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City of Titans drops some Scorpion lore

Only part of becoming a successful superhero is mastering your abilities and pulling off a spandex outfit in public. Another key part is knowing your enemy inside and out, and using their weaknesses against them.

To wit, the team behind City of Titans posted a lore piece that shines a light on one of the villain groups, Scorpion. As the name implies, this gang is all cuddles and free love.

“Scorpion seeks world conquest at all costs,” the team wrote. “Its agents often pursue smaller, simpler-seeming goals, but ultimately, Scorpion seeks only power and destruction of all rivals. While Scorpion occasionally makes a show of espousing some particular philosophy or ‘bringing order to the world,’ its true goal seems to be to ensure its eventual dominion over the entire world and the elimination of all moral codes aside from ‘obey Scorpion,’ which essentially translates into personal power for its members.”

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A small Blizzard team might be working on a mobile Warcraft game

Ready to play some Warcraft on your mobile device? What are we saying, of course you are. Other than the various companion apps to World of Warcraft, and of course, Hearthstone, Blizzard hasn’t spent a lot of time bringing its franchises to the mobile space. This might be changing, however.

Conversation is swirling around a job listing on Blizzard’s site for an FX artist to work on an “unnannounced” mobile game. In addition to the posting mentioning that the artist must be able to work with Unity and a small team, the studio says that it is looking for people who have a “passion for creating imagery synonymous with the Warcraft IP.”

We first got wind of this mobile project back in April, although no particular franchise was tied to the game.

Source: Blizzard

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Grand Theft Auto Online posts a teaser of its upcoming Gunrunning update

Guns are a pretty important part of Grand Theft Auto Online. If you’re going to play a hardened criminal, you probably want to have lots of things to point and shoot, after all. But why stop there? Why not go full-on into offering some high-tech military overhauls for even the most conventional vehicles around while also providing people with the very latest in personal surface-to-air missile launchers? If that sounds like your jam, you’ll be very happy with the game’s Gunrunning update coming in June.

The gunrunning operations are based out of southern San Andreas, and players will be locating various hatches which can be converted into headquarters for manufacturing, upgrading, and distributing powerful weapons. More details will be forthcoming soon, but you can check out the first screenshots below and let your mind fill with the image of putting heavily armored cars with rotating chaingun turrets on the streets of Los Santos. This is a series which routinely has tanks rumbling down the street, it might not be that much of a stretch.

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Elder Scrolls Online introduces you to Vvardenfell’s house factions

Let’s talk about Elder Scrolls Online’s new houses today, shall we? No, it’s not going to be a discussion of player housing, although that would be pretty cool. Instead, let’s examine Morrowind’s various house factions and what they might offer to the roaming adventurer.

“Vvardenfell is a dangerous place for an Outlander such as yourself, and if you aren’t careful when dealing with the powerful Houses and organizations that control the island, you won’t last long,” the team cautioned.

Some of these factions include pious and honorable House Redoran, the magicka-focused House Telvanni, the cosmopolitan House Hlaalu, and the four orders of the Temple Ordinators. There’s even an ancient order of assassins with the Morag Tong, because what fantasy game would be complete without such a charming group?

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Shroud of the Avatar unveils its patch notes for release 42

The end is coming to Shroud of the Avatar. The next patch for the game, release 42, allows players who have succeeded at the quests for the paths of Love, Courage, and Truth to begin walking the Path of the Oracle. This is the culmination of the game’s storyline, so if you’ve been waiting to see how it’s all going to turn out, the next patch is your time to shine.

Of course, there’s a lot more in the patch than just that. Players who are just getting into the game can enjoy more polish passes on the new player experience, for example, and players of any experience level can enjoy the new combat balance changes to make the game a bit more balanced and fun. There’s also the in-game mail system and improvements to enemy AI, so no matter where you are with the story, you’ll find something to do. It’s just worth noting that the people waiting to see the Oracle are finally going to get their payoff.

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The Daily Grind: Are there any MMOs you think are just too late to start playing?

I’ve been playing a lot of Ultima Online the past few weeks, but so many times I’ll be doing something that is objectively tedious (like taming or shuttling boxes of junk loot to the community trash box to turn in for points) and realize it and think to myself there is no freakin’ way that anyone who started playing MMOs in the last decade would put up with some of the quirks and conventions of the game. That’s no judgment on gamers, just the realization that it’s probably way too late to get into now if you’ve grown up under altogether different game design systems.

It’s not the only MMO I feel that way about; I’ve often felt that EverQuest II was too opaque and convoluted to return to, and oddly enough World of Warcraft has felt that way to me since Draenor.

Are there any MMOs you think are just too late to start playing?

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Massively Overthinking: Disentangling MMO classes and races

Last week, a guildie of mine mentioned that he’d been interested in Crowfall until he realized he couldn’t be a gerbil (Guineacean) of the class of his choosing. It was a total coincidence that the Crowfall devs had literally that same week announced they were nuking their race/class-locked archetype system and disentangling races and classes, so I got to tell him his wish had been granted.

I think this pushes the game more solidly into MMORPG territory, so I’m happy to see it: More customization and choice and variety is what I’m all about. But I was going to play it before, too. For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’m presenting the idea of locked vs. unlocked archetypes to our staff to mull over. How important is it to you to be able to play any race/class combo in a game? Is it something you see as critical to MMORPGs? Is archetype-locking more the domain of MOBAs and ARPGs? When do you let it slide to play a fun game?

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Another study finds Pokemon Go improves players’ physical activity

Yet another academic group has published research suggesting that Pokemon Go can be a useful tool for promoting exercise.

Duke University researchers funded by the American Heart Association studied 167 young adults and found that “Pokemon Go participation was associated with a significant increase in [physical activity].”

“We conducted a retrospective observational study among Pokémon GO players in September 2016 and analyzed their level of PA in terms of step count as reported on the iPhone Health app 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after initiation of Pokémon GO play. Specifically, we sought to compare changes in PA level before and after playing Pokémon GO and whether such changes differ by age, sex, baseline PA level, body mass index, and level of engagement in the game. The latter included a subjective measure of self‐reported playing time as well as an objective measure of game progression indicating players’ level of engagement.”

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Italy and 35 Italian aircraft are live today in War Thunder’s Regia Aeronautica update

Update 1.69 Regia Aeronautica is live in Gaijin’s military MMO War Thunder today. The patch introduces Italy as its sixth nation with what it’s deemed a “formidable line-up of 35 of the most historically accurate representations of their famous Air Force in any computer game ever.”

“The new Italian aircraft tree stretches from Italy’s famous biplanes of the 1930’s to its powerful jet fighters of the 1960s. Among the latter is the Fiat G.91, a light, fast and agile fighter-bomber that is highly versatile in combat, thanks to its rapid-firing, heavy Browning machine guns, bombs and 38 rockets. Italian bombers include highlights such as the heavy four-engined Piaggio P.108B, which can carry a staggering 3.5 tons of bombs or three torpedoes. Its sister model, the ship hunter P.108A, comes equipped with a massive 102mm anti-ship cannon with 50 rounds of ammunition, which is now the largest aviation weapon in the game by far. All players will get gradual access to the new nation’s aircraft, with new models being unlocked for research every few days.”

There are new vehicles for the US, Russia, and Germany too, as well as PS4 Pro support, new smoke shells and smokescreen launchers, and updated Kuban, Tunisia, and Black Sea Port maps. Check out the videos below for the details!

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ArcheAge doubles up everything for Memorial Day

Everything is better doubled. Get a paycheck? It’d be even better if it were two paychecks. Got a car? You could have two cars. Appendectomy? Make it a double appendectomy; have your doctors get the other appendix out while they’re in there. That’s why ArcheAge is doubling a whole lot of rewards for its Memorial Day event. You’ll get doubled experience and honor points through May 30th, doubled experience and vocation badges from May 31st through June 6th, and tripled experience, honor, vocation badges, and loot drop bonuses from June 7th until June 13th. We’re willing to count triples under the larger header of doubling.

If you can pull yourself away from all of that experience, you can also check out the game’s next major update on a stream this Friday, starting at 4:30 p.m. EDT. The stream will cover crafting and regrades in the game’s upcoming Erenor Eternal update, along with a look at some of the gear coming along for the ride. You can even make it a double livestream by opening up two windows with it playing; that won’t actually improve anything, but it probably won’t hurt, either.

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Ashes of Creation will let you step into the shoes of a flesh-rending monster

If all of Ashes of Creation’s ambitious claims come to life in the finished product, then it does’t seem like players will wont for things to do. And if adventuring, farming, and trading gets old, there’s always the opportunity to take a vacation in the skin of a monster.

Calling it “fresh to the MMO experience,” the team at Ashes of Creation says that the game’s monster play will allow players to use special coins to take over a mobile boss for a dynamic event. Both the monster attacker and player defenders are judged based on their performance, with all sorts of cosmetics as potential rewards.

In addition to the monster coin system, Intrepid Studios announced the addition of yet another stretch goal: variant spell FX if 16,000 Kickstarter backers are reached. As it stands, Ashes of Creation has raised $2.35M with the help of over 13,200 backers so far.

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Naryu Virian meets Vivec in Morrowind

ZeniMax has trotted Morag Tong assassin Naryu Virian out for one last look at Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind: She’s visiting Vivec himself in the in-progress capital named after him.

Ensconced in his canton, Vivec is one of a trimvirate of living gods attempting to guide and govern the citizens of Morrowind. Of course, he’s a god only because of the doom he helped propel at Red Mountain, where Nerevar was killed and the Dwemer were erased from existence, but who’s counting?

Check out Naryu’s latest travelogue video below, and don’t miss ZeniMax’s Sun-in-Shadow lore either.

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LOTRO confirms Chance Thomas’ return to score Mordor, says it will be his ‘darkest’ work yet

It was perhaps the worst-kept secret for Lord of the Rings Online’s upcoming Mordor expansion, but now it’s officially confirmed: Composer Chance Thomas is returning to score the MMO.

Saying that “it was a long time coming,” the announcement marks a reunion between Thomas and LOTRO after many years apart. Thomas was one of the key composers who wrote music for the base game and its expansions up through Riders of Rohan, but he’s been absent from the project since 2012. In the livestream, Thomas said that the lawyers had to wrangle things out to make a way for his return.

The composer said that the Mordor expansion will be a “different feel” than what he’s done for the game in the past — and will be quite dark, indeed. He’s currently reading through the design document and looking at various pieces of Middle-earth art to help inspire his composition. Thomas has just now started writing the score but said that there will be live orchestral recording of at least some of it.

Thomas and Standing Stone teased a second special announcement that will come next week. You can watch the full interview after the break!

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