ArenaNet strips, kills, deletes, and bans Guild Wars 2 cheater

Today’s lesson is that you shouldn’t cheat in online games. Alas, a Guild Wars 2 character had to die to provide this valuable information if you couldn’t come up with that one on your own, as players captured video of a rather notorious cheater doing that cheat thing. If you were wondering if video evidence was enough for ArenaNet to ban you, well, yes it is.

How do we know that? Because Chris Cleary, game security lead, posted video of the team logging in to the character, stripping him of his gear, flinging him to his death in the middle of Divinity’s Reach, and then deleting the character. And to add insult to injury, yes, the player is banned now. So “don’t be filmed while cheating” could be the lesson here, but we prefer to go with “don’t cheat.”

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WildStar’s massive INVASION: Nexus patch is live

Do you want a pet? Do you want to take on some contracts? Are you excited to play around with an expanded wardrobe? Is it time for a new raid? Literally all of these things are contained in the latest WildStar patch that’s just hit the live servers. No, really, all of them; we have a tendency to list one humorous item on the list at the end, but this time they’re all in there. They’re focal points, even.

As revealed in the full patch notes, the update contains various other quality-of-life fixes including more consistent gold rewards from Shiphand missions and a material vendor allowing players to trade lesser materials for higher-tier ones. Enjoy all of the new features live in the game right now, or in the next several hours, depending on your work schedule. Surprise!

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The Daily Grind: Should more MMOs include advanced classes?

One of the very first RPGs that I played was Final Fantasy for the NES. I remember pouring over the manual at my friend’s house and becoming fixated on the concept of how characters would transition from their starting class to an advanced one when they “grew up” in the game a bit.

Classes that evolve or change into entirely new ones is something that MMOs have dabbled in from time to time, including the old version of EverQuest II and the upcoming Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. It seems a tricky line to walk with established characters, because while a new build can be refreshing, it can also disrupt the satisfaction and stability that the class used to deliver.

Do you like the idea of advanced classes? Should more MMOs add them?

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Not So Massively: HoN’s fifth anniversary update; Dota 2 rakes in millions of dollars

Heroes of Newerth received a colossal patch this week to celebrate its fifth anniversary, introducing a new intelligence carry hero, a capture the flag game mode, dozens of events and countless balance changes and improvements. League of Legends revisited two of its oldest champions with a full redesign of Ashe in the works and the recent Ryze overhaul being rolled into Patch 5.8. Upcoming MOBA Sins of a Dark Age got a confirmed free-to-play release date of May 8th following over a year in Early Access. Details of Path of Exile‘s new Divination Card system coming in its upcoming expansion were revealed.

Dota 2‘s digital compendium for the upcoming world championship tournament has raked in almost $14 million US in its first few days on sale, and Valve is prepared for it to gross as much as $53.6 million. Star Citizen hit $81.14 million in pre-sales after answering fans’ questions on the recently revealed MISC ship hull series. And Jagex‘s new online FPS Block N Load has now released and is being described by fans as “Minecraft meets Team Fortress 2.”

Read on for detailed breakdowns of all the above stories and links to more news from the wider world of online gaming in this week’s Not So Massively.


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EVE Online’s PLEX is helping Nepal victims

Have you donated to disaster relief efforts in Nepal yet? If not, and if you’re an EVE Online player, you can do so via CCP’s PLEX for GOOD program. The firm is accepting PLEX donations from now through May 15th, and for every PLEX received, the devs will donate $15 USD to relief efforts through the Icelandic Red Cross.

Full details on how to participate are available at EVE Online’s website.

[Source: PLEX for GOOD]


Star Trek Online honoring Grace Lee Whitney

“We raise our memorial flags at the loss of Grace Lee Whitney,” STO’s Twitter feed read earlier this afternoon. “Star Trek Online will be honoring her in-game this week.”

Whitney, best known for her role as Janice Rand on the original Star Trek television series, died on May 1st at the age of 85. STO developer Cryptic has not yet publicized its plans for an in-game memorial.

[Source: Twitter]


LOTRO’s update 16 arrives with new instances and LI imbuement

There are phrases you never expect to hear from Lord of the Rings Online patch notes. Like “giant mecha battles” or “featuring voice work by Sting” or “new instance cluster.” But that last one is actually in the patch notes for Update 16. Turbine is adding a new instance cluster containing three new instances for players to explore. No word on giant mecha battles, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on those.

You have more to enjoy this update with the inclusion of the new Legendary imbuement system and four new regions: Upper Lebennin, Osgilliath, Lossarnach, and South Ithillien. Another installment of the epic story and several class adjustments round out the rather prodigious size of the patch.

[Source: Update 16 patch notes]


SWTOR is on sale at Amazon for May 4

Am I the only Star Wars fan who realizes that May 4th is a dumb day to celebrate the saga? I get it, someone thought it was a clever pun and the same people who greenlighted the prequels agreed. But guess what, it’s not terribly clever and more importantly, nothing of Star Wars consequence happened on May 4th!

Whew. Now that that’s off my chest, here’s the news I actually came into this post to deliver. Star Wars: The Old Republic is on sale at Amazon. You can get a bundle that includes the base game, the Rise of the Hutt Cartel and Shadow of Revan expansions, 60 days of subscription time, and 2400 cash shop coins for $29.99. Ordinarily Amazon sells this digital download for $39.99.

[Source: Amazon; thanks Crow!]


Sword and Bored: Hide helmet

One of the first concepts for the comic strip that we had was this particular comic. It was just an idea at the a time of something that would be funny to happen to Mo, but there wasn’t an arc to put it in.

Now the concept that we created way back in Update #15 for the Kickstarter is now a fleshed out comic. It’s interesting to look at the differences between then and now and how Mo has changed.

Without further ado, here’s this week’s comic…

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Guild Wars 2 hints at bow-using Guardian elite spec

The next elite specialization for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns may be out of the bag, as ArenaNet posted a new piece of concept art this morning that shows what appears to be a Guardian wielding a bow. The character also has a pair of bright wings sprouting from between his shoulderblades. We’ll put in our official guess for the name of this specialization right now: the Cupid.

If this is a preview of a new class build, this will be the second elite specialization announced from the expansion, following the Chronomancer, a Mesmer build that uses a shield that stops time.

[Source: Facebook]


Empyrean Rule combines RTS gameplay with a persistent world

You can’t accuse the makers of Empyrean Rule of thinking small. Instead of trying to just create a persistent fantasy sandbox for $40,000, the team is trying to create a persistent fantasy RTS sandbox, with players taking the role of a general commanding vast armies and fighting for dominance. It would be ambitious at any budget, really.

The game is currently up on Kickstarter with the aforementioned target funding, promising players the ability to customize armies, freely mix and match units from different races, and a completely player-driven economy. If that sounds like the sort of project you’d like to back if it succeeds, toss some money at it; you have 24 days remaining as of this writing.

[Source: Kickstarter; thanks to Dylan for the tip!]


Meta: Gaiscioch Magazine chronicles Massively OP’s comeback

Here’s a bit of meta for your afternoon: Massively Overpowered isn’t just covering the news; we are the news!

After Massively OP’s whirlwind spring, renowned MMO clan Gaiscioch invited us to tell our resurrection story in the Live Epic: Leading a Memorable Life of Epic Adventure & Wonder edition of its massive volunteer magazine, which is on virtual newsstands as of this past weekend. The 6,838-member multi-gaming guild-family took the time out of its busy schedule of running dozens of gaming chapters, charity events, and sports activities to interview us on just how we — and you! — brought Massively OP to life. All of that and the magazine is free. MMO players are singularly awesome.

You can check out the full spring 2015 issue of Gaiscioch Magazine on or scope out just our feature article on the Gaiscioch website. By the way, it’s pronounced “gosh-kia.” Now you know.

With many thanks to Gaiscioch’s Benjamin “Foghladha” Foley for featuring us!


Shroud of the Avatar adds first player-run town in release 17

Release 17 for Shroud of the Avatar has landed, bringing with it one of the most revolutionary additions to the game yet: paver decorations for decks and patios! OK, maybe “revolutionary” is a strong word for it, but for those looking to create a stunning backyard, it can’t but help the effort.

The new patch came out last week and contains far more than paving stones. Release 17 added in the game’s first player-owned town, eight improved adventure scenes, additional crafting events, the Summon Phoenix skill, player titles, and more. Players who take the Release 17 tour can earn themselves an exclusive (to this release) fez hat.

[Source: Update of the Avatar]


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