Blade & Soul players have a lot to look forward to with the upcoming Ebondrake Citadel update. A new dungeon, described by NCsoft as "a formidable prison of evil", is an end-game dungeon comes in a 4-and 6-member versions. This underground ruin is home to the Phantoms, a vicious division of the Ebondrake Cult led by Bale Phantom Zakhan.
On the other hand, the long-awaited Arena Spectator Mode will be added, and that allows you to jump into a 1v1 Arena match and watch your favorite players from an adjustable spectator’s view. This patch also decreases the cost of accessory upgrade.
Ebondrake Citadel is expected to release in Blade & Soul on October 5th.
Final Fantasy XIV‘s next major patch drops on September 27th, and as is the custom, a new trailer shows off the content players can expect to explore. This includes the story content for the main scenario questline and the various side stories as well as the last portion of the Alexander story.
There’s also a lot of other content on display, as well: the new adventuring squadrons, new apartments, another battle against the Warring Triad, and new equipment to properly accessorize your characters. There are also even deeper floors to be explored in the Palace of the Dead for those who dare to trek deep within.
Announced back in February and originally planned to debut last spring, RuneScape: Idle Adventures has finally landed in Steam early access for PC players. It’s got “RuneScape” in the name, but be aware that it’s not really an MMO — it’s an “idle game” set in the MMO world and attempting to feel like an epic MMO adventure, just in a few minutes a day.
“Developed with Hyper Hippo’s trademark charm, players create and take on the role of a curious, blue-skinned immortal of mysterious origins, who explores the iconic world of RuneScape in a brand new adventure. Players will discover the power of a new Elder Artefact as they battle monsters, challenge the gods, and grow cabbages for local farmers – all possible while waiting for other games to install, movies to stream, or cooking those cabbages. Progress is made even when Idle Adventures isn’t being played, so even the toughest quest can be completed with time.”
A “full, multi-platform launch” is expected later this year; it’s free-to-play with microtransactions on Steam.
Let’s assume that you’re not part of the crowd that is hopelessly, helplessly fixated on a certain expansion right now. You’re open to different experiences and willing to be wooed by MMOs eager to have your attention. WildStar is making its play for your attention, then, by hosting a double XP weekend in the game.
From September 2nd through the 5th, all XP earned from any source in the game will be doubled. The team even pointed out that this event benefits players at the level cap: “Already level 50? During the event you can earn elder gems twice as fast to purchase items like Ability or AMP points. When you hit the weekly cap of 350 elder gems, your XP is converted to gold. It’s a good time to make good use of your time!”
There’s a new patch on the way for Final Fantasy XIV, and if you’ve been around for previous patches you know that means you’re going to need to fuss around with your Allagan tomestones. The newest addition to the tomestone family are the tomestones of scripture, taking the spot of the new limited-per-week currency that you get for doing the highest content. But players holding on to older tomestones will need to take action before then to make sure nothing is lost on September 27th.
This patch will remove all acquisition methods for tomestones of esoterics, with all esoterics items becoming purchaseable through other means and the usual exchange options available. The patch will also remove tomestones of law altogether, meaning that if you’re still sitting on a pile of law tomestones that you’ve never exchanged, you’ll need to take care of that before the patch goes live or lose them forever.
Graphical slowdowns due to excessive particle effects look to be on the way out for Path of Exile, as the team is planning some pretty major optimization changes for its upcoming 2.4.0 patch.
The long and the short of it is that, depending on your CPU, these adjustments could result in up to four-and-a-half times faster performance when the screen starts lighting up with all sorts of spell effects, explosions, and corpse gibbeting. The team pointed out that as this only affects the CPU, it won’t make any difference for computers with problematic graphics cards.
“As you can see, without engine multithreading, this has resulted in a 1.9X speedup, and with engine multithreading on we are seeing a 1.5X speedup,” the team posted. “Both optimisations together give a significant 4.5X speedup in this scene compared to 2.3.0.”
If you are fascinated with World of Warcraft’s winged Vrykrul, then your first stop in the Legion leveling process should definitely be Stormheim. The development team promises that players will be able to learn a lot about Vrykrul culture through their journeys in this zone — and even have to prove themselves to the majestic beings. It’s basically a Norse epic with a lot of thinly veiled substitutions.
The devs said that Stormheim uses environmental effects and weather to tell a sweeping story: “I would describe the ambience of the zone as dramatic. There are really big, dramatic cliffs. The Halls of Valor loom over the whole zone, and you can almost see it from everywhere. The mountain is right there, and there’s a crazy storm swirling over it. It’s filled with really dramatic vistas and cliffs.”
The team repeatedly mentioned grappling hooks that it placed all over the zone and encouraged players to follow them when they explore Stormheim.
It’s something of a tradition now for Final Fantasy XIV to release short fiction around the time of its anniversary. As the third anniversary nears, the first of four commemorative stories has gone live. If you haven’t yet made your way through the Heavensward main scenario quests, it will contain some slight spoilers; if you have, however, it provides an interesting look behind the scenes of incidents that presage the events of the MSQ.
Three more stories are planned, with the promise that they may well spoil more of the story through patch 3.3, so spoiler-sensitive readers who are a bit behind the curve are advised to be cautious. For everyone who’s cleared through things, though, it’s a fascinating look behind the scenes of the game’s lore – and in this case, it covers a character whom players have never met, but whose presence would have had quite an impact.
A new Blade and Soul update called Shadows of the Innocents launched, bringing with it three new instances. There are two new “level 50 4- and 6-member” dungeons, The Shattered Mast and Gloomdross Incursion. The last instance is an “expansive open world 24-member instance,” called Twisted Grimhorn Wilds, that is home to an assortment of dailies.
The update also marked the beginning of the Tidal Treasures and Seeds of Growth events. Tidal Treasures gives players Corallite as a reward for dailies for “specific Heroic Dungeons.” The Corallite can then be used to upgrade Oceanic Weapons. Seeds of Growth tasks players with collecting Growth Seeds from various daily and dynamic quests and transmuting them into Life Chests, which give various rewards.
World of Warcraft’s Legion pre-patch is on the way as promised: on July 19th, to be exact. The patch will include the new transmogrification system as well as numerous changes to classes and talents. Coming later this summer will be the release of the Demon Hunter class and the start of the pre-Legion events.
Speaking of tmog, Blizzard took some time to explain in a blog post how the new wardrobe will function (short version: You’re going to love it). “With the Legion pre-expansion patch, every piece of gear that is bound to your character permanently unlocks that item’s appearance for you.