maps

World of Tanks overhauls its matchmaking system

Calling Patch 9.18 “one of the most significant ever” for World of Tanks, Wargaming overhauled the game’s matchmaking system this week as part of a concerted effort to address some troublesome areas.

So how does this matchmaking overhaul make the game better? “The improved matchmaker assembles teams choosing from a set of server-based algorithms — templates — so that both camps always have the same number of vehicles at the top/middle/bottom of the list. It also limits the number of SPGs per side to 3 at the most and significantly reduces the instances of map duplications.”

In short, fewer unfair matches and more battles in which you’ll have an honest shot at victory. The update also changed SPGs to become long-range artillery support for teams and revised the light tank lines to spread them all of the way to Tier X.

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Shroud of the Avatar rebalances combat, adds Path of Truth in R41 out today

Shroud of the Avatar’s 41st release is rolling out to players this morning, stuffed with fresh content for testing. Probably the most important bit arriving today is the finished Path of Truth quest arc and its accompanying Halls of Artifice.

“In this single-player, plot-driven experience, the avatar will delve into the mystery of why the satyrs of Elysium are welcoming pilgrims into a life of bliss… Of course, I am sure that a place called Artifice along the Path of Truth would not be filled with lies, right?”

Players can also expect to see the Solace Bridge outskirt map; five new scenes including Ruins of Kas and Verdantis Mines; The Fall, a “free-for-all full of crazy powerups centered around a giant vertical shaft”; new deco; the first stages of localization; and a major combat balancing pass.

“We made major improvements to Taming, Summoned Creatures, the entire Bludgeons combat school, creature resistances, and more,” says Portalarium. “We also added two new Moon Spells, new weapons, and our first new ranged weapon since ranged combat was introduced: Crossbows.”

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Worlds Adrift delays closed beta by ‘a few weeks’

What’s going on with the Worlds Adrift testing? Since the launch of its 6.1 alpha play test two months ago, the Bossa Studios team has been hammering out bugs and new features — but it says it just needs a bit more time.

“There’s a few important features that aren’t quite done yet, [so] we’ve decided to delay the game,” Bossa’s Luke Williams explains. The most important feature is the character creator, but there are also updates coming for the world map, ship frame salvaging, bomb combat, gliders, and the “bottom storms” that help destroy the detritus of the gameworld.

Consequently, Bossa says, “We’re moving back the start of closed beta by just a matter of weeks, not months.”

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Black Desert’s weekly patch is a big boost to UI customization

This week’s Black Desert patch looks small on paper: the game’s been buffed with new crafted costumes, ship repair kits, and a modification tool called “sticker UI” that allows players to tweak their interfaces.

“Sticker UI that will allow users to drag some UI elements out of the game screen has been added. Upon clicking the Sticker UI icon on the top-right corner of the Inventory, the following windows can be dragged outside the game screen: Equipment, Marketplace, Quest, Guild, Trade, Tooltip, Manage Workers. When Sticker UI function is activated, it will keep running outside the game screen even if other windows are turned on. However, some of the functions cannot be performed in Sticker UI window. When the pop-up is released, the window will reopen. When a window is dragged out of the game screen, it cannot be closed with the ESC key. The window can only be turned off by clicking the X button or releasing pop-up status then turning it off. When minimizing the game screen to tray, the Sticker UI will disappear. Sticker UI will reset in /reloadui situations (server change, resurrecting in nodes after death, etc.). Screens without render modes cannot use the Sticker UI (Ex. If World Map is turned on when Inventory is open, Inventory pop-up window will black out and no action can be taken). Drag-and-drop function is allowed only in the Sticker UI and in-game screen (Not in Windows screen). Marketplace Sticker UI can only be applied in Marketplace Panel through Game Options.”

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MMORPG sandbox Arcfall is headed to Steam early access

I’m always wary nowadays when a game bills itself as a massively multiplayer sandbox gaming world, especially one that says it’s akin to “old school RPG games with modern quality,” but Arcfall appears to deserve the label.

The new MMO is currently listed on Steam as an early access title still in pre-alpha, but it isn’t formally launched or buyable just yet. Developer Neojac says it’s a “social” game, with open world non-instanced housing, a player-driven economy, crafting and farming, mounts, banking, resource harvesting, a classless skill-based progression system, and an incomplete map. Guilds, factions, dungeons, ships, player islands, and PvP (to complement the full-loot death) are still on the way, though there are apparently PvE-only zones too.

Early access is expected to last “the better part of this year,” with beta by the end of 2017. Founder packs are available on the official site; Neojac says that early buyers can access the game through that portal while Steam’s rollout continues.

Neojac should sound familiar to hardcore MMO fans; that’s the studio building MMO Neo’s Land on the Atavism platform, also of its own design. Neo’s Land’s last public update was in December of last year.

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Join MOP in Paragon Chat for Friday’s City of Heroes anniversary bash

Beloved superhero MMORPG City of Heroes turns 13 years old tomorrow, and what better way to celebrate than in Paragon City? That’s exactly what we’ll be doing on Friday, and we invite you to join us.

The Hero Events Resource Committee over on the Titan Network puts together an annual event every year for the anniversary, stuffed full of races, costume contests, minigames, and trivia contests, all in coordination with The Cape Radio, to which you can listen even if you don’t want to or can’t attend.

This year’s event begins at 3 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 28th, and runs until 11 p.m. that evening. You might be wondering how exactly you’ll get to Paragon since the game is no more. It’s easy! The event takes place in Paragon Chat, which is basically a partial emulator of the game world. You can create characters, run around, use travel skills, map-hop, listen to the music, and talk to other people in areas of the game. (There’s no combat or questing, though, so it’s sort of like a visual chat client with costumes, plus that wonderful-awful happy-crying feeling of nostalgia.)

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Snag a Mu Online, Flyff, C9, or Rappelz key in honor of Webzen’s 8th anniversary

Webzen is celebrating 8 years of MMOs today, kicking off multiple events and patches across its games: MU Origin has posted its 1.7 update with multi-server “Battle Core” events and two new dungeons, while MU itself has opened up part one of its 12th season of play, which features the Nixies Lake map, new gear, and the Vanaheim server.

In honor of the anniversary, the studio has granted Massively OP 1000 keys that can be applied to one of four of their games (Mu Online, Flyff, C9, or Rappelz) so you get to pick what you’re getting!

Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Osiris: New Dawn teases planetary changes coming in this week’s update

We’re inching ever closer to the release of survival sandbox Osiris: New Dawn’s “massive” next patch, all set to include new dungeons, better graphics, a new class (the Ranger), and a Proteus II biome and location update.

The Proteus update is, in fact, the subject of the game’s latest most recent trailer, which zips through the updated map and hitting the highlights from underwater craters to soaring skyscrapers.

Osiris has been live on Steam’s early access program since September of last year. The update should go live on Thursday. In the meantime, check out the video!

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward in review, part four

At least we’re finally thought the story. While we walk through a review of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward in its totality, we’ve taken three weeks covering all of the various stories within the expansion, as well as touching upon a bit of the class design in the last part. Parts one, two, and three cover everything from the main scenario to some of the zone side stories. And now we can move on to the mechanical side of things enthusiastically.

Also, we’re reaching the point where I know I’m going to forget to mention at least one or two things that were really keen from the expansion, but that’s a different discussion.

In terms of sheer volume, of course, Heavensward nearly matched what we got from the base game in terms of patches, and arguably surpassed it in some categories; sure, we only got 10 dungeons from patches rather than 15, but if you didn’t have any interest in Coil in 2.x, you got the entirety of Alexander, which was new. But volume alone isn’t the determinant of how good that content was. So let’s start in on that, albeit not with the dungeons.

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This player is rebuilding Ultima Online in Wurm Online

One of the best parts of Wurm Online’s Unlimited version is that players can run wild with their own custom servers, tailoring them to their every whim. That’s exactly what MMO gamer and Ubisoft artist Andrea “Malena” Fryer has done: She’s combined two of the best MMORPG sandboxes of all time into one by recreating the Ultima Online map in Wurm.

“The most nostalgic MMO players I know (myself included) are old Ultima Online players,” Malena began on the Wurm forums earlier in April. “So I’ve named the server accordingly and will do my very best to set it up, build and decorate just like good old UO. When the day comes that it’s ready to be made public, I hope you’ll share a little moistness in your eye, remembering back to the good old days in the lands of Sosaria!”

The project’s even won the admiration of former Ultima Online lead designer Raph “Designer Dragon” Koster.

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Master X Master unlocks all characters for beta finale

Live in the moment even more than usual, because when April 27th rolls around, Master X Master’s beta won’t be around to keep you entertained.

For the final week of the MOBA’s closed beta test, NCsoft has unlocked all of the masters for testers to test drive and abuse. Abuse? We meant “adore.” Adore. Not only will players have all 36 heroes at their fingertips, but ranked mode on the Titan Ruins map is turned on to test.

“For players still looking to get the exclusive CBT Taejin skin, good news, you now have another chance to get it before closed beta ends,” the studio said. “If you’re able to play and complete at least seven ranked Titan Ruins matches, you’ll be awarded with this exclusive skin, which will be awarded at the game’s official launch.”

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Here are two great guides for the new LOTRO anniversary scavenger hunts

Yesterday, Lord of the Rings Online kicked off its momentous 10th Anniversary celebration with fireworks, dragon kites, and a brand-new series of scavenger hunts that will run through mid-summer.

These scavenger hunts are very involved and time-intensive, involving a lot of criss-crossing Middle-earth on a nostalgia tour to end all nostalgia tours. While they’re mostly straight-forward, requiring players to travel to certain locations and perform certain actions, the sheer number of activities and scavenger hunt cards (30 cards in all) mean that there’s no shame in looking for some help.

Enter the Department of Strategery, a fan blog that has put together two well-done quest guides for the first six scavenger hunt cards (Year One and Year Two). The author not only outlines where to go for each but also provides a map of the world so that you can plan your tour in the most efficient manner possible. Cheers!

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Armored Warfare launches its Tanks Reloaded balance patch and previews its immediate followup

It’s been a while since Armored Warfare first discussed its upcoming “Balance 2.0” adjustments for the game’s mechanics, but the first pass has been added to the game with patch 0.19. The patch adjusts tank gameplay extensively while simultaneously adding 26 new tanks to play. But that’s not all the patch includes; there’s also a new PvP map, two new PvE missions, a new Skirmish mode, and a new Global Operations match. That’d be enough for a patch even without all of the balance changes.

Also, that isn’t the end of the story; the game is already previewing its next major update, which will include more balance changes, a new Garage interface, another new PvE mission, and new UI elements. So the big stuff just keeps rolling along. You can check out a trailer for the most recent patch just below, and you already know what to look forward to after you’ve finished up with that.

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