Chaos Theory: Reaping the Whirlwind in The Secret World’s Issue #11

To spoil or not to spoil; that is the question. When it comes to The Secret World, that’s a very serious question indeed! As much as I really, really hate spoilers, how could I ever decline a sneak-peek tour of much-anticipated Issue #11 with Funcom Lead Designer Romain Amiel and Communications Manager Tor Egil Andersen? The answer is, I couldn’t. After all, the secrets of the Orochi are finally at our fingertips! The chance to delve deeper into my favorite story earlier than expected is so worth the risk of a spoiler or two. And you get to reap the benefits of the experience as I share all the tantalizing tidbits with you just as the update officially launches and you can break into the Orochi Tower yourself.

Now before we go any further, you need to be aware that there are spoilers ahead. I’ll give you fair warning before anything major so you have the chance to skip that info, but the responsibility is on your shoulders. But even if you read this Chaos Theory in its entirety, there will be plenty still to discover on your own. As Amiel said, Reaping the Whirlwind has a lot of reveals, and there are some major things I simply won’t divulge at all (but I know you’ll love!). On top of that, the devs were gracious enough to end the tour before the conclusion, leaving the finale to me to discover it at my own pace.

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Neverwinter announces its next major update, Underdark

Neverwinter is heading into a dark place with its next major update. Darker than dark, even. Tenatively dubbed Neverwinter: Underdark, the next module will bring players into the eponymous Underdark, exploring kingdoms of Drow and featuring a questline written by well-known fantasy author R. A. Salvatore. Yes, you’ll be fighting alongside Drizz’t. You knew that was coming, don’t pretend you didn’t.

The module is scheduled for release in 2015 on PC, with a console release to follow. More is in the works for players before the next module, however; there will be more fixes to the Elemental Evil content, as well as an update before the module featuring guild housing. All of it is exciting stuff for Neverwinter fans.

[Source: Neverwinter: Underdark Coming in 2015]

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Unpacking Guild Wars 2’s beta drop RNG

Never before have I seen Guild Wars 2’s Dry Top and the Silverwastes hive with such activity as we’ve seen this week. In case you’ve been living under a rock since the announcement, the bright sparks at ArenaNet decided to make gaining access to the next round of beta testing a little more interesting by introducing a rare portal item drop from enemies and event chests in both zones that guarantees beta access. The quirky level 80 zones mentioned above aren’t exactly my favourite spots in Tyria (read that with a high-pitched Irish lilt that’s dripping sarcasm, folks!), so high-tailing it through these areas most definitely feels like a grind to me.

In this issue of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’m going to talk about my views on the RNG method of assigning beta spots and a brief synopsis of my portal-hunting strategy. For full disclosure, I’ve put two days into scouring the area so far but have had no luck in looting a portal just yet; there’s nothing you can do to absolutely guarantee that you’ll find a portal, even if your methods are solid. If you’re still searching too, perhaps you’ll find my ramblings useful as you go! Good luck with your search, and happy hunting, everybody!

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Mo’s Egg Hunt: Deals for May 6, 2015

It’s time for another exciting roundup of Newegg’s best deals here on Massively Overpowered. These deals are available through the links provided below. However, it’s important to know they’re not all gamer-themed. It’s just stuff that we think you would like, and we were able to snag a deal for you. Obviously, act soon because these deals are totally limited time.

Mo’s Egg Hunt is a roundup of Newegg’s best sponsored deals for Massively OP readers. It is crafted by MOP sales manager Michael Gray, who operates independently from our editorial team. Affiliate purchases made through Massively OP help keep us online.

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ArcheAge outlines the battles in the Sea of Graves

So what sort of nautical nonsense can you get up to in the most recent ArcheAge update? How about beating back a leviathan of the deep and then starting up a three-way war? The battles in the Sea of Graves – a twisted collection of oceanic flotsam overlooked by the statue known as Ezri’s Light – start when the Abyssal Kraken is summoned to the surface, launching an effort by players to defend the statue from the great beast.

Defeating the kraken spawns several valuable scrolls in the area, which can be looted by anyone in the area, including opportunistic scavengers. It also offers players the opportunity to take control of Ezri’s Light and the surrounding islands, prompting combatants from different faction to focus on taking one another down even if they worked together to put down the kraken. Once the island is controlled, however, it’s a race for the controllers to mine valuable resources before other factions sink their ships. Read up on the full flow if you haven’t yet gotten to take part in this particular naval scramble.

[Source: Dread Prophecies Spotlight: Sea of Graves and Abyssal Attack]

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Elder Scrolls Online hints at Imperial City, Orsinium DLC

The next major milestone for The Elder Scrolls Online is its console release, obviously. But what comes after that? When can players on the PC actually expect to start seeing some new content? What about these whispers about the Imperial City? When do players get to reach the fireworks factory? After the console launch, apparently.

Yes, a quick tweet did not explain exact dates in detail, but it made the overall thrust of things clear. The Imperial City will be released some time after the console launch, with Orsinium slated to come out after that. That could mean both will be out in the next few months, but more importantly it means that players can expect to hear more about it just as soon as the console version is finished with testing and on the shelves.

[Source: Twitter; thanks to Ricky for the tip!]

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Daybreak’s John Smedley: EverQuest Next isn’t ‘vaporware’

Even though the big SOE-to-Daybreak transformation happened three months ago, the entire ordeal still feels fresh to many fans. An air of uncertainty permeates speculation about the studio’s future, and questions still swirl around regarding the fate of both the older games and those in development. Change is never particularly easy, even when it’s good, so to help put players’ minds at ease, President John Smedley was joined by Laura Naviaux, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing, to chat about the changes at a press conference call earlier this week, touching on the new logo, the Columbus Nova partnership, early access, and EverQuest Next vaporware worries. Read on for the run-down.

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Plan out your Guild Wars 2 specializations with this tool

One of the big changes coming with Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is the revamp of the trait system into the new specializations. While only the fortunate beta testers can experience it first-hand, at least now you can plan ahead with this helpful specialization tool designed by that_shaman.

The tool allows you to select between classes and their various specializations. It does not, however, contain the elite specializations, as most of those have yet to be revealed. Give it a try and see if you can predict what your character will look like come later this year!

[Source: that_shaman on Dulfy]

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Everything you need to know about Crowfall’s combat testing

As nifty as Crowfall‘s mechanical goals are, they’re not going to help the game much in the long run if the fundamental combat engine of the game isn’t fun to play. It’s a game that lives and dies on the strength of its PvP conflicts, after all. So it’s a good thing that the team is thinking hard about making sure the first thing players test is a very stripped-down and intensified form of the combat engine, as outlined in the most recent development article.

Players shouldn’t expect to see all of the archetypes in motion here, nor should they expect to see a finished outline of what archetypes are capable of doing. The idea is to test the core engine and the flow of battle, to make sure that the process of fighting other players (and possibly monsters) is fun and worth doing. Current plans are to start letting players in to test all of this out in the summer, so until then you’ll just have to survey the details about the test closely and get your combat-testing pants on. It’s assumed you have special pants for this.

[Source: Milestone 1: Combat Testing]

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The Daily Grind: What would the MMO world look like without WoW?

Here’s a fun question from an anonymous Kickstarter donor to kick off the morning:

What do you think the MMO world would look like if Blizzard had made Warcraft 4 as an RTS instead of World of Warcraft? (I think it would affect more than MMOs, myself — RTS titles and MOBAs too!)

Personally, I think that prior to WoW, we were already trending toward larger and larger MMOs that pulled from both the themepark and sandbox ends of the design spectrum. In fact, on yesterday’s podcast, I called it the magic zone, that period of really standout MMORPGs made in the 2003-2005 time block. Without WoW, we might not have made such a sharp left turn into themepark-ville for as long as we have, and I think our genre might have had a much slower — and more sustainable — growth period without the spike and the crashes and burns that followed in WoW’s wake.

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This World of Warplanes video diary outlines the 1.8 update

Wargaming has dusted off its World of Warplanes video diary for a new episode focused on the aviation battler’s 1.8 update. Primary features include the new war cache composite mission system, new premium aircraft, and an aircraft birthday mechanic that rewards you with presents that increase in value the longer a plane resides in your hangar.

The 1.8 patch will also implement the recently announced two-player flight limit as well as a client-side physics system designed to lower the delay between player input and aircraft reactions. Click past the cut to watch the video.

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Global Chat: What happens to original MMOs when they get sequels?

Telwyn at GamingSF asks a question that I’ve contemplated from time to time: When an MMO gets a sequel, what happens to the original game? After all, MMOs aren’t quite like the rest of the video game industry.

“It’s easier for gaming companies to control the playerbase,” he writes. “The bluntest instrument would be to shut down the old game forcing players to move to the new, although risking they’d abandon the franchise entirely.”

While you debate whether a quick death or a prolonged demise is preferrable, take a gander at some other notable articles from the gaming blogosphere. In this edition, writers question Guild Wars 2’s (second) trait revamp, celebrate internet dragons, and critique Neverwinter’s slot machine problem.

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Medieval Engineers adds multiplayer

Keen Software House has added multiplayer functionality to Medieval Engineers. What’s Medieval Engineers? It’s the firm’s followup to Space Engineers, an enormously successful Minecraft-meets-space-survival sandbox sim, and it’s currently in early access.

ME’s initial multiplayer rollout supports all the features available in the single-player game’s creative and survival modes, including mechanical parts, building and destruction, structural integrity, and NPCs. Players can also host their own dedicated servers for “more fluid multiplayer performance with less lag.”

More info is available at lead developer Marek Rosa’s blog as well as in the video after the cut.

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