game mechanics

Skyforge adds a new Distortion and new Prestige ranking with its latest patch

Prestige is an important indicator of power in Skyforge, and it just keeps growing over time. The problem is that as it grows ever higher, it becomes harder and harder to look at it at a glance and say “yes, that character is getting higher in Prestige.” Plus, there’s the simple reality that a ranking of nine billion Prestige doesn’t look nice. So the latest patch for the game adds in a ranking system wherein one’s Prestige Rank is a simpler and much smaller number. It’s almost like just leveling, but it’s certainly easier to read at a glance.

The patch also adds a new distortion to the game and a variety of quality-of-life improvements like the option to inspect equipment, market board improvements, and more face options for character creation. Check out the full patch notes for a glance at how the game has changed, and log right in if that’s all the motivation you need to start enjoying an easier-to-read ranking system.

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Hearthstone changes up card packs to make it easier to collect new cards

There’s nothing quite like opening up a new card pack in Hearthstone only to find multiples of the same rare you already have and didn’t want the first time. That’s why the game is changing how card packs work to make collecting a set easier. First and foremost, players will no longer have to worry about getting duplicate Legendary cards until they already have all of the Legendary cards collected; if you get a Legendary, it’ll be new. Second, you’re assured a Legendary within the first 10 card packs you open for each given set.

Thirdly, players will no longer get more copies of a card in a given pack than can be used in a single deck, so you won’t find yourself flooded with copies of cards you do not and will not ever need. There’s also a limited-time promotion on card packs, offering more packs for the same price, which seems like a perfect motivator if you’re still trying to get one or two elusive options.

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The Daily Grind: Are there MMOs you play on different platforms from your normal gaming?

When I’m playing an MMO, I’m playing it on my computer. My PC may be getting a bit older, but it’s still a very good machine, and there’s the benefit of familiarity and hardware. Heck, these days I do most of my gaming on my PC; console exclusives often just wind up being things I straight-up don’t play, so games like Destiny wind up in the ralm of vague curiosity.

But I don’t know if I’m the usual or the outlier. Sure, for a long time MMOs were pretty firmly limited to PC players, but these days you can get a number of games on console as well; part of me thinks that games like SMITE would actually work better on console than on PC anyhow. And that’s not counting games which you might play on the PC even when you play most of your games on other platforms, which is how I started with Final Fantasy XI. So what about you, dear readers? Are there MMOs you play on different platforms from your normal gaming? And if so, why?

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Revelation Online takes a tour of Ersich Forest

We promise the population of Revelation Online that Ersich Forest is, in fact, a lovely and benevolent area. Sure, it seems nice on the surface, but most players have probably been hard-wired to expect that means the worst. Some horrible fanged nasty is going to kill them there, obviously, that’s what always happens. But not here. Yes, there are monsters, but locals consider even the Muskhorns roaming the area to be a good thing.

No, really, there’s nothing horrible hidden here. Stop looking at us like that.

Yes, there is a powerful deity called the Lady of the Forest, but – no, stop running away! She’s benevolent and she wants players to help her keep the forest safe. There are even wishing trees! It really is just a nice place without something horrible lurking beneath the surface. Really. Stop waiting for the trick, sometimes places can just be genuinely nice.

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Prevent the Fall adds in a new tutorial and quality of life improvements

It’s nice to know what in the world you’re doing, isn’t it? That can be tricky when you’re starting a new game, but the developers behind the upcoming VR-enabled co-op RPG Prevent the Fall know it’s important. So the game’s latest patch focuses heavily on quality of life improvements and starts with a tutorial, explaining the basics of gameplay and control for brand-new players. In the process, you get some basic armaments and an idea of how to use them, so that should make things easier.

The patch (which is the game’s tenth such patch since it entered early access 19 days ago) also improves creature animations, UI settings, pet status bars, and a variety of other minor fixes and improvements. Check out the full list of changes in the patch notes to get a fine-detail rundown of what’s being changed, which is probably a good idea before you start clicking around blindly and trying to find what’s changed. Perhaps the game could add a tutorial for its patch notes, and… no, that’d be stupid.

Source: Official Site; thanks to D.W.B. for the tip!

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Neverwinter takes you on a tour of Port Nyanzaru

The eponymous city is obviously the main port of call for players in Neverwinter, but there are other cities worth visiting. The next major update, Tomb of Annihilation, will see players heading to Port Nyanzaru, a very different city from the one Neverwinter’s adventurers are accustomed to experiencing. So why not take a tour of all of the best parts of Port Nyanzaru, seeing the sights to catch (and the important vendors to chat up) before you go there in the summer?

But perhaps you’re not interested in the lore tour, just the art side of things. Good news; there’s a new piece about exactly that, covering the challenges of making the city look distinct and novel with a very short amount of pre-production time. It’s useful for lovers of game production and concept art, and it shows how all of the locales you’ll visit on your tour came into existence.

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Check out The Crew 2’s gameplay in action

So what’s it going to be like playing The Crew 2? If you said “a lot like playing The Crew,” well… all right, you’re cynical, but you have a point. If you said “drive car around,” you’re even more cynical, and this time you’re only partly right. You will also be driving boats and piloting planes, and you’ll be hopping between them freely while not racing. And you can even see the races unfold before you in the latest preview video.

The video is just below and shows the boat, car, and plane races all taking place, although the narration during the video makes it clear you won’t be limited to a race settings for these various vehicles. Check the whole thing out just below, and consider what you’ll want to do in the 2000 square miles of recreated America in the game. Including going on a cross-country joyride in a plane, if that’s your thing. (It’ll be harder in a boat.)

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Final Fantasy XIV hits a major instanced roadblock in Stormblood early access

Everyone knows there are going to be issues with an expansion on launch, and Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is no exception. Players have hit up against a pretty nasty one, however, even beyond the usual matters of queues and server loads; something seems to be causing issues with instanced content, including a very early part of the main scenario that’s causing huge population bottlenecks around one questgiver.

Producer and director Naoki Yoshida has been doing his best to keep players updated, but at this point getting past this early instance is largely a matter of clicking for entry repeatedly and hoping to not get the now-dreaded error message stating that the instanced battle could not be started. It’s not exactly surprising that the game would have some issues with early access, but players are left unable to progress beyond the first two areas of the expansion without some appreciable luck (and the instance servers aren’t at their most stable even for other purposes). The issue is being addressed, so keep your eyes peeled for updates when the logjam is finally broken.

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Revelation Online explores the motivation of the Pirate Crew faction

Pirates! It’s pretty easy to understand the motivation of pirates most of the time; pirates want to get stuff by taking it from other people. The Pirate Crew faction in Revelation Online is a bit different, though. Sure, they’re happy to take things from other people and thus become the new owners, but they’re primarily interested in hunting for treasures that haven’t already been claimed. Thus, they’re currently investigating the mystery and treasure behind the Deathly Atoll.

Don’t worry, it’s just a name. It’s really more of an island.

There’s obviously plenty of stuff on the aforementioned Deathly Atoll that is, well, deathly. It’ll kill you. The bright side, of course, is that there’s also plenty of treasure scattered throughout, which is also fine motivation for the pirates and like-minded adventurers to check things out. You can examine the full rundown on the official site if that sounds like something you’d be happy to take part in.

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Wurm Online discusses upcoming changes to creature behavior

The animals in Wurm Online aren’t just there to be captured and/or killed by players. They’re meant to act in a plausible manner, avoiding players and looking for food, until players hunt and/or capture them. But as the latest development dispatch explains, some of that code is causing problem by giving animals small points of heavy clustering while restricting movement in other ways.

Essentially, as animals avoid settlements, it was possible for large groups of animals to wind up concentrated in very small spaces away from where players would encounter them. The game’s approach to pathing could also lead to certain animals being unable to move outside of a small corner of a pen, which is also undesirable. New systems will be rolling out to ensure that animals are more willing to spread out and able to path more naturally when confined; you can read about all of the technical details in the full entry.

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Pathfinder Online makes territory control more meaningful

Controlling territory doesn’t mean a lot if anyone can still enter the territory you control, does it? Pathfinder Online players can make use of several new territory control features in the game’s latest patch, and one of those features will allow you to blacklist certain players from your territories and functions contained therein. So you can proudly declare that Dave doesn’t get to use any of the facilities within your territory, because he’s Dave. Freaking Dave.

Players can also set individual service allowances based on the affiliation of visitors. The game also will make sure that hexes deep within your holding are not open for capture unless bordered by wilderness and otherwise improves quality of life. You can also move between various security levels of hexes, allowing players to have the safety from being attacked by anyone who isn’t feuding with allies at the highest security level. Check out the full patch notes for all of the details, but whatever you do, don’t let Dave access your territory. It might seem like a minor update, but it’s a step along the game’s roadmap to being actually finished and complete after an underwhelming last year.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood patch notes have been released

Tomorrow morning, Final Fantasy XIV players will be able to start moving through Stormblood, exploring new areas, leveling the new jobs, clearing new quests, and so forth. As a result, the enormous patch notes for the expansion are now here, and reading through all of them will take a while. Even when you include the fact that the simply massive number of new items added into the game means that you won’t be sitting through that list.

Both Red Mage and Samurai will have their initial job quests in Ul’dah, so if you logged out in that city, you get full marks for prediction. The next part of the Main Scenario will start in the Rising Stones, and players will want to stop by Revenant’s Toll anyhow to exchange all Heavensward tomestones for Allagan Tomestones of Poetics, which now serve as the all-purpose stones for prior expansions. This also means changes to the roulette structure, changes to the UI, and… well, the point is that there are a lot of changes. Luckily, you have all day to read through the notes before the game comes back online tomorrow.

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Skyforge adds in character profiles

Prestige rank in Skyforge is a good metric for determining a character’s overall power level, but it doesn’t tell you much about the character as played. That’s why the developers have added the new character profile option which allows you to actually examine other characters to see what equipment they’re using, what symbols they have, and so forth. It might tell you much about the player’s actual playstyle, but it’s still relevant information.

Characters can be examined either from the social panel when near another player or via right-clicking on names in the chat or Pantheon screens. It’s a little feature that will be almost immediately familiar to anyone who has played many other MMOs, but we trust that Skyforge players will quickly grasp how this feature can be used to mock someone’s gear choices and overall play patterns.

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