Closers details the effects of removing the game’s fatigue system

When you’re enjoying a game, the last thing you want to be told is that it’s time to stop playing for a while because the game is too tired. So it’s for the best that Closers is yanking that mechanic with the removal of the game’s fatigue system with the game’s next patch. But how will that affect the game as a whole? Why, the FAQ will answer all of those questions!

In terms of overall balance, it shouldn’t affect too much; there are already limitations to entering dungeons and those won’t be changed, and the team is keeping a close eye on the overall balance of items and economy. Players will likely have their existing fatigue potions converted to credits for the Matter Mixer (exact amounts are still being determined), and other consumables will replace stamina potions in starter packs. Similarly, stamina potions found as rewards will be replaced with equivalent rewards. Check out the full rundown for more answers on what the system’s removal will mean.


ZeniMax apologizes for Elder Scrolls Online spyware, says it was ‘erroneously added’ and will be removed [Updated]

Hey who here loves – nay, adores – officially sanctioned spyware? Lots of hands staying in laps, we see. You all sure? You aren’t secretly clamoring for studios to monitor your every action? Not even you Guild Wars 2 players?

Well, Elder Scrolls Online players aren’t too pleased at the discovery that ZeniMax is using a program called Red Shell to track where its players live and what they are doing as part of the game’s marketing effort. There’s a concerted effort on the forums to find the best way to either block or opt out of the spyware software for privacy reasons. The program also raises issues concerning Europe’s new GDPR laws, as players are not given the explicit option to opt in or out of the program, though that might be covered by the game’s privacy policy.

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Bethsoft transfers Elder Scrolls: Legends online TCG to new developer

Don’t panic, Elder Scrolls Legends players: In spite of that ominous-sounding tweet from Bethsoft today, your game isn’t going anywhere. But it is getting a new development studio, as the company announced it’s “handing off future development and ongoing support for the game from Dire Wolf Digital to Sparkypants Studios.”

“Dire Wolf designed and created a wonderful card game with The Elder Scrolls: Legends, one that we very much believe in and want to grow. We believe that this move allows us to deliver on the promise of Legends to our players in the best possible way under Bethesda’s guidance and direction. This change is also a commitment from us at Bethesda to better support the game with regular updates, new features, competitive scene support and the other requests from our fans. We have heard your requests and believe this is the best path to continue improving the game.”

It sounds as if the core game itself will remain the same, as will existing accounts, except in that updates will continue. But even in the follow-up FAQ, there isn’t a real explanation given for the switch to the new team.

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Grinding Gear runs down everything you need to know about Path of Exile’s Incursion League

Path of Exile is preparing to throw players back in time with its upcoming Incursion Challenge League. When the league arrives in June, players will travel back to an ancient treasure temple and monkey about with history all in the name of sweet, glorious loot.

Of course, players have had a lot of questions about how the Incursion League will function, which is why Grinding Gear posted a helpful FAQ to clarify details.

Players will be hunting for Alva on the game’s many maps. When found, she will open up portals to incursions and the temple. All of these will be modified by the level of the map in which they are found, so it sounds like the instances will vary in difficulty.

The studio said that the temple itself features a randomly generated layout that changes based on what you do during your incursions. And if you get locked out of certain rooms? “That’s what the explosives room is for.”


Jagex says RuneScape is peaking as it builds a new ‘next-gen MMO’ and plans RuneFest

Jagex CEO Phil Mansell is making the press rounds this week, unloading interesting quotes on GIbiz, including the admission that Jagex felt it had neglected RuneScape when it was focusing on other projects that didn’t materialize. The good news is that the studio has turned it all around.

“A few weeks ago we had our highest peak concurrent user level for eight years,” he tells GIbiz. “In terms of subscription levels, it’s the highest for seven and a half years. Those games are going through a real renaissance, and not just as a one off. We’ve had four years of consistent growth now.”

That isn’t to say the company is giving up on other games, however. Mansell says Jagex is actually working on other stuff. One of them will ideally become a “mid-budget online title,” but the other? The other is a “next generation MMO” – a “living game” that “capitalizes” on what Jagex has learned from 17 years of RuneScape.

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Stardew Valley’s multiplayer edition is finally in beta testing

With word that Stardew Valley’s multiplayer update is almost upon us, we only have one question: Which of you peasants will toil the rich fields of Massively Overpowered and bring us the harvest of turnips that we so desire?

For those who have been eager to play this farming/life simulator with friends, you can get a preview of it thanks to the debut of the beta. Steam users can jump into the open beta of the patch right now, with GOG players expected to gain access in the coming days.

In the multiplayer edition, up to four players can farm and adventure on the same server. Players can invite friends from their Steam or GOG lists, or else they may choose to send out invite codes to populate their little fiefdoms. The multiplayer FAQ answers some other questions, such as how marriage and festivals work among multiple players, but there still is no official word as to when this patch will go live.


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


Old School RuneScape prices are going up in June

If your preferred sort of RuneScape is the older variety of schools, we’re sorry to inform you that the price is going up. On the bright side, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not going up to anything approaching unreasonable levels; the cost of a one-month subscription will be $10.99 for US subscribers, which is still a fair bit cheaper than the industry standard for subscription prices.

You know, to the extent that an industry standard exists any longer, what with everything having a free option these days.

The game last had a price hike in 2015, so it’s been relatively stable for some time (that was, to be fair, the “current” version of the game). On the bright side, you won’t have to worry about the price hike if you’re already subscribed; the changes only affect new players and those who have been unsubscribed for at least 14 days. The FAQ clarifies this along with explaining some of the world economic factors like Brexit that have spurred the change, so at least it doesn’t come without warning.

Source: Official Site; thanks to James for the tip!


Everything you need to know about Path of Exile’s 3.3.0 update, landing June 1st (probably)

Path of Exile’s next big thing – content update 3.3.0 – lands later this spring, and you might be wondering what’s going on with it. Grinding Gear has released a new FAQ to explain just that. For starters, it’s not an expansion per se – it’s more of a large update with a league attached to it. There is another expansion coming this year, and work progresses on it, but 3.3.0 is something else entirely.

So, details. It’s most likely launching on PC on June 1st, with Xbox to follow that weekend if all goes well. There will be an alpha beforehand, there will be a new round of supporter packs replacing the Bestiary packs (though War for the Atlas packs will remain for now), and there will be a “big flashback event” in May before the rollout. As for what’s in it…

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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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Bless Online interview: On soft launch, monetization, classes – and no lockboxes

Earlier today, we posted up Bless Online’s new trailer and big news: That’s it’s launching on Steam early access as a buy-to-play title this coming May. As part of the announcement, Neowiz agreed to answer a few of our most pressing questions about the infodump. Read on for more about the game’s planned monetization, what constitutes early access, and the state of PvP servers.

MassivelyOP: Can you disambiguate a bit for us here – is Bless’ early access more like a paid beta with wipes or a true soft launch? When exactly should regular gamers be jumping in if they do not want to help test, and how much testing and server wiping is going to go on?

Neowiz: Bless Online’s early access period on Steam is closer to a soft launch. There won’t be any wipes once it begins. While we’ll be listening closely and gathering feedback on how to improve Bless for the full launch, those who aren’t interested in focusing on testing will still be able and welcome to jump in and enjoy the game in its early access form.

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Warframe launches Zephyr Prime warframe as part of ‘prime access’ program

If you haven’t paid any attention to Warframe’s Prime Access program, now might be the time. Digital Extremes’ rotating monetization system essentially allows players to buy or grind for elite (Prime) versions of warframes. Live this week on both PC and console is Zephyr Prime, “a more powerful version of the standard Zephyr Warframe,” an “agile and graceful” warframe who’s “in her element while bending air currents, dash-gliding through the air, and bewildering enemies with stunning dive-bombs from above.”

The Zephyr Prime pack isn’t cheap, even in its cheapest version, running from about 50 bucks to 140 bucks (USD), so do note that DE says you can grab her “by earning and crafting for free in-game through the Relic system,” though of course there are other exclusive bits in the pack that you’d be missing out on (chiefly, the Zephyr Prime glyph pack, Tibor Prime armor, and long-term boosters).

Meanwhile, the first part of the promised Warframe documentary by crowdfunded outfit Noclip is live and free for watching!

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Trion says the original Defiance is NOT being sunset or neglected for Defiance 2050

We were all pretty stunned when Trion announced Defiance 2050 last week, and indeed, we fired off a round of questions almost immediately. Trion’s answered our questions today, including those about what’s going on with the original game (spoilers: It’s not being abandoned). Read on for the details!

Massively OP: The big question is what’s happening to original Defiance itself? Will it continue on in any way? Maintenance mode, or will it continue to see updates and holidays?

Trion: Definitely! Original Defiance will continue to receive event updates, and players can continue to login and play. We’re even working on a new Valor rewards system for people who jump in and play the game before Defiance 2050 launches, which we’ll have more information about very soon.

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