The Quest Log: July 7, 2017

Hey Huddies, I’m back after a long (and gaming-filled) vacation and here to bring you the latest news highlights. July’s generally a pretty dry month in the industry, but that’s not stopping Blizzard from dropping some bombshells. Also, Horizon Zero Dawn gets a bunch of free content in its latest patch.

Doomfist Finally Comes to Overwatch

Overwatch fans have known about (or at least heard of) Doomfist since before the game came out, but Blizzard really only began teasing the new hero in the lead up to Orisa’s reveal earlier this year. This week, however, Doomfist appeared suddenly on the game’s public test realm server, which means that PC gamers can play as him right now. He’s a melee-focused hero that plays pretty dramatically different from the other heroes in the game with some likening him more to a character in a fighting game than your run-of-the-mill FPS. Check out his kit below:

https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/heroes/doomfist/

Horizon Zero Dawn Gets New Game+ Mode

Horizon Zero Dawn is literally at the top of my list of games to play once I finally pick up a PS4, and Guerrilla Games just added even more reasons I can’t wait to play it. Patch 1.30 adds a New Game+ option, which will allow you to re-start the game “without losing your character progression and your collected inventory,” although the official release does clarify that you won’t be able to surpass the level 50 cap. The game is also getting an “Ultra Hard” difficulty that’s only available during a NG+ run, and they’re adding some updated weapons and armor to help players tackle the new challenge. Finally, Aloy’s getting some face paint.

https://blog.us.playstation.com/2017/07/06/horizon-zero-dawn-patch-1-30-adds-new-game-face-paint-options-ultra-hard-difficulty-more/

Hearthstone’s Next Expansion Announced

In addition to dropping a new hero in Overwatch, Blizzard announced yesterday the next expansion to Hearthstone. Called “Knights of the Frozen,” the expansion will add a new hero card type that transforms one of the CCG’s nine playable heroes into a minion-like card and upgrades their hero power. Warcraft fans will immediately recognize the setting and atmosphere of the expansion, which revolves around the infamous Lich King and his frozen throne. I’ve not played Hearthstone in a little over a year, but if Arthas makes an appearance, I may not be able to resist its call.

https://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/20888401/join-the-knights-of-the-frozen-throne-7-6-2017

The Quest Log: May 23, 2017

Hello, Gamers! Hope you all had wonderful weekends and that the new week is off to a good start. Can you believe it’s been a full year since Overwatch first launched? I know the past year has just flown for me, and it’s downright amazing to think of all the groundbreaking and amazing games that have launched in so small a window of time. Blizz is celebrating with an event, so let’s kick off our news highlights with that:

Overwatch Anniversary Event Goes Live

Blizzard’s world-conquering team-based shooter is a year old this week, and to celebrate, Blizzard are rolling a new in-game event, which is bringing along some cool new skins, portraits, voice lines, and dancing emotes! The game’s also getting an update that includes three new arena maps for the game’s popular 3v3 mode.

The anniversary event runs from today through June 12, and you get a free loot box just for logging in.

https://playoverwatch.com/en-gb/events/anniversary/

Red Dead Redemption 2 Delayed to 2018

Rockstar’s sequel to one of the greatest games of all time has been delayed from Fall, 2017 to Spring, 2018. While disappointing to fans, the move is hardly unexpected given Rockstar’s history of delaying games, and, as always, they’re doing it for a good reason: “We are very sorry for any disappointment this delay causes, but we are firm believers in delivering a game only when it is ready.”

To soothe the sting of the delay, Rockstar have released some new screenshots of the game, which you can view at the link below.

http://www.rockstargames.com/newswire/article/60210/Red-Dead-Redemption-2-Is-Now-Coming-Spring-2018

Battfield One Expansion to Introduce Playable Female Fighters, a Series First

The Battlefield series kicked off 15 years ago, and despite its storied history, not a single one of the games has ever featured playable female soldiers. That’s about to change with the upcoming DLC for Battlefield One, “In the Name of the Tsar,” which will introduce the 1st Russian Women’s Batallion of Death. As the link below explains, women soldiers were a real part of the Russian war effort in WWI despite social backlash, and it’s neat to see that not only is Battlefield One getting some diversity, it’s doing so with continued historical consistency.

https://pvplive.net/c/battlefield-1-confirms-female-soldiers-for-russian-in-the-name-of-the-tsar

The Quest Log: April 25, 2017

Welcome back to the Quest Log, gamers, your place for the latest highlights in gaming news and rumors. Heroes of the Storm 2.0 rolls out today, so I know what I’ll be checking out later tonight, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the headlines below!

Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Goes Live, Brings Overwatch’s D.Va Along for the Ride

We reported last week that Blizzard would be giving away a bunch of free heroes this week as part of their celebration for the just-released version 2.0 update to Heroes of the Storm, and that day is here. The real big news, however, is the third and final new hero they’ve just revealed: everyone’s favorite pro-gamer turned freedom fighter, D.Va. Miss Song is a personal favorite of mine in Overwatch, and I’m very excited to see how she plays in the online brawler.

Blizzard’s kicking off the update’s launch with a 4-week event in which players can earn mounts for HOTS and skins for Overwatch. Also, check out the sweet cinematic above showing off HOTS’ two newest heroes battling it out with Diablo in the new, Overwatch-themed map, Hanamura.

http://us.battle.net/heroes/en/heroes20/

SNES Classic Edition Rumored to Be in Production

Nintendo surprised nearly everyone earlier this month by announcing that the NES Classic Edition was being discontinued, but Eurogamer’s reporting on a rumor that might help to explain the move. Citing “sources close to (Nintendo),” they’re saying that a miniature SNES is already in development. It’s not necessarily a surprise given the NES CE’s popularity, but take the rumor with a grain of salt nonetheless. If true, it’s plausible that Nintendo had to free up production for their next diminutive gaming machine. 

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-04-19-sources-nintendo-to-launch-snes-mini-this-year

South Korena Presidential Candidate Releases StarCraft: Brood War Maps

Despite being nearly 20 years old, the original StarCraft and its expansion are still very popular in South Korea, so maybe it won’t come as a surprise to hear that Moon Jae-in, a presidential candidate in the country, has created and released two maps for the real-time strategy game. They’re as simplistic as they come with the only noteworthy element being that he’s spelled his name out in mineral deposits, but I can’t help but think that the US is lacking in game-savvy politicians of our own.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2017/04/20/a-south-korean-presidential-candidate-just-released-a-star-craft-map-as-part-of-his-campaign.aspx

The Quest Log: April 11, 2017

Happy Overwatch Uprising day, everyone! I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t wait to get back into my favorite shooter and start winning some of those sweet skins. That’s not the only thing going on in the news, though, so check out our highlights below.

Nintendo Expands HackerOne Program to Switch

Last December, Nintendo extended the call to would-be 3DS hackers with an offer of $100 – $20,000 for the discovery vulnerabilities and security flaws in the system’s hardware and/or software. Today, Nintendo have officially expanded the program to include the Switch. While they’re reluctant to share hard details about what possible discoveries qualify for which rewards, it sounds like three savvy individuals have already received undisclosed sums for their work. Seems like a good chance for budding security experts to bolster their resumes and potentially earn some money.

http://nintendoeverything.com/nintendos-hackerone-program-extended-to-switch-first-bounties-paid/

KOTOR Is (Probably) Not Getting a Reboot Anytime Soon

Earlier this week, a rumor originating from popular gaming journalist Liam Robertson began circulating that BioWare’s Austin, TX studio were working on a possible reboot of the beloved RPG, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. While similar rumors come and go, this one picked up some speed, particularly after some ambiguous comments were made by Drew Karpyshyn, the original lead writer of KOTOR (and Mass Effect) on his official Twitter account. BioWare Austin have historically been responsible for Star Wars: The Old Republic, the MMO spinoff, and EA continue to hold exclusive game development rights to the Star Wars universe, so it seemed as if the stars had aligned.

We dared to dream, but it seems it was not to be. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier reached out to Robertson who quickly backed down on his initial report. Instead, Schreier says that BioWare Austin is working on an as-of-yet unannounced all-new IP, which he says will be more akin to Bungie’s Destiny.

http://kotaku.com/that-star-wars-knights-of-the-old-republic-rumor-isnt-1794215197

Overwatch’s Newest Event Rises Up

We reported last week that Blizzard were teasing something big for Overwatch, and now the other shoe has fallen. Like the events that came before it, Overwatch Uprising brings a slew of new unlockables (including one Dva highlight intro for which I’ll absolutely die if I don’t get it) and a new game mode, which sees players facing off in teams of four against waves of AI-controlled Omnic opponents in Tracer’s first-ever mission with the team seven years prior to the game’s current setting. Last Halloween’s PVE event was a blast to play, and this one looks even better. Hit the link up below for a look at the sweet new skins as well as the official trailer.

https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/events/uprising/

Latest Dragon Quest Lets Players Choose Their Preferred Art Style

We may or may not ever see it outside of Japan, but Square Enxi is making some surprising decisions regarding the upcoming Dragon Quest, which is a series far more popular in the Land of the Rising Sun than it is here in the states. Not only will DQXI be released in a special edition bundle that includes both the PS4 and 3DS versions of the game, it will be playable in any one of three distinct art styles. The PS4 version includes high-res 3D graphics, as you expect, but the 3DS game can be played in either a cell-shaded aesthetic or as a classic, SNES-style isometric JRPG. It’s pretty wild, and worth checking out the trailer even if you’re not a fan of the series.

The Quest Log: April 4, 2017

Welcome, Gamers, to our first Quest Log of April. Looking for what’s going on in gaming news? You’ve come to the right place.

Destiny 2 DLC Launch Dates Leak

Redditor /u/noblesteeda posted on the Destiny subreddit an image of what appears to be an official dossier from Bungie to GameStop regarding their upcoming launch and post-launch plans for Destiny 2. The document also details what specific cosmetic customizations for Destiny 1 guardians will carry over into the sequel (which is mostly just a confirmation of what we’ve seen before) and a pre-order bonus exclusive to GameStop. More interesting, however, is the language surrounding the optional season pass that Bungie naturally wants to incentivize players to buy. The pass will grant gamers access to the first two planned expansion packs, the first of which is due this winter, with another one due next Spring. If that seems like a relatively short time to release two full-blown expansions packs (it probably is), remember that they did something similar for the original game’s release.

https://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/62wxco/destiny_2s_expansions_will_release_winter_2017/

Blizzard Teasing April 11 Event in Overwatch

Yesterday, the official Overwatch Twitter account tweeted out a 20-second video that seems to be teasing… something. Some keen fans noticed what appears to be an Omnic-themed (the Omnics being the sentient AI race in Overwatch lore) skin for Tracer, and a post on Facebook by the game’s lead character artist has only fueled the fires on that hope. The game’s one-year anniversary is just around the corner, so it’d make sense to see some a celebratory seasonal event. But will that event also include Doomfist?

8-bit Bayonetta Launches on Steam, Accompanies Countdown Clock

In what initially looked like an April Fool’s Day prank, Sega have released 8-bit Bayonetta on Steam. The game, which is free to play, sees players battling waves of enemies in just one environment and features sprite-based artwork that is reminiscent of classic action platformers (albeit not actually 8-bit, by the looks of it). It’s a fun diversion, but what’s more interesting to fans of Platinum Games’ stylish shoot-em-up is the countdown clock that appeared on Sega’s official site around the very same time the mini game launched.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/567090/

BioWare Lays out Plans for Post-launch Andromeda

In an official press release today, Aaryn Flynn, the general manager of BioWare, laid out their plans to support and improve upon Mass Effect: Andromeda post-launch. The hotly anticipated sci-fi RPG has been met with a good deal of controversy, largely stemming around the game’s character animations since it hit shelves just two weeks ago. The first patch, due this Thursday, will allow players to skip ahead when traveling between planets, increase inventory limits, and “improve eye appearance for human and asari characters,” among other changes. Hit up the link below for the full release as well as the patch notes.

https://www.masseffect.com/news/the-journey-ahead?sf53509845=1

 

The Quest Log: March 22, 2017

Welcome back to The Quest Log, where we cover the hottest highlights in gaming news. It’s been a while since our last update, so we’ve got plenty to talk about.

Impassioned Fans Are Modding Red Dead Redemption into GTA V

Over on GTAForums.com, a team of modders called .White have announced a rather ambitious project: modding the entirety of Red Dead Redemption into the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V. Given that Rockstar have never released an official port of their Spaghetti Western masterpiece, the mod might be PC fans’ best shot of actually experiencing the game, assuming Rockstar doesn’t shut it down. .White promises a trailer of the mod will be available this summer.

http://gtaforums.com/topic/883655-wipv-red-dead-redemption-v/

GOG Galaxy Leaves Beta with Version 1.2 Update, Gets Cloud Saves

GOG (formerly Good Old Games) have announced the features to be included in version 1.2 of their optional game client and launcher, GOG Galaxy. The DRM-free digital retailer will be bringing cloud-enabled game saves, a true in-game overlay, and a built-in FPS counter among other cool new tools, bringing it even closer to the feature-rich standard of Steam’s mandatory game client. The update also marks the end of the client’s “beta” status.

https://www.gog.com/news/gog_galaxy_biggest_update_yet_marks_the_end_of_beta

Blizzard Are “Open-minded” about Potential Overwatch Map Editor

On the official Blizzard forums, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan responded to a thread in which fans were pining for a map editor to be released for the hit team-based shooter, suggesting it was something they’d like to pursue but that “because Overwatch was made with a brand new engine, this is not a small task or one that can happen any time soon.” He added that they “believe heavily in user-made content,” and that an editor was on their “long-term road map.”

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20753537194#post-15

Nintendo Responds to JoyCon Wireless Problems

Even if they might affect a minority of the hardware, JoyCon wireless connectivity issues have been one of the more widely reported hardware issues plaguing Nintendo’s Switch. If you’re like me and can make your left JoyCon controller disconnect at will, you’ll be pleased to hear that Nintendo’s finally given an official response on the situation, saying that the issue is caused not because of a faulty design but by a “manufacturing variation” that impacted a relatively small number of shipped units. The fix for the issue appears to be relatively simple: a small piece of conductive foam. It’s easy enough that some Redditors are already posting images of their own self fixes, but Nintendo’s also offering to install the foam for impacted users with a turnaround of “less than a week.”

http://kotaku.com/nintendo-says-joycon-wireless-issues-were-caused-by-man-1793530147

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.

https://torrentfreak.com/blizzard-wants-8-5-milion-copyright-damages-from-cheat-maker-170314/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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

https://www.guerrilla-games.com/read/horizon-zero-dawn-global-sales-exceed-2-6-million

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.

http://news.cision.com/starbreeze-ab/r/starbreeze-publishing-signs-otherside-entertainment-s-system-shock–3,c2214464

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.

https://www.bungie.net/en/News/Article/45708/7_The-Road-Ahead

 

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.

https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/blog/20594520

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.

http://news.xbox.com/2017/02/28/introducing-xbox-game-pass/

Overwatch’s Halloween Seasonal Event Starts Today

Details and images of Overwatch‘s second seasonal event have been trickling down from across the web over the last week or so, but no one was quite sure when we could expect to actually play it. Today, Blizzard officially confirmed the event, titled “Overwatch Halloween Terror,” not long after Overpwn.com leaked images of all the new skins available to heroes via the event’s seasonal loot boxes.

Like the Summer Games event that ran through August, “Halloween Terror” adds new skins, emotes, and hero animations to the game that can be unlocked via special loot boxes available only between now and November 1st. These boxes can be unlocked in-game or purchased for real money like normal, and anything unlocked during the event will remain a permanent part of players’ collections after it ends.

Unlike with the last seasonal event, the limited edition unlockables may also be purchased using the in-game currency, albeit at 300% the going rate for the standard ones.

The event also features a special brawl that pits four players in co-op against waves of AI zombie robots. Overwatch’s gameplay has always been limited to PVP before, so a PVE game mode should come as welcome and fun surprise to most.

The content update is included in the game’s latest patch, which also comes with the usual bug fixes and balance changes, and is available right freaking now.

I’m really crossing my fingers for that Mercy skin, but heaven help me: that Mei highlight intro is adorable!

Things I Wish I Knew When First Playing Overwatch

Overwatch has been doing a good job of occupying my time. Whether it’s the variety the game provides with its colorful cast of characters, or the thrill of opening a loot box; the game has me hooked. If you’re first starting out or just needing that extra edge, here are a few tips I wish I knew when I first started out in Overwatch.

Play as Every Character at Least Once.

First off, I recommend playing at least one match with each character. By doing this, you will naturally familiarize yourself with each character’s abilities, movement and their ultimate. Exposing yourself to each character’s play style will also teach you how to compliment others on a team, or exploit weaknesses in enemy characters. This leads to my next tip…

Find at Least One Favorite in Every Category of Character.

 Photo Credit: alexnegrea.blogspot.com
Photo Credit: alexnegrea.blogspot.com

Overwatch’s characters are broken down into class categories: Offensive, Defensive, Tank, and Support. Find at least one favorite in each category and practice with them. This will allow you to fill out your teams needs, without being at a disadvantage by learning a new character. You will always have a fall back character to switch into mid game; giving the opposing team a different look, or providing your team with that key support character they needed to make a push for the objective.

Winning Objectives is Top Priority.

Speaking of objectives, they are top priority in Overwatch. While focusing on kills is helpful in some games, you should think of kills as more of a byproduct of taking objectives. Everything in Overwatch rewards playing for objectives rather than kills, so prioritize your play accordingly. Don’t sell out an objective to rack up kills. That is an easy way to lose quickly.

Focus on Healers First.

This tip is meant in two ways. First, learning support characters first is the easiest way to learn Overwatch, as it allows you to contribute to your team’s success, at the same time allowing you to hang back and allow more experienced teammates to neutralize the opposing team. The second way you should focus on healers first is in battle. If you are caught in a shootout with a healer and another character, focus on the healer first to increase your chances of survival. Healers can turn most characters into bullet sponges, so kill them first to combat enemies more effectively.

Certain Characters are Meant for Certain Match Types.

Overwatch allows for flexibility as you could play most of the characters in any situation, but you will find some characters excel in particular match types. Turret characters like Bastion, Torbjorn and Symmetra do wonders on defense and are not as effective when attacking objectives. Tank characters are used to push up on objectives and hold down areas, but are mostly ineffective long range. Take each character’s play style, the level design and the objective into consideration to find the strongest team compositions in any given moment.

 Communicate as Much as Possible.

Communication in Overwatch can be the difference in matches. A whole game can be turned around in an instant by coordinating assaults or syncing up ultimate abilities. Calling out enemy positions or simply letting your team know your plans will improve your teamwork and increase your chances of winning dramatically.

Unique Options for Characters

Once you have found some favorite characters, make sure to check out the unique options menu for those characters. You can tweak specific settings for your favorite characters to suit your play style such as auto wall-running for Genji or toggling heals/buffs for Mercy. Be sure to take advantage of these settings as they could help in your quality of play.

Buying Loot Boxes is a Slippery Slope.

Just don’t. Or do. Just don’t ask me how to stop. Please. Help me.