The Stream Team: Hellion launches into Early Access today

How's Hellion? Massively OP's MJ is glad you asked! Because the space survival game just launched into Early Access today and she's flying in to check it out. The big question is will a lack of oxygen kill her more or less often than other players do? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see how well MJ survives in...

What: Hellion
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Friday, February 24th, 2017

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Gigantic's Eternal Dawn heralds the arrival of new hero Zandora

MOBA Gigantic has a new update live in the open beta this week: Eternal Dawn. The patch features the bizarrely pink new hero Zandora, and boy does she ever have a chip on her shoulder. No really.

"Eternal Dawn introduces a few high-impact changes to Gigantic and welcomes Zandora - a lance-wielding melee/support hybrid hero," says PWE. "As with our other major updates, we'll be releasing additional content each week: gradually adding new Champion of Aurion skins for Beckett, Vadasi, Voden, and Zandora, as well as a powerful new creature, the Storm Drake. If you're eager to play with all the new skins, hero, and creature right away, you can also unlock all the new content immediately by purchasing the Eternal Dawn bundle, which unlocks everything on day one at a huge discount to the total cost."

Beta players can also expect new honor bonus rewards for underdog matches, the guardian damage preview, and brand-new eternal light weapons, plus the usual smattering of balance tweaks. Check out the trailer below!

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Conan Exiles preps player modders, patches up modding fails

Conan Exiles' big dev blog out today ought to be a big help for gamers looking to run their own survival sandbox servers and tricking them out: It's all about building your own mods, which is basically like putting up a sign that says Bree, read me!

Existing mods can already be downloaded through the Steam Workshop, but if you want to make your own, Funcom says, you're going to need the dev kit, launcher, and UE4 editor -- piece of cake, right?

If you're not familiar with how Workshop works and are jumping in as a player, all you really need to know is that you'll be asked to download any mods the server is using as you're logging in, which is one of the rare modding advantages of running Workshop-capable games through Steam.

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Hi-Rez addresses the Paladins pay-to-win uproar

The Paladins community has been flipping tables this week over the game's new Legendary cards and Essence currency, which players argue are blatantly pay-to-win. Hi Rez's latest patch essentially nerfed gold grinding -- and therefore, the players' ability to save gold to simply buy what they want -- by handing out the new Essence instead of gold to players who receive duplicates in their reward chests. If you're sitting on a huge stock of gold and cards, you're fine, but newbies are finding that gold is almost worthless, RNG can wreck them, and Essence accrues too slowly to be of use. And as MMO players all know, when you can't compete without whipping out your credit card, the words "pay-to-win" aren't far behind.

Good news, though: Hi-Rez said late last night that it's working on the issue and will have some sort of update today, so you're not going to have to make good on those threats to go play Overwatch after all:

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Hearthstone gives a helping hand to arena mode

Hearthstone's arena is getting some much-needed love from the developers in the hopes that players will flock back to this game mode.

The biggest change in store for arena in Update 7.1 is the switch from wild format to standard. This is being done because arena was getting a little too wild, apparently: "Attempting to create decks that utilize these meaningful synergies in a wide and diluted card pool will become more and more difficult as the wild card pool grows larger."

But wait, that's not all! Arena will be tossing in a higher percentage of rare cards, pushing out more spell cards than before, holding back boring neutral classic cards, and including players' own golden card visuals if any are owned.

The update should be coming before the end of the month, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Path of Exile explains its rebalancing philosophy for patch 2.6

When The Fall of Oriath goes live, Path of Exile will undergo quite a bit of balance adjustment. But why wait until then? The upcoming patch 2.6 also features plenty of balance changes aimed at making less-attractive character builds more viable while also addressing certain imbalances found with existing builds. It should be easier for certain builds to covert physical damage to elemental damage, for example, while wholesale conversion of elemental damage to a different element will be made harder for other builds where the elemental properties of skills were almost entirely overwritten.

Unique items have also been rebalanced, along with one-handed weapons across the board; some leeching weapons have changed to life-on-hit for lower levels (where leech was almost useless) and one-handed weapons have generally been boosted in damage and utility. Area-of-effect increases have also been tuned down somewhat to avoid builds feeling as if they needed to have every possible point of area increase in order to be worthwhile. Check out the full list of changes; if you've been playing the game with any regularity, they'll probably have a big impact on what you do while smashing monsters.

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MechWarrior Online adds the Supernova, works on skill tree revamp

Glomping into MechWarrior Online this week is the brand-new Supernova, a fearsome beast of a machine with two weapon module slots and two consumable slots.

The Supernova is part of the February update, which also adds some cockpit items, renames the invasion game mode to simply "siege," auto-renews mercenary contracts, and makes a slew of faction play and 'mech adjustments and fixes.

Next on deck for the lobby brawler is a revamp to the skill tree. The team has been working on this for some time and is adjusting it based on player feedback from the test realm. "The biggest topic of discussion has undoubtedly been the economy of the skill tree system," the devs wrote. "Much of the feedback we received also centered on the relative balance of the skill tree and the structure and content of certain skill branches and skill nodes."

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Conan Exiles is bringing up new European servers, already looms over PAX East

Funcom announced today that it's found a partner to host its Conan Exiles servers in Europe: G-Portal.

"This week the remaining European servers for Conan Exiles have been going up one by one," says the studio. "We’ve already rolled a decent number of servers and the rest of them will be ready in a short while thanks to our new server partner! Servers will be popping up all over Europe, from west to east, so look for the ones with the best ping to find the one closest to you. The old Pingperfect servers will be brought up with the same name and server database as before, so players can jump right in to continue their adventure in the Exiled Lands."

Early this month, Funcom told players it was parting ways with its original server host, PingPerfect, and switched to Gameservers, which it believed would be better able to handle the apparently huge demand for the game. Then, last weekend, the studio abruptly region-locked official servers for the game, sending legitimate international communities into turmoil as replacement servers have been coming up slowly all week.

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Take a peek inside ARK Park with Snail's new hands-on video

Wanna see some dudes in socks and funny hats mess with dinosaurs? Yep, we've got that on tap thanks to ARK Park's new video, which includes first-person footage of players actually interacting inside of the VR game. It actually looks pretty darn amazing. Except to the people watching on and messing with the people behind the goggles, anyway.

First announced last November, ARK Park is Snail Games' and Studio Wilcard's Jurassic-era "immersive VR experience that brings you to a world where living, breathing dinosaurs are still roaming the earth" and where "players embark on an exciting tour of this ancient time, interacting [with] and witnessing hundreds of dinosaurs up-close and personal." Its' expected to launch on the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive later this year.

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Hellion's cinematic trailer cautions of the danger of space hijackers

In just two days' time, the airlock will open to Hellion's Steam early access launch. Before that happens, however, you might want to check out the official cinematic trailer to get an inkling of what you're getting yourself into if you pick up this title.

The trailer presents a cautionary tale about space hijacking, as a group of miners respond to a distress call that (spoiler!) is more of a trap than an actual cry for help. If nothing else, the trailer indicates what kind of antisocial behavior players might be able to do in Hellion when they decide that working with each other isn't as much fun as working each other over.

Check it out after the jump.

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We may have already known about Overwatch's next hero... for months

The next Overwatch hero is a quadraped Omnic named Anchora, and she appears to be a tank. This isn't a new announcement, though; it's from a leak that's months old. The question is whether or not it's accurate, and at the time of the leak, it certainly didn't seem accurate. Then again, at the time of the leak we also didn't have an interview with a robotics prodigy talking about her next project, so that certainly changes the evaluation.

The leak successfully forecasted the Lunar New Year event and the accompanying Mei skin, as well as going into more detail on Mei's origin story. It is, of course, a leak rather than an official announcement, so it could prove to be completely incorrect. But if the next hero really is scuttling around on all fours, perhaps we shouldn't be all that surprised after all.

Source: Reddit via VG24/7

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Tragedy strikes during World of Tanks livestream

This is the sort of story that we never like seeing here at Massively OP. During a 24-hour charity livestream, a World of Tanks Twitch player left the room for a short break and then apparently passed away while off camera.

Polygon reports that the police arrived at the home of 35-year-old Brian Vigneault, where they found him unresponsive. Fans discovered that this happened when a police detective used Vigneault's Discord chat to inform the community about his death. Vigneault had been well-known for his frequent charity livestreams and in fact had been participating in one when he died. There was no cause of death stated; though the death was being investigated by the homicide unit, the department said there was no reason to suspect foul play.

Wargaming issued a short statement in response: "Wargaming is saddened to hear of the loss of streamer and tanker Brian Vigneault, AKA 'PoShYbRiD,' a devoted player of World of Tanks and contributor to the Make-A-Wish foundation. We offer our most sincere condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Source: Polygon

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Overwatch drops a hint about its next hero

The speculation about Overwatch's next hero is going to keep running for a while, but there are some signs that we may have more going on than we thought. For starters, fans were told that the next hero may very well not be what you think, and a new piece of fiction offers further hints about what's coming next. It's an interview with a child robotics prodigy, an 11-year-old girl who has received an (in-universe) grant to further her research on robotics and AI.

Efi Oladele seems like a pretty typical young girl with an interest in robots, and she's also located right in Numbani... which you may remember from other speculation as being the current home of the eponymous Doomfist, which appears to have been stolen. So we've got Terry Crews going to Blizzard's headquarters, a missing Doomfist, and a robotic prodigy. Care to assemble the pieces, fans?

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