It’s almost the end of the month, and you know what that means: Shroud of the Avatar’s monthly update. R46 is due out this Thursday, a day after the current free trial period ends. Portalarium has posted a top 10 list of priorities for updates, the current version of which highlights load times, client FPS, loot rewards, story polish, AI, UI, the newbie experience, locatlization, launch prep, and improved player direction, something our own Eliot Lefebvre isolated as a problem during his recent CMA series with the game. As the studio put it,
“Currently we rely on some very subtle and ‘immersive’ indicators for information in the world (ex. piles of skulls to indicate scene difficulty). We are going to provide much clearer indication of information. For example, on the overworld all towns will have clear indicators of their town type (POT, NPC, etc.). We will also indicate whether you have a quest in a scene, a clearer label of the scene’s difficulty, perhaps even an indicator of what services a scene might provide (bank, mail, blessings, etc.). We will also start providing more on screen indicators of this information, so that while you are in a scene you will better know what kind of scene it is, what difficulty it is, whether you have quests in the scene, etc. We will also work hard to polish the maps and compasses to better guide you to and from your quests, homes, services, points of interests, scene exits, etc.”
At this weekend’s RuneFest event in London, Jagex homed in on RuneScape’s promised mobile client and its upcoming content.
First, let’s tackle mobile. Fans in attendance were able to play the game on mobile — both the latest version of RuneScape and the Old School version, which might surprise you. The latter will be available first, in fact, coming later in 2017, while the core game will launch on the new platforms “shortly after” in 2018. Jagex has promised more details of device compatibility “over the coming months.”
Old School RuneScape is looking ahead to 2018 as well, as in January, devs will patch in the Dragon Slayer II GM quest, and in June, the game will see a new raid called Theatre of Blood.
In “real” RuneScape, players will be treated to a special competitive PvE event next month that combines two of gaming’s favorite tropes: “Transported to an alternate dimension where the dead walk across Gielinor, players must battle against the zombie horde and see who can survive the longest!”
“It’s possible, pig, I might be bluffing. It’s conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I’m only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again… perhaps I have the strength after all. DROP… YOUR… SWORD!”
Can’t imagine why this screenshot of Secret World Legends from Winterskorn has me thinking of The Princess Bride. It’s inconceivable. Also, that sword doesn’t look like it can cut very well, just saying!
Mark Jacobs and City State Games have a big surprise for Camelot Unchained followers in this week’s dev blog: a major update to the beta one document focused on guilds, groups, and all the social organizations in between. And bigger. Really, this game is going to have a lot of different types of groups, with every niche from soloers to small crews (Warbands) to big guild-like crews (Orders) and even some formations that are more like raids, but nothing so big that little guilds or lone wolves need to panic. The document is lengthy (nothing new there, right?), but no matter what kind of group you’re in (or aren’t in), it’s worth a deep-dive to understand how the game’s community will be structured in a PvE-less RvR MMO because while it shares a lot on common with games like Dark Age of Camelot, it’s also got a few tricks I’ve never seen done before (like permanent groups that aren’t quite guilds and specialty mega-groups that are more about project management than fighting).
The dev blog also has some work-in-progress renders of character faces, super-detailed, down to the freckle — we’ll include some of those down below.
Want more social systems info? Mark Jacobs sat for what I can legitimately call a massive interview with us on this topic and a few others, so stay tuned for Monday, when we’ll be publishing the goods!
It’s time for another survivalbox roundup! What’s new in the world of eternal building, unbuilding, ganking, ganking buildings, and consuming adequate food and water so you don’t keel over dead from all the fun you’re having?
Viking-themed survival sandbox Valnir Rok is currently conducting closed alpha rounds, having opened up new servers in Asia, South America, and Russia for this weekend’s test event.
“Looking back, it was a good decision to make another closed alpha weekend before the launch,” wrote the devs this week. “Although the player’s feedback was very positive overall, we found several bugs and some serious problems. We managed to fix some issues over the weekend and patched a few performance problems. Now our task is to fix severe bugs, which influence gameplay, to have a successfull launch. Nevertheless, we are looking forward going in Early Access by the end of September.”
What else have we got here…
ARK Park has a release date. Well, a release month: December. Yep, it’ll be out by the end of the year.
“We have just announced the launch date for ARK Park at Sony’s TGS 2017 Conference! A brand new VR experience based on the world of the popular survival game ARK: Survival Evolved, ARK Park will be launching in December this year on Playstation VR. ARK Park will support both controller and PlayStation Move, and supports English, Chinese, and Japanese voiceover and subtitles. ARK Park also features online play for an exciting online multiplayer experience.”
We’ve previously covered the Snail Games-led VR-oriented spinoff of ARK: Survival Evolved; the studios have touted the title’s 10 maps, dino breeding mechanics, multiplayer activities, a puzzle-like crafting-and-discovery system, and a battle mode. What, you didn’t think the dinos were going to just let you stare at them through the glass in peace, did you?
Overwatch’s next great character isn’t a product of Blizzard’s labs at all but the imagination of a masters student who whipped up a Thai hero named Tara as part of a school project. The result is a 40-page document with concept art and design specs for the hero, her abilities, her outfits, her weapons, and even a Thailand-themed map called Arun Town.
“I created a female character as a support hero,” the student posted on the forums. “Her name is Tara (meaning ‘water’ in Thai). The character’s theme is a fish, a Siamese fighting fish to be specific, and a plaited bamboo fish which is a local product in Thailand.”
In response, Game Director Jeff Kaplan said that the project was “amazing!”
Update: It’s live now! Have fun!
Guild Wars 2
officially launches its second B2P expansion, Path of Fire
, today. In just two hours in fact. And if our polls
are any judge, quite a lot of our audience is hyped for the release!
We’ll be streaming the fun later today (with special guests if we can pull it off), but in the meantime, ArenaNet has a pre-show on Twitch beginning at 10 a.m. EDT this morning, leading up to the noon launch when we all go charging into the desert.
Personally, I’m aiming to finish chapter one and then head straight for drinks on the Lily of the Elon. Who’s with me?
We’ve also rounded up all of our Path of Fire coverage to date, including our columnist’s impressions of the preview weekend, our look at mounts, our deep-dive into the new elite specs, and our team’s thoughts on the expansion as a whole. Happy expansion day!
At this point in the survival sandbox craze, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. We can’t say that Pantropy is going where no one has gone before, but this new sci-fi base builder might win a few points based on its visuals and sweet mechs alone. You know the drill: Drop onto an alien world, scavenge all you can, craft all you can, and hope that your base and its defenses can ward off threats both foreign and domestic. This multiplayer game includes PvE and PvP play, with a 64 km² map that can support up to 50 players.
“Pantropy, currently in pre-alpha, is a Sci-fi MMOFPS with RPG elements. The game takes place on a post spacecraft, hostile alien world around the year 2100 AD. Generators create wormholes that connect planets and make the colonization of foreign worlds possible. Players band together in factions to endure the difficult challenges that unfold. Pantropy’s exciting FPS gameplay has players competing with each other (and the native inhabitants of Pantropy) for limited resources.”
The team announced that it is planning a Kickstarter campaign to launch this November. The video and pics are down below!
Now that Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC is live for testing on the PT
S, the spoilers have changed over from a trickle to roar, even from ZeniMax
itself. Today, the studio’s published an overview sort of guide to the six areas in the new zone, Sotha Sil’s creepy steampunk lair
“filled with mysterious automatons, fantastic sights, and hidden dangers.” Those would be:
- The Brass Fortress, the residential area where you can craft and gather in relative safety;
- The Mechanical Fundament, a “dangerous labyrinth is crawling with fabricants and single-minded factotums that won’t hesitate to sanitize the area of organic infestation (read: people)”;
- The Halls of Regulation, which ought to be a mundane water-and-air utility monitoring station but instead is a Delve for adventurers;
- The Shadow Cleft, a shadowy Daedric realm to Nocturnal that happens to have a portal inside the city;
- The Sanctuary of Verification, Sotha Sil’s lab and factory, which plays host to a world boss;
- and the Asylum Sanctorium, the sanitarium where you’ll end up if you go mad, plus the DLC’s new group dungeon.
The DLC is slated for later this year; while you don’t technically need to have purchased Morrowind to buy and play this DLC, it’d probably make a lot of sense to do so, as the plots are linked.
After wandering the lands of early access since last December, the Runewaker-developed hack-and-slash Guardians of Ember
has now gained enough confidence, experience, and (most importantly) development to officially launch
Even better, the release of the MMOARPG is being treated to a large patch but not a wipe from beta testing. “This patch will be unlike the others as it seeks to bring quality of life to the citizens of Olyndale. You can expect to see changes to the loot orb system, shared XP in group play, free reskill, Spanish localization and the much-requested nightmare mode,” the team said. New and updated since early access are arena battles, a wave-based Horde Mode, a guild skill system, crafting upgrades, an enhancement system, new mounts and pets, and alterations to the cash shop based on early access feedback, including those free respecs up to level 25.
The basic edition of the game is $20 on Steam, although you can pick up the deluxe edition and the deluxe DLC package for 33% off through September 27th. As we’ve previously covered, the game ran a small ($10,000) Indiegogo campaign for German localization but actually secured $77,000 and put the extra money back into the game with a hardcore mode and launch event.
We’ve got the launch trailer, pics, and a roundup of all our coverage to date for you down below!
Last month, we mentioned in passing an ancient anime MMO by Korean studio Entwell called NosTale, which Germany’s Gameforge apparently resurrected a while back. As of today, NosTale is even more easily accessible on this side of the Atlantic, as the studio’s now launched it on Steam proper. Gameforge is touting the game’s three classes, 28 specs, “extensive” pet system, and six-act storyline.
“The world of exciting anime online role-playing game NosTale is threatened by a dark menace. As Swordsman, Archer or Mage, the player must protect the vibrant village of NosVille and face the approaching dangers. The impressive pet system allows players to capture wild monsters and animals and then tame them. Battling aside, you can retreat to your Miniland. Here you can build a warehouse and decorate the garden with trees, plants and shrubs.”
It’s free-to-play on Steam right now, with 20% off sales on companions, mounts, and costumes, plus double-drop and double-gold events running into next week for those who jump in now.
It’s time for a new sort of death to take to the fight with the latest Skyforge update. The Revenant is a class that brings death, downright revels in it, and stands apart from good and evil as a testament to simply bringing death to all around it. That’s why a Revenant is supposed to wear lots of bones and stuff, see. Because death is scary.
Whether or not the addition of the Revenant counts as an expansion is left as an exercise for the reader, although the staff behind the game seems to feel it is. It’s live today regardless, so there’s no need to quibble over words, is there?
Any jokes about how the Revenant looks like a rejected mascot for a heavy metal album can be supplanted by admiring the life-draining mechanics and abilities of the class, which you can check out in the trailer just below. It’s another option for players in the ever-expanding class lineup for the game, so get ready to start dealing out new sorts of death today and drain the very life of those around you.