Top MMO News: March 16, 2016 includes details about Landmark’s story system, character updates in Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch lore, and the next EVE Online expansion.
Landmark Storytelling System is Confirmed
A post on the official Daybreak Games forums by developer Domino has announced that players in Landmark will soon be able to do more than simply claim land and build structures; they will be able to tell actual stories through the game.
Via the storytelling system, which will be implemented in the coming update, players will be able to tell much more in-depth stories: “As part of the coming update, storytelling just got more exciting as we give you the ability to add characters to your claim site, both friends and foes!”
Players will be able to place these characters into their site, customize their names, respawn behaviors, and decide whether they are enemies or allies. Allied characters will fight alongside the player characters, whereas enemy characters will, of course, try and stop them.
The characters’ behaviors will depend on their weapons; melee fighters will close in, whereas characters equipped with ranged weapons will attack from a distance. The UI will even make the characters behave differently depending on how tough and/or skilled they are intended to be. Players will be able to set up paths for these characters to patrol, or tell them to remain in a set area, and will even be able to trigger events on their spawn and/or death, such as allowing a door to be opened when a guardian is defeated.
The system will be implemented in the next beta update. Players who are interested in knowing more should read the official announcement.
Nova buffed in Heroes of the Storm; Xul and Reghar Nerfed
It shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that Xul was nerfed after his second week in Heroes of the Storm, however, further buffs to Nova and another Reghar beat down were rather unexpected additions.
Xul has been topping the win charts, hovering near 62%, since his release due to a high damage output, strong utility elements, and unparalleled pushing potential. In order to combat this, his overall damage was lowered by reducing Basic Attack and Spectral Scythe damage. His utility also took a slight hit by reducing the effectiveness of some Raise Skeleton talents and Cursed Strikes.
While Xul received a few slight tweaks, Rehgar took a hard hit and can no longer self-cast Ancestral Healing. This now makes Rehgar a prime target during team fights due to his melee range and essentially removing his second life mechanic.
Nova, who happens to be at the opposite side of the win chart at 44%, received an increase to her health pool, health regeneration, reduced cooldown on Snipe, and increase slow on Pinning Shot. Although these buffs could slightly improve her win rate, the bigger problem is with the character’s overall design and not necessarily her numbers.
Expect a moderate decline for Reghar, a mild one for Xul, and Nova to essentially stay the same.
StarCraft II Campaign Pack Coming in March
The first add-on mission pack for StarCraft II will be available on March 29, which will focus on the ghost November “Nova” Terra. The Nova Covert Ops campaign will include nine missions spread out through three separate packs.
“In the first mission pack of Nova Covert Ops, you will play as November “Nova” Terra, the Dominion’s most powerful Ghost. As Nova, you’ll undertake assignments that are as dangerous as they are vital to the survival of the Dominion: infiltrating enemy bases, intercepting planetary invasions, leveraging experimental technology, and even more top-secret operations.”
The entire 9-mission campaign can be pre-purchased for $14.99, or obtained at launch for $22.47. These missions do not require StarCraft II or any of its expansions.
Blizzard Unleashes Overwatch Lore
Despite being an arena first-person shooter, Blizzard Entertainment is putting a lot of effort into the lore surrounding Overwatch. In order to give the world even more life, a series of animated shorts, digital comics and novels will explain the history of the game.
“Interested in the story behind Genji’s and Hanzo’s in-game banter? Wondering why Tracer and Widowmaker don’t seem to get along? Curious about all those jars of peanut butter scattered around the lab in Watchpoint: Gibraltar? You’ll have a chance to dig deeper into these characters’ histories and explore their world beyond the battlefield.”
The first animated short for Overwatch is planned to release in March with additional videos landing throughout the next two months. The first free comic, telling the story of McCree, will debut in April. Additionally, the first Overwatch graphic novel First Strike is planned to release by the end of this year.
Next EVE Online Expansion Set to Launch April 27
The highly anticipated Citadel expansion for EVE Online is scheduled to arrive on April 27, 2016. Obviously, the biggest draw for the update are the massive citadels themselves, which can cost between 700 million and 120 billion ISK. However, every week citadels will have a maintenance period where they will be vulnerable to attack.
Citadel key points:
- Medium, Large, and XL Citadels – the Astrahus, Fortizar, and Keepstar respectively – the largest of which is massive enough to offer super-capital ship docking bays.
- Module Slots allow for weaponry, electronic warfare and rigging components to be installed.
- Modular construction to add markets, clone units, compression systems and other facilities.
- Ship Tethering provides security for friendly ships close to the Citadel, granting safe passage in and out of the structure.
- Unlimited Personal and Corporation Hangars provide residence for even the largest of Alliances.
- Multiple Undock Points, including separate capital (L Citadel/Fortizar) and super-capital (XL Citadel/Keepstar) undock areas, prevent traffic at busy hubs.