Dec 10

The Heroic Habits of Guild Wars 2

Despite the Thief’s best efforts, his traps and poisoned bolts, his amulets aglow with enchantments, his opponent struck him to the ground. In the waters of the swamp, he struggled to survive as the undead horror lumbered closer. He threw knives as he quaked, desperate to dispatch it. But at long last he succumbed to his wounds. His body crumpled beneath the murky water. Fated to remain entombed in the sick scent……until a fellow adventurer arrived. With deft sword work the armored Warrior finished the monster with a few easy strokes. With splashing and sputtering the creature slumped into the mud, defeated. Before departing, the Warrior came to the side of the Thief and began to work, reviving the Thief’s broken body. With his work complete, the Warrior vanished into the mist without a word, leaving the Thief well enough to escape the swamp and fight again.This is common in the world of Guild Wars 2.While many MMO’s rely on a healing class to support the player population, Guild Wars 2 strives for new group dynamics by giving every player the ability to both heal and revive their fellow adventurers with very little effort. And while each successful resurrection rewards the healer with a handful of experience points, the amount is too small to matter much. Why, then, do other players consistently go out of their way to resurrect fallen strangers?During my most recent bout of weekend play, I began to ask the strangers that resurrected me why they were compelled to save a stranger. No easy task, mind you, as sparking philosophical discussions in the midst of battle can cause its own set of problems. And while most of my healers ran off without responding, no doubt preoccupied with their own quests, I did receive some illuminating answers.

One player noted: “I hate it when I die in battle” — a touching answer revealing his wish to save others from his own frustration. Similarly, another traveler — an Elementalist partial to fire — said “I just like being nice.”

These responses represent a bead of water in the veritable ocean of players, but they still tell us that the benevolent and compassionate do exist in the Guild Wars 2 community. We are a social, cooperative bunch. Without a sense of togetherness and community, an MMO just wouldn’t be the same.The benevolent and compassionate do exist in the Guild Wars 2 community.The play in Guild Wars 2, of course, was designed with player cooperation in mind. The developers at ArenaNet set out to create a more collaborative world, separating the competitive elements into isolated systems that require an opt-in. Gone are the days of ambushes during your stroll through the countryside.

Instead, players always share experience without any fear of kill-stealing. Furthermore, dynamic events encourage — and often require — multiple players working together to complete. Even the charming jumping puzzles and hidden nooks that dot Tyria can be better found when tailing an experienced adventurer.But no matter how much ArenaNet pokes and prods, nudging players towards merry fellowship, no one is forcing players to resurrect a stranger off the well-trodden path. No high council watches from the mountaintops and dispenses judgment on those that ignore the needy. If you run right by a fallen player without helping, the Guild Wars 2 community will not care. It’s just a game.

Perhaps the sight of a fallen player reminds us of our own failures in the world of Tyria.Perhaps the sight of a fallen player reminds us of our own failures in the world of Tyria. When your character has been defeated on some far off trail, the sight of a fellow adventurer is like an oasis in the desert. That mysterious stranger represents hope. When we consider that feeling of need, that bated breath for a stranger’s charity, we may be more inclined to help someone else, somewhere down the line.Then again, maybe some Guild Wars 2 players are just honest-to-goodness saints. As I struggled to survive in the frigid beauty of Lornar’s Pass, a fellow adventurer explained that he was just “preserving the niceness in the world,” punctuating our short chat with a smiley emoticon.

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Dec 10

Guild Wars 2 Details Halloween Event

The event, which is Halloween-themed and due to go live from October 22 and will last for a week, bringing a range of new items, dungeons and acts to the game for a limited time.It’s been over 250 years since Mad King Thorn was last seen, but despite this, rumours persist among the populace that something wicked this way comes.Shadow of the Mad King will explore the myth of Mad King Thorn, the spirit who spread insanity amongst the denizens of Tyria in the original Guild Wars every Halloween. Though he hasn’t been seen for over 250 years, the official event page teases “that something wicked this way comes.”In terms of what’s on offer, Tyria is set to be transformed with decorations, new mini-games, dynamic events, jumping puzzles, mini-dungeons and achievements. Most excitingly of all though, ArenaNet has described Halloween as a period “when barriers between the realms are weakest.” As a result, we should all prepare for “an epic adventure in four acts starting October 22 and running until October 31.”Brand new items will be available through the Black Lion Trading Company including Halloween costumes and transforms that’ll allow you to costume brawl with fellow players.Finally, Paid PvP Tournaments will be available for teams of five players. These require tickets to enter, which can be obtained by winning normal tournaments or purchased in the Gem Store. If that sounds like too much effort, you may want to reconsider; ArenaNet has revealed that the Paid Tournaments will offer much better prizes than their normal brethren, and participating teams will earn qualifier points that will allow them to compete in future, larger tournaments.If you’re looking for more info about Guild Wars 2, or need some help finding that elusive last point of interest, check out IGN’s Guild Wars 2 Wiki.
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Dec 10

A World-Changing Event in Guild Wars 2

The next major event in ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2, called The Lost Shores, will begin at noon PST on November 16. According to a post on the official Guild Wars 2 site, at that time something will happen in the hub city of Lion’s Arch that will spread into other parts of Tyria.

Events will continue throughout the weekend until on November 18, a one-time event will begin that will run for “multiple hours.” The event will permanently alter parts of the world so that after it’s done, you’ll have access to new content.

The Lost Shores is the second big content update to Guild Wars 2 and ArenaNet has teased that it will somehow involve the Sea of Sorrows.

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Dec 10

T3Fun Will Soon Take Control of Sword 2 After GamersFirst

GamersFirst announced that this month would be the last time for them to be the publisher and host of Sword 2. They will be out of the Sword 2 business at the end of this year.However, Fans of the game do not need to fret that they’re about to lose their world, because HanbitSoft’s subsidiary T3Fun will take control of Sword 2 from January 1st.Due to the transfer between companies, players will need to expressly consent to allow their game data to be transferred over. The announcement post contains instructions how to do just that. Also, Sword 2 players won’t be able to transfer their GamersFirst store currency, so spending it now is highly recommended.There are a lot of details to go over, so if this affects you, be sure to read the whole post very carefully. Sword 2 is competing with other games in MMOsite Reader’s Choice event. Vote for it now!
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Dec 10

Guild Wars 2’s New Random Dungeon

In the upcoming Lost Shores update for Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet will add a lot of new content, including an all-new dungeon type. Called Fractals of the Mist, the dungeon is built to be replayed over and over again. It’s comprised of nine mini-dungeons, called fractals, though for each run through you’ll only need to clear three. The fractals you face are randomly chosen, so you’ll never know exactly what you’ll fight before starting a run.

To keep things interesting, after every run the overall difficulty of the dungeon will increase. Continuing to clear fractals at higher difficulties isn’t just for pride, though, as it also unlocks access to better rewards, including a new tier of Ascended items. This type of content should be particularly interesting to level-capped players who have already exhausted their interest in grinding through the available explorable mode dungeons, but Fractals of the Mist isn’t only limited to true level 80 players. ArenaNet is implementing a level-scaling feature similar to its World versus World PvP system so that any player who joins a Fractals run is auto-boosted to 80. Of course if you are lower level you won’t have very good gear or as many skills available as true 80s, so perhaps joining in before you’re at or near the cap isn’t necessarily the best idea.

You can see a tease of some of the dungeon’s fractals in the video below, and find more about how ArenaNet is building out its item progression over on the official Guild Wars 2 site.

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Dec 10

Vanguard Updates For the Holiday

If I picked up XP boosters for Vanguard from the Station Marketplace recently, I would save them, and I hope you would save them, as well, because Vanguard’s new patch makes a few tweaks to several Marketplace items.

  • The duration of the 25%, 50%, and 100% Bonus XP potions has been increased to 8 hours.
  • Adventurer’s Pack of Knowledge, Crafter’s Satchel of Knowledge, and Diplomat’s Pouch of Knowledge now provide 10% XP gain instead of 5%.
  • New “Greater Knowledge” containers have been added to the Marketplace, each offering 20% XP boost in its designated sphere.
  • Debt Removal Potions should no longer drop individually from Gloriann Lockboxes. There remains a chance for them to be given in addition to another reward.
  • Keep an eye on the Marketplace window throughout the month of December for new mounts and items introduced to celebrate the holidays. Watch the Item of the Day window for great values on these new items, as well as some of our best sellers.

Other changes include the removal of Veteran Lockboxes from city banks to pave the way for future banking changes, Sprint is now usable once every 3 minutes with Improved Sprint set at 1 minute, and a number of quest and item tweaks were also made.

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Dec 08

Season Seven Lands in Star Trek Online

Cryptic studio’s Star Trek online has had a fairly turbulent life. Originally published back in March, 2010 the game struggled financially and in January 2012, updated its servers to include a free-to-play option. Previously, the game implemented the traditional point-and-click method of combat, but with the season four update “cross-fire”, the game introduced a new ground-based shooter mechanic which attempts to mimic other popular third-person shooters.On the ground, the game kind of plays out like the first Mass Effect title and has similar graphic qualities. The settings, on both ground and in space, are well implemented and suit the game well. Now re-released, the game has been updated to feature new content such as PvP battles, and season seven which includes the final Borg Collective STF mission “Into the Hive”. In addition, fleets will get a new holding, on top of the starbases and an Embassy on New Romulus, located in the new sector block, will also be added. Changes will also be made to Special Force Mission loot drops, eliminating random end-game item drops in favour of a player reputation based system.The new PvP system includes three different types of combat, which can be broken down as follows: FvK, which might be considered the primary mode of PvP in which players from the Federation are pitched against those from the Klingon Empire; FvF, which is also like a friendly, war-game type scenario in which members of the Federation are able to challenge other Federation players and; KvK which is similar to the above, yet allows members of the Klingon Empire to battle one another in an attempt to gain resources. There are a total of eight new maps, divided over the three PvP match types. Ground maps include: Assimilated Cruiser, Deserted Facility, Ghost Ship , and Shanty Town. Space maps include: Solar Wind, Cracked Planetoid, Briar Patch and, Salvage Operation, used for capture and hold matches.
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Dec 08

Download Star Trek San Francisco Convention Attendees

Criterion Entertainment’s Official Star Trek Convention is coming soon. From Friday, November 16, through Sunday, November 18, Star Trek fans of all ages are welcome to celebrate and enjoy an array of events, contests, panels, and presentations. Special guests include George Takei, Walter Koenig, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, and many more. For more information about the event, head to the official Star Trek San Francisco website.

To celebrate this awesome event, the Star Trek Online team is pleased to offer a special in-game item to attendees that, once claimed and opened, contains a unique Holo-Leeta Duty Officer (pictured below) and “Convention Veteran” title for all characters on your account.

You can obtain a code for this special item through a couple different methods (limit one code per player):

Twitter – Tweet a picture of yourself at the convention to our official Twitter account, @TrekOnlineGame . Make sure you are also following us so we can DM you a code and instructions on how to claim the above rewards.

The STO Forums – Send a forum PM to STO Community Manager Brandon Felczer through this link. Under “Recipient Username(s)”, enter: pwebranflakes | Under “Title”, enter: Star Trek San Francisco | In the “Message” field, include a link to a picture of yourself at the convention. Brandon will respond with a code and instructions on how to claim the above rewards.

We hope you have fun at Star Trek San Francisco!

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Dec 08

Let Battle Commence: Runescape Unleashes Evolution Of Combat Beta

Jagex, makers of the world’s most popular free-to-play MMORPG – RuneScape, today announced the opening of their highly anticipated Combat Beta, Evolution of Combat. An elite band of 50,000 testers have been carefully selected from the hundreds of thousands of players who applied for access to the Beta, and have been granted the unique opportunity to shape the development of this colossal update before anyone else.

Through the Evolution of Combat, RuneScape has undergone the most significant change in its 11-year history. Rumours and speculation have been rife among the RuneScape community as players have tried to guess just what this exciting new content will contain. With the developers promising a totally revolutionary change to the game – upping the level of immersion and player involvement while, critically, retaining the features and overall charm that have made the browser-based adventure so popular – players have been rushing to sign up for the chance to take part.

“The Evolution of Combat update is the biggest change we’ve ever made in RuneScape’s long history and we’re incredibly excited to finally let our players take part.” commented Mark Ogilvie, RuneScape’s Lead Designer. “We really wanted to make our conflict game play more about the actual art of combat, so we’ve added amazing abilities which will give the player a wealth of choices to use in PvE and PvP combat, and the way those abilities relate to each other will bring a completely new sense of tactical depth to the game. We’ve also made huge improvements to the look and sound of combat, meaning the entire game has become a far more gritty, visceral and adrenaline pumping experience. “

The Evolution of Combat update includes a host of new features designed to add even more excitement and skill to the game. These features include the ability to dual wield weapons; the introduction of action bars; new abilities which unlock as the battle progresses and the new adrenaline bar fills; the ability to cast buffs and weaknesses on your allies and opponents respectively; the ability to produce critical hits and – finally – a whole host of new character animations.

Ogilvie continued,”The entire update has been built to play to RuneScape’s strengths and has been designed to refocus combat to be more about player skill, encourage variety in combat equipment and to make combat more enjoyable and challenging. This will revolutionise the way the game is played, making the experience ultimately more rewarding, while not diverting from the essential heart of the game which has made RuneScape so hugely popular for millions around the world.”

In addition to the initial 50,000 Beta entrants, all RuneScape players who have been members for the last 12 months and have signed up for access will automatically qualify to take part, and all other members will be able to access the Evolution of Combat Beta during members-only open weekends. These weekends will run from the 7th July till the end of the Beta to give all members the chance to log on and hone their skills before the new combat system is released to the wider community.

RuneScape is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most popular free-to-play massively multiplayer online game. Launched in 2001, RuneScape is played by millions of people around the world every day and is racing towards the mammoth milestone of 200 million accounts created.

With the Evolution of Combat update on the horizon, there has never been a better time to begin your RuneScape adventure. Head over to RuneScape.com and create your free account today.

About RuneScape

RuneScape is the world’s most popular free-to-play massively multiplayer online adventure game (as recognised by Guinness World Records), from multiple award-winning independent British development studio Jagex. Set in a richly detailed, medieval fantasy world, RuneScape’s traditional storytelling proudly draws its inspiration from classic role-playing games. RuneScape delivers a contemporary, innovative and original experience for millions of players across the globe every day. RuneScape offers a fully featured free-to-play game, with a popular subscription option of even greater scale and ambition, both running directly within almost any computer’s browser.

Thanks to its character-class-free skill system and elective gameplay, there are no limits to the hero players can become, no quest you cannot complete and no requirement to collaborate with others or face them in player-versus-player combat unless you so choose. RuneScape’s distinctive role-playing style rewards players who think strategically and play smartly. Its witty, intelligent tone, finely balanced gameplay, epic questing and myriad in-world diversions combine to create a game that has earned its place as the most popular free-to-play massively multiplayer online game of all time and continues to push the boundaries of online role-playing games.

About Jagex

Jagex is a multi-award winning online games developer based in Cambridge, England. Jagex specialises in the development of high quality browser-based games with supporting platform and technology. Jagex is also the largest independent games developer and publisher in the UK.

Jagex has a long-standing reputation for creating the world’s best online games and for developing hugely popular, high quality, accessible, free-to-play games and for providing an unbeatable community experience for millions of players around the world. Jagex has developed and self-published over 40 online titles, including the world’s most popular free multiplayer online game, RuneScape.com.

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Dec 08

RuneScape Players Don Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

RuneScape literally turned pink yesterday with thousands of players donning pink clothing, hairstyles and even pink armour as they marched through Gielinor, RuneScape’s fantasy world.

The march was a community led initiative and was organised by RuneScape members who gathered together and joined forces to mark the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the annual international health campaign which is organised by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

The idea for a march originated from a forum post by ‘Darth Brick’ in the RuneScape forums and soon gathered traction as numerous RuneScape clans signed up and pledged to wear pink throughout October.  Over 31 clans took part in the march across the game’s world, ending with a celebration in the game’s trading hub, the Grand Exchange. The march was the first of many scheduled to take place throughout RuneScape during October.

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