Final Fantasy XIV starts its anniversary fiction

The in-game events will arrive later, but at this point it’s as much of an event for Final Fantasy XIV to feature written fiction as it is to have a standard anniversary celebrations. Every year we get new fiction about the characters and stories we’ve been exploring for the past year, and it starts today with the first anniversary piece, “In Darkness Blooms the Lily.”

That title alone probably makes it clear what the story is about for anyone who’s completed the most recent portion of the MSQ, but let’s dispel any ambiguity: this is covering Doman viceroy and generally complex figure Yotsuyu. It’s not a happy story, in other words, but if you were curious about the course of events that led to this woman getting elevated to the position where players first meet her… well, here’s a peek into her past, a portion not explored otherwise.


WoW Factor: There’s no fixing this Battle for Azeroth story

Let’s be totally clear about something: There is no twist waiting for this World of Warcraft story. It doesn’t exist. There’s no way that this story moves into its next phase and suddenly all of the nonsense that was added here is made all right or acceptable or… well, let’s face it, not atrociously dumb.

I’m putting that front and center because if you’re going to talk about World of Warcraft at the moment, you’re going to talk about the latest Warbringers short and the concurrent in-game events, and that means talking about the fact that this is dumb. I’m also trying to leave people who really don’t want to be spoiled for awful storytelling not forced into it, so be fairly warned; things get spoil-y real quick down below. So if you want to read about how catastrophically stupid this is, read on. If you’d rather have any remaining faith in the expansion not being a steaming pile of wombat leavings destroyed by watching the cinematic in-game, well, maybe hold off.

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The Elder Scrolls Online details the monsters of Moon Hunter Keep

The inhabitants of Moon Hunter Keep in The Elder Scrolls Online do not, in fact, hunt the moon. They hunt werewolves, which is also pretty cool. Of course, we should say the prior inhabitants of Moon Hunter Keep, because the Order of the Silver Dawn has lost control of their stronghold and it’s being fortified by the ancient werewolf known as Vykosa. So players will need to get into the keep, smack a whole lot of werewolves, and then serve Vykosa an eviction notice at the business end of a battleaxe.

Unfortunately, that means that you’ll have to deal with all of the built-in defenses of Moon Hunter Keep like its narrow hallways and careful chokepoints under the control of several ravenous werewolves, meaning numerous ambushes and enemies herding you into contained spaces. Check out the full preview on the official site to get a sense of how dangerous it will be to remove the werewolves from their new bolthole.


World of Warcraft fans are not happy with the latest story developments, some try to cope through harassment

So yesterday’s latest bit of story in World of Warcraft did not, in fact, delight and amaze fans. Quite the opposite. Reactions on the game’s subreddit have been wildly negative, with dozens of threads popping up about how petulantly destroying a city isn’t morally grey and how badly this mangles existing character traits. A large number of players are unhappy, due in no small part to the fact that the net result is that the Horde have basically been portrayed as complicit in what amounts to a war crime.

All of this mockery is heartily deserved. What is not deserved is personal harassment directed at longtime novelist and member of the writing staff Christie Golden, who was not even involved with writing this (she describes all of these decisions as being made before she formally joined the main writing staff). The game’s subreddit has officially stated that this is unconscionable, which might break from predictions but should show that even unhappy groups of fans aren’t supporting harassment campaigns against women because of bad writing.

On the bright side, some hotfixes should clear up some PvP issues? There’s no hotfixing out the story, though.

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The second part of War of Thorns is live now for World of Warcraft

It’s time to set a really big tree on fire with this week’s update to World of Warcraft’s pre-patch War of Thorns. Last week saw the Horde marching on Darkshore, and this week sees Sylvanas… well, reaching Teldrassil and then the tree burns down. We all knew this was going to happen from last year; it’s not exactly a spoiler.

Completing the scenarios allows you to unlock a special mount for both factions (a Teldrassil Hippogryph for the Alliance and a Lordaeron Plaguebat for the Horde), as well as furthering the story and allowing you to view the next Warbringers short for Sylvanas. You can also view that just below if you want, but be fairly warned that it’s both spoiler-heavy and, well, the final nail in the coffin for any hopes that this expansion isn’t just setting up Sylvanas as the big bad. Fairly warned be ye.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV gets to hunt some monsters

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.

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DC Universe Online adds the Teen Titans storyline Judas Contract today

It’s time for a new story in DC Universe Online, and this time the game is taking a spin with one of the universe’s more popular teams with the Teen Titans. Since Cyborg is leaving the Titans to work with the Justice League full-time, there’s a hole in the Titan roster. Players of the heroic persuasion are eligible, and players of the villainous bent are sneaking in anyway… but there’s another infiltrator sent by Deathstroke, and players will need to ferret out who it might be.

The patch includes new duo content, new raids and elite raids, and a new alert as part of the overall story arc. There’s also the new Augment system in the game, replacing the old R&D system and equipping various Augments directly to your character. Check out the full patch notes to know what you’ll be diving into, and then go hang out with a bunch of teenagers.

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Disgruntled Star Citizen players blockade a space station in protest over Arena Commander

Cloud Imperium has dropped a couple of new tidbits for Star Citizen fans to dig into this week with a new lore post and the latest installment of the studio’s weekly Around the Verse development videos. On the development end of the spectrum, the latest Around the Verse is all about the recently released patch 3.2 and the currently-in-testing patch 3.2.1. In it, Director Chris Roberts and VP of Marketing Sandi Gardiner recap the newly implemented mining system and improvements to the game’s quantum linking gameplay. The video also features a few short previews of what players can expect to find in patch 3.2.1, currently in testing on the PTU; the studio covers upcoming sound-design improvements, the upcoming “99% complete” touring module, and a sneak-peek into the process of designing the upcoming utilitarian habilitation environments, plus there’s a segment on player-led bug-fixing efforts.

Not everyone is happy with the current state of the game. According to Star Citizen player and prolific MOP tipster DK, the pause on Arena Commander has plenty of players riled up; a group of players were last night blockading the Cry Astro refuel/repair station, shooting at everyone who came near it in “protest” over the halt in AC development. “They blew up my 600i,” he tweeted. Reddit has characterized it as a “pirate takeover” and is warning players to avoid the area and the protest even while welcoming it as the “start of the emergent gameplay of Star Citizen.”

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The Elder Scrolls Online introduces the driven huntress, Hanu

We only get a small peek at the character of Hanu, one of the major NPCs in the upcoming Wolfhunter DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online. But what we see is immediately the essence of a power move with a young woman who asks how to visit Hircine’s Hunting Grounds while remaining alive, rather than spending a live devoted to the deity and being sent there as an eternal reward.

Of course, her reasons are less a matter of “it seemed neat to see if I could do this” and more “I intend to rescue the soul of my dead father,” so there’s a good reason for why she wants to do something that by all rights ought to be impossible. But it remains a power move and should give you an idea of the sort of woman you’re dealing with. Not that she’s likely to survive the experience on her own, of course; slipping into the Hunting Grounds via the next Great Hunt is not precisely a safe plan.


Star Trek Online previews the rebuilt Deep Space Nine for the console launch of Victory is Life

If you were going to ask someone to identify the most iconic starbases in Star Trek Online, there’s really not much contest. Sure, Earth Spacedock is the “central” hub for most new players, but Deep Space 9 is the station that has seven seasons of a beloved series and is also one of the most memorable locations for players to visit. With the launch of the Victory is Life expansion on consoles – an expansions dealing with the Gamma Quadrant, which is intimately tied to Deep Space 9 – the designers took the opportunity to rebuild the station to look even better.

The work was aided by the fact that the Promenade (the central location of the station) actually had its set built on the studio, which meant the designers could use those floor plans and start recreating the exact sets seen in the episodes. Of course, the actual Promenade is a full circle and less than half of that was built as a set, but it was still a place to start. Check out the full article to see how the designers brought everything about the iconic station back up to more modern design standards.


Rend highlights its bipedal danger birds, the Rocs

There is something faintly familiar about Rend’s Rocs. Sure, they are hardly the first example of big bipedal birds, but… something about the way their bodies are shaped? Or their legs? Maybe it’s those yellow feathers a bunch of them have? Eh, it’s probably nothing. And even knowing what they resembled wouldn’t help you deal with them, since Rocs are not particularly friendly birds and tend to serve as pack hunters in wide open spaces.

Players will need to content with the savage beaks of these birds from multiple angles, as they tend to hunt in threes and can be led by powerful matriarchs who put the fear of birds into any unwary travelers. Of course, dispatching them can produce meat and eggs for cooking, and black Roc feathers are quite useful for crafting. Check out the full rundown to see how you’re going to handle these birds in the game.

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Crowfall explains the Hunger that’s killing everything

The Hunger is going to destroy everything in Crowfall. That’s how the story ends. You can stave it off for a time, and the latest development post is all about how you can do that. But the point is that as the seasons change, you will lose the fight. Only a few hunger crystals might appear at night during the summer, and you can hopefully find and eliminate them. And creatures mutated by the Hunger can’t survive during the day, so they’ll be dealt with that way. You can take the land back!

But as time goes by the nights get longer. The seasons change and more crystals emerge every night. Cutting away the crystals is treating the symptom, not the disease. Eventually the place where you are will succumb to the frost and stillness of the Hunger, there are no two ways about it. The official entry goes into more detail, but that’s the short version right there. Have fun!


Star Trek Online brings out its next featured episode on June 28

The premise for the next featured episode in Star Trek Online is a real good news/bad news situation. The good news is that captains have just uncovered new information about the Hur’q from their homeworld and learned a lot about the Founders. Bad news? Well, the Hur’q have an enormous fleet ready to pound the absolute daylights out of the Founder homeworld and players need to do something to prevent that from happening. So the bad news seems more pertinent.

Sure, the Founders aren’t exactly friendly, but failing to stop the Hur’q now means that the Alpha Quadrant will be in danger, so it’s probably time to take part in the defense. The episode is going live on June 28th and will be a featured episode, available to players who have cleared the prior episode in the sequence. And if you want to shout that you still don’t like the Founders very much over the sound of phaser fire, that seems fair.


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