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Destiny 2 community goes on a real-world hunt for a hidden spear

Are you familiar with Geocaching? It’s a popular activity in which players hide and discover treasure caches all over the world (and is a favorite of Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott, who hid one on the International Space Station).

It turns out that Bungie is a fan of the game as well, as the studio team created its own special geocache hunt for fans to discover. Destiny 2 players discovered clues in the latest patch that eventually led to a secret message. This message contained GPS coordinates to a real-world location, which turned out to be a hidden cache on Sleeping Beauty Mountain in New York state.

The contents? A huge Valkyrie spear modeled after one of Destiny 2’s weapons and a note from the developers encouraging the finder to share his or her discovery with the community at large. The note was from Design Lead Rob Gallerani that thanked the community for its passion and hinted that more geocaches may be coming. Additionally, the team left a second, smaller container with gold coins for future hunters to take if they traveled to these coordinates.

Source: Kotaku

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EVE Evolved: Get ready for EVE Fanfest 2018!

There’s just a week and a half to go before EVE Fanfest 2018, the biggest event in the EVE Online social calendar. The event kicks off on April 12th and will celebrate EVE‘s upcoming 15th anniversary, a major milestone for any online game. This year we’re anticipating juicy details on the next step in EVE Online‘s ambitious long-term development roadmap, an update on the impending EVE mobile game, and possibly a major announcement about CCP’s upcoming MMOFPS codenamed Project Nova.

MassivelyOP will be on the ground once again this year to get the latest insight into the future of the sandbox. Stay tuned to our coverage of the event using the EVE Fanfest 2018 tag, where I’ll be posting major announcement news, detailed discussions on new gameplay revealed, interviews from the event, and in-depth opinion pieces. Fanfest will also be a great opportunity to assess the mood and impact of last year’s pull-out from VR game development, and to take the pulse of the community of a variety of topics. If you have any specific questions you’d like me to pose to developers or players while I’m there, please let me know in the comments.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I break down our expectations for EVE Fanfest 2018 and give some tips on getting the most out of the event for players attending or just watching from home.

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The Stream Team: Happy second birthday, Black Desert!

Black Desert turns two years old today, and Massively OP’s MJ is back on her Valkyrie to celebrate. She’s going to take advantage of the special XP boost as well as claim her free anniversary gift (before it disappears on March 14th!). There’s even Lavientia’s Special Accessories event to take part in… assuming she can collect enough ingredients to craft the event items. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to wish the sandbox a very happy birthday.

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

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Black Desert Mobile shares some details about account linking, character creation, and items

Curious about the play experience of Black Desert Mobile? The developers have put out a helpful FAQ about the game’s features, mechanical changes, and so forth, starting by assuring players that you’ll have the same range of customization options you’re accustomed to from the PC version of the title. The actual saved character appearance data cannot be transferred to mobile, but the options themselves will be the same. Assuming, of course, that you’re trying to make a Witch, Giant, Ranger, Warrior, or Valkyrie, as those are the five options mobile players will have to start.

The weight system will still be in place in the mobile version, although its implementation will be slightly different (even characters at maximum weight can still participate in battle, for instance), and the marketplace and item enhancement systems will also be making the leap. Players can also log into the game via phone-based accounts or even with temporary guest logins. For all of the answers you could want to know, how down below; there are a lot of answers, even if they might not all be the answers you would like.

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Sumo Digital picks up CCP’s ejected EVE Valkyrie studio

Good news for anybody out there worried about the future of EVE Valkyrie: CCP’s Newcastle studio, the one that runs Valkyrie, has been acquired by UK-based Sumo Digital, which isn’t exactly known for VR. According to GIbiz, 34 CCP devs will make the jump to the new group. Sumo Digital has been collaborating with CCP already on Project Nova, the FPS following in DUST 514’s footsteps.

You’ll recall that at the tail end of October 2017, the EVE Online developer announced that it was pulling out of the virtual reality market, with intent to close down or sell off some of its properties while pulling Sparc in-house. Though Valkyrie received an update in the interim, its longer-term future had appeared uncertain until Sumo Digital announced the buyout.

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EVE Evolved: 2017 EVE Online year in review

We’ve reached the end of another year, and it’s certainly been a busy one for EVE Online. This year saw heavy gameplay iteration, with improvements to everything from the UI to ship balance, and the Lifeblood expansion’s total moon mining overhaul. PvE-focused players got a new AI-driven Resource Wars activity in high-security space, and an experimental user interface named The Agency has helped tie seasonal in-game events together. New refinery structures caused a bit of a land grab on moons and gave alliances more to fight over, and CCP Games lifted some of the free to play alpha clone restrictions to help bring in new players.

It’s the players that make EVE Online special, of course, and this year had no shortage of crazy political shenanigans. We followed The Imperium’s war for revenge in the north of EVE that eventually fizzled out, watched as The Judge betrayed his alliance and stole the largest sum of ISK in the game’s history, and sat aghast as the leader of that alliance was banned for threatening to cut off the thief’s hands in real life. CCP Games itself hasn’t exactly made it through the year unscathed, with the company unexpectedly pulling out of the VR market and laying off around 100 staff worldwide.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look back at the past year of EVE Online news and summarise the highlights.

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EVE: Valkyrie gets a new map and spectator mode for the holidays

Happy holidays, EVE: Valkyrie fans! Enjoy a shiny box of… wait, why are you hyperventilating? This isn’t a shutdown notice. (Which, you know, was a logical thing to expect based on recent events. You might have good reason to be jumpy.) Stop. Take a deep breath. There’s an update. There is an actual patch. See, there’s even a video down below covering the features. The biggest addition is the new moon refinery map that’s letting you blow things up in the midst of a mining operation on a moon. Not Earth’s moon, just a moon.

Do you need to sit down for a little while? Here, we can cover this in text. Have some hot chocolate. The update also adds in a new spectator mode so you can watch other players shooting at stuff without being in the match. Yes, other players. You can even set up custom matches with those other players specifically, if you want. Are you doing better? Can you watch the video now? It’s just past the break.

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Massively Overthinking: The best and worst MMO developer quotes of 2017

Think of all the wacky things devs have said in public in front of gamers and journalists this year.

Now imagine what gets said behind closed doors!

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’ve asked our staff to select the best (and worst) developer quotes from the year and reflect on what we’ve learned from them. Let’s dig in – we’ve got some whoppers.

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MMO biz roundup: The voice actor strike, e-sports crime, CCP VR, Crowfall, and new acquisitions for Tencent, EA, and Nexon

Let’s end the week talking about money. What could go wrong?

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EVE Evolved: EVE Online’s CCP Games is gambling with the livelihoods of employees

Last week we broke the story that EVE Online developer CCP Games is backing out of the virtual reality games market, closing its Altanta office and selling its VR-focused Newcastle studio. The long-held Atlanta office was acquired in the merger with White Wolf in 2006 and has been hit with several rounds of layoffs over the years, with a major hit in 2011 after the Monoclegate disaster and another 2014 when the World of Darkness MMO was cancelled. The Newcastle studio was the development house responsible for CCP’s VR dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie, and both Valkyrie and CCP’s new VR game Sparc will now be maintained by the London office.

Around 100 staff were laid off in the restructuring, roughly 30 of whom worked in CCP’s headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland. Though we were informed at the time that these changes would not impact the development of EVE Online, it since became apparent that more than a few non-development staff were cut. In addition to the EVE PR staff and others that were stationed in Atlanta, all but two members of the EVE community team in Reykjavik have also been let go. There are reports that several GMs and the localisation manager for EVE have departed too, and the mood on twitter from staff in Reykjavik recently is best described as sombre and a little shaken.

In this extra edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into CCP Games’s history of taking risks with staff’s jobs, look at some of those affected by the layoffs, and ask whether there is more fallout to come.

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Overwatch competitive season 7 begins, PTR sees more Mercy nerfs

If you missed it in between all the releases about the many e-sports teams vying for the top of the heap in Overwatch’s e-sports league, season seven of the actual game’s competitive mode began this week, for everyone – even if you’re not signed to a multi-million-dollar team. Huh. Welp, enjoy a whole season of probably losing your rating again!

Meanwhile, if you listened to Jeff Kaplan’s dev vlog last week, you already knew to expect another slew of Mercy nerfs, and they have indeed arrived on the PTR, along with a small nerf for Ana to boot.

“We feel that Mercy’s recent rework has been successful, but her Resurrect ability still feels too strong and frustrating to play against,” Blizzard writes in the patch notes. “Now that it has a cast time, there is more room for enemies to counter the ability. However, casting Resurrect happens instantly when Valkyrie is active. This should make her feel powerful when she transforms on the battlefield.”

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So here’s what’s going on with EVE Valkyrie now that CCP’s downsized

Yesterday, MOP’s Brendan reported on the startling news that CCP Games, long known for its flagship MMORPG sandbox EVE Online and more recently known for its persistent probe into the virtual reality space, is closing down two of its studios, letting over 100 employees go, and essentially putting the kibosh on its plans in the VR market in the short term.

One of the substudios affected, the Newcastle studio now being sold off, was specifically focused on EVE Valkyrie, the VR dogfighter spun out of the EVE universe. But it doesn’t appear that game, which last month launched on Steam with apparently lukewarm reception from the PC crowd, is over. In fact, CCP is calling it “the beginning of a new chapter.”

“We can confidently confirm that EVE: Valkyrie – Warzone is not going away,” writes the company. “We love the game just as much as we love our players, so you can rest assured that we’ll continue to support the product into the future. The development team at the Newcastle studio will remain intact and complete work on the upcoming Winter Update for EVE: Valkyrie – Warzone. So don’t panic! You’ll still receive in-game support for custom matches, tournament tools and a spectator mode before the end of this year.”

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CCP Games ceases VR development, closes two studios – no negative impact on EVE Online

Icelandic business website mbl.is has just reported that EVE Online developer CCP Games is planning to close two of its offices and cease all VR game development. The move affects over 100 staff worldwide, with the Atlanta office in the United States being closed and the Newcastle studio being sold off. The Newcastle office was the development house responsible for the VR dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie, which released as a bundled launch title for the Oculus Rift and has since been released on PlayStation VR and as a non-VR PC title.

The move will see CCP pull out of the VR market for the time being, focusing instead on PC and mobile development. The studio secured a $30 million US investment specifically for VR games back in 2015, and CEO Hilmar Pétursson revealed back in March of this year that the company had only recently broken even on that investment. Despite having some success with Valkyrie, Gunjack, and its recently released VR sports title Sparc, CCP acknowledged the limited opportunities and growth it sees in VR as a platform over the next several years.

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