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Blizzard is offering a third round of BlizzCon tickets, so don’t despair (yet)

Did you miss out on your last attempt at snagging BlizzCon 2017 tickets? Of course you did. Those things sell out faster than unicorn frappes (although not as fast as tickets to hunt Pokemon in a Chicago park, apparently). Anyway, the point is, you’re getting a third chance, coming at you on July 5th at 10 p.m. EDT.

“This third ticket sale will once again be hosted by Universe.com, and tickets are priced at $199 each (plus applicable taxes and fees),” says Blizz. “Until recently, we weren’t sure if the new hall at the Anaheim Convention Center would be ready in time for BlizzCon. Once we confirmed it would be, we worked quickly to determine how we’d use the space and how many more people we could accommodate while preserving the awesomeness of the BlizzCon experience.”

BlizzCon this year takes place on November 3rd and 4th.

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Ashes of Creation’s post-Kickstarter pledge store is live

Wallets at the ready, peeps: As promised, Ashes of Creation is following up its massive Kickstarter run with a more local, homegrown crowdfunding effort on its own website, live now.

“We’ve been hearing from the community that many couldn’t participate due to the payment limitations of Kickstarter,” writes Intrepid Studios. “In response to this, we came up with a campaign that benefits both new backers and those from the Kickstarter! This campaign will have new backer goals achievable by previous Kickstarter backers and new backers as they are unlocked.”

Pledges begin at $25 and run up to over $5000, with a whole ladder of rewards for all backers depending on how many gamers jump in. There’s even a trailer to talk you into the deal.

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E3 2017: Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida on Stormblood, design, and themeparks

Since there were so many early access issues with Stormblood, I figured I’d try to give you Final Fantasy XIV players a little something to chew on while Square-Enix smooths out the rough edges and handles today’s launch. Building on Massively OP’s Eliot Lefebvre’s recent interview with Naoki Yoshida/”Yoshi-P” at May’s Final Fantasy XIV event, we sat down again with him for a chat at this year’s E3. And while I haven’t personally spent nearly as much time in the game as a vet like Eliot, I’d heard that Yoshida was very much a gamer’s developer, so I was looking forward to talking with him about not just the game, but game design.

He did not disappoint.

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Anthem is the start of a ’10-year journey’ for EA and BioWare

At this point, when a game studio says it has a 10-year plan for its online game, do you believe it?

Perhaps unintentionally echoing Bungie just a few years prior, EA’s Patrick Söderlund told the Xbox crew at E3 that BioWare is indeed anticipating a decade-long run for its newly announced mutliplayer online action RPG Anthem.

“It’s a game that we’ve been working on for almost four years now, and it’s a game that […] once we launch it next year will be the start of, I think, maybe a 10-year journey for us.”

So, who’s putting money on Anthem 2 in 2021?

The EA interview segment begins at the 1:39:27 mark for those who want to hear the whole thing.

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PSA: Don’t get phished in Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is warning players about a “modest uptick in account thefts related to phishing,” according to a post on the official forums this weekend. ArenaNet’s Gaile Gray writes that the scammers are skipping out-of-game email and running their tricks inside the game itself.

“One of the more common phishing attempts today is coming from within the game,” she says. “The in-game message claims to come from ArenaNet or the Guild Wars 2 Team or it may be signed by someone who purports to be a member of our GM team.” Double-check that any mail you get in-game really is coming from ArenaNet (there’s gold text notifying you if it isn’t), click no links, and give out no personal information. Legit game companies don’t operate that way.

Locking down your account with the mobile authenticator is always a smart idea too. Yeah, it’s mildly annoying when your IP changes or you left your phone in your bag, but it’s a whole lot less annoying than having to beg customer service for the restoration of your hacked account.

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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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E3 2017: Elder Scrolls Online’s Matt Firor on Morrowind, nostalgia, and PvP

The Elder Scrolls Online released its first expansion, Morrowind, shortly before E3 2017. MMOs rarely come up with mainstream media, but with Morrowind’s nostalgia power, I heard the name mentioned a few times off the showroom floor. While I’d heard of Morrowind, of course, I didn’t personally get on the Elder Scrolls train until Skyrim — it’s been one of those games making “best of” lists for as long as I could remember. However, some of the things I’d read about the upcoming expansion gave me pause, so I brought them up with ZeniMax Game Director Matt Firor during our conversation at E3.

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Mark Kern will share Em-8ER’s design vision – for a price

Em-8ER, Mark Kern’s attempt at subverting game naming conventions (and also something about giant mechs), is launching its next limited fundraiser on Monday to finance the development of a few more features for the pre-pre-alpha version. The goals include the funding of the creation of a weapon system, more interactive frames, the first little slice of actual gameplay (on an ice field) and both male and female character pilots.

To give fans incentive to part with their money, Kern has posted a batch of perks that will be familiar to anyone who has seen a crowdfunding tier reward system. Some of these perks include a PDF of the game’s newly created vision book, 3-D printer toys, forum tags, mech skins, and name reservations.

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Betawatch: E3 2017 brings launch dates, new titles, and delays (June 16, 2017)

Oh, E3, always a magical time full of promises when some aren’t meant to be kept, some are meant to be kept but won’t be, and some actually will happen. Have fun guessing which is which!

Among the more pertinent announcements from this year’s convention are ARK: Survival Evolved launching on August 8th, Sea of Thieves delaying launch until 2018, and Destiny 2 launching early September and late October depending on platform. We’ve also got the new game Anthem on its way for 2018 and Monster Hunter World headed for consoles and PC, which is all cool.

Oh, and let’s not forget the announcements of Skull and Bones and The Crew 2. Or the Lawbreakers beta starting June 28th while launch is set for August 8th. Jeez. Is there even room for more beta news? Yes, but just a little.

Whew! Some title density in there, almost mirroring that of the list down below. You can still read the list, though, and if we missed something or a game has slipped into a new test phase, you can let us know in the comments.

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Massively Overthinking: The best MMOs and multiplayers of E3 2017

E3 is drawing to a close, with its reveals over and done with — all that’s left is processing our interviews and hands-on pieces. But in the meantime, we decided to take this week’s Overthinking to consider the field. MMORPGs haven’t shined brightly at E3 in a long time, so our expectations are usually low — the con is interesting to us more for what’s happening on the multiplayer front.

So that’s what we asked our staff: What’s the most interesting or grabby-hands MMO or MMO-ish thing from E3 this year? Which game would get your best in show and why? There’s also an extra bonus section on the con itself courtesy of our writer on the floor.

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Rockstar says it shut down Grand Theft Auto mod tool for enabling ‘malicious mods’

This week, the Grand Theft Auto V/Online community has been in absolute uproar over a cease-and-desist letter Rockstar and Take-Two sent to the operators of OpenIV, a modding tool that’s served the series’ community for almost 10 years.

“Take-Two’s actions were not specifically targeting single player mods,” Rockstar told PC Gamer. “Unfortunately OpenIV enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody. We are working to figure out how we can continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.”

Players have questioned this rationale since single-player mods are theoretically not available to play in GTAO. Rockstar has said it will not pursue players who used these tools, because duh.

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City of Titans on endgame, alting, PvP, business models, lockboxes, and whales

The first and most-backed City of Heroes successor City of Titans has a couple of dev pieces out this month answering questions posed to Missing Worlds Media this past spring. The Q&A itself is relatively brief, letting players know that powerset interactive effects (like team combos) are not on the table, minions will be customizable, the team is working on ways to thwart gold spammers and bots, PvP has a Rock Paper Scissors design goal, and the game is alt-centric but “won’t be ignoring endgame content.”

“Not only will there be content released for the entire level range throughout its lifetime, but we’ve designed several systems, both content centric and others, to enhance the experience of alting,” says the studio.

Last week, MWM told fans that City of Titans model will be a hybrid of a sub and free-to-play system, with an up-front cost that comes with complete access to the game and VIP status for a three months. It’ll also come with an optional subscription and a stipend of currency, dubbed Stars, for spending in the cash shop.

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World of Warcraft loses its lead PvP designer to another Blizzard project

The man who pushed for World of Warcraft’s PvP scene to become bigger and better than before is no longer leading the team. Lead PvP Designer Brian Holinka announced on the forums that he is leaving WoW to work on an unnamed Blizzard project.

“A few weeks ago, I was offered a new opportunity at Blizzard that I’m really excited about,” Holinka posted. “Tomorrow is my last day working on World of Warcraft. As a longtime player, I couldn’t be more excited about what the future has in store for World of Warcraft. In particular, the PvP team remains hard at work on some incredible plans. I fully expect that the best years of World of Warcraft PvP are ahead of us.”

Holinka thanked both fans and the company, saying that working on World of Warcraft was a “dream come true.” The rumor is that he has been snatched up by the internal team that’s creating a top-secret game or expansion for the studio.

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