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.
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.
A hefty 17 GB patch is on its way to Conan Exiles soon, but before it arrives, it needs to run through the gauntlet of player testing.
So what’s making this patch so big? Several content additions, actually, starting with a new dungeon called The Midnight Grove. Barbarians will get some offhand combat skills and new types of arrows to play with, but the star feature here is most definately the pet taming system. There looks to be a wide variety of pets to start, including rhinos, hyenas, and crocodiles. What, no fluffy kittens?
And speaking of patches, those waiting on the promise PlayStation 4 parity patch… are going to have to wait even longer. Funcom announced that it has had to delay the patch again until sometime next week.
One of the best things about Rend is its emphasis on teamwork and cooperation. And although Massively OP’s MJ is only one person, she knows her contributions help. She’ll be heading out into the wilds and continuing to collect resources for her faction base while she explores. Of course, all this will also help get her a step closer to making portals so she can raid the spirit realm and get a pet. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to check out the Conclave base.
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, August 17th, 2018
The first part of this first impressions series yesterday was all about the mechanical changes made for this expansion. This time, I don’t want to talk about the mechanics of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth; I want to talk about the actual content. Not the narrative text, but just the actual moment-to-moment stuff you’re doing in the game. Which, I think, is what this expansion is going to be judged on at this stage by a lot of people.
Put simply, the game could have the best combat it has ever had with the best gear enhancement system conceivable, but if the actual things you had to fight were a boring slog, no one would like it anyway. Solid content covers a multitude of sins.
There are several people who would likely argue that Legion had some of the best content we’ve ever seen in WoW, and while there’s room to debate that, I think it’s definitely worth considering. So BfA started off on something of the back foot, and that was exacerbated by the fact that it has not one but two continents to fill out almost entirely separate.
Done everything already in Battle for Azeroth? Oh, you lie, but when you are done, you might want to keep your eye out for a super-secret quest line that Blizzard confirmed exists somewhere in this new World of Warcraft expansion.
The studio also incentivized the new island expedition mode by saying, “There are so many things in the rewards bucket that chances are, you’re gonna get something today, which makes it pretty exciting for your first 300 islands or so.”
Meanwhile as everyone is in the fun trenches of the leveling process, you might want to be aware of a cinematic bug that kept some players from seeing an intro cutscene. Also, Blizzard has been hotfixing some minor issues as the week’s progressed, so hopefully that’s leading to a smoother experience.
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.”
Being on the ground is boring when you could instead be in the air, so it’s a good thing that TERA’s
latest update lets you do exactly that. The Guardians of the Sky update
adds in new airborne Guardian Legion missions, so if you want to soar through the air whilst taking on challenges, you’ll have the option! There are also new cash shop mounts on the way if you feel the need to ride more dragons, to boot; each one offers some form of regeneration as you ride about.
The Demon’s Wheel is also arriving on August 16th and sticking around each week for Thursday through Tuesday subsequently. It’s a challenge dungeon with a chance to gamble with the demonic Demoros for astonishing loot, but losing the gamble means certain death. Of course, since any decent player knows that death is just a minor setback, why not gamble away? You could get masks with stats on them.
Live this week in Blade & Soul
is… swimsuits. But seriously, what’s the obsession with bathing suits in MMORPGs? We cannot fight in bikinis and board shorts folks. I don’t get the obsession, but regardless, new summer cosmetics are indeed available thanks to today’s patch, which brings with it the Frozen Firing Range event dungeon
, returning for another season and keepin’ it cool.
“Complete the Frozen Firing Range event dungeon to obtain the Frozen Fun Bag, which contains 3 guaranteed Ice Pellet event token as well as a chance at additional rewards,” NCsoft says. “You also receive 5 Ice Pellet for completing Daily Challenge as well as 1 Ice Pellet each for completing the [five available] dungeon quests.”
The patch hits today, with the events beginning August 15th and running into September; it’s also got a handful of minor bug fixes and a PvP tweak: “PvP Ratings have been adjusted for better distribution which should result in better matchmaking overall.” Have fun!
Pokemon Go has come a long way since its early days of just catching and gym battling. Those are still core gameplay elements, but there’s a bit more to it now. It’s not just about catch and release, but catching specific Pokemon, catch several in a row, catching with a specific kind of throw, and more, mostly thanks to questing.
Yes, there are quests in POGO now, including dailies. I’m not just talking about the old system either. Now, at the very least, you want to catch one Pokemon, spin one PokeStop, and do one “Field Task,” the game’s equivalent of dailies. If you understand that, you can probably stop here, but for those looking to dig a bit deeper, keep reading.
Did they getcha? Did they suck you in again for another go-round?
I have a flurry of guildies in World of Warcraft right now thanks to Battle for Azeroth, and yet I haven’t been enticed to go back. In fact, Legion was the first expansion I didn’t buy or go back during, and now we’re at the next one and I’m still in exactly the same shruggy place. I’m not saying I’m over it forever. I’m not saying I’ll never go back. The game just isn’t doing it for me personally right now. There are things they could do that would make me whip out my wallet: new classes (bards!), real housing, a meaningful economy – maybe something that replicates the exploration amusement of vanilla, the dungeon joy of Wrath, or the questing and farm fun of Pandaria. Probably plenty of cool things I haven’t even thought of could get me in there; the truth is, I am a sucker for the idea of playing The Big One, secure in the knowledge that it’s a sure bet for longevity.
But this expansion isn’t grabbing me, and that’s OK. Not everything has to be for me. And I’m glad it’s grabbing some of you – who doesn’t love all the buzz and hoopla? So did you go back to World of Warcraft for Battle for Azeroth?
I finally broke down and watched ARK: Survival Evolved’s Extinction trailer. It’s not that I didn’t want to! On the contrary, I was very interested to get that glimpse; I just wanted to wait until we had even more info about it so I could really delve into it. But since that doesn’t seem to be coming about, I couldn’t hold out any longer. It is the conclusion of the multi-expansion story arc after all, and we’ve just gotten all excited about ARK’s story!
After watching the trailer, my anticipation level inched up a few notches. The teaser hints at answers to some long-held questions, and I am excited to take on the all-new survival challenges. Helping to amp that enthusiasm up are the monthly Extinction-themed content drops: Say hello to some bionic dinos! (They even lay tek eggs!) Perhaps Extinction will be quite a grand finale. I definitely look forward to learning, and sharing, more as we learn about the expansion.
All that said, there’s still that little bit of nagging disappointment at the lack of attention older maps get, especially the original game. Who knows though, perhaps once the final game is out and done the devs can turn some attention back to fixing those issues with the island.
As promised, The Elder Scrolls Online’s
next DLC, Wolfhunter, has officially launched today
! The patch is for everyone, while the DLC comes with a fee
, unless you’re subbed, in which case you can jump right in.
Massively OP’s Tamriel Infinium columnist Larry Everett checked out the DLC ahead of the launch alongside three key developers and found it to be primarily aimed at group dungeon enthusiasts, not so much fans of the game’s storytelling. And that only makes sense, as the pair of werewolf-themed dungeons are at the heart of the content.
But there’s a bit more in the overall update independent of the DLC; all players can look forward two new gear, new outfits, and a ton of updates for battleground PvPers, including some quality-of-life love for Cyrodiil. The werewolf skill line got some buffs too!
Get caught up on all our coverage of the DLC, then check out the trailer!