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By Damis

Albion Online - Heretic Challenge

The chill of fall is beginning to creep into the air... and the Heretic Challenge is back with a whole new mount! Earn points for open-world activities, unlock chests to get valuable loot, and claim your very own Heretic Combat Mule.
This month's Challenge introduces a brand-new war machine from the twisted minds of Heretic saddlers. The Heretic Combat Mule fires a powerful cannon shot that knocks back and slows targets, but watch out for its massive recoil!!
SEASONAL SPECIALS: All month long, reach weekly goals to unlock Heretic Challenge Chests. In addition to valuable rewards like Adventurer's Tomes, Silver, resources, and older Heretic-themed furniture, you'll also have a chance to unlock three new furniture items: the Heretic Lantern, Heretic Junk Pile and Heretic Construct.
  
https://albiononline.com/en/news/heretic-challenge-returns-with-new-mount
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By Elric

Crowfall: Closed Beta!

It has been a long 5 years, but Crowfall has finally gone into Closed Beta!  If you're like me, you followed the massive hype for this game back in 2015-2017.  A majority of players lost interest after the development cycle seemed to be going out further and further.  I honestly just wrote it off and figured I would take another look when it got closer to launch.  2019 and 2020 have been rough years for MMORPG's, so I've really been looking for "the next big thing". 

Closed Beta for Crowfall started on August 11th.  I figured I would give the game a shot to see how it has progressed.  I can now say that I am pretty happy with how much this game has improved.  They haven't given a definitive "launch date" for the game yet, but Closed Beta is definitely a good sign.  There is a small chance that it will fully release before the end of 2020, but I'd personally put my money on early 2021.   The Closed Beta launch gives us all a chance to really dig into the game and figure out what classes and races we want to play. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with the background of Crowfall... It's an open-world MMORPG that has an interesting blend of PvE and PvP, and it has some unique aspects to the gameplay that set it apart from other MMORPG's.  First off, let's talk about the worlds / servers.  When you create your new character, you will want to start out in "God's Reach".  This is the PvE world where you start out leveling your character and learning the basics of the game.  At this point in the game they have a "new player experience" questline that takes you from levels 1-16.  It shows you how the game works and gives you a small taste of what the game has to offer.  Normally it is recommended to stay in the God's Reach world until you hit level 30 or so.  Grouping has no negative impact to experience gain right now, so leveling up in a group of 5 is literally 5x faster progression (if not more). 

Before you dive into the main Campaign world, there are a few other options for you to explore.  You can check out an "Infected World" server, which is essentially a persistent PvP "training grounds".  The zones are open-PvP and have keeps, forts, and outposts to fight over and claim.  I believe the general level focus for The Infected worlds are 15-30.  You can also check out The Eternal Kingdom, which is the main player housing / guild castle world that is always available.  I believe that is where many player markets will be, and where most players will hang out between campaigns.  In case this wasn't already apparent - your characters can freely move between worlds.  Thus the same character you start in God's Reach can eventually transition into the main Campaign world.

Lastly we get to the "main focus" of the game - the Campaign worlds!  The Campaign is a massive PvP world with outposts, forts, keeps, etc. along with NPC towns and such.  Players join one of three factions to compete in a "Throne War" of sorts to see which faction can come out on top at the end of the Campaign.  Here's where it gets even more interesting - the Campaign worlds are semi-temporary!  The game refers to the Campaign as "dying lands" where the players are vying for superiority and trying to harvest the riches of the world before it collapses.  The Campaigns only last a month or two, and then they disappear and the Campaign world is wiped.  All the players go back to hanging out in the Eternal Kingdom or God's Reach. and the factions count up all the rewards they obtained through the Campaign.  Then a new fresh Campaign starts up and everyone rushes in to see how well the faction can compete again.  The benefit to this concept is that you won't have a static PvP landscape where the biggest (or strongest) guilds and factions hold all of the castles permanently.  It prevents the PVP game from getting stale, and offers some new challenges with each new campaign.  We don't know yet how much each campaign will differ from the last, but there is definitely some potential there.

One other interesting concept with this game is that the player is described as "An immortal crow that travels from vessel to vessel at will".  What they mean by this is that each of your characters is just a shell that you are inhabiting at the time.  As you start out in the game, you pick from one of the 12 races and 11 classes.  Nothing is restricted in terms of gender or faction. The only restriction is that each race is limited to specific classes.  You start out in one of these "common vessels" and play the game.  Eventually you can craft or find upgraded versions of the "vessels", that allow you to build a stronger character.  The higher the vessel's rarity, the longer it takes to level and the stronger the bonuses are to your stats.  It sounds like the Crowfall devs want leveling to be a fast and easy process, so it doesn't feel like a grind to level up a new vessel / character.

Crowfall also emphasizes the idea of having multiple characters to really maximize your gameplay.  You will have some characters for combat and others for crafting & gathering.  The idea is that you will have lots of options so you don't get bored with just a single character.  To top it all off, Crowfall has a real-time player progression system similar to EVE Online.  Each of your characters levels up the normal way in PvE / PvP,  but your account as a whole is always progressing in real time.  Your account gains skill points every few seconds whether you are online or offline.  You invest those skill points into various skills that benefit every character on your account.  It unlocks new abilities, stats, etc. so that your characters can improve even when you're offline doing something else. 

While there are 11 basic classes in this game, that is only the beginning of your character progression.  Around level 20 you get to pick between three "Promotion Classes" that specialize your character in whichever of those three options you want to play.  Crowfall goes even further by introducing "Disciplines".  As your character levels up you get "Trait" points that you assign in your skill tree to unlock abilities, stat bonuses, and discipline slots.  You can find or craft Minor Disciplines that usually grant your character 1 or 2 new skills or passive bonuses.  You can also equip up to 2 Major Disciplines that function like sub-classes for your character.  They add in 4+ new skills and bonuses that allow you to customize your character to your liking.  For example, you could be playing on an in-your-face melee DPS character like a Myrmidon.  Then you add in two Major Disciplines that add some healing abilities, ranged spells, etc.  I don't know how many Major Disciplines will be available when the game launches, but even in Closed Beta there are over 40+ unique Major Disciplines to play with.  There are also Exploration Disciplines that impact your character's resource harvesting / crafting abilities.  All in all it is one of the most varied character progression systems that I've seen in a MMORPG.

The game is "Buy 2 Play", meaning that once you have bought the game you can play it forever (for free).  They do have a VIP Membership that functions like a monthly subscription, which gives you a few benefits that allow you to progress faster in the game.  Otherwise the cash shop is cosmetic only, and they claim that nothing sold in the cash shop will impact the gameplay outside of how things look (cosmetic).  Right now you can purchase the game during the Closed Beta and get it for $40 instead of the standard $50 cost.  On top of that, they currently have a promo where all you need to do is join a Guild on your account, and you get 20% off!  It worked out to about $31-32.  That promo is only active until August 23rd, so don't wait too long!

Come join us and check the game out!  If you have any questions, post here on the forums or find us on Discord. There are usually people on the COTP Discord server right now as the Beta is fresh. 

Here are a few decent videos to check out:
 
 
 
 
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By Damis

Conan Exiles - Time To Mount Up

It is time to mount your steeds and ride across the plains of the Exiled Lands. One of the most sought-after features since Early Access launch is a reality: Mounts are now available in Conan Exiles!  You can engage in mounted combat and level up your pets and thralls, so they grow more powerful the more time you spend with them.
MOUNTS
Getting a mount works the same way as getting a regular pet. You will first have to find a foal, then bring it back to a Stable to raise it. Stables work the same as Animal Pens, but are for horses only.
Like Pets/Thralls, horses will grow stronger as they level up. Raise several different horses to find one with the stats you like.
Once your foal has grown into adult horse it can be placed in the world, like a regular Thrall/Pet. To ride into the sunset like your favorite cowboy you’ll need to equip your horse with a saddle, which can be unlocked at level 20.
Saddles will have different effects on your mount:
Cavalry Saddle – Fast acceleration, maximum speed, minimum defense, minimum maneuverability Scout Saddle – Long sprinting time, medium speed, low defense, maximum maneuverability Warhorse Saddle – Slow acceleration, minimum speed, high defense, low maneuverability No matter which saddle you choose, using a horse to get anywhere is significantly faster than running on foot.
MOUNTED COMBAT
With mounts we’re also introducing mounted combat. Shoot your enemies from afar with a bow and gallop away before they know what’s going on. Grab a sword, axe or mace and swing away from the comfort of your steed.  Equip a pike or a spear and attack your enemies by stabbing at them or equip a lance and tear through your opponent’s defenses with a mighty charge.
We think mounted combat is going to add a whole new level to Conan Exiles’ PvE and PvP gameplay and we’re excited to hear what you think.
PET/THRALL LEVELING
We’re also adding a leveling system for Pets and Thralls that can follow you. Leveling a Follower grants them increased stats and special bonus Perks.
When placing a Follower, they start at level 0 with a base set of Attributes. Faction and Tier determines growth rate and base Attributes, to make sure similar pets and thralls won’t be exactly the same. You can check your Follower’s Attributes by selecting “Info” from the radial menu.
Killing enemies when a Pet or Thrall follows you will grant them experience points. Crafting, exploration and other activities will not. Pets/thralls will only gain experience points when they are following you. Pets/Thralls will gain perks as they level up, which will further enhance their capability and grant bonuses to Attributes. The more specialized the Perk, the greater the bonus.

Conan Exiles: https://www.conanexiles.com/
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By Damis

7 DAYS TO DIE - Alpha 19 B-157 Experimental Released.

The Fun Pimps are working towards another huge upgrade for the survival game 7 Days to Die, with a new experimental build out now to try. It's a massive upgrade again to many areas of the game. Some of what's new includes: Linear Color Space Lighting, Improved Gamepad Support, New Survival System & Critical Injuries, Interactive Loading Screen, Food and Water Bars in the UI and HD Characters.
Alpha 19 Official Release Notes
https://7daystodie.com/a19-official-release-notes/
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By Damis

Camelot Unchained Newsletter #67

Slowed but not stopped. 
We are now entering the new 90 day development period.  So we expect to see giants in all their glory or at least an early version.  Also, they plan on starting up a persistent world on a 24/3 [weekends] server run by their overlord program.  Some things we may also see during this period is are the Spirit mages and dragons as they start to get flushed out.
This months newsletter:  https://mailchi.mp/citystateentertainment/unveiled-camelot-unchained-newsletter-642244
News: https://camelotunchained.com/v3/category/news/
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  • Throne
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    Anthem Arrives

    When Bioware first announced its newest franchise, Anthem, during 2017’s E3 conference the one thing they said to describe the game was that it was unlike anything they had ever done before. And if nothing else, Anthem is certainly living up to that particular description.
    Anthem is just not a game that hardcore Bioware fans would ever say is typical of the studio. Known for its stellar storytelling and its single-player franchises like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, players of Bioware games anticipate story-driven adventures along with companion characters who provide friendly banter and light-hearted romances. And hey, Anthem does provide a decent-enough story plot, with interesting and amusing characters and some good conversation opportunities, too. But the story is only a single part of the over-arching adventure that is Anthem (and hey, there’s no romances, either).


    Anthem is described by its creators and by its growing fanbase as a co-op action and role-playing game, rather. In fact, its very best features can not be truly enjoyed without gathering a group of friends to embark into the gorgeous backdrop of the world of Anthem. 


    There is nothing of Earth, here. This is a strange, new planet to explore, where every creature and bit of life comes from the Anthem of Creation – a powerful and mystical force that literally and even disastrously produces creatures, technology, and natural phenomena throughout the world. Everyone fights to survive and some to control the Anthem, and right there in the middle are the Freelancers, the heroes who embark past the walls of human cities to gather whatever resources they can find and to tame the myriad threats that the Anthem provides.


    Freelancers survive outside the walls wearing armored suits, called Javelins. So far, the game’s four classes are encapsulated in whatever Javelin the player opts to suit up in, and each one of the four Javelins offers uniquely independent playstyles for the player’s gaming experience. There is no standard trinity that players of more traditional multiplayer games may try looking for, but this just keeps matched teams from insisting on any kind of perfect build, too. Any Javelin the player chooses will provide chances to cause damage to enemies or to save team-mates who have come under fire, in fact.


    Still, exploring the different Javelins will give players an opportunity to decide which style of gameplay is their own personal cup of tea, so to speak. The Colossus, for instance, provides a heavy armored approach to the game, actually soaking up damage even as it unleashes massive firepower on the Freelancer’s enemies. The Storm, on the other hand, maximizes its time in the skies overhead to shield team members and rain down powerful lightning attacks on groups of enemies down below, too. The Interceptor is a more ground-based Javelin, zooming down onto enemies to zip and zap them swiftly with flashing blades and poison grenades. The final Javelin is the Ranger, which is also the first Javelin every beginning player will experience. The Ranger relies upon a steadied mix of abilities from all the classes, providing a well-rounded chance to inflict fast, intense damage to large numbers of enemies and combo attacks that obliterate threats in even wide areas. 


    But it is the wide world of Anthem that truly sets the adventure apart from other games involving massive armored suits. Well, that and the whole flying around the world, too. In fact, the flying and swimming controls on the final released version of the game on February 22, 2019 were tuned in advance of the release through several test and demo sessions, where players pointed to issues on the varied platforms the game would be available. While there are still some players complaining the Javelins ability to maintain flight over an extended period of time simply is not great enough, the chance to navigate Anthem through the skies and even deep underwater offers opportunities for some purely amazing scenery and just plain, massive fun all at the same time. 


    There were some buggy moments during the final days leading up to the release of the game, as well. Some players experienced issues with the game’s audio, actually losing sound in the middle of combat motions while moving around the world and battling enemies. A larger issue, however, was in the load times that quite a few players endured, where team-mates zoomed ahead and through the mission while they were still agonizingly lagging on the loading page. The game’s developers were quick to respond to the various issues and gameplay bugs that players reported, though. They welcomed comments on Anthem’s Twitter and Reddit pages, providing fast, public responses that the issues were noted and being addressed. The day one launch of the game then included a patch to try squashing the bugs, too.


    But still, the game’s official launch was not completely void of problem or issue. Some players experienced terrible crashes of their consoles while playing Anthem, even. But overall, gameplay is remarkably smooth, even when the game is set to its highest graphic and audio settings. Each player’s game includes a chance to experience the story and get to know the various characters in Anthem, making dialogue choices that can help form their personal Freelancer. But the story is told through a first-person perspective of the walled city called Fort Tarsis, which creates a sense of disconnection with the individual player-character. Individuality comes from the amazingly complex personalization of the player’s Javelins, rather, and the Anthem fanbase has thrown itself into incredible renditions of paint and vinyls applied onto their suits.


    Anthem is definitely a new experience, and those players who’ve adventured in other multiplayers are already asking for features common to such online multiplayer games. For instance, there’s currently no player-versus-player in the world of Anthem, and no real “raids” in the classical sense of multiplayer gameplay. There’s also a serious lack of clan or guild structures for players to rely upon. These are potential additions set aside for later patches to the game, is what the game’s developers are quick to assure.


    What Anthem provides, rather, is a four-man team structure to explore the world through missions, expeditions, strongholds, and freeplay. The match-making tool in Anthem will quickly place players into random teams. Or players can create their own teams by inviting potential team-mates off their Origin friends list. 


    Covenant of the Phoenix has set aside Chapter space for the community’s Anthem explorers, providing forums where guides and advice can be bantered over and shared. Also share some pictures and funny stories, too. But the Discord channels that COTP has established for the Anthem chapter of the community are even more useful, with potential team-mates gather together to help each other through the adventure. 


    What is definitely true, though, is that embarking into the wider world of Anthem is most fun when you have a team to help back you up. The threats can be intensely challenging sometimes. The Freelancer can happily slaughter thousands of scorpions and Grabbits alike, only to turn a corner and run into a Titan. Hulk smash takes on a whole new meaning, then. So Anthem practically demands a team approach in order to succeed. As players and developers alike say, anyone can solo the game, sure. But it is far better to play with friends.  Only, do not hesitate to explore the Anthem with Covenant of the Phoenix! This is only the start! 

     



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    Looks like a nice game, is it an MMO as in there are alliances of players that band together to fight other players, to hold territory and compete for top rankings? 
    Is it more than just a monster hunt, killing monsters because they are there kind of game?
    Do we need a high end gaming rig with an $800 GTX1080Ti?

     

    Edited by Relaed

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