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Thursday, Aug 10, 2017

  

Overwatch Getting Deathmatch

A new developer update video features Jeff Kaplan announcing that deathmatch is coming to Overwatch to go along with the game's objective-oriented modes. Word is this is already live on the PTR, and the description has an index of the topics covered:

Game director Jeff Kaplan reveals a new game mode coming soon to the Arcade: Deathmatch!

Play Deathmatch now on the PTR: http://blizz.ly/2vJuePP

00:15 - Why didn't we add Deathmatch before?
00:57 - Deathmatch is coming to the Arcade!
01:25 - Overview of Free-For-All Deathmatch
02:28 - What maps will be used for FFA Deathmatch?
02:51 - New map coming for FFA Deathmatch: Chateau Guillard
03:57 - Overview of Team Deathmatch
04:27 - What maps will be used for Team Deathmatch?
05:31 - Impact on Game Browser and Custom Games
06:34 - Never say never: Deathmatch is available right now on the PTR!

Continue here to read the full story.

For Honor Free Weekend

Steam News announces the promised free weekend is now underway in For Honor. Also, UbiBlog offers a closer look at what to expect next week when Season 3 launches. Back to the freebie, the melee combat game is free through midday Sunday and on sale through midday Monday for those who enjoy their sample. Word is: "Haven’t had a chance to experience the tactical action in For Honor? Now’s your chance! Try the game now for FREE and play all weekend from August 10th-13th. Unlock the game and you’ll keep all your progression and privileges!" Here's the pitch on the game:

Carve a path of destruction through an intense, believable battlefield in For Honor.

  • UNIQUE WARRIORS TO MASTER
    Choose your warrior amongst a variety of bold Knights, brutal Vikings and deadly Samurai, each with their own weapon set, play style and customization options.
  • MEMORABLE STORY CAMPAIGN
    Storm castles and fortresses in massive battles and confront deadly bosses in intense duels to ensure the survival of your people against a mysterious and deadly foe.
  • CONQUER FOES ALONE OR WITH FRIENDS
    For Honor offers an engaging single-player campaign and thrilling multiplayer.
  • INNOVATIVE ART OF BATTLE CONTROL SYSTEM
    Wield the weight of your weapon and feel the power of every strike through the system that puts you in total control.

Saints Row IV Free Weekend

Also free this weekend on Steam is Saints Row IV. As noted on Steam News the open world action game is likewise free until Sunday afternoon and is also on sale. Here's the refresher on this one:

The US President must save the Earth from alien overlord Zinyak using an arsenal of superpowers and strange weapons in the wildest open world game ever.

The epic conclusion to the game that changed all the rules! The Saints have gone from the crackhouse to the White House—but the Earth has been invaded and it’s up to you to free the world from Overlord Zinyak and his alien empire. With homies new and old by your side, and an arsenal of superpowers and strange weapons, you must save the world in the wildest open world game ever!

Total War: WARHAMMER DLC and Free Update Released

SEGA announces the Norsca DLC is now available for Total War WARHAMMER along with the promised free units for the fantasy strategy game. Here's word on both releases:

The Norsca race pack for Total War: WARHAMMER is out today! The barbaric, axe-wielding, monster-hunting Norscans are free to players that pre-order Total War: WARHAMMER II through a SEGA approved retailer* before release, or buy it in the first week on sale. Alternatively, they can be purchased direct from Steam as DLC for the first game.

The Norscans are unique in The Old World for their reliance of the horrific beasts and monsters of the icy northern wastes – creatures such as Skin Wolves, War Mammoths, and the elusive Fimir. Players can embark on campaigns as two Legendary Lords – Wulfrick the Wanderer and Throgg the Troll King – as they bring the other Norscan tribes to heal, embark on awesome Monster Hunting quests, and forge south to lay waste.

For more details on the content of the Norsca Race Pack click [HERE]

*Norsca Race Pack is available from SEGA approved retailers only; please check in-store for physical retailers or here for an exhaustive list of digital retailers and more details as to what constitutes a SEGA approved retailer.

Regiments of Renown
This year also marks Creative Assembly's 30th birthday! To celebrate this major milestone, we're giving away 30 Regiments of Renown to owners of Total War: WARHAMMER.

These Regiments reinforce the unit-rosters of the Beastmen, Bretonnia, Chaos, Norsca and Wood Elves with elite new units, each of which has its own skills and special abilities.

They're free to download by logging into Total War Access [Here], and activating the FREELC from the dashboard.

Full details regarding the 30th Anniversary Regiments of Renown can be found on our FAQ [Here].

Hearthstone Knights of the Frozen Throne Launches

The Hearthstone website announces the launch of the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion for Blizzard's virtual card game. Here's word:

Knights of the Frozen Throne has arrived! Card packs can be purchased and opened now!

Log in now to receive 3 free Knights of the Frozen Throne card packs*!

Knights of the Frozen Throne is live in the Americas. Please check our official forums for regional release estimates.

The Knights of the Frozen Throne
The Lich King’s entrepreneurial ventures in the mortal world are at an end, but you can now face him in Hearthstone! He’s brought all the terrifying power of the Scourge to the tavern, and each of Hearthstone’s nine classic heroes is poised to embrace the Lich King’s dark power to serve him as a Legendary Death Knight Hero card!

In Knights of the Frozen Throne, it’s up to you to decide how to wield the awesome abilities at their command!

Hero cards are an entirely new card type that are neither spell, minion, nor weapon. When played, each Death Knight Hero card replaces your hero, casts a Battlecry, dons some hefty armor, AND provides a potent new Hero Power. While each Hero manifests their power as a Death Knight in a different way, they all offer possibilities that can transform the way you play Hearthstone.

Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition and Return of the Pip-Boy Next Month

Bethesda announces the Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition, saying this will emerge from its vault on September 26th. This includes the base version of the post apocalyptic RPG sequel along with all its updates and add-ons. They say they will also offer a Pip-Boy edition at North American retailers. This limited edition will include the wearable Pip-Boy and a couple of other physical goods for $99.99. Word is:

Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition includes the fully updated original game along with all six add-ons: Nuka-World, Vault-Tec Workshop, Contraptions Workshop, Far Harbor, Wasteland Workshop and Automatron. Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition will be available on September 26 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Be sure to reserve your copy in the upcoming weeks from select digital and physical retailers.

The Pip-Boys Are Back!
To celebrate the Game of the Year Edition, Bethesda will release a limited quantity of Fallout 4 G.O.T.Y. Pip-Boy collector editions, exclusively available in North America at select retailers. The Pip-Boy Edition includes Fallout 4 Game of the Year Edition and will retail for $99.99 USD, and will also release on September 26.

Starpoint Gemini Warlords Titans Return Launches

Iceberg Interactive now offers Titans Return on Steam, a new DLC pack for Starpoint Gemini Warlords that adds more content to the capital spaceship combat game, including new storyline missions and "colossal-sized ships." The launch trailer offers a look at this in action, and they note that the game is on sale at the moment. There are more details on what to expect from this in the announcement:

Titans once ruled Gemini and they return to conquer once again with their new titan-size ships in tow. Gemini has been quite forthcoming with Concord expansions, seemingly divided and warring among themselves, but is there more to it?

Reveal the mystery surrounding the Titans and their reappearance. Explore key events from the history of Gemini and deal with their consequences first-hand.

Titans Return Key Features

  • Experience an all-new storyline
  • Three new Titan ships: Defiance, Legion and Juggernaut
  • New conquest mechanics connected to the storyline
  • Command Titan-class vessels in either Campaign or any of the Free roam scenarios
  • New Free roam scenario designed for immediate Titan-ready content
  • Unique "ultimate-aura" passive abilities of each of the Titan ships
  • Show off acquired Titan vessels at Concordia with the Titans trophy system

Continue here to read the full story.

Crashday Redline Edition Released

Steam now offers Crashday Redline Edition, an updated version of this Windows stunt racing game. This launch trailer shows off the game, and how it differs from the original Crashday from 2006. Here's the announcement:

Publisher 2tainment and developer Moonbyte Games today announced that Crashday: Redline Edition, a newly overhauled edition of the classic arcade racer Crashday (Atari, 2006), is now available for Windows PC on Steam. Crashday: Redline Edition pays homage to the original Crashday while also adding refreshed visuals and compelling new features, including improved online multiplayer capabilities, seven action-packed game modes, new modding functions and an integrated track editor.

“The community of passionate online players, track builders and modders that the original Crashday built up is extremely impressive and a true testament to the game’s unique cult following,” said Stefan Weyl, Managing Director of 2tainment. “We’re thrilled to work with Moonbyte Games and incorporate the invaluable feedback of still-active players to bring back this beloved classic. Crashday: Redline Edition is a tribute to the fans and we can’t wait for them to experience this true indie thrill ride!”

Crashday: Redline Edition features sophisticated modding support which expands the capabilities of the existing in-game track editor, allowing for new or modified vehicles, custom tracks and track editor building blocks. With full Steam Workshop integration, players are not limited to their own custom created mods; sharing and downloading player-made content is easier than ever before. In fact, more than 100 mods are expected to be available within the first few weeks of the game’s release.

With a rocking heavy metal soundtrack, an arsenal of steel-shredding weapons, all-new power-ups, a realistic damage system and impressive replays that highlight the most spectacular action, Crashday: Redline Edition guarantees adrenaline-loaded fun for die-hard fans of the classic as well as those newly discovering the racing title!

Crashday: Redline Edition features seven modes of over-the-top gameplay. In addition to the traditional Race Mode, players can demonstrate their skills with ridiculous stunts and breathtaking jumps in Stunt Show Mode or get creative by using any means possible to be the last driver standing in the thrilling Wrecking Match. In Hold The Flag, the “flag bearer” must pass through as many checkpoints as possible before getting run down by adversaries. The explosive Pass the Bomb and Bomb Run modes add nail-biting suspense by challenging players to use their skillful driving to avoid detonating deadly bombs. Lastly, players can preview a track and hone their skills in perfect peace without any limitations in the Test Drive Mode.

Continue here to read the full story.

Go West of Loathing, Young Man

West of Loathing is now available on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux. This action/adventure set in the old west comes from Asymmetric, developer of the similarly styled Kingdom of Loathing, sharing the same stick-figure graphics and sense of humor. Or as they say, "West of Loathing is a single-player, story-heavy, funny as hell adventure/role-playing game that answers the burning question: 'What would Skyrim be like if you played as a bean-slinging stick figure in a ten gallon hat?'" The launch trailer shows off both along with some gameplay, and the announcement has some details:

About West of Loathing
Leave your family farm and head west to find your fortune in a huge, humorous game inspired by classics adventure/RPGs Quest for Glory and Paper Mario. West of Loathing features:

  • A sprawling open world: Traverse snake-infested gulches, punch skeletons wearing cowboy hats, grapple with demon cows, and investigate a wide variety of disgusting spittoons -- nearly 100 unique locations to explore!
  • A goofy spin on good ol' RPG gameplay: Charm your way out of trouble as a silver-tongued Snake Oiler, plumb the refried mysteries of the cosmos as a wise and subtle Beanslinger, or let your fists do the talking as a fierce Cow Puncher.
  • A "colorful" cast of stick-figure characters: Interact with dozens of NPCs and hundreds of enemies -- some of whom are good, many of whom are bad, and a few of whom are ugly.
  • A gag around every corner: Wordplay and dad jokes abound -- along with at least one drunken horse, more than 50 hats, and liberal use of the Oxford comma.

Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider Trailer

This trailer offers a look at gameplay from Death of the Outsider, the upcoming expansion for Dishonored 2. The add-on is coming to Arkane's assassination sequel on September 15th, and the clip is accompanied by this post with some details on what to expect:

After the events of Dishonored 2, things might finally seem calm for Billie Lurk and her former mentor Daud – but a new storm is brewing in the Empire of the Isles. In the first standalone adventure in the award-winning Dishonored series, Billie will play a key role in the bloody battle against the black-eyed bastard himself, the Outsider. A former killer-for-hire in search of redemption, Billie will take on one last job and pull off the ultimate assassination – and the Empire will never be the same again. Get your first look at Dishonored: Death of the Outsider in action in this gameplay trailer, featuring Rosario Dawson, Michael Madsen and Robin Lord Taylor returning as Billie, Daud and the Outsider, respectively.

See a new side of Karnaca as Death of the Outsider takes you through its gritty underbelly. Investigate mysterious cults, infiltrate underground fight clubs, and even pull off a bank heist as you search for a way to do the impossible: kill a god. Playing as a new assassin, you’ll have access to slew of powerful new supernatural abilities, weapons and gadgets, all of which are designed to help you cut a bloody swath through Karnaca and leave your mark on the history. Or perhaps you’ll choose to be merciful and use your skills to slip unnoticed through the world. In true Arkane fashion, the intricately designed levels allow for a wide array of playstyles, with branching paths and heavy choices that will greatly affect the outcome of your mission.

Continue here to read the full story.

Moons of Madness Announced

This trailer offers a look at Moons of Madness, a just-announced H.P. Lovecraft-inspired psychological horror game set on Mars. Indie developer Rock Pocket Games says this will come to PCs and consoles next year, offering the following details in the meantime:

Critically acclaimed independent game developer Rock Pocket Games announced today that their new H.P. Lovecraft inspired Martian tale Moons of Madness will blast off to PS4, Xbox One and PC in 2018. Moons of Madness is a first person, psychological horror game that explores the internal struggles of astronaut Shane Newehart and the supernatural events that occur on research station Trailblazer Alpha, the first scientific outpost on the planet Mars.

In Moons of Madness, Rock Pocket Games integrates the cosmicism style found in H.P. Lovecraft’s hallmark to the game’s narrative, environment and gameplay; the sense that ordinary life is a thin shell over a reality that is so alien and abstract in comparison that merely contemplating it would damage the sanity of the ordinary person.

To render this lyrical experience on screen, Moons of Madness rely on three main core mechanics:

  • Combining hard science, based on meticulous analysis of NASA and Space X research, with Lovecraftian horror.
  • An innovative feature called “Zone Outs” that simulates Lovecraftian madness. Players are exposed to hallucinations and visions they play through as part of the game. They have to understand what the visions are expressing as they foreshadow certain events mapping out the character’s history.
  • Exploring mental illness through various game modes without antagonizing the medical condition itself.

Continue here to read the full story.

MetaMorph: Dungeon Creatures Trailer

Firefly offers this trailer introducing The Rabbit, the lead character in MetaMorph: Dungeon Creatures. Word is this rascal is "a ferocious anthropomorphic warrior rabbit with a split personality and the ability to morph between the physical forms of fallen heroes." Here's word on both the character and the upcoming action game:

“The Rabbit holds it all together, she is the base form from which all other morphs flow and core to your plan of attack” said Simon Bradbury, Lead Designer at Firefly. “It turns out that even with a suit of armour and a pair of massive swords rabbits are still nimble warriors! As good at vaulting away from trouble as she is at getting into it, the Rabbit excels when dealing with hordes of lesser enemies. I love her almost instant charge attack, massive damage and a useful get out of jail card!”

An original title developed by a small internal team at Firefly, MetaMorph: Dungeon Creatures is the developer’s first ever action game. Sharing a great deal of strategy DNA with the Stronghold series of ‘castle sim’ games, MetaMorph is also Firefly’s first ever release on Early Access. The British developer will be working alongside its core community to develop a fun action-strategy game for both Stronghold fans and the passionate audience of Early Access gamers on Steam. After the successful prototyping and public alphas for Stronghold Kingdoms, Firefly has every confidence that this similar style of community co-development will result in another addictive, successful PC game on Steam.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Lawbreakers Launches to Great Reviews, Poor Sales

GITHYP has some analysis of the launch numbers for LawBreakers, the just released first person shooter from Cliff Bleszinski and Boss Key Productions (thanks PCGamesN). Unfortunately these don't look good, as they note a significant drop off in players from the beta period, and say the game topped out at about 3000 concurrent players. This makes for unfavorable comparisons with the launch of Battleborn, which had a much bigger launch, and is still considered a flop. Here's word:

Now, LawBreakers has officially launched on Steam, and despite very positive reviews, the player counts are lower than ever. 60% lower than the beta to be exact with the game’s launch night topping out at 3k concurrent players.

We had originally compared the low player counts to one of last year’s biggest class-based shooter flops, Battleborn. Sadly, that comparison might now be a bit generous considering that Battleborn launched with a peak of 12k players which ranked it as high as #19 on Steam’s most played list.

The beta for LawBreakers hit #73 on Steam at its best, but since the official launch, the playerbase has been struggling to crack Steam’s top 100. With only a peak of 2.7k players on Tuesday and daily lows already close to dropping below 1k concurrent players, it’s unlikely that LawBreakers will be able to do much better in its current state.

Conan Exiles Early Access Phase 2 Next Week

In June Funcom announced a free expansion for Conan Exiles is coming on August 16th, and just last week they announced this will be called The Frozen North, while offering a few new details on what it will include. Now they also reveal this will mark the beginning of phase 2 of the game's early access period, as early access and survival games go together like peanut butter and jelly. At this point this phase looks like it will be around a year long, as they say the game should officially launch in Q1 2018. Here's an Early Access Phase #2: Bigger and Better trailer, which explains how much of the game is revamped in the expansion. Here are some details:

Conan Exiles is planned to leave Early Access and see full launch on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in Q1 2018. While the team has been able to expand and improve the game significantly the first six months of Early Access, there are several months left and the team will continue to work side-by-side with the community to realize Conan Exiles’ full potential.

To dig deeper into the many additions and improvements made to Conan Exiles, players can visit www.conanexiles.com/updates for a full overview. They can also head over to www.conanexiles.com/thefrozennorth to read up on the upcoming free expansion update.

“I am very proud of the team and the work they have done so far in Early Access,” says Creative Director Joel Bylos. “They have really been working their arses off fixing bugs, squashing exploits, improving core features, and they have also added entire new features and content such as siege warfare, climbing, dungeons, and much more. They have also built this entire expansion update which makes the game bigger and more chock full of features than ever before. We’re certainly not done and we still have a long way to go until full launch, but we are very proud of what Conan Exiles is today and we are very grateful for all the support, feedback, and input we have received from our community thus far.”

Since launching into PC Early Access on January 31 st 2017, the development team has been working tirelessly to introduce new content, improve mechanics, and eradicate bugs and exploits. The team has added siege weapons, a new dungeon, a dye system, new armor and weapons, new decorations, avatar defenses, new building pieces, and much more.

Continue here to read the full story.

Upside-Down Dimensions Early Access

Steam now offers early access to Upside-Down Dimensions, a side-scrolling action/adventure mashup set in ancient Japan. The Early Access/Out Now Trailer actually preceded the game by a couple of weeks, and it offers a good look at the various gameplay elements this brings together. Here's an explanation:

KISS Ltd and Hydra Interactive Entertainment are thrilled to announce that as of today, PC gamers can enjoy their stunning paper platformer via Steam Early Access. Upside-Down Dimensions is an enchanting and unique game that combines action, hack n slash, RPG, stealth, platform and co-op puzzles for a truly remarkable gameplay experience.

A peaceful and colourful paper world is about to be torn apart as the evil Dark Shogun prepare to make their last stand in the final attempt to bring ruin to this tranquil kingdom. In their way are two plucky paper heroes, a boy and a girl. Play as the two characters separated into different dimensions as you flip between these worlds to battle the villainous Dark Shogun and his minions.

Step into a world that’s been fractured in two as you use your wits, agility and samurai sword to turn fearsome Japanese warriors into heaps of confetti. Summon the power of magical origami power-ups and allies to help defeat and overcome evil for ever.

“We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved with Upside-Down Dimensions. The gorgeous paper graphics will draw players in, and they’ll stay for the challenging gameplay.” Said Daniel Parente, CEO and Game Director at Hydra Interactive Entertainment. “Early Access is such a great platform for us and we can’t wait to start hearing from the community.”

Darryl Still, Co-Founder and CEO of Kiss Ltd said “Launching on Early Access means we can get Upside-Down Dimensions in front of players at the earliest possible opportunity. This allows them to feed back to the developer and help refine this fantastic game. We can’t wait to see Upside-Down Dimensions continue its evolution ahead of full commercial launch.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Pankapu Next Month

Publisher Playdius and developer Too Kind Studio announce a September 20th release date for Pankapu, their action/platformer. They illustrate the news with this teaser trailer, though this is very brief, and does not feature gameplay. They are planning on showing off more of the game soon, though, as they are showing it off in Cologne in a couple of weeks at Gamescom. Here's their description of what to expect:

Pankapu is a colorful action platformer in which you can transform freely from Warrior to Archer or Mage. Switch wisely between your three Aegis and master them in order to fulfill your destiny and defeat Gangreyn, the Prince of Nightmares.

Told in the manner of a fable read to a child, the game has two levels of reading: the story of Pankapu, epic and naïve in the DreamWorld, and the one about Djaha’rell's life, in the real-world, dark and tragic.

  • Float, aim and strike! Switch between Aegis in real time to avoid traps and defeat your enemies.
  • Infuse your weapons with the power of Dreams and unlock more than 35 skills!
  • Reveal your true power by facing huge bosses!
  • Collect all the hidden Mudjins and discover Djaha'rell's full story.
  • Listen to the oniric OST of Ganaé and Hiroki Kikuta.

Continue here to read the full story.

Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition Content Trailer

A new content reveal trailer offers a look at what to expect from Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition when it is released next month. The Legendary Edition of the Warhammer and tackle football mashup will be a standalone release for newcomers, but will also come as a discounted expansion for owners of the original Blood Bowl 2. As the clip's title suggests, it outlines all the new content in the new version. Here's the accompanying explanation:

The Legendary Edition doesn't only bring 8 new races, many new Star-Players and cheerleaders gone wild: also brand new is the single-player mode Eternal League, an unending career as a coach for any of your available teams. Compete in matches across multiple seasons, participating in tournaments with different sizes and rules, as you keep evolving and levelling up your team.

The second new single-player mode is the Challenge Mode. This mode presents the player with crazy and wild match situations, which have to be solved within a single turn with a set of pre-rolled dice. These challenges could be anything from sending a Thrall six-feet-under, pushing an ogre off the pitch, or scoring the most improbable touchdown of your Blood Bowl career.

Beyond these exciting new features are the new Khemri stadium, even more insane matches with the All-Star teams and the Mixed Teams, and many new tools and options enriching an already deep multiplayer experience. These will be revealed as we get closer and closer to the release of Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition!

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I was rooting around the archive here to test my recollection that today is some sort of gaming anniversary. Seems that memory was mistaken, but I did notice that 12 years ago I wrote about fighting a little pain in my hand and wrist. I mentioned two factors, a switch in mouse brands from Microsoft to Logitech and my use of the right mouse button as the move forward command in shooters. In reading this it struck me as a good illustration of what a creature of habit I am. The right mouse button thing came from the original DOOM or Wolfenstein 3D, so I was still using that over 10 years later. And while most gamers had long favored Logitech mice, I stuck with MS until some point in 2005. The good news is somewhere around that time I finally adjusted to properly using the "W" for forward in my WASD configuration, which eased my physical pain, and has made it easier to use games with a near default configuration. I also stuck with Logitech mice for almost the entire interim, but I recently switched to a Razer. We'll see if that ends up standing the test of time for me. I like the mouse, but I'm noticing a little squeak at times from the wheel, so it remains to be seen whether or not this results in a decade of brand loyalty.

Squeaky Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: StrikeForce Kitty.
Link: Acting Madly: the secret history of the lost MAD-alike magazines of the satire boom.
Story: Walmart apologizes for sign marketing guns as back-to-school items.
Media: On The Wings of a Battman - Cyanide & Happiness Shorts.
Fighter Fixes Opponent's Dislocated Shoulder. Hurts his left throwing a right?
Follow-up: Alcohol is more poisonous than copper in Moscow Mules.
The Funnies: Tactical Capture Cable - Behind the GIFs. Thanks Kxmode.

Wednesday, Aug 09, 2017

Rainbow Six Siege Launches Dedicated Servers

The new version 2.2.2 patch for Rainbow Six Siege is now live, offering a bunch of updates for the first-person shooter, including the promised addition of dedicated servers. This post has all the details, and here's a bit:

The 2.2.2 patch is arriving on all platforms on August 9th, 2017. This is a very important patch as we will be deploying the foundation for many upcoming improvements to the game in Season 3, alongside some key bug fixes. Operation Health will be concluding with the Season 3 Title Update, and we have a lot of exciting changes coming up.

DEDICATED SERVERS FOR CUSTOM MATCHES
While Custom Matches have been hosted on dedicated servers since February 2016, we will be reducing the requirements to host a Custom Match and have it remain on dedicated servers. Previously, players were required to have a full lobby (10 players) within 10 minutes of starting the match for it to be hosted on a server, as opposed to being hosted via peer to peer. Once this feature has been deployed, you will only need two players in a Custom Match lobby to ensure that your match will be hosted on a dedicated server. By reducing the total number of players required to host a Custom Match on a dedicated server, it will open up more possibilities for an improved gaming experience, even when you don’t want to play a full 5v5 match.

Another impact of the move to dedicated servers for Custom Matches is that player hosted online lobbies will no longer be available. For players to host a match alone, they will need to utilize the LAN mode.

DEDICATED SERVERS FOR TERRORIST HUNT
Host migration in Terrorist Hunt is going to be a thing of the past. We will be hosting all Terrorist Hunt matches on dedicated servers starting in the near future. This will allow for a more stable experience for those of you who wish to take on the White Masks!

DEDICATED SERVERS FOR IN-GAME VOICE CHAT WITH VIVOX INTEGRATION
Communication between teammates in Rainbow Six is essential. With that in mind, we will be implementing an improved integrated voice chat service for all platforms that will be hosted on dedicated servers. Vivox will allow for more clear voice communication, all while using less total bandwidth. This new voice chat solution will provide all players with an ability to more clearly communicate with their teammates, especially after one of them Fuzes the hostage. We will be rolling this out to PC first, and console deployment later to ensure a high quality launch.

MORE ACCURATE VAULTING ANIMATION WHILE AIMING
The animation for vaulting through a window while aiming has been tweaked to reflect where the vaulter is aiming. In the past, the aiming animation took a short amount of time to reflect where the vaulter was actually aiming, which sometimes cause some confusion for an enemy watching the vault. This change in 2.2.2 will fix this so that the enemy player will know where the vaulter is aiming.

Paragon's Game-Changing New Dawn Update

Epic Games announces a new update is now live in Paragon bringing a game-changing rework of their third-person MOBA. They are calling this "The New Dawn," and this page has the complete release notes on the new version. There is also a video providing a look at new systems including new items, new masteries, balance changes, and more. Here's a rundown on what's changed:

A NEW WAY TO BUILD
“The New Dawn” brings an entirely new way for players to build Heroes. Players can explore 100 new cards with unique abilities, along with a brand new Gem system to augment Hero stats and unlock unique abilities. This new system puts an unlimited variety of power in players’ hands and comes with a completely new look and way to play.

ATTACK FASTER
Attack speed has been increased and cooldowns have been reduced for all Heroes. This change embraces the level of immersion Epic set out to create with the launch of Paragon. Basic attacks and abilities feel snappier and more responsive than ever.

BALANCE REBUILT; IGGY & SCORCH GET AN UPGRADE
The entire gameplay balance has been rebuilt from the ground up. Every Hero, tower, and minion have new baseline stat attributes. Additionally, our friends Iggy & Scorch have gotten a complete rework. The pair’s abilities have changed from top to bottom, sporting new Turrets, a new attack, and a completely new Ultimate ability. You can see the new Iggy & Scorch in action here.

...AND MORE
“The New Dawn” update is a huge change for Paragon and presents a new path for the game going forward. For even more information on the changes, head over to “The New Dawn” page for a complete rundown of what players can expect when getting into the game.

Continue here to read the full story.

Rez Infinite Surprise Release

Enhance Games announces the launch of Rez Infinite today via the Oculus Store and Steam, offering a Windows edition of this action shooter that's already made its mark on PS4 and PSVR. This supports Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, as well as those old-fashioned monitors you don't even strap to your face. For the next week the game is on sale for 20% off, and it will also come along with free Rez Infinite Digital Deluxe DLC. The PC launch trailer provides a look, and the announcement provides further details:

Enhance Games announced that its multi-award winning game Rez Infinite launched on Steam and Oculus Home today. Originally released exclusively for the PlayStation 4 and PS VR in October 2016, Rez Infinite quickly earned high praise from critics and audiences globally, being touted as ‘the killer app for VR’ by many. In addition to being the top rated PS VR title on Metacritic, Rez Infinite has collected over 40 awards and nominations including Best VR Game Winner at The Game Awards 2016 and a nomination for the Audio Achievement category at BAFTA 2017 amongst others.

“We are extremely excited to finally bring Rez/Rez Infinite to PC. It was a long time coming but now we have the best version yet, “ says Enhance Games founder and Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi. “With 4K support, up to double the texture quality, advanced graphic options as well as multiple controller options, we hope to introduce our game to a new audience who’ve never played Rez before and those who haven’t picked it up in a while. It can also finally be experienced in VR with Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE.” Enhance Games also announced it will be releasing Rez Infinite for Daydream later this year.

Continue here to read the full story.

Arena Early Access

Early access to Arena is now available on Steam, offering an action game with virtual reality support. This takes a look at our sci-fi future by offering multiplayer combat using drones, and obvious area of interest for SurrealVR Game Studios, as they also have another game in early access called Drone Fighters. Rather than just drone on about this we'll just point to the Arena trailer and pass along these details:

Arena is a game from the creators of Drone Fighters. Although it’s a very different kind of game, you’ll use the same drone and avatar if you play both games as those are automatically synched. Just like Drone Fighters, Arena also supports cross platform play between non-VR PC, Vive and Oculus players.

There are 2 types of competitions in the Early Access version, Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. We will be adding new modes with upcoming patches. Game controls are tuned to the platform, and we’ve tried to make it fun whatever your device of choice to play Arena.

As with all SurrealVR powered games, you can customize your drone and avatar in great detail, and use the same configuration for all other SurrealVR titles.

KEY FEATURES

  • Cross paly between regular PC and VR (HTC Vive and Oculus Rift with Touch controllers are supported)
  • Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch games
  • Unlock drones and weapons as you go
  • Build your unique fighter avatar and drone with the SurrealVR customization system
  • Unique game with a custom control system optimized for gamepad and VR.
  • Learn, master and crash your opponents. Practice, practice, practice...

Continue here to read the full story.

Gunball Adds Rift Support

An update to Gunball adds Oculus Rift support to this VR sports game that launched for HTC Vive. This post has details on what else comes along with this update:

Gunball has been updated to support the Oculus Rift with Touch controllers! The core game remains the same, so Oculus users get to experience the same awesome experience that Vive users have been getting!

The game works with roomscale tracking, but you can play with both 180 degree and 360 degree tracking setups.

The key difference between Vive and Oculus controls is that you bring up the pause menu by clicking in the analog stick on Touch controllers. Otherwise, all game interactions still use triggers, and the game plays the same!

Patch Notes:

  • Oculus Touch controller support added
  • Practice range tutorial has been updated to give correct instructions to Oculus users
  • Fixed an error when players quit levels during the 3,2,1 countdown

RAID: World War II Next Month

Starbreeze announces September 26th is the release date for the PC edition of RAID: World War II, saying the console editions of this co-op shooter will follow in October. They also reveal the game will feature John Cleese helping fight the Nazis (he walks the walk and he talks the talk). There's more on the game on the official website, and here's the release announcement:

Prepare to fight dirty and dictate new world disorder with RAID: World War II as Starbreeze, Lion Game Lion and 505 Games today revealed release dates for the highly-anticipated shooter, starring John Cleese as the British intelligence officer Control. Coming to PC on September 26 th and digital and physical retail formats of PlayStation®4 and Xbox One this October, the action-packed four-player cooperative first-person shooter is set during the terrifying time when the German war machine was tearing through Europe, and hope was in short supply.

Known for contributing to critically-acclaimed heist game PAYDAY 2, developers Lion Game Lion lead by Game Director Ilija Petrusic (Co-founder of OVERKILL Software and lead level designer of PAYDAY: The Heist and PAYDAY 2) and Starbreeze Publishing bring their trademark fun and exciting cooperative gameplay, stealth mechanics and superb sound design to this thrilling period shooter. RAID’s unique character classes, hero special abilities, customizable weapons and uniforms, and real-life war-torn locations bring the surreal conflict to life as players fight for their freedom through sabotage, robbery, and assassination of the dastardly Nazi regime.

“The goal in RAID: World War II is simple – sabotage, assassinate and pulverize everything bearing a swastika – mess with Hitler and steal his treasures,” said Ilija Petrusic, Game Director at Lion Game Lion. “With the Nazi regime as the ultimate evil, RAID brings together four unique characters with playstyles that complement and enhance each other as they fight and steal across Europe.”

In RAID’s world-wide fight against evil, four prisoners of war are freed by an ominous secret British intelligence officer, “Mrs. White,” who needs to take down Hitler and his Third Reich once and for all. Players will utilize key game features to save Europe from the Nazi threat and get rich, including:

  • Class Based Gameplay – Players choose from four different classes – Recon, Assault, Insurgent, or Demolitions – each with their own highly developed skill tree that allows for various play styles;
  • War Cries – Each character class can unleash their own powerful War Cry to buff their player or the entire team;
  • Character Customization – RAID’s four heroes represent the main combatants from the European theatre of WWII: Great Britain, USA, Germany and the Soviet Union. Each character possesses a unique look and a customizable uniform;
  • Lethal Weapon Modifications – the Second World War was infamous for arming the world with deadly and experimental weapons that went “bang” in lethal fashion. RAID: World War II gives players access to an array of precision killing machines complete with weapons upgrades such as custom barrels, stocks, fore grips, optic sights and much more to satisfy a variety tastes;
  • Operations Mode – RAID: World War II offers players the opportunity to play through extended versions of their favorite missions by undertaking the “Operations” gameplay mode. Operations challenges players through a chained series of highly modified raids, featuring new storylines, and added content and objectives;
  • Challenge Cards – By participating and completing successful raids, players will earn Challenge Cards that allow them to customize the rules of a raid in a give-and-take fashion. For example, enemy ammo drops will increase, providing players with more ammunition to hold enemies at bay; however, the damage inflicted by enemies will be greater;
  • Real-World Locations – The game’s setting takes place in real-world locations across war-torn Europe. From mighty m dominating the heart of Berlin, to the idyllic bridge over the Elbe, players will travel through a war-torn Europe and bring destruction to Nazis in every corner of Hitler’s Reich.

The Reich will get hit hard and the personal riches of the Fuhrer will be stolen on PC September 26 and on PlayStation®4 and Xbox One Tuesday, Oct. 10 in North America, and Friday, Oct. 13 in Europe, Middle East and Asia. The game’s ESRB rating is pending. For more information, visit www.raidworldwar2.com.

The Awakening Teaser

Kalypso Media announces plans to unveil a new RPG called The Awakening later this month at Gamescom. They offer this teaser trailer and the only other tidbit they are offering for now is a quotation in the description saying: "An ancient proverb warns: 'Never trust a demon, for betrayal is their very blood'." Continue here to read the full story.

StarCraft II API Released

Blizzard announces the release of the StarCraft II API, which will allow the public to participate in the creation of new AI tools for the RTS sequel. Here's a bit:

On behalf of Blizzard Entertainment, the StarCraft II development team is very pleased to announce the release of the StarCraft II API! We recognize the efforts made by researchers over the years to advance AI using the original StarCraft. With the StarCraft II API, we’re providing powerful tools for researchers, gamers, and hobbyists to utilize the game as a platform to further advance the state of AI research. This API also exposes a sandbox for the community to experiment with, using both learning based AI and scripted AI to build new tools that can benefit the StarCraft II and AI communities.

We’ve also done a lot of work to allow this API to run at scale in cloud infrastructure. Today, we are releasing the result of this work in the form of a fully functioning Linux package designed to run in the cloud for research purposes. This is a standalone Linux build optimized to only work with the API.

We’ve learned a lot during our collaboration with DeepMind on this project, and we’re very excited to get these tools into your hands to see what amazing things we can create together.

Ys SEVEN This Month

XSEED Games announces Ys SEVEN will be released on August 31st, presuming they don't get a DMCA notice from George Costanza over the title. You can read more about the game on the Ys SEVEN website (unless you are sensibly avoiding installing Adobe Flash). Here's a hyperactive PC teaser trailer to show how the game's survived the porting process from the PSP, and here are more details:

XSEED Games, the independent-minded console publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today announced that Ys SEVEN, developer Nihon Falcom’s first entry in a new generation of its beloved series of action RPGs, will launch on Windows PC via Steam, GOG, and The Humble Store by Humble Bundle on August 30 with a launch week discount of 10% off the regular price of $24.99, €24.99, and £19.99. The first fully 3D entry in the Ys series, Ys SEVEN is set to provide a robust offering on PC compared to the original release on PSP (PlayStation®Portable) system in 2010. The title will feature enhanced HD visuals at 60fps, controller support, and other improvements that should delight seasoned fans and new players alike as they explore the story of the kingdom of Altago.

About Ys SEVEN
Offering satisfyingly fast-paced, real-time action, Ys SEVEN features a combat system that involves a three-member battle party with the ability to swap among characters at will. Series veterans and newcomers alike can expect to be immersed in a rich, vibrant world containing over 30 hours of action-packed gameplay and an epic storyline wherein players must reunite the estranged five tribes who serve and protect the Five Great Dragons – deified beings who may well be the world’s last hope. Ys SEVEN was the first title in the long-running action RPG franchise to reach a wide mainstream audience in the West, and the first title in this historically PC-centric series to be developed from the ground up for a console or handheld system since the mid-‘90s.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Starflight Remake Plans?

Brian Fargo tweets a response to a question on Twitter asking if inXile is making a Starflight remake (thanks D). He says they are not, but intriguingly indicates that someone else may be making some sort of new version of the classic space exploration game first released in 1986. He doesn't say this is definitive, but suggests little birds are suggesting things:

Not us but a little birdy might have slipped that a reboot is in the works.

Valve Teases Artifact: The Dota Card Game

Valve released this video at The International last night, unveiling plans for a new game called Artifact. There's not much for now but a logo, a sub-headline calling this "The Dota Card Game," and a caption saying 2018. The comments on the video indicate fans were hoping this would be Half-Life 3 or Left 4 Dead 3. We can't disagree, but this is what we're getting. Continue here to read the full story.

Blitzkrieg 3 Demo

A Blitzkrieg 3 demo is now available on Steam, just as suddenly and unexpectedly as the military onslaught for which the real-time strategy series is named (thanks Frans). There's no word on the demo explaining its contents, so here's the short description of the game itself:

Blitzkrieg 3 is an online WW2 RTS made for true admirers of strategic mastery! Challenge your tactical skills in historical campaigns and defeat other players or powerful Neural Network AI in competitive matches.

No Man's Sky Patch Plans

This post has details on a version 1.3 patch that's "coming soon" to No Man's Sky, Hello Games' space exploration adventure. Sean Murray explains their relative silence over the year since it was released is because they've been working on a bit update. Here's the plan:

It’s been a year since No Man’s Sky first released, and it’s been an exciting, intense and emotional year for us at Hello Games. We have been quiet, but we have been listening intently.

We’ve spent that year working hard on free updates for this game our team cares about so much.

Update 1.3 will release this week and will be available for free to all No Man’s Sky players. We’re calling it Atlas Rises. It focuses on improving the central story of No Man’s Sky and adds the ability to quick travel between locations using portals. Patch notes will be made available shortly before the update goes live.

What we do is much more important than what we say, but since launch we have sometimes focused too much on that.

We wanted to reach out and celebrate the devoted community that means so much to us. We launched Waking Titan to try to do that.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

  • Dirt 4 on [H]ardOCP. Real Gameplay Video Card Performance Review.
  • Total War: Warhammer Norsca on PC Invasion.

Hardware Reviews

  • Alphacool Eisbaer 240 AIO CPU Cooler on Modders-Inc.
  • ASUS ROG Zephyrus Gaming Laptop on TechSpot.
  • Intel Core i7-7820X X-Series Skylake-X 8C-16T CPU on TweakTown.
  • QNAP TVS-473 SMB NAS on TweakTown.

etc.

Out of the Blue

Today is the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki and the resignation of Richard Nixon. It is also National Book Lover's Day here in the U.S. I do love me some books, though I am not one of those who is stuck on the paper kind, as I am perfectly happy reading on my phone or Kindle. Actually, it's a miracle that I am not expressing some sort of dislike of printed matter, at least at the moment. This is because about 14 sets of bookshelves worth (seven shelves each piled two deep) are a major obstacle remaining for us to pack up our house. Most of these are MrsBlue's, who has spent a career in publishing, and I've been forbidden from participating in packing them up. My bonfire idea was summarily ruled out, but we may be nearing the point where I will finally be allowed to take control of this project.

Bookish Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Top Speed Sport Cars.
Flappy Space Program.
Stories: Hold Your Nose: Burglar Doesn't Flush, Gets Caught by DNA Evidence.
Copper mugs used for Moscow Mule could cause food poisoning.
Mazda hails more efficient petrol engine. Funny, the Wankel rotary was an epic fuel hog.
Science: How to watch the Perseid meteor shower this week.
First Time Seeing a Total Solar Eclipse? Check Out This Video from NASA.
New device can heal with a single touch, and even repair brain injuries.
Media: Blacksmith - Epic NPC Man - VLDL (Complicated item crafting in warcraft diablo and skyrim).
TEENS & COLLEGE KIDS PLAY JOY OF CREATION- STORY MODE - Horror Game (React- Gaming).
(12) Mr. Plinkett's Ghostbusters (2016) Review.
Follow-up: Chic “Impossible Burger” that bleeds meets gristly FDA that’s not having it.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.
Barry From Work - Kat Swenski - 268 - Behind the GIFs. Thanks Kxmode.



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