Albion Online Summer Update & Stats Revealed

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Sandbox Interactive has a couple of surprises for the Albion Online community today as we come to the end of the second week of the Summer Alpha event, which sees the developers reveal some impressive stats for the Albion Online Alpha alongside a host of improvements with the latest patch. The second week of the Summer Alpha event has seen over 15,000 players from 145 countries enter the fray, constructing nearly 30,000 buildings and slaughtering 12,300 players in intense PvP competition.

Accompanying today’s stats is a brand new update, titled the Deadlands, that introduces a pack of exciting new PvP clusters. Albion Online players can now grab some additional high-end resources with their guild, used to claim up to twenty new territories. Finally, a brand new dungeon promises to provide players with a boss battle of epic proportions.

Improvements
Added four new safe zone clusters, to the south-west and east of the map. These contain higher tier Heretics, and grant access to new group dungeons
Added two new yellow zone clusters, to the west of the map, containing Keepers
Added nine new red zone clusters, one to the west containing lower tier Disciples of Morgana, and eight in the north containing high-tier Disciples
Added a new Morgana raid, featuring an entirely new (and somewhat scary) boss
Every character has been gifted 1000 additional learning points, in order to make it easier to plunder the new high-tier regions!
Animated arrows for raid attacks on the worldmap are now shown in yellow, differentiated from conquest attacks which remain in red
Pyro Blast and Snipe Shot spells now have an additional visual effect to make their targets clear
Healing staffs will now show up in a new “heal” subcategory on the market
Text color when typing in the chat window should now always be the same color as the channel you’re typing in
For more information check out the official patch notes below.

 

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It’s Survival Of The Fittest In New Ark: Survival Evolved Mode

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Studio Wildcard today announced an exciting livestreaming event on Twitch.TV that will see the developers reveal an exciting new game mode addition for the critically acclaimed dinosaur survival title, Ark: Survival Evolved. Be sure to tune into Twitch.TV on August 1st as 35 teams will collide in the new Survival of the Fittest battle mode, competing for a variety of fantastic prizes and cash rewards.

Studio Wildcard’s very own Kayd Hendriks will be on hand alongside Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez from Twitch to host a 5 hour marathon covering the tournament and the debut of Survival of the Fittest from San Francisco in the Twitch HQ.

The teams will compete in the Hunger Games style deathmatch in a fight to the lone survivor for a chance to claim a massive $20,000 grand prize alongside gear from various sponsors including Logitech, Gunnar Optiks and more.

Twitch viewers will have the opportunity to get directly involved as the team hosts Evolution Event polls every 30 minutes, allowing the Twitch community to directly impact the tournament with various world-altering sequences such as freak weather changes, supply drops and dinosaur assaults.

 

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GUILD WARS 2 CONFIRMS THE LAST REVENANT LEGEND IS SHIRO TAGACHI

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Revenants have proven very capable of inflicting conditions with demonic legends, being defensive with dwarven legends, and healing their allies with centaur legends. It’s certainly a flexible profession even by the standards of Guild Wars 2. But we haven’t seen any sign that the class could just wade in with weapons out and wreck things. That’s what the last legend, Shiro Tagachi, is all about: Revenants will be taking up the assassin’s paired swords and just wrecking everything that stands before them.

Befitting his legacy in lore, Revenants using Shiro’s legend will have access to quick and blinding strikes, as well as several abilities calling upon the power of jade. You can even unleash the Jade Wind, albeit on a smaller scale than the historical figure. While the elite specialization for the Revenant has yet to be revealed, if you were waiting to see whether or not you could wreck things with paired swords… this is good news.

 

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TERA’S PATRICK SUN ON WORKING WITH BLUEHOLE AND MORE

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TERA made news as the most played MMO on Steam earlier this summer, so naturally we were curious to see how things are going a few weeks later. En Masse Entertainment producer Patrick “Treeshark” Sun was gracious enough to field our questions, and he talks about everything from playerbase gains to working with Korea-based Bluehole Studio in the interview after the break.

MassivelyOP: TERA recently made news as the #1 most played MMO on Steam. Is En Masse still seeing playerbase gains this month?

Yes, this is an exciting time to both be working on and playing TERA. We’ve seen a huge influx of new players — so much so that we had to open the new Highwatch server to accommodate them. As far as I know that’s unprecedented with a three-year old MMORPG, they’re usually doing the opposite. I just checked and we are still the most played MMORPG on Steam and welcoming tons of new players every day!

Is the dev team happy with the state of endgame gear progression?

Yes, they’re currently happy AND they’re constantly looking at ways to make it better! We work with Bluehole to provide feedback on progression and what our players like and don’t like, and they incorporate this with feedback from other regions. One of the big advantages of being successful on Steam is that it gives us more weight as a region. They do a pretty good job at balancing the feedback they get both from the players and from the game data.

How closely does En Masse work with Bluehole Studio regarding TERA’s content? For example, BHS recently announced the Brawler for TERA Korea. Can you give us a ballpark figure for how long it takes something like a new class to undergo the “westernization” process?

En Masse Entertainment and Bluehole are in constant communication regarding content and the live service in general. They update us with the status of present and future content, and we provide our feedback based on not only how we think about it, but how we think our audience will perceive it. Bluehole, however, has the unenviable task of having to listen to all regions and finding a way to balance all the feedback they are getting.

As for the class, they share what they have near the beginning and we provide our input accordingly. Ultimately, Bluehole is still the developer and it will be up to them how to develop the class. For us, the westernization process mostly involved localization and naming. On top of that, we also have to prepare how we present and educate the players about this class. This process can take up to four or five months, but this also takes into account that we are also providing updates to TERA in the interim.

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New Skyforge Class: The Kinetic – Master of Gravity

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Today Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment have revealed the latest class to their upcoming sci-fantasy MMORPG Skyforge. The latest class, The Kinetic, is a master of gravity who controls the laws of physics to do some pretty intense stuff on the battlefield.

The Kinetic in Skyforge is capable of using gravity to destroy their enemies from afar. Their kinetic powers enable them to rip colossal stones from the ground at hurl them at the opposition while also using magnetic fields to both restrict enemy movement and encase them in gravitational barriers. These barriers can also be used for good when applied to an ally by surrounding them in a protective barrier.

Kinetic players will find that this class is very mobile and works well by not staying rooted in one position on the map. Kinetics excel while constantly preposition themselves and casting basic attacks while staying at a safe distance from the enemy. But the class can also work in close situations by placing a field around the opponent to slow them down, while increasing their own speed and the damage output of any other friendly Kinetics in the area.

The following gameplay trailer for the Kinetic shows off just how powerful these spells are and the best ways to use them in-game.

 

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Knights of the Fallen Empire Expansion Announced For Star Wars: The Old Republic

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Earlier this week BioWare and Electronic Arts announced a brand new expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic but no sooner was the announcement made than a premature version of the website was leaked revealing even more tantalizing details on Knights of the Fallen Empire. The website was up for a brief time earlier today and various eager folk from around the World Wide Web caught wind of the release and took it upon themselves to gather as much information as possible.

From the details gathered it seems the Knights of the Fallen empire expansion marks a major return to story telling for the award-winning MMORPG game, with 16 brand new chapters to explore with details on 11 being leaked on the website. New companion details also emerged hinting at potential candidates such as the smuggler from the cinematic trailer, Nico Okarr. A description of the expansion was also copied before the team had time to take it down:

Step into an epic story-driven adventure as your character becomes The Outlander, a veteran of the Great Galactic War. A third faction threatens the galaxy as we know it, and your choices will determine the fate of both the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic. Knights of the Fallen Empire includes the first nine chapters, fueled by BioWare-style cinematic storytelling, that kicks off a new player-driven story arc that puts you at the center of a conflict where your choices have impact on outcomes including unexpected twists and betrayals. Choose your path…join or betray companions, old and new…and shape the future of the entire galaxy as well as your own. Best of all, this is only the beginning…
Website Leak
Other details include a level 60 requirement for the original story chapters and some release details, although these should not be considered as final. Knights of the Fallen Empire is scheduled for release on October 27th 2015 and will be made free for all subscribers. More information is expected to become available on Monday, following EA’s press conference at E3.

 

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Diablo 3 patch 2.3.0 coming with new features – Diablo Podcast Special

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Blizzard has been holding back on a load of Diablo 3 content for the release of the game’s 2.3.0 patch which has been revealed will be coming to the PTR servers.

There are numerous additions coming to the game including the new Ruins of Secheron zone which will include new enemies and reveal more lore on the Barbarians, crafting material level changes, pacing improvements on Adventure Mode, new difficulty levels, new legendary item sets, combat changes, and last but by no means least the Kanai’s Cube which Blizzard liken to Diablo 2’s Horadric Cube.

The Kanai’s Cube is definitely one of the more interesting additions because the Cube has the ability to break down Legerndary Items and then take their effects and turn them into passive skills. There’s a lengthy post on this over on Diabloii.Net which looks at some of the areas where the cube is going to be most useful when it comes to Legendary Items. Check out “Theorycrafting Kanai’s Cube“.

This update from Blizzard was quite a big info drop so the Diablo 3 experts on Diabloii.Net released an emergency podcast which discusses all the new features.

 

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