europe

The MOP Up: Black Desert’s Ninja arrives in Southeast Asia (February 11, 2018)

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 Vendetta OnlineWorlds AdriftMonster Hunter WorldHellionRustSkyforgeBlade and SoulPortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIDreadnoughtPUBGHyper UniverseCrossoutBlack DesertDark and LightH1Z1DauntlessRobocraftFortniteWar of RightsCosmos InvictusUltima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Pokemon Go adds Rayquaza, European shop events, and raid fixes

Hey trainers! Legendary pokemon Rayquaza joins the raid fun “for a limited time” in Pokemon Go beginning today through March 16th.

“In celebration, Pokémon originally discovered in the Hoenn region will take over wild encounters until February 13. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to catch powerful Pokémon such as Salamence, Altaria, Metagross, and more! […] You’ll also have a chance to battle the Legendary Water-type Pokémon Kyogre before it swims away on February 14.”

Players across Europe should hit the mall, as all 58 Unibail-Rodamco POGO shopping center locations will activate lure modules at the pokestops during daylight hours in February, with an extra community day on the 24th. This is real life.

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Black Desert explains its new ‘single global build’ philosophy

Just in time for the Olympics, Kakao is bringing east and west together in Black Desert. In the game’s latest dev letter, the studio explains that up until the latest patch in Korea, attack efficiency for Korean players was different than on western servers. Recent patches, however, brought them into parity.

“Effectively, with the aforementioned patch for the KR server, all regions now have the same balance systems applied,” says the studio. “We aim to develop Black Desert Online as a Single Global Build. By doing so, we believe that it will benefit both our players and us, as developers. It will allow the latest patches to be applied to all regions more quickly than any other game, and enable us to quickly reflect even the tiniest detail of valuable user feedback. Anyone who enjoys Black Desert Online will always have the same optimal experience from any region.”

There’s more to the plan than optimal experience, however: The company is also looking ahead to global PvP.

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German commission takes up lootbox issue as academics link whaling to gambling markets

Germany has added its voice to the anti-lockbox chorus in the US, UK, and Netherlands. According to an article on the German-language Welt (picked up by GIbiz), The German Youth Protection Commission has said it’s examining the lootbox issue as a potential gambling concern and may ban “certain elements in video games” in the region.

The move is apparently based on an as-yet unpublished University of Hamburg study that analyzes video game sales and business models, ultimately determining what most online gamers already know: that such games actively target whales, who are responsible for the majority of their revenue. This, the researchers reportedly conclude, is “a typical feature of gambling markets.”

The Commission is due to file its determination this coming March.

Source: Welt, GIbiz. Thanks, Veldan and Fabio!

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Academics debate WHO ‘gaming disorder’ classification and global political implications

Remember how the World Health Organization is angling to classify gaming addiction as a “gaming disorder”? Researchers and self-regulatory bodies have been pushing back against the move in the US – and apparently in Europe too, as The Guardian reports this week that UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) has also said it’s concerned about “the inconclusive nature of the research” upon which the classification is based.

The publication spoke to a Ukie rep as well as multiple academics, one of whom was involved in the WHO committee and supports the classification, and one of whom maintains that research is simply incomplete. Both groups admit that the effect of “disordered gaming” isn’t as strong as gambling disorder itself, and scientists have yet to address why more people don’t succumb to its supposed lure (especially given that a third of the planet games). Comorbidity is also an issue: Is the person really addicted to gaming, or is she gaming because she’s suffering from depression or unable to walk?

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TERA’s console versions are coming in the first half of 2018

In the works since its conception in 2013, TERA’s console version is finally coming to North America and Europe in the first half of 2018. En Masse published a video in which the studio said that the game was a great fit for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and obviously it hopes that it will find success on these systems.

The studio admitted that the idea of porting the action MMO to consoles took a while to gain traction in both the developer and publisher. The older consoles didn’t have enough hardware to run it properly, for starters, and handling the free-to-play model would have been more difficult a few years ago because of where Microsoft and Sony were at. Finally, Bluehole said that Korea’s relative inexperience with developing for consoles made it difficult to form a team to create the port.

En Masse said that specific beta and release dates for the console edition will be forthcoming.
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Massively Overthinking: Considering pay-to-win MMO peripherals

MOP reader and commenter Sally Bowls recently sent along a link to an insanely awesome 34″ monitor that costs more than a lot of PC rigs in their entirety. “UltraWide For A Gaming Advantage,” LG’s sale page says in a huge font. It even touts a pro e-sports team using the monitor to “get an edge on the competition.” The idea is, shell out for expensive gear, and you’ll dust those scrubs still peeping through their tiny 16:9 portholes – that’s if they can see at all between the screen-tear, stutter, and input lag! You sure showed them, and it only cost ya $900!

Sally is not amused and wonders why people aren’t enraged at pay-to-win coming from this angle of the market. “This is not subtle. More expensive mice trying to justify their price with more buttons/resolution/tracking has been a thing. As Dr. Bartle points out, it is not that people don’t like P2W; it’s that they dislike other people being able to buy power. Is this a new trend or have I not been hanging out in the competitive end of the pool?”

So what do you think? Is better hardware pay-to-win, or is this just overblown marketing fluff? Why don’t people discuss this more? Have you ever taken advantage of pay-to-win hardware and peripherals? Should this be a thing modern gamers worry about? Where do you stand?

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The Survivalist: Another year, another Survival Game guide

A new year, a new batch of survival games! Yes, the genre has become so popular that one guide, no not even two guides could contain all of the survival goodness. More keep cropping up. I certainly can’t say as I mind, since this is the style of game that has been giving me the feeling of having an impact on my environment. And it’s not all the same collection of zombies, although there is still plenty of that. It is interesting to see what new takes developers are bringing to the table. Want to do a survival reality show? There’s a game for that! How about living like a viking? Yup. What if you want to be the psychotic killer that survivors are trying to, well, survive? Got you covered. Fell like upping the ante and surviving via VR? There are a few of those available.

If you are looking for a new survival to sink your teeth into, here’s the addendum for some newer games in development as well as some newly discovered ones since the last mega double guide. Note: This collection will be a mix of multiplayer and single-player titles with some uniques thrown in.

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World of Warcraft e-sports: The return of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational and Arena World Championship

World of Warcraft and e-sports: two great tastes that taste great together, right? That’s Blizzard’s position, anyway. On Friday it laid out its plans for 2018. “The biggest event in WoW esports will be supported by a full calendar of tournaments around the world, ensuring only the most battle-tested and proven teams have a shot at the 2018 WoW Arena World Championship,” the studio says. “At the championship tournament itself, teams will be fighting for their share of a $280,000 prize pool and WoW Arena glory.”

Along the way in March, we’ll see eight teams split across North America and Europe fight for $100,000 and a spot in said championship, along with an increased prize pool and team roster spread for the Arena Cups throughout the year.

And if you’re more into watching competitive dungeon clearing, keep an eye out for the return of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, which will this year include more teams, though this year, broadcasts will be broken down regionally and the “format will be double elimination, giving teams a chance to regroup after a loss and bounce right back.”

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The Game Archaeologist: Neocron

It’s the distant future. The high-tech battle armor you wear sharply contrasts with the ruins of civilization that you traverse. You spot an enemy and raise your pulse rifle, firing off shots as you strafe to cover. Technology hasn’t solved the issue of war; it’s just raised the body count.

PlanetSide 2? Nope — this is Neocron, the quite-forgettable MMOFPS from the way-back era. I like to call it “that game with the most regrettable cover art in the history of video games,” but that isn’t quite as snappy.

Going into this article, I have to admit that I previously knew absolutely nothing about Neocron other than the fact that it was a sci-fi MMO that vaguely reminded me of Anarchy Online. Oh, also the fact that nobody I know or perhaps ever will know played it. Was it just a myth? A practical joke to make us believe in an MMO phantom? Only sifting through layers of dust and grime would produce results, so I rolled up my sleeves and started digging.

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The Game Archaeologist: Revisiting the first three months of World of Warcraft

Were you there?

Many of us were. Many weren’t. Either way, November 23rd, 2004 was a watershed date for the MMORPG industry and one watched and experienced by millions of gamers. It was on this day 13 years ago that Blizzard finally transitioned World of Warcraft from beta testing to live operation, ushering in an age of Azeroth, DKP minus, murlocs, and Leeroy Jenkins.

I was there, both at the end of beta and the start of launch. As time had made a mockery of my memories, I can only remember brief bits: The server downtime, the rise of the phenomenon, making footprints in Coldridge Valley with my Dwarf Hunter, and pretty much shoving every other game to the background for the next year or so.

I thought it might be worth the effort of dusting off the cobwebs of my — and your — memories by revisiting the first three months of World of Warcraft’s live operation, taking us from November 2004 through January 2005. What happened during this time? How did Blizzard respond to the floodgates of players pouring into this game? How different was it from what we play now? Let’s reminisce together!

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Interview: ArcheAge’s 4.0 Maelstrom launches December 13 with changes to lunagems, raid finder, and more

Batten down the hatches because a big storm hits tomorrow! ArcheAge’s Maelstrom, with its cross-server navel arena, launches on December 13th. We got to see some of the 4.0 expansion and learn more about it during our demo and interview at PAX West this last fall. And on the cusp of launch, I sat down again with Trion Associate Producer Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan, Executive Producer Merv Lee Kwai, and Community Manager Joe “Muzzy” Brogno to chat more about the upcoming changes. What I learned is that the changes have changes! Lunagems, the raid finder bulletin board, streetlights, and some of the arenas updates have been updated. And one change — the addition of the new turtle ship — will actually not be happening.

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Dragon’s Prophet sequel Savage Hunt is supposed to launch tomorrow

While Dragon’s Prophet took a stiff nosedive in North America and was ultimately shuttered by Daybreak in 2015, the dragon taming MMO didn’t die off entirely. It has a stronger following and support over in Europe, so much so in fact that Gamigo is preparing a sequel that was announced for launch back in September, got delayed almost immediately, and is now set to go live this week.

Community Manager Ildruin confirmed the upcoming launch on the forums yesterday: “Savage Hunt will be released on Wednesday, December 6th 2017! That’s just two days! Buckle up!”

If you need a refresher course — and you do, since just about no one has heard of this game — Savage Hunt: Dragon’s Prophet is a free-to-play MMO that retains the dragon hunting and taming core. There are over 600 of the beasts in the game, as well as thousands of quests and PvP battles.

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