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The Black Death outlines the new profession system that starts you off as a plague doctor

There are no medical exams to pass when you start a new character in the next patch of The Black Death. You get to start off right away as a plague doctor near what appears to be the epicenter of the plague ravaging the area, and there’s even a set of quests introducing the many skills available to you. Once you’ve gotten through those quests – or just struck off on your own if you’re experienced with the game – the new profession system should allow you to mix-and-match your choice of skills to create whatever sort of profession you like.

The new system has eight professions with a grand total of 117 skills to unlock, and players can mix and match as desired. If you want to become the best plague doctor around, you can; if you want to split off and focus on farming, you can. And if you want to build a profession that’s a bizarre hybrid of farmer, hunter, and plague doctor? That’s totally all right as well. Our own MJ will be streaming the game after the patch drops on Thursday, so if you want to see it all in action, keep your eyes peeled.

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GTA Online drops wild ‘transform’ stunt races in tomorrow’s update

If you ever get tired of mayhem in Grand Theft Auto Online… just kidding, nobody ever gets tired of mayhem in GTAO. That’s why you’re playing GTAO. And it’s why in tomorrow’s patch, Rockstar is offering an all-new flavor of chaos: “Transform Races,” stunt races “with a twist.”

“Instantly mix vehicle and race types as you switch between land, sea and air in Transform Races, the next evolution of stunt racing in Grand Theft Auto Online. Jump instantly from the curves of a gritty, downtown street race straight into a speeding jet high above Los Santos, then dive face first down Raton Canyon on a jet ski and more. Transform Races are new and unique stunt tracks that seamlessly transition across land, sea and air, running the gamut of available vehicle types – everything from Supers and Off-Roads, to Boats, Planes, and Helicopters – and even some skydiving thrown in for good measure.”

The update’s out tomorrowday; check out the new trailer down below. Maybe don’t if you get airsick, though, because whoa.

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds tops 2.3M concurrency, bans a fraction of that

Here’s a fun game that we play around the Massively OP office: A troublemaker will come in and loudly proclaim, “You know what’s a good game name? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds!” Then it becomes a race to exit the building as fast as possible before flying projectiles from the staff make contact.

Dumb name or no, PUBG continues its meteoric climb in popularity. The battle royale shooter just reached a staggering 2.3 million concurrency, although these levels haven’t been achieved without a few (hundred thousand) bad eggs spoiling the batch. The studio claims that it has banned 322,000 accounts so far for cheating.

As the studio struggles to stay on top of this monster that it created, it also prepares for the holiday Xbox One release, the PC 1.0 launch, and the imminent addition of climbing and vaulting.

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Wisdom of Nym: Final Fantasy XIV patch 4.1 in review

Let me make an agreement with you, dear readers: this column about Final Fantasy XIV will not talk about the housing situation in Shirogane at all. If you’re wondering “why wouldn’t you cover that,” the answer is that I already did and you can read the whole feature on that. (You can also read the follow-up.) So for the remainder of this column, we’re going to talk about all of the other features of this particular patch, which seems like a better use of our time anyway.

Heck, the whole stupid housing mess was only released with this patch, it’s not like the mechanics or anything are new.

And hey, there’s some good stuff going on with this patch, along with parts that are well worth discussing for where they don’t work as well. So let’s dive right in, starting with the obvious centerpiece of every patch, the continued expansion of the game’s storyline… as perfunctory as it may feel sometimes. Some mild spoilers are possible, so be fairly warned.

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s free-to-play upgrades are pretty damn generous

You’ve probably heard by now that EVE Online is giving its free-to-play alpha clone characters a massive boost in power in December about a month after the launch of the Lifeblood expansion. The news has been spreading through the gaming media since it was announced last week at EVE Vegas 2017 and the reception online has been generally positive. Some existing players are worried that the change might even be too generous, with fears that veteran players may let their subscriptions lapse and play for free, or that the new skills might be abused to create an endless army of ganking alts.

There’s no doubt that the changes will help to close the power gap between subscribers and free players and will open up new avenues of gameplay. Free players will finally be able to fly tech 1 battlecruisers and even battleships, and cross-training for multiple races will unlock multi-faction ships such as the Sisters of EVE exploration ships. Alpha clone players will also finally be able to use tech 2 weapons and fly many of the ship setups flown in massive nullsec wars, though the way that the new skill limit is being implemented may actually benefit old and returning players more than new ones.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into the free-to-play changes, briefly examine the power gap between free and subscribed players, and look at who will benefit most from the change.

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The MOP Up: Speedrunning World of Warcraft (October 15, 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 Project Gorgon, Star Trek Online, BlessSkyforgeWakfuRobloxWar ThunderAionElite: DangerousNew DawnTravianAstroneer, and World of Warcraft, all waiting for you after the break!

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Fortnite teases Halloween event, lists development projects in the works

The development train for Fortnite isn’t slowing down, with the studio posting a long list of projects that its teams are currently tackling. For those who don’t have time to peruse the full rundown, some of the more notable line items include voice chat,

In community news, some of Fortnite’s players have reported that the studio has overturned accidental bans and compensated affected individuals for the bother. After seeing the compensation, some voices wished that they had been mistakenly booted.

The team also teased Fortnite’s Halloween event in its most recent dev update video. Apparently this will be “quest-driven” featuring eight new heroes, two new weapons, and an additional biome called Hexelvania. More details will be forthcoming next week.

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Halloween events in Path of Exile, Master X Master, RIFT, EverQuest, Ultima Online, and AQ3D

It’s almost a full-time job to stay on top of all of the MMO and MOBA Halloween events popping up all over the place! Here’s another batch of deliciously frightful festivities that are going on right now in games all around you:

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LOTRO Legendarium: Grading Lord of the Rings Online in 2017

At the beginning of 2017, it seemed as though a mini-renaissance was brewing for Lord of the Rings Online. Standing Stone Games broke away from the sinking ship that was Turbine and offered a fresh start of sorts for the long-running MMO. We were coming to a head with the game’s story and a return to large-scale expansions was confirmed with the news of Mordor.

Reality and hopes don’t always get along, and while 2017 hasn’t always been the kindest to LOTRO, it hasn’t been a crushing disappointment either. The more I’ve been looking at the state of the game, reading the forums, playing it, and covering news, the more I’ve felt the need to grade how the game is doing in the right here and now.

So why not? It’s school season, so let’s embrace the academic spirit and assign some marks to LOTRO’s operation and state. Agree with these grades? Disagree? Get out your quill and scratch your own thoughts down there in the comments!

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Hearthstone changes triggers to help make the game more intuitive

With hundreds of cards designed at this point, Hearthstone matches are awash in a sea of effects and triggers that activate under certain conditions. With so much going on, it might be easy for players to get confused about the order of when and how spell effects happen, which is why the team is making a pair of small but crucial changes with the October update.

“We want cards to work the way that you guess they might—in other words, we want the game to work intuitively,” the team wrote. “So we want to be extra clear that this update isn’t a change in depth; instead, it’s one step in an ongoing effort improve Hearthstone’s mechanics.”

The two changes are that minions with the “after” keyword will only activate their effect if they’re in play at the time and in-play effects will no longer trigger in-hand effects. Confused? Gameplay Engineer Josh Durica walks you through these changes with in-game examples below.

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Citadel: Forged With Fire goes on sale, reduces marble building costs

If you’ve been eyeing Citadel: Forged With Fire but have held out so far in the hopes of a good deal, now might be the time to pounce. Through October 16th, the title is 30% off its normal price, reducing the sandbox’s cost to $17.49.

Sale aside, Citadel continues to patch up on a near-weekly basis. This week’s update features a reduction of the cost of marble and ornate building materials, which the team says is a reaction to community pushback over the high cost.

“While our goal with raising the building cost of marble and ornate was to increase the perceived value of the high-tier structures and slow the appearance of massive, server straining mega-structures, we realize now that we may have gone a bit overboard in our approach,” the team admitted.

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LOTRO continues to course-correct gear issues, starts Harvest Festival, and gives away mithril tokens

Lord of the Rings Online’s sloppy QA process has resulted in a quagmire of issues following the release of this week’s Update 21. Previously, the studio accidentally sold its new dungeon gear for way too cheap and then tried to remove all of purchased gear without compensation (a move that was later tempered due to player outrage).

But the woes aren’t over yet. Today’s Update 21.2.1 mistakenly nerfed the problematic gear, which hasn’t done much to bolster studio-player relations. “Why, SSG, why?” one player posted. “How can you keep messing up like this?”

For more in-depth coverage of this debacle, check out LOTRO Players’ seething essays on this week’s mishaps and Contains Moderate Peril’s take on the studio’s public relations problems.

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Dark and Light encourages you to beat up goblins for sweet, sweet candy

Back in September, Massively OP went deep undercover to bring players a shocking exposé on how Dark and Light subtly conditions players to become bullies by beating up and then enslaving the local goblin population. We thought it could get no worse… until now.

With the advent of Gobboween, there’s a new reason to take out latent aggression on the game’s goblin population: candy. Yes, now you’re actually beating up cute and mostly innocent creatures for their sweet snacks, an activity that the developers wholeheartedly encourage. And because it isn’t ridiculous enough, you can even use candy as ammunition in a special weapon.

If that isn’t enough excitement to fill your breeches, Dark and Light dropped a smallish patch today that added a new telescope recipe, allowed players to craft even more stone arrows at once (dangerously escalating the Stone Arrow Cold War), and beefed up rewards from trekking through the Ice Caves with friends.

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