Secret World Legends adding new South Africa and faction rank missions soon

The anniversary event has kept Secret World Legends players’ attention pretty rapt for the past month, but that distraction ending tomorrow. What will fans do then? Well they won’t get auxiliary weapons (bummer), but they will get to look forward to new missions coming soon. Funcom revealed that these free mission additions will not all be in South Africa but spread out: One will be in the newest zone while the other three will be new faction ranking ones. (Sorry folks, still no auxiliary weapons in the forecast.)

In South Africa, the new one with its accompanying achievement Land of the Dawn will be an action mission in South Africa. Titled Public Enemy Number One, it focuses on that mysterious assailant that hounds you in the Morninglight compound. The faction ranking missions bring Into Darkness, Venetian Missle Crisis, and Rogue Agent! back, all redesigned for SWL with scaling difficulties. Unlocking at level 50, these will increase faction ranks from level 11 through 13 and include rewards of faction uniforms, a faction specific agent, an additional agent slot, and faction-specific cosmetics. It doesn’t stop there: New legends to collect and new achievements to obtain are also included.


The Daily Grind: Should every MMO with factions have mechanics to switch factions?

Lots of things bug the living heck out of me about World of Warcraft, but one of the bullet points on that list is the fact that there’s still no way for an individual to switch factions. It just doesn’t happen, despite the fact that we know there are members of Horde races in the Alliance (and vice-versa) and plenty of space for disagreeing with your factional stance. City of Heroes got this right ages ago, and that was a game where the factional split was based on actual morality, not just political alignment.

Personally, I think every game with factions should offer a mechanism to allow players to swap their faction. There should be no hard-and-set uncrossable faction lines. Even in Star Wars: The Old Republic, you should have the option to make a reformed Sith or a fallen Jedi if you so desire, and classes like Bounty Hunters don’t even have factions in the first place.

But perhaps others feel like that would erode some of what makes factions distinct. Having watched people develop strong factional identities in games like Final Fantasy XI (which encouraged you to swap factions) that rings false to me, but what do you think? Should every MMO with factions have mechanics to switch factions?

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Albion Online discusses the royal city revamp for its upcoming Merlyn update

The trouble with having one universal hub in Albion Online is that basically no one cares about the five other hubs in the game. That’s what the game’s next content update, Merlyn, is partly meant to address. While Caerleon will not be changed, each of the other five royal cities will be getting bonuses to refining certain types of goods and item production. Thus, players will be inspired to seek out the other cities with Caerleon as a fallback, rather than just chilling forever in Caerleon.

“But what about PvP?” The developers are glad you asked that because that segues nicely into having five sides of faction warfare running. Each of the cities represents a different faction, and as it turns out, the factions all hate each other… which means that signing on with a faction allows you to fight people from the other faction anywhere. But signing on to a faction also gives you access to special resources. So it should give you more reason to explore and more opportunities to fight people, even in otherwise safe zones. How joyous! Remember to enjoy all of that when it comes to Steam next week on May 16th.

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Bless Online details the origin and reasons behind its faction conflict

There are two factions in Bless Online, so you can be sure that both factions want to make sure that the other faction no longer exists. The real question is why the two factions are at odds with one another in the first place, and helpfully, the latest post from the developers explains exactly that. In short, it’s not just about territory, it’s about two different styles of governing that are explicitly incompatible with one another.

To sum up a fair amount of lore, the Hieron is the northern order-based faction, while the Union is the southern freedom-based faction. The Union dislikes the social order and rigidity of the Hieron rule, while the Hieron faction likes the social order and rigidity of its own rule (the fact that the Union races tend to be on the bottom of that order is mostly icing). Of course, there’s more to it than that, so you may wish to read up more to understand exactly why your faction wants the other faction dead.

Source: Steam page


The Daily Grind: Are MMO developers obligated to give new stuff to all factions at the same rate?

So World of Warcraft is bringing us another allied race in the form of the Mag’har (uncorrupted Orcs, don’t you know). We haven’t had this confirmed just yet, of course, but we’ve had enough stuff get mined out by this point that it’s only a mystery in the broadest sense of the term. We don’t know when, but we can rest assured that it’s happening. But nothing has been mined out about another allied race joining the Alliance as well, and really, the options for the Horde feel a little bit more populated than the Alliance ones.

It seems unlikely that the Alliance wouldn’t get something as well, based on the history of the game, but at this point nothing has yet been made evident. So here’s the question: Is that so unacceptable? There’s nothing contractually obligating the developers to give allied races to both factions at the same rate, after all, and really Mag’har have been part of the Horde since they first were introduced. At the same time, it also doesn’t exactly feel fair to players on one faction who get a big fat nothing while the other side gets a shiny new toy. So what do you think, readers? Are MMO developers obligated to give new stuff to all factions at the same rate?

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The Daily Grind: Should MMOs with PvP-focused factions allow cross-faction interaction?

I’m on-board for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth focusing on the factional conflict, but there’s a side of the factions in WoW that has always bugged me: the lack of cross-faction interaction. I can’t group with Horde characters while I’m playing an Alliance character, cannot meaningfully help them advance quests, can’t even talk to them. In terms of interaction, they wind up feeling like very smart NPC characters with no options beyond “hit it” or “ignore it.”

By contrast, Star Wars: The Old Republic has two factions that literally cannot coexist in the same galaxy peacefully, and it has actually done a better job of giving both factions chances to interact. At least Sith players can still talk to Republic characters.

The justification of keeping the faction conflict rolling has always struck me as fake; it drives the point home more effectively if your Night Elf isn’t just shooting at random Tauren characters but at people she knows, has grouped with, and even considers friends. But perhaps I’m in the minority here. What do you think, readers? Should MMOs with PvP-focused factions allow players to interact cross-faction, or is it better to keep them separated in gameplay as well as in lore?

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Revelation Online explores the motivation of the Pirate Crew faction

Pirates! It’s pretty easy to understand the motivation of pirates most of the time; pirates want to get stuff by taking it from other people. The Pirate Crew faction in Revelation Online is a bit different, though. Sure, they’re happy to take things from other people and thus become the new owners, but they’re primarily interested in hunting for treasures that haven’t already been claimed. Thus, they’re currently investigating the mystery and treasure behind the Deathly Atoll.

Don’t worry, it’s just a name. It’s really more of an island.

There’s obviously plenty of stuff on the aforementioned Deathly Atoll that is, well, deathly. It’ll kill you. The bright side, of course, is that there’s also plenty of treasure scattered throughout, which is also fine motivation for the pirates and like-minded adventurers to check things out. You can examine the full rundown on the official site if that sounds like something you’d be happy to take part in.


Star Trek Online highlights the rewards for its upcoming War Games gameplay

The next major season patch for Star Trek Online introduces players to a major new system: War Games. The whole point is good-natured competition in PvP or competitive PvE:

“This new type of queue allows two five-person teams to battle head-to-head in competitive PvE scenarios. To keep players on an even playing field, a new Player Potential system has been introduced that will match players of similar skill in the same matches. The War Game system will also have a new reputation tied to it, including for the first time ever, class specific-ship and captain gear. Captains can mix and match new gear they earn from any class and also have the option to specialize. To support the new War Games system, a full rebalance pass has been made to ground and space combat to ensure that no matter what choice captains make when outfitting their skills or ship, it isn’t a wrong one.”

But what sort of rewards are available? Why, the ones the latest official post details, naturally. Expect a new space set, new ground sets, new consumables, and so forth. Each of the sets is also built to be desirable in competitive scenarious, as well; the ground set, for example, offers big bursts of temporary hit points when you take severe damage, allowing you to survive sudden ambushes more easily. Check out the full rundown of rewards if you think shooting at your friends’ ships sounds like fun and games.


Allods Online is bringing cross-factional orders to the game with its next update

When Allods Online patch 8.0 goes live, there are going to be new storyline events that remain hidden behind a veil of secrecy at the moment. But players can be assured that they’ll find out the details behind the three new Orders that are rising within the game before they’re asked to join the Orders. Yes, they’re three new sub-factions, and players will be expected to join up with one of them to earn standing and work with fellow players across factional lines.

Orders are open to players as soon as they hit level 75, with a given character joining only one of the three Orders available (and any incarnations of that same character joining automatically as well). Earning additional standing is as easy as taking part in high-end activities within the game, with members earning up additional merchandise at a specialized vendor as well as earning voting rights within the order. Unfortunately, the storyline spoilers prevent anyone from yet revealing the names of these orders, so you’ll simply have to speculate until the update goes live.


WildStar’s Redmoon Mutiny update goes live today

The next part of WildStar‘s Redmoon Terror raid doesn’t go live until November 16th, but the associated patch is going live today. That means that as of today, factional barriers in the game are coming down; you can invite members of both factions to be your friends, part of your guild, members of your group, or your neighbors in the game’s housing system. In other words, if you want to bulk out your raid team before the second part of Redmoon Terror goes live, you’ll now have both factions to draw upon.

Players can also enjoy the new PvP leaderboard feature and a variety of bugfixes with related quality-of-life improvements. It’s a little light on content, obviously, since the big centerpiece of the update won’t be arriving for another week, but you’ve got a whole lot of new friends to make on the other side of the fence now. That can’t be a bad thing.

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Revelation Online introduces the northern wolves

Oh no! The Northern Wolves are coming in Revelation Online! Are you scared? Do you know who the Northern Wolves are? If not, you should probably read up on the latest batch of revelations from the game explaining who the Northern Wolves are and why you should be leery of these proud, feral warriors. Other than the fact that they can indeed turn into wolves, which is kind of scary all by itself.

The Wolves are to the northwest of more “civilized” lands and fought a long, bloody war against their neighbors; while the battle ended in a stalemate and a peace treaty, that hasn’t stopped a long-simmering resentment from brewing on both sides. Players can attempt to curry favor with the Wolves by proving themselves strong and forthright, but not without facing considerable danger along the way. You could try giving them some bacon treats, but that might seem like pandering.


Perpetuum is adding eleven new robots to the game

The lineup of robots available in Perpetuum has been fairly static for a while now. If you’ve played the game extensively since launch, you probably have a solid idea of what you’re going to see on the field. But the Syndicate is stepping up its game to become a full-fledged new faction in the game, and that means new robots are coming along with that change. Not just one or two robots, either; there are 11 new robots coming, and while they’ve got some parts that might be familiar, the robots themselves are new.

Each of the new robots has a focus on machine guns and is meant to fill in some roles in gameplay, from the Callisto (focused on electronic warfare) to the Daidalos (a transport meant to bridge a specific gap between the Sequer and the Lithus). The next few weeks will take a closer look at what the individual mechs can do, but it’s enough to know that the new machines are on their way, and they’ll make for a more diverse playspace.

Source: Official Site; thanks to VoidStar for the tip!


Star Wars: The Old Republic kicks off the Dark vs. Light Event

The current expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic has the Sith and the Jedi working together pretty closely, because it’s either that or get annihilated. But let’s not forget that the Light Side and the Dark Side are opposed to one another. A temporary ceasefire is in place, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is all smiles and happiness now; it means that there’s something even more threatening in the background. The game’s Dark vs. Light event serves as a reminder of just what the stakes are in that conflict, complete with fantastic rewards for anyone taking part.

So how do you take part? You make new characters and you do things. That’s the short version. There are several different tiers of rewards, and the more achievements you earn, the higher your tier and the more rewards you earn. The choices you make with the light and dark side will also have a long-term impact on the state of the game, as well; which side is winning will affect the state of the galaxy in the fall, as well as determining whether a light-side or dark-side companion is unlocked for players. Check out the event and get ready to spend the summer fighting for one side or the other.

Source: Official Site; thanks to TheDonDude for the tip!


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