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Here’s the stuff we’d never heard of before we covered it for the first time here. You wanted bleeding edge… here it is! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

PAX East 2017: Talking Conan Exiles on the show floor with Funcom

If you're a fan of Funcom and the games it makes, Conan Exiles probably has you breathing a bit easier than you have in a while. It's an indisputable success for the developers, who have been in a difficult financial situation for the past several years. Now they've got a pretty big hit on their hands, big enough to take out a sizable booth on the PAX East show floor to demonstrate the harsh survival of the game.

I had a chance to chat with some of the Funcom staff on site as well as an opportunity to play the game a bit myself. (Although that was mostly an exercise in getting gored by rhinos and eaten by alligators, so MJ is probably the better source of information on the game mechanics.) They revealed to me just how big of a success the game has actually been for Funcom, hitting its twelve-month sales goal in 30 days. That's significant however you slice it, especially when you're discussing a buy-to-play game rather than a subscription setup.

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Infinite Universe distills all of space onto mobile

In the video game space race between the USA and Russia, who will win? It looks like the competition is heating up, as the Russians have captured the vastness of space itself and distilled it into a mobile MMO. Your move, America.

Maybe we're overselling this new title a wee bit. Infinite Universe is a mobile space strategy MMO for Android and iOS that's big on exclamation points: "Take part in space battles and conquer the galaxy! Declare your rights to space territories, take control over new star systems destroying enemy stations and fleets! Build and upgrade your space station and ships and improve theirs combat power!"

Infinite Universe has been in open beta since last November. You can check out some of the gameplay and brush up on your Russian with the following videos.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda will have free DLC expansions

Worried about getting bored with Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer component? If it's anything like the previous game in the series, it should be robust, but eventually the maps and abilities will get a bit stale... but much like its predecessor, you can count on getting free DLC periodically to keep the multiplayer feeling fresh. There will be no multiplayer season pass or anything of the sort, either, so you can just jump in and enjoy each new multiplayer update as it happens.

There's no firm announcements on how many multiplayer DLC releases will happen, although Mass Effect 3 had a total of five large multiplayer updates. Players will be able to pick up lockboxes through play or by dropping a couple of dollars, but it won't be mandatory to progress through the game. The game launches on March 21st, with an early trial version available on March 16th including both multiplayer and single-player gameplay.

Source: Gamepsot

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Revelation Online soft launch is here! Check out our roundup and trailer

Revelation Online is officially official this morning, having soft launched into a no-wipe beta this morning. It's old hat to you folks who bought early access packs, and you can still do that if you're so inclined, but now everyone can jump into the import for free.

We've rounded up the launch trailer and all of our coverage to date below. Happy launch day!

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Cloud Pirates has arrived on Steam early access

Cloud Pirates officially flew into early access on Steam yesterday, bringing its quirky blend of Allods Online dirigibles and MOBA combat to the platform. The game has been in general early access since early February, but now we're in Steam early access. Clear? Great.

My.com asks $9.99 US for the base game, $49.99 for the Admiral Pack, and $59.98 for both together, so at the bottom it's a pretty cheap buy-in.

The latest content in the game is the 1.1 Goldrush update, which includes a convey mode where players guide their flying ore convoy along a route while being attack by enemy players. Check out the trailer and MJ's last playthrough below!

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Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Wildlands launches next week

If you're a fan of The Division and Ubisoft, you've probably already got your eye on Ghost Recon Wildlands, yet another entry in the ubiquitous Tom Clancy franchise. It's been labeled a tactical shooter, but gamers comfortable with calling games like Destiny MMOs will be at home in four-man multiplayer mode, particularly given that it features one of the studio's biggest open worlds ever, thanks to the gorgeous deserts of Bolivia being used as backdrop.

The game is launching for PC, PS4, and Xbox One next week on March 7th, though the game's open beta just closed down, hence the buzz (which is mostly positive, mind you, though folks are side-eyeing performance on console). Are you giving it a go?

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Sparc is CCP's new non-EVE VR sports simulator, due out 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I was puzzling over the fact that besides a few golfing and racing games, we don't have many sports games inside the MMORPG genre -- we leap right from sandbox sport fishing to full-scale murder with little in-between.

I dunno whether CCP's new VR venture will count, since it's multiplayer but not MMO exacty, but it's definitely in the ballpark, pun intended: It's called Sparc, and the MMO studio is calling it a "unique virtual sport" where "players connect online to compete with each other in fast and fun full-body VR gameplay." Unlike CCP's other games, this one won't be set in the EVE Online universe in any way.

"Sparc's skill-based, full-body gameplay makes for a fast-paced and fun physical sport. Players use their motion controllers to throw projectiles at their opponents from a distance, and in turn defend themselves by dodging, blocking, or deflecting the incoming attacks. Players can join one-on-one matches with friends online or find opponents via matchmaking. Sparc enables players to connect and compete in an online community. [...] Sparc includes multiple two-player game modes as well as single-player challenges and training modes, plus a range of customization and personalization options for competitors."

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MMO Mechanics: 2017's take on the sandbox MMO

I am finding it hard to believe that we are two months into 2017 already, especially since I've had so many pressing Guild Chat submissions recently that I haven't had a chance to turn my hand back to MMO Mechanics in all that time! As an introduction to a new year, I usually like to include a predictions column that summarises my perspective on how I believe mechanics will change over the following twelve months, but I don't feel as though the 2016 trends I mentioned have died out yet and wish to instead focus on the sustained emphasis on sandbox MMO development with strong holistic, character developing mechanics.

In this edition of MMO Mechanics, I'm going to talk about some upcoming MMOs and the non-combat, realistic, and technical mechanics added into the 2017 sandbox mix. Although I can't guarantee that the titles I mention below will actually release this year, each of them has enough solid development behind them to make a 2017 release at least probable; besides, even if these titles don't release in the next ten months, they will still bear the hallmarks of the state of the modern sandbox MMO and are worth noting. Add your thoughts on the common threads you're finding in 2017's planned MMO mechanics in the comments: I'm sure to miss several key mechanics development trends in this non-exhaustive list.

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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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The Stream Team: The Exiled's Early Access launch

Every new game looks forward to That Day. The day of launch! And now The Exiled, formerly known as Das Tal, has reached its first launch date. OK, so maybe it is Early Access, but in the MMOverse, EA is becoming the new launch. And it means the game opens up to more players to check it out. Massively OP's MJ has peeked in and played this PvP survival sandbox a number of times, and she's interested to see how it has fleshed out. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for a launch look at...

What: The Exiled
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

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Ship of Heroes posts a Kickstarter countdown on its main page

Whenever we here bring news about a new indie title, there's always at least one person asking in the comments about when the Kickstarter is starting. It's not even cynical at this point, just a predictable eventuality. Of course, usually the answer to that question is unclear, since most teams announce the Kickstarter date around the same time the Kickstarter actually starts. Ship of Heroes has opted instead to launch a Kickstarter countdown on its main page, so you can see exactly how long it will be before the game launches its Kickstarter project.

As of this writing, there's a bit over a month left on the countdown timer, although the lack of any official announcements about the timer may or may not indicate that it's an intentionally long period. I suppose we'll see in about 40 days after this writing, yes? It's something to mark your calendars for, at least.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Elderan for the tip!

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Age of Wushu 2's days are for getting thirsty, but its nights are for assassination

Development continues on Age of Wushu 2, and the game is going to make you think about the time. Is it late at night in the game world? That's going to be dangerous for you. Fewer NPCs are active during the night, more hungry beasts will be on the prowl, and perhaps most importantly it's the perfect time to slip into something dark to stab people to death. That's not even counting your limited visibility. You would do well to be cautious during the night.

So you'd rather just be active during the day, then? That's much brighter, yes, but it has its own downside, because the hot sun is beating down on you and making you thirsty. Yes, you're going to need to keep an eye on your hydration needs, and that's before you have your usual mid-day snack of a handful of salt. So no matter what time of day it may be, you can rest assured that it has some way of making your in-game life just a little bit more difficult.

Source: MMO Culture

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Valve is working on three VR titles, feeling effects of travel ban

Valve's Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson have confirmed that the company is working on a trio of VR-centric games, not cheapie experiments but full-scale games built in Unity and its own proprietary Source 2 engine. The discussion came as part of a press briefing in Seattle last night.

Newell also commented at length on the U.S. government's travel ban, which was once again blocked by the courts yesterday. He explained that Valve employees have been directly affected by the ban, people who've "been here for years" and "pay taxes" but can't leave the country to visit relatives or attend events overseas lest they become unwittingly entangled or trapped far from home.

Newell and Johnson further said that the ban (and the threat of its return in one form or another) also affects their ability to hire and their ability to host international e-sports competitions, as many pro players already had difficulty securing work visas. Consequently, the duo say they'd consider hosting the big-money Dota 2 The International tourney out of the U.S. if necessary.

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