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Shacknews Recent Articles http://www.shacknews.com/rss?recent_articles=1 en-us Steam Link Is Only $1 In This Icey Deal http://www.shacknews.com/article/101784/steam-link-is-only-1-in-this-icey-deal http://www.shacknews.com/article/101784/steam-link-is-only-1-in-this-icey-deal <p>Consoles are heralded for their convenience and simplicity for casual gamers and, with Steam Link and the Steam controller, Valve made an effort to streamline the PC gaming experience. This week, the company is pairing the Steam Link up with Icey, a 2D side-scrolling action adventure that sits at a "Very Positive" rating currently.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Steam Link has had a rough go of it, despite its potential to simplify playing your PC games on any television in your household. If you don't have one, it's being packaged with 2D action-adventure Icey for just $1.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/Icey.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="603" /></div> <p>The full bundle includes Icey for $7.69 and the Steam Link for $1.00, totaling $8.69. There's a shipping charge for the Link, but this is an incredible deal for a device regularly priced at $49.99. The Link works by automatically discovering any PC running Steam once you connect it to your TV and home network. You can hook up your PC to your television directly, of course, but the Steam Link allows for a uncongested entertainment setup in your entertainment spaces while leaving the PC in its dedicated space.</p> <p>This new bundle could give both Icey, which released in <g class="gr_ gr_17 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="17" data-gr-id="17">2016,</g> and the Link some new life. Icey is getting life in another way as well, as the developer&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ICEYtheGame/status/919075394996748294?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&amp;ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fnintendoeverything.com%2Ficey-on-the-way-to-switch%2F" target="_blank">FantaBlade Network revealed</a> that it will be coming to Nintendo Switch and PS4.</p> <p></p> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:55:00 PDT Charles Singletary IDGA Announces Zero Tolerance Sexual Harassment Policy http://www.shacknews.com/article/101783/idga-announces-zero-tolerance-sexual-harassment-policy http://www.shacknews.com/article/101783/idga-announces-zero-tolerance-sexual-harassment-policy <p>Women speaking up about their treatment by trash human being Harvey Weinstein has inspired more to speak&nbsp;up outside of Hollywood. The gaming industry was no exception, with former Naughty Dog artist David Ballard spoke out about being harassed by a lead. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101729/naughty-dog-responds-to-allegations-of-sexual-harassment" target="_blank">developer has since responded</a> but the Internation Game Developers Association has stepped forward to make an official statement inspired by the many horrible accounts coming from the #MeToo movement on social media.</p> <p>The IGDA is a non-profit membership organization that has the mission to "advance the careers and enhance the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community." It's no surprise, then, that the organization is making a statement on harassment across the game industry:</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/IDGA.jpg" alt="IGDAStatement" width="700" height="137" /></div> <p>It's unfortunate this has to be said, but it is the reality. Power is abused in such a way everywhere and it is going to take all hands on deck to cultivate better work environments and professional relationships across the industry.</p> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:55:00 PDT Charles Singletary Mac Mini Lives, According to Apple's CEO Tim Cook http://www.shacknews.com/article/101782/mac-mini-lives-according-to-apples-ceo-tim-cook http://www.shacknews.com/article/101782/mac-mini-lives-according-to-apples-ceo-tim-cook <p>In an email replying to an Apple customer, the company's CEO Tim Cook made some Mac Mini fans rest at ease. "Are we going to see anything in the pipeline anytime soon?" asked the Apple fan. Tim replied with the usual Applespeak about not sharing details about future products, but did reassure Mac Mini fans that, "we do plan for Mac Mini to be an important part of our product line going forward." Check out the full exchange below.&nbsp;</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/23324-29308-timcookmacmini-800x505-l.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="442" /> <p class="caption">Image courtesy of&nbsp;<a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/10/19/tim-cook-email-claims-mac-mini-important-part-of-apples-product-matrix" target="_blank">appleinsider</a></p> </div> <p>Do you own a Mac Mini? Let us know some of the things you love about it in the comments section!</p> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:45:00 PDT Asif Khan Rock'em, Sock'em Robots: The Truth Behind the Mecha Fight http://www.shacknews.com/article/101781/rockem-sockem-robots-the-truth-behind-the-mecha-fight http://www.shacknews.com/article/101781/rockem-sockem-robots-the-truth-behind-the-mecha-fight <p>For over two years, people all over the world have been waiting to see the first giant robot fight. The US challenged Japan to the brawl and the two engineering teams got to work preparing for the match.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101691/watch-the-giant-robot-superfight-on-twitch-next-week" target="_blank">Last week the fight was streamed live</a> but, unfortunately, it turns out there were some&nbsp;extensive edits involved.</p> <p>Stifling&nbsp;the event's excitement just a wee bit,&nbsp;<a href="https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/kz3epa/giant-robot-battle-livestream-japan-us-staged-debunked" target="_blank">Motherboard reports</a> that the giant robot fight was filmed over a number of days and edited down. The fights themselves were real, but these giant&nbsp;robots needed repairs in-between conflicts. The match was accused of being scripted and one particular moment where a section of scaffolding falls over and endangers onlookers certainly seemed to be set up.</p> <p><span>"The duel was filmed over a number of days, but all of the repair time was cut out," Oehrlein said in an email. "The action was real and we aimed to create the most entertaining fight possible. We're letting the video speak for itself!"</span></p> <p><span>Despite a couple disappointments, this was still a fairly cool idea. The mobility of the giant robots leaves a lot to be desired but, hopefully, engineers will continue to improve things. Maybe even get some <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101764/deepmind-ai-alphago-zero-is-mastering-go-by-playing-with-itself" target="_blank">Deepmind AI involved</a>.</span></p> <p><span><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Z-ouLX8Q9UM"></iframe></span></p> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:20:00 PDT Charles Singletary This Weekend in Esports: What to Watch from 10/20-10/22 http://www.shacknews.com/article/101776/this-weekend-in-esports-what-to-watch-from-1020-1022 http://www.shacknews.com/article/101776/this-weekend-in-esports-what-to-watch-from-1020-1022 <p>Welcome to This Weekend in Esports, a brief overview of what to watch in the world of competitive gaming for the coming weekend.</p> <p>This weekend marks a big weekend in esports, so big that it's hard to keep this entry to just its usual handful. So let's not waste any time and jump right in.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/League-Worlds2017.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <h2>World Championships 2017 - Quarterfinals</h2> <p><b>Game</b>: League of Legends<br /><b>When</b>: October 20-22, <a href="http://www.lolesports.com/en_US/worlds/world_championship_2017/schedule/elim/Quarterfinals" target="blank">Full schedule</a><br /><b>Where to watch</b>: <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/riotgames" target="blank">Twitch.tv/RiotGames</a></p> <p>The great North American hope is all but dead for Worlds. Both Immortals and Team SoloMid crashed down to Earth in the group stages. Cloud9 managed to make it in, but not before it was obliterated by perennial League powerhouse SK telecom T1.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p>.<a href="https://twitter.com/SKT_Huni?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SKT_Huni</a> teleports in for the backdoor and wins the game for <a href="https://twitter.com/sktelecom_t1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sktelecom_t1</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Worlds2017?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Worlds2017</a> <a href="https://t.co/9WqckG4Tzs">pic.twitter.com/9WqckG4Tzs</a></p> &mdash; lolesports (@lolesports) <a href="https://twitter.com/lolesports/status/919470132912672768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 15, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Cloud9 will look to stay alive by facing Team WE on Sunday.</p> <p>Prior to that, Fnatic will look to continue its hot streak, taking on Royal Never Give Up. Nearly left for dead at the start of the group stages, Fnatic bounced back in a big way and now looks to punch its ticket into the semifinals.</p> <hr /> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/hpl-denver-blog-1120x350.png" alt="" width="700" height="219" style="undefined" /></div> <h2>Halo Championship Series - Fall 2017 Finals</h2> <p><b>Game</b>: Halo 5: Guardians<br /><b>When</b>: October 20-22, 11:30AM PT<br /><b>Where to watch</b>: <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/halo" target="blank">Twitch.tv/Halo</a></p> <p>There's excitement in the air for Halo, fresh off 343 Industries announcing its plans for the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101752/halo-5-november-update-adds-local-server-4k-esports-skins-and-more">2018 HCS season</a>. But the 2017 season is rolling on, with the Halo Championship Series stopping at DreamHack Denver for the Fall 2017 Finals.</p> <p>Team EnVyUs rides in with all the momentum in the world, riding a 7-0 undefeated streak in the regular season. They're coming off a big win at HCS Daytona and also won last year's Fall Finals. A $200K prize pool is on the line, with the winning team set to split $70K.</p> <p>But the competition this year will be fierce. Splyce is still fresh off its Summer 2017 Finals victory at DreamHack Atlanta. Meanwhile, Halo powerhouse OpTic Gaming will look to conquer its demons, having only losses to Team Envy and Splyce on their resumes in recent months. Outside of those losses, OpTic remains the most feared team in the HCS and they'll look to fix up those blemishes on their record this weekend.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l13BSHitcJU?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h2>H1Z1 Invitational 2017</h2> <p><b>Game</b>: H1Z1: King of the Kill<br /><b>When</b>: October 21-22, 2:00PM PT<br /><b>Where to watch</b>: <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/h1z1kotk" target="blank">Twitch.tv/H1Z1KotK</a></p> <p>This weekend is TwitchCon and Daybreak Games is celebrating by returning with one of the event's most popular esports tournaments. The H1Z1 Invitation will bring out some of the top content creators and broadcasters from across both the H1Z1 spectrum, as well as Twitch as a whole. The fun begins with the All-Stars tournament, which will feature noteworthy Twitch streamers like Summit1G, Nadeshot, SeaNanners, and Shacknews Chatty community favorite DrDisRespect. They'll compete for a $200K prize pool on Saturday afternoon.</p> <p>On Sunday, the top players in the H1Z1 esports world will do battle for a $250K prize pool. Look for inboxes and radek to defend their championships against 73 other competitors, as they look to survive against the world's zombies, the elements, and each other.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ThrrYKPmIQ4?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h2>2017 Classic Tetris World Championship</h2> <p><b>Game</b>: Tetris (NES)<br /><b>When</b>: October 22, 2PM PT<br /><b>Where to watch</b>: <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/classictetris" target="blank">Twitch.tv/ClassicTetris</a></p> <p>It's that time of year, where the best players in the Tetris world come together to prove their retro dominance. The eighth annual Classic Tetris World Championship is set to take place at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, where competitors from around the globe compete in the classic NES version of Tetris, competing in one-on-one battles to determine the ultimate Tetris player and who will walk home with the $1,000 grand prize.</p> <p>The CTWC is always an intense and entertaining competition. This year, six-time winner and current defending world champion Jonas Neubauer will be ready to put on another show. His competition will include 2014 champion Harry Hong, as well as European champion Jani Herlevi and Japanese Tetris Grand Master Koryan.</p> <p>Chris Tang and James Chen (yes, <i>that</i> <a href="https://twitter.com/jchensor" target="blank">James Chen</a>) will be on the call this coming Sunday.</p> <hr /> <p>That's a small sample of what to watch for in the world of esports this weekend. What will you be watching? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.</p> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 07:30:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Life is Strange: Before the Storm - 'Brave New World' Impressions http://www.shacknews.com/article/101779/life-is-strange-before-the-storm---brave-new-world-impressions http://www.shacknews.com/article/101779/life-is-strange-before-the-storm---brave-new-world-impressions <p><i>The following impressions continue our ongoing review of Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Be sure to catch up with our impressions for <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101204/life-is-strange-before-the-storm---awake-impressions">Awake</a>.</i></p> <hr /> <p>If there's a running theme to Life is Strange: Before the Storm, it's the meaning of fatherhood and the importance of a stable family. And it's what happens when any of those elements are thrown out of balance. These themes were prominent throughout the game's second episode, 'Brave New World,' and they helped make the middle part of this three-chapter story into a compelling tale, even if it did feel a bit drawn out by the end.</p> <p>'Brave New World' picks up the day after the events of the first episode. As one would imagine, the opening of this episode dealt with the fallout from Chloe and Rachel's wild day out. It helped fill in one noteworthy gap from the original game, explaining how Chloe Price became a Blackwell outcast.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/E2_S02AJunkyard - leaning backwards.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>From a storytelling perspective, 'Brave New World' continues to tell the continuing downward spiral of many of Life is Strange's characters. And over the course of the story, it's not merely limited to Chloe or even Rachel Amber. Nearly everybody in the story shows that they're having major issues, noticeably worse off than when the story started. That includes the Blackwell students, Chloe's mother, Frank the drug dealer, and several other members of the supporting cast.</p> <p>Their conflicts parallel with Chloe's, showing that while she's going through serious issues, she's not the only one with problems. And over the course of the story, Chloe is given the chance to empathize, commiserate, and relate to those other people's problems. This second episode of Before the Storm does what most of the entire original game was unable to do. It made Chloe Price a likable character. Remember that in the original game, she often came across as self-centered and selfish. 'Brave New World' bucks that trend, allowing Chloe to show genuine growth, without overly compromising her fiery spirit.</p> <p>In terms of game mechanics, Backtalk was a welcome new idea in Before the Storm's first episode. But with the mechanic now firmly introduced, Deck Nine is able to make more effective use of it in the second one. That's because at several points during this episode, the Backtalk mechanic is presented as a viable choice, but not necessarily the best one. There are times where Chloe can opt to be confrontational, but would actually be better off keeping her mouth shut. It's not only a progression in how the mechanic is presented, but it doubles as an evolution of Chloe's character. In the first episode, it's fun to just run her mouth at every opportunity and see how much she can get away with. In 'Brave New World,' with higher stakes presented over the course of the episode, Chloe is encouraged to be more prudent and find a better solution. It's a brilliant bit of direction, offering the opportunity to display a greater sense of maturity. It also can't be stated enough how much better this works without the rewind mechanic to act as a crutch.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hk9de3ljHnw?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>And there are ample opportunities to see Chloe's growth, as this episode runs the gamut from coming-of-age story to high school drama to whacked-out teen comedy. There's a sequence involving Shakespeare's <i>The Tempest</i> that may be one of the funniest sequences in the series to date. It's followed by a heartfelt scene with Chloe and Rachel that, had the episode ended there, would have concluded the single best episode of the entire series to this point.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the episode kept going for about another 20 minutes. In that time, 'Brave New World' starts to feel like a drag. And while the twist ending (something I'll discuss in greater detail soon) offered a compelling cliffhanger, the entire ending sequence felt unnecessarily padded. So much had happened during 'Brave New World,' I honestly felt like I could have done without that last sequence.</p> <p>There's just one episode of Life is Strange: Before the Storm to go, but what I've seen of it so far is everything that was wonderful and innovative about the original game. Even without the original game's rewind mechanic, it feels like a better story, with clearly-defined character arcs, mysteries abound, and high stakes. With a good final chapter, it stands to be one of the best story-based games of the year. I'm cautiously optimistic, particularly given the original game had <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/91829/life-is-strange-review-selfie-destruction">trouble sticking the landing</a>, but there's a lot to like about this 'Brave New World.'</p> <hr /> <p><i>These impressions are based on a PlayStation 4 code provided by the publisher. Life is Strange: Before the Storm is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One for $16.99 for all three episodes. The game is rated M.</i></p> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Destiny 2 - What is Xur Selling - October 20, 2017 - Week 7 http://www.shacknews.com/article/101780/destiny-2---what-is-xur-selling---october-20-2017---week-7 http://www.shacknews.com/article/101780/destiny-2---what-is-xur-selling---october-20-2017---week-7 <p>No matter how many times he disappoints us, Friday will always be the day we check in on Xur, the Agent of the Nine, to find out what he&rsquo;s selling. We used to have to track him down back in the original Destiny, but Bungie has opted to give Guardians his GPS coordinates each week, so now it&rsquo;s all about his wares. It&rsquo;s still early in the days of Destiny 2, so it&rsquo;s worth checking up to see if Xur might have brought an Exotic that you&rsquo;ve been trying to snag for your favorite class.</p> <h2>Where is Xur?</h2> <p>Even though he&rsquo;s marked on your map, there&rsquo;s a solid chance you&rsquo;re reading this in bed as you wake up for the final workday of the week. Since we had to take the time to track Xur down at 5 a.m. EDT, we might as well tell you where he is as well.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/destiny-2-xur-location-map.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p><strong>Xur can be found on Titan</strong>. He is hanging out near the Rig, near one of the fast travel points. When you open your Director, set a custom waypoint for Xur, then follow it when you spawn in.</p> <h2>What is Xur Selling?</h2> <p>Xur is selling one weapon and three pieces of armor. All are Exotic in nature, and all will cost you those Legendary Shards that you have spilling out of your pockets. The weapon will set you back 29 Legendary Shards, while each armor piece will cost you 23 Legendary Shards. That&rsquo;s 98 Legendary Shards to buy all that he has, which is peanuts at the rate you&rsquo;re likely dismantling Legendary weapons.</p> <p>Below is what Xur is selling this week:</p> <ul> <li>Exotic Auto Rifle: Sweet Business</li> <li>Exotic Hunter Chest Armor: Raiden Flux</li> <li>Exotic Titan Gauntlets: Doom Fang Pauldron</li> <li>Exotic Warlock Gauntlets: Winter's Guile</li> </ul> <h2>What Should You Buy?</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/destiny-2-xur-agent-nine.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The answer to this will always be the same; you should buy everything you don&rsquo;t own. Destiny 2 will go through many updates and patches, and the most useless weapon or armor piece today could make its way into the meta tomorrow. It&rsquo;s best that you try to own every Exotic item in the game, so don&rsquo;t shy away from Xur just because you don&rsquo;t think you need something.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re on a budget, which you shouldn&rsquo;t be, you ought to prioritize by snagging the weapon if you don&rsquo;t have it, and any armor for your main class.</p> <p>For more, read our <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101225/destiny-2-complete-strategy-guide" title="Destiny 2 Complete Strategy Guide">Destiny 2 complete strategy guide</a>, filled with information that will help you make it through PvE and PvP activities that you frequent the most.</p> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 02:07:00 PDT Bill Lavoy Here's Everything Featured in the Team Fortress 2 'Jungle Inferno' Update http://www.shacknews.com/article/101778/heres-everything-featured-in-the-team-fortress-2-jungle-inferno-update http://www.shacknews.com/article/101778/heres-everything-featured-in-the-team-fortress-2-jungle-inferno-update <p>Earlier this week, Valve announced that Team Fortress 2 would head down to the tropical jungles of <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101736/team-fortress-2-gets-a-change-of-scenery-with-jungle-inferno-update">Mercenary Park</a>. The highlights of the first day's reveals centered around the game's new maps, created by both Valve and the TF2 community. Now that the rest of the week has unfolded, it's time to round up everything that will be featured in the Jungle Inferno update.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YHf7e67T54Y?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h2>Maps</h2> <p>The following maps will be made available with the Jungle Inferno update:</p> <ul> <li><b>Mercenary Park</b> (Control Point)(Created by Valve)</li> <li><b>Lazarus</b> (King of the Hill)(Created by Aeon 'Void' Bollig, Fuzzymellow, Tim 'SedimentarySocks' BL, Tim 'Sky' Dunnett, Benjamin 'Badgerpig' Blaholtz, and Stiffy360)</li> <li><b>Mossrock</b> (Attack/Defend)(Created by Freyja, E-Arkham, Michal 'AsG Alligator' Byczko, PEAR, Andrew 'Dr. Spud' Thompson, Jake 'Xi.Cynx' Handlovic, Fuzzymellow, Aeon 'Void' Bollig, Neal 'Blade x64' Smart, and Harlen 'UEAKCrash' Linke)</li> <li><b>Banana Bay</b> (Payload Race)(Created by Neal 'Blade x64' Smart, Jennifer 'Neddement' Burnett, PEAR, Stiffy360, Fuzzymellow, Aeon 'Void' Bollig, and Freyja)</li> <li><b>Enclosure</b> (Payload)(Created by Michal 'AsG Alligator' Byczko, Aeon 'Void' Bollig, E-Arkham, PEAR, Stiffy360, Andrew 'Dr. Spud' Thompson, Fuzzymellow, Maxime Dupais, Freyja, and Ioan 'Crowbar' Sokolov)</li> <li><b>Brazil</b> (King of the Hill)(Created by Jeremie 'Ravage' Nicolas, Tyler 'Yyler" King, Sean 'Heyo' Cutino, and Nassim 'Nassimo' Sadoun)</li> </ul> <h2>New Weapons</h2> <p>Valve recently pit the Heavy and the Pyro against each other during the <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/meetyourmatch/war.php" target="blank">Meet Your Match</a> update to see who would emerge with new gear. The Pyro emerged victorious and is set to receive a new bundle of weaponry, including a cool new jetpacks. Because jetpacks rule!</p> <p>Here are the new <b>Pyro</b> weapons that players can pick up, via free contracts:</p> <ul> <li><b>The Dragon's Fury</b> (Primary) - This is a single-shot flamethrower. Scoring consecutive hits reduces the reload time and increases its damage output.</li> <li><b>The Thermal Thruster</b> (Secondary) - Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a fire-obsessed maniac! This jetpack allows the Pyro to take to the skies! It won't deal damage... unless the Pyro lands on somebody. Then it'll deal 3x falling damage!</li> <li><b>The Gas Passer</b> (Secondary) - This is exactly what it sounds like. The Pyro basically farts out a giant gas cloud. That cloud can then be ignited, burning any enemies caught in its range. That's <i>any</i> enemy, including other Pyros!</li> <li><b>The Hot Hand</b> (Melee) - What did the five fingers say to the face? SLAP! That's what the Hot Hand does, not only granting a Pyro a speed boost for every successful slap, but also announcing that slap in the kill feed. Unfortunately, the Pyro gets a 20 percent damage penalty when this weapon is equipped, so you'd better make sure all those Charlie Murphies don't catch you.</li> </ul> <p>The Pyro is also getting some tweaks to his (or her) existing arsenal. All fire effects are getting a visual boost. Afterburn effects are now based on how long the flamethrower hit an enemy. Airblast has been tweaked for better targeting, as well as refined physics. Both Pyros and their targets should notice a different in how airblasting works.</p> <p>Finally, the Heavy doesn't come out completely empty handed. For his second place finish, he gets:</p> <ul> <li><b>The Second Banana</b> (Secondary) - Completing a free contract gives all players the Second Banana. It works just like the Sandvich, except that it only replenishes half the health. However, it recharges twice as fast.</li> </ul> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/Pyro-Weapons.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="322" /></div> <h2>Taunts</h2> <p>The following Taunts will be made available with the Jungle Inferno update:</p> <ul> <li><b>Yeti Punch</b> (All classes)(Created by Valve)</li> <li><b>Yeti Smash</b> (All classes)(Created by Valve)</li> <li><b>The Dueling Banjo</b> (Engineer)(Created by SedimentarySocks and Nonamesleft~)</li> <li><b>The Jumping Jack</b> (Engineer)(Created by The Winglet, XB33, Zxo Pink, Karma Charger, and SedimentarySocks)</li> <li><b>The Soviet Strongarm</b> (Heavy)(Created by Hypo, Codenator, and FiveEyes)</li> <li><b>The Russian Arms Race</b> (Heavy)(Created by _kyle)</li> <li><b>The Headcase</b> (Pyro)(Created by Hypo, donhonk, and Greg)</li> <li><b>Gas Blast</b> (Pyro)(Created by Valve) <i>(Note: This is a Kill Taunt that comes free with the Thermal Thruster.)</i></li> </ul> <p>Remember that Taunts are earned either via random drops, can be found inside crates, or purchased through the Mann Co. Store.</p> <h2>The Jungle Inferno Campaign Pass</h2> <p>The Jungle Inferno Campaign Pass gives users 36 skill-based contracts, allowing those users to progress their way towards premium rewards. While previous campaigns had players complete a couple of tasks at a time, all 36 contracts are available out of the gate. Players can easily keep track of individual contracts through the new ConTracker item.</p> <p>Individuals that have trouble completing contracts can now opt to work with friends. Friends in a player's party or on the same server can assist with contracts, with both players receiving credit for a completed task.</p> <p>Completing tasks will earn special items or Blood Money, a new currency that can be exchanged for War Paints and War Paint Cases. War Paint is a new item that allows players to paint their weaponry. Like most other items in Team Fortress 2, they come in standard and Unusual variety. Paints and the like can be stored in Cosmetic Cases.</p> <p>Here are some examples of War Paint colors that players can work towards earning:</p> <ul> <li>Anodized Aloha</li> <li>Bamboo Brushed</li> <li>Croc Dusted</li> <li>Leopard Printed</li> <li>Macaw Masked</li> <li>Mannana Peeled</li> <li>Park Pigmented</li> <li>Pi&ntilde;a Polished</li> <li>Sax Waxed</li> <li>Tiger Buffed</li> <li>Yeti Coated</li> <li>Bank Rolled</li> <li>Bloom Buffed</li> <li>Bonk Varnished</li> <li>Cardboard Boxed</li> <li>Clover Camo'd</li> <li>Dream Piped</li> <li>Fire Glazed</li> <li>Freedom Wrapped</li> <li>Kill Covered</li> <li>Merc Stained</li> <li>Pizza Polished</li> <li>Quack Canvassed</li> <li>Star Crossed</li> </ul> <p>Other campaign rewards include the usual hats and outfits. These include:</p> <ul> <li>The Kathman-Hairdo (Heavy)</li> <li>The Himalayan Hair Shirt (Heavy)</li> <li>The Abominable Snow Pants (Heavy)</li> <li>The Saxton (Any class)</li> <li>The Monstrous Mementos (Any class)</li> </ul> <h2>The Rest (Including Major Balance Updates)</h2> <p>As for the rest of the game, Valve gone to painstaking measures to balance nearly every class and weapon in the game. This goes back all the way to nearly the beginning of the game, with the Spy's Dead Ringer, the Scout's Sandman, the Soldier's Cow Mangler 5000, the Medic's Vita-Saw (which now uses collectible "Organs"), and the Heavy's multitude of Miniguns, among many other changes. For all of these adjustments, check out the game's recent <a href="http://www.teamfortress.com/jungleinferno/notes.php" target="blank">patch notes</a>.</p> <p>The Team Fortress 2 'Jungle Inferno' update will be available Friday, October 20.</p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:45:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Manhunt and PUBG Clash In Darwin Project's Closed Alpha http://www.shacknews.com/article/101777/manhunt-and-pubg-clash-in-darwin-projects-closed-alpha http://www.shacknews.com/article/101777/manhunt-and-pubg-clash-in-darwin-projects-closed-alpha <p>On the wave of PUBG's success, the inevitable growth of the battle royale genre is upon us. Darwin Project is the latest new challenger, embracing the genre's popularity as a spectator sport fully and the closed beta for this competitive survival shooter goes live in November.</p> <p>In Darwin Project, civilization is preparing for an impending ice age when a new project comes to fruition. It's a new type of live-entertainment that forces participants to survive the cold while fighting with other participants to be the last one standing. With the proposed features including crafting tools, setting traps, and tracking opponents, Darwin Project sounds a bit more akin to the Epic Games'&nbsp;free-to-play Battle Royale mode with the environment being more of a threat to your survival. Another wrinkle here is that the development team wants to encourage players to negotiate temporary alliances with other players along the way toward being the last standing.</p> <p>The closed alpha runs from November 10 9:00 a.m. PT to November 12 9:00 p.m. PT. The development team Scavengers will also take to Twitch during the weekend to speak about the game. The full game will be available both PC and Xbox One at its launch, but this alpha is for PC players only. The release date is slated for spring 2018. Sign up for the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.scavengers.ca/" target="_blank">game's newsletter</a> to stay informed on chances to participate.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/RllGB0j27f0"></iframe></p> <p></p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:15:00 PDT Charles Singletary Only Took An Hour For World's First Finish of Destiny 2 Prestige Raid http://www.shacknews.com/article/101775/only-took-an-hour-for-worlds-first-finish-of-destiny-2-prestige-raid http://www.shacknews.com/article/101775/only-took-an-hour-for-worlds-first-finish-of-destiny-2-prestige-raid <p>This week, Bungie introduced the new&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101765/destiny-2-leviathan-prestige-raid-changes-and-differences" target="_blank">Prestige modifier for Raids</a> in Destiny 2, extending the life and excitement of the extremely difficult team undertaking. The expectation for some is that the new heightened&nbsp;difficult would take even the best teams some time to overcome but, alas, a fireteam&nbsp;took down the Prestige Raid a bit over an hour after it went live.</p> <p>The Redeem Clan completed the incredible task with very little time to spare because the next best team finished four minutes later, <a href="https://www.polygon.com/2017/10/18/16499472/destiny-2-leviathan-prestige-raid-world-first-time" target="_blank">Polygon reports</a>. Guardians Modern Tryhard, Ehroaar, I Indica I, Sweatcicle, Senio Snubby, and Gladd&nbsp;are forever recognized for this feat:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p>Congratulations to Clan Redeem for being World First to complete the Prestige Raid... by a margin of only four minutes! Good Game. <a href="https://t.co/opCbO0dP9w">pic.twitter.com/opCbO0dP9w</a></p> &mdash; Bungie (@Bungie) <a href="https://twitter.com/Bungie/status/920726803840352256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 18, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Redeem is a clan with a speedrunning history, earning World First titles for Wrath of the Machine Raid and other events in the original Destiny as well. Unfortunately, one the members of the team shared that he was exploiting something called the "coil glitch" during the run. Polygon reached out to Bungie to see if the title would be stripped from Redeem and a Bungie Community Manager had this to say:</p> <p><span>&ldquo;We have seen the reports that an ammo exploit was used today in the Prestige Raid,&rdquo; Cozmo23 wrote. &ldquo;This was not the specific exploit we were checking for and we don&rsquo;t currently have the ability to detect it. Tomorrow we will release the top 3 finishers in the TWAB. You can make your own decision as to who should be celebrated.&rdquo;</span></p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:20:00 PDT Charles Singletary Nintendo-ing the Holidays: Hands-on with the Switch and 3DS Holiday Lineup http://www.shacknews.com/article/101774/nintendo-ing-the-holidays-hands-on-with-the-switch-and-3ds-holiday-lineup http://www.shacknews.com/article/101774/nintendo-ing-the-holidays-hands-on-with-the-switch-and-3ds-holiday-lineup <p>Nintendo is gearing up for the holiday season across both of its major platforms: The Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS. Of course, Super Mario Odyssey is set to come out next Friday, October 27 and Shacknews recently got to check that out <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101666/super-mario-odyssey-preview-getting-your-sea-legs">last week</a>. Earlier this week, however, Shacknews had a chance to try out a handful of other games set to come to Nintendo's platforms. Here are some quick hit impressions on those titles.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/Switch_FEWarriors_ND0913_SCRN_05_bmp_jpgcopy.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <h2>Fire Emblem Warriors (Nintendo Switch)</h2> <p>The Dynasty Warriors formula can be a lot of fun in small doses. Sometimes, the urge is just there to wipe out enemy soldiers by the hundreds. Nintendo first tapped into this hunger with <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/86319/hyrule-warriors-review-the-legend-of-dynasty">Hyrule Warriors</a> to heavy praise. Now it's time to look at one of Nintendo's other medieval sword and sorcery franchises, Fire Emblem.</p> <p>Fire Emblem Warriors plays similarly to the Hyrule Warriors and any other Dynasty Warriors game, with players utilizing strikes and combos to send enemies tumbling by the dozen. Familiar Fire Emblem characters show up, some as allies and others like adversaries. This particular demo ended with a confrontation with Corrin, who was flanked by hundreds of allies.</p> <p>It's a novelty itch, but nothing out of this hands-on seemed to indicate much depth. It didn't feel like anything I hadn't already gotten out of Hyrule Warriors. But for Fire Emblem fans, Fire Emblem Warriors is set to release this coming Friday, October 20 on Nintendo Switch (and also on Nintendo 3DS).</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/n16aNy1O65Y?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <hr /> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/Switch_RL_screen3_png_jpgcopy.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <h2>Rocket League (Nintendo Switch)</h2> <p>Rocket League fans should know what they're in for with the Nintendo Switch version. It's the same motorized soccer action that's been delighting PlayStation and PC owners for years. That's definitely <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/90338/rocket-league-review-premium-league">not a bad thing</a>. It's still the same adrenaline-fueled action as the other platforms and scoring a goal off a nitro boost is still just as thrilling as ever.</p> <p>So what's different about the Nintendo Switch version of the Psyonix hit? The biggest feature is the Switch itself, allowing players to take Rocket League along on the go. For the purposes of this demo, I was able to try it out in handheld mode, noticing no loss of graphical fidelity or performance hitches. While Psyonix had previously pointed to <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100428/rocket-league-wont-lose-performance-when-docked-on-nintendo-switch">graphical tweaks</a>, I certainly didn't notice any during my time with the game. It played just fine and being able to take Rocket League along with me anywhere for local multiplayer action is a tantalizing proposition.</p> <p>Add the idea of crossplay and there's plenty of reason to buy another version of this game. Rocket League is scheduled for a holiday release on the Switch.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/o5YyUA525tI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <hr /> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/3DS_MarioPartyTop100_ND0913_SCRN_1_bmp_jpgcopy.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="420" /></div> <h2>Mario Party: The Top 100 (Nintendo 3DS)</h2> <p>Mario Party: The Top 100 is a collection of Mario Party mini-games without the filler. There were few duds I encountered in my hands-on time with this collection, leaving only the best mini-games from Mario Party's ten main titles.</p> <p>My sole issue here is that most of the "party" element has been taken out. There are no traditional Mario Party boards to play with here. There's a mode where players can tread across board game-style worlds, designed in straight lines and meant to go through each mini-game one-by-one. There's another mode where there's a game board, designed closer to a traditional Mario Party game, where everybody moves simultaneously in an effort to grab Stars. However, the real estate on this board is cramped and doesn't leave much to the imagination.</p> <p>The fun looks to be solely in the mini-games this time around. And the mini-games are fun, especially with other people. Those looking for a traditional Mario Party experience may find themselves wanting with this game, but those looking to mess around with the series' best mini-games will find what they're looking for.</p> <p>Maybe Nintendo's saving the traditional Mario Party board game style for the eventual Nintendo Switch version. (At least I hope there's a Nintendo Switch version in the works.)</p> <p>Mario Party: The Top 100 comes to Nintendo 3DS on November 10.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AHTCnDycWYg?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <hr /> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/Switch_XBC2_ND0913_SCRN_06_CS01_bmp_jpgcopy.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <h2>Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Nintendo Switch)</h2> <p>Let's go back in time a couple of years ago. Xenoblade Chronicles X was <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/92329/xenoblade-chronicles-x-review-x-ceptional">an insanely overlooked gem</a> on the Wii U. It was largely left off many Game of the Year conversations, mainly because the game was a 100+ hour affair that released at the beginning of December.</p> <p>Snap back to reality and, whoops, it looks like another Xenoblade Chronicles game is set to offer those same kind of thrills... and also release at the start of December.</p> <p>And make no mistake, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 looks amazing. The worlds are every bit as vast as they were in the Wii U version, the enemies look just as imposing as ever, and the combat looks to have been refined. Parties would fight together, able to hit hard with their normal attacks, but also able to set up special moves with well-timed strikes and by working in conjunction with CPU-controlled partners. Pulling off these special moves would trigger unique animation sequences, in which players would watch their damage multipliers escalate before their characters pulled off an explosive finale.</p> <p>The thing is, all of this fanfare was just to defeat a single run-of-the-mill rhino in the wild. And just like in Xenoblade Chronicles X, it looks like even the average enemy can assert total dominance in the opening hours of this game. If Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes as long to get into as its predecessor, there's a chance it could turn off more impatient adventurers. But remember that once Xenoblade Chronicles gets going, it <i>goes!</i> It is a fun ride once it gets started and that looks to be the same case with this new Nintendo Switch version.</p> <p>I've merely scratched the surface of what the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 experience will entail, so let's wait together to see what the rest of the game will feature. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will come to Nintendo Switch on December 1.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hXGTJgXPhm0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Xbox One and PS4 Bow To Nintendo Switch Sales Headed Into Holidays http://www.shacknews.com/article/101773/xbox-one-and-ps4-bow-to-nintendo-switch-sales-headed-into-holidays http://www.shacknews.com/article/101773/xbox-one-and-ps4-bow-to-nintendo-switch-sales-headed-into-holidays <p>The Nintendo Switch,&nbsp;which received a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101767/nintendo-switch-system-update-400-adds-data-transfer-and-video-capture" target="_blank">pretty significant system update</a> yesterday, continues to defy the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101238/pokemon-ceo-told-nintendo-the-switch-would-fail" target="_blank">gloom and doom predictions of many</a>&nbsp;with strong software and hardware sales. According to NPDs, the hybrid console can add another month to its streak of victories as it takes the crown for September and sets itself up for strong holiday performance going into October.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://venturebeat.com/2017/10/19/nintendo-switch-outsells-sony-and-microsoft-heading-into-the-holiday-season/" target="_blank">Venturebeat reports</a>&nbsp;that the Nintendo Switch, SNES Classic, and 3DS ran wild via the data provided by The NPD Group, accounting for two-thirds of gaming hardware sales for the month. The Switch specifically topped the NPD charts for the fifth month straight and has now surpassed 2 million sold in the US.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/V8IkiVc0lWM"></iframe></p> <p>Nintendo is headed toward a <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101525/switch-is-leading-nintendo-to-its-best-software-sales-performance-since-95" target="_blank">pretty incredible milestone when it comes to software sales</a>, and this month Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle led the charge for them as the 7th best selling for the month. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also placed 10th and 11th respectively.</p> <p>The train for Nintendo shouldn't be letting up anytime soon with high-profile games like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101725/dooms-release-date-for-nintendo-switch-confirmed" target="_blank">DOOM</a> and Rockstar's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101244/la-noire-getting-vr-case-files-and-ported-to-nintendo-switch" target="_blank">L.A. Noire</a> getting ported to the platform.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101666/super-mario-odyssey-preview-getting-your-sea-legs" target="_blank">Super Mario Odyssey</a> will be out front for new original releases and the game and console bundles with it should power the Switch right through the Holiday season with a comfortable&nbsp;lead over the competition. Hope you snatch up some <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101644/nintendos-stock-at-a-ten-year-high-we-totally-told-you-so" target="_blank">Nintendo stock when we told you to</a>.</p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:15:00 PDT Charles Singletary Marshawn Lynch About To Shoot Some Stormtroopers and S*** in VR http://www.shacknews.com/article/101772/marshawn-lynch-about-to-shoot-some-stormtroopers-and-s-in-vr http://www.shacknews.com/article/101772/marshawn-lynch-about-to-shoot-some-stormtroopers-and-s-in-vr <p>Marshawn Lynch has established himself as one of the most genuine personalities in pop culture, gaining more and more camera time despite becoming popular outside of football because of his disdain for talking to media. His charm has led to him getting his own Bleacher Report-helmed show called No Script and, in the latest episode, Lynch gets introduced to Star Wars in virtual reality.</p> <p>During the second episode of No Script, Star Wars dominated the second half of the 15-minute show. Much to the viewer's delight, Lynch applied his signature humor in Oakland vernacular to a couple voice-overs of Darth Vader is pivotal movie scenes. Before that, though, Marshawn dons an HTC Vive and gets a chance to check out <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/95888/star-wars-trials-on-tatooine-now-out-for-free-on-steam" target="_blank">Trials on Tatooine</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="500" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnoscript%2Fvideos%2F1536375856408453%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Created by Industrial Light and Magic, the visual effects studio known for the iconic effects in the Star Wars films, Trials&nbsp;has players fix the Millennium Falcon and defend RS-D2 from stormtroopers with a lightsaber. ILMxLAB also collaborated recently with location-based VR company The Void for an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101686/be-a-stormtrooper-in-star-wars-secrets-of-the-empire-vr" target="_blank">experienced called Secrets of the Empire</a> where you and up to three friends can experience virtual reality at its most immersive in Disney locations in Florida and California. Watch the No Script episode above and witness Lynch's absolute joy when playing VR.</p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:10:00 PDT Charles Singletary Plex Revamped On Xbox One With New v2 UI http://www.shacknews.com/article/101771/plex-revamped-on-xbox-one-with-new-v2-ui http://www.shacknews.com/article/101771/plex-revamped-on-xbox-one-with-new-v2-ui <p>The Plex Media Server ecosystem has no rival when it comes to serving your media to multiple devices. The staff over at Plex have a version of their app on every major streaming box, smart TV, and console. The Xbox One is no exception and <a href="The Plex Media Server ecosystem has no rival when it comes to serving your media to multiple devices. The staff over at Plex have a version of their app on every major streaming box, smart TV, and console. The Xbox One is no exception and has featured the Plex app for years. Beginning later this week, Xbox users can expect the largest improvement the Plex playback experience has ever seen on consoles with the release of the Plex v2 UI update. The app has received a complete visual re-design that puts the emphasis on posters and art. In a blog post explaining the new features and changes, the developers at Plex go into detail about what makes the v2 UI such an improvement over the previous version of the app. Some of the biggest changes include: Mixed Photo/Video Libraries Now, not only can you view all the unforgettable moments captured in your vacation photos, but you can watch the videos you took during the trip, too. All within the same library! Alexa Compatibility Compatibility with Alexa means you can freely lose the remote into the deep abyss of couch cushions with wild abandon; just talk to her, already! Better Subtitle Compatibility The app can now display many subtitle formats without using additional server resources. Enjoy faster playback and less whirring! Xbox Gamertags Not sure you want everyone to know how long you&rsquo;ve been playing Goat Simulator? For the internet sleuths in your life, Plex accounts are no longer tied to your Xbox gamertags. There&rsquo;s no need to link accounts, and you can enjoy your newfound freedom! The update will be downloaded automatically for Xbox One Plex users within the next week, but the eager beavers who can&rsquo;t wait can manually grab the update from the Microsoft Store by searching for &ldquo;Plex&rdquo;. Using Alexa to start up your pirated Blu-ray rip of House Party 3 sure sounds like fun." target="_blank">has featured the Plex app for years</a>. Beginning later this week, Xbox users can expect the largest improvement the Plex playback experience has ever seen on consoles with the release of the Plex v2 UI update.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/plexinline2.png" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>The app has received a complete visual re-design that puts the emphasis on posters and art. In a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.plex.tv/blog/plexbox-one-x-emplexening/" target="_blank">blog post</a> explaining the new features and changes, the developers at Plex go into detail about what makes the v2 UI such an improvement over the previous version of the app. Some of the biggest changes include:</p> <ul> <li>Mixed Photo/Video Libraries</li> <li>Now, not only can you view all the unforgettable moments captured in your vacation photos, but you can watch the videos you took during the trip, too. All within the same library!</li> <li>Alexa Compatibility</li> <li>Compatibility with Alexa means you can freely lose the remote into the deep abyss of couch cushions with wild abandon; just talk to her, already!</li> <li>Better Subtitle Compatibility</li> <li>The app can now display many subtitle formats without using additional server resources. Enjoy faster playback and less whirring!<br />Xbox Gamertags</li> <li>Not sure you want everyone to know how long you&rsquo;ve been playing Goat Simulator? For the internet sleuths in your life, Plex accounts are no longer tied to your Xbox gamertags. There&rsquo;s no need to link accounts, and you can enjoy your newfound freedom!</li> </ul> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/plexinline.png" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>The update will be downloaded automatically for Xbox One Plex users within the next week, but the eager beavers who can&rsquo;t wait can manually grab the update from the Microsoft Store by searching for &ldquo;Plex&rdquo;. Using Alexa to start up your pirated Blu-ray rip of House Party 3 sure sounds like fun. </p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:05:00 PDT Chris Jarrard Star Wars Battlefront 2 Campaign Preview: Inferno Squad Strikes Back http://www.shacknews.com/article/101768/star-wars-battlefront-2-campaign-preview-inferno-squad-strikes-back http://www.shacknews.com/article/101768/star-wars-battlefront-2-campaign-preview-inferno-squad-strikes-back <p>An impassioned, spirited young fighter contemplates her fate from within the walls of a prison cell. As she considers what comes next, she's approached by an officer. She is promised mercy if she grants him the information he seeks. He tells her that she would be an asset to their side, should she ever decide to switch her allegiances. But as she hears his pitch, she maintains her poise. She has a plan, after all. And she's ready for a daring escape.</p> <p>On the surface, this sounds like the plot for a standard Star Wars story. But of course, as revealed earlier this year, the protagonist of this story isn't part of the Rebel Alliance. This is the story of Iden Versio, leader of the Imperial special ops unit known as Inferno Squad and lead woman of the single-player campaign for Star Wars Battlefront II. Shacknews recently had the opportunity to go hands-on with the game's opening minutes to learn more about what players could expect from this Battlefront campaign.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/SPScreenshot_IdenBoardingMC80_wLogo.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>While DICE is in charge of the Battlefront multiplayer and Criterion are working on the game's Arcade and Starfighter Assault modes, the campaign is the brainchild of Motive Studios. This is a brand new development studio under the Electronic Arts umbrella, founded by Jade Raymond. Its first task couldn't be a taller one, but Motive had some bulletpoints in mind when putting the Battlefront story together.</p> <p>Before anything else, the idea was to capture all of the pillars of the Battlefront experience. That means being a trooper, a pilot, and a hero. This is where the creation of Iden Versio's character comes in, even if she isn't necessarily the hero type. The main goal with Iden's story is to craft a story from a unique perspective, noticeably different from the Star Wars side stories seen in the current line of Marvel comics or the "Star Wars Rebels" television series. Iden's story is Star Wars from a soldier's perspective, an idea that Lucasfilm and Motive Studios began shaping since "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" first hit theaters. But while Stormtroopers were only trained for one sole function, Iden and her team needed to be something greater. That led to the creation of Inferno Squad, a special ops team that excelled in multiple areas.</p> <p>That leads back to the game's prologue, with Iden held captive aboard a Rebel vessel. The campaign begins with a cinematic cold open, similar to "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," and the aforementioned interrogation scene. Iden's escape path involves using her iD-10 Protocol Droid (named VZ-626) to tinker around with the Rebel ship. Once VZ opens up Iden's cell, the mission became to find an escape route. Iden could shoot her way across ship with guns blazing or she could take the stealth route, using VZ's droid shock ability to clandestinely take out targets. One area where the Battlefront campaign won me over immediately was the ability to switch between first and third-person perspectives, a feature that I welcome, given that my experience with past Star Wars games mainly involves third-person combat.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/SPVista_Vardos_wLogo.png" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Over the course of the game, Iden could find upgrades inside supply crates. The Star Card system from the multiplayer side of Battlefront is used in the Campaign, as well. The upgrades and custom loadouts here are more suited for single-player combat. For example, the first ability I found was Killstreak Vanguard, an ability that recharges VZ's droid shock faster.</p> <p>Rebels will often fight back in great numbers, more than one would expect from a ragtag group of freedom fighters. Dealing with them in the prologue stage is easy enough, since Iden can shoot at switches to shut doors and leave enemies in the dust. While Iden fights alongside her allies frequently, such as during the Endor mission, Rebels will still show coordinated spirit. Rebel Officers are higher-tier enemies that bolster their allies and can deploy turrets, making them particularly troublesome targets.</p> <p>Each chapter of the game looks to offer multiple objectives and mixes up the action between running around on-foot and piloting a TIE Fighter. Chapter 2, for example, has Iden answering a distress call from a nearby Star Destroyer. After clearing out Y-Wing bombers and X-Wing squadrons, the next objective had her board a Rebel vessel and clear it out by planting explosives. After wrecking the vessel, Iden had to return to her fighter and return to the battle in space, continuing to fight Rebel squadrons until she and her teammates were able to free the captive Star Destroyer.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FNUTWw17rkM?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>While the campaign looks to feature basic Battlefront gameplay, the narrative will be the single-player's main attraction. As mentioned, the story comes from a soldier's perspective and Iden follows the Empire to an almost single-minded degree. However, Emperor Palpatine's death has left the Empire in shambles, with the remaining Imperial officers (including her father) looking to enact the emergency Operation Cinder. Operation Cinder is a mystery to everyone, including Iden and Inferno Squad. As the Empire's secrecy grows and the Imperials grow increasingly desperate to assert their waning power, it's clear that Iden's loyalty will be tested over the duration of the campaign.</p> <p>A robust single-player campaign was one of the original Battlefront's biggest omissions and it looks like Motive is making up for that with the story that they've written for Battlefront II. Iden Versio comes across as a one-dimensional character, blindly loyal to the Empire. But the more the story unfolds, the more it starts to become clear that she's going to have to change or evolve in some way in the wake of the Emperor's death. That has the potential to be a very interesting story and I'm certainly hopeful that Battlefront's story can live up to that promise.</p> <p>Players will get to watch Iden's story unfold when Star Wars Battlefront II arrives on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 17.</p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Toys-To-Life Game Lego Dimensions Ends Prematurely http://www.shacknews.com/article/101770/toys-to-life-game-lego-dimensions-ends-prematurely http://www.shacknews.com/article/101770/toys-to-life-game-lego-dimensions-ends-prematurely <p>Disney Infinity was the first major casualty in the toys-to-life genre, shutting down in 2016. There's no official word just yet, but it looks like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/95120/lego-dimensions-new-expansions-includes-adventure-time-teen-titans-go-sonic-and-more" target="_blank">Lego Dimensions</a> is the latest death and its end is apparently coming a year early.</p> <p>Reported by <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-10-18-the-sad-slow-death-of-lego-dimensions" target="_blank">Eurogamer</a>, there are no formal plans to announce the end of Dimensions headed into the holiday season but TT Games Studio Manager Dave Dootson sent out an email with the following message after what seems to be the last update for the game:</p> <p>"Thanks so much to everyone for making Dimensions possible. As difficult as it has been, it is worth celebrating the incredible achievement it represents in the quality of the game, the amazing blend of IPs and the challenging technical demands it presented. It stands as a real testament to the talent within TT."</p> <p>A grand plan was in place back in October of 2015, but this news comes a year shy of the 3-year blueprint Warner Bros and TT Studios had in place for Lego Dimensions. It had a decent run, but the writing was on the wall in Year One.&nbsp;The toys-to-life genre of games tapped franchises from Spyro The Dragon to Mario and brought an additional layer of retail by encouraging the purchase of unique figurines that add gameplay elements to their associating games. It's with that additional&nbsp;layer that problems arose.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/08bj8rao2AQ"></iframe></p> <p>What set the Lego Dimensions toys-to-life packs apart is essentially what led to its demise. Disney Infinity, Nintendo's Amiibos, and other similar products didn't have an existing company behind them built on toys and could utilize cheaper manufacturing methods for their figures. There's a standard for Legos and their tie-in Dimension packs exuded that same high quality. Those packs in the first year that didn't sell were discounted, but they were already being sold at nearly a loss to stay competitive and any price drops essentially erased what little margin was there.</p> <p>In Year Two, the plan was shifted to cover more franchises like ET, Beetlejuice,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/98870/the-goonies-harry-potter-and-lego-city-expansions-coming-to-lego-dimensions-in-may" target="_blank">and other classics</a> in addition to the popular mainstays, but with a smaller volume for each. This move and others within the year didn't help to fix all of the issues and expectations weren't met. The team even banked on Ghostbusters to help kickstart their new year, but it didn't go as well as they hoped.&nbsp;</p> <p>Instead of suddenly dropping things with unreleased content like Disney Infinity, TT Games returned to making their traditional games while working to release the rest of their planned sets. Year Three was going to be a return to the universe-crossing story of the first year, ending with the release of the fan favorite villain Lord Vortech. Barring some miraculous event, Lego Dimension fans will likely not see more new content beyond this holiday season.</p> <p></p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:55:00 PDT Charles Singletary Date Your Really Hot Weapons In Kitfox Games's Boyfriend Dungeon http://www.shacknews.com/article/101769/date-your-really-hot-weapons-in-kitfox-gamess-boyfriend-dungeon http://www.shacknews.com/article/101769/date-your-really-hot-weapons-in-kitfox-gamess-boyfriend-dungeon <p>Coming hot on the heels of the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101534/dream-daddy-review-who-are-these-people" target="_blank">intriguing and polarizing indie dating simulator Dream Daddy</a>, a new game is aiming to fill our romance meters. Kitfox Games, the indie developer behind The Shrouded Isle and the Kickstarted Moon Hunters, has announced Boyfriend Dungeon where you'll be romancing beautiful people that are also your weapons.</p> <p>On the surface, Boyfriend Dungeon is a procedurally generated dungeon crawler filled with the staples you'd expect: A plethora of weapons, loot, traps, etc. Romance is&nbsp;not something typically highlighted in this genre and Kitfox Games is not only marrying the concept with the genre, it's explicitly aiming to supply an inclusive and tasteful take on gender and sexuality in Boyfriend Dungeon, something the gaming industry (and others) could certainly use a lot more of.</p> <p>From the trailer, the art design and music make Boyfriend Dungeon feel like a charming blend of Disgaea, Persona IV, and any of the modern indie dungeon hack-and-slashes. The game is listed with a 2019&nbsp;release date currently, but that could simply be a placeholder as the team works toward completion. Check out the trailer below which features <g class="gr_ gr_12 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="12" data-gr-id="12">original</g> composition by <g class="gr_ gr_13 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="13" data-gr-id="13">Marskye</g>&nbsp;with vocals from Madeleine McQueen.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-JpWhXoVRVs"></iframe></p> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:45:00 PDT Charles Singletary Nintendo Switch System Update 4.0.0 Adds Data Transfer and Video Capture http://www.shacknews.com/article/101767/nintendo-switch-system-update-400-adds-data-transfer-and-video-capture http://www.shacknews.com/article/101767/nintendo-switch-system-update-400-adds-data-transfer-and-video-capture <p>Nintendo just dropped a massive update to the Switch. Please take a look at the patch notes.</p> <p>Improvements Included in Version 4.0.0 (Distributed 10/18/2017)<br /><strong>Added the following system functionality</strong></p> <p><strong>Capture video on select game</strong></p> <ul> <li>To capture video, hold down the Capture Button during gameplay</li> <li>Up to maximum of the previous 30 seconds will be saved in the Album. You can trim the beginning and end of each clip, and post to Facebook and Twitter.</li> <li>As of October 18th, 2017, this feature is compatible with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and Splatoon</li> </ul> <p><strong>Select from 12 new Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild icons for your user</strong></p> <ul> <li>To edit your user icon, head to your My Page on the top left of the Home Menu &gt; Profile</li> </ul> <p><strong>Transfer user and save data to another system</strong></p> <ul> <li>To transfer, head to System Settings &gt; Users &gt; Transfer Your User and Save Data</li> </ul> <p><strong>Pre-purchase option on Nintendo eShop</strong></p> <ul> <li>A pre-purchase option will be available for certain games. This option allows pre-load of the game to your system for quicker play when the game is released.</li> <li>This feature will be supported by future game releases</li> </ul> <p><strong>News channel updates</strong></p> <ul> <li>The news feed has been updated with a new look.</li> <li>Unfollowing a channel will remove that channel's content from the news feed and following the channel again will make it reappear.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Match software version with a group of local users</strong></p> <ul> <li>To create a group, head to the software's Options &gt; Software Update &gt; Match Version with Local Users</li> <li>Everyone's software will be updated to match the most recent version in the group</li> <li>All users must be on system menu version 4.0.0 or later to view and join a group</li> </ul> <p><strong>General system stability improvements to enhance the user's experience, including:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Changed the specification which hid wireless networks using TKIP security from the network search results. Wireless networks using TKIP security will now display in search results as a grayed-out selection instead of not being displayed <ul> <li>The Nintendo Switch console supports WEP, WPA-PSK(AES), and WPA2-PSK(AES). If your router is using a different security type (e.g. WPA-PSK(TKIP)), you will need to change this security type within your router's settings.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Rejoice Shacknews, now we can make thirty second videos of games! Well, a few games. Holding the share button briefly will now trigger a 30 second video clip being recorded. Data transfer between Switch consoles is also a welcome feature that should have been available months ago. Either way, now we're playing with power! Find out how to update your Switch at <a href="http://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/22525/p/897" target="_blank">Nintendo's Switch Update Support</a>&nbsp;webpage.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GT0L3RWQNjw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 18:05:00 PDT Asif Khan Shack's Arcade Corner: Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara http://www.shacknews.com/article/101766/shacks-arcade-corner-dungeons--dragons-shadow-over-mystara http://www.shacknews.com/article/101766/shacks-arcade-corner-dungeons--dragons-shadow-over-mystara <p>This week on Shack's Arcade Corner we take a look at&nbsp;<span>Dungeons &amp; Dragons: Shadow over Mystara, an arcade game developed and published by Capcom in 1996 as a sequel to Dungeons &amp; Dragons: Tower of Doom. The game takes place in the Dungeons &amp; Dragons campaign setting of Mystara. The game had some intracies of a role-playing game that made it sort of difficult to grasp when I was shoving quarters into the cabinet back in the day. Check out the video for more information on the game.</span></p> <p><span><span>For more&nbsp;videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/Shacknewsgames" target="_blank">Shacknews</a><span>&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWdXbx28xPxbotxGIQDjIbA" target="_blank">GamerHub.tv</a><span>&nbsp;YouTube channels.</span></span></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9pht37hAS-Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Arcade Corner, please let us know in the comments section or tweet&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/shacknews" target="_blank">@shacknews</a>&nbsp;&amp;&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GregBurke85" target="_blank">@GregBurke85</a>&nbsp;with #ArcadeCorner.&nbsp;</p> <p>In case you missed any&nbsp;of the over 100 episodes, check out our&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhcdG2mGcVVLvVZOKICmUdV-cuNp7sUPc" target="_blank">Shack's Arcade Corner YouTube Playlist</a>.</p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:45:00 PDT Greg Burke Destiny 2 Leviathan Prestige Raid Changes and Differences http://www.shacknews.com/article/101765/destiny-2-leviathan-prestige-raid-changes-and-differences http://www.shacknews.com/article/101765/destiny-2-leviathan-prestige-raid-changes-and-differences <p>With the Destiny 2 Leviathan Prestige raid, Bungie introduced a bunch of mechanical changes, and made the enemies tougher to kill. I&rsquo;ll look at what&rsquo;s changed in the Destiny 2 Leviathan Prestige raid.</p> <h2>Destiny 2 Leviathan Prestige Raid Changes</h2> <p>The first big change that people should be aware of is the revive system. Previously, you could revive one teammate each. This meant that your entire fireteam had one revive each, and six total. I could die five times, but a different member of my fireteam would need to get me back up each time. On the other hand, if I revived a teammate, and then another one died, I would not personally be able to get the second player up. Someone else would have to do that.</p> <p>The revive system is back, but with a change that is designed to kick you in the face right off the bat. If you die, you lose your revive token. This means that if I die, the player who gets me up must not have died during that section, and must not have revived anyone else. It&rsquo;s designed to cause you problems, which it most certainly will do.</p> <h2>Gauntlet Prestige Changes</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cOtOnFqibZ4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>The Gauntlet was one of the easier portions of the raid if it didn&rsquo;t Destiny you, but it&rsquo;s about to get a bit tougher. The changes here are that the shielded Psions will spawn at the plate, only there are two. There will be one in front of the plate where it normally is, and another that&rsquo;s close by. Both will need to be killed to avoid a wipe.</p> <p>There is also the Proven Worth debuff that needs to be dealt with. Once a runner makes it through a round of the course, they get the Proven Worth debuff. This stops you from being able to run again. You will need two new players to navigate on the second round, and two more new players on the third. All players on your team need the Proven Worth buff.</p> <p>Once all players enter the Gauntlet at the end, there will only be three orbs, not four. Three Guardians will have to skip getting orbs each run. This shouldn&rsquo;t mess up your team much, as there were only four orbs previously. An additional player must skip each gate, that&rsquo;s all.</p> <h2>Royal Pools Prestige Changes</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MWhxNp-Re9c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Most of this section is the same, but enemies are a lot tougher and do a lot more damage. Beyond that, only two major changes are found in the Royal Pools.</p> <p>First, when you kill a Ceremonial Bather, they will drop a pool on the ground. If you step in this pool it will decrease your Psionic Protection much faster. Avoid stepping in the pools of purple goo, obviously.</p> <p>Beyond that, there is a change following the damage phase. After the damage phase ends, you&rsquo;ll need to look at the center plate and take note of your symbol. As per usual, this will be Dog, Cup, Axes or Sun. You will then need to run to the plate that has that symbol on it to receive the Psionic Protection buff. If you do not do this, your team will wipe. Beyond that, the Royal Pools remain relatively the same.</p> <h2>Pleasure Gardens Prestige Changes</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/j4zUmoyJX80" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>The Pleasure Gardens were probably the toughest part of the raid before, and that remains the case now. There are some minor changes that will cause players significant problems getting through this section.</p> <p>First, there are now eight Royal Beasts instead of six. If you thought moving around the Pleasure Gardens sucked before, it&rsquo;s worse now. This is amplified by the fact that the pathing for the original six Royal Beasts has also changed. This one is all about repetition and learning the new pathing for the Royal Beasts, but other than that there are no changes.</p> <h2>Emperor Calus Prestige Changes</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/m5-0d0WkenQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>There is only one change to the Emperor Calus boss fight in the Prestige raid, but it&rsquo;s a big one. When a player kills a Psion in the throne room, they will be instantly teleported to the purple skull world, and a player from the purple skull world will be teleported back into the throne room. This will cause all kinds of chaos and communication challenges, and your weaker Guardians will be exposed here. Luckily, Calus can still be killed in one phase, so there&rsquo;s that to look forward to.</p> <p>For more, visit our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101225/destiny-2-complete-strategy-guide" title="Destiny 2 Complete Strategy Guide">Destiny 2 complete strategy guide</a> for everything you need to know about being the best Guardian you can be.</p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:20:00 PDT Bill Lavoy How to Preload Destiny 2 on PC http://www.shacknews.com/article/101727/how-to-preload-destiny-2-on-pc http://www.shacknews.com/article/101727/how-to-preload-destiny-2-on-pc <p>Destiny 2 has been out on the PS4 and Xbox One for over a month now, but soon it will be time for PC players to jump in and get their careers as Guardians started. While October 24 is the official PC launch date, nobody wants to wait until the last minute to install the game. This has potential PC players wondering when the Destiny 2 PC preload will be available, and how they can install the game.</p> <h2>How to Preload Destiny 2 on PC</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/destiny-2-pc-preload-how.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="378" /></div> <p>Players will be able to preload Destiny 2 on PC through the <a href="http://us.battle.net/en/app/" target="_blank" title="Blizzard's Battle.net Destkop App">Blizzard&rsquo;s Battle.net desktop app</a>. This can be downloaded directly from the Battle.net site. Once you click the option to download you will see a list of games that may or may not apply to you. Simply scroll through the list until you see the Blizzard Battle.net app listing. Click the link the right side of that listing for Windows or Mac.</p> <p>After you run the installer you&rsquo;ll be prompted to sign in or create an account. You&rsquo;ll have to do this before you can proceed. Once you&rsquo;re signed in you&rsquo;ll be taken to the main Battle.net app screen. On the left side you&rsquo;ll see a bunch of games listed, and at the very bottom under Activision will be Destiny 2.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/destiny-2-pc-preload-when.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="436" /></div> <p>Players who have already purchased Destiny 2 on PC through the Battle.net app will see that when they open the Destiny 2 section. If the game was purchased elsewhere and you were provided with a code, this is also where you redeem it. Once you&rsquo;ve taken care of one of those two options, you&rsquo;ll see that the button to install it is there. <strong>The option to preload Destiny 2 on PC just went live, so you can dive in right now and preload ahead of its official launch</strong>.</p> <p>The preload for Destiny 2 is currently live, and it will take you some time to install. While you wait for that, and the official launch, read our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101225/destiny-2-complete-strategy-guide" title="Destiny 2 Complete Strategy Guide">Destiny 2 complete strategy guide</a> to get yourself ready for Destiny 2 on PC.</p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:30:00 PDT Bill Lavoy Deepmind AI AlphaGo Zero Is Mastering Go By Playing With Itself http://www.shacknews.com/article/101764/deepmind-ai-alphago-zero-is-mastering-go-by-playing-with-itself http://www.shacknews.com/article/101764/deepmind-ai-alphago-zero-is-mastering-go-by-playing-with-itself <p>While Google's Deepmind is trying to find out if AI can <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100933/googles-deepmind-and-blizzard-release-starcraft-2-api" target="_blank">navigate the complex RTS Starcraft 2</a>, machine learning continues to leap over milestones for traditional strategy board games. AlphaGO is an AI that previously defeated masters of the Chinese game, but that version was given a silver platter of professional and amateur games to study. AlphaGO Zero has <g class="gr_ gr_567 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="567" data-gr-id="567">learned</g> Go entirely from scratch.</p> <p>This new version of AlphaGo learned the game via "reinforcement learning" or by playing games against itself. By combining the neural network with a powerful search algorithm, it tunes itself to predict moves and calculate who'll eventually win the match. The updated network is rematched with the algorithm and this rinse/repeat method results in steady improvements. With this process, AlphaGo Zero has defeated the world-champion AlphaGo 100 games to zero. The&nbsp;<a href="https://deepmind.com/blog/alphago-zero-learning-scratch/" target="_blank">Deepmind blog</a> listed a few specific ways Zero differs from its older brother:</p> <ul> <li>AlphaGo Zero only uses the black and white stones from the Go board as its input, whereas previous versions of AlphaGo included a small number of hand-engineered features.</li> <li>It uses one neural network rather than two. Earlier versions of AlphaGo used a &ldquo;policy network&rdquo; to select the next move to play and a &rdquo;value network&rdquo; to predict the winner of the game from each position. These are combined in AlphaGo Zero, allowing it to be trained and evaluated more efficiently.</li> <li>AlphaGo Zero does not use &ldquo;rollouts&rdquo; - fast, random games used by other Go programs to predict which player will win from the current board position. Instead, it relies on its high-quality neural networks to evaluate positions.</li> </ul> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tXlM99xPQC8"></iframe></p> <p>Google's Deepmind is a leader in AI research, regularly reaching milestones in the field they believe will be one of the most crucial in scientific advances. "<span>AlphaGo Zero also discovered new knowledge, developing unconventional strategies and creative new moves that echoed and surpassed the novel techniques it played in the games against Lee Sedol and Ke Jie," the report reads. "<span>These moments of creativity give us confidence that AI will be a multiplier for human ingenuity, helping us with&nbsp;</span>our mission<span>&nbsp;to solve some of the most important challenges humanity is facing."</span></span></p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:15:00 PDT Charles Singletary Mionix Naos 7000 Review: A Challenger Appears http://www.shacknews.com/article/101762/mionix-naos-7000-review-a-challenger-appears http://www.shacknews.com/article/101762/mionix-naos-7000-review-a-challenger-appears <p>Back in late June of this year, I found myself needing a new mouse. My not-so-trusty incumbent mouse had developed clicking issues that were causing me to pull out my hair during PUBG sessions and day to day browsing. I prefer a simple mouse. I only use the basics, so why bother with or pay for all the extras?</p> <p>My favorite mouse is probably the Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0. Released in 2003, it represented the culmination of refinements made to the Intellimouse brand since its introduction in 1996 and was a real fine piece of equipment. If I wanted it badly enough, I could track down some new Intellimice from eBay and be done with this ordeal, but I was interested in seeing how the market had progressed for the no-frills gaming mouse in the last decade. I began researching my options and narrowed down the field to 4 contenders, the Razer DeathAdder Elite, the Mionix Naos 7000, the Steelseries Rival 310, and the Logitech G403 Prodigy.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/naosinline2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <h2>About the Naos 7000</h2> <p>PC peripheral maker Mionix is pretty new on the scene. Founded in Sweden around 2007, the company offers a variety of gaming-centric mice and have expanded into the keyboard and desk accessory market. The Naos 7000 mouse was originally released in late 2013 and sports an ergo-style design for right-handed users. It has 7 total buttons: left click, right click, mouse wheel, forward, back and two DPI selectors.</p> <p>The mouse has a rubberized coating all around that feels very good in the hand. It feels more &ldquo;expensive&rdquo; than the other plastic shell mice I&rsquo;ve used over the years and does not make my hand or fingers sweat during game play. The wheel also has a rubber ring for extra grip. Just below the wheel are the DPI selector buttons. You can go from 500DPI to 7000DPI in increments of 50. The main buttons use the ADNS-3310 sensor and the clicking action feels good.</p> <p>The side-mounted forward and back buttons have perfect placement and a great feel. The inner mouse wheel and front palm area sport a set of LED lights that can be controlled with the Mionix Mouse Software and I was able to dial in an accurate shade of white that perfectly matched my keyboard and PC case lighting. In addition to a static light, you are given the option to have the lights blink, pulse, color shift, or be turned off entirely.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/naosinline3.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="467" /></div> <h2>A Refreshingly Light Software Package</h2> <p>Software for gaming peripherals has become a wasteland of horrible design and internet-connected bloat (see our piece on <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100613/what-data-is-nzxts-cam-software-collecting-from-you" target="_blank">NZXT's CAM fiasco</a>). Mice that require software for configuration are often bogged down with needlessly resource intensive packages that no one asked for. Razer&rsquo;s Synapse is one of the biggest offenders and often causes more problems than it fixes. I can gladly report that the Mionix Naos 7000 Software package is everything that you need with nothing you don&rsquo;t. The download clocks in under 8MB and uses very little of your system&rsquo;s resources. It does not set itself to run at Windows startup and doesn&rsquo;t try and connect to the internet.</p> <p>The visual layout could be considered rather spartan, but everything is easy to find and configure. It offers macro support and the ability to fine tune the sensor. The software offers something labeled S.Q.A.T, the Surface Quality Analyzer Tool to help tune the mouse to your specific pad, but was not needed in my case, where the mouse tracked like a dream out of the box on my Corsair MM300 desk mat.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/naosinline4.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="531" /></div> <h2>Does it Make Me Good at PUBG?</h2> <p>I began using the mouse for browsing and work and everything worked as expected. I was eager to see how the thing would feel in hand as I have not used a mouse that had such aggressive supports for my ring and pinkie finger previously. I have some fairly large mitts and I found that once I was positioned in the way that the mouse design seemed to promote that my clicking finger were almost at a 25 degree angle from the normal position. Holding the mouse with the ergo-grip felt good, but made precise clicking less than optimal for my hand.</p> <p>I was able to adjust my grip in a way that got my index and middle finger where they needed to be, but I felt like any benefits to be gained from the mouse&rsquo;s shape have been wasted. Even with the adjusted grip style, I found using the Naos 7000 to be great for games. The tracking was excellent and the button clicks felt right. The mousewheel has a good feel and selecting weapons with the wheel in the heat of battle worked perfectly every time. For gaming uses, I felt like this wheel was superior to those I tried on the Logitech and Steelseries mice in the same category. The braided cord is light and never once got in my way.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/naosinline.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="525" /></div> <h2>Final Thoughts</h2> <p>Though it doesn&rsquo;t really matter in the grand scheme of things, I feel like I should mention the packaging used for the Naos 7000. Rather than a simple cardboard box holding a plastic clamshell, Mionix has opted for the best packaging I&rsquo;ve ever encountered on a mouse. The Naos 7000 comes in a blue and white box that opens like a hardcover book to reveal its plastic inner cradle for the mouse. A hole at the top of the cradle has the braided cable fed through. It was easy to open, feels sturdy as hell and made the perfect home for the stray Logitech G403 I had from the previous review.</p> <p>While I could not personally make the ergo shape of the Naos 7000 work with my hands, the mouse performed more than admirably for me in gaming and day to day use. Good switches, a great wheel, light software, and the rubber coating work together to create a package that is very attractive for the $39 it cost me to acquire. Mionix has followed up the Naos 7000 with a new mouse called Castor. It has an ambidextrous design in a smaller mouse while retaining all the features from the Naos 7000. It could be the perfect choice for someone interested in Mionix gear who are unable to make use of the ergo design of the 7000. If the exaggerated ring and pinkie support are what you are looking for, I cannot recommend the Naos 7000 enough. This is a solid mouse that performs the job well. 8/10 Intellimouse Explorer 3.0s.</p> <p>You can check out Part 1 of the gaming mouse review round up, featuring the Logitech G403 Prodigy, by clicking <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101706/logitech-g403-prodigy-review-a-journeyman-at-best" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:05:00 PDT Chris Jarrard Destiny 2 - Pyramidion Nightfall Guide - Torrent and Zero Hour http://www.shacknews.com/article/101763/destiny-2---pyramidion-nightfall-guide---torrent-and-zero-hour http://www.shacknews.com/article/101763/destiny-2---pyramidion-nightfall-guide---torrent-and-zero-hour <p>Well, Guardians, it was too good to be true. Yesterday I wrote a guide about the Nightfall this week, and just to mess with all our good moods, Bungie changed it due to a known glitch. The new Nightfall for this week is the Pyramidion, and I&rsquo;d say it&rsquo;s a bit tougher to complete than yesterday&rsquo;s Exodus Crash with its very forgiving modifiers. Still, here&rsquo;s a guide to help you through the Pyramidion Nightfall in Destiny 2 which, truthfully, isn&rsquo;t as bad as I&rsquo;m making it sound.</p> <p>The new modifiers for the Nightfall this week are as follows:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Torrent</strong> - Boundless power erupts from within. Your abilities recharge much faster. Use them to shatter your foes.</li> <li><strong>Timewarp - Zero Hour</strong>: The mission timer CANNOT be extended. Choose your battle carefully.</li> </ul> <p>The challenges, should you choose to accept them, are as follows:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Speed of Dark</strong>: Complete the Nightfall with at least 5 minutes remaining.</li> <li><strong>Unbroken</strong>: Complete the Nightfall with fewer than 3 deaths.</li> <li><strong>Siege Engine</strong>: Do not allow Brakion to remain shielded for more than 40 seconds before defeating it.</li> </ul> <h2>Pyramidion Nightfall Guide</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/e9fCbTJCsc0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>The mission timer will start with 22 minutes on the clock. Because of the <strong>Timewarp - Zero Hour</strong> modifier, this cannot be extended. You must complete the Nightfall in 22 minutes to be successful. If you&rsquo;re trying for the challenges, you must complete the Nightfall in 17 minutes to check Speed of Dark off your list.</p> <p>The <strong>Torrent</strong> modifier is a gift on the Pyramidion. You will face many enemies. You&rsquo;ll want a great area of effect grenade, like the Vortex grenade from the Hunter&rsquo;s Nightstalker subclass. You could also go with the Solar grenade from the Warlock&rsquo;s Dawnblade subclass. Those things will eat enemies, and you can throw them about every five seconds.</p> <p>As the Nightfall begins, speed forward on your Sparrow with your objective set to Approach the Pyramidion. As you get close, this will change to Fight into the Pyramidion. You must activate the two plates by standing on them, and then defeat the Vex in the area. Consider leaving at least one member of your three-person fireteam up top to rain destruction down on the Vex. Once the plates are activated and the Vex are dead, your objective will change to Enter the Pyramidion.</p> <p>Hop on your Sparrow and speed through the corridors until you see enemies. You can now hop off. Your objective will be to Travel into the Depths. Run and jump past all the enemies on the various platforms as you descend into the Pyramidion. Navigate through the three laser-like doors and traps until you reach a room where you must Defeat the Taken.</p> <p>Use your abilities here. Drop your grenade on the Taken almost non-stop, only firing your weapons when you are waiting for your grenade to charge. As a team of three, you should be able to blast through this room in less than two minutes, and that includes the next objective, Defeat the Vex. They should also be the targets of your many grenades and abilities so you can blast through this as quickly as possible.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/destiny-2-prymadion-nightfall-zero-hour.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Enter the Warp Gate and you will be immediately asked to Find the Next Warp Gate. You&rsquo;ll have to run through a series of laser-like doors and traps. Do so, and enter a room where you&rsquo;ll need to Activate the Alters. There are a lot of Taken in here, but you should be able to push through them. The alters that you need to activate are just more plates on the ground. Stand on the plates to activate them. When you&rsquo;re done with all three, go through the Warp Gate.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll need to navigate through several more of those laser-like doors and traps as you try to Locate the Last Warp Gate. When you reach a room with a few Taken, kill them and then proceed through the laser-like corridor with rotating bars. If someone on your fireteam should fall, and they likely will, don&rsquo;t stop to revive them. Push forward in the interest of time.</p> <p>As you pass through the next area your objective will be to Hack the Network Towers. These look like Vex pillars that you can approach and turn your Ghost loose on. The problem is all the Vex in the area. This is likely to be your toughest fight so far in the Nightfall, so make sure you&rsquo;re clearing a path and doing things right. Do them quickly, of course, but also do them properly and eliminate some of your enemies.</p> <p>With all the Network Towers hacked, you can proceed through the final Warp Gate. In front of you will be a giant hole in the ground and your instructions will be to Enter the Conduit. This is code for you to drop down the giant hole. Do so, then Summon the Genesis Mind by standing on, you guessed it, another plate.</p> <p>Your final objective will be to Destroy the Genesis Mind. This Vex fool likes to lock itself behind a wall you can&rsquo;t penetrate. To lower the wall and deal damage, you&rsquo;ll first need to&hellip; stand on the plates. These will have handy little objective markers to make your life easier.</p> <p>During the actual boss fight and damage phases against the Genesis Mind, it would be a great idea to have a Warlock with the Healing Rift. Things can get all kinds of squirrely in there, and being able to regain some health is essential to staying alive.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s also important to focus on the enemies that spawn in. Damage is good, but the more damage you do, the more enemies you get. At some point you&rsquo;ll be taking so much incoming damage that outputting it will become nearly impossible. This isn&rsquo;t a long boss fight, so don&rsquo;t worry too much if you must take 30 seconds to clean up the area.</p> <p>When the Genesis Mind falls you&rsquo;ll have completed the Pyramidion Nightfall with the Torrent and Timewarp - Zero Hour modifiers. Grab your loot, and then head over to our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101225/destiny-2-complete-strategy-guide" title="Destiny 2 Complete Strategy Guide">Destiny 2 complete strategy guide</a> to study up and be the most powerful Guardian you can be.</p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:45:00 PDT Bill Lavoy GDC 2018 Registration is Now Open http://www.shacknews.com/article/101761/gdc-2018-registration-is-now-open http://www.shacknews.com/article/101761/gdc-2018-registration-is-now-open <p>Game developers can now register for GDC 2018. The conference will run from March 19-23 with the Expo taking place on March 21-23. Check out the a detailed GDC 2018 schedule here.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/event-at-a-glance.png.jpeg" alt="" width="700" height="578" style="undefined" /></div> <p>There are a ton of different passes to choose from. Prices range from $149 all the way to $1949 for folks who buy passes before January 31, 2018. They only go up from there, so act fast if you want to attend. Here is some more information on GDC 2018 pass pricing.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/passes-and-prices.png" alt="" width="700" height="336" style="undefined" /></div> <p><span>There is an option to add VRDC@GDC to a GDC Conference+Summits, GDC Conference, or GDC Summits pass for $400.&nbsp;<span>Register 10 or more people at the same time for select GDC 2018 passes and save 10% on the current price of passes included in your group. Find out more about GDC 2018 pass pricing, dates, and the schedule at the <a href="http://www.gdconf.com/attend/passes.html?_mc=em_x_gdcsf_le_tspr_gdcsf_x_x-em1a_nelg-18&amp;elq_mid=80904&amp;elq_cid=18604194" target="_blank">official GDC website</a>.</span></span></p> Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:30:00 PDT Asif Khan
Slashdot: News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters
MasterCard Has Finally Realized That Signatures Are Obsolete and Stupid
Bitcoin Nears $6,000 For the First Time
Microsoft's Market Value Hits a Dot-Com Era Milestone: $600 Billion
On the Google Book Scanning Project and the Library We Will Never See
Tesla Hit With Another Lawsuit, This Time Alleging Anti-LGBT Harassment
First Mass-Produced Electric Truck Unveiled
Blue Origin Successfully Test Fires Game-Changing BE-4 Rocket Engine
Facebook Security Chief Says Its Corporate Network Is Run 'Like a College Campus'
Could VR Field Trips Replace the Real Thing?
Senators Announce New Bill That Would Regulate Online Political Ads
Denuvo's DRM Now Being Cracked Within Hours of Release
Verizon Loses 18,000 Pay TV Subscribers, Signals Delay For Live TV Streaming Service
How Google's Pixel 2 'Now Playing' Song Identification Works
Amazon Spends $350K On Seattle Mayor's Race
Apple Watch's LTE Suspended In China Possibly Due To Government Security Concerns
Trolan's LJ
Oh yeah
Pointless entry to signify life
Communications Update; Part Deux
Communications Update
CCNP... completed
Things you overhear...