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Trion Worlds

Free-to-play FPS photo
Free-to-play FPS

Warface closed beta opens ahead of full launch in spring


For your face
Jan 18
// Jordan Devore
Trion Worlds and Crytek have kicked first-person shooter Warface into gear, announcing that the free-to-play game's servers are now operational for the closed beta. Amusingly, the "social entertainment platform" powering Warf...
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Take a look at Defiance the game and the TV show


Transmedia something something
Jan 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Trion Worlds has released a little look at the massively mutiplayer co-op action of Defiance. Expect large scale battles, vehicles, and lots of guns in this MMO that also doubles as a TV show. Yes, SyFy is making a TV show t...
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Trion Worlds opens sign-ups for Defiance beta


Beta event scheduled for January 18
Jan 03
// Jordan Devore
Trion Worlds has a lot to prove with Defiance, its massively multiplayer online shooter which also happens to be an upcoming television show on SyFy. The studio will be running a brief "Advanced Mission Beta 1" this month, gi...

Going all in: Defiance is Syfy and Trion's biggest gamble

Oct 17 // Allistair Pinsof
Syfy is throwing an unprecedented amount of money at the TV production, building a 51-building studio lot in Toronto. Trion (Rift, End of Nation) is developing its first multi-platform release, a massively multiplayer third-person shooter that attempts many new ideas within the online space. If coming to grips with a new genre isn’t enough for Trion, having to be congruent with the TV series is sure to provide the developer many restless nights. But, right now, it’s time for the easy part: Showing off and discussing the game. “Both of our CEOs have been meeting for quite a while, and they came to the conclusion that this transmedia thing -- that’s what we call it -- could be big on both sides. So, we, from day one, worked with Syfy on how we were going to do this,” Hill says. “We need to find a way to meet both of our needs, but it wasn’t one before the other.” Bringing two mediums together to occupy the same universe is something that has been lightly attempted before with Shiny’s maligned Enter the Matrix, Syfy’s own Red Faction: Origins TV movie, and other projects best forgotten. An MMO needs tons of different stories for quests, but Syfy wants to focus on telling a few intimate stories. A game needs tons of creatures to fight, but a high enemy count doesn’t make for great television -- or, in the very least, affordable television. Both parties are trying to avoid the pitfalls that have plagued similar projects in the past. Visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel is tasked with one of the more difficult jobs: He needs to make a game look as good as a TV series while not keeping it from playing like a (good) game. There are many things game designers lean on that are counter-productive to designing a TV series, such as using color to indicate visual information to the player. Vivid colors are applied to immerse the player and limit frustration, but these same vivid colors make for unrealistic TV that breaks immersion for viewers. “For me the key element was that Trion was creating an action-adventure game and my job is to make it real,” Hutzel says. “To bring it into the real world and make those characters something that you don’t just add onto but also something that you can come to the show and see ‘Oh yeah, that’s how they would look in real life!’” As a result, Hutzel is working closely with Trion to make compromises on both ends that make sense. If a six-legged creature is too hard to animate in the game, the developers give the creature insect legs instead. In some cases, enemies and characters won’t appear identical. Colors in the game may be more vivid, while the show goes for a more muted presentation. The goal is to avoid confusion and disassociation, while making Defiance work as a game and show. “Early on, I called what I was doing open architecture design for the show,” Hutzel says. “Even if we don’t have an immediate plan for the game, let’s design everything we do for the show so it flows smoothly across development of the game." Although I got the sense that Syfy is leading the fiction of Defiance, unlike most videogame tie-ins, Trion is not playing second fiddle. The MMO-focused San Diego studio has taken some smart precautions to distance itself from the show, such as moving the game’s location to a different city. This allows events in the show to appear in the game at a later date and vice versa. An otherworldly "razor storm" or alien invasion can arrive in the show with an appearance in the game, in the following month. Considering the distance between St. Louis and San Francisco (where the game takes place), the gap in time makes sense and builds immersion. “We want to have these crossovers be impactful. If they sat on top of each other, we would have to make them constant and we can’t make them constant,” Hill says. “We need that buffer space between.” Razor storms and hell bugs are neat, but Defiance is a show about characters. Though MMOs have broad appeal, storytelling isn’t one of the genre’s strengths. Defiance seeks to change this by weaving a story that is complete on its own but also provides players with deeper insight on the history and motivations of characters in the TV series. For example, the opening mission introduces Nolan, a Han Solo type wandering the badlands, who gives the player a rifle and artifact that can be deadly in the wrong hands. When the Syfy series premieres two weeks after the game’s release, players will see Nolan, the show’s main character, deal with the aftermath of this action in the game. The experience is an additive one, not supplementary. “The game is a MMORPG and therefore a basic world. It continues to exist even when we stop shooting. You need one of these worlds to stop so that we can reseed, reboot, and re-synthesize,” Grant Bowler, who plays Nolan, says. “That becomes seamless on your end but on our end it gives us an opportunity to see how events fold and unfold in the game. We re-engineer so it is a congruent universe in the show.” The experience for the cast has been a unique challenge, as well. Before Nolan ever walked onto the St. Louis set, he walked into virtual San Francisco. Or, more accurately, he walked onto a green screen wearing a motion capture suit to make character stances and deliver lines. “That’s a very odd thing for an actor, because I walked in and the mocap guys and Trion guys were like how, “How would your character do this?” Bowler says, with the energy and enthusiasm you'd want from an action hero. “I dunno! We’ve never done it!” If letting Trion take the first step in directing actor performances is not an indication that Syfy is making a gamble, a tour of Syfy’s studio lot for the show serves as clear evidence that the niche cable network is going all-in for Defiance. If not one of the most refreshing sci-fi premises for the network since Battlestar Galatica, it certainly matches its scale and ambitions. The massive set houses most, if not all, locations for the series, with buildings added to before being featured in new episodes. From the oak tree in the middle of a whore house to cargo crate homes stacked outside, every corner of Defiance’s set is brimming with detail, color, and personality. “I think what’s wonderful about the creation of the town is that you see history repeat itself. It’s almost like a mosaic of different time periods and different wars and different cultures all coming together,” actress Stephanie Leonidas, who represents one of seven alien races on the show, says. “In a sense, this town is timeless. For me, it’s almost feudal. There is something extremely dangerous in that and extremely sad and mysterious.” Stop me if you heard this one before: Defiance takes place in a post-apocalyptic America where cities now reflect the Western frontier, resources are scarce, and cars have roll cages. But, here’s where things get interesting: Earth now houses seven different alien species with different motivations and histories. While Earth is drained of resources, it is also under constant threat of terra-morphing machinery that drastically alters the landscape it touches. St. Louis, where the show takes place, may be a wasteland, but Las Vegas is now an island with rich vegetation and dense jungle. And, of course, there are weird, wild beasts for TV stars to run from and gamers to chase. The show’s art and costume department work within the set. David Peterson (Game of Thrones) created three languages for the series, one of which already has 3,000 words. The fiction is so deep that the writers at Trion and Syfy share a private Wiki system so that they can always be on the same page. It took Halo several sequels and novels to build up a mythology so dense, but Trion gets to play within this world from the start. Despite early rumors that players would be able to directly influence the TV series, Syfy’s producers have made a firm stance during the set visit that this will not be the case. However, Hill is confident that Trion will have more freedom to experiment in season two, by including more drastic player choices and highlighting specific characters in story sequences (though, it was unclear if this would be limited to in-game cutscenes). “The TV show is not choose your own adventure […] We know what we are doing in the TV show. This is about creating great satisfying drama,” executive producer Kevin Murphy says, during one of many panels throughout the day. “These two experiences holistically create a larger experience. If you’re a gamer watching the show, you’ll go: “Oh wow! So that’s where that went?” During a cast Q&A session, Gowler says that the game is complete on its own; it can be played without ever watching the show. Another cast member shouts, “Don’t say that!” It gets the biggest audience laugh during the panel. Underneath the laughter is the reality that Syfy and Trion must face soon enough: What happens if one succeeds while the other fails? Will players flock to Defiance amidst the arrival of a new Grand Theft Auto? Will viewers stick with a show, as Game of Thrones and other geek favorites comes back to air? After Toronto’s relentless winter comes and goes, we’ll have some answers to those questions. Whether there are positive results or not, Defiance will likely be remembered as one of gaming and televisions’ most ambitious moments and it couldn’t have happened without the other. At least, initially.
When TV meets MMO photo
One of the spring's biggest shows is also its biggest MMO
[For a glimpse at Defiance (the game) and its new PvP modes, check out our recent preview and return here for a look at the TV series. Also, MEBTWK] “Four years ago, both we and Syfy knew we were going to do this, ...

Preview: Defiance

Oct 17 // Allistair Pinsof
Defiance (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC [previewed])Developer: Trion WorldsPublisher: Trion WorldsRelease: April 2013 Defiance isn’t based on a TV series, it’s part of one. Launching two weeks before the premiere of Syfy’s most expensive production yet, Trion Worlds (Rift, End of Nations) is introducing players to the world of Defiance. In time, the TV series will introduce elements to players, such as hell bug invasions and deadly storms that start in the TV show’s St. Louis setting and slowly make their way to San Francisco, where the game takes place. This creates an interesting dynamic between the two mediums that binds the story of each together. There are also narrative ties that give background information on events and characters in the show, connecting the gaps between episodes and -- if all goes as planned -- seasons. Before I knew of the TV angle, I became familiar with the game from people comparing it to Borderlands. The shoe certainly fits. You’ll traverse a wasteland, shoot random bandits, and collect loot/xp. What’s wrong with that? A Borderlands MMO sounds pretty good to me! Defiance can become pretty hectic as players join up for a mission. Main missions are shared experiences where any player can fulfill objectives for all, while side missions require each player to act. The game balances player count by adding tougher “Elite” enemies and increasing other enemies’ health. The demo felt rather easy but that may have been because I was early in the game. Playing with 15 or so people in a multiplayer match felt great, as did five or so joining me randomly for a mission. Trion is hesitant to talk player count because it’s a sensitive issue that affects not only the server tech but all aspects of the game’s design. I found the spontaneous chaos of players exciting but if that number goes into the triple-digits it could become maddening. Trion is trying to figure out the player count for each space, so players don’t lose sight of what the game’s story and mission objectives. I have mixed feelings about this, mostly because I endorse 400+ player virtual orgies. If it breaks the game, we can at least have a good time doing it! Shooting, throwing grenades, and running feels pretty standard for a third-person shooter but game-changing for an MMO. It's always fun to shoot things, especially in the context of an MMO. Like Borderlands, you’ll acquire tons of weapons and loot that modifies your shield, grenades, and other equipment. There are also active and passive abilities to unlock. The demo I played featured cloaking, rage, sprint, and decoy abilities -- some made more sense in a competitive setting than others. Another key aspect are vehicles which you can summon with the touch of a button at any time. More vehicles will be earned and unlocked over the course of the game, making the large landscapes of an MMO a playground instead of an obstacle. For the first time, Trion showed off its Shadow War multiplayer mode that creates a “Capture the Nodes”-type game in the middle of an area. At any time, other players can observe, join, or ignore these matches. They can be a stupendous spectacle or a quick distraction, depending if you add the match to your queue or not. There are also arena-based matches, but Shadow War seems like a much more original idea. It’s pretty hilarious to be in an intense firefight while some other clan drives by on their ATVs, rushing to the next story mission. One area that Defiance doesn’t shine is in visuals. Though Trion didn’t show off much of the game’s world, what I was shown is decidedly darker and lamer than what I saw on the set of the television series. The fiction is a rich one that pulls from a lot of history and culture, but the game area and missions shown looked as generic as can be. This is Borderlands before the iconic cel-shading art direction was applied. Defiance is rough around the edges and a bit ugly and, with six months until launch, Trion face a challenge in getting it on par with the TV series. On the other hand, the game is fun -- something I don’t often (ever?) say about MMO games. The shooting, player dynamic, innovative interaction with the TV series, and RPG elements make for a unique MMO that I’m willing to give a shot when it releases in April. I just hope that the game manages to capture some of the detail, color, and personality of the TV show.   ... What could this be? F3LZLK
Massive co-op is massive photo
Trion's refreshing take on PvP and co-op may just be what MMOs need
The wasteland of Fallout may be impressive in terms of scale and detail, but I always feel a bit lonely in it. Defiance is such a world, but it’s one constantly shared with other players. At any time, your clan may s...

Preview: End of Nations is still free, and still fun

Sep 14 // Abel Girmay
End of Nations (PC) Developer: Petroglyph Games Publisher: Trion Worlds Release: Fall 2012 For the uninitiated, I'll run through the basics. End of Nations is a free-to-play MMORTS from some of the minds behind the Command & Conquer series. Like any MMO, the world here is persistent with players picking factions before jumping into seasonal campaigns. While a seasonal campaign was mostly hinted at when I saw the game last year, the system is pretty much fleshed out now. Basically, campaigns will be approximately month-long events where players will battle for control over the persistent world map. At the end of each season, the campaign will end and the maps will reset, with rewards and bonuses handed out to players on the winning faction. The seasonal campaigns also provides a more natural way to introduce new unit types, patches, and other forms of post-launch support. End of Nations plays around with established RTS conventions. The biggest change many of you have heard of by now is the absence of any sort of base building. All units that you bring into battle are determined by preset loadouts, called companies. An extra mechanic that Petroglyph has added to this feature is the ability to swap out entire companies mid-game. We got to play around with this feature on Nations' smallest 1v1 map. Playing "Last Man Standing," the objective was to simply survive the onslaught of AI-controlled enemies. With a middle barrier separating your units from directly combating your opponents', the competitive element comes in when you manage to gather enough resources on your half of the map, and send small mercenary units to sabotage your opponent. Being able to switch companies was particularly useful in this match, as my tank-heavy company was starting to fall apart against enemy air units. That being said, there are some countermeasures in place to prevent the system from being abused. For one, I lost my entire setup across the map, as my new company would only spawn at my starting landing pad. This wasn't too great a sacrifice on the small map I was playing on, but it's definitely a sacrifice worth considering when you're playing on the larger maps. Also, there is a delay between when your previous company disappears and your new one spawns. Other than that, we briefly played a 4v4 game of Domination, which plays similarly to other control-point game modes. There are three capture points on the map that award points for the amount of time you hold them, with the winner being declared when a team hits the score cap. Again, it plays how you would expect a game of Domination to play, but there are twists introduced with respect to the map design. The map we tried, called Resource Hog, was a resource-littered map, except many could only be reached by specific unit types. This really plays into how you coordinate with your teammates. Do you want to have a dedicated resource gatherer, or split the duties? Or maybe you want to wing it and swap out your companies if you don't have the right units to reach a certain area. In any case, you can't let them fall into enemy hands, as resources are the precious currency that fuels your super weapons, such as napalm and the dreaded nuke. It's a great time for free-to-play games. Just at this past PAX Prime, you couldn't walk for five minutes without seeing a bevy of impressive free-to-play titles. And as one of the few standouts of its subgenre, End of Nations is well poised to see its original promise pan out.
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When I first saw End of Nations last year, I was one part intrigued, one part skeptical, and all together hoping that the promise of a massively multiplayer real-time strategy game would pan out. Since then, we at Destructoid...

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Rift: Storm Legion dated, pre-order bonuses detailed


Includes early dungeon access and a cape
Sep 05
// Jordan Devore
Trion Worlds has announced that Rift's first expansion, Storm Legion, will be launching on the same day in North America and Europe: November 13, 2012. I'm not playing the game, and frankly, I don't know how many of you are ...
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Defiance developer diary explains what the game is about


Aug 09
// Brett Zeidler
Trion Worlds has released a new developer diary where they talk all about what makes their upcoming shooter MMO Defiance tick. Jayson shed quite a bit of light on the game at Comic-Con last month, but Trion went into the fin...
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Trion Worlds announces Gamescom plans


Aug 07
// Fraser Brown
It looks like Trion Worlds' has a fair amount to show off at Gamescom, which is impending. During the conference, which takes place in Cologne between the 16th and 19th, Trion will be showing "Storm Legion" for Rift to consum...
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Get clued up on Rift's Storm Legion


Aug 01
// Fraser Brown
Trion Worlds has released a bunch of new lore for their upcoming Rift expansion, "Storm Legion". Infinity Gates, God Engines, Blood Storms, it all sounds like nonsense to me. I suppose there are only so many things you can ca...
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Trion wants you to come back to Rift for a few days


Jul 26
// Fraser Brown
MMOs are like needy ex-lovers. Not content to fondly remember the good times and simply move on, they always want you to come back. In this case the ex is Rift. Trion are inviting old players, who have at least one level 20 c...

Ten things to know about Defiance

Jul 16 // Jayson Napolitano
[embed]231396:44411[/embed] #1: The Story Defiance has a truly fascinating story. Several alien species, upon discovering that their home systems were going to be destroyed, built ships known as arks and put representatives of their respective species on board along with some of their native flora and fauna. They ended up at Earth, not realizing we were already here, and proceeded to set up colonization rights in exchange for technology. This of course pissed a lot of people off who had to be relocated. Soon thereafter, the in-orbit arks were sabotaged and destroyed, causing their debris to rain down onto Earth with their terra-morphing machinery intact, causing radical changes to the surface of the planet and leading to generalized chaos and war. The game and television show take place 40 years later on a drastically different Earth where governments and primary communications have been destroyed. #2: The Setting While the television show takes place in St. Louis, the game takes place in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. Both cities are frontier cities where a valuable alien mineral called golenite has been discovered, and people are traveling to these areas to stake a claim. The terra-morphing machinery found within the arks has turned portions of the city completely alien, while some are still intact and others are half-alien, half-human hybrids. You’ll explore wilderness and cityscapes, and will come across familiar sites including the Golden Gate Bridge which is now blown up, contorted, and un-crossable. According to Beliaeff, “We want that Planet of the Apes moment. San Francisco has so many landmarks that we wanted people to say, ‘Oh God, this really is Earth, and a lot has changed.’” #3: The Music Bear McCreary, known mostly for his work in television on shows including Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead, is composing music for both the game and television show. That puts him in a pretty unique position to bring continuity across the two properties as most game projects based on television shows get different composers. McCreary is working hard to create unique themes for the various alien races as well as reference material from Earth’s musical history, including the 1980s through the 2000s. We’re told that there will be a lot of dramatic orchestral score for the television show while the game may feature more action-oriented themes. Also of note is the fact that McCreary’s unique position as the composer for both the show and game has turned him into somewhat of an expert resource for both teams. “If a member of this race was to pick up an instrument and start playing, what might it look like?” is a question that’s been brought to him several times, so he’s had to work with the team’s full-time mythology coordinator to develop unique instruments for the world’s various races that may even be mocked up and used in the television show. Maybe he ought to file a few patents for these instruments while he's at it! #4: A Complete Story Out of the Box An entire storyline will be available out of the box, although there will be places for the team to plug in events that occur in the show into the game. There will also be regular content updates and possible expansion sets. Zone events (described below) use a modular plug-and-socket model to easily manage events throughout the game world. #5: Intuitive Controls The game plays and feels a lot like Halo. I was able to pick up an Xbox 360 controller and figure it out within 15 seconds, so I will also say that the controls are super intuitive. Using this controller configuration, the right trigger shoots, the left trigger zooms, the right shoulder throws grenades, and the left activities abilities. Pressing the right analog stick down performs a melee attack, and various other buttons are used to jump, crouch, and reload. #6: Lots of Ways to Get Around The game takes place in a large persistent world where players assume the role of a mercenary. The primary hubs where people will meet were described as “mainly outposts where characters can interact and trade.” When asked just how large the world would be given that it only encompasses sections of Northern California, we were told that they’re still working on that, but players will be able to use an ATV to cover more distance, and there will be a travel option to go between major locations (but “not too many, as we want you to interact with the world”). They’re also considering allowing players to spawn into the game next to their friends to immediately get into the action as opposed to having to coordinate a meeting spot. #7: No Political System While there isn’t a planned political system where players can group together and battle with one another for control of certain zones, there are factions that players can align themselves with for quests and notoriety. It seems as though the goal is for Defiance to be more collaborative than competitive. #8: Dynamic Event System (Ark Falls) Pieces of the arks mentioned above are still in orbit with things living within them. These pieces randomly enter orbit and crash down onto the Earth, changing the environment due to the terra-morphing machinery. If players choose to partake in these events which involved killing a bunch of hellbug creatures in the demo we played, special minerals and technology can be obtained. While small ark falls will occur throughout the entire game world, larger, zone-wide ark falls will also be featured using their plug-and-socket model. #9: No Strict Class System The game doesn’t feature a strict class system, but rather allows players to customize their character however they wish. One ability can be equipped at a time, but players can level up any ability he or she chooses, although it will be impossible to achieve the maximum level for all abilities, leaving players to prioritize what kind of character they’d like to play. In groups, it’s beneficial to have each member choose a different ability. These abilities also have an impact on the weapons that can be equipped which include sniper rifles, shotguns, and a beam weapon with an area effect attack and a secondary healing function, effectively making these players a medic class. #10: Enemies and Loot The hellbug creatures that have been featured heavily in promotional materials for the game are actually a mutation and not something that was brought to Earth by the alien races. They were actually small foreign bacteria that mutated and became these hideous creatures. We encountered them frequently during the ark fall events because apparently the minerals contained within the arks are something that the hellbugs thrive on, so they aggressively defend the precious resource both by directly attacking players and by building defensive structures. One such structure has weak points located all around its body that players have to focus their fire on, emphasizing the first-person shooting in the game. Other enemies include cyborg miners and another alien race that acts as a constant threat in both the game and television show that provides somewhat of a rallying point for all of the other races to join together against. When I asked about drops, and what the hellbugs in particular may drop, we were told, “Hellbugs eat everything, so they do drop guns.” There will be rare drops from sub-bosses that appear randomly in the game world as well as in quests and four-player instances, and they will feature different visual appearances so players know they’re important. We asked about PVP, and while we were told it will be in the game, Trion isn’t ready to talk about it until gamescom. -------------------- I had a lot of fun learning about and experiencing the world of Defiance, but are you sold on this hybrid television show/videogame and its first-person shooting gameplay within an MMO world?
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Truly fascinating
Defiance is SyFy and Trion Worlds’ venture that breaks new ground by simultaneously developing a television series and videogame within the same universe, and even sharing a few characters between the two. We were only ...

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Closed beta event for End of Nations set for July 20


Jul 03
// Jordan Devore
The first closed beta event for End of Nations will take place starting on Friday, July 20th at 12:01am Eastern and last through Sunday, July 22nd at 11:59pm Eastern. That ought to give you plenty of time to sign yourself up...

E3: Gorgeous free-to-play shooting all over your Warface

Jun 10 // Ryan Perez
A blatant reason why Warface is so great looking exists: It's being developed with CryEngine 3. It's arguably the most technically advanced engine to date, so that says something for a game that will actually cost you nothing to experience. A lot of the CryEngine 3's trickery can be seen in the game: HDR lighting, real-time weapon customization, displacement mapping, etc. You may be wondering why this even matters. Well, plenty of people still exist who seem to have a bias against anything free to play; they instantly associate games under this model as cheap or low quality. Also, plenty of gamers still judge the quality of a game (at least at first) by its visuals, alone. With that said, if you're one of those people, and need better graphics than Warface to be convinced that F2P games can be worth your time, then I'm sorry to say that you're screwed. This is about as good as they can look right now, and anything better can just be considered the natural graphical progression of the medium. Sorry, bub. Some gamers don't always judge games based on their looks, though, but rather the quality of the experience they provide. (We tend to also call these gamers "humans.") Still, a general stigma remains around F2P games as having poor production values and low development times. Well, I hate to ruin their preconceptions as well, but even Warface busts that theory. The game is just as strong of a shooter as those you find in retail stores, and even does some great things with the genre that got me smiling and saying, "That's pretty cool." The shooting is quick, tight and precise; I just want to get that out of the way right now. Players can pull off some decent moves, such as long slides behind objects -- or towards others to rack up a nice melee kill -- as well as boosting and pulling teammates up to high ground. For a game that's based solely on multiplayer, I had to conjure up all my past MP experiences to critique it and, quite honestly, it held up very nicely. What made it even better was that, instead of it merely being MP in the player-versus-player sense, the game will also feature daily alternated co-op missions for teams to complete for in-game currency. Essentially, four others and I faced off against the game's AI to reach specific checkpoints. It wasn't until later in the game that we realized how much smarter it would have been for one of us to have played at a medic, however. Thankfully, Warface lets players purchase "coins" to resurrect themselves and get back into the action. These are available in co-op only, though -- wouldn't want to make things too unfair against others. I loved this PVE mode, as it sets this game apart from the others who only provide a PVP experience. One of my favorite features that Warface offered was its clever way it implemented RPG elements. Like most other shooters these days, the game provides several weapons and gear to unlock via stacking kills and leveling up. The difference here is that Warface not only requires that you choose one of three categories per match to level up (weapons, armor, equipment), but the items you unlock on those categories are randomly selected. Why is that cool? Because now you're almost guaranteed to not have to grind your way to the max level in order to get that one gun you've been looking forward to. Remember your favorite weapon being attained at level 15 in one CoD, yet attained at level 60 in the sequel? Yeah, no more of that crap. To sum things up, Warface looks like a solid -- and pretty! -- shooter that not only provides some decent alternatives to gameplay, but it also costs you nothing to try. Many are saying that this E3 was the "year of the bow," but I say free shit was more prevalent ... and I'm not talking about all the T-shirts. This is one of the best times to be a gamer, because, when you really look at it, we have more opportunities to play on a budget than ever. Prepare to download your copy of Warface on PCs later this year.
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To say that a lot of free-to-play games were at the show this year would be an understatement. Though they weren't all of the same genre, I saw a holy God crap-ton of F2P titles everywhere. This model is spreading like a wild...

E3: End of Nations combines the old in new ways

Jun 08 // Allistair Pinsof
Along with ridiculously large maps (28 vs. 28), End of Nations will feature 2-on-2 maps that play drastically differently. These maps incorporate the AI-controlled brainless troops found in DOTA and other MOBA games to add some friction to smaller matches. So even when you play with only four players, End of Nations will still be hectic and tense. Want something more relaxed and slow? Look elsewhere.Despite the heightened sense of speed and units on the field, End of Nations does many novel things to ease players into the game. For instance, hovering over units will immediately tell you everything about them, including whom they are likely to win and lose battles with. No more need to have a spreadsheet in front of you to learn the rock-paper-scissors logic of battle.  Another nice feature are the Elite Companies that serve as a starter pack for new players. Choosing your unit loadout (there is no base building) can be a daunting task, given the options available in End of Nations. So, for the first few maps, you’d better served by using one of these pre-set units that are designed to work together. For example, the Blitz company are a fast group of German infantry that can quickly infiltrate enemy lines and capture resource points. Conversely, Liberation Front are a group of rebellious French-Canadians with powerful, long-range tanks that rely on scout units for reconnaissance. Whatever your play style may be, there will be a company that meets your preferred approach. Once you feel comfortable working with these starter groups, you can start building your own unit loadout.Though End of Nations will be free-to-play, units can only be earned, not bought. You can spend your money on bacon skins for your tanks, though, if that appeals to you. This, along with all the things mentioned above, has me hopeful that End of Nations will do for the RTS what Tribes Ascend did for the free-to-play FPS.
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You had me at RTS, but lost me at MMORTS. What’s that? You’re made by ex-Westwood Studios members and heavily inspired by Relic Studios’ output? Okay, you have my attentions again, End of Nations. End of ...

E3: Storm Legion gives Rift more land, more adventures

Jun 06 // Allistair Pinsof
The demo took place in a new dungeon with an eye-catching Steampunk aesthetic. The walls were lined with cogs and pendulums, surrounded by elegant, detailed texture work. There is a lot of depth in these environments that make the game stand out amongst other games in the genre. This new focus on discovering lost, ancient technology is a nice twist for those who feel a bit tired of Rift's established world. Another impressive addition is a new set of boss encounters with colossuses, which sound exactly like you imagine. In an effort to have more 80+ player raids outdoors, Storm Legion offers a couple instances with these towering juggernauts that are as tall as a 20-story building. These things are absolutely massive. Seeing them approach you, having their foot take up your entire screen is really something I haven't seen in an MMORPG before. The way these battles play out are also unique to the genre. There is a lot of timing-based attacks in these fights. If you time a hit against the colossus correctly, you'll gain speed and damage boosts. As their armor gets destroyed, more boosts fall to the ground that can be picked up for further bonuses. After dealing a couple serious blows to this beast, he takes off and smashes through a wall, unveiling a new area for players in the instance to explore. Storm Legion seems to be doing a lot of unique things not only in the world of Rift but in the larger genre it is a part of. With ten additional levels to gain, new mounts, and a whole lot of interesting, new content, this appears to be the perfect shot in the arm for Rift's player base. Come and get your MMO heroin in Q4 2012
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15 months and nine major patches later, Trion Worlds is looking to expand the real estate of Rift. With the addition of two new continents, Dusken and Brevane, the player space of the popular MMORPG has been tripled. Trion Wo...

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Rift expansion Storm Legion adds two continents and more


Jun 01
// Jordan Devore
To accompany this morning's trailer for Rift: Storm Legion, we've got more details on this next major step for Trion World's MMO. Due out later this fall, Storm Legion will add two new continents, an expansion of the Ascended...
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End of Nations gets a color commentary treatment


Jun 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
A new trailer for Petrogylph Games' End of Nations has been released this morning, which features gameplay footage from a battle over an Austrailian uranium mine, accompanied by a pair of commentators performing in the ...
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Defiance trailer blurs lines between TV and game mediums


TA6NCJ
Jun 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
TRION World's Defiance is a rather bold idea, pairing a television show with a massively multiplayer online game on the promise of players being able to impact the whole of the story through their actions. The game's E3...
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Dark portents abound in trailer for Rift: Storm Legion


Jun 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
The future of sci-fi MMO Rift is ominously teased in this new trailer for its first expansion, Storm Legion. A sinister female voice, referred to as "Dragon," talks about her plans for total domination through the use o...

Trion's Defiance is one part videogame, one part TV show

May 22 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]225381:43293[/embed] Defiance (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 [previewed], PC [previewed])Developer: Trion WorldsPublisher: Trion WorldsRelease: April 2013 Defiance, the game, takes place in a reimagined San Francisco, where players can create their own character and fight with friends as they take on a variety of missions. Players will have access to a large number of futuristic guns, plus they'll be able to equip different types of skills that will improve their combat abilities. One of these skills was a super speed ability that would make my character move twice as fast as normal. Vehicles will play a big part of the game, too, and at any time you can summon an ATV that will teleport right in front of your character. The ATV has turbo boost, and your character can bail out at anytime. I was in a group of eight players or so and we took on a couple of small quests where we had to take out enemy NPCs. At one point a storm forms, indicating a special event was taking place in the world. Everyone in the group then had to merge at the target point and take out a giant worm-like monster. The creature was huge, and it's a real group effort to take it down. For the most part, Defiance is your pretty standard third-person shooter. If you're not looking to fight with others, there will be a story you can just take on, with lots of side missions too. Trion wasn't talking about how many players will fill the server yet as they're still trying to figure what makes sense. Technically, though, they could get thousands of players going on one server. Defiance didn't look all that remarkable on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but it looked wonderful on the PC. Trion's not yet talking about a pricing model either, but I'm hoping they adopt the free-to-play system. Granted, free-to-play isn't possible on the Xbox 360 due to Microsoft's restrictions, so it'll be interesting to see what they do here. Defiance, the show, is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi Western-like drama and depicts life for humanity after an alien ship had crash-landed on Earth, causing the planet to get terraformed in the process. New plants and animals exist on the planet now, on top of a variety of alien races trying to co-exist with humanity. The show will take place in a new St. Louis, built on top of the old one due to the disaster. It'll largely focus on main character Nolan (Grant Bowler) who comes to St. Louis by accident and evidently ends up becoming the sheriff of the town. Other actors you can expect include Julie Benz, Jaime Murray, and Gram Green. On the production side, big names like Kevin Murphy, Rockne O'Bannon, Gary Hutzel and Scott Stewart will all be lending their talents. The Defiance concept has been in the works for the last four years now, both aspects set to be very interconnected. Trion wouldn't go into great detail on how players will actually influence the TV series through the events of the game, but there are some story elements that you'll see described in both. For instance, Nolan from the TV show is actually a part of the game world and you see what makes Nolan leave San Francisco go to St. Louis. You'll also see stuff like characters in the show talking about events that happen in the videogame. The entire concept of building a show and game together as one sounds really cool, but the game wasn't anything that remarkable. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, it just didn't do it for me. The same goes for the show. Sounds neat, but I've been burned with too many sci-fi shows getting cut before their prime. Plus, what happens if the show gets cancelled? Hopefully there's more to Defiance then what was initially shown beyond this hook tied to a TV show.
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Trion and SyFy have teamed up to produce the world's first videogame and television show hybrid called Defiance. Defiance, the game, is a massively multiplayer online third-person shooter experience set for the PC, Xbox 36...

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End of Nations' factions get a bit more shadowy


May 11
// Liam Fisher
Last month we got a look at the first of two playable factions in Trion Worlds' MMORTS End of Nations, The Liberation Front. Things get significantly less noble with the introduction of the Shadow Revolution, which appears t...
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Check out End of Nations' Liberation Front Faction


Apr 25
// Liam Fisher
End of Nations is one of those free-to-play games that has managed to escape my ever-watchful eye as of late; it caught my attention last year, but has since fallen away. Simply the idea of a strategy MMO, or rather one...
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Nations can be ended in an armory


Apr 08
// Fraser Brown
In the upcoming free-to-play RTS, End of Nations, one of the most important features that players will encounter is the Armory. Trion Worlds and Petroglyph Games have offered a run down of how you can use the Armory to build ...
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First chaotic footage of MMO shooter Defiance


Pew Pew Pew
Apr 06
// Jordan Devore
At PAX East, the first gameplay footage of Trion Worlds' Defiance was unveiled. This game is notable for two reasons, the first being that it's a massively multiplayer online shooter for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. The ...

Preview: Fighting an evil U.N. in End of Nations

Mar 01 // Ryan Perez
End of Nations (PC) Developer: Petroglyph Games Publisher: Trion Worlds Release: Fall 2012 Freedom is indeed free I'm just going to get this out of the way, because plenty of people still think that "free" is synonymous with "cheap," especially with regards to game design. However, anyone who has played games like League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth can tell you that that's completely untrue. Also, anyone who has played Trion Worlds' previous MMO, Rift, can testify that this company certainly makes quality games. End of Nations is completely free. Yes, you read that correctly; you don't have to pay a single cent to experience all of the game's content. That's a pretty sweet deal. So if you're on the fence about whether or not to give this one a try, at least you aren't risking anything by doing so. I know you're probably thinking, "How do they plan on making any money?" Simply by providing anyone with time constraints (i.e. actual adults) the choice to buy experience boosts and other types of handicaps so they can enjoy the later content of the game a bit sooner than us leeches. That's all ... no pay-to-win crap that people usually complain about when it comes to F2P games. So freakin' relax. War has changed From what I played, I didn't manage resources or build bases of any kind. Matches were won by meeting a set of pre-existing conditions, or simply by outlasting the other player. Players start off by choosing one of two factions -- the Liberation Front or the Shadow Revolution -- before entering matches with their "squads," customizable sets of units that each player controls. As they progress through the game, players earn points that go towards upgrades, new units, and better super weapons ... pretty self-explanatory stuff. The first mode I played was creatively named "Last Man Standing," where I and another press member battled against waves of enemy forces -- both of us at separate ends of the map. Before the match, we picked a squad of units, and were tasked with defending our capture point for as long as we could; whoever lasted the longest won the match. The best part about this mode (and what led to my victory) was that I could send "gifts" over to the other player's blockade. In this case, "gifts" translates to clusters of mines that I dropped directly into his units. Other modes were a bit more directly competitive. At the event, the opposing side of the table consisted of Liberation Front players, whereas my side (designated as "Team Stinkeye" by yours truly) was nothing but Shadow Revolution. After starting at opposite ends of the map, both teams fought for control over different points on the battlefield; some points granted a bigger cash flow to repair units and buy super weapons, whereas others depleted enemy reinforcements at a faster rate. We lost, unfortunately, though Team Stinkeye shall never be forgotten I must say, having each member of the team control their own set amount of units is a rather interesting approach to RTS multiplayer. While most players at the event controlled their squads as a single entity, rather than splitting them up, I'm curious to see what strategies are formed with this different style of gameplay. The smell of napalm in the morning For those who don't know, the developer of End of Nations, Petroglyph Games, was founded by ex-employees of Westood Studios. Anyone familiar with Westwood surely knows of their flagship franchise, Command & Conquer, which is now seeing decent success under the guidance of Electronic Arts. So with End of Nations being developed by key minds behind one of the most influential strategy games ever, you can bet your war bonds that I'm enthusiastic. Also, it should come as no surprise that End of Nations features a similarly epic, baroque style that Command & Conquer had. Global conflict, evil military organizations and odd technologies are but a few of the features that'll make you Brotherhood of Nod fans feel right at home. The conflict itself is particularly familiar. Basically, some jerk decided that the United Nations wasn't living up to its intended purpose, so he decided to form the Order of Nations. Their goal: to wipe out all of the world's individual governments and replace them with a singular one. Unfortunately for all fascist regimes, people don't take too kindly to control these days, so, as a result, the two aforementioned factions were formed to combat this evil empire. To make things more interesting, both factions happen to dislike each other a bit ... hence FedExing landmines to my opponent. The overall conflict is a bit crude and cartoonish, but it does fit well with the game's number of modes and locales. These types of games never really lend themselves to plausibility, anyhow. Just fun. ...Only who is left End of Nations is an idea that I've always been interested in. Social titles like Empires and Allies have shown that strategy games work nicely with open and seamless communities, so I'm anxious to see how crazy the clashes in EoN will get. I won't lie, it is a different kind of RTS. If you're some sort of RTS god (or if you're Korean), then End of Nations is going to be unfamiliar territory for you. Still, that's no excuse to not give this game a shot when it launches this fall. Your wallet will remain untouched. Your pride, however, is another story. Later in the event, every member of the press teamed up against the Trion Worlds QA department. To say we were massacred and humiliated is a gross understatement. Jerks.
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I've never had much of a knack for strategy or warfare. I'm not relentlessly evil enough to be a dictator, and I'm not selfless and stalwart enough to be some sort of freedom fighter. So when the big WWIII hits, I'm probably ...

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Rift Lite launches today, play the first 20 levels free


Feb 01
// Patrick Hancock
Trion Worlds has announced Rift Lite, allowing players to try the MMO Rift without any payments or time restrictions for the first 20 levels. The maximum level within the game is 50, so 20 free levels is more than g...
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A rift appears in Trion Worlds' account database


Dec 23
// Fraser Brown
The year isn't quite over yet, so there's always room for another hacking fiasco. This time, the victim is Trion Worlds, maker of Rift, and its customers. According to the developer, there was an unauthorized intrusion and th...
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Trion Worlds to speak at NYCC


Oct 04
// Jason Cabral
It seems as though Trion Worlds will be pulling back the game development curtain a bit to shine light on the future of its games. On October 14, in Room 1A24 at New York Comic Con, various Trion Worlds team members will be d...

Preview: What's in store for Rift's 1.5 patch!

Sep 26 // Robert Fooks
Rift: Planes of Telara (PC)Developer: Trion WorldsPublisher: Trion WorldsReleased: March 1, 2011MSRP: 29.99 (STEAM) Recently, I trekked on down to Trion Worlds in Redwood Shores for a chance to experience what the creative minds behind Rift have in mind for the future of the game. After three trains, two buses and a one hour long self-guided tour of the biggest maze in the world (I got REALLY lost in Redwood Shores), I found myself in front of a building which could have only been architecturally inspired by a mix of the Parthenon and a Star Destroyer. With Rift being my current MMO of choice, I had to sheepishly suppress the urge to frolic through the rows of cubicles, needlessly pilfering “mementos” from every desk in view like a kleptomaniac as I walked through the doors. I might like Rift a little too much. Patch 1.5 Hopes to bring hundreds of hours of casual friendly content for players who have reached level 50 but are unable to experience the end-game; they aim to do it like this: Planar Attunement: Planar Attunement is Rift's response to the general feeling of not giving a damn once the experience bar stops moving. Essentially, it replaces one experience bar with another. Players will be given the ability to earn Planar Experience after they have reached max level which they will then be able to apply towards unlocking new and useful abilities. As the name suggests, all of the new abilities granted through Planar Attunement trees will correspond with one of the six planes -- Life, Death, Fire and so on. Planar Experience can be earned through more than just senseless killing though. The completion of daily quests, dungeons and rifts are among the extensive list of activities which will garner experience to spend on Planar Upgrades. Chronicles: For most, myself included, the addition of a new raid encounter can be blown off as little more than an unneeded use of hard drive space. Fear not the addition of new raid content from this day forth! Chronicles allows two casually geared players to experience the likes of Greenscale's Blight and Hammerknell without the hassle of adhering to strict schedules which occupy multiple hours of time that you just can't spare. Now the encounters will not be carbon copies of their bigger, beefier brethren. None the less, they are difficult and require understanding of complex mechanics. Library of the Runemasters: It's a new Warfront! That about explains everything, but for the sake of not sounding lazy I will elaborate. Library of the Runemasters takes place inside Hammerknell and will play similarly to The Black Gardens. Players must capture multiple "fang" like objects which will damage the holding player in a similar fashion as The Black Gardens. All I will say is I pity the pug which is given nothing more than a lone Chloromancer in this one. U/I Addons: For those of you currently playing Rift, I am confident in stating that you are probably familiar with a parser and what it does. I am equally confident in stating that you are most likely confused by it. Damage meters, swanky U/I mods and whatever Rift's version of Deadly Boss Mods will be are all on the horizon, folks.  Veteran's Rewards: Most MMORPGs have them, now, so does Rift. When players have reached such subscription milestones as 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, they will be rewarded with fabulous prizes in the mail. The items which will be rewarded to players were described to me as "cool ass shit." For those of you just beginning your journeys in Telara, you will most likely feel very little heat from this patch. This patch is in no way pretending to be made for everyone and it does address serious problems with the genre in general though. Only time will tell if all the above mentioned material will move Rift away from the problems of a general lack of content in MMO end game or if it will leave the game as yet another example of why theme park MMOs tend to have a short life span after level cap.
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It would seem that all massively multiplayer online games, in one way or another, suffer from a flaw common among the games of the genre. While it is true that no MMO truly has an ending, it is also painfully obvious that onc...


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