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The class balance train roars forward with SWTOR Update 5.5

Ootini! With Game Update 5.5 moved to October, Star Wars: The Old Republic players have a little more time to prepare for some of the changes to come — including additional class build adjustments. Yes, the developers aren’t quite finished monkeying around with disciplines in the MMO.

Snipers and Gunslingers are going to be getting a slight nerf to their honed shots talent. The devs said that the marksmanship and sharpshooter builds were “slightly overperforming,” and so this tweak should bring DPS in line.

Meanwhile, Juggernauts and Guardians will see a wider array of changes when 5.5 drops. “Chilling Scream/Freezing Force was doing too much damage with the Piercing Chill/Persistent Chill utility,” the team said. “It was being used as a single-target rotational ability when it’s intended use was multi-target AOE, so we reduced the damage it deals with Piercing Chill/Persistent Chill. To make up for part of the DPS loss, we increased the damage of Draining Scream/Burning Blade by 45%.”

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Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming to Nintendo Switch… in Japan only

At what point is Sega officially just taunting Phantasy Star Online 2 fans in North America? It’s hard to be sure, but the announcement that PSO2 is coming to the Nintendo Switch probably crosses that line. Because it’s true, the title will be playable on the Switch… in Japan. No American release, just in Japan.

The port announcement came as part of the most recent Nintendo Direct announcement, and it may very well put a lie to the speculation that Sega’s refusal to release the game was due to their PC-heavy strategy and business deals preventing a proper release on Steam. So why is it only in Japan? Who knows. The important thing is that Japanese players can use the Switch and you cannot. (Unless, of course, you’re reading this from Japan. If that’s the case, well, hi!)

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Final Fantasy XIV synergizes with Dominos and Netflix, throws a huge Mog Station sale

Like a mighty team of warriors coming together for a final boss battle, Square Enix has partnered up with some interesting companions to spread the word of Final Fantasy XIV.

Dominos has a new deal in Australia in which you can order a “Pizza and Gaming Bundle” that includes three pizzas, garlic bread, a drink, and a download of FFXIV and its two expansions, all for $50. That should fuel your gaming caloric needs for the first few days, at least.

Over at Netflix, there’s a new series called “Dad of Light” in which a Japanese father and son end up bonding together over the MMORPG. Supposedly it’s based on a true story, and let us hope that story is more interesting than watching two people sit in front of a screen for a season. I mean, we have Twitch for that already.

If pizza and TV isn’t your thing, how about discounted deals on in-game goodies? To celebrate its 10 million players milestone, FFXIV is putting a large chunk of the Mog Station on sale over the next month. Everything except Tales of Adventure boosts and dyes will be 30% off through September 26th.

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PSA: You can get Elder Scrolls Online for under 10 bucks

You have always been the frugal sort. You never buy anything unless it goes on sale, and you never set foot in a store without an eye for deals and a pocket full of coupons. So while you have looked with interest at Elder Scrolls Online, you have balked at paying the full purchase price.

Well, how’s a little less than 10 bucks sound? Right now, you can pick up the base edition of Elder Scrolls Online for $9.89 through the Humble Store. Additionally, this summer’s Morrowind expansion is also on sale, with the upgrade priced at $29.99, the standalone edition at $40.19, and the digital collector’s edition at $53.59.

ESO is part of an overall Bethesda sale that is going on from now through August 29th.

Source: Humble Store. Thanks Dibs!

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Camelot Unchained’s player progression will be a ‘long-term investment’

Is that… is that Camelot Unchained’s Beta 1 peeking over the horizon? From the tone of this week’s newsletter, it certainly sounds as if the long-fabled test is growing nearer every day. In fact, there’s even a section on the website that exhaustively deals with the philosophy and plans behind the beta.

The team had a whole mess of projects to report on this week, including the beginnings of a character information screen, model diversity in the mass bots battles, and dummy NPCs that run around the place.

Possibly one of the most interesting sections of the newsletter dealt with the team’s plans for player progression, which sounds somewhat different than your typical PvE MMO: “We want player’s actions to factor into the global scope of events taking place across the entire world. Player progression is intended to be a long-term investment, and to allow players to focus on what they like best: playing the game how they want to play. For Beta, we’ll be laying out the key progression elements, but will tweak the time it takes to progress during Beta 1.”

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The Sims Online emulator project deals with the inevitable cease-and-desist from EA

It looks like any hopes of a Sims Online resurrection as a fan emulator project might be put to rest for good. The creator of FreeSO, a somewhat popular Sims Online emulator, announced that Electronic Arts had been talking with him about TSO. While he complied with the initial communique to remove blatant Sims references and related logos, the games developer sent a second email that basically put the kibosh on FreeSO as well as a side project to bring the original Sims to mobile devices:

“I received further correspondence from EA, regarding my plans to bring TS1 to mobile devices, as well as potentially FreeSO. To protect their IP, they asked that I cease and desist any efforts to bring either of these games to mobile or any other plaforms. While both projects are entirely legal (copyrighted content and references to The Sims provided by the user, not the replacement engines themselves), I do not want to step on EA’s toes, and will obviously comply with their requests rather than starting some kind of expensive legal battle.”

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Sea of Thieves devs go on a riddle quest

Why do we get the feeling that a majority of Sea of Thieves’ group gameplay will be devoted to players barking at each other “Where are you? WHERE ARE YOU?” until the developers break down and provide everyone with an in-game minimap?

You can see (hear) this on display during another developer gameplay excursion. This week, the team demonstrates how a group of especially clever pirates might go about solving one of the new “riddle quests” that make finding a treasure a tricky process. The quest in question deals with four feathers, with each leading the group further in their pursuit.

Give it a watch after the break!

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The Elder Scrolls Online is adding a new PvP battleground and a new mode in Update 15

How would you like a new way to take on battlegrounds in The Elder Scrolls Online? The game’s next major update is giving you just that in the form of Chaosball. Despite what it sounds like, this isn’t a mode in which you’re playing some ball-related sport. Instead, you hold on to the eponymous Chaosball to earn points, with the first team to 500 points winning… but the ball also deals damage to you and your team, reduces your defenses and offenses, and can’t be shed once you pick it up. So it should be fun for everyone!

The update is also adding a brand-new battleground in the form of the Arcane University, a larger battleground with narrow streets and height differences to really make things play differently. So if you’ve grown a bit tired of the existing maps and modes, the next update will help you bring a new layer of interest into the game. You can run through academy streets while holding a ball of doom and desperately avoiding other players, for example. You could also check out Larry’s thoughts on the Falkreath’s Hold dungeon if you’re more into the PvE side of things.

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LOTRO’s new allegiance system will take you to fantastic places

One of the new major systems that’s coming with Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor deals with your pledged allegiance to certain Middle-earth factions. Players will choose between four races to dedicate their Mordor adventures, opening up a special headquarters and unlocking rewards over time.

Allegiance can be pledged to the Court of Celeborn (Elves), Hall of the King (Man), Erebor (Dwarves), or Bar Thorenion (Hobbits). As players progress in their allegiances, they will open up a special quest line. “Allegiances do have you filling up a bar, and there are repeatable quests and rewards, but for me the significant addition is that each of them tells a continuing story,” said developer MadeOfLions on the forums.

Get an early look at all four class halls allegiance halls after the break!

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Wisdom of Nym: The numbers game in Final Fantasy XIV

It’s not really hard to figure out the best stats for melding in order to do the maximum damage in Final Fantasy XIV. You have, ultimately, only a few real options, and with the removal of Accuracy as an option, none of them is actually going to make or break important points. The problem is that asking “what can I meld to do maximum damage” is perhaps not always the right question to ask.

The matter of stat weights and best-in-slot gear has already been attracting ferocious debate in various parts of the community, and you know the debate has gotten to a fever pitch when Yoshida actually addresses one of the stupider new customs in a live letter. (That would be tanks wearing 270 STR accessories, for the record.) So I think it’s well past the point to talk about the issue of tank damage, tank scaling, and numbers in general. They may not carry the allure of story sequences, but they’re still important.

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Secret World Legends deals with community server issues following yesterday’s patch

Will Secret World Legends’ auction house ever stay online? For the second time since the reboot’s launch, Funcom has disabled the system, although this time has little to do with a currency duping situation.

“We’re aware of some issues going on with the community server, which governs many social functions such as friends lists, cabal lists, auction house, etc,” the studio posted yesterday. “While we look into resolving these issues, the auction house and exchange have been brought offline temporarily to help with alleviating the issues. Sorry for the trouble; we’ll work to iron these issues out as quickly as possible.”

As of this writing, the exchange was restored but the auction house remained offline. This follows yesterday’s patch, which made several quality-of-life changes to the game (and introduced a host of incredibly annoying sounds).

Update: The team tossed out a small hotfix patch today that changed, among other things, mission objective sounds, cabal bank permissions, and various bugs.
Source: Reddit, Twitter

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Anarchy Online celebrates its sweet sixteen

Maintenance mode or no, Anarchy Online is going to celebrate its birthday in style. The MMO, which launched back in 2001, turns 16 this month and is bringing back its anniversary celebration to mark the occasion.

“Today, Anarchy Online celebrates its 16th year of active service,” Funcom posted. “Not a whole lot of games can boast this kind of accomplishment, and we sincerely thank you for your continued love and support of Anarchy Online. You are the very matter that makes up this universe, so thank you again.”

As part of the anniversary event, players can run quests for the Tinker to earn a gift bundle with 500(!) items, defeat the Desert Rider for his loot, and take advantage of multi-month subscription deals to secret bonus loot. There’s also a new cybernetic helmet as a loyalty reward for those who have stuck with the game thus far.

Source: Steam

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E3 2017: Hands-on with Dauntless shows it’s more than a Monster Hunter clone

Phoenix Labs’ not-Monster Hunter monster-hunting game Dauntless is obviously standing in a big shadow after E3 2017. I wasn’t yet fully aware of what Monster Hunter World was doing, but I’ve seen solid games lose to their larger rivals who are slower to innovate in the past. Capcom, while constantly disappointing Mega Man fans, is generally quite good with its co-op hunting series. RaiderZ, a Perfect World published not-MH game that also tackled the monster hunter genre, made minor changes to the formula and came as an actual MMO but still shut down. Though the Phoenix Labs guys weren’t aware of RaiderZ‘s failure, they seemed barely fazed by Capcom’s announcement, and maybe they’re right. Surprisingly, they’ve innovated a few things Capcom itself is doing while also adding a few things Capcom isn’t.

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