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Siltbreaker, the first chunk of Dota 2’s co-op PvE campaign, is now live

It seems co-op multiplayer campaigns are the thing for MOBAs to do lately, if SMITE and Master X Master and Dota 2 are any judge, bringing the whole MMO and ARPG industry full circle. Dota 2’s attempt at adding PvE content into games built around PvP arena battles launched this week, in fact. Act I: Siltbreaker is live now and includes loot and de facto achievements and ranks.

“Each playthrough of this campaign offers the chance to earn in-game Artifacts that can be used each time you play the campaign during the Battle Pass season. Comprised of all-new items to the Dota universe, Artifacts are mythic objects of power that can be equipped in your inventory as you progress through the challenges of the campaign. […] As you battle through multiple play zones in search of Rhyzik, you’ll earn completion stars based on your performance level. The first time you complete a zone with one or two stars will net you Battle Points rewards, and delivering a three-star zone performance will grant a treasure from Siltbreaker himself.”

It’s not technically a free update; you’ll need to own Valve’s Battle Pass to access it, which’ll set you back about 10 bucks. Act II: A Vault in the Deep is slated to release in July.

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One Shots: Walk of shame

From Zulika Mi-Nam’s Adventures in Tale of Toast:

  1. Log into a game to do some play testing.
  2. “Hey, look at these cutsie graphics and those childlike animations!”
  3. Kill some level 1 and level 2 bunnies rabbits and some loot drops right on the ground from time to time.
  4. Find a treasure chest with a level 5 baddie guarding it.
  5. Make that baddie chase me around a tree and out run him back to that chest and loot it and get away: “Haha this is easy and I got a badass level 5 sword… gonna save that for later.”
  6. Go to town sell my trash loot and head back out.
  7. Take on a level 3 mushroom: “Pfft no problem.”
  8. Gonna go for this level 4 bat: “Woah this could go either way… depends on who lands the next hit….yah! Loot sound! Wait, he is bouncing away… I’m dead… then what was that loot?”
  9. Respawns and looks at inventory: “That… that was the sword I was saving, and it is just laying out there on the ground now.”
  10. Do the walk of shame to retrieve my sword and turn to shake my childlike fist at that bat. “I’ll be back! You… you fooled me with your cutsieness.”

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Camelot Unchained is chasing ‘a game to be proud of, not a minimum viable product’

Is beta one here yet? Nooooope. But Camelot Unchained continues barreling down the track toward it, as outlined in its latest weekly update. City State’s Tyler Rockwell explains that the devs are… watching you. “Rob even co-opted a wall-mounted TV in the office, so he can work while he watches performance changes as players interact with buildings,” he writes. You’re famous!

The team’s also been working on siege engines, player damage improvements, bots (expect a name change on those too, so no more “I like big bots” jokes), ability effects, and gear performance. On the art side, there’s been progress on polearm animations, the interface, helmets, torches, docks, and nodes.

This weekend’s alpha should be focusing on VFX, archery, crafting, and buildings. “We want to focus as much time as possible on the most important goal of the studio right now: getting into Beta 1 with a game that we can be proud of, and not a Minimum Viable Product,” Rockwell reassures players. The weekly wrap-up plus a few other new images and videos are below.

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MapleStory drops a trailer for its June and July Override updates

Nexon’s wildly popular sidescrolly MMO MapleStory is gearing up for two new updates this summer that’ll “allow players to strengthen their characters with new job skills, fight in new areas and travel to a new planet.”

The first, coming in June and dubbed Override: Evolve, opens up 5th job advancement skills for all classes, updates the Legion System, and retools the Omega Sector with new maps and a new boss.

The July entry, Override: Venture, sends players to the planet of Eluna for mining (joy!) and adds a new area called Arcana that revolves around the spirit tree.

Check out the new pics and trailer down below!

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World of Warcraft pulls the trigger on class mounts

Ready, set, go get those class mounts, you World of Warcraft fanatics! The studio has unlocked the ability to get these highly desired class-specific mounts, and now there’s nothing standing in your way to get one. Other than a mountain of achievements, of course.

“Your new mount is a status symbol that tells the world you’ve put everything you have into defeating the Burning Legion,” said Blizzard. “To claim your mount, first complete the achievement ‘Breaching the Tomb’, on the Broken Shore, then head back to your Order Hall. You’ll be rewarded, as befits a hero like yourself, with a mount that confirms your status as a paragon of your class.”

Take a look at all 12 class mounts below and let us know in the comments which one you think is the best!

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Guild Wars 2’s WvW update and the first chunk of the ‘Competitive Feature Pack’ are live

As announced at the tail end of May, ArenaNet is spending June upgrading Guild Wars 2’s PvP scene, beginning with today’s update, which patches up the sadly neglected world-vs.-world content and is live now.

ArenaNet has previously explained that its goal with the so-named “June 2017 Competitive Feature Pack” is to encourage players to actually skirmish in WvW, egged on with copious skirmish rewards. “The Match Overview tab under the WvW UI has been reworked to include a new Skirmish reward track, similar to the PvP Leagues track,” the studio wrote last week. “This track is progressed by earning pips, just like in structured PvP, and will grant rewards when tiers and divisions are crossed. However, this track will reset weekly.” Pips accrued depend on your rank, your world position, your group status, your underdog status, and how long you’ve been attached to your current world.

Expect plenty of WvW-related goodies and tickets to buy uber gear through the reward track. As for the rest of the month, PvP League returns a week from today, followed by automated tournaments the week after that.

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind is finally here! Watch the new launch trailer

The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind not-an-expansion has formally launched today for PC and even on console, where those of you who couldn’t participate in the head start have surely been patiently waiting.

ZeniMax’s Matt Firor has thanked players, especially beta testers. “This new Chapter in The Elder Scrolls Online saga brings more than just a new, open world to explore,” he writes in today’s producer’s letter. “We are introducing the Warden (the game’s first brand-new class since launch), a brand new PvP game mode with Battlegrounds, and a new, challenging Trial with the Halls of Fabrication. As I have said many times, ESO is designed to give players the freedom to play the way that they want to play. We began building this experience by removing the barriers to exploration in the One Tamriel update last year, and we’ve further built upon that concept in ESO: Morrowind, which features PvE, PvP, and even solo-focused content.”

There’s also a tease in there for future content and E3. “The world of Tamriel is only going to get bigger,” he says.

We’ve got the new trailer, our pre-launch streams, and a full roundup of all our Morrowind content to date down below. Read quickly, Outlander, or go away!

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Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott on launch and philosophy following equity crowdfunding announcement

Last week during its seasonal telethon, Shroud of the Avatar’s lead developers surprised watchers by announcing an equity crowdfunding campaign that allows players and other parties to invest directly in the game.

To try to glean more information about the state of the company and the decision to launch this year, we fired off an interview to Portalarium’s Richard Garriott. But one extremely tricky (and frustrating for everyone) issue that crops up with these equity crowdfunding interviews is that the SEC has implemented strict rules for what studios can talk about, meaning they are not legally allowed to discuss deal terms with the press. In fact, if we mention specific deal terms of their campaign in this interview, we can get them in trouble, which is obviously not our goal here. For example, we asked additional questions about the company’s financial position, who has invested in it, what happens to Portalarium if the investor round fails to meet its minimum, whether the game’s income is currently covering its costs, and how the game’s valuation was determined, but Garriott couldn’t answer in fear of running afoul of SEC regulations.

So we’ve proceeded with what we can discuss, and investors can ask questions in public on SeedInvest where everything is posted in accordance with the law.

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One Shots: The 3:15 giant flea is on time

When it comes to public transportation, I can think of no better way to get from point A to point B than by climbing up seven stories and latching myself onto the back of a giant flea who may or may not have my best intentions at heart. Oh wait. I can totally think of a zillion better ways.

But that’s just how it is in Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind. Zulika Mi-Nam revisited his old stomping grounds and had this to share: “I spent a lot of time in it about 15 years ago, so the whole place is full of memories. Balmora here is where I spent the most time. I think this is a good interpretation so far — and the best part is the cliff racers aren’t as big of a PITA.”

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar’s equity crowdfund (June 3, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter came to a close with $3.2M and nearly 20,000 backers, making it the biggest MMORPG Kickstarter to date. Backers — and would-be backers who didn’t jump into the Kickstarter — should take a peek at the game’s latest update, which outlines the backer awards for everyone as crowdfunding continues this month on the official site. Intrepid does note that there won’t be any stretch goals, however, to avoid “scope creep.”

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar surprised its players this week by announcing on its seasonal fundraising livestream that it’s pitched a $2M equity crowdfunding campaign to raise money ahead of the game’s formal launch, which is happening this year. (Stay tuned for more on this Monday!)

Plus, Elite Dangerous is awash in Thargoid sightings (thanks, Kinya!), OrbusVR previewed the Ranger, Crowfall patched up ahead of this weekend’s pre-alpha testing, and Grim Dawn sold its millionth copy.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Camelot Unchained’s backer-modders are tricking out its test interface

“No one said making an MMO was simple,” City State Entertainment’s Tyler Rockwell quips in this weekend’s Camelot Unchained newsletter. He writes that the team continues its work on siege firing and ammo, particle performance, seamless zone transitioning, metrics, animations, polearms, and siege engine VFX, plus a temporary crafting UI built not by the team but by a modder.

“One of our Mod Squad Backers, Mehuge, has been working on a temporary Beta 1 UI for crafting,” Rockwell says. “This will replace our current slash commands. The first pass was great, illustrating how lucky we are to have Backers working with us on the game.”

CSE is anticipating a small test this weekend as well. Check out the new art and Mark Jacob’s weekly recap video below too!

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Cross-platform social sandbox MMO Pixel Worlds comes to PC next week

Tired of cutthroat guild politics, giant epaulets, and lens flare in big budget MMOs? Point your eyeballs instead at Pixel Worlds, a game Finnish dev Kukouri is calling a “social sandbox MMO.” It’s porting over from mobile (where it apparently has a million players) to Steam for PC and Mac players next week on June 9th. And yep, it boasts cross-platform support.

The trailer gives a cutesy overview of the type of pixelized sandbox content players can engage in, from building and exploring platform race levels to farming and trading.

“In Pixel Worlds players join the ever expanding pixel universe by creating their own worlds using hundreds of different building blocks and materials. In total there are already close to a 1000 items ranging from furniture to clothing items, with more added in updates every few weeks. The game economy is run by the players themselves, meaning there are no fixed prices nor limits and trading is done while bartering through the in-game chat system in player-designed marketplaces. Players are free to explore other worlds, create platformer levels for others to play and participate in Live Events in order to win some in-game goodies.”

Check out the PC launch trailer — anyone ever tried this on mobile?

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Neverwinter announces Tomb of Annihilation expansion for July 25

If you’re a Dungeons and Dragons fan, you may have already been watching the “Stream of Annihilation” on Twitch this afternoon. But if you’re an MMORPG fan as well, you’re getting some extra goodies because Neverwinter is included in the fun: PWE and Cryptic have just announced the Tomb of Annihilation “marquee expansion for 2017” for the game.

“Neverwinter’s Harpers seek to end the wickedness of a new death curse on the jungle peninsula of Chult, sending adventurers on an expedition to a land infested with Yuan-ti, undead and dinosaurs. Beginning at the new social hub of Port Nyanzaru, adventurers will explore various regions of Chult to uncover the evil behind the curse annihilating the people of Faerûn. Adventurers can team up with old friends Minsc, Boo, Celeste, the famed explorer Volothamp Geddarm, and an unexpected ally. The twelfth expansion to Neverwinter brings new content including a Tomb of Annihilation campaign, end-game dungeon, monster hunts with the legendary Volo, a jungle adventure zone inhabited by dinosaurs and social hub for weary travelers.”

Expect the expansion out on July 25th for PC (later for console as always). Enjoy the trailer!

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