dungeon

RIFT's Forged in Flame update today will treat endgamers to new content, LFR tools

MMORPG players can use some happy news today, yeah? How about this: RIFT's Forged in Flame patch is officially live.

The core of the update is Tartaric Depths, a 10-man raid, as well as the new Life Fortress Siege dubbed Xarth's Skull and level 70 reworks for Rise of the Phoenix and Gyel Fortress. How will you access the raid if you don't have a giant mass of friends? Why, with the brand-new looking-for-raid tool, of course.

"Similar to Looking for Group in dungeons, the Looking for Raid (LFR) system gives players the opportunity to quickly and easily join up with others and take down epic bosses where they are rewarded with gear that will help them progress into normal raids. Players are rewarded individually through the Individual Reward System."

Trion's promised to talk more about the update in its weekly Stream on Friday; in the meantime, the patch launch trailer and new screenies are tucked down below. Anybody giving it a go?

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The Stream Team: EverQuest's anniversary Pub Crawl

Last time, Massively OP's MJ had to cut her EverQuest anniversary bar-hopping short when she didn't have the right booze. Luckily, the anniversary events are still in full swing, so she's able to restart the infamous Pub Crawl. Will she be able to complete the quest this time, or will she be too tipsy and get turned around and end up somewhere completely different? (Our bet is she stumbles into a dungeon!) Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ tries to slosh and stumble her way through Norrath.

What: EverQuest
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

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Project Genom updates fans on a big dump and other behind-the-scenes progress

Technical issues are preventing Project Genom from updating the test version of the game at the moment, but while the developers work on fixing those code issues, the game is still being developed. The latest newsletter from the studio shows off a number of things that the staff has been working on, including an enormous dump. The Dump dungeon is about 70% finished, and it definitely looks like a varied and interesting pile of trash for you to adventure within.

New idle animations for NPCs have also been added in, along with several new facial builds for male characters and new beard options. There's also a preview of some of the game's high-level armor, which features hovering plates that can reconfigure to defend the wearer. It's not quite as good as a patch offering players access to all of this stuff, but it's a good sign that development is still rolling forward despite patcher issues.

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World of Warcraft 7.2: Tomb of Sargeras is now live

World of Warcraft 7.2: The Tomb of Sargeras is officially live! As we've previously covered (what feels like exhaustively), you can expect to dive into the Broken Shore zone, the Cathedral of Eternal Night dungeon, challenge artifact skins, rebalanced legendaries, new traits, order hall research options, and revived flight privileges. You'll have to hold tight for the actual Tomb of Sargeras, however; it'll open on a delay.

Going back for it? Or maybe you never left?

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Exclusive: Elsword previews a new hardcore solo endgame dungeon

The western version of side-scrolly hack-'n'-slasher Elsword is about to get a long-awaited feature from the Korean version: a challenging endgame dungeon known as Add's Energy Fusion Theory Dungeon. Oh yeah, and it's solo-only. Oh yeah, and it's a way for players to get some of the best weapons in the game. Solo. Did you get the solo part? It caused a combination of concerns and cheering when it released in Korea last year, but the game didn't burn down, so it turns out that soloers aren't ruining everything after all and it's not actually codified in MMORPG law that all the good stuff be reserved for raiders. Who knew?

Says KOG Games,

"Add’s Energy Fusion Theory Dungeon is Elsword’s ultimate, solo, end-game dungeon experience. This dungeon is not for the faint of heart! However, this solo-only (no co-op), hardcore dungeon may be brutal, but the battle is worth it. The loot is some of the best in the game. What are you willing to sacrifice to obtain the most powerful weapon in the game?"

Check out the exclusive video below!

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SuperData February 2017: World of Tanks perks up, Hearthstone is sinking

Happy SuperData day! That's the monthly holiday when we pore over the market analysis report, freak out over something doing well, freak over something doing poorly, and then fight over definitions, the evils of trusting paywalled science, and why more MMOs aren't on the current list. This round, there's lots to bicker over -- but also some bits to celebrate in the February 2017 charts of top-grossing game titles.

On PC, while League of Legends, Crossfire, and Dungeon Fighter Online continue their top-three dominance, the rest of the roster has seen a bit of a shake-up, as Overwatch has fallen from #4 to #6 and World of Tanks has pushed past it as well as World of Warcraft. WoW's status is a tad confusing; last month, SuperData began reporting Western and Eastern WoW separately, even though it does not appear to be doing that for any other game. This month, it's omitted the West/East tags but still has two entries for WoW, so we're left to assume to top one is still West as it was last month.

On console, ARK: Survival Evolved has fallen from its #4 spot to #6. As always, we point out that ARK: Survival Evolved has yet to formally launch, and it's absurd that it's on this list at all, but fools and their money and all that.

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Ashes of Creation really wants you to grok its node system

We've teased upcoming Ashes of Creation for its "nodes," and apparently Intrepid Studios agrees that they're confusing, as the MMORPG has released a dev blog this afternoon explaining just what they are, again.

"Nodes are a pre-set location, wrapped in a zone of influence, in our world that can form into towns of different sizes. These sizes range from a small camp to a sprawling metropolis. The size of the towns depends on the contribution by players and how far they’ve advanced the Node. Players do not create the footprint of a Node, but within that footprint they do have the ability to own land. Players who are part of the government for a specific Node will have the ability to modify building types and services further, but for the most part, a Node will grow along its own specific path (think about this more as NPCs building these towns out, rather than PCs individually putting buildings and walls up). A Node’s contribution area is larger than the actual town itself, allowing for players to adventure while building upon the town. We call the contribution area the Node’s 'Zone of Influence,' and it’s the area where players help to advance the Node they are in."

Nodes can grow into towns, and players who perform activities within their boundaries contribute back to the node (and vice versa), but the size of the municipalities is limited; there can be only so many huge, sprawling metropoleis at a time, after all. Nodes will also have a determined type -- military, divine, economic, and scientific -- which will provide benefits to the associated activities.

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The Game Archaeologist: How DikuMUD shaped modern MMOs

Even though there are hundreds and thousands of MMOs spanning several decades, only a small handful were so incredibly influential that they changed the course of development for games from then on out. DikuMUD is one of these games, and it is responsible for more of what you experience in your current MMOs than you even know.

Of course, that doesn't mean everyone knows what DikuMUD is or how it shaped the MMOs that came out after it. You might have seen it used as a pejorative in enough comments that you know it is loathed by many gamers, but I find that there are varying degrees of ignorance about DikuMUD in the community. What is it, exactly? Why is it just the worst? And is it really the worst if we like the games that can point to this text-based MMO as a key ancestor?

Today we're going to dispel the mystery and myths of DikuMUD to lay it out there as it was and is today.

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World of Warcraft 7.2 Tomb of Sargeras survival guide and patch notes

Blizzard has just dropped its official survival guide and patch notes for World of Warcraft 7.2: The Tomb of Sargeras, which is loading for launch tomorrowday.

Amusingly, 7.2 does not actually feature the Tomb of Sargeras, or at least it won't tomorrow; the raid itself will open once the patch settles in, par for the course for WoW (and other Blizz properties, for that matter) nowadays. What is going live, however, is the new Broken Shore zone, the Cathedral of Eternal Night dungeon, challenge artifact skins, rebalanced legendaries, new traits, and more order hall research options, plus proper flight privileges, long a source of contention in the community.

While you wait, check out out own look at the ramifications of the patch and the content cycle, and don't forget the survival guide tucked down below, as well as Blizzard's ongoing sale.

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Project Gorgon adds bards, reduces group sizes

Ever wonder what use "vocabulary" and "poetry appreciation" would be in Project Gorgon? The game's latest alpha snapshot has a good answer: barding!

Yes, Eldergame has introduced the bard skill. "Keep in mind that the bard is designed to be a support character," the studio says. "It is definitely possible to solo with the bard, but it's not going to be as fast as some other skills."

And don't log in expecting to whip up a perfect performance right away, as apparently the songs are still a work-in-progress when it comes to looping.

The update also includes smaller hunting group sizes, monster looting tweaks, archery nerfs, and rebalanced the Gazluk Keep dungeon so it's not ridiculously overpowered and spawning left and right. Your quality-of-death has improved too:

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Guild Chat: Tips for meeting guildmates in real life

Welcome along to Guild Chat, my column in which I join forces with commenters to help a reader in need with a guild-related concern. This edition's submission is all about deciding to meet up with your guildmates in real life: Reader Xenos is great online friends with many of his guildmates and is considering either inviting them over to visit him or travelling out to see them. In Xenos' case this would require international travel, Before he makes the leap, however, he is looking for our advice on whether real-world meetups are a good idea and how to approach it safely. Keep reading for my thoughts on organising guild meets and Xenos' full submission, then don't forget to add your thoughts in the comments.

"I've been gaming with the same bunch of people for a long while now and we get along super well. I have the entire summer off classes and plan to travel anyways so was wondering if I should suggest a guild meet or ask my best friends in the guild if I can come visit them. I haven't brought it up yet so I don't know if they'd like to meet and I also worry about how safe it is and seeming weird or suspicious by asking. Any advice?"

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One Shots: I took a picture THIS big!

When you take the best screenshot in the world and want to impress your friends, do you find that you end up exaggerating a tiny bit? Perhaps with wide-flung arm motions and tall tales of shutter speed and multiple lenses?

Reader Matthew dishes up a boast for us from Elder Scrolls Online: "This screenshot amuses me for two reasons. Firstly, my friend Jacob and I met up yesterday for the first time in a week and discovered that we'd somehow dyed our gear almost the same color. Secondly, Jacob decided to mess around whilst I was taking a screenshot but his dancing animation plus my character's idle 'look around' animation has randomly made it look as though Jacob's Dragon Knight is telling my Sorceror how big the monster he just killed in the dungeon behind us was!"

This is when kobolds mysteriously transform into elder dragons through the power of storytelling. Onward and upward!

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The Stream Team: Adventuring in ARK's redwoods

After many weeks of raiding and raid prepping, Massively OP's MJ is eager to just relax and explore the ARK once again -- relax being a relative term, of course. Since many new dinos have been introduced, she can't wait to find a few to tame. Today, she's going into the redwoods in search of those high-flying cats that like to pounce from the treetops. Will she find some, or will they find her first? Join us live at 12:00 p.m. for this walk in (the heavy wooded and dangerous) park.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 25th, 2017

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