MMORPG News: Guild Wars 2 Third Expansion, PSO2 Open Beta, New World, Starborne, Genshin Impact Closed Beta
So I just got back from spending the week in Texas with Mrs Stix. We went to Six Flags, got to see the beautiful Dallas Arboretum, meet up with and have dinner with The Hive Leader and his wife Wibbles and just take some time to get some R&R.
Then we flew back, I had to instantly get a video ready to post within 3 hours of arriving home, and then here we are, not a day later, having written up, recorded and edited this weeks Weekly Byte of MMORPG News video for the weekend.
I haven’t had a moment to rest yet but when there’s news as important as what was revealed this week, there isn’t a moment to spare!
So with that in mind, let’s take a moment, sit back, take some deep breaths – because I need them, trust me, and get into this weeks Weekly Byte of MMORPG News.
Let’s kick this off with Astellia Online. In surprising, or unsurprising news depending which side of the fence you were on, Barunson, the team behind Astellia announced that they are in the process of merging together their European servers.
More specifically, Aquarius and Canceria. The reason for this is due to the low population on the aforementioned servers.
I know some of you expected this, and others are going to use this as an excuse to say the game is dead or in the process of dying – and while there may be some truth to that, the game is still plenty healthy currently.
Maybe the game won’t last longer than another year or two, maybe they’ll announce the game going free-to-play in the near future, who knows. Regardless, after the two servers are merged into one, all of your characters will be combined onto the one, single server.
If the maximum number of characters exceed 5, you’ll end up having additional characters deleted, so if you play on both servers, make sure to decide which characters you want to remain!
Final Fantasy XI
I rarely talk about Final Fantasy XI. That’s because the game has essentially been in a kind of “maintenance mode” since 2015, receiving small little updates here and there.
However, as of earlier this week it turns out Square have plans for the future of the game: They’re aiming to release an entirely new, large scenario for the game. Yup – tons of content is coming, although it’s unconfirmed exactly in what capacity it will be implemented.
Only time will tell, but for those of you still playing the game, you’ll be excited to hear the news!
Legends of Aria
I’ve honestly never played Legends of Aria. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the game, though, but even so, the devs behind the game are pushing through with a brand new DLC titled “Dark Sorcery.”
The DLC will go for $20 and will provide a brand new dungeon, new enemies, and a mount. Judging from the general reception of the announcement, people are definitely unsatisfied with how the DLC turned out and what it offers.
Nevertheless, the DLC will be launching later this month if you’re interested in playing!
I actually just finished a video on Skyforge last month, but here we are again, this time with a brand new expansion titled “Fifth Anniversary Expansion,” coming on March 25th. Yes, that really is the name of the expansion right now.
What Skyforge and My.Games consider an “Expansion” however is very different to what WoW or Final Fantasy XIV would. The “expansion” in question is going to provide players with a new invasion, new cosmetics, tweaks to the Invasion Atlas, new Nightmare challenges and more.
Phantasy Star Online 2
It was confirmed earlier this week that Phantasy Star Online 2 would be entering Open Beta on March 17th. Yes, that soon.
The Open Beta, which functions more or less as a complete launch will feature fully localized text, a complete English-dub, up-to-date balancing and Episodes 1-3 of the story, which is several years worth of expanded game content.
Included in the announcement – or rather, following the announcement was the reveal of the first of many crossover events planned for the future, but this was in the way of a Founder’s Pack. Yes, just the one. And note: It’s not actually half bad.
It’s a pretty adorable Sonic-themed Pack providing plenty of goodies like entire outfits, weapons and animations, but also a 30-day premium. I know you guys are concerned about having a “premium service” in the game, but at least currently, it isn’t pay-to-win.
While yes, that is definitely subject to change, the Japanese version of the game never caved to pay-to-win so here’s hoping the Western version doesn’t either.
World of Warcraft Classic
There are still plenty of active WoW Classic players playing through the game. While it isn’t what a lot of us expected it to be due to the amount of resources available to players of this generation, it’s impossible to say it hasn’t been a success.
So when I learned that earlier this week the Arathi Basin battleground was introduced, I was.. surprised. I wasn’t aware it was introduced way back during vanilla, and am actually kind of excited to see how it functions during Classic.
The battleground introduced additional honor and reputation grinds for players so you guys best get to it!
As if people weren’t already upset with the devs behind New World, it turns out that, for some reason that completely escapes me, they’ve decided to put housing, which was originally planned on being open to all players, behind a reputation grind.
Now, players will need to first hit level 20 before being able to work on your home, and then you’ll need to grind out reputation by doing quests for a certain faction.
I don’t know what gave the devs the idea that we like rep grinds – gating content behind reputation has always and likely always will be universally loathed.
Love or hate Revelation Online, My.Games regularly push out content updates for the game, which is more than you can say about most MMOs in this day and age.
I feel as though I almost talk about Revelation monthly at this point! The new update this week is titled “Skyward World” and introduces a brand new dungeon called “City of the Demon Gods.”
This takes players back 1,600 years, having you aid the four Wardens against – you guessed it, the Demon Gods.
The dungeon is a 10-man dungeon, however, finding 9 other players to participate in it with you might prove to be a greater challenge than the dungeon itself as when Mrs Stix and I played it recently for a video.. the game was empty.
The update will be going live later this month for anyone interested in trying it out.
I’d honestly never even heard of this until it was brought to my attention recently, but apparently we have a brand new MMORTS game releasing into Open Beta next month on April 2nd.
Starborne is developed by various former EVE Online staff and – I mean if you just take a moment to look at the game you can see the inspiration they took from it.
There were almost 200,000 players during their Alpha test, and the Open Beta is going to roll out with a brand new map and tons of updates. If you’re looking for a new scifi MMO, this might scratch that itch you have.
Trials of Ascension
I don’t know how many of you remember Trials of Ascension, but during their last Kickstarter they managed to raise $86,000.. out of a $750,000 goal. Which really isn’t very impressive.
This was back in 2013. Now they’re back in 2020 with a brand new Kickstarter asking for $10,000 funding – something they’re having trouble achieving.
The game supposedly has a completely new team behind it trying to deal with the bad reputation surrounding the original release and original team.
Honestly, this all sounds a little silly to me but if they achieve their goal of $10k by the end of the Kickstarter, they’ll go into Early Access later this year.
Whether or not it SHOULD go into Early Access is another matter entirely.
If you were anticipating participating in the Genshin Impact Closed Beta this month then you might wanna check your emails. Closed Beta keys have been sent out so if you were accepted, you’re going to be capable of redeeming them.
The Closed Beta will be taking place on March 19th, 2020, and accompanying the announcement was a brand new trailer – showcasing even more gameplay off.
The Closed Beta test will be playable on PC, iOS and Android devices, so if you’re looking to test out the game.. make sure you jump on in.
Guild Wars 2
This may be what you’re looking for specifically. News on Guild Wars 2. Or more specifically, news on Guild Wars 2’s next expansion. If you thought the game was going to drift off slowly into the night.. then you’re mistaken.
Even despite losing quite a sizable number of staff members, suffering an increasingly noticeable decline in population.. ArenaNet has graced us with the news that they’re hard at work on a brand new expansion that looks like it’ll feature Cantha!
Guild Wars 2 is in desperate need of content. Players have been begging for more for what seems like forever at this point.
Their latest update, Visions of the Past: Steel and Fire will be launching on March 17th but that isn’t nearly enough to satiate the playerbase.
Now although they went as far as announcing the new expansion, they didn’t reveal much in the way of actual information pertaining to the expansion or what it’ll include.
According to the devs, “it’s much too soon to talk about any details right now, including features, story, release date or development timeline.” This could mean that the expansion is 6 months off or 3 years off.
With the reduced team size it could take exponentially longer to have an expansion rolled out or it could ultimately end up being smaller in scale than Heart of Thorns or Path of Fire.
You can find out more on their official blog post if you’re interested, but there really isn’t anything more than I already noted.