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Amazon stops selling digital cards for Star Wars: The Old Republic

You can no longer purchase digital time cards or Cartel Coins for Star Wars: The Old Republic through Amazon. This is clearly a sign that you can… er… no longer purchase those digital options through Amazon. They remain for sale from the official site, you can still buy physical copies of the cards off of Amazon, and so forth.

Clearly, this means that the game is in imminent danger and is going to shut down within the hour, if you go by the forum thread on the matter. Or, as people point out on Reddit and elsewhere in that same thread, it just means… you can’t buy that set of digital goods through Amazon any longer.

A number of speculative reasons have been put forth for the change: A new package being offered for a new expansion, a change in how profits are being shared, a desire for people to move through the official store fronts, or just a routine set of business decisions. There’s been no official statement on this change at this time, but there’s not much reason to think the sky is falling just yet.

Source: Official Forums, Reddit; thanks to MikeyMoo for the tip!

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Leaderboard: Is Destiny 2’s marketing brilliant or just plain nuts?

So this morning I’m dishing out cheese crackers for my kid, who was up all night barfing. (If my posts have typos today, it’s because I’m running on just caffeine and gumption.) Anyway, I realize that the Cheez-It box is one whole advertisement that uncomfortably edged into my work-and-fun wheelhouse. It’s Cayde-06 (Nathan Fillion) from Destiny 2, promising me MEGA XP FREE WITH EVERY BOX. All I have to do is text my receipt for my crackers to Bungie’s agents and then I get a code for MEGA EXPIES. I can do this for Pringles, Rice Krispies Treats, Pop-Tarts, and some sort of fruit candy thing that is not actually food. Nathan Fillion wants me to do it, so I probably should, yeah?

That’s not even the only way Destiny 2 is trying to seep into our lives, as apparently Bungie is hyping its new Amazon Alexa tie-in, which I actually thought was a joke when I first read it. It is not.

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Are rank-and-file devs benefiting from MMO publisher ‘money-grabs’? Camelot Unchained’s Mark Jacobs weighs in

Last week, Massively OP’s Eliot Lefebvre wrote a (fantastic) Soapbox editorial arguing that Star Wars Battlefront II (and its concomitant monetization dust-up) is merely a symptom of the “long tail” trend of the games business. As he put it, it’s not a bad thing that game companies seek to make money; they need money to make games, and games make us happy. We’re happy to pay fair prices for good games! But EA, he argues, is merely undertaking a “blatant cash grab” over and above the rising costs of making games, and the worst part is that the game developers themselves aren’t reaping the benefits of the publishers’ increased revenue.

“The programmers and art staff don’t wind up seeing much, if anything, from these increased profit margins, still being subjected to an awful volume of crunch time and demanding workloads with ever-growing headcounts,” Eliot asserted. “And the people making these games aren’t seeing any benefit from all of these increases; salaries aren’t going up except for the people at the top end.”

But that might be true for only a segment of corporate developers. In conversation with Massively OP, Camelot Unchained boss-man Mark Jacobs suggests that over the last five years, developer salaries – specifically programmers – have increased significantly.

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Destiny 2 acknowledges ‘betrayal’ over XP adjustments and studio silence

While stopping short of an actual apology in this week’s Destiny 2 state of the game post, Bungie acknowledged that players have been greatly dissatisfied over the recent event and subsequent stealth XP changes.

“Last weekend, we disabled a scaling mechanism that adjusted XP gains up and down without reflecting those adjustments in the UI,” the studio said. “Our intention was to keep slower-paced activities as rewarding as high intensity grinding without confusing variations in displayed XP values, but the silent nature of the mechanic betrayed the expectation of transparency that you have for Destiny 2.”

The theme of more transparency and communication from the development team ran through the remainder of the post, which also focused on some of the upcoming improvements to the online shooter. These include a new weapons tier, improved vendor rewards, armor ornaments, better rewards for group events, Crucible private matches, making shards useful, and giving players more options to obtain the rewards they desire.

Source: Destiny 2

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The Repopulation considers closing its EU server, adding hardcore server as 10.2 patch rolls out to testers

Idea Fabrik has a new forum post up on the state of sandbox MMO The Repopulation heralding the testing of update 10.2. There’s downside, however, as the studio says it will be wiping the servers and merging them to “enable the developers and the players to focus on community building in a single place.” That’ll mean the end of the EU server in the short term.

“Being that the wipe is occurring with this update and the populations are low on both servers, we thought it would be the perfect time to merge into one community and build upwards from there. If we decide bring up a single server, we would be disabling the EU server until later in development, after more systems are completed and the community grows again. This would allow players to make fresh characters on the server or move their current US East Characters across. We have several options on how we can handle this and would like your input now and in the future when you think we are ready to reopen the EU Server.”

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Guild Wars 2 defends new mount price, Zadorojny stays on as Game Director, S4 plans brisk cadence

There’s a bit of a kerfuffle over Guild Wars 2’s new mount, which is a gorgeous peacock reskin of the raptor. ArenaNet has put it up for 2000 gems ($25) – a direct-buy, mind you, instead of repeating its lockbox mount fiasco from earlier this month. That hasn’t stopped some players from arguing it’s too expensive, however, compared to the expansion itself, which cost only $30.

ArenaNet’s Mike O’Brien actually answered one player’s Reddit thread on the topic, arguing that even if you don’t want to buy a thing or it’s not aesthetically pleasing, metrics point the way for the studio, and we should be happy if cosmetics like the peacock can manage to support development.

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MassivelyOP’s 2017 PC hardware gift guide

Since you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you own a PC that you at least occasionally use for gaming, and there’s an equally good chance that you don’t have the newest, fastest hardware out there (although if you do, congratulations!). If not, then maybe we can point you to some upgrades that might help you get the performance that you, frankly, deserve.

This year, our sales team has once again put together a couple of gift guides pertinent to our MMO readers. Please note that Amazon links are affiliate links and may grant a small commission to us, which is very much appreciated. Read on for all the new gear to improve your PC experience!

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MassivelyOP’s 2017 gift guide for the Blizzard fanatic

With the new expansion, official vanilla servers, and all of the other news from BlizzCon this year, it’s a great time to be a World of Warcraft fan. But Blizzard has other games too!

This year, our sales team has once again put together a couple of gift guides pertinent to our MMO readers. Please note that Amazon links are affiliate links and may grant a small commission to us, which is very much appreciated. Read to see some of the fun stuff you can get for the Blizzard-lover in your life!

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The Daily Grind: Are you thinking of WoW Classic as a totally new MMO?

Early on in all the WoW Classic hoopla, I’d been thinking of World of Warcraft legacy servers as the sort of gimmick servers that a lot of older games put up. Ultima Online, EverQuest, RuneScape – their hardcore servers, progression servers, old-school servers are sort of sideshows, literally, to the “real” game in the center ring.

But the day the Classic WoW subreddit went up and I watched the playerbase neatly conduct its semi-orderly self-partition, my thinking changed, such that I don’t really think it’s just a gimmick anymore. WoW Classic is going to be a whole new game. I’m not even sure Blizzard realizes it yet, given how weird and slapdash the BlizzCon announcement was, but if WoW Classic releases in the next couple of years, it’ll easily be one of the largest and most successful “new” AAA MMORPGs to come out in quite a while. It’ll be up there with AIR and New World. That’s a sobering thought – but maybe not all that surprising.

Are you thinking of WoW Classic as a totally new MMO? How will you be approaching it?

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Here’s the full list of Trion Worlds’ Black Friday deals

As you plan your Black Friday shopping strategy (ours: sleeping in and lazily shopping on Amazon Prime), Trion Worlds wants to help out by giving you a heads-up on all of the deals that the studio is throwing for its games next week. Here’s the rundown:

  • Trove: All starter packs will be 50% off during Thanksgiving week. All Class Packs, plus the Creators Pack, Collectors Pack, and Battle Pack will be 70% off, while the Essentials Edition and Double Dragon pack will be 80% off, through November 27th.
  • RIFT: Premium mounts will be 25% off from November 22nd through the 29th, and some previously lockbox-exclusive mounts will become available for direct purchase.
  • ArcheAge: Sales up to 80% off on certain items. Also, here thar be lockboxes.
  • Atlas Reactor: All packs will be 75% off and Golden Age skins will be discounted from the 22nd through the 28th.
  • Defiance: Players can get up to 65% off on Titan bundles and gold editions. Also, more lockboxes.
Source: Press release

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LOTRO Legendarium: What the Amazon TV series means for Lord of the Rings Online

If you haven’t been paying attention to the television market over the past few years, you might have missed the fact that we are in the middle of a revolution of how shows are made and broadcast. Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Disney, and CBS are greenlighting all sorts of fantastic shows with the hopes of strengthening their audience and luring them to these pay-to-watch platforms.

Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Walking Dead, The Defenders, Star Trek Discovery, and Stranger Things are a few examples of how these companies are getting acclaim and major viewership with ambitious projects. Large amounts of money are being thrown around on both the licensing and production of these shows, and companies are frantically looking around for the next big hit. So while Disney is boldly announcing a Star Wars live action TV series, Amazon went to the fantasy equivalent and nabbed a little thing called Lord of the Rings.

Yes indeed. The big news from this past week was that Amazon bought the rights to produce a multi-season Lord of the Rings series. While the exact cost of this deal wasn’t revealed, industry experts estimate that it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 to $250 million. No small po-tay-toes any way you look at it. But what will this series mean for our beloved MMORPG? I have a few thoughts about that.

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Path of Exile’s War for the Atlas expansion opens December 8

It may feel as if Path of Exile just came out with its The Fall of Oriath expansion, but that was last August. The time is quickly approaching for the next one! If releasing expansions were an Olympic event, Grinding Gear Games would win the gold medal every time. This studio delivers loads of new content like clockwork.

Now, I could sit here and heap praise all day, but I know you want to learn about all about expansion number… some big number. Lucky for you, I sat down with Producer Chris Wilson and got a tour of the goodies coming our way. So what is this next expansion and its accompanying new league about? It’s a sequel to Atlas of Worlds!

In September 2016, players were introduced to the world atlas, filled with end-game maps to complete on the way to fight the ultimate boss, The Shaper. On December 8th, this Atlas will be redesigned with significantly more maps and a second ultimate boss that is vying for control in War for the Atlas. And the new Abyss Challenge League starts up as well. Learn more about it all and watch the official trailer below!

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DC Universe Online patches in Earth-3 adventures today

This morning, the DC Universe Online servers went down to apply the game’s next major patch. They may or may not be back up by the time you read this, but they’re expected to be up no later than 4:00 p.m. EST today. And when they are up again? You can take a trip to the land of evil opposites, Earth-3!

What must Earth-3 residents think of the rest of the multiverse, though? Technically Earth-1 would be the world with their opposites. Is that a thing there?

Regardless of existential musings on the nature of evil doppelgangers, players can explore a variety of new bits of content on Earth-3, ranging from an open-world exploration of the new world’s Gotham City to an elite raid in which players rail against the Crime Syndicate that threatens the world. So go forth, find your evil opposite, and beat the living snot out of that villain. Or hero, we suppose, if your character is already a villain. It’s complex.

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