If you play multiple MMORPG titles like us, you’ll know that this week is crunch week. There’s plenty of new content dropping in the next few days (some even on the same date) for us to chew through. Here’s what they are and our outlook for what they mean.
World of Warcraft: Patch 8.2 Rise of Azshara (June 25th)
This is the largest patch hitting World of Warcraft since Battle for Azeroth went live last year. While Blizzard won’t admit it, this update is definitely make-or-break for the MMORPG, as plenty of players have voiced their disappointment at the game’s current direction. Patch 8.2 hopes to address some of that when it launches on June 25th. Among the new content are two new regions, new War Campaign stories, landscape content, mount gear, Benthic gear and Pathfinder Part II to unlock flying. There’s tons of other tweaks too, such as the anticipated improvements to the Heart of Azeroth, and Azerite Gear with the Essence system. If that doesn’t reduce the woes for World of Warcraft players this week and next, Blizzard’s in trouble.
Astellia CBT 1 (June 25th)
Another year, another Korean MMORPG is about to make its debut in the West. Astellia is the latest, and it will be opening its CBT phase 1 on Tuesday. Players with Legendary package pre-orders can jump in, but the game has been giving away keys on their social media. Astellia will need to do a lot in order to sway a global audience. The last game that promised massive changes from its Korean version was Bless Online. Bless went for global dominance on Steam with an Early Access launch buy to play model. It was flawed – the gameplay was horrendous, as was the optimization and localization. It went free to play months later, and finally announced its closure earlier this month. Astellia may be different in a variety of ways, but the messaging has been strikingly similar to that of Bless Online. They’ll need to do a hell of a lot more from CBT 1 onward to prove that this game won’t be dead on arrival.
Guild Wars 2: Dragon Bash (June 25th)
For the first time since 2013, Guild wars 2 is bringing back the Dragon Bash Festival to Tyria. What’s that? You don’t remember it? We don’t blame you. It’s been largely insignificant and seemed to have been abandoned by ArenaNet. Not anymore. To celebrate our victory over another Elder Dragon in the finale episode of the Living World Season 4, in addition to seeing one of our own ascend, the festival is back and timed to perfection. Why should you check it out? Multiple reasons, first among them is that the content on offer has been changed. There’s new things to do obviously, and the rewards look excellent, with holographic dragon helms and wings all up for grabs. Because it’s a rare event that seems to take place every 6 years (we joke), you don’t want to miss this one. Who knows when it’ll come around again.
Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers Early Access Launch (June 28th)
The big one this week, is definitely the early access launch of Final Fantasy XIV’s latest expansion Shadowbringers. For the first time in its history, the game will let players become Warriors of Darkness – a contrast to what they’ve known and have become through the main story quests in-game. The expansion introduces two new races and jobs, in addition to multiple dungeons, raids and other content. It’s going to take FFXIV to new heights, and by all accounts, should propel this MMORPG to become the top dog in the arena. While the full release is on July 2nd, pre-order players can enter the early access on the 28th of June to begin their adventures.