Updated Sat, Jan 25, 2014 by Martuk
This week in the news Wildstar drops info on guilds, Pathfinder targets April for alpha, and SOE massacres half of its game lineup. Now we know why that all access subscription is $5 cheaper. Let’s get started.
It was only logical.
Star Trek Online has adopted the voice of actor Tim Russ for its latest feature episode content series. Russ, who portrayed the vulcan security officer Tuvok on Star Trek Voyager, will once again reprise his role as the character in STO. Russ joins other Star Trek alumni that include Chase Masterson, Michael Dorn, Leonard Nimoy, and Denise Crosby, who previously appeared in their own feature episodes for the MMOG.
Looking for Guild
Carbine finally dropped a few new details about guilds in WildStar this week. Guilds will be able to earn influence for specific perks by grouping up with other fellow guild members, have access to a guild bank, and can create a guild holomark to help their guild stand out in the crowd. While it's not an overly elaborate system, WildStar at least will have a few handy features for guilds at launch.
Time for an Upgrade
SOE served up the official pre-alpha system requirements for EverQuest Next: Landmark this week ahead of the alpha, which is expected to get underway before the end of the month. And let’s just say that the system requirements made some computers run away in terror while excited fans had their excitement dampened by the hefty specs.
So how are the specs you ask? On the low end you’ll need a Windows 7 64bit OS, 4GB of RAM, an Intel i5 Dual Core or higher or an AMD Phenom X3 or higher, 20GB of free hard drive space, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 275 series or higher or AMD HD 4890 or higher video card with 1,024 MB of RAM, and a 10Mbit/sec or higher Internet connection. And that’s the minimum. Luckily, it’s not the final, so you can expect a wider range of support as alpha testing and optimization passes commence. Just expect many a PCs to cry at the start.
Mythos Global bit the big one this week when Hanbitsoft and T3fun pulled the plug on the game for the second time. Mythos originally launched under Frogster in Europe only to close a few months later. Hanbitsoft announced the title’s resurrection a month later under the name of Mythos Global. But this week Mythos was once again shuttered.
It’s kind of funny. When I started writing the obituary section for this week earlier today I only had one game for the list. Then I made my news rounds again and BAM, SOE had dug four new holes for the MMO graveyard. In one foul epic swoop, SOE made four summary executions with announcements on the impending closures of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Wizardry Online, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures (SWCWA), and Free Realms. The first two executions, SWCWA and Free Realms, will be carried out on March 31st, 2014 with Vanguard and Wizardry to follow suit July 31st. Magic: The Gathering – Tactics will even be scarified on March 28th for the pre-show. On another thought, SOE may have just done Brad McQuaid's Pantheon Kickstarter a solid.
As with all game closures, our best wishes go out to any affected team members and game communities that may be displaced by the rather large number of closures.
Alpha, Beta, Early Access, and New Content
Pathfinder Online announced this week that the dev team has met its development goals for Q4 2013. The good news for fans in all of this is that it puts the MMORPG on target for its hopeful launch of early alpha in April. Likewise, Camelot Unchained devs also discussed their plans for early alpha this August.
On the beta block, Hearthstone made its way to open beta in NA and EU this week and the second closed beta phase for Area 52 Games’ space fighter, Star Wars: Attack Squadrons, also began this week. So cards and spaceships, what more could you want?
On the early access side of things we have DC Universe Online’s War of the Light DLC, which opened up for Legendary subscribers this week with a new version of Metropolis and the red ring of rage.
One other surprise I came across this week was an update from Shadowrun Online. After a bit of a drought on new information, it looks as though the devs may finally be nearing completion of the first playable build of the game should be ready by late March and offer some players a chance to experience the core gameplay and a few test missions.
Down new content road, Defiance is running another Crossover Rewind event for players to catch up on both game and show content from the first season. You can also hoist the sails and make for the open sea. Uncharted Waters Online launched its new 2nd Age expansion this week. It’s the first major content update since the OGPlanet re-launch last November. And if the open sea isn't your thing, there's always the Dark Age of Camelot Battleground Weekend, Neverwinter Call to Arms, return to Eorzea for a pair of new events, suffer the madness of Guild Wars 2, or help fight the resurgence of the Rakghoul plague in SWTOR.
EverQuest is turning up the heat in January. The first bit of big news this week came with the launch of the EverQuest: Hate Rising update, expanding on the story of the Call of the Forsaken expansion. After that, SOE also revealed a video update to tease what lies ahead for the entire EverQuest franchise in 2014. Hint: It involves alpha, building, and lots of new content.
For you lore junkies out there, EverQuest Next has an all new eBook available this week with Prison of Fire. The new story coincides with the events in The Stars of Home and is available completely for free.
40 years ago the great gaming gods Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson gave us Dungeons & Dragons and birthed the modern RPG as we know it. The classic pen & paper game that started an RPG revolution turns 40 this month, so why not reflect on the past iterations with a few games with friends? Try the Advanced rule set. What could possibly go wrong?
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