In the lull between expansions, I’ve been hard at work bringing my alts up to the level cap, unlocking all of the class mounts, picking up the occasional appearance that I really want from the Mage Tower challenge… you know, the usual stuff. And the result is that I find myself asking a question that surprises me a wee bit in the context of World of Warcraft: What is going to happen to all of the class orders?
I neither had an answer nor cared about one when it came to garrisons. Presumably, they’d continue to sit there, a testament to what happens when designers try to make housing that isn’t housing and don’t understand why people like housing in the first place. But the order halls are different. They’re cross-factional, they’re important, and perhaps most importantly, they represent something that makes different use of the resources of the world.
So what’s happening to these orders? How are they changing? How does this play into the war between the Horde and the Alliance becoming properly hot? And might we get some extra lore about these things?
Back in the day, the only way we’d learn about the many jokes and flirt lines for races in World of Warcraft was by actually playing those races… and then spamming /silly and /flirt until we were pretty sure we’d heard all of them. Luckily, the first four allied races have already had their lines mined out by the intrepid crew over at Wowhead, so you can enjoy all eight sets of jokes and flirtations right now.
Some of the flirts, to the surprise of absolutely no one, are a bit on the racy side. Of course, depending on your personal fascinations, the female void elf promise to turn into an eyeball or sprout tentacles might also be on the racy side. And yes, the Nightborne reference illusions and what you are or are not hiding.
There’s a chill in the air through December under normal circumstances, but the chill rushing through Dungeons & Dragons Online is unrelated to the matter of the holidays flying around. No, it’s the misty grasp of Ravenloft reaching through for the appropriately named Mists of Ravenloft expansion, which is out today with the release of game update 37. That means new areas, new quests, a new raid, and a whole new saga. All good reasons to venture into a realm most multiversal travelers would rather ignore, yes?
The update also brings sentient weapons to the game, allowing you to find sentient companions who are also pointy bits of metal. There’s also a limited-time event for veteran status level 10, which lets you jump right in at level 10 from December 7th through December 17th. Check out the full update notes, whether you’re going to keep away from the expansion a bit or can’t wait to enter the terrifying realm of Ravenloft.
Timothy Zahn is kind of a big deal for Star Wars fiction. Yes, he helped develop the most recent bit of Star Wars: The Old Republic
story content, A Traitor Among the Chiss. But he has the pedigree for that, seeing as how he’s the person behind the creation of the Chiss, the species-defining Admiral Thrawn, and the groundwork that would lead to the extensive once-canonical fiction following the end of the Star Wars films. He is, in short, the dude behind all of it.
He’s also responsible for Mara Jade, but you can’t really hold that against him.
So it’s a safe bet that he’s going to have some pretty neat things to say when he joins the development team for SWTOR on a livestream in which Zahn discusses the motivations of the Chiss and answers viewer questions. If there’s one person who understands the Chiss mindset better than anyone, it’s definitely him. Interested? Jump along to the stream at 5:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 7th.
For some players, “enter a name for your character” might as well read “insert the best joke you can within the character limit.” As a younger soul, this bothered me, because I’m pretty sure no one in Tyria would name their children “Valkilmer Sucks” or “Chowder Head,” but I would still have to see that in Guild Wars. I wanted strict naming enforcement, darn it!
Now that I’m older, I think younger me is a well-intentioned nincompoop. I have characters with names who do not adhere to strict naming conventions, and while those characters each have elaborate lore explanations for why they’ve got odd names, it doesn’t change the fact I would need to rename at least a couple of my Final Fantasy XIV characters. And that’s ignoring that some of my favorite names on that game include characters like “Carfullof Whiteboys,” “Viewing Catscene,” and my personal favorite, “Combyo Beard.”
Of course, some companies don’t care too much about providing name standards in the first place, so while “Samlikesham” doesn’t look like a traditional Night Elf name I can’t really say it isn’t. What do you think, readers? Should MMOs have enforced naming standards?
Antorus is out now, and if you want to see the cinematic that ends the very long-running story about the Burning Legion and Sargeras, well, that’s easy to do. It’s kind of spoiler-filled, though, so I’m not going to be talking about it here in any detail beyond mentioning that Azeroth does not exactly end things without a major impact. And needless to say, people have already started asking “why is it that World of Warcraft’s next expansion is going back to factional squabbles when this just happened?”
It’s a question with lots of good answers. So I want to dive into exactly those. In fact, you can neatly divide the answers up into three categories: The anthropic principle, real-life parallels, and the change of flavors. And it’s not that one or the other is the “real” answer or the “right” one; it’s that all three of them combine perfectly to make factional squabbles a perfectly reasonable next destination after the cosmic invasion of the last expansion.
There’s already a lot of lore floating around for City of Heroes-inspired indie MMORPG City of Titans, but all of the lore in the world doesn’t mean much if you never get to see any of it in the game. So the latest development update is about the process of making even the game’s simplest missions take shape. There are three different sorts of missions outlined (self-contained Tips, game-spanning Sagas, and area-related District Stories), but this particular development entry is just about bringing a self-contained tip from concept to completion.
Tips are the shortest and simplest mission type, meant to make up quick half-hour play sessions, starting with a tweet-length summary of the major plot points. While the goal here is to make these missions fairly lore-agnostic, care is taken to ensure that there’s still a sense of the overall lore and an interesting situation for players who really do enjoy the game’s storylines. Check out the full dispatch for a more thorough breakdown of all the work going into even the littlest elements.
If you’re the sort of person who runs screaming from a room and vows to burn the whole house down over the barest glimpse of an arachnid, you are not going to like the newest Crowfall bestiary entry. For one thing, it’s all about spiders. For another thing, it’s all relayed through a creepy bit of in-universe lore explaining just how nasty and subversive spiders are in this world.
Those of you less susceptible to swatting at bare skin at the mere suggestion of a spider on you will still likely be a bit freaked out by the hidden, skittering children of Arachne, Mother of Spiders. It doesn’t help that the in-world lore is written by an actual disciple of Arachne, at that. Just… go read about it, and remember that these are not the sort of spiders you smash idly unless you want to bruise your hand.
Oh, hey, is that one in your hair?
There’s something nasty under the ground in Path of Exile
. No, worse than those gross pillbugs you would find under big rocks when you were a kid; this is something wrong
. So naturally, you’re going to look for the cracks in the ground leading there when the game’s next challenge league
kicks off with the release of the game’s next expansion.
The new challenge league features cracks in the earth that spawn vicious monsters. Pursuing those cracks to their sources leads to the rifts that are spawning these monsters down below; if you’re very lucky, you might even get a chance to travel into the Abyssal Depths. There are new Abyss Jewels and Abyss Armor to go along with these new challenges, so players will have every reason to head into the dark places where light has no purchase. Because, really, you’ll get new stuff. Isn’t that the point?
Next week, players can start entering the raid that closes out the first storyline ever explored in the World of Warcraft universe. The raid on Antorus, the Burning Throne, is a strike against the heart of the Burning Legion, a chance to fight the forces of Sargeras that have been assaulting Azeroth ever since the first Warcraft. So it seems only right that there will be a couple of familiar faces within the raid, as pointed out within the new raid preview. This is the big drag-out battle, and it’s going to be a big one.
While you wait for a little while longer for the fight to start, of course, you can enjoy a few quick hotfixes that address set bonus issues for every class and spec and make sure anniversary world bosses offer you more artifact power instead of gold. There’s also a minor fix to the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, useful for those farming old appearances. Hey, not everything needs to be the next world-ending conflict, right?
If your favorite part of the Lord of the Rings films was the exposition-heavy introduction, then Chronicles of Elyria has a treat for you this week. Soulbound Studio put out a new video that details the complex back history of one of the servers, complete with moving illustrations.
“Chronicles of Elyria is a deep MMORPG made up of player run countries where the developers involve the community to define the unique lore for their server,” the team said. “Each of the monarchies in this cinematic are present on the Luna (NA-East) server and are created and run by players!”
Following a couple of minutes of lore, the studio pushes its raffle of the last unpurchased monarchy. Aspiring community leaders pop in to make the case why you should support them with your money. It doesn’t feel weird at all!
Players of Star Wars: The Old Republic
will be able to start taking part in the latest bit of the traitor storyline with the release of patch 5.6 on November 28th. Here’s the bad news, though: The patch will not include the new Yavin warfront
. There are still some issues with the new map, so it’s getting delayed very slightly until patch 5.6.1 scheduled for December 12th.
Everything else that’s planned for November 28th is still in place; that includes Legacy-wide credits, a character boost item to bring a character to 70, a new flashpoint, a new boss in Gods From The Machine, and many more things for players to do. (Also improvements to group finder queues, so it’ll be easier to find other players to do things with.) You can even read some new lore exploring the events leading up to the next set of quests centered around the traitor story. You’ll just need to wait a little bit longer for a new warzone, that’s all.
This morning, the DC Universe Online
servers went down
to apply the game’s next major patch. They may or may not be back up by the time you read this, but they’re expected to be up no later than 4:00 p.m. EST today. And when they are up again? You can take a trip to the land of evil opposites, Earth-3
What must Earth-3 residents think of the rest of the multiverse, though? Technically Earth-1 would be the world with their opposites. Is that a thing there?
Regardless of existential musings on the nature of evil doppelgangers, players can explore a variety of new bits of content on Earth-3, ranging from an open-world exploration of the new world’s Gotham City to an elite raid in which players rail against the Crime Syndicate that threatens the world. So go forth, find your evil opposite, and beat the living snot out of that villain. Or hero, we suppose, if your character is already a villain. It’s complex.