Category Archives: Gaming

Play Heroes of the Storm and Get a World of Warcraft Mount



Blizzard Entertainment announced that the Primal Flamesaber Mount is now available. It is a mount that can only be used in World of Warcraft. In order to get this new mount, a player must play Heroes of the Storm (another one of Blizzard’s games).

Mounts are very useful in World of Warcraft because they can help your character get from one place to another very quickly. It is possible for players to earn several mounts just by playing World of Warcraft. Other mounts can be purchased from the Blizzard Store. Once in a while, Blizzard offers a World of Warcraft mount that players cannot get unless they play a different Blizzard game.

Such is the case with the Primal Flamesaber mount.  To get this mount, players need to leave Azeroth and venture into the Nexus. Play 15 Heroes of the Storm matches with a friend from your Battle.net friends list between now and March 13, 2017. Both you, and your friend, have to play Heroes that originated in World of Warcraft.

In addition, players who complete that goal will also get a Judgment Charger mount, and a 10-day Stimpack, that they can use in Heroes of the Storm.

This offer is great for players who already play both of those Blizzard games and who have at least one friend on their Battle.net friends list who plays Heroes of the Storm.

This is not the first time that Blizzard has offered a special mount to World of Warcraft players who spend some time playing one of Blizzard’s other games. In 2014, players who won three games in Hearthstone earned themselves a Hearthsteed to use in World of Warcraft.


Over 80 More Pokémon are Coming to Pokémon GO



Pokemon Go logoThose of you who have been getting bored with Pokémon GO might want to give it another try. Niantic, creator of Pokémon GO, announced that they are adding new features and over 80 more Pokémon to the game.

Starting later this week, players will have the opportunity to catch more than 80 Pokémon that are brand new to Pokémon GO. These new Pokémon are ones that were originally discovered in the Johto region in the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver games. In addition, Niantic will start rolling out Pokémon with gender-specific variations.

There will also be more opportunities to evolve your Pokémon in Pokémon GO. Some Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Kanto region will soon evolve into Pokémon that inhabit the Johto region. PokéStops will now offer new Evolution items that players will need to use in order to evolve some Pokémon.

Players may notice changes to the behavior of the Pokémon they see in the wild. Some may react in new ways as you try to catch them. Another new change allows players to easily select Berries and Poké Balls right from the encounter screen.

PokéStops will start offering two new kinds of Berries. Give a Nanab Berry to a Pokémon – and it will slow the Pokémon’s movements (making it easier for you to catch it.) Give a Pinap Berry to a Pokémon. If you successfully catch that Pokémon on your next attempt – you will get double the Candy.


Valve will Replace Greenlight with Steam Direct



Valve announced that they will replace Steam Greenlight with Steam Direct. The reason for the change is to better serve their goal of making customers happy. Steam decided it needed to move away from a small group of people at Valve trying to predict which games would appeal to different groups of customers.

Steam Greenlight was launched because Valve felt it was a useful stepping stone for moving to a more direct distribution system. Greenlight is a community-focused program that uses a voting system to determine which games are published on Steam. Games that got enough community support are “greenlit”.

Valve is replacing Greenlight with a new direct sign-up system for developers to put their games on Steam. It is called Steam Direct.

This new path, which we’re calling “Steam Direct”, is targeted for Spring 2017 and will replace Steam Greenlight. We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account. Once set up, developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute, which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline.”

At the moment, Valve is still debating what that application fee should be. They talked to several developers and studios about an appropriate fee, and they got a range of responses from $100 to $5,000. Valve wants more feedback before it settles on what the fee will be.

The existence of a fee might dissuade people from trying to get low-quality games onto Steam. That being said, if the fee is too high, it might make it difficult or impossible for small companies, or independent game creators, from being able to afford to get their game on Steam.


Pokémon GO has a Valentine’s Day Event



Niantic, creator of Pokémon GO, has started a limited-time celebration of Valentine’s Day.  It started on February 8, 2017, and will continue through 11:00 A.M. PST on February 15, 2017. Now is a good time to catch some Pokémon that you probably haven’t seen very often.

The featured Pokémon for the Valentine’s Day event are pink. Niantic officially says that players will notice more Chansey, Clefable, and many other adorable pink Pokémon that you can encounter in the wild more frequently than you usually would.

Personally, I’ve also seen a lot more JigglyPuffs and Exeggcutes that I would have expected. I also caught a Slowpoke and a Lickitung. All of them are very pink.

In addition, Cleffa, Igglybuff, and Smoochum will be more likely to hatch from Eggs. Lure modules will last for six hours during the Valentine’s Day event – which is extraordinary considering that lure modules typically last for 30 minutes. Buddy Pokémon will find Candy twice as fast while the Valentine’s Day event is going on.


The WoW Token Can Now be Exchanged for Battle.net Balance



Blizzard Entertainment created the WoW Token in 2015. In my opinion, the purpose was to give players a safe and secure way to buy in-game gold directly from Blizzard (and not from a disreputable gold seller). Today, Blizzard Entertainment expanded the potential uses for a WoW Token. Players can now exchange a WoW Token for Battle.net Balance.

Previously, the WoW Token had two purposes. A player who wanted to buy in-game gold could log in to World of Warcraft and spend real world currency on a WoW Token. After buying one, that player would put the WoW Token onto the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House. The player would get a quote that confirmed how much gold they would receive whenever their WoW Token sold.

Another player, who wanted to buy game-time, but did not have the real world currency to spend on it, could use their in-game gold to buy a WoW Token from the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House. That player would spend their in-game gold and use the WoW Token to pay for a month of game-time.

Today, Blizzard Entertainment has added a new option. World of Warcraft players who want to add to their Battle.net account can visit the World of Warcraft in-game Auction House, buy a WoW Token, and choose to redeem it for Battle.net Balance. In short, this gives players a new way to add to their Battle.net Balance without having to use real world currency.

The cool thing is that a player can spend the money in their Battle.net Balance on World of Warcraft Pets and Mounts. Or, they can spend it on items from other Blizzard Entertainment games like Overwatch or Heroes of the Storm. This gives more options to World of Warcraft players who also play other Blizzard Entertainment games.


Drone n’ Base is The Gaming Drone at CES



There are plenty of drones that can be used to take videos from the air or to take aerial photos.  That’s great for photographers, but doesn’t do much for gamers.  Drone n’ Base has created The Gaming Drone.  Use these little drones to play augmented reality video games.

Todd spoke with Matus, who explained what The Gaming Drone can do.  There are two styles of video game that you can play with The Gaming Drone.  One is an augmented reality game where you play against a computer.  You control your physical drone and battle the computer’s drone that is inside the game.

The other video game is a multiplayer race and battle.  Each player places a game board on the floor, and flies his or her drone over it.  This enables the player to race and battle with other players in the video game.

The Gaming Drone by Drone n’ Base is priced at $199.  Each package comes with one drone, one base, and two batteries.

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Razer’s Project Valerie Triple Screen Laptop at CES



One of the best things about motor shows are the preposterous concept cars that will never see the light of day and serve only to showcase the manufacturer’s technology. Razer are verging into this territory with a bonkers triple 4K screen laptop, codenamed Project Valerie, where the three screens combine to give a whopping resolution of 11520 x 2160. And get this….the screens will automatically expand and collapse – so cool. Aimed at the (very) serious gamer or esports player, it’s totally awesome and no doubt will have a price tag to match when (if?) it goes on sale.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.

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More Pokémon are Coming to Pokémon GO



Niantic has been adding new things to Pokémon GO lately, in the form of partnerships between Pokémon GO and companies like Sprint and Starbucks. Niantic’s latest addition is something players will find in the Pokémon GO game itself. In short, more Pokémon are coming!

Niantic announced that as of December 12, 2016, players will have the opportunity to find Pokémon that have been newly added to Pokémon GO. Niantic explains:

Professor Willow has discovered Togepi and Pichu hatching from Eggs! Starting later today, Trainers will have the opportunity to hatch these and several other Pokémon that were originally discovered in the Johto Region in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver video games. These are the first of more Pokémon coming to Pokémon GO over the next few months.

In addition, from December 12, 2016, through December 29, 2016, (10:00 am. PST) players will find limited edition Pikachu all over the world. These Pikachu will be wearing a festive hat. Niantic recommends that you use the Pokémon GO AR camera when you encounter the limited edition Pikachu, and post the screenshot on social media with #HolidayPikachu.


Starbucks is Now an Official Partner of Pokémon GO



Shortly after Niantic announced that Sprint had become the first U.S. Partner of Pokémon GO, Niantic announced that Starbucks is now an official partner of Pokémon GO. The partnership between Starbucks and Pokémon GO includes Starbucks stores that are located within the United States. Starbucks stores that are located outside of the United States do not appear to be part of this partnership. From the Niantic announcement:

Starbucks has a long-standing commitment to providing spaces for social interaction and real-world community building in its extensive network of locations. We appreciate their role in creating safe, welcoming locations for people from all walks of life to come together for refreshment and social engagement. Starting 11 A.M. PST on December 8, this new partnership will transform 7,800 company-owned Starbucks stores in the United States into PokéStops and Gyms, giving Trainers even more places to play and to engage with their local Pokémon GO communities.

Starbucks says that players who locate a Starbucks store within Pokémon GO will discover the Pokémon GO Frappuccino blended beverage.

It starts with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino blended beverage and raspberry syrup blended with freeze-dried whole blackberries and topped with whipped cream. The Pokémon GO Frappuccino blended beverage will be available at participating Starbucks stores for a limited time while supplies last.


Sprint Becomes First U.S. Partner of Pokémon GO



pokemon-go-and-sprintThe Pokémon GO Team at Niantic has announced that they are working with Sprint.  This collaboration makes Sprint the first U.S. Partner of Pokémon GO.

Niantic and Sprint are working together to create a special Pokémon GO experience at over 10,500 Sprint locations around the United States. It is scheduled to begin on December 12, 2016.

As part of this collaboration, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Sprint Radioshack stores will become PokéStops and Gyms, giving you even more places to stock up on Poké Balls and Razz Berries and to battle your friends. Sprint locations will also feature in-store charging stations to keep your Pokémon GO sessions going even longer.

Sprint will be offering an unlimited data plan that includes talk and text “so that customers can complete their Pokédex without worrying about running out of data or surprise overage charges”.  According to Sprint, when customers switch at least one line to Sprint and sign up for Unlimited Freedom with AutoPay, they get unlimited data, talk, and text at just $20 per month/line for a family of five until January 31, 2018.