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Star Citizen squishes bugs, finds new ones in the lead up to 3.0

Star Citizen’s Sandi Gardiner and Forrest Stephan helm this week’s episode of Around the Verse as the team treks along toward the 3.0 release.

In the Burndown segment, the devs say they’re, well, burning down the bugs, touching on the shopkeeper, usables, mission givers, item highlighting, the UI, and ship doors that are “fleeing the nest,” something any environment modder will immediately recognize (doors suck). As of film time, Eric Kieron Davis says, the team has resolved 54 of last week’s issues, but it added 46 to the must-fix list, so there are 88 issues blocking the release: “Across all of our internal branches, we’ve checked in over 2052 updates this week alone.” The dev team has also moved to the 3.0 branch.

And in the system deep-dive, CIG covers surface outposts, specifically the detailing of the interior — from concepting to prop placement to lighting — as well as the exterior placement and weathering that’s specific to the location. The whole episode is below; it’ll be the last one for a bitsy while the team is in Cologne for Gamescom.

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Today’s Black Desert patch buffs new characters with extra skills

It’s an every-other-Wednesday, so you know what that means: It’s patch day in Black Desert. Kakao says it’s launched another round of the Rulupee’s World Travel Event in addition two new summery “attendance” rewards, including one for medium- to large-sized guild members.

There’s also been an update for Termian Waterpark, which continues on through the season with new fishing, plus tweaks to the field HQ for conquest wars, a “complete now” button for worker missions, improved character customization history, and several interface updates. My favorite? “Fixed the issue where a skin-headed Ninja would suddenly get fully grown hair during combat.” Those dang bald ninjas.

It further appears that Kakao has reduced the level requirements for a number of skills and set many more to be automatically granted as soon as a character is rolled. The whole chart of changes is on the official site.

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Camelot Unchained teases beta with a new ‘guiding principles’ doc

If it feels like we’ve been waiting for Camelot Unchained’s beta forever, well, it hasn’t – it’s only been half of forever. And the wait is almost over, if the first part of City State’s brand-new beta 1 doc is any guide.

“It’s been a longer road to Beta 1 than we expected it would be last year,” CSE’s Mark Jacobs begins. “For that, you have our most sincere and humble apologies.” After admitting he’s “committed more money to the studio than” planned, he says the result has been worth it, such that “by the time you read this, [CSE] will have moved achingly close to the first of the SNS trials, will be back up to 2.1K ARCs/Bots, the new ability, animation, and VFX systems will be performing as expected, and the programmers’ focus will have turned more heavily than ever to gameplay and not tech.”

The doc itself outlines the beta’s “guiding principles” for a “minimum viable vision” — namely, that it should be solid, intermittent, accessible, and more about fun than the tech-oriented alpha. While this is just the first part of the larger doc we’re told is incoming, it does tick off a number of specific features on immediate order, including improved UI, help files and links for newbies, updated patcher and player count, daily issues, class/race combos, attribute clarity, unique player names, and starting gear.

Plus? A peek at the login screen, which is slick!

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MMO Tree of Life has entered ‘final beta,’ counts 85K early access players

Korean sandbox import Tree of Life is officially in “final beta” ahead of its launch this week.

“NeoBricks is announcing Tree of Life, the sandbox MMORPG on Steam has been already started the Final Beta on live servers and the official launch will be on 17th of August,” reads the press release. “By official launch, German, Russian, Brazilian-Portuguese, French and Simplified Chinese will be added.”

NeoBricks and OddoneGames previously said they sold 34K copies of the game during its first few months in the wild; today’s press post says the game was “loved by around 85,000” users during early access.

Along with the partial wipe ahead of the launch, the plan is to implement the new Clay 2 engine, redesigned UI, and PvP update for launch. A more recent FAQ tells players that the relic war will be removed from the final version, the UI will see a new compass, and the team might consider world bosses. But PvE servers are not happening. “The three factions are contesting but PvP should not be the essential feature,” the devs wrote earlier this month. “We are designing the game so that you can enjoy it even without active PvP

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Interview: Daybreak’s Just Survive drops H1Z1 branding for massive revamp and relaunch today

Remember the survival version of H1Z1? If not, we can’t say that we blame you: Since Daybreak split the game in two, the bulk of development and attention has gone to the last-man standing tournament mode. Just check out how many patches and tournaments H1Z1: King of the Kill has seen! Those wanting to focus on the survival side of things were just out of luck as those servers seriously languished.

But all that changes today. No longer will H1Z1 Just Survive be lost in its sibling’s shadow; from here on out, Just Survive is its own game. And the name isn’t the only thing changing; beyond a rebranding, the entire game has gotten quite an overhaul.

I sat down with Creative Director Ben Jones for a tour of the many changes that go live today. We traveled the new map, investigated new POIs, visited the new safe zone respawn points (a few times!), met NPCs, checked out the new economy, and peeked at the new stronghold system. Jones also assured me that with its own development team, Just Survive will be receiving regular updates going forward. Will it be enough to bring players back? It worked for me. I had stopped playing the title quite a while ago (as I had no interest in KotK), but what I’ve seen now has me excited to give it another go.

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VR is still on the table for Star Citizen

VR-centric website Road to VR has a brief quote from Cloud Imperium Games that might be good news to those of you still hoping to someday see Star Citizen in virtual reality.

“Nothing new really to report here,” CIG told the publication in response to its status request. “We do plan on having VR support for Star Citizen. But it’s just having to fit in as a technology with all the other tech that we are currently incorporating into the game. As I’m sure you know, VR technology is evolving quickly. As with anything that fits this category, we are going to spend the time to make sure it’s integrated properly for our game.”

Indeed, as one Redditor points out, the game’s latest Around the Verse, which we covered Friday, features what is basically an in-game holo-watch dubbed mobiGlas; during that segment, CIG explained that it’s kept VR in mind while designing it.

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One Shots: Out for a monster stroll

He just wanted to go out for a casual stroll. He picked the worst possible day to do it.

Todd the Troll lumbered out of Mordor, looking for a breath of fresh air and possibly some daisies to pick for his deformed girlfriend back home. What he found was a pitched battle between his comrades and some inexplicably agitated humans yelling about rings and frodos.

Finyar captured Todd’s bewildering dilemma in Lord of the Rings Online at the Battle of the Black Gate. I, for one, hope he made it home and will look back on this day and laugh.

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Check out Star Citizen’s absurdly detailed in-game hologram smartwatch

Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner are helming another episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse this week, in the temporarily abbreviated format introduced previously. The headliner of the episode? MobiGlas, which is basically a super fancy in-game smartwatch that your character can use to display every imaginable statistic to you in an overlay interface. I want one!

The Burndown segment this week covers the team’s progress toward alpha 3.0. “If you saw our update to the Public Release Schedule last Friday, you should notice that we started this week at 90 must fix issues that we need to complete before we’re ready to release to our first round of non CIG testers,” Senior Producer Eric Kieron Davis says. “These 90 issues are our detailed lists with set priorities guiding the closed down phase of this release. The reason we need priorities is to help us understand which are crucial to be completed first. We currently use terms and definitions such as blocker, critical, high, moderate and trivial and identifying these issues all start with QA.”

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Citadel: Forged with Fire updates its UI and its server browser with the latest patch

Oh, user interfaces, you delightful vixens. You take up a good chunk of our screens as we play, and while we may not notice you when you’re designed well, we sure as heck notice when you aren’t. It also takes a lot of work to change UIs once they’re in place, which is why the most recent Citadel: Forged with Fire update focuses mostly on updating the UI to make it easier for players to see what’s happening and get information. It also improves the game’s server browser to include more sorting options and filters so you can find just the right sort of server for you to play on.

Luckily, this update does contain other improvements; several new structures have been added to the to the game, like rugs, paintings, and bookshelves. Structure HP has also been fixed on certain pieces like doors, and throne decay time has been upped from 10 days to 16 days. Check out all of the updates and shifts in the patch notes; it might not be the sort of patch adding a groundswell of new content, but it’s still substantial.

Source: Steam

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Lord of the Rings Online tidies up Mordor with a post-launch patch

Expansion launches come with all sorts of messiness, and it’s up to developer to clean (or ignore) the issues that a great deal of its playerbase is experiencing. For Lord of the Rings Online, today’s small update attempts to tidy up Mordor by fixing some bothersome quest issues and activating The Burning Mountain resource dungeon.

High Elves, the new race for the expansion, are getting a lot of touch-ups as well. While their passive skills continue to remain missing, they can get the the undying titles, use quest-related mounts, and show up properly in the barber UI.

The team also apologizes for dominating lowbies in Bree-land: “The very high-level wights in the Barrow-downs were only supposed to appear at certain times. They’ve been reprimanded and should no longer constantly appear there, eager to feast on unwary, lower-level characters.”

Source: Patch notes

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WoW’s Garrosh Hellscream joins Heroes of the Storm

Orc faithful, one of your own has descended upon Heroes of the Storm: Garrosh Hellscream. Rawr. Everybody else, you can just have fun killing the peeps who roll him up.

Yep, Blizzard’s released World of Warcraft’s Garrosh as a playable hero this week. He’ll be bashing around with AoE melee damage, zerker-style healing, a wrecking ball attack, an irritating AoE slow, and even a nasty silence-plus-taunt ultimate.

He’s part of this week’s larger patch, which also tweaks the UI and chat, pulls the Hanamura map temporarily for reworks, flips the rest of the map rotation, and cops to stealth buffs to the Dragon Shire map. Check out Garrosh’s feature vid below!

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Raze: Dungeon Arena packs in over 60 dungeons onto your mobile device

Need a quick fix of Diablo-style action on your mobile device? Hong Kong Publisher Wonder Game has a solution for that coming this fall! Raze: Dungeon Arena is a hack-and-slash multiplayer title that’s coming to the west with PvE and PvP modes.

Today the team behind Raze revealed its character upgrade system, which seems to be heavily tied to gear and runes. Players can take their spoils of war and trade them in to a rune master for new skills and upgrades to those skills. Meanwhile, the blacksmith offers specific enhancements to equipment that will help players survive certain situations.

Raze: Dungeon Arena is coming to iOS and Android devices in NA and EU, and will feature over 60 single-player dungeons for extended challenge. By preregistering for the game, players can secure Grosvenor, the gun-crazed Dwarf, for free.

Check out the crafting and upgrade interface below and then stay tuned to see it in action on the battlefield!

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Indie sandbox MMO Tree of Life officially launches on August 17, won’t include PvE-only servers

Here comes another MMO emerging from early access! We’re talking about Korean sandbox import Tree of Life, which hit beta last year following a transition to factional PvP and a big graphics overhaul. Developers NeoBricks and OddoneGames, who’ve said they sold 34K copies of the game during its first few months in the wild, are plotting a final beta from August 10th to 16th, at which point the servers will be partially wiped and launched on the 17th.

The announcement comports with last month’s note that the test phase would come to an end in “early August 2017” when the game is fully released on Steam. The plan is to implement the new Clay 2 engine, redesigned UI, and PvP update for launch. A more recent FAQ tells players that the relic war will be removed from the final version, the UI will see a new compass, and the team might consider world bosses. As for PvE servers,

“The idea of PvE/PvP servers is interesting but we do not consider it. In the world of ToL, the 3 factions are contesting but PvP should not be the essential feature. We are designing the game so that you can enjoy it even without active PvP (We have looked at the Community Feedback and have been discussing about PvP and concluded to remove the Relic war in the official version).”

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