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 announces Gunjack Next for Google Daydream

EVE Gunjack is getting a sequel, and it’s an exclusive for Google’s Android-based Daydream VR platform, which itself was announced just today. Gunjack Next — yes, that’s its codename — is planned to launch in the fall.

CCP Games today announced that they are developing “Gunjack Next,” the codename for an entirely new sequel to the best-selling game Gunjack, which is currently available for the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive VR platforms. The game is being created exclusively for Google’s newly-announced Daydream platform, and will launch this fall. CCP Games’ Shanghai studio, the creators of Gunjack, is working closely with Google’s team to ensure that “Gunjack Next” leverages all of the power and features available. Like Gunjack, which was praised for its breakthrough graphics when it launched on Gear VR, the development team expects “Gunjack Next” to again raise the bar for mobile VR gaming.”

More when we have it.

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RIFT launches a sentient 10-man raid; here’s the trailer

Live in RIFT’s patch today is a brand-new 10-man raid called The Comet of Ahnket. A lore piece last week revealed that the eponymous comet led scholars to discover a sentient tower that is the location of the raid — “not only sentient, but fiercely self-aware and possessing astonishing magical power.” The tower says that she’s entrapped two warring enemies within her walls, and it’s your job to enter her and destroy them both.

Welp, never seen that done before. The trailer and screenies are below.

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Blizzard and Twitch address harassment defiling game event streams

In case you had forgotten since yesterday’s news that RuneScape had to ban players for running around in-game wearing KKK costumes and shrieking racial slurs, some gamers are still racist idiots. The topic is getting attention from Blizzard now too, as horrific racially motivated harassment toward Terrence Miller, an African-American player, engulfed the live chat panel of the Twitch stream of his Dreamhack Austin Hearthstone matches earlier this month.

Polygon reported at the time that the moderators working during the stream said they were completely unprepared for the deluge of nastiness; though they brought on more in a hurry, some of them were part of the problem themselves.

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime issued a press statement yesterday, suggesting that the company, alongside Twitch, plans to adapt to make sure garbage like this doesn’t happen again at gaming events with his games’ name attached to them. He put it more politely, of course:

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HEX has purged inactive accounts, but don’t despair yet

If you woke up this morning to an email in your inbox telling you your HEX account has been permanently deleted, you’re not alone, and it’s not a joke.

The trading card MMO announced the impending purge on its official site and on Kickstarter a few weeks ago, explaining that Gameforge, the game’s publisher, is bound by German privacy laws, which mandate that a company may not hang onto user data if the user does not actively agree to it by accepting a user agreement and TOS. In this case, the accounts of players who had not not done both since November 9th were required by law to be purged. Of course, if you opted out of Kickstarter spam and don’t watch the official site like a hawk, you probably never saw that notice.

At least one affected player on Reddit who contacted customer support received the following message of hope:

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Sword Coast Legends launches Rage of Demons DLC, delays console ports

Sword Coast Legends is launching new free DLC for its players today. Called Rage of Demons, the update includes a new Drizzt-themed campaign, the new tiefling race, and the warlock class.

“Dungeon Masters can also look forward to fresh and exciting campaigns, as the world of Sword Coast Legends just got larger,” says Digital Extremes. “New dungeon and town areas, creatures, decorations, and tilesets from the all-new Rage of Demons campaign promise to bring custom adventures and campaigns to life like never before.”

The update will be comforting to anyone still worried about the fate of the game after one of its partner studios, n-Space, shuttered. At the time, Digital Extremes told Massively OP that it was still working on Sword Coast Legends but did not expound on whether it would be directly impacted.

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Black Desert expands world and PvP with Valencia, refuses costume alteration refunds

Black Desert is getting a massive update on June 1st when the first chunk of the Valencia update is launched. According to Daum, Valencia will include “hundreds” of new quests, expanding the world’s size by 30%.

“With Valencia Part One, players will be able to journey to an expansive desert region where exploration will take a completely different turn. Extreme heat during daytime requires proper hydration and intense cold at night requires players to stay warm. Additionally, a new weather effect, sandstorm, inflicts damage unless players set up a tent to protect themselves. The minimap will be unavailable, but getting lost is not all bad―who knows what treasure your shovel may strike? Regular horses and wagons are not ideal to traverse the desert and will see their speed lowered. Thankfully, players will be able to purchase Camels from NPCs, which fare much better in these harsh conditions. Another new mount, the Guild-owned Elephant, serves as a powerful war mount in sieges.”

This morning’s patch kicks off the Road to Valencia events.

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Square-Enix sunsets Lord of Vermilion MOBA in June

We’re sorry to report today that Square-Enix is sunsetting Lord of Vermilion Arena. We first covered the MOBA, which was based on the Lord of Vermilion card game, almost exactly a year ago, just before it hit open beta in Japan.

The Google-translated official site says that “in view of the current state of the service situation” it is “difficult to continue” the game, and so it will end on June 30th, 2016. Purchases will end on May 26th, but the team is planning a final campaign toward the end of the month.

Source: Official site via Steparu. Thanks, Pepperzine!

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Dark Brotherhood DLC buffs up the group finder

Are you into grouping in The Elder Scrolls Online? Good news for you: ZeniMax says today in a new dev blog that it’s focused on improving the grouping tool once again with the Dark Brotherhood DLC. Specifically, the LFG tool is getting a standard “ready check” feature so your tank doesn’t pull while you’re away on a biobreak, in addition to a 15-minute cooldown timer to prevent griefing and the ever popular votekick button:

“Sometimes things just don’t work out, and this will allow you to fairly decide if someone should be removed. To initiate a vote amongst your group, just right-click another player character’s name in the group UI, and choose Vote Kick. Alternatively, if you’re on console, you’ll see this option when you select a player character’s name in the group menu. Anyone in the group can initiate a vote, but it does require a majority vote to remove a group member.”

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Guild Wars 2’s 64-bit client launches along with PvP Season 3

Guild Wars 2’s 64-bit client is out of beta as of today, according to the patch notes released this morning. “The 32-bit client will now automatically switch to the 64-bit client if the conditions appear favorable,” says ArenaNet.

The patch also includes a new hybrid League Matchmaking system just in time for the launch of Season 3. As the studio put it,

“Season 2 matchmaking was changed from Season 1 Ranked and Unranked matchmaking to help ensure league positions correlated more with skill instead of simply being based on the hours played. These changes saw a multitude of improvements for Season 2, but unfortunately they also spread out win rates further than we would have liked, as matches became a bit too uneven. We’ve created a new matchmaker for Season 3 that will strike a balance between the two previous seasons, accomplishing the same goals of accuracy from Season 2 but doing so with the evenness of matches that players experienced in Season 1.”

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Grab a TERA Secrets & Shadows flying mount key from En Masse and MOP

In celebration of the launch of TERA’s Secrets & Shadows patch today, En Masse has granted Massively OP 20,000 keys for a seven-day flying mount called Eclipse, a winged black stallion with a flight and movement speed of 280 — the perfect mount to try out the update’s new flying features. The key also grants level 64 and under characters on your account a hunting experience boost of 50% for seven real-time days.

Please note that these codes will work only for audiences playing the North American version of TERA published by En Masse itself.

We’ll be doling them out in smaller chunks, so don’t despair if we run out! Clicky the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys and get started!

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Old School RuneScape bans players for racism, harassment

Old School RuneScape has had a brush with the banhammer. Jagex told players on Reddit today that an unspecified number of players have been banned for “repeatedly harassing a number of people within the community.”

“The players who were banned have made posts claiming that their actions were harmless and they were merely banned for simply performing emotes in the background of one person’s livestream. This is completely false. The players whose accounts we took action against spent their time spreading racism, hatred and abuse throughout the game. We wanted to post an excerpt of their chat logs to show some of the hatred they are bringing to the game, but we simply can’t bring ourselves to publicise something so horrendous. These players harassed numerous individuals in this fashion, disrupting gameplay and bringing a halt to other people’s enjoyment of the game.”

In a followup post, Jagex noted that one of the bans was handed out to a player “dressing up as a member of the KKK.” Today I learned it’s possible to combine benign clothing to dress up as a member of the KKK in RuneScape. Another player opines that while dressing up as a racist cult member is bad enough, wielding a noose and spamming about killing a certain racial group was the clincher. Today I learned RuneScape has wieldable nooses. And fewer racists today than yesterday.

Source: Reddit

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Blade & Soul announces Vengeance Breaks update for June 1

It’s a day that ends in Y, so that means it’s time for another massive Blade & Soul announcement. NCsoft has revealed today the June 1st update, what it’s calling Vengeance Breaks.

The patch “brings new content including the Sundered Nexus dungeon, 24-member open world Zaiwei Ruins, an Tower of Infinity that challenges players to complete AI-controlled fights in a race against the clock, the ability to adopt and bring Pets along with you on your adventures, and finally Altar of Divine Will where you’ll attempt to stop Jinsoyun once and for all.” You can check out the splash page on NCsoft’s official site.

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Mark Kern to deliver Nostalrius petition to Blizzard next week

The Nostalrius team isn’t the only one heading to Irvine to meet with Blizzard: The ex-WoW, ex-Firefall developer Mark Kern says he’s locked in a meeting as well.

“I’ll be having my legacy server meeting with Blizzard CEO, Mike Morhaime, next week on Thursday,” he posted yesterday. “Blizzard has also agreed to accept delivery of the printed petition. […] While we are not guaranteed a vanilla or legacy server by Blizzard, it’s a very good sign that they have agreed to meet and at least talk about it.”

Nostalrius was an illegal classic-ruleset World of Warcraft emulator with an active playerbase of a self-reported 150,000 players; it was taken offline by its own administrators in April following a legal threat from copyright holder Blizzard. A concomitant petition asking Blizzard to cooperate with Nostalrius and support vanilla servers has swelled now to over 250,000 signatures.

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