WoW Wednesday: What’s New in Season 4?

Ny’alotha awakens and with the rise of N’zoth comes Season 4 for Battle for Azeroth! As the last Old God begins to unfurl the lengths of his millennia spanning plans, champions of Azeroth gird themselves for a war for the fate of the world. With Season 4 officially beginning this week, we’ll be diving into everything that’s new with its release.

Ny’alotha, The Waking City

First and foremost is the release of Battle for Azeroth’s fourth and final major raid tier, Ny’alotha, The Waking City. With its newfound freedom, N’zoth has begun his long awaited siege on the waking world. Enroaching upon the Forge of Origination, Azeroth’s land-scouring reset button, and the Engine of Nakk-Shalak, its power source, it is only a matter of time before the Old God removes all hope. Desperate to end the threat before everything its lost, Magni Bronzebeard, the Speaker for Azeroth, and Wrathion the Black Prince prepare a desperate gambit. In order to destroy N’zoth forever, they must besiege his very seat of power and hope that the corruption does the hearts of its heroes…


Following the previous raid tier, Azshara’s Eternal Palace, Ny’alotha, The Waking City continues to follow a linear progression system in its boss encounters. While there are several ‘choice’ encounters that players can rotate through, each of the raid’s twelve boss encounters are mostly linear in their progression.

Following previous concepts from the final raids of Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor and Legion, Ny’alotha features an immense host of cosmetic rewards including one that will only be available until the Shadowlands pre-patch. Rewarded for defeating N’zoth on Heroic and Mythic difficulties only, the Uncorrupted Voidwing will close a loop with the Black Prince that remains unanswered. With the corruption of Twilight Dragons and their servitude to the Old Gods, what future does the doomed flight have in Azeroth?

New essences will also abound for players venturing into The Waking City. Similar to the Aqueous Reliquaries of the Eternal Palace, Encrypted Ny’alotha Texts can be combined to form the raid’s Heart of Azeroth Essence. These Texts will only drop from five bosses, including The Prophet Skitra. Like previous raid-progression systems the amount of Texts you can collect per week will increase with higher difficulties. Mythic will reward the most week-to-week.

Looking for Raid Wing 1 and Mythic Difficulty will open the week after your region’s particular launch of Season 3. Players are advised to complete the introduction storyline and gain the first few ranks of their new legendary cloak, Ashjra’kamas, Shroud of Resolve, before entering. You can read up on that and the Horrific Visions systems from our previous coverage.

Step Into the Arena!


Battle for Azeroth 
Season 4 brings a new and glamorous title to the mix, “Corrupted Gladiator.” With the rollover into the next season of Rated PvP, both personal and matchmaking ratings will normalize and return to zero. This means a fresh start for all players seeking to carve their name into the halls of conquerors.

Returning to Season 4 is the graduated Elite Gladiator System, rewarding players who advance their rating with progressive unlockables for your Elite Notorious Gladiator sets, as well as the seasonal tabard, enchantment, and cloak. Those looking to claim the Gladiator Title and the Corrupted Gladiator’s Proto-Drake must also win an additional 50 games in the Elite bracket (2400+). Those looking to claim the “Corrupted Gladiator” title must place in the top 0.1% of rankings in their region, as well as claim 150 victories in 3v3 Arenas during Season 3. The returning Gladiator’s Dreadflame enchantment appearance will still be attainable for those who hit 2100 rating in Season 4.

Returning to Season 4 are temporary seasonal “Elite Class” titles. These titles will be awarded to players who reach the Elite bracket. Several PvP exclusive Essences will continue to appear in Conquest Chests at week’s end, including Conflict and Strife. Others such as Blood of the Enemy can be unlocked through several PvP encounters. Like their PvE counterparts, these Essences have various ranks and may require improving your personal rating to unlock higher tiers.

At this time, Gladiator PvP sets from Seasons 1, 2 and 3 will be unavailable to purchase until a later date.

Marvelous Mythic+

With the start of a new season comes a plethora of adjustments for the Dungeon Delvers of Azeroth. Whereas there is no scaling adjustments akin to Season 3’s brutal changes, difficulty and health will increase more in line with what players are used to from previous seasons. Key depletion will, however, be far more intense, and failed dungeons have the potential to scale down by multiple ranks. A host of Mythic+ dungeon mechanics, including several found in King’s Rest and Freehold, are seeing nerfs due to the heavy and punishing damage they can rapidly deliver. The Quaking Affix has also received a massive change; no longer will players be able to damage themselves but the damage increase for their fellows has increased from 20% to 40%!


With N’zoth’s growing reach across Azeroth and the waking world, a new Mythic affix has been introduced as the Seasonal Affix: Awakened. Similar to last season’s affix, Beguiling, each Mythic 10 dungeon and higher will have a series of pylons scattered around the instance. Whenever these pylons are interacted with, you will be dragged into the dreaming world where a Lieutenant of N’zoth and his minions are contained. After they are defeated you can return to the waking world, allowing you to potentially skip large swaths of the dungeon! But beware: each Lieutenant left alive will join the final boss when you face them.

Additionally, the Season 2 affix, Bwonsamdi’s Bargain, will return on dungeons that are Mythic 9 or lower to encourage you to play depleted keys. Mechagon, 8.2’s megadungeon, also enters the Mythic+ rotation with its two major halves divided up. The Junkyard will feature the exterior portions of Mechagon and its first four bosses. The Workshop will feature all encounters inside Mechagon City itself, and is more boss heavy than it’s predecessor. Hard Mode will not be eligible for players engaging either wing in Mythic+.

Upgrading Gear Tables!

Alongside the opening of Ny’alotha, The Waking City, players will find new loot with increased item levels in their weekly activities. Baseline rewards in Normal, Heroic, Mythic and Mythic+ content have been increased by 30 item levels, putting them on par with previous raid tier rewards.

Gladiator PvP Gear now begins at item level 430 in both the Conquest Chest and regular rewards from Rated Player vs. Player activities. Like last season, players will be able to choose from at least four different rewards in their weekly Conquest Bar. On weeks when the gear rewarded is neither a piece of Azerite Gear, trinket or weapon, players will be able to choose between two different item slots of gear.

Emissary rewards for World Quests have likewise been increased and several items may re-roll or update their stats with the star of the Season. Throughout Season 4, gear may have the chance to become corrupted by N’zoth’s growing influence, and bring with it dangerous new rewards. These can be mitigated by venturing through Horrific Visions, which are vital to your progression in the new Season. You can read more about it here!

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Tencent Seeks Full Ownership of Funcom for $148 million

File this under news that you didn’t expect to see, but also aren’t all that surprised by, Tencent seeks full ownership of Funcom and they’re offering $148 million to make it happen. To do this Tencent is offering all current Funcom shareholders NOK 17.00 per share, which is 27.3% higher than the closing price of Funcom shares on January 21st. The shareholders are free to either accept or reject the offer but Funcom’s management board and supervisory board have unanimously decided to recommend that shareholders DO accept the offer.

The good news for Funcom and its fans is that if the acquisition goes through it will happen much like Tencent’s other acquisitions have, very hands-off. The management, staff, structure, and the company itself will remain as they are. This means that all the games and everything you know and love about Funcom will be staying exactly the same. Tencent has actually been a majority stakeholder in the company since October 2019.

Talking about the deal Funcom CEO Rui Casais had this to say, “We have had a great relationship with Tencent as our largest shareholder so far and we are excited about this opportunity. We will continue to develop great games that people all over the world will play, and we believe that the support of Tencent will take Funcom to the next level. Tencent will provide Funcom with operational leverage and insights from its vast knowledge as the leading company in the game space.”

Senior Vice President of Tencent Steven Ma commented, “We are impressed by Funcom’s strengths as a developer of open-world multiplayer, action and survival games. Funcom has a strong track-record in developing new titles with long life span. We are glad to deepen our relationship with Funcom and look forward to collaborating with Funcom to deliver more exciting and enjoyable game experiences to fans worldwide.”

In connection with this offer, which from the sounds of it Funcom really wants to see happen, they have announced a few changes they hope to make to the games they’re working on. This includes expanding the scope of the upcoming Dune game. To its investors, the management board of Funcom had this to say, “The Management Board is of the opinion that these factors justify a more ambitious Dune project to launch after around two years of production time. Such increased focus would require a redirection of resources from other initiatives, the most significant being the co-op shooter game, initially scheduled for release during 2020 that has been impacted by scope changes due to external/market pressures with increasingly strong competition and internal delays. The Management Board believes that the scope and ambition level for the Dune game should be larger than Conan Exiles to allow the game the best possible chance of maximizing its very large potential. If these proposed changes are approved by the Supervisory Board, it is likely that the Company will need additional financing to supplement the revenue generated from current operations.”

This will result in the delay of this co-op shooter game until after the release of the Dune game. Just last week they announced that the horror game Moons of Madness would be delayed until March 24th.

 

Source: Press Release

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Daybreak Games Restructure Forms 3 New Studios

Today it was announced that the previously announced Daybreak Games restructure would be forming 3 new studios, each of which focusing on one of Daybreak’s franchises.

Dimensional Ink is the studio focusing on DCUO in Austin, Texas. It is being run by Jack Emmert, who you might know from City of Heroes, Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, and DCUO. This will be the studio that is starting development on a new high profile action MMO this year. It might just be the rumored Marvel MMO we heard about a while back. If you want to read more about Dimensional Ink, including how they picked their name you might want to check out this official blog post.

Darkpaw Games, is where you will find the Everquest Franchise. The studio is named of course after the beloved Everquest character Fippy Darkpaw. The studio will be run by Holly Longdale and they plan to continue to make new expansions for both Everquest and Everquest 2. They’re also looking ahead however towards expanding the franchise. You can read Holly’s Producer Letter about the changes if you want to know more.

Finally, we have Rogue Planet Games which will be where you can find everything Planetside. The studio is in San Diego and will be run by Andy Sites. They are focusing on Planetside 2 at the moment but they do have Planetside 3 in their sights. Andy’s Game Producer letter can be found on the Planetside 2 website.

So, what does this mean? Is Daybreak going away? No! They are going to be the publishers of the three new studios. One big question this has left up in the air is what does this all mean for H1Z1 as well as Lord of the Rings Online? Because these games weren’t mentioned right now it would appear that H1Z1 will stay at Daybreak and LOTRO is already made by a non-Daybreak Studio, Standing Stone Games. It’s most likely that they won’t be impacted by this at all. But, we will have to wait and see.

 

Source: Press Release

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UK NHS Has Called for a Loot Box Ban

The UK NHS has called for a loot box ban in a statement on the official NHS website. The NHS, National Health Service are the primary public healthcare providers for the United Kingdom and this declaration was part of a long term plan to improve mental health. It was the mental health director of the NHS, Claire Murdoch who called for the ban to be put in place. She warns that the games are in danger of “setting kids up for addiction.” She also cites figures from the Gambling Commission that show 55,000 children in the UK have been classified as having a gambling problem and the NHS estimates there are 400,000 in all of the UK with gambling addiction issues. She also cited a report by the Royal Society of Public health that found more than half of all young people see loot boxes and skin betting as forms of highly addictive gambling.

In the statement, Ms. Murdoch said, “Frankly no company should be setting kids up for addiction by teaching them to gamble on the content of these loot boxes. No firm should sell to children loot box games with this element of chance, so yes those sales should end. Young people’s health is at stake, and although the NHS is stepping up with these new, innovative services available to families through our Long Term Plan, we cannot do this alone, so other parts of society must do what they can to limit risks and safeguard children’s wellbeing.”

She has called on gaming companies to do the following:

Ban sales of games with loot boxes that encourage children to gamble
Introduce fair and realistic spending limits to prevent people from spending thousands in games
Make clear to users what percentage chance they have of obtaining the items they want before they purchase loot boxes
Support parents by increasing their awareness on the risks of in-game spending

 

Source: NHS Website via Games Industry

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Next Elder Scrolls Online Chapter Revealed: Greymoor

Today Elder Scrolls Online revealed Greymoor, the next Chapter in the ESO story. It is the Q2 Chapter DLC and will be releasing on May 18th for PC/Mac and June 2 for Xbox One and PS4. It is available for pre-purchase right now and there are 5 editions to pick from that include digital and physical collector’s editions. For those wondering, yes, there is a statue! If you pre-order you’ll also get a bunch of sweet rewards, some of which you will gain access to right away.

Greymoor is actually the second part of a new year-long adventure that begins with the Harrowstorm DLC dungeon pack and including the Q3 and Q4 DLCs. Harrowstorm is set to release in February and kick off the Dark Heart of Skyrim yearlong event.

In the Dark Heart of Skyrim, an ancient evil emerges from the depths to devour the souls of Skyrim. Greymoor will introduce a new zone, Western Skyrim and include a gothic main story quest that ties into the Dark Heart of Skyrim. There is also a new 12-player trial, new world events called Harrowstorms, and a new Antiquities system. Also, there will be a number of quality of life improvements made to the game that includes a rework of the Vampire Skill Line. The rework will be available for free to all ESO players.

The Antiquities System is exactly what you think it is. There are ancient artifacts scattered all over Tamriel, become an Archaeologist and find them. The relics you uncover will include unique collectibles like furnishings and mementos.

Players who are familiar with Skyrim will recognize a number of locations in Western Skyrim including Solitude, Morthal, Labyrinthian, Dragon Bridge, and Blackreach cavern. The cavern won’t be exactly as you remember it from Skyrim however as they have expanded it even further.

If you want to learn more about Greymoor you can find everything you’ve ever wanted to know on the official blog post.

Source: Press Release

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WoW Wednesday: Conquering the Horrific Visions

Ny’alotha, the Sleeping City, has awakened. N’zoth, the God of the Deeps, has been freed from his titanic prison. Now finally under his full command, the armies of a reinvigorated Black Empire threaten to reshape all of Azeroth according to his twisted design. Nightmares infest the waking world, and now champions must fight against a corrupted monstrosity that fights not with soldiers alone; it fights inside your very mind. This week we’ll be taking a look at your chief method of progression in the new Patch 8.3, “Visions of N’zoth,” in the Horrific Visions system.

Horrific Visions are a new type of flexible content for 1-5 players to progress through. Intent of exposing Azeroth’s champions to the corruption in order to better mitigate it, Wrathion returns to assist. Using the horrific dreams of N’zoth, he opens a gateway to one of many possible futures for players to assault. Featuring two weekly rotating maps, Stormwind and Orgrimmar, heroes will begin by only being able to strike at one district of the city at a time. Fighting the minions of the Old God, they will also be battling rising corruption. Defeating the section’s main threat, dying without anyone to resurrect you or losing all of your sanity to corruption will immediately end the Vision.

As you adventure through the Horrific Visions, you will also receive aid from the Black Prince himself. Inspired by his masterwork in Pandaria, Wrathion will create Ashjra’kamas, Shroud of Resolve. This is an upgradable cloak with 15 individual ranks. Each will improve its stats and item level, including the amount of Corruption you can safely have on your gear, AND the sanity resistance you’ll have inside Horrific Visions. This cloak will become vital to improving your runs through the Horrific Visions, as higher ranks will increase the amount of time you can stay inside while also permitting easier entry to the more dangerous zones.


Queuing for Horrific Visions becomes the challenge, as while you can queue as many times as you like those runs are based on how many Vessels of Horrific Visions you can acquire. One of these is required for each time you wish to run a Horrific Vision and is only awarded once through completing one Major N’zoth Invasion per week. You’ll largely only be able to collect 30’000 Coalescing Visions, the currency for your Vessels, per week unless you grind every mission per day. In unlocking all of Patch 8.3’s features, including Horrific Visions, you’ll receive a large amount of Coalescing Visions and this will allow you to jump-start your runs.

Maximizing how many times you can run visions will become a priority for those looking to rank up Ashjra’kamas. Each rank requires legendary quest items dropped by powerful enemies inside the Horrific Visions, and only a handful can be earned each time you enter. The first six ranks can be completed within the first week of Patch 8.3’s launch, with additional ones unlocking weekly. This means that you can stockpile extra Coalescing Visions and spend them on additional runs in the next week. However, as you further increase the power of the Shroud of Resolve, the requirements will become greater. You may require multiple items that perhaps only drop in one section of the city, while multiples may drop in more dangerous sections.

Completing objectives and slaying enemies in these visions will earn you Corrupted Mementos. This currency is explicitly used to purchase rewards tied to the Visions. The main expenditure for players will come in the Titanic Research Archive. Unlocked after your first run through the Visions, the Research Archive is similar to Chromie’s Talent Tree for “The Deaths of Chromie.” Progression in this tree will cost several hundred thousand Corrupted Mementos but will also grant much more ease for those traversing the Horrific Visions. Such effects allow players to use ‘Sanity Restoration Orbs’ which resurrect allies and restores Sanity while active. Others can grant you a full resurrection, effectively giving you a second chance to take the greatest rewards from your run.


These may not be enough to save you, however. The deeper you progress into these Visions, the greater the toll it will take on your mind. Each city section in the Horrific Visions has a Madness associated with it. These Madnesses each have different effects to impede your progress and will change from area to area. Rotating weekly, these are drawn from each area’s specific pool of Madness Effects, acting similarly to Mythic Keystone affixes. Some will cause simple effects, such as damage-dealing pools of bad. Others will create images of your avatar that will fear all members of your party.

Even as you maximize your Ashjra’kamas and select every trait on the Research Archive, you’ll still have more to do in the Visions. Completing your first Vision and clearing the hardest areas will award you your first Faceless Mask. There are 5 masks in total, and each can be selected and deselected prior to your entrance into a Horrific Vision. All must be unlocked before they are used, but each has a similar purpose. On top of increasing the Health and Damage of Enemies, as well as the drop of Corrupted Mementos, by 20% they also have a potentially deadly effect. One reduces your total sanity, while others increase the damage of creatures by 200%. All can be stacked together and used to double your potential rewards.

And the rewards are indeed great for completing the Horrific Visions. Completing your first each week will reward you with a piece of item level 420 gear, as well as up to 6000 Corrupted mementos. Completing your first will also grant you a new Essence for your Heart of Azeroth, which can only be progressed the further you adventure. Progression for Ashjra’kamas is done solely through the Visions and is vital to your power scaling; at Rank 6 you’ll gain an ability to instantly dispel the Corruption effects caused by your gear, while at Rank 12 you’ll gain a passive proc that increases your primary trait EXTENSIVELY. Upgrading it past Rank 15 will halt stat gains but increase Corruption resistance for your gear.


All of these rewards, however, scale depending on the difficulty. Equipping more Faceless Masks can reward you with gear up to item level 470, just five shy of what can be awarded through Mythic+. Further progression will also allow you to chase further ranks of your Essence, as well as complete several achievements. Some will award you more Faceless Masks, while others will reward you with titles and mounts. Completing everything your Visions have to offer will unlock exclusive rewards with Wrathion, including a new backpack transmog for your cloak.

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Runescape Had its Best Year Ever

2019 was a record breaking year for Jagex as Runescape had its best year ever with memberships at an all-time high. But that wasn’t the only milestone they reached last year. Old School Runescape achieved its highest ever daily active player count. On mobile, it had more than 8 million installations. They also streamed a record breaking 11.3 million minutes of content from RuneFest.  A quote from Jagex CEO Phil Mansell about the record breaking year can be read below.

runescape menaphos expansion

“Putting Jagex on track for its most successful year to date, 2019 was a record-breaking year for Jagex and our RuneScape communities. We hit exciting milestones, welcomed more members and players to the games than at any point in their 19-year history, achieved significant success on mobile and saw notable industry talent joining our established teams to steer the future for our living games. We’re delighted and deeply appreciate the dedication of our staff and fans.

This level of success only comes with the passion of huge player communities, who engage with our games because of the amazing craft and care from our talented teams. It is thanks to these efforts that we’ve been able to greatly increase our investment in our existing games, new product development and the broader business with more than 100 new hires coming onboard in the last 12 months. This includes senior leaders joining from EA, Blizzard, Activision, Ubisoft, Riot and more, adding more than 250 years of cumulative games industry experience to the Jagex team.”

 

Runescape is also getting ready for its 20th anniversary which isn’t until January 4th 2021 but from the sound of it they are going big. Jagex will have a series of initiatives that celebrate the community. More information on those will be coming at a later date.

 

Source: Press Release

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Temtem Impressions – Gotta Tame ’Em All

Do you know why they are called stress tests? Because they will stress you out, make you want to tear your hair apart. Well, perhaps the official reason behind these tests is something more elaborate, like getting the servers under severe pressure and to try and break them, like Crema is trying to do in a series of brief Temtem stress tests. Or, as I prefer to call them, Queue Simulator 2020 or Black Screen Reboot Saga. It was all worth it in the end to get these early Temtem impressions though, even if I lost a few strands of hair in the process.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Temtem is destined to become a gigantic hit, you can mark my words. It’s not because it oozes originality or showcases high production values – no, this is an educated guess based on the visible excitement surrounding the imminent release of a true Pokémon MMO game, minus the Pokémon. And no, Pokémon Go doesn’t entirely fit into the desired MMO pattern.

Let’s not sugarcoat it, Temtem is ostensibly inspired by Nintendo’s franchise and barely manages to play it safe as to avoid a cease and desist letter from the fine folks at Nintendo. Because you’re not catching Pokémon here; instead, you’re taming Temtem. You see, you’re not a trainer, you’re a tamer, which makes a whole world of difference, doesn’t it?

But that’s beyond the point, and the point in question here is that Temtem is the game that everyone wishes for a long time. It’s not just another Pokémon clone, it’s a Pokémon MMO and a labor of love by a group of developers who were clever enough to see the opportunity and grab it by the… Pokéballs.

Temtem Impressions Character Creation

Gotta Tame ’Em All | Temtem Preview

Your first step in Temtem is the creation of your in-game avatar, the tamer that you will control. You can choose between male or female, skin color, and one of four idle poses. Next up is the choice of face and hair, followed by top, bottom, and backpack. Don’t expect any sort of groundbreaking character creation system, as there is no option to tweak advanced features such as body parts or add tattoos, but all things considered, it’s a very decent and straight to the point creator. Besides, it gives you a first insight into the awfully cute graphics that power the world of Temtem. It’s a mix between Pokémon Sword and Shield and The Sims 4, albeit in a cleaner, less detailed yet very colorful art style.

Personally, I love it to bits. The interiors are exceptionally cozy and neatly designed, with your standard appliances livening up the place: the flat-screen TV, the comfy sofa, and the kitchen cabinets look very inviting. However, someone should tell aunt Aina not to leave that huge kitchen knife lying around, there are reckless kids running around everywhere, barging into other people’s homes without warning.

Thankfully, the house equipment isn’t there just to look pretty; Temtem comes with a full housing system, allowing you to buy your house at Atoll Row and give it the makeover that you wish for. Although I haven’t progressed enough to try this feature – I was far busier rebooting the game and crossing my fingers –, I can see this aspect becoming extremely popular among tamers everywhere. You can purchase furniture and place it wherever you want to, decorate your walls, and invite your friends over.

Outside, the lovely island of Deniz awaits us, one of the six floating isles that Temtem has for us to explore. Embrace this lush Mediterranean paradise with its sunny beaches, grass, and trees. It’s an idyllic place where water and wind Temtem proliferate, usually hiding deep within the tall grass, waiting for you to come by.

Temtem Impressions Battle Technique

The main character design and animation is as cute as can be, and the Temtem themselves are nothing to be ashamed of either. Early on, you’ll only find small and somewhat cute Temtem, but these will evolve into sophisticated creatures that demand respect, while remaining as your faithful companions in the journey to defeat the evil Team Roc… I mean, Clan Belsoto, who is trying to rule over the Archipelago.

While there is nothing sizable to complain in terms of visuals, I can’t say the same thing about the map design. I’m not very fond of the way that the game funnels you along a mostly linear path, destroying any genuine feeling of exploration that you might be looking for. As an MMO, it should offer more freedom and encourage you and your friends to go out exploring, discovering new and wondrous places at your own pace. Instead, you’re often asked to follow this road and dance to the tune of its makers, in an old-fashioned and arguable design. Besides, it dearly lacks a jump button.

To make myself perfectly clear, you do have the ability to drop off ledges to explore some otherwise inaccessible areas. However, the outcome is that you’re forced to run the same path again to return to your previous location, because you are unable to climb even the smallest ledge. This way, the world becomes narrow and constricted, a feeling that is heightened by the number of players that are traveling around almost in a single file fashion. Hopefully, the other islands offer more and vaster open areas to lessen this odd claustrophobic feel.

Temtem Impressions Tamers Get in Line

Apart from the scripted combats that make the storyline progress, Temtem has a fair share of random encounters. You’re peacefully traversing some tall grass when, suddenly, a hotheaded wild creature decides that it is a beautiful day for a brawl. If you think that it could make a nice addition to your squad, go ahead and use a TemCard to try and capture it.

Tamers can have up to six Temtem in your squad, but you can only use two at a time in battle. Your first tricky decision arrives early on, when you are invited to pick your Temtem among a selection of three: Crystle (Crystal type), Smazee (Melee type), and Houchic (Mental type). At a certain level, your Temtem evolves into a much more fearful creature. The TemPedia available in the game currently displays 141 Temtem, a very reasonable number for a new franchise.

Battles in Temtem may seem as straightforward as they come, with a natural order to creature types and how they affect one another, but there are some underlying tricks that give the upper hand to the best strategists. Combat is turn-based and mostly 2v2, with each Temtem having a set of four techniques to use against their opponents. You can attack or apply various other effects, with every technique costing a certain number of stamina points. While it may look shallow to the inattentive player, there are features such as technique holds and synergies that provide the battles with enough depth to hopefully keep them engrossing for a long time, especially in the competitive scene.

Temtem Impressions Tucan Play That Game

By the end of the four hours of the first stress test, Temtem was finally stable, and I was enjoying my time capturing wild creatures and exploring new parts of the map. Suddenly, the fun came to a halt as the servers were abrutply closed and every tamer was sent packing. It was fun while it lasted, and the substantial amount of stress and frustration was entirely worth it.

With the Temtem Early Access release date set for January 21, 2020, the excitement for this game is peaking. After so many years, we may finally get a real Pokémon MMO; it may be coming under a different guise, but it brings the same amount of charm and crazy creatures as you would expect from such a game.

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Riot Makes the Leap to Tabletop Gaming with Riot Tabletop

Not only does Riot have a new card game coming out they’re also expanding into tabletop games. They recently announced Riot Tabletop. You may remember that a few years ago they released Mechs vs Minions, well now they’re going to be making another board game. This next one is called Tellstones: King’s Gambit. It’s a bluffing game for 2 to 4 players and a Demacian variant of a game played across Runeterra. They also said in their announcement that they have a whole lot more planned.

Why are they making board games? Well, because they’re gamers. Their offices are filled with stashes of all sorts of games. So they’re taking that love of physical games to the next level.

At the moment Tellstones: King’s Gambit is the only game they’ve announced but, they’re encouraging those who are interested in staying up to date on the development of their board games to sign up to get emails from them.

Riot is also venturing into the world of publishing with Riot Forge. This will allow other studios to create games within the League of Legends universe. Already, they have announced that they have several games in development, though we don’t have any details about them just yet. This year seems like it truly is going to be THE year for Riot Games. We can’t wait to see what they end up announcing next! When we know anything more we’ll be sure to share it with you all so make sure you’re following MMOGames on social media.

 

Source: Official Announcement

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Hordes.io Preview – New .io on the Block

Hordes.io is the latest block party aiming to become all the rage. This is an MMORPG undressed of all the superfluous aspects of the genre, sticking to the basics and immediacy that make it a must for PvP fans. Furthermore, it’s awfully cute, with its quaint World of Warcraft meets Minecraft looks. Every time that I see a block do a flip, nostalgia reminds me that there may be a bit of Dizzy in this game as well, minus the eggs. If fortune continues smiling upon Hordes.io, we may be about to witness the coining of the Block versus Block term.

A one-man project created by a developer simply known as Dek, Hordes.io can become addictive thanks to its simplicity and focus, traits that some players may mistakenly confuse for lack of depth. Io games are renowned for their virtuous and persuasive design, often resulting in unabashed attention grabbers, with Agar.io and Slither.io being two of the prime examples.

Simplicity is what makes Hordes.io tick. This is an MMO that even someone who is only remotely familiar with the genre can pick up and play in minutes, with no unnecessary bells and whistles to hinder the experience. Just as it happens with other .io games, Hordes.io has a gameplay loop that is refreshingly simple and compelling, but inherently repetitive – that shortcoming can be said of most games in the genre. However, it is a work in progress and the developer has big plans to add more features, turning it into more like a full-fledged MMORPG, while never letting the freshness of a .io game out of sight.

Hordes.io Base

War of the Blocks | Hordes.io Preview

In pure MMO fashion, your adventure in Hordes.io begins with the class selection. There isn’t much to sink your teeth into right now, but the four options should cover the basic needs of any MMORPG enthusiast. Warriors are the tanks that will keep the enemy busy, as Archers strike from a safe distance. Meanwhile, Mages deliver heavy AoE damage and other magic skills that hinder their foes, while the Shaman class provides support to the group by means of heals, buffs, and debuffs. You have probably spotted your favorite playstyle in there, but that doesn’t mean that other class variations won’t be added as development progresses.

The village is your sanctuary, the place that you and other players frequently return to in order to get some rest from the endless skirmish. Hordes.io is an MMORPG with no old-fashioned quests, as odd as that may sound, although the developer has admitted that he will add quests to give players some much-needed relief between battles. However, quests shouldn’t stray too far from the essence of the game, as the plan is to create simple kill quests to make players level up faster and give them an additional reason to return to base.

When your backpack is overflowing with spoils of war, your best bet is to use the Conjurer’s Recall skill to teleport back to base. Head over to the Trader and sell any goods that you don’t need, or make the best of the player-driven economy of the game by chatting with the Merchant NPC. Besides purchasing items from other players, you can set your price, post your item, and wait for the in-game currency to come rolling in. Well, that depends on the rarity of the item and whether the price is reasonable or not, but I won’t be the one to crush your virtual entrepreneur dreams.

Hordes.io Close Up

There are a couple of other NPCs that you should resort to. The Blacksmith is the man… I mean, the block for all your gear upgrading needs, as long as you have the coins and runes to make it happen. The higher the item level, the riskier it is to upgrade it, but every MMORPG fan knows by now that this is a necessary evil. The Sage is willing to lend you a hand in case you need to respec those character stat points and take a different approach to your progress.

Every character level that you gain gives you stat points to allocate in various attributes. The consensus is that since Hordes.io is mostly a PvP-based MMORPG, you should focus on areas that will pave the way for faster returns. One way to do so is by boosting the attributes that help you eliminate PvE mobs in a speedier way, leading to better loot and an improved leveling speed. Here’s our Hordes.io tip for you: get those Strength and Dexterity stats up to interesting values, and then slowly but surely focus on the rest of them.

The way that you learn skills in Hordes.io is a mix between leveling up to unlock new skills, finding skill books, or purchasing them from the Trader. Skill books come in different levels as well, which means that if you find the Swift Shot Level 3 book but you haven’t learned Level 2 yet, you can’t learn this one right away.

Despite the substantial mention of PvP combat as the focus of Hordes.io, this is a game that also offers PvE combat, as you may have correctly inferred by the hints above. It is by destroying blocky worms and other AI-controlled creeps that you earn most of your loot and coins, leveling up to a point where you won’t be crushed when you stumble across another player in a PvP area. There are many locations in the map where you can fight massive bosses for greater rewards, in a continuous and familiar progression system that is going to give you many additional options when you are forced into a PvP showdown. Believe me, that is going to happen quite often, and every death is going to cost you a few coins.

Hordes.io Party Rush

Block Party | Hordes.io Preview

Hordes.io truly shines when dozens of players engage in furious battles, with a myriad of visual effects and spells bringing color to the screen. Either against stronger PvE creatures or in an epic clash between rival clans, the game feels alive and exciting, with a player base that many big-budget MMORPGs would kill for. Besides, it comes with a feature that may sound ridiculous to even mention, but it deserves praise from every player with a keen eye for detail and a decent knowledge of the inner workings of MMO games: here, you don’t just ghostly traverse other players or enemies, your character has an actual physical space to it. This feature works correctly for most of the time, and I can already imagine the intense clan contests to see which team manages to make the higher block tower.

Before speaking about clans, you should know that it’s extremely simple to join a party in Hordes.io, even during this open beta stage. The game automatically pairs you with other players of a similar level, and you can easily spot your teammates using the mini map, showing you the places where the action is hot. Joining a party in this game may be optional in theory, but it is a straight up requirement if you want to go anywhere. Furthermore, it’s the best way to level up, since you’re not going to make a dent on those bigger monsters all by yourself, and the stronger creatures are where the better loot drops can be found.

Clans are the real deal and where the meat of Hordes.io lies, in case you have big plans for your blocky avatar. You must be invited for a clan or, in alternative, create your own clan, but for this you’ll need a large amount of coins. If you want to increase your chances of being invited, you need to work on your Fame score, as this is often used as a gauge for clan leaders to scrutinize potential new members. Fame is increased based on your number of PvP kills, and it also acts as a screaming signpost for other players in search of the greatest threats to challenge.

Hordes.io Outnumbered PvP

For those fearing the interference of pay-to-win mechanics, the Hordes.io open beta seems adamant in proving that this is a fair and leveled battlefield. You can purchase Elixir to contribute to the development of the project while getting some perks in return, such as extra bag slots and additional stash storage. You also remove ads with your payment, which can be a monthly or yearly spend, roughly varying between $7 and $60 respectively, although you need to pay a bit more due to the set package prices.

At risk of jumping into conclusions, Hordes.io is far more than a promising game – it is destined to be successful. It dares to tackle a very different genre from other .io games and does so with finesse, delivering a simple but addictive experience that is hard to put down. As you may recall, that is the heart and soul of a fantastic .io game, and while Hordes.io has plenty of room to grow, it is already an expansive and fun game that no PvP fan can miss.

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