user interface

Gigantic rejoins Arc platform, opens up PC beta, and preps for July 20 launch

There is no shortage of movement on Gigantic, Motiga’s colorful, multi-platform MOBA. For starters, the studio announced that PC players can now get in on the open beta, conveniently located on Perfect World’s Arc platform.

The Windows open beta joins the Xbox One testing program as the title gets ready for launch on July 20th, and players who want to transfer their accounts to Arc can do so with a one-time offer.

As part of launch preparations, a massive June patch was deployed on Wednesday to shore up Gigantic. The update contained a revamped user interface, a new player experience, bot matches, voice chat, hero voiceovers,

Get pumped for Gigantic’s open beta party with the official trailer below!

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Shroud of the Avatar has plans to attract more players and keep them around

In the hopes of attracting and encouraging more player investors in Shroud of the Avatar, Portalarium took to Reddit for a Q&A session that did not leave everyone quite satisfied.

During the AMA, Portalarium explained why it’s not doing a wipe before release, responded to those upset at the slow rollout of the single-player version, promised more user interface polish, and addressed frustration over players not being able to find certain NPCs. The studio said that right now there it is seeing around a 500-player concurrency, although it expects this to increase as they start promoting the game more.

So how is the team planning in attracting new players to the game as it heads toward launch? “We have been testing out our free trial system for the last few months and in the next few months we will begin promoting this more and more as the game improves to bring in new players. To keep players around long-term we will be working on more high-end content around the end of the year.”

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Project Genom to release massive testing update next month

Those hoping to see more rapid development and deployment of Project Genom will get their wish next month, according to this week’s newsletter.

“On July 28th, 2017, we will launch a separate PTS game version 0.7.0.0,” the team announced. “This test will be a key step in the development over the last months and a starting point for the fast release of subsequent major patches and the game version update on Steam […] The update will completely change the whole project basis, both technically and visually, but the main purpose of it is testing the network part.”

This patch is going to take the game a major step forward with new network architecture, a server transition system, seamless world transitions, an improved database, updated character models, character customization, better enemy AI, a revamped UI, 40 square miles of redesigned landscape, reworked dungeons, day and night transitions, daily routines for NPCs, and a dialogue system. Seems like a good collection of features for a proper update, doesn’t it?

Source: Project Genom. Thanks Edge_case!

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Prevent the Fall adds in a new tutorial and quality of life improvements

It’s nice to know what in the world you’re doing, isn’t it? That can be tricky when you’re starting a new game, but the developers behind the upcoming VR-enabled co-op RPG Prevent the Fall know it’s important. So the game’s latest patch focuses heavily on quality of life improvements and starts with a tutorial, explaining the basics of gameplay and control for brand-new players. In the process, you get some basic armaments and an idea of how to use them, so that should make things easier.

The patch (which is the game’s tenth such patch since it entered early access 19 days ago) also improves creature animations, UI settings, pet status bars, and a variety of other minor fixes and improvements. Check out the full list of changes in the patch notes to get a fine-detail rundown of what’s being changed, which is probably a good idea before you start clicking around blindly and trying to find what’s changed. Perhaps the game could add a tutorial for its patch notes, and… no, that’d be stupid.

Source: Official Site; thanks to D.W.B. for the tip!

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E3 2017: Elder Scrolls Online’s Matt Firor on Morrowind, nostalgia, and PvP

The Elder Scrolls Online released its first expansion, Morrowind, shortly before E3 2017. MMOs rarely come up with mainstream media, but with Morrowind’s nostalgia power, I heard the name mentioned a few times off the showroom floor. While I’d heard of Morrowind, of course, I didn’t personally get on the Elder Scrolls train until Skyrim — it’s been one of those games making “best of” lists for as long as I could remember. However, some of the things I’d read about the upcoming expansion gave me pause, so I brought them up with ZeniMax Game Director Matt Firor during our conversation at E3.

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Dark Age of Camelot prepares new Mithril currency shop

What’s going on over in Dark Age of Camelot land? For that you’ll have to turn to the latest Q&A grab bag with the developers. Among the topics discussed, the devs gave some word about the next patch for the game — and something special that’s coming with it.

“We have a 1.123B version coming very soon to Pendragon that will have additional class changes to several classes that didn’t make it into the 1.123A notes AND tweaks to several of the changes made in 1.123A based on your feedback,” the team said. “Additionally, and the reason for the wait thus far, is that we are also introducing the new Mithril currency and shop. We were able to squeeze in an armor, cloak, and weapon ‘patterning’ system that will allow characters to copy the look of their existing items onto their other items (with some restrictions)!”

The team also fielded questions about resource crate changes, the myth physical defense stat, and scaling the UI to higher resolution monitors.

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Here’s how to participate in Gigantic’s big stress-test event this weekend

Nothing to do this weekend now that E3 is winding down and everything you want to play is way far off in the future? Gigantic has the cure for that: Motiga and PWE have just kicked off an Arc Preview Weekend for the fledgling hybrid MOBA.

“Starting this Friday, June 16 at 10am PDT through Sunday, June 18 at midnight PDT, Gigantic will be open to ALL PLAYERS via the Arc platform. That’s right; if you have Windows 7, 8, or 10, you can download and play Gigantic on Arc as part of Gigantic Arc Preview Weekend.”

The studio says players will have access to all 18 heroes during the event, and all progress you make will be saved into the game’s open beta. During the event, you’ll be stress-testing the servers, matchmaking, the revamped UI, the new tutorial, bot matches, and voice chat.

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Massively Overthinking: The best MMOs and multiplayers of E3 2017

E3 is drawing to a close, with its reveals over and done with — all that’s left is processing our interviews and hands-on pieces. But in the meantime, we decided to take this week’s Overthinking to consider the field. MMORPGs haven’t shined brightly at E3 in a long time, so our expectations are usually low — the con is interesting to us more for what’s happening on the multiplayer front.

So that’s what we asked our staff: What’s the most interesting or grabby-hands MMO or MMO-ish thing from E3 this year? Which game would get your best in show and why? There’s also an extra bonus section on the con itself courtesy of our writer on the floor.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood patch notes have been released

Tomorrow morning, Final Fantasy XIV players will be able to start moving through Stormblood, exploring new areas, leveling the new jobs, clearing new quests, and so forth. As a result, the enormous patch notes for the expansion are now here, and reading through all of them will take a while. Even when you include the fact that the simply massive number of new items added into the game means that you won’t be sitting through that list.

Both Red Mage and Samurai will have their initial job quests in Ul’dah, so if you logged out in that city, you get full marks for prediction. The next part of the Main Scenario will start in the Rising Stones, and players will want to stop by Revenant’s Toll anyhow to exchange all Heavensward tomestones for Allagan Tomestones of Poetics, which now serve as the all-purpose stones for prior expansions. This also means changes to the roulette structure, changes to the UI, and… well, the point is that there are a lot of changes. Luckily, you have all day to read through the notes before the game comes back online tomorrow.

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Tamriel Infinium: The major flaw in Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind’s PvP

When I spoke to ZeniMax Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler a few months back, I was intrigued by the PvP that Morrowind was offering The Elder Scrolls Online. When it hit the test servers, I found it to be exactly what I thought it would be. But because of my playtimes or just the general activity on the PTS, the queues didn’t pop much, so I didn’t get enough of an impression of the Battlegrounds during the test.

However, since the chapter hit the live servers, I’ve been able to spend a good bit of time in the no-Champion Points version of the instanced PvP zones. (As many of you know, I have a heavy aversion to Champion Points, so I apologize that my impressions of the Battlegrounds are only reflective of that.)

Now, I enjoy PvP sporadically. I would not consider myself a hardcore PvPer. But there was a time when I spent all of my game time in both instanced and open-world PvP, so I am not ignorant of the interests PvPers: balanced classes, interesting and unexploitable maps, and strategic and engaging objectives. Of course, there will always be balancing issue when you’re dealing with the number of class combinations ESO carries, but they are relatively balanced. And the other interests fall in line with most other MMO PvP. There is one major flaw that appears effective on paper, but when you factor in human nature, it fails almost every time: 4v4v4.

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Project Gorgon improves storage and guild systems

One complaints that Project Gorgon testers have expressed during the alpha is that inventory and storage is both limiting and cluttered. The small dev team is well aware of this, which is why it has laid down a few quality of life improvements in this field prior to the upcoming UI revamp.

June 9th’s patch allowed for some measure of linked storage within a zone and a new search command that will span all of a player’s secret holdings. The update also linked a few features to guild levels, including storage and population size. Other changes include adjustments to the food system, a couple of new events, a guild quit command, and actual phases of the moon in the night sky.

Project Gorgon has a rather larger revamp of South Serbule coming up in a few weeks.

Source: Patch notes

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Camelot Unchained is chasing ‘a game to be proud of, not a minimum viable product’

Is beta one here yet? Nooooope. But Camelot Unchained continues barreling down the track toward it, as outlined in its latest weekly update. City State’s Tyler Rockwell explains that the devs are… watching you. “Rob even co-opted a wall-mounted TV in the office, so he can work while he watches performance changes as players interact with buildings,” he writes. You’re famous!

The team’s also been working on siege engines, player damage improvements, bots (expect a name change on those too, so no more “I like big bots” jokes), ability effects, and gear performance. On the art side, there’s been progress on polearm animations, the interface, helmets, torches, docks, and nodes.

This weekend’s alpha should be focusing on VFX, archery, crafting, and buildings. “We want to focus as much time as possible on the most important goal of the studio right now: getting into Beta 1 with a game that we can be proud of, and not a Minimum Viable Product,” Rockwell reassures players. The weekly wrap-up plus a few other new images and videos are below.

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Hands-on with Path of Exile’s upcoming The Fall of Oriath expansion

If you were given the opportunity to jump in and experience Path of Exile upcoming The Fall of Oriath expansion early, you would, wouldn’t you? I thought so. I had just that chance this past week, poking around on a special alpha server before the beta opened up Wednesday night. And while I didn’t want to see and do everything (because I was adamant about not spoiling the whole kit-and-kaboodle for myself or for you), I had a decent share of adventures. And playing through this preview has emphasized a few things, namely that I really, really need to devote more time to playing, and also that the Winter Witch is freaking cool! This expansion really is a doozy, adding a huge chunk more of content and polishing up content that was already there. Without a doubt I would definitely recommend the game even more so now — in fact I already have! Why is that? Based on my initial impressions of The Fall of Oriath, the game is even better than before in more ways than one.

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