Brianna 'Bree' Royce


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

The Division plans three paid season pass expansions alongside free updates

Adding further hype to the multi-platform beta tests kicking off this weekend, Ubisoft has opened up on the company blog about The Division’s post-launch plans. The studio is currently plotting three paid expansions as part of the game’s season pass; they’ll boast new content, gear, and gameplay for endgamers. Says Ubisoft,

“The first expansion, called ‘Underground’, lets a squad of four players explore new territory in a post-epidemic New York City underworld. In the second expansion, called ‘Survival’, players will have to try to survive in a hostile environment that will challenge even the most hardcore Division players. The third and final expansion is (perhaps fittingly) titled ‘Last Stand’.

If you hit the streets of The Division’s New York on launch day with the Season Pass, you’ll get some goodies too, including an exclusive sawed-off shotgun as well as new outfits and weapon skins. Season Pass owners also get monthly perks in the form of exclusive content drops and events.”

Freebie content is also planned throughout the year, built around “new game modes, featuring cooperative challenges that reward your squad’s ability to successfully work together.”

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Today’s Tribes: Ascend patch addresses votekicking and vehicles

The Tribes: Ascend servers are offline right now for the game’s impending 1.2 patch. Of note, Hi-Rez is implementing a new vehicle queueing system and reducing splash damage radius on most explosive weapons. Votekicking will also be much easier now; it’ll now require only 35%, not 70%, of players in a match to agree to boot someone from a game.

This is the second patch Hi-Rez has implemented since returning its attention to the shooter last fall. The company said that thanks to its good fortunes with SMITE and Paladins, it now has the resources to work on the Tribes game, though the studio has been clear that future development depends on player reception.

In other Tribes news, the community recently put together its very own tournament, led by Armored Penguin. Congrats to teams xxShadowkillerxx and Groundpound:Ascend, who split a player-donated prize including both in-game gold and real cash.


Elder Scrolls Online video previews the Thieves Guild DLC

The Thieves Guild is pretty much my favorite part of the Elder Scrolls series, full-stop. Will it be equally epic in The Elder Scrolls Online? We’re about to find out, as the game’s Thieves Guild DLC lands on the test server next week ahead of its March platform launches.

“The Thieves Guild DLC game pack—complete with a new Thieves Guild passive skill line, new Justice gameplay, hours of new story content and more—will be accessible at no cost to those who have an active ESO Plus™ membership. Otherwise, it will cost 2,000 crowns in the ESO Crown Store. The base-game patch, always free to those who own ESO, is chock-full of new features and enhancements including a 64-bit client for PC and Mac, scrolling combat text, grouping improvements and incentives, and tons of combat and gameplay balance changes. We encourage all our PC and Mac players to join us on the PTS for Thieves Guild testing!

ZeniMax has released a dev video introducing players to the upcoming content. Enjoy!

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Funcom announces Conan Exiles, a multiplayer open-world survival game

Funcom has just announced that one of the Conan games it’s working on is Conan Exiles, a multiplayer, open-world survival game.

‘CONAN EXILES’ is first and foremost a multiplayer game that can be enjoyed on both private and public servers, but it will also feature a single-player mode.

You are an exile, one of thousands cast out to fend for themselves in a barbaric wasteland swept in sandstorms and besieged by enemies on every side. Grow crops or hunt animals for food. Harvest resources to build weapons and tools. Build a shelter to survive. Ride across a vast world and explore alone, or band together with other players to build entire settlements and fortified strongholds. Unleash your fury in savage, fast-paced combat and execute bloody and bone-crushing attacks that will see heads rolling and limbs flying. Fight other players to dominate the exiled lands, and even call upon the wrath of the heavens to aid you by sacrificing enemy players on the alters of the gods.

Back in November, Funcom told gamers that it was planning to announce three new games in 2016. The first of them was revealed to be a Conan-themed game in December, and now here it is. Age of Conan players needn’t worry; Funcom has said it is likewise committed to the existing MMORPG in the franchise.

Conan Exiles will hit early access for PC this summer; expect the full launch on PC and console after that. Check out the renders and new cinematic video below.

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Superdata says League of Legends makes more money than any other game you play

Let’s just get this out of the way: Superdata is a research firm that sells its data analysis. It doesn’t disclose its methodology or sources if you don’t pony up for them. However, what it does make public is worth mulling over, and this week the company released top 10 lists for console games, PC games, and mobile games by gross revenue. If you’ve been paying any attention at all, the numbers won’t surprise you: The firm has named League of Legends the world’s “top-grossing digital game“:

“Riot’s League of Legends shows no signs of slowing down as December proved to be the game’s highest-earning month in its history. Close followers were Clash of Clans ($1.3B), CrossFire ($1.1B) and Dungeon Fighter Online ($1.05B) rounding out last year’s titles that earned over a billion dollars. Despite not being a household names in the west, games like CrossFire and Dungeon Fighter Online perform well thanks to the strength and momentum in markets like South Korea and China.”

The PC revenue chart is entirely online games, a number of them true MMOs, for that matter, including Dungeon Fighter Online, World of Warcraft, World of Tanks, Lineage, and Maplestory.

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SWTOR is putting lockboxes inside of other lockboxes

Star Wars: The Old Republic apparently couldn’t stand to see RIFT hogging the business model drama spotlight today and has issued a new proclamation about the “Grand Packs” currently for sale on the game’s Cartel Market cash shop.

After February’s patch 4.1, the packs will have a chance to drop a Grand Chance Cube in place of one of the usual ridable or decorative drops. BioWare writes,

“Now you are asking, what is the Grand Chance Cube? Think of it as the ultimate Grand Pack. Inside a Grand Chance Cube you have a chance to receive any available Cartel Market Pack item, including from the current Pack. Also, the Grand Chance Cube acts as a Grand Pack in that if you open an Armor Lootbox, it will contain the entire armor set, not just a few pieces.

This change allows us to place more emphasis on the Silver and Gold items in each pack, as we are no longer building new Bronze items. Now, in place of Bronze items you will receive a Grand Chance Cube. This Cube can contain the rarest of Cartel Market selections, giving you a second chance at highly-desired items.”

“Yo Dawg, we heard you like lockboxes in your lockboxes!” quipped one commenter. You might even call it… lockboxception.

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Classic Korean MMORPG Knight Online lands on Steam

As promised, Knight Online has officially landed on Steam this week. The classic Korean MMO originally launched in 2004, the same year that World of Warcraft drove a wrecking ball through the US industry.

NTTGame has addressed a number of player questions about the Steam launch on the platform forums. For starters, if you already have a character in the US version of the game, there it will stay — you can’t transfer characters to the Steam version as it’s a separate server and client. You also can’t link your existing game account to your Steam account, though you can use Steam Wallet to buy stuff in the new client.

There are zero IP restrictions on this version of the game, and yes, it is F2P with a cash shop. You can check out new screenies and the video below.

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NCsoft is porting its MOBA Master X Master to the West

NCsoft has just announced that it’s porting Master X Master, its MOBA, to western shores “later this year.”

The MOBA brings together characters from multiple NCsoft video game franchises (including Blade & Soul, Aion, and even WildStar) and focuses much more on PvE content than most MOBAs, making it a bit of a MOBA/OARPG hybrid.

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Das Tal is working on lag, maps, and caravan raids

Earlier this month, Das Tal’s Fairytale Distillery told players that it was working hard on playthrough incentives and accessibility features for its April alpha test. Today, the studio has checked off a number of January tasks, including a new goal system, server end events, a flagging system, and an emote system. The devs have also added target calling, practice dummies to newbie spots, tweaks to the rate at which other players can loot your equipped gear, and an anti-ninja-looting system called “slow loot.”

The studio has a long to-do list for February and March; the most interesting goals are clan management tools, the caravan raid system, large fight lag, and a bigger world map.


ELOA’s ‘The Looters’ update describes you as much as the mobs

Elite Lord of Alliance is getting another big update today called simply The Looters. It describes us all, doesn’t it? The patch’s main feature is a raid dungeon, Den of the Looters, where you’ll be killing poisoner and trapper bosses and then, you know, looting their stuff — including level 40 class weapons. Expect some PvP goodies too:

“PvP enthusiasts will be able to take part in a new season and a special event named ‘The Battle,’ from January 26th until February 2nd, 2016 (UTC). Depending on the number of times they have joined the battlefield, participants will get special rewards, including Disguise Scrolls, Eva’s Breath, Low-class Reinforcement Failure Protection Scrolls, and High-class Reinforcement Failure Protection Scrolls.”

Webzen promises a Valentine event beginning with today’s udpdate as well. We’ve included the new images below.

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Eternal Crusade is now live on Steam early access with a new publisher

As promised, Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade has closed down its founders program and gone live on Steam’s early access platform.

Now labeled a “massively multiplayer shooter” giving a “massive-scale third-person shooter experience,” the game is apparently being published by Bandai-Namco, which might explain Behaviour’s confidence about its 2016 funding and launch prospects in recent weeks. As we explained yesterday,

“Senior Producer Nathan Richardsson told players that the Steam launch wasn’t a ‘cashgrab’ and that the game was already funded such that it would launch this year regardless, but more money would mean more and faster content. ‘We are simply continuing [the founders program] in the Steam Early Access framework,’ he wrote.”

The companies have confirmed a 2016 console launch on PS4 and Xbox One as well. We’ve included the new in-engine cinematic trailer below.

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Guild Wars 2’s gliding patch is live alongside Lunar New Year festivities

Guild Wars 2’s winter patch is now live, complete with the promised gliding in vanilla Tyria and the start of the Lunar New Year event, the latter of which runs through February 9th. Players can also look forward to the enhanced squad UI, tweaks to support class rewards, Fractals bug fixes, and a crapton of class adjustments. SPvP matchmaking and WvWvW have also been heavily updated.

And don’t forget the overhauled Shatterer world boss! Massively OP’s Tina Lauro published her detailed hands-on with that event earlier today.

Enjoy the new pics and video below.

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Black Desert’s Beauty and the Beast character screenshot contest has begun

The “Beast” part of Black Desert’s Beauty and the Beast contest officially kicked off this morning.

Daum invites future players to download the game’s character creator, create a character, take a screenshot, and upload it to the contest site along with the customization file to enter the contest. The character, Daum says, should “look as ugly as possible,” because how could that go wrong?

Rewards include everything from t-shirts and closed beta keys to in-game currency. Everyone who participates gets an in-game title and a special costume.

You have until February 5th to submit your very own character creator trainwreck. May the weirdest character win.

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