PAX East 2015 kicked-off to an energetic, populous crowd earlier today, and the day’s activities concluded with similar veracity: A panel of MMO & RPG veterans collected to discuss the future of massively online gaming, filling-in the entirety of the assigned theater.

We always manage to include the site's technology-driven coverage spectrum in conversations with Star Citizen visionary Chris Roberts. This has been true since the very beginning of our Star Citizen coverage, which heavily [focused on the technology] of the colossal space sim. Our hardware content greatly benefits from these conversations with game systems engineers, too: Such discussions lend a basic understanding of engine architecture, assisting in the development of GPU, I/O, and CPU test methodology as it pertains to real-world gaming use cases.

In this case, the CIG CEO joined us for an extensive discussion on Star Citizen's great engineering challenges, to include the recently-discussed zone system and instancing mechanics.

Trion’s voxel MMO Trove has been on our radar since last year’s Game Developers Conference, largely because of its vibrant presentation inside a cooperatively-driven game. For followers of our Cube World coverage, this would be the most comparable title. Our very own Keegan Gallick and I caught up with Project Lead Andrew Krausnick to learn about some of the newest features and what to expect in the months leading up to Trove’s late 2015 release.

The ability to hook players into a game -- ideally without requiring a never-ending grind to get to the "fun part" -- is an ever-challenging quest for companies. This problem is one that actually benefits the modding community, which is probably one of the ultimate forms of complimenting a game's developers. Modding communities show that players are so committed to what they were given that they want to keep it alive as long as possible. Morrowind is a prime example of this; even after a decade, players are still keeping the game alive by porting it into newer engines -- even the game's Lead Designer acknowledges this, 10+ years later.

In an unanticipated turn for the stagnant MMORPG industry, Swedish developer Coffee Stain Studios has announced its revolutionary “Goat MMO Simulator” RPG. The MMO spawned as a result of player demand, to which the developers say: “If anyone from Blizzard Legal is reading this, please don't sue.”

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The existence of “virtual laziness” is either profound commentary on the degradation of human nature or an example of poor game design. We've discussed it before: Laziness developing within games is common, especially where backtracking or repetitious, unnecessary combat inhibit actual exploration of the game's world and story.

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It's tough not to be hard on oneself when the prospect of holding “w” for a few minutes – because walking across a moon's surface requires shockingly little use of “s” – becomes too much to bear. It's too much work, too far to walk, and that pit of lava is looking rather inviting right now.

Our experience with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (BLPS) began with innocent GPU benchmarking, but struck enough of a chord to warrant a full review. This is in similar fashion to our Watch_Dogs experience. After hours of enduring backtracking, dull character progression, a lack of motivating storytelling, juvenile jokes, and forced, mind-numbingly boring traversal of desolate environments, we're here with the review: Borderlands is boring.

Half of GN’s team is presently in Whistler Blackcomb as a refresher off the tail-end of PAX Prime 2014 (full event coverage here), but that hasn’t stopped us from pumping out content – including this Star Citizen piece. We recently published an interview discussing the research and implementation of procedural generation within Star Citizen, the stretch goal set about “$10 million ago,” so to speak.

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Today’s content specifically explains customization within Star Citizen. We spoke with CIG CEO & Chairman Chris Roberts about character, ship, organization, and space station customization in Star Citizen, including ship tuning and painting. As a quick throw-in, we asked Roberts about adjusting or changing FOV in Star Citizen.

Trion Worlds announced at PAX Prime this weekend that its westernized fantasy MMORPG ArcheAge will release on September 16. “Founders,” those who have financially backed the game to get access to the alpha and beta, can begin enjoying ArcheAge on September 12.

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ArcheAge has been in closed beta since July 17 and will release an open beta from September 4-8 so that newcomers can try it out before fully committing. That said, ArcheAge is free-to-play, but it will also offer Patron subscriptions and non-recurring passes for more in-game content & bonuses.

Star Citizen stands as one of the most anticipated PC games in recent years. Space-flight simulation has been a part of PC gaming since its very beginnings, but we've scaled-up quite a bit from Galaga to now. In our very first interview with Chris Roberts, CEO & Chairman of Star Citizen's Cloud Imperium Games, we discussed the tremendous focus on graphics and technology for the game. Roberts told us that he wanted something to enjoy on his maxed-out, expensive gaming PC -- something that could make use of SLI and an X-series CPU.

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After months of WIP screenshots and concept art, we're finally starting to see a few game items receive high-fidelity polish.

It's been known for a few days that Star Citizen's "Arena Commander" space-flight combat simulation module will be playable on May 29. We first reported on this module from the floor of PAX East, where we interviewed Chris Roberts post-unveil, then again about FPS mechanics, and one more time about Arena Commander.

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Star Citizen's Arena Commander module is described in our post here. In short, it is a 'simulation' (within canon) of space-flight combat that is being released primarily for testing purposes. It is important to realize that this is very early alpha (0.8) and will be buggy and broken; the onus is on gamers to report issues they discover. This alpha test will help determine maximum player count, stress test server / back-end stability, and get us some hands-on with the shooting mechanics.

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