Brianna 'Bree' Royce

Editor-in-Chief

Bree is an unrepentant escapist with a predilection for MMOs. When not compulsively proofreading cereal boxes and newspapers, she can be found modding, PvPing on the auction hall, and touring the Next Big Thing with her guild on a quest for the elusive perfect game.

Working As Intended and Ask Mo are her pet op-ed columns, but she also pens Daily Grinds and compiles both Massively Overthinking and the Week in Review. You can hear her ramble about MMOs every week on the Massively OP podcast. If you're nice, she'll even talk about something other than Star Wars Galaxies.

Personal blog: Skycandy
Twitter: @nbrianna
Favorite MMOs: SWG, CoH, Glitch, GW2, GW1, WoW, MH

CCP's live-action EVE Online ARG looks like the best thing at this year's EVE Fanfest

Got your tix for EVE Online's EVE Fanfest 2017? Ready to set aside your in-game enmity and play nice with your fellow gamers for a few days -- or not, depending on what sort of corp you're in? Decided cowering in your house watching streams is the wiser choice?

Good news for you then no matter which way you roll: CCP has released a detailed blog post today laying out the structure of this year's event. Expect the usual round of keynotes, panels, debates, and player presentations, plus beer, a check-in with the Project Discovery scientists, a 2v2 single elimination tourney, more beer, tours for people who got dragged along and want to see Iceland's beauty, and beer. But the best bit looks to be a genuinely cool live-action game called The YC119 Kyonoke Inquest:

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Elder Scrolls Online grants glimpses of Morrowind's Vivec and Ashlands

Ready for another super-short Elder Scrolls Online snippet? How about two? The Morrowind expanshachapter team has continued posting episodes in its travel series. Last week, we got a peek at Seyda Neen in the long long ago; this week, we've checked in on Vivec and the Ashlands.

Vivec, of course, is the city being built by warrior-poet and god Vivec himself, so its feature video shows scaffolding and other in-progress bits as the cantons are erected.

The Ashlands comprise more ominous areas of dust and ash and smoke kicked up by the active volcano at the heart of Vvardenfell, Red Mountain.

Check 'em out in all their weird aspect ratio glory below!

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Conan Exiles' big patch today includes wipes and 'Exploit Hunters' program

Conan Exiles' update 22 has arrived this morning, and as teased exhaustively over the last few weeks, it's a biggun, with the ruins system to clean up unused buildings, the new dye system for making your armor purty, new weapons, thrall crafting animations, and a slew of bug and exploit fixes.

But the more pressing news is that with this patch, Funcom will wipe all buildings and inventories on official servers (not private servers unless they choose to join in) as a result of the recent wave of exploits. Player levels remain intact.

Intriguingly, Funcom is also introducing "Exploit Hunters," a clever program designed to reward players who uncover and report exploits to the studio.

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Rumor: Destiny 2 leak hints at September 8 launch

Reddit is buzzing this morning over posters uploaded across the internet that if legit -- and they do look legit -- seem to reveal a September 8th release date for Bungie's Destiny 2.

That revelation comports with Activision-Blizzard's last investor call in February, during which the companies said the game was on track for a fall 2017 rollout and would be catering to a "casual first-person experience."

The posters also suggest a June beta. Is everyone excited about watching the world chase this game and hearing people fight over whether it's an MMO? No? Yeah.

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Skyforge soars over to the PS4 on March 28 ahead of formal April 11 launch

When MMO devs give windows like "spring" for launches, we usually figure it'll be the very tail end. Not this time: My.com announced today that when it said Skyforge's PlayStation 4 version was coming in the spring, it really meant soon!

"Developer Allods Team and global publisher My.com happily announce that action MMORPG Skyforge will launch its North American and European server support on March 28th, when the game will go into Early Access. Anyone obtaining one of the Early Adopter packs can get start discovering Immortality and become Legend. The servers open up for the full free to play experience for Playstation 4 players on April 11th."

Pre-registering seems to entitle you to a couple of cosmetic bits, while being a PlayStation Plus subber nets you wings and tats too. Anyone planning to give it a try?

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Ship of Heroes touts Unreal Engine 4 progress ahead of Kickstarter bid

Since our community has City of Heroes on the brain of late, let's recall that there are no less than five games inspired by the late superhero MMORPG on the way, each in a different state of development. One of the newest entries on that list is Ship of Heroes, possibly the most similar to the classic game, except for that whole "oh yeah and the city's on a spaceship" twist.

This morning, Ship of Heroes' Heroic Games posted a press release talking up its Unreal Engine 4 progress.

"Epic Games is excited that Ship of Heroes is being built using Unreal Engine 4," an Epic rep is quoted as saying. "Ship of Heroes is developing quickly and we look forward to having another MMO in the market based on our technology, and the community of artists and coders that utilize it."

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Only two gamers have maxed out all of SMITE's 86 toons

As SMITE continues its third birthday celebrations, it's running multiple sales and bonus events in-game. Out of game, it's produced an inexplicably weird dance-off video and an infographic to brag up the game's stats.

Of note, players have counted over 247 million hours played in the last year alone -- and mage roles are by far the most popular (it's not even close!). And never let anyone tell you MOBAs are doomed to be short popcorn games; Hi-Rez says the longest conquest match ran 3 and a half hours.

A bonus slice of cake goes out to the two players -- only two! -- who've managed to achieve diamond mastery on every single god. I just counted: That's 86 characters maxed out.

Check 'em both out below. Especially that video, because what?

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Fan creates Guild Wars 2 themed collectible card game

Ever been playing Guild Wars 2 and thought to yourself, wouldn't I rather be playing a card game? UK-based designer and developer Luke Dowding has just the game for you. He's put together Guild Wars 2: Heroes of the Mists, a 200-card collectible card game.

"The objective of the card game is to defeat the opponent’s Hero. Each Hero will start with 80 Health and the first person to receive 80 Damage to their Hero loses," Dowding explains. "Players will build a deck of 40 cards each, 10 of those cards will be predetermined by the Profession you chose called Skill cards. The remaining 30 cards will be Minion cards and it will be up to the players to select and build a deck they think will bring them victory. Every turn players will use Endurance to summon Minion or Skill cards to damage the enemy Minions or the Hero."

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Star Trek Online preps Reckoning update for consolers in April

PWE announced this afternoon that Star Trek Online will drop the Reckoning update on console players next month on April 18th -- that's a pretty quick clip for console players, who just got Agents of Yesterday mid-February. Heck, PC players only just got Reckoning in January. What's in it? A brand-new-to-you featured episode, the new crafting school, two Tzenkethi-themed space queues, and the new space battlezone.

"Season 12 – Reckoning centers around the new featured episode, Of Signs and Portents. Captains will join the Lukari on a mission to investigate weaponized use of protomatter in a new region of the Alpha Quadrant. Further evidence leads them to the Tzenkethi, a highly intelligent, militant species who plan on using the deadly substance to build a bomb capable of wiping out entire planets. Teaming up with legendary Klingon General Rodek (voiced by actor Tony Todd), the Alliance must find a way to stop the Tzenkethi from enacting a potentially cataclysmic attack. Season 12 also unlocks expansive new content for players to discover, including the Lukari Restoration Reputation, the new Kits and Modules Research School, a full space battlezone and two new space queues, Gravity Kills and The Tzenkethi Front."

Don't forget there's a double experience bonus event running this weekend!

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Elite Dangerous addresses ship nameplate concerns

Yesterday's Elite Dangerous community livestream is full of good news for sci-fi fans anxiously watching the 2.3 beta. Of note, Frontier's Sandro Sammarco and Ed Lewis address the ship nameplates issue -- and the fact that these tools will be available as cash shop items only -- saying the studio means to keep to its plans. Keep your eyes locked on mega ships too; the studio promises these gargantuan edifices are super important and that it'll divulge more in the future.

Lewis reiterated the studio's plans on name plates in a forum post this morning, explaining that every ship will have a name, but "the ship name plates will offer an added layer of cosmetic personalisation for Commanders wanting to wear their name with pride, much like paint jobs and other cosmetics currently available in the store."

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Elder Scrolls Online previews Morrowind's Foyada Quarry (pro tip: lava is hot)

ZeniMax has this morning released a deep-dive of one of the trio of battlegrounds due to launch in The Elder Scrolls Online when Morrowind arrives in June. The so-dubbed Foyada Quarry is quite different from the last battleground previewed, being wide-open with little cover.

"In this deserted granite quarry, you can view exactly where the action is right from the start. However, when navigating this map, you should watch your step; the entire site is now overflowing with lava, bathing the arena in a red glow and burning those unfortunate enough to fall in. Despite the environmental hazards provided by the looming Red Mountain, Foyada Quarry funnels the action right into the center of the map via a selection of granite pathways and seared wooden bridges. Because the majority of the map is so open, teams are able to quickly close and engage with each other, thrusting you into battle almost immediately upon leaving your base and making it an especially fast-paced Battleground."

ZOS notes that crowd control will be particularly useful on the map as you knock enemies into lava and away from the capture point in the center of the map, at least in domination mode. Ouch.

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Black Desert's spring patch spawns cherry blossom events

Today's Black Desert patch isn't a massive one, but it's going to be welcomed by anyone sick unto death of winter.

Yep, the update heralds the "awesome cherry blossom event" and a terrible-wonderful punny graphic. Too cute.

Beginning today and running through April 12th, players will be able to log in and claim up to five cherry blossoms per day, depending on how long they play. The blossoms can be turned in in chunks for everything from memory frags and black stones to specific bits of gear.

There's also a seed event to look forward to: Players can purchase one cherry blossom seed per day with loyalty and cultivate a whole herd of permanent cherry blossom trees on their housing plots. Actually sounds pretty!

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Here's why everyone's pissed off about City of Heroes NPCs in NCsoft's MOBA

Yesterday, NCsoft took the lid off a secret it's clearly been working on for a while: The company means to introduce a notorious and well-known City of Heroes NPC as one of the characters in its upcoming MOBA, Master x Master.

Here's the thing. Master x Master is actually pretty well-liked around here. The writers we've sent to test it out the past few years came away thinking it was an excellent hybrid PvE MOBA with a lot of MMO elements, a genuinely good entry to the market and something we're happy to cover. So I don't think anyone wishes it, specifically, harm.

But NCsoft? I don't know who told you this was a good idea. It's really not a good idea.

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