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Happy birthday to Fallen Earth, Aion, World of Warships, and Warhammer Online

This particular part of September is loaded with MMORPG and MMO birthdays. In addition to ArcheAge, whose corgipocalypse we’ve been covering already, and Ultima Online, doomed to ding 20 by Monday, there are a few more we’ve not mentioned yet. Let’s remedy that!

Aion is turning eight today, and it’s putting on a pretty sweet partyplus a different one in the EU. US players can look forward to bonus experience, cake, and Kroemede’s Revenge; through the weekend in the EU, expect a Cake Hunt, in-game boots, gifts, and temporary mounts, plus an event about poppys. I don’t know, it’s Aion, man, just go with it. We’ll be streaming some of the US festivities on Saturday, so stay tuned!

Fallen Earth also turns eight today, though you won’t find any hoopla on the official site, where there’s been no news since last year. MOP’s Justin judged it in maintenance mode as of at least this past summer. It’s OK, Fallen Earth. We’ll have a slice of cake in your honor.

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World of Warships is offering charity bundles for donating to hurricane relief

If you’ve somehow missed the news, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have pretty well pounded the daylights out of the Caribbean, Florida, and eastern Texas. There are a lot of people struggling right now, and World of Warships is doing what it can to suppose relief efforts by adding new bundles to the game for sale. 100% of the proceeds from the bundles will be donated to Team Rubicon, a charity organization that helps veterans transition into civilian service.

Not interested in playing the game or getting bundles? That’s fine, too; you can make a donation directly to Team Rubicon and have Wargaming.net match the donation up to $20,000. It’s an effort to provide some extra help to the regions afflicted by the hurricane, and if you want to get a little game benefit out of it in the process, that’s fine as well.

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Facebook doubles down on e-sports with Hi-Rez’s Paladins Premier League contract

From FarmVille to VR to e-sports: Facebook is gunning for whatever the kids are into these days.

At least that’s the takeaway from Hi-Rez’s announcement today. Following last week’s reveal that it’s putting together a WESA-backed 10-member Premier League for Paladins e-sports, Hi-Rez announced today that it’ll be streaming the content from that league exclusively with Facebook Live, complete with a “weekly Paladins Esports Show on Watch, Facebook’s new platform for shows [that] will bring news, insights and analysis of the competitive scene.”

As GI.biz points out, Facebook’s already booked “5,500 hours of ESL’s tournament coverage, 1,000 hours of Wargaming’s esports content, and four monthly broadcasts from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” though Facebook’s Leo Olebe tells the publication the social media empire’s involvement is more about altruism than profit, at least for now.

“At Facebook, we always talk about building amazing things first and then figure out how to turn it into something economically viable at the end of the road,” he says.

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PAX West 2017: Total War Arena’s hounds of war and World of Tanks’ war stories

When you think about Wargaming, you don’t really think about characters or troops — you think about war machines. But Total War: Arena’s inclusion into the studio’s publishing portfolio is not nearly as out of place as it may first seem. Created by Creative Assembly, Total War: Arena is a lobby-based war game, just like the World of trilogy. The big differences are the time period and the use of troops instead of vehicles. And the newest troops to enter the game are the war hounds.

At PAX West, I got to sit down with Senior Producer John King to discuss the new commander Boudica while watching her unleash her war hounds on the battlefield, plus I got to check out World of Tanks’ war stories in person!

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The MOP Up: Warframe battles cancer (September 3, 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 SWTORWarframeRappelzPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsStardew ValleyWorld of TanksStarcraft RemasteredArmored WarfareGuild Wars 2NeverwinterRuneScapePokemon GoDota 2Wakfu, and Skyforge, all waiting for you after the break!

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World of Warships yanks lackluster Graf Zeppelin, offers apology and refunds

In its effort to rush a new aircraft carrier to the game in time for this past week’s Gamescom, Wargaming might have done World of Warships a grave disservice with its launch of the Graf Zeppelin. Players called it an “unplayable” and “unfinished” ship, an assessment that the studio admitted was true. As such, the premium vessel is being recalled for further testing and a full refund offered.

“We admit that the decision to release this ship in the current condition was wrong,” Wargaming posted. “We should have spent more time working on it and we need to take responsibility for this mistake, as well as provide our apologies to the community.”

Part of the controversy stemmed from the fact that the ship was priced at $60, a price point that definitely carried with it weightier expectations. The studio also apologized for coming down hard on one of its community contributors who offered strongly worded criticism of the Graf Zeppelin.

Source: World of Warships. Thanks CapnLan!

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Perfect Ten: MMO experiments in transmedia synergy

We’re not going to argue that MMORPGs are the dominant form of media entertainment these days, but they do have endurance and a devoted following among gamers. And whenever a crowd of players have been paying into a game for a long time, it will attract the attention and interest of marketers who start wondering what else they could do to siphon off a few more bucks.

Enter “transmedia synergy,” a stupidly awesome term that represents links between two or more forms of media that are connected through the same IP. The thinking here is that fans of one of these forms of entertainment will cross over into the related media and vice-versa, growing an audience together.

Today we’re going to look at 10 experiments in transmedia synergy, for better or for worse, that have attempted to cross over from MMORPG to something else entirely. To make things more challenging, we’re not going to include novels, since we’ve already done that.

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Xbox One X announces ‘select enhanced titles’ that include many online games

At its pre-Gamescom press conference this Sunday, Microsoft revealed more about its upcoming Xbox One X and its glorious 4K gaming capabilities. As part of the conference, the company listed several games that would benefit from the enhanced performance and power of the console when it arrives this November.

MMO players should take note, because this list contains many games in our sphere of interest. The select enhanced titles include BioWare’s Anthem, ARK: Survival Evolved, Astroneer, Black Desert, Conan Exiles, Dark and Light, Diablo III, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Portal Knights, Roblox, Sea of Thieves, SMITE, State of Decay 2, The Crew 2, Elder Scrolls Online, The Division, Warframe, and World of Tanks.

The Xbox One X boasts six teraflops of processing power, 4K Ultra Blu-Ray, and 12GB GDDR5 graphics memory, and will retail for $500. Interested players can pre-order the Project Scropio edition right now for as long as supplies last.

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World of Tanks introduces PvE War Stories, amps up metal soundtrack

Maybe it shouldn’t come as a huge shocker that the studio behind World of Tanks is into (pause for punny effect) heavy metal. Wargaming announced this week that it’s planning on infusing its soundtrack with heavy metal music from musicians around the world, starting with a special track by Akira Yamaoka. Additionally, the studio has teamed up with heavy metal band Sabaton to produce a game-themed music video of its hit Primo Victoria and create an in-game tank to match the song. For the music video, the band went to the Arsenalen Tank Museum in Sweden, where they drove around in an actual tank and reportedly crashed through a wall. Hopefully on purpose.

The Primo Victoria tank is now in the game, and both Sabaton and Akira Yamaoka will be joining Wargaming at Gamescom 2017, with the former doing a live performance for fans.

Meanwhile, Wargaming has announced the start of War Stories, a series of PvE story episodes “offering tankers the chance to relive historical events, discover alternate histories, or play-out fantasy campaigns.” Trailers down below!

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Massively multiplayer wargame Foxhole hits early access

MMOs these days shy away from calling themselves massively multiplayer, so it’s always strange when a game that we wouldn’t assume is an MMO confidently adopts the label. I’m talking about Foxhole, a war game we might have binned alongside World of Tanks or PlanetSide 2, but it appears to be more like Battleground Europe, as its devs call it a “massively multiplayer game where you will work with hundreds of players to shape the outcome of a persistent online war.”

Foxhole is a large scale war game with emergent gameplay and unique sandbox features. The pre-alpha version of Foxhole has already been live for over a year and over 200,000 players have helped us shape the game as it is today. The process of developing the game with a live audience has allowed us to deliver on the gameplay that makes Foxhole so different from other online war games. We hope to continue this journey of development in Early Access, and make Foxhole an even better experience than it is today.”

Did we say early access? We did — the game hit early access yesterday and has surprisingly good reviews, probably because it’s a lot more finished that most of the pieces of crap that stumble into the program.

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SuperData June 2017: ROBLOX, GTAV, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are making bank

SuperData’s global digital games revenue summary for June 2017 is out, and it’s a strange melange of huge shifts and no changes at all.

On the PC front, there’s been movement at the bottom of the list, as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and ROBLOX (seriously) have kicked CSGO and New Westward Journey Online II to the curb and knocked World of Tanks and Overwatch down a few pegs. World of Warcraft remains at #6, thanks to last month’s recombination of east and west. It’s a weird saga.

On consoles, however, Overwatch inched up a place and Grand Theft Auto V surged to take the top spot, in spite of its messy modder confrontations this summer. “Despite negative press over community-created-mods decisions, Grand Theft Auto Online experienced its most successful month this June on the back of [its] newest DLC,” SuperData says.

The mobile category has seen a huge shakeup as well, as Honour of Kings leaped from 10th place to 1st, pushing down Clash of Clans and Clash Royale — the firm estimates Honour of Kings made over $150 million in June. Pokemon Go remains noticeably absent from the top 10 lists this summer, but SuperData gives it a nod anyway.

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The MOP Up: Crash Force offers arena fun at a discount (July 16, 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 TERAMaster X MasterEternal CrusadeWarfacePortal KnightsMapleStoryCrash ForceDroneNeverwinterElswordEVE OnlineWarframeFinal Fantasy XIVEverQuest IIWorld of WarshipsPath of Exile, and Eternal Crusade, all waiting for you after the break!

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Wargaming’s WWII games remember the rescue at Dunkirk

In time for this weekend’s blockbuster release of Dunkirk, Wargaming’s World War II games will all be hosting special events to tie into the movie and remember the enormous evacuation in 1940 that saved a bulk of the British army from the advancing Nazi war machine.

Each game has its own Dunkirk-related activities and rewards, starting with World of Tanks, which offers premium vehicles for those who run certain missions. Operation Dynamo stages the nailbiting battle and operation in World of Warships, and pilots will take to the skies in World of Warplanes to defend the troops.

The team said that it modeled 1,232 buildings to recreate Dunkirk for this event: “In Operation Dynamo, ships are moving from Dunkirk to Dover through massive minefields of the Dover Strait. The Dunkirk coast is a narrow strip of land on the bottom of the Operation area. Even then, the team put a monumental effort into recreating the city of Dunkirk. Our 3-D artists literally pieced together the town based on hundreds of photos made before and during World War II.”

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