WoW Wednesday: A Classic Community Debate

I find myself in a very odd and unique position this year.

I’m one of a few select players that has had the pleasure of playing both Vanilla, what we now call Classic World of Warcraft, and current live World of Warcraft. We covered the distinctions between the two in may of this year, as well as why I never really wish to return to it. Recently, however, I’ve seen particular discussions surrounding major differences between the two that I thought were interesting enough to share. While we briefly discussed this particular point in ‘A Classic Take,’ this week let’s discuss about the ties of community and how they impact both Classic as we knew it and Live as we know it now.

So what is a community, at least as it pertains to the World of Warcraft? For the purposes of our discussion, we’ll define it as a group of like-minded individuals. These days that term is used interchangeably between the Community Feature, your group of RealID friends, your guild, your faction, your server, or even your particular gameplay fashion. In Classic’s day it was often used to refer to one of three things.


First you would have your collection of friends. Due to Classic’s higher string of difficulty in comparison to modern, or Live, Warcraft, you would often be forced into socializing and cooperating with other players frequently. Playing alone was simply a slower, if not often unsuccessful, method of questing and playing Warcraft. Finding a few people to connect with and make memories made the experience more entertaining overall.

Secondly, you would have your guild community. As Classic only had one major source of endgame at its launch, your guild was a major part of the experience. Often your group of friends would morph into a guild of its own. This was the vehicle for which to move through Warcraft’s higher-level challenges and, for some aspects like raiding, was necessary. That being said, Guilds were not mandatory aspects of the Classic community.

Instead that was relegated to your Server or Realm Community. This was an indelible part not just of your Warcraft experience, but the very identity of who you were as a player. More so than faction, more so than class, your Realm was your world. Word could quickly explode in your community if you were a competent tank or if you were a particularly dastardly player. Some stories, like those of Angwe or Leeroy Jenkins carry on long after their Realms have been reshuffled and forgotten. Here is where you went when, failing friends or a guild, you wanted to engage in content beyond what you could as a solo player.


Each part of this ‘community ladder’ that Classic had was an extension of its social hierarchy. As one couldn’t simply race change or server transfer you were, to an extent, inflicted with that Server Social hierarchy. As most players are often playing with good faith, very few had anything to fear from their server. Instead these self-contained communities were so closely tight knit due to gameplay progression. Classic’s high difficulty throughout forced players to cooperate or suffer, thus forging community bonds that reached throughout a realm and, in some cases, could last a lifetime.

These days, in Live Warcraft, the concept of community is different. While the concept and indeed the practices still exist throughout Azeroth things have changed. Server community, with the implementation of Cross-Realm Zones, had been significantly reduced to little more than a curse word for Frostmourne-US. While Roleplay Servers and communities self-identify still to this day, this practice is far more reduced than it has been.

In reality, the concept of community overall is indeed far more reduced in current Warcraft. That isn’t due to any failure on the part of the community, though there are certainly horror stories to share. There isn’t an organization digital or otherwise that could remain exactly the same over the course of fifteen years. People get older, change their lives, and eventually leave their communities behind.

From a gameplay perspective, there simply isn’t a reason for players to truly band together anymore on a wider scale. Content throughout Warcraft is now easily soloable. Group content can be forged quickly through in-game group finders and Pick-Up Groups. Only the absolute cutting edge of Warcaft’s challenges require a strong community base. But if you find your community not up to your standards, you can simply go elsewhere with no recompense or issue. It is now easier than ever to be a free agent in the raiding scene.


Ironically enough, there are really only two major gameplay elements that require a strong community base. Roleplaying and Rated Player vs. Player gameplay. Two communities of such vast difference in ideals that most would never expect them to be mentioned in the same sentence. However, they share much more in their common ideals than one would believe.

Roleplaying, by its nature, is a cooperative activity. In World of Warcraft roleplayers are often segregated by Classic’s social hierarchy. You may play with a handful of friends, just within a guild, or you may be a server figurehead. However, due to the nature of attaching an identity and proverbial face to your avatar, your name is far more easily identifiable. You can quickly make a good or bad name for yourself on a server, much like Classic in a sense.

Rated PvP, once more by its nature, is a cooperative activity. While this is magnified even more so in the Rated Battleground scene, players looking for any major sort of progression spend an unbelievable amount of time working with vast combinations of other players and classes. Your name can quickly get around for both poor performance and bad, certainly if you join one of several communities for casual RPvP. This is only exacerbated for those who are Gladiator level players; PvPers that have crossed the 2400 rating threshold and reaped elite rewards in either being the top 0.1% or claiming their Gladiator’s Mounts. Your name quickly gets around, and as such you get access for good playing, to all of the players in those brackets.


So, where does this leave us in the differentiation between Classic and Live? Community, frankly, no longer exists for the casual player. If you log only a handful of hours a week, you’ll never need to get to know anyone ever. In contrast community was such a vital part of Classic that its hard to think about questing or preparing for dungeons alone in the time. Elements of that still exist, to an extent, but even then those are communities and play-style you can easily opt out of.

The differences between Classic’s and Live’s communities are simple. The former’s exists purely by necessity, while the latter’s only exist when players see fit to make one. It makes the game as we know it today less social, but without that reliance on community other gameplay designs have flourished. Warcraft is more accessible to the casual player than ever without needing to pass arbitrary community bars. The experience, however, is far more detached and impersonal than it has ever been. After all, why would you want to try as hard as you can in a raid lest you face social backlash when one can simply PuG Heroic Azshara and sit in a corner?

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Neverwinter Uprising Introduces a New Playable Race

Neverwinter has announced that their seventeenth module, Neverwinter Uprising will be releasing on August 13th for PC. This update will introduce a new 10-man endgame trial, new PvP content, a recrafted early game experience, and of course as mentioned in the title…a new playable race.

The new playable race is the Gith, a race of psionic warriors who are seeking retribution against the Illithid. The conflict between the two races erupts within the cavern of Undermountain, offering players the opportunity to challenge Halaster Blackcloak in an endgame 10 man trial.

Thanks to adventurer’s efforts in Undermountain Protector’s Enclave is getting renovated. The new influx of money means that big changes will be coming to this beloved city. The changes don’t stop there though! Adventurers leaving from Protector’s Enclave will find an updated early game experience. This includes several changes made zones and stories.

Of course, these things are all just the start. A Tales of Old event will revive more dungeons from the past. The fashion system is being overhauled. Plus there will be a ton of class optimizations to prepare for an all-new PvP map with new gear that can be earned.

All of these things, plus much more will be available in Neverwinter on PC on August 13th. Upon the release of Neverwinter Uprising a release date will be made for when it will be playable on all other platforms. This is pretty standard for Neverwinter and longtime fans of the game are well used to this model.

Check out the trailer for Neverwinter Uprising below.

 

Source: Press Release

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WoW Wednesday: The Gatekeeping of the End Game

World of Warcraft is a deceptively easy game to pick up and play. Despite all of its issues in pacing and progression throughout the leveling experience just about every single class is intuitive enough in Battle for Azeroth to quickly grasp. I myself can personally attest to that fact; despite maining a Priest for most of BFA, I’ve recently made the transition to a Hunter alt that I’m enjoying and slowly polishing my skills with. While I’m certainly nowhere near ready to begin pushing the arena rating I want with it, I’m more than prepared to start hitting for the lower aspects of the ladders. However, even with more skilled characters players can often find themselves facing down particular situations in Warcraft that can slow if not bar their progress in the end-game entirely. Gatekeeping is a problem in WoW.

Now what is gatekeeping? Gatekeeping is a method identified as barring or controlling people from participating in or using certain things. In Warcraft this occurs primarily in two major streams of the endgame both in Mythic and Heroic raiding, but also predominantly in Rated Player vs. Player content.

Why does gatekeeping occur? For one simple reason: content is hard.


In the Raiding scene Mythic (or Cutting Edge) raiding is the most mechanically difficult content in
World of Warcraft. A perfect example of the intensity raiders have to mitigate can be witnessed in the Gul’dan encounter in Mythic Nighthold from Legion. The encounter begins with Gul’dan’s fully powered-up state from previous difficulties at the beginning of the fight, further increasing already high damage numbers due to difficulty. Gul’dan then empowers himself to a further state over the course of the battle including a move that can instantly kill players during a phase transition at 66% health. After his defeat, the fight then continues with a unique encounter against a new boss enemy, with new abilities and difficult mechanics. All of this falls on top of increased boss health, enemy mobs spawning in, increased damage percentiles and people managing 20-man groups to pull off the encounter flawlessly.

It’s not hard to see why players involved in raiding want to settle for their best teams possible. This form of self-curation has existed since Vanilla Warcraft, where players could become both famous and infamous within their server community. Later during Wrath Gearscore became the mark that players measured each other’s skill level, as most classes were incredibly gear dependent to a certain extent. Up until Battle for Azeroth with the release of Raider.IO, item level became the big determining factor for player recruitment.

Rated Player Vs. Player content features similar issues across the board due to its reward systems and tiers. In Battle for Azeroth rewards are now gameplay oriented, however, throughout RPvP’s history impressive cosmetic rewards have been synonymous with elite status. Those rewards are tied directly to your Rating, a publicly viewable score that actively adjusts based on your performance. Your personal rating will go up and down as you win matches, increasing and decreasing at a higher rate depending on who you participate with. If you win games with players with a higher rating, yours will skyrocket. If you lose matches while playing with those who have a lower rating than yours, it will plummet.


As such, players naturally only want to compete and play with those of a similar rating and perceived skill level. Some will only want to play with particular, guaranteed proven compositions of classes. With RPvP rewards being restricted to the highest echelons of players, of course others only want to compete with the best of the best. At any moment you could find yourself on a losing streak and your rating could drop between fifty points or five-hundred points depending on your partners’ placement.


Thus comes an incumbent problem with these aspirations of the end-game. Whether you want to be the Gladiator or the killer of Mythic Jaina, players naturally only want to work with those on their skill level to minimize their wasted time. As such, the bar is set high to disqualify those without either the experience in completing lesser difficulties or the equipment and higher gear on their character. Some face fewer issues depending on their server population, some higher. Being based on an RP server, we have one super-sized PvP guild and as such I need to form pick-up-groups if I wish to progress in Rated Battlegrounds. A personal friend based on a PvP oriented realm faces a similar issue with only a handful of raiding guilds and none forming any additional teams.

As such, here’s where we find the problem with gatekeeping magnified. Is gatekeeping inherently wrong? Absolutely not. As a current player in the RPvP circuit, forced exclusivity has forced me to play better in compositions and learn as much as I can. Certainly, I just lost 20 rating with a bad team but now I can recognize the differences between a very good Rogue and a very bad one. Of course, my friend lost a night raiding a Mythic PuG and wiping on the first boss, but now they recognize what really doesn’t make a good raid leader. Failing is as good a teaching tool as playing beside higher-level competitors. Is it frustrating to want progression and effectively take three huge steps backwards? Absolutely.


So what is the solution to this issue, at least in the World of Warcraft? Surely its to get a team of your own together, and on the surface this is a good solution. However, for higher player content, such as Rated Battlegrounds and Mythic Raiding, this becomes innately more difficult. It’s a simple task to rally a few friends for Arenas, despite the fact that high-level rewards are now only afforded to top-tier 3v3 players. However, the often more expansive and broader gameplay is instead even more difficult to breach into due to sheer numbers. Cultivating a cohesive team in the long term is a task that most players simply do not have the time to engage with, nor the skillset to maintain.

 

So here’s my question to you: Gatekeeping seems to be a necessary part of culling the chaff from the wheat. But when that chaff is really some of the most eager and healthiest bushels of the plant, where do we as players have to go against our gut and give people a better chance?

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WoW Wednesday: What’s New in Season 2?

The Tides of Vengeance have risen again for Azeroth, and the Alliance has begun its movements upon Dazar’alor, capitol of the Zandalari Empire. The arenas have been emptied and its champions awarded with the spoils of war. Season 2 for Battle for Azeroth has officially begun! This week we’ll be diving into everything that’s new with the release of Season 2.

 

The Battle for Dazar’alor

“Talanji… Forgive me…”

First and foremost is the release of Battle for Azeroth’s second major raid tier, The Battle for Dazar’alor. Drawing the Horde forces away from the seat of the Zandalari Empire, the Alliance mounts a daring offensive to assassinate King Rastakhan and sever any potential political hopes the Horde might have. The Battle for Dazar’alor will feature nine separate bosses in a linear fashion, with each faction assuming the other’s role in the story as things progress. When the Alliance moves to besiege the temple proper, Horde players will temporarily become Alliance races and vice-versa for later segments. The boss breakdown will look something like this:

1st – 3rd Bosses will be flavored over the enemy faction, but each version will have identical abilities.

Besieging the Temple; The Alliance moves to attack King Rastakhan’s seat of power. Horde players will temporarily become Alliance races for three bosses culminating in a fight with King Rastakhan.

Pursuing the Alliance; The Horde returns to Dazar’alor with a vengeance and seeks to kill the Alliance invaders. Alliance players will temporarily become Horde races for three bosses, culminating in a fight with Lady Jaina Proudmoore, who is the last boss of the raid.

During the ‘Neutral Wing’ players will play as their own characters but the second and third wings are story-type encounters written for one faction. Both factions will have nine bosses to defeat in a linear order, just with the added bonus of you get to see what you’d look like with that faction change…

Looking for Raid Wing 1 and Mythic Difficulty will open the week after your region’s particular launch of Season 2.

 

Step Into The Arena!

“More bones for the arena!”

Battle for Azeroth Season 2 brings a new and darker title to the mix, “Sinister Gladiator.” With the rollover into the next season of Rated PvP both personal and matchmaking ratings will normalize and return to zero. This means a fresh-start for all players seeking to carve their name in the halls of conquerors. Returning to Season 2 is the graduated Elite Gladiator system, rewarding players who advance their rating with progressive unlockables for your Elite Sinister Gladiator set and the seasonal Tabard and Cloak. Those looking to claim the Gladiator Title and the Sinister Gladiator’s Proto-Drake must also win an additional 50 games in the Elite bracket (2400+). Those looking to claim the “Sinister Gladiator” title must place in the top 0.1% of rankings, as well as claim 150 victories in Season 2. The Gladiator’s Dreadflame enchantment appearance will still be attainable for those who hit 2100 rating in Season 2.

New to Season 2 are temporary “Elite Class” titles. These seasonal titles will be awarded to players who reach the Elite bracket. Players who earn a Conquest Chest each week will now also find a Quartermaster’s Coin among their winnings, ten of which can be turned in for a piece of Gladiator level equipment.

Returning to the Rated PvP circuit are Vicious Saddles. Used as a currency for those wishing to purchase one of the Vicious Racial Mounts, the saddles were mysteriously absent in Season 1. For Season 2 players can obtain their Saddles after claiming their first mount, the Vicious Black Warsaber and Vicious Black Bonesteed for the Alliance and Horde respectively. Players will earn an additional saddle each time their bar caps out for wins over 1400 rating.

At this time Gladiator PvP sets from Season 1 will be unavailable to purchase until a later date.

 

Mythic+ Madness!

Seasons don’t fear the reaper.

With the start of the new season comes a new host of adjustments for Dungeon Delvers in Azeroth. To follow the curve of player gearing, Heroic and Mythic dungeon difficulty has increased by 30% across the board, with Mythic+ Keystone levels decreasing by three (Mythic 5 Keystones in Season One are now Mythic 2).

With the defeat of G’huun, and the rise of Bwonsamdi, a new Mythic affix has been introduced as the Seasonal Affix: Reaping. Added to every Keystone that is level 10 or higher, Reaping affects non-boss enemies throughout your Mythic+ Dungeon. Whenever the group completes 20% of the Enemy Forces Bar (20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%), Bwonsamdi will ressurect every enemy defeated in that 20% span. They will then traverse the dungeon to assault your party. While they do not possess True Sight or stealth detection, they have a gigantic player aggro radius. These enemies have set abilities between dungeons (depending on what type of mob they were in life), posses 50% of their original health, do not aggro other monsters in your dungeon, and are not affected by other Mythic+ affixes (like Bursting). If players run out the timer on their Mythic+ dungeon they may barter with Bwonsamdi to, “Serve him in life and in death,” and receive a 20% buff to health and damage until the completion of the dungeon.

Players banking up their Titan Residuum for the Ethereal Traders will be pleased to note that Titan Residuum does not reset between seasons, meaning you can continue to save it for upcoming gear in Season 2. The amount players gain through looting their weekly chest and scrapping higher levels of Azerite Gear has also increased.

 

Upgrading Gear Tables!

“Show her no mercy. She will show you none.”

Along with the the Battle for Dazar’alor, players will find new loot with increased item levels in their weekly activities. Baseline rewards in Normal, Heroic,Mythic and Mythic+ dungeons have been increased by 30 item levels, bringing them on par with Uldir raid rewards.

Gladiator PvP gear will now begin at item level 375 in both the Conquest Chest and regular rewards from Rated Player vs. Player activities. When the Chest rewards fall under Azerite Gear pieces, players will now have 4 pieces of gear to choose from. On weeks when the gear rewarded is neither a piece of Azerite gear, trinket or weapon players will be able to choose between two different item slots of gear (e.g. Legs and Wrists week 1, hands and rings week 2, etc.).

Item rewards in the Battle for Darkshore Warfront have been increased by 15 item levels. Consequently the new requirement to enter the Battle for Darkshore is iLvl 335, and enemy difficulty has been increased by 15%. Emissary rewards for World Quests have likewise been increased and items may reroll their stats or update with the start of the Season.

Starting January 22nd for the US and January 23rd for EU servers, Azerite Knowledge will begin scaling once again for your Heart of Azeroth. This means levels for your necklace will get easier to obtain each week.

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Pokemon Go PvP Finally Coming

Ever since it was launched 2 years ago players have been begging for Pokemon Go PvP and now that is finally becoming a reality. In a blog post today Niantic laid out some of the details of what we can all look forward to in Pokemon Go Trainer Battles. In it they answer a lot of questions about PvP so here’s a quick breakdown of it all.

Trainer Battles will begin this month, though they don’t specify an exact date.

To battle, trainers must be in the same Trainer Battle League.

For Ultra Friends and Best Friends distance doesn’t matter, you’ll be able to battle your closest friends no matter how far away they are. For anyone below Ultra Friends, you will have to be nearby them.

Battles are fast-paced and happen in real time. So you won’t be waiting around for your turn.

You’ll also be able to train with the team leaders Spark, Candela, and Blanche. Doing so will give you rewards once a day which includes the ever so important Stardust.

In a battle, you will have a team of 3 Pokemon who will be able to use their Fast Attack and Charged Attack. You’ll even be able to use Stardust and Candy to unlock a bonus Charged Attack for your Pokemon. You’ll also have a limited use Protective Shield you can deploy.

When trainer battles are completed both participants will receive great rewards which include a chance at rare Evolution Items.

IGN has even more details as they got some hands-on time with the PvP update. According to their article, the following is true.

Players only get 2 Protective Shields to use the entire battle

Possible prizes include Stardust and Sinnoh Stones. You’ll be able to earn these rewards 3 times a day but you can continue to battle as much as you want to count towards your medals. This means you’ll get rewards up to 4 times a day, very not bad.

You won’t be able to pick Ditto or Shedinja for your battle team.

No items can be used in battle. Pokemon also can’t dodge.

Pokemon won’t be boosted by the weather.

Battling won’t use revives or potions. They will have full health once the battle is finished.

NEW LOADING SCREEN BOYS!!!

Niantic also suggested that Trainer Battles are just the beginning of what the team wants to accomplish with a competitive mode. More complex features may arrive in the future as the game evolves.

IGN has more coverage, including video so be sure to check their preview out in the link below.

Source: Official Site, IGN

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Spellbreak – Magicka and Mayhem

Within a crowded, highly competitive genre, it takes something truly special to stand out. The ruthless Battle Royale genre exploded with the release of PUBG first and Fortnite Battle Royale next, and every year leaves countless bodies in its trail. It’s a tendency that repeats itself in regular cycles, as we have seen not so long ago with MOBA games and digital card games.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom; occasionally we discover a hidden jewel, a game that is far from a quick cash grab and won’t conform to being irrelevant. Instead, it shows some real ambition and could even take a serious stab at the Battle Royale crown. That game is Spellbreak.

Spellbreak Marla

Harry Potter Goes Battle Royale

Spellbreak is the new game from Proletariat Inc. Founded in 2012 by game-industry veterans hailing from acclaimed studios such as Harmonix, Turbine, and Insomniac, its first game released in 2015: the popular iOS MMO World Zombination. This was followed by StreamLine, an action game built around streaming, and StreamLegends, and RPG extension for Twitch.

Things got interesting when Proletariat revealed the first glimpse of what would become Spellbreak. The definite name was only publicly revealed in last September, but it seems like a perfect fit for a game about spellcasting and… er, breaking enemy spells, I guess. This is a Battle Royale game featuring epic magic battles and impressive spell combos, with a fantasy art style that reminds me of Motiga’s sadly canceled MOBA game Gigantic, but it often gets compared to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Development is focused on PC for now, with other platforms being considered, but nothing is set in stone yet.

But why did Proletariat choose to enter the merciless Battle Royale genre? According to Seth Sivak, CEO and co-founder, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds had a great deal of importance in this decision, as it pushed the genre into the mainstream. Proletariat was carefully watching as H1Z1, Arma and other games followed suit and wondered about creating its own competitive multiplayer rogue-like game as well, while throwing some RPG elements into the mix.

As for the magic spellcasting, that was a different issue entirely. While looking at other games that included magical effects, Proletariat concluded that most of them either featured slow-moving old wizards or that the spells were nothing but a thinly veiled cover for guns. Their goal was for the player to feel like an “absolute badass battlemage” with fun combat, massive fireballs and incredible shock waves – judging by the explosive pre-alpha gameplay, they are on the right path.

Now with More Spells

Nothing screams RPG more than classes, and Spellbreak features a class system with the goal of carving a picture inside the player’s head. Players should have the image of a class in their head and know how it plays like. Classes are meant to be “thematic, evocative, and aspirational”, as Design Director Jesse Kurlancheek puts it.

Currently Spellbreak has 11 classes, one for each school of magic, along with five others, with plans for several more, both tied to a school of magic and not. The twist? You get to pick two classes, a primary and a secondary, each one coming with a passive ability and three scrolls/abilities that you get to choose and level up during the course of a match.

As the match unfolds and you earn skill points, you must spend these in two scrolls randomly selected from your primary and secondary classes. This is the time when you’ll face a difficult decision, as you can either level up a scroll you possess or choose a new one to be added to your character. Ultimately it all comes down to your playstyle and your current abilities, and the way that you want to mix and match them.

Here is one example. You may be forced to choose between Squall and Armor Piercing scrolls. Squall allows your mage to do some extra damage while up in the air, but Armor Piercing is self-explanatory and extremely tempting. Considering that your Tempest class already has the Updraft ability, which makes any whirlwind launch you high into the air, which one would you prefer? Are your current opponents wearing armor? It’s a tough call and one of the many that you will eventually have to make.

Spellbreak Magic Combinations

What Kind of Sorcery is That?

Spell combinations are a vital mechanic of Spellbreak. There are six types of magic a.k.a. schools available (fire, poison, ice, lightning, earth, and wind), translating into a vast array of combinations that skilled players will want to dominate in a heartbeat. A picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look at the artwork above to get the gist of it.

Spellbreak’s mechanics somewhat remind me of the now defunct MOBA Magicka: Wizard Wars, which allowed you as well to combine spells in a battlefield, but from a top-down perspective.

The easiest example of a spell combo is using a fireball and a poison cloud. Combining the two will result in a green flame burst that will seriously affect anyone in the vicinity. Most combinations can be created by a single player, but everything is cranked up to eleven when it comes to Squads or Duos. Proletariat is keeping this mode under wraps for the time being, but it’s easy to imagine the potential that it holds for extreme two-player combos.

Spellbreak Duel Poison Cloud

Looking back at the 11 classes, only a few were officially detailed so far, with glimpses or occasional mentions of others such as the Tempest. The Pyromancer, Conduit and Toxicologist are the classes that deserved an insightful, in-depth look.

The Pyromancer’s passion for everything fire should come as no surprise to anyone. However, his passive Phoenix’s Rebirth allows you to come back to life with 50% HP for the first time you die, complete with increased run speed and invulnerability for a few seconds, but you’re also unable to attack. Evidently, this almost feels like an unexpected second chance in a world where there are no second chances.

The Conduit is a student of the lightning school of magic and won’t hesitate when it comes to shocking his opponents. His passive Lightning Fast increases sprint speed by 20% and one of his scrolls allows him to become immune to lightning storms and even gain mana when struck by one. Thor would be proud – in fact, the developers mentioned that the inspiration for this ability came from watching a Thor movie and thinking just how amazing that would be.

The Toxicologist is all about gooey, poisonous stuff and spreading sickness around. Corrosion is his passive, eating away 3 armor a second for 10 seconds. However, the downside is that this doesn’t work if your opponent doesn’t have any armor. Of course, one of his abilities involves becoming immune to poison clouds.

Spellbreak Marla 2

Esports School of Magic

The fierce competitive nature of Spellbreak means that it was designed with the esports scene in mind. However, this isn’t a crucial point and there is only so much that Proletariat can do by putting the building blocks and basic mechanics in place and working in tandem with the players to take it to the next level.

Spellbreak should differentiate itself from other Battle Royale competitive games through its magical interaction system, says Seth Sivak. He adds that there are tons of combinations that push the game to a tactical level he hasn’t seen before. It’s not about getting the faster skill shots but more about thinking through and opting for the best tactical decisions given the current situation.

While Proletariat is heavily invested into communicating with its fans and regularly reveals details about the game’s mechanics and classes, there isn’t much talk about lore. Being a predominantly PvP game and even pending towards the more competitive scene, could Spellbreak entirely ditch the world building and character bios aspects? Not at all, Sivak said.

However, it is extremely challenging to convey the message, as players don’t have access to NPCs or cutscenes just as they would in a linear story-based game. So, the plan is to start with the game map and the characters themselves, trying to provide rich backdrops as to where they come from, answer some pressing questions such as to why they are fighting, if everyone in this world has magic powers or if it is a sort of Harry Potter universe where only a chosen few harness these powers.

Spellbreak explosion

This left me with one substantial question lingering in my mind: will Spellbreak have any sort of PvE? To that, Proletariat simply replied, “not at the moment,” so there’s that. While similar PvP-focused game KurtzPel will include a simple PvE boss raid-based narrative, Spellbreak will ditch it altogether. Quite a shame if you ask me, considering the accomplished art style and potential for a magic-based action MMO. Oh well, I guess we’ll always have Wizard101.

Apart from this omission, which may or may not be important to you, Spellbreak enchants. There is so much potential to its spell combining gameplay, and the fact that its artistic style is often compared to the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is another triumph.

It’s too early to say if Spellbreak will be free-to-play just like Fortnite Battle Royale. For now, you can sign-up for the pre-alpha or purchase a Founder’s Pack if you believe in the game. It doesn’t take a magic spell to make me think that it could become one of Battle Royale’s flagship games.

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WoW Wednesday: Amassing Your Feats of Strength!

Achievements in the World of Warcraft have been used for some time to help layers feel rewarded for accomplishing some of the more mundane tasks the game has to offer. Some, like the Rated Battlegrounds achievements are used to mark progressive development throughout a player’s particular career and unlocking rewards as they progress. Others, like the Glory Raid Tier achievements unlock rare and exciting rewards for players who have gone above and beyond to challenge themselves in already and otherwise difficult content. However, there is a particular category of achievements that are impossible if not incredibly difficult to attain. These Feats of Strength are some of the more difficult achievements in the game, requiring particular organization, dedication, or in some cases just plain luck. This week I wanted to detail to you all of the STILL AVAILABLE Feats of Strength you can aspire towards, both for you and your guild.
To start you off slow and easy, It’s Over Nine Thousand! simply requires you to collect 9000 achievement points on one character. However, now that Achievements are more or less account bound, this is one that can be completed rather easily.

 

Legendary Collections

The first and most obvious category to tackle is the plethora of Legendary Weapons available to players. While some like Atiesh, the Greatstaff of the Guardian have been removed from the game, most are still available for players to equip and add to their collections. While Warriors can feasibly collect almost every item on the list, only specific classes can equip certain Legendary weapons thus meaning you’ll need at least three characters to collect every legendary weapon on this list.

Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker is still one of the more sought after weapons to this day, requiring two separate raid boss drops which have a less than 1% drop chance. Combining both the Left and Right Bindings of the Windseeker which drop from Baron Geddon and Garr in Molten Core, players can combine the Bindings with other rare quest items from Blackwing Lair to summon Thunderan the Windseeker, a raid-level boss in Old Silithus. Defeating him awards the player who summoned him the fabled Blade of the Windseeker. Any class that can wield one-handed swords can wield Thunderfury.

Did Someone Say…

Sulfuras, the Hand of Ragnaros is another incredibly rare Vanilla weapon, requiring both a fully leveled Classic Blacksmith and a rare drop from the final boss of Molten Core. Those who can both obtain the Eye of Sulfuras and can forge a Sulfuron Hammer can craft Sulfuras over the Black Anvil of Shadowforge. Only Warriors, Shaman, Death Knights, and Paladins can wield the mighty hammer.

The Warglaives of Azzinoth are Illidan’s legendary weapons, taken from the mighty Burning Legion General Azzinoth. Each warglaive has a 5% chance of dropping from Illidan in the Black Temple raid, and both individual glaives must be equipped on the same character, requiring players to collect both the Main-Hand and Off-Hand glaive. Only Warriors, Rogues, Death Knights, Demon Hunters, and Monks can equip these, and many are seeking them out as they tie into a newer Feat of Strength as well…

Thori’dal, The Star’s Fury is a legendary bow that was heavily sought after by Hunters at the end of The Burning Crusade expansion for its lack of ammo usage. Now it’s just a wonderful collector’s piece that seems to have canonically fallen into the hands of Halduron Brightwing. These days Thori’dal can only be wielded by Warriors, Hunters, and Rogues, and can be taken from Kil’jaeden in the Sunwell Plateau raid.

Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings is one of the most intuitive and interesting pieces to collect on this list. In progressing through Ulduar on 25-Man difficulty (either Normal or Heroic), you can collect Fragments of Val’anyr from slain bosses. After collecting thirty of them you can craft the Shattered Fragments of Val’anyr, which will start the quest called Ancient History. After logging it into the Archivum Console, players must throw their hammer into the maw of Yogg-Saron himself, reforging the ancient weapon. After slaying the Old God, players can collect Val’anyr from his jaws for sole usage by Paladins, Monks, Priests, Druids, and Shaman.

Shadowmourne is perhaps one of the more involved weapons on the list, requiring an entire questline that requires several additional players at multiple points. Forged from the hammer of Arthas Menethil and fragments of the Frozen Throne, players must progress through Icecrown Citadel over the course of several weeks, manipulating boss mechanics as they go to empower Shadowmourne, the very weapon that would canonically slay the Lich King. Those who complete the questline all the way also receive a bonus chest of goodies, some of which have sold for several hundreds of thousands of gold on the Auction House. Only Warriors, Paladins, and Death Knights can carry the heavy burden of wielding Shadowmourne.

“So… You Too Shall Have a Blade For a Prison…”

Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest is a powerful gift from the Blue Dragonflight, awarded to those who complete a long series of quests and ongoing progression throughout the Firelands Raid. After slaying a Molten Lord inside the raid, players can pick up the quest Your Time Has Come and begin the long journey towards settling the balance within the Blue Dragonflight. Only Warlocks, Druids, Shaman, Mages, and Priests can wield Dragonwrath, and with it transform into a unique flying form!

The Fangs of the Father, are a set of twin daggers; Golad, Twilight of Aspects and Tiriosh, Nightmare of Ages created by the Black Prince Wrathion as a gift to the arbiter of his will and a member of the Rogues Guild at Ravenholdt Manor. Meant as an exclusive gift to Rogues, players can begin their arduous service to Wrathion inside the Dragon Soul raid by talking to Lord Afrasastrasz and picking up the quest Proving Your Worth. As players work to unravel the mystery around Wrathion and his motivations Rogues will continue to progress through Dragon Soul to further empower their weapons, eventually creating The Fangs of the Father. This quest-chain can only be completed by Rogues and is heavily recommended for any Rogue player to finish before pursuing Insane in the Membrane.

 

Mountains of Mounts

There are an exorbitant amount of mounts tied to Feats of Strength Achievements, so we’ll detail all of them below. Most have incredibly low drop rates of only a few percent, though each dungeon mount can be grinded as long as players do not meet the instance cap limits in a short period of time. Several others simply need to be found through extraordinary means.

The Ashes of Al’ar are Prince Kael’Thas Sunstrider’s personal phoenix. They can be looted from his corpse in Tempest Keep.

The Deathcharger’s Reins control the Fourth Horseman of Naxxramas’ personal steed, and it’s the only Skeletal Warhorse mount that members of the Alliance have access to. Players can loot it from Baron Rivendare’s corpse in the Stratholme – Service Entrance dungeon.

The Baron and his illustrious steed.

The Fiery Warhorse’s Reins direct the personal steed of Attumen the Huntsman, the stable-lord of Medivh’s personal keep. It can be looted from his corpse in Karazhan.

The Grand Black War Mammoth is a mount that takes a bit of finesse as well as luck. Located in the Vault of Archavon raid, players must first have faction control of Wintergrasp before they can enter. The mount, thankfully, drops off of any of the four bosses inside the Vault.

Invincible is the Lich King’s rarely seen steed and is often the centerpiece of a mount-seeker’s collection. You too can collect this often-mispronounced mount from the body of Prince Arthas Menenthil from Icecrown Citadel on 25-Man Heroic difficulty.

Mimiron is one of the Watchers of Ulduar, and as such his head is large enough to fill the ego needed for that spot. Players can collect the Mobile Command Platform of V-07-TR-0N by killing Yogg-Saron in Ulduar’s 25 man difficulty.

The Reins of the Raven Lord are the personification of the Raven-God Anzu himself, and can only be taken from the body of Anzu in Sethekk Halls. Players may find some difficulties with this one, as they can only be obtained on Heroic Difficulty, meaning your chances dry up to a measly once per day.

The Swift White Hawkstrider is another pet of Prince Kael’thas, and can be looted from his corpse in Magister’s Terrace on Heroic difficulty.

The Red Qiraji Crystal is an incredibly rare mount drop from the minions of the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, though most players can find it within a few full-clear runs.

You’ll want this one. Why? Because It’s Red.

Several Dungeon Mounts from older instances of Zul’Gurub have since been removed from the game, but both will still award Feats of Strength if you manage to collect them from the Black Market Auction House. These are the Swift Zulian Tiger and the Swift Razzashi Raptor.

I’ve Got 9999 Problems but a Bone-White Primal Raptor Ain’t One is pretty self-explanatory. Simple turn in 9999 Giant Dinosaur bones to Ku’ma and collect your mount!

The Scourer of the Eternal Sands are awarded to, in my opinion, the only true crazy farmers. Requiring players to search Uldum for Mysterious Camel Figurines, one of which crumbles to dust and one of which is the correct one. Upon finding the right one (which is a pitifully low chance) players will be teleported to Dormus the Camel-Hoarder who drops the Grey Riding Camel.

The Venomhide Ravasaur and Winterspring Frostsaber are two mounts that have been around since Vanilla Warcraft but are still rare simply due to the lack of knowledge of them. Only available to the Horde and Alliance respectively, players must travel to either Un’Goro Crater or Winterspring and complete 20 days of quests in order to unlock the mounts. Completing the questline will reward you with your mount, which will change to the other if you swap factions.

One of the few mounts on this list that truly has a purring engine

The Big Love Rocket is attained by looting the titular Rocket from Apothecary Hummel in Shadowfang Keep during the seasonal event Love is in the Air. This is the rarest seasonal mount, boasting a 0.0033% drop rate.

A Brew-FAST Mount requires you to loot one of the two special Brewfest mounts during the holiday from Coren Direbrew in Blackrock Depths.

The Horseman’s Reins is obtained by looting the Headless Horseman’s mount during Hallow’s End and is one of the most sought after mounts due to its ability to fly.

Players can also unlock Feats of Strength for Expansion Collector’s Edition mounts, starting with Mists of Pandaria. Additional mounts can be obtained through the Recruit a Friend Program, and are rewarded for each new player you get to join the world of Azeroth:

Friends in High Places rewards the Swift Zherva Mount.

Friends in Even Higher Places rewards the X-53 Touring Rocket.

Friends in Places Higher Yet rewards the Heart of the Nightwing.

Friends in Places Even Higher Than That rewards the Emerald Hippogryph.

Friends in Places Yet Even Higher Than That rewards the Cindermane Charger.

You can’t get much higher than the Cindermane Charger…

 

Promotional Perks

Blizzard is well known to do some cross-promotion in between its games, and Warcraft is no exception to that rule.

The Fledgling Hero of Warcraft simply requires you to level a character from 1 to 20, which will unlock the lovely Lady Liadrin as a Paladin Hero in Hearthstone.

Hearthstoned merely requires you to win 3 games in Arena or Play Mode in Hearthstone and will reward you with a slick Hearthsteed mount in Warcraft. Just remember, Tutorial Matches don’t count!

Hero of the Storm requires you reach account level 20 in Heroes of the Storm, which award your Warcraft account with Graves and the Feat of Strength.

 

Dungeons and Raids

Implemented since Mists of Pandaria, each raid tier has two Feats of Strength associated with their particular end boss, Ahead of the Curve and Cutting Edge. Ahead of the Curve is rewarded for killing the last boss on Heroic Difficulty and Cutting Edge for Mythic. These Feats are only available to players while that tier is the current end-game content; once the raid opens these achievements are no longer available to the player base.

The Violet Spellwing, a limited gift from the Kirin Tor to those who completed Ahead of the Curve: Argus the Unmaker

New to Battle for Azeroth are Keystone Conquerer and Keystone Master, requiring players to complete Mythic +10 and +15 dungeons respectively during the first tier of content, during Season One of end-game content.

For those looking for more of a logistical challenge, Herald of the Titans requires players to defeat Algalon the Observer in Ulduar under similar conditions to how it was at current content; every player of the group must be level 80, and cannot have any equipment with a higher iLvl than 100. This is one of the harder challenges, especially with so many stat squish issues from Battle for Azeroth’s launch. I’ve recently undergone the challenge myself, and I heavily recommend joining either The Achievements Discord or The G(aming) Spot Discord to find or round out your group.

Player vs. Player

New to Battle For Azeroth are seasonal marker Feats, from Challenger: Battle for Azeroth Season 1 at 1400 rating, to Dread Gladiator: Battle for Azeroth Season 1, bringing them in line with other seasonal markers. Rated Battlegrounds only feature the Seasonal Championship Title, this season being Hero of the Horde/Alliance: Dread.

A seasonal Feat of Strength, obtainable only for one season!

The Last of Us is awarded to players who win the Highmaul Coliseum Free-For-All. This has had a small resurgence in popularity due to the increased level bracket and popularity of Warlords PvP Groups with the defunct state of Ashran.

 

Gotta Collect ‘Em All!

There are a wide slew of collectibles for the avid collector, too many to feasibly list here. So far, every Collector’s/Origin/Ultra-Rare edition of a Blizzard Game that includes a collectible has a Feat of Strength associated with it.

As well, every WoW item released with the Blizzcon tickets have associated Feats of Strength, up to this year’s Faction Banners.

Reputation is Everything!

Hero of Shattrath is one of the more arduous achievements on this list. Requiring you to first max out your reputation with either the Scryers or Aldor factions in Shattrath, you must then betray your reputation and level the opposite faction to Exalted. The worst part is that both must be done on one character, requiring several long hours of grinding.

Avast, Ye Admiral! is another very popular achievement, requiring you to rise to reach Friendly with the Bloodsail Buccaneers, a treacherous band of pirates opposed to Booty Bay. Doing so will lower your reputation to Hated with Booty Bay, and will make you an enemy of the Steamwheedle Cartel. Afterward, you can complete a short questline to receive a full Pirate’s attire, a Bloodsail Admiral’s Hat, and the title of Bloodsail Admiral!

Insane in the Membrane is an incredibly lengthy achievement to conquer, requiring you to become Honored with the Bloodsail Buccaneers and Exalted with Everlook, Gadgetzan, Booty Bay, Ratchet, Ravenholdt, and the Darkmoon Faire SIMULTANEOUSLY. Dedicated farmers can complete the entire grind in a little over three real-life months, and there are entire guides dedicated to the Feat of Strength. While our own guide is in progress, its needless to say that this is a true Feat of Strength (or insanity, depending on who’s asking).

My first go-around completing Insane in the Membrane, taking three months and a whole raid tier of time.

 

Miscellaneous Match-ups

Drop Dead, Gorgeous requires you to collect all 8 transmoggable pieces of your class’ set from Classic Naxxramas 40-Man. As Old Naxx no longer exists, players will have to buy their older set pieces from the Black Market Auction House. While every set is no longer class-locked, only your particular class sets are counted. Obviously, Monks, Death Knights, and Demon Hunters will be unable to complete this FoS.

A Legendary Campaign requires you to complete every Legion Class Order Hall Campaign for EVERY class. You don’t need to complete the mount questline on the Broken Shore, just up to the Class Specific titles and advanced weapon transmogs.

Predator is one of the more involved achievements from Tanaan Jungle, requiring you to first complete Jungle Stalker. After that, you must raise your reputation to the Order of the Awakened to Exalted, and collect a Seeking Crystal. Then you’ll need to use it and simply hope that Xemirkol is up, who has a respawn of almost 24 hours. Kill him and become the Predator.

You’re Really Doing it Wrong simply (ha ha) requires you to complete a Basic (Gold) Proving Ground trial in a spec that it’s not designed for. Most players may find it easier to complete this by performing the DPS trial as a Tank.

I’ll Hold These For Your Until You Get Out is one of the harder achievements on this list simply down to pure luck. First, you’ll need to collect both Warglaives of Azzinoth on any character and collect the associated Feat of Strength. Once you have that, you must defeat Illidan again in the Timewalking version of the Black Temple on a Demon Hunter. After defeating him, you’ll receive Arsenal: The Warglaives of Azzinoth for your Demon Hunter and the FoS.

Each of WoW’s Anniversary events have associated Feats of Strength for logging on during the event as well as an additional achievement, Did Someone Say…? This can be obtained by purchasing an Inflatable Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker for 50 Timewarped Badges during the Anniversary.

Every toy from the Feast of Winter Veil that can be found underneath your tree also has an associated Feat of Strength. Good luck collecting them all!

 

For The Guild!

That’s right! Many players forget that Guilds also have achievements too, and each guild has Feats of Strength to complete!

Hall of Fame requires your guild to be one of the first 100 guilds IN THE WORLD on your faction to defeat the current end-tier raid boss. For Battle for Azeroth: Season One that’s Mythic G’huun and rewards the title “%, Famed Slayer of G’huun.”

Feats of Strength

Only the most dedicated heroes can enter Uldir’s Hall of Fame…

Guild Gladiators requires one character of every class in your guild to obtain the Gladiator title within one season. Players who transfer between guilds, or earn it outside of a guild, must earn the title again during the following season.

Ordos Guild Run is now one of the harder Feats of Strength to obtain, requiring one player to the now unobtainable cape from Mists of Pandaria. However, if 7 other guildies are in a group with this one member, they can kill Ordos on the Timeless Isle alone while the others watch from across the bridge and still earn credit.

Guild Battlemasters is without a doubt the hardest Feat of Strength on this list, requiring one character from each class in the guild to complete the Battlemaster achievement. Just one Battlemaster requires over 100 Battleground wins, dozens of RNG based achievements, and a lot of grey hairs. I myself have been working on my own Battlemaster since May of this year, and have still not complete even one of the required Master of… meta-achievements.

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Rend Announces Two New Gameplay Modes

While the gameplay beats of regular Rend are fine enough, it’s nice to switch things up just a little bit. It’s this realization that has brought two new Rend gameplay modes to the multiplayer survival sandbox: Classic and Exploration.

rend gameplay modes

Classic will brings a factionless PvP experience, with players laying siege to bases, waging in-game wars, and chasing player bounties. Exploration, on the other hand, is more PvE focused, with player and base attacking disengaged. Players will be able to create Clans to band together in both modes. The original game mode will now be called Faction War.

Regardless of the mode you play, Ascension Points will now be a global character affair instead of per server. There will also be changes to the way players gather Research Sparks, with different families of creatures dropping one of the four Spark types. Mysticism, Invention, and Construction sparks will still be generated by their associated activities, though Sparks will no longer drop from any harvesting nodes.

The two new game modes and the tweaks to Sparks are due to come with Update 6, which is tentatively coming this month. For now, the game’s PTR is currently running tests for both modes. Information on how to partake in that test can be found here, and a dev blog regarding all of these changes can be read here.

Our Thoughts

Considering that the fortunes of Worlds Adrift changed the moment they decided to add PvE mode, we suspect that Rend’s new game modes will perhaps further entice people to hop into this early access title and take a look. Time will tell if this is indeed the case or if the devs are being spread a bit too thin.

Source: press release

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WoW Wednesday: Step Into the Arena With Rated PvP!

The Endgame has begun! With the update finally hitting worldwide, Raiding, Mythic +, Warfronts and the 26th Season of Rated PvP have finally landed in Battle for Azeroth. As with our Zones of… series we’ll be introducing you to each section week by week of the newest end-game content for World of Warcraft. This week we’ll be talking about the most competitive, anger-inducing and potentially difficult aspects of World of Warcraft; Rated PvP.

To most casual players, Rated Player vs. Player combat can seem incredibly segregating, more so than Progressive Raiding and Mythic+ content. While many players will access regular PvP through their Quick Match PvP Window, most won’t step into Rated Battlegrounds or Arenas. They can be intimidating for certain, but this week we’ll be dissecting every aspect and giving you the best tools to step into the Arena.

Rated PvP

A Gladiator overlooks the Battlefield…

The first question to answer is: “What is Rated PvP?” RPvP is Player vs. Player content set in (ideally) a controlled environment with a performance rating attached to it. This rating is then used to track your standings and progress regionally, while also making it easier to dole out selective rewards. In order to make it more competitive and eliminate players lasting forever as King of the Hill, RPvP is broken down into Seasons often turning over with new main content patches or raid content to keep item level scaling even across the board.

There are two different strands of Rated PvP both with their own sets of rewards and challenges. The first and most popular track being Arenas, consisting of 2 or 3-man parties in a last-team-standing fight. These 2v2 or 3v3 matches take place in unique Arena instances, specially designed to give smart players tactical advantages in the landscape with pillars, bridges, or other obstructions. Two teams face each other in Arenas until only one remains. Both 2v2’s and 3v3’s track their ratings separate from each other and thus allow players to ascend those rankings independently.

The Rated PvP UI

The second strand of RPvP are Rated Battlegrounds. Two teams of 10 players each slug it out in battlegrounds for victory. Unlike 2v2 arenas, Battlegrounds are unaltered from their stock appearances seen in Random BGs, and ‘Epic’ 40v40 Battlegrounds are taken out of the rotation. These are the most strategically challenging parts of RPvP content, requiring you to not only know how to kill and outmaneuver an enemy team but to secure victory by managing objectives across a Battleground. Much like the two types of arenas, RBG Rating is tracked separately.

No matter the game you play, you will win and lose rating as you progress in your Season. Your progression will go up and down based on a system involving both your Personal or Current Rating (CR) and your Matchmaking Ranking (MMR). Both are mathematics systems in game, tied to your performance. At the beginning of each season, your MMR is set to 1500 while your CR is reset to 0 for all rated brackets. As you win Rated PvP games, your CR will grow rapidly, skyrocketing to come into the range of your MMR. Consequently, your MMR will lower to match your CR (which will also decrease) when you lose games. When these two finally come into alignment, progression will slow down for players attempting to increase or push their rating higher. While this has diminishing effects in 3v3 and Rated Battlegrounds due to scaling Rating Rewards, 2v2 players can easily stall-out before they hit 1400 Rating. As such, many players often use 2v2’s as a method to practice new talents and strategies on other classes while still receiving rewards for RPvP.

This, however, should not deter you from RPvP in any way, especially if you are a newer player with a lower geared character. While Skirmishes are available to give you some experience with a random group or team-mates, item level and damage also dynamically scale in PvP combat. While the differences will vary between characters of different item levels, it is designed in such a manner that lower item level characters will do relatively the same damage to characters of higher item levels. Thus, while an iLvl 358 Paladin may have 150,000 HP, an iLvl 320 Paladin will still receive roughly the same amount of damage from an attacker, despite their lowered health. While the benefits of having superior gear aren’t unnoticeable (higher stats, larger health pool, more mana, etc.), Rated PvP is still somewhat balanced around the concept of varied gear levels.

RPvP awards are based on your rating, rising higher with wins and lowering with losses. RBGs and Arenas do share similar rewards with the launch of Battle for Azeroth now that rewards are doled out throughout the season instead of solely at the end. They also contain unique rewards and titles particular to their strand. As you progress through the rankings, you’ll unlock various titles, achievements, and pieces of your Elite Gladiator Gear, a unique and upgraded version of that season’s PvP equipment which is unlocked progressively at 1400, 1600 and 1800 rating. Each Season also contains unique appearance rewards such as cloaks, tabards, and enchantments. The requirements for each tier of reward are outlined below:

Rating        RBG Title Reward (A/H)                    Arena Reward              Cosmetic Reward

1100           Private/Scout

1200           Corporal/Grunt

1300           Sergeant/Sergeant

1400           Master Sergeant/Senior Sergeant          Combatant                    Elite Wrist + Waist appearance

1500           Sergeant Major/First Sergeant

1600           Knight/Stone Guard                             Challenger                     Elite Hands, Legs + Feet

1700           Knight-Lieutenant/ Blood Guard

1800           Knight-Captain/Legionnaire                 Rival                              Elite Chest, Shoulders + Head

1900           Knight-Champion/Centurion

2000           Lieutenant-Commander/Champion

2100           Commander/Lieutenant General                                               Seasonal Cloak + Enchant

2200           Marshal/General

2300           Field Marshal/Warlord

2400           Grand Marshal/High Warlord                Gladiator*                      Seasonal Tabard + Mount*

 

* = Requires 50 wins at 2400 rating or higher.

 

Rated PvP also has two different gear progression systems. The first, Conquest, allows you to claim up to 500 Conquest points every week for a piece of the standard Gladiator PvP set. After completing one entire set, the item level will progressively increase for the next, allowing a smoother progression curve for those with poorer luck in RPvP. If you miss a week these items will remain, allowing you to cap your Conquest for multiple weeks and catch up if you fall behind. You may also roll your Seals of Wartorn fate after victories for an extra chance at gear. If your roll is unsuccessful you’ll receive a Quartermaster’s Coin, which can be turned into your PvP vendor to upgrade pieces of already acquired gear.

Much akin to Mythic+ chests, there is also a weekly conquest chest. After capping your conquest for the week, this chest will drop an item reflective of the match won at the highest rating that week. Those who win a match at 1400 rating will receive a piece of Combatant item level gear, for example. We’ve outlined the potential Conquest rewards below:

Tier                  Rating             iLvl Normal Items      iLvl Azerite items

Unraked            0-1399             355                            355

Combatant        1400-1599        365                            355

Challenger        1600-1799        370                            370

Rival                 1800-2099        375                            370

Duelist              2100-2399        380                            385

Gladiator          2400+               385                            385

At the end of a Season, there are three unique rewards depending on your regional placement. RBG players who end in the top 0.5% of the ladder with at least 50 games won in a season will receive the Hero of the Alliance/Hero of the Horde title, depending on their faction. The Gladiator achievement requires 50 games won in 3v3 matches while above 2400 Rating. This will also reward layers with the Gladiator title and mount. Season 26’s mount is the Dread Gladiator’s Proto-Drake. Players who place in the top 0.1% and wind 150 games in 3v3 Arenas will receive the seasonal gladiator’s title, which for Season 26 is <Dread Gladiator>.

Rewards also exist outside of the Ratings system for players participating in RPvP. Aside from achievements and participating in the Honor system, players can work toward a seasonal Vicious War mount by winning any RPvP games after you’ve crossed 1400 rating in your bracket. Only wins above 1400 rating count, encouraging players to continue to improve. Those who win 75, 150, and 300 Rated Battlegrounds will achieve various portions of the Veteran of the Alliance/Veteran of the Horde will receive unique faction titles and Vicious War Saddles to turn in for past Vicious War Mounts.

A seasonal Feat of Strength, obtainable only for one season!

Rated PvP is an incredibly fun and challenging aspect of gameplay that most players will sadly overlook for the fear of failure. I’ve often been a proponent that while end-tier raiding and Mythic+ content may teach you the optimal rotation for your class, only serious PvP can teach you how to master your chosen class in a wide variety of roles and situations. While no class is ever perfect from season to season, and some are hit other than others, each Rated Season is a new and exciting challenge. The biggest enemy that turns people off in RPvP isn’t communication or even the opposing team, it can often be themselves. To conquer oneself and claim victory in the Arenas and Battlegrounds isn’t only one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences in Battle for Azeroth, but it can teach you more about your own class than any guide or PvE practice in World of Warcraft.

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ARK: Survival Evolved to Launch PvP Conquest Servers

Sure, dinosaurs are pretty dangerous, but what about the most dangerous creature of all: the PvP’er? That’s the threat that’s being heralded when ARK: Survival Evolved launches its PvP Conquest servers in a few days’ time.

conquest pvp servers

These new official PvP-focused servers will house up to 100 players per world and let those players form tribes as large as 25. The Conquest servers will also feature doubled gain rates for taming, gathering and XP in order to facilitate tribal warfare.

The regular Community Crunch newsletter expanded on the press release we received, noting that there will be 36 total servers within the cluster and all map types will be available. Transfers between servers within the cluster will also be enabled.

These new Conquest servers will go live on Steam this coming Friday, September 28th. PS4 and Xbox One players will also be getting their own Conquest servers, but the announcement didn’t specify a time frame other than Soon™.

Our Thoughts

For those who want to be part of large-scale tribal warfare, these new servers sound like the perfect place to be. Four tribes of 25 players duking it out in the jungles or wastes of ARK sounds like a pretty harrowing time to us and we hope the PvP-minded Survivors have a good time.

Sources: press release, official site

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