Diablo III releases the Necromancer today

If you’ve been waiting for the newest class in Diablo III to make you feel alive again, the good news is that it’s arriving today. The Necromancer is here with all of the corpse-bursting antics you could want, and after all sorts of lore posts, cinematic trailers, and mechanical discussions, you’re probably more than ready to stride into the world of spreading death and decay for fun and profit than you would have normally expected.

If you need to catch up on the details of the class, we’ve got a roundup for you just below the cut, along with the introduction cinematic for the lady Necromancer for those planning to roll one at home. The Necromancer DLC will run you $15, so budget that small expenditure and get ready to play a class so old-school it’s practically undead.

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Diablo III previews the lore of the Necromancer and new patch 2.6 areas

You may well not need the lore behind Diablo III’s Necromancer to enjoy the class. All you need to know is that it’s a class that revolves around dealing with the dead or dying, and since dead-or-dying organisms make up 90% of the population in any Diablo game, it’s kind of a given that you’ll have plenty to do. But if you do want that lore, you can find out all about what makes the Necromancer unique right here, whether you’re an old fan of the class from its original appearance or just love the idea of making corpses explode now.

Of course, the new areas coming with patch 2.6 will be relevant even if you’re not going to be getting on the corpse-exploding train, so you probably will want to read up on those and watch the video just below the cut. Players will be visiting the Shrouded Moors, the Temple of the Firstborn, and the ever-changing Realms of Fate. Of course, if you’re eager to play a Necromancer and explore the new areas, you’re in a perfect state.

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Riders of Icarus offers players the chance to pre-create a new Trickster

The next class for Riders of Icarus is arriving with the launch of the Rise of the Trickster update, the appropriately named Trickster class. If you’ve longed to defeat your enemies with the power of what appears to be a seven-year-old girl, you’ve found your class. And while the class isn’t actually arriving until the update launches on July 6th, you can pre-create your Trickster right now in advance of the launch.

Keep in mind that you are still limited to a maximum of six character slots on a given server, so if you already have six characters you won’t be able to make a Trickster. (The game will erroneously tell you to purchase another character slot, which will not work.) You can also still register your pre-launch pack until June 30th if you want to nab some extra doodads, so make sure to take care of your business as necessary before the Tricksters rise.

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


World of Warcraft’s class design AMA examines the how and why of tuning changes

No matter what class you play in World of Warcraft, you’re probably certain that the developers hate your class in particular and love some other class that you don’t play. So why hasn’t your damage been tuned up? The recent class design AMA can be read in full on Reddit (or you can just pick through the answers), but the short version – as stated multiple times – is that class balance isn’t just a numbers problem but a scientific one. Developers have to look at available data and see if a job’s damage is, in fact, underperforming, and then they have to do their best to figure out why that may be. It could be poor gear secondaries, it could be bad play habits, it could be having less time to do damage for classes (like Windwalker) requiring a long ramp-up period.

Obviously, this is something that takes a lot of effort and work to get just right, and the developers also note that this is part of the reason why class adjustments are frequently announced only as they’re about to happen; it takes time to collect the data and decide on a course of action. The full discussion on Reddit is worth a read if you’re interested in more specifics, or you could just read about recruiting for a guild in-game on Tinder. That apparently works now.


Check out footage of Blade & Soul’s Maestro in action

If you were hoping for some reason that the Maestro in Blade & Soul would be all about conducting a stirring symphony, that’s definitely not the case. In fact, judging from the new bits of footage from Steparu, the only instrumental section the Maestro is familiar with is percussion. Because of gunshots, see. The Maestro shoots guns. That’s the joke.

Let’s move on.

There’s a new CG trailer for the class available below as well as a look at the class in action in the game’s training room on the Korean servers. It’s enough to give you a good idea of what it’s going to look like when you’re gunning things down in the actual game, so if you’re curious about that or just want to watch a whole lot of things get shot, jump on down and check it out.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind has a new trailer, and it’s all about bears

Let’s be real, here: The real new class being added for The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is the War Bear. The Warden is just kind of along for the ride. But how do you get a War Bear to go along with a Warden instead of just sitting on the ground, smashing beehives and taking a nap without a care in the world?

Wonder no longer, as the newest live-acton trailer rather cutely shows the training process of a new War Bear. We should note that the video contains far fewer bears than the title may have conditioned you to think, but we also assure you that it is both adorable and worth watching. Check it out just below, and think about ursine class features. Or just think about turning your household pet into a War Bear, as there’s a whole contest for it right now.

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Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview: The healers

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Healers! You need them in Final Fantasy XIV. Seriously, they’re vital, and not just to make sure the tank doesn’t enjoy a new experience with several new unscheduled puncture holes. Everyone needs healers, and the three existing healer jobs will have to work overtime in Stormblood to be as flashy and fun as the new DPS jobs. Even though Square-Enix is pretty certain that anyone who has signed up to be a healer at this point is pretty well committed.

The healer role is also the hardest one to test out and get a feel for without a group, which means that my impressions of the healers is also perhaps the least in-depth out of all three. This isn’t because I don’t love healers, just because there’s only so much you can glean from not playing a healer in dungeons. But I did still get a chance to play around with the relevant tools, and I think it’s safe to say that if you’re already fond of playing a healer, it’s going to be both easier and more engaging in Stormblood.

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Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview: Ranged DPS jobs

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I have to say that the Live Letter was a wee bit frustrating in places. How great would it have been to reveal that there are no more cast bars for ranged DPS in the expansion? I mean, probably about as great as it actually was for Final Fantasy XIV players, but I would have been the one to do it. Ah, well.

Much like melee DPS, ranged DPS is near and dear to my heart simply because one of my main jobs is ranged DPS. I play a lot of Machinist, although part of that admittedly derives from the period when no one could tell the difference between a good Machinist and a bad one. I was looking forward to Stormblood just because I wanted to see what was coming next.

The answer, in short, is that ranged DPS has probably received the biggest overhaul of all the roles in the game. Rather than having its support role kind of cobbled together based on what players should want, it now has a whole lot of abilities players actually will want to use. And all of the fun gun-or-bow action you’ve come to love regardless.

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Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview: Caster DPS jobs

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If there’s one field of jobs that’s never really locked me in during previous Final Fantasy XIV content, it’s caster DPS. I can understand the appeal on an academic level, but the reality is that I just never felt like it was all that cool. It didn’t help that our options were Black Mage or Summoner only for quite some time, and since roleplaying hadn’t dictated that those particular jobs matched any of my characters… well, that made it easier to step away from the role altogether.

Things are changing in Stormblood, though. For one thing, there’s obviously the simple fact that caster DPS options are getting expanded to include Red Mage, although I detail that in another piece as part of this same series. The extant caster jobs have also undergone some pretty significant changes, though, so even veteran players of Summoner and Black Mage should see their jobs feel… similar, but not quite the same. And, mercifully, far less reliant on being trigger-happy and rushing through everything.

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Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview: Melee DPS jobs

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Oh, melee DPS, you matter to me. You matter to a lot of people, in fact. There is something fundamentally satisfying to the human brain inherent in running up to things and smacking them with sharp weaponry. And this expansion continues making melee the bulkiest category of the DPS options, with four different jobs dealing damage in the paint and another job lunging in and out of melee range. Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is not a game about snipers.

Considering that one of my main jobs in the game is a melee DPS (Ninja), I was rather interested to see how this role shook out. I was also at least a little bit anxious, as the abilities that we saw didn’t exactly light me on fire just yet. However, I’m happy to say that the overall impression I walked away with was a positive one. There are changes here, yes, but they’re good all around.

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Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview: Tank jobs

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I really wanted Samurai to be a tank. There’s not a lot of specific reasoning for this; I can point to reasons why Samurai could have been a tank in Stormblood, but I suppose some of it just comes down to wanting a new healer and a new tank in the latest Final Fantasy XIV expansion. However, that’s the last I want to talk about it, unlike the legion of people still complaining about the fact that Dark Knight is a tank.

Instead of new tanks, we get a refinement of the existing tanks in the game’s second expansion. By and large, they should feel pretty familiar to players, but the subtle changes made here and there definitely up the jobs in my estimation. I already play these jobs on various characters, but I’m looking forward to the new tools they’re getting in the expansion. Even if none of them get to include a katana; I’ve moved past that now.

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Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood preview: Samurai and Red Mage impressions

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It should come as pretty much no surprise that one of my first focal points when getting hands-on time with Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood was learning the new jobs. For one thing, I have characters who I want to use these as main jobs; for another thing, these are new jobs, and thus they’ve got new mechanics and all sorts of new stuff. Refinement and a quintet of new abilities just can’t compare to a whole 70 levels of new abilities, after all.

Beyond that, I was curious about how they were going to manage the mechanics in general. Red Mage needed to feel like a hybrid melee and caster damage dealer that didn’t exactly mirror anything in the game but still felt related to Black Mage and White Mage both, and Samurai needed to carve a distinct space for itself in the niche of melee damage. So there were question marks.

I’m happy to say that I walked away from both eager to play more, however. Both of the new jobs feel like responsive damage dealers with very different tricks, feeling no more powerful than existing jobs but definitely feeling very unique. They fill niches which heretofore had not been filled, and while they may not be exactly what you’re looking for, they deliver on the promise of their names.

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Cloud Pirates explains how best to play the Heavy Reinforced Galleon

If your goal in Cloud Pirates is to pilot the most specialized ship possible, you probably aren’t going to enjoy the Heavy Reinforced Galleon. The ship is quite explicitly not meant as the most focused ship of the line, being solidly middle-of-the-road and versatile. Of course, while that makes it not specialized, it also means that it can be kitted out for almost any situation and it means that a skilled player can have an answer for almost any situation. A new guide on the official site explains how the Heavy Reinforced Galleon can be used to deliver impressive results while retaining its high flexibility.

Players who reach tier 4 with the galleon will be able to shut down ship technology and increase the vulnerability of other ships in the area, a valuable tool for any confrontation. Players can also kit out these ships in more defensive or offensive roles while retaining the overall versatility of the class, allowing you to shut down or dampen enemy damage and firing while healing your own ship. If you’d prefer to be behind a diverse arsenal, you could do worse than working the skies in a heavy reinforced galleon.


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