The Stream Team: Sequestering an ARK squid

If you thought taming an ARK dino by letting it steal from you was different, get a load of this: taming by blood sacrifice. The way to tame a giant squid of your own is to feed it sacrificial dinos while shoving black pearls up its maw. So that's what Massively OP's MJ and the team is set to do. They're going to plumb the depths to find and tame their very own squid. That, or die trying. (The latter part is fairly likely.) Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to see us go under the sea!

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Enjoy the show!

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The Stream Team: A first look at Worlds Adrift

What on earth is Worlds Adrift? Now is your chance to see; Massively OP's MJ has access to the alpha and she's bringing you along for her first look. Can she survive her first encounters? And just what exactly will she encounter? Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. as OPTV's infamous Stream Team brings you an alpha peek at...

What: Worlds Adrift
Who: Name
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 20th, 2017

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Funcom announces $29.99 price for Conan Exiles, posts 'domination' trailer

Update down at the bottom -- Funcom just announced the game will run $29.99 in early access.

If giant squid, oversized snakes, or massive automatoi are among your phobias, seriously, don't watch this Conan Exiles video. It kicks off with a bit about the critters that are planning to kill you, the awful things they're going to do to your corpse, the weapons you'll be using to fight back, and how you'll get revenge by pulling down castles and taking slaves.

"In Conan Exiles, everything is out there to get you," Lead Designer Oscar Lopez Lacalle says, "but the most dangerous enemy is other Exiles."

If you say so, Lacalle. Our money's on that Avatar of Yog and his tentacles.

The new vid and infographic are below. Conan Exiles hits early access later this month.

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Pokémon Go made $950 million in 2016, but players aren't walking as much

There's no doubt that last year was phenomenal for Pokémon Go, as the popular app racked up an astounding $950 million in revenue by the end of 2016.

A study by App Annie credited Pokémon Go's success to the combination of simple mechanics, social features, AR gameplay, and the popularity of the Pokémon franchise. "To put Pokémon Go’s success in a broader perspective, its global consumer spend in 2016 exceeded the total worldwide box office gross of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice," the study said.

One of the touted benefits of the augmented reality game is how it got players moving. According to Niantic, collectively players logged 8.7 billion kilometers walked so far. However, a study in a British medical journal found that while most players started out by walking much more in the first week of play, by week six they were back to their old habits and any health benefits from the game were negated.

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Check out the technology behind Ark Park

If you're old enough to remember the first Jurassic Park film, you probably remember the lengthy and involved explanation it gave about the technology that fueled the park's dinosaur recreation. Ark Park has plenty of technology fueling its creation as well, but unlike the aforementioned movie, it's all real technology that can actually work. Seriously, you can see it all in action in a video just past the break.

Obviously, the down side here is that this experience will not bring actual dinosaurs around to stomp about in front of you. The up side, however, is that even if all of this technology fails to work you will not be eaten by any dinosaurs. (You may be eaten by dinosaurs in Ark: Survival Evolved, but that's the name of the game.) Plus, it's not Jurassic World, so that's another mark in its favor. Check the video out just below.

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Perfect Ten: The MMOs with the most unclear futures in 2017

A little while back, I took a look at the healthiest games in the MMO space at this time. That was a nice, uplifting list, wasn't it? And all of those titles continue to do just fine, even if one or two might have had a few bits of shocking news along the way.

Unfortunately, this is not an industry in which health is assured. Games can be high-quality and beloved, but they can still be shut down by outside forces. And that's not counting games that just come out in the wrong time period or launch in an unrecoverable state.

That may sound grim, but we're already staring at the first two shutdowns of 2017 in the near future, and both of the titles being killed are surprises. One of them might have wound up on this list if it weren't being shut down, but at this point, it is. So let's look at the MMOs with the most unclear futures and start hoping for the best.

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Overwatch heralds the Year of the Rooster event

In a pair of short teasers, Blizzard announced its next in-game event for Overwatch: Year of the Rooster.

This Chinese New Year-themed event is kicking off next week on January 24th. "Good luck and great fortune await!" Blizzard said. The teasers showed two Chinese-themed skins for Mei and D.Va, with Mei holding red-and-gold cards that might be hinting at random "fortune" rewards.

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World of Warships gets guilds and new XP system, World of Tanks gets movie vehicles

World of Warships is rolling out its big 0.6.0 update today, complete with a ton of new commander skills, a new guild system called clans, graphical tweaks, balance changes, and its new XP type and scaling system, which you should definitely read up on, as Elite Commander XP and Free XP aren't spent the same way.

"Right now, every Commander has a maximum XP value. No Commander in the game can earn more XP than the amount of XP needed to earn 19 Skill Points. To become an Elite Commander, the Commander must earn the maximum amount of XP -- enough to earn 19 Skill Points. All XP earned over that value becomes Elite Commander XP. Elite XP is a new type of in-game currency. Elite XP does not accumulate on any single Commander but is stored in a common pool of Elite Commander XP on your account."

Meanwhile, over in tankland, Wargaming is touting the World of Tanks console re-addition of the Tiger 131 and Sherman Fury, both of which you've probably bumped into before if you ever saw the Brad Pitt-led movie Fury.

Videos for both updates are below!

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The Stream Team: Crashing on Osiris: New Dawn for a first look

What's a good way for Massively OP's MJ to test out her death counter? By playing a survival game! And there just happens to be another new survival game in the making she's eager to check out -- Osiris: New Dawn. Can MJ stay alive long enough after crash landing on a toxic planet to make a a new ship and head back into space? Or will she have to be content with making a new life for herself on the inhospitable world? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to learn these answers to these questions.

What: Osiris: New Dawn
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

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Transformers Online is Overwatch with robots

In a perfect world, we'd already be playing a true Transformers MMORPG and enjoying every minute of customizable robots, on-the-go transformations, and roleplaying as slow-witted mechanical dinosaurs. Alas, our faulty world has yet to cough up such a game, and so we're left looking from afar at China's Transformers Online, which as MMO Culture notes, is really just a team shooter like Overwatch, only with much less personality.

Still, if you're curious how the game functions, you can check out the following videos smuggled out from Transformers Online's closed beta test 3. Players can choose several match modes to experience, including capture the flag, team deathmatch, and escort the payload. Because if there's one thing that all gamers love, it's escorting things!

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Overwatch explains the goal of the PTR to players, and it's not about balance

D. Va has taken a bit of a drubbing in the most recent Overwatch patch on the test server. Her guns do less damage and her armor is decreased; she's shooting more bullets and has more health to compensate, but she's still become squishier. The resultant outrage has led to a video response from game director Jeff Kaplan explaining that the test realm isn't really about testing balance, but about testing whether or not the game crashes into a buggy mess after five seconds of play.

That's not to say the developers don't care about balance on the PTR, of course; it's just not their primary focus, and given the small percentage of players who jump into testing, that feedback may or may not bear out once changes go live. The most important focus is making sure that all of the parts of the patch work without causing unexpected crashes or exploit-worthy bugs. So if you're wondering why your brilliant dissertation on D. Va's nerfing has gone without a proper response, there's your answer. You can see Kaplan's full response just below.

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ARK modders fight over Pokémon projects

Gotta catch 'em all... unless we're talking about Pokémon mods for ARK: Survival Evolved, in which case there might only be one in the end.

So yes, a player team created a mod called Pokemon Evolved that replaced ARK's dinos for Pokémon, which weirdly fits ARK's tame, ride, and fight format. The only problem is that there was already a Pokemon mod out there called ARKMon, which apparently did not take kindly to the competition. Someone associated with ARKMon (a fan or one of the modders) hit Pokemon Evolved with a DCMA claim, which the latter protested.

The issue might already be resolved, as the DCMA notice was lifted from Pokemon Evolved's Steam Workshop page after five days, and the team is claiming victory. If nothing else, this spat brought two interesting mods to the spotlight, giving players a choice for their survival Squirtles and prehistoric Pikachus.

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Conan Exiles clarifies PvE and PvP rulesets, server wipes

Last week, Funcom explained that Conan Exiles will have multiple rulesets for PvE and PvP: purist, relaxed, hardcore, roleplay, experimental, and random, in official and player-run flavors. In response to player concerns, the studio now says it'll offer more -- and will change up how wipes of these servers work.

"We understand your concerns and we've been listening. As a result of your feedback we’ve decided to include three types of official servers to accommodate both preferences: PvP servers, PvE servers and PvP Blitz servers. These settings will only apply to official servers. Admins are free to choose whatever settings they want on unofficial servers. The regular official PvP and PvE servers will not be wiped. The PvP Blitz servers will provide an accelerated experience, but will reset after 30 days. This ensures that players on PvP Blitz servers will be able to experience everything Conan Exiles has to offer before their progression is reset. PvP Blitz servers will be tagged in the server description so you can easily differentiate them from the regular PvP and PvE servers."

And the studio has once again noted that custom, player-run shards can have a wide combination of settings from the rulesets, including accelerated progression.

Source: Reddit

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