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    Upcoming Class Balance Changes - February 25, 2020

    By Curse,
    Upcoming Class Balance Changes - February 25, 2020
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    We’re working on a series of hotfixes to adjust class balance. We currently plan to implement the following changes with weekly maintenance (the morning of February 25 in this region):

    • idruids.gifDruid
    • Restoration
      • Rejuvenation now costs 10% base mana (from 10.5%).
      • Efflorescence now costs 17% base mana (from 21.6%).
      • Tranquility direct healing increased 11%.
        • Developers’ notes: These changes should improve Restoration Druid’s raid healing output, without much impact to their already strong capabilities in dungeons and Arenas.
    • ihunters.gifHunter
    • Marksmanship
      • Damage of all abilities increased by 5%.
    • imonks.gifMonk
    • Windwalker
      • Damage of all abilities increased by 5%.
    • images.gifMage
    • Frost
      • Damage of all abilities increased by 5%.
    • ishamans.gifShaman
    • Enhancement
      • Damage of all abilities increased by 3%.
    • iwarlocks.gifWarlock
    • Demonology
      • Damage of all abilities increased by 5%.

    Player vs. Player
    • Tank Specializations
      • Tank specialization player characters now take an additional 50% damage from enemy players (was 40%).
    • ideathknights.gifDeath Knight
    • Unholy, Frost
      • Death Strike now heals for 20% of damage taken when engaged in combat with enemy players (was 40%).
      • Death Strike now heals for a minimum of 5% of maximum health when engaged in combat with enemy players (was 10%).
    • Blood
      • Death Strike now heals for 12.5% of damage taken when engaged in combat with enemy players (was 25%).
      • Death Strike now heals for a minimum of 3.5% of maximum health when engaged in combat with enemy players (was 7%).
    • images.gifMage
    • Frost
      • Ice Barrier now absorbs 40% less damage when engaged in combat with enemy players.
    • Fire
      • Blazing Barrier now absorbs 40% less damage when engaged in combat with enemy players.
    • Arcane
      • Prismatic Barrier now absorbs 40% less damage when engaged in combat with enemy players.
    • iwarlocks.gifWarlock
    • Affliction, Destruction
      • Demon Armor now increases Stamina by 5% (was 10%).
      • Demon Armor now increases Armor by 90% (was 150%).

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    Horrific Visions Updates Coming with Weekly Maintenance

    By Curse,
    Horrific Visions Updates Coming with Weekly Maintenance
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    We’re working on a set of hotfixes to the game that should streamline upgrading your Legendary cloak via Horrific Visions.

    • Coalescing Visions now drop in higher numbers from Assaults and Daily Quests.
    • The Unique(5) inventory cap on Vessel of Horrific Visions has been removed, allowing you to carry as many Vessels as you like.
    • Up to 4 Torn Pages of "Fear and Flesh" quest items can now drop in Horrific Visions from objectives on the rank 7-11 Legendary cloak upgrade quests (was a max of 2).
      • You’ll need to clear more than two sides areas in one run to get more than two pages. The rank 13-15 quests will still drop a max of 2 pages, only from Lost Area objectives.

    These updates will go into effect with weekly maintenance (Tuesday, February 25 in this region).

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    Funko Shows Off New Avengers Game Pops At Toy Fair

    By GameInformer,


    Toy Fair is ramping up in New York, where tons of new figures and collectibles are being showcased for the first time. Among the exciting additions for game fans, Funko has highlighted an array of fun figures from the upcoming Crystal Dynamics Avengers video game.

    Whether you’re looking to help Hulk smash your bookcase, or Thor to call lightning and thunder down on your office desk, the set should offer plenty of superheroic fun.

    The new figures are expected to begin hitting shelves in early March.


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    Upcoming PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Patch Enables PS4 And Xbox One Party Crossplay

    By GameInformer,


    Ready to party up with your friends across the great console servers? It's almost time! PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds patch 6.2 is expected to allow for players to group up across Xbox and PS4 to play matches together.

    Console Players: Update 6.2 is now available on the PTS!

    Drop in to test Cross Party Play, which allows Xbox and PS4 players to party up together!

    Team Deathmatch, grenade balance, Karakin loot changes, and more are also available for testing. https://t.co/uSxzFfDESD

    — PUBG Support (@PUBG_Support) February 20, 2020

    Finally, Xbox Jim can team up with PlayStation Pete, take a car across Erangel, and have an epic shootout on a hill. Or just drop into a hotspot and go for the instant action. Whatever you're into, that option is coming to console "live" on March 3, but you can test it out right now on the test server if you're into that!

    Console Players: Update 6.2 live server patch has been delayed until March 3rd due to technical issues found during testing.

    — PUBG Support (@PUBG_Support) February 21, 2020


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    Top Of The Table – Wonder Woman: Challenge Of The Amazons

    By GameInformer,


    Ask anyone who plays a lot of cooperative board games (or designs them), and they’ll reveal one big problem that always seems to crop up. In a game where everyone is working together toward a common goal, it’s often far too easy for a single player to become the “alpha,” directing the action and extending his or her control over the game by dictating what everyone should do in each round. It’s not always malicious and selfish – after all, everybody wants to win, and maybe that one player really does know best – but it has the unfortunate side effect that everyone else starts to feel left out and without agency, and that’s no fun.

    Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons is a game I like for a lot of reasons. At its core, it’s all about taking on the role of Wonder Woman and her friends, and then ranging out across the island of Themyscira to cooperatively confront one of the familiar foes from the comic book fiction – Ares, Circe, or Cheetah. The board game features some beautiful components, a smart sense of pacing, and the multiple supervillains lend replayability. But without a doubt, the thing that most impresses me is the game’s approach to the alpha player problem.

    Adopting the role of the peerless Amazonian warrior women, the game bakes in a period of strategizing and planning into the start of each turn, which does indeed give outspoken players a chance to lay out their grand plans, based on available cards and actions that each player can see. But after that, as the battle begins, additional cards come into play for all the players. And at this point, all the group strategizing must end, and each player’s combat instincts must kick in. To reflect that idea, everyone gets to look at that broader array of available action cards that were not available during the strategy phase, and then make their own plan, even if that means going rogue from the original strategy. It’s an idea that provides tremendous agency to each player, and also results in awesome surprises as the battle moves in different directions than expected. It’s a brilliant solution to a stubborn dilemma.


    Action resolution is deterministic, with clear outcomes to actions. There’s very little randomness inserted since there are no dice for combat or other luck-based elements. Instead, you can have high confidence that your actions around the board will have the desired result. Every action’s outcome is resolved by having enough of a designated icon for traits like leadership and agility. Need to take out bad guys? You need a certain number of vigor icons on your cards. Is there a blockade preventing you from reaching a desired destination? Then hopefully you have enough agility. Because of this dynamic, the appeal of turn-to-turn gameplay is about relatively pure strategy and planning and trying to predict the flow of enemy forces. The only thing you can’t confidently plan on is the villain’s card draws, which deploy new problems onto the board.

    I really enjoy the distinct traits of each hero character. Diana’s take-charge nature gives her the chance to move a space during the strategize phase. Meanwhile, Nu’bia’s honed instincts for combat are reflected by two additional face-down cards in your battle plan, giving her increased flexibility to call audibles once the conflict begins. Artemis gets to start the game with one of the powerful relics of the island already in hand. In each case, it’s just enough to give each character a distinct identity within the gameplay. If I have a complaint, it’s that the broader flavor text and components do a poor job of introducing and selling each of these powerful protagonists. Even some devoted comic fans will have trouble recalling characters like Mala and Philippus, and just a bit more description would have gone a long way to enriching the thematic immersion.

    The three “big bads” each offer amusingly divergent scenarios. Cheetah demands big coordinated attacks, as she slips away after each encounter to an entirely different place on the island. Circe circles Themyscira, transforms your fellow Amazons into animals, and sets up magical beacons that must be pulled down to drop her magical shielding. And the final blow against Ares can only be struck by a hero who has toured the island and charged up the Sword of Hephaestus at important monuments and temples. While I’d be more than happy to see even more enemy scenarios in this core box, the initial three are all fun and challenging in their own right, and should maintain your attention for lots of runs.


    While I don’t always feel compelled to highlight a game’s components, I was especially pleased with the clean presentation, stylish art, and cool miniatures that are included within Challenge of the Amazons. The cover art talents of Jenny Frison (who has an established history with envisioning the character for comic book covers) captures the stoic and heroic vibe of the Amazons. Internal cards and board components feature a soft white undertone that calls to mind marble columns. And the well-sculpted miniatures of the heroes are all painted in a deep bronze color, suggesting the classic statuary styles of Ancient Greece, and further accentuating the mythological vibe.

    Two to five players can enjoy a run at defending Wonder Woman’s home, and my playthroughs suggest a playtime of between one and two hours, at least after you grasp the basics, and depending on how long your gaming group likes to sit around and strategize each round. The game has only just been announced, and if you’re reading this at publication, you may have a few weeks to wait until it shows up to purchase.

    If your group likes cooperative challenges and mythological overtones, it’s well worth tracking down. It also features another potent distinction that might mean a lot to certain players – it’s one of the very few games I can think of with an all-female cast of playable characters, and does a great job of reflecting that branch of the DC comics fiction in a way that feels both empowering and appropriate to the setting.


    For many players, the cooperative experience can be a game-changer to being able to enjoy a night of gaming; if you haven’t yet tried that playstyle out, Wonder Woman offers an excellent foray into teamwork and personal moments of triumph that benefit everyone at the table.

    If you’re looking for other board games to fill your table on your next game night with friends or family, don’t forget to click into the Top of the Table hub from the banner below. You’ll find years of recommendations and suggestions for the best in the board, card, miniature, and role-playing game field, including round-ups of some of the best releases from any given year. If sifting through those articles is intimidating, you can also always reach out directly via email; I’m always happy to hear what you’re looking for, and hopefully pinpoint the next great game you can share with your group.

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    Tony Stewart's Sprint Car Racing Review – Strapping In For A New Ride

    By GameInformer,

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Publisher: Monster Games
    Developer: Monster Games
    Release: February 14, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One), February 21, 2020 (PC)
    Reviewed on: Xbox One
    Also on: PlayStation 4, PC

    Dirt racing has value for developer Monster Games. Since it hasn’t always been included in the studio’s titles through the years, fans have demanded it. Dirt racing also has cred. Many famous drivers got their starts on dirt, tearing it up at local tracks throughout the country on a Friday night. So, it makes sense that Monster would partner with NASCAR star Tony Stewart – who has always supported dirt racing – for a sprint car racing game on dirt.

    Racing is naturally more slippery on dirt, but I’m glad this title has more gameplay nuance than just slopping through the corners. It’s more about finesse than aggression, and you must consider your car’s HP and the banking and arc of the turns. The fact that the tracks are ovals might seem boring, but the shortness of the straightaways relative to a NASCAR track creates a fun rhythm; it feels like you’re perpetually turning the wheel in preparation for the next corner. The flow feels different than a regular offroad or rally game. I was often on the gas the whole race, managing the car simply through careful and timely steering inputs, tearing around the track and scissoring between the other cars. Unfortunately, this is negated during online races, where lag can cause cars to visually appear to teleport around.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Starting out in the career mode, I gained an appreciation for what it takes to even eke out a mid-place finish through disciplined racing and avoiding contact with other cars. The mode contains three tiers of cars of escalating HP corresponding to the three racing series (midgets, 305s, and 410s), as well as upgradeable parts within each which you buy with your winnings and sponsorship payouts.

    Progress through the mode is gradual, which I like. I didn’t win my first race until my second season in midgets, by which time I not only had better equipment, but I was also simply a better racer. Accordingly, I began to deal more with lapped traffic (on 50-percent race length) – another gameplay wrinkle that takes skill and patience to navigate. Eventually you can own more than one race car across each series and use your success in lower tiers to fuel your progress in the higher ones.

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    The game’s career mode is appropriately wedded to the experience on the track, but it’s locked in a linear inevitability that puts a cap on the mode’s ultimate payoff. Eventually you can get enough money to buy the parts you need to simply outmuscle opponents. This isn’t necessarily bad; it works, but it also makes your progress through the mode predictable and without consequence. It doesn’t match the tension and excitement occurring on the track itself.

    Dirt racing may be a sort of minor league to the big-time stock cars, but this game – while limited in some areas – taps into its own enjoyable racing rhythm and buzz.


    Score: 7

    Summary: Monster Games' latest racer contains some elements similar to its NASCAR series, but the sprint cars have a gameplay feel all their own.

    Concept: NASCAR developer Monster Games takes you back to the roots of racing – sprint cars on dirt tracks, complete with real drivers and a multi-series career mode

    Graphics: Frame stutters occur every couple of laps

    Sound: The local track announcer is a nice touch, but he’s not used much

    Playability: Maintaining optimal control and speed is a subtle task, making the simple dirt tracks trickier than they might appear

    Entertainment: I enjoyed racing spring cars on dirt ovals more than I thought I would

    Replay: Moderate

    Click to Purchase

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