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Underdog Pokemon Go players took over the capital of Croatia

But it’s cool; they gave it back.

We’re talking, of course, about Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, which is apparently a flourishing Pokemon Go city with 420 gyms thanks to seeding years ago by Ingress players. A group of Croatian gamers were trying to conjure a way to persuade Niantic to switch a famous Croatian POGO trainer to the outnumbered Instinct faction when they hatched a plan to put together a massive 70-man raid to help the tiny team take over the whole city — that is, all 420 gyms — which necessitated crews of players and a fleet of cars to zip around the capital all day and all night in shifts. And they pulled it off.

“The biggest pride for us is that we managed to organize such a mission and did everything in it 100% legit play – not a single multiaccount was placed in a gym to make it stronger,” Redditor LekoZG writes. “Maybe we demolished all other gyms in the city, but what we built is far more valuable – a strong, positive and forward-looking community of players.”

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Spacetime Studios announces Pocket Legends Adventures

Last week, we broke the news that Spacetime Studios was working on a new mobile MMO, and as of today’s announcement, it’s been confirmed. That mobile game is called Pocket Legends Adventures, an “homage” to what Spacetime says was the “world’s first 3D mobile MMO” — that’d be the ahead-of-its-time Pocket Legends, of course, which the studio followed up with Star Legends, Dark Legends, and Arcane Legends.

The new game’s not being called an MMO, as Spacetime seems to prefer multiplayer RPG, but it seems as much an MMO as the old game. It’s being described as “an epic, action-packed multiplayer role-playing game for iOS and Android platforms” that boasts “innovative real-time combat, unique skill-based advancement, endless character customization, and extensive single player campaigns” that take “the mobile role-playing experience to a whole new level.” The company’s also noting it “significantly advanced [its] proprietary game engine animation and rendering technologies” to improve the graphics.

“Social gameplay will be front-and-center in Pocket Legends Adventures, with Friends, Chat, and a wide range of exotic and humorous vanity items to apply to the avatars. Gamers can expect the same pick-up-and-play mayhem as the original series with several new multiplayer modes to enjoy with their friends. […] Game mechanics are casual but allow for deep character specialization, so players will be able to experiment with a wide variety of builds to fit their play style without sacrificing their favorite looks. Simple on the surface, with infinite character builds, Pocket Legends Adventures is a full-featured RPG distilled to fit today’s on-the-go lifestyle.”

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Pocket Legends studio Spacetime is working on another mobile MMO

Is it mobile MMO day or something? We’ll have covered seven different mobile MMOs in one way or another just today, and that’s without counting the Battlenet post and SuperData mobile standings. In fact, make it eight: Spacetime Studios just casually announced another one on Twitter.

Spacetime, you’ll recall, rose to prominence years ago for the Legends series (which coincidentally we were just talking about a few weeks back in Massively Overthinking) – first Pocket Legends, then Star Legends, Dark Legends, and Arcane Legends, mostly well-fleshed-out mobile cross-platform mobile-and-browser MMOs long before the trend caught on.

Now, apparently, the studio is working on another new game. This week, it posted signups for a strict-NDA closed beta testing round of the new title, which is expected to kick off on October 9th. From the signups, it appears the game will use Apple and Google accounts for login, it will be F2P with in-app purchases, and it won’t be crossplatform – it’s mobile only. While Spacetime doesn’t confirm it’s an MMO specifically, it discusses servers, server wipes, and character progress, and it invited its original MMO playerbases to test, suggesting it’s probably along those lines:

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ArcheAge’s mobile edition hits app stores next month

Need a little of that ArcheAge magic on the go? You won’t have to wait long; starting next month, Gamevil is going to roll out the mobile version of the MMORPG to players worldwide.

ArcheAge Begins is slated to hit the Apple Store and Google Play on October 25th, offering a different take on the established (and ever-so-controversial) sandbox. Developed with XLGAMES’ help, ArcheAge Begins gives players the choice of 30 heroes and has them battle their way through the world using a “flip card” system. There’s also PvP because why wouldn’t there be?

The main claim to fame here, other than the relation to ArcheAge, is the mobile’s advanced graphics, which are rendered in the Unreal Engine 4. Gamevil is specifically targeting the North American and European markets, saying that these regions showed a “high participation rate” in the game’s testing.

It looks as if most of the official discussion and reveals for the mobile MMO are being posted on Facebook. Check out the trailer and gameplay after the break!

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PAX West 2017: Hand of the Gods’ Japanese pantheon and the possibility of 2v2

While the full Hi-Rez portfolio wasn’t in attendance at PAX West, Hand of the Gods was on-hand with a fan tournament as well as machines to introduce folks to the game. Devs were also available to discuss this tactical SMITE spinoff. I sat down with Lead designer Scott Lussier and Executive Producer and VP of Design Scott Zier to talk about the game’s name, its progress, the reception at the convention, and plans going forward.

In fact, one of the tidbits Lussier shared is that the Japanese pantheon is next on the list after Hindu is released later this month.

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Black Desert is getting a Spanish localization

Remember when Black Desert wasn’t localized in English and every attempt to play it involved jumping through a lot of hoops in a language you didn’t speak? That’s still the situation for the game’s would-be Spanish-speaking fans, who have to sit and watch forlornly as other people enjoy playing the game. But now a localized Spanish version of the game has been announced, which means that Spanish-speaking people can get together with their friends and have a big party. (Does anyone know the Spanish words for “friends” or “party?”)

An exact date hasn’t yet been decided upon, but localization should be finished by the first half of 2018, and Spanish-speaking GMs will also be hired to assist customers who require it. It’s good news for native speakers and bilingual speakers who feel more comfortable with Spanish on a whole; they’ll still have to wait a little bit longer, but it’s better than waiting for something that may never come.

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Albion Online wings a week of extra time at players for DDOS disruptions

Albion Online emerges this week extremely battered and bruised after a prolonged series of DDOS attacks against the game and even demands for ransom payments by the perpetrators to make it stop.

Hopefully it’s in the past now as the studio has taken steps to shore up the game’s defenses. For players who found themselves bereft of a game experience, Albion Online is gifting some extra subscription time as compensation. All players who have been subbed between July 17th and August 11th will get an extra week of game time credited to their account (this is on top of an additional week of subscription gifted for launch issues).

“Properly defending against well-executed DDOS attacks is a very challenging task, and far harder than a quick Google search might suggest,” the team posted. “In close collaboration with leading experts in the field, we are making significant progress. Recent attacks have impacted the server’s performance, but generally were not successful in bringing it down. Our defenses are constantly being optimized and fine-tuned. Having said that, we are not in a position to give the ‘all clear’ just yet.”

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Mobile MMOs: Pokemon Go’s curfew, Logres’ launch, and spinoffs for Aion and TERA

By chance, we had a bunch of easily combinable mobile MMO news stories waiting to be written this morning, so let’s get to them — here in the comfort of our MMOs you’ve never heard of series!

We’ll begin, however, with a mobile MMOARG you’ve definitely heard of: Pokemon Go. Players of the game that cannot be killed are going ballistic over what appears to be a curfew on raid battles, which seems to limit raids to daylight hours. East coast players are particularly annoyed because the stealth-curfew meant they lost of a day of play — and a large chunk of the small sliver of time a particular legendary, Moltres, is available for capture.

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Elder Scrolls Legends hits Android and iOS mobile devices today

Fancy a trip to Tamriel, but don’t want to sit at your PC? The Elder Scrolls franchise TCG, Elder Scrolls Legends, has hit Android and Apple phones as of today, and it includes the Heroes of Skyrim expansion that hit on PC, Mac, and tablets earlier this summer.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends, the strategy card game based on the award-winning Elder Scrolls series, is now available to download for free on iOS and Android phone devices via the App Store and Google Play store, respectively. Featuring a new streamlined interface designed to take advantage of smaller screen sizes, now is the perfect time to jump into the fray. For players just joining the action, the recently-launched Heroes of Skyrim expansion based on fan-favorite characters, lore, and abilities from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim added more than 150 new cards to collect, plus new mechanics, powerful abilities, and more. Easy to learn but difficult to master, The Elder Scrolls: Legends features a deep and flexible deck-building system and a variety of modes for both casual and competitive players, including a single-player Story Mode, Versus Mode, and Arena Mode against both human and AI opponents.”

I’m not even a TCG person and I’m gonna give it a go because yay, free things.

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Chris Roberts has ‘no intention of reducing the size of the Star Citizen universe’

Last week, German-language German website Gamestar published an interview with Star Citizen studio Cloud Imperium Games, noting that Roberts appeared to have said Star Citizen will launch with 5 to 10 star systems, an apparent reduction in scope from original launch plans (we already know the 3.0 alpha will launch with just one incomplete system.) That provoked this infamous missed-deadline infographic and the weekly flamewar.

A week later, CIG is finally tackling the uproar, calling the whole thing an oops over translation, chiefly a misunderstanding of the translation of the word “release.”

“Hey guys! This is a case of things being lost in translation; Chris was asked a specific question about how many systems we expect to have online at the point that we’ve got most of the core mechanics completed and we would consider the gameplay experience suitable for a larger audience. There are no changes with regards to the planned amount of systems which are well documented on the current Star Map.”

It’s hard to count all the systems on the star map because of its depth and width, but we took a look and we’ll estimate there’s about 100 on it right now.

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Bless Online’s Rebuild Project homes in on character growth

Following the cancellation of the western version of Bless Online, Neowiz surprised everyone by announcing that it would be publishing the game here in the west on its own. Then last week, it announced a “Rebuild Project” for the whole game, which is expected to allow Neowiz giant do-over on everything from making gear feel more important to character progression, plus the revamped combat, unique class skills, better mount and pet content, a non-sucky crafting system, a tighter UI, and new PvP content. We’ve presumed that upgrades to the game overseas will eventually make their way to the version being promised for the west, particularly given that it was supposedly canceled originally over “quality standards” and “technical difficulties [that could not] be overcome.” Indeed, the long delay was at least in part a result of the combat system do-over Aeria said the game needed.

Since then, the entire official Korean site has been taken over with a huge “REBUILD” banner and Neowiz has published a fresh dev blog outlining the project’s seven main goals and homing in on the first: character growth. Google Translate isn’t exactly trustworthy here, but the gist seems to be that the studio finds the leveling up process both opaque in terms of power and limited in that gear capped progress. Under Rebuild, items themselves will pick up durability and reinforcements, what sounds like an evolution system for weapons, plus a disassembly system for junk.

Check out the whole thing on the official site — just bring your Korean dictionaries!

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The Soapbox: The disastrous Pokemon Go Fest was just Niantic being Niantic, and that has to stop

I know I complain a lot about Pokemon Go in my articles here, but there’s a reason for this. I’m a huge fan not just of the Pokemon series but of what Niantic is trying to do with its game on a basic level. The idea of getting games outside with the rest of the world instead of hidden in our rooms and offices is hugely appealing. I’ve even applied to work at Niantic before (though obviously I wasn’t selected), so for me especially it’s frustrating to see a company I want to succeed repeatedly making the same kinds of mistakes. These are mistakes that plagued the game’s launch, several events, feature reworkings, and now not one, but two birthday celebrations within the same year. 

I actually got sucked into the hype recently and even said that the events surrounding the festival might give people a reason to come back. I’ve finally removed my foot from my mouth after previously downing some crow, but I’ve realized that, now more than ever, Niantic needs some tougher love, and here it is.

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Star Citizen followers react to server capacity, star system count news

Another day, another Star Citizen drama.

German website Gamestar published an interview with Cloud Imperium Games this week, and between the paywall, Google translate, deliberate disinfo, and a quick game of confused telephone from other sites picking up the news, the actual stated information was lost and misconveyed.

The hubbub is over a server capacity-related quote from the interview that’s subsequently been accurately translated like so:

“There can only be a maximum of 24 players on each server currently (this will most likely also be the case in Alpha 3.0). […] The revision of the CryEngine in combination of a new server architecture in form of an intercommunicating server network (also known as Server-Meshes) instead of individually isolated servers should allow larger instances with thousands of players.”

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