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WildStar deep-dives in the Bay of Betrayal

The Bay of Betrayal is another piece of content being added in WildStar‘s next patch, and it adds in a few more new ideas to the usual Adventure gameplay. Story-wise, it’s a chance for players to face down the Ascendancy and take on its leader, Calidor Antevian, by bypassing other hopeful Ascendancy acolytes and meeting the big guy himself. In order to do that, players will be granted special technopathic abilities for the adventure, allowing them to siphon power from generators and interact with Eldan tech in special ways.

That isn’t the only way that the Adventure deviates from normal, however; players will also be introduced to an adaptive difficulty system, with the acolytes becoming more or less challenging depending on the medals that the group has already earned. Loot rewards include some unique gear and some low-end Veteran rewards, but players can expect a hard rush in order to get the very best loot out of the encounter.

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Wurm launches new Elevation server

The first iteration of Wurm Online‘s Elevation server had a problem according to the players: the map. People just did not like that map. So rather than telling people to simply get used to it, the designers nodded, took down the server, and spun together a new map consisting of five larger landmasses and a number of smaller islands.

Reactions to the new map? Far more positive! So the server is planned to go back online today using the new map design. The preview of the new map shown on the official site does not feature starter towns or similar points of interest; players looking forward to the new server should keep their eyes peeled for an updated version of the image in the near future.

[Source: New Elevation map]

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World of Warcraft adds retro ‘timewalking’ dungeons

There’s no reason for you to go back to older dungeons in World of Warcraft unless you particularly like the look of something that drops there for cosmetic purposes; they surely don’t offer much in the way of relevant rewards. But some of those dungeons were well-tuned back in the day, and if you’ve never experienced them in their harder modes, you’re kind of missing out. That’s the premise behind the game’s new Timewalking feature: Players will be re-doing older dungeons at lower levels for more modern rewards.

Patch 6.2 introduces seven new weekend events, including two that are designated Timewalking weekends; they allow players to travel back and re-challenge five dungeons from The Burning Crusade and five dungeons from Wrath of the Lich King with their gear and stats tuned down to the level of the instance. Said players will retain all of their skills and talents, however, and the rewards from the dungeons will scale up to be equivalent to loot found in current dungeons. It’s a chance to step back to the past and run through older content with the benefit of experience and the modern arsenal of abilities.

[Source: Patch 6.2 Preview – Timewalking; thanks to Jake for the tip!]

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Rumor: WildStar box recall and promo might herald free-to-play

The last time the retailer yanked boxes of a game from the shelves and returned them to the distributors, it was The Elder Scrolls Online, shortly before that title announced its buy-to-play conversion. Now the same thing is happening, only this time it’s boxes of WildStar. As go Australian EB Games outlets, so goes the rest of the world. You laugh, you mock, but can you be sure it isn’t true?

In all seriousness, there’s no smoking gun proving that this does herald a business model shift, and there are plenty of potential causes for pulling the boxes from shelves. But after what happened the last time, the rumor does have a bit of extra weight.

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Massively OP Podcast: Episode 10

Today we welcome on the show our first Kickstarter guest hosts, Ben Ebaugh and Tyler Johnson of Red Mountain Concepts. Together we forge a new future, solve world hunger, and figure out how to end the scourge of lockboxes once and for all! Or we just talk about the weird, sad, and wonderful news of the week.

Join us on the podcast as we talk about what we’ve been playing in MMOs, the top news stories from the past week, and topics that listeners have submitted!

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Black Desert adjusts for ‘casual lite’ Korean market

Every game changes during testing, but Black Desert seems to have changed even more significantly compared to its original vision from the fan standpoint. One such fan recently penned an article explaining what changes the game has made since its first iteration and why fans are frustrated by them. What’s behind all those changes? A new interview with Pearl Abyss explains that there’s a pretty simple reason: Testers demanded them.

“The tendency of users changed a lot in the past couple of years, and the changes are lot more certain with players exposed to mobile environment,” PA told the Black-Desert.com fansite. “There are a lot of casual lite gamers in Korean market. We are servicing our game based on our players’ demands.”

Western fans who aren’t happy with the shifts can take heart that the version of the game that lands in North America and Europe will be different from the Korean version. There’s also a spot of hope for players eager to try the game for themselves, as the western version is apparently due to enter testing on an accelerated schedule. Take a gander at the full interview for details on why the game is what it currently is.

[Source: Black Desert Revelation. Thanks, Kinya and Dystopiq.]

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Salem isn’t dead! It’s launching June 17th

Salem might have slipped off of your radar over the past few years. It’s a permadeath, open-PvP sandbox that fell into the perpetual beta trap. It also lost its original publisher, which is never a good sign. But no more of that; the game will now officially be launching on June 17th this year. In a Facebook post yesterday, the current owners declared that the game is actually doing rather well:

A group of veteran players who prided themselves on possessing an intimate understanding of the title, and were working on a similar title themselves, decided to scrap everything, purchase the remaining shares of Salem from the powerhouse that is Paradox Interactive, and quite simply evolve the game into the masterpiece they always felt it could be. Slowly but surely, Salem’s population began to rise, and the player-base seemed to reward the efforts of Mortal Moments for the risk they took. The performance of the title is now operating at nearly 800% compared to the time of acquisition, growing strictly by word-of-mouth due to the positive reception of the sweeping changes made.

So if you ever wanted to tool around in a pseudohistorical version of bobblehead colonial America with the very real risk of dying forever, the option of doing so arrives in June.

[Source: Facebook]

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Guild Wars 2’s Stronghold public beta is today; here’s a guide

You can play Guild Wars 2‘s upcoming expansion PvP mode right now! The Stronghold public beta is today! And then it closes up shop again tomorrow, so if you don’t play it today, you’re going to have to wait. You should probably do that now if you can. Maybe not if you’re at work; your boss probably wouldn’t appreciate your running off to play instead of doing your job. You know what we mean.

Are you nervous because you don’t have the slightest idea how to play the map beyond the universal points of not dying and doing damage to other players? Not to worry; there’s a helpful video guide available from the preview events that should give you a clear picture of how to play. And if all else fails, you can always fall back on the defense of this being a beta wherein no one is an expert just yet. The old standby.

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World of Warcraft 6.2 adds new dungeon difficulty, zone

If you thought the first major patch of Warlords of Draenor seemed a bit thin on content, you’ll be happier with World of Warcraft‘s patch 6.2, which is now available on the test server. This patch adds Mythic difficulty for dungeons, a new raid, a new zone, the new Shipyard for garrisons (complete with naval missions), and the conclusion of the Legendary Ring questline. Yes, that’s quite a bit of stuff to fit in the second major patch.

Not all of these changes are available for testing just yet; Hellfire Citadel (the new raid) and Mythic dungeons are still being rolled out, as are naval missions. Smaller changes are also on the test server, however, like the removal of a cap for Apexis Crystals and the newly added item level sync for non-PvP items in PvP combat. Check out the full list of changes and keep your eyes open for more changes as the patch gets put through the paces of testing.

[Source: 6.2 PTR Patch Notes]

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Not So Massively: LoL nerfs Nidalee, Hearthstone bans mods, and Path of Exile talks Act IV

League of Legends finally applied a nerf to controversial champion Nidalee, but players warn that it won’t harm her jungling potential. Riot Games has also decided to run this year’s World Championship tournament series in Europe and revealed the event venues it will use. Hearthstone‘s community manager confirmed that modding the game in any way is not allowed and those caught using any mods will be banned. Armored Warfare released a new sneak peek video on its upcoming M551 Sheridan tank, Infinite Crisis released new champion Lex Luthor, and Bloodline Champions ran its first cash tournament in a long time.

Star Citizen Alpha 1.1.1 was released this week, and developers discussed two new innovations to the game’s FPS module with its stance and breathing mechanics. MassivelyOP got an advance look at Path of Exile‘s colossal upcoming Act IV update, and signups have now opened for the Act IV closed beta to be released on April 20th. Five Elite: Dangerous players have won brand new Geforce Titan graphics cards in the game’s recent scavenger hunt contest, and the latest newsletter revealed the the highly requested cargo drone is coming to the game.

Read on for more details of the above stories and more news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively.

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How to get into Path of Exile’s Awakening beta

So you want to test the next big update for Path of Exile? That’s understandable; it’s a big update that promises a whole lot of new content and new play options. While the developers aren’t yet prepared to reveal all of the mechanical details, there’s plenty of information on how to get into the testing process and what happens when you’re in.

Players will be selected randomly with a rolling timer system, along with some closed beta keys being given to streamers and news sites. Not everything will be available during the test period, but new features will be added over time, just as more testers will be added regularly to ensure that a fresh set of eyes gets exposed. Take a look at the full FAQ for more details, and make sure to sign up on the game’s account management page if you’re looking to get in on the testing.

[Source: Closed Beta FAQ]

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Black Desert demos its new Valkyrie class

Eager to take a look at the newest class being added to Black Desert? The fine folks at Steparu have posted a trailer demonstrating the class in action against random generic enemies, giving players a look at how the class operates. Parts of it are similar to how the Warrior plays, but the visual effects and other skills are entirely distinct to the Valkyrie.

The visual effects of the class have been overhauled to stark white flares and silhouettes, which certainly give it a unique visual impact. If you’d like to run around as a lady smashing enemies into the ground and summoning holy storms to demolish your enemies, checking out the trailer past the break might be a fine idea.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic hosting double XP for Star Wars Celebration

So let’s assume for the purposes of this discussion that you’re a really big fan of Star Wars, but you can’t quite make it out to Anaheim for the Star Wars Celebration convention. Lucky you, there’s a way to celebrate at home: Star Wars: The Old Republic is hosting a double XP even for the duration of the convention, from April 16th until April 19th. It’s not quite the same thing, but you can still be up to your eyeballs in Star Wars while it’s going.

That double XP can be stretched even further with boosts and the like, for the record. A post on Reddit outlines exactly how much experience you can be getting if you make your boosts work together via multiplication, topping out at a 429% bonus. Save up some boosters over the next couple of days if you haven’t already, and get ready for leveling over the weekend.

[Source: OotiniCast; Thanks to Jake for the tip!]

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