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World of Warcraft previews the Burning Throne

Next week, players can start entering the raid that closes out the first storyline ever explored in the World of Warcraft universe. The raid on Antorus, the Burning Throne, is a strike against the heart of the Burning Legion, a chance to fight the forces of Sargeras that have been assaulting Azeroth ever since the first Warcraft. So it seems only right that there will be a couple of familiar faces within the raid, as pointed out within the new raid preview. This is the big drag-out battle, and it’s going to be a big one.

While you wait for a little while longer for the fight to start, of course, you can enjoy a few quick hotfixes that address set bonus issues for every class and spec and make sure anniversary world bosses offer you more artifact power instead of gold. There’s also a minor fix to the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, useful for those farming old appearances. Hey, not everything needs to be the next world-ending conflict, right?

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SMITE’s Passage to Egypt patch rewards PvE players for besting Loki

Patch 4.22 Passage to Egypt is live in SMITE this week. Its headlining feature? A new “nightmare” difficulty mode for the freebie co-op RPG content that’s still relatively new to the MOBA.

“In the Trials of King Hercules, the Champion of Rome brought forth challenges for mortals and gods alike to test their mettle. Millions braved the dungeon, and few slew the great Nemean Lion and reveled in the spoils. Even fewer mustered the strength to journey beyond the cave and eventually slay the final beast, the Hydra and its many heads. But now, the demigod is missing – and, once again, you must heed the call to face the challenges laid before you. This time, the villainous Loki travels through the various realms of the Norse Pantheon.”

In fact, the first team to defeat Loki in Nightmare mode was already rewarded with $100 in gems and skin codes to boot, though the community site lists a bundle of additional challenges. Players should also expect the new themey Egyptian questline and an item balancing pass aimed at tuning endgame strats.

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Enter to win a trio of Star Trek Online console factional starter packs from PWE and MOP

In honor of the launch of Star Trek Online Season 14: Emergence on console last week, PWE has granted Massively OP a bunch of goodies to raffle to our console readers! We’ve got 25 sets of codes apiece for PlayStation 4 (SEN version) and Xbox One, each with a trio of starter packs for each faction.

  • Federation Starter Pack Content: Tier 1 Constitution Class Starship, 12 Inventory Slots, 12 Bank Slots, 1 Borg Bridge Officer, 13 Mark II Very Rare Space Gear, 7 Mark II Very Rare Ground Gear, One Small XP Boost
  • Klingon Defence Force Starter Pack Content: Tier 1 B’Rotlh Bird-of-Prey Starship, 12 Inventory Slots, 12 Bank Slots, 1 Borg Bridge Officer, 13 Mark II Very Rare Space Gear, 7 Mark II Very Rare Ground Gear, One Small XP Boost
  • Romulan Legacy Starter Pack Content: Tier 1 T’Varo Light Warbird Starship, 12 Inventory Slots, 12 Bank Slots, 1 Borg Bridge Officer, 13 Mark II Very Rare Space Gear, 7 Mark II Very Rare Ground Gear

Read on to enter to win!

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Final Fantasy XIV launches patch 4.15 with music and MOBA gameplay

It’s time to smash up some robots with other robots in Final Fantasy XIV. There’s more to it than that, sure, but the core of the game’s new Rival Wings PvP encounter is that you are leading a team of robots (mammets) against another team of robots (mammets), and sometimes you get into a robot (machina) and use them to smash cores. It’s all of the robot action in the game you could possibly want, and if you’re familiar with the mechanics of MOBA combat, you will likely find this pretty familiar. Try it out for yourself; patch 4.15 has just gone live today.

The new Perform system, on the other hand, is less robot-based. It’s entirely based around making music as a Bard, and that means hitting a whole lot of different notes to make your own original music. (And the patch notes even warn you that you had better be making your own music, thus making the game a place where saying “anyway here’s Wonderwall” might literally get you in trouble.) So you can make your own song after stomping robots for a while. What more could you ask for?

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Dragon of Legends hopes to get on Steam soon

It has been a long while since we heard anything about Dragon of Legends, a pixel art-style indie MMORPG that ran a small but successful Kickstarter last year and then dropped off the map. Fortunately, the project isn’t vaporware, as evidenced by developers cranking up communication over the past few months.

Back in September, the team reported that the game was “very close now to going live on Steam” and that it was focusing on the Ranger and Wizard classes for the Steam build. Moving into October, Dragon of Legends received some Halloween touches and opened up caves for testers to explore.

Just because the game is 2-D doesn’t mean that building its world is simple. Developer Desmond Thackeray wrote up a piece explaining the process of creating 2-D level design and how it is more challenging than one might assume. “If Dragon of Legends is to be successful, we must pay close attention to verisimilitude,” he said. “We strive to make the environments realistic in that the terrain makes sense, and that every scene is full of life and uniqueness.”

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One Shots: Gassy and bloated

I do think that we, as a culture, have become disturbingly obsessed with selfies, but I will always make an exception for anyone who finds himself standing in front of an enormous gas giant.

“I wanted to share my screenshot for One Shots for the first time,” sent in Stormheim. “The screenshot is from Destiny 2. I don’t still have cool stuff and gear, but its kinda awesome to take a selfie with Jupiter behind you.”

If nothing else, Jupiter has the effect of making the subject look thin and light in comparison. Kind of like standing next to Jabba the Hutt or a YouTube content creator’s ego.

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Shroud of the Avatar’s early R48 update focuses on launch priorities, polish, and performance

Shroud of the Avatar has rolled out Release 48 as of early this afternoon, which may just upset your internal clock a bit, since usually they happen at the end of the month! Holidays are pushing the schedule up, however, which is good news for anyone who wanted to actually play through Thanksgiving week.

R48 reflects Portalarium’s focus on its launch priorities checklist. “We continued to make strong progress on load time reductions, story polish, and creation of new scenes,” the studio’s Starr Long says. Expect updates to the in-game map, UI, holiday items, item decay on death, load times, lighting, all four story paths, artifacts, loot, and worldbuilding passes, including new mines and scenes, although not the rebuilt Novia additions, which have been postponed. Check out the screens below for a tease!

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Netmarble mobile MMO Lineage 2 Revolution has officially launched

As the Google Play app on my phone frantically notified me this morning, Lineage 2 Revolution has officially launched itself right on out of open beta and into the wilds of western app stores in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. In fact, 1.5M players apparently signed up for those same frantic notifications. We’re frantic notification twinsies!

Lineage 2: Revolution is a free-to-play mobile MMORPG based on the popular PC online game IP Lineage 2, which has entertained more than 30 million players since it first debuted. Lineage 2: Revolution stays true to its PC roots, displaying a stunning open field, raids, 200-player castle sieges, character re-designs and classes, all in a mobile environment. A fully-featured MMORPG provides seamless open-world environments, real-time 3vs3, 5vs5, 20vs20 and 50vs50 PvP battles, as well as lifelike fantasy world with dazzling graphics backed by the Unreal 4 engine.”

Netmarble is rather hoping the game does as well globally as it already did in Asia, where the title became “the top grossing game on Google Play and App Store in 11 additional Asian territories”; in Japan, it apparently “became the top grossing game on the App Store in just 18 hours.” It’s a high bar, peeps. Get to downloading!

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Harry Potter ARG won’t drag down Pokemon Go’s development, Niantic says

Now that we’re all waving around sticks and shouting garbled Latin in preparation for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, it is entirely possible that players in Niantic Labs’ other mobile ARGs might feel concerned that they are about to be benched in favor of the Boy Who Lived.

Not so, says Niantic Labs: “Just like many of you, we’re super excited about Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and are working hard with our partners at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and WB Games San Francisco’s development team to bring that to life. However, we — the Pokemon Go development team — want to say that we are 100% committed to creating an ever-changing and growing game that gets our players exploring, meeting each other, and deepening their connection to the Pokémon universe. We’re actively expanding the Pokemon Go development team to build many more amazing features in 2018.”

There’s potential in this game to be a smash hit: The Harry Potter franchise made $25 billion in 2016 alone, showing that its fandom is still alive and thriving. However, few specifics and no screenshots of the game have been revealed so far.

Wonder what we think of the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite announcement? Tune in to yesterday’s podcast or read our essay about the implications of a smartphone Wizarding World!

Source: Niantic Labs

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Citadel: Forged with Fire shows off its upcoming boss dungeons

The next big expansion for Citadel: Forged with Fire is adding… dungeons. With bosses in them. Boss dungeons, if you will. Perhaps it’s not all of that new to those of us who have seen dozens of MMOs with… well, dungeons, but it’s still new to the game, and the latest preview of the patch shows off three of the dungeons coming with the expansion. If you were hoping that each one would feature an elemental theme, you’re in luck!

The Phoenix Spirit Citadel is filled with extra-large sprites (as in the enemy type, not pixelated character art) on the way to the two phoenixes at the heart of the lair. Dragon’s Heart Citadel features… you know, you can probably guess what boss lies at the heart of that one. And the Blood Soul Citadel houses an icy, demonic presence, covering the whole thing in a thick layer of rime. Check out the full preview for more lore, or just peruse the screenshots below.

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NCsoft’s 3Q 2017 financials: Lineage M drives record profits, Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire isn’t too shabby either

NCsoft had an exceptionally good third financial quarter this year, reaching a record high in sales and operating profit for the company, and it’s almost entirely thanks to the mobile MMORPG Lineage M, which didn’t even bleed the rest of the Lineage franchise as you might have expected (Lineage and Lineage II held remarkably steady this quarter compared to last, as did Aion and Blade & Soul).

Good news for Guild Wars 2 as well; NCsoft notes that ArenaNet’s flagship brought in over $20B Won, “an increase of 49% [quarter-over-quarter], driven by the second expansion pack sales” that saw US and European sales figures in particular increase 13% QOQ “on the back of Guild Wars 2 performance.” $20B Korean Won is about $18M US. So Path of Fire at least performed well enough for NCsoft to gloat about it, twice, and it’s a big boost to GW2, especially considering Q2 2017 was the game’s worst ever – but it didn’t top Heart of Thorns’ huge showing two years ago.

Before you ask, no, we don’t know how well WildStar is doing; NCsoft doesn’t report it separately anymore. But it’s still flying. That’s enough.

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Blink and you might have missed Project Gorgon’s brand-new user interface

After weeks if not months of the studio talking about it, Project Gorgon’s brand-new user interface finally arrived. And then it promptly left again.

In all fairness, the team had cautioned that the optional November 11th update was a “very rough preview” of the UI overhaul. So rough, in fact, that the team took the update offline for further refinements due to several large bugs and potential exploits discovered with it. The improved UI preview should arrive in the game’s alpha next weekend.

Nevertheless, the user interface revamp has a lot of players and the devs excited. Not only does the new UI look pretty slick, but it offers a lot more functionality compared to the old one, including customization, more information, collapsible skill trees, chat channel management, context menus, improved tooltips, and font scaling.

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Blade & Soul teases Dawn of the Lost Continent’s sights and storyline

When Dawn of the Lost Continent drops in Blade & Soul next month, the upgrade to level 55 will be accompanied by a “sweeping story of epic proportions,” or so NCsoft says. Indeed, a new dev blog highlights some of the highlights of the storyline – and some of the places you’ll go and gear you’ll get along the way.

“The Twilight’s Edge has been stolen by Mushin and Yura, with potentially world-shattering consequences. Meanwhile, Jinsoyun is still trapped in eternal slumber. But not all is lost as the recently captured Dark Vicar willingly revealed a cure in the lost continent of Solak—a distant land twisted by Dark Chi. The lost Yun city of Valindria will be the only safe harbor and your next destination in Solak.”

Thinking about returning? Last week MOP comment veteran Rafael noted that NCsoft has streamlined questing such that you can basically progress and pick up your legendary weapon along the main quest line with no need to grind. There’s some incentive, eh?

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