DC Universe Online looks forward to a new powerset and two new stories

Ah, summer, the time of year when everyone inevitably starts thinking about the fall. It is what comes next, after all. So DC Universe Online is teasing its plans for content through September and November, including the upcoming new Water powerset to replicate Aquaman. Stop laughing, it’s a legitimate powerset; it can heal or do damage, focusing on manipulating the water in and around allies and enemies. It’s scheduled to roll out on August 30th, so you’ll be ale to get all wet just before the summer ends.

Meanwhile, the two new story arcs for the game will be coming out in September and November. The first one, Riddled with Crime, sees Batman going missing and Gotham City’s underworld rising up to take control of the streets; the second brings in the Crime Society of America from Earth-3, requiring heroes to team up with Alexander Luthor in a world where all of the morality of characters is reversed. It’s a little ways away, but you know with all of this that you won’t want for entertainment for the next few months.

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Diablo III’s 11th season is now live with new class gear for the Necro

Season 11 is now live in Diablo III, which means a brand-new opportunity to start a fresh grind for loot and expies. In its release blog last night, Blizzard touted new minipets, new portraits, new stash tab unlocks, and a new rotation of Conquests. The main prize, however, is the class sets players can earn for completing this season’s journey requirements, including a class set for the still relatively fresh Necromancer class.

“Now that the Priests of Rathma are active in Sanctuary, you can play through the Season Journey as the Necromancer and complete the free Class Set: the Bones of Rathma. Of course, this prize isn’t just for Necromancers. Every class will receive Haedrig’s Gift—a free Class Set—for completing the Season Journey Chapters 2, 3, and 4. Barbarians can earn the Wrath of the Wastes set, Crusaders can earn Roland’s Legacy, Demon Hunters can earn the Unhallowed Essence set, Monks can earn the Raiment of a Thousand Storms set, Witch Doctors can earn the Helltooth Harness set, and Wizards can earn Tal Rasha’s Elements.”

To get started, either create a seasonal hero or rebirth an older toon to start him or her from scratch (but don’t worry – you won’t lose loot permanently!).

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MMO Burnout: Nintendo’s ARMS and the Switch in public and private

It won’t surprise anyone who reads our WRUPs that a lot of my free time gaming has been mobile-based as of late, especially if it has local multiplayer. While I still prefer PC gaming for the most part, it’s hard for me to bring a mouse and keyboard with me to a convention and play while the line is moving. MMOs with local multiplayer are even harder. Recent conventions have made jumping into traditional MMOs harder, as has the summer heat that magnifies the heat I feel when playing on ol’ lappy (although that could just be a result of the airless storage space I call home!).

At any rate, I decided to bust out my Nintendo Switch a bit more, bringing it with me to try to recreate Nintendo’s questionable marketing ploy and so I can play in a room where open windows don’t pose a risk to my papers and electronics. My weapon of choice? ARMS.

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Valiance Online works with the community to develop and show off powersets

Do you like pets, powersets, and behind-the-scenes development glances? Then you’ll enjoy the nearly four hours of Valiance Online stream footage now available just below, which features a discussion of the enhancement system, spreadsheet development, the start of a community-developed powerset (Bubble Projection, starts at around the two-hour mark), a look at one of the pet powersets available, and plenty of in-jokes and laughs among the developers. The video is long, but you can safely skip to around 24:00 and not miss any of the important moments.

If you don’t have time to watch all of that or would prefer more direct information, you can check out the game’s latest lore article about the Starborn, a gang of fashion-obsessed custom-tailored psionic troublemakers jockeying for power more due to boredom than anything else. They’re chasing the latest psionic technology and the latest fashion, and they’re willing to make an absolute mess of the world in the process. So that’s going to be fun.

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No, exploitative gacha mechanics are not a good idea for western devs

We’ve been talking about exploitative gacha games and related business models on Massively OP for a long time, most recently and notably in depth earlier this year when we covered how Japan, Korea, China, and Singapore have all passed laws to take the model down a peg. In fact, China’s newest anti-gacha laws have since been used to target MMOs, card games, and even Overwatch’s skins. So given all the crackdowns, you’d think that the trend would be to avoid it, right? That industry analysts and watchers on this side of the pond would be wary?

But no. Bizarrely, there’s a new GamesIndustry.biz article this week in which AppLovin Managing Director Johannes Heinze advocates that western developers start including gachapon mechanics, even citing Pokemon Go as a good example of how well it works. He argues that gacha requires:

  • A large, varied set of content
  • A strong desire from the player to collect as many items as possible
  • A game where gacha content is necessary for players to progress
  • An effective mechanic for duplicate content (to prevent player churn from pulling too many duplicates)

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Let’s go space shopping in this week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse

We’ve been chatting about game economies this week here at Massively OP, so it’s a happy coincidence than this week’s episode of Around the Verse features Star Citizen’s shopping kiosks and commodities system in detail. Heck yeah, space shopping.

“The kiosk is going to be the user’s interface to purchase things or sell them within the game that are not physically within the shop in the case, purchasing or things in their inventory, things from their ship all selling with be done through the kiosk,” explain studio reps. There’s also a nifty discussion on the difficulties of scaling the economy to support the sale of “super tiny and inconsequentially priced [items] all the way up to […] massive battlecruisers.” As for recipes,

“Recipe in the context of Star Citizen is somewhat similar to a crafting recipe in other MMOs. It defines the types of commodities and resources that go into manufacturing a given item like a laser cannon or even a ship. The way that we use recipes and the way that you may find them in another game is that those recipes generally aren’t used directly by the players, instead they’re used by the design team to really sculpt the types of goods that are bought and sold in a location in the world and that’s to make that location feel correct. So if it’s a factory that it buys and sells the kinds of things that you would expect from that location.”

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The Stream Team: Interview with Citadel Forged With Fire devs

We’ve been hearing a bit about Citadel: Forged With Fire, a new sandbox under development that focuses on magic. Now we have a chance to see it live in action: Massively OP’s MJ is jumping in the closed beta ahead of the public weekend to check it out. Even better, she’ll have a Denis Lanno, Community Manager/dev with her to talk about the game. Join us live at 11:00 a.m. to ask your questions about the upcoming sandbox.

What: Citadel: Forged With Fire
Who: MJ Guthrie & Devs
When: 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, July 21st, 2017

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Blizzard adds a Diablo III senior designer, lays off audio director, and ends XP and Vista support

From zombies to demons, game designer Harrison G. Pink is no stranger to bizarre apocalypses. Pink formerly worked on Telltale Games’ hit Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands titles, but nowadays he has a new address: Blizzard Entertainment.

Pink announced on Twitter this week that he was snapped up by the studio to work on Diablo III as a senior game designer. The action-MMO could certainly use a shot of new blood as it dealt with a shaky Patch 2.6 rollout and questions about the game’s future in the studio’s portfolio.

Meanwhile, Gamasutra reports that Blizzard’s in-house senior audio director has been let go by the studio after 12 years of service, apparently in favor of freelance contractors. Russell Brower explains that “as the company has grown, the topography of the Sound team has adjusted accordingly, and the last couple of years have been no exception. With the success of a ‘sound de-centralization’ initiative, my current position of overall Sr. Audio Director/Composer is no longer relevant and is being eliminated.”

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Marvel Heroes tempts console players into spending with its VIP account promotion

It’s been said that if a studio can lure a player into making an initial purchase online through its game store, then the chances of that player spending more in the future rise significantly.

So this is undoubtedly the hope of Marvel Heroes, which is attempting to convince Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players to drop some cash on the store in exchange for “VIP account status.” Basically this means that once a player buys something, anything, he or she will unlock Nightcrawler as a hero and receive several permanent benefits such as 5% bonus XP, 5% bonus credits, 10 extra stash slots, a free lockbox, and five eternity splinters every day.

Get the full scoop after the jump!

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Guild Wars 2 teases its legendary Orrian hammer, retailers fiddle with release dates

There’s a lot of excitement, confusion, and uncertainty regarding Guild Wars 2’s immediate future, but it’s looking like the devs are going to keep players on their toes in the best of ways. Now that it looks like the end of Season 3 will come with a new Orrian zone, what about a giant smashy hammer to go along with it?

On Twitter, the devs teased an upcoming legendary hammer, saying that players could “reclaim your own piece of Orr to take into battle.” The video shows a character from behind, walking while toting a giant spanner-like weapon.

So what’s past that? The expansion, hopefully. Everyone’s getting in on the giant office pool, guessing when xpack will drop and what it will contain — even retailers. It looks like some sort of reveal or preorder situation might happen in the next week, with some retailers posting (and removing) release dates and counting down to four days from now. It should be stated that this is all just rumors and guesswork right now until confirmed, but even so… does September 30th sound like a good time for a launch to you?

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You will believe that a player can fly in Citadel

If you’re populating an online fantasy game with nothing but adeptly magical players, then it’s not a big jump to accepting that all sorts of seemingly impossible feats will become commonplace in that world. Like flight, for instance.

“Why walk when you can fly?” asked Citadel: Forged With Fire’s devs. “Growing in experience should feel significant, and flight is one of the many things we added to make sure this was the case.”

There are three avenues for the aspiring wizard pilot. Players can craft and use a magical broomstick, although these suck up mana when in flight. Another option is to use a pacify spell on a winged creature like a dragon and then use the beast as your personal transportation. Finally, it is possible to make flight potions using one’s alchemy skill, although the devs warn that if your mana runs out mid-flight, you’ll be taking an express trip to ground town.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your ideal ‘retirement’ MMORPG?

Wednesday, my husband and I were chatting about the big stories of the day, including the Star Citizen piece that racked up a bajillion comments, not counting all the deleted ones. I was explaining that some people have put thousands of dollars into this hope of a game, which skews how setbacks are perceived, when he remarked, “Oh, it’s their retirement.”

He didn’t mean people were investing their retirement savings into CIG, of course, although I’m sure somebody is doing just that. He meant they’re investing their retirement dreams in virtual spaceships. Those future players don’t really care that the game isn’t finished now and probably isn’t going to be feature complete for many more years. They’re thinking long-term: This is the game they want to “retire” to in a more vague and distant future, and it’ll be ready for them when they’re ready for it. Star Citizen is their cabin by the lake, their shack by the sea, their tent on Tatooine.

I’m most of a lifetime away from retirement, so I’ve never really thought about what I might want to play if I ever get to be a kid again only with money, outside of joking about wanting VR in the old folks’ home. But I have my weak spots: If someone promised me SWG 2 would be ready in a couple decades, I’d start planning my character now.

Have you got a “retirement MMO” picked out? What’s your ideal retirement MMORPG?

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The Stream Team: Going back to school at Secret World Legends’ Innsmouth Academy

Two of the most awesome characters in Secret World Legends are at the Innsmouth Academy in the Savage Coast: Hayden Montag and Carter. Montag is pure awesomeness, from his social awkwardness to his ever-present blue gloves, and between her powers and her past, Carter is so intriguing. Massively OP’s MJ loves spending time at the school, hanging out with these folks (and lets not forget Annabel!) and helping out, which is exactly what she will be doing! Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to go back to school — the way you wish school was!

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 20th, 2017

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