valve

Steam company known primarily to MMO players for the Dota franchise.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds tackles frame rate drops, looks at the next mobile patch

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds dropped a patch earlier this week, but don’t get too excited: It was mostly bug fixes and balance adjustments for the battle royale game. Players can check out a new gear customization tab that offers the ability to switch parachute skins. And an aviator crate is now being sold

The studio said that low frame rates is a priority for the team: “We’ve seen a lot of concern from many of you about overall performance. Addressing FPS drops is our top priority, and we hope to have more updates to address performance improvements soon. For now, the team will be trying out fixes throughout this patch cycle.”

And if you’re following the mobile experience of PUBG, check out details on Patch 0.5.0 after the jump – the game’s just hit 10 million daily users.

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Wild West Online previews ‘relatively big redesign of the game’ and the PvP system a week after launch

If you suspected, as I did, that Wild West Online might not get much in the way of updates after its bizarrely hasty launch, prepare to be relieved as a new update is on the way to allay those fears. In fact, it’s being called a “relatively big redesign of the game.” What’s going into it? It’s not set in stone yet, but 612 Games has some ideas, and a lot of those ideas are going to appeal to PvE-centric players who don’t really want to get shot.

That begins with the faction system, which is apparently once again the subject of proposed changes. “You will still be fighting for McFarlane or Steele when capturing Towns, but you won’t need to choose your faction on character creation. It’ll be a more fluid system. Town Captures will be balanced – we’re basically borrowing base balancing/gameplay from Battlefield 1 on this,” the studio says. “Players who want to do activities beside PvP will be able to do that relatively safe. […] So basically there’ll be no killing on sight or grieving of players leaving the safety of the towns. All towns will be safe zones unless of course, the town is actively under siege by Factions.”

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Bless outlines its new box price and sub plan, which it does not want you to call a sub

Bless Online’s media event and pricing reveal last week may not have gone entirely to plan. You’ll recall that Neowiz announced at the time that it’d be charging $40 for the standard edition of the game, on up to $200 for the collector’s edition, with each package containing headstart and varying chunks of premium membership time chunked together. That’s what set the community off: It was the first notice that the game would definitely include a premium sub with its early access. The studio also didn’t fully detail what people spending up to $200 would be buying, nor how it would balance all of that with its anti-pay-to-win stance.

Neowiz has taken the feedback to heart, however, and released a new plan overnight. The important parts are that Neowiz has cut the $200 pack down to $149, there’s no longer any “customer service priority” accompanying the packs, there’s an actual preview of some of the exclusive pack skins, there’s confirmation that player-to-player trading won’t be in the game, there’s confirmation about the cash-shop item that’ll safeguard you against PvP, and there’s a refreshed promise not to roll out DLC – instead, Neowiz says it’ll update the game every three months, with the Assassin class in the first one.

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Worlds Adrift launches on Steam early access while overseen by actual airship

Floating up out of the drydock of closed beta, Worlds Adrift launched into the bright blue skies of early access today. The airship sandbox drummed up hype for the release with a publicity stunt that involved hauling a batch of players high up into the air over London to try out the game. (The first livestream in the sky? Why not!)

Worlds Adrift is now releasing to Steam Early Access,” Bossa Studios trumpeted. “This means we have opened up additional servers for both US and EU regions, and will release more servers depending on player population. The UI for the character creation screen has been adjusted to make it easier to pick a server to play on.”

With the early access start comes a full wipe and a new build that includes a different layout, additional islands, new clothing items, double the amount of ancient written stories, all-new music, and plenty of bug fixes.

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MMORPG sandbox Albion Online has officially launched on Steam with big discounts

If it seems as if we’ve been covering Albion Online for a long time, that’s because it’s true. In fact, the game officially launched almost a year ago – you’ll recall it as the PvP sandbox that survived exortiony DDOS attacks, slammed servers, and a round of layoffs. One thing it didn’t do? Port to Steam. But we can’t say that anymore, as the title has officially landed on Steam as of today, complete with achievements and a big fame boost for the next week.

Do note that this is a buy-to-play title, though its $30 basegame pricetag has been cut down to under $20 as part of the launch festivities. Naturally, there are bigger bundles for fatter wallets too as well as a sale of all the game’s packs and upgrades. Referring a buddy? The new season of rewards for that has also just kicked off.

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Grimmwood’s village needs protecting (and beta testers)

In retrospect, it was probably not the brightest of ideas to settle in an abandoned village in the middle of a dark forest full of monsters. But what’s done is done, and now it’s up to you and 29 friends to try to make it work.

This is the premise of Grimmwood, a social multiplayer RPG that works in elements of survival titles, roguelikes, and city builders. It’s not a free-roaming 3-D title but rather a menu-driven experience that plays out a bit like a tabletop RPG. There are choices to be made during the day, including going on expeditions, crafting up tools, and re-enforcing the village. This is all necessary, because every night the monsters come and assail your small outpost.

There’s a really neat alternative 16th century vibe running through this title, and the fact that players have to manage limited action points, their characters’ sanity levels, and actions that could result in permadeath should make for tough choices.

Grimmwood is currently in open beta and can be played for free on Steam.

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The Stream Team: Skydiving back into Worlds Adrift

Worlds Adrift development has been cruising along and the title will be launching through Steam’s Early Access program in just two days. Massively OP’s MJ is very curious as to how it has changed and what it is like to play now, so she’s skydiving into the beta to check it out. Join us live at 6:00 p.m. for another peek inside…

What: Worlds Adrift
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

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Wild West Online adjusts balance while planning for future patches

Whether or not you think that Wild West Online rushed into launch, you can probably agree that the game has some mechanical issues it still needs to work out. So it’s good to see that there are several fixes and improvements in the latest patch, like placing the traveling gun salesman out in the world twice a week with a clear icon while also reducing the cost of several items. There are also several bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements, exactly what any soul meandering through the wastelands of the West would like to see.

You can also take heart in knowing that the team already has a list of other priority items to address in the next patch, like refunding any real money spent on Plantation decorations and adding them for all players to purchase, offering better PvP rewards, and offering more wood spawns. Nothing on there about other big-ticket items (you can probably think of some), but it’s a start.

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The MOP Up: Diablo levels up in Heroes of the Storm (May 13, 2018)

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 Heroes of the StormElder Scrolls Online, DayZEVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2City of HeroesFinal Fantasy XIVPortal KnightsLineage 2 RevolutionWizard101Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!

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Hands-on with Bless Reborn at Neowiz’s San Francisco media reveal

As you probably have heard, there was a Bless influencer event this week, with a couple of media and a smattering of MMO streamers in attendance. The leak of the price points happened soon before we went in, but none of the people in attendance, devs or streamers, really seemed fazed by it. Most people seemed ready to have a good time.

For someone like me, who was initially blown away by Bless circa 2011, the game had fallen off my radar, especially after the game’s rocky trip to Russia and initial Korean release. The western build-up for me has felt like a big PR push, with the pricing model dangled like a feature that people actually should be excited about. Basic questions like, “How does endgame work?” were easier to find on Reddit, Steam, and fansites than any of the PR I was reading. I was concerned, to say the least, but things like “tame almost any mob!” and “100v100” battles intrigued me. Though nothing I saw is probably going to change any core fans’ mind, it may be useful to those on the fence.

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Wild West Online’s stagecoach is held up by negative reviews and no female characters

Perhaps Wild West Online is attempting to emulate life on the actual historical frontier. This week’s launch has certainly been uncertain, fraught with peril, and an unsure venture. As pretty much anyone could have predicted, the western MMO has taken a savage beating on Steam for being largely unfinished (which is to be expected, since the whole game was revamped not just two months ago).

Steam reviewers have given WWO mostly negative reviews, labeling the game as a “money grab” with a poor graphics engine, no PvE content, and pretty much no content to experience at the present. One large point of contention was the lack of playable female characters. Can someone get this game an “under construction” GIF from the 1990s?

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The Daily Grind: Do your MMORPG characters primarily wear in-game armor or cash-shop cosmetics?

Take a look at your main character in your main MMORPG right now. What is he or she wearing? And did you get it through play or from the cash shop?

This topic came to me as I was surfing the Guild Wars 2 Reddit earlier this week; a Redditor was polling players on whether they thought there was a good balance of cash-shop cosmetics vs. cosmetic gear acquired through actually playing the game. It’s a tiny bit hard to answer this one for Guild Wars 2, as multiple people pointed out, as you can convert the gold you get while playing legitimately into gems to buy cash-shop cosmetics (or just buy lockbox skins with gold from the gamblers). Plus, GW2 isn’t called Fashion Wars for nothing. But still: Almost all of my characters are running around in cash-shop cosmetics there. I may complain about the lack of new skins and the overabundance of buttcapes, but I like to spend money on games I want to support, and cosmetics are one of the least objectionable ways to do it. And GW2’s are still slick (vs. a lot of the in-game armor, which is grindy or group-centric).

In Trove, which is another of my favorite games lately, most of my characters are running around wearing at least core outfits from ancient Steam pack sales.

Do your MMORPG characters primarily wear in-game armor of cash-shop cosmetics? And do you see that as a problem, one way or another?

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Wild Mage: Phantom Twilight mixes together Final Fantasy IX, Minecraft, and Fruit Ninja

Want to explore everything, destroy everything, and cut everything in half? Want to do all of that while riding around on a boss airship? Then you’re going to need to pick up Wild Mage at some point.

Wild Mage: Phantom Twilight is an open-world ARPG set in a gorgeous-looking world that has thousands of those impractical floating islands and was somewhat inspired by Final Fantasy IX. Combat and environment interaction sound like the key hook: “The environment in this game is completely destructible. Monsters can be sliced into pieces (think Fruit Ninja). Fire propagates dynamically. Terrains and structures can be altered and destroyed (think Minecraft).”

Right now, Wild Mage is running a small but strong Kickstarter campaign. It’s already blown through its $10,000 target goal and has been hitting a few stretch goals in the first few days (such as bringing it to Nintendo Switch). If it reaches $60,000, the title will offer a multiplayer co-op mode with between four and six players exploring a world together.

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