mythology

Chaos Theory: Guide to The Secret World’s Templars faction

It’s Templar Time! After looking at the Illuminati and delving into the Dragon, it’s now time to tie up this trio of guides and talk about the final faction in The Secret World: the Templars. I could fall back on that old adage of “saving the best for last,” but this secret society may not be the best for everyone. That’s the whole reason behind these faction guides — so folks can get a feel for what they may want to play. And with Secret World Legends launching its early access tomorrow, the time to pick is close at hand.

As much as I have been tempted to roll a different faction for SWL, it’s going to be very hard to pass up being a Templar. I can’t deny that it has been my my favorite faction; the philosophy jells better with me, I prefer the deck costumes, and I enjoy the wit of Richard Sonnac’s messages. But what really cemented this society’s place at the top was the final story mission, Virgula Divina. Doing the Illuminati story mission felt like a let down by comparison! If you’ve never visited the playroom, you are truly missing out. Could this become your favorite faction, too? Let’s take a (spoiler-free) look-see at what it has to offer.

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Enter to win a SMITE Cu Chulainn or Camazotz skin from Hi-Rez and MOP

Live in SMITE today are both the previously revealed mana-based god Cu Chulainn and the unique Code of Chivalry event, which introduces a morality bar to the MOBA and allows players to complete quests — for good and for evil — to become either a Noble Knight or a Black one.

To celebrate the update, Hi-Rez has granted us a bundle of keys for Cu Chulainn and his Hound of Ulster skin as well as Camazotz and his Xibalba’s Shadow skin. As always, skin codes can be redeemed in-game across all platforms and in all regions as long as you’re playing on Hi-Rez SMITE servers (Tencent runs the Chinese servers, and LevelUp runs the Latin American and Brazilian servers, so the codes won’t work there).

Read on to enter to win!

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SMITE adds Cu Chulainn to its roster and kicks off a Code of Chivalry event

This week’s newest member of the SMITE line-up is Cu Chulainn, the Hound of Ulster. Cu is a rough-and-tumble melee warrior who boasts high crowd control and area DPS. Like the Hulk, you don’t want to get Cu Chulainn mad, because when that happens he goes berserk and sees his stats and abilities improve.

Whether you play this new hero or not, all players can enjoy the Code of Chivalry event that’s currently running. “By choosing good quests, your morality progress bar will lean to the side of good, but choosing bad quests will sway it to the side of evil! After completing 5 quests, your progress bar will determine your remaining four quests and which Osiris skin you unlock first — Noble Knight or Black Knight.”

Finally, for Father’s Day weekend SMITE is selling its dad champions for 50% off (and, presumably, getting each of them a tie).

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Dark Age of Camelot prepares new Mithril currency shop

What’s going on over in Dark Age of Camelot land? For that you’ll have to turn to the latest Q&A grab bag with the developers. Among the topics discussed, the devs gave some word about the next patch for the game — and something special that’s coming with it.

“We have a 1.123B version coming very soon to Pendragon that will have additional class changes to several classes that didn’t make it into the 1.123A notes AND tweaks to several of the changes made in 1.123A based on your feedback,” the team said. “Additionally, and the reason for the wait thus far, is that we are also introducing the new Mithril currency and shop. We were able to squeeze in an armor, cloak, and weapon ‘patterning’ system that will allow characters to copy the look of their existing items onto their other items (with some restrictions)!”

The team also fielded questions about resource crate changes, the myth physical defense stat, and scaling the UI to higher resolution monitors.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG developer would you most like to meet in person?

Be you press or player, one of the advantages of going in person to a convention (or any other gaming event!) is surely the chance to actually meet and talk to individual developers. You can get a partial read on developers from their written words and even their speech on streams, but nothing beats actually talking one-on-one with a dev, looking him or her in the eye, asking tough questions out of PR handlers’ hearing, and chasing a conversation down unexpected paths. I’ve been wowed by devs and community leader whom I didn’t expect to be so amazing — and similarly, I’ve been let down by veteran designers I thought were much more impressive on paper than in person. Sometimes both at the same event!

Which MMORPG developer would you most like to meet in person?

(That’d be Camelot Unchained’s Ben Pielstick in the header working on polearm animations, by the way!)

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Camelot Unchained creates inventory screen mockup

As Camelot Unchained transforms from a ramshackle collection of ideas and features into a cohesive product, it’s neat to see glimpses of the game that it’s to become. Even something as seemingly mundane as an inventory screen can be exciting in this context.

In this week’s newsletter, the team shows a mockup that it is using to create the character gear and inventory screen. One interesting design element that the team is working on concerns the relationship between inventory and speed: “We finished off the first part of encumbrance penalties item on the Beta 1 Checklist. The weight of items in your inventory now affect player’s movement speed. Movement speed is also affected by exceeding one’s carrying capacity stat.”

The Camelot Unchained team continues to work on many features for the upcoming beta, including rendering improvements, seamless zone transitions, and torches (in each faction flavor). The studio even has a guy out back swinging different tools and recording them to make a database of sounds for weapons.

See how the inventory screen is being designed below!

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The Stream Team: Dungeon diving in SMITE’s newest adventure, Trials of King Hercules

This year SMITE has been all about offering varied new adventures for players to partake in when not engaged in lane fighting. The most recent addition is ventures into the typical landscape of MMOs: the dungeon. The Trials of King Hercules is a three-player dungeon crawl, and Massively OP’s MJ is pretty excited to check it out. And as if experiencing a new adventure weren’t reason enough to dive in, MJ has a fistful of codes to give away. If you’ve really been wanting to play Fafnir, or you just have to collect his latest Dread-Lord, now is your chance. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. for this look into this latest adventure and a chance to win a god.

What: SMITE
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 15th, 2017

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Chaos Theory: Guide to Secret World’s Dragon faction

When it comes to chaos, do you tend to run away (possibly screaming), or run toward it? If you lean toward the latter, you might be a Dragon at heart. In that case, this next installment in our The Secret World faction guides may be of particular interest. Today we look into that mysterious green-clad faction that calls Seoul its home base in game. What sets this home-grown secret society apart from the others? Who is a part of this network and what are its goals? And how much information can I spill before I reveal spoilers?

Unlike the Templars and the Illuminati, who are quite present in the real world, the Dragons were specifically developed for TSW. (Or maybe they do exist and are much better at being a secret society!) My very first character I made and played was actually a Dragon. Unfortunately, I found the faction less interesting to me than the others, and I abandoned her to play a Templar, then livestream a Lumie. Now that I have delved deeper into the intricacies of the Dragon, however, I realized I may have ducked out too soon and I am seriously contemplating rolling one in Secret World Legends!

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Battle Bards Episode 100: Centennial spectacular!

After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:

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E3 2017: SMITE and Paladins are coming to the Xbox One X on day one

Hi-Rez has just announced this morning that both its MOBA SMITE and its MOBA Paladins will launch for the Xbox One X on November 7th, the same day the platform itself arrives. Both games are already playable on the Xbox One proper.

The studio’s released a video for each game showing off gameplay and visuals captured with the Xbox One dev kit — and yep, it’s native 4K with 60 FPS. Enjoy!

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Siltbreaker, the first chunk of Dota 2’s co-op PvE campaign, is now live

It seems co-op multiplayer campaigns are the thing for MOBAs to do lately, if SMITE and Master X Master and Dota 2 are any judge, bringing the whole MMO and ARPG industry full circle. Dota 2’s attempt at adding PvE content into games built around PvP arena battles launched this week, in fact. Act I: Siltbreaker is live now and includes loot and de facto achievements and ranks.

“Each playthrough of this campaign offers the chance to earn in-game Artifacts that can be used each time you play the campaign during the Battle Pass season. Comprised of all-new items to the Dota universe, Artifacts are mythic objects of power that can be equipped in your inventory as you progress through the challenges of the campaign. […] As you battle through multiple play zones in search of Rhyzik, you’ll earn completion stars based on your performance level. The first time you complete a zone with one or two stars will net you Battle Points rewards, and delivering a three-star zone performance will grant a treasure from Siltbreaker himself.”

It’s not technically a free update; you’ll need to own Valve’s Battle Pass to access it, which’ll set you back about 10 bucks. Act II: A Vault in the Deep is slated to release in July.

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Camelot Unchained is chasing ‘a game to be proud of, not a minimum viable product’

Is beta one here yet? Nooooope. But Camelot Unchained continues barreling down the track toward it, as outlined in its latest weekly update. City State’s Tyler Rockwell explains that the devs are… watching you. “Rob even co-opted a wall-mounted TV in the office, so he can work while he watches performance changes as players interact with buildings,” he writes. You’re famous!

The team’s also been working on siege engines, player damage improvements, bots (expect a name change on those too, so no more “I like big bots” jokes), ability effects, and gear performance. On the art side, there’s been progress on polearm animations, the interface, helmets, torches, docks, and nodes.

This weekend’s alpha should be focusing on VFX, archery, crafting, and buildings. “We want to focus as much time as possible on the most important goal of the studio right now: getting into Beta 1 with a game that we can be proud of, and not a Minimum Viable Product,” Rockwell reassures players. The weekly wrap-up plus a few other new images and videos are below.

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All Secret World players can get into the Secret World Legends beta as of today

After announcing a surprise headstart for Secret World Legends yesterday, Funcom dropped a second Twitter bomb by informing all current Secret World players that they will be allowed into the Legends beta as of today.

“On June 9th, everyone with an active TSW account in good standing will be invited to the beta,” Funcom broadcast. “We’ll let you know when they’re being sent!”

An account in “good standing” means anyone who has logged into the game in the past 30 days. It should be noted that the NDA is still in effect and that all beta characters will be wiped before the launch, so this shouldn’t be considered in the same category as the early start.

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