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Wednesday, Jan 03, 2018

  

Heroes of the Storm to Slow its Roll

Blizzard Entertainment responds to a reddit thread that discusses a fairly significant decrease in average game length in Heroes of the Storm since the most recent update to the MOBA. The post says based on available data it looks like the average game is about 1:44 shorter than before, so they now end about 8.5% sooner. There are several posts to the thread discussing whether it is now easier to snowball opponents, and Blizzard says they are looking to make changes to reverse the shorter game trend. "Game times are running a bit faster than we'd like now, particularly in high MMR bands," explains Blizzard's Travis McGeathy. "There are some tuning changes coming soon to help out with that." In another response he elaborates:

They're tied together. The shorter game times are largely driven by the strength of push, particularly with mercenaries, allowing the leading team to take structures and end before the other team has time to come back.

Increasing the strength of pushing with mercs is intended, but its likely a bit too strong right now.

Monster Hunter World in Autumn

Monster Hunter World was announced for PCs, but from the start CapCom said this version of the co-op action/RPG was "coming at a later date" than the console versions, which are due soon. Now this tweet (thanks GameInformer) says the game "is currently being optimized for PC and is planned for an Autumn 2018 release!" This also includes a video with English subtitles where producer Ryozo Tsujimoto says they will update us with more details "later," and thanks us for our patience. He also discusses plans for free updates that will add new monsters after the January 26th release of the console versions. He does not connect the dots and say these additions will come to the PC version as well, but it seems pretty safe to assume so.

Steam Award Winners

Steam News announces the winners of the 2017 Steam Awards. This page has more detail, and here are the honorees:

The “Choices Matter” Award:
The Witcher® 3: Wild Hunt

The “Mom’s Spaghetti” Award:
PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS

The “Labor of Love” Award:
Warframe

The “Suspension of Disbelief” Award:
Rocket League®

The “The World Is Grim Enough Let's Just All Get Along” Award:
Stardew Valley

The “No Apologies” Award:
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut

The “Defies Description” Award:
Garry's Mod

The “Cry Havoc And Let Slip The Dogs Of War” Award:
Just Cause™ 3

The "Haunts My Dreams" Award:
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

The "Soul Of Vitruvius" Award:
Rise of the Tomb Raider™

The "Whoooaaaaaaa, Dude! 2.0" Award:
The Evil Within 2

The "Best Soundtrack" Award:
Cuphead

The "Even Better Than I Expected" Award:
Cuphead

DRAGON BALL FighterZ Trailer

Following today's news that they are now accepting pre-purchases for this month's release of DRAGON BALL FighterZ, Bandai Namco Entertainment now offers the opening cinematic trailer from the upcoming brawler. Word is:

A new contender is coming for the fighting game throne! DRAGON BALL FighterZ is fighting, for a new generation. On January 26th, 2018 prepare to do battle with Goku, Trunks, Hit, Beerus and more! DRAGON BALL FighterZ will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam. Pre-order your copy NOW and gain early access to SSGSS Goku and Vegeta.

Continue here to read the full story.

Utomik's January Additions

Utomik announces the highlights of the January additions to their streaming game service that now boasts almost 700 choices. This video accompanies the news, which says that they now offer Batman: Arkham City, Saints Row 4, and 23 other new games. Here's word:

It’s 2018, time to hit the ground running! Here’s a sneak peek at some of the amazing games coming to Utomik throughout January, including Batman: Arkham City. To top it off, we are excited to reach a new milestone this Friday: 700 games on Utomik! We also release TWICE as many games this week, woohoo!

Titles added throughout January:

Batman: Arkham City - Batman returns bigger, better and with more ‘Kapow!’ as the criminals of Gotham City now get locked up in Arkham City, the new maximum security prison. Face off against some of Gotham’s most notorious criminal masterminds including The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, and The Penguin.

Another Lost Phone - Laura’s Story - The spiritual successor to A Normal Lost Phone lets you once again piece together the social life of the person whose phone you have just found. It deals with big issues, dark themes, and things that other games are too afraid to talk about.

The Longest Journey - Embark on a physical and spiritual journey between worlds as April Ryan, a young art student, in what is generally seen as one of the best adventure games ever made.

The Town of Light - In the early 20th century mentally ill people in Italy got sent to a place for ‘people society didn’t want to save’. This game tells the horrifying story about one such place, the Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra.

Tiny Echo - Once again developer Might and Delight (from the Shelter series) manages to combine aesthetic elegance with a mysterious world and an atmospheric soundtrack. Deliver messages to spirits as Emi in a gorgeous hand-drawn world filled with peculiar creatures.

Saints Row IV - Go absolutely bonkers in the fourth instalment of the open world series that keeps redefining absurdity with each new entry.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Nexon Cutting LawBreakers Losses; Blames PUBG

The Nexon Q3 2017 Investor Presentation came out close to two months ago, but the news that drew attention at the time was their acquisition of a new mobile studio. DSOGaming notes that at the time the publisher also revealed that LawBreakers represented a majority of their "impairment loss" for the period. Word is: "In Q3, impairment loss related to LawBreakers accounts for the majority of the total other expense. We will not accrue any more impairment loss pertaining to LawBreakers." The Investopedia explains the term: "Impairment loss is the decrease in an asset’s net carrying value that exceeds the future undisclosed cash flow it should generate. Net carrying value is an asset’s acquisition cost minus depreciation. Impairment occurs when a company sells or abandons an asset that is no longer beneficial. Impaired assets must be recognized as a loss on the company’s income statement." Nexon also stated in an investor's conference call that they blame the failures of Boss Key's shooter on the success of PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS, the battle royale shooter that had already sold more than four million copies a couple of months before LawBreakers' release:

"Our results in North America in the third quarter were below our outlook, mainly due to the sales from LawBreakers being below our expectations. LawBreakers is a unique FPS developed for core users. We had very high expectations for its launch; however, the timing of its launch turned out to be unfortunate, specifically the blockbuster PC online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds came out right about the same time, making the market environment very tough for first-person shooters in general and for LawBreakers."

Rocket League Boasts over 40 Million Players

A tweet from Rocket League announces the sports game continues to soar since its launch, and now boasts over 40 million players worldwide (thanks DSOGaming). Here's what they say:

Rocket League now has 40 MILLION players worldwide! Thank you to our ever-growing community for helping us start the new year with such a fantastic milestone.

Hyper Universe This Month

Nexon announces January 17th is the official release date for Hyper Universe, their four-vs-four MOBA played from a side-scrolling perspective. They offer an official launch trailer celebrating the news with a 30 second look at the game. For those who have already checked this out in Early Access, this post explains changes for the launch edition. Here's word:

Hyper Universe, the intensely fun action brawler is officially launching on Jan. 17, 2018 for PC through Steam and the Nexon Launcher. Players can download the game for free and experience the fast-paced, stylized side-scrolling action across multiple maps in a challenging 4v4 team setup.

With the official launch, players will see a rebalanced core experience with an emphasis on individual skill and coordinated teamplay. Items available to purchase through the Hyper Universe shop will be cosmetic only, allowing players to deck out their favorite Hypers with fresh skins while still maintaining the integrity of the game’s skill requirements. Players can find more details about these changes and more on the Hyper Universe blog here.

Also launching along with the game is the biggest Hyper content update yet, refueling the Universe with exciting new interactions and team compositions. With the addition of six new Hypers, one for each class, players will get to test their skills with Tae’guk, Sonya, Perseus, Han, Camilla and Gulunba, and find themselves in a heated brawl as one of 41 unique Hypers total.

Continue here to read the full story.

DRAGON BALL FighterZ Pre-purchases

Steam now offers pre-purchases of DRAGON BALL FighterZ, the Windows edition of the upcoming Dragon Ball brawler. Here's a few quick hits to explain what this involves:

DRAGON BALL FighterZ is born from what makes the DRAGON BALL series so loved and famous: endless spectacular fights with its all-powerful fighters.

Partnering with Arc System Works, DRAGON BALL FighterZ maximizes high end Anime graphics and brings easy to learn but difficult to master fighting gameplay.

High-end Anime Graphics
Using the power of the Unreal engine and the talented team at Arc System Works, DRAGON BALL FighterZ is a visual tour-de-force.

3vs3 Tag/Support
Build your dream team and sharpen your skills to master high-speed tag combinations.

Thrilling Online Features
Ranked matches, interactive lobby, crazy 6-player Party Match... There is something for every taste!

Exclusive Story Mode
Discover a never-seen-before scenario featuring Android 21, a brand new character whose creation was supervised by Akira Toriyama himself.

Spectacular Fights
Experience aerial combos, destructible stages and famous scenes from the DRAGON BALL anime in 60FPS and 1080p resolution!

Morning Patches

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Thanks Neutronbeam for the link to the BeefBot on Hackaday, which outlines the operation of an experimental "robotic grill master." This likely does not represent the future of Manstovia, since tending to the food on the grill is part of what I enjoy about the process. This is also probably way too modern for a setup where we're yet to upgrade to propane, much less robots. Then there's the fact that this is a long run for a short bus ride, as it takes ten minutes or less to cook a steak to medium rare. But it certainly is a fascinating concept.

R.I.P.: Thomas Monson, President of the Mormon Church, Dies at 90.

Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Paintball Wars.
Gods of Arena 2.
Stories: Peru Pasamayo: Dozens killed as coach plunges off cliff. Unbelievably, there are survivors.
McDonald's tests Archburger after '90s flop.
Bills fans' donate more than $170,000 to Bengals QB's foundation. Thanks Cutter.
Science: First Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse in 150 Years Coming This Month.
Study suggests 'sugar coma' is real -- glucose ingestion leads to worse cognitive performance.
These subtle cues are what make sick people look sick.
Media: LUKE SKYWALKER vs. KYLO REN 16 Bit.
GREASE AND SCAMS! Job Simulator- Mechanic - HTC VIVE VR (React- Gaming).
The Link Between Japanese Samurai and Real Indigo.
This video of a corgi doing a 'trust fall' may be the key to happiness.
The Funnies: Dilbert.



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