Weekly Recap #344 – Dirty Bomb, ArcheAge, Brawlhalla & More!
The team behind Ring of Elysium revealed the Season 2 Adventurer’s Pass this past week! Included in the update which went live a few days ago on the 16th is a brand new map called Europa. This new location features an active volcano which of course adds to the chaos, introduces three new characters and brand new modes of transportation including submarines, BMX bikes, hang gliders, and grappling hooks, because why not. Europa Island also brings a few new weapons for players to take advantage of, including the new MG4 and PKM. Cool new update to the game, I’ve got to say this game is definitely the underdog when it comes to the battle royal games, it deserves more attention.
But speaking of, Darkflow Software and Gaijin Entertainment announced this week that their MMO Shooter Cuisine Royale is coming to Xbox One! While the official launch is still a ways off, Xbox Insiders are invited to try the game and share their feedback. The number of participants is limited, so if you want in, you need to act sooner rather than later. Cuisine Royale offers the most realistic weaponry the battle royale games about cooking genre has to offer, alongside items that can be equipped to increase players’ stats. For example, it’s definitely not real world practical but, equipping an IV bag will provide faster health regen, and a set of glasses will increase your weapon accuracy. Instead of traditional armor, players equip themselves with cooking gear to increase defenses. Hey that kinda makes sense, I’ve got a big cast iron skillet that would make an awesome and effective piece of chest gear.
Well its official everyone is doing it, Black Desert Online’s new Battle Royale mode, The Shadow Arena, officially entered Early Access this week out of nowhere. I’m just going to pause there for a min to let that soak in. It’s real, its happening, Anyone who has purchased the game or is currently part of the 7-day Free Trial can participate in the test of this new mode. Shadow Arena has a limited capacity though, and is only available for testing during certain times which are listed on the webpage we’ve linked down below. The mode hosts 50 players at a time, who all begin as a Black Spirit. Once loaded in, you can then possess a body of one of the available classes in BDO which, to be honest is a cool approach. Once you have a body, you roam the map finding skills, weapons, armor, accessories, and special items like potions and traps. Hopefully they set it up pvp wise in this case similar to Guild Wars 2 where everyone has access to the same level skills and gear. It could be good but lets be honest here, who even asked for this?
Well that’s it for battle royale news, but on a slightly similar note, After five years, Dirty Bomb is going free to play… completely… and the developers have announced that the game will no longer receive updates, ah… that’s why. The game’s servers will remain active for the remainder of 2019. Any decisions regarding the future of the game beyond 2019 have not been made or announced publicly at this time. They did make this infographic trailer you see playing here that is in the typical humorous dirty bomb fashion, its worth a look. The full patch notes for the final update can be found in the description. All RADs players possess will be converted to credits, and back catalogue items have been reintroduced. Credit gain rates have also been increased by a large amount.
Next up, Heavy Metal Machines is kicking things off right in 2019 with a brand new Casual mode! Players who complete 20 matches in the new mode will receive a special 2019 themed portrait. You don’t even have to win the matches. As long as you play and don’t AFK during the match, you’ll receive credit. The hope of the devs is that this will bring about more interaction between new players and veterans. As an added bonus, you’ll even get to hear the voice of Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing, Larry Huffman! What’s not to like?
Back over to MMO news, Final Fantasy XIV’s patch 4.5 is live, which means the Blue Mage has finally arrived! This is the game’s first “limited” job, and as such they cannot group in random parties. Accessing the Blue Mage job requires having a level 50 disciple of War or Magic, and you must have also completed the main scenario quest “The Ultimate Weapon” in the Realm Reborn storyline. Blue Mages find powers from fighting enemies, and can mimic those abilities in battle. There are currently 49 unique monster abilities, and a level cap of 50, but these will increase in future updates. There’s also a Blue Mage exclusive duty, titled The Masked Carnivale. This exciting end-game content challenges players to complete a series of 25 unique stages. Weekly rewards are also available for those who wish to hone their skills even further. The Masked Carnivale will become available once you’ve reached level 50 with Blue Mage and have completed all Blue Mage job quests. If you’re curious about how the Blue Mage handles but don’t meet the requirements to make one yet, we’ve got you covered on MMOHuts.com with an impressions article that Jason put together after spending some time with one.
Bless Unleashed Class Teaser (5:30)
In other news, Bandai Namco released a new trailer for Bless Unleashed, showing off the unique classes the game will offer. These include Berserkers, Mages, Rangers, Priests, and Crusaders. All of the classes look fun to play, but the video should be received with cautious optimism. Its PC counterpart, Bless Online, has received a ton of negative press for its poor optimization and heavy reliance on pay-for-convenience and pay-for-progress items, so player beware!
The Heart of Fire, the latest adventure for Neverwinter centered around the Penny Arcade created Acquisitions Incorporated party, is now live on consoles! Players will team up with Acquisitions Incorporated characters including Omin Dran, Walnut Dankgrass, and fan favorite Jim Darkmagic assign players dangerous tasks like infiltrating a Beholder convetion in a Tank costume, helping them work their way up from intern status to a full-fledged member of the company. The update also includes a new end-game skirmish, the Manycoins Bank Heist, and a massive overhaul to the game’s professions system. There have also been several class balance tweaks, and loot drops have been adjusted so that vendor loot items drop much more frequently and that more desirable loot items have higher chances of appearing.
Next up, TERA’s first major update of 2019, Shore Hold, is here! The update features a new 7v7 Battleground, also called Shore Hold, which features shorter resurrection times, buff-generating mana stones, and a few other improvements to make PVP more exciting. In this new mode, players must juggle capturing pyres and battling a cave-dwelling monster. Accompanying the new mode are several new PVP gear sets complete with PVP-only enhancements. Players will also be able to check out a new solo instance called the Training Ground. Complete with a new DPS meter, the Training Ground lets players reset fights to adjust or change out gear, and equip buffs to simulate a full party. The Shadow Sanguinary dungeon also returns to the game with updated rewards. Decent sized update, I’m a little surprised there wasn’t a trailer for this one.
ArcheAge’s 5.1 update, Relics of Hiram, is live as of this past week and is loaded with new content. Those who want to enjoy a life of plundering and marauding can now join in a new questline, as opposed to commit crimes to become a Pirate. The crime and infamy system has also been separated from Pirates. Another thing to note is that inactive Pirates will be sent back to their mother faction after seven days. ArcheAge also saw its hero system revamped, giving Heroes new abilities and quests specific to their role in the game. Special hero cloaks have been improved, making them even tougher. As born leaders, Heroes can summon their followers in raids. The Abyssal Library dungeon is now available on both Legacy and Fresh Start servers. Dungeon bosses will also drop the new Abyssal Library equipment as rewards.
In other news, Brawlhalla’s latest patch, Escape from Terminus, is finally here! A new Brawl has been added to the game, entitled Ghosts in the Terminus, alongside improvements to matchmaking. There are some incredible new cosmetics available as well, including Shin Sekai Koji, Mythic Hero Val, and Prizefighter Cross to name a few. Check out the complete update trailer at the site post at MMOHuts.com for all the details.
Now that the Black Mage has been defeated in MapleStory, it’s time to rebuild and see what that world has in store for us next! The path forward for the game will be made clear in the newest update, “Black Mage: New Beginnings” which goes live this coming week, on January 23rd. This update will increase the level cap to 275, which has not changed in more than five years. There are new enemies to fight, level 200 Genesis weapons to acquire, and plenty more. There are several events players can look forward to as well, including Gold Richie’s Lunar New Year Party, which stars January 30th. Players will be able to rescue kidnapped party guests, deliver heartfelt video messages to different characters in the world, and receive special log-in gifts to celebrate the year of the Pig. Seems like they got enough new attention to the game after the launch of MapleStory 2 to make some significant new updates, I’d expect to see more like them going forward.
Shifting directions just a bit here, As of January 22nd, Webzen’s Shot Online will be available on Steam. This also marks’ the 14th anniversary of GamesCampus’ EU/US servers for the Golf MMO. The trailer playing in the background is actually the mobile version of the game I believe but the second most recent provided footage is 8 years old and looks like Mario 64 graphics. As you can tell, Shot Online is an MMO Golf game that brings the world of competitive golf to life digitally with RPG elements that allow characters to grow and improve. Think second life crossed with tiger woods pga tour 98′. Not many online games can claim more than 10 years of success in the MMO market, but 14 years of growth and achievement have allowed Shot Online to rise to that illustrious claim. Alongside the upcoming Steam release, the Shot Online team will renew the structure of the cash shop and contents for user convenience.
SMITE Season 6 Discussion: (10:35)
But finally for our last bit of news, Titan Forge Games has revealed the absolutely staggering number of changes coming to SMITE for Season 6 this past week, including a massive number of god and item balance changes. The two most impressive changes headed to the game are the Role Queue and Cross-Play/Progression. Smite has been in need of a role queue for a long time to make champion selection less of a demoralizing experience, and Role queue has worked well for other mobas in that regard. Cross-Play and Progression is arguably the biggest of the changes though, as players will now be able to play with one account across all platforms, including Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Playstation 4 is still the odd man out in regards to cross-play, and if you’re a fan of Smite you should definitely tweet at them repeatedly and relentlessly about it. Smaller but still relevant changes include a glorious set of nerfs for everyone’s favorite scumbag Loki, and a brand new solo lane objective in Conquest called the Totem of Ku. There are entirely too many updates to cover in one segment, so be sure to check Jason’s articles over on MMOHuts.com for a continued breakdown.
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