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

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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".

Giveaway: get a Wildstar weekend beta key

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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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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?"

Guild Wars 2's Escape from Lion's Arch update will bring the central city under attack

Phil Savage at

Guild Wars 2's main city of Lion's Arch has seen plenty of drama across the Living Story. Over the last year, there's been an assassination attempt, an election, and a hidden pirate airship. Mostly, though, there's been those two jerks by the Leatherworking station endlessly repeating their infuriating conversation about outhouses and sewage disposal. Why, if I had my way, I'd burn the whole damn place to the ground.

If this video teaser for the next update is anything to go by, ArenaNet might be granting my wish.

Wildstar's new DevSpeak video details customisation of all kinds

Phil Savage at

Ugh, customisation? As someone with only a couple of dyes and no-frills armour in Guild Wars 2, the aesthetic expression side of MMOs just doesn't do it for me. Still, that's what the new Wildstar dev diary is about, so I guess I'll suck it up and... what's that? They've got granular item customisation allowing for stat-boosts on weapons. Well in that case, what are we even waiting for?!

How WildStar will motivate you to play with your guild

Emanuel Maiberg at

WildStar, the upcoming massively multiplayer role-playing game from Carbine and NCSoft, is trying to reawaken your love for the MMO genre by mixing what you know with some much needed innovation. It’s still an RPG, but movement and aiming will matter more. It will have 40-player dungeons, but also player housing and town building features. Kept a secret until now, its take on in-game guilds seems to adhere to the same philosophy: familiar, but with a few noteworthy twists.

Guild Wars 2 to explore The Origins of Madness next week

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As noted last week, Guild Wars 2's Living Story is moving towards its conclusion. Today, we learn how that conclusion will heavily involve creepy giant marionettes. ArenaNet have announced that the next update - due to launch January 21st - will be called The Origins of Madness. And while it kicks off the culmination of over a year of twice-monthly updates, and unveils the master-plan of repeatedly defeated villain Scarlet, the real reveal is the addition of two new world bosses to be blasted into treasure.

Guild Wars 2 trailer teases end of the Living Story's first season

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The briefly slumbering ArenaNet have awoken for a new year of Guild Wars 2 updates. The first of these has been announced for 21st January and, like basically all of the other ones, will involve the admirably persistent arch-villain Scarlet. Maybe, though, this will be her last appearance on the panto villain stage, as - as was revealed in ANet's end-of-year blog post - the next four updates will wrap up this "season one" story arc.

WildStar trailer details the mech-loving Engineer

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Revealed in last week's class round-up trailer, Carbine Studios' latest DevSpeak video details the last of their WildStar character class reveals: The Engineer. Unlike real world engineers, this one has particle firing heavy weapons, robots and a mech suit. At least, let's hope that's unlike real engineers. (Note to self: find out what engineers are plotting.)

Guild Wars 2's next update is beginning to look a lot like WintersDay

Phil Savage at

Would you like to make a festival that's analogous to Christmas for your own fictional purposes. There have been so many used for various games - especially MMOs - that the list is getting pretty thin. Still up for grabs are FrostyWeek, ColdTimes and Nega-Christmas (in which children throw wooden toy soldiers into the void-like Anti-Santa, desperately hoping to quell his unfeeling hunger for matter for another year.) You can't use WintersDay, though, because Guild Wars 2 has appropriated it for their own definitely-not-Christmas celebration - one that's returning to Tyria next week.

WildStar trailer introduces Medic and Engineer in a full class jamboree

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Finally, after weeks of teasers, Carbine Studios have rounded up the full gang. We've got the damage-dealing Warrior, the damage-dealing Esper, the damage-dealing... well, you get the idea. Also, for the first time, we get to see the two formally unannounced (which is to say: announced) classes: the Medic and Engineer. Any guesses as to whether they're going to deal damage?

WildStar's class round-up series continues with the Stalker

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You need to take care if one of your game's classes is called "Stalker". What you want to evoke is the idea of a silent predator, sneaking through flora and fauna to hunt down their prey. What you really don't want is for people to think of weird creepers, trawling through friends' Facebook pictures while listening to The Smiths and inhaling beef Monster Munch. For upcoming MMO WildStar, their solution is simple: focus heavily on the cool things. Retractable claws, gadgets, and invisibility granting nano-skin.

WildStar dev video reveals interdimensional magic space cowboy, the Spellslinger

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Given how many of WildStar's early trailers borrowed elements from both Firefly and Borderlands, the emergence of a magical space cowboy class shouldn't be much of a surprise. Also called the Spellslinger, that class is the focus of the latest DevSpeak video update from the Carbine team. Don't worry, at no point does anybody say "howdy" or "pardner". I checked.

Guild Wars 2 update adds new Fractals event, more Nightmares

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Typical politicians. They promise the moon on a stick, but do they ever deliver? Well yes, in this case. As part of the weird Guild Wars 2 voting event held a few months ago, the winning candidate's election promises have formed the basis of next week's update: Fractured. It's a new Fractals of the Mists event, set during the explosion of Metrica Province's Thaumanova Reactor. Fractured also continues the Nightmare story chain, that formed the basis of the last two updates.

Wildstar trailer introduces the mental manipulation of the Esper class

Phil Savage at

WildStar's newest DevSpeak video has just released, and it continues Carbine's tour of the game's classes. Last time we were introduced to the biff-heavy Warrior class, and now we get a look at the more intellectual Esper. Intellect, in this context, is code for "can create telekinetic spinning blades and turn into a unicorn." Although, if you think about it, what other definition is there?

Wildstar's latest DevSpeak video introduces the Warrior, contains impromptu singing

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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.

Guild Wars 2 celebrates its first anniversary with graphs and charts

Ian Birnbaum at

A year ago this week, Guild Wars 2 launched in North America and Europe. To celebrate, ArenaNet has released a huge infographic with a ton of stats for your entertainment. Er, your infotainment, I mean.

Guild Wars 2 returns to the old-school with a new Super Adventure Box

Phil Savage at

Super Adventure Box was one of the more ambitious pranks of this year's Make Up Some News Day; mostly because it was real. For the month of April, Guild Wars 2 got an 8-bit console downgrade courtesy of a) Asuran technological experimentation, and b) a game lore flexible enough that its developers can go, "ah screw it, let's just make a platformer".

Now the game's retro device is being fired back up for a new session. Super Adventure Box: Back to School kicks off next week, celebrating children's return to enforced knowledge gathering with a series of pixellated jumping puzzles. No, I don't get the connection. Yes, I'm going to go with it.

Wildstar trailer casts stun, explains crowd control while you're disabled

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Do you know what's fun? When games actively stop you from playing them with infuriating stun abilities. No wait, that's not the fun part. The fun part is quitting out of those games in a despondent funk, then curling up into a ball and crying about MMO design. The latest Wildstar "DevSpeak" video is all about these crowd control effects and, as with many of the game's planned systems, how the developers hope to make a more engaging variation of traditional mechanics.

Wildstar to use monthly subscription model, plus EVE style "play-to-pay" system

Phil Savage at

In all the gajillions of Wildstar videos released so far, one thing has remained a mystery: how will players be funding their journey through the colourful MMO? Will it require a monthly subscription, or will it be free-to-play, or pay-to-play, or pay-to-win, or cash-for-gold? Or, will there be some new, hideous and barely descriptive phrase to explain how you'll buy a computer game? Spoiler: I'm looking at the announcement, and it contains the words, "play-to-pay".