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Leaderboard: What do you expect out of live MMORPG events in 2017?

Earlier this month, Black Desert GMs ran a live in-game event. I was super excited to hear about something like that in a newer MMORPG until I saw some of the complaints. Apparently, the event amounted to a “mysterious stranger” played by what I assume is a GM, who arrived on Valencia 6 and started “gathering souls,” i.e., murdering everyone in sight with a scythe, until players took him down.

To me, that’s not really a live event. That’s the sort of obnoxious thing GMs used to do in classic EverQuest, inhabit sand giants and just start massacring newbs (less funny back when deaths cost you experience).

I’m jaded; I’ve seen live events in Ultima Online for so long that my bar is way higher than just powertripping GMs on a god character. I expect a long-running storyline, discussion, choices, a purpose to the interaction that elevates it above, well, a world boss. What do you expect out of live MMORPG events in 2017?

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Choose My Adventure: It’s all the same in Secret World Legends

I was a bit disappointed to see that last week’s poll for Secret World Legends went to the Illuminati. I played the Illuminati my first time through, you see, and while I quite like the Illuminati, it does rather give me a dearth of new experiences, yes? But then, the point was that this was all supposed to be new experiences, so I shrugged it off. We’re back to the organization that treats secret lore like corporate data points, spectacular.

That may sound a bit dismissive, but it’s not really meant to be. And hey, this will provide a useful point of comparison when contrasted against my original experiences. So I start up, click through the character creator, and find myself thinking that it used to be a fair bit more flexible. Maybe not leaps and bounds, but at least somewhat, right? There used to be more options for hair color and facial features, yes? Or am I deluding myself?

Then I log in, and it’s the same damn game as it used to be.

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Conan Exiles update scrubs out dupe bugs as servers are wiped

By Crom, Conan Exiles is under attack by dupe bugs! Funcom hurried to push Update 31 live yesterday to deal with the issue and add a few fun new options to the game. These features include inventories for thralls, armor patch kits, new building materials, and an artisan crafting workbench.

Funcom said that it will be rolling out a series of server wipes (partial and full) to deal with the effects of the duping. The level of wipe is dependent on the vote results from each server, with only a handful electing not to wipe at all.

“To soften the blow, we’re increasing the harvesting and XP rate on the official servers for the next week, letting you quickly get your stuff and levels back,” Funcom said.

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Albion Online kicks off Masters Tournament, sweetens recruit-a-friend program, and promises performance improvements

With such a heavy PvP focus, Albion Online was a natural fit for tournaments. And so the Arena Masters Tournament is upon us, a seasonal 5v5 competition with millions of in-game silver on the line.

The studio said that it was “positively floored” by the number of people who signed up to participate in the event. The qualifiers for the Masters Tournament are happening right now among 28 teams, with the finals to take place next week. Players can watch the tournament on Albion’s Twitch channel and vote for their favorite team in the process.

Meanwhile, Albion Online’s recruit-a-friend program has received an upgrade. The cost of buying a trial key for a pal has been reduced to 500 gold, and the recruiter rewards for any friends who purchase a starter pack have been beefed up considerably. Finally, the studio is vowing performance improvements in the latest dev vlog.

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Massively Overthinking: The best and worst of BlizzCon 2017

Last weekend, even Massively OP was obsessing over BlizzCon, and we thought it would be fun to poll the writers, including those who watched from the sideliness rather than diving into the liveblogging, on their assessments of the event, particularly as they pertain to the MMORPG industry. What were the highlights and lowpoints? Where do we stand on World of Warcraft’s new expansion and classic servers? Let’s dig in!

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Trove’s Adventures update is coming next week

Feeling that ol’ MMORPG ennui this autumn? Looking for a brave new world to plunder? Trove might just fit the bill, especially after next week’s content update.

The Adventures expansion is slated for November 14th, bringing a whole host of changes and additions to this wacky sandbox MMO. There’s a lot going on with this update, too, such as a massive overhaul to the club (guild) system, a brand-new Asian-themed Forbidden Spires biome, unlimited mastery leveling, leaderboard rewards, and special Framework recipes with pre-built designs.

Trove’s Adventures will simultaneously release on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One next Tuesday. Get caught up on several of the new systems by watching the dev discussions on the Adventures updates after the break!

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BlizzCon 2016: Where’s the love for Diablo II and Warcraft III?

We were all prepared for the lack of Diablo III news from BlizzCon, in spite of the franchise’s huge following. But what we we didn’t anticipate was the demand for Diablo II and Warcraft III, especially in light of the announcement of World of Warcraft Classic and the free-to-play conversion of StarCraft II.

Turns out that Blizzard does have its eye on remastering both games, but it’s not ready yet. As Blizzard Senior Producer Peter Stilwell told PCGN, Warcraft III in particular needs a whole lot of balancing and a new map pool to satisfy tourney players.

And as for Diablo II? Hackers are the real threat.

“With Diablo [II] the big one is the botters and the spamming is out of control, [people asking] could we please fix that,” Stilwell admits. “Keep rolling seasons but maybe eventually be good enough at combating them that you see real names at the top of the leaderboard again.”

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Leaderboard: What do you do when you see cheating in an MMO?

Although the videos are gone now, a group of Chinese net cafe players apparently resorted to violence in response to rampant speed hacking in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, “roughing up” the hackers who dared to cheat while their victims watched on from the same room and decided to do something about.

I think we can safely say that violence is probably not the answer to video game cheating, however vindicating it may feel. So what is? I thought it would make for an interesting Leaderboard to find out what you do. Whenever I come upon cheaters, I usually just report and move on with my life, but other people take these things to extremes, I know, and those extremes may actually be more productive for getting the studio to take notice. Let’s hit the polls and find out.

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Vote for your favorite player-created Guild Wars 2 instrument of death

Power to the people! Guild Wars 2 has opened the polls for players to cast their vote on which fan-created weapon should be made into an actual in-game item.

The design-a-weapon contest resulted in over 900 entries, out of which 20 were selected by ArenaNet to advance as a finalist. Players are being encouraged to vote on which of the 20 should be turned into a Guild Wars 2 weapon, with the three finalists receiving the most votes to get this honor. The voting process will conclude on November 10th.

And while Halloween is over, the minipets live on! Check out the weirdly adorable Mini Choya Pumpkin Gang after the break.

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Choose My Adventure: The truth is out there about Secret World Legends

Oh, Secret World Legends. What are you? Are you a Frankensteinian change forced upon an existing beloved game that sucked some of the life and character out from your original source? Are you a relaunch that was billed as being something bigger than you actually were? Are you a new game that inherits the theme and setting of your nominal predecessor? Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

As I have mentioned, I don’t have history with SWL. I do, however, have history with The Secret World. And the fun thing is that said history informs my attitude going into this title as well as the reasons behind the remake-slash-rebranding, so it’s worth examining that along the way. Just as it’s also worth noting that The Secret World has also long been a victim of Funcom’s slow-running financial implosion.

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Olympic e-sports are becoming inevitable as IOC says they ‘could be considered as a sporting activity’

The International Olympic Committee has formally stated that it may consider e-sports a sporting activity.

“Competitive e-sports could be considered as a sporting activity, and the players involved prepare and train with an intensity which may be comparable to athletes in traditional sports,” IOC summit attendees declared in a statement. “E-ports are showing strong growth, especially within the youth demographic across different countries, and can provide a platform for engagement with the Olympic Movement” – provided those sports uphold Olympic values, like anti-doping, betting practices, and match manipulation.

Last summer, the co-president of the Paris Olympic bid committee told the AP that the organization was considering bringing video gaming on board for the 2024 program in France. The 2022 Asian Games also announced e-sports as a medal event, citing the inclusion of e-sports at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, though multiple countries bailed out of this year’s AIMAG e-sports events, citing health concerns, poor regulation, and “governance concerns.”

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MMO lockboxes: Market impact, regulation, and the letter of the law

GIbiz posted an article earlier this week peppered with quotes from Mat Piscatella, an NPD US games market analyst who suggests that the recent lootbox/lockbox grumbling hasn’t had any effect on sales: “The loot box or microtransactions controversy has not yet resulted in clear noticeable limitations of the sales potential of the games with [those mechanics].”

The assessment should surprise absolutely no one at all, since while MMORPG players have been fighting back against the rise of the lockbox for at least six years by our count, mainstream PC gamers are only now coming to terms with the more pleasantly named “lootbox” phenomenon. It’s, uh, probably going to take more than two weeks of mainstream complaining before markets and governments show any signs whatsoever of reaction.

This, incidentally, is basically the same argument that popular vlogger Jim Sterling makes in a satisfyingly profanity-laced video, which I’ve tucked down below because his rants make me happy.

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Choose My Adventure: Not quite farewell to Guild Wars 2

I am not done with Guild Wars 2.

This may or may not come as a surprise to people, but it’s still the case regardless. I am done with this round of Choose My Adventure with it, of course, and that means I can put Ceilarene down if I so desire (which, to be fair, I probably will for a while, at least). But I am not actually done with the game, and I suspect it will remain in my “vacation” rotation for a while to come. Something to dive into as I feel like it, in other words.

It’s a somewhat surprising outcome to me, as I had expected a pleasant enough bit of reconnection followed by a rather untroubled separation. But no, I had enough fun that I’m not quite willing to announce myself as done with the title just yet.

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