arena system.

“We are excited to finally release our first content update, Joseph, post-launch. Now you can enter the Arena, a 5v5 battle with a control point mechanic, at a major city nearest you. Talk to Joan and redeem your winnings for envious rewards, like the Armored Sabertooth mount. Fill your pockets with riches of the dead in a Treasure Site found in each biome. Finally, if you’ve had enough of the same ol’ Tier 6 expeditions, now you can go on two more! See if you can defeat the three age-defying sisters and the relentless Governor.”

There’s more to the patch, of course, including treasure sites, smart casting mechanics, UI updates, new weapon abilities, and a pair of new expeditions. Enjoy the trailer and have fun storming the castle!

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Check out the central player hub for Monster Hunter World

If you haven’t guessed this from the title, Monster Hunter World is about hunting monsters. On a world. Exactly what it says on the tin, in brief. But you will have times when you are not hunting monsters for a given minute, and at that time what will you do? You’ll head back to the game’s hub of Astera, and you can check out some footage of exactly that hub from the recent Tokyo Game Show.

Obviously, all of the game’s interface elements are in Japanese, but the narrator is familiar enough with the language to make it clear what you’re watching unfold on the screen. And there’s plenty to check out, to boot, from the smithy to your ongoing research into the various monsters you’re hunting. Watch the full video just below if you can’t wait to learn more about what you’ll be doing during your non-hunting moments.

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