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Star Citizen’s latest concept ship isn’t a ship, and it’s pushed the game to $155M funding

Star Citizen’s latest concept ship isn’t a ship — it’s a freakin’ rover. Dubbed The Tumbril Cyclone, the vehicle’s multiple variants will run up to $70 for those who buy in.

“The Cyclone provides multiple interactive displays to give both the driver and co-pilot ultimate control of their vehicle and its systems. The Co-pilot’s seat not only gives the ability to survey the area, but also provides controls to additional systems provided by the various modules. […] The new X-TEC tires are the perfect solution for off-road vehicles. These articulated treads can change their configuration to handle soft and loose terrain or harder surfaces to provide equal traction, no matter the environment.”

Perhaps the bigger news is that sales of the ship this weekend have pushed crowdfunding for the sci-fi MMO to a grand total of $155,000,000. Going on $155.2M, in fact.

Reddit is chattering with details on which ships the Cyclone will fit into, if you’re worried about that. Is there a point to them in a game world where you can land on planetary surfaces in your spaceship? Maybe. Expect the full Q&A later this week.

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The Soapbox: The disastrous Pokemon Go Fest was just Niantic being Niantic, and that has to stop

I know I complain a lot about Pokemon Go in my articles here, but there’s a reason for this. I’m a huge fan not just of the Pokemon series but of what Niantic is trying to do with its game on a basic level. The idea of getting games outside with the rest of the world instead of hidden in our rooms and offices is hugely appealing. I’ve even applied to work at Niantic before (though obviously I wasn’t selected), so for me especially it’s frustrating to see a company I want to succeed repeatedly making the same kinds of mistakes. These are mistakes that plagued the game’s launch, several events, feature reworkings, and now not one, but two birthday celebrations within the same year. 

I actually got sucked into the hype recently and even said that the events surrounding the festival might give people a reason to come back. I’ve finally removed my foot from my mouth after previously downing some crow, but I’ve realized that, now more than ever, Niantic needs some tougher love, and here it is.

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Secret World Legends begins posting weekly news roundups, says GM team has grown by half

Without official forums for Secret World Legends, the team is apparently utilizing Reddit as an acceptable substitute. It’s here that any fan of this rebooted game should go to learn about what’s happening in the game, especially now that the community manager has started to post a weekly roundup of news and developments for the title.

In the roundup is a list of hot issues that the team is addressing and some incoming changes. These include reducing the auction house listing duration, overhauling problematic missions, reducing client crashes, and perhaps removing the current auction house posting limit.

The team said that it’s working to get player support tickets under control: “Due to a very high volume of incoming requests, customer service wait times may still be longer than expected. We recently expanded the GM team by ~50%, which should help a ton moving forward. Wait times are improving!”

Source: Reddit

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World of Warcraft’s Burning Crusade emulator shut down by Blizzard cease-and-desist

Well, what did you think was going to happen?

As they have no legal legs on which to stand, MMORPG emulator projects operate on the hope that they’re under the radar enough that the actual owner of the intellectual property won’t notice or care that such activities are transpiring. Unfortunately for operator Gummy and his team over at Burning Crusade, Blizzard wasn’t about to let this fly on its watch.

The studio issued a cease-and-desist letter to the World of Warcraft emulator just weeks after the game started to become more public with open beta testing. This shutdown echoes the great drama that we saw last year with the closure and fallout of the Nostalrius vanilla WoW emulator.

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Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago is pretty much a trainwreck

If you’ve ever been to a massive gathering of tech-savvy people — like say, a gaming convention — you know better than to rely on the internet for sending emails or tweeting consistently, let alone for gaming itself. That’s just one of the lessons being learned by Niantic and the thousands of people who paid for tickets to Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago this weekend.

Multiple outlets are reporting that not only can many people inside the park not connect to play, but there have been huge lines outside the park as people still wait to get in. When Niantic CEO John Hanke took the stage to calm everyone, he was subsequently booed and heckled while issuing apologies. Ouch.

Popular fansite The Silph Road reports that Niantic is offering refunds and chunks of currency, but that won’t help all people who flew in from out of state — or out of country — for an event that’s gone south.

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Let’s go space shopping in this week’s Star Citizen Around the Verse

We’ve been chatting about game economies this week here at Massively OP, so it’s a happy coincidence than this week’s episode of Around the Verse features Star Citizen’s shopping kiosks and commodities system in detail. Heck yeah, space shopping.

“The kiosk is going to be the user’s interface to purchase things or sell them within the game that are not physically within the shop in the case, purchasing or things in their inventory, things from their ship all selling with be done through the kiosk,” explain studio reps. There’s also a nifty discussion on the difficulties of scaling the economy to support the sale of “super tiny and inconsequentially priced [items] all the way up to […] massive battlecruisers.” As for recipes,

“Recipe in the context of Star Citizen is somewhat similar to a crafting recipe in other MMOs. It defines the types of commodities and resources that go into manufacturing a given item like a laser cannon or even a ship. The way that we use recipes and the way that you may find them in another game is that those recipes generally aren’t used directly by the players, instead they’re used by the design team to really sculpt the types of goods that are bought and sold in a location in the world and that’s to make that location feel correct. So if it’s a factory that it buys and sells the kinds of things that you would expect from that location.”

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Star Citizen followers react to server capacity, star system count news

Another day, another Star Citizen drama.

German website Gamestar published an interview with Cloud Imperium Games this week, and between the paywall, Google translate, deliberate disinfo, and a quick game of confused telephone from other sites picking up the news, the actual stated information was lost and misconveyed.

The hubbub is over a server capacity-related quote from the interview that’s subsequently been accurately translated like so:

“There can only be a maximum of 24 players on each server currently (this will most likely also be the case in Alpha 3.0). […] The revision of the CryEngine in combination of a new server architecture in form of an intercommunicating server network (also known as Server-Meshes) instead of individually isolated servers should allow larger instances with thousands of players.”

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Conan Exiles might do a jungle biome after its next update

Funcom’s Joel Bylos answered another round of Conan Exiles’ questions over the weekend, several of them on the new biome and beyond. “We combined two biomes in this coming update (highlands and mountains) and we have plans for one or two more,” Bylos says. “Now depending on our assessment in August of what needs to be done for launch we might scale down or up our ambitions. For example, jungle requires a lot of foliage and 4.15 is supposed to have improved foliage optimizations. Assuming this all works out as planned, then it becomes more likely we do a jungle area next. But if foliage is a huge problem…we might try something else.” What else?

  • New music is coming with the new biome, along with at least one new “larger” dungeon.
  • Optimization work on the game continues.
  • The settlement update will arrive following the mounts and sorcery updates.
  • Instruments for both players and thralls will likely arrive with the thrall update.
  • Bears are coming, as are warpaints. Tattoos are a maybe.

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Black Desert bans and suspends node exploiters

Last week, Black Desert’s Reddit erupted with claims that a popular streamer, who been previously banned and unbanned in a spring crackdown, had unwittingly streamed proof that he was still exploiting, causing other players to cry foul. At the tail end of last week, Kakao finally addressed this issue.

“During an investigation into reports of a potential exploit last April, our team determined that it was, in fact, possible for users to send multiple workers to a single node,” Community Coordinator Yukimura explains. “Shortly after, a patch was applied to resolve this bug. However, due to an oversight in the applied patch, some elements of the bug were not fully removed. One such example was the failure to reset all player’s workers, including those that were being utilized in the exploit. It was later discovered that some users’ workers were still designated to a single node. This allowed the continued use of multiple workers on a single node, and has subsequently been resolved as of July 12th maintenance.”

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Massively Overthinking: Consumer protections in the MMORPG industry

Veteran Massively OP reader Miol says he’s exhausted by a recent string of stories in which MMO companies screw gamers over, one after another: ARK Survival Evolved, Albion Online, Skyforge, and now Black Desert all figure into his list, just from the last week.

“I want to ask what more can gamers do to protect themselves and everyone else as consumers than speak up? It feels exhausting to always stay vigilant and feel upset all the time, since games, as an everchanging medium, give devs so many opportunities to screw us over with every single patch or update. And the worst immediate consequence seems many times a meek apology for what they’ve done, only for them to try out something different that maybe could go over unnoticed.

“You guys have reported about this UK watchdog group ASA, who investigated No Man’s Sky, but even they dismissed the tons of complaints about false advertising. Steam did declare some changes to advertising on their platform, but I still don’t see them taken place. If even those big negative stories don’t have that much of an impact, what hope is there for all the smaller communities, spread thin globally? There was a recent wave of gamers imploring each other to not pre-order, but that ebbed away fast enough, when the next shiny pre-order advantages over other players were presented. But even so, this still can’t protect you from what may happen after the launch!

“As said by Bree many times: Merely quitting won’t help either, as the studio will never know why most of the times. But also sending feedback for nine whole days didn’t help Skyforge players to make its devs to scramble! So what else could we do? Or should we just take rotating shifts to call them out?”

We’ll take the first shift right here in Overthinking.

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Secret World Legends may be punishing groups for farming XP

Here’s your public service announcement for Secret World Legends: You may want to avoid grouping up to farm mobs and XP on the map, as some players have reported being suspended and even banned from the game for doing so.

“Last night I ran out of Transylvania quests while being in queue for three or four hours,” one player posted. “PVP is disabled, so I ended up joining a group that was just running around killing everything in sight for about five hours. Its good XP but boring as dirt. Today I get on and find I am suspended. Check my email and it says I was suspended for using an exploit to gain XP, AP, and SP? Grouping up and killing mobs mindlessly for hours is an exploit? Trust me if I had anything else to do I would have done it. How is that an exploit? If grouping up and killing mobs is an exploit you might want to warn people.”

While Funcom has yet to publicly address the issue, players are hypothesizing that there’s a bug that allows for unintended extra XP to pour in while completing bounties. If the studio’s GMs consider this an exploit, then perhaps this is why action is being taken.

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Guild Wars 2’s gem store gets a huge overhaul

Have you ever found yourself in this situation: You are flush with cash and desperately want to dump it on Guild Wars 2, but you find the store interface too confusing or obtuse, so you end up buying insurance and stock options instead? Well, that sort of regrettable scenario is a thing of the past, as today the game introduced an overhauled gem store to the playerbase.

Gem Store 2.0 offers a more intuitive and robust shopping experience. The new store includes a faster interface, a better search function, revised categories, improved sorting, and more preview options to help you decide whether or not to make that purchase.

Looking to get caught up on Guild Wars 2? Make sure to read Tina’s extremely comprehensive review of the Living World Season 3!

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