pve

PvE stands for player-vs.-environment, where environment is generally taken to mean the world, NPCs, and AI.

Citadel Forged With Fire reworks and nerfs siege spells to help lowbies

Citadel Forged With Fire is rolling out a new patch tomorrowday, and if you’re following the early access game, you’re probably gonna wanna know what’s in it. The big change comes in the form of a siege spell rebalance, the product of a lot of “feedback from the community” that we’re sure was entirely helpful and polite. Essentially, siege spells will be unlocked at lower levels, chiefly to “give lower level players the ability to retaliate should they find themselves the target of a raid.”

Dive Bomb in particular drops to level 30, but it’s also seeing a nerf. “We’ve made its AOE range significantly smaller to prevent it from causing massive damage to large chunks of a structure,” says Blue Isle, further noting it’ll be harder to make too.

Wanna see more? There’s a dev stream on Twitch later today at 4 p.m. EDT. Full patch notes are up too!

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EverQuest II brings out more familiars and expert raids with Game Update 104

Don’t fret that your summer’s slipping away; revel in the final days of August here, as EverQuest II delivered a new game update yesterday to keep players busy and happy.

Game Update 104 built upon the foundation that GU103 laid, adding more features such as familiars, proving grounds, and expert raids. The team added 30 additional pets with the patch, some of which can be found in-game while others are only available for purchase through the store.

Another notable change was a big class balance pass: “With GU 104, there [is] a rather large balance pass which adjusts the outgoing damage across most classes, focusing primarily on Assassin, Wizard, and the Warlock class but most classes will experience some increase. Further updates have also been made to abilities for some of the support classes. This is by no means the final balance pass, and there will be lots of changes and improvements coming with the expansion.”

Source: EverQuest II

 

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Global Chat: World of Warcraft’s wild frontier

How is World of Warcraft like the wild west of American history and legend? Something about Barrens chat might come to mind, but blog Coffee Cakes and Crits has another view on the connection between the two.

“One of the ‘codes’ of the Old West was that you did not have to tell where you came from or why you were in the West,” he writes. “This code is exactly the same in the World of Warcraft. You don’t have to say what you do for a living or your military background or level of education. You don’t even have to claim a gender. It is what you do in the game that matters and you can go as far as you dare to try and, hopefully, try again. This is a very good thing.”

Continuing on with our tour of the MMO blogosphere this week, we’ll see a gut reaction to  the Secret World TV series announcement, impressions from the Path of Fire preview weekend, and more!

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Revelation Online preps level cap increase and raid for September, Assassin class for November

Don’t assume that just because you’re on top of things in Revelation Online, it’s going to last that way forever. There’s an upheaval planned for next month to shake things up and give high-end players more to do.

September’s UpRising content patch will jack up the level cap to 79 and add in a brand-new raid, the Altar of Swords. The team is promoting this as the first “top-tier raid” that offers both a five- and ten-player mode as well as three difficulty levels.

The raid sounds quite foreboding: “The Altar of Swords seethes with an almost palpable aura of hatred and ordinary mortals find it stifling. According to the legend, the soul of Monethir — founder of the Blademaster School — still roams the Altar of Swords, waiting to pass on his sword techniques to those who prove themselves worthy.”

So what can top that? How about the upcoming Assassin class, which is scheduled to arrive in the game this November. However, the team is bringing it to Gamescom for attendees to experience.

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Guild Wars 2 Elite Specialization preview weekend impressions

Over the weekend Guild Wars 2 players had the chance to get to grips with the new Path of Fire elite specializations in a PvP setting, so I, of course, jumped in with both feet and tried out some of the specializations for myself.

You’ll know already if you’re familiar with my ramblings that PvP isn’t a massive love of mine, but I simply couldn’t resist giving it a go for the sake of the elite specializations. I didn’t get to sample each one for myself because I had some key family events that fell over the weekend too, but I’ve been sure to provide a brief as-I-saw-it summary of the elite specializations I didn’t get to spend time actively playing.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll share my thoughts on my preview time spent playing around with the Weaver, Holosmith, Mirage, Scourge, and Spellbreaker and watching the work of the other elite specializations. These are simply rapid-fire impressions — I had to be brief to fit them all into the span of one column — but they should nevertheless be helpful to those who didn’t get hands-on over the weekend.

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Wurm Online adds a new highway system to the game

Roads! You use them to get from place to place. The same is true in Wurm Online, where the latest patch has added a whole new highways system to the game on PvE servers. Players can use the highways to link multiple locations with paved tiles that cannot be destroyed, ensuring that you can travel hither and yon freely rather than wandering in the wilderness and getting eaten by a bear.

So this is good news for everyone other than the bear. Bears are probably less happy about this.

The patch also adds in new fences and parapets and a new crate rack feature, along with some new creature movement fixes for avoiding water (which may or may not mollify the bear contingent). There are also the usual bug fixes and client improvements, so that’s all good even if you have an ethical opposition to highways. The new system should make highways easier to craft and use, though, so go ahead and make your highway and call yourself Eisenhower.

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Pokemon Go’s Yokohama event was a huge improvement over the lawsuit-provoking trainwreck in Chicago

Just a month ago now, Pokemon Go’s Chicago festival was completely wrecked by connection issues that rendered the game an unplayable trainwreck for thousands of attendees, who booed studio representatives who climbed on-stage live to apologize. A Niantic spokesperson at the time admitted the team was “pretty horrified” about how it all went down, which didn’t stop the company from collecting almost $6M in sales on just one day of the event. It didn’t stop disgruntled ticket-holders from bringing a class-action lawsuit against Niantic in Illinois, either.

At the time, Massively OP’s POGO expert Andrew Ross argued that Niantic has repeatedly made amateur-hour mistakes in its handling of a globally massive IP over the last year — that Chicago was just one more.

So it may surprise you to know that in spite of the fact that players around the world are not thrilled about the game’s new raid mechanics, the event that heralded those mechanics — Pikachu Outbreak in Yokohama, Japan — hasn’t been a trainwreck at all.

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Camelot Unchained’s player progression will be a ‘long-term investment’

Is that… is that Camelot Unchained’s Beta 1 peeking over the horizon? From the tone of this week’s newsletter, it certainly sounds as if the long-fabled test is growing nearer every day. In fact, there’s even a section on the website that exhaustively deals with the philosophy and plans behind the beta.

The team had a whole mess of projects to report on this week, including the beginnings of a character information screen, model diversity in the mass bots battles, and dummy NPCs that run around the place.

Possibly one of the most interesting sections of the newsletter dealt with the team’s plans for player progression, which sounds somewhat different than your typical PvE MMO: “We want player’s actions to factor into the global scope of events taking place across the entire world. Player progression is intended to be a long-term investment, and to allow players to focus on what they like best: playing the game how they want to play. For Beta, we’ll be laying out the key progression elements, but will tweak the time it takes to progress during Beta 1.”

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Revel in these five new Wild West Online videos

Were you not appeased by the 13 minutes of Wild West Online gameplay footage earlier this week? What can we do to make you happy, pard’ner? What will ever satisfy your craving of previews for this western MMO?

Let’s try this: How about five additional videos, showing more gameplay, an excursion through a town, lockpicking, treasure hunting, and mining. Is that enough? Please say that it is.

In speaking with IGN, the developers said that WWO is “a place for people to role-play in the towns, prospect for gold, build a homestead. [We’re] trying to find that balance between the PvP players and the role-playing/PvE type of stuff, resource gathering, exploration, building, etc.”

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The Daily Grind: What MMO would you like to see dump its branding or IP?

On Tuesday, Daybreak formally announced that the neglected PvE half of H1Z1, Just Survive, would be shedding its H1Z1 branding once and for all. The reveal couldn’t help but remind me of the way Daybreak did the same thing for Landmark, deleting the “EverQuest Next” and then the EverQuest IP altogether from the title and marketing before ultimately scrapping the entire game not long after launch.

I don’t think Just Survive is necessarily doomed without the branding, however. In fact, I can think of several MMOs that I wish could have dumped their IPs or changed their names to rid themselves of the proverbial albatross ’round their necks. Star Wars Galaxies leaps immediately to mind.

What MMO would you like to see dump its branding or IP?

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Massively Overthinking: Alone together vs. forced grouping in MMORPGs

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that everyone has at some point seen the xkcd called Isolation, but if not, there it is. No matter what the age and era, someone’s always preaching that people were more sociable in the long long ago. In this comic, however, Randall Munroe isn’t even contesting that. His point is basically no duh and so what. Yes, we become less sociable with random people in our immediate vicinity as we gain more and more access to ideas, entertainment, and people not in our immediate vicinity thanks to technology. Ultimately, replacing impromptu stranger interaction with the amusements of our choice appears to be what a lot of people wanted all along.

MMORPG players surely see where I’m going with this because we have the same eternal struggle when it comes to in-game socializing, grouping, community, and stickiness, the tug-of-war between the people who want to play alone together and the people who think that forced grouping is the only true path to enlightenment.

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to reflect on the alone together vs. forced grouping spectrum, to talk about where they stand on it, whether that position’s changed through the years, which games are addressing the divide the best, and how the two sides can move forward in a dynamic MMO genre.

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Deep-diving Gloria Victis’ swordplay and siege warfare

We’re in the midst of a sort of sandbox renaissance, with numerous sandbox titles under development and more seeming to scuttle out of the woodwork on a regular basis, all vying for the attention of the masses of gamers weary of the World-of-Warcraft-inspired theme park formula that has dominated the market for so long. Among these contenders is Gloria Victis from indie developer Black Eye Games, a medieval, low-fantasy title that aims to meld an open-world sandbox MMO with the frantic swordplay action popularized by games like Mount and Blade and Chivalry.

Gloria Victis, like many of its compatriots in this new wave of sandbox MMOs, is still in development, but players can get a look at the current state of the game through Steam’s Early Access program. But if you’re one of the many who are (justifiably) wary of dropping money on unreleased games, don’t fret: I’ve taken the plunge in your stead to take a look at how things are shaping up.

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Blade and Soul’s Dark Origins patch is live with new raids and evolved stone economy fixes

Blade & Soul’s Dark Origins patch is live this week, bringing with it two more chapters of Act 7, the heroic 6-man Ebondrake Lair dungeon, the Scion’s Keep raid, the Temple of Eluvium endgame progression raid, the Nebula Stone PvP event, and “a number of systems changes coming in Dark Origins, including Sealed Sacred Oil Transmutation cost reduction, a skill balance pass, [and] a revamp of the Daily Challenge system.”

“With the Dark Origins update we’re making some changes to modernize the Daily Challenge system. Older dungeons are being removed from the rotation and replaced with more recent ones. You’ll also now only have to complete three Daily Challenges per day to get the reward (out of the six available), and the reward when you do complete them has been improved and gold amount increased.”

NCsoft’s also noted that the previously announced server merges have been completed. Check out the whole patch notes for a run-down of the class changes and then take a peek at the brand-new trailer.

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