europe

NetEase’s Age of Exploration MMO Ocean Legend sets sail for mobile

Multiple new-to-us games calling themselves MMORPGs seem to land on mobile devices every week these days. On our radar today is Ocean Legend. Live on iOS and Android in some soft launch beta hybrid mode, it’s a swashbuckling “Age of Exploration” MMO that’s a mix of Sea of Thieves and Pirates of the Burning Sea and Sword of the New World. Here’s NetEase’s pitch:

“Players take part in the growing naval empires of 15th and 16th century Europe. Choose between four different characters and five separate countries for your own oceanic adventure in the Age of Exploration! In single player mode, join Columbus and his shipmates on their third expedition, battle against pirates, then set out on your own to make a name for yourself as commander of your own fleet.”

Exploration is accomplished through “Cards of Discovery” – History, Theology, Architecture, Art, Biology, and Geography – each of which “opens up a new world of knowledge for players, and an opportunity to travel more and face new challenges, like difficult weather conditions, real navigation, and even other players in multi-player mode.”

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TERA Europe to merge down to four servers

TERA’s had a busy month, what with the console launch and its Godsfall update. May is going to try its hardest to keep this pace of interesting developments, especially over in Europe, where server merges are in the works.

At the start of the month, six of the region’s servers will be merged down to three, with a fourth international server remaining untouched. The studio concentrated on merging servers of the same language types to keep French, English, and German-speaking players together and happy.

“It is our aim to always bring you the best possible gaming experience. We know that it is very important for you to be able to find other players for group content quickly and easily at all times,” the team said. “We really hope the merge will help you enjoy the game even more!”

Source: TERA EU

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Giveaway: Snag a Stronghold Kingdoms loot code from Firefly and MOP!

MMORTS Stronghold Kingdoms is counting seven million players across all platforms this week as well as preparing for the launch of a brand-new European map tomorrow, and it’s celebrating with – you guessed it – a giveaway!

“Join thousands of players online on PC, Mac, and Mobile as you expand your medieval village and construct a mighty castle to protect it: farm peacefully, engage in political mind games, seek vengeance on your sworn enemies or lead your armies to glory across the country, Europe or the entire World. Rule as you desire and become a feudal Lord! Siege other players, battle AI opponents, research new weaponry, forge alliances in player Factions and fight for the eternal glory of your House.”

Firefly Studios has granted Massively OP a stack of promotional codes that will unlock a ton of goodies for your account: 5 Random packs, 1 Super Random Pack, 1 Ultimate Random Pack, 5 Army Packs, 200 Card Points, and 2 7-day Premium Tokens.

Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to take home one of these keys!

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Next year’s EVE Fanfest won’t be in Iceland, obviating your efforts to properly spell Reykjavik

Last autumn, when CCP Games began dumping assets and studios and VR holdings overboard, it also sent almost all of its EVE Online community team packing too. At the time, it caused some players to wonder about the fate of EVE Fanfest as well as its spinoff versions like EVE Vegas, so we were all relieved to hear that this year’s Fanfest would go on as planned.

But CCP is apparently planning a shakeup of its gatherings. Next year’s event won’t be held in Reykjavik, Iceland, breaking a 14-year tradition to hold it in CCP’s own back yard. The company says it’ll instead hold 2019’s events across the continents, so there will be one in Europe, as well as Australia and the US (Vegas and one on the east coast too). CCP further says that’ll hold one event inside one player’s home, which is definitely something I do not want to have to clean for, so I will not be entering the video contest for that, but you folks definitely should. We’ll bring the popcorn.

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Aion Europe prepares for server merges later this month

The merges are coming! The merges are coming! Aion Europe players have under two weeks to prepare for merges designed to “populate Atreia more densely” and consolidate language-specific communities.

On April 25th, Aion EU is going to merge its eight servers down to four, creating one German, one English, one French, and one Polish server. Gameforge did give itself some wiggle room and warned of the possibility of a date change.

Players on affected servers can choose to transfer their characters to a specific shard through May 15th. Aion is planning to hand out relocation gifts to all players, including a greater minion contract and 30 days of hanging with a white tiger.

In addition to the announcement, there’s a more in-depth FAQ that answers specific questions.

Source: Aion EU

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Guild Wars 2 used client-side spyware to aid its latest purge of potential cheaters

ArenaNet’s just gone on a purge of potential cheaters in Guild Wars 2.

“Yesterday we suspended 1,583 accounts for a period of 6 months,” Gaile Gray wrote on the forums. “1516 accounts were suspended because we detected that the accounts were running Guild Wars 2 at the same time as one or more of the following programs over a significant number of hours during a multi-week period earlier this year. We targeted programs that allow players to cheat and gain unfair gameplay advantages, even if those programs have other, more benign uses.” Those programs included CheatEngine, Nabster, GW2MHRexe, UNF, and MMOMINION.

The upset in the community, of course, is that the banned players didn’t necessarily use the programs in conjunction with the game. So not only does ArenaNet acknowledge that the programs it banned for have innocent uses, but it also admits that it doesn’t actually know whether the banned players used them in GW2.

Of course, to know what it does know, ArenaNet apparently stealth-installed de facto spyware as part of its early March update. A Redditor named fwosar, who happens to be a skilled at software reverse engineering, dug into the files to figure out how ArenaNet did it.

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Pokemon Go is mustering players to clean up the planet for Earth Day

In all my years working for Massively and Massively OP, we’ve never had enough Earth Day events for a proper roundup. That isn’t changing this year either. But there are a few here and there worth pointing out, and one of those is Pokemon Go’s.

In spite of all the stories about how POGO players are wrecking up cities and parks and nature preserves in their quest to catch ’em all, the MMOARG is almost uniquely positioned to be a force for good for the planet, given that Niantic can point millions of people at a thing and grant them digital candy for doing whatever. This year, that “whatever” is going to be cleaning up. Literally.

“Niantic, Inc. and Playmob are teaming up to host the first ever Pokémon GO Earth Day Clean Up on April 22. The Pokémon GO Earth Day Clean Up initiative is a series of events that will take place across locations around the world, inviting the Pokémon GO community to join together to clean up the environment and their local areas. Trainers will also have an opportunity to donate to the Mission Blue Foundation, a global coalition united to inspire public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas.”

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Black Desert prepares to switch service providers for better service

Graphics and music aren’t the only aspects of Black Desert that are getting an upgrade — the team announced that it will be switching service providers later this month to improve the game’s performance.

The MMO will go offline on April 25th to make the big switch, which is estimated to take around 10 hours from start to finish. The service provider switch is focused in North America and will include additional security measures to ward off DDOS attacks.

“Our goal is to increase the overall connection stability experienced by players for both Europe and North America regions,” the team said. “Measures were taken with the North America servers due to the inordinately high number of incidents causing disruptions to our service. We intend to apply further measures in the future in a manner that permits our team sufficient time to monitor and analyze the effects of these changes.”

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ArcheAge 4.5 Legends Return launches tonight with new fresh start servers

ArcheAge’s 4.5 update is going live tonight, complete with raise-able dragon battle mounts and shadow invasion content provoked when big world bosses are downed. But what most players are probably looking forward to the most is the introduction of new fresh start servers.

ArcheAge: Legends Return introduces two new progression servers, Nui and Ezi, for North America and Europe respectively. Nui and Ezi will offer time-locked content for the first time in ArcheAge, starting with low caps and systems from the game’s original launch and developing major systems, like Castle Sieges and Hero Elections, over time.”

As we’ve previously covered, some players are already worried about the potential for pay-to-win messes on the fresh start server. But Trion is downplaying that: “Marketplace restrictions will be in place to ensure that as the servers open, players will be placed on even footing through marketplace and gear progress restrictions that will be set over several months, allowing for all players to have the chance to reach the level cap prior to it increasing.”

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Black Desert holds global costume design contest

With thousands of dollars in real cash on the line, the stakes for Black Desert’s global costume design contest are no chump change. Pearl Abyss is asking the community to vote on its favorite submissions from regions all around the world, including Russia, Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia.

Fans can vote up to 10 times, with a restriction of a single vote per region (each region sports five costume designs). The top 10 winners will receive $3,000 each, and the very best will walk away with $10,000. That $10,000 entry will also be recreated in Black Desert, so players are voting on a potential outfit that they could possibly wear one day.

Head over to the site and vote now. The polls close on April 2nd, with a final round of voting taking place from April 4th through the 9th.

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GDC 2018: Ultima Online post-mortem with Richard Garriott, Starr Long, Raph Koster, and Rich Vogel

Plenty of panels at GDC are recorded and uploaded to the internet weeks after the event, including this one. It’s not quite the same as being there, as you miss a few things. For example, this year’s Ultima Online Post-Mortem panel was packed. It was international. It was fun, gross, nostalgiac, and sometimes groan-inducing.

And I’d hate to just summarize the talk, especially since some of you vets have heard these stories before, but since ya’ll couldn’t make it, I’ll do it. For you. But for this particular panel, not only will I try to summarize what was said before the panel will be viewable online in a few weeks, but I’ll dish out on the after-panel chat with Richard Garriott, Starr Long, Raph Koster, and Rich Vogel, including comments from the team on bad bans, kingslaying, VR, and the state of the MMORPG.

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Snail’s mobile MMO Blade Reborn plans global launch on March 27

Here’s another one we’ve never heard of: Blade Reborn. It’s a Snail Games mobile game, and the studio is calling it a full-fledged action MMORPG, though maybe OARPG would be more accurate.

Blade Reborn gives players a whole new game experience of dungeon explorations with Action features, in-combat weapon switching mechanics and tons of unique PVP modes. Players have found out the deepest secret in the dungeon with the choice of 3 distinct warring classes: The Fast-immortal wizard, the incomparable warrior, the Silent fatal assassin, each of those class wields 2 weapons with 4 unique skills, which empowers them to attack with destructive combos. Furthermore, there are up to 64 skill talents can be used to create a unique build for the character.”

Apparently, today’s launch is being touted as a soft-launch for Australia and Northern Europe following a Russian and Brazilian beta that’s just concluded. The company’s Facebook says the global release is set for March 27th.

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth sells physical pre-purchases in Europe

Why would somebody want to pick up a physical box with a digital game code inside of it in 2018? It’s hard to say, really. But for those players, at least the ones in Europe, they can go ahead and pre-purchase World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth from select retailers.

Blizzard is making the pre-purchase for the expansion available in stores and stresses that this does not contain a physical disc (just in case you were trying to head off downloading bandwith or something). Instead, each box holds a code that can be applied to an account that will secure it for the expansion and allow immediate access to a level 110 character boost.

The pre-purchase page lists all of the retailers in their various countries, so if you’re on the prowl for a copy and don’t (or can’t) buy it through the Blizzard online store itself, this is the best way to find the nearest outlet that is selling these.

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