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EVE Evolved: Calling time on EVE Online’s five-year vision

When Andie “CCP Seagull” Nordgren walked onto the stage at EVE Fanfest 2013 and delivered her long-term vision for the future of EVE Online, the excitement in the room was palpable. EVE was riding its highest peak concurrent player numbers in the game’s history following the overhauls of the Crucible, Inferno, and Retribution expansions, and players were ready for a new blockbuster feature to fire their imaginations. CCP delivered its ambitious five year vision to hand the reigns of EVE‘s living universe over to its players, with player-built stargates and deep space exploration in completely uncharted star systems.

We’re now about four months away from the five-year mark on that vision, and many parts of it have now been completed, but no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy. We’ve seen some big feature drops such as the release of citadels, the industry overhaul, and the recent moon mining overhaul, but that deep space colonisation gameplay still seems far off. Some players feel as if EVE is currently in a holding pattern, with everyone waiting for the next big feature or overhauls to their favourite part of the game before deciding what to do next. So what does come next?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down the progress toward Nordgren’s 5 year vision so far and talk about the possible next steps I think CCP could take to make it a reality.

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The MOP Up: Heroes of the Storm mains Hanzo (December 10, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Crossout, Ultima Online, Monster Hunter World, HellionEverQuest II, WakfuRuneScapeStar Wars: The Old RepublicElsword OnlineRagnarok ZeroLord of the Rings OnlineDreadnought, Sword Art Online Integral Factor, and Heroes of the Storm, all waiting for you after the break!

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Camelot Unchained fleshes out books, clothes, and the new Dragonfang scenario

They aren’t dressing it up with “burndown” hoopla, but City State Entertainment’s devs are in just that kind of check-it-off testing mode with Camelot Unchained’s development as they push their way to the long-delayed beta one. In this week’s dev update, Tyler Rockwell explains that the team continues work on its template component system, the Dragonfang scenario and Place of Power maps, scenario automation, NPC tech, the world space UI, combat effects, lady clothes, armor animations, the patcher art, and skill buttons – although really they could’ve saved themselves a lot of trouble and just made a single I-win button, am I right?

Books are also on the agenda! “Jon began work sculpting out different Realm variations of books, the magic tomes a caster might use as a type of focus,” Rockwell says. “These, like our other weapons, are being designed to include interchangeable pieces that can be used in crafting.”

“We continue to push forward on the needs for Beta 1, while making improvements to not only combat, but also gameplay. This is part of our commitment, through the Dragon Circle concept, to provide our patient Backers with a more fun experience during testing, up to and into Beta 1.”

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Grand Theft Auto Online previews its high-adventure Doomsday Heist update

Sometimes, robbing banks gets boring. Specifically, robbing banks in Grand Theft Auto Online; you should not be robbing banks in real life under any circumstances. Don’t rob banks. But the next update for the game is promising a robbery involving jetpacks into a mountain, transforming DeLoreans, and doomsday scenarios. You probably shouldn’t be involved in that sort of heist anyway, but it’s a little more unclear what is happening here that is actually illegal.

This is GTAO, so something illegal is probably happening. But what is a bit more unclear.

You can check out the trailer for the update just below; at a glance, this “epic online adventure” has a lot of story hooks that seem more like single-player content, like promising to investigate the mysteries of Mount Chilliad. You’ll have to see how it plays out for yourself when the update goes live on December 12th; until then, watch the trailer to get all of the aforementioned transforming DeLorean action you could ask for. (In short bursts. You should not continually watch a one-minute trailer for the next several days.)

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Warframe revises focus system, adds dynamic weather

Perfectionists, nitpickers, or insecure? Your call on Warframe’s development team, although it does look like the members are striving to make the best game possible. Shortly after releasing the “Focus 2.0” overhaul with the recent Plains of Eidolon, the team is revising it once again with “Focus 2.5.”

The main takeaway with this updated system is that players will have to spend less to progress through the focus tree from now on: “The biggest systemic change with focus will address pool capacity costs. Focus points are still collected into five separate trees, but all will now have a shared pool capacity — this means you can upgrade your pool size using the points from any school you wish, which increases the maximum capacity for every school all at once.”

This week’s update adds dynamic weather patterns to the new open world zone, so enjoy them puddles! Rain, storms, wind, and moving cloud patterns are all part of the system, and players can expect to encounter reduced visibility and better fishing when it really starts getting nasty outside.

Source: Focus 2.5, patch notes. Thanks Sophiskiai!

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Dungeons and Dragons Online gives out free level 10 characters for Mists of Ravenloft

For a limited time, Dungeons and Dragons Online is allowing players to leapfrog over a ton of advancement and create level 10 characters right out of the gate to enjoy the new Mists of Ravenloft expansion.

There is a catch, though. To access instant level 10 characters, you’re going to need to have the new Veteran Status III applied to your account. You can either earn this with in-game favor or by purchasing the status through the game store. The upside of this, in addition to getting a character who has advanced essentially 40 levels in any other MMO, is that he, she, or it will be given a set of level 10 gear and a Cleric hireling contract.

The Veteran Status III event is running through December 17th.

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Mobile MMO Immortal Thrones adds new dungeon and marriage system

Back in October, we (hopefully) put Immortal Thrones on your radar as part of our MMOs you’ve never heard of series. If not, then today’s post will be your introduction to one of the rare 3-D mobile MMORPGs that doesn’t have a mega-IP behind it. It’s actually the brainchild of Chinese studio Zloong, and it’s been live on iOS and Android since only October.

Today, it’s patched up with a whopper of an update that includes the new Temple Relic dungeon, an achievement album, a new pet system, world ranking, optimization, and tweaks to something called Tarot Showdown. And lest you think this is just some mobile grinder, consider this new bit:

“In addition, players can choose to embark on a different kind of quest: marriage! The game will be adding a new system and dungeon that will allow players to marry, fight together, and win thrilling rewards.”

Anybody tried this one yet?

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Guardians of Ember needs your help to QA test its live update

Well, here’s a weird situation to be in as both a game and a player of said game. Guardians of Ember pushed out a sizable content update this week to the community — but did so as beta, as the team does not have the capability to perform full QA testing in the office.

“Why did we roll out the expansion as a beta?” the team asked. “Act VI is a big update and as a small team we need your help to QA it. We decided against a separate test server so not to split the population… but playing Act VI is completely optional and you could easily hold off until full release hopefully later this month.”

Act VI brings a level cap increase to 60, more maps, and legendary gear to this MMOARPG. The team also activated its Christmas event with special daily quests and a new mount.

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Absolver patches in a new 3v3 gameplay mode

Sparring with your enemies one-on-one is always fun, but sometimes it’s even more fun to be fighting back-to-back with your allies in a fight for dominance. That’s exactly what you get in the latest Absolver patch, which adds in the new 3v3 Overtake PvP mode. Players form two teams of three, and both sides fight together to defeat the other side. Teamwork, obviously, is the name of the game.

The patch also adds in new 1v1 private matches for more formalized duels, a new shop with weapons, gear, and emotes, and the usual quality of life improvements. You can check out the full list of improvements in the game’s patch notes, or you can check out the patch trailer just below. And if you’re already sold at the prospect of a 3v3 mode but don’t yet own the game, it’s on sale for half the price through the weekend, so you can get down with a discount.

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The Stream Team: Working toward joining Path of Exile’s War for the Atlas

Because Zana, the Master Cartographer, moved to the end of Path of Exile’s Act X, Massively OP’s MJ cannot yet access the Atlas of Worlds to participate in the new war. However, she’s going to work hard to get to it so she can! Join us live at 3:00 p.m. as MJ powers through ACT V and beyond to get to the new expansion.

What: Path of Exile
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 8th, 2017

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Dauntless launches the Sharpen Your Skills update

After several weeks of previews, the latest update for Dauntless has arrived, and it’s aiming at making a better hunter out of you. Sharpen Your Skills will allow you to do just that with the new hunt progression system and the addition of cells, both of which augment your progress through the game and allow you to become far more lethal as you play. There are also new combat enhancements and damage types, so you’ll have even more reason to make your skills as sharp as they can be.

You’ll need sharper skills to take on new challenges, though, including two new behemoths to hunt. Perhaps you can do so with the game’s first ranged attack weapon, the war pike. Check out trailers for the update just below, and get ready to leap in and start getting better at slaying huge monsters. Or turning into a smear on the rocks for a few rounds before you actually sharpen your skills a bit, it’s a fine line.

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Amazon stops selling digital cards for Star Wars: The Old Republic

You can no longer purchase digital time cards or Cartel Coins for Star Wars: The Old Republic through Amazon. This is clearly a sign that you can… er… no longer purchase those digital options through Amazon. They remain for sale from the official site, you can still buy physical copies of the cards off of Amazon, and so forth.

Clearly, this means that the game is in imminent danger and is going to shut down within the hour, if you go by the forum thread on the matter. Or, as people point out on Reddit and elsewhere in that same thread, it just means… you can’t buy that set of digital goods through Amazon any longer.

A number of speculative reasons have been put forth for the change: A new package being offered for a new expansion, a change in how profits are being shared, a desire for people to move through the official store fronts, or just a routine set of business decisions. There’s been no official statement on this change at this time, but there’s not much reason to think the sky is falling just yet.

Source: Official Forums, Reddit; thanks to MikeyMoo for the tip!

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WoW Factor: Reconsidering the next few months of World of Warcraft

There’s a lot of information coming out about patch 7.3.5 at this point. Not everything, of course, and a lot of it is based more on datamining than actual stuff that has been announced. But it seems fair to say that World of Warcraft’s immediate future for the next lengthy expansion gap is on the test servers right now, and some of it is obvious while some pieces are… less so. And, if I might be so bold, it even gives us a pretty clear picture of the next few months right out of the gate.

Right now the live game is, obviously, focused on Antorus. That’s the focus for the actual gameplay, and the slow trickle of wings into the group finder are the big thing to do and look forward to until the whole of the content is available by January. For that matter, I think that part of the goal of the next month or so is to give people all the reason in the world to run and explore Antorus and see the story for themselves if they’re interested in having a personal stake in what happens next.

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