Path of Exile teases new water simulation system

Can I get you a drink while you wait for Path of Exile to land on Xbox One as recently announced? Awesome. How about some water?

"Late last year we introduced our Physics Programmer, Alex, in a developer interview where we discussed the new cloth physics system he had been working on. In addition to this new system, Alex has also been working on creating a new water simulation system. We are still in the very early phases of the development of this but we're excited to share a preview of the work we've done so far."

GGG says it's "planning to make it configurable to work on a wide variety of systems" and for "all platforms with the 3.0.0 expansion later this year." You can watch the super-short teaser video with its oddly tense background music below. Water.

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Quantic Foundry's findings on WoW, SWTOR, and gender

Quantic Foundry, the gaming analytics consulting firm we've been following since late 2015 thanks to its Gamer Motivation Model, has a new blog post out this week that purports to break down participation rate in various gaming genres, including MMOs, by gender.

Parsed from 270,000 self-submitted surveys gamers have submitted to date -- 18.5% of which are from women -- Quantic's data appear to reinforce some of the basic stereotypes in gaming: two-thirds of match 3 gamers are women, almost all tactical shooter fans are dudebros, women play more high-fantasy MMOs than sci-fi MMOs, that sort of thing. But there are some interesting surprises. For example, a smaller percentage of World of Warcraft players are women than the genre numbers on the whole.

"23% of World of Warcraft gamers are women. This is substantially lower than the group average (36%). A lot of game researchers (Nic and I included) focused on studying WoW as an exemplar of online gaming, but it looks like WoW was not only an outlier in terms of market success, but also in terms of its demographics relative to other games in the genre."

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Marvel Heroes rolls out 'biggest update ever' successfully

Last night, MJ and I were nervous about scheduling her Marvel Heroes stream -- would the game really be back up and functional when it had gone down only six hours before for its so-called "biggest update ever"? Turns out our fears were unwarranted; the game was back up earlier than planned.

If you haven't been in yet, you're gonna want to check out what's changed. Gazillion has two new videos, one on powers and one on talents, and MJ's posted her stream from last night, in which she scoped out how her own toons have transformed. Let us know how it's playing for you -- last night players were frustrated over brand-new inventory issues, so be warned you might be playing the loot shuffle game when you next log in before you can get to kicking butt.

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Funcom announces $29.99 price for Conan Exiles, posts 'domination' trailer

Update down at the bottom -- Funcom just announced the game will run $29.99 in early access.

If giant squid, oversized snakes, or massive automatoi are among your phobias, seriously, don't watch this Conan Exiles video. It kicks off with a bit about the critters that are planning to kill you, the awful things they're going to do to your corpse, the weapons you'll be using to fight back, and how you'll get revenge by pulling down castles and taking slaves.

"In Conan Exiles, everything is out there to get you," Lead Designer Oscar Lopez Lacalle says, "but the most dangerous enemy is other Exiles."

If you say so, Lacalle. Our money's on that Avatar of Yog and his tentacles.

The new vid and infographic are below. Conan Exiles hits early access later this month.

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The Daily Grind: Is in-game advertising the MMO genre's post-lockbox future?

Massively OP reader Sally Bowls pointed us to a fun piece on Frankengadget this week about Final Fantasy XV and its overt product placement. "Final Fantasy XV tricked me into buying Cup Noodles" through a "beautiful, devious combination of empathy and nostalgia," the author laments. The story content promoting the noodles seems like the sort of cheesy fake marketing you'd get out of a Mass Effect game -- I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite X on the Citadel! -- only it's real.

Sally suggests that we're all still fighting the lockbox gambling battle -- and losing -- while the marketing departments of online game studios are already dreaming up their next trick, which might just be an old trick that never took hold in MMOs, at least not yet. "I think the next outrage is going to be ads and product placement," Sally writes. What do you think? Is in-game advertising the MMO genre's post-lockbox future? And if it is, do you prefer that to lockboxes?

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Massively Overthinking: The future of a global MMORPG industry

Massively OP Patron Duane's done the math on what is becoming, more and more, a truly global MMORPG industry. His question for Overthinking this week is a simple one:

"Devs in over 27 countries have released MMOs as of 2017. What country which is NOT your own would most excite you with a future MMO release?"

Now this is an unusual one! I posed his query to the team, and when we're done, we'd love to hear from the rest of you.

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Marvel Heroes: 'Biggest update ever' is underway this afternoon

Right as this post is going live, Marvel Heroes is going dark... at least for the next four hours, that is. The game will be offline all afternoon as it patches in what Gazillion is calling its "biggest update ever."

Massively OP's MJ Guthrie previewed the inbound content last week, noting that players can expect something new for almost every one of the 59 playable characters, plus the overhaul of power selection, traits, the costume closet, and the new infinity system, which upends the old omega system.

We're intending to stream the update tonight if all goes to plan, so check back for the Stream Team's antics (or lack thereof, depending) at 9 p.m. EST tonight. In the meantime, we've rounded up some of our coverage of the patch from the past few months so you can get a feel for the philosophy underpinning these dramatic changes.

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Revelation Online's third closed beta has begun

As promised, the third round of Revelation Online's closed beta begins in the west today.

"The third phase of testing will last until February 2 and will allow players to explore up to level 69 and prepare for new future experiences. Players can expect new high level challenges in previously available dungeons, brand-new raids, as well as new quests and events. In addition, plenty of new Player versus Player challenges have been added. Fight for dominance in the Arena or gather guild members to join in on the Faction and Territory Wars."

If you haven't managed to snag a beta key yet, access can be bought directly through the founder packs; the cheapest one is currently $17.99. Stay tuned for this weekend's streaming, as we'll have a few more keys to hand out to our viewers then.

There's a brand-new trailer, too, because of course there is. Watch below!

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Mark Kern's Em-8ER posts a new THMPR modeling video

Em-8ER, the Mark Kern-led "massive planetary wargame" shooter formerly known as (and still pronounced like) Ember, has a new video out today showing off the THMPR -- don't look at me like that -- model in Unreal Engine.

"The model you see here is being rendered in real-time in the Unreal Engine. We use a texturing/material technique called PBR or Physically Based Rendering to make materials like metal look much more realistic," the team writes in the blog post. "Now that the THMPR is modeling, we’ll need to animate it and build a background scene."

Kern is a decidedly controversial (his word) figure to MMORPG genre veterans thanks to his involvement with Firefall and the vanilla World of Warcraft community, among other internet movements. He has previously discussed his plans for this shooter, including "serial Kickstarting" and a Firefall-esque foundation that doesn't "drift over to 'WoW with guns' again." Studio Crixa has thus far raised $23,000 in the first of its planned miniature crowdfunding campaigns, exceeding its goal.

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Gigantic's Exile in the North patch and Pakko are live today

Live in Gigantic today is a patch PWE is calling the MOBA's "first major update": Exile in the North. Open beta players will get their hands on an adorable, slip-slidey new hero, Pakko, plus an array of winter gear and weapon skins.

"Exile in the North also features several gameplay and quality of life improvements, including more generous end-of-match Crown Boosts and the addition of Honor Bonuses for players who battle shorthanded to the bitter end despite teammate disconnections and drops. Hero Mastery Skins are also now available to unlock as you play and master each Hero."

Check out the patch notes, trailer, pics, infographic below!

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Blizzard defeats Bossland bot-maker in German supreme court ruling

Score one for Blizzard: The gaming giant managed a win in its long struggle against German bot-maker and plague-on-honest-gaming Bossland GmbH.

The German Federal Court of Justice this week overturned earlier lower court rulings to determine that Bossland's HonorBuddy bot program for World of Warcraft is in fact in violation of anti-competition laws.

You'll recall that Bossland creates, distributes, and sells bots for Blizzard's games, which Blizz has ardently argued violates its copyrights and costs it exorbitant amounts of money to fight in-game and out. In May of 2015, Bossland convinced a German court to deny Blizzard's request for an injunction against it, which prompted Blizzard to sue Bossland's American contractor in a California federal court. That suit was ultimately dismissed, but when said American contractor cooperated with the authorities, Bossland absurdly accused Blizzard of copyright infringement for its acquisition of the Heroes of the Storm StormBuddy bot's source code. Let that sink in for a minute.

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World of Warships gets guilds and new XP system, World of Tanks gets movie vehicles

World of Warships is rolling out its big 0.6.0 update today, complete with a ton of new commander skills, a new guild system called clans, graphical tweaks, balance changes, and its new XP type and scaling system, which you should definitely read up on, as Elite Commander XP and Free XP aren't spent the same way.

"Right now, every Commander has a maximum XP value. No Commander in the game can earn more XP than the amount of XP needed to earn 19 Skill Points. To become an Elite Commander, the Commander must earn the maximum amount of XP -- enough to earn 19 Skill Points. All XP earned over that value becomes Elite Commander XP. Elite XP is a new type of in-game currency. Elite XP does not accumulate on any single Commander but is stored in a common pool of Elite Commander XP on your account."

Meanwhile, over in tankland, Wargaming is touting the World of Tanks console re-addition of the Tiger 131 and Sherman Fury, both of which you've probably bumped into before if you ever saw the Brad Pitt-led movie Fury.

Videos for both updates are below!

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Path of Exile is coming to Xbox One this year

Path of Exile is coming to Xbox One in 2017, Grinding Gear Games just announced.

"The Xbox One version is also free-to-play and will contain all the content from the PC version, including the upcoming 3.0.0 expansion that includes Act Five," says the studio. "Xbox One players will play on their own realm, separate to the PC realm. This is due to small gameplay differences between the two versions, such as the number of Flask slots and how some skills are targeted. We intend to follow the same content and league release schedule on both the Xbox One and PC versions of Path of Exile."

GGG says the port "represents over a year of work from a small strike team within [the] studio - the guys who also created [the game's] DirectX 11 version."

Did not see that one coming! Trailer tucked down below.

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