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Sea of Thieves’ July 31 Cursed Sails update adds creepy skeleton ghost ships and a three-man vessel

Who doesn’t love a good ghost ship story? I’m a sucker for them, so Sea of Thieves’ Cursed Sails, the game’s second major update, definitely has my eye. According to the new trailer and blog post, players are getting that promised new ship, some new story lore, and the three-man Brigantine, along with the hinted-at multi-boat alliance system and the NPC skeleton ships that will be popping out of the sea to wallop your crew as the “emergent threat” they are. Nothing like watching a ship helmed by skellies literally dive into the depths and drag everything with it. Reddit is freaking out (in a good way) over the crab sighting too.

“Cursed Sails will change things forever on the Sea of Thieves, as the sails you see cresting the horizon are no longer guaranteed to be other players making their own way through the world. The decks beneath those masts may now be manned by skeletal marauders returned to the seas from their restless graves. All that sustains these grinning terrors is a thirst for battle that leads them to terrorise Outposts and call out defenders to face them on the tides…”

The update launches on July 31st; you can watch the preview trailer down below. Arrr!

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No Man’s Sky’s Next update drops next week with absurd amounts of space and land content

Don’t call it an MMO yet, but Even More Multiplayer is making its way to No Man’s Sky with its “Next” update. Hello Games today dropped a new trailer showing off how the “limitless procedural universe” is coming along. In fact, you haven’t got long to wait to play it yourself, as it’s rolling out next week on July 24th (Europeans have to wait an extra three days to the 27th for some reason).

“The new mode will be added to the limitless procedural universe across all platforms next week via the No Man’s Sky NEXT update, coinciding with the game’s launch on Xbox One, in a publishing partnership with 505 Games for physical retail. With this launch, players across Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam for PC will be able to explore, fight and survive with friends as they voyage across the vast celestial sandbox.”

Hello Games is touting a whole slew of features, including small-group exploration, the chance to “prey on others to survive,” building shelters and colonies, exocraft racing, custom race track creation and sharing, “epic space battles,” unlimited base building, fleet control, capital ships, “challenging multiplayer missions,” and a massive visual upgrade. Holy crap. Maybe that’s why the game’s recent reviews on Steam are pretty positive, eh?

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World of Warcraft kicks off the Battle for Azeroth era

While the expansion won’t be here until August, World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth officially begins today. That is thanks to Blizzard’s tradition of releasing a features pre-expansion patch with many of the changes that will help to usher players into the new era.

Patch 8.0 is live today with a lot for players to explore and experience. The highlights include a wide array of class changes, PvP War Mode, Communities, upright Orc postures, and a Legacy loot mode (who’s going transmog hunting this week?). Also, next week will see the debut of the Teldrassil and Lordaeron playable scenarios, both of which lead right into the expansion.

And since your Battle for Azeroth fever is burning bright, why not add a couple of degrees by watching the new trailer to a trio of upcoming animated shorts that Blizzard is making? Check it out after the break.

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Multiplayer survival sandbox Outpost Zero hits Steam early access

The super pretty survivalbox Outpost Zero has planted roots in Steam’s early access program. It’s currently $15.99; tinyBuild and Symmetric Games say it’s a fully featured version of the game, though the devs are still working on more mechanics and balancing, particularly in regard to PvP and base raiding. The full launch is expected early next year.

“This Early Access version is a fully featured version of the game. Animals, Pirate Raids, PvP combat, Base Building, Corporations, and Bot AI are all implemented to create a full cohesive survival experience. We will continue to polish and improve these systems over the course of Early Access release. […] In the final version of the game we will be introducing many more powerful and fun Bot AI classes to craft, many additional Pirate Raid mechanics, Flying Vehicles, Massive Battle Mechs, several additional game modes (like horde mode and team vs team base defense), and of course a ton more content, from Equipment and Weapons, Structure types, Animal classes, and more.”

Massively OP’s MJ has been touring the game this summer as part of her deep-dive into multiple survival games for her ongoing column; you can check those streams out below, along with the official quickstart tutorial and trailer.

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Monster Hunter World will launch for PC early on August 9

Oh right, Monster Hunter World hasn’t launched on PC yet. But that’s changing soon, as Capcom just announced it’s coming not in fall, but earlier than expected, on August 9th. Well, that never happens! We’ll take it!

“The title that released for consoles earlier this year has since gone on to become Capcom’s best-selling game in company history with over 8 million units shipped globally. In this entry, players take on larger than life monsters in a variety of vast, living, breathing ecosystems either solo or with up to three other hunters via online co-op, complete with drop-in functionality, a first for the series.”

You betcha there’s a new trailer, and if you’ve forgotten what the game’s all about, we’ve got you covered there too, as we did some extensive guides and impressions pieces on the game when it hit PS4 earlier this year!

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Jukebox Heroes: Six more groovy tunes from MMOs you’ve never played

As an MMO music collector, I’ve gathered some really obscure soundtracks over the years, including ones from games that people don’t even remember existing, nevermind having actually played. I won’t lie: Some of these soundtracks are downright forgettable. They might have one or two halfway decent tunes tucked among them, but they certainly do not have enough good tracks to justify a whole column on them. Once in a while there might even be a gem that can be sifted from the pile, but these end up being anomalies.

Back in 2016 I posted a quick list of six great tunes from MMOs that most people had never played, and today, I’m going to do another. Sure, maybe there are a few of you out there who did log into these games back in the day, but chances are that a majority of readers on the site did not. In some cases, the music is all that remains of a long-lost experience.

So let’s see what gems we might uncover today!

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Conan Exiles has set another Funcom record, announces Jewel of the West DLC and patch

Funcom’s fortunes continue to rise thanks to Conan Exiles: The company announced today that it’s “both the best-selling and fastest-selling game” in its history, passing up 2008’s Age of Conan, which sold 1.4 million units in its first three years. Conan Exiles has busted past that record in under half that time since launching early access in 2017.

There’s good news to look forward to, too, as the devs are working on a freebie patch, and the game is picking up new DLC called Jewel of the West in “early August,” which you’ll note isn’t all that far away.

“The downloadable content introduces new Aquilonia-themed building pieces, weapons, armor, furniture, and more. In Conan lore, Aquilonia is the center of the civilized world and its clothing and architecture is inspired by that of the real-world Romans.”

The free content will include pets and taming, “allowing players to find and tame anything from camels to panthers and even spiders and then use them to guard their base, carry resources, and more.”

Enjoy the new trailer along with the satisfaction of knowing Conan is doing great!

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Secret World Legends community mod allows players to make their own in-game missions

No one likes a content lull in a game, but Secret World Legends players don’t have to take it lying down. They don’t actually have to take it at all, in fact, because there’s a community modification to allow players to create their own missions and play those made by others. Admittedly, it’s not going to allow you to create powerful new gear as rewards for those missions, but if you’re in the midst of a content lull that’s probably not your primary concern.

You can check out a trailer and a sample of a mission in action just below, if you’re interested in seeing how the mod works out in practice. Yes, it’s a bit of a stopgap solution for content lulls and doesn’t wholly address the main issue, but it means you can have all sorts of new mysteries to uncover… and other mysteries to create yourself. Isn’t that interesting enough on its own?

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The Crew 2’s official launch day and trailer are here, along with a trail of bad reviews

The Crew 2 has reached its official launch day for console and PC, but maybe don’t be too anxious to press the buy button. As we noted on this week’s Massively OP Podcast, early reviews from the beta were abysmal, as players specifically criticized the sidegrade from the original game, the lackluster vehicle modes, and the cumbersome controls, but the beta Steam page had been completely wiped, sending those warning reviews into oblivion when the headstart began earlier this week. How convenient, right?

Alas for Ubisoft, those beta players followed it to the new Steam page, and it’s racked up hundreds of new reviews putting it in the “mostly negative” zone just since Tuesday. An irritating steam activation key pairing issue and preorder activation bugs didn’t help matters either.

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Shroud of the Avatar’s 55th release includes brewing and starter houses for everyone

Portalarium is shaking off its layoffs and plunging onward with the release of Shroud of the Avatar’s 55th update. Release 55 should be live just as this post goes out, and it’s set to include an elaborate brewing system, the UI overhaul, new minizones, and new enemies. But the best news of the update is the fact that SOTA now has a reasonable in-game way for every single player to pick up a starter house.

“All Avatars who complete the entire story will receive a Player-Owned Town Row Lot Deed (Taxed) from the Oracle! This means completing the Paths of Truth, Love, Courage, and the Path of the Oracle. This will be retroactive, so anyone who has already completed the story will merely need to revisit the Oracle to receive their lot deed.”

This is a huge deal given that one of the biggest pre-launch complaints about the game revolved around the difficulty and grind associated with house ownership. The studio says it’s being implemented “at the suggestion of the community.” Do note that it’s not a tradeable deed; it’s “meant to celebrate a significant achievement, and as such is a retroactive reward, given to all players who have successfully completed the three Avatar paths.”

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Elite Dangerous’ Beyond: Chapter 2 arrives today; here’s the launch trailer!

The second chapter in Elite Dangerous’ Beyond content is due to land early this afternoon, with the Alliance Challenger as well as a “selection of new wing missions, installation interactions, new settlements to explore and, to combat the ever-growing and ever-encroaching Thargoid threat, a cache of new Guardian weapons and technology from the Tech Brokers.” The update is a free one and rolls out to PC and console together. Full patch notes just went up on the official forums a few minutes ago!

“Beyond, the third Elite Dangerous season will be free for all players, and will focus on community-requested enhancements to the overall player experience. Alongside those core foundational changes, new in-game content will progress the ever-expanding player-driven storyline and give pilots across the galaxy new tools to shape the ongoing narrative. Chapter Two is a smaller update, but still filled with content. Players will find two new ships – the Krait Mk II and the Alliance Challenger – as well as a selection of new Wing Missions, installation interactions, new settlements to explore and a cache of new Guardian weapons and technology from the Tech Brokers to combat the ever-growing and ever-encroaching Thargoid threat.”

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TERA brings the Gunner to console players

Want to have some fun shooting everything while you’re playing TERA on consoles? Give the Gunner a try, then, because that’s her whole deal. Yes, the Gunner has arrived on the game’s console version, and if you’ve gotten used to playing her on the PC you’ll be happy to know that she’s very similar to her desktop incarnation. She’s a utility class with a lot of options and a very, very large gun.

If you’re reading something into that, we can assure you it’s totally unintentional.

Of course, her guns, turrets, and heavy armor give gunners the option to tank through content while blasting away enemies on the battlefield, so even if you’ve never played the game before it should be an appealing class option for console fans. Check out the trailer for the class just below, and get your trigger finger itching.

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Trove has just launched its exploration-centric Geode expansion and new battle royale minigame

The first leg of Trove’s Geode expansion has launched today, with brand-new mechanics for the blocky-cute sandbox.

“Players will find themselves on a brand new planet with a seemingly endless network of caves to explore,” Trion says. “Built with a wholly distinct feel, Trove Geode is the next chapter in the Trove universe, with combat taking a backseat to exploration, as players discover new collectibles and companions, embarking on story-driven quests through Geode’s maze of tunnels and cave systems. Players will climb to epic heights of Mastery, reaping the rewards and amassing a collection of styles to customize their look through a massive selection of weapons, costumes, hats, mounts, wings, and more!”

The second phase, which will task players with saving the planet itself, is set to “begin in earnest later this year.” Bomber Royale is live today too – in fact, I completely forgot about it when writing this morning’s Daily Grind about MMO battle royale integration.

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