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Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 Happy Waitangi Day (New Zealand)

  

Rainbow Six Siege Free Weekend Plans

Ubisoft announces a free weekend us coming for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, giving ample notice since this will begin on February 15th. The announcement also includes details on how the weekend will be followed by the testing and eventual launch of new content for the tactical shooter:

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be available to play for free from February 15th to 20th*. Interested players can join the 25 million strong Rainbow Six Siege community on all consoles and Windows PC via Uplay and Steam.
Players who try the game during the free weekend can carry over their progress and continue to play uninterrupted if they purchase the game (except on the Starter edition).

The first content from Year 3, Season 1, Operation Chimera, will be available on PC through the technical test server starting February 19th and will launch on all platforms on March 6th. Meanwhile, the new co-op mode Outbreak will be playable on PC through the technical test server starting February 20th.

Outbreak will then be available on all platforms from March 6th to April 3rd.

Operation Chimera will mark the beginning of the third year of Rainbow Six Siege. Two new operators, specialists in biohazard situations and playable in adversarial multiplayer, will have to face a major threat in the game’s first co-op event, Outbreak.

Additional details on the content of Operation Chimera and Outbreak event will be unveiled during the Six Invitational finals happening in Montreal on February 16th – 18th. Be sure to tune in on https://www.twitch.tv/rainbow6 to learn more about the two new Operators and Outbreak event update.

For more information about the game or news on the upcoming title update, please visit www.rainbow6.com

The full details and timing of the free weekend are available via the following link: www.rainbow6.com/freeweekend

*Free Weekend available on PC from Feb. 15th - Feb. 18th, on PS4 from Feb. 15th - Feb. 20th, and on Xbox One from Feb. 15th – Feb. 19th

Crossing Souls Demo

Crossing Souls is due for release next week, and now a playable demo is now available on Steam for this action adventure (there's also a PS4 edition). This trailer shows off gameplay from the demo, showing the premise of a group of kids teaming up against a extra-dimensional menace that couldn't be more reminiscent of Stranger Things if it turned out to be a Tide commercial. Here's word:

Mindful of the days when we were all buying video games with allowances and secretly-saved milk money, the team at Fourattic and Devolver Digital have released a demo for Crossing Souls so everyone who’s still a kid at heart can try it before they buy it.

Crossing Souls is a gorgeous childhood adventure channeling classic 80’s culture which faces a band of five childhood friends with sci-fi elements, a government conspiracy, and stress to test the strength of their bond. With one week left before the game’s Feb. 13th launch, now is the perfect time to get acquainted with the gang and discover what’s about to change their quiet Californian town forever.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ancestors Legacy Open Beta

Publisher 1C and developer Destructive Creations announce a May 22nd release date for Ancestors Legacy, the upcoming real-time strategy game originally announced as simply Ancestors. Those who don't want to wait that long do not have to, as a multiplayer open beta for the game is now live on Steam, where the game is now available for prepurchase. Here's a trailer showing off gameplay and super-thick accents, and here's more on the testing:

The eager warriors do not need to wait all the way until the release in May, as the Open Multiplayer PC Beta is launched on Steam today! After offering the first glimpses to selected players and media in the closed single-player and multiplayer betas at the end of the previous year, Ancestors Legacy is now open for everyone to try out its multiplayer on their own. All four nations represented in the game are playable within the open beta version on one of the three maps, ranging in size from 2 to 6 players (1v1, 2v2 and 3v3). The fans can be accompanied by the AI, their best friend, the neighbor’s kid, or simply join the lobby and wait for a partner to be found.

Continue here to read the full story.

New Hero and Lunar Festival Live in Heroes of the Storm

A new patch is now live in Heroes of the Storm, updating Blizzard's MOBA with a new hero, a new event, and some general changes and fixes. These patch notes have all the details on Maiev, the game's newest assassin, and the Lunar Festival 2018, and this video shows off some of the rewards and cosmetics from the festival. In one more note related to the game, Blizzard offers this post following up on the matchmaking and placement issues that plagued the launch of the current ranked season in HotS, as well as another more recent issue affecting some high-rank players. They apologize for not communicating more on the topic, and promise a token of gratitude for ranked players. Finally, they provide a status report on their plan to implement performance-based matchmaking, saying they are waiting for "the meta to solidify a little more" before re-enabling this feature. Continue here to read the full story.

Smoke and Sacrifice Announced

Publisher Curve Digital and developer Solar Sail Games announce Smoke and Sacrifice, a survival RPG coming this year to Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. Here's a trailer revealing the game and its "darker truth," and here are some details on the project:

London-based independent studio, Solar Sail Games today announced that Smoke and Sacrifice, their beautiful, hand-animated story of motherhood and survival will be released on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2018. Set to be published by Curve Digital, players assume the role of Sachi, a young mother on a quest to discover the fate of her child. The game takes place in a darkly fantastical world where grotesque plantlife and animals roam and harsh societal customs rule. Taking cues from modern survival classics, Smoke and Sacrifice evolves the genre with its deeply personal story and complex ecosystem. Creatures forage, mate, breed and prey on one another, creating a living world. Only by taming the game’s wilds can Sachi hope to unravel the mystery at the heart of Smoke and Sacrifice.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Blastoff! Falcon Heavy Launches Tesla Roadster and "Starman" Into Space and Live Views of Starman. "Switch on the TV we may pick him up on channel two." Thanks The Flying Penguin.

EA versus Battlefield 1 Cheaters

A post on the Battlefield Website has an update on EA's ongoing battle against Battlefield 1 cheaters. They address concerns they've heard voiced by players and talk about current and future efforts to weed out miscreants. Here's a bit:

State of Play: Removing Cheaters
Over the past six months, we’ve steadily ramped up our anti-cheat efforts, working closely with the FairFight team to detect and remove more cheaters than ever before. In October alone, we sanctioned over 8,500 accounts. Since then, instances of cheating have declined. While we have made significant gains, we still can do more.

Improvements to FairFight In-game Messaging
Battlefield 1 veterans may remember the global messaging that was sent every time FairFight had acted against a player. As we ramped up our efforts against cheaters, these messages became a distraction from other in-game discussions, and they were disabled a few months ago based on your feedback. However, our communication about this created some questions. Going forward, our communication will be more clear, transparent, and proactive.

Soon, you’ll see a new form of FairFight messaging. This will condense the combined bans from the last 24 hours into a single in-game post, sent every few hours.

How and When a Player Gets Sanctioned
We saw a rise in the number of social media posts claiming FairFight had banned players incorrectly after the October ban wave mentioned above. However, we are confident that our detection methods produce accurate results. Cheat developers may be attempting to manipulate players’ minds about anti-cheat tools, and to leverage detection information from game developers.

A common misconception regarding FairFight is that higher skilled players are more likely to get sanctioned due to their improved match stats. This is not correct; it is not possible to be banned simply for being skilled.

Capcom Cuts Staff, Game, and Dead Rising Scope?

Kotaku reports an unconfirmed rumor of layoffs at Capcom Vancouver, attributing the news to "a person familiar with the company as well as various posts on social media." Their source tells them that this will affect the scope of an unannounced upcoming Dead Rising game, which they say "had been over-scoped and under-staffed." They also say another unannounced game was cancelled along the way:

Capcom has laid off a significant number of staff in its Vancouver office as part of a shift that saw the company cancel an unannounced project and cut scope on the next Dead Rising, according to a person familiar with the company as well as various posts on social media.

The source, who spoke anonymously so as not to risk their career, said around 50 people were laid off as part of a reorganization aimed to streamline the company and wrangle the next Dead Rising, which had been over-scoped and under-staffed (as many video games are).

Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia Announced

Paradox Interactive announces Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia, a new expansion they are calling an "immersion pack" for their grand strategy sequel. They say this is "coming soon," and to tide over eager fans, offer this trailer teasing the Anglo-centric content. Here are the details:

Great empires look ahead. Keep your traditions in mind, yes, but the past should be a guide, not a fetter. Break from the old faith. Break from centuries of squabbling on the continent. Break from old modes of production. Stride boldly into a future of new science and power guaranteed by our sails, backed by our army. Rule, Britannia.

Rule Britannia is a new immersion pack for Europa Universalis IV. Immersion packs are designed to add greater depth and focus to the historical legacy of a particular region and Rule Britannia takes the history of the British Isles as its priority.

Rule Britannia’s features include:

  • New British Missions: New exclusive Mission Trees for England, Scotland and Ireland,
  • Industrial Revolution: Highly developed provinces may produce coal in the late game, fueling higher productivity and greater wealth.
  • Innovativeness: Earn rewards for being the first nation to unlock new knowledge, including lower power costs.
  • Naval Doctrine: Adopt a general strategy for your fleets, giving you bonuses to ship maintenance, trade power or battle performance.
  • Anglicanism: A new Protestant faith can appear in England with new bonuses and religious choices.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Help your lagging allies or subjects by promoting the spread of institutions in their realms.
  • Trade Steering: Force your defeated enemies' merchants to fill your coffers.

Rule Britannia’s game improvements are packaged with

  • New Unit Pack: New army designs for British nations, including regional Irish units and revolting nations like Northumberland or Cornwall, as well as new music.
  • New Music: Our composers have been hard at work writing new songs to quiet the stormy seas of commerce.

Continue here to read the full story.

PUBG Anti-Cheat Release Delayed

PUBG Corporation tweets to announce a delay to the rollout of the planned next steps in their anti-cheat system for PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS. Word is: "PC players, the patch for the anti-cheat update has been delayed, as an unexpected issue has occurred while testing its compatibility. We will soon update you when it will be released. Thank you for your understanding." They follow-up by tweeting that they have manually blocked ReShade, and that players will need to uninstall that, and may need to reinstall the game to resume playing. They refer to this post for details:

PC players,

As announced, the new anti-cheat solution that was to be applied today has been delayed.

However, BattlEye, a part of our anti-cheat solution, has blocked ReShade. For you to run the game, you must uninstall ReShade. If the game files are already damaged, you must also reinstall the game.

ReShade not only behaves like a cheat program but can also be used for cheating, and must therefore be blocked. Please be advised that this is a permanent block.

Thank you.

Obsidian TMs The Outer Worlds

Obsidian Entertainment has submitted a Trademark Filing for The Outer Worlds, which may be a hint at their next project. GameWatcher, who spotted this on the Official Obsidian Forums, note that this may be for a game based on an novel of the same name by E.J. Gilmour. They offer the following description of the novel from Amazon: "An alien invasion sweeps across the galaxy. The hope of humanity rests with an exile from an ancient empire and his loyal crew. They must work together to save the human race from imminent extinction. High adventure on a galactic scale."

Middle-earth: Shadow of War DLC and Free Content

Steam now offers the Blade of Galadriel story expansion for Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the Tolkien-inspired action/adventure. This comes along with a free content update for the base game, which is outlined in this post. Here's word on all the new content:

Free content updates available February 6th for Middle-earth: Shadow of War owners, including:

  • Nemesis System Enhancements – Orc Captains (whether friends or foes) can exhibit new traits and behaviors, adding further depth to combat encounters and player interactions, such as:
    • Tunnel Rat – Orcs can burrow into the ground and summon Ghûls.
    • Sniper Shot – Archers can fire from great distances with pinpoint accuracy.
    • Tremor – Ologs can pound the earth with tremendous force, staggering nearby threats and heavily damaging structures.
    • Gifts of Treasure – Followers can now bring players the gift of a Treasure Orc, providing even more ways to earn Gems and Mirian.
  • Photo Mode Upgrades – New filters, frames and styles, along with adjustable expressions and added stickers, giving players more options for customizing in-game action shots.
  • Player Skins – Choose to appear as Talion or Eltariel in the main story campaign.
  • Training Orders Update – Players can now upgrade their Orc Followers with Training Orders while in the Garrison, saving time and offering more flexibility in deployment.
  • Player Stats Page – New menu for players to track a variety of in-game statistics, including the number and type of enemy kills, dominations and betrayals; fortresses conquered and defended; gear pieces collected and upgraded; and many more.
  • Field of View Options – More ways for players to customize the user interface and scale their field of view.

The Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion (Available February 6th)
The Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion allows gamers to play as the elite Elven warrior Eltariel for the first time. Known by her enemies as the Blade of Galadriel, Eltariel is a deadly assassin working for the Elven Queen, Galadriel, and has been sent to Mordor for millennia to hunt the Nazgûl.

The following content and features will be added to your game upon purchase of the Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion. Please note, if you currently own the Expansion Pass, this content is included with your pass.

The Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion includes the following content:

  • Play as Eltariel for the first time, an elite assassin known as the Blade of Galadriel, and go head-to-head with the newest addition to the ranks of the Nazgûl.
  • Wield Eltariel’s dual Elven blades and harness the Light of Galadriel with a host of deadly new combat abilities, skills and gear.
  • Encounter memorable new Nemesis characters, such as Flint, Tinder and the Slayer of the Dead, while battling the Nazgûl and learning more mysteries of their past.
  • Gain eight unique Legendary Orcs who can return to join your forces in the main story campaign with new abilities added to the Nemesis System.
  • Unlock an Eltariel character skin that can be used in the main story campaign.

Close Combat Storms GOG.com

Slithering announces the release of five Close Combat games on GOG.com, kicking off a sale on the military combat franchise. This includes DRM-free versions of two of the more recent installments along with three of the classics in the series. They explain that this is the first step in a plan that includes the eventual release of the entire series:

In 1996, more than an era ago in the videogames timeline, Microsoft released a game by developer Atomic Games: the name was Close Combat. The innovative gameplay mechanics tried to mimic the morale of real-life WWII soldiers in a way that was never seen before: for the first time players were confronted with tactical situations that were extremely close to reality.

Fast forward to 2018, over 5 million copies sold and seventeen releases later, the classic is back with the release of three of the original games and two of the more recent ones on GoG.com. Close Combat II: A Bridge Too Far, Close Combat III: The Russian Front & Close Combat IV: Battle of the Bulge will release alongside the latest two franchise releases: Panthers in the Fog and Gateway to Caen.

This is only the first step: soon enough the entire series of Close Combat games will be released on GoG.com.

This event also marks an important milestone as 2018 will see the release of the new Close Combat. Built in a new engine and brought to modern standards, but staying true to its core gameplay mechanics that brought the series continued success, Close Combat The Bloody First is only a few steps away from completion.

"The release of these classics on GoG.com marks an unprecedented celebratory opportunity for us at Matrix Games", said Iain McNeil, Development Director of the Slitherine group of companies. "We are looking forward to bringing something new to the Close Combat franchise while staying true to the roots of this incredibly successful series".

All games are available on www.gog.com and fully compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 10, so you can enjoy all their battles on your brand new computer.

Close Combat II: A Bridge to Far - $ 5.99 and 10% off for a limited time
Close Combat III: The Russian Front - $ 5.99 and 10% off for a limited time
Close Combat IV: Battle of the Bulge - $ 5.99 and 10% off for a limited time
Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog - Only $ 13.99 for a limited time
Close Combat: Gateway to Caen - Only $ 13.99 for a limited time

Close Combat II, III and IV can only be found on GoG.com and they are all DRM free.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Metaverse

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Happy Safer Internet Day. Here's what this is about according to DSLReports Forums: "Safer Internet Day is an international initiative that aims to promote the positive, responsible, and safe use of the Internet for all, especially children and young people. The day is going to be celebrated around the world on Tuesday, February 06, 2018, with the slogan 'Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better Internet starts with you'."

R.I.P.: Frasier's John Mahoney Dead at 77. Thanks Ant.

Safer Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Highway Racer.
Ghosth.
Science: Wait--the Ozone Layer Is Still Declining?
Stonehenge tunnel could destroy 'unique library' of early history.
Hot tea linked to esophageal cancer in smokers, drinkers.
Images: Rainy days are the best. Thanks Kxmode.
Media: Weirdest Dakar car ever? Two-engined 2CV.
So THAT'S why power companies are supposed to trim trees.
Lion asking dog for forgiveness.
Follow-up: A Hughes failure: Flat Earther rocketeer can't get it up yet again. Thanks David.



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