news items

EVE Online is adding smaller skill injectors for newer players

The changes to PLEX for EVE Online make it easier to buy small chunks, sell small chunks, and not have all of it get blown up when you stuff a cargo hold full of your money. Of course, part of what has made PLEX so vital is the need for newer players to be able to catch up with veterans, which ties into use of skill injectors… which are currently very expensive. So the game is introducing a cheaper way to get those, as well.

Existing skill injectors will be marked as large injectors, while the new smaller skill injectors will hold a maximum of 100,000 points and offer smaller and smaller rewards to players with more skill points. The hope is that newer players can buy the bite-sized injector and start to catch up before moving on to larger purchases, thus ensuring that everyone can more quickly take part in the sprawling wars of backstabbing that make the game tick along.

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TERA’s third week of anniversary rewards includes a pin-up car

The last week of TERA anniversary rewards is almost upon us, starting on 5/23. That means you still have one more day to turn in Anniversary Tokens for the past week’s rewards, but it also means you can look forward to the final batch of rewards. And what’s on the list for the last week? Why, a hatchback car decorated in cheesecake pictures of the Elin, the race that looks like prepubescent girls!

You could also get a permanent disco ball.

It’s worth noting that the car mount is a permanent mount that has never been available before, and it likely won’t be available again given the nature of the event. Whether or not that triggers your collector instinct is for you to decide, but you’ll want to decide soon as the game’s anniversary celebration moves into its final week.

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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.

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Overwatch looks forward to anniversary skin and more diverse story focus over the next year

To the surprise of basically no one, Overwatch has succeeded through its first year, and it should also come as no surprise that Blizzard is celebrating with new skins. After all, new skins get added to this game on the regular. It’s all about skins. Have some skins. A leaked Facebook video shows off new skins for Soldier:76, Zarya, Bastion, and Pharah. No details on what the anniversary event will offer for other characters, but it can be assumed that more is coming.

Of course, the second year also means that players can expect more storytelling around the game (not in the game, unfortunately), with director Jeff Kaplan stating that he’d like to tell more stories about characters like Symmetra and Pharah who haven’t been in the spotlight yet. He’d also love to do some adventures for Roadhog and Junkrat, whom he sees as being perfect comedy relief for the more serious underlying story. Of course, telling stories about more characters will also push Blizzard up against the boundaries of claiming the game’s diversity isn’t political, so take from that what you will.

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Destiny 2 may not launch simultaneously on PC and consoles

Properly excited about Destiny 2’s announcements yesterday? We don’t blame you. But there are a few points you might wish to consider. For example, keep in mind that you may not be getting the game on day one; a release date is officially not set in stone for the PC version, and it may be a bit later than the console version. This is partly due to the fact that Bungie is well aware PC players will want things like field-of-view options, text chat, uncapped framerates, and so forth.

There’s also no word at this point on whether or not players will be able to have any sort of cross-pollination between the console and PC versions, although the team knows the demand is there. None of this is meant to demolish enthusiasm, but it probably does affect your enthusiasm to know that the PC version will offer more graphical options but might show up later. In summary, check out some raw PvP match footage below.

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Path of Exile explains upcoming Energy Shield mechanical changes

There are some big changes coming to Energy Shield in Path of Exile’s next expansion, and as tends to happen with major system changes, the designers have penned a lengthy column explaining why these changes exist. It’s not that Energy Shield is inherently bad, obviously; the problem is that with high enough values and the right collection of relics, players can ultimately use Energy Shield to completely replace Life as a survival mechanic, which results in characters with enormous health pools without any investment in doing so.

To fix this problem high-end shield values have been significantly tuned down, and several different items have had their synergy with Energy Shield adjusted to provide a more tangible drawback. Vaal Pact, for example, will no longer provide any benefit to Energy Shield (whereas it currently allows almost an immediate refill of shields without any drawbacks). However, it will also be possible for players to craft better Energy Shield items earlier, so players can still try out the builds that made these changes necessary; they’ll still be potent, but they should no longer make you effectively unkillable.

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Final Fantasy XIV unveils new plans to reduce server congestion for the biggest servers

After a lengthy maintenance to facilitate the North American data center relocation, Final Fantasy XIV is back online and ready to play once more. Unfortunately, if you were planning to make your first post-maintenance activity a quick server transfer to Gilgamesh, you’re out of luck. The development team is making changes to facilitate the fact that certain servers (Gilgamesh, Balmung, Bahamut, Chocobo, Shinryu, and Mandragora) are heavily congested now in the hopes that those servers may be slightly less crowded for Stormblood’s release.

Character creation on the listed servers is disabled for the time being, as are server transfers to the affected servers. In addition, the total amount of gil which can be brought across servers has been upped significantly to 10 million gil on a character and up to 5 million gil per retainer. The EU data center will also be adding additional servers after the expansion launch, with special incentives to encourage transfer and leveling on the new servers. Plans are in motion to also facilitate transfers with plots of land so that moving servers need not mean relinquishing your house.

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Listen to Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood’s new opening theme

A new Final Fantasy XIV expansion means a new theme song for the game, and while we’ve had the new theme teased before, you can finally listen to the whole thing just below. As with the previous two themes, the song “Revolutions” was written by Nobuo Uematsu and sung by Susan Calloway; unlike the previous songs, however, this is not a mournful dirge or a lament. No, this is a call to action, to stand up and fight for liberation against a powerful enemy.

Of course, the accompanying video does include some scenes that one might construe as spoilers; if you want to avoid any visual hints of the expansion, you should probably put it on play and then switch to another tab. (The song itself has vague hints about the story, but don’t they all?) Stormblood releases for the PC and PlayStation 4 on June 20th, for those who have forgotten.

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Final Fantasy XI will let you pick your own trust companion for the anniversary

If you’re worried about the future of Final Fantasy XI being available, you can rest assured that the 15th anniversary letter by producer Akihiko Matsui is quite confident in it. Matsui mentions that the team is small enough that no new major content can be rolled out, but the team did add Omen and Ambuscade to the game while rolling out monthly update. And players can celebrate 15 years of the game even further beyond the anniversary events with the upcoming “One I Can Trust” campaign, allowing you to create your own Trust NPC for the next year.

Players simply need to name an in-game NPC who currently lacks an alter ego and what effects said alter ego should provide; this can differ from player to player. Once you’ve specified your preferred companion, you’ll have a year to adventure with your companion at your side, so pick someone you want around for a while. That’s in addition to the many, many other events, including discounts, the Return to Vana’diel campaign, anniversary quiz rewards, and… well, everything you could ask for as a fan of the game, whether you’ve been playing for 15 years or just a few months.

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Erectus stiffens up its competition with the launch of its endgame

While everyone would like to be the great shaft at the heart of progress in Erectus the Game, the stiff backbone around which all other play revolves, only one person can truly be the Erectus King. This is the endgame, and it’s just been thrust into the spotlight with the game’s most recent update, when the Erectus King NPC begins his ritual and surrounds the land with erupting volcanoes. This phase of the endgame takes two weeks, and players must wrestle the king down before his explosive ritual can reach its climax.

Assuming the king is defeated, players will then have to hold and control the king for a time while other players try to get their own hands on the surging lord. Success, of course, means that a new king has risen, so players will have to work hard to achieve a satisfying conclusion. Remember, it doesn’t matter how strong your empire is if you can’t successfully maintain a bid for the Erectus King.

Source: Maata Games press release

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Overwatch League allegedly has a $20 million price tag to enter

Remember how Blizzard started to focus MLG in on Overwatch as an e-sports venue at the same time well-known teams started fleeing the scene? What was all that about? It seems it might be as simple as money; according to teams looking to take part in Blizzard’s heavily hyped Overwatch League, teams need to buy in to the tune of $20 million. That’s without any promises of profit sharing until 2021 and with no real certainty about the long-term. In other words, it’s just not a good investment for the teams.

Blizzard’s official response is that certain parties may be spreading misinformation about the fees and contract terms to aid in negotiatons, and the studio remains committed to supporting the game as an e-sports platform. Of course, it’s going to prove rather impossible to make any headway in that field if no one actually wants to get in on the competitive scene in the first place, so we’ll see if those professional teams were a blip on the radar or bespoke a larger trend.

Source: ESPN, Kotaku

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Runescape Idle Adventures is shutting down on May 15

Remember Runescape: Idle Adventures? Probably not, which is probably a good part of the reason why the game is rather quietly shuttering its doors on May 15th. The farewell letter to the community explains that while the community for the game was solid, people weren’t sticking around to justify the cost of developing new content, which meant the title fell into that perilous trap where there’s no new content, so people leave, so there’s no reason to develop more, etc.

The spinoff launched into early access back in September of last year with microtransactions and a free-to-play business model. Multiplatform development was planned but never materialized. Our apologies to the players who are losing a game they enjoyed and the developers forced to pull the curtains on the project.

Source: Steam board

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Square-Enix financials show steady incoming but slow sales on online gaming

If you’re worried about the overall health of Square-Enix, a glance at the company’s most recent financials should assuage any concerns, since the past financial year was quite good for the company. That’s with an extraordinary loss in the company’s yearly evaluation, even. But if you’re worried about the company’s health when it comes just to online games, that’s… also just fine, according to the same report. It’s not as good as it could be, but it’s fine.

The report states that ongoing revenue from the company’s online titles (Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XIV, and Dragon Quest X in Japan) was steady and reliable, although actual sales and operating income were lower due to the lack of an expansion disk during the year. Considering that the point of comparison was the previous financial year and the release of Heavensward, this would fall under the “unsurprising” header. With Stormblood on the way later this year, it’s good for fans to see that the company continues to post solid results for its various online offerings.

Source: PR Newswire

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