Star Citizen opens up alpha 3.0 on the PTU to a ton of new testers

This week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse doesn’t pull any punches: Indeed, it heralds the expansion of 3.0 testing to several more tiers of backers and testers, meaning you should go grab the PTU launcher and get to work having fun.

“The goal of this initial PTU release is to increase our total player count in an effort test concurrency,” CIG says. “We also need you to focus on testing the traversal system by quantum traveling, landing on moons, locating and visiting Levski, and just exploring the great expanse of space around Crusader. Please note that the complete Alpha 3.0 experience is not in this build, as some features are still being implemented and refined. These features will be added to future builds when ready for wider testing.”

With the studio rumored to be in crunch mode and heading into the holidays, the ATV itself is short, focusing entirely on an extended Burndown segment that reads like a game dev reality show. Eric Kieron Davis does say the team burned through enough of the outstanding 179 issues from last week to get to this point. “From here we’ll be releasing updates to more and more PTU testers until we feel thorough improvements have been completed, then 3.0 will be released live.”

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Camelot Unchained gives thanks for you

Due to the truncated holiday week, the Camelot Unchained team didn’t have as much time to get work done. Still, there was progress made on several fronts, according to the newsletter, including work on emotes, stamping down server spikes, and automating scenarios.

There will be a short IT test over the weekend before the team gets back to the grind next week. In the meanwhile, City State Entertainment took a moment to give thanks.

“For us at CSE, we are more than thankful not only for our supportive backers, but also for the opportunity to work with you on such a great game,” the team said. “Once again, thank you for your kind words, enthusiasm and patience. If our playtests are any indication, we’re on a great path to succeed, and have fun along the way!”

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Australia turns up the heat on lockboxes

The controversy over lockboxes and their legal status continues to draw more attention from governments, with Australia now weighing in on the issue. Not the whole country, mind you, but the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR), which wrote a letter stating that lockboxes were considered gambling under the country’s laws.

While the VCGLR doesn’t typically oversee video games, its opinion does carry weight in the government and could prompt action on the proliferation of lockboxes in online games. The problem? The government body says that it’s very hard to regulate and that “there are a lot of variables at play.”

“What occurs with ‘loot boxes’ does constitute gambling by the definition of the Victorian Legislation,” wrote VCGLR Strategic Analyst Jarrod Wolfe. “Unfortunately where the complexity arises is in jurisdiction and our powers to investigate. Legislation has not moved as quick as the technology; at both State and Federal level we are not necessarily equipped to determine the legality of these practices in lieu of the fact the entities responsible are overseas.”

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ARK: Aberration targets a December 12 release

Following at least two delays, ARK’s next expansion finally has a release date of December 12th.

Aberration will take players spelunking in the most terrifying environment possible, although the promise of new tech and sights is enough of a lure to overcome the obstacles. We hope.

In this realm, players will deal with a malfunctioning ARK, tame new types of creatures (such as a Lantern Pug), craft dozens of helpful items, and use ziplines and wingsuits to explore this strange new place.

The expansion pack will retail for $20 and is included in the season pass. Check out the trailer after the break and try to put all thoughts of a sequel out of your mind!

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The Daily Grind: When was the last time an MMO made you rethink your hobby?

This past week, my husband has been obsessed with Succubox. It’s a satirical clicker game where you start out by click-fighting monsters and buying lockboxes, but eventually, you figure out that the way to win in the “game” part of the game is to get a job and then hire workers to play the game for you, and then you hire workers to buy and open lockboxes for you. Eventually, you end up with a successful intergalactic corporation focused entirely around grinding and opening lockboxes. It’s basically The Stanley Parable for lockbox MMOs.

You can play it for free if you’re so inclined and see what I’m talking about – it’s actually pretty funny on one level – but that’s not really the point. The point is that the game makes me angry because it’s right. And we all know it’s right. And while my husband’s cracking up pushing the “use knife” button to grind his in-game “job” for “promotions” so he has more “money” to spend on making “bots” open “lockboxes,” I’m reconsidering some of the MMORPGs on my hard drive whose business models look way too much like the ones being parodied in this incredibly insightful game.

When was the last time an MMO made you rethink your hobby?

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The Stream Team: The last Marvel Heroes hurrah?

Well then. That happened. Although Massively OP’s MJ actually had other Thanksgiving day plans, the very real threat that this could be her last time ever to log into Marvel Heroes made her drop them. Instead, she is throwing herself into being Rogue, Storm, and all of her favorite heroes before the doors close for good sometime tomorrow. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. for quite possibly the last hurrah for this superhero game.

What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

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Massively Overthinking: What are you grateful for in the MMORPG genre?

I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for the first time in my life this month, and it turns out that it’s freaking hard. Why? Because it’s humbling beyond belief. The list of things I need to be grateful for is endless. Even if I limit it to just Massively OP, I could go on thanking the writers all day. Instead of doing that again, this year I want to thank the spouses and roommates and SOs and other familial enablers of our writers, without whom this site probably would not exist. The reality is that in many cases, their love, support, financial maneuvering, and childcare behind the scenes allows us to keep writing. So thank you, to all of them – Paul, Joy, and Elaine especially – for helping us live this weird dream.

Now let’s turn it to the genre itself. What are you grateful for in the MMORPG genre?

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Shroud of the Avatar elaborates on Release 48 changes

If you missed it, Shroud of the Avatar pushed out its November update pretty early this month due to the Thanksgiving holiday (an action that the team will repeat next month as well).

Before the team takes a break to feast on the carcass of an oversized bird, it wanted to go into greater depth on some of the big changes with Release 48. Some of the updates this time around included improvements to artifacts, virtue gear, and enchantments.

“Release 48 is chock full of stuff,” said Starr Long. “We got more work reducing the load times, we got a new lighting model in there, more side quests, more story polish, more unique components, audio polish, video effects polish, UI polish, holiday items, and the long-awaited tree and grass mover.”

There’s an hour of dev chat waiting for you after the jump, so get started already!

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Soak up these Moonlight Blade videos from G-Star

Wait, which one is Moonlight Blade? Oh, it’s the one where gravity doesn’t appear to exist for special individuals who flit through the air like martial arts Mary Poppins. Shouldn’t be hard to remember.

As Moonlight Blade continues to wind its way through the beta testing process in Korea, all we in the west can do is wait and watch some of the gameplay videos in envy. It’s a good-looking game, although that comes standard with Korean development, right?

Steparu snagged a few videos from Moonlight Blade’s recent appearance at G-Star, including more flying moves, character creation, and some fashion. Check it out below!

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Sea of Thieves expands technical alpha pool, talks Xbox One X optimizations

Sea of Thieves is planning to go out with a bang in 2017 as it expands its technical alpha pool for one final, massive test. Rare announced that anyone who signs up to become an Insider by December 1st will be invited to the fun.

“Everyone who joins the Insider Programme by the cut-off date of December 1st will be invited to the next play session — our biggest and best yet — with the latest brace of brand new features to test,” the studio said. “Yes, as promised, all eligible Insiders are now getting their chance to jump in and play Sea of Thieves before its release next year.”

The Sea of Thieves Xbox team recently discussed some of the optimizations that are being done to get the game looking its best for the Xbox One X. Even if you’re not planning to play on that console, you might want to watch the video below and drool over the graphics.

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Just Survive gives players a choice of maps, hands out free reward crates

Just Survive, the H1Z1 castoff that is looking to… just survive, made a bold play this week with a significant update to some of the game’s core systems. With the November 20th patch, players can now choose which map they want to join, whether it be Anywhere USA or Badwater Canyon.

The update also made it a lot easier to assemble zombie-proof bases, particularly with base foundations becoming free-placable and snapping together when close enough. Other changes include removing the height limit for bases, the removal of raid timers, the removal of stronghold and military base spawning, and the return of gasser, banshee, and exploder zombies to the game.

If the patch isn’t enough, here’s another reason to log into the game this week: Daybreak is giving players two free reward crates with the chance to win some special and helpful items. You’ll need to log in to grab these by November 27th.

Source: Patch notes, giveaway

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MassivelyOP’s 2017 PC hardware gift guide

Since you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you own a PC that you at least occasionally use for gaming, and there’s an equally good chance that you don’t have the newest, fastest hardware out there (although if you do, congratulations!). If not, then maybe we can point you to some upgrades that might help you get the performance that you, frankly, deserve.

This year, our sales team has once again put together a couple of gift guides pertinent to our MMO readers. Please note that Amazon links are affiliate links and may grant a small commission to us, which is very much appreciated. Read on for all the new gear to improve your PC experience!

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EverChaosing: Counting my EverQuest II and Secret World Legends blessings

Good things come in three’s right? Well this is the third installment of the EverChaosing column, which melds Chaos Theory and EverQuesting together. Why a written equivalent to a Turduckin? Because these are my two favorite games, and just as last year, I can’t choose between the two when it comes time to express gratitude. I am thankful for both EverQuest II  and Secret World Legends! Many things. There are overarching things as well as smaller specifics. Sometimes this gratitude is for something constant, and other times it is for change. While it would take much too long to list everything, in the spirit of the day I count a few of my blessings in SWL and EQII.

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