Captain's Log: Star Trek Online's expansion and communication
Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 5:00 pm

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We're hard at work developing stuff, some of which will come off as tone-deaf.
So we finally know what the next expansion is going to be for Star Trek Online, and my speculation regarding the Xindi and points related turned out to be way off. Nope, we're heading into the Delta Quadrant, which is less interesting to me than the Gamma Quadrant, but I suspect the powers that be are exploring all the angles of existing content first. It's coming with a level cap increase, a new tier of ships, a bunch of new tricks, and apparently some bonus communication misses.

Delta Rising is really on track to be a pretty divisive expansion anyway. It was inevitable, really; raising the level cap now was going to lead to problems no matter how it was handled. Unfortunately, Cryptic Studios hasn't done a great job communicating what's in the works for players, nor have the first few things that we've heard exactly countered some early suspicions. It was a minefield that's thus far been navigated largely with a push and a blindfold.

Continue reading Captain's Log: Star Trek Online's expansion and communication

MassivelyCaptain's Log: Star Trek Online's expansion and communication originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    The scoop on Elder Scrolls Online's Dragonstar arena
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 5:30 pm

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    ESO
    When The Elder Scrolls Online's fourth update arrives next month, a new type of content will open to players: themed PvE arenas. The first of 10 such arenas, Dragonstar, is the subject of a new developer essay on the official site today.

    The Dragonstar Arena is located in Craglorn and will pit a group of four players against five waves of monsters with "escalating intensity," though not necessarily escalating numbers; ZeniMax promises there will be no "cannon fodder" to waste your time. Hazards inside the arena -- like poisonous clouds, lava flows, and immobilizing blizzards -- will further impede groups' progress through the challenges.

    ZeniMax says that arenas are intended to provide difficult combat encounters and elite rewards to small, highly skilled groups, but more casual players can skip Veteran mode for normal mode if they choose. We've included the brief Dragonstar arena trailer below.

    Continue reading The scoop on Elder Scrolls Online's Dragonstar arena

    MassivelyThe scoop on Elder Scrolls Online's Dragonstar arena originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 8/28/2014
    Posted by News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 3:42 pm

    WIP Post

    NOTE: Lots of new Ascension files arrived on PBE! It may be enabled today, nothing sure!


    Champion Changes

    Azir

    • Base Movement Speed is now 335 (up from 330)
    • Conquering Sands [ Q ] - Now slows by 25% (up from 20%)
    • Arise! [ W ] - New mechanic:
      "Azir can expend a soldier to damage an enemy turret by summoning it on top of the turret.This deals (+0.7*AP) magic damage to the turret."
    • Emperor's Divide [ R ] - Now scales with 0.6*AP (up from 0.5*AP)

    Cassiopeia

    • Miasma [ W ] - Now slows by 25/30/35/40/45% (up from 15/22.5/30/37.5/45%)



    Guild Wars 2 is revamping the new player experience
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 3:00 pm

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    Darn it, I'm still getting the hang of this.  Can we call a do-over?
    If you've been playing Guild Wars 2 since launch, you're probably intimately familiar with the ins and outs of the game's mechanics. Unfortunately, this doesn't necessarily translate for new players, who can find themselves overwhelmed in the early parts of the game with a wide array of statistics, abilities, game modes, and the like. Along with all of the other improvements the game is making in the September 2014 feature pack, the new player experience is receiving an overhaul.

    Players will now receive a clear reward window indicating what is unlocked at each level, with features such as PvP and WvW initially locked away until higher levels so that players can familiarize themselves with the game systems first. Veteran players can still navigate to these features via the map at lower levels. The personal story is now tied into the story journal, major rewards have been reworked, and the interface will serve to more efficiently guide players to points of interest. Check out the full posting to see how leveling in Guild Wars 2 will get just a bit more friendly with the next major patch.

    MassivelyGuild Wars 2 is revamping the new player experience originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Funcom's revenues decrease in Q2
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 4:00 pm

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    It's still a better business model than Orochi.
    Funcom has released its second-quarter financial results for the year, and it's not a glowing success story. Revenue dropped roughly $600,000 compared to Q1, a drop attributed to weaker in-game item sales over the quarter. Despite this, the report indicates that the company remains on-track as a whole, with the overall pattern of expenses not significantly changed. All of the major MMOs in the studio's portfolio are stated to be cash-flow positive, which is good news for fans.

    While the company launched several marketing attempts to draw more players into its titles, The Secret World was the most successful at bringing in more players via its most recent major update. The company projects good results for LEGO Minifigures Online when it releases in October. Interested players can look at the full report, which is less overwhelmingly positive than might be ideal but hardly paints a picture of doom.

    MassivelyFuncom's revenues decrease in Q2 originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Our Growing Fuckwad Culture Problem
    Posted by Zen Of Design [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 3:08 pm
    I am not a perfect ally of the progressive/feminist forces inside the game community.  I started to list out examples at the start of this post, and then realized I


    Quote of the Day – The Machines are Winning
    Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 3:00 pm
    Really more of a Tweet of the day I suppose, but here was CCP Fozzie on the first day of the Hyperion release: On day one, 207 Burner NPCs died, but they killed 1563 capsuleer ships. The machines are winning. #tweetfleet #eveonline #iskwar— CCP Fozzie (@CCP_Fozzie) August 27, 2014 It sounds like the “Burner Missions“introduced […]


    The Stream Team: Launching into Landmark's combat
    Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 1:00 pm

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    You know how people always reminisce about where they were when the moment something big happened? Well, something big just happened in Landmark, and Massively's MJ is making sure you are there to be a part of it. Yes, combat has just arrived! That means death galore, and not just death at the hands of fellow players but death by mountains and oceans, too. And, as always, she's got some fun codes to giveaway as well. Join us live at 12:00 p.m. for the first peek into this new system. Better yet, catch MJ's first Landmark death live! You know it's bound to happen. Oh, and get codes, too!

    Game: Landmark
    Host: MJ Guthrie
    Date: Thursday, August 28th, 2014
    Time: 12:00 p.m. EDT

    Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

    Continue reading The Stream Team: Launching into Landmark's combat

    MassivelyThe Stream Team: Launching into Landmark's combat originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Heroes & Generals' latest update is codenamed "Rommel," which seems rather appropriate given the new general characters and officer rank overhaul. "The Rommel update is an important update, as it wraps up our vision with the character progression tree," explains Reto-Moto game director Jacob Andersen. "So you may start your career as a foot soldier and work your way up to become an officer and finally a general in order to command armies and wage war resources."

      Rommel also adds FG 42 and M1 carbines for paratroopers, new win conditions for wars, a "much larger" campaign map, improved tank handling, and more.

      Reto-Moto's press release says that Heroes & Generals now has more than 2.6 million registered players. Don't forget to view the seven-minute Rommel dev vlog after the break.

      Continue reading Heroes & Generals tops 2.6 million registered players, releases 'Rommel' update

      MassivelyHeroes & Generals tops 2.6 million registered players, releases 'Rommel' update originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      Slammed in Nagrand
      Posted by The Ancient Gaming Noob [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 1:00 pm
      After finishing Terokkar Forest last week I was feeling a bit optimistic about the next zone on my Loremater project checklist.  I was headed to Nagrand. I was optimistic for a few reasons.  The first was because Nagrand is a zone that I seem to carry some fondness for in the back of my brain.  […]


      The 6 Design Values – Part 4: Teamplay & Sona
      Posted by Cloth5 [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 11:00 am

      Hi there! Tahalden here with the next installment of The 6 Design Values. League is a multiplayer game where two teams are pitted against each other. It is only reasonable for Riot to provide as many team-oriented aspects in the gameplay as possible. This is the basis for the design value, Teamplay. One of the most iconic team-oriented champions in […]

      The post The 6 Design Values – Part 4: Teamplay & Sona appeared first on Cloth5.




      Elder Scrolls' fourth major update teased in new concept art
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 12:00 pm

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      When Elder Scrolls Online's fourth major update lands in September, players will be able to "discover the ruins and delves of the last region of Craglorn," according to a teaser on the fantasy MMO's website. Upper Craglorn holds the key to the mystery of the fallen constellations, apparently, and it also boasts something called "the Serpent Trial" and "treacherous new delves."

      ZeniMax has posted a few concept art wallpapers to whet your appetite for the new content.

      MassivelyElder Scrolls' fourth major update teased in new concept art originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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      New Theme: Goran
      Posted by WordPress.com News [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 11:00 am
      Announcing Goran, a new free business theme available for WordPress.com sites!


      Quest for Glory: Fifty shades of apples
      Posted by Bio Break [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 9:00 am
      (This is part of my journey playing through Quest for Glory 1. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.) I get the feeling that I’m being followed… must be my imagination, though. More general wanderings in the … Continue reading


      Get your Dizzel beta item key today here on Massively
      Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 10:00 am

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      Dizzel
      Just as our sister site Joystiq did yesterday, Massively is giving away a boatload of Dizzel beta codes to our readers today -- specifically, keys for a Chrome Assault Rifle usable in the game. Dizzel is a free-to-play multiplayer third-person action-shooter by OGPlanet and Neowiz that falls into our Not So Massively category, but we think it could appeal to our regular MMO audience as well. Plus, free stuff!

      Interested? Just clicky the buttons below to grab your Dizzel item code, then follow these instructions to redeem it:
      • Via official installer: Sign up for a free OGPlanet account by downloading the Dizzel Installer. Once Dizzel is installed, login to the game and create your character. Go to Dizzel's Redemption Page and enter your key code. Finally, check your in-game 'Storage' to add your items to your inventory.
      • Via Steam: Download and Install Dizzel through Steam. Once you're in-game, locate and click the 'Shop' button on the top menu. Press the 'Cash Reload' button located on the bottom right. Steam's Cash Purchase window will be displayed; you will notice 'Item Package Redemption' on the right section. Please input your Keycode, and press 'Redeem,' and allow up to 15 minutes for delivery. Your item will arrive in your Inventory's 'Storage' section.

      GET YOUR KEY GIVEAWAY FAQ OFFICIAL RULES

      MassivelyGet your Dizzel beta item key today here on Massively originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        CCP lays off two execs, closes San Francisco offices
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 10:00 am

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        Gamasutra reports that EVE Online developer CCP has closed its San Francisco studio and fired CFO Joe Gallo and CMO David Reid. The firm's revenue and earnings were both down year-over-year, the website says.

        CCP laid off 49 staffers from its Reykjavik headquarters in June after announcing the cancellation of its long-gestating World of Darkness MMO in April.

        MassivelyCCP lays off two execs, closes San Francisco offices originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Landmark's combat patch goes live
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 11:00 am

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        Combat has finally come to Landmark, but there's much more to this update than just armor, weapons, and death. There are plenty of new Kerran-themed props, new materials (10 new color of Stucco variations and 16 new Burled Wood tints), movement props, and bug fixes. On top of that, there's a new way to pay claim upkeep; those who desperately want to keep their claims but don't want to bother with copper now have the opportunity to pay with Station Cash at a cost of 10 SC per day per claim.

        And here's probably some of the best news from the mouths of the devs themselves:
        "We've made a number of optimizations that should improve framerates for many players. This does not include the Multithreaded Rendering, which we are still working on."
        If you plan to dive in and check out combat, SOE has posted instructions for setting up the PvP games on the forums to help answer any questions. Take note: There's a bug such that changing the options on the game table causes a loop and you can't join the game, so devs ask players to not change any options until after the incoming hotfix. Full details on the update can be found in the patch notes. For now, all claims will be flagged for PvP until the observer mode can be added.

        Finally, the Workshop livestream is moving! Starting August 28th, the show focusing on the collaborative development of racial buildings will be broadcast on the EverQuest Next Twitch Channel Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

        MassivelyLandmark's combat patch goes live originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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        Character Combinations
        Posted by MmoQuests.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 9:09 am
        Since most of my time in EverQuest 2 is spent boxing two accounts, one of the things I tend to do is try to come up with combinations of characters to play together. Some combinations work better than others and … Continue reading


        The Best Pastime Online Games
        Posted by Write The Game [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 7:07 am
        Internet is full of hundreds and 100s of free activities, played by way of people through all areas of the entire world. Regardless within their age and also occupation, all analysts enjoy the plethora of online game titles present on the web that be a passion to deal with should they will spend a lot […]


        The Daily Grind: What's the longest you've gone without playing an MMO?
        Posted by Massively [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 9:00 am

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        I'm in the midst of an MMO sabbatical. I won't call it full burnout because I'm still logging into Elder Scrolls Online and Marvel Heroes to hang with friends a couple of nights per week, but other than that I've basically taken a couple of weeks off from the genre while I wait for an ArcheAge launch announcement.

        What about you, Massively readers? Do you periodically step away due to burnout or other reasons? What's the longest you've gone without playing an MMO?

        [Image credit: Vintage Customs LA]

        Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

        MassivelyThe Daily Grind: What's the longest you've gone without playing an MMO? originally appeared on Massively on Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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          Counting Down Till Sims 4
          Posted by MmoQuests.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 August 2014, 7:33 am
          As we get closer and closer to September 2nd I get more excited. I’ve been watching some videos for the game which have included a bunch of Let’s Play created by the Sims team and they are just awesome. The … Continue reading


          Evil Takes Hold of New Photo App
          Posted by Bethesda Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 5:55 am
          On the dawn of PAX Prime, we’ve released our new photo app for The Evil Within on both the Google Play and iTunes App Store, as well as through a Facebook app! As you can see above, using the app can transform even the world’s most beautiful faces into your worst nightmare. It’s the perfect way […]


          Investigative adventures in Dungeons & Dragons
          Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 August 2014, 4:07 am
          I was reading this article on investigative adventures in D&D on Sly Flourish. Very interesting, especially to me right now, since in my campaign we will start an adventure like that next Monday. In the past, and with a different DM, we had adventures in which the players were supposed to investigate go wrong and stall, so this is kind of a danger zone for us. I think it helps to consider some human aspects here, starting with expectations.

          We've all read or seen detective stories, from Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot to Inspector Colombo. Being familiar with the format evokes a certain set of expectations when you try to play through something similar. But the detective in such stories cheats. There is only one author who controls both the murderer and the detective, so the detective can't fail to find all the clues, in the right order, and to put together the pieces to come to the right conclusion. The moment that you turn that into an actual multi-player game, with the DM having set the scene, knowing who the killer is, and having set up the clues, while the players need to discover all that, there is a significant chance that the players won't end up as successful as a Hercule Poirot.

          The first advice here, based on own experience, is that a played murder mystery has to be significantly less complicated than one from a book or TV show. There need to be less locations to investigate, and less witnesses to question. That is especially important for a group like ours, as we only play twice per month maximum. If it takes us 6 sessions to investigate all locations and speak to all witnesses, that means that by the time we finish with the last, we have already forgotten the clues from the first, which was 3 months ago.

          The advice from Sly Flourish is related to that: The players don't usually know where the clues are, and might well investigate a location that you as the DM didn't foresee, or talk to an NPC that you hadn't considered in your murder mystery. If the adventure doesn't limit the number of locations and NPCs somehow (murder in an isolated location like the Orient Express, boat on the Nile, lone manor, etc.), but happens in the middle of a city, you could end up with way too many locations and people to handle. So the trick is to *not* first place all the clues, and then hope that the players find them. Instead just make a list of the clues as bits of information, and be flexible where those bits of information can be found. If the players have an idea to search a place or talk to somebody, and the idea is somewhat reasonable, just decide that the clue is there. That might feel a bit like cheating, but it ends up having a flow that corresponds to expectations: The TV detective doesn't lose endless time by searching the wrong places and talking to the wrong people either.

          My final advice is in disagreement with the Sly Flourish article: Yes, "players want to feel like their decisions matter and their actions lead somewhere". But that doesn't mean that the game world and the villain NPC have to be passive and sit and wait for the players to work through all the clues. Instead the villain NPCs have to be handled like characters with their own motivation, goals, and means. The villain should react to the investigation of the players. Again that conforms to expectations, detective stories frequently have the murderer kill another victim because the detective came close to getting a vital clue from that person. Because this is D&D and not Agatha Christie, the villain NPC might have far more possibilities in a D&D adventure, up to and including attacks on the players.

          I have this concept in mind of the "turn-based" approach to role-playing. Basically the risk in D&D sessions that are heavy on role-playing and light on combat is that certain players take the lead and go off on long solo performances, while the other players fall asleep and the story isn't moving forward. Thus I try to gently nudge the role-playing into a structure where I give turns to other players, and to NPCs. Thus if one player goes on endlessly negotiating with a merchant, I say to the next player "Okay, so while Bob's character is negotiating with the merchant, what do you do?". And once I've given every player the chance to act, I think what a reasonable response or action from the NPCs, especially the villain, would be. That concept is explained beautifully in the recent WotC adventures Murder in Baldur's Gate and Legacy of the Crystal Shard. The main advantage is that it kind of puts the adventure on a clock: The game world is alive and stuff happens, even if the players dawdle. Once the players realize that, it creates better drama, because they KNOW that they don't endless time to find the solution.

          So the next adventure will be an experiment on how successfully me and my players can handle an investigative adventure in a city. If that doesn't work at all, I will have to rethink my idea for my next campaign, because the adventure path I have chosen has a lot of investigative parts as well. Dungeon crawls are comparatively easy, but I hope that we can do more than that.
          Tobold's Blog



          Important: Unofficial PBE Patch Notes for 8/27/2014 - Kha'zix Skin, Cassiopeia Gameplay & Texture Update, New Akali Splash


          Azir's Ultimate Interactions and Lore Questions

          Originally Posted by Riot (View Original Source)

          Blinks are not affected by Azir's ult.

          Having other champion created terrain also block dashes/jumps is not something we're intending to do at present, those abilities are explicitly creating terrain, with all the usual play and expectations around that, and are either on much shorter CDs than Azir's ult or come with multiple other effects.

          Dashes as well? And what about Vayne's tumble? (Since it works on J4's ult)

          If a champion moves/is moved using an ability Azir's ult will stop their movement unless:

          1. The ability gives the caster unstoppability (e.g. Malph ult or Vi ult) or
          2. The ability has no travel time and, on completion, changes the champion's position all in one go (e.g. Ezreal's E or Elise's Spider E)




          Boardgame Appstravaganza
          Posted by Blue Kae [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 August 2014, 10:20 pm
          I’ve been spending quite a bit of time lately playing the app versions of board games. Especially a few of the competitive 2-player ones like Star Realms and Summoner Wars. I bought the Master Set for Summoner Wars at GenCon last year but never got a chance to play it, and I’d been eyeing the […]


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