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A fluffy casual’s starting perspective on World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Let me tell you a bit about me and how I play MMORPGs. Between two jobs and a family, my gaming time is relegated to the deep evening hours where peace descends upon our household. If it’s a good night, I can get in two full hours of adventuring through virtual worlds before I grow too tired to continue. Some nights it’s less.

It has been a long time since I was able to sprint alongside the pack when a new expansion or game launches, so you have to picture me as the slowpoke waaaay in the back who keeps getting distracted by small details, stops to read the quest text, and takes screenshots like I’m putting together an art book.

That’s me, the fluffy casual, and while plenty of folks have devoured vast swaths of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth this week (including our own excellent Eliot), I’ve been rotating through my roster of characters and experiencing this engaging expansion at my own tempered pace. Does that mean that I lack a perspective or any observational details? Absolutely not! In fact, here are some things that I’ve been thinking about and looking at this week from the position at the far back of the pack.

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Ashes of Creation preps for September’s Alpha 1, shows off its action combat

Need a good dose of Ashes of Creation news to spice up your week? Intrepid Studios popped its head back up to talk up the game, starting with the revelations that Ashes is going to make an appearance at Gamescom next week and kick off its Alpha 1 testing next month.

The Alpha 1 test will span seven months and cover 100-player open world battlegrounds, 200-player castles and sieges, and the city horde mode, which challenges players to work together to protect a town from rampaging NPC invaders. At some point down the road during this test, name reservations will open up for backers.

Lead Developer Steven Sharif also popped onto Discord to share some other tidbits about the game features and systems. If you wanted to know if crossbows will have scopes (they will), if there would be quest dailies (there will not), and what surprises weapons will hold (some have skills!), then you’ll want to peruse this list.

Intrepid whetted fans’ appetites for this upcoming MMO with an action combat gameplay trailer. Where is this trailer? Where might you find it? Don’t fret, it’s been waiting for you below… waiting for you all your life.

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Betawatch: Fallout 76 shares details on PvP and crossplay (August 17, 2018)

There’s still stuff happening with Fallout 76, even though players aren’t testing it yet. You can at least test things out in your mind now that you know about the game’s progression and PvP plans. Perhaps “testing games in your mind” could be a Perk. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you have the game on the same platform as your friends, as a lack of crossplay has been confirmed at this point.

But let’s not stop there; let’s catch a few other beta stories, yes?

So this is all rather shady, but we promise you that our list below is properly illuminated and trustworthy. We have it all vetted by you fine people! Notice something on there that shouldn’t be? Let us know so we can fix that! And that includes if something skipped phases without us noticing or just went quiet for an extended period of time. We appreciate your notifications.

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Rend moves to new server hardware, throws out a huge balance patch

Rend is enjoying some strong popularity since transitioning into early access at the end of July. To handle the influx of interested adventurers, Frostkeep Studios moved a whole host of North American and European servers over to new and better hardware earlier this week.

Since the studio also changed the saga restart timer from 72 hours to 24 hours, it manually reset seven of its servers to restart their sagas and get on this new timeframe. It is even granting bonus AP for any of the server ascensions that happened before Patch 2.1.

Patch what, now? The studio pushed out an update this past Tuesday with a huge number of balance changes and several bug fixes. As a result of all of this, talent and skill perk points were reset and will need to be reallocated. Frostkeep also used the patch as an opportunity to warn players that abusing the outcast system is a bannable offense, especially against “new or inexperienced” players.

Join the MOP Stream Team today at 2 p.m. EDT, when we’ll be diving back into the game live on OPTV.

Source: Rend, #2, #3

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Fallout 76 won’t allow crossplay but is talking up mods and multiplayer

Bethesda isn’t really that keen on allowing crossplay with its games these days. The studio recently confirmed that Fallout 76 isn’t going to feature crossplay between platforms, nor is Elder Scrolls Legends going to get it any time soon.

No specific reason was given for the decision, although there were heavy hints that Sony’s stance against crossplay was a factor in this. “Fallout 76, sure: It would be nice if I could play on my Xbox and my kid is playing on his PC and we can play together, but if we can’t,” said SVP Pete Hines. “But for Legends it’s absolutely critical.”

At least Bethesda is working on several features to make its communuty happy despite this, including a committment to mod support and an in-game photo mode.

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Torchlight Frontiers is being built by an ‘all-star team’ of former Torchlight and Diablo II devs

“So now I am very, very pleased to announce to everybody that we are taking the next step with Torchlight and making an MMO.”

By pulling back in some of the Diablo II and original Torchlight developers into the new Echtra Games, Max Schaefer has “gotten the band back together” to craft the upcoming MMOARPG Torchlight Frontiers. “To do justice to the Torchlight franchise and to take it to the next level, we really had to assemble an all-star team that’s capable of doing it,” explained Schaefer.

In the game’s first dev video, Shaefer walked fans through the genesis of this project and promised that this wasn’t a “generic MMO” but a true Torchlight game through and through. He talks up the persistent mechanics of an MMO and the “living, breathing world” that will grow over time.

Give the dev diary a watch after the break!

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The Black Death starts you in your underpants. Deal with it.

Thanks to the latest patch for the medieval survival sandbox The Black Death, all players will start their lives in the game in their underwear. It’s best to tap into those deep-rooted nightmares early, in our opinion.

The recent patch wasn’t just about roleplaying Captain Underpants and the Plague Doctors. The team said that the priority for the patch was to fix some LAN server issues and put an end to land claim exploits that were running rampant on PvE servers.

What else do we have here? Well, girls are starting to get their own clothes, although right now this is limited to a primitive vest. YOU’RE WELCOME, FEMALES. There are also new dagger animations, a “new potato procedural resource” whatever that is, and a sleeping bag for players’ tents. Truly, this is a patch to rival all others.

Source: Patch notes, #2

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Zeal tosses out patches like there’s no tomorrow

Did our reporting on Zeal get you interested about the possibilities for this upcoming action RPG? Then you might want to be tracking the game’s ongoing development as it patches up through the pre-alpha test cycle.

So far this month, the game has seen multiple updates that have added features and systems such currency for cosmetic items, lightning and fire halos, several horse mounts (including armored and hell variants), team chat, truly casual 3v3 matchmaking, additional prime skills, fast ground casting, and plenty of adjustments for the PvP arena.

There are also many, many tweaks for the various game classes. Zeal’s roster includes the Judicator, Cleric, Ranger, Wizard, Warrior, and Outlaw. Which one will you play?

Source: Steam

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Orake’s devs ask someone, anyone, else to take over this 2-D MMO

No, you’ve probably never heard of Orake before — and chances are that you never will again, either.

The crude-looking indie MMORPG has been slowly but steadily progressing through development this year with monthly patches. However, the team seems to have hit a wall and is now begging someone else to take over this project and bring this 2-D title to completion.

“We no longer have time to work on Orake,” the team announced this month. “If anyone is interested in taking over the development of Orake 2-D MMORPG, please contact me on the Orake 2-D MMORPG Discord.”

So… that does not look promising for this game’s future. What do you think?

Source: Steam. Thanks PlutoForeverNinthPl!

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MapleStory 2 is getting really close to launch, you guys

With its second closed beta run and done, MapleStory 2 is turning its sights to something bigger. Something grander. Something… launch-ier.

Nexon said that it’s going to announce the launch date for this 3-D sequel to the hit MapleStory on August 21st. “Not only will we reveal the official release date, but our team will also discuss the future content schedule of the game,” the developer said.

In the meantime, players can start reserving their names and even create their first character so that they can hit the ground running when MapleStory 2 launches. You’ll need to buy a founder’s pack to access this perk, however. It’s probably a good thing that Nexon has made these packs available for purchase again!

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Wild Buster is back as Champions of Titan under a new publisher

Remember Wild Buster? Back in February, Valve booted its publisher, Insel Games, off Steam, accusing it of review manipulation after a dev leaked a damning letter from the company boss seemingly coercing employees to buy and review the game on the platform. At the time, Insel Games denied wrongdoing, but the loss of Steam clearly hurt; it resurfaced this past spring to announce that it had struggled without Steam and would instead be transferring publishing rights to IDC Games, which would relaunch the title as Champions of Titan.

That brings us to today, when IDC has announced that Champions of Titan is rolling into open beta ahead of a “full commercial release” later this year.

“Open Beta is available from today and players can start exploring the new world, conquer fierce monsters, challenge the rival faction in PvP and enjoy grouping with their friends. Champions of Titan MMORPG combines a fluid and fast combat with a world full of adventures, challenges and an original graphic design set in Sci-Fi environment. Developed by Korean studio Nuriworks and published by IDC/Games, Champions of Titans offers full PvE and PvP features: solo content, group content, raid content, 3v3, 5v5 and 10v10 battlegrounds, Battle Royale PvP map and free for all PvP.”

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Fortnite expands Android testing, wants to match players up depending on their control scheme

Good news for Android players who felt left out of the initial batch of Fortnite beta invites: Epic Games announced that the test has expanded to additional devices, and you can read the full list on the website to see if your phone or tablet is included.

The studio gave a “Summer Skirmish midway recap” that was full of fun stats for those interested. Epic also said that improving server preformance “remains a top priority” during this skirmish series and that it wants to adhere to “simplicity, match tension, and upholding the integrity of battle royale” with this event.

Epic is reportedly working on tech that will match up players based on what type of peripheral that they use to play Fortnite, whether that be mouse-and-keyboard, touch screens, or controllers. And this is neither here nor there, but a massive sniper rifle is on the way to the game as well. Boom. Headshot.

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Aion, Blade & Soul, Guild Wars 2 revenues dip, while NCsoft teases three new titles and Lineage resurges

NCsoft’s second quarter financials for the year hit this morning, and it’s not exactly bad news. Sales are down slightly, but everything looks wimpy next to Lineage M’s record-breaking debut last year. That’s now “stabilized” according to the company, and it also means core Lineage players are flooding back into the original Lineage, which saw its best quarter – by a lot – in over a year.

As for the other live games under NCsoft’s banner that our readers likely care about? They’re all down: Aion, Blade Soul, and Guild Wars 2 across the board, though Guild Wars 2 is still up year-over-year.

Perhaps the most interesting bits coming out of NCsoft this round are still on the horizon. As MMO Culture pointed out, the live conference call dished on The Lineage aka Project TL aka what’s left of Lineage Eternal (it’s hitting beta later this year), admitted PC sales have slowed down, and noted it’ll tailor new games based on the Aion and Blade & Soul IPs to the “global market.”

And yes, multiple new “major” games are in the works for next year, one apparently being Lineage 2 Mobile.

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