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World of Tanks players raised cash for kids during last year's War Child campaign

Wargaming announced today that World of Tanks players raised a huge sum of money for children in need last year. Last summer, the video game giant teamed up with War Child, a UK-based charity that focuses on children affected by local and global political conflict, to raise money for that cause.

"Late last year, Wargaming partnered with War Child for their Armistice Campaign. Players of World of Tanks were able to buy special emblems and packages to help raise money for children affected by conflict all over the world, with 100% of Wargaming’s share going directly to charity. Thanks to the community’s help and generosity, a donation of $84,800 went to War Child UK. Wargaming would like to thank all the players who donated to this great cause as every single penny raised was from the community."

Hear, hear and well done. Never let it be said that gamers have no heart!

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The Game Archaeologist: How DikuMUD shaped modern MMOs

Even though there are hundreds and thousands of MMOs spanning several decades, only a small handful were so incredibly influential that they changed the course of development for games from then on out. DikuMUD is one of these games, and it is responsible for more of what you experience in your current MMOs than you even know.

Of course, that doesn't mean everyone knows what DikuMUD is or how it shaped the MMOs that came out after it. You might have seen it used as a pejorative in enough comments that you know it is loathed by many gamers, but I find that there are varying degrees of ignorance about DikuMUD in the community. What is it, exactly? Why is it just the worst? And is it really the worst if we like the games that can point to this text-based MMO as a key ancestor?

Today we're going to dispel the mystery and myths of DikuMUD to lay it out there as it was and is today.

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The Survivalist: Massively OP's guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya'll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn't as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.

I'm not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller -- and oft times privately managed -- scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we're going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here's a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
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Ever, Jane's latest open beta update adds horseback riding, carriages, and new homes

Ever, Jane's fourth update of open beta has gone live this afternoon, bringing new homes and horses to the Jane Austen-themed period MMORPG. "We’re eager to add the townhouses and cottages to home ownership, fundamental changes to the Story system, additional construction on the Estate, carriages you can both drive and ride as a passenger, the first implementation of much awaited horseback riding and more!" 3 Turn Productions writes today.

Expect new and larger buildings (with basement!) in Tyrehampton, but be warned: If you've not logged in within the last month, you'll be getting a warning email and then an eviction notice.

And as for horses? 3TP says it's not a "polished experience" with finished animations or jumping, but you can indeed trot through the village now -- or be ferried around in a multi-person carriage. Just don't try to summon your horse inside a building (it will work, sort of!).

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War Thunder's Assault patch adds new vehicles and maps, with Assault mode on the way

War Thunder has pushed out another big update today, this one dubbed simply, "Assault!" -- exclamation point required! "The update introduces almost twenty new vehicles including Japanese tanks and three new battle locations bringing the total number of maps to more than 80 available in the game," says Gaijin.

What it does not have? The Assault mode that presumably gave it its name.

"Available in two iterations, the new game mode challenges players to defend a strategic location against waves of enemy ground vehicles or aircraft. For tankers, combat is fought tank to tank on the ground, with the ability to temporarily support teammates in attack aircraft or bombers. Pilots are tasked with maintaining air superiority over a zone by fending off enemy bombers approaching from all directions. As each successive wave is stronger than the previous one, players have to work together to hold out until the end, upon which they will receive well-deserved rewards."

That mode is on the way "soon after the update 1.67 launch." In the meantime, check out the trailer!

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How Frostkeep's Rend compares to other MMOs and survival sandboxes

I was pretty well taken by multiplayer survival sandbox Rend as soon as I saw it at this year's PAX East 2017, as I wrote yesterday. The concept immediately spoke to me as taking a lot of the cool ideas from other survival games while making the game as a whole into something very different. But I also entirely understand that sometimes you can look at the game and wonder what makes it so different. After all, it's hardly the first time that we've had a game using a lot of the building blocks. So why am I over the moon about Rend but not its obvious inspirations and close cousins?

The answer is that in some cases, I am over the moon about its close cousins. But it's also important to understand the distinction and the fact that Rend is not, say, Crowfall or Conan Exiles or any other game. So what makes Rend different? Not necessarily better, but how does it stack up to the obvious points of comparison?

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Tamriel Infinium: Battlegrounds will change Elder Scrolls Online PvP forever

I've read all the impressions from the PAX East show that I could find, and they were all overwhelmingly mild -- including ours. As you hopefully know by now, Elder Scrolls Online showed off its instanced PvP battlegrounds, and the media consensus is that they are... coming. And that's it. This really surprised me. It's superficially hard to tell whether people have come to expect one thing from battlegrounds (because so many other games already have them) and ESO really isn't changing the formula -- or the battlegrounds really aren't anything to write home about.

If you were to take Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler's word for it, battlegrounds will change PvP in ESO forever because they're a type of PvP that ESO has never had before, which is true. Personally, I do believe not only that battlegrounds will bring something special to Elder Scrolls Online but that other games should pay attention to ESO because it's actually doing something innovative without drawing too much attention to it.

Battlegrounds aren't perfect; there will be some drawbacks, but let's take an honest look at what this new PvP type means for Elder Scrolls Online and maybe other MMOs in the future.

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The MOP Up: Wakfu hikes up a mountain (March 12, 2017)

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!

This week we have stories and videos from Heroes and Generals, Faeria, City of HeroesLineage MArmored WarfareWakfuArk ParkDauntlessDark Age of CamelotOverwatchBlade and Soul: Table ArenaLeague of LegendsStrikers Edge, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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Wargaming on World of Tanks, Warships, and Planes development, plus the Dolph Lundgren commercial

Even successful online games like World of Tanks can be subject to critical mistakes and community backlash. Talking to Polygon, Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi admitted that arrogance and a Russian-centric team contributed to a near-disaster with its Rubicon update a few years back. Additionally, the studio mandate to carbon-copy World of Tanks' format ended up hurting the development of World of Warships and World of Warplanes.

Kislyi said that once the studio owned up to its faults and identified the key problems, it began to make changes. The studio started hiring more international employees and paid better attention to what its community was saying. "This took years for us as a company to come to this understanding of this necessity [of this change], and to make it," he said.

The big focus for 2017, Kislyi said, was to shore up World of Tanks and make it into a better game overall. Wargaming is also allowing Warships and Warplanes more leniency to develop according to their individual strengths and unique properties.

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Pantheon's lorekeeper on the Perception system and elves

It's lore day over at Visionary Realms, where this month's newsletter for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is all about the story behind the game. What, did you just think it was about showing up for kobold genocide?

Pantheon lorekeeper Justin Gerhart knows your secret. "One of the most critical and often overlooked elements is lore," the newsletter laments. "Creating the story for an MMORPG has many similarities to writing a serialized screenplay, as you continually move the narrative along and to shape the theme of the world. Justin’s main inspiration in creating the lore of Pantheon was to craft something that would be interesting and meaningful to both veterans and new players alike, and would continue to be engaging no matter how far into your journey you were. One of the main Pantheon differentiators is our Perception system, and lore plays a massive role in that system. It will really reward those players who take the time to gain an understanding of the world around them."

Yeah, you're gonna have to read.

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The Perfect Ten: A plague of MMO bears

I have long been of the opinion that there are few more terrifying animals on this planet than bears. Sure, there are sharks, the mighty kraken, and that little fish that may or may not swim up your urethra and summer home there, but as I live primarily on the land, I think that the odds are greater that a rampaging bear might ruin my day.

True story: When I lived in Colorado Springs, one morning I left home to drive to work and there was a black bear sitting in the middle of the road. I looked at it, nonplussed, and then sloooooowly backed up into my driveway and called in a sick day. Bear days should totally be a thing, however.

I have also been of the opinion that bears are consistently underestimated in MMORPGs. They're low level trash mobs or pets that finger players as complete noobs for not picking something more exotic. More exotic? Son, if you have a bear on your side, you have won the game. Period. One swipe of its paw and any raid boss' head should pop right off.

There is a plague of bears in MMOs. Today, let us delve into the ursine horror that curses our genre.

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See all of the 'extreme polite socializing' that Ever, Jane has to offer

Admit it: You have been weirdly fascinated and curious ever since hearing of the existence of Ever, Jane. This period MMORPG is definitely taking a different path than most games in our genre, drawing from the works of Jane Austen to make an online roleplaying experience that's more about dinner parties and gossip than it is about slaying dark gods and looting their decorative armor sets.

YouTuber The Hive Leader took some time to explore the interesting (and confusing) open beta and returned with a hilarious report. He notes that the world is largely silent and devoid of people while the game is not very clear on what players need to do and can do.

Satisfy your curiosity by watching all of the "extreme polite socializing" that Ever, Jane has to offer after the break!

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Tragedy strikes during World of Tanks livestream

This is the sort of story that we never like seeing here at Massively OP. During a 24-hour charity livestream, a World of Tanks Twitch player left the room for a short break and then apparently passed away while off camera.

Polygon reports that the police arrived at the home of 35-year-old Brian Vigneault, where they found him unresponsive. Fans discovered that this happened when a police detective used Vigneault's Discord chat to inform the community about his death. Vigneault had been well-known for his frequent charity livestreams and in fact had been participating in one when he died. There was no cause of death stated; though the death was being investigated by the homicide unit, the department said there was no reason to suspect foul play.

Wargaming issued a short statement in response: "Wargaming is saddened to hear of the loss of streamer and tanker Brian Vigneault, AKA 'PoShYbRiD,' a devoted player of World of Tanks and contributor to the Make-A-Wish foundation. We offer our most sincere condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Source: Polygon

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