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]

Elder Scrolls Online’s Update 6 is live

What’s new in The Elder Scrolls Online? Well, how long have you got? Today’s Update 6 added the justice system, the champion system, a collections system, animation and tutorial updates, a provisioning revamp, game rebalancing, and more.

The justice system allows you to indulge your inner criminal by stealing from Tamrielian NPCs, breaking into their homes, and even murdering them outright.

The champion system is “a new progression and development” mechanic that becomes available at Veteran Rank 1. Champion points are earned by doing anything in the game that generates XP, and each character on your account will receive a point to spend on progression-related niceties when it is earned by your VR character(s). There’s much more to the update, so click the link below to learn all about it.

[Source: Patch notes; thanks Chum!]


Strongholds and the Jungle in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns

While I was taking my test drive of the Revenant class at ArenaNet’s recent press event, I wasn’t just playing through old familiar portions of Guild Wars 2. No, I was being welcomed to the jungle, mercifully without having to listen to that tired old Guns N’ Roses chestnut in the process. And then I was taking on Strongholds, which meant less dusting off my withered PvE skills for the game and more immediately developing PvP skills I’m not entirely sure I ever had.

So how were they? In the former case, I honestly think I didn’t get enough of a playground to say much about it one way or the other, but it certainly didn’t have me leaping for joy at the content. In the latter, though, I was very thoroughly pleased with how balanced the gameplay felt and how much fun the whole thing was, though it was buoyed somewhat by the fact that I kept being on the winning team. Let’s hit this one point by point.

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Hands-on with Guild Wars 2’s Revenant

It might be premature, but I’m pretty sure that the Revenant is my favorite profession in Guild Wars 2. And strangely, it’s because it offers a twist on the usual process of swapping between skill sets.

When the Revenant was first announced during this year’s PAX South, I was more than a little leery. At a glance, it was yet another figure in heavy armor with vaguely death-related powers, the sort of thing that’s so ubiquitous now as to beat out characters named after figures from Game of Thrones. It also evoked the Ritualist, which was one of the classes from Guild Wars that a lot of people loved but held no real resonance for me. Having played it now, though, I think it was a bit undersold because I was reminded of one of my favorite classes from the original Guild Wars as I played, and I was pleasantly surprised at just how novel the game’s take on a rather familiar lineup of tropes felt in action.
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Heroes & Generals update adds Soviet faction

Reto-Moto has added a third faction to World War II strategic shooter Heroes & Generals. The game’s “largest ever” update includes the Soviet Red Army along with 14 new vehicles and 1,000 new European battlefields.

All of the game’s weapons have been re-balanced, new three-faction victory conditions have been introduced, and new strategy mechanics including retreats and supply line skirmishes are available in the game’s generals mode. Heroes & Generals allows for action-based play via infantry, pilot, and tank driver roles as well as strategic play involving the management of battlefield assets, units, and reinforcements.

Click past the cut to see a video trailer of the latest update.

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Star Trek Online’s new sector space looks beautiful

The walls of sector space are coming down in Star Trek Online, creating a more wide-open galaxy for captains to explore. But what will that look like?

A new dev diary from the team goes through the lengthy explanation of how sector space will function after the next big update. Instead of having several galactic zones, the new map will have three large areas: alpha, beta, and delta quadrants.

The team reorganized over 350 systems to fit with the new map and even added a few new systems (such as Tellar, Trill, and Betazed) for Foundry use and future content expansion. Astrometrics has received an overhaul, and players will experience stars and planets on the map that are significantly bigger than their ship in order to give the impression of true size.

[Source: Dev diary. Thanks to Michael for the tip!]


Wisdom of Nym: Gold Saucer impressions in Final Fantasy XIV

After a madcap week, I got to come home to the Gold Saucer. Traveling to Seattle on short notice was a mixture of the good and the bad, and I was certainly happy to be back home, but I was all the happier when I had Final Fantasy XIV‘s den of gambling-but-not-really to look forward to upon arrival. What could be better?

Well, a system that was actually ready to account for the vast influx of people who wanted to take part in the minigames would have been a good idea, but let’s not get crazy, hmm?

Thematically, the Gold Saucer comes at a highly inappropriate time, since Eorzea is kind of tearing itself apart at the seams while people gamble ceaselessly. But it’s also something that’s both fun and almost infinitely expandable, a feature that will fit well into the game after the initial rush has worn off. So let’s take a look at the Saucer, the many games therein, and how everything shakes down on the average.

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Guild Wars 2 elaborates on camera improvements

Forget the living world; it may be that finally allowing players to zoom into a first-person view will be the most significant event that’s ever happened to Guild Wars 2 — and perhaps the world. OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but for those of us who have been frustrated trying to take screenshots without a giant noggin in the way, it’s a revelation.

A new dev diary talks about both the first-person camera view as well as the other camera options coming in March. “A new feature we’re excited about is something we’re calling collision sensitivity,” the team posted. “We’ve all been there — you’re running along, happily dispatching ambient rabbits, when suddenly a small tree comes between your camera and your character, causing the camera to snap in very close and completely ruin your immersion. Well, we fixed this!”

Other camera changes include zoom sensitivity, a field of view slider, an update to the position slider, and an option to restore to the default camera settings. The latest episode of Ready Up, which demonstrates the new changes in action, is embedded below.

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Darkfall makes ‘massive changes to combat,’ removes chaos banks

Well, Darkfall is blowing itself up again. Aventurine’s latest update, titled Darkfall Reload, describes a patch that isn’t quite as dramatic as the Unholy Wars reboot, but it’s still chock-full of changes. Chief among those are “massive changes to combat,” including a sweeping rework/removal of the game’s crowd control mechanics.

Chaos banks and outposts have been removed, too, and the devs have added a new clan perk system and leaderboards.

[Source: Patch notes; thanks Dengar!]


Elite: Dangerous makes it easier for friends to find you

Elite: Dangerous pilots who feel frustrated that hooking up with friends in deep space might be relieved to know that the team is preparing a nifty feature for Update 1.2 that will help in this regard.

In a forum dev post, Executive Producer Michael Brookes discusses wing beacons that can be activated to clearly show your location to any wing members in a solar system: “Your wing will be able to see the signal — regardless of distance — as long as they are in super cruise in the system; they can use it just like a wake and drop down to your location.”

Other changes coming with the next patch include the ability to transmit open broadcasts, a balance pass on repair costs, a debug camera that allows players to see their ship, and a jury-rig feature that will allow broken ships to cannibalize healthy modules to fix busted ones.

[Source: Official forums. Thanks to Cotic for the tip!]


Here are the progression servers up for vote in EverQuest

Classic EverQuest’s dev team casually announced last week that it has plans for new progression servers, signalling that at least Daybreak isn’t planning on maintenance-moding the old game. Now, Holly “Windstalker” Longdale has updated players on the plan and urged them to log into the game to vote on the server’s style.

Progression servers generally pace out expansions and content to keep the server in time with the original level caps and progression of the game. Here’s what’s up for vote:

Existing stat rules: Players vote for expansion unlocks according to a set timer.

Slower progression: Like the existing rules, only the timers are longer.

Locked progression: Like the existing rules, but the devs can step in and change the unlock rates too.

Seasonal challenge: Like locked progression, only the servers are reset every season and top players collect rewards.

You can lodge your vote by logging into the game.

[Source: Forums]


Today’s Repopulation patch makes ‘massive changes’ to combat

If you’re looking to test The Repopulation this morning, well, it’s going to be down for four to eight hours. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the extensive break is allowing the devs to apply the 15.1.1 patch, which features “massive changes to the combat system.”

Every skill in the game has been examined with an eye toward balance and improvement, with melee skills receiving the most upgrades. New stats have been introduced, while buffs and debuffs have been tweaked to be more reliable and “reduce the amount of chance in an encounter.”

Combat is also getting a visual upgrade, chiefly in regard to ranged weapon animations. Above & Beyond says that a melee animation pass is planned. 15.1.1 includes texture upgrades, too, as well as a healthy portion of other stuff that you’ll find in the official build notes.

[Source: 15.1.1. notes; thanks Crow and Grimjakk!]


Rumor: Hearthstone may be prepping a Blackrock Mountain adventure

What’s next for the ever-hot Hearthstone? Hearthhead reported that a data mining expedition has uncovered references to Blackrock Mountain dungeon cards, meaning that card players could be heading to adventures in Molten Core before too long.

In other Hearthstone news, Nvidia is planning a Pro/Am international tournament with a $25,000 prize pool. It’s free to register and will begin on May 16th. The game also had a minor patch yesterday that included improvements to the spectator mode and a lunar card back for those doing well in ranked play this month.

[Source: Hearthhead, Droid Gamers, patch notes; via Blizzard Watch]


Guild Wars 2 rethinks the defiance system for Heart of Thorns

Just when you thought it was safe to enter an expansion jungle, think again. The Guild Wars 2 dev team is hard at work making Heart of Thorns as intimidating to the veteran adventurer as possible, and one of its tools is the fearsome wyvern.

The devs used the champion creature as an example of how the expansion’s improved defiance mechanic will work. The new system will show an additional bar under the boss’ health bar that represents its defiance (i.e., anti-crowd control protection). The more CC used on the creature, the more the bar degrades until the creature can be affected by such skills. However, the bar is always regenerating, so player groups will need to hit it fast and frequently to make a difference.

The new system can be used for interesting encounter, such as the wyvern. Players will attempt to stop the creature from taking off by depleting its defiance bar, and if they are successful, they will get a few seconds of free attack time. It may be worth it to let the creature attack you at least a few times, if only to see the wyvern’s “believable” fire effects.

[Source: Guild Wars 2]


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