Blade & Soul
players are going to have to chew on a bit of a sour grape today, as NCsoft announced that it made the decision to push the upcoming Eternal Night patch back a week to May 9th
The dev team said that it had “come across a number of issues that will require additional testing and preparation” and apologized for the one-week delay in the update’s rollout. There is a firm, sweet grape to eat with this news, however: NCsoft is going to extend its daily dash, login rewards, and the Automaton Assault event until the 9th to keep players busy and happy.
The Eternal Night update will throw players into a 12-person raid called Nightfall Sanctuary, a dungeon known as Sandstorm Temple, and allow for the acquisition of new legendary gear.
One of the most common comments you’ll see in articles about big events in EVE Online
is that it’s a lot more entertaining to read about than to play, and that’s certainly true if what you’re reading is Empires of EVE
. Written by EVE
Historian Andrew Groen back in 2015 and published thanks to the support of over 3,000 players through a crowdfunding campaign
, Empires of EVE tells the story of some of EVE
‘s earliest and most deadly wars and political schisms.
Cutting through all of the propaganda and player self-motivations in a political sandbox like EVE is no small task, and it’s complicated by over a decade of shifting loyalties, misinformation, propaganda, and misremembered events. Andrew is uniquely equipped to cut through many of those issues, collecting as accurate historical records as possible and delivering it all as a coherent, deeply compelling narrative that even plenty of non-players have thoroughly enjoyed. Andrew recently announced that Empires of EVE had broken the 15,000 sales mark, and at EVE Fanfest 2018 he announced a sequel is now in the works.
I caught up with Andrew at Fanfest to find out how the first book’s success has affected him and what the future holds for Empires of EVE: Volume II.
So here’s something Guild Wars 2
doesn’t do much: special weekend bonus events. This one’s probably more about getting folks to buy harvesting tools and check out the new gathering upgrade system
than about getting players to forget about that whole spyware thing
that hit just before the weekend, but it works for both, yeah?
“[S]tarting on April 20, you can get neat bonuses by applying resource-gathering implements to rocks, trees, plant life, and your mortal enemies!” ArenaNet says. Through April 23rd, players will “gain a 33% chance of increased gathering yield when mining, logging, and harvesting” and snag double experience in open-world PvE and WvW when gathering.
In other Guild Wars 2 news, if you’re into tarot cards or just pretty art, check out the Tyrian Tarot deck project put together by a collective of Guild Wars 2 player artists. The Indiegogo campaign for the effort – which is sponsored and approved by ArenaNet, so don’t worry about that – has already almost doubled its original ask. Pledges are effectively preorders for everything from postcards and prints of the art to a full deck, all boasting GW2-flavored artwork. Aaaand the best part is that all of the profit goes to charity: the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Give Pantropy credit for pluck: Less than a month after developer Brain Stone canceled the sci-fi shooter’s Kickstarter halfway through its campaign, the game is back up on the crowdfunding platform.
This time around the studio is attempting to raise a modest $24,633 for its vision of mechs, crafting, and base building. So far, it seems to be doing fairly well, with over $10,000 pledged by fans. The studio said that the community had grown by 50% since last month, which is another encouraging note.
Brain Stone encouraged fans last month by saying, “We have received multiple publishing and investment offers. We have decided to stay independent! Don’t worry we’ll continue to develop the game and it will be released on Steam early access this year.”
In the meanwhile, the team is busy working on flying bases, a tier 2 gatling gun and mining laser, map zoom, jetpacks, mech jumpjets, and additional concept art.
So if we’ll no longer have tier sets in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, what motivation will you have for continuing to raid on the high end? For that matter, what motive will you have to continue running island adventures? Two more interviews from the show floor at PAX East 2018 with lead encounter designer Morgan Day cover exactly that. To answer both questions, Mythic raiding still has the best item level rewards in the game, and that’s not changing; meanwhile, long-term island rewards are still being discussed, but are very important to the team.
Players invested in the story can take heart that there’s going to be plenty to digest in Uldir, which is all about Titan research into removing Old Gods without killing the host (Azeroth, in our case). The War Campaign will also be akin to the Class Order Campaign, bringing players into enemy territory. There’s also plans to allow respeccing of Azerite armor, although frequency has yet to be determined. All good stuff to learn about as the release swiftly approaches in August.
The information dam seems to have broken with World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, and we are all about to be swept away in the flood. At a press event at the studio this week, Blizzard disclosed many more details about the upcoming expansion including its plans leading up to it.
The expansion beta should be starting soon. Blizzard said that the expansion “pre-patch” will hit the game a few weeks before Battle for Azeroth’s August 14th release. It’ll contain quests and scenarios leading up to the main expansion, including the Burning of Teldrassil and the Battle for Lordaeron.
As for allied races, each side will have six emissaries planned, although some of those races will be shared. Mag’har Orcs and Dark Iron Dwarves will be unlocked after going through the war campaign, with Kul Tiran Humans and Zandalari Trolls to be unlocked later in the expansion cycle. Blizzard said that it liked the pacing of Legion’s content rollout and will be using that as a template for Battle for Azeroth.
I love stories. Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I love stories not just for their raw entertainment value, but for their ability to teach. It’s not heavy-handed like being in class, but stories teach culture, customs, and character. We visit the past, the present, the future. We experience things through stories we might never get to experience for ourselves. War, I hope, is one of those things.
Andrew Barron, Director of Design at Bohemia Interactive Simulations, has seen war. And war stories. He’s also been in the game industry for awhile, both before and after his time as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan. He knows war, but he also knows war simulators. It’s actually his job to help build them. So when he says our games our violent, he knows what he’s saying, but the context for that may not be easily understood. However, once it is, you’ll see that not only do we have some games getting war “right,” but that there’s room for us to grow, and some people are already working on that in a way that sounds, well, fun.
If it’s been a while since the last time you stepped into Final Fantasy XIV
, you might want to try it out again. Of course, since it’s one of the only subscription-based games left, that might normally present certain problems. But there’s no need to fret about that, as the game is open to everyone with its free login campaign starting today and running through May 6th
. If you’ve played in the past, you can log in and play now!
The catch is that once you log in, you have 96 hours of remaining free logins, so you can’t login freely over the whole period. But the fact that you can log in freely is the point.
Anyone who has registered the game and had an inactive account for 30 days or more is eligible to take part, although those whose accounts are inactive due to bans or suspension will not be able to overturn those as part of the free logins. Once you’re in, you can just play the game normally during the trial period. If you need a refresher or you’re thinking about giving it another shot, you can download the client and be ready to go.
A renowned game AI designer who worked on EverQuest Next and John Smedley’s Hero’s Song is the focal point of concern following an accident at this past week’s GDC.
Dave Mark was struck as a pedestrian by a car at the conference and has suffered brain bleeds, a pelvis fracture, a hip fracture, and possible brain damage. Mark’s friends set up a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of his travel, medical costs, and rehabilitation. It looks like the campaign has taken off, too, as it raised nearly $20,000 in its first day.
“Please help if you can,” tweeted Star Wars Galaxies designer Raph Koster. “We are lucky to still have him with us, and recovery will be a long road.”
“Please help if you can. Dave is a wonderful guy with a beautiful family and he’s also one of the worlds leading experts on game AI. Send love and prayers his way,” said John Smedley.
Nothing like a two-month wait for new content while your friends on a different platform get to experience it all! Such is the continued plight of Neverwinter’s
console crowd, who routinely deal with lengthy delays in bringing their MMO version up to parity with the PC.
So while PC players got the Lost City of Omu patch back on February 27th, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers are going to have to wait it out until April 24th. When it arrives, this finale of the jungles of Chult campaign will add a new adventure zone, more monster hunts, a streamlined level 60 to 70, an endgame trial, and more. There’s a whole knowledge hub devoted to the patch to help you get a handle on it.
Speaking of the PC edition, a patch hit this past Wednesday that made several adjustments and fixes to the Omu content. Check out the notes to see what’s all in it!
Don’t be fooled by the PvP nature of Crowfall — the game world (or worlds, plural) will feature many NPCs to add flavor and interaction in these campaign settings.
For the March 2018 developer Q&A video, the team sat down to talk about its creation of NPCs, from their brains down to their powers. “From musk hogs and hellcats to risen and spiders, Crowfall has an aspiring medley of creatures in the world. Each type of creature needs its own brain, a set of instructions on how it should act and react,” the team said.
It’s definitely the rare video that satisfies both fans of giant spiders and giant spreadsheets, so check it out below!
The day is finally arriving: Shroud of the Avatar is formally launching next week. It’s been a long journey. The path to this new old-school MMO started back on Kickstarter on March 8th, 2013. Now, five years almost to the day, SOTA is emerging. On March 27th, release #52 will be the official launch of episode 1. And fans didn’t have to wait until the end of the month to celebrate; Portalarium hosted a launch party this past week in Austin, Texas.
Besides hanging out with devs and fans at the shindig, I visited the studio’s offices for a tour and interview with Richard Garriott and Starr Long. There, I got to see memorabilia from the very beginnings of Garriott’s game-making career as well as a sneak peek of the events that will occur at SOTA’s launch. After that, it was celebration time at the awesome From Pong to Pokemon exhibit at the The Bullock Texas State History Museum (which happened to have a display of some of Garriott’s early gaming goodies!)
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Mu Ignition, Lineage 2 Revolution, Revelation Online, Earthfall, Legacy of Atlantis, DC Unchained, Soul Ark, Battle Carnival, World of Warcraft, Old School RuneScape, Aion, War Thunder, Artifact, Pokemon Go, The Black Death, Astroneer, EVE Online, Phantom Halls, MU Online, and Heroes of Newerth, all waiting for you after the break!