The Quest Log: March 17, 2017

Hello gamers, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Also, welcome back to the Quest Log, where you’ll find the top highlights from the latest gaming news.

Blizzard is Seeking $8.5 million from Cheat Maker
The makers of Overwatch, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft are seeking a $200 fine per infraction from Bossland, the German manufacturers of popular hacking and cheating tools for Blizzard games including WOW and Diablo as well as a currently unavailable program for Overwatch, citing copyright infringement along with business lost due to illegitimate players and bots driving away rule-abiding players.

Guerilla Games Planning an Expansion to Horizon: Zero Dawn

In an official press release by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Guerrilla Games, developers of the critically acclaimed Horizon: Zero Dawn, seemingly confirmed that an expansion was in the works. “This is only the beginning of Aloy’s story and our exploration of the world of Horizon Zero Dawn, with the team already hard at work on an expansion to the story,” says Hermen Hulst, Guerrilla’s Managing Director. While his language is ambiguous enough that it’s possible he’s hinting at a sequel or some other related project, a DLC-style expansion seems more likely

Warren Spector to Direct System Shock 3

While the fact that System Shock 3 has been in development hasn’t exactly been a secret–and neither has the involvement of Warren Spector–it’s now official. Starbreez AB, a producer and developer based out of Stockholm, Sweden, announced this week that they’d be publishing the long-awaited horror-shooter sequel currently in development by Otherside Entertainment. Spector, the producer of the original System Shock along with a slew of other legendary titles (i.e., Deus Ex) will be directing the project.–3,c2214464

The Quest Log: March 14, 2017

Happy Pi day, everyone, and welcome back to The Quest Log, where we cover the top highlights in gaming news.

Nintendo Releases Three-part Making of Zelda: BOTW Video Series

Today on their official YouTube channel, Nintendo released a three-part video series that takes viewers behind the scenes of the creation of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The videos include interviews, concept art, and a glimpse at features and locales that got left on the cutting-room floor.

For the First Time Ever, D&D Players are Getting an Official Digital Companion

Wizards of the Coast–the publisher of the quintessential tabletop RPG, Dungeons and Dragons–unveiled early this week their upcoming official companion app to the game, the first in its history. D&D Beyond will give users access to official content, allow them to create and manage “homebrew” content, and track character builds and progress. Interested tabletop fans can sign up for the beta test via the following:

Co-founder Leaves Kinda Funny

Colin Moriarty, co-founder of popular YouTube channel Kinda Funny, announced on Facebook page his immediate departure from the group. Moriarty, who previously worked for IGN, says he has other opportunities in the pipeline and that, “you haven’t seen or heard the last of me.” The move comes following an offensive Tweet Moriarty made on International Women’s Day.

The Quest Log: March 10, 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Breaks a Metacritic Record

It’s no mystery that the latest, seminal entry in the series is getting rave reviews, but it’s difficult to quantify just how well it’s being received. To that end, the game’s already surpassed one major milestone as it now holds more 100 (i.e., perfect) review scores on review aggregator Metacritic than any other released title in history. Breath of the Wild takes the mantle from one of Nintendo’s own, Super Mario Galaxy 2, as well as GTA IV. The latest Zelda title currently holds an average critical score of 98.

Steam User Review Scores Will No Longer Include Non-paying Gamers

In their official community blog, Steam announced today that they will no longer include user reviews of gamers who did not directly purchase a given title in the game’s customer review score in the store, which means that players who received game codes by other means (e.g., developer giveaway, bundle, etc.) will no longer be able to affect the game’s average. This restriction is an expansion of one put in place just last September as a continued effort to “improve the relevance of the score by better reflecting the sentiment expressed by invested, paying customers.”

Project Scorpio Will See Improved Performance for All Xbox One Titles Right Out of the Box

While official details on Microsoft’s Project Scorpio are few and far between, Windows Central revealed new details about the upcoming console in an exclusive detail. They report that not only will Scorpio enable 4k gaming for supported titles, it will also improve the performance of existing 1080p (or less) Xbox One games right out of the box. This revelation comes hot on the heels of Sony’s recently released “boost mode” for the PS4 Pro.

The Quest Log: March 8, 2017

Hello, readers, and happy International Women’s Day! Welcome back to The Quest Log, where you’ll find highlights from the latest news in gaming.

The Switch’s First 2-day Sales are the Best in Nintendo History

Nick Wingfield, a reporter for the New York Times, Tweeted this past Monday a number of interesting highlights from an interview he conducted with Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime about their new console’s performance in stores. While it’s next to impossible to learn hard figures for console and game sales, it would seem that the Switch is outperforming expectations. Wingfield says that the Switch outperformed every past Nintendo console in 2-day sales figures, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the best-selling “standalone launch title” in the company’s history.

Monolith Show Off Shadow of War’s Expanded Nemesis (and Friendship) System

The Nemesis system of Monolith Productions’ Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was the highlight of the 2014 action-adventure title set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy universe, and it looks like they’re doubling down on it for the upcoming sequel, due to launch later this year. In a demo shown to a number of major gaming news outlets, we see that the dynamic relationship platform will no longer be limited to enemies, it will also govern how friendships and alliances work. There’s over 16 minutes of footage and plenty to unpack (including freaking dragon riding), so it’s worth seeing for yourself

Mass Effect: Andromeda Multiplayer Maps Will Be Free

Aaryn Flynn, general manager for BioWare, confirmed via Twitter that multiplayer maps for the upcoming space opera RPG will be free to download and play. This news comes in the wake of the announcement that a planned public multiplayer tech test had been cancelled. Fans won’t have to wait too long to play it, however, as the game launches later this month, March 21.

Destiny’s Getting a Weekly Raid Feature

In a live stream on Twitch today, Bungie discussed revealed a number of features for “The Age of Triumph,” the last major content update planned for Destiny before we see the online shooter’s sequel, due this fall. The highlight for many diehard fans was no-doubt the inclusion of a Weekly Feature Raid, which kicks off on week 1 with Crota’s End. The featured raid will require a light level of 390 or higher and include any and all previously available challenge modes.

The Quest Log: March 6, 2017

Welcome to the Quest Log! Here you’ll find the latest and hottest headlines in gaming news.

Bungie Announces Details for Character Carryover into Destiny 2

With Destiny 2‘s release window still planned for late 2017, Bungie has finally announced their plans for fans to carry their existing Destiny characters forward into the sequel. In a blog post titled “The Road Ahead,” Bungie details that character gear, progression, and abilities will not carry into Destiny 2, which is objectively the right choice. The appearances and classes of level 20+ will, however. They also teased a new event, The Age of Triumph, which looks like it’ll feature the return of the beloved Vault of Glass raid.


Blizzard Unveils Overwatch‘s 24th Hero

Fortunately, Overwatch fans didn’t have to suffer through another ARG before Blizzard revealed the identity of our 24th hero. The mechanical quadruped is a new tank character who sports a unique kit with abilities that shield and buff allies and offer some crowd control. But the highlight seems to be her Fortify ability, which renders her immune to a variety of special attack effects and buffs her defense. She’s playable now on the PTR and should be coming to console players in the near future.

Microsoft Unveils the Xbox Games Pass

Similar to EA’s Origin Access service, Xbox Games Pass will allow subscribers unlimited access to 100+ titles, including Xbox One and backwards-compatible Xbox 360 games. They promise the library will be made up of first and third party releases and that users will be able to download those titles directly to their consoles (as opposed to a streaming service a la PlayStation Now). The cost of subscription is $10/month, and an early build of the service will be made available to members of the Preview Program in the near future.

The Elder Scrolls Online Expansion Will Allow Fans to Return to Morrowind

This week, Bethesda announced their next expansion to their MMORPG, The Elder Scrolls Online, with a cinematic trailer (featured above).

The expansion will allow players to visit Vvardenfell, the large island—itself a part of the larger Morrowind province—that series fans will likely remember as the set location of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Among the locations that will be available for players to visit in this new zone is the Vivec City, a large, multi-district city that both delighted and frustrated players back in 2002 when TES 3 was first released.

Morrowind was the first Bethesda game I ever played, and it remains my favorite to this day, so while I’ve never found the time or motivation to pick up TES Online, it’s exciting to see the game’s developers revisiting the region.

The expansion will also bring along a new class (the first since the game’s launch): the warden, who utilizes “nature-based magic” and a “War Bear battle companion.” There’s also a 4v4v4 PVP game mode. It launches on June 6th this year.

Obsidian Announces Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Yesterday Obsidian Entertainment, the Irvine-based developers of Fallout: New VegasStar Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, officially unveiled their crowdsource campaign for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.

Pitched as a nostalgic return to the revolutionary Infinity Engine powered RPGs of the 90s, Pillars of Eternity broke records on Kickstarter when its campaign launched in September, 2012, meeting its goal of $1.1 million less than 24 hours and eventually surpassing Double Fine’s Broken Age as the highest grossing Kickstarter campaign for a video game ever.

Pillars of Eternity launched in 2015 and was met with acclaim by critics and fans alike. The isometric RPG featured a variety of playable races and classes, gave players control of parties of up to six companions, and was later enhanced by two expansion packs.

Obsidian—who also utilized Pillars‘ Unity-based game engine for last year’s Tyranny—is promising that the sequel will boast enhanced visual effects and game mechanics, including a potential multi-class character development system, and some of the story companions from the first game are set to make a return, including fan-favorite Edér (voiced by Matthew “It’s High Noon” Mercer).

The crowdsource campaign has been moved from Kickstarter to Fig this time around, a move that makes sense given Obisidan’s Feargus Urquhart’s status on the crowdsource platform’s advisory board. Obsidian is seeking $1.1 million once again, and they’re also offering up to $2 million in equity by way of Fig’s unique but untested investment platform.