SWTOR launches 5.1 Defend the Throne with new trailer

Landing in Star Wars: The Old Republic today is the 5.1 update, Defend the Throne, the headlining feature of which is a set of five brand-new Uprisings: small-group instanced content. Players can further expect the new master chapter difficulty tier and achievements and new galactic command gear mechanics, among a number of quality-of-life and bug fixes.

Massively OP SWTOR specialist Larry Everett chatted with BioWare Creative Director Charles Boyd for an early-issue Hyperspace Beacon yesterday, getting the low-down on Uprisings. Check that out, and then hit the patch notes and brand-new trailer!

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WildStar takes you on a tour of its two new instances

Struggling though it may be, WildStar is still dreaming big -- and designing big as well. The team is working hard to test and put the final touches on its upcoming Power of the Primal Matrix update, which the devs say is a "huge" drop for the game.

Part of that update is the addition of a new scalable five-player dungeon (Coldblood Citadel) and a new prime expedition (Evil from the Ether). If you don't mind spoilers much and crave dev commentary, you can take a tour of these instances with two of the team leads responsible for their creation thanks to a recent livestream.

Head out on the hour-long tour after the break (and don't forget to pack a lunch!).

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World of Warcraft monkeys around with trinket stats

When players next log into World of Warcraft, they may find a pleasant surprise waiting for them: a beefed-up trinket. Oh, and the release of Mythic Nighthold, but that was hardly a surprise.

Blizzard is improving the performance of some of the newer trinkets after determining that they were somewhat underpowered. "We’ve found that our tuning on trinkets which relied on a direct damage or healing effect (as opposed to their raw stats) have come up a bit short this expansion," the studio said. "Overall, this should make the trinkets in Nighthold more competitive with other trinkets available elsewhere in the expansion."

The studio also admitted that a bug resulted in recent PvP Season 1 rewards being distributed to some Alliance players based on Horde ladders. Blizzard will be correcting this error by giving affected characters the same or better reward after today's maintenance.

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Overwatch's Year of the Rooster update is expected today

The downside of Blizzard's Overwatch teases is that they tell dataminers right where to look and leakers right when to strike. So it goes with the online shooter's Year of the Rooster content, which according to the apparent Spanish-language trailer leak will begin today and end on February 13th, with at the very least Chinese New Year avatar skins, emotes, loot boxes, and the themey Lijiang Tower map.

Meanwhile, if Torbjorn and Symmetra gave been annoying you, take heart.

"We've been watching them closely," Game Director Jeff Kaplan told fans over the weekend. "Up until recently they were performing in lockstep with PC. Recently they've begun to diverge a little bit so we're taking a look at them now and we'll consider adjusting them."

Kaplan also says that Blizz is working on better bindings and callouts for teammates and promises reporting features on console, though there's no ETA yet.

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Marvel Heroes devs gush about new update while Lunar New Year arrives

There are two things for certain in regard to Marvel Heroes' "biggest update ever:" It was quite comprehensive indeed, and it has received mixed reviews (to put it kindly) from the player community.

For the developers, at least, there is no controversy here; they love the update and can't wait to gush about it. To that end, Marvel Heroes put out a new developer chat video in which various Gazillion employees share what they love best about the update.

Mega-update aside, Lunar New Year has arrived in Marvel Heroes and will be sticking around only until next Sunday. During the event, players will enjoy an XP and RIF boost while opening up a package of daily login gifts. There are also special "lucky red envelope" drops by random enemies that contain bonus loot.

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Dogma: Eternal Night adds starting apartment, functional UI and chat

Vampire MMO themepark Dogma: Eternal Night has an update for alpha testers. "Until recently, players could only play around in the character editor," says the team, but thanks to the latest patch,

"Players can now check out the starting location – a small flat in the city. Right now, all you can do is look around and move in it; we haven’t added object interaction yet, as we need to improve on some of its elements. We will add this as soon as possible (first half of February at the very latest). Now you’ll be able to see a working UI and even the chat system, though for now you can only talk to yourself."

The studio is currently building two modules: one that "allows interactions within your flat (whether it be the starting location or the one you buy later)" and one that "add[s] interactions outside of your haven."

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Neverwinter shows off the enemies of the River District

The River District of Neverwinter (the city) is not a pleasant place, or at least it won't be soon. For one thing, it's impossible to find a decent Gnome diner anywhere in the district. For another, it's overrun by the followers of high-level wizards, which means that players in Neverwinter (the game) will be facing off against Neverwinter's (the city again) most nefarious would-be gangs. Except, with this being Neverwinter (the game again), those gang members are also empowered by various sources to be more than just thugs with pointy bits of metal.

For example, some of those pointy bits of metal are on fire.

Each group of enemies is affected by the magical focus of its leaders. Kabal's followers like fire, iron, golems, and all of that fun stuff. Nostura enjoys magical beasts and the Fey. Last but not least, Gyrion has plenty of minions tied to the Spellplague and thus features mutated monstrosities that can best be described as "very blue." There are also Nashers running around, just to ensure that Neverwinter (the game, once again) players don't wind up running out of enemies to beat up even before assaulting the three high-level adversaries leading these groups.

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DC Universe Online is adding a discount for further vendor sets

Earning a full set of the best possible gear you can wear is a good thing in any game. It takes a lot of time and effort, and DC Universe Online isn't backing off from that. The problem is that players who have already done that might very well need to do so again, either for secondary characters or another specialization on the same character. That's historically required the same amount of effort as the very first set, which can turn players off. It's a problem that the developers are aiming to fix with the upcoming vendor discount system.

Under the new system, players who have purchased all of the vendor set or the elite vendor set will receive an achievement which halves the price on any subsequent sets purchased, including on alts. Purchasing the full elite set then means that any other sets you buy on the same character or another character will cost half as much, so all of your specs and characters can come out to play. It's a quality of life improvement that you can test as part of Game Update 67, currently on the game's test server.

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Wisdom of Nym: First impressions of Final Fantasy XIV's patch 3.5, part one

I can't think of the last time I've played through a patch of Final Fantasy XIV as quickly as I played through patch 3.5. That's not a mark against it, mind you; it's just that usually I find myself drawing things out a bit more, but for patch 3.5 I dove in feet-first and wound up clearing all of the new stuff that I intended to clear by the end of the first day. Both dungeons? Down. Dun Scaith? Cleared. Zurvan? Defeated. The Scholisticate? Boring, but still finished.

Look, I needed that Spectacles emote.

This is not altogether a bad thing, though; it means that I was engaged enough in the moment-to-moment content that I wanted to get it cleared in short order. So, as I do every time we get a big new patch, let's go over what's there, starting with the most mechanical aspects of the content and moving on to lore later. Probably next week, if we're going to be totally honest. These things always run long.

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Project Gorgon patches in high-level content

Project Gorgon has Orcs on the mind this week. No, playable Orcs aren't in the game yet, but their homeland is, as Gorgon patched in the new zone of Gazluk yesterday. The team said that this is just the "bones" of what Gazluk will eventually become, with only basic content available to experience in the region.

"Most of the planned caves are already accessible, although most just have basic content (monsters, some loot spawns, some solo-dungeon chests, etc.) The Orcish city, Gazluk City, is accessible, but the major group dungeon there is not yet ready," the team reported.

Going hand-in-hand with this new high-level zone is a level cap increase to 70. Several skills can now be trained up to 70, with a handful getting increases to 60 (come on, you know you want to be the most skilled cheesemaker on your block!). The patch does contain bad news for seafaring pyromaniacs, however: "Campfires can no longer be deployed underwater." Bummer.

Source: Patch notes

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Leaderboard: Where do you stand on Marvel Heroes' massive overhaul update?

Past the downtime and the lag and the inventory snafus, how are Marvel Heroes players reacting to the "biggest update ever?"

Not well. On Steam, negative reviewers are busily tanking the game's rating, dragging its review score down from its usual "mostly positive" to the recent "mostly negative" with claims that the update drained the game of fun and lore and action and depth-wise is "a shallow husk of what it used to be."

On Reddit, players are upset that Gazillion apparently removed newbie accounts' options for their first hero, a regression in design goals.

On the official forums, players are annoyed over movement changes, the power bar, item changes, and attribute changes, calling it a "total destruction of a fantastic game." Ouch.

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Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR's Creative Director on Uprisings and Update 5.1

We are a couple days early with the Hyperspace Beacon this week for a reason you're going to love: We had an exclusive conversation with Creative Director Charles Boyd about the Star Wars: The Old Republic update releasing tomorrow, and we wanted to give you some insight into what Defend the Throne might offer you. Even though you won the day at the end of the latest expansion Knights of the Eternal Throne, there are still factions that have problems with you and your Alliance. There are still uprisings all over the galaxy.

The new group content called Uprisings (pretty on the nose there, right?) is the focus of the next update. We'll see five more four-player, intense instances launch tomorrow, along with changes to the Command XP system and (of course) a new Cartel Market Pack.

I talked to Charles Boyd on Friday to get his input on the new content and a breakdown of each new Uprising and the overarching purpose behind them all.

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The Division is doubling the size of the Dark Zone

The Division is planning a double threat of gaming goodness that will be coming soon to a console or PC near you. Ubisoft will be rolling out two major pieces of content simultaneously in the coming months, delivering both the paid Last Stand DLC and the free Update 1.6.

It is this latter update that the team recently discussed in detail, telling players that they should expect some major improvements even if they don't drop money on the DLC. The headlining feature is an expansion of the Dark Zone which should double the size of the PvP zone from what it covers today.

There's a ton of additional aspects of 1.6, including a Legendary difficulty mode for three missions. These will be far and away some of the toughest content of the game, with new mobs and vanity items for the victors.

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