Over the past couple of months, the MMORPG community has worked its way through massive leaks of top-secret info: first for Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind, then for The Secret World’s morph into Secret World Legends, and most recently for Guild Wars 2’s upcoming expansion. The latter two events in particular provoked long discussions among our staff and commenters about when and whether to cover leaks that are already in the wild and how to approach news we’ve never agreed to withhold. And with The Secret World and Guild Wars 2, at least, the studios’ excessive secrecy and elitist invitation-only testing helped propel a masochistic community desire to see leaks manifest, leading to a perfect storm.
And now it’s ruined for everybody… or at least for people who couldn’t resist clicking past the spoiler warnings. I’m bummed that we’re going to miss out on the fun of unwrapping all those presents one at a time, in Guild Wars 2’s case anyway – it’s more fun and better hits to get to roll out a little at a time. But I’m also hopeful the studios might take alpha tester NDA betrayal as a sign to be more communicative and transparent too and not keep everyone in the dark as long as has gone on here. (Or maybe even just stick to paid testers from the start and give no regular player any temptations.)
How do you feel about MMORPG leaks personally — do you seek them out and click on them, or do you stay away?
Funcom has issued a statement about the leaks; we’ve included it in its entirety at the end of this post.
For those assuming that Secret World Legends will be only slightly different from the existing MMO, it may be best to rip off that band-aid early to get used to the truth. While the game is currently under NDA in closed beta, that doesn’t stop information from leaking out that appears to show a vastly changed title in the making.
On the new Secret Worlds Legends subreddit, a beta tester has unloaded a ton of information and screenshots that mostly center on the action-RPG’s combat system. With the understanding that this is beta and all may be changed, the tester claims to shows how the different combat weapons have been streamlined and modified (for example, shotguns now have different types of shells that perform various tasks and assault rifles have grenades). The tester notes that most classes should self-heal now as in most other MMOs. Players will use a reticle system for combat and will need to worry about overheating at least some of their weapons.
This week CCP Games
announced that some big changes are on the way for PLEX
in EVE Online
. The PLEX or “30-day Pilot’s License EXtension” is a virtual item that represents 30 days of subscription time and can be bought for cash and then sold to other players for in-game ISK. This simple mechanic has proven to be one of the most important innovations in the subscription MMO business model over the years, allowing players with lots of in-game wealth to effectively play for free while permitting cash-rich players to buy in-game currency without funding dodgy farming operations that can disrupt the game world. Dozens of games now support some kind of player-mediated currency roughly like PLEX
The proposed changes are intended to simplify EVE‘s business model by merging PLEX with the microtransaction currency Aurum. Players will also be able to put their PLEX into invulnerable account-wide PLEX Vaults that are accessible at all times rather than having to move the valuable items manually by ship. There’s been significant backlash from the EVE community over the newfound invulnerability of PLEX, plans to delete some microtransaction currency from the game without compensation, and the possibility that someone leaked the announcement to friends early in order to make a profit. So what’s the deal with these PLEX changes, and why are some EVE players going nuts over them?
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the upcoming changes to the safety of PLEX, the opportunities that more granular PLEX could have for EVE, and why players are up in arms over plans to delete Aurum from thousands of accounts.
The next Overwatch hero is a quadraped Omnic named Anchora, and she appears to be a tank. This isn’t a new announcement, though; it’s from a leak that’s months old. The question is whether or not it’s accurate, and at the time of the leak, it certainly didn’t seem accurate. Then again, at the time of the leak we also didn’t have an interview with a robotics prodigy talking about her next project, so that certainly changes the evaluation.
The leak successfully forecasted the Lunar New Year event and the accompanying Mei skin, as well as going into more detail on Mei’s origin story. It is, of course, a leak rather than an official announcement, so it could prove to be completely incorrect. But if the next hero really is scuttling around on all fours, perhaps we shouldn’t be all that surprised after all.
If you were sad as I was that The Elder Scrolls Online’s Homestead housing patch this past week didn’t offer much for the provincial Morrowind fan, take heart: ZeniMax was as expected just holding back the good stuff for the Morrowind release. Spoilers follow!
Russian fan site ElderScrolls.net managed to get its hands on a leaked Game Informer article (Game Informer is owned by Gamestop) covering the Morrowind expansha-chapter, complete with some gorgeous images of what is clearly some of the iconic cities on Vvardenfell, from the towering mushroom towers of the Telvanni east coast and the sandstone Hlaalu dwellings to the Velothi cantons of Vivec and thatched-roof construction of the Bitter Coast. In fact, if you squint, you can see scaffolding surrounding parts of Vivec and what appears to be Balmora’s canals. I don’t spy any Redoran shells!
There are a few interesting tidbits in the translation, including the fact that there are five great houses (plus one) in play during this time period (presumably the extras are Indoril, Dres, and Dagoth) and the fact that there’s a quest to become a skooma drug lord. See, mom, memorizing Morrowind lore did come in handy some day.
Check out the shots below!
Starbucks Pokemon trainers (or friends of trainers) have apparently leaked images today that purport to reveal an upcoming promotional event for Niantic’s Pokemon Go. While most of the document describes the game, how to make a Pokemon Go inspired frappuccino, how to handle the event, and what the game actually is, a few of the images contain much more revealing text.
While it’s easy to get distracted by the drink and game descriptions, the very first line reads, “The world of Pokemon GO is about to expand with new Pokemon and a new Starbucks beverage!” and the note that the promotion begins with the new PoGo update on Thursday, December 8th (emphasis ours). Of course, this might all be subject to change if Niantic or Starbucks feel the leak threatens business, so we’ll file this under rumor for now, but the pile of evidence is only growing in the meantime.
We also don’t yet know whether the new Pokemon are Generation 1 legendaries (white and purple for Mewtwo?) or are related to the Generation 2 data previously mined. We’ll just have to wait a couple of days to find out, and then? Frappuccinos for everyone!
An Italian video games site appears to have leaked information about Guild Wars 2’s living story season three in a new interview with ArenaNet.
Though the original article is now gone, Redditor vulcanraven89 translated it this morning. The site claimed that season three will arrive by the end of summer with both PvE and PvP content and that the next episodes of the main quest will be released every two to three months for several seasons. A new fractal with fresh mechanics is allegedly on the way, as are new maps for 5v5 PvP.
As noted, the original piece has been removed and we cannot as yet confirm the contents of the leak.
The next major Destiny DLC has been shrouded in a certain amount of mystery, but the lights are coming up on Rise of Iron. While Bungie is releasing an official stream with details today, someone accidentally pushed “go” on the Xbox pre-order page a day early, and fans dutifully scrounged up the information from that page as fast as humanly possible. Based upon that page, it looks like the DLC will involve heading to Old Russia to join Lord Saladin and fight off Fallen Mutants.
The DLC promises to bring new story, new equipment, a maximum Light increase for players, a new strike, and a new raid to the game. It also appears that the once-overpowered Gjallarhorn will be heading back into the game in a more powerful form for those who missed the once-familiar weapon. While none of this is entirely official, you’ll be able to find out more once official details are revealed, including a confirmation of the leaked September 20th release date.
Back in November 2015, a Hearthstone
player discovered a Japanese article
on the game listing the voice acting credits for the Japanese localisation of the game. The only problem was that the credits listed 17 cards that weren’t in the game
, prompting speculation that they were planned cards that could land in upcoming expansions. This leak wasn’t given a lot of credibility at the time and many of the cards were written off as mistranslations, skins, or tavern brawl minions.
It wasn’t until the League of Explorers expansion released that we discovered many of the listed cards were real and intended for this expansion. Now players are speculating on the remaining cards from the leak, which have names like Dark Summoner, Sinister Cultist and Bloodaxe Ritualist that hint at a possible Old God theme. Other cards still to be revealed include Captain Scaleblade, Dark Iron Weaponsmith, and Bloodsail Swashbuckler, which may be for another pirate-themed expansion or may somehow fit the same Old God theme
Update: Ubisoft has released the trailer now; it’s included below.
You don’t have to speak Italian to appreciate the new gameplay footage for Tom Clancy’s The Division that made its way onto the internet (though it would help you to know what the narrator is saying). The Italian trailer showing off new areas of an underground metro and a ruined train station as well as a lengthy look at a safe zone was leaked out today then quickly disappeared. But as we all know, nothing truly disappears from the internet, and you can get a look at the flame-throwing, grenade-tossing action in the video below. The shooter is set to release on March 8th.
BlizzCon is starting up later today, but a couple of leaks are already making the rounds. World of Warcraft players poking around the structure of the Battle.net site allegedly uncovered a background image revealing a launch date for Legion on or before September 21st, 2016, which would give fans eagerly anticipating the next release a date to look toward at least.
The image itself is no longer acccessible on the game’s site, which could mean that it’s a hoax or it could mean that someone caught the goof. Players who pre-order are also promised access to Demon Hunters ahead of launch. With the opening ceremonies of the convention a few hours away, we’ll likely learn more once Blizzard says a few official words on the subject.
Guild Wars 2 hasn’t had much luck with its expansion reveal pace lately between dataminers and leaks, and this afternoon, that bad luck continues. A tweet from IGN, apparently entrusted exclusively with the news, blabbed some pretty big Heart of Thorns information, along with a trailer, which we’re going to hide behind spoiler code for those of you who’d like to try to remain innocent. And when I say big, I mean huge.
Click to reveal spoiler
The tweet appears to reveal that Guild Wars 2
, currently one of the few buy-to-play MMOs on the market, is going free-to-play, at least with its base game. It also promises raids, which explains the “challenging group content” ArenaNet has been hinting at recently.
Data-mining suggests that the “free” looks a lot like a limited trial, with few character slots, a cap of level 15, rank caps, and limitations on mail, chat, trade, and PvP maps.
BioWare accidentally revealed its Star Wars: The Old Republic announcement for E3 this weekend, and — spoiler alert — this could be a game changer.
The leaked page, which began, “A man can have anything… if he’s willing to sacrifice everything,” tells the players about a shake-up that will hit the primary storyline in October. It mentions a new major faction in the galaxy: the Empire of Zakuul. It also mentions that our characters are now called “Outlander, veteran of the Great Galactic War,” suggesting that we’re no longer a part of the Sith Empire or the Galactic Republic.