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E3 2017: Hands-on with Dauntless shows it’s more than a Monster Hunter clone

Phoenix Labs’ not-Monster Hunter monster-hunting game Dauntless is obviously standing in a big shadow after E3 2017. I wasn’t yet fully aware of what Monster Hunter World was doing, but I’ve seen solid games lose to their larger rivals who are slower to innovate in the past. Capcom, while constantly disappointing Mega Man fans, is generally quite good with its co-op hunting series. RaiderZ, a Perfect World published not-MH game that also tackled the monster hunter genre, made minor changes to the formula and came as an actual MMO but still shut down. Though the Phoenix Labs guys weren’t aware of RaiderZ‘s failure, they seemed barely fazed by Capcom’s announcement, and maybe they’re right. Surprisingly, they’ve innovated a few things Capcom itself is doing while also adding a few things Capcom isn’t.

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Blizzard partners with Twitch for tourney coverage, gives away free Overwatch loot boxes

Two of gaming’s forces are partnering up, at least for the next year or so, and players might come out on top of the whole deal. Twitch announced that it has signed a deal to be “the exclusive third-party streaming platform for more than 20 Blizzard tournaments.” In return, Blizzard is going to be giving out some goodies through the platform and probably using the word “Twitch” in every fifth sentence of press releases.

To start things off on a good foot, Overwatch players who have access to Twitch Prime can enjoy a free golden loot box that contains a guaranteed legendary item. You do have to own Overwatch to redeem this loot box (which should be obvious, but hey, there’s always that one guy who doesn’t get it).

Twitch said that this is just the beginning of the Blizzard parade: “Over the coming months, Twitch Prime members will receive 10 more loot boxes containing more in-game content. Similar promotions for Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone players are coming later this year.”

Source: Twitch #1, #2. Thanks to everyone who tipped this!

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Black Desert awakens the Striker, doubles karma loss for gankers

Awakening this morning in Black Desert is the still-relatively-new-to-the-West Striker class. “The Striker reaches a new level of mastery over the martial arts, gaining access to a wider range of close-ranged techniques,” Kakao says. “With this latest Awakening, Strikers level 56 and above will be able to use the Gardbrace weapon, famed for its ability to temporarily produce a copy of its wielder and double the onslaught of attacks in battle. Also enhancing the Striker’s combat are fire elemental skills, as well as throwing moves like Hell Break and Infernal Destruction.”

Also live with today’s patch? The Striker Awakening Release Event, new titles, doubled karma loss for gankers, and a new battle arena for level 50+ toons. And yes, Reddit and the official forums are mad that Kakao is essentially making it more painful to gank Steam nubs. “YOU’RE ACTUALLY KILLING THE OPEN WORLD PVP LMAO” and so on, although to be fair, others are pointing out the inevitable karma bombing exploits that will undoubtedly ensue.

Kakao is promising a stream Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. EDT all about the Striker’s Awakening. There’s also a sale on the game running through the Fourth of the July on Steam and the main site.

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NCsoft MOBA Master X Master launches today

Master X Master is officially launching in the West today, bringing NCsoft’s take on a multi-IP MOBA-with-a-twist to our shores. The twist is the PvE element, which was relatively novel for the genre back when MxM was announced but is now present in a few others. Still, there’s no other MOBA out there where you can play characters from Guild Wars 2, WildStar, and City of Heroes all together!

The floodgates officially open at 1 p.m. EDT this afternoon, but until then, we’ve rounded up all our coverage and streams of the game to now, plus a few of the game’s latest prep vids. Happy launch day!

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Final Fantasy XIV is hit by a DDoS attack causing network difficulties

Is there any better time for DDoS attacks than right after the launch of a new expansion? Apparently not; Final Fantasy XIV reports today that it has been getting hit with attacks for several days now, causing network difficulties that the engineers are working as hard as possible to counteract. The official announcement is that the attacks have hit on June 16th, June 18th, and June 20th, with the attacks considered to still be ongoing.

This may account for some of the game’s server issues over the past few days; countermeasures are still being worked on. The game has also had a minor patch to address other technical issues and bugs, so players should have a better Stormblood experience waiting once they log on if the DDoS attacks don’t make it unplayable. (And if they get through the queues, but that’s just to be expected.)

Source: DDoS attacks, Hotfixes; thanks to David for the tip!

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Lineage II Classic succumbs to pirate fever

What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? You might think “Arrr,” but he really loves the C!

Dad jokes aside, swashbucklers have boarded Lineage II’s classic server over in Europe, but we doubt that anyone is too concerned about the company. The pirate horde is headed by Captain Zaken, a fearsome foe that can only be taken down by a minimum of seven (!) coordinated parties. He’s only the first of five additional raid bosses that have bolstered the game’s villain roster.

Pirate treasures can now be found on the hunting zone of Devil’s Isle, or if a chance of scenery is needed, there’s also the new Giant’s Cave to explore. To help with the patch’s raid bosses and hunting grounds, players can take advantage of weapon augmentation to give their gear a bit of a boost.

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EVE Online updates to new forums

When you’re done wheeling, dealing, and backstabbing in EVE Online, the official forums are the ideal place to talk about all of that (while hiding the later dealing, backstabbing, and so forth that you’re planning for the future). So there’s reason to be excited that the game now has a new set of forums available, which boasts plenty of visual upgrades as well as notable improvements under the hood as well.

The new forums will allow posters to add videos, reaction .GIFs, and even polls should they so choose. It’s also marking an end to the usual poster bannings; if you’ve been banned in the past, you’re allowed to come back on and start with a fresh slate. This coincides with changes to moderation and posting rules, although those changes do not mean that all further sins will be forgiven. So check out the new forums yourself, or just take a gander at a preview and a comparison image just below.

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Amazon’s Breakaway revamps warriors, confirms more upgrades on the way

Last September, the internet was buzzing about Amazon Game Studios’ big reveals, including Breakaway, which the company teased for weeks ahead of time. It turned out not to be an MMO — we’ve got New World for that fix — but a “mythological sport brawler,” a 4v4, third-person MOBA-lite built from the ground up for streaming. Since then, the game’s run a few alpha tests and put the feedback to work, overhauling the characters one by one. Jarra was first up among the warriors, and now AGS has a huge dev blog out detailing changes to the rest.

For starters, several of the warrior-archetype characters got renames (Spartacus to Argus, Anne Bonny to Kyra, and Morgan Le Fey to Korryn) and style buffs; the studio tweaked power ranges, control, strafing, buildables, text chat, replays, the relic running system, and the gold economy.

“Don’t worry – Breakaway’s still about fast action, strategic teamwork, and dunking on fools,” AGS says. “We listened to your feedback and made changes we believe only refine what makes Breakaway great.”

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Overwatch is ‘go’ for moon landing with today’s patch

Super-intelligent apes and moon combat: What’s not to love about today’s Overwatch update?

The Horizon Lunar Colony, Overwatch’s newest map, is officially open for business. Players can enjoy the environmental storytelling while they fight through this moon base. According to the team, it’s the first map that the team has done that’s over 90% completely indoors.

“Built as a first step towards humanity’s renewed exploration of space, the Horizon Lunar Colony’s goal was to examine the effects of prolonged extraterrestrial habitation — on human and ape alike,” the team said. “The scientists’ research proved incredibly promising…until, suddenly, all contact and communications with the base were lost.”

The update also adds Officer D.Va and Oni Genji to the lootboxes, in case you were frustrated at not getting one of these yet. Read up on the finer points of the patch notes and refresh your memory concerning the Horizon Lunar Colony after the break!

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The Chicago Pokemon Go Fest was sold out in less than a minute

Following the huge reveal of Pokemon Go’s summer content plans — detailed in yesterday’s massive overview and interview by MOP’s Andrew Ross — Niantic followed through on its plan to shutdown all gyms for renovation. Yes, we’re still talking about virtual space here. The gyms will play host to the game’s new gym battle system, which basically brings PvP into the MMOARG and can culminate in epic raid boss fights.

Meanwhile, if you weren’t one of the lucky few who snapped up Pokemon Go Fest tickets for the event in Chicago within the first few seconds of the sale going live, well, there’s always Ebay. As I type this, scalpers are selling tickets on the auction platform for over $300 apiece (they’re selling, too; one is going for $340 at the moment). Maybe a better system for vending tickets might be in order for the next event, yeah?

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Neverwinter deploys the Shroud of Souls update to consoles today

It’s time for console players to head to the River District in Neverwinter. The game’s latest patch for the console editions of the game has been released, and it sees players contending with the foes stepping out of the shadows following the fall of the Cloaked Ascendancy. That means more stuff to deal with in the River District and a new event to take part in, with a new siege and storyline to explore as they rail against these new foes.

Players on consoles will also be able to take advantage of the Loadout feature and customizable guild halls, so even if the story doesn’t grab you there’s still new stuff to do. Jump into the console edition right now to try out everything, or if you’re stuck at work, you can check out screenshots just below.

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Path of Exile previews a familiar boss in the next Fall of Oriath beta patch

It’s always good to see a familiar face. Unless that face belongs to a boss, of course; then it’s a mixed emotion. When Path of Exile drops its next major beta patch, players are going to have to deal with exactly that as they face off against Doedre the Vile in her sewer arena. You can check out a full preview of the fight in the video just below, but be fairly warned, it contains lots of rather gross-looking green slime. You know, as if you expected otherwise.

Of course, the boss isn’t just being added to the game indiscriminately; she’s part of Act Eight, which is coming with said large beta patch. There will be more besides, but you’ll have to wait until late next week to see it. Perhaps even a little later, since the patch was already delayed once; check out the fight below, though, to determine if it might be worth the wait.

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Today’s Guild Wars 2 patch adds automated tournies, 2v2 team deathmatch map

As June continues to roll along, so do the PvP-related updates in Guild Wars 2. So far ArenaNet has updated Tyria’s world-vs.-world content and skirmishing with the first part of the Competitive Feature Pack, followed by the start of PvP League season 4. Today’s update is live now and includes the new 2v2 team deathmatch map, Hall of the Mists; the retooled Heart of the Mists PvP lobby; and 5v5 automated tournaments: “The pinnacle of competitive combat. Compete in daily tournaments to qualify for a monthly tournament to earn rewards, glory, and the chance to see your winning team honored with statues in the lobby!”

The patch also has a bit for cosmetic junkies; Dulfy reports that the new cash-shop dyes appear to include the brightest white shades released to date.

PvP players, don’t miss our Guild Wars 2 columnist Tina Lauro Pollock’s most recent Flameseeker Chronicles, which is a great starter guide for jumping into WvW.

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