WoW Wednesday: Classifying Corruption

Corruption is an odd name of the game when it comes to World of Warcraft’s new patch, “Visions of N’zoth.” With any form of player character progression, a system that directly influences player gearing and customization has positives and negatives. However, when it weighs heavily on how your avatar functions on a fundamental, it is inevitable to find flaws in it. This week we will discuss Corruption, it’s place in player power, and if the system functions on a pure level.

The first question to address is, ‘What is Corruption?’ Replacing the Warforging and Titanforging systems, Corruption is the new ‘power increase’ mechanic designed to make player-gear more enticing. Functioning similarly to the previous systems, Corruption has a low chance to proc on any gear obtained through drops, such as Raiding or in some rare cases PvP. However, taking elements of the failed Benthic System from Nazjatar Corruption instead carries with it varied powers.

Coming in three different tiers of corruption (From +10 to +40). Each tier has certain effects tailored to it, with the lowest resigned mostly to stat bonuses. The highest, however, have incredibly powerful effects ranging from massive area-of-effect attacks to gushing bleeds. Some weapons, such as Sk’shuul Vaz, feature effects which draw on player’s already impressive stats to magnify their power and throughput.

This Corruption grows over time with the more corrupted item pieces you equip. Starting at zero and potentially scaling infinitely, every twenty levels imparts another greater impediment. Starting at just one corruption, your character will occasionally be halted by grasping tentacles, with later additions creating stunning mirror images. When your corruption maxes out you will not only gain increased power output, but you will rapidly take a deadly amount of damage. Corruption creates a risk-reward system based on what you’re willing to undertake with your current gear choices, while offering mitigation via the new legendary cloak and Heart of Azeroth Essences.

Initially there was quite a bit of trepidation with this system. Benthic gear was notoriously broken throughout Azshara’s Eternal Palace and Nazjatar for its special abilities. Such gear could easily be acquired and powered up while imparting benefits that outclassed even Mythic content loot. Where Ion Hozzikostas, World of Warcraft’s current lead developer, stated that item level should be the indicator on what is superior gear, the mathematics of stat multiplications and resistance increases against certain attacks made Benthic Gear a greater asset than any could dream of. Such is the issue, to an extent, with Corruption.

From its early days of implementation, the system has seen radical and controversial changes. The Public Test Realms saw massive widespread changes in terms of Corruption and number crunching up until launch. Even now, at the time of writing, traits like Infinite Stars dominate the current Corruption Meta. Classes that often underperform, such as Arms Warriors, who lack steady AoE and cleaving in Raid Teams are now preferred for most compositions, as Infinite Stars can proc on high-multi strike abilities such as Bladestorm and during Sweeping Strikes (both of which strike multiple targets rapidly) when coupled with DoTs and bleeds.

This was pushed to its apex of an issue when Corruption received nearly a dozen changes across the various tiers and abilities during the previous reset. This reset, in the middle of the Mythic Ny’alotha race between the world’s top Raiding Guilds, disrupted entire team makeups and individual character decisions. Let me paint for you such an example:

Intending to push your gearing curve you and your friends run Mythic +15 dungeons all week. Like Titanforging, Corrupted Gear only has a pittance of a chance to drop. It is incredibly unlikely, unless you are running multiple dungeons in short bursts and clearing well above the time limit, that you will see many pieces drop. Instead you’ll need to rely on your weekly Mythic+ Cache to deliver the guaranteed loot drop. If you’re lucky enough to receive an item type that CAN have Corruption, you need to hope that it is of the optimal tier within a certain range of Corruption.


Now, suddenly, the next week all of your hard-earned best-in-slot pieces are useless due to heavy nerfs. That is what happened during the Mythic Ny’alotha race, and to many players worldwide.

That is, if you are fortunate enough to avoid a crippling bug that occurred during the patch’s early weeks. Several players (including myself) were ‘locked’ into their loot types from week to week since launch across multiple sources. Some players could only get Trinkets from their Mythic+ Cache (which cannot become corrupted), while others could only get boots from Horrific Visions or pants from other sources. Meaning that, if you were unfortunate enough, you could essentially spin your wheels gearing for weeks and never see a piece of corrupted gear.

While I reached out to Blizzard to deal with my version of this bug, and there are many forums detailing similar instances, this is not a ‘known issue’ at this time. Despite internal team-members suffering from the exact same issue, this currently is not on Blizzard’s radar.

On paper, Corruption is a VERY good system. It rewards creative choices and maximizing what you can do with what you acquire. A greater issue comes, however, at the sheer exclusivity of Corrupted gear. If you have average luck, or especially a streak of good luck, you can quickly find yourself soaring past all barriers to your class’ ability to perform. However, if you are particularly unlucky, you’ll find yourself falling behind in short pacing.

Does this mean Corruption is necessarily a bad system? Certainly not. Most issues here could be addressed with simply making Corruption standard across ALL items, including the option to purge gear. Corruption does, in many aspects mathematically, fundamentally break your class role which is something that has been demanded by the player base since the ability pruning of Warlords of Draenor. That possibility of pushing a class beyond its apex role through gear customization opens a realm of possibilities about how even Tanks, who have an impressive amount of utility already, can change how they fundamentally process encounters.

In terms of fundamental mathematics, Corruption requires some time to gestate. This was a system that, frankly, required another month or two of testing. But given that it becomes more accessible and manageable, perhaps with higher tiers locked behind more difficult content, I want to see it return. N’zoth’s influence across Azeroth, and particularly our equipment, makes not just for interesting storytelling but a fun new way to approach class-balance and utilization. This risk-reward system where numbers aren’t always clear but are instead focused on fun experimentation makes for a more interesting product overall.

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Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.2 Adds Ruby Weapon Trial

The latest update to Final Fantasy XIV patch 5.2, Echoes of a Fallen Star, is now available and brings with it a new dungeon, raid, trial, and main scenario quests.

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.2 Ruby Weapon

This week’s update to Final Fantasy XIV is bursting with content. First, there’s the main scenario quest update: Echoes of a Fallen Star, which continues the narrative of the Warrior of Darkness and Scions of the Seventh Dawn as they await for the Crystal Exarch to return them home.

Next up is the Eden’s Verse raid, which is the second chapter in the Eden raid series and includes both Normal and Savage difficulties. There’s also a new dungeon, Anamnesis Anyder that can be played through with other adventurers or NPCs using the Trust system. Finally, the Cinder Drift is a new trial that brings one of the most iconic boss fights to Final Fantasy XIV: Ruby Weapon. Ruby is the latest weapon for the Garlean military and can be challenged on Normal and Extreme difficulties.

If that wasn’t enough, there will also be new Beast Tribe quests, ocean fishing, and new Resistance Weapons that will see updates from patch 5.2 onward.

 

Source: Press Release

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Magic: ManaStrike Interview: Producer Kay Kim on the Origins and Future of the Game

Magic: ManaStrike is a new way to play Magic: The Gathering on Android and iOS, offering a take on the card game that pushes it closer to games such as Clash Royale and Minion Masters. Following our review and the addicting gameplay that it boasts, we had the opportunity to speak with Kay Kim, the Netmarble US Producer for this game.

In our interview, Kim will talk about how the opportunity to develop Magic: ManaStrike came up, how players are reacting to the game, what is planned for the future, and discusses the possibility of taking the game into eSports territory.

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

I’m Kay Kim, the Netmarble US producer for Magic: ManaStrike.

How would you describe Magic: ManaStrike to new players?

Magic: ManaStrike takes the Magic: The Gathering franchise and places it in a whole new genre—real-time PVP strategy. Players take the role of a Planeswalker, a powerful character who can summon monsters and spells from their deck to win the battle on a 3D real-time battlefield. Additionally, the Planeswalkers themselves can enter the battlefield. They come equipped with unique special skills which, if used strategically, can turn the tide of battle.

When did you acquire the Magic: The Gathering license, and did you immediately feel that it would be a good fit for the real-time PvP genre, or were other game concepts studied as well?

The original Magic: The Gathering game is a great strategy game with a 26-year history so, when we were approached by Wizards of the Coast to come up with a new gameplay experience for Magic on mobile platforms, we were excited. We realized it would be great to blend the strategy of the core card game with the fun and depth of a Player vs. Player (PvP) battler. We really wanted to bring the characters, creatures, and spells of Magic rendered in full 3D models on mobile.

From there, we worked closely with Wizards of the Coast to make sure it lined up with the rich history of the constantly-expanding Magic multiverse. We believe that the game will appeal to strategy gamers worldwide. It’s easy to pick up, but with a depth of strategy that will pose a challenge to master, all with the incredible characters and lore that Magic: The Gathering offers as a fantasy brand.

Magic ManaStrike Interview Planeswalker

How would you convince non-Magic: The Gathering fans to give Magic: ManaStrike a go?

This game is a combination of a fantastic IP with a lot of story behind it, and fun, rewarding gameplay. If you’re new to the Magic: The Gathering franchise, don’t worry! Magic: ManaStrike uses a new gameplay style that will be enjoyable for all players, but stays true to Magic: The Gathering’s roots. You can learn about the different monsters and spells as you play the game, and you can experiment with different Planeswalkers to discover which one is the best fit for you. And along the way, you’ll learn a little bit about their history and personalities.

And of course, you’ll be winning matches, leveling up cards, and getting more and more great rewards.

Many players are comparing the game with Clash Royale. However, I would say that it looks more like Minion Masters. Are you a fan of these games, and if so, how does Magic: ManaStrike improves on them?

At Netmarble, we are gamers first. We play many games across many platforms so we make games we want to play because then we know players will love them too. Magic: ManaStrike allows players to come in and learn the mechanics of the game. As their experience grows, players start to strategize more and become more engrossed in the game. Seasoned players can also come in and enjoy it right away. We feel we’ve created a game nearly anyone can love.

Magic ManaStrike Interview Nissa Revane

Can you tell us which one is your favorite Planeswalker in Magic: ManaStrike, and why?

Tezzeret is my favorite because of his high versatility in attacks. His basic attack is a huge AoE damage to ground units; when deployed, he summons an additional aerial unit which does an AoE attack as well. Tezzeret’s Gravity Sphere skill is great because it will pull enemies close to an area and stun them for a second. And his funky reggae hairstyle and general appearance look awesome in my opinion.

How is the overall player reaction to game balance, including the game-changing Planeswalker abilities?

Of course, players always have opinions about what is and isn’t working in the game. We have a discord where players actively discuss what they think. And we relay that feedback to the developers. Also, what might seem over- or under-powered early on might be viewed differently later. Regarding Planeswalkers specifically, some powers are more situational than others. Finding the best times and ways to use them can often turn a match around but will often require more strategic thinking.

That being said, we are carefully monitoring the game and will adjust things as necessary to ensure balanced gameplay.

Clearly a lot of work went into the presentation of the game, particularly the Planeswalkers. Was it an arduous task making all these stunning artworks come to life in the arena, given the small size of the units?

Using the Unity engine and working closely with the Wizards of the Coast team, we took our time to ensure the artwork stayed true to what Magic players have come to love while still putting our spin on it and bringing our expertise in mobile gaming.

Magic ManaStrike Interview Jace Beleren

Do you plan on adding new Planeswalkers and cards in the future? What kind of timeframe can we expect for content updates?

We are always adding new content to our games and looking for fun ways to keep our games fresh. As you know, we have just launched the game so right now we are focused on providing a great experience and ensuring players enjoy the game. There will be updates coming soon though, so stay tuned.

Do you have plans to take the game into eSports territory?

We aim to make our games as fun as possible for players. There is always a possibility for future esports plans if the demand is there from fans.

Anything else that you would like to add about Magic: ManaStrike?

We are very proud of what we’ve built for players and hope they continue to enjoy the game. And keep in touch. There’s more Magic: ManaStrike to come!

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Star Trek Online Legacy Federation Fleet Admiral Giveaway (PC NA Only)

Star Trek Online is a free-to-play sci-fi MMORPG set in the famous Star Trek universe created by Gene Roddenberry. In this massively multiplayer online game from Cryptic Studios, players can pioneer their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship. Or they can become a Klingon Warlord and expand the Empire to the far reaches of the galaxy. Players can even work to rebuild the Romulan legacy as a member of the Romulan Republic. Embark on adventures throughout the Star Trek universe, and go where no one has gone before.

Star Trek Online: Legacy is now live on PC and launches on PlayStation®4 and Xbox One March 3.The game’s newest update pays loving tribute to all the different Star Trek series featured in the game over the last decade. Captains will face off against iconic enemies from some of the game’s most popular content updates, while teaming up with some of Starfleet’s finest, who represent the epitome of good. This includes former Borg drone and U.S.S. Voyager crew member, Seven (voiced by Jeri Ryan), from the brand new Star Trek: Picard series and Starfleet’s brilliant commander, Michael Burnham (voiced by Sonequa Martin-Green), from the popular Star Trek: Discovery series. Star Trek Online: Legacy also introduces a brand new space TFO and special anniversary events that allow players to earn the all new Khitomer Alliance Battlecruiser.

star trek online legacy giveaway

What You Get From The Star Trek Online Legacy Federation Fleet Admiral Giveaway

  • NOTE: The keys from this giveaway are valid only for the PC version of Star Trek Online. They will NOT work for console versions!
  • Limited Edition STO Anniversary Badge
  • T6 Valiant (Escort Vessel)
  • T6 Andromeda (Cruiser Vessel)
  • T6 Pathfinder (Science Vessel)
  • 2 Ship Slots
  • 1 Caitian Bridge Officer
  • Racing Uniform
  • 1 Exocomp Pet
  • Title: Voyager
  • Title: Seeker
  • Title: Pathfinder

This bundle is comprised of 3 different styles of Starships as listed above along with faction related items to begin your adventure as a future Federation Fleet Admiral! *Available for Federation Captains only.

Note: Winners will need to provide their Full Name, Mailing Address, Email Address, and Phone Number to receive the Limited Edition STO Anniversary Badge from Perfect World Entertainment. This giveaway is limited to North American PC users.

 

Star Trek Online Legacy Federation Fleet Admiral Giveaway (PC NA Only)

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Hunter’s Arena: Legends Beta Begins Feb 20

Starting on Thursday, February 20, Steam players in Asia will have the opportunity to take part in the closed beta for Hunter’s Arena: Legends.

hunter's arena legends closed beta

Hunter’s Arena: Legends is a highly-anticipated hybrid of MOBA, battle royale, and action RPG developed by Mantisco. Those interested in testing out the game can register through the Mantisco portal for a chance at gaining access. From those who register, a lucky 10,000 will be selected to beta test the game. The Closed Beta will run from Thursday, Feb 20, to Sunday, Feb 23, 12pm KST.

Additionally, there will be more than 300 popular streamers demonstrating Hunter’s Arena: Legends during the test period that viewers can tune into including: Pokimane, SypherPK, imaqtpie, LIRIK and more.

Unique features of Hunter’s Arena: Legends:

  • Unique Character Classes – Classic MOBA-inspired character classes offer players unique ways to compete for glory. Every player class offers different strengths and weaknesses, along with countless skill and equipment upgrades;
  • Solo and Team Play – Players must balance aggressive and strategic game styles by going head-to-head or by teaming up to take down daunting computer-generated bosses;
  • Lightning-Quick Combat – A unique fighting system allows for strategic combos including parrying, a counter system and more for smooth online tournaments;
  • Gorgeous Arenas – Hunter’s Arena: Legends utilizes Unreal Engine technology to create detailed character models and an immersive world.

Source: Press Release

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WoW Wednesday: Love Is In The Air 2019!

Love is in the Air once more in the World of Warcraft, and the townsfolk of the world are now spending their days giving and receiving gifts to other amorous citizens. While the war is reaching a fever pitch in the seas, love (and the dastardly actions of the Crown Chemical Co.) are always in the air during this holiday. This week we’ll be giving you the best look at this yearly holiday event, from how to get the most of your achievements to grinding the top toys.

This particular holiday (much like its real-world equivalent) is one that has been created by one of Azeroth’s most dastardly and insidious corporations. The Crown Chemical Co., made up of ejected Forsaken Apothecaries and potentially employed by the Venture Company, work on developing a newer, more horrific plague than anything the Undercity could ever unleash, funding their research through the gift-giving holiday. The Steamwheedle Cartel, concerned about how deeply this new company is cutting into their profits, works from afar to undo Crown Chemical’s efforts. Hiring private investigators, the Cartel works on recruiting heroes throughout the major cities to thwart the Apothecary’s work.

Kwee Q. Peddlefeet and the Crown Chemical Co., ready to spread the love in Orgrimmar.

The biggest draw for players is the elusive Big Love Rocket mount, the rarest holiday mount across any of the events in Warcraft. This can be earned through taking on the terrible triumvirate running the Crown Chemical Co., who have made their residence in the now defunct Shadowfang Keep. Players can queue up for the encounter at any level and defeating the trio will earn players a Heart-Shaped Box daily. This packet can drop toys, cosmetics, the Love Rocket, as well as several pets and accessories. However, only players level 110 and higher can earn the Big Love Rocket.

While several toys are exclusive drops to the Crown Chemical Co. leaders, most can be earned from the seasonal vendors through Love Tokens, which can be earned through daily quests, several holiday-related packages, and by turning in Lovely Charm Bracelets. These items can be collected by slaying level appropriate enemies and collecting Lovely Charms, combining ten of them for a bracelet. These Charms are farmable by the entrepreneurial player, meaning that one could feasibly farm enough for every single toy, cosmetic and mount available through the vendors. This year some of the better locations to farm are the Eye of Azshara dungeon or the Blood Gate in Zuldazar, alongside your grinding for the Eternal Curator’s Set.

On of the main attractions to Love is in the Air is of course the holiday’s meta-achievement, Fool For Love. This achievement is a requirement to the World Event meta What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. Each achievement for the Fool for Love requires a bit of a time investment and may take some time to complete; getting a head-start on completing your meta-achievement is highly recommended for most players.

Be Mine requires players to eat the eight separate heart candies that can be found in the Bag of Heart Candies. This item has ten charges, and can be purchased from a seasonal Lovely Merchant for two love tokens.

Charming requires players to craft twelve Lovely Charm Bracelets, made from 120 separate Lovely Charms. In order to do so you must first acquire a Lovely Charm Collector’s Kit from Kwee Q. Peddlefeet, located at the seasonal vendors outside of each faction’s major city auction houses.

Nation of Adoration requires players to use up some of those Lovely Charm Bracelets, and participate in the daily quest series ‘A Gift for the…’ for your faction. Turning in one bracelet to each of your leaders will net you the achievement, as well as a few of their personal opinions on the holidays. With the events of “Rise of Azshara,” some of the older Horde members have changed such as Eitrigg replacing the fallen High Overlord. You can still give one to ‘Warchief’ Sylvanas Windrunner, but you’ll need to go back in time to the old Undercity.

“My ‘thanks’ for this Bracelet…”

Dangerous Love requires players to join the Detectives hired by the Steamwheedle cartel and thwart the actions of the Crown Chemical Co. Completing the primary quest-line and then one of the Crushing the Crown daily quests will net this achievement for you.

Fistful of Love will require you to do a little bit of hunting across Azeroth for certain players. You must use a Handful of Rose Petals on several race/class combinations across both factions. These petals come in groups of five, and can be purchased with five Love Tokens from a Lovely Merchant.

Flirt With Disaster is a faction-specific achievement, requiring players of the Horde and the Alliance to get a little free with some of the faction’s more off-putting members. Players must get absolutely drunk, use one of the seasonal perfumes or colognes, throw a Handful of Rose Petals onto either Jeremiah Payson (in Orgrimmar) or Sraaz (in Ironforge) and then kiss them! Make sure to make it count!

I Pitied the Fool is another involved traveling quest and can be quite an investment. Either you or another player must use a Love Fool in each of the five zones, and then /pity the fool that spawns. Be certain to be inside the zone listed, meaning that Naxxramas must be done inside the instance. Players cannot use the Sturdy love Fool toy for the achievement.

Sweet Tooth will require players to consume each of the four candies found within a Box of Chocolates. These candies are the Dark Desire, Very Berry Cream, Sweet Surprise and the Buttermilk Delight. Each box costs ten Love Tokens.

A romantic picnic, for your and your beloved. Or just some stranger you meet on the street.

Lonely will see players enjoying a Buttermilk Delight with a friend in Dalaran using their Romantic Picnic Basket toy. Once you have the Romantic Picnic buff, you can dine on your candy which can be gathered from a Box of Chocolates.

My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose can is earned by obtaining either a Bouqet of Red or Ebon Roses during the celebration. Both roses drop off of select Cataclysm and Wrath of the Lich King dungeon bosses.

Shafted will require you to use a Silver Shafted Arrow on ten players who do not have non-combat pets out, burdening them with Kwee Q. Peddlefeet. A stack of ten arrows cost ten Love Tokens.

Last, but certainly not least, The Rocket’s Pink Glare requires players to set off ten Love Rockets in twenty seconds (or less!). This is easy enough to simply hotkey the rockets and spam them away to your achievement. Ten rockets can be purchased from the Lovely Merchants for 10 love tokens.

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Black Desert Online Spinoff Shadow Arena Beta Announced

The Shadow Arena beta has been announced by Pearl Abyss today. Shadow Arena was originally a game within Black Desert Online that has evolved into a game of its own as time has gone on. According to Pearl Abyss, while Shadow Arena does draw from Black Desert Online it has created its own style drawing from Battle Royales, MOBAs, and MMOs to create a unique arena fighter. Shadow Arena has two modes, solo and team which each challenge players in different ways.

A closed beta test for Shadow Arena will be running from February 27th to March 8th. Registration to take part in the beta test can be done on Shadow Arena’s official site. The beta will take place on Steam and will not be available for consoles though the game is expected to be available on consoles after it launches on PC. Right now Pearl Abyss says that they expect Shadow Arena to be released on PC within the first half of this year.

You can also check out the trailer for Shadow Arena which was released back in November as part of Pearl Abyss Connect 2019. The game looks exactly as amazing as you would expect considering it has been spun off from Black Desert Online which is without a doubt the most beautiful MMO that has ever been made.

 

Source: Press Release

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Dreadnought Creators Yager Gets Tencent Investment

It seems like every week these days we’re talking about a new Tencent investment and well, this week is no different. Yager, the creators of Dreadnought, and Spec Ops: The Line is the latest to receive a strategic investment from Tencent. The amount involved in the investment hasn’t been disclosed but we do know that the developer will retain its independence. That doesn’t mean much however as that is pretty standard for Tencent’s investments.

Dreadnought

Yager has said that the capital from this investment will be used to strengthen its development and publishing opportunities. This includes a few unannounced projects.

“Tencent is not only the world’s leading games company but also a prolific investor with a stellar track record,” said Yager CEO Timo Ulmann. “We’re humbled to join the line-up of Tencent partners which reads like a games industry Who’s Who. We’re confident that this will greatly enhance the scope of our business, not just by getting access to Tencent’s network and resources but by tapping the vast industry know-how Tencent possesses.”

At the moment Yager is currently working on Dreadnought and The Cycle, which is currently in Season 2 and available for free in the Epic Store.

 

Source: Games Industry

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Broomstick League Preview – Rocket Quidditch

My first matches in Broomstick League didn’t quite turn out as I was expecting. My visions of graciously zipping through the air as I scored goal after goal were cut short, as I helplessly stared at the definitely more skilled rival players. Adding insult to injury, an embarrassing moment resulted in general laughter, as I inadvertently scored an own goal, catching the ball after a rebound and taking it into my own hoop without time to change trajectory. The opposing players laughed, my teammates laughed… I laughed.

I was having a blast, even if I was pretty much worthless during my first two matches. Slowly but surely, I was getting the hang of it, learning how to master the intricate art of the blast, scoring the odd goal now and then. I was coming to terms with the breakneck speed at which everything and everyone moved, and joy was finally overcoming frustration.

And I hate Harry Potter with a passion, so credit where credit is due.

Broomstick League Preview Castle Match

The Wizarding World of You | Broomstick League Preview

There’s no way to start a debate about Broomstick League without addressing the elephant in the room. This is Quidditch for the new generation, a game that draws inspiration from the fictitious sport that Harry Potter and friends entertained us with in several films from the saga. It’s not the first game of the genre – there’s an official adaptation for PS2 – but it tries to spice up the matches with infuriating speed and a sense of freedom that takes a lot of practice to master. Broomstick League is to Quidditch as Temtem is to Pokémon, and that isn’t a bad thing at all – they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

The Broomstick League beta gave us a good taste of the aerial mayhem that this competitive fantasy sports game is going to unleash into the world on March 5, 2020. It seems to possess that undecipherable quality where ostensibly simple ingredients contribute to a delicious dish that you just can’t get enough of, as one Rocket League can vouch for. It’s unclear if Broomstick League has the kind of long-term appeal that will keep players zipping around for years, but first impressions are encouraging.

Your first steps into this wondrous world of brooms, wands, and capes start with the character creation. You can pick from male or female, browse a few faces and hair styles, and select additional embellishments such as trails, taunts, and emblems, among other things. While developer Virtual Basement isn’t shy where it comes to using every trick in the book to make a good-looking game, including volumetric smoke and particle effects, the character faces are beyond ugly. You may choose all you want and combine any kind of hair style with it, but the result is always going to be a face that only a mother can love.

Granted, you won’t be paying much attention to this as everyone whizzes by without giving you the time of day, but when the goal celebration time comes, get ready to stare into the soulless eyes of an emotionless puppet. It’s not pretty, and it doesn’t do the game any favors if one of the plans is to monetize it by selling cosmetic items – there’s a Store option, so I’m guessing that this is indeed going to happen. Give some life to those character models and immersion is going to go up a notch. Since the arenas look really good, especially the one set within a majestic castle, this is an aspect that is deserving of further care.

Broomstick League Preview Sand Arena Scuffle

Of Wands and Brooms | Broomstick League Preview

Playing Broomstick League can be an exhilarating experience when you have a full grasp of the mechanics and play a role in a skilled team. You can play in 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 modes, although I’m yet to judge the appeal of playing solo – the more the merrier sounds like a good motto for this game.

Beyond the apparent simplicity of Broomstick League lies a game with enough depth to separate the men from the boys. Boosting is a natural action that still requires a keen eye on the mana bar, and blinking is an option that has the potential of being a gamechanger if used with perfect timing. However, it is crucial to master the art of the blast spell, which is used to take the ball out of the opponent’s hands or give it a knock at the very last second. You’re not going to excel at this game without a full understanding of the blast mechanic and how to time your actions right.

Eventually, you’ll learn other tricks that will give you the upper hand over novice players. Using physics to your advantage is one of those, as you fly downwards to gain the momentum that will give you a significant speed boost. Dashing is crucial to keep the ball under possession, as you dash sideways and avoid the rival’s blast spell. Last but not least, the ball magnet ability can be challenging until you understand how to make it work properly, pulling the ball from the wands of other players at the very last second.

Broomstick League Preview Snow Arena

Solo plays can be remarkable and praiseworthy, but Broomstick League is all about teamplay. Passing the ball from one player to the other is a surefire way to progress without relying on luck and rebounds, frustrating the opposing team’s attempts to blast the ball from your hands.

However, no amount of advice or tips is going to shape your actions as a player. Ultimately, you must rely on your coordination with team members and your overall strategy in the arena. Taking advantage of vertical play is key, aligning pass after pass to progress without hiccups, and aiming your shot from impossible angles are all tactics that a winning team needs to master.

Broomstick League is a fun time for everyone, even if you’re not a fan of the theme. This is a game of skills and the gap between new and veteran players is testament to the depth that it possesses. With leaderboards, player leveling, and every aspect of stat tracking that you could desire, Broomstick League is shaping up to be a serious offer; the question remaining is if these wizards have enough magic to secure a spot within a very competitive genre.

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Phantasy Star Online 2 Beta Begins Today

The initial Phantasy Star Online 2 Xbox One Beta will begin on Friday, February 7, at 5pm PST and end on Saturday, February 8, at 11:59pm PST.

Phantas_star_online_2

Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free-to-play, action RPG developed and by Sega that was initially released in Japan in 2012 on PC. Eventually, it made its way to PlayStation 4, Vita, and the Nintendo Switch, but it never made its way out of Japan. However, there were a few tricks that allowed outsiders to play, but there has been a constant demand from Westerners for their own servers and access to the game.

Players outside of Japan will finally get that chance starting with the Closed Beta that begins this afternoon. Those granted access to the Beta by signing up through the Xbox Insider Hub will have the opportunity to complete Urgent Quests and receive special rewards.

Here is the Urgent Request schedule (PST) for February 7:

  • Cradle of Darkness – 8:00-8:30pm
  • Giant Automata: The Awakening – 10:00-10:30pm

February 8:

  • Cradle of Darkness – 7:00-7:30pm
  • Giant Automata: The Awakening – 1:00-1:30pm
  • Cradle of Darkness – 5:00-5:30pm
  • The Raging Obsidian Arm – 8:30-9:00pm
  • Elder of the Unfathomable Abyss – 9:00-9:30pm

Participating in these quests will grant special rewards, such as Photon Halo accessories and Triboost consumables.

 

Source: Official Site

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