To assuage one major fear, the game’s community team has reminded players that this is not an automatic replacement but an additional compensation; players will still have their old gear, they’ll just receive new pieces. Of course, the debate is running about the forums over whether or not the exchanges are fair or balanced for the community, which is always going to be a problem with this degree of gear change.
The first part of this first impressions series yesterday was all about the mechanical changes made for this expansion. This time, I don’t want to talk about the mechanics of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth; I want to talk about the actual content. Not the narrative text, but just the actual moment-to-moment stuff you’re doing in the game. Which, I think, is what this expansion is going to be judged on at this stage by a lot of people.
Put simply, the game could have the best combat it has ever had with the best gear enhancement system conceivable, but if the actual things you had to fight were a boring slog, no one would like it anyway. Solid content covers a multitude of sins.
There are several people who would likely argue that Legion had some of the best content we’ve ever seen in WoW, and while there’s room to debate that, I think it’s definitely worth considering. So BfA started off on something of the back foot, and that was exacerbated by the fact that it has not one but two continents to fill out almost entirely separate.
A little change can make a big difference in terms of balance. It’s what Albion Online did with its latest patch; all that’s really been changed is that trade mission packages have had their weight increased by around 400 kg. The thing is that a heavier package means using different pack animals to transport it, which in turn means not being able to rely upon using mounts with more survivability… and, in turn, it means that these trade missions become a lot riskier. See? Balance from a little change!
The patch also contains some other balance tweaks for faction leaders, as well as updating the marketplace UI with several quality-of-life features and fixing several bugs along the way. But the biggest change for the patch is, well, a little change that should make things harder for a lot of players who will rely on more vulnerable mounts now, which encourages more back-and-forth warfare, which is exactly the point.
The Demon’s Wheel is also arriving on August 16th and sticking around each week for Thursday through Tuesday subsequently. It’s a challenge dungeon with a chance to gamble with the demonic Demoros for astonishing loot, but losing the gamble means certain death. Of course, since any decent player knows that death is just a minor setback, why not gamble away? You could get masks with stats on them.
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.
The good news for Conan Exiles players is that there are plans to roll out the game’s pet system starting on August 18th. The bad news? Console players are going to need to wait a little bit longer to reach parity with computer players. According to the latest newsletter, while a parity patch was originally scheduled for this week, it’s being delayed due to some last-minute bugs and won’t be ready until next week.
Obviously the far bigger and more important patch is the aforementioned pet system, which will be rolling out in full along with a new religion path and the Midnight Grove dungeon. The date is still subject to change, but it shouldn’t be too much longer before players can pick out their favorite animal companions to survive in the wasteland. Hopefully consoles won’t lag behind desktop players then.
There are two new battlefield types for players to challenge in Final Fantasy XI this month, starting with a challenge against the Rhapsodies of Vana’diel heroine Iroha. Players who have completed the story can take part in the more straightforward battle against her, while those looking for a greater challenge can enter the master trial version with a full party (you can enter alone, but alter egos cannot be summoned and you will probably get killed in short order).
Meanwhile, the new treasure trove content allows players to try their luck by opening treasure chests in hopes of getting a big payout; there are deadly mimics lurking there as well as the chance to lose everything, but success nets you a nice batch of rewards. Add in the updates to Ambuscade on its monthly rotation, and everyone should have lots to do with the game’s latest patch.
Who doesn’t like new materials? The 0.9.2 update adds in new resources for Astroneer players to harvest, some of which are going to require you to do a fair bit of searching in order to find them. And of course it wouldn’t be helpful to have new resources without having new recipes to go along with those resources, so you get new stuff to make along with the new stuff you can harvest.
The patch also contains other improvements, like the removal of the largely redundant Medium Printer for streamlining crafting and the inclusion of craftable Thrusters. Check out the full patch notes for a clearer picture of everything that’s been changed and improved in the game as development hums along, and get ready to start searching the stars for resources. Which you can use to make other things to search more stars. It’s a vicious cycle, sort of.
Players will also be able to enjoy increased guild mission rewards as well as improved guild attendance rewards, so there are also better benefits for chilling with your whole guild. And of course there’s a nice long list of bug fixes and class improvements, so you should notice fewer bugs and issues in the game as a whole. That sounds like a worthy patch.
The latest update for Sea of Thieves is all about giving players more time. If you have only a limited amount of time to play the game every week, for example? You get more chances to take part in different battle regions despite that. When treasure items show up in the middle of a battle? You have more time to pick them up. When a battle ends? You get more time to finish grabbing anything of importance to you.
The patch also fixes a number of undisclosed crashing bugs and several bug fixes, so players will no longer travel in unintended directions whilst being fired out of a cannon or get the wrong event banners whilst speaking with Gold Hoarder NPCs. So you’ll have more chances to do stuff, more time to do things, and more consistent game performance across the board. It’s the next best thing to more content.
It might seem a bit odd that Grand Theft Auto Online’s playerbase is up in arms about the Oppressor Mk. II because the jet bike is not actually in the game at the moment. It’s been datamined, but you cannot actually jump onto the bike right now. But that doesn’t change people being nervous, and for somewhat good cause; the description alone reads like an insanely overpowered toy, after all. It’s a flying jet bike with high agility and missiles, and it can also jam incoming missiles so that it’s hard to shoot down.
This would be unbalanced enough if you were playing on your own, but people are chiefly worried about the impact it might have in multiplayer lobbies, where it’d be almost impossible to stop and definitely not fun to play against. There’s no word on when or if it’s actually going to be released, of course, but some of the player anxiety is partly a matter of getting out ahead and hopefully causing the developers to tone down the vehicle ahead of a wider release.
It’s time for MU Legend to really go all out on launching. It’s launching officially today, so that’s a milestone. It’s also arriving on Steam, so you can pick it up there. It’s also delivering its Noria update, which has a trailer just below and includes fun things like an endless tower climb, new wing upgrades, and the eponymous Noria. And it’s launching all of this with a big set of events you can take part in.
That’s a lot of launch.
Players can get prizes for making progress on Steam or accomplishing various tasks within the Noria update itself; there are also a variety of goodies available for new or returning players who opt to pick the game up on Steam. If you’re dazzled by free stuff and enjoy hacking and/or slashing, you might want to check the game out; it is free-to-play, after all.
No, you don’t throw the grenade and then vampires come out, as cool as that would be. The Transfusion Grenade bursts and drains health which then transfers to you in the form of healing orbs. That’s the weirdest of the bunch; other grenades like the Barrage Grenade and the Concussive Grenade work more or less the way you would expect these tools to function. So get ready to have some fun lobbing grenades around when the game patches them in on August 8th.