Bungie blows up Destiny’s progression system and Peter Dinklage

Big things are afoot with Destiny, and by big things we mean that Bungie is basically changing how the whole game works while trading Tyrion Lannister for Nathan Drake.

Gamestop subsidiary Game Informer says that The Taken King will restructure the shooter’s entire progression system by removing the leveling ties to Light and granting levels based on experience all the way to the new level 40 cap. As you grind, you’ll unlock new weapons and armor, and Bungie is also changing how looting works so that players will receive fewer duplicate drops.

Bungie has also cut ties with actor Peter Dinklage and his butt-of-many-jokes voiceover. The company has hired veteran Nolan North to re-record all of Dinklage’s existing Ghost dialogue as well as put his stamp on the new expansion content.

Source: Game Informer via Polygon

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WildStar starts testing free-to-play patch

WildStar’s free-to-play transition is just around the corner, as testing commenced today on the fall patch. The public test realm update includes the new business model, cash shop, and other Drop 6 changes and features.

That game also enjoyed a shining moment in the sun this past week as the sci-fi MMO won Most Anticipated MMO of 2015 at the ChinaJoy convention. The award was given out by Sun.360 at its Game Panoramic Awards Ceremony.

In addition to changing over to a F2P model this fall, WildStar is planning to launch in China later this year. A beta for the region is tentatively planned for this month, adding several new cosmetics and pets to appeal to Chinese audiences.

Source: Twitter #1, #2

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The Stream Team: Seeking the secrets of shapeshifting in Project Gorgon

MassivelyOP’s MJ took her first steps in Project Gorgon yesterday at the request of Patreon donor Linaea, exploring the tutorial cave, picking up spoons, and taking on a skeleton with a really big head. Today, she’s moved topside. What adventures await under the starry sky? MJ’s heard that she can find a Druid to teach her how to take on animal forms. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. as she seeks the secrets to shapeshifting.

What: Project Gorgon
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

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Crowfall shows off the Confessor in action

We’ve been told quite a bit about Crowfall‘s Confessor, but words on a page don’t really give a sense for what it will look like in action. For that, you need a video. Like, say, the video you can watch down below that shows the character archetype happily setting fires in the test environment and generally having a grand old time.

Obviously this is still an early build of the game without finalized animations, but it’s certainly a good look at what the class looks like when not simply being described in a development diary. Jump on down to see the whole video; it’s quick.

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Albion Online puts forth its roadmap to closed beta

Albion Online‘s development team isn’t just sitting back and basking in the afterglow of a successful summer alpha test. There’s a closed beta on the way, and the developers have posted a roadmap of the process from here to the beta test. Lots of new features need to be rolled out, lots of systems need adjusting, and lots of gameplay will be expanded and improved.

The gear curve has been noted as being far too harsh, while the combat system needs significant polish and rework to make every intended portion of the game’s systems function properly. Learning points and GvG will also be receiving extensive overhauls to make the systems feel more natural and rewarding. It means that the game which players will be trying in closed beta will be quite different from the summer test, but it also means a far better game in the long run.

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Hyperspace Beacon: Ten SWTOR sites worth visiting

As regular readers surely know, I really enjoy the Star Wars: The Old Republic community. And I don’t mean the community team led by Eric Musco, although it’s great too and deserves an honorable mention in this article. No, the people that I’d like to talk about today are those people who play SWTOR, and out of their passion for Star Wars, the Old Republic, or BioWare (or all three), they create an amazing website, podcast, or some other kind of internet content. And from their creation, they inspire the rest of the community.

I really wish that I could visit every single SWTOR blog and site all the time. Unfortunately, there are just too many to track. So what I’d like to do is to point out the ones that I visit most often. These aren’t necessarily the “best”; I wouldn’t even call this a top 10 for me because there are great sites that I just can’t visit often enough. So in no particular order, let me tell you about these 10 great sites.

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Skyforge introduces Prestige scaling with its next major patch

There’s nothing worse than logging on to play a game with your friends to find that they’re Level A Million Or Something whilst you’re still Level Don’t Pick That Up It’s Sharp And You Could Hurt Yourself. Skyforge is doing something to combat that with its Prestige scaling system that accompanies its first major patch. Group up with your lower-Prestige friends and they’ll scale up to match you, allowing everyone to take part in content and receive rewards appropriate for their Prestige levels.

Limitations are in place for the system, as Prestige scaling applies only for adventures that are categorized as Squad, Group, Battles, or Invasions. Still, it means that you can invite friends into the game with confidence that you’ll all get to play together even when they haven’t matched your progress. The group finder interface has been slightly adjusted to allow players to randomly queue into Prestige scaled content, as well.

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ArcheAge mobile game will use Unreal Engine 4

Remember ArcheVille? No, probably not; it was an ArcheAge mobile game that was shut down rather quickly back in 2013. The important thing is that XLGAMES is trying again with an as-yet unnamed new mobile game, and the developer has signed a contract to use the Unreal Engine 4 to develop this mobile game that you should be able to play on your smartphone.

No launch date or details have been announced, but the game does already have a worldwide publisher, Gamevil. How the game will tie into the full client is also a mystery. Still, at least there’s reason to believe that the mobile game will look very pretty based on the engine.

Source: MMO Culture

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Camelot Unchained newsletter discusses combat philosophy and developer status

The Camelot Unchained test phases had to be delayed, and that means that the latest newsletter for the game is in an odd place, as the opening itself states. On the one hand, the team has accomplished a lot since the last community newsletter; on the other hand, obviously that wasn’t quite enough. But there’s still plenty of talk about what the developers have been doing and what progress is being made, along with a lengthy dissertation of the game’s combat design philosophy.

Camelot Unchained‘s combat model is being called “counter-revolutionary” in the newsletter itself, as it’s an intentional throwback to the earlier days of MMO combat that then extrapolates in a different direction. Expect less twitch reflex and more emphasis on making strategic decisions, something that becomes very relevant when aiming for specific body parts and armor types. Read all of the details (and a great deal more) in the newsletter itself.

Source: Newsletter; thanks to the Flying Dutchman for the tip!

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EverQuest II plans server ‘consolidation’ in August

It’s all well and good to prefer lower-population servers, but you can also reach a point when the population is so low that you can no longer find players to actually share the game with. This is the motivation behind EverQuest II‘s upcoming server consolidation, but the newest letter from the producer promises that it will be an actual consolidation rather than simply merges by another name. Smaller servers will form one new server, and characters will have server-of-origin tags to identify them (and hopefully keep their names).

Players from larger servers won’t have to worry about this, however, and can instead focus upon campaign updates, the upcoming community roundtable, and expansions to guide functionality. You can check out all of the details in the producer’s letter itself, whether you’re deeply concerned with server consolidation, want to get in on that community discussion, or consider all of the above equally important.

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The Daily Grind: Have you ever run an event in an MMO?

Long ago, I used to live for player-run MMO events. In old-school MMORPGs, people judged a guild’s quality as much on what it did for the community as how well it fared in PvP and PvE — maybe even more. We hung out in taverns in Ultima Online, held overwatch/buffing nights for server newbies in EverQuest, told stories in Dark Age of Camelot, performed plays in Star Wars Galaxies. We even ran roleplaying events in World of Warcraft for a year or so — on a PvP server.

But nowadays? I don’t run them. They were work, so very much work, work that requires management and networking skills that everyone else seems to take for granted or look down upon unless it’s in the service of an endgame raid. MMOs don’t reward them at all; any time you spend on events for your fellow players is time away from whatever grind the devs have set up as the “real game.”

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The Stream Team: Giving Project Gorgon a go

Deciding which game to play can be hard for MassivelyOP’s MJ, but thankfully sometimes our Patreon backers make it easy by choosing for her! Such is the case tonight, when MJ delves into the alpha version of the upcoming Project Gorgon, chosen by Massively OP Patreon donor Linaea. There’s been a bit of buzz swirling around this old-school sandbox that made its Kickstarter goal in just a few days, so tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see what it’s all about.

What: Project Gorgon
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 3rd, 2015

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Not So Massively: Dota 2’s $18m main event, Hearthstone’s expansion

This week, third-person MOBA SMITE revealed its new support character Khepri, the ancient Egyptian scarab god. League of Legends pushed its HUD overhaul to the ranked queue and temporarily killed off champion Gangplank with the opening of a new Black Market Brawlers game mode. Heroes of Newerth released the first of its new Paragon avatars designed to raise money for its competitive scene, and Blizzard announced its plans for Heroes of the Storm competitive play at Gamescom next week. With the Dota 2 world championship prize fund hitting $18,000,000 US, the brackets have now been finalised for this week’s main event.

Star Citizen revealed details of this year’s event at Gamescom and fixed a hilarious bug in the FPS module causing items to teleport around its levels. Elite: Dangerous gave players an inside look at the game’s ship damage model and how exactly damage is applied to individual subsystems. Path of Exile gave us a sneak peek at its upcoming patch 2.0.1 content update, and YouTube channel ZiggyDGaming published an updated Path of Exile survival guide. Hearthstone announced a new expansion named The Grand Tournament, and Splatoon is preparing a month packed full of big updates.

Read on for detailed breakdowns of the stories above and other news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively, and don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed for weekly updates!

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