maps

Overwatch unveils ancient Petra map, has fun with stop-motion animation for its anniversary

It’s the start of an exciting run of Overwatch with the team shooter moving into an anniversary period. First up? A brand-new match called Petra that looks like it was recently the subject of an Indiana Jones adventure.

“A group of archaeologists have begun an excavation and preservation project among the ruins of Petra, a new Deathmatch map that puts all heroes on their own, facing off against one another until one hero scores enough eliminations to win the match,” said Blizzard. “Take in Petra’s majestic views, from high vistas to twisting passageways and deep caverns. Travel along deadly cliffs, but be careful to not fall off! A dilapidated bridge stretches across the map, and the ground underneath it can crumble away to reveal a lethal pit. Hopping on a green jump pad will boost you up to Petra’s higher levels and unlock new strategic possibilities for you.”

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The Game Archaeologist: Warhammer Online

When it comes to notable years in the MMORPG genre’s history, 2008 stands out as one of the most significant. World of Warcraft’s debut onto the scene in 2004 caused an upheaval in ways far too numerous to go into detail here. Suffice to say that its overwhelming popularity drew the attention of game designers who looked at the staggering numbers of players and found themselves envious of the potential to grab a slice of that money pie.

Many projects went into high gear following WoW’s launch, with plenty of them trying to copy the formula and structure that Blizzard established in the hopes of making it at least partially as big as that game. So-called WoW clones began to pepper the market and there was a sense that gamers were ready to move on from World of Warcraft to the next generation of MMOs. In many players’ minds, this would be either 2008’s Age of Conan or Warhammer Online, two big-budget MMOs with strong IPs that carried a lot of the weight of expectation.

Little did anyone realize that 2008 represented a bubble that was about to burst on the industry and the WoW clones that followed — including Warhammer Online. Today, we’re going to take a look at “bears, bears, bears,” the high hopes of Mythic Entertainment, and how WAR became a casaulty on its own battlefield.

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LOTRO’s Spring Festival has returned for an encore through Memorial Day

Spring may not have left yet, but The Lord of the Rings Online’s seasonal festival already had. But now it’s back! This is great news for anyone who didn’t get their fill of Spring Festival goodness. In an encore event from today through 3:00 a.m. EDT on May 28th, players can frolic about and collect rewards, not to mention snag a pet shew or two. Stop in to dance, gather flowers, race horses, feast, and down ales and play pranks for the Inn League or the Ale Association.

Be sure to give the hedge maze a go while there; you can even use this handy-dandy downloadable map created by prominent blogger @BrandywineFred to find your way through and make the most of your Spring Festival time.

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Hyperspace Beacon: The SWTOR Summer roadmap might get you back into PvP

Star Wars: The Old Republic producer Keith Kanneg just dropped the next roadmap earlier today, outlining the features upcoming before September and a little bit beyond. Although he didn’t give much detail about the future of the story for the game, he gave us enough hints that we can speculate about the direction it’s headed.

At the very top of the roadmap post, Kanneg thanks everyone for such a great first year as producer of SWTOR and hopes that everyone enjoyed the traitor storyline. The story ends with a lot of questions unanswered, but unfortunately, those questions will not be answered until sometime after September according to the post. However, it’s possible that some of the setups this summer are pointing toward what the developers have planned.

Kanneg said the devs have been listening to players and “as a result, [they will] be making a lot of changes based on your feedback, beginning with our PvP plans this summer.” 2018 will be the summer of PvP for SWTOR, so let’s break down everything that the developers are doing.

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Snag a Eudemons Online newbie pack in time for today’s Goddess update

I didn’t know much about Eudemons Online before the folks at 99.com reached out to us about this giveaway, but apparently this game has been around for half of forever and was one of the earliest MMOs to succeed in the free-to-play market in the west, with its anime stylings and isometric, almost Ultima Online-ish old-school flavor. Yeah, it’s one of those games I’d normally judge for the boob ads on the cover, but MMOHuts has a great video from way back in 2010 that actually shows off the real gameplay pretty well, so yep, there’s a real game under there.

Of course, that was 2010, and in 2018, the game is still getting updates, including the one live this week. Patch 2009, dubbed just Goddess, introduces four new dungeons, a new map, summonable servants, and the awakenable goddesses themselves. And if you’re in the mood to try the game out for the first time, you’ll want to take advantage of the free newbie pack the studio has set up for our readers.

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Final Fantasy XIV discusses PvP changes in patch 4.3

Everyone has different goals in Final Fantasy XIV; maybe yours center chiefly around stomping in somebody’s head. If that’s the case, we’d advise you to pay particular attention to the updates arriving for PvP in patch 4.3 because they will affect the path by which you crush skulls; for example, the Feast is getting updates to the Crystal Tower map as well as new music for Culling Time to really get you in the mood for higher anticipation.

Players can also look forward to a new system to keep your ranking between Feast seasons closer to your overall performance, so you won’t be back in the novice tier when a season starts. (Alternately, so you won’t be fighting experts in the novice tier.) Frontline battlegrounds will also be rotating on a daily basis to offer more variety, to boot, so players will face different challenges along with an improved Seal Rock map. It’s all quality-of-life stuff, but you can look forward to it when the patch arrives next Tuesday.

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Wild West Online previews ‘relatively big redesign of the game’ and the PvP system a week after launch

If you suspected, as I did, that Wild West Online might not get much in the way of updates after its bizarrely hasty launch, prepare to be relieved as a new update is on the way to allay those fears. In fact, it’s being called a “relatively big redesign of the game.” What’s going into it? It’s not set in stone yet, but 612 Games has some ideas, and a lot of those ideas are going to appeal to PvE-centric players who don’t really want to get shot.

That begins with the faction system, which is apparently once again the subject of proposed changes. “You will still be fighting for McFarlane or Steele when capturing Towns, but you won’t need to choose your faction on character creation. It’ll be a more fluid system. Town Captures will be balanced – we’re basically borrowing base balancing/gameplay from Battlefield 1 on this,” the studio says. “Players who want to do activities beside PvP will be able to do that relatively safe. […] So basically there’ll be no killing on sight or grieving of players leaving the safety of the towns. All towns will be safe zones unless of course, the town is actively under siege by Factions.”

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Returning to Conan Exiles: Praise for Funcom’s progress on PvE and PvP

As some of you may remember, I wasn’t terribly impressed with Conan Exiles when it first went into Early Access last year. It wasn’t exactly that the game was rough, but just more of the same: free-for-all PvP with people constantly zerg killing each other, now with slavery and some dragons!

But Funcom has done a lot to flesh out the game since then. My GDC look at the game gave me hope, and although the PvE conflict switcharoo is really upsetting, I actually have to say that, mechanically, Funcom has won me over. While I normally track my playtime, I have to admit that I spent far too much time playing Exiles. Sadly, I didn’t get to experience clans, god summoning, purges, teleportation, massive battles, or slavery, but it wasn’t from a lack of trying. In fact, Conan Exiles should give all of us, PvE players included, a reason to pay more attention to the survival genre.

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Grinding Gear runs down everything you need to know about Path of Exile’s Incursion League

Path of Exile is preparing to throw players back in time with its upcoming Incursion Challenge League. When the league arrives in June, players will travel back to an ancient treasure temple and monkey about with history all in the name of sweet, glorious loot.

Of course, players have had a lot of questions about how the Incursion League will function, which is why Grinding Gear posted a helpful FAQ to clarify details.

Players will be hunting for Alva on the game’s many maps. When found, she will open up portals to incursions and the temple. All of these will be modified by the level of the map in which they are found, so it sounds like the instances will vary in difficulty.

The studio said that the temple itself features a randomly generated layout that changes based on what you do during your incursions. And if you get locked out of certain rooms? “That’s what the explosives room is for.”

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Overwatch plans second anniversary festivities, legendary edition, and freebie weekend

Dang, can you believe Overwatch is almost two years old? Actually, I can – I’ve definitely been listening to my husband gripe about Blizzard’s algorithms while continuing to play, and it definitely feels like longer than two years in that context!

Blizz sent ’round the deets for its anniversary celebration today; beginning on May 22nd and running through June 11th, the festivities will land on all platforms. Expect the studio to drop 50 new items (including eight legendary skins and three epic skins), plus new dance emotes, the new Petra deathmatch map, a new competitive mode, a rez on the old seasonal brawls in the Arcade, and of course, legendary lootboxes. In fact, you get one of those for free just for logging in.

There’s also a freebie weekend – even on PS4 – running May 25th to 28th. If you don’t already own the game, you’ll want to consider the new “Legendary Edition” releasing on the 22nd; it’ll include 15 skins with the game in a bundle.

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Diablo II is being recreated in StarCraft 2 by an enterprising fan

You probably have enough of Diablo II in Diablo III at this point to satisfy any urges you might have to play the classic game in a more modern engine. But if that’s not enough for you, why not take a hop and a skip over to StarCraft 2? Because someone is literally remaking the game via the real-time strategy title’s map editor.

Yes, this is a thing that’s happening. User egod123 is rebuilding Diablo II in this wholly different game. Sometimes life is amazing.

The project has been in the works since 2014 and is aimed at recreating the game faithfully while also adding in two additional challenge game modes, with an option for fans to start testing the maps as of today. Hopefully this one won’t attract the banhammer from the Blizzard legal team, although given that it’s being made as a mod of another Blizzard game anyhow, that might be an interesting case to see happen.

Source: Patreon via PCGamesN

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Change history in Path of Exile’s Incursion League starting June 1st

If, like me, you are still quite disappointed from the announcement that the beloved Bestiary League won’t be included in the core of Path of Exile, perhaps Grinding Gear Games can interest you in the game’s next league? Opening its doors on June 1st, Incursion continues the studio’s tradition of offering new content every three months. But it’s more than just a league: Incursion has all the trappings of an expansion.

What is Incursion? Producer Chris Wilson and I sat down to discuss the ins and outs of this next step forward for PoE, which in actuality is a step back — in time. While I may not be able to go back in time to quell those hopes of keeping my bestiary, Incursion will have me going back to manipulate my access to an ancient Vaal temple so I can return and loot it for treasure in the present. Wilson described the league as having two layers: one’s a place where you go and kill monsters in every room in a timed trial like Breach, and the other’s a deeply strategic temple building for a customized zone experience.

After we explored the new content, Wilson made the vision clear. “Our philosophy with Path of Exile releases: The two important things to do are to add compelling new content for people to play and compelling new ways for the players to play it.” With every new league I wonder if GGG can hit that mark, and every time I chat with Wilson I think, By Jove, I think they’ve got it! Read more

Middle-earth is coming back to Google maps thanks to fan and LOTRO screens

Who hasn’t used Google maps to check out some interesting patch of Earth? Now who hasn’t wished they could do the same for Middle-earth? Back in the day, a Google map for the lands of Lord of the Rings Online existed on the site MyLotro. Now, Standing Stones Games has given a fan permission to use in-game screens to recreate that project. There’s still some work to be done (border graphics and a few other tweaks and features are still in the works), but you can check out the beta images on the official forums. When finished, folks will be able to access the maps on most mobile devices. Thanks for making Middle-earth on Google maps a thing, Garan!

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