expansion

Mike O’Brien announces Mike Zadorojny as lead designer for the second Guild Wars 2 expansion

We’ve reached the end of the third season of Guild Wars 2’s story, and now… what comes next? A new expansion, we all know that. If you’ve forgotten, that’s being announced on August 1st, so you have a bit longer until you find out about it; until then, you can rest with some assurance knowing that Mike Zadorojny is the lead designer on the second expansion. This was announced as part of a lengthy letter from current director Mike O’Brien recapping the game up to this point and where the studio sees it heading in the future.

O’Brien’s letter is largely positive, expressing a sentiment that the game has hit a good balance with this season of the Living World and its content releases. Others are slightly less positive, pointing to Heart of Thorns as something of a blunder and the game subsequently struggling to find its footing and deliver the sort of content players were expecting. So it remains to be seen what sort of reveal will be coming on August 1st, but we can bet money that it’ll be significant. (And will probably line up perfectly with the mountain of leaks about masteries, areas, titles, and everything else, but we’ll just pretend those don’t exist.)

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Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath has just begun Xbox One beta

Hey, Path of Exile console fans. Have you been moping on the sidelines throughout the long PC beta for Fall of Oriath? Were you sad to find out it’s launching on PC on August 4th? Then I have good news for you!

“Grinding Gear Games has announced today that its highly anticipated massive expansion, Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath, will launch its beta for Xbox One at 2pm pacific on Wednesday, July 26th.”

That’s literally right as this post is going live; you can run over and register right now. “Space is limited and players selected will receive their Xbox One beta keys via email,” warns the studio.

As we’ve previously covered, the expansion adds literally new everything, from new skills and bosses to new locations, plus the new pantheon system, five new acts, and the difficulty level system. Just getting caught up? Don’t miss our February preview and reveal, our steam and hands-on with the PC beta, and our E3 interview on the expansion!

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LOTRO: Mordor is still aiming for a July 31 release

Lord of the Rings Online players are on pins and needles this week, wondering if they only have a few days before the expansion or if Standing Stone Games will exercise its option to delay Mordor by up to a month. According to a dev post on the forums yesterday, the target date of July 31st is still a go for launch.

“We typically don’t say more than what we already have until after we hold a meeting to confirm everything is set, and then confirm it by posting the downtime notice,” posted the studio about a release date announcement. “That said, it was included in the pre-purchase page, and at this time at least we have no indication it will not happen then. So, we’re still on track for the 31st.”

Meanwhile, SSG was happy to talk about the new High Elf race (which is not being included in the base Mordor edition but can only be acquired by purchasing a more expensive bundle or waiting until winter when it goes on sale in the store).

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Overwatch gets serious about bad behavior yet again – for real this time, they swear

Even Mercy can’t save you from Blizzard’s wrath for being a cranky player.

The studio sat its playerbase down for a talk this week, saying that it was getting serious about bad behavior that is running rampant throughout Overwatch and stepping up the punishments for crossing the line.

“Effective immediately, we will be issuing increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior,” the studio posted. “In Overwatch, that means anything from abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing.”

Blizzard encouraged players spotting such activities to make full use of the reporting tools. Those caught engaging in negative behavior will be silenced, suspended, or even banned. The studio said that a reporting system is on its way for the console editions as well.

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Tamriel Infinium: The problem with Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind plot is the twist

I played the Morrowind expansion for Elder Scrolls Online to death when it was sitting on the test server. But oddly, it was a bit more of a struggle to compete on the live servers. Despite this, I believe that Morrowind is a wonderful addition to ESO, and I am looking forward to seeing future content like the Horns of the Reach.

Now that we have all had a couple of months to get through the Morrowind content, I believe that it’s safe to talk about some of the spoilers, especially since the thing that bothered me the most about Morrowind was the main story twist.

This is your warning: Beyond this point, I will probably spoil everything for you. Turn back now and finish the main story for Morrowind or risk being spoiled!

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Guild Wars 2 team answers living world questions while dancing around expansion spoilers

Is it too early to declare this the week of Guild Wars 2? What with the release of the much-anticipated One Path Ends season finale and teasing the expansion reveal, all eyes seem swiveled toward ArenaNet, hungry for information. To feed the ravenous player population, the team subjected itself to an AMA on Reddit yesterday to tackle questions about the update while dancing around any potential expansion spoilers. It also kicks off with a producer’s letter of sorts.

“As the season finale, today’s episode is a conclusion and also a lead-in to what comes next,” Mike O’Brien posted. “Our goal was to do it in a meaningful way, not with a simple cliffhanger that’d get spoiled as soon as we announced the next expansion. I can’t say more without revealing too much, but I love it that we get to make episodes like this and tell stories like this. I want to congratulate the episode six team for the care and crafting that went into getting it just right.”

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EVE Online delivers ‘sneak preview’ of winter release

Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the walls of EVE Online’s offices, buzzing to and fro and learning all about what the team is preparing for the future? You might want to hold off on that traumatic species transformation for right now, since the devs are more than willing to share their plans with players about the various projects that are in the works for this winter’s release.

Some of the projects revealed in this month’s “in development” video include the pirate shipyards, the new Vanguard carrier, Venom support fighters, the “V5” shader upgrade, the CONCORD battleship, additional ship skins, better-looking lasers, and a targeted content delivery system. Moon mining, quality of live improvements, and new refinery structures are also planned for the winter expansion.

Get chummy with the various EVE devs and learn more about the game’s future after the break!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 128: Geeks at Disney World

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree talk about a beloved MMO going mobile, the end of Guild Wars 2 (in a manner of speaking), the start of Dark and Light, LARPing at Disney World, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Trove’s Eclipse expansion launches August 22 with dual classing and new map

Back in April while huge catch-up updates were rolling out to Trove on console, Trion teased much more content coming this year for PC and console alike, including sub-classing, club upgrades, mastery rank caps and prize updates, and plasma fishing. Today, the studio’s announced all that is coming in the form of a new expansion called Eclipse — and it’s a lot of what was teased, though not all:

Two New Shadow Tower Floors – Adventurers will come face to face with the imposing Shadow Hydrakken, the dreaded Darknik Dreadnought and the Daughter of the Moon to uncover limited edition treasures, including coveted Moonsilver costumes.
Deeper Class Customization – All Trovians level 10 or higher may now designate a Sub Class to unlock passive skills and stat bonuses.
The Trove Atlas – This fully illustrated map allows players to easily travel between different biomes and embark on far-out adventures.
Gem Forging System – Players can improve existing stats on gems by augmenting them closer to perfection. Undesirable stats can be rerolled into something more useful, and gems discovered after the Eclipse will no longer have the Health Regeneration stat.
Daily Login Bonuses and Events – The Hub’s portal tower has been replaced with a gilded, glimmering, glorious Sun Goddess Statue. Players can log in daily to unlock great rewards through the Boons of a Celestial Paragon, and trade in Daily Login tokens to The Radiant Merchant, the new Radiant Dayspring vendor.”

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Villagers and Heroes slams RuneScape over ‘first-ever cross-platform MMO’ claims

Buckle up, MMO fans, because it’s about to get really weird up in here. There seems to be this strange struggle between studios these days to claim the title of “first-ever cross-platform MMO” (at least for a western title). Last week, RuneScape announced that it was going to be the first game to do this with its upcoming mobile edition, but now Villagers and Heroes — which offers the game on both PC and Android — is contesting that claim.

“Competitor announces ‘1st MMO on mobile, first to deliver interoperable play between PC and mobile’ for 2018… SORRY, WRONG. We did it first!” Mad Otter Games tweeted last week. “Villagers and Heroes IS the first and the BEST mainstream and established Western MMO offering full cross-platform play!”

Of course, AdventureQuest 3D would like to have a word with both of you, as would Pixel Worlds, Pocket Legends, Nebula Online, Arcane Legends, and some game that launched this past week. Forget its name. Albion something? “First cross-platform MMO” doesn’t really seem to be a label that can be exclusively claimed these days (as we’ll talk about on the MOP Podcast later today!).

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Check out a trailer for ArcheAge’s upcoming naval arena

Battle on the high seas! Cannons firing, seas foaming, decks wet, local slang dialect nearly incomprehensible! If that all sounds like fun times to you, then you’ll want to get in on the naval arenas coming to ArcheAge in the near future; the trailer for that update is available now just below, and it features everything you’d want from such a trailer. (So, boats shooting at one another, in other words.)

Teams of four will take on the battle, fighting not just the opposing team but the raging waters and neutral sea monsters. There’s no word on when this is coming out to the localized version of the game, but you can take a look at the trailer and get hyped for when it does arrive. You can even experience it in VR, if you have a friend nearby ready to spray your face with water repeatedly.

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Grim Dawn has begun public testing of its unnamed expansion

Back in January, ARPG Grim Dawn announced a formal expansion coming our way in the first half of 2017 — at the time, we guessed summer, and hey, now it’s summer! And it appears the team isn’t too far behind its estimate as it revealed today that “testing has officially begun on the expansion.”

“What this means is that people outside of the dev team are seeing the expansion’s content/additions for the first time and providing us with bug reports and feedback. This is a critical step in the development process as we strive to clear out major issues/concerns before the expansion is released to the general public. At this time, the playtesters have access to roughly 50% of the expansion’s content and the leveling experience for the Necromancer and Inquisitor masteries. There’s still much to do and much to be tested, but so far things are going smoothly. We are nearing the end of the line!”

Crate Entertainment’s post is otherwise slim on details like names and dates, but the studio does note that the expansion will include 63 “monster infrequents,” which are basically rare drops.

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