The Stream Team: Dabbling in the Dauntless alpha

The Dauntless alpha started yesterday, and thanks to server issues, Massively OP’s MJ had difficulty getting in. But today she is determined to check this new game out! Will she be impressed like Andrew was during his E3 play test? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…

What: Dauntless
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Enjoy the show!

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Chronicles of Elyria whips up a jousting tiltyard for PAX West

The Chronicles of Elyria team is in a frenzy getting ready for the game’s showing at PAX West in a couple of weeks. After internal deliberation, the devs decided to create a joust for the demo to show off some of the capabilities and possibilities of the game. As a bonus? Jousting was something the team was planning on putting in anyway, so the demo is not throwaway work.

The devs from all departments pulled together to make the tiltyard possible, including creating the environment, the outfits of the six sovereignties competing, shatterable lances, sound effects, and of course, the jousting combat itself.

“Once the prototype of the gameplay felt right mechanically, Souzou and Strider began working diligently on making it feel right aesthetically,” the team wrote. “While riding the horse already feels great, spurring one’s mount on and aiming one’s lance were new opportunities for excellence!”

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The Stream Team: Rescuing the raptors in ARK

When Massively OP’s MJ tried to settle on an ARK beach, she didn’t know it was going to be alpha central! And now there are two tamed raptors who need to be transported to a safer place so they can hunt and grow stronger. That means MJ has to live long enough to get back to the raptors, get them boarded onto a boat, and sail off to the new home — all without dying. And as she has come to know, dying is an everyday (every hour, even every minute) occurrence on this procedurally generated ARK. Tune in live at 4:00 p.m. to watch the endeavor unfold.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 19th, 2016

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Pokemon Go’s Yokohama event was a huge improvement over the lawsuit-provoking trainwreck in Chicago

Just a month ago now, Pokemon Go’s Chicago festival was completely wrecked by connection issues that rendered the game an unplayable trainwreck for thousands of attendees, who booed studio representatives who climbed on-stage live to apologize. A Niantic spokesperson at the time admitted the team was “pretty horrified” about how it all went down, which didn’t stop the company from collecting almost $6M in sales on just one day of the event. It didn’t stop disgruntled ticket-holders from bringing a class-action lawsuit against Niantic in Illinois, either.

At the time, Massively OP’s POGO expert Andrew Ross argued that Niantic has repeatedly made amateur-hour mistakes in its handling of a globally massive IP over the last year — that Chicago was just one more.

So it may surprise you to know that in spite of the fact that players around the world are not thrilled about the game’s new raid mechanics, the event that heralded those mechanics — Pikachu Outbreak in Yokohama, Japan — hasn’t been a trainwreck at all.

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LOTRO Legendarium: A trip back through LOTRO’s expansions

Now that we’re in the thick of Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor (which I’m still enjoying very much), my mind has taken a turn back to look over 10 years of gameplay updates and expansions.

It’s bizarre to think back to a time when the entirety of the game was merely eight or nine zones crammed up in Eregion. While there’s still plenty of Middle-earth to uncover and explore, the ensuing decade vastly opened up the game world and took us on a journey that spanned from Bag End to Barad-dûr.

It all starts to blur together after a while, particularly after alternative leveling regions were added, the epic story was changed to be more solo accessible, and the studio experimented with different forms of content delivery. I felt like taking a quick trip through the expansions that brought us to where we are today. Because… why not, really?

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Camelot Unchained’s player progression will be a ‘long-term investment’

Is that… is that Camelot Unchained’s Beta 1 peeking over the horizon? From the tone of this week’s newsletter, it certainly sounds as if the long-fabled test is growing nearer every day. In fact, there’s even a section on the website that exhaustively deals with the philosophy and plans behind the beta.

The team had a whole mess of projects to report on this week, including the beginnings of a character information screen, model diversity in the mass bots battles, and dummy NPCs that run around the place.

Possibly one of the most interesting sections of the newsletter dealt with the team’s plans for player progression, which sounds somewhat different than your typical PvE MMO: “We want player’s actions to factor into the global scope of events taking place across the entire world. Player progression is intended to be a long-term investment, and to allow players to focus on what they like best: playing the game how they want to play. For Beta, we’ll be laying out the key progression elements, but will tweak the time it takes to progress during Beta 1.”

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WRUP: Here are all of the neighborhood kids’ houses rated edition

So, like, Kyle’s house has the really big TV and the Xbox, but Kyle’s older brother plays on it a lot and Kyle mostly wants to just play kicking games when he can’t play on the Xbox. Mike’s house has a big yard but his dog poops everywhere and he says his mom doesn’t care at all. Timmy has a really great pool, but he has a really small yard and his dad yells at anyone who runs in the house, so you get kinda bored unless he lets us play on our laptops.

Olivia has a lot of really cool toys but she also has a lot of weird ones and she doesn’t like people touching them too much. Melanie’s mom is super cool and lets you watch R-rated movies without even checking, but she never has any good snacks, just lots of granola bars. Neil’s house is back in the woods and he always wants to let us know what he’s doing in What Are You Playing. Jackie has two lizards and sometimes she lets you hold them.

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The Daily Grind: What’s a rite of passage in your MMO?

Lately I’ve been playing a new Hobbit Hunter in Lord of the Rings Online, which has the added benefit of bringing me back to the Shire and all of its silly and frivolous quests. Of course, it also means that I’ve got to do the whole pie running chain again.

If you’re not familiar with that, there comes a point where a particular Hobbit tasks you with retrieving 12 pies from all over the zone. You have to get them and then run them back (on foot, no less) without being spotted by “hungry Hobbits.” It’s lengthy and kind of annoying, which has made this quest a rite of passage for players over the years. Plus, it gives everyone something in common about which to complain.

So I’m curious: What’s a rite of passage in your MMO? What must everyone go through sooner or later that’s a bit odious but ends up being a weird point of pride when completed?

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Betawatch: Camelot Unchained is rapidly approaching beta (August 18, 2017)

The wait for the Camelot Unchained beta has been long and arduous in the way that only “just sit around and wait” can possibly be, but it’s almost here. It’s going to happen! We don’t know quite when, but we do know that we’ve got a new guiding principles document for beta. So it’s coming very soon.

Meanwhile, we also bid farewell to both Tree of Life and Fragmented, as both have launched this week.

More beta news? We’ve got to be honest, it’s been a quiet week… but this stuff might all tickle you along the way just the same.

But is there a list? Yes, of course there’s a list. It’s right down below, and while it may be trimming down slightly it still has no shortage of entries. Perhaps you’d like to let us know about things we may have missed in the comments? Either phase changes or new titles, we’re flexible.

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The Black Death on headshots and insta-kills

Combat is the primary focus for this week’s update to The Black Death. The not-at-all-depressing sandbox decided to jettison parrying in favor of blocking, saying that the latter felt more fun and responsive. Depending on the weapon or shield used to block, a certain amount of damage will continue on through to the player.

Due to this change, the team discovered that some weapons were causing one-shot kills even though blocking, which wasn’t desirable. So the devs tackled that, ensuring that there would be at least “some back and forth” in each fight.

Another aspect of combat that was addressed dealt with tagging players on the noggin: “To reward skilled players, headshots are even more essential to winning a fight. A player wearing full plate but no helmet can be killed with a low tier weapon in a few strikes to the head, so be careful and remember to craft or buy the best helmet possible when dealing with other skilled players.”

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Warface declares a Blackout, activates a new west coast server

through the murky atmosphere, enemy cyborgs (as is their wont) swarm and attack. Will you survive or be buried in the sand with no one to remember your name?

This terrifying scenario is brought to you by Warface, which released its Blackout special operation into the game today. The team also raised the level cap to 85 and added new weapon skins for the surviving players to pursue.

Warface’s popularity has prompted My.com to activate another regional server, this one located in California for west coast players. But the publisher isn’t satisfied with what it has, and is rolling out a refer-a-friend program to recruit more troops.

Get your mission briefing after the break!

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SoulWorker is readying for beta in North America at the end of 2017

When you see the title SoulWorker, does your brain immediately re-translate it to “Social Worker” and picture an MMO wherein you spend your time helping low-income people advance in society? Probably not. That’s not what SoulWorker is about, as you will no doubt have the opportunity to find out when the game finally gets localized for a North American release. The official statement is that beta is on track for the end of 2017.

Players will take the helm of one of the game’s four playable characters, each with a distinct weapon – two-handed swords, scythes, guns, or apparently some form of violent guitar. You can then team up with four other people to smash the living heck out of things at your leisure. Check out the actual combat in the video just below, courtesy of Steparu. (The video below is just for Haru and her two-handed sword, but you can likely get a sense of the game just from that.)

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Chaos Theory: What we want out of the Secret World Legends TV show

Wow. So I had no intention of crafting another Chaos Theory this week. I had plans. Other plans. But then the Secret World Legends announcement hit the airwaves on Monday and all other thoughts left my head as I sat there, stunned. I just couldn’t think of anything else. Could it be real? Was SWL really going to be made into a television series? Holy guacamole, it is! A pipe dream I have wished for five years is actually announced and in the works.

I’ve been pretty vocal about how much I want more story from SWL. Story is what this game does so right, and I just can’t get enough. I’ll probably never get enough! There are so many characters I want to know more about, so much history in locations that I’d love to delve deeper into, and so many fascinating events that we know only know the aftermath of that I’d love to witness firsthand. The IP is so rich with possibilities. I knew that the game would never, ever be able to sate my appetite for more, so I had wished long and hard that other avenues might present themselves: short stories, graphic novels, movies, and yes, television series. I can’t even describe how excited I am for the development of more story from this world. Is there risk? Yes, I get that. But the possibility of so much greatness is there! I seriously can’t wait. Imagine it, 30 to 50 minute cut scenes!

With so many possibilities, what could/should the TV show focus on? I have my opinions. Here are some specifics I’d love to see developed further for our viewing pleasure.

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