Is that smoke on the horizon? Goths marching to the gates? Probably not, but for Gods & Heroes, it may very well seem that way. The newest dispatch from the development team has admitted that the game no longer has a development team and hasn’t for quite some time. As the letter puts it, it was a choice between keeping the game alive as it stood or letting the team go, and without investors, the latter seemed like the better option.
So what’s next for the game? The forum thread on the letter claims that the game’s servers will keep running and funding them isn’t an issue, but no new development will be taking place until the funding can be found for a free-to-play conversion. As the game hasn’t come anywhere close to recovering the cost of bringing it to market, that doesn’t bode well for the future. Whatever happens next, this is certainly a dark day for the Roman game, and we can only hope that better news is on the horizon.
If you’re playing Star Wars: The Old Republic right now, you’re probably looking forward to patch 1.2 quite eagerly. The latest topic in the bag of tricks is PvP, with fans of Warzones gaining a new ranking system to help track progress and face off against greater challenges. The ranking system is described in fairly comprehensive detail — rank changes are based upon your rank compared to your opponents, with separate tracking options for both solo and group players.
There’s also a new set of Warzone rewards in the new War Hero set, as well as a number of additional improvements to purchasing rewards and earning commendations in battle. More medals will encourage more active participation, while a new vote-kick system will discourage AFK players. If all of this sounds like something you’d like to check out in person, the update with some of the PvP improvements will be playable at PAX East next weekend, providing an opportunity to test out the battles and give some immediate feedback.
The on-again off-again saga of Warhammer 40K is apparently off again, at least in regard to the title’s future as an MMORPG. In early February we reported on some rumored THQ financial trouble, but the company later pooh-poohed the concerns and said that WAR40K was still on track.
Today, though, our sister site reports that Dark Millennium Online will axe the online portion of its lengthy moniker and the company will be producing the title as a single-player game going forward. A substantial number of jobs have also been cut, with 79 Vigil Games employees and 39 Relic Entertainment employees receiving pink slips.
Many European Guild Wars 2 fans have been left scratching their heads over the pricing discrepancies between the U.S. and European Collectors’ Editions of the title. As followers of the game are probably aware, the U.S. edition is being sold for $149.99 US while the European version is being sold for £129.99/€149.99.
The problem, of course, is that with the current exchange rates, £129.99 is closer to $206 US and €149.99 is just under $200 US, making the European versions of the game considerably pricier. NCsoft explained to PC Gamer today that the reason behind this discrepancy is that “currency fluctuations, distribution costs, taxes and market conditions in addition to the cost of goods are all contributing factors when setting pricing. These vary dramatically between NA and EU and our pricing is competitive and adjusted accordingly.” As the article notes, this might make sense if we assume that the CE of the game is manufactured in the U.S., but even with the extra shipping costs, it’s a pretty hefty addition to an already sizeable price tag.
If you need some RIFT USA gold,please click here.
There are a lot of questions within the RIFT community, questions the development team seeks to answer with a new set of responses to community inquiries. Some of the answers are a bit on the negative side; there are no plans to expand the game’s lore into novels, for instance. There are also no plans to add in arena-style combat or the option of visible cloaks, with the developers feeling that the former makes the game seem less massive and the latter has a detrimental impact on game performance.
That doesn’t mean it’s all bad news, however. The developers are looking into more ways to allow cross-faction interaction beyond the mercenary PvP system. There’s also some talk about the next big raid and player feedback, which according to the answers is largely positive. There are also plans for more Souls in the future, which should provide RIFT players with even more options to custom-build a character.
Classes and Combat
- Corrected an issue that prevented healing ability tooltips from taking skill tree investments into account.
Flashpoints and Operations
- Loot drops in Lost Island have been improved are now more appropriate for this Flashpoint’s difficulty.
- The Putrid Shaclaw’s “Rot Gas” attack effect now indicates the attack’s radius correctly.
- The Putrid Shaclaw’s Vile Shaclaw minions no longer respawn mid-fight.
- Annihilation Droid XRR-3′s “Burning (Physical)” damage over time has been renamed “Burning” to accurately reflect that it cannot be removed.
- Corrected an issue that could prevent Soa from spawning on the last platform after releasing players from Mind Traps.
- Transmission dialogues now play correctly in this Operation.
- Tanks who use Force Leap or similar abilities no longer have the “standing on a hovertank” buff removed when leaping from the Firebrand to the Stormcaller.
- The Stormcaller Tank’s damage output has been reduced, making healing slightly easier during this encounter.
- Imperial Demolitions Droids no longer target players using the probe scanner.
- Several tooltips related to NPC and boss abilities in this Operation have been updated to provide more information.
- Most War Hero gear now requires a piece of Battlemaster gear for purchase.
- The War Hero (Rated) chest, head, legs, hands, and feet items now come with empty modification slots. They can be purchased for Ranked Warzone Commendations. The wrist and belt items are still purchased by trading in the equivalent non-ranked item and spending Ranked Warzone Commendations, and cases of non-equivalent stats have been corrected.
- Champion PvP vendors are now labeled as “Recruit” PvP vendors.
- The character model in the Legacy tree now continues to animate if the player closes and re-opens the window.
- The “Companion Dance” Legacy emote now causes the companion to dance upon first use after summoning that companion.
- Corrected an issue that could cause hair or facial features of Species unlocked via Legacy to clip through headgear.
A new Menace of the Underdark update is here, and no, we’re not talking about the latest antics of elected officials in EVE Online. You’re probably aware by now that Turbine is branching out its Dungeons & Dragons Online foothold to include portions of the beloved Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Players crossing over from Eberron to the Realms will first encounter a mystical forest cavern underneath the new Eveningstar region. Turbine has released a handful of screenshots to show off the new zone, and we’ve collected them for you in the gallery below.
The MotU expansion is due on June 25th, and in it, adventurers will explore the “vast subterranean world of the underdark” as well as play around with a new Druid class and an increased level cap.
With the recent announcement from Sony Online Entertainment that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be going free-to-play sometime this summer, questions immediately began to surface. How will it effect current players? Will it be anything like the other free-to-play titles that SOE runs? Well, we were as curious as anyone else, so we fired off a few questions to SOE in the hopes of snagging some more insight into the transformation.
We received our answers from Andy Sites, Director of Development, and the ever-familiar Salim Grant, Creative Director.
It’s an exciting time to be a Vanguard player, but will putting a free title on a game that has struggled in the past make any difference? Time will tell. In the meanwhile, click past the cut to check out what SOE had to say!
It’s an election year in the United States, and that means that it’s time to start polling for opinions across the country. If the country goes the path of MapleStory, the incumbent President has nothing to worry about. A survey of 1,655 random MapleStory players was conducted this past weekend, with 47.79% claiming that Barack Obama had made the most positive impact out of the current candidates. The runner-up? Abject confusion. More than 20% of respondents did not recognize any of the names involved.
The respondents were also polled on the most important issue facing the presidential candidates, with unemployment taking the top spot (40%) and the gap between rich and poor taking second place (28%). It’s not necessarily indicative of much, but even though it’s an informal poll conducted by Nexon America of a fairly random playerbase, there’s a staggering degree of confusion at work. Or MapleStory players really like President Obama, one or the other.
Sci-fi MMO EVE Online is famed for being set in a cold, harsh universe where no player is truly safe. The line between griefing and gameplay is more subtle than in other MMOs, and it’s an unfortunate truth that some players occasionally cross that line and are banned. Goonswarm alliance regularly engages in activities that might be seen as griefing in other games, such as scamming players out of ISK and items, or shutting down all Ice Mining operations across half the game. It’s all a legitimate part of EVE’s unforgiving sandbox universe and open PvP rule set, but players know they can be banned for letting these activities progress into directed harassment or personal public ridicule.
Yesterday we reported that Goonswarm’s leader and elected CSM chairman Alexander “The Mittani” Gianturco mistakenly crossed that all-important line during a drunken presentation at Fanfest 2012. In his talk, he gave out the name of a player who had expressed suicidal thoughts and told viewers to “Find him” if they wanted to make him kill himself. Today Alex landed following his flight home from Fanfest and was ashamed to read the transcript of what he said during his panel. He issued a full and sincere apology via the forum, describing himself as “utterly ashamed and sickened by [his] behavior.”
“This has been hanging over my head since Thursday when I stumbled away from the Alliance Panel with a vague sense that I had done something horrible,” Alex began. “Then I landed, and saw the article listing my actual quote.” “It’s one thing to play a villain in an online roleplaying game,” he told players, “but I am not that character in real life, as anyone who has met me can attest. I went way, way, /way/ past the line on Thursday night.” CCP’s investigation is still underway, and we’ll bring you the results of that investigation as soon as we get them.
While Massively isn’t at this year’s EVE Online Fanfest, those who are in attendance have been treated to a wealth of new information and reveals on upcoming console MMOFPS DUST 514. During the DUST 514 keynote speech, developers demonstrated orbital bombardment of a DUST match by EVE players in realtime. We saw the orbital command center and surface command centers that enable communication between the two games; we also saw the orbital artillery that let DUST players retaliate against players in orbit.
Earlier today, during the CCP keynote, the DUST crew revealed some exciting new information based on questions repeatedly asked throughout Fanfest. In addition to PvP matches organised by NPC corporations, there will be co-op PvE survival missions in which players fight off hordes of rogue drones — living machines with a collective consciousness. The PvE mode will be released in 2012, and there are some exciting plans for expansions scheduled for the year after.
2013 will bring in e-sports and competitive gaming, with gladiator arenas in which players compete in capture the flag, deathmatch and custom game modes. The matches will be a true spectator sport, with live viewing from both the EVE and DUST game client and even betting on matches. Battles on hostile worlds are also due for release in 2013, with tactically different terrain that may require vehicles to get around. CCP confirmed that the highly requested MTACs (mechs) will also be introduced in 2013.
DUST is currently in closed beta, with additional waves due to be released in April and June in time for E3. Read on to watch the first incredible trailer for the game in HD.
With Sony Online Entertainment’s heavy free-to-play push these past couple of years, Vanguard players hoped that they would not be overlooked by their digital overlord. Breathe easier, heroes, for this summer will bring thee and thine a F2P Vanguard — and a big push for further game development!
While specifics about the F2P conversion are hazy at the moment, SOE says that players should look to its work with previous MMO F2P adaptations (such as the recently relaunched EverQuest) for an idea how things will go down in Vanguard town.
It’s not just going to be a token change for this mostly forgotten title; SOE says that it has assembled a new team of Vanguard-loving devs to generate more frequent updates, including “general improvements and new content.” The game’s previous update was this past December. Coming on board to shape the future of the game are Director of Development Andy Sites, Creative Director Salim Grant, and Technical Director Todd Schmidt.
The announcement concludes with a promise for team spotlights, more information on F2P, and development discussion to come in the near future.
It’s easy to forget from time to time, but no matter what level you’re at in Star Trek Online, you’ve got a pretty big ship under your command. That means there are all sorts of people who need help, all manner of different departments to address, and generally enough running around to fill an hour of programming every week for seven years. The game’s newest patch, which rolls out this week, aims to address that feel by adding several assignment contacts to your ship interior, fleshing out the ship and offering you another set of content to explore.
Some of the assignments offered within your ship are new, while others allow you to further focus your efforts on a given commendation category. Almost all of them involve seeking out and speaking to the appropriate part of your duty roster, meaning that your Engineering officer will be in charge of a plethora of Engineering-related assignments. It’s a great chance to get to know your crew as more than just piles of stats, and it should give you just a bit more of that ever-important Star Trek feel.
Is Star Wars: The Old Republic affecting World of Warcraft’s subscriber numbers? Well duh, according to Blizzard producer John Lagrave.
“Of course people are trying Star Wars — our development team are trying Star Wars! I’m one of the few people who’s still playing it actually, but yeah we’ve seen a dip in subs. It certainly has to at least be attributable to The Old Republic, but it’s also attributable to people who want to wait and get Mists of Pandaria, so it’s not surprising,” Lagrave tells Eurogamer.
He goes on to say that Blizzard is exploring its options when it comes to extending WoW’s trial (which currently tops out at level 20), and he also reiterates the fact that free-to-play isn’t in the cards for Azeroth.