Shacknews - Garnett Lee
Massively multiplayer online shooter Global Agenda continues its summer "Sandstorm" expansion with the launch of phase 2 today. The new content includes the "Sonoran Desert Zone" which introduces the more free adventuring style play typically found in MMORPGs. I played some in this area at E3 and it had a comfortably familiar pace of exploring, talking to NPC for quests, and fighting random enemies around the area. This zone in particular is designed for early in the game with a character level range of 5 to 15. Similar zones for higher level characters are in the works for future expansions.

Also in phase 2 of the Sandstorm expansion

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Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
Global Agenda developer Hi-Rez Studios has shook up its business model less than five months after launch, announcing the abolition of subscription fees--meaning you need merely to buy the PC shooter MMO--and a move towards paid content updates.

A free trial is available on Steam, letting you play characters up to level 15. Global Agenda requires Steam as it uses auto-updating and other Steamworks features.

While Global Agenda's previous $12.99 monthly subscription was optional, those who didn't pay it found their game more than a little restricted. Subscribers gained access to the alliance vs. alliance 'World Domination' mode, the auction house, crafting, in-game mail, improved communication and more, not forgetting character levels beyond thirty.

"Future content updates will be delivered via optional paid expansions," Hi-Rez explains, to support the game. One such expansion, named 'Sandstorm,' is being released for free in two parts this summer to give players a freebie taste of the new way.

To celebrate the news--and the season--Global Agenda is discounted by 33% to $26.79 on Steam as part of its current whopping great Summer Sale.

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