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Ubisoft buys The Crew’s developer

Are you at all worried about Ubisoft’s future support of The Crew, beyond the expansion scheduled for a mid-November release? Is that concern at all changed by the fact that Ubisoft has opted to buy Ivory Tower, the studio behind The Crew‘s development? A new post on the publisher’s official blog discusses the acquisition of the studio, noting that it comes after several years of collaboration on projects.

The move brings the 100-member studio under the Ubisoft umbrella. The Crew is also stated to have 3 million players in the announcement, although its’ not clear whether that’s counting “active accounts” or simply “copies sold.”

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 32: WildStumble

WildStar’s free-to-play launch began this past week, and Justin and Bree are in the thick of this wild and woolly mess. On today’s show, they talk about what could’ve been done differently, the upcoming demise of an MMO that nobody played, and a controversial SWTOR feature that’s coming with the expansion.

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.

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Neverwinter explains what the deal is with the Underdark

The next Neverwinter expansion is sending players to the Underdark. All the way to the Underdark! Which is great if you know what the Underdark is and significantly less great if you’re mostly of the mind that it sounds vaguely like a metal band name. Not to worry, though; the official site has you covered with an explanation of just what the Underdark actually is, something that players might not have realized even with earlier adventures exploring bits of it.

Put simply, the Underdark is the labyrinth of caverns, tunnels, and underground lakes that stretch under the whole of Faerun. It’s home to countless creatures, magical and otherwise, and offers few protections for regular surface dwellers while also promising great power for those who can navigate its depths. Check out the full article for more details on this home of Drow and Illithid alike, the great underground wilderness.

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Crowfall details Zaleena, Daughter of Snakes

Serpent deities are always bad news when they show up. Actual snakes aren’t malicious at all, but snake deities? They’re mean. Crowfall‘s Zaleena, Daughter of Snakes is not outright cruel, but she’s still probably not someone you want to meet in a darkened alley at night. If you wander around darkened alleys where lots of gods and goddesses show up normally. This metaphor is kind of a mess.

Zaleena is a trickster and a charmer, a sorcerous deity with a poisoned kiss and a lying tongue. As you might expect from the nature of things, she’s known for being petty and vindictive with those who refuse her, while lavishing gifts and favor on those who follow her. See more details and a bit of concept art in the official lore entry.

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Trove patches in an invasion of ladybugs

If you want to play Trove today, you’re going to have to wait until 1 p.m. EDT. Why the wait? Because the game’s latest patch is on its way, and it brings with it ladybugs. Lots of ladybugs. An entire invasion of ladybugs. Seriously, this is far too many ladybugs for any game to handle, and you’re going to need to deal with it. In this case, “deal with it” is naturally synonymous with “kill lots of ladybugs.”

Smashing your way through ladybugs will reward you with new helms and special ladybug wings, so you can understand the heart of a ladybug after your extensive battles with the insects. A new costume pack and several quality-of-life improvements round out the patch; you can check out the patch notes for all of the details.

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Webzen announces beta testing for ELOA

So what the heck is ELOA: Elite Lord of Alliance? Seriously, that’s one heck of a title. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, either. But the word soup of the title doesn’t have much bearing on the game itself, which is a free-to-play hack-and-slash MMORPG entering beta testing on Tuesday, October 13th for North America.

ELOA features five classes and four races, with each of the classes having three different stances; much of the gameplay revolves around swapping your stances in combat to make the most of the situation. You can get a sense for the game’s mechanics in the trailer just below and sign up for the beta on the game’s official site.

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Blade & Soul dedicates a week to the Summoner

Would you consider a cat to be a faithful battle companion? If not, you probably haven’t played a Summoner in Blade & Soul, the class in the spotlight this week. Summoners are the sole pet class in the game, and they summon a magically enhanced feline to aid them in battle. The Familiar engages in melee combat, while the Summoner hangs back and makes use of powerful control effects.

Summoners offer several opportunities for enterprising players. Skilled Summoners can use their pets to effectively solo challenging encounters, while in parties Summoners can make use of group healing and the aforementioned control effects. In PvP, the class has to make use of more defensive skills, forcing opponents to choose between focusing on the Familiar or the Summoner. Check out the video just below to see some footage of the class in action.

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Not So Massively: Cloud Imperium threatens a lawsuit (October 5, 2015)

Online gaming and e-sports are getting bigger by the day, and there are literally hundreds of popular online games out there that don’t really fit into the MMO category. Join me each week for Not So Massively, where I gather together the top stories from the biggest MOBAs, competitive card games, first person shooters, and other popular online games in one place.

The big story this week is that the ongoing drama surrounding Star Citizen has now reached boiling point as Cloud Imperium Games is now threatening to sue The Escapist Magazine unless its demands are met. Dota 2 players are up in arms over details of the new Fall digital compendium, and player activity has dropped by 16%. We also have some awesome new characters from SMITE and Heroes of the Storm, a hacking rumour from Splatoon, a $70,000 prize pool for mobile MOBA Vainglory, and Jagex’s Block N Load is now free-to-play!

If there’s a game or story you’d like to see covered in next week’s Not So Massively, please drop us a tip and let us know.

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Valiance Online moving into alpha development

On September 25th, the Valiance Online developers announced that the game was soon moving into its alpha testing phase with non-combat power use, crafting, more character customization… lots of stuff. Lo and behold, the alpha testing has begun! Unfortunately for would-be players, the testing is currently all internal, but players will be updated as there’s more information and should be able to start testing on Steam before too much longer.

Valiance Online is one of the several fan attempts at a City of Heroes revival following that game’s shutdown, in case you had forgotten. It aims to replicate many of the features of the original along with player alignment and player-run stories.

Source: Official Facebook; thanks to Robert for the tip!

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Star Wars: The Old Republic outlines changes to the core worlds

Given the fact that Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s upcoming expansion is very much focused around stories, it’d be a bit odd if all of the old missions went away entirely. At the same time, the path through planets was pretty bloated and not always very story-focused. A new development diary outlines the changes coming to the core worlds and the renewed emphasis on story progression, making the most critical storyline missions the focal point for players moving through planets and class stories.

Critical missions – the thrust of the main story and each individual planet’s story – will be marked with different icons and will be the only missions shown by default. If you want to explore a planet in more depth, you can opt to see the Exploratory missions offered on every planet, with the planetary level sync ensuring that you never wind up too far above the planet’s power level. Heroic missions are also being restructured to two-person affairs available via a weekly console; check out the full diary for details.

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Check out preview videos for the next Lord of the Rings Online update

Minas Tirith is a big deal in Lord of the Rings Online; everything bringing player characters closer to Mordor is important, and Minas Tirith is a milestone. The game’s next update will add in the region of Old Anorien, bringing with it Minas Tirith, Pelennor Fields, and Talath Anor. You could jump into the game’s test server and start exploring the regions there… or you could watch many, many preview videos below to get a sense of the area without a test client. Your choice.

The videos in question cover all of the major regions with an exploration as well as the battle for Minas Tirith, so players who can’t wait to explore these regions can enjoy the ambiance. It’s the next best thing to being there.

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Neverwinter shows off the iconic Forgotten Realms characters added to the game with the Underdark

Are you looking forward to meeting some of the iconic cast members of Neverwinter‘s lore with the game’s upcoming Underdark expansion? Do you have no idea who the iconic cast members are but still want to know what their deals are before you start playing? The latest development update for the game covers both groups quite elegantly.

If you’re part of the latter group, the update in question gives you a bird’s-eye view of the character’s backstory, while members of the former group can get an idea of what these characters are up to as players start exploring the eponymous Underdark. The update covers Drizzt Do’urden, his dwarven companions Bruenor and Regis, and the presumed-dead Thibbledorf Pwent.

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Records indicate that Rhode Island’s deal with 38 Studios was meant to be secret

The 38 Studios story has been a mess since it was first announced, right up to the studio’s collapse. It turns out that the first announcement wasn’t meant to happen, though; according to documents that have been released, the meetings between Curt Schilling and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation were originally meant to be completely secret. Public revelation came only after it became clear that the Providence Journal had uncovered the meetings and was planning to run a story on same.

While Schilling and the EDC were transparent about the deal after it had been revealed, the fact remains that it was apparently meant to remain behind closed doors, possibly until the deal had already happened. It adds a certain degree of shadiness to the proceedings, not that the state of affairs needs much help to not look good.

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