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Thursday, Nov 02, 2017

  

Rainbow Six Siege Operation White Noise Announced

UbiBlog announces Rainbow Six Siege Operation White Noise, a new DLC pack for Rainbow Six Siege set in South Korea. They say this is coming "soon" as the final content before the game enters year three:

Rainbow Six Siege’s second year of expansions will soon enter its fourth season with the arrival of Operation White Noise, which features a vertigo-inducing new map set in an observation tower above Seoul’s skyline, and three new Operators. Operation White Noise will be the final content drop before Rainbow Six Siege enters Year 3.

Also joining the fray are two as-yet-unrevealed members of South Korea’s 707th Special Mission Battalion, an attacker and a defender described as “stubborn and daring” and “methodical and tenacious,” respectively. Also joining the roster is a new Operator from Poland’s GROM, completing the set that began with Ela’s arrival in Operation Blood Orchid. More updates are coming soon; in the meantime, be sure to catch the Rainbow Six Pro League finals in Sao Paulo from November 18-19 at twitch.tv/rainbow6.

For Honor Season 4 and Free Weekend Details

Also from UbiBlog is a new post with details on Season 4 for For Honor (just wanted to get away with three "four" homonyms in a row). This will come with two new maps for all on November 14th, which is also when two new operators unlock for season pass holders, before becoming purchasable by everyone else a week later. Here's a (pretty low-calorie) Season 4 - Order & Havoc cinematic reveal trailer, here's another trailer with information and gameplay. Finally, they announce that on November 9th they will kick off a free weekend that will be the last chance to play the game before the new season:

If you have yet to play For Honor and want to give it a try before the launch of Order & Havoc, Ubisoft is offering a For Honor Free Weekend on all platforms. Running November 9 through November 12, the Free Weekend grants access to all of the game’s modes, including its five multiplayer options, the campaign (playable solo or with a friend), and the diverse roster of Heroes up through Season 3. All progress from the Free Weekend carries over to the full version of the game, which will also be on sale with discounts up to 60% during over the weekend. Additional details, including start times, can be found at the For Honor Free Weekend site.

Continue here to read the full story.

Activision Blizzard Q3 Financials

Activision Blizzard Announces Better-Than-Expected Third-Quarter 2017 Financial Results, revealing the company made something between bucketsful and boatloads of money for the quarter. Word is: "For the quarter ended September 30, 2017, Activision Blizzard’s net revenues presented in accordance with GAAP were a Q3 record of $1.62 billion, as compared with $1.57 billion for the third quarter of 2016. GAAP net revenues from digital channels were a Q3 record of $1.35 billion. GAAP operating margin was 16%. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.25, as compared with $0.26 for the third quarter of 2016." Here are the highlights:

Selected Business Highlights:
We serve our hundreds of millions of audience members with an ongoing pipeline of content, services, and features. In Q3 we demonstrated that meaningful results can come from content investments, both large and small.

Audience Reach

  • Activision Blizzard had 384 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs)B in the quarter.
  • Activision had the biggest third-quarter online player community in its history, with a record 49 million MAUsB.
  • Launched in September, Destiny 2 is the best-selling console game year-to-date in the U.S.2 Digital mix was over 50% of console full game sell-through, a new record for the company. In October, we introduced the Destiny franchise to PC gamers on Blizzard’s Battle.net® platform, opening the franchise to new global audiences and future growth opportunities.
  • Activision’s Call of Duty continued its strong momentum with record Q3 MAUsB ahead of the highly anticipated launch of Call of Duty: WWII on November 3, 2017. Pre-order momentum has been strong, with a higher percentage of pre-orders on the digital offering than prior Call of Duty titles.
  • Blizzard had the biggest third quarter online player community in its history, with a record 42 million MAUsB. This is the fourth quarter in a row that Blizzard drove quarterly record MAUsB. Overwatch® and Hearthstone® MAUsB grew year-over-year. The Overwatch community grew to over 35 million registered players.
  • King had 293 million MAUsB for the quarter and has had two of the top-10 highest-grossing titles in the U.S. mobile app stores for sixteen quarters in a row.1 Candy Crush Saga™, which is celebrating its 5th anniversary, returned to the #1 grossing position in U.S. mobile app stores for the quarter.1

Deep Engagement

Continue here to read the full story.

Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition Announced

Paradox Interactive announces Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition, an updated version of the RPG for Windows, Linux, and macOS that includes all the game's DLC as well as new Deadfire Pack DLC that will be released for free for all owners of the original version of the RPG. This is expected on November 15th, and the release will coincide with a price reduction for the vanilla version of the game. Here are details on the plan:

Definitive Edition will be available for PC, Mac, and Linux on November 15, 2017. The new Deadfire Pack DLC will also be made available for free to all existing (and future) owners of Pillars of Eternity on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs to thank them for their ongoing support of what has become one of the world’s most beloved RPGs. With these additions, fans will have the complete set of all Pillars of Eternity content ever created inside and outside of the game in the final, all-encompassing release.
On November 15, the Definitive Edition will be made available via digital distributors everywhere for a suggested retail price of $39.99, and will include:

  • The original Pillars of Eternity, a modern RPG with classic inspiration, and winner of multiple awards for its rich story, art, and world design
  • The complete, expanded world, characters, and content from The White March: Parts I & II, which adds new places to travel and quests to complete
  • All premium content originally sold with Pillars of Eternity: Royal Edition, including the original soundtrack, a digital collector's book, an original novella set in the Pillars universe, and much, much more
  • The all-new Deadfire Pack DLC, which includes new in-game items to earn and discover, and new portraits from the forthcoming sequel, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, releasing in 2018

Alongside the release of the Definitive Edition, the original Pillars of Eternity – Hero Edition game will receive a suggested retail price reduction to $29.99 on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs.

F1 2017 for Linux

Feral Interactive announces the Linux edition of F1 2017 is now available, adding some high-octane action to your penguin-powered PC. This is available through the Feral Store, but fulfillment is through Steam, so this comes along with the Windows and macOS editions (and vice versa). Feral outlines the game's technical requirements:

Linux racers, it’s time to buckle up, knuckle down, and master the fastest F1 cars of the last 30 years.

Buy F1™ 2017 from the Feral Store for unprecedented access to all the on-track thrills and off-track drama of FORMULA ONE.

The minimum system requirements are as follows:

  • OS: Ubuntu 17.04 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-3225 3.30 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • HDD: 36 GB
  • Graphics: 2 GB Nvidia 680 (Driver version 384.90), 2 GB AMD Graphics Core Next (3rd Generation) (Driver version Mesa 17.2.2)
  • Accessories: Keyboard, Mouse

The recommended system requirements are as follows:

  • OS: Ubuntu 17.04 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-6600k 3.50 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • HDD: 36 GB
  • Graphics: 8 GB Nvidia 1070 (Driver version 384.90)
  • Accessories: Driving wheel, Gamepad (please see the list of recommended wheels and gamepads)

Note:

  • Intel graphics cards are not supported. Nvidia graphics cards require drivers 384.90 or later. AMD graphics cards require Mesa drivers 17.2.2.
  • 3rd Generation AMD Graphics Core Next graphics cards include the R9 285, 380, 380X, Fury, Nano, Fury X.
  • AMD VEGA cards are not supported at time of release.
  • The Nvidia 387 driver series has known issues. We advise that you avoid using this driver for a better user experience.

Mare Nostrvm Ovt

Slitherine announces the release of Mare Nostrvm, a turn-based strategy game that simulates naval warfare in the days of ancient Rome. The release is accompanied by a new tutorial video, and you can find details, screenshots, and the opportunity to purchase the game on its official product page. Here's the deal:

Mare Nostrvm is a strategy game by the developer of Qvadriga, and it is set during the turbulent war galleys era, when the civlizations along the Mediterranean Sea started to extend their ambitions towards new lands.

Naval Squadrons employ real tactics of that time, and the WEGO system will force you to think three moves ahead of your opponent.

Choose between fourteen ship types, ranging from the small and primitive penteconter to the powerful decares and wage war in 24 historic naval battles.

Ram enemy ships, board them, or make use of your on-board harpax to make their encounter with Neptune the last!

Features

  • From the dawn of history to the Roman Civil Wars, from Iberia to Cyprus, revive the ancient naval battles of the Mediterranean. 24 historic naval battles, including Salamis, the final defeat of Xerxes in Greece, and Actium, Downfall of Antony and Cleopatra.
  • Classic WEGO system. Plan the actions first, then execute and view a simultaneous turn resolution.
  • Battle AI adapts to the tactical situation and the historical settings.
  • Configurable skirmish battles allows choosing of map, size, wind and opposing sides, using a point buy system.
  • Multiplayer mode allows multiple historical and skirmish battles to be played by two players using Slitherine’s easy to use PBEM+ system.
  • 14 ship types, from the swift penteconter to the massive deceres, equippable with devices like engines, towers, harpax, corvus, rodian firepots or sails.
  • Historical tactics and maneuvers, depending on the situation and the ship type. Ram, rake oars or grapple and board. Arrows, artillery and fire.
  • Squadron system with chain of command, the ships needs to be under command to be able to receive orders. Admirals and commanders has special abilities and a squadron range, lines of ships could be arranged out of this range to give command to all of them.
  • Gameplay features include crew fatigue, atmospheric phenomena like fog, rain and a variable wind system and special rules for treasure ships, local command, plague, anchored ships and transports.

Continue here to read the full story.

Decksplash Launches with Free Week

Decksplash launches today on Steam, offering a multiplayer online game for Windows based the world of skateboarding. In a bit of outside the box thinking, they are kicking things off with a free week with an interesting do-or-die twist. They say: "Thus we’ve devised a ‘first of its kind’ experiment: The Splash N’ Grab! We’re releasing the game free for a week AND if 100K people download, play, and have fun, we’ll instantly launch the game at the end of the free week. If not… RIP Decksplash." Here's more on the plan:

Decksplash is a multiplayer online game: if all goes well, its launch day is the start of its journey, not the end. We've got a backlog and wishlist as long as our arms, and it's precisely why we are doing this -- we've got to find out if we are correct in committing the team to the game for years to come. Say we take the game to Early Access and a few players back it with their money, but not enough to justify its continued development. What happens to those players? Due to being multiplayer, Decksplash can only be played if there are a minimum amount of people online to play with, unlike a single-player experience we could wrap and walk away from, having satisfied those few who bought it. It just wouldn't work for this type of game.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Interviews

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Overwatch Esports Changes Detailed

Following a video from last week from Jeff Kaplan discussing esports changes coming to Overwatch, Blizzard offers another new video with a behind-the-scenes look at how some of these changes play out. Word is: "Last week, Jeff Kaplan talked about how the Overwatch team is working to improve your esports viewing experience. Now, go behind the scenes with our developers and learn more about the technology that will make these improvements possible." The changes they show off are the new team custom colors system, an instant replay system, a new third-person "smart" camera, a top-down map, and new statistical analysis tools. They conclude expressing their excitement over other changes they have planned which they are not discussing just yet. Continue here to read the full story.

Nioh: Complete Edition Trailer

A new trailer shows off the Nioh: Complete Edition for PCs, which is set to launch next week on Steam (thanks DSOGaming). The clip has a minimal description, so we'll leave you with a description from the game's website:

In Nioh, players will traverse the Warring States Period of Japan as William, a blonde-haired swordsman. His background as a fierce warrior and seasoned knowledge of the blade allows him to survive in the demon-plagued land of the samurai. These demons inhabit a number of dangerous locations and lie in wait in the shadows to ambush unsuspecting victims. Nioh will challenge players in a way that makes every mission and accomplishment feel earned and worthwhile.

Continue here to read the full story.

AMD on Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on AMD

The Radeon Website has details on running Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on AMD hardware. The post describes the extra effort MachineGames put into supporting red team hardware in their shooter sequel:

“When we started development of Wolfenstein II, the choice of graphics API for PC was a simple one. DOOM had already set the stage for what could be done with Vulkan and we wanted to take it to the next level. Using Vulkan when developing has allowed us to utilize the power of AMD’s VEGA graphics chips in ways that were not possible before, giving us fine grained control over the performance and feature set of the GPU without having to sacrifice artistic intent. Combined with the flexibility of AMD’s hardware, Vulkan gives us the artistic freedom to deliver Wolfenstein without compromise.”

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Launches

NVIDIA announces the launch of GeForce GTX 1070 Ti graphics cards, their latest and almost greatest offering. They offer details on the cards, and charts detailing gaming performance. If you are interested, there are reviews of the hopped-up 1070s on:

Morning Patches

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 birthday Gunnar-man! I've double-checked and I got it right this year, as this is actually something I've screwed up in the past: Last year I posted on the fifth that I had forgotten it the day before, but it's the second, not the fourth, so I got it wrong twice in one go. One reason this is an issue (besides the obvious fact that Gunnar doesn't notice either way) is that he was born on election day, and since that's a floating date, it created a vagueness that's plagued us ever since. Anyway, it was election day in 2004 when he came into this world, so our fantastic poodle turns lucky 13 today. He seems to be doing great for his advanced age, and he gets a lot of compliments on being in good shape.

Birthday Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Stick Arena Dimensions.
Last Day of the Woods.
Stories: Mary Pat Christie caught in distracted driving crackdown ordered by governor's attorney general.
How Moneyball Tactics Built a Basketball Juggernaut.
Kidde recalls fire extinguishers that don't extinguish fires.
Science: Humans didn’t outsmart the Neanderthals. We just outlasted them.
Media: Star Wars: The Last Jedi -Awake- (:45).
Halloween Levitating Star Wars Speeder Costume.
Why this awful sounding album is a masterpiece.
Auctions: Luke Skywalker's lightsaber for sale.



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