Back in August, Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie spoke with Grinding Gear Games about the many new endgame maps, the Essence league, and new loot, so that’s a good starting place if you’re just diving back in to see just how good the enhanced performance is. Don’t forget to scope out the patch notes while you download that 2.6GB patch!
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]
During the Elder Scrolls Online panel this afternoon at PAX West, ZeniMax developers fielded a number of questions from the audience centering on what players can expect from One Tamriel when it launches. Of note, they’ve teased teleport checkpoints for all dungeons and trials, along with complete veteran and normal modes; zone- and dungeon-specific item sets – 30 of them; and holiday festival events (!) including a Halloweeny one. Intriguingly, smaller-scale battleground style PvP is also on the way (this one courtesy of our source on the ground).
Meanwhile, update 12 — including One Tamriel — is now live on the PTS, complete with patch notes.
“This update opens up the world of Tamriel for you to explore any time, and play with your friends no matter what level you are. Due to the significant changes One Tamriel brings to ESO, we’ve adjusted much of the current content and systems. In this update, you’ll find that we’ve made Craglorn more solo-friendly, added Normal and Veteran modes for all 4-player dungeons, re-designed the Undaunted Pledge system, added new world bosses, and made some fairly sizeable itemization changes and updates – you’ll definitely want to check out all the details below. In addition to One Tamriel, we’ve also added dueling, Weapon Ultimates, and added new daily quests. We’ve also added 16 new Monster Masks, and raised the Champion Point cap by 30 points. As with previous updates, we’ve also implemented many fixes and improvements to previous DLC game packs and the base game patch. Please note that the recently-announced Crown Crates will be available to test in a future PTS incremental patch.”
Players will be able to print their ships with the same structure, color customizations, and registry information. The current plan is to have the ships printed in the 12″ range, although prices have not yet been announced. It’s a chance to have your personal ship sitting right alongside your various other desktop doodads, which is pretty cool. Console players will presumably be able to get in on the action, as well; the first lockboxes for the game’s console launch have been revealed if you’re hoping to snag a particularly rare ship for the couch experience.
Skyforge’s Ascension expansion isn’t just another content drop — it’s virtual rewrite of the way characters are built and played in a way that is distinctly casual-friendly. Today’s team dev blog explains how the character development system is being redesigned to reduce unnecessary complexity and reduce build screw-ups, from merging Ascension Atlas stats to replacing Sparks and Spark Replicators. Even class unlocking is different now: Players will have to travel to its temple first.
“The unlocked class has a limited amount of predefined starter skills, which still allow you to go into battle. To obtain new abilities, you must complete the quests issued in the class temple. Usually, they will be linked to defeating enemies with that specific class. Characters can only have a quest from one class temple active at a time but as soon as it has been completed, a new one can be started either in the same temple or in any other that is available to you. As the class temple is developed, you will get access to new Talents and Skills. First you will develop the class by exploring basic skills, which will be active amid any selected set, the latest of which is the Ultimate ability.”
If you’re a former Skyforge player tempted by the changes, definitely give the whole piece a read!
Today, the studio has issued a new dev blog addressing some of the concerns existing and future players have raised. For starters, EVE players and observers alike have pointed out that the lack of limitation on simultaneous logins for freebie accounts will lead to abuse, to say nothing of the convincing argument that freebie accounts will lead to a rise in suicide ganking. CCP says it is “exploring options to address” simultaneous logins and points to a self-declared ganker’s opinion on why alphas will make bad gankers, though that doesn’t mean people won’t do it anyway, and it doesn’t address other forms of harassment other games and platforms that enable throwaway accounts have encountered.
One of the things that bothered me about Warlords of Draenor was how bad it felt to play. It was unexpected. I don’t inherently have anything against ability pruning; heck, I consider it a necessary aspect of World of Warcraft‘s development. Trying to make a coherent, playable class out of something with a decade of history is a messy concept, and it’s important to make abilities work together more nicely. But my favorite specs, like Enhancement and Retribution, played like hastily cobbled-together messes. They had lost abilities, but no more design work had been done.
Legion fixes that. Whether or not you like the end result, the class redesigns and improvements show an attention to detail that we haven’t seen since, well, Wrath of the Lich King. And I think it’s important to consider that in context, especially since all of the neat lore ideas in the world wouldn’t have meant anything if the game was not fun to actually play.
Shroud of the Avatar’s last content update, Release 33, came out last week, but the team hasn’t been satisfied with a one-and-done approach to the patch. Since August 25th, the build has experienced five additional updates, each with a huge number of fixes, adjustments, and clarifications. If you’re playing, you might want to stay on top of the tide of patch notes that have been posted on the site.
The devs continue to inform players that the game isn’t quite as stable as they would like: “The latest version of Unity we are using has introduced significant stability issues along with memory leaks. We are working with Unity to resolve these as quickly as we can.”
Also, be aware — and beware — that those giant scaly reptiles can now pursue your farther: “Dragons now have a longer leash distance!”
The last few weeks for The Exiled (the game formerly known as Das Tal) have provided the developers with a lot of feedback. Plenty of feedback, even. Enough feedback that everyone involved with the game has a much clearer picture of where to go and what to do from here. Really, it’s all addressed in the most recent post on the official site, detailing the improvements to be made with the game. First priority? Collision, login queues, and server lag. Yes, those issues might seem mundane, but it’s hard to find many positive things about games you can’t play, yes?
Beyond that, the developers want to make sure that there are more dynamic events spawning and more content options for players who are running solo, since the former is the main reason for players to explore and the latter is important to avoid forcing everyone into specific factions. Several other minor issues are also on the slate to be addressed, piece by piece. There’s a lot more development to be done on the game, but it certainly looks at a glance to be heading in a promising direction based on feedback.
Last night’s Overwatch patch was hard to miss: It introduces a brand-new map, Eichenwalde, and implemented competitive play season 2 — almost a week early, at least for PC and Xbox One (PS4 was delayed a tad).
“We’ve made some big changes to Competitive Play in Season 2. The most noticeable change is the introduction of skill tiers, which we hope will better communicate players’ relative skill levels. Competitive Play will put a greater emphasis on skill tiers over specific ratings, and as such, a player’s tier will be more prominently displayed throughout the game. We’ve also switched the skill rating system to a 1-5000 scale to give players more detailed information about how each match affects their specific rating.”
Notably, Zenyatta, D.Va, Lucio, and Genji saw nerfs, while Mercy and Mei are among the toons getting buffs. As for gg ez… well, just try it.
Yesterday, Blizzard also announced a free-play weekend for consolers, so wait a week and you can check out the patch for free.
The update will introduce guild levels, guild quests, and guild skills. Taking on quests as a guild will award experience, allowing the guild itself to be leveled and opening up guild skills for purchase. Those skills can be used by everyone within the guild, thus creating a whole different vector for advancement. There’s more to come through the remainder of the month, but if you’ve long wanted more involved stuff to do with your guild in TERA, it looks like you’re getting your wish.
MMORPG launches seldom go to plan. Trainwrecks are inevitable. Never spend a vacation day on an MMO release date — that’s the conventional wisdom.
And yet World of Warcraft: Legion has rolled out pretty darn well, or so it appears to me, with only the blip of a DDOS to mar the experience.
Then again, cynical players have observed that Legion is probably several million players short of the overloaded Draenor launch experience.
How would you judge WoW Legion’s launch? How does it stack up compared to other WoW expansion launches — and other good launches throughout the genre’s history?
A new batch of artifacts is arriving in Albion Online, and it’s hellish. These are literally called the Hell Artifacts, you see, and are forged with the aids of Hell Fragments obtained from Hellgates or melding Artifact fragments (which may be rather hellish itself). As we all know, wielding the horrifying powers of demons will have no long-term negative consequences and is in fact a superb idea, especially when said Hell Artifacts have the array of powers being shown off.
Each Hell Artifact weapon has its own unique ability, from the sword’s charge-and-snare technique to the shrinking power of the mace. Meanwhile, the offhands also boost various abilities, and the armor sets boast new powers to shut down your enemies whilst buffing yourself. You can wield all sorts of demonic powers with the new artifacts, and all it takes is… well, you know, lots of Hell. That’s probably fine.
Portobello’s Campaign is based off of a live PAX Prime show from years past, allowing PC players to queue up for a multitude of different content with a humorous bent. And now it’s a new addition to the game’s console version and includes the ability to track your progress across the various event maps as you go. There’s even a trailer for it just below if you need more convincing.