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Tuesday, Dec 20, 2016

  

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition Released

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition is now available for Windows 10 and Xbox One, offering the first chance to play this 2009 RTS game on a PC. This is not offered individually, however, it is part of the bonus package for preordering Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition, which is currently expected in February. The sly devils at Ars Technica note that this is a preorder, not a pre-purchase, so it is possible to take advantage of this and still cancel your preorder, at least for now. Here are some details on the Definitive Edition:

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition is an enhanced version of the real-time strategy classic, Halo Wars, updated to run natively on Xbox One and Windows 10. Halo Wars: Definitive Edition includes improved graphics, new achievements and all of the DLC created for the landmark real-time strategy game.

FEATURING:

  • All-new, Action-packed Story – The heroes of Halo Wars return to find themselves - and the galaxy - in more danger than ever. Following the events of Halo 5, the all-new story is told in action-packed missions set on the legendary Halo destination known as the Ark. Players will strategically command overwhelming firepower in large-scale battles against a terrifying threat facing the UNSC and all of humanity.
  • Build Your Halo Army – Construct your bases, prepare your vehicles and amass your troops. Lead them into huge battles that span across alien environments in a vast collection of campaign and multiplayer maps.
  • Multiplayer Warfare – Play with or against your friends and the Xbox Live community in up to 3v3 matches. All-new units with explosive firepower, Leaders with special abilities that help to turn the tide in battle and thrilling multiplayer modes are at your fingertips as you wage war on a variety of maps.
  • Blitz: Instant Command – Blitz is an entirely new way to experience Halo Wars and real-time strategy gameplay. Combining tactical combat with card-based strategy, your deck is your army in Blitz as you build collections of powerful Halo vehicles and troops and command those units in fast-action matches online or solo against waves of enemies.

*Pre-order the Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition and receive Halo Wars: Definitive Edition. The codes for Halo Wars: Definitive Edition will be delivered to your Xbox message center in 7-10 days from pre-order, beginning December 20, 2016. Redeem your code on Xbox One, Xbox.com or the Xbox App on Windows 10. For more information on how to redeem codes, visit Xbox.com/howtoredeem-console. ©2016 Microsoft Corporation.Your Halo Wars 2 pre-order includes the Halo Wars 2 – Digital Pre-order Bonus Pack for use in Halo 5: Guardians. To receive your pre-order bonus search for “Halo Wars 2 – Digital Pre-order Bonus Pack” on the Xbox Store and download from the details page. *Online multiplayer features require Xbox Live Gold membership (sold separately).

Asheron's Call Games Ending

The Asheron's Call Facebook page announces that Turbine is putting an end to Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2 on January 31st, ending a lengthy run for both MMORPGs. This follows word that they are handing off responsibility for The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online, and new indie studio Standing Stone Games will run both
MMORPGs. Here's word on the end of both Asheron's Call games:

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the end of our support for Asheron's Call and Asheron’s Call 2, and will close both services on January 31st, 2017.
This decision did not come easy, and we know this is disappointing for many of you. This game is a labor of love, and it's not easy for us to bring it to an end.

We have had a phenomenally long run; one of the longest in the world of MMORPGs, and that in and of itself is a spectacular feat. We are proud of our legacy, and the entire Asheron's Call team has been honored to adventure with you for nearly twenty years. We thank you very much for being a part of it.

It’s been an amazing run. You’ve done Asheron Realaidain proud.

Between now and January 31st, 2017, the game will remain available to play, completely free, for any player currently with an account. New account creation will be disabled.
If you have any questions, please visit support.wbgames.com

GTA Online Festive Surprise 2016

Rockstar Games announces the launch of The GTA Online Festive Surprise 2016, a new Truffade Nero supercar and more. This includes the return of their previous holiday promotions as well as some new festive items and that free ride. Here's word:

Christmas officially comes a few days early with the Festive Surprise 2016, now available in GTA Online. This holiday season includes brand new festive items in stores across Los Santos, as well as the return of all your favorites from past holiday seasons, along with a new Super class vehicle offering compliments of Benny’s Original Motor Works.

Get in the holiday spirit with new seasonally-themed Sweaters and Hats, along with all the returning classic Masks, Santa outfits and other festive clothing - all available to add to your inventory absolutely free now through January 9th.

Light up the streets with colorful new Bodysuits available for purchase from clothing stores; each with illumination settings to glow, pulse or flash. Or get lit like your drunk uncle with the Firework Launcher, returning to the shelves at Ammu-Nation (and under the trees of all the good little boys and girls in Southern San Andreas on Christmas Eve) to help you celebrate the holidays in explosive style while you wait for that rare Los Santos snowfall phenomenon.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Sabotage Plans

Activision announces the first DLC pack for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be released on January 31st for the PlayStation 4 edition of the first-person shooter. The pack is called Sabotage, and they say "other platforms to follow." We presume that will be after one month of exclusivity concludes, but our crystal ball ain't so crystal clear. They celebrate the news with a new preview trailer with a look. Here's word on the pack's contents:

“We’re excited to introduce a new chapter to our zombies experience, taking players into a spooky 1990s summer camp straight out of the horror films of the decade,” said Dave Stohl, Studio Head of Infinity Ward. “We’re also delivering four new, diverse multiplayer maps, including a remake of the Modern Warfare® 2 classic, Afghan. There’s a tremendous variety of new content that we think every player will enjoy.”

Rave in the Redwoods, the next thrilling chapter of the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare zombies experience, continues the macabre narrative while transporting players into a new decade: the 1990s. Willard Wyler, the enigmatic movie director villain, returns and has trapped the protagonists inside another one of his twisted horror films. The four playable characters from the original story also return, but with fresh, over-the-top roles, as they learn more about Wyler’s evil plot while fighting all-new varieties of the undead in an abandoned, lakeside summer camp where zombie ravers have taken over and turned the grounds into a techno-fueled illusion. Rave in the Redwoods is a tense, spooky thrill ride with shocking twists, surprises, and a slew of new Easter eggs for players to discover.

In addition to the Rave in the Redwoods zombies content, Sabotage will also include four new multiplayer maps:

  • Noir – A dark, grimy city map inspired by futuristic Brooklyn at night, Noir is a classic three-lane map set against a backdrop of a dystopian future, filled with cafes and parks surrounding a brutal downtown warzone.
  • Neon – A virtual training center designed for urban warfare, Neon is a unique, digitized battle arena where cars and other structures spawn out of thin air and enemies dissolve into hundreds of pixels when defeated. Middle lane sightlines will cater to long-range players while the outsides of the map allow for quick counter-attacks in close-quarter action.
  • Renaissance – Set in Northern Italy, Renaissance pits players against each other on the narrow streets of Venice surrounded by classic architecture and buildings that promote continuous action through the canals and neighborhoods of this iconic city.
  • Dominion – A re-imagining of the classic Afghan map from Modern Warfare 2, now set on Mars, Dominion retains all the memorable landmarks and gameplay of the original, anchored by the crashed ship in the center, with a few enhancements designed to take advantage of the new movement system.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

BioWare Giveaways [Updated]

BioWare tweets that starting today they are kicking off five days of freebies. According to Polygon, Mass Effect 2 was briefly free on Origin yesterday, but pretty quickly reverted to full price, so they may have jumped the gun. Presumably the free offer will start today as promised, so we'll keep an eye on this. Update: BioWare now tweets: "Day 1: A pure plush Krogan from @TeamSanshee. RT for a chance to win. #5FestiveFreebies," so it seems like this is a social media raffle, and does not (yet) involve any free games as we assumed.

Crytek Closes Five Studios; Sells Warface?

Following a report that Crytek was once again having problems meeting its payroll obligations, Kotaku reports the developer has shuttered five studios in five countries, saying the company says it will attempt "to secure jobs and to ensure a smooth transition and stable future" for those who will lose their jobs as a result. Word is they are closing offices in Hungary, Bulgaria, South Korea, China, and Turkey, and will only continue operations in Germany and Ukraine. These closures are confirmed, but they also have a rumor that Crytek has also sold Warface and the upcoming sequel to the free-to-play shooter to Mail.ru, but this is not confirmed. Thanks nin.

Street Fighter V Patch and DLC

CapCom Unity announces that Season 2 is now underway in Street Fighter V. This includes what they call a "huge" update to the game, as well as the release of a holiday DLC pack. The DLC is only available until January 17th, and this update has all the details on all that it includes. The new version also updates the rage quit system to further punish the cowards who duck losses:

Updated Rage Quit System
The current Rage Quit System has resulted in a significant decrease in rage quitting. That said, we always planned to take this one step further and are ready to further address the issue with this update. In addition to losing League Points and being locked out of online matchmaking for a set time, the following additions have been made to the system:

  • Matchmaking Update - Players who frequently disconnect during matches will now be more likely to be matched up with other players who exhibit similar behavior. The same applies for honorable players who rarely, if ever disconnect; they will be matched up with similar players.
  • Player Profile Icons - The worst offenders and the most honorable players will also have a special icon displayed on their Fighter Profiles.
  • League Points Deduction – Anytime a player disconnects during a match, their League Points will be deducted as if it was a loss.

Battlefield 1 DLC Plans

The Battlefield website has word on plans for They Shall Not Pass, a first DLC pack for Battlefield 1 coming to the World War I shooter in March. This will include new maps, weapons, and a playable French faction, as they recreate the epic battles of Verdun and Soissons. They are holding back on some details for now, but do share a little, and illustrate the news with a bunch of artwork. Here's a bit:

Releasing March 2017, They Shall Not Pass* will be the first Battlefield™ 1 expansion. Featuring all-new maps, new weapons, and the new playable French Army faction, They Shall Not Pass will truly expand the theater of all-out war.

Though we don’t want to give too much away at this point we have something special for you: concept exploration images from the DICE team. These images represent the studio’s vision of the battlefields you’ll encounter in They Shall Not Pass. Read on and learn what inspired the charred landscapes, muddy trenches, and close-quarter environments.

Steam Winter Sale Thursday?

The Steam winter sale looks like it will begin on Thursday. PayPal UK tweets that this is the case (thanks Polygon) with a graphic stating as much. This is not a first for PayPal, who seem to be cementing their position as the official leaker of Steam sales with another early tip off. They have previously accurately predicted the start of the 2014 autumn sale, last year's winter sale, and the most recent summer sale.

Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter Early Access

Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter is now available on Steam as an early access title. This requires an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset as well as tracked motion controllers. Here's word on the release, as well as stackable discounts for their previous customers:

You can now buy the Early Access version of Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter with a launch discount of 10% and additional discount of 10% for owners of Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter and 20% for owners of Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope - all stackable! That's right - it makes it for a maximum total discount of whooping 40%!

We are excited to present to all of you VR enthusiasts, a full-campaign action-based first-person VR game with configurable locomotion options, multiplayer and (soon) Steam Workshop support. Hoping that this will give you hours of unadulterated fun, we will continue to improve upon the current version based on your feedback.

Survarium Patched

Survarium website announces the release of a new patch to update the Survarium to version 0.45. This includes daily rewards and quests to encourage more participation in the MMOFPS, along with new weapons and technical improvements. Here's an outline of the major changes and additions:

Daily Rewards
Following your multiple requests we are returning the incentive to login to the game more often. You will be receiving special bonuses for daily logins. Every fifth day you will receive extra rewards and on reaching the 15th day – a unique reward.

Daily Quests
To make the in-game quests more varied is yet another long awaited request from the community which we are also happy to satisfy. On top of the traditional missions the game will offer new daily quests which can bring you not only extra silver, experience points and reputation with the faction, but unique rewards too! These quests are simple, yet varied: win a match, play in squad, make x-number of frags with a specific weapon type, play for a specific faction and so on.

New Weapons
We continue expanding the arsenals of factions with new weapons. At the rank of Wachmeister (6th tier) the Black Market will offer a Colt M1911 pistol. This very pistol was recently voted for by the Survarium community and we are glad to fulfil the request of the players. The second new weapon in the game is Glock 17 pistol, which is to broaden the arsenal of the Scavengers.

Technical Improvements
With this update we introduce "pingless" network synchronization. In previous implementations of the network synchronization we continuously reduced the delay of player inputs, but it remained constant for everybody in the match. With 0.45 we make that value an individual one, so you are no longer dependent on the network conditions of other players. Besides, we minimize the response time to change of the network conditions, which will considerably reduce the number of input shifts without increasing the delay parameter much. All that will result in improved comfort of play regardless of the systems' performance and network conditions of other players in the match.

Angels of Death Released

Angels of Death is now available on Playism and Steam, offering an episodic "psycho horror adventure game" for Windows. This trailer shows off retro gameplay from the Japanese original, which, speaking of retro, seems to have been operated by Dwango, an apparent offshoot of the original DWANGO. Here's word:

Angels of Death is a psycho horror adventure game composed of four parts. It is developed by Stardust KRNKRN (Makoto Sanada), the creator behind the famous horror game Kirisame ga furu mori (Forest of Drizzling Rain). Angels of Death exploded in popularity in Japan through Den-fami Nico Game Magazine, operated by Dwango Co. Ltd., where it was released as a serialized game. Now Angels of Death is being released worldwide on Playism and Steam.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • MyWorld - Imagine, Create, Play! by The Game Creators — Kickstarter. Mentions PC at the very bottom of the page. "Unleash your imagination in the creative universe of MyWorld, a unique multiplayer sandbox world where game makers and game players create, share and play games. Build your own gaming world in the MyWorld multi-game construction kit & bring your creation to life. Join our World of Worlds, a universe populated by games created by MyWorld users."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I expressed my happiness in finding the winter versions of my Caterpillar work boots, since the non-winter versions are so comfortable. Now after attempting to break them in I am getting ready to admit defeat. In spite of seeming like the same boots with added insulation and waterproofing, the new boots feel like bear traps on my feet, and I have a couple of spots on my ankles warn raw from the ordeal. I wore my other boots yesterday (which were comfortable from day one) and they were like pillows on my feet, so I think I'm going to see how these work out with winter socks, which is probably what I should have done in the first place.

Booted Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Get On Top.
Stories: "Thor: Ragnarok" To Include Planet Hulk.
A lobster boat captain said a freak storm killed his crew. Then doctors found drugs in his system.
Science: 'Klingon Newt' and 'Ziggy Stardust' Snake- New Species Found in Asia.
Images: The Best Handmade Ornament Ever Celebrates the Best Christmas Movie Ever. Thanks nin.
Media: Nerf Overwatch.
Birds just want to have fun.....
Car ‘parks’ itself after driver ejected.



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