Next week’s Guild Wars 2 update has been revealed. Being that time of year, it’s the return of Wintersday! Lion’s Arch transformers into a winter wonderland, and toymaker Tixx arrives to hand out goodies. The celebration lasts a full six weeks.
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The next Guild Wars 2 update is here. Fractured is a complete reworking of the Fractal dungeon system, changing how progression works, adding in new locations, and continuing the Living Story.
A while back, the playerbase voted between the two nominees for the Captain’s Council of Lion’s Arch. The winner, Ellen Kiel, promised research into the Fractals of the Mists. That promise has now been fulfilled, with players getting to see the recent Thaumanova Reactor meltdown event (a popular location in Metrica Province where a reactor ripped apart the fabric of space). The Fractals are now more rewarding, your progress is saved account-wide, and there are new Rune and Sigil recipes to find. The way Agony Resist works has been changed, and you can now access the Obsidian Sanctum straight from the World vs World menu.
It didn’t get an official mention; in fact, the game has never been officially announced. Blizzard’s next game started out as the codenamed MMORPG Titan. A few months back it was revealed that Blizzard had decided to take the project in a different direction. That was the last time that anyone at Blizzard had spoken about the game.
Now, with Blizzcon 2013 behind us, some might be wondering what’s happening with the game that still needs to be announced. Website Polygon caught up with Blizzard’s president Mike Morhaime at Blizzcon over the weekend and asked him how things were going with the development.
“We did an evaluation of our technology, the platform that we were building for the game,” he told them. “We realized it wasn’t going to do what we needed it to do without some significant changes. We just used that as an opportunity to take a step back, look at the game and ask hard questions: ‘If we were going to start something new, what would we make? Would we make this? Make something different?’”
This past weekend, Laura Shortridge attended The Running of the Gnomes – a World of Warcraft event held in honour of promoting breast cancer awareness and raising money for various charities. This is how that went. Be sure to check out the snazzy virtual photo album at the end.
I checked in early, around 9:45pm on Saturday. The event wasn’t scheduled to start until 7pm EST (1am on Sunday in South Africa), but some gnomes were already dotted about. Pink hair, pink tabards. As I only had a trial account, I wasn’t able to join the guild and collect a tabard, but that didn’t seem like it would become a problem. I could join the Gnomerun channel and read the chat there, but I couldn’t send any messages to the channel. I decided to log out and check in later.
I logged back on at 12:40am. The starting area, a smallish room, was covered in pink-haired gnomes and chaos. Event organizers were handing out guild invitations and tabards; pink with pink hearts. By 1:05 I discovered it was impossible to get a screenshot of all the gnomes. There were so many that even with my graphics set to ultra I seemed to be only able to view a certain amount at a time.
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to the World of Warcraft player, this should mean one thing: The Running of the Gnomes.
In 2010, SeeD – an American World of Warcraft guild that had previously decided to change their tabard colour to pink for the month of October – decided to take their efforts to the next level by organizing a little event that they called “The Running of the Gnomes”. The concept is simple. Everyone rolls a gnome, gives it a cute name and pink hair, accepts an invitation to the “Racing Guild” and collects their pink tabard. From there, all the gnomes – and there are many – race to Booty Bay in one glorious stream of pink philanthropy.
When it comes to The Elder Scrolls Online, I’ll admit to wearing my heart on my sleeve. I have very little desire to play the game despite my feelings towards the original RPG series. I am utterly in love with The Elder Scrolls, but I really dislike MMORPGs. After playing some of The Elder Scrolls Online, I stand by my original uneasiness.
All that being said, I’ll be damned if I don’t admit that this character creation system is streets ahead of anything we’ve been given in past Elder Scrolls games. The team at Zenimax Online Studios has done a really good job with this, and I’m a little bummed I only got to play with predefined characters when at E3. I probably would have spent most of my hands-on time creating character after character. Now that I think about it, that’s probably why they gave us ready-made characters to try out.
After the jump you’ll find a video featuring Jared Carr, the art director for The Elder Scrolls Online. He’ll walk you through the character creation system and show off their new and improved slider modification mechanic. The Elder Scrolls Online is heading to PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime next year. It was recently revealed that the MMORPG will use a monthly subscription-based model.
When people think of World of Warcraft, there is a tendency to think of those who practically (and, to many, unfathomably) dedicate their lives to the game. I’ve always felt that there are two types of WoW player, the casual and the serious, and that there’s a giant gap between them.
The serious WoW players will call the casuals “noobs”. The casuals will accuse the serious of having no life or sense of empathy. Party chat tends to get very unfriendly when these two groups collide.
The problem is this: because World of Warcraft is such an old game, such a big game, and has been through so many changes, it takes a lot of research and experimentation to go from new at something to extremely good at it.
Upcoming MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online will follow the monthly subscription model when it launches next year on PC, PlayStation 4, Mac and Xbox One. Players will need to purchase a copy of the game, which will come with 30 days free membership; once that expires, continued access to the game will cost $14.99 or around R150.00.
There’s been a lot of speculation surrounding the payment model the game might adopt, so this confirmation from ZeniMax Online GM Matt Firor is welcomed. Considering how three recent top-shelf MMORPGs (Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA and Rift) had to switch from the monthly subscription model to an alternate method of monetisation, it’ll be interesting to see how ZeniMax fares with this decision.
Speaking to German website Gamestar, Firor said that the decision to go with a monthly subscription model “fits the IP and the game much better than a system where you have to pay for features and access as you play.” He was specifically referring to the fact that traditional Elder Scrolls titles allow players to “go where they want, be who they want, and do what they want,” and to that extent “putting pay gates between the player and content at any point in game ruins that feeling of freedom.”
Blizzard has announced that they’re launching a children’s book based on the lore behind one of the most popular gaming franchises on the planet: Warcraft. The story is being penned by Chris Metzen, the senior vice-president of story and franchise development. Artwork is being handled by Wei Wang, who has probably done about 90% of the Blizzard artwork that you adore.
The inspiration for the project came directly from Metzen, who says that his children have grown up while he’s been working on World of Warcraft. Those kids are starting to want to learn more about the game’s world, and so Metzen decided to create a kid-friendly introduction to the Warcraft lore. The book is called Snowfight and it’ll be making its first appearance at this year’s BlizzCon. “It’s so weird, but it’s one of those passion projects we wanted to chase,” Metzen said, “and I hope it just pops.”
Talk about an unexpected offshoot, right? It is kind of neat though, considering that many long-time World of Warcraft players are probably parents now. Oh, and, a box of fresh Internet Cookies for whoever calls out the movie reference in that headline. Hey! I can see you trying to Google that – no cheating!
Today is the launch Bazaar of the Four Winds, the next installment in the bi-weekly content updates for Guild Wars 2. The festive Dragon Bash and exciting Sky Pirates of Tyria have wrapped up, so we hope you managed to enjoy what those had to offer. I was particularly fond of the Dragon Ball multiplayer game in Dragon Bash, it felt like a quasi-Quake.
NEW IN BAZAAR OF THE FOUR WINDS
Belcher’s Bluff: A new permanent mini-game you can play against other players, and special NPCs who will teach you signature moves if you defeat them. As always, dulfy.net has a full write-up on it.
Sanctum Sprint: A Mario Kart (or Rollerbeatle Race if you played Guild Wars 1) inspired race with special movement skills. Here’s the dulfy.net guide.
Lessons from the Sky: The main bulk of the content – a scavenger hunt through the massive verticality of the new Labyrinthine Cliffs zone as you master three elemental aspects to try and reach all the hidden Crystals. Dulfy Guide.
Personal Quartz Node: Once you finish the meta achivement for doing a certain amount of events, you’ll get a Quartz node added to your home instance which you can mine once a day, for use in the new craft recipes.
New PvP Map: Skyhammer: Shattering floor panels are just one of the many dangers in this high-tech Asura lab map for structured Player-vs-Player.
Account Achievement Reward System: The big one. The Achievement UI is getting a complete overhaul, and now all your cheevos are worth tangible rewards like armour skins, permanent XP and Magic Find boosts for your entire account, gold and Laurels. You can read more about it here.
[ Full July 9 Patch Notes ]