What World of Warcraft would look like in Unreal Engine

Many words have been spilled about World of Warcraft’s relative immunity to aging due to its stylized graphics. And while that art style is quite beloved, have you ever asked yourself what WoW would look like as a modern game?

Now you can. Fan Daniel Luchau has been slaving away rendering WoW’s Elwynn Forest in the Unreal Engine. The sights are instantly recognizable, if quite prettier than gamers might have expected. Luchau said that this is very much a work-in-progress, although he has plans to cover additional zones and release the project for others to explore via virtual reality headsets.

You can watch the full two-minute fly-through after the break!

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Sword and Bored: Trade

The boss has been killed and the loot has been ninja’d, so what is a pickup group to do now? Split up, of course.

It’s funny how fast PUGs break apart after the boss is killed. But sometimes if you stick around for just a bit after downing the big bad, you can make some really good friends.

This marks the end of the latest story arc for Sword and Bored, I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. We have had a lot of fun making them. And we hope that Mo’s adventures keep going for a long time. Now, on to this week’s comic…

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Bungie promises to ban cheaters in Destiny

It’s not exactly a drastic reach to say that people shouldn’t cheat when playing an online game. People should definitely not be cheating during Destinys Trials of Osiris, and it gets even worse when the means of that cheating involves keeping your opponents from reconnecting to the game. Yes, apparently you could do that, but the “egregious” offenders who did precisely that are now enjoying a brand-new ban.

There’s no word on exactly how many players were caught in the bannings, but the intention seems to be to make it clear that cheaters are caught and punished. Some players ran afoul of a bug as well, causing them to lose connection and have similar troubles, so it’s also unclear how many players were impacted by either issue. Regardless, take this as a life lesson: Don’t cheat. Good advice all around!

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MapleStory 2 is launching in Korea on July 7

Predictions of a July 2nd launch date for MapleStory 2 were off — but only by a few days. Nexon announced that the colorful sequel to MapleStory will be releasing in Korea on July 7th without progressing through an open beta stage.

At launch, players can hop, skip, and slice their way to level 30 and enjoy a wide range of content, such as PvP and user-created content. There are plans to raise the level cap to 40 later in July and to 50 in August.

Players don’t have to be twiddling their thumbs between now and July 7th, however. Nexon is allowing folks to download the game and create their characters in preparation for the launch day.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV and the unknown expansion skills

If you’ve been paying attention the last few weeks, you’ve doubtlessly heard a fair bit about the new skills that the various classes and jobs will be getting when Heavensward launches. You also probably don’t know half as much about them as you might think.

On some level, this is a bit of a complaint because we have not gotten a straightforward listing of skills and their effects along the lines of what Ninja got, and I don’t know why the Final Fantasy XIV developers would think that we don’t want one. But on another level, even a full and precise listing might not actually fix things. There’s going to be ambiguity no matter what because let’s be real here: I know what an array of the new skills are supposed to be, but I don’t know them. I don’t know how they play. And at the end of the day, a listing of skills is just a pile of data. Important data, sure, but not a prime source of figuring out how I’ll be playing my characters when the expansion launches.

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Heroes of the Storm gears up for launch with double XP, launch streaming, and Blizzard brawling

Are you ready for Heroes of the Storm to launch? It is launching, tomorrow, and there’s a lot of stuff going along with that launch. First and foremost, you can enjoy doubled experience all through the launch week; the effect triggers on June 2nd at 3:01 a.m. EDT and runs until 2:59 a.m. EDT on June 10th. That’s just an easy way to advance a little faster if you’re new to the game.

You’ll also have the opportunity to go up against the developers at Blizzard on June 3rd at 2:00 p.m. EDT in a special streaming event. Last but not least, there’s a whole launch day countdown going on starting today at 3:30 p.m. EDT, so if you want to ring in the launch in theatrical style, you’ve got the opportunity.

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Valiance Online begins a patch blitz

Superheroes don’t do anything in half-measures, and neither does City of Heroes spiritual successor Valiance Online. The team updated the title yesterday with the first of a promised series of patches: “This first release is dedicated to testing the new zone, the new physics servers, and the zone’s capacity and performance standards of our current target platform. As we complete tests, we’ll begin to patch in updates rapidly.”

The patch adds in the new animation and sound systems as well as better tech for rendering foliage. NPC and enemy mobs also saw an uptick to their intelligence with the update, with the ability to observe surroundings, move around, and react to situations.

Source: Patch notes. Thanks to MagmaFist for the tip!

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LEGO Universe died on the sword of dong-detecting software

Give another human being a creative tool with the instruction to make anything, and odds are that first creation is going to be some variety of dong. It’s just human nature. This is funny when it’s a bunch of adults but a pretty huge issue when you’re making a game meant for children. The developers of LEGO Universe have recently spoken up about the challenges of making a building game in which every creation had to be very closely scrutinized for… well, you get the idea.

In a world where games like Minecraft and Landmark have both taken off, it’s relatively obvious that creative building games are welcomed. The problem was that preventing the display of wee-wees was an absolute ironclad portion of the game’s development; it couldn’t be automated, the branding required constant hypervigilance. As a result, there was a huge cost associated with just moderating the game, extending even to the developers playing around with the toolset. By extension, it turns out that there’s really no way to build software to automatically detect dangly bits.

Source: Twitter via Eurogamer and Polygon

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Derek Smart defends Alganon against review bombing

It’s safe to say that Alganon has not been a well-liked game on Steam since its arrival on the platform on May 5th, at least if you judge by its player reviews: There are twice as many negative reviews as positive criticizing the fantasy MMO. Derek Smart, who is still in charge of the project as well as his upcoming Line of Defense, claims that this title has been unfairly assaulted by “review bombing” and has issued a warning to those who attempt to put down the game without justification.

“If you violate any of the community guidelines in our forums, you WILL be banned (temp or perma-, depending on severity),” Smart posted. “NO EXCEPTIONS. And now also, you will be banned from our game servers. In case you were wondering; yes, we can in fact do that, same way we treat cheaters and their ilk.”

Smart did assure players that “nobody gets banned for their opinions” as long as they bow to the Steam community guidelines.

Source: Steam via MMO Fallout

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Shroud of the Avatar sports a new player-run town in Release 18

The next time you’re playing Shroud of the Avatar, you should take the time go visit Vengeance. It’s actually just the name of the second player-run town, but it sounds as if it should be a badass thing from an action film made in 1987, right? Of course, the update was release on May 28th, so you may have already noticed that Vengeance is the first open-PvP town in the game, which makes its name seem just that much more appropriate.

The update also features a variety of other additions, including the usual new Grand Tour quest with a new hat as a reward. Players who have already finished exploring should still take a look at the most recent development dispatch, as it contains news on other features like the new five-story basements available in the game’s add-on shop. Check out all of the community news and the full patch notes in the usual spot.

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The Daily Grind: How do you plan to play Star Citizen?

I’m pretty excited to get my hands on some different ships in this week’s Star Citizen free-fly event. I know, I know, I can grind REC and fly the ships any time I want in the game’s alpha Arena Commander module, but A) I don’t like to grind any more, and B) I certainly don’t like to grind in an alpha when I know my progress will be wiped!

I’m excited to try out some new ships because I already have a pretty good idea about the capabilities of my Aurora and my 300i. But I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do in terms of primary gameplay when the persistent universe launches. I’ll probably explore, and trade, and dogfight, and who knows what else because it all sounds interesting.

What about you, MOP readers and Star Citizen fans? How do you plan to play the game at launch? As a fighter? A trader? Something else?

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MMO Week in Review: WildStar is saving itself (May 31, 2015)

Were you too busy gaming this week to pay attention to MMO news? Get caught up every Sunday evening with Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

Just in time for its first birthday, Carbine formally announced WildStar’s free-to-play transition this week; it’s due in the fall and is part of NCsoft’s stated intent of bolstering its Western roster. Our own WildStar expert Eliot Lefebvre, who’s been heavily critical of the game’s first year, thinks there’s still hope for the game.

Read on for the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions.

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EVE Evolved: Have the Drifters conquered the Jove Empire?

EVE Online‘s Carnyx release is right around the corner on June 2nd, and it’s going to be a big update! The Caldari will finally get their tech 3 tactical destroyer with the release of the Jackdaw, a tough little ship that specialises in light missiles and rockets. We’re also getting some graphical tweaks, more cruiser-sized burner missions, and the long-awaited rebalance of afterburners, microwarpdrives, shield extenders, and armour plates. This release will also add the Entosis mechanic I’ve discussed in previous articles, though players will be able to use it only in a limited capacity to disable station services.

While it’ll be good to see all of the above implemented, the thing that I’m most looking forward to is the opening of five more mysterious new wormhole systems as part of the advancing Drifter storyline. The new star systems can be reached via unidentified wormholes that appear in systems with Jove Observatories and appear to lead directly to Drifter space, where new group PvE challenges lie. This next step in EVE‘s storyline also seems set to tie everything new in the game together, from the upcoming structures and new capture mechanics to new PvE types and maybe even plans to eventually give players control over empire space.

In this lore-filled edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into the story surrounding the Drifter menace, speculate on where the Jove fit into the picture, and look at how an in-character YouTube series is really bringing EVE‘s patches to life.

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