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Thursday, Apr 20, 2017

  

Ranked Dota 2 Now Requires Phone Number

There's a Matchmaking Update on the Dota 2 website with the latest on Valve's MOBA. Among other things, they announce players are now required to link a phone number to their account in order to join the ranked queue. Here's word:

LINKED PHONE NUMBER
The first major change is that players must register a unique phone number to their account in order to queue for Ranked matches.

Players using multiple accounts create a negative matchmaking experience at all skill brackets, so our goal is to add just enough friction to this process that the number of players doing this will be noticeably reduced. Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked Matchmaking.

There will be a two-week grace period from today during which players have time to register a number, but starting on May 4th, accounts without a registered number will no longer be eligible for Ranked play. If a phone number is removed from an account after registration, a new number can be added, but there will be a three-month waiting period before the removed number can be registered on a new account. This is to prevent using the same number on multiple accounts. Online services that provide phone numbers are not allowed.

SOLO QUEUE
With the return of the Solo Queue, solo players who enter Ranked Matchmaking can now choose to be matched only with other solo players. Any player who selects this option will be placed into matches where all ten players are queuing solo.

Rick and Morty Virtual Rick-ality Released

The GeForce website announces the release of Virtual Rick-ality, the Rick and Morty virtual reality game. They offer a launch trailer and interviews with the developers at Owlchemy Labs. Here's the game's description:

Rick and Morty have teleported into your living room for a cutting-edge VR adventure from Adult Swim Games and Owlchemy Labs (Job Simulator). Play as a Morty clone as you explore Rick's garage, the Smith household, and alien worlds.

Experience life as a clone of Morty and all the trauma that comes with it. Step through portals to strange worlds, help Rick with his bizarre experiments, and use your hands in VR to pick up and play in an interaction-filled 3D Rick-ality. Follow Rick's directions (or don't!) to solve puzzles and complete missions in this fully voice acted adventure.

Features:

  • It's your favorite 2D characters in 3D. It's RICK AND MORTY VR! They're 3D now!
  • Probe, prod, throw, and smash iconic items like the Plumbus.
  • Also, it's got this thing!
  • Teleport around rooms and walk through portals.
  • No really! You walk with your actual feet through virtual portals!
  • Get yelled at by Rick, and question your own self worth.
  • Smack Rick in the face.
  • Real fake doors!

Continue here to read the full story.

Mighty Monster Mayhem Released

Steam now offers Mighty Monster Mayhem, a kaiju-inspired action game for virtual reality. This requires an HTC Vive headset in order to live the dream of rampaging through a terrified city. Here's a launch trailer with a look, and here's word on the game:

As an outcast-scientist-turned-mutated-monster, seek vengeance against those who rejected your research! In Mighty Monster Mayhem, you can tear down buildings, make entire cities crumble, and munch on unsuspecting pedestrians. Choose from a variety of creatures, and battle with (or against) friends, wreaking havoc in multiple campaign modes – unleashing fury on everything to increase your score! How much mayhem can you cause?

  • Tear down entire cities building by building, and wreak havoc on the population in multiple campaigns.
  • Challenge or join your friends in multiplayer destruction.
  • Make the city crumble at your feet in single-player mode.
  • Choose your monster: Cthuhlu Carl, Ronald the Rock, Ian Insectoid, Toni the Oni … or Gorzilla (a.k.a. Todd)
  • Climb buildings, throw objects, and monster-punch things!
  • Wreck everything in sight to earn an impressive high score and climb the leaderboards.

Continue here to read the full story.

Grand Theft Auto V Tiny Racers Next Week

Rockstar Games announces a Tiny Racers update coming next week to GTA Online, the multiplayer tail that wags the dog for Grand Theft Auto V. As the name inspires, this is their take on the miniature car racing game genre. Here's a trailer that shows this top-down stunt racing mode. They also celebrate 4/20 with one-day discounts on pot-related businesses in the game:

Get ready for a new spin on classic Grand Theft Auto action, with Tiny Racers, coming April 25th. Watch the new trailer above to catch a glimpse of the retro-inspired stunt racing this all-new mode will bring to GTA Online next week.

TODAY ONLY: 4/20 DISCOUNTS & BONUSES
In honor of 420, save (and score) some extra green via The Open Road with 50% off Weed Farm Businesses and Business Upgrades. All Weed sales from your Business will also earn you 50% more profits. And burn out with Green Tire Smoke from LS Customs, also 50% off today.

New Paragon Hero Next Week

Epic Games reveals the Revenant will be the next character in Paragon, saying the character will join their MOBA on April 25th. This trailer offers a look at the character, and they also outline his abilities, which sadly include neither shoulder-mounted rocket launchers nor hiding inside dead horses. Here's word:

Today, Epic Games has announced Revenant, the newest Hero to join its PlayStation 4 and PC MOBA, Paragon. The unholy melding of malevolent spirit and vicious bounty hunter, Revenant is a carry that isolates targets with a unique set of abilities, including an ultimate that transports his target to the Nether Realm for a one-on-one duel.

Epic introduced Revenant today with an all-new announcement trailer; he will be available for players starting on Tuesday, April 25. Details on all of his abilities can be found below:

  • Revolver Round (LMB/R2) - Revenant carries a revolver with 4 rounds, upon consuming these rounds he will automatically reload.
  • Hellfire Rounds (RMB/R1) - Allows you to reload your weapon at any time, and passively causes bonus damage on your fourth shot.
  • Scar (Q/Square) - Infuses your target with dark energy, attacking will deal bonus damage to your enemy.
  • Obliterate (E/Circle) - Revenant fires a volley of projectiles which randomly target enemies in front of him.
  • Reckoning (R/Triangle) - Revenant transports himself and his target to the Nether Realm, where he and his enemy must duel. While there, only Revenant can see his prey and they can only damage each other. If he succeeds in killing his enemy, he collects their bounty, earning bonus card power.

Continue here to read the full story.

Arizona Sunshine Free Content

The Arizona Sunshine website has word that a free Undead Valley update is now live in the virtual reality game. Here's word on the influx of hordes of Freds:

Undead Valley update
Originally debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, Undead Valley adds a free, all-new map to Horde mode - Arizona Sunshine's endless wave-based survival mode - that takes players to an old, zombie-infested transport warehouse-turned-underground casino close to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Not only the Nevada setting is new. Playing together cooperatively with up to 4 players or going at it solo, this time players will find the key to survival above all else is to keep moving and take full advantage of the map's indoor and outdoor areas as well as the verticality it adds to Horde mode. Players will need to gradually expand their playground by retrieving keys to locked doors and blowing up obstacles in their way in search for more weapons, hidden ammo spots and tactical positions.

Lastly, this time the familiar waves of 'Freds' that have characterized Horde mode so far have made way for an intense, endless influx of zombies: the ultimate challenge for players who are looking to test their zombie survival skills in VR.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Look: 'School note' says 7-year-old should play more video games. Signed, Epstein's Mother.

Saints Row 2 Free on GOG.com

GOG News announces the arrival of Saints Row IV: Game of the Century Edition and Gat out of Hell to their DRM-free marketplace, saying both games are on sale as part of a bigger Deep Silver Sale. They celebrate with a Saints Row 2 Giveaway offering everyone a free copy of the game for the next 48 hours. Finally, they take the occasion to remind everyone how they can get DRM-free copies of many of their Steam games through GOG Connect. Here's word:

When the Saints are involved in something, they like to go for bigger, better, and more free. So with the arrival of Saints Row IV and Gat out of Hell, they are bringing along some deep Deep Silver discounts, Saints Row 2 for FREE, and the chance to Connect your Steam Saints Row collection with GOG.com.

In collaboration with Deep Silver, we are giving away a free copy of Saints Row 2 to everybody for the next 48 hours! To claim your free game all you have to do is log in to your GOG.com account and click on the giveaway banner on the main page. Boom!, you're now ready to go mess things up in this gangsta's paradise of limitless customization and wanton mayhem.

Now, if you've already started your Saints Row collection on Steam, but would like to have these awesome games DRM-free on GOG.com as well, take advantage of GOG Connect for Saints Row series. Just go to connect.gog.com, link your Steam account and add any eligible Saints Row games to your GOG.com library.

But that’s not all: to further celebrate this event, we're running a week-long, up to -75% sale on all Deep Silver games. The offer obviously includes the entire Saints Row series, as well as the beloved Metro and Risen franchises, Sacred 2 Gold and Deadlight: Director’s Cut.

You can grab your free copy of Saints Row 2 until Saturday, April 22, 10 AM UTC.

The Exiled Unlimited Free Trial

Season 3 gets underway today for The Exiled, an MMORPG currently in early access on Steam. Developer Fairytale Distillery offers these patch notes, and explain they are replacing the game's seven-day free trial with an unlimited free trial. Here's word on that:

Unlimited Free Trial during Season #3: In order to make it easier for new players to get into The Exiled we have decided to get rid of the 7-day trial period during Season #3. Yes, that means that you and all of your friends can play The Exiled for free for the coming four weeks. Just start the game and you're in. You can (and should) still buy a Supporter Pack to unlock more character slots and get unique visuals for your character but it is not required anymore to play the game.

The Surge Trailer

With The Surge now gold and on track for release next month, a new combat trailer is online as part of what may be a surge of details on this hardcore action/RPG. The clip comes with this explanation of what it shows:

Today’s Combat Trailer challenges you to survive the deadly CREO facility, making use of The Surge’s fast, technical combat system.

As showcased in the Target, Loot & Equip Trailer, make use of vertical and horizontal attacks, as well as strike power, to target and dismember specific limbs, so you can loot what you cut. Looting upgrades for your exo-suit is key to progression, and surviving challenging physically based combat situations is a matter of skill.

Positioning and speed are vital, so make use of your exo-enhanced dodges, blocks, ducks and jumps to avoid attacks while managing stamina, ensuring you’re always in the right place to strike the limb you want, or to avoid a potentially damning blow. The rules of combat apply to both you, and your enemy : get hit in an unarmored limb, and you’ll go down faster. Take advantage of the enemy’s weaknesses while balancing your own, and you’ll walk away with his strengths.

But you’re not alone. Throughout your journey you’ll be assisted by your industrial drone, with abilities once used for CREO’s industrial needs now manipulated into a fighting machine. Shield yourself, or Burn, knock down, pull, and blast enemies at your will as you continue to fight in melee.

Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • ATOM RPG by Atom Team — Kickstarter. "The deterioration in relations between Eastern and Western blocs in the 1979 has led to a full-blown Armageddon between nuclear powers in the year 1986. The War was swift, devastating and brutal… The fact that humanity persevered was miraculous. Nineteen years have passed and it’s 2005. Both once great Empires and their allies now lie in ruins, but on top of those ruins new civilizations are slowly emerging... This story takes place on a small patch of land in the south part of the USSR where you take the role of an undercover operative from a secret bunker society called ATOM... Your mission is to find any traces of an expedition that recently stopped contacting the main base..." Thanks Acleacius via RPGWatch.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • AMD Radeon RX 580 Graphics Card on Phoronix. Linux OpenGL/Vulkan Benchmarks.
  • ASRock Z270 Taichi Intel LGA 1151 Motherboard on Overclocked Inside.
  • ASUS Prime X370-PRO AM4 Motherboard on eTeknix.
  • The Best CPUs on TechSpot.
  • DAN Cases A4-SFX Crowdfunded Mini-ITX Case on PC Perspective.
  • GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1060 Mini ITX OC 6GB Graphics Card on eTeknix.
  • iFi Audio nano iDSD LE on techPowerUp.
  • Phanteks EVOLV MATX Micro-Tower Chassis on TweakTown.
  • Quersus Evos 300 Gaming Chair on Play3r.
  • Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 570 4GB Graphics Card on eTeknix.
  • Thermalright True Spirit 140 Direct CPU Air Cooler on HARDOCP.
  • XFX RX580 8GB GTS Graphics Card on LanOC Reviews.
  • Y-CAM Protect Alarm System on Play3r.

etc.

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