Patches & Expansions Category

We’re not even going to try to sort out the patches from the updates from the iterations from the campaigns and expansions and expanshalones. If it’s something going into an MMO that’s already out, it lands in this category! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

RuneScape shows off an hour of its new mining system

Dig things out of the ground, put them together into more useful forms, sell those more useful forms, repeat. That’s the core loop of mining for RuneScape (and most MMOs with mining systems), so how can you improve upon that? Well, the latest stream from the development team shows off the developers working on doing just that, with a system that is at once simpler and more fun for players.

Yes, simpler; the team describes the new system on the stream as “you just kick the rock and [the game] does it for you.” But it also means that you can focus more on what you’re mining rather than the minutiae of mining. Check out the full video just below, complete with a look at the artisan workshop, Orikalkum armor, and the new smithing interface. It’s rather lengthy, but you can still dig it.

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World of Warcraft Classic is still under development, will begin with patch 1.12

If it seems like World of Warcraft Classic would be an easy project, you may not have spent as much time thinking about it as the developers. Heck, according to the latest development watercooler, it took some time for the team to decide what classic World of Warcraft should even be. The decision ultimately settled on patch 1.12, the last patch before the launch of The Burning Crusade, but that didn’t mean just loading it up and going.

It turns out that the classic code not only doesn’t like to play nice with modern video cards and anti-cheating software (because it’s more than a decade old) but has a lot of really inefficient ways of storing spell and ability data. So the developers have to also go through, piece by piece, to store everything in better formats and improve the experience across the board. Check out the full article to see the work going into making the classic experience work.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Cotic for the tip!

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And tanks: World of Tanks revives World Cup soccer mode, War Thunder rolls out Project X

Ahhhh World Cup madness is upon the sportsball world right now, and if you happen to be into both soccer/football and tanks, well then I have some epic news for you: As of yesterday, World of Tanks has brought back Tank Football, its soccer mode, with some sweet new additions and prizes.

World of Tanks PC marks the biggest footballing event with the return of Tank Football, this time with three specialist roles and Gianluigi ‘Gigi’ Buffon as a commentator. The metal machines are ready to tear up the pitch, go for glory and be crowned victorious, all while the Italian legend gives a running commentary of a game. […] Tank Football 2018 is a return to 3 vs 3 matches where everyone is vying for glory. These matches take place in 3 special arenas, including one inspired by Moscow’s biggest stadium and host to the final, the Luzhniki. Three unique tanks, all with their own specialist roles and abilities on the pitch, are ready to be crowned champions. So whether players like to play up front or from the back, there are roles for everyone.”

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Ship of Heroes discusses the difference between Alpha and Beta

What makes an alpha? If your answer is “marketing jargon,” you’re not entirely wrong. But the team behind Ship of Heroes is going for a slightly more formalized definition, and it’s explained on the official site right now. In short, an alpha is when you have people who aren’t part of the development team running around in the game, because that’s when you can find the bits that are broken without developers who just know to avoid that stuff.

The team is also preparing for its next major alpha milestones, starting with a 50-player login test with everyone logging into a spot and running around. Assuming that goes well, it’s time to move on to the same thing with a full-fledged invasion, adding combat into the mix. If you’re curious about the exact divisions between alphas, betas, and closed vs. open status, check out the whole piece on the official site.

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World of Warcraft Q&A explains why you’re not getting your Mark of the Wild back

Remember when everyone was very excited about how World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth was bringing back class buffs like Mark of the Wild? Yeah, that’s not happening any more, but the latest community Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas explains why. As he puts it, class buffs were an experiment and they want to make sure that every class brings utility to a group, but there doesn’t need to be a separate buff for each class and Druids already have plenty of utility. So long, Mark of the Wild, we were all excited to see you again.

Hazzikostas also explains that there are no plans to change the current spec-limited nature of artifacts (although special transmog cases are being added for artifacts players might otherwise not frequently be able to transmog), no more major spec changes from the current test realm for 8.0, and no plans to remove old pathfinder achievements for flight. You can watch the entire Q&A just below or read the summary on Wowhead.

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Bless Online explains why it chose early access, lays out the content coming soon

Bless Online Executive Producer Sungjin Ko is back with another letter for the community today, this one offering insight into why Neowiz picked early access in the first place, especially given the game’s rocky reception. In short, it’s because Neowiz did so much rewriting of the game for western audiences and really wanted western audiences to give it a thorough testing.

“Ultimately, this desire to try something new with the systems of Bless Online combined with the need for an open discussion with our player base led us to Steam’s Early Access platform,” Ko explains. “It allows us to make sure we have the funds to continue supporting Bless, while also working directly with our players to make Bless everything it can be and more. […] Where we are today with Bless Online’s Steam Early Access is not where we will be when the game officially launches in the coming months. As you hopefully have seen, we’ve been hard at work addressing feedback, making changes, fixing bugs, and working to make the best game for both Neowiz Bless studio and our fans.”

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Legends of Aria makes combat more sensible and nerfs fast travel in its latest update

It’s a big day for Legends of Aria and its beta testers, as the game is undergoing some pretty meaty changes to combat and stats, “heavily” inspired by player feedback.

“The goal of these changes has been to solve three distinct problems,” Citadel Studios says. “Increase the predictability of both warrior damage and interruption rates for magic spells. Increase the options for players to end fights sooner. [And] introduce opportunity cost to warrior combat through meaningful decision making and tactics.”

Notably, the game will now integrate critical hits, stamina-based swing calculations, rework armor proficiencies, shooting on the move, new craftable potions, and new abilities for warriors, archers, and rogues.

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Final Fantasy XIV promises the companion app for late July

There has long been a promise for Final Fantasy XIV players that there will be a companion app. It’s been promised for so long, in fact, that it would be easy to have written it off as never actually happening. But it is happening! In fact, it’s happening in late July, with the caveat that it might be delayed a bit as part of the app review process. The important thing is that it’s soon, and you will be able to take a little bit of the game wherever you go.

So far the promised features are inventory management for your retainers, scheduling events, chat, and handling market boards for an exchange of kupo nuts or moogle coins. (No word yet on how you get either of those.) It should provide a nice bit of management functionality if you’re going to be away from the computer, so keep your eyes peeled for more details on what you can do and the supposed premium services that will be offered with the app.

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Warframe releases its third cinematic quest, The Sacrifice, and beats its concurrency record once again

Update 23 isn’t just your regular run-of-the-mill patch for Digital Extremes or any Warframe fans who have been anticipating this release for over a year now. The Sacrifice brings the online game’s third cinematic quest to bear, and apparently the developers are getting really choked up about it.

The quest centerpiece of this update takes players on a hunt for a “savage warframe” that “has fallen into shadow.” And you best believe that players are going to want to attain this katana-swinging Umbra frame and its related cosmetics.

The patch also gives eight of the game’s 131 planned UI screens an artistic overhaul and offers two free themes for visually impaired or colorblind players. Once you dig through the patch notes, you might want to check out a couple of fun videos after the break showing the making of a Warframe mural in LA and the physical creation of Umbra’s armor.

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SMITE launches Medusa’s Deathmatch

You might not want to look too closely at the latest patch for SMITE. Why? Well, it brings in the new Medusa’s Deathmatch map, and that probably means it’ll turn you to stone. Or it means that you’ll be fighting two enemy teams at the same time, forcing you to adjust your strategy to avoid giving ground to either side while still remaining competitive. If you already feel you know how to handle one other team, you might change your tune when you’ve got twice the enemies and twice the challenge.

The patch has also brought along several new skins and a variety of bug fixes, as patches tend to do. Of course, it’s also brought some issues along with it, which are already helpfully available in a thread on the official site; this includes some after-match placement errors, which are good to know about ahead of time. So jump on in and take on your enemies, possibly while watching everything through a mirror. (It’s a Medusa thing, you see.)

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Blade and Soul throws the kitchen sink into next week’s patch

You know it’s a really good and meaty content patch when a studio can get more than two blog posts out of it. Blade and Soul’s Celestial Dawn fits that bill, because NCsoft is still talking about next week’s update, this time with a post on the big changes coming to various items and systems.

The Celestial Dawn update is goign to give players even more rewards from Nightfall Sanctuary’s hard difficulty bosses and improved the payouts from Celestial Basin activities. The crafting system got a balance and price pass and Zen Bean traders will be stocked with a “greater variety” of goods.

To help players tackle the bigger challenges of this patch, the legendary accessory augment system was born: “The new legendary accessory augment system allows you to tackle specific hard mode dungeons for a chance at Psyche items, which will allow you to further increase your legendary accessory power. Each dungeon has their own unique psyche related to the augment system, in addition to the battlefield traders having their own PvP-focused versions.”

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The Divison’s new Shields are all about earning rewards for the sequel

When people know the sequel to their current MMO is coming out, they tend to be less inclined to complete in-game challenges in the current game. After all, why take part in The Division content now when the next game is on its way? The newest patch for the game has an answer for that: you want to earn shields. No, not the pieces of equipment that you tend to wear in various other MMOs, the unique collectibles that allow you to unlock rewards in The Division 2 for obtaining them.

Players can earn four shields right now, and more will be rolled out over time to give players new things to chase after. The patch also brings in new audio logs and various balance tweaks, so while you prepare yourself for the follow-up game you’ll still have plenty to do in the existing game. And, you know, hopefully you’re having fun anyway.

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E3 2018: Blizzard discusses keeping storytelling going in World of Warcraft

There are a lot of elements to weave together to tell stories in World of Warcraft. You can argue over whether or not the team doing so is actually very good at that task, but the point is that it is quite a task, and the panel for the team at this year’s E3 was all about the challenges of weaving together the game’s story and keeping things consistent. That alone is a challenge when you’re telling a story across games, novels, and various other formats for an extended period of time.

The team is promising to try new things during the lead-up to Battle for Azeroth, along with more major lore characters waving farewell. And there’s a discussion of the challenges in doing just that, along with keeping things consistent and building on long-term stories. If you’d like to look more closely behind the scenes, watch the panel just below; it’s only about half an hour long.

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