Today marks the release of Guild Wars 2′s much-teased second Flame & Frost update, The Gathering Storm. The patch not only adds guild missions, a new PvP map and a continuation of the game’s Living Story, but also brings a change to paid PvP tournaments. Specifically, it removes them, instead relying on a more robust matchmaking system that will govern the remaining free tournaments.
“One of the reasons we initially introduced Paid Tournaments was to create a place for hyper-competitive, highly skilled players to find matches with other players of comparable skill, leaving the Free Tournament system available for more casual competitive play,” explains ArenaNet’s Tyler Bearce. Now that the matchmaking system can accurately place players of a similar skill level, that paid tier is no longer necessary.
After the update, 1-round and 3-round free tournaments will be available, each with a separate matchmaking rank.
Bearce notes that any remaining Tournament Tickets can now be exchanged for Gold, Silver or Copper reward chests at the Ticket Merchant NPC, next to the Tournament Master in Heart of the Mists.
A nifty game organizer. I wish I could afford it.
Grumpy Owl Gamery is launching the integral pieces of their Keep System – a method for organizing and mobilizing your favorite hobby games. The Keep is a custom messenger style bag that carries a set of special game organizers. It can carry numerous games, even the hard to handle expandable games, in an organized and labeled manner.
Some people need to see things for themselves. If our Tera review wasn’t enough to convince you one way or another if the new action-combat MMORPG from EnMasse Entertainment is for you, you can test it out yourself with no commitment.
EnMasse teamed up with Gaikai to offer their new demo through your browser, with no download.
The demo allows you to play through the tutorial area of the game on three different classes. It’s more useful than it might sound: Tera’s tutorial area gives you a level 20 version of the character to sample more of that classes’ abilities before investing time into them. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete one playthrough, but the demo will cut off slowpokes after 30 minutes.
I had no problem accessing the demo after a quick Java update and the game played remarkably smooth for being in a different state than the PC running the game. There was a slight delay in my character’s responses to my keyboard input–which is more painful in such a timing-heavy game–but it really wasn’t too bad.
The video being streamed to you is obviously highly compressed, so don’t take the graphics at face value. Find screenshots and high quality video online if you want to see what the game looks like when it’s installed.
Although it’s a small chunk of content, being able to jump into the game and try out the combat firsthand with no download is a great option for gamers still on the fence.
If you’re looking for something new to play this weekend, why not waggle a lightsaber in Star Wars: The Old Republic? A four day free trial kicks off tomorrow for those who haven’t sampled one of the other free trial events that Bioware have been running recently.
As with those previous free weekend events, you won’t need to feed your credit card details to Bioware’s hungry Treasury Rancor (Bankor?) to get in, and you’ll be able to get to level 15 and participate in PvP and flashpoints. Full details on the Star Wars: The Old Republic site.
A free trial for Star Wars: The Old Republic ran last week, but not everyone got a chance to play. On the Bioware blog, the devs announce that they’re kicking off another free trial weekend today for those who weren’t involved in the last one. It’s set to run until Monday at 2:00 am CDT / 7:00 am GMT and you can sign up now on the Star Wars: The Old Republic site.
This trial is for new players only, however. “Participants in the previous Weekend Pass Free Trial and any other free trials are not eligible for this upcoming Weekend Pass Free Trial period,” say Bioware. Like the last trial, it’ll let you create a character of any class and run through their origin story. If you progress far enough you’ll get to see the capital planet as well, that’s Coruscant for Republic players, and the dark, stormy world of Dromund Kaas for the Empire.
The client’s pretty big, so you’ll want to start the client downloading soon if you want to get in before the free trial ends. If you want to meet up with some PCG guildies while you’re trying out the game, join the Nightmare Lands server and look out for the PC Gamer Mint Imperials (EU), or hop into The Crucible Pits and look for the Coconut Monkeys (US).