Cuisine Royale is the goofy reskin the battle royale genre deserves

Be careful what you wish for! Apparently, Gaijin (you know it from WarThunder) ran an April Fools’ day joke mode for online shooter Enlisted that proved so popular that the company spun it out into a standalone battle royale game. But this one takes the PUBG frying pan and runs with it. Literally.

Cuisine Royale is an all-kitchen-warfare Battle Royale game with the most honest system for Loot Boxes ever,” the devs write. “Dinnerware will finally be able to show off its true potential: Use a colander as head protection, equip a wok as a formidable breastplate, or strap on a massive waffle maker to be protected even against the largest calibers of weapons.”

Gaijin says the game will start off free-to-play and will “probably will become paid later to cover servers maintenance costs.” It’s also promising “the most honest system for loot boxes,” with free-to-open, fully transparent boxes “scattered around the battlefield.”

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV’s lightness of dungeons

It feels really weird to think about just how few dungeons we’ve gotten in Final Fantasy XIV for this expansion. Not that it’s the start of a new trend; Heavensward already dropped the numbers compared to the base game, and thus Stormblood continued in a similar trajectory. But when you think about the fact that the game used to have three new dungeons per patch and compare it to an average of one and a half… it’s still adding them on a regular basis, but it’s a much slower basis.

The slower pace of dungeons was something that was announced well before the expansion actually launched, of course. So I think it’s interesting to look at the slower pace, at the stated goals, and see how well the changes have actually achieved those goals. Or, perhaps, if the whole thing didn’t work out very well and we should hope for an uptick again in the next expansion.

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Sea of Thieves does a 180 on skeleton boats and is fine with it

With skeleton ships sailing, volcanoes erupting, rowboats rowing, and the three-player brigantine vessel tempting, Sea of Thieves is firing a publicity broadside following its E3 2018 showing.

The team admitted that it had changed its mind on a long-held stance against instituting skeleton ships. This was, apparently, due to player feedback: “Players have wanted it for a period of time and now we’re going to do it.”

The Sea of Thieves team got together to talk about the big changes coming to the multiplayer pirate simulator, and you can drop in on that chat with the latest Tales from the Tavern podcast after the break!

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The Stream Team: Building a base in Outpost Zero

Massively OP’s MJ learned about many dangers (the hard way) in Outpost Zero. Now, she’s ready to build up her base. It’s about time she has some robots on her side to counter that insufferable A.S.S. always telling her what to do. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to see how far along she can get.

What: Outpost Zero
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 18th, 2018

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The World Health Organization advances its ‘gaming disorder’ classification in spite of heavy criticism

The World Health Organization has gone ahead with the inclusion of “gaming disorder” in the publication of its most recent edition of its disease classification manual. It’s expected to be adopted by member nations next year and won’t take effect until 2022. According to WHO,

“Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming; 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

The organization announced its proposal for the new classification last year and was met with considerable pushback from a wide cross-section of both industry partisans and independent academics.

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E3 2018: A second look at Trion’s Defiance 2050 reboot

GDC 2018 back in March was good to Defiance 2050, at least in terms of making people aware of the goals of the game. It doesn’t necessarily mean people like what they’ve seen or heard, but Social Influencer and Community Manager Scott “Mobi” Jasper and Community Specialist Coby West feel that particular reveal has done the best for the game.

At this year’s E3 followup, there wasn’t any huge new reveal, aside from the launch date itself – just more tweaks. There certainly seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the overall MMO sphere and the 2050 fandom the devs are used to, with the devs somewhat understandably being more connected to their fans. After all, those are people who are willing to pay to play, and especially for a free to play game, that’s what you need. I got my hands on the game for the second time this year, and while it’s a solid play experience, I worry that, created in a vacuum, its potential for growth beyond the original Defiance experience is limited.

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PUBG admits to reusing assets but argues that doesn’t make it an asset flip

Tired of hearing the words “asset flip”? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is too. Apparently at E3 last week, PUBG creator Brendan Greene gently joked that he “want[ed] to kill” people who claim his game maps are an asset flip. Now, PUBG Corp. communications lead Ryan Rigney has jumped into the fray on Reddit, where he addresses long-running accusations and rumors on the platform that the game’s maps are “either outsourced or entirely built using store-bought assets.”

“The first thing to understand is that if you’re just starting up a team, you’ve got to lean on asset store work because that’s the only way you can spin up a game fast, and for a reasonable price, to quickly find the fun. Hiring an art team of 40 people to ‘try a game’ and ‘see if it’s fun’ is simply not a smart way to work—this is what the asset store is for! It’s a great resource for teams that want to work smart.”

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Ubisoft’s open-world pirate PvP game Skull & Bones

So, you want to be a pirate, but Sea of Thieves isn’t your cup of tea? If the issue was PvP, well, you’re probably out of luck, as Ubisoft Producer Karl von der Luhe emphasized at E3 this year that one of Skull and Bones chief strengths is that it lets you decide what kind of pirate you want to be: the kind who backstabs and murders his fellow buccaneer, or a wolf running with a pack. There’s no room for pacifists who just want to share Earl Grey and crumpets, alas.

While von der Luhe admits that Ubisoft admires what Rare’s done with SOT, it’s been clear for a long time that the two games are different enough to co-exist. They’re different takes on the pirate lifestyle. Even with the new hideout system for off-ship… um, town interaction, my demo of the open PvPvE area, the hunt grounds, further confirmed my feeling that Ubisoft’s game is more about the ship than it is about the pirate, something that surely has its own audience.

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Elder Scrolls Online players politely review-bomb the game over excessive Steam login woes

If you’ve been struggling to play Elder Scrolls Online on Steam this weekend, you’re not alone. Apparently the Steam logins have been crapping out across the board for ESO players for the last couple of weekends, leading to some gigantic threads on both Steam and Reddit (1200+ comments on that angry Steam thread!) as people couldn’t log into the game for the majority of yesterday.

The repetitive issues on Steam have led players to review-bomb the game on the platform, driving its recent reviews down to “mixed” (overall, it’s “mostly positive,” which is pretty high for an MMORPG these days).

The amusing thing is that it’s the nicest review bombing I’ve ever seen, with most of the negative reviews telling people the game is still worth buying – just to not buy it on Steam until the problems are resolved.

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E3 2018: Well-earned hype for Rend’s pets, construction, modding, and PvPvE

When I met Frostkeep Studios’ CEO Jeremy Wood and crew at GDC earlier this year, I walked away impressed. I finally felt like I understood why other MOP staff are so excited about this flying-under-the-radar title. And this year at E3, I not only saw a more finished build of Rend but got some hands-on time with the game. I can’t say the floor demo did the game any justice, but what I heard from Wood and co-founder Solomon Lee sounded like the kind of forward thinking that only comes from developers who know the history of the genre and their playerbase.

Although I think I could start a hype train, I’m going to try to try to reserve judgment for a little longer. Rend may not be an MMO (it’s a moddable survival game with factions), but it has the potential to feed that MMO hunger we know you’re craving.

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Two teens who allegedly contributed to Call of Duty swatting murder plead not guilty

Reuters has an update on the ongoing criminal cases against the some of the defendants in the Call of Duty swatting incident from last year that led to an innocent man’s death.

As we’ve previously chronicled, California resident Tyler Barriss reportedly called Wichita police to detail a supposed murder/hostage/arson in progress back at the end of 2017, using the address of what he apparently believed was one Call of Duty player intended as the focus of the ensuing police harassment, as provided by another player and played out live on Twitter. The address used, however, was for an unrelated person, father of two Andrew Finch, who was subsequently shot and killed by police after opening his door. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter and extradited to Kansas, having tweeted an admission of guilt and being suspected of multiple other incidents, including a bomb threat; while in prison, he even tweeted out new threats.

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Pokemon Let’s Go

You know with my being the one at this year’s E3 that this would happen. A console Pokemon game that also connects to Pokemon Go? The possibility for a way to include trading in Niantic’s game in an indirect manner, a wider connection to the main series, its online storage system that helps give the games some semblance of persistence – altogether, it seemed for a moment as if Nintendo was indirectly building another pillar in its overall Pokemon world.

Sadly, from what everything we’ve learned, we’re no closer to a true (official) Pokemon MMO. However, my hands-on experience did hint at some really cool immersion for Go players who want to pick up Pokemon Let’s Go for a new mix of the core series’ gameplay.

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Shroud of the Avatar goes all-in on Star Wars homages

With a revamp on the way with Release 55, Shroud of the Avatar’s East Vauban Foothills is getting promoted from a Tier 3 to a Tier 5 area and is being given greater difficulty to match. Everything in the region has gone topsy-turvy as undead have taken over a village and cultists are taking advantage of the confusion and chaos.

Perhaps a mad scientist wizard shouldn’t have intentionally transformed people into zombies to see if he could cure them? That seems like an ethically questionable move, not to mention a dumb one.

Anyway, last weekend’s Shroud of the Avatar newsletter went on to covering another zone in the works for this month’s patch, the marsh of Norgard Fens. The team is also introducing some blatantly Star Wars-themed items to the game, such as “electric swords,” Stormtrooper-looking helmets, adobe domes with burnt skeletons (Uncle Owen nooo), and, of course, blue milk. Homage!

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