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WoW’s Running of the Gnomes, BlizzCon’s virtual tickets, and patch 7.3.2 story spoilers

Did you drop $40 on a virtual ticket for BlizzCon 2017? You won’t have to wait until the convention starts in November to enjoy some of the benefits that come with such a golden pass.

Blizzard has started to post pre-show videos leading up to the show, and while the public can view some of them for free, others are exclusive for virtual ticket holders. Three videos can be access with the ticket, looking at casual and advanced cosplay as well as a trip into the Blizzard museum for memorable stories about the community.

Speaking of the community, World of Warcraft players are organizing another Running of the Gnomes on October 14th to raise awareness and money for the fight against breast cancer. While there is now an official micro-holiday spawned from this player event, this particular run is purely community-operated. Participants are urged to roll a pink-haired Gnome on the Scarlet Crusade server and have their guilds donate to charity.

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Here’s what’s changed since you last played Guild Wars 2, including Path of Fire’s spec changes

Hey, there’s a Guild Wars 2 expansion coming: Path of Fire. Maybe you’re coming back for that. Maybe you left the game only a few months back, or maybe you played the game at launch and then left a long time ago. Why not take advantage of a huge chart to catch up on all the features that have changed since the last time you logged in?

Redditor KyrgyzManas lays out everything that’s been added to the game along the way and everything you might have missed along the path, color coded and blocked by year. Some things, of course, you just can’t catch up on, but at least this way you’ll have some idea of what you missed and what you can still see in action. Even if you’ve played straight, there’s bound to be something you forgot and can re-appreciate given the format.

Meanwhile, if you last played Guild Wars 2 during the Path of Fire preview weekends, you’ll have some catching up to do too. That’s because ArenaNet posted notes for some balancing changes to all of the new specs right ahead of the launch tomorrow, sending Reddit into a bit of an uproar, particularly Necromancers.

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PvE-centric Fortnite’s new battle royal PvP mode will be free-to-play

Epic Games announced this morning that Fortnite’s upcoming PvP mode will essentially be free-to-play.

The game was originally touted by Epic as a PvE survival title without direct PvP and has taken heavy criticism over its punishing business model and progression system. Nevertheless, Epic announced earlier this month that its next patch will introduce PvP in the form of a battle royal-style mode, rather upsetting its early buyers. That update is due out on September 26th, and today, the studio’s issued an addendum: While the original “Save the World” PvE part of the game will remain in “paid early access,” the PvP-oriented, 100-man “Fortnite Battle Royale” map will instead be “free for everyone on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Mac.”

PvE players on Reddit, who bought the game in early access when it launched just a few months ago based on its PvE-centricity, are not pleased at all, arguing that it will split the playerbase as well as distract from the original PvE goals of the game. “It’s now a free PvP game with a $40 PvE mode,” one noted. “I continue to be concerned for the state of PvE in this game.” (They may not even be wrong. Just ask H1Z1: Just Survive players how this story goes.)

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RuneScape players accuse new lockbox promo of promoting gambling to children

RuneScape announced yesterday a new promo that works in conjunction with its existing Treasure Hunter system. It’s a bit of a lockbox system, with the caveat that you can claim one to two keys to open said lockboxes for free every day just for logging in, depending on your sub status in the hybrid MMO. If you want more, then you have to buy them with cash.

The promotion, however, changes things up. “With every Key you use, you have a chance to earn a bonus prize on the Prize Pool interface at the top of the screen,” says Jagex. “Claim that extra prize immediately, or use more Keys to get a chance at more, rarer, prizes. Every Key you use will apply one of two actions: add an extra prize to your pool, or remove all prizes gathered so far from it. The longer you hold out without claiming, the more extra prizes you can claim and the rarer your prize pool collection will get. But be careful – you could lose it all!”

That’s prompted players who normally don’t find the treasure hunter lockboxes particularly problematic to flock to Reddit with a multitude of complaints ranging from accusations that the promo is rigged to concerns that the game is shamelessly promoting gambling to a game chiefly aimed at kids.

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Jukebox Heroes: Music from Destiny 2, LOTRO, Absolver, Black Desert, and Champions Online

Apologies for being extensively absent from this column over the last few months! Every day the Massively OP offices are deluged with fan mail demanding, “Bring back Jukebox Heroes! Where is Jukebox Heroes? How can I survive without that epic MMO music to get me through the week?”

To which I can only mutter something about a classified mission to Paraguay, being adopted by a jaguar for six weeks, and subsequently finding myself co-starring with The Rock on his latest escapade. It’s all in the line of duty when you are an MMO reporter.

But I am back, and boy is there a lot of news to talk about this week! Let us catch up on the MMORPG music scene and see what is happening with Destiny 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Absolver, Black Desert, and Champions Online already!

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Gigantic outlines new penalties for players who leave mid-match

It’s a great feeling when a Gigantic match starts up, and then some of the other players just leave without warning in the middle. Wait, not great; what’s that other word that means the opposite of great? Crappy. That’s the one. And the folks behind the game know that. That’s why they’re rolling out new penalties for players who leave in the middle of a match, much harsher than they had been before when stability was still an issue.

Essentially, lockout time increases the more you leave matches in quick succession, with players also getting more time to reconnect in the event of an unexpected disconnection. After a week, your penalties for leaving are downgraded slightly, so if you got kicked off of the game for half an hour one week but don’t make a habit of leaving mid-match, you’ll rarely notice any penalties at all. With penalties starting at five minutes and extending up to a full day of being locked out of queue, players will hopefully want to stick out a match while also not being horribly penalized for stability or other real-life issues.

Source: Reddit

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Check out Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City patch notes, new houses, and new cosmetics

Who doesn’t like some nice fresh patch notes? The Elder Scrolls Online is letting players into the Clockwork City, at least on the test server, and that means a fresh batch of patch notes for everyone.

Naturally, no one has even tried to mine out more information about the patch, except of course people have. The next offerings on the game’s crown store have been datamined, which is mostly a jaunty selection of hats. The new housing offerings have also been mined out: Pariah’s Pinnacle and The Observatory Prior, the former of which is an Orcish home and the latter of which is a clockwork-bedecked unit. There’s even a video guide to the new transmutation system available below, so you can take a gander at how things will change without hopping on the test server.

So it’s good news for players who want to test things out, and it’s also good news for players who don’t want to test but want to see what things look like while testing. Good news all around. Check it all out below.

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EVE Online thieves produce propaganda music video, auction off ill-gotten gains

If betrayals, heists, coups d’état, and threats aren’t enough to pique your interest in EVE Online’s metagame, maybe memes will do the trick.

As PCGN points out, EVE Online players are rushing to fill the vacuum left by last week’s theft of in-game property worth $20,000 (and subsequent banning by CCP of one of the victims for issuing multiple real-life threats to maim the perpetrator). Indeed, the winning cohort, if you want to call any of this “winning,” has now produced a taunting propaganda video set to Johnny Cash’s God’s Gonna Cut You Down and begun auctioning off some of the in-game property its members stole. I’d link to the pun thread as well, but as of press time, there are racist comments in it, so suffice it to say that EVE’s Reddit community has squeezed every imaginable hand- and mittens-related pun out of the whole mess.

Massively OP’s Brendan “Nyphur” Drain, who’s been covering the EVE universe for over a decade, has written extensively on this topic over the last week, discussing the particulars of this arm of the war, the fallout over the real-life threat, and most recently, the shift in what’s considered acceptable toxicity inside the game since its launch in 2003.

Source: YouTube via PCGN

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EVE Evolved: How much toxic, antisocial behaviour should MMOs tolerate?

The EVE Online community is aflame this week after alliance leader gigX was permanently banned for making threats of real-life violence against another player following possibly the biggest betrayal in EVE history. Some players don’t want to accept that gigX crossed a serious line and deserves his ban, and others have been asking why The Mittani’s similar actions in 2012 resulted in only a temporary ban. CCP’s official stance is that its policies have become stricter since 2012, but it’s still not entirely clear exactly where the line is drawn.

Another side to the debate is that the internet itself has evolved over EVE‘s 14-year lifespan, and a lot of toxic behaviour that was accepted or commonly overlooked on the early internet is now considered totally unacceptable. Many of us have grown from a bunch of anonymous actors playing roles in fantasy game worlds to real people sharing our lives and an online hobby with each other, and antisocial behaviour is an issue that all online games now need to take seriously. The lawless wild west of EVE‘s early years is gone, and I don’t think it’s ever coming back.

So what’s the deal? Does EVE Online tolerate less toxic behaviour today, has the internet started to outgrow its lawless roots, and what does it mean for the future of sandboxes?

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Whatever happened to Black Gold, Order and Chaos Online, and Eden Eternal?

Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.

Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately?

That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing. Today we look at whatever happened to Black Gold, Order and Chaos Onlineand Eden Eternal.

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Conan Exiles makes a bold appeal to builders: Just play in god-mode

Lest you think that Conan Exiles is just about crushing your enemies and all that, Funcom has a new dev diary out today elucidating the game’s building system. Pure builders should skip the PvP servers, the studio says, and slip into single-player god mode or on a server with super-fast harvesting and crafting speed to focus on creating your very own Sim City in Hyboria.

Players of other sandboxes probably already know the drill: You don’t have to just plunk down prefab stuff and can instead build from the ground up using smaller building blocks. “To build truly creative structures it can be important to use a lot of different building pieces and placeables,” cautions Funcom. “Based on feedback from the community we are making additional building pieces with new shapes so you can make even more creative buildings.”

“You can build almost anything you want in Conan Exiles. If you have the time and patience you can even fill out most of the map with all kinds of buildings, castles and cities. Build a sprawling metropolis filled with thralls dancing in the streets, hammering away at their anvils or standing guard. Or perhaps you want to build a humongous castle, filled with all sorts of rooms and dungeons and even labyrinths.”

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Massively Overthinking: What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs?

Earlier this week, we wrote about Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss’ IPO and its grand plans for the future – among them, four additional MMOs. Sounds great, right? Except that the suspicion, at least in our comments, is that Pearl Abyss will just follow in the footsteps of Nexon, NCsoft, and Netmarble in that the games will mobile MMOs and not “real” MMORPGs at all. That may or may not be true; the games have fairly fast turnaround for a full-scale MMORPG, but then the company talked up the BDO engine for future games and expressed great ambition in the MMORPG market in the west and on console.

But the suspicion seems to turn off so many of us — the stigma is real. So for today’s Overthinking, I wanted to dig into that. Do you play mobile MMOs, especially any of the modern crop that are popular in East Asia and then ported here? What keeps you from playing mobile MMOs, and what would you want out of an MMO for a mobile device that would actually make you consider it a home MMORPG?

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Guild Wars 2 DPS meter creator adds build templates to popular arcdps mod

If you have min-maxer friends in Guild Wars 2 as I do, you probably already know about arcdps, a player-designed mod that originally merely parsed chat logs and gathered DPS statistics, which I’m sure were only ever used for good and never for evil because MMORPG players would never judge each other based on numbers spewing forth from a meter. Oh, wait, they would? It is in fact one of their favorite things to do? Dammit.

That aside, the mod is approved by ArenaNet, and most recently it picked up some epic new features that will likely raise its popularity even among people who believe DPS parsers are one of the worst things to ever happen to MMOs. That feature? Build templates.

“I now have the all clear for build templates,” deltaconnected writes. “arcdps serves as the framework for the time being meaning you will need both arcdps and the buildtemplate DLLs in bin64. […] No support for legendary stat swapping yet – requires legendaries to experiment on.”

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