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

A Blood Moon rises over Champions Online once again

I think it was Eliot who recently joked that Halloween in a superhero game is just gilding the lily — everyone in a superhero game is already dressing up! But that’s not going to stop us from enjoying it all the same in the superhero MMORPGs that remain to us.

One of those is Champions Online, whose traditional Blood Moon events kick off today.

“As Halloween approaches, so does the terror of the Blood Moon! This is a limited-time event starting October 13th and ending November 3rd. Takofanes and his undead hordes rise again to threaten the people of Millennium City! Dead heroes fallen in the Battle of Detroit have been raised from the dead, their souls trapped in ancient Turakian Crypts, waiting to be freed! In the Canadian Wilderness, the Southwest Desert, and Monster Island a centuries-old battle between Werewolves and Hunters has broken out! And in a cold shack in Canada, the Zombie Apocalypse begins.”

PWE and Cryptic say they’ll be adding new rewards for players to pick up with Turakian coins earned through themed quests.

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Skyforge demos the trick-shot Outlaw class in a new trailer

Skyforge has a new trailer and dev blog out today covering the Outlaw class, which rolled out last week for CE buyers ahead of the Ascension update. These reckless, dual-wielding marksmen are all about their pistols, their bombs, and their quick moves.

“In battle, the Outlaws rely on their quickness and skill. They can easily evade their enemies’ attacks and quickly approach their targets to deliver an impressive finishing headshot (do those Mechanoids even have heads?). Armed with a pair of revolvers, they can both shoot single targets with precision and spray hordes of enemies with bullets! They also serve their enemies a whole bunch of dynamite sticks for dessert! They say that the Outlaws are reckless, but that proves to be nothing but a pretense. When that soldier shifts to their dueling stance, their simple-minded enemies have no clue that in a couple of seconds they will meet their end. Their well-aimed shots hit the most vulnerable spots of their targets, inflicting colossal damage.”

Skyforge players can pick up the class now as part of the Outlaw Collector’s Edition, or wait to unlock it in-game after Ascension launches.

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Enter to win a Revelation Online closed beta key from My.com and Massively OP

Earlier this week, we learned exactly when Revelation Online’s western closed beta will run: October 25th through November 8th. As My.com explained it, “The first stage is more a ‘technical test’ in that the purpose of the beta will be to test Revelation Online’s core systems such as server infrastructure, client distribution system, login services and more to ensure that our core systems are operational, fully functional and able to withstand the stress of many players all logging into the game simultaneously.”

Want to check it out? My.com has granted Massively OP keys for the beta, which we’ve been handing out over the past few weeks. We’re giving away another 50 of them in today’s giveaway. Read on to enter to win!

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EVE Valkyrie and Gunjack launch today for PlayStation VR

In conjunction with the PlayStation VR launch today, CCP is touting the availability of EVE Valkyrie and EVE Gunjack as launch titles for the platform, two of the 50 games expected to be available for the system before the end of the year.

Valkyrie launched for the Oculus Rift back in March, while Gunjack already runs on just about every VR-capable toy out there. In fact, earlier this month, the company announced that Gunjack’s sequel — Gunjack 2: End of Shift — will be an exclusive Google Daydream title coming in November.

CCP has invested heavily into virtual reality with its stable of games, telling convention-goers last month that it’ll have sunk $30 million into VR games by the end of 2016, that it’s hoping to break even in a few months, and that it believes VR will pick up in 2018 and 2019. Other industry vets, like John Carmack, have argued the VR software industry is “coasting on novelty.”

The PSVR retails for $399 US. Anyone rushing out to pick one up?

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EVE Online player promises $75,000 reward for thwarting enemies

If yesterday’s CCP crackdown on gambling and RMT in the EVE Online universe wasn’t enough drama for you, order some more popcorn for this one. An EVE player says he’s putting up a $75,000 US bounty on a particular alliance.

“I’m giving away IRL money through a paypal contract link to pay for the IRL time for gamers to participate in evictions,” Redditor holder2k told Reddit last week. “The event will be Total Payout of: $75,000 USD for Hard Knocks Eviction. […] The amount is based on total payout, so the more people the less individual payout. Doing the math on HK if we get 800 toons, it’s $94 per toon, if we get less the payout goes up.”

You’ll note that this deal would seem to violate CCP’s new EULA, and indeed official forum threads on the topic have been shut down. PC Gamer has printed both Hard Knocks’ claims about the identity of the player (which ironically lend legitimacy to the payout) and holder2k’s claims that members of Hard Knocks are harassing him or her in real life. Even if this is just the usual EVE Reddit trolling, no doubt the timing will ensure a juicy EVE Vegas.

Source: Reddit via PC Gamer. Thanjs, alexjwillis!

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Warframe cordially invites you to a real-world digital wedding

If you’ve played MMORPGs long enough, you’ve probably been to at least one in-game wedding — maybe even one for your own character. But have you ever seen an MMO used as the actual setting for a real-world wedding?

You’re about to: in Warframe. Two players who go by the handles Eli and Niti will be carrying out their real-world wedding online and in-game as their avatars in a ceremony legally officiated by DE’s Rebecca “Lotus” Ford and streamed lived on Twitch. Yep, this is a real wedding, legally binding, not just roleplaying.

“We have friends from around the world,” writes the happy couple. “We had discussed ways of trying to get all of them there for our wedding, and came to the conclusion that it was impossible, we have friends in Denmark, Japan, America, Canada, Germany and England… it just wasn’t going to be possible to get everyone in once place. We also felt that our online persona really is us, it’s how we interact with the rest of the world, how we see our friends, how we talk to them.”

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CCP outlaws gambling in EVE Online, bans RMT organizations

Changes to EVE Online’s EULA coming in November with the launch of Ascension and the free-to-play conversion will effectively outlaw gambling, which has been a popular and lucrative in-game pastime in EVE for over a decade.

“You may not use, transfer or assign any game assets for games of chance operated by third parties,” a new line in the document will read.

In conjunction with the ban on gambling, CCP says, it’s shut down two gambling organizations and permanently suspended the accounts of everyone involved in them based on an investigation that allegedly shows they were involved in other illegal activities, including RMT:

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Pokemon Go: The Dutch suspend the case against Niantic

Remember back in September when a community in the Netherlands announced it was taking Niantic to court in The Hague because the company had allegedly failed to comply with requests to remove Pokemon Go critters from environmentally protected beaches and dunes?

Welp, that’s been called off, or at least has been put on hold. A spokesman for the locale of Kijkduin has said that Niantic is now working with authorities on the problem, so the suit has been suspended while that’s sorted out. Indeed, as the BBC reported yesterday, the dunes already seem clear of pokemon.

Earlier this week, the game rolled out an update with tweaks to the catch bonus, the promised six-pokemon battles at gyms, and improved egg and incubator screens.

Don’t miss our own look at the anti-social nature of Pokemon Go and real-life pugging, a long-form piece from MOP’s Andrew Ross yesterday.

Source: Phys.org, official site. Thank to Nordavind and BrotherMaynard!

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Seed the world yourself with Chronicles of Elyria’s influence points

Chronicles of Elyria has a long blog post out today, and while this one is unlikely to generate a flurry of confusion like the last edition, it does dive into the potentially controversial influence point system. Future players generate influence points via “purchasing things in [the] store, positive contributions in [the] forums, tracking down bugs,” and so on. Jeromy “Caspian” Walsh explains how a segment of those points are calculated as “spendable IP” that can be used by players to purchase things to “seed the world”:

“We use the IP store as a way to seed the world with the settlements, guilds, schools, merchants, and crafters of the world. As a result, when the IP store opens, what you’ll find are things that allow us to fulfill those objectives. You’ll find things like parcels of land, starter packs for different roles, animals for breeding, mounts for riding, building patterns for settlements, resources for developing your skills, and even patterns and techniques so you can become a skilled artisan who others will look to when they want to advance themselves.”

Walsh also discusses the launch of the store, the store’s fraud protection, the layaway system, package gifting, the time cost of new “design experience” items, new hires, and the otter bear — don’t mix those last two up. And don’t forget the recap of last week’s panoramic living world trailer. “We’re still a long way out from the release of the game, but the video does show that we’re making progress and the world is gradually coming to life,” Walsh writes.

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Today’s Black Desert patch brings life to the seas, awakening to the Ranger

Update: And it’s live, but it’s a trainwreck, so it’s down again under emergency maintenance.

Margoria is coming to Black Desert this winter, but in the meantime, Kakao is fleshing out the seas in today’s patch. “The open seas of Black Desert Online have been updated with flora, fauna, and shipwrecks,” says the studio. “A new ocean system was implemented, creating realistic and volumetric waves. Starting today, players will be able to explore this beautiful, more lively underwater world.”

That’s just part of what’s coming in today’s patch for the sandbox; players can also expect the Kamasylven Sword awakening weapon for the Ranger.

Kakao tweeted earlier that the maintenance for the patch had been extended several hours but that it hoped to be back online by noon EDT. Check out the trailer and new images and get patching!

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Gazillion to sunset Marvel Super Hero Squad Online in January 2017

When I first joined the Massively crew back in 2010, the very first long-form piece I did was on Super Hero Squad Online, a Marvel-themed kiddie game out of this cute rookie studio, The Amazing Society, which was nestled under Gazillion itself. The game was actually pretty good, and I remember thinking it would be a great game to play with my kids if I ever had any.

It did turn out to be a great game to play with my kids. My son loves it. And this week, I’m going to have to tell him it’s coming to an end, as Gazillion has announced it’s sunsetting SHSO next year.

“The game will be available until January 2017, and there’s likely still plenty of content for you to unlock over hours and hours of gameplay,” the devs wrote yesterday. “We are cutting Gold and Fractal prices of all Characters by 20%, so you can try out all of it! All Jr. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent benefits remain in force, and everything remains available. We will no longer sell Gold, but we are upping the fractal drop rate, so you should be able to unlock and play everything.”

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Revelation Online’s closed beta begins October 25; here’s the new trailer

Revelation Online announced this morning that its closed beta will kick off on October 25th and run through November 8th. If you’ve picked up a key from us in the last couple of weeks, that’s when it’ll work. If you haven’t picked up a key yet and don’t want to shell out for a founder pack, stay tuned because we have more to dribble out!

“The Closed Beta will have several stages,” My.com says. “The first stage is more a ‘technical test’ in that the purpose of the beta will be to test Revelation Online’s core systems such as server infrastructure, client distribution system, login services and more to ensure that our core systems are operational, fully functional and able to withstand the stress of many players all logging into the game simultaneously. As a result, you may encounter localization issues, such as Chinese or Russian texts. CBT1 will also take you through the plotline all the way to level 49 and help you prepare for a more serious challenge. Also, during the first stage, access will be open to 3v3 training and ranking arenas, 10v10 battlegrounds, Hot Springs zone, and four dungeons with various difficulty levels: Trial of the Four Kings, Darkfall, Deserted Shrine, and Misty Hollow.”

Check out the closed beta trailer below.

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Crush Online doesn’t play to bake bread, it plays to… crush

If you got that title, you’re old.

Yes, studio GAMESinFLAMES — we don’t make these up, folks — pushed Crush Online into open beta a month ago, and as of this week, it’s reached its official launch (on Steam too). The game has been described as an “F2P MMO” and “a free-to-play PvP MMO with MOBA-style combat in a persistent world.” Here’s the hook:

“The world of Gaia is home to three realms, each populated by thousands of players fighting an endless territory war. These nations, along with a comprehensive guild system, are the groundwork for truly grand military clashes. Guilds and nations can ally with each other in exciting Castle Sieges to gain control of a nation and lord over its subjects, while entire nations may scheme with and against each other to win epic wars where not just glory, but also valuable treasure and powerful ability enhancements are at stake. Players can choose their avatars from a number of distinct, fully customizable classes, each with tons of different weapon setups and compete with other players and NPCs in tactical and challenging fights. It’s not just a match – it’s war!”

We’ve got the launch trailer below.

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