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Blizzard is raising prices for World of Warcraft and Hearthstone players in the EU

If you're playing World of Warcraft or Hearthstone overseas, know that a partial fee hike is in your future.

While subs to WoW and the WoW Token will remain as they are, the cost of admittedly already expensive services like faction swaps, name changes, and server transfers will increase in some cases by up to 25%.

A quick look at the math shows that the prices are now more in line with what U.S. players were already paying. Changes take effect on April 5th.

Blizzard told players it was making the "changes based on regional market conditions." PC Gamer calls it "likely a reaction to post-Brexit exchange rates that have gutted the value of the pound" and not helped the low euro. Let's throw in some color too: Reddit is less kind, calling it "profiteering," "absolutely disgusting," and "insanity."

The studio announced EU price increases for Hearthstone packs earlier this month.

Source: Blizzard, PC Gamer, Reddit. Thanks, Cotic!

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Massively Overthinking: The City of Heroes Master X Master debacle

On Tuesday, NCsoft announced that it plans to introduce Statesman, from the long-sunsetted City of Heroes, as a playable character in its MOBA, Master x Master.

Complications ensued, as anyone familiar with the history of MMORPGs can probably imagine.

For this week's Overthinking, I asked our team of writers -- both those who loved CoH and those who never much played it -- what they think about the whole ordeal. Are gamers right to be angry? What exactly is NCsoft thinking? Have we seen the end of any hope of the game being resurrected or sold, or should we infer just the opposite?

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Skyforge sends you to the moon to fight in low-G

One of the advantages of creating a sci-fi MMORPG is that there's little stopping you if you want to send your players to other celestial bodies. Skyforge is doing this with its upcoming Thea update, launching players from Aelion to one of its three moons.

It won't be a walk in the park when you get there. Thea is a low-gravity environment plagued by numerous meteorite storms... but there are rewards to be had here as well. In addition to several types of quests to keep players busy, Thea offers the opportunity to mine a resource that can unlock a brand-new talent for each class.

Another interesting feature of Thea is that it will keep challenges and rewards appropriate for any character that travels there. You do have to attain your divine form as a prerequisite, but other than that, there's nothing stopping you from living out your fantasies as an astronaut making that giant leap for divinekind.

Source: Skyforge

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Neverwinter breaks out Steam trading cards

Did you have a trading card collection when you were a kid? I went along with the crowd buying baseball cards, even though I didn't much care for sports or pictures of sweaty men looking constipated while swinging sticks. It got a lot more fun when Magic: The Gathering came around, fortunately.

Those who enjoy accumulating as many virtual trading cards on Steam as they can will be happy to hear that Neverwinter has come out with its own set of cards. These eight character cards feature characters from the game and can be used to craft badges or traded with other players. These cards are also your path to a better life through additional backgrounds and emoticons.

If you need a whole explanation of what Steam trading cards are and what they do (and this author did), there's a whole page on that.

Source: Steam

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CCP's live-action EVE Online ARG looks like the best thing at this year's EVE Fanfest

Got your tix for EVE Online's EVE Fanfest 2017? Ready to set aside your in-game enmity and play nice with your fellow gamers for a few days -- or not, depending on what sort of corp you're in? Decided cowering in your house watching streams is the wiser choice?

Good news for you then no matter which way you roll: CCP has released a detailed blog post today laying out the structure of this year's event. Expect the usual round of keynotes, panels, debates, and player presentations, plus beer, a check-in with the Project Discovery scientists, a 2v2 single elimination tourney, more beer, tours for people who got dragged along and want to see Iceland's beauty, and beer. But the best bit looks to be a genuinely cool live-action game called The YC119 Kyonoke Inquest:

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World of Warcraft's Patch 7.2 is coming next week

The hour is nearly upon us and we, we are not prepared. But we are pretty eager! This afternoon, World of Warcraft announced that Patch 7.2: The Tomb of Sargeras will be launching next Tuesday, March 28th.

This comes after a flurry of testing and dev diaries covering the patch's big features. Among these features are the new Broken Shore zone, the Cathedral of Eternal Night dungeon, challenge artifact skins, rebalanced legendaries, new traits, more order hall research options, and of course, a way to regain our flight privileges in this expansion cycle.

What isn't coming next week, however, is the titular Tomb of Sargeras raid, which will open at a later (unspecified) date. PvP season two is set to end on the 28th, with season three starting up right after. Check out the patch trailer after the break!

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Final Fantasy XIV wraps up the Heavensward story on March 28th

In less than a week, the first expansion for Final Fantasy XIV is coming to an end. The final story patch for Heavensward, 3.56, is arriving on March 28th, with accompanying maintenance starting at midnight EDT. The first half of the story already had a fair amount of death and revelation, but this is where we find out exactly what happens leading into our journey toward Ala Mhigo and Doma in Stormblood.

Of course, there's a main scenario preview available right now, but be fairly warned that it's a pretty notable spoiler for anyone who hasn't already done the first half of the 3.5 story. Suffice it to say that the solution to the major problem at the end of that first half was not nearly as final as may have been surmised, and more is coming right along the path. Feel free to speculate about what happens next; you've only got a few days left until you find out one way or the other.

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TERA sweetens its subscription package

Just because an MMORPG is free-to-play doesn't mean that the studio really wants you to, y'know, play for free. Over the past year or so, we've seen several MMO studios strongly encourage players to make the switch to a subscription from both the carrot and the stick angles.

TERA is more carrot, for sure, especially this week as the fantasy title announced that it's beefing up its subscription benefits with a new daily reward. "TERA has a lot to offer players who opt in for elite status, and En Masse just made elite status that much more tempting...with free EMP!" the studio posted. "Once each day, elite players will be able to collect 15 EMP when they log in on top of all the other perks they get for their elite status."

TERA's sub also includes double dungeon entries, double XP boosts, special store sales, a village atlas, a travel journal, no broker fees, and other daily rewards. So what do you think, TERA players? Is this enough to convince you to make the switch?

Source: TERA

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Crowfall reflects on its 'unrelenting series of updates'

It's a little hard to believe, but we've now been watching Crowfall develop since late 2014, going from a teaser announcement through a successful Kickstarter and arriving at the current pre-alpha testing. For this week's founder's update, the dev team decided that it deserved a moment to reflect upon all of its accomplishments and progress to date.

The team pointed to an interactive timeline chart from German fan site Crowfall Community that marked all of the major (and minor) milestones of the project from 2014 through 2017. It's a pretty handy resource if you want to get a big-picture view of the game's progress.

ArtCraft provided a pep talk, free of charge: "Obviously, this chart shows how much we have accomplished, and that’s great to see! … but it also shows something MUCH more important: It shows a cadence, an unrelenting series of updates that make the game a little better every month [...] If that cadence proves anything, it’s that these challenges will also be tackled in due time. This game will emerge, and when it does, it’s going to be awesome."

Source: Crowfall

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Chronicles of Elyria clarifies server and domain selection process moving forward

The staff behind Chronicles of Elyria has been on a whirlwind tour of events, and you can read all about it in the most recent dispatch from the team. You can also learn a lot about booth layout, if that's something that you find fascinating. And you can also find out the latest plans regarding the game's server and kingdom selection, which starts with the fact that players are still going to be jockeying for space as predicted. Players will be selecting servers first, then selecting kingdoms in order of influence.

This is, of course, part of the problem, as the game's plans do not wind up including enough land for all of the people who paid to have kingdoms in the first place.

It's worth noting that servers are selected in order of seniority, not influence, so things become a bit muddier, and it's quite possible for you to have a later pick of server and an earlier pick of land within that server due to backing late but having a lot of influence. Players can also convert to a lesser package and receive an advance pick of their chosen duchy, although those picks will also be in order of influence. Check out the full rundown and the details on the upcoming Q&A session in the official entry.

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LOTRO fights the lag monster of Update 20

It stands to reason that Lord of the Rings Online players are pretty thrilled this week to be exploring the outskirts of Mordor, but this excitement has been tempered by severe lag that is hitting many of the servers. Standing Stone Games acknowledged the problem yesterday and said that it is working on a fix.

"We are aware of the lag issues occurring in the new U20 regions and are working on a solution," the studio said on the forums. "We will be making changes to live servers shortly in response to the lag seen in areas of the Update 20 landscape. We will continue to monitor both client- and server-based lag from there, and are planning a patch for early next week."

On an Update 20-related note, players commented on the quality of the promotional artwork for the patch. SSG informed the community that it had commissioned renowned Tolkien artist Ted Nasmith to create the illustration and that a wallpaper version will be forthcoming.

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Elder Scrolls Online grants glimpses of Morrowind's Vivec and Ashlands

Ready for another super-short Elder Scrolls Online snippet? How about two? The Morrowind expanshachapter team has continued posting episodes in its travel series. Last week, we got a peek at Seyda Neen in the long long ago; this week, we've checked in on Vivec and the Ashlands.

Vivec, of course, is the city being built by warrior-poet and god Vivec himself, so its feature video shows scaffolding and other in-progress bits as the cantons are erected.

The Ashlands comprise more ominous areas of dust and ash and smoke kicked up by the active volcano at the heart of Vvardenfell, Red Mountain.

Check 'em out in all their weird aspect ratio glory below!

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Riders of Icarus increases the level cap, adds rainforest zone in Corruption of Light, now live

Exciting things are afoot at Riders of Icarus, as the year-old MMO rolled out its Corruption of Light update with plenty of new content for players to enjoy.

For starters, there's a level cap increase to 55, meaning that everyone has a little more to do to max out their characters. With that cap increase comes one or two new skills per class, such as the Assassin's throat cut ability or the Wizard's fire pillar spell.

Next up for the game is a rainforest region, Ellora Sanctuary and Windhome Canyon. This area is for characters level 49 and up, and contains over 230 new quests and a pair of additional field raid bosses to tackle.

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