7 days around the MMO world / August 09

Finally after a couple weeks of slow MMO news we get a week filled with goodies. Between World of Warcraft, Aion and Champions Online we have plenty to discuss this week. So with out further ado let’s get on with it.

Blizzard doesn’t like to leave World of Warcraft stale it appears as this past Tuesday yet another major content patch was released. Patch 3.2.0 Call of the Crusade was filled to the brim with more content for all the players of the world to enjoy. The major addition is the new 5-man dungeon and 10/25 man raid located in the coliseum out in Icecrown. The raid is an arena-style event where players fight bosses in front of a crowd that cheers them on. All new loot of course is available as well as a new badge type to purchase even more phat loot.

Some changes to the PvP scene also came down the line with an all new battleground called Isle of Conquest, pitting 40 vs 40 players mixing Alterac Valley style battles with the sieging of Strand of the Ancients. On top of that they changed the way Wintergrasp works. Wintergrasp now requires you to queue up like battlegrounds and limits the amount of players that can join. The change is to address the faction imbalance issues that would favor the side with the most players.

There are a lot of other smaller changes included in this patch including the druid form updates as well as many class changes. Check out the full patch notes and additions as they’re too long to list here.

You might think we’re done talking about WoW but we’re not, so there! It looks like the clouds of opened for Blizzard in China as the NetEase transition seems to be coming to an end and the game opened back up. Unfortunately as it was with the initial launch of the game, the re-launch was subject to a lot of censorship. Fortunately we were prepared for that as it happened once already.

Cryptic is gearing up for the approaching open beta and the release of Champions Online shortly thereafter and because of that they’re flooding the web with information. Earlier this week they released a video showing off some of the hotness of the melee classes and the stealth abilities. The combat looks solid and the stealth tricks look really awesome as well.

Besides the melee expose video, Cryptic also released a number of power sets for the different schools of super powers you can get. One of the more interesting one to me is the Ice power set that resembles an Ice Mage in World of Warcraft. Chill effects that slow enemies and shatter effects that increase damage. If you’re as excited as we are about Champions Online, get ready as the open beta is only week and a day away.

Another week and another awesome video showing us just how beautiful Aion is. The latest developer diary video has us even more enthralled about this Korean MMO coming to the west. We got to see the classes and the sub-classes in full form. That part with the Templar pulling several baddies into him at once was awesome, wasn’t it?

They also release a zone fly through, again confirming to us how pretty this game is and how rich the worlds that make it up are. The CryEngine-powered game is at the very least beautiful and as we said before, if all else fails in the game it will at least go down as being one of the best looking fantasy MMOs to date.

In other MMO news:

  • Dungeons & Dragons Online Eberron Unlimited delayed, sorry dice boys.
  • Lifetime Champions Online subscription will get you a beta pass for Star Trek Online.
  • MMO documentary hits theaters and nobody notices as MMO players don’t go outside, am I right?
  • 20k BlizzCon tickets go in 8 minutes flat, holy fanboys Batman!
  • Huxley closed beta enters phase 2 (and we’re in it but can’t talk about it) and open to Fileplanet subscribers.
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