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Starcraft Remastered Confirmed For Summer Launch For PC And MAC

27 Mar

Earlier this month there were rumors that Blizzard Entertainment is planning to release Starcraft Remastered and now the studio has confirmed that the game will indeed launch for PC and MAC this summer. According to Blizzard, Starcraft Remastered will feature a full graphical overhaul for the game along with support for widescreen resolutions up to […]

The post Starcraft Remastered Confirmed For Summer Launch For PC And MAC appeared first on SegmentNext.

Overwatch update 2.08 brings back Capture the Flag, out now on PS4 and Xbox One

24 Mar

One more Overwatch update before the weekend.

overwatch_year_of_the_rooster (23)

Blizzard has released a new Overwatch patch on PS4 and Xbox One. This is a small patch, meant as a follow up to update 1.9, the big one released earlier this week.

The new update, version 2.08, readjusts Orisa by slowing down her movement speed when firing, and brings back Capture the Flag mode. See the full patch notes below:

General

  • [PS4] Capture the Flag maps and mode have been reactivated

Bug fixes

  • PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug that prevented background music from playing
  • [PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug that prevented the Damage Amplified value from being displayed correctly
  • [PS4/XB1] Orisa’s movement now slows slightly while firing in midair

Here’s what Blizzard had to say about the Orisa change: “Much like D.Va’s Fusion Cannons, Orisa’s Fusion Driver is intended to slow her movement while she is firing. However, unlike D.Va, there was an issue that prevented this slow from working while firing from the air.”

There is no similar update on PC since some of what it brings is already available there.

The new Overwatch player reporting system is exactly what the game needed

23 Mar

Overwatch is setting an example once again. This time, it’s for something as simple as implementing competent anti-abuse measures.

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If you frequent the Overwatch sub-Reddit, or any forum that regularly discuses the game, you will have no doubt ran into many reports of players getting abused by others during matches, especially in Competitive Play.

The reasons for such offensive comments can be as small as someone not agreeing with your character pick, to people straight up losing it every time they hear a feminine voice. Like many games, Overwatch does include a report feature that’s about as typical as you’d expect.

Unfortunately, despite Blizzard repeatedly reassuring players that reports get investigated, the reporting tools just weren’t up to snuff for a game as complex as Overwatch. This often lead to people using the report button for things it wasn’t designed to do.

Good news! It looks like this is about to change. The game’s PTR currently has an overhauled player reporting system. This system is already a huge improvement for a couple of reasons.

As you can see in the GIF above via Redditor Arsenal2454, there are now seven, very distinct reasons for reporting a player.

You have spam, abusive chat, cheating, griefing, inactivity, bad Battletag (username), and poor teamwork. Whenever you go to report a player, you will be able to tell Blizzard exactly why you think they should be punished.

The other reason this system is very promising is that it gives a clear explanation of the type of actions each category covers, and what it does not. For instance, you can report a player for poor teamwork if they’re not pushing the objective, not when they pick a hero you don’t think is appropriate for the mode.

Hopefully, Blizzard will act on the reports received and all players will get to enjoy a less toxic environment.

Major Diablo 3 patch 2.5.0 out now, adds new features, items, quality-of-life changes

22 Mar

Diablo 3’s long-awaited 2.5.0 patch has been released on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Blizzard has deployed patch 2.5.0 for Diablo 3 across PC and consoles. The patch is among the game’s most feature-packed, bringing a number of big improvements and changes.

The two biggest features are the Armory, and the crafting material storage. The Armory allows you to save up to five different builds per character. Each build will keep track of everything it includes, such as as socketed gems, skills, as well as Kanai’s Cube powers. The Armory can be found at the different town hubs.

What’s more, when you equip any of your saved builds, the game will automatically swap the necessary gear and items between the character stash and the inventory.

The crafting mat storage is basically a one-stop storage for any of the crafting materials you obtain. This frees up space in the shared stash by automatically assigning them to a separate menu.

There’s also a new item type called Primal Ancients for players who finished their Season journey, and managed to find all the gear needed for their build. Blizzard says these items give high-level players something to work towards. Primal Ancients are also available for regular characters gaining Paragon levels.

In short, Primal Ancients are items guaranteed to come with Ancient-level stats, and the maximum number of sockets. They can only be found after reaching Greater Rift 70 solo with at least one of your characters.

The patch notes include changes to Adventure Mode, some quality of life fixes, and more. Hit the link for the rest. Patch 2.5.0 also brings Seasons to consoles, though the first console Season won’t start until March 31.

For now, you can spend the time getting acquainted with the new features and learning all the Season tricks you can from the PC players who’ve been at it for a while.

Diablo 3 Seasons kick off at the end of the month on PS4 and Xbox One

21 Mar

Seasons, one of the biggest reasons for Diablo 3’s longevity, will finally appear on consoles.

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Back in November, Blizzard announced that Seasons are finally coming to the console versions of Diablo 3. Now, we get to learn a lot more about the feature.

First up, the first ever console season goes live on Friday, March 31 at 5pmt PDT, 8pm EST, 12am GMT. This is also the starting date for Season 10 on PC.

If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, Seasons give players the opportunity to create a Season-only character (or turn an existing one into Seasonal). Everyone is competing to finish as much of the available content as possible, while also completing specific challenges and tasks.

Your reward at the end is a unique, six-piece gear set as well as other items, depending on the number of challenges you clear. Other rewards you earn through playing, such as loot, will transfer to your existing characters once the Season is over.

As Blizzard details, everything you do will be tracked, placing you on a massive leaderboard.

This season will also bring a new feature, Conquest. Conquests are difficult tasks that can only be completed by a Seasonal hero, completing them earns you points towards the Seasonal challenge point total.

Overwatch: you won’t get to pick Orisa in Competitive for a week after launch

21 Mar

Overwatch’s Orisa will be off limits to Competitive Play players for a few days after she becomes available.

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Last week, Blizzard finally confirmed the global release date for Overwatch‘s newest hero, Orisa. That date is today, by the way.

However, if you were planning on bringing the Guardian bot to Competitive Play right away, you may be disappointed to know that you won’t be able to that just yet. Blizzard says that, for one week after release, Orisa will not be accessible in Competitive Play.

The reason for this is that the developer wants everyone to spend enough time with her in casual so that they can learn her abilities and how to best play as or counter her.

This doesn’t apply to Quick Play or Arcade mode, where Orisa will be available as soon as the patch goes live. You’ll also be able to select Orisa in bot matches.

Orisa releases later today alongside the game’s patch 1.9.

Overwatch PTR getting a patch soon to reduce the frequency of draws

17 Mar

A lot of matches in Overwatch competitive play end in a draw, and Blizzard wants to change that.

overwatch_year_of_the_rooster (21)

A few Overwatch players have voiced their concerns about the high number of draws they’ve been coming across playing the game’s competitive mode.

As one player said on Battle.net forums, getting a draw after giving it your all can feel like you wasted 20 minutes, despite earning XP.

“I would rather get waffle stomped than waste another 20 minutes of my life in a draw,” RedPanda wrote. “At least once a day I get a game where both teams just roll on through and then take the first point but don’t have enough time to even attempt the second point and yawn another draw.”

As is often the case, community issues is something game director Jeff Kaplan monitors closely, and he chimed in to confirm that a new patch is in the works that’s going to bring changes to “greatly diminish the number of draws.”

The patch is due “very soon” on the PTR, with details also coming “extremely soon.” Kaplan also confirmed that Blizzard is working on reducing Capture the Flag and Elimination draws, though we’ll be waiting longer for those changes.

We’ll have all the details as soon Blizzard announces them.

Overwatch PTR getting a patch soon to reduce the frequency of draws

17 Mar

A lot of matches in Overwatch competitive play end in a draw, and Blizzard wants to change that.

overwatch_year_of_the_rooster (21)

A few Overwatch players have voiced their concerns about the high number of draws they’ve been coming across playing the game’s competitive mode.

As one player said on Battle.net forums, getting a draw after giving it your all can feel like you wasted 20 minutes, despite earning XP.

“I would rather get waffle stomped than waste another 20 minutes of my life in a draw,” RedPanda wrote. “At least once a day I get a game where both teams just roll on through and then take the first point but don’t have enough time to even attempt the second point and yawn another draw.”

As is often the case, community issues is something game director Jeff Kaplan monitors closely, and he chimed in to confirm that a new patch is in the works that’s going to bring changes to “greatly diminish the number of draws.”

The patch is due “very soon” on the PTR, with details also coming “extremely soon.” Kaplan also confirmed that Blizzard is working on reducing Capture the Flag and Elimination draws, though we’ll be waiting longer for those changes.

We’ll have all the details as soon Blizzard announces them.

Win a game of Hearthstone’s Tavern Brawl this week to get a Journey to Un’Goro pack

16 Mar

This week’s Tavern Brawl in Hearthstone is a bit more exciting for those looking forward to the Journey to Un’Goro expansion.

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Tavern Brawl, the Hearthstone arcade mode with a different game mode twist every week, is a bit more special this week.

Encounter at the Crossroads is back as the mode of choice, but rather than getting a classic pack upon winning, you’ll instead get a pack of Journey to Un’Goro cards. You won’t be able to open it until the expansion launches, however.

If you’re unfamiliar, Encounter at the Crossroads is a type of Brawl where you’re given randomised decks. You can choose a class, but that’s about it. The idea is to devise strategies on the go, rather than going in with a predetermined deck.

Journey to Un’Goro is out in April.

22% of Overwatch players on PC use integrated GPUs

16 Mar

Nearly a quarter of Overwatch players on PC are playing on integrated GPUs, and Blizzard made sure their experience isn’t compromised.

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Blizzard games are traditionally known to run well on most machines, and Overwatch is no exception. In fact, the game was designed from the get go to perform well even when running on the lowest end of GPUs and integrated chips.

This tactic paid off, because according to Blizzard, 22% of the game’s player base on PC uses integrated GPUs. These graphics cards are typical of notebooks and ultrabooks, and definitely aren’t strong enough in a lot of cases to even meet the minimum requirements of today’s big games.

Ryan Greene, Blizzard senior software engineer confirmed this tidbit during a GDC 2017 talk, as reported by PCGamer.

The goal, according to Greene, was to have Overwatch get at least 60fps using the recommended specs, and at least 30fps using the minimum specs. Blizzard achieved this by getting the engineering team “excited about minspec.”

“Not everybody was excited at first, but as we got going on it, people really felt the value in it,” said Greene. “We set up playtest labs with various machines all configured with different hardware. We got different people to play on it, and they were surprised at how well it ran, and how much it felt like Overwatch.”

This approach ended up also benefiting those running high-end specs, not to mention consoles.

You can test it out yourself the next time you log on. While the game doesn’t look amazing on low settings, it holds up surprisingly well in the areas where it counts most.

Farming XP in Overwatch custom games will get you banned, Blizzard may eventually be forced to disable XP gain

9 Mar

Blizzard is disappointed in Overwatch players who create and join custom games to farm XP while inactive, and is taking a stance.

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Blizzard has issued a statement regarding some of the exploitation and XP farming going on in some Overwatch custom game servers.

The ability to create custom games was first deployed with patch 2.05, alongside a custom game browser. Unfortunately, while some of the community’s creations were amazing and fun, others exploited the fact that you earn XP while playing to design modes specifically to allow players to go AFK and continue earning XP.

Game director Jeff Kaplan wrote a few harsh words to those who participate in these activities, and cleared up how the developer view of what some in the community consider to be a grey area.

“Well, let me take a grey area and make it starkly black and white for you,” wrote Kaplan. “Abusing and exploiting Custom Game or any other game mode to earn experience in Overwatch while inactive is NOT ok.”

As a result, playing Skirmish in custom game will no longer award XP. Skirmish now also has an AFK timer in place to combat this. Furthermore, Blizzard will start banning players who create custom games that encourage this sort of AFK farming.

“At this point, I am making a plea to you – the Overwatch Community at large: please decide what you want to happen here and be a part of the solution.”

Those who join these servers will also see disciplinary action taken against them. “Also, do not name your Custom Game that in anyway even implies that gaining experience while inactive is OK – please do not even do this as a joke – because you are putting yourself at risk of having your account banned,” Kaplan warned.

The game director said that although Blizzard knew this would be a potential outcome when it allowed XP gain in custom games, the studio wanted to give players the benefit of the doubt. Today’s response is part of an escalation plan Blizzard put in place for such situations.

However, if this trend continues, Blizzard may be forced to disable XP gain altogether in custom games. “The feature is so much cooler and better for everyone if we do not have to put draconic restrictions on it,” he pointed out, adding that he was saddened it had come to this.

“I really don’t want to see us getting to that point,” added Kaplan, before asking for the community’s help in combating this by reporting farming servers.

“At this point, I am making a plea to you – the Overwatch Community at large: please decide what you want to happen here and be a part of the solution. If you enjoy Custom Games awarding experience then please help us combat the behaviour we’re seeing now,” Kaplan said.

“Do not create Custom Games with the intent of gaining experience while inactive. Don’t join those games. Don’t jokingly put those names in your own Custom Games. And report players who are abusing the system.”

The above changes should already be live in all regions, across all platforms.

Blizzard Is Punishing Overwatch Players That Farm Experience Points

8 Mar

Overwatch players that are exploiting the game to farm experience points are to start getting hit with punishments, according to a statement by Jeff Kaplan. He has also said that, if players help others to farm experience through the Custom Game Browser, they risk having their accounts banned from the game. See Also: Players Are […]

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Creative Players Using Custom Servers To Make Overwatch Boss Battles

7 Mar

With the release of the Overwatch custom server creator last week, players of the game have been getting creative. In addition to wacky new gametypes, they’ve now started to make Overwatch boss battles by messing with the game’s rules to make it a one-against-many fight to the death. See Also: “More Story-Related Content” Confirmed for […]

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Overwatch: Blizzard says 2017 will have more story-related content, teases “something just around the corner”

7 Mar

Blizzard knows people care about the story in Overwatch, and it intends to flesh it out more this year.

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In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been a while since we got an Overwatch animated character short. Even Orisa, the game’s most recent hero, only received a brief introduction video.

Blizzard also hasn’t released new story comics since the one from the holiday period. Rightfully, the community is concerned the developer has abandoned the story.

In a thread on the official forums titled “Story cancelled?” many Overwatch players joined the conversation to prod Blizzard to issue a statement about the matter. While they didn’t quite get that, they managed to get the attention of lead writer Michael Chu.

Chu came in to confirm the studio is still working on expanding the game’s story, with a goal of having more frequent story updates this year. “We have a lot in the works, with Orisa and her story being the first release of the year,” said Chu.

“One of our goals for 2017 is to try to have more frequent story-related updates and content, so we’re very busy with that.”

The lead writer also teased “a little something else” coming “just around the corner”. Hopefully, he’s referring to story details for Orisa.

Overwatch: Orisa gets her first nerf on the PTR, Ana also nerfed

7 Mar

The latest round of changes in the Overwatch PTR brings some changes to Orisa, days after she was first revealed.

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Last week, Blizzard revealed Orisa, Overwatch‘s new tank hero. Shortly after, Orisa hit the PTR, letting everyone who has access try it out and give feedback.

It seems Blizzard has already seen enough data to make changes to Orisa, as today’s PTR update promises to tone her down a bit. Specifically, Orisa’s Fusion Driver has had its magazine size lowered from 200 to 150. Her Supercharger ability cost increased by 15%.

The small patch should be available in the PTR today, and it also brings changes to a couple of other heroes. You can see the full list below:

Ana

-Biotic Rifle

  • Damage decreased from 80 to 60

-Biotic Grenade

  • Impact damage reduced from 60 to 30
  • Impact healing reduced from 100 to 50

Junkrat

  • No longer hurts himself from his own explosions. (Effect added to current passive: Total Mayhem)

Orisa

-Fusion Driver

  • Magazine size lowered from 200 to 150

-Supercharger

  • Cost increased by 15%

Sombra

-Stealth

  • Sound effects and VO distance for entering and exiting Stealth reduced to 15 meters.

-Translocator

  • Cooldown reduced from 6s to 4s

Winston

-Barrier Projector

  • Cooldown now starts when the barrier is placed, instead of when it ends

Zenyatta

-Orb of Destruction

  • Alternate fire recovery reduced from 1s to 0.6s

-Orb of Discord

  • Can now target enemies through barriers

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan offers his take on the Bastion debacle

3 Mar

Bastion may be a bit too powerful right now in Overwatch, but that doesn’t mean he’s endangering the meta.

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Bastion, one of Overwatch‘s heroes who have long gone largely unused, received a number big changes in the game’s most recent patch, instantly making him more popular.

Some would even that Blizzard went overboard with the buffs.

Naturally, as any change this big would, it got many in the game’s community talking, and some even asked the developer to bring the hero down a notch. Game director Jeff Kaplan saw the discussion and wanted to chime in.

First of all, Kaplan confirmed that an update will be made to Bastion in the next PTR patch. This patch is now live, alongside new hero Orisa.

That said, Kaplan added that the perceived metagame may not always align was reality. He gave the example of Mercy, who many believed was not being picked by enough players, creating this perception that she’s underutilised, when in reality she was in the top 5.

In addition, Kaplan noted that he doesn’t believe an equal pick rate for every hero in the game would be a realistic goal, and may not make the game better.

“Balance changes can be very difficult to make when emotions run so high in the community,” Kpalan pointed out. “There is outrage if a hero does not get played a lot (like with Bastion or Symmetra). We make changes to make those heroes more viable which means they will get played more.

“The result is, people need to adjust to playing against Symmetra and Bastion more… and they are more powerful. We cannot just magically make Bastion get picked more so the stats look pretty and not make changes to make him more viable at the same time.”

As for Bastion, Kaplan made the dangerous choice of offering his personal opinion on the hero’s current situation. “Over the past few nights I’ve played with, as and against Bastion. My perception is that he is a little too powerful right now,” he said.

“In particular, in one match I was playing Bastion and the enemy Tracer was trying to hunt me down. The Tracer player was clearly a better player than I am – a very skilled individual. I relied heavily on my self-heal and the Tracer could not finish me off. But I was able to kill Tracer in recon mode almost through attrition.

“This part felt wrong to me. But a lot of the feedback I read feels wildly blown out of proportion.”

Overwatch’s Newest Hero Is Orisa the Robot, Currently In The PTR

2 Mar

Overwatch’s newest hero has finally been revealed. While it isn’t Doomfist, she’s related to him. The robot Orisa, Overwatch’s third robot and the game’s 24th hero, is currently undergoing testing in the game’s Public Test Realm. S he will be filling the role of a tank character, serving as her team’s “central anchor.” See Also: […]

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The best Overwatch update 2.05 hidden feature is definitely the ability to let your teammates know you’re on fire

1 Mar

Your teammates in Overwatch need to know you’re doing well, so they can stop pestering you to change heroes.

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Now that Overwatch‘s update 2.05 is out in the wild, the game’s community is starting to report all the undocumented changes they’ve noticed.

One of these was picked up on by Reddit users, who realised that after the patch, your teammates will now hear when your hero is on fire. Being on fire means you’re doing really well in Overwatch, and it’s one of the things the game takes into account when picking MVPs for that round.

Previously, only you heard the sound bite. Your teammates could see you are on fire when looking at your, but in the heat of the battle, it’s nice to know when one of your teammates is doing well.

Though this may seem like a small change, it actually benefits heroes who rely on dealing a lot of damage. Widomaker and Hanzo, for instance, are challenging to play because of how precise you need to be in order to do well with them.

More often than not, the person playing as these high-level heroes doesn’t know what they’re doing, and it leads to arguments of who should play as what. After the patch, at least you’ll know the Hanzo on your team is actually not a waste of space.

As far as documented additions go, the biggest one has to be the new Game Browser. All of the changes in update 2.05 are live now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

The best Overwatch update 2.05 hidden feature is definitely the ability to let your teammates know you’re on fire

1 Mar

Your teammates in Overwatch need to know you’re doing well, so they can stop pestering you to change heroes.

overwatch_winter_wonderland (25)

Now that Overwatch‘s update 2.05 is out in the wild, the game’s community is starting to report all the undocumented changes they’ve noticed.

One of these was picked up on by Reddit users, who realised that after the patch, your teammates will now hear when your hero is on fire. Being on fire means you’re doing really well in Overwatch, and it’s one of the things the game takes into account when picking MVPs for that round.

Previously, only you heard the sound bite. Your teammates could see you are on fire when looking at your, but in the heat of the battle, it’s nice to know when one of your teammates is doing well.

Though this may seem like a small change, it actually benefits heroes who rely on dealing a lot of damage. Widomaker and Hanzo, for instance, are challenging to play because of how precise you need to be in order to do well with them.

More often than not, the person playing as these high-level heroes doesn’t know what they’re doing, and it leads to arguments of who should play as what. After the patch, at least you’ll know the Hanzo on your team is actually not a waste of space.

As far as documented additions go, the biggest one has to be the new Game Browser. All of the changes in update 2.05 are live now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Overwatch update 2.05: here’s how the Game Browser works

1 Mar

The new Overwatch server browser is your gateway to all the wicked community creations.

Although Overwatch‘s update 2.05, which went live yesterday, didn’t bring a tonne of balance changes, there was one feature in particular everyone’s excited about.

I am talking about the Game Browser, of course, which expands on the game’s custom game mode feature by allowing anyone to create and publish their own custom game modes. Anyone can create a server, and you can either make it open to the public, or limit it to friends-only.

There’s also a server browser portion that lets the player base browse and play the latest creations. You can even search for a specific keyword and use the various filters on the list to make things easier.

When you’re creating your own, you’ll have control over a number variables, including hero abilities, health, damage, and even movement speed. You can create a game by going to the Arcade and clicking the Create Game button.

From there, you’ll be able to see all the different settings you can mess with. “For example, if you want to increase Pharah’s rocket speed or remove the cooldown from McCree’s Combat Roll, those options are at your fingertips,” Blizzard explained.

Customisation options also extend to the maps themselves, allowing you to have a single-map rotation, and so on. What’s more, the Blizzard-created custom game modes have their templates available for you to further customise.

The Game Browser is currently available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.