alpha

Shroud of the Avatar sells toilets and wheelchairs for charity

While it still continues on that long road to launch, Shroud of the Avatar is using some of its development time and resources to help those in need outside of the game studio. In this past weekend’s newsletter, Portalarium mentioned a few new store items that it’s created for the purposes of raising money for charity. One of these? A toilet.

Yes, if you buy SOTA’s steampunk toilet (“an ingenious contraption that brings bodily evacuations indoors through the clever use of Kobold technology”), you’ll be pitching in to help with Water.org’s World Toilet Day effort to address a sanitation crisis in impoverished nations. Other charity-related items include a wheelchair for children’s hospitals and Doctors Without Borders.

The team also showed off some new Halloween-themed rewards, new houses for SeedInvest backers, and Oktoberfest cosmetics for postmortem rewards. Shroud of the Avatar recently raised an additional $80,000 through an October 12th telethon and is working toward Release 47 on October 26th.

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Chronicles of Elyria picks up former Revival lead developer

Has enough time gone by to start erasing memories of Revival, that ambitious but troubled horror MMO that was canceled back in March 2016? While the project is dead, its developers have forged on — and one has made the jump to another indie MMORPG.

Chronicles of Elyria announced this past week that it picked up Adam Maxwell to become the game’s new lead designer. Previously, Maxwell worked on RIFTStar Citizen, World of Tanks, and Revival (in addition to almost a dozen other titles). Hopefully this new berth will be a good fit for him and Soulbound Studios.

Maxwell says that it was an easy jump from Revival to Elyria: “Half my fun getting to know everyone here has been in asking questions like, ‘So how did you all handle…’ and then randomly picking a feature from Revival. Weather, NPC memory, narrative dynamics… every answer is different from Revival, but they always hit the same mechanical goal. I feel like the two projects are siblings separated at birth. It’s both awesome and eerie at the same time.”

Source: Press release, Chronicles of Elyria. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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CD Projekt Red confirms that Cyberpunk 2077 is still being made and ‘progressing as planned’

Considering the sparse information that has been released about CD Projekt Red’s perhaps-an-MMO Cyberpunk 2077 over the last four years, it’s easy to assume that the game has long been abandoned. However, the studio asserted this week that it has a good reason for being closed-lipped about the project, saying that it takes time to “reinvent the wheel” and innovate with new games.

The Witcher 3 studio was prompted to make an official response about the game following public concerns over alleged poor morale and high turnover behind the scenes. CD Projekt Red said that instead of shrinking, the studio is now double the size that it was in 2015 and is still hiring. And best of all, CD Projekt Red confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 is still being made and has the backing of the studio.

Cyberpunk 2077 is progressing as planned, but we are taking our time — in this case, silence is the cost of making a great game,” the studio said. You can read the full letter concerning the project after the break.

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds tops 2.3M concurrency, bans a fraction of that

Here’s a fun game that we play around the Massively OP office: A troublemaker will come in and loudly proclaim, “You know what’s a good game name? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds!” Then it becomes a race to exit the building as fast as possible before flying projectiles from the staff make contact.

Dumb name or no, PUBG continues its meteoric climb in popularity. The battle royale shooter just reached a staggering 2.3 million concurrency, although these levels haven’t been achieved without a few (hundred thousand) bad eggs spoiling the batch. The studio claims that it has banned 322,000 accounts so far for cheating.

As the studio struggles to stay on top of this monster that it created, it also prepares for the holiday Xbox One release, the PC 1.0 launch, and the imminent addition of climbing and vaulting.

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s free-to-play upgrades are pretty damn generous

You’ve probably heard by now that EVE Online is giving its free-to-play alpha clone characters a massive boost in power in December about a month after the launch of the Lifeblood expansion. The news has been spreading through the gaming media since it was announced last week at EVE Vegas 2017 and the reception online has been generally positive. Some existing players are worried that the change might even be too generous, with fears that veteran players may let their subscriptions lapse and play for free, or that the new skills might be abused to create an endless army of ganking alts.

There’s no doubt that the changes will help to close the power gap between subscribers and free players and will open up new avenues of gameplay. Free players will finally be able to fly tech 1 battlecruisers and even battleships, and cross-training for multiple races will unlock multi-faction ships such as the Sisters of EVE exploration ships. Alpha clone players will also finally be able to use tech 2 weapons and fly many of the ship setups flown in massive nullsec wars, though the way that the new skill limit is being implemented may actually benefit old and returning players more than new ones.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into the free-to-play changes, briefly examine the power gap between free and subscribed players, and look at who will benefit most from the change.

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Fortnite teases Halloween event, lists development projects in the works

The development train for Fortnite isn’t slowing down, with the studio posting a long list of projects that its teams are currently tackling. For those who don’t have time to peruse the full rundown, some of the more notable line items include voice chat,

In community news, some of Fortnite’s players have reported that the studio has overturned accidental bans and compensated affected individuals for the bother. After seeing the compensation, some voices wished that they had been mistakenly booted.

The team also teased Fortnite’s Halloween event in its most recent dev update video. Apparently this will be “quest-driven” featuring eight new heroes, two new weapons, and an additional biome called Hexelvania. More details will be forthcoming next week.

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Camelot Unchained builds boats for beta

A diverse smattering of projects kept the Camelot Unchained team busy this past week, per the game’s newsletter report. It sounds as though players will have to earn their sea legs at some point, as more designs for Viking and Arthurian ships are being made.

Other points of interest include drafting up character creation backgrounds, whipping together a developer UI for fast-and-dirty testing, the ability to spawn NPCs in the game, and animating characters with great swords.

And just in case you were worried about getting ganked fresh out of the character creation screen, Camelot Unchained is preparing a save haven for your starter experience: “For Beta 1, we’ll want to have starting zones and safe zones. Colin’s work will allow us to spawn new players in designated starting zones and spawn returning players in those zones if the zone they logged out from is no longer up. Additionally, this work will gate access to a zone by faction. You wouldn’t want filthy Vikings running around on your TDD safe island, would you?”

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Betawatch: Wild West Online’s alpha just isn’t ready (October 13, 2017)

It’s not high noon in Wild West Online. It’s not any time at all, in fact. The game’s early access alpha would have established a time, probably, but that’s been delayed because… well, the game just isn’t ready for that sort of testing yet. Disappointing for those looking forward to the game? Certainly. But probably for the best in the long run, we hope.

This week has been thin in terms of beta news, but we’ve still got a few pieces here and there to show off, don’t we? Of course we do; check out this list.

Sorry there’s a little less news this week, but we do have that whole list down below; that’s something cool, right? You can let us know what you’re thinking about betas you’re playing in the comments, or you can let us know if something surreptitiously launched without us noticing as well. We would prefer that you not place your recipe for chili con carne in the comments; just mail that along.

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Citadel: Forged With Fire goes on sale, reduces marble building costs

If you’ve been eyeing Citadel: Forged With Fire but have held out so far in the hopes of a good deal, now might be the time to pounce. Through October 16th, the title is 30% off its normal price, reducing the sandbox’s cost to $17.49.

Sale aside, Citadel continues to patch up on a near-weekly basis. This week’s update features a reduction of the cost of marble and ornate building materials, which the team says is a reaction to community pushback over the high cost.

“While our goal with raising the building cost of marble and ornate was to increase the perceived value of the high-tier structures and slow the appearance of massive, server straining mega-structures, we realize now that we may have gone a bit overboard in our approach,” the team admitted.

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Destiny 2 vows not to delay Prestige raid further despite existing exploit

So here is an interesting conundrum: Say you have a highly anticipated raid in the works that you’ve already delayed. Now that the new launch date is approaching, you’ve discovered a pretty significant exploit but don’t have the time to properly institute a fix. What do you do?

For Destiny 2’s Prestige raid, Bungie has decided not to delay a second time, electing instead to push the raid (and its exploit) live on October 18th and monitor player activity for the time being until the fix is ready to deploy. Sounds legit.

“We can now detect if any teams use this exploit to gain an advantage,” the studio posted. “This will take some extra time to verify, but we will be able to crown the winners with the confidence they deserve.”

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Dark and Light encourages you to beat up goblins for sweet, sweet candy

Back in September, Massively OP went deep undercover to bring players a shocking exposé on how Dark and Light subtly conditions players to become bullies by beating up and then enslaving the local goblin population. We thought it could get no worse… until now.

With the advent of Gobboween, there’s a new reason to take out latent aggression on the game’s goblin population: candy. Yes, now you’re actually beating up cute and mostly innocent creatures for their sweet snacks, an activity that the developers wholeheartedly encourage. And because it isn’t ridiculous enough, you can even use candy as ammunition in a special weapon.

If that isn’t enough excitement to fill your breeches, Dark and Light dropped a smallish patch today that added a new telescope recipe, allowed players to craft even more stone arrows at once (dangerously escalating the Stone Arrow Cold War), and beefed up rewards from trekking through the Ice Caves with friends.

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Sea of Thieves fights the negative stigmas of multiplayer gaming

Hopefully if you’re reading Massively OP, you’re not the type of player who holds a grudge against multiplayer games. For those who do, however, Sea of Thieves hopes to break down any preconceived stigma with its fun approach to multiplayer gaming.

“We want to make it more welcoming, more friendly,” Senior Designer Shelley Preston said in this week’s dev video. “We wanted to bring people in to this nice kind of environment and hopefully turn around some of those expectations or preconceptions that they got about multiplayer.”

Sea of Thieves has put a lot of thought into its style of multiplayer, nixing friendly fire in favor of a “sacred” crew bond and giving players the option to dip their toes in the waters with a small two-player ship before graduating to the larger varieties. And if there’s a non-cooperative player on your crew? You can all vote to lock them in your ship’s brig until they behave. Seriously. Check it out after the break!

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Star Citizen’s Around the Verse isolates 23 more 3.0 alpha bugs, details immersive cockpits

On this week’s edition of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, Sandi Gardiner does a happy dance as Chris Roberts updates viewers on how Evocati testing of the 3.0 alpha is going. CIG says that the testers are getting daily builds and finding fun new bugs, which has brought the must-fix bug total back up to 23 before it moves along to release (and backers no doubt find even more).

The feature segment of the episode is all about cockpits. Get your snickers out of the way, folks, because this actually looks awesome. You’re not just sitting in a chair; the cockpit experience is trying to be fully immersive with all the sticks and gizmos and buttons and screens and g-forces and hit reactions you’d expect if you were actually flying (a spaceship) in combat. Things might even catch on fire! You might even need to hit eject! Maybe watch the whole episode first, though. It’s down below.

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