The Stream Team: A Black Desert Halloween

Halloween is all about the treats, and Black Desert’s event promises lots of treats! Massively OP’s MJ is going to take on the daily challenges with her Valkyrie to net herself some holiday-themed coin, candy basket, and cookie rewards. She also wants to wander about and take in the spooky decorations. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for more Halloween celebrating in…

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 20th, 2017

Enjoy the show!

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Betawatch: Closers Online’s alpha is totally open this weekend (October 20, 2017)

Welcome back to another edition of Betawatch, the game where literally everything is in early access forever. Except Closers, of course, which is open! I never get tired of that. Yes, Closers Online is running a fully open alpha this weekend, which I guess is what we do now when open beta is actually soft launch. Regardless, you can play it and check it out. What else happened in the world of eternal testing this past week? Let’s see…

  • Go Project Gorgon! It put your crowdfunding to work on a programmer to overhaul the in-testing UI.
  • OrbusVR kicked off its third round of closed beta testing. Backers could also take part in Dual Universe’s second pre-alpha, which begins tomorrowday.
  • Both Legends of Aria and Prosperous Universe put the wraps on their alpha testing.
  • Crowfall talked up its action harvesting, while Ship of Heroes went all pew-pew with lightning.
  • H1Z1 changed its name. Again. This is its third try and it’s still in early access! So is PUBG; it broke 2.3M concurrent players last weekend. Not too shabby.
  • Don’t get your hopes up about Star Citizen spinoff Squadron 42; it’s not launching this year. Star Citizen itself is still busy breaking alpha 3.0. But Bless Online is definitely coming (to us) in 2018!
  • Conan Exiles, on the other hand, will stay in testing an extra quarter.

Did we miss anything? Other than Eliot, who will be back in action next week? Send it along to us! And in the meantime, check out our ongoing list of MMOs-purporting-to-be-in-testing that we’re watching.

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Gloria Victis wants to make you fight over guild castles

Ever wanted to fight over a castle in the sky and shout “winter is coming” at your enemies? Gloria Victis will oblige. It recently dropped a new snowtop location dubbed Skergard Castle for everybody to fight over. “This addition greatly expands the world PVP formula, allowing the best guilds of each faction to compete for rulership over their own fortress,” Black Eye Games says. “In the future, guilds will have numerous benefits coming from controlling territories, such as the ability to select which workshop will be built, the possibility to regulate taxes for each workshop, and a chest for collected taxes.”

In fact, the studio has lots of big plans for the sandbox’s world PvP. It’s working on turning more existing locations into guild hotspots, adding new castles and towns, building out a market system, and “implementing a system which will link these locations in order to create visible frontlines, while maintaining the player’s freedom to choose where to strike with their warband.” The latest update includes a catacombs-based world event. Halloween is on the way too!

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TwitchCon 2017: Get sneak peeks of ARK’s Aberration today

Are you eager to learn more about ARK: Survival Evolved’s upcoming underground expansion? How about watching some gameplay live? Three streamers at TwitchCon are sitting down with devs today and exploring Aberration. We’ve already gotten to see the giant crab that can be tamed and used as a mount, and we discovered that the Reaper Queen can impregnate characters. What else is different? Day/night cycles are random, and the massive Rexes and Gigas will not be present.

There’s a ton of info being revealed, so don’t miss out on learning more secrets of this cave realm. Tune in tonight and watch live.

If you miss the streams live, that doesn’t mean you miss out completely. We will be adding finished videos as they become available.

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Ashes of Creation shows new images, talks about its ‘mini-Sim City’ design

Following a flurry of blog posts, its PAX West appearance, and its crowdfunding campaign, Ashes of Creation has gone downright silent this fall. It’s probably more fair to label it “quiet” than silent, as the team is still discussing the game as it pushes hard to get it done. Apparently there’s that December 15th deadline looming ahead for the start of Alpha Zero…

This week during Intrepid Studio’s livestream, the team talked about various parts of the game and showed off 20 new images from Ashes of Creation. These included pictures of architecture, some concept art, and plenty of shots of the game world itself. The developers also took questions from the community and shared how towns will become “mini-Sim Cities” in practice.

We’ve got all of the new images plus the full livestream for you below!

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H1Z1’s three-day $500K prize pool Invitational tourneys kick off right now

We may roll our eyes at H1Z1’s flip-flopping on names, gameplay splits, and apparent inability to actually launch, but there’s no doubt Daybreak is still putting money and effort into the game’s competitive community. This weekend’s H1Z1 Invitational, whose challenger qualifiers kick off at TwitchCon just as this piece goes live, will be followed by three more legs of the multi-part tourney all weekend. The kicker is the $500,000 prize pool, split over three tiers of play.

“The most watched event at TwitchCon since its debut in 2015 has returned bigger than ever with an overall prize pool of $500,000 and three action-packed tournaments. In anticipation of one of competitive gaming’s biggest showdowns, Daybreak has updated H1Z1’s look, simplifying both the in-game menus and the name. Moving forward, the game will be simply referred to as H1Z1.

We’re including the trailer (which is actually not as lame as you’d think) and the embed if you wanna watch along at home!

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Chaos Theory: A guide to Secret World Legends’ first Halloween

Hello Samhain my old friend! It’s so good to see you again. It’s been such a long year, and so much has… wait, where is the rest of you?!

Break out your pumpkin masks and vampire fangs: Samhain has started! My favorite time of the year has arrived in my favorite game. It’s a bit of a mixed good news/bad news thing, however. With the conversion to Secret World Legends, I didn’t doubt that the Halloween festival would take place this year, but I was unsure whether we could get new content for the holiday. After all, much had to be reworked for the relaunch, and some things would likely need to be (and were!) reworked on the various Samhain missions. What I didn’t quite expect was not getting all the previous content!

Still, it is Samhain, so amid my disappointment over what is missing, I am glad over what we do have. I am happy new folks can get a small taste of Halloween in SWL (even as I mourn what a tiny taste it is). And I can definitely appreciate that this taste was made more readily available to everyone in game, allowing all the chance to fully participate. And participate you should! Samhain is here for only a limited time, so jump in and enjoy it before it poofs into the night on October 31st. Without getting too spoiler-y with step-by-step instructions, I hereby present a look at this year’s event, the first ever for SWL.

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Master X Master tosses in troubled teen Xero, starts Halloween craziness

If you could gather up teenage angst and a childhood twisted by mad science, what would it look like? A better question might be, what would it play like?

We are all gonna find out because Master X Master has added a new playable character to the game called Xero. A natural born trickster, Xero uses his innate talents and some holographic assistance to mess enemies up on the battlefield. Plus, he just oozes rebellion, and you know you want to help him work through it.

In addition to Xero, Update 1.4 turns on MXM’s Halloween content for the first time. This includes daily rewards, special skins, a new game mode, and a re-themed Dredgion. The new mode, by the way, is called Hardpoint Capture: “Hardpoint Capture is a new 4v4 PvP arena, where attack, defense, and a lot of teamwork is crucial to capturing and keeping each point. Show off your skills and earn gold, XP, and Medals in our competitive 4v4 combat scene — available from October 18 to November 15, and accessible 24/7 during that time.”

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Chronicles of Elyria begins price increases in preparation of pre-alpha releases

Great ready to pay more for Chronicles of Elyria.

Soulbound Studios announced this week that it is preparing to raise the prices on all of its packages, a move that the studio said it will repeat every eight months until the game releases. Actually, instead of “we will increase the price,” the studio is preferring the phrase “we will continue to decrease the deep discounts” to market this. Bravo.

The price increases range from $5 to $50 and will go into effect on November 8th as the game grows near the first pre-alpha release. In addition to making packages more expensive, Chronicles of Elyria will be retiring its nobility-for-hire packages in about a month, cutting off players from literally buying the kingdom. The studio has other plans for its monetization schemes, such as the return of layaway and a la carte purchases.

(For the record, the proper way to read the headline is out loud, rap-style.)

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SMITE to fold its Chinese players into the global community

Contrary to popular belief, sometimes server merges can be a very good thing — especially if your country or region has been kept isolated from others up to this point.

SMITE’s Chinese population is about to join up with the rest of the global community, thanks to a deal between Tencent and Hi-Rez. MMO Culture is reporting that the merge is scheduled for January 2018, after which the game will be truly global and have one shared rank ladder. Between now and then, no new players can register and veteran SMITErs are going to need to take some action to transfer their account over.

Tencent and Hi-Rez are also working on a possible deal to bring the studio’s Paladins over to China. The closed beta for Paladins has been running in that country for a while now.

Source: MMO Culture

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Cursed trees and magic traps arrive in Dark and Light

Hope you weren’t planning on getting any sleep today, because Dark and Light has brought nightmare fuel instead of donuts for today’s update. I mean, cursed trees that suck up the soul of any passing adventurer and dark magic traps that snare the unwary are all well and good, but what about my Boston creme?

In addition to these placeable traps, Dark and Light buffed two creatures to give them added bonuses after being tamed. The Colossal Flathorn is all about helping you gather and carry more wood, while the Albino Deer is a magic shard magnet.

The update also added back in more swamp resource nodes and hugely buffed silver bullet damage against dark-aligned enemies. Sounds legit.

Source: Patch notes

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TERA goes on pink overload for breast cancer awareness

We are sure that you are one of the good ones that do not need any prompting to give to worthy causes, such as fighting breast cancer. But for your… friends who might need some personal incentive to donate, TERA is selling a new cosmetic bundle with the proceeds going to breast cancer research.

And before you can ask, yes, it is pink. It is all of the pink in the world.

The “Pink Power Bundles” contain pink wings, pink sunglasses, and a pink crown of flowers, all of which will do double duty by raising more awareness of this cause and completely baffling the monsters that you fight. “Are you sure that you came to battle?” they will ask. “Perhaps you got lost on your way to a Barbie convention?”

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Jukebox Heroes: Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind soundtrack

Lately I’ve felt the need to get into gear and cover a lot of the more recent MMO soundtracks that have released alongside their launches and expansions in 2017. If I’m going to get through these by the end of the year, I best start now!

And so our next soundtrack for examination is the rather excellent Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind OST by Brad Derrick. I haven’t hidden my disappointment in the base game’s soundtrack, as it didn’t quite live up to the expectations established by previous Elder Scrolls titles. Therefore, I’m happy to say that Morrowind really stepped up to deliver a much more memorable and moving soundtrack with plenty of nostalgic elements.

For more on the making of this score, read Derrick’s interview on the main site: “For The Elder Scrolls Online, the music has to bridge the gap between the familiar and the new, satisfying player expectations while still having a unique identity. This means making sure the music is ‘Elder Scrolls-y’ enough to sound like it’s from the same universe as the other games, but at the same time different enough so that it’s clearly ESO music, belonging to the time and spaces of our game.”

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