Sunday, October 23, 2016

6 Things to Expect with the Possible Pokemon GO Halloween Event

Photo: Niantic
Halloween is almost upon us, and will be here by next weekend, and some Pokémon GO players are wondering if Niantic might have any sort of special event planned for the game.

We often see Halloween events pop up in a number of games each year. This year, players have been trying to earn loads of Halloween items in Overwatch, Destiny has its “Festival of the Lost” full of candy and masks, and games like League of Legends always have a few new skins here and there. Other games might do double XP spooky weekends, or something along those lines.

I am not sure if Niantic will do anything for Halloween, as they haven’t really done a single real “event” with the game yet, and I’m sure they’re working on a number of issues. But the game does need ways to try and get people playing again, and some Halloween bonuses might do the trick. There’s been a small hint on Facebook that the game could see some sort of even, or it could just be routine advertising since they know people will be walking around anyway. But we’ll see.

I’ve been thinking about what exactly that might look like in a game like Pokémon GO, and since it’s a title where you walk around and collect candy as is, it sort of seems like a no-brainer in many ways. Some ideas:

#1. Double Buddy Candy

This is a pretty simple one. For a week or so, double the amount of candy you get from walking your buddy. This fits in with the “trick or treat” theme, and would get even dormant players moving even if meant they were getting 2x closer to their Charizard or Dragonite with every step.

Photo: PokeWhereGo

#2. Double Catch Candy

I mean, sure, why not? Given that most of the time, you’re catching stuff you already have a million copies of, the game might as well just double capture candy for a stretch of time too. This would also serve as a moderate XP boost, as players would be able to do more mass evolves for more common Pokémon like Pidgey or Rattata, but it would require them to still be out in the world catching stuff.

Photo: Niantic

#3. Bonus Egg Candy

I’m going to go with “bonus” egg candy here, maybe +5 extra or something, rather than double candy, because I think that might end up being a little broken if suddenly a single 5 km egg hatch would get you 40 out of the 50 candy you need to evolve something in one go. I think the 2 km eggs could benefit from double candy, which is why an extra five per egg seems about right.

#4. Unlockable Cosmetics

This is something that Pokémon GO has not really experimented with at all to this point, the ability of players to earn more cosmetics for their character, but what better time to start than Halloween? Theoretically, these items could be earned through feats of strength (walk X km, catch X Pokémon, fight in X gyms), or they could be bought with coins because well, it’s just cosmetics. Pikachu ears? Squirtle masks? Sign me up.

#5. Most Ghosts

I think it would be sort of funny if at least for Halloween weekend itself, Niantic made ghost type Pokémon spawn at say, a 1,000% increased rate, having Ghastlys, Haunters and Gengars running wild all over the map. Given that it would only be producing candy for one Pokémon tree, it wouldn’t break the game or anything, but it would certainly fit the mood.

That’s pretty much it. It wouldn’t have to be much. As you can see, most of the point is simply to offer some sort of bonus, candy or XP, in order to get players playing again, which is why most games have these sort of events in the first place. And really no one needs it more than Pokémon GO at this point, so some part of me does hope they actually do something for the holiday. But I’m not going to hold my breath.

Photo: Niantic
#6. Ditto

How slim do you think the odds are of niantic releasing dittos "dressed up" as other Pokemon for Halloween?

I think it's blatantly obvious from their facebook post that ditto will be found on halloween, in AR mode only, while appearing to be haunter is on the screen. I could be wrong, but this has been my gut feeling since I saw that post. Since I don't play in AR mode, I won't know either way. 
Read More

Saturday, October 22, 2016

First Pokemon GO Secret Event Coming this Halloween

Photo by Niantic
Niantic’s first Pokemon GO event may well be taking place at the end of this month, on Halloween. October 31st is the perfect day for the first of many Pokemon GO events in the vein of the game that came before it: Ingress. For those new to Niantic, they’re the company that made Ingress, then built Pokemon GO on top. According to Pokemon officials, clues about what’ll happen in Pokemon GO’s future come from Ingress’ past – events included.

Our first big indicator of an event occurring on Halloween is a simple Facebook post from the official Pokemon GO account. There they suggest that “with Halloween around the corner, we anticipate Trainers may encounter more Pokemon in the real world.” They go on, “The AR camera is a great way to capture and share these encounters with your friends!”

Photo by Niantic
Niantic continues to hold events in Ingress here in the Fall of 2016. A giant list of events exists at Ingress dot com right this minute, complete with links to event pages unique to each event. If Pokemon GO launches their first event on Halloween, we must assume that it’ll be more global than this.

We’ve reached out to Niantic for details on how this Halloween event will be presented in Pokemon GO. As of publishing time for this article, we have yet to hear back. In the mean time, we’ve got some preparing to do. Our guide for handling Halloween as a Pokemon GO trainer begins now!

First, if you do plan on going out on Halloween night to collect Pokemon and beat up gyms – think again. Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the entire year when it comes to mischief and mayhem. People leave their house in packs and steal candy from little kids with no regard for the law – it still happens!

Instead, we recommend that trainers relegate their activities to daylight hours during the day on Halloween. There’s no possible way Niantic would keep the event cut down to nighttime hours wherever you happen to live. That’d be just silly – instead, we estimate it’ll take place for a cool 24 hours (or more) depending on where you live in the world.

As we know, Niantic is able to control Pokemon spawns. That includes types and regularity – everywhere around the world. Each environment has its own types of Pokemon spawns, and Niantic’s engine knows what time of day it is in each environment, too.

As such, we estimate that if Niantic does indeed hold an event for Pokemon GO on Halloween, it’ll take place for 24 hours, regardless of region. This leaves plenty of time for all trainers to leave their home and participate in the light of day. Plenty of light, that is – well before the darkness.
Read More

Friday, October 21, 2016

World of Warcraft: Legion Patch 7.1 Solo Content Preview

Blizzard has provided some additional details on World of Warcraft: Legion patch 7.1.

While the Legion expansion’s first patch is titled “Return to Karazhan”, patch 7.1 will also provide solo content apart from group efforts. In an official post on the World of Warcraft website, Blizzard provided a patch 7.1 preview.

The Story of the Nightfallen

In the upcoming patch, players will be able to complete a questline that delves into the story of the Nightfallen, leading to the entrance of the Nighthold. Efforts in Suramar will continue in patch 7.1 in a series of quests that unlock over a period of time of nine weeks. The questline starts with the “Lockdown” quests, and those who complete the questline, will be “much closer” to obtaining the new Arcanist’s Manasaber mount.


In Dalaran, a new questline is started to discover the influence of Helya, a deposed val’kyr queen. The questline is started by the “Call to Action” quest.

World of Warcraft: Legion patch 7.1 is currently live on the Public Test Realm, and will officially launch on US and EU servers on October 25/26.
Your primary goal will be to unlock new Helarjar World Quests. These will then appear for you all across the Broken Isles, so you can help put a stop to Helya’s infernal impact.

Broken Isle’s coastline under assault

A predatory species, called the Falcosaurs, is assaulting the coastline of the Broken Isles. Reagents for Cooking and First Aid can be gathered by collecting their eggs and feathers. Those who save an orphaned Falcosaur pet might be able to earn an unique new mount.

Patch 7.1 will offer more solo content, as can be read below (taken from Blizzard’s official post):

Raiding with Leashes IV

Pet Battlers rejoice! The time has finally come to delve into Ulduar, Trial of the Crusader, and Icecrown Citadel in search of new rare pets and the chance to do battle with a new Celestial foe!

Pictured here: Stardust (special encounter), Boneshard (Lord Marrowgar), G0-R41-0N Ultratonk (Mimiron), and Creeping Tentacle (Yogg-Saron).
Stardust the celestial bunny won’t come easily. To get your hands on this rapturous rabbit, you’ll have to first obtain all 16 new pets from bosses across three raid dungeons. Only that impressive act will earn you an invitation (in the mail) to take on Algalon and his legendary pets: Comet, Constellatius, and Cosmos. You must then defeat him with a team of your own in glorious battle!

Something, Something, Something, Guard Dog

When he died, the second that Dr. Weavil’s heart stopped, his ultimate plan was put into motion. After adventurers looted his body, a viscous, yellow fluid slowly filled his veins, and jumper cables were implanted to shock him back to . . . life. Was this undeath? Alchemical engineering? No one is quite sure, but it left him sallow-skinned and over four times as evil as before.

What’s worse, he started an internship program.

Return to Alcaz Isle to get to get to the bottom of Dr. Weavil’s insidious plans, and perhaps you’ll take home a nice souvenir. These include:

Machine Fluid—a consumable that makes a pet or battle pet look oil-coated for 60 minutes.

Drudge Fluid—a consumable that makes a pet or battle pet look sallow for 60 minutes. Ew.

Big Red Ray—a new toy that makes your pet or battle pet look big and red for 15 seconds.

Electrified Key—allows Hunters to activate one of three Arachnodrone mechanical spiders.

The spiders are tameable. You just have to get to them.

Getting there won’t be easy. Dr. Weavil kind of went nuts and covered Alcaz Isle with anti-aircraft artillery (so you can’t fly), proximity mines (so you can’t run in a straight line), and defensive turrets (so you can’t think straight). Make it past those and you’ll still have to overcome his interns: Drudge Gnomes who mindlessly work for the little big guy.

And then there’s Dr. Weavil himself—just waiting for you in his compound, which probably has a guard dog.

It has a guard dog.

Read More

Two of the Most Fan Hated Features Will be Part of Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1’s official trailer has been getting rave reviews both from the gaming community and industry experts in general. Not only have the reveal trailer become the most viewed trailer on Youtube, but it also crushed its competitor Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s trailer, both in terms of reception and amount of views.

However, one should not forget that the Battlefield franchise is being published by EA, who isn’t really a fan-favorite either. And now, the company has sneakily confirmed that both micro-transactions and map packs would be part of Battlefield 1.

This information was revealed by EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson during a investor call last week. Although Wilson used some rather generous marketing speak to confirm the same, it doesn’t help taking away from the fact that most gamers despise this model.

Wilson first said how EA plans to make big bucks by cleverly utilizing ‘extra monetization opportunities’ without making the game feel like a ‘pay-to-win’ model:
As relates to Battlefield 1 and extra monetization opportunity,” CEO Andrew Wilson says, “taking a step back, any time we think about extra monetization inside an experience, we really think about it on two vectors: One, are we able to provide value to the gamer, in terms of extending and enhancing their experience? And two, are we able to do that in a world where we give them choice? We never want to be in a place where there’s a belief that we are providing a pay to win mechanic inside of one of our games.

He then went on to say how the company is looking poised to utilize both macro transactions and micro transactions in Battlefield 1 to offer a more ‘enhanced’ experience to players. Basically, fancy words for map packs (macro) and in-game items unlocked by paying real cash (micro).
Given that in Battlefield 1, you will see both macro monetization opportunities from us like maps and large scale content, as well as micro monetization opportunities, smaller increments of gameplay, and then over time, what you will see from us is elements of gameplay that allow gamers to engage and drive, and extend and enhance their experience, much the way people do with FIFA Ultimate Team or Madden Ultimate Team today. We feel very confident in our ability to deliver that in a way that is deemed valuable by our player, and drives increased engagement over time with them.

It’s a given that there’s big money to be made via in-game transactions these days and EA’s own sports games make a fortune by implementing them. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 has taken it to the extremes via its paid supply drops model. Heck, GTA Online’s made over $500 million via micro transactions alone.

Therefore, this shouldn’t surprise anyone but still it makes one wonder how serious the developers are about shipping a full game at launch these days compared to releasing it in bits and pieces to boost revenue.
Read More

Destiny: Rise of Iron New Weapon Customization Option Revealed

Bungie has shown off several new weapon customization options that are on the way to Destiny and teased the upcoming return of two seasonal events.

The company shared the pictures of the new Exotic weapon Ornaments in its weekly update blog post today. Some of these had already surfaced online following the most recent update, including those for Bad Juju.

The two for that gun will arrive with the return of the Festival of the Lost event, which is still without a date. On that subject, Bungie would only say, "Very soon, you'll learn exactly how and when the Guardians will celebrate the memories of lost souls." Details of the event recently leaked online.

Red Death and Thorn are also getting new Ornaments, with those coming this winter. You can see these, along with the Bad Juju ones, in the gallery above. In the case of those for Red Death and Thorn, Bungie warns these are "still in development, and very well could change before you have a chance to acquire and equip them."

Additionally, The Last Word and Black Spindle will also be getting new ornaments before the end of the year. These may be tied to the return of the Sparrow Racing League, as they were mentioned just prior to the following, not-so-subtly worded statement: "This year is racing to a close, but there are still some special occasions to celebrate and experience in the game."

Bungie previously said that both SRL and Festival of the Lost would return following Rise of Iron's release. It remains to be seen if Festival of the Lost will change beyond adding new items.

SRL, on the other hand, is changing in what could be a substantial way--live team director Jerry Hook told Game Informer earlier this year, "When we talk about SRL coming back, it'll probably be wrapped in a different style, not just focused around SRL. Because some of the stuff that we learned from our players around the Sparrow Racing League is that some people didn’t like racing. So, can you do something with the event that helps support those players a little bit differently? Absolutely."
Read More