Star Citizen’s latest concept ship isn’t a ship, and it’s pushed the game to $155M funding

Star Citizen’s latest concept ship isn’t a ship — it’s a freakin’ rover. Dubbed The Tumbril Cyclone, variants run up to $70.

“The Cyclone provides multiple interactive displays to give both the driver and co-pilot ultimate control of their vehicle and its systems. The Co-pilot’s seat not only gives the ability to survey the area, but also provides controls to additional systems provided by the various modules. […] The new X-TEC tires are the perfect solution for off-road vehicles. These articulated treads can change their configuration to handle soft and loose terrain or harder surfaces to provide equal traction, no matter the environment.”

Perhaps the bigger news is that sales of the ship this weekend have pushed crowdfunding for the sci-fi MMO to a grand total of $155,000,000. Going on $155.2, in fact.

Reddit is chattering with details on which ships the Cyclone will fit into, if you’re worried about that. Is there a point to them in a game world where you can land on planetary surfaces? Maybe. Expect the full Q&A later this week.

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RuneScape is a massive hit on Twitch

Time and again, we here at Massively OP have noted how RuneScape seems to be incredibly underestimated by the larger MMO community. For how popular it is, it never seems to get the respect and attention from the core MMORPG community that its online contemporaries do.

That is, until you head over to Twitch. According to the June viewing charts over on NewZoo, the fantasy MMORPG drew in an astounding 6.7 million hours of viewership over that month alone. This is enough to put it in 11th place, well ahead of titles like Destiny, Minecraft, Black Desert, and H1Z1: King of the Kill. It’s RuneScape’s world — we only watch it from afar.

The top 10 of the viewership chart is filled with the usual suspects, including much of Blizzard’s roster (World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm) and the dominant MOBAs of our time (League of Legends and Dota 2).

Source: NewZoo. Thanks Sally!

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SuperData June 2017: ROBLOX, GTAV, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are making bank

SuperData’s global digital games revenue summary for June 2017 is out, and it’s a strange melange of huge shifts and no changes at all.

On the PC front, there’s been movement at the bottom of the list, as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and ROBLOX (seriously) have kicked CSGO and New Westward Journey Online II to the curb and knocked World of Tanks and Overwatch down a few pegs. World of Warcraft remains at #6, thanks to last month’s recombination of east and west. It’s a weird saga.

On consoles, however, Overwatch inched up a place and Grand Theft Auto V surged to take the top spot, in spite of its messy modder confrontations this summer. “Despite negative press over community-created-mods decisions, Grand Theft Auto Online experienced its most successful month this June on the back of [its] newest DLC,” SuperData says.

The mobile category has seen a huge shakeup as well, as Honour of Kings leaped from 10th place to 1st, pushing down Clash of Clans and Clash Royale — the firm estimates Honour of Kings made over $150 million in June. Pokemon Go remains noticeably absent from the top 10 lists this summer, but SuperData gives it a nod anyway.

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Wisdom of Nym: What happens next in Final Fantasy XIV?

It’s pretty clear that the Final Fantasy XIV team (and the localization team specifically) are pretty huge fans of Hamilton, to the point that I’m surprised that the Emperor didn’t specifically burst into a song from the musical in the ending sequence. Especially because it’s… kind of a relevant question at this point, once you’ve seen the end of the MSQ.

So what does come next?

Obviously, this column will feature spoilers, so consider yourself fairly tagged. But I think this is a relevant question to ask because this expansion is, in its own way, a very different animal from its two predecessors right out of the gate. The relaunch ended its story in a place so open that it could really go wherever without a problem, while Heavensward ended the 3.0 MSQ with obvious points for continuation. (It helped that the obvious thrust of the expansion took a sharp left turn around level 55.) In the case of Stormblood, though…

Yes, I’m avoiding saying more before the cut. Spoilers down below, people.

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Citadel Forged With Fire’s last weekend beta was a bit rough

If you jumped into Citadel: Forged With Fire’s stress-test-style of beta this past weekend, you may have gotten a heaping helping of just what to expect when the early access doors open wide later this week.

Players reported multiple server issues, including extreme lag problems, overloaded servers hitting their cap, incorrect server population display, and overflow servers stepping in to bridge the gap. There were even claims that public servers and overflow servers were turned private or deleted outright, making characters previously rolled there impossible to access. Those who got in were apparently treated to some fun bugs, including a dragon leveling cheese trick that will surely be nerfed before launch.

The game has been touted by Blue Isle Studios as a “massive online sandbox RPG,” but its servers are currently capped at 40 players. The game launches on Wednesday after a whirlwind debut less than two weeks ago.

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Dark and Light is on sale, encourages players to enjoy bugs

Are you sitting around the house, whining to your mom that you’re bored? Are you doing that while technically being 35 years of age? Then there’s always Dark and Light to check out, considering that the sandbox is now out on early access — and is being sold at 17% off until August 3rd.

You might want to hold off a few days before heading into it, however. The team is frantically patching it in response to server instability and other issues, so it’s still in that post-release chaotic period that sends weaker players back to their beds to hide under covers.

In the meanwhile, the team suggests that you enjoy the bugs as content: “Some players have discovered couple of fun things in the build and we are working towards a fix. However, they are extremely fun in their current state, so we hope you all enjoy the laughs in the mean time. Whether it be hitching a ride on your friend’s Griffin’s wing tip or shrinking yourself down to Ant Man size.”

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BioWare’s Anthem’s fourth pillar is obviously corn

Move over, Hearthstone’s Ice Cream Citadel: BioWare is currently promoting Anthem by way of a massive corn maze and I am not even making that up.

“In a world saturated with banners and billboards, getting the message out about our new game, Anthem, is more important than ever. Rather than taking a conventional approach, we’ve chosen a field as our medium. What better way to celebrate the growth of a new game than through corn, which also grows?”

The “shared-world action RPG” was announced at E3 earlier this summer and looks freaking spectacular. We don’t really get why they’re going with corn, but, “I mean, it’s a fucking 50-foot exosuit,” as BioWare’s Amanda Klesko put it, so let’s just go with it.

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The Soapbox: The disastrous Pokemon Go Fest was just Niantic being Niantic, and that has to stop

I know I complain a lot about Pokemon Go in my articles here, but there’s a reason for this. I’m a huge fan not just of the Pokemon series but of what Niantic is trying to do with its game on a basic level. The idea of getting games outside with the rest of the world instead of hidden in our rooms and offices is hugely appealing. I’ve even applied to work at Niantic before (though obviously I wasn’t selected), so for me especially it’s frustrating to see a company I want to succeed repeatedly making the same kinds of mistakes. These are mistakes that plagued the game’s launch, several events, feature reworkings, and now not one, but two birthday celebrations within the same year. 

I actually got sucked into the hype recently and even said that the events surrounding the festival might give people a reason to come back. I’ve finally removed my foot from my mouth after previously downing some crow, but I’ve realized that, now more than ever, Niantic needs some tougher love, and here it is.

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Final Fantasy XIV sees a price hike for Brazilian and Russian players

Shock! Dismay! The prices for Brazilian and Russian players have risen for Final Fantasy XIV! But to confuse the issue a little further, they’ve risen to… just about the same level as everyone else pays worldwide. According to the official statement on the forums, this was simply a result of adjusting the pricing exchanges for different currencies, making sure that everyone worldwide is paying about the same amount.

Player outrage over the issue is unsurprisingly at peak volume, with the two main points of contention being that the adjustments were not announced ahead of time in any format (and indeed, even Square-Enix’s own staff seems to have been somewhat surprised) and that the price adjustment fails to take into account different incomes in different regions. It’s not the first time in recent days that we’ve seen some dispute over localized pricing for different regions, which if nothing else goes to show the difficulty in operating a global game with servers open to all regions.

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Secret World Legends begins posting weekly news roundups, says GM team has grown by half

Without official forums for Secret World Legends, the team is apparently utilizing Reddit as an acceptable substitute. It’s here that any fan of this rebooted game should go to learn about what’s happening in the game, especially now that the community manager has started to post a weekly roundup of news and developments for the title.

In the roundup is a list of hot issues that the team is addressing and some incoming changes. These include reducing the auction house listing duration, overhauling problematic missions, reducing client crashes, and perhaps removing the current auction house posting limit.

The team said that it’s working to get player support tickets under control: “Due to a very high volume of incoming requests, customer service wait times may still be longer than expected. We recently expanded the GM team by ~50%, which should help a ton moving forward. Wait times are improving!”

Source: Reddit

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Guild Wars 2 cracks down on PvP match manipulation

Guild Wars 2 players who were engaging in shady activities designed to boost their PvP win count and status are finding themselves the target of ArenaNet’s extreme displeasure. The studio said on the forums a few weeks ago that it has launched an investigation into match manipulation and is already disciplining identified individuals:

“We have received many reports this season about match manipulation both here on the forums and via in-game reports. Our investigation revealed that a few players were sharing a handful of accounts, which is clearly against our user agreement.

While the investigation into this is still ongoing, at this time we have enough evidence to take action. As a result, we’ve decided to give dishonor to the offending accounts for the rest of the season.”

Most recently, ArenaNet says it’s “identified additional accounts of players who were involved in account sharing and match manipulation” — they’re getting dishonor too. “Our investigation is still underway, so additional action may be taken later, should we determine it appropriate,” writes the studio.

Source: Official forums #1, #2. Thanks Mike!

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World of Warcraft’s Burning Crusade emulator shut down by Blizzard cease-and-desist

Well, what did you think was going to happen?

As they have no legal legs on which to stand, MMORPG emulator projects operate on the hope that they’re under the radar enough that the actual owner of the intellectual property won’t notice or care that such activities are transpiring. Unfortunately for operator Gummy and his team over at Burning Crusade, Blizzard wasn’t about to let this fly on its watch.

The studio issued a cease-and-desist letter to the World of Warcraft emulator just weeks after the game started to become more public with open beta testing. This shutdown echoes the great drama that we saw last year with the closure and fallout of the Nostalrius vanilla WoW emulator.

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The Daily Grind: What’s your biggest pet peeve about early access MMOs?

Early access is kind of a garbage system for the vast majority of gamers. Yes, yes, I know, some games and game types just wouldn’t be made without it, and this is probably better than having no options at all. But the whole system is saddled with bullcrap, from unpaid testing and exploits and wipes to scope creep and content cuts and delays and outright abandonment. And, ahem, charging for expansions and housing plots and cosmetics while supposedly still in a test phase. It feels like perpetual amateur hour and I’m sick of it.

And yet for all that, there are a couple of things that really bug me more than anything else, and one of them is putting paid demos out there without female characters, with extra frowny-faces for making female avs a stretch goal. Even if a team says the male character is just a placeholder and that it’s working on the ladies, it still bugs me, as if we’re afterthoughts. Sure, non-transparent, non-early-access games do this (or related sins), but somehow it seems more obnoxious when gals are left out (and men are treated as generic/default) in tandem with the studio asking us for cash upfront.

That’s just one frustration among many, however, and obviously those of you who don’t play primarily women aren’t going to care quite as much as those of us who do. So what’s your biggest pet peeve about early access MMOs?

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