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Magicka: Wizard Wars photo
Magicka: Wizard Wars

First screens for Magicka: Wizard Wars revealed


Wizards, ho!
May 15
// Chris Carter
It seems as if we haven't heard from the folks at Paradox North about Magicka: Wizard Wars for ages, but here we are with fresh screenshots, showing off the game in action. Set to combine the humor of the Magicka franchise wi...
Camelot Unchained PvP photo
Camelot Unchained PvP

Camelot Unchained is being designed for 500-player PvP


Everyone can join the party
Apr 11
// Joshua Derocher
In an update to its Kickstarter page for Camelot Unchained, City State Entertainment showed off a video with 500 players on the same battlefield running smoothly on a Macbook pro. That's pretty impressive if a game...
Magicka: Wizard Wars photo
Magicka: Wizard Wars

Magicka: Wizard Wars combines PvP with men in dresses


At last, killing your friends is actively encouraged
Mar 25
// Fraser Brown
No game of Magicka is complete without a ruined friendship or two. Fellow wizards have a way of getting in between monsters and fatal spells, and it's always their fault, never yours. The latest iteration of the Magicka seri...
Guild Wars 2 tournaments photo
Guild Wars 2 tournaments

Guild Wars 2 removing paid tournaments


Free fighting for everyone!
Feb 25
// Joshua Derocher
With the recent introduction of a ranked matching system, ArenaNet has decided to drop the current system in Guild Wars 2 of paying to participate in high-level player-versus-player matches. The earlier system -- ch...
Guild Wars 2 PVP photo
Guild Wars 2 PVP

Guild Wars 2 introduces the Spirit Watch PVP map


Bring out your Norns
Feb 18
// Chris Carter
ArenaNet has a new video out showcasing their new Norn-themed PVP map for Guild Wars 2, Spirit Watch. It promises huge idyllic vistas, crystal clear waters, and of course, deadly combat. The map will combine conquest g...
League of Legends photo
League of Legends

Riot Games inspired by the NFL for League of Legends


Developer talks about the future of eSports in League of Legends
Jan 30
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
Riot Games is no stranger to the spotlight, and certainly not above giving players their own chance to shine. The competitive scene for League of Legends has blown up in the past two years since it launched. Things ...

One pilot's mistake leads to massive battle in EVE Online

Jan 30 // Joshua Derocher
[embed]243509:46605:0[/embed] A simple operation went horribly wrong when a Titan pilot from the ClusterFuck Coalition (CFC) clicked the wrong button. Instead of warping his fleet to his location, he warped himself alone into the territory of the Pandemic Legion (PL). PL had a prime target with a solo Titan so they began the assault. CFC didn't want to lose their Titan, so they called for back-up, and the reinforcements started to come in droves. Many EVE players use messaging services like IRC, Jabber, or even their cell phones to always be on call when things like this happen. Pilots called in their corporations to help out, and then entire alliances began to show up. PL is a part of the HoneyBadger Coalition, and they decided that they would also rally their forces to the fight. Something like this can be a good excuse to blast someone you don't like. If anyone had a grudge against someone, this was a good time to join the opposing side. It's sort of like how everyone got involved in World War II. Allies called on allies and some people just hated Germany so they joined in the war. In the Battle of Asakai, 717,033,768,274 ISK worth of ships were destroyed -- or $24,921.30, converted to US currency. Let that figure sink in for a second. This killboard shows every ship that players lost. A total of 3,161 players from 262 alliances consisting of 715 corporations were involved in the battle. The most amazing part is that no one planned on this happening; people started calling in their friends and allies to help them out, and it just kept escalating. EVE uses a system called Time Dilation to keep lag to a minimal on the servers. Time slows down when massive amounts of players are in one system, and this allows everyone to respond to what's happening. It also prevents the server from crashing or getting overloaded with commands. The amount of ships in this battle caused the system to move at 10% speed. So if it normally takes a missile three seconds to hit an enemy ship, it would have taken 30 seconds during this battle. An interesting side effect of this is that it makes it easier for other players to jump into a battle already in-progress. Only the system where the battle is happening is effected, so everyone outside has time to get into the action. A battle that would normally be over in an hour can last for ten hours, for example. It's not just the players involved directly in the battle that make this impressive. Most of these ships, weapons, and even ammunition were made by players from materials gathered by players. I mostly mine when I play EVE, so I don't often take part in these large-scale encounters, but I know the materials I sell contribute to the massive war machine. Three giant Titan class ships (the largest in the game) were destroyed. These ships have to be built at player-controlled structures, and they can take up to two months of real time to be constructed. The player stations have to be guarded and fueled to keep everything running as well. That's a lot of time and resources to build these ships, folks.  At the end of the battle, CFC was thoroughly beaten. CFC lost over 650 billion ISK worth of ships while HoneyBadger's side lost only 67 billion. That is quite the whooping. If you want to read the real heavy insider story filled with EVE-speak and info from the corps that were involved, then checkout this article on The Mittani. A weekend of epic destruction in eve online  [EVE Insider Dev Blog]The battle of asakai and poinen must burn by the numbers [EVE Insider Dev Blog]
EVE Online photo
A misclick causes The Battle of Asakai
Every once in a while I have people who don't play EVE Online ask me about something major that happened in the game. This past weekend, I have had a lot people asking me about the Battle of Asakai, in which one pilot's simpl...

Review: Forge

Jan 06 // Sterling Aiayla Lyons
Forge (PC)Developer: Dark Vale GamesPublisher: Dark Vale GamesRelease: December 4, 2012MSRP: $19.99Laptop: Intel Core 2 Duo P4750 @ 2.30 GHz, 4 Gigs Ram, Nvidia Geforce GTX 260M Forge is a bit weird to me. I think I knew everything I wanted to say about the game within the first hour of playing. It's also technically incomplete, with some features missing currently, though the hooks are in the game for them already. I feel that it is complete enough to have loads of fun with, and there's enough included to still warrant a full review. The combination of a shooter and an MMORPG player-versus-player mode, Forge plays out with two teams engaged in arena-style combat, with a small variety of modes featuring different objectives. At its core, the shooter aspect influences these modes a bit more. Objectives range from killing enemies to capturing the other team's flag, or in Forge's case, a crystal. Teams are made up of players who can choose one of five character classes, each one falling more towards the MMO roles, such as tank or healer. There's the Assassin, a melee damage dealer with some stealth abilities; the Pathfinder, a ranged bowman than can lay traps; the Pyromancer, a magical damage dealer; the Shaman, a healing dwarf with some light offensive skills; and the Warden, a damage sponge and enemy distraction.  This fusion leads to interesting gameplay, as well as a control scheme that I just absolutely love. Forge controls less like a typical MMO and more like a shooter. You strafe with the A and D keys, not turn, and your mouse movements directly aim your viewpoint. Following the MMO formula, instead of swapping weapons with your hotkeys, they control your character's abilities. The biggest innovation here comes in how the default layout is set for the hotkeys. Eschewing the standard 1-9 keys that are used for weapon selection in shooters, and casting abilities in MMOs, Forge lays out the hotkeys on the keyboard buttons next to the WASD keys, and above the space bar. It takes a little getting used to, and perhaps a little rearranging, but the end result is that all your skills are easier to hit without having to compromise your movement or aim. This approach feels really cool and takes into account the fast pace of the game. MMORPG PvP isn't usually slow, but the pacing in Forge falls a lot closer to something like a Team Fortress or Unreal Tournament, but with the ability spam and cycling of World of Warcraft integrated. The choice in controls also allows for much more varied actions to be performed, such as wall jumping, which can be chained with no specific limit other than space or resource points. This brings me to the next point, stats. Each class has its own stats, including a unique "resource point." It sounds special, but it basically amounts to the mana or stamina for that class. These points substitute ammunition in shooter terms, though instead of governing how much you can use your weapon, they govern your ability usage. Not only do your abilities eat up this resource, but so does sprinting, jumping, and blocking. Resources do recharge at a quick rate, but the drain from skills and actions is fast enough that players still have to be conscious of their skill choices. After sprinting across the map, you may opt to hide in a corner for a bit to recover some resources before entering a fight, for example. It also can shut down popular shooter strategies such as bunny hopping, making the choice between fighting and fleeing more distinct in these cases. The stats extend beyond simply health and resources, with a usual bevy of RPG statistics that vary per character. Unlike an MMO, you don't "level up" to gain any new points to grow these stats. Each character starts with all the abilities, and all the stats that they will ever have. This means two things. Firstly, that skill in gameplay is the major distinction between levels of play. Second, it means that anyone who enjoys the feeling of growing in power will be disappointed. Characters do level up, though the usual association with what happens does not apply here. One of a few things can happen: you can rearrange some statistics, reallocate your armor's points, or you'll unlock something unimplemented yet. While there is no gain of power in Forge, you can make each character into a specialized version of that character by rearranging the points that it has at the start of the game. So if one really wanted to, they could make a Warden that dies more quickly than others, but is faster and deals more damage. The idea of specializing is something that I really enjoy in most games. That's no exception here, and it still helps keep the playing field even across the board, as becoming strong in one area takes away from another. Leveling goes back on one of the major claims in the marketing -- that there is no grind. There's a general pool of experience, earned from performing specific feats in a match, such as capturing flags and surviving for extended combat periods. The experience can then be distributed to a character to level them up. Earning experience takes a good few matches early on, and only continues to take longer with each new level. Add in varying performance each match, 99 listed levels per character, and you have a grind! Of course, this leveling can be ignored. Much like Team Fortress 2, one can hop between characters and still do well, even without having a lot unlocked for each of them. Similarly, it feels like the game emphasizes playing characters as the match calls for them, rather than just sticking to one familiar class each time. This specialization is the only small thing that feels counter to that idea, as it rewards you more for pouring all your experience into one character. Graphically, Forge manages to hold up to the standards of today, despite being an indie game. The environments of the levels vary wildly, from a medieval city square, to a forest outpost with cave network underneath, as well as a couple of massive temple ruins with a valley and single bridge between them. The characters are also intricately designed, with each one having a very distinct look, yet they all look like they fit with everything else in the game. I only counted three maps, not including the tutorial map, but each feels well designed. They are all large, offering multiple paths, and have a nice amount of "verticality" to them, such as underground caverns or high-laid rooftops. The nature of having each map need to apply to all of the modes in Forge shows -- each one has two distinct "bases," but given that all the modes are team-based, it works as a strength. The bases also usually have healing totems in them, which help fight back against spawn camping most of the time. The audio design is good too, once again fitting around a single theme, or a single track in this case. What is there is well composed, but at the same time, there's not too much variety in music or sound effects. I think I heard maybe two or three footstep sounds, and what feels like only one background track. Some skills even seem to use the same sound effects. The game performs well, even on my now aging laptop. The framerate with everything maxed out, running at 1366x768, the maximum resolution my screen supports, remained stable and smooth. The network connection also prove to be sturdy, as I noticed lag maybe once in my initial hours of playtime. Load times were fairly quick for me, taking roughly 20-30 seconds when changing maps. All in all, Forge is quite enjoyable. At the same time, I did find myself struggling to want to continue playing. I'm not sure if maybe it's that the game is more of a shooter than I expected, or how it lacks that progression and stat growth, or if it is just because it's incomplete. When I do play, I enjoy Forge, but I wish that I was playing an MMORPG with the same gameplay setup instead. In the end, unless you're someone heavy into shooters who is looking for something different yet familiar, or are into MMOs for the PvP mainly, then it would be worth waiting for the game that will be "forged" a few months down the road. 
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Disclaimer: Forging may not be featured
Maybe it's just me, but it seems that every once in a while there is a game that comes out that makes a statement about MMORPGs. That the best part of those games is the player-versus-player segments. In 2007, there was the "...

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The DTOID Show: Adam Sessler's 2013 Gaming Predictions


Dec 28
// Tara Long
It's our last Destructoid Show episode of 2012, so filling in for Max today is Adam Sessler, whose name I am in no way ashamed to peddle so long as it drives views to this post! (Plus, who doesn't love a good predictions epi...
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EVE Online update overhauls bounty hunting


In a game this crazy, the patch notes are just insane!
Dec 05
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
EVE Online is one tough cookie to crack. Sure, it's a massively multiplayer online game. It's also one part space-faring strategy game, business simulator, and space-pirate dream fantasy as well. Much of the game is filled wi...
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Preseason Update is live for League of Legends


Apparently, preseason means 'test things on everyone'
Dec 04
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
It wasn’t too long ago that big sweeping changes were being discussed about the future of League of Legends. Well, now it seems like the change has gone live on the main servers. To commemorate this, Riot games has put...
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Upcoming League of Legends preseason update detailed


Competative gaming > eSports
Nov 19
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
It seems like we can't go too long without there being some big news about League of Legends. It can be something small like a record-breaking number of users, or perhaps a map with a new mode, or even a holiday getting the f...
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League of Legends Harrowing event officially begins


So many spiders, not enough fire!
Oct 26
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
A week ago, Riot Games teased its new Halloween event while keeping a good bit of detail secret. Now, not only are more details available, the event has gone live and is in action! There's a new champ out, new harrowing-them...
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Riot announces League of Legends Championship Series


Aug 06
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
It wasn't too long ago when Riot Games was hyping up the season two championship as being the big new thing to begin a strong focus on revolutionizing competitive gaming, or "eSports," into something that no one ha...
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MLG League of Legends Summer Arena wrap-up


Aug 06
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
This past weekend, Major League Gaming hosted a League of Legends competition, featuring a $10,000 prize, winner take all. Two teams, Curse Gaming and Team Black, won qualifying tournaments beforehand for spots in this compet...
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League of Legends: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow


May 07
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
League of Legends, the fantastic competitive online game brought to you by Riot Games, has been going through a lot of changes over the past couple of months since the last time we posted about the game here on Des...
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Live show: Exclusive early look at Depth on Mash Tactics


Mar 23
// Bill Zoeker
We have a special edition Mash Tactics of shark punching proportions in store for you today. Alex Quick, who recently came by to play his game Killing Floor with King Foom and the viewers, is returning with his current projec...
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The DTOID Show: Is Mass Effect 3 ending rage justified?


Mar 12
// Tara Long
Happy Monday, everyone! Now that Max and I have had the chance to recuperate from our long week of GDC insanity, we're back in the studio with a handful of news to report on and a fresh, new outlook on life! (Just kidding, w...
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Guild Wars 2 PvP to set worlds against each other


Feb 18
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
I'm always a big fan of when game developers share philosophies and general development methodologies behind the games that they are working on. This week, Mike Ferguson -- of the Guild Wars 2 development team at ArenaNet -- ...

Impressions: Dota 2 beta

Feb 08 // Sterling Aiayla Lyons
DOTA 2 beta (PC)Developer: ValvePublisher: ValveRelease: TBA 2012 Those who follow my writing know that I'm a frequent player of League of Legends -- arguably the most popular current-running MOBA game -- and have covered it around the site frequently. I have never played the original DOTA though, so while not completely blind in walking into the beta for this game, I would not be able to tell you for certain what all of the aspects are maintained. From what I could tell, much was held over from the original. The basic elements of the gameplay remain the same. There are three lanes connecting two bases on opposite corners of the map: one that curves at the top-left corner of the map, one that curves at the bottom-right corner of the map, and the third that crosses the center diagonally. Mindless and automated minions walk along these lanes, attacking the towers and enemy minions as they fight their way into the enemy base. Two teams of five players, each player controlling one hero character of their choosing, help these minions along in an attempt to skew each skirmish to their team's favor. Dota 2 plays like any other MOBA. It retains the same overhead perspective, and controls much in the same way you would expect an RTS game to. It also offers some RPG flavor as your chosen hero can level up during the match, and you can allocate points into attributes and skills. Finally, there's an obligatory shop where you can buy items to equip using gold gained from kills. Despite so many similarities, Dota 2 still has some good things going for it. The graphical fidelity is magnificent. Valve certainly has a solid track record of making detailed-looking games that manage to have a simplicity about them, and this is no different here. There is also a matchmaking feature for automatically setting up teams of people, which works really quickly, and seems to set up fair matches. Should there be someone who quits your team after a match has been made, a helpful rule can save you from wasting time on a loss. If five minutes have passed since said person left, then you can leave as well, and you won't incur a penalty for doing so. Until that point, you could actually deselect your own hero and take over the one that person left behind to try an compensate for the lost player. It's something that I'm sure could be greatly helpful for experienced players if one member of the team has a momentary lapse in their connection, or some other unfortunate circumstance. There is also a fully fleshed out Spectator Mode, in which any number of people can click on an in-progress match to watch it live as it happens. Perhaps the neatest thing about this is the inclusion of an automatic camera director, which will move your screen around to watch all the areas where the action takes place. There is also a spectator-only chat in this mode, allowing you to talk with other viewers watching alongside you. When making a private room for a game, you can disable the ability for people to watch in on you as well. Unfortunately, there are also parts in Dota 2 that don't feel quite so good. While the graphical quality is really nice, the general art style and the color choices feel rather bland -- even borderline generic. There are a lot of dark colors, and even on the side of the map that's supposed to be vibrant, there is drab coloring much in the same vein as first-person shooters from three to four years ago. The character designs also don't ring of any distinct uniqueness to them. Other MOBAs that have drawn inspiration from or pay homage to more famous icons, but here the characters all feel like they could be interchanged with anything from fantasy story-hood. This is also reflected in the lack of naming for each hero. While each character may have a name in their lore, the selection screen opts instead to name them by the closest thing to their "class." This also hurts the gameplay to some extent. Targeting specific enemies can become hard as they clump up randomly with each other in skirmishes. Targeting enemy heroes can be just as bad considering there is little that distinctly makes them stand out from the minions. Sure, there is a floating health bar that is a bit bigger than the ones over the minions, but there are still plenty of times where lots of minions and screen-obscuring special effects make conditions where you could lose track of all the players engaged in the same skirmish. The interfacing also hurts the game as well, taking up way too much of the screen for comfort. Given the level of zoom on the action, this can lead to situations where you end up clicking on your HUD instead of a spot on the playfield in an attempt to run away. The ability to deselect your hero is also problematic, as it makes the basic controls of your character slightly more complicated than they really need to be. Although there is a button you can hit to instantly re-select your character, miss-clicking can screw you over. Thankfully, you can bind the command to select your champion to any button, but the camera command only ever remains pressing the selection button twice. The shop system is something that has also been inelegantly handled. There are multiple shops scattered about the map, each with different items in them. It's a holdover from DOTA that was supposed to help separate the different skill level of players, with more "advanced" players knowing what items are bought from where. It feels unnecessary in Dota 2, when the mini-map will ping which shop has the item you're trying to buy. The organization of the items in the shop is also very lacking. The categories are by the type of item, but this makes finding items that affect specific statistics a hassle, requiring you to read all the tool tips and data for each one as you search. Dota 2 is still a beta product, and it shows. There are a variety of options that are unimplemented, or half-implemented. In private games, you can set up bots to play with, and they feel very reminiscent of how the bots are in Valve's other games. Not many of the characters have bots to play with, and even on the easiest setting, most of them are annoying and hard to play with and against. Bot matches could still become something useful for training and practice, but as they are now, they just feel incomplete.  An option for a tutorial is visible, but remains unimplemented at the moment. There is stat tracking, and you can see what characters you like using, as well as success or failure rates with each. Some form of level tracking is shown, though it's non-functional at the moment, which will probably be used for better skill assessment in matchmaking. All in all, Dota 2 is a much slower affair than some of the other established MOBA games to have come out in the past couple of years. It feels like an odd mix of a modern game and an antiquated game. It's clunky, and I would not say that it feels very friendly to new players looking to start playing a MOBA in its current form. Depending on how some of these unimplemented features turn out, they could make the game significantly more accessible for new people who are unfamiliar with the genre. A number of the problems I've found are things that can be fixed by the time the game goes out of beta. As it stands, Dota 2 feels highly aimed at fans of the original, who would claim that the other popular MOBAs are too simplified or too casual. For the most part, I would say that they will be happy seeking a new home in the sequel. For everyone else, I feel that it is a wait-and-see situation. As for which MOBA game the famous Basshunter will choose as the best, and make a new song about, only time will tell.
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The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre has been fascinating to watch grow. Like many popular independent works, it started from humble beginnings with a little mod for a well-known game. I can only imagine that few could&n...

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Lots of details on new patch for League of Legends


Jan 14
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
The removal of the "Dodge" statistic has been something that Riot Games has been very open about sharing with the community. Today marks the big announcement that the stat removal will be completed with the patch coming next...
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APB Reloaded: 3 million people playing cops and robbers


Dec 15
// Fraser Brown
When APB shut down less than a month after launch and Realtime Worlds closed its doors, I was pretty cynical about the chances of seeing it again. But a year later, GamersFirst have relaunched the game -- rebranded as APB Rel...
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Join the League of Legends Snowdown Showdown!


Dec 14
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
[Update: Logins are reenabled now, and all the content is in the store for purchase] This past Tuesday saw the release of a new patch for League of Legends. It had the usual contents, another character, some new skins, and ga...
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Blacklight: Retribution dev diary details customization


Dec 09
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
The Blacklight development team is back with another video to follow their dev diary video series. Before, they just showed off their own excitement, and talked about the technology and art behind the game. This time, they t...
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League of Legends patch: New characters and jungles ahoy!


Nov 29
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
Patches are about a dime a dozen for the highly popular League of Legends. The Volibear patch that dropped today marks some changes that are small signs of bigger things to come. Riot Games has put out a preview video, which...
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Second Blacklight: Retribution dev diary talks tech


Oct 20
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
It's been a little while since the last Blacklight: Retribution developer diary video was released. Today, the team is back, and still sounding as excited as ever in a new installment. They discuss not only the technology be...
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Impressions: Rusty Hearts open beta


Oct 12
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
It's been a little while since we last talked about Perfect World's free-to-play MMO beat-'em-up/hack-'n-slash game Rusty Hearts. Now though, a couple of months later, it's been released in an open beta format, but has it kep...
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Season one of League of Legends finishes with new patch


Sep 14
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
League of Legends has a funny definition of a "season." It's now the 61st week in, and season one of the ranked games can now come to a close. This means that over the coming few weeks, the majority of player ELO rankings wi...
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Rusty Hearts open beta release date announced


Sep 07
// Sterling Aiayla Lyons
Rusty Hearts from Perfect World Entertainment has been in closed beta testing for a little while now. It rolled out on on July 27th, and now it will be moving to the next stage on September 13th. To prepare for this, the game...
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While Guild Wars 2 was announced at gamescom 2010, NCsoft and ArenaNet have spent this last 12 months perfecting the art of continuously releasing enough bits of information to keep fans desperately clinging to the edge of t...


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