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Black Desert’s next patch will alter weight penalties, fort construction, and monster drops

Pearl Abyss Executive Producer Jae-Hee Kim has a new Black Desert letter out for western players – apparently he’s aiming to make the letters a pattern. This one’s all about next week’s update, which will “change some of the features in the game that [the devs] personally think need reconfiguring.”

First up: the weight limit, which Kim says “has always been a source of inconvenience for many newcomers.” Junk items looted in multiple territories and level bands will see weight reduction. Moreover, the penalty applied by being overweight will also be reduced: “With the new upcoming change, adventurers will only experience decrease in attack speed.”

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Revelation Online is opening a new EU fresh start server today as First Contact launches

Gosh, isn’t it nice to have a fresh server to start on? No old connections, no old animosities, no problems to worry about. It’s like a fresh playground to just enjoy the game before you go back to making the exact same mistakes that made you long for a fresh start in the first place. Now you too can experience that when Revelation Online launches an EU fresh start server on March 22nd – today. Which just so happens to be launch day for the game’s latest update, First Contact, which chiefly focuses on PvP upgrades and modes.

As always, the draw for the new server is that everyone starts new on a level playing field, with no existing characters to come in and muck things up. So, depending on how many people are willing to sacrifice sleep and careers for relentless leveling, there will be only a handful of max-level characters for the first week or so. If this is the sort of server you’re looking for, keep your eyes peeled for Emollion (the new server) when it opens up.

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Earn gobs of free Hearthstone packs for Witchwood expansion

Even if your knees are too weak to think about venturing into Hearthstone’s upcoming Witchwood expansion, you might want to venture out of your hidey-hole to snag the many free card packs that Blizzard is handing out.

Starting on March 27th and continuing through April 10th, you will be able to secure a free card pack every day for completing a daily quest. This will add up to 16 free packs in total if you’re diligent about doing them! The studio is also handing out three free packs to anyone who wins a match in this week’s Tavern Brawl in honor of StarCraft’s 20th anniversary.

Blizzard posted its full Witchwood card reveal schedule for 55 cards from the expansion. The reveals start on March 27th.

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Sea of Thieves says 5000 people logging in per minute – 1M users total – are why the servers are struggling

No MMORPG player will be surprised to hear that Sea of Thieves’ biggest problem right now is that too many people are wanting to play – launch success works against it. In a candid dev video, Rare says that peak time – about 5 to 10 p.m. EDT, when west coast, east coast, and EU players are all piled in together – is the worst, up to four times as many people as showed up for the biggest beta.

“At one point, our server engineer told me we had 5000 people coming in per minute,” Studio Head Craig Duncan says – and the game’s seen more than a million unique users overall in the first 48 hours of live play.

Rare further says that they’re working out the delayed rewards and achievements problem (likely related to the heavy load) and missing items (they promise that’s a temporary client bug). “Please bear with us,” they say.

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MMO studios form Justice League-style alliance to combat toxicity

After years of trying to crack the serious issue of negative behavior and toxicity among their individual communities, 30 game studios and industry leaders are teaming up to see if their combined strength can win the day.

League of Legends’ Riot Games, World of Warcraft’s Blizzard Entertainment, EVE Online’s CCP, Fortnite’s Epic Games, and Twitch’s Twitch are among those companies that have formed a “Fair Play Alliance” in an effort to combat bad player behavior. The coalition’s goal is to create a set of behavioral standards that will be shared among the whole community and help up-and-coming developers as they try to break into the e-sports markets.

“As an industry and as a society online, we’re trying to find our way. Having to be a company that steps out and says ‘We’re gonna be the ones to do this’ is kinda scary. This is an opportunity for all of us to say ‘What if we walked together as an industry?’” said Riot Senior Technical Designer Kimberly Voll.

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Trion plans Defiance 2050 closed beta for April – here’s how to sign up

Defiance players itching to give the game’s reinvention as Defiance 2050 a spin are going to get that chance in April.

“We’re thrilled to announce that the Defiance 2050 closed beta test runs April 20 to 22 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC,” the studio posted. “Team up with players in co-op events to explore this partially terraformed world and accomplish compelling story missions or battle it out against fellow Ark Hunters in fast-paced PvP combat.”

It sounds as if testers will be playing the Assault class specifically during this leg of the beta. Signups are on the official site.

Trion announced the console-friendly reboot back in February; the MMORPG studio has since promised it won’t abandon the original game and can’t support full crossplay but will credit classic Defiance players in the new title.


Lord of the Rings Online releases secret goat quest

Leave it to the sly folks at Standing Stone Games to slip a little spring surprise into Lord of the Rings Online.

The studio behind the Middle-earth MMO teased players with the foreknowledge that there would be a special and secret event on March 21st. In quick order, the community rooted it out and discovered that it was a quest that led to the acquisition of a new type of armored goat mount. Cue lots of collaboration between players and servers to solve the puzzle.

The particular quest is called The Secret Stone and requires players to have completed the introduction to Northern Mirkwood. To complete the quest, riddles and codes will need to be solved, but the community has already done the heavy lifting on that if you want the answers.


RIFT Prime jacks up its quest experience, works on lag

Players on RIFT’s relatively new Prime progression server will see one major complaint addressed today: Trion Worlds is tripling the experience rewarded from quests in a hotfix.

Experience and rate of progression has been a sore topic with the community ever since RIFT launched the server two weeks ago. While some felt fine with the deliberately slower pace of progression, others found themselves underleveled and without any quests to fill the gap. So three times the quest XP should help with this going forward.

Players will find that dungeons are a little less lucrative with this hotfix, as the bosses are tougher and the cosmetic and mount drop rate lower. Some bosses have had their damage output nerfed, however.

The hotfix also targeted “back-end adjustments” to help with the occasional appearance of the fearsome lag monster.

Source: Patch notes


World of Tanks overhauls its graphical engine with update 1.0

The latest update for World of Tanks is all about making the game prettier. No, it doesn’t add the option to give your tank a nice sparkly paint job with unicorn decals, but it does overhaul the game’s graphical engine completely. Players should notice better lighting, better effects, and all around a better experience compared to the old version. There’s even a video just below showing off all of the engine improvements going on under the hood.

Several maps have also been refurbished and improved, with small details fixed and refined to further improve the layouts of 29 different maps. There’s also a new map, Glacier. And that’s not counting the new soundtrack for the game to make the whole thing feel better for your ears, to boot. If all that isn’t enough, you can take advantage of the game’s new AR app to put some tanks in your day-to-day life, perfect if visions of trundling war machines now haunt your every waking moment.

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Fortnite talks game modifications while players design forts and resell skins, all while crushing PUBG

There’s a lot of stuff swirling around the Fortnite community of late, starting with adjustments to the game’s Blitz mode to reduce how many resources you gain at once. It made farming materials a little too trivial, and so you’ll have to deal with slightly fewer resources. It’s an attempt to modify player behaviors with mechanics, which is also why the game removed friendly fire options; forcing players to play together was an effort to combat toxicity instead of rewarding nastiness for the heck of it.

Off of the official side, players of the game are reselling special Twitch Prime skins via eBay, which involves some shady (read: patently disallowed) account sharing antics. On the less shady side, a dedicated player has put together a fort designer to help players on a time budget come up with good fortifications to deploy in-game for the Battle Royale mode, so you don’t need to become paralyzed with choice before someone snipes you from halfway across the map.

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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’s devs take you spelunking in the pre-alpha

Here’s a neat two-for-one deal for fans of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. The developers recently hosted a livestream in which they showed pre-alpha spelunking in Halnir Cave while also discussing the game and its ongoing development.

There were a lot of details to be gleaned from the livestream, including how the improved user interface functions during adventures, a glimpse of the touted perception system, some of the Rogue’s abilities and descriptions, and plenty of examples of loot.

Over the two hours, the dev team covered many topics: hotbars, macros, craftings, light sources, death, the class system, alternative advancement, and so much more. The team said that alpha is not scheduled as of right now as the game is moving through several pre-alpha phases at the present.

Pantheon will be present at PAX East next month with a limited demo that lucky players (and press!) will experience, so stay tuned.

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EverQuest II teases a change to its monthly moonlight enchantments event

Fey mushroom rings are sprouting all over EverQuest II, marking the return of the monthly Moonlight Enchantments event. This one-day-only event comes and goes every 20th and 21st of the month. What’s interesting with this recurrence is that Daybreak is hinting that there might be a change with this event come April.

“Though the rings have appeared as usual this month, we’ve got a peculiar feeling that something new may be involved the next time around,” the studio teased.

Additionally, the studio is running a spring screenshot contest through March 29th. Players who enter a winning submission could win 1,000 Daybreak Cash, which we assume can be used as a down payment on a car or home.

Source: Twitter, EverQuest II. Thanks Katriana!


Players suspect PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile is a land full of bots

So, how are you doing with shooting folks in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile? Better than you’d expect, given the fact that it’s a mobile device and you might not normally win a whole lot? There may be a good reason for that. A report from a couple of days ago states that the game is designed to feature a large number of bots early on in your career, with a slow increase to having more actual competition as you play the game more extensively.

The presence of (unutterably stupid) bots is not actually listed as a feature of the mobile game, but no shortage of players are taking it as a face of existence based on seeing multiple opponents in the same outfits making the same stupid plays. So don’t crow too much about your early victories in the mobile version, because they may be victories only in the broadest sense of the term. Or perhaps there’s a squad of really bad players out there too ashamed to admit it. We can’t tell you.

Source: Verge, Kotaku


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