Updated Sat, Jan 18, 2014 by Martuk
This week in the news there’s been a few position changes on a couple of dev teams, Defiance’s painful chat system finally gets prepped for some much needed surgery, and Brad McQuaid’s Pantheon MMORPG heads to Kickstarter. All this and more along with details on a few bonus events are available if you just keep reading.
The Better Late Than Never Department
Defiance will celebrate its first anniversary later this year, and one thing that’s been bugging players since the first day of launch is the atrocious chat system. After nearly a year, this essential MMOG mechanic will finally be getting an inkling of love next month with the launch of the 7th Legion DLC.
To Boldly Go...Again
Star Trek Online’s Daniel Stahl has once again vacated the executive producer seat for the MMOG and has once again been replaced by Stephen D’Angelo. It’s like one of those Star Trek time loops. Stahl vacated the captain’s chair back in 2011 and, at that time, was also replaced by D’Angelo. Unlike the previous departure where Stahl left Cryptic, he will instead be pursuing "an exciting new project" at the studio.
In addition to that little bit of news, former World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street also joined the League of Legends team at Riot Games as the new lead game designer.
Pantheon Kickstarter and New Info
Brad McQuaid’s new epic planar fantasy MMORPG headed to Kickstarter this week with Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. Since the Kickstarter launched on Monday, it’s managed to raise over $140k of its $800k goal. McQuaid has offered a series of updates this week in the form of two Q&A videos that answer several community-submitted questions, a lengthy post on what makes the MMORPG unique, and a reveal of the first Pantheon class, the Cleric.
Alpha, Beta, and Early Access
Low and behold, ArcheAge is still coming to the West despite the drought of new information. Scott Hartsman dropped some new news this week for fans that the ArcheAge friends & family alpha is now underway. Sadly, if you don’t have any friends or family at Trion, you’re pretty much out of luck.
For those of you seeking a new beta adventure, Nexon announced the start of closed beta for Arcane Chronicles this week along with a multitude of in-game events for testers to indulge in.
Star Wars: The Old Republic Preferred status players have the chance to join in on the PvP space combat of the Galactic Starfighter expansion this week as the second phase of early access begins. Free status players will still be able to join the fight next month when the expansion officially launches.
We Love Zombies
Between me and Gunky, it’s hard to gauge which of us likes the zombie survival horror genre more. Luckily we can still both write about it, so be sure to have a look at our features this week that delve into Undead Labs’ successful State of Decay title and what lies ahead with Class4. One day Gunky and I may even have to have a Twitch State of Decay livestream showdown to see which of us can last longer in the Breakdown DLC. We’ll take bets later.
And yes, the zombie game market is becoming oversaturated, and yes, there are some truly terrible ones out there. We just think that State of Decay and Class4 may have found their own special niche. Let’s just hope that Undead Labs stays true and doesn’t get blinded by the watered down version of the mass market. I'm afraid that the next dev to say that their zombie horror game targets the Call of Duty crowd may catch a body-piercing glare from me.
Bonus Events and Freebies
Aion offers special buffs through January 29th with the arrival of the Code Red: Atreia team. Players can find medical camps across the world and anyone level 10 or higher can pay them a visit each day to get a stack of potions, scrolls, and stigma shards.
Dungeons & Dragons Online players can join the Midwinter Festival and Risia Ice Games this weekend to take part in several new minigames and earn a multitude of new festive prizes.
Star Trek Online may have lost its executive producer, but they still know how to throw a bonus event. Starting today and continuing through Tuesday, January 21st, players can log in and earn between 50%-100% more Dyson Marks in some areas. It’s a good time to stock up too as the 8.5 update will be headed your way on January 30th.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes has two big things this week. The first is the opening of the first wing of the new Cave of Wonders raid. The second is a weekend of bonus XP for all three of its spheres: Adventuring, Crafting, and Diplomacy.
In our Freebie section, Age of Conan has opened up free server transfers for players through Thursday, February 13th, 2014. Some restrictions do apply.
One Ring to Rule Them All...At Least Until 2017
As Turbine has said on numerous occasions, the license for The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) isn’t ending anytime soon. But the Internet being such as it is, that had to be confirmed several more times. So Community Manager Rick “Sapience” Heaton headed to the forums to shout from atop Mount Doom once more that the LOTRO license has been extended through 2017.
Taking One for the Team
It's never good to end on an impending demise, so let's not do that. In case you missed today’s Video of the Day, be sure to drop in and have a laugh at the expense of Age of Empires II HD Community Coordinator Kiefer Bryant, who showed just how dedicated he is by putting his body on the line in a truly “hot” video.
And that wraps us up this week. Accept my apologies for the lack of usual humor this week. I'm a bit under the weather. To bring this little ride to a close, here's a look back at some of our exclusive content from the last week in case you missed it. Have a great weekend folks.
In Case You Missed It...