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Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

  

Overwatch Deathmatch Live

The Overwatch Forums offer patch notes for a new update that's now live in Blizzard's multiplayer shooter. This includes a bunch of fixes and changes, including the promised addition of Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes. Here's the section covering that:

New Game Modes: Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch

Two new game modes have been added to the Arcade: Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch!

In Deathmatch, eight players go head-to-head until one player scores 20 points. Players will earn 1 point whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage. This scoring will be tracked in a brand-new scoreboard. The first player to 20 points wins!

In Team Deathmatch, two teams of four players face off until one team scores 30 points. Players will earn 1 point for their team whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point for their team whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage. If players are resurrected before they respawn, the corresponding point for their death will be deducted from the enemy team’s score. This scoring will be tracked in our default scoreboard. The first team to 30 points wins!

Both modes will play out on a selection of maps from our existing pool:

  • Hanamura
  • Horizon Lunar Colony
  • Temple of Anubis
  • Volskaya Industries
  • Dorado
  • Eichenwalde
  • Hollywood
  • King’s Row
  • (TDM only) Black Forest
  • (TDM only) Castillo
  • (TDM only) Ecopoint: Antarctica
  • (TDM only) Necropolis

We’ve made several modifications to many of these maps (including restricting play to a specific area and developing a special respawn system). We’re also introducing a brand new map specifically for Deathmatch: Château Guillard! Learn more about this map below.

Both modes will be available for play in Custom Games. Watch our developer update for additional insight.

New Deathmatch Map: Château Guillard

Château Guillard is located near Annecy in southeastern France. For hundreds of years, it was the estate of the influential Guillard family, until it gradually fell into disrepair after the family's power waned in the decades after the Revolution. Recently, the château has found a new owner: the Talon agent Widowmaker, who has returned to her family's ancestral home.

ARK: Survival Evolved Officially Launches

Steam News announces that ARK: Survival Evolved is now available, or more to the point, after well over 122,000 reviews, the survival game is now out of early access. Also now in official release is ARK: Survival Of The Fittest, the multiplayer arena game based on the same premise. This post covers the news in more detail. Here's a bit:

Over the past 26 months, the game has undergone massive improvements thanks to feedback from the community. We now launch with four ARKs - including the Norse & Scottish Highland-Inspired "Ragnarok" -, five bosses, over one hundred creatures to tame and encounter, the inclusion of the Primitive+ alternate game mode & Procedural ARKs, hundreds of mods, total User Interface overhauls, general performance enhancements, bug fixes, quality of life improvements, countless additional gameplay plus story elements, and... a toilet.

With the “1.0” release version, you can experience the full story of ARK: Survival Evolved! Can you make it to the heart of the ARK and discover the shocking secret that lies buried within? While it may seem strange for a survival game to have a “single player” mode with an “ending”, we’re happy that surviving the ARK provides a measure of closure should you seek it, while also pointing the way to what comes next.

Rest assured this complete version of the game will still be receiving regular updates, and this is not the end of the ARK saga, but only the beginning of the next phase, for great adventures and awe-inspiring new experiences are just around the corner…

Absolver Launches

Publisher Devolver Digital and developer Sloclap announce the release of Absolver, saying the multiplayer combat game is now available for Windows and PlayStation 4. The Windows edition can be found on GOG.com (who include Furi for free) and Steam, and you can find more details on the Absolver website. Here's the launch trailer and here's the news:

Independent developer Sloclap and Devolver Digital have launched the highly-anticipated Absolver on PlayStation 4 and PC, available now digitally and through a limited edition physical set from Special Reserve Games [absolver.devolverdigital.com].

The celebrated online melee action game launches as the debut project from developer Sloclap and the most preordered game ever from publisher Devolver Digital. Absolver’s release is heralded by a new launch trailer following the intertwining stories of two Prospects as they battle common foes before facing off against each another in hopes of becoming one of the storied Absolvers. [https://youtu.be/w0eypGqZtEQ].

The core of Absolver’s gameplay is its deep fighting mechanics and online combat. Prospects will enter the plains of Adal alone and encounter both AI-controlled opponents and live players through Absolver’s shared online experience structure. Players will roam the world as their own independent ‘server’ as the game seamlessly introduces other Prospects into their game experience. Once players encounter one another they will have a choice to engage in friendly sparring, more aggressive PvP combat, or cooperative PvE play with up to three players at once. Through online cooperative play each Prospect will be able to learn new moves from one another, progress on their path to Absolution, and gain experience points that can be spent on one of six attributes to improve their skills.

Absolver also features a unique fighting school mechanic where more advanced players can create their own school of combat that other players may join. The school creator effectively becomes a mentor to these students and this relationship allows for the mentor’s students to use their Combat Deck and the more robust catalog of more advanced moves that comes with it.

Sloclap has announced the first in many free content updates to the game to continue to expand the world of Absolver and cater to the wishes of the community. Through extensive testing and a closed beta, early players have requested features like 3 versus 3 mode, ranked matches, and a spectator mode to watch the action and jump in when it is your turn to battle. These three features will be some of the first implemented in a series of free content updates alongside new Combat Styles and moves for players’ Combat Decks.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Amazing Eternals Founders Program

Digital Extremes has opened up the promised Founders Program for The Amazing Eternals, the deck-building first-person shooter once known by the codename Keystone. The Amazing Eternals website is now offering sales of Founders Packs that run from $19.99 all the way to $249.99. These all include instant access (the $250 pack has 12 beta keys) but they also offer signups for the chance to be invited into the closed beta for free. This new trailer offers an Eternals Showcase, and the announcement has more details:

With the move from Closed Alpha to Closed Beta status, independent Canadian developer and publisher Digital Extremes is proud to announce it will launch the Founders Program for The Amazing Eternals today. Jump into the Multiverse by signing up FREE today for a chance to get into Closed Beta or enter the game instantly with the Founders Program here: www.amazingeternals.com/.

A fast-paced first-person hero shooter with deck building abilities and 1970s retro-pulp graphics, Digital Extremes' second big in-house game offers a substantial Founders Program that rewards early adopters with direct dev team access, exclusive in-game gear, instant admission to the Closed Beta, and an opportunity to support the continued development and growth of the game.

Exclusives offered only in the Founders Program vary depending on the five different tiers into which players buy. Examples include special pewter game pieces, a prototype character, gun, turret, and UFO, a voice pack, Easter Eggs and a lot more.

Continue here to read the full story.

PWND Price Drop

A Steam community announcement from Skydance Interactive announces a price drop for PWND on Steam, hoping to draw more players into this rocket arena shooter. Besides the new USD $12.99 price, they are offering further incentives to join in:

Join us this week and get 12 new PWN stamps, plus the two new special-edition skins of each influencer Vanoss and Syndicate... OOOOH yeah!

Wait. There’s even MORE pwn-tastic stuff coming!! September is chock-full of shiny new things for all of you. We’re excited to introduce another character, who will be joining our unique PWND squad with eccentric, never-seen-before abilities. Stay social, and check back for the big reveal!

It doesn’t end there! One: you’ll have a new level to play on. Two: we’re releasing the “Custom Match” game option so you can team up with friends! The thing is, it’s far easier to scheme and carry out PWN strategies when you’ve got a pod of allies- GET THOSE PWN STACKS!!

Evening Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Link of the Day: WESTEROS THE SERIES. Thanks Boing Boing.

Destiny 2 Open Beta

Open beta testing is now underway for the Windows edition of Destiny 2, Bungie's first-person shooter sequel that's due to launch in full in October. This follows a 24-hour early access beta for those who preordered the game, and the client is now available for everyone through Battle.net (aka the Blizzard desktop app). This post from last week has the details, saying the beta client is an approximately 16 GB download and that testing will run until August 31st. They also have a section on the beta on the Destiny website. Here's the open beta trailer, and here's word from its description:

Experience Destiny 2 in 4K with uncapped frame rates in the PC Open Beta August 29-31. Pre-purchase Destiny 2 on PC Exclusively at Blizzard Battle.net and get 24 hour early beta access starting on August 28.

Begin Destiny 2’s epic cinematic story campaign, fight below the surface of Nessus in the three-player cooperative Strike Inverted Spire, and enter the Crucible to put your competitive multiplayer skills to the test in two 4v4 modes. Learn more: https://www.destinythegame.com/beta

Available exclusively on Blizzard Battle.net. Download now: http://us.battle.net/en/app/

New Legends Will Rise on October 24. Pre-order: https://www.destinythegame.com/buy

Continue here to read the full story.

Dead Alliance Released

Maximum Games announces the official release of Dead Alliance, following open beta testing of this zombie-infested shooter. This is available for Windows on Steam, where it is offered as either the full game, or as a multiplayer-only version at a reduced price. They also have DLC to upgrade the multiplayer edition to the full version for those who want to do so down the road. Here's the launch trailer and here's word:

Dead Alliance™ is a fast-paced, multiplayer first-person zombie shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world, where former military bases have been turned into the only remaining city-states. Build your squad and take strategic control of bases across maps infected with zombies, using the dead themselves as weapons against your opposing faction. Armed with a variety of loadouts that range from guns to pheromone grenades, you'll face off against enemy armies and gruesome, human-eating killers - all while attempting to capture and control as many bases as possible. The world is a wasteland, and your only hope for survival is to use the dead...or join them.

  • Frenzied Multiplayer Action. Play tight-knit 4v4, Capture and Hold, King of the Hill, Free for All, Team Deathmatch and more.
  • Seize the Dead. Think quick and strategically use zombies to distract, disable and attack your opponents. Utilize a variety of zMods including lures, pheromone grenades, and traps to get the zombies working for you!
  • Zombie-MOBA. Capture your opponent’s home base to win, maneuvering between lanes in a zombie jungle.
  • Solo Survival Mode. Face off against endless hordes of ravenous zombies, unlocking new maps as you progress. *
  • Single Player Ops. Test your mettle against the undead and AI opponents across varied objectives. *
  • Deep Customization. Upgrade abilities and loadouts, building an arsenal of high-powered shotguns, rifles, crossbows and more.

* Dead Alliance™: Multiplayer Edition does not include single player content.

Continue here to read the full story.

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen for Windows Released

2K Games and Firaxis announce that War of the Chosen is now available for the Windows edition of XCOM 2. They say the Linux and macOS versions of the expansion will come to the strategy sequel "at a later date," and that the console versions will launch on September 12th. Word is: "XCOM 2: War of the Chosen takes the incredible experience of XCOM 2 and provides players with all new features and allies to combat ADVENT, who have deployed three deadly new aliens called the 'Chosen.' To aid XCOM in its fight to liberate Earth, players will have access to three new resistance factions, each with their own unique Hero class, in addition to new weapons, options to form bonds between soldiers and a new photo booth feature to create custom propaganda posters." Here's a feature list:

Key features for XCOM 2: War of the Chosen include:

  • New Factions & Hero Classes: Three additional factions represent pockets of resistance to ADVENT – the Reapers, Skirmishers and Templars – each with its own Hero class can be recruited to stand with XCOM:
    • The Reapers are infiltration specialists and stealth marksmen living on the fringe of society. Reapers utilize a powerful weapon called the Vektor rifle, as well as a special Claymore explosive - a targetable incendiary device that, when placed and activated, does not cause the Reaper to break Concealment;
    • The Skirmishers are former ADVENT soldiers who have chosen to rebel against their masters. The Skirmisher is an offensive powerhouse, capable of dealing with threats running the gamut from up close to afar, armed with a grappling hook to help close distance and a wrist mounted Ripjack capable of piercing the enemy with deadly force;
    • The Templars are a reclusive, monastic group of soldiers that have dedicated themselves to pushing their minds and bodies with psionic energy to the brink of humanity, honing their psionic energy with religious fervor into powerful weapons.
  • The Chosen: These powerful adversaries are unique ADVENT enemies tasked by the Elders to recapture the Commander at all costs. Masters of asymmetrical warfare, the Chosen will kidnap, interrogate and ultimately kill XCOM’s soldiers. They can even invade the strategy layer and ravage XCOM’s global operations; The Chosen include:
    • The Hunter stalks its prey from across the map: tracking, wounding and disabling XCOM units at range;
    • The Warlock utilizes a variety of psionic abilities to sow destruction on the battlefield;
    • The Assassin are a stealth-based melee unit who prefers to fight at close range, preying upon XCOM units with her katana.
  • New Alien and ADVENT Threats: Adopt new tactics alongside the new faction allies to counter a deadly new alien known as the Spectre, the explosive attacks of the ADVENT Purifier, the psionically charged ADVENT Priest, as well as the creeping swarms of The Lost.
  • New Photo Booth: Immortalize your soldiers during their trials by creating customizable war-and-meme-worthy posters that are both sharable and can be found while in game.
  • New Environments and Mission Objectives: Players can engage in wide-ranging tactical missions, from abandoned cities devastated by alien bioweapons during the original invasion, to underground tunnels and xenoformed wilderness regions.
  • Enhanced Strategy Layer: Manage Covert Actions, Resistance Orders, and XCOM’s relations with factions while countering enemy operations from the Avenger.
  • Greater Customization & Replayability: Soldiers cultivate bonds with compatible teammates for new abilities and perks, while the SITREP system dynamically adds new modifiers to the tactical layer to make sure every mission provides a unique challenge.
  • Challenge Mode: New regular community challenges featuring unique missions not found in the campaign that rank players on a global leaderboard.

Fallout 4 Creation Club Beta

Bethesda.net has details on a beta version 1.10 update that's now available for Fallout 4, which includes support for new premium content through the "Creation Club" (thanks DSOGaming). The beta is now on Steam, and this Steam announcement has more details, including word that mods will remain free, but not really clarifying how mods can join the premium club:

Featuring new items, abilities and gameplay created by Bethesda Games Studios and outside development partners – including the best community creators – Creation Club content is fully curated and compatible with the main game, official add-ons, and achievements. Currently available for Fallout 4, Creation Club will be coming to Skyrim Special Edition next month. All Creation Club content works on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. And of course, Mods will remain a free and open system where anyone can create and share what they’d like.

To celebrate the launch of Creation Club, Bethesda is offering all players 100 Credits to apply to Creation Club content. Additional Credits are available on PSN, Xbox Live and Steam. Your Credits will be transferrable and can be used in both Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition on the same platform for both Xbox Live and Steam. PSN does not support transferable credits between both games.

Starway Fleet Launches

Steam now offers Starway Fleet, a space combat game for Windows and virtual reality that's now out of early access. The Starway Fleet website is home to this, offering a release teaser with a look at gameplay. Here's the news:

Starway Fleet is an action-focused space fighter simulator game. Take part in various missions including interception or reconnaissance, provide fighter cover for cargo ships or help rescue the crew of disabled ships, etc. Fight offline in quick missions against computer-controlled enemies or online with your friends in co-op mode (up to 3 players). Be the famous fighter ace, let the whole Universe know your name!

Features:

  • 3 game modes: quick missions, custom battles and survival mode.
  • 10 exciting quick missions, which can be played both in Single-player and Co-Op multiplayer.
  • 2 custom battle maps, both playable in Single-player and Co-Op multiplayer.
  • 2 survival maps, both playable in Single-player and Co-Op multiplayer.
  • Epic space battles, heavily armed capital ships.
  • Multiplayer mode with up to 3 simultaneous players.
  • Optional VIVE support: experience the excitement of space combat directly from the cockpit of your fighter.
  • HOTAS, mouse + keyboard and game pad support.

Experience the heat of space combat and discover the Universe as a fighter pilot assigned to the fleet. Be the famous fighter ace, let the whole Universe know your name!

Continue here to read the full story.

Overwatch Griefer Griefed

A post to the Overwatch Forums has complaints from a user who was banned from Overwatch for a week for "disruptive gameplay" (thanks GameWatcher). He seems to feel this is not possible, as he asks: "How do you even be disruptive in quickplay?" This leads him to the conclusion that the "system is clearly automated and abusable." Game Director Jeff Kaplan eventually chimed in, and in his signature gentle manner described this player's (or, in fairness, some other human salt mine using his IP address) toxic history. Jeff calls him "one of the worst offending accounts we've seen." Anyone who's played Overwatch know that this is really saying something, but he notes this account has been silenced for 9216 hours of gametime, or well over a year(!). Here's Jeff's post:

We checked the IP address of the account you posted from and found a suspended account.

That account has a total of 2247 complaints filed against it -- making it one of the worst offending accounts we've seen. The account has also been silenced for a total of 9216 hours. There are 3 gameplay suspensions on the account as well as 7 silences against this account (these are for abusive chat and/or spam). There is also a manual GM account suspension for "massive griefing" levied.

So I'm not sure if that's the account you're referring to or not, but someone from your IP has been a less-than-ideal OW citizen.

If that's not your account, please let us know what the BattleTag is and I'm happy to look into it further. The last thing we want is good, upstanding members of the community being punished unfairly.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

  • Forbidden Unit by Chainless Games — Kickstarter. "Hi, everybody! We are very excited to present to you our latest game FORBIDDEN UNIT. Above you can find the footage from the game. It´s a 3D isometric RPG with the turn-based combat system. If you played the original Fallout, XCOM, Shadowrun or Syndicate, you know exactly where our inspiration, core game principles and our passion for games come from."
  • Okinawa Rush - a platform-fighting game with RPG elements. by Steven Miller — Kickstarter. "Inspired by platformers & beat-em-ups from the 90's with modern fighting game mechanics. This is an intense, skill-based game with many moves to master and hordes of enemies to battle. One of the core elements of this game was the idea of being able to "parry anything" including traps and projectiles - if timed correctly!" A playable demo is available. Here's a trailer.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Arozzi Arena Gaming Desk on Neoseeker. This is the desk in the photo in Out of the Blue.
  • ASUS XG-C100C 10Gbe PCIe Network Adapter on TweakTown.
  • Cherry B.UNLIMITED 3.0 Keyboard and Mouse on Play3r.
  • Crucial BX300 SSD on Vortez.
  • G.SKILL Flare X DDR4 RAM on Vortez.
  • Koolance CPU-390CI CPU Waterblock on PC Perspective.
  • Raijintek Thetis Case on techPowerUp.
  • SJCAM SJDASH Car Dashboard Video Camera on Nikk Tech.

etc.

Out of the Blue

After my talk about my new desk, there was a huge outcry for a photo of the setup. Okay, it was actually one request, but that's how accommodating I am. By not-popular demand, here's a photo. Coincidentally, today's hardware reviews include a review of this desk as well. I'm happy with it so far, and while it may be fussy to care for a desktop that's one big mousepad, I am very pleased with this feature at this point.

Link Desk: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Little Alchemy 2.
Links: Study: Millennials Don't Like Pre-1970s Films.
Stories: Flood Of 'Texas Navy' Private Citizens Help In Houston Rescue Efforts.
Harvey takes aim at Louisiana as Trump plans to survey stricken Texas.
Ted Cruz changed his mind about federal disaster relief rather quickly.
Science: Bucking FDA, Peter Thiel funds “patently unethical” herpes vaccine trial.
Image: Switch for your birthday. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: Fallout - Movie Teaser Trailer #1 Ryan Gosling, Felicity Jones – Bethesda Movie (Fan Made).
Mid-air Paintball Collisions in Slow Mo - The Slow Mo Guys. Thanks Hypothermia.
Water slide fails (NSFW).
Follow-up: Michael Vick; Fox Sports NFL analyst; Backlash, petition.



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