Overwatch Officially Reveals Brigitte

Yep, we (and likely everyone else) have figured out the 27th Overwatch hero’s identity. It is, indeed, Brigitte Lindholm. And sure enough, she’s totally going to wield a rocket flail and a shield into battle because the game could absolutely use a techno-paladin.

brigitte

Described as “a valiant squire who battles on the front lines to protect her allies”, Brigitte is the youngest of Torbjorn’s daughters and can be found fighting alongside her godfather Reinhardt. Previously, she mostly focused on repairing Reinhardt’s armor, but decided that fixing equipment can only be so helpful and has created her own gear to take the more direct approach.

As a Support hero, Brigitte uses hits from her flail to draw away enemies and issue a passive healing aura that helps nearby allies with every strike. Brigitte can also issue a shield in front of her to offer limited protection to allies behind her and shield bash the first enemy in front of her to stun them, or deploy Repair Packs to heal wounded allies or offer armor to fully healthy allies. Finally, her Ultimate ability, Rally, grants a large armor boost to her team and ramps up Brigitte’s movement speed.

Brigitte is currently available to play on the PTR right now. You can learn more about each of her abilities on her hero page and check out her backstory in the video below.

Our Thoughts

Another Support hero! We most definitely didn’t expect this. We have to admit, a lot of Brigitte’s kit definitely sounds like an interesting avenue to being a healer, granting players the opportunity to help out their friends while not hiding in the back line. Consider us intrigued.

Source: official site

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Solve a Mystery Together in Co-Op Horror Game The Blackout Club

When it comes to working through a horror mystery, it’s best to try not to go into it alone. That’s the thinking behind The Blackout Club, a newly-revealed co-op horror title where players can team up to uncover the secrets lurking just beneath the surface of their otherwise quiet town.

blackout club

In The Blackout Club, players take on the role of a teenager who wakes up every morning with mysterious scratches and mud but no memory of what happened before. As entire days get lost, a society of others who suffer similar episodes band together to investigate a series of underground tunnels, capture evidence, and find a missing friend, all while avoiding a group of adults who want to eliminate them.

Players are tasked with avoiding these mysterious new arrivals while recording videos of the conspiracy without being discovered. The game promises a richly simulated world with numerous obstacles and that each night’s investigation won’t play the same way twice.

The Blackout Club will release in 2019 on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One, with plans for a closed beta at some point in the near future. Interested players can head to the official website or check out the teaser trailer below.

Our Thoughts

Two of our staff members have already called dibs on being the Scooby and Shaggy of the group, so nobody else is allowed to take up those roles, okay? On topic: while this doesn’t exactly hit the “massive” part of multiplayer gaming, it’s in the periphery and has a unique enough angle to it that our interest is certainly piqued. We’re looking forward to learning more about this interesting take on co-op gaming!

Source: official site

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Black Desert Online Celebrates Two Years with Events and Absolute Skills

It’s been two years since Black Desert Online made its arrival to the Western shores, so naturally it’s time to celebrate! And what MMO celebration is complete without an update full of in-game events, free goodies, and more skills for people to use on their foes? Such is the case for the Black Desert Online second anniversary update.

black desert online second anniversary

The newest patch to the MMO offers a number of ways for players to celebrate two years of operation, with an Appreciation Gift waiting in every player’s mailbox that grants one random armor or weapon box from a healthy list. There will also be special XP boosts, seven Rookie Challenges for new players, and fireworks displays at Velia, Heidel, and Calpheon City on March 3rd.

As for the game itself, the previously detailed Absolute Skills update has been applied, along with new search functions for Alchemy and Cooking, tools that let guild masters manage spending of Guild Funds from Guild Shops, and a new 3D minimap among other updates.

There’s plenty of things to look over if you’re a BDO player, so be sure to hit up the patch notes for more details including dates of certain anniversary and special events.

Our Thoughts

Happy anniversary, Black Desert Online! This sandbox MMO has absolutely carved out its own niche in the MMORPG landscape and we’re glad to see it pushing forward. Here’s hoping that everyone in-game enjoys their goodies and finds the new Absolute Skills update to their liking.

Source: official site

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ESO Fang Lair Dungeon Guide

Fang Lair is one of two new dungeons included in Elder Scrolls Online’s latest DLC, Dragon Bones. The dungeon is found in the northeastern part of Bangkorai, but can also be reached through fast travel, traveling to a group member, or the dungeon group finder.

fang lair mobs ESO Fang Lair Dungeon Guide

Plenty of undead mobs and necromancers fill Fang Lair.

The Basics

Like other dungeons in ESO, you can choose to play through Fang Lair in either normal or veteran mode, with a hard mode option in the veteran dungeon. On your first trip to either Fang Lair or the second new dungeon, Scalecaller Peak, you will earn the Renegade Dragon Priest Mask, a collectible hat.

Fang Lair is a Dwarven Ruin where a necromancer is performing a ritual to reanimate a skeletal dragon. Travel through the dungeon and stop these threats before it’s too late.

Casting the Bones

find yisareh

Find the NPC, Yisareh just inside the entrance to Fang Lair to begin the quest.

You can pick up this quest in the dungeon from Yisareh. You can’t miss her as she’s just inside the entrance. She asks for your help with the necromancers who are bringing corpses into the ruins and making other ominous preparations. The way forward is barred to her by magic but with a group, you could probably force your way inside.

If you finish the conversation with Yisareh, she’ll tell you that a necromancer named Lizabet is the one conjuring the magical barrier, but is probably not the one in charge. When you ask about the ruins, she will reveal that the Dwarves were driven from the place by a dragon, but that the monster must be long gone.

Navigating the Dungeon

fang lair map

Follow the path in a clockwise direction through Fang Lair.

Fang Lair is all on a single map level and is easy to navigate. Your group starts in the lower left corner and has to work your way around in a clockwise direction. The mobs are mostly undead and necromancers, and you will have to work your way through groups of them between five main boss fights. Bring your AOE attacks to help make quick work of these enemies and watch out for the Bone Colossus’, as these guys have a particularly deadly attack.

You will see scattered round balls on the ground – these release poison spores if you stand near them for too long. If you keep moving through the dungeon quickly, they won’t bother you much. Also – keep an eye out for chests, like in any dungeon.

spore

This ball will release poison if you stand near it for too long.

The First Boss – Lizabet

Your first encounter with a boss is actually one of the easiest. Lizabet appears, taunts the group, and then summons some mobs to attack the party. You won’t even engage her directly – simply dispatch the mobs she summons and you can move on. There isn’t any particular strategy needed here.

The Second Boss – Cadaverous Bear

This is one of the more challenging fights in Fang Lair. When you arrive at this area, you will see a collection of animal statues. These come to life and you’ll have to fight them, but the Cadaverous Bear is the main boss that has to be killed. It’s essential to understand the mechanics of this fight, though, or you won’t make it through.

cadaverous bosses

Starting position of the bosses. The wolves keep respawning from their position on the far left.

Each of the monsters here has a different attack. The group of three wolves will run up to players and then explode. They respawn quickly and keep coming back throughout the fight so keep moving to avoid this damage or be ready to shield yourself and block their attack. The senche has a special attack where it will pin one player and cause damage. This attack has to be interrupted by another player, so keep an eye out for the message that pops up on the bottom of your screen to inform you of this.

The guar will spout poison fields, so just watch out for AOE and again, keep moving. Both the senche and the guar will respawn after a little time, so your main focus should be on the bear. However, have your tank taunt the mobs to all stay near the bear and use your AOE attacks to kill the senche and guar while DPSing the bear. If you defeat all the bear’s minions, his shield will come up until they respawn. Once you defeat the bear, the fight is over.

cadaverous bear

Focus on the Cadaverous Bear, but use AOE attacks to damage the bear’s minions.

If you’re having trouble getting through this fight, focus on the senche first then take out the bear. Keep moving and kiting to avoid the wolves’ explosive attacks.

The Third Boss – Caluurion

Caluurion AOE

Stay alert and avoid Caluurion’s AOE attacks.

Caluurion is another necromancer boss, but your strategy here is fairly simple. He stays in the center of the room on top of a small hill. From there, Caluurion throws out a lot of AOE attacks, so pay particular attention not to get caught in overlapping circles from his attacks. Otherwise, at certain levels of health, he will activate one of several relics found on the periphery of the room. A message will show up on the bottom of your screen to inform you of this. Run to the correct relic and kill it as quickly as possible. While the relic is active, Caluurion is more resistant to damage.

Caluurion relic

When a relic is active, kill it as quickly as possible.

When you are attacking a relic, each one will generate different defenses (shock, poison, etc.). If a red ring forms around you, make sure not to overlap with a group member or you will accumulate extra damage. Once the relic is down, return to Caluurion. Alternatively, if your group has high DPS you may be able to ignore the totems and just take down Caluurion directly.

The Fourth Boss – Ulfnor

This boss is a mostly straight-forward fight. The only tricky part here is that he is accompanied by a ghost who will chain a random player. When you are chained, you won’t be able to free yourself or do anything. The ghost pulls you closer, and if you end up next to her, then Ulfnor runs up and one-shot kills you. Your group members will need to kill the ghost before she pulls you in if you want to avoid certain death.

chained

I’m chained by the ghost here and can’t do anything until my group frees me.

When fighting Ulfnor directly, watch out for his heavy attacks. He also uses a lot of fire – both a series of small circle AOEs that radiate out from him, as well as a collection of fireballs that shoot out and then bounce around the battlefield.

The Fifth Boss – Thurvokun

When you finally arrive at the end of Fang Lair, you’ll discover that the necromancer Orryn the Black has managed to resurrect the dragon, Thurvokun. Your main fight here will be with Thurvokun, but Orryn triggers other aspects of the battle.

Thurvokun fight

The dragon produces a large poison field (green).

To start with, have your tank keep Thurvokun in the middle of the room. Throw your attacks at him and avoid his large poison AOE and ice attack that radiates from his tail. As his health decreases, crystals at the periphery of the room will become active and spawn additional mobs. Destroy the crystals quickly – there are four of them. Be careful if your group is doing massive damage to Thurvokun – you can inadvertently trigger multiple crystals at once and get overwhelmed by mobs.

The most deadly aspect of this boss fight happens next. Orryn will summon a line of ghosts that will run across the room. If they touch you, you will die. In order to avoid this, look for the friendly NPC who has been following you through the entire dungeon. He will create a yellow glowing barrier. Hide behind the barrier to stay safe from the ghosts. The wave of ghosts will keep repeating itself. If you’re using a voice chat option, have someone call out when the ghosts appear to make sure everyone has time to shelter behind the barrier.

Thurvokun fight

He throws skulls at you too.

Once Thurvokun is down to zero health, guess what? Orryn will resurrect him and he’ll be back at around 50% of his health. He’ll continue his attacks while more mobs spawn from where the crystals had once been. Thurvokun will scream and cause fear. Break free from this, but pay attention. After the fear attack, the dragon will shoot poison balls that can kill with one shot. To avoid this damage, look for a gold circle on the floor. Run through the circle (one per player) and you’ll be safe.

Hard Mode

If this all hasn’t been enough of a challenge for you, try it again on Hard Mode. More mobs will spawn and Thurvokun will have more health. The crystals will spawn a bone colossus. Kill the crystal quickly, or a second colossus will join you. The wave of ghosts will change so that it no longer covers the entire width of the hall. However, you won’t get the glowing yellow shield so you’ll have to find the gap between the ghosts and make sure you get through that part.

Rewards

On completion of the battle, make sure you speak with Yisareh again to finish the quest and earn a skill point. You’ll also win the Fang Lair Vanquisher achievement and the Thurvokun trophy.

quest complete

Speak to Yisareh for some well-earned rewards.

As you’ve made your way through Fang Lair you will certainly have picked up some of the new set items. If you’re working on a particular build, here are the stats on the four sets:

Thurvokun Set (monster set)

  • 1 item: Adds XXXX maximum health
  • 2 items: When a nearby enemy damages you, summon a growing pool of desecrated bile for 8 seconds. Enemies in the bile receive XXX Disease Damage every 1 second and are afflicted with Minor Main and Minor Defile, reducing their damage done and healing received by 15%. This effect can occur every 8 seconds.

Caluurion’s Legacy Set (light armor)

  • 2 items: Adds XXX Spell Critical
  • 3 items: Adds XXX Spell Damage
  • 4 items: Adds XXX Spell Critical
  • 5 items: When you deal Critical Damage with a single target Magicka ability, you launch a Fire, Ice, Shock, or Disease ball at your target that deals XXXXX damage and applies a status effect. This effect can occur once every 10 seconds.

Trappings of Invigoration Set (medium armor)

  • 2 items: Adds XXX Stamina Recovery
  • 3 items: Adds XXXX Maximum Stamina
  • 4 items: Adds XXX Stamina Recovery
  • 5 items: When you cast an ability while under 33% Stamina, you restore XXXX Stamina. This effect can occur once every 1 minute.

Ulfnor’s Favor Set (heavy armor)

  • 2 items: Adds XXXX Maximum Health
  • 3 items: Adds XXX Magicka Recovery
  • 3 items: Adds XXX Stamina Recovery
  • 4 items: Adds 4% Healing Taken
  • 5 items: Increases the Magicka or Stamina your Heavy Attacks restore by 30%

You may notice that the Ulfnor’s Favor set lists two separate bonuses for 3 items. I suspect this may be a bug, but since I play a lightly armored DPS sorcerer, I haven’t tried out this set.

Overall, the Fang Lair dungeon seems to be more popular than the other new content – Scalecaller Peak. The boss battles are doable but challenging, depending on the abilities of the group you go in with.

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Citadel: Forged with Fire Introduces the Broomstick League

I’m not in the mood to get myself or anyone else sued by J.K. Rowling, so I’m going to not mention Citadel’s upcoming Broomstick League game mode’s resemblance to a certain soccer-like magical broomstick sporting event and just tell you about Citadel’s soccer-like magical broomstick sporting event.

broomstick league

In the Broomstick League, players will be teamed up in two teams of up to five players and whisked away to a special arena for a five minute match. Players must pass a ball to each other and make shots into three different hoops, with the large main net worth one point and the smaller horizontal nets worth two points.

The arrival of the Broomstick League will introduce new armors and broomsticks for players to craft and equip outside of the game mode, while new Net and Ball Pedestal structure items will let players build their very own Broomstick League arenas in the open world using Citadel’s building tools.

This new sporting event that is absolutely not what you think it is so don’t even say it is arriving to Citadel: Forged with Fire on Wednesday, March 7th.

Our Thoughts

Obvious comparisons aside, this definitely seems like the sort of non-combat activity that a sandbox MMO could use, especially since players can put together their own arenas. Can you imagine a player-run season where entire teams of players travel to different stadiums to play Qui–er…I mean…Broomstick League?

Source: press release

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2018 in Hearthstone is the Year of the Raven

Ravens have a storied mythological history across human civilizations, from being a totem animal for Bran the Blessed of Britain to being the bearers of news for Odin in the form of the ravens Hugin and Munin. Hearthstone’s Year of the Raven, however, is a bit less mystical and mostly about new features, new expansions, and a new Druid hero.

year of the raven

The Year of the Raven will kick off with the launch of the CCG’s first of a planned three expansions in 2018, with each expansion bringing over 130 cards and new single-player content. The new Hearthstone year will also see Whispers of the Old Gods, One Night in Karazhan, and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan card sets become exclusive to Wild format.

Hearthstone will also be introducing the dryad Lunara as a new Druid hero for players to earn. The first daughter of Cenarius can be unlocked by players who win 10 games in the updated Standard format and will bring her own flavor to the game with unique voice emotes like other heroes in the CCG.

Hearthstone will also launch an in-game tournaments feature that will let players create and host their own tournaments from within the game client itself. The new feature will handle matchmaking and checking decks, but more functions are expected to be added later. The in-game tournament builder system itself is due to launch in a beta state sometime in the middle of the year.

More details could be revealed during a special livestream on Twitch this coming Friday, March 2nd at 11am PST, where Ben Brode and Yong Woo will look back at the Year of the Mammoth that was 2017 and take community questions.

Our Thoughts

Another solid year of updates and content for Hearthstone, by the looks of it. Naturally, we’re most curious to know about what the three expansions for 2018 will be about, but we’re also looking forward to the other features and functions in the works. Which updates in the Year of the Raven are you most excited for?

Source: press release

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Funcom’s New Game is Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

The countdown timer on that teaser site has hit zero, so we now know what that new Funcom game is all about. And sure enough, it’s got mutants in it. Just not the kind of mutants we were expecting. More like the Mutant Year Zero kind.

new funcom game

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a combines real-time stealth and exploration with tactical battle gameplay similar to XCOM. The game is being developed by Swedish studio Bearded Ladies which includes former designers of the Hitman game and the designer of Payday.

In Road to Eden, players take control of a band of unlikely heroes including a crossbow-wielding duck and a very grumpy boar and help them navigate a post-human Earth replete with mutant monsters in a quest to find the fabled Eden.

“It’s an unusual label for a game, but tactical adventure really fits the bill, no duck pun intended,” says executive producer Ulf Andersson. “Our goal is to blend the deep and tactical combat of ‘XCOM’ with a branching storyline that unfolds as you explore overgrown forests and abandoned cities with your team of Mutants.”

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden will be making its first appearance at this year’s GDC in San Francisco this March during a live presentation and closed-door sessions. The game itself is expected to release in full for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year. More information can be found on its official site while a reveal trailer can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

Well! An XCOM-like where you control a duck and a pig. Can’t say we exactly saw that one coming. Regardless, we’re certainly curious about this new game, though it also sounds like it’s more solo player-focused than something with any level of multiplayer. Are you interested in this one at all?

Source: press release

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H1Z1 Launches with New Upgrades and Vehicular Battle Royale

The OG battle royale game is about to make its way out of the early access tent and into fully launched game after what seems like an age. Today is the official H1Z1 launch, bringing with it some new system revamps, new features, and a vehicle-centric battle royale mode.

h1z1 launch

The new Auto Royale mode is pretty much what it sounds like – an arcade-style battle royale mode where players drive vehicles around a large map looking to blow each other apart and survive as long as possible.

The mode supports up to 30 teams of four players and features power-ups like weapons, fuel and health littered across the map, while hazards like turbo boosts, jumps, oil slicks and corrosive smoke will make things just a bit trickier. With the new Auto Royale mode comes new vehicles and weapons, including the small and nimble sedan, the heavily armored ARV, and the light machine gun weapon that’s exclusive to Auto Royale.

While Auto Royale is the party piece of the launch update for H1Z1, a number of other enhancements and features have been added as well. Players can also look forward to a new deployment feature that shows a heat map where players are landing before dropping in, a revamp to airdrops, and a minimap. Launch also kicks off the first official season of H1Z1 with a new scoring algorithm that rewards aggression and consistency instead of just a player’s 10 best placements.

H1Z1 is open for business at $19.99 via Steam. A new launch trailer all about Auto Royale can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

With the battle royale iron still hot thanks to PUBG, it’s nice to see that the actual original battle royale title is making its way to final release and with an interesting new mode to boot. That said, it still might be a case of too little, too late, as players now associate battle roayle with only two titles at maximum. Time will tell whether the battle royale bubble’s walls are thick enough to support a third game.

Source: press release

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The Lost City of Omu Launches in Neverwinter on PC

Ever wanted to investigate a city that houses a dinosaur that can vomit the undead and the death curse created by a lich? Then you’re ready for the Lost City of Omu release. You also probably are very easily bored by the mundane things in life and might want extreme hobbies. Or you’re very brave.

lost city of omu release

Today’s release of the newest update to the PC version of Neverwinter brings the Temple Ruins Adventure Zone where players can explore the jungles of Chult, party up for new encounters such as the Tyrant T-Rex dinosaur mentioned earlier, and wrap up the Chult leg of the Tomb of Annihilation campaign with a 10-player Trial against Acerak and the Atropal.

The update also brings features to the game like a smoothed progression curve between levels 60 and 70, class powers and weapon damage adjustments, new treasure maps, repeatable Adventures, and new recipes for Masterwork Professions.

PC players can update their game and get to attacking zombie-barfing tyrannosaurs today, while console players will have to wait their turn at a later time. In either case, you can watch the trailer below to see what it is you’re up against.

Our Thoughts

Oh gosh, seriously, a t-rex that barfs undead? Well….anyway, this definitely looks like a lot for Neverwinter players to do, hopefully. Here’s hoping that stuff to do is indeed enjoyable and the improvements are welcomed by all. Or at least as many as possible.

Source: press release

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Defiance Leaps into the Future with Defiance 2050

It looks like the Defiance MMO is due for a pretty major reboot. Trion Worlds has introduced plans to launch Defiance 2050, a sort-of sequel, sort-of re-release of the game arriving free-to-play for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this Summer.

defiance mmo

Defiance 2050 is being billed as a futuristic online shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world with advanced alien technology, offering solo and co-op play where players can follow story missions, unlock exotic equipment and “extensive” skill and customization systems.

As the game is being built as a free-to-play title from the start, Defiance 2050 will essentially force existing Defiance players to start from scratch with no character or item transfers available. That said, Defiance players can still transfer some progression features such as character and loadout slots over to Defiance 2050. In addition, existing Defiance players can earn Valor Commendations that can be used in the new game to unlock unique items.

Defiance 2050 is expected to enter a closed beta sometime later this year. Interested players can learn a bit more by checking out this FAQ or sign up for the game’s closed beta here.

Our Thoughts

This is definitely not a development we expected to see come out of Defiance whatsoever, as it was pretty well assumed that the original game was on life support at best. Turns out that perhaps this old dog is set to learn new tricks, though we’ll be interested to know how new those tricks will be as development on Defiance 2050 continues.

Source: official site

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