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Can we officially declare the next World of Warcraft expansion announced yet? Technically, no. But the game’s beta version testing very briefly turned to 8.0 yesterday, as screenshotted by a quick-moving Reddit user. For those of you unfamiliar with the game’s version numbers, each expansion winds up being another tick up of the main number, and thus Legion is currently 7.3. So seeing 8.0 on the beta test servers means the next expansion is likely already in the early test stages.
This all pans out to line up nicely with the planned expansion announcement at BlizzCon next month and a release in about a year (although whether or not there will be more patches for the current expansion through that year is more ambiguous). As for what the expansion will be about… well, there are tons of rumors and leaks already, but we’re going to go ahead and bet that it’s all about herding animals. Sure, it’s almost certainly wrong, but imagine how cool it would be if that’s correct.
Remember in 2016 when Daybreak split H1Z1 into two separate games, H1Z1: King of the Kill and H1Z1: Just Survive?
Remember back in August when Daybreak dropped the “H1Z1” from Just Survive’s branding, cutting loose the survival sandbox half of the original split-apart game?
And remember earlier this week when Daybreak announced a pro league for H1Z1 – without using the words King of the Kill?
Put that all together and you may be figuring that King of the Kill is about to get its own rebrand. Indeed, while it hasn’t been officially announced or confirmed, it seems backed up by a video pulled of a new splash screen on King of the Kill’s test server, which shows just the term H1Z1 by itself. Redditors are further speculating the game will finally go free-to-play, which was SOE’s original plan, though that was chucked overboard pretty early on.
Hey, while we’re making crazy predictions, maybe we can predict that the game will finally launch. Because it still hasn’t. That was slated for a year ago, but it (and its console port) was indefinitely delayed.
Halloween – sorry, “Halloween Terror 2017” – is live for Overwatch players this week and runs through November. After all, come November 1st, spooky stuff is just weird, right? That’s Christmas season. Everyone knows that. Shut down the pumpkins and ghosts ASAP.
“Players can explore the haunted streets of Eichenwalde and Hollywood, expand their collection of Halloween seasonal cosmetics, and team up to fight the forces of evil in two PvE brawls—Junkenstein’s Revenge and the all-new Junkenstein Endless brawl featuring a different cast of heroes,” Blizzard says. Also lootboxes. “We’re also re-opening our crypt so players can unlock their favorite Halloween-themed items from last year along with over 50 new tantalizing treats, including legendary skins like Corsair Ana, Van Helsing McCree, Dragon Symmetra, and Cultist Zenyatta.”
In more tantalizing Overwatch news, PC Gamer noticed yet another job listing on the Blizzard site, this one for an artist to work on an unannounced project relating to Overwatch or at least requiring familiarity with the “Overwatch universe” specifically. Is it an intern developing marketing materials or another game set in the same universe – that first-person project that it’s been hiring for over the last year, perhaps? Or maybe – just maybe – Overwatch could be getting an MMO, bringing the whole franchise full circle.
Want to try out Albion Online? Do you want one of your friends to play Albion Online? The latest leaked information about the game promises that fans will be able to accomplish both goals in the near future. According to the leak, which comes through a Redditor whose past leaks have proven accurate, players will be able to purchase a trial for seven days, with the full amount reimbursed to the player’s account once the trial player purchases a starter edition.
Players who take part in the paid trial will have Premium status during the trial. No timeline has been specified at this point, since it’s not yet been officially announced, but hopefully it’ll bolster the game’s population and give new players a good reason to get into the game.
The dataminers at MMO-Champion may have just figured out one of the big reveals Blizzard has cooking for BlizzCon next month. It revolves around Battlenet: They’ve found a cavalcade of strings relating to grouping, plus icons and avatars, references to online/offline modes, and chat channel features, all pointing to a batch of new social features for the heretofore relatively featureless launcher.
Players are already calling it “guilds 2.0” and a “Discord clone,” which may not be bad things given that Battlenet is basically a lump taking up resources in your system tray as it stands, and there was certainly room for improvement of the friends lists that span multiple games. And the offline mode will certainly cheer up anybody who’s tired of that one guildie who still plays Heroes of the Storm bugging you every time you log into Diablo, am I right? Plus, if it’s keeping the name Battlenet (and it is), it deserves a bit of sprucing up.
Safe money’s on more info at BlizzCon in early November.
Massively OP tipsters Gankstar and Scott both noticed that just one month ago, Daybreak filed a trademark for what appears to be an expansion or new game. We’re guessing the latter.
The MMO company formerly known as SOE apparently registered a trademark for something called “Parabolic” back in August. The boilerplate covers goods and services comprising “computer game software and video game software; downloadable multiplayer, real time computer and video game software that is downloadable via an online service for entertainment purposes” and “providing on-line facilities for real-time interaction with other computer users concerning topics related to games and gaming; providing on-line facilities for real-time interaction with other computer users for playing games; broadcasting services.” The usual.
We’ve known Daybreak was working on something, possibly an FPS, for quite a while, thanks to a stream of job openings, but this is the first time we’ve gotten a clue about the project’s name.
When Asheron’s Call shut down last winter following the spinoff of Standing Stone Games from Turbine, one of the few hopes the community had to cling to was the player-run emulator. Now, it appears those hopes have ended too.
Last night, Redditors began reporting an outage of what is known as the Megaduck emulator following a brief and unexplained system blast. Lest you suspect it’s merely tech issues or someone forgot to turn it back on again, players have further reported that the two administrators of the emulator have vanished and apparently deleted the websites and file hosting for the emulator as well.
It’s all led players to suspect a Turbine-emitted cease-and-desist order, although we cannot confirm that rumor. As we’ve previously pointed out, it’s still not clear exactly why the Asheron’s Call franchise wasn’t part of the spinoff deal; neither Turbine nor Standing Stone would comment at the time. Turbine has moved increasingly into the mobile space but nevertheless renewed the Asheron’s Call domains through 2022 in May – months after the sunset.
There is another emulator for the game, Fenntide, though it’s apparently struggling under the influx of newbies too.
isn’t out yet, but you can best be assured that the developers are planning far beyond that for the game’s major updates. Kotaku claims
that it has confirmed word of the multiplayer game’s first DLC, The Curse of Osiris, which is aiming for a December release.
The Curse of Osiris will take players to the planet Mercury, so let’s hope that they have very insulated suits and low expectations for lush scenery. In addition to a patrol zone on the planet itself, the update will allegedly open up a “social space” on the Lighthouse. The name of the DLC refers to an effort to save Osiris from the alien Vex.
The PC open beta for Destiny 2 has been the go-to event of the week, with computer players seeing what the deal is all about for this once console-exclusive franchise. The beta is wrapping up today as Bungie prepares for a September 6th launch on consoles followed by the PC version on October 24th.
Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire
detail rumors are swirling as info (and disinfo) is trickling back from the test environment. Here’s a few of the more interesting bits (we’re tucking spoilers behind spoiler tags, so don’t sweat it).
It appears that the shared inventory slot granted with Heart of Thorns will indeed stack with the shared slot granted by Path of Fire, which is a nice little bonus ANet didn’t hype, given how much those account-wide slots are worth. The character boost tokens also appear to stack with each other.
Click to reveal potential spoilers about gear
An image floating around Discord has led players to suspect that gear drops in the expansion may arrive in our inventories as stackable, unidentified items
rather than predetermined items that clog up inventory. This would be a giant step forward for the game’s drop and inventory system, at least if our commenters in today’s coincidental Daily Grind are any judge
We’ve been keeping half an eye on Closers Online since at least 2015, but with no clear sign of westward movement, that half eye was all we spared. But today, there might just be hope. MOP reader Ephekt has pointed us to a blooper in a recent Kritika Online stream that appears to show Closers Online in the community manager’s En Masse launcher, suggesting that the company may indeed have unannounced plans to port Naddic’s action-combat “MORPG” across the pond.
We’ve reached out to En Masse for a statement and will report back when we have it. [Update – it’s down below!]
Players have datamined a bit out of World of Warcraft’s most recent test realm patch that hints at the destination of the next expansion, with what appear to be pieces of leveling gear and even some voice lines. These could, of course, be red herrings, but there’s also the possibility that we’ll be heading off to the long-rumored south seas and confronting the Old Gods at long last; considering the thrust of Legion, it would make a certain amount of sense.
In other WoW news, if you weren’t around during the time of the Black Temple raid – and probably even if you were – you missed out on a set of encounters that many raiders cite as some of the most memorable in the game’s long history. The dungeon is coming back as part of the next Timewalking event, and a new article on the official site walks through the process of initially making the Black Temple as well as how it got updated for players to explore once again.
It’s been almost a year now since non-expat Americans were able to play Niantic’s Pokemon Go. While we’re naturally seeing birthday rumors, the game’s unique position in gaming has led to continued lawsuit issues over AR and Niantic’s struggle with moderating its content.
Rumors of a shiny Pikachu are being linked with both a brief “one-year anniversary” line of code that was recently datamined and news that Niantic will release a “rare Pikachu” at ACM Siggraph.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit between Candy LAB AR and Milwaukee County that we previously reported has led to the two sides exchanging words, none more damning than those of the county:
Strange as it is be to consider, but Blizzard might not be solely satisfied with the rampant success of Overwatch in the shooter market.
VG247 notes that several job listings on Blizzard’s site points to the studio’s intent to possibly develop a new game. Four “unannounced project” posts are listed, with one particularly telling: “Blizzard Entertainment is seeking an experienced engine engineer to work on a robust first-person engine for an unannounced project.”
The same job listing mentions that it is a plus if the candidate has experience working on first-person or action-based games. Another post seeks artists who have worked on first-person perspective titles.
So what does this mean? It’s definitely too early to draw any conclusions, but this raises the possibility that Blizzard could be working on a new FPS game or an expansion for Overwatch.