Updated: Aug 24, 2019 1:36 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

CD Projekt RED Down on Exclusives

Speaking with CD Projekt RED's Marcin Traczyk at Gamescom, PCGamesN learned that the company is not pursuing exclusive deals with the Epic Games Store. GOG.com is actually owned by CD Projekt RED, so that would be a more logical store for Cyberpunk 2077 exclusivity. But word is their experience with a brief GOG.com exclusivity for Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales has them thinking this type of deal doesn't work for them anywhere:

"With Thronebreaker, we started with an exclusive, and decided to share it with a wider audience," global communications manager Marcin Traczyk tells us at Gamescom. "It proved to us that exclusives maybe don’t work for us, because we don’t want to limit the number of people who can access the game."

Bandai Namco Not Interested in Epic Games Store Exclusives

In an interview on MCV, Bandai Namco's Hervé Hoerdt says the subscription model is a potential threat to their business (thanks DSOGaming). The company's European senior vice president of marketing also says they are not interested in making exclusive deals with the Epic Games Store.“Subscriptions are more of a threat, that’s for sure. Because the business model behind subscriptions will be based on two things: the number of hours played on your game compared to the total hours people played, and the number of games played compared to the total number of games," he explains. "So, in the value chain, we see a lot of cascading and the value in the end is too low for us to be able to invest further in the content. So that’s a threat we see. But otherwise, generally speaking, it’s exciting, it’s appealing, it’s more opportunities going forwards." Here are his comments on the Epic Games Store:

We cannot do everything and Japanese [companies] are not risk averse but we’re going slowly. So we have a full platform strategy. The main focus for us is the consumer and the brand. And for each brand we decide what’s the best way to satisfy the consumer and to engage the widest audience possible. So for instance, I don’t see any point of putting Tekken 7 on Epic Store. Epic is just another store. It’s fantastic, they have a lot of strength and users, the business model is attractive to us because it’s more profitable but still, their interest is, if I’m correct, exclusivity. And this is not our vision. We want our content to be available for as many fans as possible. I don’t think we’ll deal with Epic in the short term, while we have this strategy. But of course, if they’re open, we’ll go there.”

Diablo III Season 18 Live

Blizzard News announces that Season 18 is now live in Diablo III, their action/RPG sequel. This comes along with the usual array of cosmetic rewards, season journey awards, and seasonal conquests. Word is it also introduces a new seasonal theme:

Season 18 introduced the Season of the Triune, a call-back to an ancient cult forged over three millennia ago by the Prime Evils of the Burning Hells. Masquerading as three benevolent deities dedicated to Determination, Creation, and Love, the Prime Evils sought to infiltrate the hearts of men in a bid to tilt the odds in their favor in the ongoing Eternal Conflict. Ultimately defeated by Uldyssian during the Sin War, the remnants of the Cult of the Triune still operate today as the more well-known Coven, whom continue the work of Adria and Magdha even after their deaths.

For the duration of Season 18, all players will benefit from the Power of the Triune buff, which will periodically summon circles around the battlefield that provide one of three random buffs:

  • Triune of Love (Power): Players in the circle receive a 100% damage bonus while active
  • Triune of Determination (Resource Reduction): Players in the circle receive a 50% discount on resources spent while active
  • Triune of Creation (Cooldown Reduction): While standing in an active circle, any skills currently on cooldown come off of cooldown more quickly

We wanted to try something different this Season, and especially wanted to provide a change to your gameplay from the very first moment you begin your journey. This buff alters gameplay from level 1 to level 70 and beyond, providing an enticing reason to move around the battlefield to leverage these powerful boosts. We’re looking forward to seeing how players utilize these ancient powers from their first level to their final Greater Rift push!

On Sale

Saturday Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Interviews

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

The NFL season is on the horizon, so it's time to fire up our ESPN Pigskin Pick'em leagues. If you are interested, here is the link to our straight picks group which does not use the point spread (password bn), and here is the link to the spread group (password bn2) which does use the point spread. It's free to join, and free to win, as there's no prize beyond bragging rights (which are, of course, priceless). Here's hoping we get lots of participants, and best of luck to all who decide to join.

Spread Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: The 8-Bit Big Band.
Stories: Not so terrific -- Tom Brady's trademark refused. Suggestion: Tom Tortured Logic.
Astronaut accessed estranged spouse's bank account in possible first criminal allegation from space.
"Obi-Wan" Series Confirmed, "Clone Wars" Set.
Science: Deadly superbug outbreak in humans linked to antibiotic spike in cows.
'Pet wolf puppy' gives scientists a unique glimpse into the genetic past. Thanks Max.
Owning a dog can help your heart, study finds. Thanks Max.
Images: Thinking with portals.
Media: First Trailer: "The Mandalorian" Series.
Passing items in cars is impossible.
HeroStorm Ep 64 "Roundabout."


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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Telling Lies Released (Honest!)

Telling Lies is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering a mystery game for Windows and macOS where you must search for clues in secretly recorded video conversations. This plays out with live-action video with professional acting from a familiar cast, including Angela Sarafyan, who played Clementine in Westworld. Here's the Launch Trailer with a glimpse of what to expect, and here are more details:

A Video Game About Private Conversations
Telling Lies is the new video game from Sam Barlow, creator of Her Story and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. An investigative thriller game with non-linear storytelling, Telling Lies revolves around a cache of secretly recorded video conversations. It stars Logan Marshall-Green, Alexandra Shipp, Kerry Bishé and Angela Sarafyan.

How does it work?
Telling Lies sits you in front of an anonymous laptop loaded with a stolen NSA database full of footage. The footage covers two years in the intimate lives of four people whose stories are linked by a shocking incident. Explore the database by typing search terms, watch the clips where those words are spoken and piece together your story.

Unlike anything you've played before, Telling Lies is an intimate and intense experience. A game where you decide the truth.

Continue here to read the full story.

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition - Tyrants of the Moonsea

Tyrants of the Moonsea is now available on Steam for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition (thanks Dark). This is an enhanced edition of a premium module for the likewise enhanced edition of the Forgotten Worlds RPG for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It requires the base game, which happens to currently be on sale for 75% off, and the module is also now part of the Enhanced Edition Digital Deluxe Edition, which is also on sale. This post has details on the new offering:

We released a new premium module for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition from the developers of Darkness Over Daggerford, Ossian Studios.

Based on the original module by Luke Scull, this newly enhanced adventure vastly expands the former module by adding 70% more story and gameplay, plus new art and audio!

Tyrants of the Moonsea
The harsh frontier land known as the Moonsea is besieged by demons. A mysterious cult has arisen, bent on death and destruction. Amid the chaos, war is imminent between the powerful city-states and their tyrannical rulers.

Accompanied by the dwarf merchant Madoc, you approach the town of Voonlar just as the worst snowstorm of the year hits. You soon discover that only you can prevent the total annihilation of the Moonsea at the hands of a legendary and ancient evil...

Features
A 20+ hour high-level adventure set in the perilous Moonsea region of the Forgotten Realms! Featuring new monsters, new tilesets, 35 minutes of new music, and 1,000 lines of new character VO.

  • An expansion-sized high-level adventure with 20+ hours of gameplay
  • Use the world map to explore 18 areas in the Moonsea region including Zhentil Keep, Cormanthor, Thar, and prominent city-states.
  • Recruit from 5 different companions for your party
  • 5 new monsters to do battle with
  • 14 new character portraits
  • 35 minutes of inspiring new music including exhilarating combat tracks
  • 1,000 lines of new character VO

Overdungeon Released

Overdungeon (aka 超载地牢) is out of Early Access and is now officially available on Steam, offering a card-based real-time strategy game for Windows and macOS. This is an unusual blend genres that you can see in action in this trailer. Word is: "Crush your opponents with cannons, magic, and alpacas" (really). Here's more on this mashup:

Overdungeon blends the replayability of a rogue-like dungeon crawler with the frenzied fights from real-time strategy games, and the tension of epic card battles into a brand-new gameplay experience.

You start Overdungeon by picking a hero. Will you venture into a procedurally generated dungeon as a forgetful soldier, a vampire embarrassed about her sultry costume, or Schrödinger’s cat? Then, pick your path as you use your wit to battle wolves and wizards with a deck of cards. Overdungeon’s unique card battles let players cast spells to directly attack enemies or summon creatures to overwhelm foes in battle. Place lions, elephants, and alpacas on the board to create an unbeatable animal army!

Led by Takuro Mizobe, a former software developer at Nintendo, the seven-person squad at Pocket Pair, Inc. has been committed to updating Overdungeon during early access. In addition to the Deep Forest Dungeon, Overdungeon will also include a seasonal dungeon mode and daily challenges at launch. Join our Discord for more information about Overdungeon or to talk with the development team.

KEY FEATURES

  • Real-time, deck battling strategy – Set up spell card combos and spawn a pack of polar bears to dominate monsters you meet in the dungeon. Card battles have never been this exciting to play or watch.
  • A new dungeon to explore, every time – With procedurally generated dungeons, thousands of relic and card combinations, and multiple modes, Overdungeon is overloaded with content.
  • Built for dungeon beginners and masters – Designed to be easy to play and hard to master, Overdungeon is equipped with multiple difficulty modes and tutorials for all skill levels.
  • Did we mention alpacas – The playful team at Pocket Pair, Inc. loaded decks with mortars and lighting spells plus an assortment of animals. Nothing is more satisfying than taking a frightening magus down with a stampede of cats and chickens.

Continue here to read the full story.

Mable & The Wood Released

Mable & The Wood is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on GOG.com and Steam. This is a Metroidvania features throwback graphics, as can be seen in this launch trailer. Here's the pitch:

In Mable players hunt down massive beasts and, upon destroying them, shapeshift into their forms in order to use their powers to save or destroy the world. Players with less violent intent can find secret paths to complete Mable without killing anything, including bosses. Unlike most Metroidvanias Mable does not allow players to run, jump and kill on their own. Instead, they must use non-human forms to attack creatures and traverse through difficult challenges.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Fortnite B.R.U.T.E.s Nerfed

Epic Games announces B.R.U.T.E. balance adjustments for Fortnite, saying changes are now live in all game modes without a new client download. In addition to finally nerfing the controversial (if not outright hated) mechs in the battle royale game, they are also disabling the Junk Rift. The Junk Rift was added to partially counter B.R.U.T.E.s, but they say the removal is temporary, as is due to an audio issue, rather than game balance. Here's word:

We have made several adjustments to the B.R.U.T.E., these changes are now live in all game modes and you do not need to download or patch your client.

We will also be temporarily disabling the Junk Rift for this weekend's FNCS tournament and Arena playlists until the 10.20 update.

B.R.U.T.E.

  • Decreased the maximum amount of rockets fired by the B.R.U.T.E. in a single charge from 10 to 6.
  • Decreased the rate at which the rockets are fired from the B.R.U.T.E. by 56%.
    • Our goal with these changes is to increase the back and forth between the users of the B.R.U.T.E. and the players they face. These changes allow the players on the receiving end of the missile volley to have more time to react and protect themselves.
  • Decreased the radius of the B.R.U.T.E.’s rocket explosion by 42%.
    • Our goal with this change is to improve consistency and understanding around focused barrages of missiles. B.R.U.T.E.s will continue to be a strong option against structures, but less lethal against players.
  • Increased the dash cooldown from 3 seconds to 5 seconds.
    • The previous dash cooldown not only increased the B.R.U.T.E.’s mobility, but also made the B.R.U.T.E.s a harder target to hit from distance than we’d like. The adjustment here reduces the ability to close gaps quickly while in the B.R.U.T.E. while also increasing the ability to land shots on target for players facing the B.R.U.T.E.
  • Decreased the velocity gained from boosting while in air by 33%.
    • We want to reduce a B.R.U.T.E.’s ability to engage and disengage at long distances to encourage a more strategic approach to an encounter. In general we hope to shift B.R.U.T.E.s away from being highly mobile and put more emphasis on their already defensive nature.
  • The B.R.U.T.E. no longer grants materials to the driver and passenger when stomping or dashing through the environment.
    • Note: This change should roll out shortly following the other changes.
    • Our goal is to add more tension between being in and out of a B.R.U.T.E. as well as reduce instances where players can farm faster than intended without exposing themselves to danger.
  • Adjusted the variability of spawn rates for storm phases 1, 2, and 3 in core modes. Arena spawn rates will remain unchanged.

Continue here to read the full story.

Wasteland 3 Specs

The Steam Listing for Wasteland 3 now offers PC system specifications for the PC edition of inXile's upcoming role-playing sequel (thanks DSOGaming). Here are the Windows specs, which are also pretty much the same for macOS and Linux:

MINIMUM:
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (64 bit)
Processor: Intel Core i5 2500K or equivalent
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or Radeon HD 7970
Storage: 55 GB available space

RECOMMENDED:
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (64 bit)
Processor: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
Memory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD 290 equivalent or greater
Storage: 55 GB available space

Ghostrunner Announced

Polish publisher All in! Games announces Ghostrunner, a hardcore cyberpunk adventure in the works at One More Level for release on PC and consoles next year. This Reveal Trailer gives an idea of what to expect, which includes a lot of swordplay. The game has a Steam Listing, and this post offers another trailer featuring a bunch of gameplay. Here are the details:

Publisher All in! Games revealed their newest game, Ghostrunner, a hardcore cyberpunk adventure developed by One More Level. Become a cyber-warrior and experience dynamic fights on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Watch the trailer:

A cataclysm has wiped out most of humanity and destroyed the environment. Now, when resources are scarce, the survivors live in a tower built by long-forgotten hands. But the structure is torn by violence, poverty, and chaos. A person’s worth depends on the category of implants they have, defining their whole lives. It's no surprise that a rebellion starts.

You are a cyber-warrior, a living weapon, the only one capable of fighting both in the physical world and in cyberspace. Lost and hunted, thrown into the middle of the conflict, you must use this bond with technology to ascend the tower.

Key Features

  • Ascend the tower – use the environment to your advantage and face fast and determined enemies.
  • Act fast – armed with a melee weapon, get to the enemies before they have a chance to shoot.
  • You are a cyber-warrior – fight both in the physical world and in cyberspace.
  • Choose your own strategy – use your special abilities to avoid bullets and eliminate enemies: the dynamic movement system turns combat into a true dance of death.
  • Trial and error – you die from one hit, so learn the levels by heart and adapt.

Continue here to read the full story.

New Version of ELEA Released

A new version of ELEA is now available on Steam, offering an update to this first-person science fiction adventure originally released almost one year ago as Elea - Episode 1. That initial release remains available to owners, who also receive the new version, which will be the only version sold going forward. The new release boasts improvements, and seemingly ties up the episodic loose end, as it no longer carries that in the title. This trailer celebrates the new version, and this Steam announcement explains further:

I'd first like to apologize for the lack of updates from our side. As Marten has already mentioned, we ran into some complications that led to us having to postpone the update. Nonetheless, we are very happy to let you know that you can now explore the updated version of Elea!

For everyone that has been with us from the start; don't worry, this new version of Elea will soon be pushed to your Steam library for free!

So what's new in this updated version of Elea? Here are the Patch Notes again of the last update:

  • New asynchronous save system with more checkpoints (almost double in number) is implemented. It’s faster, stutterfree and way more secure.
  • A new dynamic lighting system is introduced in the game. It uses volumetric lights and effects, and makes the realistic PBR shaders in the game to shine in their complete beauty.
  • The PC version is optimized to make use of the new generation of video cards, allowing users to play at very high FPS and benefit from better shadows, anti aliasing, anisotropic filtering, screen space reflections and post-processes profiles.
  • New scenes are introduced in the game.
  • New object highlight mechanic is introduced (this was heavily suggested by players).
  • The memory management is improved and this leads to faster loading and better overall performance.
  • A lot of new visual effects, assets and sounds are introduced.
  • There is a new option, that allows players to skip conversations / subtitles (this option can be controlled via the settings screen).
  • We’ve updated all interaction icons and the whole experience in the game worlds.
  • The localization is updated.
  • Overall there are more than 200 bug fixes and additions.

Thanks for the support and we hope you’ll enjoy Elea!

Continue here to read the full story.

MISTOVER in October

An announcement on Steam reveals October 10th as the official release date for MISTOVER, an upcoming Roguelike RPG from Karfton Game Union, the Korean publisher/developer formerly known as Bluehole (PUBG and Tera). They offer this teaser trailer to celebrate plans to launch on PlayStation 4 as well as Windows and Switch. A separate press release on the news includes the following details:

Leading global developer and publisher KRAFTON Game Union, formerly known as Bluehole and creators of PUBG and TERA, is excited to announce that its upcoming title, MISTOVER, is coming soon to PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. The highly anticipated RPG where strategy, choice, and dangerous dungeons await is scheduled to launch worldwide on all announced platforms, including PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch™ system, and PS4™ system, on October 10, 2019.

Featuring a striking art style that draws from bot Western and Asian influences, MISTOVER is a dungeon crawler RPG with a strategy focused turn-based combat system. Players are charged with managing and leading a Corps crew on an ever-changing dungeon expedition through the Pillar of Despair, unraveling the mysteries of the Vortex to find a cure to the corrupting properties of the Mist that threaten the realm.

MISTOVER Highlights Include:

  • Over 40-hours of expeditions through five distinct regions.
  • Procedurally generated dungeons deliver new expedition experiences every time. Adjust your strategy to the ever-changing dungeons.
  • Build an invincible Corps by combining and strategizing with eight different classes.
  • Learn and master over 13 unique skills and upgrade equipment to enhance Corps members.
  • Exposure to the Mist affects everything, sometimes in surprising ways, including Corps members, monsters, plants and animals, and even equipment, items, and relics.
  • Unique game systems find players managing internal conflicts between ‘satisfaction’ and ‘greed’
  • Designed for players who like difficulty, MISTOVER is not for the faint of heart – and features a permanent death system. But do not despair, you’ll always find new Corps members to refill your ranks.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Morning Multiplex

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUSTOR AS5202T NAS on Techgage.
  • In Win A1 Case on TechPowerUp.
  • MSI Hardware Roundup - GK60, GK30, GH30 on Neoseeker.
  • Guru3D Thermal Paste Roundup 2019 on Guru3D.
  • LG 49WL95C-W Ultra Wide Monitor on IGN.
  • Patriot Memory Viper V370 RGB 7.1 Surround Sound Headset on Mad Shrimps.
  • Seagate Gears 5TB Game Drive on TweakTown.
  • TRENDnet USB-C 2.5Gbe Network Adapter on TweakTown.

etc.

Out of the Blue

We had a real logjam in trying to deal with all the boxes from our recent move. I finally was able to make a breakthrough on this yesterday by defying my bout with sciatica and doing a little creative reshuffling of some of the boxes. This created a proper beachhead to operate from, and we made more progress in getting stuff cleared up in one afternoon than we did in the preceding week. I'm disappointed that we are still so far from done with unpacking, but at least the path to the promised land is visible. Morale is high, and victory is in sight. Excelsior!

R.I.P.: David Koch, billionaire conservative activist and philanthropist, dies at 79.

Reshuffled Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: This Mom Had A "Job Fair" To Teach Her Kids About Chores And Allowance.
Stories: More than $1 million in cocaine found in banana boxes at three Washington grocery stores.
Science: This Daily Pill Cut Heart Attacks by Half. Why Isn’t Everyone Getting It?
A Rail Gun the Size of Manhattan Could Finally Reveal the Universe's Missing Particles.
Media: Dudley The Taste Test Dog Settles The Chicken Sandwich Feud.
Drone Captures Rockslide in Switzerland.
They're Made Out of Meat.
Auctions: Double Oh No: ‘Bond’ Rolex Fails to Find a Buyer.


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