Diablo 3: Console Version Now Available For PS3 & Xbox 360

Today is September 3rd which means Diablo 3 is now officially available in console form for Xbox 360 and PS3 at the premium price of $59.99. Oddly, the Battle.net site actually takes you to GameStop by default, but you can choose Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target from the drop-down menu before hitting “BUY NOW”.

Final Fantasy XIV: Leveling 1-30 Guide (TenTonHammer.com)

For players who are new to the FFXIV franchise, some of the game mechanics in FFXIV are definitely different than for other MMORPGs. Usually I’m a player who does *every* quest I see, but that’s a big no-no for FFXIV since that means leveling additional classes on your same character will be much harder as you left no quests for them to complete.

Here are a few other tips provided by TTH.

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Leveling in FFXIV: A Realm Reborn can be daunting at times, especially starting around level fifteen when the game starts letting go of the training wheels and begins opening up more options but starts providing less direction. The goal of this guide to help walk you through until level 30, at which point you should be able to finish the last twenty levels without much of a hitch.

Hunting Log

The Value of a Quest

One thing to make clear – quests are valuable for one specific reason – they are one time ordeals. If you do a quest that is a non-class specific quest then it is done for good. With this in mind, never ever clear the quests in the starting zone outside of your own until you start leveling up other classes. Don’t start leveling up another class in earnest either until you hit level 30.

There is some strong reasoning behind this. First, you get a bonus for leveling up other classes based on your highest level class. The higher your level, the more XP your battle classes will get as you level up. So you’re wasting XP if you do it any sooner than 30, outside of maybe getting a Conjurer to level 8 for Protect.

Next, quests are valuable because you can use them to advance really quickly and do not have limits like guildleves have. So if you do a quest that you’re 5 levels over right now, when you are on another class on the same character that is five levels below where you’re at, you won’t have that quest available to you which isn’t fun.

Leveling Tips

Food is a must while leveling. Consume it whenever the buff dissipates. It can be obtained cheaply off of the market and you should swim in different level appropriate foods as you quest through the game. The XP bonus is worth it.

Most of the leveling experience, especially in the first twenty levels, is a tutorial designed to teach the basics of the game. Many features will not unlock until you go through the various quests. Including the dye quest, which is around level 15 in Vepser Bay (I think) in Western Thanalan.

FATEs are repeatable and are as much XP as one quest. They are an efficient way to level no matter what. Go to where level appropriate FATEs are, complete them, and move to the next one. Do this over and over and you will level rather quickly.

Some classes are not as efficient as others. Conjurers will not level as fast as a Lancer. However, Conjurers will have a slightly easier time getting into the duty finder. It’s not that big of a deal, especially since you can change classes on the fly.

You get a 50% bonus XP if your class is below the level of your highest class for FATEs, Guildleves, and monster kills.

Hunting Log

Hunting Log

Your hunting log gives a considerable XP bonus for killing NPCs that you’ll kill anyway while questing. In the 10-20 area we’re talking 5k XP for killing a few enemies.

While leveling I totally neglected my hunting log which caused me to miss a ton of XP and backtrack a bunch. Don’t be like me in that regard, be sure to check it often.

Super crazy bonus – your hunting log can tell you locations to “hunt.” Look for enemies at or around your level, that is where the quests will be.

Starting Out (Levels 1 – 5)

The first five levels are mostly done within the city and surrounding areas of the city. The quests differ a little bit between the major city states and there isn’t really a lot to say other than your class quest and your story quest will give you most of your progression and you won’t even be able to leave the city until some of the quests are completed. The low level FATEs are mostly available right outside of the city gates and there are no other options for leveling at this point.

If you are leveling an additional class, then do your class quests and grind outside of the city on mobs at or a few levels above your level.

A Newbie No More (Levels 5 – 10)

The next five levels feature more of the same and will be in the same maps (Lower/Middle La Noscea, Central Thanalan, Central Shroud, etc.). You’re going to primarily want to follow your story quests (the one with the cool quest border) for these levels, as it’s going to take you pretty much to the best spots to level / quest at.

Here is where people make a strong argument to NOT side quest and just follow the story quests and do the FATEs. I find that the first 10 levels on another class are easy enough to not worry with it and make your life a bit easier.

Getting Ready for the Big Time (Levels 10 – 15)

At level 10 Guildhests open up which will give you a HUGE XP bonus on the first completion. Do those as soon as the quest becomes available. You’re still going to be stuck mostly in the same city-state and you can’t leave until you finish your story quest (which wraps up around level 15). So once more, follow your story quest, do the side quests, etc.

Guildleves open up, but you only get 3 allowances every 12 hours, so you’ll want to think really hard about consuming them now when leveling is rather easy or just saving them (you can have up to 99) for later levels or other classes. So far the theme is “save everything and just grind enemies FATEs” but realistically that’s all you can do up until this point.

FFXVI Lvl10

Exploring the World (Levels 15 – 20)

At this point you can finally leave your city-state and you’re going to want to once again follow your story quests because they open up three new dungeons for you to complete. I did a lot of side quests and didn’t unlock the airship until 17 and was woefully overleveled for a lot of the content, so you may or may not want to rush through your story quest as your level permits.

As a note, at this point you can farm dungeons over and over to level if you so desire.  You don’t get a huge chunk of XP, but it’s a noticeable amount.

The Grind Sets In (Levels 20 – 30)

At this point, around level 20, you’re going to get more dungeons, Guildhests, and your story is going to let you fight a boss who, after completing it, gives you a ton of XP and allows you to join a Free Company which decides your quest progression path from this point onward.

You have a few options for grinding; the best FATEs are in Eastern Thanalan (in my opinion), Upper La Noscea (the western side of the map), and East Shroud in the mid-twenties. Once you get your mount then grinding FATEs becomes trivial since you can easily move between them without worrying so much about them being completed by the time you arrive.

Your hunting log can be a really impressive source of XP at these levels too. You get 8k or so for killing enemies that you would kill normally, or 10% of a level at level 25. So it’s sort of kind of a big deal as far as XP goes.

Past Level 30

After level 30 you’re going to pretty much be set on the process of questing if you want to, doing dungeons and Guildhests when they become available, and grouping up to do FATEs. You can also just grind the levels away if you so choose, that’s a viable option as well.

Go forth and explore the world! Just remember to eat food, keep your buffs up, and have fun!

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – Free Digital PC Copy Contest – Winners Announced!

First, thanks to everyone who participated in our Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn giveaway!

Initially, we were only going to offer one digital PC copy. However, we literally couldn’t choose “the best” post as we had multiple favorites. We also had contestants who offered additional feedback, taught us a few new things (e.g. retainers, crafting), and who shared brilliant personal stories about why they really loved the Final Fantasy franchise.

So, we’ve decided to award EVERYONE who participated with their very own shiny new digital PC copy of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn! That’s 15 copies in all!

We will begin sending out the email containing the promo codes and instructions in just a few minutes. Simply enter that promo code at the pre-order website and it walks you through obtaining a pre-order code you then apply toward your account for “early access”. If you played in beta test 4/open beta, the client is already installed. However, you’ll definitely want to finish applying these codes today as early access begins tomorrow.

The email notifications will go out using the email you provided to post your comments on our contest thread.

Thanks again for participating! We look forward to offering other giveaways down the road (though probably not *quite* as generous as this round)!

Best of luck and perhaps we’ll see each other in Eorzea!

Organic
Managing Editor, /LFG

UPDATE: (August 23, 2013; 10:00 AM Pacific) All promo codes have now been sent!

UPDATE: (August 23, 2013; 10:50 AM Pacific) Please be aware, there is a ~1 GB patch required to update your open beta client to the Early Access version of the game. Be sure you update today so you can start Early Access by 2:00 AM Pacific tomorrow.

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Expansion Announced at Gamescom 2013 (GameSpot.com)

Well, this announcement surprised me. Diablo 3 was widely hailed as a massive failure for the franchise. I did not expect an expansion this quickly. But, heck, a new class, a new act, level cap increase to 70, and new loot mechanics sound great to me!

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New Diablo III expansion will include a new character class, a new act, and new loot mechanics.

Blizzard has officially announced the Diablo III expansion Reaper of Souls at Gamescom 2013.

Game director Josh Mosqueira introduced the new expansion during a Blizzard press conference at Gamescom 2013. Mosquiera said the game will feature a brand-new fifth act to pit players against new villain Malthael, a fallen angel. The expansion will take a darker tone than the original Diablo III campaign, Blizzard adds, and will be set in the gothic environment Westmarch.

Blizzard did not mention a release date for Reaper of Souls.

Reaper of Souls will introduce a new class, the Crusader, and increase the level cap to 70. All of the game’s classes will get new skills, passive abilities, and runes. The Crusader class is a descendent of the Paladin order and includes a version of the Fist of the Heavens skill seen in Diablo II.

Mosqueira said Diablo III’s end-game content would also be improved with a new feature, Loot Runs, and an upgrade to the Paragon system. Loot Runs will be entirely randomly generated dungeons designed to take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete, and the Paragon mechanic will now be account-wide, will have no cap, and will allow players to modify the base stats of their characters.

Blizzard says it wants to change the game’s philosophy towards loot, with the expansion now dropping less but better loot. Using the example of a playthrough in Act III, the Reaper of Souls expansions dropped 73 white items as opposed to 256 in the original game. The Act III playthrough also dropped six legendary items, as opposed to one in a Diablo III run.

Legendary items in Reaper of Souls will also now tailor themselves around character builds, adds Blizzard, such as a wizard weapon that has a chance to summon a hydra when killing an enemy. The mystic artisan will also return, allowing players to transmogrify items and tailor the look of characters. The mystic will also be able to enchant items.

The company had previously hinted at the expansion with a teaser website and the promise of a “special announcement” at the European trade show.

Diablo III launched on PC and Mac in May 2012. Blizzard will be bringing Diablo III to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in September, and to the PlayStation 4 in 2013.

Sony Conference @ Gamescom: Announces PS4 Launch, Games

Thankfully for PS4 fans around the world, timers everywhere can begin counting down to launch day. Unfortunately for Europeans, Aussies, and New Zealanders, they have to wait two weeks longer than North America.

Today’s conference was ripe with tons of additional news. Thanks to GameSided.com, we have a full rundown of the big announcements from today’s conference.

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Today Sony held their gamescom conference, in which they revealed the release date of the PS4. Above is a link to the entirety of the conference, but here are some of the highlights from the event. There are a lot, so we’ll cover them in quick succession if you don’t have 90 minutes to watch the video.

-The conference started out with Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida showing off the UI of the PlayStation 4 while playing Killzone Shadow Fall. It looks really sleek and simple, a blessing for a Sony UI that has always seemed to falter. Yoshida sat in a chair onstage, with his back facing the audience. He then made this tweet using the PlayStation 4:

Shuhei Yoshida
@yosp
Let’s start the show 🙂 pic.twitter.com/R8nPJXJpqe

Gran Turismo 6 starts off the gamescom showcase, showing what appears to be almost real-life vehicles. It will be coming to the PS3 on December 6th, 2013. Also, a feature film is in production based on the Gran Turismo series.

LittleBigPlanet Hub will be a free-to-play game launching later this year to little appraise from the crowd. It will serve as free access, allowing you to create levels and maps, but also mentions that you can “buy other fun stuff at the touch of a button.” It seems like it will follow Project Spark’s F2P model in giving you an entry pack and allowing you to but further content as it is released.

Grand Theft Auto V will be coming in a PS3 bundle, which is not new information. What is news is that if you pre-order GTA V through the PlayStation Store, you will get 75% off of other Rockstar Games titles, as well as DLC. That’s a nice bonus.

PS Vita got a huge shout out at the proceedings. The biggest news from the discussion of the handheld is that the PS Vita finally got a price cut. It will run at $199 in North America and 199 Euros, as well as a drastic reduction of the price of memory cards.

Murasaki Baby was announced at gamescom as a PS Vita title that utilizes the Vita’s touchpad. It looks like the art style of Machinarium with a bit more color and plays like a platformer.

Big Fest was announced as a free-to-play music festival simulator for the PS Vita, with a twist. Sony has partnered with Jamendo to bring real, unsigned bands and their music catalog to the game. You can then promote these bands in your own festival and share it with friends and online strangers. Who knows, you could be responsible for helping the next supergroup reach fame through a video game. Both Murasaki Baby and Big Fest show just how varied the handheld’s games can be.

Mark Cerny, PlayStation 4 architect, spoke about the console. A graphic behind him displays “designing the world’s most powerful console” as Cerny states his drive to make a console 10 times more powerful than the PS3. It is also noted that the PlayStation 4 will support Unity for game development, self-publishing and have been working with innovative teams to make bringing games to Sony much easier to accomplish.

-The following games will be making console exclusive debuts on either the PS4 or PS Vita: Rogue Legacy, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, N++, Volume, Guns of Icarus Online, Wasteland Kings and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. A full list is detailed here.

Michael Denny announced that Sony Worldwide Studios and its 14 gaming subsidiaries will play a key factor in the growth of the PS4. Sony Santa Monica, Naughty Dog and Media Molecule are working on unannounced titles for the console. He also announced Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture with a short trailer. The game is a spiritual successor to Dear Esther, so expect a story-driven title. RIME was also announced to be coming to the PlayStation 4, which looks like a cross between Ico and Zelda Wind Waker, stylistically. Helldivers, Resogun, a PS4-exclusive re-imagining of Shadow of the Beast and Playroom information was all revealed in an onslaught of gaming news.

Twitch.tv will be coming to the PlayStation 4. You can use the in-system streaming device to stream gameplay directly to followers, reducing the potential need for capture devices like Elgato. Furthermore, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president Jim Ryan announced brokered deals with European ISP’s to bring exclusive internet bundles with gaming in mind, including 200 mb/s packages.

Sony Music Unlimited will be available on PS4 launch. It will allow you to play games and music at the same time.

PlayStation Plus will be given a 14 day free trial to all new PlayStation 4 owners. Doing so near launch will give you Instant Gaming Collection access to DriveClub and Resogun. PS+ will also provide Assassin’s Creed III for free in September.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag featured some gameplay footage, including remote play access using the PS Vita. They really wanted to show off the value of the PS Vita in coordination with the PS4, as “almost all PS4 games can be played remotely on the Vita.”

-A Watch_Dogs movie is apparently in the works. WHY? Nobody knows. They also showed off PS4-exclusive content in a trailer.

-Viewers were shocked to find out that Minecraft is coming to the PlayStation 4 at launch. It was assumed to be an Xbox One exclusive before. Also, War Thunder will be console-exclusive to the PS4.

-Andrew House hit the stage, which could only mean one thing. That’s right, he brought the thunder with a $199 12 GB PS3 bundle, PS4 cross-gen discounts for owners of the PS3 copies of certain games, over 1 million pre-orders of the PS4, a devilishly fun jab at the Xbox One’s constant changing of console message and a PS4 release date of November 15 in North America and November 29th in Europe.

With that, the event came to a close. IGN also happened to pick up on “Magma Red and Wave Blue” alternative PS4 controllers for sale at the end of the year. Now if they only provide multiple launch colors for the PlayStation 4! Either way, that’s it for a big day in video game conferences.

GameSiders, what was your favorite part of the announcement today? The November 15th release? PS Vita price cut? Let us know below!

Gamescom 2013: Live Streams and Product Announcements

Much like with other gamer and tech conferences around the world, Gamescom has tens of thousands of participants, all clamoring to play test their favorite upcoming games, see new tech, and be clued in on the latest product announcements from companies such as Microsoft, EA, and Sony.

Here are a few of of the livestream sites available to participate (in a long distance kinda way) in Cologne, Germany’s gamer fest, along with VG 24/7’s laundry list of what’s what and who’s who for Gamescom 2013.

Sony’s PS4 @ Gamescom

Engadget’s Coverage

IGN’s EA and Sony Coverage

EA’s Live Coverage

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It’s that time of year again, when the gaming press descends on Cologne to check out the biggest games the industry has to offer and ruin their colons with meat. Pat, Sam and I will be there all of next week to play the games, attend the showcases and speak with the developers.

To re-cap everything that we’ll be seeing at the show, I’ve compiled this handy guide to make sure you don’t miss a conference or title. (Note: we will be hosting Sony and EA’s streams in separate pages on the big day, so be sure to check back Tuesday!)

First up…

The conferences:

EA: Tuesday, August 20 – 3pm UK / 4pm Europe / 7am Pacific

We know that EA is bringing at least Titanfall, Battlefield 4, Need for Speed: The Rivals, FIFA 14 and Command & Conquer to gamescom following the publisher’s blog on the matter.

The publisher has made a bit of noise about The Sims 4, which it said will be revealed in full at gamescom, and our money is on an appearance during the EA conference itself.

We’re also expecting to hear more about Dragon Age: Inquisition at the show following its big reveal in this month’s issue of Game Informer, but we’ll find out at the show.

Sony: Tuesday, August 20 – 6pm UK / 7pm Europe / 10am Pacific

Sony has already confirmed that its gamescom event will focus on PS4, and we’re hoping to hear a solid release date for the console during the show. UPDATE: Looks like that will happen, yes.

There’s also the little matter of this rumoured PS4 and PS Vita bundle that may or may not make an appearance. Steph and I recently called round some retailers to ask if it was a real bundle and they had no clue what we were talking about, so it seems unlikely.

It seems likely that games like Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFamous: Second Son, Driveclub, The Order: 1886 will be there in some form although we can’t say for certain yet. We’re still waiting for that LittleBigPlanet 3 announcement too.

Who and what?

Microsoft: Xbox One will be the company’s big focus at gamescom and if rumours are to be believed Microsoft’s presence will yield at least one new game announcement. Gamers seem to think it’s either Crackdown 3 or Fable 4. Truth be told we have no idea yet.

Crackdown’s agility orb logo was spotted during Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal back in May and Phil Spencer has been harping on about it a lot lately. Could this be the elusive, mystery game?

Microsoft’s stance on self-publishing was also pegged for discussion during gamescom before details on the reversal were leaked ahead of time. Microsoft’s Marc Whitten confirmed that the company would issue more details on the policy in Cologne.

Were also hoping to hear more on the Xbox One release dates, which may or may not go down at some point during gamescom. With the console out before year’s end and a TGS announcement unlikely, this is the best place for Microsoft to drop a date on us.

Game-wise we’re hoping for Dead Rising 3, Kinect Sports: Rivals, Project Spark, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct and more, but we’ll have to wait for the gamescom’s doors to open to find out more.

Nintendo: The Japanese giant makes its return to gamescom this year with a suite of Wii U and 3DS titles on the public show floor. On Wii U Nintendo will bring, “Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Sonic Lost World, Wii Party U, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World, Wii Karaoke U, Mario Kart 8.

On 3DS Nintendo will be giving fans a chance to play Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. It’s a strong showing from the company which is something of a bounce-back after last year’s no-show.

Ubisoft: While the company isn’t holding its usual conference at gamescom this year, it is promising to bring a new next-gen IP to the show. Current rumours suggest it’s Child of Light by Ubisoft Montreal. There’s also these Fighter Within domain registrations to consider.

Seeing as the publisher isn’t holding its own pre-show event, you can expect this reveal to go down at Sony’s conference. We’re none the wiser on what it is, although we can also expect showings from Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and The Crew.

Square Enix: Final Fantasy is a big focus for Square this year. The company recently spilled details of its Gamescom 2013 showing, which will give the public plenty of hands-on and demo sessions to look forward to.

We know that Thief, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD Remaster, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX and Deus Ex: The Fall will be there. There’s no word on Final Fantasy 15 however.

Activison: Blizzard has confirmed it will announce something to do with Diablo 3 at the show, which we’re going to guess will be news on the first expansion or something about the PS4 build.

We’re also expecting to hear more about Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer following its big August 14 reveal and of course we’re hoping to get another glimpse of Destiny on the show floor.

Konami: Sorry Metal Gear Solid 5 fans, only Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 and PES 2014 are playable at this year’s gamescom, but that’s still something to get excited for.

Bethesda: The company has confirmed that The Elder Scrolls Online will be playable at gamescom and we wouldn’t be overly-surprised if Wolfenstein: The New Order and The Evil Within were to rear their heads at some point too.

Deep Silver: The publisher will bring it’s newly-announced MOBA Dead Island: Epidemic to Cologne, and Wasteland 2 developer inXile has confirmed it will bring the game to the show floor.

Other games we’re hoping will be at the show, but haven’t been confirmed at the time of writing:

  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Eve Online
  • Dark Souls 2
  • Dust 514
  • Half-Life 3 (totes jokes yo)
  • Hawken
  • Hotline Miami 2
  • Payday 2
  • Mad Max
  • Space Hulk
  • Star Citizen
  • War of the Vikings
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • World of Tanks Xbox 360
  • WWE 14

No-shows:

  • Capcom

Elder Scrolls Online: Ask Us Anything at QuakeCon 2013

Although the big reveal at QuakeCon 2013 for me was the 30-minute solo and group dungeon play over on Twitch, ESO also has a nice “Ask Us Anything” from the event that covers death penalties, “mob glow”, LFG tool, teleporting to friends, and a couple lore questions.

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Last week’s live gameplay stream at QuakeCon created a lot of excitement—and plenty of new questions about The Elder Scrolls Online. Check out our answers to some of them here.

We had lots of fun presenting our very first gameplay stream last week, which included a dungeon run and a close look at ESO’s combat. If you missed it, you can still enjoy the full replay. After the stream, you had lots of new questions, and we’ve selected some to answer right here. Are you wondering about something in ESO? Send us an email atcommunity@elderscrollsonline.com and we may feature your question in an upcoming Ask Us Anything. Enjoy!

Which level were the monsters in the QuakeCon stream compared to the characters? I saw them cutting through their enemies quite easily, but the health bars went up and down a lot. Did some monsters hit that hard and is healing that effective, or did your characters have that little health? – By Andrew Markton

Fungal Grotto is a level 12 – 15 dungeon. I believe we had two level 13 characters and two level 16 characters in our party during the stream. Since players can put points into health, magicka, or stamina, it’s likely that some characters’ health totals were lower than others. However, what you saw is a pretty good indication of health fluctuation and the need to heal when taking on a dungeon.

Will there be an option to turn off the glow around enemies? – By Nate Collins

Yes, you will be able to turn it off. I will say that the glow is much more apparent when you’re watching than it is when you’re playing. It’s very effective at helping with target selection, and you may find it useful in some situations, but it’s up to you whether to enable it.

You said that my armor will degrade when I die. Can I repair it, or do I have to pay an NPC? – By Jen Hauser

We have repair kits for repairs in the field, and you can visit an NPC to have all of your gear repaired.

I noticed the compass in the stream. Does it replace the mini-map or is it another option? If it does replace it, will it show more than points of interest, like guild and group members or enemies? – By Karen Tengart

The compass will replace the mini-map. Actually, this is a good example of how we use information from our beta tests. When we had a mini-map, we noticed many testers felt like they should just follow quest markers, and they were less inclined to explore. This ran counter to our intent of being a game that emphasizes exploration. When we introduced the compass, players became much more likely to explore and less likely to just “follow the quests.”

As for putting group members on the compass, we’re trying to avoid having too much clutter on the compass. We do have in-world indicators for group members, though, which are proving to be very effective.

When a class says nothing about the playstyle of another player, how will the dungeon finder still allow me to look for healing or damaged focused players? – By Tommy Reed

Players will pick the role they think they can best perform when they sign up to find a group.

So many mudcrabs—where did they all come from? I am confused. – By John Raighley

Only Lorkhan knows, and his secrets died with him.

How much of the footage and animation we saw on Twitch is finalized? – By Tom Gregor

We’re polishing everything in the game, and that will continue as we head towards launch. First-person mode, which you saw quite a bit of in the video, is one of our more recent additions, and you can expect to see improvements to it as we continue development.

Will the transportation system—and especially porting to group mates—work in PvP, too? If so, how many “safe” locations are in Cyrodiil? – By Pete Jameston

The fast-travel system is very different in Cyrodiil. We don’t want to have battles where each side can instantly transport in reinforcements, assuring no clear winner. You will be able to fast travel to points clearly secured by your alliance. That said, with the size of Cyrodiil, I will say that mounts are a pretty good thing to have.

Is the instanced loot random for one person or will everyone receive the same item / crafting component / amount of gold? – By Jean Despar

Instanced loot is random per person.

Can you explain the equipment and skills from the gameplay stream a bit more? Which armor did he wear? Which skills did he use? – By Mira Yump

Nick was playing a ranged DPS Templar for most of the session. He was in a combination of light and medium armor, going for protection and an increase in the efficacy of his magic use. His alternate weapon set was dual-wielding. Nick was able to heal himself and the group as sort of a backup healer, even though he only put one or two skill points in his healing line. The spear you saw and “light” abilities are signature abilities of the Templar. The spear knocks enemies back as it damages them, and the bright ball of light applies a damage-over-time effect and a snare. Nick also had some weapon abilities he used, depending on the weapon type he was currently wielding.

Gina played a Sorcerer using sword and shield and wearing heavy armor. Rich was a Nightblade in light armor who helped keep the party alive with a restoration staff, and Eric chose a dual-wielding Dragonknight with medium armor.

Hello, I am wondering if other Daedric Princes are in the game (besides Molag Bal), since I am a big fan of Mehrunes Dagon. – By Austin

Yes, there are definitely other Daedric Princes. Sheogorath comes to mind … [AuA disappears in a cloud of butterflies.]

Remaining Places to Pre-Order Xbox One & PS4? (DigitalTrends.com)

Four of the biggest names in console sales (Best Buy, Amazon.com, GameStop, and Toys R Us) are already sold-out for both the Xbox One and the PS4. So where does that leave you, especially if you’re looking to pre-order either/both as a present for end-of-year holidays? It appears you  have five remaining options, plus buying directly from either company. Read on!

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If you are hoping to pre-order a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One, you might want to hurry. All around the country, major retailers are listing the consoles as “sold-out,” leading up to what is looking more and more like a shortage on launch day. That may be good for Sony and Microsoft (and their stock prices), but it’s bad for a consumer hoping to get their hands on what are shaping up to be two of the hottest items this holiday season.

… you may have to go a little deeper down the rabbit hole of online shopping…

With stores like GameStop and Best Buy both listing Sony and Microsoft’s consoles as sold out, you may have to go a little deeper down the rabbit hole of online shopping leading up to the as yet unannounced launch dates. The PS4 is listed with a generic release date of December 31 (in other words, sometime this year), while the Xbox One is listed by several retailers as November 27. Whatever the exact dates, expect them both to release before the yearly shopping Super Bowl that is Black Friday, which this year lands on November 29.

Sony and Microsoft are still hoping to meet all launch day demands, although that probably isn’t going to be possible. At the moment, several stores are still accepting pre-orders but you should expect stock to disappear quickly. We’ll try to keep this list updated throughout the coming months, but don’t be surprised if the stores below sell out, and soon.

(If you find that a store on this list has changed its status to “sold out,” please let us know and we’ll update it accordingly. We’ll also add more stores in the weeks to come.)

Both Systems

Fry’s Electronics: The national electronic giant is not offering in-store pickups, but it will ship to you. You will need to pay shipping, so factor that into your budget. There is also a limit of one PS4 and Xbox One per household.

Kmart: The PS4 and Xbox One are both available for pre-order, and both are available for free shipping. As with most retailers, there is a limit of one per household.

Sears: Although not generally thought of as an electronic store, Sears has both the PS4 and Xbox One for pre-order, along with all the accessories and launch day titles announced. Free shipping is available, and there is a limit one per household.

Walmart: Walmart is the largest video game seller in the world, so you can expect two things: one, they will have a huge allotment from both Sony and Microsoft; two, they will likely sell through their pre-orders quickly. You can also add a three-year warranty, which isn’t quite as comprehensive as Target’s (it doesn’t cover accidental damage beyond wear and tear), but it is cheaper at $44 and lasts a year longer. It is also offering free shipping. No limit on the number of units you can buy.

PlayStation 4 Only

Sony StoreSony’s own store is offering the PS4, of course, along with free shipping and no apparent limit on the number of units you can pick up. You can also finance directly through Sony.

Xbox One Only

Microsoft StoreYou can purchase an Xbox One from Microsoft’s own store, and that also extends to the Xbox 360′s dashboard. If you are an Xbox 360 user, just connect online and look for the Xbox One icon, and you can pre-order directly from there. Free shipping, and a limit of one per household.

Raptr: Most Played Games (PC, Xbox 360) in June 2013

There are some BIG surprises here. RIFT has a MASSIVE month, absolutely crushing its nearest competition and pulls in more gaming hours than the bottom half of the entire Top 20 combined.

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RAPTR’S MOST PLAYED GAMES: JUNE 2013 — NOW WITH PC AND XBOX 360-SPECIFIC TOP 20 LISTS

Aside from newcomer State of Decay and a resurgent Fable III, June’s Most Played list doesn’t hold too many surprises. Total playtime was up 16% over the previous month, however, and MOBAs League of Legends and DOTA 2 both posted significant playtime gains as well.

Note: This list, based on playtime data from Raptr’s 18 million users, includes PC and Xbox 360 games only — Sony and Nintendo don’t let players share gameplay data publicly, so that’s why no The Last of Us or Animal Crossing in the rankings.

The Share number by each game represents that title’s gameplay time as a percentage of the total time spent on the top 1000 games played by Raptr users, and is useful for comparing the relative amount of play time between particular games.

HIGHLIGHTS

Last month Rift enjoyed a big playtime bump among Raptr members due to a series of Raptr Rewards, but this month Rift’s transition to free to play was a significant factor. While we can’t quantify the F2P-related increase exactly, month over month Rift playtime is up 95%.

The rise and rise of popular free-to-play MOBAs League of Legends and DOTA 2 continued in June, with both posting their largest monthly playtime gains so far this year, up 36% and 45% respectively.

And if you’re wondering how Fable III, a game that came out in 2010, could suddenly catapult up 157 spots — it was a free download for Xbox Live Gold subscribers in the latter half of June.

State of Decay, on the other hand, earned its spot the old-fashioned way — by clearing over 250k copies in its first two days in the Xbox Live Marketplace and 500k in the first week, making it the second-best-XBLA seller after Minecraft. Not a bad debut for developer Undead Labs.

Borderlands 2 may have fallen a few spots this month, but the Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep DLC (launched on 6/25) is responsible for the largest playtime bump we’ve seen for the game so far. In the final week of June Borderlands 2 was the sixth most played game on Raptr.

A steady stream of content updates are definitely having a positive impact for Guild Wars 2 over the last three months — the Dragon Bash event and Sky Pirates of Tyria update both launched in June, and playtime was up 64% compared to the game’s low point this year, March.

caas-most_played_pc_june2013

PC HIGHLIGHTS

Rift and Rumble Fighter both enjoyed Reward-related boosts this month, while a free Steam weekend and sale in early June bumped Civilization V up the ranks. In the three weeks post Steam sale Civ gameplay was still about double what it had been before.

F2P MMO Marvel Heroes had a good launch, but by the end of the month it was definitely fading and won’t be in the top 20 next month, barring new content or other events to reignite the community.

caas-most_played_xbox_june2013

XBOX 360 HIGHLIGHTS

Not a lot to report here — aside from Fable III’s rocket up the charts (discussed above), a couple other old-timers got a boost. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 playtime was up 25% month over month…and if you know why, tell us in the comments. And Dark Souls was the XBL Deal of the Week in early June.

Elder Scrolls Online: New Beta Test Invites

This is the third (?) wave of beta invites for ESO. Cross your fingers and F5 the heck out of your inbox over the next few hours. Good luck!

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New Beta Invites – July 9th

Check your email! We’re sending another round of invites to The Elder Scrolls Online beta.

We’ve started to send another wave of invitations to the ESO beta, as we continue to ramp up our beta program. Invites will be going out over the next few hours, so check your email periodically to see if you’ve been invited to the test. Don’t forget to check your spam folder! We’re looking forward to the next beta session and can’t wait for more of you to see the game.

If you don’t receive an invitation, don’t worry. The ESO beta continues to grow, and we’ll let you know when we send new invites. Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm; we can’t wait to see your feedback.

Discuss this on the official ESO Facebook page.

Original ESO Article

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