Archived News:

Friday, Feb 23, 2024

Age of Mythology: Retold This Year; AoE2: DE DLC Next Month [Updated]

The Age of Empires Website recaps announcements from today's New Year, New Age show for the Age of Empires. This includes a look at Old Year, New Age with a 2023 Year in Review Video. There's a launch window in this video for Age of Mythology: Retold, saying the upcoming definitive version of the real-time strategy game will arrive for Windows and Xbox this year (here's the Steam Listing). And this video unveils the Victors and Vanquished DLC coming to or Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on March 14th. Here's the Steam Listing for that, along with the description:
Embark on a thrilling journey with "Victors and Vanquished"! In nineteen epic scenarios, play as Ragnar Lothbrok, Oda Nobunaga, Charlemagne, and more. Your strategy and choices decide your fate: will you emerge as the ultimate victor, or fall as the vanquished? Secure your pre-order now and be prepared to conquer the battlefield!
Update: There was an erroneous reference to Age of Empires: Retold in the original version of this story. It's been re-written, apologies for the error and any confusion.

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition Goes F2P

The other news from the Age of Empires New Year, New Age show is word that Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is now free-to-play on Steam. For those who already own this, nothing's changed, but for the heathens out there, this gives a chance to sample the game and possibly get hooked. Here's now this works from this page: "Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is launching a new way to play! For the first time, new players can now join the ranks of this historical and stunning RTS experience with a rotating roster of the game’s 16 civilizations which can be played in both single player and multiplayer games FREE of purchase on Steam." Here's the summary of all of today's Age of Empires news:
We on the Age of Empires team want to say a huge thank you to our 50 million players around the world. 2023 was a huge year for our games and our community. We wanted to share a look at what there is to look forward to in 2024 and we’ve just wrapped our New Year, New Age show which did just that. If you watched, thank you for joining us! If you weren’t able to join us live, or you just want a reminder of all the things we covered, here’s a rundown of what’s coming this year.
Continue here to read the full story.

On Overwatch 2 Changes

Noting Season 9 for Overwatch 2 is at the halfway point, a new Director's Take on Blizzard News discusses the effects of some of the recent changes in the multiplayer shooter along with a look at plans for more in the future. Here's a bit with the interesting factoid that ranked play has surpassed quick play as the game's most popular mode:
Let's talk about the reworked Competitive Play system, which also launched with Season 9. There's been a lot of excitement around it. In fact, there's been a pretty sizeable shift in our player population because of it. Previously, Quick Play was the most popular mode in Overwatch. It accounted for roughly 40% of the total match hours in the game, while Competitive Play sat at around 35%. Those numbers have since shifted, and Competitive Play now makes up about 45% of match hours, with Quick Play around 32%. An interesting thing to note here is that the total number of hours that people are playing Quick Play isn't down; it's just that people are playing a lot more Competitive Play! We're really excited about this and take it as confirmation that people would like to see more changes and improvements to that side of the game, as well as systemic PvP improvements.

Evening Gatherings & Events

Call of Duty Banwave

The Call of Duty: Warzone Season 2 Patch Notes have details on the new patch and season that's live in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III and Warzone. In addition to outlining everything that's new and different, this also digs into the issue of cheating. This excerpt discusses a recent spike in cheating that's resulted in the ban of over 6000 accounts:
The RICOCHET Anti-Cheat team has been tracking a spike in cheating reports within the community. We are currently in test for additional security updates; however, the following updates have just been deployed:

  • Disabled game code for limited-time perks (Ex. super speed)

As part of ongoing security updates, a single telemetry system was taken offline for upgrades over the weekend. This action resulted in cheat developers claiming RICOCHET Anti-Cheat was offline. It was not. As a result of monitoring activity over the weekend and the purposeful reactivation of this upgraded system, #TeamRICOCHET was able to identify and ban over 6000 accounts for cheating and hacking from February 16 - February 20.

Tales of Fortunata Announced for Adventure Forge

Endless Adventures announces Tales of Fortunata, a world and setting designed by Sean Stewart and FASA founder Jordan Weisman that will come to Adventure Forge, the studio's game narrative adventure authoring platform that's coming to Steam. Word is the setting will enter Early Access on the platform, which is also yet to enter Early Access. Eventually the platform will contain several games in the new setting as part of a layered and somewhat complex plan. Here's an Adventure Forge Trailer and more:
Adventure Forge will feature several games set within the Fortunata “Universe” including a couple of daring isometric RPG heists, a mini-game enhanced choose-your-own-path novella, as well as thousands of art and animation assets for users to create their own games within Fortunata’s magical renaissance Venice setting.

The Tales of Fortunata setting, among other settings, will be releasing on Steam Early Access in 2024, inside of the Adventure Forge application. The platform is aimed at empowering game masters, storytellers, authors, and artists to design their own narrative-rich video adventure games and share them within Adventure Forge for others to play.
Continue here to read the full story.

Escape Simulator Conjures New Magic DLC

New Magic DLC is now available on Steam for Escape Simulator, the Windows, macOS, and Linux, well, escape simulator. Utilizing spells to solve an escape room seems like an unfair advantage, but the DLC has a few tricks up its sleeve to keep up the challenge. Take a look at what to expect in the Launch Trailer and read on for more:
Whether you’re a wizened wizard or an unschooled sorcerer, Escape Simulator’s new Magic DLC welcomes all! In this DLC, a number of lessons (or refresher courses) await you. First, however, you must equip yourself accordingly by paying the Magic Shop a visit. Filled to the brim with mysterious tomes, enchanted candy and other magical inventory, you’ll find all sorts of fascinating items here!

Following the shop, you must learn to control the flow of time in the Chronomany Hall with its myriad of clocks and uncover secrets within the timeline. Once you’re ready to move in chronological order once more, you will master the art of potion making in the Greenhouse. Finally, in the Divination Towers, you must look forward in time instead of backward to escape. Can you recognise the signs of the future and Houdini your way out?
Continue here to read the full story.

Game Crossovers

Out of the Blue

Well, I expected this to be an early update because we were to travel today, but it's turning out late because I got sick. MrsBlue took off yesterday to prepare for our trip to Atlanta to visit her mom, so we took advantage and hit a local joint for lunch. I had what was the very best hamburger I've had in a long time: At least until the middle of the night, when it announced its sudden departure. So I ended up taking the porcelain bus on an extended drive. I kept trying to park it in the depot, but to paraphrase Kramer, the hamburger kept ringing the bell! I'm okay now, but it was bad enough that there was no way we'd risk me trying to fly like this, so we had to pull a last-minute cancellation. This is a big disappointment, since we had already done all the planning and preparation, and all we had to do today was execute. When it comes time to reschedule, it's going to be like starting over. Oh well, at least I've recovered quickly. At one point it was like when you promise to quit drinking because of a hangover. I was repeatedly throwing up while vowing to never eat food again.

Upchucked Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link

Story

Science
Thanks Max.

Follow-up

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