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Our friends from WoW Insider now cover Blizzard’s games on Blizzard Watch.

World of Warcraft loses its lead PvP designer to another Blizzard project

The man who pushed for World of Warcraft’s PvP scene to become bigger and better than before is no longer leading the team. Lead PvP Designer Brian Holinka announced on the forums that he is leaving WoW to work on an unnamed Blizzard project.

“A few weeks ago, I was offered a new opportunity at Blizzard that I’m really excited about,” Holinka posted. “Tomorrow is my last day working on World of Warcraft. As a longtime player, I couldn’t be more excited about what the future has in store for World of Warcraft. In particular, the PvP team remains hard at work on some incredible plans. I fully expect that the best years of World of Warcraft PvP are ahead of us.”

Holinka thanked both fans and the company, saying that working on World of Warcraft was a “dream come true.” The rumor is that he has been snatched up by the internal team that’s creating a top-secret game or expansion for the studio.

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MMO Week in Review: New MMORPGs on the horizon (June 11, 2017)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

This week was a doozy for MMORPG players as two new games were announced for our genre: an as-yet-unnamed Magic: the Gathering MMO from Cryptic and PWE, and Fractured, a SpatialOS-powered MMOARPG sandbox without some of the more annoying tropes that usually attach themselves to sandboxes.

Meanwhile, Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind formally launched, Secret World Legends plotted a headstart and new beta wave, and Bless Online apparently gave up on its western ambitions.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft Patch 7.2.5 is coming on Tuesday; here’s Blizzard’s survival guide

You only have one more weekend to wait before experiencing the next chapter of World of Warcraft’s saga: Blizzard has announced that Patch 7.2.5 will release on Tuesday, June 13th.

While this isn’t as large as your average single-decimal point patch, 7.2.5 is going to add quite a bit to the game. The patch will open up the Tomb of Sargeras raid, add a time-traveling scenario with Chromie, welcome players to a templewalking version of the Black Temple, crack open another pet dungeon, and flesh out the micro-holiday schedule with the Trial of Style and the Auction Hall Dance Party.

Blizzard also said that it will be attending Gamescom 2017 in late August. Over on the community side of things, June 10th’s Running of the Trolls player event is raising funds for the Trevor Project, a charity that aims to reduce suicide rates among LGBTQ people.

Get your Patch 7.2.5 survival guide after the break!

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MMO Week in Review: Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood’s everything (June 4, 2017)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

This week, Final Fantasy XIV let the western press loose on the Stormblood expansion that’s until now been a bit buried by other summer releases. Not anymore, though! MOP’s Eliot Lefebvre posted nine in-depth previews and guides on what to expect from the content avalanche on the way.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter funded many times over with $3.2M now banked, Black Desert scored big on its Steam launch, and NCsoft put a date on Master X Master. Read on for the rest of the best of this week’s MMO news and opinions!

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Start earning your World of Warcraft class mount next week

For those keeping track at home, World of Warcraft’s Patch 7.2 came out this past March, and yet here it is June and all of the features from said patch have yet to be unlocked. Happily, one of the most anticipated promises of the update is finally coming next Tuesday.

Blizzard Watch reports that players will finally get to earn their Legion class mounts starting on June 6th. There’s a lot to do to get to this point, as the process involves finishing up the entire Assault on Broken Shore scenario and completing the Legionfall campaign. There’s also a special quest line tailored for each class, so it’ll be a little different depending which character you’re playing.

The good news is that once you unlock a class mount, it’s account-wide for any other characters of the same class. Get a refresher on what these classes look like after the break.

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Diablo III’s angel of death comes to Heroes of the Storm, Necromancer beta begins

Malthael, otherwise known as “that wicked-looking scythe guy on all of the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls covers,” has been announced as the newest playable character for Heroes of the Storm. This assassin uses skills like soul rip and death shroud to destroy foes on every level.

“Once the Aspect of Wisdom, Malthael abandoned heaven after the Worldstone’s destruction,” Blizzard introduced. “In secret, he had resolved to end the Eternal Conflict by becoming a Reaper of Souls and eliminating everything affected by demonic corruption, including humanity.”

While Malthael is playing hooky from the franchise, Diablo III has kicked off its beta test for the upcoming Necromancer class. Blizzard’s also posted video of the female Necro to complement the male cinematic shown earlier this week. You can check out the class (along with the new challenge rifts) by following the directions on the patch notes page and installing the beta test via the Blizzard Launcher.

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Overwatch reveals Horizons Lunar Colony map

One of these days, Overwatch — bang, zoom, to the moon! And that day is coming very soon, as Blizzard just announced a brand new map, Horizons Lunar Colony.

“Horizon Lunar Colony is an Assault map set in a scientific base on the moon,” the studio said. “Built as a first step towards humanity’s renewed exploration of space, the colony’s goal was to examine the effects of prolonged extraterrestrial habitation — on human and ape alike. The scientists’ research proved incredibly promising… until, suddenly, all contact and communications with the base were lost. Now, many years later, attacking and defending teams must return to the moon and battle for control of the colony’s facilities, all while they discover clues as to the fate of its previous inhabitants.”

Season five of competitive play began last night, and participating players can earn a South African icon and spray for their accounts. You can take a peek at the Horizon Lunar Colony map after the break!

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World of Warcraft player reaches level cap through pet battles alone

It never fails to amaze us how some MMO players will create extreme challenges in their games — and overcome those challenges. Take Kruithne, a World of Warcraft player who had a dream to level a character from one to 110 doing nothing but pet battles. Seemingly impossible? Well, mission accomplished.

Kruithne posted a screenshot of his level 110 Priest (who is still in her starting gear, natch) as proof. This project took a good chunk of time to accomplish, clocking in at around 117 hours of play time to watch that character crawl up the levels via experienced earned solely through pet battles. The player estimated that it averaged out to be about 10 pet battles per critter, resulting in 797 pets reaching level 25 in the process.

“I pretty much only leveled during the Sign of the Critter buff,” Kruithne explained on Reddit, “and I always keep my Safari Hat on. I had one pet that carried the leveling pet without need for downtime.”

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MMO Week in Review: Morrowind, Black Desert, and a bajillion other MMO launches (May 28, 2017)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Memorial Day weekend: a time for gaming deals, double-experience events, and launches. Mainly launches this year! Black Desert has landed on Steam, The Elder Scrolls Online began the PC head start for Morrowind, Marvel Heroes soft launched on PS4, Legends of Aria kicked off its alpha, Revelation Online and Shroud of the Avatar saw major content updates, and both Kritika Online and Worlds Adrift entered closed beta.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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World of Warcraft reduces artifact level cap, buffs Warriors, and sells new Murloc plushie

Let’s catch up on some odds and ends that are going on in the realm of World of Warcraft. First up is a hotfix that reduced the level cap of artifact knowledge from 50 down to 40. The reason? To reduce the grind that was getting seriously out of control.

“We raised the Knowledge cap from 40 to 50 very late in the 7.2 PTR cycle, out of an abundance of caution: We wanted to ensure that players of all playstyles, as well as alt characters, would view the Concordance trait as accessible,” the devs explained. “Knowledge 40 now seems more than sufficient for players to reach Concordance, and the prospect of months’ worth of additional Knowledge still left to research makes some players feel like their efforts in the interim aren’t meaningful. Therefore, we’re rolling the cap back to 40.”

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MMO Week in Review: Wild West Online isn’t just a gankbox (May 21, 2017)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Gotta love a massive week for MMORPG news! We chatted up the Wild West Online team to learn more about its reversal on Kickstarter and its PvE server plans, Funcom saw its best financial quarter ever but delayed Secret World Legends’ Steam launch, Bungie revealed Destiny 2 gameplay and sent WoW Token prices skyward, Elder Scrolls Online prepared for Morrowind’s head start, and Star Citizen’s latest concept ship sale propelled it over the $150M fundraising hump.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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MMO Week in Review: The Secret World’s June relaunch (May 14, 2017)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

This week, Funcom announced that The Secret World will morph into Secret World Legends just shy of its spring plan, landing on June 26th. Funcom even sat down with us for a lengthy video interview as we poked and prodded for answers about the state of the game and the path that led the studio to give the cult favorite such a drastic makeover.

And here’s a bit of meta for you: If you’ve donated to MOP, either through Kickstarter or Patreon, and your tier includes a badge, then make sure you’ve sent in your details as badges for the new comment system are almost ready!

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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Diablo III’s Necromancer beta is back from the dead

The Necromancer beta for Diablo III was around for a short time, then swiftly died off and went quiet as Blizzard tinkered with various aspects of the class behind the scenes. The good news is that it’s back again with the results of that tinkering on full display, although the bad news is that you can take part in the beta only if you’re invited. Reanimating the fallen is a special art and not everyone is prepared for it, you see.

Those of you who were already bored by testing the class will be happy to know that the latest beta build has redesigned and altered several Necromancer skills along with introducing Legendary items for the class. There are also set bonuses to play around with, various bug fixes, and of course the simple joy of summoning skeletons to do your dirty work. Let’s see if the beta lasts a wee bit longer this time around.

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