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Dark and Light announces its first expansion, Shard of Faith, for later this summer

It’s been a year since Dark and Light went into early access, and the game has been updating ever since that launch. To celebrate, the game is giving players more reasons to get into it, starting by taking part in the Steam summer sale at half the usual price. But if that’s not enough to entice you? Perhaps you need the addition of an expansion for the game at some point later this summer, because that’s happening.

While we don’t yet know all of the details, players will definitely be able to reach new heights of power whilst fighting against encroaching evil planes and exploring a new playable map. It’s also one of those big free updates for those who own the game, and that’s on top of buffed drop rates for the title during the Steam sale. So if you want to get in and start playing now, well, you’ve got all the reasons in the world to get ready for something bigger.

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Bless Online plans a big server merge for the end of July

Bless Online hasn’t quite yet dug out of the hole it made for itself during its early access launch, but at least Neowiz has identified the most important step to take in improving the game’s chances: server stability and consolidation.

A producer’s letter posted on Friday talked about the next steps that the studio will be taking to make the servers a better place on which to play. The good news is that Neowiz has tracked down a key issue that was causing serious server issues and has since corrected it, causing the sahrds to become more stable.

The studio also said that now the rush to check out the game is over, it will be consolidating servers down to four: two in North America and two in Europe. Ever the hopeful studio, Neowiz did say that it will keep the remaining temporary servers on hand if and when they are needed for the game’s official launch. Details are forthcoming about the server merges and how they will affect players and their items.

The merges are tenatively scheduled for the end of July, to be followed by the release of the Siege of Castra 70v70 mode.

Source: Steam

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E3 2018: Bill Roper on gaming’s smoke and mirrors, Worlds Adrift, and building on SpatialOS

For MMO players, Improbable brought some interesting ideas to GDC this past spring. It also brought some games I wasn’t expecting, and the ones I was expecting were kind of downplayed. On the ground floor, developers from some of our favorite MMOs hadn’t heard of SpatialOS, a platform that allows games to be “bigger” by running multiple game engines in an innovative way, with a few developers being exceptions. I was set up for a meeting with Improbable CCO Bill Roper to help figure things out, but soon into our physical meeting he was pulled away and we had to follow up with emails, which rarely goes as well.

Fortunately, Roper had time to sit and chat again with me at E3. With SpatialOS’s first game out in the wild and more on the way, I felt like there was a lot Roper could explain about SpatialOS, MMOs, and Improbable’s role in it all.

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The Crew 2 jolts into open beta with the help of Red Bull as Steam reviews hit ‘mostly negative’

There’s the waving flag for The Crew 2’s open beta test, so get out on the track this weekend and take the multiplayer’s vehicles for a drive before it’s all over on June 25th!

The test is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and is free to all players. You will need an Ubisoft account to access it, however. There’s a lot to be mastered with eight modes that include street races, powerboats, aerobatics, motocross, and touring cars. All beta testers will secure an exclusive gold helmet once the game launches on June 29th.

If all of that isn’t crazy enough, Ubisoft and Red Bull partnered up for a “Face Your Ride” challenge. Players can submit their craziest stunts during beta in the hopes of driving a real Red Bull racing vehicle. The energy drink company said that this is the first of several promotions planned with the game.

As you caffeinate up for beta testing, make sure to watch the preview videos down below, and maybe keep an eye on the reviews too: On Steam, they’re already in the “mostly negative” zone.

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Blizzard appears to be reactivating old WoW accounts – go check yours [Confirmed!]

If you have a dormant World of Warcraft account, best give it a check: Redditors are reporting that their accounts are currently activated without subbing.

While some gamers are expecting it’s a bug that’ll soon be fixed, it’s also possible that Blizzard’s simply reactivating old accounts in conjunction with summer sale hoopla and summer vacation, all in prep for the expansion launch later this season. Given that WoWhead noticed old accounts have apparently been bequeathed Warlords of Draenor too, that might be a more likely scenario.

Chime in if you’ve found your account alive for no reason – mine has been off a few years and isn’t blessed today, apparently.

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Trion throws open Defiance 2050’s gates for another beta round this weekend

Trion is running yet another beta round for Defiance 2050 as the reboot heads to open testing on PC this weekend, starting tomorrow afternoon and running through Monday.

“Players taking part in the Open Beta will have the opportunity to check out the game’s new base classes, weapon enhancements and progression systems ahead of its release on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on July 10. Progress from Open Beta will not carry over into the full game at launch.”

As we previously reported, that launch will take place on July 10th, with a headstart set for July 6th, on all platforms. It’s a free-to-play game, though of course founder packs sweeten the pot.

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Descent, the future of space mining

Fallout 76 wasn’t the only Interplay throwback at E3 2018: Descent, one of the games that defined the six degrees of freedom genre, is no longer underground. That is, the former title has changed because Interplay’s embraced the game and given the developers full support.

Descendent Studios team is hard at work on launch, Little Orbit CEO Matt Scott met with us to discuss what’s been going on in the past several years of development. Nostalgia aside, I went in expecting the worst: long-abandoned IP, Kickstarted game, indie team, extended public development, and fairly quiet presence on social media. However, I came out very pleased. While the game may not be an MMORPG, what I saw and heard makes me think that this may be the space experience I’ve been waiting for.

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Bless Online patches in a 3v3 arena and class buffs as players call for server merges

Bless Online is trucking out a brand-new patch today. The highlight is the Certanon Arena, essentially a 3v3 best-of-five PvP minigame for level 45 toons; it’s subject to time gating, do note, and opens only at 6 p.m. EDT each evening. Neowiz has also performed a wide-ranging balancing patch on armor, with effects that pertain to every class in the game. Every class is further seeing its own tweaks; Berserkers and Rangers in particular will be pleased as punch with their righteous buffs.

Meanwhile on Reddit, players are currently debating whether the game should merge servers as a result of the loss of players – or they would be, if most of the threads calling for merges weren’t apparently being wiped away by the mods. A few stragglers referring to those threads do remain; one asserts that the studio might not care it’s losing players – after all, as one poster argued, “they’ve already got your money.”

The game peaked around 34,000 concurrent players at the beginning of its early access launch. Within the last day, peak concurrency has fallen to just over 7000 on Steam Charts.

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Anarchy Online teases upcoming 17th anniversary event

Happy 17th birthday, Anarchy Online! Seventeen years ago this month, Funcom first stepped out onto the MMORPG scene and “launched” this sci-fi title. We are legally obligated to put that into quotes, because it wasn’t so much of a game launch as a mockery of all that was good and pure in the world. Fortunately, the disastrous start eventually gave way to a solid and engaging title that endures to this day.

Anarchy Online is days away from throwing its anniversary event, which will take place from June 26th through July 19th. While there aren’t any specifics out on the event quite yet, you can take a look at last year’s anniversary details to get an idea of what is probably coming.

And if you’re feeling all nostalgic, why not indulge some more by reading our Game Archaeologist retrospective of this game?

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Defiance rolls out Midsummer Mutiny just before the Defiance 2050 Valor cutoff

There are no new Pursuits for the latest incarnation of the Midsummer Mutiny event in original flavor Defiance. You will be doing the same things in this event as you have one in prior years, and if you have already cleared all of those objectives, then you will ultimately be in the same place as always. This is not by accident; it’s specifically because the cutoff for Valor amounts for players is June 22nd, and any further Valor you earn won’t translate to more rewards in Defiance 2050. Since the Mutiny event runs until July 2nd, you can finish up any lingering objectives you’ve got early.

Of course, you don’t have to just wait for Defiance 2050, as the game’s open beta will run from June 22nd through the 25th ahead of the head start launch on July 6th. So you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do things, even if the event might not really feature into all of those plans. At least the reboot is near.

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Funcom’s upcoming Mutant Year Zero

Apparently, GDC was good to Funcom, The Bearded Ladies, and Mutant: Year Zero. The teams had originally thought to skip E3 this year, but after the reveal led to even one developer’s mail attendant in Sweden fanning out a bit, it became clear that an appearance at the Expo might be in order (and to maybe not wear developer t-shirts in public).

The Bearded Ladies developers said that they’ve received nothing but positive comments so far, and I can’t say I’ve been able to give them more critical feedback either. Part of that is because my tactical RPG experience is limited to super casual Fire Emblem outings that never end with my finishing the game. Admittedly, I also didn’t have a ton of questions to bring with me this time because the guys were just so open at GDC. It’s probably for the best, though, as I was finally able to get my hands on the game. Spoiler alert: Not only did I fail my mission, but so did almost everyone else!

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Shroud of the Avatar suffers layoffs, saying ‘right-sizing’ is needed ahead of episode 2

It appears as if Portalarium is suffering some layoffs and downsizing in the wake of the launch of Shroud of the Avatar: The studio’s Starr Long admits to “adjusting [the] team size” in a forum post written yesterday.

“Now that we are almost complete fulfilling our Kickstarter promises (brewing coming online in R55, physical rewards shipping very soon, progress being made on castle defense, etc.), we are adjusting our team size to better match our current monthly revenue. This will give us the balance we need to begin work on Episode 2 while ensuring we can support the online service. To do that means having, at least for now, a smaller team. Right now we will shift our focus from creating new content to polishing our existing systems. This means making a stronger new user experience, fixing bugs, reworking the quest system, performance improvements, user interface polish, and more. At the same time we will continue the Tier adjustments in progress which will rework our existing scenes to more appropriate difficulty levels based on our current player population.”

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The Daily Grind: Do you carry a torch for any MMOs that were killed in development?

Maybe I’m alone on this, but the more I examine MMO history, the more it troubles me how many potentially great games never even got a chance to launch. There have been so many promising titles over the years that, for various reasons, were killed off in development prior to release.

I would have absolutely loved to have seen what Project Copernicus would have become, especially with the talent behind it. It kills me that I’ll never be able to play Ultima X Odyssey. And let’s face it, Privateer Online might have actually delivered the satisfying space experience that Star Citizen’s been promising for years now.

Do you carry a torch for any unreleased MMOs that met an early end in the development phase? What do you imagine might have happened if those games launched?

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