Rend Launches into Early Access

The RvR survival sandbox Rend is now officially taking its steps out of alpha and into a semi-released title. Today marks the Rend early access launch, which is now opening the game up to a significantly larger playerbase…assuming they’re okay with shelling out $30, of course.

rend early access launch

Part survival sandbox, part RvR PvP game with win conditions, Rend is hoping that its unique blend of game styles will see it make an impact with players. The objective of Rend is both simple and daunting: work together for your chosen faction to earn the right to ascend to Valhalla in the shattered remains of Midgard.

Rend will offer up two types of servers for players to take advantage of: official servers with either Standard rules or Conquest rules that see the shields protecting a faction’s home base removed entirely; or support for private servers to let players customize the game’s rulesets to their personal preference.

“We have created a unique space that doesn’t feel like any other game in the survival genre,” said Frostkeep Studios CEO John Wood. “While this marks a significant milestone for our studio, we’re only just getting started.”

Rend is now live on Steam for $29.99. There’s also an early access launch trailer you can feast your eyes on below, no cost necessary.

Our Thoughts

Considering our earlier experiences with this game’s alpha build, we are very intrigued to know how this build of the game feels compared to the alpha version and where this RvR survival title goes from here. We hope those who are buying in have a good time and remember…talk to your faction. The coordinated side can win more easily.

Source: press release

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NCSoft Posts Job for Next-Generation Aion MMORPG

It appears that NCSoft isn’t the reaper of MMO souls many would like to think it is. At least as far as its Korean market is concerned. Case in point; a new job posting by the company which seem to hint at some next-generation Aion MMO, or at least something based on the Aion universe.

next-generation aion mmo

According to the posting, the company is seeking an animator to work on some undetermined new project based on the Aion IP. As one would perhaps expect, the details of this job posting are pretty sparse on the specifics of what this project involves, but it does mention that the project is powered by Unreal Engine 4 and is intended to be “a next-generation console and PC MMORPG.”

This new job posting could have connections to a January 2017 rumor of a direct sequel to Aion, though bear in mind that was an assumption that was reached thanks to the project’s codename of “A2”, a project that was in the planning stages at the time of the initial rumor in question.

That said, a year between planning and hiring an animator for characters and monsters of the project could certainly fit the timeline of development. The iron may also be hot for a sequel to Aion; bear in mind that NCSoft’s Q1 report saw the game’s sales jump by 48% as a result in a monetization scheme adjustment.

Our Thoughts

By our admission, there are a few stretches in this logic regarding this all leading into an Aion 2 and there’s even less chance that any of this will mean anything to Western players of Aion. All the same, we are curious to learn just what this “next-generation” form of Aion will end up being one way or the other, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: MMO Culture

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WoW Launches War of Thorns Pt. 2, Hotfixes Leveling and Talks Epic Battleground Changes

Whole lot of movement on the World of Warcraft front, and none of it will likely be a surprise but let’s get to it anyway: the second part of the War of Thorns story beats is online for NA players; the MMO’s borked leveling has been hotfixed, and one of the devs has offered some insight into Epic Battleground adjustments that are due.

war of thorns

Chapter two of the War of Thorns storyline leading right into the plot points for Battle for Azeroth is now live. This series of quests will lead up to the burning of Teldrassil that’s been alluded to for the past few weeks now and will also award players with a new flying mount depending on which faction they’re a part of.

There’s also been a hotfix deployed for the game overall earlier today that has tied a tourniquet around the game’s mysteriously busted leveling experience. For now, the XP requirement to reach all levels from 40-100 has been reduced, with about a 14% reduction in required XP between 60-80 and slightly less reduction across other levels.

Finally, a dev has chimed in on the official forums about some tweaks to Alterac Valley and the Isle of Conquest Epic Battlegrounds. As far as Alterac Valley goes, the devs want to play wait-and-see before making any major changes; in Isle of Conquest’s case, a number of adjustments are in the works including reducing Keep Cannon damage to vehicles, a loss of 50 Reinforcements if a faction gate is destroyed to counteract turtling, and changes to Siege Towers, Glaive Towers and Airship Cannons.

The second Warbringers animated short is also online, but that is reportedly extremely spoiler-loaded so watch at your own risk and please don’t whine at me about your personal lack of self-control.

Our Thoughts

Yep. Lots of WoW things. Lots and lots and lots. Of WoW things. Lots. Mmmm hmh.

Sources: MMO Champion, official site, official forums, YouTube (AGAIN, SPOILER ALERT)

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Camelot Unchained’s First Beta Test Goes Live

Camelot Unchained‘s RvR MMORPG is making a pretty sizeable breakthrough today. The very first Camelot Unchained closed beta test is online, letting backers of the game get some new hands-on time with the game’s latest build.

camelot unchained closed beta

According to a shared Beta 1 document from the devs, Beta 1 for Camelot Unchained will be arriving with a pretty broad amount of features, though it won’t be feature-complete as one would likely expect.

“Beta 1 should be more about the fun, whenever possible for the players, than Alpha was,” reads the Guiding Principles section of the document. “While it is still a Beta 1 test, having more fun things to do, such as the Saturday Night Sieges and other such tests/games, will go a long way toward making Beta 1 something that non-Backers as well as Backers will want to be part of over the remainder of the year.”

Fans of Camelot Unchained should bear in mind that this test will be under an NDA, so we’re likely not going to be seeing a lot of shared information from unofficial sources, or if you do they’re breaking the agreement. Additionally, testing will be at specific times, generally during one window on a Saturday or Sunday. EU fans shouldn’t worry, though; tests will run in a long enough window that Saturday night tests won’t just mean North America’s version of Saturday night.

A complete breakdown of the information available right now can be found here.

Our Thoughts

First thing’s first: congratulations to the folks at City State Entertainment for making it to this milestone! While the testing windows may seem small, we suspect that they will be valuable and hopefully will also be fun. We’re looking forward to seeing more developments in both the build and the scale of testing in the coming months.

Source: Camelot Unchained subreddit

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A Proposal For A Disney MMORPG

In the past, Disney has always said that the Disney Princesses all live in totally different universes and they have nothing to do with each other. Despite this, fans are always quick to try to link them together and the idea of them all existing in one big world is incredibly appealing. Thanks to Ralph Breaks the Internet it looks like we’re going to get all the Princesses in one place, and we’ve seen Frozen and Tangled linked to each other. So it seems that Disney may be relaxing their previous rule and embracing the unified universe that fans all want. With that in mind, I would like to propose that it is time for a Disney MMORPG. Yes, MMORPGs are on a decline, but they are an incredibly valuable way to tell stories and have massive amounts of players interacting with one another.

In this MMO you don’t play a Princess or even a daring General. You’re an adventurer and you’re traveling the world, getting caught up in events, helping Princesses and Genies, and dancing with royalty. Each of the major Disney hits will have its own zone while the smaller, less popular movies still get the chance to make an appearance too.

In the Winter Elsa will introduce a frozen wonderland for you to explore as part of the winter event. You’ll build Olaf a family, relax in the Wandering Oaken Trading Post’s Sauna, and end up humming Do You Want to Build a Snowman for weeks. Across all the zones, hordes of giant snow beasts will attack. If they aren’t fought back the zone will be frozen until it’s taken back by adventurers.

For Halloween, Frankenweenie becomes the star with all sorts of undead monsters coming to life and causing problems across the world. There’s also the option for a Nightmare Before Christmas tie in which gives an alternate Christmas event.

But now you must be wondering about the zones themselves. Many Disney movies take place in the same rough areas as others, though at different times. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Aristocats, and Ratatouille all take place in Paris but they’re all in different eras so having them together makes no sense.

Instead, the game begins with the fantasy Kingdoms from The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Tangled, Hercules, and Frozen. These are the first main zones that you’ll travel through. Along the way, you’ll see iconic locations from the movies, face off against evil, and help out a demi-god. This is, in reality just the first half of the game. Once you’ve traveled these lands it’s time for you to move on to Agrabah, where you’ll meet the Genie.

The Genie will play a very important role in this MMORPG, he’s the one who will help you get out of the fantasy land and see other places. This is how you’ll see the modern world; a world full of superheroes, dentists, and living toys. He’ll also be the one to take you to alternate realities that are released in the form of expansions. Monsters Inc and Zootopia are only the beginning.

A Disney MMORPG should cross genres because their movies cross genres. There is of course no denying that the fantasy settings the Princesses are from are supreme. But there’s still room for Neverland to exist next to Mulan’s China and Moana’s Polynesia. There’s also room for expansion.

At the moment, the only Disney movies that have been confirmed as upcoming are live-action remakes and sequels, but we do know that Lin-Manuel Miranda is working with the Walt Disney Animation Studio and there’s also an untitled Pixar movie in the works. Depending on what these movies are they may be very easy to slip into their place in the MMORPG or they may require the help of the Genie to get us there. Either way, Disney would be able to have a new tie-in event and game expansion each time one of their movies comes out.

But that led me to a question that I couldn’t quite answer. Do the live action Disney movies have a place in this MMORPG? In this, I’m particularly interested in Pirates of the Caribbean, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars.

Thanks to Big Hero 6 and the Incredibles, the MCU wouldn’t be too big of a stretch to include. Pirates of the Caribbean have already had their own MMO, but including a pirate-themed zone isn’t too much of an issue at all in my mind. Star Wars though, Star Wars feels like a massive stretch. Sure, we can argue that Genie can take us there. But where and when are we going? The Star Wars films all take place over a long stretch of time. Even current movies aren’t made in the same time periods as one another. We also know that Episode IX will be the last of the Skywalker movies. What is going to happen to the franchise after that? We don’t even know at this point if Disney knows. There’s just too much unknown and too many complications to easily add Star Wars to our Disney MMORPG.

Finally, there is the Fox merger which is looking more and more likely every day. If it does happen that means animated movies like Ice Age, Robots, and Kung Fu Panda will join the Disney lineup. X-Men, Independence Day, and Avatar will also all belong to Disney. Am I suggesting that these movies all join the Disney MMORPG? Not at all, but ownership of them means that when a new one of these films comes out it could be cross-promoted in the Disney game with special limited time events.

There’s a whole lot of potential when it comes to a Disney MMORPG and while I don’t think one will ever be made, it is a lot of fun to dream about. I’ll almost certainly write about this subject again in the future and explore the various zones, what quests you might be asked to undertake, and what you’ll see along the way. I promise this isn’t just an excuse to make my husband sit with me while I watch all the Disney movies…ok, maybe it is a bit.

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Conqueror’s Blade Announces New Publisher

Last we heard from Conqueror’s Blade, the game was still running through a number of regional tests. Now, it would seem the tactics-centric MMO is about ready to head to its next phase with the announcement of a new Conqueror’s Blade publisher in the form of My.com.

conqueror's blade publisher

My.com, who you’ll know as the same company that handles publishing duties for other MMOs such as Skyforge and Revelation Online, will be taking over publishing of the game for North American and European players.

The announcement has also heralded the launch of a number of Founder’s Packs which offer access to both closed and open beta along with a number of different in-game bonuses like Premium Membership. The game itself, however, will be a free-to-play title once it launches.

In Conqueror’s Blade, players take command of armies and then enter the fray to work as the vanguard to defend key battlefield objectives. The ultimate goal; rule a large, persistent, open world map either through siege or diplomacy.

While dates for closed and open beta were not provided in the announcement, more details can be found on the game’s website. There’s also a teaser trailer for Conqueror’s Blade below.

Our Thoughts

We’ve been very intrigued by this interesting mash-up of battlefield brawler and tactical RTS in a crunchy MMO shell, and soon we’ll perhaps be just that much closer to finding out what this game has to offer. If nothing else, it certainly appears to be one of the more unique titles in the multiplayer gaming space.

Source: press release

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Fortnite Celebrates Explosives with New LTM and the Guided Missile’s Return

Explosions in video games are great fun and Fortnite‘s latest update is looking to celebrate all things kaboom. The new Fortnite Battle Royale 5.10 update has added a new game mode full of explosives and brought the highly contentious yet hilarious guided missile weapon back out of the Vault.

fortnite battle royale 5.10

The LTM is called Fly Explosives, which is probably one of the most obvious descriptions of the mode possible. In this LTM, battle royale players will see nothing but explosive weapons and jetpacks that have increased fuel regen and decreased burn rate for maximum hang time and explosion-filled mayhem. The Playground LTM is also getting the Vaulted Jetpack for the duration of Fly Explosives.

As for Battle Royale proper, the Guided Missile weapon has made its way back to the game, although with a number of significant changes. Among them are a reduced fuse duration; reduced movement speed; increased reload time; and reduced damage to both players and structures.

The full patch notes for this update to v5.10 can be found here

Our Thoughts

Using a jetpack to hover around and harry enemies with a bunch of explosive weapons? Sounds a lot like our days back in Tribes 2. We suspect this new LTM will be a good time and we desperately hope that the Guided Missile weapon is balanced enough that we’re not going to see it pulled from the game again. Seriously, that must have gotten annoying.

Source: official site

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TERA Lays Out a Roadmap of Updates for Console

The remainder of 2018 for TERA on consoles is going to be one of regular updates if the latest TERA console update roadmap is anything to go by. A new video from the team has provided a broad strokes look at what the next six months in the action combat MMO are looking like, which are bringing several features that will bring the console edition closer to parity with the PC version.

tera console update roadmap

Starting with August 21st, TERA on console will be seeing a new level 65 PvP battleground known as Gridiron – an arena match that pits teams of 15 against one another in a race to score 70 kills – along with the Rootstock and Pond Faire in-game events. This update is due to arrive shortly after server merges, which incidentally will be granting all players five free character slots when they log in on August 14th in order to facilitate the merge.

From there, the next few months will see an array of updates big and small to TERA on consoles:

  • In September, the nimble Ninja class added to the game along with a number of new Guild features such as leveling and quests.
  • October brings the game’s Halloween event.
  • September introduces a large update with new class balances, end game, dungeons and more.
  • December brings the seasonal Wintera Snowfield snowball fight battleground and a new end-game dungeon.
  • Finally, January will bring the Valkyrie class online and another new end-game dungeon.

The full video that offers a look at everything coming through the year can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

If you’ve played TERA on PC before, a lot of this stuff is probably not going to hold many surprises for you. That said, anything that brings the console version of the MMO closer to the PC version is certainly a good thing and we hope players on their platform of choice enjoy what’s to come.

Source: press release

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Bus Simulator 18 Steam Game Giveaway

Bus Simulator 18 is a driving simulator that lets players experience the job of a bus driver in a vast and freely drivable urban area. Fire up your bus, check your schedule, and transport your passengers safely and punctually to their destinations around the city. You can run a route alone, or you can team up with friends in multiplayer mode, exploring and driving where you like. Drive across twelve different city districts through various times of day and night, weather and traffic conditions, and more. You can even run your own bus company, collect fares and manage your bus fleet, and plan your routes – just watch out for those potholes! While Bus Simulator 18 is insanely fun, and we’re excited to offer you this special Bus Simulator 18 Steam Game Giveaway! Enter now for your chance to win a key for a free copy of Bus Simulator 18 on Steam, a $29.99 USD / EUR value!

Bus Simulator 18 Steam Game Giveaway

 

What You Get From The Bus Simulator 18 Steam Game Giveaway

  • A copy of Bus Simulator 18 on Steam, a $29.99 USD / EUR value!

 

How To Redeem Your Bus Simulator 18 Steam Game Giveaway Key

  1. Bus Simulator 18 is played via Steam. If you do not already have Steam installed, go here to install it.
  2. Launch the Steam client software and log into your Steam account.
  3. On the upper bar of the Steam client, choose “Games.” Then, choose “Activate a Product on Steam.”
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process!

 

Enter Via Gleam

Sign in with a selection of options within the Gleam widget below and complete one or more entries to enter our giveaway. You can select all of them or just one, it’s entirely up to you, though the more you choose, the more chances you have to win! This giveaway will end on Monday, August 6, 2018, at 08:00 GMT. This round of the giveaway is for 6 keys.

We will be in touch by email with the winners once the contest comes to an end.  If you have any issues, please contact us.

 

Bus Simulator 18 Steam Game Giveaway

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High Inquisitor Whitemane Joins Heroes of the Storm PTR

After being forced to destroy her parents after they turned into minions of the Scourge, Sally Whitemane has found comfort in nothing else besides cleansing the undead. Heroes of the Storm players are now one step closer to reliving their experiences in the Scarlet Monastery with the introduction of High Inquisitor Whitemane to the PTR. Whitemane is a support who specializes in healing characters by damaging enemy heroes.

Sally Whitemane Heroes of the Storm

 

Below you can find a list of her abilities and traits:

Trait:

  • Zeal: Whitemane’s Healing abilities apply Zeal for 8 seconds. Allies with Zeal are healed for 100% of the damage Whitemane deals to Heroes.

Abilities:

  • Desperate Plea (Q): Heal an allied Hero for 145 and gain Desperation for 4 seconds. Desperation increases Desperate Plea’s Mana cost by 60 and stacks up to 3 times. Mana: 30. Cooldown: 0.3 seconds.
  • Inquisition (W): Channel on an enemy Hero for up to 3 seconds, dealing 53 damage every 0.5 seconds and slowing them by 30%. Cooldown: 14 seconds.
  • Searing Lash (E): After 0.5 seconds, smite enemies in a straight line for 82 damage. If the first strike hits an enemy Hero, a second strike will occur after a short delay. Cooldown: 5 seconds.
  • Scarlet Aegis (R1): Bolster the spirits of nearby allied Heroes, healing them for 250 and granting them 40 Armor for 4 seconds. Cooldown: 60 seconds.
  • Divine Reckoning (R2): After a 1 second delay, consecrate an area for 4 seconds, dealing 50 damage every 0.5 seconds to enemies in the area. Cooldown: 100.

Tier 1 Talents:

  • [Q] Martyrdom: Each stack of Desperation increases Desperate Plea’s healing by 30%.
  • [W] Clemency: Activate to cast Inquisition on an allied Hero, healing them for up to 371 over 3 seconds while Channeling. Passive: Reduce Inquisition’s cooldown by 3 seconds.
  • [E] Righteous Flame: Searing Lash deals 50% more damage to enemies who are Stunned, Rooted, Silenced or Slowed.
  • Pity the Frail: Allies below 50% Health receive 25% more healing from Zeal.

Tier 4:

  • [Q] Unwavering Faith: Reduce Desperate Plea’s Mana cost by 30. Upon reaching 3 stacks of Desperation, gain a 250 Shield for 5 seconds.
  • [W] High Inquisitor: Casting Inquisition instantly removes all stacks of Desperation and restores 60 Mana per stack removed.
  • [E] Indulgence: Searing Lash’s first strike restores 10 Mana per Hero hit, and its second strike restores 30 Mana per Hero hit.

Tier 7:

  • [Q] Zealous Spirit: Upon reaching 2 stacks of Desperation, Whitemane gains Zeal.
  • Fanatical Power: Activate to gain 50% Spell Power and lose 25 Armor for 5 seconds. Cooldown: 30 seconds.
  • Intercession: Activate to make an ally Unstoppable for 1 second and gain 1 stack of Desperation. Cooldown: 60 Seconds.

Tier 13:

  • [Q] Self-Righteous: Casting Desperate Plea on an ally heals Whitemane for 125. Does not grant Zeal.
  • [E] Harsh Discipline: Hitting a Hero with Searing Lash while they are being targeted by Inquisition Roots them for 1.5 seconds.
  • Guiding Light: Whenever Zeal is applied to allies other than Whitemane, it grants them 20% Movement Speed for 2 seconds.

Tier 16:

  • [Q] Radiance: Upon reaching 3 stacks of Desperation, all allies with Zeal are healed for 200.
  • [W] Searing Punishment: Upon casting, Inquisition can chain to an additional enemy Hero near its target, dealing 35 damage every 0.5 seconds.
  • [E] Lashing Out: Searing Lash’s second strike deals 25% more damage and reduces Searing Lash’s cooldown to 1 second if it hits a Hero.

Tier 20:

  • [R1] Scarlet Crusade: Scarlet Aegis heals for 50% more and makes affected allies Unstoppable for 1 second.
  • [R2] Judgement Day: Divine Reckoning deals 50% more damage and pulls enemies to its center the first time it hits them.
  • Subjugation: Inquisition reduces all damage the target deals by 75%.
  • Purge the Wicked: Activate to blast an enemy Hero with holy fire, reducing their Armor by 25 and dealing 300 damage over 4 seconds.

 

Our Thoughts

Initially, Whitemane’s abilities looked a little lackluster, but her talents synergize well to create an interesting kit. Unfortunately, it seems like the best talent choices enhance her healing directly instead of focusing on increasing her damage. Furthermore, the Scarlet Aegis Heroic ability combined with Guiding Light and Scarlet Crusade looks to be strong enough to single-handedly turn around a team fight, and it only has a 60-second cooldown. On the other hand, Divine Reckoning looks like a weaker version of Starfall (without the slow), but it might be strong enough to provide decent healing when multiple teammates have Zeal.

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