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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

World of Warcraft Classic Launches

Blizzard News announces the long-awaited launch of World of Warcraft Classic, allowing players to return to the good old days of their MMORPG. They offer a musical video called A Toast to 15 Years to celebrate the news along with a behind-the-scenes video with the developers to illustrate the news. They also share links to a WoW Classic Primer for New Players, a World of Warcraft Classic FAQ, a list of World of Warcraft Classic Community Resources, and a Q&A Compilation. There's also this press release with more details:
Grizzled veterans and hardy newcomers alike can now experience Azeroth as it was in its earliest days with World of Warcraft® Classic, which is live starting today and included at no additional cost as part of everyone’s WoW® subscription globally. World of Warcraft Classic has been a labor of love for Blizzard, and the result is an authentic re-creation of the pre-expansion game in its most feature-complete state, as it was during 2006’s “Drums of War” update (patch 1.12.0). Blizzard has continued to bring WoW Classic realms online around the world to accommodate the more than two million players who have created characters in anticipation of today’s launch, and will work to add more based on player population trends.

World of Warcraft®, which has been played by more than 140 million players over the past 15 years,* has evolved considerably across seven expansions, with numerous features, enhancements, and quality-of-life improvements. In many ways, World of Warcraft Classic is more unrelenting and demanding of self-direction from players than today’s version of the game. Bonds among the community are paramount—activities like raids and dungeon runs must be organized collectively by players on the same realm, with the toughest challenges requiring 40 coordinated and committed souls to surmount.

Classic’s Azeroth is equal parts wonder and hazard, and its trials will push players to their limits. The Alliance and the Horde, in the midst of outright war, are made to reckon with forces whose powers transcend their own brutal conflict—including some of the most iconic and love-hated of villains of the Warcraft® universe, like Ragnaros the Firelord and the Archlich Kel’Thuzad.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re overjoyed to welcome our friends new and old to classic Azeroth,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “The community’s excitement is infectious and deeply motivating—it’s clear they’re as thrilled as we are to relive the World of Warcraft Classic experience. We look forward to rediscovering its wonders and challenges together with them, starting today.”

World of Warcraft Classic will continue to expand in the weeks and months following today’s launch, allowing players the opportunity to live through pivotal moments in Azeroth history previously lost to time. Among the host of features and activities set to be introduced to the game across six phases are iconic raids like Blackwing Lair, Zul’Gurub, and Naxxramas; player-versus-player battlegrounds like Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and the classic version of Alterac Valley; and time-limited server-wide events like the Ahn’Qiraj War Effort, and the Scourge Invasion.
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Bigben Announces Three More Epic Exclusives

Bigben announced earlier this year that The Sinking City would rise on the Epic Games Store as an exclusive. Now they reveal this bell is tolling for three other titles they are publishing, saying they've signed EGS exclusivity deals for three titles coming out over the next three months: WRC 8, scheduled for release on September 5th; Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory which is due on October 3rd; and Bee Simulator, expected on November 14th. "We are very pleased to be reinforcing our Epic Games store offer with a variety of unique games from our catalogue," declares Benoit Clerc, Head of Publishing at Bigben. "Our latest offer is comprised of three games that are very different from each other: Bee Simulator, a superb family game; Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory, a tactical CRPG brimming with dark humour; and WRC 8, the official simulation of the FIA World Rally Championship, which will also be the first rally game available on the Epic Games Store." Here's more on each of these games:
WRC 8 is the most complete and authentic official WRC simulation ever made. New off-road physics for all surfaces, a completely redesigned Career Mode, extreme and dynamic weather conditions, 52 teams, 14 countries, over 100 special stages, weekly challenges and an eSports mode... Experience the most intense WRC yet!

In Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory, control a team of four Troubleshooters of dubious loyalty, who (mostly) obey orders from Friend Computer, a paranoid and irrational artificial intelligence. Inspired by classic CRPGs, the game is the first official adaptation of the cult role-playing game.

See the world through the eyes of a bee in Bee Simulator! In a world inspired by iconic Central Park in New York, you play as a pollinator bee who has set up home in one of the park's trees. Your life is turned upside down one day when humans decide to cut down your tree. The fate of your hive is thrust into your tiny hands.

Rainbow Six Siege Free Week Starts Wednesday

Ubisoft announces a free play week for Rainbow Six Siege will get underway Wednesday. This will allow you to check out the latest installment in the tactical shooter series without putting your hand in your pocket, which is notoriously bad for your aim anyway. This page has all the details, and below we have an overview:
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be available to play for free from August 28 through September 3, depending on the platform. Interested players can join more than 45 million players in the Rainbow Six Siege community on all platforms, and they will be able to experience the game for free with access to all maps, modes and play up to 20 Legacy operators.

Players who try the game during the free week can carry over their progression and continue to play uninterrupted if they purchase the game. They will also benefit from a discount up to 70% off on the Base game (available on PC only), Deluxe, Gold and Ultimate Editions between August 28 and September 9, depending on SKU and platform.

Conan Chop Chop Delayed

Funcom announces a delay to Conan Chop Chop, the upcoming action/adventure roguelike that was originally thought to be a joke by small-minded souls who were fooled by the ridiculous title and the fact that it was revealed on April Fool's Day. The previously released Announcement Trailer now reflects the new release window of Q1 2020, and the announcement explains the change:
Publisher Funcom and developer Mighty Kingdom announced today that the release of Conan Chop Chop, the action-adventure roguelike that was teased on April 1st and revealed at E3 this year, will be moved to Q1 2020. Following a very successful first demo of the game to press this summer, the companies have decided to increase their investment in the project to deliver a bigger and better game. Among the features to be implemented in the upcoming action-adventure roguelike is online multiplayer.

“We had an absolute blast showcasing the game at E3 and Gamescom earlier this year. It was especially gratifying to see how much fun people had playing the game in co-op mode. The teamwork, the banter, the way people moved ever so sneakily towards their near-death companions in order to pick up their gold when they fall… We couldn’t have been happier with the reception,” says founder and CEO of Mighty Kingdom Philip Mayes.

“One of the things we get to do with the extra time is expand multiplayer from just couch co-op to also include full online multiplayer,“ says Mayes. “This has undoubtedly been THE most requested feature after we started showing off the game, so we’re very excited for the opportunity to bring that in.”
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Maxis Creating a New IP

A job ad from Electronic Arts on LinkedIn puts out the call for a Creative Director to join EA's Maxis studio (thanks PC Gamer). Word is The Sims developer is working on a new intellectual property that involves a live service:
Maxis is seeking an experienced Creative Director to drive the creative vision of future products developed in our Austin studio. You will lead, foster and mentor an experienced team of developers working on a new IP, crafting the vision and leading the execution of a compelling, innovative and immersive experience. Your strong mix of creative and leadership experience in PC products, mobile titles and live service allows you to inspire the team, provide and communicate vision, drive innovation and create incredible experiences for our players. You should possess a deep understanding of the new trends driving player expectations and engagement.

Control Reviews

Control is due for release tomorrow, offering the chance to enlist in the Federal Bureau of Control and see if the truth is out there in Remedy Entertainment's new action/adventure. To pave the way, reviews are now appearing online. Here's everyone's chance to take control of the narrative:

Drunken Fist Released

Steam now offers the release of Drunken Fist 🍺👊 Totally Accurate Beat 'em up for Windows, offering a brawler where you play as a belligerent drunk trying to fight his way back home. This trailer shows off the level of total accuracy this provides. This is probably developer DEKLAZON taking the piss, as the Brits would say, as this involves a lot of urine. Here's word on the game:
Is a funny drunken physics-based beat'em up game. Street fights, busty knockouts, lawlessness and more fun!

You play as a drunk guy who needs to get home. Along the way, you fight with various enemies - jocks, hipsters, punks, etc. All enemies have their battle style.

Physics and control totally accurate simulates the feeling of a drunken brawl - the blows fly past, you constantly fall and behave ridiculously. There are many punches and tricks available.

The game have 7 challenging levels built like in classic beat’em up games. Look for food and bottles to complete them all! Don’t forget to urinate directly on the asphalt ... or on your enemies ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Hardware Reviews

  • CORSAIR HS35 Stereo Headset on Nikk Tech.
  • Gigabyte AORUS RGB Memory DDR4-3200 2x8GB RAM on APH Networks.
  • Intel Box Cooler vs. AMD Wraith Series Stock Cooler Battle on TechSpot.
  • lOGITECH G915 Keyboard showing the GL Linear and GL Tactile switches on Overclockers Club.
  • MSI RX 5700 XT Evoke OC Graphics Card on ThinkComputers.org.
  • Turtle Beach Battle Buds on IGN.

Out of the Blue

The Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker - D23 Special Look is now online for those of us not in attendance at its unveiling. I started out cynically scornful of all the footage from the original films as a transparent appeal to nostalgia. But it obviously served its intended purpose for me, as by the end I was drawn back in like Michael Corleone, undeterred even by the inclusion of clips from the prequel trilogy. I apologize in advance for being part of the problem, but I will probably end up seeing this in the theatre, in spite of my better judgment. I'm such a sucker.

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