The first month of existence for the sprawling lands of The Elder Scrolls Online is fast approaching. By the Tamriel calendar, that day falls this Sundas of Second Seed. (No, I'm not crazy: The Elder Scrolls series has a full calendar system.) For many adventurers, it'll simply be another turn of the sun to foil Molag Bal's plots, steal various food items off tables, and fend off swarms of mudcrabs. But for ZeniMax, it's the beginning of its update guideline for the upcoming Craglorn adventure zone and beyond as explained in a post by game director Matt Firor.
I applaud Sony Online Entertainment's transparency lately. The MMO developer and publisher has been extremely forthcoming with new details on H1Z1, its in-development zombie apocalypse MMO. CEO John Smedley has addressed lots of community questions on the game's subreddit, and we're bound to learn a lot of info from the 12 hours of livestream that the development team is doing today.
Wildstar doesn't seem interested in revolutionising the MMO. Instead, Carbine are overhauling some of the genre's most entrenched systems and attitudes. At a recent press event for the game, we had the chance to sit down with game design producer Stephan Frost, to talk about Wildstar's end game content, and how the team are preparing to support all corners of the player-base after they've hit the level cap.
The Old Republic's Galactic Strongholds expansion adds player housing and a bunch of other stuff, giving bounty hunters a place to hang their boots, their Wookies and their sarcastic Han Solo-style grins between missions. If you're a subscriber you were probably looking forward to the expansion's Early Access period on June 24th - so you'll be disappointed to hear that it's been delayed to August 19th, just one month before Preferred Early Access begins in September, and the content launches for free-to-play players in October. As a reward for your patience, the DLC will be getting a new stronghold location (Tatooine), conquest events and a few other things, as detailed in this announcement post. Hey, remember when games/expansions had a single release date? Simpler times.
As a story generator, EVE: Online is nearly peerless. But for every individual player, there's still the vastness of the MMO's universe to contend with. Andrew Groen, a games industry journalist, wants to tell the story of EVE through its own grand, narrative history. And now that his Kickstarter project to document that history has been funded, it appears he'll be able to do just that.
Inside the social economy of The Elder Scrolls Online, almost everything is up for sale—even vampirism. But House Annunaki, an Ebonheart Pact vampire guild in TESO, wants to turn that economy on its head by offering the precious vampire bites for free beginning May 1, according to the most recent issue of developer Zenimax Online's Tamriel Chronicle.
While heroes across Tamriel journey to reclaim their souls from that jerk Molag Bal in The Elder Scrolls Online, the MMO's devs have kept to their own quest to vanquish lingering glitches and loopholes such as a pretty serious duping exploit and the dreaded Spell of Disappearing Bank Items. In a message posted today on the official forums, director Matt Firor addressed these issues and other problems in a general evaluation of TESO's current state and the studio's plans for improving it.
DayZ has received a new stable update, and one that introduces some significant features to the game. More importantly, it removes some significant features. So, as we welcome a new village, a recipe for bow crafting and the ability to melee attack with a frying pan, we also bid good riddance to mouse acceleration (or, to go by its scientific name, "weird floaty mouse times").
Last week, Wildstar introduced the general concept behind its PvP Warplots: 40 vs 40 hovering battlegrounds that max-level players can own and customise. That's the pitch, but what about the specifics of a single battle. Step forward Carbine's theatrical DevSpeak series. The latest shows how a large team can be organised and deployed around the strategically designed death-traps.
Survarium—the Stalker-ish free-to-play online shooter—is preparing for "Doors Open Day" this Friday. Think of it like the opening of Pandora's box, only instead of all the world's evil, it's letting loose limited access to the game. And instead of a slow descent into guilt and madness, you've got a gun.
For 24-hours only, the game will be available to try in open beta, after which, its doors again slam shut. As early warning for what to expect, creators Vostok have created a video preview of the game's progress.
H1Z1 footage shows that, yep, it looks a lot like DayZ [Update: DayZ similarities addressed in Reddit post]
The Long Dark's creative director reckons the apocalypse doesn't have to feature zombies - but, erm, here's one more open world post-apocalyptic game that does. As announced last week, Sony's entry into the DayZ genre is the wittily (if clinically) named H1Z1, a game that differentiates itself from Dean Hall and Bohemia's game by...well, that part's not totally clear yet, but it's been a fairly democratic process so far. H1Z1 game designer Jimmy Whisenhunt and technical director Tom Schenk took to Twitch a few hours ago to show off the game as it stands now; you'll find 50-odd minutes of walking, zombie-battering, scavenging and driving, in a game that admittedly looks very pretty but so far doesn't seem to boast any distinguishing characteristics.
Square Enix have announced that their once disastrous, now pretty good Final Fantasy XIV has accrued over 2 million registered accounts, and all without using the Steal command to pilfer them from other games. A little bit of Final Fantasy humour for you there. It's hardly World of Warcraft numbers, but it is a notable achievement from a game that launched in a state fit to be thrown to the dogs, before being shut down and extensively remade at the developer/publisher's own cost. Square Enix are currently celebrating with some vials of Elixir, a big haunch of chocobo meat, and other Final Fantasy references.
World of Warcraft was released a decade ago. Thanks to Moore’s law, in terms of advancements made in PC hardware, that might as well be a century. After all that time, Blizzard is finally ready to update the character models in the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion. They’ll look better, but don’t worry. Even if you’ve been playing World of Warcraft on the same machine for years, you probably don’t need to upgrade it for Warlords of Draenor.
The Elder Scrolls Online's latest patch takes aim at a list of frustrating quest bugs that have surfaced since the game launched earlier this month. Although flat-out broken quests weren't highlighted as an issue in our recent review of ESO, if you've spent any time in-game during the last two weeks, it's likely you've run into a few buggy roadblocks.
It's all been very war-ish today. If it's not metal monstrosities firing explosive anger at each other, it's cheerful cartoons scrapping across hovering mobile battlefields. That's the premise for Wildstar's Warplots mode. As explained by the trailer, it's a 40 vs 40 PvP showdown, in which two sides fight it out over their player-made plots.
Scarlet is dead, Mordremoth—the Elder forest dragon—has awoken, and Lion's Arch lies in ruins. More significantly, Guild Wars 2's player-base have completed an over year-long series of regular content releases, building to some of the most engaging and coordinated map-wide battles yet seen in the game. So what's next? For now, none of the above. Rather than hint at the content to come, the next update re-examines and overhauls many of the underlying systems. The April Feature Pack is due out later today, and could be a significant shift to how players engage with the game.
"I think over the last year you saw us integrate a lot of the features in with the content," Isaiah Cartwright, lead game designer for Guild Wars 2, tells me. "We did the whole achievement rework right at the same time as we had this big content patch. We found that they kind of step on each others toes. I think our philosophy now is trying to separate the features and the quality of life improvements from the content. This is our first run at that."
Psst. Hey you, looking to score a Beech Lightning Staff of Flame in The Elder Scrolls Online? I know of a place that could hook you up. The fan-run TESO Elite Forums has set up an unofficial marketplace, where you can post the stuff you’re looking to buy or sell. The marketplace has even been endorsed by developer ZeniMax Online.
CCP have finally put a stake through the heart of World of Darkness. Despite a troubled life, the studio's undead MMO adaptation would briefly slink out from the shadows before darting back into its lair. Despite how infrequently it made an appearance, it's a shame to hear that the final nail has been hammered down. Partly that's because of the amazing promise of the game—which imagined a world as rich, political and player-driven as EVE, only with vampires instead of spaceships. Mostly, though, it's because CCP are now laying off 56 members of staff from their Atlanta studio.
Well, isn’t this always the way? You wait years for a massively-multiplayer, post-apocalyptic, zombie survival sandbox to come along, then several hundred come staggering over the horizon at once. Next to join their rotting ranks is H1Z1, the new free-to-play MMO from Sony Online Entertainment.
What is H1Z1? We’ve spotted what seems to be a game homepage for Sony Online’s next project. We’ve heard the name H1Z1 before, actually: in January, when we learned that SOE had registered it as a trademark.