Trove: a procedurally generated voxel-based sandbox which - stop me if you've heard this one before

Tom Sykes at

Voxels, eh? Can't live with 'em, can't - no, wait, that's women. What are voxels again? Oh, those little triangley things that are somehow powering the gorgeous Everquest Next. They're also powering the less gorgeous Trove, the next game from Rift and Defiance developers Trion. It's fair to say that this role-playing/crafting/sandbox title is a bit of a departure from their previous games. It's not quite as big a departure from Picroma's Cube World, however, which...well, just look at that strangely similar screenshot up there.

Trion shuts down its San Diego studio

Tyler Wilde at

A source tells PC Gamer that Trion Worlds has shuttered its San Diego studio, which was responsible for developing sci-fi MMO Defiance. Former COO Scott Hartsman, who departed the company in January, returned this morning as CEO—our source couldn't confirm whether or not the closure was decided before the management change.

Defiance beta weekend giveaway - 500 keys must go!

PC Gamer at

Sci-fi MMO-shooter Defiance is set to have another beta weekend and we have 500 ways for you to get in on the action. Kicking off this Friday evening, lucky recipients of keys will be unleashed into a shattered future-San Francisco, its remains picked over by feuding factions and infested with ferocious, mega-sized beasties.

A thirdperson shooter, it's pitched as part PlanetSide and part Monster Hunter, and the trailers make its many-player battles against skyscraping insectoids look suitably epic. But why not see for yourself?

How to install Warface, Crytek's upcoming F2P shooter, and play right now

Tyler Wilde at

My warface is a Max Payne-style smirk with a hint of Nicolas Cage crazy-eyes. Crytek's Warface, however, is a CryEngine 3-based free-to-play war shooter. The game, which is curiously not called "WarCry," is currently live in Russia, and we've been hearing for a while that it'll come our way soon -- probably before the end of the year...

Warface E3 trailer shoots your misconceptions about free to play IN THE FACE

Chris Thursten at

Warface is Crytek and Trion's inbound free-to-play shooter that boasts triple-A production values and already has a million subscribers in Russia. The new trailer hoists up common assumptions/things no-one has ever actually said - like "world class graphics are never free" and "social and shooter don't mix" - before proving them wrong with BULLETS. See below for a tonne of new screenshots.

End of Nations E3 trailer features excited commentary, nukes, noodly 80s guitar

Chris Thursten at

This trailer for Trion's online RTS is somewhere between regular in-game footage and an e-sports match in fast-forward. As a result you'd be forgiven for not having the faintest idea what is going on. Rest assured: points will be captured, tanks will be blown up, two men will get very, very excited about orbital lasers.

Tom was impressed with the game when he saw it back in February, so check out his End of Nations preview for more information.

Rift expansion details teased with mysterious puzzle box

T.J. Hafer at

We received an interesting package today at the PC Gamer offices: a wooden box labeled "A Storm is Brewing." Given that I was a world-class detective before taking the intern gig here, I was tasked with determining what it all meant. My peerless deductive skills have led me to the conclusion that these are likely the first details of Rift's next major expansion.

Rift's new Conquest map adds large scale, open world-style PvP

Josh Augustine at

Rift's new PvP mode throws the game's rulebook out the window. Defiants and Guardians--who needs 'em? The new Conquest mode lets you join one of three factions that battle on a massive map with capturable objectives and no player cap, more closely resembling Guild Wars 2's World vs. World vs. World mode than Rift's existing PvP Warfronts.

First Defiance gameplay trailer shows off massively-multiplayer bug shooting

Tyler Wilde at

At PAX East today, Trion Worlds released the first ever gameplay footage of its upcoming cooperative MMO shooter Defiance. The video takes place in "a terraformed land reminiscent of the San Francisco Bay Area" and makes those in PC Gamer's South San Francisco office glad there are no such things as "Hellbugs," which make bed bugs seem awfully cuddly.

As if being a multi-platform (PC, 360, PS3) cooperative MMO shooter wasn't enough, Defiance is also a television series which will air on Syfy. According to Trion and Syfy, the show and game will influence each other, with "actions in both mediums driving the overall story." There's new information about the show on the official site.

SOPA protests: Minecraft, Firefall, Reddit going dark next week. Nvidia, Runic and Frozenbyte come out against the bill

Tom Senior at

Earlier this week Reddit announced that they would be switching off for twelve hours next Wednesday from 8am–8pm EST (1300–0100 UTC) in protest at the Stop Online Piracy Act. Today Red 5 Studios and Mojang have announced that they will also go dark and Nvidia, Runic and Frozenbyte have voiced their opposition to the bill.

Red 5 CEO, Mark Kern confirmed to Shacknews that "Red 5 Studios is joining Reddit in protest of SOPA by going dark on January 18. We will be taking down our website, community site and Firefall beta for 24 hours on the 18th."

"We are extremely disappointed in this misguided legislation. We are also ashamed of the ESA for supporting a bill which is clearly not in the best interests of gamers or the game industry. This bill, and it's sister bill, Protect IP, will shut down live streaming, shout casting, user generated content and have a chilling effect on game innovation and social media," he added.

On Twitter, Notch has mentioned that and will go down next Wednesday in protest.

Rift giveaway winners: Soul combos of choice

Lucas Sullivan at

When it comes to what role you want to play in Rift, you've definitely got options. Thanks to the game's Soul system, classes get much more complex past the initial Warrior, Cleric, Rogue, and Mage. Now that's it's been seven days since our Rift giveaway started, it's time to say congratulations to our 25 lucky (and randomly chosen) winners. Read on to see which class combinations they prefer, and if your name is among the chosen few.

Rift giveaway: free copies for you and a friend! [US only]

Lucas Sullivan at

It's not always easy convincing your friends to jump into an MMO with you. It got a bit easier this week, when Rift launched its Ascend-a-Friend referral program and a 7-day trial, but maybe a few of your fellows are still holding out. Maybe you're that stubborn friend dragging their feet. First, shame on you. Secondly, PC Gamer's here to help. We're celebrating the spirit of playing MMOs with friends by giving 25 lucky winners two copies of Rift each—as in, you and a friend get to explore Telara as a dynamic duo. Want to know how to enter? I know you do. Read on.

Rift's Scott Hartsman responds: how he plans to make live world events fun for everyone.

Jonathan H. Cooper at

Rift’s first world event was a bust. It wasn’t what fans wanted or expected, and after talking to the game's Executive Producer Scott Hartsman, one thing is incredibly clear: it’s not what Trion wanted or expected, either.

“It wasn’t particularly terribly fun,” Hartsman told me during an interview, referring to the final stages of the River of Souls event. “We knew very well that we could handle hundreds of people in a single zone doing a single event, because that happens in the game all the time. The ultra-scale issue happens when you end up with a thousand people standing in the same ten-foot square.”

For those who refrained from logging into the River of Souls event, the "ultra-scale issue" he's speaking about was the servers exploding after a few thousand people all ran to the same spot on the map. It wasn't pretty. We presented our grievances to Hartsman last week, to see what he'd have to say.

Editorial: What went wrong with Rift's River of Souls event, and how to solve it

Jonathan H. Cooper at

“Ambition is important,” said Rift’s Executive Producer, Scott Hartsman, in a post on the game’s forum after last week's live event. “It's what keeps us improving day to day, week to week, month to month. But, it's equally important to know when you walked too close to the edge and got cut.”

That's not what players hoped they would hear after the conclusion of River of Souls—Rift’s first live world event that took place over the past two weeks. What was promoted as a massive, epic war that would make the “vicious invasions you see every day look like a lazy Sunday in the park,” turned out to be something of a disaster that left the devs publicly apologizing and offering free rewards to anyone with an active account. So what went wrong?

Rift review

Jonathan H. Cooper at

"Defend the Wardstones!" the warrior beside me bellowed, seconds before being overrun by Breathless Banshees. Undead hordes were invading Telara, spewing out of a dozen swirling, inter-dimensional rifts in the canyons of the Scarlet Gorge. The army of the Plane of Death—banshees, ghosts, ghouls, and drake—marched forth, cutting down any players, NPCs, and wildlife in its path. We, the ragtag group of players who happened to be there when the assault began, were all that stood in the way. From atop a tower in the last remaining city in Scarlet Gorge, I frantically fired off healing spells, but things weren't looking good. If the Wardstone fell, the event would be lost, and the undead would occupy the land.

Just in time, an uneasy alliance of players from both the Defiants and the Guardians (Rift’s rival factions) finished sealing the last of the Death rifts. While they'd normally have slain each other on sight, they stood together against the common threat, and managed to turn the tide. This truce was short lived, however. Closing the final rift triggered a boss stage: a huge wave of zombies (which, like a group of crows, is known as a “murder”). Once the horde showed their decaying faces the factions once again crossed blades, each hoping to defeat the zombies and claim the best quest rewards for themselves. In the end my faction, the Defiants, emerged victorious, and all who contributed were rewarded with fabulous items.

These frequent, zone-wide events aren’t a distraction from Rift—they are Rift, and they’re some of the most epic, fantastic experiences available in MMOs today.

Giveaway: RIFT collector's editions! [US only]

Lucas Sullivan at

Tired of superheroes? Sick of WoW? Considering returning to (gulp) Everquest? Don't hit that resubscribe button just yet, because your friends at PC Gamer want to help you jump into the brand new fantasy MMO Rift, which just launched last night! Read on for details on how you can enter to win one of the collector's editions we're giving away!

Rift looking for closed beta testers

Tom Senior at

The interdimensional fantasy MMO, Rift, is looking for testers to sign up for a closed beta. The game takes place in the fantasy world called Telara, a land threatened by rifts in the fabric of space that allow evil creatures to invade from other planes of existence. Players who are spoiling for a fight can even create these rifts intentionally, to fight off the invading hordes for sweet loot. Fancy signing up? Details follow.