The Stream Team: Temples or levels, that is the Path of Exiles question

While Massively OP’s MJ has been piddling around with temples in Path of Exile’s new Incursion Leagues, one of her friends has already finished the whole story! Now she’s torn between leveling and gorging on temples. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to hear the hints behind his success and to cheer MJ on in either leveling or creating more temples to plunder.

What: Path of Exile
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 18th, 2018

Enjoy the show!

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Pokemon Go is finally letting you make friends and trade pokemon

One of the most fundamental aspects of the series will finally arrive in Pokemon Go sometime soon. The game has been out for a while, but you still can’t give your friend a Pidgey (named “Trash Bird”) in exchange for an Oddish (named “Smell Onion”). But when trading and friends arrive in the game, you can give your friends useful monsters in exchange for anything from another monster to good feelings.

Trading will be very reliant upon the friendship system, and it has some limitations, as both players need to be within 100 meters to trade and will have to pay a stardust fee based on friend level. Yes, there are friendship levels, and there are also rewards for trading pokemon caught far away from where you and your friend meet. Check out the full rundown on the official site, and get ready for more details and analysis as it arrives before the next fan gathering in July.

Source: Official Site, IGN. Cheers, Nordavind!

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Blade & Soul shows off enhancing your gear with its new Augment system

Legendary accessories in Blade & Soul are the sort of things that you know you can wear for a very long time without replacing. That’s good, but it also means that you’ve hit a dead end in terms of chasing new stats. So the new Augment system will help change that by giving you more stats to chase! Sure, your ring already has great stats, but it could be enhancing your damage against bosses. Doesn’t that sound even better?

Each of the given accessory slots has three different sorts of Augment that can be applied; one adds boss damage and critical chance, one adds critical chance and critical damage, and the last adds HP and PvP defense. Each sort has a maximum amount that it can add to an accessory, but each augment application is randomized; you could wind up with the best values right away or roll them multiple times without much luck. Check out the full rundown for numbers before you get ready to make your best accessories even better after all.

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Gran Skrea brings an indie sandbox MMO to early access

On the prowl for an undiscovered indie MMORPG these days? You might want to check out Gran Skrea Online, as it just went into early access this past weekend.

According to the team, Gran Skrea “combines a desire for new player-defined MMORPG mechanics with influences from classic RPGs like RuneScape, Ultima Online, and The Elder Scrolls.” It’s $9 right now through June 23rd, which isn’t the most exorbitant price we’ve ever seen, and there’s an official Discord set up already.

The sandbox MMORPG sends players “to create their own destiny in an original world of medieval fantasy.” This apparently means a mixture of quests, “ruthless” PvP combat, guilds, and economy. There are already quite a few features in place, including player housing, a criminal flagging system, lots of crafting, and a game world with plenty of lore. There’s more to be added in the early access program, so features such as territorial warfare, auction houses, and naval warfare are still in development.

Get an early look at Gran Skrea after the jump!

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Rend showcases new Stagswood biome with video

Frostkeep Studios showed off plenty for Rend at E3, as you can see from our hands-on with the game, but the studio still has more to share. It unveiled another boime last Friday, showing off the lush landscape that surrounds hearthhome with a flyover video. Stagswood is home to — you guessed it — stags. But this survival PvPvE game doesn’t feature just ordinary stags. No, these majestic luminescent creatures have beautiful flora growing out of their mighty antlers. They live among the skogurfrut bushes and hardwood saplings under the canopy. Also living amid the foliage (likely stalking you) are wargs, and down in caves you’ll find vicious looking Ursas. Check out some screens below, then watch the flyover and collect a few survival tips on Rend’s official site.

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Cuisine Royale is the goofy reskin the battle royale genre deserves

Be careful what you wish for! Apparently, Gaijin (you know it from WarThunder) ran an April Fools’ day joke mode for online shooter Enlisted that proved so popular that the company spun it out into a standalone battle royale game. But this one takes the PUBG frying pan and runs with it. Literally.

Cuisine Royale is an all-kitchen-warfare Battle Royale game with the most honest system for Loot Boxes ever,” the devs write. “Dinnerware will finally be able to show off its true potential: Use a colander as head protection, equip a wok as a formidable breastplate, or strap on a massive waffle maker to be protected even against the largest calibers of weapons.”

Gaijin says the game will start off free-to-play and will “probably will become paid later to cover servers maintenance costs.” It’s also promising “the most honest system for loot boxes,” with free-to-open, fully transparent boxes “scattered around the battlefield.”

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s lightness of dungeons

It feels really weird to think about just how few dungeons we’ve gotten in Final Fantasy XIV for this expansion. Not that it’s the start of a new trend; Heavensward already dropped the numbers compared to the base game, and thus Stormblood continued in a similar trajectory. But when you think about the fact that the game used to have three new dungeons per patch and compare it to an average of one and a half… it’s still adding them on a regular basis, but it’s a much slower basis.

The slower pace of dungeons was something that was announced well before the expansion actually launched, of course. So I think it’s interesting to look at the slower pace, at the stated goals, and see how well the changes have actually achieved those goals. Or, perhaps, if the whole thing didn’t work out very well and we should hope for an uptick again in the next expansion.

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Sea of Thieves does a 180 on skeleton boats and is fine with it

With skeleton ships sailing, volcanoes erupting, rowboats rowing, and the three-player brigantine vessel tempting, Sea of Thieves is firing a publicity broadside following its E3 2018 showing.

The team admitted that it had changed its mind on a long-held stance against instituting skeleton ships. This was, apparently, due to player feedback: “Players have wanted it for a period of time and now we’re going to do it.”

The Sea of Thieves team got together to talk about the big changes coming to the multiplayer pirate simulator, and you can drop in on that chat with the latest Tales from the Tavern podcast after the break!

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The Stream Team: Building a base in Outpost Zero

Massively OP’s MJ learned about many dangers (the hard way) in Outpost Zero. Now, she’s ready to build up her base. It’s about time she has some robots on her side to counter that insufferable A.S.S. always telling her what to do. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to see how far along she can get.

What: Outpost Zero
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 18th, 2018

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The World Health Organization advances its ‘gaming disorder’ classification in spite of heavy criticism

The World Health Organization has gone ahead with the inclusion of “gaming disorder” in the publication of its most recent edition of its disease classification manual. It’s expected to be adopted by member nations next year and won’t take effect until 2022. According to WHO,

“Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming; 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

The organization announced its proposal for the new classification last year and was met with considerable pushback from a wide cross-section of both industry partisans and independent academics.

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E3 2018: A second look at Trion’s Defiance 2050 reboot

GDC 2018 back in March was good to Defiance 2050, at least in terms of making people aware of the goals of the game. It doesn’t necessarily mean people like what they’ve seen or heard, but Social Influencer and Community Manager Scott “Mobi” Jasper and Community Specialist Coby West feel that particular reveal has done the best for the game.

At this year’s E3 followup, there wasn’t any huge new reveal, aside from the launch date itself – just more tweaks. There certainly seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the overall MMO sphere and the 2050 fandom the devs are used to, with the devs somewhat understandably being more connected to their fans. After all, those are people who are willing to pay to play, and especially for a free to play game, that’s what you need. I got my hands on the game for the second time this year, and while it’s a solid play experience, I worry that, created in a vacuum, its potential for growth beyond the original Defiance experience is limited.

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PUBG admits to reusing assets but argues that doesn’t make it an asset flip

Tired of hearing the words “asset flip”? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is too. Apparently at E3 last week, PUBG creator Brendan Greene gently joked that he “want[ed] to kill” people who claim his game maps are an asset flip. Now, PUBG Corp. communications lead Ryan Rigney has jumped into the fray on Reddit, where he addresses long-running accusations and rumors on the platform that the game’s maps are “either outsourced or entirely built using store-bought assets.”

“The first thing to understand is that if you’re just starting up a team, you’ve got to lean on asset store work because that’s the only way you can spin up a game fast, and for a reasonable price, to quickly find the fun. Hiring an art team of 40 people to ‘try a game’ and ‘see if it’s fun’ is simply not a smart way to work—this is what the asset store is for! It’s a great resource for teams that want to work smart.”

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Ubisoft’s open-world pirate PvP game Skull & Bones

So, you want to be a pirate, but Sea of Thieves isn’t your cup of tea? If the issue was PvP, well, you’re probably out of luck, as Ubisoft Producer Karl von der Luhe emphasized at E3 this year that one of Skull and Bones chief strengths is that it lets you decide what kind of pirate you want to be: the kind who backstabs and murders his fellow buccaneer, or a wolf running with a pack. There’s no room for pacifists who just want to share Earl Grey and crumpets, alas.

While von der Luhe admits that Ubisoft admires what Rare’s done with SOT, it’s been clear for a long time that the two games are different enough to co-exist. They’re different takes on the pirate lifestyle. Even with the new hideout system for off-ship… um, town interaction, my demo of the open PvPvE area, the hunt grounds, further confirmed my feeling that Ubisoft’s game is more about the ship than it is about the pirate, something that surely has its own audience.

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