So here’s something Guild Wars 2
doesn’t do much: special weekend bonus events. This one’s probably more about getting folks to buy harvesting tools and check out the new gathering upgrade system
than about getting players to forget about that whole spyware thing
that hit just before the weekend, but it works for both, yeah?
“[S]tarting on April 20, you can get neat bonuses by applying resource-gathering implements to rocks, trees, plant life, and your mortal enemies!” ArenaNet says. Through April 23rd, players will “gain a 33% chance of increased gathering yield when mining, logging, and harvesting” and snag double experience in open-world PvE and WvW when gathering.
In other Guild Wars 2 news, if you’re into tarot cards or just pretty art, check out the Tyrian Tarot deck project put together by a collective of Guild Wars 2 player artists. The Indiegogo campaign for the effort – which is sponsored and approved by ArenaNet, so don’t worry about that – has already almost doubled its original ask. Pledges are effectively preorders for everything from postcards and prints of the art to a full deck, all boasting GW2-flavored artwork. Aaaand the best part is that all of the profit goes to charity: the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Games alone won’t make the world better. They won’t even make gamers better. We publish some articles that certainly seem pretty pro-games, but we’re very upfront about the catches. One big one is on us, the players, and how we game. However, game designers can do a lot to help us.
“But that’s hard, expensive, and/or boring!” some of you may be thinking. And yeah, sometimes that’s true. But for both indies and AAA companies, not only are there organizations able to help, but there’s the potential for government aid in unlikely places. Games for good isn’t just a pipe dream, either. Some of the most (deservedly) vilified gaming communities have not only helped with their time but their wallets as well. Even before going to GDC this year we knew this, but a few panels I watched really helped it click.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t giving up on performance optimization and cheater crackdowns, you’ll be glad to know. In its most recent Steam post, Bluehole says it’s helped performance by introducing “multiple areas where players gather before the match start” so that everyone’s not swarming together at the spawn point. Likewise, the studio says it’s “testing a new security (anti-cheat) measure that is still under development.”
Of course, if you scroll down the Steam page there, you’ll see a zillion people begging for PUBG to just region-lock China, as western gamers believe loverseas players using VPNs jack up the game – never mind the argument that Chinese players use hacks with impunity. As we’ve previously reported, PUBG is still in early access in China while partner Tencent sanitizes it for its government-approved release.
Players are currently reporting that the test server, at least, is now subject to a ping lock, which is blocking at least some players from joining servers if their ping is over a set limit, which appears to be around 175ms. It is not clear whether this is a tweak that will migrate to the live game.
Howasabout another feel-good story? Let’s do it! This one comes from Kotaku, which covered a large donation Guild Wars 2 studio ArenaNet recently made to a fan.
According to the GoFundMe, which is still live and has surpassed its original $5000 goal, the family of Georgia resident Frances Hunsucker was devastated by a house fire; while all the humans escaped the blaze, two pets did not, and everything they owned was destroyed. Well, almost everything. Hunsucker uploaded a video of her classic Guild Wars Nightfall DVD case, which didn’t seem much affected by the flames.
“The local Game Stop people know me as the ‘crazy Guild Wars lady,'” she reportedly told Kotaku.
ArenaNet chipped in $3,595 toward the “crazy Guild Wars lady’s” fundraiser along with a swag bag, propelling the donations over the top and hopefully helping the fam through the first steps of rebuilding. Next time you say Thanks, ArenaNet, you should really, truly mean it.
Last fall, one of EVE Online’s senior software engieers passed away at the age of 35, leaving a hole in the team’s heart. While the studio created a special ship SKIN to memorialize CCP Blaze, there was more that the company and community felt that could be done.
Funds were raised to support his fiancée and one-year-old daughter which resulted in an “astonishing, unparalleled” success. The community donated over 3.7 million PLEX — $119,828.50 — to the family, making it the second-largest fundraiser ever to happen in CCP’s history.
“It’s honestly not possible for us to find words that would accurately convey the gratitude we feel to our pilots,” CCP said. “Once again, the EVE community has shown that despite differences in game, our pilots are a formidable, and indestructible force for good.”
Two MMO companies are working on new charity efforts to help those in need.
Jagex says that it’s testing a new cash-shop setup that allows gamers buying stuff in RuneScape to “round up payments to the next whole value, should you wish to – the excess of which will go to [Jagex’s] partner charities.” According to the company website, that includes CPSL Mind, The Prince’s Trust, and the YMCA.
Meanwhile, Square Enix is raising hurricane relief funds through a Final Fantasy 30th anniversary “Legacy of Art” charity auction this coming January in partnership with GlobalGiving. “Hosted at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA, the free exhibition is open to the public, and highlights a variety of official artwork from the FINAL FANTASY series as well as tribute pieces from featured artists including Joey Chou, Perry Maple Dixon, Helen Chen, Jisoo Kim and Sachin Teng.” It also appears some art is up for online auction right now.
MMO players and studios are especially generous this year; here’s just a smattering of the charity efforts we’ve covered in the past few months:
Have you ever found yourself scratching your head and trying to understand the rabid devotion that has grown up around RuneScape? It seems that you either get it or you don’t, and if you’ve been ignoring the game until now, its fans are more than happy to tell you what you’re missing.
In an interesting exposé on the RuneScape phenomenon, Eurogamer took to this past September’s RuneFest as well as interviewed several players and streamers to see what was the appeal of this popular MMORPG. For some fans, it’s the MMO they grew up playing. “This is going to sound ridiculous and cheesy and a little bit cringe,” said one gamer, “but there’s just something that’s really comforting to me because I played it so much in my childhood.”
The USS Texas launched more than a century ago, and at the time she was one of the most advanced warships in the world. Now, though, she’s a victim of bad weather, an aging craft that’s nearly sunk. But World of Warships
has a bit of a thing
about old warships staying afloat, so the game is offering players a chance to purchase items in the game and contribute to charity in the process
. There are four new bundles available to add the USS Texas to your ship collection, along with a gaudy “Lone Star” camo patterns and a commemorative flag.
Players who opt for the largest bundle will also get a special mission to undertake 20 random battles with the USS Texas. If you already own the ship, buying one of the bundles which includes the ship will credit you for her normal purchase price for the in-game store, to boot. Check out videos of the ship in action and a bit more about the real ship just below.
We are sure that you are one of the good ones that do not need any prompting to give to worthy causes, such as fighting breast cancer. But for your… friends who might need some personal incentive to donate, TERA
is selling a new cosmetic bundle with the proceeds going to breast cancer research.
And before you can ask, yes, it is pink. It is all of the pink in the world.
The “Pink Power Bundles” contain pink wings, pink sunglasses, and a pink crown of flowers, all of which will do double duty by raising more awareness of this cause and completely baffling the monsters that you fight. “Are you sure that you came to battle?” they will ask. “Perhaps you got lost on your way to a Barbie convention?”
Pink Gnomes as far as the eye can see, a mass of hopping, big-haired lads and lasses all surging together as they run slipshod over Azeroth. The goal? To raise awareness and funds to help prevent breast cancer.
The latest Great Gnomeregan Run in World of Warcraft has wrapped up and proved to be a resounding success. Over 7,000 players joined together for the pink ‘do race, and their efforts culminated in a $16,000 haul to fund the Tuohy vaccine. This new vaccine creates a “shield” against breast cancer and has shown remarkable promise so far.
“The World of Warcraft Community is completely amazing,” the event organizers posted. “Thank you so much for coming out and being patient, awesome and generous. While I host the party, all of you are the people who can make something like this happen. Thank you for being amazing human beings.”
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.
players yesterday that the Plains of Eidolon
expansion was planned to launch “within the next 10 days,” and today’s press release and landing site
confirm the launch next week and tacks on a new trailer.
“Independent game developer and publisher Digital Extremes is ready to open the flood gates of its cooperative online action game, Warframe, to a whole new wave of players. With Plains of Eidolon’s release hitting PC and Steam next week, Digital Extremes’ new Open Zone design offers a vast new geography packed with exploratory daytime activities and towering night-time battles unlike anything Warframe players have seen before. The Plains of Eidolon expansion will launch on PC first, on PlayStation®4 and Xbox One this November, and is free to play.”
We spoke to the DE team back at Tennocon this summer, when we learned that Plains of Eidolon intends to add some game-changing MMO flair to the shooter, with more open-world landscapes, interactive NPCs, a “gripping” story, a diurnal cycle, and new mission types, with an emphasis on exploration.
Did you drop $40 on a virtual ticket for BlizzCon 2017? You won’t have to wait until the convention starts in November to enjoy some of the benefits that come with such a golden pass.
Blizzard has started to post pre-show videos leading up to the show, and while the public can view some of them for free, others are exclusive for virtual ticket holders. Three videos can be access with the ticket, looking at casual and advanced cosplay as well as a trip into the Blizzard museum for memorable stories about the community.
Speaking of the community, World of Warcraft players are organizing another Running of the Gnomes on October 14th to raise awareness and money for the fight against breast cancer. While there is now an official micro-holiday spawned from this player event, this particular run is purely community-operated. Participants are urged to roll a pink-haired Gnome on the Scarlet Crusade server and have their guilds donate to charity.