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Transparent seems to be the trend of gaming developers mid 2014 and it is exciting to see.

Trion Worlds is no exception to this rule as they bring us the next closed beta testing  announcement for next week including the “meat and bones” of any game testing with back-end and server load information.

During the first beta event weekend, it took players 18 minutes to fill servers and it was a load of fun enjoying watching everyone pile on the Eastern Continent Harani. In anticipation of the next event, here are some thoughts from the last beta event, alpha, and the current development stage of the game:

archeage beta 2 1

Closed Beta Traffic Flow
Leveling two Archers– one melee and one full ranged– all weekend to level 20 was a seamless process, even despite the transition from alpha to beta and the explosion of traffic that went along with that transition. Trion implemented an extra server on the NA and EU platforms quickly and swiftly. Tag quests like Clockwork Rebellion (Level 14ish – Tigerspine Mountain) were the only “difficulty” with so many players eager to conquer and complete everything they could during the test.

Patch 1.2 and Labor Points

Prepared for scarce resources and curious about Labor Point regeneration at these early levels, players were ready to test Patch 1.2 and craft up a storm. There was very little discrepancy that will get further tested as each closed beta event occurs and if Trion Worlds sticks to their usual pattern of listening to players it will be interesting to see how Labor Points will become a fun part of ArcheAge– not just a necessity.

Marketplace Mayhem

The Marketplace went into full effect with Patron rewards, bonuses, and items inside the Founder Packs becoming available. Playing alpha without the founder pack/Patron bonuses then taking this a step further and playing one character in closed beta with and without store items served as a reminder of how useful the bonus items will probably be. The mount and glider from level 1 are handy, but it’s also encouraging that everyone can get these items before level 10.

Being able to attain extra bag space is an absolute bonus for wardrobe and farming lovers so this was the only Marketplace query I personally sent to Trion developers to see if non-patrons would be able to gain extra bag space with in game currency.

archeage beta 2 2

archeage beta 2 3

With or without the cosmetic store gear, ArcheAge is stunning. Both the default gear and the glorious costumes are well-designed and set a perfect look for the game (two examples previewed above).

See you all in closed beta Event 2 10:00 AM PDT (GMT-7) on Wednesday, July 30 which runs through 10:00 AM PDT (GMT-7) on Monday, August 4.

The post ArcheAge Closed Beta Event 2 Announced appeared first on JunkiesNation.

I won’t lie. After a few reviews I’d read, I had written off Wii Sports Club, and not just because of the pricing situation. Several stated that the game requires more skill, which is good for gamers but bad for the people we might be trying to convert. Worse yet, for me personally. boxing, which had always been my favorite, has not received kind reviews. I’m one of the few fans of it though, so maybe that’s part of the problem. I’ve heard good things about baseball, but that never interested me too much.

However, with news of a currently available 48 hour trial care of Nintendo’s PR mailer, I figure it might at least be worth checking out. Maybe, since I lack a second motion controller for boxing, which I’m reading is required in place of the nunchuck. Dang. Full details after the break.

Online Multiplayer, Enhanced GamePad Controls and High-Def Graphics Among New Features in Wii U Game

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– It’s a full count. One more out will win you the game. Standing on the pitcher’s mound, you study the batter and aim for the outside corner. You take a deep breath and unleash the baseball toward home plate. The ball curves just as you planned. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the bat cracks and the ball soars into the air. You thrust your arms in the air, poised to catch the fly ball. Catch it and the game is over. You win. The ball falls closer and closer to your outstretched hands …

Wii Sports Club includes updated and reimagined versions of Tennis, Bowling, Golf, Baseball and Boxi ... Wii Sports Club includes updated and reimagined versions of Tennis, Bowling, Golf, Baseball and Boxing from the original Wii Sports game for Wii, with each sport using Wii MotionPlus technology and new GamePad features for enhanced control. (Photo: Business Wire)

While this sounds like an intense game of real-life baseball, it is actually the experience anyone can have using the GamePad controller in Wii Sports Club, which arrives in stores on July 25. The Wii Ugame includes updated and reimagined versions of Tennis, Bowling, Golf, Baseball and Boxing from the original Wii Sports game for Wii, with each sport using Wii MotionPlus technology and new GamePad features for enhanced control.

The implementation of the Wii U GamePad controller brings some surprising and fun features toWii Sports Club. In Baseball, for example, the pitcher aims a fastball, curveball, screwball or splitter by simply moving the GamePad around in real space and pressing a button to throw. If the ball gets hit in the air, players use the GamePad to follow and catch the fly ball – just like they would with a baseball glove. In Golf, players place the GamePad on the floor to see the ball they are about to hit on the screen of the GamePad. It will appear on the same surface shown in the game – on the fairway, in a sand trap or in the rough. After players swing their Wii Remote Plus controllers like a real golf club, the ball will “fly” from the GamePad screen to the main TV screen and toward the virtual pin. The added GamePad features elicit the same “You have to try this!” reactions generated after playing the original Wii Sports game.

“With so many features packed into Wii Sports Club, players of all ages will feel like they are playing the game for the first time,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Wii Sports Club is the definitive version of Wii Sports and the perfect showcase for the unique game-play experiences enabled by the Wii U GamePad controller.”

In a new online multiplayer mode, gamers from the same region who own the game and have a broadband Internet connection can play Wii Sports Club together. Players also can join a club to represent their regions and build online communities with fellow club members by sending tips, pep talks and other messages via Miiverse.

The retail version of Wii Sports Club launches in stores on July 25 at a suggested retail price of $39.99. The digital versions of all five sports are now available and can be purchased in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U. A 48-hour free trial of all five sports is also available in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U until Dec. 31.

For more information about Wii Sports Club, visit  http://wiisportsclub.nintendo.com.

The post Physical Copy of Wii Sports Club Releases July 25, Free Trial appeared first on JunkiesNation.

Hearthstone‘s first new set of cards came out on July 22 bringing with it 30 new cards, though bosses get their own new cards as well that aren’t available to players. Based on World of Warcraft‘s Naxxramus raid, the game added “solo adventures” for players to play against AI bosses in order to earn new cards through different challenges. Within hours there were several guides to understanding and beating the first wing of five (the first one is free for now, so pop into the game to claim it!). I even found one that talked about clearing the heroic version of the final boss!

You may notice a bit of a pattern: most people are suggesting players use “zoo”  or “aggro” decks, which are decks that focus on cheap, hard hitting creatures and ignoring your enemy’s minions when possible to burst your enemy down as fast as possible. Why is that? Well, if it wasn’t obvious from the unique boss cards, the boss powers are also incredibly broken. Were these not theme decks limited to the AI, the game would quickly become imbalanced. Just the same, these powers have a few weaknesses, but the best way to avoid them and the overpowered cards is to end the match as swiftly as possible.

However, if you’re here on Junkies Nation, you’re not just here for guides (I hope), but for experiences.< more-> I&#8217;ve played a few Trading Card Games (TCGs), but I&#8217;m no pro. I&#8217;m probably about average, especially considering that I play a lot of different games in addition to having a day job and a few side jobs. To be frank, I&#8217;ve got some decent knowledge, but execution is always the key, and when you&#8217;re firing off an off-hours work email while trying to decimate your opponent in the arena, things can get complicated. So, without further excuses, here&#8217;s what I experienced when I first started up Naxxramas.

The very first thing I noticed was that &#8220;Solo Adventures&#8221; replaced the &#8220;Practice Mode&#8221; button. We&#8217;ve started out with Naxxramas, and I&#8217;m sure there&#8217;ll be more dungeons in the future. We only have Normal mode unlocked, but there are challenges with prebuilt decks you can unlock when you beat normal mode (which unlocks class specific cards), plus you can also do Heroic mode. There are 3 bosses to tackle and&#8230; well, to be blunt, I did Naxx in WoW when it was released in Vanilla WoW, then jumped in when it was rerelased in Wrath of the Lich King. The bosses are too familiar to me, so I wasn&#8217;t excited about the theme, but the idea of new cards is a strong one.

The first boss, Anub&#8217;Rekhan, summons a 3/1 bug as his hero power. The deck is aggressive with lots of board clearing. Watch for Locust Swarm, his personal unique card that deals 3 damage to all your minions while giving him 3 life. The deck feels almost like the warlock deck, and even has some lock cards, so there is certainly the desire to burn him down quickly. The AI on normal mode doesn&#8217;t always play the smartest, but it&#8217;s still tough.

Decks that I can usually win with against players (which tend to run a strong mid or late game while defending against the very popular zoo/aggro decks) just can&#8217;t keep up with the aggressive nature of Anub&#8217;s deck, though my druid deck was able to win, most likely due to its mix of control and larger creatures for mid game. As a quick heads up, Anub&#8217;s Ambusher&#8216;s deathrattle doesn&#8217;t kick in if you clear the board and another deathrattle summons something, much like if you wipe the board against a Cult Master.

Around 3pm PST, the game got super laggy. It was playable, but turns were minutes longer than needed. Never thought such an issue would happen with the single player aspect of the game. Luckily, I was able to restart the game whenever this happened to make the issue go away.

The next boss, Faerlina, deals damage randomly for each card in your hand as her power. It&#8217;s painful, but while other people complained about her, I dropped her easily the first time, without getting an awesome draw, with an enrage warrior deck (no legendaries). Cheap spells and mobs, hard hitting creatures, and focusing on mostly killing her while keeping a low hand lead to my success, and warrior decks are pretty good at that (though usually it&#8217;s why they&#8217;re painful once you leave the early game behind).

Maexxna being able to send back one of my creatures at random kind of sucked, but again, using my enrage warrior deck won the day, plus a legendary. The normal setting wasn&#8217;t too difficult, and was reasonably fun, all things considered. The new powers are fun to consider, but sadly, on normal mode, it usually just comes down to bursting through, which tends to be the most successful strategy in the game, period. At least the humor during this fight was a bit better, but let&#8217;s be honest: Most of Blizzard&#8217;s humor tends to rely on either poop jokes, references to their other games, or pop culture references, all of which I enjoy from time to time (including today), but it&#8217;s not something that keeps bringing me back.

Given the options for my next step, I decided to try out the class challenges. I went with the rogue first, and I must say that it was quite easy. Naturally you&#8217;ll want to mulligan (trade cards at the start of the game for a new hand) for low cost creatures, especially aiming for the Defias Ringleader, but overall, the match should feel familiar to what you naturally do as a rogue. One thing, though, is to save your Big Game Hunters for when the Sea Giants appear. The druid challenge felt even easier since, even ignoring the combos with Stoneskin Gargoyle, the challenge wasn&#8217;t much of a challenge. I suppose getting new cards is fun, but if this is something that&#8217;s supposed to tide me over for a week, it&#8217;s a bit disappointing. At the same time though, these matches don&#8217;t count towards my daily quests, so perhaps that&#8217;s why they&#8217;re not very challenging.

Lastly, there were the heroics. To note, there&#8217;s no current reward for clearing the heroic mode aside from bragging rights, though I&#8217;ve heard that once you clear all of them, there will be a special card back. That&#8217;s fine, since I feel like &#8220;having&#8221; to purchase the wings to have access to the cards in constructed kind of sucks (we already have the random factor to deal with?v=14841" align="absmiddle" class="wiki-markup image-absmiddle" border="0" />), and it does give each wing a bit more replay value because it’s harder to steamroll through. For example, the bosses’ abilities change in heroic mode plus they get more health. They’re still able to be beaten, even when they may screw up your deck’s theme pretty badly (OBLIVION!), but it’s certainly more difficult than the normal mode.

It should be noted though, that by this point, I realized you will never see the coin in Naxxramus. The game is set up to never allow it. Also, as others have noted, Maexxna on heroic is quite difficult, but doesn’t feel impossible, even though it is quite cheaty (starts with 2 creatures plus it’s power send back two of your creatures at random per turn). The AI, however, is incredibly dumb, always sending your creatures back even if they have good battlecries, and generally attacks with its strongest creature first. It’s predictable, which is why you can figure out how to make a deck to beat it or just borrow one.

In general though, the first wing and general concept aren’t fun enough. It’s entertaining, yes, but a TCG that asks me to play against the computer? It just doesn’t feel right in this day and age for a single player experience coming from a game known primarily for its multiplayer component. I can see how a mid level player with some decent cards might be more motivated to play it, in that the normal mode and class challenges might be challenging (I’m still viewing heroics as bragging rights), but just the same, I’d think they’d be playing mostly for the cards and not so much to train their actual skills.

The game’s initial training mode was good enough for that, and the heroic versions of the classes never added anything to me except for a way of getting some gold. If you feel done with Hearthstone, I don’t think these single player adventures will bring you back, but if you were still active and feeling that the game was getting dull, the new cards, at the least, should bring in some excitement.

The post Hearthstone’s Naxxramus: Arachnid Wing Review appeared first on JunkiesNation.

Darius, Ahri, Graves, Leona, Nautilus, Rengar, Katarina, Jax, and a few other LoL champions go head to head like never seen before in Riot’s latest cinematic called “A New Dawn” which was released yesterday. Much in the vein of “A Twist of Fate”, “A New Dawn” showcases some awesome champ abilities and even an ultimate or two in 1 vs. 1 fights. With an added twist, the champions get involved in a bit of team fight action this time. Here’s a spoiler: Nautilus, Leona, and Graves are kind of awesome.

Riot also released a behind-the-scenes video that goes into the magic behind the making of “A New Dawn”. This video can be viewed here.

League of Legends movie, anyone? Come on, Riot. You know you want to.

The post Riot Showcases Cinematic Team Fight in New League of Legends Video appeared first on JunkiesNation.

With the help of the community and the RIFT team members, one of the favorite souls known as the Stormcaller is back and more powerful than ever. Wielding the powers of Air and Water, the Stormcaller has seen a consolidation of numerous abilities and quite altered mechanics to create not only a faster, but a more frenzied and streamlined soul while still boosting the synergies with the other souls of the Mage class. Below you will find all the upcoming changes to the Stormcaller soul, straight from the RIFT team themselves which you can find them officially here.

Arbiter Changes:

  • Deadly Shards is now in tier 8 of the Arbiter soul tree.
  • Protection of Wind is now in tier 6 of the Arbiter soul tree.

Soul Presets – The following  presets have been updated to reflect the updated Stormcaller soul:

  • Arcanist
  • Stormbringer

Below are several of the important mechanics changed to the Stormcaller soul:

  •  Hypothermia has been removed entirely from all parts of the soul.
  • Electrified stacks are now applied to the caster instead of enemies.
  • In general, Air abilities will build charge while Water abilities will consume it.

The following Stormcaller abilities were removed:

  • Electrocute
  • Cloudburst
  • Thunderbolt
  • Static Barrier
  • Static Discharge
  • Storm Gaurd
  • Pouring Rain
  • Lightning Burst
  • Arctic Blast
  • Static Nova
  • Ice Shear
  • Electric Charge
  • Storm Surge

Soul Tree

Tier 1

  • Storm Energy (5 points) – Increases your Spell Power by 2/4/6/8 /10%
  • Lightning Rod (1 Points) – Reduces the pushback by damagin attacks while casting Area Effect abilities by 100%
  • High Voltage (4 Points) – Increases damage done by 1/2/3/4%

Tier 2

  • Charged Atmosphere (3 Points) – Damagin Air abilities that do not consume Electrified stacks have a 33/66/100% change to generate an additional stack of Electrified when cast.
  • Living Storm (1 Point) – Deals Air damage over 10s up to 8 enemies within 7m of the initial target. Can only affect 1  enemy, Instant.
  • Cyclogenesis (5 Points) – Increases the Critical Hit chance of your abilities by 1/2/3/4/5%

Tier 3

  • Conductive Medium (2 Points) – Casting a Charge consuming ability applies a stack of Conductive Medium to you, increasing your damage by 1/2% per stack. Max 5 stacks. Lasts 15s.
  • Vengeful Storm (3 Points, Requires Living Storm) – Living Storm has a 33/66/100% chance to reapply itself to another enemy within 10m if its current target dies.
  • Voltaic Strength (6 Points) – Electrified Stacks increase your single target Air and Water damage by 1/2/3/4/5/6% per stack.
  • Hailstorm (1 Point) –Deal Water damage over 10s to up to 8 enemies within the targeted area. Snares enemies hit, reducing their movement speed by 30% for up to 10s. Can only have 1 instance of Hailstorm active at a time. Cost: 25 Charge. 15s cooldown. 2.5s cast time.

Tier 4

  • Supercell – (5 Points) Increases the damage of your Air and Water abilities by 2/4/6/8/10%.
  • Relentless Hail (1 Point, Requires Hailstorm) – Reduces the cast time of Hailstorm to 0.

Tier 5

  • Spontaneous Charge (2 Points, Requires Conductive Medium) – While out of combat, you gain a stack of Conductive Medium every 4/2s.
  • Perfect Conditions (3 Points) – Reduces the mana cost of your Area Effect abilities by 10/20/30%.
  • Lightning Storm (1 Point) – Channels Air damage over 4s on up to 8 enemies within 7m of the initial target. Generates a stack of Electrified and 6 Charge each second.

Tier 6

  • Recharge (2 Points) – Electrified consuming abilities generate an additional 3/6 Charge for each stack of Electrified they consume.
  • Endless Storm (3 Points, Requires Vengeful Storm) – Damage from Electrified generating abilities have a 33/66/100% chance to refresh Living Storm.
  • Lightning Field (1 Point) – Deals Air damage to up to 2 enemies within 7m of the initial target. Each stack of Electrified consumed, beyond the first, increases the number of enemies hit by 2. Instant.

Tier 7

  • Self Sustaining (3 Points) – Electrified consuming abilities reduce Stormcaller cooldowns by 1/2/3s for each stack of Electrified they consume.
  • Charged Field (1 Point, Requires Lightning Field) – Causes each enemy hit by your Lightning Field to chain damage to up to 3 enemies within 10m.
  • Lightning Barrage (1 Point, Requires Lightning Storm) – Lightning Storm can be cast while moving.

Tier 8

  • Unstable Atmosphere (3 Points) – Increases the effect of Spell Power on your Air and Water abilities by 3/6/9%
  • Supercharge (2 Points) – Increases the maximum stack size of your Electrified by 1/ 2.
  • Colliding Storms (1 Point) – Raging Storm now procs Forked Lightning every 2s.

Tier 9

  • Lightning Arc (1 Point) – Chains lightning to up to 10 enemies, dealing air damage to up to 5 enemies near each enemy hit by the chain. Generates a stack of Electrified on the Mage for each enemy hit by the chain. 1 min cooldown. 1.5s cast time.

Root – Point numbers here represent the number of points needed in the soul to unlock each ability.

  • Raging Storm (0 Points) – Channels Air damage on the enemy over 4s. Generates a stack of Electrified and 5 Charge each second. 15s cooldown.
  • Forked Lightning (0 Points) – Deals Air damage to up to 8 enemies within 7m of the target. Generates a stack of Electrified on the Mage. 1.5s cast time.
  • Icicle (2 Points) – Deals Water damage. Snares the enemy, reducing their movement speed by 30% for 6s. Cost: 15 Charge. 10s cooldown. 1.5s cast time.
  • Thunder Shock (4 Points) – Deals Air damage. Damage is increased by 15% per stack of Electrified on the Mage. Counts as a Primary Bolt. Instant.
  • Ride the Wind (10 Points) – Increases movement speed by 50% for 10s. Removes all control and movement impairing effects. Cost: 30 Charge. 20s cooldown. Instant. Is not affected by the global cooldown.
  • Wind Chill (16 Points) – Knocks back up to 5 enemies in front of the Mage. Snares affected enemies, reducing their movement speed by 30% for up to 10s. 30s cooldown. Instant. Is not affected by the global cooldown.
  • Static Flux (20 Points) – Increases damage done by 10% for 15s. Applies the Mage’s maximum number of Electrified stacks. Cost: 30 Charge. 15s cooldown. Instant. Is not affected by the global cooldown.
  • Gathering Storm (24 Points) – Restores 5% mana per second. Channeled.
  • Storm Armor (30 Points) – Reduces damage taken by 5%. Increases single target Air and Water damage by 20%. Knocks back attackers. Can occur up to once every 5s. Causes gaining a stack of Electrified to reduce the cooldown of Icicle by 1s. Increases damage of Forked Lightning by 150%, reduces the number of targets hit by Forked Lightning to 1. Lasts 1h. Counts as a Mage Armor. Shares a 5s cooldown with Tempest Armor. Instant. Is not affected by the global cooldown.
  • Cyclone (35 Points) – Pulls up to 8 enemies to the target’s location. Interrupts and removes 1 buff from affected enemies. Counts as an area effect ability. 2 min cooldown. Instant.
  • Storm Locus (40 Points) – Curses the enemy, applying a debuff to up to 8 enemies within 7m increasing damage they receive from the Mage by 20%. This damage amount is reduced by 2% for each enemy affected beyond the first. Reapplies itself to another enemy within 10m if the initial target dies. Lasts 60s. Does not generate threat. Can only affect 1 enemy. Instant.
  • Icy Vortex (45 Points) – Reduces damage taken by 25%. When hit, snares the attacker, reducing their movement speed by 20%, for up to 10s. Lasts 10s. 1 min cooldown. Instant. Is not affected by the global cooldown.
  • Eye of the Storm (51 Points) – Deals Water damage over 10s to up to 8 enemies in the target area. Snares enemies hit, reducing their movement speed by 30%, for up to 10s. Can only have 1 instance of Eye of the Storm active at a time. Cost: 50 Charge. 30s cooldown. Instant.
  • Tempest Armor (55 Points) – Causes Living Storm to deal additional Air damage to up to 8 enemies within 7m each time the Mage gains a stack of Electrified. Lasts 1h. Counts as a Mage Armor. Shares a 5s cooldown with Storm Armor. Instant. Is not affected by the global cooldown.
  • Perfect Storm (61 Points) – Casts Eye of the Storm and Hailstorm at the enemy’s location and channels Lightning Storm on the enemy. Does not trigger cooldowns of these abilities. 2 min cooldown. Cost: 50 Charge.


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Grab your bat-phone, bat-wallet, and jump in your Batmobile on Wednesday, July 23rd, since DC Entertainment has declared the day to be Batman Day! The event in in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #23. To celebrate, participating comic book retailers will provide a free, special edition re-print of that book. DC is also providing other collectibles, such as book marks, capes, and four Batman masks.


If you can’t make it your local comic book store, Detective Comics #23 will be available for free download on www.readdcentertainment.com, comiXology, and all other digital platforms.

The post DC Comics Announces Batman Day on 7/23 appeared first on JunkiesNation.

SDCC is infamous. It has the biggest TV shows, movies, and comic publishers. But it’s not just where all the stars go–it’s where all the toy companies will be, too. Collectibles are a big part of being a nerd, whether you’re talking about $10 action figures or $1000 replicas. Rarity is what makes a collectible really valuable, and everyone wants to get their hands on exclusives from the biggest convention in the country.

So here’s our list of the top five exclusives you need to get your hands on at SDCC! Some of these are bigger catches than others, and some will definitely be more elusive (or more expensive). Still, they’re all worth a look! We’ve kept to one exclusive per booth and one exclusive per title, so be sure to check out the exclusives list on the SDCC website, as well as other social media platforms.



1. Entertainment Earth’s Game of Thrones Dragon Eggs replica

This set of dragon eggs has been shrunk down quite a bit, but it’s still a gorgeous piece. It also has a limited run of 500, which means you need to get there early if you want any hope of getting your hands on potential baby dragons.


2. Funko’s Slimed Venkman and Metallic Slimer

Funko’s immortalized (well, plasticized) one of the biggest moments in one of the biggest movies ever. This is a special 30th anniversary set and, with the love that Ghostbusters always receives, may be difficult to get.


3. Symbiote Studios Excalibur Warframe

I’m going to go ahead and admit my bias here–I love Warframe. I also think that the statue looks completely gorgeous and good quality. There may not be a huge demand for this (yet–Warframe is still in beta), but it’s definitely a great piece for any fan of PC gaming.


4. Capcom’s Mega Man Helmet Replica

It’s shiny. It lights up. It’s also a great prize for fans of classic games. However, it may be just as hard to get as the dragon eggs–if not even harder. Capcom didn’t announce how many pieces they have, but their 25th Anniversary Mega Man statue disappeared really quickly last year.


5. Diamond Select’s Battle-Damaged USS Excelsior Ship

“Battle-damaged” items are a big thing for exclusives, since it’s fairly easy to create at a low cost–but this is pretty sweet. It lights up, and it has dialogue from George Takei/Captain Sulu! This may not go fast, but it’s definitely worth adding to your collection.


Did we miss your favorite exclusive? What are you going to be in line–or scouring eBay–to get? Let us know in the comments!

The post Top Five Exclusives to Grab at SDCC appeared first on JunkiesNation.

Despite still being in its first year of launch, Elder Scrolls Online has already seen its share of rough times. How large that share actually is will depend on who you ask, of course. According to recent information from Superdata, ESO has over 770,000 subscribers as of June which is a fairly impressive number given some of the comments seen in MMORPG communities about the game’s comparative success, but there’s also the fact that console/PC gamers– and not just MMO fans– love Elder Scrolls.

The rough times in question primarily have to do with ESO‘s endgame content. Veteran content as it’s called is currently wrapped in veteran ranks that are obtained by either grinding out content that was unexplored by leveling your particular faction to level 50 or by tagging alongside a few friends in Craglorn.

The main issues with veteran content have to do with both the content’s “grind” factor as well as the major lack of character progression obtained while gaining veteran points/ranks. The ranks don’t offer much in the way of rewards. The original leveling experience from 1-50 offers a whole lot more comparatively which leaves a large chunk of endgame ESO players feeling as though veteran content is a way of artificially extending the life of the game and little more.

Luckily, Bethesda seems to have taken notice of those feelings. During this year’s Quakecon which was held late last week, ESO‘s development team spent a great deal of time touching on various updates and plans in the works for the future of Elder Scrolls Online– including their plans for nuking veteran points and giving players more in the way of actual veteran progression and rewards.

Here’s what we’ll see as far as endgame content adjustments:

  • Veteran points will be disappearing. Instead we’ll see regular EXP again which will reward veteran ranks.
  • This means we’ll get rested EXP in veteran content.
  • As we gain EXP past level 50 this will unlock a new passive skill system called a Champion system. This is account-wide much in the vein of Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s Legacy system or RIFT‘s Planar Attunement system.
  • Champion skills will all be passive and allow players to gain additional base damage from weapons, extra Stamina regeneration, elemental resist/bonus damage, and other similar bonuses. There will be various “paths” based on each of the constellations (The Tower, The Mage, etc.).
  • At certain numbers of points placed into a given path/constellation, we’ll gain additional passive/active unlocks. Examples: Extra gold from chests, extra chance of success when unlocking chests, damage reflect when blocking, and an on-use damage reflect upon blocking.
  • Each character on an account will be able to place their Champion points independently.
  • Endgame gear will no longer be restricted by veteran ranks. New gear will be added in “seasons”. Similar to tier systems, players will be able to obtain a current season’s gear fairly rarely while older seasons of gear will be easier to obtain.

eso imperial city

There was also a whole bunch of other cool reveals during Quakecon. Here’s a quick recap of what’s being added:

  • New Imperial City PvP zone that’s unlocked by Cyrodil ownership. Combines daily quests, PvE mini-bosses, and player killing. Areas can be competed for.
  • Grouping improvements including phasing improvements, quest objective sharing, group leader sync, and group quest tracking.
  • New veteran dungeon coming in Update 5: City of Ash.
  • Dungeons will scale to group leader (including when you enter solo). This includes enemies, EXP, items, and gold.
  • New daily dungeon quests and rewards surrounding the Undaunted. Rewards including new passives and new armor sets.
  • New Craglorn content including improved itemziation, new crafting trait, and new 12-man trial focusing on the Serpent.
  • New Dragonstar Arena (located in Craglorn – video below) that includes 4-player trials that are progressively more difficult and timed. These have two modes (normal and veteran), leaderboards, and resurrection restrictions.

  • Improved facial animations on character models.
  • New justice system that will let you steal items from crates, etc. (instead of just taking them like you currently do). In order to steal, you must be hidden. If caught by a guard you can pay a bounty or run which causes guards to chase you. NPC guards can be killed.
  • This system also allows players to act as guards and actively hunt down players with bounties. Yes, this a world PvP type of system that seems extremely optional.
  • New Spellcrafting system that might be part of the Mages Guild. Will allow players to combine spell effects to create new spell effects. Uses a lockpicking-like system involving stone tablets of varying qualities and charcoal. Will involve exploring and discovering magical doorways.
  • Improved combat responsiveness.
  • New weapon and armor models.
  • New swampland adventure zone called Murkmire which is similar to Craglorn. Argonian-focused. Has more 12-man trials.
  • New solo PvE zone called Wrothgar.

There was also a brief Q&A session. Here are some highlights:

  • Werewolves will be rebalanced.
  • A babershop-type system is being added at some point, but the team is trying to figure out how to add it so it best fits for RP purposes.
  • We might see a dueling feature when the justice system is added. This one’s complicated to add.
  • We may eventually see more mini-games like horse racing, a better fishing system, etc.
  • They’re looking to improve Stamina builds by boosting weapon damage and adjusting spell/weapon crit.
  • We’ll likely see guild traders and other RP additions in the future.
  • Respec costs we be reduced at the start of a new update by a large amount (for a week) as well as reduced overall. Morph respec costs will also be reduced across the board.

Overall, these updates and reveals seem pretty impressive.
Special thanks to Dulfy.

The post The Road Ahead for Elder Scrolls Online appeared first on JunkiesNation.

It’s a funny feeling when you think you’ve “beaten” an MMO. I mean, technically, an MMO doesn’t end until it’s canceled, and you don’t get any special end credits or cut scenes for it. “Beating” an MMO, for me means I accomplished a goal that I feel has to be done, and nothing after that will be nearly as fun or fulfilling as that experience. World firsts on difficult content? That’s a start. Beating the best alliance on a PvP server? That’s pretty good. Jump starting the weakest faction and helping them become the dominant force in a theme-park MMO where “PvP is dead” and “No one cares about PvP”? Yeah, that’s pretty good. As you can see, I’m more PvP oriented, which is why I’ve been experimenting more with survival MMOs and games.

Before jumping into blank">Beasts of Prey, Rust was my drug of choice, and truthfully, I wasn’t fully satisfied with it. I haven’t touched a lot of the games in the genre because they’re all saying they’re in alpha, but asking for my money. I don’t like that. See, to me, once you let people buy into your game and take their money, they become a customer, not a tester. I don’t pay money to sample potentially defective cars or chocolates, so why should I pay for a defective game? If you’re selling the game, that’s your launch, like so many free to play games. Yes, you can make changes later, but that’s an update. Unless something other than money allowed me to try the game, the exchange of currency makes the creator responsible for their game and my opinion of it. While it may change, I’ll simply judge the game like I would any MMO: by what I’m experiencing. This is why a certain Z-survivor game won’t be mentioned much; I’ve heard what the game has to offer now, about a year since it allowed people to buy it, and it seems underwhelming for the price. Rust was the one game that had the most features active that I felt were interesting and worth my limited time and money.

So, what do I expect from the genre? Something akin to The Walking Dead. The world’s gone to hell, I can’t trust anyone, but I won’t make it alone. There are other enemies that make life hell, but my fellow player can make it much worse, and I have to become friend or foe with them. There’s little room for neutral ground unless it’s a brief passing. However, from what I experienced in Rust, the genre currently is more about FPS friends coming together and splattering other people until a bigger group of (e-)friends stomps them and burns their home to the ground.

Oh, yeah, that’s the other thing I expect: world building! I expect to kill or be killed by other players over control and ownership of supplies and or territory. I need both, and I need a reason to not just kill in this world, but to want to live. I can kill people in World of Warcraft all day long if I want, but there’s no fun in that for me. I want to build a community, go to war, make enemies friends and take part in daring escapes. For me, the problem with Rust was that the killing part was done well enough, but not the living. No one I talked to wanted to, you know, be human. It was almost always kill or be killed. The very few friendly people I met did their good deed for the day and left. The not so friendly? Just murderers. I’ve played hardcore PvP games before and could turn the angriest 13 year old into an ally, but even with voice chat, it feels like people view their neighbors almost like nightmare-mode mobs just there to be killed or screw you at the wrong moment if left alive.

So, how did Beasts of Prey do? My first moments in game felt very Rust like. I hit rocks and trees to get materials, but on the unmodded server, it felt faster. While lumber and ore fell to the ground and was at the mercy of the physics engine, I moved from shack to home ownership in barely any time. Part of this may have been because, well, I didn’t drop anything on death. The game disabled this. The game also lacked a hunger meter, rest meter, solo mobs (more on that later), and durability. Death felt less punishing than what I’d expect from WoW. That sounds pretty bad, and it is, except for a few things. For one, going from “hitting people with a rock” to “I’ve got a pistol!” felt faster than Rust without being too easy. You’ll need either your own base or access to one, and this is where BoP mixes things up: coordinates. Yeah, making maps and measuring distances and locations according to rock formations and landmarks sounds cool, but without a map or in-game time to orient you, meeting up with friends (or the rare friendly stranger) becomes an epic quest of it’s own, and if either of you die, that quest becomes even harder. I applaud the people who play together and found each other in these harsh worlds, but here’s the thing: once you build a base and start being a jerk, we’ll know where live.

That sounds small and vaguely like a threat, and but let me tease something out of that. In Rust, when the new kids chased me and the neighbors out of the neighborhood, there wasn’t a good way to organize ourselves. Though strangers, like in my first MMOs, I know we can work together to take people out. However, if we can’t even meet up, it’s not going to happen, and it never did. You need to be able to communicate exactly where to go and how to prepare for things. While the game’s chat deletes text and doesn’t let you scroll up, at the very least, coordinates give you a way to meet up and start to fix that issue. Being able to meet and to know where an enemy is is just what you need to start a good gangwar with your fellow soloers. If the game had allowed for items to drop on death, I’d certainly have had a lot more fun getting revenge on the two guys that didn’t even want to respond to my “hellos” or talk about the game. Without it, the game felt like a theme-park MMO, and there was a raid boss I had to kill: a T-Rex.

While I was exploring the game, I naturally was searching for dinosaurs, especially for a solo player to kill. I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to kill the tyrant lizard lords on my own with a gun without explosives or some big perch and glitching. I’d run into one, tried to stab and, it was swiftly killed. The same happened with the other giant dinos I was able to find. I say “able to find” because, honestly, they were rare. I’d go 15 or 20 minutes without finding one, sometimes longer. Yes, there’s only one official server (which I was playing on), but playing late at night on a weeknight meant I had very little competition. I explored ruined bases, broke into others, and used supplies that weren’t exactly mine to build a gun and some ammo to take something out. I checked online to make sure it could be done, and read it would only take a single clip of ammo to kill the hardest dinos. With gun in hand, I found some cool things with the physics, like rocks breaking apart for easier mining. Dead bodies moved, logs rolled down hill, dinos were (mostly) solid objects, and an old mountain climbing bug from the old MMO days was present in the game.

I found out that the game had tides that actually changed the water level. Sound was important because that’s how I’d track where people or dinos were. Building was swift, and I could make cool things like oil rigs, towers with lights, and I’d heard that you could find plans for cars off dinos. It was just hard to find the dinosaurs.

Now, I think my Rex kill played out in a way that shouldn’t happen once the game is complete. I was terrible. I was scared. I wasn’t well hidden, nor near my home. The T-Rex I killed was brightly colored; as if being as big as a tower wasn’t bad enough, the color even in the dark should have attracted murders to me from miles around. The gun I used was super loud, and the single clip of ammo I used wasn’t enough to kill it, so I was running around with this roaring beast trying to eat me did not exactly scream “stealthy actions.” If this were Rust and just a bear, someone would have found and killed me. If anyone saw me during that fight, they probably thought I was going to die, and since I wouldn’t leave anything behind, just moved along. I prevailed though, barely alive and far from home. Again, if death mattered, someone could have come up and killed me and taken my hard earned loot for their own. Since it didn’t, I was free to play with the body and see how it interacted with the terrain (it slipped down the hill a bit when I whacked it with an axe!).  And then… boredom. I looked through my crafting options, thought about killing some more dinos, some different dinos, but the idea of wandering around and killing more of the hardest mobs in the game for no reason (since the game is frequently wiped) didn’t appeal to me at all. This was it, and it felt like the end of my time in the game. If not for this article, I would have just told people not to buy the game and move along because, as I mentioned, I only normally look at games for what they currently offer, not what they might one day add in.

However, I did decide to try the game once again after a few days of “beating it.” There had to be more, buy maybe I had to try a non-official server. The problem was that many of these servers just seemed like more of the same, and didn’t seem nearly as populated as the official one. I did find one with more dinos, including “solo” ones, but they were often bugging in the water. If I waited for these solo mobs to come out, they’d run back in when on low health. Keep in mind that the dinosaurs don’t drown but you do. It’s quite frustrating.


The other issue is that… well, they’re not official. The server I played on had very few rocks to hit, so building was supremely difficult, even when no one was on. I searched high and low for supplies and even waited an in-game day. The land was dry. Thinking it was done this way to encourage PvP, I tried to break down someone’s door but after about ten minutes of whacking away at it, I assumed they had made the doors unbreakable. This all was confusing since after several hours, I barely had the resources for three walls, where as on the official servers, I was swimming in stone. This particular server, while not very populated, also had a lot of objects that used a lot of stone, all in areas where I hadn’t seen stone spawning. Just to check I hopped back on the official server. Yup, stone was easy to find, I could chop down doors in under ten minutes, and no, dinosaurs weren’t common. Someone messed with the controls and most likely had fixed the server so it would mainly be someplace their friends could log in, be powerful, and stomp on strangers. Thanks but no thanks.

While I still feel the game’s building options and PvE are better than Rust, the game just isn’t a survival game yet in my opinion. Without meaningful PvP or even the need to eat, it’s more like an FPS sandbox with dinosaurs. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it wasn’t what I thought I was purchasing. Anyone who wants to try a survival game that’s multiplayer without meaningful PvP could really enjoy BoP. I know the game is in  “alpha,” but when you sell a product and don’t have criteria on who can and can’t test your product (because if it’s alpha or beta, we should be testing), you’ve pretty much made a de facto launch. If a person’s willing to put up with promises of “soon,” that’s fine, but developers can’t dismiss the fact that they can actually generate anti-hype by releasing products that just don’t inspire. I’m not totally writing the game off, but as I said, my experience with the game would have ended much faster if reviewing this game hadn’t been my job. Anyone else that isn’t looking for some side work may wish to avoid this title until it’s in a better state (like “official” release).

The post I Killed a T-Rex: Review of “Beasts of Prey” appeared first on JunkiesNation.

The road leading up to Series 8 of the BBC’s Doctor Who has been a little rocky. First, some raw footage was leaked by a U.S. office. Then five scripts from the new season also made their way online.

Despite this, none of the excitement was tempered when the BBC aired the official Series 8 trailer this past Monday. It provides fans with their first real glimpse at the new Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. It’s a great teaser for the season that lies ahead–and announces August 23rd air date.

The post BBC Releases Doctor Who Series 8 Trailer appeared first on JunkiesNation.