Project Gorgon’s huge UI revamp is a ‘major stepping stone’ toward Steam early access

Interface junkies, gather round, especially if you like detailed old-school-inspired MMORPGs, for Project Gorgon has unveiled a detailed tour of its new UI. It’s been “written to take advantage of the latest that the Unity Engine has to offer,” says the studio, and it’s largely thanks to the programmer hired with your Kickstarter funds.

“To reiterate, the main point of this rewrite is to make it easier for us to add UI features in the future. So in this first version, the most important thing is that we don’t lose any important features from the old UI. But there are some tangible improvements. The new UI’s appearance was designed by a top-rated UI artist. It has a cleaner look while still fitting in a tremendous number of functions and features. And we’ve taken the time to add some improvements — many small ones and a few big ones — that will make your gaming life immediately better.”

The dev blog released o the forums this week shows off collapsible skill trees, copypasting from tooltips, right-click context menus, frame moving and docking, outfit loadouts, chat customization, and maybe most importantly, a “stuff to do” panel that explains, well, what to do when you’re “stuck or confused.”

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Halloween events across the MMORPG verse, 2017 edition

Hey, you. Yeah, you, dude leeching candy from the bucket you bought “for the neighborhood kids.” And you, lady still trying to decide between “Princess Leia” and “lazy zombie” for your costume (go Leia, duh). Put all that aside and get into some MMOs instead! Halloween is only one night in real life, but in MMORPGs, it goes on for days or even weeks. Some studios will probably even forget to turn it off! Others will let you run around with a flaming pumpkin head mask for all eternity!

Here’s what we’re looking at this year for Halloween across the MMORPG verse.

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Star Citizen: Around the Verse, alpha 3.0 bugs, and the state of refunds

Let’s just get this out of the way upfront: There are 25 serious issues still on the docket before Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 moves from Evocati testers to the next stage of testing, with fixes chiefly centering on doors, broken interactions, and multiplayer crashes. That’s a bigger number than last week, you’ll notice, because while some issues were fixed, new ones cropped up. Welcome to game dev.

The rest of this week’s edition of Around the Verse is fun, as it’s all about armor sets – specifically, how the team has gone about retooling and updating one-piece legacy armor to use new tech and split into separate pieces.

Meanwhile, there was a rash of claims on the (dodgy) Star Citizen refunds subreddit last week insinuating that CIG had stopped issuing refunds now that alpha 3.0 is in Evocati testing. You’ll be shocked to find out those claims have been rebuffed. We spoke to a representative from CIG who stated that the studio’s position on refunds has not changed at all. “If a request comes through within the statutory period, we take care of them, no questions asked,” he told us. “Everything else is considered on a case by case basis.”

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Sea of Thieves offers up its full NYCC panel on multiplayer, holds players to ‘Pirate’s Code’

This month, Sea of Thieves has been beating pretty hard on the drum of “our multiplayer is going to be better than most other multiplayer experiences” from the deck of its pirate ship. The crux of this argument came at Rare’s panel during New York Comic Con, during which the team spent an hour trying to explain some of the tools and design features that it is using to encourage cooperative play and good sportsmanship.

This panel, by the way, included a seven-article “Pirate’s Code” that the team is using as a code of conduct for all players to agree and abide.

If you need to hear it for yourself, the team finally released the full, uncut panel video for its fans and any others who might need to be convinced as to the veracity of these claims. For those who lack an hour to watch the full panel, there’s thankfully a list of written highlights courtesy of Rare Thief.

Next up for Sea of Thieves is a trip to PAX Australia, where visitors can get their hands on a demo of the Xbox One version of the game.

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Bless Online will launch on Steam in 2018

NEOWIZ announced on Steam today that the global release for Bless Online is indeed still happening, with a Steam launch planned here in the west at some point in 2018.

“Will this mean Bless Online is coming to Steam? Is it being released globally? The answer to both questions are… resounding ‘Yes!’ We are so glad you are here and are grateful for your support. Bless Online development team has been busy for the good part of this year. We’ve taken all of the feedback from our community to make the game better. Our intention is to return to you when we have the game we are all proud of. The development team will be working night and day to improve and polish the experience until the launch in 2018.”

You’ll recall that the game was once intended to launch here last year under the Aeria banner, but that deal was dissolved and NEOWIZ committed to launching the game itself. The gorgeous MMO, having just gone what it called a “rebuild project,” is currently in testing in Japan and South Korea.

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Secret World spin-off Hide and Shriek is free this Halloween season

Did you miss out on the unusual scare-or-be-scared premise of Hide and Shriek last year? Funcom’s two-player Secret World spin-off stirred up some interest during Halloween 2016, and now the game is back — and it’s free.

Steam announced this week that Hide and Shriek has been moved over to the free-to-play category. This means that other than the option to buy a mask pack, there’s no prices attached to this game whatsoever.

Hide and Shriek takes place in the same universe as Secret World Legends. In each of its matches, two invisible players roam a high school to set up traps and attempt to “scare” each other for points. Check out the trailer below for a refresher course.

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The Daily Grind: How can MMOs help you understand endgame gearing?

One of my simmering frustrations about practically every MMORPG that I play is that when my character starts to get to high levels, I am usually clueless as to how to properly gear up him or her. Sure, there are quest rewards and running dungeons, but what about past that? Am I supposed to run different types of instances in a particular order?

And it feels as though developers just stop explaining things to you once you get out of the starter zone. I keep getting special tokens and currencies in most of the MMOs I play at high level, but to find out where and how to use these, I almost always have to go out of the game to look up some guide for clueless idiots like myself. It’s not as though the MMO itself is going to point me in the direction of a particular vendor and say, “Right there, that guy will take your tokens and give you some nice raid-ready gear for your troubles.”

How can MMOs help us understand endgame gearing and progression better? For bonus points, which game do you feel does the best job at doing this?

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Massively Overthinking: Is open-world housing really a ‘failed’ MMORPG experiment?

Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti has a provocative article on his personal gaming blog, Bio Break, this week on MMORPG housing.

“I once again wonder why open world housing is this holy grail that some players and developers seem hellbent on chasing,” he writes. “It’s an ideal, a beautiful mirage couched in the notion of players inhabiting the very world they play, allowing them to stroll through neighborhoods of fellow adventurer’s homes and basking in the connectivity of it all. Yet it’s a failed experiment, one that is proven time and again to have far more drawbacks than benefits.” After listing off his complaints with the mechanic, he ultimately concludes that “we simply don’t need fixed open world housing, even in sandboxes.”

But being Justin, he also asked for feedback on why the joys are worth the drawbacks – and how to fix the system so it works instead of running off the rails. That’s just what we’ll do in this week’s Overthinking. Is he right about not needing this type of housing? And if not, how would you fix open world housing?

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Dauntless lowers the hammer — in a good way

Multiplayer monster hunter Dauntless is taking its first steps to a new and improved combat system — and hammer-using warriors are going to be among the first to experience the coming glory.

Last week, the team explained that it is reworking weapons one at a time in an attempt to provide more diversity and options during combat: “We’re ready to build upon that groundwork and revisit each of the weapons, focusing in on what makes it special and how to reward mastery. This means expanding the available list of moves, branching out with combos, and evolving special attacks.”

This week’s Closed Beta 0.2.6 adds dodge attacks to hammer and chain blades, introduces the Quillshot armor set, and gave swords (this is true) more “whooshy” audio sounds while they are swung. Also: “New Seagull model. SCRAAAAWWWWW!”

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The Stream Team: Win a key to play The Black Death’s new Pestilence update

Pus and pestilence — the perfect combination for a gory Halloween! And The Black Death has it. The Pestilence update that launched today not only restructures the story and the UI but it also adds human autopsies to the game. Massively OP’s MJ is braving the outbreak to go in and check it all out, and she’s going to share all this disease with you! Join us live at 6:00 p.m. for a peek at Pestilence and a chance to win a key to join the early access.

What: The Black Death
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, October 19, 2017

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Citadel: Forged With Fire’s Halloween update includes props, blood, and trick-or-treating

Citadel: Forged With Fire is one of many MMOs and survival sandboxes sitting in beta or early access but still pushing out some sort of Halloween content, which ought to tell you just how important the holiday is to the genre. This week, Blue Isle drenched the gameworld in fog, spider webs, dead trees, and a bloodmoon, but there’s more too for builders and minigamers:

Costumes and Masks: Outfit your player for the holiday… Choose from pumpkin or ghost masks, a bed sheet ghost costume, helmets, a flaming pumpkin head and more!
Tombstone Props: Get graveyard props to use when building.
New Building Pieces: Trap doors, spike pits, acid pools and more! These items will stay in game forever.
Trick or Treat: Candy and costumes will be hidden in chests found at enemy camps and caves, trick or treat you enemies for a delightful treat!

Check out the spooky Halloween trailer below, and keep an eye out for our big Halloween guide still on the way!

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Pokemon Go’s Halloween event update is more than just candy

Recent Pokemon Go updates had been hinting at something big, and now finally we’ve got an official announcement from the team, and it’s big. Not, “another Pikachu with a hat” big (though we have another of those), but big enough that it could tempt people into returning to or starting the game.

Halloween and Generation 3+

Starting October 20 at noon PDT, players will be able to get double candy from walking/catching/hatching/transferring Pokemon, hatch/catch a Halloween inspired Pikachu, and get special store deals. Unlike other deals in the past, though, this one is offering super incubators (which help you hatch eggs faster) and raid passes, the game’s biggest money-makers. What kind discount remains to be seen, but the company’s been better about these packages since its anniversary failure.

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The Life is Feudal MMO finally has a soft launch date: November 17

After what seems like a million years of testing (not really though), the MMO version of Life is Feudal is finally leaving closed beta behind and launching open beta on November 17th. It looks like a soft launch early access type of open beta, with buy-to-play packages starting at $29.99.

The game is the MMO version of an ambitious survival-oriented sandbox by Bitbox that was itself a scaled-down version of the originally planned MMO, so now we’ve come full circle. The survival game (Life is Feudal: Your Own) also has a strategy sim spinoff called Forest Village too.

Life is Feudal: MMO is a large-scale group-focused RPG, that places players in a highly realistic, non-fantasy, medieval world where danger lurks around every corner. Players need to work as a team to gather resources, build shelter, craft tools and form a fully functioning feudal society in an unforgiving archaic world. Players may find a place in society as a vassal, a knight, a farmer or even royalty, as their guild builds and expands their medieval societies. While players may start their adventures alone, as they gather and craft supplies needed to make it to the next day, they will quickly meet up with others to form groups, then guilds, and finally work their way up to complete medieval societies and nation-states. Life is Feudal: MMO is a realistic social experience, where the best way to thrive in the world is to work together and build a fully functioning society, where everyone has a place, from the most basic hunters and gatherers, to farmers, soldiers and civic leaders.”

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