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Topics - Nightsong

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16
Guild Wars 2 - Isle of Janthir / Guild Wars 2 - New Haristyles - October 1st
« on: September 30, 2013, 09:08:05 pm »
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151761141374209.1073741834.114036714208&type=3

Charr have apparently gone and joined the dubstep and rock and roll crews. Sylvari got pinecones and dreds. Asura females have been turned into Princess Leia. Norn got some new badass hairstyles.


17
Guild Wars 2 - Isle of Janthir / Twilight Assault Coming to GW2 on October 1
« on: September 20, 2013, 06:29:05 pm »
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Guild Wars 2
Cutthroat Politics
Candidate Profiles


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I’ve stood by the people of Lion’s Arch in good times and bad, defending her from all manner of threat. Now I want to ensure the security of our beloved city in a different capacity, as a member of the Captain’s Council. I’ll need your support to establish a fair trade treaty between Zephyr Sanctum and Lion’s Arch.

If I’m fortunate enough to earn a position on the Captain’s Council, here’s what you can expect from Ellen Kiel:
• I’ll reduce waypoint travel prices for four weeks’ time
• I’ll support important Fractals of the Mists research into the Thaumanova Reactor explosion by the end of the year
• I’ll introduce a rotating schedule of activities such as Crab Toss and Southsun Survival.

Come find me in Zephyr Sanctum; let’s work together for a brighter future!
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As owner and proprietor of the Black Lion Trading Company, I have the proven leadership skills and business acumen that is sorely needed on the Captain’s Council. With your support, I will secure a trade agreement with the Zephyrites that benefits us all.

If I am elected to the Captain’s Council, I’ll show my gratitude for your support in the following ways:
• I’ll slash prices on Black Lion Keys for four whole weeks
• I’ll sponsor important Fractals of the Mist research into the Fall of Abaddon, to be completed by the end of the year
• I’ll host a rotation of popular activities like Crab Toss and Southsun Survival.

You can find me in the Zephyr Sanctum, working for the best interest of Lion’s Arch.
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WildStar / WildStar - Faction Choice Poll
« on: July 20, 2013, 03:09:17 pm »
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The Exiles
Human
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After centuries of wandering the Fringe in their ramshackle fleet, humans are ready to settle down on Nexus using grit, backbone, and some old-fashioned elbow grease. And if those Dominion bastards are looking for a fight? Bring it on!

For more than a thousand years, the humans of planet Cassus had ruled the greatest empire the galaxy had ever known. But as the Dominion's power grew, a number of unpopular policies were enacted that led to civil unrest. What started out as protests in the streets of Cassian cities soon became brutal crackdowns on all who opposed the new order.

When the Dominion military turned weapons on its own citizens, Serrick Brightland, a highly decorated admiral of the Cassian fleet, rebelled against his commanders. Commandeering his own warship, the Star of Dominus, Brightland led Cassian rebels on a series of unexpected, devastating attacks - leaving the Dominion fleet in shambles.

But the rebel admiral's early successes proved costly in lives and materiel. When the full strength of the Dominion military finally caught up to him, Brightland grimly surveyed the battlefield - then bravely set a course for the heart of the enemy fleet. Surprised by the suicide maneuver, the Dominion warships broke formation, and the other rebel starships were able to escape.

Against all odds, the Star of Dominus survived – but at a grave cost. Admiral Brightland sustained terrible injuries in the battle, and was placed into cryo-freeze in order to save his life. Rechristened the Gambler's Ruin, Brightland's vessel was converted to an arkship, and the rebels fled for their lives across the stars.

The discovery of planet Nexus by the famed explorer Dorian Walker represented a new beginning for the humans – a chance to lay down roots before the critical life support systems of the centuries-old Gambler's Ruin completely failed. Serving as the heart and soul of the Exiles, they are now ready to make their final stand against the Dominion that once again threatens their home.

Granok
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Banished from their homeworld after a bloody war with the Dominion, the Granok are a race of skull-cracking, hard-charging galactic mercenaries that have come to Nexus to kick ass and drink beer. Not necessarily in that order.

Several hundred years ago, Granok civilization on planet Gnox was extremely primitive - but the Dominion saw great potential in these hulking giants of living stone, and sent Mechari ambassadors to facilitate their assimilation into the empire. The ambassadors offered the Granok gifts of knowledge and technology, asking only that they kneel and swear eternal loyalty to the empire in return. The Granok answered by smashing the Mechari into smoking piles of scrap.

The reigning emperor was infuriated by the news of his ambassadors' demise. He declared war on the Granok, and the mighty Dominion Legions were deployed from planet Cassus. They arrived on Gnox in overwhelming force, assuming they would quickly eradicate the natives. Armed with primitive weaponry, the fearless Granok warriors fought bravely - but were no match for the Dominion's superior technology.

Refusing to accept defeat, a young warlord named Durek led daring raids into Dominion camps, stealing weapons, armor, and other powerful military hardware. Within a few weeks, the growing ranks of Granok insurgents began to turn the tide. Battered and bloody, the Legions were driven back to planet Cassus.

Triumphant, Durek and his followers returned to their tribes. But instead of being greeted as heroes, they were branded pariahs for betraying ancient Granok traditions during their hard-won victory. Exiled by their own people, Durek Stonebreaker and his followers took to the stars, plying their trade as battle-hardened galactic mercenaries.

Having now thrown in their lot with the Exiles, Granok mercenaries lead the volunteer militias known as the Free Companies of Nexus. They still retain a deep-seated hatred for the Dominion, and are looking forward to settling the score in blood.

Aurin
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Small but scrappy, the Aurin are a race of forest dwellers whose homeworld was ravaged by the Dominion. They might be into hugging trees, but they're more than ready to bare tooth and claw to defend their new home on Nexus.

For thousands of years, the Aurin lived in isolation on the forest world of Arboria, but the chance arrival of the wandering human rebel fleet changed their lives forever. Appreciating their good-natured independence, the Aurin welcomed the humans into their forest homes, and friendship soon blossomed between the two races. Fearful of unleashing the wrath of the Dominion on the Aurin, the humans took on much needed supplies and then quickly moved on.

Despite careful precautions by the humans, the Dominion managed to trace the path of the fleet and eventually discovered the location of Arboria. As punishment for aiding the rebels, the Dominion declared unconditional sovereignty over the Aurin's forest kingdom and sent an army of devastating Planet Reapers to collect the empire's rightful due.

The Aurin fought back courageously, but the Planet Reapers were monstrous mechanical resource harvesters designed to withstand all but the heaviest firepower. Suffering heavy losses, the Aurin were forced to fall back, helplessly watching the destruction of their beautiful, verdant homeworld.

Desperate, the Aurin's newly crowned queen, Myala Everstar, sent out a distress signal to her human friends, who soon formulated a daring rescue plan. Aided by fearless Granok mercenaries, the humans faced off against the Dominion and landed rescue ships on Arboria – but it soon became clear not all the Aurin could be saved. Brokenhearted, Myala escaped from Arboria's surface, but promised those left behind that one day she would return.

Despite the tragedy they had suffered, the Aurin were determined to survive. The day would come when they would return to Arboria, drive out the Dominion, and reclaim their beloved homeworld.


Mordesh
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Cursed with a degenerative disease after delving into the forbidden secrets of alchemy, the Mordesh have come to Nexus to find a cure. Being a space zombie can be complicated. Unleashing dark and deadly disciplines on the Dominion? Much simpler.

Until the last century, the Mordesh of planet Grismara had a flourishing civilization whose refinements in alchemy made them the envy of the galaxy. Having attracted the attention of the Dominion and been invited to join, their ongoing success was all but inevitable.

In 1578 AE, Victor Lazarin, widely acknowledged as the greatest alchemist in Grismaran history, announced his creation of the Everlife Elixir - a substance he claimed granted immortality. The Mordesh were convinced of Lazarin's brilliance, and the elixir was distributed worldwide. Yet cries of rejoicing soon turned to moans of despair. The elixir eventually became unstable, leading to necromantic physical degeneration coupled with a mindless cannibalistic rage.

It is said that in the Contagion’s first outbreaks, the casualties mounted too swiftly to be measured. The only certainty was that a civilization of billions lay within a hairsbreadth of extinction after just a few weeks. The Dominion response was a brutal and uncompromising quarantine, while below the Mordesh suffered and perished. While almost falling into the Contagion's madness himself, Lazarin created a vaccine known as the Vitalus Serum. Despite failing to cure the disease, the serum suppressed its psychological symptoms and saved the few remaining Mordesh survivors.

In desperation, the Mordesh turned to the Exiles, who smuggled them piecemeal through the Dominion blockade. Forced by dwindling numbers and their hunted status to become practitioners of artifice and deception, they formed a covert intelligence group, the Black Hoods, to wage campaigns of sabotage and assassination against their enemies. Seen by the Exiles as an unsavory but necessary evil, the Mordesh now ply their dark arts on Nexus in hopes of finding a cure and wreaking vengeance on the Dominion who deserted them.


The Dominion
Cassian
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Long ago, the Cassians were chosen by the Eldan to establish the Dominion - and they're going to make sure the pathetic vermin infesting the galaxy don't forget it. Destiny is a terribly heavy burden, and the Cassians bear it with style.

Gifted with ambition and intelligence, the humans of planet Cassus experienced a period of rapid technological advancement more than two thousand years ago, leading to the development of space flight and interstellar exploration. Such achievements caught the attention of the Eldan's mechanical servants the Mechari, who brought news of these remarkable beings back to planet Nexus.

At the behest of their masters, the Mechari journeyed to Cassus in a fleet of hyper-advanced starships. Standing before an awestruck assembly of planetary leaders, they demanded that the legendary Cassian Sword-maiden Tresayne Toria journey with them to Nexus - and in return the Eldan would provide the Cassians a gift of immeasurable value. Refuse, they said, and the consequences would be dire. The valiant Tresayne agreed for the sake of her people, and she and her attendants were never seen again.

In time, the Cassians received their precious gift - an extraordinary human-Eldan hybrid known as Dominus the Half-Blood. Bearing gifts of powerful Eldan technology to the people of his mother’s homeworld, the message of Dominus was a simple one:  swear loyalty to him, and together they would rule the greatest empire the galaxy had ever seen. The Cassians unanimously agreed, hailing Dominus as the emperor of the newly established Dominion.

Despite the Eldan's disappearance a thousand years ago, the Cassian-led Dominion has steadily taken control of the galaxy through intimidation, political intrigue and a score of impressive military conquests. For the Cassians, the discovery of planet Nexus represents the fulfillment of an ancient destiny - and they will stop at nothing to ensure that the Dominion reigns supreme over the legendary Eldan planet.


Draken
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Forged in the heat and dust of their savage homeworld, the Draken have come to Nexus to prove they are the most badass warriors in the galaxy. Eviscerations, disembowelments, and decapitations will definitely be involved.

Three centuries after the founding of the Dominion, the Mechari determined that the Dominion military required new blood. After examining thousands of known species and analyzing their combat effectiveness, they advised the reigning Luminai emperor, Azrion, to bring the Draken of planet Mikros into the Dominion. Unfortunately, the eternal respect and loyalty of these ferocious hunters could only be won through strength and violence.

The empire landed a formidable military force on Mikros in 344 AE, and the Draken hordes amassed for all-out war on the Dominion invaders. Acting upon counsel from the Mechari, the bold Luminai Emperor Azrion issued a challenge to the reigning High Clanlord Zhur: meet him in single combat, with the victor ruling supreme over planet Mikros. As the Mechari expected, Zhur accepted the challenge immediately.

Hours later, they met on the Field of Kazor, a massive gladiatorial arena in the ancient city of Red River. The duel was fierce and brutal, and the swords of the two combatants were soon stained with blood. In the end, the Luminai emperor's skill and training overcame Zhur's ferocity and strength. Upon the death of their leader, the Draken swore eternal loyalty to Azrion the Conqueror and his descendants – and these savage warriors have faithfully served the Dominion ever since.

For the Draken, the journey to Nexus represents the ultimate test. Not only is the fabled planet rumored to be the home of exotic, savage creatures that will test their skills in the hunt, but it is also the front lines of the intensifying war with the Exiles. The reigning emperor Myrcalus the Vindicator has claimed Nexus for the Dominion by right of the Eldan blood that runs in his veins, and the Draken have vowed to help him conquer the planet, regardless of the cost.


Chua
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Nearly as brilliant as they are sociopathic, the Chua are mischievous inventors who develop advanced weapons and technology for the Dominion.  Science has never been more fun – or agonizing.

In the course of scouting prospective races in the early years of the Dominion, Mechari observers found that the primitive but intelligent Chua of the forest world Bezgelor displayed considerable promise. In addition to showing an uncanny grasp of science and mechanical engineering, they were also remarkably devious and competitive. Predicting that a species unconstrained by economic or moral considerations could prove useful, they opened communications. 

Hoping to hyper-accelerate their industrial development, the Mechari presented the Chua with several instructive examples of simple Dominion technology. The Chua reciprocated by presenting their celestial benefactors with a gift-wrapped Bezgelorian tar-beetle. As per its natural defense mechanisms, the beetle promptly exploded when handled by its new owners, covering all dignitaries present in corrosive black ooze that required months of corrective drilling and acid-baths to remove. The Chua howled with laughter over this for days on end.

Efforts to galvanize Chua's advancement exceeded even the Mechari’s most optimistic projections. Their zeal for industry instantly propelled them into a state of near psychotic overdrive, and in under a century the Chua had replaced most of Bezgelor’s verdant forests with factories that covered the planet's surface like a scab. The once blue skies now seethed with cancerous ochre, its formerly tranquil pastures reduced to dustbowls of ash.

Although initially too enraptured with their own  productivity to see value in further discourse with the Mechari, by 538 AE the Chua joined the Dominion out of a need for base resources that their own ruined world was no longer capable of producing. For the last thousand years, they have created advanced weapons and technology for the empire. With the recent discovery of Nexus, the Chua look forward to exploiting the legendary planet's natural and technological resources, along with devising new and exciting ways to destroy their enemies.


Mechari
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Engineered by the Eldan themselves, the Mechari are a race of highly-efficient killing machines that make it their business to eliminate traitors and spies on Nexus. Sense of humor? Not one of their strong points.

Long ago, the Eldan on planet Nexus found themselves in need of a servant race that could communicate with the other races of the galaxy, and watch for developments in culture and technology that might be of interest to them. With this in mind, the Eldan created a race of sentient mechanical beings known as the Mechari.

These Mechari were sent out to observe the various inhabited planets in the galaxy, studying their individual strengths and weaknesses, and reporting the information back to Nexus. The Mechari always kept the intentions of their masters ambiguously vague - and indeed, the Mechari themselves were not aware of the true scope of the Eldan's machinations. As the centuries passed, the legend of the Eldan grew, and wild conjecture became well-worn tales about their origins, their technology, and the location of their secret homeworld.

During this time, the Mechari were instrumental in helping the humans of planet Cassus establish the Dominion, and presided over the coronation of the first Luminai emperor. Through a series of brilliantly executed maneuvers, the Mechari helped the Dominion to quickly expand, assimilating races like the Draken of planet Mikros. They also established the Imperial Corps of Intelligence to protect the empire from spies and traitors, and took it upon themselves to oversee its operations.

The discovery of Nexus was a momentous occasion for the Mechari, and they hoped to finally be reunited with their creators. But the Eldan were no longer there, their fate one of the galaxy's darkest and most enduring mysteries. Despite this disappointment, the Mechari continue their eternal vigil over the empire, ensuring its continued dominance on planet Nexus.


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Final Fantasy XIV / FFXIV: Eorzea Collection 2013
« on: July 15, 2013, 09:01:34 pm »
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Square is teasing Final Fantasy XIV fans with a quick look at some of the game's armor sets. A new video called Eorzea Collection 2013 was recently linked on the FFXIV Facebook page, and it's basically an Eorzean fashion show with the game's various outdoor environments subbing for the typical runway.

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Final Fantasy XIV / FFXIV : Phase 3, Week 5 Testing
« on: July 08, 2013, 01:31:45 pm »
Date/Time:
(PDT) July 10, 2013 (Wednesday), 2:00 a.m. to July 15 (Monday), 2:00 a.m.

(GMT) July 10, 2013 (Wednesday), 9:00 a.m. to July 15 (Monday), 9:00 a.m.

Source: http://forum.square-enix.com/ARR-Test/threads/77221-Beta-Test-Phase-3-Schedule-%2807-08-2013%29?p=934710#post934710

Yoshi-p will be playing with us.

Niconico Broadcast July 14th
The third FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn talk session with Hiroyuki Nishimura and Naoki Yoshida on Niconico will be streamed on Sunday, July 14th. The program will contain live gameplay footage on the beta servers, which may require us to impose login restrictions.

Should a login restriction be put in place, you may receive an error message upon attempting to log in stating the World is full. Should this message appear, please wait before trying to log in again.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding.

Beta test phase 3 will conclude on Monday, July 15th.
Character Data From Beta Test Phase 3

All character data will be deleted at the end of beta test phase 3. Although character data from Version 1.0 will also be deleted, data from the final save on October 31, 2012 will be transferred again at the beginning of beta test phase 4.

The Beta Test Phase 3 Client
The client for beta test phase 3 cannot be used for beta test phase 4 or official service. Please delete the client at the end of this beta test phase.

Character Appearance Data
Character appearance data saved during beta test phase 3 can be used when creating a character during beta test phase 4 and official service. Those who wish to use their appearance data should not delete the following folder:

Windows
My Documents -> My Games -> FINAL FANTASY XIV - A Realm Reborn (Beta Version)

PlayStation®3
(From "XMB") Game → Saved Data Utility (PS3TM)

Save data cannot be used after phase 4, and can safely be deleted.

Those who do not intend to use character appearance data from beta test phase 3 may delete this folder. However, windows users should please note this folder also contains screenshots. Please move any screenshots you wish to save to a separate location before deleting this folder.

Linking Square Enix Accounts to Sony Entertainment Network Accounts
Square Enix accounts linked to Sony Entertainment Network accounts during beta test phase 3 will be unlinked at the end of testing.

Beta Test Phase 4
Details on the beta test phase 4 schedule, testing scope, and client will be announced at a later time.

22
The Elder Scrolls Online / ESO Delayed till Spring 2014
« on: June 11, 2013, 12:40:33 am »
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Bethesda has announced that Elder Scrolls Online will be released for PlayStation 4 and the XBox One in addition to the previously announced PC and Mac versions. In addition, "spring 2014" is now the target release date, according to the announcement out of the Los Angeles E3 convention.

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“We are thrilled to bring this game to consoles, in addition to the PC and Mac,” said Matt Firor, game director of The Elder Scrolls Online. “It’s something our fans have been requesting since we first announced the title, and something our team is excited to offer. Everyone will be able to play The Elder Scrolls Online the way they want to play.”

Source: http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/821/view/news/read/27813/Elder-Scrolls-Online-Confirmed-for-NextGen-Consoles-Spring-2014-Release.html

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Guild Wars 2 - Isle of Janthir / Guild Wars 2: Dragon Bash Festival
« on: June 04, 2013, 11:55:58 am »
https://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/releases/june-11-2013/

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WildStar / WildStar - Path System
« on: May 22, 2013, 01:40:43 am »
http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/the-game/paths/

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What is the difference between a class and a path?
Picking a Class is choosing the way you like to fight. Are you a gunslinger, a squishy healer, or meatshield? Picking your Path is choosing your playstyle. Do you like to explore dangerous places, kill enemies, or study things? Make a choice, and we'll make sure you get lots of what you like.


Is there a difference between Path content and other kinds of content?
Path content is specially designed to support particular playstyles. Are you a lorehound? Sure, everyone gets to learn some lore in WildStar, but the Scientist really gets to dig in to the nitty-gritty. Maybe building and socializing is your bag? Then choose a Setter, and construct unique objects and buildings for your buddies on Nexus.


Do I get credit for joining in other players' path missions?
Yes. We call it "Crossing Paths", and you get rewards for doing it. So get out there and lend a helping hand!


How come I didn't get a beta invite?
Patience, people! We're easing into beta to make sure we do it right, but we're going to be opening it up to lots more people in the future. So stay tuned!


What happens if I skip Path quests and Path content?
Nothing. Path content is not required in order to level. That being said, you'll be missing out on some of the coolest content in the game. We wouldn't recommend it.


Why should I give a damn about Paths? Do I get stuff?
All kinds of stuff! As you level your Path throughout the game, you get special abilities, loot, costumes and cash. Sounds pretty awesome, right? It is.


Can I respec my Path?
Currently? No. Like your Class, your Path is a permanent and defining aspect of your character. But you can always roll an alt or two!


How did you come up with these Paths?
Have you heard of Bartle types? Our Paths are loosely based on those. But mainly we just looked at the ways players play MMOs, and designed cool content around them.


I like killing, exploring, lore and building! Why can't I do all of them?
You can and will! Standard quest content will contain little bits of all of them. Don't worry! We've got you covered.


Can I get a beta invite?
Did you say the magic word?

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Guild Wars 2: Last Stand at Southsun
May 28, 2013

https://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/releases/may-28-2013/



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The culprit behind the recent wildlife attacks on Southsun Cove has been revealed: the sylvari renegade Canach.

In a fatally misguided attempt to free the new settlers from exploitation by The Consortium, Canach has turned the creatures of the island into tools of destruction. Can you and Inspector Kiel of the Lionguard stop Canach’s plot before the shores of Southsun Cove run red with blood?

Hunt Down Canach
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Join Kiel for a mission to capture the deadly, desperate Canach! In this all-new story dungeon, you’ll enter Canach’s Lair on a subterranean solo mission under the island. If you defeat the elusive sylvari you’ll unlock a challenging all-new group adventure!

A Monstrous Threat
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Even if you manage to capture Canach, can you also foil his master plan? Defend the new settlers on Southsun Cove from a massive final onslaught of rampaging wildlife or die trying! And beginning June 5, a hulking monstrosity joins the fray—without your help, it will destroy the settlers and everything they’ve built!

New Improved World XP
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We’re improving the way we award World XP to World vs. World players! Now you’ll gain rewards for a much wider range of activities in the Mists – everything from destroying siege weapons, repairing walls, escort missions, and more.

Greater Variety and More Rewards in WvW
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We’re adding new WvW daily achievements to the list you can choose from so you can earn World XP for playing the way you want. And every time you gain a new World rank, you’ll earn a bonus chest packed with useful WvW loot!

Dangerous New WvW Abilities
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Become even deadlier in The Mists with new World vs. World abilities like Burning Oil Mastery or new ranks in Defense Against Guards!

Introducing Infusions and Ascended Gear in WvW
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Now you can purchase Ascended rings and amulets and upgrade your WvW abilities with six new Infusions that give your character special WvW bonuses! Just speak to the new Laurel and Badge Merchants on each map.

WvW Matchup Changes!
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World vs. World matches are about to get an injection of variety! With these changes you can look forward to facing new opponents in new matchups and testing your world’s skill against more foes!


Update: Custom PvP Arenas and Spectator Mode Beta
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We’ve had some great feedback from beta players that have enabled us to fix bugs and further improve these new features. We’re adding Custom Arena Time Tokens to the Gem Store so beta players can extend the time of their favorite custom arenas!

New Southsun Cove Rewards
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Find your very own limited-edition Mini Reef Rider – a loyal floating friend available only until June 11! Dedicated defenders of the Southsun settlers can also earn the Settler’s Amulet, Keepsake, and Ring! Earn these rare new rewards from creatures and chests in Southsun Cove, and by playing Crab Toss!

Exclusive Southsun Items: Fervid Censer and Sclerite Karka Shell
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The risks are great on Southsun Cove, but so are the rewards! Players who help keep the peace during the Secret of Southsun can earn two exclusive new back items, the floral Fervid Censer and the writhing Sclerite Karka Shell!

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ArenaNet is aware that we blew up their servers, here's some status updates.

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We'll keep you all posted as we're able. Right now we don't have an ETA. ~RB2
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If you missed our earlier tweet: We're aware of and working on the login issue. Don't worry, you're not suddenly a trial player. ~RB2
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Don't worry about the message upon disconnect–we did not suddenly convert everyone to free trial accounts!  ~RB2
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Not sure yet, we're negotiating with the hamsters in the server room. ~RB2

@GuildWars2 @minhxktran Have you tried yogurt treats yet?

We did, but we ate them ourselves. It did not seem to help.  ~RB2

27
General Discussion / Just because it's summer...
« on: May 09, 2013, 09:09:47 pm »

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WildStar / WildStar Wednesday: Beta Stress Test
« on: May 08, 2013, 07:58:35 pm »
http://www.wildstar-online.com/en/news/wildstar_wednesday_beta_stress_test.php

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My name is Craig Turner and I’m the Live Producer here on WildStar. A Live Producer's job isn’t often talked about publicly, but understanding what I do will help you understand why it is meaningful that I’m the one telling you about the upcoming Stress Test. So if you will allow me to be vain for a few moments and talk about what I do around these parts, I’ll get to the good bits after.

In trying to think of a way to concisely explain all of the various things I do (since some of it's really boring), I came up with the analogy of a Live Producer being a Flagman at a Race. In other words, I’m the guy precipitously leaning out over the race track waving various colored flags over cars speeding by at 200 mph. Actually, that analogy might work better than I originally planned.

Before the Green flag can come out there are lots of moving pieces that have to be in place. There has to be a place to race (server hardware), the track has to be cleared of debris (bug fixing), drivers and cars have to be on the track ready to go (new game features), everyone needs to know the rules so they aren’t playing bumper cars out there (patch notes are complete), and only when everything is in place and ready does the Green Flag come out (I open the servers to the players).

When there's a car accident on the track (server problem), I get to decide whether it should be a Yellow Flag or a Red Flag and how we are going to go about getting back to racing. This is where the analogy starts to breaks down, so I’ll move on from it. The point of this being, I’m the single point of contact for everything that involves our servers. Not because I know how to fix everything, but because I know all of the moving pieces, how they break, how much they can take, and who is best suited on our various teams to fix them.

One of the main responsibilities I have – I am getting to the point, hang with me a little bit longer – is making sure that you guys have the best experience possible playing the game when we open the doors. This means many things; from making sure that I don’t allow risky changes to be promoted, to making sure our QA team has caught as many bugs as possible, to waking up engineers in the middle of the night to get debug information as to why our worlds are lagging, to making sure we have the right amount of hardware to support the number of players we have in our game.

You see where I am going with this now, don’t you? We have an awesome QA team here working on WildStar, but if there is one thing they lack, it is the ability to clone themselves. One of the things that I need to know, as we eagerly barrel towards launch, is how many players one of our Realms can comfortably support at the same time. We have some educated guesses from the professionals on our team, but automated "bot" testing only gets us so far, and at some point I need to open the flood gates and purposefully break my servers to see how much punishment they can effectively take.


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That’s where you come in. It’s time to turn our poor little Beta Server into a clown car. We have been taking Beta Registrations for some time now, and we are going to be inviting a lot of people to come play WildStar for one weekend only in our first Stress Test.

Now before you get too excited about this, there was a reason Community wanted me to tell our fans about this test. As much as I want everyone to have a great time playing WildStar, this stress test is the one exception to the rule. This Stress Test is likely going to be rough. Going back to the clown car example; if a car usually seats 4 adults comfortably, I’m going to see if that thing can still drive with people hanging out of the windows and their faces pushed up against the glass.

Here’s the truth of why our first Stress Test may be rough: we don’t have a login queue yet. There are going to be more people that want to play our beta this weekend than our servers will be able to handle, and I’m going to be in my Live Operations Command Post (I really should request this, it sounds way cooler than ‘my office’) watching every statistic and data point, answering all of the phones, and figuring out HOW to make it playable for all of you. Through all that there is just going to come to a point that the server is going to buckle under the weight of everyone.

That’s what we want. I need to know what number we break at – so I can do everything in my power to avoid it in the future, including more/better hardware, adding login queues and population caps, etc.

There is a silver lining here though. If Community is going to make me give you the bad news, I’m going to spoil their good news. Everyone that gets an invite into the Stress Test and makes a good faith attempt to log into the game during the test will be guaranteed an invite into a future (much more stable) Closed Beta test as a thank you. I need your help in breaking the server, and we want to invite you back to play when I’m not trying to do mean things to the hardware. So help us break everything as many times as possible this weekend, and we'll make it up to you with a real beta invite in the future.

We're still determining which upcoming weekend will be best for the Stress Test, but we will make sure those who get invites get them a few days in advance. Why waste time patching when you could be helping us break things?

So if you want to be a part of this challenge, if you want to laugh at all the crazy things that are going to happen because our servers aren’t designed to handle all the people we are going to throw at it, if you want to be a part of a real MMO Stress Test, if you want to get a sneak peek at what we are building for you here with WildStar in spite of all of that, then I challenge you: come and break my servers.

Keep an eye on the website and our social media for more details about when this first Stress Test is happening, and I hope that even if you don’t get an invite into our Stress Test that you’ll sign up for Beta and join us later. Hopefully once I can resume my normal duties of waving that green flag. Also, Community team, I'm going to need you to get me a green flag.

So in summary, the below picture is what Carbine is asking us to do to their servers on whatever weekend they decide:

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Guild Wars 2 - Isle of Janthir / Meanwhile on Isle of Janthir...
« on: May 08, 2013, 02:08:28 pm »
Meanwhile on Isle of Janthir Small | Large

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Due to the volatility of Quaggan cuteness, I have put all Quaggan pictures in a spoiler tag in the hopes of preventing their cuteness from exploding this thread and the entire forum...

(Spoiler)































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