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Neverwinter photo

Neverwinter's Underdark expansion launches on November 17

A questline written by R.A. Salvatore
Oct 30
// Joe Parlock
Jeeze, it doesn’t seem five minutes since Perfect World released Strongholds, the last expansion to their pretty great MMO Neverwinter. Now they’re already preparing to release the next major expansion for the ga...
Europa DLC photo
Europa DLC

The Cossacks coming to Europa Universalis IV this year

Plus free update to the game
Oct 15
// Steven Hansen
I've always liked the word "Cossack." It's fun to say, it's got two c's and two s's, it's how John Cusack's name should be pronounced, and it's basically a mashup of "cock" and "ballsack." So I was with the Cocksacks until t...
Guild Wars 2 photo
Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns launch trailer is a bit premature

Game doesn't come out for another month
Sep 28
// Joe Parlock
NCSoft has released the launch trailer for the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion, Heart of Thorns. And that is really, really strange. No, it’s not the Evil Groot yelling at a cat that’s weird. It’s not the t...
The Old Hunters photo
The Old Hunters

Bloodborne producer gives some more details about The Old Hunters

More than just a pizza cutter
Sep 21
// Joe Parlock
As we found out last week at the Tokyo Game Show, Bloodborne is getting an expansion titled The Old Hunters. The trailer showed a lot of loud weapons and things dying horribly, but that’s just par fo...
Magicka 2 photo
Magicka 2

Magicka 2 dumps a whole load of free new spells on you

Just dollops them all over you...
Sep 16
// Joe Parlock
Magicka 2, one of the best games ever to make you lose all of your friends, has received a free update. For those who don’t know, Magicka’s combat revolves around typing in spells. Each letter corresponds with a ...
Bloodborne expansion photo
Bloodborne expansion

Bloodborne's expansion looks nuts

Put that thing out of its misery
Sep 15
// Jordan Devore
Some of us are going to face this monstrosity in Bloodborne's first and hopefully not final expansion, The Old Hunters, in late November. Please wish us luck. I'm having Bloodletting Beast flashbacks. You've probably seen the...
Cities: Skylines photo
Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines After Dark trailer shows off your city's nightlife

Get your drunk arse home, mayor
Aug 31
// Joe Parlock
Cities: Skylines was absolutely fantastic. Developer Colossal Order did a fantastic job of balancing its fun city creation tools with a detailed simulation that made SimCity look like some matchsticks held together with sick...

Guild Wars 2's base game goes free-to-play today, no purchase needed

Aug 29 // Chris Carter
Opening up the conversation, O'Brien talked a bit about how the core message of the game is staying the same, despite the move to free-to-play. "We don't want to ask for more money, and all of the additional purchases will stay the same" he stated. Going on, Mike noted, "What we looked at after the release of the core game, is things like 'how can players catch up with their friends' and this new model makes that easier to do. We've always said 'if you wan't Guild Wars 2, just buy the game, and we'll provide free updates for it for months.' We'll continue to do that for Heart of Thorns: just buy the expansion, and you'll get every update for free." Another big new change is the addition of raids, which will make their debut in Heart of Thorns. Speaking on this new adventure, Colin Johanson, keeping with the spirit of the game, insists that "this is our way of doing things differently, even with the traditional format of raids with other MMOs. We're getting rid of barriers to entry. The way Heart of Thorns is built is by way of masteries, which will upgrade your character beyond the typical gear-based setup of other games. In that regard, raids will still be relevant six months later, and won't be completely replaced by a new tier of gear." Going on, Johanson stated that "although you can't necessarily PUG (pick-up-group) these raids, they are skill-based. In other words, you can use any combination of characters to complete them." Upon probing him a bit, asking whether or not it was difficult to design raids around the lack of a trinity (healer, tank, and damage), he responded with, "it's not necessarily tougher but balance them within our game, but they will be more fun since everyone can fulfill any role. You don't have to wait 40 minutes for your healer to get online, and you can use any class you want to play. It really is all about skill." If ArenaNet and their team can follow through with these promises, an accessible yet challenging raid scheme would be an enticing prospect for players old and new. I'm anxious to see what they come up with when Heart of Thorns finally comes out.
Guild Wars 2 F2P photo
Heart of Thorns still a paid expansion
Nearly three years after the release of Guild Wars 2, the base game is going fully free-to-play. Instead of following a method where users are required to purchase the core package before they are greeted with a subscrip...

Destiny photo

Hear the new Nolan North-voiced Ghost in Destiny

RIP Dinklebot
Aug 25
// Jordan Devore
It's a single line of dialog, but here's what Ghost sounds like in Destiny: The Taken King now that Nolan North is voicing the character instead of Peter Dinklage. Time to get worked up! Or not! Resident Destiny fanatic Vikki Blake says "Northbot sounds just like Dinklebot." I'd tentatively call North's performance an improvement based on, again, just this one line, but we'll have to see.

Cities: Skylines gets nightlife with After Dark expansion

Aug 21 // Steven Hansen
[embed]297379:59852:0[/embed] There is also, "a new specialization for the commercial areas," leisure areas like casinos and night clubs, "the downtown area, the nightlife center of the city." Nighttime also brings about higher rates of crime, helping to fill out prisons. Daytime has unique additions, too. New beachfront property thrives during the day like the casinos and clubs of nighttime, and the cities can also allow bike lanes for cyclists (or let them travel more slowly on sidewalks), thereby reducing traffic. The team wants to add, "smoother ways of handling large systems" with its updates, "helping people do what they're already doing in a more elegant and streamlined way," like by adding bus stations that can accept multiple bus lines and allow for in-building transfers. The $15 expansion launches September 24. The day and night cycle itself is a free update added to all owned copies of Cities: Skylines, while the After Dark expansion will house additional content.
September 24 photo
September 24
Cities: Skylines' major expansion, After Dark, has been dated for September 21. After dunking on SimCity, the successful city simulator is, "focusing on making large expansions over making many small ones," Colossal Order's l...

Neverwinter photo

Neverwinter: Elemental Evil expansion is coming to Xbox One next month

Slowly catching up to the PC version
Aug 07
// Joe Parlock
It was only a month ago when Rise of Tiamat, the fifth expansion for the free-to-play MMO Neverwinter, was released on Xbox One. At the time, I noted that while it was a decent update, it still meant the Xbox One version of t...
Skylines After Dark photo
Skylines After Dark

Cities: Skylines' After Dark expansion brings darkness to your city

What happens in your city after dark?
Aug 06
// Jed Whitaker
Have you ever wondered what your citizens do in Cities: Skylines at night? Well you'll soon be able to find out with the After Dark expansion.  The trailer doesn't give away a whole lot, showing just what I as...
Ori expansion photo
Ori expansion

Ori and the Blind Forest is getting an expansion

For Xbox One and Windows 10
Aug 06
// Jordan Devore
Ori and the Blind Forest is one of my favorite games on Xbox One. It looks, sounds, and plays magnificently. I'm surprised and delighted it even got made, and that goes double for its commercial success. The game was "already...
Elite: Dangerous photo
Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous gets Horizons expansion, planetary landings

From Space Trucks to Space Buggies
Aug 05
// Josh Tolentino
Time to kick the tires, Commanders. Frontier Developments, they who run premier space-trucking sim Elite: Dangerous, just announced Horizons, the next expansion for the game. Due to open on PC and Xbox One this year, Ho...

Neverwinter: Strongholds might get me back into the game

Jul 31 // Joe Parlock
Building your Stronghold [embed]296961:59747:0[/embed] With the goal of providing “interesting and meaningful experiences to guilds”, the process of creating and upgrading your guild’s stronghold is at the heart of the expansion. All buildable structures and upgrades are ultimately decided by the leaders of the guild, but those goals are worked towards by every member through the “Coffers” system. Coffers are the total resources available to a guild to help build up their stronghold, and they’re separated into three categories: materials, which are found in the lands surrounding your stronghold such as lumber; treasures, which are earned by playing through the campaign zones of the wider game such as the Dread Ring campaign; and stockpiles, the normal loot, gold, and astral diamonds players earn throughout the game. Finding these resources ensures creating a good stronghold for your guild isn’t just a case of the leaders fiddling with the UI; every member of the guild would have a role to play, be it collecting resources or planning out where structures will go.  Once there are enough resources to build a new structure in the stronghold, or to upgrade an already existing one, the guild leaders can then start the work of upgrading, while also setting the next goal for the guild to work towards. However, the amount of upgrades you can apply to a structure depends on the overall level of the guild’s keep. While structures have a maximum level of 10, the keep can grow up to level 20. However, structures can’t out-level the keep, so sometimes an effort must be made to upgrade the keep rather than simply rushing for all the new and shiny buildings. As players donate these hard-earned resources to their guild’s coffers, they are awarded guild marks with which they can buy new gear and items for themselves at the marketplace. It’s a way of incentivising altruism among the guild, and is one of the few times in the game players can make decisions for themselves that aren’t directly linked to the decisions of their wider guild. Another way the guild must coordinate in building their stronghold is in the new added boons. Boons are passive bonuses granted to players, and in Strongholds, structures can be built to grant the entire guild specific types of boons. There are currently four categories: offense, defense, utility, and Player vs. Player (PvP). The catch is not every type of boon would available for a guild at the same time, as there are only a limited number of boon structures that can be made. This requires decisions to be made about how players within the guild will be buffed. An example given would be a raiding guild may put more emphasis into PvP or offensive boons to increase their power. The boons in each category would be optional for each individual player, however what type of boon is available is up to the guild. It’s a neat mechanic, as now other players who you’d regularly play with have an active impact on how your character works, and how these buffs influence your character may well change in the future. Should the guild decide to change an offensive boon structure to a defensive one, the boons you previously had would no longer apply. It’s interesting, however I could also see it causing some conflict within guilds. The area given to a guild to build its stronghold on is the biggest zone Neverwinter has ever seen: it is three times bigger than the biggest previous one. The zone is split into multiple, smaller themed areas, each with their own enemies and quests. For example, there may be faetouched areas, or there may be areas that are more desolate, and different enemies may be encountered in each one. It’s nice to see some variance in the zone, as Neverwinter does have a problem of each zone being its own themed thing that gets boring sometimes: the snowy zone, the desert zone, or the city zone and nothing but that. Some areas will be sealed off and hidden until the stronghold has been built up and expanded on, but what’s interesting is that the future of the zone isn’t entirely known even to Perfect World yet. The strongholds system is planned to be expanded upon over the course of at least the next two expansions: Strongholds and a currently unannounced expansion after that. According to them, being “done” with building a stronghold simply isn’t possible, as new structures and boons will be made available in future updates.  While there is a storyline planned out for Strongholds and the expansion after that, the specifics of what sort of boons and structures will be included in them are apparently down to player feedback and community suggestions. New Player vs. Environment Content Building up a guild’s stronghold isn’t the only new addition to Neverwinter. Alongside it comes a new range of player vs. environment content, much like in the previous expansions before it. However, a lot of this will still directly help your stronghold grow. Firstly, the act of actually acquiring your guild’s new keep will be part of a quest line that changes as the stronghold grows. At first, your guild and a travelling band of Orcs will both arrive at the same time, causing there to be multiple skirmishes and missions available. Finding guards, protecting farms, and driving off Orcs to ensure that your keep is safe in the early days. As the keep levels up, new enemies will start to appear in the zone. For example, the second phase of the zone involves mercenaries appearing to try and steal the keep from you, giving you multiple quests involving dealing with them. The zone’s campaign appears to play out in much the same way as previous campaign zones such as the Dread Ring have, however there is also the added dimension of it being dependent on your keep’s level. Of course, there will also be a series of daily quests available from your stronghold’s steward too, and they will also help guide players to the next of their campaign quests. Greed of the Dragonflight That’s all pretty standard expansion stuff: more of what Neverwinter players will be used to. What’s particularly interesting is the major new boss fight that occurs in the Strongholds zone. Dubbed Greed of the Dragonflight, the boss is designed to be played by guilds of 40 or more players who must coordinate and plan out how to take down four powerful dragons simultaneously across the map. If one dragon is killed, the other three will flee shortly afterwards, requiring guilds to figure out which players are best suited to take on each dragon, and make sure all four of them die at the same time. Doing so will net the guild huge rewards, some of the most powerful items in the game, according to Perfect World. However, failure to nab all for dragons doesn’t mean nothing was gained. Due to some guilds not having enough players to take down all four dragons, there is a sliding scale of what rewards are given. The more dragons the guild can kill, the better the loot given. What I saw of this event reminded me of my favourite bit of Neverwinter: the timed boss events. Instances are great, questing is fun, but seeing the alert to head to an area of the map to slay as big-as-hell lizard was always really cool to me. It’s involving, it’s hectic, and it looks as though adding in the extra element of needing to size up who takes on which dragon will make it all the more satisfying when the guild succeeds. The difference between normal timed events and Greed of the Dragonflight is that it isn’t only a timed event. Due to a large amount of player requests, Perfect World is allowing guilds to trigger the event manually whenever they like, and so it could become a pretty big part of guild social life somewhere down the line. A New PvP mode inspired by MOBAs Player vs. Player in Neverwinter has been the centre of Perfect World’s attention for a while now: originally offering a fairly basic 5v5 arena mode, an open-world PvP was later added in Icewind Dale, and of course Strongholds will be adding even more for those who like stomping other players. The PvP added to Strongholds is a 20v20 Guild vs. Guild mode, which when I first heard about it reminded me a lot of Guild Wars 2’s World vs. World feature. However, it appears as though the new mode is being more inspired by the likes of Dota and League of Legends. This isn’t a compulsory feature, guilds must queue up to enter the mode. Once in the game, guilds will find their strongholds and surrounding lands “glued together”, with a river separating the two. The MOBA inspiration comes on the emphasis of controlling the various lanes between the two strongholds, while pushing forward and sieging the enemy guild. Perfect World has also catered to smaller guilds that might not have 20 players online at a time. When in queueing, if a guild has enough players to spare, they will be transferred temporarily to the other guild and fight for them instead. It’s a nice way of evening the playing field, but it will also be interesting to see where their alliances lie once the match is underway. It’s worth noting I didn’t get to actually see any PvP in action, due to the problems setting up a game with 40 players just to show me it would’ve caused. As such, all of this is only how it was described to me by Overmyer. Final Thoughts As previously mentioned, I’ve got a fair amount of experience with Neverwinter, however the lack of something to keep me interested once I’d finished the story quests meant I dropped out of the game soon after. Guilds have always been something in MMOs I’ve had an interest in, but never found the right match – I always ended up in quiet, inactive guilds where nothing ever happened. Strongholds looks like it wants to solve both of my problems, while giving me more of the solo content that got me into the game at first. I’m somewhat concerned that finding decent guilds might still be tricky, but maybe the new toys guilds can play with will convince people to give running guilds a go. PvP has never been a big interest of mine. I got into Rift’s quite a bit, but still eventually found myself going back to questing. Neverwinter in particular has been quite notorious for equipment you can buy in the store being perceived to be more powerful than stuff you can earn in-game, which always put me off PvP. However, if it’s true that the rewards from Greed of the Dragonflight are some of the strongest in the game, it could go a way to fix that problem. Overall, I’m excited. I’m definitely going to be going back into it just to see how all of these new mechanics change how people interact within guilds, if at all. Plus Dragonflight is a condensed version of everything I like about Neverwinter, which is great. Neverwinter: Strongholds will be released on August 11 as the next free expansion on PC. Neverwinter is free-to-play on both Xbox One and PC.
Neverwinter: Strongholds photo
An in-depth look at all the new stuff
On August 11, Perfect World will be releasing the latest expansion to their Dungeons & Dragons-based MMO Neverwinter, Strongholds. With its action-based combat, fantastic locations, and relatively simple mechanics, N...

Neverwinter: Strongholds photo
Neverwinter: Strongholds

Neverwinter: Strongholds coming August 11 - Come see the trailer

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! L-L-L-LIVE!
Jul 24
// Joe Parlock
I’m excited for the newest Neverwinter expansion, Strongholds. Guilds have never really been all that important in Neverwinter, with most players blasting through the solo content and then going into the admittedly pay...
Hearthstone Expands photo
Hearthstone Expands

Blizzard announces The Grand Tournament expansion for Hearthstone

With over 130 new cards!
Jul 22
// Jed Whitaker
Blizzard announced today that 132 cards are headed to Hearthstone in an upcoming expansion called The Grand Tournament. New hero power cards are on the way, including Maiden of the Lake, which makes the cost of your her...
Trials Fusion DLC photo
Trials Fusion DLC

That wacky unicorn DLC for Trials Fusion is here

Out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One
Jul 15
// Jordan Devore
I didn't stick with Trials Fusion for very long despite generally liking the game. While the user-made tracks are reason enough to check back in, there's also this ridiculous Awesome Level Max DLC ($9.99) with a gun-wielding ...
The Witcher 3 photo
The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 expansions will be 'almost same size' as The Witcher 2

'I think that people will be happy'
Jul 10
// Vikki Blake
If you've finished up The Witcher 3 but are still gaggin' for more, get ready: the expansions are coming, and when they do, they're gonna be huge.  Talking to Game Reactor, The Witcher 3's game director Konrad Tomas...
The Talos Principle photo
The Talos Principle

Tougher puzzles await The Talos Principle players this month

Expansion releasing July 23 on Steam
Jul 08
// Jordan Devore
Croteam is building on its philosophical first-person puzzle game The Talos Principle with an upcoming expansion, Road to Gehenna, which covers a different society and "some of the most advanced and challenging puzzles yet." ...
Destiny PS4 photo
Destiny PS4

Limited edition Destiny: The Taken King PS4 bundle

Coming September, actually looks nice
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
I don't like Destiny, but this PS4 bundle for the somewhat controversial The Taken King expansion looks alright as far as skinned consoles go. Plus, white. Wish my PS4 was white. I wouldn't always lose the controller in my bl...
Neverwinter photo

The Xbox One version of Neverwinter is now only one expansion behind

Rise of Tiamat has just launched
Jul 02
// Joe Parlock
While the PC version of the pretty dang good MMO Neverwinter is waiting for news about its newest expansion, the Xbox One port unfortunately is playing catchup. Perfect World have announced that Rise of Tiamat, the fifth modu...
Pillars of Eternity photo
Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity: The White March is set to be one epic expansion

Part one launches this year
Jun 23
// Alessandro Fillari
As one of Obsidian Entertainment's most ambitious titles, Pillars of Eternity earned a lot of respect from fans of the genre. The developers found great success in returning to their roots, and they've got more in store for t...
Destiny photo

Bungie gets salty defending Destiny's expansion price

Oh dear
Jun 23
// Vikki Blake
In a salty exchange with our friends over at Eurogamer, Destiny's creative director, Luke Smith, has defended the price of the upcoming expansion, The Taken King. To access all the exclusive content available in The Taken Kin...
FFXIV photo

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward's launch is bumpy, but it works

Server issues, but not nearly as bad
Jun 19
// Chris Carter
Well, this is a lot smoother than Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's initial launch, which left some people unable to log in for weeks. The Heavensward expansion debuted today for early access subscribers (read: pre-ord...
The Old Republic photo
The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic's next expansion is story-driven and free

'This is the expansion for our players'
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
BioWare has been at the helm of Star Wars: The Old Republic for a fairly long time now. Come December, the game will have been around for four years. All the while, BioWare's been tweaking, expanding, and enhancing the p...
Neverwinter: Strongholds photo
Neverwinter: Strongholds

Neverwinter: Strongholds is whipping guilds into shape

With just a hint of Draenor
Jun 12
// Joe Parlock
Dang, Cryptic and Perfect World sure are pumping out the expansions for Their pretty awesome MMO Neverwinter pretty fast. Hot on the heels of Elemental Evil and the Xbox One release of the game, Cryptic has announced their s...
Crusader Kings 2 photo
Crusader Kings 2

Crusader Kings 2's Horse Lords expansion brings in the Khans

Dothraki Sim 2015
Jun 03
// Joe Parlock
Paradox Interactive has unveiled the eighth and latest expansion to the kill-your-child-and-marry-their-wife simulator Crusader Kings 2. Titled Horse Lords, the latest expansion lets you become the great Khan. As in Genghis ...
Bloodborne expansion photo
Bloodborne expansion

Sony boss confirms Bloodborne expansion, more info late this year

May 20
// Steven Hansen
Despite the successes of Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Dark Souls 2, recent PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne sold well enough that Sony was still surprised with the results. It's not surprising, then, that the game would b...
Civilization Beyond Earth photo
Civilization Beyond Earth

Civilization: Beyond Earth getting an expansion this fall

Settle the oceans in Rising Tide
May 18
// Darren Nakamura
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth came out last year, and although I loved it, a lot of the series' hardcore fans picked it apart as being less complex than past entries. Though it doesn't nearly address every complaint,...

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