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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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Massively OP Podcast Episode 117: Starfall no more

Kind of a weird and fascinating week for MMOs, as an expansion has a legal showdown with a charity, a western MMO is announced, and Vvardenfell decided to come to us two weeks early. Is the industry shaping up for the most explosive June on record? It might just be!

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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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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The MOP Up: Life is Feudal’s building sim (May 14, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from MapleStoryHeroes of the StormIngressWurm OnlineDCUOHellionLife is FeudalSkyforgeOverwatchH1Z1Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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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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Diablo III’s Necromancer beta is back from the dead

The Necromancer beta for Diablo III was around for a short time, then swiftly died off and went quiet as Blizzard tinkered with various aspects of the class behind the scenes. The good news is that it’s back again with the results of that tinkering on full display, although the bad news is that you can take part in the beta only if you’re invited. Reanimating the fallen is a special art and not everyone is prepared for it, you see.

Those of you who were already bored by testing the class will be happy to know that the latest beta build has redesigned and altered several Necromancer skills along with introducing Legendary items for the class. There are also set bonuses to play around with, various bug fixes, and of course the simple joy of summoning skeletons to do your dirty work. Let’s see if the beta lasts a wee bit longer this time around.

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Dauntless introduces players to the cramped, cold, unhospitable home base of Ramsgate

Ramsgate is not the sort of city you would choose as a vacation destination. It’s cramped. It’s built in a terrible spot. It’s right on the boundary of territory filled with enormous monsters who want to stomp you into paste. But for the player characters of Dauntless, that’s exactly what makes it home. It’s a place to rest up, restock, and get ready before heading out to kill some more titanic monsters because it’s located right on the boundary of their domain and it stands as a metaphorical slap in the face to the creatures.

Also, it has dye vendors.

Obviously, players will need to be familiar with the city’s armorsmith, weaponmaster, and aethersmith. They’ll also want to visit the Stormchasers, the Crimson Blades, and the Orrery, the three factions that have set up bases within the city while jockeying for allegiance from the various monster slayers. It might not be a luxury resort, but it’s exactly the sort of city you need if you want to hunt big monsters in Dauntless… and seeing as how that’s what the actual game is all about, your options are fairly limited.

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Grand Theft Auto Online doubles the rewards for Heists

There’s a lot of stuff you can do in Grand Theft Auto Online, a lot of sources of money that don’t actually intersect with crime too closely. Sometimes you’ll earn money without actually shooting or running over anyone. But it’s important to occasionally get back to basics, and the latest in-game event is about doing just that. It’s all about getting back to basics and, well, robbing places. Pulling off big heists and stealing things. Isn’t that the heart of the matter?

All Heists will award double the money and RP until May 16th, giving ample reason to go out into the world and pull a few off. There are also special vehicle races available during the week if you need a break from the usual heist antics, but again, the point here should be the heists. Go on in and steal some stuff. No one will thank you, but it will be a classic moment.

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