Archived News:

Sunday, Aug 30, 2015

Battleborn Closed Testing Signups

Gearbox Software now offers a video covering their Inside Gearbox Software panel at PAX Prime 2015. Here's their summary, including word on signups to participate in closed testing of Battleborn, their upcoming multiplayer shooter:
Yesterday was the Inside Gearbox Software panel at PAX Prime 2015! If you missed it, watch the panel on demand for the latest updates on Battleborn, Borderlands, and Homeworld -- along with a little bit of magic and a few surprises, too!

During the panel, we also announced Battleborn's upcoming Closed Technical Test phase. If you're interested in helping out with the testing, you can sign up here.

Guild Wars 2 Core Game Free; Raids Coming

A letter from the President on GuildWars2.com announces Guild Wars 2 is now free for everyone, as they hope to show introduce more players to their MMORPG before the upcoming release of the Heart of Thorns expansion. ArenaNet president Mike O’Brien also announces raids are coming to the game, and this article has more details on how that will work. They also offer this post with further details on making the core game for free, their business model going forward, and restrictions they are placing on free accounts, with an "exhaustive" FAQ to cover the fine details. Here's a trailer highlighting the just-revealed October 23rd release date for Heart of Thorns, here's a play for free trailer, and here's a bit on the news, explaining how this does not make Guild Wars 2 a typical free-to-play game:
Guild Wars 2 has the simplest of business models: buy the game and play it as long as you want with no monthly fees. We’ve been championing this as a great business model for MMOs since launching the first Guild Wars® a decade ago. We continue to believe in buy-to-play. It’s good for gamers and good for developers.

This business model has been fantastic for Guild Wars 2 and our fans. Since launching three years ago—almost to the day, today—we’ve sold more than 5 million copies of the game. And we’ve delivered more than 40 major content releases, with world-changing events, Living World episodes, and feature packs, all free of charge.

Expansions are the one place where the buy-to-play model gets a little tricky. When you’re coming in as a new player to a game that has a bunch of expansions, what exactly should you buy in order to play with your friends? The base game and also every single expansion? We’ve seen examples in the industry where that kind of thing has gotten out of control. It doesn’t seem right, and we want to do better. As we get ready to ship our first expansion for Guild Wars 2, we want to ensure that we keep the business model friendly and simple. So let’s be clear that when we say Guild Wars 2 is buy-to-play, we’re only asking you to buy one thing: the current release, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.

To accomplish that, we’ve already included the core game as a free bundle for anyone who buys Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. And today we’ll go a step further: we’re making the core game free for everyone. For anyone who’s been curious about Guild Wars 2, now you can just go to guildwars2.com, download the game, and start playing.

If anyone can play Guild Wars 2 for free now, does that mean we’re switching business models to free-to-play? Are we going to be one of those games that aggressively monetizes free players through microtransactions? Absolutely not. Guild Wars 2 remains the same game it always has been. We’re making the core game experience free because we’re confident that anyone who loves Guild Wars 2 will buy Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns.
Continue here to read the full story.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Trespasser DLC & Patch Plans

EA announces details on Trespasser, the final planned DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, saying this is their first attempt at such an "epilogue," which "marks the end of our time with the Inquisition." They don't specify when this will be released, but note that this announcement is a bit earlier than their previous DLC reveals so players can prepare for its requirement of a character that has completed the game's main storyline to play the epilogue. They also announce plans for a new patch coming to the game on all platforms which will include some new free content. Here's a trailer and here's the announcement which includes images and covers each bit of news. This is how they describe the expansion:
Our final announcement today was of Trespasser, the final DLC for Inquisition. It's something we haven't tried before: an epilogue. Trespasser tells an entirely new story, set two years after the main game. The story explores what it's like to be a world-saving organization when the world no longer needs saving. It's a chance to meet and talk with old friends, to uncover a new threat, and ultimately decide the fate of the Inquisition you worked so hard to build. It might just contain hints about the future of Thedas, too.

To play Trespasser, you’ll need a character that has completed DAI's main storyline, which is partly why we're announcing it a bit earlier-from-release than the others.

This content marks the end of our time with the Inquisition. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.
Continue here to read the full story.

Star Citizen Social Module Released

Roberts Space Industries announces the release of alpha version 1.2 of Star Citizen to backers of the space simulation, offering first crack at what's called the game's social module (thanks 88fingers). Here are the complete patch notes, and here's an overview on how this is the first step towards the game's persistent universe:
The first release of Star Citizen’s Social Module is now available on the live server! We would like to thank the thousands of backers who helped stress test this release on the PTU early in the week; now we’re excited to make it available to everyone. You can access the complete patch notes for today’s release, Star Citizen Alpha 1.2, here.

The Social Module represents our first step into Star Citizen’s Persistent Universe. In the coming months, you will begin to see Star Citizen’s formerly-disparate modules come together into our long term vision for the game. Today, you can enter your Hangar, load up Arena Commander and take the elevator to explore ArcCorp with other players. From here, expect to see the universe expand!

Read on for word directly from Tony Zurovec, Star Citizen’s Persistent Universe Director. Tony has written an introduction to the Social Module and an outline of what’s coming next. We hope you enjoy your first steps outside your Hangar, and now we can truly say: we’ll see you in the ‘Verse!

Atlas Reactor Announced

This announcement reveals plans for Atlas Reactor, an upcoming simultaneous turn-based multiplayer tactics game from RIFT creator Trion Worlds. The post is dated a couple of weeks ago, but it looks like it actually just showed up online (thanks GameInformer). Here's an announcement trailer with a bit of a developer diary that includes some gameplay footage showing stylized graphics. Here's a bit:
I’ll make the first producer’s letter short and sweet because I’m way better at making games than writing about them: We’re super excited to introduce you to our new team tactics game and the world of Atlas Reactor.

The whole team’s been working hard to make a fun and unique experience, and we can’t wait to get it into your hands. You’ll face off as Freelancers in a future run by powerful Trusts. You’ll battle in simultaneous turns, with just seconds to survey the field and lock in decisions before the fireworks begin. And when the dust settles, you will either feel like the smartest player on the battlefield or know exactly where you went wrong. Either way, you’ll want to play again.

This is just the start of Alpha, and we’ve got a ton of ideas to test with you and many more Freelancers to introduce. This stage is all about working with you to figure out what fits (and what doesn’t!) in this new kind of game.

We’ve had a ton of fun building and playing our game, but all that time we were looking forward to this moment. We can’t wait to see you in Alpha!
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Controller Enters Top 10

These are the 10 bestselling items on Steam for last week according to Valve, which includes a piece of hardware this time around:

  1. METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN
  2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  3. Rocket League
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. ARK: Survival Evolved
  6. Pillars of Eternity
  7. H1Z1
  8. PAYDAY 2
  9. Call of Duty®: Black Ops III
  10. Steam Controller

On Sale

  • Sid Meier's Pirates! on Steam. Save 80%.

Hardware Reviews

  • ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Hero (LGA 1151) Motherboard on Bjorn3D.com and eTeknix.
  • Corsair H110i GTX Extreme Performance CPU Water Cooler on Bjorn3D.
  • Intel SSD 750 1.2TB PCIe SSD on OC Inside.

Out of the Blue

Preseason football is mostly meaningless, but I do hate when the Giants lose the "Snoopy Bowl" to the Jets. At least this year is the one in four where the teams will also square off in the regular season, so at least there's a chance for revenge.

Vengeful Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Slice the Box Level Pack.
Dungeon Surge.
Link: This Was a Triumph! The Ultimate Portal Bedroom. Thanks HARDOCP.
Images: Steven Spielberg playing Space Invaders.
Media: Halloween The Morning After. Boggle.
A Shark Fed Up with the Human Race. Shark ennui.
Grizzly Bear SLAP. That's just a warning.
Follow-up: Sales of Unearthed Atari Games Total More Than $100,000.
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