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And lo, in the Kingdom of Ehb, at a time of warring factions, the weakened King did fall. And the King’s daughter, the beautiful Jeyne Kassyndar, didst blame the 10th Legion, the warriors who had, in previous games, been known for their excellent fighting skills, pulling offst such tricks as the shield bash and swordrelated shit that gave rise to a “whoa” from nearby peasants. And Jeyne went off on a massive one, and didst hunt down the 10th Legion across the lands, diverting funds that couldst, truth be told, more effectively have been spent on public services. That’s the rough story behind Lucas Montbarren, son of a tenth legionnaire, and the hero I was allowed to play in the first hands-on of the new Dungeon Siege game. With the blessing and occasional advice of Chris Taylor and original developers Gas Powered Games, development duties have passed to Obsidian – the prince regents of taking another company’s IP baton and running with it. PC exclusives such as Neverwinter Nights, revered shared platform classics like Knights of the Old Republic, and emotional reunions with their prodigal Vault Boy – Obsidian are sequel masters.
To understand how Guild Wars 2’s high-end PvE feels it’s necessary to understand how all the ideas behind the game fit together. Without fixed class roles, the emphasis is on player skill and as such encounters have been designed to be more flexible than most modern MMOs. World of Warcraft’s boss fights are usually constrained to a particular location because it’s by controlling the environment that Blizzard are able to add variety to the traditional tank and spank model. Guild Wars 2 is far less restrained: if your party is able to pull a boss out of their comfort zone, the game won’t stop you.
On Battle.net, Blizzard announce that a new World of Warcraft Real ID Party system has gone into public beta. The system will let players on different Realms unite to take on 5-layer normal or heroic dungeons as long as they're from the same faction. If you can't form a five man party, the remaining slots can be filled using Dungeon Finder. Blizzard haven't said how long the beta will last, or whether it will eventually be available exclusively to subscribers, but they have posted more information in the form of a FAQ.
Continuing our five-part Guild Wars 2 preview (yesterday's post), today we'll plumb the depths of the first dungeons ever revealed for Guild Wars 2--how they work, what kind of loot you'll be getting, and even the familiar faces returning from Guild Wars that you'll have to battle with. ArenaNet's vault demons were kind enough to give us a peek at everything in store for us in these subterranean death-traps, as well as introduce us to the famed adventurers who'll lead the way.
The newly announced, Obsidian developed Dungeon Siege 3 was on-show in private rooms off the show floor at E3, and I was there to take a look. This new dungeon crawler is an interesting project: the first two games were purely about action and loot. Dungeon Siege 3 does things differently - Obsidian want to add a story and moral complexity to this over-the-shoulder Diablo-inspired orc-em-up. WTF?
If there's a significant element The Elder Scrolls Online picks up from its predecessors, its fighting. Lots of it. That, and players completely disregarding the story and running off to some nearby ruins right after character creation. But that's an entirely different story—the latest round of answered community questions on the official website deals solely with combat and party composition, a pair of mechanics critical to most MMOs. ZeniMax studio members provide answers for both topics.
World of Warcraft patch 4.3 to add Deathwing raid, Transmogrifier and Void Storage. Real ID party system now live
World of Warcraft lead developer Tom Chilton has been talking to Gamona.de about the contents of WoW's next big patch. MMO Champion spotted the article, which confirms that patch 4.3 will add the long awaited Deathwing raid, as well as a couple of intriguing new NPC vendors.
Cheerful free to play MMO Dragonica has just received a big facelift courtesy of the Phoenix Update. The latest patch has sharpened up Draconica's visuals and dungeons have been beefed up with extra difficulty modes and harder bosses for returning players. An extended combo system spices up combat, reduced potion prices will please shoppers and, to celebrate, a "party buff event" is now available that rewards groups for co-operation with increased gold find, XP gain and attack speed, because everything's a little bit more frenzied with friends around. You can check out the full feature list on the Phoenix update page on the official Dragonica site, and take a close look at those updated graphics in the trailer and screenshots below. It's free to play, so you can download the client and jump in for nothing on the Dragonica site.
Elder Scrolls fans are getting really worried about next year’s Elder Scrolls Online, for fear that it will simply be a World of Warcraft clone with a thin flavor of Tamriel sprinkled on top. A blog post on ESO’s website describes the innerworkings of the game’s instanced group-based dungeons, and what it reveals plays a little bit to each side of that argument.
With a huge, intricate spider web hanging down from the rafters of the Boston Convention Center, the Dungeons and Dragons Online booth is overshadowed by the evil presence of Lolth, the main villain for the upcoming Menace of the Underdark expansion, hanging overhead. The spider queen's presence lends an air of, well, menace to my time with Executive Producer Fernando Paiz and Senior Producer Eric Boyer as we take an extensive look through what Menace of Underdark will offer players, as well as a quick look at the Druid class and some of its abilities.
Josh Sawyer, project director of Pillars of Eternity, is talking about how the game has progressed in the year since its Kickstarter campaign. “When I walk around the office and I see people playing, unless you get up close it looks like they’re playing an old Infinity Engine game. It has the look and I think the fundamental feeling that went into those games. So by that measure I think we’re doing pretty well.”
Mists of Pandaria is the fourth World of Warcraft expansion, taking the eternal sort-of-battle between Horde and Alliance to a brand new, Asian themed corner of Azeroth. Most of the classic species have been to night-school to learn the ways of the Monk, while both Horde and Alliance welcome a new member - the neutral Pandaren, whose homeland is about to be torn apart by several million kill-crazy players in search of gold, glory and ever tougher monsters to beat into a fine paste. But can this new world turn around World of Warcraft's recent fortunes, or is it just pandaren to the crowds? Join us here all week for regular dispatches from the furry frontier.
Been meaning to check out Funcom's conspiracy-fueled MMO, but nervous about actually paying? This weekend, the truth is both out there and welcoming you in for a celebration of The Secret World's one-month anniversary. Anyone can join in for fireworks, to check out the first major content patch - due out today - and see if they want to spend their spare time fighting for the Illuminati, Templars, or the other one that you're probably not going to choose because they're not Illuminati or Templars. Check this page for more information and a download link to the game client (get this early - it's big!). Not sure if it's for you? Check out our reviewer's initial findings right here. As for what's in the new patch? That's a secret waiting only for those smart and brave enough to uncover it...
A mammoth update for free to play MMO Mythos is set to add new player vs. player arenas and a Dungeon Master mode that challenges you to wipe out dungeons as fast as possible for bonus loot. The patch, spotted by Massively, will also hike the level cap from 50 to 51, giving top tier players room to become even more powerful and opening up impressive new armour sets. You'll find the extensive patch notes below, taken from the Mythos site, where you can also sign up to download and play the game for free.
Despite series-standard flourishes like first-person combat, The Elder Scrolls Online is still firmly lodged in my head as an MMO, which means I'd always assumed that its dungeons would be created with group play in mind. But then I remember the TES connection - and running around through dusty tombs, mossy caves and abandoned shacks with nothing but a bow, a quiver of arrows, and a companion who handily points out traps by activating every damn one of them. Does that history mean the game will lean towards solo supported content? The game's developers have revealed their plans in a recent Q&A.
The citizens of Tyria are always celebrating. Dragons being jerks? Throw a party. Skyship shows up? Break out the bunting. Computer games are invented? Well, that one's understandable. Guild Wars 2's next update will centre around a more obvious cause for a shindig - if you're a royalist at least. Queen's Jubilee marks the ten year anniversary of Divinity Reach'zzzz... Sorry, I started to fall asleep there, halfway through that lore heavy sentence. Maybe the planned events, rewards and updates will prove more interesting.
[embed width="610" height="340"]http://youtu.be/2yz4ebjZCPg[/embed] World of Warcraft's Hour of Twilight update has been detailed in full in the official patch notes on Battlenet. The update will finally give WoW players the chance to defeat Deathwing in the new Dragon Soul raid event. A new Raid Finder tool will let out-of-guild players get raiding parties together quickly, and the patch will add a collection of new games to Darkmoon Faire. The Deathwing fight itself sounds incredible. It takes place in two parts, the first asks players to "parachute from soaring gunships to attack the monster mid-flight and attempt to weaken him by ripping away his armor." The final confrontation happens deep in the Maelstrom.
I can only stare blankly when game director Max von Knorring tells me his title is “a mix of roguelike and tower defence, with a little pinch of Dungeon Keeper.” My brain attempts to mesh the exploration, progression and permadeath of a roguelike with the static resource management of tower defence and immediately short-circuits. Knorring turns around his laptop to show me his work, and suddenly I understand.
We can’t stay mad at Peter Molyneux. Even though he’s prone to making outrageous promises he has no hope of ever fulfilling, and even though the previous game in Lionhead’s flagship series, Fable II, never made it to the PC, there’s something about the fabulously overreaching development veteran that makes every project he’s involved in impossible to ignore.