Black Desert adds sailboat quest, drop rate tweaks, and way more polar bears

Pull out your ancient “I’m on a boat” and “you are a pirate” memes because Black Desert is about to give you reason to venture out on the high seas, questing for a sailboat in prep for the January 28th arrival of big baddie Vell.

“The scribes expect Vell ‘The Heart of the Sea’ to arrive very soon in Magorian waters. To prepare for this event, Adventurers are called to prepare themselves and do the quests required to rent an Old Bartali Sailboat. This fine vessel will not hold forever but is more than capable to engage this new upcoming threat.”

Have I mentioned that BDO patch notes are my favorite? Here’s why: “An increase in the polar bear population is expected after some cubs have been spotted hiding in boxes” and “the chance of gaining Knowledge when defeating Grass Hedgehogs have been increased.”

Also of note in this week’s minipatch is a change to drop rates, which grants those with high ecology knowledge better loot drop rates.

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Sea of Thieves breaks down its skelly AI

How do you make a skeleton move, think, and attack?

Maybe you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about such things, but rest assured, the team at Rare definitely does. This isn’t just morbid speculation on their part; Sea of Thieves is riddled with bony undead pirates, and the team wants to make sure that they look and act in interesting and crafty ways.

The skeletons have been in the game for almost a year now, and the developers have been tweaking and improving them ever since. One addition to the skeleton AI is different kinds of perception, so that they can hear you and investigate their surroundings. If a skeleton is hurt from afar, they will start a search to see who might be trying to snipe them.

Check out all of the things that skellys can do after the break!

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‘X’ marks Sea of Thieves’ closed beta on January 24

A bottle just washed up on the shore of Massively OP’s treasure island, and tucked inside of it was a note that informed us that the closed beta for Sea of Thieves was scheduled to run in just a couple of weeks.

From January 24th through the 29th, testers will be able to check out some — but not all — of what the game offers. This beta is available only for those who joined Rare’s Insider Program before December 1st or have pre-ordered the game. It will run on both Xbox One and PC. There is no NDA planned for the event, so streaming and screenshots are fair game.

“We’ve crafted a bespoke experience for closed beta players that offers a true taste of the pirate life and a great chance to get your sea legs ahead of our full release on March 20th,” Rare said.


EVE Online improves forward operating bases with today’s patch

The pirate factions of EVE Online have always been a threat. We’re not talking about player pirates, mind you; we’re talking about the NPC pirates that have their forward operating bases scattered throughout space. Fortunately for players, these bases have become both more numerous and easier to discover with the launch of the January patch today, meaning that it’s easier to see the bases and take them on as you go about your business in the game.

You are, of course, at risk of being attacked by player pirates while you’re fighting NPC pirates. It’s that sort of game.

The patch also improves the mechanics of the game’s ammo reloading systems and offers a better UI element for the Agency, both of which should make the game a little easier to just play. Combine that with a number of visual improvements to existing structures, and players will have plenty to enjoy throughout space as they hunt for more pirate bases. Or try to avoid all sorts of pirates, that’s also possible.

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Sea of Thieves’ official controller is pure pirate gold

Excited about Sea of Thieves coming to Xbox One and PC this March? Excited enough that you’re already putting together your pirate cosplay outfit for launch day and have a nearby kiddie pool filled with water to make any loved ones “walk the plank?” Well now you can fully accessorize with the pre-order of the official Sea of Thieves Xbox controller.

The controller will become available on February 15th and can be purchased for £64.99 or about $85. Sure, it’s pricey, but it does have a really neat glow-in-the-dark design (we particularly like the compass-style analog stick and the single gold “tooth” trigger) and is wireless. It can be used for both console and Windows 10 PCs.

Sure, it’s a bit of hardware fluff, but the existence of an official Sea of Thieves controller is yet another sign of how seriously Microsoft is taking the launch of this game by throwing its weight behind it. Smooth sailing ahead!

Source: Microsoft via Eurogamer


EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s case for asymmetric and asynchronous gameplay

If there’s one thing that EVE Online does better than any other MMO on the market today, it’s persistent gameplay on massive scales. The now-famous Bloodbath of B-R5RB in 2014 involved 7,548 players over the course of almost 24 hours, and the Siege of M-OEE8 at the end of 2016 peaked at 5,300 separate players all piled into the same star system at the same time. Hundreds of thousands of players live and fight in the same single-shard universe, and EVE‘s largest corporations have more members than the total population on some other MMOs’ shards.

But what about the smaller end of the scale? MMOs aren’t just populated by monolithic organisations bent on galactic domination, and a growing proportion of today’s gamers play online games solo or in smaller groups. Features such as Upwell structures and the new PvE gameplay have clearly been designed with a wide range of gameplay scales in mind, but EVE has never really got past the problem that bigger groups are almost always better. Could the solution to this problem be found in small-scale asymmetric and asynchronous warfare opportunities?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at why EVE‘s massive scale makes it so compelling, the problem that massive scale introduces, and the case for more asymmetric and asynchronous warfare.

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EVE Evolved: 2017 EVE Online year in review

We’ve reached the end of another year, and it’s certainly been a busy one for EVE Online. This year saw heavy gameplay iteration, with improvements to everything from the UI to ship balance, and the Lifeblood expansion’s total moon mining overhaul. PvE-focused players got a new AI-driven Resource Wars activity in high-security space, and an experimental user interface named The Agency has helped tie seasonal in-game events together. New refinery structures caused a bit of a land grab on moons and gave alliances more to fight over, and CCP Games lifted some of the free to play alpha clone restrictions to help bring in new players.

It’s the players that make EVE Online special, of course, and this year had no shortage of crazy political shenanigans. We followed The Imperium’s war for revenge in the north of EVE that eventually fizzled out, watched as The Judge betrayed his alliance and stole the largest sum of ISK in the game’s history, and sat aghast as the leader of that alliance was banned for threatening to cut off the thief’s hands in real life. CCP Games itself hasn’t exactly made it through the year unscathed, with the company unexpectedly pulling out of the VR market and laying off around 100 staff worldwide.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look back at the past year of EVE Online news and summarise the highlights.

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Perfect Ten: 20 multiplayer games to watch in 2018

A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.

There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!

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The ultimate guide to The Game Archaeologist’s MMO archives

When we moved over here to Massively Overpowered, some of us transplanted our long-running columns to the new space. I perhaps felt most devastated that I was going to lose all of the Game Archaeologist articles that I had painstakingly researched over the years. So my mission with this space became two-fold: to rescue and update my older columns while continuing to add more articles to this series on classic MMOs and proto-MMOs.

I’ve been pleased with the results so far because TGA is a series that I really don’t want to see vanish. As MMORPG fans, we should consider it important to remember and learn about these older titles and to expand our knowledge past the more popular and well-known games of yesteryear.

Now that we have quite a catalogue of Game Archaeologist columns, I thought it would be helpful to end the year by gifting this handy guide to you that organizes and compiles our continuing look at the history of the genre. Enjoy!

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Sea of Thieves is getting a comic book treatment

Every pirate needs some good reading material for those long ocean voyages, assuming that they can read. And now, for the literate and illiterate alike, a Sea of Thieves comic book series is coming for the discriminating adventurers.

The comic series is being written by Jeremy Whitley and drawn by Rhoald Marcellius and will arrive in stores and online during the game’s launch month of March 2018. It shouldn’t be confused with the game’s official art book, which is being handled by Dark Horse Comics.

Titan Comics says that the comic will be appropriate for all ages: “In Titan Comics’ brand-new series, follow two competing crews of pirates, bound by a shared past and a single destiny, as they sail the Sea of Thieves in a race to track down an ancient treasure. Along the way they’ll deal with undead hordes, devious traps and their own bitter rivalries, but which crew will emerge victorious and ultimately claim the legendary loot?”

Source: Gamespot


EVE Evolved: Calling time on EVE Online’s five-year vision

When Andie “CCP Seagull” Nordgren walked onto the stage at EVE Fanfest 2013 and delivered her long-term vision for the future of EVE Online, the excitement in the room was palpable. EVE was riding its highest peak concurrent player numbers in the game’s history following the overhauls of the Crucible, Inferno, and Retribution expansions, and players were ready for a new blockbuster feature to fire their imaginations. CCP delivered its ambitious five year vision to hand the reins of EVE‘s living universe over to its players, with player-built stargates and deep space exploration in completely uncharted star systems.

We’re now about four months away from the five-year mark on that vision, and many parts of it have now been completed, but no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy. We’ve seen some big feature drops such as the release of citadels, the industry overhaul, and the recent moon mining overhaul, but that deep space colonisation gameplay still seems far off. Some players feel as if EVE is currently in a holding pattern, with everyone waiting for the next big feature or overhauls to their favourite part of the game before deciding what to do next. So what does come next?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down the progress toward Nordgren’s 5 year vision so far and talk about the possible next steps I think CCP could take to make it a reality.

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Sea of Thieves announces March launch date for PC and Xbox One

Well this is a bit of welcome news before the year rounds out! Rare finally announced a launch date for Sea of Thieves: March 20th, 2018. That’s for both PC and Xbox One.

The announcement came in the form of a new trailer that gives a quick overview of the general gameplay and quirkiness that comes with this pirate title. We are especially excited about the quick bit where they showed a rapid succession of cosmetic outfits — because a buccaneer has to look fashionable, after all!

Pre-orders will get into a January five-day closed beta and secure a Black Dog pack for the live game. Get pumped up with the launch trailer below (and say hello to the chicken when you do so)!

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Blade & Soul’s Dawn of the Lost Continent launches today (and it has a flying pirate ship)

Blade & Soul’s biggest update ever is live today – or will be this afternoon once the servers are back from maintenance tonight!

As we’ve previously profiled, Dawn of the Lost Continent lifts the level cap to 55, adds new ultimate skills, and launches the eighth act of the game’ storyline, which literally involves a giant flying pirate ship. There are new zones, two new heroic dungeons, and a 12-man raid to boot. There’s even something for soloers:

“Become the King of the Outlaws on Outlaw Island! Poharan, the gun-toting maniac and Vice Admiral of the Blackram, has an even more maniacal gun-toting sister, Yeohoran! And she’s the resident Force of Nature on Outlaw Island. The heroic solo dungeon will pit players in the Blackram Battle Royale to challenge the pirate queen herself in a deadly duel.”

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