About Author: Jason Gallagher

Jason Gallagher
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Jason Gallagher has dabbled in just about every MMO released in the last decade. When he's not engaging in heroic deeds online, you'll find him enjoying a beer while screaming at the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates through his television. Follow him on Twitter @MuckrakerJG.

Posts by Jason Gallagher

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Warning to Diablo III Crusaders: Shattering Throw is Bugged. You Will Die.

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Blizzard Entertainment released an urgent note today warning all players of the game’s new Crusader class of a game-breaking and rather infuriating little bug.

Apparently, if any Crusader uses a combination of his or her Blessed Shield ability combined with Shattering Throw, the character will die. Immediately. For no reason.

This includes all hardcore characters as well.

You read that right. A game where an entire mode is built around the idea of permanent character death now has a bug that can instantly kill you with no warning. Ouch.

Blizzard is obviously working overtime on getting this particularly nasty bug fixed, but for now, it might be best to keep your holy smiter of evil on the sidelines.

Diablo III’s Reaper of Souls expansion was released last month to great reviews and has already sold more than 2.7 million copies.

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Wildstar Releases Patch Notes for Class Balance and UI Changes

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As we move closer to the release of Wildstar this June, developer Carbine continues to tinker behind the scenes to get the game running on all cylinders.

The dev team has released the notes for its latest beta patch which includes an extensive array of changes.

Most notable is all of the fine print behind the much discussed UI 2.0 change.

But the game’s classes also received a balance pass and another healthy helping of bug squashing.

You can read about it all over on Wildstar’s official forums.

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Voting for EVE Online’s 9th Council of Stellar Management is Underway

EVE Online launches new player guide

Voting for EVE Online’s 9th Council of Stellar Management has begun.

Polls will be open until April 22 and the voting system features a new interface detailed in a blog post released today.

One of the great things about EVE Online is how the players have unprecedented control compared to most other MMOs over what happens in game. It’s a philosophy that developer CCP has embraced from the very beginning.

The Council is a group of players elected from within the player base and serve as the main liaisons between the players and the developers. Council members get to go to CCP’s headquarters in Iceland among other perks.

Players are being asked to vote for 14 different nominees, in order of preference.

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New Video Details First Adventure Zone, End Game PvE Content for The Elder Scrolls Online

Zenimax Online Studios has released a new video providing details on the first post-launch expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online. It features the game’s first Adventure Mode, called Craglorn. Adventure modes are part of ESO’s end game content and provide players additional objectives to conquer once they reach the level cap.

Craglorn will provide group content for varying sizes of players. At the start, an adventure zone run  is tailored for a group of four players. That said, there is additional content for groups of up to 12 players called Trials.

Trials are the closest thing  that ESO has to a traditional MMO raid. You’ll fight challenging monsters and new bosses with interesting mechanics that you haven’t seen before.

ESO is putting its own twist on the raiding concept though by giving players a limited amount of time to complete each trial as well as limiting the number of available player resurrections. What’s more is that if a player has to use a resurrection it will leave you with less time to complete the trial.

Finally, Trials have leader boards that will allow players to compete against all other teams on their server. The top teams receive in-game rewards.

You can check out the video above. The Elder Scrolls Online is out now for PC and Mac and will release on Playstation 4 and Xbox One this June.

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Independent Games Festival Chairman Denied Coverage for Cancer, Raising Funds on GoFundMe

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One of my favorite moments during PAX East is the Q & A with Penny Arcade founders Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. The questions are anything goes and it’s always a fun time, but it also tends to create the most poignant moments at PAX. Plenty of people tell “Gabe” and “Tycho” every year about how PA and gaming in general have helped them through difficult times. It always reminds me that when you get away from the Internet trolls and get everyone in the same place, the gaming community is filled with awesome people who care about each other.

I was reminded of this again upon reading this story on Polygon about Brandon Boyer, the chairman of the Independent Games Festival. You can get the fine details over at Brandon’s blog but he was diagnosed with cancer last year, had to get parts of his liver and intestine removed and his health insurance company refused to cover the bill, which came in at over $100,000.

Brandon has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for his medical bills, and as usual, the gaming community has once again stepped in for one of its own. As of this post, the campaign has raised almost $74,000 of its $100,000 goal.

Brandon is thankfully in recovery at this point but he will continue to face ongoing medical bills for the treatment needed to keep him alive. You can stay up to date with Brandon through his Twitter.

This year’s Independent Games Festival is later this month in San Francisco.

 

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Quench Your Thirst for Heroes of the Storm With This 17 Minute Gameplay Video

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Blizzard Entertainment has released another video to YouTube featuring a full-length match of its upcoming MOBA Heroes of the Storm.  Game director Dustin Browder guides players through the 17+ minute game that takes place on the Dragon Shire map. The game is currently in an early alpha stage and you can expect more info to continue to leak out in the coming months. Check the full Dragon Shire match after the jump.

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Final Battle for Lion’s Arch Commences in Guild Wars 2 Today

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Today has been a long time coming for Guild Wars 2 fans. Those of you who have been following Drew Bolton’s Living Story Log know that the game has been moving the story of villain Scarlet Briar towards its conclusion over the past few weeks.

The final battle for Lion’s Arch went live on servers today. Players will try to take back one of the game’s most important cities and according to ArenaNet, may have an opportunity to finally square off one and for all with Scarlet herself.

Players can check out the patch notes on the official site. Elite Monster will have a first hand account of the events in another Living Story Log this Friday.

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DayZ is Doubling the Size of Its Development Team

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Some DayZ players were alarmed last week when it was announced that creator Dean Hall would be leaving the game by the end of 2014. Today, the DayZ team took steps to ensure the community that the game will continue to move forward even without its original leader.

In a post on the game’s TumblrHall wrote that he was “inducting a large number of people” onto the team, “effectively doubling the whole project.”

The post also reveals details on the game’s new cooking system and gives players an update on the team’s progress fixing various bugs.

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You Have One Week to Buy the Mists of Pandaria Digital Deluxe Edition

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Blizzard has announced that it will be retiring the Digital Deluxe Edition of World of Warcraft‘s Mists of Pandaria no sooner than next Monday, March 10. The Digital Deluxe Edition of Mists of Pandaria includes the Imperial Quilen Mount, the Lucky Quilen Cub pet, a Mists of Pandaria–themed Diablo III banner sigil and accent, and Horde- and Alliance-themed StarCraft II portraits.

Blizzard stated that the collection might come back out of the Blizzard Archive at some point in the future, but it seems that the World of Warcraft team is getting ready to move forward towards Warlords of Draenor preorders fairly soon. Preordering the game will allow players to automatically level one character to level 90 prior to the release of the next expansion.

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New 42 Minute Destiny Video Tells You Everything You Need to Know

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Well, this is just outstanding. YouTube channel Destiny Updates has put together a comprehensive video detailing all of the information that has been released so far about Bungie’s upcoming online shooter, Destiny. Set for release later this year on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Xbox One and Playstation 4, the next major title from the developers of Halo is one of the most anticipated games of the year.

The video covers everything from the game’s gear, progression and economy systems to an in-depth look at its unique mixture of RPG, MMO and FPS game play. Check out the video after the jump.

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Wildstar Releases Video on Adventures: Group Instances with Multiple Progression Paths

Carbine Studios has released a new video detailing the “Adventures” from its upcoming MMO, Wildstar. The video is a little bit vague, but Adventures appear to be a form of instanced group play with multiple progression paths.

The video, which you can see above, is narrated by the “Caretaker”, who describes himself as a virtual construct created by the Nexus Elders to monitor scientific experiments on the planet. Problem is, the guy seems a little bipolar. The “Caretaker” will send your group into an instance where you can explore many different environments for research purposes. Judging from the video, he then may or may not try to kill you. Yikes.

Adventures are described as having multiple choices that can be made at different points throughout the instance. If you ever read a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book as a kid, it seems to be a similar concept. It’s not clear if Adventures are strictly end game content, but it seems this could be Carbine’s take on shaking up the typical MMO dungeon experience. Every requeue could potentially play out differently based on the decisions you make, keeping the content fresh.

I’m sure we’ll hear more as we move forward into 2014. For now, enjoy the video and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Wildstar Releases Teaser for Announcement Tomorrow

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Oh, Wildstar. Why must you be so cruel?

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Additional Video from Our Elder Scrolls Online Media Beta Playthrough

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Elite Monster dropped multiple stories Friday detailing our time with The Elder Scrolls Online ahead of its April 4 release. EM writer Lauren Martina Fosco gave you her in-depth impressions of the game along with exclusive video taken from her play time. Turns out there’s more where that came from.

We’re posting 10 more videos showing quick glimpses into some of the more notable quests from Lauren’s playthrough, as well as links to all six of our stories from Friday covering the game’s combat, crafting, skill trees and more. You can find it all after the jump.

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Elite Monster Seeks Weekly Columnists for Wildstar, EverQuest Next and More

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Have something to say about your favorite MMO or online title? Elite Monster is looking to hire columnists for a wide variety of games.

All new hires must be active players and submit a new column on time every week.

Check the full list of games and application requirements after the jump.

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World of Warcraft Gains 200,000 Subs in Q4 2013, up to 7.8 Million

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It would appear that the rumors of World of Warcraft’s death among some in the MMO community have been greatly exaggerated.

Blizzard Entertainment announced today that subscriptions for its flagship MMO increased by 200,000 in the 4th quarter of 2013, giving the game 7.8 million subscribers.

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Blizzard’s Gear Shop is Back Online, Now with Hearthstone Merchandise

Blizzard opens Gear Shop with Hearthstone merchandise

Blizzard took down its online store a couple of months ago, just as it was beginning to reorganize how players can purchase digital items.

Digital items have since been available for purchase in the Battle.net shop, but the Irvine, California-based company only brought back its physical merchandise yesterday in its new Blizzard Gear store.

Among the merchandise available is new Hearthstone-branded gear, just in time for that game’s open beta.

One other unique feature is a new section called Caverns of TimeGear from past Blizzcons has always been hard and sometimes expensive to acquire, but Blizzard is making it a little easier for its hardcore fans with a section that features posters, magnets plushies and other toys from its popular conventions.

Physical authenticators for Battle.net accounts are also replenished, after being unavailable for a long time.

World of Warcraft players recently received additional ways to acquire Blizzard merchandise through an in-game store. Blizzard may be expanding those options with the ability to purchase a level 90 character before the next expansion hits.

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Siege of Orgrimmar to use Warlords Raid System, Including Mythic

World of Warcraft Siege of Orgrimmar Raid to be Updated with Warlords of Draenor system

World of Warcraft’s raiding scene got some unexpected news last night when a Blizzard developer tweeted that the current Mists of Pandaria raid Siege of Orgrimmar will be getting updated to the new raiding system to be used in WoW’s next expansion, Warlords of Draenor, including the new 20-man Mythic difficulty.

Lead encounter designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas response to a player asking about flex raiding contained the somewhat surprising news.

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John Smedley Teases Star Wars Galaxies Fans About New Game – Again

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John Smedley just can’t seem to help himself.

A little over a week after taking to Reddit to tease fans of Sony Online Entertainment’s Star Wars Galaxies about a new game in development that would allow them to “come home,” the SOE president has done it again on Twitter.

Smedley put out two tweets from his personal account on Tuesday stating that the new game will include a sandbox element that may include things like player-built towns.

This of course still leaves a lot to the imagination. Sony just dropped the alpha for EverQuest Next Landmark, a game that is one gigantic sandbox and is continuing work on EverQuest Next proper. Will the game have a science fiction or even a Star Wars theme and compete directly with Bioware’s title? Chances are we won’t see a definite concept on this mystery game for quite some time, but it appears that won’t stop Smedley from having some fun.

Stay tuned to Elite Monster for whatever the man decides to tease us with next.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Announces Two Digital Expansions for 2014

SWTOR announces 2014 roadmap

Star Wars: The Old Republic released its roadmap for 2014 today through an open letter from Senior Producer Bruce Maclean.

The highlight of the announcement is the confirmation that SWTOR will see two digital expansions in 2014, just like last year. Get the full details after the jump.

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EVE Online Launches New Player Guide to Help Those Lost in Space

EVE Online launches new player guide

I remember my first few hours in EVE Online. I downloaded the free trial, fired up the game, logged in… and then spent the next two hours completely, utterly confused. EVE Online is still one of the most unique MMOs in the industry today, long after its release. The diabolical plots hatched by its veteran players can make for some great entertainment. But for a new player like I was at the time, the game can be frustrating and hard to get into.

Today, it seems like someone at CCP finally felt my pain. The developer just released a comprehensive guide for new players.  The guide explains basic concepts like what to do with your ship and how player death is handled, but more importantly it provides an overview to the wealth of content that is available in the game. Follow the guide, and you’ll have a sense of direction to your play, no longer lost in space.

If you want to give EVE Online and the new guide a chance, go check out the 14 day free trial.

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