The Daily Grind: What’s the least effective character you’ve played in an MMO?

Red Mage is pretty unambiguously the worst class in Final Fantasy XI right now. The old trick of the class (enfeebling magic) is now pretty much useless, and everything else that the class could do is done better by another job. This goes doubly for melee, where the job lacks sufficient accuracy to hit things past a certain point and generally has to waste a lengthy period of time buffing itself into being somewhat useful despite its lackluster nature. So why was a melee-oriented Red Mage my first job to the level cap?

Well, it looked cool.

I never had any misunderstandings about the job’s utility; I knew I was picking the worst way to play the worst possible job, so I harbor no real ill will. There are a lot of characters that I’ve played knowing full well that I was playing to less than the full potential – Necromancer/Warrior in Guild Wars, Engineering captain in a Tactical ship in Star Trek Online, every single character build I ever made in The Secret World. But what about you, dear readers? What’s the least effective character you’ve played in an MMO? Was it intentional, and if so, why?

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The Stream Team: Bebopping about Black Desert

When MassivelyOP’s MJ goes off the beaten path, you never know what she will run into. Last time, she found some overrun ruins and picked up a random sheep! She’s heading off the trails again in search of adventure (and maybe even a quest completion or two). You, too, can experience this sense of wanderlust; there are more 10-day codes to give away. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. as MJ bebops through the wilds of…

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 18th, 2016

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Heroes of the Storm offers up a Chromie trailer

The majority of the Bronze Dragonflight is somewhat aloof and mysterious, as befits an entire group of dragons perpetually mucking about in the timestream. It’s not that they don’t like other people, it that it’s hard to be friends with someone whose existence may be radically different when you edit the past few years of the timeline to never have happened. But Chromie’s not like that; she’s charming, upbeat, friendly, and appearing in Heroes of the Storm to fill all of your needs for a chipper time-controlling dragon.

The video below does a good job of showing off Chromie’s personality as well as her ability to alter the timestream, summoning her more draconic powers only when absolutely necessary. (Although when you can make someone’s timestream run backward, being able to fly around with claws does seem a bit like a step down.) Check it out if you look forward to playing the character in matches time after time after time.

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Players vote to change Elite Dangerous: Engineers progression

Are Elite Dangerous players happy with how Engineers’ endgame progression is in the beta or do they want a change? According to a poll put out by Frontier, the community voted overwhelmingly that the studio should change progression to be “mission-based” instead of the current crafting-based format.

In the poll, 88% of players preferred the change to “doing missions with a matching theme,” while 12% were fine with the system as it was. Elite Dangerous has been working on patching up and polishing its Engineers beta before pushing it to live, so this could represent a significant change for the expansion.

In other voting news, Elite players selected five battlegroups that will be competing in the next stage of the Dangerous Games.

Source: Poll, Dangerous Games. Thanks Orian!

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Paragon to host free beta weekend on May 26

Whenever the cry of “free beta!” goes out across the valley, you can be assured that you will get two types of people flocking to your call. The first will be seeking cheap, colorful fish, while the others are curious onlookers who want to dabble in a game to see what treasures it contains.

Paragon is hosting a free beta weekend that will run from May 26th through the 30th on both PC and PlayStation 4. If you’re interested in checking out this zany MOBA during that time, you’ll need to sign up by May 25th to qualify for the fun.

Does this sound too good to be true? We have the proof after the break that this free beta weekend is actually happening.

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ArcheAge offers name change service, postpones name reset

If you’re sick of your character’s name in ArcheAge yet have too much time on that toon to consider rerolling, you now have a way out of this terrible predicament. Starting yesterday, players can use a name change service to swap out “xXLordDeathStrikeXx” for something a little more awesome.

The name change service isn’t free, of course; players will be charged 1,400 credits to use it. There’s also one more condition attached: You can only change your name once every 30 days.

Trion Worlds did notify players that it won’t be releasing long-dormant names until later this month: “The team continues to work to make sure that everything is in place for the name reset to be performed. Some of these final changes require a major update to be performed on the game (as the in-game name change prompt needs some updated text) and so we’ll be releasing the name reset along with Update 2.9 on May 31st.”

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SMITE sells Viking-themed invasion pass

Starting on May 24th, SMITE is welcoming a Viking invasion to the game. No, a nasty virus won’t be pillaging and looting your hard drive, but instead the studio is selling an “invasion pass” for players looking to pick up a deal on a few items.

The bundle, which is being sold for 900 gems, includes a Viking-themed loading frame, a music theme, a stein ward, an altar pedestal, a Ymir voice announcer pack, and Viking skins for Chaac and Kali. The pass also unlocks branching quests that lead to Valhalla — and even more god skins.

Source: SMITE. Thanks Sorenthaz for the tip!

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Final Fantasy XIV posts a teaser for its next two dungeons

The next two dungeons to be added to Final Fantasy XIV‘s lineup are not a secret – players will be exploring the brand-new Sohr Khai and the remixed Hullbreaker Isle (Hard). We even know the broadest strokes of the story for the latter, at least. But the most decent development preview isn’t focused on lore in the least, focusing instead on taking a quick trip through the two new dungeons so that players might have some idea of what to expect.

While the preview doesn’t go into depth on the bosses players will face, you can rest assured that a giant moogle is showing up for at least one of them, thus quelling the anguished cries of those who have not gotten to beat up a fluffy pom-pom transporter since Thornmarch. There’s also the promise of a tentacle pet for players who brave the depths of the rejuvenated Hullbreaker Isle. There are still plenty of questions about what will be in the dungeons, but at least this is the start of some answers.

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CCP announces Gunjack Next for Google Daydream

EVE Gunjack is getting a sequel, and it’s an exclusive for Google’s Android-based Daydream VR platform, which itself was announced just today. Gunjack Next — yes, that’s its codename — is planned to launch in the fall.

CCP Games today announced that they are developing “Gunjack Next,” the codename for an entirely new sequel to the best-selling game Gunjack, which is currently available for the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive VR platforms. The game is being created exclusively for Google’s newly-announced Daydream platform, and will launch this fall. CCP Games’ Shanghai studio, the creators of Gunjack, is working closely with Google’s team to ensure that “Gunjack Next” leverages all of the power and features available. Like Gunjack, which was praised for its breakthrough graphics when it launched on Gear VR, the development team expects “Gunjack Next” to again raise the bar for mobile VR gaming.”

More when we have it.

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RIFT launches a sentient 10-man raid; here’s the trailer

Live in RIFT’s patch today is a brand-new 10-man raid called The Comet of Ahnket. A lore piece last week revealed that the eponymous comet led scholars to discover a sentient tower that is the location of the raid — “not only sentient, but fiercely self-aware and possessing astonishing magical power.” The tower says that she’s entrapped two warring enemies within her walls, and it’s your job to enter her and destroy them both.

Welp, never seen that done before. The trailer and screenies are below.

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Vigor Roads takes the wheel of the apocalypse

When will the apocalypse get here already so that all of the really cool stuff can start happening? Mutants, rampant looting, cannibal games, and armored death cars all seem like a glorious dream that only New Jersey residents get to live. For those seeking Mad Max-style road rage in their MMOs, there might be a new game coming along to bring high-octane action to the wasteland: Vigor Roads.

Developer NeuronHaze, the makers of the upcoming Project Genom, have launched a small Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 to make the basic edition of Vigor Roads. This game has players driving “battle cars” around a broken-down world, competing and cooperating in several different modes. While this initial version is quite limited, stretch goals include an open world map and support for other platforms (including VR).

If the campaign picks up an incredible amount of steam, it could even trigger the Dog milestone at $1M (“We’ll add a dog called Chris Robinson in a spacesuit which will live in your garage.”) and the Real Car stretch goal at $1.5M (“We’ll make a real car in Vigor Roads style and you could ride it with a professional driver.”).

Hey, if you’re missing Auto Assault, this might be the next best thing. Check out the Vigor Roads trailer after the break!

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Desert Nomad: The misplaced individuality of Black Desert

Hello, friends, and welcome back at long last to another installment of Desert Nomad. I’m very sorry to have kept you all waiting during my impromptu sabbatical, and if it’s any consolation, the vast majority of it was spent dealing with aggro from the dread fiend known as Real Life. But I survived with my sanity more or less intact, and I’m once again ready to recklessly abandon the real world in favor of one in which most of my problems can be solved by swinging a sword, pickaxe, or other suitable implement at them.

Once I had recovered from dodging the barrage of curveballs that reality had so generously thrown at me, I immediately set to work trawling Black Desert’s forums and subreddit to see what had gotten the community abuzz during my absence. Needless to say, I had a lot of catching up to do. The Mediah content update went live, granting players access to a big new chunk of the world, which is accompanied by oodles of new quests, and opening up the Crimson Battlefield 40-vs-40 PvP deathmatch. Unfortunately, however, I can’t write about that yet on account of the fact that I have experienced none of it because of another major content update I missed: The classes I’d been waiting for, Blader and Plum, made their debuts under the new names of Musa and Maehwa, and since my return to the game, every iota of my attention has been focused solely on catching my dashing new Blader up to my former Warrior main.

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Blizzard and Twitch address harassment defiling game event streams

In case you had forgotten since yesterday’s news that RuneScape had to ban players for running around in-game wearing KKK costumes and shrieking racial slurs, some gamers are still racist idiots. The topic is getting attention from Blizzard now too, as horrific racially motivated harassment toward Terrence Miller, an African-American player, engulfed the live chat panel of the Twitch stream of his Dreamhack Austin Hearthstone matches earlier this month.

Polygon reported at the time that the moderators working during the stream said they were completely unprepared for the deluge of nastiness; though they brought on more in a hurry, some of them were part of the problem themselves.

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime issued a press statement yesterday, suggesting that the company, alongside Twitch, plans to adapt to make sure garbage like this doesn’t happen again at gaming events with his games’ name attached to them. He put it more politely, of course:

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