The studio behind MOBA Gigantic.

Gigantic rejoins Arc platform, opens up PC beta, and preps for July 20 launch

There is no shortage of movement on Gigantic, Motiga’s colorful, multi-platform MOBA. For starters, the studio announced that PC players can now get in on the open beta, conveniently located on Perfect World’s Arc platform.

The Windows open beta joins the Xbox One testing program as the title gets ready for launch on July 20th, and players who want to transfer their accounts to Arc can do so with a one-time offer.

As part of launch preparations, a massive June patch was deployed on Wednesday to shore up Gigantic. The update contained a revamped user interface, a new player experience, bot matches, voice chat, hero voiceovers,

Get pumped for Gigantic’s open beta party with the official trailer below!

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LOTRO Legendarium: Mirkwood, the best zone no one remembers

The other day I was continuing on with my Bingo Boffin adventures in Lord of the Rings Online when Mr. Boffin decided he was going to sneak his way across battle lines and into Mirkwood Forest. Like most of his encounters, I don’t think he ended up loving it quite as much as he anticipated, but you know what? I did.

You see, ever since Siege of Mirkwood came out with LOTRO’s second expansion, I’ve always been quite partial to this odd little zone in Middle-earth. Perhaps this makes me the odd man out among the community; I rarely see anyone speak highly of Mirkwood (or, these days, speak of it at all). It seems like it’s forgotten, this strange cul-de-sac of the game world that only exists to be a stopping point on the epic story before players have to turn around and go back the way they came.

Yet as I was running all over the place trying to secure first AND second breakfastses for Bingo Boffin, I was reminded of how much I love this zone. I’d even say that Mirkwood is in my top five zones of the game as a whole (alongside The Shire, Forochel, West Rohan, and North Ithilien). It’s time this forgotten land got some recognition, so here goes.

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Here’s how to participate in Gigantic’s big stress-test event this weekend

Nothing to do this weekend now that E3 is winding down and everything you want to play is way far off in the future? Gigantic has the cure for that: Motiga and PWE have just kicked off an Arc Preview Weekend for the fledgling hybrid MOBA.

“Starting this Friday, June 16 at 10am PDT through Sunday, June 18 at midnight PDT, Gigantic will be open to ALL PLAYERS via the Arc platform. That’s right; if you have Windows 7, 8, or 10, you can download and play Gigantic on Arc as part of Gigantic Arc Preview Weekend.”

The studio says players will have access to all 18 heroes during the event, and all progress you make will be saved into the game’s open beta. During the event, you’ll be stress-testing the servers, matchmaking, the revamped UI, the new tutorial, bot matches, and voice chat.

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Aliens from 1984 swarm into Elite Dangerous with Horizons 2.4

For a good long while, it seemed as though Elite Dangerous players were all alone in their gigantic galaxy playground. Then came the discovery of alien remnants and evidence of life, suggesting that the devs had more up their sleeve. But little did players know that first contact was about to become second contact with one of the franchise’s most notorious enemies.

Frontier announced this week that with Horizons 2.4, the Thargoids would arrive in the game after a long absence from the series. The truly alien race that hails from an ammonia world made its debut in the original 1984 game as a threat that players encountered and had to overcome.

The Return update is coming in Q3 2017 and will bring the Thargoids and their eight-sided spaceships into the modern era with story events and inevitable battles. The dev team cautions players that if they fail to stand up to the aliens, they could see the galaxy slowly consumed by the Thargoids.

“What happens next will be decided by every Elite Dangerous player,” said Frontier CEO David Braben. Check out The Return trailers after the jump!

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Paladins brings a war machine to the fight

If they bring a knife, you bring a gun. If they bring a stylized goofy fighter, you bring a war machine. That’s the Paladins way.

There’s a new champion in Paladins’ beta wreaking havoc all over the battlfield. Ash, the war machine, is an armored lady who sports a truly gigantic mobile cannon. With her gun, Ash can fire shrapnel rounds and kinetic bursts. She’s got a few other tricks up her metallic sleeves, including a siege shield, shoulder bash, and a banner that creates a damage immunity zone for eight seconds.

The game’s open beta 51 update also included a change to its skins: “We are reorganizing how we package our skin cosmetics in order to accommodate players seeking full outfits. Players will still be able to equip parts individually and mix & match as they like. But accessory and body pieces (along with voice packs when available) can now be acquired together as a unit referred to as a ‘Champion Skin.'”

Check out Ash’s champion trailer after the jump!

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Gigantic updates players on the state of promised features and launch

The good news for fans of Gigantic is that the game is getting very close to its launch state. The bad news is that there isn’t an exact date to discuss right now, and as a result of the team working hard to prepare the game for launch, updates have slowed down a bit. But the further good news is that the latest dispatch from the team talks about exactly that and promises a big update by the end of the month replete with all sorts of fixes and improvements.

Bots and voice chat, for example, are both fully integrated in internal builds an should be a part of the game’s next major update. The developers are also working on improving the experience of playing the game for new or returning players, creating an experience that does a better job of explaining the complexities going on beneath the surface. They’re also hard at work solving disconnection issues, so you can make matches and play with confidence. Don’t take our word for it, though; you can hear a lot of it straight from the team in the video just below.

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Perfect Ten: My favorite MMO dungeons

It’s hard to look at an MMORPG and imagine them without dungeons. For some people, these instances are the core of their game experience, offering challenging (well, hopefully) and rewarding group experiences that can be repeated for fun, profit, and optimal performance.

Dungeons and I have a strange history in MMOs. For me, it all depends on the game in question. There are MMOs that don’t really feature compelling or rewarding dungeons (Guild Wars 2), or make grouping up and getting into them difficult, or what have you. Yet in other games, I’ve run dungeons so many times that I could probably pathfind through each one blind. If done right, they can be really fun and offer me a chance to show off my stuff and feel like I’m part of a team.

For today’s list, I want to share with you my favorite MMO dungeons. I’m going to limit myself to one per MMO for diversity’s sake, which might make it a little challenging, but there you go!

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Gigantic discusses upcoming polish and balance changes in open beta

The development of Gigantic has moved on to the stage of polishing and refining the content already in the game, which is a good thing for players. The latest official set of community answers focuses on exactly that, dealing with the balance and quality-of-life changes planned for the game’s open beta testing. Matchmaking issues are still being investigated and worked on, and players can expect at least one more major update during this test phase to address balance and bugs.

New voiceover lines for certain characters are also being added, and players can expect to see those as well as integrated voice chat in the relatively near future following internal testing. There are also plans to show more numbers in the future to help with theorycrafting, although those numbers are unlikely to show up in the next couple of builds. Check out the full rundown for all of the information you could want about the process of making the game polish up and shine nicely.


EVE Online players blow up a $6,000 spaceship

Ever have the dark desire to see $6,000 get obliterated right before your very eyes?

A coordinated team of EVE Online players baited a Vanquisher Titan into a battle and proceeded to decimate the gigantic starship as smaller vessels swarmed all over it. When destroyed, the victory not only marked the first time a Vanquisher was destroyed in the game but also wiped out a ship worth over 413.5 billion ISK — or roughly $6,000 in conversion rates.

It’s hard not to imagine what the pilot and owner must have felt at this moment, but as the EVE saying goes, don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose. Perhaps they were jelly with losing six Gs in a bad night?

The pain of loss and the triumph of victory is so very real after the break.

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Gigantic talks about player disconnection and player abandonment

It sucks when you get into a match in Gigantic, you get ready for the thrill of competition… and then two of your teammates just leave. What do you do? Do you stick out the fight, knowing full well that you’re likely to lose because you’re undermanned now? Or do you throw the match as well, falling into exactly the same trap as the people who just abandoned the match? It’s a complex situation, and it’s one Motiga explains is a very real but tricky problem to solve in the latest weekly dispatch.

The overall goal is for players to find it more rewarding to stay in matches, less rewarding to leave the match, and less penalizing for people who stick it out after other players jump ship. That’s a set of changes starting with the idea of a “safe to leave” flag, a point when players can leave the match once it’s clear that the outcome is all but decided… which, in turn, discourages players from jumping ship at the first sign of trouble. Combined with the team’s ongoing efforts to tackle major server issues, players should increasingly find it easy to get in and play matches which they intend to get in and play… and stick out to the end.


Gigantic discusses impact changes for respawns, summons, and Guardians

This is the end… of the week. But for Gigantic, it really is the end… of smaller patches during open beta. While there still isn’t a firm release date announced, the team is doubling down on development while working on more overarching issues like refining the game’s mechanics slightly. Not simplifying them, exactly; just making them a bit easier to get into at a glance.

For example, one of the mechanics being worked on are respawn timers, to ensure that players aren’t constantly yelling at the one teammate who goes charging into danger every time. Summons are also being addressed as something that should always be a benefit for your team rather than a drawback when someone summons the wrong thing, and Guardians should feel like they make a bigger splash on the battlefield. It’s a series of iterative improvements, which should help the game remain more interesting to play right up until the end… of the match.

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The Daily Grind: What MMO ability makes you feel truly powerful?

A couple of months ago, I received a legendary in World of Warcraft that allowed me to shoot out this gigantic AoE fireball every 90 seconds. It’s since become one of my favorite abilities in the game, both for the visuals and the damage that it delivers. Using it made me think of how much of a sucker I am for skills that both look and feel powerful.

These kinds of abilities were always the ones that got my attention the most in City of Heroes. I didn’t care how practical some of the powers were; if they didn’t deliver a visceral punch, then they earned my scorn. The ones that did, however, were almost always first up in my rotation.

What MMO abilities, from skills or gear, make you feel truly powerful? Which ones will you never get tired of unleashing on your foes?

(The header image is from Elsword, in case you’re wondering!)

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Gigantic has plans for bot matches, accessibility, and Windows 7 support

Motiga Community Manager Evan Teicheira has a new state of the game post up for Gigantic today — a most welcome one as the game laid off another 15 employees earlier this month to “reduce burn rate.”

“One of the most important revelations we’ve had during the beta is that Gigantic is complicated – not necessarily in a bad way, but in a way that makes it difficult for new players to pick up the game and get over the steep learning curve of the game,” he acknowledges. “There are a lot of intricate mechanics that differentiate Gigantic from other games, and only make sense when players understand how each mechanic plays into the much larger picture. For a brand new player, Gigantic can feel like a hectic, fast-paced, visually overwhelming, and ultimately confusing experience. Even for veteran players, it can also be difficult to test new heroes on the live battlefield.”

Consequently, Motiga is working on bot matches, balancing accessibility with challenge, Tripp tweaks, chat and voice implementation, an achievements system, new heroes, new battlegrounds and — drumroll — the move to Arc, which should allow players on Windows 7 and beyond the chance to play the game.

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