WildStar takes you on a tour of its two new instances

Struggling though it may be, WildStar is still dreaming big -- and designing big as well. The team is working hard to test and put the final touches on its upcoming Power of the Primal Matrix update, which the devs say is a "huge" drop for the game.

Part of that update is the addition of a new scalable five-player dungeon (Coldblood Citadel) and a new prime expedition (Evil from the Ether). If you don't mind spoilers much and crave dev commentary, you can take a tour of these instances with two of the team leads responsible for their creation thanks to a recent livestream.

Head out on the hour-long tour after the break (and don't forget to pack a lunch!).

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Get a primer on RIFT's legendary abilities

When it comes to character development, perhaps the biggest additions in RIFT: Starfall Prophecy were legendary abilities. Instead of adding new skills, RIFT gave high-level players the option to super-charge select existing skills to embue them with extra stats or abilities.

Since legendary abilities can have a large impact on your build and even change how you play your character, knowing how they work and which ones to choose is pretty important. There's a new video guide up to walk you through how this system works and some of the ins and outs of selecting your skill power-ups.

Without further ado, bone up on legendary abilities after the jump!

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World of Warcraft monkeys around with trinket stats

When players next log into World of Warcraft, they may find a pleasant surprise waiting for them: a beefed-up trinket. Oh, and the release of Mythic Nighthold, but that was hardly a surprise.

Blizzard is improving the performance of some of the newer trinkets after determining that they were somewhat underpowered. "We’ve found that our tuning on trinkets which relied on a direct damage or healing effect (as opposed to their raw stats) have come up a bit short this expansion," the studio said. "Overall, this should make the trinkets in Nighthold more competitive with other trinkets available elsewhere in the expansion."

The studio also admitted that a bug resulted in recent PvP Season 1 rewards being distributed to some Alliance players based on Horde ladders. Blizzard will be correcting this error by giving affected characters the same or better reward after today's maintenance.

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Marvel Heroes devs gush about new update while Lunar New Year arrives

There are two things for certain in regard to Marvel Heroes' "biggest update ever:" It was quite comprehensive indeed, and it has received mixed reviews (to put it kindly) from the player community.

For the developers, at least, there is no controversy here; they love the update and can't wait to gush about it. To that end, Marvel Heroes put out a new developer chat video in which various Gazillion employees share what they love best about the update.

Mega-update aside, Lunar New Year has arrived in Marvel Heroes and will be sticking around only until next Sunday. During the event, players will enjoy an XP and RIF boost while opening up a package of daily login gifts. There are also special "lucky red envelope" drops by random enemies that contain bonus loot.

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Snail Games tries its hand at a zombie MMO with Moonlights

Slow or fast, zombies never stop coming at you, and zombie games are much the same. Snail Games is making an attempt to join the growing league of online zombie survival titles with its own upcoming Moonlights.

Moonlights is a PC survival sandbox that takes place in China following a zombie apocalypse. Chinese landmarks will dot the background as players scavenge supplies, assemble weapons, and try to make it to the next day.

The name refers to how the zombies in this game come out at night but get all bashful and reclusive by day, similar to the film I Am Legend or most lethargic superheroes. Nocturnal zombies are an interesting twist for the game genre and could go a long way to making the day/night cycle feel more impactful. But we have to ask: what about solar eclipses?

Source: MMOsite. Thanks Alex!

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Project Gorgon patches in high-level content

Project Gorgon has Orcs on the mind this week. No, playable Orcs aren't in the game yet, but their homeland is, as Gorgon patched in the new zone of Gazluk yesterday. The team said that this is just the "bones" of what Gazluk will eventually become, with only basic content available to experience in the region.

"Most of the planned caves are already accessible, although most just have basic content (monsters, some loot spawns, some solo-dungeon chests, etc.) The Orcish city, Gazluk City, is accessible, but the major group dungeon there is not yet ready," the team reported.

Going hand-in-hand with this new high-level zone is a level cap increase to 70. Several skills can now be trained up to 70, with a handful getting increases to 60 (come on, you know you want to be the most skilled cheesemaker on your block!). The patch does contain bad news for seafaring pyromaniacs, however: "Campfires can no longer be deployed underwater." Bummer.

Source: Patch notes

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Star Citizen aims for a mid-February patch

If you are not satisfied with being aware of a game at its broadest, highest-level perspective during development, you might be keen instead to know what is going on day-to-day with a title of particular interest. For these types, Star Citizen has posted a new production schedule for January, showing the planned progress over the next month on various projects.

The team said that it is aiming to bring out Patch 2.6.1 on February 16th, although these things do change. Between now and then, work is being done on Star Marine, ship balance, bugs, UI, and network improvements.

"2.6.1 is intended to be a bugfixing/polish patch rather than a larger content patch," the team reported, "with the main aim of improving the player experience and building upon the foundations for features we introduced in 2.6.0. Because of this, we’re aiming for a closer release date than for our larger patches since there are fewer features being worked on. What we have represented in the schedule below are the smaller improvements to improve the player experience, such as further balancing to ship speeds, improvements to grenades in Star Marine, and some new additions to the menus."

Source: Star Citizen

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The Division is doubling the size of the Dark Zone

The Division is planning a double threat of gaming goodness that will be coming soon to a console or PC near you. Ubisoft will be rolling out two major pieces of content simultaneously in the coming months, delivering both the paid Last Stand DLC and the free Update 1.6.

It is this latter update that the team recently discussed in detail, telling players that they should expect some major improvements even if they don't drop money on the DLC. The headlining feature is an expansion of the Dark Zone which should double the size of the PvP zone from what it covers today.

There's a ton of additional aspects of 1.6, including a Legendary difficulty mode for three missions. These will be far and away some of the toughest content of the game, with new mobs and vanity items for the victors.

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The MOP Up: No Man's Sky gets shielded (January 22, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week, No Man's Sky made the jump to the Nvidia Shield, giving players a new way to experience this space sim. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from NeverwinterTrove, and more, all waiting for you after the break!

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Legends of Gaia dares you to figure out what it is

Part of the job of writing for Massively OP is encountering new games and trying to get a handle on what they are so that we can succinctly relay that to you, the reader. In the case of Legends of Gaia, we have to admit defeat because the site doesn't really explain what this MMORPG is all about, just that it'll be gosh-darn awesome.

We can chalk up some of the difficulty in understanding to the odd Patreon pitch, but the official FAQ is a wealth of vague information about possible small details (will the game have "nerve gear?" What is nerve gear?) without ever painting a big picture about the title. We do know that the team is highly inspired by the anime and game series Sword Art Online, and to a lesser extent, Skyrim.

The team boldly states that this will be one of the most ambitious MMOs ever made: "We consider that its standards and mechanics breaks with the current ones that will change the whole way of playing forever." We'll hold them to that assertion.

Check out the trailer for Legends of Gaia after the break!

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The Division movie names Stephen Gaghan as director

You may have forgotten that a The Division movie has been in the works since last year. That is understandable: Time passes, trash day requires effort, and people didn't shut up about Rogue One in your Twitter feed during the month of December. But we can assure you that the film is a real thing, it is still happening, and it has secured its director.

Stephen Gaghan has been tapped to direct the movie adaptation of the online game. Gaghan is a writer who has has several movie screenplays under his belt, including Syriana and Traffic. He also penned the script for Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Gaghan is excited about the source material for the film: "The game has been an enormous success, in large part due to the visual landscape they created, their vision of a mid-apocalyptic Manhattan. It’s immersive, wonderfully strange, and yet familiar, filled with possibilities.”

Source: Polygon

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One Shots: Healin' skellies in Shards Online

When the NDA is away, the cats will play -- and take screenshots! Bless our dear community for documenting upcoming MMOs as they venture into these virgin territories.

ZulikaMiNam had some fun in one game that I haven't seen much from readers yet: "Since there are no NDA restrictions imposed for this alpha weekend kickoff over at Shards Online I will post some pics from there. I accidentally healed a skeleton while trying to heal myself. So my name turns grey and anyone can kill me now. Time to lay low for a bit."

Are you still laying low? You can... probably come out now. That skeleton owes you a life debt for that heroic action.

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Massively OP Interview: Exploring LOTRO with the Tolkien Professor

If you are looking for a bridge between you and the sometimes dense (but quite popular) works of J.R.R. Tolkien, then you could do no better than to sit at the feet of the Tolkien Professor. Dr. Corey Olsen has been teaching about Tolkien and his collective works for years, providing understanding and fostering discussion in a way that is always interesting and accessible.

Recently, Olsen started up a new course at Signum University (where he is both the founder and president) called "Explore the Lord of the Rings on Location." This free, public course meets every week for a lecture through a chapter in Tolkien's famous trilogy, followed by a "field trip" in Lord of the Rings Online to locations mentioned. It's been a highly publicized event so far, with Standing Stone even creating a special lecture hall in Bree for the series. Interested parties can attend in person in the game, watch via Twitch, or catch up with afterward on the series' YouTube channel.

We caught up with Dr. Olsen to talk about the making of the course, the history behind his university, and his interaction with the long-running MMORPG.

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