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World of Warcraft briefs on its Tomb of Sargeras raid

World of Warcraft’s elite players are waiting with bated breath for the release of the game’s newest and perhaps most challenging experience yet: Tomb of Sargeras. Blizzard has been polishing up the raid, giving players a preview of what to expect when — or if — they dare to step inside.

The raid will be offered in four difficulties (raid finder, normal, heroic, and mythic) and take players on a intense tour of nine hand-tailored bosses that are itching to put the smackdown on these adorable little moppets.

“In structuring the Tomb of Sargeras, we simultaneously wanted to deliver an interior worthy of the epic façade that towers over the Broken Shore, while also leaving room for variety in both atmosphere and the types of bosses standing in players’ path,” the devs wrote. “That goal informed the overall layout of the raid, and the flow from start to finish.”

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Elite Dangerous posts plans for PS4 launch and beyond

Crowding in on a packed MMO month this June, Elite Dangerous will launch on the PlayStation 4, bringing this space sim to consoles for the first time. But what does that mean for all players of the game going forward?

The team posted a preview of what’s being worked on behind the scenes, starting with the rollout of 2.3.10 on June 27th. This patch, which will role out to every game version, is mostly focused on under-the-hood fixes for game stability and performance.

Following that is a “mystery update” that will be spread out over time: “We’ll be providing a little more information about the update to the community and the press during E3 on June 13th and 14th. We’ll be hosting special community livestreams and activity so stay tuned for more news and updates as we get closer to the date. I can, however, tell you that this update will be slightly different to previous ones — content will be revealed over time rather than all being available on day one. Additional pieces of exciting content will surface over the coming months as the narrative progresses.”

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Hands-on with En Masse action MMO Kritika Online ahead of closed beta

If you are a fan of action and anime, you might want to keep your eye on Kritika Online. Although this game has been out for years in Korea, it is just now making its way to the western market. En Masse, best known to MMO fans for its shepherding of the western version of TERA, is localizing and publishing this anime title, which will start letting players in to play the closed beta starting tomorrow, May 24th. In preparation of this closed beta launch, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk shop with Senior Product Manager Brian Knox. In between slicing and dicing bosses in a couple of dungeons, Knocks shared some tidbits of what players can expect in this new game. Along with that hands-on time with a mid-level character during the interview, I was able to log in and experience the game as a brand-new adventurer. Here’s how it all went down.

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DCUO preps WWII-era Age of Justice update for June

There’s some positive word-of-mouth bubbling out about this summer’s Wonder Woman feature film, which, if true, would be a boon to the bruised DC movie franchise. While the film is set during World War I, the team over at DC Universe Online is preparing its own retro story, this one set during World War II.

The Age of Justice update is scheduled to arrive globally on June 1st, teleporting players back to the beginning of the Justice Society of America in the 1940s. Alternate histories will be explored, including a time-ravaged Area 51 and a European village under the thumb of Axis leader Baron Von Savage. There will also be plenty of four- and eight-player instances to overcome.

Free players who are not subscribers and haven’t purchased the episode will be treated to a one-month preview of the war-torn village map with limited rewards. Speaking of rewards, there are several “time-torn energy” styles and gear sets, as well as base items, feats, and titles.

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Dark and Light previews dwarves, launches early access ‘later this year’

Does it seem as if Dark and Light is just creeping along with a tiny trickle of updates? We’ve got another one this week in the form of new screenshots posted to social media demonstrating the old game and the new.

“Behind-the-scenes, our devs are busy polishing DnL for its EA launch,” Snail Games says. It’s been in the process of rebooting the decade-old MMORPG since last year. It was originally intended to launch in the fall of last year, as we’ve previously chronicled. Earlier this spring, the game’s Chinese branch apologized to players for “again” making the decision to extend development, thereby delaying beta (and presumably our early access) until (at least?) summer, though Snail is saying “later this year“:

“Check out some of the work our devs have been putting into fleshing out the world of Dark and Light! Improved models, textures, lighting, and general world design are just a few of the things being polished up for the Early Access launch later this year.”

The new images are tucked down below.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 116: Bree’s virtual garage sale

Is Ashes of Creation destined to be the Kickstarter event of the year? Today on the ‘cast, Bree and Justin talk about this crowdfunding tsunami, several MMO patches, a superhero preview, and even a launch. Also, Bree is selling the entire contents of her virtual garage. It was a busy week!

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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Valiance Online previews City Hall and the hospital

The team behind Valiance Online wants to show you everything there is to be seen within the game. Of course, you can’t see it yourself at the moment, but that’s all right; the development team is more than happy to highlight some screenshots for you, showing off the City Hall platform and two shots of the Landvik Memorial Hospital for future players from the current internal tests.

Once players are actually in the test, the plan is to continue publishing screenshots from both players and developers on a regular basis, so everyone can see what’s going on in the world. For now, though, it’s just internal test shots. You’ll have to mentally add the swarms of players and particle effects.

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World of Warcraft’s Gnome races become codified

Practically since the launch year of World of Warcraft, there have been player-run Gnome races (especially the nekked variety), sending pint-sized characters on a madcap dash across hostile zones without any support. By 2009, the race had been turned into an awareness event to fight breast cancer (hence all of the pink hair-dos). Now what was once solely a player production is now about to become an official part of World of Warcraft’s eclectic feature set.

As part of the upcoming Patch 7.2.5’s new micro-holidays (which include a dance party and fashion show), Blizzard is adding what it’s calling The Great Gnomeregan Race to the docket. The race, which looks like it might be coming this fall, sends players on a continent-spanning marathon through 40 gates. Along the way you’ll see several of the game’s more famous Gnomes, and at the end you’ll be crowned the King of the Gnomes.

Get a preview of The Great Gnomeregan Run after the break, but you won’t have to wait to run around with little people, because WoW’s Children’s Week is running right now!

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Elder Scrolls Online previews Morrowind’s dwemer ruins

Remember Naryu Virian? She’s the snarky assassin fronting Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind tour videos, and she’s back again today with a disdainful travelogue on Morrowind’s Dwemer ruins. In short? She’s not a fan. You can’t stab a mechanical automaton in the back, after all, and where’s the profit in that?

In other ESO news, ZeniMax has announced the winners of its recent home decorating contest, in which players were asked to deck out their Homestead buildings according to predetermined themed. USA and Germany had strong showings — my favorite’s definitely the massive library studded with spotlight skyshards, but they all reset expectations about just what can be done with Homestead, a bit of creativity, and a ton of cash.

The Dwarven ruins vid is tucked down below.

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Pantheon unveils the second part of its early Monk preview

Harsh environments, energetic punches, and the ever-present specter of death, all of this can be found within the archive of the most recent Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen livestream event. You can watch that whole thing just below if you want, although we should warn you that it’s an hour and a half long. Don’t do so five minutes before you’re supposed to leave for work or a class, that’s what we’re saying here.

If you need the same information in a more digestible format, a Reddit user has helpfully assembled a summary of the two-part stream going over the game’s Acclimation system, the early Monk abilities on display, death, and so forth. Sure, you miss out on gameplay footage, but it includes interesting information about how the combat will get more dynamic through varied NPC dispositions and how enemies will have different tactics and routines based on the situations. Some enemies will be afraid of fire, some will force you to knock them out of cover while they lay down a swarm of arrows, and so forth. Check out the stream just below, or read up on the summary if you just need the details now.

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Path of Exile previews updated NPC models and adds new cosmetics to its store

Since Path of Exile’s next major update is really heavy on story, it’s the perfect time for the team behind the game to work on updating old NPC models around the game. After all, you don’t want to be pulled out of the experience by noticing that a character model is slightly sub-par before you go laying waste to everything around you with explosions of lightning. Nessa and Tarkleigh’s models are both available for preview, with a quick glance making it rather clear which model is the new and improved version.

Of course, with all of the good work being done on The Fall of Oriath, perhaps you’re inclined to drop a little money on the game to support these kinds of huge updates. So it’s a good thing there’s new stuff to spend money on, including a wallaby pet, a swarm of bats, and a glowing red portal effect. (Glowing red portals are the best portals.) You can check out some of the video previews for these new items in the store, which should be helpful for determining how much you need a virtual wallaby.

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Final Fantasy XIV talks about the new features of its Stormblood benchmark

Have you downloaded the Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood benchmark yet? “No,” you say, “because I already know my computer can handle it and who the heck uses benchmark software any more?” But you’re missing out if you haven’t, because as the developers are frequently wont to do, there’s stuff included in the benchmark to serve as both a preview of coming attractions and to make it easier to gauge your computer’s actual performance.

The benchmark’s character creator allows you to play around with the two new hairstyles coming with the expansion as well as giving you the option of several different gear sets to try out. You can also directly import your in-game settings to the benchmark, allowing you to gauge your machine’s performance using your actual setup instead of a pre-selected set of variables. And, of course, there’s the actual video of the benchmark… but you can watch that just past the break if all you care about is a glimpse at the expansion. (Or if you’re on console and can’t really run the benchmark.)

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LOTRO Legendarium: 10th anniversary interview with Standing Stone’s Rob Ciccolini

As Lord of the Rings Online players revel in the varied activities of this year’s 10th anniversary celebration, the crew at the newly formed Standing Stone Games has a huge task ahead of them: To capitalize upon this monumental milestone and prepare to shuttle players into the “endgame” of the books.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini to talk abut the anniversary, its hiccups, and upcoming Mordor expansion. As the page turns on a new chapter of both the game and its development team, it truly feels like we’re about to venture into the unknown in more ways than one.

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