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MMO Weekly Recap #442 Feb 19th – New World Closed Beta, AVA Relaunch, Valorant Escalation & More!

JamesBl0nde recaps the MMO gaming news for the week of February 19, 2021! Transcript follows.

Legends of Runeterra’s next expansion brings in quite a few new cards and a hand full of champions, Valorant adds in a fancy new game mode, Alliance of Valiant Arms is making a comeback and what if I told you, you have a tiny little window to play Star Citizen for free.

What’s good everyone, JamesBl0nde here with the weekly recap for gaming news and announcements for the week of February 19th 2021 and starting out the news this week –

Amazon’s game studio has rolled out a new developer vlog on its flagship MMO, New World, to keep everyone up to speed on the game’s development. You’re probably wondering if this means another release date delay – and it does. The dev team now plans on an August 31st, 2021 release date, with closed beta to precede it starting on July 20th. Sounds like after the August preview event last year, the team has been working hard to bring the game up to player expectations, with polish to the combat system, improved quest and equipment variety, an overhauled crafting system, and more mid-game and end-game content. Let’s hope it pays off, and we don’t see a repeat of what happened with Crucible.

In other major news, Riot Games has announced its next expansion for Legends of Runeterra. Called Empires of the Ascended, the expansion will add 110 new cards, including nine champions. Players can also expect to welcome a new region, Shurima, a desert-like land that holds secrets of Runeterra’s past. As has become their tradition, Riot will be releasing and revealing new cards every day on social media until the expansion patch drops.

Heavy Metal Machines is following up on its previous announcement to reveal that it will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 23rd, and will be compatible with PS4 and Xbox Series X and Series S as well. Hoplon Entertainment is even going to deliver on crossplay, meaning players will be able to battle with anyone else in the game no matter what the platform. To celebrate this launch, PlayStation users, Xbox Gold, and GamePass Ultimate subscribers will also be rewarded with exclusive packages during the first two weeks of the game’s service.

If you’re a fan of classic online first person shooters, here’s some good news: Alliance of Valiant Arms – more commonly known as AVA – is making a return! AVA was shut down in 2018 by its previous publisher, En Masse Entertainment, but the game’s developer (who also publishes the game in Japan and Korea) is taking over and preparing for a global launch on Steam this spring. If you’re interested, make sure to check out the website linked below for info on signing up for upcoming beta tests and alerts for the final launch.

Meanwhile the first part of Neverwinter’s Sharandar module – Episode 1: The Iron Tooth – is live now on PC, and set to launch on consoles on March 16th. This module returns player to a revamped Sharandar, with a new social hub, the Ruins of Malabog adventure zone, Vault of Stars dungeon, and more. Of course there’s new rewards too, including the Forest Guardian’s armor set and the Blink Dog companion. The second episode of Sharandar should arrive in April and May.

Valorant has introduced a brand new game mode this week during its 2.03 patch update. Escalation is a 5v5 team mode of 12 levels, where the first team to finish level 12 – or whoever gets the furthest in the 10 minute time limit – wins. Unlike some team modes though, you have to get at least one kill with each required weapon to progress yourself, regardless of your team’s accomplishments. No slacking off or carries here. The patch also includes a number of balance adjustments and quality of life improvements. Patch notes are linked below if you want the full details.

In other news, Gameforge has announced a major new update to the classic style MMORPG, Metin2. Coming on February 23rd, the Curse of the Serpent Queen pits players against the Serpent Queen Nethis. This update will feature the new zone, Yilad Pass; the new dungeon, Serpent Temple; a new Mysterious Dungeon, and a new armor set themed around the serpent. Metin2’s even available on GeForce Now if you’re hooked up with that service.

World of Warships has pushed out its 0.10.1 update this week, which stars a new branch of Italian Battleships. These ships feature semi-armor-piercing shells, an exhaust smoke generator that can hide them from enemies, and generally decent maneuverability, armor protection, and guns. To celebrate the game is offering limited time missions, plus free daily gifts until March 7th. Meanwhile the second season of ranked battles kicks off, along with updated brawls, clan battles, and more.

Believe it or not, Star Citizen is in a playable state, and to celebrate the release of its latest dynamic event, its developer has kicked off a February Free Fly event. While it started on February 15th, it’s running until February 25th so you still have a few days to download and play Star Citizen for free. Now it might take a few days to actually download, but there it is! During this time you’ll have access to free test flights for six different vehicles, and if you really enjoy the event, you can always get 10% off the game’s starter packs during this period.

But speaking of free for a limited time, let’s hit on the free games this week found on the Epic Games Store! First up is Absolute Drift, a minimalist stunt racing game that’s all about mastering the drift, with dozens of levels, three game modes, six cars, and a few free roaming areas too. Also available this week is Rage 2, an intense, gory first person shooter that pits you against everything in a wasteland, from man to monster to mutant. Its almost and in-between Doom and Borderlands, its kinda my gig. Really good one to pick up if you don’t already have it!

Well guys I’ve got to say I’m really happy that I’m able to get you guys this recap this week, since Valentines Day we’ve had some winter weather in Texas like we’ve never really had before. First day was nice, I was able to shoot some cool video of my son playing in the first snow he’s ever seen. But that was before we lost power and means of keeping warm altogether. We had to stay layered up and under blankets for the past few days and it was only until mid day Thursday we had running water once again which we currently have to boil in order to use for cooking or drinking. Either way we’re safe and as a community we had to look out for each other and appreciated the things we might often take for granted. So where ever you are stay safe and be kind to others, never know when you’ll need to help out or be helped out.

But with that said, that’s about it for all the major news and announcements for this week. Be sure to stay safe, and keep your families healthy! Like always you can find more information on the news topics, linked in the description below, feel free to discuss the news or even more news in the comments below and don’t forget to like, subscribe, wash your hands a bunch, hit that little bell icon to get notifications and of course share this video! But until next time guys that’s going to be it for me… I’m JamesBl0nde… see ya out there gamers!

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