Trundling towards us on the unstoppable conveyor belt of updates is Tower of Nightmares, the next event in the Guild Wars 2 calendar. ArenaNet are being unusually cagey about what's inside the tower, but, from the scant information contained on the update page, we know that it'll be found in Kessex Hills, and has something to do with irritable fish-men the Krait. Oh, and that it's evil.
Star Wars: The Old Repuclic's free Galactic Starfighter expansion is bringing PvP space dogfighting to the sci-fi MMO on either December, January or February, depending on how much BioWare love you. Fans hoping for a PvE variant will have longer to wait. That's "longer" as in, between a very, very long time away, and the full heat death of the universe.
Lord of the Rings Online's Helm's Deep expansion was announced back in April, but it still hasn't seen the light of day, something I'm going to blame on Boromir, the treacherous git. However, it seems to be on track now for a November release, with the month (that's this month) leading up to it bestowing all players with a very special gift. No, not a single lock of Galadriel's hair: double XP.
We've come a long way since Oblivion's Potato-Faced Freak Generator, and even Skyrim's strict system featuring no customisation from the neck down. As revealed in a new trailer, The Elder Scrolls Online will let you adjust pretty much everything cosmetic about your character, including muscle definition, arm beefiness and - yes! - even the size of their gut. I can finally be the realistically obese bipedal cat-person I've always been inside my own head.
Look at this and start dreaming. Director of Development David Georgeson has been playing with EverQuest Next Landmark's voxel building tools and tweeting the smooth results: a lovely little keep he says he built in "a few hours."
Next up on the ever whirring Guild Wars 2 update conveyor belt: Blood & Madness. It's a seasonal update, which means either we've nearly arrived at Halloween, or that Canadian Thanksgiving is scheduled to take a dark turn. Perhaps silly, more than dark, with an update announcement page that makes mention of, among other things, the Grand High Viscount of Candy Corn and the Candy Corn Elementals. Good name for a band, that.
A mere five days ago we saw the launch of a Kickstarter project for City of Titans, the spiritual successor to crime-fighting MMO City of Heroes. Developer Missing Worlds Media has now blown past its funding goal of $320,000 and shows no signs of a significant slowdown. With funds topping $360,000 as of this writing, City of Titans has already unlocked its first stretch goal, an Android port of the Avatar Builder.
In many genres, the announcement of a purchasable option to skip the majority of content could be seen as a negative, but this is MMO country. In it, EverQuest 2 is one of the older residents, but that doesn't mean it can't occasionally surprise its younger peers. It's now offering "Heroic Characters", which, for a price, give players a direct shortcut to Level 85. Just think how many things you'll no longer have to kill for entirely arbitrary reasons.
CCP have announced the 20th free expansion for the jerk-filled MMO sandbox EVE Online. It's called Rubicon, and it won't just be the usual round-up of new features and balance tweaks. Instead, according to senior producer Andie "CCP Seagull" Nordgren, it marks the first step in a plan to give players "more power over this universe than ever before".
WildStar's DevSpeak series has been slowly filling us in on Carbine Studios' plan to liven up MMO combat. Here, we get to see the grand reveal of that overhaul: moving while casting spells. Okay, so there's a bit more to it than that. The video explains WildStar's "ability mechanics", which is to say, how you go about casting the active abilities of each class.
Really, SOE? You're calling your plan to increase PlanetSide 2's performance "Operation: Make Faster Game"? That's not how you do operation names. You don't see military-minded nations announce Operation: Invade That Country Over There. And, as far as I know, the police have never made mass arrests under the banner of Operation: Lock Up Some Crims. Okay, so maybe I'm focusing on the wrong part of this behind-the-scenes video, and its showcased team's stated aim of further optimising the MMOFPS.
You don't name your splinter faction Nightmare if your plans include wandering the countryside, offering hard-working farmers a cup of Horlicks. As such, it should be little surprise that the depraved arm of the Sylvari have planted yet more seeds of evil, which are due to blossom next week as part of the Twilight Assault update.
That won't mean anything to you if you've yet to try ArenaNet's constantly updating MMO. But thanks to a second, extended trial, you'll have a chance to explore the threatened forests of Caledon alongside the content hungry bands of Level 80 players. Or your could ignore them, and spend your free week doing jumping puzzles instead.
World of Tanks is something of a misnomer. Yes, there are a lot of tanks, but a whole world of them? Not so much. The roster is expanding, though, with Wargaming announcing last week that Japan would become the seventh nation to join the increasingly absurd multi-cultural mechanical mayhem. Before you watch the teaser trailer, try to guess how many Japan-centric cliches it will include.
If you'd stared into the dark heart of the internet, well... you're probably too busy being curled up in the foetal position to read this. For game makers, balancing a lively community with the need to maintain a safe space for both developers and players is an age-old problem. In a profile on GamesIndustry.biz, SOE's director of global community relations Linda Carlson outlined the company's approach to dealing with abusive members of their community. One of the more interesting methods outlined involved holding players accountable for their actions outside of the game. Even players posting abusive messages on Twitter can now find themselves on the wrong end of SOE's banhammer.
I'm pretty surprised by the news that Warhammer Online is scheduled for closure. Mostly that's because I'd largely forgotten about it. Er, whoops, that can't have helped matters. Mythic's fantasy MMO had been quietly existing in the background, after a promising 2008 launch, and a subsequent and continual decline in subscribers. Now, it's due to end this December, with its creators citing the end of their licensing deal with Games Workshop.
Chaos is coming to the elemental planes. Rift's next update, version 2.4 Beyond Infinity, will bring new conflicts, strange environments, and yes, new hairstyles to the free-to-play MMORPG, according to a press release from developer Trion Worlds.
Update: Wargaming.net have announced that the North American release of patch 8.8 has been pushed back to the 18th of September.
Original: A new World of Tanks update has been released, which means a new World of Tanks update trailer is out. That means Wargaming's eternally busy trailer making department have had to come up with another gimmick to spice up their footage of warring tanks. But what to use? Bombastic dub-hell? Nope, they've done that. Crunching metal-on-metal action? Already taken. A variable tempo spinning camera? That sounds more like it.
World of Warcraft's Siege of Orgrimmar update will release in a few hours, and Blizzard want you to know that it's a Big Deal. Their updated patch page provides a blanket of information for you to wriggle through, and the full changelist explains every fix and feature in exhaustive detail. But if you're less interested in learning about the 43% damage increase to the Mage's Ice Lance, community manager Josh Allen has created an at-a-glance video preview of 5.4's new content.
I'm not sure infographics are the best way to impart understandable data. For instance, there are pieces of information that can be processed at a glance. Things like: RuneScape 3 has received 300,000 new players in the last month. That makes sense as a statement. It is some people, finding their way into a heavily updated game. Jagex's infographic version of how popular their game is? "Every minute, 2,076 cows are slain."
Don't worry, they also tell you how many burgers that would make.