It’s never too early for an expansion, right? OrbusVR is still in early access, but it’s already planning its first major expansion with the upcoming OrbusVR: Reborn planned for Q1 2019. And it’s as much a reboot as an expansion; the game is updating its visuals across the board as well as doubling its playable classes to eight, including the new Bard and Shaman options.
Players can also explore new dungeons and regions and face off against improved enemy AI, which will use more advanced tactics like dodging projectiles, running for help, and coordinating attacks. There are also plans for more avatar customization, a smoother overall leveling curve, and new community events like racing your dragon pets. In short, it’s going to be a pretty big update for the game as a whole. Current players can take part in testing starting later this year, but you’ll have to wait until 2019 for the whole thing.
There are lots of things I’m not crazy about when it comes to the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth pre-patch event, but one of the big ones seems like it would be a little thing but is actually a pretty serious one. For Legion, the Legion invasions that came in hard were level-agnostic events that let everyone get in on the action and encouraged you to level up characters who had lagged behind. This, though? Aside from being something I’m not super happy about, there’s no leveling component. It’s just for people at the level cap, no one else.
You could, of course, argue that the expansion event is aimed at people who are already done with the expansion to get them excited, but I always thought that one of the goals of these events was to bring everyone up to the expansion. Back in the day, Final Fantasy XI expansions would include content for many levels, and the pre-expansion event for Treasures of Aht Urhgan drew in everyone gently. But maybe that’s just me. What do you think, readers? Who should pre-expansion events target in MMOs? Existing veterans? People coming back for the expansion? New players entirely?
It’s been quiet on the Absolver ranch for a while after the development team spent the early part of the year working on refining the game’s combat systems. Those of you with a marked interest in the build-your-own-combat mechanics of the masked martial arts game will be happy to know that this was just a prelude, though, as the game has a free expansion on the way for September. The Downfall update introduces a new style based on Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, a new Downfall game mode for fighting through an ever-shifting dungeon, and new School Challenges to promote your personal favorite style.
Players can also collect several new pieces of gear and get new powers from Gleam (which is collected from the Downfall mode, not some sort of hot new street drug). The team is also putting out a DLC pack for players who want to support the game with slight variants on gear, although the stats remain the same and it’s just priced at $3. So things are humming right along for the expansion in September.
Today is the day of World of Warcraft turning to the first page of Battle for Azeroth with the expansion prepatch going live today. Next week sees the story buildup kicking into high gear. But if you’ve been holding off on trying the expansion until the Allied Race requirements (added several months ago) were eased up… well, you’re going to be waiting quite some time, as the official word is still that there are no plans to ease the requirements for unlocking Allied Races.
Players who wish to unlock Highmountain Tauren, Nightborne, Lightforged Draenei, or Void Elves will still need to reach Exalted with a specific reputation for each and finish a story achievement, just as before. (The other allied races will have other requirements and can be unlocked once the expansion is live.) Of course, this isn’t actually a change; players have had these requirements in place since the pre-purchase bonus was announced, and that means several months to unlock the races. If you’ve waited in hopes that it would be easier by the expansion launch, though? Not going to happen.
Can’t wait until August 14th to get your hands on World of Warcraft’s upcoming Battle for Azeroth expansion? Then you might be in luck: Today, July 6th, from 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. EDT, Blizzard is holding the Battle for Beta giveaway contest. To enter, all you have to do is take to Twitter between the designated times and post an in-game screenshot of a slain enemy or NPC of the enemy faction with the hashtag #BattleForBeta. The lucky winners will be chosen randomly and contacted by Blizzard within a week of the giveaway.
And if you’re not much for tweeting, Blizzard wants to remind you that there are still ways to get your hands on a Battle for Azeroth beta key. Chief among them is Wowhead’s beta key giveaway, where players can enter for a chance to win a key by completing in-game achievements. For all the contest rules and details, you can check out the full post on WoW’s official site.
It seems only fair that World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth will give players a bit more reason to go to war. So it seems like the right time to roll out the newly robust war mode, which is all about turning on a PvP experience at all times. You place yourself in more danger, but you also have PvP talents available at all times, and you get new gameplay options like chests and bounties to contend with.
If you’ve been gone from the game for a bit, though, you might be more interested in a video going through the history of every single WoW expansion up to the present in a short span of time. Dedicated fans and players will probably find all of this information to be old hat, but anyone who took a break will probably benefit from the walk through time. (Not Timewalking, that’s different.) You can view it just past the break. Read more
There are just two days to go before EVE Online
‘s Into the Abyss
expansion lands on May 29th, introducing its new Abyssal Deadspace solo PvE feature. Players will use abyssal filaments to travel into Abyssal Deadspace pockets that exist underneath space throughout the EVE
universe, risking their ships in challenging procedurally generated encounters. It’s in these instanced solo encounters that players will come face to face with The Triglavian Collective, a bizarre and twisted subspecies of human with powerful new ships and a new type of subatomic particle weapon called the Entropic Disintegrator.
This new solo content is intended for players of all skill levels, with the lowest tier sites being easy enough to complete in a well-designed tech 1 cruiser and higher tiers requiring considerably more expensive gear. Each site contains 3 randomly generated pockets of deadspace to defeat within 20 minutes, after which time the pocket will implode and destroy your ship. The prizes for risking it all in these dungeons include blueprints to build player-controlled Triglavian ships, plans for Entropic Disintegrators, and Mutaplasmids that can randomly mutate the stats on existing items.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I follow up on last month’s article on preparing for the Into the Abyss expansion with some last-minute guidelines on preparing your ships, how to use drones effectively in Abyssal Deadspace, and useful tips and strategies for tackling the sites.
Time keeps on slipping into the future for the EverQuest progression servers, Ragefire and Lockjaw. Both servers have put matters to a vote, and the results mean that both are going to be leaping headlong into the Omens of War expansion. For those of you keeping track, that means that the progression servers are now up to 2004 in terms of expansion unlocks, and you can go and live in that particular time warp right now if you so prefer.
Well, not live in it, but at least play in a version of the game that hearkens back to those halcyon days when no one had a smartphone and everyone was really excited about The Sopranos. It’s a blast from the past, which is the whole point of the time-gated expansion server; feel free to lean in and enjoy the game you remember from back in the day.
As you may recall, I was given just a little time to hit up Snail Games’ ARK Park a few days before I left for GDC 2018. I was able to make it to the games’ launch party, but as I’d already played the game, it was mostly useful for talking to people involved in its creation between speeches/demos. However, afterwards, I was allowed to pass some questions on to Snail Games Vice President Tianqi “Sky” Wu about bugs, science, and the future of ARK. We have some exclusive information about that last tip, but don’t worry, no chief engineers, computer programmers, or lawyers were harmed in the making of this game. Well, not physically, at least.
The limit of 25 active quests in World of Warcraft isn’t so bad, so long as you never forget to abandon old quests, always do one zone at a time, and scrupulously clear out lingering tasks ahead of time. In other words, it really is a relic of older times, which makes sense when you consider that the limit was put in place during the game’s first expansion. The good news is that Battle for Azeroth is no longer counting account-wide quests toward that limit, so things like battle pet quests are no longer going to leave you working under limitations.
Players will also notice a special lighting effect around low-level daily quests, so it’ll be that much easier to pick up those when relevant, as well.
For those of you who already have no problem keeping your quest logs free and clear but are mostly interested in more emotes, the expansion seems to also be adding a new emote for booping your fellow adventurers on the nose. No word yet on animations for this emote, but the text files are in there; we can only hope that Druid players are prepared for what will inevitably result.
It’s time to head back to Deep Space 9 in Star Trek Online
with the announcement of the game’s fourth expansion
. Star Trek Online: Victory is Life
sees players heading through the Bajoran wormhole into the Gamma Quadrant to deal with the mysterious threat of the Hur’q, the invaders who attacked the station as part of the game’s last featured episode. Captains will have to reinforce the station and prepare to fight back against any further invasion.
Aiding players in this are the new Jem’hadar faction, which allows players to start at level 60 with a variety of important unlocks already completed. That won’t start them at the cap, however; players will be able to reach level 65 and take on new missions, which include the voice talents of Rene Auberjonois (Odo), Armin Shimmerman (Quark), Nana Visitor (Kira Nerys), and J. G. Hertzler (Martok). Check out the trailer just below, and get ready for the first voyage into the Gamma Quadrant for the game.
The rumors and speculation are true, according to the most recent World of Warcraft live Q&A. Ion Hazzikostas revealed that both Mag’har and Kul Tiran Humans are on the list of allied races planned for Battle for Azeroth, in addition to Dark Iron Dwarves and Zandalari Trolls. If you feel like your old non-allied race is being left out in the cold, not to worry; while older races won’t be getting heritage armor per se, the developers do want to do something cool for veterans of the core races.
The discussion also ranged to Artifact weapons, which will still be usable at the beginning of the expansion; you won’t have all of the traits associated with it, but it will still be a good and usable weapon. It will sting to not have access to the old traits, but the design position is that it’s necessary for the longer term in the game. There’s also confirmation that crafting will now be split up by expansion rather than in an ever-ascending number, so you’ll have classic Blacksmithing, Northrend Blacksmithing, Outland Blacksmithing, and so forth. While it’s short on hard details at the moment, it’s enough of a nod to spur speculation as the expansion continues on in testing.
When can we start playing allied races in World of Warcraft? Probably as soon as we can pre-purchase Battle for Azeroth, based on current expectation. And when will that be? We just don’t know. What we do know is what the collector’s edition appears to be packing. Yes, it’s mounts and a pet, that’s always what we get, but it looks like it’s going to be two mounts based on faction and the previously spied Tortollan pet!
It looks like Alliance players will be getting an armored Seabraid Stallion (there seem to be new horse models out there) while Horde players get an armored raptor (representing the Zandalari Trolls). Obviously, nothing has been confirmed yet, but that’s what everything is pointing toward… and if that’s showing up in datamining, it might not be that far off.
As far as the actual game rather than the box for the game? Yep, WoWhead is datamining the heck out of that too – check out the mounts and beasties, music, pets, maps, and talents for just a taste of what’s available. Or don’t spoil yourself. You choose.