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    Prepare For The Release Of Assassin's Creed Origins With Our Exclusive Content Hub

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    Desert.jpg

    Next Friday's got a number of Triple-A games releasing at the same time, including Super Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, and Assassin's Creed Origins. Our July 2017 issue of Game Informer's cover story was Assassin's Creed Origins, and now is the perfect time to revisit our hub of exclusive content so you can prepare to explore Ancient Egypt.

    Click here, or the banner below, to be transported to our cover story hub from July. From there, you can find exclusive interviews, videos, and more about Assassin's Creed Origins. Some of these include five things you need to know about the game, an in-depth look at the new assassin hero Bayek, hands-on impressions, how Ubisoft rethinks open world design with this new entry, and our podcast that answers your lingering questions.

    (Please visit the site to view this media)

    Stay tuned for our review of Assassin's Creed Origins, which will be published this coming week. Assassin's Creed Origins releases on October 27 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

    0717_5F00_291_5F00_AC_5F00_Origins_5F00_

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    Alienware Peripherals Giveaway, Oct 20 Hotfixes, This Week in WoW History

    Curse
    By Curse,
    wowmini.png BlizzCon Virtual Ticket Giveaway

    Alienware Peripherals Giveaway
    Our friends at Alienware have provided us with 20x Alienware Advanced Gaming Mouse and 10 x Alienware Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard.

    • The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. states & D.C. that are 18 or older.
    • The contest will run from October 21st 2017 to October 26th 2017 at 11:59 pm CT.
    • To enter, just reply to this post with which product you want more (Mouse, Keyboard, or Either)
    • You can see the full set of Official Rules here.

    awKeyboard.jpg awMouse.jpg


    Patch 7.3 Hotfixes - October 20
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
    Classes

    Battle Pets
    • Lesser Pet Treats and Pet Treats should once again stack.
    • Naxxy will now fly alongside you when you’re on a flying mount.

    Player versus Player
    • Your item level is now set to 935 while participating in Tournament Rules wargames (was iLvl 900).

    This Week in WoW History
    We're taking a look back at old MMO-Champion posts and World of Warcraft news that occurred during this time in previous years.

    Tier 11 Models Released
    The first raid in the Cataclysm brought us some great looking sets which were featured in 2010 prior to the release of Blackwing Descent. This was the first raid where loot was normalized in 10 and 25 man modes, allowing guilds to choose which raid size they wanted to go with.

    t11.jpg


    Incoming Cataclysm
    In 2010 a short TV commercial aired, giving all World of Warcraft fans a Cataclysm teaser. The full trailer was also released on YouTube, which showed us Deathwing bringing the Cataclysm to Azeroth. Expansion trailer reveals typically happen at BlizzCon, however this was released over a week before it, which further built the anticipation for more details to be shared at the event.

    cata.jpg


    Mists of Pandaria Announcement
    Mists of Pandaria was officially announced, showing off the new race and class to come in the next expansion. With this post we also got some information, such as the level cap being raised, pet battle system being added, and our talent system being redesigned.

    mop.jpg


    Endgineer Omegaplugg - Let the Puzzles Begin
    One of many secrets discovered in Legion was the hidden boss in Gnomeregan. This was a 5 man boss, which was summoned by pushing a hidden button in the room of the last boss. This new boss was also much more difficult than the typical dungeon boss, which required players to be well geared, and execute a clever strategy to deal with all of his mechanics. After defeating him, the group was rewarded with the Vial of Green Goo toy.

    hb.jpg


    World of Warcraft and Cooking
    Have you ever wondered what Conjured Mana Strudels taste like? In 2016 the official World of Warcraft Cookbook released featuring many of the iconic in game meals and drinks. This book is still available for purchase on Amazon, so if you wanted to bring the tastes of Azeroth meals to your home, it’s time to pick one up.

    cb.jpg

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    Gears Of War 4's October Update Brings New Maps, Halloween Event, And Xbox One X Support

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    gearsofwar4review3.jpg

    Next week, a large update is coming to Gears of War 4, which introduces two new maps, Xbox One X support, and ushers in a Halloween event. The Xbox One X arrives on store shelves this November, and The Coalition says its preparing to bring support to the game as we lead up to its launch, by allowing players to pre-download 4K files.

    While The Coalition didn't give specifics on what Xbox One X enhancements we can look forward to, the team says they will be providing more information "VERY soon." The Coalition, however, went into detail about what kind of maps and other content we'll see coming to the game as of next week.

    The two new maps are Lift Apex and Fuel Depot. Fuel Depot is a map that was featured in the first Gears of War and Gears of War 2. Now, this large warehouse setting makes its return. Lift Apex, also inspired by an earlier map, is set in an Imulsion Extraction Facility in the middle of the Serano ocean. These two maps can be played by season pass holders as of October 23, whereas all other players can join in on October 30.

    (Please visit the site to view this media)

    Gears of War 4 also has celebrations to look forward to, including a Halloween event which will feature new characters, weapon skins, and "spooky-themed events." Then, in November, The Coalition will be celebrating its 11th anniversary for the Gears of War franchise.

    For more on Gears of War 4, read our glowing review.

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    Celebrating 15 Years Of Sly Cooper, Sony's Most Stylish Mascot

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    sly_2D00_retrospective_2D00_1_2D00_610.j

    Sneaking from the shadows, a cane-wielding raccoon gracefully leaps across Parisian rooftops backlit by the greens and pinks of neon signs, his footsteps locked to the rhythm of lounge jazz piano. 

    This opening scene from Sucker Punch's Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus is an indelible image for gamers, one that, much like the game itself, has kept its style and wit over the years. The Thievius Racoonus celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, and revisiting the game after all that time, it’s still clear why Sly’s first adventure was so special and creatively risky.

    In September 2002, the 3D platformer genre was on a hot streak, especially on Sony consoles. Naughty Dog hit a goldmine with Crash Bandicoot back in 1996, and in late 2001 they released Jak and Daxter to widespread critical and commercial success. It would be another year before Sony’s other 3D platforming behemoths – Sly Cooper and Ratchet & Clank – released. 

    All these games are still fan favorites, but revisiting Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus revealed a game that is still fun to play and holds up even after 15 years of progress in game design. A large part of that can be attributed to the bold stylistic direction Sucker Punch took with the Thievius Racoonus. 

    sly_2D00_retrospective_2D00_2_2D00_610.j

    With Jak and Daxter, Naughty Dog built a mysterious world in a cartoonish visual style. In Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac created a gun-filled science-fiction-meets- Pixar universe. Both games had something that young gamers, the target demographic, could latch onto. 

    With its anthropomorphic animals and cartoon sensibilities, Thievius Racoonus was clearly made with younger players in mind. Sly and the rest of the gang – Bentley the turtle, a germophobic techno genius, and Murray the hippo, the gang’s clumsy but lovable getaway driver – fall into archetypes kids can enjoy. However, Sucker Punch used those characters to tell a revenge story that pulled from classic noir and heist films, genres that its young target demographic might not be familiar with. 

    Players watch Sly retell the story of his father’s death at the hands of the villainous Fiendish Five in the first of the game’s many playful cartoon cutscenes. Although Sucker Punch plays it off with charm and witty writing, it’s a dark, tragic note to start an adventure on, and a sign that the game isn’t afraid to root itself in more mature thematic territory. Look carefully and you’ll find  references to steroids and gambling throughout the Thievius Racoonus. Even Sly’s extremely flirtatious relationship with vulpine cop Carmelita Fox is more mature than most E-rated games. It’s not the most risqué material, but for an E-rated game in 2002, the Thievius Racoonus was pushing more mature interactions and themes for the sake of its noir-lite adventure. 

    The Thievius Racoonus’ other strengths – the smooth animation and platforming, and moody soundtrack – all contribute to Sucker Punch’s unique vision, but its cel-shaded look is what made it stand out the most among its direct competitors. Its visuals, which hold up surprisingly well, play with shadow and light much like film noir of the 1940s. Laser grids and guards with flashlights are both platforming obstacles for the player and visual contrast for certain levels.

    sly_2D00_retrospective_2D00_4_2D00_610.j

     Although 3D platformers aren’t as popular today as they used to be, the way Sly jumps and climbs are reminders of why this genre worked in the first place. Sucker Punch made a smooth, slick platformer that really makes you feel like a master thief. Like any great title, the gameplay works in concert with the narrative. Sly’s movements are a great window into his charming and, well, sly personality even as his actions prove there’s a thrill-seeking intensity beneath that calm and collected surface. The music provided a diverse sonic landscape that keyed into the rhythm of Sly’s thieving hijinks and fit the distinct feel of the game. Whether it was sensual lounge jazz, bombastic electric blues, or atmospheric voodoo swamp drone, the music helped immerse players in Sly’s cartoon noir world. 

    It’s still impressive how all this locks in place right from the start, particularly in one memorable scene that tasks players with breaking into a vent and jumping through a laser security system. It’s a moment straight out of Mission Impossible. Sly’s graceful animations, the contrast between the dazzling laser display and dark Paris night, and subtle but tense music all work together to make a strong and lasting impression. 

    That said, video games have come a long way in 15 years, which means not everything in the Thievius Racoonus has aged as gracefully as its visual style. 

    sly_2D00_retrospective_2D00_5_2D00_610.j

    The tutorials, a product of game design philosophies at the time, find Sly’s techno wiz friend Bentley spouting off control schemes rather than natural dialogue. Non-platforming sections peppered throughout Sly’s adventure certainly helped change up the action, but racing and on-rail shooting levels are more often frustrating than fun. 

    However, the game’s biggest failure is its depiction of Carmelita Fox as an overly sexualized lust object. Carmelita Fox’s fiery relationship with Sly develops throughout the three main Sly Cooper games in interesting ways, but in the Thievius Racoonus, Sucker Punch remains mired in adolescent – and frequently offensive – depictions of its primary female character.  

    It’s not enough to completely ruin Sly’s 15-year legacy, but it’s a reminder of where video games were – and sometimes still are – as a medium.

    Despite all that, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus is still a stylish, fun, and surprisingly mature experience even after 15 years. The cartoon, anthropomorphized noir that Sucker Punch delivered back in 2002 spawned three sequels that expanded the Sly Cooper universe, refined stealth, and moved the series towards open world-like levels with multi-stage heist missions. Although later games were bigger the Thievius Racoonus is the reason Sly Cooper remains Sony’s most stylish mascot.

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    The Shipyard: Weapon Hardpoints

    RSI
    By RSI,


    Weapon Hardpoints

    A Guide to the New Ship Matrix

    Greetings Citizens!

    Weapons and their hardpoints. The next several topics of discussion focused on the new Ship Matrix are possibly some of the most important areas we’ll cover, and relevant to everyone who’s concerned with how their ships perform in combat. Since the start of the project we’ve gone through many iterations of design on our ship hardpoints and with SC Alpha 3.0 we’ll complete another small iteration to them in our continuing effort to address much of the confusion regarding their sizing, what can be done with them, and more.

    To begin, every item on a ship is attached to a hardpoint, or “itemport” as we sometimes refer to them by their in-engine designation, and each one has restrictions on what type of items can be attached to it. This system prevents people from putting power plants where turrets should go, fuel tanks where the radar is supposed to be, and other similar examples of undesirable customization.

    In this article’s topic, for the specific itemports we classify as “weapon” hardpoints, they have some restrictions of their own:


    They are restricted to a single size item, no more ranges of item size such as Size 1-3.

    They can only take a weapon directly attached of that size or a gimbal mount of that size attached to it.

    Some specific instances may have additional restrictions to limit them to individual items or types, such as the Vanguard nose weapon array.


    Fixed_weapons.gif

    Fixed Weapon Mounts

    Attaching a weapon of matching size (or smaller) to the itemport directly is what we call a Fixed weapon mount, and has the inherent benefit of being capable of using the largest weapon made possible by that hardpoint while contending with limited aiming and a requirement to land their shots more accurately.



    Gimbal_weapons.gif

    Gimbal Weapon Mounts

    As an alternative to attaching the maximum sized weapon to your itemport, you may choose to use a Gimbal Mount. Gimbals allow players to attach a smaller sized weapon that will enable the user to line their shots up with more ease than a fixed on it’s own. The Gimbal Mount must be the same size as the hardpoint, but can only support a weapon at least one size smaller due to the space it occupies.


    These are the only two types of items that can be attached to weapon hardpoints and gimbal mounts can only contain a single weapon hardpoint.




    Other Weapon Types

    or: What Happened to Twin-Link, Tri-Link, Quad-Link, Barrage and More?


    Aside from twin-link weapons, many of the items described by various designers over time have not made the transition from drawing board to implementation. These include things like “tri-link,” “quad-link,” “barrage” and others. Most of these had problems at various stages, including the sizing penalty applied to them which soon became very unwieldy to manage. For twin-link weapons specifically, these are now as turrets, specifically remote ones, and will be discussed in that article.

    There are a fair amount of ships with these sort of items attached so we encourage you not worry if you see their “weapon” count drop down, as they more than likely now have an extra turret to account for this. The primary driving factor in this was physical size. Simply put, by the time we had two weapons on a mount this was often significantly larger than the base weapon that could go on that mount and caused visual or physical clipping and often resulted in the firing arc having to be limited to such an extent that it became virtually useless. This change from twin-link to remote turret is designed to give the player as much functionality from the item as possible.

    Ships that now have these Remote Turrets will find that in the majority of cases these bespoke items will only be swappable with other custom tailored turrets made for that ship. An example of this can be found in the Mustangs current Chin Turret (with 2x S1 hardpoints) that will be swapable with a new Mustang Chin Turret containing a 1xS2 hardpoint. This system will be covered further in the dedicated articles on turrets.




    How Ship Items are Displayed

    or: You Changed Things and Now I Can’t Read Any of This


    Legend.jpg

    The Ship Stats Update has been a long time coming. In addition to refining our own internal policies and metrics, work was needed in order to display that information to you in as comprehensive, yet understandable a manner as possible. To that end, in addition to the changes to the Technical Information panel discussed in Part 3, we have made significant alterations to how default loadouts are presented to the backer.

    To the right you will see the legend that guides all items found in the Technical Overview. For the purposes of this section, we will be focused on weapons, but the information here will apply to reading all items found in the Technical Overview.



    Super_all.jpg
    Things That Go Boom

    To the right of the Technical Overview, you will find the weapons pane, where the various armaments for a ship are found. This section is itself broken down into four sub-sections.


    Weapons. The hardpoints we’ve been discussing in this article, where you can attach a variety of ballistic and energy-based armament.

    Turrets. Covered in more detail in our next part. You will find both manned and remote turrets here.

    Super_weapons.jpg

    Missiles. The things that go in the Missile Racks used to blow stuff up. Torpedoes or missiles can be shown here.

    Utility Items. This is where you will find things like the Stor-All box on the Hornet F7C.


    While this article is specifically about weapons, we’re not ignoring Turrets, Ordnance and Other Hardpoints. We’ll be covering each one individually in the next few articles, so stay tuned.




    Frequently Asked Questions

    or: Questions We Figured You Might Have




    Q: Can I put missiles on weapon hardpoints?

    A: No, these are counted as Ordnance hardpoints and will have their own post in the next few days dedicated to all things Ordnance.

    Q: Why can I only put a S2 weapon on a S3 Gimbal?

    A: This is primarily due to game balance. Gimbal weapons provide a natural advantage due to their independence from the ships movement when aiming. By reducing the maximum size they can take by 1 from the itemport, their damage output is naturally reduced and should keep fixed weapons competitive in terms of DPS.

    Q: Why have you removed the range of sizes on a hardpoint?

    A: When we looked at it, there were very few ships that actually had this set up. It was primarily the Aurora line and upon examination, we found it not particularly useful long term and an easy cause of various inconsistencies.

    For example, having a range of S1-S2 gave you the option of having Fixed S2, Gimbal S1 or Fixed S1 and nobody ever would pick Fixed S1 as an option when you can Gimbal Lock to achieve the same result. Removing this option cleans up the design rules and overall setup significantly across the board and does so with virtually no impact on players.


    Further Reading


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    Fire Emblem Warriors DLC Packs Detailed

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    fireemblemwarriorsspecialedition610.jpg

    Fire Emblem Warriors released yesterday, and details have emerged that specify what to expect from the game's upcoming three DLC packs. Each pack will be themed around a previous Fire Emblem game, including Fates, Shadow Dragon, and Awakening. These bundles come with their own unique playable characters, history scenarios, weapons, and support conversations. You can purchase a $19.99 season pass to receive all three packs, or each can be bought individually for $8.99. If you buy the season pass, you also receive Lucina's bridal costume.

    The Fates pack arrives this December, whereas the other two will release next year. The Shadow Dragon pack comes in February and the Awakening pack hits in March.

    You can view the details of each DLC bundle below:

    Fire Emblem Fates Pack

    • Playable characters: Azura, Niles, Oboro
    • Three new history maps
    • Five new costumes
    • 13 broken-armor models

    Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon Pack

    • Playable characters: Navarre, Minerva, Linde
    • Three new history maps
    • Four new costumes
    • Six new weapons
    • Nine broken-armor models

    Fire Emblem Awakening Pack

    • Playable characters: Owain, Tharja, Olivia
    • Three new history maps
    • Three new costumes
    • Seven new weapons
    • Ten broken-armor models

    Fire Emblem Warriors released on Nintendo Switch and New Nintendo 3DS as of October 20. Our review is still in progress, but keep an eye for it in the next few days.

    [Source: Nintendo and Nintendo Everything]

    View the full article


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