MMO

Firefall review in progress

Phil Savage at

Firefall, the free-to-play MMO shooter, is now available. As per PC Gamer's reviews policy, MMOs aren't scored until our reviewer has spent time with the public release. Here, then, is a review-in-progress, charting Phil's initial impressions with the game.

Things get off to a bad start when, upon loading into the game, I recoil in horror at what my eyeballs are seeing. I'll cover Firefall's graphics later, but the tutorial map is perhaps the worst possible introduction to its aesthetic. The textures are blurry, the environments murky, and the characters flat and cartoonish. Compared to this year's other MMO releases, there's none of the vibrancy or charm of Wildstar, and none of the relatively higher-res textures of the otherwise visually bland (and oppressively foggy) TESO.

The Elder Scrolls Online European megaserver migration happening tomorrow

Andy Chalk at

The Elder Scrolls Online European megaserver migration promised in May will take place on July 29—yes, that's tomorrow—and unfortunately for those who play on it, it's going to be an all-day process.


We have five thousand Wildstar trial keys to give away

PC Gamer at

You there! Are your next seven days not filled with an expansive and enjoyable MMO? Don't worry, we can fix that. We have 5,000 Wildstar trial keys, and we're literally giving them away. The keys—which are redeemable from Tuesday, 29 July—will give you a full week of Wildstar access, up to a Level 20 cap. Don't worry, that still means a trial period packed full of questing, Adventures, Dungeons and more.

Update: The keys have all been taken. Those that successfully claimed one should be getting their email soon.


Blizzard reveal WoW: Warlords of Draenor's new Tauren women, could maybe have left their clothes on

Tom Sykes at

There are few things more disturbing than a cow wearing a bra, and Blizzard just made me look at a whole bunch of them in order to write this news post. Upcoming World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor is giving the MMO a bit of a graphical overhaul - I mean, just look at how slightly different the Draenei will look in a few months' time. Now it's time for the Tauren to go under the knife 3D modelling programs, and it seems Blizzard have made them a bit more human. WoW's resident cow-people will boast a bigger range of facial expressions, more detailed hair and hooves - as it turns out, this makes it extra creepy to see them strolling around in a bra and pants.


Firefly Online releases first game footage, announces returning cast members

Phil Savage at

Ah, 2002. A year when you could legitimately use Papyrus and still be a beloved TV show. Despite the font, Firefly remains much missed by its fans. Firefly Online, then, is hoping to capture some of that enthusiasm—and has enlisted the original cast to help. At this year's San Diego Comic Con, it was announced that all of the primary cast will be reprising their roles for the MMO, which is being developed for Windows, Mac and mobiles. A new trailer has also emerged, showing the first footage from the game.


Final Fantasy XIV guild holds pride parade to celebrate update 2.4's same-sex marriage

Phil Savage at

Back at E3, Final Fantasy XIV producer Naoki Yoshida announced that the upcoming 2.4 update would allow any two players to marry in-game, regardless of race, nation or gender. To celebrate, one in-game guild organised a "Pixel Parade", taking to the virtual streets for a rainbow-themed party. Finally, a good reason for the MMO genre's obsession with dyes.


Wildstar trailer reveals Sabotage update, brings new PvP Battleground

Phil Savage at

What's next for Wildstar? After the bio-terror of the Strain update, Ultradrop 2: Sabotage is based more on the act of hitting fellow players with sharp weapons, or shooting fellow players with laser pistols... Or, as shown by the new DevSpeak video, exploding fellow players with sabotage-enabling bombs.


Guild Wars 2 trailer teases The Dragon's Reach: Part 1

Phil Savage at

This was a long time coming. Guild Wars 2 is—like all fantasy games are—about dragons. One of the major complaints about the game's first season of story updates was the lack of anything to do with dragons. This might seem petty, but if you've got giant dragons tearing up the place, you might think they're more important than a local election. In the end, it was all a ruse: the story ended with the awakening of a new dragon. Now the effects of that awakening are being felt. Dragon stuff is happening, and will continue to happen in the upcoming update, The Dragon's Reach: Part 1.


Maxis job listing suggests its next project is a free-to-play MMO

Andy Chalk at

Maxis has been around for the better part of 30 years, during which time it's developed an awful lot of Sim-stuff, from SimCity to The Sims. Now it's working in something new, which based on a recently-posted job listing may be a free-to-play MMO.


Guild Wars 2's Entanglement update launches today

Phil Savage at

An ancient evil has awakened. That's pretty much par for the course in MMOs. Almost everything is an ancient evil. That tree? Probably an ancient evil. That NPC? Yup, ancient evil. The crafting economy? Definitely an ancient evil. It's time to add another to the list: at the heart of Season 2 of Guild Wars 2's Living World is an ancient evil that's now terrorising the Maguuma Wastes, and the new zone of Dry Top. That story continues with the Entanglement update, due out later today.


Blizzard show off the new Draenei of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Phil Savage at

World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion will feature a major graphics overhaul for the almost-10 year old MMO. Blizzard have been slowly teasing the new character models of Warlords of Draenor; most recently with a new look at the male Draenei. As you can see from the new screenshots, the model has had a pretty subtle redesign – most noticeably gaining HD head ridges.


The Elder Scrolls Online trailer shows the fancy guild features of Update 3

Phil Savage at

In any MMO, a sense of commonality can develop among its players. It's a genre that encourages you to expend significant time and, occasionally, money, and so which MMO you choose can say a lot about the type of experiences you prefer. Of course, that kinship doesn't stop you from then further splitting into smaller groups for the purpose of more micro-conflict. Hence guilds, the focus of The Elder Scrolls Online's third major post-launch update.


Firefall finally leaving beta this month, adding open world PvP in its "biggest update ever"

Tyler Wilde at

Firefall was first shown to the public way back in 2010, but nearly four years later, it still hasn't officially released. The free-to-play MMO shooter has been in open beta for the past year—almost to the day—which in many cases is the same as being 'released' in all but name, but not in this case, according to Red 5 Studios CEO James Macauley. This month's launch won't just pull down the 'open beta' label, it's also Firefall's "biggest update ever."


Guild Wars 2 trailer promises Entanglement (read: vines) in next Living World episode

Tom Sykes at

The second season of Guild Wars 2's Living World story is well underway, with last week's Gates of Maguuma taking players to the arid Maguuma Wastes, which I hear are lovely this time of year. Now, ArenaNet have begun to tease the next episode, Entanglement, which will arrive on July 15th—exactly one week from today. The trailer suggests we're in for a viney, gianty old time, which would mean that my horoscope was right.


Planetside 2 to get weather system, new H1Z1 screens show snow effects

Phil Savage at

It's a double-whammy of weather news, courtesy of SOE's John Smedley. The studio's CEO dropped falling facts across Twitter last night, showing a series of snow-covered landscapes from the upcoming H1Z1. In addition, Smedley revealed that weather effects are being planned for Planetside 2.


Wildstar trailer offers a closer look at Strain Ultra Drop

Phil Savage at

Wildstar's upcoming Strain Ultra Drop will take the already infectious MMO and a new zone filled with pox and pestilence. Carbine previously gave a brief overview of this first major update, and revealed the customisation options it will add. Now, in the new DevSpeak video, game design producer Stephen Frost explains how different players might enjoy this new land of contagious content.


Star Conflict's "Invasion Mode" blasts off into closed beta

Andy Chalk at

A look at the Star Conflict FAQ indicates that the free-to-play space combat MMO focuses heavily on PvP action, with PvE present but relegated to the status of something you can do but probably won't find very interesting. The newly-announced "Invasion Mode" may change that to some extent, however, by introducing a new AI-controlled enemy that can appear anywhere, at any time.


Major PlanetSide 2 update is live now, adds swampy Hossin continent

Shaun Prescott at

Two years in development, the Hossin continent is now accessible in PlanetSide 2 thanks to a major update rolling out as we speak. Originally scheduled for an April 2013 launch, Hossin is a swampy, infantry-oriented map which should please fans of mud and shades of brown. It also boasts an Interlink Facility and 80 new bases in a brand new biome.


World of Warcraft's new male human model revealed

Phil Savage at

Over the last few months, Blizzard have been previewing the revamped character models of World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor expansion. We've already seen Orcs, Taurens, Draenei and Night Elves, but now it's time for the most fantastical species of all: Humans. As improbable as they are, with their weird faces and stubbly hairs, the Humans have proven a popular choice among MMO players. And for the nearly 10-year-old WoW, they're also one of the models most in need of an upgrade.


Wildstar teases the locations and rewards of the Strain Ultradrop update

Phil Savage at

Last week, Carbine introduced us to Strain Ultradrop, the first major content update since the game's release. Only a month after the game's launch—and all the excitement, demands, complaints and requests that such an event naturally brings—the developers are unleashing a deadly plague upon us all. Hopefully there's nothing to be read into that.

Since the update's announcement, Carbine have been filling in the details of what to expect. In addition to a new area and Adventure, they've today revealed the housing and customisation options that plague-battling players can expect to earn.