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Sunday, Aug 11, 2019

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Battle Royale Rumor

A rumor emerged on Twitter last week about plans to issue a battle royale mode for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare after the release of the military shooter reboot. They indicate this will be a standalone mode, with one of them saying it may be free-to-play. While stressing such rumors should be taken with a grain of salt, MP1ST vouches for the prior veracity of the two sources, saying leaks posted by each of them have proven true in the past. Here are the tweets:
So apparently Battle Royale in #ModernWarfare will be a free mode to release in early 2020. It will be downloadable as a separate game, but also will still be connected to the core game. If this is true then it's a very good move by Activision.

Likely the intro will be "INFINITY WARD" "RAVEN SOFTWARE" "ACTIVISION" then a loading screen taking you to the main menu for BR. (Meant 2020, not 2021) :D

I heard a similar thing that it might be after launch. Production on BR in MW has pretty much halted right now so they can prioritise the large MP modes & Spec Ops first. I’ve heard nothing about free to play though but finger’s crossed 🤞

Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Trademarked

The European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) lists a new trademark filed by Electronic Arts for Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (thanks Eurogamer). This was posted on Reddit by the_marmolade, and noticed by Gematsu where they speculate this may be the official title of a Plants vs. Zombies shooter codenamed "Picnic" that they report recently began testing on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Borderlands 3 Skill Trees

The Borderlands Website now offers interactive Borderlands 3 Skill Trees for those eager to start planning builds in advance of the release of Gearbox's looter-shooter sequel. Here's word:
The four new Vault Hunters of Borderlands 3 are all well-versed in a wide variety of weaponry, but what really sets them apart from the average mercenary are their unique skill sets. As you level up in Borderlands 3 following its September 13 launch, you'll spend points in your chosen Vault Hunter’s unique skill trees to tailor them to your preferred playstyle. You don’t have to wait to start figuring out which branches of the skill trees you’re most interested in though! Hop over to the pages dedicated to Amara the Siren, FL4K the Beastmaster, Moze the Gunner, and Zane the Operative to explore interactive versions of their skill trees, complete with descriptions of each skill and the benefits they provide. It's the perfect opportunity to start planning out your favorite build for taking on the bandits, beasts, and bosses of dangerous planets like Pandora, Promethea, and Eden-6.

Within each skill tree, be sure to check out all the available Action Skills and their Action Skill Augments, along with character-specific perks like FL4K's Pet or Moze's weapon attachments mounted onto her Iron Bear mech. Remember, just because you choose a particular Action Skill, it doesn’t mean that you’re locked into that skill tree; you’re free to mix and match to see what powerful combinations you can come up with. You can invest points between all three skill trees however you see fit, charting a course for what your Vault Hunter's skill trees will look like once you reach the Level 50 cap.

Steam Top 10

Here's Valve's accounting of the 10 bestselling titles on Steam for last week:

  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. Valve Index VR Kit
  3. Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  6. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 - Winds of Magic
  7. No Man's Sky
  8. Oxygen Not Included
  9. ARK: Genesis Season Pass
  10. Survivor Pass 4: Aftermath

Op Ed

Kotaku Australia - A Reminder That Video Games Are A Force For Good. Thanks Slashdot via Ant.
"Spurred on by the recent discussions of video games and violence, and spurred on by the emotional and often downbeat tone of that discussion, a user on Twitter posted a simple thought exercise. Rather than talking about the misery and pain of the week, what if people shared all the times Nintendo games changed lives instead?"

Hardware Reviews

  • Team Group T-Force Cardea II M.2 SSD on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

Well, there was only one comment on the new Twitter plan outlined here yesterday, but we picked up a dozen followers after it was posted so I'll take that as tacit approval. In short, we will only be tweeting selected stories going forward, will be including as much of these stories that will fit in a tweet, and will no longer spreading them out by a minute each. As before, please feel free to offer feedback on the changes

On more somber notes, there stories abound today reminding us it is the fifth anniversary of the death of Robin Williams. Closer to home for the gaming community, today is the seventh anniversary of Paul Steed. Sad news, I still mourn both losses.

Mournful Links: Thanks Ant.
Stories: Perseid meteor shower is the best meteor shower of the year.
Darth Vader hot air balloon finally flies over its hometown in Bristol. Thanks Neutronbeam.
The Swaying Power Of Scented Spaces Isn't Always Right Under Our Nose. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: The last magnetic pole flip saw 22,000 years of weirdness.
Images: Go long! Really long. Thanks Acleacius.
Media: Thought Diaries “Enjoying Stuff.” NSFW.
The Evolution of Hybrid Technology in Formula One.
Venom Injection: How Ant Stingers Work!.
Follow-up: Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos Still Haunt Blood-Testing Startups. Thanks j.c.f.
The Funnies: FoxTrot.

Saturday, Aug 10, 2019


The U.K Intellectual Property Office now lists a trademark for TOTAL WAR SAGA: TROY which was filed by The Creative Assembly on July 23rd and approved on August 2nd (thanks Total Wareddit via There are no details, but this seems to be an indication that the ancient city and possibly the Trojan War will be the setting of the next Total War Saga game. Of course it could also be that there's a game in the works centered on Troy McClure, so we'll just have to wait for more news on this.

Epic on Fornite's Mechs

A Season X Competitive Launch Update from the Fortnite team discusses plans for the Fortnite Champion Series, which will get underway on August 17th. This discusses how this will work, and notes that this Fortnite competition will involve a whopping $10 million prize pool. They also note that the game's recently launched B.R.U.T.E. mechs will be part of the competition, despite how players are so unhappy with their impact on gameplay that #removethemech is a trending topic on Twitter (thanks Polygon). Epic does say they are making some changes to how the B.R.U.T.E.s work:
We’ve been monitoring the impact of the B.R.U.T.E. in gameplay and are investigating ways to enhance combat feedback when interacting with the vehicle. In v10.10, we will add a targeting laser that will show the direction the B.R.U.T.E. is aiming its rockets while they are being charged. This laser will have directional audio to help indicate when it’s being pointed at you, even if you’re behind a structure. We’ve also fixed a few mobility bugs that was allowing players to exploit its boost mechanic.

The B.R.U.T.E. remains within the core game modes (Solo, Duos, and Squads), select Limited Time Modes, and in competitive Arena and Tournament play. We’ll communicate any future iterations to the vehicle as we’re continuing to investigate a few more areas where we can improve combat interactions.

Digital DayZ Refused Classification Too

The story from earlier this week that DayZ was refused classification in Australia noted this only applied to the physical versions of the survival game. Apparently this has now changed, as PC Gamer quotes Bohemia Interactive explaining that the digital versions of the game are now no longer allowed to be sold down under either:
"We are aware of the Classification Board's intention to pull DayZ from the online sales," says Bohemia Interactive. "The game was just removed from the PlayStation and Xbox stores. The reason behind the rejection to classify the game is the specifics of drug use in the game."

Where things get weird is that DayZ doesn't have drug use aside from things like morphine, specifically used here for pain relief. Here's the extent of the game's 'drugs'. They're not recreational. Unfortunately, cannabis can be found in the game files, and while it's hasn't yet to be implemented and there's no indication it will be, it seems to have riled up the board.

Though cannabis has been decriminalised or is available for medical reasons in several parts of the world, it's still illegal in Australia. Hunting and killing people for their supplies is also illegal in Australia, though the board seems less concerned about that.

Bohemia Interactive isn't cutting its losses, however.

"The Australian player base is a big and very important part of our community. At the moment we are looking for the best solution to keep the game on the Australian market and pass the classification according to all regulations. We will do everything in our power to keep the game playable and available for Australian gamers."

Hardware Reviews

  • Cooler Master GS750 Gaming RGB Headset Stand on TweakTown.
  • HyperX Double Shot PBT Keycaps (White) on APH Networks.
  • HyperX Predator RGB 32GB DDR4 3200MHZ CL16 Quad-Channel RAM Kit on Nikk Tech.
  • Palit GeForce RTX 2080 Super White GameRock Premium Graphics Card on TechPowerUp.
  • Toshiba BG4 NVMe SSD on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

We added a Blue's News Twitter Account almost 10 years ago, offering a simple feed of news stories posted here. This felt like a good idea at the time, but I've grown increasingly concerned that flooding followers with tweets that just contained headlines and links back to here was not what everyone was hoping to get. This is borne out by the large number of users who end up unfollowing shortly after following. So Frans and I did a little overdue brainstorming and came up with what we think is a better way to make use of Twitter. After today, rather than tweeting out one of those short tweets for almost every story, we will be notifying followers of fewer stories, concentrating of topics of greater interest. At least one story per update will still go up, though, even if it is not major, as this can serve notice that the news page is updated. These tweets will also now include as much of the story as fits within Twitter's structure to be more informative. Finally, the feature that intentionally spaced out multiple tweets by one minute each is no longer in place. This was well-intentioned, but probably ill-advised, as causes followers to get repeated notifications over the course of 10 or 15 minutes, which seems spammy. We feel these changes will make this more useful for everyone. We also hope this is not going to upset those who liked the way this worked before, so please feel free to offer feedback on the plan.

R.I.P.: Jeffrey Epstein dead after apparent suicide in New York jail.

Tweeted Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: No Comparison: Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye vs. Ferrari 812 Superfast. Thanks RedEye9.
Stories: US Dept. of Transportation Rules Airlines Must Allow Miniature Horses to Fly as Service Animals. Thanks Slashdot.
Russia Confirms Radioactive Materials Were Involved in Deadly Blast.
Bear falls on California patrol car, causing crash and fire. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: Physicists solve 2,000-year-old optical problem. Thanks Max.
Dark matter may be older than the big bang, study suggests. Thanks Max.
Low vitamin D levels linked to non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease. Thanks Max.
Images: Ronaldo Spettacolare on Instagram. It's the one that says Bad Motherducker.
Bear trashes car after locking self inside.
Media: HeroStorm Ep 63 'Team Player.'
Quietly stalking enemies in PUBG.
I Am Patrick Swayze Official Trailer. Thanks Cutter.