Updated: May 26, 2018 1:54 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Saturday, May 26, 2018

PUBG Developer's Letter

A Dev Letter on Steam for PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS discusses recent feedback about the battle royale game and development priorities moving forward. This includes technical stuff as well as content, as they note that different teams are focused on different aspects of the game. The post is lengthy, but the introduction summarizes things:

Ever since we launched the 1.0 version of PUBG earlier this year, we’ve been focused on building our team so we can invest in the game’s ongoing development. We’ve been building new content (like Sanhok), quality-of-life improvements (like map selection and weapon balance), and a whole series of aggressive anti-cheat measures. We want PUBG to be the best game possible so players like you keep loving—and playing—it.

Although we’ve made some meaningful improvements to PUBG, we’ve fallen short in other ways. Players have rightfully called us out for failing to address complaints about performance, and recently we haven’t done the best job of communicating about the changes we’re making to the game. Today we want to change that by talking in-depth about the things we’re prioritizing. We’ll also tease some of upcoming content we plan to add to the game.

This Dev Letter is the first of many more to come. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

OUR TOP PRIORITIES

We look at feedback from players around the world when determining our priorities. We’ve heard your voices, and as a result we believe that the biggest issues which deserve our attention are performance, server-side optimization, and cheating.

The Bard's Tale 4 Video Walkthrough

This video offers a demo walkthrough for The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep, inXile Entertainment's upcoming dungeon crawler sequel. Word is: "Narrated with dramatic flair by Creative Director David Rogers, this sprawling look at the upcoming first-person dungeon-crawler RPG offers just a glimpse of the vast world of tactical action, puzzles, quests, and choices fans can expect when the game launches later this year on Windows PC, Mac, Linux, and consoles." inXile also announces the relaunch of The Bard's Tale Website:

inXile Entertainment has also relaunched the official website of The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep at www.bardstale.com. There fans can pre-order one of four special editions of the game, each including loads of exclusive bonuses, particularly guaranteed beta access for Platinum Edition owners and access to both the alpha and beta for Ultimate Edition owners.

The triumphant revival of one of gaming’s most iconic RPG series, The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep takes players back to Skara Brae for a new adventure filled with challenging turn-based strategy combat, dungeon crawling and puzzles. Customize your character and band of heroes to your unique play style, then take on mythical dangers in epic battles that reward strategic positioning, clever thinking, and masterful combos. Blending classic RPG gameplay and fantasy storytelling with modern design and visuals, The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep is perfect for veteran fans and intrepid newcomers alike.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Interviews

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

We're having a small cookout today, just some burgers and brats. My grill is fine for this, but as I find myself looking for a new proper smoker, I'm intrigued by this Traeger Timberline 850 review. It seems that the times are changing even for something as venerably old school as BBQ, and this high-tech baby seems impressive. The price makes this one a non-starter, but I bet the selection on items like this will only get bigger, and prices will only get lower going forward, so maybe someday.

R.I.P.: Atari Co-Founder Ted Dabney Passes Away At Age 80.

Venerable Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Crazy Royale Battleground.
Escape from Business Hotel.
Stories: Annapurna, Universal Releasing James Bond 25.
Australia Finishes Building World's Largest Cat-Proof Fence. Thanks Neutronbeam.
NASA Photographer's Camera Gets Scorched During SpaceX Rocket Launch. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: Massive Ice Highways Found Hiding Under Antarctica. Thanks RedEye9.
Media: HeroStorm Ep 41 Nexomania.
Tank.
Camels vs. Cactus!!! Thanks RedEye9.
What's more fun than a Barrel Full of Monkeys?

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Friday, May 25, 2018 Happy Towel Day

Overwatch Free Weekend

Blizzard celebrates the Overwatch Anniversary 2018 with a free weekend for their multiplayer shooter on Battle.net. Here's an Overwatch Anniversary 2018 infographic with a picture of numbers, and here's the plan for the free weekend:

The second Overwatch Anniversary event is live, and we’re giving potential heroes the chance to suit up for battle with another Overwatch Free Weekend. Gamers can log in starting 19:00 BST today, May 25 through Monday, May 29 on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4—preload is available now on console versions of the game. For those playing on PlayStation 4, a PS Plus subscription is not required to participate (PS Plus will be required to play after purchase).

During the Free Weekend, we're making Overwatch's full roster of 27 heroes and 18 maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the Arcade. Players will also be able to level up, earn loot boxes, and unlock a variety of different customization options.

If players decide to purchase Overwatch after test driving the game, they’ll get to keep any progress made during the weekend—as long as they use the same Blizzard, Xbox Live, or Sony Entertainment account that they played on.

The Wolf Among Us 2 Delayed

Telltale Games announces a delay to The Wolf Among Us 2, saying it is now coming in 2019 (thanks VG247). The sequel was announced last summer for release this year, but they explain this has changed "as the result of a few fundamental changes" at Telltale:

We’re here with some news: The Wolf Among Us 2, based on Bill Willingham’s award-winning Fables comic book series from DC’s Vertigo imprint, will now launch in 2019, rather than the latter half of 2018. This delay comes as the result of a few fundamental changes here at Telltale since we first announced the game last summer.

Most importantly, we're committed to exploring new ways to tell our stories. Taking this extra time will allow us not only to focus on quality but also to experiment and iterate in order to craft something truly special.

Ultimately our goal is to deliver an experience deserving of the passion you’ve consistently shown for The Wolf Among Us, and these extra months will give us the time we need to do our best work. We’re extremely enthusiastic about how the game is progressing so far, and we can’t wait to dig even deeper.

Still, we know we’ve just made a long wait even longer, which is why we sincerely appreciate your patience. We’ll have more Wolf news for you later this year, and for now, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook to ensure you’re always up to date. Thanks...and see you around.

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

As promised, here is a new Blue's News Privacy Policy. I don't think this offers any more privacy than our old one, but it specifically complies with the GDPR, so it offers additional right to be forgotten clauses, and other legalese that make it far lengthier now than before. We should be rolling out one of those cookie consent dealies soon too, so you have that to look forward to.

Final Link of the Day: A baby's faceswap with John C. Reilly is the scariest thing you'll see today.

The Sims 4 Seasons This Summer

EA announces The Sims 4 Seasons is coming to Windows and macOS on June 22nd, shortly before it debuts at number one on the U.K. PC sales charts. This will celebrate the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere by bringing four-season activities to the lifestyle simulation. Here are some details:

-Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) and Maxis™ today announced that The Sims™ 4 Seasons* Expansion Pack is coming to PC and Mac on June 22nd. The expansion pack will bring four vibrant seasons with holidays, weather, and family activities to provide entertaining ways for players and their Sims to experience the dynamically changing weather. In Winter, bundle up to build a snowman and create snow angels, or impress the crowd by performing cool tricks down at the ice-skating rink. In Spring, toss on a raincoat to splash around in a spring puddle, or explore the outdoors and earn badges as a scout. Families can stay cool in the Summer heat with a new kiddie pool. In Fall, harvest honey, play in the leaves, or make homemade holiday crafts with child Sims. Enjoy all the fun that comes with experiencing the elements in The Sims 4 Seasons.

The Office Quest Begins

The Office Quest is now available on Steam, offering a casual point-and-click adventure with an admittedly "absurd" sense of humor that's already available for mobile devices. Here's a trailer celebrating the Windows version, and here's more on why this may be the perfect diversion for those moments when you're bored at work:

The Office Quest is a casual point & click adventure game for those who cannot stay in the office any longer, full of visual humor, puzzles, riddles, and earnest adults wearing fluffy onesies because why not. You have a boring job, clicking the same key on the same keyboard at the same desk every day of every week. Then one day something strange and magical happens, and you really, really need to discover what’s going on – and for that, you need to slip away of your post and leave the grey abyss they call the office…

Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield V to Feature Premium Currency

Though Electronic Arts has announced Battlefield V will not feature loot boxes, Polygon says the publisher confirms for them that the military shooter sequel will feature in-game currency that will be bought with real-world money. They say the game will feature a second form of in-game spacebux that can only be earned through gameplay. Word is these will only be for purchasing cosmetic upgrades, and will not invoke any pay-to-win concerns. They say the game will feature cosmetics for tanks and planes as well as the players and their weapons.

Morning Patches

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Remnant - A real-time 4X space themed strategy game by A. Scott McCallum — Kickstarter. "Remnant is a real-time 4X space strategy game set in a single planetary system. Take command of a rising faction and lead your people. Expand your influence across the system, consolidate power and quell internal strife. Crush your enemies until you alone rule the system. In an endless sea of clones and "re-imagined" experiences, Remnant strives to be unique. We're throwing away all the tired tropes so you can fall in love with the genre all over again."
  • DOLMEN on Crytivo. Taking their crowdfunding to a new outlet after coming up short on Kickstarter. "DOLMEN — a terrifying new Action RPG that combines futuristic Sci-Fi and Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror, set in the “SoulsBorne” RPG genre mold. You play as a lone astronaut left stranded on a forgotten planet known as Revion Prime."

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

  • Dark Souls Remastered on IGN. Thanks RedEye9.
  • EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 WINGDIVER THE SHOOTER on PXA Peeks.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

This is the Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., an unofficial start of summer, even though the season is still actually more than three days off. It's also kickoff day for new General Data Protection Regulations in the EU, but anybody with an inbox is probably painfully aware of this already from the influx of notices about it. This shouldn't change much here, since we don't keep much data on users and don't share it with anyone, but we will be posting an updated privacy policy at some point, and you'll probably be asked to acknowledge it along the way.

Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: GunBlood 2.
FireBoy and WaterGirl: The Forest Temple.
Links: Solo: A Star Wars Story Cast Answer the Web's Most Searched Questions.
Stories: Box-Office Preview: 'Solo' Headed for Lowest Opening of Disney 'Star Wars' Movies.
The director of Logan is reportedly making a Boba Fett movie. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: The forecast is out for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season: What experts say is in store.
Fish Feel Pain, Now What? Local Fishermen Weigh In. Thanks RedEye9.
Images: In case you were having a bad day. Thanks Kxmode.
Media: Everything Wrong With Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
idBeCoolif - Anduin in Heroes of the Storm.
Train Coming In A Little Hot.


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