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By Damis

Boundless - Open World MMO

Boundless is a subscription free MMO maintained by optional in-app purchases.

In a Boundless universe of connected worlds, every player's choices will have an impact. Explorer? Builder? Hunter? Trader? Crafter? Make your own path.

Open portals to travel seamlessly between diverse planets as you expand your adventure across the universe. Watch the sun rise on a volcanic world before joining friends to prospect for precious resources on a desert planet.

Starting with your first humble campfire, will you live a nomadic life in the wild, or found a new settlement with your allies from which to grow your empire? Rally citizens to expand your city, competing to become the capital of your world and claiming the title of Viceroy.

Will you build a citadel, drive the economy, or craft masterpieces of technology? Join the hunt for exotic creatures, develop your homestead, or seek new horizons?

Shape your citizen, forge your destiny, and sculpt your world in this epic voxel sandbox MMO built on endless possibility.


Join the Great Transmigration and explore the Known Worlds of Boundless. Each world is full of unique inhabitants and resources, ripe for discovery. With your trusty Totem in hand and the ability to build Warp Conduits, you can pinpoint locations on other worlds and travel seamlessly between them. No waiting. No loading.


Discover and use materials to build your base. Craft Beacons and claim land as your own, protecting all your beloved items within it bounds from other Players and from sacrifice to the land. Use special tools to tweak and transform blocks into ever more interesting and unique structures. Your imagination is Boundless.


Master the art of crafting! Create weapons, tools, building materials, and a whole host of other technologies waiting to be discovered in the Known Worlds. Use advanced Crafting Machines to build ever more sophisticated items and further your potential. Forge your legacy.


Hunt down creatures of all shapes and sizes scattered throughout the Known Worlds. Each world has challenging creatures to discover, each requiring different strategies to best. Get ready to take them on!


Everything bought and sold in Boundless is generated by you, the players. Buy and sell items through player-owned shops, and compete with others to become the most successful trader on the planet... or maybe in the universe!


Harvest and cultivate the alien worlds you discover. Will you till the soil to harvest exotic crops? Or perhaps you’ll delve below ground to establish vast subterranean fuel farms? Maybe you’ll take advantage of innovative new Goo farming


Boundless is a sandbox MMORPG that enables player collaboration. You can choose to play solo, or join up with friends or players from all over the world. Explore, defeat dangerous creatures, gather rare resources and build a colony together.

Other Features
Colonise planets by yourself or join a settlement with others and grow your beacon into the capital of the world with the Prestige system Craft hundreds of items including, building blocks, tools, weapons, food and many more Spend your hard earned skill points in the Skill Tree and tailor your character to how you want to play the game Complete Objectives, Feats and events to earn rewards and Experience Points to level up your character Build and maintain a Portal between worlds for you and others to use Trade items with others or set up a shop to sell and buy items while you’re off adventuring Each world automatically regenerates areas that are not protected by a Beacon and returns it to its original layout, creating new and much needed resources for you to collect Seamlessly travel to new worlds and discover different creatures, resources, block colours and user generated creations in an ever-changing universe No Subscription Required
Explore a vast living, ever-changing and developing MMO universe with NO monthly subscription fee! Hunt, trade, craft, build an empire with friends and become Boundless. You can join the exclusive Gleam Club to further support the game and to get a few cosmetic perks and keep your beacons fuelled, but everything in the game is accessible without any additional in-game purchase.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/324510/Boundless/
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By Damis

Smite - Free To Play.

Smite is a 3D fantasy MOBA where players take on the role of mythological gods and battle in team-based arenas. Unlike other MOBAs, SMITE puts you directly onto the battlefield with a third-person action viewpoint. From blind-side ambushes to aimed shots, a new pantheon of strategic possibilities awaits.  Become a legend of myth, enter the Battleground of the Gods, and play FREE now!

Game Modes:
Conquest – the main 5v5 game mode. Features three lanes and a jungle area filled with neutral monsters. Arena – a 5v5 game mode with an open battle area rather than lanes. Each team begins with 500 points and must reduce the other side's to zero by killing heroes, minions, and escorting allied minions to portals. Joust – a 3v3 game mode with a single lane which otherwise plays like Conquest mode. Joust can also be played 1v1. Assault – similar to ARAM (All Random, All Mid) in LoL, players are assigned a random God and fight on a map with a single lane. Siege – a faster version of Conquest. Siege mode consists of only two lanes and contains a special Siege Juggernaut minion that deals extra damage to structures.
Never played a battle arena before? Don’t worry. Auto-buy, auto-level, and the deathmatch-like Arena mode let you jump right into divine MOBA action. Aspiring pro? Top the ladders, join a competitive team, and you too could be playing at the SMITE World Championship.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/386360/SMITE/
 
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By Damis

FRACTURED MMO OPEN ALPHA 2 WEEKEND

Want to try out Fractured but got no game access? Play FOR FREE during this weekend’s stress test!
The Open Alpha 2 Weekend is bringing 3 days of free access to Fractured for everyone.  The event is starting on Friday, December 6, at 4pm CET (10am ET) and ending on Monday, December 9, at 12pm CET (6am ET).
How to be part of it? It’s easier done than said: just register a Fractured account (if you haven’t already), download the game client and wait for the doors of Myr to be opened!
https://fracturedmmo.com/open-alpha-2-weekend-test-extension/
 
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By Elric

ArcheAge Unchained

When the first ArcheAge was released, it was a huge chapter for COTP.  The initial game hype was off the charts, and we had a lot of fun at first... Unfortunately they had some pretty big missteps with the release schedule and some content that was not released as planned (or poorly handled).  A lot of the issues with the game can be attributed to conflicts between the original Korean developer XL Games and the USA publisher Trion Worlds.  Over time the game went F2P and quickly became a Pay2Win game.  Let's just say that the community was unhappy with the direction of the game. 
Enter GamIgo Games!  Last year Gamigo Games purchased Trion Worlds and acquired the ownership rights of ArcheAge.  As a direct result of all the community backlash, they decided to release a completely different version of the game.  By popular demand, ArcheAge Unchained is going to be a completely separate game on its own, and they are eliminating the big P2W problems.  ArcheAge Unchained is being released on October 15th, and it will be a Buy 2 Play model.  You pay the initial game cost up front, and after that there will be no subscriptions or "Premium monthly costs".  The only items for sale in the "cash shop" will be 100% cosmetic, and anything game impacting from the original ArcheAge game was removed.  For example, the game was due to come out the last weekend in September, but Gamigo Games decided to delay the game for more PTS testing.  The big change they were working on was to make all cosmetic items Bound on Pickup / Purchase.  They wanted to avoid anyone buying cosmetic items for RL money and then selling them on the in-game marketplace to earn gold.  Many people in the community saw this as being slightly Pay 2 Win, so it was removed from the game!

Here is a good video talking about the upcoming release of ArcheAge Unchained, and some history of the original game:
 

At this point we don't have any official plans of a COTP Chapter, but we will certainly go that way if we get enough people interested!
If you want more information, here is the full copy / paste of the FAQ from the official ArcheAge Unchained forums:

 
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By Damis

Maestrom Free to Play on Steam.

Maestrom
Grim fantasy combined with thunderous naval combat in a vibrant, monster-saturated world! Captain an Orc, Dwarf or Human warship and sail the turbulent Abyssal Ocean with online multiplayer, in free-for-all & team based matches.

Be ruthless! Sink other players ships, take their loot and collect their bounty! Be greedy! Maps are littered with floating treasure chests and ships loaded with gold. Be cunning! As the match progresses hungry sea monsters become more aggressive and encroach the safe waters ships can sail in. Ships sailing in 'Dead Waters' for too long end up as monster chow! Be unsinkable! At the end of a match ships can be upgraded and customized with captains, cannons, armor, mates and more! WARSHIPS WIN WITH WITS
Enemy ships can be rammed, grappled and boarded!
Maneuver a ship through the swelling sea and prepare for ramming! The faster the ship is moving the more devastating the collision will be on impact.

Boarding locks both ships in place while crews fight it out. If one crew manages to kill all of the opposing crew, it can spell disaster & sink a ship quickly, sending it to the depths!

ARMOR, AMMO AND POSITIONAL DAMAGE
Each ship has armor on all four sides. The armor sections serve as additional defense toward damage to that side and must be destroyed before the ship's hull can be damaged. Maneuvering to keep your armor between you and your enemy is vital to staying afloat - and seeking the enemy's damaged sides will make you much more lethal in combat!Every cannon has access to three kinds of ammunition and can swap during combat to suit the situation. Ammo is unlimited.
Iron shot blasts chunks out of ship armor and hull. Chain shot is used to shred enemy sails and cripple a ship’s speed. Grapeshot slaughters enemy crew and makes ships easier to board. LURKING THE DEEP
Like the ocean they reside in, sea monsters are titanic forces of nature. They stalk unwary captains and can devour a ship whole. Like this Murkwater Thrasher.

FREE-TO-PLAY DEFINITION FOR MAELSTROM:
As Free-to-Play definitions vary with games we want to define it clearly so players know what they can expect: All gameplay and progress can be unlocked by playing the game for free. No additional purchases are needed to enjoy the game to its fullest extent. There are no ways to purchase a competitive advantage in game. Players must play the game to progress & become more powerful. There are no ways to purchase a top tier ship with a powerful crew, it must be earned by playing the game. Players can however, accelerate progression with boosts. Gold is in-game currency and earned by playing the game. Gunpowder is premium currency & the only item sold for cash in-game. It is used to buy all of the premium items in the store such as the battle pass, cosmetics, boosters & bundles. Gunpowder can also be earned for free via the Battle Pass, completing quests & checking the store. Battle Passes unlock cosmetics, gold or gunpowder & there is a premium track that unlocks additional rewards for gunpowder. Future content will be added through seasonal Battle Passes, events or content drops. There are no loot boxes. All Items are directly purchasable in the store. https://store.steampowered.com/app/764050/Maelstrom/
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Ztuke

Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerability

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Background

As many of you know by now, a quite serious vulnerability was discovered in early 2018 that affected both INTEL and AMD cpu's!

This discovery has sent SHOCK WAVES throughout the entire PC industry.

These flaws have been called SPECTRE and MELTDOWN.

There are patches made available by the CPU manufacturers and supplied to the hardware maker's that address this critical flaw but these are NOT applicable to all CPU's going back to the very earliest affected. (The very earliest affected CPU's would have been manufactured sometime during 1998.) The patches affect a very special instruction layer known as MICROCODE.

 

Response

The CPU manufacturers and most affected hardware manufacturers have responded by releasing patches that close access to this critical vulnerability. In the cases of INTEL and AMD, the changes have to be made at the microscopic level within the construction of the CPU its self and since this is not something that is ever undertaken without the most serious of consideration and rigorous of testing, it WILL TAKE TIME!

Microsoft, the Windows developer, and nearly all Linux system developers have produced and released software fixes to block this vulnerability. HOWEVER, it must be noted that on older hardware these patches and fixes CAN AND DO have a performance impact. On the most up to date hardware this performance hit is barely noticeable, on older hardware it can have visible penalty.

These patches/fixes are mandatory in the case of Windows users and in the case of newer Linux builds with, in the case of older Linux builds are very highly rated patch to be applied. 

 

Point of this post

Other than to make everyone aware of this and try to warn of the utmost serious nature of these flaws it is also to inform you that there is a small windows utility available that will inspect your system and inform you if your hardware is vulnerable or protected, if the software patches have been installed by Microsoft and if a software base MICROCODE update issued by Intel/AMD has also been installed. It will also indicate if your hardware is too old for these patches.

I will add at this time that NOT ALL CPU's are being patched, in general if the design of the CPU is up to roughly speaking, 5 years old then you have a high chance of there being a patch. CPU's of between 5 to 7 years have a reasonable chance with anything older than 7 years being unlikely!

The utility is produced and made available by the Gibson Research Corporation (GRC), founded by Steven Gibson,  and is called INSPECTRE.

 

Conclusion

If you wish to check your system for these critical security flaws, the above utility will give you a fast and clear indication.

 

NOTES

1) An effort has been made to avoid technical speak and many generalities have been made which will read as incorrect to the informed. It is this writers intent to inform and not confuse those who do not have the technical knowledge or understanding to read the more precise descriptions involved in the technical papers for these issues.

2) A certain amount of information and capabilities of the above mentioned patches, fixes, workaround's and utilities has been deliberately left out so as not to cause confusion OR allow the incautious to put their systems at risk!

3) The writer in no way endorses, nor implies that the community or site operators of the Covenant of the Phoenix Community endorse these comments or the software/application talked herein.

4) Use of the above utility is made solely at the users discretion, since if they are using it then they have made the conscious decision to use it!

 

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This is a good write up, Z. Thank you.

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Intel had a vulnerability that could be used by the US Government to acquire state secrets from a number of bad actors; China, Russia, Terrorists.  Instead;, Intel informs its customers in China, before informing the US Government.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/28/intel-reportedly-notified-chinese-companies-of-chip-security-flaw-before-the-u-s-government/


They should have called the NSA and handed over the information to the NSA, so much good could have been done to thwart bad actors on the world stage.

Intel has serious governing issues, as most of their R&D and major technology comes from their Intel Israel team - the same country that was going to sell one of our AWACS aircraft to the Chinese until we complained back in 2000, to today where Israel sold the software to Saudi Arabia that allowed them to hack a Washington Post reporters phone and ambush him at their embassy and murder him, and whom purchase significant political influence over US politics, for such a small group.  Israel's track record is not good.
Most of Intels manufacturing is done overseas in Asia, including China.  Hence their telling their Asian customers before the US Government.

As unlikely as it may be to happen, boycotting Intel in your purchase decisions is what is needed here.
There is a shortage of CPUs globally, AMD has become more wanted only to fill the gap, AMD chips are not better than Intels, but they don't come with all the baggage of selling out the US government to the Chinese and American reporters and our R&D to the Israelis.

AMD for the win.

Edited by Relaed

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