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Black Desert is getting a remastered orchestral soundtrack with European orchestras

The upcoming soundtrack remaster for Black Desert is nothing but an upside for fans of the game. If you already like the music in the game (you can read Justin’s evaluation of it), well, now you’ll get to hear a different version of all of it; if you don’t already like the music, hey, you’re getting a new soundtrack you might like more. But don’t take our word for it, as you can check out a preview video just below showing off the process of bringing the soundtrack to a full orchestra.

If you’re worried about lack of fidelity, the remastered soundtrack is being overseen by the original composer, Hui Man Ryu, and performed by the National Orchestra of Halle from Germany (with help from additional orchestral members from Prague and Budapest). Check out the video below, listen to a couple of sample tracks on Soundcloud, and get ready for a much richer sound for the game when the remastered soundtrack gets added.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood dungeons in review

Have I really not talked about the dungeons of Stormblood yet? That’s unexpected. Usually I would have mentioned them by now, I talk about these things a lot. Yet here we are and I haven’t really given a deep look at any of the dungeons through the leveling experience up to the top. It is, frankly, a shocking realization, and it’s all the worse that I spent a lot of time thinking (and working on) columns on more esoteric elements of Final Fantasy XIV before remembering this obvious one.

So let’s correct this now and talk about these dungeons. The level range for things was adjusted after my initial preview, and we have a similar leveling arrangement to how things were in Heavensward, but I honestly like this batch more. Part of it is familiarity, sure, but I remember feeling like the first two dungeons in Heavensward were kind of clunkers even when they were new, compared to really enjoying the heck out of everything in Stormblood. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t high points and low points, but… well, let’s just get to it, yes?

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DC Universe Online prepares for the Riddled with Crime update on September 20

So for whatever reason, Batman isn’t patrolling Gotham City in DC Universe Online. That’s a bad thing under any circumstances, but it gets even worse when you realize that The Riddler and The Joker have teamed up to make the city an even more crime-riddled place to live. Fortunately, Nightwing, Batwoman, and Talia al Ghul are there to help guide players through the game’s newest burst of content, which sees players working against the two masterminds of Gotham’s underworld in several formats.

The content added ranges from open world missions on the Amusement Mile as players step into the middle of a gang war to the new eight-player raid at the Gotham City Zoo. Players who clear the most difficult content can get access to Riddler-themed rewards, a Batwoman mask, and the satisfaction of keeping Gotham City safe from itself again. Check out a preview video just below, and get ready to start beating up suited enemies on September 20th.

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Villagers and Heroes bumps up Starfall’s launch date, releases new talent builder

Surprise! Instead of delaying Villagers and Heroes’ major expansion-slash-reboot, the developers announced this week that they are bumping up Starfall’s launch from September 27th to the 20th instead.

That means that you won’t have as much time to get ready, since this is coming next week. So make sure you read up on all of those patch notes and check out the latest edition of the talent builder, which is now live.

Starfall includes a reworked loot system, revamped talents, four new high-level zones, a level cap increase to 90, more character creation options, reworked crafting, tweaks to the UI, and more. You can get a preview of Starfall, including the new hairstyles and character appearance options, in the dev livestream after the break!

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Secret World Legends mission inventory and new Tokyo content coming next week

Funcom isn’t finished with its Tokyo vacation just yet. The studio still has a lot of content from Kaidan to reincorporate into Secret World Legends, including next week’s Beyond the Wall update.

According to a livestream on Friday, the developers have reworked this more quests and finally figured out… something to do with the AEGIS system. It’s sounding a lot more like it’s going to be “story-related” rather than a progression system. Also coming with the update is the very welcome mission inventory to help free up some of your limited bag space.

The team said that the rest of Tokyo (Orochi Tower) should come shortly after, followed by the brand-new content that it is planning for later this year. Going forward, Funcom wants to keep pushing out both story and endgame content in its updates.

Ready to go behind Tokyo’s wall in Secret World Legends? Get hyped with the trailer below!

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Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 inches closer to testers, CIG touts its mission system

In this week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, Cloud Imperium says it’s reduced its must-fix issues by 50 over the last week, bringing us that much closer to the release of the 3.0 alpha for the earliest outside testers, though we should probably note that not all the issues were actually resolved, just set aside. That means there are now 26 must-fix problems left to go.

“We’ve tightened the focus of our first test plan for the Evocati, which will be traversing and experiencing the expanse of the new universe and all that entails,” CIG’s Eric Kieron Davis says. “Then, while we’re getting larger test support, we’ll continue to polish and bugfix more features, push them out for more testing, and so on and so forth until release.”

The episode’s content preview this week focuses on the mission system specifically. It’s heavy on the tech jargon, but toward the end, the devs dig into the philosophy behind really building out every detail of the mission system — customization built on top of procedural generation, not just one or the other, and not just slapping down some quest text and NPCs or letting a spreadsheet do the heavy lifting.

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LOTRO starts testing Mordor instance cluster, talks about its soundtrack and lore

Even though the doors leading into Lord of the Rings Online’s Mordor were busted wide open, not all secrets — and features — were revealed. The developers said that both the Mordor instance cluster and the expansion’s raid would come after launch, and now it looks like that moment is almost here.

The team announced on Twitter yesterday that it has begun testing Update 21.2, which contains the aforementioned promised content: “Bullroarer is being updated with a preview of 21.2, including instances, Allegiance quests, and more!”

Speaking of the Allegiance system, one of the game’s writers posted a lore piece about the Battle of the Five Armies that ties into the Dwarf storyline of the expansion. Or if music is more your bag, hang out with Mordor Composer Chance Thomas for an AMA this afternoon! When asked by Massively OP as to when the Mordor OST would release, Thomas said that there is nothing official yet but the publisher is aware of the demand.

Source: LOTRO, Twitter, Reddit

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WoW sells charity pet for hurricane relief, plus more on Overwatch’s Junkertown & Hearthstone’s Oktoberbrawl

We’ve got a fun roundup of Blizzard’s doings, so let’s get started! The studio is selling a new “Shadow” fox pet with adorably huge ears for $10 in World of Warcraft’s cash shop. So why is this special? Because the studio is donating all profits to charity to benefit the victims of the current hurricane season.

“For every Shadow pet purchased between September 12, 2017 and December 31, 2017, 100% of the adoption fee will be split equally between American Red Cross Disaster Relief and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Disaster Relief Fund to assist with relief efforts around the world,” the studio said.

Moving on to Overwatch, the devs are busy putting the final touches on the game’s newest map. Junkertown is coming on September 19th to all platforms, but you can get a preview of the map right now.

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Marvel Heroes is bringing Venom to consoles – but only for two weeks

Want to experience the heights of joy and the depths of despair in the same sentence? Here you go, straight from Marvel Heroes’ Facebook feed: “We’re excited to announce that Venom, the Lethal Protector, will be available Thursday (9/14) on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for a limited time!”

That sounded pretty good until those last four words, which ended up casting a shadow of weird doubt over this whole exercise. Why only for a limited time? Is this a high-pressure tactic to drive up sales? Is Marvel Heroes going to start rotating its store roster? Word is that Venom will only be available for two weeks, then will take off to parts unknown until returning later this year.

One developer makes this sound like a preview of sorts: “Venom won’t be available for eternity splinters during this limited time sale, no. He will be later after his formal release, which currently is planned towards the end of the year.”

Source: Facebook

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Guild Wars 2 is running another Path of Fire stress test on Thursday

Quick show of hands, who in the audience would like to break the Guild Wars 2 servers? Well, that’s… that’s a lot of hands, and… is that someone with a hammer? That’s not what we meant! It’s a stress test, dude, a test designed to break the servers by overwhelming them and seeing how they perform under load. It’s ahead of the Path of Fire launch, get it?

Put the hammer away; I don’t care how much a hammer will put stress on a hard drive. Don’t be a jerk.

For those of you who know what a stress test is, unlike Smashy McBreakstuff over here, you can start in as long as you have a valid GW2 account at 3:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 7th. The test should run for about two hours, so if you’re not going to be available at the time, think of it less as a preview opportunity and more as… well, a stress test. Exactly what it is, in other words. Bug reports are welcome, but you should expect the servers to be a little stressed.

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds passes 10M sold

This year’s online juggernaut is not, surprisingly enough, anything made by Valve, Blizzard, or Riot, but instead one stemmed from the mind of a modder. Of course, we are speaking of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the multiplayer battle royal that’s started to edge out contemporaries like H1Z1.

For proof of just how big and massively popular this title is, consider that since its launch on Steam early access in late May this year, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sold an astounding 10 million units to trigger-happy gamers. And those games are being put to good use, with a peak concurrency of 970,000 set during Gamescom last month.

PUBG is set to launch on PC and arrive on Xbox One game preview later this year. Curious what this game is about and why it’s sweeping the PC landscape? We’ve got an informative video to share with you about that after the break.

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‘Yes, you can transmute any weapon or armor’ in Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC

One of the most intriguing bits of news to emerge in The Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC preview yesterday was the details behind the brand-new transmutation system. As ZeniMax wrote, the system will allow players to “change the traits on [their] gear, including weapons and armors,” in exchange for a new resource called transmutation crystals, which you can earn through veteran level content (trials and veteran dungeons are listed as examples).

In response to a zillion confused tweets and comments, ZeniMax has since clarified the way the system works. “We’re getting many great questions about the upcoming Transmutation system,” the studio tweeted. “Yes, you can transmute any weapon or armor.” According to the tweets, you’ll be able to transmute non-crafted sets, veteran Maelstrom and Dragonstar arena gear, and… well, everything is everything.

“‘Transmute’ will be the #ESO term for the re-traiting system (different from the transmogrify system we’re working on.)”

Source: Twitter, Reddit

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PAX West 2017: Dual Universe demos its persistent, seamless, sandbox universe

If you were hoping that another title would pick up the idea of a voxel world and run with it, you’re getting your wish. I met with Jean-Christophe Baillie, the president and founder of NovaQuark, at PAX West. He showed off the pre-alpha build of his company’s voxel sandbox, Dual Universe. After zooming across the planet, building a ship, terraforming, and then blasting off to the moon to do it all again, I believe this subscription-based game (which begins its pre-alpha for backers on September 30th) may very well be the home that players who’ve been wishing for a voxel-based world have waited for.

Baillie defines Dual Universe: “We give more creativity freedom to the players: They can build the ships they want, the environment they want, the houses they want. It’s about freedon to create anything you like.”

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