expansion

LOTRO’s Ugrukhor isn’t too happy with the state of affairs in Mordor

The power vacuum created after the fall of Sauron in Middle-earth has wide-spread ramifications for Mordor (the country) and Mordor (the expansion). In its latest enemy leader spotlight video, Lord of the Rings Online checks in with Ugrukhor and finds a man who is not too pleased with his current position.

Aside from his unfortunate name, Ugrukhor feels passed over for glory and power as he’s left as a steward in Udun. Check out this Anakin Skywalker-wannabe and listen to his griping after the break!

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Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire is rejiggering crafting material storage to prevent hoarding, and fans are not happy

Material storage in Guild Wars 2 is a pretty important part of the game, especially if you have any interest in crafting. People who hold on to everything and/or craft a lot will not be happy with the announcement that some common materials will not be placed in material storage when Path of Fire launches.

The reasoning, according to ArenaNet, is that the studio saw players hoarding certain materials in Heart of Thorns that should have been common, but players were hoarding and selling small numbers at best, leading to some unbalanced costs on the trading post. The studio’s ostensible hope is that this change will encourage players to sell more and keep materials moving.

“With the arrival of Path of Fire, many new materials and components will be added to Material Storage,” says ArenaNet’s Gaile Gray. “But for a handful of items, we’ve specifically decided not to start with them in Material Storage, and instead to add them to the storage system later. Why? Well, at the launch of Heart of Thorns, we noticed a peculiar behavior: most players will deposit first when clearing their inventory, and then proceed to take actions like salvaging, opening chests, or, crucially, putting items on the Trading Post. This tended to mean that before a player will post an item on the Trading Post, they’ll wait to accrue a full stack in their Material Storage. During the early period of Heart of Thorns, this significantly contributed to the early expense of flax, which was abundantly available but, for the most part, was ‘warehoused’ in the banks of players.”

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Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire launch trailer is hot. One might even say it’s on fire. Because it is.

Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire launch is coming up fast on Friday of this very week, which means today is launch trailer day. In case you somehow forgot,

“Packed with content, Path of Fire brings players back to the Crystal Desert where they will be brought face-to-face with Balthazar, the god of fire and war. The expansion also introduces mounts and elite specializations, allowing fans to play and explore in new ways like never before.”

Stay tuned for more coverage from Massively OP this week on the expansion, beginning with a look at inventory changes and our regular Guild Wars 2 column, Flameseeker Chronicles, later today!

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood dungeons in review

Have I really not talked about the dungeons of Stormblood yet? That’s unexpected. Usually I would have mentioned them by now, I talk about these things a lot. Yet here we are and I haven’t really given a deep look at any of the dungeons through the leveling experience up to the top. It is, frankly, a shocking realization, and it’s all the worse that I spent a lot of time thinking (and working on) columns on more esoteric elements of Final Fantasy XIV before remembering this obvious one.

So let’s correct this now and talk about these dungeons. The level range for things was adjusted after my initial preview, and we have a similar leveling arrangement to how things were in Heavensward, but I honestly like this batch more. Part of it is familiarity, sure, but I remember feeling like the first two dungeons in Heavensward were kind of clunkers even when they were new, compared to really enjoying the heck out of everything in Stormblood. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t high points and low points, but… well, let’s just get to it, yes?

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PAX West 2017: ARK Survival Evolved on optimization, the Aberration expansion, and future development

This past summer, ARK: Survival Evolved finally officially launched, ending its stint as an early access game just three days before PAX West, then promptly announced its second expansion on the first day of the convention. There wasn’t even a week between launch and the second expansion’s unveiling, and there will be fewer than two months between the two launches; Aberration is scheduled to launch in October.

While at PAX, I sat down with Studio Wildcard Senior Producer Navin Supphapholsiri, who thanked fans for supporting the game: “We really appreciate the support for the past two years. Just to see how far we’ve come along, it’s all thanks to the community.” Then we talked about the launch, about Aberration, and about the team’s focus going forward.

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The first chunk of Black Desert’s free Kamasylvia expansion launches next week

Remember last week when Kakao hinted that Black Desert’s new servers were indication that Kamasylvia was on the way “real soon”? That soon is almost upon us, as Kakao has announced this morning that the massive PvE-centric expansion will launch next week on September 27th, or at least the first part of it. Oh yeah, and it’s free.

Black Desert Online’s new region, Kamasylvia, features elven woodlands that stretch out to the south of Hexe Sanctuary, from the Valtarra Mountains to the Shady Tree Forest. In terms of the landmass, the new region is about the size of Calpheon and houses an elven village known as the Old Wisdom Tree. There is no level requirement for Kamasylvia, but it is a dangerous place to go alone, so being at high level will be beneficial and group play is recommended. There is also new group-based content such as The Altar of Training that will enthuse players who are looking for some co-op action. The Altar of Training, located deep within Kamasylvia, contains a survival mode which players can unlock once they have completed certain quests in the main storyline. Players will need to work together with their party members to defend a sacred treasure from hordes of enemies that grow stronger with each wave. A total of five waves need to be beaten before the ultimate challenge: a fight with the powerful final boss, Ancient Puturum. If successful, adventurers can gain valuable items and gear.”

The official site’s free trial landing page has an updated interactive map with the new region clickable (it’s screenshots when you click through to it), and the new trailer? That’s down below!

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Villagers and Heroes bumps up Starfall’s launch date, releases new talent builder

Surprise! Instead of delaying Villagers and Heroes’ major expansion-slash-reboot, the developers announced this week that they are bumping up Starfall’s launch from September 27th to the 20th instead.

That means that you won’t have as much time to get ready, since this is coming next week. So make sure you read up on all of those patch notes and check out the latest edition of the talent builder, which is now live.

Starfall includes a reworked loot system, revamped talents, four new high-level zones, a level cap increase to 90, more character creation options, reworked crafting, tweaks to the UI, and more. You can get a preview of Starfall, including the new hairstyles and character appearance options, in the dev livestream after the break!

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Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon introduces ‘open landscapes’ later this year

During its livestream earlier this afternoon, Digital Extremes formally unveiled Plains of Eidolon, Warframe’s next big expansion. As announced back at TennoCon, the expansion will add a touch of MMOishness to the shooter.

“For the first time in Warframe history, Tenno will have the freedom to explore, fight, journey and fly through the open Landscapes – Warframe’s first Open Zone – of Planet Earth in their own time, in their own way. Stepping into the rolling Plains of Eidolon, players will experience a rich landscape populated with both familiar and never-before seen creatures, enemies, a new Warframe, stunning vistas lit with a day/night cycle, and a gripping story told through interactive NPC characters who inhabit the bustling scavenger city of Cetus. In Plains of the Eidolon, players will set foot in a natural landscape with the freedom to explore it on their own terms.”

And yep, the expansion is indeed still on track to launch before the year is up. Check out the new trailer!

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EverQuest’s Phinigel progression server moves forward

Thirteen years after initially launching to EverQuest’s playerbase, the Omens of War expansion is getting another opportunity for a big splash.

Yesterday, EverQuest’s Phinigel progression server unlocked Omens of War for all of the subscribers advancing through the game’s content on that shard. The expansion originally launched in September 2004, bringing with it a level cap increase to 70 and the new land of Kuua.

Phinigel is a relatively younger EverQuest progression server and differentiates itself from the other five servers with a slower rate of leveling and a rollout of new expansions every two to three months.

Source: EverQuest

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Check out Warframe’s MMO-ish Plains of Eidolon expansion reveal right now

Back in July, Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie reported from TennoCon that Warframe is gearing up for a massive renovation dubbed Plains of Eidolon, an expansion that will almost certainly buff Warframe’s street cred with the MMORPG crowd.

“What I saw really takes Warframe in a new direction,” she wrote after her demo. “Plains of Eidolon adds a whole new dimension of player freedom. It brings a more MMORPG feel into the game – makes it more of a real world. Instead of just taking missions and teleporting to small instances, players will have the chance to explore the Warframe universe in open landscapes and meet the races they’ve been protecting for the last four years.” It’s not an open world, she explained, but it’s “the first step in that direction, incorporating elements such as NPCs, open adventure areas, and day/night cycles that influence the gameplay.”

Digital Extremes is revealing the expansion to everyone on today’s stream, which goes live as this post does at 2 p.m. EDT; you can watch it along with us below.

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Guild Wars 2 begins its final countdown to Path of Fire’s launch

With the launch of Path of Fire just a week away now, the Guild Wars 2 team has outlined its plans for the next seven days. Aside from the launch itself, probably the most important day next week is Tuesday, when the studio will roll out the launch trailer, followed by Thursday, which will see a cavalcade of rebroadcasts of Path of Fire stuff on Twitch in case you missed it all the first time and can’t be arsed to track them down.

The expansion areas will formally open at noon EDT on Friday, September 22nd, as planned, though the team will be streaming a “preshow” from 10 a.m. EDT onward promising “fun surprises.” Hope you took off work that day!

“Make sure to pack sunscreen, don’t approach choya without protective gear, and remember that sand eels bite when threatened,” ArenaNet says. We’ll be aiming to stream that weekend as well, death-counter in tow.

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Diablo III seeks smoothness and balance with Patch 2.6.1

It may not be as sexy as a new expansion or class, but sometimes it’s a worthwhile thing for developers to sit down with a determination to polish and shine a game until it feels and plays better better than before.

This is the two-part goal of Diablo III’s Patch 2.6.1 according to the devs: “We wanted each class to have multiple builds with different styles that can play in similar difficulties. […] Secondly, we want to smooth out the overall endgame experience. This means making sure each build plays well in high-density situations and group play.”

To accomplish these tasks, the devs are buffing up some neglected skills and evaluating a whole bunch of player feedback. Some of the specific tune-ups include the Barbarian’s Whirlwind build, improvements to the Necromancer’s Dayntee’s Binding, a better Jade Harvester for the Witch Doctor, and buffs all around for Wizards.

The team said that it has “locked down” the big changes from now on to allow for more polish and testing prior to the patch’s rollout at an undetermined future date.

Source: Diablo III

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Choose My Adventure: Shroud of the Avatar in summation

All the time through playing Shroud of the Avatar, I found myself wanting to like the game a lot more than I did. And my brain kept turning back to Minecraft, which seems like a worthwhile comparison to make.

Much like SOTA, Minecraft is a game strongly based on the concept of making your own fun. You are definitely making your own adventure in the game. But at the same time, it seems very relevant to point out that the game starts by giving you a clear set of parameters to work within. Monsters will spawn at night, there are resources under ground, you break things to get better things, and then combine those things to make still better things. From there on out, much of the game is devoted to figuring out how these various elements play off of one another.

So they’re both sandbox-ish titles in which you make your own fun. Except that one of them starts by showing you the fun that you’re supposed to be having and giving you a goal, and it does so with absolutely no story to guide you along that route. It shows you exactly the sort of game it’s trying to be and lets you start working at meeting it halfway. But SOTA never quite got there, at least for me.

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