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Wednesday, Dec 21, 2016

Heroes of the Storm Zul'jin Revealed

Blizzard held a livestream today to dribble out details about the next hero for Heroes of the Storm. They reveal this to be Zul'jin, shockingly a Warcraft character. There's nothing about this yet on the Heroes of the Storm website, but they offer details on Facebook to prove they aren't trolling about this troll:
Zul'jin is coming to the Nexus - and he's bringing quite the arsenal of heroic abilities. Use reactions to vote for which ability you'd like to learn about first - we'll unlock a new ability every 30 minutes, starting at 9:30am PST!

[Trait] Berserker
Zul’jin gains 1% Attack Speed per 1% of missing Health.
Zul’jin can activate Berserker to increase the damage of his Basic Attacks by 25% at the cost of 2% of his maximum Health per attack.

[Q] Grievous Throw
Zul’jin throws an axe forward, dealing damage to the first 2 enemies hit and marking them for 8 seconds. Marked enemies take 50% bonus damage from Zul’jin’s next 3 Basic Attacks against them.

[W] Twin Cleave
Throw 2 axes in a large circular arc, dealing damage and slowing affected enemies by 15% per axe for 2 seconds.

[E] Regeneration
Zul’jin channels to regenerate 25% of his maximum Health over 4 seconds. Moving or taking damage while channeling will interrupt this effect.

[R1] Taz’dingo
Zul’jin is Unkillable for the next 4 seconds, and cannot be reduced to less than 1 Health. Taz’dingo!

[R2] Guillotine
Zul’jin throws a massive guillotine into the sky that crashes down on enemies in the targeted area. The lower Zul’jin’s Health, the more damage it deals.

Team Fortress 2 Smissmas Begins

The Team Fortress 2 website announces the Smissmas celebration is now underway in Valve's multiplayer shooter. Here's word on what to expect:
In the classic Smissmas story "The Gift of the Magi", a girl sells all of her hair to a hair warehouse to buy her boyfriend a watch chain, but in a shocking twist, he looks at his watch and remembers she's bald and it's time to break up with her. That's when the Magi show up, and it is a BLOODBATH.

The point is, giving people gifts can bite you in the ass. Too much potential for twist endings. So this Smissmas, why not sit back, scroll down, and leave the gift-giving to us.

New Festivizer Weapons
The Festivizer now has more weapons it can festivize, including the Fire Axe, The Jag, The Kritzkrieg, Pistol, The Quick-Fix, Natascha, The Sandman, The Spy-cicle, Kukri, Shovel and The Scottish Resistance.

New Winter-Themed Community Cosmetics
We're shipping 17 new community cosmetics in the limited-time keyless Winter 2016 Cosmetic Case. Plus, The Festivizer can now be found as a bonus drop when opening the Winter 2016 Cosmetic Case.

New Taunts
Two new community taunts—The Scotsmann's Stagger and The Didgeridrongo—and one new Valve taunt, The Table Tantrum, are now available in the Mann Co. Store.

Casual Match Improvements
At the end of a Casual match, players will now be automatically formed into a new match with the same players and teams. You'll also get to vote on which map the new match will take place on.

New Autobalancing System
We're introducing a new autobalance system for Casual Matches and community servers that asks for volunteers to switch sides. Casual matches will reward you for switching teams by giving you the chance to earn bonus XP!

Big Sale in the Mann Co. Store
It wouldn't be Smissmas without the Spirit of Practically Giving. Look for 20%-75% off selected unlocked cosmetic crates, taunts, and tools in the Mann Co. Store through January 11th, 2017.

And last but not least... Stocking stuffers for everyone! Merry Smissmas! See you in 2017!

On Sale

  • The Nest on Steam. Save 50%.

New AMD ReLive Drivers

AMD Support now offers new version 16.12.2 Crimson ReLive Edition (electric boogaloo) reference drivers for AMD Radeon graphics cards. This page has all the details, offering the following list of issues that these new drivers address:
Fixed Issues

  • AMD FreeSync™ technology may experience performance issues with Borderless Fullscreen application support when a secondary display is attached and has dynamic content running such as video playback in a web browser or if other applications or game launchers are running on the primary screen in the background. A workaround if this issue is experienced is to minimize all other running applications that are on the primary desktop display or on non-primary extended displays.
  • Radeon ReLive may fail to install during installation on some system configurations.
  • Battlefield™1 may experience flashing or corruption when running in Multi GPU with Radeon RX 400 series.
  • Instant Replay fails to enable itself after it has been turned off due to content protection.
  • Radeon Settings may not load on system boot for some system configurations.
  • Fixed some errors in translations for Radeon Settings and Radeon ReLive.
  • Audio recorded by Radeon ReLive may sometimes exhibit slow motion when played back.
  • Radeon ReLive may experience recording issues or issues toggling the Overlay/Toolbar when Frame Rate Target Control is enabled. Users are suggested to disable Frame Rate Target Control when using Radeon ReLive.
  • Mouse cursor may stutter in recorded video when there is limited on screen activity outside of minor mouse movement.
  • In AMD Multi GPU configurations the secondary graphics product will exit the low power state when Radeon ReLive is enabled.
  • Radeon ReLive may sometimes not be able to take screenshots of secondary displays.
  • Chromium may fail to utilize hybrid decode for VP9 content.
  • DOTA™2 may experience game corruption when performing a task switch while recording with Radeon ReLive in AMD Multi GPU configurations.
  • Radeon ReLive Overlay/Toolbar will not launch or Record when running League of Legends™ in Administrator Mode and Windowed Borderless Fullscreen.
  • Long ping times may be experienced with some WiFi adapters.

Mafia III Free Content Update

A new free update is available for Mafia III, adding new outfits, car customization, competitive racing, and more to the open-world crime sequel. You can get a look at what's new in this trailer and there are details and images on the game's official website. The official announcement has this overview:
2K and Hangar 13 just released a free title update for Mafia III that adds the ability for players to compete in races, customize their cars, and more. Enter a series of races through the streets of New Bordeaux – six circuit lap races and six point-to-point races – to unlock customizations and a new car. Customize the cars in Lincoln’s fleet with a variety of decals, exhausts, spoilers, superchargers, and wheels. New outfits and a custom revolver are also available for Lincoln to use in Mafia III today – head over to the blog for the full scoop!
Continue here to read the full story.

Civilization VI Winter Update and New DLC

Two new premium DLC packs are now available for Sid Meier's Civilization VI to add the Polish kingdom and the marauding Vikings to the turn-based strategy sequel. These come alongside a winter update for all players that adds a new Earth map, a scenario menu, balance changes, and fixes. This steam post has all the details on the free patch and the two premium DLC packs, and this video provides a closer look at the Poland pack. Here's the deal:
Today, 2K and Firaxis Games revealed that Jadwiga leads Poland in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.

Jadwiga was the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland in the late fourteenth century and youngest daughter to Louis the Great.

Her reign began in 1384, with her early years being categorized by earning the respect and loyalty of Polish nobility, ruling side-by-side with Lithuanian king Wladyslaw II Jagiello. Jadwiga was an expert mediator, protected the poor, and was a devout Christian who later became canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church in 1997. She founded a special college for Lithuanians in Prague but perhaps is best known for her work helping to restore the University of Krakow, which would go on to become the center of Polish culture.

The Poland Civilization and Scenario Pack is available starting today. This premium DLC adds Poland, leader Jadwiga, and new scenario, “Jadwiga’s Legacy”, to Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.

Also available starting today is the Vikings Scenario Pack. In this premium DLC bring Europe under your rule as the mightiest Viking lord in “Vikings, Traders and Raiders!” – the most detailed scenario released yet for Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. The Vikings Scenario Pack also includes six new City-States and three new Natural Wonders for use in the base game of Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.

Both of these packs, which are included in Sid Meier’s Civilization VI – Digital Deluxe and available for purchase individually, are released alongside the ‘Winter 2016 Update’ for Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. This update adds a new Earth Map, Scenario Menu, various game updates, balance changes and fixes.
Continue here to read the full story.

Descent: Underground in Development on

Descent: Underground is now available on as an "in development" title, which sounds like early access with a less descriptive label. This means the 6DoF shooter is for sale on their DRM-free marketplace as it is being completed. This includes GOG Galaxy support for cross-play multiplayer and a 50% launch discount that will last until January 21st. The news is illustrated by this in development trailer, and here are the details:
The ups the downs, and brutal takedowns of mining in space.

Descent: Underground, the thrilling return of the first-person space shooter with 360 degrees of freedom, is now available, DRM-free on, with GOG Galaxy support for cross-play multiplayer and a 50% launch discount.

The legendary Descent is back and it takes you deep underground! Built on Unreal Engine 4 and improving upon the intoxicating flight mechanics of the originals, it brings the fight to the most perilous corners of space, where only the bravest or most desperate pilots venture in search of lucrative mining opportunities. Customize your ship and team up with friends for some fast-paced arcade action, spinning and swerving freely through twisting corridors as you gun down your opponents.

Descendant Studios, the people committed to bringing back this beloved franchise, are planning on adding a slew of neat features throughout the In Development stage: more ship types, weapons, and gadgets, more ways to interact with your environment, single player story missions, and tons of other cool additions.

Jump into your agile spaceship, calibrate your blasters, and dive into Descent: Underground, DRM-free on

The 50% discount will last until January 21, 1:59 PM UTC.

Note: This game is currently in development. See the FAQ to learn more about games in development, and check out the forums to find more information and to stay in touch with the community.
Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Happy winter to the northern hemisphere, and happy summer to the southern. That's right, it doesn't matter where you live. Look under your chairs. You get a solstice! And you get a solstice! And you get a solstice! Everyone gets a solstice! This occurred at 5:44 am EST this morning, so it's actually been winter for hours already. And it's seemed that was for longer, as in this area it's felt like winter for a couple of weeks already. Oh well, here's hoping our long underwear has another season in it for us northerners, and for those below the equator, here's hoping your surfboard is all covered in sex wax.

R.I.P.: Gordon Hunt, Uncharted's Motion Capture Director. Thanks nin.

Winter Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Science: Engineers detect anomaly during testing of James Webb Space Telescope.
How to save at least 32,000 lives each year- Replace male doctors with female ones.
Media: StarCrafts Season 5 Ep 14 Home Alone.
Honest Trailers - Mortal Kombat.
Heinlein and Clarke discuss the Moon landings as they happen.