convention

Ashes of Creation preps for September’s Alpha 1, shows off its action combat

Need a good dose of Ashes of Creation news to spice up your week? Intrepid Studios popped its head back up to talk up the game, starting with the revelations that Ashes is going to make an appearance at Gamescom next week and kick off its Alpha 1 testing next month.

The Alpha 1 test will span seven months and cover 100-player open world battlegrounds, 200-player castles and sieges, and the city horde mode, which challenges players to work together to protect a town from rampaging NPC invaders. At some point down the road during this test, name reservations will open up for backers.

Lead Developer Steven Sharif also popped onto Discord to share some other tidbits about the game features and systems. If you wanted to know if crossbows will have scopes (they will), if there would be quest dailies (there will not), and what surprises weapons will hold (some have skills!), then you’ll want to peruse this list.

Intrepid whetted fans’ appetites for this upcoming MMO with an action combat gameplay trailer. Where is this trailer? Where might you find it? Don’t fret, it’s been waiting for you below… waiting for you all your life.

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Sea of Thieves extends the Cursed Sails campaign another week, teases open-world skeleton ships

This week’s Sea of Thieves patch is… well, it’s kinda more of the same, as Rare has extended the Cursed Sails run another week, meaning you have more time to grind skelly ships for loot and commendations. (Reddit complaining ensues.)

In its dev update, Rare says it’s patched in new cannonball effects for the baddies, new event timers, and new sensitivity values. Oh yeah, and the kraken is still down for the count, though Rare promises it’s working to bring him back.

Going forward, the Sea of Thieves devs say they’re busy porting the skeleton ships into the “real” world, beyond the campaign itself, a bit like the megaladons work now. Cursed cannonballs will also be adding more exploration and strategy to the gameworld. Expect more Forsaken Shores details from Gamescom later this month.

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MapleStory 2 is getting really close to launch, you guys

With its second closed beta run and done, MapleStory 2 is turning its sights to something bigger. Something grander. Something… launch-ier.

Nexon said that it’s going to announce the launch date for this 3-D sequel to the hit MapleStory on August 21st. “Not only will we reveal the official release date, but our team will also discuss the future content schedule of the game,” the developer said.

In the meantime, players can start reserving their names and even create their first character so that they can hit the ground running when MapleStory 2 launches. You’ll need to buy a founder’s pack to access this perk, however. It’s probably a good thing that Nexon has made these packs available for purchase again!

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Jagex gets into games publishing while RuneScape crosses $1 billion earned

Jagex isn’t content to be “just the RuneScape studio” these days. The company announced today that it is preparing to move into the publishing space with Jagex Partners, a “third-party publishing initiative for live games.”

Jagex Partners is hoping to attract all sorts of live games and will support them with a whole suite of tools and services that Jagex has used to keep RuneScape up and running over all these years. This new publishing arm has attracted former talent from NCsoft, EA, Trion Worlds, and CCP. We’ll be hearing more about this initiative next week at Gamescom.

“Jagex Partners is so much more than a go-to-market publishing experience,” said SVP Publishing John Burns in a press release. “It’s the entire toolkit to launch and run a game in live operations, backed by years of experience.”

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Blizzard teases ‘multiple Diablo projects in the works,’ with reveals ‘later this year’

It’s not exactly a secret that Blizzard has been working on something Diablo-related for a while as we’ve been tracking the company as it posts job openings for new Diablo games and fended off rumors about D3 mobile and Switch ports. That D2 remaster is still floating in my memory too. But confirmation is good, and we’ve got some of that on tap.

“We’d also like to let you know that the forges here at Blizzard are burning hot, and we have multiple Diablo projects in the works,” Blizzard Community Manager Brandy Camel teased in a brief video the studio posted today on Twitter. “Some of them are going to take longer than others, but we may have some things to show you later this year.”

So, BlizzCon is finally going to bring the Diablo love! Got any speculation?

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Ashes of Creation lays out its phased alpha roadmap, plans more hires this month

Ashes of Creation’s latest newsletter has a few bits of interest for those watching the game from afar. For starters, Intrepid says it’s now “officially passed 100 developers on the project” and plans to announce an addition 21 new hires in August.

And what are they working on? Alpha, of course. The studio says it counts “over 8500” folks testing alpha one; that’ll close once it hits 10,000. Moreover, the rest of alpha is being sorted out into different phases.

“Phase One of Alpha One, which will be accessible next month, will be focusing on the action side of combat, and will include modes of; Open World Battlegrounds, Castle Sieges and City Defense Horde Mode. This phase is designed to test the mechanics of our action side of combat, as well as, our castle siege systems, and adaptive AI mechanics in the Horde mode.”

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One Shots: Motion sickness

Our headlining picture today comes with a request for some help, so we’re calling all Warframe players to give their aid!

“So I finally decided to check out Warframe,” said reader Ryuen, “but I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how not to get motion sick while sliding/bullet jumping/etc through the levels to an objective? *Tenno slides away*”

I am not the person to ask this. I get motion sick spinning my chair slowly with a child on my lap. I have been forbidden from going on Disney’s spinning tea cup ride. Doctors tell me that I still need training to master this “walking” thing.

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BioWare explains more about Anthem’s split between MMO and single-player portions

Is Anthem a single-player game or an open-world MMO? The short answer is that it’s both, but the split is a bit different from what you may be expecting. Rather than the social hub being a shared space for all players, the latest mid-summer update from the studio explains that the “safe” spot will be where players experience the single-player story, build relationships, and so forth. It’s the open world where the shared experiences will happen for everyone.

A panel is promised for this year’s PAX West that will go into more details on the division between formats, so if you’re still curious about how the split will work you can look forward to that. There’s also a promise of new features on the horizon for Star Wars: The Old Republic that should make for an exciting year, so that’s some reason for fans to be hopeful on that front, yes?

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Elder Scrolls Legends’ new studio is ‘rebuilding Legends from the ground up’

Back in May, Bethsoft surprised Elder Scrolls Legends players with a big announcement: It was ending its partnership with Dire Wolf Digital, which was the original dev studio behind the Elder Scrolls flavored online card game. In its place, Bethsoft would be bringing in a studio dubbed Sparkypants to handle the “future development and ongoing support for the game.” At the time, Bethsoft was promising new features and “competitive scene support,” and then, just a few weeks later ar E3, the company announced a graphics overhaul and port to Xbox One, PS4, and the Switch.

According to a new dev blog out today, Sparkypants’ rework is far more extensive; the companies say they’re “rebuilding Legends from the ground up with brand-new code,” though existing accounts will retain all their progress and achievements. The studio is also focused on a new story expansion and a “new thematic set of standalone cards that will add some interesting new wrinkles to the game’s meta and get players trying new deck compositions” with a focus “on designing ‘big’ cards that will see a lot of play.”

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The Game Archaeologist: Digging up the history of City of Heroes

For the longest time in the early 2000s, MMORPGs scared me off. They looked too obtuse, too grindy, too ugly, and too unapproachable for my tastes. It took a special title to really draw me in with its more casual friendly structure and colorful graphics. In early 2004, I found myself entranced with this superhero MMO that let me be whatever type of caped (or non-caped) crusader I wanted to be. From then on, there was no going back with my interest in these types of games.

I assume that many MMO gamers owe a great debt to City of Heroes for the way that it introduced, encouraged, and excited them about MMOs. It was a new type of online game, one that boasted an unbelievably flexible character creator and invested in the fantasy of playing as a superhero fighting villains all across Paragon City.

Today we’re going to kick off a Game Archaeologist series looking back at City of Heroes. And as with any remarkable superhero, we have to begin with its origin story. Where did it come from? How was it made? Let’s find out!

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Previewing Rend: Frostkeep studio visit, early access, PvP, factions, and more

If something goes wrong with Frostkeep’s early access launch of Rend, blame me. While I was at the office, I distracted Co-Founders Jeremy Wood and Mat Milizia, caused an update to get rolled back because I was offered the chance to play with cheats, stole someone’s chair, possibly delayed Global Communications Director Michele Cagle’s GamesCon prep, and pointed out to the team that the new bald and clean-shaven character customization options were missing. We’ll also go ahead and take credit for the Ascension system being implemented, getting icons, and Wood finding a major long-term gathering bug the night before because clearly Massively OP is important enough for the devs to come in at 3 a.m. just to prepare for us.

All jokes aside, I recently had a studio tour with Rend‘s creators as part of the game’s ramp-up for alpha this week. The team’s working hard and losing sleep, but they’re nailing it. It may not be perfect, but the Frostkeep is making my job a little harder because very soon, you’ll see just how in touch with the MMO and survival genres Frostkeep is. There’s a reason we awarded Rend Most Innovative PvP at E3 2018.

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Fortnite makes building more fun and drops cake and llamas for its birthday

Happy birthday, Fortnite! Yes, Fortnite launched a year ago, though back then of course it was focused on PvE – remember at E3 2017 when our demo prompted us to call it Crowfall for PvE fans? Good times. Since then, of course, it’s gone over to the battle royale side, gently tugging its PvE content along for the PvP ride as it becomes one of the biggest games in the entire world. So really, it worked out OK for Epic Games in the end.

To celebrate the day, Epic is dropping cake, bringing back Playground mode tomorrow, adding a new weapon, and rolling out a themed quest. Plus, llamas.

“Celebrate #Fortnite1st with cake, loot, and a special in-game questline. Complete the questline to unlock Birthday Brigade Ramirez. While you’re partying, find and eat birthday cakes to earn event tickets which can be spent on the limited time Birthday Llama.”

The non-birthday stuff in the patch is worth a look took; Epic has basically made building easier and damage to structures more potent, running is less annoying, the kart got a nerf, and the resurrected Playground mode has new options to “let you and your squad set up team battles for practice and training.”

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The Stream Team: Surviving the first steps in Survived By

She has but one life to give. Massively OP’s MJ tried out a demo for Survived By — a different sort of survival game with a bullet hell bend — back at PAX West. Now, it is a bit farther along in development and has moved into closed beta. Just how long can she stay alive in her first return to this game since that con? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you MJ’s first steps in…

What: Survived By
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 20th, 2018

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