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The softer, gentler side of MMORPG life. [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

The Chicago Pokemon Go Fest was sold out in less than a minute

Following the huge reveal of Pokemon Go’s summer content plans — detailed in yesterday’s massive overview and interview by MOP’s Andrew Ross — Niantic followed through on its plan to shutdown all gyms for renovation. Yes, we’re still talking about virtual space here. The gyms will play host to the game’s new gym battle system, which basically brings PvP into the MMOARG and can culminate in epic raid boss fights.

Meanwhile, if you weren’t one of the lucky few who snapped up Pokemon Go Fest tickets for the event in Chicago within the first few seconds of the sale going live, well, there’s always Ebay. As I type this, scalpers are selling tickets on the auction platform for over $300 apiece (they’re selling, too; one is going for $340 at the moment). Maybe a better system for vending tickets might be in order for the next event, yeah?

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Neverwinter deploys the Shroud of Souls update to consoles today

It’s time for console players to head to the River District in Neverwinter. The game’s latest patch for the console editions of the game has been released, and it sees players contending with the foes stepping out of the shadows following the fall of the Cloaked Ascendancy. That means more stuff to deal with in the River District and a new event to take part in, with a new siege and storyline to explore as they rail against these new foes.

Players on consoles will also be able to take advantage of the Loadout feature and customizable guild halls, so even if the story doesn’t grab you there’s still new stuff to do. Jump into the console edition right now to try out everything, or if you’re stuck at work, you can check out screenshots just below.

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Path of Exile previews a familiar boss in the next Fall of Oriath beta patch

It’s always good to see a familiar face. Unless that face belongs to a boss, of course; then it’s a mixed emotion. When Path of Exile drops its next major beta patch, players are going to have to deal with exactly that as they face off against Doedre the Vile in her sewer arena. You can check out a full preview of the fight in the video just below, but be fairly warned, it contains lots of rather gross-looking green slime. You know, as if you expected otherwise.

Of course, the boss isn’t just being added to the game indiscriminately; she’s part of Act Eight, which is coming with said large beta patch. There will be more besides, but you’ll have to wait until late next week to see it. Perhaps even a little later, since the patch was already delayed once; check out the fight below, though, to determine if it might be worth the wait.

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What’s it like when you stop being a gold farmer in World of Warcraft?

For a very long time, selling gold in World of Warcraft was a path to making money. It was unethical and against the terms of service, but it was still eminently doable. The addition of an “official” option in the form of the WoW Token changed that, and an article on Cracked talks with a former gold farmer about the path toward moving on with your life after you’ve spent time exploiting that virtual economy. It might not make you feel sympathetic for gold farming, but it’s still an interesting perspective.

Of course, if you’re farming gold, you’re probably not all that worried about playing the actual game (as the article even says), but people who are playing the game will be happy with the latest round of hotfixes, which clean up issues with the Chromie quest line, fix various balance issues, and fixes a few bugs here and there. None of them actually relates to gold, though, unless you consider a glyph recipe not dropping to be about gold. Which it sort of is, arguably.

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Today’s MechWarrior Online patch adds resistance heroes, tweaks sub privileges

MechWarrior Online is rolling out a big patch today with a whole lot of ‘Mechs to try out. The update includes new Inner Sphere Resistance Hero ‘Mechs, the 8v8 competitive mode and leaderboards, the revamped Incursion game mode for faction play, a “significant” energy weapon balance pass, sound and turret updates, and new loot. Plus,

“As of this patch, Premium Time is no longer required for accessing any aspect of the Private Lobby feature! Tonnage rules, Match Time, Time of Day, View Mode, and Full Team settings are now available to all.”

If you’re a dedicated ‘Mech pilot, you probably want to know the future of MechWarrior Online. Does that mean you want to find out about that future through an online town hall meeting on Friday, June 23rd? You don’t need to answer that, both because you’d be talking to the computer and because that’s what’s happening regardless. The meeting will be hosted on Twitch starting at 9 p.m. EDT and will be hosted by Russ Bullock and game designer Chris Lowrey. They’ll be talking about the upcoming Civil War technology, the skill tree, game balance, and some heretofore unannounced content. In the event that you’re not a dedicated ‘Mech pilot but more of an occasional one, you’ll have to decide whether the prospect of this new information is worth taking up your Friday evening.

We’ve included the preview videos for all the new mechs down below!

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Conan Exiles is instituting a new ping block on official servers

Officially, the reason behind the region blocking in Conan Exiles is to make sure that players are always on a server that can support similar ping rates and fair gameplay. Whether or not you believe that idea is immaterial; people have gotten around the region block regardless, and so another layer of blocking is being put into place with the new MaxPingAllowed system on the game’s official servers.

Players with a ping rate over 140 will not be allowed on the servers with a maximum ping set, so players outside of the appropriate region (or those with particularly bad connections) will now be automatically blocked by the server. Some official servers will still have no ping maximum, so players can still play without region blocks if they want, but the majority will be limited to servers with a low ping rate and other players with similarly low ping.

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The Elder Scrolls Online recaps the big events of E3 while players get hit with surprise bans

If you’re fond of The Elder Scrolls Online and have managed to tear yourself away from Morrowind for a few minutes, you probably already caught up on the game’s big announcements at this year’s E3. But there was more stuff going on this year than just that, and the game’s team has helpfully recapped the big events for players unable to attend, including the community meetup and the game’s presence at the Bethesda booth.

Of course, it’s easy to step away from the game if you’re unexpectedly banned, isn’t it? Players who preordered the game through Amazon seem to be having some issues, getting banned despite being players in good standing. Players who ordered physical copies of the game are still waiting on delivery of same, which seems to be the cause behind the unintentional bans. The community service team has been working with affected players as best they are able, but it’s still a bit of a kick for players who have done nothing meriting the banning. So… here’s hoping that if you are looking forward to the game’s next updates, you didn’t order through Amazon.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has launched today

The time is finally here. While pre-ordered players were able to play from Friday onward, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood officially launches today. Players of all sorts can log in and start fighting for the liberation of Ala Mhigo and Doma beneath the heel of Imperial occupation; the developers have even officially confirmed that the instance issues hitting the game at the start of Early Access have been largely resolved. (Most players were able to solve those issues on Sunday, but the official statement is still nice.)

Not currently a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s Welcome Back campaign to take a trip in and see what all of the fuss over Red Mage and Samurai is about. Planning to remain a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s first subscription loyalty campaign to pick up a mount based off of the Falcon in Final Fantasy VI. Just want to catch a roundup and the launch trailer again? Jump on down below, friends.

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Revelation Online takes a tour of Ersich Forest

We promise the population of Revelation Online that Ersich Forest is, in fact, a lovely and benevolent area. Sure, it seems nice on the surface, but most players have probably been hard-wired to expect that means the worst. Some horrible fanged nasty is going to kill them there, obviously, that’s what always happens. But not here. Yes, there are monsters, but locals consider even the Muskhorns roaming the area to be a good thing.

No, really, there’s nothing horrible hidden here. Stop looking at us like that.

Yes, there is a powerful deity called the Lady of the Forest, but – no, stop running away! She’s benevolent and she wants players to help her keep the forest safe. There are even wishing trees! It really is just a nice place without something horrible lurking beneath the surface. Really. Stop waiting for the trick, sometimes places can just be genuinely nice.

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Prevent the Fall adds in a new tutorial and quality of life improvements

It’s nice to know what in the world you’re doing, isn’t it? That can be tricky when you’re starting a new game, but the developers behind the upcoming VR-enabled co-op RPG Prevent the Fall know it’s important. So the game’s latest patch focuses heavily on quality of life improvements and starts with a tutorial, explaining the basics of gameplay and control for brand-new players. In the process, you get some basic armaments and an idea of how to use them, so that should make things easier.

The patch (which is the game’s tenth such patch since it entered early access 19 days ago) also improves creature animations, UI settings, pet status bars, and a variety of other minor fixes and improvements. Check out the full list of changes in the patch notes to get a fine-detail rundown of what’s being changed, which is probably a good idea before you start clicking around blindly and trying to find what’s changed. Perhaps the game could add a tutorial for its patch notes, and… no, that’d be stupid.

Source: Official Site; thanks to D.W.B. for the tip!

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EVE Online calls upon pilots to fight a rogue swarm

If you haven’t heard from one of your friends who plays EVE Online lately, it might be because he or she is in the thick of a swarm. Rogue Swarm Alert, EVE’s June event, is currently running and offers players an exciting diversion to mining and backstabbing.

“Join your fellow capsuleers and help CONCORD defeat the swarms of rogue drones,” CCP explained. “The bigger the Drone boss you encounter, the better the chances of getting valuable rewards. Pilots of all abilities and levels are welcome and encouraged to assist, from the newest alpha pilots to the most seasoned Omegas.”

Also, this weekend a group of EVE Online streamers played for 72 hours in the EVEathon to raise funds for AbleGamers. Their efforts were rewarded with over $20,000 raised for the gamer charity.

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Neverwinter takes you on a tour of Port Nyanzaru

The eponymous city is obviously the main port of call for players in Neverwinter, but there are other cities worth visiting. The next major update, Tomb of Annihilation, will see players heading to Port Nyanzaru, a very different city from the one Neverwinter’s adventurers are accustomed to experiencing. So why not take a tour of all of the best parts of Port Nyanzaru, seeing the sights to catch (and the important vendors to chat up) before you go there in the summer?

But perhaps you’re not interested in the lore tour, just the art side of things. Good news; there’s a new piece about exactly that, covering the challenges of making the city look distinct and novel with a very short amount of pre-production time. It’s useful for lovers of game production and concept art, and it shows how all of the locales you’ll visit on your tour came into existence.

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Rockstar has taken out three more Grand Theft Auto cheat mods

Last week, the Grand Theft Auto V/Online community was rocked by the shutdown of OpenIV, a modding tool that’s served the series’ community for almost 10 years, following a cease-and-desist letter Rockstar and Take-Two sent its operators. Rockstar said it wasn’t targeting single-player mods but dealing with what it says was OpenIV’s enabling of “malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody,” in spite of player arguments that single-player mods are theoretically not available to play in GTAO.

Turns out Rockstar and Take Two weren’t done. As the purveyors of the Force Hax mod menu announced, they’ve been driven offline too and were actually tasked with donating their profits to charity, since confirmed by Rockstar.

“After discussions with Take-Two Interactive, effective immediately we are ceasing all maintenance, development and distribution of the Force Hax cheat menu services. We will be donating our proceeds to charity and we apologize for any and all problems Force Hax services have caused to the Grand Theft Auto Online community.”

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