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.
Blizzard's powerful Text Wall spell hit the Warlords of Draenor website late last week, conjuring a tome-sized post previewing planned class, ability, and content updates for the alpha version of World of Warcraft's fifth expansion. I would pull out the "too long, didn't read" excuse, but that got nerfed 10 press releases ago.
The Elder Scrolls Online is currently live for those who preordered, and what better way to celebrate than with ridiculous screenshots from the Large Pixel Collider? We took a trip through Tamriel that spanned three 1440p monitors, using the LPC's four Nvidia GTX Titans to take some gorgeous panorama shots from the game. Here are some of our favorites.
Guild Wars 2's Feature Pack is still a fortnight away, but, judging by ArenaNet's recent teasers, it promises to be one of the more significant updates in the game's history. Across the eleven existing blog posts on the MMO's update page, the developers have revealed upcoming changes to Traits, Skins, Crits, Slots, as well as some of their non-monosyllabic systems.
The latest post details the "Megaserver System", which dramatically alters how players will be populated across different zones. The hope is that friends and guildmates will be more consistently placed on the same version of a busy map, and that the game's quieter maps will become dramatically more populated. All of which is great stuff, even if I'm slightly underwhelmed by their hyperbole. Megaserver? Why not Enormouserver, or Colossuserver?
After teasing most of us (and horrifying some of us) for what seems like ages, Elder Scrolls Online will finally launch in just eight short days on April 4. If I’m any judge, barely 48 hours after that, someone, somewhere, will hit the level 50 experience cap and lord it over the rest of us. For the dedicated, a new blog post at the ESO website details the many ways we’ll be able to explore Tamriel after our journey through the levels is complete.
EverQuest Next Landmark has finally gathered enough materials to craft a claim flag for the verdant closed beta countryside—right on schedule—taking a continent-sized destruction tool to the alpha period's constructions to prepare for the next phase of Sony Online's sandbox MMO. It's also taking on a new name for its travels: just call it Landmark now.
On Wednesday SOE will take EverQuest Next Landmark out of alpha and into closed beta, in the process taking a wrecking ball to the painstaking creations of its users so far. (The reason you haven't seen an angry petition is 1) this was always the deal, and 2) the users get to keep templates of the stuff they've made.) What better time, then, to look back at the weird and wonderful creations that the community has built so far. Beginning with this AT-AT homage made by Pharoso Fluoroso.
When will you be able play The Elder Scrolls Online? Really, that depends on a couple of factors. The most important is if you're planning to buy it, because, if not, there's a pretty easy answer to the question. Assuming that you are, things are a little more complicated. During a Reddit AMA for ESO, Bethesda posted times and dates for when they plan to fling open the gates to the online Tamriel.
Of the many Wildstar DevSpeak videos released, most have focused on the upcoming MMO's PvE game. Finally, though, Carbine are offering a proper look at the PvP modes - from the small-scale Arenas, to the objective focused Battlegrounds. The main focus of this video is how the AoE-based telegraph system creates a PvP mode with a focus on manually aimed attacks, and frantic and constant dodging. No wonder the characters are all so in shape.
Modding Elder Scrolls games is a PC gaming tradition, and ZeniMax's Elder Scrolls Online will allow adventuring wizards and warriors to travel Tamriel with combat and questing UI addons when it launches on April 4. However, the latest beta update has locked down tracking of incoming damage and ability sources, a change that has many in the ESO community upset at the reduced effectiveness of addons.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Update: we have 500 more unique keys to give away. Come and get 'em!
Hail, adventurer! Will you take up your sword in the name of Tamriel and join the grand struggle to — AHEM — sorry, I was momentarily possessed by the spirit of a passing fantasy RPG NPC there. An occasional occurrence in PCG towers. I meant to say "would you like to play The Elder Scrolls Online this weekend?" If [yes] then [proceed to rest of article]. There you will find instructions for grabbing one of the thousand keys we have to giveaway for this weekend's beta test. First come, first served!
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.
Blizzard announced you can now purchase a level 90 character boost in World of Warcraft for $60, confirming the price that leaked out last month. It’s the same boost you’ll get with a purchase of the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, which Blizzard will sell for $50 (Standard Edition) or $70 (Digital Deluxe Edition).
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.
Why it seemed like just yesterday that we were giving away access to this weekend's beta test for The Elder Scrolls Online, because it was. But earlier a portal to the plane of Oblivion opened, spaffed another thousand keys onto our laps and then disappeared, leaving only a faint hint of Draenor aftershave hanging in the air. It is our grave duty, then, to pass this sudden boon onto you with another beta key giveaway! Read on for details.