September 1st, 2012
(as of 2012-12-04 20:52:14 PST)
(as of 2012-12-04 20:52:14 PST)
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The first of the two key additions is the Mercenary mode, which will allow you to play as a mercenary for the opposing faction in WoW's PvP modes. This is being done for the purpose of cutting down wait times for Ashran or unrated Battlegrounds. Your character will wear a funny-looking mask when playing for the opposing faction, as you can see in some images here.
In addition, patch 6.2.2 adds a new achievement called Draenor Pathfinder. Earn this, and you'll unlock a new mount--a rylak, the Soaring Skyterror--and also the ability to fly in Draenor for the first time. Unlocking this achievement won't be an easy task, however; see this post for a set of instructions.
Both Mercenary Mode and the new flying option were previously available on WoW's Public Test Realm.
Overall, WoW has seen better days in terms of subscribers. By Activision Blizzard's latest count, the game had 5.6 million subscribers, down by 1.5 million in three months. It's worth noting, however, that WoW remains the top subscription-based game in the world, and it's set to grow again with its latest expansion, Legion.
The original story is below.
Developer NetherRealm will hold its next "Kombat Kast" livestream event today, August 31, during which the Chicago-based studio plans to reveal the latest "news & klues" about Mortal Kombat X.
The broadcast will air live at 1 PM PDT / 4 PM EDT on NetherRealm's Twitch account. We'll have all the news for you as it's announced.
Just recently, Warner Bros. announced that it had canceled the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Mortal Kombat X, which were in development at High Voltage Software, not NetherRealm.
As for what NetherRealm may announce--or at least tease--today, the signs are pointing to more DLC characters. A livestream in July labeled Tremor as being the final character in "Kombat Pack 1." Previously, this was only ever called the Kombat Pack, suggesting there will be at least one more.
What are you hoping to see/learn from today's Mortal Kombat X livestream? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
The update, version 1.04, lists only two changes: fixes for Russian translations and the new save upload feature. Once installed, you'll find the option in the main menu. As seen in the image below, selecting it explains that it uploads your save to PSN so that it can be transferred to The Phantom Pain. It doesn't offer any further details regarding exactly what carries over, but it reportedly includes Mother Base recruits and costumes. You'll obtain these by downloading your data from The Phantom Pain's main menu.
At least as of yet, the update adding this functionality has not been released on Xbox One. With The Phantom Pain launching tomorrow, September 1, it will presumably be out soon, but Konami hasn't made any official announcements.
Data transfers aren't restricted to the platform you're on, but you are stuck with the platform family you played Ground Zeroes on. In other words, you can go from Ground Zeroes on PS3 to The Phantom Pain on PS4, but you can't go from PS3 or PS4 to Xbox One, for instance.
Importing save data isn't the only thing that sets The Phantom Pain apart from previous Metal Gear Solid games. It also features optional microtransactions, the prices of which were recently revealed.
For Black Ops III, Treyarch has "re-imagined" Nuketown for the game's 2065 setting. As you can see in the image below, this is not the Nuketown you remember--and it's not spelled the same way, either. This map is known as "Nuk3town," and it's available with "launch copies" on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
A revision to the design of Nuketown is not altogether surprising, as the series has evolved quite a bit in the area of traversal in recent years. Nuk3town aims to retain the essence of Nuketown, while also changing as needed to make use of Black Ops III's new movement mechanics.
"We carefully adapted the design of the map to make sure that it fit with our new movement system, but to also make sure that we retained the spirit and the fun that made fans fall in love with it in the first place," Treyarch boss Mark Lamia said in a statement.
Nuketown was first seen in the original Black Ops from 2010 and then again in 2012's Black Ops II, where it was known as Nuketown 2025. The map also appeared in Black Ops Declassified as Nukehouse.
Activision made a point to say today that Nuk3town will be available exclusively on current-generation consoles and PC. It looks like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 players are out of luck.
Khepri is the game's latest god; he's a giant scarab who is capable of shielding nearby allies and, with his ultimate, preventing an ally from dying. Since being introduced on PC, he's been nerfed more than once, so expect him to be somewhat of a hassle to deal with until those updates arrive on Xbox.
Also new is the season ticket. This is something that's been available on PC for some time, and allows players to earn fantasy points through purchases, winning games (with the accompanying loading frame equipped), and predicting winners of matches. These points can then be used to acquire various items, including wards and skins.
Another long-awaited feature is Spectator mode. This is currently in beta, but allows you to watch in-progress matches that anyone on your friends list is participating in. You currently can only watch live matches--the next patch will bring with it the ability to watch recorded games.
Other changes of note include a revamped VGS system (the in-game voice commands), a "major visual update" for Loki, an in-game friends list, teleport items (these let you warp to teammates or certain items), and a variety of balance tweaks. Most notable among these are another nerf for Ah Puch (his ultimate no longer slows enemies) and some tweaks to Bellona (she initially slows less, and can use her ultimate less frequently late in games).
You can check out the full rundown of everything in the update, including new skins and item changes, at the official Smite website.
Smite on Xbox One recently left beta after a lengthy testing period. Today, August 31, marks your last chance to merge your PC and Xbox One accounts.
Tularosa Basin Historical Society vice president Joe Lewandowski shared the figure during a recent City Commission meeting, as reported by Alamogordo News. Lewandowski is regarded as "Alamogordo's Indiana Jones," as he's been involved in the E.T. legend for decades now.
The city of Alamogordo gets about $65,000 from the game sale, while the Tularosa Basin Historical Society nets around $16,250. Shipping fees and other expenses totaled about $26,600. In all, 881 games were sold to people in 45 states and 14 countries across numerous sets of auctions.
In addition to E.T., the failed movie tie-in released in 1982 for the Atari 2600, the city of Alamogordo sold unearthed copies of Asteroids, Missile Command, Warlords, Defender, Star Raiders, Swordquest, Phoenix, Centipede, and Super Breakout.
23 games were donated to museums around the world, while 100 went to the film company that produced the documentary, Atari: Game Over. The movie told the story of Atari's collapse, culminating with the excavation of the landfill in April 2014.
Lewandowski said he has lots more stories to tell for another movie. As such, he's holding onto 297 more games, possibly to sell when the second film comes out to maximize the return for Alamogordo.
"I just want to take a moment to thank Joe Lewandowski for all the hard work," Alamogordo city commissioner Nadia Sikes said. "I wouldn't consider myself a real naysayer of what was going to transpire with the sale of the games but I have to say I am so impressed with what you've done. Under no circumstances did I ever think you were going to sell over $60,000 worth of games."
Lewandowski will meet with city officials in September to share his recommendations for what Alamogordo should do with the proceeds.
There are six games to claim across the three systems. Technically each system has two games, but thanks to Cross-Buy, they all have more--PS4 and PS3 each have four free games, while Vita has three.
All of the available games are listed below, divided up by platform. Hit the links to grab them from the PlayStation Store.
September's selection of free Plus games includes Super Time Force Ultra, Xeodrifter, and--as decided by fans--Grow Home.
The Disney Infinity series, too, has had games that showcase plenty of contrasts. On the one side is Infinity's wonderful Toy Box mode, a creative playpen that gives players an opportunity to make their own games and levels, even if the exhaustive tools that are available often make the mode more intimidating than intuitive. On the other side are the pre-made game adventures (called play sets) that came with the last two Disney Infinity starter packs (or sold separately, in some cases), games which were set in various Disney worlds such as the Marvel universe, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more. These Play Sets have varied in quality, but the bar has been consistently middling; they've ranged from the very poor to the somewhat enjoyable. None have matched the sheer fun of simply exploring and playing around in the Toy Box mode.
Disney Infinity 3.0 is the closest the series has come to a parity in quality on both of its sides, with the Twilight of the Republic Play Set that comes with this year's starter pack a joy to play. Set in the Clone Wars period of the Star Wars universe, Twilight of the Republic is this year's Infinity starter set. You'll get the game plus two toys/characters--the aforementioned Jedi pair of Ahsoka and Anakin. Yes, that's one less toy than the Marvel version last year, but the price is slightly lower, too, a fact that cash-strapped parents may find somewhat comforting (you can even use your old Infinity base and just download the new game for a significantly lower cost).
For the uninitiated, Disney Infinity is a toys-to-life game where physical, real-world toys unlock their virtual counterparts within a game. Place the Ashoka toy on the Disney Infinity base, for example, and seconds later she'll appear on screen. All previous Infinity toys are compatible with this latest version, although, as always, there's no cross pollination between franchises allowed in play sets (so no Olaf from Frozen in the Twilight of the Republic play set, for example). All of the characters have various melee and ranged abilities specific to their character, and the toys themselves are expressive and well built. They're pretty sturdy, too, although I can see the thin lightsabers some of the Star Wars characters wield falling victim to overeager children.
The improvements to the game's combat are almost immediately noticeable. Attacking is faster and flows much more smoothly--button mashing for the younglings will still get results, but the added depth to the melee allows more skilled players to utilise more powerful and impressive-looking attacks. Combos are achieved via Devil May Cry-like inputs of timed button presses, and while the combo commands here are much simpler than DMC, it's still undeniably cool to use Anakin as he slashes enemies, launches them in the air, bats them away, before using Force pull to start the combo all over again. Not everything works, though: the controls in the pod racing sequence felt altogether too floaty, while dogfights are simple and underwhelming. In all of the space battles I played, there was only ever one enemy type, and it never actually felt like I was in any danger of getting blown out of the stars.
While last year's Avengers play set took place in a dreary, featureless Manhattan, Twilight of the Republic features a much more varied series of locales. You can visit four planets in the Star Wars universe, as well as fly around in space in the occasional dogfight battle. The various missions you undertake as you try to solve the mystery of just who is behind the plot to restart the droid factory on Geonosis are pretty exciting, too: the difficulty escalates nicely, while there's a good variety of enemy types (and the occasional boss) to deal with. It's a pity, then, that there's only a few hours of this. Ending the main quest line of Twilight of the Republic made me want more. There are, however, many side missions you can work on in the four planets you come across, but most of these are simple fetch quests or escort missions, and feel like exactly what they are: padding.
As always, the bulk of the experience in Disney Infinity lies in its expansive Toy Box mode, a comprehensive set of tools, toys, and locales that theoretically allow players to craft their own levels and gameplay experiences. Want to create a vicious platformer? Toy Box allows you to do that. How about a side-scrolling beat-em-up, or a high-speed Mario Kart-like racer, or even a tower defense game? Toy Box has you covered.
I say theoretically, though, because the sheer amount of tools and options available can be overwhelming. New tools added this year--such as a path creator that allows you to specifically decide the route enemies, allies, and even objects will take within your created world--make even more game-types possible, but it also ramps up the complexity even further. The Toy Box can be a mountain, and it's a tough one to climb.
In previous Infinity titles, the sheer amount of "possibility" often left me paralysed with indecision, but 3.0 takes some of the user-friendly additions introduced in the previous game and amplifies them, making for a Toy Box experience that is easier to get into than ever. The redesigned Toy Box Hub, for example, wisely features different areas specific to different game types (combat, platforming, and racing). In each area, you're given the basics of what to do, and even have a few examples to of levels created using Toy Box tools to serve as inspiration. There's a whole separate area, too, teaching you how to utilise some of the more complex tools in the game, such as logic switches, enemy generators, and more. These have all been structured as challenges, little puzzles to solve that teach you the basics of operating those specific tools. I found them all extremely useful, and coupled with a greater number of automated building toys (or toys that can build entire structures for you), and I found that a lot of that initial overwhelming feeling was eventually overcome.
If you're not the type who enjoys creating, then most of the magic of Toy Box will be alien to you. For those who just like to play, Infinity has made the process of discovering and playing other people's creations a little smoother. Within the Toy Box Hub are two new areas dedicated to showing user user-generated worlds: the El Capitan theatre will feature specific Disney chosen levels, while Flynn's Arcade focuses on showcasing multiplayer worlds for four players online. I played Disney Infinity 3.0 pre-retail launch, so most of the content on show seemed to be from official Disney creators. I'm expecting the numbers of Toy Boxes available to play to increase significantly once the game is released, although that doesn't necessarily mean the quality will increase.
Of course, Disney Infinity 3.0 is more than just what's included in this year's starter kit. That's just the platform for a whole other range of experiences, including Toy Box expansion games, more play sets (sets that encompass the original Star Wars trilogy and the new upcoming film have already been announced, as well as one based on Inside Out), plus a whole new range of toys. You'll have to pay for all of these expanded experiences, of course, so your overall mileage and enjoyment of Disney Infinity 3.0 will vary. For all of this year's improvements in combat and the Toy Box, the core appeal of Disney Infinity remains the same: it's a great, kid-friendly experience that, thanks to the complexity inherent in building worlds from scratch, skews a little bit more towards older kids than the very young. Its structured play may be the best it's ever been, but when it comes to the unstructured building side of Infinity, well, that will only go so as far as your imagination can take it.