Contrary to popular belief, sometimes server merges can be a very good thing — especially if your country or region has been kept isolated from others up to this point.
SMITE’s Chinese population is about to join up with the rest of the global community, thanks to a deal between Tencent and Hi-Rez. MMO Culture is reporting that the merge is scheduled for January 2018, after which the game will be truly global and have one shared rank ladder. Between now and then, no new players can register and veteran SMITErs are going to need to take some action to transfer their account over.
Tencent and Hi-Rez are also working on a possible deal to bring the studio’s Paladins over to China. The closed beta for Paladins has been running in that country for a while now.
The ESRB may not be interested in protecting gamers against predatory business model practices like lockboxes, but European regulators may be joining their Chinese counterparts in at least taking a look before casually dismissing concerns.
As Polygon reports, a member of the UK parliament, Daniel Zeichner, submitted formal questions to the UK’s secretary of state on topic, requesting information on her plan to “to protect vulnerable adults and children from illegal gambling, in-game gambling and loot boxes within computer games,” specifically on the Isle of Man, whose legal code refers by name to “in-game gambling and loot boxes.”
Meanwhile, the European PEGI – akin to the ESRB on this side of the pond – has said that it can’t rule on the issue for game studios because it “cannot define what constitutes gambling” because it’s not a national gambling commission – contrary to the ESRB’s statement.
Gone are the days when Chinese companies could get away with ripping off games left and right: Blizzard is going after another one of these alleged copyright-violating piles of crap.
The game in question is mobile title Heroes of Warfare; Japanese publication PC Watch reports that Blizzard’s Chinese conglom and publisher NetEase are suing the the maker, demanding and apology, restitution, and removal from Apple’s appstore, on the grounds of IP violations in China.
Meanwhile, stop cheating, cheaters. Your day has come, as the studio has apparently begun another round of six-month bans to folks who use cheat tools. Stoppit.
And in happier Blizzard news… here’s the whole WoW dev team. The fluffy white dog on the left personally made the no-flying-in-Argus decision, we’ve been informed by the PR collie being hoisted over on the right.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when Valve said it was continuing to seek ways to crack down on review bombing, the practice of sending a zerg of people to wreck a game’s review standing on Steam usually for reasons unrelated to the actual quality of the game? This right here is why. This is why we can’t have nice things.
The latest review bombing drama involves one of the most popular games in the world right now, the irritatingly named PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Apparently, Chinese players are really pissed off about an ad for a VPN service that’s begun appearing on the lobby screen of the game’s Chinese version. Chinese players are already frustrated with the bouts of lag they suffer, to the point that they feel forced to play on international servers just to participate, so an ad from a VPN company right inside the client – claiming it’s from “the only official accelerator of the game” – is a bit like adding insult to injury. That’s on top of the fact that there are freakin’ ads in a buy-to-play early access game.
As VG247 points out, Steam’s review metrics for the game show a fairly well reviewed title – right up until this weekend when it tanked with over 15000 negative reviews.
When Frontier’s servers return to service today, Elite Dangerous will have a shiny new update. Patch 2.4 The Return promises “more mysterious and exciting things,” a plain allusion to the “return” of the Thargoids, the extra-dimensional aliens that have previously served as the game’s “scary dogmatic alien” trope and are now here to… well, I guess you’ll see. If you live that long. Muahahah! Sorry. They’re actually kinda cute.
There’s more to the patch, of course, including new save slots and hairdos in the Holo-Me system, new planetary bases in Colonia, bounties and ship purchasing penalties for murderers, an improved inbox, new missions, updates to the route plotting system, search and rescue contracts, improvements to the galaxy map, and a whole bunch of bug fixes.
Back in August, our own Andrew Ross, who’s admittedly more of a PvP sandbox guy than a space sim guy, struggled to love the game, but it’s had a good summer: Not only did Elite pass 2.75M sales, but China’s Tencent poured $23M into Frontier, purchasing a 9% stake.
To celebrate the arrival of the Tomb of Annhilation expansion
on console, PWE
has granted Massively OP 100 Firesoul Gorgon mount keys to give away to our readers– 50 apiece for PlayStation 4 (Teal Stained Gorgon) and Xbox One (Vert Stained Gorgon). Quick, to your color wheels!
“Gorgons are dangerous and hard to control, but this beast unique to the jungles of Chult has been tamed and its metallic scales have been stained bright green and teal. These uncommon mounts are ready to charge through the dangers of Chult with plumes of smoke billowing from their nostrils.”
Both grant +50 movement speed and include two insignia slots. The codes can be redeemed only once per account and expire at the end of 2017, and the mounts are bind-on-pickup. Critically, these codes are redeemable on console only in the regions as outlined below, so if you’re a PC person, you can skip this one!
One more bridge. That’s what she kept telling me, even though I cautioned her that sooner or later our luck would run out. She would pause, then shake her head and urge us on. One more bridge.
That day, when we crossed a seemingly innocuous wooden bridge over RIFT’s gorgeous Scatherron Forest, our luck broke — as did six boards, sending us plummeting down into a gorge. As I fell, I wondered why I was taking orders from my talking mount anyway. Perhaps she knew that fall damage was a thing of the past and I could be pressured into recklessness.
After I pick myself back up and find another route onward, we’ll look at the rest of this week’s player-submitted screenshots and stories!
Lest you think that Conan Exiles is just about crushing your enemies and all that, Funcom has a new dev diary out today elucidating the game’s building system. Pure builders should skip the PvP servers, the studio says, and slip into single-player god mode or on a server with super-fast harvesting and crafting speed to focus on creating your very own Sim City in Hyboria.
Players of other sandboxes probably already know the drill: You don’t have to just plunk down prefab stuff and can instead build from the ground up using smaller building blocks. “To build truly creative structures it can be important to use a lot of different building pieces and placeables,” cautions Funcom. “Based on feedback from the community we are making additional building pieces with new shapes so you can make even more creative buildings.”
“You can build almost anything you want in Conan Exiles. If you have the time and patience you can even fill out most of the map with all kinds of buildings, castles and cities. Build a sprawling metropolis filled with thralls dancing in the streets, hammering away at their anvils or standing guard. Or perhaps you want to build a humongous castle, filled with all sorts of rooms and dungeons and even labyrinths.”
We’ve been tracking Black Desert
developer Pearl Abyss’ path to IPO since last spring
, when multiple Korean outlets began reporting that the company sought a listing on the Korean stock exchange this coming fall. A few weeks ago, the company’s IPO press conference let loose a few more tidbits
MMO players might be intrigued to learn. As parsed from Invenglobal’s
translation, here are the highlights:
- Black Desert took four years to make and currently operates in 100 countries. “The total RU [registered users] is more than 7.65 million based on July 2017, and the total sales are approximately ￦340b [$301M].”
- As of the end of July 2017, PA has sold 530K copies of the game through Steam, amounting to $1.3M in sales. “The title was placed No. 2 of the total sales on Steam on June 20th.” (There’s a section that notes the game cost only ￦1.2b ($1M) to make, “a relatively small cost […] compared to other MMORPGs,” but we assume they’re talking about just the engine specifically there.)
We’re going to lead off with the bad news: Lost Ark is currently planning its release in South Korea and China in 2018 with no real word on a localized version for here just yet. So keep that in mind while you watch the eight-minute trailer below. If it all looks enticing and interesting to you, well, you don’t know when you’ll get to experience it in a language that you actually speak. So you may have to go your whole life without getting to play music with a group beautiful enough that it attracts a rampaging owlbear to sit down and listen happily.
Of course, having typed that line, you probably have to see what the heck is actually in this trailer. There’s a lot of more standard stuff in there, too, like sailing across the ocean, exploring ruins, and creeping through dangerous areas filled with monsters… but there’s also the aforementioned “singing and gathering woodland creatures” bit. So perhaps you out to just check it out to see everything being added to the game for its second closed beta test.
Can you believe Champions Online
is eight years old? Yep, it’s true, and the festivities are underway
! In honor of the celebration, PWE
has kindly granted Massively OP 50 Champs
goodie bags in two flavors to give away to our readers:
- Level 1-39 Anniversary Pack: 30x Healing Devices, 5x Costume Change Tokens, 5x XP Boosters, 1x Temporary Sidekick (One Hour), Full set of leveling gear. (“Veteran players can use the entry level pack to create a new character or share with a friend,” PWE suggests.)
- Level 40 Anniversary Pack: 30x Healing Devices, 5x Costume Change Tokens, 5x Triumphant Recoveries, 1x Temporary Sidekick (One Hour), Full set of Level 40 gear
- Both packs also give players an opportunity to win gold vouchers (redeemable for various items in the Collector Store), an extra character slot or an additional costume shot.
The codes can be redeemed only once per account and expire at the end of 2020. Read on to enter to win!
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Paladins Strike, Warface, Monster Hunter World, Heroes and Generals, Pirate101, Trove, Skyforge, The Black Death, Star Trek Online, EverClicker, Neverwinter, Just Survive, Dauntless, Battlejack, Dungeon Fighter Online, League of Legends, Hyper Universe, Dark Age of Camelot, MU Origin, MU Legend, EVE Online, Age of Wushu, State of Decay 2, Dota 2, Splatoon, and Starcraft Remastered, all waiting for you after the break!
First it was the launch of its nest expansion, The Fall of Oriath
. Then it was its launch on the Xbox One
. And now Path of Exile
is rounding out an exciting and exhausting month of activity by coming to China for the first time
“For two years, we have been working with Tencent to bring Path of Exile to China,” Grinding Gear Games said. “After many months of beta testing, we are proud to announce that it has entered open beta today. Their release includes all of the 3.0.0 content and some specific changes for the Chinese region.”
The studio said that this was a “big thing” for the game’s worldwide plans, but that’s not all it’s working on: In fact, GGG is working planning its next expansion.