Sony Online Entertainment today announced a Founder's Pack for EverQuest Next Landmark, its upcoming MMO-meets-sandbox building game and spin-off of the in-development EverQuest Next. Starting today, you can purchase one of three packs for the game, two of which include early alpha access when the game launches early next year, plus a whole bunch of in-game items and tools.
There's EverQuest Next, and then there's EverQuest Next Landmark—two different MMOs linked by Sony Online Entertainment's unusual development process. Landmark will come first, sometime in early 2014, as a free-to-play MMO focused on exploring and Minecraft-style building, except with tools that go far beyond block stacking. Later on, however, Landmark will grow into the platform for EverQuest Next, and players will get all the tools SOE is using to build its flagship fantasy MMO.
EverQuest Next Landmark, the free-to-play world-builder that Sony Online Entertainment is releasing as a sort of playable proof of concept for EverQuest: Next, inches closer to completion. Signups for the beta test started a couple of weeks ago, and now a new dev diary walks us through some of building materials players will have to work with.
Wildstar's previous DevSpeak videos explained the upcoming MMO's combat mechanics with a sandwich analogy that, over the course of the series, was spread much thinner than any food-based metaphor should be. For this, their first class introduction video, we instead get some spontaneous warbling. They didn't even throw us a casserole comparison to ease the transition. Well, you've been forewarned, so here's the development team's Warrior round-up.
I'm on something of a break from Guild Wars 2 at the moment, after a heavy spell of playing it a few months back. But despite barely touching the last few events, I do like the game. I wanted to make that clear upfront, because next week's update contains a competition that I'm having a hard time writing about. A hard time because it's hard to see what you're typing when you're cringing this hard.
That's right, ArenaNet are asking fans to create a music video around the song "The Nightmares Within", which, appropriately enough, is also the name of the update. Also there'll be some stuff to do in the game, which is maybe the hope to cling onto.
Perhaps signaling new content for planet Earth's benchmark MMO, World of Warcraft developer Blizzard has trademarked "Warlords of Draenor," according to MMO Champion. The report points to the trademark registration in both New Zealand and Australia, a filing that takes place just in advance of this weekend's BlizzCon event in Anaheim.
Nether, the urban-focused DayZ-alike we first told you about in August, has just hit Steam Early Access. The hopefully brutal survival MMO is now in Beta, and eager early adopters can get in and start checking out the game.
I had a whole intro planned around the combination of RIFT's fire and water elementals. It would have been like a nature documentary, the end result of which was a little Steam baby. To be honest, though, who wants to be forced into considering the technical difficulties of magmic rutting? And wouldn't creatures from the other planes just feel left out? Instead, we'll try this: RIFT's free-to-play incarnation is on Steam now, should that be the distribution platform that you favour. For existing players, the more significant news is a recent livestream held by the developers, in which they revealed the content roadmap leading up to the next expansion, RIFT 3.0.
According to an email sent to Star Wars: The Old Republic players, BioWare will soon begin a “Character Name Renewal” program, targeting inactive players. Free-to-play characters who have not logged in to the game for long periods of time will have their names released into the general pool for anyone to use.
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.