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]
To celebrate last week’s arrival of the Cloaked Ascendancy expansion
on console, PWE
has granted Massively OP 50 unicorn mount keys to give away to our readers– 25 apiece for PlayStation 4 (the cerulean unicorn) and Xbox One (the chartreuse unicorn). Quick, to your color wheels!
“These majestic beasts live to protect the forests where they dwell. In honor of these powerful creatures, the forest dwelling fey groom them and adorn them with bright flowers staining their pure white coats with vibrant color. These uncommon mounts grant 50% increased mounted movement speed and two Insignia slots to gain additional powers.”
The codes can be redeemed only once per account and expire at the end of 2017, and the mounts are bind-on-pickup. Critically, these codes are redeemable on console only in the regions as outlined below, so if you’re a PC person, you can skip this one!
When I took the trip to ZeniMax Online Studios to check out Morrowind a couple of months back, I was sitting at a table with other games press and a handful of ZOS developers, including Creative Director Rich Lambert and Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler. The conversation wasn’t exactly off the record, but it wasn’t really an interview setting either. We were just talking, mostly about our lives: how Brian had to leave soon because he might get in trouble with his girlfriend and how Rich spent many overnights at the same hotel that the press had been staying in because he was at the office late and had to be there again early the next day.
During the course of the conversation, we ended up talking about how the press had originally received the Elder Scrolls Online and how it received it since the console launch. It’s not a big secret that I said some pretty critical things about ESO shortly after its PC launch. Rich pointed out during the conversation, possibly not knowing the outlet I was from, that he was surprised at how the opinions had turned around, especially Massively’s. And when he said “Massively,” I don’t think he realized that it was specifically my opinion that had that changed, drastically, since I’ve been the site’s ESO columnist since before the game’s launch.
The year was 1998. Bill Clinton was the president of the United States of America. Everyone spent an enormous amount of time and money on watching a movie about a sinking boat. Google is founded. The second Harry Potter book is published. Absolutely no one dances the Charleston. And StarCraft: Brood War is the hip new release by the scrappy underdogs at Blizzard. It also costs money, because every video game costs money at that point. But it doesn’t cost money any more; Blizzard has made the title free as part of its classic games collection.
If you’ve never played the game, you can download it and start playing right now to experience everything therein as it was originally released, minus the CD case (and the remarkably thick instruction book that came with the base game). This comes in advance of the upcoming rerelease and remastering of the classic games, so expect the title to seem just a little bit dated. But it’s also classic StarCraft for free, which means that some people (including this writer) can stop carting around the same game discs from nineteen years ago.
Believe it or not, the long-waited dance studio is finally coming to World of Warcraft… sort of.
In Patch 7.2.5, Blizzard is adding a new micro-holiday called Auction House Dance Party. When players enter the auction house, they’ll find it transformed into a discotheque for the day. Participation only requires you to dance, thanks to the dance studio skill. The upshot of doing this, other than for fun, is that every so often a dancer will get yanked on stage and given a sweet 24-hour buff.
Another micro-holiday on the way is the Trial of Style (MOP’s Bree absolutely loves this name, by the way). Participants will be given a theme and have a few minutes to dress up their character with the options available before strutting their stuff before a crowd. Following a vote, the winners will be showered with tokens that can be spent on real transmog gear. Can’t wait for this one!
See them in action for yourself below!
A small patch that’s going out to EverQuest II’s servers today is correcting one slight issue that players have had on the time-locked expansion shards. Apparently, auto-attack damage had been reduced on those servers, a problem that the patch will correct.
There are a few other adjustments in the patch, most concerning the Realm of Despair and Ruins of Kaesora raids. You might want to give the patch notes a once-over to see if any of this affects your gameplay.
In other EverQuest II news, right now there’s an event going on that is awarding double ascension scrolls until Thursday midnight. So if you’re working on fleshing out your ascension class, take advantage of this bonus while it’s running!
The bright side for environmental artists working on Neverwinter’s
next module is that so much of the content takes place in familiar areas. That means you can reuse old maps without designing everything from the ground up. But how do you take those areas, make them look creepy, and then drop them back into the game? A new post by environment artist Ryan Dao walks through the process of taking existing locales and giving them a coat of evil paint
. (Which is paint that looks evil, mind you, not paint which shows up when adjacent clerics use Detect Evil.)
It’s interesting stuff not just for fans of Neverwinter but for anyone interested in the process; Dao talks about putting together environmental objects, then using bits and pieces of those objects to kitbash further pieces of decor to create a unified look while also streamlining the process. You can also see plenty of before-and-after shots for comparison purposes, so it’s definitely a process that works.
Sci-fi MMO fans on console, today’s a good day for you to get yourself all patched up: Both Star Trek Online
rolled out big updates today that were formerly on PC only.
Star Trek Online pushed out Season 12 “Reckoning” earlier this afternoon on both Xbox One and PS4. “Captains can now face off against [the] powerful, militant [Tzenkethi] on both Xbox One and PS4, as they participate in a new featured episode, two space queues and a full space battlezone,” says PWE. Executive Producer Stephen Ricossa made note of the up-tempo cadence for consoles:
“With the release of Season 12, you’ll notice that content is coming out sooner and sooner on Xbox One and Playstation 4. Soon, you won’t have to wait long at all to enjoy all of the great new content that comes out every month for Star Trek Online.”
And Warframe delivered Octavia’s Anthem to both major consoles this morning, bringing the sci-fi bard-themed warframe to gamers with a musical quest and special instrument.
The last patch for Final Fantasy XIV
before the expansion has been released. Does it contain unexpected in-depth content to delight and amaze players who had expected nothing of the sort? Of course not. Let’s not be silly. It does, however, give you a bit more reason to run the stuff that’s already in the game
. Weekly loot and token restrictions for Dun Scaith, for example? Those are gone. Micro tomestones? Easier to get, making 260 weapons easier to get by extension.
Speaking of those weapons, you can upgrade them now in Idyllshire more easily, now that Shire weapon upgrade items can be purchased along with the armor and accessory upgrade items. It’s also easier to move through the stages required for your Anima Weapon if you’d like a bit of catch-up there, as well. So while you’re flitting about for the last two months until the expansion, you can get more out of every run you take part in; that’s a good thing, all told.
Let’s be honest: When you jump into a dungeon in an MMO, are you ever that concerned with the reasons for doing so past “shiny lewts ahead?” Usually it’s some bad guy who needs putting down for some reason or the other, but how about fighting for the most noble reason of all, peace?
Revelation Online’s newest dungeon, The Grand Bulwark, is the ugly fallout of a peace process that’s taking place between the game’s humans and the Northern Wolves Tribes. According to a lore blog explaining the instance, while the tribes are finally willing to sue for peace, a radical faction has splintered off and holed itself up in a fortress. If peace is to happen, players need to go in and clean house.
The Grand Bulwark comes in two varieties: the five-player slaughter mode and a 10-player raid. “No matter which mode you prefer, it is up to you to put this endless cycle of death to an end by any means necessary!” the team said.
If you’re not a big fan of Steam’s dominance of gaming trends in the west, maybe you think a competitor will do the service some good — and a competitor does indeed to appear to be on the way.
A tweet lobbed by Niko Partners games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad on Easter sent games journalist scurrying to cover his claim that Tencent is planning a relaunch of its existing games platform as a global Steam-competitor dubbed WeGame. The existing service, Tencent Games Platform, already has 200 million users in China, but when relaunched, it’ll service the west too, beginning with a release of 100 games from primarily western developers. Gamasutra reports that Stardew Valley and Don’t Starve are already on the platform, the latter having sold a million copies there in its first month.
Tencent is already the largest gaming company in the world and according to Bloomberg is currently the 10th largest publicly traded company on the planet. Massively OP readers know it best as the company that owns League of Legends studio Riot Games.
After a week-long delay, Star Wars: The Old Republic
launches its first major patch to the Knights of the Eternal Throne
expansion as Update 5.2: The War For Iokath today. The update continues your story directly where Eternal Throne
left off and reintroduces classic companions Malavai Quinn and Elara Dorne.
Creative Director Charles Boyd spoke at length and answered a few of our most pressing questions about the update — everything from Quinn and Galactic Command ranks to raiding dynamics and win trading. Boyd doesn’t shy away from addressing any of them. Watch our interview with him in the video below to get caught up on everything coming in the update — plus check out the update’s official trailer!
Add this to the list of cool stuff for console that PC players are unlikely to see: Marvel Heroes Omega
is getting a local co-op mode. Gazillion Gameplay Engineer Andrew Hair
dropped the news on Twitter this morning.
Ah, trailer season is almost upon us, and The Elder Scrolls Online is inching closer today with its video of the Warden, the new class landing in the game when the Morrowind not-an-expansion expansion launches on June 6th.
“Revealing themselves to the world for the first time, Wardens possess a wide assortment of abilities to help defend the wilds and people of Tamriel. With the versatility to act as a damage dealer, a healer, or protector (or any combination in between) the Warden’s powerful and unique nature-based magic brings an entirely new element to ESO. The Warden can be fully customized based on your choices and your playstyle — summon the fearsome War Bear, encase yourself in rock-solid ice, or conjure healing plants from the soil.”
We’ve previously covered the Warden’s support, summon, and attack skills, and the closed beta began yesterday with all the expected fanfare of an expansion test locked behind an NDA. You’ll be rolling up on Seyda Neen in just seven weeks! Check out that gameplay trailer down below, then tell us: Are you creating a Warden in Morrowind? (I am!)