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The Stream Team: Dabbling in the Dauntless alpha

The Dauntless alpha started yesterday, and thanks to server issues, Massively OP’s MJ had difficulty getting in. But today she is determined to check this new game out! Will she be impressed like Andrew was during his E3 play test? Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to see as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…

What: Dauntless
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 19th, 2017

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Dauntless’ founder alpha has begun

Don’t miss our hands-on with Dauntless from E3!
We’ve been keeping an eye on Dauntless, the sci-fantasy online co-op action RPG from the former BioWare, Riot, and Blizzard devs now fronting Phoenix Labs, ever since its first reveal back in December. Today, regular gamers can leap in themselves — at least if they’ve ponied up the 40 80 bucks needed for a founder’s pack with access to the alpha. [Thanks for the clarification, jinarra!] Otherwise you’ll be waiting until the game launches later this year, at which time it’ll be free-to-play.

Following his E3 hands-on with the game, MOP’s Andrew Ross said the game was surprisingly solid and natural, impressive even, though he worried over rival Monster Hunter World.

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Ubisoft on Skull and Bones’ business model, ‘treasure chest’ lootboxes, and live events

If you thought that Ubisoft’s Skull and Bones pirate MMO wasn’t going to have lootboxes, seriously, what rock are you living under? (And is it comfy? And can you maybe scoot over and make room for the rest of us?)

In a new interview with Gamespot, Ubisoft creative director Justin Farren says that the studio is going for “more of a service-based approach so that when you pay for this game, you have a commitment from us to develop content, new gameplay, modes, new content for the player to earn, and then of course, new regions to explore, and those things will unfold as the game launches and provide service over time.”

“We don’t want to create pay to win,” he says. “We don’t want to create something where players have to pay to compete. Our PvP is completely horizontal in a way that gives players a chance to develop their skills and compete against other players.”

But Overwatch-style lootboxes are definitely still on the table.

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Anthem lead gameplay designer Corey Gaspur passes away

The official BioWare blog announced last night that Anthem lead gameplay designer Corey Gaspur has passed away. Gaspur had been a staple of the studio for most of the last decade, known best to our audience for his work on Dragon Age: Origins, the Mass Effect series, and of course Anthem, the last of which was only just recently revealed at E3 and already has MMO and multiplayer fans champing at the bit.

The studio didn’t elaborate on the circumstances of his death, but as VG247 points out, BioWare employees have intimated it was sudden and unexpected.

Our heartfelt condolences to all of his family, friends, and colleagues.

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CCP’s VR sports game Sparc launches August 29

First announced back in February, CCP’s multiplayer VR sports sim Sparc was all set for a summer launch as of E3, and now the date is firming up: The Icelandic studio known best for MMO EVE Online has picked August 29th for the game’s debut on PSVR. Expect it to run $29.99.

Sparc is a virtual sport, or ‘vSport’ – a unique full-body experience only possible in virtual reality, where the player’s VR equipment is their sports gear. In Sparc, players connect online to compete in fast-paced and physical one-on-one gameplay. Players use their two PlayStation®Move motion controllers to throw projectiles across the court at their opponent, while dodging, blocking or deflecting any incoming shots.”

MOP’s Brendan Drain got a hands-on with the game at this past spring’s EVE Fanfest. “CCP has hit the nail on the head with the feel of Sparc,” he wrote in April. “Sparc legitimately has the potential to become the Wii Sports of VR, a collection of competitive activities transmitted via the internet and experienced in VR but played in real space with real athletic competition. I’ve often complained that VR has no killer app, no must-have game that absolutely needs VR to work, but I think Sparc might be it.”

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Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath has just begun Xbox One beta

Hey, Path of Exile console fans. Have you been moping on the sidelines throughout the long PC beta for Fall of Oriath? Were you sad to find out it’s launching on PC on August 4th? Then I have good news for you!

“Grinding Gear Games has announced today that its highly anticipated massive expansion, Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath, will launch its beta for Xbox One at 2pm pacific on Wednesday, July 26th.”

That’s literally right as this post is going live; you can run over and register right now. “Space is limited and players selected will receive their Xbox One beta keys via email,” warns the studio.

As we’ve previously covered, the expansion adds literally new everything, from new skills and bosses to new locations, plus the new pantheon system, five new acts, and the difficulty level system. Just getting caught up? Don’t miss our February preview and reveal, our steam and hands-on with the PC beta, and our E3 interview on the expansion!

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Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago is pretty much a trainwreck

If you’ve ever been to a massive gathering of tech-savvy people — like say, a gaming convention — you know better than to rely on the internet for sending emails or tweeting consistently, let alone for gaming itself. That’s just one of the lessons being learned by Niantic and the thousands of people who paid for tickets to Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago this weekend.

Multiple outlets are reporting that not only can many people inside the park not connect to play, but there have been huge lines outside the park as people still wait to get in. When Niantic CEO John Hanke took the stage to calm everyone, he was subsequently booed and heckled while issuing apologies. Ouch.

Popular fansite The Silph Road reports that Niantic is offering refunds and chunks of currency, but that won’t help all people who flew in from out of state — or out of country — for an event that’s gone south.

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Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath expansion arrives August 4

Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath expansion finally has a formal launch date: August 4th. The expansion adds literally new everything, from new skills and bosses to new locations, plus the new pantheon system, five new acts, and the difficulty level system. Over in the beta, the devs are working hard on the Labyrinth, maps, and flask balancing with just a couple weeks to go. The aborted microtransaction system is also slated for this coming Friday.

Just getting caught up? Don’t miss our February preview and reveal, our steam and hands-on with the beta, and our E3 interview on the expansion, plus the new images and trailer below!

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Absolver begins PC and PS4 preorders ahead of August 29 launch

Absolver came out of nowhere last year, not quite an MMO but with a lot of the stock online multiplayer RPG trappings, with a special emphasis on its detailed mix-and-match combat. If it’s on your radar, you might consider the game’s newly unveiled preorders.

“Starting today eager combatants that preorder Absolver on PlayStation 4 or PC will receive 10 percent off the base $29.99 price, the Labyrinth Prospect mask, and Uring Priest gear set. The most ardent fans can preorder the limited small batch physical Absolver Collector’s Edition from Special Reserve Games for $74.99, which includes an ultra premium, wearable Prospect mask with display stand, a 52-page The Art of Absolver book, and sticker pack in addition to a PlayStation 4 disc or PC download via Steam.”

The game is still expected to launch on August 29th for PC and PS4. An Xbox One release was referred to in the press materials from E3, but no date for that has been announced.

Still not sure? Have a look at the latest trailers down below.

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Monster Hunter World takes you on a forest hunt

Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise has a beastly following, and there is no doubt that many of these fans are eager to see what the multiplayer Monster Hunter World will offer.

The studio released a 23-minute gameplay video that took viewers on a tour of those of the levels, the Ancient Forest. This primeval woods is home to overgrown plants and more than a few grouchy dinosaur, which makes for amusing sights when an adult man in full plate armor comes face-to-face with one of them, does an abrupt 180, and runs like a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Got nothing to do for the next half-hour? Pull on your big-kid britches and go on a dino hunt below! And don’t forget to read our hands-on with this title from E3 last month!

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Check out Fortnite’s brand-new cinematic short

Hey PvE sandbox fans! If Fortnite isn’t on your radar yet, it should be. MOP’s own Andrew Ross dubbed it “Crowfall for PvE zombie fans” following his demo at this year’s E3. It’s got lobby matchmaking, with a procedurally generated world, short matches, some persistence, gear crafting, item decay, outposts, character unlocks, and co-op — as Epic Games put it, “We know that players want co-op games where they can go play with their friends. There’s a lot of people out there that aren’t about killing other people.”

So if you’re one of them, today’s video is for you.

“This weekend at Rooster Teeth Expo in Austin, Texas, Epic Games premiered A Hard Day’s Night, a cinematic short based in the universe of the studio’s upcoming action-building title, Fortnite. Created in-house at Epic Games using Unreal Engine 4, the short gives fans a taste of the action players can expect when the game becomes available for players later this month.”

Intrigued yet?

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Here’s everything coming in Elder Scrolls Online’s Horns of the Reach DLC

Back at E3, we got a sneak peek into The Elder Scrolls Online’s post-Morrowind plans — how could ZeniMax follow something like Morrowind up? Easy: It’s starting with Horns of the Reach, the game’s August DLC and the subject of today’s dev blog.

HOTR’s headlining feature is its pair of new dungeons in both normal and veteran modes.

“The first of these new activities is Bloodroot Forge, an ancient, long-forgotten forge that was recently rediscovered by the Reachmen and their minotaur allies. This forge, rumored to have been created by the Daedric prince Hircine, can create weapons of unbelievable power. When exploring this new dungeon, you will navigate through heavy vegetation and deep, lava-filled corridors to reach the heart of the forge and put a stop to Gherig Crowblood’s plans.

“The second dungeon is Falkreath Hold, a township under siege that will soon fall to the marauding hordes of Domihaus the Bloody-Horned. You and your companions must break the siege, move into the town and Jarl’s Hall, and defeat the monstrous warlord himself.”

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ARK Survival Evolved has doubled in price ahead of August 8 launch

Welp, hope you bought ARK: Survival Evolved back when it was super cheap on Steam because its price has now increased for PC players to a whopping $59.99 (or $67.98 if you want the bundle with Scorched Earth tucked in too). Europeans have extra reason for salt; the game is €70 overseas, which is double the old price. We knew the price hike was coming (and how high) since they told us at E3, but it’s a shock all the same.

The rationale, Studio Wildcard says, is to “ensure parity” ahead of the launch. So the bad news is that digital PC players will now be paying exorbitant console box prices. The good news is that launch really is coming this time and we can stop making snide jokes about selling expansions during early access soon. Just kidding, we’re never going to stop that. Expect it on August 8th. And don’t miss our E3 interview with Wildcard on early access and launch!

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