The Game Archaeologist: A history of EverQuest’s expansions

I don’t know if EverQuest holds the crown title for the MMO with the most expansions, but I’m sure it’s among the top three if not at the number one spot on that list. It’s astounding to count them up and realize that two dozen expansions have come out for that game between 2000 and 2017. That averages to a little more than one per year!

Today I want to pay tribute to the 24 expansions of EverQuest by going through them, one by one, and seeing how they grew and enriched the game over the past decade-and-a-half. I would also love to hear testimonies in the comments as to which EverQuest expansion you enjoyed the most!

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Pokemon Go 2 Day Community Event for Eevee, tons of content this weekend and on the horizon

It looks as if the upcoming Pokemon Let’s Go games are affecting Pokemon Go once again. I doubt it’s a coincidence that the next Community Day Pokemon is Eevee, the second, non-Pikachu version of the upcoming Switch games. Even better, Niantic may finally be listening to players (including our staffers), as Community Day will be held on two days this time: August 11 and 12.

As some people have noticed, the text mentions that Eevee and its evolutions will receive a new move, in addition to the longer lures and bonus stardust for catching Pokemon. There’s just one problem: Umbreon, the Dark-type Eevee, can be obtained only through the naming trick during the day. Espeon and Umbreon are normally earned by walking an Eevee 10 kilometers or more and evolving it when it’s your buddy, but the time of day matters: It becomes Espeon during the day and Umbreon during the night. As Community Day is only three hours long and still seems to be during its usual hours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the west coast), that sounds like Umbreon won’t be available.

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WRUP: Offending the God of Rabbits has worked out pretty much fine edition

So as you know, last week we managed to direly offend the God of Rabbits, which is remarkable partly insofar as I had expected us to offend more deities. This is actually better than we could have hoped for. Still, the rabbit god was very mad, and he wrought a mighty curse upon us.

Except, well… it was a curse for rabbits. So, for example, the curse to have predators never fail to see you when you’re still? That part was really kind of a wash, my cats saw me then anyway. I’m not sure if the part of the curse wherein I will never enjoy the taste of clover is even working or not. And since I don’t live in a burrow, having a damp burrow doesn’t appear to have actually happened.

In short, offending the God of Rabbits has worked out pretty much fine. Let us know how any deific curses you’re working through are going in this week’s What Are You Playing, or just let us know what you’re up to for the weekend.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO system or feature is needlessly complex?

Probably one of my greatest and ongoing criticisms of the MMORPG genre is how developers populate these games with systems that are often cumbersome, complex, and needlessly obtuse. And what frustrates me is that they apparently can’t see it, because they’re often working with these systems day in and out (and have created them), so the systems are second nature to them.

MMOs already have a lot of moving parts and continually add on systems, so there is absolutely no need to make any of it harder than it has to be with bizarre progression mechanics, indecipherable statistics, and other game systems that some dev loved but makes players scratch their heads in confusion.

Have you experienced this? Which MMO system or feature — and feel free to list more than one — is stupidly complex and poorly designed?

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The Stream Team: Crossing black cats’ paths in Conan Exiles

What do Friday the 13th, black cats, and Conan Exiles have in common? They are all awesome! And Massively OP’s MJ loves them all. For this auspicious (and favorite) holiday, MJ is heading back into the exiled lands to cross the paths of all the black cats she can. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for this extra lucky stream of…

What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 13th, 2018

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Betawatch: Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen kicks off character creation (July 13, 2018)

It’s important in an MMO to feel like you own the bundle of stats and spells that you lovingly refer to as a character. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen has taken a step toward improving that feeling with the first version of its character creator, just patched into the game’s test client. Hooray for making characters!

Meanwhile, Defiance 2050 has moved out of its test phase and into full-on relaunch territory. Hooray for launches!

There has been some other beta movement, too. Some of it is rather silly. Cases in point:

So, somewhat silly, but rather quiet. Not a bad week! We’ve got our usual list of games in development just below, and as always we appreciate anyone letting us know if something swapped phases without us noticing down in the comments. It’s very kind of you.

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Twin Saga patches in a new class, new zones, and new chibi companions

At a glance, Twin Saga does not seem like a game that would be replete with firearms. It does not look like a setting in which you gun down your foes. Yet the new Cannoneer class is all about blasting things to pieces, so we must conclude that looks can be deceiving. It’s one of the big new additions with the newest patch, but it’s hardly the only one; players will also be able to explore two new zones in the northeast of the map, Black Hill and Moonlight Valley.

Players can also take on a new dungeon, Boreas Tower, whilst picking up two new Senshi (those are the cute little chibi things in the header, for reference). Add in new story quests and a new level cap of 80, and players will have plenty to do with the latest patch. Including blasting adorable monsters and scenery into bits with cannons, if necessary.

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Bless Online outlines next week’s Migra Turis update, plus balance and combat changes to come

It’s Friday, and that means the requisite Bless Online producer’s letter. Fans of the game who’ve stuck with it through the rocky start will want to know that Neowiz has several tweaks on the way. Next Wednesday’s update specifically targets Migra Turis; it’ll add a new elite level of difficulty, complete with new level 45 heroic weapon from the last boss.

Everything else is still flagged “coming soon”; that includes the PvP balance changes, optimization, the doubled dungeon drop rate, and the combat targeting revamp.

“Many of you have been asking to have the option to switch targeting mode for different classes. As such, we have been working to bring you more options. In the next change to the targeting mode options, you will be able to switch between modes with all classes except the Berzerker and Paladin, which will still be locked to action targeting and tab targeting respectively. As the Paladin needs to use tab targeting to effectively heal and the Berzerker skills were optimized for action targeting, we have not yet been able to give both mode options to these classes that resulted in a positive player experience. We will instead be adding a target tracking function for the Berzerker (and the other classes as well) that we think will address many of your issues.”

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Destiny 2’s upcoming patch tweaks Quickplay, Rumble, and bounties as Bungie preps for Forsaken

Destiny 2’s 1.2.3 patch (yay soothing numbers) drops on Tuesday, and if you’re thinking it may be a good time for re-entry, you’re gonna wanna know what’s in it. Several things! Quickplay is now 6v6, Rumble is back on the table, and bounties are back – and they won’t be as “gotta do them or else” as they were in their first iteration.

“The bounties returning to Destiny 2 in Update 1.2.3 are a return to most of the properties of bounties in The Taken King. They will be obtained from a variety of vendors, they will generally award XP and faction reputation (though some will offer even better rewards), and can be redeemed “in the field” to immediately claim your rewards. In Forsaken, you may also see some bounties drop in the wild. There are two new mechanics. Bounties will expire if left uncompleted, and acquiring them will cost a small amount of Glimmer. We wanted to avoid the ‘grab every bounty you see until your inventory is packed and sort them out later’ experience without constraining players to the tiny inventory they found in previous iterations of the game.”

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Arr! Puzzle Pirates: Dark Seas has fully launched on Steam

Arrrr! If Sea of Thieves isn’t doing it for you, maybe you should board a more classic ship, like Puzzle Pirates – specifically, Puzzle Pirates Dark Seas. Puzzle Pirates, of course, has been around for 15 years as an adorable puzzle-oriented MMORPG. Developer Grey Havens has been hard at work on a more PvP-centered version of the game with a new ocean map and a clean economy, and that version, dubbed Dark Seas, has just formally launched on Steam after a stint in early access. Notably, this version is Steam only, whereas the “classic” game also works in-browser; the devs have plenty of fun lined up to get the game’s initial economy rolling.

“In celebration of our Full Release Launch we’re going to have a series of blue grey tournaments and competitions. These festivities will culminate in the opening of the first large island, Melanaster, for blockade on July 14th. We suggest you start recruiting mates and making plans in Parley.”

Did we mention it’s free-to-play? You can dive in right now!

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The Stream Team: Another fun Friday the 13th in AQ3D

Another Friday the 13th means another stay at AQ3D’s Camp Gonnagetcha! And now Massively OP’s MJ has her hardest decision to date: choosing between Camp Twilly or Camp Zorbak. The easiest decision is to give away more Mo helms! Join us live at 3:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you the crazy campiness of this event and maybe win a code.

What: AdventureQuest 3D
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 13th, 2018

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Today in why we can’t have nice things: Roblox players were banned after ‘raping’ little girl’s avatar

Please note, this article covers a sensitive subject – please skip it if the title is already crunching up your stomach.

If you’ve got kids, you probably know all about Roblox, a gaming platform that essentially allows players to build their own maps and open them to the public. But with that freedom comes responsibility – and griefers. According to the BBC, earlier this month a couple of Roblox players used their avatars to essentially gang rape the avatar of a 7-year-old girl, backed up by screenshots shared by the mother who saw it happening and took action.

Roblox Corp., for its part, said it had “zero tolerance for this behaviour,” stressing its goal to be a safe platform and banning the “bad actors” involved.

The Roblox subreddit has a couple of discussions on the topic; barring some trolls crying clickbait and false flag (seriously), most people seem a bit embarrassed about the incident as it relies on a known exploit of experimental game mechanics that could conceivably be fixed by developers. In the meantime, parents of kids playing the game should tighten their security settings, as wee tots probably shouldn’t be allowed into experimental mode games where this sort of thing is technically possible.

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Economy-breaking Old School RuneScape bug results in unprecedented server rollback

Old School RuneScape had a bit of a hiccup this week as the game was suddenly taken offline to allow Jagex to investigate a potentially economy-breaking bug, ultimately resulting in an unprecedented server rollback. Although the bug in question was initially unspecified while the team set about fixing it, Jagex has since provided some details on what exactly went wrong. The short version is that the code for the pickpocketing update, released earlier today, included an undetected logic error that allowed players to use pickpocketed coin pouches to convert other items into massive amounts of coin. Because the effects of this bug were so far-reaching, the devs had no choice but to initiate a server rollback, the first in Old School RuneScape’s history, which the devs describe as “an immense undertaking.”

Jagex acknowledges that, although the bug was its fault, it quickly became aware that a number of players were exploiting it to line their coffers with ill-gotten gains, with many using the funny money to buy bonds to redeem for membership subscriptions. As such, Jagex will be removing these illegitimately purchased memberships from players’ accounts, and those players “will also see action taken against their accounts and will temporarily be removed from the game.” The servers have since been brought back up, though the devpost notes that some players may be temporarily unable to log into the game. The devs are working hard to remedy the issue on affected accounts and ask that players remain patient while they iron the problem out.

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