gamesread – Merlyn Arrives on July 31

Our fourth major content update, Merlyn, arrives on July 31, bringing a huge number of new features, changes, and improvements to the world of Albion.

gamesread - Merlyn Arrives on July 31

Faction Warfare is Coming!

Open-world warfare comes to the Royal Continent with an all-new Faction Warfare system. Sign up with one of five factions, then set out into the wilds of Albion to claim outposts, transport valuable goods, and earn exclusive rewards.

  • Outposts and Trading – Take down enemy factions' outposts by defeating unique faction bosses with their own strengths, skills, and personalities. Participate in high-risk, high-reward trade runs through enemy territory.
  • Special Faction Rewards – New faction resources open up alternative crafting recipes, while faction capes and mounts offer exciting new gameplay opportunities.

Albion Online Dev Talk – Season 3 Balance Changes on gamesread

Albion Online's third GvG Season starts on June 23. To prepare for this occasion, we will release a patch that includes combat balancing changes, updates to siphoned energy and red-zone GvGs, and various quality-of-life improvements. In this Dev Talk, Michael Schwahn, Combat Designer for Albion Online, discusses what's coming with this patch.

No time to watch the video? Here's a written summary of his talk:

1. Combat Balancing Changes

5v5 GvG Meta

One major focus of this balancing patch are the current heavy CC builds, particularly the double tank dive meta.

  • These builds are currently too dominant and hard to counter, which is not what we intended
  • Warrants some larger changes to some of the items in this build
  • Main offenders that enable the current meta:
    • Judicator Helmet
    • Cultist Sandals
    • Rampant Staff
  • The Rampant Staff, in particular, needs more counterplay options

Improving Underused Items

We also want to improve and buff underused items, particularly all three Holy Artifact items. We will also buff some underused helmet, armor and shoe items. Some of the items to be improved include:

  • Artifact Holy Staffs
  • Scholar Cowl and similar armor pieces
  • Ranged damage dealers like bows and Frost Staffs

Bringing Solo Builds More in Line

We also want to tone down some solo builds, such as the Great Nature Staff – and particularly its kiting ability. These staffs already have such a strong survivability that their attack should be somewhat reduced: for example, their DoT range will be decreased, which will require staying closer to enemy targets to keep the DoT effective.

Reworked IP Scaling

We're also reworking the item power scaling for offhands, and they will be entirely tied to item power after this patch, meaning:

  • Offhands get the full bonus of the Destiny Board specializations
  • Offhands also get the full item quality bonus from their quality level

This is not just on top of current item strength: the scaling curve has also been adjusted, so items may end up either a bit stronger or a bit weaker than their current state.

Food Progression Curve

With this patch, the progression of food will be a bit flattened at the highest levels, meaning high-end food will not be quite as powerful as it is currently. This is to somewhat reduce the snowball effect, as high-end food is very expensive, and can be used to undermine the IP cap on certain zones.

2. Reducing Snowballing in the Outlands

For Season 3, we're making several changes that will reduce the snowball effect between smaller and larger guilds in the Outlands:

First, we're changing the amount of siphoned energy each territory produces. This will bring Mercia and Anglia a bit more in line with each other – there will still be a difference in the energy these regions produce, but it will not be as extreme as it is currently. The goal of this change is to reduce some of the current snowballing in these territories, and to add a bit more strategy and balance to which territories a guild chooses to defend. 

Second, in order to give smaller guilds more of an even footing, we're introducing a soft gear cap for red-zone GvGs. These soft caps will only be active during the GvG fight itself; open-world red zones overall will stay untouched. 

3. Other Adjustments and Improvements

Better loot in yellow-zone Hellgates: as these Hellgates are now full-loot, we're scaling the rewards they offer up accordingly. They will still not be as lucrative as those found in red and black zones, but should offer rewards that are appropriate to their challenge.

Freely attack guild and alliance members in Hellgates: this will allow for less restricted play in Hellgates, as players will not have to worry about avoiding their fellow guild/alliance members when they appear in an enemy group.

As always, you can view the most up-to-date stats and numbers in the NDA Balance Playtests thread on our forum.

That's all for now – stay tuned for more updates over the coming weeks!

gamesread | Everything is going to be OK expands, feels less OK

gamesread | Everything is going to be OK expands, feels less OK

Everything is going to be OK, the interactive zine/digital fever-dream from Tetrageddon creator Nathalie Lawhead always felt deeply personal to me. Its manic humour and wild imagination filtered through computer interfaces of yesteryear always felt underpinned by a very specific breed of frustration and sadness. Today, it grew just a little bit more, adding three new ‘pages’ set within hazy, unreal PC desktops packed dense with strange little minigames, offbeat humour and some very emotionally heavy prose.

If you’ve never experienced Everything is going to be OK before, buckle up and enjoy the ride. Come for the flashing lights, the offbeat jokes, the silly voices and the mesmerising soundscape, stay for the growing sense of ennui-tinged unease that drives you to introspection, bouncing its many pithy, pointed questions off yourself and seeing what sticks.

Lawhead talks about her decision to take these new pages in this especially heartfelt direction in this pulsating purple development blog here. While it’s definitely better if you read it yourself, the abridged version is that these new pages are a response to a recent outpouring of unpleasantness and general wrongheadedness directed at EIGTBOK (that’s a rather nice acronym) and its creator from the traditionalist ‘games are meant to be fun’ crowd. So much so, that one of the new pages contains a scathingly satirical questionnaire to gauge whether you’re an ‘intelligent’ enough gamer to be granted access to your own Games folder.

gamesread | Everything is going to be OK expands, feels less OK

The new update appears in the form of three Missing Pages, which you can see in the screenshot above. Each one progressively dives a little deeper into the fractured interactive dreamscape. In amidst the jokes, the glitch detritus and the gnawing sense of unease hidden behind a faintly twitching smile lies a lengthy personal piece of prose on each page, unfiltered and direct from the author. It’s sobering stuff, and a fitting, long-form epilogue to what was previously a relatively light and easy-to-digest series of vignettes.

Lawhead reckons that with this update, EIGTBOK feels complete now, and this will most likely be the end of the road for this particular project. She’s already drawing up tentative plans for her next big thing, although is considering doing some smaller, more overtly silly projects to help recharge in the interim. Whatever she chooses to do, I wish her all the luck in the world. Games need more works of art like this; if not unafraid, then at least courageous enough to confront those fears head-on, with a thousand-yard stare and an ear-to-ear grin.

You can grab Everything is going to be OK on Itch.io and Gamejolt. It’s free, but consider donating a few dollars if you enjoy it and want to see more stuff like this made in future.

Valnir Rok Now In Alpha 3; Introduces Female Characters, Farming, And Horse Mounts – gamesread.com

Valnir Rok Now In Alpha 3; Introduces Female Characters, Farming, And Horse Mounts - gamesread.comWho says pillaging is just for the guys? Viking-themed sandbox survival MMORPG Valnir Rok has just moved up to Alpha 3 and received a huge content update to boot which includes playable female characters. Hooray!

Update 0.5.0.1590 also introduces horse mounts, farming, a new totem system, new quests to complete, and new tattoos and hairstyles to choose from. The update also includes hundreds of bug fixes including ghost trees, trees within houses, swimming, clans, housing, quickslots, and a whole lot more.

You can head over to the Valnir Rok Steam Page for the full update notes.

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Destiny 2 Makes A Few Changes To Their Development Roadmap on gamesread

Destiny 2 Makes A Few Changes To Their Development Roadmap on gamesreadA few weeks ago, Bungie released a development roadmap for Destiny 2 which listed the features that they were working on and the dates that they were scheduled to be released. But, as we all know, developmental roadmaps aren’t necessarily set in stone which Game Director Christopher Barrett admits.

“A few weeks ago, we shared a Destiny 2 Development Roadmap to preview some changes we’re working on for Destiny 2. As we’ve mentioned before, the roadmap is our current best estimate, and we’ll do our best to update you as our plans unfold.”

Some of the features have been delayed for later updates such as Nightfall Strike Unique Rewards which was initially intended to go live with Update 1.1.3 on February 27th but has now been pushed back to Update 1.1.4 which is scheduled for release a month later on March 27th.

The devs will also be adding the Rumble Mode to the Crucible playlist when 1.1.4 goes live. Doubles will also be making a return sometime in the future. We’ll keep you abreast of any news that comes our way. In the meantime, you can check out the video below for a sneak peek at what the devs had in store for players during the game’s first-ever Crimson Days event last week. You can also head over to the Bungie official site for more info.

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EA SPORTS FIFA 18 FUT Champions Cup Barcelona Photo Gallery on gamesread

Posted February 6th at 3:30pm.

128 competitive FIFA 18 players came into this tournament after qualifying through their Weekend League standings in November 2017. Eight players from each console would earn progression to the Global Series Playoffs, but only one champion would reign supreme. Despite the presence of many of the best competitive FIFA players in the world, the trophy would go to 16-year-old newcomer Donovan “DhTekKz” Hunt. After barely qualifying for the tournament as the 55th-ranked Xbox One player, the young man from Exeter was truly an underdog in Barcelona. But once he shook off two early group stage losses, DhTekKz turned things around and dominated most of his matches en route to securing the trophy with a whopping 9-3 aggregate score in the event’s final round. 

Enjoy this selection of photos that capture the intense emotion and excitement that FUT Champions Cup Barcelona provided. 

Fans lined up to watch FUT Champions Cup Barcelona.

The tournament was held at Paulau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.

A fan observes the crowd gathering in the arena.

A competitor is consoled after a tough loss in the tournament’s group stage. 

The magnificent FUT Champions Cup trophy sits on a pedestal in the middle of the arena. The trophy was built by the same company that makes the English Premier League winners’ trophy. 

Donovan “DhTekKz” Hunt chats with impromptu coach, eliminated competitor Sam "Roma Poacher" Carmody.

FUT Champions Cup host Chu “Chuboi” Morah talks about Cristiano Ronaldo’s Team of the Year player item. 

FIFA 17 FIFA Interactive World Cup winner Spencer "Gorilla Unilad" Ealing during the knockout stages.

Niklas "NRaseck7" Raseck celebrates during the knockout stages. 

Hosts (L-R) Jimmy Conrad, Mavric, Spencer Owen, Wolfy, and Chuboi chat on the community couch during the broadcast.

Harry "Hashtag Harry" Hesketh and his teammate Ryan "Hashtag Ryan" Pessoa play a 2v2 friendly match against Shaun “Shellz Unilad” Springette and Tassal "Faze Tass" Rushan that was streamed on Twitch during a break in competitive play at the FUT Champions Cup Barcelona.

Finalists DhTekKz and nicolas99fc are presented before the tournament’s big finale in Barcelona. 

Fans observe the tense final between DhTekKz and Nicolas "nicolas99fc" Villalba. 

16-year-old FUT Champions Cup winner DhTekKz hoists the trophy after defeating nicolas99fc by a 9-3 aggregate scoreline. 

DhTekKz meets and signs autographs for fans after the trophy presentation. 


FIFA 18 is Available Now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.  Conditions and restrictions apply.  See https://www.easports.com/fifa/fifa-18-game-and-offer-disclaimers for details. 

Stay in the conversation on all things FIFA by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Instagram.

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FIFA 18 Goals of the Month December 2017 – EA SPORTS – Official Site on gamesread

Posted January 11th at 12:00am.

The EA SPORTS FIFA 18 Goals of the Month compilation highlights the best goals that were selected in that month’s Goals of the Week videos. While there were plenty of excellent strikes to choose from, a few stood out above the rest. 

 

December 2017 had goals that provided a fresh look at El Tornado, as well as a few mazy, dribbling runs that produced finishes almost as exciting and inventive. The selections below earned their place at the very top by being as fresh, creative, and impressive as possible. 

El Tornado Master: Marc-Andre Dachs, Cristiano Ronaldo

Since El Tornado was released along with FIFA 18, players have been utilizing the new skill move in some incredible and inventive ways. This month’s best submission featured the master of the move. Ronaldo uses El Tornado and a subsequent touch to open a huge chunk of space in front of himself, then strikes the ball with a scissor kick near the edge of the box for a finish even more extraordinary than the moves he used to create the chance. 

 

 

Skiller Award: Jonny Howson, Raheem Sterling

For the second month in a row, a player has used Manchester City winger Sterling to produce the most technically notable goal. Sterling makes use of a nice variety of the skill moves at his disposal, beating a total of five defenders on route to a solid close-range finish past the goalkeeper. 

 

 

Set Piece Specialist: Hardik Tara, Cristiano Ronaldo

The only free kick to be included in this month’s selections, Ronaldo simply produces a clean, swerving finish from the set piece a few yards outside the penalty box. While relatively simple compared to some goals on the list, this free kick gets the nod simply because such goals are not easily scored in FIFA 18. 

 

 

Like Riding A Bike: NathanArmy2003, Isco

After a solid delivery from teammate Gareth Bale, Isco produces a fine bicycle kick (always a crowd pleaser) at the tightest of angles that takes advantage of the goalkeeper’s poor positioning and drops the ball perfectly into the corner of the net. 

 

 

Epic Volley Award: Porcupine, Toni Kroos

Many of this month’s goals were selected based on the epic quality of the buildup or chance creation, not purely because of how they were finished. But this one-time volley from Toni Kroos was not only inch-perfect — it was from a distance few players can score from consistently. After solid if uninspired attacking from his teammates, the goalkeeper pushes the shot away only for it to deflect off a defender’s head and loop out of the box and right to Kroos with plenty of space in front of him. Without taking any extra touches, Kroos produces a left-footed volley that soars majestically over defenders right into the upper left corner of the net, far from the goalkeeper’s reach. 

 


FIFA 18 is Available Now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.  Conditions and restrictions apply.  See https://www.easports.com/fifa/fifa-18-game-and-offer-disclaimers for details. 

Stay in the conversation on all things FIFA by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Instagram.

Sign-up to receive emails about EA SPORTS FIFA and EA products, news, events and promotions.

Overwatch’s next hero is being tested, says Blizzard on gamesread

Overwatch’s next hero is being tested, says Blizzard on gamesread

Overwatch, aka The Shooter You Proposed To In A Fit Of Passionate Desperation And Who Rejected You, has had its 2018 plans roughly drawn onto a napkin by game director Jeff Kaplan. By that I mean there’s been another developer update video. The 27th hero is going through “internal testing”, he says, but we are to receive no more information about this shooty man/woman/robot just yet, nor are we told when to expect the new hero. “The release date is less important to us than getting the hero right,” he says.

Here’s the update in full. It’s more or less a round-up of last year’s additions (like the introduction of heroes Doomfist, Orisa and Moira) along with a reassurance that, yes, they are still pressing buttons on their Overwatch machines.

All that’s said of the new fighter is that they are “very needed”. I have been absent from Overwatch too long to know what gaps exist in the fiery cocktail of stratagems and team compositions but perhaps they are making a hero that dissolves the mouse and keyboard of any player who selects Genji. That could work.

They’re also looking at future heroes, beyond this one, says Kaplan, as well as working on their esports scene. Blizzard set up the Overwatch League in the summer of last year, introducing teams from the US and Asia as well as London.

More animated shorts and comics are also coming up, he says, which is no great surprise. Likewise, there’s going to be another event for the Lunar New Year. Last year it was the Year of the Rooster and this time it’s the Year of the Dog. There’ll be other events too, as expected, including some continuation of last year’s PvE Uprising do-dad. A lot of previous events will be repeated too, giving players another chance to get any time-limited skins they missed.

In other words, it’s a vague round-up vlog with no concrete news. But you were just sitting there rocking back and forth wondering why Jeff hadn’t said hello to you for three whole weeks, so I thought I should put you out of your misery.

Dawn of the Lost Continent: Store Updates on gamesread

New and revamped items are coming to the Hongmoon Store!

If you’re levelling a new character, or you want to collect weapon appearances and cosmetics to add to your Showroom, the Hongmoon Store may have just what you need!

Arsenal Chest

Available December 6 – December 20 in the Featured Tab

Price: 119 NCoin

From now until December 20 you’ll be able to purchase the Arsenal Chest from the Hongmoon Store for 119 NCoin or Hongmoon Coin, as well as larger discounted stacks. This chest gives weapon collectors who missed out on some previous weapon skins another chance to get them, as well as the ability to get new weapon skins that are debuting with the chest.

Opening this chest will yield a random weapon skin available from the list below:

Arsenal Chest

Peace Maker (New)

Alchemist (New)

Grand Pearl (New)

Doomsday (New)

Firebird (New)

Junghado’s

Sunflower

Snapdragon

Cleanup Crew

Fruit Loot

In addition, one or two Armory Tokens will be obtained from each chest, and can be exchanged in the Dragon Express for additional weapon skins:

Dragon Express

Headbanger (40 Tokens)

Shock Caller (30 Tokens)

Cherry Bloom (20 Tokens)

Doomsday (20 Tokens)

Junghado’s (20 Tokens)

Samurai (15 Tokens)

Wild Mirage (15 Tokens)

 

Peace Maker
Alchemist
Grand Pearl
Doomsday
Firebird

Level 50 Character Creation Voucher Update

Available December 6 in the Services Tab

Price: 4,000 NCoin

The Level 50 Character Creation Voucher will have the starting quest updated from Act 5: Chapter 1 to Act 8: Chapter 1 and provide updated equipment, consumables, and upgrade materials. All players who registered for the free Lost Continent Explorer’s Pack will receive the updated version of the Level 50 Character Creation Voucher.

New Starter Pack and Mastery Bundle

Available December 6 in the Bundles Tab

The Starter Pack and Mastery Bundle will also be receiving an update to their rewards to coincide with the new content arriving with Dawn of the Lost Continent. These bundles can be purchased once per account (although you can still purchase new bundles when we refresh them like this), and are geared toward providing levelling players and characters with a ton of materials and bonuses for an extreme discount.

Starter Pack

Price: 299 NCoin [Limit One Per Account]                                    

  • Hongmoon Pentagonal Diamond
  • Hongmoon Pentagonal Amethyst
  • Black Beret (Head Adornment)
  • 16 Dragon Trade Pouches
  • 7 Days Premium Membership
  • Trailblazer Tool Kits (Stage 1 – 5)
    • 50 Master Field Repair Tools
    • 51 Gold
    • 30 Lucky Dumplings
    • 45 Fortune Potions
    • 30 Hongmoon Unsealing Charms
    • 30 Hongmoon Keys
    • 5 Escape Charms
    • 8 Naryu Coins
    • 15 Retrieved Secret Techniques               
    • 30 Bruiser Charms
    • 15 Hongmoon Instant Revival Charms
    • 1 Suspicious Contraband
    • 10 Hongmoon Hot Dragon Soup               
    • 20 Dokkaebi Soju
    • 5 Hongmoon Special Firewater
    • 5 Hongmoon Special Tonic
    • 10 Heroic Friendship Charms
    • 5 Excellent Hongmoon XP Charms
    • 10 Rare Elements
    • 50 Lunar Twilight Flowers

Like the Starter Pack, the Mastery Bundle offers a significant value on a wide array of higher-level materials that can help speed up your levelling and weapon upgrades.

Mastery Bundle

Price: 1,599 NCoin [Limit One Per Account]

  • Hongmoon Hexagonal Aquamarine
  • Hongmoon Energy – Stage 8
  • 20 Hongmoon Special Tonic
  • 20 Hongmoon Special Firewater               
  • 50 Large Fortune Potions
  • 20 Hongmoon Instant Revival Charms
  • Treasures of the West Upgrade Chest
    • 30 Gold
    • 15 Void Fragments
    • 10 Naryu Tablets
    • 60 Soulstone Crystals
    • 30 Moonstone Crystals
    • 15 Elysian Crystals
    • 3 Taikhan’s Skin

Today’s Specials and Costume Rotations

During the holiday season, be sure to keep an eye out for festive items that will be available for a limited time. These special goodies will make for a great holiday gift for yourself or a friend!

The Flash: “Therefore I Am” Review on gamesread


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Clifford DeVoe is more dangerous than he looks.

It was a hectic week for team Flash. Even as Iris put the finishing touches on her wedding plans, Barry and Joe finally came face-to-face with Clifford DeVoe. Needless to say, wasn’t at all what they were expecting.

We’ll have our review of “Therefore I Am” up a bit later tonight. Until then, let us know what you thought of the new episode in the comments below.