Dauntless previews the flaming exotics arriving with The Coming Storm expansion

Dauntless turned heads earlier this week by announcing two things: It’s racked up 2M players in free-to-play open beta, and it’s got a big patch coming up in August, complete with a hub makeover, new content, and new gear. Among that gear are two new flaming exotics, which Phoenix Labs has previewed in a new dev blog. One is a fiery morningstar that turns the floor into lava, and the other…

“The first of our two new Charrogg exotics is the Skullforge. With a heavy metal structure and dynamic flame effects, this piece will add flare to any Slayer’s setup. Battle is where this helm really shines, though. When you land your first hit, you’ll see flames start to flicker from the helm’s metal crown. Land a few heavy blows in a row, and you’ll light up hotter than an aether-fueled bonfire.”

Look, if somebody comes at me with a hat that is literally on fire, I am backing away slowly and then very, very quickly.

The game’s most recent version fixes Godhand bugs, duplicate gear, and sword and pike issues.

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Rend discusses sweeping content changes, wipes alpha servers ahead of new testing surge today

Keep an eye on your inboxes today if you’re hoping to get into Rend’s alpha test: Frostkeep announced this week that it’s added two new servers and “thousands” of new testers today. The downside? The existing four servers will be wiped, so all testers are effectively starting over.

In addition to the character redesign and talent rebalance features in progress, Frostkeep says it’s also targeting “sweeping changes to the game’s harvesting and crafting logistics and overall game cycle timing” plus updates to the Yggdrasil biome, taming, metaprogression system, “increasing early to mid-game competitiveness to reduce the snowball effect of one faction getting ahead. The overall goal is to make a cycle of Rend last longer and play like less of a frantic race to the finish line.” You’re not going to be able to port a truckton of mats across the map like it’s nothing anymore, either.

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The Stream Team: Looking at Legends of Aria’s closed beta

Alpha is but a memory from the past — Legends of Aria has moved on to closed beta. That means Massively OP’s MJ needs to dive in and see how things are going. She already likes the choices on character create. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to check out the beta version of…

What: Legends of Aria
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 20th, 2017

Enjoy the show!

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Stardew Valley is finally really truly launching PC multiplayer on August 1st

Stretch your mind back over two years ago, when the much-loved Stardew Valley first confirmed it was getting a multiplayer version, thereby justifying our burning desire to write about it on Massively OP. Original creator Eric Barone and the studio he brought on to handle multiplayer, Chucklefish Games, kept a tiny trickle of hope coming over the last two years of seeming delays, but multiplayer went into beta testing this past spring, and now we have a real release date: August 1st. Yes, soon! That’s for PC, Mac, and Linux; the YouTube blurb says Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch are still underway.

As previously reported, the patch allows four players at a time, so three including the host player; you can marry other players, divorce them, chat, share farms, and share money, but only the host can pause the game (and it pauses play for everyone), and a few things are separate, like inventories and relationships. And everybody gets a cabin.

“In deciding what to share vs keep separate, our main goal was to encourage cooperation and teamwork,” the devs wrote on Steam when the beta was in testing. “Since the farm and your money pot are your main way of progressing through the game, they have to be shared in order to facilitate cooperation. Without this, there would be no need for players to even interact!”

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Fractured’s player city system is the evolution of Star Wars Galaxies

MMORPG sandbox Fractured has five days to secure another 16K to make its $116K Kickstarter goal – and it just broke the $100K barrier as I’m typing this sentence. Dynamight Studios has a big housing and town update out today that ought to give players a reason to push it over the edge.

“In Fractured, having a base of operation is something really desirable for all players,” says the studio. “As with all our features, we don’t want to exclude any part of our userbase from enjoying the game, and that’s why we’re giving everyone plenty of options on how to live their social life. In the system we’re building, lone wolves can claim their own lot of land outside of a town, where they can build a home, basic crafting stations, cultivations and livestock. More social players can instead band together and start a settlement, or join an existing one. The most ambitious players can become the elected leaders of a free town through politics, or autonomously rule one connected (and dedicated to) their guild.”

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Otherland plans a new character type to experience an upcoming short story by Tad Williams

Tad Williams, the author of the original Otherland quadrology, has written a new novella in that world. What does this mean for players of Otherland? Well, part of the novella will be available in the game. Obviously, the entire thing can’t be present there, but some of it is; the official post on the matter explains that it’s a bit like the short story which would eventually grow into the novella. And yes, that means it’s a new story about the game world in the actual game world.

But there are going to be fans of the books who aren’t necessarily interested in playing the game, and thus the developers are planning to introduce a new “Social” character type to the game. These characters have no combat abilities or progress, but can bypass all of the usual starting zones to simply start the treasure hunt for the story; players can later convert these characters to normal characters if so desired. Not a bad cross-promotion all around, really.

Source: Facebook

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WoW Factor: World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth feels like Cataclysm all over again

It took me a long time to identify what felt off about World of Warcraft’s upcoming expansion. Something was definitely bothering me, but the thing was is that we know exactly what an expansion with the bare minimum effort looks like now, and it sure as heck didn’t feel like Battle for Azeroth was Warlords of Draenor But Again. Yet something kept nudging at me, some comparison that was just slightly eluding me as I dutifully tested new quests, new system revisions, and so forth.

Then I realized that the whole thing was basically Cataclysm and it clicked.

Mind you, I say this not as an indication that the expansion is nearly as bad as Cataclysm was. (There’s still far too much of the actual game to see, for example.) But far from my own optimistic excitement, it feels like the expansion is making a lot of the same missteps as that particular black mark, and it doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
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Crowfall improves performance by changing terrain

It’s far too early in Crowfall’s testing to worry about optimizing the game’s frame rate and overall performance, but there’s a difference between “optimizing” and “improving.” The latest change made to the game exists precisely in that space, as the game should now perform better just because the game’s terrain is now being rendered using custom-built meshes instead of built-in Unity meshes. That… had a pretty distinct improvement on the rendering and overall performance!

Why? Well, the game’s engine no longer has to convert from default options before rendering things, which cuts down on processing power and results in terrain that should look identical but just render more smoothly. There’s also a new way of handling the grass rendering that significantly cuts down on processing as each chunk of the landscape is rendered. All of which should result in an improvement you see in terms of frame rate, but the game itself shouldn’t look different… which is a performance upgrade for you, really.

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Star Citizen is working on the AI patrols to make griefing much harder, reveals medical concept ship sale

On this week’s episode of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse, Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts recap “emergent gameplay” events recorded by the community, including a humorous take on the Cry Astro protest we wrote about last week.

“The mission team has been working to implement FPS AI into persistent universe locations, and they’ve recently started testing AI patrols around Cryo Station,” Roberts says, hinting an end to the protest fun may eventually be coming when the NPC lawmen show up even if players can’t break the lines themselves. “This is the first step to bringing a more robust law system to the EU, which will eventually make it harder for players to throw their weight around like they’re doing at Cry Astro right now.

Meanwhile, CIG has revealed the RSI Apollo, a medical concept ship that will run $225 to $270 depending on variants chosen; there are packs up to $1550 too. That’s in real dollars.

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Black Desert dives down into underwater dungeons

You know where’s a really great place to build a dungeon? Under the ocean. Sure, there’s the bends, flesh-rending sharks, and a severe lack of daylight with which to contend, but you can get some really great deals on real estate down there and won’t have to worry about sewage bills.

Black Desert is thinking along these lines with its brand-new underwater dungeons. Currently debuting this summer in Korea (and coming to a continent near you… sometime!), the trio of dungeons take players through aquatic-themed caves to (spoiler) fight bosses and gain loot.

Get a glimpse of the Mysteries of the Ocean update after the break and then plan on going swimsuit shopping soon afterward!

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Trion Worlds has been hit with layoffs, loses ArcheAge associate producer

Trion has confirmed the layoffs – we’ve updated below.

Trion Worlds in general and ArcheAge in specific are going through a turbulent time this week as the studio has levied layoffs in the studio that have affected an unknown number of employees. Among those affected include ArcheAge Associate Producer Seraphina Brennan and Customer Support/Environmental Artist Jessica Pate.

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No Man’s Sky received death threats over butterflies

On the verge of expanding into a full multiplayer experience, No Man’s Sky has rocketed back into the spotlight with July 24th’s NEXT update. In many ways, it’s absolutely amazing that the space game has reached this point considering its abysmal start in 2016 and harsh community criticism over a then-broken game.

The Guardian scored a rare interview with creator Sean Murray, who spoke on the mess of the launch and the subsequent journey to redemption. He said that the difficulty of the launch experience was “really personal” and that he and the studio received death and bomb threats, which even we chronicled at the time.

“I remember getting a death threat about the fact that there were butterflies in our original trailer, and you could see them as you walked past them, but there weren’t any butterflies in the launch game,” Murray said. “I remember thinking to myself: ‘Maybe when you’re sending a death threat about butterflies in a game, you might be the bad guy.'”

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World of Warcraft Hunters launch #SaveHati campaign

With this week’s World of Warcraft pre-expansion patch, Blizzard has made one group of players deeply unhappy by putting down their pet dog.

Some — but not all — Beast Master Hunters are mourning the loss of their Legion companion Hati, who disappeared with the de-powering of their artifact weapon. Players who had grown attached to the blue pet over the past two years have taken umbrage with the studio for callously stripping it away with Patch 8.0, and the BM community has rallied together to launch a #SaveHati campaign on the forums and Twitter.

“For many hunters Hati is a person, a friend, a companion who has been part of our story for months. Years?” one player posted. “To many hunters, pets are more than just a weapon. To me, Hati is a full-blown character who is tightly bonded to my hunter,” said another.

Blizzard fielded a question on Hati during this week’s livestream, teasing the possibility of the pet’s return in some form in the future — but no plans and no promises were made in this regard.

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