Trion’s big games always get so much attention that I always forget about Atlas Reactor
, but here it comes this weekend with a mighty patch and event for loyal players
. In fact, it’s getting an all-new map called Oblivion.
“Oblivion awaits in Atlas Reactor, prepare to embrace the darkness in a Necrolancer inspired map for PVP, VS Bots, and Custom Game modes. Oblivion comes out July 20th and is an open arena that features hidden camouflage and cover along the edges. Dominate the battlefield and seize control of the centrally located healing powerups to survive in this tactical deathmatch.”
Players checking out the new map this weekend will be treated to double expies; Trion says there are only five chapters left in the season for those of you working on ranked awards, so now is the time.
Although our next Elder Scrolls Online
venture into Black Marsh is still many months away, I thought I would take a moment to talk about the Argonians. But as intriguing as the Lusty Argonian Maid might be, I will save that discussion for another article and less kid-friendly website. (Side note: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if part of the Mirkmire DLC was finding out the origin of the Lusty Argonian Maid?)
What I would actually like to discuss today is the center of the Argonian religion and mythology: The Hist. It’s hard to tell sometimes if the Hist is an actual god-like presence or if it is mythology built up by the Argonians. Maybe it’s both. So if you’re ready for a drug-induced trip into the core of Argonian culture, keep reading. But if you’re not ready for what has to be the weirdest trip into Elder Scrolls lore, you might want to turn back now.
We’re barreling down a pretty short road toward Elder Scrolls Online’s
next DLC. As announced just a month ago at E3
, Wolfhunter is indeed a werewolf-themed pack that features two dungeons alongside the goodies of update 19, including a semi-symmetrical battleground map called Istirus Outpost, keep recall stones in alliance PvP, an improved respec system, and better werewolf skills.
As of this week, the Wolfhunter DLC and the concomitant update 19 have landed on the public test server, meaning you can get in there and check everything out. Worth noting is that the champion point cap is lifting, there are indeed some class tweaks as promised, and there are two new houses coming:
Hunter’s Glade: An underground entrance way leads through a portal to an expansive forested glade in Hircine’s Oblivion realm of The Hunting Grounds. Those “blessed” with lycanthropy can maintain werewolf form indefinitely in this otherworldly wilderness.
Grand Psijic Villa: When Artaeum was “removed” from Tamriel, a few neighboring isles went with it, including the site of the Grand Psijic Villa, a monumental estate with magnificent views of the south coast of the main island.
Lycanthropy has been a part of the Elder Scrolls lore since Daggerfall
, even if it did kind of skip Oblivion
. Elder Scrolls Online
introduces lycanthropy as its own skill line with both passive and active skills. It was this fun skill line that helped me want to jump back into the game a couple of years ago. It’s not the most useful skill tree in the game, and it certainly isn’t as good as Vampirism when it comes to PvP, but I found it to be a lot of fun and would recommend it to players looking to explore some of the lore and interesting mechanics of ESO
In the next DLC for ESO, players take to opposite stance and actually hunt werewolves with the Order of the Silver Dawn. Although we don’t have many details about this next DLC, we know that one of the dungeons take place in the Order’s headquarters as its infested with werewolves, and the other takes place in Hircine’s Hunting Grounds.
This Friday at 6 p.m. EDT, Dungeon Lead Mike Finnigan and Writer-Designer Tori Dougherty will give us a more in-depth look at these two dungeons, but before that, we should probably learn all we can about werewolves in ESO. That’s why I’ve broken down how to become a werewolf in ESO and where they come from according to the Elder Scrolls.
The Crew 2 has reached its official launch day for console and PC, but maybe don’t be too anxious to press the buy button. As we noted on this week’s Massively OP Podcast, early reviews from the beta were abysmal, as players specifically criticized the sidegrade from the original game, the lackluster vehicle modes, and the cumbersome controls, but the beta Steam page had been completely wiped, sending those warning reviews into oblivion when the headstart began earlier this week. How convenient, right?
Alas for Ubisoft, those beta players followed it to the new Steam page, and it’s racked up hundreds of new reviews putting it in the “mostly negative” zone just since Tuesday. An irritating steam activation key pairing issue and preorder activation bugs didn’t help matters either.
VentureBeat noticed this week that it’s possible to figure out just how much money you’ve blown on video games, at least through Steam, by using Valve’s “account spend tool.” A lot of people clicking that tool are about to get a sobering reminder that they’d better stay on Valve’s good side if they don’t want thousands of dollars’ worth of games whisked away into an account black hole.
My own number… well, let’s just say that it’s not nearly as bad as I was fearing. I’ve spent far more money on World of Warcraft than I’ve spent on Steam. But that’s probably because most MMORPGs I’ve paid into for so many years aren’t there, and most of what I do buy on Steam is deeply on sale. And my husband and I have our accounts linked too, so we don’t double buy much. I escaped easy – less than the VentureBeat writer!
How about you? How much dough have you dropped on Steam in its lifetime? Does the number give you pause about just how inured to digital distribution we’ve all become?
Monday, the Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset
chapter went live for early access accounts. For the first time since 1994, players can visit the island of Summerset. And needless to say, 24 years makes quite a difference in the world of gaming. I’m not going to pretend that I ever played Arena
, but think its safe to say that things look a lot different and the mechanics of the game have changed, too.
I don’t think that Summerset is as highly anticipated as Morrowind was, but that’s can be a positive for ZeniMax Online Studios because there is scrutiny when it comes to the lay of the land and the storyline. On the other hand, it means less hype for the expansion.
As an MMORPG enthusiast, I’m excited to see MMOs continuing to grow the way ESO has. And I know that you might not be as familiar with Summerset, so I would like to give you my list of what you should probably look out for when you jump into the next chapter.
Let me teach you how to understand Mephala the Webspinner. Maybe that’s misleading; she’s a Deadric Prince, and who can really understand the motivations of a god, especially one as complicated as Mephala? That’s also what is really wonderful about the characters in Elder Scrolls Online
: They never seem to be all good or all bad. There always appears to be some sort of nuance about them that requires explanation.
If you buy the physical Collector’s for Summerset, you will get a 12-inch statue of Mephala, which might be the first collector’s edition of ESO that I buy, and it’s because of that statue. During the introductory livestream for Summerset, Creative Director Rich Lambert simply said that “she plays a role” in the upcoming expansion but didn’t really go any further than that. But if she’s like any of the other featured Daedric Princes, she’s likely one of the formidable enemies – maybe the main enemy – for the chapter. But if the story falls in line with Mephala’s character up to this point, it’s likely that the story is more complicated than her being the villain for Summerset.
First, we should talk about Mephala’s history in the franchise, but then I have a fun theory that I’d like to share.
Even though I don’t believe that Summerset
was the best choice for the next expansion
for the Elder Scrolls Online
, that doesn’t mean that the chapter is without merit. According to ZeniMax Online
Creative Director Rich Lambert
will be bigger and have more to do than Morrowind
. It’s hard to believe that the actual island is bigger, but I do believe that there is much more playable area on Summerset than on Vvardenfell because it doesn’t have a giant volcano sitting in the middle of it taking up a lot of room.
Because this island hasn’t been seen since Elder Scrolls: Arena, it’s hard to know what to expect from this land. We know that certain things exist, like the Crystal Tower and the home of the Psijic Order Artaeum, but we haven’t ever really seen some of these places in any games.
Because I’m a lore buff, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about the first settlers of the Summerset Isles, the Aldmer and their “purest” descendants, the Altmer. But really, I’m only going to be able to scratch the surface of this deep and isolated culture.
You know how when it’s patch day in your favorite MMORPG and you’re skimming the patch notes trying to figure out what exactly changed, but it’s all cryptic hints and vague comments, and you’re pretty sure when they say “has been changed” they mean “has been nerfed into oblivion,” and you have no idea where the new stuff is so you can log in and find it?
Saga of Lucimia is not planning to alleviate any of that. A new dev blog and vlog from the indie studio argues that it prefers to leave discoveries, especially about new and moved NPCs, events, and activities to the players to encounter on their own, with no teases in the patch notes.
“While we’ll certainly be including notes regarding bug fixes and the like in our patches, one thing you won’t see from us are patch notes for updated or new content in the Saga of Lucimia,” write the devs. “It will be up to the players to discover those changes and events just as they would in a real adventure setting: by actually going there, exploring, following the lore and the storylines, and immersing themselves in the world. […] We want to keep players in the dark regarding content changes and try to avoid, for as long as realistically possible, a full-fledged wiki from being created.”
Here’s a message that Blizzard Entertainment wants to trumpet from the mountaintops: Heroes of the Storm is not, in fact, spiraling down to oblivion.
So why would this be a question right now? It seems that the combination of the recent MOBA shutdowns and a consolidation of Heroes’ merchandise store section from five to one page had some players concerned about the lifespan of Blizzard’s oft-overshadowed title. But the studio went on the record by saying that it isn’t downsizing the MOBA or preparing to give it a pink slip.
“Heroes of the Storm is not dying. We’re not giving up on it, nothing like that,” said E-sports Franchise Lead Sam Braithwaite. “In general, I think people are taking something that is very unrelated, at all, to the game’s health, which is some merch that we’re re-evaluating, and kind of putting a doomsday ticker on that, which is absolutely not the case. We have an incredibly jam-packed content schedule for the rest of this year, people are going to be really excited for the stuff that we have planned.”
Sometimes a small, singular change can make all of the difference in your MMO.
Yesterday’s update in DC Universe Online expanded players’ abilities to include a second artifact slot and upend the current gear builds. Getting a quick additional artifact to fill that slot is pretty easy, too: “Make sure you have completed ‘Artifacts: Oblivion Bar,’ the Artifacts introductory event, and make sure you have completed ‘Monitoring the Situation,’ the pointer mission for the anniversary event. Both reward your choice of one Artifact.”
There is a known issue with this update that’s causing some European PS4 players to be missing their membership benefits, so be aware that Daybreak is working on a solution.
Speaking of events, DCUO has its 7th anniversary running for the remainder of the month. Make sure to log on and grab your free gifts by the 31st!
Game Update 76
descends upon the gloomy superhero world of DC Universe Online
today. The headline feature going live after the big ol’ maintenance? That’d be the new artifacts system
that’ll remind you a bit of similar systems in Lord of the Rings Online
and World of Warcraft
“Artifacts is an exciting new system that will allow you to further up your stats and effectiveness within DCUO by collecting rare Artifact objects and ranking them up by feeding unique Reagent items into them. Players above level 20 will now have access to a new instance titled ‘Artifacts: Oblivion Bar’ in the Events tab of the On Duty Menu. In this instance, tricky ol’ John Constantine himself will help guide you in getting started with these exciting new items. Artifacts can be accessed through the new ‘Artifacts’ tab in the Inventory menu, where Reagent items can be fed into them to raise their ranks until they reach milestone points. Once an Artifact reaches a milestone, players will need to use special Catalyst items to unlock the milestone and continue ranking up their Artifact.”
The patch also introduces new Thanksgiving stuff (happy November!), implements an inventory overhaul that buffs stack sizes (yay!), adjusts projectile targeting, and fixes up some bugs.