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Wednesday, Mar 29, 2017

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The Secret World Becoming F2P Secret World Legends

Funcom announces plans to relaunch The Secret World this spring as Secret World Legends, the game is being reconceived as a "shared world action/RPG" with revamped combat, a new progression system, and updated graphics. The Secret World Legends website is online as home to the project, offering a teaser trailer with a look at what to expect. The game will be free-to-play, and they say all content will be free, as will future updates, adding that all content can be earned in-game to avoid a pay-to-win situation. More details on the business model and the remake can be found in this FAQ, and those interested in trying this out as soon as possible can register for beta testing on this page. Here's word:

Funcom is excited to announce that their acclaimed story-driven game The Secret World will be relaunched this spring as Secret World Legends, a shared-world action RPG with completely revamped combat, a newly designed progression system, and updated visuals. The game’s full collection of missions and mysteries will be free to play, with over 100 hours of mature storytelling and surprises. Players can sign up for Secret World Legends’ beta at www.SecretWorldLegends.com.

“Over the course of five years, The Secret World has created a truly memorable RPG universe that stands out to this day for the uniqueness of its dark setting and tone, the depth of its quest design, and the high quality of its voice acting throughout,” said Rui Casais, CEO of Funcom. “Secret World Legends uses that foundation to mark a new era for the game, offering a fresh start for newcomers and long-time fans alike, delivering a captivating journey that can be enjoyed entirely on your own or with friends.”

Secret World Legends plunges players into a shadowy war against the supernatural in an adventure that crosses our world with the realms of ancient myth and legend. As players traverse the globe unraveling complex investigations into the unknown, they’ll need to uncover clues and use their own wits as much as their characters’ abilities. A highly extensive and customizable arsenal of firearms, weapons, gear and otherworldly powers will give players the strength to battle the forces of darkness as they dig deeper into these vast and mysterious lands. Players can go at it alone and enjoy the over 100 hours of story at their own pace, or team up with others as they explore the world and unravel its mysteries.

“One of our biggest goals in relaunching the game has been to reimagine the core gameplay experience in a way befitting a modern-day action RPG,” said Scott Junior, executive producer. “Secret World Legends features combat that feels more natural, deep systems that are more intuitive, better structuring of the early game for new players, and improved mission flow to strengthen the pace of progression for players.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Videogame Hall of Fame Finalists

The Strong National Museum of Play announces the finalists for their Videogame Hall of Fame. This Hall is still a bit of a newb, so they have lots of worthy games to honor. Word is: "The World Video Game Hall of Fame recognizes electronic games that meet the following criteria: icon-status, the game is widely recognized and remembered; longevity, the game is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time; geographical reach, the game meets the above criteria across international boundaries; and influence, the game has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. (A game may be inducted on the basis of the last criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.)" This press release has all the finalists, saying inductees will be announced on May 4th. Here are the dozen games in the running:

  • Donkey Kong
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Microsoft Windows Solitaire
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Myst
  • Pokémon Red and Green
  • Portal
  • Resident Evil
  • Street Fighter II
  • Tomb Raider
  • Wii Sports

Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass Released

Origin now offers They Shall Not Pass, the first DLC pack for Battlefield 1, the World War I shooter. Here's word on what this offers:

New mode: Frontlines
Force your way through the enemy line and claw back precious territory in the newest game mode for Battlefield 1. Both teams battle over a series of control points to capture the enemy’s HQ, then dive into frantic Rush-style combat to destroy or defend critical telegraph posts.

4 brand new maps
The hardened veterans of the French army make a stand in a brutal defense of their homeland. Fight through blazing forest fires, brave close-quarters combat, and engage in full-on tank warfare as you try to capture precious territory, or save your home from invaders.

New Behemoth: the Char 2C
Based on the real-world French tank, this super-heavy beast remains one of the biggest and most heavily-armored tanks ever made. When the enemy has your back to the wall, the Char 2C is just what you need to turn the tide of battle and win the day.

Thrilling new features
The battlefield gets even bigger with a new army, new vehicles and more. Discover a whole new set of tools to dominate the enemy team.

WoW Scaling Changes

The World of Warcraft Forums detail a change in World of Warcraft not noted in the most recent patch notes (thanks PCGamesN). As of now, top level characters will face mobs scaled to their item level rather than their character level. Here's word:

Our goal is basically to safeguard against that degenerate extreme. We tune outdoor combat for a fresh 110 around a 12-15sec duration against a standard non-elite, non-boss enemy. It's great for gear, over the course of an expansion to cut that time in half, or even by two-thirds. But once you get down to a duration of one or two global cooldowns, the game just wasn't built to support that as the norm. (Note that this is an current-content endgame concern; running legacy content for completion/transmog/etc. purposes is a totally different story.)

The intent of our change in 7.2 was to smooth out that progression curve a bit, not flatten it out, and certainly never to invert it. If you get a great set of item upgrades that make you 5% stronger, maybe the world gets 1-2% tougher. Perhaps instead of getting 400% stronger over the course of the expansion relative to the outdoor world, you only get 250% stronger. But you should always be getting more powerful in relative terms, and upgrades should always matter. From some reactions so far, it sounds like we may be off on that tuning. And as noted above, the fact that unequipping items can ever be helpful is a bug that we'll be investigating and fixing.

Finally, there's the natural question of why we didn't patch-note this. It was not to be deceptive; we know it's impossible to hide a change from millions of players. But the system was meant to feel largely transparent and subtle, just like level-scaling does if you don't stop and really think about it, and so we did want players to first experience the change organically. Your feedback and reactions and first impressions of the system are more useful in this particular case when they are not skewed by the experience of logging in and actively trying to spot the differences. Thank you for that, and I look forward to continued discussion.

Syberia III Story Trailer

A new trailer from Syberia III centers on the story from the upcoming adventure game sequel. As such the clip includes cinematic footage and lots of exposition. The description doesn't offer any new details, it just has the game's itinerary and bona fides:

The game will be released on April 20 in Europe and April 25 in North America on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Mac.

Enter the enchanting world of Benoit Sokal's latest masterpiece.

Join Kate Walker in the unique world of Syberia.
Dive into the story, puzzles, and mysteries of this fabulous adventure, conceived and drawn by Benoit Sokal, with music by Inon Zur.

Snake Pass Comes to Pass

Major Nelson announces the release of Snake Pass, a new version of classic puzzle platformer. This is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, so one purchase covers Windows 10 and Xbox One, and supports playing across both platforms. Here's word:

A unique, physics based puzzle platform game, Snake Pass challenges players to ‘think like a snake’ as they tackle precarious puzzles as only a snake can. Slither through long grass, coil around bamboo and climb out of trouble in the latest game from award winning independent studio Sumo Digital!

Morning Patches

Morning Consolidation

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

This "flat Earth" craze came up in the forums yesterday, and it reminded me that this odd form of ignorance seems to be growing. I haven't delved too far into this besides to see that that most "proof" that the Earth is flat come in the form of nonsensical questions about things like how skyscrapers stand up straight. So my question is, what do people living in this alternate reality answer when asked how a plane can circle the earth and end up where it started? Or why nobody ever comes to the "edge" of the earth? Or what's on the other side of the edge? Or what's containing the edges of the oceans? All these questions seem so elementary it's hard to believe this all isn't global trolling, but there seem to be people who really believe they are uncovering a conspiracy here. For that matter do any of them explain why the "truth" about the Earth's flatness is being hidden? It seems like you can make a better case for things with no proper evidence at all like bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. This aggressive embrace of anti-science is genuinely disturbing... it feels like the roots of the plot to The Omega Man or something.

R.I.P.: 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' Star Darlene Cates Dies at 69.

Omega Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Rogue Fable 2.
Stories: Indonesian man found dead inside giant python.
Golf ball lawsuit shows why Americans can't have nice things cheap. Thanks Slashdot.
Three killed after two Weather Channel storm chasers crash into a third while pursuing tornado.
Science: Spiders could theoretically eat every human on Earth in one year. Thanks Hypothermia.
Westinghouse Files for Bankruptcy, in Blow to Nuclear Power.
Paralyzed man uses arm thanks to experimental device.
Media: Rayna meets a "robot". Thanks ViperFour.
Which Jewelry Brands Are The Biggest Ripoffs?
Gorillaz: Saturnz Barz (Spirit House).
Follow-up: Wreck-It Ralph Sequel Titled 'Ralph Breaks The Internet'.

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Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017

Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition Announced

The Beamblog has the not unexpected announcement that they are planning the Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition, a modernized version of their RPG. The Steam page for this is now online, showing an April 11th release date. Here's a new trailer along with the details:

Beamdog is pleased to announce our latest Enhanced Edition title, Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition!

Beamdog has partnered with Chris Avellone, Lead Designer on the original Planescape: Torment, to curate Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition and update it with modern features to share with a new generation of role playing fans. "Beamdog has worked hard to ensure the feel and tone of the Enhanced Edition matches the original game. At the same time, they've also taken advantage of current generation technology to allow for improvements to the interface and feel - it's the best way to play Planescape: Torment, hands-down."

The original Planescape: Torment was released in 1999 to widespread critical acclaim. It won RPG of the Year from multiple outlets for its unconventional story, characters, and amazing soundtrack. Since then, millions of Planescape: Torment fans have enjoyed exploring the strange and dangerous city of Sigil and surrounding planes through the Nameless One's eyes.

Now it’s your turn to discover an incredibly rich story and a unique setting unlike anything else in fantasy. Defeat strange and alien creatures, engage in rich dialogue, and explore the dark and dangerous Planescape setting in this 50+ hour RPG classic.


  • Enhanced Planescape: Chris Avellone, Lead Designer on Planescape Torment, has partnered with Beamdog to curate gameplay updates, bug fixes, and enhancements to best capture the original vision for the game.
  • The Planes Await: Planescape is a setting you've never experienced before, filled with strange magics, unique adversaries, and Dungeons & Dragons locations from across the multiverse.
  • Conversations to Remember: Encounter personable items, philosophic undead, and rat hiveminds while walking the planes with the strangest collection of allies ever seen in an RPG.
  • Pick Your Path: Character creation is just the beginning. The Nameless One can change his class, alignment, and even gain new abilities based on your choices.
  • Remastered Music: The full Planescape: Torment soundtrack has been remastered in-game to add more depth to Sigil and the multiverse.
  • 4K Interface: Sigil has never looked this good! The interface of Planescape: Torment has been rebuilt in high-definition with tons of new convenience features.
  • A Planescape For Today: The Enhanced Edition includes modern features such as tab highlighting, area zooming, combat log, quickloot, and more!
  • Play It Your Way: Enable Enhanced Edition features as you desire or turn them off to experience Planescape: Torment in its original glory.
  • Cast Comprehend Languages: Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition is available in English, French, Polish, German, and Korean. Note: Korean translations are text only. Korean voice-overs are played in English.

Continue here to read the full story.

Destiny 2 Teaser

The Destiny website now has a new Last Call teaser trailer with a fun recollection from Nathan Fillion to tease the worldwide reveal trailer for Destiny 2 on Thursday. Hopefully we will then learn if the shooter sequel is actually coming to PCs or not. The reveal will come at 1:00 pm EDT. Continue here to read the full story.

Ringed City DLC for Dark Souls III

The new Ringed City DLC is now available for Dark Souls III, offering new content for the action/RPG sequel. This can be found on Steam, and requires DARK SOULS III to play, so if you like it you better put a ring on it. Here's a bit:

At the close of the Age of Fire, as the world ends and all lands converge upon themselves, a lone adventurer descends into the madness of the earth and uncovers the secrets of the past. As players make their way to the fabled Ringed City they will encounter ancient beasts, a new cast of sullen NPCs (non-playable characters) teetering on the edge of insanity, new armor, weapons, magic, and at the bottom of it all, a long lost city filled with deadly horrors for players to overcome.

Team up and take down fellow Ashen Ones with updates to Undead Match, a dedicated multiplayer mode first found in DARK SOULS III: Ashes of Ariandel. DARK SOULS™ III: The Ringed City also provides two additional maps and an all-new feature enabling players to team up with up to two other friends has been added for fans that enjoy battling each other in feats of wits and strength. DARK SOULS III players who own either Ashes of Ariandel or The Ringed City will be able to play the new content found in Undead Match.

Ballistic Overkill Released

Ballistic Overkill is now available on Steam as promised, offering a class-based shooter for Windows, OS X, and Linux. Steam News has a concise announcement:

Ballistic Overkill is a fast paced PvP shooter. Select one of 7 classes, each with their own skills and weapons. Make multiple loadouts with each, creating different builds within the same character. No wimpy support classes, in Ballistic everyone is a killer!

Prey Trailer

Bethesda.net features the latest video from Prey, offering a guide to weapon and power combos in the upcoming shooter. Here's word:

You might be mankind’s last hope aboard Talos I, but you’ve got a mighty arsenal to face down the Typhon threat. Armed with your wits, weapons and a host of incredible powers, it’s up to you to stop the alien invasion and save all of humanity. Piece of cake. With 24 human upgrades and 20 unique alien powers to choose from (plus all of their upgrades), no two Morgans will be the same, and no two players will have the same experiences in Prey. There are no “classes” in the game, so you can learn any power in the game as you discover them, no matter what kind of player you want to be. Talos I is your massive, mysterious and dangerous playground. Take a look at the video below to see just some of the powers you’ll be able to experience for yourself when Prey launches on PS4, Xbox One and PC on May 5.

Continue here to read the full story.

Watch Dogs 2 Free Update Plans

UbiBlog has an updated content roadmap for Watch Dogs 2, which includes plans for the No Compromise DLC to come to PCs on May 18th and a Showdown multiplayer update will come for free to all platforms on April 17th after originally being planned as part of No Compromise. The post is quite detailed, so this is just a bit of what they have to say about the free update:

Pitting two pairs of players against each other, Showd0wn is an endgame challenge for experienced players. Its competitive matches come in three flavors: Steal the HDD; Doomload, a King of the Hill-style match; and Erase/Protect the Servers, a Watch Dogs twist on classic domination matches. Spread out across 15 distinct locations, these modes will flow seamlessly from one to the next, pushing you to bust out every skill you’ve learned over the course of the game with dynamic hacking, shooting, driving, and puzzle-solving challenges.

“There are two main drivers behind making Showd0wn free for all of our players,” says Watch Dogs 2’s live producer, Kris Young. “The first is that we want everyone to be able to participate and play it. We really wanted to have as many people as possible playing the mode for a better challenge, better matchmaking time and quality, and a healthier, more active community.

“The other is community feedback we’ve received since we announced the original plans,” Young says. “Our community asked for more multiplayer content, and that’s also a reason why we’ve decided to make Showd0wn accessible for free for all players, while replacing it with more single-player content in No Compromise.”

Has-Been Heroes Released

Has-Been Heroes is now available worldwide for Windows on Steam, with versions of the Roguelike action/strategy game also available for Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in the U.S., and coming to other territories next week. Here's the launch trailer, and here's the pitch:

Has-Been Heroes is a challenging, lane-based roguelike game of strategy and action, featuring a band of heroes on a quest to escort the King's twin princesses to school!

Players control three characters during the journey and must focus on coordinating melee attacks, managing cooldowns and combining hundreds of different spells to create devastating combo effects, all in order to defeat an endless army of undead, summoned in their path by the Great Ghoul!

The rewarding strategy game features irreverent humor, expanding world maps and increasing levels of difficulty, compounded by the specter of permadeath. The massive quantity and randomness of spells and items, as well as additional unlockable heroes allow for thousands of new experiences, forcing players to change their playstyle each time they start a new game.

Continue here to read the full story.

Club Manager 2017 Released

Publisher 2tainment and developer Big Blaze announce the release of Club Manager 2017, kicking off a new season in this sports management series for Windows. You want a box? Head to the store. You want it right now? It's available on Steam with a 15% launch discount. You want a trailer? Here's a trailer. You want more details? We have you covered their too, in spite of your apparent neediness:

For years the Club Manager series has numbered among the best-loved football management games on PC. Under the motto “By fans, for fans!”, Club Manager is developed by fans who now have more than 20 years of experience and a real passion for football running through their veins. With Club Manager 2017 and its numerous new features and countless detailed improvements, the development team have set a new benchmark for manager simulations.

Club Manager 2017 provides a modernised graphical interface and new atmospheric soundtrack, along with numerous other innovations. By popular demand from the fan base, it is now for the first time possible to follow live games in text mode. In addition, the contents of training sessions can now be set individually for each player. In transfer or contract negotiations, there is the option to return to the negotiating table. And if you wish to simplify the manager’s life, you can instruct your assistant manager to line up the “fittest eleven”.

Other new features: The chance to launch your career in the English league or one of four other national leagues. The option of directly searching for particular talents makes looking for new play-ers significantly easier in contrast to previous games. For the first time, players can be purchased throughout the entire season.

Club Manager 2017 offers everything that makes a good football manager: tactics, statistics, trans-fer market, stadium upgrades, advertising, merchandising, developing the stadium surroundings, fostering youth talent, training sessions and training camps — for the first time now also in France and Italy!

A powerful editor complete with extensive customisation options, such as the free changing of player and team names, give players of Club Manager 2017 the unique opportunity to put together their dream team and league.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen on Steam. Save 60%.
  • Hyper Light Drifter on Steam. Save 50%.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Touchdown- Armor League by Ares Games — Kickstarter. "Power suits, weapons, and rocket launchers—it’s football like you’ve never seen before. Touchdown: Armor League is a fast-paced competitive game where football meets action arena shooter. Players equip fully armored power suits and fight for control of the ball in an intense online 6v6 arena. Make daring saves, obliterate your opponents, and score the winning Touchdown! Touchdown will be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One."

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Mafia III Demo and DLC Released

2K Games and developer Hangar 13 now offer a playable demo for Mafia III as well as Faster, Baby!, the first premium DLC for the open world crime sequel. This press release covers both releases, while there are posts on Steam for the DLC and the demo offering a DLC launch trailer and a trailer for the demo. There's a post on the Mafia III website covering all the news:

Go on, we want you to enjoy a little bit of Mafia III’s southern hospitality for yourself, on the house. The opening act – centering on an incredible bank heist sequence – sets the stage for the rest of the Mafia III story. Discover Lincoln’s history with the mafia and witness the catalyst for this gritty tale of revenge against the Italian Mob. Best of all, you can play the whole opening act of Mafia III, enjoying the awesome story at your own pace.

It’s available right now to download for free on all available platforms, and if you like what you’re seeing, your saved progress will transfer to the full game when you purchase it on the same platform. More great news for first-time players: Participating retailers (both digital and retail) are selling Mafia III for 50% off now through April 17! Check your favorite retailer for more.

Today’s other big news: The “Faster, Baby!” DLC is also available, starting today. (You can read more about that here.) The Deluxe version of Mafia III, which is bundled with the Season Pass, includes “Faster, Baby!” as well as the upcoming “Stones Unturned” and “Sign of the Times” DLC. So, if you already purchased the Deluxe version or the Season Pass, no other purchase is required – just get to downloading.

Speaking of downloads, just how big is this free taste of New Bordeaux?

  • PC via Steam: 24GB
  • PS4: 27GB
  • Xbox One: 25GB

If you’ve never been – welcome to New Bordeaux, we’ve got a free room waiting for you. We hope you enjoy your stay.

Continue here to read the full story.

FINAL FANTASY XIV Free Trial Time Limit Removed

A tweet from Square Enix reveals the removal of the time limit from the FINAL FANTASY XIV trial version. This allows sampling of the MMORPG up to level 35, no longer restricted to two weeks. You can get started on the FINAL FANTASY XIV Promotional Site and there are details on the FINAL FANTASY XIV Support Center, though this still refers to the trial as 14 days. Thanks PCGamesN.

Morning Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

"Deadwood" Creator Joins "True Detective" S3 has the interesting news that not only is a third season of True Detective possibly coming from HBO, but that David Milch will be involved. This makes me happy, as I enjoyed True Detective enough that I'm the guy that liked season two, and of course having the Deadwood creator on board is cool. The story is a bit odd, saying "HBO has announced that they’re going ahead with a third season of their detective anthology series," but also that "nothing is greenlit at this point," so it's not clear how concrete these plans are.

True Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Tank Trouble.
Link: Restoration revealed 1920s roulette table was rigged.
Stories: Thieves Take a Chunk of Change, All 221 Pounds of It, From a Berlin Museum. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Driver beaches BMW, becomes a laughingstock on national television. Thanks ViperFour.
Bigfoot Blamed for Car Accident in Idaho. Thanks ViperFour.
Science: A Dream of Clean Energy at a Very High Price. Thanks Neutronbeam and Black Mesa.
Images: First Official Photos: Vikander In "Tomb Raider."
Media: I didn't know there was this much green in the whole galaxy.
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING - Official Trailer #2.
Monster Truck Front Flip. I need one of those.


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