Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - RSS Headlines   RSS Headlines   Twitter   Twitter

Archived News:

Saturday, Jul 13, 2019

Planetoid Pioneers Online Free Weekend

A free weekend is underway on Steam for Planetoid Pioneers Online, a 2D multiplayer physics/action game that just launched into Early Access (thanks SteamDB via Ant. The game is on sale for half-off, and they are giving a free copy to everyone who supported them by purchasing the Planetoid Pioneers Contributor Edition. Developer Data Realms caps off all this news with word that they've released Cortex Command on GitHub as a free open-source game. Here's a Planetoid Pioneers ONLINE Early Access Launch Trailer and here's more on the game:
Extreme 2D physics action with detailed destruction of vehicles, robots, creatures, and your own Pioneer - now over ONLINE multiplayer! Quickly jump into a dozen different game modes hosted on free servers worldwide to battle, cooperate, race, and survive with/against other Pioneers all over the globe!

  • Physics-driven gameplay, animation, construction, destruction, damage, and deaths
  • 12 different game modes at launch; more to come - both from developers and the community
  • 2-4 player PvP, PvE, co-op, racing, building - something for everyone; see videos above
  • Seamless online multiplayer resistant to cheating and lag on our own free servers
  • Host or join easily and quickly with your fav Steam friends - or randos on the internet
  • Game simulation stays perfectly synced at all times - we check every frame!
  • Editors available in Planetoid Pioneers Contributor Edition to add or change game modes and anyhting, really!

Continue here to read the full story.

Sparc Free Weekend

In addition to the Planetoid Pioneers Online free weekend mentioned above, the previously announced free weekend for Rocket League on Steam and the previously announced free weekend on Steam for Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, Steam is also offering a free weekend for Sparc. The game is also on sale for 50% off for the duration. Sparc is a sports game that requires a virtual reality headset, and the free weekend offers the chance to check out newly added features detailed in this post. Here's word on the game:
Sparc is a vSport - a unique physical sport only possible in virtual reality, where players challenge each other in fast-paced, full-body VR gameplay.

  • Challenge contenders online via quick one-on-one matches or compete with your friends through custom games.
  • Rise up the ranks through cross-platform competitive modes
  • Customize your avatar with a wide variety of visually striking and attention-grabbing options
  • Watch matches in-person or while you queue for the next match through Courtside, a freeform social area for spectating in VR
  • Track your performance through stats on wins, accuracy and more

The International 2019 Collector’s Cache Volume II

The International 2019 Collector’s Cache Volume II is now on sale, announces the Dota 2 Blog. Here's word on what Dota 2 players will get for less than $2.50:
The International 2019 Collector’s Cache returns for another round, featuring multiple items from this year’s Call to Arms as well as some hidden workshop gems for a span of favorite heroes—including a Rare set for Necrophos, a Very Rare set for Ember Spirit, and an Ultra Rare set for Juggernaut.

Available now for $2.49, unboxing thirteen of these treasures will automatically grant you thirty-two Battle Levels, and the odds of receiving a bonus rare item increase with each one you open. You can also recycle any unwanted sets for two Battle Levels.

Volume II of the Collector’s Cache will only be available for the next thirty days and is the only way to receive these exclusive item sets, apart from the Ultra Rare Juggernaut set which will be marketable near the end of 2020 after next year’s tournament concludes. As is tradition, 25% of each sale contributes directly to The International prize pool.

Once again, we’d like to thank all of the community artists who tendered submissions to the Dota 2 Workshop, as well as the entire Battle Pass community for your support.

Dota Underlords Free Proto Pass

The Dota Underlords Website announces the release of the Proto Pass, a season pass that's free for beta testers of Dota Underlords, Valve's new Auto Chess game. Word is they are seeking feedback to inform development of their actual season one battle pass:
All beta testers will be granted a free Proto Pass. With this prototype battle pass; players will unlock unique banners, emotes, and even a new board type by playing games of Underlords and completing a mix of daily and weekly challenges.

Like many aspects of the beta, the Proto Pass is a learning experience for the Underlords team – so please keep the feedback coming so that we can adjust plans for our Season 1 Battle Pass accordingly.

PLAY GAMES, EARN XP
Every multiplayer or hardcore bot game of Underlords is an opportunity to earn Proto Pass XP. Complete daily quests to level up even faster.

UNLOCK REWARDS
Each level of the Proto Pass comes with a new reward, and with it a new opportunity to show your opponent how far you’ve progressed.

Factorio Seeks G2A Chargeback Refund

A post on the Factorio Blog has word that Wube Software is attempting to take key reseller G2A up on G2A's recent offer to refund ten times the chargebacks on fraudulent charges (thanks PC Gamer). Here's word:
Upon hearing the news of G2A advertising Descenders, we took a look ourselves, and we discovered they were doing the same with Factorio:

Obviously we aren't super happy about it, but after looking into some trademark/copyright law, it seems there is not much we can do.

After the news broke, G2A posted an article on their website: G2A vows to pay devs 10x the money proven to be lost on chargebacks. After reading it through, I thought I would take them up on their offer.

We had a ton of chargeback and fraud issues in 2016 just after our Steam launch, with over 300 Steam keys of the game being purchased with stolen credit cards. With an average chargeback fee of about $20, we estimate the total amount of fees we paid because of chargebacks is about $6,600. We will be doing a deeper evaluation of our historic accounting records to get a more exact figure, but it doesn't matter so much now.

So I emailed G2A about the article and their 'vow' last week, and they are not exactly prompt in terms of dealing with the request. I have a list of all the Steam keys I had to revoke because they were purchased fraudulently, and G2A offered to check the keys. Currently this is where the story ends, they haven't replied to my last email (2 days ago) sending them the keys and asking how many of them were sold on the website.

Funnily, we already know that at least some of the keys were sold on G2A, because after I revoked them, I had people emailing to ask what was wrong with their key:

  • Hello, on 2016-12-26 I bought my brother a Factorio steam cd key from G2A website. On 2017-01-20 he got a message on steam that the game was revoked. What happened and how can we solve this issue?
  • Hey, I got this game from my friend on my birthday a while back, March 11thish. He sent me it by key, I didn’t really question it. Yesterday, though, I was greeted by a popup telling me the game had been removed. After investigating, I learned my friend bought it from a site called G2A, little shady site from what I hear. Steam support says it was “revoked at the request of the publisher.”
  • I bought Factorio on G2A last week for Steam. However, I can't find it in my Steam library anymore.
  • On 3 March I bought the game Factorio on G2a.com It was 5 euro cheaper than on your website so I thought let's buy it here. But today I got a pop-up from steam saying that my Factorio steamkey has been revoked because of a problem with processing payment for this item.
  • Today i logged in, after playing this game rougly 300 hours and about 2 month and got a message that Factorio was removed from my account. I got my key from G2A.com.
  • I bought Factorio on steam a while back and when i went to play it, it said i had to purchase it. I contacted steam and they said that it had been revoked and i should contact the publisher. How and will i get the game back? I bought the game off of G2A.
  • I bought the game on g2a.com and got the steam product code and my account is saying that I don't have the game bought.

Well anyway, after we switched payment providers to Humble Widget, the fraudulent purchases stopped. We don't really care about G2A anymore (but we are in a unique position due to our no sales policy).

There are still Steam gifts of Factorio being sold on G2A, these are most likely 'legit', in that they were not purchased using stolen credit cards. The question is, where do these gifts come from? Obviously people would not be selling Factorio Steam gifts if it did not generate a profit. We have some ideas:

  1. Regional fraud - Buying the game in 1 country and gifting it to someone in another. This is likely, as we can see that the Europe gift is cheaper than the US/Worldwide.
  2. Speculative buyers from before the price increase - The price of the game was $20 a year ago. So buying 1,000 copies and waiting 1 year, nets you a profit of $5,000 if you sell for $25. Not a bad gain in a year. For Factorio the opportunity only came once, but other games go on sale multiple times each year, which is where the speculative buyers and the grey market cash-in.

To conclude this whole topic, we strongly recommend people buy from us or one of our official partners. Not only for the reasons you might think. If you buy from a grey-market site and have a problem with the game, or something goes wrong, you will have to deal with their support system. I don't have the exact details of how to request a refund or customer support from G2A, or how long they will take to respond to your issue.

Gatherings & Competitions

Hardware Reviews

  • Noctua NH-U12A 3 CPU Cooler on TweakTown.
  • Scythe Big Shuriken 3 CPU Cooler on TweakTown.
  • Seagate FireCuda 510 1TB Hard Drive on APH Networks.
  • Thermaltake Core P90 Tempered Glass Edition Mid-Tower Case on Nikk Tech.
  • ViewSonic XG350R-C 35" Curved Gaming Monitor on TechSpot.

Out of the Blue

Well, we survived our adventure to the DMV, with just a few speed bumps along the way. The reason we were doing this at the office rather than online is because besides changing our address, we were getting "enhanced" licenses. Starting next year standard New York State licenses will no longer be sufficient identification to board an airplane, so this required a visit to present additional IDs. We started out going to one of the bigger nearby offices, but despite its size and the number of people waiting, they only had three windows open. We sat next to a fellow who was looking for the same thing as us who had been there for three hours, so we bailed and made our way back to the smaller office nearer our home. While we were waiting I realize we didn't have our required birth certificates, so I drove home to get them and still got back before our number came up. There were a few additional complications along the way, and at one point MrsBlue blew (blue?) her top, but we worked it out in the end. I don't understand why New York State is not just changing its licensing procedure to match the new federal guidelines, but it's a relief to know our new IDs will overcome this.

IDed Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Trial of Temptation.
Science: Scientists unveil the first-ever image of quantum entanglement.
Is targeting brain inflammation the key to beating Alzheimer's disease?
Media: StarCrafts S7 Ep2 Protossed.
Stentors: Single-Celled Giants.
Follow-up: Prominent anti-vaxxers lose New York court case over religious exemptions.