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DC Universe Online deploys more story content and a new patch

You can start exploring Episode 23 of DC Universe Online right now if you’re subscribed to the game. Right this moment. If you’re at work, your boss legally has to permit you to do this unless said boss doesn’t want to let you! It features a new 8-person raid pitting players against General Zod and various other villains that the developers have declined to reveal for spoiler purposes, along with a new duo that builds players up to a confrontation with the vile Darkseid.

Not a subscriber and unwilling to become one? That’s all right; you’ll be able to pick up the newest episode from the game’s marketplace on April 13th, and you can enjoy the quality of life improvements in the most recent patch free of charge. That includes more loot selection options, improved tutorials, and a new Survival battle in the Fortress of Solitude with some Kryptonian clothing up as rewards. It doesn’t feature as many story developments as the aforementioned episode, but then, what would?

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RIFT’s Runeshaper is one of five souls in the $34.99 Ascended Soul Pack

According to online research, “runeshaper” is not an actual recognized word. According to a leading professor at a New England liberal arts college, “runeshaper” means “get out of my office, who let you in here.” And according to RIFT, “runeshaper” means a ranged damage soul for the Cleric that’s coming with patch 3.6. Definitions are fun! Although it’s not terribly enlightening as to how shaping runes will deal ranged damage; perhaps you shape them into arrows.

Most joking aside, the Runeshaper is something of a hybrid DPS and support soul; the core of its damage rotation is applying seals to enemies which interact with other abilities to result in more overall damage. The soul can drop area effects like the Greater Rune of Mobility, slowing enemies who pass through the area while speeding up allies. Check out the preview if you’d like a spot of fiction all about runes and the shaping thereof.

Trion Worlds confirmed last night via Twitter that the Ascended Soul Pack will include five souls — Maelstrom, Frostkeeper, Runeshaper, Shadowborne and Warchanter — and run $34.99 US.

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Take a look at Hearthstone’s biggest minion yet

The next expansion for Hearthstone will feature a big minion. Very big. Whispers of the Old Gods brings out the Ancient One, a minion with 30 attack and 30 health, enough to immediately kill another player at full health without armor. So that’s going to be fun to see on the battlefield. It’s going to take a bit of work to get it out on the field, though, as explained in a recent card preview and interview on designing the beefiest minion yet.

Players won’t be able to summon the Ancient One directly; instead, players can summon Blood of the Ancient One, a pricey-but-reasonable 9/9 minion for 9 mana. Finish a turn with two of them under your control, and they automatically merge and summon up the Ancient One itself. The result is a minion that’s going to take some work to summon and lacks in special abilities, but makes up for it by, well, being really big.

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EverQuest II shows off the upcoming Scourge Keep raid

Back in the day in EverQuest II, Deathfist Citadel was the home of the Deathfist orc clan, and players went ahead and stormed the place and killed the clan’s leader. Why? Well, with a name like “Deathfist,” you’re either up to no good or forming a crappy college metal band, either of which made killing the leaders a reasonable response. But now there’s a new threat facing players, a brighter gang of orcs known as the Scourge, and they’ve taken over the building and renamed it Scourge Keep.

Needless to say, players will be needed to take care of the Scourge in both Scourge Keep and the Siege, both releasing with the upcoming game update 100 for subscribers. In the former, players can find a variety of orcish opponents at varying challenge levels; in the latter, players can fight through the Scourge and ultimately unlock a special challenge-mode battle against Sanctifier Goortuk. The fight against the Scourge should give players plenty to do when the update goes live, although there’s some debate over whether “The Scourge” sounds like a worse band name than “Deathfist.”

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Trove previews the Gem system coming with the Mantle of Power expansion

The upcoming expansion for Trove offers you a chance to really alter your character fundamentally with the new Gem system. A new preview outlines the workings of the system in brief while giving players an idea of what to expect. It’s quite a lot of changes, with Empowered gems allowing for major new effects like fundamentally rewriting your basic attacks or bursting into rings of fire every time you take down an enemy.

Gems can be found through adventuring in various worlds or bought via random boxes via the in-game store, with gems coming in a variety of different types with different effects. Games can also be leveled up by enterprising players, with more powerful gems also being capable of leveling up further. It’s all a very ornate system; you can find out more with the full preview, and you can also check out the latest expansion trailer just below. You could also pick up the new Extra Life bundle to get an assortment of gewgaws for the game while also supporting charity.

Update: Trion has clarified that these gems will not be sold in the Empowered Gem Boxes coming to the Trove Store: “Gems can only be picked up during your adventures in game while Gem-related items, such as boosters and gem dust, come in the empowered boxes.”

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Meet RIFT’s Maelstrom, complete with awesome shark-head

If anyone ever asks you what the best soul in RIFT might be, you now know that the answer is the Maelstrom. Is any other soul cool enough to have a shark headpiece? Does any other soul summon an ethereal magma shark to superimpose over your character’s head? The answer is “no,” which should be obvious because if the game had two souls doing that, there would be no good reason to play any other games. Thus, the upcoming Maelstrom is the absolute best, full stop.

What, you want to know what it actually does? That’s fair, it does have game mechanics outside of just having a cool shark head. Maelstrom DPS is based entirely around dealing damage through the combination of fire and water, creating scalding bursts of vapor and steam. You can check the Maelstrom soul out for yourself when patch 3.6 launches; the official preview also includes some fiction about the soul which somehow avoids just being a repetition of “you have a shark on your head, that is so cool.”

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WildStar invites players to test a new tutorial and get a hoverboard for their efforts

If you’re a WildStar fan, you want a new hoverboard. There’s no point in saying otherwise because of course you want a new hoverboard. Everyone wants new hoverboards. And you can earn one by logging into the game’s public test realm and making some new characters. Really, that’s all it takes!

All right, you will actually have to play those new characters, but the point remains.

See, WildStar is putting out a new tutorial for new players based on all of the lessons learned since the game launched, and that means that it needs lots of people trying out the tutorials, seeing what (if anything) breaks, and so forth. The only way to do that is to get lots of people involved in the testing. Ideally, participants will test out the Exile and the Dominion tutorials each, but the designers would be happy just to have more live bodies in there and seeing what breaks. So jump in on April 6th to test the new experience and get yourself a sweet new hoverboard for your efforts when the improved tutorial releases.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 59: This great stage of fools

With April Fools’ Day out of the way, we can get back to the ultra-serious business of talking about video games and all of the shenanigans that the industry and community produces! Bree and Justin return for another lively episode to talk about their favorite internet pranks, big MMO patches, and the welcome return of Super Adventure Box!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Final Fantasy XI updates with mounts and a new battle style

If you want to get somewhere in Final Fantasy XI, you usually have to walk there. Like an animal. Sure, there are rentable chocobos (expensive), airships (only between specific ports), and personal chocobos (on lengthy cooldowns), but odds are you need to walk. Or needed, anyhow; the latest version update adds in a variety of new mounts that you can just summon to ride about at your leisure. Now you can ride everywhere! Assuming the locale in question allows for mounts, anyhow.

Once you get tired of riding places and possibly kicking sand in the faces of the nearest rental chocobo NPC, you can move on to other entertaining diversions like the brand-new Ambuscade content which pits one to six players against monsters in a constrained arena. The rewards include a special sort of currency that can be used for items and upgrading specific gear, with hard limits on how much you can get each month and a reset for each version update. There’s plenty to be done in the game with this addition, so dive in and enjoy the version update.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic launches Visions in the Dark with its latest update

Are you of the mind that Emperor Valkorion in Star Wars: The Old Republic is an enormous jerk, or are you more in the “rah-rah-rah, this emperor isn’t so bad once you overlook the horrible stuff he does all the time!” camp? Because the newest chapter of Knights of the Fallen Empire promises to make that stance quite relevant, what with a deadly mission to the heart of the Eternal Empire. If you were subscribed by April 1st, you get to start playing that chapter today; everyone else will have to wait a little bit to play the chapter on April 7th.

Even if you have to wait a bit, there’s still stuff in the patch to explore, including the new Focus option to switch between PvE and PvP instance types on a given server and a brand-new cross-faction warzone. Players can also unlock and use all 5 existing Strongholds on a single Legacy. Even if you have to wait a couple of days to enjoy the big story update, you’ll still have stuff to do when the game’s maintenance finishes up and the patch is ready (the current projected timing is noon EDT).

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Heroes of the Storm previews Tracer’s mechanics

Cheers, Heroes of the Storm fans, the cavalry’s nearly here. Tracer is dropping into the game for Overwatch pre-orders on April 19th, and a brief new video highlights how the shooter’s erstwhile mascot will play once she’s dropped into Blizzard’s MOBA. It’s a very different style of game, but Tracer will keep her own uniquely mobile flavor, starting with her ability to move while attacking.

Beyond that passive trait, Tracer also possesses analogous abilities to her FPS self, including quick teleportation, altering time, and throwing rather nasty bombs around when she needs to. There’s also a promise of a single Heroic ability with three different upgrade paths to alter Tracer’s overall playstyle. Check out the video preview for the character just below. Read more

Final Fantasy XI’s game director is leaving the title

The development of Final Fantasy XI is more about maintenance than completely new lands, but the person in charge of the game is still important to fans. So it’s understandable if you’re sad over the news that game director Mizuki Ito will be leaving the game at the end of the month, moving on to another project within Square-Enix. Ito has been working on the project for the past fifteen years and has served as director for the past five.

Ito will be replaced by current assistant director Yoji Fugito. Producer Akihiko Matsui remains in his role and offered his thanks to Ito for his dedication and work with the project in an open letter to the game’s community. Matsui also restated that the game’s “minor” updates will continue and that the game is meant to still be an enjoyable haven for players for years to come.

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The MOP Up: Paragon recruits Sevarog (April 3, 2016)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we’ll look at a new hero joining Paragon’s line-up, check out a couple of behind-the-scenes interviews with MMO developers, get prepared for the latest World of Warcraft young adult books, romp around with several action-RPGs, and more!

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