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Cloud Pirates explains how best to play the Heavy Reinforced Galleon

If your goal in Cloud Pirates is to pilot the most specialized ship possible, you probably aren’t going to enjoy the Heavy Reinforced Galleon. The ship is quite explicitly not meant as the most focused ship of the line, being solidly middle-of-the-road and versatile. Of course, while that makes it not specialized, it also means that it can be kitted out for almost any situation and it means that a skilled player can have an answer for almost any situation. A new guide on the official site explains how the Heavy Reinforced Galleon can be used to deliver impressive results while retaining its high flexibility.

Players who reach tier 4 with the galleon will be able to shut down ship technology and increase the vulnerability of other ships in the area, a valuable tool for any confrontation. Players can also kit out these ships in more defensive or offensive roles while retaining the overall versatility of the class, allowing you to shut down or dampen enemy damage and firing while healing your own ship. If you’d prefer to be behind a diverse arsenal, you could do worse than working the skies in a heavy reinforced galleon.

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Valiance Online asks its fans what’s the most important part of a superheroic MMO

What makes for a great superheroic MMO? What are the most important aspects of the game to consider? The developers behind Valiance Online obviously have several answers of their own, but a question on the game’s official forums turns that question back over to the community. What do you think is the most important part of making this game great?

The responses are already varied and in-depth; the argument is being made, for example, that a big part of it is understanding the fantasy of being a superhero and the importance of letting individual heroes tackle strong villains alone. There’s also a lot of discussion of how challenging content should be and the amount of content in the game, along with discussion of which MMOs succeed at providing all of the right elements (a list that doesn’t start and stop with City of Heroes, incidentally) and which ones do not. If you’re curious about what has been said or just want to add your own thoughts, the thread is right here.

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Legendary pokemon are teased for Pokemon Go as a new anti-cheat measure auto-bans bots

Remember how last summer was all about Pokémon Go? That’s probably not going to happen again this year, but the team behind the game at Niantic is certainly hoping for something similar with the promise that the summer will be legendary. That certainly alludes to a bunch of legendary Pokémon wandering the world, so if you’ve long been hoping for a Zapdos you could name “Captain Zappywing,” you might be closer than you thought.

Of course, all of that is only if you’re playing the game legitimately. A new anti-cheat measure is being deployed against botting accounts, and rather than bans, it seems to be flagging accounts in a far more insidious manner. The flagged accounts can still play the game… but all they see are common Pokémon, rather than any of the rarer or more desirable ones. The community on Reddit has worked overtime in analyzing the bans and found very few false positives, making it a welcome boon to those playing the game legitimately.

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Check out Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood’s new abilities in action

The second expansion for Final Fantasy XIV is bringing more than just new abilities; it’s also bringing an extensive set of changes for existing abilities and classes. Yesterday’s live letter covered the changes in brief, including the various job gauges for each job and the new role-specific actions for tanks, healers, and all three types of DPS. But perhaps you’d prefer to see these things in action? You can do exactly that with the latest job ability trailer and screenshots of the same just below.

The letter also revealed that PvP will be changed to have specific job layouts for PvP, with a small selection of traits and abilities replacing the existing system of PvP ranks and improvements. Players will also have access to jumping potions starting on June 16th, with one potion allowing you to level a specific job to 60 instantly and another allowing you to flag all of the MSQ as cleared up through Heavensward. Both will cost $25, so you can use them to speed your way to being ready for all of the new tricks shown below in Stormblood.

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Albion’s Hector update brings the Black Market, revised Hellgates, and revised Outlands

Hector is coming! That’s not a person’s name; it’s the name of an update in Albion Online, so you can spare yourself getting a cake ready and all of that. But there’s still a fair bit to do with the update, since Hector brings the introduction of the game’s Black Market as well as revised Hellgates and Outlands for players to explore. The Black Market allows you to sell items which will then be resold to enemies around the world as drops, so you can get rid of that unwanted sword and let someone else pick it up unexpectedly after fighting a beetle.

Outlands are seeing their harbors and cities removed (which means players will need to retrieve items stored there before the patch), replaced with portals that allow quick travel in and out. Resources and watchtowers are being tweaked to allow all players access to the region while maintaining a sense of danger. Hellgates, meanwhile, have a new map layout, new minions and mechanics, and new tiers of difficulty for various players. You’ll be able to try all of this yourself on June 7th, so make sure to grab items from the Outlands settlements before then.

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Overwatch kicks off its anniversary event and slashes game prices

It’s been a year since Overwatch launched, and in that time the game has added new heroes, new maps, and several limited-time events of varying popularity. So naturally, the best way to celebrate the anniversary is with another limited-time event and associated loot boxes. Pop into one of the three new arena maps and look for new sprays, new skins, and new dancing emotes for various characters; you can check below for screenshots and a video showing them off.

If all of this is irrelevant to you as you haven’t picked up the game, good news! You can do that even cheaper. The Game of the Year edition contains all of the bonuses of the Origins Edition released at launch and is going for $39.99 during the anniversary event, while the basic game is now priced at $29.99. (And yes, you can upgrade to the GotY edition later.) The anniversary event lasts until June 12th, while the sales are only active until June 3rd.

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TERA’s third week of anniversary rewards includes a pin-up car

The last week of TERA anniversary rewards is almost upon us, starting on 5/23. That means you still have one more day to turn in Anniversary Tokens for the past week’s rewards, but it also means you can look forward to the final batch of rewards. And what’s on the list for the last week? Why, a hatchback car decorated in cheesecake pictures of the Elin, the race that looks like prepubescent girls!

You could also get a permanent disco ball.

It’s worth noting that the car mount is a permanent mount that has never been available before, and it likely won’t be available again given the nature of the event. Whether or not that triggers your collector instinct is for you to decide, but you’ll want to decide soon as the game’s anniversary celebration moves into its final week.

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Liveblogging the Final Fantasy XIV Letter from the Producer LIVE XXXVI

For those who’ve somehow missed it, Final Fantasy XIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida regularly does live letters for the community. We don’t usually liveblog them because, well, most of them take place at a time of day many people are aware of only by rumors. But this time the letter is in English and happening right now, so we’re going to go ahead and liveblog it for your viewing pleasure.

We’ve included an embed past the break, but if you can’t watch the video or would prefer not to, worry not; we’ll be updating you on the progress of the letter right in the comments. This is the first time we’ve done the liveblog with the new comment system, so we’re eager to put it through its paces. What things will be revealed? (Stuff related to Stormblood. We all know it.)

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best launcher?

Launchers! They’re stupid, they’re boring, they exist primarily as a gateway between you (the player) and what you actually want to do (play an MMO). And yet I find myself sometimes having a weird nostalgia for some of these programs. PlayOnline is a pretty terrible and unnecessary piece of software, but that opening tune always gets me, and I remember browsing around it even aside from just jumping into Final Fantasy XI.

Heck, I miss the old World of Warcraft launcher from the game’s inception. I far prefer it to Battle.net or the Blizzard App or The Impediment To Playing Destiny 2 or whatever it’s called at this point. That might just be me getting old and cranky, though.

Then again, that’s part of the thing about launchers – they’re transparent until they aren’t, and for better or worse they have a long history with MMOs. So which MMO has the best launcher? Is it the best because it’s lightweight? Familiar? Reliable? Or just because it hits you just right and you love it despite its many flaws?

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Gigantic discusses upcoming polish and balance changes in open beta

The development of Gigantic has moved on to the stage of polishing and refining the content already in the game, which is a good thing for players. The latest official set of community answers focuses on exactly that, dealing with the balance and quality-of-life changes planned for the game’s open beta testing. Matchmaking issues are still being investigated and worked on, and players can expect at least one more major update during this test phase to address balance and bugs.

New voiceover lines for certain characters are also being added, and players can expect to see those as well as integrated voice chat in the relatively near future following internal testing. There are also plans to show more numbers in the future to help with theorycrafting, although those numbers are unlikely to show up in the next couple of builds. Check out the full rundown for all of the information you could want about the process of making the game polish up and shine nicely.

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The Soapbox: Your favorite MMO is going to die

Your favorite MMO is going to die. Don’t take it personally, though; every other MMO is going to shut down, too. That includes my favorites and everyone else’s favorites.

Do you like Final Fantasy XIV? It’s going to shut down. WildStar? It’ll shut down. Ultima Online? Oh, yes, the shutdown is coming. The Secret World? Guild Wars 2? The Elder Scrolls Online? Destiny (yes, I meant to leave off the 2, I mean the original)? RIFT, Trove, Black Desert, Revelation Online, Crowfall? All of the above will shut down.

But don’t get up in arms about this. Seriously, relax, take a deep breath, maybe hum a little William Shatner tune. All of these games are going to shut down, but that’s just because every single MMO exists in one of three states: not yet launched, shut down, or waiting to be shut down. And as cynical as that may seem, I think accepting that truth is going to do wonders for all of us when it comes time for the next unexpected shutdown. Because it’s going to happen.

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Destiny 2 may not launch simultaneously on PC and consoles

Properly excited about Destiny 2’s announcements yesterday? We don’t blame you. But there are a few points you might wish to consider. For example, keep in mind that you may not be getting the game on day one; a release date is officially not set in stone for the PC version, and it may be a bit later than the console version. This is partly due to the fact that Bungie is well aware PC players will want things like field-of-view options, text chat, uncapped framerates, and so forth.

There’s also no word at this point on whether or not players will be able to have any sort of cross-pollination between the console and PC versions, although the team knows the demand is there. None of this is meant to demolish enthusiasm, but it probably does affect your enthusiasm to know that the PC version will offer more graphical options but might show up later. In summary, check out some raw PvP match footage below.

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The Daily Grind: How much does optimization affect your MMO play?

When I feel like lying to myself, I tell myself that I don’t care about optimizing my characters in MMOs. I even sometimes convince myself that it was true for a while; I did play a Retribution Paladin in World of Warcraft back before Crusader Strike was even in the game. But the reality is that even then, when I happily shot myself in the foot to avoid raid utility, I still worked overtime to optimize my character. I will gladly walk into an awful build with eyes open, but I will then do everything in my power to make that awful build work.

I have a Red Mage build on Final Fantasy XI that comes as close to being a functional melee attacker as any I’ve seen. I made a DPS Gladiator in version 1.0 of Final Fantasy XIV. The list goes on. But I know there are people out there who will only play with optimized builds, like a friend of mine from City of Heroes who had seven Shield scrappers to optimize AoE farming. And then there are people who hate any hint of utility and choose character builds solely for aesthetics. What about you, dear reader? How much does optimization affect your playing of MMOs? Do you play to optimize your build, do you avoid it, or do you enjoy making terrible builds the best they can be?

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