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Star Wars: The Old Republic explains how the developers listen to community feedback

Feedback is important for every MMO, and that includes Star Wars: The Old Republic. But where does feedback come from? If the developers never ask you about your opinion specifically, how will they actually collect your feedback? Community manager Eric Musco chimed in on the forums explaining where the development team looks for feedback and how his job involves filtering and synthesizing that feedback from multiple sources, all of which serves different purposes and offers different inputs.

The official forums and Reddit, for example, offer the feedback of particular narrows slices of the game with a big time investment; Twitter, meanwhile, has much more breadth of feedback but less depth on individual issues. There are also focus groups and specific influential players courted by the development team just for feedback and information. Check out the full rundown if you’re curious about how the melange of feedback gets passed along to developers; this isn’t necessarily how every game does it, but it is how it happens for SWTOR.

Source: Official Site via Dulfy

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Shroud of the Avatar has plans to attract more players and keep them around

In the hopes of attracting and encouraging more player investors in Shroud of the Avatar, Portalarium took to Reddit for a Q&A session that did not leave everyone quite satisfied.

During the AMA, Portalarium explained why it’s not doing a wipe before release, responded to those upset at the slow rollout of the single-player version, promised more user interface polish, and addressed frustration over players not being able to find certain NPCs. The studio said that right now there it is seeing around a 500-player concurrency, although it expects this to increase as they start promoting the game more.

So how is the team planning in attracting new players to the game as it heads toward launch? “We have been testing out our free trial system for the last few months and in the next few months we will begin promoting this more and more as the game improves to bring in new players. To keep players around long-term we will be working on more high-end content around the end of the year.”

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Black Desert awakens the Striker, doubles karma loss for gankers

Awakening this morning in Black Desert is the still-relatively-new-to-the-West Striker class. “The Striker reaches a new level of mastery over the martial arts, gaining access to a wider range of close-ranged techniques,” Kakao says. “With this latest Awakening, Strikers level 56 and above will be able to use the Gardbrace weapon, famed for its ability to temporarily produce a copy of its wielder and double the onslaught of attacks in battle. Also enhancing the Striker’s combat are fire elemental skills, as well as throwing moves like Hell Break and Infernal Destruction.”

Also live with today’s patch? The Striker Awakening Release Event, new titles, doubled karma loss for gankers, and a new battle arena for level 50+ toons. And yes, Reddit and the official forums are mad that Kakao is essentially making it more painful to gank Steam nubs. “YOU’RE ACTUALLY KILLING THE OPEN WORLD PVP LMAO” and so on, although to be fair, others are pointing out the inevitable karma bombing exploits that will undoubtedly ensue.

Kakao is promising a stream Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. EDT all about the Striker’s Awakening. There’s also a sale on the game running through the Fourth of the July on Steam and the main site.

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Rockstar has taken out three more Grand Theft Auto cheat mods

Last week, the Grand Theft Auto V/Online community was rocked by the shutdown of OpenIV, a modding tool that’s served the series’ community for almost 10 years, following a cease-and-desist letter Rockstar and Take-Two sent its operators. Rockstar said it wasn’t targeting single-player mods but dealing with what it says was OpenIV’s enabling of “malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody,” in spite of player arguments that single-player mods are theoretically not available to play in GTAO.

Turns out Rockstar and Take Two weren’t done. As the purveyors of the Force Hax mod menu announced, they’ve been driven offline too and were actually tasked with donating their profits to charity, since confirmed by Rockstar.

“After discussions with Take-Two Interactive, effective immediately we are ceasing all maintenance, development and distribution of the Force Hax cheat menu services. We will be donating our proceeds to charity and we apologize for any and all problems Force Hax services have caused to the Grand Theft Auto Online community.”

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E3 2017: Pokemon Go’s raiding, gym revamp, badges, and an interview with Niantic

Surprise! Niantic brought Pokemon Go to E3 2017 and invited members of the gaming press outside the sacred halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center to check out the upcoming raid system at a nearby gym. We were granted not just some juicy details on upcoming changes but a rare chance to interview several key members of the team, including Senior Product Manager Tatsuo Nomura, Global Product Marketing Lead Archit Bhargava, and a bit of time with Niantic Director of Engineering Edward Wu.

Perhaps more so than the Generation 2 update, summer feels like it’s bringing an expansion-like update to the free to play game.

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Rockstar says it shut down Grand Theft Auto mod tool for enabling ‘malicious mods’

This week, the Grand Theft Auto V/Online community has been in absolute uproar over a cease-and-desist letter Rockstar and Take-Two sent to the operators of OpenIV, a modding tool that’s served the series’ community for almost 10 years.

“Take-Two’s actions were not specifically targeting single player mods,” Rockstar told PC Gamer. “Unfortunately OpenIV enables recent malicious mods that allow harassment of players and interfere with the GTA Online experience for everybody. We are working to figure out how we can continue to support the creative community without negatively impacting our players.”

Players have questioned this rationale since single-player mods are theoretically not available to play in GTAO. Rockstar has said it will not pursue players who used these tools, because duh.

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Shroud of the Avatar plans a pair of investor Q&A sessions, the first taking place tonight

One of the frustrating bits about the MMORPG studios that are turning to newly legal online equity crowdfunding platforms is that the very SEC rules meant to protect us also hinder us when it comes to digging up information and reporting on the proceedings. That is, gaming studios and other companies are forbidden from disclosing specific things (chiefly, deal terms) about their campaigns to the media while those campaigns are ongoing. You might notice studios won’t answer most emailed or forum questions either. The idea is that a campaign’s premise would be scattered for different audiences, which could open the game up to legal challenges later.

All of this is preamble to explaining why you might want to tune in to the Q&A sessions Portalarium will be holding with investors and potential investors into its newly announced Shroud of the Avatar SeedInvest campaign. The first is tonight at 5 p.m. EDT and takes the form of a public streamed webinar; the second is a public Reddit AMA next week on June 20th. Presumably, investors will be able to ask more direct questions about the studio’s finances during those established public fora.

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Elite Dangerous maneuvers to counter exploiters

You might think that after decades of online gaming and what’s surely millions of accounts across all the games sanctioned for cheating, people would think twice about exploiting. You might think that, but you’d be wrong.

Elite Dangerous is one such game dealing with exploits and exploiters. Last week, Frontier issued what seems a gentle warning ahead of its PlayStation 4 launch later this month: Knock it off.

“Just wanted to let you know that we’ve identified accounts that have engaged in repeated and deliberate use of a game exploit which allowed people to gain a significant and unfair advantage with Engineering; we will be reviewing and taking action where we feel it is appropriate,” CMDR Sticks writes, asking players to help report cheaters and threatening cheaters with bans. “The development team are working on a fix for this exploit and we will give you an update on this as soon as we have it.”

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EVE Evolved: The controversy over EVE Online’s capital ship nerfs

EVE Online players have been up in arms this week over sweeping nerfs that are about to hit to high-end farming gameplay styles in the player-owned nullsec territories. It started when CCP Games announced that the Excavator drones used by Rorqual capital industrial ships would be getting a sizeable mining yield reduction and that a respawn delay would be added to ore sites in nullsec. As players were still reeling from that unexpected news, developers then announced a surprise general nerf to fighter damage with the goal of making carriers and supercarriers less effective in PvE and PvP. This significant balance change was just announced on Friday 9th June and goes live on Tuesday 13th, prompting outcry from the community over the lack of feedback-gathering on such a significant change to capital ship balance.

These nerfs both seem to be reactions to the latest few Monthly Economic Reports, which showed that the total money supply in the game economy is over a quadrillion ISK and rising rapidly. The detailed breakdowns of economic activity in the reports tell a more complex story, with ISK supply from bounty prizes roughly doubling over the past year and mining in the Delve region shooting off the scale in the past few months. It seems that a large number of nullsec players are spending more time farming and building up resources, and it’s the scale and efficiency of the top-tier farming setups that has CCP worried.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I discuss the upcoming Rorqual and fighter nerfs, look at the economics of farming, and explain why this trend could be a more serious indicator than CCP realises.

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CD Projekt Red claims Cyberpunk 2077 design docs are being held hostage by thieves

CD Projekt Red, the maker of the acclaimed Witcher RPG series, claimed that cyber thieves have made off with “internal files” and “early designs” for its upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 and have reported the theft to Polish police. What’s more bizarre is that the thieves are allegedly holding the documents ransom until the studio pays up.

The studio released a statement on Twitter about the crime, saying that the documents are old and should be ignored if leaked: “An unidentified individual or individuals have just informed us they are in possession of a few internal files belonging to CD Projekt Red. Among them are documents connected to early designs for the upcoming game, Cyberpunk 2077. A demand for ransom has been made, saying that should we not comply, the files will be released to the general public.”

We have had our eye on Cyberpunk 2077 since last year when the game’s description made us wonder if this title will be an MMORPG in disguise. You can read the full CD Projekt Red statement after the break.

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Old School RuneScape players threaten to riot over LGBTQ pride event

Old School RuneScape’s playerbase isn’t showing its best side this week.

Motherboard reports that following the announcement by a Jagex employee that a small gay pride quest will be implemented in the game, Old School RuneScape players have flocked to Twitter and Reddit to complain (the latter with over 6000 upvotes, though the original poster has since updated to note he no longer wants the event removed because of the inevitable “media backlash” that could tank the game’s rep). Objections range from reasonable (the event wasn’t put to a community poll in accordance with the server’s guidelines) to tedious (no politics in my games! think of the children!) to overt homophobic screeds that I won’t reproduce or dignify here. Just imagine really bad stuff, then crank it up to 11.

In fact, some players are plotting to riot (their word) in-game while the event is live, not against the LGBTQ community (they say) but “in support of keeping this game free of any agenda.”

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Diablo III shows Necromancer pack bonuses while Diablo II fan recreates game using StarCraft 2 engine

Are you thinking about picking up the Necromancer pack for Diablo III when it gets released? Blizzard hopes to sway you into the “yes” column by showing some of the extra goodies you’ll be getting if you buy this bundle.

The Necromancer pack includes the titular class, two more character slots, two additional stash tabs, a portrait frame, wings, a half-formed golem pet, a wings of the crypt guardian, and some banner options.

Meanwhile for those players who prefer the good old days of Diablo II, you might be interested in the new Curse of Tristram player mod that’s recreating the game using the StarCraft 2 engine. Check it out below!

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Path of Exile preps Fall of Oriath beta amidst technical problems

The beta for Path of Exile’s Fall of Oriath expansion is expected to launch today, but it hasn’t been without its technical issues. On Monday, Grinding Gear Games had to roll back the 2.6.1 microtransaction system for fixes. The same thing happened last night, causing the team to once again roll back to 2.6.0.m and inform players that the microtrans system won’t be included in today’s 2.6.2 patch.

The beta is anticipated to include acts 5 through 7, the visual upgrades for earlier content, balance changes, item changes, the Labyrinth restructure, new minimap, and the Pantheon feature for acts 6 and beyond. Act 8 will be added to the beta later (9 and 10 won’t be); there are no unique items to test right now, nor any new support or skill gems. And of course, the microtransaction system won’t be live.

GGG has also warned players that Atlas of Worlds supporter packs and their exclusive bits will vanish forever once this beta begins, so grab one while you can.

Stay tuned for more coverage from us on the expansion, and in the meantime, check out this video of an act seven boss!

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