The Division movie names Stephen Gaghan as director

You may have forgotten that a The Division movie has been in the works since last year. That is understandable: Time passes, trash day requires effort, and people didn't shut up about Rogue One in your Twitter feed during the month of December. But we can assure you that the film is a real thing, it is still happening, and it has secured its director.

Stephen Gaghan has been tapped to direct the movie adaptation of the online game. Gaghan is a writer who has has several movie screenplays under his belt, including Syriana and Traffic. He also penned the script for Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Gaghan is excited about the source material for the film: "The game has been an enormous success, in large part due to the visual landscape they created, their vision of a mid-apocalyptic Manhattan. It’s immersive, wonderfully strange, and yet familiar, filled with possibilities.”

Source: Polygon

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One Shots: Healin' skellies in Shards Online

When the NDA is away, the cats will play -- and take screenshots! Bless our dear community for documenting upcoming MMOs as they venture into these virgin territories.

ZulikaMiNam had some fun in one game that I haven't seen much from readers yet: "Since there are no NDA restrictions imposed for this alpha weekend kickoff over at Shards Online I will post some pics from there. I accidentally healed a skeleton while trying to heal myself. So my name turns grey and anyone can kill me now. Time to lay low for a bit."

Are you still laying low? You can... probably come out now. That skeleton owes you a life debt for that heroic action.

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The Daily Grind: Is there any MMORPG slang that you just do not get?

A funny thread on the MMORPG subreddit last week reminded me that gaming slang is anything but obvious.

"I just now realized that OOM means Out Of Mana," wrote Redditor Pigmyz, "And I've been playing MMORPGs for 6 years." That led to a long thread about other gaming terms people had misunderstood through the ages.

My first year working for the site way back when, a writer submitted a piece to me for review, and I said "gtg," since that's what I was used to saying for "good to go" in MMO groups. The writer said, "No wait, proof my piece first!" thinking I'd meant "got to go." Last time I used that one!

How about you? Is there any MMORPG slang that you just do not get, or that you only figured out after a long period of confusion?

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Make My MMO: Project Gorgon's new shop, Crowfall's investor tally (January 21, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Project Gorgon opened up a brand-new web store. "Currently, we are listing four crowdfunding packages from our prior Indiegogo Campaign in order to continue to raise funds until we launch on Steam Early Access," Elder Game says. "This will give those who found out about us as our Indiegogo Campaign was closing to donate and get the awesome benefits that come with doing so. The three packages that are being offered are: The Horseback Explorer, Patron, and Duke. We will not be offering a standard Contributor package as we want to encourage all those interested in a standard Project: Gorgon key to purchase directly from Steam once they become available."

Meanwhile,

  • TUG resurfaced after raising millions and a year of rework to say it's now focusing on producing a "minimally viable product."
  • We chatted with the Ship of Heroes team about its development.
  • Descent: Underground's Tenebrae update introduced a brand-new map.
  • The Exiled announced a February 23rd Steam early access launch.
  • Crowdfund platform Fig revealed it has raised nearly $8M in a financing round for venture capitalists.
  • Crowfall's Indiegogo-based equity crowdfunding campaign drew to a close, raising over $668,000 from over 1200 investors.

Read on for more on what's up with MMO crowdfunding over the last few weeks and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we've got our eye on!

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A peek at Camelot Unchained's trees, forests, and C.U.B.E.

"Today's update might be a little lighter on the tech side," Mark Jacobs tells Camelot Unchained backers in his latest update, "but we have lots of art to show you as well." Indeed, check out those trees. "Big trees. Like really big trees," in a dense forest with climbable foliage. There are also some WIP model shots from the studio's unfinished Place of Power (seen in the image above) and more work on the C.U.B.E. system that should have builder types excited.

"Over the last two years, we have talked about how C.U.B.E. and the building portion of Camelot Unchained was not going to simply be a Minecraft clone. One of the many ways we are fulfilling that promise is by allowing players to create and use round objects. This work-in-progress image shows our building morph technology being put through some tests. It is a cylinder morph around the Z (vertical) axis. Then another cylinder morph around the X axis was added, which combines all the changes of the original morph with itself. The result is that you get curvature around two axes. It’s definitely a WIP, but you can see how close we are getting to the point of bringing this to life inside the engine."

This weekend, testers will be on a "major new version of [the] patcher. Check out the new images and the video update below!

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The Stream Team: Watch and win Revelation Online beta access

Does Massively OP's MJ like to give things away? Yes she does! And today she gets to give away a bunch more beta codes for Revelation Online. That means you have the chance to jump in and join her in CBT3. Or you can wander the world yourself, checking out the new dungeons and events. It doesn't matter what you do, but you only have until February 2nd to do it. So tune in live at 4:00 p.m. for a chance to win your own access.

What: Revelation Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 21st, 2016

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Massively OP Interview: Exploring LOTRO with the Tolkien Professor

If you are looking for a bridge between you and the sometimes dense (but quite popular) works of J.R.R. Tolkien, then you could do no better than to sit at the feet of the Tolkien Professor. Dr. Corey Olsen has been teaching about Tolkien and his collective works for years, providing understanding and fostering discussion in a way that is always interesting and accessible.

Recently, Olsen started up a new course at Signum University (where he is both the founder and president) called "Explore the Lord of the Rings on Location." This free, public course meets every week for a lecture through a chapter in Tolkien's famous trilogy, followed by a "field trip" in Lord of the Rings Online to locations mentioned. It's been a highly publicized event so far, with Standing Stone even creating a special lecture hall in Bree for the series. Interested parties can attend in person in the game, watch via Twitch, or catch up with afterward on the series' YouTube channel.

We caught up with Dr. Olsen to talk about the making of the course, the history behind his university, and his interaction with the long-running MMORPG.

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The Stream Team: Sequestering an ARK squid

If you thought taming an ARK dino by letting it steal from you was different, get a load of this: taming by blood sacrifice. The way to tame a giant squid of your own is to feed it sacrificial dinos while shoving black pearls up its maw. So that's what Massively OP's MJ and the team is set to do. They're going to plumb the depths to find and tame their very own squid. That, or die trying. (The latter part is fairly likely.) Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to see us go under the sea!

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 21st, 2017

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LOTRO starts testing player housing improvements

One of the most requested and most delayed requests by the Lord of the Rings Online community over the years is a revamp to the game's limited housing system. While a complete overhaul isn't happening right now, the good news is that Standing Stone is starting to test some big improvements that will allow players more freedom in placing housing decor.

The main change in this upcoming patch is an adjustable housing hook system that sounds similar to what's used in SWTOR: "You can now adjust the precise location of interior housing decorations once they are placed in a hook. The decoration hook UI now includes four scroll bars that allow decorations to be rotated as before, but also to be moved east/west, north/south, and up/down. Exterior housing decorations continue to only allow rotation."

The test server patch also includes additional chat channels and premium housing writs to facilitate the transfer of the newer houses.

Source: Patch notes

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WRUP: Jurassic Park is a pretty bad movie edition

It's time for us to just admit this as a species: Jurassic Park is not a good movie. I know, you have fond memories of it; I do too, aside from the fact that I remember being disappointed with it even as a child because it was more interested in "rawr scary dinosaurs" than actually showing off these magnificent, enormous animals. But the movie is about five minutes of cool, memorable moments mixed in with a bland, overlong plot that's mostly just people running around scared as everything gets ruined.

The science doesn't hold up, the characters are thin pastiches (including Jeff Goldblum being slimy enough to leave a residual bad taste in my mouth), and what made the movie work in the first place was how enormously compelling those dinosaurs look. That part still can impress viewers; not much else does. So "Chris Pratt and a team of raptors vs. invisible T-Rex" is really more of a lateral move for the franchise.

That's all, folks. Oh, right, What Are You Playing is here. Let us know in the comments!

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The Daily Grind: What is your favorite MMO magic system?

While there are plenty of similarities among magic systems in MMOs (hey, how about you cast another fireball? There you go, champ!), there is a lot of variety as well. I'm always attracted to systems that put some though into their design, such as Guild Wars 2's illusion-based Mesmers, the mix-and-match Necromancers of Vanguard, and Lord of the Rings Online's wordy Rune-keepers.

At the very least, I have to applaud developers who at least put in the effort to gussy up the same mechanics in a new outfit. But when a team eschews the tired magic tropes and starts to get imaginative with spellcasting? That's when I perk up and pay attention.

What's your favorite MMO magic system and why?

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Paradox Interactive is making a World of Darkness werewolf game

Those still licking their wounds over the years-old demise of the World of Darkness CCP MMO can howl with delight that IP-owner Paradox Interactive is further exploring the franchise in an upcoming werewolf title.

Paradox announced this week that it is facilitating the creation of a Werewolf: The Apocalypse adaptation. The game sounds like a single-player experience, as the gamer will take on the role of a werewolf warrior attempting to "save the world with fang and claw."

Cyanide Studio is handling the actual development of the game, which will come out on both consoles and PC. It may not be the game that MMO fans had hoped to see, but it is still nice to see Paradox utilizing the license in some way, shape, or wereform.

CCP Games sold White Wolf and its IPs to Paradox Interactive back in October 2015 following a failed attempt at producing a World of Darkness MMORPG.

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The Stream Team: A first look at Worlds Adrift

What on earth is Worlds Adrift? Now is your chance to see; Massively OP's MJ has access to the alpha and she's bringing you along for her first look. Can she survive her first encounters? And just what exactly will she encounter? Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. as OPTV's infamous Stream Team brings you an alpha peek at...

What: Worlds Adrift
Who: Name
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 20th, 2017

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