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Life is Feudal MMO begins another round of its closed beta

Bitbox is unleashing another round of closed beta testing for the MMO fork of Life is Feudal, expected to run two weeks. Accompanying the beta announcement is a new trailer from the team going through the game’s laundry list of features, from crafting and weather to survival skills and a persistent world to territory and terraforming.

“While players may start their adventure in Life is Feudal: MMO alone, as they gather and craft supplies needed to make it to the next day, they will quickly meet up with others to form groups, then guilds, and finally work their way up to complete medieval societies and nation-states,” says the studio. “Life is Feudal: MMO is a realistic social experience, where the best way to thrive in the world is to work together and build a fully functioning society, where everyone has a place, from the most basic hunters and gatherers, to farmers, soldiers and civic leaders.”

Closed beta is available to peeps who pick up one of the early access packs, the cheapest of which is $39.99. We’ve got the trailer below — anyone jumping in?

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Black Desert’s weekly patch is a big boost to UI customization

This week’s Black Desert patch looks small on paper: the game’s been buffed with new crafted costumes, ship repair kits, and a modification tool called “sticker UI” that allows players to tweak their interfaces.

“Sticker UI that will allow users to drag some UI elements out of the game screen has been added. Upon clicking the Sticker UI icon on the top-right corner of the Inventory, the following windows can be dragged outside the game screen: Equipment, Marketplace, Quest, Guild, Trade, Tooltip, Manage Workers. When Sticker UI function is activated, it will keep running outside the game screen even if other windows are turned on. However, some of the functions cannot be performed in Sticker UI window. When the pop-up is released, the window will reopen. When a window is dragged out of the game screen, it cannot be closed with the ESC key. The window can only be turned off by clicking the X button or releasing pop-up status then turning it off. When minimizing the game screen to tray, the Sticker UI will disappear. Sticker UI will reset in /reloadui situations (server change, resurrecting in nodes after death, etc.). Screens without render modes cannot use the Sticker UI (Ex. If World Map is turned on when Inventory is open, Inventory pop-up window will black out and no action can be taken). Drag-and-drop function is allowed only in the Sticker UI and in-game screen (Not in Windows screen). Marketplace Sticker UI can only be applied in Marketplace Panel through Game Options.”

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Guild Wars 2 legendary armor for raiders launches next week

ArenaNet’s Paul Ella has a fresh blog post out this afternoon revealing the plan for legendary armor in Guild Wars 2. If you’re my kind of Guild Wars 2 player, your response is probably somewhere between “woot new stuff” and “dammit quit doubling down y’all,” so let’s zoom in.

Ella confirms that legendary armor is a reward for raiding content, with unique silhouettes and animations and minimized clipping and of course rune slots. He’s got screenshots for each armor type, each one designed thematically.

“When we started creating raids, our aim was to produce complex endgame combat that would really give players a chance to demonstrate their skills, abilities, and tactical thinking in overcoming its challenges. As a reward for defeating the raid bosses, we realized early on that we would need something that reflects your success to other players. Enter legendary armor—the ultimate pinnacle of armor in all of Tyria.”

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MMORPG sandbox Arcfall is headed to Steam early access

I’m always wary nowadays when a game bills itself as a massively multiplayer sandbox gaming world, especially one that says it’s akin to “old school RPG games with modern quality,” but Arcfall appears to deserve the label.

The new MMO is currently listed on Steam as an early access title still in pre-alpha, but it isn’t formally launched or buyable just yet. Developer Neojac says it’s a “social” game, with open world non-instanced housing, a player-driven economy, crafting and farming, mounts, banking, resource harvesting, a classless skill-based progression system, and an incomplete map. Guilds, factions, dungeons, ships, player islands, and PvP (to complement the full-loot death) are still on the way, though there are apparently PvE-only zones too.

Early access is expected to last “the better part of this year,” with beta by the end of 2017. Founder packs are available on the official site; Neojac says that early buyers can access the game through that portal while Steam’s rollout continues.

Neojac should sound familiar to hardcore MMO fans; that’s the studio building MMO Neo’s Land on the Atavism platform, also of its own design. Neo’s Land’s last public update was in December of last year.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 114: Moving to the big city

What does a week where the news douses us in a shower of smaller stories look like? Bree and Justin wring out of their clothes, shaking loose tales of metropolises in the planning, console features, anniversary parties, and dance studios. Maybe it won’t flood the world of MMOs, but it definitely waters the lawns of our interest!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Guild Wars 2 announces Flashpoint living story episode, price drop for Heart of Thorns

Super Adventure Box departed Guild Wars 2 last week, so you had to expect we were on the brink of seeing another episode of the living story. Indeed, ArenaNet has just announced that very episode: It’s called Flashpoint, it’s apparently the next-to-last episode of season three, and it’s launching in just one week on May 2nd.

“Flashpoint finds the forces of good fighting a battle on two fronts. The fight against the now more powerful Elder Dragons seemingly has turned in their favor with news that Taimi’s research has resulted in a machine that can stop them with a single decisive blow. Meanwhile, the powerful mursaat Lazarus – who returned mysteriously purporting to be an ally – has been revealed to be an imposter. Marjory Delaqua attached herself to him to investigate and is now headed back to Rata Novus without discovering much about the truth of his identity. Both paths converge as Lazarus is on his way for a confrontation; in Flashpoint, players will uncover shocking secrets and come face-to-face with a threat unlike any they’ve seen before.”

ArenaNet is also permanently dropping the price of Heart of Thorns by 20 bucks, meaning that the cheapest buy-in for the game’s first expansion is now $29.99. (Maybe it’s another hint that the under-construction expansion isn’t that far away, eh?)

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Guild Wars 2’s new art director talks about continuing the legacy of his father

As we reported back in February, long-time ArenaNet artist Daniel Dociu left the studio after many years of helping to shape the distinctive visual style of the Guild Wars franchise. The baton of art director was passed down to his son Horia, who has worked off and on with studio since 2003.

Horia Dociu sat down with Rock Paper Shotgun for an interview last Friday to talk about the challenge of succeeding his father. “I think we share a lot of ideas,” he said. “It’s easy to say that I learned it all from him, but the truth is, I learned from seeing his methods work over the years […] I certainly am not trying to fill my dad’s shoes. That’s the first thing I had to tell myself — it’s impossible to be someone else, so just be yourself.”

Dociu said that under his direction, Guild Wars 2 will not be stagnant but will innovate and embrace “constant change” as it always has without ruining the foundation that’s been built: “I love the world of Guild Wars, and it’d be equally a crime for me to force a change in it arbitrarily as it would be for me to try and rehash anything we’ve done before. ”

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun. Thanks Bryan!

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Guild Chat: Planning a long break from your MMORPG guild

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively Overpowered community can discuss and solve a whole plethora of guild-related issues other readers are facing. In this edition, reader-in-need Gwen is seeking our help with finding sensible ways to take an extended break from the guild she leads. She recently has received the happy news that she is pregnant and wishes to plan ahead for the time leading up to her baby’s arrival and that crucial bonding period thereafter, and she is thinking of taking maternity leave of sorts from her MMO of choice to welcome her new bundle of joy.The trouble is that she does wish to go back to her gaming as soon as she feels ready and doesn’t wish to retire her guild, so Gwen is looking for advice on how to conduct some sort of handover so her guild doesn’t die a slow death in her absence.

Read below for Gwen’s full submission and my response, and don’t forget to leave your helpful advice in the comments too.

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One Shots: Lights, camera, frogs!

Just because you happen to be a humanoid frog doesn’t mean that you’ve lost at the lottery of life. On the contrary, you have all sorts of advantages, such as being able to install and replace light fixtures very high in your underground cavern. Also, you can eat flies.

Reader Finyar starts us out this week with a stunning interior location from a fan-favorite MMO: “I’m currently playing Guild Wars 2 again and I’m always impressed with how beautifully crafted the game world is.”

Art matters, people. Also, why can’t we play more frogs in online games?

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The Daily Grind: Do you want weekly MMO quest releases?

In the next week or so, Lord of the Rings Online will be kicking off its 10th anniversary with a new “scavenger hunt” that will come in the form of three quests every week. It make me think of how the game experimented with weekly quests from 2015 to 2016 with the 52-part Bingo Boffin series. I’m just now going through those, but I love the idea of having a quest chain gradually unlock on a weekly basis. Gives you something to look forward to playing and makes the game feel a bit like anticipating the next episode of your favorite TV show.

It’s not a terribly common thing in the industry, but there are examples of teams that attempted something like this. Asheron’s Call faithfully put out fresh story content on a monthly basis for most of its run, and the first season of Guild Wars 2’s living story revolved around a two-week update schedule (which would’ve been great except for no way to replay episodes you missed).

I’m curious if anyone else would want weekly MMO quest releases in addition to big content updates and expansions. These wouldn’t even have to be major quests, just something small and new that comes out on a frequent basis. What do you think?

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Check out WoodenPotatoes’ multi-video Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns review

YouTuber WoodenPotatoes, whom you might remember from Tina’s top five Guild Wars 2 vloggers review earlier this week, has posted a lengthy review of Guild Wars 2’s Heart of Thorns, now a year and a half on. It’s a critical look at the promises made for the expansion, the expectations we had for it, what was actually delivered, and how the game has progressed over time to now.

“I think you’d be crazy to say that Heart of Thorns didn’t disappoint at release,” he says in the first video. “It disappointed me. The story was too short, the content was too limited, and very importantly, it didn’t feel like much more had been added with the raw expansion than if they’d simply continued the previous living world season instead. And that would’ve been free.”

But since then, he argues, ArenaNet has fleshed out the game and made 2016 the game’s strongest year (though it wasn’t without its own content droughts). If you’re a fan or former fan of the game, it’s worth a look — it certainly resonates with me and echoes a lot of the complaints (and praise) we’ve seen over the last many months down in our own comment section.

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NetEase soft-launches WoW-like mobile MMORPG Crusaders of Light today

Soft-launching today on both the iOS and Android markets is a new mobile MMORPG from Netease dubbed Crusaders of Light. It was originally released as Land of Glory overseas last month (and was tremendously popular in China), but it’s gotten a name-change and a spruce-up for the western market. You’ll notice immediately that it seems to have an awful lot in common with vanilla World of Warcraft, from its stylized graphics to its 40-man PvE raiding endgame. It boasts 25×25 battlegrounds, small-scale ranked arenas, guild ladders, mounts, and loot out the wazoo too.

As I write this, it’s not yet up for download publicly on either platform for me in the US; it looks to be trickling out to Oceania first today, then Europe, Russia, Brazil, and North America in time for the official launch this summer. You can preregister on the official site, and yes it’s free-to-play with plenty of stuff to buy on the side.

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The Exiled goes free-to-play for its third season

The Exiled, the PvP MMO formerly known as Das Tal, is making some business model changes.

When it launched into early access back in February, it did so under an essentially old-school B2P model, complete with a seven-day limited free trial. That trial has now been dissolved, or rather made unlimited, and replaced by a fully free-to-play period that will last through all of season three.

“In order to make it easier for new players to get into The Exiled we have decided to get rid of the 7-day trial period during Season #3. Yes, that means that you and all of your friends can play The Exiled for free for the coming four weeks. Just start the game and you’re in. You can (and should) still buy a Supporter Pack to unlock more character slots and get unique visuals for your character but it is not required anymore to play the game.”

The buyable upgrade packs still exist, and it’s not entirely clear whether future seasons will adopt the same model — this could be just a test to get more players hooked.

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