Korean MMO MU Online Is Dishing Out Pre-Update Goodies

MU Online is a Korean MMO with a global following that began in 2001, a lifespan which has seen its influence extend to many similar titles to this day. The game takes place on the titular continent of MU and boasts all the classic features of a fantasy MMO, complete with a choice of eight unique classes: Dark Knight, Elf, Dark Wizard, Summoner, Rage Fighter, Magic Gladiator, Dark Lord & Grow Lancer. 

Developers, WEBZEN, have recently announced that the Season 15: Part 1 Update is due for release on 14th July. The update will include exciting new content such as the addition of a new character, Slayer, and the opening of a speed event server for quick levelling. Perhaps the most exciting part, however, is that players can reap the rewards of a celebratory pre-registration event, taking place right now.

Players who pre-register for the new update will receive a coupon that includes a Scroll Package (7 days), Demon Pet (7 days), and Bless of Light that can be redeemed during the event period. Even if you decide not to pre-register, by simply playing for an hour, players will receive a boost package which contains Bless of Light, Wizard’s Ring (1 day), and Talisman of Ascension II (1 day). 

Moreover, the Korean MMO will bestow on those superfans who have accumulated more than 150 hours of gameplay since the beginning of July with the ability to claim a Skeleton Pet and Ring (each 7 days). Clearly this is a title that has mastered the art of keeping its players engaged. 

For more information on upcoming features and ongoing events players are invited to check out MU Online’s official website here

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Action MMO Bless Unleashed Returns To Its Original Home

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

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

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

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

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

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The Creative and Unique Races in MMORPGs

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

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

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

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

Barakas – TERA

Credit: tera.enmasse.com

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

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

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

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

Norn – GuildWars 2 

Credit: guildwars2.com

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

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

Au Ra – FFXIV

Credit: finalfantasy.fandom.com

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

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

Dragons – Istaria

Credit: Istaria.com

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

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

St’rm – Camelot Unchained

Credit: camelotunchained.com

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

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

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

Trolls – World of Warcraft

Credit: worldofwarcraft.com

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

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

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

Aliens – Star Trek Online

Credit: sto.gamepedia.com

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

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

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

 

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

 

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Fantasy MMO TERA Unveils Dungeons, Quests and Bling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bring Me That Horizon – Margoria Opens Up for BDO Console Players

Black Desert Online – winners of our most beautiful MMOs hotlist – have doubled the size of the world for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players by unveiling the Great Ocean of Margoria. This vast ocean harbours a whole new world of treasures, creatures, and secrets awaiting discovery – but not without first posing a challenge. 

Console players can discover Margoria via a new harbour found to the north-west of the mainland. Either captain a ship and embark on a voyage or don your diving gear and plunge the depths to gather resources. Sailors who choose to manually captain a ship will earn sailing experience towards mastery over the sea and their vessels. 

But this new world brings new perils, and not just the tentacled kind. While seaborne monsters promise lucrative rewards for those brave enough to tangle with them, destructive typhoons can also tear across the waves, threatening to submerge unsuspecting seafarers. Not only that but legends of a Margorian Phantom Ship tell of how an unlucky few will see the sky turn black and their ship reach a sudden stop, though only the bravest adventurers will discover what happens next.

There’s a lot to look forward to with this new update – but here are the key features to anticipate:

  • Guild-vs-guild naval combat – Guard your wealth and trade routes by defeating rival guilds in fierce ship-to-ship combat.
  • Ship construction – Build your private sailing ship or work with your guild to build powerful galleys that are packed with firepower.
  • New harbors and ocean – Establish lucrative trade routes as the trading system expands to the open seas.
  • Sea monster hunting – Take down the terrifying sea monsters that live in the depths of the Margoria ocean and earn guild silver.
  • Enhanced skills – Reel in new species of fish in the Margoria ocean and gather other ingredients to improve your cooking skills.
  • New quests – Meet new characters and continue on your grand adventure
  • Dynamic weather system – that will affect gameplay in new and unexpected ways.

Want to take the plunge? Check out more details on Black Desert Online here and on the update itself here

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Who Needs Sports? The WoW Classic Summer Bowl Is On The Horizon

Exciting times for WoW Classic masters as this summer marks the inaugural Summer Bowl – a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred pvp tournament with a grand cash prize of $4,000. 

This Warsong Gulch Tournament will pit teams of ten against one another until the victors are crowned. The tournament is set to take place in two regions – Europe and North America – with the winning teams from both regions bagging themselves the prize. The tournament will only take place on live servers for WoW Classic using the recently added War Game feature and will be open only to players at level 60. 

The Summer Bowl will be split into two stages, qualifiers and finals. Qualifiers are open sign-ups and the finals will feature the top six teams for the region, allowing players to queue up battlegrounds against other teams in their region.

So rally your teammates and ready yourselves for battle as this summer is going to get heated! More information including casters, final teams and how to watch will be shared by the WoW team soon, so players are encouraged to sign up and join their Discord server. If you’re ready to get stuck in then sign up on the NA or EU pages and check out more info on WoW here.

 

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Free-To-Play Fantasy MMO Ragnarok Online Turns Village into Powerhouse

Developers Gravity have implemented the latest update to their flagship title. The free-to-play fantasy MMO Ragnarok Online now hosts vast changes to the village of Veins, the introduction of God items, a new auction event. 

Ragnarok Online is an illustrious free-to-play fantasy MMO which has been around since 2002, establishing it as one of the true originals of the MMORPG world. Over the years, the game’s landscape has been repeatedly warped by its ongoing narrative, following an ever-flowing timeline which you, the player, can experience in real time. 

This latest update continues that characteristic by transforming the familiar yet previously inconsequential village of Veins – a village lost within the canyons of Arunafeltz. Formerly consisting of just a few adobe shacks, this little settlement will soon become an industrial centre swarming with adventurers, merchants and scientists. Following the opening of the Arunafeltz borders, the unique geological composition and minerals found around Veins, and in particular the Hetarium, promises to lure both researchers and tourists alike. 

Additionally, this latest update will introduce God items – extremely powerful artifacts that are as rare as they are mighty. A distinct set of parameters must be met in order to obtain them, including prerequisite quests to be completed by the population of a server. Additionally, only Guild Leaders with access to guild dungeons will be allowed to create God items – so getting your hands on one will not be so straightforward!

Finally, this weekend will see the arrival of the black market auction event in which players will compete for the costume Poring Jar. Any player can make a bid for this item if they possess enough Memos from the fight against Virus – a previous event within Ragnarok Online

Don’t forget to check out our game page for this legendary title – and for all the information on this update and event, check out the official website

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Rise: Promise of the Guardian – MapleStory Keeps on Scrolling

For fifteen years, the 2D fantasy MMORPG MapleStory has kept its fans swimming in fresh content. And now, hot off the back of its 15th anniversary celebrations, the cutesy side-scroller is bringing yet another update entitled Rise: Promise of the Guardian, complete with a brand new class, region, and in-game events over the course of June.

Adele is a High Flora Warrior of Grandis and was first introduced in the Korean MapleStory server, stoking the anticipation for her global arrival on 24th June. Adele wields pure magic Aether Swords and has been described as ‘nearly unstoppable’ as she strikes her enemies without ever touching them.

Several Rise: Promise of the Guardian themed events will also be taking place from 10th June, each providing the opportunity to earn players some rewards. These include:

  • Rise Salon: The first stop on the journey, players at level 101 and beyond can pop in after completing the ‘Invitation to the Rise Salon’ quest through the event notifier.
  • Rise Fountain: Granting wishes to visitors, the Rise Fountain is an area where players can come to put their Rise Coins aside, earning themselves various rewards.
  • Rise Coin Shop: The main shop in the Rise Salon, players will need to find Gilberto in the Rise Salon map to purchase a variety of items using Rise Coins.
  • Rise Royal Shop: For players looking for special items, the Rise Royal Shop is a paradise. Maplers who find and chat with Melissa can purchase a multitude of items here with Rise Coins.
  • Rise Stamp Shop: Diligent players who collect all of the daily Salon Stamps can purchase a plethora of goods from the Rise Stamp Shop, which houses everything useful and convenient. 
  • Rise Famous Painting: This painting is said to be the most cherished painting by Daria, the Rise Salon’s host. Players who use the Salon Stamp can acquire a mysterious buff from the painting.

Finally – starting on 8th June, players who are at level 205 and above can visit Reverse City, a new region based along the Arcane River.

For all the details on these new updates check out the official website, and don’t forget to check out the MapleStory game page for a full summary of the title. 

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Glorious New Gameplay Videos from Fantasy MMORPG Ashes Of Creation

Intrepid Studios, creators of upcoming fantasy sandbox MMORPG Ashes of Creation, have recently bestowed on us two glorious videos demonstrating how this hotly-anticipated title is progressing. 

The ambitious title promises a living, breathing world in which players’ actions have real and lasting consequences. Cities and their populations will rise and fall with a history woven by the players. A real-time NPC structure coupled with political strife and intrigue ensures a murky future liable to change based on your choices. Crafting and construction play a large role alongside the typical questing mechanics, affording you the opportunity to develop land and create new settlements. 

Now we get to see some of these exciting features in action within a whopping 90-minute pre-alpha gameplay video in beautiful 4k resolution. Within it, we can see some exciting content including griffin mounts, settlements, and stunning environments. Check it all out below and let us know your thoughts:

Additionally the team have delved into how Ashes of Creation’s development has progressed, touching on everything from design to character art to environment art and much more. The stream below shows some familiar faces from our last news story on the game, featuring Steven Sharif, Jeffrey Bard and Margaret Kohn.

For all the info on Ashes of Creation check out our game page and head over to the website to register ahead of its release.

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Worlds Collide in Final Fantasy XI and XIV

The indomitable worlds of Final Fantasy are today colliding as Square Enix’s two MMORPG offerings collaborate on some cross-title content. The Maiden’s Rhapsody: Memories of an Unseen Realm event tasks Final Fantasy XIV players with aiding Remumu – a reporter for the Harbour Herald hot on the heels of her latest story who needs the help of an adventurer to ensure her safety. For completing the quest, players will receive a familiar armour set, namely that of Final Fantasy XI heroine Iroha, consisting of:

  • Amatsu Hachigane
  • Amatsu Togi
  • Amatsu Tekko
  • Amatsu Haidate
  • Amatsu Sune-ate

To obtain it, players must travel to the Limsa Lominsa Upper Decks where Remumu can be found to kickstart the Journey To Remember quest – however players who have previously completed the quest will be unable to do so again. 

Superfans rejoice as the FF news doesn’t stop there; fan festivals (in the real world) will be popping up in North America, Japan and Europe in 2020 and 2021 so get working on that cosplay. Here’s what’s in store: 

Finally – the developers have invited fans to watch all seven episodes of The Creation of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers series which details the development of the game. It includes several key developers sharing behind-the-scenes insights on how the illustrious MMORPG is created. Check it out here.

Shadowbringers is the critically-acclaimed third expansion of Final Fantasy XIV introducing new environments, jobs, and races. And it’s available to enjoy right now. New players of the titanic title can download a free trial to access content up to level 35 with no restriction on playtime – so what are you waiting for? Check out our coverage of Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV if you’d like to clue yourself up on what awaits you.

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