Category Archives: Gaming

Battleborn’s Fall Update is its Last Update

Battleborn is from Gearbox Software. The game is now available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Battleborn was launched in May of 2016, and the Fall Update will be the last update of the game.

Battleborn is an ambitious fusion of genres. The game combines highly-stylized visuals and frenetic first-person shooting, with Gearbox’s industry-leading co-operative combat, and an expansive collection of diverse heroes.

A post on the Gearbox Forums included a special message from Battleborn Creative Director Randy Varnell. Part of that message said:

As of this week, there will be no more Battleplans and there is currently no planned content after the Fall Update. Details on any future changes or new will be made on our forums or through social media, so keep your radars on.

Never fear! Battleborn is here to stay. Nothing is changing with Battleborn, and the servers will be up and active for the foreseeable future. We announced the Fall Update for the game at PAX including some new skins, themed around some of your favorite Borderlands characters! That update will also include some updated title art (more full bar titles!) for the more significant challenges in the game, as well as some additional Finisher Boosts and Taunts. Also, there are minor balance changes in that patch.

The forum post alludes to a “highly anticipated project” that some people at Gearbox have been working on. Battleborn Creative Director Randy Varnell says that he will “play a significant role in that highly anticipated but unannounced game.”

Bungie Removed Graphical Element from Destiny 2 Armor

Bungie made a decision to remove the graphical element (or, artwork) from a piece of armor in Destiny 2. To be more specific, the decision focuses on the Road Complex AA1 gauntlets. The artwork was removed after Bungie became aware what the imagery resembled.

On September 12, 2017, the verified Bungie Twitter account tweeted the following:

I’ve gone down an internet “rabbit hole” (so you don’t have to) in regards to the imagery on the gauntlets. I’m going to summarize the details here, and leave you to dig deeper if you want to know more background.  It helps if you know what the Road Complex AA1 gauntlets looked like:

It has been said that imagery looks like “kek”. World of Warcraft players might identify “kek” as “lol”.World of Warcraft has two factions: Horde and Alliance. If I play my Orc (Horde) and put “lol” into the chat – Alliance players will see “kek”. Blizzard intentionally prevents Horde and Alliance players from being able to verbally communicate with each other in-game.

The Know Your Meme website has details about how “kek” was taken up by people who use 4Chan. It appears they created a satirical religion around it. The Southern Poverty Law Center has a detailed article about “kek”. The key thing to note is that the artwork on the Road Complex AA1 gauntlets resembles the lettering on a flag that has been seen at some alt-right rallies.

Bungie made a blog post titled “Too Close for Comfort”. They provide more information than one can fit into a Tweet about their decision regarding the Road Complex AA1 gauntlets.

Earlier this week, we were made aware that a graphical element on one of Destiny 2’s armor pieces bore close resemblance to an internet meme that has been subsequently repurposed to represent hate and intolerance. This was completely unintentional. As an immediate response, we extended our planned maintenance window to remove the element from the armor piece itself, and will be following up next week with another patch to remove the same element from the UI icon and preview screens, scrubbing it from the game altogether.

The Bungie blog post has information about how that image got into the game, and what steps they are taking to prevent something like this from happening again.

BlizzCon Virtual Ticket Now Available

The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket is available now in the Blizzard Shop in the Americans, Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Pricing and availability varies by region. It is a good option for people who are unable to attend BlizzCon in person.

For starters, the Virtual Ticket unlocks live access to all the stages at BlizzCon 2017 – and in addition to the game updates, developer discussions, and community contests you’ve come to enjoy, you’ll also get access to events featuring community creators, voice actors, and more. Our new BlizzCon All Access channel will act as your guided tour through the event and around the show floor.

The BlizzCon 2017 Virtual Ticket includes:

  • Developer and Community Events
  • Costume and Talent Contests
  • Closing Ceremony
  • Exclusive Interviews
  • Behind the Scenes & From the Floor
  • Pre-show Video Series (weekly videos)
  • Enhanced Esports Viewing
  • Goody Bag Discount – Get $10 USD off this year’s BlizzCon Goody Bag (Supplies are limited.)
  • In-Game Goodies – Unlock this year’s BlizzCon in-game items for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm.

Two in-game goodies are special mounts for World of Warcraft players. The Stormwind Skychaser is the mount for the Alliance, and the Orgrimmar Interceptor is the mount for the Horde. Those items are already available in-game for players who purchase the BlizzCon 2017 Virtual Ticket.

Buy a World of Warcraft Charity Pet – Help Disaster Relief

Blizzard Entertainment has a history of creating charity pets that World of Warcraft players can purchase. A percentage of the money raised by players who buy the charity pet goes to a specific charity. Players get a cute pet that can follow their character around in-game.

In the past, the percentage of money that went to a charity from the sale of a charity pet ranged from 50% to 100%. This year, Blizzard released the new charity pet – Shadow fox – early (before BlizzCon 2017 that takes place in November.) Their reason for the early release was because they wanted to act now to help those who were affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, or by the flooding in South Asia.

For every Shadow fox adopted between now and December 31, 2017, 100% of the $10 USD adoption fee will be donated to both American Red Cross Disaster Relief and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Disaster Relief Fund.

Blizzard points out that your donation will be split equally between the both organizations. Half will go to the American Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small in the U.S. The other half will go to the IFRC to help Red Cross Red Crescent Societies respond to disasters through their Disaster Relief Emergency Fund.

The Shadow fox pet has a color-changing coat with light and shadow effects. Sometimes the Shadow fox is yellow, and other times it is purple. As with other World of Warcraft pets, you purchase one and all of your World of Warcraft characters will be able to use it.

Blizzard Opened an Esports Arena in Los Angeles

Blizzard Entertainment announced that it has opened Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. The Burbank, California venue was custom-designed and built with amenities to accommodate top esports competitors and their fans. High profile events for Hearthstone esports and Overwatch esports have already been scheduled.

The Blizzard Arena is intended to be the hot destination for premier esports competition. Multiple broadcasts and events can be run out of Blizzard Arena simultaneously because it has multiple sound stages, control rooms and player lounges throughout the facility. There will also be an on-site Blizzard store that will open during events and feature a rotating selection of gear and goods based on the event that is taking place.

The Overwatch Contenders Playoffs will run the weekend of October 7-8, 2017. This event will be the grand opening event of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. The Summer Championship for the Hearthstone Championship Tour will take place on October 13, 2017.

The Overwatch League launches later this year, and Blizzard Arena Los Angeles will be the home for the inaugural season.

R.B.I. Baseball 17 Now on Nintendo Switch

R.B.I. Baseball was released in 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). After more than two decades, R.B.I. Baseball is excited to bring back R.B.I. Baseball to Nintendo Platforms. R.B.I. Baseball 17 is now available for Nintendo Switch.

R.B.I. Baseball 17 is officially licensed by MLB and the MLBPA. It is available for $29.99 on Nintendo Switch. You can purchase it as a digital download or from participating retailers such as GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart and Target.

Game Highlights:

  • Accessible, Fast-paced, Fun: Play full nine-inning game in less than 20 minutes with easy-to-use two button controls.
  • Authentic MLB Experience: Play with all 30 MLB teams, 30 detailed ballparks and over 1,000 MLB players with detailed attributes
  • Your Team, Your Way: Modify lineups with complete MLB rosters or play classic R.B.I. Baseball rosters. Stay current with downloadable roster updates throughout the 2017 season.
  • Stats: Track season stats by team, player and league leaders across multiple seasons.

Niantic Updates Pokémon GO Safari Zone Event

Niantic has been offering several special Pokémon GO events. There was one in Chicago, followed by one in Yokohama. Soon, it will be time for players in Europe to participate in the Pokémon GO Safari Zone event.

The first series of Pokémon GO Safari Zone events in Europe are just around the corner! On September 16, official Pokémon GO Safari Zone activities will be taking place at Unibail-Rodamco Shopping Centers located in CenterO in Oberhausen (Germany), Les Quatre Temps in Paris (France) and La Maquinista in Barcelona (Spain).

At each event, players will receive an in-game medal and special 2km Eggs from the various PokéStops found and each of those shopping centers. Lures will be activated all day at each PokéStop at the events so players can catch Pokémon together.

Some of the Pokémon players might find include Kangaskhan, Chansey, Larvitar, and others. There is also a chance that players will spot Shiny Pikachu, Shiny Magikarp, and various forms of Unown. Gym and Raid Battles will not be available at those shopping centers during the events.

Niantic states that attendees will receive Trainer kits for joining the day’s Pokémon-catching activities. There will be special offers for Pokémon GO Trainers in each of the participating shopping centers and in select stores.

Soon, players will be able to reserve free, nontransferable tickets to each of these Pokémon GO Safari Zone events that will take place on September 16, 2017. It sounds like the tickets will have a QR code, which is required in order to participate in the event. Everyone who claims a ticket must be over the age of 13 and must present a valid photo ID.

In addition, Niantic has announced a few more Pokémon GO Safari Zone events:

October 7, 2017
* Fisketorvet – Copenhagen, Denmark
* Centrum Černý Most – Prague, The Czech Republic

October 14, 2017
* Mall of Scandinavia – Stockholm, Sweden
* Stadshart Amstelveen – Amstelveen, The Netherlands.

NRG Esports Signed 17-Year-Old Overwatch Pro for $150K

The Overwatch League consists of nine teams that are located around the globe. Andy Miller is the Chairman and Founder of NRG ESports, which is the Overwatch League team based in San Francisco. NRG Esports has signed a teenage Overwatch pro player for $150K.

Jay “sinatraa” Won is 17-years-old and a North American Overwatch star. ESPN reported that “sinatraa” signed a $150,000 per-year-contract with NRG ESports and has joined NRG’s Overwatch League roster. His mother had to sign the agreement because Jay “sinatraa” Won is a minor.

His salary is $100,000 per-year above the league minimum, with revenue-sharing options available. He, and his future teammates, are entitled to 50 percent of team bonuses, per Overwatch League rules.

On August 9, 2017, NRG eSports announced that Brad Rajani would be the new head coach for NRG’s Overwatch League team. The same announcement stated that Seamus “Seamoose” Anderson would be moving from his position as coach of NRG’s Overwatch squad.

Brad Rajani was formerly co-owner of Selfless Gaming, where he was a coach. Selfless Gaming disbanded on July 7, 2017. Jay “sinatraa” Won left Selfless Gaming when it disbanded. Now, “sinatraa” has reunited with his former coach.

Jay “sinatraa” Won is considered one of the best North American DPS players. He competed as part of the North American Overwatch World Cup team. That team will compete at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California, on November 3-4, 2017, with an opening match against South Korea.

Phoenix Labs Kicks Off Dauntless Closed Beta

Phoenix Labs has created a game called Dauntless, which is coming Free-to-Play to PC in 2017. The Founder’s Alpha has ended, and a Closed Beta has begun. Anyone who owns or purchases a Dauntless Founder’s Pack at any tier will be able to participate in the Dauntless Closed Beta.

Dauntless is a co-op, action RPG coming to PC, currently in early access. Battle ferocious Behemoths, craft powerful weapon, and forge your legend in the Shattered Isles.

The Closed Beta started on September 1, 2017, and will run until the Open Beta. (The start date of the Open Beta is “to be determined”.) The early stages of the Beta will be entirely populated by those who have purchased any of the Founder’s Packs.

I couldn’t find any information on the Dauntless website that gave details about what the Founder’s Pack’s cost or what they contain. GameSpot reported that each Founder’s Pack contains an assortment of items to use in-game.

The least expensive option is $40 and gives players “champion status” for 90 days, increasing Behemoth drops. GameSpot also says the Founder’s Packs include a kit of consumable items, an in-game title and forum icon, and an exclusive flare. There is also a $70 Hero pack, that comes with all of the above plus 10 Chromo Cores to dye your gear and 10 Transmog Stones to change your gear’s appearance.

WildStar is Holding a Community Showdown Contest

WildStar is holding a contest called Community Showdown.  The contest is about a new feature in Homecoming (which arrives September 6, 2017). The new feature is called Communities.

You’ve invested impressive amounts of time and effort in designing rich, elegant living spaces to call home. And with Homecoming, you’ll at last have the ability to find neighbors who can move into properties right next door! Collaborate together to build a vibrant and bustling Community – a massively expanded housing social feature that affords players the cosmic opportunity to relocate their homes to shared land.

The Community Showdown launches on September 6, 2017, and lasts until 11:59pm PDT on October 4, 2017. Those who want to participate are to “construct the ultimate R&R facilities, with more than enough space for five battle-fatigued bodies to kick off the boots and unwind from the grind.” If you want to enter the contest, you must register via the contest page using your NC Account by September 20, 2017.

One Grand Prize Winning Team in each region will be awarded $2,500 (or €2.403,85) split equally among all members registered to the team on the contest site. You can have up to five members on your team. In addition, up to seven Honorable Mentions will be chosen across both North America and Europe, granting each registered team member the ability to claim any 10 items from the “Housing” section of the In-Game Store.

More information, and a link to the Official Contest Rules, can be found on the WildStar website.