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See: Amazon Game Studios

Overwatch launches several pricey art books this October

It’s apparently not official yet as Blizzard hasn’t sent out a press blurby, but Overwatch is getting a pair of massive art books this coming October 24th.

According to the entries on Amazon, the $49.99 hardcover is the “essential companion” to the game, with intros and dev behind-the-scenes info from Blizz, plus “never-before-seen artwork.”

The real meat’s in the $100 deluxe limited edition book, which “comes packaged in a beautiful clamshell box with magnetic closure and includes an acetate slipcover featuring the game’s most popular hero, Tracer.” Expect “two portfolios containing a total of three prints chosen by the Overwatch team” too.

And for comic lovers, the Dark Horse Overwatch comic anthology is due out on October 10th.

I have a guildie who buys art books for video games the way Justin buys MMO soundtracks, if ya know what I mean. Do you guys splurge on art books for games?

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Chaos Theory: Guide to Secret World’s Illuminati faction

Kirsten Geary. That is almost all you have to say when talking about the Illuminati faction in The Secret World. That’s because the infamous KG (as she signs her memos) is practically the personality of the organization — at least as far as players are concerned. As the player handler, she is the main contact point for everyone putting on the blue. However, there is more to the faction than her. Lots more! Not that I can tell you all of it; that would spoil the game! But I can tell you some, in case you are considering rolling one when Secret World Legends hits the scene.

After laying out the gist of factions last week, I’m shifting my efforts to looking at each one individually. Today we’ll peek behind the curtains of the Illuminati so you can get a look at the inner workings. Don’t worry: I promise to make this as spoiler-free as absolutely possible.

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Warframe triggers Operation: Ambulas Reborn

The sinister Corpus is on the verge of rolling out its newest weapon, the deadly Ambulas mechs, and players are going to need to move fast to contain this threat before it spirals out of control, say, from a lightning deal on Amazon Prime.

From now through next Thursday, Warframe players are called to participate in Operation: Ambulas Reborn. General rule of thumb? Anytime you see the word “reborn” in a title, it generally indicates a Very Bad Day ahead.

So in this event, players will need to tackle Ambulas prototypes out in the open for their sweet, sweet animo beacons. Get enough beacons, and you can head to Pluto (which is still a planet, la la la, can’t hear you) for a final showdown in the production facility. There are plenty of rewards to be earned, including badges, early access to mods, and something called a “noggle.”

Check out the event’s truly disturbing infomercial after the break and learn how to make maximum grofit!

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Final Fantasy XIV announces the last PlayStation 3 login campaign and a new Amazon promotional campaign

With the release of its second expansion, Final Fantasy XIV will no longer be supported on the PlayStation 3. There’s a free upgrade to the PlayStation 4 available through the end of the year, but there’s another bone being thrown to those still playing on the last console generation. The last free login campaign is going live on the console from May 1st until June 15th, allowing those on the console to play for free on the console until support is shut down.

Of course, those of us on the PC won’t have that issue… so why not celebrate with a repeat of last year’s Amazon cross-promotion? Yes, it came back, and this time you can pick up an assortment of items themed after a journey to the East. Buying $20 worth of video games and/or game accessories (which you can do from this link to also help out the site, incidentally) will net you a promotional code for an outfit, weapon, mount, and 50 free Aetheryte tickets, so that should make the impending journeys a bit more pleasant.

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What’s John Smedley building for Amazon Game Studios?

Here’s the million-dollar question of the day: What is John Smedley making for Amazon Game Studio’s San Diego branch? Ever since being handed the reigns of a new sub-studio back in February with a bulk of his Pixelmage team, we’ve been intensely curious about whether Smedley is staying close to his MMO roots in his new project.

Perhaps we might glean a few details from the job listings on Amazon’s site. The studio is looking for several positions for art, combat systems, and engineering, and there are a few bullet points in the job descriptions that hint at the project in question.

One of the job descriptions has the best hint yet, with the position being tasked to “architect and develop the real time combat system for a cutting edge action multiplayer game.” Another intriguing entry mentions a “real time terrain deformation system based on physics simulation.”

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The reinvented Guns of Icarus Alliance arrives on Steam with fresh PvE

The reinvented Guns of Icarus Alliance is sailing into a bold new world with its debut on Steam. Players can pick up a copy of this expanded multiplayer airship adventure for $20, or pay a little more for a costume pack and soundtrack to go with it.

So what makes Guns of Icarus Alliance different than its forefather? Basically, the game has gotten away from a strict PvP setting to include a lot of challenging and fun co-op PvE content as well. The team has created new story mechanics, large PvE mission maps, new weapons, additional ships, and a lot of costume and ship cosmetics to unlock.

“If you’ve heard of the previous Guns of Icarus, the PvP game, this is way different,” the studio said in a press release. “Think of it as you and your ragtag crew teaming up with other ships against hordes of enemies controlled by an intelligent AI director.”

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Perfect Ten: Time travel in MMORPGs

Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of time in MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that developers probably don’t want you thinking about too closely, since it could create a crack in the world illusion that they’ve created. But really, how does time work in these games? Are you forever frozen in the same fixed point in history, advancing only to a new era when a patch or expansion releases? Does the timeline advance only as you go through new quests and hit arbitrary milestones?

Even more fascinating is when developers decide to have a little fun with their storytelling by throwing players into the past and future via time travel. It’s not even strictly for science-fiction games, either; plenty of fantasy MMOs work in time travel at one point or the other. It can be a great way of expanding upon the game’s lore and giving players an insight into events that led up to the modern era.

Today we’re going to look at 10 instances of how MMORPGs have used time travel with reckless regard to paradoxes and splintering the world into millions of alternate universes.

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Amazon job posting reveals New World details

A job listing for a player relations specialist may be inadvertently giving us a glimpse of a few details concerning Amazon’s upcoming New World MMORPG.

Tucked inside the job posting is a description of New World:

New World is a massively multiplayer, open-ended sandbox game that allows you to carve your own destiny with other players in a living, hostile, cursed land. How you play, what you do, and whom you work with or against is up to you. Live on your own amidst the supernatural terrors or join with others to build thriving civilizations. In this evolving world that transforms with the changing of the seasons, weather, and time of day, the only limit is your own ambition.

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PSA: RuneScape’s sub fee is effectively $0 this month for Twitch Prime peeps

Remember last fall when Twitch and Amazon announced Twitch Prime, a new combined service for Prime that grants customers a bunch of video game and Twitch perks in addition to shipping discounts? Right now, those perks are lighting up the night for RuneScape players, so if you’re an existing player or you’ve been considering giving the apparently absurdly popular MMORPG a go, and you’re already subbing to Prime, definitely take advantage.

Jagex notes that Twitch Prime members can currently pick up an entire freebie sub month, an exclusive legendary pet, a pack of 15 treasure hunter keys, and 200 cash-shop currency (RuneCoins). That also means access to Old-School RuneScape for a month too.

Newbies and existing players alike can take advantage of the promotion; just follow the official instructions to apply your Twitch Prime code to your new or old RuneScape account. Hooray for free stuff.

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Amazon Game Studios changes Breakaway following alpha feedback, adds shadow huntress Jarra

Cast your mind back to Christmas carols and unfortunate egg nog binges of late 2016, and you might recall that Amazon Games Studios was running its first title, Breakaway, through a short alpha test.

Clearly it was a beneficial test for the studio’s 4v4 brawler, as the devs said that they received a load of useful feedback for the game’s direction and development. “We identified four opportunities where we could tangibly change the gameplay for a better experience,” AGS said. “Give players better movement options, more options for combat capabilities, refine the buildable experience, and revisit the balance of gold in the game.”

As the team works on all of that, a new warrior steps onto Breakaway’s battlefield. This would be Jarra, the shadow huntress, a stealth assassin with low health and high burst DPS against single targets. The team announced her on a recent livestream, which you can watch below.

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Heroes of the Storm introduces Diablo II Amazon, major progression and leveling update

“It’s a whole new era for Heroes of the Storm,” Blizzard has declared in its new HOTS dev video today. That’s because the game is currently in the midst of a month-long test of a huge progression patch the studio is calling Heroes 2.0. Level caps are being nuked; your level cap will now basically be account-wide, and leveling will be much more quick across the board. Blizz is also adding loot chests out the wazoo as you level and meet certain accomplishments. It’s going to look pretty familiar to other games across the MOBA genre and in Blizzard’s own stable.

The studio has also introduced a new hero today: Cassia, the Amazon, brought over from Diablo II. The best class! In HOTS, she’ll function as a ranged assassin with high defenses while moving, flung javelins and lightning plus cone javelin stabbing. Sorry, bowazons.

Check out the pair of intro vids down below.

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Crucible gets Westwood co-founder as its new boss

Hands up: Any Massively OP readers play the crap out of Command & Conquer back in the day? In the ’90s, Westwood Studios was a legend for that series (and how awesome was Red Alert? Here’s the Hell March theme for your Thursday listening pleasure) before the studio was purchased by EA and shuttered.

Well, one of the co-founders of Westwood, Louis Castle, is being given another chance at widespread glory. Castle was recently hired by Amazon Game Studios Seattle to head up the company’s sci-fi multiplayer title Crucible.

Castle told Games Industry that he’s thrilled to get to work on a brand-new IP: “I don’t know too many game developers who would prefer to pursue licensed IP over the chance to create something. The new IP problem space is wide open and the possibilities are endless. I’ve personally had about equal amounts of success in both adapting and building IP.”

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ARK Survival Evolved rolls back official servers following Amazon outage

Did Amazon’s Web Services outage on Wednesday wreck your day? It wrecked a lot of the internet, including ARK: Survival Evolved, which uses the service for its CrossARK transfer system. Unfortunately, the outage apparently led to a duping issue that caused Studio Wildcard to roll back the official ARK servers, which are still technically in early access:

“We will be conducting a major rollback on all Official Servers to just before this incident, and will be wiping all Cross ARK storage of any items due to a dupe glitch which surfaced due to the incident.”

The studio apologized to fans last night for the delay in communication and promised an evolution event with big bonuses to breeding, maturing, and egg hatching rates to help players make up for lost time, but it’s Reddit, and Reddit’s on fire over Wildcard’s handling of the incident.

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