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Overwatch season 3 has just ended, with season 4 opening in a week

22 Feb

The third competitive season of Overwatch has drawn to a close.

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With the season now over, it’s a good time to jump on and collect the spoils of your work, although you’ll have needed a top 500 rank to get the really good sprays and icons.

Season 4 is due to begin in a week, on February 28. Blizzard has not talked about whether they have new plans for this season, after seasons 2 and 3 saw fairly significant shake-ups to the ranking system. It’ll be interesting to see if the same thing happens again or if Blizzard feels that they have settled into a groove.

We’re also wondering if we’ll see a new hero for season 4. Blizzard just dropped an interview with a fictional scientist within the Overwatch world that may contain some hints, who we’re told probably isn’t going to be Doomfist.

One popular theory at the moment, based on an unverified ‘leak’, is that the next hero will be an omnic tank named Anchora.

In any case, hopefully we can get our rankings up in Overwatch’s fourth competitive season next week.

Overwatch in-universe “interview” with robotics genius Efi Oladele may provide hints to next hero

21 Feb

If Doomfist isn’t the next Overwatch hero, maybe 11-year-old robotics prodigy Efi Oladele can provide us with some sort of hint.

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In the latest blog entry on the Overwatch website, an in-universe interview with Numbani native Efi Oladele has been posted.

According to the post (thanks PC Gamer), Efi Oladele won a genius grant from the Adawe Foundation for her work in artificial intelligence and robotics.

In the interview, Efi discusses how she became obsessed with creating small drones after receiving her first robotics kit. In the future, her goal is to “build something that can keep us safe, like the new OR15,” and as far as how she’s going to use the grant money, “it’s secret for now,” but she is “taking a trip to celebrate” her achievement first. And it will be her first time flying. We can only assume she will fly somewhere outside if the current Numbani locations in the game, but you never know with Blizzard.

Also, what is the OR15? Speculation is running all over the place on that end, but one interesting theory pointed out by reddit user andygb4 is rather intriguing.

As he points out, the third Doomfist in the poster which was shown in the original Overwatch cinematic has Omnic text underneath instead of the normal font on the other two.

“Maybe she builds a robot that eventually becomes Doomfist?,” he suggests.

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If you aren’t familiar with Overwtach lore, an Omnic is a type of robot with artificial intelligence – both are subjects Efi seems to have plenty of knowledge on. Omnics were “originally designed and built by humans,” mostly notably the Omnica Corporation, to serve the economy. Eventually, the Omnic Crisis occurred when the machines became infected by God Programs, developed militarized Omnics of themselves and started attacking humans (see Overwatch wiki link above).

Numbani, where Efi lives, is one of the few places in the Overwatch universe where omnics and humans live in harmony and equality. Formed after the Omnic Crisis, it’s “one of the world’s greatest and most technologically advanced cities.” This is also where as part the Unity Day festivities, the gauntlet of Doomfist is exhibited at the Numbani Heritage Museum.

So. Even though the 24th hero coming to Overwatch is apparently not Doomfist, unless Blizzard is messing with us, it’s quite possible Efi may have something to do with his story, or will possibly introduce some sort of new Omnic hero into the game. Or, she could transform into a hero or even be the hero. Only Blizzard knows.

We’re just speculating on all of this obviously. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon.

Destiny weekly reset for February 21 – Nightfall, Crucible, raid challenge changes detailed

21 Feb

Another Tuesday means another Destiny server rest, here are all the relevant changes.

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This week’s Destiny reset is here, bringing changes to the usual suspects. You’ll find a new Nightfall strike, a reshuffle of Prison of Elders modifiers and bosses, a new raid challenge, new vendor inventory, and more.

Here’s what’s happening:

Weekly Nightfall

It’s been a while, but we’ll return to The Abomination Heist strike this week with Arc Burn, and modifiers Specialist, Juggler, and Exposure.

Specialist grants bonus damage when using special weapons. Juggler prevents ammo drops for your currently equipped weapon. Exposure increases your shields but they do not replenish.

Heroic playlist modifiers

Arc Burn, Brawler, Ironclad.

Crucible playlists

Mayhem Clash, Rumble Supremacy.

Wrath of the Machine raid challenge

Vosik takes a turn at hosting this week’s challenge in the raid. Those who dare venture forth are welcome to consult our guide, things will only get better from there.

Doomfist may not be the next Overwatch hero, teases game director

20 Feb

The 24th Overwatch hero is not who thought they would be.

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Since Sombra’s release, and for some time after Overwatch launched, the game contained many hints that Doomfist – a character referenced in CG videos and in-game lore – is going to be the next hero.

These teases intensified with the most recent PTR patch which included a big change to the payload model on Numbani. Said payload was transporting Doomfist’s gauntlet, and the updated files revealed the protective glass was about to be broken.

The Overwatch community is very convinced, then, Doomfist is the game’s next hero. Who else is it going to be? Well, someone else, apparently. According to game director Jeff Kaplan, the game’s 24th hero is not who we think he is.

Kaplan said this on the official forums, but sadly did not elaborate further. With that in mind, the director did not explicitly mention Doomfist in his reply. Still, it’s clear to see who he was talking about here, if a bit surprising.

Unless the next Overwatch hero is a ways off, Blizzard should probably start dropping hints about their identity pretty soon.

Three Hearthstone expansions coming this year along with some big changes

18 Feb

The first Hearthstone expansion for 2017 is on the horizon, and there will be three total released this year.

According to Blizzard, with the Year of the Mammoth, the developer will no longer alternate Hearthstone card packs, opting instead to release three expansions with 130 cards at a time.

Once the Year of the Mammoth kicks off, Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and League of Explorers cards will also become exclusive to Wild. Also, certain cards from the Classic set will also become exclusive to the Wild format.

These cards will be added to the new Hall of Fame set, which will also include cards currently in the Reward set.

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hearthstone_rag
hearthstone_conceal
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Cards moving to the Hall of Fame set include Neutral cards Azure Drake, Sylvanas Windrunner and Ragnaros the Firelord. Class cards moving to the Hall of Fame include Power Overwhelming, Ice Lance and Conceal.

The release cycle for cards, as mentioned above, will start with 130 when the Year of the Mammoth kicks off. Another 130 card expansion will release during the middle of 2017, and another 130 card expansion at the end of the year. Additional details about the new release model will come later.

Cards will be acquired via packs and each release will include optional single-player missions.

Sometime after the release of Hearthstone’s next expansion, Blizzard plans to run a Heroic Tavern Brawl using the Wild format. The studio will also partner with “third-party tournament organizers” to promote additional Hearthstone tournaments using the format.

There’s more to the Year of the Mammoth than what’s here in this post, so if you’re a player, you’ll want to read more than just the condensed version. So, be sure to head over to the Hearthstone website on Battle.net for the full rundown.

hearthstone_2017_timeline

Between now and the next expansion’s release, daily login rewards will be made available for a limited time. These rewards will offer dust, gold, expansion packs, and other goodies.

The new Rogue Hero, Maiev Shadowsong, will also become available with the Year of the Mammoth. Once the next expansion launches, players will need to win 10 games of Hearthstone in Standard Ranked or Casual mode to acquire her.

Again, hit up the Hearthstone page for more information.

Three Hearthstone expansions coming this year along with some big changes

18 Feb

The first Hearthstone expansion for 2017 is on the horizon, and there will be three total released this year.

According to Blizzard, with the Year of the Mammoth, the developer will no longer alternate Hearthstone card packs, opting instead to release three expansions with 130 cards at a time.

Once the Year of the Mammoth kicks off, Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and League of Explorers cards will also become exclusive to Wild. Also, certain cards from the Classic set will also become exclusive to the Wild format.

These cards will be added to the new Hall of Fame set, which will also include cards currently in the Reward set.

hearthston_sylvanas_windrunner
hearthstone_azure_drake
hearthstone_rag
hearthstone_conceal
hearthstone_icelance
hearthstone_power_overwhelming
hearthstone_maiev_shadowsong

Cards moving to the Hall of Fame set include Neutral cards Azure Drake, Sylvanas Windrunner and Ragnaros the Firelord. Class cards moving to the Hall of Fame include Power Overwhelming, Ice Lance and Conceal.

The release cycle for cards, as mentioned above, will start with 130 when the Year of the Mammoth kicks off. Another 130 card expansion will release during the middle of 2017, and another 130 card expansion at the end of the year. Additional details about the new release model will come later.

Cards will be acquired via packs and each release will include optional single-player missions.

Sometime after the release of Hearthstone’s next expansion, Blizzard plans to run a Heroic Tavern Brawl using the Wild format. The studio will also partner with “third-party tournament organizers” to promote additional Hearthstone tournaments using the format.

There’s more to the Year of the Mammoth than what’s here in this post, so if you’re a player, you’ll want to read more than just the condensed version. So, be sure to head over to the Hearthstone website on Battle.net for the full rundown.

hearthstone_2017_timeline

Between now and the next expansion’s release, daily login rewards will be made available for a limited time. These rewards will offer dust, gold, expansion packs, and other goodies.

The new Rogue Hero, Maiev Shadowsong, will also become available with the Year of the Mammoth. Once the next expansion launches, players will need to win 10 games of Hearthstone in Standard Ranked or Casual mode to acquire her.

Again, hit up the Hearthstone page for more information.

Resident Evil 7 was the best-selling game of January 2017, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, other heavy-hitters play musical chairs

17 Feb

The NPD group has released hardware and software figures for January 2017 and it should come as no surprise that PlayStation 4 and Resident Evil 7 topped the respective sectors.

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videogames

January 2017 NPD at a glance

Resident Evil 7 tops software charts

PS4 was best-selling console

PC software spend declined 12% year-over-year

All categories – accessories, hardware, software – down 4% year-over-year

Compare month-on-month: December 2016

Compare year-over-year: January 2016

While hardware sales declined, software was up 14% to $313 million. NPD attributed the increase to Resident Evil 7’s release, especially when comparing the year-over-year (yoy) release slates.

It’s also worth noting Resident Evil 7 was only on the market for five days when the NPD reporting period ended.

“With only five days in the market, Resident Evil 7 was the best-selling game in January,” said NPD analyst Sam Naji. “The last time Capcom had the best-selling game of the month (in dollar sales) was in March 2009 with Resident Evil 5.”

First-person shooters Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 were still two of the best-selling games for the month, and neither title has fallen off the chart since release in fall 2016.

Overwatch also returned after dropping off the NPD software list in October.

The rise in sales could possibly be attributed to various discount offers or the Overwatch Year of the Rooster event; however, that’s just conjecture on our part as NPD didn’t elaborate on why Overwatch was once again charting. It was, however, one of the best-selling games of 2016 per NPD’s yearly report in January.

Action titles Grand Theft Auto 5 and Watch Dogs 2 also remained on the chart, while sports titles Madden NFL 17 and FIFA 17 remained popular with US consumers as well.

PC software came in at $16 million, a 12% decline yoy from $18 million.

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NPD Software Top Ten January 2017

You’ll notice not much changed on the chart since December 2016, as the heavy hitters played musical chairs and that’s about it.

The biggest changes were the entry of new releases Resident Evil 7 and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – the second best-selling PS4 title for the month.

Pokemon Sun and Moon and Final Fantasy 15 fell off the chart, and again, Overwatch reentered it.

The full NPD software chart is below, but keep in mind not all digital stores report sales data. Some publishers who sell through the PlayStation and Xbox Stores report data, but others do not. For example: Microsoft, Sony and Blizzard (Battle.net) do not report first-party sales.

  1. Resident Evil 7 (PS4, Xbox One)
  2. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  3. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  4. Battlefield 1 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  5. NBA 2K17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  6. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (PS4)
  7. Madden NFL 17 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  8. Watch Dogs 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  9. Overwatch (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  10. FIFA 17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

This month, NPD also started reporting catalog sales of titles from the first six months of availability – starting with month seven (thanks, MCV). The winning publisher in the category for January 2017 was Take-Two and it was also the top publisher for 2016. NPD attributed this to continued sales of GTA 5.

NPD Hardware January 2017

Last week, the initial NPD report had PS4 topping hardware followed by Xbox One – which according to Microsoft enjoyed year-over-year (yoy) growth compared to January 2016.

PS4 sold the most units, with Xbox One coming in second place, and Nintendo’s Nintendo Classic Mini: NES in third.

“The PlayStation 4 was the best-selling hardware (in units sold) during January 2017,” said NPD analyst Sam Naji. “And for the fourth consecutive month, PlayStation 4 Slim System 500GB Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Bundle was the top-selling PS4 sku in terms of units sold.”

For the month of January 2017, hardware totaled $127 million, a decline of 19% yoy compared to $157 million in 2016.

Accessories declined 17% yoy to $155, with toys-to-life skus (ex: Skylanders, amiibo, Lego Dimensions) showing the biggest decline.

Total spent in the US on accessories, hardware and software for the month January hit $611 million. While that’s indeed as large figure, it’s 4% less compared to $637 million spent in 2016.

NPD said the lower figure was due to a decline in hardware sales and general lack of growth.

Destiny: Xur location and inventory for February 17, 18

17 Feb

Xur’s supply of Exotic wares never runs dry.

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Xur: Agent of the Nine, Destiny’s one-man Exotics trading operation, has made his weekly appearance once again. Xur brings different Exotic weapons and armour pieces each week to sell you, in exchange for some Strange Coins.

Xur has been spotted in the Reef this weekend. You should get what you want from him before 9am GMT on Sunday, February 19.

Here’s what Xur brought this week:

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy remastered collection hits PS4 in June

16 Feb

The Crash Bandicoot collection announced by Activision in December has been given a release date.

After teasing the Crash Bandicoot news on Twitter earlier this week, the collection’s date, called the N. Sane Trilogy, was revealed in full today through a new trailer.

It contains the original game, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped.

According to Activision, the games have been fully-remastered in HD, and the original music compositions have been remastered as well with improved sound quality and fidelity.

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The addition of real-time lighting was added via a Physically Based Rendering engine, and the texture size has been increased, according to developer Vicarious Visions.

The Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy will be released for PS4 on June 30.

Overwatch’s Tracer is getting her own, adorable Nendoroid

16 Feb

Yep, Tracer from Overwatch looks pretty cute in chibi form.

Overwatch‘s Tracer is one of the most recognisable heroes today. She’s on the game’s cover, and her distinct British accent and style is hard to miss.

The creators of Nendoroids, Good Smile Company, have announced a new figure for Tracer. Nendoroids are little toys that give famous characters chibi looks and allow you to set different poses for them. They’re palm-sized, and this one comes with customisable parts.

These include interchangeable bent legs, hair style options, and her pulse pistols. You can basically create some of Tracer’s in-game poses using the figure, you can even have her pose without the guns. The pulse bomb is also included.

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“The Nendoroid is fully articulated, allowing her to be posed in many different ways, and has been carefully sculpted and tuned to ensure that the joints do not stand out, keeping Tracer’s unique appearance intact,” reads the product description.

Pre-orders will be open starting February 15 from 9am JST, 4pm PT, 12am GMT all the way through March 30 at 12am JST, 7am PT, 3pm GMT. You can order yours through the official store for ¥4,900 ($43).

The Tracer Nendoroid is scheduled to release this August.

Overwatch Competitive Play Season 3 ends next week, here are your rewards

16 Feb

We now have an end date for this season of Overwatch Competitive Play, and a few details about rewards.

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Blizzard has announced that Overwatch‘s third season of Competitive Play will come to an end at 4pm PT on February 21 (12am GMT February 22). As expected, Season 4 is set to kick off a week later, on February 28 at the same time.

In a blog post, the developer confirmed that anyone who finished their placement matches during Season 3 is eligible to get a special spray and player icon.

These will be given out at the end of the season, and you’ll see them on your next login. If you’re among the top 500 players on your platform in your region, you’ll be getting an extra icon and an animated spray to go along with the standard rewards.

Season 4 may bring some changes based on feedback, and Blizzard will reveal more in the coming days. For now, you can take a look at Season 3’s Skill Rating to Competitive Point breakdown below:

  • SR 1-1499 (Bronze): 100 CP
  • SR 1500-1999 (Silver): 200 CP
  • SR 2000-2499 (Gold): 400 CP
  • SR 2500-2999 (Platinum): 800 CP
  • SR 3000-3499 (Diamond): 1200 CP
  • SR 3500-3999 (Master): 2000 CP
  • SR 4000-5000 (Grandmaster): 3000 CP

Blizzard is making big changes to combat Overwatch hacking in Korea

15 Feb

Blizzard has revealed a number of new ways through which the developer intends to tackle the Overwatch hacking problem in Korea.

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Overwatch is very big in Korea. With a PC and eSports-focused country like that, you’re naturally going to have cases of players trying to use any advantage they can get, even through cheating.

The issue is so widespread in Korea because of the prevalence of cyber cafes (PC Bangs), which is where a large number of Overwatch players game. In a statement on the Korean Battle.net (later translated to English), the studio outlined a multi-prong approach.

First, Blizzard said it’s keeping up with the latest cheats and hacks, implementing back-end changes that are sometimes unannounced, in order to combat them. This extends to taking action against developers of said hacks.

“It’s critical for us to be able to maintain the integrity of our games, and for that reason, we will always seek to stop the development and distribution of these programs through whatever means we can—including taking legal actions against developers and distributors when necessary,” reads the post.

In the short term, Blizzard will be cracking down on inappropriate use of VPNs by cheaters, though the post did not outline how.

Finally, and perhaps the most crucial of all, is that starting February 17, certain Battle.net account policy changes will be be made so that only players who own a copy of the game in their Battle.net account home region can play. This particular policy will also carry over to Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 later.

Put simply, Battle.net accounts registered outside of Korea will not be able to play game unless they have a license appropriate for that region. Because Korean Battle.net accounts are connected to social security numbers, cheaters often just create new EU and NA-based accounts and use them to hack.

“This approach will help us ensure we’re providing the best possible game experience for our community, while at the same time allowing us to address any unintended side-effects that occurred from allowing non-Korean Battle.net accounts without game licenses to access Korean IGR services,” Blizzard added.

McFarlane Toys is making these cool Destiny Guardian action figures, and they’re not expensive

15 Feb

McFarlane will release a set of Destiny action figures this summer.

Toy manufacturer McFarlane is teaming up with Destiny developer Bungie to create new action figures based on the game’s three Guardian classes. Three of these have been announced so far, for Warlock, Titan, and Hunter.

The announcement was made earlier through IGN. This initial wave will launch sometime in July, with each figure costing $20.

The figures come in collector-grade package, with window boxes revealing their look, and a Destiny-branded base. The Warlock is sporting the King’s Fall raid set, the Titan is rocking the classic Vault of Glass armour, and the Hunter is donning some of the more recent Iron Banner gear.

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“Detail, depth, and customisation, that’s what Destiny gives its players, and that’s what made it the biggest new video game franchise launch,” said McFarlane Toys CEO Todd McFarlane.

The release also confirms other 10-inch figures will be released in the future, as well as “role play items.”

Despite what you may feel, Blizzard says Overwatch loot box drop rates haven’t changed

15 Feb

Loot boxes in Overwatch’s most recent Year of the Rooster event did not have worse odds for skin drops, even if it feels like they have.

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Overwatch developer Blizzard has responded directly to player concerns that the game’s loot boxes have had their drop rates changed.

We don’t mean how often they drop, of course, since you’re guaranteed one every time you level up. Rather, it’s the content of these boxes that appears to have been skewing more towards sprays and other fluff that isn’t skins.

A number of players brought up the issue on Battle.net forums, after having opened a number of loot boxes from the most recent Year of the Rooster event. According to them, skin drops used to happen more often.

Game director Jeff Kaplan responded to these concerns by simply stating that drop rates for Summer Games, Halloween Terror, Winter Wonderland, and Year of the Rooster are all the same.

Since odds are not publicly available, we’ll just have to take Kaplan’s word for it.

This upcoming Hearthstone patch will tweak the ranking system and nerf two overused cards

15 Feb

Some tweaks are coming to Hearthstone in the near future, which will both put a floor on how far down the rankings you can drop and nerf two cards that are being overused in the meta.

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The next patch will, as outlined on Battle.net, add ranking floors at levels 5, 10, and 15, similar to the existing floors at 20 and Legend. This means that once you hit rank 5, for instance, you won’t be able to drop back to rank 4, and thus the climb to rank 10 (and then 15, then 20) will perhaps seem more achievable.

Meanwhile, two very popular cards are getting nerfed. Small-time Buccaneer is getting its health reduced from 2 to 1, because “the combination of Small Time Buccaneer and Patches the Pirate has been showing up too often in the meta”. Spirit Claws will now cost 2 mana instead of 1, with Blizzard acknowledging that the card was a little too powerful for such a low cost.

These changes are being promised in an update that will arrive towards the end of February.

Proceeds from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remaster’s next DLC will go to military veterans

15 Feb

Picking up the next cosmetic DLC release for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will directly benefit US military veterans.

The Call of Duty Endowment Brass personalization pack includes a new stars-and-stripes weapon camo, along with a new reticle, emblem, and calling card. No price has been announced as of yet.

Proceeds will go directly to the Call of Duty Endowment, an Activision-owned charity that helps find employment for veterans. According to their site, the unemployment rate among young veterans is 2.6x the national average, at 13%.

In 2016, the Call of Duty Endowment placed 31,000 veterans in jobs.

Audio medic Lucio is now available in Heroes of the Storm

15 Feb

Lucio has arrived in Heroes of the Storm, along with his signature abilities.

Just like in Overwatch, he can buff speed or heal nearby characters, and can attack with all the same abilities. In Heroes of the Storm he doesn’t need to reload, and one of his heroic abilities, Reverse Amp, nerfs enemies while buffing allies within range.

A new event, For Azeroth, has also commenced, and will run until March 15. The event is detailed on the game’s site, but the long and short of it is that complete 15 Heroes of the Storm matches with a friend, both of you playing as Warcraft Heroes, before the event concludes, you’ll unlock some in-game items. In World of Warcraft, you’ll get a Primal Flamesaber Mount, and in Heroes of the Storm you’ll get a 10-day Stimpack and a Flames of Judgement Charger Mount.

Various other changes have been made as well, as detailed in the full patch notes.

Several of the characters are getting slight tweaks, although the changes made to Murky are by far the most significant. If you’re an avid player, it’s worth giving the notes a look.

Destiny update containing changes to shotguns and rifles is live – here’s the patch notes

14 Feb

Bungie has released a patch for Destiny, which as previously reported, makes some changes to shotguns and rifles.

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The update to Destiny also adjusts various attacks and counter attacks in the Crucible. You’ll notice some changes to Elimination Gametypes along with Special Ammo in that section.

We’ve posted the notes for hotfix 2.5.0.2 below to save you a bit of clicking.

Destiny Hotfix 2.5.0.2

Crucible

Special Ammo

  • Adjusted Special ammo economy in all gametypes
  • Players start Crucible matches with Special ammo
  • Special ammo is now lost upon death – Sidearms are not affected by this change
  • Special ammo crates now appear every 60 seconds (initial spawn and respawn)
  • Special ammo crates are shared with allies within 75m (down from 100m)
  • Special ammo timing in Mayhem is unchanged

Elimination Gametypes

  • Round time limit has been reduced to 90 seconds (down from 2 minutes)
  • Players only start with Special ammo for Round 1 in Elimination gametypes
  • Special ammo timing is 30s initial, then 45s respawns
  • Special ammo is wiped at the beginning of subsequent rounds

Weapons

Hand Cannons

  • Significantly increased initial accuracy (returns to Launch / Year 1)
  • Reduced base range to 35m from 40m
  • Reduced Aim Assist and Magnetism at longer ranges
  • Reduced minimum damage after falloff from 50% to 33%

Auto Rifles

  • Increased Precision Damage modifier to 1.3x (up from 1.25x)
  • Increased base damage of low rate of fire Auto Rifles by 2.5%
  • Increased in air accuracy

Pulse Rifles

  • Reduced rate of fire for very high rate of fire Pulse Rifles by 7.7%
  • Increased rate of fire for low rate of fire Pulse Rifles by 5.3%
  • Reduced Magazine Size of Clever Dragon and Grasp of Malok by 6
  • Reduced the effect of High Caliber Rounds for Pulse Rifles
  • Increased in air accuracy

Scout Rifles: Increased in air accuracy

Shotguns

  • Shotguns no longer deal precision damage
  • The Chaperone and Universal Remote are unaffected by this change
  • Note: Universal Remote only deals precision damage when ADS
  • Shotguns now have significantly less magnetism when fired from the hip
  • Shotguns now have significantly less in air accuracy
  • Shotguns no longer have a movement penalty
  • Shotguns now deal 20% more damage to combatants
  • Rangefinder on Shotguns now increases ADS time by 25%
  • Reduced Universal Remote’s Magazine Size to 3 from 5
  • Universal Remote now takes longer to reload

Exotics

  • Young Wolf’s Howl – Reduced “Howling Flames” ammo cost from 10 to 5
  • Truth – Reduced Magazine size from 3 to 1

Classes

General

  • Reduced Health of Guardians with Armor values above 10
  • Increased damage of Flux Grenade, Magnetic Grenade and Shoulder Charge to ensure effectiveness across all Armor values
  • Blink now disables your Radar and HUD for a short time after activation

Hunter

  • Throwing Knife now deals Solar Damage on impact Bladedancer’s Quick Draw Perk no longer readies your weapons instantly, but now grants a large increase to weapon handling speed

Hungering Blade

  • Immediately starts Health regen
  • Restores more Health per kill
  • Gives a flat amount of Health/Shield per activation
  • Does not immediately start regenerating Shields

Warlock

  • Viper Totemic on Ophidian Aspect no longer readies your weapon instantly, but now grants a large increase to weapon handling speed
  • Stormcaller’s Thunderstrike melee range reduced to be consistent with other Warlock Subclasses
  • Amplitude will continue to grant small range boost to new base range
  • Landfall now reduces the total time in Stormtrance

Titan – Juggernaut is now disabled after being in the air for a short time and cannot be activated while in mid air

General

  • Outbreak Prime no longer triggers The Corruption Spreads by shooting at Ward of Dawn
  • Shinobu’s Vow no longer adds an additional seeker to Skip Grenades
  • Removed intrinsic Perks Kneepads and Icarus on some Talent grids
  • Fixed an issue where High Caliber Rounds were not functioning properly on Hand Cannons, Scout Rifles, Machine Guns and Sniper Rifles

Hungering Blade changes were also “inadvertently applied to the following Perks –  for more information check this post:

  • Transfusion (Striker Titan)
  • Cauterize (Sunbreaker Titan)
  • Lifesteal (Voidwalker Warlock)
  • Red Death Perk
  • Suros Legacy Perk (Suros Regime)
  • No Backup Plans
  • Ward of Dawn cast
  • The Ram
  • Apotheosis Veil
  • Embrace the Void (Voidwalker Warlock)

Activision studios Infinity Ward, Beenox, others hit with layoffs

11 Feb

A round of layoffs has hit Activision studios.

call_of_duty_infinite_warfare-2

While layoffs are common in the industry, many industries for that matter, it seems rather odd to hear about redundancies when a company recently announced better than expected revenues.

According to Kotaku, the publisher has laid off 5% of it’s workforce. This includes folks holding positions at the corporate office along with Beenox, Infinity Ward and other internal studios.

An official statement sent to the site from Activision confirmed it was “realigning” its resources to support upcoming projects, and “adapt to the accelerating transition to digital.”

Per the report, 20 employees were let go from Infinity Ward. While Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare did not meet the publisher’s sales expectations especially when compared to Black Ops 3, the franchise as whole did well during the last quarter.

That said, it’s worth noting Activision mentioned during its investors call earlier this week the 2017 entry in the franchise will take “Call of Duty back to its roots.”

Along with redundancies hitting Infinity Ward, the in-house QA end of Beenox has been shuttered. A source speaking with Gamasutra stated there are still 150 developers working at the latter.

There’s more information available through the links, if you want to give a few clicks.

Overwatch – more Doomfist hints have popped up on the PTR

11 Feb

With the latest Overwatch patch up on the PTR, those testing upcoming changes to the game have found what looks to be additional teases for Doomfist.

While the rumors and hints surrounding Doomfist have yet to reach Sombra proportions, the buzz around the possible inclusion of the character in Overwatch is gaining steam. Thanks, Terry Crews.

In the video above, Arekkz goes over the various Doomfist hints found by players on the PTR, the main reference being a new model of the Numbani Payload depicted by a wire mech file. Here, the glass on the payload containing Doomfist’s gauntlet is broken, as we previously reported.

Along with the file, the menu music in the PTR has also been changed to Doomfist’s theme, which was first heard in the original Overwatch cinematic, and the Hero Gallery UI has changed slightly as if to make space for another Hero card.

So, do all signs point to Doomfist coming to the game, or a Doomfist event of sorts? If an event, maybe the goal is to find out who stole the gauntlet. Or he’s indeed the next hero. We can only speculate at this point.

The Year of the Rooster event ends next week, so it’s unlikely new content will be added so soon. But, as Arekkz notes, with PAX East coming up in March, it’s possible we will hear more then or at least get a cinematic. Maybe. You know how things work with Blizzard.

Anyway, give the video a watch.