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The Daily Grind: Are there MMO characters you don’t want to play but wouldn’t delete?

My primary servers on World of Warcraft are easy to spot, because they both have a dozen characters on them. Then there are a few other servers with single characters left there. These are characters I haven’t played in years, characters I no longer wish to play, but ones I keep around just because. Some of them just look really unexpectedly nice, some of them have the advantage of familiarity, and one of them is an Orc Warrior named Grignr.

If you don’t understand why that’s important, a bit of searching will explain.

Anyhow, none of these characters factor into my playing or overall plans; they’re just characters I can’t bring myself to discard. So what about you, dear readers? Are there MMO characters you don’t want to play but also can’t bring yourself to delete? The sort that will forever sit there, unneeded for play, but making you happy by their mere continued existence in some small way?

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Overwatch’s Kaplan discusses upcoming hero changes and the subsequent plans

The next round of hero changes for Overwatch is currently on the test server, so you can feel free to try them out if you’re so inclined. What’s not on the test server are changes to Hanzo, something that Jeff Kaplan discusses in the most recent development update video. A lot of abilities and plans had been discussed for Hanzo, but the most promising one was an arrow that shot through barriers to replace Scatter Arrow. It worked, but it felt like it punished smart play ducking behind barriers and the like.

The current plan is to give Hanzo a rapid-fire ability to replace Scatter Arrow and a new multidirectional horizontal dash to allow him to get in and out of range quickly. Symmetra and Torbjorn are also on the deck for future adjustments. For the moment, you can explore improvements to Mei’s freeze ability, Sombra’s main gun, and Doomfist’s ammo recovery rate; check out the whole video just below to get a more detailed rundown of what’s changing.

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Crowfall explains its new approach to character selection with the Crypt

As it currently stands in Crowfall, you are not the character that’s marching around. You are a little shining blue crow, which is what you start as before you select a specific avatar and customize it. That’s just your meat-puppet that you ride around in. Technically speaking, the game’s new form of character creation doesn’t change that fact, as you are still at the core a flying little spirit crow. But the game is adding in the Crypt to choose between your different avatars, and those will now serve as a more proper set of characters.

Rather than players respawning and re-selecting their avatars, the new system allows you to unlock vessels permanently as specific characters in your library, with your game experience starting in your first (and likely primary) avatar. Finding Crypts allows you to swap between your different vessels at will, as your account-wide progression remains the same no matter how often you swap between them. Check out the full overview for both lore and mechanics on the official site, which should provide an interesting cooperation between the lore side of the game and the mechanical one.

Source: Official Site; thanks to JamesGoblin for the tip!

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Heroes of the Storm previews the upcoming hero Blaze

Considering the pedigree of StarCraft II and the MOBA genre in general, you would think that Heroes of the Storm would have featured heroes based on its iconic units in about four seconds. But it’s taken us this long to get Blaze in the game. What’s Blaze’s story? He’s a Firebat. His interests include fire, standing in fire, causing fires, and being a Firebat. His relationship status? Fire. You get the idea.

He may have a rich inner life.

Fortunately, Blaze doesn’t have to be an interesting person to be an interesting character, and if your idea of being an interesting character is setting fire to everything with concentrated abilities, Blaze is very interesting indeed. He bursts flame to nearby targets, sets fire to oil slicks he drops that also heal him whilst he’s in the flames, charges to targets, and unleashes fire even faster the more he burns his enemies. And one of his ultimate abilities lets you call down a bunker to fill with your allies to shoot flames everywhere, so he keeps that thematic connection strong. Check out the firebug’s full rundown just below in video format.

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Wild Buster shows off footage of Serious Sam in action

The original announcement that Wild Buster is going to feature Serious Sam (star of the series of games known as Serious Sam) as a playable character was already kind of weird. The sort of announcement where you would entirely believe that it was an April Fools’ Day joke except that it was announced in October. But no, it was totally serious. You can even see the guy in action down below, thereby confirming beyond a shadow of a doubt that the developers are entirely serious.

As is Sam himself, presumably. Unless his last name is Sam and his first name is Serious, but let’s not worry about that too much.

The developers are planning to unveil a series of hero spotlights ahead of the game’s December 14th early access launch, starting with Sam and his own gunplay. You can check out both a highlight reel and uncut footage of Sam shooting his way through a dungeon down below, along with a few screenshots showing him off. It seems like the sort of thing he’s well-suited for, really, especially the shooting bits. (Which is… every bit.)

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Junkrat is exploding into Heroes of the Storm

The parade of Overwatch characters porting straight over to Heroes of the Storm continues with the latest addition to the game, Junkrat. How does he play? Like Junkrat, that’s how. He throws around lots of bombs and makes things blow up and laughs at inappropriate times. That’s his whole deal, guys, it’s not like Overwatch has a rich narrative history to draw upon.

Oh, you were curious about mechanics? In that case you can hop down below and check out the preview video, that might be more straightforward.

Junkrat’s ability include the huge knockback of Concussion Mine (it can even fling people over terrain) and the bouncing explosive fun of Frag Grenades. If you’re familiar with the character in Overwatch, you’ll have a pretty clear picture of the general tone of his abilities if not the specifics; check out the preview before to see him blowing things up with style.

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World of Warcraft audio drama shows what happened to Alleria and Turalyon

The open question of “where are Alleria and Turalyon” was bouncing around in World of Warcraft pretty much as soon as players got to Outland and didn’t see them. Now they’re finally in the game, but the game also offers only hints and rumors about the transition between being in Outland at the end of Warcraft II and where they are now. We know they’re part of the Army of Light and that they’ve had some adventures, but what were those adventures?

Well, why not listen to about two hours of audio drama below? That’ll clear things right up.

Titled “A Thousand Years of War,” the audio drama gives a comprehensive look at what happened to the ranger and paladin when they first encountered the Army of Light, how they reached their current place, and what several of their offhand references to past events really mean. It’s a lengthy listen, but if you’re a lore fiend, you’ll probably enjoy all of it. Check it out just below, and don’t worry, as long as you keep listening, you don’t need to watch the actual video.

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Ship of Heroes shows off improved character creation in new video

Supporters for Ship of Heroes are going to be able to test out the alpha version of the game’s character creator this year. That is awesome. But what will it look like? Take a look in the video just below; it’s right there in the game’s 14th released demo video, clear as day. The developers take the opportunity to recreate the game’s “signature” hero while looking at the plethora of powers, costume options, and body options already available even in the early development state.

“This is the first time the improved ‘big guy’ character model has been shown in the character creator. The standard version of this character is 6’7″ tall, and heavily muscled,” Heroic Games says. “A number of technical improvements have been added to the CCT, including an eye zoom camera, a hide helmet buttom, and additional morphs to precisely control the character’s facial features.”

Obviously, the video doesn’t go through every single part line-by-line; this is a superhero game, so that would take forever. But you’ll get a good sense of the fine control over body parts and the diverse options you’ll have available to you in the game. Check out the video just below, and if you’re a supporter, get ready to try it all out for yourself sometime this year.

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Check out a (very brief) Venom trailer for Marvel Heroes Omega

If you were into comic books in the ’90s, you probably remember a point where Venom was all over everything. He was like Spider-man, only he was edgy and dark and evil and killed people and had a big tongue. The ’90s were a real trip, guys. However, he wasn’t all over Marvel Heroes Omega in the ’90s because the game didn’t exist then and none of the consoles that run it would exist for several years.

Now, however, the game does exist, and it’s got Venom all over it again. You can check the lethal protector out in the brief trailer down below (yes, that was also an actual thing), which is good news for anyone who wants to play Evil Spider-man But Not So Evil He Can’t Be A Good Guy. We later got an even evil-er Spider-man. Comic books.

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Gigantic introduces Rutger and new creatures with its latest update

Are you a big fan of cyclopean monsters, sedimentary hellhounds, or earth-shattering tanks? If all three are true, you’ll be very happy with the new Gigantic update featuring all three. The centerpiece of the new patch is a new hero, Rutger, a literally ground-breaking tank (he digs things up) who relies upon shields to mitigate and control incoming damage. You can get an overview of Rutger’s mechanics in the video just below.

If you’re full up on heroes, of course, the patch also adds new skins for existing heroes, the new Stone Cerberus and Riftborn Cyclops creatures, and adjustments to crown boosts and hero mastery. There are also the usual list of balance changes and adjustments for heroes and maps alike. So the net result should be a game that’s more fun to play around, and even more fun if you’ve got a deep and abiding love of anything stone-related.

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The Daily Grind: Who are your favorite MMO NPCs to hate?

The first really story-heavy MMO I played was arguably Guild Wars, and while it’s been many years I still remember talking with other people about how Prince Rurik was a toolbox and deserved to die. Rurik was dumb, that’s the point. But he was hardly the last NPC I hated in an MMO; Thancred in Final Fantasy XIV and Corso Riggs in Star Wars: The Old Republic immediately spring to mind as characters I would love to shove down a well.

But these are characters whom I don’t just dislike, but ones who I enjoy disliking. I don’t like, say, Kan-E-Senna in FFXIV, but I don’t actively cheer when bad things happen to her. Corso, by contrast, gave me great joy every time he disapproved of my actions. So what about you, readers? Who are your favorite MMO NPCs to hate? And as an added benefit, did you feel that they got their just desserts? (I was one of the ones cheering when Statesman bit it in City of Heroes, for the record.)

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DC Universe Online introduces the new water powerset

For far too long, heroes and villains in DC Universe Online who wished to harness the power of water have had to make do with inelegant solutions such as driving a fire truck all over town, carrying arm-loads of water balloons, and having a utility belt full of squirt bottles for cats. But no longer; the new water powerset allows you to summon the force of water from your very fingertips, rather than forcing your villain to break into a building, turn on all the faucets, and then threaten people that the building is very gradually flooding if it’s sealed well on the lower floors.

Water can be used to deal damage or to heal because when you see a fire hose demonstrating the sheer force you can pack into water, you think, “Let that hit me so I’ll feel better.” There are also two new inspirations for heroes and villains during character creation, and you can buy a whole set of water-themed decorations for your character’s base. Check out the video just below to see what the new set looks like in action.

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Paragon introduces the upcoming ranged hero Drongo

Up until now, players who loved Paragon but really needed to play a character who looked like a cut extra from Mad Max: Fury Road have been entirely out of luck. Mercifully, the new character Drongo finally shores up that gap. Now you can lob destruction at your foes from a distance while screaming, “Oh what a day! What a lovely day!” over voice chat until you get permanently banned from the server.

There are worse reasons to get a permanent ban.

The videos below cover both Drongo’s initial reveal (in case you were wondering if you could get sufficient Mad Max homages during a gameplay reveal) and his gameplay mechanics, since he’s available to play now. To the surprise of no one, the dude is out of his mind, but he still has plenty of dangerous and unsafe techniques to hurt others, so you won’t really care too much about his mental state. Or you could just watch Mad Max again, that’s fine too.

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