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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds tops 2.3M concurrency, bans a fraction of that

Here’s a fun game that we play around the Massively OP office: A troublemaker will come in and loudly proclaim, “You know what’s a good game name? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds!” Then it becomes a race to exit the building as fast as possible before flying projectiles from the staff make contact.

Dumb name or no, PUBG continues its meteoric climb in popularity. The battle royale shooter just reached a staggering 2.3 million concurrency, although these levels haven’t been achieved without a few (hundred thousand) bad eggs spoiling the batch. The studio claims that it has banned 322,000 accounts so far for cheating.

As the studio struggles to stay on top of this monster that it created, it also prepares for the holiday Xbox One release, the PC 1.0 launch, and the imminent addition of climbing and vaulting.

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Check out Destiny 2’s Legends Will Rise PC launch trailer

Hey remember Destiny 2? That cute li’l sequel from Bungie that launched on console and core MMO players promptly forgot all about it? Well, in case that’s you, Bungie has a sweet new PC-capped trailer out to remind you that PC is coming next week. There’s even a countdown on the official site in case you’re bad at clocks. The trailer is shiny. So much jumping. All the screenshake. Insert all your PC master race jokes down below, or save them up for smack-talk during the preload period, which begins on Wednesday of this week.

And by the way, if you’re looking for a cheap place to buy it? A couple of my guildies pointed me to Green Man Gaming, which has the PC edition for 15% off with the SUCHWOW10 code. (Non-affiliate link. Thanks, Onyx and Kiry!)

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Enter to win a Skyforge PS4 Revenant Quickplay Pack from My.com and MOP!

Hey, Skyforge players! Are you having fun with the newly launched Revenant class? You know, that “mighty warlord, appropriately adorned with impressive armor and wielding a ghastly two-handed axe, which siphons the life from its enemies using vile shadow magics, assuming it hasn’t simply butchered opponents into a gory mess first”?

Oh, what’s that? You don’t have the Revenant class yet? Welp, you’re in the right giveaway! Thanks to My.com, Massively OP’s got a nice bundle of Skyforge goodies to hand out to our PS4 readers (PC folks, you can sit this one out)!

Fifty winners of this week’s raffle will be taking home a Revenant Quickplay Pack, which includes the Revenant class unlock as well as three days of Premium Subscription time. Please note that the codes will work only for Skyforge’s North American PS4 edition.

Read on to enter to win!

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H1Z1 has defeated its ‘King of the Kill’ branding in a last-man-standing battle royale

Looks like at least some of the rumors last week have proven true, as Daybreak is indeed removing the “King of the Kill” branding from H1Z1, meaning the battle royale half of the zombie survival sandbox is now getting the unified game’s original name free and clear.

You’ll recall that in 2016, Daybreak split H1Z1 into two separate games, H1Z1: King of the Kill and H1Z1: Just Survive; this past summer, the company dropped the “H1Z1” from Just Survive’s branding, cutting loose the survival sandbox half of the original split-apart game, and then it announced a pro league for H1Z1 just last week.

“Throughout development we’ve continued to define the vision for H1Z1, which is competitive at its core with fast-paced and action-packed combat,” Daybreak explains. “Over the past year, the game has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of both player base and development, so we thought it was time to evolve the game’s look to something that better represented the spirit of H1Z1 and the level of quality we aspire to. H1Z1 is also the name that our players connect with most, so it was just natural evolution for us to transition back. We’re also working to ensure that H1Z1 can be enjoyed by players around the world, and having the word ‘Kill’ in the name of the game can be limiting with some global audiences.”

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s free-to-play upgrades are pretty damn generous

You’ve probably heard by now that EVE Online is giving its free-to-play alpha clone characters a massive boost in power in December about a month after the launch of the Lifeblood expansion. The news has been spreading through the gaming media since it was announced last week at EVE Vegas 2017 and the reception online has been generally positive. Some existing players are worried that the change might even be too generous, with fears that veteran players may let their subscriptions lapse and play for free, or that the new skills might be abused to create an endless army of ganking alts.

There’s no doubt that the changes will help to close the power gap between subscribers and free players and will open up new avenues of gameplay. Free players will finally be able to fly tech 1 battlecruisers and even battleships, and cross-training for multiple races will unlock multi-faction ships such as the Sisters of EVE exploration ships. Alpha clone players will also finally be able to use tech 2 weapons and fly many of the ship setups flown in massive nullsec wars, though the way that the new skill limit is being implemented may actually benefit old and returning players more than new ones.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into the free-to-play changes, briefly examine the power gap between free and subscribed players, and look at who will benefit most from the change.

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LOTRO Legendarium: Grading Lord of the Rings Online in 2017

At the beginning of 2017, it seemed as though a mini-renaissance was brewing for Lord of the Rings Online. Standing Stone Games broke away from the sinking ship that was Turbine and offered a fresh start of sorts for the long-running MMO. We were coming to a head with the game’s story and a return to large-scale expansions was confirmed with the news of Mordor.

Reality and hopes don’t always get along, and while 2017 hasn’t always been the kindest to LOTRO, it hasn’t been a crushing disappointment either. The more I’ve been looking at the state of the game, reading the forums, playing it, and covering news, the more I’ve felt the need to grade how the game is doing in the right here and now.

So why not? It’s school season, so let’s embrace the academic spirit and assign some marks to LOTRO’s operation and state. Agree with these grades? Disagree? Get out your quill and scratch your own thoughts down there in the comments!

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Destiny 2 vows not to delay Prestige raid further despite existing exploit

So here is an interesting conundrum: Say you have a highly anticipated raid in the works that you’ve already delayed. Now that the new launch date is approaching, you’ve discovered a pretty significant exploit but don’t have the time to properly institute a fix. What do you do?

For Destiny 2’s Prestige raid, Bungie has decided not to delay a second time, electing instead to push the raid (and its exploit) live on October 18th and monitor player activity for the time being until the fix is ready to deploy. Sounds legit.

“We can now detect if any teams use this exploit to gain an advantage,” the studio posted. “This will take some extra time to verify, but we will be able to crown the winners with the confidence they deserve.”

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City of Titans outlines power set design for the game

As a spiritual successor to City of Heroes, there’s an obvious line through City of Titans when it comes to powers. That does not, however, mean that the game is just copying the CoH design process and calling it a day. No, CoT is designing its powers based on layers, starting with the set’s basic playstyle, then its focused style, mechanical identity, and speed.

The trick, of course, is that doing so allows quick pipelines for new sets and expansion; if the numbers are all tweaked, it’s fairly quick to go from a slow ranged area combo set to a slow ranged area damage-over-time set. Furthermore, by allowing every archetype access to a tertiary power set, you get access to another set of abilities to play off of your existing abilities. The full post outlines the 25 sets planned for the initial launch by name (if not in details), so check it out if you want a breakdown of the creative process and how the game will be implementing its superhuman abilities.

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Rumor: H1Z1 is about to drop King of the Kill branding (and maybe it’s really launching)

Remember in 2016 when Daybreak split H1Z1 into two separate games, H1Z1: King of the Kill and H1Z1: Just Survive?

Remember back in August when Daybreak dropped the “H1Z1” from Just Survive’s branding, cutting loose the survival sandbox half of the original split-apart game?

And remember earlier this week when Daybreak announced a pro league for H1Z1 – without using the words King of the Kill?

Put that all together and you may be figuring that King of the Kill is about to get its own rebrand. Indeed, while it hasn’t been officially announced or confirmed, it seems backed up by a video pulled of a new splash screen on King of the Kill’s test server, which shows just the term H1Z1 by itself. Redditors are further speculating the game will finally go free-to-play, which was SOE’s original plan, though that was chucked overboard pretty early on.

Hey, while we’re making crazy predictions, maybe we can predict that the game will finally launch. Because it still hasn’t. That was slated for a year ago, but it (and its console port) was indefinitely delayed.

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Crowfall wraps up its launch lineup with the Centaur, Minotaur, and Guinecean races

Over the past month or so, Crowfall has been steadfastly working its way through the list of the dozen races that will be available during the game’s remaining testing and launch. As of today, that list is complete.

The last three beastly species are given the spotlight treatment, with racial traits for each revealed. The noble Centaur is more hardy, has an extra boot slot (because… four hooves!), and can kick players who attack it from behind. The fierce Minotaur is more dexterous, can regenerate some damage that it is dealt, and is immune to stuns coming from its front. Finally, the small but scrappy Guinecean gain more effects when they eat food, can wear three rings, and can double-jump with the best of them.

As with the other races, these three can only be paired with a small subset of classes. The Centaur can choose between Knight, Champion, and Cleric; the Minotaur picks from Ranger, Champion, and Myrmidon options; and the Guinecean may choose to become a Knight, a Cleric, or a Duelist.

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Grim Dawn’s ‘massive’ Ashes of Malmouth expansion has launched on Steam

Crate Entertainment has this week launched a huge expansion for its madly popular multiplayer OARPG Grim Dawn. Ashes of Malmouth is live now and runs $17.99 on Steam (the base game is currently 70% off, so just $7.49).

“Ashes of Malmouth picks up where Grim Dawn leaves off, expanding the world and story with two new chapters in the epic struggle to free humankind from the horrors of the Aetherials. Deep within the fallen city of Malmouth, the Shaper of Flesh crafts grotesque living weapons that could deal a final blow to the human resistance. You must forge new alliances as you push forward through deep forest, the void and into the city itself in a heroic effort to end the Aetherial terror. Venture into dangerous new parts of the world as you discover unique items, empower your characters and make difficult choices that have a lasting impact on the people of Cairn.”

As previously covered, the expansion includes a level cap bump to 100, the Inquisitor and Necromancer masteries, two new story chapters, cosmetic gear system, new factions, new environments, new items, and a bigger stash. Crate’s said it’ll launch as “Rogue-Like Dungeon” coming in a freebie update to follow the expansion too. Trailers below!

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Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon expansion launches open-world ‘landscapes’ today

It’s been a thrill, I think you’ll agree, to watch over the last couple of years as Digital Extremes‘ Warframe defied the rule that most online games in our purview shrink after launch. The game has only gotten bigger, as it does again today with the launch of its Plains of Eidolon expansion. Today’s launch is for PC, mind you; consoles can expect it in November. Oh, and it’s free. And as the DE team told us back at Tennocon this past summer, MMORPG players in particular should pay attention to this patch, as the addition of open-world landscapes, interactive NPCs, a “gripping” story, a diurnal cycle, and new mission types, all with an emphasis on exploration, definitely push the game over into more MMO-like territory.

“Plains of Eidolon is the first-of-its kind Landscape for Warframe. The Open Zone design offers kilometers of colorful rolling hills and pastures, lively lakes and rivers, active mines and caves, all during a continual diurnal/nocturnal cycle for Tenno to soak up and enjoy. As many as 50 players can converge on the makeshift basecamp of Cetus, where the race of the Ostrons offer missions and challenges, and new weapons, armor and items to craft and customize to a degree never before realized in Warframe. During the relative safety of day, whether on foot or soaring through the air (using the revamped Sky Archwing), Tenno will clash with new and old Grineer, partake in mini-games such as spearfishing and mining, and partner up with as many as three others to explore the Plains. At night, danger surfaces from the waters and haunts the storied grounds. Only the bravest and best equipped teams will venture forth in their crash-course hunt for the massive Eidolon, a towering monstrosity lured to consciousness in search of something dangerous and mysterious.”

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Jukebox Heroes: Destiny 2’s soundtrack

I feel like making a bold statement today, so here it goes: Destiny 2’s soundtrack is far and away better than its predecessor — and I include any of the DLC’s music as well.

Oh, I didn’t dislike Destiny’s OST overall, but aside from a handful of noteworthy pieces, it wasn’t much more than sound and fury to me. Destiny 2, on the other hand, boasts meticulously crafted tunes that span an emotional spectrum of excitement, contentment, uncertainty, struggle, defeat, and victory across its rather expansive album. It was a delight to listen through the 44 tracks that make up the launch album and a struggle to choose just six of my favorite pieces to share.

The score was handled by a team of composers, including Michael Salvatori, Skye Lewin, Rotem Moav, Pieter Schlosser, and C. Paul Johnson. I truly hope that the game’s popularity spurs players to pick it up and hear some excellent video game music on its own. Let’s listen through a sample of what this OST has to offer!

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