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Expansions

Age of Wushu's Tempest of Strife expansion announced for Spring

Fantasy, Expansions, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Age of Wushu

While many people are looking forward to better weather and sunshine come spring, Age of Wushu players will have thunderstorms, blizzards, and even sandstorms thanks to one of the new features in the upcoming Tempest of Strife expansion.

In addition to immersive weather that can trigger mysterious events, this fourth expansion also includes six new sects to join. Players ready to cast off the shackles of their old masters can betray their school and sign up with one of the three sects open to all (Villa of Beasts, Xu Family Manor, and Golden Needle Sect) or one of the three that require a large reserve of talent first (Palace of Shifting Flowers, Peach Blossom Island, Rootless Clan). Want to forgo masters altogether? Become a vagrant!

Additional expansion features include the ability to change your looks through a face-lift and the opportunity to personalize your equipment by inscribing unique names on each piece. Tempest of Strife is due out later this spring.

[Source: Snail Games press release]

The Daily Grind: What was the best WoW expansion?

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Polls, Expansions, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, MMORPG

Dalaran
Last November, Massively's sister site WoW Insider posed this very simple question to its readers: What was your favorite World of Warcraft expansion? Wrath of the Lich King took over half the vote, with Burning Crusade trailing far behind, which surprised me. I'd consider Wrath to have been the game's peak myself, but I always assumed TBC would beat it in a straight-up poll.

But maybe the difference here is that WoW Insider's fanbase is made up mostly of current players, whereas on Massively we're catering to more of a pre-and-post-WoW community. So today, we're asking you: What was the best WoW expansion?
What was the best WoW expansion?
The Burning Crusade1643 (31.1%)
Wrath of the Lich King2144 (40.6%)
Cataclysm149 (2.8%)
Mists of Pandaria220 (4.2%)
It'll be Warlords of Draenor!120 (2.3%)
All of them. I love all my children equally.125 (2.4%)
None of them. Vanilla or bust!502 (9.5%)
None of them. Hating WoW is cool. Rabble rabble.376 (7.1%)

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Not So Massively: Elite's alpha, Diablo III's commercial, and Star Citizen's 40M milestone

Betas, Video, Expansions, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, Previews, News Items, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Crowdfunding

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor is launching by December 20th

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

When you absolutely, positively, need to level up without killing a darn thing.
Just yesterday, World of Warcraft gave everyone a look at just how important reaching the level cap could be. Today, the game is opening up independent level 90 boosts for everyone via the in-game store, and they're still priced at $60 a pop. It's bad news if you have an army of alts you want to speed along to the level cap, but it's good news if you have that army of alts and more money than you know what to do with. A tutorial video is embedded just past the break to show you how to make use of this feature.

Even if you're not up for buying one of the boosts, you might be looking forward to getting one along with your purchase of Warlords of Draenor. So when's that expansion actually coming out? According to the official site, it will be releasing on or before December 20th of this year, which means it's definitely coming out this year but leaves the field wide open in terms of when. Keep your eyes peeled for rollbacks on that date, as it's more likely that the expansion will be out long before the end of the year.

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World of Warcraft's new Warlords of Draenor trailer wishes you were here

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

How many of these is she going to send me?
So your friends in World of Warcraft have finally convinced you to come back to the game. Great, but they're all Level 90 and you're Level Seriously Who Even Cares. They're decked out in epic garments while you're apparently dressed like some sort of drifter with plate armor. What are you going to do? How could you ever take part in their adventures?

Well, you could buy Warlords of Draenor and just hit 90 immediately on the character of your choice. A dramatization of exactly that is available in the trailer just past the cut, with a Gnome taking the plunge and bypassing a whole lot of leveling content in the interim. Click on past the break to see it in action, and perhaps you'll be inspired to also vault past a whole bunch of leveling to get right to the top.

[Thanks to Schippie for the tip!]

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World of Warcraft monkeys with health and heals in Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Dev Diaries, Subscription

WoW
World of Warcraft has another dev watercooler out today, this time talking about health (your character's, not your own), healing, and what the team will be doing to improve related systems come Warlords of Draenor.

For starters, the devs will be doubling player health in the expansion to make characters more durable in PvP. "The net result of these changes is that individual attacks will knock a smaller chunk off of a player's health pool in PvP, but your survivability in PvE won't be affected," Blizzard posted.

Other upcoming changes include reducting base resilience and battle fatigue to practically nil, increasing creature damage, increasing the effectiveness of heals, reducing the power of aborbs, and "making smart heals a little less smart." Some smaller, cheaper healing skills will also be removed from the game, and a few instant-cast heals are on the chopping block as well.

The Road to Mordor: LotRO's big battles are a big bust

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Opinion, Free-to-Play, The Road to Mordor

LotRO
Recently my journey through Helm's Deep came to a close as I finished all of the quests plus advanced the epic story as far as it could go. Overall, I loved the expansion: It had great pacing, beautiful scenery, memorable quests, and an obvious dedication to doing The Two Towers right. But there was one glaring fault that Lord of the Rings Online seemed to save for the last, which I discovered during my foray into the big battle system.

Other than visiting them in a couple of press tours, I had been avoiding big battles (even though you can jump in one starting at level 10) because I wanted to experience them organically as part of the storyline. I wasn't necessarily anticipating them, but I wasn't dreading them either. "Mild curiosity" is perhaps the emotion that I identified within my breast, and as it turned out, that was wildly overpreparing for the experience that followed.

Big battles are, I'm sorry to say, a big bust in LotRO. Sure, they have their positives and moments, but for a system that Turbine spent over a year to create and shoved aside instances and raids in favor of putting into the expansion, it should have been so much more. So what went wrong?

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Diablo III welcomes you to the Blood Marsh

Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Lore, Previews, Diablo III, Buy-to-Play

Diablo III
Blood Marsh: That doesn't sound too inviting, does it? But it does sound like something that would fit right in with Diablo III's cheery locales. It probably crushed the interview when it applied to be a zone in the game.

Diablo III has a fetid and murky blog post today spotlighting the Blood Marsh region from the upcoming Reaper of Souls expansion. According to Blizzard, the Blood Marsh is "a massive, swampy stretch of land, split by rivers and tributaries often utilized for passage and trade." The theme of "blood," both the red substance and lineage, is integral to the zone's story.

Adventurers in the region will discover signs of an ancient civilization, battle creatures like the bogans and blood golems, and unlock the mysteries of the Ruins of Corvus.

Path of Exile's Sacrifice of the Vaal expansion lands today

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Launches, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeons, Path of Exile

Path of Exile
Get your mouse-clicking fingers ready because today developer Grinding Gear Games releases Sacrifice of the Vaal, a mini-expansion for online roguelike Path of Exile, the first of the game's promised triannual updates. Expect a showdown with the Queen of the Vaal, new skill gems, new Vaal-themed areas, a free-for-all PvP mode, and new leagues that dare players to undertake specific challenges before the timer runs out.

GGG reminds players that the first 50 folks to defeat the Queen in each of the new challenge leagues will receive an exclusive Vaal effect, so go get your murderin' gear on.

We've tucked the expansion's official trailer after the break in case you missed it.

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Allods Online outlines changes to the Astral

Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Allods Online

Astral space: the less-than-final frontier.
The Astral is a big part of Allods Online, the big twisting magical space upon which the fragments of land float steadily. Adventuring in this space is a big part of high-level play, and with the game's next major update it's seeing a large-scale overhaul. A new official posting reveals how the environment will be changing and how players will navigate the new regions, hunting down valuable equipment in unexplored regions.

With the new update, the map will be divided into four layers of seven sectors each, with better gear available as players unlock maps leading into deeper and more dangerous regions. Players piece together maps by retrieving fragments of said maps in the Wild Shore and will be exploring eight new Astral islands in total. For more information on these changes, including the sector breakdown and the improvements to ship equipment, take a look at the full development blog and get ready for exploration.

Get ready for Diablo III's expansion with a 50 percent XP boost

Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Diablo III, Buy-to-Play

Diablo III bonus XP
Hey look, it's more Diablo III news! It's almost like there's a forthcoming expansion or something. In any case, Blizzard is offering 50 percent bonus experience, which should give you a head-start on the new Paragon leveling system. The bonus period ends on March 24, and it only applies to PC and Mac versions of the game.

If you want a full run-down of everything new and improved with the recent 2.0.1 patch, click past the cut and watch the What's New video.

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Neverwinter's next expansion heads to Icewind Dale

Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter

Neverwinter's Icewind Dale
The name Icewind Dale conjures a lot of fond memories for fans of both the Forgotten Realms and turn-of-the-century RPGs. Fortunately for both groups, Cryptic and Perfect World are returning to the iconic locale in Neverwinter's next expansion.

Module 3: Curse of Icewind Dale is slated to release "later this spring," according to a news blurb on Cryptic's Arc website. Players can expect "new PvE content," new features, and "completely different ways to PvP."

The Neverwinter dev team has released a brief preview trailer for Module 3, and you'll find it behind the break.

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Blizzard unleashes Diablo III: Reaper of Souls commercial

Fantasy, Video, Expansions, MMO Industry, Diablo III

Diablo III
If you were watching Sunday night's episode of The Walking Dead, you may have noticed a little commercial for Blizzard's Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

Blizz is certainly no stranger to TV commercials, and this cinematic trailer gives us a glimpse into the good-vs.-evil plot of the new expansion that's set to go live on March 25. You can now update to the pre-patch which already includes plenty of goodies to tide you over before launch, and be sure to watch the commercial included after the jump below.

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EVE Evolved: What to expect from EVE Fanfest 2014

Video, EVE Online, Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, Opinion, Hands-On, Events (Massively's Coverage), World of Darkness, EVE Evolved, DUST 514, Dev Diaries, Player-Generated Content

EVE Evolved title image
Almost 10 years ago, EVE Online developer CCP Games started a new tradition with the first ever annual EVE Fanfest. The event started out as a largely informal gathering in a tiny venue that allowed players and developers to mingle on a more personal level, but it's now grown into something massive. Over a thousand players now make the annual pilgrimage to EVE Online's birthplace in Reykjavik, Iceland, to hear what the future holds for their favourite MMO. For many, the event is also a social gathering, a chance to swap stories with other players, and a rare opportunity to meet the corpmates they fly with every day in the virtual galaxy of New Eden.

The Fanfest weekend is typically a packed schedule of panels, talks, roundtable discussions with developers, and keynote speeches revealing the future of the game. While the event is understandably focused on EVE Online, it's recently expanded to cover aspects of DUST 514, the latest goings-on with World of Darkness, and even CCP's new virtual reality dogfighter EVE Valkyrie. CCP has announced that this year's event will see a monument to the EVE playerbase unveiled in Reykjavik Harbor as well as the first reveal of EVE's summer expansion, but what else can we hope to glean from this year's event at the start of May?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into the EVE Fanfest announcement and speculate on what we might expect to hear from this year's event. Will this be the year that World of Darkness gets some serious news? And what's new for DUST 514?

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Here's a trailer for Path of Exile's Sacrifice of the Vaal mini-expansion

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Path of Exile

Path of Exile logo
How do you like your game trailer voiceovers? If you said creepy-with-a-side-of-demonic-possession, you'll probably dig the new Sacrifice of the Vaal spot for Path of Exile.

The dark fantasy dungeon dive from Grinding Gear Games is getting a "mini-expansion" featuring Queen Atziri, secret corrupted areas, 60 unique new bosses, and a bunch of other stuff that you can see by clicking past the cut and viewing the teaser.

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