Updated: Oct 23, 2018 10:17 am Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales Launches

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is now available for Windows on GOG.com, offering a new single-player RPG set in the Witcher universe that incorporates some of the virtual card gameplay of GWENT. This also has perks for GWENT players, including 20 new cards. Here's a new story trailer, and here are the details:

Thronebreaker is a single player role-playing game set in the world of The Witcher that combines narrative-driven exploration with unique puzzles and card battle mechanics.

Crafted by the developers responsible for some of the most iconic moments in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the game spins a truly regal tale of Meve, a war-veteran queen of two Northern Realms — Lyria and Rivia. Facing an imminent Nilfgaardian invasion, Meve is forced to once again enter the warpath, and set out on a dark journey of destruction and revenge.

Main Features:

  • Experience an all new 30-hour Witcher Tale with 20 possible world end-states.
  • Embark on over 75 thought-provoking side quests — one of the hallmarks of The Witcher series.
  • Explore never-before-seen parts of The Witcher world — Lyria, Rivia, Aedirn, Mahakam and Angren.
  • Manage resources, recruit and develop units in your very own customizable war camp.
  • Build an army and engage in story battles, which twist the game’s rules in wildly unexpected ways.

Additional Features:

  • Thronebreaker features over 250 single player tailored cards, as well as 20 brand new cards for GWENT: The Witcher Card Game.
  • Each card represents an entity in the game — characters players interact with during open world exploration can become on-hand assets, deployable during battle.
  • During each playthrough, players make choices and face their consequences — acting against an ally’s convictions might cause their card to disappear from the deck.
  • Mastering the campaign allows unlocking premium animated versions of cards, additional multiplayer avatars, borders, and titles.
  • Fully voice-overed dialogues, localized into 11 languages.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales comes with these bonus items:

  • Concept art, including the map of Lyria
  • Digital version of GWENT: Art of The Witcher Card Game artbook from Dark Horse.
  • The Witcher graphic novel "Fox Children" by Dark Horse
  • 2 in-game GWENT: The Witcher Card Game Player Titles
  • 2 in-game GWENT: The Witcher Card Game Player Avatars
  • 5 premium kegs for GWENT: The Witcher Card Game
  • Official Thronebreaker Soundtrack

How about more GWENT extras?

Unlock 20 cards (standard versions) for use in GWENT: The Witcher Card Game and search for their exclusive premium versions during your travels in Thronebreaker.
Note: Standard versions of the 20 cards can also be crafted directly in GWENT: The Witcher Card Game.

Continue here to read the full story.

Cities: Skylines Gets Industries Expansion

Paradox Interactive now offers the release of the Industries expansion for Cities: Skylines, offering the chance to be even more industrious in Colossal Order's urban planning game. This is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS on Steam and you can make your purchase through Paradox Interactive if you fancy. This launch trailer shows how smokestacks will enhance the game's titular skylines, and here's more on how fun it will be to mind your own business:

Mind your business! With Industries, well managed industry areas will level up and become more efficient. Along with production chains, there is a new city mail service, a cargo airport, FIVE new maps, new policies, new city services, new buildings and more.

Check out the tutorial series on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4hR-M4rl7ucJI3bDPtChHATEuZaA13A3&disable_polymer=true

Coinciding with the Industries expansion, Cities: Skylines is also getting a new radio channel and a free content update. Synthetic Dawn Radio is the most far-out radio station to land in-game ever! It features 16 original new songs across four genres: 80s Electro, Vocoding Electro, Breakbeats and Futuristic Synths. The free update coming alongside Industries will introduce toll booths and road tolls, which will slow traffic, but generate income for the city. Players can also now designate historical buildings, and create custom name lists for citizens, districts and buildings

Continue here to read the full story.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Murkmire Released

The new Murkmire DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online is now available for Windows and macOS, though it is still unannounced as of now on the official website for Bethesda's MMORPG (thanks Kxmode). There are, however, patch notes in their forums for the update, and there's a new official trailer to accompany the launch. Here's word on the DLC and some accompanying updates to the base game:

Welcome to The Elder Scrolls Online v4.2.5 and the Murkmire DLC Game Pack! In addition to a new zone and quests to enjoy, you’ll also come across two new world bosses and two delves, plus a new 4-player leaderboard Arena: Blackrose Prison. We’ve also added 12 new item sets obtainable from Murkmire content, new Motifs, 75 new craftable furnishings, 50 new achievements, and many fun collectibles.

The base game update brings changes to Cyrodiil with destructible Bridges and Milegates, in addition to a refresh of Rewards for the Worthy item sets and an exclusive, new PvP collectible item. We’ve also introduced some improvements to the Housing Editor with Undo/Redo options and furniture grouping. And we know everyone’s excited to see you can now re-order your characters on the Character Select menu!

This latest update is approximately 3.2GB. Enjoy, and stay moist.

Continue here to read the full story.

Spintires: Mudrunner American Wilds Released

Focus Home Interactive announces the release of American Wilds, a new expansion for Spintires: Mudrunner that offers the chance to go offroad in the new world with nine new vehicles, two new maps, and more. Their e-shop is where to pick up a copy, and the launch trailer is where you can get a look at this new content in action. This serves as a standalone expansion, as they now offer new customers an American Wild edition that includes the base game. Here's word on how you can help finance your mechanic's swimming pool by indulging in some iconic American auto brands:

Indie hit Spintires: MudRunner gets even more gripping with the American Wilds expansion available today on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and the Switch version coming November 27. Check out the American Wilds Launch Trailer to see much-requested added features: new vehicles from Ford, Chevrolet, Hummer and more, plus maps based on the roughest terrain of the United States, adding to Spintires: MudRunner’s unique gameplay. All of this is available in the new expansion, or as a stand-alone edition, which includes the base game, the expansion, and all the DLC released so far together in one package.

Overcome muddy terrain, raging rivers, and other obstacles that realistically react to the weight and movement of your vehicle, powered by the game's advanced physics engine. For the first time, American Wilds includes well-known vehicles such as the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet K5 Blazer, and GM’s iconic Hummer, among others. These additions increase the total amount of vehicles to 33, with more than 60 add-ons, all playable solo or with up to three others in co-op multiplayer. On PC they join hundreds of mods created by the passionate MudRunner community for an ever-evolving experience.

Also added to the roster are Mount Logmore and Grizzly Creek, two new sandbox maps inspired by the rugged landscapes of Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota. The maps also include a pair of new challenges for crane operation and flatbed delivery.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I'm a little sore this morning after a bizarre dog-walking incident last night. As I've mentioned, we're local outlaws, as I let the Gunnar-man walk off the leash for the most part, even though that's prohibited in this area. At one point Jedi and I were waiting at a corner for Gunnar to finish his business, but he cut the corner when he was done, getting ahead of us. At this point Gunnar noticed we weren't in front of him where he expected us to be, so he took off down the sidewalk in an ill-conceived attempt to catch up with us. By the time I realized this, he was already far enough away that he couldn't hear me calling, and Jedi and I had to take off down the block after him. Luckily, the same advanced age that made it hard for Gunnar to hear me also makes him slow enough that we eventually caught up with him. But this was after a pretty long sprint for me considering I don't do a lot of running these days, not to mention I was wearing steel-toed work boots in place of running shoes. So yeah, I have a strain today, I'm not sure if its a glut or a high hamstring, but either way I'll be limping around for a while.

Strained Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: The amazing deluxe commemorative edition of The Art of Dungeons and Dragons is out today.
Britney Spears' hit '...Baby One More Time' turns 20 so you're old as hell.
Stories: Museum of the Bible says 5 of its Dead Sea Scrolls are fake. Thanks Neutronbeam.
World's longest sea crossing: Hong Kong-Zhuhai bridge opens.
Science: Mars may have enough oxygen underneath its surface for life.
Your Poop Is Probably Full of Plastic.
Can organic food help you reduce your risk of cancer? A new study suggests the answer may be yes.
Media: GoPro HERO7 X Johnny FPV - DRIFT. Thanks Stuart.
Head Shop Hero.
Horse Jockey Has Wardrobe Malfunction During Race. Modesty did not win.


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Monday, Oct 22, 2018

Rift 2 Cancelled?

A post on Facebook from Brendan Iribe announces the departure of one of the Oculus founders from the company. He speaks with pride about what they've accomplished as virtual reality pioneers, and speaks optimistically about the future. A report on TechCrunch says there's more to this, saying his departure was precipitated by a shakeup at Facebook last week that included the cancellation of a next-generation Rift 2 headset. They say Iribe had been heading up development, but that he and Facebook management developed "fundamentally different views on the future of Oculus that grew deeper over time." The development of a Rift sequel or its cancellation are unconfirmed, but their response from Facebook did not deny either, offering assurances that they do plan another headset at some point. "While we can’t comment on our product roadmap specifics," they were told. "We do have future plans, and can confirm that we are planning for a future version of Rift."

Fallout 76 Beta Promises "Spectacular Issues"

The PC beta for Fallout 76 is still a week off, but it begins tomorrow for Xbox One players, so Bethesda.net now offers "a note to our fans" about the RPG sequel (or a picture of a note). They thank everyone for their support, and warn that testing will expose some of us to "spectacular issues":

We all know with the scale of our games, and the systems we let you use, that unforeseen bugs and issues always come up. Given what we're doing in Fallout 76, we know we're opening everyone up to all new spectacular issues none of us have encountered. Some we're aware of, such as areas where performance needs to improve with lots of players. Others, we surely don't. We need your help finding them, and advice on what's important to fix. We'll address all of it, now, and after launch.

Jade Raymond Leaving EA

Jade Raymond is leaving Motive, the Electronic Arts-owned studio she formed to great fanfare in 2015 following her departure from Ubisoft. Since then the studio at various times has been associated with a new Star Wars game, a "gigantic action game", and a collaboration with BioWare Montreal. VentureBeat has a statement from EA that indicates that they installed Samantha Ryan above her in the studio hierarchy, prompting Raymond to depart:

“EA Studios is focused on bringing more creative new games and content to players. Laura Miele and her team have taken several steps internally to better support our game makers in this pursuit, such as expanding Samantha Ryan’s portfolio to lead additional studios, including Motive,” said John Reseburg, head of communications at EA, in a statement. ” Samantha is known for driving creative design and supporting game teams so they can bring their visions to life. She is a deeply experienced game-maker with a gameography that spans from The Sims to Batman: Arkham City to No One Lives Forever to the highly-anticipated Anthem.”

He added, “With this change, Jade Raymond has decided to leave Electronic Arts. In her time with us, Jade helped to build great teams, and our projects underway at Motive and other studios continue unchanged. We’re appreciative of all of her efforts, and we wish Jade all the best as she moves on to her next adventure. We are driving greater creativity into everything we do across EA Studios, and we’ll look forward to sharing more in the months to come.”

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game Homecoming Trailer

A new How to Play trailer for GWENT: The Witcher Card Game offers a look at the massive changes coming to CD Projekt RED's virtual card game in the upcoming Homecoming update. Here's word:

The video highlights new features and changes being introduced to the game in Homecoming — the biggest GWENT content update yet. The video also introduces gamers to the basics of The Witcher Card Game, its round-based gameplay, two tactically distinct rows, unique melee and ranged card-battling mechanics, as well as robust deck building system/

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game is coming out of beta on October 23rd, following the launch of the Homecoming update. The launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game will follow December 4th.

Continue here to read the full story.

Priest Simulator Announced

Ultimate Games announces Priest Simulator, saying we should have faith that this will be released on Steam by the end of next year. This involves playing a village Priest with magical powers, and how these are used involves making moral choices. None of this involves the kind of scandalous behavior that's become an unfortunate association with the modern priesthood, but this trailer shows you can get quite frisky if you choose (stay for the Surgeon Simulator-style tire change). Here are more details:

Someone famous once said that with great power comes great responsibility. However, some people think that great power means great fun.
Where is the truth? You tell me.

Priest Simulator is a realistic, well, simulator of living as the most privileged person in town.

  • Do the sermons. People will obey you.
  • Give the sacraments. According to your own price list.
  • Visit people. Collect loot.
  • Modernize you church. Or your saint laboratory.
  • Perform exorcisms on possessed people. Or animals.
  • Destroy the sects. Or make alliances.
  • Fight with other priests in Divine Powers Challanges. Or take part in illegal races.
  • Spend money on car upgrades. Or weapons to fight demons.

But first of all remember - take care of your reputation. Because you live in a place where almost everyone wants to pull your leg.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Full-Size Working LEGO Commodore 64. Thanks Rhialto. The mind positively boggles.

R.I.P.: Joachim Rønneberg, saboteur who wrecked Nazi nuke program, dies at 99. There needs to be a movie about that raid.

PC RDR2 Listing Follow-up

WCCFTECH has a follow-up to the recent report of a listing for a PC edition of Red Dead Redemption 2 on MediaMarkt (thanks DSOGaming). They explain this is a placeholder based on their assumption a PC edition is coming, but that no such version has been announced yet. This no surprise, it is exactly what we thought was happening here. Here's word:

It’s true we had the RDR2 PC version listed. I checked this with the games department at our HQ and got told that it’s something of a placeholder and that they count on it being announced sometime in the future (just as with GTA V for example). It is no longer listed as available for pre-purchase, though.

Artifact Beta Delayed

Beta testing for Artifact was planned to begin this month, but PC Gamer has word that testing of Valve's virtual card game won't be getting underway until November 19th. This tweet got this story rolling, and a Reddit thread includes an email Valve is purportedly sending to testers with the news. At this point the game is still slated to launch on November 28th, which has inspired intense discussion about whether such a short beta will be a legitimate test or just an early access perk. There are also unhappy users with sad tales of just how much they spent to secure a key to participate in what will now be a truncated beta.

Fortnite Save the World Free Release Delayed

A video update from the Fortnite team announces that the full free-to-play launch of the Save the World mode for the survival shooter is being delayed beyond the end of this year. They offer details in a new state-of-development blog, and promise more blog posts on various topics going forward. Here's word from the video where Billy from the Save the World team explains the news:

After careful consideration, we've decided to delay the full free-to-play launch of the Save the World out of 2018.

Since the initial release of the game we've added several new features and quality-of-life improvements along with new events, heroes, and items. We still have more we'd like to do before going forward free. We want to make sure that all of our players, both old and new, have a great experience. So we're doing some technical and performance work in order to handle the scale of a full launch. Additionally, we've got some great new features and surprises coming up throughout the rest of the year, and into 2019. We're polishing up and revamping the front-end UI, with an aim to make it easier to use and understand. We're also working on the next iteration of how heroes work, giving you more customization and control over the perks you bring into battle.

Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

Here's GFK Chart-Track's write-up about their new top 40 chart tracking the bestselling games in the U.K. for the week ending October 20th. Word is: "‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ retains the No1 spot as the top 3 remain the same in The All Formats Chart, with ‘Fifa 19’ and ‘Assassin’s Creed’ at No2 and No3 respectively. Warner’s ‘Lego DC Super-Villains’ debuts in at No6 while Bandai Namco have 2 new releases that make the chart, with ‘Soulcalibur VI’ coming in at No8 and ‘Dark Souls Remastered’ at No 12. Ubisoft’s ‘Starlink: Battle for the Atlas’ makes No14 and Nintendo’s ‘Luigi’s Mansion’ makes No23 in their debut weeks." There are a couple of new entries on that chart, but the PC top 30 chart for the same period is more stable. Here's the top 10:

POS. TITLE LABEL LAST WEEK
1 - CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4 ACTIVISION 1
2 - THE SIMS 4 EA GAMES 2
3 - THE SIMS 4: CATS & DOGS EA GAMES 3
4 ˄ THE SIMS 4: SEASONS EA GAMES 5
5 ˅ THE SIMS 4: CITY LIVING EA GAMES 4
6 - FOOTBALL MANAGER 2018 SEGA 6
7 - THE SIMS 4: GET TO WORK EA GAMES 7
8 ˄ WORLD OF WARCRAFT: BATTLE FOR AZEROTH BLIZZARD 10
9 ˅ THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM - LEGENDARY BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 8
10 ˄ FALLOUT 4 GOTY BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 11

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Today a reporter on TV referred to the U.S. elections being two weeks off as a "fortnight, battle royale." I know the success of Fortnite has become a mainstream story, but invoking the battle royale part seemed pretty hardcore, and is a sign of Epic's success here. It was also some awesome wordplay, so kudos all around.

Mainstream Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Count Downula.
Links: Happy 60th birthday, video games. Thank William Higinbotham for your misspent evenings. Thanks William!
Stories: Burger chains graded on annual antibiotics report card. Thanks Boing Boing.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus feted for career achievement in comedy.
Media: Underwater Camera Captures "Headless Chicken Monster." Thanks RedEye9.
Crazy Footage Of The 1971 Cannikin Test, The Largest Underground Nuclear Bomb Test In US History.
Dog Was SO Proud When Her Human Sister Finally Walked. Thanks RedEye9.
TUI Boeing 757 Comes into Land SIDEWAYS in 40 KNOT CROSSWIND at Bristol Airport During a STORM. Like a boss!


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