pirates

Sea of Thieves trailer dares you to ‘be more pirate’

All other studios, it’s time to pack it in: Sea of Thieves has won the Trailer Olympics, at least for 2017.

In Rare’s newest video, the team crams a shipload of awesome into a minute-and-a-half as it challenges gamers to “be more pirate.” While the trailer doesn’t reveal anything new, it does a great job showing off the various activities and demonstrating the overall tone of the game, bouncing from crew teamwork to swimming with sharks to, er, “banana crunching.” Also, a buccaneer throws up on the camera lens. Give that team an award!

OK, it might not be Oscar bait, but this continues to get us completely hyped for Sea of Thieves’ launch in spring 2018. Anyone want to join the crew of the S.S. Mighty MOP?

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Sea of Thieves boards small boats and finds them seaworthy for soloers and duoers

While Sea of Thieves’ standard pirate vessels require a crew of four, Rare acknowledged that some players were going to ask for boats that could be manned by one or two for that solo or duo experience.

Enter the “efficient” and “vulnerable” small ship.

“When we were making the small ship, we wanted to make it feel significantly different to the large ship,” said Senior Designer Andrew Preston. “We started to looking at how many degrees the ship rotates. It only rotates 360 degrees rather than 720 degrees like the large ship […] It can turn on much sharper angles so it can be more nimble.”

Get to know the small ship in the latest developer video below!

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EVE Evolved: The Agency could revolutionise casual PvE in EVE Online

Though EVE Online has a reputation as a cut-throat PvP sandbox where anything goes, the fuel that fires its conflict engine has always been PvE. Players collectively pump over 100 trillion ISK into the EVE economy each month by hunting NPCs all across the game, and at the same time they mine around 40 trillion ISK’s worth of ore for ship and module production. Over 90% of NPC bounties predictably come from people farming in the player-owned nullsec regions where some of the largest PvE rewards can be found, but data released earlier this year showed that 7.2% of bounties actually come from high-security space.

It’s unsurprising, then, that CCP chose high-security space as the test-bed for an entirely new casual PvE format with the release of Resource Wars in the recent Lifeblood expansion. The expansion also saw the return of the Crimson Harvest event and the release of a new tool named The Agency that helps players find nearby PvE content. I’ve been getting stuck into all three of these this week and seeing how it all ties together, and I’m now more convinced than ever that we could be heading for a full-scale PvE revolution.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I discuss Resource Wars as a new model for PvE and consider how The Agency could be expanded to help promote casual pick-up PvE groups in EVE.

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Sea of Thieves technical alpha update: small ships, brigs, and text chat

There’s never enough grog when you’re trying to wrap your head around the fast-changing events of the world. Fortunately, Sea of Thieves has a plan to keep you up-to-date with everything going on with the technical alpha: messenger mermaids. Barring that, there’s a new dev video, but it’s not nearly as alluring.

The team discusses some of the big changes that it’s made to the test now that “thousands and thousands” of players have put the game through its paces. The major additions to the technical alpha as of late include the addition of voice chat (“for pirates with mouths full of jewels”), brigs for misbehaving crew members, the ability to scuttle your ship, and smaller ships for a reduced crew.

Check out the content update after the break!

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Sea of Thieves’ crew meets for a raucous parley

For the most part, Sea of Thieves has delivered a stream of short, bite-sized videos to show off various aspects of the pirate game as it is developed. However, every so often, many members of the team gather for a (goofy) hour-long podcast for fans who are seeking more in-depth discussion.

In this week’s Tales from the Tavern Podcast, the team discusses the panel at NYCC, something about pigs, how the game is handling non-verbal combat encounters, and more. Check it out after the break!

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EVE Online launches Lifeblood expansion, now with a new and improved PvE activity hub

Time to update your space spreadsheet because EVE Online is coming at you with a brand-new expansion today. Lifeblood has launched, bringing with it new upwell refineries, massive moon mining, co-op resource war sessions, pirate bases encroaching on empire space, the ability to wager on duels, a new design for CONCORD battleships, and the mining ledger for individuals and corporations.

And while EVE Online’s new and improved Agency user interface might not look like a revolution, it could prove to be an invaluable resource to the bewildered pilot who is lost in the game and is looking for some solid PvE content. The UI hooks up players with all sorts of PvE activities that can be filtered by time, location, and type.

Great ready for Lifeblood with a video tour below and a re-read of Brendan’s column covering the expansion!

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Sea of Thieves offers up its full NYCC panel on multiplayer, holds players to ‘Pirate’s Code’

This month, Sea of Thieves has been beating pretty hard on the drum of “our multiplayer is going to be better than most other multiplayer experiences” from the deck of its pirate ship. The crux of this argument came at Rare’s panel during New York Comic Con, during which the team spent an hour trying to explain some of the tools and design features that it is using to encourage cooperative play and good sportsmanship.

This panel, by the way, included a seven-article “Pirate’s Code” that the team is using as a code of conduct for all players to agree and abide.

If you need to hear it for yourself, the team finally released the full, uncut panel video for its fans and any others who might need to be convinced as to the veracity of these claims. For those who lack an hour to watch the full panel, there’s thankfully a list of written highlights courtesy of Rare Thief.

Next up for Sea of Thieves is a trip to PAX Australia, where visitors can get their hands on a demo of the Xbox One version of the game.

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s free-to-play upgrades are pretty damn generous

You’ve probably heard by now that EVE Online is giving its free-to-play alpha clone characters a massive boost in power in December about a month after the launch of the Lifeblood expansion. The news has been spreading through the gaming media since it was announced last week at EVE Vegas 2017 and the reception online has been generally positive. Some existing players are worried that the change might even be too generous, with fears that veteran players may let their subscriptions lapse and play for free, or that the new skills might be abused to create an endless army of ganking alts.

There’s no doubt that the changes will help to close the power gap between subscribers and free players and will open up new avenues of gameplay. Free players will finally be able to fly tech 1 battlecruisers and even battleships, and cross-training for multiple races will unlock multi-faction ships such as the Sisters of EVE exploration ships. Alpha clone players will also finally be able to use tech 2 weapons and fly many of the ship setups flown in massive nullsec wars, though the way that the new skill limit is being implemented may actually benefit old and returning players more than new ones.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into the free-to-play changes, briefly examine the power gap between free and subscribed players, and look at who will benefit most from the change.

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The MOP Up: Speedrunning World of Warcraft (October 15, 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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Project Gorgon, Star Trek Online, BlessSkyforgeWakfuRobloxWar ThunderAionElite: DangerousNew DawnTravianAstroneer, and World of Warcraft, all waiting for you after the break!

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EVE Vegas 2017: Structure warfare is about to get very cool in EVE Online

If I had to pick out one thing that EVE Online does exceptionally well, apart from the political betrayals and thefts that regularly grace the gaming headlines, it would be the ability to build a real home that you’d want to protect. This year we’ve seen players erect thousands of citadels and engineering complexes all over New Eden, from the colossal 300 billion ISK Keepstars owned by the largest military alliances to tiny Astrahus citadels and Raitaru factory stations owned by one-man corporations. The stage is set for the next wave of Upwell structures with refineries and moon mining gameplay hitting on October 24th in the Lifeblood expansion.

While adoption rates of the new structures have been immense, not everything about them has gone over well with players. The game is becoming littered with cheap and often abandoned structures mostly because they’re difficult to destroy and there’s no incentive to do so. The battles that occur when players do fight over structures have also become stagnant thanks to the emergence of a few clearly optimum strategies. So while developers prepare to launch into the future with Upwell refineries and beyond, they took a pause at EVE Vegas 2017 to peer back at the past year and committed to some big improvements to structure warfare. … And this time they might have goddamn nailed it.

Read on for a full breakdown of the new details of EVE‘s upcoming moon mining feature and a look at the future of structure warfare with the Upwell Firmware Upgrade 2.0 update.

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EVE Vegas 2017: Pirate factions will hunt you down in new EVE PvE

If your experience with EVE Online‘s PvE is of grinding through waves of predictable NPC pirates firing space pea shooters at you, get ready for that to change. CCP Games has been working on advanced AI for the past few years with the aim of turning those mindless drones we fight in PvE into intelligent actors similar to players. The first stage of this was shown off with the roaming Drifter battleships and later with the Blood Raider Shipyard and NPC mining operations that will form up counter-defense fleets and try to drive you out of the star system.

The next step in this plan is landing with the Lifeblood expansion on October 24th with Pirate Forward Operating Bases (or FOBs for short) and a new Resource Wars PvE system. We learned more about these new features this weekend at EVE Vegas 2017, and they’re beginning to sound pretty epic. Read on for a breakdown of both features and details of how the Blood Raider and Guristas pirate factions may soon be actively hunting you down.

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EVE Vegas 2017: EVE Online’s free-to-play option is getting a huge boost

When EVE Online added its free-to-play alpha clone account option, it felt more like an infinite trial than a truly viable free tier. Alpha clone players are currently limited to a single faction’s ships, can only fly tech 1 cruiser sized ships and below, train skills at half the normal speed, and have access to only about 5 million skill points worth of skills. CCP Games initially expected there to be a section of the playerbase who would play alphas exclusively and never upgrade to a full account, but the options proved to be far too limiting and internal stats showed that most people upgraded to Omega quickly or quit.

At EVE Vegas 2017, CCP announced that EVE Online‘s free option is getting a massive boost this December after the Lifeblood expansion. Alpha clones will soon be able to fly battlecruisers and use tech 2 small and medium guns, allowing them to fly many of the common ships used in nullsec fleets and removing most of the power gap between alpha and omega pilots in those roles. They’ll also be able to fly battleships and train for all 4 races of ships, which has the side effect of allowing powerful pirate faction and cross-faction ships such as the Machariel and Stratios.

Read on for a brief breakdown how the new system will work for new and current players.

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Choose My Adventure: Following a god in Guild Wars 2

To my absolute lack of a surprise, the fact that your abilities are so aggressively limited once you pick an Elite Specialization in Guild Wars 2 came back to make this week a bit harder than it needed to be. But not, perhaps, as hard as it could have been. That’s something to discuss further on, though; for the moment, what’s more important is progressing along with the story of Path of Fire and figuring out who to support, who to ally with, and what Balthazar really wants.

Let me get my one complaint about the story thus far out of the way immediately: the game is bad about filling you in on what’s going on. I hit this a little bit last week when dealing with what I called the second reel of a film, but this week I actually had an easier time following along… because of existing knowledge about the world. Which is nice, certainly, but you should not need to functionally be a Tyrian historian just to understand the events taking place. The full weight? Sure. The meaning? No.

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