Action MMO Bless Unleashed Returns To Its Original Home

Bless Unleashed is the console-based reboot of the free-to-play action MMO Bless Online, following the same business model and premise as its predecessor but to far more positive reviews. The game is undeniably beautiful, utilising Unreal Engine 4 to depict beguiling landscapes that helps it to stand out from others in the genre. Combo-driven gameplay mechanics and a persistent progression system add to the complexity of the title as players journey across the open world and confront monsters and dungeons in true blue MMORPG fashion. 

Fans of the previous title – which may include a few PC gamers that have no need of a console – can now breathe a sigh of relief as the action MMO reboot is set to reinstate itself on the PC platform in early 2021. To prepare, a series of closed beta tests will be carried out this autumn so keep an eye out via our website and social media channels to learn more about these as we do.

“We are absolutely thrilled and excited to be able to announce that we are in preparation for our Bless Unleashed PC platform launch! Bless Unleashed is a dynamic combat-driven, vast open-world MMORPG, and our players will be able to explore the world of Bless Unleashed and experience the treacherous, and menacing dungeons with other friends and foes right from your PC.” said Jason Park, Round 8 Studio’s Head of Development.

Among the devs themselves are highly-skilled industry veterans including many who have worked on major titles such as Monster Hunter World so we know we are in good hands. They also boast one of the best company mottos: “users come first” which speaks positively for the studio’s goals and has certainly won us over.

As if to prove their point the studio recently announced a new update for Bless Unleashed entitled Saurin Deception – which includes over 150 new quests, new monsters and dungeons and a host of gameplay enhancements. Check out full details of the Saurin Deception update here.

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Welcome to the Dead Zone – The Latest Game Mode For Space MMORTS Starborne

Starborne is a novel space MMORTS in which individual games for galactic supremacy take place over a set time period, namely 10 weeks. This 4X grand-strategy take on the sci-fi genre was designed by ex EVE Online developers and is not without its similarities. Players can forge their own destinies as industrial moguls or cosmic fleet captains on the frontline, with their choices and skills carving the road to victory or defeat for their chosen alliance.

The game has been playable as an open beta since April, and recently developers Solid Clouds have been hard at work crafting a brand new game mode dubbed Dead Zone. This mode condenses gameplay to a 4-hour bout – just 3% of the time that a regular Starborne game takes – and last weekend was previewed in the form of a tournament with the victors being given the opportunity to contribute to the Starborne lore.

The preview showed off the following features and innovations: 

  •       4 hour game rounds
  •       Four new playable factions; Nightcorps, Les Apaches, Surpasum and Gatos Fritos
  •       Claiming special hexes now gives unique empire-wide bonuses
  •       New much smaller map featuring 25-player starting locations 
  •       New cards and overhauled card pool 
  •       New Nebula
  •       New Station Planner with new buildings and organizations
  •       Sprawling Radiation pools now appear on the map and must be contained

Commenting on Dead Zone, Stefan Gunnarsson, CEO and Lead Designer on Starborne said, “We have been playing Dead Zone a lot in the office and we are incredibly excited about its potential. We have spent the last few years building up our own framework to make large-scale strategy games and Dead Zone is a showcase of how powerful that framework is becoming. Our community has been the cornerstone behind our success so we are excited to reward the victors of this first Dead Zone Tournament with a unique opportunity to contribute to the history of the Starborne universe.”

If you’re a fan of 4X Strategy games and want to try your hand at a space MMORTS then dive into the open BETA for Starborne by following this link.

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Super Girl Gamer Pro – The Championship That Champions Women in Esports

The fact that women comprise 47% of all gamers in the US but are only afforded 0.005% of the spots at professional esports tournaments is pretty crazy – but Super Girl Gamer Pro intends to rectify the situation. This year the female-driven, multi-title esports tournament series will be enjoying its fourth year on the circuit, starting with weekly qualifier tournaments from 10th July – 6th September, followed by the all-important Super Girl Gamer Pro Championships on 3rd and 4th October. The tournament’s ultimate goal is to facilitate a future where women and men have an equal playing field within the gaming industry.

“This is a really important series for women, and I am so happy to be a part of it,” said Garrido, Captain of the women’s CS:GO team for Dignitas. “It’s such a great step for Super Girl Gamer to expand its reach to women throughout North America via the online qualifying series. Most people recognise how critical it is to create meaningful opportunities for women, and it’s been gratifying to watch the progress Super Girl has made over the past few years.”

“As part of our mission to provide opportunities for women in male-dominated industries, we are excited to expand the Super Girl Gamer Pro to include an online qualifying series,” said Rick Bratman, CEO of ASA Entertainment and producer of the Super Girl Series. “This is an exceptionally important initiative given the lack of opportunity and general toxicity towards women in gaming. The Super Girl Gamer Pro’s empowerment platform is the perfect vehicle to help propel this movement towards equality and inclusion.”

The tournaments will feature three popular esports titles: League of Legends, Hearthstone and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. The reward is a nice cash prize alongside some sponsored prizes within the Championships. The event has received support from brands that are passionate about playing their part in developing equality for women in gaming including GameStop, Nissan, Zenni Gaming, Facebook Gaming, and Twitch.

Registration for all tournaments is free and will be held through ChallengerMode with the qualifiers being streamed live on Twitch and Facebook Gaming. For more information check out the official website here.

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All the Best MMO Games News from June 2020!

Each month, MMOGames.com will provide you with a rundown of all our best MMO games news, insights, giveaways and articles.

MMO Games Reviews and Articles

“Ready to rumble?” Both veterans and the uninitiated in Call of Duty Warzone will find everything they need to know in our Review of Season 4. We cover the new missions, new weapon sets, new events, and new game modes as well as listing all the tips to adapt and claim victory! Read me!

“You can see the seabed teeming with vibrant life, snow-dusted mountainside villages, or pine tree covered hills as the sun just peeks its way through a misty sky.” Discover who won our self-proclaimed esteemed Most Beautiful MMO Games prize. Here’s a clue, it starts with ‘B’. Read me!

That’s not forgetting their cold dead eyes that reflect what too much knowledge does to a creature. As a great philosopher once said ‘for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’” From the Norn to the Barakas, we explored The Most Unique and Creative Races in MMOs – featuring all of your favourites from Star Trek Online, WoW and more.  Read me!

MMO Games Giveaways 

Meow! We have a great giveaway that is active until the end of July. We are offering free keys to unlock packs for 3D anime MMO Grand Fantasia. As well as new skins, the “Meow Pack” contains an invincible iron war lion mount. We don’t have unlimited keys so be sure to get yours soon. Read me!

New MMO Game Releases and Trailers

The time to get Jurassic has arrived. Last month we wrote about the upcoming dino-themed MMO StoneAge World and we’re delighted to see it’s now playable. Jump right in and explore this colourful prehistoric land. Read me! 

If the StoneAge sounds a little old fashioned, perhaps New World will be for you. The new beta gives the taste of what this Amazon Games PC MMO has to offer. Read me! 

And if New World doesn’t go far enough, perhaps you want to delve into even newer worlds. The sci-fi MMO Dual Universe has unveiled a new trailer demonstrating the fascinating dynamics of their space combat system. We suspect it might give the upcoming Star Wars Squadrons a run for its money. Read me!

We were very impressed by the new gameplay videos from the much-hyped MMORPG Ashes of Creation. Not only did they release a 90-minute gameplay video showcasing their stunning sandbox project in 4k resolution, but they provided a behind the scenes video from their team packed-full of updates. Read me!

Pokémon Unite looks set to be The Pokémon Company’s biggest multiplayer game yet. The details of the upcoming MOBA have been super effective on some fans, but have left the community feeling less than united. Read me!

MMO Game Updates, DLCs and Patches

June has been a great month for fantasy games, look no further than Ragnarok Online’s update. The once sleepy village of Veins has been transformed into a bustling industrial powerhouse. And that’s before we even get started talking about God items. Read me! 

Fantasy fans should also get excited about TERA’s new update featuring a new dungeon, a new partner adventure system, Balder’s Radiant Weapon Skin Loot Box and of course, Draakan. Read me!

Not one to be outshone, Old School Runescape has opened the gates to Darkmeyer where the classic fan-favourite vampiric Myreque quest takes a grisly new turn. Read me!

We get it, it’s possible to enjoy wielding a sword and shield without wanting to pit off against dragons and vampires. Well mount up, because popular medieval RPG Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is now available on the Epic Store and beyond. Read me!

They say the oceans hold many secrets. That’s certainly true of The Great Margoria Ocean in Black Desert Online. Their huge, newly explorable area is ripe for adventuring, it’s jam-packed with submerged treasure, sea beasts and sunken ruins. Read me!

MapleStory just gets better and better. Their latest update, Rise: Promise of the Guardian, does not disappoint with its themed events, new region, and new class. Read me!

Other MMO Games News

Playing games while saving the environment? What a beautiful combination. Congratulations to Gamigo and all the players who raised enough money to plant 111,111 trees with their Eden Reforestation Projects fundraiser. We’re proud of you! Read me! 

Gamigo weren’t the only ones doing their part this month. When Old School Runescape crowned the winner of its DMM tournament, they also donated £25,000 to its partnered mental health charities. Runescapers, we commend you! Read me!

 

MMOGames.com is committed to bringing you all the freshest, funniest, and most insightful MMOGames news and content. If you enjoyed this recap, why not share it with your community? And to make sure that you never miss our updates and exclusive giveaways by following and favoriting us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Pokémon Unite – The Super Effective New MOBA

This week the Pokémon Company announced their first venture into the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) with Pokémon Unite. While the likes of Pokémon Go has gone some way to connecting fans online, we have yet to see a multiplayer Pokémon game of this scale.

The somewhat inevitable move has been heralded by fans for years given that the mechanics of the game lend themselves so readily to the MOBA format. Revealed through a live ‘Pokémon Presents’ broadcast on Wednesday by The Pokémon Company CEO and president Tsunekazu Ishihara the announcement comprised the big reveal plus some gameplay. 

The free-to-start title promises to conform to the well-established MOBA mechanics that we are familiar with, having already been compared to MOBA titan League of Legends. Five-a-side teams will compete on a large map with bases on either side to earn the most points, through catching, battling and evolving Pokémon. Players can pick from a roster of popular pokémon including Gengar, Charizard, Lucario and, of course, Pikachu and level up by catching Pokémon and defeating enemies to evolve and learn new moves.

Pokémon fans should feel right at home with the training mechanics and shouldn’t struggle to recognise the moves and Pokémon on the field – however be aware that the type advantages that are integral to battle strategies in the core series are notably absent within Pokémon Unite. 

The announcement was met with some controversy – with a week of teasing gearing up many fans’ expectations for another core series remake or Let’s Go title – however, the prospect of a new MOBA fused with Pokémon has obviously gotten us extremely excited to say the least. The title will be available to play on Switch and mobile devices – though we’ve yet to hear of a release date, so watch this space!

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The Creative and Unique Races in MMORPGs

The worlds of MMORPGs would be nothing without the many, many races that help to make character creation such an enjoyable yet time-consuming process. To the most indecisive gamers, the intensity of labouring over the choices upon starting a new game can often outweigh the in-game challenges.

“What if I make the wrong choice and only realise after days of gameplay?” “Does this haircut truly reflect who I am on a spiritual level?” “Why would anybody choose to be a boring human?” These are some of the questions that plague the mind of the most hesitant gamers out there. So we’re here to pinpoint those races that we think are the most unique and, therefore, most deserving of your attention.

We already covered 7 original MMO races back in 2014, so before condemning our criminal exclusion of the fantastically original Gibberlings or adorable Popori be sure to check that out first! That said, if we have forgotten other truly one-of-a-kind races regardless, be sure to give us a piece of your mind in the comments.

The examples on this list may share some common features with MMO character tropes, such as scales or magic powers. However, each brings to the table something different that we feel deserves the hype.

Barakas – TERA

Credit: tera.enmasse.com

Much unlike their frankly terrifying namesake from the Mortal Kombat franchise, the Baraka race found in TERA are peaceful nomads characterised by their size and scholarly habits.

Descended from giants, these lumbering pacifists tragically lost their homeland thanks to the warmongering of their more scrappy relatives. With nowhere to call home, they began to wander the world, establishing libraries and amassing the collective knowledge of TERA’s many races.

Though unique for lacking an intact homeland, being technically genderless and, let’s face it, their abundance of clothing compared to the other races within TERA, their striking style is what earns their place on this list.

While the hulking humanoid model is a mainstay in MMORPGs (you know, tanks), the Barakas boast some pretty distinctive features. They look like wandering statues thanks to their stoney skin and spherical shape, with left arms that are inexplicably longer than their right ones (there honestly is no explanation). That’s not forgetting their cold dead eyes that reflect what too much knowledge does to a creature. As a great philosopher once said ‘for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’

Norn – GuildWars 2 

Credit: guildwars2.com

The Norn of Guild Wars 2 are another towering race whose backstory involves displacement from their homeland. Yet it is their shapeshifting abilities that set them apart and brings them to this list. While it may be true that shapeshifting is not unique within MMOs (though woefully scarce), the mechanic is most often conveyed as a class-based skill rather than a racial one.

This Viking-esque hunter race that hail from the frozen north are imbued with the power to transform into werebeasts that resemble the Spirits of the Wild; namely a bear, snow leopard, wolf or raven. We admit that werewolves are not particularly original, at least within the realms of fantasy, but just one look at the freakish wereraven is enough to embed the Norn in this list, and our nightmares.

Au Ra – FFXIV

Credit: finalfantasy.fandom.com

The horned and scaled Au Ra of Final Fantasy XIV were introduced as part of the Heavensward expansion. While not unique in their draconic attributes, they are in the disproportionate size between the males and females. One would be forgiven for confusing these slender and mystifying humanoids as belonging to different races entirely were it not for their more subtly similar features.

Like the other races within the FFXIV roster, the Au Ra are further divided into two clans: the peaceful Raen and the warlike Xaela (with the former sporting typically paler orange skin and the latter a darker blue). The Auri creation myth tells of a Dawn Father and a Dusk Mother with each clan claiming descendancy from one or the other. We’ll let you guess which is which.

Dragons – Istaria

Credit: Istaria.com

Dragons are famously prolific throughout the fantasy genre (and some sci-fi for that matter) – but to actually play as one? That’s a different matter. This is what essentially comprises the unique selling point of oldschool fantasy MMORPG Istaria. Istaria breaks away from the bipedal avatars we’re used to with their inclusion of these legendary beasts as playable characters.

Even amid a list of other rare races such as Satyrs and Dryads, choosing to play as a dragon is especially enticing not just for the unusual character model (props to the devs for the extra animation effort), but also because of the alternative gameplay that it opens up. As a dragon you grow from a hatchling to an ancient, earning your ability to fly and choosing a path between a magic-wielding or tooth-and-nail fighting style.

St’rm – Camelot Unchained

Credit: camelotunchained.com

While it is difficult to pick just one race from the uncommon creatures that make up the upcoming MMO Camelot Unchained roster, St’rm makes the cut for their mysterious origins. Largely based upon the folkloric beasts of the British Isles and Viking mythology, the anticipated fantasy MMO promises playable renditions of valkyries, leprechauns and gargoyles, among many others (including more anthropomorphic cats, because why not?).

The St’rm are described as ‘one of the most enigmatic races in all the realms’ with wilfully shady origin stories. We are told that this race is matriarchal, with their most famous warriors being female which also implies an exclusively female character build.

But while they look like a particularly creepy dragon-fairy, its unusual design leaves its origins in question. Are they harpies? Demons? Dragons? Why are their wings on their butt? Wouldn’t that throw off the aerodynamics? Maybe you already have the answers to these burning questions, so let us know what you think.

Trolls – World of Warcraft

Credit: worldofwarcraft.com

Of course World of Warcraft was bound to make this list somewhere. The developers’ proficiency at keeping the game fresh and full of compelling races is nothing short of legendary. Their original concepts are still flowing and setting standards to this day.

But we mustn’t forget that this originality was as ever-present upon its initial release as it is now. Sure, you had the Taurens and the Undead – but variations on the voodoo-obsessed, tusk-bearing, multicoloured Trolls are difficult to pinpoint within WoW’s spiritual successors.

Whereas bipedal animals are comparatively common, the Troll’s design and lore is rarely imitated. Perhaps they could be seen as particularly spindly Orcs, with subsequent MMO titles favouring the more bulky and brutish counterpart time and again. Whatever your thoughts, they are a distinctive and compelling race to play as (even after a kung-fu panda joined the lineup).

Aliens – Star Trek Online

Credit: sto.gamepedia.com

OK so this one is a bit of a cheat. The highly-customisable Alien ‘race’ within Star Trek Online are basically whatever you want them to be. However, that is not to say that there isn’t an extremely deep pool of predetermined races to choose from within this spinoff MMO.

But it’s precisely because of the multitude of races available that we had to include this one on the list – because most if not all of them deserve a spot (apart from humans, obviously). Granted, the available races are drawn straight from the source material but it would be remiss to exclude them in a list about original concepts.

Unlike the other races, ‘Aliens’ do away with preset traits, instead allowing you, the player, to decide for yourself. This also goes for their appearance, which can take many, many forms. A mechanic like this, especially as part of an already substantial list of race options, is extremely rare to see, if not entirely unique to this sci-fi title. You could say, perhaps, that this game has gone where no one has…nevermind.

 

So that’s our two cents, but we want to hear what you think. There’s almost certainly a few races that we’ve missed so now is your chance to shine on them the spotlight that we have so cruelly denied. We are, of course, extremely excited to see what options upcoming MMO titles have to offer so make sure you follow us to keep up to speed on the MMO news as we receive it.

 

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Prehistoric Pet Collection MMO StoneAge World has Arrived

Netmarble’s latest mobile offering, pet collection MMO StoneAge World, has officially landed – so if you pre-registered back in May, now is the time to reap those rewards! 

This primeval MMO houses over 250 critters ranging from dinos and mammoths to wolves and pigs, and it is the player’s job to collect and train the beasts in order to defend your homeland of Tectonica. 

“StoneAge World is a new blend of mobile game that combines with pet-centric collection which appeals to players of diverse generations, all with a visually pleasing aesthetic that differentiates itself from other mobile MMORPGs. We are thrilled to finally bring this game to the West for mobile players around the world,” said Joon Sung Chang, Executive Producer of Netmarble.

The launch of this whimsical collection MMO across 172 countries worldwide comes with some celebratory events designed to kickstart the adventures of new players. In your efforts to defend Tectonika from the encroaching machine civilization, players are encouraged to take advantage of the following events while they still can:

  • Catch Operation Event (18th June – 2nd July)

Players can collect stamps from daily missions and use them to obtain rewards.

  • Power Reward Event

Rewards will be earned when a player’s ‘Lineup Power’ level is reached by strengthening themselves and their pets. 

  • Level Reward Event

Players will receive Stone, Shell and Trainer’s Rope rewards as they level up between levels 10 and 90.

  • Moga Growth Event

Growth-related rewards will be given to players who grow the ‘Moga’.

  • 15-Day Check-In Reward Event

Simply by logging in to StoneAge World players will receive rewards!

If much of this makes no sense to you then there’s really only one remedy – jump in via the Apple Store or Google Play. Don’t forget to swing by the StoneAge World website if you’d like more information.

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Fantasy MMO TERA Unveils Dungeons, Quests and Bling

TERA, the beautiful free-to-play fantasy MMO from publishers En Masse Entertainment, has received a new update. The beloved title takes place within Arborea (with the title, TERA, standing for ‘The Exiled Realm of Arborea’) which is itself a physical manifestation of the dreams of two titans, Arun and Shara. You know those dreams you have where you create entire worlds, races, gods, sagas and life and death themselves in your head? Well, that’s TERA!

The most recent patch introduces a new dungeon challenge, adventure system, and shiny new loot box treasures.

The Draakon Arena plays host to the notorious azart force commander, Kalligar, who awaits the challenge of a 5-player team. This dungeon is the first specifically designed for level 70 players and can be taken on in normal or hard mode. The rewards include the top-of-the-line Warlord Ring or Warlord Necklace accessories and potentially some resizing stones.

The Partner Adventure System bestows a little autonomy upon your companions, allowing players to send up to three partners on solo quests in the name of acquiring more sweet loot. Successful adventures can rustle up gatherables, skills advancement scrolls, relics, halidoms and even dungeon rewards. Upgrade your partners and the rewards they discover by teaching them the Gifted Skill: Adventure Enhancement and curtail their adventure time by using the new Instant Completion Tickets that can be found in level 65+ dungeons.

The third part of this update unveils Balder’s Radiant Weapon Skin Loot Boxes – a mouthful of a feature which does what it says on the tin. Balder is a god whose eyes were given so that the children of the Dream could see through the darkness. The weapons themselves are apparently gold and bejeweled, emitting a glow and ringed particle effect reminiscent of Balder’s splendor! If sporting one of these opulent pieces in a fantasy MMO isn’t the very definition of flexing, then I don’t know what is.

For an in depth look at the latest TERA update you can swing by the patch notes

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The Epic Games Store Welcomes Medieval RPG Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

The wildly popular medieval RPG Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is now available to buy on the Epic Games Store. Acting as a prequel to its predecessor (the acclaimed Mount & Blade: Warband) the mass combat RPG takes place in the battlefields and cities of Calradia, a continent on the verge of collapse. Players fight for control of the remains of the old empire through their factions – you know, standard excellent PvP stuff.

Bannerlord was first released on 30th March to critical acclaim and an 87% approval rating on Steam which firmly places it as one of the most successful games of the year. Applauded for its deep and engaging gameplay, it’s the vast and alive world and the sense of freedom that is the mark of the franchise.

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

Right now the medieval RPG is on the Epic Games store for a 20% discount – an offer that has been extended to the taleworlds.com, Steam, and partner stores such as Humble Bundle and Greenman Gaming. So if you ever wanted to give this renowned title a go, now is the time.

Since its first Early Access launch, developers TaleWorlds have released dozens of patches and updates, not just fixing performance issues but also adding new content and features, paving the road until full release. The studio just published a summary of the most important improvements and new content implemented since March 30; you can read more info about all the changes that have been released so far here.

Clue yourself up on the game here before you jump in!

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A Whole New World Beta Is On Its Way

Amazon Games’ New World is an open world MMO set during the twilight of the Age of Exploration. It pits players against the supernatural terrors of Aeternum – an island beset by corrupted creatures and ready to play host to the player-founded factions that will inevitably descend into chaos themselves. This marks the first big PC Game outing from the studio and we have been anticipating its release, currently set at 25th August, for quite some time now – but a New World beta will be here even sooner.

The game promises players the choice to ride solo or partake in the politics of fellow players, with exciting large-scale PvP on the cards for those who want to get stuck into the multiplayer mechanics. The promise of giant siege battles between players, with up to 100 players on the battlefield has been something of the jewel in the crown for this paranormal title. On the other hand, undead enemies aplenty await those who prefer to go it alone – with a visceral skill-based combat system ready to accommodate and reward aficionados.

The good news for prospective players of this title is that a closed New World beta test is scheduled for 23rd July 2020, nearly a month before its release. To gain access, you simply need to prove your eagerness by pre-ordering the game, which will secure you automatic entry to the closed beta when it begins (alongside some in-game rewards). 

We encourage you to watch closely as this latest Amazon Games title develops – with their first PC outing already looking very pretty, we are once again keen to jump in ourselves and see whether it stands up to the relative success of its MOBA title, Crucible. Watch this space!

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