Path of Exile’s Elementalist wins Incursion League popularity contest

Which classes are most popular in Path of Exile’s Incursion League? Grinding Gear Games has released the stats for the first three weeks of the newest league showcasing the classes that players are using the most. And results are quite different than the last league. In Incursion, the Elementalist sits on top of every category; in contrast, it was a least favored class in Bestiary League. GGG noted that these results are also affected by the recent rework of classes, bringing Saboteur into second place as players experiment with the new traps.

Check out all the results on the official site and see where your class sits on the popularity ladder, and then maybe poke through the updated patch notes!

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EVE Fanfest 2018: CCP Games has big plans for data collection and machine learning

Every day in the sandbox of New Eden, several hundred thousand EVE Online players perform millions of unseen actions. Every item manufactured, module activated, shot fired at an NPC, and stargate activated leaves its mark on the universe, but the granular details of those actions is lost forever. It simply isn’t feasible to record every little thing a player does in-game, or at least it wasn’t feasible until now. At EVE Fanfest 2018, CCP announced an innocuous new Activity Tracker feature that may actually eventually have big consequences for everything from game balance to fighting bots.

The feature will be delivered as a new Activity Tracker window in the game client that will show players detailed stats on almost everything they’ve done in-game since the tracker went live. This in itself is useful, both for helping players set goals and for highlighting other areas of the game they might not have given a fair shake yet and so might enjoy. Behind the scenes, the way that CCP is collecting this detailed data and the implications of its use are really fascinating, and there are even plans to use machine learning to look for patterns in this data that would help identify bots.

Read on for a breakdown of exactly how masses of new data is being captured on EVE players, and how it could be put to use in the future.

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Trove has passed 15 million players… and lots of other milestones

Congratulations are in order for Trove, which has passed 15 million players over the course of its lifespan. That’s a lot of people logging in and playing. And the developers have some more entertaining stats for the game as well; players have placed over 6.5 billion blocks, and they’ve also destroyed more than 10 billion blocks in total. That’s… a lot of blocks.

More than 237 million quests have been completed, nearly 353 million clubs have been entered, and about 119.9 million pinata parties have gotten cracking. There are also 161 million or so lifetime played hours across all players, which comes out to nearly 185 centuries of total playtime. So congratulations on all of your big numbers, Trove. People really like you, and it counts.

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OrbusVR passes 8,000 total players

Good news for OrbusVR: It might not be doing great numbers for “not a VR game,” but it’s doing very well for a game that does require a VR headset. The game has 8,000 total players and has around 350 concurrent players at its peak, which is very good for a VR only title (and, let’s face it, better than some non-VR titles). It’s even topping the lists of Steam’s VR games, which is quite good news.

This comes along with the game’s patch 3.5, which adds lore books to the world (little in-game books to learn more about the setting) along with fixes to voice chat and bandit status. The first big content patch is still scheduled for January 29th, so if you’re one of the people helping push the game to the top of the charts, you’ll have more to do in just a few short weeks.


Wisdom of Nym: Materia and stats in Final Fantasy XIV

When Heavensward was the current expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, we were introduced to the idea that you could meld materia onto valuable endgame gear. It was a big shift, made only slightly smaller by the fact that pretty much every single job required the exact same melds without the slightest amount of consideration. You didn’t really need to think about it except for a handful of cases, and even in places where melding something else might be useful (like melding just enough Piety for Black Mage to get another cast off), you weren’t going to be suffering if you just ignored it.

This has changed somewhat in Stormblood. At this point, melding is a simple game, but it’s more complex than it gets credit for, while also perhaps being a bit simpler than it needs to be. Or perhaps it’s just as complex as it needs to be. It’s a multi-faceted issue, in other words, and one that deserves more nods than it gets.

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DC Universe Online is releasing its stat rebalance with its next major patch

No one likes seeing numbers go down in an MMO. You work really hard to make sure your attack power goes as high as possible, and then suddenly one day you log in and find out that it’s lower than it used to be. That’s one of the changes coming with DC Universe Online’s most recent pass on stat revisions. However, that’s no need to be worried, as your actual output will not change. You may have 10% less attack power, but everything is scaled down by the same 10% to keep exponential stat scaling under control. So while it means a smaller number, it won’t affect your performance.

The most recent stat update also goes into making individual healer skills more effective, so healing feels less like a matter of spamming and more like an act of balance. Controllers have also had their power regeneration numbers buffed, so that will help that role produce a bit more of an impact. If you can’t wait to try this out for yourself, the good news is that it’s going live with game update 73 within the next few weeks as developers fine-tune the change. So it won’t be tomorrow, but it will be soon. (Whether or not it will hit in time for our current Choose My Adventure run is another matter altogether.)


Wisdom of Nym: The numbers game in Final Fantasy XIV

It’s not really hard to figure out the best stats for melding in order to do the maximum damage in Final Fantasy XIV. You have, ultimately, only a few real options, and with the removal of Accuracy as an option, none of them is actually going to make or break important points. The problem is that asking “what can I meld to do maximum damage” is perhaps not always the right question to ask.

The matter of stat weights and best-in-slot gear has already been attracting ferocious debate in various parts of the community, and you know the debate has gotten to a fever pitch when Yoshida actually addresses one of the stupider new customs in a live letter. (That would be tanks wearing 270 STR accessories, for the record.) So I think it’s well past the point to talk about the issue of tank damage, tank scaling, and numbers in general. They may not carry the allure of story sequences, but they’re still important.

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Revelation Online’s guilds can give you a boost up

Let’s just put this right out there: You definitely are going to want to join a guild in Revelation Online unless you genuinely enjoy having fewer stats than everyone else in the game.

This is thanks to Revelation’s character cultivation system. Essentially, it allows guilds to build up a spot in their base so that all members can train up bonus skill points. Both guilds and individual players will need to pay into the system for those rewards using (among other things) fruit. Plumblossom Fruit to be exact.

And just in case you were wondering if you could join a guild, get the extra stats, and then take off with them… you can’t: “The caveat being that it is guild-centric passive, thus leaving a guild will disable the ability until you re-join a guild that has character cultivate unlocked. Until that point, you will retain your cultivation progress, but not be able to enjoy its effects outside of a guild, or within a guild that does not have the passive unlocked for its members.”

Revelation Online soft launched this week as a free-to-play title. Curious about it but too lazy to install? MOP’s MJ will be streaming it at 8:00 p.m.!


DC Universe Online makes Weapon Combos more potent over time

Weapon combos are the main source of damage for players who focus on weapons in DC Universe Online. This is not a complex or unusual concept. But for players who focus on powers or employ a hybrid style, weapon combos aren’t nearly as important. So as part of the stat rebalancing for the game, the developers had to find a way to make weapon combos useful for those focusing on them without making them overpowered. The solution is giving a scaling damage buff for combos over 2.5 seconds up to 4 seconds, thus meaning that long combos become far more useful for players relying upon them but short ones are still used for other functions.

The most recent stat revamp has also targeted the Light, Rage, and Nature powersets, all of which have had balance tweaks without any huge function overhauls. Despite this, the developers are aware that several powers will undergo functional shifts and need a new set of mods once the stat revamp goes live, and players are assured that a system is already being put in place to address this. What that system is remains unknown, but it will exist.


DC Universe Online discusses the playstyles supported with the stat revamp

As DC Universe Online overhauls its stats, it’s helpful to know how the game actually expects players to play the game. The answer as of the latest revamp rundown is that you get to choose, but there are three main playstyles that the game is being built and balanced around. The hybrid playstyle is the “default” style and the one that most players are likely familiar with, but the play-from-tray and weapon styles are a bit more unusual, especially when one considers that all three playstyles are meant to have roughly similar performance.

Play-from-tray as a playstyle means focusing almost entirely upon powers, specializing on doing most of your damage with powers while minimizing any weapon use. The weapon playstyle, naturally, is the inverse; almost all of your points go into maximizing weapon damage and your powers are secondary at best. The goal is to ensure that damage-oriented players can be dealing just as much damage using a powers-only approach, a weapons-only approach, or the usual hybrid build. Check out the latest dispatch for more details on how everything is being balanced.


DC Universe Online explains further changes in the new pass of the stat revamp

Power is important in DC Universe Online. You need power. But the fact of the matter is that power had kind of become a mess; providing power to yourself over time was a chore and didn’t provide much interesting gameplay, controllers wound up needing to spam power healing, and it was all around not a great scene. The latest iteration of the stat revamp has altered all of this significantly; power healing is an automatic passive for all characters now, and controllers in the controller role will automatically provide a passive power healing aura, thus allowing focused healing in specific situations while requiring less spam and loadout dedication.

Most ability cooldowns have also been reduced, while controllers in general have received more attention to offer crowd control that lasts longer and is harder to break. The result should be that controllers are more active and effective in battle, players can use powers more, and the necessary but not super-engaging power regeneration loop is no longer mandatory. Players can test out these changes on the test server and offer feedback about whether the changes are for the best or not.


Paladins has over five million players from beta testing

For all of its major system overhauls, Paladins appears to be doing something right. A new video on stats from the game’s open beta notes that there are over five million players from 230 different countries enjoying the game, even though the game is still technically in open beta testing. There are plenty of other fun stats about the testing, collected below in video format rather than the usual infographic.

If you’re one of the five million players or just an onlooking well-wisher, you may want to keep your eyes on the Paladins Invitational Tournament starting in a little under a month. Players will compete for a prize of $150,000 starting on January 5th, with all of the competition getting streamed on Twitch as eight teams face off to become the best invited players in the world. And if you’re not into the competitive scene but just like playing… well, with five million people, you’ll probably be able to find a match or two.

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World of Warcraft’s secondary stats are dropping in power; here’s why

Players who log on to World of Warcraft’s 7.1.5 test realm will no doubt have already noticed that secondary stats just aren’t what they used to be. The same amount of haste has you attacking slower, the same amount of mastery makes you less masterful, and so on. What gives? A new post on the official forums explains exactly why this is, and it all comes down to the problem that item level hasn’t been a clear enough indicator of what piece of gear is stronger than other gear.

According to the official post, if a player is passing up a 15+ item level upgrade just because of secondary stats, those stats are tuned to be too powerful. Thus, the goal is to make secondary stats provide less increase per rating point while also tuning up how much of the stats appear on items per level, so a big item level upgrade should always mean that you’re getting enough of the (random) secondary stats to make the upgrade worthwhile. In other words, you have one stat you should really be upgrading all the time, and that’s item level. (Of course, this could also be addressed by making secondaries not totally random and allowing players to adjust them… but let’s not go there.)


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