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  2. Patch 8.1.5 Hotfixes - Week of April 23 Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) The changes below will be going live this week. Classes DoT specs are often in the "normal" damage range for single-target fights and can be significantly above "normal" for multi-target fights. Please note that the goal here isn’t to just counter-tune specs in each bit of new content as we believe specs that work well in an encounter should continue to do so. Regarding this specific Shadow Priest change, their multi-target performance was beyond our tuning targets and so we simply want to bring them back into range while minimizing the impact to their single-target performance. Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator) Shadow Auspicious Spirits damage reduced to 70% (was 100%). Developers’ notes: The damage reduction to this talent is meant to curb the synergy of Insanity and Shadowy Apparition generation when combined with some Azerite traits, while still leaving it as a fun and interesting combo. Player versus Player Abyssal Speaker's Gauntlets shield absorption effect is reduced by 66% when engaged in combat with enemy players. Trident of Deep Ocean shield absorption effect is reduced by 50% when engaged in combat with enemy players. Upcoming Patch 8.2 PTR Class Changes Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) We have a few more class changes coming to the Rise of Azshara PTR. We made the initial changes and the following will be active on the PTR soon. Demon Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator) Vengeance Metamorphosis Health bonus 50% (from 30%) Now causes Shear to generate 20 additional Pain and 1 additional Lesser Soul Fragment (was: generates 7 Pain per second). Developers’ Note: This significantly increases the self-healing potential of Metamorphosis, as well as the health buffer, making it a more reliable major cooldown against all types of damage. Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator) Guardian Frenzied Regeneration (Rank 3) is learned at level 85: Frenzied Regeneration spends up to 30 additional Rage to immediately heal you for up to 18% additional health. Note: This spell is affected by Guardian of Elune, but not affected by mastery. Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator) Frost Runic Empowerment has a 2.0% chance to proc per Runic Power spent (from 1.5%) Frost Fever’s chance to generate Runic Power increased to 30% Chance now diminishes on targets beyond the first Breath of Sindragosa now has double the usual chance to proc Runic Empowerment Breath of Sindragosa costs 18 Runic Power/sec (from 15) Developers’ Note: Frost was starved of resources too often, especially when using Breath of Sindragosa. This increases Frosts’s Rune income baseline and includes a further change that returns many extra Runes while using Breath of Sindragosa. Breath builds will now be able to fill more global cooldowns with casts of Obliterate, to make up for the lost Frost Strikes. The cost of Breath itself is increased to keep its overall duration roughly unchanged. View the full article
  3. Today
  4. If you've ever explored Hyrule Castle in Breath of the Wild, you might have wondered what the building looked like before Calamity Ganon destroyed it so thoroughly. There was some hope that some of the game's DLC would be able to show what it looked like, but the DLC came and went without it. Now, some Minecraft builders have recreated what they believed it to look like in the block-building game. Click here to watch embedded media Users from a Minecraft Partners Program team, an official partner of Microsoft, used promotional footage of Breath of the Wild to try and piece together what the castle would have looked like inside before Ganon. It took thirteen people about two months to recreate the castle brick-by-brick in Minecraft. Nintendo highlighted their work in a video released yesterday, which makes me wonder if it's just a little bit of a wink and nudge between Microsoft and Nintendo in their increasing partnership. View the full article
  5. Yesterday
  6. If you're one of the many still working your way through Sekiro, From Software's recently-released ninja action game, there might be some respite coming for you soon. An update scheduled to go live tonight will make a few changes in the game and attempt to make it easier for players to diversify the way they fight enemies by using more shinobi tools. To begin with, the Blazing Bull has been toned down in the new update. The midboss, who appears shortly after the game's first real boss, ended up being a real wall for a lot of players. Up to that point, most enemies you fight are some manner of pragmatic human that acts with some rationality, while the Bull kind of stomps your face in with reckless abandon. The bull's posture and vitality have been "slightly" reduced, so it's not a walk in the park now, but it's a bit more manageable. The bulk of the other changes are centered around the shinobi prosthetic. Seemingly From has gotten feedback of players not using ninja tools because they're afraid they'll run out of spirit emblems, so a number of tools have been made more efficient. You'll be spending fewer spirit emblems to use them, because From Software really wants you to use them. You'll also find more divine confetti as drops from vanquished foes and information from Anayama the Peddler will decrease in cost post-patch. Sekiro is currently available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View the full article
  7. Japan's era calendar system is a little difficult to understand, but basically there are periods of years that are designated as eras by Japanese officials and often based on emperors. This is all a gross oversimplification and is not to be used as a source in anyone's book reports. The current era of Japan, the Heisei period, is scheduled to end in just a few days on April 30 after beginning in 1989. Accordingly, Japanese magazine Famitsu ran a poll with 7000 voters to determine the best game of the Heisei era. Obviously such a poll, despite the massive amount of time it covers, would likely skew to more recent and popular games. While that's true, one game still managed to stand above the rest: Chrono Trigger. The historically popular RPG was released in 1995 for the Super Nintendo as part of a dream team collaboration between some of the genre's biggest names. The development staff included Hironobu Sakaguchi, Akira Toriyama, Yuji Horii, Nobuo Uematsu, and staff that would go on to craft a number of other beloved RPGs afterward. It is commonly brought up as one of the best RPGs of all time — heck, we put it at number 3. Following behind Chrono Trigger were The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Nier: Automata rounding out third place. How do you feel about their decision-making here? Agree? Hard disagree? Let us know below in the comments. [Source: Famitsu] View the full article
  8. Click here to watch embedded media Sony Bend's biker-fueled take on the zombie freaker apocalypse has been a long time coming, and in this episode of NGT, we're taking one last spoiler-free look at the game before launch. Kato has been entrenched in Days Gone for... well, days now, and walks Leo and I through what players can expect from the final game. You'll see Kato take on freaker hordes, an enemy ripper camp, and scrounge for resources as he explains the flow of play and the importance of maintaining your bike – something that is easier said than done at times. Days Gone launches this Friday exclusively on PlayStation 4, but you can read Kato's review on Thursday, exclusively on this very website! How do ya like them apples?! For tons more info and gameplay videos, visit our Days Gone hub, which is also exclusive but it just feels like we're bragging at this point so don't worry about that detail. View the full article
  9. Noblegarden 2019 Noblegarden has returned to Azeroth from today until April 29th, bringing all of the old goodies from previous years, as well as the ability to transmog to your Noblegarden cosmetics during the holiday and the Cursed Rabbit's Foot from opening eggs. New in 2019 New Toy: Noble Gardener's Hearthstone The Noble Gardener's Hearthstone summons a flurry of springtime critters to whisk you away. New Appearances: Blue Spring Circlet, Brown Spring Circlet, Yellow Spring Circlet Added in recent years is the Noblegarden Bunny battle pet, sold by Noblegarden Merchant for 200 x Noblegarden Chocolate Hunt for Brightly Colored Eggs in starter zone towns to loot Noblegarden Chocolate. These eggs are lootable objects that will spawn around the town. Use Noblegarden Chocolate to purchase three battle pets, a mount, cosmetic items, and more. To get all three pets you will need 400 Noblegarden Chocolate. To get the mount you will need 500 Noblegarden Chocolate. Mages - Purchase Tome of Polymorph: Rabbit for 100 Noblegarden Chocolate. Purchase or hold on to Noblegarden items if you want to have them for transmog during future Noblegarden events (after Patch 7.2.5). There are two Nobelgarden quests, but neither are necessary to complete. Unlock the nine achievements required for Noble Gardener using items found in Brightly Colored Eggs or purchased from vendors. The Noblegarden Egg is required to complete Noble Garden, and it must be purchased from the vendor. It costs 5 Noblegarden Chocolate. Added in 2018 - Cursed Rabbit's Foot Cursed Rabbit's Foot was added in 2018 that can be looted from eggs. It causes your character to periodically spawn eggs on the ground that are smaller and slightly different than the normal Noble Garden eggs. Hunt for Brightly Colored Eggs Collect eggs to gather Noblegarden Chocolate and other Noblegarden items. Horde players can farm eggs in Bloodhoof Village in Mulgore, Brill in Tirisfal Glades, Falconwing Square in Eversong Woods and Razor Hill in Durotar. Alliance players can farm eggs in Azure Watch on Azuremyst Isle, Dolanaar in Teldrassil, Goldshire in Elwynn Forest,and Kharanos in Dun Morogh. There are also some eggs outside of Shattrath City. Eggs contain the Noblegarden Chocolate currency, necessary for purchasing items from a Noblegarden Vendor, as well as nearly all of the clothing and consumable items sold by the vendors. Brightly Colored Eggs can also contain: Spring Rabbit's Foot, Blossoming Branch, White Tuxedo Shirt, Black Tuxedo Pants, Elegant Dress, Spring Circlet, Spring Flowers, Spring Robes, and Swift Springstrider. If you're on the daily quest The Great Egg Hunt, eggs will also contain Brightly Colored Shell Fragment quest item. Completing this quest awards a Blossoming Branch. Spend Your Noblegarden Chocolate Noblegarden Chocolate can be used to purchase: Level Type Name Cost Model Viewer 1 Companion Pets Spring Rabbit's Foot 100 × 1 Companion Pets Mystical Spring Bouquet 100 × 1 Companion Pets Noblegarden Bunny 200 × 20 Mount Swift Springstrider 500 × Modelviewer 1 Head Black Spring Circlet 50 × Modelviewer 1 Head Pink Spring Circlet 50 × Modelviewer 1 Head Spring Circlet 50 × Modelviewer 1 Shirt White Tuxedo Shirt 25 × Modelviewer 1 Chest Elegant Dress 50 × Modelviewer 1 Chest Spring Robes 50 × Modelviewer 23 Legs Black Tuxedo Pants 25 × Modelviewer 1 Miscellaneous Spring Flowers 50 × Modelviewer 1 Other Blossoming Branch 10 × 1 Other Noblegarden Egg 5 × 60 Book Tome of Polymorph: Rabbit 100 × Host Your Own Egg Hunt or Transfer Gold Noblegarden vendors also sell Poorly Painted Egg, Intricately-Painted Egg, and Magnificently-Painted Egg for gold. Place these eggs on the ground and they will all look exactly the same. Each egg type is unique, so you can only have one in your inventory at a time. Each egg can be looted by only one player and will contain a gray-quality item that can be sold to a vendor for 90% of the original egg purchase price. The eggs can be seen by anyone around you, so they are a useful way to transfer gold between realms or factions (with a 10% loss). Level Type Name Cost Model Viewer 1 Other Poorly-Painted Egg 10 1 Other Intricately-Painted Egg 10 1 Other Magnificently-Painted Egg 1,000 Complete Quests There is a one time quest and daily quest that you can complete: One-time Quest: A Tisket, a Tasket, a Noblegarden Basket (H) or A Tisket, a Tasket, a Noblegarden Basket (A). Awards an Egg Basket. You are given an identical basket with which to actually do the quest, so you don't have to spend the Chocolate and actually turn the quest in unless you want the permanent basket. Just use the basket you were given for the quest to gain a speed buff while farming Brightly Colored Eggs. Daily Quest: The Great Egg Hunt (H) or The Great Egg Hunt (A). Collect 10 Brightly Colored Shell Fragments to receive a Blossoming Branch. You'll be able to complete this quest while farming eggs, so you can do this quest to get a Blossoming Branch for the achievement Hard Boiled. You can also find Blossoming Branch in a Brightly Colored Egg. Unlock Achievements In order to earn the achievement Noble Gardener (part of What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been) and unlock the Noble title, you must complete these nine achievements: Shake Your Bunny-Maker - Use Spring Flowers to give bunny ears to level 18 (or higher) female characters of each race. Blushing Bride - Kiss someone wearing an Elegant Dress while wearing a White Tuxedo Shirt and Black Tuxedo Pants. Chocoholic - Eat 100 Noblegarden Chocolate. Spring Fling or Spring Fling - Visit each of the four cities listed for your respective faction with your Spring Rabbit out and find someone else with a Spring Rabbit out for yours to love. Desert Rose - Use Spring Robes to plant a flower in the Badlands, Silithus, Thousand Needles, Desolace, and Tanaris. I Found One! - Loot a Brightly Colored Egg. Hard Boiled - Visit Un'Goro Crater's Golakka Hot Springs as a rabbit during Noblegarden. You can't use Blossoming Branch on yourself, so team up with someone else (with their own Branch) and head out there to change each other into rabbits. Noble Garden or Noble Garden - Hide a Brightly Colored Egg in Silvermoon City (Horde) or Stormwind City (Alliance). To “hide” the egg, place one using Noblegarden Egg. Most of the items required to earn Achievements can be found in Brightly Colored Eggs, so your luck may significantly lower the amount of Noblegarden Chocolate required. The only achievement items you must buy from the vendor is the Noblegarden Egg. You can get a “free” Blossoming Branch for Hard Boiled from the daily quest, which you'll easily complete while farming eggs. There are two additional achievements which are not required for Noble Gardener: Sunday's Finest - Loot a White Tuxedo Shirt and Black Tuxedo Pants from Brightly Colored Eggs. Dressed for the Occasion - Loot an Elegant Dress from a Brightly Colored Egg. Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) Noblegarden springs to life April 22 through April 29. Don your bunny ears and hunt for eggs, eat delectable chocolate, collect toys, pets, and more. The great feast of Noblegarden has long been celebrated by the races of the Alliance and recently adopted by those of the Horde. During this joyous event, it is customary for the nobles and lords from each race to hide coins, candy, and the occasional treasures within special eggs painted to look like wildflowers. These eggs are then scattered around major cities for the citizenry to find. When: April 22-29 Where: Visit Azure Watch, Dolanaar, Goldshire, Kharanos, Brill, Razor Hill, Bloodhoof Village, Falconwing Square, or Shattrath City to join in the festivities. Currency: Noblegarden Chocolates are used as currency during this holiday to purchase garments, mounts, pets, and other special rewards. These can be collected by completing quests and opening the eggs found in the event areas. Holiday Activities Daily Quests The Great Egg Hunt rewards you with money, a small amount of experience, and a Blossoming Branch in exchange for Brightly Colored Shell Fragments gathered during your travels. Egg Hunting Search around Azure Watch, Dolanaar, Goldshire, Kharanos, Brill, Razor Hill, Bloodhoof Village, Falconwing Square, or Shattrath City for these (mostly) well-hidden Brightly Colored Eggs. To help you get to them more quickly, you’ll want to purchase an Egg Basket from the Noblegarden merchants and vendors to increase your speed and beat the competition. Brightly Colored Eggs will often contain delicious chocolate you can eat or use to purchase items from the Noblegarden merchants and vendors including, toys, costumes, and mounts. These eggs can also contain a variety of special items. Here are some of the items you could either find in Brightly Colored Eggs or purchase from vendors with Noblegarden Chocolates: New Toy: Noble Gardener's Hearthstone The Noble Gardener's Hearthstone summons a flurry of springtime critters to whisk you away. New Appearances: Blue Spring Circlet, Brown Spring Circlet, Yellow Spring Circlet Mounts: Swift Springstrider Pets: Mystical Spring Bouquet, Spring Rabbit's Foot, Noblegarden Bunny Costumes and Fun Items: Festival Garments, Blossoming Branch, Egg Basket, Spring Flowers, Noblegarden Egg. Consumables: Mages can purchase the Tome of Polymorph: Rabbit in exchange for 100 Noblegarden Chocolate. Noblegarden Finery Show off your style by strutting your stuff through town while wearing some of the great Noblegarden fineries. These can either be found within Brightly Colored Eggs or purchased from the merchants and vendors. Achievements Completing 8 Noblegarden Achievements will reward the title “the Noble” and count toward the What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been meta-achievement. Spring into action so you don’t miss any of the holiday fun! Dark Legacy Comics #675 DLC #675 has been released. View the full article
  10. With Mortal Kombat 11's review embargo ending today, some fans have been expressing concern over the single-player's progression toward rewards. Getting cosmetic items in the game is said to be difficult with the current ratio of time to rewards, as you will seemingly not get enough currency in-game to spend on anything worthwhile. We took a look at the game's monetization earlier today. In today's Kombat Kast, NetherRealm Studios has noted this problem and say they plan to fix it. Click here to watch embedded media The change will come from a behind-the-scenes tweak that the studio can do in the background, adjusting values of what you get, rather than in a full patch. A patch requires a much bigger list of tasks bundled together, so you won't seen an update notification fixing the values, it will just be different one day. It is unclear if this will be happening before the game's launch or not. We're still working on our Mortal Kombat 11 review, so you can read initial thoughts here. We also played a bit of the game live on New Gameplay Today and experimented with what the game allows you to do online and offline. View the full article
  11. Hello everyone, Last week, Star Citizen Alpha 3.5 hit the live servers! As always, thank you to everyone who helped test on the PTU in preparation for this release. You can find out more about what’s in 3.5 here. Also last week, we kicked off a screenshot contest to celebrate Easter. We’re currently sifting through a mountain of epic submissions so look for an announcement coming to Spectrum Wednesday! Finally, if you haven’t already, make sure to check your email inbox for the latest and greatest Squadron 42 information in our Monthly Report for March. Now, let’s see what’s going on this week: Tuesday, the Lore Team brings us the thrilling conclusion to Brothers in Arms. Wednesday we’ll discover who will fly away in a new Reliant, when the winners of our Easter Screenshot Contest are announced. On Thursday we welcome the return of our weekly look inside the world of Star Citizen development. Friday sees a Roadmap update and the RSI Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. We also welcome a new episode of Reverse the Verse, which broadcasts LIVE at noon Pacific on our Star Citizen Channel. This Friday, we’re going to play through the Pacheco mission with live commentary and Q&A with Lead Designer, Luke Pressley. Lastly, folks from our team in the UK will be on-site at BritizenCon on Saturday. We can’t wait to see you all there! See you in the ‘verse! Tyler Witkin Lead Community Manager *Screenshot by MrKoddy The Weekly Community Content Schedule MONDAY, APRIL 22nd, 2019 - TUESDAY, APRIL 23rd, 2019 Lore Post – Serialized Fiction: Brothers in Arms (Part 4) (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24TH, 2019 Easter Screenshot Contest Winners Announcement THURSDAY, APRIL 25TH, 2019 Around the Verse (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) Vault Update FRIDAY, APRIL 26TH, 2019 Reverse the Verse LIVE (https://www.twitch.tv/StarCitizen) Roadmap Update (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/roadmap/board/1-Star-Citizen) RSI Newsletter SATURDAY, APRIL 27TH, 2019 BritizenCon Community MVP: April 22nd, 2019 We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it's fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Every week, we select one piece of content submitted to the Community Hub and highlight it here. The highlighted content creator will be awarded an MVP badge on Spectrum and be immortalized in our MVP section of the Hub. Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here! MISC Prospector 3D Print by Philippe38 Philippe38 took the time to 3D print a MISC Prospector, and it turned out incredible! Check out the pictures on the Community Hub. View the full article
  12. Imagine this: you are one of the most prominent Super Smash Bros. Melee players in the world. You're on stage, playing your heart out against another one of the most prominent Melee players in the world, and you ultimately attain victory. Then you almost get hit with a crab out of nowhere. That's exactly what happened to Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma during a match last night at fighting game event Pulse. DeBiedma, who represents the esports organization Team Liquid, was squaring off against Joseph “Mango” Marquez, who represents Cloud9. Ultimately, DeBiedma was able to climb his way up from the loser's bracket and clinch victory in the grand finals from Marquez in a tense match. That's when a crab flew past him. While the crab did not actually hit DeBiedma, he did see it go by, and it was pretty clearly meant for him. He picked the crab up and yelled at the audience for throwing it in anger. He later took to Twitter to apologize for losing his temper. Sorry for losing my temper. Someone threw a fucking raw crab at me. After a 5 set losers run. Barely missed my head. What the fuck man Anyway GGs, no clue how I won that — hungrybox (@LiquidHbox) April 21, 2019 Pulse organizers also issued a statement saying that the person who threw the crab, who they have identified, will be banned from the tournament and they will be informing other tournament organizers about it. They do not have plans to release his name publicly. We will be perma banning the guy btw. Probably will not be releasing his name publicly but will be submitting it to other Tournament Organizers. We will make an official statement from the Pound Twitter sometime this week so everyone knows this was handled immediately. — Aposl @ Pound 2019 (@VGBC_Aposl) April 22, 2019 DeBiedman is a controversial figure in the competitive Smash Bros. community. Being one of the most dominant Melee players in the world, a lot of fans dislike the way he plays and his reliance on using Jigglypuff. From his Twitter account, DeBiedman sometimes lashes out at these criticisms, which often venture into the realm of outright harassment against him, and have seemingly escalated into smuggling in crabs to throw at him. It is not clear what kind of crab was thrown, but a Red King crab can weight six to ten pounds. View the full article
  13. A few weeks ago, dataminers discovered a reference to Thanos in the game's update files, strongly suggesting a return of the Thanos mode in Fortnite Battle Royale that had appeared a year prior. That mode was made fairly quickly due to an unlikely mutual fandom between Epic Games and the Avengers: Infinity War directors, the Russo brothers, but it looks like an extra year has given Epic time to do the collaboration justice. A new tease on the Fortnite Twitter account isn't being subtle about the fact that Avengers content is coming to Fortnite and likely soon. The tweet simply reads "Whatever it takes," followed by the date for Avengers: Endgame's theatrical release, and the hashtag "#FortniteXAvengers" at the end. While definitely expository, the tweet doesn't give us a whole lot of information, as is typical of Epic's Fortnite teases. The shield in the picture is obviously Captain America's, so there will probably be Avengers-themed items in the mix this time around. Will you be able to don the Iron Man suit? Can you swing around buildings like Spider-Man? Will you have to gather infinity stones? There's a lot of different possibilities. Fortnite is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, and mobile devices. Avengers: Endgame releases on April 25 in theaters. View the full article
  14. Mortal Kombat 11 features a number of modes, such as Towers of Time and the Krypt, which dole out rewards like character skins. You can get these skins in exchange for either currencies you amass by playing the game, or by completing challenges, many of which are brutally difficult even with the consumable items you can use to help make these battles easier. We knew there would be a way to purchase some skins and possibly circumvent these grinds, but we didn't know exactly what that looked like. The premium shop for Mortal Kombat 11 is now live. Here are the initial offerings. As you can see, you can purchase a total of five cosmetic items right now: two skins, one intro, one taunt, and one "Kombat Kard" decal (which is basically a profile background). The timers in the store indicate these items rotate out every day or so, though how random this rotation is remains unknown. Will there always only be two character skins for purchase at a time? Or could the store potentially offer five skins at some point? Each item tells you where you could otherwise earn that specific reward, whether it's an unlockable in the Krypt, a reward in Towers of Time, or something you get from playing A.I. battles. Another question here: There aren't any skins from Towers of Time in this initial offering. Is that just a coincidence, or will those skins (which can be difficult to earn on their own) not be on the table? We'll have to wait for the items to refresh to find out. The skins cost 500 Time Krystals, and as you can see, after playing quite a bit of the game, I'm at profile level 3, have played through the entire story mode, done a ton of the A.I. battles, completed the tutorial, and have only 570. The Jax character intro is 750 Time Krystals, so I can't even buy that one. The taunt is 200 Krystals, while the profile icon is 100. It might be somewhat telling that the most expensive thing is from Towers of Time, but again, we'll have to wait until the store refreshes to see if the mode in which you otherwise earn a reward affects its price. You can also purchase Easy Fatality Tokens, but not Skip Fight Tokens or experience boosters (as of right now, anyway). You can get five tokens for 100 Krystals, or 40 for 500, or 100 for 1,000. Overall, I'm a bit mixed on this particular aspect of the game. While I like that I can skip difficult Towers of Time challenges with Time Krystals to get the skin I want, I'm not necessarily doing it to save time – I'm doing it because some of those challenges are frustratingly difficult, and that shouldn't be the incentive to spend additional money on the game. I'm also bothered by the fact that you can't just purchase whatever skin you want, and instead have to wait for it to rotate in. Another question that's still in play is price. How much do Time Krystals cost? The PlayStation Store market for the game isn't live yet, so that crucial piece of the puzzle is still missing. We'll dive into the store as soon as it's live and update this piece. For more on Mortal Kombat 11, check out what you can and can't do with the game offline, as well as the rest of what Mortal Kombat 11 has to offer in our exclusive coverage hub below. View the full article
  15. Mortal Kombat 11 finally releases tomorrow, and we'll be streaming the game today mostly to show off that we can play it early, but also to give our impressions of the game and answer community questions in the chat. You can watch the stream up above starting at 2 PM CT (two hours from this posting), or follow us over on YouTube or Twitch to be notified when we go live! View the full article
  16. Mortal Kombat 11 hits stores tomorrow, but there are still a few lingering questions you may have about the game, even after our own podcast hoping to answer some of them. One topic we touched on in that podcast was what the game would let you do offline. Designer Derek Kirtzic answered that question fairly well, but we wanted to give you a full rundown of what to expect if you plan to play the game without an internet connection. Let's start with the obvious: You can't play against people online in any way, or run A.I. character battles, which have you duking out with other people's A.I. character teams. It's outside of that where things get complicated. Mortal Kombat 11 relies heavily on pinging its online servers after almost everything you do, and many of its biggest modes rely on it to even work. Pretty much everything you do gives you one of four currencies (koins, soul fragments, hearts, or time crystals), and all of that info is mostly kept server-side (more on that in a bit). So when you play offline, your profile is reset to level zero, and you won't have access to any currency you've accrued previously as well as the daily challenges that can be useful for accruing currency. You can still look at your profile stats, though, so that's nice. Additionally, the two major modes that rely on the different currencies and act as your main way of unlocking new character skins and gear, Towers of Time (which, similar to Injustice 2's multiverse mode, involves rotating challenge towers in and out with the character skins and gear up for grabs) and the Krypt, are unavailable offline. With Towers of Time having to ping and online server to dole out rewards based on weekly challenges and constantly summon new towers, that makes sense, I suppose, but it's disappointing you can't explore a mostly offline mode like the Krypt without being connected online. Some single-player modes fare better, however. You can play the story mode without any real restrictions, and the rewards you earn for playing through it are banked offline until you ping the server, letting you collect them when you're done. Same goes for the game's extensive tutorial (which gives out crucial time crystals, a Shao Kahn character announcer voice, and one skin for each character). So you can play those to your heart's content. You can play through Klassic Towers (read: Arcade mode), but you won't earn any rewards. Character endings you unlock through these towers do carry over, though. It's still a major bummer, as this mode specifically shouldn't have to rely on the servers to dole out rewards, and I would have hoped you'd be able to bank rewards similar to the way you would with the story and tutorial. This would have been a great way to grind for currency offline. Another issue is that any character customizing you do is temporary until you ping the server again, so you can't play around with the paper-doll aspect with any kind of real investment. You can swap things out though, so if you want to try a new character moveset in training mode, that works. You'll just have to remember what you had equipped when you connect online. Local versus play works just fine, though the "local inventory may not update" when you play. The tournament mode, which restricts players to two preset variations and can randomize character outfits and gear, is similarly unaffected. The practice and fatality training modes are also fine to use. That covers pretty much every mode in Mortal Kombat 11, and how they're affected when you play offline. You don't have a good way to make single-player progress offline when it comes to currency, and it's a shame you can't tinker character variations and expect them to stick, but you can at least play with your friends, complete the story, and practice offline. For more on Mortal Kombat 11, check out our full suite of coverage from this month's cover story on the game. View the full article
  17. During this year's GDC, Kingdom Hearts III co-director Tai Yasue announced that Kingdom Hearts III's anticipated Critical Mode update would be arriving "very soon." It appears that very soon is nowish. Series creator Tetsuya Nomura announced on Twitter today that the update, free for all owners of Kingdom Hearts III, is arriving tomorrow on April 23: Greetings, it’s been a while since I last posted. Spring is here, and I hope everyone is doing well. #KingdomHearts III's long-awaited Critical Mode is available as a free update tomorrow (PT). We’ve changed things up from the previous games, so I hope you enjoy - Nomura pic.twitter.com/Npz8FeKmCK — KINGDOM HEARTS (@KINGDOMHEARTS) April 22, 2019 For more on Kingdom Hearts III, check out our review. View the full article
  18. Mortal Kombat 11 is awesome. Many of you probably already made this conclusion after playing the beta, but my praise extends far beyond the combat to the depth of unlockables, single-player story (which is ridiculous in the best ways), and, well, everything. NetherRealm Studios continues to find new ways to breathe life into this long-running fighting franchise, and this sequel is easily one of the series' best. If I love it so much, why don't I have a review yet? Two aspects of the game still need to be tested. While I was able to connect with other critics for two online matches, most of my attempts to play online didn't go anywhere. I'll need to test this aspect of the game once it's officially out in the wild. I also need to see what content is currently hidden from me in the in-game store. I've earned a specific currency to burn, but have yet to find out what it is for. The review should be coming soon, but unless the online component is a mess (and that's the avenue of play you will spend the most time with), I urge you all to dive into this game's ridiculously fun campaign and tower challenges, which are as bloody as they are brilliant. View the full article
  19. Last week
  20. As an elementary school student, I loved computer class for the video games our teachers worked into the curriculum. One game taught me typing skills. While we played, our teacher covered up our keyboards with orange, plastic slips that shrouded the keys, but when she wasn’t looking, I would lift the slip to peek underneath, giving me an edge over the other students on the leaderboard. Playing these games, and the competition that spawned from them, gripped me much more than sitting in a classroom, listening to a teacher drone about math and geography. Adventure Academy takes these types of learning games and presents them within the context of an MMO. You still practice your typing skills, read in-game books, expand your vocabulary, and solve basic math problems, but you experience all this within the context of an MMO developed by Age of Learning, the team behind ABCmouse. We spent some time with the game’s beta learning about Beowulf and Joan of Arc while exploring a charming 3D campus. Each wing features an exhibit for players to interact with. In the library, students can read about the printing press and learn about Joan of Arc. Character creators are part and parcel of many games today, but its inclusion in an educational game might feel novel to a third grader. After sculpting a Lara Croft-inspired character with brown pants and a long braid, the game dropped me into the titular academy. You’re encouraged to explore the campus, featuring wings for each major discipline: science, literature, history, and math. One thing kids will appreciate in Adventure Academy is that it allows them to focus on activities they enjoy. Don’t like math? You can read full-length books like Titanicat. Does history bore you? There’s a library of videos you can watch to learn science. You participate in these activities by interacting with kiosks in each wing of the academy, and they take the form of simple flash games. I tried a number of games myself – they’re mechanically simple, and they don’t look as flashy as the game’s 3D world, but each one plays differently, which is another great way the game caters to different players. Some will like the drag-and-drop matching games while others enjoy Jeopardy-style vocabulary activities. Most of the exploration-based quests we tried took the form of easy fetch quests, like this one that tasked us with planting trees in the garden. A teacher oversees each area, and they issue you a variety of quests to explore on campus. Some take the form of fetch quests, like finding the missing finger bone of the T-Rex on display in the history wing or planting trees in a hidden mulch bed. One interesting quest asks players to locate pages of lore detailing the academy’s history, which are scattered around the building. While these quests were the type of mission I don’t like to see in MMOs, I think their inclusion might excite kids the most. Other players mill about completing quests, and there’s an in-game chat feature that third-grade-Hunter would have loved to use in a classroom. My best friend Jimmy’s assigned seat is across the classroom? Ha! I’ll just message him on Adventure Academy! I expect the game to be some players’ first exposure to video game progression systems. You earn experience for completing each activity, and new quests open when you level up, as well as entirely new areas for kids to explore. New wardrobe options, like butterfly wings, backpacks, academy-branded sweaters, and infinity scarves, unlock at higher levels, which are incentives for kids to complete the game’s more educational activities at the kiosks. I was thrilled to see I could unlock a sword for my Lara Croft-themed avatar, and I know with certainty that, in elementary school, I would have obsessed over earning new cosmetic items long after class time. Cosmetic items get more unique at higher levels. We saw top hats, cowboy hats, and every type of backpack in the marketplace. While the bevy of unlockable cosmetics will stir competition within classrooms, I’m surprised Adventure Academy doesn’t include leaderboards for its skill-based games. The ability to rise through the ranks of your peers is a feature that lends itself naturally to a game that’s otherwise pretty social. Another head-scratcher is the decision to make the game download while kids play; traveling to new wings or hub spaces for the first-time requires long load times. These moments weren’t unbearable, but I imagine they could be for a teacher with a class of twenty students who just want to play the game. I’m curious to see if players can download the game entirely at launch instead of having to confront these first-time loading screens. Gripes aside, I think Adventure Academy has the potential to be a great educational tool for classrooms or a fun kid-friendly MMO that parents could introduce to their children. There’s course material for every type of student – from the bookworm to the kid who just wants to earn a bunch of experience watching science videos. Adventure Academy launches on May 1 for PC and on Android and iOS devices. You can purchase a monthly subscription for $9.99 or an annual subscription that comes out to less than $5 per month when you pay up front. Many of our editors at Game Informer are parents themselves. Read Javy’s column on what it’s like to be a gaming parent in a gaming world, or Matt Miller’s column on great tabletop games to play with your kids. View the full article
  21. Click here to watch embedded media Thanks to everybody for checking out our month of exclusive features covering Mortal Kombat 11! We wanted to post one more little video to highlight what it's like to visit a beloved game studio like NetherRealm Studios. Check out the video above to see more clips from inside the studio behind Mortal Kombat. Also, don't miss the latest episode of The Game Informer Show where designer Derek Kirtzic answered dozens and dozens of burning questions from the community about the game. To see all of our coverage of Mortal Kombat 11 this month, click on the banner below and bookmark our hub. We’ll have videos, articles, and interviews with the developers at NetherRealm leading up to the game’s launch. View the full article
  22. On April 23, tabletop game maker CMON (Cool Mini or Not) will launch a Kickstarter campaign for a new Bloodborne experience. This tile-based board game is CMON's second venture with Bloodborne. The first was a tactical card game designed for three to five players. Following the card game's successful launch, CMON released an expansion called The Hunter's Nightmare. The trailer below walks you through the key beats of the board game, showing how players explore the city of Yharnam cooperatively, revealing a tile with each turn. Missions are tied to specific tiles, as are monsters which are summoned. The game appears to come with a number of plastic miniatures for the Hunter and various critters to battle. If funded, Bloodborne: The Board Game will join Dark Souls: The Board Game, which was created by Steamforged Games, a studio that is again tapping the video game space for a Devil May Cry 5 board game. Click here to watch embedded media View the full article
  23. My uncle bought me Final Fantasy XII for my birthday in 2006. At 10 years old, a lot of the combat mechanics and branching plotlines were confusing. Regardless, I was enamored with the game’s vibrancy: I specifically recall marveling at hair and garments fluttering in desert winds as well as azure sparks flashing from clanging swords and shields. To this day, it remains my favorite Final Fantasy. The game originally released as a PlayStation 2 exclusive, but in the last two years, a remaster called, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age has launched on PlayStation 4 and PC with performance enhancements, deeper job customization, and various quality-of-life changes. Now, Square Enix is finally releasing the remaster on Xbox One and Switch at the end of the month. If you’ve never experienced Final Fantasy XII, this is why you should jump at the chance now. Click image thumbnails to view larger version The Cast Like most installments in Square Enix’s beloved series, Final Fantasy XII chronicles the lives of heroes rising against a greater antagonistic force. Where other entries employed moody, often unrelatable caricatures to drive their plots forward (that’s right, I’m talking about everyone’s favorite heroes, Cloud and Squall), Final Fantasy XII is less about individual motivations and more about the sum of its ensemble parts. Street urchins Vaan and Penelo call the impoverished slums of Rabanastre home. While Penelo attempts to find silver linings in their plight, Vaan looks to the sky with dreams of owning an airship and living freely. After many chance encounters with shady folk, the two youths are flung into a world of political intrigue and clandestine coup d’états. Even so, they learn to find companionship in others: Ashe, a forsaken princess, Basch, an exiled soldier, and Balthier and Fran, wanted bounty hunters. Despite their oddball mix, each member of Final Fantasy XII’s main cast shares similar insecurities – cowardice, loneliness, unresolved grief, and doubts of self-worth. Vaan and his ragtag team of outcasts remain some of the greatest characters in Final Fantasy lore because they’re so easy to root for. Despite struggling with personal shortcomings, they continuously discover ways to defy fate. Click image thumbnails to view larger version The World Like Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII’s narrative takes place in the Kingdom of Ivalice. Most of the continent is filled with the unexplored ruins of ancient dynasties. But when your party is not traversing every labyrinthine fortress checkered throughout the expansive backdrop, you’re navigating breathtaking metropolises and townships. As Vaan, you start within the cluttered cityscape of Rabanastre, filled with diverse districts including bazaars and palaces. But beyond the opening hours, players discover larger areas with increasingly exotic fauna including waterways with flaming stallions, badlands with roaming tyrannosaurs, and misty jungles with green chocobos. Each setting in Final Fantasy XII is aesthetically unique and teeming with secrets. Some areas, like the Skycity of Bhujerba, can only be reached via airship; that’s as simple as purchasing a one-way ticket. Other locations must be discovered on foot, but hubs are small-scale and (in some cases) linear, meaning that traversal is simple. What’s more, Ivalice houses various ethnic groups. For instance, Fran, with her rabbit-like ears and seven-foot stature, is a Viera who hails from Eruyt Village. Other races like the Nu Mou – bipedal canines – are religious nomads. Despite being a cultural melting pot, Ivalice’s racial tensions make intermingling increasingly difficult. To see this negativity reflected in the way strangers react to Fran (and the rest of your human party for even associating with her), makes the game world feel organic and lived-in. Click image thumbnails to view larger version The Battle System Fans of traditional as well as modern Square Enix RPGs will find that Final Fantasy XII displays a healthy mix of turn-based and real-time combat: ATB gauges (or cooldowns) from older games make a welcome return, adding an urgency to attack input and party positioning. And a dynamic camera with real-time action makes battles feel intuitive and streamlined. Rather than unlocking nodes on a static skill tree, progression in Final Fantasy XII is an immersive minigame. Upgrades are recorded through job licenses – spaces on a sprawling checkered board that unlock ultimates, weapon and armor sets, and stat augmentations. These licenses correlate with assigned jobs (or classes). Each job has its own board, but some may share licenses that, when purchased, overlap. For example, my Balthier is a White Mage and Machinist. Both job boards have “swiftness” licenses which lessen cooldown timers. By buying one swiftness node on the White Mage board, I can access adjacent abilities on the Machinist board. Players can make a plethora of job combinations to stack overlapping skills and take down the game’s most fearsome bosses. With the added benefit of “gambits” – a customizable command system that programs characters to perform important actions like healing low HP allies or attacking specified targets – battles become relaxingly automated, removing the need for frustrating micromanagement. Click here to watch embedded media My favorite RPGs always focus on what matters most: character-driven stories with vibrant locations and fun, captivating gameplay. In 2006, Final Fantasy XII met those standards and it continues to be one of my fondest gaming experiences. The Zodiac Age expanded upon on all the features that made the original great. And now that it’ll be available to every console player in a few weeks, I can’t help but be excited to dive into its world once again. If you love intuitive gameplay as well as the age-old “Final Fantasy formula” done right – an eccentric cast of relatable characters, an epic-scale odyssey, and grand boss fights – then Final Fantasy XII is for you! The Zodiac Age launches for Xbox One and Switch on April 30. If you’re excited about the remaster too, watch our video detailing four things you need to know about the game in preparation for its re-release. View the full article
  24. If you thought the trailers for Detective Pikachu didn't feature enough existential angst you're kind of a weirdo, but at least there's a trailer that should be more your style. Youtube channel Sam and Bill Comedy in association with Bad Duck Media have produced a real trailer for a fake TV show that would turn the lovable electric rodent into a Rustin Cohle-type resembling something out of the Soulcalibur VI character creator. It's pretty well done, and while the visage of Pikachu as a real person will haunt my dreams long after my soul has departed from my body, I kind of want to see more this particular fever dream. Make it happen, HBO and The Pokémon Company! Click here to watch embedded media View the full article
  25. Need another reason to play through Half-Life 2? What if it was basically Titanfall 2? The Half-Life 2 Mobility Mod adds a number of movement options to the game that make its gameplay resemble Titanfall 2. The mod lets you double-jump, power slide, wall-run, and climb ledges. The mod also adds a short tutorial and mini-campaign, new airboat rockets, a button to quickly throw grenades (instead of having to manually swap to them), and a few cheat modes as well. The mod has been out since the middle of last year, but received a big version-two update this week. This new version makes the mod simpler to install (letting you install it for Half-Life 2 and its two episodes instead of having to do it individually), adds a new dedicated crowbar key, flying attack, and refines the existing movement options. Also, "destroying an APC ejects the driver up into the air." These changes might make Half-Life 2 an easier game overall and not in line with Valve's vision, but sometimes, you need something crazy to freshen up a repeat playthrough of a classic game, and this seems like a great way to do that. If you'd like to see what the mod is like in action, here's a trailer. Click here to watch embedded media [Source: ModDB via Dark Side of Gaming] View the full article
  26. Multiplayer gaming tends to fall under two categories: cooperative and competitive. While competition gets a ton of the spotlight through tournaments and esports events, cooperation and working together to make the world a better place (usually one with fewer zombies) by being nice to each other doesn't. So we want to know: What was the nicest game-related thing someone has done for you? Mine happened a while ago, but I'll never forget it. It happened to be pretty late during my first Evo tournament back in 2016, and one of the tournament setups for Guilty Gear: Xrd was free. I hadn't played the game much before and I needed to place to sit down for a moment, so I figured hey, why not start play some? After a few rounds against the AI, a couple came up and asked through a few gestures (they were Japanese and didn't know English) if I would play against them. I tried to make it very clear that I was not in any way good, and that I'd be willing to let them use the setup to play against each other, but they wanted to play me. After a couple of rounds it became clear I wasn't very good, but they actually, again mostly through gestures, took an hour of their time to show me how to do some of the character Potemkin's trickier moves, and I eventually got a round off one of them. It is, to this day, the nicest game-related thing someone has done for me. What about you? Has anyone given you a super-rare item in an MMO out of the kindness of their heart? Has anyone sat you down the learn the ropes of a fighting game at tournament? Let us know in the comments. View the full article
  27. Korean PC and Mobile game company Nexon could be the next to fall under Disney's enormous and ever-growing banner, according to a new report. Korean newspaper The Central Times says that, according to "the international banking industry," NXC (Nexon Korea and Japan's holding comapany) Chairman Jung-ju Kim, who, along with his wife own a majority share (98.64 percent) of NXC, has approached a "high-ranking Disney representative" (translation via The Korea Herald) to have Disney acquire the company. The company is anticipated to sell for around $13.2 billion. Kim has been looking to sell his stake in the company since January, and while other companies were shortlisted to buy it, Kim in 2015 was quoted as lauding Disney for its business practices in 2015, comparing them to how "some people hate Nexon to death." Nexon, along with publishing the MapleStory series around much of the world, is also responsible for maintaining several popular PC games in Korea, including Final Fantasy XIV, Counter-Strike Online, Dungeon Fighter Online, Battlerite, and more. [Source: The Central Times via The Korea Herald] View the full article
  28. When it launched earlier this week, the Switch version of Cuphead came with some additional features that weren't in the original Xbox One, Mac, and PC versions of the game. Well, now those features are on every platform. The game's 1.2 update, out now for Xbox One, PC, and Mac, includes some cool quality-of-life features. You can now choose to play the entire game as Mugman rather than Cuphead, giving him (who's basically Luigi to Cuphead's Mario) the chance to shine. The two play identically, so who you choose is entirely up to preference. Additionally, the update adds fully animated videos in place of stills for all of the game's cutscenes. This, along with a hose of new animations sprinkled throughout fights themselves, will hopefully make the game's art style pop more than ever. New localizations have been added for eleven new languages (French, Italian, German, European Spanish, Latin Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese), including lettering inspired by those countries' classic cartoons. To update the game, developer MDHR had to abandon support for DX9 in the PC version while switching to a new version of Unity, which means all upcoming patches will only work with the new DX11 version of the game. For those who need DX9 to run the game on PC, there is a new legacy branch players can switch to, though that version won't have any updates going forward. View the full article
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