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EVE Online community donates 3.7 million PLEX to family of fallen developer

Last fall, one of EVE Online’s senior software engieers passed away at the age of 35, leaving a hole in the team’s heart. While the studio created a special ship SKIN to memorialize CCP Blaze, there was more that the company and community felt that could be done.

Funds were raised to support his fiancée and one-year-old daughter which resulted in an “astonishing, unparalleled” success. The community donated over 3.7 million PLEX — 620 years of game time — to the family, making it the second-largest fundraiser ever to happen in CCP’s history.

“It’s honestly not possible for us to find words that would accurately convey the gratitude we feel to our pilots,” CCP said. “Once again, the EVE community has shown that despite differences in game, our pilots are a formidable, and indestructible force for good.”

Source: EVE Online

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The Daily Grind: Is ‘naming-and-shaming’ MMO cheaters a good idea?

Last week on Reddit, an EVE Online player begged CCP to organize a wall of shame for botters – essentially an online list of those caught cheating, with character names and corps to boot. This, he argued, would not only prove to the community that cheaters were being banned but allow players to “self-police” those corps “actively harbouring bots.”

You’re probably making a face right now imagining just what EVE players might do with such a list, but then again, we’re talking about botters here. I’m more curious whether you folks actually believe those are effective or a good idea in general. Several EVE players said it’d never happen because of European laws, but in fact we’ve written articles about multiple MMO studios naming-and-shaming cheaters: Guild Wars 2, Riders of Icarus, H1Z1, Tree of Savior, and Mechwarrior Online, just to name the first five I found by searching the last three years of our own site.

Is “naming-and-shaming” MMO cheaters with a “wall of shame” a good idea, or should studios that famously ban the wrong people maybe stay away from painting targets on customers’ backs?

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Whatever happened to Ascent: the Space Game, Aura Kingdom, and Fragmented?

Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.

Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately?

That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing. Today we look at what has been going on with Ascent: the Space Game, Aura Kingdom, and Fragmented.

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Star Trek Online hands out free ships today, but you’ll have to pay for a chance of one from Discovery

Happy Free Ship Day! This isn’t us being cute; it’s an actual holiday promoted by Star Trek Online every year on its anniversary. Just by logging into the game today, you’ll be treated to a free Tier 5 ship for each faction: T5 Defiant Tactical Escort Retrofit, a T5 Dhelan Warbird Retrofit, and a T5 B’rel Bird-of-Prey Retrofit.

However, if you would prefer a ship from the new Star Trek Discovery series, you’re going to have to play the lockbox game instead. STO rolled out its Discovery lockboxes today, each giving a chance to win a Tier 6 ship: the Crossfield-class Vanguard, the Sarcophagus Carrier, and the Walker-class Cruiser. There are also some weapons, outfits, and pets from the show as possible rewards.

See what lurks beyond the final frontier of lockboxes in the video below!

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Star Citizen explains where baby ships come from

Star Citizen just wouldn’t be Star Citizen without its obsession with meticulously crafted starships, and they’re exactly the focus of the Ship Shape segment in this week’s Around the Verse. After an interminably long round of introductions, Chris Roberts and company discuss how ships are born.

“It’s a long process,” Roberts quips. “It involves approximately 49 years of obsessively watching science fiction films and TV shows and reading a lot of science fiction novels, plus being a bit of a World War I and World War II enthusiast, and taking all of that and then coming up with various ideas for ships that have sort of been inspired by things that you’ve seen, things that you’ve read, things you know in the real world that fill in the various roles that we have in the game.”

Things like, you know, Serenity or the Millennium Falcon, to which you surely have an “emotional attachment,” he posits. “So we balance the combination of the practical needs that we want to fill in from the game requirements with the sense of an emotional attachment, so it’s not just a purely kind of cold pragmatic science.”

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Massively Overthinking: Tackling our hoarding problem in MMORPGs

By coincidence, two articles in my feeds this past week both centered on video game hoarding – not hoarding the actual games but hoarding stuff inside of them. Blizzard Watch posted a piece on what makes people stop hoarding things like currency in Blizzard’s games, while Gamasutra published an article about how game designers can stop turning us into hoarders in the first place.

For this week’s Overthinking, I thought it would be constructive for the staff and readers to reflect on hoarding in MMOs specifically. Do you hoard, and if so, is it primarily consumables? Currencies? Event items? Something else? Do you think it’s a problem, or only when it’s encouraged as part of a microtransaction loop that ends with your buying more storage?

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EVE Online’s upwell structures get a wellness upgrade

Some of EVE Online’s player-built space platforms — known as upwell structures — are getting a massive upgrade in the game’s upcoming February update. This Upwell Structures 2.0 is a “significant” package of improvements that should be on the test servers soon.

So what do these changes and improvements contain? CCP outlined four pillars of the new upwell structure design: different power modes, a vulnerability and reinforcement system, a major structure combat overhaul, and moon mining in wormhole space and some highsec systems. There are also numerous smaller tweaks in the works for these platforms, like properly displaying damage messages, a short “fitting invulnerable” state during deployment, and riskier asset safety settings.

And because this is EVE Online, you shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a flowchart associated with these structures and their new status states. We’ve got it for you below, and we guarantee it will be the most exciting flow chart you read all day.

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Camelot Unchained lands $7.5M investment to hasten development: Our chat with Mark Jacobs on funding, VR, and beta one

If you know one thing about indie MMORPG Camelot Unchained, it’s that CEO Mark Jacobs appears to dwell perpetually in internet comment sections amiably sparring with gamers and attracting loyal advocates.

But if you know two things, you also know that the game is late. Really late. The RvR-centric, PvM-free, anti-lockbox, sub-only MMO was supposed to enter beta three years ago, according to its successful 2013 Kickstarter, but studio City State Entertainment suffered admitted setbacks along the way – both hiring difficulties in the company’s Fairfax, Virginia, location and technical hurdles. Much of that has since been rectified; in 2016, the company launched a second studio in Seattle while continuing to hire engineers and spending the better part of a year completely refactoring its character ability code and polishing up its home-grown engine. But here we are in 2018, still mumbling beta when? at Jacobs and his dogged crew.

Well, we’re finally getting an answer to that question and more, along with a significant blast of hope for the future of the game, as CSE has just received a massive cash infusion to speed up development. I spoke to Jacobs at length – he’s infamous for being effusive – about what’s going on with the game and the studio in 2018. Read on for the executive summary!

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Crowfall’s Raph Koster goes into insane depth on the cost of creating video games

If you have an exceptional memory, you might recall that a couple of months ago, Crowfall and Star Wars Galaxies designer Raph Koster wrote up a blog post on the cost of making games. The MMO expert followed that up this week with a much, much more detailed presentation that attempts to show hard data to back up his claims.

Koster said that he used industry contacts and other research to assemble data from over 250 games made from 1985 to today that shows the development cost minus the money spent on marketing. He even goes so far as to break down the cost of dollars per developed byte of information, which is where he sees costs for game falling. He said that when you look at it this way, players are getting a “deal” for games these days.

“Lots of people have made the observation that in terms of raw purchasing power, players pay around half of what they used to in the ’80s,” he notes.

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Star Trek Online offers up the Bajoran Interceptor as its crowning reward for its anniversary events

You didn’t think Star Trek Online was just busting out a few giveaways for its eight-year anniversary celebration, did you? Because it’s not. The game is dropping a whole lot of events on players to celebrate the occasion starting on January 23rd and running through February 22nd. The grand reward for the whole shebang is the new Bajoran Interceptor, a Tier 6 ship well-suited to rapid turns and assault maneuvers with an experimental weapon and a specialized console to improve rapid kills.

Players can earn a chunk of the tokens required for this new ship by clearing the new featured episode ending the Tzenkethi conflict, as well as by taking part in the familiar Omega Particle stabilization minigame. You can also hunt for miniature versions of Q throughout Starfleet Academy and the Klingon academy, and these activities also have new fireworks and emotes you can unlock along the way. Check out a retrospective video by the developers just past the break, and get ready to fly your new ship with the blessing of the Prophets.

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Star Trek Online offers free stuff for its eight-year anniversary

It can’t be right that Star Trek Online is really eight years old, can it? Eight full years of boldly going? The answer is that it hasn’t quite been eight years yet (the actual anniversary is February 2nd) but the team behind the game is already starting to celebrate by giving away stuff in the game’s store. For the first day, it was a set of different uniforms for everyone; claim them once and they’re yours forever for the low price of absolutely nothing.

Fans are advised to keep checking back every day to see all of the free offerings for the game’s anniversary event on a daily basis. Each item is available to claim for 24 hours and a new set rotates in daily at 1:00 p.m. EST through January 23rd, so be sure to catch up on your rewards and get some free stuff to celebrate eight years of history.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 153: It’s a whole New World

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin sift through early 2018 news, including a possible leak of Amazon’s New World, a touching player memorial in RIFT, warnings of alien attacks in Elite: Dangerous, and more!

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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CCP addresses EVE Online botter problem, saying it’s at the ‘top of the list’

Last week, we reported on a situation brewing on the EVE Online subreddit, where player after player spoke out about the game’s botting problem, exacerbated by a recent post about a specific botter corp leaving expensive capital ships where other players could easily take them out.

Seeking a statement on the botting situation, we reached out to CCP, whose CCP Falcon posted a response to our article on Reddit.

“[Botting is] to the detriment of the game and it needs to be stamped out,” he says. “It’s garbage behavior, it’s against the rules, and it’s something that has a magnified effect in EVE because of the single shard nature of the game, the economy, and the fact that everything on the market is player built or sourced.” Specifically, he dismissed the idea that CCP generates revenue from botters. That said, he also believes CCP has more work to do on the problem.

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