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Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016

  

Overwatch Adding Support Sniper, 21:9, and Competitive Hero Limit

New Overwatch PTR patch notes are now online, outlining changes being tested for Overwatch in a patch that will probably go live for the teamplay shooter in a week or two. There are some major changes involved, including the addition of 21:9 resolution support, a no duplicate hero rule for competitive play, and more. This patch will also introduce the expected support/sniper, who is named Ana. This page has details on her kit, and here's the overview:

After being out of the fight for several years, one of Overwatch's founding members is returning. Introducing Ana—a battle-scarred veteran who supports her teammates from a distance using a unique and highly specialized collection of weapons.

Ana’s primary weapon is her Biotic Rifle, which fires long-range darts that can restore the health of her allies or deal ongoing damage to her enemies. Meanwhile, her Biotic Grenade is perfect for a close-quarters clash, simultaneously healing teammates and injuring foes caught in its small area of effect. (Affected allies will also receive a temporary increase to all incoming healing, while affected enemies can’t be healed for a few moments.) And if the battle starts to get out of hand, Ana's sidearm can fire a Sleep Dart, knocking her adversaries unconscious.

Plus, Ana's ultimate ability, Nano Boost, empowers one of her teammates, granting faster movement, increased damage, and resistance to enemy attacks.

Heroes of the Storm Patched

A new patch is now live in Heroes of the Storm, updating Blizzard's MOBA/team brawler to version 19.0. This brings a bunch of promised changes and new features, including the new hero Gul'dan, DirectX 11 support, the availability of 30 heroes for AI games for the next six weeks, and more. There are also a number of gameplay changes and quality of life improvements, along with a big balance pass that includes some major reworks. The post covering Gul'dan Hero Week has all you need to know about the game's newest hero.

NECROPOLIS Released

Steam News announces the release of NECROPOLIS: A Diabolical Dungeon Delve, a procedurally generated action/adventure from Harebrained Schemes featuring perma-death, prompting them to call it a Roguelite. This is coming to consoles later this summer, but the Windows and OS X editions are available now. The latest trailer from the game is from February, but it offers a look at some gameplay and its stylized graphics. Word is:

Introducing NECROPOLIS: an addictive blend of third-person action and procedural dungeon-delving. Oh, and perma-death. Adventure alone or with up to 3 friends in a magical deathtrap that reconstructs itself each time you play. Will you find the exit, or die trying? SPOILERS: You’ll probably die trying.

Continue here to read the full story.

Paragon Adds Hero

Greystone is now live in Paragon, becoming the newest hero to join Epic's MOBA that's currently in paid early access. This video offers an overview of the character, and this post has all the detail on Greystone as well as the changes in the accompanying patch. Here's the lowdown:

The TL;DR on Greystone is that he is a fighter who thrives in team fights and excels on the front lines. Using “Assault the Gates” to close the gap on high-priority targets, Greystone then activates “Make Way” dealing damage in an area around him. He doesn’t mind taking a few blows since his “Stoic” ability grants him passive bonus resistances. When Greystone’s opponents think they've bested him, he turns to stone and is respawned through his ultimate ability, “Reforged.” With his spirit crashing down from above, Greystone returns from the dead with a portion of his HP and full Mana while damaging and knocking up enemies around him.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ghostbusters Game Released

A new Ghostbusters game is now available on Steam, offering a Windows action/adventure set after the events in the new Ghostbusters movie. Word is:

Ghostbusters is a third-person action role-playing game featuring single-player and local couch co-op multiplayer for up to four players. Taking place after the events of the film, players command a squad of rookie ghostbusters through Manhattan’s most haunted environments, discovering hidden collectibles and ridding the city of rogue spirits. There are four distinct heroes to choose from, and each character can be upgraded with new gear and abilities throughout the adventure. Ghostbusters is available today on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC via Steam for $49.99. It is rated E10+ by the ESRB.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

  • EXO ONE -- Steam Greenlight. "Exbleative is proud to announce EXO ONE, a surreal, exoplanetary exploration game currently in development for PC. A teaser video is available using entirely in-engine footage, and displays a mix of gameplay and atmospheric shots. In EXO ONE, the focus is shifted away from traditional sci-fi and space game tropes, such as space combat. Instead, it encourages a relaxed state of flow by using a gravity-based movement system to traverse and explore high sci-fi planets."
  • Pigsodus - the Ultimate Pig Adventure Game by Psilocybe Games — Kickstarter. "Pigsodus is a point and click adventure game with RPG elements. Use your wits to solve puzzles, test your reflexes in dynamic minigames and explore the mysterious, pigcelart world inspired by Orwell's Animal Farm." Windows and OS X demos are available.

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Five Nights At Freddy's Franchise on Steam. Save 66%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Wasp interferes in slow motion recording. Photobugging.

New AMD Crimson Drivers

AMD support now offers new version 16.7.2 Crimson reference drivers fro AMD graphic cards. These offer support for the new Vulkan support for DOOM and a couple of other changes. Here's word:

Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.2 Highlights

  • The "compatibility mode" UI toggle was designed to reduce total power with minimal performance impact on AMD Radeon™ RX480 reference boards and has been made available to users in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings (first introduced in the previous Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 driver). This toggle is in "off" by default.
  • ​Support for DOOM (with Vulkan API) – enables performance enhancements through support for Async Compute and Shader Intrinsics.

Fixed Issues

  • In the previous Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 driver the "Restore Factory Defaults" option under Preferences of Radeon Settings Software would not set the "Compatibility Mode" UI toggle to its default "OFF" value. This is fixed in the Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.2 driver. The "Restore Factory Defaults" options resets all Radeon Settings to their factory default values.

Rocket League Crate Plans

A semi-recent post on reddit has a confirmation from Psyonix of plans to add loot crates to Rocket League to provide cosmetic drops for the motorized sports game (thanks Gamasutra). They call these Counter-Strike: Global Operations-style crates, but promise they will not be supporting the sketchy gambling side of this system that's caused a lot of recent controversy. Here's word:

Those assets are, indeed, early pieces of an upcoming system we plan on implementing to fund our esports prize pools and events. We plan on officially announcing it next month at (or near) the RLCS Live Finals since it directly relates to that event and other events like it, but since this image came out before our official word, we wanted to clarify some things for you:

  • Crates will contain cosmetic content only. We have a strict "Don't Sell Advantage" policy for Rocket League, and we're sticking with that.
  • There will be no Steam Marketplace integration with crates. We are definitely aware of the problems related to third-party gambling in other games and we are not interested in taking that approach.
  • Players who don't want to interact with this system can hide it entirely with a single checkbox. Also of note, this won't affect or impact our current item-drop system in any way.
  • We also want to reassure you guys that we are sticking with our approach to keep introducing free new Arenas, Modes, and Items, along with the occasional paid DLC just like we always have.

Hope this helps shed some light on what we have planned. It's actually a pretty cool system that we'll be happy to share detail about next month.

Arma 3 Apex Post Redux

A formatting error obscured our report last night on the release of the Arma 3: Apex new expansion for Arma 3, Bohemia Interactive's military shooter sequel. The post has the details and the launch trailer. In short: "As reflected by the expansion’s name, Arma 3 Apex represents the pinnacle of over 15 years of Arma development. It builds upon the series’ signature large-scale authentic combat gameplay, where movement, shooting, and teamwork truly matter – and introduces fresh opportunities for all types of combat operations."

Gas Guzzlers Extreme Adds DirectX 11 Support

A new patch is now available for Gas Guzzlers Extreme on Steam, offering changes and improvements for the combat racing game, including DirectX 11 support. This post has word on version 1.8.0.0:

  • New DirectX 11 rendering engine (DirectX 9 rendering is available as different branch)
  • 5-10 times faster map loading times
  • Lots of optimizations across the engine
    (new animation system, new math library, new binary mesh format, new texture loader)
  • Data optimizations. Game is 1 GB smaller for the same content
  • Rendering optimizations
  • Improved probe reflection quality and ambient light
  • Fixed frame drops regarding particles at start of the race
  • More stable FPS
  • Faster and higher quality SSAO
  • Fixed Bloom bug on AMD graphics cards
  • Fixed bug with human player applying too much damage and taking 0 damage
  • Engine switched to Visual Studio 2015

Starfall Tactics Testing This Week

A public "pre-alpha" test for Starfall Tactics will begin on Thursday before they turn their attention to adding a lot of the game's MMO content. The Starfall Tactics website has details on how to sign up to participate, though they warn not everyone will get in. Word is:

Prepare to crash your opponents in intense tactical battles, outmaneuver enemy ships or simply ram them and climb in PvP rating with your friends! New maps, modules, ships, 2x2 quick matches, co-op, tutorial and many other interesting things are waiting for you to be played and tested from 14th July 18:00 CET to 17th July 23:55 CET. Are you bold and daredevilish enough to do it all?

Grand Theft Auto Online Cunning Stunts Released; Stunt Editor Coming

Rockstar Games announces the release of the promised Cunning Stunts update for Grand Theft Auto Online. This updates the multiplayer side of Grand Theft Auto V with Stunt Races, Premium Races, new vehicles and clothing, and more. The update also includes word to expect the release of a Stunt Race Creator in a few weeks. Here's word on that:

er the next three weeks, look for more Stunt Races and vehicles to be added to GTA Online as part of Cunning Stunts, culminating in the release of the Stunt Race Creator on August 2nd, which will give the amazingly talented GTA Online Creator community the opportunity to tap into hundreds of Stunt Props along with new features and improvements to forge the most outrageous stunt tracks of their dreams.

Morning Patches

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Detective Hayseed - Hollywood -- Steam Greenlight. Pint-and-click adventure. "The list of Oscar winners has been stolen as part of a nefarious plot to overturn the established Hollywood order. Our hero has to struggle through a series of tests and tasks in order to uncover the clues as to who has done it. And, of course, to stop him carrying out his threat to blow up the entire Oscars ceremony."

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Hey, so happy Prime Day! The holiday based on being a giant e-tailer is an idea that still sinking in for me, but here it is. I seem to recall last year didn't seem like summer Black Friday either, but I'm willing to hold out hope for awesomeness. I'm also willing to try and cash in on the occasion, so I will point out that if you do you Amazon your shopping after following one of the affiliate links to there from here, we will receive a commission, and you will receive our gratitude. I know there are many of you who already go to this trouble when shopping there, and the extra effort is appreciated. Thanks!

Prime Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
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