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More MMOs pledge to fully remove Red Shell spyware, including Secret World Legends

At the beginning of June, we covered The Elder Scrolls Online’s implementation of spyware program Red Shell, which is designed to track specific information about players and PCs logging into the client, like where on the globe they live. At the time, as fury blazed across Reddit, ZeniMax’s Matt Firor apologized for Red Shell, saying the company was “experimenting” with it and didn’t intend to patch it into the live build, and therefore it would be patched back out.

As it turns out, there are plenty of other games with Red Shell, or parts of Red Shell lingering. Redditor Alexspeed75 has been keeping track of games accused of running the spyware. Most notable on the list for our readers is Funcom; while the studio removed the Red Shell code from Conan Exiles in May following player complaints, players still found parts of it in The Secret World as of last week. That, Funcom has told Redditors, was an error, as it patched out the code last year.

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Two teens who allegedly contributed to Call of Duty swatting murder plead not guilty

Reuters has an update on the ongoing criminal cases against the some of the defendants in the Call of Duty swatting incident from last year that led to an innocent man’s death.

As we’ve previously chronicled, California resident Tyler Barriss reportedly called Wichita police to detail a supposed murder/hostage/arson in progress back at the end of 2017, using the address of what he apparently believed was one Call of Duty player intended as the focus of the ensuing police harassment, as provided by another player and played out live on Twitter. The address used, however, was for an unrelated person, father of two Andrew Finch, who was subsequently shot and killed by police after opening his door. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter and extradited to Kansas, having tweeted an admission of guilt and being suspected of multiple other incidents, including a bomb threat; while in prison, he even tweeted out new threats.

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The MOP Up: The Black Death improves its profession system (June 10, 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 Old School RuneScapePokemon GoEverQuest, EVE Online, Paladins, Titan QuestThe Black DeathSkyforgeFinal Fantasy XIWizard101, Pirate101War of RightsEvolveState of Decay 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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Wild Mage successfully funds on Kickstarter and confirms multiplayer

Congratulations are in order for Luna Orion, which just saw its Wild Mage successfully fund earlier this week! The open-world fantasy game, which the creators described as a weird mix of Final Fantasy XI, Minecraft, and Fruit Ninja, raised $85,374 from 1,752 backers over the course of the campaign.

This is particularly good news for online gaming fans, as the $60,000 stretch goal for multiplayer support was crossed. “As I mentioned many times, one of the important motivations for making this game personally is to be able to stay connected with my family and friends living in other states/countries while playing a game I enjoy and made myself!” the team posted. “Again, this will be Diablo-style online multiplayer/co-op, 4~6 players per world, PvE. The single-player base game release on Steam will still be Q4 2019. Multiplayer will be implemented later in the form of an update after MP specific alpha/beta testing.”

Other stretch goals achieved included bringing the game to the Nintendo Switch, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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World of Warcraft gives us a comic-based tour of the Windrunner family reunion

Sometimes it’s debatable whether or not World of Warcraft needs more of its lore in-game. Obviously, the newest Battle for Azeroth lead-up comic focused on the reunion between the Windrunner sisters is relevant lore; the return of Alleria and dealing with that particular tangle is important. But it’d be hard to really have it in quest format. “A journey and reunion between three sisters… oh, and this Tauren Sylvanas really likes. That’s not awkward at all.”

Of course the comic is already filled with plenty of awkwardness, seeing as how Sylvanas is the Warchief of the Horde, Alleria is filled with the Void, and Vereesa is as sad about the death of Rhonin as most players aren’t. So you can imagine that the comic doesn’t end with a feel-good message of togetherness. Still, if you’d like to see how the reunion goes down, you can read the full thing on the official site.

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Black Desert’s Lahn is about to get a huge upgrade

If eastern MMORPGs have taught us anything, it’s that if you see a woman step onto a battlefield wearing nothing more than functional lingerie and carrying some massive instrument of death, perhaps you give that encounter a pass. Go home and tell your family that you love them, maybe go see a movie. It’s just not going to end well for you if you stick around.

The fearsome Lahn might not be upgrading her outfit but she is getting ready to experience an upgrade to her functionality.  Pearl Abyss is showing off the upcoming “awakening” for Black Desert’s Lahn. While the character class currently uses a crescent pendulum, presumably purchased on sale at Target, once she’s awakened she’ll upgrade to crimson glaives.

These glaives will come with all sorts of new skills, such as furor, deadly dance, tailspin, soul raid, and bloody stride. When the update goes live tomorrow, players can unlock Lahn’s improved weapon by going on her awakening quest.

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Get caught up on the Darkfall spinoffs as ex-Aventurine devs explain what happened to the original (and throw shade)

Unless you’re a hardcore Darkfall player from way back in the day as MOP’s Andrew was, you probably look at the sequels and spinoffs with pure confusion. What’s the difference between Darkfall, Darkfall: Rise of Agon, and Darkfall: New Dawn? That’s at least partly the subject of a new infographic out from the New Dawn team. For starters, you can’t actually play the original Darkfall. After launching in 2009, rebooting amidst much controversy as Unholy Wars in 2012, and toying with plans for a more classic reboot, its dev team abruptly vanished without much of a goodbye in 2016, saying it hoped the service disruption would be temporary. It wasn’t. Aventurine wound up licensing the game out to two different player-led studios, which separately put together their own takes on the game to keep it alive.

New Dawn, as the infographic touts, focuses more on group PvP than the original, with less grind and griefing and a more realistic economy and trade, as well as combat that’s less “ping-dependent.” Its most recent dev blog talked up improving PvE and soloabilityRise of Agon, on the other hand, boasts housing, no safe zones, twitchy combat, large-scale warfare, and a heavier crafting focus; it just got an update to PvP. Both spinoffs harken back to the original Darkfall more than to Unholy Wars, and both games are in a launch state.

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The Game Archaeologist: The rebirth of The Realm Online

Debuting in 1996, The Realm Online (or, as it is sometimes shortened, The Realm) became one of the first online RPGs to overlay graphics on top of its MUD core. The game’s flat 2-D graphics were simplistic, even for the time, but the novelty of the massively multiplayer environment sparked enough curiosity among players to keep it populated and running for 22 years now.

It’s no secret that The Realm has fallen into near-obscurity, particularly with the current owners performing little in the way of development or promotion. Emerging from the emulator scene, Jordan Neville and a group of fellow IT geeks took it upon themselves to help The Realm experience the rebirth that it sorely needed.

This is coming to a head with June’s re-launch of The Realm Online, a new and improved version of the classic MMORPG that will run in parallel with the older and largely abandoned edition. We sat down with Neville to talk about the challenges and delights of giving The Realm another shot at life — and why you may want to check it out for yourself.

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Marvel and Nexon team up for new online TCG Marvel Battle Lines

Missing Marvel Heroes and Super Hero Squad Online? Today’s newly announced Marvel game isn’t going to bring those back, but it might rekindle the romance, especially if you’re an online card game fan. Yes, Marvel has apparently teamed up with Nexon for a mobile TCG they’re calling Marvel Battle Lines. It’s boasting both a solo campaign and multiplayer PvP.

“Nexon, a worldwide leader in online and mobile games, in collaboration with Marvel Entertainment has announced MARVEL Battle Lines, a new strategic card battle game featuring hundreds of iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains. In MARVEL Battle Lines, players collect and build the ultimate deck of Super Heroes and Super Villains to take into battle across an expansive single-player campaign with an original story written by Marvel writer Alex Irvine and a real-time turn-based competitive player vs. player (PvP) mode. […] Collecting cards from each battle in the single player or PvP modes, players can build diverse decks of powerful Super Heroes and Super Villains, mastering their strategies to take on greater challenges and compete with the best in PvP.”

The game is slated to release free-to-play later this year on iOS and Android.

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Hyperspace Beacon: The sorry state of roleplay in Star Wars: The Old Republic

Since the server merges, the Star Forge server has unofficially become the roleplay server for Star Wars: The Old Republic. And roleplaying’s fight to remain a relevant way to enjoy this MMORPG has never been tougher. Roleplayers, if nothing else, are resilient. We are still in the game and attempting to find our place in this world where there is little support for our gameplay style from the developers.

Some of you might remember the late ’80s, but for those who don’t that was a period of time when the only thing keeping Star Wars alive were the RPGs. Timothy Zahn would not pen Heir to the Empire until 1991, the best video game we had was arcade-only made in ’83, and The Phantom Menace was well over a decade away. This was the period of time that the keeper-of-canon Pablo Hidalgo started his quest to become a part of the Lucasfilm family. It was the time when only two things were keeping the Star Wars alive: the Kenner toys and West End Games’ Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. We know it wasn’t the made-for-TV Ewok Adventure movies.

Roleplayers have been the undercurrent that has kept the franchise alive, even during the dark times — during the prequels. What is their current status in SWTOR?

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Black Desert’s weekly patch continues PvP and class rebalance with Karma penalties and crowd control tweaks

Lahn was already live in Black Desert, but when the game returns from its extended maintenance today, she’ll be reunited with her absolute skills. Kakao is also ushering in two new events today and tomorrow: the Lauren Family Gift event, in which players complete challenges to collect coins, and the Valencia Hunt-a-thon.

“Defeat each of Giant Mountain Goat, Giant Lioness, and Giant Lion with [Hunting] Matchlock during the event period and get the great rewards as your trophies! Participation Rewards are given out to all adventurers who participate in this event and the Special Rewards will be given out to the selected participants who get lucky from a draw.”

Meanwhile, Pearl Abyss’ promised PvP (and PvE too) balancing changes continue, despite the cries of doom on the forums and Reddit. This week’s leg of the rollout nerfs experience for negative Karma players, removes crowd control effects from defense-effect skills in PvE, adjusts some Awakening skills to not apply crowd control effects in PvP, and creates a fixed time schedule for world boss spawning. PvP will also be disabled for 15 minutes after a world boss appears. (No, people aren’t happy about this.)

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Call of Duty swatting murder sees three men charged in federal court

At the end of 2017, a Call of Duty swatting incident in Kansas took the life of a completely innocent man after police killed him following a fake tip to the wrong address, but it does appear that multiple people will finally be held responsible.

As we’ve previously chronicled, California resident Tyler Barriss reportedly called Wichita police to detail a supposed murder/hostage/arson in progress, using the address of what he apparently believed was one Call of Duty player intended as the focus of the ensuing police harassment, as provided by another player and played out live on Twitter. The address used, however, was apparently for a completely unrelated person, father of two Andrew Finch, who was subsequently shot and killed by police after opening his door. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter and extradited to Kansas, having tweeted an admission of guilt and being suspected of multiple other incidents, including a bomb threat. While in prison, Barriss even tweeted out new threats.

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The Stream Team: Win a Wizard101 Battlemage Keep bundle

It’s time for another MOP giveaway of awesome Wizard101 goodies! Massively OP’s MJ has gotten her hands on a few Battlemage Keep bundles and she’s ready to dole them out to viewers. What does this bundle include? A house, mount, pet, armor, and more! More specifically, there is:

  • a havox mount
  • a wargoyle pet
  • Battlemage Armor
  • Battlemage staff and shield (with several different color options)
  • a Battlemage Keep castle
  • an additional castle space elixir
  • 100 bonus crowns for stitching your Battlemage staff and shield
  • 5000 crowns

Sounds spiffy, no? If this looks like something you’d like to get your hands on, join us live at 6:00 p.m. for your chance to win!

What: Wizard101
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 21st, 2018

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