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MMO Round-Up 04.07.2013 - Guild Wars 2, Firefall, Wildstar, Twitch & more!

General News

Guild Wars 2 [Significant changes to the Achievement System - reward structure added and also major modifications to the UI] - Official Website



Every point that you’ve earned while adventuring across Tyria will count towards exciting rewards, including:
Exclusive armor and weapon skin unlocks – including Radiant armor, Hellfire armor, and the Zenith weapon set.
Permanent account bonuses—permanent boosts to Magic Find, experience from kills, karma gain, and more. Earn achievement points on any character and get rewards for all of your characters.
Currencies – gold, gems, karma, and laurels.
PvP Rewards—skins and glory boosters.
WvW Rewards—use Badges of Honor and siege blueprints to help push your server to victory.
Utility Items—Instant Repair Canisters, Revive Orbs, powerful boosters, and more.
Unique Titles—show off your dedication to your fellow players.


Dragon's Prophet [SOE's newest MMO to receive its first major update since entering Open Beta about a month ago] - Official Website

The celebration of the annual Ancient Shadow Festival begins today in remembrance of the great Warthorne who sacrificed his life during the Second Dragon War. You can take part in this commemorative event by solving a series of quests and being rewarded with a unique title. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for Auratians to learn more about their deep past.
While the heat of summer encompasses Europe, a sign of what’s to come is emerging in the frozen landscape of Wintertide. Winter is well and truly coming to Auratia. Trample through this snowy new region with your dragons and explore three new dungeons.

If all that wasn’t enough, you will soon be able to move into your very own home with the new "dream islands", utilize new commands to interact with your dragon in different ways and experience an increased level cap of 70.


Guild Wars 2 [No expansion planned for the game. Pretty weird considering it's on a B2P model. I guess the in-game store is pretty successful.] - Eurogamer

"So right now we're not really looking at expansions as an option," lead content designer Mike Zadorojny told me on his visit to London last week.
"It's something that's on the table but it's not something we're focused on, because what we want to do is - our idea here is that with Living World, we can do what expansions would have done but do it on a more regular basis."
I pressed him to tell me whether there would be a Guild Wars 2 expansion this year and he shook his head to indicate no. What about next year, I asked?
"If we do this right," he answered, "we will probably never do an expansion and everything will be going into this Living World strategy."

Sales of Guild Wars 2 are officially 3 million, a slightly cobwebbed number accurate only as far as January 2013. NCSoft typically shuts down questions about sales, as it did again when I asked, but as the PR was going through the motions of saying, "When we hit another milestone that we've got in our heads...", I interrupted with "5 million?" and with a laugh he replied: "There will be another milestone coming up pretty shortly."

Upcoming / Beta

Firefall [I mentioned before that the game will finally enter Open Beta on July 9th. To mark the occasion, Red 5 is planning an impressive live event. They call it Firefall Fest and it includes personalities from all corners fo the gaming world (Day9 will be there too for example!) and it will be streamed on Twitch.] - Firefall Fest Official Page + Twitch Channel

Throughout the livestream, our community team will be providing some amazing prizes from our friends at AMD and Razer, as well as some unreleased ingame items that will be available July 9th!
Just for logging in during Firefall Fest, you’ll receive your very own Red 5 Studios warpaint, to celebrate the open beta launch of Firefall!


The Elder Scrolls Online [A new wave of beta invites (check your email :o) and a closer look at the making of Kwarma (insectoid creatures quite prevalent in the Elder Scrolls universe)] - Official Website



Pathfinder Online [Crafting explained and damn, it's quite the story. Definitely an MMO to keep track of if crafting is your thing.] - Goblinworks

The player-driven economy is at the very heart of the game design for Pathfinder Online. The economy and the drive for territorial control are two sides of the same coin. Why do you need to control territory? To sustain and expand your economic resources. Why do you need to expand your economic resources? To improve and advance the infrastructure of your territory. Working in a feedback loop, these elements create the engine of drama that gives players something interesting to do within the virtual world of Pathfinder Online.
A key aspect of the player-driven economy is crafting. Our long-term goal is that virtually every meaningful object in the game will be crafted by player characters. The weapons you fight with, the armor you wear, the tools you use, and the buildings you construct will all be derived from the efforts of player characters.

We want people to be able to harvest from the first day they create a character until the last day they play that character. Harvesting is something useful you can always do. You can become more efficient at harvesting, and you may be able to harvest more resources with more character skill, but there is always going to be a way to make some income by harvesting even the lowest-level resources. We want the lowest-level resources to be a major part of the economy so that they are always valuable.
We want players to have to make trades to create many of the processed components and finished crafted items. We want to avoid situations where settlements are self-sufficient, able to harvest all the resources they need in the local area. Instead, we want to create a situation where processing and crafting involve resources that come from many different regions, so that trade is required for the economy to function. You will need to consider how to obtain the supplies of resources you need, and factor that into your choices about war and peace.
We want players to have the ability to demonstrate mastery of the crafting system by creating items with a wide variety of power levels.


Wildstar [Details about the Addon system. Not as many as we'd want, but from the short story we're being offered it's clear that Carbine's support for this feature is without restraints.] - Official Website


Wildstar's first Addon


Even so, two weeks ago was especially exciting for those of us on the UI team, because we were paid a visit by our very first beta Addon creator. For those of you who have been following WildStar, you know that UI customization/modification is one of the key features that we think is essential to WildStar’s success. We are so committed to this philosophy that we are including a fully-featured Addon development tool with every installation of WildStar. The UI engine, called Apollo, and that tool, called Houston, not only allow you to easily create your own Addons to extend WildStar’s UI, but it also gives players full access to all of the Carbine-authored source code, and even allows players to completely replace our UI with their own.

Guides / Tips / Giveaways

Age of Wushu [It may not be the best MMO, but Age of Wushu really feels different and it definitely has its own unique style. For example, in what other MMO would a guide to parkour be relevant or possible?] - Massively

Flying is governed by Flying Skill points, which most people colloquially refer to as the "flight meter." This meter has a maximum base value of 150 points and regenerates based on how much is remaining. You recover ten points per five seconds if it is above 100, five points if it is between 51 and 100, and two points if it is below 50. For maximum efficiency, you want to keep it between 101 and 140 while you're traveling.
Flying skills consume differing amounts of meter. Double jumping consumes seven points, airdashing consumes 15, triple jumping 10, and sliding (Wild Goose Flying Skill) 13. Wall running consumes a small amount at set intervals while it's active.

Videos / Pics

Opinions / Interviews

Firefall Preview: The Miracle Patch? [FF has been through so many iterations, it's hard to believe that one more will make it completely right, but according to the author, the game is definitely on the right path and all the fixes and improvements Red 5 has ready for the debut of the Open Beta will make the game a solid option for any player] - MMORPGcom

The New User Experience
One of Firefall’s biggest hurdles is that, despite being a traditionally-controlled shooter, everything else about this MMO is different from other games in its chosen genre.  Everything from progression to the crafting, the mission system to unlocking regions of the map... it’s all done a bit different than anyone is used to.  And throughout the several years I’ve been participating in Firefall’s beta, I’ve watched its tutorial go from one end of the spectrum to the other.  Finally, just a couple of weeks before its big “launch”, the team’s nailed the art of easing players into the game.  I’d highly suggest starting anew if you’ve been away for awhile, because so much has changed in recent months.


 What Makes A Game An MMO? [A very good question, with a decent answer provided by the author. He also applies the definition to the 3 console MMOs that have made a big splash at E3 this year] - Age's Gaming

Destiny: It’s been called an MMO from the beginning and it definitely is one. The Borderlands/Halo type of world looks insanely vast. You can join people to take on bases and other fun objectives. Destiny hands down gets the verdict of legit MMO from me.

Misc / Off-Topic

Link Twitch to your Steam account [DOTA2 will probably get a boost in the numbers of viewers after this, just as Call of Duty got thanks to the connection with XBOX. Anyway, this is a really important move for Twitch, maybe the biggest one yet. Steam is THE place for PC Gamers and bringing Twitch there I'm sure will prove as a huge milestone.] - Twitch Blog

This will come as great news to Dota 2 fans as this will allow you to be eligible for tournament item drops while watching Twitch streams, so long as you own the ticket for that event. No longer will you have to to choose between watching events on either DotaTV or Twitch, and risk missing out on your in-game rewards.


GOG.com - #NoDRM SUMMER SALE FINALE [I've mentioned it before but I will do it again now, because it's the final day and there are some seriously awesome deals there.] - GOG



Community Pulse


Daily AMA: Got any questions about today's news or MMOs in general? Leave them in the comments. You'll probably get quick and awesome answers from TF's members, but if not, I'll give it my best to give you an answer in tomorrow's article.
Stream Highlight: MassivelyTV - The official channel of the popular MMO blog. I don't really like the way they're doing the streams (rigid one hour episode and each time I tune in they're just leveling low level chars), but they do go through many different MMOs, so it's a good channel for discovering new games.
Featured TF Forum Thread: The Repopulation %5BMT%5D - sci-fi sandbox, 3 factions, plenty non-combat activities


I'd love the idea of permadeath assuming there was a way to play the game without risk of permadeath. Like Diablo III.

Permadeath could be great, it adds a more real sense of danger when playing, and it makes you think before acting.

I love permadeath. Only problem is, even when you know exactly what you are getting yourself into, losing a cut you invested 50, 100, 200+ hours in instills immediate rage quit. I would think that the grind for gear would have to be reduced so it would be easier to build characters back up. Maybe you gain permanent account wide do, magic find, gold find boosts every time you get a chr to max level?