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The Stream Team: Back to the Egyptian sandbox in Secret World Legends

The show is over now, but we’ve embedded it here just for you. Don’t forget to check out past streams and playlists posted to our videos collection!

Even though Massively OP’s MJ rushed ahead through Secret World Legends’ main story so she wouldn’t miss out on Krampusnacht lore, there’s still much story to experience within the zones! She has so much to do in Egypt, so she’s heading back to that giant sandbox to continue finding bosses, doing missions, and collecting lore. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for some adventures in the bright sun.

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 18th, 2018

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EVE Online’s upwell structures get a wellness upgrade

Some of EVE Online’s player-built space platforms — known as upwell structures — are getting a massive upgrade in the game’s upcoming February update. This Upwell Structures 2.0 is a “significant” package of improvements that should be on the test servers soon.

So what do these changes and improvements contain? CCP outlined four pillars of the new upwell structure design: different power modes, a vulnerability and reinforcement system, a major structure combat overhaul, and moon mining in wormhole space and some highsec systems. There are also numerous smaller tweaks in the works for these platforms, like properly displaying damage messages, a short “fitting invulnerable” state during deployment, and riskier asset safety settings.

And because this is EVE Online, you shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a flowchart associated with these structures and their new status states. We’ve got it for you below, and we guarantee it will be the most exciting flow chart you read all day.

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Dauntless maps out its feedback-inspired plans for early 2018

Dauntless is doubtless eyeing Monster Hunter World’s launch at the end of the month with trepidation, but the plucky indie dev team is forging ahead with its own take on the genre. That’s the gist of the letter the Phoenix Labs team posted to the community on Reddit earlier this week, anyway.

Of note, the studio says it’s working on a number of systems in the short- and long-term thanks to player feedback, including hunt modifiers, better events, beards, bulk crafting, new hunt and exploration activities, war pike tweaks, better cells, better grouping tools, improved multi-behemoth hunts, and less-annoying bleed damage. Oh, and the tutorial is getting love.

“Based upon the questions we see from players across platforms, data that we’ve gathered from your play time, and our eyes-on experience at PAX — we know that we’ve got some work to do when it comes to teaching the ropes in Dauntless. We’re excited to dig into this process!”

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Hearthstone has three more free card packs for you

It is hard being you, what with all of the freebies being tossed in your direction by the goblins at Hearthstone. First there were three free card packs handed out earlier this month due as compensation for bugs, and now there are several login rewards to celebrate this Hearthstone World Championship.

So to get these free packs, you’ll need to log into the game once a day for three days in a row. Each day, you will get a free pack from a different recent expansion. Pretty simple stuff.

The HCT World Championship is running from January 18th through the 21st, with a million dollar prize pool that will be distributed amongst the top 16 competitors. This will mark the conclusion of the Hearthstone Championship Tour and the game’s Year of the Mammoth. You can watch the championship live below!

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RIFT announces ‘prime’ subscription-only server for spring 2018

Challenge servers are so last year. It’s 2018, and RIFT is changing course with its idea for a fresh start by creating a server for this spring called RIFT Prime.

In Trion Worlds’ state of the game post for the MMO, the studio said that discussion and feedback over the challenge server idea led to a slightly different tack, which is to make a fresh start server with a different business model (no lockboxes and a smaller store presence), accelerated progress, monthly milestones, special rewards that carry over to other servers, and an “end” to the server’s run at a designated date.

“We have the opportunity to experiment with this fresh RIFT server using an oft-requested subscription model and progressively unlocked content,” Trion said. “Our goal for RIFT Prime is to provide the experience that many of you have requested: no lockboxes, a significantly reduced store with more of the current store-based items obtained through gameplay (or removed entirely) — plus the excitement of sequential progression through RIFT’s content with monthly milestones and achievements.”

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Magic: The Gathering Arena’s business model stands on a ‘simple idea’ of universal access

“We want everyone to be able to experience Magic: The Gathering.”

Upon this “simple idea” Wizards of the Coast is building Magic: The Gathering Arena’s business model, which could quickly be summed up as free-to-play that gives players a choice of time or money as a way to progress. By earning gold (in-game currency) or purchasing gems (RMT currency), players can purchase card packs, access events, and open up “The Vault,” a special treasure trove with secret rewards.

Wizards said that it is structuring the game’s economy based on a few principles: “Make our players’ valuable time as fun as possible; players need a variety of cards to have the most fun, so reward them with as many as possible; and make sure players can get the specific cards they want.”

Magic: The Gathering Arena went into beta testing last month with the eventual goal of releasing an online card game that will mirror the physical set releases and be more accessible to the general gaming public.

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Multiplayer survival sandbox Memories of Mars targets spring 2018 early access launch

It’s possible the Mars-themed survival sandbox genre is a niche that’s already heavily saturated, but that’s not stopping Memories of Mars, which we will hereby acronymize as MoM. 505 Games (you probably know it from Portal Knights) and Limbic Entertainment are billing the game as a multiplayer open world survival game where you’ll try not to die on Mars to other players, aliens, and the harsh environment itself.

“100 years in the future, something happened on Mars. Once frequently visited, it is now abandoned with some left behind. Set on the abandoned mining operations of the red planet, as the dream of exploiting and colonizing Mars has proven impossible. You play as a recently awoken clone who learns its lifespan is limited by the lethal solar flares that hit the surface of the planet every few weeks. Tasked with surviving the barren wastelands of Mars, players must explore the unforgiving Martian terrain and build a habitable homestead while fighting off against a variety of dangers including strange enemies, harsh environmental elements and other human clone survivors.”

Launch is expected in 2018, with early access coming this spring.

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Albion Online characterizes layoffs as downsizing to ‘pre-release beta testing’ levels

Earlier this week, we got a tip claiming that the Albion Online team had been severely cut back before Christmas, perhaps as much as 50%, owing to poor performance. Turns out there were some layoffs, but not quite so many, and in fact the studio says it had ramped up studio numbers ahead of launch and is now downsizing to a live team. Moreover, the studio says its playerbase has “stabilized” and is still growing.

Here’s the full statement Sandbox Interactive issued to Massively OP this afternoon:

Albion Online saw a successful release in July 2017. To get ready for release, during beta testing, our team size almost doubled to more than 50 people. Now that release is behind us, we are reducing the team size to levels similar to those at the start of pre-release beta testing. 31 people in total, supported by talented freelancers, will constantly improve and expand the game. This goes hand in hand with our strategy to fully focus on the game’s original core vision: with the release of our Kay update in December, player numbers have stabilized at a high level and continue to grow. Our next update, Lancelot, will continue on this path and is set to release in March, with further updates to come according to our road map.”

Our sympathies go out to those affected.

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Pokemon Go adds monthly community events, summons giant (pokemon) whale

Still playing Pokemon Go? Wish you were, but couldn’t find a group to raid with? Or maybe you are in a group but want to fill out the roster a bit more? Good news! Niantic will begin doing monthly community events for the game starting January 20th. The plan is for Niantic to host a monthly event “starring a special Pokémon, which will appear frequently around the world for just a few hours.”

While that sounds like a good way to distribute regionals more, the kicker is that the Pokemon caught during the monthly event also will have an exclusive move. Naturally, the first Pokemon is Surfing Pikachu, but before you wander off to join the rest of us waiting for Squirtle Squad Squirtle, you should know that other bonuses will also be in play, such as increased XP or Stardust, plus Lure Modules activated during the event will last for three hours. It’s probably not going to help build communities as well as in-app social media communication option, but it’s a start.

The timing’s quite nice, as Niantic recently released a new Legendary whale, Kyogre, who (like Groudon) has Mewtwo-esque stats for those of you still pining away for EX Raid passes, but has been difficult for many trainers to catch.

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Darkfall: New Dawn tacks on titles and opens local banks for business

Did anyone in class today remember that Darkfall: New Dawn is officially launching, oh, next week? Don’t worry, it kind of slipped our mind too. At least we are getting a few days to prepare ourselves, starting with the absorption of this week’s Patch 6.0.

As possibly the last pre-release patch, this update adds two important systems to the game. Local banking is being hailed by the dev team as “the most defining feature” of the PvP MMO, as “it will create the foundation for a healthy economy and a more convenient game.” Probably a good thing that it’s being added before launch, although one would think that such a vital system would have been in place long before now.

This means that all banks in the game are separate, non-connected inventories that both players and clans can use for storage.

The other system added is titles. There are now 48 titles that players can attain through various achievements and activities. And in case you can’t choose just one, you don’t have to; New Dawn allows you to select up to five titles simultaneously. All hail the future Grand Vizier Troublemaker Pompadour Justin, Esquire Jr.!

Source: Patch notes

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Darwin Project lets players and hosts explore their inner griefer

So you probably expected a bunch of battle royale games to pop up on Steam this year, given the remarkably popularity of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds around the globe, and here’s another one: It’s called Darwin Project, and it’s probably going to remind you of S.O.S. because it plays like a gameshow. In the future, all games will be Running Man, apparently.

Darwin Project takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic landscape in the Northern Canadian Rockies. As preparation for an impending Ice Age, a new project, half science experiment half live-entertainment, is launched. […] It challenges 10 participants to survive the cold and fight to the death in a treacherous arena.”

The idea is that one person is the “show director” who messes with the contestants with “nuclear bombs, zone closures, gravity storms, and the power of their voice.” Viewers can apparently place bets on the winner and encourage hassling specific players. Finally, a video game tailored for griefers, right?

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EverQuest and EverQuest II tease plans for 2018

Daybreak has lavished the EverQuest and EverQuest II websites with community letters from producer Lauren “Mooncast” McLemore. Both MMOs just came off a pair of expansions, but you’re probably wanting to know what’s next. And I’d like to be able to tell you, but the studio is being coy, especially with the classic game, though you can be sure anniversary content is on the agenda.

“While I can’t divulge too much yet, I wanted to let you all know that the team is deep in planning and content creation. We’re committed to delivering another year of fun, challenging content to all of you!” McLemore says of EverQuest. “The year is just getting started and before we know it, we’ll be celebrating EverQuest’s 19th Anniversary! Look for anniversary content in March, and we’re excited to have you join us for the in-game festivities.”

As for EverQuest II? Apparently that team is “in the midst of figuring out what’s in store for this year.”

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Dark and Light patches in the new mobile fortress for all your supervillain lair needs

Good news, friends! Are you tired of dealing with all of the hassles of a fortress down on land, like the constant sieges and not being a moving target floating high above the world? Now you won’t have to, as the latest Dark and Light patch introduces the mobile fortress that allows you to hover in the sky and rain doom upon the people below. Or at least hover in the sky. You have to fit all of the doom cannons yourself, so that’s a slower project.

Of course, as you’re slowly outfitting your mobile fortress, you can entertain yourself with balance adjustments to Blackice Peaks and the Scalding Abyss. That includes both adjustments to creature health and some of the crafting items you can get within the regions, both of which should open the experiences up to more players. Check out the full patch notes for all of the minor fixes added along the way, and get ready to float above the land in your supervillain fortress only to be very perturbed by all the other floating supervillain fortresses in your way.

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