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MOBAs dominate Raptr’s January rankings as WoW playtime falls

According to a Raptr press release posted today, MOBA League of Legends dominated the service’s January rankings with just under 20% of total playtime share. World of Warcraft held onto second place with not quite 11% of total playtime share, but it “lost 5.28% of play time in January compared to December.”

DOTA 2, SMITE, and Hearthstone scored well; Diablo III, in particular, saw its playtime rise 77.27% percent month-over-month, likely a result of the 2.12 patch.

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Black Desert makes $2M in cash shop sales in one week

Wait, what did that headline say? Did Black Desert really make a cool two million in just a week?

Apparently so! According to FreeMMOStation.com, the Korean fantasy title made 2.3 billion KWN ($2 million) in its first week of open beta in the country. Those sales were powered by Black Desert’s impressive 1.5 million registered users.

Now the question is, when Black Desert comes to the west in 2016, will future sales make this look like pocket change?

[Source: FreeMMOStation.com via Reddit]

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World of Warcraft’s graphics to improve in Patch 6.1

While many of you World of Warcraft players will be squeeing over your new Twitter integration and making the world a much more dangerous place to exist by driving recklessly when Patch 6.1 arrives, some will also take a moment to appreciate new and returning video options that will make this 10-year-old title sparkle.

A new dev diary posted yesterday talks about some of these additional graphics options, including the return of a couple of types of anti-aliasing. Even better, the team is adding something called “per-pixel deferred point lights” that will allow illumination sources such as campfires and torches to throw off more realistic lighting.

These and more graphic options are currently available on the test realm.

[Source: Engineer’s Workshop]

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The Repopulation offers $20 early access

Getting into The Repopulation’s early access program is now cheaper than ever, as Above and Beyond has announced a new silver membership tier for only $20. Previously, getting into the alpha cost $50 for a gold membership.

Those who buy a silver membership will not only get into the currently running early access program but be treated to a repop token and the ability to reserve a name. Interested parties can purchase this on both the official site and through Steam.

The team is also testing the new 15.1.1 build and is seeking out QA testers to help with the process. Finally, Josh Halls will be present at at a panel at PAX East later this spring.

[Source: Official site, patch notes. Thanks to Crow for the tip!]

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DC Universe Online launches Amazon’s Fury part II

Are you ready to go head-to-three-heads with Cerberus, guard dog of the Underworld? Because that’s what you’ll be doing when you pop into the newest DLC pack for DC Universe Online, Amazon’s Fury part II. You’ll also wind up facing off against Ares and Hades and picking up new Amazon-themed equipment to make yourself look the part, assuming that you don’t find beating the snot out of a dog with three heads to be its own reward.

In terms of content, the new DLC includes new solo content with two instances, two new four-person bits of content, and three new eight-person raids including an Elite version of one raid. You can also pick up new base items and select Hades’ Palace as a character selection background. Check out the official launch trailer just past the cut, and then get in there as furiously as possible. It’s not called Amazon’s Mild Irritation, after all.

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What do you think about WildStar’s capital cities?

What do you think about WildStar’s two capital cities? Do you love or hate them? What do you think could be improved in them? These are the burning questions that Carbine Studios is asking of its playerbase this week.

In a forum post this week, the dev team solicits feedback on the cities, their layouts, and their services. The team is even open to removing unwanted portions and adding new elements to make it an ultimate destination: “In our eyes, a capital city should be a central hub for player gathering and trade. It should be Grand Central Station to send you wherever you’re bound. It should help lead you to the content you’re interested in.”

In the recent Protogames Initiative patch, WildStar overhauled its city touring tutorial for low-level players. Players can leave feedback for cities on the forum thread.

[Source: WildStar forums]

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HEX throws free Valentine’s Day tournament

Whether or not you have plans for this Valentine’s Day weekend, HEX would like you to consider its arena test server as the most romantic locale between two lovers and a whole lot of enemies.

The beta title announced yesterday that it’s bringing back the arena starting today and continuing through Saturday evening. As a bonus, the team is throwing a free tournament on Saturday with booster pack prizes that can be carried over to the live game. All players will get a free entry ticket, although to participate a player must have an account that was created on or before February 1st.

[Source: Arena test server]

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Defiance opens up Hellbug Season for Valentine’s Day

The last set of patch notes for Defiance noted that an event was right around the corner, but the details on that event were not specified. Obviously it would be related to Valentine’s Day, but what would it involve? It turns out that’s a silly question: It involves love. Hellbug love. The love of horrible, enormous, devouring arthropods that require high-powered firearms to be dealt with. It’s Hellbug Season.

While this might not sound like an ideal time to take the object of your affection out for a date, it really depends on what you want to do during that date. The event runs until February 22nd and allows players to grab the new Heartbreaker weapons or mods, which provide bonuses when armor or shields break. There are also three new titles and a new costume piece available via completing arkfalls. If you find shooting a whole lot of stuff to be a romantic outing and can’t get enough of horrifying nightmare bugs, this is the Valentine’s event for you!

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Nexon pressures NCsoft as largest shareholder

While Nexon and NCsoft may be competing developers in the MMO space, business has made strange and hostile bedfellows of both.

After purchasing enough shares to become NCsoft’s largest shareholder last year at 15.1%, Nexon is attempting to put pressure on its rival to conform to certain demands. However, tensions are running high as NCsoft is pushing back against those proposals.

Last week, Nexon issued a proposal to NCsoft with an unspecified deadline to allow Nexon to appoint a board member, sell certain non-core assets, disclose wages for unregistered board members, and adopt an electronic voting system for shareholders, among other demands. NCsoft responded to the proposal although the specifics of the response were not revealed.

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Ever, Jane’s lead developer is building a most unusual MMO

Have you heard about Ever, Jane and thought to yourself, “Who would make this kind of MMO?” Well, now you can meet the creator herself, Judy Tyrer, as she participates in an hour-long interview with Obsolete Gamer.

Tyrer confesses to being a lifelong gamer who built up experience at companies such as Sony Online Entertainment before embarking on her Jane Austen-themed game. In the interview she discusses how she cut her teeth on the old PLATO network terminals, how she rejects being a “statistic” as a female developer, and how she lives as not only a gamer but a gamer parent.

Ever, Jane is currently on its 1.5.1 release and is planning on a 2016 launch.

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Take a peek at Skyforge character creation and a zone panorama

What sort of character are you going to make in Skyforge? A new user video shows off the character creator and classes from the most recent Russian test event, walking viewers through the various creation options in some detail. The video is embedded just past the break, and there are plenty of sliders, idle pose options, and the like to customize your character’s look. There’s even an option to wear a silver minidress into battle if that’s really your speed.

You can also take a look at how stats and abilities will work in the game, but that’s the sort of character customization that comes in after you’re already in the game.

Maybe you’re the sort who would rather wait and see the game with your own eyes instead of the test version, though? We can’t give you that just yet, but you can take a little tour of Alakur Island with a new scrolling panorama on the official site. It’s not as good as being to explore the zone on your own two feet, but it shows off the environmental design and the visual flow of the area.

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Atari announces Asteroids: Outpost MMO

This has already been such a weird day for MMOs, so why not this? Atari announced that it’s reviving one of its most famous classic franchises, Asteroids, as a massively multiplayer title developed by Salty Studios.

The new game is Asteroids: Outpost, and according to the official site it’s “an open-world sandbox survival game.” However, instead of building up wooden forts to hold against zombies and creepers, players will be constructing high-tech fortresses on giant space rocks in the solar system.

Players will work with and against each other to explore asteroids, mine precious ores, shoot down incoming rocks, and build bases. Asteroids was originally an arcade game created in 1979 that put players in the role of a spaceship shooting endless waves of the titular entities.

[Source: Atari announcement]

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