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Expansions

Neverwinter's Tyranny of Dragons expansion live today

Fantasy, Video, Classes, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Neverwinter

Perfect World has officially launched Tyranny of Dragons, the latest expansion for Neverwinter. The update features a new class (the Scourge Warlock), new heroic encounters, a new dungeon, and a new skirmish. Don't forget to check out the gameplay clip after the cut!

[Source: Perfect World press release]

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Gamescom 2014: SWTOR boasts over a million monthly players

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic

swtor
"Every month, more than a million players are logging in, playing with their friends, and embarking on their own personal Star Wars Saga," EA claimed today at its Gamescom press event.

If you're one of those million players, then you'll also want to know that Galactic Strongholds will release next Tuesday, August 19th, for subscribers. We've got the new trailer from Gamescom that quickly demonstrates the expansion's selling points, including its player housing system, guild flagships, and plantary conquest. What are you waiting for? You can bask in its glory after the jump!

[With thanks to Hagu.]

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Jukebox Heroes: Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer's soundtrack

Fantasy, Age of Conan, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Jukebox Heroes, Music

Fans (or ex-fans?) of this column might recall that I went against the grain of popular opinion by pronouncing Age of Conan's soundtrack "adequate" rather than an "outstanding masterpiece." I think that I can extend an olive branch to the player army that's been chasing me since then, however, as I hold the expansion soundtrack in much higher regard.

Composer Knut Avenstroup Haugen returned for Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer, creating a 22-track journey through all new barbaric lands. Unlike his first score for this MMO, this one latches onto the Asian themes of the expansion and takes the score in a decidedly Chinese direction. It's well-done across the board and aided by a full orchestra. Really, my biggest complaint is that it's not easy to purchase here in the states for some reason. You can listen to and even download a few samples from the official soundtrack site, which still remains in operation.

So let's head to the far east for this week's exploration of MMO soundtracks, looking at the highlights from Rise of the Godslayer!

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Star Trek Online highlights the path of Voyager

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Lore, Previews, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

You're allowed to start humming the theme song, really.
Captain Kathryn Janeway led the crew of the USS Voyager across the Delta Quadrant, traveling 70,000 lightyears in seven years and encountering a variety of species and phenomena during the journey. Star Trek Online's next expansion, Delta Rising, is retracing her steps, bringing players back into the Delta Quadrant to explore both strange new worlds and ascertain the fate of the known ones. The most recent development blog takes a look at Voyager's journey through the region as well as where players will wind up relative to that lengthy trip.

The expansion will cover a region of space starting at the Nekrit Expanse and extending toward the Alpha Quadrant, including encounters with races heretofore unseen in Star Trek Online such as the Kazon, the Ocampa, and the Talaxians. Players will also encounter the Borg Cooperative (a splinter group from the Collective) and the Benthan Guard, as well as a mysterious adversary that's harassing the entire region and giving every race pause. Whether you want to see the long-term effects of the Borg's failed Alpha Quadrant invasion or just pick up a Talaxian officer to handle your ship's mess hall, it seems you'll be getting the chance.

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR guild ships and Rakghouls

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, First Impressions, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR guild ships and Rakghouls
This weekend was full of space zombies and capital ships in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I ended up dividing my time between the live servers hosting the Rakghoul event on Tatooine and attempting to make the most out of having a guild ship on the public test server.

Unfortunately, my guild's capital ship fell victim to the Bermuda Triangle bug that makes ships completely disappear, and I wasn't even able to buy a new one. I chalk that up to testing. And I certainly will not cry foul because of it. Besides, the ship was eventually restored, just not in time for my guild to really make any headway in the conquests for this week.

However, I did get to experience the ship some because I was on the SWTOR official livestream last week, and I also created my own guild on PTS to test out the capital ship features.

But first, let's talk about Rakghouls.

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2001's RuneScape announces its first-ever expansion

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Launches, Lore, Patches, News Items, RuneScape, Free-to-Play, Browser, Sandbox

RuneScape
Who says old games never get new content? Jagex has just announced Lost City of the Elves, the first expansion pack ever for 13-year-old sandbox MMO RuneScape. The expansion, which is being rolled out gradually beginning today, will bring to conclusion the long-running Elf Quest campaign and mark the start of a new adventure, Plague's End:
"From today, high level players can begin their journey towards Prifddinas by taking part in the new and epic Plague's End quest, the largest adventure in RuneScape to date. As well as being voted by RuneScape players as part of the game's Player Power initiative, the development of the Lost City of the Elves has seen considerable collaborative efforts between Jagex and the community throughout its creation. The expansion pack is being released in three parts to enable players to experience and enjoy all areas of the new content. Today's release of Plague's End will be followed by the unlocking of one half of the elf city in September, and the second half in October."
The expansion also includes new skill training methods, wearables, minigames, a "guild social hub," and the largest city in the game to date.

[Source: Jagex press release]

Star Trek Online working on up to 10 new ships for expansion

Sci-Fi, Expansions, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

sto
If a friend tries to make a bet with you that Star Trek Online is out of new starship designs, don't take it. Executive Producer Stephen D'Angelo posted a dev diary today stating that the team is working on "between seven and 10 new Tier 6 ships" across all three factions for Delta Rising's launch.

The new tier of starships won't necessarily make your old Tier 5s obsolete. D'Angelo promised that, if players desire, they can continue to fly and fight in their favorite ships: "We are dedicated to making sure that players can continue flying the ships they love and still have those ships be competitive at the new level 60 endgame. We do not want players to feel that their investment in the current ships is devalued by the expansion, and this is a very challenging thing to do for a game with four years of history since the last level cap increase."

D'Angelo said that more details about Delta Rising will be forthcoming except for the storyline, and that the expansion should be launching in October.

Build an inn or trading post in World of Warcraft's Spires of Arak zone

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, PvE, Subscription

WoW
Are you a fan of the arakkoa, World of Warcraft's avian humanoids? Blizzard Game Designer Don Adams and Associate Quest Designer Johnny Cash are betting you are, which is why they've brought back the sqwawking Burning Crusade beasties in Warlords of Draenor, complete with a "fancy new model." In a dev blog posted today, the duo discuss the Spires of Arak zone, in which the arakkoa aren't quite as evil as they later become in the BC timeline.
Over the course of the zone, you're helping [a] shady resistance group of cursed arakkoa to make their final stand. You're learning about the curse they bear, the ancient gods of their land, and the very real threat posed by the Adherents of Rukhmar, the ruling caste of zealous arakkoa in Skyreach. Your adventure leads to two climactic events in the zone: one involving the plight of the outcasts against the flying arakkoa, and another focusing on the Shattered Hand fortress of Bladefist Hold.
Of interest is Cash's note that players can choose to "construct an Inn to help [them] house more soldiers and supplies or a Trading Post to establish trade agreements with friendly locals," thereby unlocking unique questlines and gaining access to special perks in the zone, like quicker hearthing and easier access to rested experience.

Star Trek Online officially announces Delta Rising expansion

Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

sto
While we heard word of Star Trek Online's second expansion out of the recent Star Trek Las Vegas convention, today Cryptic has made it official.

Star Trek Online: Delta Rising is on its way to the game, bringing with it exploration into the Delta Quadrant. The expansion will raise the level cap to 60, allow for captain specializations, and add new technology and new starships. Some of the Star Trek: Voyager cast will reprise their roles for the game, starting with Garrett Wang.

"In Delta Rising, enterprising captains are sent to explore the Delta Quadrant, joining forces with and opposing the efforts of well-known species seen on Star Trek: Voyager, such as the Talaxians and Kazon, as well as lesser known species," Cryptic posted. "A lot has changed in these sectors in the 30 years since Kathryn Janeway captained the Voyager through this region of space. With a portal recently discovered within the Dyson sphere providing a quick path to the quadrant, many vessels are being sent to explore the region."

You can watch the official STLV announcement video after the break!

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Meet Haku, one of Path of Exile's new Forsaken Masters

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

Path of Exile
The titular feature of the upcoming Forsaken Masters update for Path of Exile comes in the form of seven notable NPCs who have special tasks -- and rewards -- for the players. Each master is willing to train players and bestow upon them special hideout decorations, hideout tilesets, and crafting options.

Yesterday the team unveiled the third Forsaken Master, Haku the Armormaster. Haku is an armormaster who wants you to do a bit of ghostbusting while recovering an ancient spirit that's near and dear to his heart. We've got a quick video featuring the Master and his insane missions after the break!

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World of Warcraft's Nagrand will be familiar to Burning Crusade players

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Previews

wow
The one question that I always had about World of Warcraft's Nagrand zone wasn't how those giant rocks floated about in the sky but how some of them could produce endless waterfalls stemming from an unknown source. Did a wizard do that? It was probably a wizard.

While this question may never be answered, we'll have a second opportunity to explore the great mysteries of Nagrand with Warlords of Draenor. Blizzard pushed out a new preview today of the ancient version of Nagrand and talked a little about what players will be discovering.

"We very much wanted to respect what people really enjoyed about their experience in Nagrand in The Burning Crusade and capture that, while still providing a twist to what you'll experience there," the studio said. Nagrand is supposed to feel the "most familiar" of all of Draenor's zones, although it will boast a new exciting elemental storyline and tons of easter eggs to the dedicated fan.

Star Trek Online expansion details emerge from Las Vegas convention [Updated]

Sci-Fi, Expansions, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Rumors, Subscription

The Janeway Maneuver, also known as just shooting the Borg.
Star Trek Online fans at the recent Star Trek Las Vegas convention were treated to a special developer panel on Saturday, and information is starting to trickle out about what was discussed during the panel. And wouldn't you know it? It was expansion information. Fans on Reddit have compiled the available information, although there's been no official reveal on the forums or through other media regarding what will be coming (so far).

According to fan notes, the expansion will be dubbed Delta Rising and will take place in the eponymous Delta Quadrant, introducing species such as the Talaxians, the Ocampa, the Kazon, and the Malon to the game's lineup. Captains will be able to hit level 60, with a new method of alternative advancement and a new set of Tier 6 ships to be unlocked and flown. New Voyager interiors and Intrepid models will be available, along with voiceovers by Tim Russ and Garret Wang (Lt. Commander Tuvok and Ensign Harry Kim, respectively). If it's all true, all we're waiting on are pictures -- and of course, news about the new ships.

[Thanks to Anon E. Moose for the tip!]

[Update: Tipster Anthony let us know that TrekMovie.com has more information and photographs from the event at which the expansion was announced.]

World of Warcraft announces the release date of the release date of Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Subscription

Prepare to complete the preparation for completion.
Good news, World of Warcraft fans! Warlords of Draenor doesn't have a release date yet, but we now have a release date for its release date. Yes, Blizzard is hosting a big event on August 14th to unveil the game's opening cinematic, which will also reveal the date when Warlords of Draenor is releasing. The whole event will be streaming for free online, or if you're in Los Angeles, you can head down to the Ace Theater and view it in person.

In the event that you make the trek out to the theater, you'll be duly rewarded with a beta key for Warlords of Draenor and you'll get to enjoy sitting in the same room with the minds behind the expansion. Doors open on location at 8:30 a.m. PDT, with streaming starting at 12:30 p.m. EDT (9:30 a.m. PDT). Then you can enjoy the release... of the release.

World of Warcraft adds the Alliance motorcycle after all

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Subscription

Has no one realized this thing looks like a broken snowmobile yet?
In a twist that will stun everyone who is easily stunned, it turns out that the Alliance chopper is indeed being added to World of Warcraft with the arrival of Warlords of Draenor. Those of you who watched Azeroth Choppers from start to finish might have been surprised at the whole idea of only one bike design seeing implementation, but odds are you (and pretty much everyone else) saw this coming.

Worth noting, however, is that the chopper will cost money and will be available only to Alliance players. By contrast, the Horde chopper will be given away for free to players who log in before September 30th. Since it will not be possible for the opposite faction to ride a given chopper, this does mean that the Alliance version will end up being something of a gold sink for Alliance-only players. But, hey, you're getting it in the game; isn't that the important part?

Path of Exile announces Forsaken Masters, its second major update

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

Not to be confused with the Forsaken Maestros.  That's a very different expansion.
You aren't the best around in Path of Exile. To be the best, you need someone even better to teach you. You need a master. Maybe even a lost master, which is the premise of the game's second major update, Forsaken Masters. This update will give players seven different eponymous masters to train under, each of whom will make different requests of players and offer different lessons as players improve their reputation.

That's not all the update will offer when it goes live, though. Players will be able to craft their own customized hideouts upon reaching enough reputation with a given Master, allowing them to craft their own little town. There are also new items, revamped passive skills, rebalances of existing content, and new challenge leagues to enjoy. Players will be able to start taking on these new adventures when the update drops on August 20th. Then you can start really being the best around.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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