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Exclusive: Wizard101 Q&A dev diary on its PvP update and monstrology evolution

Kid-friendly MMORPG Wizard101 is on the cusp of a big update — in fact, it’s already landed on the official test server as of this week. At its heart is PvP: new PvP daily rewards, a new PvP age, adjustments to PvP rank, and a whole new turn-based PvP tourney mode. There’s stuff for everyone, though, including lots of new chat goodies, tweaks to the quest and tutorial logs, and expansions to the fishing and monstrology systems.

You can check out the illustrated patch notes on the official site, and then feast your eyes down below, where we’ve got an exclusive (not sponsored) dev diary from the KingsIsle team, helmed by Senior Producer of MMO Content Leah “Professor Falmea” Ruben, in which the devs the thought process and planning behind the update!

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E3 2017: Monster Hunter World demo, difficulty, global appeal, and leaks

Monster Hunter World‘s reveal caught me completely off guard during its E3 2017 reveal. We’d already had a title announced for the Nintendo Switch, and I’d figured that was our usual non-spinoff MH entry for the year. I’ve admittedly not finished or heavily invested in the series since leaving Japan, but part of that is because the American mobile gaming culture doesn’t really have the fanbase Japan does. In fact, I got into Monster Hunter Tri in a bad way because it was a console title. While the portability of the series really helped me to explore Japan’s gaming scene and meet fellow gamers face-to-face, my gut feeling upon seeing MHW’s console and PC plans was that Capcom might really be able to catch the western audience this time. And that was before seeing Monster Hunter lead designer Yuya Tokuda play the game in real time.

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Perfect Ten: MMORPGs that died too soon

Your favorite game is going to die. I wrote about that. Some games are never even going to get to launching in the first place, unfortunately. But then there are these titles: games that went the distance when it came to development, marketing, promotion, testing… but somehow didn’t quite manage to stick the landing past that. These are the games that, in Transformers terms, are the hi-then-die cast of the MMO space.

That doesn’t always mean the games are bad, mind you. Some of these games were great fun. But through a combination of business model issues, publisher issues, player population, and just general weirdness, these titles couldn’t make it to a year and a half in the wild. Heck, some of them couldn’t even make it to a year and a quarter. And if you want to peruse this list and wonder why all of these titles are gone but Alganon is somehow still operating… well, we’re just as confused as you are.

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Chronicles of Elyria picks up a new community producer, explains its tribal concept

The family at Soulbound Studio has grown one larger this week with the addition of Adam Wong as Chronicles of Elyria’s new senior community producer. Wong comes to the team from Bungie, where he worked on the Halo franchise.

Said team recently posted a dev diary on its concept of tribes and how this differs from races in Chronicles of Elyria: “While your tribe will affect your predisposition toward certain attributes, your tribe doesn’t directly control the starting values […] Tribes in CoE don’t provide any kind of passive bonuses to skills. Instead, they tend to contribute more toward your overall survivability in certain regions. Any skills you learn at an early age are based on the biome your family is from, regardless of which tribe they are a part of.”

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Amazon Game Studios grabs H1Z1’s art director

Amazon Game Studios continues to lure talented developers away for its new multiplayer projects. Sebastian Strzalkowski became the latest to defect to the new studio, saying that he is joining the San Diego team after 13 years of work at SOE and Daybreak.

Strzalkowski’s portfolio covers a wide swath of Daybreak projects, including being art director for H1Z1 and having worked on Free Realms, EverQuest Next, and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures.

“Grateful for 13 rewarding yrs at SOE/Daybreak, honored to work with such talented folks,” Strzalkowski posted on Twitter. “Starting new job @AMZNGameStudios later this month!”

Source: Twitter

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The MOP Up: Revelation Online’s monthly challenges (June 4, 2017)

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!

This week we have stories and videos from Black DeathHellionAstellia OnlineOverwatchDayZPirate101Armored WarfareAionElder Scrolls OnlinePath of ExileDungeon Fighter OnlineWurm OnlineRevelation OnlineOsiris: New DawnDark Age of CamelotAge of Wushu 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Game Archaeologist: How Sceptre of Goth shaped the MMO industry

When it comes to text-based MMOs created in the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, the sheer number of them would blot out the sky. There are certainly more multi-user dungeons (MUDs) than I’ve ever been able to get a handle on when I’ve tried creating lists of the most important to know, but I will say that there are a few that seem to pop up more than others. The original MUD1, created by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw, was certainly a watershed moment for online roleplaying games. Learning about DikuMUD is pretty essential, considering its impact on graphical MMORPGs that we still play today.

But there’s another title that often goes unnoticed, unless you keep an eye out for it. It’s a MUD that keeps popping up when you look into the history of the MMORPG genre, one with ties to key players and design concepts that are still active today.

It’s the MUD that shaped the MMO industry, and it was called Sceptre of Goth.

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Path of Exile gives Ascendants a tune-up

Ascendants who feel as if they’re the neglected child of the Path of Exile family will be getting a special treat with this fall’s expansion. The Fall of Oriath is going to include a tune-up for this underperforming class to make it more desirable for those playing or thinking about playing an Ascendant build.

“The Ascendant (Scion Ascendancy) class will undergo some significant changes that focus on making the class more powerful and on-par with the other classes,” the studio said on the forums. We’ve done this by taking some of the more build-defining features from the other eighteen Ascendancy classes and incorporating them on the Ascendant tree.”

This means that most of the skill trees for the Ascendant have been reworked, offering all sorts of new build possibilities and combinations. No doubt, the community will be experimenting with optimal builds during the summer Patch 3.0 beta test.

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Portal Knights launches across multiple platforms

It’s full steam ahead for Portal Knights, which launched yesterday on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. For those wondering if early access periods ever truly end, here’s one example of a definitive launch!

The dev team said that this is a nerve-wracking and exciting time: “You know, leaving early access is scarier than you think… What will new players think? Will our community think this is the end? So many questions! Be rest assured, just because we’ve now left early access, that doesn’t mean anything will change. Going forward, we fully intend on updating Portal Knights, like we always have done, and filling those updates with community requests.”

For those unfamiliar with the game, Portal Knights is a multiplayer RPG member of the extended Minecraft family. Players adventure through linked sandbox worlds while returning back to their own virtual homes every so often to build and craft. There are three classes available, and players can create teams of up to four to traverse these worlds. Portal Knights is priced at $20.

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Valiance Online promises fans that it is ‘moving forward’

Fans that might look at Valiance Online’s development chart and wonder when, oh when alpha will ever arrive are being treated to a pep talk from the team today. A reality check was posted on the official forums for those finding that patience with this project is in short supply.

“Game development is not a science, especially for a small indie team,” the Valiance Online devs wrote. “The unexpected happens, like Unity suddenly deciding to make major changes to the engine with no warning, or members of the team being unavailable due to their ‘day job’ or family/medical issues and when you have a small team, just one member being ‘AFK’ affects progress a lot. This is why we have decided to not post dates for when things will be done because ‘stuff’ happens and we don’t have the resources like a larger studio might have to deal with it as quickly. That’s just how it is.”

The good news? Progress is being made, and the team is just as excited about getting to alpha status as its fans. “Regardless of whatever challenges or setbacks we face, we keep moving forward,” promised the team.

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MMO devs eulogize EverQuest II developer John Tessin

We’re sorry to report this evening the passing of an MMORPG genre veteran, John Tessin, who worked for SOE for 13 years, most extensively on EverQuest II.

John’s daughter told friends and family that he’d been suffering from cancer but that his death was nevertheless sudden. She asked for a small donation through GoFundMe to handle burial expenses not being covered by veteran’s benefits; as I write this, that fundraiser has already exceeded its ask thanks to the generosity of developers and gamers.

Big hugs go out to John’s family and colleagues from all of us at MOP.

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Black Desert kicks off a new Lauren family event

You’re going to have to forgive us, Black Desert fans, but we don’t know much about the Lauren family. We know that the game is kicking off a Lauren family event today, though, so we know they must be some sort of a big deal. Are these good guys? Do you like these people? Maybe you don’t know either. But you can still take their coins and use them for prize boxes, so perhaps it doesn’t actually matter in the long run.

It’s probably Grace Lauren. She would hand out random coins. We’re going with that. There, lore speculation over.

Players will receive 10 Lauren family coins every hour up to a max of 50 per day, and 30 of those coins will earn you a special Lauren family giftbox. Each giftbox contains one of several items, ranging from a small number of Memory Fragments to an Ogre Ring or a special weapon box. You’ll be able to earn a lot of these boxes during the event, too. So will you roll the dice and see what you get? Why not? It’s free stuff. Free stuff is always good.

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Crowfall posts another teaser for the reveal of teasers

What could Crowfall’s teasers for Teaser Week mean? Are they teasing new classes? New races? New combinations of same? Today’s teaser is just a group of images consisting of a short, hairy man, some weapons, and some landscapes. That could be a teaser for an upcoming camping trip with your uncle Todd, but probably not. (You may not even have an uncle Todd. We don’t know your family very well.)

Of course, speculation is running rampant, so you can feel free to engage in your own speculation down below. You might also want to take yesterday’s teaser into account. And hey, if you’d like to also bring in stuff like the Lead Masks incident and the UVB-76 broadcast, who are we to judge?

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