high seas

Sea of Thieves may have microtransactions, but it will never have lootboxes

In Sea of Thieves, your character is a pirate roaming the high seas for boxes of treasure, but in real life you won’t need to exchange your own treasures for random in-game treasures. Design director Mike Chapman has stated that microtransactions are possible for the game post-launch, but loot boxes are definitely out of the question for future development. So you might drop a little coin to get a nice skin or cosmetic gear or whatever, but you won’t be looking at lootboxes no matter what.

Of course, if your computer can’t handle the game you probably won’t be looking at anything whatsoever, so you might want to check out the game’s system requirements before eagerly declaring that it’s a sailor’s life for you. The bare minimum specs still require a Windows 10 machine, so if you’ve stuck by an older operating system we’re sorry to inform you that Windows ME is no longer going to keep you in the game. Check out the chart to see if you need to upgrade, and if you refer to buying new hardware as “trimming up the mainsail” in the checkout line, the employees at the store likely won’t care.

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Sea of Thieves’ closed beta is live but in choppy waters

Sea of Thieves’ closed beta for PC and Xbox One kicked off earlier today, and it’s not going that well. Or rather, it’s going so incredibly well with so many people rushing the high seas that bugs are swarming the decks.

“Pirates! We’re aware some players are getting a ‘too early’ error when attempting to launch the Sea of Thieves Closed Beta,” Rare tweeted early this morning. “We’re currently all hands on deck investigating and will provide updates ASAP.” A similar message was blasted out two hours ago on Twitter and an hour later on Reddit, suggesting the studio is still working on the problem. The game’s subreddit is a sea of bug reports and complaints that all boil down to this same issue too. But hey, no big deal, right – you didn’t take off work to beta an online game! Right, guys? Guys?

We’ve tucked the closed beta launch trailer down below, along with a quick roundup of all our coverage of the game since its announcement back in 2015; it’s a lot of content, both because we’re excited about this hybrid MMO-ish game and because Rare has been really consistent at delivering updates all along. We’re partial to our hands-on with the game back at E3 – that should give you something to flip through while you wait!

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Black Desert adds sailboat quest, drop rate tweaks, and way more polar bears

Pull out your ancient “I’m on a boat” and “you are a pirate” memes because Black Desert is about to give you reason to venture out on the high seas, questing for a sailboat in prep for the January 28th arrival of big baddie Vell.

“The scribes expect Vell ‘The Heart of the Sea’ to arrive very soon in Magorian waters. To prepare for this event, Adventurers are called to prepare themselves and do the quests required to rent an Old Bartali Sailboat. This fine vessel will not hold forever but is more than capable to engage this new upcoming threat.”

Have I mentioned that BDO patch notes are my favorite? Here’s why: “An increase in the polar bear population is expected after some cubs have been spotted hiding in boxes” and “the chance of gaining Knowledge when defeating Grass Hedgehogs have been increased.”

Also of note in this week’s minipatch is a change to drop rates, which grants those with high ecology knowledge better loot drop rates.

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World of Warships comes to Steam November 15, but you can’t use your Wargaming account

Here’s a round of good news, bad news for World of Warship fans. While Wargaming’s naval battler is finally heading to Steam on November 15th, it won’t allow players to use their Wargaming account to access it.

Wargaming said that this couldn’t be helped: “World of Warships wasn’t initially designed as a cross-platform project. That means that if you’ve played the game already you would want to keep using the original client. If you log in using Steam, you automatically create a new game account, which binds to your Steam account.”

Other than that, it sounds like full steam ahead for this client. The Steam and Wargaming versions will use the same servers and the same version of the game, allowing for even more hectic battles on the high seas. The team posted a FAQ on Steam to address some of the details of the coming launch.

Source: Steam. Thanks CapnLan!

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Happy 20th birthday, Ultima Online! Here’s how to get caught up on the OG MMORPG

Just about 20 years ago, my boyfriend and I were wandering through Media Play (heh) when he picked up this box for some new online subscription video game with a cheesy Hildebrandt cover. I was skeptical. He bought it anyway. The next morning, after I’d played all night and totally bogarted his new game, we figured we should probably get a second account. And so we did, in spite of being clueless teenagers who could barely afford one sub, let alone two.

That game was Ultima Online, and it’s the game that birthed the term MMORPG and quite literally dragged me into the realm of virtual worlds. Without it, I wouldn’t be right here where I am talking to you today, having married that dude in the interim. And as of yesterday, that game is 20 years old.

Last autumn, when the game was turning 19, I did a fairly in-depth video on the coolest parts of UO, the parts you can still play today, as I do frequently dive back in and am playing this month too! It’s Massively OP’s best-performing video to date, proving that the game is very much not dead and done. Pretty much everything in the video is still accurate, except for the part on the business model (spoiler: UO is kinda going free-to-play), so I’m going to include it below, but then I’ll recap some of the important bits from the last year and answer a few questions anybody reading is sure to have.

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Check out a trailer for ArcheAge’s upcoming naval arena

Battle on the high seas! Cannons firing, seas foaming, decks wet, local slang dialect nearly incomprehensible! If that all sounds like fun times to you, then you’ll want to get in on the naval arenas coming to ArcheAge in the near future; the trailer for that update is available now just below, and it features everything you’d want from such a trailer. (So, boats shooting at one another, in other words.)

Teams of four will take on the battle, fighting not just the opposing team but the raging waters and neutral sea monsters. There’s no word on when this is coming out to the localized version of the game, but you can take a look at the trailer and get hyped for when it does arrive. You can even experience it in VR, if you have a friend nearby ready to spray your face with water repeatedly.

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GTA Online’s Independence Day content is absurdly awesome

Nothing says Independence Day like gang warfare in the streets of Los Santos using guns painted like flags, am I right? Yep, Rockstar is following up GTA Online’s Gunrunning update with some July 4th content, new and old, including a new supercar, bonus earnings in the Dawn Raid adversary mode, and free digital t-shirts just for logging in.

“Raise the flag, put your hand on heart, and wipe that red, white and blue tear from your eye – a wave of Independence Day mayhem is erupting across San Andreas. Firework launchers, classic outfits, the Western Sovereign and the Liberator Monster Truck are all back through July 10, and 25% off their original price. Plus this year also brings patriotic new liveries for your Mobile Operation Center and Mk II weaponry to help you flaunt your love of country.”

But me, I’ll be on the yacht.

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EverQuesting: EverQuest II’s Proving Grounds prove to be a tad frustrating

Prove it.

EverQuest II recently introduced a new feature with the release of GU103 back on May 10th called the Proving Grounds. That place is no joke. I can assure you that it is pretty aptly named; this little instance is all about showing you and your group what you are made of.

When this feature was first announced, I was pretty excited. Who doesn’t like new content, especially something with replayability? It sounded fun. Initially I had thought (hoped?) that the new Proving Grounds content would be a feature enjoyable by the majority of the population. What I learned — quite quickly — was that my hopes and reality were two very different things. And I learned that the hard way. Hard as in double-digit-death-counter hard. Instead of sinking my teeth into this content, it sunk its teeth into me! Now that’s not necessarily a problem. I enjoy a challenge, and I do so look forward to conquering this one and exacting some revenge. However, I just wish my first experiences with the Proving Grounds didn’t come with more disappointment and frustration than fun because I do think it’s a good idea filled with promise.

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The Stream Team: EverQuest II’s pirate-filled Proving Grounds

Last week Daybreak pulled a switcheroo (or more accurately, didn’t switch!), keeping the Felwith map in EQII’s new Proving Grounds instead of changing. But Massively OP’s MJ wanted pirates, and she still wants pirates. Today, she gets pirates! She’s heading back in to the sure-to-be punishing instance to show off the second map in this new feature. How far will her group get this time? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for a look at the Battle on the High Seas.

What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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EverQuest II’s The Menagerie launches, free level 100 boosts bestowed

If you’ve wanted to get back into EverQuest II but felt overwhelmed by how far behind the curve you’d be, it’s your lucky fortnight! Now you can be totally overwhelmed by all the max-level skills instead! With yesterday’s launch of GU103 The Menagerie, Daybreak is offering all players free boosts to level 100. And this gift isn’t just for All-access members: From now until May 23rd at 2:59 a.m. EDT, anyone with an account created before April 20th, 2017, can log in and claim a free bauble that will grant 100 levels, 320 AAs, and a set of ready-to-wear gear. Brand-new accounts can also get the bauble if they subscribe. That boost will definitely come in handy if you want to participate in the new update as well as the latest expansion!

EQII’s GU103 update offers new quests (the Kunark Ascending epilogue quest and a new heritage quest), introduces familiars (unique pets that bestow powerful buffs), and opens up the first cooperative competition zones (accessed via the multi-server battlegrounds server). Called Proving Grounds, these first limited-time experiences are Race to Completion challenges, pitting two groups against each other to see who finishes first. First up is Battle for Felwithe, running until May 16th. The second, Battle Upon the High Seas, will then go from May 16th through the 23rd.

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Sea of Thieves’ devs return for another hilarious gameplay video

“What is the point of making a game if you can’t be the best at it?”

In a second (edited) developer gameplay video, the Sea of Thieves team shows that there is no safety on the high seas from devious players. After looting a rare chest, the crew attempts to make it back to port but is ambushed by another ship and then boarded.

It’s pretty funny stuff, especially as all of their plans fall apart and they start to panic. Crew mates fight, steer, fire broadsides, and scramble to patch up holes in the hull before the ship sinks. There’s also an interesting look at the “Ferry of the Damned,” where dead pirates go as they await a return to the land of the living.

Enough wagging our tongues, let’s get into the action!

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Age of Sail MMO Caribbean Conquest has returned to Kickstarter

Not quite a year ago, we did a brief piece on Caribbean Conquest, a sailing MMORPG that launched and then canceled a small Kickstarter. Indeed, last year the website went dead, and we have been carting around a linkless Caribbean Conquest in our Make My MMO column ever since!

But that’s all changing this week, as the game and website are back — and so is a new Kickstarter, which has a month to raise just over $30,000.

“If you are looking for a pirate/naval themed MMO with ample theory crafting and absolutely no Pay2Win/Grind2Win, this might just be exactly what you’re looking for. Caribbean Conquest is a rewarding game for tenacious captains to test their mettle against one another atop the beautiful high seas of the Caribbean. Whether you want to hunt shipping as a privateer, engage in fleet battles against up to 48 enemy players or build a trading monopoly to generate riches, this game is for you. With your help, we will be able to develop our playable ship combat alpha into a fully fleshed out MMORPG experience.”

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Watch eight glorious minutes of developers playing Sea of Thieves

We have certainly heard the Sea of Thieves development team yammer on and on about many of the game’s features (some great and some quite minute), but it is another thing entirely to watch the devs jump into the boots (or peg leg) of a pirate and just play the dang game.

For eight wonderful, majestic, and somewhat crazy minutes, you can watch the developers team up for a treasure hunt across the high seas. As the video cuts between the devs, you get a sense of how a team communicates and works together to sail a ship and attempt to wrench booty from the hooks of rival buccaneers.

Check it out after the break!

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