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EVE Evolved: Ship fittings for EVE Online’s Secrets of the Abyss event

EVE Online‘s recent Into the Abyss expansion has been live now for several months, adding the first ever solo instanced PvE game mode in the form of procedurally generated Abyssal Deadspace dungeons. A turbulent underspace was discovered throughout the known universe, inhabited by a mysterious sub-race of humans known as the Triglavian Collective. You can use a new filament item to launch yourself in a cruiser into a stable pocket in this abyss, and then have 15 minutes to complete a three-room encounter with a random selection of enemies. The rewards can be very lucrative, but fail to complete the site within the time limit and the pocket will collapse and destroy your ship and escape pod.

Next week sees the start of the two week long Secrets of the Abyss event in which players will face a number of repeatable challenges relating to Abyssal Deadspace sites to earn Agency points. The rewards will include exclusive Singularity Storm Triglavian ship skins and valuable mutaplasmids that can enhance ancillary armor repairers and shield boosters. Now is the perfect time to dip your toe into Abyssal Deadspace if you haven’t tried it yet, but what kind of ship setups work in this new PvE mode and how accessible are they to newer players?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down four cruiser fittings (one for each race) that can tackle low-tier Abyssal Deadspace sites, and give some advice on how to use them.

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AdventureQuest 3D Moglin plushies can be yours through Kickstarter

If you are a fan (or fanatic) of game-related plushies, AdventureQuest 3D has something you might want to check out. It’s a Kickstarter for 12 cute and cuddly Moglin mascots. Wait, the Hero Mart already exists to sell AQ3D and AdventureQuest Wolds items, so why a Kickstarter? Artix Entertainment’s Adam “Artix” Bohn shared that with a Kickstarter, not only does the team gauge interest in the plushies, but it also can ensure that it has the exact number of which plushies customers wants instead of having a large surplus of some and a shortage of others. That said, the Moglin plushies will head to the Hero Mart for sale at a later date (if the Kickstarter is successful), though without the special exclusives and deals available on the Kickstarter.

So what are the special deals? Pledges for the Moglins start at $14.00 and go up to $99.00, and you can choose between getting one, two, a pack of the three, a pack of six, or all 12 at once. All plushies come with digital codes for the matching in-game pets in AQ3D and AQW. Read more

WoW Factor: World of Warcraft’s market saturation and the pull of vague memories

Here’s something a little different: Usually, before I write a World of Warcraft column (or any column), my assumptions and data are pretty firm before I put them down on paper, else I wouldn’t be writing it in the first place. This is one of the reasons that, for example, I spent so much time showing my work when trying to predict the launch date for Battle for Azeroth; that was all about hard numbers, so it was easy to check math and assumptions in an obvious fashion.

But in this particular case I’m exploring a concept that I’m still playing with and researching, something that may turn out to be somewhat erroneous. To wit: I suspect World of Warcraft expansions have switched from selling to existing customers and into reclaiming old customers as a primary design focus.

It might seem like an odd assertion, but I think it’s an interesting thing to consider and may help shed light on a number of design decisions, several of which I think are pretty bad ones. But for this particular column I’m not interested in analyzing the merits of design choices; I’m interested in presenting the evidence and showing how it lines up in a more neutral fashion. Because I think it can shape some interesting thinking.

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Steam’s old flash sales might be making a comeback

Years ago, my crew looked forward to Steam sales, not for the insipid minigames but for the flash sales. They constituted a minigame all on their own, as we checked back on Steam over and over, hunting for the best deal.

Of course, as VG247 points out, plenty of people hated these sales, suffering from buyer’s remorse if the game they got for 50% off was 66% off the following day. Consequently, many people just waited until the last day of the sale to buy anything, and then sometimes missed out. Then when Valve made refunds much easier, it did away with these types of events altogether, presumably because it figured people would refund and rebuy to get a lower price.

But I’m a bargain-hunter, so I loved it, and I loved the camaraderie that swirled around sharing the deals too. Without those sales, I make my list of Steam sales on the first day for MOP, buy a couple of things, and never go back or even think about the sale again.

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Fractured’s Kickstarter has just fully funded; stay tuned for this afternoon’s Q&A livestream

As Fractured counts down the final two days of its Kickstarter campaign, it looks as though the indie MMO has pulled it off: Just a few minutes ago, it crossed its $117,410 goal.

Even better, several of the campaign’s stretch goals have been achieved to sweeten up pledge deals and hang on to that win, including baby dragon pets, wall trophies, and a free month of VIP membership for all backers.

To help stoke the fires of excitement and keep the campaign going strong across the finish line, the developer team is hosting a double Q&A livestream today and tomorrow on YouTube. Today’s livestream will cover fan questions on races and planets, while tomorrow will tackle housing and towns. Both livestreams will take place at 4:00 p.m. EDT.

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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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Guild Wars 2 deals with disconnections and progress-killing bugs for its latest episode

Finally! You can play the newest episode of Guild Wars 2’s Living Story! And by “play” we of course mean “attempt to play before an error hits you,” because that was unfortunately affecting a large number of players through yesterday. Anecdotal evidence points to the problems being focused around story instances and new zones, which you may recognize as being some of the biggest components to this particular update and the exact thing that players would be rushing to experience.

The team is working on fixing the many bugs and issues that have cropped up, including one redirection from a quest’s intended directions to send players directly to Desert Highlands, hopefully bypassing a disconnection issue with the quest “Forewarned is Forearmed.” However the team is aware that this didn’t fix all of the issues, nor did it even fix all of the issues with that particular quest. So while these bugs will no doubt get ironed out, it might take a couple of days before the new episode is actually possibly to get through.

Finally, a chance for Bless Online to be smug.

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Crowfall delays again: ‘Soft launch is not going to happen by the end of this year’

Here’s a slight damper for your weekend: Crowfall has decided to delay its soft launch into 2019 due to the additional work that the studio believes should to be done. ArtCraft said that between “getting it right” and “calling it done,” it would much rather do the former.

“The game experience is paramount,” ArtCraft stated. “We firmly believe is the right path forward. These changes aren’t free, however, so we should recognize that more changes to core systems means more time before launch. As a result, I think it’s clear that our soft launch is not going to happen by the end of the year.”

The delay isn’t the first for the studio; by our count, it delayed major functionality as well as a soft launch last year too.

Now that you’re past the crushing disappointment of development schedules, here’s some good news. Alpha testing is on track to start later this summer and the studio is in a strong financial position after receiving an additional $6 million investment at the start of 2018. Other deals that have been made to help the PvP MMO include a partnership to bring Crowfall to Russia and an agreement to license its MMO technology base to an unnamed company.

Source: Crowfall. Thanks JamesGoblin!

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Perfect Ten: Ten things you need to understand about MMORPG Rogues

Sometimes I know that I may be a bit too old-school because there’s a little twitch in my eye whenever I have to refer to a given class as a Rogue. That’s become my go-to replacing Thief, and it really does make a fair amount of sense: Rogue skillsets are usually more covering a variety of skulky activities, which incorporates but is no means limited to thievery. Not to mention that calling someone a “Thief” seems like it’s underselling the situation.

Especially when the party is frequently engaged in the act of assault, murder, destruction of property, and unnatural acts with corpses.

A while back, I talked about how to understand the lifestyle of the MMO Warrior, because there’s always a Warrior. Just as surely, there’s always a Rogue, or a Thief, or if you have to go a little further afield, a Scoundrel or Stalker. So in the spirit of understanding these conventions, let’s talk about understanding MMO Rogues.

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EVE Evolved: The expert Gila’s guide to Abyssal Deadspace in EVE Online

EVE Online‘s new Into The Abyss expansion launched less than two weeks ago and I’m bloody obsessed with it! Players have had great success running the first three tiers of the new Abyssal Deadspace sites in tech 2 fitted Heavy Assault Cruisers and there are some spectacular fits out there for dealing the tier four and five sites already. My ship of choice for the Abyss is the Gila, a pirate faction cruiser with a great passive shield tank and a huge 500% bonus to drone hitpoints and damage, and which I’ve used successfully to reliably tackle tier four and five sites.

Abyssal deadspace fits are complicated by the fact that four of the filament types have resistance penalties that apply to both your ship and the NPCs inside the site, which has implications for both your tank and the damage types you should use. But how do the resistance penalties actually work, and under what circumstances is it beneficial to switch damage types? I performed a variety of tests on the test server and built a spreadsheet (yeah, you can make the joke now) to answer this exact question and figure out how to tackle top-tier Abyssal Deadspace sites.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I explain exactly how the resistance penalty in Abyssal deadspace works, share my tried and tested Gila fit for high-tier sites, and detail strategies for tackling all of the enemies you’ll encounter.

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Tamriel Infinium: With Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset, more of the same is a good thing

Today is the formal launch day for Summerset! My goal during the PC early access was to finish the main storyline, and I’m happy to say that I did it and some of the side quests as well. And I was also able to do a bit of exploring around the island just to see what was there. As an Elder Scrolls Online fan, I have to say that I’m satisfied with what ZeniMax delivered. If you are a fan of the game and really enjoy what the team has given so far in the game, then you will also like the Summerset chapter.

I strongly believe that ZeniMax over-delivered with Morrowind, so when making a direct comparison between the two different chapters, I will, unfortunately, have to admit that Morrowind was the stronger chapter. But that’s not to say that Summerset was a bad expansion to the game. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. There are some very strong characters, glorious set pieces, and fun Easter eggs.

As I talk about the story of the next chapter, it will be impossible not to talk about spoilers, but I will keep them as light and vague as I can. And I promise that anything that I reveal is not a major plot point. With that in mind, let’s talk about this story!

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Happy birthday to WildStar, Crossout, and World War 2 Online

The beginning of informal summer is a favorite time for MMO launches, which also means it’s prime time for birthdays and anniversaries. WildStar, for example, has a birthday I’ll always remember, as it rather inconsiderately released while I was in the hospital having a baby. She and it are both four this year, although she isn’t getting a month of presents and events as WildStar players are. There’s a special anniversary pack in the cash shop right now too.

“Throughout the whole month we’re running a series of WildStar’s most lucrative bonus events on a weekly rotation, offering you out-of-this-world benefits from four different events back-to-back. But that’s not all! With Starfall there will also be a unique reward pack delivered to your Account Inventory just for logging in each week! Make sure you transmat to Nexus every week in June to claim your rewards and take full advantage of the bonus events.”

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EVE Evolved: Last-minute advice on Abyssal Deadspace in EVE Online

There are just two days to go before EVE Online‘s Into the Abyss expansion lands on May 29th, introducing its new Abyssal Deadspace solo PvE feature. Players will use abyssal filaments to travel into Abyssal Deadspace pockets that exist underneath space throughout the EVE universe, risking their ships in challenging procedurally generated encounters. It’s in these instanced solo encounters that players will come face to face with The Triglavian Collective, a bizarre and twisted subspecies of human with powerful new ships and a new type of subatomic particle weapon called the Entropic Disintegrator.

This new solo content is intended for players of all skill levels, with the lowest tier sites being easy enough to complete in a well-designed tech 1 cruiser and higher tiers requiring considerably more expensive gear. Each site contains 3 randomly generated pockets of deadspace to defeat within 20 minutes, after which time the pocket will implode and destroy your ship. The prizes for risking it all in these dungeons include blueprints to build player-controlled Triglavian ships, plans for Entropic Disintegrators, and Mutaplasmids that can randomly mutate the stats on existing items.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I follow up on last month’s article on preparing for the Into the Abyss expansion with some last-minute guidelines on preparing your ships, how to use drones effectively in Abyssal Deadspace, and useful tips and strategies for tackling the sites.

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