Overwatch 2 – A Sequel to Reactivation

Despite leaks throughout all of last week, to the extent of Jeff Kaplan’s painful referencing during the opening of the panel last week, Overwatch 2 is indeed a very real thing. At Blizzcon 2019 we finally managed to get a look at the reclusive pseudo-sequel to Blizzard-Activision’s online team FPS. It’s presentation to the public, while informative, was quite a bit of sudden information and then speculative questions on its content. The very nature of the game seems to contradict the idea of a sequel, but nevertheless it is indeed very real.

Built on the bones of Overwatch the sequel launched at Blizzcon to a powerful trailer and incredible fanfare. Featuring an attack on Paris, France by the terrorist group Null Sector, a recently reactivated Overwatch leaps into action to defend the populace. Led by Winston, only Mei and Tracer seemed to have answered the call to aid. Battling the re-surging Omnic terrorists, they are joined at the last minute by a slew of heroes including Genji Himura, Mercy, Reinhardt and Brigitte. Working with newly reactivated robotic flier Echo, the team reunited and put down the Omnic threat, ready to face the encroaching forces.

Despite being a major story point that the entire Overwatch community has been waiting for years on, what does this trailer really do for it’s sequel? Game Director Jeff Kaplan used it, as well as the follow-up feature trailer to explain the main draw of Overwatch 2 in it’s fully integrated PvE mode. Absent from its predecessor, the sequel will feature a heavily story-focused campaign. This main mode, compromised of co-operative narrative driven missions, will see Overwatch heroes of past and future teaming up to combat the Null Sector. Kaplan continued onward from that point, discussing how they would, “uncover the motives behind the robotic armies’ attacks and come face-to-face with rising new threats around the globe,” indicating of potential content beyond the organization.


Incorporating RPG elements into gameplay progression, item pickups will be littered throughout both Story and Hero mode missions. These additions can slightly modify a particular hero’s playstyle, though the three on display were minimal to say the least. These included a HP generator, a corrosive grenade and a barrier shield similar to Winston’s. Sadly, these do not carry over between missions.

What does carry between games are rewards earned through Hero Mission content. These events, designed to be highly replayable, are separate from the main story mode. Performing well will net players experience they can use to level up individual heroes, unlocking customization and techniques that modify their standard abilities. In the gameplay trailer a Tracer develops a technique that chains her Pulse Bomb explosion across several enemies. While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, it’s likely that these modifiers will be exclusive to the game’s PvE portion and barred from PvP gameplay.

Speaking of, Kaplan demoed several new aspects to the core PvP gameplay of the Overwatch franchise that will emerge in the sequel. This included both a new Canadian hero in the mysterious Sojourn, as well as a map featuring Toronto, one of the country’s major urban centers (no shots of the CN Tower yet). The team also debuted a new standard game mode in ‘Push’, a mobile point control map. Both teams fight for control over a central Robot, “who really likes to Push!” in a tug of war style matchup. Whoever can push their barrier furthest into enemy territory wins. This mode will come as a standard map and will enter standard rotations.


What comes as more of a confusing point than a clarification one is Overwatch 2’s relationship with it’s predecessor. Despite the original’s not crossing the console gap (let alone the gambling gap), Overwatch 2 will carry progress from the original game into its sequel. Furthermore, people playing in either game’s PvP modes will be able to play with each other and will share queues together. Heroes and maps made available to either will be available for the other. “No one gets left behind,” cried Kaplan on stage to a mixture of confused applause, decreeing that everything except PvE content and some new customization options will be available to ANY owner of the franchise.

Here is where we reach the crux of the problem with Overwatch 2. Despite promises of charging full price for the game, despite calling it a sequel, despite painting this donkey like a horse, the game is very much little more than an over glorified expansion pack. While in an interview with Kotaku, Kaplan confessed that the team wants to, “Do what’s right by the players,” it’s hard to see what makes Overwatch 2 stand out from its previous counterpart. It’s hard to do right by the players in charging full price for what’s little more than an expansion pack or an addon to the main game. If everything is accessible from the new to the old, in heroes maps and events, then what is the point in upgrading to it?


Whereas Blizzard’s MMO titan, World of Warcraft, can realistically judge a full-priced expansion every two years it’s hard to see what sets Overwatch 2 into this category. While Warcraft can argue that it realistically generates enough new non-recurring content over two years to offset the cost, what we’ve seen at Blizzcon of Overwatch 2 says the opposite. Instead it seems the team is focusing more on repeatable content in the form of Hero missions, using it to set the pace for the Story missions much like Anthem did earlier this year. If so, then Overwatch 2 has far more to prove in itself than just whether it’s worth the cost of entry; we need to ask if it’s overall worth the time in comparison to the original’s clear focus on PvP.

That, sadly, will take time to find the answer to. The days are still apparently early in the sequel’s development cycle. With a promised media blackout in effect by Kaplan, there isn’t much we’ll be hearing about the new entry in the franchise for quite some time.

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Twin Saga Patch 17 Introduces New Dungeons and Content

Twin Saga Patch 17 has been announced and it is bringing two new dungeons to the anime MMORPG along with additional Senshi quests and several special events. The two new dungeons are the blazing Barren Desert and the dark Crocodile Wetlands, both with their own unique dangers. These two dungeons will reward players with Loyalty Points and Star Points, both of which can be exchanged for special items.

Also in this patch, the magnificent Death Valley Colosseum Battlefield is being released, giving players an all-new place to prove their might. Four additional Shenshi have been spotted, giving all new quests.

Finally, there are going to be an amazing five new seasonal events added to Twin Saga. But, the press release doesn’t give us the details for all of them. We do know that there will be a treasure hunt during the special Flora’s Treasure event. They also mention celebrating Thanksgiving and taking loved ones on a romantic stroll. So, from the sounds of it these seasonal events are going to be somewhat spread out.

We can’t wait to dive into Patch 17 and see what all it has to offer. If nothing else, we here at MMOGames are complete suckers for seasonal events and it sounds like Twin Saga just got a whole bunch more. Though what all of them are we will just have to wait and find out.

 

Source: Press Release

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Minecraft Removes References to Notch

Five years after it was sold to Microsoft Minecraft removes references to Notch, the man who originally created the game. His name still remains in the credits, but references to Notch in the main menu that previously read “Made by Notch!”, “The Work of Notch!”, and “110813” have been removed. For anyone who has followed Notch on social media, this won’t come as a surprise at all. He has turned out to be quite a controversial person when it comes to politics. In the past, he has tweeted support for a heterosexual pride day as well as having what was considered by many a white privilege meltdown. He’s also known for using the term feminist as an insult and has called a female game developer an fing c-word, just…with the proper words used. His bigoted views are a stark contrast from the very family friendly game that he created. Many of Minecraft’s very large audience is younger children.

The removal of the references was first noticed a Twitter user and then it was later confirmed by PC Gamer. So far, Microsoft hasn’t responded to press requests for comments. They came as part of a patch that added a status effect called Hero of the Village as well as an accessibility button on the title screen. They’ve replaced the references to Notch with “Don’t worry, be happy!” and “Go to the dentist.”

Removing Notch references from the main menu will make it less likely that new Minecraft players will learn about Notch. Having him in the credits is still entirely safe because let’s be honest, outside of Marvel movies no one actually sticks around for the credits. If we’re perfectly honest, it’s really surprising that this day hasn’t come sooner. Notch has been notorious on Twitter for the last couple of years.

 

Source: PC Gamer

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WoW Wednesday: What’s New In Patch 8.1.5?

With Patch 8.1.5 just on the horizon, the story of Battle for Azeroth begins to chug on past the utterly deadly siege on Dazar’alor, the capitol of the Zandalari Empire. With the Alliance and Horde returning to lick their wounds and welcome new allies into their ranks, its time for us to take a keen look at what is on the horizon for our heroes of Azeroth. This week we’ll be dissecting what’s coming up for players in this bridge-patch for World of Warcraft, introducing two new allied races, a new raid, and a plethora of additional and returning content.

The first major portion of the patch is of course the introduction of Azeroth’s two newest Allied Races. The Alliance will finally formally invite the kingdom of Kul Tiras into its ranks, while the Horde will stand by the empire of Zandalar. Both require additional pieces of content for players to complete before they are unlocked, which may take you a significant period of time if you haven’t been working away at them. You must have reached Exalted with either the Proudmoore Admiralty or Zandalari Empire factions respectively, as well as having completed all of their home continent’s major storylines. Players must also have completed both components of their faction’s War Campaign from 8.0 and 8.1. For players wanting to make either a Kul Tiran or a Zandalari Troll, you can only create them if that server has a level 110 character on it, similar to old Hero Class Restrictions. For those who have been skipping on their current patch content there is no need to complete any part of the Battle for Dazar’alor raid in order to unlock either Allied Race.
 Starting April 16th and additional bridge-raid will open for players beneath the Shrine of the Storm, similar to the Trial of Valor and the Ruby Sanctum. The Crucible of Storms has been prepared by N’zoth, Old God of the Deeps and Patron of the Naz’jatar, for players to test their mettle. While only comprised of two bosses, the Crucible will offer loot at a higher item level above Dazar’alor, including artifacts with unique abilities and terrible power. Players will also see the return of Xal’atath, Blade of the Black Empire as she is reawakened. Seeking freedom from her eternal prison, she will reveal the darker history of the Stormsong Valley, and reveal to heroes the terrifying truth of what may truly be driving this war forward.

For those looking to escape the battlefront, the infamous Brawler’s Guild returns to both Stormwind and Orgrimmar. While players can return to prove their grit in the pit players will also find that a grizzly murder has twisted the once (relatively) peaceful brawling clubs. As players progress through the ranks they’ll uncover more about the mystery and its supposed suspects, culminating in some clever detective work. Players solving the mystery will find themselves saddled upon the just as dangerous Bruce, while those who top out at Rank 8 will unlock an exclusive Brawler’s Guild transmog set. Challenge Cards and Shirts will, of course, be returning, as well as mysterious additions throughout the clubs…

For those diligent tradesmen, new quests will open up through your Professions for your Tools of the Trade. These epic relics will be unlocked through a series of involved quest chains, some taking you beyond the realms of time itself, in order to achieve these powerful tools. Each item has a unique effect for players to utilize, from stealing the health of the fallen to creating indestructible armor. These will only be created and found by those with crafting professions, but are no doubt a vital addition to any tradesman’s collection.

For those who like to skip beyond the bounds of time, Timewalking will also be expanding its roster. Scaling players back to expansion-based statistics, Timewalking challenges players with Heroic level dungeons from the time, offering the bold a change of pace and unique rewards to go along with it. New to the line-up will be (in)famous dungeons from Warlords of Draenor, Warcraft’s 5th expansion. First planned to appear in May of this year, six dungeons will be available during this timewalking event including: Everbloom, Bloodmaul Slag Mines, Iron Docks, Auchindoun, Shadowmoon Burial Grounds and Skyreach. New rewards will be available with the event’s currency, Timewarped Badges, including two new mounts that made exclusive appearances alongside Beastlord Darmac’s encounter inside the Blackrock Foundry raid.

For the more PvP oriented, two older battlegrounds will be receiving a heavy facelift. Both Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin have received large-scale cosmetic facelifts to match the ongoing war across Azeroth. While the old physicality and design of each battleground will remain the same, both have been adjusted and uprezed to a more modern world. Included in this update is also the new Arathi Basin Brawl, “The Arathi Comp Stomp,” where players will fight Island Expedition style AI in the Basin! Alongside them, the Siege of Wintergrasp returns for players, which will be accessible through the Epic Battleground group finder.

New to the wonderful, marvelous Darkmoon Faire is the Darkmoon Roller Coaster! Easily noticeable by any entering the Faire’s main gate, this new attraction is best experienced in first-person view, and will set players on the tracks of a turbulent attraction! Just like the Darkmoon Carousel, players will also gain the WHEE! buff based on how long you ride the treacherous coaster. After all, doesn’t fortune favor the bold?

More controversially added into Patch 8.1.5 is the heavily requested Portal Rooms. Located in the Stormwind Mage Tower for the Alliance, and the front Gates of Orgrimmar for the Horde, these rooms now include portals to each major hub across the expansions of Warcraft, including the Jade Forest and the Court of Farondis. However this change has come with an ill-received, and in my opinion poorly made, decision on Blizzard’s part. Across the rest of Azeroth, any major city that contained a portal will now only contain one back to your faction’s major city, including Legion’s version of Dalaran which included portals to the Caverns of Time and Karazhan, two zones which both Alliance and Horde players respectively need to go extremely out of their way for. There is also no manner to travel to Hellfire Penninsula in Outland for players, not on the introductory quest to The Burning Crusade content. These rooms also do not contain portals to other major faction cities outside of expansion locked ones.

But I think perhaps the best, and most overlooked addition is, of course, the new Heirloom pieces which will raise experience-boosting gear to level 120. A necessary addition to those of us looking to finally create our Zandalari Paladins and Kul Tiran Druids.

So what are you most excited for with the release of Patch 8.1.5? Zandalari Paladins or Kul Tiran Druids?

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World of Warcraft Tribute to Stan Lee Introduced

A World of Warcraft tribute to Stan Lee has been spotted on the PTR. A thin, frail-looking older gentleman named Stanley has been spotted in Stormwind Keep. The NPC will exclaim “Excelsior!” at times. This is something Stan Lee was rather famous for saying.

There are also two other Stanley models that were added in patch 8.1.5 but their locations are currently unknown as of the time of writing this article.

Blizzard has a long tradition of putting tributes to famous celebrities in World of Warcraft after their deaths. Others include Farrah Fawcett, Robin Williams, and Chris Farley. Though it isn’t just famous celebs who get this treatment, many fans of World of Warcraft along with Blizzard developers have been immortalized in the game throughout the years. Wowhead has a complete list of all the in-game memorials if you’re interested in paying your respects.

Stan Lee, the creator of many beloved comic book characters died on November 12, 2018, at the age of 95. In recent years he was most well known for his cameos in every Marvel movie, including the animated Big Hero 6 and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Thanks to his cameos Stan Lee is technically the highest grossing actor of all time. He also made cameos in a number of superhero video games through the years. His final video game appearance was in Insomniac’s Spider-Man game that was insanely popular in 2018. It has already been confirmed that Stan Lee will have a cameo in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame which will be in theaters at the end of April.

If you don’t want to wait to see Stanley you can check him out in the video below which was created by our friends at Wowhead. Many thanks to Wowhead for the video, images, and reporting on the story.

 

Source: Wowhead

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WoW Wednesday: The Tides of Vengeance

It’s Patch Day heroes of Azeroth! With the release of World of Warcraft’s newest Patch, Tides of Vengeance, this week we’ll be giving you the crash course of what’s now available across the isles of Kul Tiras and Zandalar!

For those of you worried about Raid and Rated PvP progression, fret not! Battle for Azeroth Season 2 won’t be released until the newest raid, Battle for Dazar’alor unlocks in the US on January 22nd. This means that until later in the new year all ratings, gear, Mythic Keystone and Raid content will remain unchanged. After the Normal and Heroic release of BFDZ gearcaps on World Quests, Mythic+ and Titanforging will increase, as well as the new introductions of the Rated Battleground season and the Mythic+ Seasonal Affix.

The newest and largest addition will, of course, be the new Battle for Darkshore Warfront. The Horde will begin in control of the zone while the Alliance prepares for their attack on the Forsaken fortifications. Arathi and Darkshore will now cycle independently during their Warfront cycles, meaning that if one is not up, the other may be up for players to participate. Warfront turn-ins will be limited to 3 daily quests for each warfront per day (meaning 6 total with both Arathi and Darkshore in play). Warfronts will now have a new additional currency, Service Medals. This can be turned in to a new factional vendor for mounts, toys, and pets.

With the addition of the Warfront are more quests added to your faction’s War Campaign. Launching in a staggered method similar to the Suramar Rebellion questline, new quests will unlock weekly up to the release of the Battle for Dazar’alor. These will still require set tiers of reputation with either the 7th Legion or Honorbound (depending on your faction), though past quests will now award additional reputation to help make this easier.

The Horde also has a new questline involving the on-the-run Varok Saurfang, as he dodges Alliance Forces and escapes Horde Assassins. It will be up to you to either follow your Warchief’s commands or protect the Highlord and begin your own little rebellion…


Island Expeditions have seen several new additions to their roster, including new weekly quests which reward additional Elite follower missions, multiple new events, and invasions, as well as additional AI teams for the two newest allied races. Havenswood and Jorundall have also been added to the weekly island rotation, the former a Drust-like terror and the later the frosty home of a Vrykul tribe. A new Seafarer’s Dubloon vendor has been added to each port in Dazar’alor and Boralus, allowing players to spend their hard-earned currency on toys, mounts and more. Island Rewards have now also been updated across the board, and are now rewarded based on what type of island you’ve explored instead of the types of rares a team kills on an island. While this means you may potentially have more chances per week to earn the rewards you want, it may be quite some time until your particular island make an appearance in the rotation.

New to Battle for Azeroth are coastal Incursions. Inspired by and drawing heavily from the Demonic Assaults from the Legion expansion, the Horde and Alliance forces are finally making their move. Finally hitting landfall on enemy shores, players who have a level 110 character, unlocked World Quests and have participated in their War Campaign will unlock Incursions for their entire account. These will cycle between both Kul Tiras and Zandalar and will appear on the world map while in action. Max level characters will be awarded reputation, Service Medals, and epic quality gear while leveling characters will not only receive experience but an additional 1-hour buff that boosts experience gains!

 

New for Dwarven and Blood Elf players is the introduction of their own racial Heritage Armor! These are unlocked through several rather involved quests, uncovering the pivotal history of each race and assembling relics of the past. While there does not appear to be any restrictions on the PTR, players report that you must simply have a character at level 120 (which may have been race changed) of that specific race in order to unlock the questline.


For those with an itch to catch them all, a new Pet Battle Dungeon has been released with Patch 8.1; Gnomeregan! Similar in structure to the previous pet dungeons in the Deadmines and Wailing Caverns, Gnomeregan features two different difficulties with its own sets of rewards; players completing the normal version will receive an Ultimate Battle-Training Stone to max out one of their pets, while those participating in the Challenge Version can receive a new pet. Players who complete Challenge mode each week can earn Pristine Gizmos which can be traded in for rare pets or various pet supplies.

For Mythic+ players a new currency has been introduced: Titan Residuum. When opening your weekly chest, scrapping or disenchanting any epic Azerite Armor players can collect this new currency. Thaumaturge Vashreen is back in business alongside his brethren, and will now gladly exchange your Residuu for Azerite Armor. These pieces are randomly selected from a specific bracket, but players can spend more to buy specific pieces of item level 385 Azerite Armor. This new currency will be carried over after the launch of Season 2.

For players worried about what people think about them, factions have now been updated to be account wide! Unlocking one faction’s exalted rewards will now carry out across all characters for your account but will not reward progress for them; while now ALL your characters can upgrade their Heart of Azeroth through the of Azeroth questline, you still need to grind reputation on ONE character for specific Reputation Achievements.

As such, new Paragon rewards have been introduced to the Battle for Azeroth factions dotting Kul Tiras and Zandalar. Similar to Legion players will now be able to receive additional bonus chests from factions after gaining another 10’000 reputation past exalted. Thankfully, however, the rewards therein are limited to toys, currency, armor, and other collectibles. This time there is no Valarjar Stormwing to haunt your nightmares.

The Tides of Vengeance have come to the shores of Azeroth. What are you doing this week to fight in the war?

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Skyforge Distant Frequencies Update Brings a Techno Bard

If playing a class that wields a Daft Punk-style retro futurist guitar as a weapon in Skyforge sounds like your idea of a good time, then you’re going to love the Distant Frequencies update, which brings on the Soundweaver class.

distanc frequencies update

The Soundweaver is a new support class that wields an axe of a different sort: a futuristic guitar, to be specific. As one would expect out of the Bard archetype, the Soundweaver can both bolster their allies and assault their foes with their (presumably) sweet guitar riffs.

The Distant Frequencies update is also apparently a herald of things to come in the story of Skyforge. The announcement of the update hints at a strange gravitational phenomenon that players will get to explore as part of an expansion that “will contain hints of larger things at play.”

The Distant Frequencies content patch will land on PC December 11th, PlayStation 4 on December 12th, and Xbox One on December 13th.

Our Thoughts

That’s a pretty sweet guitar, not going to lie. We’ll have to wait to know more, but the Soundweaver sounds a bit like every other Bard class that’s ever been created in MMOs. Though that’s not exactly a complaint — there does seem to be an abject lack of classes that rally friends with sweet tunes.

Source: press release

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Dota 2 Update 7.20 Makes Huge Adjustments to Gameplay

I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not a Dota 2 fan, or a fan of MOBAs at all. With that said, as someone on the outside looking in, even I can tell that Dota 2 update 7.20 has made some pretty massive changes to the way the game is played; from items to mechanics to heroes, there was very little that was untouched.

dota 2 update 7.20

The patch notes website for the latest update is a laundry list of updates with bare little frills, detailing all of the adjustments made to the MOBA’s map, mechanics and more. The page is broken up into three pieces with details about general gameplay adjustments, item changes, and hero changes.

Of note to most will be the general section, which has modified several overarching aspects of play. Rewards for deny mechanics have been adjusted; the formula for armor has been changed; mana and HP regen has been reworked to follow your attributes; and Towers have all seen a rise in HP.

Really, there is a whole lot of things to digest, so the Dota 2 fans out there will want to scour the full notes for all the salient details.

Our Thoughts

Like I said, not a Dota 2 guy, but those are some genuinely impactful adjustments. Which leads me to think that this is all meant to shake up what might have been a stale meta. Ideally, that will indeed be the case and people won’t just end up being aggravated by everything that’s new.

Source: official site

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FFXIV Prepares for Blue Mage and Shadowbringers with 4.5

The Final Fantasy Fan Festival provided a whole lot of things for Final Fantasy XIV players to get excited about, and a lot of that excitement is coming early with FFXIV patch 4.5, which will not only introduce a new Job ahead of time but will also lay the groundwork for the upcoming Shadowbringers expansion.

ffxiv patch 4.5

According to details revealed during the Live Letter held at the Fan Festival, Blue Mage will be a “limited” class restricted to a cap of level 50 and unable to enter normal content queues. However, it will also have a variety of entirely unique and extremely powerful skills for a distinct solo experience. Blue Mages will even get their own queue known as The Masked Carnivale, which provides additional challenges once their Blue Mage is at level 50. Players can still form groups themselves if they so wish, however.

In addition to the Blue Mage’s arrival, patch 4.5 will bring on another series of Main Scenario Quests; further Hildibrand adventures, wrap up the Four Lords content; add the third chapter in the Return to Ivalice raids; and introduce other content and quality-of-life features like the ability to travel between servers on the same data center via Aetheryte.

Patch 4.5 will be released in two parts, with part 1 due in January of 2019. As for the Shadowbringers expansion, that comes in Summer of 2019, bringing more new Jobs, a new race and a whole lot more. A teaser site for Shadowbringers is currently online, while a video showcasing the Blue Mage in action is below.

Our Thoughts

Now THIS is how you host an event for the fans (cough cough). Final Fantasy XIV’s upcoming content is definitely exciting, and we’ve still got another two Fan Festivals in Paris and Japan coming down the line, so we expect the Shadowbringers reveals to get even more impressive.

Source: press release

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EVE Online’s Onslaught Update Goes Live

The next iteration of EVE Online is officially live. EVE Online: Onslaught introduces some new ships, new structures, new features to Abyssal Deadspace and a number of quality-of-life adjustments in today’s update.

eve online: onslaught

Some new Upwell structures are live with Onslaught: the Ansiblex Jump Gate, which lets players create their own warp points; the Cynosaural Beacon, which lets jump-capable ships head to it; and the Cynosural Jammer, described as a convenient structure that lets corps jam systems.

Onslaught also brings two new Triglavian ship hulls in the form of the Kikimora destroyer and Drekavac battlecruiser; the addition of co-operative and PvP gameplay in Abyssal Deadspace instances; and quality of life additions such as an activity tracker, a global search function, and a balance pass to Force Auxiliaries.

The full patch notes can be found here and an overview of the Onslaught update’s features in video form is below.

Our Thoughts

There are certainly a few things to ponder for the greater meta of EVE Online with this update. Chief among them are how these new Upwell structures will change things in terms of corp conflict and how entertaining the new features of Abyssal Deadspace will be. Considering this is a game that’s better played together than solo, we expect that Abyssal Deadspace will be a lot more interesting.

Source: official site

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