Neverwinter shows off the mechanics of the Spellplague Caverns

The next Neverwinter patch will send players into the depths of the Spellplague Caverns, and you can be sure that the denizens therein will not be amenable to friendly conversation. No, you're going to have to fight things, and that means new boss encounters and mechanics to deal with. The developers aren't willing to completely divulge the mechanics of these encounters, but you can at least get an idea of what you'll be dealing with thanks to the latest preview.

Each of the new fights is meant to introduce a different sort of mechanic, including gaze attacks (which can only be avoided by players looking away from the source) and a plane-shifting mechanic on the final boss. You'll have to work together with your teammates to overcome the challenges of the caverns, so make sure to go with your more observant friends for your first few runs. And, you know, close your eyes when appropriate.

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Revelation Online shows off the many paths to wings

You don't want to walk in Revelation Online; you want to fly away. (Just like a dragonfly.) Fortunately, the game gives you wings pretty early on, so you can explore the world from the air as you wish. The most recent preview on the official site shows several of the diverse wings available to players in the game, ensuring that players of all styles can soar through the air with the greatest of ease.

Wings are available from dungeons as drops, but wings can also be crafted by breaking down unwanted sets of wings. You can also earn specific sets by crafting a new set from several reputation items. In short, you needn't worry that you'll suffer from a paucity of wing options, from insect-like dragonfly wings to billowing energy in vague wing shapes. Check out the full dispatch for more information on how to take to the skies.

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Wisdom of Nym: Gauging predictions after the Final Fantasy XIV fanfests

It finally happened, folks; we're done with the fan festivals until next year. (Yes, I fully expect to hear about the next set when we're getting about halfway through 2018. This is not an unpredictable development team.) We know the big elements of what Final Fantasy XIV will be seeing with its next expansion. So I find myself sitting here and asking, more or less for my own edification, how was my aim?

I made my guesses about what we were going to see, after all. I did them publicly, so everyone could read them. And I think I did pretty well overall. You can read my predictions before the Las Vegas festival and this past weekend's Frankfurt festival; I didn't have a specific prediction for Tokyo, although the aftermath gave me the chance for some speculation.

So how did I do? And how cool was what we actually saw? Let's go over it.

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The Daily Grind: What's your favorite part of MMO gaming conventions?

The last of the pre-Stormblood fan festivals for Final Fantasy XIV has come to a close, and as with the prior two fan festivals, the bulk of my interest was satisfied after the keynote. There were a lot of other things happening, of course, lots of cool cosplay contests and interviews with the developers about what leads to creating the world... but the reality is that I'm mostly just interested in the actual information about the game. You could say that it's because of my job, but it's been the case as long as I can recall; once we're done with the information, my interest goes down, despite my respect for cosplayers and the developers.

I know some of you are the same way, doing your best Joe Friday impression and asking for just the facts. But I also know that's not universal; there are people for whom seeing cosplay contests or developer interviews are the main draw. Heck, there are people who mostly go for social interactions, and that's just as valid. So where do you stand, dear readers? What interests you about conventions for MMOs? Is it information about upcoming patches and expansions? Celebrating your fandom? Finding out what went into making the game? Something else altogether?

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WRUP: This ham is your ham edition

Hello, reader. Hello, and good morning. Or should I say... good ham? That sounded clever before I typed it out. Look, the point is that I have your ham. This ham right here is yours, and if you ever want to see it again, you... well, you'll look at the header, but if you ever want to have your ham back, you're going to do exactly what I say.

First, go to the nearest Cumberland Farms. Assuming it's near you, anyway, I don't want you to be driving like fifteen miles out of your way. I guess you could just go to a regular grocery store, but... wait, they probably have ham. Depending on where you live. If you live in Israel, there's probably no ham in the grocery stores, right? That would be weird. Or is it weird for thinking that? If you live in Israel, let me know about the ham situation.

You know what, forget it. Just go get another ham and leave your comments on this week's What Are You Playing. I'll give your ham a viking funeral. It's what you would have wanted if you didn't mind me stealing your ham.

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Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival XIV Europe: Samurai, Doma, and theme songs

If you're a fan of Final Fantasy XIV, the European fan festival is something you've been waiting for more or less since December's Japanese fan festival. We've been eagerly anticipating the reveal of the remaining new jobs for the expansion, more mechanical details, and whatever else can be teased out about the game's second expansion. At long last, the keynote finally happened, and as expected... well, things were revealed. Many things.

So what's coming next in Stormblood? We're getting Red Mage, we're getting swimming, we're getting Ala Mhigo, but what else is right around the corner? Oh, tons of other things. For one thing, the new job is actually Spider-man. Yeah, we were all taking that t-shirt bit far too figuratively.

All right, no, that's not true. The actual revelations were even better, and if you weren't up at an unusual hour to catch them all on the livestream, we've got them right here.

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Betawatch: Open season in sight for Revelation Online (February 17, 2016)

Those of you who have waited eagerly for the day when everyone can jump into Revelation Online won't have to wait much longer, as the game's open beta is starting up March 6th. Players who purchased one of the game's founder's packs will be able to get in a little bit earlier, to boot. The game also showed off its special skills, which is "break the rules" special rather than "riding a different bus to school" special.

Shall we cover other beta news this week? Yes! Why not? You may join us in a chortle.

Yes, that's all a bit quiet, but the list down below can be raucous despite our best efforts to silence it. You can let us know if parts of the list deserve more consideration down in the comments, like if a title has slipped into launch without us catching it. We keep putting up nets but some titles slip through. I suspect there's a hive.

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Pokemon Go adds the second generation of pokemon to the game

It's time for you to go out and catch some Gen 2 starters and maybe a Wooper or a Miltank. The second generation of pocket monsters has been added to Pokémon Go, with those players still wandering the street compiling a helpful rundown of all possible information on these new critters. They might be hard to track down, but at least it's not yet another Pidgey.

The addition also brings changes to many of the Generation 1 monsters, with attacks being altered or rebalanced for more engaging battles. Meanwhile, some fans are already clamoring for Generation 3 to get added into the game, because no one is ever satisfied. Plus, of course, the official games are already up to Generation 7, so there's some way to go before this game has caught up.

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Dofus introduces the Ouginak class

Whatever else you might think about Dofus, you have to admit that the game is resistant to pigeonholing. The game's most recent update rolls out its 18th class, the Ouginak, and if you're left wondering what the heck it's supposed to be, that's sort of the point. The answer is that it's sort of a barbarian warrior with canine features... but the game's classes are resistant to being pigeonholed in mechanical terms, too.

Ouginaks have a variety of useful skills, but each of those skills can increase the characters' Rage level; once Rage tops out, the Ouginak loses a bunch of abilities and reverts to a feral wolf-monster state with nasty melee attacks and little else. You can do your best to transform intentionally, of course, or you can use various healing and support abilities to calm yourself... or you can apply buffs and shields to your fellow combatants, with the risk of enraging (and transforming) if certain conditions are met by your allies. Check out a trailer for the class just below.

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The Imperial Realm: Miranda offers up a teaser trailer before a new test weekend

Want to try something very different next weekend? You'll have a chance with the next test weekend for The Imperial Realm: Miranda, a seamless open-world real-time strategy game that's hosting its next open test weekend from February 24th through the 27th. If that doesn't seem impressive enough to you, you would do well to remember that this is a game entirely made by one person laboring quietly and consistently on every part of the game.

If you instinctively felt a sense of shame at your 1,000-word unfinished NaNoWriMo novel, that's entirely understandable.

There's even a new trailer available for the test weekend, which you can watch just past the break. It shows off a bit of the game's open world, which is pretty keen when you consider - again - that this is all being done by one person. Maybe you should section off a bit of your time on the 24th after all.

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World of Warcraft's Hazzikostas discusses the goals for future Artifact Power implementation

There has been some back-and-forth about World of Warcraft's Artifact Power system. The problem that people have run into, essentially, is that the game's initial exponential power curve for artifact power starts to flatten after a certain point. So instead of players entering raids with a difference of a few artifact levels, there are people who have just started to put levels into the final artifact trait in 7.1.5 and others who have maxed their artifact or nearly finished it. Designer Ion Hazzikostas discussed this issue and the game plan moving forward on the forums recently, as well as the reasons behind the system and its open-ended nature.

The plan was to avoid a weekly cap that left players feeling as if they couldn't catch up, but the net result has been that focused players on a single spec can advance far beyond players with less dedication or time. Moving forward, the 7.2 patch and beyond will have a more exponential curve; Hazzikostas puts it as a matter of someone gaining twice the AP per week only making a small additional game over a more casual player. Check out the full rundown if you've found yourself hitting the AP wall in the recent patches.

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Smilegate pushes Crossfire in the west with a new European office

What the heck is Crossfire? It's a game that makes quite a bit of money, according to SuperData; we're talking in the "massive numbers at the top of the list" category here. And yet it hasn't really gained much traction in the west for whatever reason, as evidenced by the fact that this piece could open off with "what the heck is Crossfire" and most of our readers were probably nodding. So the fact that Smilegate is opening a European branch to help push the brand should say something.

Smilegate Europe's biggest push will be getting Crossfire accepted as an eSports venue, although it's probably facing an uphill battle against existing Western favorites such as Overwatch. Still, more games is a good thing, isn't it? Time will tell if this push finally breaks open the western market for the title or ultimately fails to make a dent.

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Perfect Ten: Terminology the MMORPG genre needs

MMOs, like any other hobby, have their own terminology. We have the term "newb" for new players, "noob" for players who aren't actually new but still make new player mistakes, and "n00b" if you want to sound like an insufferable weirdo from the aughts. But we also have a lot of terminology that just plain doesn't work any more for a variety of reasons, like "pay-to-win" and "hardcore" and so forth.

That does not, however, mean that we do not need our specialized terminology. Indeed, while some of our older vocabulary is not up to the tasks of modern games, I think a great deal could be accomplished just by adding some new words to our lexicon. So let's create some brand-new terms (or codify existing ones) so that we can, in fact, have shared words to describe scenarios that we encounter on a regular basis.

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