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  1. Past hour
  2. Patch 8.3 PTR - Black Empire Campaign: Unlocking The Uldum Accord Faction and Uldum Assaults The recent PTR updates have allowed us to preview a more coherent quest chain that kicks off the patch when you log in on patch day. This quest chain is labeled as "Black Empire Campaign" in the quest log. We will preview the quest chain in different parts throughout the week. SPOILERS BELOW Part 1 - Unlocking The Uldum Accord Faction and Uldum Assaults Upon logging in, you'll receive the quest "An Unwelcome Advisor (A)" or "Return of the Black Prince (H)" from your faction and report to them. There is an "awesome in-game event cutscene" that is not yet implemented here. It would appear that N'Zoth's corruption is already reaching its way into our minds and we must go with Magni and Wrathion to see what we can uncover.Wrathion remarks that it was a pleasant reunion before telling you to meet him in Silithus. There are only a few faction differences in the chain. If you are Alliance, you attend the Stormwind meeting first hand. Magni requests for his hammer and gives you the quest "Return of the Warrior King." You walk with Anduin to retrieve Fearbreaker, to which Anduin says he was never able to live up to its legacy, and even Baine thought himself unworthy to wield it. Magni says he wouldn't have given it to Anduin if he didn't think he deserved it, and Anduin remarks that the hammer belongs with a Mountain King. You find the hammer on the wall and retrieve it before heading back to the Chamber of Heart with the quest "Where the Heart Is." If you are Horde, you find Valeera in the Port of Zandalar and she recalls these events for you.When you arrive, Magni asks Wrathion if he has had any luck finding N'Zoth. Wrathion says his Blacktalon operatives have searched the world to no avail. He then remarks that in his research he came across references to a place called Ny'alotha and thinks it might not be a physical location, but a vision waiting to be made real. Magni suggests that get Azeroth's titan-made defenses ready and then find a target to point it at. He gives you the quest "Network Diagnostics" and asks you to activate Titan Consoles in the chamber to check the status of the titan forges throughout Azeroth.You find that Uldir's corruption is within acceptable parameters, Uldaman's discs are still secure, the Forge of Wills in Ulduar is still operational, but the Forge of Origination in Uldum is inactive. Wrathion says we can all safely assume what this "root cause" of the deactivation might be.Magni gives you the quest "A Titanic Problem" and tells you to meet him outside the Halls of Origination in Uldum. Without the Forge, Azeroth is vulnerable to N'Zoth's corruption.You meet Magni at the entrance and get the quest "The Halls of Origination." Magni says the Halls have been claimed by a group of tol'vir calling themselves the Amathet. He suggests we enter the Halls, defeat the Amathet forces and reactivate the forge.You enter the dungeon and start a scenario, fighting your way through Amathet forces as one of their Sun Priests seems angered that you defile the Halls with the Curse of Flesh. You fight your way to the inner chambers and deactivate the forge's defense system by shutting down 4 control statues. You then reach the elevator to find Watcher Aun-ka, who attacks you for being an unauthorized life form. Magni is concerned that the Amathet can make their own watchers, but suggests we worry about it later. He tries to activate the lift, but the power has been shut off, so we head to the conduits.What follows is a puzzle to redirect power to the conduit. Once it is active, you fight Sun Prophet Tenhamen who ends up being a minion of N'Zoth in disguise. When you defeat him, N'zoth briefly enters your mind, stating that "their eyes remain closed to the true path. Not like you. My devoted chosen." Magni brings you back to reality, and you head back to the lift.Magni links to MOTHER in the Chamber of Heart, and you attempt to activate the power conduits, but you eventually need to use your Heart of Azeroth to interface with the main console to restore power and get another "awesome in-game event," reactivating the forge. Magni gives you the quest "To Ramkahen" and tells you to meet with King Phaoris to discuss having his tol'vir keep the forge out of the wrong hands.When you arrive, Arik Scorpidsting is requesting an audience with the King, but the High Commander forbids it. The king notices you, and allows you to speak, giving you the quest "The Uldum Accord" and says our interest to protect the forge aligns with the tol'vir. He asks you to learn about the threats facing Uldum. You inspect the map for another "awesome in-game event" and King Phaoris establishes the Uldum Accord composed of the Watsewanders, The Explorer's League, and his tol'vir to protect Uldum.The King gives you the quest "Surfacing Threats" and asks you to speak to the High Commander to assess the situation, which has you complete an assault in Uldum. The Uldum Accord faction reputation, Uldum Accord dailies, and assaults in Uldum will be unlock at this point.Completing the assault gives you the quest "Forging Onward" which has you return to Magni in the Chamber of Heart. This will award you with the Token of Death's Door essence.Part two preview coming soon. View the full article
  3. Today
  4. Challenge Rift - Week 126 Challenge Rift Week 126 is live! Because Season 19 begins this Friday, we advise that you DO NOT complete the challenge rift until after you've made your seasonal character! This week the Challenge Rift features three different Crusader builds, two of which focus on the new Valor set! If you are curious how Challenge Rift builds are chosen each week, you can view this official blog post! Challenge Rift 126 - NA by OSW_Zenkiki Blessed Shield Combust Iron Skin Flash Steed Charge Endurance Akarat's Champion Prophet Provoke Hit Me Laws of Valor Critical Iron Maiden Lord Commander Hold Your Ground Fervor Challenge Rift 126 - EU by OSW_Zenkiki Shield Glare Divine Verdict Heaven's Fury Blessed Ground Laws of Valor Unstoppable Force Fist of the Heavens Heaven's Tempest Smite Shackle Akarat's Champion Prophet Heavenly Strength Vigilant Finery Long Arm of the Law Challenge Rift 126 - Asia by OSW_Zenkiki Iron Skin Charged Up Fist of the Heavens Reverberation Akarat's Champion Prophet Steed Charge Endurance Laws of Valor Heaven's Fury Fires of Heaven Fervor Holy Cause Long Arm of the Law Finery View the full article
  5. Yesterday
  6. Half-Life fans have long waited for a conclusion to Half-Life 2, and Valve may finally be coming around on the idea of returning to this beloved story. Valve announced on Twitter that it will unveil Half-Life: Alyx on Thursday at 10 a.m. PT, describing it as a flagship VR game. Outside of knowing Alyx Vance is likely returning, we don't know anything else about this project. Is it the sequel fans have been waiting for? A prequel? Something different entirely? We'll have to until until Thursday to find out. Regardless of what it is, I think we can all agree it's great to see Valve making a new Half-Life game again. It's been too long! View the full article
  7. Click here to watch embedded media In another video interview from our month of Blizzard coverage, Overwatch Lead Writer Michael Chu joins us to explain the setting of Overwatch 2's story experience and the philosophy of the writing team as they head into untested waters with fan-favorite characters. Enjoy the quick video above, and be sure to click the banner below to check out other exclusive content within our Blizzard Issue, including gameplay from Overwatch 2's story experience: View the full article
  8. Click here to watch embedded media Google Stadia launches tomorrow, giving players another way to consume games. The twist here is that Stadia users will be playing games by streaming them online, without having to download anything on their Chromecast devices or browsers. We've seen streaming services before, with varying results. Has Google finally cracked the code? If only there was a new episode of NGT that tried to answer that question... Think of the November 19 launch as a soft launch. Much of the platform's most-interesting functionality, such as shareable save states, isn't available for people who bought the Founder's Pack. Check out today's episode to see how hot releases like Destiny 2 and Mortal Kombat 11 fare on the tech. For more on Google Stadia, you can check out Ben Reeves' review. View the full article
  9. For this zone, the team was trying to tackle the question of: “What would WoW Translyvania look like?” It takes the form of a gigantic gothic castle sprawling over a misty forest and a curious pit. Carriages, floating vampiric aristocracy, gargoyles, and little Igor-style gravedigger minions called dredgers mill about. The zone is colossal, so my guided tour through the realm of sinners – who can still be redeemed in some form – took me through each of the castle’s five wards. The entryway itself is suffering disrepair, as are the buildings and structures across the castle grounds. This is a problem that many of the Shadowlands zones have, as no new souls are coming in due to everyone being routed to the Maw. The castle proper looms over the zone like an oppressive titan, towering over the Village Ward where players enter and can get the lay of the land. Sin stones, gravestones with the soul’s crimes listed upon it, litter each pathway. Souls sent here can etch these sins off their stones over time as they prepare for the afterlife, but the Venthyr’s methods are often horrific and torturous. While the Venthyr may have an important purpose in the Shadowlands, with their task of preparing tainted souls for the afterlife, you can’t help but think these vampiric, bickering aristocrats have a serious streak of sadism. The souls that show up here under normal circumstances are “bad guys,” prideful, and perhaps having justified terrible things, and have a chance at redemption over eons of suffering in the Shadowlands. A famous character from Warcraft that ended up here is Kael’thas Sunstrider. Carriages are a frequent sight throughout the castle grounds, and beyond being a cool aesthetic addition, players can hop on and off at will to help speed up travel or get through pockets of aggressive enemies. The Village Ward is mostly exterior environments, various dilapidated buildings, and a view of the fog-filled forest where the Venthyr schedule hunts on tortured souls, sending them out with a false sense of security and hope they run away, then track them down and “humble” them. The next stop on the carriage-ride is the Cathedral Ward. It’s a mix of interior and exterior space and significantly higher class than the village below. One of the major dungeons of the expansion, Revendreth Cathedral, is located here. Elevators are scattered everywhere, allowing players to move from ward to ward and explore the vertical space of the zone. Along the way in this area, we spot someone who looks decidedly out of place, a sort of Ethereal-looking merchant that’s part of an organization known as the Brokers. The Brokers are a faction separate from the Covenants and the Maw, sort of soul-traders, that can move freely around the Shadowlands. In the wake of the recent calamities, the Brokers have taken this chance to capitalize on new opportunities for profit and perhaps more. They are similar in appearance to the Ethereal faction from multiple expansions, and the team’s comments lead me to believe they’ll be just as shady and manipulative throughout this expansion as our old friends. The Ember Ward is a stark contrast to the rest of the space. This is the only spot in Revendreth where the light has actually broken through, and hence is the worst nightmare for our light-vulnerable friends. This area is destroyed, and the unfortunate Venthyr that have been sent here as punishment are either dead, driven insane by the light, or battling each other for the scant pockets of shadow that dot the ward. The ruling class of Venthyr can’t torture each other like they would other souls, but they have the Ember Ward to handle dissidents and rabble-rousers. Outside of being burned to death by the light, the exposure also slowly turns Venthyr insane. This isn’t a fun place, but it’s thematically awesome – the Venthyr have even turned their torturous pursuits to utilizing mirrors as weapons with the stray light. The Venthyr’s massive gargoyle army is housed in the Military Ward, but this area and the gargoyle forces are both in disrepair due to the soul drought. We spot a dredger being created out of a giant pit here – they’re just made from muck. The dredgers keep attempting to rebuild and keep the wards active, but it’s a battle they’re losing. The Military Ward is an endgame centric area featuring catacombs, hostile enemies, and cool animated weapons and items that the Venthyr have shoved souls into. A quick jaunt around the Castle Ward highlights multiple points of interest. Various districts make up the Castle Ward, designed for those who curry favor with the countess, a place for old money, dark favors, decadent delights, and grisly parties. This is also the first chance I get to look at the area below the castle, a spooky place known as Endmire. Endmire is where creatures end up that have moved from realm to realm in the Shadowlands, twisted and misshapen as a result of the anima ending up in the wrong place. The stuff down here isn’t necessarily the creepy Bloodborne-vibe of the parapets above, instead, it’s a different blend of strange, an unnerving warped reality composed of creatures that defy sense and explanation, with a wide assortment of aberrations and colors flitting about in an unchecked bog. Under normal circumstances, the gargoyles would keep these manifestations under control, but now they’re simply tossing these creatures down. Creatures with two heads. Creatures with no heads. Energy spiders. The denizens down there are super weird, and kind of awesome, like a Princess Mononoke/Spirited Away bestiary gone wrong. My tour of Revendreth left me a bit awestruck. It’s rare that I can’t wait to get in and begin what will inevitably just be distilled down to grabbing a bunch of quests and doing them most efficiently to level up, but I’m more excited for the prospect of what happens after. Once players complete their trial period in each of the four core realms, they’re given a choice at a level cap that starts a post-level campaign, full of quests and adventures that players selecting the other options won’t get to do. These choices flesh out the zones and cultures even more while bringing the player into the fold of that covenant and their particular challenges and stories. It’s difficult to say right now, but I think Revendreth has a good shot at ousting Karazhan as my favorite WoW environment of all time. Click the banner below for more on World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, Overwatch 2, and Diablo IV! This article originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Game Informer. View the full article
  10. Ever play an online game and feel your blood pressure rise over complete frustration with poor sportsmanship, or even worse felt your anxiety spike due to harassment and bullying taking place right before your eyes? A game is only as strong as the community that supports it, but what happens when a few bad apples disrupt the flow and prevent others from having fun? Most gamers have a story where they’ve experienced griefing or team-killing, or even worse had another player verbally insult them in a way that goes well beyond “trash talk.” In fact, a recent study by anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label reported that 57 percent of the young people it surveyed experienced bullying online while playing games; even more alarming was 22 percent said it caused them to stop playing. Instead of drawing people to games, are more people turning away from them due to these unpleasant social interactions? Negative experiences playing games online aren’t anything new; you can go back to the earlier days of commercial MMORPGs, such as EverQuest and Ultima Online, and find plenty of examples of these scenarios. A common perception among gamers has been it just comes with the territory if you want to play online, but that doesn’t make it okay. Playing games should bring people together, and as gamers, we all know how powerful these experiences can be. Nobody should have to tolerate hate speech or threats to their safety to simply engage with their hobby online. This issue has only continued to heat up as more games are evolving and becoming online-centric. The extra emphasis on their social aspects has forced developers to get creative to help encourage players to “play nice.” With more initiatives and efforts in this area, we chatted with leaders across the industry, from developers figuring out solutions to companies that specialize in moderation, to gain insight into the ever-growing and complex issue. Read more... View the full article
  11. By the mid-2000s, Blu-ray felt like the future of media. Blu-ray video looked incredible and offered cleaner picture and sound quality than previous media formats. “Surely,” we thought, “the technology that comes after Blu-ray will look even more impressive!” But then something strange happened; as streaming services like Netflix took off, more and more of us ditched physical media in favor of the cloud. Streaming didn’t offer the same level of fidelity as Blu-ray – or sometimes even DVD – but it was good enough. More importantly, it was convenient. The desire to watch anything anywhere outpaced our desire for image quality. Now it’s 2019, streaming services have come a long way, and tech goliath Google thinks it has figured out how to Netflix the gaming industry. The tech is surprisingly functional, but its ability to upturn the industry will depend largely on its ability to implement its grand blueprint. Sadly, Stadia’s current design is missing several important pillars. Gaming on Stadia Stadia’s concept still sounds a bit like science fiction: Earlier this year, Google sold a vision of players using wi-fi-enable controllers to communicate with a hive of supercomputers in the cloud, which would allow users to stream the most advanced gaming software to decade-old laptops and mobile phones. Google’s system worked well at trade shows, but those were highly controlled environments. How does the service work now that we’ve been able to test it in the wild? Surprisingly well … if you have a stable internet connection. On the whole, Stadia performs better than I expected. The high-speed internet at the Game Informer offices regularly gets download/upload speeds of 280 Mbps, so I rarely noticed even a hiccup while playing games at work. Mortal Kombat 11 on a stable Stadia connection feels about as responsive as its console counterpart, and I had no problem dialing in combos and Fatalities even though my inputs had to travel through miles of infrastructure to bounce off Google servers. Unfortunately, the experience quickly degrades as your internet speeds dial down. At a nearby coffee shop, where I recorded download speeds of 38 Mbps, I noticed a few frame skips every couple minutes. At home, where my speeds regularly drop to 20 Mbps, I noticed some visual artifacting and a regular picture stutter. With these slower internet speeds, I didn’t feel competitive in Destiny 2’s PvP modes, but I was able to complete a strike without a problem. Everyone’s tolerance for this kind of experience will vary, but my frustration over the occasional hiccup was mitigated by the revelation that I could play Destiny 2 in public on my phone (see the controller sidebar for more). Stadia’s service only dropped out completely on me once due to a poor signal, but an instance of my game was saved and I had five minutes to hop back online and pick up where I’d left off. I wish Google would extend that grace period and allow users to create their own state saves (a feature that is still in the works), but I never lost any progress in a game, and my experience was stable enough across the board that I didn’t live in fear of being unable to access my games. Google’s service isn’t a one-size-fits-all streaming solution, and you should carefully measure your internet speeds before committing to the platform. Many will find Stadia’s occasional stutters unbearable, while others will feel that it’s good enough. Personally, I can’t imagine trading any of my game consoles for a Stadia stream anytime soon. Click image thumbnails to view larger version What about that controller? An online-only streaming service seems like a bold new direction for the gaming industry, but Google isn’t interested in reinventing the controller. The Stadia controller smartly hews close to modern controller design. The pad itself has a nice weight and feels a lot like the PS4 controller thanks to its ergonomic shell and symmetrical analog sticks. The buttons produce a satisfying click and feel sturdy, and I got about seven hours of use from a single charge. Google has its equivalent of the start, options, and home buttons. However, Google also added a screen capture and virtual assistant button to the mix, and this creates a jumble of buttons near the center of the controller. I constantly hit the screen-capture button when I meant to pause a game, which was frustrating. At launch, the controller also doesn’t work wirelessly with any device other than the Chromecast. This means that in order to play on a laptop or phone, you must connect your device to a controller using a USB C cord, which I found cumbersome. In fact, I was actually a little embarrassed to pull out my tangle of gadgets to play games at Starbucks. I also couldn’t connect the Stadia controller to wi-fi that featured a web browser login, meaning you probably won’t be able to use Google’s controllers wirelessly in locations like hotels that require a secondary login screen. The Stadia controller might be a nice piece of physical hardware, but these tech issues need to get ironed out as soon as possible. Under Construction Google’s streaming tech might be ready for prime time, but its service certainly isn’t. Many of the more exciting features either aren’t available for launch or won’t roll out until 2020. For starters, Google’s Pixel smartphones are the only phones that Stadia users will be able to use for streaming at launch. Achievements also won’t be viewable at this time, but Google says that Stadia is recording your progress, so once the feature is enabled, users will receive credit for everything they’ve done since then. The Google Assistant is another exciting feature that is being kicked down the road. During the Stadia reveal event, Google said that with the tap of a button users could speak into their Stadia controller and pull up YouTube walkthroughs or other helpful advice for any game they played. This feature is absent at launch. Google says that the Google Assistant will be available soon, but even then, the Assistant will only be available from the Stadia home screen and only allow users to launch games or turn on their TV. Stadia’s incomplete feature list is so long it’s a little embarrassing. What about Stream Connect, which is Google’s way of supporting multiplayer by allowing Stadia users to create local couch co-op experiences via split-screen? Coming later this year. What about Family Sharing, which lets you share games with other users in your family? Sometime soon. What about Crowd Play, which lets streamers play games with their viewers? Hopefully, sometime next year. What about streaming over cellular networks? I’ll let you take a guess. If Stadia had all these features, it might feel like the next big leap in gaming, but as it is, the platform is just a basic streaming platform that offers less than a home console. In the end, Stadia's biggest problem is likely its lack of software. Stadia doesn’t have many dedicated experiences that will drive longtime gamers to the platform. The system’s launch lineup features some great games, such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Red Dead Redemption 2, but those are all more than a year old and there isn’t a single triple-A exclusive on the horizon. This is a big problem for Google. If the company hopes to attract more people to the service, it needs to provide a reason to be on Stadia. In other words: It needs more games. A look at Google's data center that allows Stadia to run Google Stadia Launch Lineup: Assassin's Creed Odyssey Attack on Titan: Final Battle 2 Destiny 2: The Collection (available in Stadia Pro) Farming Simulator 2019 Final Fantasy XV Football Manager 2020 Grid 2019 Gylt Just Dance 2020 Kine Metro Exodus Mortal Kombat 11 NBA 2K20 Rage 2 Rise of the Tomb Raider Red Dead Redemption 2 Samurai Shodown (available in Stadia Pro) Shadow of the Tomb Raider Thumper Tomb Raider 2013 Trials Rising Wolfenstein: Youngblood Reportedly Releasing Before The End Of 2019: Borderlands 3 Darksiders Genesis Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Ghost Recon: Breakpoint The Bottom Line: 6 out of 10 Stadia seems tailored for a different crowd – the kind of game-curious individual who only pays attention to the occasional blockbuster release and isn’t willing to throw down a few hundred dollars on a dedicated piece of gaming hardware. Next year, when Google launches the free version of the Stadia service, the platform might find that audience. On the other hand, Stadia’s service isn’t currently valuable enough to justify the $129.99 early adopters price tag. Anyone devoted enough to follow industry trends probably cares enough about this hobby to spend the extra money on a console that provides a lag-free experience. Still, I want something like Stadia to succeed. Purchasing a game and immediately booting it up without concern for downloads or updates is liberating, and when you have a stable internet connection, streaming games off the cloud feels like magic. Oddly enough, Stadia filled me with excitement for a game-streaming future, but it left me with less confidence that Stadia would be the platform to usher us forward. Understanding Pricing On day one, consumers can purchase the Stadia Premiere Edition for $129, which includes three free months of Stadia Pro, a Google Chromecast Ultra, and a Stadia Controller. Stadia Pro is Google’s subscription service, which costs $9.99 a month and gives players access to the highest quality streams (4K/60 fps/HDR/5.1 sound) as well as exclusive discounts on game purchases, and occasional free games. This month, pro users receive Destiny 2: The Collection and Samurai Shodown. Early next year, anyone with a Google account will be able to stream games through Stadia at no cost; however, the streaming quality will be throttled to 1080p/60fps with stereo sound. No matter how you approach the service, games still must be purchased à la carte. View the full article
  12. Patch 8.3 PTR - New Mythic Keystone Affix - Corrupted Patch 8.3 comes with a new seasonal mythic plus affix to replace Beguiling called Corrupted. Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment Corrupted - Obelisks throughout the dungeon allow players to enter Ny'alotha and confront powerful servants of N'Zoth. If a servant is not dealt with, they must be faced during the final boss encounter. Originally Posted by MMO-Champion 4 different obelisks will be placed in the mythic dungeon. You can interact with these obelisks to go into N'Zoth's realm, gaining the Ny'alotha Incursion buff. Note that obelisks cannot be entered while in combat.Each obelisk can be seen on the dungeon map.Entering N'Zoth's realm fades you into an alternate reality of the dungeon, blurring out the mobs and bosses in the dungeon.A specific mini boss protects each different obelisk on the alternate reality side. Clicking the specific obelisk spawns only the boss that guards it, and the boss must be defeated to return to reality.The most interesting part of the affix is that the boss spawns the void portal to go back to reality at the exact spot it dies, meaning you can essentially drag the boss past any trash packs or areas you wish to skip and kill it to return anywhere you decide, effectively allowing you to create unique skips and strategies to best handle the dungeon.If you do not click an obelisk and defeat the mini boss, it will teleport in when you engage the final boss and become part of the fight.Each mini boss provides a small amount of percentage towards your enemy forces total.Much like Bwonsamdi in Season 2, you can find a Voice of the Corruptor N'Zoth fish that will allow you to take a buff that increases your damage, healing, and resets the Heroism/Bloodlust debuff upon timer expiration. Brutal Spire of Ny'alotha - Urg'roth, Breaker of Heroes Casts Spirit Breaker on the tank and Dark Fury, an AOE to avoid.Also casts Armies of N'Zoth which summons Malicious Growths which cast Vile Corruption. Armies of N'Zoth is not cast if the mini boss becomes engaged by starting the final boss of the dungeon. Cursed Spire of Ny'alotha - Voidweaver Mal'thir Casts Crippling Pestilence and Lingering Doubt.Also casts Armies of N'Zoth which summons Explosive Scarabs which cast Volatile Rupture. Armies of N'Zoth is not cast if the mini boss becomes engaged by starting the final boss of the dungeon. Defiled Spire of Ny'alotha - Blood of the Corruptor Casts Defiled Ground under itself and players randomly.Also casts Armies of N'Zoth which summons Mindrend Tentacles which cast Mind Flay. Armies of N'Zoth is not cast if the mini boss becomes engaged by starting the final boss of the dungeon. Entropic Spire of Ny'alotha - Samh'rek, Beckoner of Chaos Casts Cascading Terror on 3 targets at a time with different expiration durations.Also casts Armies of N'Zoth which summons Ravenous Fleshfiends which cast Tear Flesh. Armies of N'Zoth is not cast if the mini boss becomes engaged by starting the final boss of the dungeon. Patch 8.3 PTR - Vulpera Can Store Caravan from Racial Mount in Camp The PTR allows Vulpera to click a backpack lying next to the campfire from their Make Camp racial to store the canopy part of their racial mount, effectively removing it until you click the backpack and request it back. Dark Legacy Comics #703 DLC #703 has been released! View the full article
  13. Last week
  14. Pet Battles in Visions of N'Zoth Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) Hello pet battlers! We’ve seen some discussion around pet battle changes coming in Visions of N’Zoth, and we’d like to discuss those, as well as changes we currently have planned for a future content update. The Weather Outside is Fight-ful Weather effects have always been intended to slightly change the rules of pet battles. Sandstorm is great against pets that do weaker attacks, Sunlight is great for healing abilities, and Cleansing Rain is great for aquatic abilities. However, Mudslide and Blizzard both fell by the wayside in terms of being impactful or rule-changing outcomes. So in Visions of N’Zoth, both of these weather effects are being updated with new added effects in addition to their existing effects: Blizzard Now also increases all elemental ability damage by 25%.Mudslide Now also increases all critical damage dealt by 25%. To be really clear about the Mudslide change: Critical strikes usually hit for 150% of normal damage. Mudslide will now increase that to 175% of normal damage. We’ve also been thinking for a while that we should add a new weather type to the game, so Visions of N’Zoth will also introduce a new weather type: Toxic Fumes. This deals Dragonkin damage to the current enemy pet and applies the Toxic Fumes weather effect. Toxic Fumes Increases the duration of all hostile damage over time effects by 1 round.All pets are considered Poisoned while Toxic Fumes is active. Max No More In Visions of N’Zoth, all of the new outdoor pet battle World Quests in Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossoms will scale their level to match the highest level pet currently slotted on your team, instead of always being a level 25 enemy pet. This will also be the case for Nazjatar and Mechagon – all of the pet battle World Quests there are being updated. You can check them all out with a team of three level 1 pets! Stat Changes In Visions of N’Zoth, we’re also changing how percent-damage reduction abilities stack with each other. Currently, if you’re fighting a pet like Unit 17 in Mechagon (a Boss pet that passively takes 50% less damage), and Unit 17 uses Crouch, Unit 17 becomes immune to damage because the two 50% damage reduction effects are added to each other. In Visions of N’Zoth, the plan is to cap damage reduction at -75%. Using Unit 17 as an example, while Crouch is active, it will take 75% reduced damage instead of 100% reduced damage. This will smooth out the challenge with some enemy bosses. Please note that abilities like Dodge or Deflection will continue to avoid all damage. Those will not be impacted by this change. What the Future Holds In a future update, we’re targeting a number of balance changes we want to make, which will amount to lowering the effectiveness of some pets and strategies. Again, these changes will not be happening in Visions of N’Zoth, but we wanted to give you ample warning time that changes are coming. While we don’t have specific numbers or details to share right now, here are some examples of abilities that we’re going to take a close look at: Black Claw and similar abilities that increase damage taken by a flat amount.Hunting Party and similar abilities such as Flock.The Shattered Defenses debuff effect from abilities such as Hunting Party or Flock.Any large percent-damage-taken or percent-damage-dealt buffs or debuffs.Twilight Meteorite and similar long-cooldown damage-splitting abilities.The Jar of Smelly Liquid ability.Hermit Crab Of course that last one isn’t an ability, but Hermit Crab incorrectly has a higher stat budget than it should, and it will have its stats reduced to bring it in line with other similar pets. A goal we have when making many new pet battle World Quests or encounters is to create puzzles that players can counter and “solve”-- ideally with the option to use a variety of pets and tools to do so. When a few pets have such strong synergies that they can deal massive damage in just a few rounds and almost trivially beat these enemies, it becomes problematic. Do we make new challenges only beatable by the highest damage combos, or do we make them generally solveable and therefore immediately smashed by massive damage? We don’t want to ruin the feel of combination abilities, so we aren’t going to make Black Claw no longer interact with Hunting Party or Flock, but we want to make sure these abilities are dealing appropriate damage. And we want to make sure that secondary effects such as Shattered Defenses are being accounted for with regards to balance. When we have further specifics, we will be sure to let you know. View the full article
  15. Today at Exilecon, Grinding Gear Games announced Path of Exile 2. It will feature a new campaign alongside Path of Exile and will feature a conjoined endgame with Path of Exile players, and all of your previous purchases like stash tabs and cosmetics will carry over, along with many of the Path of Exile existing league mechanics that have made their way into the game over the years, like delve. Click here to watch embedded media This announcement comes with a deluge of huge changes to skills and more (essentially a complete overhaul of all existing systems) - you can watch Exilecon for full details as it continues at https://www.twitch.tv/pathofexile View the full article
  16. When Manveer Heir left BioWare in 2017 after working on the Mass Effect franchise as a senior gameplay designer, he was burned out. He had been making games for a dozen years, putting in the time during crunch and enduring the wrath of Gamergaters for his beliefs. Like he had done at times during his career, he contemplated walking away from making video games entirely, but he knew he wasn’t done yet. Heir took some time off in New York figuring out his next move, and reconnected with a deep-seated ambition to form his own video game company – a dream he held since he was in the 10th grade when he drew up his own business plan. In order to craft the kinds of stories he wanted to tell and address some of the issues he experienced in the video game industry, Heir founded his own studio. Heir’s experiences with the Mass Effect franchise and companies the size of Electronic Arts exposed him to systemic problems that interfered with his goal of surfacing stories of characters of color and different backgrounds created by diverse developers. Read more... View the full article
  17. Diablo III Season 19 Begins On November 22! Patch 2.6.7a Update Brandy has once again taken to the official forums to post an upcoming update to patch 2.6.7! This update reintroduces the Rend damage modifier on Lamentation, and also implements a damage nerf to the new crusader set by placing a cap of 20 on the Shield of Fury! Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post) Hey all, So as you may have seen elsewhere, we’ll be issuing a small update to 2.6.7 between now and the start of Season 19 to address some balance issues prior to the start of the Season of Eternal Conflict. This patch isn’t going to resolve every balance issue; there’s simply not enough time between the need for QA verification and patch submission for all our platforms to address everything. That said, we’re committed to continuing to balance with community feedback in mind as we release additional patches throughout 2020. For Season 19, though, here’s what you can look forward to (these Patch Notes are currently pending through Localization for official release, so please take unofficial translations you read with a grain of salt): Items Lamentation 52 Now increases the damage of Rend by [100-150%] Developer's Note: As we've indicated in forum posts, we overshot on Lamentation's original implementation during the 2.6.7 PTR. However, we also very much undershot the overall balance of Rend/Whirlwind's adjustments by removing this bonus completely. After reading a ton of your feedback and completing our own internal testing, we've settled on a middle ground we believe reaches the balance level we were shooting for. Shield of Fury 98 The benefit of this item now stacks up to a cap of 20 Developer's Note: As many of you noted coming out of our 2.6.7 update, we also overshot on Crusader with the live patch. We love to see Crusader performing much better with it's new set, and this cap should reign in damage to a more reasonable level Bugs Patterns of Justice Fixed an issue where the Tempest Rush Flurry rune attack did not benefit from the 6-Piece bonus when cancelling Tempest Rush (PC Only) Developer's Note: We were unable to resolve this for 2.6.7a for Console; however, it is slated to be fixed on Console in a future patch. Fjord Cutter 9 Fixed an issue where Fjord Cutter was increasing all damage to slowed or chilled enemies instead of just Seismic Slam damage Won Khim Lau 6 Fixed a bug where Epiphany would trigger teleporting while channeling Tempest Rush (Electric Field) when Won Khim Lau was equipped We know there are still other things to address, including Rathma Necromancer, Bazooka Wizard, and general Demon Hunter performance (among other concerns for other classes that we have slated for future patches). We’re not ready to deploy changes on these fronts, but we are continuing to pore through feedback, experiment, and iterate on potential solutions, so please keep making your voice heard in a constructive manner! We’re also discussing extending future PTRs for patches that include additional set items; one week was simply not enough for the iteration process, and we’re adjusting accordingly. It’s taken time to get communication to a more mobile and agile place, and I appreciate your patience while we’ve worked to get new processes in place. Hopefully it shows that we’re working on addressing as much as we can, as timely as we can; we are passionate about Sanctuary and its inhabitants, and we’re doing our best to make Diablo III as awesome as it can possibly be. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in Patch 2.6.7a and Season 19! View the full article
  18. Click here to watch embedded media Hello everyone, this is Leo from the Overwatch team. In one of our biggest rapid-fire interviews yet, Game Informer's Andrew Reiner sits down with Overwatch's Game Director Jeff Kaplan to discuss the future of Overwatch as part of our month of exclusive Blizzard coverage. The video was edited by one of Game Informer's wonderful interns, Alex Stadnik. Enjoy the video above, and be sure to click the banner below to check out gameplay from Overwatch 2 and other exclusive interviews throughout the month: View the full article
  19. Click to watch embedded media Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order releases today, so it felt like the right time to revisit a beloved Star Wars title from the last generation with The Force Unleashed. Join us live on the platform of your choice as we revisit Starkiller's dark and no-longer-canon origin story. The stream starts at 2 PM Central and you can subscribe over on YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, Twitter, or Facebook to get notified when we go live! Enjoy the show! View the full article
  20. Click here to watch embedded media Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is out now, giving players a chance to take on the role of a young Padawan who survived the Empire's Jedi Purge. Reiner reviewed the game for us and like it a lot, in spite of some rough spots. In today's NGT, he shows off the beginning of the game. It's a Star Wars! Leo and I are also joined by intern Nick, who happens to be a big fan of Clone Wars and Rebels. There's a fair bit of tutorializing early on, but we wrap up with a glimpse at some of the more open-ended exploration. Enjoy! Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View the full article
  21. Publisher: Electronic Arts Developer: Respawn Entertainment Release: November 15, 2019 Reviewed on: Xbox One Also on: PlayStation 4, PC A raw, untamed power courses through Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Much like a Padawan in training, this game is a student of the Force, not a master. The lightsaber is used skillfully, twirling in exhilarating ways to chop down Imperial troops, and the Force flows into acrobatic movements, but the Padawan’s motions are rough and unrefined. This inexperience fits with the story of a Jedi losing touch with the Force, but is more of a reflection of Jedi: Fallen Order missing a coat of polish. Jedi: Fallen Order reminds me of Naughty Dog’s first Uncharted game: an ambitious action experience that was just a little off in its delivery. Respawn has made a game that is every bit as ambitious, and despite showing a little sloppiness in execution, is an enthralling and fully featured Star Wars experience, hitting with a commanding bang in its cinematic presentation, environmental exploration, and journey shared between a Jedi and his droid. The first shot of the game sets the tone for the entire adventure. We see a junkyard filled with giant derelict starships being dismantled by the Empire for parts. TIE fighters roar into view, and the camera pans to show the immense scale of this sequence. The detail showcased in this moment is impressive, looking like an expensive shot from a new Star Wars film. The orchestration that swells is also reminiscent of John Williams’ work, again making it feel like an epic cinematic experience. Just when it would seem Respawn is following George Lucas’ formula, the soundtrack switches to something different with a throaty alien singer that doesn’t sound like typical Star Wars. We then meet protagonist Cal Kestis, who is listening to this strange song through a pair of headphones as he works. This moment screams of something new, which Jedi: Fallen Order embraces fully. As the game unfolds, you see stormtroopers, a few familiar faces, and a Jedi learning the ways of the Force, but we see these iconic elements through the lens of new characters, worlds, and story ideas. Cal is immediately likeable as a conflicted soul, and is brought to life wonderfully by actor Cameron Monaghan. Cal’s cohort, a droid named BD-1, is equally as fun to get to know, resembling a friendly lapdog more than any other droid in Star Wars. They have a playful banter and experience hardships with one another, and their bond forms the foundation for a hell of an adventure. They explore ancient shrines looking for clues that could hold the answer to resurrecting the Jedi Order. The mystery keeps the story engaging, as does the well-defined threat of the Inquisitors, Jedi-slayers who are hunting Cal and always seem to be one step ahead of him. Excellently penned flashbacks are sewn into this nicely paced narrative to add extra dimensions to the characters and conflict at hand. The one area where the story stumbles is in revisiting previously explored worlds for narrative reasons. As exciting as it is to dive deep into Dathomir’s witch tombs or see the untamed beauty of Kashyyyk, the reasons to return to these planets often seem like a bit of a stretch. The thinking is along the lines of “The door’s locked. Oh well. Let’s leave and see if we can find a way to open it on another planet.” That said, I enjoyed veering off of the story path to explore worlds on my own, since players can freely go to whichever one they want. Jedi: Fallen Order’s most dynamic and entertaining quality is exploration. Cal begins with basic human abilities, but quickly remembers how to run along walls, double jump, and use the Force to push and pull objects. He taps into his gifts to navigate treacherous ground in finely crafted open environments filled with soaring verticality, snaking paths, and plenty of thrilling platforming and combat challenges. Cal’s acrobatic movements are reliable and easy to read, and should you fall, the game doesn’t punish you. You just take some damage and get another shot. Most of Cal’s actions fit into the Jedi playbook, but Respawn went a little too far in its attempts to create dynamic action, like lengthy Super Mario 64-like slippery slopes and odd gelatinous bouncy pads that don’t really scream “Star Wars.” It gets a little too gamey in these moments. Although you spend some time retracing steps through environments, shortcuts are placed in convenient spots and most areas are filled with secrets galore, such as additional stim canisters, outfits and ponchos for Cal, and paint schemes for BD-1 and the crew’s ship, the Stinger Mantis. The stim canisters are incredibly valuable, as the game is challenging (even on the default difficulty) and I usually found my health to be in the red, hoping another checkpoint was nearby. Click here to watch embedded media Combat isn’t the central focus of Jedi: Fallen Order, and I was surprised (and pleased) that Respawn didn’t throw in encounters just to up the intensity at times. Stretches of play are without them and that pacing works well for the adventure aspects. Battles are where the biggest thrills and problems reside. Swinging the lightsaber feels damn good; it’s fast, powerful, feels dangerous, and delivers big results, like slicing rampaging beasts clean in two. Respawn’s decision to make combat more of a defensive game also pays dividends in terms of strategy and flow. I like that the fights are deliberately paced, and allow for multiple targets to be engaged at once, such as exchanging lightsaber blows with a purge trooper and then in between swings using Force Push to send a rocket back at a stormtrooper. You don’t just run into a room and start swinging. You strategize and pick at enemies carefully. Timing parries can be tricky, but should you succeed, reward you with a big hit or instant kill that looks amazing. The combat ideas are sound and lead to some awesome moments that make you feel like a true Jedi, but the enemies can throw kinks into your plans, as some of their movements are not telegraphed well, and you sometimes see animation hitches that can’t be predicted, and make parry efforts next to impossible. Additionally, archers and snipers sometimes freeze up and won’t fire at you, leading to a strange showdown where nothing is happening for 15 to 20 seconds. More troubling, I ran into numerous issues with BD-1 not healing me, although Cal audibly calls for it. Having this happen against the grueling end-game bosses was somewhat maddening. Given how many ledges are in most worlds, don’t be surprised if a combat encounter is interrupted by Cal getting knocked off a cliff and then magically reappearing to lock sabers again. It’s jarring, and speaks volumes to the combat being a little rough overall in terms of Cal's base movements. The visuals, while stunning in composition, can sometimes be affected by texture pop-in, lighting not displaying correctly, or enemies quickly dropping into place as a door is opened. Click image thumbnails to view larger version Despite these numerous little problems, Respawn’s maiden voyage with Star Wars is largely a success. I couldn’t put this game down, both for the thrill of exploring and wanting to see where the story took me next. The inspirations taken from Dark Souls, Uncharted, and Metroid Prime unite to create something unique that just happens to work incredibly well for this beloved license. Like most starships in this universe, Jedi: Fallen Order could use a little polish, but the rust doesn’t hold it back from roaring with excitement. Score: 8.75 Summary: Respawn Entertainment's maiden voyage with Star Wars is largely a success, but it's a little rough around the edges. Concept: A journey of discovery unfolds in a sprawling, open-ended adventure that succeeds in both story and action Graphics: The amount of detail on display in every area is incredible. However, enemy animations can be tricky to read, and some texture popping occurs Sound: The orchestrated score, BD-1’s unique chirps, and all of the voice work are superb and make for a hell of an aural Star Wars experience Playability: Traversal is slick, allowing players to run along walls, double jump, and using the Force to pull a vine to them with ease. Lightsaber combat is fluid and intense, but feels a little unpolished Entertainment: Jedi: Fallen Order tells a new Star Wars story and takes players to new places. It sits nicely alongside the Rebels and Resistance TV shows, which also dare to be different Replay: Moderately High Click to Purchase View the full article
  22. Click here to watch embedded media On this week's episode of The Game Informer Show podcast, we shuffle the deck - literally - as we record the episode out of order and confuse the host (cause that's the level of production we aim for here at GI). But one thing is certain, the show starts with Andy Reiner and Matt Miller talking Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Next up, Jeff Cork and I sit down to hear stories from Leo Vader and Ben Reeves about some recent travels to see Rainbow Six Siege and a new game Obsidian Entertainment called Grounded. While we have Leo on the show, we also talk a little about the recent release of Red Dead Redemption II to PC. You have heard of Pokémon right? A wild Ben Reeves, Alex Stadnik, and Brian Shea appear to talk about the upcoming Switch releases, Sword and Shield. In this week's community email segment Kim Wallace, Jeff Cork, and Ben Reeves answer questions about co-op, help build a video game Mount Rushmore, and we help a reader through a tough time. And finally, I sit down with Jeff Cork, Dan "The Jacket" Tack, and Ben Reeves to hear their thoughts on what games they think are in the running for their games of the year. This segment will run the rest of the year as we bring in new editors every week to talk about games that have impacted their year as we lead up to Game Informer's Top 50 in the new year. Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below, share the episode if you enjoyed it, and follow me @therealandymc to let me know what you think. You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, listen on SoundCloud, stream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show. Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show's intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website. To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below. 2:12 - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 34:33 - Rainbow Six Siege: Shifting Tides 40:22 - Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC 51:52 - Grounded, Obsidian's new game 1:02:50 - Pokémon Sword & Shield 1:29:11 - Community Emails 2:15:16 - Game of the Year Chats Pt. 1 - Featuring Jeff Cork, Ben Reeves, and Dan "The Jacket" Tack View the full article
  23. WoW Classic - World Bosses and PvP Honor System Available Originally Posted by blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) Get ready to put your skills to the test in WoW Classic. The PvP Honor system and world raid bosses Lord Kazzak and Azuregos are now available. Lord Kazzak Gather a group of your best trackers and fighters to venture into the Blasted Lands. Lord Kazzak resides deep in the Tainted Scar and patrols the area, ready to smite all who dare cross his path. Prepare yourselves for a fast and furious battle against time and watch out for his Shadow Bolt Volley, which causes massive amounts of raid-wide damage. Location: Tainted Scar—Blasted Lands Suggested Level: 60 Players Suggested: 40 Associated Quests: Priest—While players have a small chance to get the The Eye of Shadow as a random drop from elite demons in the world, Lord Kazzak is guaranteed to drop it. Following the quest, The Balance of Light and Shadow to its completion will reward the weapons Benediction or Anathema. Azuregos A member of the Blue Dragonflight, Azuregos makes his home in Azshara, guarding the magical artifacts left behind there. You’ll want to gather a group of comrades-at-arms to withstand his frosty reception and lay claim to the items he protects. To the victors go the spoils, and for some Hunters this means laying claim to the Ancient Sinew Wrapped Lamina. This item has a low chance to drop on elite blue dragons, but is a guaranteed item drop from Azuregos. Location: Azshara Suggested Level: 60 Players Suggested: 40 PvP Honor System The PvP Honor system has arrived in WoW Classic, opening the way for players to climb the ranks and earn PvP rewards. Climbing the Ladder Facing enemies who are within 10 levels of your own character and defeating them will earn you Honorable Kills. These Honorable Kills will help you advance in the PvP system and unlock access to a variety of rewards, such as a PvP trinket, cloak, potions, and more. Not all Honorable Kills are valued the same, however. Killing the same enemy multiple times will result in a decreasing amount of Honor gained until they aren’t worth anything more through the end of the day, when the system resets the diminishing returns. Diminishing Returns from repeated kills on a single target are as follows: 1st: 100% of Honor 2nd: 75% of Honor 3rd: 50% of Honor 4th: 25% of Honor 5th (and beyond): 0% Honor Diminishing Returns also apply to killing faction leaders. Honorable Kill values are also weighted by the defeated player’s own rank and level. You’ll earn more Contribution Points by defeating players who have more PvP experience under their belt and have reached a higher rank than by defeating players who are new to the battlefield. Each week your rank will be updated based on your activity relative to the other members of your faction, but climbing to the top won’t be easy—it will take regular participation to maintain or increase your rank. You can also gain a large number of Honor by killing city faction leaders in Darnassus, Ironforge, Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Thunder Bluff, and the Undercity. Once Battlegrounds are available in WoW Classic, these will also provide Honor. Falling From Grace You will be given Dishonorable Kills for killing civilian NPCs which immediately impacts your Honor rating. Every dishonorable kill costs you some of the honor that you’ve earned in previous weeks, making it difficult to reach the higher ranks as long as you have any dishonorable kills counted on your record at all. These will appear in the Honor tab immediately. Tracking Your Meteoric Rise You can check your status in the character information window (C) in the Honor tab. This shows your current rank as well as your honorable kills for the current day, the previous day, the week, the previous week, and over your character’s lifetime. There are 14 ranks, and each rank provides access to new rewards. You’ll need to head over to the Officer’s Barracks in Stormwind or Orgrimmar to purchase your new items. Alliance Horde Epic new challenges await—happy hunting! View the full article
  24. Diablo III Season 19 Begins On November 22! Patch 2.6.7 - Incoming Balance Changes Brandy has posted on the official forums regarding some balance issues that have surfaced in patch 2.6.7, and mentions that a small balance patch will release between now and the start of Season 19 to address some of these concerns. Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post) Whew, okay, let’s see if I can address these. Bazooka - we definitely consider this an issue (as I’m sure you can see from our last change), but it’s proving trickier to address than we anticipated. While Bazooka is harder to execute now, we don’t like that a build more or less requires macros to use effectively. This is something we want to address, but it’s looking like that will be a longer term process beyond 2.6.7. We did make a change to Blighter for this reason in 2.6.7. If this wasn’t enough, we’ll continue to re-evaluate. We’ll be releasing a small balance patch between now and the start of Season 19 to address some of the balance concerns the community has brought to us. Still getting the final details on exactly what this entails. Stay tuned. Because we’ll be releasing a small balance patch, we’ll be resetting the Era again. We’re just waiting for that to happen first. See point #3. This is also one of our areas of concern. We don’t want to “nerf it to the ground,” but we do want to pull it back. If AoV continues to need adjustments afterwards in either direction, we’ll keep looking at it in the long run, too. Sometimes finding the right balance takes us a few tries, and we appreciate your patience with us while work to get things where they need to be. I know it doesn’t always look like we listen or act immediately on feedback, and we can’t always act this fast; we’ve had a lot of conversations over the past couple of days regarding 2.6.7 and the areas where we could improve. Having a larger gap between patch and Season launch is serving us well in this regard. Lastly, I want to mention I’m working with the development team on a blog that focuses on Greater Rift Level Cap and our philosophy/approach around game balance. I think there’s some context the community is missing in our approach, and we want to explain this better and more clearly—it’s just going to take some time for me to put that communication together. I’m not trying to be mysterious; I just want to make sure we’re taking the time necessary to make things clear. View the full article
  25. Click here to watch embedded media Halo fans got good news today as 343 Industries Community Director Brian Jarrard announced the long-awaited Halo Reach will launch on Xbox One and PC starting December 3. Bungie's last foray into the Halo series takes place before the events of the first game and follows a group of Spartans attempting to stave off the Covenant's forces and, subsequently, the planet's ruin. Upgraded with 4K visuals, Halo Reach's release marks the completion of the Master Chief Collection on Xbox One. Unfortunately though, PC fans will have to wait a bit longer to have every Halo game in their Steam libraries. Starting with Halo Reach, each game in the Master Chief Collection will eventually make its way to PC before the end of 2020. Want more X019 news? Be sure to check out all the new games announced today including Grounded, Everwild, Tell Me Why and all the other games coming to Game Pass. View the full article
  26. Today at X019, Microsoft announced over 50 games that will be added to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service starting today and moving into 2020. The biggest additions are most of the numbered Final Fantasy games, three Yakuza titles (which will also be sold separately for people without Game Pass), and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Here's everything that is getting added and subtracted: Games available today Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition (PC) Age of Wonders: Planetfall (Xbox One, coming soon to PC) Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet Edition (PC) Lego: The Ninjago Movie (Xbox One) Rage 2 (Xbox One, coming soon to PC) Remnant: From the Ashes (Xbox One) The Talos Principle (Xbox One, PC) Tracks: The Train Set Game (Xbox One, PC) Games coming soon and in 2020 Bleeding Edge (Xbox One, PC) Carrion (Xbox One, PC) Cris Tales (Xbox One, PC) Cyber Shadow (Xbox One, PC) Darksiders III (Xbox One, PC) Double Kick Heroes (Xbox One, PC) Edge of Eternity (Xbox One, PC) The Escapists 2 (Xbox One) Final Fantasy VII (Xbox One, PC) Final Fantasy VIII: Remastered (Xbox One, PC) Final Fantasy IX (Xbox One, PC) Final Fantasy X: HD Remastered (Xbox One, PC) Final Fantasy X-2: HD Remastered (Xbox One, PC) Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (Xbox One, PC) Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox One, PC) Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Xbox One, PC) Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox One, PC) Final Fantasy XV (Xbox One, PC) Forager (Xbox One, PC) Grounded (Xbox One, PC) Haven (Xbox One, PC) It Lurks Below (Xbox One, PC) Levelhead (Xbox One, PC) Life is Strange 2: Episodes 4 & 5 (Xbox One) Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC) Minecraft Dungeons (Xbox One, PC) My Friend Pedro (Xbox One, PC) Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox One, PC) PHOGS (Xbox One, PC) The Red Lantern (Xbox One) The Red Strings Club (PC) Scourge Bringer (Xbox One, PC) She Dreams Elsewhere (Xbox One, PC) SkateBIRD (Xbox One, PC) Streets of Rage 4 (Xbox One, PC) Supraland (Xbox One) Tekken 7 (Xbox One) Tell Me Why (Xbox One, PC) Touhou Luna Nights (Xbox One, PC) Vambrace: Cold Soul (Xbox One, PC) Wasteland 3 (Xbox One, PC) West of Dead (Xbox One, PC) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Xbox One) Yakuza Zero (Xbox One) Yakuza Kiwami (Xbox One) Yakuza Kiwami 2 (Xbox One) Games Leaving Xbox Game Pass On November 30 Abzu (Xbox One, PC) Below (Xbox One) Football Manager 2019 (PC) GRID 2 (Xbox One) Strange Brigade (Xbox One) View the full article
  27. Click here to watch embedded media During today's X019 Inside Xbox stream, Frontier Developments debuted a trailer for a new expansion for Jurassic World Evolution. The trailer for Return to Jurassic Park gives us all kinds of nostalgic feelings, and makes us want to rewatch the first two Jurassic Park movies. Frontier didn't divulge too much about the upcoming expansion in the announcement trailer, but it did give us a release date. Jurassic World Evolution: Return to Jurassic Park releases on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on December 10. If you want to learn more about Return to Jurassic Park, come back on November 26 for hands-on impressions! Click image thumbnails to view larger version View the full article
  28. Click to watch embedded media Today at X019, Xbox Games Studios announced a brand-new IP from French developer Dontnod, the makers of Life is Strange. Tell Me Why focuses on the close bond between two twins: Tyler and Alyson Ronan. A “true-to-life story” determined by player choice, Tell Me Why will entrust players with the emotionally challenging childhood of its protagonists as they come to grips with their past and grow into adulthood in Alaska. “The core mechanic of the game is the special bond Tyler and Alyson share and is also a theme strongly anchored into the Dontnod storytelling approach,” says game director Florent Guillaume. “Over the course of the story, players will explore the identical twins’ different memories of key events and choose which memory to believe. Ultimately, the choices players make determine the strength of the twins’ bond – and the future course of their lives.” Aside from the already inventive narrative approach, Tell Me Why pushes for inclusiveness as one of the twins, Tyler, is a transgender man. “Microsoft and Dontnod have approached Tyler with a real commitment to authenticity,” explained Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD. “Tyler is a fully-realized, endearing character, whose story is not reduced to simplistic trans tropes. Creating a playable lead trans character –and taking such care to get it right –raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in gaming.” The entirety of Tell Me Why will release in Summer 2020, despite being an episodic adventure broken into three parts. The game will be free to those with Xbox Game Pass and available for purchase on Xbox One, Windows PC, and Steam. If you’d like to know more about Dontnod’s prior releases be sure to check out our reviews of Remember Me, Vampyr, Life is Strange, and Life is Strange 2. View the full article
  29. Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios Developer: Obsidian Entertainment Release: 2020 Platform: Xbox One, PC Obsidian Entertainment is best known for its work on RPGs like Pillars of Eternity, Fallout: New Vegas, and The Outer Worlds, but the team has recently been hard at work on something entirely new: a survival game where you are the size of a bug. We spent a day at Obsidian checking out the game and walked away with this list of 10 reasons you should be excited about this offbeat project. See the world from a different perspective: Grounded is set in an Earth-like environment, but you are bug-sized, so everything looks incredibly different from the ground. Tiny bugs become fearsome beasts, and little pieces of garbage become potential shelters. Build new tech: Like most survival games, you begin the game with meager supplies, but as you gather twigs and pebbles you can construct makeshift weapons, huts, and other useful tools. For example, sap can be combined with twigs to create torches, and insect exoskeletons can be used to craft armor. Humorous story: As the game begins, you shrink down to the size of an ant to conduct a few science experiments. But surprise! Things quickly go haywire and you are unable to grow back to your normal size. A zany robot walks you through the early hours and helps you survive the night, but we suspect there is more going on with this unnamed bot than it initially seems. Ultimately, Grounded looks to offer a lighthearted and fun story. Click here to watch embedded media Four-player co-op: Grounded lets you choose from one of four different characters: Max, Willow, Pete, and Hoops. All four characters have the same skills and abilities, but players can invite their real-life friends into their game to help build camps and take down hostile creatures, such as spiders. Simulated world: Grounded is a simulated world, meaning that the other insects and critters in your yard will continue to live their lives even when not in view. When they are around, you can watch the bugs hunt and fight each other. Also, as players hunt and scavenge they might create food shortages, which will cause ripples through the ecosystem. Things grow over time: To compensate for greedy scavengers, all of the plants in Grounded slowly grow back over time, so if you return to an old area after a long hiatus, it might feel new again. Play in first or third person: Is this really that exciting? I don’t know. You tell me? But I didn’t know where else to put this little fact. Click image thumbnails to view larger version Light RPG elements: Obsidian didn’t go in-depth about the RPG systems, but it did promise that players will evolve and grow during their time with the game. As you level up you’ll unlock new tiers of the tech tree. A variety of biomes: We only saw the starting zone during our preview, but Obsidian promises that there will be a wide variety of environments in the final game. The opening zone looks like a traditional grass-filled lawn, but there will be a wider variety of locals in the final game. This is just speculation, but the final game could have small puddles that act like lakes or sandboxes that feel like massive deserts. Flexible evolving design: One neat aspect of Grounded is that Obsidian has kept its team size to around a dozen people. This has allowed the studio to experiment wildly with the game. Obsidian plans to keep the team size small so they can continue to experiment with the design over the early access period. Overall, this means that the Grounded team should be incredibly nimble and be able to quickly respond to player feedback as they implement new ideas. Obsidian plans to launch Grounded into early access in the Spring on Xbox One and PC; the game will also be part of Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription, so you don’t have long to wait to check out this unique project. View the full article
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