EverQuest Next Landmark: Founder’s Packs Overview Video

EverQuest Next Landmark now has official Alpha, Closed Beta, and Open Beta dates along with three brand new ways for your to enter the testing phase early. The video link is below as well as the transcript I wrote for the video’s contents. Also, the official explanation of each of the Pack items is here.


Hi, I’m Terry Michaels, Senior Producer of Everquest Next Landmark.

Landmark is a creative, social MMO unlike anything we’ve seen before. We want to do things a little different. We’re gonna give players access to our alpha, much earlier in the development process than we ever have before. We’re gonna be offering three different Founders Packs. The Trailblazer, Explorer, and the Settler Pack. Lemme tell you about each of them.

Settler Pack

The Settler Pack is the basic pack.

1. It’s going to give you access to the Closed Beta of Landmark.

2. It’s gonna have a few things that you can show off to your friends like a forum title, and in-game title, as well as a flag that you can place anywhere you want in the world that shows off what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished.

3. We’re also gonna be giving you a Founder’s Pickaxe. Normally, when you start the game, you’re gonna start with just a pick and it’s going to be a very basic one. The Pickaxe is going to be the Top Tier 1 pick, combined with the highest tier of axe that’s going to be available in the game and this combination of tools is going to be exclusive to all of the Founder’s Packs.

Explorer Pack

And the next pack is the Explorer Pack.

1. With it, you’re gonna get access to Alpha and be one of the first people to get in the game and experience Landmark.

2. You’re gonna get everything that came with the Settler’s Pack as well as a few new things. You’re gonna get the Ring of Bounty, an accessory that allows you to go out in the world and while you’re harvesting you have a chance to get additional resources.

3. You’re also gonna get two exclusive outfits that you can only get through the Founder’s Packs. The first of those is the Courtier’s Regalia. This is a more traditional fantasy themed outfit that will look good in any castle or dungeon. And the next one is the Tech Sergant’s Gear. This outfit would look more at home on a space station or anything that’s more modern.

4. You’re also gonna get the Explorer Flag, and item you can place on any of your claims in the world to show off that you’ve been participating in the game since Alpha.

5. We’re also gonna give you a Mega Pocket. This is an item that will allow you to increase the size of either your personal inventory or your vault inventory, whichever one you feel is most appropriate for you.

Trailblazer Pack

And the last pack is the Trailblazer Pack.

1. This is for the serious Landmark player. This has everything that you get from the Settler’s Pack and the Explorer’s Pack, so you’ll be in Alpha from day one.

2. As well, we’re gonna give you a number of other items. You’re gonna get a flag that demonstrates that you’re a true Trailblazer.

3. You’re also gonna get the Void Vault. This is going to be a unique appearance item that allows you access to your vault network. An average player, it would take weeks for them gather the necessary materials and recipes to be able to be able to craft one of these in the game and you’ll have access from day one.

4. You’ll also get the Mastercraft Bracer, a must have for the serious crafter. This accessory will increase your chances to create high quality items.

5. You’ll get the Noble’s Regalia, a premium fantasy outfit that people will recognize anywhere you go. And you’ll get the Tech Conmmander’s Gear, our premium science fiction outfit.

6. You’ll get four shareable Closed Beta keys so that you and your friends can play and experience Landmark together. And you’ll get your name in the Everquest Next Landmark credits, just like me, only maybe a little lower.

7. In Landmark, finding the part of the world that you care about and that you want as your own is very important. So, as a special perk for Trailblazers, we’re gonna allow you early access to the Open Beta. Plant your flag first.

BLESS: Korean Closed Beta Test Announced (Steparu.com)

Despite little being heard over the past year since G*Star 2012, Steparu uncovered Pmang’s announcement that BLESS will be brought into Korean Closed Beta Testing Q1 2014. This is amazing news, if an entire *year* later than the devs originally scheduled.


blessmain

Neowiz Bless Studio is currently preparing the first closed beta for their blockbuster MMORPG Bless Online. The test is scheduled to start during the first quarter of next year, roughly January to March. If all the upcoming tests go well, they are planning on launching the same year. Now that I have had my taste of Black Desert Online, I am craving for some Bless! Check out the previous trailers below, some of them are worth watching again!

WildStar: Winter Beta Is Coming!

Good news WildStar fans: the winter beta testing is just a month away! I am definitely hoping to be part of the beta for WildStar so I’m able to provide feedback. It was interesting to me that a good number of MMORPGs weren’t on the list of “Have you played this/beta tested this game?” I’m not sure how Ultima Online is more important to their requirements than Neverwinter or Marvel Heroes or Path of Exiles, etc., but it’s eclectic and even includes old-timer goodies such as Asheron’s Call and Meridian 59.


Exciting times are upon us here at Carbine. The team has had their heads down for the last few months powering through development of WildStar, and things are shaping up really nicely. The remaining months of 2013 are going to be really big for us, and we’ve got a ton of great things planned, so this week we thought we’d give you a little taste of what’s in store for the WildStar community.

WILDSTAR LIVESTREAMS

So many of you have been asking when you can see more gameplay, more developers, more more more. A lucky few of you may have stumbled on our little livestream test we ran this past weekend. We’ve got a bit more work to do, but in the next few weeks you should expect to start seeing regular livestreams from the Carbine team. And we won’t just be showing off stuff you’ve already seen: expect to see new content, new classes, new reveals, and lots of WildStar gameplay over the coming months on a regular basis. We’ll chat with the developers YOU want to talk to, play the content YOU want to see, and answer all most of your questions live! Want to get involved? Follow our channel on Twitch and get notified whenever we go live.

For those who miss any live episodes, expect to see previous broadcasts up on Twitch and YouTube the following week to catch up on what you missed.

http://www.twitch.tv//wildstar/c/3145566

CLASS TIME

Probably the second-most common question we get asked these days is “When will we hear about those last two classes?” The answer, of course, is soon. But starting next week, we’re going to be initiating one of our biggest info drops yet which will roll out over the rest of 2013.

Classes have changed, evolved, and progressed since we first revealed them, so before we get to the new classes we thought it’d be great to reintroduce the old ones in an informative way, and showcase each of the unique mechanics, strategies, and designs of WildStar’s classes. Each reveal (or re-reveal) will be accompanied by new webpages, developer interviews, and livestreams to answer any questions you have about that class. All of these reveals and information drops will lead up to one big moment in December:

WINTER BETA

I’m sure most of you skipped down to this part after reading the article’s title. Yes, we’re just about ready to start up the Winter Beta for WildStar. We’ll be inviting tons of people, new and old, to check out the changes to WildStar, give us feedback, and play through the content to make sure we’re ready for launch in Spring 2014.

We’ll be sending out a survey to all of our beta applicants in the next few weeks. Be sure to fill it out as accurately as possible if you want to increase your chances of getting invited. Haven’t applied yet? Now’s your chance if you want to be included in our Winter Beta!

WRAP-UP

We know the last few months have been a little rough for fans of WildStar. There hasn’t been enough juicy info to dig through, and we’ve been leaving the devs alone to let them get their game systems in a beta-ready place. But guess what? Time’s up, and now we go big. Get ready to be drowned inWildStar details from now through launch. What do you want to hear more about? Let us know through Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, WildStar fansites, and any other place you can think of. As you know by now, the Devs are listening!

WildStar: 10 Fantastic Things You Should Know (WildstarCore.de)

Thanks to Google Translate, here are 10 quick things you should know about WildStar from the WildstarCore.de dev interview.

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  1. Expected launch is “Spring 2014” with open beta starting about a month prior.
  2. Leveling from 1 to the cap of 50 should take ~150 hours. (Closed beta has taken ~250 hours to cap and devs want to lower that.)
  3. No flying mounts at launch, but maybe someday.
  4. PVP will offer a “spectator mode”, though it may not be in by launch.
  5. CREDD will be available in the free market and players determine how much gold it will cost.
  6. As 60% of players often go solo, devs are making sure there is great solo content (as well as group and raid content).
  7. There will be player-made flasks/potions needed for raiding offering ways for solo, crafting, and group activities to overlap.
  8. Players who pre-order will receive some advantages (early access; maybe items).
  9. The game mechanic of “mentoring” or “de-leveling” is in place. Players can drop their level to meet that of their friends.
  10. Crafting will offer depth: job-specific trees, permanent decisions, very rare discoverable recipes and more.

WildStar: State of the Beta

While I’m glad to see the WildStar dev team seriously addressing major gameplay issues (that have been leaked by closed beta testers for months now), it’s a bit concerning that for all their “next gen action combat”, they ignored some of the fundamental group, XP earning, questing, and overall gameplay issues. It also sounds like the betas are on hold for further fixes and will resume “sometime later this year”. Given they’re expecting to launch in 2013, me thinks they need to investigate whether that can even stay on track with how many other issues are still affecting gameplay. Most players want a release pushed back if the game’s not ready for primetime.

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WILDSTAR WEDNESDAY: STATE OF THE BETA

During each phase of beta, I try to make a big post to the testers about the feedback we’ve received and the things we were doing to address it. Based off the feedback we’ve seen in CBT2 and CBT3, we’ve decided to make some big changes to address the hottest topics we’ve been seeing, both from our beta testers as well as from outside sources (Yes, that means you, guy who comments on all the leaks). We wanted to take some time to communicate those changes to our wider community as well, to bring you into our plans a little earlier than usual to give an idea of how we react to feedback. There are two main areas we are working on updating:

There’s no “player choice” involved in character progression

We’ve gone through two iterations of the Milestone system so far, but we never really spoke about it publicly because it wasn’t in a place we were happy with. The first version allowed you to slot passive abilities alongside your active abilities, but were tied to hitting certain stat thresholds to unlock them. The second version removed the “slotting” and simply unlocked more milestones as your stats increased. Long story short, the system was purely gear-based, and players didn’t like that their character had no progression on its own.

The Combat team has been working on a design of a new player progression system which allows you to customize your character’s development as you level through the game. It’s a little early to reveal any details about the new system, but the design of it has been completed and is moving on to the implementation stages.

Mob tagging and shared quest credit are not emblematic of a modern MMO.

Our solution to this hotly debated topic is by far the biggest change we’ve got planned, and it will fundamentally change the entire quest system in our game. After taking a step back and evaluating our current questing system, we’ve come up with a redesign that we believe addresses the concerns our players have expressed about the current quest/tagging system while remaining true to the vision of WildStar.

So, what is this change? Well, it comprises two major shifts in design:

  1. We are going to remove numerical quest objectives from the game (i.e. “Kill X Vinds” and “Collect X Sentient Veggies”) and instead introduce a “quest completion bar.” For kill quests, this bar will increment the player’s quest progress in relation to the amount of XP earned. For other quests, this bar will simply increment in set amounts for each completed interaction. This helps improve the system in the following ways:
    • By basing quest completion off XP gains, players can now choose to go after larger targets or smaller targets and earn quest progress appropriate for those choices. While killing harder things is slower, you will earn more quest progress for it. Those who prefer to fight easy things will kill faster, but progress more slowly for it.
    • This approach also helps groups stay on target for leveling progression. Even though groups will destroy creatures much faster, they will need to kill more in order for each player to earn the credit needed to complete the quest objective.
  2. By making this change, we have the opportunity to remove mob tagging, with regards to XP, from the game. XP gained per mob death will generally be based on the amount of damage a player contributes to that kill. This will still encourage players to group (where they would get full XP credit for the kill rather than a percentage), but also encourages players to help out a passerby in the open world in order to receive a comparable XP reward.
  3. One of the concerns that came up repeatedly from the beta community was how we would account for pure-support characters with this new system? The simple answer is that we expect players will group with other players, as they do in the current system. The longer answer is that by speccing your character to play a pure-support role, to the exclusion of all damage-dealing abilities, you are building a role meant to work in conjunction with other players. Grouping will remain the primary method for this. That being said, we are investigating ways to make grouping much easier to do. We want grouping to be useful enough to our players that they not avoid it out of convenience, so anything we introduce to simplify the act of grouping will build on that intention.
  4. Another concern that’s come up is the question of “in-group” rewards. That is, once your support character joins a group, he’ll still get less XP than his DPS brethren. This is not the case now, and it will not be the case in the future. XP distribution in a group is already based on the amount of damage the group does to a target, and is shared among all members of the group. Your class and spec do not matter.
  5. Our current plan is to have some minimum threshold of damage that needs to be done before credit can be earned. This is an example of a design challenge for us, because we have to find the right damage threshold, where we catch most of the people who are using cherry-tapping to take advantage of other players, while catching as few legitimate players as possible.

Wow, that was a lot to go through, and that’s only a few of the major things we’ve been tracking from our beta test. As you can see, we’re making some complex system changes to the game based on the huge amount of feedback we received during the first three phases of beta. Now the teams are going to be putting their heads down and work on implementing the changes we talked about above as well as lots of other changes in preparation for the next phase of beta, which will start later this year.

We want to extend a huge thanks to the beta testers from CBT1 through 3, as well as all the Stress Testers who’ve helped push our servers to their limit so far. We’ll be starting back up later this year, and will make sure we both invite our old testers back to see the changes as well as bring new testers into the fold to get us some great new first impressions. We’ll be back before you know it!

ArcheAge: Trion Community Mod Offers Update (ArcheAgeSource.com)

It’s been several weeks since Trion Worlds first posted their ArcheAge website and invited players to sign up for the beta. Yesterday, Community Manager James “Elrar” Nichols posted an article on the ArcheAge Source forums. That article is below. Enjoy!

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Hey everyone,

It’s been a while since I made a post here outside of the Shoutbox so I thought I’d make it one about a topic that I’m sure is on many of your minds. “When will the wait be over?”

I wish I could give you the date and time today – but the ones we have in mind could still change, even if they are the best laid plans of mice & men!

A little bit about those plans

There’re many things we need to accomplish in order to successfully release ArcheAge to players in North America in Europe. Some hurdles are bigger than others and, in some cases, determine our ability to move forward towards launch.

The first really big one, in progress right now, is working with XL to integrate the game itself with our account/billing platform. This is essential to enabling server access for anyone outside of our office – we do not pass GO, we do not collect $200 until this very important phase has been completed. It is the top priority but, as you can imagine, it is extraordinarily complex with many people and moving parts involved.

To a similar end, XL Games is coming over here very soon and is helping us to set up our server architecture to run ArcheAge according to its design.

Of course, we also need to localize the game so you’re not playing in Korean. We’ve got the first large chunk of localization done, and we’re working on the updates and doing edit passes to make sure that the localization is as good as we can possibly make it.

Once these significant milestones have been accomplished closed testing can begin – our plan is to be at this point within the next few months!

Testing & You

No doubt the very mention of testing gets some of you excited! Perhaps you’ve even just clicked my name with plans to send a brief PM explaining why you would be the perfect candidate (it’s easier to sign up at http://www.archeagegame.com, but I do appreciate the letters). We’re just as excited to get to the point where we can invite external testers but expect the closed testing period to last at least a few months.

What’s changing?

I realize that no shortage of your eagerness for more info has to deal with what aspects of ArcheAge we are modifying or changing.

Know this: Any “Westernization” that occurs will likely be very minimal and done to improve usability/understanding of mechanics based on conventions we’ve grown accustomed to that differ from those of Korean gamers.

Don’t expect entirely new features exclusive to the NA/EU release or sweeping changes to mechanics – what you can expect are small tweaks to the way some existing features function. ArcheAge is already an amazing game, that’s why we have always been excited publish it.’

It’s also very important to keep in mind that this game is constantly changing. There have been so many awesome features since ArcheAge launched in Korea and we want to make sure we have as many of them as possible available at release. Changing around mechanics and the fundamental systems that fuel the game would only increase the amount of time it would take to incorporate new and future updates – not a good thing!

While we’re on this topic, I think it’s important that I point out where the most significant change and work is going to take place: The Text.

We’re talking over 1,000,000 words AND climbing!

It’s no small feat to achieve and the biggest challenge here is the fact that there are many distinct differences between Western & Korean cultures that we need to take into account. Everything from value systems to how we greet and interact with people based on our relationship to them is different. This matters a lot to language and the way things are written/expressed which means that localization is not as simple as running everything through Google Translate – at least not if we want an entertaining experience… well, one we can understand that is :)

What’s next?

Expect things to stay quiet for a few more weeks at least – until accounts are able to login to the game through our platform we’ll be busy planning live streams and the future roll out of content, not to mention reading a lot (A LOT) of text. You’ll know when things are really getting going, the noise will be deafening!

Until then, keep the feedback coming & thanks as always for your continued support of ArcheAge – I realize after possibly YEARS of waiting this may not come easily to some but enjoy these early days, cherish them even. They will not last, I guarantee it :D

Cheers,

James “Elrar” Nichols
Community Manager
Trion Worlds, Inc.

www.twitter.com/ArcheAge
www.facebook.com/ArcheAge

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

Firefall: Pre-Order for Open Beta Access & Items

I received an email recently (contents below) reminding folks that the Firefall open beta is coming up on July 9. Firefall’s been in what’s seemed like an open beta for 18 months as thousands and thousands of players have had access during closed beta weekends because they pre-purchased a Founders Pack. If you haven’t yet hopped on the hype express for Firefall, take a look and download the game so you’re ready for open beta next week.

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Less Than Two Weeks Until Open Beta!

Firefall is a little over a week away from open beta, and we couldn’t be more excited to show all of you what is on the horizon. Our latest content patch goes live today for our current testers, giving them an early taste of new missions, the new Jetball PvP game type, and brand new areas to explore, including our newest instance, Blackwater Anomaly.

As we approach Open Beta, time is quickly running out for you to purchase a Founders Pack! These packs not only allow you access to the game before the general public, but each tier comes with exclusive items like special edition tiki masks, warpaints, a thumper, and a unique vehicle that will never be available again once the Founders program ends.

Be sure to visit our Founders Pack page to see what each tier offers, and pick up the one that is right to you.

We recently posted a short teaser of a super-secret Firefall project on our Stage 5 TV YouTube channel. What could it be? Watch the teaser to find out, and then see the full video on July 9th!

Neverwinter: End of Open Beta Week-Long Event (June 14-20)

Sounds like things are heating up over at Neverwinter’s site in celebration of their long-awaited launch next week. You’ll have the opportunity to earn new and unique enchancements and even brand new companions during this week-long celebration. Some of the various prizes are day and time specific, so read below to find out exactly when you can most take advantage of the celebratory offerings.

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Did you miss our previous live date announcementNeverwinter will be live on June 20, 2013 – that’s only a week away! And to celebrate, we’re running an End of Open Beta Event and every adventurer in the Forgotten Realms is invited! Join us starting on June 14, 2013, for three phases of events. More details are listed below including how you can earn a new and unique enchantments or companion only available during this Event!

Phase 1 – 2x Enchantments,  2x Runestones

Begins: June 14, 2013 at 12pm PDT (When is that in your time zone?)

Ends: June 17, 2013 at 12am PDT (When is that in your time zone?)

Details: Questing, gathering nodes in the fields of Neverwinter, and looting treasure chests have never been more rewarding. Every time an enchantment or runestone is awarded while playing, you’ll receive double the rewards. If you’ve dreamed of having T10 Enchantments or Runestones, there’s never been a better time to get in game!

Phase 2 – The Invasion

Begins: June 17, 2013 at 12am PDT (When is that in your time zone?)

Ends: June 20, 2013 at 9am PDT (When is that in your time zone?)

Details: Protector’s Enclave will be under attack! How can you help protect the city of Neverwinter? During the End of Open Beta Event, there are 5 locations around Protector’s Enclave that will be vulnerable to attack. Look for a message indicating where the portal appeared and help fend off groups of enemies threatening the city. Also, there will be smaller groups patrolling the city, from the portals to the market area, looking to terrorizing the denizens of Neverwinter – they need your help! When the Invasion event is running, you will receive an open mission for killing enemies while in Protector’s Enclave. Portals will spawn at the top and bottom of the hour and stay open for 5 minutes then close.

Phase 3 – The Finale

BeginsJune 19, 2013 at 12am PDT (When is that in your time zone?)

Ends: June 20, 2013 at 9am PDT (When is that in your time zone?)

Details: The invasion is not over by any means, adventurers. Even more dangerous and deadly creatures await their opportunity to destroy the city of Neverwinter. During the final phase of the Invasion, the Finale, terrifying Unhallowed Wights will make their presence known throughout the Forgotten Realms by coming through the portals and patrolling the city! These waves will be spaced 5 minutes apart.

However, if you successfully help keep Neverwinter safe during Phase 2 and Phase 3, you may be rewarded with some amazing items which are unique to this event! Throughout the event at the end of each portal wave, you will receive a bag of bones if you helped kill anything during the portal invasion. Collected bones can be taken to Makos’ Apprentice in Protector’s Enclave, by the market plaza, and exchanged for rewards. During the event, a Scroll of Deathly Aura may drop providing a minor buff to your character while granting a fire aura. Also, new unique enchantments may drop during this event which will provides 2 stat bonuses instead of 1. And, a new unique companion may drop during the last two phases. Which will it be? Join us during the End of Open Beta Event starting on June 14, 2013 to find out.

Original Neverwinter Article

Elder Scrolls Online: New Beta Group Emailed Today!

For those of you clutching at your chest and heaving fists Heavenward after each ESO beta group announcement because you weren’t selected, today may not be your day either! Sorry. However, you can at least rejoice in the knowledge that “Spring 2014” is the all-platform-launch (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac).

Elder Scrolls Online today announced a new group of beta participants have been invited to the super secret closed beta. Read on for more info! Their new gameplay trailer is at the end of the article.

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NEW BETA INVITES

Check your email—we’re sending new invitations to the ESO beta.

It’s been an exciting week for us already (check out our big announcement and newgameplay trailer if you missed it!), and now we have even more good news: we’re sending out a round of beta invites today for PC users. Check your email now to see if you’ve been invited.If you didn’t get an invite, don’t worry. The ESO beta test will continue to grow as we head towards launch. Make sure to check your spam folder just in case your invitation was caught, and check out this article for more information about the beta test.We’re excited to have more of you join the test and are looking forward to your feedback!

Original ESO Article

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