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Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago is pretty much a trainwreck

If you’ve ever been to a massive gathering of tech-savvy people — like say, a gaming convention — you know better than to rely on the internet for sending emails or tweeting consistently, let alone for gaming itself. That’s just one of the lessons being learned by Niantic and the thousands of people who paid for tickets to Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago this weekend.

Multiple outlets are reporting that not only can many people inside the park not connect to play, but there have been huge lines outside the park as people still wait to get in. When Niantic CEO John Hanke took the stage to calm everyone, he was subsequently booed and heckled while issuing apologies. Ouch.

Popular fansite The Silph Road reports that Niantic is offering refunds and chunks of currency, but that won’t help all people who flew in from out of state — or out of country — for an event that’s gone south.

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SWTOR’s Update 5.4 will add a new flashpoint and player housing on a moving train

Now that Star Wars: The Old Republic players have mastered their emotions and the 5.3 update, it is time to gaze to the galaxy and prepare for what’s coming. BioWare realized that it had been a little vague on what August’s Update 5.4 would contain and rectified this with more elaboration on the patch’s contents in a forum post.

Update 5.4 will kick off with a completely new flashpoint called Crisis on Umbara. With three difficulty levels (including master), players will need to bring their A-game (and A-gear) to whip this instance. If players beat the flashpoint a few times, they can gain access to the Umbara stronghold, which is held on a moving train.

The update will also contain more companion customization, the ability to summon companions while moving, higher graphics settings, and the end of Season 8. Discipline balance tuning is scheduled to continue with changes to Lethality, Ruffian, Concealment, Scrapper, Medicine, Sawbones, Fury, Concentration, Carnage, and Combat.

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Ashes of Creation talks about group dynamics and shows PAX demo locales

Calling it an “essential part of the game,” grouping is this week’s focus over at Ashes of Creation.

Ashes of Creation’s team is currently planning for a default group size of eight, saying that this brings back the “massively” to the genre and “amplifies” class roles. Loot rules will be pretty traditional compared to what you’d find in most MMOs, although the team is considering adding a bidding system as well.

To help with the creation of more well-rounded groups, the team will empower players to choose “augments” that allow for more diversification in addition to their main role. Think of a DPSer having some debuff abilities or a healer that adds some buffing skills.

“We want to allow for well-rounded parties to be rewarded for diversity and inclusion when people are determining party composition,” the devs wrote.

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Pokemon Go: Milwaukee County lawsuit injunction and preparing for legendaries

Back in February, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, tried to prevent Pokemon Go player-inflicted park damage by requiring ARG developers, including Niantic, to acquire permits before implementing games within the park. The county was subsequently sued by Texas Rope’ Em dev Candy Lab AR this past spring, and now, a judge has granted an injunction blocking enforcement of the ordinance until after the lawsuit’s been resolved, noting not only that it’s unconstitutional but nearly impossible to execute.

In happier POGO news, Legendary Pokemon are coming to Pokemon Go. Unlike other Pokemon, Legendaries cannot be put into gyms to defend, but they should make raids a little bit easier. Trainers at the Chicago event will have a set of challenges to meet, but players not attending also need to help out. PokemonGO Hub has a great chart for finding out when the events begin if you need a little guidance. On the way to legendaries, players can unlock bonuses to just about everything, from Star Dust to increased spawns.

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Betawatch: Dark and Light shines a light on early access (July 21, 2017)

For everything, there is a season, turn turn turn. We’ve bid farewell to Albion Online this week, as it has launched properly and thus no longer qualifies as being in beta, but we also can say hello to the early access period for Dark and Light. Seriously, that just came out of nowhere, after ages of delays. It’s kind of awesome like that. So hooray for new early access!

We also bid farewell to Gigantic as it reaches its official launch. It’s like everyone graduating from college, although in this case college is full of supposed tests that are mostly a matter of building notoriety and… huh. That analogy works surprisingly well.

More testing news? Of course, friends, of course.

Well, after all of that I’m sure everyone wants to retreat to the safety of the list of games in testing, yes? I know I do. It’s down below, and you can feel free to scroll through it and let us know if we’re missing something important in the comments.

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EverQuest II’s Tinkerfest offers new quests, achievements, pets, and craftables

Tinkerfest is live in EverQuest II once again as it always is in summer — “like clockwork,” Daybreak dad-jokes.

“Take up your favorite wrench and celebrate all things gnomish, be they metal, combustive, mathematical, experimental, or a combination thereof! Adventures, rewards, buyables and crafted items await you, both new and familiar. You won’t want to miss all of the fun at Gnomeland Security, your headquarters for all things Tinkerfest, in Steamfont Mountains.”

There is new stuff to toy with this year, including a new hack-‘n’-slash public quest in Antonica and the Commlands, a new achievement, new merchant items, and a new crafter recipe booklet. EQ2 Traders has pics of new toolboxes, a distillery, and metalwork arches, plus a buyable backpack, minipets, and a sweet fabled-tier familiar for high-end tinkers.

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Wild Terra is free to play all weekend

Who doesn’t love free things? How about free isometric MMO sandboxes? Wild Terra is putting itself in the free bin for the weekend as it runs an open stress test, nullifying its usual $14.99 early access buy-in. And you’re invited!

Studio Juvty Worlds notes that would-be testers can download the client or simply play in their Chrome/Opera browsers. “Actively testing the game, you’ll get a reward – game currency and Steam keys,” promise the devs. “Report any errors or problems found in Wild Terra.”

Most recently, the game played host to an in-game player wedding and patched spawn rates, planting systems, HUD, and auction bugs.

The event runs until July 24th, at which point servers will be wiped, the pricetag returns, and your carriage turns into a pumpkin.

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Dark and Light adds servers, patches up as it gets slammed on Steam early access

Of this there is no doubt: The Dark and Light team is getting very little sleep this week.

The reworked fantasy sandbox released on Steam Early Access yesterday, and it went as these things typically do. There were a lot of players crowding onto the servers to see what the deal was (5,508 people at one point), and the hardware took a clobbering.

The team thanked players for their patience and said that it is adjusting to the influx of population: “It’s been quite a launch day! We’re still adding servers and working on alleviating issues in higher-population servers, as well as supporting additional regions.”

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Crowfall’s Cleric rises from the ashes of the Legionnaire

Farewell Legionnaire, hello Cleric! As part of the Crowfall development team’s decision to decouple races and classes, the former Legionnaire archetype dissolved in the aftermath and was reshaped into the new Cleric.

As this week’s class reveal explains, the Cleric is downright perfect for players looking for a sturdy frontline healer who can also deal out melee damage without getting pounded into the ground too quickly. This new class is, as the team explains, “easy to play, ranged, healing, buffing, along with the sturdiness to take a severe beating as they would no doubt be the focus target in any fight.”

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Path of Exile’s microtransaction system is finally live

After multiple false starts over the summer, Path of Exile has finally patched in its new microtransaction system as of last night.

“In the new Microtransaction System, we’ve completely done away with the old Microtransaction Stash and have replaced with a new one that lets you sort and manage your microtransactions in a much cleaner way. The microtransactions are equipped to their own slots so that you can swap your items around at will without having to reclaim/reapply microtransactions constantly. You can also equip microtransactions from other characters with a click.”

“The microtransaction system in this 2.6.3 patch is fully up to date,” Grinding Gear’s Chris Wilson says. “The one on the Beta 3.0.0 wave 3 realm is missing some recent minor bug fixes, so if you see weirdness on Beta, that’s why. It’ll be up to date by release. If you try to reclaim microtransactions between the two realms, it will work, but may display incorrect character and league names. Your consumable microtransactions on Beta (like Fireworks and Skin Transfers) are your real ones and are actually consumed if you use them.”

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DC Universe Online looks forward to a new powerset and two new stories

Ah, summer, the time of year when everyone inevitably starts thinking about the fall. It is what comes next, after all. So DC Universe Online is teasing its plans for content through September and November, including the upcoming new Water powerset to replicate Aquaman. Stop laughing, it’s a legitimate powerset; it can heal or do damage, focusing on manipulating the water in and around allies and enemies. It’s scheduled to roll out on August 30th, so you’ll be ale to get all wet just before the summer ends.

Meanwhile, the two new story arcs for the game will be coming out in September and November. The first one, Riddled with Crime, sees Batman going missing and Gotham City’s underworld rising up to take control of the streets; the second brings in the Crime Society of America from Earth-3, requiring heroes to team up with Alexander Luthor in a world where all of the morality of characters is reversed. It’s a little ways away, but you know with all of this that you won’t want for entertainment for the next few months.

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Diablo III’s 11th season is now live with new class gear for the Necro

Season 11 is now live in Diablo III, which means a brand-new opportunity to start a fresh grind for loot and expies. In its release blog last night, Blizzard touted new minipets, new portraits, new stash tab unlocks, and a new rotation of Conquests. The main prize, however, is the class sets players can earn for completing this season’s journey requirements, including a class set for the still relatively fresh Necromancer class.

“Now that the Priests of Rathma are active in Sanctuary, you can play through the Season Journey as the Necromancer and complete the free Class Set: the Bones of Rathma. Of course, this prize isn’t just for Necromancers. Every class will receive Haedrig’s Gift—a free Class Set—for completing the Season Journey Chapters 2, 3, and 4. Barbarians can earn the Wrath of the Wastes set, Crusaders can earn Roland’s Legacy, Demon Hunters can earn the Unhallowed Essence set, Monks can earn the Raiment of a Thousand Storms set, Witch Doctors can earn the Helltooth Harness set, and Wizards can earn Tal Rasha’s Elements.”

To get started, either create a seasonal hero or rebirth an older toon to start him or her from scratch (but don’t worry – you won’t lose loot permanently!).

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Valiance Online works with the community to develop and show off powersets

Do you like pets, powersets, and behind-the-scenes development glances? Then you’ll enjoy the nearly four hours of Valiance Online stream footage now available just below, which features a discussion of the enhancement system, spreadsheet development, the start of a community-developed powerset (Bubble Projection, starts at around the two-hour mark), a look at one of the pet powersets available, and plenty of in-jokes and laughs among the developers. The video is long, but you can safely skip to around 24:00 and not miss any of the important moments.

If you don’t have time to watch all of that or would prefer more direct information, you can check out the game’s latest lore article about the Starborn, a gang of fashion-obsessed custom-tailored psionic troublemakers jockeying for power more due to boredom than anything else. They’re chasing the latest psionic technology and the latest fashion, and they’re willing to make an absolute mess of the world in the process. So that’s going to be fun.

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