Betawatch: A Bless Online-ed event (March 23, 2018)

After all of the false starts, delays, and dearths of information, we finally know the truth this week. Bless Online is coming to early access in May, finally making its way over here. We even had a lengthy interview about the game’s development plans, so if you’ve been watching it for ages, you can find out more about it. And that includes no lockboxes, thankfully.

So let’s move on, shall we? There’s other beta news, and we’re dropping it right… here. After the end of these sentences.

And after all that getting, why not get yourself down to the list of games in testing below? If you got something we didn’t get, you can get in touch with us in the comments to get things back on track. Get the idea?

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Neverwinter brings the Lost City of Omu to consoles on April 24

Nothing like a two-month wait for new content while your friends on a different platform get to experience it all! Such is the continued plight of Neverwinter’s console crowd, who routinely deal with lengthy delays in bringing their MMO version up to parity with the PC.

So while PC players got the Lost City of Omu patch back on February 27th, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers are going to have to wait it out until April 24th. When it arrives, this finale of the jungles of Chult campaign will add a new adventure zone, more monster hunts, a streamlined level 60 to 70, an endgame trial, and more. There’s a whole knowledge hub devoted to the patch to help you get a handle on it.

Speaking of the PC edition, a patch hit this past Wednesday that made several adjustments and fixes to the Omu content. Check out the notes to see what’s all in it!

Source: Neverwinter


A sneak peek of South Africa in Secret World Legends’ Season 2

The things I do for you! You know that story is everything to me, and in order to bring you more information, I allowed myself to be partially spoiled on Secret World Legends’ start of the long-awaited Season 2. If you know nothing of what’s ahead and are trying to stay totally pure of any information other than it launches on April 4th, then go ahead and leave now. Right now. That was your warning. Because I was just on a pretty detailed (but not completely spoilerific) tour of the upcoming content release with Game Director Romain Amiel and Community Manager Andy Benditt. And I am going to share some of it with you. Don’t worry, though – I’ve got your back. I’ve made it so incredibly obvious the different levels of spoilers — from nothing to lots — so if you get spoiled, you will have only yourself to blame.

If you already know where we are heading and want to learn details about non-story stuff that is pertinent to the expansion, I’ve got a whole section ahead for you. You can stop before any of the story spoilers happen. For those who want to go ahead and get even more of the juicy tidbits of the story, I’ve got a whole big bite of it for you, including screenshots. But even you don’t get to know everything!

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The Black Death has spawned an actual popularity contest

If you thought your days of losing popularity contests were over when you left school, think again! Indie survival sandbox The Black Death is bringing back your chance to do all the work on the class yearbook while some hunky loudmouth takes all the glory by asking its player testers to nominate and vote on each other’s contributions to the game. The studio says it’s a way to thank the community, letting the community “endorse” the people it thinks “have put a significant contribution to the development of The Black Death.”

“Today we would like to give YOU the opportunity to nominate your fellow players for the prestigious Founders title and a Gold name in game. That’s right, it is now you, the community, who will be choosing the Founders. We are still going to play a part in this, but it will be limited to making the final decisions on the top nominations, and those will be based completely on your feedback.”

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GTA Online’s Hotring Circuit is live this week with loads of new cars

On Fridays, we drive purple cars.

GTA Online’s got your need for speed covered with this week’s update. Rockstar’s promising “a full season of pulse-pounding new racing updates” thanks to the Southern San Andreas Super Sport Series, which has begun with one of two new racing modes, the Hotring Circuit.

“There’s nothing more American than strapping yourself inside of the highly combustible turbo-charged death machine that is the new Declasse Hotring Sabre and tearing around a multi-lap track designed for up to 30 adrenaline-addicted maniacs. Embrace the intoxicating smell of burnt rubber and premium-grade gasoline across 10 stock car races made for the new Hotring Sabre, and get Double GTA$ & RP now through March 26th.”

But wait, there’s more. In April, Rockstar will push out the Target Assault mode, and then on May 1st, players will be jumping into new new adversary modes, new vehicles, new transform races, and Doomsday Heist cars. Vroom.

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Mavericks takes battle royale in the direction of an MMO

Normally there’s a firm line of separation between battle royale-style multiplayer shooters and the full-fledged MMORPG, but Automaton’s Mavericks may be about to change all of that.

The online tactical shooter has a couple of advantages that may set it apart and above its competition when it comes out this year. For starters, it’s using the Cryengine to create a large “photo-realistic” and “high-fidelity” environment. Then Mavericks is opening up its doors to 1,000 players at a time in its persistent world, thanks to SpatialOS’ tech.

“We’ve combined a number of new and proven additions that drastically expand on what you’ve seen from the last generation of games,” the studio said, ‘including character progression, deep narrative, intelligent mission systems, social hubs, and a huge world rich in content.”

The team hasn’t started doing dev diaries yet, but it HAS created a dev diary for the upcoming dev diaries, which you can watch after the break and then feel generally fulfilled about your life.

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Trove’s Heroes expansion is basically about the war on bots

When Trove’s superhero-flavored Heroes expansion launches on Tuesday, it’s bringing with it not just a new skyscraper-bedecked neon zone but a plotline for said zone. What better backdrop to grind your new Vanguardian, eh? And as all great stories do, this one starts with a mining guild. Wait, did I just type that?

“Long ago in the Desert Frontier a mineral of incredible magical power was discovered: Arcanium. An Arcanium Rush commenced and miners banded together to form corporations dedicated to gathering and exploiting as much Arcanium as possible. They developed new technologies to maximize their mining efforts.”

And then it all came crashing down.

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Dauntless continues to refine its user interface to balance form and function

As Dauntless pushes through beta and toward launch, the team is hard at work refining its user interface to strike that critical balance between being seamlessly integrated with the game’s art style and providing useful information on the fly.

The team said that it is giving increased focus to the UI right now, taking cues from Halo 2’s matchmaking system (which it labels “humanity’s greatest achievement”) and figuring out the UI for game controllers. Other UI projects include transmog, customization, cosmetics, color blind options, status effect icons, quick crafting, and rebindable keys.

“The art of user interface is providing immediate and relevant information without creating a distraction or incongruity,” the dev team said. “It’s important to us that our UI is snappy, fluid, and intuitive.”

Source: Dauntless


Peek into the early development of Hearthstone’s Witchwood – and see which cards survived the Gilnean Express

One of the best reasons to follow Hearthstone is that the devs are willing to do try about anything, including a seven-minute Blair Witch video talking about video game cards. Blizzard Senior Designer Peter Whalen’s Hearthside Chat this week dives into some of the other wacky things the team came up with while brainstorming the upcoming Witchwood expansion, including one of its earliest concepts, when it was still called Murder on the Gilnean Express. Choo choo.

That version of the expansion would’ve had some fun card mechanics, like investigations, mysteries, and ghostly switchups and replications. Of course, that theme, and some of those cards, were lost along the winding roads of development, but the “Ghostly” concept survived: as Echo cards.

Massively OP’s Andrew Ross sat down with the Blizzard devs at GDC earlier this week to hear all about the work behind the expansion, so don’t miss that before clicking onward for the vid.

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WoW Factor: Allied races and a dearth of class choices

Last week, we got confirmation that Kul Tiran Humans and Mag’har Orcs are coming to the Allied Race roster for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. We don’t know when, but I have a bit of a theory about that as it is; from what we know, it’d make sense to have Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs brought in at the start of the expansion, while the Kul Tiran Humans and Zandalari Trolls are brought in after you’ve finished the leveling story for the respective factions. The former are more solidly members than the latter, after a fashion.

But we don’t know for certain when they’re getting added, just that they will be. And that’s interesting, because it means that both factions have significantly increased their race options within one expansion. And that becomes kind of relevant when you look at how many choices individual players have in terms of having something for all of these different races to do.

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Here’s how Star Citizen’s character customizer is coming along

Sea of Thieves’ character customization got you down? Star Citizen won’t be making that mistake. This week’s Around the Verse details the game’s roadmap for the character customizer arriving with the 3.1 alpha – and yes, tweaking your dudes and dudettes is going to be a game in itself.

“The character customizer being introduced in Alpha 3.1 is being polished by several teams working to fine-tune this highly anticipated feature,” says CIG’s Eric Kieron Davis. “The gameplay feature team is tweaking the options for eye and skin color as well as the way they’re presented within the customizer. We want to make sure the interface is intuitive and responsive as possible and the UI team continues to make adjustments to the customizer to ensure that. The character customizer is one of the most exciting new features coming online with Alpha 3.1, as it will allow citizens to begin their journey, creating an avatar that can fully represent them within the Star Citizen universe.”

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GDC 2018: In the crow’s nest with Ship of Heroes’ CEO Casey McGeever

Let me be upfront: I’ve never gotten into a superhero MMO. I love comics; outside of work, it’s probably the only fiction I willingly read these days. It’s just the people I play with never got into hero MMOs, even when some of us finally tried DC Universe Online.

But I read all about them. And I know you superhero MMORPG players have been kicked around.

Heroic Games President and CEO Casey McGeever’s passionate about the need for the genre because of that, and that’s precisely why MMO Ship of Heroes was conceived. We’ve got superheroes everywhere these days, but as hot as the Avengers are, we’re largely given steaming piles of brown from their gaming-ignorant parent companies. So I sat down with McGeever to talk MMOs, tech, and a ship full of heroes during GDC 2018.

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Fractured’s alignment and karma systems put a spin on MMO PvP

Is it even possible to put the diametrically opposed playstyles of PvE and PvP into the same MMO game world and make it work? Well, obviously it’s been done in the past to varying degrees of success and failure, but the upcoming fantasy sandbox Fractured thinks that it has struck upon a “unique” solution that caters to both sides and the spectrum between.

Part of the team’s plan is to create three worlds with different rulesets (PvE, lawful PvP, and lawless PvP) so that players may choose the level of interplay between the two crowds. Another part of that solution is giving an alignment to each character.

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