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The MOP Up: ARK's console editions get a hair-do (March 26, 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!

This week we have stories and videos from Destiny, Eternal CrusadeElder Scrolls LegendsHearthstonePokemon GoMU LegendLineage IIARKUltima OnlineSword of ShadowsGhost Recon WildlandsRagnarok OnlineHeroes and GeneralsElsword, and Dota 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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Cloud Pirates opens up a new deathmatch map

We're going to assume that if you're already sailing in some sort of magical airship and engaging in aerial combat with disgruntled associates, then you probably have no issue with exploring a region created by an ancient and insane alien race. It comes with the territory.

This past week, Cloud Pirates launched its Death or Glory update, at the center of which lay a special deathmatch map named Fractal Space (no, it's not a Guild Wars 2 crossover, alas). There's incentive for fighting on this map, as the bad guys have a chance of dropping a very valuable core for players to use or sell. In addition to the map, the update brought daily rewards and a brotherhood ladder system to the Allods Online spin-off.

Check out the Death or Glory trailer after the break!

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The Stream Team: Celebrating three years of SMITE (with presents!)

SMITE turned three years old today, and in that time it has offered players a multitude of new gods to play (many of which Massively OP's MJ has really enjoyed showing off!). Now you can get presents for celebrating its birthday with us; MJ has a multitude of gods and skins to give away as well as one special gift of 2,500 gems! Tune in live at 4:00 p.m. for the birthday giveaway and your chance to win.

What: SMITE
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 25th, 2017

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The Stream Team: Adventuring in ARK's redwoods

After many weeks of raiding and raid prepping, Massively OP's MJ is eager to just relax and explore the ARK once again -- relax being a relative term, of course. Since many new dinos have been introduced, she can't wait to find a few to tame. Today, she's going into the redwoods in search of those high-flying cats that like to pounce from the treetops. Will she find some, or will they find her first? Join us live at 12:00 p.m. for this walk in (the heavy wooded and dangerous) park.

What: ARK: Survival Evolved
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 25th, 2017

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The Stream Team: Exploring the city in Conan Exiles

While exploring last time, Massively OP's MJ came across a city in Conan Exiles, and she's eager to poke around inside and check it out. The locals didn't exactly look very friendly however, so the visit probably won't be a walk in the park. Unless it's a park filled with wild rabid animals, then maybe it will be just like that! Join us live at 9:00 p.m. as MJ takes a trip into the city. Maybe she'll even find the perfect souvenir to take home!

What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 24th, 2017

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The Stream Team: Celebrating Warframe's 4th birthday

Call her a party animal, but Massively OP's MJ can't resist celebrating a birthday, and Warframe is turning four! That's all the reason she needs to dive back in and check out more of that world. She's probably not nearly strong enough to seek out the new instruments that have just been introduced with the Octavia's Anthem update, but she can work at getting so. And that means she can look forward to making beautiful music in the future... or some kind of music anyway. Tune in live at 5:00 p.m. to wish Warframe a very happy birthday!

What: Warframe
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 24th, 2017

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Battlenet's slow retirement, Overwatch toxicity, and Blizzard's legal history with 'modding'

Last night's update saw the end of the Battle.net branding on the Blizzard launcher. You probably shed your tears back in September, when the company first announced it was retiring the Battle.net name and replacing it with terms like Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice. Now the platform for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and the rest just says... Blizzard.

Speaking of Overwatch: Kotaku has a look at the shooter's new system for dealing with toxicity, currently getting a workout on the PTR. The current version has far more specific options for reporting other players, which may or may not lead to better reports and less abuse -- but Blizzard is making an effort.

And finally, Polygon has broken down Blizzard's history with modding and reverse engineering lawsuits, presumably for younger gamers or folks who aren't aware of World of Warcraft's diverse modding offerings. Anyone who's ever wondered why Blizzard cracks down on Bossland, who's wondered why the DMCA is so powerful, or who's curious about the legal precedent of the old-school bnetd case should take a look before armchair lawyering down in the comments.

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Revelation Online's scour dungeons are a leveler's best friend

Even if MMO titles look similar to past releases, we've found that there are always interesting systems and unique quirks to each game that require some effort to familiarize. One of these for Revelation Online is the game's "scour dungeons," which are special instances devoted to the fine art of grinding mobs.

This isn't as bad as it sounds, actually. Every day, players can jump into a scour dungeon to quickly take on a host of mobs and benefit from the experience and loot. In fact, the devs say that these dungeons are one of the best ways to level up and tier up your equipment: "Operating much like a daily quest , you will only be able to kill a certain number of monsters per day in this manner, though the maximum number can be increased over time."

There's even an option to morph into an enemy and go about attacking players for fun, if that's your bag. You can sample one of these scour dungeons in the video below.

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See real life through the lens of an MMORPG

Have you ever heard of this YouTube channel called Casually Explained? It's been growing in popularity thanks to the creator's deadpan wit and his awkward, dry jokes. As much as we'd encourage you to watch through his entire playlist, we highly encourage you to check out his latest video, especially if you're an MMORPG player (we feel safe assuming this).

In his "The Human Player Type," Casually Explained looks at real life and the world through the viewpoint of an MMORPG, fitting the bulk of a human lifespan into the terminology and framework of online video games. Oddly enough, it really works, and the MMO in-jokes are absolutely hilarious if you get them.

Treat yourself to a few minutes of humor by watching it after the jump.

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Kickstarted survival sandbox Planet Nomads hits early access on April 18

Planet Nomads is one of those gorgeous sci-fi multiplayer survival sandboxes that's been kicking around on our Make My MMO list for so long that I'd almost forgotten about it. Not anymore!

"After the 2+ years of caring, cuddling and upbringing, Planet Nomads has finally grown up tall enough to get out there and fight for its future," studio Craneballs (best name ever) says, as the actual "survival" update has this week arrived in the game's alpha, and the early access is now slated for April 18th.

The game originally pulled in $140,000 in Kickstarter funding in early 2016 -- no mean feat the past few years. Another game for our new survival sandbox column, eh?

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Star Citizen's Around the Verse on the benefits of the 'mega map'

Try saying "mega map" 10 times fast! This week's Around the Verse does indeed cover the heck out of Star Citizen's mega map. Lead Gameplay Programmer Rob Johnson says that the intent of the mega map is to eliminate -- or at least reduce -- the annoyance of loading screens.

"We load the Mega Map as we would a standard map. The Mega Map itself is empty, but once the Mega Map is loaded, we actually start to fill the Mega Map with content of various game modes, fire, and object containers. So, we would load the Mega Map, which is empty; load the front end, which is a set of object containers; [and] load the front-end game rules, which tells the game how to work in that game mode. The user would then pick a new game mode to play. At that point we throw away all the object containers. We throw away the game mode, [then] load in the Free Fly game mode and the Dying Star object containers, but we do that via streaming rather than a complete level load, so we are able to shave the vast majority of the load time down to a few seconds rather than long enough to warrant a load screen."

ATV also catches up with the LA studio's work on ship production, multifunction displays, the room system, and the "entity owner manager" -- critical for the persistent experience. Listen up below.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda launches its first multiplayer weekend event

While the player character is working hard to do the heavy lifting of finding a new home in Mass Effect: Andromeda, players support the single-player game by gathering supplies and rewards in the multiplayer component. The first special multiplayer event is already here, tasking players with taking part in the APEX missions to find missing scouts in the hopes of uncovering valuable Krogan assistance. That means a new limited-time map through Monday.

Players who undertake the "Drack's Missing Scouts" mission will land at Firebase Paradox, featuring powerful Remnant artifacts being sought by the Kett for players to obtain. There's also a new character and weapon available in item packs. The Krogan Gladiator is a biotic with a penchant for her hammer, and the Ruzad shotgun is a slow-firing heavy-impact shotgun that may as well be the poster firearm for Krogan military philosophy. Check out the trailer just below, and see if it enhances your first weekend of scouring the Heleus Cluster for a new home.

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NCsoft rep says bringing City of Heroes toons to Master x Master was his 'passion project'

We've been speaking with NCsoft West off the record this week, agitating for publicly printable answers on the Master X Master decision to implement City of Heroes characters (to the loud outrage of disgruntled City of Heroes players). But apparently we won't have to, as some of the answers have been published today.

Lorehound quotes NCsoft MXM Brand Manager Sean Orlikowski as saying that adding Statesman to the MOBA was his personal "passion project for the last two years."

"I saw it as a way to incorporate a character from a beloved title into our universe. Myself and the producer for MXM were both big fans of City of Heroes (I was more on the CoV side, myself) and we worked together to make sure we got his skills, look, and even his VO right since he’d only ever been voiced for a single sentence of a single trailer in the past. The bottom line for me was that nearly all of NCSOFT’s properties were being represented in the game; Aion, Blade & Soul, Lineage II, WildStar, Guild Wars 2, even Death Knight from the original Lineage MMO are in the game. I wanted the West to have proper representation, so we started brainstorming ideas for Western characters to add to Rytlock and Mondo Zax who were already in development. I made the argument for Statesman because the MXM universe offered a way he could be prominent again, and the rest is history."

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