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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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  • Damis
    Damis

    Empyrion - Galactic Survival is a diamond in the rough.

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    Game Info:

    Empyrion - Galactic Survival is a 3D open world space sandbox survival adventure. Build mighty ships, menacing space stations and vast planetary settlements to explore, conquer or exploit a variety of different planets and the allegedly empty space! Fight human, alien and biological hazards and survive in a hostile galaxy full of hidden dangers - on your own or with your friends. The game uniquely combines elements from space simulations, construction games, survival games and ego-shooters. Empyrion is currently under development by Eleon Game Studios.

    Review:

    I played this game last year and didn't do too much with it.  I thought the game had potential, but at the time, it didn't have enough content to keep me interested in playing it, so I shelved it for a later time.  Well, the time to dust the game off and give it another try happened this last weekend.  I was on Discord chatting with Trusin about space games and the lack of any really good ones when he started talking about Empyrion.  He had read that the game had made good progressed, so we both decided to give it another shot.  I wasn't expecting much, but ended up having a really fun time playing the game with Trusin.

    We played on the SBS server which has a Star Wars theme with three factions, the Imperials, Rebels or the Mercenary faction. We ended up joining the Merc faction.  On this particular server, all new characters have one week to leave the starting world and system.  On Sunday, any character in those zones are deleted.  Well, as luck would have it, Trusin and I only had a few hours before the deadline, so we had to work fast to learn enough about the game to build a ship with a warp engine.

    We managed to warp to another system less than an hour before the newbie zones were wiped.  Talk about cutting it close.  We had a leaky ship which took a good amount of time to make air tight, and at one point we tried to hitch hike on any outbound ship we could find.  Eventually, we fixed the leak and made it into orbit,  at which point we realized neither one of us knew how to engage the warp drive. After fumbling around the navigation controls and mostly due to dumb luck we activated the warp engine and got the hell of out there.

    We warped into a new system and had to pause to admire the game.  There were two planets in the system as well as a space station.  There were also a good assortment of player ships which I was awestruck with.  I  loved Star Wars Galaxies JTL,  but Empyrion was what we wished SWG could have been.  To have the ability to blast off from a planet and fly directly into orbit is amazing.  

    We flew about and inspected a bunch of ships.  The scale and detail of those ships was unbelievable.  Our ship looked like it was made of legos and duct tape.  We docked at the space station and just walked around with our mouths open looking like a bunch of yokuls who had left the planet of Tatooine for the first time, which really wasn't far from the truth.  It was like a huge floating mall in outer space.  

    Eventually, we left the station and explored a few other systems until we found a decent world to settle on.  We are in the process of building a base and a better ship.  The game isn't perfect and at first glance, it may seem ordinary,  but there are parts of the game which are truly magical.  Empyrion has the potential to be a true beauty.  It just needs some refinement and polish.

    Comments:

    The ability to build multi player ships in which crew members can access the control panel to manage various systems is fantastic.  Exploration, base and ship building is also good.  With that said, I do think that the game needs more alien creatures so that different planets are more unique.  I have been told that the developers are in the process of creating different biomes from which to spawn creatures.  In the meantime, you will probably see the same alien life forms if you visit different planets with the same biomes.

    There are a few multi player servers which have 100+  players on them. It would nice if we could get a bunch of members together and try to carve out a section of space for ourselves.   Anyone interested in being a pirate and wrecking havoc?  

     

     

     

    Edited by Damis

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    Empyrion definitely has a ton of potential.  I bought into the EA / Alpha a few years back.  It only held my attention for 30 hours of gameplay, but at the time I was playing solo and there wasn't a ton of content yet. 

    I still have 3 other Steam games from the Steam Summer Sale that I haven't even touched yet... However, if you guys do decide on a final server to start a group on, let me know where.

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    Building multi player ships and exploring the cosmos is where the game shines.  As always, games are more enjoyable if you have friends to play with.

    If we can get a few more people interested then we will give it a shot.  I don't imagine it will be a full time game, more likely, just something to keep us busy for a few days.

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    Update came out yesterday, added a new desert biome so a few new creatures :)

     

    I don't like you talking smack about the P.M.S. Brick, just needs a little color :P

    Edited by Trusin

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    HWS looks really good. I am game to give it a try.

     

    Warning on HWS, do the tutorial and pay attention.  Also choose your faction wisely, there is a 12 hour character reset wait period. 

    Edited by Trusin

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    REALLY like HWS. I had originally tried it and was turned off by the manual chat commands but once you get used to it, it really isn't so bad. 

     

    The starting area gives you 3 days from when your character is created to get a warp capable ship. 

    I started freelancer and had no problem finding mobs nearby. Also I seemed to be getting XP for doing just about everything. In a few hours and only traveling about 3-5 minutes away from my crash spot in any given direction, I was level 7 and working on my first ship.

    empyfirstship.thumb.jpg.1d7b510c99b0ef6aa8f6368adf6e3c02.jpg

    Mobs seemed smarter here as well. I would be attacked by hordes of small fast spiders, or large giant scorpion looking things. I also like that each origin has different abilities. As a freelancer I seem to be able to spot / find ore very easy. I can also scan planets to find out how many player structures are on them, which has it's uses. I am not sure what the other two origin abilities are but that is a neat feature not part of the core game. 

     

    The integration with the web app seems amazing. your abilities are tied into it and you can remote mine and stuff from the app. I also really like the way they setup their solar systems. it is a lot more immersive. Instead of warping from system to system, you are essentially warping from planet to planet, the planets themselves in space seem and feel much larger.

     

    It was a really good experience for one evening so far and I was by myself, so other people would likely just amplify the fun. 

     

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