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Black Desert devs responds to datamining dust-up with stat transparency and apologies

Remember a week ago when Black Desert dataminers dug up dirt on the game’s so-called hidden stats, only to be booted off the subreddit by mods doing Pearl Abyss’ bidding? Remember how the dataminers just put it all up on a different sub beyond the reach of PA, practically daring PA to follow through on the legal action it threatened dataminers with earlier this year?

Consider the situation effectively defused. Kakao has apologized for creating “confusion among [its] beloved players by failing to deliver accurate information,” promising clarity on those stats. Indeed, clarity is arriving in the form of a producer letter from Pearl Abyss (which also apologizes profusely).

Executive Producer Jae-hee Kim says PA now plans to add accuracy, evasion, and damage reduction numbers to tooltips, noting that while hidden stats seemed like a fun idea originally, there is now too much of a “gap” between people in the know and everyone else. The studio also aims to tweak “ambiguity” on elixirs, boost drop rates party to the node level system, and provide transparency on future stats.

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Star Wars Battlefront 2: The AMA, Wall Street, and the Belgian gambling commission

In case you ever wanted to sniff the distinct scent of internet dumpster fire, you probably should’ve gone to the Star Wars Battlefront II DICE developer AMA on Reddit yesterday and watched that EA world burn. Almost 30,000 comments later, EA’s handpicked community masseuses didn’t walk back any of the specific business model shenanigans or the “sense of pride and accomplishment” blither, and players are actually madder now than they were when they downvoted EA’s comments 677,000 times on Monday.

Meanwhile,

  • Wall Street is freaking out over the potential stock hit to EA should the game launch poorly thanks to angry gamers.
  • Belgian authorities are reportedly investigating SWBF2 (via GIbiz) to determine whether its design amounts to a money-fueled game of chance, in which case it would be subject to gambling laws and potentially be fined or censored.
  • Players have assessed that it’d take over 4500 hours of play or $2100 to unlock everything in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 as the game’s monetization is currently set.
  • Finally, that “EA dev” who claimed he’d received death threats? It’s no longer clear he’s an EA dev, let alone that he received death threats, and he disappeared from social media after Kotaku went digging. Astroturfer? Hmm.
Source: Reddit. With thanks to Sorenthaz and Miol.

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Disney has canceled Marvel Heroes, Marvel has ended its relationship with Gazillion

We can now confirm this as real, following a statement made by a Marvel representative to Massively OP. We’re updating below.

According to Kotaku, Disney has canceled Marvel Heroes – on all platforms – and nuked its business partnership with Gazillion. Here’s the message Kotaku says it received:

“We regret to inform our Marvel Heroes fans that we have ended our relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, and that the Marvel Heroes games will be shut down. We would like to sincerely thank the players who joined the Marvel Heroes community, and will provide any further updates as they become available.”

The news will not come as a shock to MMORPG players, as we’ve been chronicling the mess over at Gazillion for weeks now. We’d gone an entire month since the last formal update from the team, social media accounts have lain dormant, Halloween was bungled, negative Steam reviews were flooding in, the PC playerbase shrunk to its smallest size in four and a half years, the Thor Ragnarok promotion never happened, two community reps for the studio departed, and accusations flew from former studio employees in regard to “inappropriate conduct” toward female employees on the part of current CEO Dave Dohrmann, whose removal from the studio became the goal of some activist players.

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Here’s how Guild Wars 2 players will go broke on Black Friday

You know it’s coming. When the turkey and pumpkin pie meet their demise, the Black Friday sales will start. Guild Wars 2 fans will face a special temptation this year, thanks to plenty of tempting merch on For Fans By Fans.

The official merchandise store for the MMO offers t-shirts, plushies, bags, art prints, Path of Fire items, and the oh-so-essential Quaggan coffee mug. But you’ll want to hold off from buying right now, because from November 24th through the 27th, anyone who spends $50 or more in the store will get an in-game code for a random mini-pet in Guild Wars 2.

Switching gears a bit, some friendly community datamining turned up a small, unused island map for the recent expansion. While it’s not finished by any means, it is kind of interesting. Check it out on Imgur!

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EA claims Star Wars Battlefront II’s business model aims to ‘provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment’

Some awards, you do not want to win. The Darwin award, for example. Or “worst business model of the year.” Or “most downvoted comment of all time on Reddit because you have the worst business model of the year,” which EA managed to score this past weekend.

In response to players continuing to riot over Star Wars Battlefront II’s obnoxious business model – specifically, the part where people are upset that key characters are locked behind an additional paywall in a game they already paid $80 for – EA trotted out the old “sense of pride and accomplishment” line. Seriously. They said that. Out loud.

“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes. As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay. We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets. Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.”

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Marvel Heroes’ update silence has stretched to four weeks; here are the latest developments

I’m afraid we still can’t say that Marvel Heroes is going to be OK, as we’ve now gone an entire month since the last formal update from the team.

As we’ve previously covered, Gazillion hasn’t provided its regular Friday update since October 13th; social media accounts have lain dormant, Halloween was bungled, negative Steam reviews flood in, the PC playerbase has shrunk to its smallest size in four and a half years, the Thor Ragnarok promotion never happened, two community reps for the studio departed, and accusations from former studio employees have surfaced in regard to “inappropriate conduct” toward female employees on the part of current CEO Dave Dohrmann, whose removal from the studio is now the goal of some activist players.

While Gazillion issued us a statement claiming “the company is functioning normally” (when anyone who ever played can tell you it’s not), it downplayed the standing allegations as “unsubstantiated internet accusations.” The studio also refused to answer direct questions about the company’s leadership, communication plans, and missed updates. All the company said last week was that it had no news and would update everyone when it could. Reportedly, a studio rep reiterated that statement this past weekend and told in-person visitors to stay away from the company HQ (thread now deleted).

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EVE Online players take action to prevent a suicide

When they heard a cry for help go out in their game, these players took action right away.

A few days ago on November 5th, an unnamed 28-year-old EVE Online player from Poland disturbed fellow gamers and stream viewers by stating that he wanted to kill himself, going so far as to swallow a large quantity of pills. It appeared that recent failures in the EVE had sent him over the edge. Concerned, several players and a livestream viewer all called up local police agencies across Europe in an effort to save the man’s life.

German, Icelandic, and Interpol authorities investigated the matter, sending help to the man’s home. Fortunately, the police and paramedics arrived in time to provide the care that this troubled player needed, and the man is doing better under the attention of his family.

It is always heartening to hear stories of compassion among online players, especially from those in a gaming community such as EVE Online who are often perceived as unflinchingly hardcore and ruthless.

Source: Reddit

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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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Black Desert’s Reddit community erupts over Pearl Abyss’ datamining suppression

So how do you feel about dataminers? One player apparently datamined a significant chunk of info about Black Desert’s so-called hidden stats, posting everything to the game’s subreddit to finally end arguments over what those stats entail. But Pearl Abyss (the Korean developer, not the western publisher Kakao) put an end to it, requesting that the mods remove it, and one did just that.

In the midst of player uproar over what the community perceived as independent mods doing a Korean studio’s dirty work, the moderating team on the BDO sub told players that while it had been removed by an over-eager junior mod, the mods were suppressing the information until such time as Pearl Abyss could confirm or deny whether the datamined info could by used to “bypass anti-cheat safeguards and/or manipulate the client in ways that haven’t been done before,” which is a bit of a head-scratcher. The mods also casually mention, for some reason, their desire to stay in Pearl Abyss’ good graces for the purposes of running contests and events on the sub, giving opponents a sackful of ammo.

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En Masse confirms TERA chat vulnerability and potential security breach as servers go down for emergency maintenance

Earlier today, TERA players began circulating the claim that an in-game chat vulnerability was allowing hackers to wreck up all regions of the game the way only hackers can. En Masse has now confirmed that vulnerability and says that Bluehole is focused on fixing the problem, but it doesn’t reveal the potential extent of the damage.

“The developers of TERA were immediately made aware of the vulnerability and they are exploring an appropriate course of action with the highest urgency,” the studio wrote this evening. “While they do so, the team at En Masse is continuing to investigate and assist the developers in any way possible. There are very serious claims floating around of what this vulnerability potentially allows malicious users to do. We are taking these claims very seriously but, as of this time, we have no evidence that the vulnerability is being exploited in these ways or that any player information has been compromised.”

The post is closed, and En Masse doesn’t give guidance on how players should proceed, only requests that players with helpful information PM the staff on the official forums. Reddit, meanwhile, has gone into meltdown, sending dire warnings to each other not to log in or make use of proxy services in the meantime, though that may be moot as the servers are being taken offline for “exceptional maintenance.”

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ArcheAge promises better communication, but the community isn’t having it

A lengthy letter from the ArcheAge team about the state of the game and its direction forward isn’t making a lot of people in the community excited. On the contrary, Reddit lit up with grumblings and complaints over the post, with some taking particular umbrage with Trion’s claims of “more direct communication from the core ArcheAge team.”

“The letter doesn’t address any core problems the community has with the game. It doesn’t even acknowledge them,” one player posted.

“It’s a little disappointing not only for me but I imagine the community when you don’t change anything you say. It’s simply damage control on certain issues by distracting us with another,” said another.

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Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan on WoW Classic and the Overwatch toxicity ‘strike team’

Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan gave an interview on Reddit this week that provides an interesting perspective from an original World of Warcraft developer who defected to Overwatch.

“I think classic is a great idea,” he says. “I have great nostalgia for what the game was. I think people need to be careful about what they think the magic was versus what it actually was. I don’t think what made the classic servers great was the shitty quests. I’m allowed to say that because I wrote all of them.”

Indeed, he stresses the importance of community and lauds the absence of the dungeon finder, but he also points out that some of vanilla’s problems: the lack of server transfers, the lack of well-distributed auction halls, and the smaller servers.

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Guild Wars 2 balances classes and adds spectacular new mounts – for a price

Guild Wars 2 patched in new mounts today, and they’re gorgeous. But don’t get too excited; they’re in gated behind a weird new RNG scheme that’s not remotely as bad as lockboxes (but still may mildly annoy you). You decide:

“For a limited time, the new Reforged Warhound mount skin is available in the Style category of the Gem Store for 2,000 gems. The Black Lion Stables are pleased to open their doors and offer new mount adoption licenses. Each license will allow you to claim a random mount skin from the Black Lion Stables, and they are available in the Style category of the Gem Store for 400 gems each.”

If you’re familiar with the way SMITE does some of its RNG promos, the new license is kinda like that: You’re at least guaranteed a mount skin out of these lockboxes, but it might not be the one you want, so you’ll be buying and rolling the dice over and over until you get it. Only there are 30 skins. You might be buying and rolling for a while at 400 gems ($5 a pop, or a discounted rate if you buy 10 or 30 at a time). In case you’re wondering, to buy all 30 right now would run you $120 in real cash, though that’ll go up to $150 once the promo is over. It’s worth pointing out we don’t know the odds for getting any of the mounts, only that you do always get one.

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