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Marvel Heroes tempts console players into spending with its VIP account promotion

It’s been said that if a studio can lure a player into making an initial purchase online through its game store, then the chances of that player spending more in the future rise significantly.

So this is undoubtedly the hope of Marvel Heroes, which is attempting to convince Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players to drop some cash on the store in exchange for “VIP account status.” Basically this means that once a player buys something, anything, he or she will unlock Nightcrawler as a hero and receive several permanent benefits such as 5% bonus XP, 5% bonus credits, 10 extra stash slots, a free lockbox, and five eternity splinters every day.

Get the full scoop after the jump!

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Guild Wars 2 teases its legendary Orrian hammer, retailers fiddle with release dates

There’s a lot of excitement, confusion, and uncertainty regarding Guild Wars 2’s immediate future, but it’s looking like the devs are going to keep players on their toes in the best of ways. Now that it looks like the end of Season 3 will come with a new Orrian zone, what about a giant smashy hammer to go along with it?

On Twitter, the devs teased an upcoming legendary hammer, saying that players could “reclaim your own piece of Orr to take into battle.” The video shows a character from behind, walking while toting a giant spanner-like weapon.

So what’s past that? The expansion, hopefully. Everyone’s getting in on the giant office pool, guessing when xpack will drop and what it will contain — even retailers. It looks like some sort of reveal or preorder situation might happen in the next week, with some retailers posting (and removing) release dates and counting down to four days from now. It should be stated that this is all just rumors and guesswork right now until confirmed, but even so… does September 30th sound like a good time for a launch to you?

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You will believe that a player can fly in Citadel

If you’re populating an online fantasy game with nothing but adeptly magical players, then it’s not a big jump to accepting that all sorts of seemingly impossible feats will become commonplace in that world. Like flight, for instance.

“Why walk when you can fly?” asked Citadel: Forged With Fire’s devs. “Growing in experience should feel significant, and flight is one of the many things we added to make sure this was the case.”

There are three avenues for the aspiring wizard pilot. Players can craft and use a magical broomstick, although these suck up mana when in flight. Another option is to use a pacify spell on a winged creature like a dragon and then use the beast as your personal transportation. Finally, it is possible to make flight potions using one’s alchemy skill, although the devs warn that if your mana runs out mid-flight, you’ll be taking an express trip to ground town.

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Hearthstone’s game director fields questions about the expansion, ladder experimentation, and new heroes

With Knights of the Frozen Throne coming to Hearthstone next month, excitement is reaching a fever pitch for this already-popular card title. Game Director Ben Brode took advantage of this interest to raise awareness of the game and answer community questions in a recent AMA session.

Among the topics covered were minion placement, the collection manager, the expense of the game, and confirmation that the team is experimenting with a new ladder format.

Possibly the most exciting news is that the team is working on both a Druid and Warlock hero, although Brode indicated that we shouldn’t be expecting a new class anytime soon. “I think we are already having trouble carving out awesome space for nine classes,” he said. “I want us to find more unique things for Warlock to do, for example. I think adding a 10th class makes this problem much more difficult, as we could be using that space to make our core nine classes more fun.”

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Next Day Survival debuts, plus H1Z1, Hellion, Black Death, and Life is Feudal survivalbox news

ARK and Conan aren’t the only survivalboxes in town — in fact, several of the modern contenders in the subgenre have updates and videos this week demonstrating their progress.

Today, we’ll start with Next Day: Survival, a new game to our coverage here on Massively OP and one that’s just hit early access today. It’s touting its storyline, questing, “sophisticated crafting system,” car restoration system, repitation, and multiple game modes, including pure PvE and a single-player mode.

Next Day: Survival is a multi-player survival game with elements of RPG. Its action takes place in an imaginary country within the Eastern Europe, a large part of whose territory is contaminated with toxic fog. The player’s main task is to survive, to develop his game character’s skills, and to interact with the surrounding world, other players, and non-player characters (NPCs). In the course of the game, the character earns a reputation, which gives him the chance to join various factions of survivors, each with their own features and limitations.”

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Anti-grind MMO Fractured introduces its playable races, including vampires and bear-kin

Last month, we introduced our readers to Fractured, yet another SpatialOS MMO currently under construction since this past January. Its chief claims to fame include planetary colonization, crafting, housing, skill- and reflex-based combat — and most interestingly to players bored of stock MMO tropes — no grind and no forced PvP.

This week, the team behind the game, Dynamight Studios, has released what it’s calling a feature spotlight on one of its “design pillars” — character races — arguing that the “potential of the concept has never been exploited in full” by the genre.

Dynamight CEO Jacopo Gallelli contends that “races have been used to add variety to combat, questlines and, at best, environments” in MMOs, but that “no one has ever strived to employ them to immerse players in a different culture and society, and to make them feel that they are playing a whole different game if their character is a Demon instead of a Human.”

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Aion gets frosty with Omens of Ice update

It may be a sweltering summer outside, but inside Aion it is frozen solid. Patch 5.6: Omens of Ice has released, giving players a lot more to do this month in the fantasy MMO.

Of particular note in the update are several new instances to challenge players, such as the 12-player Bastion of Souls raid, the third floor of the Trials of Eternity, and the soloable Crucible Spire. PvP players have a lot to rejoice over, what with the 96-player Evergale Canyon (which also contains some PvE content) and the six-player Grand Arena of Tenacity. Just rolls of the tongue, that one.

Every class in the patch received a new Archdaeva skill, and the team updated the visuals in Poeta and Ishalgen. Pet collectors can rejoin in the new minion type, which uses a different interface than other pets. You can collect up to 200 minions per character.

You’ll probably want to read up on the full patch notes to make sure you haven’t missed anything in this meaty content update.

Source: Patch notes

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Dark and Light has officially launched into early access

Following multiple development delays, weird PR moves, gorgeous screenshot dumps, and a month of closed beta, decade-old MMORPG sandbox Dark and Light has finally resurrected into its early access soft launch form here in the west today. Thanks to the current discount, it’ll run you just under $25.

Snail Games is clear that this is a true early access title. “We already know that we’re going to run into a lot of bugs, crashes, localization issues, and more,” says the company. “Did you die from punching a blade of grass? Did your tamed creatures stage a massive revolt out of nowhere? Did an NPC tell you ‘I AM ERROR?’ Is the Bestiary straight-up lying to you about how many creatures are in the game? We want to know about it.”

As usual, we’ve rounded up our coverage to date so you can look back at the twisting road this game’s taken to be born again!

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Lord of the Rings Online explains the Allegiance system in Mordor

We’re probably not going to blow your mind by saying this, but here it is anyway: Mordor in Lord of the Rings Online is not a friendly place. You’re shocked, obviously. But the point is that you’ll need to have some allies to deal with the problems of that land, and those allies need to know you’re their ally. Hence, the upcoming Allegiances system, a chance for players to improve reputation and standing with one of four factions for cosmetic rewards and unique storylines.

It’s important to note that the four factions (the Hobbits of the Company, Durin’s Folk, the Court of Lothlorien, and the Kingdom of Gondor) will not affect your access to endgame gear, even though the Allegiance system will be tied into the endgame. But your choice is mostly between the four stories you wish to follow and which cosmetic gear you want to access first. Still, much like Merry and Pippin’s oaths of service (which formed the initial concept for this system), it’s going to be important from a narrative standpoint to consider whom your character will bend a knee for.

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Sea of Thieves channels The Goonies with its riddle quests

Not every map in Sea of Thieves will be as simple as “‘X’ marks the spot.” The team discussed how it’s developing more advanced maps called riddle quests that will require players to coordinate efforts and solve clues in order to find the buried chest.

In this week’s Inn-Side Story developer video, the team shares a behind-the-scenes look at the concept and creation of these tricky missions. The devs anticipate that while bad crews will split up and find themselves frustrated during these quests, smart crews will work together to discover landmarks and solve the mystery.

During these quests, players will receive a parchment with a riddle on it, broken down into rhyming couplets. The devs said that this gave the game a great “Goonies” feel as players figure out sequential clues, forage around for landmarks, and discover the treasure.

Hunker down and pay attention to the cryptic words below!

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SuperData’s new report suggests multiplayer console gamers are more susceptible to DLC and RMT than ever

Gamers talk a big talk about horse armor DLC and pay-to-win and the evils of cash shops, but y’all keep buying anyway.

That’s according to gaming research analysis firm SuperData, which today released an excerpt from its pricey report on digital console revenue for 2017. More than half of all digital console revenue this year, the firm says, will come from “additional content” like DLC and cash-shop microtransactions. That number is half again as high for the top-earning console games from the last few years.

Fully “39% of first-year additional content revenue for all titles is made in the first 3-to-6 months, leaving game publishers with a tight time frame to release new content,” argues SuperData. “Digital console consumers are hungry for more content as soon as they are done with the core gameplay. Most single player games have a gameplay timeframe between 10-to-40 hours within their single-player mode. It is not hard to see why over a third of console players believe that publishers should release content every 3-to-6 months. Over a fourth of them believe additional content should be released at least once a month. Publishers are warned to be wary of releasing content too close to the release date, since consumers see that tactic as profiting off content that should otherwise have been released with the full game.”

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Checking out RIFT 4.2: Celestial Storm

Summertime does seem to be ripe territory for MMORPGs to release sizable content updates in the hopes of keeping players occupied and luring back in the bored and nomadic in the larger community.

Making a pitch for your attention today is RIFT, which has just released the latest segment of its Prophecy of Ahnket expansion cycle with Patch 4.2: Celestial Storm. As players head into the newest endgame zone of the MMO, what will they discover?

A few words on that: Beauty. Challenge. Epic feuds. Rewards. And a crapton to do.

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Skyforge celebrates its second anniversary with giveaways, trivia contest

While you weren’t looking — or maybe you were — Skyforge tucked two years of live operation under its belt. The sci-fi action MMORPG is celebrating its second anniversary this month, starting with daily login rewards that dole out, among other things, actual halo and angel wings. Don’t let it go to your head (literally).

The team’s also hosting a Trivia of the Gods contest to anyone who wants to take a stab at answering all things Skyforge. This takes place online, and while there are special prizes for the winners, everyone who completes it will get a participation prize. Aww.

When you’re done getting drunk on golden mead or whatever it is that unpredictable gods do, you can leap back into the Pantheon Wars in the game. The team recently elaborated on the win conditions of this epic struggle, so make sure you read that if you’re participating.

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