The patch is also bringing a number of item changes. For example, two-handed weapons will now count as two items for item set bonuses, hopefully making sets easier to build and maintain even with a two-handed sword. Several abilities have also gained new added effects, such as a healing effect added to Ash Cloud and a Block Effectiveness buff added to Bound Armor. Light and Heavy attacks have also been more effectively tied to their roles of dealing damage and refilling resources, respectively. It should make the game’s combat more fun when the patch arrives.
The Battle for Azeroth beta is here, at long last, and it feels like it might have come a little early in the process. Usually beta testing is mostly for when you have all of the core stuff in place, but this feels like it’s just officially being called a beta when some of the pieces are still being moved into the right direction. That might be more nitpicky than anything, so I’m not going to spend too much time on it; World of Warcraft has had a tricky relationship with “alpha” and “beta” terminology, but it’s still not even in the list of the worst offenders.
I got my beta invite (at the same time the official changeover happened, even), but I haven’t yet gotten a chance to actually play around in it. However, I think now is as good a time as any to talk about the things that I am actually nervous about when it comes to Battle for Azeroth. Yes, I’ve been a pretty big advocate for the expansion and what we’re hearing so far, but there are things about the expansion that still make me nervous now that we’re moving into the beta phase. So let’s talk about that.
If you’re not really into that sort of bidding war, just hop on and see the list of other changes that have arrived with the patch. Or start in on the Spring Coronet event, with a peach blossom crown to welcome this year’s spring weather. In the real world, obviously; we imagine that spring in the desert parts of the game map will look much like it always does.
The preview page also gives us our first look at the upcoming guestbook decoration for housing, allowing players to leave you feedback and let you know that they visited and liked your home. You can also try the new cross-world linkshell feature and the expansions to the glamour dresser, although the latter is a bit harder to display in graphical form. Check out some screenshots for the update just below.
When Jagex first announced its Transformers game, it was an MMORPG. Then it got its MMORPG elements stripped and became a MOBA, and then it got cancelled before launch. It is, however, indicative of a usual trend wherein it’s far more common for a game to go from a more open experience to a more closed one. Scaling down is easier.
But recently I played Warframe, and that game has not only bucked the trend but gone hard in the other direction. It’s not quite up to what I’d consider a full MMORPG just yet, but it’s approaching the sort of thing I’d expect from a game in the vein of the original Guild Wars. It wouldn’t even be hard for it to reach that platform. And that, of course, just brings to mind whether or not other games could go that route.
Of course, we can’t say if any other titles could or will, but we can look at the crop of online games which are not MMORPGs and decide which ones should be. So what say you? Which non-MMORPGs would do well becoming full MMORPGs? And for bonus points, you can even lay out a path to making that happen.
The StarCraft II map editor offers a lot of power, and there are countless examples of using the basic functions of the editor to make something completely different. For example, there are… well, the two maps being sold to players with the launch of patch 4.3. Both maps run $4.99 to purchase, with a portion of the price going to the map creator and the map going to your collection of maps.
Direct Strike might be more described as a variant of the game’s usual gameplay, as you build units into waves to send out at the opponent’s base in what amounts to a tactical tug-of-war. ARK Star, on the other hand, is an entire tactical turn-based RPG based in the game, including leveling, loot, NPC dialogue trees, and everything else you could expect. You can check out brief trailers for both just below if you’re interested in picking up a StarCraft II map that turns the game into something completely different.
The patch also adds in 3D models for two remaining Bestiary armor sets, along with a variety of other bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements. It’s not a huge set of content changes, but it should make the game a bit more pleasant… and it should make it a bit cleaner to spend money in the game, which allows the team to provide more content in the future. So that’s all right.
The Steam launch of Bless Online draws ever closer, and that means you’re going to need to pick a class to play. You have a choice between three different flavors of heavy armor, arrows, or spicy chipotle staff user, although the game would probably prefer that you use the correct names (Berserker, Guardian, Paladin, Ranger, and Mage). But if you don’t know much about what these various classes do, you can also check out quick descriptions of all five on the official Steam page.
Three of the five classes also get short animations, although they’re really just animated wallpapers; you can check them out just below all the same. And if you’re still considering which class you want to be, perhaps they’ll help you sort things out. Or, as mentioned, you can read the descriptions. Those are a bit meatier in terms of information.
Star Trek Online accidentally previews its Personal Endeavor system for Victory is Life, players unearth quadrant map
The good news is that it’s a nice thing to add to your daily tasks; there are three levels of challenge you’ll be facing, along with a mechanism to occasionally reroll one of your endeavor challenges in the hopes of getting one that’s easier to fulfill. Successfully clearing them will earn you points of Personal Endeavor experience, which can lead to account-wide stat boosts.
Players have also uncovered a new spoilery map of the various galactic quadrants hinting out the expansion destinations, so it’s hardly like this cached page is the only thing being found a bit early.
Fast travel is important with Citadel: Forged With Fire, but it had an obnoxious and somewhat weird little quirk: Hopping through a portal wouldn’t bring the mount you tamed through the portal with you. So you would have to wait for it to catch up with you from half a world away, and while the mental image might have been hilarious it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Not so any longer, though! The game now allows tamed critters to follow you through quick travel, so you both wind up at your destination at the same time.
The patch also fixes several bugs and improves the appearance of some unpowered magic structures, which makes for a smaller patch overall with one major quality of life fix. So you no longer get the mental image of a horse booking it across all sorts of landscapes to get to where you teleported, but you also don’t need to stand outside of the portal and wait for that horse like the world’s most nonsensical Lyft driver. Swings and roundabouts.
The first batch of the second wave of allied races are available for testing now on World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’s alpha test. Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs have been added to character creation, which means that if you want an Orc that’s slightly less corrupted or a Dwarf that’s extra-crispy, that’s now an option. And that’s just one of the many changes with the latest build, because of course it is.
Players can also experiment with new ability changes including a significant rework to Arcane Torrent (the Blood Elf racial), more of the Uldir and Warfront sets, and new dungeons to test out. There’s also the miscellaneous elements found in the latest build, of course. We still don’t have an exact date for the beta, but based on all of the things that have been mined, it looks to be growing ever closer all the time.
Meanwhile, players who had subsisted on fan translations of the live letter can now read over the official digest of its contents, which includes a number of additional (and relevant) pieces of information. For example, there’s further explanation of the “Greed Only” rule in Alliances, noting that it’s in place to prevent people from feeling pressured to run on the job they want to gear up when it may be at a lower item level; it’s an experimental rule that is open to revision based on community feedback. In other words, offer feedback on it. Or anything else in the letter’s official translation, really.
In the real world, walking up to someone and asking if you can put your dragons together will probably get you arrested. In OrbusVR, it’s a very normal and good thing to ask with the latest patch, which allows you to combine two existing dragons in a little dragon hutch to result in a new baby dragon. It’s the first pass on the game’s breeding system, and it makes sense that you would start with dragons as opposed to more common real-life pets. (After all, as alluded to above, dragon breeding is illegal in real life.)
The patch also contains a new system for improving your gear. If you’ve got a sword with some secondary stats lower than your existing sword, for example, you can combine the two into one sword, and the new sword will automatically gain any stats that were higher from the other sword. Combine that with new pillar teleportation, new sound design, and more bug fixes, and you’ve got reasons to be excited about the game’s latest patch.