Archived News:

Friday, Nov 02, 2018

Get Destiny 2 for Free

Blizzard News announces they are giving away Destiny 2 for free to anyone who claims their copy between now and November 18th. This will offer the chance to try out the new Gambit mode from the Forsaken expansion in a free event next weekend. And those who already own the game have reason to celebrate too, as they will receive a special anniversary emblem to lord over the freebie lowlifes. Here's word:
Bungie and Activision have announced that the full Destiny 2 base game for PC is now a free gift for all new players on Blizzard Battle.net. For the first two weeks of November, anyone who does not already own the PC game will have the opportunity to claim it as a gift through their Battle.net account.

Destiny 2 will be free to claim and download from November 2–18, 2018. New Battle.net accounts created after 11:00 a.m. PDT on November 2, 2018, will need to enable Blizzard SMS Protect before claiming their free copy. Destiny 2 PC is redeemable from the Battle.net gift page.

Bungie is also rewarding existing owners of Destiny 2 PC. Those who already purchased the game on Battle.net will be eligible to receive an exclusive gift of their own: a special in-game emblem marking the game’s anniversary that will be available in December.

‘Gambit’ Free Weekend
Additionally, Bungie is giving all Destiny 2 players the opportunity to try out Gambit, the popular new mode introduced in this year’s expansion, Destiny 2: Forsaken. Gambit, a hybrid PvE and PvP 4v4 mode, will be available for trial as part of Bungie’s “Gambit Free Weekend” from November 9–11. More details are available at http://www.Destinythegame.com/Battlenet/.

Destiny 2 PC specs
Minimum system requirements for Destiny 2 PC are an Intel Core i3-3250, Intel Pentium G4560, or an AMD FX-4350, along with a GeForce GTX 660 2GB, GTX 1050 2GB, or Radeon HD 7850. Additionally, 6GB of RAM, and 68GB of HDD space. Internet connection required.

For more information on Destiny 2, visit www.DestinyTheGame.com

Warcraft III: Reforged Announced

Today at BlizzCon, Blizzard revealed Warcraft III: Reforged, described as a "complete reimagining" of their real-time strategy sequel. This video offers some gameplay in 4K resolution, and this trailer celebrates the news with one of Blizzard's signature cinematics. That clip includes this concise description: "Warcraft III: Reforged is a stunning reimagining of the revolutionary real-time strategy game that laid the foundation for Azeroth’s most epic stories. Veterans and newcomers alike will experience these pivotal events in Azeroth’s history like never before." They are already accepting preorders on this page, where they indicate this will be released sometime next year. Here's word:
Warcraft III: Reforged is a stunning reimagining of the revolutionary real-time strategy game that laid the foundation for Azeroth’s most epic stories. It is a remake in the truest sense, featuring a thorough visual overhaul, a suite of contemporary social and matchmaking features, and more. Command the Night Elves, Undead, Orcs, and Humans as alliances shift and armies clash in this timeless real-time strategy game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Heroes of the Storm New Character and 2019 Plans Announced

This post has details from Blizzard on their plans for Heroes of the Storm in 2019. They outline how experience for pushing structures will change to reduce the tendency for games to snowball. They are also implementing an armor revamp that caps overlapping armor buffs much the way they previously tackled stacking speed boosts. Speaking of boosts, they say Stimpacks will be renamed Boosts, and will provide bonus experience to everyone in the match. Finally, they describe matchmaking improvements for Quick Match that will ensure that each team will have a healer, a tank, and a ranged assassin (except premade teams, who have no one but themselves to blame). At BlizzCon today they also announced Orphea as the newest hero joining Heroes of the Storm, offering this trailer to introduce her. Blizzard's MOBA is populated by characters from their library of games, but now they are getting meta, as Orphea is the first character in the game based on Heroes of the Storm itself. She is the daughter of the Raven Lord, the announcer on the Cursed Hollow map, though apparently she has some daddy issues. Her character page and this page have more details on Orphea, who is going to be available on November 13th, and will be an in-game bonus for those who've purchased a BlizzCon virtual ticket. Here's more on this mobile assassin:
Rejecting the dark power her father had begun to consort with, Orphea tried to run away from the Raven Lord's influence. But after witnessing King's Crest fall to his machinations, she was convinced she needed to stand and fight. She now vows to protect the innocent--as a Hero of the Nexus.
Continue here to read the full story.

New Overwatch Hero Revealed

Blizzard announces Ashe is the next hero coming to Overwatch straight out of the old west to kick some ashe. She is indeed an acquaintance of McCree, the game's existing hero from the frontier, and this animated short shows a reunion between the two characters. The Ashe Hero Page has all the details in this damage dealer, and the announcement includes this overview:
Get ready for a shootout: today at BlizzCon, the Overwatch team announced the newest hero to join the fight: Ashe, leader of the notorious Deadlock Gang. Watch her and an old acquaintance in action in the latest animated short, “Reunion.”

Ashe is a damage hero who brings a whole arsenal of abilities to the table, including Bob, her trusted omnic sidekick, who can be summoned to knock enemies in the air and lay down suppressing fire with his arm cannons. She can also detonate sticks of dynamite and blast enemies away with her Coach Gun—or aim at distant bad guys with her Viper rifle. Head over to PlayOverwatch.com for more information on Ashe and her abilities.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hearthstone Rastakhan's Rumble Announced

Also from BlizzCon, Blizzard today announced Rastakhan's Rumble, a new Hearthstone expansion coming to the card game on December 4th, adding 135 all-new cards. This video gets ready to rumble, and the announcement offers details on what to expect, which apparently includes "no rules." Here's more:
King Rastakhan, the all-powerful god-king of the Zandalari trolls, presides over the once-a-generation event held in his name. Rumble fans are converging from all corners of Azeroth on the renowned Gurubashi Arena to attend a knock-down, drag-out, no-holds-barred, rough-and-tumble, beautifically brutal gladiatorial celebration of all things troll: Rastakhan’s Rumble!

It’s an event like none other! You’ll THRILL to the roar of the crowd and the incredible crash of thudding flesh and searing spells. You’ll savor the scent of fresh funnel cake on the air! Witness with breathless anticipation as world-renowned troll gladiators put their mojo on the line to clash with magic and might--in style! When the Loa call your name and team spirit fills your thundering heart, nothing’s gonna stop you from leaping into the arena to JOIN the gladiatorial mayhem!

Just remember the rule of the rumble:
THERE ARE NO RULES!
Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield V Multiplayer Maps Detailed

This trailer shows off the multiplayer maps that will be part of Battlefield V when the military shooter sequel launches its assault later this month (thanks Don). The clip includes lots of gameplay showing detailed elements of each map. The description provides an overview:
In Battlefield V, you’ll fight through the unexplored settings of World War 2 on maps that will challenge your squad in epic multiplayer experiences. Learn about the battlefields of France, Holland, Norway, and North Africa. Battlefield V is out worldwide November 20.
Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Previews

  • Total War: Warhammer II - Curse Of The Vampire Coast on PC Invasion.

World of Warcraft Classic Demo Play Time Limitations

A post from Blizzard sheds some light on how the World of Warcraft Classic demo will work when it launches later today (thanks VG247). Even though this will only be available to attendees of BlizzCon and those who have purchased a virtual ticket to the show, they are instituting playtime restrictions and cooldowns to ensure everyone at home gets a chance to experience state-of-the-art (for 2004) MMORPG gameplay. Here's word:
When the World of Warcraft: Classic demo becomes available to play at home on Friday, November 2, we will ensure maximum availability to players at home by initially establishing session limits.

When the demo goes live, we’ll use a playtime time limit and a cooldown (that starts when you first log in) to help as many people as possible play the Classic demo as much as possible. We’ll start with a playtime limit of a cumulative 60 minutes and a cooldown of 90 minutes. Here are some examples of how that might work:

  • If you play for 30 minutes and then log off for 60 minutes, when you come back you’ll have a fresh 60 minutes.
  • If you play for 60 minutes, you’ll be disconnected and then have to wait 30 minutes before you can play again.
  • If you play for 20 minutes, log off for 20 minutes, then play 40 more minutes, you’ll be logged off and wait 10 more minutes.

Our goal is to lift session limits as quickly as we feasibly can after the demo goes live. We will then only reinstate session limits if unexpectedly high demand returns.

We will update this post with further information on this, as necessary.

PAYDAY 2 Robs the White House

Starbreeze and OVERKILL announce new content update is live on Steam for PAYDAY 2, their heist game (thanks Rock Paper Shotgun). This involves robbing the White House, and they tie this news back to the OVERKILL Software website for more background. This may prove helpful if you find the explanation of this mission as confusing as we do:
Rachel is at her wit's end, the strange case of the USB drive seems to hold more questions than answers. With the recent event involving the president, there are too many leads and open ends. She needs to get to the bottom of this. See the conclusion on the Breaking News Site.

White House
There’s a heavy military presence on the lawn of the White House and Press Secretary Salters has told the public not to worry. America is about to go to hell if Rachel doesn’t let the public know the ramifications of recent events. With the president missing, there is no telling what the future might hold.

Locke has somehow managed to get us onto the lawn of the White House like Bain planned. There is not much time for seeing the sights, however. Bain was very specific in that we need to do this now, and there is not a moment to lose.

Overwatch Season 13

Competitive Season 13 is now underway in Overwatch, offering more cutthroat gameplay in Blizzard's multiplayer shooter. They discuss the rewards for participation, and refresh everyone on how their ranking and matchmaking systems work. There's also newness to discuss, as they talk about the impact of the Torbjörn rework, as well as the new Competitive Team Deathmatch mode. Here's more:

  • Lock and load as your favorite dueling heroes in our newest Competitive Play mode: Team Deathmatch! This 4v4 format pits players against each other in a battle for survival—first team to 30 points wins the match. Group up with your friends or get matched with similarly-skilled players to climb tiers and earn rewards. The three-week season is already underway so be sure to play before time runs out!
    Torbjörn Reforged
  • After an extensive rework, Torbjörn’s ready to return to the fray for his first full Competitive Play season. The changes to his weapons and abilities increase his effectiveness in a wider range of situations while preserving the identity of the hero. He no longer relies on a scrap system, his turret is easier to deploy, and we’ve replaced the Armor Pack ability with Overload—a powerful self-buff—and transformed Molten Core into a powerful new area denial ultimate ability.

Mixer Season 2

Mixer Season 2 is now underway, as Microsoft rolls out an updated version of their streaming platform. This blog post has more details on how they are looking to up their game in competing with Twitch, discussing what's new and other changes planned for the new season. Here's more on future plans:
In addition to those three major areas of innovation, we are also continuing to grow and invest in making Mixer a great broadcast and viewing experience with several fundamental improvements to our video capabilities:

  • We’re going to turn on automatic bitrate switching. Viewers have varying bandwidth at home or on mobile, and this feature will allow us to provide a more graceful viewing experience as a viewer’s bandwidth fluctuates.
  • We’re also providing more options for creators to use FTL streaming on a broader array of streaming software and devices by adding support for ingesting via the RTMP standard.
  • Lastly, we’re adding a feature on Mixer to allow viewers to easily report any video-specific issues they see. We’ve seen so much passion from viewers around giving us suggestions to improve, and this will help us troubleshoot specific problems encountered in playing back video.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Happy birthday to my Poodle buddy the Gunnar-man, as the BlueTower's mascot turns 14 today. In spite of his advanced age (98 by the classic "dog years" metric) he's doing very well. We ran into a fellow dog walker this morning, and when I told her about his birthday she said she'd have guessed he was five. That may be pushing it, but it illustrates the point. He is a little shaggy and smelly at the moment, so it seems like the perfect time to treat him to a bath and a trim. He may not think of the bath itself as a gift, but he he's always happy with the outcome, so it will work out in the end.

R.I..P: 'The real Super Mario' dies aged 84.

Birthday Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Pottery Barn’s PlayStation furniture is the new high-end gamer-chic. Thanks Kxmode.
Stories: ‘Gladiator 2’- Ridley Scott’s Oscar Winner Is Getting a Sequel. Revenge of undead zombie Maximus. Thanks Kxmode.
Science: Why Fall Color Has Been So Meh in Parts of the U.S. This Year.
Meet Jim Allison, the Carousing Texan Who Just Won a Nobel Prize For His Cancer Immunotherapy Breakthrough. Thanks Max.
Reef-rejuvenating LarvalBot spreads coral babies by the millions.
Media: Shockwave Shadows in Ultra Slow Motion (Bullet Schlieren) - Smarter Every Day 203. Thanks Hypothermia.
Jimmy Kimmel's 'I ate your Halloween candy' prank on kids is back for 2018.
Who Owns The Statue of Liberty? (New Jersey vs New York).
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