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]
After the last couple of lackluster chapters, I’ve lowered my expectations for the Star Wars: The Old Republic story. Not because I think that the BioWare writers are bad by any stretch; I think that Charles Boyd and the other writers are great. BioWare storytelling has topped the charts for a long time. In fact, players have always counted on the quality of BioWare’s storytelling even when the gameplay has been less than optimal.
But I’d like to look at this last chapter, Visions in the Dark, from the perspective of someone who might not have bought into chapter 10 and 11 of Knights of the Fallen Empire. After all, I have been recommending against subscribing to the game after those chapters released. So if you’ve been following my advice, then you probably have been waiting for something to blow you away. You’re likely looking for something to change your mind about SWTOR storytelling.
This column may not be that something. I found myself walking away from chapter 12 more confused than when the chapter started. Confusion isn’t necessarily disappointment, but I’m not sure it’s mind-blowing either. Depending on why you are interested in the SWTOR storyline, this might be a good time to jump in. (If you are PvPer, then you should at least jump into to taste the new warzone. It’s interesting if not amazing.) However, I will have to dive in deeper to give an accurate assessment of the storytelling side of Chapter 12. I promise no deep spoilers even for Chapter 10 and 11.
Hope you weren’t too attached to that empire because Blade & Soul done gone shattered it.
The wuxia action MMO is preparing to bring Update 2.1: The Shattered Empire to the west on April 27th. The patch appears to have a nice spread of content, including two new heroic dungeons — Cold Storage and Sogun’s Lament — and several more floors in the solo-only Mushin’s Tower. How tall will that tower eventually get? We’re holding an office pool right now in the comments!
Update 2.1 will also contain a new PvP mode called Whirlwind Valley. This game mode will be a 6v6 fight that requires teams to work together to accomplish specific objectives (beyond merely bashing in the face of the enemy).
Are you tired of Star Trek Online
‘s clunky old skill system? Are you eager to start showing your strategic side in space battles? Do you have a deep investment in the Na’kuhl from their brief appearances on television? All three of these wants are being addressed in the game’s newest patch, Season 11.5, which deploys on the game’s live servers today. The skill system revamp is in, the Strategist specialization is in place, and the Na’kuhl will challenge players in a sequence of new Red Alert events.
Players can also take advantage of the new visual slots for ships to customize a ship’s look without concern for performance, or they can take part in the new Admiralty campaign centered around the Romulan Republic. Check out some screenshots and the trailer for the half-season patch just below, and enjoy everything the update has to offer today.
“Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden! Fell deeds awake, fire and slaughter! Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered, a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!”
The day of days is finally upon Lord of the Rings Online, as Update 18: The Battle of Pelennor Fields has released. This is a mini-expansion in truth, as it contains a level cap increase to 105, over 70 additional quests, two more books in the epic story, the Far Anórien region, and a new instance cluster.
The fan-favorite Battle of Pelennor fields will play out over both the epic story and the trio of new instances, the latter of which include The Blood of the Black Serpent, The Quays of the Harlond, and the Silent Street. With the update comes a new featured instance system, in which Turbine will choose an old instance or raid each week to promote with special rewards. There’s a lot to absorb in the patch notes, so get reading while you prepare for battle!
Daum EU has just announced a new class pair will join the Black Desert sandbox next week: The Musa and Maehwa. You might recognize them as the Blader and Plum from the Korean version.
The Musa is a melee class that relies on high speed and fast reactions to stay ahead of the enemy. With incredible mobility and a specialty for AoE-focused attacks, the Musa excels in small-scale PvP. The Musa is at its best when dashing across the battlefield to dispatch enemies with powerful AoE attacks, but each uncalculated move can be deadly due to his lower defense.
The Maehwa is the female counterpart to the Musa class and boasts similar stats. Like the Musa, the Maehwa fights with a Blade and Short Bow while quickly moving about the battlefield to avoid enemy attacks. While both classes are melee oriented, the Short Bow affords the Musa and Maehwa a selection of ranged attacks used to knock down targets and provide an opening to deliver close quarters attacks. Unlike the Musa, the Maehwa specializes in one-on-one combat with the impressive ability to lock down single targets for an extended amount of time.
Both become playable here in the west on April 20th. Check out the videos and screenshots below!
Players of Ascent: The Space Game have no doubt grown accustomed to the game being in early access, along with approximately every other title. Now the indie sandbox MMORPG is moving out of early access and into the waters of launch; if you’ve been leery about jumping into the game while it’s still not in a launch state, now is the time to step in and start playing — especially if you like your sandboxes to be more in the “let’s work together to shape a potentially unfriendly world” vein rather than “let’s shoot one another because there’s no rule against it.”
What prompts the launch? Two facts: completion and money. A post on the game’s official forums on the state of the game reveals that the game is in a very good place, but the company is struggling. “There is no chance the company will fold or the game will end (I still run it on a test server at home and it’s fine. I could operate it for you with NO income),” solo developer James Hicks writes, “but there is also no chance I will be 100% full time on the game any more in May or June if we can’t FINALLY get some press traction and make some significant sales.”
Design Lead Ben “DrOctothorpe” Schneider has a meaty design blog out for Lord of the Rings
players anxiously awaiting the launch of Update 18: The Battle of Pelennor Fields
Schneider says Turbine has never tackled any battle so huge and momentous as Pelennor Fields itself, which won’t surprise anyone who’s seen Return of the King and held her breath while the dust of the battle clears. The team first considered porting it into a massive instance or epic battle but ultimately put together its very own crack team to turn the battle into a technically challenging web of instances, hubs, quests, and cinematics.
“Starting with the Ride of the Rohirrim, the player (that’s you) would traverse five key areas of the battle, each at a different stage of the day,” he explains. “Epic instances would by-and-large bridge these moments. An instance cluster would be called out at branch-off points where appropriate (as well as in the Instance Finder, of course). And in-between, we would render the raging battlefield from the soldier’s-eye-view, after a fashion never before seen in Lord of the Rings Online.”
We’ve been covering the gradual reveals of the new souls (read: classes) coming to RIFT with Patch 3.6 this month, including the Runeshaper and the Maelstrom. Since every calling will be getting an additional soul in the $35 pack, Rogues might be wondering what they’ll be adding to their arsenal. Now we know: It’s the Shadeborn.
As you might expect with a Rogue soul, the Shadeborn does some serious DPS if played right. Its unique mechanic is applying a “Bond of Night” mark on a target that causes that mob to take damage whenever the Shadeborn deals pain to a second creature. Through this, the Shadeborn can effectively strike at two targets simultaneously, even if they’re separated on the battlefield.
The Shadeborn should be ideal to those who like the idea of harnessing the power of death, since the soul will be striking with shadows and all sorts of purply evil. Update 3.6: Celebration of the Ascended will be coming this week on April 16th.
What is Midgardsormr doing?
The lord of the wyrms played a major role in the end of the 2.x story series in Final Fantasy XIV, and he was a pretty big influence through all of Heavensward. Yet the reality is that we don’t know a great deal about him beyond the fact that he’s old, powerful, and pursuing his own agenda with gusto. He’s neither an enemy nor an ally, precisely, even though he fulfills both roles over the course of the MSQ. And there was something about all of that sitting with some discomfort in the back of my mind.
A couple of weeks ago, I realized what it was that bothered me. Fair warning: Today’s column contains spoilers for the ongoing MSQ, albeit not major ones, and a whole lot of speculation. If you haven’t yet done the quests and want to avoid some minor spoilers, you may not want to click below, although I assure you that the spoilers you will see aren’t major plot points.
The combat in Gloria Victis is a big part of the game, so it makes sense that the developers are taking their time to balance it just right. The most recent patch adjusts the damage and balance of several weapons while also introducing armor penetration to the game, making for a better overall combat experience. Unless you’re feeling very secure in chain armor when someone starts smacking you with a mace; that’s probably not improving your feelings about combat.
The patch also introduces several quality of life fixes for the game, including auto-closing doors in keeps and towns along with a more unified set of environmental interactions. There are also new NPC enemies to slay down toward the south, which is especially valuable for those who manage to claim the Lord’s Wrath Abbey. It’s all about quality of life, or in the case of weapons, quality of tools to end it.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This past week Skyforge shared some of the workings behind its worldwide demonic invasion, Diablo II got a surprise patch, the 2016 Olympics welcomed esports, and Saga of Lucimia shed some light on its darkness system. Read up on these stories and more after the break!
Good news, everyone! Skyforge’s next big update, Reaper’s Revenge, is only days away from release. Allods Team announced this week that the content patch is scheduled for April 20th and will contain many improvements and expansions to the game’s core systems.
The headlining feature of Reaper’s Revenge is an overhauled adventure search interface that will allow players to quickly scan through level-appropriate activities and allow them to easily group up if needed. The team said that players will no longer have to grind prestige to unlock higher difficulty levels, but that those levels would become available once the previous modes had been conquered.
Also coming with the update are further ways to grow a character’s stats, mount upgrades, and D-series distortions. Players will even be able to queue up for a new “rapid response squad” activity with two fellow deities.
Aztecs. Chronomancers. Mounts. Halberds. Golems. Dual wielding.
These are all but a hint of what a fourth Guild Wars campaign could have been, a campaign that was under development in the mid-2000s but was scrapped by 2007. Replacing it was the expansion Guild Wars: Eye of the North and the workings of a super-secret sequel to the game (which you’ve probably never heard of). It was the forgotten campaign, swept under a rug while it was still under the rug.
But what if, in some alternative timeline, ArenaNet had gone ahead with this campaign? What if it had become an established part of the Guild Wars legacy, as familiar to us today as Nightfall and Factions?
What if Guild Wars Utopia had lived?