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Saturday, Mar 18, 2017

  

Diablo III Season 10 Details

Battle.net has a first look at what to expect from Season 10 for Diablo III. They say this will begin on March 31st, and for the first time will come to consoles as well as PCs. Here are the sets being offered through Haedrig's Gift this season:

In addition, the set you receive will depend on the Class of the character you’re playing when you open each Haedrig’s Gift. To collect a full Class Set, you’ll need to open all three on the same character.

Here are the sets granted by Haedrig’s Gift in Season 10:

  • Barbarian – The Legacy of Raekor
  • Crusader – Armor of Akkhan
  • Demon Hunter – Embodiment of the Marauder
  • Monk – Inna’s Mantra
  • Witch Doctor – Zunimassa’s Haunt
  • Wizard – Delsere’s Magnum Opus

HITMAN First Anniversary Infographic

IO Interactive celebrates the first anniversary of their episodic HITMAN game with the release of a one year of HITMAN infographic. This includes all sorts of tidbits and factoids, such as how there is more words in the game's AI dialogue than in the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. Here's their concluding message:

By the way if you haven’t tried out Contracts mode in a while, there have been a few changes. There is a search and share system plus there are now tags so you can quickly select the type of contract you want to play - so if you love Sapienza and sniper rifles, then you can quickly find a Contract to your liking and with over 250,000 Contracts available to play today that’s a good thing.

We are having a blast making this game, and we hope you are enjoying playing it, whether you joined us a year ago, more recently with the launch of the box or you’ve just joined today..! The HITMAN community is continuing to grow bigger and more awesome every day.

Dota 2 New Juggernaut Arcana Style

Steam News details the release of a new patch for Dota 2. A separate update on the Dota 2 blog has more on what this adds to Valve's MOBA:

Today the Juggernaut receives a new ‘Origins’ style for his Bladeform Legacy Arcana. Score ten kills with Omnislash to unlock this second form. With a new gem counter and overhead effect that track your total Omnislash kills, you can watch your tally increase in each battle as the Juggernaut’s mask burns with the energy of the fallen.

This update includes the release of Player Cards for The Kiev Major. Head into the Compendium section of your Battle Pass to unwrap your cards and start planning Fantasy Challenge rosters. You can also add Player Cards to your Dota 2 profile to show off your favorites.

Saturday Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

  • The Great American Cross-Country Road Race (Atari 8-Bit, Commodore 64, Apple II) on Retro Flashback.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Was a quiet evening here at the BlueTower, here's hoping that if you were celebrating St. Paddy's that you didn't suffer too badly this morning. Speaking of suffering, it sounds like we're being spared some here today. There was another dumping of snow in the forecast, but its approach has been met by repeated downgrades to the projected accumulation. At this point it sounds like this probably won't require shoveling at all, which is certainly a relief to those of us who already had to dig out once or twice this week.

Painless Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: AntiVillain OneShot.
Science: Peer Into the Post-Apocalyptic Future of Antimicrobial Resistance.
Media: HeroStorm Ep 23 Unkillable.
Ocarina Controlled Home-Automation System.
Boxersled! Subaru WRX STI vs an Olympic Bobsled Run.

Friday, Mar 17, 2017 Happy St. Patrick's Day

NieR:Automata Released

Steam News announces the release of NieR:Automata for Windows, or as the announcement reads, "NieR:Automataâ„¢," the new action/RPG from Square Enix. This news post has some details of interest to those using older Radeon drivers and on how to run in 4K resolution, even though this is not official supported. Here's the deal on the game:

NieR: Automata tells the story of androids 2B, 9S and A2 and their battle to reclaim the machine-driven dystopia overrun by powerful machines.

Humanity has been driven from the Earth by mechanical beings from another world. In a final effort to take back the planet, the human resistance sends a force of android soldiers to destroy the invaders. Now, a war between machines and androids rages on... A war that could soon unveil a long-forgotten truth of the world.

Key Features:

  • Action-Packed Battles – Players will switch between using melee and ranged attacks in battle against hordes of enemies and challenging bosses across a variety of open field maps. The tight controls and incredibly fluid combat are simple to learn for newcomers while offering plenty of depth for more experienced action gamers. Players can perform high-speed battle actions—combining light and heavy attacks—and switch through an arsenal of weaponry while evading enemies with speed and style.
  • Beautifully Desolate Open-World – The game seamlessly joins together hauntingly beautiful vistas and locations with no area loading. The environments are rendered in 60fps and contain a wealth of sub-events in addition to the main storyline.
  • Masterfully Crafted Story and Characters – NieR: Automata tells the story of androids 2B, 9S and A2 and their ferocious battle to reclaim a machine-driven dystopia overrun by powerful weapons known as machine lifeforms.
  • Elements of an RPG – Players will obtain a variety of weapon types, level up in battle, learn new combat skills, and customise a loadout that caters to their playstyle.
  • Utilise the Pod Support System to Assist In and Outside of Battle – Pods can attack the enemy in both manual and lock-on modes. They can also assist outside of battle, such as allowing the player to glide through the air. Pods can be enhanced throughout the game, with upgrades including new attack methods and variations.
  • “Auto Mode” Available for Beginners – Novice players can elect “Auto Mode” for easy attacks and evasions.

KONA Released

Ravenscourt and Parabole announce the release of KONA, following a year of early access for this survival/horror adventure for Windows, OS X, and Linux. This can be found through various digital distributors, including GOG.com and Steam. Here's a launch trailer along with a bit on the game:

Northern Canada, 1970. A strange blizzard ravages Atamipek Lake. Step into the shoes of private detective Carl Fauberet to explore the eerie village, investigate surreal events, and battle the elements to survive.

KONA is a game submerged in mystery and intrigue, one with a spine tingling narrative and unflinching drama that unfolds building the tension throughout.

FEATURES RECAP

Step into a surreal interactive tale of mystery and investigate the perplexing quietness in the entire town

  • Explore a vast, frigid Northern environment and battle the elements to survive
  • Complete the first of four chapters, each offering two to eight hours of compelling gameplay
  • Enjoy the atmospheric soundtrack featuring music by Quebec folk band Curé Label
  • Experience the tale through the omniscient, third-person storyteller
  • Go back in time with a vintage look and feel reminiscent of 1970s rural community

Continue here to read the full story.

WARTILE Early Access

Early access to WARTILE is now available on Steam, offering the chance to try out this Windows strategy game that simulates a tabletop miniatures experience. This video shows off how this looks, and here are some details:

Wartile is a single player and multiplayer real time tabletop inspired game for PC with a strong turn based flavor. The game replicates the feeling of playing a tabletop game but with a tactical edge and more immediate combat. Each Battle Board is an intricately realised digital diorama complete with tiles that allow players to strategize their tactical moves and attack in real time. Units are fully customizable with armor, weapons and new stat tokens that players can pick up throughout the game by completing special challenges. Stat tokens provide points that players can add to their characters’ stats which unlock when players level up and are found in each of the various Battle Boards in the game. Players can add a tactical slant to their close quarter and ranged combat moves by utilizing Ability cards and Godly cards as their figurines gain more experience and by completing special Battle Board objectives. Godly cards and abilities can be assembled by the player before engaging in battle and used during combat. These cards can easily change the course of the fight should the odds be stacked against their favor.

The game eventually plans to include a wide range of detailed environments, including Norwegian mountains, murky swamps, rocky English coastlines, dark dungeons and sweeping grasslands. Wartile also allows players to unlock and collect an array of different characters, all with different combat abilities to provide a choice of tactical options before they embark on each quest.

Wartile’s beautifully realised digital dioramas and innovative game mechanics aim to bring a wholly unique and refreshing perspective to the RTS genre. Players will be challenged to utilise their Viking figurines carefully in both ranged and hand to hand combat as they navigate each Battle Board toward their objective. Wartile will also be making an eagerly awaited appearance at EGX Rezzed in London’s Tobacco Dock in the Unreal Showcase Zone from the 30th March through to 1st April.

Continue here to read the full story.

Mass Effect: Andromeda 4K Trailer

The GeForce website now features a new trailer with a look at Mass Effect: Andromeda in 4K with HDR enabled. With that in mind, they warn you need the right setup to see how the game looks with the right setup:

Watch our NVIDIA GeForce exclusive Mass Effect: Andromeda Tech Trailer featuring exclusive gameplay and developer interviews, shot in glorious 4K HDR at BioWare Edmonton. Please note that this video is best experienced on a 4K HDR display.

Continue here to read the full story.

SMITE Turning Three

The SMITE website announces plans to celebrate the upcoming third anniversary of SMITE starting next week. Hi-Rez promises a week of festivities starting next Tuesday:

We’re turning 3 this year! (that’s right, we’re almost out of our toddler years!)

To celebrate, we’ve got tons of stuff going on during SMITE’s Birthday Week. Starting Tuesday, March 21st to Monday, March 27th, earn Double Login Bonuses by logging in each day AND unlock the Birthday Global Emote for FREE by completing 1 First Win of the Week during the Birthday week.

We’re also going to be holding another Community Skin Contest (last year, the community voted on Fallen Lord Chronos)! We’ll be posting more information on Tuesday.

There’s also something unique going on every day in SMITE:

  • Tuesday, March 21st
    • 3x Worshipers
    • 25% off the Roman Pantheon Chest
  • Wednesday, March 22nd
    • 50% off all Voice Packs
    • 25% off Hindu Pantheon Chest
  • Thursday, March 23rd
    • 50% off all purchasable Ward Skins and Avatars
    • 25% off Greek Pantheon Chest
  • Friday, March 24th
    • Unlock a free Enigma Chest roll for each First Win of the Day (9 max!)
    • 25% off Chinese Pantheon Chest
  • Saturday, March 25th
    • 2x Everything
    • 25% off Mayan Pantheon Chest
  • Sunday, March 26th
    • Earn 90 Gems for completing 3 First Wins of the Day
    • 25% off Norse Pantheon Chest
  • Monday, March 27th
    • Earn a Cutesy Avatar Chest Roll after 1 First Win of the Day (only on first win)
    • All Pantheon Chests 25% off

We’ll be announcing more surprises closer to the Birthday week, so stay tuned!

Evening Patches

On Sale

  • Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter on Steam. Save 55%.
  • SXSW Sale on GOG.com. Save up to 75%.
  • Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak: Special Gigs on Steam. Save 20%.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

  • Snake Pass on YouTube. Video developer diary.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Kinks frontman Sir Ray Davies gets his knighthood. Right on Sir Ray!!

Warhammer 40,000 - Eternal Crusade Free Edition Launched

A free-to-play edition of Warhammer 40,000 - Eternal Crusade is now on Steam, allowing wider access to this sci-fi third-person shooter. BANDAI NAMCO says this does not make it a free-to-play game, apparently trying to avoid the stigma this carries. There are now three different versions of the game, the free one, a $19.99 USD Squadron Edition, and a $49.99 Imperium Edition. This post explains the changes:

We didn't put in a bunch of pay walls. There is only one. Upgrade to Premium. And when you purchase more than 20,000 RTC, you get to spend the 20,000 RTC, it's not used to upgrade. It's a threshold you have to pass, nothing else.

As always, you don't have to buy a single thing in the in-game store to get the best stuff, that all comes from playing and we'll continue to keep it that way.

Diablo III Adding Build Switching and Perfect Items

Battle.net gives us an idea of what to expect from the version 2.5.0 patch for Diablo III, which they say is "just around the corner" for the action/RPG sequel. Among other things, this adds the ability to store up to five complete builds for each character to be able to switch easily. This is a quality-of-life improvement so convenient that may generate agita that it's taken this long to get it implemented (though that it will not redistribute Paragon points is disappointing). The patch will also include a new crafting materials UI, Adventure Mode updates, and a new class of very rare ancient items that come with literally perfect rolls. Here's word on these Primal Ancients:

Primal Ancients are Ancient items with perfectly rolled affixes. This means every affix including Primary, Secondary, and Legendary are at their ideal value, whether that means the maximum or minimum value. While the items don’t try to guess what kind of affixes are perfect for your build, you can be certain that they will roll with a couple specific rules. First, they will always drop with the appropriate main stat for your class (Strength for Barbarian/Crusader, Dexterity for Demon Hunter/Monk, and Intelligence for Witch Doctor/Wizard). Second, they will always have the ideal number of sockets for that item. For pants, chest, and jewelry, this means the maximum number of sockets. Since ideally you will want to use a Ramaladni's Gift on your weapon, Primal weapons will roll with no sockets.

The Surge in May

Deck13 offers a new CGI trailer for The Surge, celebrating their announcement of a May 16th release date for the action/RPG. They are also accepting preorders for those overwhelmed by a surge of desire for a few bonus items and faith in the developer. The Windows version is coming through Steam, and this post has further details on the trailer and pre-purchases. Here's a rundown on the game:

Set in a heavily dystopian future as Earth nears the end of its life, those who remain in the overpopulated cities must work to survive as social programs become saturated by an ageing population and increasing environmental diseases. As the intelligence of technology incrementally increased over the years, many jobs for the human race had been made redundant, forcing Earth's citizens to head out into the suburbs seeking labor, aided by exoskeletons to improve their efficiency. The world of The Surge offers a very grim vision of the future, where the evolution of our technology, our society and our relation with the environment led to a decadent state of the Human civilization. The Surge features innovative combat mechanics and an original character progression system based on modular upgrades gained through tight, visceral combat.

Continue here to read the full story.

Sniper Elite 4 DLC Next Week

Rebellion tells us to expect the first chapter of Deathstorm DLC for Sniper Elite 4 on March 21st for the Windows and console editions of the sharpshooting sequel. This brings new content, but also comes along with additional multiplayer content that is free to all owners of the game, even without the DLC. Here's word on the DLC and the free multiplayer game mode and map that are coming next week:

DEATHSTORM PART 1: INCEPTION is the opening chapter and mission in the three-part campaign, playable from start to finish for 1-2 players. Set after the events of the main game, the first chapter takes players to the colder terrain of northern Italy, and a Nazi naval base recently targeted in a bombing run.

With imposing scaffolding, a German destroyer and myriad Kriegsmarine soldiers to negotiate, Karl Fairburne must help finish what the bombing run started. But his primary mission concerns the secret Manhattan Project: To retrieve a critical, mysterious package codenamed Deathstorm...

The new SNIPER ELITE®4 content doesn't end there; The NIGHT FIGHTER EXPANSION PACK also arrives on March 21st, It includes three new weapons, night-time camo rifle skins for eight weapons and new male and female characters skins.

Multiplayer fans, meanwhile, can look forward to ELIMINATION, a brand new mode that also drops on March 21st, and it's FREE.

This two-team mode for up to 12 players is all about trying to whittle down your opponent's numbers. If you kill an enemy player, they're forced to sit out on the sidelines. But if their team kills one of your teammates, they tag back in one of their sidelined comrades. In Elimination, all is not lost, even when you're 1 v 6.

SNIPER ELITE®4 players are getting their first FREE multiplayer map on March 21st too, called NIGHT WOODS. As previously pledged by Rebellion, ALL additional multiplayer maps and modes for the game will be FREE.

Dungeons & Dragons Online Adds New Class

DDO.com has release notes for a new update 35 that's now live in Dungeons & Dragons Online, the D&D MMORPG (thanks Dave). This includes a new Dragonborn class (we suggest Skyrim as your character's name), a new Adventure Pack, and enhanced Reincarnation. Here's word on all three:

Dragonborn
The Dragonborn come to the shores of Xen’drik, for The Prophecy demands it. The Dragons of Argonnessen send their bravest, boldest, and strongest to fulfill their legacy. Be one that takes up this challenge, to fulfill The Prophecy, and show the world of Eberron what it means to have fire in your heart. Start off with bonuses in Strength and Charisma and perfect your build in millions of ways! Free to VIPs, and available in the DDO Store.

New Adventure Pack
Tests arise for all adventurers in Dragonblood Prophecy. Creatures and beasts of all kinds have rallied to help the Dragons who are wreaking havoc through-out Stormreach. Two new dungeons and one raid come to life, The Newcomers and Black and Blue. Both adventures are available in the new Adventure Pack: Dragonblood Prophecy. Add a run in Reaper Mode, for either dungeon, for an extra challenge. Enjoy the new Raid: Riding the Storm Out, with Guildmates and Friends! Kor-Kaza has taken control of an ancient giant site with immense power, enough to wash Stormreach into the sea. You must stop this! Breach the site of the ancient people, stop the raging storm, and smite the dragon where it stands. Free to VIPs, and available in the DDO Store.

Racial Reincarnation
Reincarnation has now expanded! Get Racial Past Life Feats when you reincarnate to add additional flavor and customization to your vault of heroes. Want to get started? Find the Heroic Heart of Blood, available now in the DDO Store and via Tokens of the Twelve in-game.

Blizzard Seeks to Reduce Overwatch Draws

Responding to a post on the Overwatch Forums, Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan agrees with the sentiment of the post complaining about draws in Overwatch. He says testing of changes meant to reduce their frequency will begin soon in the multiplayer shooter: "We have changes coming to the PTR very soon. These changes will greatly diminish the number of draws. More details inc. extremely soon." In a later post he makes a finer distinction about what game modes he's discussing: "We're also working on reducing Capture the Flag draws and elimination draws but those changes are further out."

Morning Patches

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • STARFIGHTER INC by Impeller Studios — Kickstarter. "Starfighter Inc. puts you in the cockpit of the future in a hard science-fiction based multiplayer space combat simulator, featuring hardcore shooter gameplay in the spirit of X-Wing vs. TIE-Fighter, but with unprecedented depth and sophistication. Starfighter Inc. combines the lethality and permadeath of Counter-Strike with the technical depth and customization of World of Warships. The key difference is that players operate a variety of nuclear-powered single and multi-crew fighters, reconnaissance ships, strike craft, and support ships, with weapons ranging from lasers, railguns, and missiles, to electronic and cyber warfare capabilities."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! The occasion is well-timed this year, as overindulgers will have an entire weekend to recover. I'm probably going to play designated driver tonight, and we don't even plan on going anywhere, so that give my outlook on the situation. With all the amateur drinking that will be going on tonight, please be careful on the roads. That said, enjoy!

Green Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Save the Earth.
Stories: "The Batman" Being Re-Written From Scratch?
Science: Trump’s Budget Would Break American Science, Today and Tomorrow.
Media: Addison Groove - Changa (MUSIC VIDEO) - Adult Swim. Thanks Hypothermia.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA- BREATH OF THE WILD (Teens React- Gaming).
Adorable girl meets kitten for the first time and cries tears of pure joy. Thanks theAntiELVIS.



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