What's Next For WoW Classic Era?

I’m playing on the Turtle WoW, a vanilla + private server and having a blast leveling up my Shaman Raid Tank, which is a thing on Turtle WoW and the servers has been crazy now, with a server population hitting hundreds of thousands of players online on weekends.

While leveling, I’ve been thinking a lot about what would the ideal Classic Era timeline would even look like? What and when should Blizzard release - things like official hardcore servers, classic + or vanilla + servers, classic cataclysm? And more importantly, what do we as a community even want to see? Because now’s the time to let Blizzard know what we want from them. So, today I thought we can talk about what the timeline for Classic Era and WoW could end up being in the next few years.

What's NEXT for Classic Era

Classic Era has been exploding the last few months, we have Classic Era Hardcore getting super popular, there’s even Hardcore PVE Races now, like real Competitions with actual prize pools, we have Classic Era servers growing month after month, WotLK Classic is well... It’s currently in between major patches, then there’s classic vanilla + servers like Turtle WoW and Duskhaven reaching all-time high populations.

Recently, there’s been rumors that Blizzard is releasing dedicated Hardcore Servers for Classic Era, and we just don’t know what form these servers are going to take, what the rule set is going to be, how integrated the achievements are going to be, is the server rule set going to be more like the original solo hardcore challenge we are all familiar with, or will Blizzard go for a more fun, group oriented hardcore experience like Turtle WoW.

Will there be titles, mounts for any rewards? Will the hardcore experience last past 60? These are all questions that need to be answered and quickly. I think Blizzard needs to release these hardcore servers as soon as possible, as the demand for them is only continuing to grow,

And it’s these hardcore challenges that are probably the main reason why we have seen a revitalization of the classic era servers. It’s not the only reason, of course. Vanilla has always held a special place in my heart just like a lot of people, and I think there will always be a population of players willing to play on classic era servers, but let’s be honest, if Blizzard released FRESH Classic Era Servers, that progressed from vanilla, to TBC to WotLK Classic all over again, 10,000s of people would dive into Classic Era again.

WotLK Classic

And I could see Blizzard doing just this at the end of WotLK Classic. Which brings us to what Blizzard should do after WotLK Classic ends. For me, it’s a no brainier that Blizzard is going to add classic cataclysm. But, it is a big decision point. I don’t think WotLK is that popular in terms of numbers, there just isn’t that much to do, it’s essentially an ICC waiting room. So, it’s possible Blizzard might just think the hype is over and move into a Classic, TBC, WotLK Classic maintenance mode.

But from a business perspective I think cataclysms success is already baked in, most of the Classic WoW player base is already expecting the classic experience to last until mists of pandaria and will happily sub just to enjoy the PVP alone as the two expansions are largely regarded as some of the best Arena ever, as well as some of the hardest most challenging classic PVE, at least in cata with some of the introductory raids being well… impossible for most guilds.

I know this would split the classic player base, but I think Blizzard should release a classic era fresh, that progresses all the way to WotLK Classic and beyond, and release Classic Cataclysm at the end of WOTLK. It’s unfortunate, but only from the perspective that fewer people might be playing in Cataclysm, so who cares, people will play classic era, they will play cata, they will pay, retail season of mastery, and hardcore, and private servers, let’s be honest, it’s all a bit of a mess for Blizzard right now.

Turtle WoW

So, just release it all and let the players decide where they want to play. After Cataclysm and a potential Mysts of pandaria, Blizzard needs to seriously consider a classic + server. The success or private servers like Turtle WoW, and Duskhaven has shown that the demand for classic + is very real and it’s doesn’t take a while a lot of effort to add basic things like new quests, items, zones. Duskhaven is being developed by literally ONE person and has dozens of awesome changes. Blizzard just needs to hand over development to a group of passionate creative people, that can make some changes and keep Classic WoW fresh.

Blizzard could even release the initial changes in a Season of Mastery style server to test and see the reaction of the player base. If they don’t release something like Classic +, Classic Era will eventually fade into irreverence and worse, go down in history as being one of the biggest wastes of an excellent opportunity in history.

In short, blizzard should first release a dedicated hardcore server as soon as possible, and with the end of Classic WOTLK, release classic cataclysm while offering FRESH Classic Era Servers, later develop classic +, even if it ends up being in a season of mastery style server.

I fully expect something like this to unfold over the next 4 years. It’s a very exciting time to be a World of WarCraft player, never before has the player base been so divided because there has never been so much different content, but that’s a good thing, Blizzard should embrace this fact, and not be afraid to release even more.

Animal Crossing May Be Changed Forever Because Of This!

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp on Smart Devices is of course still going strong 5 years on… But something pretty big is affecting the gaming industry right now in Austria, and if the history of Animal Crossing is anything to go by, Pocket Camp could be in trouble, and could potentially be Banned or Removed from the App Stores altogether, at least in parts of Europe…

Now, something pretty significant has just happened in Austria surrounding Sony and FIFA… Don’t worry, this will completely loop back round to Animal Crossing, I promise, just bear with me. In the last couple of weeks, in a case against Sony, regarding FIFA, courts have decided that Loot Boxes, in one form or another, violate the Gambling Laws in Austria.

This Could CHANGE Animal Crossing FOREVER!

This is essentially because in certain instances, players are of course paying (such as spending money to get more FUT 23 Coins) for random drops and not necessarily knowing the outcome, or what they’re actually purchasing. Specifically, I believe where certain rewards hold a monetary value, and therefore almost certainly fall under the gambling umbrella.

Anyway, the court ruled in favour of FIFA players, and to cut a long story short, have ordered Sony, the Platform, rather than EA, the publishers of FIFA, to pay out these claims, and pay back Loot Box charges to the Players. It’s a pretty complex issue, so if you want to learn more about that specific case, definitely google it.

FIFA

Now, despite this specific case affecting FIFA and PlayStation, it’s likely going to have an impact on Loot Boxes and gaming in general, as it’s set a new precedent in Austria, surrounding this type of monetisation.

Anyway, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, but Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, which is still played by millions all around the world, including a Loot Box mechanic very similar to this. If you head to the Market Place in Pocket Camp, you can, of course, spend Leaf Tickets, which is Pocket Camp’s Premium Currency on a Fortune Cookie, that once opened awards a random ACNH Items.

In many instances, players can even spend real-life money to obtain these Fortune Cookies. Now whether or not, new laws come in (because of the Sony Case) to prevent this type of monetisation surrounding Loot Boxes and alleged gambling violations, it’s likely to become a bigger issue in Austria and surrounding regions and create a bit of a grey area for games like Pocket Camp.

ACNH Fortune Cookies

And I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo are already looking into this further… With this in mind, there’s every possibility that Pocket Camp, or any game that includes Gacha Mechanics or Loot Boxes like Fortune Cookies, could be banned in European Regions. And even if they don’t, Nintendo could decide they don’t want to risk it, and pull the game down anyway and remove it from App Stores…

Now, I know what you’re thinking, this is all speculation, I’m jumping to conclusions, and leaping to the worst-case scenario… Now whilst I am speculating here, we have seen this exact situation occur in the past in Belgium in 2019, again in Europe, when Nintendo literally removed both Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes from the App Stores in that region.

Fire Emblem Heroes

This happened when Belgium introduced anti-gambling laws, creating a grey area for Loot Boxes in video games, and then led to new laws being passed that banned Loot Boxes altogether in video games. Interestingly enough, Belgium’s governing bodies at the time, also ordered the likes of FIFA to removed Loot Boxes from their games in the Region… which I believe they did, with the understanding that if they didn’t they’d face millions in fines and even prison time.

However, even now, Animal Crossing Pocket Camp cannot be downloaded or played legitimately in Belgium and some neighbouring counties. And rather than removing the Fortune Cookies when this happened in 2019, Nintendo removed the entire game.

So, with new headlines surrounding Loot Boxes in Austria, with all eyes on Loot Boxes in a new region, and the likely hood of new laws coming in, it’s possible it’s only a matter of time until history literally repeats itself 4 years later, in another European country, and Pocket Camp is removed. Of course, this is a worst-case scenario.

There’s every chance Nintendo would simply remove Fortune Cookies this time around, rather than the whole game, especially now the game includes even more Monetisation models, but who knows, maybe this particular issues starts and ends on PlayStation, and Pocket Camp continues to thrive.

Last Epoch Convergence Patch 0.9 Overview

A week ago, the game director of Last Epoch, whose name is Judd Cobler, brought us the highlights of our long-awaited multiplayer update patch 0.9 - Convergence. Next, let’s take a closer look at what he said.

Convergence drops on March 9th. For the first time in Last Epoch you’ll be able to adventure through time with up to four players in your party. Adding friends and grouping up is easy, and you can start playing together right from the start of the campaign.

Developers have upgraded all in-game content, including the Arena, Dungeons and the Monolith of Fate to ensure that group play feels great. *For example, in the Monolith, they’ve introduced a new Echo completion system that ensures fair rewards for the full party.

Last Epoch Monolith of Fate

*And in the arena, they’ve introduced a group ready check to allow parties to strategically proceed to the next Arena wave set when the entire party is ready.

*In multiplayer, the loot you find drops per player. So, you’re not having to compete for the same items (which you can get by using Last Epoch Gold) on the ground.

Related: Outstanding Build Guides for Beginners in Last Epoch

*Additionally, if you find an item that would help your allies, you’ll be able to gift items to your party members, who are fighting alongside you.

“With multiplayer dropping on March 9th, we are looking forward to seeing what powerful team compositions you put together with your party. We hope you enjoy slaying the enemies of a Eterra with your allies,” Cobler said.

While you’re crushing enemies alongside other Travelers, you will notice a whole host of upgrades developers have made to increase the impact and polish the feel of combat in Last Epoch. They’ve added a new win hid visuals to enemies.

Visual impacts now have directionality carrying the weight through from your swing or spell cast. Death effects have been updated to correspond with the elements that are used on the killing blow. Elements applied to enemies displayed nicer on enemy models and many enemies have had death and stun animations significantly improved. All of these updates combined make slaying enemies in a Eterra feel much more satisfying.

“If you are returning to a terror from our last update, prepare to see the world come to life like never before. Our team has been hard at work and there is an overwhelming amount of new visual upgrades coming to Convergence.”, the director said.

Last Epoch Convergence

For example, the dialog system has been updated across the game to include better ux and beautiful new NPC portraits, allowing you to get to know the iconic cast of characters a little better. Many environments across satara have received new tech that makes their visuals come to life and this new tech will continue to be extrapolated in future patches.

In addition to the many new environments and visual updates, they’re introducing 15 updated or newly added enemies, tons of skill VFX improvements and 14 entire new gear set visuals across all classes.

There are also new player summon models and animations in addition to completely updated animation kits for both the prime list and acolyte.

“All of this together results in the Last Epoch gameplay feel that you’ve never seen before and one that we’re all very excited for our players to experience,” he said.

Convergence will also be bringing a number of new powerful build shaping uniques for you to hunt down, including the Harbinger of Stars. This new unique belt enables any class to have the chance to cast Meteor when landing a Critical Strike. We’ve already seen some very interesting builds created with this belt in early testing, like Meteor.

The new Hand of Judgment gloves can bring holy Justice into the palm of your hand, giving your unarmed Paladin Divine strength, allowing you to slam your fist into the ground to cast Judgment, which will scale area and damage by stacking Attunement.

Finally, Jelkhor’s Blast Knife captures the power of the Rogue’s Detonating Arrow ability and infuses it into a melee strike, transforming your Marksman into a bomb slinging assassin.

Last Epoch Jelkhor's Blast Knife

Ailments have undergone significant changes that will make them more easily understood and bring their effectiveness against bosses and packs of low-held enemies more in line. Namely, by reducing the duration that the full effect would take place over and will now display the full amount of stacks applied to enemies.

The balance of all elements has been updated in a number of ways. “Since our last release Depths of Eterra, we’ve put a significant amount of work into improving performance across the game,” he said.

Baseline frame rates in zones and performance when using abilities have been greatly improved, especially among stabilities that were noted as poor performing in earlier patches. While this update does bring significant improvements to performance will continue to make improvements to performance in future patches, as well.

They’ll also be shipping an early version of the MTX system with this update. While you won’t be able to purchase anything new or access the shop just yet, you’ll finally be able to equip cosmetics that you own through previous supporter pack purchases.

“I’ll also take this opportunity to reinforce our commitment that Last Epoch will never sell items that grant player power. We’ve taken a hard stance against this and will continue to champion that stance into the future with that said if you have fun ideas for how certain skills pets or armor could be re-skinned we’d love to hear them”, he emphasized.

Animal Crossing New Horizons: An Exciting Big Nintendo Leak

Last month was a pretty big month for Nintendo. They dropped a whole new direction for us of all kinds of fun new reveals. But nothing too out there. What’s weird is that the leak I mentioned in the title actually comes from the Pokemon Presents that happened about a week ago.

Now, when I hear the word leak, I’m thinking fake instantly and I know a lot of you feel the same. This is true for so many leaks out there. But this one actually seems to be accurate. For a start, they correctly shared pretty much everything. That was going to happen within the Pokemon Presents days before it actually happened and that’s not the interesting part. It’s what they shared at the very end of this leak that concerns all of Nintendo and especially their biggest games like Animal Crossing.

ACNH

This supposed leaker works at an outsourcing company for Pokemon and they’ve been working on the latest DLC, which we’ll be releasing this year for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. At the very end of their league, they mentioned that they’ve been working on a graphics enhancement patch for new Nintendo Switch models, which will release alongside the second DLC.

Then, in a follow-up reply, they actually elaborated on this, showing that this would be Nintendo’s next gen console, which is a successor to the Switch. If this is true and it’s seeming like it is. Then, it’s an enormous piece of news, which will affect a lot of different Nintendo games, which have been waiting for new releases. Think about the new Metroid game and maybe the sequel to Super Mario Odyssey and of course potentially a new Animal Crossing release, as well.

Super Mario Odyssey

Now, there’s a lot of speculation about what this new model would be. Nintendo Switch just celebrated sixth anniversary, so we’re definitely heading to the end of this particular console I feel.

Of course, a big thing that a lot of Animal Crossing fans know is that Nintendo doesn’t really release two main Animal Crossing games on the same system. But if a new system or effectively a new improved version of the Switch is arriving sometime in 2024, then the opportunity for a new Animal Crossing game would become available. After all, it’ll have been four years at that point since New Horizons, which is a standard amount of time the Animal Crossing games usually release in with the exception of New Horizons itself.

Given that Animal Crossing is a major system seller and New Horizons is one of Nintendo’s biggest games of all time, it seems fairly likely that they would want a new one to release alongside a new console as that would boost sales drastically. Even if it doesn’t release in 2024, I think we’d start seeing teasers and trailers for the future for sure, like they did with New Horizons to build excitement with the huge crowd of people, who brought the original switch purely to play New Horizons.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

I’ve seen a lot of you saying that 2025 would be a good year for a new Animal Crossing game. Maybe in that year you will experience more game content and interesting ACNH Items. And honestly, I think this makes a lot of sense. So, we definitely learn about it alongside a new model of the Switch in 2024 or whatever this successor is.

Now, if this is effectively an upgraded Switch and they’re working on a graphical enhancement patch for existing games like Scala and Violet. It’s possible New Horizons could get the same treatment, which might be interesting too personally at that point into 2024. I just prefer a totally new game.

But if New Horizons got some love again, I don’t think that would be a bad thing. It seems likely from this league that we’d be able to play Switch games on this new system, so New Horizons would be included in that even if it’s not graphically improved. I’m sure in some way, the experience would be better though on a new system. I think it’s safe to say that from a business point of view Nintendo would do something to encourage the New Horizons crowd to purchase their new console, even now they still use New Horizons to sell their online services.

They could also use this as a way to tide Animal Crossing fans over until the next main game, just like they did with the huge welcome Amiibo update for New Leaf back in the day.

Amiibo

Right now, this is all speculation in terms of Animal Crossing and the other major Nintendo games. But this leak about a new Nintendo system seems fairly certain at this point. I know a lot of you will be skeptical, especially after all the switch pro rumors that kind of went nowhere.

But given this person accurately sheds so many details from the new Pokemon DLC without anyone else knowing at all, it seems like at the very least Nintendo is planning what they have shared. We’ll just have to see if it actually comes to fruition or not.

Here's Everything We Know About Path Of Exile 2!

Since Chris Wilson announced Path of Exile 2 on the stage at ExileCon back in 2019, it's been nearly four years. Where has the time gone? With ExileCon 2 just around the corner, here's everything you should know about Path of Exile 2.

Campaign, Engine Upgrades & MTX

Path of Exile 2 will be a massive expansion of Path of Exile one rather than being a new stand-alone game. It will introduce a new 7x story campaign that can be played alongside the original campaign to access a shared endgame, the Atlas and mapping system we know and love.

We'll also be getting some juicy graphics updates in part from engine upgrades and back-end optimizations which will make the game look more like this - 16 times the detail.

There'll be plenty of new animations and environmental effects, too. And character models will be getting some updates, as well. But fear not, all of the MTX you've invested your hard-earned cash into over the years will still work in Path of Exile 2.

POE 2

New Skill Gem And Socket System

One of the biggest changes coming to the game with Path of Exile 2 is the complete overhaul of the Skill Gem and Socket System. And Path of Exile 2, instead of socketing your support gems into linked sockets in your gear, you'll instead socket them directly into the active skill gem itself, which itself is then socketed into predetermined sockets in your gear.

There'll be a flashy new skill gem interface to support this change. Orbs of Fusing will be no more as the sockets and skill gems will always be linked and you'll be able to find up to three linked skill gems from item level 1 to 19: 4 linked skill gems from item level 20 onward, 5 linked skill gems from item level 35 onward and fully six-linked skill gems starting at item level 50.

POE Orbs of Fusing

Also did you spot that multi-colored socket? That's a new addition with the predetermined gear socket system and Path of Exile 2. Gear will always drop with the same number and color of sockets based on type, like this hybrid armor evasion helmet with a hybrid red and green socket which means it can be socketed with either color of gem.

Two-handed weapons will have four sockets. One-handed weapons and off hands will have two sockets each. Body armors will have two sockets and helmets, gloves and boots will have one socket each.

You will still be able to modify the color of sockets on gear with a new in-game currency and you will also be able to use Chromatic Orbs and Jewels to modify the sockets on skill gems. If you find a skilled gym with more links than the one you are using, you'll be able to destroy your current gem to apply the level and experience to the new gym to obtain more links.

19 New Ascendancy Classes

While the new socket and gem system may be the largest change that Path of Exile 2 will introduce, the addition of 19 new ascendancy classes might be the most anticipated feature.

The new ascendancies will be tied to the new campaign. So, if you want to play a Juggernaut or a Pathfinder, you will still need to play through the original campaign to reach the endgame.

The Ranger will be getting the new Survivalist ascendancy with an interesting dynamic with the skill tree having defensive options on the left side and defensive options on the right side.

POE 2 Ranger

One of the offensive options, Division grants you two copies of compatible skills socketed in your bow: one supported by GMP (Greater Multiple Projectiles) and the other by Barrage, potentially two seven links.

The Survivalist will also have an ascended-like choice between Fork, Pierce and Chain and the Multiplication skill that allows you to save your projectiles to build up larger bursts.

On the defensive side, we have Spell Avoidance, which convert your evasion into Spell Evasion. The Ranger will also be getting the Beastmaster ascendancy, which heavily supports the new shape-shifting abilities that will be coming in Path of Exile 2. This ascendancy will grant you the workout skill, a high crit shape-shifting ability, which you won't be able to find anywhere else.

You will also be able to spec into wild shape to massively improve shape-shifting bonuses and keep those bonuses even when you're in human form. Ally of the Wild will give you a nice little companion that will work like a Golem and provide buffs. You can even specialize into which type of companion you need.

The Rangers third new ascendancy, the Tactician, is possibly the most ambitious of them all. The Tactician will be able to continuously leave bombard areas with reigning arrows and even gain multiple uses of this skill, which will prevent enemies from attacking at range.

Meanwhile, the Siege Warfare and Siege Breaker notables will provide massive buffs to your totems like ensnaring enemies and making them take more range to attack damage and allowing the most recently placed totem to deal a lot more damage.

But the most interesting of all is the Close Combat Specialist, which will enable the Tactician to use ax and sword melee abilities with a bow. The developers did mention that they are re-rigging animations, which have made things like bows using melee animations possible and Path of Exile 2. We don't have a whole lot of information on the other ascendancies, but we do have some names and concepts.

Here's the Defiler, a new Witch ascendancy and the Arcanist, another Witch ascendancy that will have a heavy focus on lightning damage and charging up energy. There's also the Reaver, a war leader ascendancy for the Marauder, which will grant powerful bonuses to allies around him. And this, an unnamed Marauder ascendancy with a focus on Avatars and ancestral abilities.

New Weapon Types, Meta Gems, AI & UI

New ascendancies are pretty exciting. But there's also going to be new weapon tags, too.

We know of at least two of them, the Crossbow (Victory Core Power Shot Crossbow) and the Spear (Winged Spear). These new weapons seem to hint at a new direction in terms of gameplay in regards to your choice of weapon as both of them will grant new skills.

Crossbows grant implicit attack skills, such as PowerShot, a high damage single target ability. Instead of socketing attack skills, you can socket Crossbow bull types to augment the attack abilities and change what they do. We know of at least three types of bolts. Armor Piercing Incendiary and Permafrost.

Meanwhile, the Spear will allow you to use new engage and disengage abilities to provide freedom of movement and more interesting combat.

Path of Exile 2

More Information

Aside from what we've already discussed in this article, there are a few more tidbits of information we have about Path of Exile 2.

We know that there will be a new gem type called metagems, which the developers described as the opposite of an active skill gem. Instead of socketing support gems into an active skill gem, you'll socket active gems into metagems. Like this Proficiency metagem for auras, which will allow you to turn all of your auras on or off with a single hotkey.

Cast on Critical Strike Support and Spell Totem Support will also be metagems. Speaking of Spell Totem, the developers also talked about tentative plans for new AI options to allow your Spell Totems to use skills in certain orders. In this example, they showcase the Spell Totem setup that will curse any uncursed enemies in the area before moving on to use other skills.

POE Spell Totem Support

On the discussion of AI, they also mentioned that Monster Packs will have more interesting AI and Path of Exile, too, such as patrolling areas where appropriate.

Of course, you can also expect other upgrades, such as UI elements. like this new character sheet, which will provide information that is better laid out and easier to find.

During a discussion on some of the pain points of developing Path of Exile, the developers talked about having ascendancy skills, such as the pre-existing bomb armor (Bone Barrier) on the Necromancer or the new skills (Born to be Wild & Ally of the Wild) like those granted by the Beastmaster and having them scale as you progress in Path of Exile 2 instead of granting a static value like they do currently.

They weren't sure yet if this would be tied to level progress or based on when you take each ascendancy notable. The developers also talked about how the new ascendancy notables and Path of Exile 2 are designed to have far less clutter stats and instead focus on one or two impactful stats. They mentioned that the original ascendancies will need a rebalance to bring them to the same level.

We will know more information about Path of Exile 2 at ExileCon 2023 on July 29th and 30th in Auckland New Zealand.

FIFA 23: 3 Core Tips On 1V1 Defending

If you’re having huge problems while defending the attackers in one versus one situation, then this is the exact guide you need to read to improve yourself. We are going to give you the core elements of one versus one defending to let you become a brick wall in the back.

Why 1v1 Defending Is Important?

Your defensive problem might already start a step earlier with understanding when you have to take charge and go for a manual one versus one defense against the Attacker

In my experience, there are a lot of players who hold themselves back defensively and try to cover the back area or they just try to let the AI (AI Defending) defend the Attacker. Both of these are going to give the opposition tons of space and they might do whatever they want without getting blocked.

FIFA 23 1v1 defending example1

Here as I receive the ball with my Attacker, my opponents, which is away from the player, who actually needs to defend him and he lets the AI do his work. However, with the skill move, I beat the Defender in square nice goal, which could be prevented by a manual one versus one defending

So, that means you have to take control, be confident, confront the opponent by yourself and try to block as many opportunities as possible. Of course, if you put the outstanding players, which you get by using FUT 23 Coins into the game, you will win the game more easily.

FIFA 23 1v1 defending example2

In a counter-attack situation, I know that I need to take responsibility as danger grows. I get close to Dribbler and also cover the passing lane at the same time. And once the other thread is over, I make my final move towards them in a one versus one and safely get the ball back.

We can safely say taking responsibility, observing what the opponent does, and taking action accordingly brings you to success in your defense. 

2. Positioning Defenders

Positioning your Defender is the most important thing in a one versus one situation. However, it is not easy since you have to watch out for different aspects.

FIFA 23 1v1 defending example3

Attackers will have different opportunities. They can dribble the ball, pass it to another teammate or even shoot it if they find the chance. Analyzing the occasion and seeing the next potential steps will decide your optimal positioning.

FIFA 23 1v1 defending example4

As a player myself, I tend to position my Defender directly in front of the opponent in a one versus one situation. You can always imagine a line between the Attacker and the Keeper and position yourself directly on it. I’ve seen that this method helped my students in my coachings a lot, so it might be also useful for you.

Instead of getting directly atom, I keep a safe distance between his Attacker and myself as long as he has the full control of the ball. This distance allows me to control all of his potential moves. 

FIFA 23 1v1 defending example5

If the Attacker tries to shoot, you are already between him and the goal, so you block it. If he tries to go left or right, the distance you gave him will allow you to do the same moment so that you can mirror his movements. 

There is one specific mechanic that will help you with the mirroring, which is to get the jockeying. Holding onto the L2 & LT button will let you go into a jockey, which is a magnificent defensive stance that allows you to keep your defensive positioning. Especially in tight 1 versus 1 situations, joking will help you avoid getting beaten by Attackers.

You can also use the jockey with the sprinting mechanic to go for a fast jokey if you see that the opponent is pacing up to things. Let’s see an example.

FIFA 23 1v1 defending example6

As the opponent approaches our box patiently, he looks for an opening, but we need to make sure that we use the imaginary line between the ball and the keeper and remain on it. 

FIFA 23 1v1 defending example7

Pressing the L2 and jockeying allows us to do little moves towards the sides, which don’t break our defensive positioning, and we remain in front of the opponent all the time, blocking every single opportunity.

Right after he decides to go in one of the directions and pushes the ball away, we chase him down confidently and get the ball away from him. 

After getting into the perfect position, it is time for you to decide when to execute a defensive mode to retrieve the ball.

3. When To Execute Defensive Moves?

In a one versus one, you will eventually have the opportunity to go for a defensive move. But if you do it too early or too late, you can give your opponent an unnecessary opening and concede to an easy goal. That is why waiting for the perfect moment is important.

But when it’s actually okay to execute the defensive moves, the answer is simple. The Attacker is most vulnerable right after he pushes the ball away from his feet. So, between two consecutive wall contacts, there is a brief moment that he’s not in full control of the ball and you need to catch this moment. Let me show you what I mean by this.

FIFA 23 1v1 defending example8

Here, as I received the ball with my Striker inside the box, the Defender positions himself in a suitable spot between me and the Keeper. However, he remains impatient with his tackling. He doesn’t pay attention to my ball contact and in the end, he goes for it in the wrong way, loses his defensive shape and concedes an easy goal.

FIFA 23 1v1 defending example9

In another scenario, I quickly take a look at the ball contacts of the opponent just because I see that he sprints and pushes the ball away. I know that this will delay his second contact on the ball, so I decide to select my Defender go on a one versus one challenge with him and retrieve the ball dominantly.

So, that means keeping your good positioning and patiently waiting for the Attacker’s vulnerable moment are the core elements of a one versus one defending position. 

My Analysis Of The Current Situation With Official Hardcore Servers For WotLK Classic

In this article, I want to talk about the current state of Official Hardcore Servers in WoW Classic. Before I get started, I must stress that I am personally very supportive of Blizzard developing them.

Besides, I will also explain to you why this is not a priority for Blizzard, nor will it ever probably be a priority, and there is a slight chance we never get Official Hardcore Servers, no matter how much we really want them to happen, and that will be explained in this article. 

What Classic Hardcore Is?

Before we start though, I just want to do a quick recap on what Classic Hardcore is, as there is a chance someone has no idea what the term “hardcore” even refers to

Basically, Classic Hardcore is a No-Death leveling challenge in Classic WoW that is taking part mostly in the Classic Era Servers, with thousands of active players every single day. The goal of the challenge is to make it to level 60 without dying, and if you die and want to keep playing in the challenge, you have to start over from level 1 again. By the way, if you want to solve this problem, maybe you can use WOTLK Classic Gold to equip yourself.

When we talk about Official Hardcore Servers, this refers to Blizzard embracing the Classic Hardcore Gameplay & Community and supporting the movement by adding official Hardcore-type of servers, where if you die you can’t resurrect or you have to delete your character, basically permanent one-life servers. 

WotLK Classic Classic Hardcore

Pros Of Having Official Hardcore Servers

So, now that we are all caught up to speed, let me highlight some of the positive aspects of having Official Hardcore Servers. Before I introduce, some people might consider me being negative or just overall pessimistic, but it’s really me looking at the idea of Classic Hardcore Servers with an objective point of view and realizing that Blizzard is a business after all. 

Here are positive aspects of having Official Hardcore Servers:

#1

There’s an obvious demand for them. I did some player scans recently, showing exactly how many people were online at the same time on the Classic Era Hardcore Server for Europe, and there’s literally between 2 and 3 thousand people playing at the same time on a regular Monday evening. 

#2

Having Official Blizzard-Supported Hardcore Servers would make it way more appealing to everyone. First, you would have way fewer grievers, like playing on the current Classic Era Servers, there’ are a lot of grievers, because they can level to level 60 and just grieve anyone else playing Hardcore, without playing Hardcore themselves. 

If we’re on an official hardcore server, grieving will be a lot more risky and a lot more difficult, because first of all the grievers have to level themselves up in a hardcore environment, and then if they decide to grief, they actually have more risk involved because they are playing hardcore themselves. 

WotLK Classic Classic Era

Less grieving equals to more fun gameplay and more appealing to quite literally everyone. Right now, playing on Classic Era, you have to deal with some people playing Hardcore, and some people not playing Hardcore, and it’s actually quite messy. 

For example, if you as a non-hardcore player want to do a somewhat difficult quest or kill a named mob, and you try to group up with a hardcore player do the same thing, that hardcore player is literally not allowed to group up with you, which might cause you to get annoyed at the hardcore player because you’re killing the same mobs and could have helped each other, and if you don’t know he’s doing the hardcore challenge, he looks like a complete jackass, so it’s quite messy.

Related: WoW: What Blizzard Should Do To Make Season of Mastery 2 A Successful Launch?

#3

It makes it a lot more convenient & easy to try out. Right now, in order to play Hardcore, you first need to find out which serves the hardcore community is playing on, then you need to download a Hardcore addon. But if we had official hardcore servers, you eliminate having to find out which server to play because they’re already public, and we wouldn’t need the hardcore addon. 

And by the way, the Hardcore Addon has over 200,000 installs, so once again there’s obviously a demand for this.

Why Blizzard Haven’t Implemented Official Hardcore Servers?

Now, let’s think about the idea of Official Hardcore Servers from an objective point of view, and think about why Blizzard hasn’t implemented them yet, if there is such an obvious demand? Actually, it’s all about money. 

Blizzard is a company, they like making money. When they came out with Classic WoW, they tried to keep it as similar to Vanilla WoW as possible, which they said was a “love letter to their community”. 

But I will bet you right now: They always had the intention of coming out with the level 58 boost and the TBC Deluxe Editions for TBC Classic. Classic WoW was just them earning your trust, for then to profit from that trust later on, they 100% thought that through before even beginning to work on Classic WoW. 

My Opinion

So, let’s continue to Hardcore Servers. Here’s how I see it: 

Everyone that is currently playing Classic Hardcore, is playing on Classic Era. 99% of people that know what Classic Hardcore is, are currently playing on Classic Era. In essence, what this means is that 99% of people that would play on Official Hardcore Servers are already playing the game and are already giving Blizzard their monthly subscription revenue. 

Blizzard needs a financial incentive to make Official Hardcore Servers, and to be honest, I simply don’t think it is quite there yet. For the people that know about Classic Hardcore, it’s a fantastic idea, but then again, most of us are already paying & playing on Classic Era, why would Blizzard spend their time & resources on implementing new types of servers for us, when it’s obvious that we are still playing and having fun on the Classic Era Servers? 

In the long run, sure, it could bring more people back to Classic WoW by offering something new & fresh, and it has been successful for some other games in the past, but is the financial incentive really there right now? 

I really do think, and I’m not motivating anyone to do this, but I think in order to get Official Hardcore Servers anytime soon, we would quite literally have to organize a gamer strike or an era boycott to actually give Blizzard a financial incentive for these Hardcore Servers, because that way we are sending the message: “If you want our money, give us what we want”, while right now, we are giving them the money either way and begging them to pet us on the head and say “good boy”. 

Diving even deeper into the financial incentive hole, I can’t help but think: What would Official Hardcore Servers actually look like: Judging by how Classic WoW went, it started off great, really authentic & vanilla-like, at least in most ways, and then when the expansion came out, they capitalized by introducing boosts & deluxe editions. What if a potential Official Hardcore Server follows the same trend? 

WotLK Classic Chronoboon Displacer

They give us exactly what to ask for, in the beginning, but then they start adding random things to milk us for every penny we have, first we would get cosmetics which people would be somewhat okay with, then we would get mounts which again people would be somewhat okay with, but then imagine if they went the extra mile and offered Paid Resurrections

For Official Hardcore Servers, I want to say “Death = Delete”. But if you pay $50, you can resurrect your character and keep playing! Or maybe they would make like a Chronoboon Displacer item that costs $50 and allows you to travel 1 minute back in time. So if your character is ever about to die, you can use that item. Or, maybe they would introduce a Light of Elune type of item into the cash-shop, allowing anyone to bubble-hearth, essentially. 

This is just me speculating on how many ways Blizzard could potentially screw up these servers, but I really wanted to highlight the financial incentive aspect of this conversation, as it’s something that isn’t being talked about enough. As players, we care about having fun while playing the game. As a company, Blizzard cares about making money. When you want something to happen, you have to consider both these things.

Top 6 New RPGs You Can Expect In March 2023

As we get a little further into 2023, the more busy we’re going to be with RPGs. Last month had us flying upon hippogriff and broomstick in the magical world of Hogwarts Legacy, taking our top spot in February. This month, however, we are more into action titles with challenging souls like combat as well as turn-based gems to take on. This month we’re in for a hellishly good time. So, let’s get into the top RPGs of March 2023.

1. Honorable Mention: Diablo 4 (Open Beta)

It’s time to unleash hell. Diablo 4 won’t be releasing until June, but you can get a sneak peek of what live has in store for you this month. An early open beta will be held from March 17th until March 19th for those who have pre-purchased the game.

Then there’s an open beta for everyone else from March 24th until the 26th. The open beta contains the prologue and the whole of act one. This means players can explore the first area of Fractured Peaks. there will be some limitations though, so your character progress will only be able to go to level 25.

Diablo 4 (Open Beta)

Once you cap, you can still go ahead and hunt down demons to your heart’s content, but you won’t be able to level more than this. The beta will include dungeons quests and, of course, plenty of loot.

In case you missed it, Diablo 4 is the next upcoming action JRPG in the series taking place many years after the events of Diablo 3. Sanctuary is slowly rebuilding, but all threats loom in the land itself.

Related: What You Need To Know About Diablo IV End Game Modes?

Lilith, the daughter of Mephisto, is closing her grip on the inhabitants, leaving them in despair. Taking out the mantle of one of the five classes, players will hack and slash their way through dungeons, demons and more. Explore the world of Sanctuary upon horseback and even eventually take part in PVP.

While Lilith readies her army for June, you can join the beta this march on PC, Xbox series, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. If you are worrying about Diablo 4 Gold, or you want read more guides about this game, then take a look at IGGM.com.

2. The Legend Of Heroes: Trails To Azure

The Legend Of Heroes: Trails To Azure is the first official in the English version to be released on modern platforms. This JRPG entry is set just a few months after the events of the Trails from Zero, concerning the political complications of the Samurai content.

While Crossbell as well as the Special Support Section seem to be at peace now, it’s only a temporary situation. Tensions are rising between the Erebonian Empire and the Republic of Calvard.

Lloyd, the main character of the story and his group of rag-tag allies must prepare themselves for the trouble ahead by gearing up. This is the finale to the Crossbell arc within the Trail Universe.

The Legend Of Heroes Trails To Azure

In Trails of Physio, players will be introduced to new combat features, such as burst, back, attack and the use of a customizable car. There’ll be the return of a few familiar faces from the Trails of Cold Steel series. The Special Support Section will have new members and new duties to master in turn-based battles.

Players can also import their saved data from the previous title Trails from Zero to have an enhanced experience with further event scenes and new scenes to enjoy. Saving data from Trails of Azure will give bonuses for the upcoming game.

Trails into Reverie, which releases later this year. The Legend Of Heroes: Trails To Azure heads to PC, PlayStation 4 and Switch on March 14th for North America and March 17th like EU.

3. Mato Anomalies

Mata Anomalies is an anime inspired RPG set in a bygone city and a more neo-futuristic parallel world. Investigating anomalies is your call to the city as you follow dual protagonist Doe and Gram. Grouping up with some unlikely companions in order to unnerve the mysteries in the city of Mato as detective Doe and by traveling through roofs as Exorcist Gram.

The game lets players explore dual worlds with Rifts that provide portals beyond space and time, but jumping between these worlds won’t be easy as there are plenty of enemies to fight.

Players can take up different weapons, skills and use the dual-talent system to enhance their characters. The health system is also shared across or teammates, suppliers will need to keep an eye on bouncing risk and reward in turn-based combat.

Mato Anomalies

Another interesting feature is the use of mind hacking, which uses cards instead of weapons. You strategize the best way to use action points and cards per turn, with both offensive and defensive cards to use.

If you like the idea of a persona-esque title with a more detective edge, then this could very well be likely up your alley. Mato Anomalies will be released on PlayStation 5, Xbox series, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC on March 10th.

4. Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key is the concluding part of a trilogy of games from the Japanese developer Gust.

The RPG follows Alchemist rise actually unlocks powerful keys that grant her advanced alchemical abilities. In the third and final installment, players will follow her adventure as she discovers the secret hideout, interacts with secret fairies and obtains ancient keys that influence her potent Alchemy.

Happy Island has been suddenly abruptly interrupted for Ryza and her friends on the kirkmen island. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new group of islands spring forth from the ocean. Instead of having extensive areas connected by pathways and loading screens found in previous titles, this one has an open world we explore. This will allow seamless exploration that will include no loading screens whatsoever.

Atelier Ryza 3 Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key

Ryza can now run or ride through various areas without interruption. Freedom is the name of the game here and there will be tons to see. There are a total of four major regions in Atelier Ryza 3 and each will have its own distinct look and feel. Meet a total of 10 companions. You can choose from bringing the playable character, account up to 11, including Ryza herself.

This number in itself is a high point for the series as no other game has had a roster this large before. Combat involves real-time tactical battles with up to five members in the party. Using keys will help boost a character for a limited time, reducing waiting time and letting you use skills and other attacks one after the other.

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key will rise on March 24th to PC, Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

5. Bleak Faith: Forsaken

This one has been a while in the making. Finally getting its launch this month is a crowdfunded indie title, Bleak Faith: Forsaken.

It’s a mix of sci-fi with Dark Fantasy is an intriguing one for souls fans.

In Bleak Faith: Forsaken, players must tread through a relentless world referred to as the Omnistructure. This harsh Omniverse is filled with treacherous terrain and menacing monsters to prepare for an adventure full of intense combat and soaring boss battles.

Bleak Faith Forsaken

Leap, run and climb through the apocalyptic ruins of what was once a plentiful land. Taking on the role of the last of humanity’s protectors, the Forsaken. Fighting to preserve the ancient remnants from their extinction.

But just how much of humanity is left to save? As you would expect from a soulslike. The combat will be challenging inspired by brutal combat systems. Its class and perk systems draw inspiration from the likes of the Dragon Age series. It blinks Bleak Faith: Forsaken. You aren’t alone in the Wasteland as creatures and adversaries or wait around every corner.

The enemies are what you’d expect from the game with a bleak in the title with a bloodborne-esque horror of kind of feel will with a Sci-Fi edge. Bleak Faith: Forsaken will be making its debut on PC on March 10thn. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are planned, but will come at a later date. This is a highly anticipated RPG not just for this month of March, but also for 2023.

6. Wo Long Fallen Dynasty

Wo Long Fallen Dynasty centers around the Three Kingdoms period of the later Han Dynasty. This period is fraught with power struggles and conflict, providing a fitting foundation for an intense combat game.

During inspiration not only from history but also fantasy, players will be battling against hordes of supernatural monsters that are plaguing the dynasty. Take on the role of a malicious soldier committed to fight the Yellow Turban Rebellion. The game, just like the developers’ previous franchise, Neo sets to have plenty of mythical and fantasy elements to it with some brutal sword slashing to get you excited.

Wo Long Fallen Dynasty

Instead of a traditional character leveling system, the morale system will determine the character’s success in combat. Defeating more enemies will raise your ranks. Enemies with higher role rank will mean faster progression, making facing off against or challenging enemies much more rewarding.

Related: Wo Long Fallen Dynasty: A Complete Guide For Zhang Liang Boss Fight

But you don’t have to go to loan as NPC characters will be recruitable and you can also play alongside friends and Co-op. Combat is set to be fast-paced using both Wizardry Spells and Martial Arts to engage in fights against enemies. The use of the spirit gauge determines when you can block or dodge, but spamming attacks will empty that gauge meaning keeping an eye on your moves in order to empower your Martial Arts.

There is a range of fantasy elements and action gameplay, which will be loved by both Neo and Ninja Gaiden fans. Wo Long Fallen Dynasty will be released on PlayStation 5, Xbox series X and S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox game pass and PC on March 3rd. If you're looking for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty GQ, check out IGGM.com.

FIFA 23: Why Ignoring META Will Help You Win?

The Meta, a term that has shaped the FIFA community and often divided it throughout the past few years. Using and abusing the game's most broken formations, mechanics, skill moves and finishes to play as good and efficiently as possible and to win.

What if I told you there was another way to be a good player and another way that's going to allow you to win most of your matches comfortably and climb all the way up into the elite division by playing simple and beautiful football? Today we say goodbye to the meta and we go back to the fundamentals of FIFA.

Today, I'm here to teach you old school FIFA, one fundamental skill for defending, build up and attacking each. Let's start off with defending.

Defending - Defend Multiple Options

When it comes to defending, one of the most important things is to be ready for anything the opponent is throwing you away. That's why a fundamental defensive skill lies in positioning yourself in a way that allows you to defend multiple options at once.

When you get better at anticipating, it can happen quickly that you fully commit towards one side because you think the opponent is going there. And if you're right, that's great because you're most likely going to win the ball. However, if you're wrong then you got a problem.

FIFA 23 example 1

So, what you need to do is quickly analyze the different options your opponent has and take a position from which you can impact each single one. We are in a little bit of a tricky spot here as the opponent is able to play forward with tempo.

FIFA 23 example 3

FIFA 23 example 4

If we pause the scene here, there are two major options for the opponent. He can either pass the ball onto his other Striker, who's in a promising position or he can try and go into a dribbling himself to push inside the Box.

FIFA 23 example 2

Our job is to position in a way that allows us to cover the passing option, but at the same time also keeps us in reach to a potential dribbling move. That's what the opponent decides for in the end as he pushes forward with a heel to heal. That's no problem though because we are ready for this option and so by cutting him off we are able to win the ball back. You just never want to leave one door wide open for the opponent and invite him to walk through.

Instead, keep both doors half open and close them right. When the opponent tries to walk through. It can be situations as simple as this one. The opponent has a passing option on the wing and we control our Center Back and instead of committing to covering the through ball or covering the short pass we just position in the middle of the two and this way temp the opponent.

He tries to go for the through ball and we intercept it easily. You're going to be surprised how often opponents play into your cards If you defend like this.

To make the most out of your positioning, it's also important to watch the opponent's ball contacts and to defend proactively. These are two more fundamental defending skills.

Related: How To Use German Cross To Score Easy Free Goals In FIFA 23?

Buildup - Watch Opponents Defender

Now build up is pretty much the other side of the metal compared to defending. When you defend, you try to figure out what the opponent is up to in his attack. When you're the one attacking, then you need to figure out what the defending opponent thinks you're up to.

How do you do that by watching his selected Defender? This is the fundamental skill for build up and many players have not mastered it yet. You can't be fully occupied by looking at your player when dribbling or looking at your teammates to scout good passing options. Of course, if you use FUT 23 Coins to get some good players, along with some strategy, you'll have a much easier time winning games.

The most promising passing opportunity does not mean anything if the opponent is selecting a close by Defender and covering it. So, make a habit of always having vision on that little white triangle above the defender's head, which player does the opponent have selected and how is he moving, what is he trying to defend... This will make it much easier to counter him.

FIFA 23 example 5

In this clip, we win the ball in our own half and play our first pass forward right away. We can see that the selected Defender is aggressively pushing towards us and we're about to get pinched by just letting the ball bounce back first touch. We can get away from that pressure easily.

FIFA 23 example 6

Now, the defender close to us gets selected and so we take the ball away with a ball roll upwards and then pass to our full back. We would like to continue the play forward but the opponent selects his Winger and covers that pass because we see that early. It's no big deal. We just turn around and pass back to our Center Midfielder.

FIFA 23 example 7

Now, we are getting aggressed on once again and so we turn away in time and play back on the wing. And the opponent this time switches early and heavily commits to covering the next natural pass for us, which is towards our Striker. You can see though how a little bit later it comes back to the player because we don't fall for a strap as we are watching what he's doing with his selected Defender.

FIFA 23 example 8

Our Striker now makes a run into the open space behind the fullback and that's the pass we play. You can see how easy it really is to counter your opponent by simply knowing what he's up to, so make sure to enter internalize this concept and you're going to lose the ball much less in build up.

Attacking - Increase The Speed Of Your Attack

I will say one thing right away for attacking. It is definitely the most meta dependent aspect of FIFA. Because without the strongest skill moves mechanics and finishes, you're going to have a harder time. It's as simple as that.

However, there is an important fundamental skill that has nothing to do with those. Increasing the speed of your attack when you're trying to create a chance, this has to do with passing, simple passing. And what you need to understand is that the more time you're giving the opponent to react to your latest action, the easier it's going to be for him to get into a good defensive position and correct mistakes.

So, when you do see an attacker being free in a good position and a passing combination opening up then play one touch football. Two touch is as slow as you can get. But one touch is still much better.

FIFA 23 example 9

Here, we have a typical spot in which we're able to play from outside towards inside. As soon as I see my Winger coming back and then my two Strikers in the center being somewhat open, as well. I know right away that that is going to be our passing combination.

FIFA 23 example 10

Now, it's time to execute quickly to make the opponent fumble his player switching and positioning, so we play two one touch passes and as you can see the opponent is still trying to defend against our first Striker while we are already one step ahead and have enough space to finish the chance with CR7.

What Hidden Secrets You Can Discover From Elden Ring's DLC Teaser?

On February 28, we finally have news about Elden Ring DLC, a full expansion titled “Shadow of the Erdtree

All we have right now is this one image, but they didn’t go with 1080p, 1440p or even a 4K resolution. And they made this teaser at 7500p. To put that into perspective, you’d need 336 SpongeBob-themed 13-inch televisions to display every pixel here. With all that space to work with, FromSoftware had plenty of room to hide some nice details in here, a lot of which can help us guess what this expansion will be about.

Elden Ring DLC Shadow Of The Erdtree

Shadow Of The Erdtree

First, let’s not discuss the details that can be seen at a glance for a moment. The Erdtree is not looking too hot. I mean, you’d expect that given the title, but there’s a bit more going on here. It’s visibly mangled, blackened, and dripping what looks like some kind of sap, but it also looks like there might be two trees here. One of which is very straight and lines up pretty much exactly with the Erdtree seen in-game, while the other is twisting around it, almost like a hand choking out its life.

But, the thing that caught everyone’s attention is this character riding what looks to be Torrent down here, since their hairstyle matches the one seen on Miquella in Elden Ring’s intro sequence. To keep things relatively simple, let’s just assume this is actually Miquella.

Beyond that, we also see a bunch of spectral graves and monuments, which all hold secrets of their own, but let’s back up and see what this could be setting up. The title “Shadow of the Erdtree” makes it pretty clear that whatever is going on back here will be central to the plot. The “O” in the word “shadow” looks like two branches wrapping through each other, and there’s probably a bit of Berserk World Tree inspiration in there, so I think this is a separate tree.

Perhaps it’s another version of the Haligtree, since the in-game Haligtree was planted and watered by Miquella himself, but there’s also a case for it being related to the Helphen lampwood, since that’s associated with the spirit world and there are a lot of weird spirit-y graves in this image. But, I don’t think the branches look enough like how they do on the Haligtree, and we really have little to go off of for the Helphen, so I think the strongest case is that it’s made of deathroot.

While not technically a separate tree, it’s important to note that deathroot is made of the Erdtree’s own roots, and the branches are similar enough to what we can see in deeproot below the royal capital. And this might be a bit of a stretch, but it almost looks like the second tree has the same texture and eye-like growths as what we see in deeproot. So, that’s my guess for the premise, but where is this all taking place?

Elden Ring Tweet

Miquella/Trina’s Dream

The location in the image can’t be found anywhere in-game, but judging by the Erdtree’s angle it seems like this shot was taken in the far south.

The problem with that is the landscape looks nothing like what you’d expect it to from that location. Therefore, I think Miquella being in this shot is so important. So I’m sure you’ve heard this before… I’ve said it, other people have said it, everyone’s saying it, but there’s a lot of stuff about Miquella’s world of dreams that was either left open to interpretation or removed during development.

I don’t know if they’ve been planning to make this DLC since the start, but focusing on this dream world could fill in a lot of the gaps of what we don’t know. And, not only would this explain the bizarre landscape, it would also shed some light on pretty much everything else shown in this picture. I’m not a botanist or anything, but I think this is meant to be a vast field of domesticated wheat, which isn’t really something that happens in nature.

But, an unused twinblade claims that Miquella possesses the “rune of abundance,” and what better way to reflect that concept than his dream world being just endless grain? These taller monuments also look like the ones from Dark Souls 3’s Crucifixion Woods, and while crucifixion is an important concept in Elden Ring, their designs are just different enough that I don’t think they’re related.

You could also say these monuments resemble the Cleanrot Knights’ Halo Scythes or Torrent’s Whistle, but my current guess is that they’re modeled after Miquella’s great rune, since we don’t know what that looks like yet and you could easily make that shape out of the Elden Ring.

A lot of this might also be inspired by Greek mythology… “ZEUS!!!”… Especially Miquella’s connection with the gods of sleep, trade, and harvest is closely related to the underworld, so I think there could be a sort of Hades or afterlife theme to all of this. As for these coffins, archways, and ruins, I’ve got nothing.

Elden Ring Miquella

Interlude From Future-V

While editing this, I noticed that the arches have that Caduceus spiral that FromSoftware loves so much, and the coffins remind me of the ones used to travel through the underground, which, kind of reminds me of the ferryman of the greek underworld, who is already associated with deathroot with stuff like the tibia mariners. Just a few more points for the greek symbolism thing.

Conclusions & Predictions

So, with all of that in mind, here are my predictions: This expansion will be about a world where deathroot has grown out of control and is strangling the Erdtree. This doesn’t happen before or after the game, but instead takes place in Miquella’s dream, and either Miquella himself or his alternate persona known as St.Trina will be a major character. We actually see a glimpse of the dream world in the main game, being at the end of Fia’s questline in deeproot, and the deathblight curse seems even more pronounced than usual here.

If these are the same world, maybe the true source of deathblight is currently inside the world of dreams, which you might already know is actually Godwyn, the half-dead demigod. His physical corpse is still in deeproot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he could be found in the dream world as well. Miquella, being the half brother of Godwyn, likely wants him to die a true death both for his sake and for the well-being of this world of dreams.

After you defeat whatever is spreading this infection, which I imagine could include a fight with Godwyn himself, you’ll receive some kind of Elden Ring Runes and make your way back to the real world. Of course, this is all wild speculation.

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