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Dark and Light preps huge bug-fixing and quality-of-life patch

Snail Games is riding high after Dark and Light’s early access launch last week, and it’s already prepping its next big patch, which the team says focuses heavily on bugs and quality-of-life tweaks. It’s also pretty amusing. Of note,

  • Missing textures, collision issues, the UI mess, and lighting slowdowns are all due for a fix.
  • The Sacred Path area is getting better rain, ouchy lava, and improved physics, plus a less-dark night. There will be less crud in the cities to trip you up too. “It’s called The Sacred Path for a reason,” Snail quips.
  • Bugged quests that improperly tracked progress are being severely punished; the studio promises “a number of revisions and optimizations to our quest system throughout the Early Access period.”
  • Everybody complains about character creation animations, so those have been “improved slightly.” Bonus? “Male characters’ short hair no longer looks like Muckripper scales.”
  • Bugs with taming, busted weapon spells, alchemy, bedrolls, and elementals are all being addressed.
  • “Blacksmiths Talos and Estel have found their clothes and underwear.” Bless.

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Mike O’Brien announces Mike Zadorojny as lead designer for the second Guild Wars 2 expansion

We’ve reached the end of the third season of Guild Wars 2’s story, and now… what comes next? A new expansion, we all know that. If you’ve forgotten, that’s being announced on August 1st, so you have a bit longer until you find out about it; until then, you can rest with some assurance knowing that Mike Zadorojny is the lead designer on the second expansion. This was announced as part of a lengthy letter from current director Mike O’Brien recapping the game up to this point and where the studio sees it heading in the future.

O’Brien’s letter is largely positive, expressing a sentiment that the game has hit a good balance with this season of the Living World and its content releases. Others are slightly less positive, pointing to Heart of Thorns as something of a blunder and the game subsequently struggling to find its footing and deliver the sort of content players were expecting. So it remains to be seen what sort of reveal will be coming on August 1st, but we can bet money that it’ll be significant. (And will probably line up perfectly with the mountain of leaks about masteries, areas, titles, and everything else, but we’ll just pretend those don’t exist.)

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Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 44 finishes episode one’s story

Shroud of the Avatar is complete.

Not the full game itself, of course, but the storyline to episode one is now fully playable from start to end without any gaps, thanks to today’s Release 44. “This means that players can now play through the entire episode one story from beginning to end including all three paths of virtue: Truth, Love, and Courage,” the team posted.

This month’s content update for the early access title also adds dread artifacts, polishes a few scenes, adds the ability for tenants to charge rent, promises more attentive NPCs, and empowers guards to levy fines on those they catch stealing. So be good for goodness’ sake, and read the patch notes to prepare yourself!

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PlanetSide 2 ‘significantly revises’ the continent of Indar

It’s been a while since we checked in with the conflict over at PlanetSide 2, so what’s shaking with this multi-arms MMOFPS? Actually, quite a lot: The team pushed out a big patch yesterday that made significant revisions to the game’s Indar continent.

These changes focus on “improving combat flow in and around many bases, as well as increase the overall flexibility of the lattice. The central three bases, Ceres Hydroponics, TI Alloys, and The Crown are among the handful that have received massive revisions.”

The update introduced the Heatwave weapon series with its hot rod flames-slathered decals, a new NS-45 sidearm, and the VS Zealot Armor. Players should expect to find that the meta has shifted somewhat, with three continents allowed to be locked at any time and only 600 players needed to open up a second continent (down from 900).

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Cute pets are the order of the day for Kritika Online

They’re small. They’re furry. They’re cuddly. They’re fictional. And they’re ready to kick butt on your behalf in Kritika Online.

Adorable combat pets are now part of Kritika Online’s open beta, thanks to this week’s update. The studio is calling this “furever friends” and we must go purge our brains of this fluff right now lest we be driven mad in the near future. Bad pun is bad and must die.

What were we talking about? Some sort of patch. The v202 patch has a lot to offer players, including a revamped arena, overhauled Danger Zones (cue Kenny Loggins), and big adjustments to the auction house. Oh, and they also added a card matching minigame. Because you’re three years old. Speaking of easily entertained toddlers… KITTENS BELOW.

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Guardians of Ember goes on sale, struggles to add horde mode

Early access title Guardians of Ember was hoping to have a great week, what with introducing a cool new feature and all, but it’s turned into a bit of a mess overall.

The team wanted to include a “horde mode” that would pit a group of players against neverending waves of bad guys until overwhelmed. And while the update went out on Monday, by Tuesday problems with the system required a rollback and a rework of the system.

The good news is that the horde mode should be active today, and players can enjoy a double XP event over the weekend as compensation. For those who have yet to pick up this hack-and-slash MMO, the base edition of Guardians of Ember is 50% off at $14.99 until August 1st.

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Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath has just begun Xbox One beta

Hey, Path of Exile console fans. Have you been moping on the sidelines throughout the long PC beta for Fall of Oriath? Were you sad to find out it’s launching on PC on August 4th? Then I have good news for you!

“Grinding Gear Games has announced today that its highly anticipated massive expansion, Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath, will launch its beta for Xbox One at 2pm pacific on Wednesday, July 26th.”

That’s literally right as this post is going live; you can run over and register right now. “Space is limited and players selected will receive their Xbox One beta keys via email,” warns the studio.

As we’ve previously covered, the expansion adds literally new everything, from new skills and bosses to new locations, plus the new pantheon system, five new acts, and the difficulty level system. Just getting caught up? Don’t miss our February preview and reveal, our steam and hands-on with the PC beta, and our E3 interview on the expansion!

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LOTRO: Mordor is still aiming for a July 31 release

Lord of the Rings Online players are on pins and needles this week, wondering if they only have a few days before the expansion or if Standing Stone Games will exercise its option to delay Mordor by up to a month. According to a dev post on the forums yesterday, the target date of July 31st is still a go for launch.

“We typically don’t say more than what we already have until after we hold a meeting to confirm everything is set, and then confirm it by posting the downtime notice,” posted the studio about a release date announcement. “That said, it was included in the pre-purchase page, and at this time at least we have no indication it will not happen then. So, we’re still on track for the 31st.”

Meanwhile, SSG was happy to talk about the new High Elf race (which is not being included in the base Mordor edition but can only be acquired by purchasing a more expensive bundle or waiting until winter when it goes on sale in the store).

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SMITE’s Bear Goddess Artio reveal, Hand of the Gods’ Mayan pantheon, and Paladins’ Jenos

Hi-Rez is busy doing all the things, with hoopla in all three of its modern games today. (Sorry, Global Agenda and Tribes.)

Over in SMITE, the studio is getting ready to reveal Artio, the Bear Goddess, on its afternoon livestream, along with the next phase of Project Olympus, the MOBA’s far-reaching overhaul patch series that began implementation earlier this summer.

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Star Citizen Q&A covers the Cyclone concept vehicle, which won’t make it into 3.0

Earlier this week, we reported on Star Citizen’s latest concept ship: The Tumbril Cyclone, a ground vehicle whose multiple variants will run up to $70 for those who buy in and whose fundraising has pushed the game’s tally over $155,291,000 as of this writing.

Today, Cloud Imperium has released the official Q&A on the rover, information you’d think you’d want to have before plunking down cash on pixels, but hey, this is Star Citizen we’re talking about. Of note, the devs say the Cyclone can carry 1 SCU of cargo, that the RN variant will have “longer [scanning] range and better detection capabilities” than the basic model, that it’ll probably be about twice as fast as an Ursa, that the current variant system isn’t modular, that Cyclones should fit into anything that fits an Ursa, and that trailers aren’t on the agenda.

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Tamriel Infinium: The problem with Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind plot is the twist

I played the Morrowind expansion for Elder Scrolls Online to death when it was sitting on the test server. But oddly, it was a bit more of a struggle to compete on the live servers. Despite this, I believe that Morrowind is a wonderful addition to ESO, and I am looking forward to seeing future content like the Horns of the Reach.

Now that we have all had a couple of months to get through the Morrowind content, I believe that it’s safe to talk about some of the spoilers, especially since the thing that bothered me the most about Morrowind was the main story twist.

This is your warning: Beyond this point, I will probably spoil everything for you. Turn back now and finish the main story for Morrowind or risk being spoiled!

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Black Desert opens hosted PvP arenas in west, previews second awakenings in the east

Western players are getting a chunky 1GB patch in Black Desert today as Kakao rolls out structured PvP hosting in the form of Arena of Arsha.

“Arena of Arsha has been added. It’s a unique battle arena where YOU become the host of your battles. Arena of Arsha is unavailable in the following servers: All Olvia Servers, Velia 1, Balenos 1, Serendia 1, Calpheon 1, Mediah 1, Valencia 1, Valencia 3).”

Guild voice chat as well as a new Cron Fragment event are also live today; gatherers, hunters, and fishermen will pick up the fragments for turnins through August 23rd.

The real excitement in Black Desert right now, however, is what’s going on in Korea and will eventually wind up here. Here’s a look at the Mystic launching there today (we’ll get her later this year):

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Citadel: Forged With Fire launches early access today

Those of you who hate long waits and excessive transparency during those waits are getting your wish today, as Citadel: Forged With Fire lumbers into early access on Steam today after surprisingly little preamble. The game will go on sale at noon EDT. Early access is expected to last up to a year, with a formal launch in 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Should you buy it? Well, it’s early access, and by all accounts it deserves that designation. MMO players should note that while it’s been dubbed a “massive online sandbox RPG,” the servers aren’t currently massive at all. On the other hand? Magic, dragons, and a kickass construction system.

Blue Isle Studios says that the launch patch will contain some big changes; the devs have made structures harder to raid, rebalanced XP from building to stop an exploit, removed chest icons from the map, revamped VOIP, fixed tamed critters, nerfed dragon damage and mana regen, tweaked housing, and solved a number of outstanding bugs.

We took a look at the game in person last week while chatting with the studio’s community manager; that’s down below, along with a roundup of our coverage so far!

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