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Expansions

Soloing through SWTOR's Shadow of Revan

Sci-Fi, Expansions, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, First Impressions, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

Impressions of soloing through SWTOR: Shadow of Revan
Some people question how you can be a solo player in an MMO. To be honest, I, too, question how someone can do the whole game solo, but I do understand the desire to experience the game at your own pace. I believe the creators of Star Wars: The Old Republic understand this, too. Game director James Ohlen said that the biggest thing players wanted was the continuation of Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2. Although part of the SWTOR story did continue the Revan and Exile stories, a lot of players haven't even touched on that storyline.

In a multiplayer game, it's hard sometimes to experience the story solo with all the group-only material. However, Shadow of Revan creates an amazing opportunity for the solo MMO player to really experience the full story it has to offer.

Fair warning: I will not spoil major plot points for the expansion, but I will reveal some key characters in order to talk you through this leveling experience.

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WoW's garrisons aren't a guarantee in future expansions

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Community Q&A, Subscription

Create your own personalized garrison!  Which you will then abandon.  Who cares.
It was open season for World of Warcraft fans yesterday as the development team opened up with an AMA session on Reddit. The eight-person team taking on player questions included director Tom Chilton and lead designers Ion Hazzikostas and Cory Stockton, meaning that fans got plenty of in-depth answers to almost everything. Whether or not you liked all of the answers is another story altogether, but there's a handy-dandy summary of answered questions and links to the full answers that should save a great deal of scrolling through comments.

Chilton confirmed that there are currently no plans for queued scenarios in Warlords of Draenor, although they're not off the table for future expansions. He also stated that there may or may not be Garrison-like elements in future expansions and that there will be "a surprise" regarding the last boss of the expansion. Check out the full summary for more quick links; there's a lot of information in there.

The Stream Team: Prowling the streets of Tokyo in TSW's Issue #10

Horror, Real-Life, Video, Expansions, The Secret World, Livestream, The Stream Team, Buy-to-Play

Surprise! The Secret World's Issue #10 out, and while it's true that Massively's MJ got a sneak peek, she's itching to explore the new area on her own. If you're hoping to avoid story mission spoilers, don't worry: This trip is all about scouting out the lay of the land. (And quite possibly just to find as much lore as possible!) Besides the infamous Love Hotel, what new sights are there to behold? What death lurks behind which corner? Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to see!

Game: The Secret World
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Destiny previews The Dark Below and still offers no raid matchmaking

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

It'd almost be tragic if people remembered the game existed.
The first expansion to Destiny, The Dark Below, is launching on December 9th. Some players will get new content out of it. That's not editorializing; the official preview of the mechanical changes says outright that the update will bring new content for some and new play mechanics for all. Mechanically, the updates focus around upgrading Exotic equipment, raising character levels to 32, and the addition of Legendary gear that sits below raid equipment and Exotics.

Bungie has also reaffirmed its commitment to not adding in any sort of matchmaking service for the game's raids while praising third-party sites that allow players to find others who wish to take on these raids. This is the equivalent of refusing to own a clock while complimenting your neighbor's sundial. Despite this fact, the developers are aware the demand for this content exists, and the team states it's looking into designing content for this particular audience.

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Pick up a SWTOR stronghold for practically nothing

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Anniversaries, Housing

swtor
If you haven't planted roots in Star Wars: The Old Republic's strongholds or are on a quest to collect them all, then BioWare has a nice surprise for you. Buried in the patch notes for this week's Shadows of Revan expansion is an announcement that the studio is selling two of its strongholds for a pittance.

"To celebrate our impending 3rd anniversary, the Dromund Kaas and Coruscant Strongholds are now available for three credits!" BioWare posted. Typically, these strongholds go for 5,000 credits or 50 cartel coins.

Chaos Theory: Hands-on with TSW's Issue #10 before today's release

Horror, Real-Life, Expansions, Hands-On, The Secret World, Chaos Theory, Buy-to-Play

Chaos Theory:  A hands-on with TSW's Issue #10 before today's release
Yes, you read that right. When we told you earlier this week that The Secret World's second Tokyo expansion was coming soon, we bet you didn't think it'd be today, did you? Well, neither did we! But that's exactly what Director Joel Bylos shared with me while we we zipping around the newest area of Tokyo during a hands-on tour of Issue #10 Nightmares in the Dream Palace. If all goes according to plan, fans will be able to dig into the new content today -- much sooner than anticipated. And what's awaiting them? That's what this week's Chaos Theory reveals. Don't worry; I promise to warn you of any major spoilers.

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Leaderboard: Are you playing Shadow of Revan this week?

Sci-Fi, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Leaderboard

Star Wars: The Old Republic's latest expansion debuts this week, and it brings with it quite a bit of new content. There are of course five additional levels and a few new skills to go along with all the discipline-based class changes. And there are two new planets (Rishi and Yavin IV) along with new story and leveling content.

Is that enough to pique your interest? Are you playing Shadow of Revan this week? Vote after the cut, and let us know what you think either way!

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Choose My Adventure: Can't stop the World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, New Titles, PvP, PvE, Hands-On, Choose My Adventure, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
It's been 10 years since Blizzard Entertainment launched World of Warcraft and ignited the great MMO gold rush of the aughts. In that time, World of Warcraft has grown into something more than a game; it's a cultural icon, an immensely valuable piece of intellectual property, and a brooding presence any new MMO has to consider before launch. WoW has gravity.

Just when World of Warcraft's numbers start to slide and the naysayers start planning their "WoW is dead" parties, Blizzard finds a way to make WoW resurgent. Warlords of Draenor, WoW's fifth expansion, launched late last month, bringing three million subscribers back into the game's warm embrace. For those keeping score: That's more subscribers than most MMOs ever see at their peaks.

Warlords of Draenor reworks some core World of Warcraft systems, changes up character models, implements a version of housing, and more. And with so many people returning to check it out, there's no better time for Choose My Adventure to join the fray.

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Hearthstone launches Goblins vs. Gnomes on December 8th

Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Casual, Miscellaneous, Hearthstone

Yes, this is a thing that's happening.
It seems as if it was only a month ago that Hearthstone players learned the title of the game's first expansion, Goblins vs. Gnomes. Probably because it was a month ago. That expansion is launching on December 8th, adding 120 new cards into the card pool and displaying an alacrity that other Blizzard titles could only dream of achieving. The new expansion cards can be crafted, purchased, or earned via the Arena, just like the existing packs except with new cards.

If you're interested in having a launch party, Blizzard is also interested in your launch party. If you plan your event, have it registered as a proper gathering by notifying the community team, and then submit pictures and stories about the event by December 22nd, you could win a little Hearthstone care package. Or you could just kick back and enjoy the new expansion by playing. Your call.

The Stream Team: A walk through EverQuest II's Kithicor forest

Fantasy, Video, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Livestream, The Stream Team

There's quite a bit more to the story to what happened on EverQuest II's newly reopened Isle of Refuge, and Massively's MJ aims to find out all the secrets! She dives back into Altar of Malice this EverQuest Two-sday, this time poking around a land filled with prehistoric creatures and funky little pygmies. And who can resist visiting Kithicor forest? Join us live at 9:00 p.m. as the story continues to unfold.

Game: EverQuest II
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Time:9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Perfect World's Eclipse expansion adds new classes, race on Dec. 16

Fantasy, Perfect World International, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items

Perfect World International is getting a new expansion, its sixth, to be precise. It's called Eclipse, and you'll be able to patch it and play it on December 16th.

Why might you want to?

Well, the lunar-themed content drop features a new playable race (the Nightshade) along with two new classes (the Duskblade and Stormbringer, which wield sabers and scythes, respectively). There's also a new starter region called the Celestial Vale, a new endgame dungeon, a revamped skill training system, "optimized" dailies, and new 8.5 ranked gear.

[Source: Perfect World press release]

World of Warcraft opens the doors of Highmaul

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Dungeons, Subscription

wow
The raid cycle of World of Warcraft's endgame begins anew today with the advent of Highmaul. While this raid did not go live with Warlords of Draenor's release, Blizzard is now opening the doors a crack to let in players for their first taste of epic combat.

Highmaul is a seven-boss raid, although only two of those bosses are mandatory for players to down (but c'mon, only cowards tiptoe by the big baddies). Even though the raid is open for business today, it will feature only normal and heroic difficulties and will not be listed on the raid finder. In the coming weeks, mythic difficulty and raid finder functionality will be added to the instance.

Hyperspace Beacon: Previewing SWTOR's Shadow of Revan

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Roleplaying, First Impressions, Star Wars: The Old Republic, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Playing the Shadow of Revan
When I was first introduced to the expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, there were two things I wanted to see: the continuation of the class story and Yavin 4. And I'm happy to say that this expansion delivered both of those in a satisfying way. When I spoke to studio game director James Ohlen and lead writer Charles Boyd about the expansion a few weeks ago, they told me that Shadow of Revan would close one major chapter and open a new book for SWTOR. After seeing the expansion, I have to agree that Shadow of Revan does put a great cap on a class stories and opens the door for an exciting future for the game.

I don't want to give you the impression that everything in the expansion is exactly what I wanted, though. There is a surprising lack of exploration, the amount of content fell short, and parts of the maps felt slapped together. The screenshots depict beautiful scenes, but sometimes form outweighs function.

Before I continue, I feel obligated to tell you that there are spoilers of previous content in this piece, but the important parts of the new content will remain unspoiled.

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Here are some screens from SWTOR's new planet

Sci-Fi, Expansions, MMO Industry, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dev Diaries

Star Wars: The Old Republic's website has updated with a new developer blog called Rishi: Places of Interest. Actually, let me back up. It's not really a developer blog, even though it's listed in the site's developer blog section.

It's actually something of an in-character journal/travel log, but don't worry if you're not a roleplayer. You can still look at the pretty screenshots that focus on points of interest around the planet Rishi, which debuts in this month's Shadow of Revan expansion.

The Secret World's nightmarish Issue #10 coming 'in next couple weeks'

Horror, Real-Life, Events (In-Game), Expansions, The Secret World, Dev Diaries, Buy-to-Play

Content-loving The Secret World fans will be happy to hear that the next issue is just a couple weeks away. Joel Bylos' November Game Director letter has announced that Issue #10 Nightmares in the Dream Palace will go live "in the first half of December." That means more Tokyo locations, a new mission chain, new AEGIS shields, and more interesting characters will soon be available to enjoy. Want to wander the docks and the shipyards? How about prowl around an abandoned quarantine camp or the Orochi tenements? Those locations and more will be available for exploration. Can't wait to hear and see more? Keep your eyes peeled for Massively's hands-on with issue #10 this week!

Not all the goodies are dependent on owning the issue, either. The accompanying patch brings quality-of-life improvements including bug fixes, a UI editing mode, and an updated con system to help newer players. And what's TSW without a great holiday event? The letter also introduces this year's new Christmas event, which will run from the middle of the month until just after the new year. Called The Christmas Conspiracy, it begins with an invitation to see a performance of "The Magic Flute" at the Albion Theatre and entails working to stop the Phoenicians from stealing the very heart of Christmas itself. Previous Christmas events will also return.

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