game mechanics

Revelation Online promotes mentoring with the Journeyman Alliance

We all know that playing a new MMO can be a challenge. Heck, sometimes it’s even a nigh-on impossible one; you have a lot of things to keep in mind all at once, and you get a lot more out of doing things and screwing up than just hearing about them. That seems to be part of the motivation behind establishing the new Journeyman Alliance in Revelation Online, a chance for players at level 49 and above to form a bond with a newer player and serve as a mentor and a guide.

Players will need to complete a quest chain to become a mentor, then find someone to be mentored, and clear challenges together as a team on a daily basis. Success improves your status with the faction, eventually allowing your mentored companion to become a mentor as well, proof that you have in fact taught someone what needs to be known. If you like in-game rewards for helping out new players, it seems like something you may very well enjoy.

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Skyforge takes a first look at regional invasion

There are regions in Skyforge that are largely irrelevant to higher-level players. There are a lot of invasions in Skyforge. The two things have largely remained separate from one another, but someone finally looked at these two elements and asked a reasonable question. “Why don’t the invasions hit these underused regions?” that bright soul asked.

Wine bottles were opened. Cheering was heard. It was the moment that changed everything.

This may be a slight dramatization, of course, but the point is that the need to breathe new life into these regions is coupled nicely with new fronts in the existing invasions. So players can look forward to regional invasions in the not-so-distant future, pitting player forces against invading armies in new settings that scale for a variety of levels. So now you have a reason to go back to areas you left behind and the invading armies don’t seem like they can only invade spots with the proper invasion paperwork. Everybody wins! Except the residents of the regions being invaded, presumably.

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Lord of the Rings Online explains the Allegiance system in Mordor

We’re probably not going to blow your mind by saying this, but here it is anyway: Mordor in Lord of the Rings Online is not a friendly place. You’re shocked, obviously. But the point is that you’ll need to have some allies to deal with the problems of that land, and those allies need to know you’re their ally. Hence, the upcoming Allegiances system, a chance for players to improve reputation and standing with one of four factions for cosmetic rewards and unique storylines.

It’s important to note that the four factions (the Hobbits of the Company, Durin’s Folk, the Court of Lothlorien, and the Kingdom of Gondor) will not affect your access to endgame gear, even though the Allegiance system will be tied into the endgame. But your choice is mostly between the four stories you wish to follow and which cosmetic gear you want to access first. Still, much like Merry and Pippin’s oaths of service (which formed the initial concept for this system), it’s going to be important from a narrative standpoint to consider whom your character will bend a knee for.

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Check out the character creation options for Black Desert’s upcoming Mystic class

As it has always gone with Black Desert, there’s another new class coming to the game dubbed the Mystic, meant to function as the female equivalent of the male-only Striker class. (This is apparently easier than just making one class open to both genders.) There’s a full gallery of screenshots and a teaser trailer down below; the Mystic herself is supposed to be an orphaned girl from Calpheon who was taken in and trained in the Far East, only to journey back when her male sparring partner (i.e., the Striker) headed back.

You can also check out character creation screenshots and video courtesy of Dulfy. The video is just below and shows off the options available, from character build (very skinny to “slightly thicker Michelle Rodriguez”), muscles (waifish girl to a waifish girl with the hint of abs covered in enough baby oil to slide on sandpaper), and hair (high ponytails and cute pixie cuts rule the day). Between that and the class trailer/screenshots down below, it might be hard to wait for your punch-happy lady character, but at least you’ll know how you want her to look.

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The Daily Grind: What simple tasks does your favorite MMO make unnecessarily difficult?

For the longest time, logging out of Final Fantasy XI was something of a nightmare. First, you had to get to a mog room, or else you had to wait for an extended period of time to log off (unlike other games such as World of Warcraft, you can’t just force an immediate logoff while your character stays in place longer). Then, you had to exit out of the PlayOnline Viewer, a program with the sole purpose of making you angry that you were playing the game. It was just a matter of logging on and logging off, but imagine adding two extra minutes or so to every single time you want to get offline.

Of course, I figure every game has some issues along those lines. It was always such a pain to just get your fellow players onto the bridge of your ship in Star Trek Online, and I found map waypoints in Lord of the Rings Online to be irritating to see. None of these things are complex for the player, but their simplicity makes it almost more annoying when these things are inconvenient or difficult. So what would you say? What simple tasks does your favorite MMO make unnecessarily difficult?

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EVE Online previews changes coming to mining moons

Mining makes the world go round for EVE Online. You need those resources to construct space stations, to build ships, and to barter with others in order to fight over the price of minerals extracted through mining, right? Right. So the changes coming to moon mining will have a pretty big impact; instead of passively mining from space, players will lift a whole chunk of the moon and then blast it apart so that individual ships can flit through and mine away. The whole process is explained in more detail in the most recent development post.

Players will have new ores mined from these moon chunks that refine into multiple different components rather than come out pre-processed, thus giving good reason for players to collect these new sorts of ore personally. The process of surveying a moon and the distribution of resources will also be adjusted, giving players plenty of reasons to pursue different moons for mining operations instead of simply parking at the most convenient ones. Check out the full entry to see how much fun it can be to lift off a chunk of rock from a moon and then dig for things from the rocks.

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Take a look at Path of Exile’s new Charged Dash skill in action

Charged Dash is a new skill coming to Path of Exile, and when you read about how it works it probably seems a little counter-intuitive. See, when you use it, you don’t actually dash; you project a mirage of yourself forward for as long as you channel the ability. The mirage movement is based on your movement speed, only slightly faster, but you still only actually dash when you stop channeling. Then you deal damage to everything along your path and explode in electricity.

Of course, when you see it in action, it all makes perfect sense, and the designers helpfully point out how the skill can be used as both a movement tool and a damage skill with varying aspects. Check out the video just below to see it in action. It’s a bit like watching a lightning bolt find its destination, which seems appropriate.

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Neverwinter reveals gear sets found in Tomb of Annihilation

When you dive into Chult for Neverwinter’s next expansion, you’re going to be facing new threats. And what goes well with new challenges? New equipment, obviously. The latest development update discusses the gear you’ll be getting, starting with the fact that Chult’s gear doesn’t involve set bonuses; instead, each individual piece has a bonus, freeing you to play around a little more with mixing and matching.

Characters fresh off of the boat can pick up a new set with bonuses devoted to fighting harder when you’re at lower health, and there’s also a slightly better set available for players who earn the trust of the locals that’s all about strength in numbers. Hunt marks drop still more powerful gear, and players can also pick up the best gear available by diving deep into the Tomb of the Nine Gods. Check out the full preview if you’re eager to see what new fashions you can wear as you head into the jungle.

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Final Fantasy XIV adds Creation tomestones with patch 4.05

It’s been just about four weeks since Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood launched, and now the game’s usual endgame setup is fully in place. Today’s patch 4.05 adds in Allagan Tomestones of Creation, the weekly tomestone currency capped at 450 per week and obtainable via Expert roulettes, trials, raids… the usual suspects, in other words. Exchange the tomestones for gear based off of the winning design for designing tank gear, to boot! It’s familiar ground to veterans.

The patch also includes new Orchestrion rolls, the new Lost Canals of Uznair for players who take on full-party treasure maps, new items, new decorations, and so forth. There are also several job adjustments, so there’s more to touch on across the board. Check out the full set of patch notes if you’re unable to play for a while, or just dive right in if you’re at home and can’t wait to start earning Creation along with the existing Verities.

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Star Trek Online patches in Season 13.5 today

Soon, Star Trek Online will be heading to the next big Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, with big announcements for the future of the game and what comes next. For the moment, however, the game is going to be keeping its players entertained with the Season 13.5 patch. This patch sees a new featured episode, Brushfire, sending players to seek one of history’s greatest Klingon generals to deploy against the Tzenkethi threat.

Players will also be able to take on a new set of weekly challenges with the new Endeavour system, which are limited-time challenges running for two to three days for bonus rewards. There’s also a new Ferengi Admiralty project for players to work on and the usual quality-of-life improvements you’d expect from a patch. Check out a video down below explaining the broad strokes of the patch, or just jump into the patch notes if you prefer reading to watching.

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DC Universe Online is releasing its stat rebalance with its next major patch

No one likes seeing numbers go down in an MMO. You work really hard to make sure your attack power goes as high as possible, and then suddenly one day you log in and find out that it’s lower than it used to be. That’s one of the changes coming with DC Universe Online’s most recent pass on stat revisions. However, that’s no need to be worried, as your actual output will not change. You may have 10% less attack power, but everything is scaled down by the same 10% to keep exponential stat scaling under control. So while it means a smaller number, it won’t affect your performance.

The most recent stat update also goes into making individual healer skills more effective, so healing feels less like a matter of spamming and more like an act of balance. Controllers have also had their power regeneration numbers buffed, so that will help that role produce a bit more of an impact. If you can’t wait to try this out for yourself, the good news is that it’s going live with game update 73 within the next few weeks as developers fine-tune the change. So it won’t be tomorrow, but it will be soon. (Whether or not it will hit in time for our current Choose My Adventure run is another matter altogether.)

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Wisdom of Nym: The numbers game in Final Fantasy XIV

It’s not really hard to figure out the best stats for melding in order to do the maximum damage in Final Fantasy XIV. You have, ultimately, only a few real options, and with the removal of Accuracy as an option, none of them is actually going to make or break important points. The problem is that asking “what can I meld to do maximum damage” is perhaps not always the right question to ask.

The matter of stat weights and best-in-slot gear has already been attracting ferocious debate in various parts of the community, and you know the debate has gotten to a fever pitch when Yoshida actually addresses one of the stupider new customs in a live letter. (That would be tanks wearing 270 STR accessories, for the record.) So I think it’s well past the point to talk about the issue of tank damage, tank scaling, and numbers in general. They may not carry the allure of story sequences, but they’re still important.

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Final Fantasy XIV details some of the balance changes coming to the game on Tuesday

The next patch for Final Fantasy XIV arrives tomorrow, and everyone who has been following the game knows that it’s bringing the new weekly Allagan Tomestones of Creation into the game. But it’s also bringing some other stuff in the form of balance adjustments, something detailed in the most recent Letter from the Producer LIVE with producer (and director!) Naoki Yoshida. All healing jobs are seeing some adjustments, with Scholar singled out for some far-ranging changes like reworks to Excogitation and Indomitability and the re-introduction of Miasma II.

Yoshida also discussed changes coming to tank jobs, Black Mage, Machinist, and Dragoon. He also discussed some of the game’s upcoming content, such as plans to implement a new Alliance Raid roulette for content such as Crystal Tower and Void Ark and new separations of congested areas in the open world. You can check out the full letter for more hints about the future, but you can also just wait until tomorrow; a lot of this will be in patch 4.05, after all.

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