impressions

Flameseeker Chronicles: Deep-diving Guild Wars 2’s living world S4 Daybreak

I’m back with an earlier-than-anticipated special edition of Flameseeker Chronicles to share my impressions of the opening episode of Guild Wars 2‘s fourth Living World season. I am blown away by ArenaNet‘s commitment to the content cadence we’ve come to expect and am thoroughly impressed that the new season is upon us so swiftly after Path of Fire‘s launch, and the direction in which the season seems to be travelling is very promising indeed. The content feels more dynamic than previous offerings, relying heavily on panoramic details, mechanically rich scenarios, and strong dialogue to give us a narrative that feels more alive than ever before.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll share with you the main story points of the episode and will discuss my highs and lows throughout. Please note that, although major spoilers will be hidden by tags where possible, this article is best enjoyed after you’ve played the content for yourself due to significant spoilers throughout.

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EverQuesting: First impressions of EverQuest II’s Planes of Prophecy

November: A month of colorful, falling leaves, Thanksgiving… and an EverQuest II expansion! That’s right, the 11th month isn’t allowed to finish up until we have our next serving of Norrathian goodness, and Daybreak delivered it to us on the 28th. Regardless of not yet finishing up the content in previous expansions, I couldn’t not immediately dive in and explore this new piece of EQII! I mean, me, not explore a favorite world? That’s crazy talk! With only two days (and interrupted ones at that!) to peek into and poke around, what did I find in Planes of Prophecy? Here are my first impressions.

Hop on the Plane

Luckily for me, you don’t need to complete the Signature Quest line (or in my case, even start it) in Kunark Ascending to be able to access the new zone, the Plane of Magic. If you are level 100 and own the expansion, all you need to now is how to get there. For that, you could do like I first did and hop from world bell to druid portal to wizard spire to find the way. Alternately, you could read the in-game mail that is delivered to every level 100 that tells you to visit any wizard spire. It makes sense: Travel to a Plane of Magic through a magical wizard portal! Obviously, I immediately jumped in a portal.

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Hyperspace Beacon: First impressions of SWTOR’s Chiss flashpoint

Yesterday, Star Wars: The Old Republic launched update 5.6, which gave us many new quality-of-life changes to the game as well as our first trip into the Chiss Ascendency via the “A traitor among us” storyline. I am in love with many of the additions like the legacy credit storage and the activities window. But I think the casual player would be most interested in the story on Copero. It’s also the part that I’m most unopinionated about. It’s all right and a good addition to the game, but it’s also just kind of average. It’s better than bad – but it’s not excellent BioWare storytelling.

Let’s take a few moments to talk about SWTOR Update 5.6 and all the things in it, then dive into why I think the Copero flashpoint could have used a little bit more polish.

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Slay-to-win: Massively OP’s hands-on with the Dauntless closed beta

The end of September marked a major milestone for Dauntless, the upcoming monster-slaying action-MMORPG from indie developer Phoenix Labs, as it officially concluded its Founder’s Alpha event and made the jump into closed beta. Since then, legions of would-be Slayers have stormed the Shattered Isles, taking up arms to defend the last bastions of human civilization from destruction at the hands (and talons, fangs, or similarly sinister appendages) of the marauding monstrous beasts known as Behemoths.

And as it so happens, I was one of them. As a long-time fan of Capcom’s venerable Monster Hunter series, which pioneered the “kill-carve-and-craft” action-RPG subgenre upon which Dauntless aims to build, I’ve been eager to check it out for some time now. So when closed beta rolled around, I shelled out for a Founder’s Pack and joined my fellow prospects in the frontier settlement of Ramsgate, where I hoped to prove worthy of the Slayer mantle, or failing that, then at least to avoid dying horribly.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Wrapping up Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire story ahead of season 4

The launch of Guild Wars 2‘s Living World Season 4 will be upon us today, so it’s all the more pressing that I wrap up my Path of Fire story analysis so we can jump into some new impressions as we delve into new story content. I haven’t had hands-on time with the new season prior to launch this time, so we’ll be going straight into a deep dive of the new content next time, but until then I can’t wait to share my closing thoughts on PoF‘s story with you.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll wrap up my PoF story impressions and will conclude with some hopes for today’s season launch. This will be a lengthy one, fair reader, so get comfortable for a bumper read! As ever, there will be significant spoilers throughout for anyone who has been living under a rock not finished the PoF story and has missed the new season hype.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Unpacking more of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire story

As promised, Flameseeker Chronicles is back with a continuation of the Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire story deep-dive I’ve been crafting over the last few weeks. I’ll briefly recap you on where we left off and then will launch into covering the rest of Act II. The volume of story content that came with the latest expansion is appreciable and deserves to receive a thorough breakdown, and I can’t wait to share more of it with you while adding some thoughts as I go. Not everyone is as enthused with the story, of course, so I hope these unpacking articles also help anyone who doesn’t wish to dedicate time to more than the bare bones of the story: You can always use breakdowns such as these to fill any lore gaps that arise from you skipping content you don’t enjoy, after all! Note before you proceed that, just as was the case in the other story breakdown entries, this article will contain significant spoilers if you haven’t completed Act II of the story for yourself.

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Going clubbing with Trion in Trove’s new update

When you are invited to go to a club with Trove’s devs, you’d best get ready for fun time! Of course, I mean a Trove club: a place where you can design build your own special world with friends. And clubs are getting some serious attention in this week’s update. Earlier in November, I sat down with Trion Art Lead Robin Luera and Animation Lead Ted Sanger for a tour through the voxel’s games upcoming club-errific features. Here are some of the highlights!

One important and awesome change is that clubs will now have six different permission levels. And there are tons of permissions! This will allow leaders to customize who can do what in the club, which will really come in handy with the new building and adventure features. Leaderboards have been also changed up. The top 50 average power rank and level will be displayed (the PR will be calculated of each member’s highest pr character, not add them all together). Mechanics like using or destroying the most blocks, however, have been removed.

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC launches for Xbox One and Xbox One X – here’s the new trailer

Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC is live for Xbox One and Xbox One X players today! As we’ve previously covered, today’s rollout features a clockwork hub straight from Morrowind lore as players are tasked with investigating the daedric threat. It includes two world bosses, two new delves, and a new 12-man raid, Asylum Sanctorium. Even if you don’t buy the DLC, you can expect new stuff in update 16, including the new weapon and armor transmutation system, trait tracker, and new buyable houses. Do note that you do not need to own Morrowind to access Clockwork City, which you might have assumed otherwise. You do need Morrowind for the new Crazy King battleground, however. And you’ll need an Xbox One X to appreciate the improved graphics there!

Don’t miss our own Tamriel Infinium columnist Larry Everett’s first impressions of the update and the brand-new trailer down below!

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC launches today with new raid, houses, and transmutation

Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC is live for PC and Mac players today, assuming they’ve ponied up for a sub or bought the bundle outright.

As we’ve previously covered, today’s rollout features a clockwork hub straight from Morrowind lore as players are tasked with investigating the daedric threat. It includes two world bosses, two new delves, and a new 12-man raid, Asylum Sanctorium.

Don’t want to buy Clockwork City? There’s stuff for you in update 16; the new weapon and armor transmutation system is the highlight, but the new trait tracker and new buyable houses should be on your radar too. Do note that you do not need to own Morrowind to access Clockwork City, which you might have assumed otherwise. You do need Morrowind for the new Crazy King battleground, however.

Don’t miss our own Tamriel Infinium columnist Larry Everett’s first impressions of the update from when it dropped on the PTS, and get patching!

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Frontier Expo 2017: Science, history, and gaming make for a great first con

This past weekend was not the first time I have attended a developer’s convention, but Frontier Expo 2017 was one of only a very few times when I have been able to attend the first one of its kind. Last weekend, I got to witness the birth of Frontier Developments’ fan convention, held in London, UK. At 1500 attendees, it may have been a relatively small gathering compared to conventions like PAX or other more established cons, but it was still great. In fact, it offered fans a few firsts of their own! Besides your classic meeting-and-greeting, game announcements with reveals, and after parties (including live entertainment by Jim Guthrie, the musician who created the Planet Coaster music), folks got to try their hand at the studio’s really old games on their original equipment in the Frontier Developments museum.

Even more than that, attendees got to meet and listen to world-renowned experts in the fields of paleontology and astrobiology. Not because these would sell the game, but just because they are subjects of interest to fans. How many studios have offered that?

Now there were understandably a few bumps and learning experiences in this first endeavor, but in all, I say the inaugural FX2017 was a resounding success! It was easily the most chill convention experience I have ever had, and I look forward to next year’s show (and hanging out with the space loach more!). Let’s dig in!

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC arrives October 23

Elder Scrolls Online has just put a date on the launch of the much-anticipated Clockwork City DLC bundle, which is taking players deep into the heart of Sotha Sil’s mechanical labyrinth.

“We’re excited to announce that the Clockwork City DLC game pack will be released on October 23 for PC/Mac and November 7 for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One. This DLC game pack will be free to ESO Plus members and available for purchase for 2000 crowns in the in-game Crown Store. In addition to the base version, the Clockwork City Collector’s Bundle will be also available for 4000 crowns in the in-game Crown Store and will include the DLC game pack, the Clockwork Skeevaton pet, the Kagouti Fabricant mount, and Five Crown Experience Scrolls.”

The downside is that’s gonna clash hard with the Destiny 2 PC release date. The upside is that the prologue quest is already live in the game, so you can get started right now and pick up a new collection memento.

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Global Chat: The MMO community’s Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire impressions

It is kind of impossible to stroll around the MMO blogging community as of late and not trip and fall into a pool of Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire impressions and opinions. So why not dive in and see what lies under the surface of these experiences?

GamingSF suffered from technical issues that kept him from getting into the expansion initially, but when he did, he recognized that it had some “really nice features.” Why I Game concurs with this sentiment, noting that there are “a lot more nods to exploration this time around.”

“Story is okay, nothing amazing, some funny bits help, and I find it gets better as it progresses onward,” ECTmmo.com wrote. “The actual places you get to travel to and explore in this expansion are what makes it shine, well, that and the mounts.”

We’ve got even more Path of Fire impressions after the break, as well as a look at Star Trek Online, Elite Dangerous, and Ultima Online!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: One week into Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire

I’ve had my hands on Guild Wars 2‘s second expansion for a week and some change now and have built up a more solid picture of Path of Fire in that time. I have to say that I’m still just as impressed as I was when I wrote my first launch diary entry: I’ve completed the main story at this point (though I’m getting ready to rerun it again to bank achievements I missed on the first run-through), and aside from my launch weekend issues and some niggly mechanics along the way, I’ve been blown away by the quality offered in terms of story content, mount mechanics, and the new elite specialisations.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll continue my launch coverage by discussing some more in-depth points that I’ve noted now that I’ve had a full week of play time (although it’s been over a week, the EU connection issues largely killed the first few days for me), and I’ll also look at some not-too-surprising but still greatly appreciated benefits the expansion has had on Central Tyria and Heart of Thorns zones. Please note that there will be some spoilers below, both through images used and inferences to story encounters, even though I’ll make an effort to avoid them for main story arcs.
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