'Overwatch' action figures and Monopoly are coming this spring
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 February 2019, 2:32 pm

Hasbro is about to give you many, many ways to flaunt your Overwatch fandom beyond the occasional Nerf gun. It's launching a series of toys and games themed around the character-driven shooter, including Monopoly Overwatch Collector's Edition (below). The $50 board game turns maps into properties, cards into loot boxes and player pieces into familiar characters like D.Va and Winston. However, that's really just the start of the collection -- the action figures in particular stand out.

Source: GameStop (Monopoly), (Reinhardt), (Ana/Soldier), (Mercy/Pharah)

Razer closes its game store after 10 months
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 February 2019, 10:34 pm

Razer is learning a hard lesson about the challenges of launching a game store. The hardware giant is closing the Razer Game Store on February 28th at 4AM Eastern as part of "realignment plans." It'll still honor pre-orders and notes that games will still work as long as you have their Steam or Uplay keys, but you won't have access to those keys once February is over. From March onward, you'll only get games from Razer through its reward programs.

Via: PC Gamer

Source: Razer

WoW: Casual player agenda
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 February 2019, 7:22 am
Now that I'm not raiding I have the chance to reassess my priorities and figure out a new agenda.My priorities are now:- keep routine daily and weekly opportunities on cooldown so I get a good stream of items, gold, artifact power and war resources.-

The Morning After: Amazon drops 'LotR' hints
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 February 2019, 8:45 am

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

Welcome to your weekend! We're closing things out with a teaser from Amazon, as well as a preview of Samsung's big Galaxy S10 reveal. Some of the highlights from last week include a Zelda remake and our review of the OnePlus 6T.

Nerf's 'Fortnite' guns will be here March 22nd
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 5:39 pm

If you thought Hasbro was already milking the Fortnite trend for all it's worth with an official Nerf gun, you haven't seen anything yet. The toy maker has unveiled its full line of Fortnite-themed Nerf guns (including Super Soakers), and while it's not a complete reflection of the battle royale shooter's arsenal, it's likely you'll find something that suits your tastes. People who prefer dart-based havoc can pick up the AR-L assault rifle ($50) or SP-L pistol ($20) for conventional weaponry, but they can also wield $10 MicroShot dart blasters for surprise attacks. If you've ever wanted to shoot foam projectiles from a llama's mouth, now's your chance.

Source: Hasbro Pulse

Titans Landing in the Glow
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 3:00 pm

High-tech Pictionary is more challenging than using a pen
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 3:36 pm

Pictionary seems like one of those perfect games that doesn't really need an upgrade. You draw on a piece of paper, and people guess what you're trying to show them. Sure, you can put the game on a phone or tablet, but the basic concept remains the same no matter where you play. However, this weekend at Toy Fair Mattel is unveiling Pictionary Air, which takes away the paper — or any other drawing surface, really — and asks to you draw in the empty space in front of you.

No Good Expansions*
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 1:15 pm
*Some expansions excepted A post somewhat sparked by what Kaylriene wrote, though I have been harboring bits and pieces of this for ages now.  Ready for a Friday ramble?  Here we go. I suppose that EverQuest needs to take some of the heat on

Overwatch League's premium pass wasn't ready for its debut
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 11:10 am

If you tuned into opening night of Overwatch League's second season, you likely noticed some changes to the production from last year. For instance, each player's status bar at the top of the screen handily shows when a hero is hacked, stunned or firing off their ultimate ability. The biggest update for 2019, though, is the Command Center spectator option on Twitch, which lets you switch between the main broadcast stream, pro's perspectives and an overhead map whenever you like. However, the Command Center, which costs $15 for the season as part of an All-Access Pass, faced plenty of teething issues on opening night.

A pristine 'Super Mario Bros.' cartridge sold for over $100,000
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 7:41 am

Despite classic video games now being readily available online and on throwback mini consoles, rare physical copies are still fetching big bucks. The latest record-breaking collector's item is a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. that just sold for $100,150, according to Kotaku, which experts claim is the highest-price ever paid for a single game.

Via: Kotaku

Source: Heritage Auctions

The 'Fortnite' dance lawsuits are close to falling apart
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 8:31 am

Epic Games has found itself slapped with a flurry of lawsuits, all alleging the company of stealing people's dance moves and selling them on for a profit. These dances are incorporated into its world-conquering game Fortnite, which are bought by players for a quantity of in-game currency (costing real money). That's angered a number of musicians and viral video stars, who feel that they've been ripped off, but in one high-profile case, the law might be on Epic's side.

Via: Eurogamer

Source: THR

The new Pictionary has you drawing in thin air
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 9:00 am

It's not easy being a traditional board game manufacturer in these digital days, although some companies have taken pretty bold steps to bridge the gap between table-top and pixel-based play. Now Pictionary is doing the same with Pictionary Air, which takes your competitive sketching off the paper and puts it onto your phone, tablet or TV screen instead.

Ubisoft: Ditching Steam for Epic caused a surge in 'Division 2' sales
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 9:16 am

Ubisoft recently became the latest big gun to challenge Stream's status quo by jumping ship to the Epic Games Store. And it claims the decision has already paid off by diverting more players to its Uplay portal, where they purchased even more copies of The Division 2. Pre-orders for the sequel are higher than the original overall, and "six-times higher" on the Ubisoft store, noted Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in yesterday's earnings call (per Rock, Paper, Shotgun).

Via: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

The Morning After: Amazon walks away from HQ2
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 February 2019, 6:30 am

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

The Toy Fair is about to start, and we have some items from Hot Wheels and Lego that will make being born post-Xbox seem more appealing. Also, Amazon is pulling the plug on HQ2 and Neill Blomkamp's Anthem prequel short is ready for streaming.

Adventures in DDO
Posted by Yeebo Fernbottom's MMO Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 7:12 pm
After my stint in FFXI, I decided to head to more familiar territory and started playing Dungeon and Dragons Online seriously again.  I would say the game is currently in a really good spot.  The developers have managed to address a lot of the issues that I felt dragged the game down the last time I drifted away, while maintaining and in some cases building on the game's strengths.  As a consequence I've managed to make it a lot further than I ever have in previous stints with the game.

The game has continually been adding options to the already absurdly deep character generation system.  Seen here is one of the latest races added, the Aasimar. It's a a sort of god touched race that can start with up to 20 Wisdom and gets access to an ability similar to lay-on-hands (a strong once per rest heal) regardless of class.  Other recent additions include Dragonborn, Gnomes and Woodelves.  
The game's character building systems is more accessible than it's ever been, but still retains an absurd variety of options.  The move to enhancement trees instead of the old menu based system made it much more clear in general what you need to be working towards.  However when the trees first came out, they also shined a light on one of the game's major flaws: not only builds but whole classes of builds were sub-par.  For example, the Eldritch Knight, a melee heavy-armor tree for wizards and sorcerers, was widely considered a "new player trap."   It looked like fun on paper, but in reality spending heavily in the tree tended to produce a character with mediocre spell casting ability, melee damage that scaled poorly with levels, and terrible defense.

Even after all this time I've been playing I keep discovering quests and areas I didn't know about.  Looking for something new to do, recently I sorted all the level 12 quests listed on DDO wiki into alphabetical order by quest name and started at the top of the list.  That led me to this chapel that has probably been in the game as long as I've been playing, but I've never had a reason to go to.
Over the last few years the developers have been slowly but surely tweaking trees like this that were severely underperforming.  Going back to the example of Eldritch Knight, recent updates have made it a viable option on its own and a great splash choice for a variety of defensive/ tanking character builds. Instead of whether it's possible to lean heavily on the tree and not have a completely gimped character, a major point of debate is now whether adding two levels of wizard to a melee focused character is too overpowered compared to playing a pure fighter or paladin.

After talking to a quest giver in the chapel, I ended running a quest in this cave complex inhabited by Duergar and their summoned fire elemental minions. I believe this was the first time I've set foot in it.  The quest there was straightforward, but a lot of fun an yielded good XP.  I'm definitely adding this one to my normal repertoire.
Of course DDO still has some balance issues.  There always will be in a game as complex and flexible as DDO.  However I would say that  you can focus on building around pretty much any tree that appeals to you now and end up with a decent character after a bit of trial and error.  That really didn't seem to be true the last time I was playing the game extensively.

In addition to older content I missed back in the day, SSG has been steadily adding new story lines and new settings to the game.  This is a view from near where you first arrive in Shavarath.  Shavarath is a minor plane home to constant three way battles between devils, demons, and angels.  It's one of the smaller new areas, but it has an interesting war torn exploration area and two fun quest lines.  
However I wouldn't say that viable build diversity is what really drove me away the last time I was playing. There were and still are a huge variety of strong characters you can build if you know what you are doing.  What always caused my runs in DDO to stall out was a dearth of content I found fun in certain level ranges.  This has been vastly improved. There is a heck of a lot more content now (as there should be after all this time!), and most of the newer content has been exceptionally well done.  The content presentation has also become much better organized in general, I don't recall so many NPCs offering to guide you through quest chains when I was last playing.  For example, Saga's are chains of suggested quests that reward large amounts of XP, guild XP, or tomes that permanently increase your skills when you complete them (in addition to all the loot and Xp you get from the quests themselves).  Gunning through a Saga at a higher difficulty yields better rewards, which gives you a good incentive to push your limits instead of coast.  There are also a lot of "challenges" now, quests that you can knock out in five or ten minutes if you need a short play session. 

One of the strengths of the game is the variety of settings it incorporates.  For example, a wide variety of quests from level 15 on are set in the Forgotten Realms, a more traditional fantasy setting than the base game (complete with a "kindly old wizard" that acts as your guide for much of it).  Shown here is a village in King's Forest, an enormous FR exploration zone with roughly a half dozen quests. 
The mainline expansions also seem to have been getting better and better.  Ravenloft, the most recent one,  is not only my favorite content in DDO, it's some of the best content I've ever played in a game.  The story lines, quest mechanics and item rewards are all exceptionally well done.  You get a very nice power boost by questing there at around level ten, and if you like Gothic horror at all you will be thoroughly entertained while doing it.  It's absolutely amazing to see a 12 year old game knock an expansion out of the park like this.  I am eagerly awaiting the Sharn expansion in the spring to see if SSG can pull off a double.  The high fantasy urban setting, complete with skyscrapers, sounds potentially very interesting.

Enjoying the floating rock garden on my guild airship, a shrine that grants a 3.5 hour boost to strength and wisdom.  Since I was last playing guild airships have also been greatly improved.  The old guild buffs are still available, but newer buffs that last for much longer and are not lost on death were also added at some point.  Between the two systems, even a mid-level guild like mine can offer a wide array of amenities.  My guild airship offers a tavern, bank, mailbox and auction house in addition to a huge variety of one hour or longer statistical boosts (something like 20 if I'm not mistaken).       
I have been having a fun time in DDO for the last few months.  It's still not exactly the most new player friendly game on the market.  Infinite build diversity leads to infinite potential ways of gimping yourself, for example.  A lot of new players also seem to have trouble making it past the low level game, which may as well be called "Sewer, Warehouse and Tomb Adventures." However, if it's a game you have ever enjoyed in the past or have been curious about, now is a great time to jump in.  DDO has made remarkable strides in recent years, and with another major expansion right around the corner the future seem bright.

EverQuest 20th Anniversary Progression Servers Announced
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 1:15 pm
More build up to the EverQuest 20th anniversary next month. As promised in the previous Producer’s Letter there will be two progression servers set to open on Saturday, March 16 as part of the anniversary celebration. Let’s take a look at what

Of course Netflix kept all of your choices in ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch'
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 February 2019, 7:24 pm

While you were watching Black Mirror: Bandersnatch on Netflix, Netflix was watching you, too. A General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) request filed by University College London technology policy researcher Michael Veale revealed that Netflix kept track of every decision users made while watching the interactive film and has held onto that information long after viewers reached one of Bandersnatch's endings.

Via: Motherboard

Source: Michael Veale

Hot Wheels' new TechMods are remote-control cars you build yourself
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 11:00 am

Hot Wheels has excelled at merging the real and virtual worlds for the past few years, but a lot of that has really been focused on the driving experience. Specifically, how to make it more like a video game with toys like Hot Wheels AI, Mindracers and Augmoto. This year the brand is finally giving budding gear heads some love with its new TechMods set, an app-controlled vehicle that you build yourself and then control with your phone. It's not the same as tinkering under a hood, but it is actually fun to put together.

A 'Stranger Things' version of 'Dungeons and Dragons' arrives April 22nd
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 2:03 pm

The third season of Stranger Things won't arrive until July, but you might be able to while away some of the time by checking out the Dungeons and Dragons adventure the gang plays in the first episode. Hasbro is releasing a D&D starter kit based on "Hunt for the Thessalhydra" on April 22nd.

Via: BuzzFeed, Polygon

'90s internet simulator 'Hypnospace Outlaw' launches on March 12
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 3:23 pm

The wild west era of the internet is coming back, and you're tasked with moderating all of the madness. That's the premise of alternate-reality 1990s internet simulator Hypnospace Outlaw, the latest title from Dropsy creator Jay Tholen. The anticipated game finally has a launch date, set for March 12th. The game will be available through Steam and GOG on March 12th for $19.99.

Source: No More Robots

The 'Link's Awakening' remake could be the start of something special
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 12:24 pm

I never beat The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, but not for lack of trying. It's one of my favorite entries in the Zelda series, and I played it over and over as a kid. I got stuck on the same bit every time, one puzzle I couldn't get past. It vexed me for years, but eventually I forgot about it. But now, more than 20 years later, I get another shot at it: yesterday, Nintendo went deep into its back catalog to show off a remake of Link's Awakening for the Switch. The 1993 title debuted on the Game Boy and changed what we thought Nintendo's humble handheld console was capable of. Indeed, the game was nearly as deep and vast as A Link to the Past on the Super NES.

'Tetris 99' hands-on: The battle royale game for everyone else
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 9:30 am

Last night, Nintendo dropped an awful lot of things to get excited about if you're a Switch owner. Alongside a Zelda remake, a new game from the makers of Bayonetta, and Super Mario Maker 2, it resurrected Tetris (bigger than Mario, right?) for 2019. The company (and the Tetris experts at Arika) have made it battle royale-style.

Watch the 'Anthem' prequel from the director of 'District 9'
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 10:52 am

A short film set in the world of BioWare's online shooter Anthem, which highlights some of the universe's lore, dropped on Thursday morning. Conviction is directed by Neill Blomkamp, a name you might recognize from District 9, Chappie, the ill-fated Halo movie or an upcoming RoboCop reboot.

Source: Oats Studios (YouTube)

After Its Best Quarter And Year Ever, Activision Lays Off 8% Of Workforce
Posted by evebloggers.com [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 9:03 am
In an ideal world, the talk after Tuesday's Activision Blizzard investors call would center around video games. The fact that the company announced it would refocus on key games would highlight the news. Fans of Call of Duty, Overwatch, Hearthstone, World

The puzzling chaos of ‘Human: Fall Flat’ is coming to phones
Posted by Engadget RSS Feed [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 February 2019, 7:41 am

Soon it won't just be Switch owners who get to play indie platform-puzzler Human: Fall Flat on the go. After shifting five million copies across PC, Mac and consoles, the game is heading to mobiles. For the uninitiated, Human stars a claymation-style character named Bob, who walks like he's drunk. Your job is to steer him across a series of floating levels, each with increasingly difficult physics-based puzzles. But if you're easily distracted, chances are you'll use the props on-hand (think catapults, forklifts, and wrecking balls) to cause happy accidents.

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