cosmetic gear

Fortnite jumps into Season 3 with hoverboards, 60FPS, and new music

Welcome to the beginning of Fortnite’s third season, which kicked off with this week’s Patch 3.0. There’s a lot going on with this update, starting with a new battle pass that includes astronaut outfits, funky dances, and other cosmetics.

Other changes impact both Save the World and Battle Royale, such as an increase of console performance to 60 frames per second (enjoy living like one of the PC master race!), the addition of hoverboards (zoom!), a giant hand cannon (blammo!), a color blind option (considerate!), and many build mode improvements that allow you construct pretty much anywhere in the game (bang!).

Audiophiles might be pleased to hear that Fortnite just got a completely new score composed by film composers Marco Beltrami and Pinar Toprak.

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World of Warcraft previews its upcoming Legacy loot mechanics

For all the good that World of Warcraft‘s level scaling has brought to the game, it has made farming for old appearances slightly more difficult. Now that the game’s dungeons are all synced to drop personal loot, it can be hard to farm things that you can unlock but wouldn’t drop under the game’s personal loot restrictions. Good news, then; when Battle for Azeroth rolls around, a new style of loot will be put into place for legacy loot in content that you outlevel by a significant margin.

Any dungeons or raids that you enter while at least 10 levels above the “designed” levels will activate Legacy loot; every boss will drop as many items as possible, and all loot can be freely traded between party members when things drop. Loot is split between players, however, so if a boss drops four things for a two-person party, both players will get two items. It should make for an easier time getting cosmetics and farming for them, so that’ll be a welcome change – especially with a whole new expansion’s worth of stuff to farm for transmog purposes.


Chaos Theory: Do you need to sub to enjoy Secret World Legends?

A question I am asked quite a bit about free-to-play games is whether or not one needs to sub to really play. It is a fair question: We’ve got enough examples in the industry where not subbing can cripple you to the point that it is less than no fun and not worth even trying to play. So how about Secret World Legends? You’ve heard how great that story is and your interest is piqued, but you’ve been burned before. Do you need to pay for patron status to have a worthwhile experience playing? No. And yes.

The answer actually depends on what you want from the game and your preferred style of play. Can you play SWL and have a blast immersed in the amazing atmosphere and story without paying a dime? Absolutely! To get the most out of the game if you play more hardcore, however, you definitely want to become a patron.

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Sea of Thieves may have microtransactions, but it will never have lootboxes

In Sea of Thieves, your character is a pirate roaming the high seas for boxes of treasure, but in real life you won’t need to exchange your own treasures for random in-game treasures. Design director Mike Chapman has stated that microtransactions are possible for the game post-launch, but loot boxes are definitely out of the question for future development. So you might drop a little coin to get a nice skin or cosmetic gear or whatever, but you won’t be looking at lootboxes no matter what.

Of course, if your computer can’t handle the game you probably won’t be looking at anything whatsoever, so you might want to check out the game’s system requirements before eagerly declaring that it’s a sailor’s life for you. The bare minimum specs still require a Windows 10 machine, so if you’ve stuck by an older operating system we’re sorry to inform you that Windows ME is no longer going to keep you in the game. Check out the chart to see if you need to upgrade, and if you refer to buying new hardware as “trimming up the mainsail” in the checkout line, the employees at the store likely won’t care.


Warframe’s Shrine of the Eidolon goes live as DE teases Valentine’s Day and incoming content

With Warframe’s Shrine of the Eidolon update now live on the servers, Tenno have their hands full fighting legendary beasts summoned for battle. There are also plenty of warframe power and weapon rebalancing to sort out, including a change to preserve your adorable pets if you aren’t logging in frequently enough.

There are some sweet giveaways going on right now in the game. If players log into the game by February 16th, they’ll get a free Forma bundle and three-day affinity booster.  And for anyone who logs in between today and the 15th, they’ll receive some Valentine’s Day cosmetics (and be able to purchase a dye pack for a single credit).

Finally, players can take a look at what’s coming down the development pipeline by tuning into the most recent studio livestream. Here’s a quick preview: Moa pets and reworked Dark Sector dungeons with leaderboards!

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Ashes of Creation shows off 52 minutes of pre-alpha gameplay

Open world dungeons, node tending, and other pre-alpha adventures were all part and parcel of Ashes of Creation’s developer livestream last week. The team showed off 52 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay that included exploration, various features, and a ton of action combat.

The team answered many community questions on the livestream, including how the current build was tailored specifically for testers: “We wanted people who were coming in to test to actually be able to kind of do stuff solo. So, it’s not what it was really built for. All the group content right now is just in our dungeons. And that’s totally going to change when we go live.”

Other topics discussed was Ashes of Creation’s stealth system, account-bound player housing, caravans, diminishing returns on crowd control, animal husbandry (woo), and cosmetics. Check it out below!

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Fortnite: Valentine’s day, 3.4 million concurrency, and fixing the ‘extreme load’ problem

This right here would be why Epic Games isn’t all that wrecked over having to put down Paragon: Fortnite hit a new peak concurrency of 3.4 million players over the weekend – that’s up from 60 thousand just a few months ago. Battle royale, folks.

The downside for those 3.4 million players is that the “extreme load” caused half a dozen “incidents” over the same time period, which resulted in matchmaking problems, database failures, and actual outages. There’s a huge postmortem on the official site explaining how it all broke down, but the takeaway is that Epic says it’s working on those problems (and indeed, is hiring folks who specialize in fixing them).

In other Fortnite news, how about some Valentine’s day nonsense? Obliged. In addition to a bunch of pretty pink cosmetics for heroes and gear, the PvE Save the World mode of the game is getting its very own Valentine’s questline. Future patches, Epic says, will include a spring-themed questline, “complete in-game music overhaul,” the stamina patch, improved crafting inventory, and quest map tweaks.


Perfect Ten: RIFT features that deserve praise

Maybe it will be short-lived, but it is exciting to see attention and excitement return to the sphere of RIFT following the announcement of the upcoming Prime server ruleset. I’ve gone from not thinking much of this title in my absence to somewhat missing it to absolutely craving it within the span of a week, and I’m sure that’s only going to get worse.

Seeing friends and commenters talk about RIFT has reminded me of just how many incredible features and qualities this MMO has. Sure, it’s made a lot of missteps and just about nobody really loves the business model, but there is a genuinely good game here that has a feature set that most MMOs could only dream about having on the back of the box.

So whether you’re thinking about returning to RIFT this spring or perhaps taking it up for the first time, here are 10 features from the game that I feel deserve public kudos.

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Elder Scrolls Online previews update 17’s new storage and cosmetic customization options

When the B2P Dragon Bones DLC launches for Elder Scrolls Online on February 12th, it won’t launch alone. Update 17 launches the same day, for everyone, as a free patch for the game. In a new dev blog today, ZeniMax teases the three main features going live.

Home storage is a pretty big deal, especially for anyone concerned with having too much stuff (like craft mats). New chests can hold 30 or 60 items, and they’re magic – items you put in one will show up in the chests in all your homes.

ZeniMax is also touting its improved “level-up experience.” It’s basically an infodump when you level up that gives you advice on how to access new skills and build your toon out so you don’t suck. It’ll grant rewards sometimes too.

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RIFT Prime won’t let you carry your characters over to regular servers

Trion Worlds’ announcement of a RIFT Prime server for this spring may have raised more questions than it answered. While the studio is starting to dole out more specifics, it’s not doing so on its main site. You know what that means: World wide web scavenger hunt for pertinent information!

Probably the most important piece of revealed info is that nothing will carry over from the Prime server to the rest of the game when Prime ends its run. Players will begin at level one and progress through content that will be released piecemeal over the course of nine to 12 months. It also sounds like the classes and content will be the most up-to-date versions, so don’t get your hopes up to see vanilla builds emerge once again. And if you already have a subscription, then don’t worry: It’ll cover Prime as well.

“Prime progression will not carry over to live servers,” said Producer Chris Junior. “What we’re discussing for Prime players who also play on live is to provide a cosmetic trophy/participation reward for their accomplishments on Prime — such as a title, a cape, something like that.”

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Age of Conan’s Saga of Zath fresh start progression server launches tomorrow as sub prices drop permanently

Back in December, Funcom announced that it had plans for the effectively maintenance-moded Age of Conan, and those plans included Saga of Zath, a fresh-start progression server. And now, it’s almost here: The studio now says it’s launching tomorrow on January 24th.

“Saga of Zath is a new limited-time server running on a PvE ruleset identical to Crom. You create a new character on this server, and play through a special Saga Quest as you progress. Completing objectives in this quest awards exclusive cosmetics, titles, and up to Tier 6-quality raid gear! There’s also a special Saga-exclusive Hoard you can purchase, featuring tradable items! The server is only open until May 15th. Once over, the server closes and your Saga character is transferred onto Crom with their inventory fully intact.”

Funcom designer Mussagana has been all over the forums the last few days explaining how everything works. Specifically, parts of the item shop will be disabled on this server, the raid finder will be turned off at least temporarily, experience gains will be normal, and yes, there may be other servers in the future if this one does well.

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Chaos Theory: Secret World Legends 2018 – new year, new game, new goals

What does Secret World Legends have in store for 2018? For the world, or for me? Either answer includes Season 2 of the story! Of course I anticipate much more exciting stuff as well. I wish I had a crystal ball — or maybe the number crunchers of the Dragon — to know what’s ahead. But this Chaos Theory is not about what the game will be doing this year, rather it’s about what I will be doing in the game!

That’s right: I started this resolutions business last year, and now I am compelled to continue the tradition. It’s a new year and a new game, so it’s time for some new goals. It’s also a great time to look back over 2017 and see how well I did with my first attempt at in-game goal setting.

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Wisdom of Nym: The final countdown before Final Fantasy XIV patch 4.2

We still don’t technically know when Final Fantasy XIV is launching its next patch, but we can also figure it out. It was always slated for late January, and there’s another live letter this Friday, which means that the patch is almost certainly arriving on the 30th. Considering that we always get patch notes before the actual release, I’d say it would be a bit silly to have a whole preview event the day before patch notes come out, and it wouldn’t really mesh with prior experience.

In other words, we’ve got a little more time before the patch, and there’s more to be seen about what it actually entails, so let’s talk about both our known unknowns and our unknown unknowns as well as breaking down some other bits that we haven’t heard about yet which are conspicuous for their absence. It’s worth paying attention to some of this; that’s my point here.

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