Richard Gariott’s Crowdfunded MMORPG Shroud of the Avatar is officially launching on March 27th, 2018. It’s been a long and tiring journey for Shroud of the Avatar (Original Kickstart was March, 2013), but the Ultima Online esque MMORPG is finally happening. The launch is coinciding with release #52 which introduces a lot of changes to the game including framerate improvements, scene rebuilds, offline spawning, tons of side quests, new recipes, and much much more.
Shroud of the Avatar will be a buy to play title, but those interested in checking the game out for free can do so through the game’s free trial system. It has numerous limitations (such as max skill level of 50), but still gives players a good glimpse into what Shroud of the Avatar is all about. The game plays very much like oldschool MMORPGs like Ultima Online and Runescape, so those looking for a modern theme park game should look elsewhere.
Other important dates for Shroud of the Avatar:
Mar 27, 2018 –Release 52: Launch Candidate April 26, 2018 – Release 53 May 31, 2018 – Release 54 June 28, 2018 – Release 55 July 26, 2018 – Release 56 Aug 21 – 25, 2018 – Gamescom Aug 30, 2018 – Release 57
Learn more about the launch of Shroud of the Avatar here.
EA Sports have revealed the full winter OTW (Ones To Watch) cards and the lineup has some of the best players involved. These black cards are new players who’ve recently transferred from one club to another in the January transfer window and who could do well for their new clubs.
FIFA 18 One To Watch Winter Players
If you manage to pack or buy any of these players then you will be hoping that they get an IF (in-form) in numerous TOTW’s as each time they do, they’ll automatically increase in stats and base overall rating.
The likes of Ross Barkley, Theo Walcott, Van Dijk, Mkhitaryan and Coutinho to name just a few who are available. There are also loads of SBC’s that have been released by EA at the moment too but they won’t be out for long!
There’s squad building challenges for both the winter and summer OTW players where you will be guaranteed a OTW player in a pack but you have to submit one yourself to get an untradeable version or a one to watch and TOTW player to get a tradeable version.
The best way to make coins from this promo is to target a few players that you think will increase dramatically if they get just one in-form and watch matches live. Then as soon as a forward gets a brace or more, then buy it ASAP.
If it’s a defender then usually one goal does the trick and the card should then be upgraded on the following Wednesday. Check back for more FIFA 18 tips and make sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date.
The full FIFA 18 Ultimate Team TOTY (Team Of The Year) players have been revealed after the 55 player selection was shortened down to the very best eleven star players. Check out who made the full team below and leave your comments on who you were lucky to have packed.
FIFA 18 TOTY Attackers
Harry Kane (ST) – Tottenham Hotspur / England
Cristiano Ronaldo (LW) – Real Madrid CF / Portugal
We suppose it was inevitable in times like these. A Sea of Thieves datamining expedition has unearthed a long list of various items buried in the sand of the game’s code, including a number of new items, NPCs and maps. So once again Spoiler Puppy is here to shield you from upcoming spoilers for Sea of Thieves. So don’t scroll by the puppy if you don’t want to learn more.
For those who have moved on past the cute puppy; the dataminer know as m4rx on Reddit has offered up a laundry list of items from the title’s CBT files. According to m4rx, the list is an ongoing process, which is being stymied by a missing decryption key to decrypt additional assets.
That said, the list found so far is long indeed, with a number of treasure chests; a number of ship customization items including livery, cannons, capstans and figureheads; and a number of different weapons such as a boarding axe and a heavy sword.
The mining also found reference to a Kraken, or at least the tentacles of the creature which appear to wrap themselves around your ship. The data also included reference to a Harpoon Gun for player ships, which could be specifically engineered to protect against very large and overly huggy sea monsters.
According to m4rx, the datamining is being done in an attempt to find what Rare is holding back from closed beta until release, as “the general consensus on the beta is that the game is lacking content”.
Even knowing that there’s a possibility of a kraken beneath the waves of Sea of Thieves’ world makes us eager to see it in action. Of course, how much of this data is actually going to make it to full release is up to assumption, but we’ll be looking forward to learning more from the devs directly.
Alice is at GDC, which is why it falls to me to ask in her place: WATYPWPATWPAWAPTPYPWAWPAPTPTP this weekend? If you need time to think about it, you can peruse our own selections below, with Joe and Medoly kindly standing in for Adam and Pip as they have done all week.
Joe: This weekend I’m heading to the Isle of Mull for a rescheduled trip that Storm Gertrude made impossible back in January. I’ve never been before, but I’ve heard it’s lovely. I can’t wait to relax in a tranquil setting, converse with some of the friendly locals, cook some delicious meals, do a spot of fishing, and perhaps even a little bit of farming. Of course I’ll be doing all of this in Stardew Valley on my laptop, while the real world outside passes me by.
Alec: I’m still bludgeoning my way (and tearing up my shins, as I had to trick the system into thinking I have more space than I do in order to use it) through Vive games and demos. It’s time to stop drawing massive neon space-cocks in Tilt Brush and try out Fantastic Contraptions physics oddities, for instance. I’m also told that Universe Sandbox ² has a rudimentary but mighty impressive VR mode. Haven’t tried out Elite Dangerous on a VR headset with a usable resolution yet, either. There’s a ton of stuff to dabble with even before this thing is released to the world: I guess I’m going to be overwhelmed come April.
Melody: I help run a guild in Final Fantasy XIV, so I’ll surely spend at least a couple of hours being a catgirl. For me it’s as much a game as it is a place to hang out with friends so it doesn’t really get tiring even after months. I’ve also rediscovered the joy of jolly cooperation in Orcs Must Die 2, but this annoying debuff called “Getting a degree in Philosophy” is severely limiting my time.
Graham: I installed Black Desert Online five days ago and have yet to boot it up; I haven’t been back to The Division since last week and I’m craving it; and I’m pretty sure that Stardew Valley will be playable remotely over Chrome Remote Desktop, so I’m keen to give that a shot. But in all likelihood I won’t play anything because I’ll be too busy mucking around in Game Maker.
John: [Last week reader lowprices heard tell of John’s activities. “I heard a rumour that John was at GDC, roaming the halls in a coat made of skin, picking his teeth with his favourite gutting knife and bellowing “I HUNGER” at passers-by.” Is it true? Is John now headed east at a terrifying pace, headed who-knows-where? Sound the alarm and warn us of your sightings below.]
Arsenal have appointed Barcelona’s outgoing director of football Raul Sanllehi as their new head of football relations.
Sanllehi’s contract with Barcelona runs out on Dec. 1, and he will move to the Premier League club Arsenal to take up his new role in February.
The club announced that Sanllehi would “lead future player negotiations” alongside manager Arsene Wenger, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and contract negotiator Huss Fahmy as well as “represent and support the club with international and domestic governing bodies.”
Gazidis told the club’s official website: “In the past three years we have supplemented our team with more top-class expertise across every aspect of our football operations.
“Raul’s appointment is another important step in developing the infrastructure we need at the club to take everything we do to the next level. Raul has extensive contacts across the football world and has been directly involved in some of the biggest transfers in Europe in recent years. We look forward to him bringing that expertise to Arsenal.”
Sanllehi’s arrival will be another major part in the ongoing reshuffle of Arsenal’s backroom staff, with CEO Ivan Gazidis having also brought in Borussia Dortmund’s chief scout Sven Mislintat earlier this month to head up recruitment operations.
Sanllehi has been credited with playing a key role in Barcelona’s signing of Neymar from Brazilian club Santos and has a reputation as one of Europe’s most respected transfer negotiators.
The backroom shuffle by Gazidis is seen by many as an attempt to prepare Arsenal for life after Wenger, who has kept a number of key staff members on for a large part of his 21-year reign as manager.
Arsenal announced in September that transfer negotiator Dick Law was stepping down, while chief scout Steve Rowley has also taken on a lighter workload since Mislintat’s appointment and is expected to eventually retire.
Mattias is ESPN FC’s Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.
Auckland City set for record ninth FIFA Club World Cup appearance
Midfielder Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi suffered injury on eve of Japan 2016
Hudson-Wihongi says injury has “made me a stronger person”
New Zealand’s FIFA World Cup™ dream may be over for another four years, but the nation has another international football tournament to refocus on. The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 is just 15 days away where Oceania champions Auckland City FC will have yet another shot at mixing it with the world’s elite.
For Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, simply travelling to UAE will be a personal triumph of sorts. Twelve months ago today – just days away from departure for the 2016 Club World Cup – the midfielder heard the dreaded snap in his knee.
A torn knee ligament is a devastating blow for any player given the mandatory long rehabilitation involved. Perhaps doubly so for Hudson-Wihongi, whose career at the time was very much on an upward trajectory after featuring in three New Zealand national teams in a six-month period. It was a remarkable achievement sandwiched at either end by the FIFA U-20 World Cup on home soil, and a debut appearance for the All Whites.
But then came the injury and seemingly endless hours, days and weeks of rehabilitation. Helping drive Hudson-Wihongi was the lure of featuring in another Club World Cup.
“I had a good support network, so not so much of a mental challenge, but [it was difficult] at times to stay motivated,” Hudson-Wihongi told FIFA.com. “It is really really repetitive, doing the same thing over again, but eventually you can start to see improvement.
“It has made me a stronger person. It made me rethink everything. How much I wanted to play football, and it also makes you think that something can happen just like that. I consider lucky myself to an extent, because worse things can happen maybe that can stop you playing football.”
Lure of world stage
If there was one positive for Hudson-Wihongi – who owes his exotic-sounding name to Maori parentage, albeit mixed with English and American lineage – it was that his return was timed perfectly for the upcoming Club World Cup.
The Navy Blues will kick-off their campaign against local champions Al Jazira in the opening match on 6 December.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” added the 22-year-old. “I had a little taste of it in 2015 when we played [Sanfrecce] Hiroshima, and I was looking forward to it, but injuries are part and parcel of the game. It [UAE] is a place I have never been before so it will be a good cultural experience as well as the football.”
Auckland City are bound for a record ninth appearance at the world club showpiece. In 2014, the Navy Blues were in touching distance of a barely-believable match-up against Real Madrid in the tournament decider, only to fall just short despite pushing South American champions San Lorenzo all the way to extra time in the semi-final.
It remains one of the Club World Cup’s greatest stories, but Hudson-Wihongi says the current crop are energised to write their own chapter in the tournament’s annals.
“The players that were there do [talk about it], we hear that a lot,” Hudson-Wihongi said with a smile in is voice when asked about Auckland City’s Class of 2014.
“It is amazing what the club achieved in 2014 and some of those players remain. We have a good balance of youth and experience in the team, and it is important to have players that have been there and done that.”
NEW ROLE – The ‘Godfather’ of New Zealand football is taking a new role nurturing younger talent as Technical Director of the Auckland City FC Player Development Programme for 6-15 year olds.#NavyBlues #Strengthinunity
— Auckland City FC (@AucklandCity_FC) November 10, 2017
Vindictus announced plans for a server merge earlier, with the intention of bringing US-EAST, US-WEST, and the Australian server into one massive megaserver. Now, we have more information, with an updated FAQ, and a date.
A tentative one, however. The Vindictus team states that they are still in the process of checking things and making sure everything is ready to go, and the big day, marked for Wednesday, November 8th, may be pushed back. If all goes according to plan, however, maintenance will start at 12:00 AM Pacific Time/3:00 AM Eastern Time/9:00 AM CET/7:00 PM AEDT. How long this merge will take has not been announced. My personal bet is that it will be a 24-hour maintenance.
Some updated FAQ points, however, include-
Players with more than 7 Free characters across all 3 servers will be unable to make more new characters, but existing characters will not be deleted nor made unavailable.
If the Shared Storage will overflow with items after the server merge, the excess items will be placed in an invisible queue. To access these items, remove items from the Shared Storage, and re-log to access the queued items.
All items in the normal, Quest, and NX Inventory tabs will be carried over as normal, but players from US-WEST and Australia will find items in the Temporary NX Storage screen sent to their inbox. Vindictus apologizes for the inconvenience.
Check out the full FAQ here, and prepare for a new megaserver once the maintenance finishes. Hopefully it will make the game feel more lively, and won’t be a lagfest.
Former United States midfielder Kyle Martino has entered his name in the growing field of candidates who are running for president of the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Martino, 36, will take a hiatus from his prominent role as an analyst for NBC Sports’ Premier League coverage to focus on his campaign.
He will hope to replace Sunil Gulati as U.S. Soccer president at February’s election, joining a list of names that has lengthened steadily since the U.S. men’s national team failed to qualify last month for the 2018 World Cup.
Martino told The New York Times he would take a group approach to leading the federation.
“This is not about a person for a person,” Martino said. “There’s no one person who’s going to save U.S. Soccer. This is about a consortium.
“When a club in England is failing and they’re in jeopardy of going into administration and disappearing, fans, former players, business people — they all get together with their time, experiences and resources with the sole purpose of saving a club they love. We need to do that with U.S. Soccer.
“We need a group, to step up and say, ‘Enough is enough, we’re here to save this thing.’ I can mobilize that group.”
Martino also gave the Times letters of recommendation from former global stars David Beckham and Thierry Henry, who both played in Major League Soccer in the U.S. during their careers.
In running for USSF president, Martino joins fellow former U.S. players Eric Wynalda and Paul Caligiuri, as well as attorneys Steve Gans and Mike Winograd, and amateur league official Paul Lapointe.
Gulati, 58, hasn’t decided whether he will run, but the likelihood of him seeking a fourth term decreased when his top aide, U.S. Soccer executive vice president Carlos Cordeiro, announced last month that he would also be running.
Martino was named MLS Rookie of the Year in 2002 and spent five years with the Columbus Crew before joining the Los Angeles Galaxy for two seasons. He played in eight games for the U.S. national team, but after mounting injuries led him to retire in 2008, he worked as an MLS analyst for ESPN before joining NBC.
Martino had told Bleacher Report last month that he would not run for USSF president because it was a volunteer position, but he has since changed his mind.
“I didn’t dream of doing this job, but I know I have to do it,” he said. “And if Feb. 10 comes and goes and I’m not the president of U.S. Soccer, I can promise that whoever is, I will make sure that, if they beat me, they have soccer’s best interests at heart. And that they know the soccer community can mobilize and we’re watching them.”
Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.
Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus has said his former club should look to make a move for Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic.
U.S. international Pulisic was Dortmund’s best performer in an otherwise disappointing showing Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Bayern, drawing specific praise from sporting director Michael Zorc, who said he was the only player to show “courage,” and coach Peter Bosz.
The 19-year-old is under contract until 2020, but Matthaus said Bayern should target him when they look for successors for Arjen Robben, 33, and Franck Ribery, 34.
“Whenever Bayern are looking to replace Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, they must put out feelers to Christian Pulisic,” Matthaus said on Sky following Bayern’s win on Saturday.
The German champions have signed several key Dortmund players in recent years, with Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels all making the move, but Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge suggested in April that his club had moved away from targeting their rivals’ players.
Pulisic’s father has also played down the prospect of a move to Bayern, while the player himself indicated this summer that he had no intention of moving to the Allianz Arena.
Meanwhile, Dortmund have told ESPN FC that they expect Pulisic to remain at the club for the upcoming international break, with the United States set to announce their squad on Tuesday.
The U.S., who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, have a friendly away to Portugal on Nov. 14 but Dortmund have said he is not on the release list. No reason was given for the absence.
Portugal have already confirmed that players including Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani will not feature in the matc.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.
A Collection Of FIFA Ultimate Team Tips, FIFA Guide FAQ