Archived News:

Wednesday, Jul 07, 2021

Battlefield 2042 and Apex Legends Spotlight Tomorrow

Electronic Arts sends a reminder that tomorrow is the first of its EA Play Live Spotlights. This will include presentations on Battlefield 2042 and Apex Legends, featuring representatives of Respawn, DICE, and the newly unveiled Ripple Effect Studios (formerly DICE LA). Everything kicks off tomorrow at 1:00 pm EDT on the EA YouTube Channel. Here are the details:
Zampella and Gabrielson will be joined by Ripple Effect Studios General Manager Christian Grass and Apex Legends Game Director Chad Grenier as they chat with IGN’s Stella Chung to discuss the latest on Battlefield 2042 and Apex Legends, and what fans can expect to see from both games at EA Play Live on July 22.

On June 9, DICE revealed Battlefield 2042 to the world with its breathtaking reveal trailer and first look at All-Out Warfare, the game’s first major experience featuring the next generation of fan-favorite modes Conquest and Breakthrough. Now, at EA Play Live on July 22, Ripple Effect will reveal the game's next thrilling experience, one that long-time Battlefield players will feel right at home with.

Apex Legends recently celebrated its two year anniversary where it also hit over 100 million total players worldwide. Those tuning in tomorrow can expect to hear more about what Respawn learned from the game's early success, how Arenas will be expanding Apex Legends beyond Battle Royale and what’s coming up in the next major update.

Continue here to read the full story.

Destiny of Destiny Revealed Next Month

Bungie is celebrating Bungie Day, so hopefully you picked out a nice card. The company includes word that on August 24th it is destined to unveil the future of the Destiny series, so save the date. This update has the many festivities that are commemorating this year's Bungie Day. These include the Bungie Foundation's Giving Campaign, a Bungie Store sale, a Bungie Memories & Art Show and a "tasty" Spicy Ramen emblem that's available for free right now for all Destiny 2 players. Here's more on the charity drive:
We focus our efforts on three core pillars:

  • Improving children’s health and wellbeing
  • Uplifting the voices and rights of all individuals and communities
  • Providing humanitarian aid in times of crisis

By donating to the Bungie Foundation’s Giving Campaign between July 7 and July 20 at 11:59 PM PDT, you are helping us make an impact in each of these areas – from our iPads for Kids Program to helping communities impacted by a natural disaster, you are changing lives and proving that the Bungie community is the best there is.

The International 10 Championships in October

Valve announces a new location and dates for The International 10 Dota 2 Championships, which will be held this October in Bucharest, Romania. The Championships were to be held in Stockholm, before Valve learned they would not be recognized as an elite sporting event. Here is word on this year's celebration of the pinnacle of play in Valve's MOBA:
We are thrilled to announce The International 10 - Dota 2 Championships will be held this October in Bucharest, Romania, and the epic battle for the Aegis of Champions will fittingly unfold inside the country's largest stadium — Arena Nationala.

Group Stage will run October 7 - 10, with Main Stage play kicking off on October 12. Then on October 17, the two finest Dota 2 teams in the world will face off for the Aegis and their shares of the $40,018,195 prize pool that awaits. Additional information on ticket sales will come shortly.

We are grateful for the partnership we have formed with Romania and the city of Bucharest, and very much look forward to gathering with the global Dota 2 community, both in-person and virtually, to celebrate the elite players and amazing fandom at The International. Prepare yourselves. At long last, the battle begins.

Call of Duty League Welcoming Back Spectators

Activision announces details about both Major V and the Championship Weekend for the Call of Duty League. Word is these events will welcome back fans to enjoy them in-person. Word on how you can watch from the comfort of home, or attend live:
Call of Duty League is excited to welcome fans back for the first time in 2021, for both Major V and Championship Weekend.

Starting with Major V, fans can watch in-person as all 12 teams head into battle for their last chance to clinch a spot in the top eight and secure their place in the Call of Duty League Playoffs.
Continue here to read the full story.

RDR2 Gets DLSS Next Week

NVIDIA points out that the Red Dead Redemption 2 update from Rockstar Games mentioned this morning includes news that along with new content for the cowboy shooter, next week's patch will also bring NVIDIA DLSS support to both RDR2 and Red Dead Online. Here's word:
As part of the July 13th update, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online on PC will offer NVIDIA DLSS support to all Windows users with eligible NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards. The newly supported feature boosts frame rates and generates beautiful sharp images.

EVE Online "Summer of Rage 2.0"

A post on Kotaku has word on player unrest in EVE Online that some on social media are calling The Summer of Rage 2.0 (thanks Neutronbeam). It says: "CCP Games tried new monetization amid a ship shortage, and it's backfired." There's background on the original Summer of Rage in 2011, and an outline of why there are now players calling for a mass exodus from the sci-fi MMORPG. The whole situation is pretty dense and detailed, which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the game. Head over if you want to dig in, here's a summary to potentially entice you:
The Summer of Rage 2.0, as some players are calling it on social media, is beginning to take shape. Players are upset with the state of the game, with several controversial game changes surrounding resource scarcity and spaceship production, the state of in-game politics, and a perceived lack of communication from the development team driving the narrative.

Evening Tech Bits

Assassin's Creed Infinity Revealed

This morning Jason Schreier revealed plans for a project called Assassin's Creed Infinity on Bloomberg (may require registration or subscription). This is a new live game-as-a-service take on the series which Jason notes is an effort "to emulate the prolonged financial success of GTA V or Fortnite." And now Ubisoft has turned around and officially announced the plan. This involves some restructuring and other changes to how things usually operate. More details are promised at a later date, so here's part of the update that explains where things stand right now:
This change means we’re also evolving along with the video game industry. The pandemic and working from home have fundamentally changed the way we produce games, giving us a moment to reflect on our organization. Assassin’s Creed was born within the walls of Ubisoft Montreal and the studio built an incredible foundation for the franchise with the immense skill and creativity of its teams before Ubisoft Quebec then took the lead with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Odyssey, demonstrating its ability to drive the franchise even further.

Rather than continuing to pass the baton from game to game, we profoundly believe this is an opportunity for one of Ubisoft’s most beloved franchises to evolve in a more integrated and collaborative manner that’s less centered on studios and more focused on talent and leadership, no matter where they are within Ubisoft. Most importantly, Assassin’s Creed has always been developed by multicultural teams with various backgrounds and perspectives that have influenced the depiction of its characters, locations, and cultures. While we know there’s always room for improvement, we believe this new structure allows us to ensure that diversity and representation within our teams continues to grow and match that of our players.

Ubisoft Scandal Blowback Continues

The Bloomberg report mentioned above discusses the impact of the Ubisoft harassment scandal on Assassin's Creed Infinity. It also notes that the reverberations from the allegations are still being felt. Word is the reorganization involved in creating an Assassin's Creed live service has inspired renewed complaints that some of the managers accused of misconduct remain in senior positions in the company:
However, some managers accused of abusive behavior remain in senior positions after the reorganization, people familiar with the matter said. That has prompted a fresh round of complaints on Ubisoft’s internal message board from employees who were dissatisfied with the company’s response to the allegations, according to people who read the messages, which were written in French. Bloomberg reviewed English translations.

Last month, the French union Solidaires Informatique said at least three Ubisoft managers in Montreal had been accused of “harassment or toxic behavior” and that employees had reported other claims of racism and sexism to human resources “without anything being done.”

The Ubisoft spokeswoman declined to comment on individual cases. “Any employee that had allegations and remain at Ubisoft has had their case rigorously reviewed by a third party and were either exonerated or underwent appropriate disciplinary actions,” she said. “Employees who have been under investigation would not remain at Ubisoft if results of investigations warranted termination.”

Cooler Master's Haptic Chair Plans

Cooler Master and D-BOX announce Motion 1, an "immersive" haptic gaming chair that will launch in January 2022. Pre-orders will begin in Q4 of this year, and prices will range from $1,999.99 to $2,299.99. Here's more on this chance to reward your butt for its dedication to supporting your gaming habit:
Cooler Master, a global leader in designing and manufacturing innovative computer components and peripherals is collaborating with D-BOX, a world leader in immersive and realistic experiences, simulation and training industries to launch a new haptic lifestyle product, Motion 1, an immersive haptic gaming chair. This ground-breaking new product ushers in Cooler Master’s era of Immersive “Work and Play” choices for consumers and establishes a new standard for in-home entertainment.

Realms Deep Returns in August

3D Realms announces that this year's installment of Realms Deep will take place over the weekend of Aug 13-15. Just like last year, this will take a look at the company's upcoming projects, with a particular focus on first-person shooters. Here's more on the event, the livestream, and an associated sale:
Realms Deep, 3D Realms’s shooter-focused digital event, returns for a second year filled with world premieres and special guests, from Friday, August 13 through Sunday August 15, with a live show airing at 10:00AM PDT on August 14, on the 3D Realms Twitch channel.

A Realms Deep Steam Sale will also take place from Aug. 13-15. This year, Realms Deep also includes “The Vault”, filled with talks, interviews, lessons and great discussions with some of the brightest minds in the first-person shooter industry. The Vault content will unlock throughout the weekend!

Prepare for three days dedicated to all the latest old-school shooters, newer shooters and everything in-between. Some non-shooters might even sneak in! Realms Deep 2020 featured 40+ games including the Hexen-inspired GRAVEN, Ion Fury’s Aftershock expansion, and Postal: Brain Damaged.

Tails of Iron in September

Publisher United Label announces a September 17th release date for Tales of Iron, a souls-like action game in development at Odd Bug Studio. The game is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox series XS, and switch, and preorders of physical copies for consoles include a few in-game bonuses. Here's a Teaser Trailer narrated by Doug Cockle (Geralt of Rivia). More details follow:
In today’s ‘Welcome to the Kingdom’ teaser trailer, players can witness for the first time Tails of Iron’s punishingly brutal, souls-like inspired combat. Doug Cockle’s grisly voice showcases the game’s range of environments along with several of the merciless enemies from Greenwart’s Frog Clan.

Created by indie development team Odd Bug Studio and published by United Label, Tails of Iron takes players on an epic adventure as Redgi, heir of the Rat Throne. When ferocious frogs invade, Redgi must fight back to save his crumbling kingdom. Endearing companions, intricate combat and customizable gear adorn the compelling story, set in an immersive and explorable lovingly-crafted 2D hand-drawn world.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Well, we're back on track here at the BlueTower, as the hot water is flowing once again. It's a relief to have things fixed and I am pleased with how easily it worked out in the end. The electrical connection for the water heater has a timer (which we don't utilize) in case we want it to only run overnight when electricity is cheaper. So when the heater shorted out, the guy who installed it wanted to blame the timer. We were told to get an electrician to remove it from the chain. I fought with them over this, and they relented. And as it turns out, the guy they sent this morning was clearly the Winston Wolf of plumbing/electricity problems. I knew we were on the right track when he also scoffed at the idea that the timer was the culprit. He got things going properly in a matter of minutes. Apparently it was simply something that came loose where the wires went into the heater, causing a short circuit.

Flowing Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.





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