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Elder Scrolls Online previews Morrowind's Foyada Quarry (pro tip: lava is hot)

ZeniMax has this morning released a deep-dive of one of the trio of battlegrounds due to launch in The Elder Scrolls Online when Morrowind arrives in June. The so-dubbed Foyada Quarry is quite different from the last battleground previewed, being wide-open with little cover.

"In this deserted granite quarry, you can view exactly where the action is right from the start. However, when navigating this map, you should watch your step; the entire site is now overflowing with lava, bathing the arena in a red glow and burning those unfortunate enough to fall in. Despite the environmental hazards provided by the looming Red Mountain, Foyada Quarry funnels the action right into the center of the map via a selection of granite pathways and seared wooden bridges. Because the majority of the map is so open, teams are able to quickly close and engage with each other, thrusting you into battle almost immediately upon leaving your base and making it an especially fast-paced Battleground."

ZOS notes that crowd control will be particularly useful on the map as you knock enemies into lava and away from the capture point in the center of the map, at least in domination mode. Ouch.

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Blade & Soul switches to larger, slower updates with brand-new Secrets of the Stratus

Blade & Soul is rolling out a massive expansion next month, one NCsoft says "marks a shift in pace for the game."

Dubbed Secrets of the Stratus, it goes live on April 12th with the seventh act of the storyline, an overhauled skill system, a new solo/casual open-world area called Celestial Basin, floors 16 through 20 of Mushin's Tower, and Naryu Sanctum, "the most difficult 6-member heroic dungeon to date."

"Moving forward, NCSOFT will offer larger and more ambitious expansions on a slightly slower release schedule," the press release says this morning. "This means players will have more time to experience and master content without having to feel rushed by the next update."

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Master x Master announces closed beta, adds City of Heroes' Statesman

Today's good news for Master x Master fans is that the game has a closed beta coming up. The next test will be between April 6th and April 27th, ahead of the game's full launch in the summer. All of that is good news, but it kind of gets overshadowed by the game's other simultaneous announcement of a new hero in the game's lineup... Statesman.

Yes, from City of Heroes. Someone decided to add one of the most loathed characters from a dearly departed game that many fans are still upset about losing. It's one of those rare situations where you're not even sure what to be upset about first.

The bright side is probably that Statesman at least seems to play true to form, so he's got all sorts of melee abilities, moves around quickly, and can activate Heroism as his ultimate ability. And he's from a game that NCsoft shut down, we cannot stress that point enough. Just... check out some screenshots and a trailer down below; no one here is sure how to feel at the moment.

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Shroud of the Avatar: Kas Ruins, custom NPCs, and marble columns

Shroud of the Avatar's 219th newsletter has arrived! Of note is the segment on the Kas Ruins, whose biome is based on the Rockies and Grand Tetons of the US but could easily be pulled straight from Lord of the Rings.

Portalarium has also requested that backers entitled to submit NPCs for inclusion in the game do so for the village of Harvest, a farming community and waystation in Estgard. I would totally claim that town crier and make him say rude things, but that's why I'm not a game designer.

The devs have also uploaded more info on their charity work, the full telethon, and notes for the offline mode save game format changes.

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Grim Dawn reveals Necromancer class for this year's expansion

Guess who's getting a Necromancer class this year! If you said Diablo III, well, I can't tell you you're wrong because that's also happening. But I'm talking about Grim Dawn.

"Although they primarily engage in the weaving of magic, necromancers are aptly equipped to enter the fray in close quarters, or to weave their death magic into ranged weaponry. Do not for a moment think that a cornered necromancer is easy prey," Crate posted following a lore dump on the new class today.

Players should look forward to a number of masteries currently in development, including Drain Essence, Raise Skeletons, Necrotic Edge, plus skill that help you "shatter the souls of your enemies to conjure violent wraiths," "bolster your minions with necrotic powers, "fill the battlefield with disease and rot," and generate "cruel new ways to dispose of your pathetic enemies."

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One Shots: The Candy Man

If you have a sweet tooth or diabetes, you may want to avoid the temptation that we're about to put in your path with today's headlining picture from the MOP community. It's... the Candy Man, as delicious as he is deadly.

"On the topic of sweets, this screenshot from Heroes of the Storm is one of my favorite things ever," writes Little Bugbear. "Sometime it's difficult in MOBAs to find a character and skin that fit you perfectly. For me Kandy King Muradian's pink beard and overwhelming decadence makes it the pinnacle of MOBA skins."

Amen to that. I just want a small nibble, is that so bad?

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Camelot Unchained shows off its weapon stances

While it's certainly tempting to focus on Camelot Unchained's progress in creating weeds (or as the devs put it, "the unsung heroes of the grass plains"), the star of this week's newsletter is most definitely the game's improved animated stances.

"We’ve been talking quite a bit about the progress we’re making on the new animation system, which has allowed us to see some of these assets for the very first time," Mark Jacobs wrote. "The other exciting thing is that characters now use the appropriate animation within their stance, per the weapon(s) they have equipped."

For a look at some of these stances, some environmental scenes, and, yes, the thrill-a-minute weeds, check out the new screenshots from the following gallery.

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Life is Feudal is shaping up to be a fine-looking MMO

Now that Life is Feudal has turned on the power to its closed beta program, more players than ever before are getting to see what this medieval sandbox MMO looks like first-hand. For the rest of us there are always screenshots, those tantalizing glimpses into this developing game world.

The studio released a baker's dozen of new pictures from the game this week to show that this world isn't just bland designs and colors. In fact, from the looks of these shots, Life is Feudal is shaping up to be a nice-looking title, with interesting vistas, natural-looking scenery, and even a giant sword in the stone. See for yourself below!

Source: Press release

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Choose My Adventure: A high-level venture in WildStar

First and foremost, before I start talking about my last week of adventures in WildStar, I'd like to thank the developers for giving me an opportunity I rarely have in this column. Nine times out of ten the reality of the column means I don't get to actually see high-level play at all; I don't know that I'd classify this week's adventure as being indicative of the whole level cap experience, but it gives me a better picture of it than just sitting down at level 10 or whatever.

I'd also like to thank a friend for accompanying me up to the high-level portion of the game, since she was curious about it as well. Teamwork, people, that's what MMOs are all about.

When I originally played WildStar, I had in fact reached level cap and done a fair number of the initial crop of dailies during one of the earlier patches. Thus, my friend and I decided to unlock the Primal Matrix and head out to Arcterra, which was added too recently for either of us to have seen it in the past. Yes, that meant I wasn't going to be in an area going "oh, I remember this," but it meant that I'd have a good idea about that part of the endgame.

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Here's how intimacy and marriage work in Revelation Online

Did you know that you can get married in Revelation Online? You can! It's part and parcel of the game's intimacy system, which is not as weird as it sounds, I promise.

Basically, it's system intended to get players to duo with their close friends -- a noble goal, right? Participating in specific types of content will grant you and your friend "intimacy points" -- that's everything from chatting and dueling to dungeoning and PvPing. There's also a mentoring tool: "If one of you is a mentor to the other, you can use this skill on your friend/partner to gain 2 [intimacy] points per skill usage."

Need to wear your heart on your sleeve? You can kinda do that too in a UI akin to The Sims': As your intimacy points with your selected buddy increase, so do the number of hearts displayed next to him or her in the friends panel.

So what's the point of all that sappy intimacy? Mawwage.

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Trove officially launches for Xbox One and PlayStation 4

Voxel sandbox Trove has formally launched on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One today, having been in open beta on both consoles since December. Trion says it's now "captivated nearly five million" players across both consoles, which by our estimate makes for about 10 million players total, including those already on PC.

Trove "has become one of the largest free-to-play console releases of all time during its successful Open Beta," the studio says, "with thousands of unique worlds being built by players and tens of millions of hours logged in the game before it’s even officially launched."

Existing beta characters and plots should be just as you left them as the studio promised no more wipes past closed beta. The game is free-to-play on both platforms. Check out the launch trailer below!

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Grab a Paladins closed beta key for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 from Hi-Rez and MOP

Hi-Rez's team-shooter MOBA Paladins hits closed beta for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 today, expanding the game beyond its 8 million open beta players on PC. That means the Season 1 patch -- with 22 champs, customization, trio of PvP modes, AI co-op challenges, and competitive ranked mode -- debuts today. And Hi-Rez is touting a $50,000 prize pool for what it's dubbed the "Console Wars" Paladins tourney at Dreamhack this July.

Paladins will be free-to-play on launch; in the meantime, you'll need keys to play on console. Guess who's got keys for both platforms? You betcha! Click the Mo button below (and prove you're not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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World of Warcraft steps into the desecrated Cathedral of Eternal Night

The story of World of Warcraft: Legion is only just ramping up, as players prepare to move on to the Broken Shore to continue to fight against the Legion. Part of that fight will take place in Patch 7.2's Cathedral of Eternal Night, a five-player dungeon that takes place in the spires of the Tomb of Sargeras.

"While the dungeon is, of course, rife with Legion presence, we deliberately focused the areas of fel contamination around the portions of the structure closest to the source of fel storm," the devs said in a preview. "This amplifies the contrast and allows us to showcase large sections of untarnished elven architecture."

Players will face off against four bosses in the dungeon, each with their own unique mechanics: Agronox (an angry treant), Thrashbite the Scornful (brother of Smashsmite), Domatrax (a demon general), and Mephistroth (leader of the Legion invasion).

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