the skies

Official Site: The Skies
Studio: Eforb
Launch Date: N/A
Genre: Post-Apoc Survival MMORPG
Business Model: Subscription
Platform: PC

The Stream Team: Going on a griffon hunt in ARK

From the first moment Massively OP’s MJ saw the majestic griffon flying around ARK’s Ragnarok server, she wanted one. Needed one! Today, she’s going to attempt to get one. Capturing and taming this beast will take help as well as some luck. Tune in live at 6:00 p.m. for this first attempt to subdue the king of the skies.

What: ARK: Ragnarok
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 11th, 2017

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Kakao will launch Bluehole’s Ascent: Infinite Realm MMORPG in the west

Good morning! Who wants some genuinely good news for the MMORPG genre? Great. Black Desert publisher Kakao is bringing Ascent: Infinite Realm westward. That’d be the Bluehole MMO codenamed Project M as revealed at G-Star this year. The studios are touting the game’s open world, steampunk-cum-fantasy setting, and RvR aerial combat.

Ascent: Infinite Realm takes place in a high fantasy steampunk world where machines and magic rule and everyone is dependent on flight to explore, travel, and conquer. In search of a new home, adventurers take to the skies using a wide selection of airships, vehicles, and flying mounts to traverse A:IR’s open, highly vertical world.”

Beta testing is expected in the first half of 2018, localized for English, German, and French.

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Black Desert’s Wonderland-themed Halloween is live with fresh dailies

Halloween is live in Black Desert today, with a main event partly inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

“As the blood moon rises above the Black Desert world, mysterious interdimensional portals allow Isabella the Black Witch to haunt the lands. This multi-staged world boss lurks near Costa Farm and players who are skillful enough to beat her are in for fantastic rewards. The Isabella encounter will be available from October 18 up until November 1 and can be accessed by speaking to the White Witch, Gueldia, who has followed Isabella through the portal and resides at Alejandro Farm.”

There’s more, of course! Beginning tomorrow, Kakao will unroll two weeks of daily events. “After successfully completing various challenges, adventurers can earn Halloween-themed rewards such as coins, candy baskets, and cookies,” explains the studio. “The candy baskets and cookies can be combined into Halloween gift boxes and coins can be exchanged at the White Witch NPC Gueldia for Cron Stone, Sharp Black Crystal Shard, Advice of Valks, or a Fine Accessory Box.”

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Black Desert’s Wonderland-themed Halloween arrives next week

Halloween is coming to Black Desert next week! Some of the new additions are clearly inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, since multiple “queens” play a role.

“Starting next week, the skies of Black Desert Online will be illuminated with an eerie blood red moon and jack-o’-lanterns will light the misty town streets. The Halloween event begins as adventurers encounter the White Witch who asks them to defeat the Black Witch. Players gain special items from this daily-quest just for this special occasion. Central hubs like Velia, Heidel, Valencia and Calpheon will receive a festive Halloween makeover that oozes the spooky atmosphere. New this year is the Alice in Wonderland theme that welcomes props like the Mad Hatter’s famed tea party furnitures.”

Kakao is promising new themey cosmetics, minipets, and masks. Oh, and cosmetics for your horse too: the Skeletal Horse Set. It’s the digital equivalent of a puppy in a hot dog costume. Poor horsie. Vid’s below to tide you over until next Wednesday!

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Working As Intended: The best and worst of Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire (so far)

I’ve spent a chunk of the last week moving through the first part of Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire, finishing up the Crystal Oasis zone into which a character is deposited right off the airship. Obviously, it’s far too early to give a formal stamp of approval until I’m fully through it, but so far, I’m pleased with my purchase. Very pleased. I’m already pretty sure the expansion is update-of-the-year material for the genre. But it’ll take a few months to see how it fully meshes with the existing game, and while the same was true with Heart of Thorns, my urge to stop writing and go back into Elona for the next zone as I type this already tells me that PoF has delivered on at least its basic promises.

So while we let the community savor the game until a fully informed consensus is reached, I wanted to dash off some quick thoughts based on this first week of midcore casual play. Consider it a top 5, bottom 5 list as we dig into the very best additions to the game – and the things that still annoy me.

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LawBreakers muses on the competitive shooter market ahead of launch tomorrow

Be honest: Would you even know what LawBreakers is if it weren’t for the fact that CliffyB is attached to it? Nexon and Boss Key are well aware of this problem and have said as much in a new interview on Gamasutra today, specifically noting that the shooter market is outrageously competitive and oversaturated. Consequently, lead designer Dan Nanni says, the dev team is trying to avoid the herd and focus on whatever the other guys aren’t doing, all in an attempt to stand out.

“If we made decisions that made the game play too similarly to one of our key competitors, we knew we’d get overshadowed. […] If our competition was moving heavily towards special abilities, we’d keep focusing heavily on gunplay. If they remained mostly on the ground, then we’d keep pushing hard to put our players in the skies. The focus on gravity being a central gameplay element and blind-fire being a combat mechanic were ideas from the very beginning. The original seed of LawBreakers was more about theme than about function.”

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Wargaming’s WWII games remember the rescue at Dunkirk

In time for this weekend’s blockbuster release of Dunkirk, Wargaming’s World War II games will all be hosting special events to tie into the movie and remember the enormous evacuation in 1940 that saved a bulk of the British army from the advancing Nazi war machine.

Each game has its own Dunkirk-related activities and rewards, starting with World of Tanks, which offers premium vehicles for those who run certain missions. Operation Dynamo stages the nailbiting battle and operation in World of Warships, and pilots will take to the skies in World of Warplanes to defend the troops.

The team said that it modeled 1,232 buildings to recreate Dunkirk for this event: “In Operation Dynamo, ships are moving from Dunkirk to Dover through massive minefields of the Dover Strait. The Dunkirk coast is a narrow strip of land on the bottom of the Operation area. Even then, the team put a monumental effort into recreating the city of Dunkirk. Our 3-D artists literally pieced together the town based on hundreds of photos made before and during World War II.”

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Moonlight Blade’s Puppet Master never loses her toy while flying

Before you ask, no, we don’t have a clue whether or when the wuxia-themed Moonlight Blade is coming to the west. It’s certainly a promising Asian MMO, which is why we are eager to lap up any information that we get about the title, such as flying.

Flying is one of the defining features of Moonlight Blade, allowing characters to propel themselves into the sky for a short period of time. What’s even more interesting is that each class has its own style of aerobatic flight.

Steparu posted a new video of the Puppet Master’s flight style and elaborated a little on what can be done while you take off for the skies: “Not much can be done in terms of the shaky camera controls as it’s scripted in the flying animation. However, players are able to control where they want to fly freely at the start, in between, and at the end of each flying animation in action. You can even make a full U-turn!”

Check out the Puppet Master’s aerial moves after the break!

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Cloud Pirates explains how best to play the Heavy Reinforced Galleon

If your goal in Cloud Pirates is to pilot the most specialized ship possible, you probably aren’t going to enjoy the Heavy Reinforced Galleon. The ship is quite explicitly not meant as the most focused ship of the line, being solidly middle-of-the-road and versatile. Of course, while that makes it not specialized, it also means that it can be kitted out for almost any situation and it means that a skilled player can have an answer for almost any situation. A new guide on the official site explains how the Heavy Reinforced Galleon can be used to deliver impressive results while retaining its high flexibility.

Players who reach tier 4 with the galleon will be able to shut down ship technology and increase the vulnerability of other ships in the area, a valuable tool for any confrontation. Players can also kit out these ships in more defensive or offensive roles while retaining the overall versatility of the class, allowing you to shut down or dampen enemy damage and firing while healing your own ship. If you’d prefer to be behind a diverse arsenal, you could do worse than working the skies in a heavy reinforced galleon.

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Neverwinter’s Shroud of Souls endgame quest comes with a new companion

Endgamers are getting lots of love in Neverwinter’s Shroud of Souls campaign. That’s the takeaway from today’s PWE dev blog, which covers the new “featured quest” en route for endgame players, underpinning the storyline of the content.

“The quest begins with the appearance of a strange shadowy tower in the skies above the skies of the River District of Neverwinter,” the dev blog says, setting the stage. “Wraiths now creep around the back alleys and shadows, draining the life of anyone unfortunate enough to wander nearby.”

Rewards for the quest include “a unique chest piece draped in the dark essence of a powerful necromancer that lets the weak survive when their foes do not” as well as a Netherese Arcanist companion.

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World of Warcraft suffers demonic assaults, welcomes marching tadpoles

When the skies go black and start raining down fel fire, you best know that there’s some bad hoodoo going down. In the case of World of Warcraft, yesterday marked the beginning of the new demonic assaults across the Broken Isles.

It’s actually a good thing for bored players. The demonic assaults offer periodic opportunities to repel invaders from various zones across the latest expansion’s region. If you do at least four of these, you can enter into a three-player instance to take the fight to one of the assault ships. Naturally, there are all sorts of goodies that make this worth your while.

If you’re looking for something more tame and cuddly, might we suggest today’s (and today only) March of the Tadpoles micro-holiday event? Participants can adopt and protect a cute Winterfin murloc as it tries to make it in the big, bad world.

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The Survivalist: Massively OP’s guide to multiplayer survival sandboxes

Welcome to The Survivalist! Ya’ll might have noticed that I have gravitated a bit from my happy home of deep, immersive virtual worlds (possible due to the lack of them!) and have been tinkering about and enjoying time in various survival games. This isn’t as odd as you might think! One thing I love about sandbox worlds is the ability for your actions to matter in terms of shaping the world and carving out your place in it. Survival games have been allowing me just that with opportunities to build the world, from the society on it to structures in it to the even the physical world itself. And decisions definitely matter, bringing satisfaction and reward or disappointment and destruction.

I’m not alone in this appreciation of the survival genre, either. Many MMO gamers have joined mainstreamers by flocking to it lately as seen by the explosion of the available games. Those of you not on board yet might be wonder just what is so alluring about a genre that has many elements of MMOs but on smaller — and oft times privately managed — scale. As the weeks and months wear on, The Survivalist is going to explore all the nooks and crannies of the survival sandbox genre (and likely die many, many times in the process!), but today, we’re going to look at what players can jump into to test their survival skills. So here’s a guide to many options in the newest genre to take over our gaming sphere.
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Perfect Ten: Memories of an Anarchy Online noob

My initial foray into MMORPGs was, to put it nicely, quite ungraceful. I wasn’t even aware that they were a thing until about the year 2000, when I started to notice EverQuest and Asheron’s Call boxes on the shelves. But stories about addiction from friends and the seeming obtuse nature of these games kept me from trying… until fall 2001, that was.

That’s when I saw a sci-fi title lumped together in this unknown category, and I had liked Funcom’s The Longest Journey so much that I thought I’d take a chance on this odd online game. My subsequent experiences in Anarchy Online were fragmented, ignominious, and confusing as all get out. It was so weird, in fact, that I needed a “redo” of City of Heroes several years later to properly get onto the MMO bandwagon (and I haven’t fallen off since!).

So what was it like being a total Anarchy Online — and MMO — noob back in the day, feeling out this game from a position of complete ignorance? Glad you asked, friend, because I’m going to tell you all about it.

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