Warframe teases The Sacrifice trailer and June update – including the next frame

Warframe has been busy preparing its next major story update. It’s called The Sacrifice, it’s coming in June, and it’s even getting an honest to goodness teaser trailer and splash page ahead of E3 and TennoCon.

“As dreams fade and wars quiet, the time has come to embrace the greatest Warframe test of all. Following the Cinematic Quests The Second Dream and The War Within comes The Sacrifice, the next story-based update in the free-to-play hit, Warframe. Are you ready, Tenno?”

The press release is vague, but according to the game’s most recent stream (and its full text summary), you can rest assured that there will be no more major updates until The Sacrifice is live. Players also got a sneak peek at the game’s next frame, which has been nicknamed “Vlad” by the team. He can afflict enemies and turn them into his personal engine of affliction, sleep enemies in an area, and turn himself into a mist form that leeches health and shields from enemies he passes through. There’s also talk about individually moddable Exalted weapons and things like new Dojo decorations.

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Closers brings Harpy into the game along with Special Agent Yuri

Going through life with a name like “Harpy” is going to produce certain expectations from others, so we can imagine that the latest agent added to Closers has had to deal with a lot of that. Of course, considering the fact that she uses her bionic leg for jumping attacks, perhaps she considers it part of the fun. And she’s added to the game with the latest patch, so if you’ve ever wanted a springy lady with a mythological name, you’re in luck.

Harpy doesn’t get the patch all to herself, though; there’s also Yuri getting a big boost to “Special Agent” status with new rewards and boosts. The Gremory Laboratory event should give you new stuff to use these ladies on, and that’s apart from the June login event and birthday events. So you’ll have a bunch to do even if you would rather not play Harpy, although you really should at least give her a nod with the newest patch.


Yes, Pyke, you’re the newest League of Legends champion

Gosh, isn’t it just the worst when you’ve got those friends for whom everything just ties back to their deals? We get it, Karen, you have kids. Yes, Joel, you do crossfit, that’s not what we’re talking about right now. Fine, Pyke, you’re the newest character in League of Legends and you’re a drowned revenant seeking revenge against the crew who abandoned you. Can’t we all just sit and have a nice lunch and talk about other things?

Ugh, here he goes. Look, there’s nothing to be done about it, we’ll just have to listen to Pyke ramble on about how he’s going to stealth his way up to his targets before surfacing and killing them with his other abilities, including a paralyzing shot and a special capturing harpoon. And now he’s putting the trailer for his thing just below instead of just, like, talking to us about it. Seriously, Pyke? This is almost as boring as hearing about Karen’s kids.

You heard me, Karen.

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Closers announces Tina as the winner of its next playable character contest

Remember when Closers asked players to decide on its next playable character? The votes were tallied, and Tina is joining the roster on April 3rd. So you’ve got just a week left until you get to play as Tina. Who is apparently a battle robot that has harness the energies of Phase Power and has served as a trainer for many years, but she’s now moving out into the field.

Sometimes backstories like this are more interesting than anything else you’ll actually see in the game.

Her combat arsenal consists of sniping and accessing imaginary space to summon weaponry, as you do. Fans who were hoping for the rather unfortunately named Harpy should take heart that she’s not much further out than Tina; she’s just going to have to wait for a bit longer due to losing the vote. But hey, if you were hoping for a robot wielding imaginary weapons, you got your wish.

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The Daily Grind: How many alts do you usually have in an MMO?

I have said before when discussing City of Heroes that it was not a game that really supported alts terribly well. There are a lot of other games (such as World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic) that do a better job of ensuring that your alts get benefits from your main character. But CoH did give you lots of space for alts, and perhaps most importantly, it made sure you absolutely always had something to do with your alts. This was a wonderful and dangerous thing.

The reality is that if I can conceivably have alts in a game, I will have alts. And if I can’t conceivably have alts (such as in Final Fantasy XIV) I will still have alts. My character slots are usually full to bursting. I don’t care whether or not they’re necessary, you can make me get through a grindingly slow storyline multiple times and I will still do it. I need my alts.

But there are people who have two or three characters at most, and others who I’m told have just one character and that’s it. So tell us, readers: How many alts do you usually have in an MMO?

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Blizzard teases decks in Hearthstone and characters in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm

It’s time for a whole lot of new characters to smash into the fray in Blizzard’s various multiplayer offerings. Hearthstone doesn’t have characters, per se, but it does have deck types, and the game’s next expansion is delivering a whole new deck type with Odds & Evens. Yes, that’s where you have an entire deck consisting of cards with odd costs or even costs; you can check out the video below for more elaboration.

Overwatch, of course, does have new characters. Specifically, it has Brigitte, who as it turns out will be arriving in the game on March 20th. If you’ve been looking forward to playing the smashy warrior-healer on the live game, you’ll have your chance very soon.

Last but not least, the Heroes of the Storm team is promising another new hero in the form of Fenix, a character from StarCraft who got killed in the first few missions. Later, he came back in a giant spider robot carrying his dead body. (He was a Dragoon. It makes sense in context.) So that’s also fun, although we warn you that teams might not appreciate you saying “I return to serve” every time you respawn.

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Overwatch’s Jeff Kaplan explains Brigitte’s design, while Hi-Rez implies she’s a Paladins ripoff

If you’re the analytical type, you probably started formulating a playstyle for Overwatch’s upcoming hero Brigitte as soon as you read about her abilities yesterday. But you needn’t just speculate, as the latest development video features Jeff Kaplan explaining exactly how you’re supposed to play her. She’s not just a support character, she’s an armored tank charging forward and keeping her allies healed and helped as long as they stand around her.

In other words, her main thing is helping the team bunch up and push together; whether you’re staying on a payload or trying to push through a choke point, Brigitte can support the group by wading into battle and providing a healing aura. Her Ultimate ability in particular serves as a way to armor up and push on through while giving her the speed and defense to be evasive and nimble. Check out the video just below if you’d like a little more insight into the game’s newest hero.

In more amusing Overwatch-related news, Hi-Rez Prez Stewart Chisam tossed a big bucket of shade on Overwatch’s new toon last night with a series of tweets suggesting that Brigitte is heavily inspired by Paladins’ character Ash. There’s even a snarky poll.

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Overwatch posts an in-universe letter hinting at its next hero

So, who’s the next hero for Overwatch? We don’t know yet, but there’s plenty of room for speculation… and there’s a little more food for that speculation with the latest lore release. Of course, it doesn’t outright say who the next hero is, but it seems like it might be relevant as we look at a letter from Torbjorn to his wife following his rescue by Reinhardt, right before the birth of his daughter.

This all lines up nicely with speculation that Torbjorn’s daughter Brigitte, whom we’ve seen in Reinhardt’s recent video; it turns out that she’s also Reinhardt’s goddaughter, thus further linking her to what happens next. Obviously, this is speculation, and it could be something completely different… but it does seem to be where the lore is pointing at the moment. As much as it’s pointing to anything. It could always be Torbjorn’s lost arm as the next character, really.


Check out voice recording from behind the scenes of Bless

You are probably aware that when you play an MMO, all of the voice samples you here are not produced in real-time by actors in a small box who desperately wish to see their families again. But that doesn’t mean you know about how it actually goes when you start producing voice work for a video game. So here’s some good news, if you’re curious: actor Brent Miller recorded his sessions for Bless voiceover.

That is, he recorded the video of him performing the voiceovers. By which we mean… all right, look, there is a video down below and it is of him doing the voices. It’s not a terribly long video at only 10 minutes, but it should give you an idea of what it’s like to do multiple takes, refine the voice over time, and stand there whilst voicing multiple characters and trying to get in the right mindset. It’s more than just reading off a list of lines, and it’s pretty fun to watch besides.

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Closers unveils its first new character, Nata

It’s time for a new member of the team to take the field in Closers, and the first new addition to the game’s playable roster isn’t exactly happy to be here. Apparently Nata is part of a rogue group, the Wolfdogs, who were just drafted without a whole lot of thought given to “do you want to fight stuff or not.” But he’s also got a pair of spinning blades and the requisite energy eruptions in the midst of combat, so it would seem that he has at least found his vocation.

Players can also look forward to upcoming community events to vote on the next heroes getting added to the game, because why be satisfied with what you have when you could have even more? The next vote will be between Tina and Harpy for a new playable addition. If Nata already sounds like all you want or need, you can check out screenshots of him in action just below.

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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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