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.
Yes, just about every MMO blogger was sharing heated opinions about last week’s World of WarCraft WarCrime. “It’s such a sad event and I’m particularly mad at Blizzard at the way they chose to write this,” wrote Aeternus.
Moonshine Manor was equally appalled, saying that she was “not sad at the story, but at having to mourn my fandom.”
“The storyline strips players of agency, it’s not a good feeling,” wrote Mmosey.
And Leo’s Life couldn’t make sense of it: “The lore nut in me sees no logic in this.”
In An Age sympathized with the outrage but noted, “This cinematic short is amazing in isolation.” And Atheren doesn’t want this to be the beginning of the end of Sylvanas: “I hope she gets a redemption arc.”
And Wolfy felt that the community reaction was too much for an outsider: “The level of the freak-out was above and beyond what I’ve had the misfortune of experiencing as someone barely remotely associated with the WoW playerbase.”
It would be easy to dismiss Saga of Lucimia’s pervasive “group-based or go home” ideas as mere rhetoric, but the reality is, there exists a small segment of the veteran MMORPG population that genuinely believes an MMO is not an MMO if it doesn’t focus exclusively or near-exclusively on grouping, and there are going to be games that cater to those folks.
I wanted to bring up that recent tweet because it seems like an extremist, maybe even revisionist position to take for a game in our market, and I don’t just mean in 2018 when plenty of non-MMOs have called themselves MMOs and even more MMOs have shunned the term. I mean in terms of the historical games being used as a touchstone for these ideas. Yes, some early MMORPGs like EverQuest emphasized group content; while you could level up on some classes and in some cases alone, for the most part, you needed to group up to get things done, whether you were taking down a dragon or just trying to squeeze out a few more bubbles of level in the midgame.
One of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’s key features won’t go live when the expansion launches this coming week. Blizzard announced players are going to have to wait a while to experience Battle for Stromgarde.
“Similar to other types of endgame content such as raids and rated PvP, the Battle for Stromgarde will not be immediately available at launch,” the studio said. “Instead, it’ll open a few weeks later.”
Blizzard went on to explain how the Horde and Alliance will take turns controlling the keep and assaulting it, offering players on both sides a rotation for the PvE scenario. Warfronts remain one of the lesser understood new systems in this expansion despite Blizzard hyping them strongly during last year’s Battle for Azeroth reveal.
Here’s a new one for us, and if you like it, you can throw money at it right now: It’s called Endless Trials, and it is gunning for some of the more tedious and repetitive tropes of MMORPGs. With graphics that look more like FML than WoW, Endless Trials – ET – bills itself as “an MMO without the boring parts,” which to the three-man Danish dev team means a focus on endgame instead of “tedious leveling and grinding.”
“We all love a good challenge, something fun, something that pushes us and affords us a sense of accomplishment. The leveling and grinding part of the game, however, that is where boredom can creep in. With that in mind, we have set out to create a new, semi-hardcore MMO that focuses on endgame content. We are calling it Endless Trials, and it is our attempt at making raiding great again! Each new character will follow a brief introduction quest, and when we say ‘brief’ we mean exactly that: it will take just an hour to finish. From there, you get some basic gear and get in on the real action, battling dungeons with your friends, completing daily quests for rep and rewards, farming for crafting materials, and hanging around the space station with other players. This is a game in which leveling plays a minimal role. The key here is excitement. We want Endless Trials to feel fresh every time you play, not like a job that you are doing half the time just to get to the real fun!”
You know what gets me excited about upcoming MMOs? It’s certainly not the list of expected systems and features that have since become standard for most games in this genre. Good-looking fantasy online RPG? Neato, that’s terrific, but what else are you selling?
No, what truly grabs my attention is when a dev team uses its imagination and comes up with a creative feature that makes me sit back and say, “Wow, I wish they all had this!”
It’s a shame that we have seen plenty of these systems over the years that were tried maybe once or twice but never adapted into the greater sphere. Today we’re going to come up with 10 examples of such features that truly did try something revolutionary (or at least pretty cool) but haven’t seen follow-ups in games since.
Unlike some console and PC titles, online RPGs don’t typically offer “god mode” (despite what you may have heard about certain classes). We don’t get to flip a switch and suddenly be invincible and uber-powerful to rofflestomp all over our enemies.
Except… sometimes we do, thanks to over-leveling. The other night I had a great amount of fun revisiting World of Warcraft’s Northrend raids, steamrolling through these old endgame instances without any challenge. Seeing hordes of enemies die at a single spell while not being able to touch me at all was pretty amusing, but I enjoyed the ability to explore and experience these raids far more.
Do you think that god mode is fun for MMO play? If so, when and how should it work in games — and to what purpose?
If you’re still reeling from yesterday’s revelation that TERA
is merging its console servers from 22 down to seven
, then you can cheer yourself right up with a peek at the game’s 2018 content roadmap
. En Masse was delivering the bad news first, apparently!
In August, players can expect the Gridiron PvP battleground, plus two in-game events; then in September comes the Ninja and guild improvements. October is for Halloween festivities, naturally, and November is the big one, with a “major build update containing two new dungeons, new end-game gear, class balancing, and more.” December is no slouch, either; it’ll run a winter holiday and a new endgame dungeon, and then January will have yet another endgame dungeon and the Valkyrie class.
In other words, the playerbase might have condensed a bit since launch, but En Masse has gobs of content in store saved up for console players all the same.
Kotaku did a recent piece on “girls only” Overwatch groups that got me thinking about themed guilds. (As it turned out, the writer found that most of the groups claiming to be girls only were actually some type of troll.) But it struck me that in true MMORPGs, the themed guild might actually be dying out.
Years ago, it was completely possible to run a guild around some pretty strict themes, like an all-gnome guild, an all-crafter guild, or even an all-Star-Wars-fan guild. As MMOs have changed to focus on endgame combat – and as social circles inside games have drifted outside them and vice versa – those types of guilds don’t seem as prevalent anymore. Now you’re far more likely to find guilds centering on Winning Endgame, holding territory, zerging, or family-friendliness rather than on a creative theme that ties into races or classes. Moreover, in an era when some games put your whole account into a guild rather than just one character, gamers seem to be more inclined to join multi-purpose guilds rather than enter unique guilds with each toon.
What do you think about themed MMORPG guilds in the modern era? Have you ever been in one, or are you in one now, and are they still viable in some MMOs?
Defiance 2050 isn’t just launching and going away, oh no: Trion Worlds has a new producer letter up today detailing exactly how it’s planning to buff the new baby over the next couple of months. Producer Matt Pettit lays out the game’s roadmap, noting that the Demolitionist class will “soon” unlock for all players, followed by the addition of two new classes: The Crusader is up first, followed by the Engineer coming this winter.
Perhaps of more interest to players already happy with their toons is the three-part “Paradise” content rollout on the way. Trouble in Paradise launches alongside the Crusader with new baddies to beat up; then there’s Shadows Over Paradise’s new story missions, sieges, and new advancement system. In Paradise Lost, Trion’s planning to flesh out the endgame.
Worth noting is that Trion says it pulled in over a million players since launch. (Trove, by contrast, just hit 17 million.)
Another day, another step forward for RIFT’s
progression server. Players on the Prime shard have another challenge to fill their current endgame time, as the River of Souls raid
has opened up for exploration and conquest.
“The 20-man raid, River of Souls is now open!” Trion Worlds announced. “Prevent Alsbeth the Discordant’s plans to reanimate the most powerful souls to fight in the army of Regulos.”
River of Souls originally was introduced to the game as part of a world event in March 2011’s Update 1.1. Players might recall that this first world event didn’t go as great as anyone had hoped, generating no small amount of controversy at the time.
It hardly needs to be said at this point that the new way of doing things with Final Fantasy XIV‘s
live letters has proven to work out, well, about as successfully as people accustomed to the company and fan translations had predicted. (This is to say that it involves lots more people getting upset at half-translations and no actual benefits for the community.) But we still do have new stuff to look forward to, and that starts with the big collaboration event starting in about three weeks. It feels closer, but that’s how long it’s actually going to be before Rathalos of Monster Hunter World
stomps on over.
Beyond that, we also got our first gander at patch 4.4, even if it felt like only the barest of glimpses. So the point is we have plenty to look forward to in the near future, and even more in the more distant future. So let’s start talking about it, starting (rather obviously) with what we know most about already.
Live in Bless Online today is the Migra Turris elite dungeon for endgame players. It’s a level 45 zone intended for a 5-man party to roll through once per day, with five bosses to beat down for a chance level 45 heroic weapons, depending on how quickly you can take them down.
“Players can obtain additional rewards depending on the number of boss monsters they defeat in a limited amount of time (25 minutes) after ‘Time-attack’ starts after talking to Yitzhak the NPC on the first floor of the Elite dungeons. If a player manages to defeat 3 boss monsters in 25 minutes they can obtain ‘Ymir’s Skin’ when destroying the Supply Box that can be found in the dungeon. If a player manages to defeat 4 boss monsters in 25 minutes they can obtain ‘Ymir’s Skin’ and one ‘Ymir’s Horn’ at a certain probability when destroying the Supply Box that can be found in the dungeon.”
What else is in the patch? The promised new targeting mode, bug fixes, and a balance pass for Paladins, Guardians, Zerkers, and Rangers. Check out the Migra Turris preview video below for a taste of what’s in store.