MMO

EverQuest Next Landmark enters closed beta on March 26, SOE talks player collaboration

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Samuel Roberts at

EverQuest Next Landmark will leave alpha and enter a closed beta on 26 March, SOE told us at GDC this week. Anyone who has purchased one of the founder's packs, now including the $20 Settler option, will be able to play the game as it reaches this stage—SOE promised it would be happening before the end of March, and here that day is.

Guild Wars 2 getting "Feature Pack" update, ArenaNet tease major trait changes

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Phil Savage at

After more than a year of fortnightly updates, Guild Wars 2's Living World has finished its first season. Panto-plant Scarlet has been defeated, Lion's Arch is an abandoned ruin, and an ancient evil has awakened. The future of Tyria is uncertain, and filled with the potential for much death and destruction. Things are bleak, and tensions are wrought, but I don't much care because features are coming!

ArenaNet have today announced the "April 2014 Feature Pack", a major update that, instead of adding content, will shift the balance and upgrade the systems of their game. The full scope of the patch will be revealed in stages over the next few weeks, with this first teaser focusing on the extensive changes being made to Traits - the player-assigned stats that confer passive abilities and define a profession's build.


The Division GDC trailer showcases Snowdrop engine's visuals, flexibility

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Omri Petitte at

During Ubisoft Massive's latest video tour of The Division's impressive Snowdrop engine at GDC 2014, one developer likened his ease of creating a bleak depiction of urban decay to tinkering with a Lego set. That's definitely not the same kind of Legos I remember growing up with, but the analogy is pretty apt considering the studio's deep drive to portray a massively multiplayer post-apocalyptic city in as much detail as possible.


Star Wars: The Old Republic gets player housing in Galactic Strongholds expansion

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Emanuel Maiberg at

BioWare announced on Wednesday that it will add player housing to Star Wars: The Old Republic in a new expansion, Galactic Strongholds. Like the rest of The Old Republic, Galactic Strongholds will be free-to-play when it’s released this summer.


Giveaway: grab a Wildstar beta key for this weekend's test

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PC Gamer at

Last month, we gave away armfuls of codes for WildStar's beta weekends, giving testers an early look at Carbine's most colourful MMO. Today, we're doing it all again. If you fancy another trip through the world of Nexus, we've got 2,000 codes giving access to this weekend's beta. If you're quick, one of them could be yours.

Update: And the keys are gone!


The future of PC games: bold predictions from the PC Gamer staff

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PC Gamer at

All week long, we're peering ahead to what the future holds for the PC gaming industry. Not just the hardware and software in our rigs, but how and where we use them, and how they impact the games we play. Here's the final entry in our five-part series.

By 2020, cars will fly and the DeLorean will make a successful comeback. The Large Pixel Collider will usher in a new age of global prosperity as President of Earth. Half-Life 3 will, finally, be close to release. Those are just a few of our wildest predictions for what's on the horizon. Below we throw caution to the wind to make our boldest predictions about the future of PC gaming and a variety of genres, from shooters to RPGs and MOBAs.

Star Wars: The Old Republic hosting Double XP weekend until March 17th

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Phil Savage at

If you've still got some levelling to do in The Old Republic, this would be the weekend to jump back in. Starting in a few hours, the game will award twice the experience for completing missions, killing things, and... well, generally doing stuff. And, by progressing at twice the speed, you'll get a quicker route to the game's best bits. It'll be like watching the entire film saga, but then skipping Episodes One to Three. I think that's what you're meant to do in the first place.


Two exclusive new Transformers Universe trailers appear, beta sign-ups for this weekend have begun

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PC Gamer at

Transformers Universe is about to go into its first public beta this weekend. In the run up to that, we’ve got two exclusive new reveal trailers of transformers created especially for the game.


The Elder Scrolls Online's subscription fee a "value proposition," Bethesda says

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Omri Petitte at

The Elder Scrolls Online's three-way tiff over whose posterior claims the Imperial City's throne perfectly befits the franchise's massive lore background. To join in, though, players will need to pay a subscription fee on top of purchasing the disc or downloading the upcoming MMO. Producer Bethesda and developer ZeniMax have both come out in defense of that debatable decision. They argue they can provide heavier content thanks to a bigger budget, but it's still an interesting choice given the rise of free-to-play gaming. Speaking to GameSpot, Bethesda Vice President of PR Pete Hines claims a monthly fee exists to help bolster ESO with richer, "significant" content updates.

Wildstar release date announced, will go live this Summer

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Phil Savage at

Barbecues? Picnics? Eating your own body weight in ice cream? You may want to clear it all from your Summer schedule. If Wildstar turns out to be the next big MMO, the warmest months will instead be spent sitting in a dark room, illuminated by the colourful glow of its cartoon world. Developers Carbine Studios have today announced that the game will release all around the world on June 3rd. Well, it's not like anyone really needs vitamin D.


Transformers Universe trailers show off two new characters

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Emanuel Maiberg at

By now you might be a little confused about what Transformers Universe is. The game was first announced in 2011 as an MMO. Then, just last month, developer Jagex announced that Transformers Universe is in fact a massively online tactical action game, or MOTA, which clearly evokes MOBAs. If you look at the two recently released trailers, however, Transformers Universe looks most like a class-based multiplayer action game (maybe a little bit like Smite) with a few Transformers-specific twists.


Giveaway: win access to this weekend's Elder Scrolls Online beta test

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Tom Senior at

Bethesda and Zenimax Online Studios will be testing The Elder Scrolls Online this weekend. Would you like to wander the world of Tamriel before official release? We have 1400 beta keys to give away right now for Argonians quick enough to pluck one out of the e-hat below.

Update: this particulay giveaway is over! Thanks to all who entered.


Giveaway: grab a Wildstar beta key for this weekend's test

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PC Gamer at

Last week we gave away a bunch of Wildstar beta keys, giving testers an early look at Carbine's colourful new MMO. Fancy another go? We have a thousand keys to give away granting access to this weekend's beta test, and one of those could be yours, if you're quick. Read on for details.

Update: they're all gone! Thanks to those who entered.


Guild Wars 2's next update will begin the Battle for Lion's Arch

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Phil Savage at

Lion's Arch has had a hard week. Since its destruction as part of Guild Wars 2's Escape from Lion's Arch update, the game's capital city has been beset by baddies, filled with a toxic miasma, and periodically populated by players on a map-wide hunt for civilian survivors. The next update, Battle for Lion's Arch, will encourage those players to take the offensive. A teaser trailer released by ArenaNet sets up the assault, and hints at what they're calling "the final battle".


Planetside 2 update redesigns Amerish, new trailer rounds up the changes

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Phil Savage at

Dammit, Planetside 2! Every time they release a new continent-wide update, they upgrade the chosen landmass to utilise the redesigned Lattice system. What they mean is a linking series of attack avenues, designed to focus the flow of battle and create natural chokepoints for large-scale battles. What I always think of is lovely, tasty pastries. I'm hungry now, so thanks a lot SOE.

Other than the delicious lattice, Amerish has also been spruced up with more detail, optimised performance and repositioned bases. You can see a full round of the changes in the new update trailer.


Giveaway: get a Wildstar weekend beta key

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Phil Savage at

If you're not yet running through Wildstar's colourful, deadly Nexus, creators Carbine Studios are giving away 40,000 keys for this coming weekend's beta test. From this Friday through to Monday, you'll be able to explore, loot and kill your way through the upcoming MMO. How exactly do you get one of these keys? Reading the rest of this post would be a good way to start.


Guild Wars 2 interview: the fall of Lion's Arch

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Phil Savage at

Announced last year, Guild Wars 2's "Living Story" has provided a regular series of temporary events, zones and combat encounters. Today's update, titled Escape from Lion's Arch, is the penultimate release of that story's first season, and one that's set to have a dramatic effect on Tyria's capital city. Log in after the update goes live and, instead of the colourful market square, the repurposed pirate-ship houses, and the grand central statue, you'll find chaos, fire and destruction. This isn't an instanced event, but a full scale invasion. Lion's Arch is going to fall.

It's not just that one of the game's safe zones is about to be overrun. This is a symbolic strike at the heart of the game. Lion's Arch is, for many, the centre of Guild Wars 2: providing both a trade hub, meeting point, and a spot to ambiently idle while an NPC Asura attempts a Sylvari salad joke. For ArenaNet, though, this is precisely why it makes such an exciting target. "Players are Tyrians themselves," associate game director Steven Waller tells me. "This is a hub for all races to come together, and so I think that one of the things is the question: how does Tyria respond?"


The Elder Scrolls Online video preview: a quick tour through a dungeon quest

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Cory Banks at

The recent press beta weekend for The Elder Scrolls Online left us concerned about the game's mix of Skyrim-like action and MMO-like mechanics. Phil criticized the combat, while Evan and I lamented the lack of exploration in the game's early areas. But just saying that we're worried isn't enough—it's better to show than tell, with this video of a typical TESO dungeon delve.


SOE's John Smedley: content-driven MMORPGs are "unsustainable"

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Omri Petitte at

After I reached the highest level in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I ran into a problem: I had seen and done everything the endgame had offered to me. I completed all the dungeons, conquered all the available raid encounters, and then I was essentially stuck in a content drought until BioWare released something new—and then the cycle would repeat again. It's a pattern most MMORPGs of today run the risk of falling into as players tear through at a faster rate than ever before. In a blog post, Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley examines these content-driven tendencies of the MMO genre, calling them "unsustainable" for the industry in favor of more sandbox experiences.


Planetside 2 announces plan to boost "fight intensity" after player feedback

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Patrick Carlson at

With Planetside 2's World Domination Series Preseason 2 event now well underway, the game masters at Sony Online Entertainment all already announcing rules tweaks to counteract what the developer calls "some undesired player behavior." It seems battles in the massive MMO shooter haven't reached the desired white-hot level of intensity since the WDS Preseason kicked off on Friday.