Diablo III’s 13th season is kicking off next week. If you’re hoping for something revolutionary and thrilling for lucky number 13, this… isn’t that. In fact, the dev blog previewing the season actually uses the word “traditional.” But hey, if you like comfortable predictability, you’ll be pleased as punch.
Participants in the seasonal run will pick up more pieces of the Conqueror’s set (helm and shoulders), new Imperius portraits, and a new teddy bear pet (covered in blood, thus reducing its cute factor). Folks without four stashes can work toward an extra, and currency toward class sets is also on order.
Funcom is forging ahead with its plans to launch Conan Exiles for real and for true on all the things come May 8th. And, as the latest dev blog explains, to make that date, the company’s probably going to cut some features from that launch build.
“In the past couple of months, we’ve had to make some serious decisions as to what will be in for launch,” says the studio. “We’ve been going through every aspect of the game (including things still in development) and we have evaluated everything based on a range of criteria. Some features or content simply ended up not being good enough, some things have ended up not making sense for the game, some things have been replaced with other features and content, while some things just turned out to be out of reach from a technical or development capacity standpoint.”
World of Warcraft and e-sports go together like coffee and donuts! Macaroni and cheese! Bubblegum and walking! Yeah maybe more like that last one. And Blizzard is not giving up making the two work. In a new stream and dev blog out today, the company discusses just how season of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational is going to work.
Like last season’s showdown, this season’s will begin with two weeks of proving grounds beginning February 27th and March 6th. “During the two-week Proving Grounds period, you’ll form a group of five friends and tackle the highest difficulty Mythic Keystone dungeons you can handle,” Blizzard explains. “Your goal is to complete a total of five level 23 Mythic Keystone dungeons over those two weeks.” Duplicate runs don’t count, you can’t swap out characters, and you’ve got to beat the timer. Then you’ll register your team and await your invitation for stage 2. It’s an invitational, after all.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to EVE Online
over the past few months
, you know that the playerbase’s anger over the botting problem in the game – which has been a factor for much longer than the past few months – is reaching a fever pitch. Last week, CCP Peligro vowed CCP
was “coming for the bots
” and told players not to take his word for it, to “just wait and see.”
Now CCP’s Team Security is trying to make good on that promise. A new dev blog out today claims that CCP banned over 1800 accounts in January for botting – mostly mining bots, followed by ratting bots. A third of those were repeat offenders receiving permanent bans, while the rest were merely temp-banned. In March, the botting policy will be updated to inflict a mandatory 3-day temporary ban on the first offense, with permabans on the second.
Just in time for the Olympics, Kakao is bringing east and west together in Black Desert. In the game’s latest dev letter, the studio explains that up until the latest patch in Korea, attack efficiency for Korean players was different than on western servers. Recent patches, however, brought them into parity.
“Effectively, with the aforementioned patch for the KR server, all regions now have the same balance systems applied,” says the studio. “We aim to develop Black Desert Online as a Single Global Build. By doing so, we believe that it will benefit both our players and us, as developers. It will allow the latest patches to be applied to all regions more quickly than any other game, and enable us to quickly reflect even the tiniest detail of valuable user feedback. Anyone who enjoys Black Desert Online will always have the same optimal experience from any region.”
There’s more to the plan than optimal experience, however: The company is also looking ahead to global PvP.
It’s the time of year for spring-cleaning and goal-setting, where we look ahead to a fresh start filled with plenty of days left for accomplishing all the things we didn’t quite get around to in the previous year. I love taking stock of my yearly MMO progress, especially in Guild Wars 2
, and using that reflection to form some new goals to keep my focus and make things challenging in the year ahead. I’ve decided to share my 2018 GW2
to-do list with you all in the hope that it might inspire you to create one yourself.
In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll explain my 2018 goals. Some of my goals are far more ambitious than others, while a few on my list are simply continuations of goals I set for myself year-on-year. I never truly aim to complete my entire list, but it does serve as a fantastic point of reference for times when I feel a little directionless or restless and need some inspiration. Don’t forget to share your goals with me in the comments; who knows, perhaps some of your goals would be added to my list too!
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.
Let’s talk about money. Specifically, let’s talk about Crowfall’s money. ArtCraft is doing just that in a dev blog out today.
Referencing the $6M cash injection it picked up from investors at the tail end of 2017, the studio says it’s hired 10 new studio members in addition to a pair of contractors, all of whom were apparently “first choice” candidates for their jobs. That’s brought the studio up to 45 bodies.
“As a result, we now have more throw weight in Art, Design and Engineering,” J. Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton write, “and it also means we’ve started our ‘Live team’ hires (beginning with Operations, and continuing over the next few months with additional folks in Customer Service and Marketing.)”
Want the latest information on EVE Online
in one easy-to-navigate space? Now there’s a website for that.
EVE’s new and improved community website got a little larger this week as it brought four key departments under one roof. Now players can head over to the site to easily find the latest game news, lore, dev blogs, and patch notes without a lot of hunting around. Other MMO sites, take note!
CCP said that all sections of the old website haven’t been moved over to the new community site just yet. These sections include the in-character world news, the CMS Portal, and the Alliance Tournament Portal. The studio said that those should be moved over the “next few months.”
No skimpy dev diary for you today, Black Death fans, because this studio is getting downright serious about sharing its progress on the beta of this medieval survival sandbox.
The Black Death’s dev team is obviously going flat-out these days if this post is any indication. Large AI improvements are in the works for NPCs that changes based on their type (beggars will ask for gold, spearmen will flank, etc.). Finding resources will be easier now that the beta has “fully procedural” spawns popping up based on where players are moving.
Other projects include the change from item quality to rarity, equipment slots for characters, a better UI, and improved visuals. This build should be loaded onto the beta test server already, so players can run it through its paces this week.
Time is running short for robotic MMO Perpetuum Online — but plans are moving forward to keep the game alive with a couple of jury-rigged solutions.
Last September we reported that due to low population numbers and income, Perpetuum Online was ending active development while the team worked on a community-run standalone server solution. Now, it looks like it’s the end of the line for the official server, as the studio announced today that it has to take the hardware offline on January 25th due to the ongoing costs.
Fortunately, one of the team members is committed to keeping Perpetuum’s database and its contents alive on a semi-official private server for the time being: “This won’t be the same as the current official server in terms of speed and availability and it’s strictly a ‘no promises made’ gig, but it’s something.”
Forty million downloads. That’s the staggering number that Epic Games is tossing around concerning its incredibly successful Fortnite after a busy holiday season. That’s 10 million up from a month ago, by the way — and it’s only 100 days into the game’s live operation.
“Some of the folk around the office are saying hey, we could be the biggest battle royale game in the western world, which is crazy,” said Lead Systems Designer Eric Williamson. “Some people are saying we could be the biggest and best-played game in the western world.”
So what’s next for the game? The Map Update is coming to the Battle Royale mode with a city and new named areas to flesh out the landscape as well as more distinct biomes.
Ever since I’ve been writing this Lord of the Rings Online
column — which spans back to 2010, if you can believe it — I’ve started out every year with a little tradition of making a wish list that I’d like to see happen for the game. This year, I actually debated whether or not to do it, because Standing Stone Games has already sort of laid out its big plans for 2018 (or at least some of them) and I know that the studio’s smaller stature means that we probably can’t expect as much as we once did.
But then I thought, hey, it’s tradition. And why is it a bad thing to aspire to greater things and encourage the studio to reach for those? Should we just roll over and give up on this title that we love? Far be it! So I’m dusting off some old ideas and tossing in a few new ones to give to you my list of 11 things (for 11 years) I want to see happen in 2018 for LOTRO. Let me know what some of your wish list items in the comments too!