Prominent MMO blogger Ravious has passed away

It’s with a sad heart that we report that one of the most prominent and prolific MMO bloggers in the community passed away on Monday. Zach “Ravious” Best was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer back in 2016, after which he vowed to “take [his] pills, meditate, remove all bad foods, eat tons of leafy greens, live, laugh, and love.” He was 36 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Ravious was well-known among bloggers for his frequent and informative writing, particularly on the popular Kill Ten Rats. He initially came on the scene in 2008, saying that games such as A Tale in the Desert and Guild Wars ushered him into the realm of MMOs. Massively OP repeatedly featured his clever pieces in our Global Chat column, quoting him on topics such as Crowfall’s business model and his first impressions of SkySaga.

The family has asked that instead of sending flowers, friends can donate to the Child’s Play charity on Zach’s behalf. Massively OP sends our love and care to Zach’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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The Daily Grind: Have you done socially unacceptable things in MMOs?

There are two sorts of cheating in MMOs. One of them, which is outright hacking the game, is capital-b Bad. Back in the days when Final Fantasy XI was a bigger deal, Fleetool was one of the more popular hacks to the game, resulting in many people getting bans for hacking the game to move faster. That was not all right (the hacking, not the banning).

But then there were the groups who jumped ahead of other groups to get into Dynamis zones. This was definitely not a good thing, and it could be argued that it was cheating; the server community agreed about how to use Dynamis and these players were violating that agreement. But it was cheating entirely based upon a social contract, not an actual one; it was rude and indisputably wrong, but definitely not breaking the specific rules of the game.

I think a lot of our readers have done things like this in the past. Sniping resource nodes in World of Warcraft, intentionally standing in things to make healers work harder in Final Fantasy XIV, things like that. So have you ever done something socially unaccepted in an MMO? Do you feel like you were justified, and do you tend to ignore those social conventions most of the time or usually observe them?

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The Stream Team: Secret World Legends’ first Halloween

Massively OP’s MJ had always looked forward to Halloween in The Secret World more than any other game, and Secret World Legends is no different! Samhain 2017 starts today, and she’s eager to dive in and celebrate the two best things that go great together. Sadly, it looks like much of the known celebration from previous is missing, so join us at live at 9:00 p.m. to see what’s still available in the SWL version of Samhain. As always: Spoilers ahead!

What: Secret World Legends
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, October 18th, 2017

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World of Warcraft finally lets you be a horse’s butt this Hallow’s End

Do… do we even need to follow up that headline with anything substantial in this space? Oh, my editor is telling me that I do. Very well then.

Hallow’s End has returned to World of Warcraft for another spell, bringing with it the usual accoutrements such as weird pumpkins, the Headless Horseman, and plenty of free treats for all. However, there are a few new toys that players can purchase with their Halloween candy, such as a Naxxy pet and a two-piece horse costume for those who have always dreamed of the day that they would literally become a horse’s ass.

If cool-looking hats are your bag, then head over to Val’sharah for the Hag of the Crooked Tree questline. Better do it quick, because this festival will be over on November 1st.

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Ultima Online patches in Halloween, 20-year vet rewards, and Christmas

Publish 98.2 is live in Ultima Online this week with… Christmas?

Yep! Halloween is already live in the game, but the latest patch set up the Christmas rewards, though they won’t actually begin triggering until December. There are some pretty nice trinkets in the bundle, including a jewelry box that will essentially cut down piles of 500 jewels unto a single lockdown.

As the game’s just turned 20 years old, it’s also released a new set of veteran rewards, including several new statuettes, an enchanted writing desk, a koi pond, new titles, and for accounts that have been active the full 20 years, a ridable ethy serpentine dragon.

In addition to the return of the game’s artisan festival and tweaks to the taming mechanics, UO’s also recently seen a round of anniversary gifts for every subber and a ton of Halloween events, including the a special dungeon mechanic, the trick-or-treating event, in-game pumpkin carving, and extra-haunted graveyards. The one by my house better not spawn crap on my lawn!

Of course, this is all just the appetizer for next year’s main course: the free-to-play switchover.

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Destiny 2 PC preloading has begun, while console daily logins decline

PC fans, your time is almost here: You’re finally getting a Destiny game on your platform. In fact, if you’ve already purchased Destiny 2, then get thee to the preload: Just boot up the Battlenet app and get moving.

Still need to buy it? Green Man Gaming still has the PC edition for 15% off with the SUCHWOW10 code. We’re told that while folks who buy it that route (it’s not an affiliate link, just a good deal) will be getting their keys by tomorrow so they can hop into the downloading frenzy too.

And while you wait? Ponder the discussion on Reddit, where Destiny 2 console players are monitoring what appears to be a hefty (though probably not unexpected by anyone who watches the MMO industry) decline in the console playerbase already. (Thanks, Danny!)

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Bluehole’s Project W to be revealed at G-Star 2017

We first asked what Project W was about a year ago, and we still don’t know the answer. We know that it’s being made by Bluehole Studios, the same people who made TERA, and we know that the latest preview image is the size of a postage stamp and features guns. (We have used a picture of a gun as our header out of respect.) But we still don’t know what it actually is. Fortunately, we will once G-star 2017 rolls around, because that’s when it’s being revealed.

The good news is that since Bluehole is also behind the horribly named but screamingly popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds the odds are that it shan’t be another survival shooter. What will it be? Will there be giant robots? Is it an MMO? We’re just going to have to wait on that one.

Source: MMO Culture

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Conan Exiles makes thralls awesome, considers ‘free-flow movement and combat system’

Thralls are finally becoming a lot more interesting in Conan Exiles. Currently in testing for PC is a new patch that makes those NPCs a bit more like custom companions than like the bots they once were, as you can now interact with them and fuss with their inventories, thus outfitting them so they suck less.

“One side effect of introducing the thrall inventories was that you could no longer pickup these thralls once they have been deployed [due to inventory item restrictions]. This makes it more cumbersome to move thralls over long distances. We are therefore adding support for archer, fighter and dancer thralls to follow you around instead. This should make it easier to rearrange your defenses. The follow mechanics also opens up the doorway for rescuing thralls in the future.”

Repair kits are also in testing, along with roofing pieces. Funcom says it’s working on stamping out crash bugs, building out the the Volcano dungeon, adding craftables, implemementing a new critter, and iterating on what could be huge changes to combat.

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Legends of Aria wraps up final alpha test

It’s time for Legends of Aria to say farewell to alpha once and for good.

The fantasy MMO wrapped up its so-called final alpha test over the weekend and turned to focus on the upcoming beta. During the last alpha, around 2,500 players clocked in over 33,000 hours, providing the team with invaluable feedback for further development.

Speaking of which, it sounds as though there are exciting things ahead for this small but scrappy sandbox: “We will be adding more character to the world, more landmarks, better developed points of interest and more immersive and living cities. Our work is far from done in this regard as we really push to bring the world to life. I’m also excited to announce that two additional cities are being added to Celador. One in the Southern Rim and one in the (soon to open) Eastern Frontier.”

As for the beta itself, the team is not dating it yet, saying that “we are not going to release beta until we are where we want to be.”

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Kritika Online drops a nice update for Halloween with a Haunted Room

You are not going to be scared when Kritika Online goes down for maintenance at 11:00 a.m. EDT, nor will you be scared when the game comes back up an hour later with its Halloween update. This is not a game in which you run away from monsters; it’s one in which you run toward monsters and then kick them in the teeth. So it’s a good thing that the update adds in a new Halloween-themed stage allowing you to kick in the teeth of seasonally appropriate beasties in exchange for themed cosmetic items and the like.

The patch also improves drop rates for several items across the board and unbinds most crafting materials, making it easier to get what you want and do what you want with it. Players can also get Hard Metal Fragments now, good news for anyone who greatly enjoys durable metal or just wants something to do with Sharp Metal Fragments. Check out the full patch notes for all of the changes.

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EVE Online gives miners the tools to do the job right

Mining might not be the most visually impressive or glorious activity in EVE Online, but it helps to form the backbone of the game’s economy and remains a popular way for players to earn their fortune. Now with this month’s Lifeblood expansion, they’ll have the tools to mine like pros.

This is thanks in part to the new mining ledger: “The personal mining ledger tracks all of the mining activity done by a character, anywhere in New Eden. It allows pilots to see the types of ores, gas and ice they’ve collected, the areas of space they frequent, and of course their activity over time. As a pilot mines, the mining information is collected and batched into days in order to create a personal mining history.”

Corporations get their own ledger, although it is primarily focused on mining activity around refineries. CCP said that it is simply giving players this information in an unformatted state to see what they want to do with it.

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Blade and Soul is stung by Hive Queen update and welcomes Halloween

Would you ever stick your hand into a hive of angry hornets? Blade and Soul is hoping that you’ll go further than that; the Hive Queen is taking her throne, and some high-powered exterminators are needed.

Today’s Rage of the Hive Queen update ushers players into the Temple of Eluvium for a showdown with the aforementioned queen, but that’s not all that’s on the table. Some of Blade and Soul’s core systems have received adjustments and improvements with the patch. There is now a way to “seal” gems to be able to sell them to others, alternative paths to leveling up weapons, and “more accessible” Hongmoon Gems.

Another part of the patch is this year’s Halloween event. From October 18th through November 8th, players can complete a daily challenge to earn a ghoulish gift box. What’s inside? Probably nothing that you can show in polite company — but pretty fun even so!

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Hyperspace Beacon: 10 things you need to know about SWTOR’s Chiss

Star Wars: The Old Republic will launch its sixth major update since Knights of the Eternal Throne at the end of November. It will include an additional operation boss fight and another flashpoint to continue the Alliance traitor storyline. And even though the update is well over a month away, we know that storyline will continue on the Chiss-occupied world of Copero, once again tying author Timothy Zahn to the game.

But who are the Chiss, and why are they so important to the Star Wars universe? Besides being the species of the Imperial badass Grand Admiral Thrawn, the Chiss are very much a mystery to the galaxy at large. However, thanks to the many books, comic books, and video games, we do know a thing or three about this secretive species. Here are 10 things that you need to know before jumping into the new content.

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