fantasy

Chaos Theory: What we want out of the Secret World Legends TV show

Wow. So I had no intention of crafting another Chaos Theory this week. I had plans. Other plans. But then the Secret World Legends announcement hit the airwaves on Monday and all other thoughts left my head as I sat there, stunned. I just couldn’t think of anything else. Could it be real? Was SWL really going to be made into a television series? Holy guacamole, it is! A pipe dream I have wished for five years is actually announced and in the works.

I’ve been pretty vocal about how much I want more story from SWL. Story is what this game does so right, and I just can’t get enough. I’ll probably never get enough! There are so many characters I want to know more about, so much history in locations that I’d love to delve deeper into, and so many fascinating events that we know only know the aftermath of that I’d love to witness firsthand. The IP is so rich with possibilities. I knew that the game would never, ever be able to sate my appetite for more, so I had wished long and hard that other avenues might present themselves: short stories, graphic novels, movies, and yes, television series. I can’t even describe how excited I am for the development of more story from this world. Is there risk? Yes, I get that. But the possibility of so much greatness is there! I seriously can’t wait. Imagine it, 30 to 50 minute cut scenes!

With so many possibilities, what could/should the TV show focus on? I have my opinions. Here are some specifics I’d love to see developed further for our viewing pleasure.

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Path of Exile preps for Xbox One, adjusts Harbinger challenge league

Even if you’ve spent all summer preparing to launch a major expansion, there’s no rest for the weary over at Grinding Gear Games. The Path of Exiles team published its first post-Fall of Oriath patch this week that was mostly aimed at shoring up the new Harbinger league while also adding new supporter packs to the game.

The patch delivers more stacks of currency shards to players and increases the frequency of Harbinger appearances across the game maps. Harbinger minions are also a lot tougher than they were previously, so beware!

Other things to expect from Patch 3.0.1 include a fix to charged dash, free bandit respecs in Act 2, and a wider variety of monsters on the Beachhead map. Head over to the patch notes to see what else you might be missing.

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Black Desert parent corporation is merging all its game businesses

MMORPG players know Kakao chiefly as the publishing and localization giant behind Pearl Abyss-developed Black Desert, but over in its native South Korea, the company is a massive conglomerate of multiple companies and mergers with internet subsidiaries covering everything from chat programs and blogging to fashion and an Uber clone.

And of course, one of its biggest businesses in recent years is its gaming sector, which Business Korea says Kakao is currently consolidating into a single holding company dubbed Kakao Games Holdings. According to the company, the goal is to increase efficiency in its main “cash cow,” focus on internal development, and ultimately increase the value and desirability of its planned IPO.

In addition to MMORPG Black Desert, the company runs multiple mobile games and has apparently secured a deal to publish PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in Korea.

Source: Business Korea via GIbiz

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Trove’s subclassing system launches with Eclipse next week

A total solar eclipse isn’t a common event — the continental US hasn’t seen one in almost 40 years. So it makes a lot of sense for games to take advantage of the occasion, and that’s exactly what Trion is doing with Trove next week with its Eclipse update.

The highlight of that update isn’t eclipse glasses, although perhaps it should be: It’s actually the subclassing system that we’ve been stoked about for months. It’s probably going to remind you more of Marvel Heroes than of Guild Wars, as each of the existing classes, when taken as a subclass on a character, will provide a specific passive bonus — but it’s based on your power level in that other class. So since my mains are a Tomb Raiser and Candy Barb, I could take Candy Barb as the subclass on my Tomb Raiser for this bonus:

“Provides extra Stability and has a chance to drop candy when damaging an enemy. The candy increases attack and either movement speed or healing.”

Which I will do because candy. But the exciting bit is that it provides people a reason to play multiple classes and benefits those with a deep bench on their account. Check out the whole list of bonuses on the official site — spot any obvious synergies?

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Dauntless’ founder alpha has begun

Don’t miss our hands-on with Dauntless from E3!
We’ve been keeping an eye on Dauntless, the sci-fantasy online co-op action RPG from the former BioWare, Riot, and Blizzard devs now fronting Phoenix Labs, ever since its first reveal back in December. Today, regular gamers can leap in themselves — at least if they’ve ponied up the 40 80 bucks needed for a founder’s pack with access to the alpha. [Thanks for the clarification, jinarra!] Otherwise you’ll be waiting until the game launches later this year, at which time it’ll be free-to-play.

Following his E3 hands-on with the game, MOP’s Andrew Ross said the game was surprisingly solid and natural, impressive even, though he worried over rival Monster Hunter World.

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Guild Wars 2’s second Path of Fire preview weekend is about to begin

Update: It’s live!

Didn’t get a chance to jump into Guild Wars 2 during last weekend’s Path of Fire preview weekend? You’re getting another chance today, although this leg of the event will focus on the game’s elite specs as they play in PvP, not the on the first PvE map and mounts.

We anticipate that it’ll launch any minute now based on last week’s start time. The weekend event will be followed up by the launch of PvP season 8.

Massively OP Guild Wars 2 columnist Tina Lauro Pollock deep-dived the expansion last weekend and delivered her thoughts in a special Flameseeker Chronicles yesterday, so tune in to that while you wait, and check out the dev diaries on all the elite specs down below. Will you be testing any out?

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Final Fantasy XIV plans a 14-hour broadcast for its anniversary

Another year of Final Fantasy XIV is coming to a close as the game celebrates another anniversary on August 27th. But there’s still plenty more to come, and fans can tune in for the game’s next long-running anniversary stream starting on September 1st at 11:00 p.m. EDT, then running for 14 hours straight. So you may not want to watch the whole thing in one go; it’ll have previews of the upcoming patch 4.1, discussion about the development history for Stormblood, celebrity guests, and so forth.

Of course, this will likely coincide with another in-game event which we haven’t yet heard about; until we do, you can tide yourself over with another piece of fiction in the ongoing Tales from the Storm series highlighting tales surrounding the events of Stormblood. (As always, be fairly warned that there are spoilers.) Keep your eyes peeled for more information about the anniversary broadcast as August winds down.

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World of Warcraft goes all Project Runway this weekend

One of World of Warcraft’s newer micro-holidays is raising fashion awareness this weekend, as the Trial of Style puts the spotlight on transmog creations by players.

The event, which runs from August 17th through the 21st, tosses five-player groups into private instances where they’ll be showing off for each other. Two of the players will have a limited time to create a transmog outfit according to a specified theme, with the remaining three voting on the results. The themes range from “dark and deadly” to “fun and flirty” to “faction pride.”

Winners — and even the losers — will get tokens that can be spent on (what else?) more cosmetic gear. The micro-holiday also makes use of the barber and transmog services in the game completely free, which turns this into a great time to give yourself a makeover without worrying about cost.

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The Daily Grind: What MMO would you like to see dump its branding or IP?

On Tuesday, Daybreak formally announced that the neglected PvE half of H1Z1, Just Survive, would be shedding its H1Z1 branding once and for all. The reveal couldn’t help but remind me of the way Daybreak did the same thing for Landmark, deleting the “EverQuest Next” and then the EverQuest IP altogether from the title and marketing before ultimately scrapping the entire game not long after launch.

I don’t think Just Survive is necessarily doomed without the branding, however. In fact, I can think of several MMOs that I wish could have dumped their IPs or changed their names to rid themselves of the proverbial albatross ’round their necks. Star Wars Galaxies leaps immediately to mind.

What MMO would you like to see dump its branding or IP?

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Massively Overthinking: Alone together vs. forced grouping in MMORPGs

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that everyone has at some point seen the xkcd called Isolation, but if not, there it is. No matter what the age and era, someone’s always preaching that people were more sociable in the long long ago. In this comic, however, Randall Munroe isn’t even contesting that. His point is basically no duh and so what. Yes, we become less sociable with random people in our immediate vicinity as we gain more and more access to ideas, entertainment, and people not in our immediate vicinity thanks to technology. Ultimately, replacing impromptu stranger interaction with the amusements of our choice appears to be what a lot of people wanted all along.

MMORPG players surely see where I’m going with this because we have the same eternal struggle when it comes to in-game socializing, grouping, community, and stickiness, the tug-of-war between the people who want to play alone together and the people who think that forced grouping is the only true path to enlightenment.

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to reflect on the alone together vs. forced grouping spectrum, to talk about where they stand on it, whether that position’s changed through the years, which games are addressing the divide the best, and how the two sides can move forward in a dynamic MMO genre.

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Crowfall divulges details on the diminutive Fae

Don’t call them “tiny,” not unless you want your Achilles heel slashed and your hair set on fire while screaming laughter fills your ears. Crowfall’s Fae might be the second-smallest race to come to the game, but the species packs quite a lot into its small package.

Today, ArtCraft revealed details about this race that’s coming soon to the test servers. The Fae are the first race in the game that will boast wings, and their bloodline passive grants them increased stealth movement speed, the ability to double-jump, and the ability to glide. Additionally, Fae can dodge past foes and perform higher crits with a special debuff.

The Fae were originally female-only, but thanks to a Kickstarter stretch goal, they will offer a male counterpart as well. The team said that the race can be paired with the Assassin, Druid, or Frostweaver class: “The Fae will add an interesting new element to Crowfall combat thanks to their natural affinity for stealth and the added mobility of their wings.”

Source: Crowfall

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Ultima Online begins epic 20th anniversary event, warns of harassment threat

Is there any shame in throwing a birthday party for yourself? Not if you invite everyone and make it hecka fun, we say! Ultima Online has kicked off its 20th anniversary event this week, welcoming everyone to celebrate the 1997 MMORPG and all that it’s accomplished over the past two decades.

The event arc is called The Shattered Obelisk, and it will be rolled out in five parts over the next two months. It should be noted that once the fifth part arrives on September 28th, you won’t be able to access the previous four — so don’t dally!

“The Shattered Obelisk includes activities for group and solo play, challenging quests and puzzles, new areas of the world to explore and a continuation of the saga that is Ultima Online,” the team posted. “Along with the in game features and fiction that are part of Publish 98, we have exciting new fiction that will be posted on UO.com as well as support events held by our event moderators.”

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Deep-diving Gloria Victis’ swordplay and siege warfare

We’re in the midst of a sort of sandbox renaissance, with numerous sandbox titles under development and more seeming to scuttle out of the woodwork on a regular basis, all vying for the attention of the masses of gamers weary of the World-of-Warcraft-inspired theme park formula that has dominated the market for so long. Among these contenders is Gloria Victis from indie developer Black Eye Games, a medieval, low-fantasy title that aims to meld an open-world sandbox MMO with the frantic swordplay action popularized by games like Mount and Blade and Chivalry.

Gloria Victis, like many of its compatriots in this new wave of sandbox MMOs, is still in development, but players can get a look at the current state of the game through Steam’s Early Access program. But if you’re one of the many who are (justifiably) wary of dropping money on unreleased games, don’t fret: I’ve taken the plunge in your stead to take a look at how things are shaping up.

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