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MMO Weekly Recap #446 March 26th – Magic Legends Open Beta, SMITE’s 7th Anniversary, & More!

JamesBl0nde recaps the MMO gaming news for the week of March 26, 2021! Transcript follows.

Albion Online pushed out its Call to Arms update bringing in an entire new faction, Smite and DFO have some epic anniversary celebrations going on, Magic: Legends is now in open beta on PC and Brawlhalla has officially ran out of crossover ideas, ehhh maybe not just yet.

What’s good everyone, JamesBl0nde here with the weekly recap for gaming news and announcements for the week of March  26th 2021 and starting out the news this week  –

While we were away last week we missed out on the biggest buzz of gaming news in a while which was, of course, the start of a new Fortnite season. And for all the craziness and crossovers of last season, it seems like Epic wants to go back to a simpler time, because this season’s theme is primal. Say goodbye to your fancy tech, and get ready to hunt and tame wildlife and craft your own rudimentary weapons. If you’re lucky you can find bunker chests with some powerful untouched tech that you can use to gain an advantage in your battle for survival. Don’t worry though, looks like you’ll have Lara Croft to help you out.

Next up it looks like KARDS, the World War Two digital card game, released its first mini-expansion last week. Called Breakthrough: Catalyst, the expansion adds a total of 60 new cards to the game, 24 of which are unique. Each major nation gets four new cards, while France and Italy get buffed with two new cards. These cards continue the Breakthrough theme and offer new tactics for players. You can get these cards by using wildcards, opening Breakthrough packs, or purchasing bundles in the game’s shop.

Meanwhile, World of Warships rolled out its 0.10.2  update early last week, continuing to spotlight their new Italian Battleships. More exciting for players is the return of the Big Hunt, a special battle mode revamped from the Key Battle from 0.9.10. 16 players face off against each other and monsters on the Polygon map, with the goal of reaching the portal in the middle. And Wargaming is keeping the development rolling as update 0.10.3 is already in public testing, which will spotlight German Destroyers.

The Lord of the Rings Online is still continuing on its long journey and released Update 29 last week. This update introduces the Wildwood of Bree, where players will have to choose to work with one of two factions – The League of the Axe or the Woodcutter’s Brotherhood – to decide the future of this forested area. Players can also try out two new three-player instances. Plus the Spring Festival has been expanded with a new boss, new festivity instance, and new rewards.

In other news, Blade & Soul released its Slithering Shadows update last week, and the Twisted Serpent Clan finds itself under attack in a brand new raid, the Twisted Serpent Stronghold. Along with new achievements and gear to be earned, there are new enchantments and evolutions available plus four new events, with another two events going live on the 31st of March. And the Hongmoon level cap has been bumped to 40, with levels under 30 now taking less experience to earn, so there’s plenty to do while waiting for the Unreal Engine 4 upgrade.

Next up Albion Online has pushed out its Call to Arms update, a massive update that overhauls the Faction Warfare system. Factions will now be able to take entire regions, not just outposts, and new faction ranks, rewards, and mounts offer extra goods for those who stay loyal to a faction in the wars. Additionally the game gets a sixth new faction and the continent has been expanded to adapt for the changes. Hellgates have also been improved, with ten new layouts, new foes, rising lava, and even a 10v10 Hellgate for the truly sadistic. This update has been a while in the making and is packed with content so make sure to check out the notes below.

Moving on to fresh news from this week, the upcoming MMO Infinite Fleet has released a new cinematic trailer highlighting one of its key gameplay mechanics – spoilers, it’s space ships that transform into mechs! You can kinda see that from the trailer. Guess if you like Gundam or Macross, this one might be worth keeping an eye on. Infinite Fleet’s aiming to be a sci-fi MMO inspired by series like Homeworld and EVE Online, with its own crypto asset powered economy. It’s got some star talent lending voices and music for it, but it’s early in development, so don’t get your hopes up too high yet.

Magic: Legends, the Magic: the Gathering based free to play ARPG from Perfect World, is now in open beta on PC. The game offers five starting classes – Sanctifier, Mind Mage, Necromancer, Geomancer, and Beastcaller – with more to come at a later date. There’s already over 175 spells and 200 artifacts and equipment to discover and collect to become the strongest Planeswalker possible. The game’s available through Epic Games or Arc Games, and either way, you can claim some free boosters and skins for starting the game by April 6th.

Speaking of playing card games, the next expansion for Hearthstone, Forged in the Barrens, is set to launch early next week. That means that the team spent some time this week going over card reveals – there’s a lot, so we’ve linked the stream below so you can watch it if you want all the details! A quick summary though – the expansion introduces the new Frenzy keyword, ten new Mercenary Minions, and ranked spells which gain power as you gain mana crystals. There’s 135 new cards coming, so prepare for the expansion’s release on March 30th.

Also in the news, Rocket League’s Season 2 is coming to an end, and to send it off with a bang, the Llama-Rama crossover event with Fortnite is back! From March 25th until April 9th, you can participate in special event challenges, and earn all new cosmetics including Umbrella Royale Wheels, Yonder’s Fleece Octane Decal, and the Llama Bell Player Anthem. There’s also a concurrent event celebrating artist Kaskade, including a special bundle in the shop.

Speaking of celebrations SMITE is celebrating its 7th anniversary with a new Talons of Tyranny event that will last for four months – now that’s a long party! This event focuses on the ongoing Tiamat storyline, and features a unique collection reward – a shapeshifting Chaac skin. Players can also get one free item a day for fifteen days as a login  birthday bonus, and after unlocking six items, you can claim a free community requested skin, Classic Ao Kuang. The update also adds the Heroes of the Wild Battle Pass, themed after household pets. On top of all that, SMITE’s just opened up new North America West servers, based in San Jose. Expect better latency in all of North America as players shift to the new server pipelines!

Also celebrating its anniversary this month is Dungeon Fighter Online, which has just kicked off a special event that lets your character become knighted by the Celestial Order. There are two factions – the Order of the Sun and the Order of the Moon – and you can train with your chosen order in order to earn special faction-specific rewards, including an order certificate that will display the banner of your order above your avatar. Also available are special anniversary avatars, a ribbon bow avatar hat, and more. The celebration kicked off on March 23rd and will continue until May 4th so you have plenty of time to get in game and earn your celebratory loot.

Another MMO updating this week is Riders of Icarus, with the major update titled Call of Nerhes – Manastone Invasion. As the name suggests, the highlight of this update is the introduction of the Mana Stone Invasion, where one guild faces  off against all others for a chance to control the Mana Stones. Those guilds that manage to hold the area will have access to exclusive dungeons for that time. There are also three new tamable familiars and more so make sure to check it out.

Hmm, you know what? We haven’t had a crossover event from Brawlhalla in a little while – oh wait, here one is! Looks like we’re tapping back a decade to invite Kung Fu Panda’s main characters into the 2D brawler! Three epic crossovers will be available in Malhalla even after the special collab event ends. You can check out these skins and test your skills in the week’s brawl of the week, a 1v1 showdown, and enjoy daily log in bonuses to boot.

Bouncing back over to a battle royale, Ring of Elysium is still alive, looking for more players, and kicking off Season 13 this week. Lasting 10 weeks, the new season will let players unlock three adventurer characters: Casey Jones, Vivian, and Cassio Kent. There’s lots of cosmetics and goodies to unlock on the free or paid pass, and if you’re dedicated enough, you can actually earn more points for completing the paid pass than you spend to unlock it, which is pretty sweet. Doesn’t seem to be much else to the season other than some improved DX12 support but… there you go!

Also kicking off a new season this week is Warface, with the Heist season officially underway. You’ll join up with the Blackwood squad to execute the perfect heist with new tools and mechanics, including wall climbing and laser cutters. Rewards for the season include a special M4 Custom Sniper Carbine, Big Score weapons, and other cosmetics and tokens. There’s also a new Shapeshifter gear set, which boasts damage reduction from explosives, reduced recoil, and increased accuracy.

Likewise, Ninjala has also begun a new season this week. Season 5 is themed around fairy tales, with costumes based on Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, and more. There’s a brand new featured battle called Ninjala Striker, a 4v4 match based on soccer, which looks pretty fun. And a brand new mode, Online Tournament, lets players compete in ranked battles for prizes. And if you’ve never played Ninjala before, there’s a Beginner’s campaign going on right now where you can get free currency, costumes, and rewards for completing the tutorial. That’s not bad.

As we wrap up for the week, we want to point out that Watch Dogs: Legion, the third installment in the Watch Dogs series, is available to play on a free trial this weekend. The trial period began on March 25th and will last through March 28th, so you don’t have a lot of time to get the game downloaded if you want to try it out, but it was worth a mention!

Plus this week’s free to keep game on the Epic Games Store is Creature in the Well – a game where hack and slash meets pinball. This is a pretty unique dungeon crawler and is short enough to play in a weekend if you need something to do!

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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