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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Elder Scrolls Legends, Fortnite, Path of Exile, World of Warships, Paladins, Armored Warfare, Neverwinter, Guild Wars 2, Overwatch, Elder Scrolls Online, World of Tanks, Shot Online, and EVE Online, all waiting for you after the break!
Datamining has uncovered the class selection for two of the four allied races slated for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, and it will likely not come as a substantial surprise. It looks like both Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs will have access to the same classes as their “parent” races, barring hero options; Dark Iron Dwarves can be everything aside from Demon Hunters, Death Knights, and Druids, while Mag’har Orcs also pass on Paladins and Warlocks. If you were hoping for any particularly odd options, you will be slightly disappointed.
The build also contains the usual assortment of new zones and new class changes, as well as a few new mounts hinting at factions or at what players can unlock via PvP. As with anything obtained via datamining, it’s subject to change in the future, but you can take this first look as a fairly reasonable indicator of what the future will hold.
Blood Elf Paladins in World of Warcraft are drawing upon the power of the Sunwell, but they still have the same fel-green eyes as ever But you may not have that restriction in Battle for Azeroth. The latest alpha build of the expansion has added in three faces with golden eyes to the character creator, allowing you to go for a bit more of a light-touched look if you so desire. It’s a heretofore unannounced change, but a welcome one.
The latest build also includes the usual array of ability changes as well as new models and art assets; there’s also a new set of achievements rewarding the first hundred players to defeat raid bosses on Mythic difficulty. Those achievements are per faction, though, so the race is not against both sides (useful if there’s a faction imbalance). The alpha seems to be humming along nicely, then, even with the unexpected additions.
Source: Wowhead (1
Last week, we got confirmation that Kul Tiran Humans and Mag’har Orcs are coming to the Allied Race roster for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. We don’t know when, but I have a bit of a theory about that as it is; from what we know, it’d make sense to have Dark Iron Dwarves and Mag’har Orcs brought in at the start of the expansion, while the Kul Tiran Humans and Zandalari Trolls are brought in after you’ve finished the leveling story for the respective factions. The former are more solidly members than the latter, after a fashion.
But we don’t know for certain when they’re getting added, just that they will be. And that’s interesting, because it means that both factions have significantly increased their race options within one expansion. And that becomes kind of relevant when you look at how many choices individual players have in terms of having something for all of these different races to do.
Once again, gamers prove that protests can work.
Here’s the deal: Paladins players have been grousing about the Cards Unbound system for months, alleging that the system basically turned in-game purchases made with gold into purchases made only with real cash – in other words, that Hi-Rez had gone way too far over into lockbox-centric pay-to-win territory. At one point, the Paladins subreddit was so fed up that players were “designing” really terrible MS Paint-esque fake cards in protest.
At the tail end of February – the same day IGN posted an article citing an anonymous source claiming that the Cards Unbound system was forced upon the dev team by greedy execs, the studio finally backed down.
It’s important to note at this point that World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth has not yet revealed the classes for Zandalari or Dark Iron Dwarves, but the datamined classes suggest that Zandalari cannot be Paladins. This seems at odd with the extant Zandalari Prelates, who already appear to be Paladins, but a questline in the current test reveals why that might not be an option when the race is available to play.
That being said, who knows if that’s going to be the case when the Allied Race is playable, so lore speculation remains speculations. For all we know Zandalari can be Druids and Paladins and nothing else. (Probably not.)
Testers have also taken a look at the game’s new interface for PvP talents in the expansion, which is still early and likely to change as development continues. It’s pretty substantially different; take a look at the early previews to see what it’ll be like to pick out PvP abilities when the expansion drops.
While it’s not as cool of a name as “Thunderdome,” Paladins’ Battlegrounds is still likely to attract plenty of bloodthirsty savages looking for a good scrap.
The new game mode, which is pretty much your now-standard battle royale (complete with the ever-shrinking walls of poison fog), arrived in Open Beta 66 this past Wednesday. Other changes that came with the patch include a Facebook Live streaming option, changes to the minimum system requirements, and a required level of 15 for the classic siege mode.
Hi-Rez has had its hands full this week. The studio faced an uprising from players following the addition of lootboxes in Update 64. These lootboxes, which came in the form of cards, were seen as pay-to-win by many and resulted in players flooding the Paladins subreddit with crappy card art as a way to mock the move. This goofy protest paid off, and Hi-Rez announced that it will be removing and replacing the system.
Did you know that you could queue up to play on Paladins’ unfinished test maps? Massively OP’s MJ has never tried this, so today that’s her goal. She also feels the need to practice with new champions in preparation for the battlegrounds map that will limit her choices (often to things she has never played!). Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to try out the test maps.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 19th, 2018
From the first moment that two-headed dragon was revealed, Massively OP’s MJ knew she had to play Moji, Paladins’ newest champion. Today she finally gets to! Playing a Flank will be a bit new, but who could resist turning enemies into Scooby snacks? Top that off with riding in on her new primal prowler battlecat mount, and MJ is one happy camper. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to check out this new champion and mount.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
It is true that the Hi-Rez Expo has wrapped up for 2018, and we’ll need to wait another 12 months to attend the next one. (Folks should be over the effects of the after party by then!) There’s just something awesome about getting to gather with tons of fans in one place as well speaking with devs face-to-face. Every year has been cool, but this year has something a little extra: Founder and CEO Erez Goren attended and mingled, answering questions and sharing his love for gaming.
Goren hasn’t given many public interviews in years, but between the dev roundtable with President Stew Chisam and bumping into him on the show floor and chatting with him individually, I got to learn a number of fun facts about the philosophy and workings of the studio from the tip top man himself. And it is true, everything did come from Global Agenda!
As much as the battle royale-flavored Battlegrounds is big news, it wasn’t the only Paladins news at Hi-Rez Expo 2018. We also learned that there is a new champion, a new map, and more coming to the shooter. But there is always more to learn about news than an announcement provides. That’s one of the things that makes the expo great: the opportunity to talk face-to-face with devs about the game. And that’s exactly what I did!
I spoke with Art Director Thomas Holt and Lead Designer Garrett Martini about Paladins, its upcoming changes, and the lore and story of the game. I also had the chance to try my hand at the mobile take on the game, Paladins Strike, that we heard about at PAX West. Read on for an inside look from the event!
While the bulk of Hi-Rez Expo 2018 is taken up with the various tournaments, the fans have their own contest open to them: Welcome to cosplay. I’ve been bumping into Paladins and SMITE characters out and about all weekend, but the contest showcased some super impressive costumes. If you’ve ever wanted to see a Ao Kuang in real life, good news for you: He won first place! Second place went to Skadi, and third was Bellona.
Congratulations to all the participants, both on stage and off! If you weren’t able to make the event, you can still admire many of the costumes in the video and gallery below.
Paladins got not one but four announcements at this year’s Hi-Rez Expo. There’s a brand-new team death match mode coming as well as new battle cat mounts and a unique new champion. And then there was the biggest news revealing the upcoming Paladins: Battlegrounds.
But announcements only gloss the surface of things, so I sat down with devs to discuss the new modes. Todd Harris, Hi-Rez COO and Paladins Producer, and Erez Goren, Founder and CEO, shared details and answered questions on Team Deathmatch and Paladins: Battlegrounds. I also got to settle in and play a few matches of Battlegrounds. Here’s what I learned in the interviews and my hands-on.