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WoW Factor: Analyzing Legion with a critical eye

All right, let me just say for the record that when it comes to this expansion, my speculation last week was meant as just that. But it turns out that I was right on the money, that this was all ramping up as a reminder that the Legion exists, and now we’re going to be storming the beaches quite literally with our new Demon Hunter pals to kick some demons up and down the block like an old, familiar can.

Or whatever you kick up and down the block. I don’t know what your deal is. You do your thing, my friends; I do not judge you in the least.

I said last time that I was rather doubtful of what we’d see with this expansion announcement, and now we’ve seen what World of Warcraft has to offer. So now we get to analyze, speculate, and think about what this means for the next several months. Let’s get on that, shall we?

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Camelot Unchained launches community modding effort

The team behind Camelot Unchained wants the game to have a solid, modifiable interface. That’s a commendable goal, but it’s also something that’s hard to do without a modding community. So as explained in a recent development update, the staff is forming exactly that with the Mod Squad, an initiative dedicated to bridging the gap between developers and backers to make the game as open, moddable, and flexible as possible. Also to fighting crime on prime-time television, maybe.

There are also plans in place to start opening the game’s servers on a more regular basis to alpha testers with Friday Night Fights. Twice a month, the servers open up, and alpha, IT, and beta 1 backers will be able to log in and try out the game in all its glory. It’s not a full test, but it’s a gander at what the game is doing; you can read all of the details in the official update.

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Star Citizen deploys a new patch and kills its old launcher

Star Citizen players have a new patch to contend with today, as Alpha 1.1.6 has been pushed live with a brand-new launcher. The previous launcher had been built with some third-party technology, but its replacement is both built wholly in-house and does a better job of utilizing bandwidth, making sure that it’ll be easier for players to download and install new patches. The irony, of course, is that it’s the perfect tool to download the patch which includes it.

Other improvements in this patch include a new matchmaking system that will match players against one another based upon previous performance and changes to the rules of Vanduul Swarm, Battle Royale, and Squadron Battle. It’s just the sort of thing to use for a solid weekend’s entertainment; you can check out the full patch notes for the changes in depth.

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Star Trek Online announces Season 11: New Dawn

The war against the Iconians has been going on since Star Trek Online first launched, even though it hasn’t always been immediately obvious. Season 11: New Dawn will bring the end of that story, rising out of the grim darkness of the wartime tale to discover a new civilization and a new hope for a galaxy that has fought the greatest threat to its continued existence. It’s hope, rebuilding, and a brighter future, exactly the sort of thing the franchise prides itself on.

Season 11 will also roll out the new Admiralty system, allowing you to use the inactive ships in your roster to complete dangerous missions and earn rewards. You’ll also be increasing your influence in ongoing Admiralty campaigns, giving you all the more reason to keep sending your former command ships on dangerous missions throughout the galaxy. We’ll learn more as the patch approaches, but for the moment you can muse on the possibilities.

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World of Warcraft announces Legion expansion with Demon Hunter class, Broken Isles continent; beta this year

The liveblog is after the cut. Here are the highlights!

Blizzard has just announced World of Warcraft’s next expansion: Legion. Blizzard’s Tom Chilton says that the initial video is “connecting tissue” between Warlords of Draenor and the next expansion. It shows Gul’dan is setting up the events in the next expansion. Spoilers: It’s Illidan. Here’s what the trailer and presentation promises for Legion:

  • New continent: Broken Isles
  • New Demon Hunter class for Night Elves and Blood Elves with a unique experience akin to the Death Knight’s; it has two specs, one for DPS and one for tanking
  • Raised level to 110
  • New dungeons and raids
  • New PvP honor system with a PvP talent tree of sorts that reduces levels’ importance in PvP (it’s a bit like GW2 or FFXIV)
  • Artifact weapons (it’s like LotRO’s LIs + an awesome customization tree), along with weapon visual customization
  • Class “order halls”
  • The “biggest demonic invasion of Azeroth ever”
  • Titans are involved; so is the Emerald Dream (but it’s a raid)
  • Dalaran is coming back as the main hub (hell yeah!)
  • DOUBLE-JUMP
  • Beta begins this year! No release date was given.
  • The official site will be here: http://us.battle.net/wow/legion/

Blizzard promises that the lore lead-up to the new expansion will take place in the game prior to its launch. Eliot’s whole liveblog with more info is down in the comments!
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Skyforge expands Pantheon functionality with its first major patch

Pantheons are a pretty big deal for gods. You get your own worshippers, but you also get to sort of time-share worshippers with the other members of the pantheon, like a two-for-one deal. They’re also a big deal in Skyforge, where they allow players to work together and establish a community. And along with almost every other part of the game, they’re getting a major update in the game’s first major patch which is releasing on August 11th.

Construction missions are being adjusted, with resource costs of several buildings being altered and the construction resources being placed into a collective pool for all Pantheon members to use. There are also systems being put into place to rank Pantheons according to strength, although in this particular patch it’ll be limited to just indicating strength for your personal Pantheon. Check out the interface screenshots and more details on the changes on the official site.

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Gamescom 2015: The Crew offers up a Wild Run trailer

Are you extreme enough to take part in The Crew‘s next big expansion? Wild Run sends players to The Summit, where apparently extreme racing rules. None of this namby-pamby normal racing on city streets with multi-ton souped-up machines that accelerate like a bullet as soon as you tap the gas pedal.

Sarcasm aside, the expansion will allow players access to a variety of new vehicles, vehicle types, and new customization options for things like dragsters and monster trucks. It also comes with a new graphics engine so that your extreme cars will look extremely pretty. Watch the trailer just below in the most extreme fashion possible.

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Final Fantasy XI’s August update arrives today

The end is swiftly approaching for Final Fantasy XI – not a shutdown, but the end of the game’s active story and content additions. The second part of the story finale is the central feature of the game’s August version update, but it’s by no means the only part of the update, as the new Escha – Ru’aun region hosts a variety of new battle content and promises all sorts of diversions for dedicated players.

Players will also be able to explore a new sidequest and a new type of battle content pitting player parties against notable Seekers of Adoulin NPCs. There are also the usual bugfixes, quality of life improvements, and various other additions and expansions to the game of the sort that come with every major patch. Check out the full patch notes, and jump on below to watch the trailer for the middle of the ending.

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Project Gorgon unveils musical stretch goals

The Project Gorgon Kickstarter is humming along nicely this time around, and the developers have already passed the $25,000 stretch goal. So what’s next on the agenda? Music! Two new stretch goals have been added for the $35,000 and $40,000 targets, and both of them should produce a sound soothing to the ears.

At $35,000, developers will expand what can be done with the various instruments already slated for the game, adding in new musical loops, a seventh instrument, and even animal forms getting in on the action. Meanwhile, at $40,000 the game is going to add in the Bard skill line, which can be combined with other skills to make a character well-versed in buffs or crowd control as desired.

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Destiny shows off a new Taken King trailer, Bungie is hiring PC tester

10If you’re still excited for Destiny‘s next expansion, The Taken King, you’ll be happy to know that there is a new trailer available now. While it’s not big on showing off gameplay details, it does have a whole lot of story elements, suggesting that this expansion is definitely going to be of the story-heavy variety. Whether that’s what you wanted to hear is down to your personal preferences.

Of course, if you don’t have a console, all you can do is stare longingly regardless… but perhaps not for much longer. Developer Bungie is hiring for a PC Compatibility Tester in such a way that one could make a convincing case that we’ll see the game on desktops sooner rather than later. Nothing is confirmed, of course, but it’s something to mull over as you decide whether or not you wish to watch the trailer below.

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Gamescom 2015: Blizzard shows off new heroes and maps for Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm players are going to have quite a bit to look forward to in the near future. The game’s newest map, Infernal Shrines, continues the Diablo theme of recent months with three lanes and a summoned hero-killing demon; players can also look forward to the new monk hero, Kharazim, who can swap between healing and melee damage. Rexxar and Artanis from Warcraft III and StarCraft will also be making their way into the game, although that’s a bit less diabolical.

Overwatch isn’t being left out of the reveal train, though, with its newest hero Lucio debuting in a trailer. Lucio is swift, agile, and able to evade and disorient enemies whilst healing his allies. Two new maps for the as-yet-unreleased game have also been demonstrated at the show, the escort-based Numbani map and the capture point Volskaya Industries map.

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Gamescom 2015: Elite Dangerous: Horizons is kicking off with planetary landing

The Elite: Dangerous gameplay is expanding downward. To the extent that “down” is a relevant direction in space, anyhow; the important part is that you’ll be able to go from space to huge planetary sandboxes in Elite Dangerous: Horizons. That’s the title for the game’s next major “season” of updates, and it all starts by allowing players to land ships and explore the airless rock worlds scattered throughout the galaxy.

While that’s just the beginning, players are promised plenty to see and do on the rocky worlds aside from just leaving the cockpit and having a nice stroll. The bad news is that you’ll need to pay money for the expansion, but there is a discount offered for existing customers and the game’s lifetime expansion pass option is also being brought back. Get ready to fly to strange new worlds and start exploring them from the surface as well as in orbit.

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Gamescom 2015: Hearthstone debuts cards, Jousting, and rank bonuses

What would a grand tournament be without jousting? The new Jousting mechanic from the upcoming Hearthstone expansion The Grand Tournament pits players against one another in a contest of mana. Jousting minions randomly draw a minion from the deck of both players, and whoever draws the higher-costing minion is considered as the “winner” of the joust, usually resulting in more abilities for the minion if the active player wins. There’s a short video down below demonstrating the mechanic in action.

Players can also look forward to an improved ranking system. As it currently stands, it’s tempting not to play once you reach a certain rank for fear of losing that rank. With the expansion’s release, players will receive a treasure chest of rewards after each ranked season, and that chest is based on the best rank achieved, not on the player’s rank at the end of the season. That’s in addition to the new cards revealed for the expansion – and let’s face it, most Hearthstone players would have been happy with just the card reveals.

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