endgame

Lord of the Rings Online explains the Allegiance system in Mordor

We’re probably not going to blow your mind by saying this, but here it is anyway: Mordor in Lord of the Rings Online is not a friendly place. You’re shocked, obviously. But the point is that you’ll need to have some allies to deal with the problems of that land, and those allies need to know you’re their ally. Hence, the upcoming Allegiances system, a chance for players to improve reputation and standing with one of four factions for cosmetic rewards and unique storylines.

It’s important to note that the four factions (the Hobbits of the Company, Durin’s Folk, the Court of Lothlorien, and the Kingdom of Gondor) will not affect your access to endgame gear, even though the Allegiance system will be tied into the endgame. But your choice is mostly between the four stories you wish to follow and which cosmetic gear you want to access first. Still, much like Merry and Pippin’s oaths of service (which formed the initial concept for this system), it’s going to be important from a narrative standpoint to consider whom your character will bend a knee for.

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Checking out RIFT 4.2: Celestial Storm

Summertime does seem to be ripe territory for MMORPGs to release sizable content updates in the hopes of keeping players occupied and luring back in the bored and nomadic in the larger community.

Making a pitch for your attention today is RIFT, which has just released the latest segment of its Prophecy of Ahnket expansion cycle with Patch 4.2: Celestial Storm. As players head into the newest endgame zone of the MMO, what will they discover?

A few words on that: Beauty. Challenge. Epic feuds. Rewards. And a crapton to do.

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Neverwinter reveals gear sets found in Tomb of Annihilation

When you dive into Chult for Neverwinter’s next expansion, you’re going to be facing new threats. And what goes well with new challenges? New equipment, obviously. The latest development update discusses the gear you’ll be getting, starting with the fact that Chult’s gear doesn’t involve set bonuses; instead, each individual piece has a bonus, freeing you to play around a little more with mixing and matching.

Characters fresh off of the boat can pick up a new set with bonuses devoted to fighting harder when you’re at lower health, and there’s also a slightly better set available for players who earn the trust of the locals that’s all about strength in numbers. Hunt marks drop still more powerful gear, and players can also pick up the best gear available by diving deep into the Tomb of the Nine Gods. Check out the full preview if you’re eager to see what new fashions you can wear as you head into the jungle.

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Final Fantasy XIV adds Creation tomestones with patch 4.05

It’s been just about four weeks since Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood launched, and now the game’s usual endgame setup is fully in place. Today’s patch 4.05 adds in Allagan Tomestones of Creation, the weekly tomestone currency capped at 450 per week and obtainable via Expert roulettes, trials, raids… the usual suspects, in other words. Exchange the tomestones for gear based off of the winning design for designing tank gear, to boot! It’s familiar ground to veterans.

The patch also includes new Orchestrion rolls, the new Lost Canals of Uznair for players who take on full-party treasure maps, new items, new decorations, and so forth. There are also several job adjustments, so there’s more to touch on across the board. Check out the full set of patch notes if you’re unable to play for a while, or just dive right in if you’re at home and can’t wait to start earning Creation along with the existing Verities.

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Global Chat: Are MMO side quests worth it?

Apparently I am a pot-stirrer. On my side blog, Bio Break, I like to throw out conversation starters every now and then, and one such recent post concerned side quests. Namely, I mused about getting rid of them altogether in MMORPGs. This generated a lot of interesting conversation around the subject among other bloggers.

In An Age said that side quests are vital for pacing: “Pacing, meanwhile, is all about enhancing the main story. How do you enhance a story? By fleshing it out. Giving context to its development. Allowing breathing room in which to digest the latest narrative bombshell. Bringing the world in which the story exists to life.”

“I’m a fan of side quests if they’re done well overall. I don’t expect every single one to be breathtaking storytelling,” said Gaming SF. And Bhagpuss goes the other way: “I have to wonder whether, rather than putting side quests on ice, it isn’t the main quest itself that should be deep-sixed. If side quests add breadth and depth to the world, don’t main quests try to put that world in a box and close the lid?”

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Global Chat: Learning from Master X Master

We’ve certainly remarked several times on Massively OP how much like an MMO Master X Master is, even though it firmly checks the “MOBA” box on its census form. With so much similarity and bleedover between the gameplay genres, is there something that MMOs can learn from this title?

Occasional Hero seems to think so and has pulled out three lessons from his experience, including altaholic pride: “As someone who loves playing an army of alts rather than a single character, I really like the idea of a game with a whole bunch of characters that I can switch between as I feel like it. It’s one of the reasons why I love Marvel Heroes so much, despite the fact that the gameplay revolves around doing the same content over and over. And the reason why playing a bunch of different characters/classes is fun in a game like Marvel Heroes or Master X Master is that they each have a unique gimmick.”

Join us for more interesting MMO discussions from gaming blogs after the break, including a strange revival for EverQuest Online Adventures, a new way to experience World of Warcraft, and first steps into Secret World Legends!

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TERA launches the Dragonsire’s Revenge and Summer Festival today

Ready to face a very large and very angry dragon? The bright side is that he’s not really angry at you, specifically; the down side is that it barely matters, because a large angry dragon mad at your general existence is still just as dangerous. Dragonsire’s Revenge launches today on TERA, and the centerpiece of the update is indeed a face-off between players and the eponymous Dragonsire. He’s very angry.

The update also features new alternate options for gear sets, dungeon updates, and some mild alterations for balance and quality of life. Check out the full set of patch notes if you want to pick over every little part of the patch, or just jump in to start patching and get ready to play.

Don’t want to fuss with dragons? Maybe the summer festival is more your speed.

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World of Warcraft may be making big changes to Artifact Knowledge with its next patch

Artifact Power is the big power mechanism behind making your Artifact weapon more powerful in World of Warcraft. That seems pretty straightforward; it’s called “Artifact Power,” after all. It also has a complex relationship with Artifact Knowledge, as the cost of each new ability increases as your artifact grows in power. Eventually, you need your artifact to offer a several million percentage increase to each bit of Artifact Power so that it won’t take you years to get a quarter of the way toward your next trait. And actual Artifact Knowledge might be getting some big changes in the game’s next major patch.

Right now, you research Artifact Knowledge at a slow pace with order resources, while also being able to buy catch-up tomes for your alts. However, the current test realm has all of the research projects deprecated and an automatic increase to your knowledge as time goes by, thus ensuring that you catch up without any input. It also brings the knowledge cap back to 50 after it was unceremoniously rolled down to 40. How many of these changes will make it to live remains to be seen, but it would make for a very different leveling experience for your artifacts.

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Wisdom of Nym: Diving into Omega in Final Fantasy XIV

It’s kind of ironic that Omega may be the first time in Final Fantasy XIV where the eponymous foe is our actual antagonist. The Binding Coil of Bahamut and Alexander both featured the named Primals, but in both cases we weren’t really picking apart anything they did; Bahamut was just doing what came naturally while Allagan devices prodded at him, and Alexander was essentially fulfilling something that had already happened. Omega, on the other hand, is aware of us and not our biggest fan to begin with.

I wound up powering through the entirety of Omega’s normal mode on the same day it was released, somewhat to my surprise. (It was a bit of a highlight.) Obviously, not everything is going to be clear on just one playthrough, but now that we’ve gotten our first week or so with our new high-end endgame stuff, it seems like a good chance to pick apart what worked, what didn’t, and what’s worth considering with this new raid. Both in terms of story and mechanics, I might note.

Please note, of course, that there may be minor spoilers within. There’s nothing that gives away big chunks of plot, but if you haven’t yet done Omega and really want to remain wholly unspoiled… tread lightly.

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TERA launches Dragonsire’s Revenge on July 11

The Dragonsire is out for revenge! What does he want revenge for? Unfair parking tickets! Oh, and the fact that the gods did try to destroy him but clearly didn’t do a very good job. That’s the theme of TERA‘s next update, coming to the game’s servers on July 11th. Players will be facing off against the eponymous Dragonsire, Vergos, as part of the Harrowhold raid in the patch. He’s a big dragon, so put on your best dragon-slaying pants before you get in there.

Said pants may be different from your prior sets of pants, though, as players will have the option of activating a second set of enhancements on equipment that’s otherwise fully upgraded, so the same gear has a wider variety of options. You’ve also got two returning dungeons for level 65 to fight your way through, so there’s even more stuff to hack and slash your way past through the patch. And you only have to wait a couple of days before it all becomes available; isn’t that nice?

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Datamining generates World of Warcraft expansion rumors

Players have datamined a bit out of World of Warcraft’s most recent test realm patch that hints at the destination of the next expansion, with what appear to be pieces of leveling gear and even some voice lines. These could, of course, be red herrings, but there’s also the possibility that we’ll be heading off to the long-rumored south seas and confronting the Old Gods at long last; considering the thrust of Legion, it would make a certain amount of sense.

In other WoW news, if you weren’t around during the time of the Black Temple raid – and probably even if you were – you missed out on a set of encounters that many raiders cite as some of the most memorable in the game’s long history. The dungeon is coming back as part of the next Timewalking event, and a new article on the official site walks through the process of initially making the Black Temple as well as how it got updated for players to explore once again.

Source: Official Site via Icy Veins, Wowhead; thanks to Josh for the tip!

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Global Chat: Want to see a Magic trick?

So what does the blogging community think of the first IP-related new MMORPG to be announced in years in Magic: The Gathering? It’s a little more confused than enthusiastic, to tell the truth.

“To me, this announcement is somewhat similar to announcing that they are making an MMORPG out of Poker. Um …. okay?” said Endgame Viable.

“I suspect there are other sets that are more popular or more likely to be chosen as the main basis for the game,” writes Gaming SF, “if Cryptic’s more recent releases for the Neverwinter game are anything to go by then this new MMORPG is likely to feature content that ties into upcoming MtG cardsets to cross-promote both the cards and the game among fans.”

Let’s move on for the moment and look at dueling expansions, Kickstarter issues, and adventuring underwater!

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Final Fantasy XIV opens up the normal version of Omega

The launch of a new expansion for Final Fantasy XIV means that new endgame content is always slightly delayed, giving players a chance to level up without feeling too rushed. But the first bit of time-limited endgame is launching today for Stormblood with the release of the normal version of Omega, sending players searching for the Allagan weapon which has been lost since the end of the Heavensward patches. Clearing the content rewards players with gear tokens and tokens to be exchanged for weapons when time-limited currency gets added in two weeks, so there’s plenty of motivation for players to get in and start clearing.

The patch also adds in yellow scrips for crafters and gatherers and adjusts a number of action potencies slightly, as well as correcting various bugs the game has endured since launch. It’s only the start of the game’s endgame progression, but it should definitely give you something additional to do on a weekly basis if you’re growing a bit tired with the Expert roulette already.

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