Final Fantasy XIV closed beta keys were a coveted item for a while, as fans sent in beta applications in the hopes of seeing the game’s ups and downs firsthand.
Square Enix promised to grant that wish for everyone very soon with open beta, announcing that it would begin in early September. It looks like things are ready a bit earlier than anticipated, as the latest news from FFXIV has an open beta start date of August 31st. For those of you without access to the official beta forums, fansite FFXIVCore has everything summarized nicely.
When the news broke yesterday regarding the fatigue system in Final Fantasy XIV, it made virtually no one happy. Even the system’s defenders generally had an attitude of “it’s not all that bad,” and most players were up in arms over the very idea. But a day can make a lot of difference, and as it turns out, we didn’t quite have the clear picture of the fatigue system that we thought we did. The official translation from Square-Enix covers most of the same ground, but adds several important facts.
The two most salient points are the fact that the limiting factors are not time-based but value-based, and the fact that the “cooldown” on fatigue sets in as soon as a player starts doing something that won’t grant skill or experience points. There’s no word on whether or not this will be the case during time spent logged off, but it means that the much-loathed figures about how much time would be productive are not altogether correct. Take a look at the official translation, which should provide a much-needed balm for several angry Final Fantasy XIV fans.
NCsoft unveiled a video tour of Inggison, a new zone introduced in Aion’s upcoming expansion, Assault on Balaurea. No longer confined to Atreia on the interior of the planet, players will venture forth to the lands on the outside. Filled with a variety of new plant and wildlife, Inggison is the Elyos foothold in Balaurea.
Even as they bask in direct sunlight (a treat not possible in the sundered lands of Asmodae and Elysea), Daevas in Aion will encounter new foes — such as the Balaur-worshippers of Undirborg — and fight old ones, as the Asmodians try to claim the Temple of Scales and Altar of Avarice Fortresses. Read more…
If you’re all about living the life of a pirate, then odds are good you don’t mind being restricted to Limsa Lominsa in the Final Fantasy XIV beta. But if you’ve done the sea serpent tango more than once, Ul’dah and Gridania are no doubt sounding pretty good. So it’s a good thing that MMOSite is reporting that the next phase of beta will start in September and will include the two heretofore unseen cities as playable areas. Considering the recent hands-on experience with the starter cities, we think it’s well within the realm of possibility.
Of course, one of the major components to making each of the starting cities and subsequent areas stand out is the worldbuilding efforts of the development team. The most recent Making of Eorzea documentary covers precisely this, and not coincidentally, it can be viewed past the cut. With a discussion of the scenery and the visual culture of the game’s landscape, the video is something every Final Fantasy XIV player can enjoy, and it shows that the vibrancy of the world has been a big priority during development.
Ready to get a preview of Aion’s forthcoming Assault on Balaurea expansion? You’re in luck, as today finds the new content live on the Public Test Server, a couple weeks ahead of its September 7th release date. Pre-existing PTS players will find that their characters have been wiped, which is a small price to pay for the chance to test the new content with accelerated XP and loot drop rates.
Assault on Balaurea features a new pet system as well as new zones, instances, quests, and a level cap increase. Check out the official press release for more information, including how to install and run the PTS client.
Mention “Skaven” to your average Warhammer Online player, and you’ll be treated to an almost instant recitation of all the reasons why the race ought to be playable. It appears that players might be due to get that wish — as well as a few more wishes — with the announcement of the RvR pack for the game. Although we only have the broadest strokes of an outline for the pack, it promises to expand the game’s core focus of PvP with an increase in the renown ranks to 100.
Executive Producer Carrie Gouskos has confirmed the involvement of the Skaven, although she’s stated that they’ll not be playable directly from level 1. How the integration will take place is unclear, as are most of the fine details, although the pack will clearly be a big change for the game’s overall structure. The pack is also meant to move away from the “huge expansion” model that’s common in the MMO genre, with the company presumably moving to several smaller expansions on a quicker timetable. It’s good news for Warhammer Online players to see what’s coming around the bend, especially if players can run about sowing chaos as ravenous rat-men.
The start of a new phase of Final Fantasy XIV testing is always good news for the game’s fans, but this particular phase has brought with it even better news. Those of you not in the beta can now regale us non-beta testers with tales of your adventures, as Square-Enix has officially announced that most everything may be spoken about freely. This coincides nicely with a long list of changes that have come in the most recent build, including several system updates and balance tweaks to the engine.
The team at FFXIVCore immediately set to remedy one of the major omissions from Square’s PR — namely, the experience of crafting. This step-by-step diary of working as a crafter should answer many questions about how much depth the crafting and gathering classes possess… even though it raises several more. As always, it isn’t the same as getting to play around in the Final Fantasy XIV beta yourself, but it’s the next best thing to being there.
EVE Online is a game with complex economic activity that often mirrors real-world economic systems. The similarity is so pronounced that CCP even hired its own Lead Economist, Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, to examine the in-game markets in detail. Each quarter, the economist and his team of researchers publish the EVE Quarterly Economic Newsletter (QEN). The report provides a timeline of market indices and major economic changes over the past several months. This quarter’s report focuses on the effect of the insurance changes that came with the Tyrannis expansion. It also has a special segment on ISK sinks and faucets, and their changes following the release of planetary interaction.
There were an awful lot of changes to the Cataclysm shadow priest build over the past week. A few were good, a few were “OK,” and one nearly led to the shadow priest world’s being reduced to a pile of smoking rubble. Follow us after the break for more Cataclysm shadow priesting information. And for those of you who feel ignorance is bliss and don’t want to be spoiled … we now return you to Knight Rider, already in progress.
The Cataclysm beta continues, and the crafting dudes abide. Betas can be tough when you’re doing professions analysis. A lot of the itemization and various power coefficients aren’t finished, so none of the gear created by crafting feels “permanent.” And I don’t believe any drop rate that isn’t firmly sourced from live servers. In the words of many before me, “You can’t take anything for granted yet.” Makes it tough to know what you’re looking at.
Of course, that being said, the beta is providing a lot of tantalizing hints about what professions will be like in the expansion. There have been enormous efforts to reconcile the relative power levels of each profession, and I think the developers have made huge strides in that regard.
We then need to split things up into how they affect the spell. First we look at spellpower bonuses, damage bonuses based on passive talents, buffs and debuffs, which all need to be handled separately. Then we top everything off with critical damage multipliers, factor in Elemental Overload, and top it all off with haste.
After only being able to spend five minutes or so with Final Fantasy XIV at E3, I anxiously awaited a chance to sit down with the beta version in the comfort of my own home. I’ve been playing the beta for a few weeks now, and can now exclusively offer you impressions from the Final Fantasy XIV beta so far.
Space MMO EVE Online and its developer CCP Games are usually spoken about in a positive manner. We often hear about the awesome things that go on in the sandbox, or how CCP has gotten players involved in game development through their CSM programme. In the past few months, however, negative sentiments toward the company have been growing at an alarming rate. Players have been complaining about lag and the quality of game design ever since the Dominion expansion was released. As far as players can see, EVE Online was in a fantastic state after the Apocrypha expansion’s release, and it has gone sharply downhill since then.
Over the past two years, players have made an increasingly vocal case to CCP in favour of fixing bugs and gameplay issues before adding new features. They point to previous features, such as faction warfare, that were abandoned shortly after their release in favour of developing yet another new game feature. Over the years, EVE has been littered with incomplete features in dire need of balance tweaks and gameplay revisions. The past few months, in particular, have seen a worsening of public opinion. The release of the CSM minutes and recent devblogs have caused a significant vocal backlash from the community.