The addition of Reedwind also brings with it the Thunderwing Titan, who can be fought in both Normal and Hard variants depending on gear and skill levels. Delphinad Ghost Ships will also be showing up on the high seas, which give players a chance to earn some new rewards while at the same time pitting them against difficult new opponents. If you’ve been enjoying your time on the game’s fresh start server thus far, you’ve got a bit more content to explore now; if you haven’t started because you were waiting for these additions, well, now is the time.
Let me tell you a bit about me and how I play MMORPGs. Between two jobs and a family, my gaming time is relegated to the deep evening hours where peace descends upon our household. If it’s a good night, I can get in two full hours of adventuring through virtual worlds before I grow too tired to continue. Some nights it’s less.
It has been a long time since I was able to sprint alongside the pack when a new expansion or game launches, so you have to picture me as the slowpoke waaaay in the back who keeps getting distracted by small details, stops to read the quest text, and takes screenshots like I’m putting together an art book.
That’s me, the fluffy casual, and while plenty of folks have devoured vast swaths of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth this week (including our own excellent Eliot), I’ve been rotating through my roster of characters and experiencing this engaging expansion at my own tempered pace. Does that mean that I lack a perspective or any observational details? Absolutely not! In fact, here are some things that I’ve been thinking about and looking at this week from the position at the far back of the pack.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth has elicited a lot of praise from the community for its superb voice acting. Blizzard Watch put together a roundup of some of the key characters and their human counterparts, just in case you were wondering who was doing that voice.
And as players explore this new expansion, they’ve been uncovering all sorts of Easter eggs and sly references. Catch that Calvin and Hobbes or Winnie the Pooh nod, did you? Well how about the in-game tribute to the late R. Lee Ermey, who appears as a sergeant in the Alliance’s 7th Legion.
Blizzard recently sat down for an interview that covered the identity crisis that is hitting Horde players really hard right now. “Battle for Azeroth is absolutely an opportunity to look at both sides [honorable and evil] that have made up the Horde storylines throughout the years and pull them together,” said Narrative Producers Steve Danuser. “And maybe give a chance for the Horde to look inward and maybe become something new, something stronger than it ever was before.”
The 12 million dudes and dudettes playing H1Z1 on PlayStation 4 this summer need to know two things this week. For one, the latest patch doesn’t add much – primarily performance optimizations to textures, animations, and UI drawing, as well as bug fixes (like the one where you parachute wouldn’t open during your drop – ouch). PS4 players can take advantage of the hoopla by logging in this month and playing a match to unlock a free skin that looks like something weird my little kid made in art class. But hey, it’s free.
As for the PC community, things are either super awesome or grumpy, depending on your view. As we’ve previously noted, Monolith’s Jace Hall is taking over at Daybreak as the game’s new PC lead. His Twitter feed is currently pumping up the transition with “nothing iz impozzible” videos.
“UPDATE – THE GOOD: @DaybreakGames meeting was amazing in all the right ways,” he tweeted Wednesday. “The magic IS happening. THE BAD: May not be completely free 2 disclose any epic info during this week as planned…Still doable, but it may be a few days beyond that B4 my chains come off.”
So what’s making this patch so big? Several content additions, actually, starting with a new dungeon called The Midnight Grove. Barbarians will get some offhand combat skills and new types of arrows to play with, but the star feature here is most definately the pet taming system. There looks to be a wide variety of pets to start, including rhinos, hyenas, and crocodiles. What, no fluffy kittens?
And speaking of patches, those waiting on the promise PlayStation 4 parity patch… are going to have to wait even longer. Funcom announced that it has had to delay the patch again until sometime next week.
Ignore the bizarre sight of a developer’s talking head stuck onto a suit of in-game armor for now. Bless is most pleased with its recent Assassin update, and the team wanted to share some statistics from the patch’s first 100 hours of live operation.
These stats include the fact that 52.8% of characters created during that time were Assassins, but that only 260 of them reached level 45 by the end of that period. The devs noted that the Assassinate stance was the most widely used by the playerbase at 42%. Because why would you roll an Assassin and not, you know, assassinate?
Another interesting stat covered the range of dominion contract bidding that took place. These ranged from as low as 8,000 points and climbed as high as 266,666 points.
Has it really been seven years since martial arts MMO Age of Wushu first descended on an MMORPG genre that had almost forgotten what a real sandbox looked like? Indeed it has. As MMO Culture noted today, Snail Games is currently celebrating the game’s seventh birthday since launching China with an update introducing the game’s final martial arts school and a brand-new story trailer to boot.
We agree with Cinderboy that it’s unlikely the update will ever make its way westward; the subreddit is all but dead and the western version of the game has seen little more than bonus events for many months since the North American and European games merged back under Snail’s control. Die-hard fans of the game just biding time for more news on the upcoming sequel Age of Wushu 2.
Still, happy birthday to what Massively-that-was once justly called “the greatest sandbox you’ll never play.”
All right. Strap yourselves in, folks, because this is when we have to start talking about narratives and story and intended emotional reactions. In short, this is where World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth becomes a seriously messy piece of work, because this is an expansion in which the game posits that maybe colonialism is super great and native peoples are evil villains in league with dark powers.
Yes, that’s a thing that happens. No, we’re not going to leave it there, but I’m trying to minimize spoilers before the cut.
I’ve said on Twitter before today that the game feels like a $500 million movie with $50 spent on the script, and that still rings true. A ton of effort has been put into the presentation of this expansion, and there’s nothing to do but praise all of that; there’s honestly very little to fault in any part of the presentation of the story. The faults all arrive once you start examining the actual text of that story. And boy-howdy, that’s a mess.
Fair warning, people, there will be spoilers below.
Rend is enjoying some strong popularity since transitioning into early access at the end of July. To handle the influx of interested adventurers, Frostkeep Studios moved a whole host of North American and European servers over to new and better hardware earlier this week.
Since the studio also changed the saga restart timer from 72 hours to 24 hours, it manually reset seven of its servers to restart their sagas and get on this new timeframe. It is even granting bonus AP for any of the server ascensions that happened before Patch 2.1.
Patch what, now? The studio pushed out an update this past Tuesday with a huge number of balance changes and several bug fixes. As a result of all of this, talent and skill perk points were reset and will need to be reallocated. Frostkeep also used the patch as an opportunity to warn players that abusing the outcast system is a bannable offense, especially against “new or inexperienced” players.
Join the MOP Stream Team today at 2 p.m. EDT, when we’ll be diving back into the game live on OPTV.
“Challenge your friends to a side by side duel — Frame Fighter has arrived!” Digital Extremes says. “Inspired by long-time Warframe Fan LocoCrazy_, this no-frills arcade minigame will transform your Orbiter into a battleground! No quarters required! Visit Simaris and acquire the Ludoplex — a new home for all of Warframe’s minigames — through Standing. Choose from Excalibur, Volt and Mag, each with their unique Ability. Unlock additional Frame Fighter characters by discovering Fragments throughout the game. If the scanned Warframe’s Prime is in your Inventory, you can toggle to the Prime version of the acquired character.”
The patch also adds some new amp bits and… rocks and plants. No really, there are new flora pieces available as decorations for clan bases. Nifty! Not coincidentally, we’ll be streaming Warframe tonight; join us on OPTV at 9 p.m. EDT to see the some of the new content up close!
Poor WildStar. These days all the attention and excitement that Carbine’s MMO generates is by recycling old events. One of these, the home renovation event, is coming back tomorrow and will run through August 24th.
The game seems to be on life support even as players wonder why this game wasn’t more successful. The last major content update, Destination Arcterra, came out in March 2016 (WildStar has seen lesser content updates since, to be fair). There have been no content updates in 2018.
This past January’s state of the game address promised that Carbine and NCsoft were going to “continue to support the game for the foreseeable future.” However, no specific plans for that future would entail were stated and the dev team has been remarkably quiet over the course of this year.
In fact, next week will see the rollout of the new Puzzle Lab solo adventures. These will, as the name implies, revolve around puzzles (with four types in all). Players can progress through the labs in any order as they try to solve the puzzles from easy to difficult. Each puzzle game gives players a tricky objective to play through in a solo setting.
While the Puzzle Labs are coming, one Hearthstone developer is going. Production Director Yong Woo decided to follow after former Hearthstone lead Ben Brode and join Brode’s new Second Dinner studio. Blizzard Watch reports that this now makes a total of five ex-Hearthstone devs that now work at this indie game company. Guess Brode has that kind of charismatic pull?
The FIX PUBG campaign, or the start of it, is materializing today, as the latest update to hit the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds test servers tackles some of Bluehole’s to-do list, adding a new weapon, scooter, camera settings, reporting system tweaks, changes for custom matches, and bugxies. Cutest scooters ever. As for the Tukshai,
“The Tukshai is an upcoming Sanhok exclusive three-wheeled vehicle which we’d originally planned to release in the month after Sanhok came to live servers. Due to higher priority development tasks and the extra fine tuning required to make driving experience of the three-wheeled Tukshai feel just right, it will now be released in September.”
Meanwhile, the game’s mobile edition reached a new milestone this week: It’s been downloaded over 100 million times with 14 million daily players, and it’s only been running for four months. More impressively, those figures don’t count China, Japan, or Korea. It’ll be interesting to see how the game continues to perform, with its biggest competitor, Fortnite, recently hitting Android itself.