Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • New Overwatch Character Orisa Announced

    overwatch orisaAfter what seemed like an endless wait, the next Overwatch character has finally been announced. The next Overwatch character to make it into the roster is named Orisa, and she is already playable in the public test realm.

    It may be some time before Orisa gets pushed to live servers and to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but we still have all of the information we could possibly need about Orisa from the public test realm.

    Orisa has been nicknamed the "Mechanical Peacekeeper" and unexpectedly she has a very robotic appearance. Orisa is a straight out tank, and once again her appearance really shows it. She's big - Orisa is essentially a robotic centaur with a gattling gun.

    Her main abilities allow Orisa to provide barriers and shield to her team, which gives teammates the option to tank it out themselves for a little longer in fights. Her ultimate is called Supercharger and this is the only offensive ability she has in her arsenal. With Supercharger, Orisa boosts the damage of her surrounding teammates for a short period.

    Hopefully, it won't be long before Orisa is pushed out to live servers and to the console versions of Overwatch. The last character to launch was Sombre, and this character spent a long time in the public test realm before finally being pushed to the live servers. Orisa seems, on the surface, a lot easier to balance, so hopefully we won't be waiting too long whatsoever.

  • Injustice 2 to Feature Gear System

    injustice 2 gear systemFighting games can be highly competitive titles. They're so competitive, in fact, that even the smallest of balancing changes can make or break a player's viability at high-level play. For this reason, the newly announced Injustice 2 gear system is a little scary.

    Injustice 2 will be getting a gear system that players will be able to follow as a sense of progression while playing. All of the cosmetic choices available with the gear options are exciting, and players will have to work hard to get some of the rarer items. The scary part is that these gear items do offer players with inherent bonuses.

    Firstly, players will be able to improve their favorite character's base stats simply by leveling up over time. That's right, players that play for longer will not only have a higher skill level, but they'll also have a distinct in-game advantage. Injustice 2 will also support a loop drop system that will allow players to earn loot from finishing and winning games. The loot rewarded to players feature additional stats boosts.

    The stats that players will be able to improve by leveling up characters or by equipping unlocked gear are strength, health, defense, and ability. Strength determines the amount of damage dealt, health determines the amount of health points, and defense determines the amount of damage that can be blocked out.

    The final stat, ability, is a little different. This one affects how often a character can perform their special abilities. More special abilities can be equipped through the gear system as well.

    Every last item provides some kind of stat boost, with rarer items providing more specific changes. Wearing an entire set of the the same items, for example, a headpiece, torso, legs, arms and unique character specific item from the same set will provide players with a set bonus.

    So how does this system affect competitive play? The best solution the Injustice 2 developers have is the ability to switch off item and level bonuses when searching for online matches. For this reason, the game will most likely remain a system for casual players to get more involved with their favorite characters. High level and competitive play will most likely see the 'stats bonuses' feature switched off.

  • Mass Effect Andromeda Multiplayer Details Shared

    mass effect andromeda multiplayerMass Effect Andromeda is just around the corner and Bioware has been sharing content for the game like crazy. In the past couple of months we've had hours of gameplay footage uploaded to the Mass Effect Youtube channel, and now details about the multiplayer portion of Andromeda have been revealed.

    So far we only have details we've managed to scrape from some Twitter images posted by Mass Effect producer Fernando Melo.

    In Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer, players will have access to a character selection screen before they get immersed in the action. As opposed to having characters from the main storyline, the characters will be different species and classes. For example, players will have the chance to play as a Human male vanguard or a Krogan female infiltrator. Each class and species will have their own unique abilities and traits. Health and shield values will be different across class and species too.

    There won't be a truck load of customization options for multiplayer, but players will be able to choose some options for their armor's appearance and the armor colors and patterns. Players will also be able to level up each available character individually. So far we're not sure what benefits leveling up will provide in Mass Effect Andromeda's multiplayer.

    Unfortunately, the previously planned multiplayer beta for Mass Effect Andromeda has now been cancelled. This means that players will need to wait till March 21 to play Mass Effect Andromeda once it releases on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

  • Ghost Recon Wildlands Open Beta Live

    ghost recon wildlands betaThe Ghost Recon Wildlands open beta has started - players can already sign into Uplay, Steam, Xbox Live or PSN to install the open beta.

    The beta should now be live for all users in regions across the world. Currently, the beta is live on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam. Currently, the beta download size is sitting at roughly 24GB for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. However, if you installed the previous PC beta you'll only need to download 19GB worth of data.

    Either way, you may want to start downloading now - this will be your last chance to give Ghost Recon Wildlands a try for free before the game is officially released. The open beta will remain open until Monday the 27th, so you've still got lots of time to get the game download and get playing.

    This time round, the open beta for Wildlands will have a total of two regions for exploring, as opposed to the full game's 21 different regions. The first region is Itacua, which was first seen in the previous beta period. The second region is called Montuyoc and it hasn't yet been seen by the public.

    To encourage players to try out the open beta, Ubisoft is also offering any players that play the beta now with an additional mission in the full game. Players will need to play the beta during this week and also purchase Ghost Recon: Wildlands before March 31 to get access to the mission, however.

  • Elder Scrolls Online Gets New Housing Patch

    elder scrolls online housingA previously PC-exclusive update for Elder Scrolls Online has finally made it's way to the Xbox One and the PS4. The update in question adds housing to the world of ESO for the first time since the game's release.

    The new free update is called Homestead and with it, players will be able to purchase their very own home to call their own. Once a home is purchased, a player can customize the interior in a variety of different ways. The Homestead options available include roughly 40 different rooms and buildings types, ranging in size, price and functionality.

    All of the available player houses in Homestead are instanced, so every player can own their own version of any house they please in the game world, so long as they've got the gold for it of course.

    The very high-end houses are essentially separate islands off of the mainland of Tamriel. There are ten different types of islands, all of which are themed around one of the 10 playable races in Elder Scrolls Online.

    With the introduction of housing, players now have the opportunity to craft new items - all of the 2,000 different decorative interior items can be bought, crafted and traded between players.

    This is by no means a necessary update for Elder Scrolls Online so to see that it's been pushed out for free is refreshing and we're excited to see what might come out of the Elder Scrolls Online development camp next.

  • New Battlefield 1 Guns in DLC Test Servers

    battlefield 1 they shall not passBattlefield 1 is soon going to be receiving an arsenal of new weapons as part of the next upcoming DLC for the game. A lot of the new weapons have already made their way onto the public test servers so we've already got plenty of information to share on the new guns.

    All of the new guns will be a part of the 'They Shall Not Pass' DLC pack. In total, there will be 11 new weapons included in the new DLC - some are completely new, while others are modifications or variations of existing guns. There also seems to be a total of three new melee weapons coming to Battlefield 1.

    The three melee weapons are a Nail Knife, a Trench Fleur and a Cogwheel Club. Like the other weapons in the base game of Battlefield 1, none of the new guns or melee weapons will be available straight out of the gate. Players will need to unlock the weapons, either via specific challenges or in some cases purchasing them with skill points.

    The new weapons will be released to the public in March - it's not been 100% confirmed yet but it's likely that the weapons will be exclusive to those who own the season pass and those who purchase the They Shall Not Pass DLC.

    On top of including new weapons, They Shall Not Pass will include a number of new maps, the playable French faction, new game modes and two new tanks.

  • Nintendo Switch Availability May Be Limited

    nintendo switch availability 2017Because of the popularity surrounding the Nintendo Switch, getting hold of a console on launch day may prove to be a little difficult. Currently, most Nintendo Switch consoles are being picked up via pre-orders, so if you're interested in picking up the console too, it's advisable to do this as well.

    Alternatively, if you're planning to pick up a Nintendo Switch on launch day, you may be better off heading to the midnight launch. GameStop merchandising director Bub Puzon has mentioned that "We will have a limited supply of the Nintendo Switch systems on launch day for walk-in customers. Our teams made this happen. I would strongly suggest customers plan on attending one of our midnight launch events for a shot at securing one of these extra units. They will go fast!"

    As you can imagine, this ethos is likely to be replicated with most other retailers and online stores.

    The Nintendo Switch is set to release on March 3 - so far there is a total of 39 different games that have been confirmed for the platform. To begin with, however, just six titles will be available at launch. The six launch titles are The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2-Switch, Super Bomberman R, Just Dance 2017, Skylanders Imaginators and I Am Setsuna. All six games will retail for between $40-$60, while the Switch itself will be on sale for $300.

    A number of other games are set to release throughout the remainder of 2017, with Super Mario Odyssey landing during the 2017 Holiday period.

  • Street Fighter Red Bull Kumite 2017 is Happening

    street fighter red bull kumiteRed Bull is hosting yet another Street Fighter tournament this year, and the player roster just keeps getting better. If you're at all interested in watching Street Fighter V, the Red Bull Kumite 2017 tournament is something worth looking out for.

    The tournament will take place on May 27 - during the event, a total of 256 players will compete for a chance to win a grand prize. On May 28, any winners from the previous days and any prestigious players lucky to have received an invite will fight it out till the grand finals later that day.

    So far we have a total of eight professional players have been invited to the Red Bull Kumite event. The first four to receive their invitations were Tokido, Xiao Hai, PR Balrog, and RB. The biggest name to stand out here is, of course, Tokido - a player that has already battled his way to the grand finals of two previous Kumite events from Red Bull.

    A couple of days after the first four players were announced, four new players were brought into the mix by Red Bull. These four are Nemo, Infexious, Mister Crimson, and Bonchan. All of these players have come a long way in their respective fighting game communities so it'll be very exciting to see them all battle it out in Street Fighter V during the tournament at the end of May.

    Are you excited for this? We'll keep you updated with any more player announcements as they happen.

  • No Halo Wars 2 Competitive Ranking Yet

    halo wars 2 competitive rankingHalo Wars 2 is now available for Xbox One and Windows 10, across most regions. So far, critics have taken a liking to the real-time strategy game sequel, but the game isn't quite complete.

    If you were a diehard Halo Wars fan, you'll know that a big part of the multiplayer aspect focused on the leaderboards and ranking system. Thousands of players would compete to be the very best, and this kind of competitive atmosphere helped to keep the Halo Wars name alive strong after the initial release date.

    In Halo Wars 2 there isn't a competitive ranking system at launch, but it's for what we think is a good reason. David Nicholson, the executive producer at Creative Assembly, mentioned that they decided not to add competitive ranking at launch, "Because we want to make sure the balance is there. We think we've got the game well-balanced, with the two betas we had. But we continually make those balance changes. Our plan is to bring it out, but just not at launch."

    This means that any balancing oversights the developers may have missed during beta will be ironed out before they launch their competitive matchmaking system. So far no details on how the ranking system will work, but we'd imagine it would be a more modernized version of the original Halo Wars leaderboards, as opposed to the kind of system currently seen in Halo 5: Guardians.

    We'll have to wait to see how things pan out - for now, the rest of Halo Wars 2 is readily available for all to enjoy.

  • Difference Between Modded Controller and Pro Controller

    evilcontrollers pro controllerIn the gaming world, two new types of controllers have started to emerge. Besides the standard official controllers, we now have modded controllers and pro controllers.

    Understanding the differences between each of these controllers is sometimes hard, but the differences are important to understand. Whilst both modded controllers and pro controllers may share similar qualities, modded controllers can often include features that would disqualify players from professional events. Pro controllers, on the other hand, have advantages, but they’re perfectly fine to use in professional events, LANs and esports tournaments.

    Programmable buttons and macros

    Pro controllers can have additional buttons and button mapping, but they can’t give players any abilities that wouldn’t be available to a player with a standard controller. As soon as buttons become programmable, it’s considered a modded controller.

    By programmable, we’re talking about macros and combos. If you can program your controller to perform a combo with the tap of one button, it’d be unfair to use against other players on a competitive level.

    Below, we’ve listed some of the things that are okay to be included in a pro controller.

    - Improved D-pads or joysticks with better precision
    - Improved button quality
    - Additional buttons, such as the paddles on the Xbox One Elite
    - Hair Trigger Locks, or improved triggers
    - Button re-mapping

    As you can see, most of these changes are simply better quality variants of the standard controller. It’s like using a mouse with a more accurate sensor or a keyboard with faster response times.

    All of the above are almost entirely hardware-related, with the exception being button re-mapping. With button re-mapping players can change their control layout, so for example, a kick in Street Fighter V could be changed from the B button to the trigger button.

    If your controller gives you a distinct advantage, especially on a software level, it’s most likely considered a modded controller.
    - Macros that can go faster than standard trigger presses, such as rapid fire
    - Macros to automate combos or certain buttons
    - Auto run or automating different actions
    - Macros to take advantage of skill-based actions like quick reloads

    Most of these changes affect gameplay in some way. In some cases, they remove elements of skill from your gameplay in other cases they make it possible to do things even the most skilled players can’t do. In this case, modded controllers would give pro games an unfair advantage.

    If you’d like to learn more about the differences between modded and pro controllers and see what controller could fit your playstyle, take a look through the ‘pro’ and ‘modded’ sections on our website.

    eSports Pro Controllers

    Master Mod

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