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]

Path of Exile: Gotta catch ’em all in the new Bestiary League and update 3.2.0, coming March 2

With a new Path of Exile challenge league every three months, you might wonder whether Grinding Gear Games can keep coming up with new themes for each one. And each quarter, it does! We’ve had leagues where prophecies add a random element to the gaming, where powerful rogue exiles turn on players, where secret golden chests full of loot are uncovered, and where portals open to a different dimension — just to name a few. The current league includes gaping fissures into the abyss. So what’s coming next?

For that answer, I sat down with Producer Chris Wilson to talk about PoE’s next update, which hits on March 2nd. If you’ve ever looked at any of the creatures in game and wished you could have have one of your own, the Bestiary league will give you that chance. Color me super excited! And if collecting creatures isn’t your forte, there is plenty more happening in content update 3.2.0. Read on for the whole run-down!

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Overwatch’s Kaplan discusses upcoming hero changes and the subsequent plans

The next round of hero changes for Overwatch is currently on the test server, so you can feel free to try them out if you’re so inclined. What’s not on the test server are changes to Hanzo, something that Jeff Kaplan discusses in the most recent development update video. A lot of abilities and plans had been discussed for Hanzo, but the most promising one was an arrow that shot through barriers to replace Scatter Arrow. It worked, but it felt like it punished smart play ducking behind barriers and the like.

The current plan is to give Hanzo a rapid-fire ability to replace Scatter Arrow and a new multidirectional horizontal dash to allow him to get in and out of range quickly. Symmetra and Torbjorn are also on the deck for future adjustments. For the moment, you can explore improvements to Mei’s freeze ability, Sombra’s main gun, and Doomfist’s ammo recovery rate; check out the whole video just below to get a more detailed rundown of what’s changing.

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Lineage 2 players are upset over Circlets of Power

So let’s do our best to break down how the latest kerfuffle in Lineage 2 started up. First, the game introduces a new set of items in the cash shop, the Circlets of Power, which are the best items you can get for that particular slot when fully upgraded. That’s going to definitely attract some cries about pay-to-win. Then, the upgrade process for those Circlets is also not assured. That’s also bad, but at least you still have the Circlet, right? Oh, except you have to upgrade them to +5 and a failed enchantment reverts the item to +0, that’s worse.

But… what if you also made the upgrade item a cash shop purchase? It’s like a lockbox where you gamble on how much more money you have to spend!

Do we even need to specify that players are unhappy about this? Because they really, really are. The announcement thread has also become the discussion thread, which prompts some speculation about whether or not the game will be balanced around the upgraded circlet or if it’ll be balanced around worse gear, thus rendering the circlets game-breakingly powerful. It also doesn’t really matter, because… yeah, this is kind of gross.

Source: Official Site, Official Forum; thanks to Martin for the tip!

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World of Warcraft restores mobile auction house functionality

It was a quiet night last night for World of Warcraft datamining, but there was still some news to be had with the latest round of hotfixes. Players can access the mobile auction house API once again, which is good news for anyone attempting to maintain a merchant empire in the game. The hotfixes also patched up issues like achievements for certain Eastern Kingdoms Loremaster accomplishments not tracking across multiple characters and proper mount drops from Yogg-Saron.

Meanwhile, players have uncovered something interesting on the Broken Shore. If you head out to that region and look for the Xorothian Cultists without simply attacking them, you can see that they’re channeling a spell. A long spell; it’s a spell that should finish casting around March 7th. In the past, some of their long channeling spells have hinted at big events to come when the channeling finishes, with the last cast ending on the day of patch 7.3.5 releasing. So what happens around that day? We’ll have to find out, but it hints that it’ll be something interesting.

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Secret World Legends posts a quick teaser of the agent system

One of the first new Secret World Legends systems is coming soon, and Funcom posted a quick video of it this week to whet players’ appetites.

In a minute-and-a-half, CM Andy Benditt walked players through the basics of the upcoming agent system. This system works much like World of Warcraft’s order hall missions, Star Trek Online’s duty officer system, and RIFT’s minions. The idea is that players will recruit and collect support agents that can be equipped for their passive ability bonuses (three max) and sent out on timed missions with the hopes of bringing back rewards. The strategy here is to match up an agent’s traits with the mission requirements in question in order to increase the chance of success.

Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments!

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Fish up some love and loot in Black Desert’s Valentine’s Day events

It’s Valentine’s Day in the world of Black Desert! The Sweet Valentine event kicked off on server up earlier today, and for the first part of the event, you’re going…

… Fishing. Yep. Fish up a message in a bottle and you’ll pick up one of 28 random quests involving mini plots, summoning bosses, and loot rewards worth up to 2.5M silvers. You can also farm cacao to use for cooking up some chocolate treats and send off “sweet gift letters” to other players, thereby spreading around more “sweet chests.” We’re talking about boxes of loot, again, here. And no you can’t send them to yourself, but nice try!

Heck, let’s just throw in some fireworks while we’re going nuts here! Find those in Velia, Heidel, and Calpheon City. And as always, the best patch notes in the MMO industry deliver this beauty:

“Black Spirit’s teeth have become brighter.”

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ARK Survival Evolved gives its dinos some tender loving care

Dinosaurs deserve some love too, even if they’re oversized grumpy reptiles who keep trying to eat those good-natured players in ARK. The survival sandbox rolled out its TLC Phase 1 patch today that celebrated Valentine’s Day while making a pass (the balance kind, not the sexy kind) at several of the game’s signature beasties.

In the update, five of the prehistoric creatures — the Procoptodon, the Gigantopithecus, the Direbear, the Direwolf, and the Rex — received visual, animation, and ability redesigns. The patch also placed a hard limit on the number of turrets players could plop down in an area and added several quality-of-life improvements.

And if you really were banking on some dino love today, then enjoy ARK’s Mate Boosted event. This increases the mate boosted range, reduces baby food consumption, and jacks up mating, mating recovery, egg incubation, and creature maturing speeds. So go forth and breed your imaginary gigantic pets, you weirdos!

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Fortnite’s Valentine event isn’t launching today [Updated]

Hope you PvE folks didn’t have your Valentine hearts set on that Fortnite update that was supposed to roll out today because… it didn’t. As we’d previously reported, Save the World mode was supposed to be updated with a themed questline, but it’s apparently been delayed.

“The patch is not set to release tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted on when we do plan on bringing it out though. :)” an Epic rep wrote on Reddit.

On top of that, players were apparently told that gold would reset, so people went out and spent it. The reset also didn’t happen, further inflaming the playerbase, which was already grumbly over the lack of communication and the dramatic shift of the game from being a PvE-centric building sandbox into a battle royale-focused PvP game with Save the World tacked on.

The Valentine’s Day buyables, however, made it in today.

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Villagers and Heroes asks for more iOS beta testers, addresses bizarre rumors

With the launch of Villagers and Heroes on iOS mobile devices this February 26th, the team desperately needs all testers on deck to make sure the version is ready to release. In addition to asking for more applicants, the studio is running community challenges that will result in free goodies for everyone (in fact, the first such reward has already been reached).

On a rather strange note, the devs took to the forums this week to address various rumors that have been circulating about the title. These include the nature and number of moderators, accusations that the title has degenerated into a “Lord of the Flies” situation (their words), and alleged discrimination against the elderly.

The devs weren’t brooking any of it, especially that last one: “Are you kidding me with this? This one is so ludicrous, I’m not even going to respond to it.”

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World of Warcraft explains hunter pets in Battle for Azeroth while datamining unearths more secrets

We’re not going to blow anyone’s mind by stating that pets are pretty central to the experience of playing a Hunter in World of Warcraft. You can eschew one altogether as Marksmanship, but they’re still pretty darn important. The developers have put together a long post discussing the mechanical changes coming to hunter pets with the Battle for Azeroth expansion. No, you won’t be able to choose your pet’s specialization any longer, but that’s because all three specializations are now meant to simultaneously tank while solo and provide DPS through other means, while pet-specific abilities are becoming more varied and potent across the board.

But there’s plenty to discuss even outside of official announcements as datamining has uncovered what appears to be broadcast text for the siege of Lordaeron and the attack on Teldrassil (i.e., the events that kick off the expansion as a whole). There are also new bits of datamining suggesting that First Aid may be rolled into the Tailoring profession, as well as a new mount that strengthens the hints of a mag’har allied race for the Horde. All unannounced thus far, of course, but still exciting fuel for speculation.

Source: Official Site, Wowhead (1, 2, 3)

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Fortnite outlines a new roadmap for Battle Royale and removes submachine guns

The designers behind Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode have plans. What are those plans? You’ll need to go on a dangerous mission to retrieve them by sneaking into the… oh, never mind, you can just read them right here. That was straightforward.

Whether or not you’ll like what you read is a different discussion. Most players will probably like the prospect of 60 FPS on console versions of the game, west coast servers, and new character skins, but the game is also tossing regular submachine guns into the Vault (i.e. a metaphorical box from whence items cannot be pulled out and used). In short, it’s yanking the weapon from the game for the moment.

This isn’t to say that they’re bad, just that this balance change is meant to encourage using other weapons and to shake up the game’s metagame balance; in the future, other items can also be added to the vault and removed as time requires. There are also new social features and limited-time game modes planned, so on a whole the roadmap has lots of cool stuff to look forward to. It’s just slightly less if you love submachine guns.

Source: Official Site via VG24/7

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Lord of the Rings Online starts testing Northern Mirkwood

With the beta for Lord of the Rings Online’s Update 22 on the test server, players eager to escape the clutches of Mordor are able to see greener pastures in the north — Northern Mirkwood, that is.

The zone of Northern Mirkwood is split into two regions: Eryn Lasgalen (Woold-elf forest) and the Dale-lands. “A new Lake-town has been built, Dale has been re-settled, and the Kingdom under the mountain thrives, but change has not lessened its pace,” the devs said.

Quality-of-life improvements are also in the works for Update 22, as noted by Lina’s Biscuity Burrow. And musicians are going to flip over the fiddle, which all players will be able to enjoy.

LOTRO Players took players on a tour through the new area with several videos, including a look at the Elfking’s Hall, Lake-town, Dale, the Lonely Mountain, Raven Hill, and Erebor. There’s even a trip to Smaug’s bones, if Hobbit history is important to you. Go there and back again after the jump!

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