expansion

Lord of the Rings Online takes a step forward in lockbox transparency

Ever since Standing Stone Games started ramping up the prominence of Lord of the Rings Online’s lockboxes following last year’s Mordor expansion, the microtransactions have proved to be extremely controversial and divisive in the community.

And while LOTRO isn’t going to be ditching lockboxes any time soon, SSG is working on being more transparent about the system. On April 25th’s livestream, CM Jerry Snook answered a player concern about the topic.

“I have been working on a page in recent days that’s going to provide more transparency on both Hobbit presents and the seal-bound Gorgoroth lootboxes,” he said. “It’s going to talk about what you can get from these things, what’s considered rare, what’s considered common, what’s super-rare.”

Snook said that the page will come out in the next couple of weeks after it has been localized.
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Tamriel Infinium: First impressions of Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset (mostly without spoilers!)

Over the years, I suspect I’ve made it well known what I find most important in my Elder Scrolls Online gameplay. I enjoy the environments and the quest storylines. I play most of the game solo with very little interaction with any other players. It’s not that I don’t like other players; it’s just that when I started playing ESO, the main storylines in the game where not very group friendly, so that kind of gameplay is what I expected and enjoyed. Of course, that means my primary focus, when playing through the Summerset Chapter for ESO, was story and single-player gameplay.

There are many things added with Summerset that aren’t single-player focused, like the new Cloudrest trial and the Abyssal Geysers, but I’d hardly call myself an expert in those areas. But we solo players do have many things to look forward to in Summerset besides the story quests, like jewelry crafting, a new skill line, and daily login rewards.

For today, I would like to focus on the main reason I play ESO: the story. I’m not going to spoil any major plot points as I describe my playthrough, obviously, but I would like to make mention of key players and things to watch for as you play through the newest chapter.

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Enter to win a Star Trek Online Deep Space Nine starship on PC from PWE and MOP

Are you hyped for Deep Space Nine in Star Trek Online? Victory is Life is hitting PC in June, complete with a journey to the Gamma Quadrant, the Deep Space Nine crew, the Jem’Hadar playable faction, bumped level cap, seven new episodes, and more goodies.

Ahead of the launch, PWE has granted Massively OP a bunch of goodies to raffle to our PC readers! We’ve got 25 codes for the T5 Defiant Tactical Escort Retrofit and 100 codes for the Stalker Stealth Fighter.

Read on to enter to win!

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World of Warcraft starts beta testing Battle for Azeroth

Can you beta test a battle? Don’t see why not. Just ask everyone to attack very, very carefully and memorize where their starting positions were for the inevitable reset.

The alpha phase is over and dead, and the Horde has gathered at the gates of beta for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. This morning, Blizzard wiped the test servers and booted up a new build while activating the expansion’s beta status. New waves of keys have been sent out, so check your email if you’ve been trying to get an advance look at warfronts, island adventures, and all of the rest.

According to Wowhead, no further character wipes are planned for the test phase, and the character copy service is going to be turned on real soon now. A Q&A session on the beta will take place this Thursday, beta forums are live, the beta level cap is set at 120, and beta beta beta.

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Destiny 2 is about to unveil its Warmind DLC

The second DLC expansion for Destiny 2 is arriving early next month — but players can get all of the details on it today.

Bungie is doing a deep dive on Warmind in a Twitch stream today and talking about the huge content update that’s scheduled for May 8th. The full reveal stream is taking place at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Bungie’s channel, right as this post is going live – so it’s time to come up with a convincing excuse not to be productive for the following hour.

The DLC will bring players back to Mars, introduce private matches, increase players’ vault space, and start the third season of the game. You can get a quick preview of the reveal after the break.
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Star Trek Online accidentally previews its Personal Endeavor system for Victory is Life, players unearth quadrant map

Who likes having new goals to achieve on a daily basis? Because that’s what you’re getting in the next Star Trek Online expansion, even if it turns out you weren’t supposed to see it just yet. The game previewed its upcoming Personal Endeavor system, only to remove the page shortly thereafter; fortunately, the Internet is what it is and the cached page is still viewable. So you can still learn about it before you’re probably supposed to.

The good news is that it’s a nice thing to add to your daily tasks; there are three levels of challenge you’ll be facing, along with a mechanism to occasionally reroll one of your endeavor challenges in the hopes of getting one that’s easier to fulfill. Successfully clearing them will earn you points of Personal Endeavor experience, which can lead to account-wide stat boosts.

Players have also uncovered a new spoilery map of the various galactic quadrants hinting out the expansion destinations, so it’s hardly like this cached page is the only thing being found a bit early.

Source: Reddit, Cached page; thanks to Jake for the tip!

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s next patch reveals our future story

The next patch for Final Fantasy XIV is something we should all watch closely. Because it’s going to tell us plenty about where we’re heading in the next expansion.

We haven’t yet been told that we’ll learn about a new expansion this year, but we have a fan festival on the calendar, we’re moving through the middle of the patch, and FFXIV moves on a content delivery schedule reliable enough to set your clock by. So we know that announcement is happening this year, and we can all bet on it coming out in June of next year. (If it’s running really late, maybe July.)

And this is the patch where we’ll find out where we’re headed. Not that we’ll be told yet, of course; we were never actually told in-universe that we were heading to Ala Mhigo until it happened, after all. But this is the point when threads need to start collecting into a useful form, and so it’s best to watch closely and see which elements are being picked up and tugged along for our next destination.

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The Survivalist: Four hopes for the future of ARK Survival Evolved

As we explored last week, game development isn’t always an upward trajectory. Some things soar, and some things crash. Our last Survivalist conversation was about four ways that the ARK: Survival Evolved that launched was better than the early early access build and four ways that it was worse. Since launch, development has continued, some on the base game and quite a bit on expansions. Whether the overall game as it stands right now is better or worse depends in part on what aspects are more important to you and likely which expansion you play. (Let’s hear it for Aberration!)

Even with improvements made to the game since launch, there are areas that could really use some attention. Today, I’d like to focus on four things that I really want for the future of ARK!

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One Shots: Tour guides

It turns out that MMORPG players really don’t need much prompting to go out and take a bazillion screenshots of their favorite in-game zones, as evidenced by the avalanche of photos generated by last week’s challenge.

SmugglerSteel kicks us off this this neon nightmare: “I knew exactly where I needed to tour in SWTOR for this one. I will always remember my first trip to Nar Shaddaa. I was blown away away by the color and aesthetic. I always thought it had a very Bladerunner inspired feel, yet still did it’s own thing.”

Like any good casino, Nar Shaddaa is designed so that players can never figure out how to leave. SmugglerSteel forwards his mail there now.

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EVE Online gives love to planetary interaction, looks back at an all-female pirate gang

Creating and maintaining planetary colonies in EVE Online isn’t exactly new, as the system dates back to 2010. But the developers have deemed it high past time that they give this creaky system some love with the upcoming Into the Abyss expansion.

“Most of the changes are aimed at making setup and maintenance of your colonies less painful, especially when it comes to all the clicking that is currently involved in setting up a colony,” CCP said in a dev blog on the system. Lots of changes to planetary interaction are in the works, including a new planetary colonies window to help you keep track of your projects.

And while things get ordered down on the surfaces of planets, out in space it’s still the anything-goes sandbox that EVE has always been. One interesting piece of the game’s history that was recently documented by PC Gamer was the story of the Hellcats, an all-female fleet that pushed back against the notion that the MMO is strictly a game for men. The fleet only ran for two-years, but its legacy still lives on today.

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The Daily Grind: What was the most disappointing MMO expansion of all time?

Best and worst, top and bottom: It’s fun to discuss video game in absolute extremes (at times). And I’ll bet that a lot of us only really remember the most excellent MMORPG expansions and the most disappointing ones.

So let’s grouse today and dredge up past heartaches. What was, to you, the most disappointing MMO expansion of all time? A few come to mind for me. Star Trek Online: Delta Rising was a narrative and structural mess that bogged down and made me desert it. I know that I was really let down with how RIFT: Storm Legion developed, faltering hard after a strong start. But probably for me, Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor took the cake. The publicity for it was atrocious, the actual expansion about as far from “fun” as I’ve ever experienced in an MMO, and the difficulty of moving and progressing was aggravating.

But that’s me. How about you? Which MMO expansion do you want to rag on today?

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‘We all can be heroes:’ An interview with Star Trek Online’s Chase Masterson

With a dozen members of the all-star cast of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine returning to reprise their roles for this June’s Star Trek Online: Victory is Life, one actress has the advantage over the others. Chase Masterson is back for at least her third stint in the MMO, having played fan favorite Leeta in past updates (including as a hologram and as a Mirror Universe villain).

With the heavy Deep Space Nine focus on the game’s third expansion, it’s good to see the reunion of a cast from a show that’s now 25(!) years old. Masterson has since gone on to act in many TV shows and movies, perform as a jazz singer, and found an anti-bullying organization called Pop Culture Hero that uses film, comics, and TV to take a stand against bullying in schools and communities.

We sat down with Masterson to talk about reprising the role of Leeta, the continuation of Deep Space Nine, the benefits of maturity, and how we all can be heroes.

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Blade & Soul delays its Eternal Night update deeper into May

Blade & Soul players are going to have to chew on a bit of a sour grape today, as NCsoft announced that it made the decision to push the upcoming Eternal Night patch back a week to May 9th.

The dev team said that it had “come across a number of issues that will require additional testing and preparation” and apologized for the one-week delay in the update’s rollout. There is a firm, sweet grape to eat with this news, however: NCsoft is going to extend its daily dash, login rewards, and the Automaton Assault event until the 9th to keep players busy and happy.

The Eternal Night update will throw players into a 12-person raid called Nightfall Sanctuary, a dungeon known as Sandstorm Temple, and allow for the acquisition of new legendary gear.

Source: Blade & Soul

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