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PSA: Get Elder Scrolls Online super cheap through the Humble Bundle this weekend

Thinking about giving The Elder Scrolls Online a go as the march toward Morrowind pushes on toward June? You probably won’t find a cheaper deal between then and now than the Humble Bundle’s prices.

You’re looking at $9.89 for the cheapskate version for people who just want a looksee, but the Gold edition for $29.99 is probably the best deal, since it includes most of (though not all) of the DLC packs to date.

Anybody picking it up?

Source: Humble Bundle. Thanks,
Darthbawl!

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Path of Exile issues Patch 3.0 manifesto

Does anyone not get a little excited and cynical when they hear the phrase “game manifesto” these days? It’s such a loaded term, fraught with seriousness and import. And yet sometimes, just sometimes, it can be used to discuss something as seemingly trivial as damage-over-time skills in MMOs.

The Path of Exile team published the first part of its Patch 3.0 “manifesto” series, talking about the design philosophy and changes that will come to the game with this fall’s expansion. And yes, this initial post has to do with the different types of DoT effects and how some will be buffed, some nerfed, and some both buffed and nerfed.

Another significant 3.0 change (now in testing on a server near you!) are some tweaks to the popular Cyclone skill. The improved skill will use pathfinding to move around obstructions so that you don’t have to stop being the Tazmanian Devil. See it below!

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ARK: Survival Evolved brings underwater doom to consoles

Remember the big ol’ underwater-themed ARK: Survival Evolved earlier this month that sent PC players into a tizzy over the big bird nerf? (Not the Big Bird nerf — that’s something else entirely.) That selfsame patch has landed for console players this week — without all the nerfs, mind you, as many (though not all) of those have been sorted out on PC in the meantime:

“This huge new patch (v256) arrives bursting with new content, including vacuum-sealed underwater bases and aquatic creature breeding, TEK teleporter pads and wireless generators, and four powerful creatures. Today also brings to console players the first major menu redesign of ARK, as the Inventory UI receives a complete visual and functional overhaul – introducing a modernized and streamlined new look. This is a huge upgrade that makes inventory management a breeze.”

Want more survival sandbox coverage? Check out our new column, The Survivalist, which covers ARK and the now dozens of other titles in this subgenre, and don’t miss our weekly ARK: Survival Evolved streams, which take place on our streamer’s very own ARK server (which you’re invited to join if you wanna)!

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Hellion invites you to decorate while you’re scrambling to survive in space

Carving out a niche of your own in the deep of space is part of the full Hellion experience. In a new dev diary, the team discusses how players can claim ships or outposts as their own, naming them and setting permissions for others to visit (or not). There is always the possibility of hacking another’s security system to gain unwanted access, however.

Once you own a ship, apparently it’s yours to decorate inside and out as you please: “While exploring the world of Hellion players will be able to find various customization items that can be placed inside ships and modules. Some of these include posters, pictures, emblems, logos, etc. In addition to premade items, players will also have the option of placing written messages.”

Can we cover this game with “MOP RULES” graffiti? Let’s make it happen, people! In fact, now’s a good time to jump into the game: The 0.1.12 patch is live today, and yes, it fixes the ship HUDs!

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PSA: Champions Online’s freeform slots are half-off

If you haven’t picked up Champions Online as a free player, you might not know that the game restricts unfettered character creation for F2P. Instead, freeloaders are restricted to pre-built archetypes that don’t allow for the fun of mix-and-matching your own vision.

That is, unless you either subscribe or purchase a “freeform” slot unlock for your account. A freeform slot grants the full privileges of slapping your own build together to see how it functions. And while these slots are usually pretty pricey (around $50), right now Champions Online is holding a half-off sale on freeform slots, bringing the tag down to 2,500 zen (around $25).

The sale is running from today through next Thursday. Also, conspiracy theory, is this sale capitalizing on City of Heroes’ anniversary this week? Hmm…

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Black Desert warns players of possible account breach

Heads-up, Black Desert fans: Kakao just let its players know that their account security may be in jeopardy.

“We recently received a report that account security may have been compromised on a third party website. In response, we have reset the password for any related accounts. We strongly urge any user whose password was reset to contact customer support in order to change your e-mail address. Additionally if you used the same or a similar password on any other services, it should be replaced.”

The studio hasn’t clarified how exactly the compromise came about or what the third-party website entailed, but we’re guessing that if you’re affected, you’ll be getting a personal password reset email soon. Just make sure it’s from the studio and not hackers, eh?

Source: Official forums.
Cheers, Greaterdivinity!

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Wakfu adds leaderboard rewards, ventures further up Mount Zinit

An unexpected environment and a shocking revelation about a key character lays in wait for adventurers who continue to scale Wakfu’s Mount Zinit.

The team posted a dev blog about the next stage of ascent up the monumental mountain. “In Mount Zinit part two, we decided to finish one aspect of the narrative before you even had time to explore the whole mountain,” the devs said. “Acting as if this is all totally normal, we arrive at the end of the main quest!”

To finish their ascent, players will need to explore other zones and gear up even further. In other news, a small patch yesterday added rewards for Wakfu’s leaderboard. So what are you waiting for? Go earn, son!

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Revelation Online invites you to visit the Immortal Annex

The Immortal Annex in Revelation Online is a place of boundless learning, a faction devoted simply to studying, researching, learning, and never actually going out to get a job. It’s an undeclared college major’s dream locale, and it’s also the latest spot being highlighted by the game as the place to go. Not just for Rush Week and the weekly keggers, but for huge amounts of untapped knowledge and the usual mechanics of raising your esteem with a faction.

Secret skills are available to those who take the time necessary to really study the lore lining its halls, while the area has attracted several merchants who happily sell powerful gewgaws to anyone with the Annex’s best interests at heart. It’s a neat place to be if you want to learn more, and so perhaps you’re overdue for a trip back to school. And hey, if you’re already in your seventh year of an undeclared major and still think pizza is the ultimate breakfast food, it’ll feel like coming home. Maybe.

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ECO explores climate change with the power of video games

If you’re averse to politics, science, and education, you might want to give ECO wide berth. Otherwise, Strange Loop Games CEO John Krajewski hopes that you and the upcoming generation of students might learn a thing or two about the impact of humans on a closed environment through ECO’s 30-day cycle.

“Within the experiential power of games, I believe we can find some of the power to untie the political knots that wrap up climate change, creating an experience in a virtual world where climate change is a problem you can see in front of your face, and it immediately threatens you,” Krajewski wrote.

Krajewski said that by allowing players to experience first-hand how the environment reacts to siphoning off resources and changing the world itself, the players might come to a conclusion through their experience. “Within ECO, the processes of climate change and societal impact happen over the course of 30 days, with a few dozen friends or classmates, in a world small enough to see all of it,” he said.

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Neverwinter claims 15M registered players across all platforms

Neverwinter has cause for celebration today: PWE has officially announced that the D&D MMORPG has counted over 15 million registered players on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. The game is playable in 110 countries (presumably excepting China, where it sunsetted earlier this year) and has seen 11 large expansiony updates since its formal release in 2013.

That’s up another three million since last autumn, when PWE reported 7 million on PC, 3 million on Xbox One, and 2 million PlayStation 4. It’s been live on PS4 only since July of last year. And yeah, it’s registrations, not actives, but still — that’s a big wide MMORPG audience. Celebratory trailer tucked down below!

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DCUO update improves the loadout screen, spring event to start next week

Ask DC’s Atom if being small means you’re unimportant (he’ll probably disagree and then kick your butt). So don’t be that dismissive of DC Universe Online’s Game Update 70 because it has only one new feature and a handful of fixes.

That feature is pretty significant, giving players a cleaner and more informative user interface when it comes to selecting and arranging abilities for use. The ability library’s been rearranged for better reading comprehension, tooltips won’t pop up unless you want them to, abilities can be unloaded from the tray, and more.

Daybreak did confirm that the patch also paved the way for the start of the spring seasonal event on May 1st, so that’s something to look forward to next week.

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Conan Exiles walks through the process of adding texture-rendering middleware late in development

The developers of Conan Exiles had a problem. The game was full of high-resolution textures to paint across the world, thus ensuring that rocks looked like rocks, trees looked like trees, and skin looked like slightly softer rocks. But the amount of required textures were also causing issues with video cards with only 2 GB of VRAM, and even 4 GB of VRAM could result in problems. So how could the team avoid turning the game into a blobby mess? That’s exactly what the latest development post is all about.

If you were hoping to read about some major new gameplay system coming to the game, we’re sorry to disappoint you, but this post does not end with the revelation that players can kill and harvest textures. But it is an interesting peek behind the scenes at a development element we rarely consider that has a large impact on the game as a whole. Check out the whole thing to learn how the game handles textures, and then hug a textured and non-blobby tree in the game. Then chop it down for lumber.

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Shroud of the Avatar rebalances combat, adds Path of Truth in R41 out today

Shroud of the Avatar’s 41st release is rolling out to players this morning, stuffed with fresh content for testing. Probably the most important bit arriving today is the finished Path of Truth quest arc and its accompanying Halls of Artifice.

“In this single-player, plot-driven experience, the avatar will delve into the mystery of why the satyrs of Elysium are welcoming pilgrims into a life of bliss… Of course, I am sure that a place called Artifice along the Path of Truth would not be filled with lies, right?”

Players can also expect to see the Solace Bridge outskirt map; five new scenes including Ruins of Kas and Verdantis Mines; The Fall, a “free-for-all full of crazy powerups centered around a giant vertical shaft”; new deco; the first stages of localization; and a major combat balancing pass.

“We made major improvements to Taming, Summoned Creatures, the entire Bludgeons combat school, creature resistances, and more,” says Portalarium. “We also added two new Moon Spells, new weapons, and our first new ranged weapon since ranged combat was introduced: Crossbows.”

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