EA Teases Some Details on the New Bioware Game

BioWare's previously confirmed new franchise will be out in the next 14 months, launching by April 2018, EA said today.

During a call with investors, EA CEO Andrew Wilson indicated the new game will be out by the end of the upcoming fiscal year, which runs through March 31, 2018. He only spoke of it at a high level, saying it features "new concepts" and could disrupt the action game space.

"At the end of the fiscal year, our BioWare studio will be delivering an all-new IP, a clean-sheet design with new concepts, new gameplay mechanics, and new stories set in a unique new universe," Wilson said. "This game has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the way people think about an action title, bringing friends together to play in an exhilarating new way. We're very excited about the future of this new franchise and its ability to attract a large, global audience."

When pressed for further details during the Q&A portion of the call, Wilson described it as an action-adventure game, rather than an RPG, and suggest it will blend genres.

"What we're seeing more and more is genre-melding, which is great components of a number of different genres really kind of coming together into single games," he said. "And so when you think about this game, you should be thinking about the great RPG character development and storyline progression that BioWare is known for, but in a world of greater action and greater adventure, which is growing to be one of the larger categories in games."

He also confirmed it will be a wholly owned IP, meaning it isn't based on another company's franchise (as with, say, Star Wars Battlefront).

BioWare manager Aaryn Flynn previously spoke about an unannounced new IP from the studio, indicating it would be a while before any specifics were shared.

"We're not going to talk about it until we're confident about what it's going to be and everything," he said in November. "We've been doing reviews with [Wilson], and I think he likes it. So, knock on wood, we'll keep working on it and we'll keep doing it. Hopefully you'll hear more about that once [Mass Effect] Andromeda's done and we've satisfied fans with that game."

He continued, "You have to ask yourself, 'Do you want to do something that fiercly different or do you want to do something that's very recognizable?' 'Do you want to take something that you've done and put a spin on it, or do you want to wipe the slate clean and say what would we do in this.' And for us, what we said was we're BioWare, so we have a certain kind of game that we love making and we know our fans would love, so we started with that and that's a game that has as its heart stories and storytelling. So we decided we're going to stick with that. We're not just going to walk away from that. Once we agreed on that, everything started to fall into place."

Following EA's announcement today, BioWare's Aaryn Flynn has shared a bit more about the studio's upcoming game.

"There's much more to say in the coming months, but for now, I wanted to offer this additional background," he said on BioWare's blog. "In 2012, we began crafting a new universe full of new characters, stories, and gameplay. Our ambition is simple: Draw upon 20-plus years of development knowledge and lessons to create something fun and new for you to enjoy with your friends. There's nothing quite as exciting as building a new IP from scratch, and it will be even more thrilling for us to share more with you in the future."

Further specifics--including a name, settings, or platforms--remain unknown. As Flynn alluded to, don't expect to hear much more until after Andromeda's launch in March.

PETA wants 'Warhammer 40,000' Characters to Stop Wearing 'Fur'

Animal rights organisation PETA has asked Warhammer publisher Games Workshop to remove the depiction of characters wearing fur from its range of miniatures and games.

PETA, which has become well-known for its anti-fur campaigns involving celebrities and its calls for the humane treatment of animals both in reality and fiction, said in a statement that it had written to Games Workshop CEO Kevin Rountree to request a ban on the portrayal of fur clothing in the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes.

The move is likely to rile up some fans of the series who see the ethical treatment of animals in real life and the depiction of fur and animal suffering in fictional worlds as different, a stance that PETA acknowledged in a statement.

"From the mighty Leman Russ and Horus Lupercal to Chaos Warriors and the Sisters of Silence, Warhammer features an abundance of characters who wear what appear to be animal pelts, which just doesn't add up,” it said.

“These battle-hardened warriors are known for their martial prowess – but wearing the skins of dead animals doesn't take any skill.

“Draping them in what looks to be a replica of a dead animal sends the message that wearing fur is acceptable – when, in fact, it has no more place in 2017 than it would in the year 40,000.”

Although it is yet to make a similar move into the tabletop industry, PETA has become a publisher of several video games dedicated to parodying famous titles such as Mario, Pokémon and Cooking Mama and promoting its pro-animal principles.

Fire Emblem Heroes Requires Internet Connection at All Times

Fire Emblem Heroes will operate somewhat similarly to Super Mario Run in that an internet connection is required online. The Verge also obtained a statement from Nintendo confirming that it “connects to servers intermittently”.

“However, the game connects to servers intermittently, and the amount of data used is within the normal range you could expect for smart device games,” Nintendo says.

Fire Emblem Heroes officially launches on February 2.

The New Nilfgaardian Faction Shows that Gwent Has a Potential as a Standalone Card Game

The Nilfgaardian faction was conspicuous by their absence when Gwent's closed beta went live last October. They were one of the four Gwent factions present in the original release of The Witcher 3, but standalone Gwent swapped them out for Skellige—a faction that wasn't part of Geralt's adventure until the Blood & Wine expansion.

Up to now, each of Gwent's factions has been inspired by their playstyle in The Witcher 3. The monsters spread quickly, drawing additional cards from your deck; Scoia'tael are guerilla fighters, chipping away at your opponent's attack score. This is the reason for holding back Nilfgaard: they were considered too similar to the Northern Realms to have their own identity. Rather than tweak them to add minor differences, Nilfgaard has been rebuilt from the ground up. The new deck, due to go live in the closed beta on February 6, adds entirely new systems in an effort to demonstrate Gwent's life beyond The Witcher 3.

It's a fun set of systems, and, based on a few hours of play, creates an interesting dynamic against the other factions. In The Witcher 3, Nilfgaard, like the Northern Realms, made good use of spies—disloyal cards that were played to your opponent's side of the board in exchange for drawing two cards from your deck into your hand. It was an incredibly powerful bonus, already nerfed for standalone Gwent, but the decision to play a card to your opponent's side remains an interesting one, and is one of the main systems of the new Nilfgaard deck.

Rather than spies specifically, though, Nilfgaard uses other disloyal cards with other perks. Fake Ciri, for instance, is played to your opponent's board, where she gains additional attack power each turn. When you opponent passes, she flips allegiance, returning to your board with all of the increased power she's gathered. Letting her gain strength unchecked can be dangerous if she's played to your side, but other new cards can nullify the effect. Take Letho, a gold card who banishes every other card on a row and absorbs their strength. Play it while Fake Ciri is still on your side, and he'll steal her power but destroy her and her treacherous trait.

Not every card is so elegant. The Ambassador card is a low-value disloyal unit that buffs the attack value of a random bronze card on your side, while the Emissary plays the top non-gold unit from your deck. And a special card, Treason, lets Nilfgaardian players coax back disloyal cards. In all, it's an interesting build—full of decisions about how many points you can afford to give your opponents while still building to an advantage.

Disloyalty is only one of Nilfgaard's main systems. The other is reconnaissance. Specific cards within the Nilfgaardian deck—including one of the faction leaders—can reveal cards from both hands. Vattier de Rideaux lets you reveal up to two cards from your own hand. For each card that you reveal, a card from your opponent's hand is also unveiled. The applications here are twofold. Firstly, you can choose which cards to show, divulging less (excuse the pun) revealing hands in the hope of uncovering important information on your opponent's plan.

More beneficially, though, other card traits can trigger whenever a card is revealed. Take the Mangonel, a potentially terrifying siege unit that removes two damage from a random non-gold opposing card whenever a card is revealed. Given that Vattier can create up to four reveals, and that multiple Mangonel's can be played, it's possible to do serious damage to any opponent unable to nullify the effect.

Resource control rounds out the Nilfgaard playbook, allowing players to look at upcoming cards from the deck, and shuffle them to the bottom. With Xarthisius, players can see the next two cards at the top of their opponent's deck, and choose to send one to the bottom—potentially scuppering their plan. In all, it's a an enjoyable deck, full of new systems that make sense within Gwent's existing styles. If anything, it makes some of the other hands—specifically Northern Realms—feel a bit vanilla. The Nilfgaard faction has a strong identity built specifically for the new systems of the standalone Gwent. A faction like Northern Realms, which retains its ties to the less ambitious minigame of The Witcher 3, feels broader and less focused.

Crucially, though, Nilfgaard proves that Gwent can be expanded in new, interesting ways, which will be vital if it's to have any longevity in the increasingly crowded card game market.

Pokemon Sun and Moon Will Have a New Mega Stone Distribution

A promotion launching for Pokémon Sun and Moon next month will allow players to collect previously unobtainable Mega Stones, the Japanese Global Link site says. This will allow players to gather and use even more of these special battle items, which were introduced to the franchise with Pokémon X and Y.

In order to receive these Mega Stones, players must participate in online competitions. The first of these campaigns will take place in late February, according to the Global Link. Those who take part will receive the Mega Stones for Mawile and Beedrill as a gift.

More Mega Stones are due in the future, with no timeline or further details yet specified. All future giveaways will include Mega Stones not already available in Sun and Moon, however.

Although Mega Evolutions and their accompanying items were a major part of the storyline in Pokémon X and Y, they took a backseat to the new Z-Move mechanic in November’s Nintendo 3DS follow-ups. Mega Stones are still available in Sun and Moon, albeit not until a player has completed the bulk of the games.

Official Nintendo Switch Specs Revealed

On Friday, Nintendo updated its official website with a huge amount of information on the Nintendo Switch, its dock, and its controllers, finally giving us a look at all the technical specifications of the upcoming console. In general, things are looking good: the Switch can run games at resolutions as high as 1920x1080 while plugged in and 1280x720 while on the go, games can be played at up to sixty frames per second, and its battery life lasts up to six hours (this number may vary based on the game, however, as the battery may last as little as three hours with some technically intensive games, like Zelda: Breath of the Wild).

The console itself only comes with 32 gigabytes of storage, some of which is reserved for use by the system, but it is compatible with microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards (a great improvement over the Wii U, which could only store data on externally-powered hard drives). The Switch uses an NVIDIA-customized Tegra processor and connects to the dock with a USB Type-C outlet.

The Nintendo Switch console is 10.2 cm tall, 23.9 cm long, and 1.4 cm wide while it's connected to the Joy-Con controllers, and it weighs about 297 grams while on its own and 398 grams while connected to the Joy-Cons. It comes with a regular 3.5 mm headphone jack and connects to a television with an HDMI cable, just like you'd expect.

If you'd like to take a closer look at all of the Nintendo Switch's specs, we've compiled the information from Nintendo's website right here. Along with all of this information, Nintendo also released some new images of the many parts of the Nintendo Switch, which show the different components of each individual piece. These can be found in the gallery below.

Nintendo Switch Console
  • Size: 102mm x 239mm x 13.9mm (with Joy-Con attached)
  • Please note: 28.4mm at the thickest, from the tips of the analogue sticks to the ZL/ZR Button protrusions.
  • Weight: Approx. 297g (With Joy-Con controllers attached: 398g)
  • Screen: Capacitive touch screen / 6.2 inch LCD / 1280×720 resolution
  • CPU/GPU: NVIDIA customised Tegra processor
  • System memory: 32 GB (Please note: a portion of this internal memory is reserved for use by the system.)
  • Communication features: Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant) / Bluetooth 4.1 (TV mode only. A wired LAN connection is possible through the use of a commercially available wired LAN adapter.)
  • Video output: Maximum resolution: 1920×1080, 60 fps
  • Please note: output via HDMI cable in TV mode. In tabletop mode and handheld mode, the maximum resolution is 1280×720, which matches the screen resolution.
  • Audio output: Supports linear PCM 5.1ch
  • Please note: output via HDMI cable in TV mode.
  • Speakers: Stereo
  • USB terminal: USB Type-C terminal (Used for charging or for connecting to the Nintendo Switch dock.)
  • Headphone mic. jack: Stereo output
  • Game card slot: Exclusively for Nintendo Switch game cards.
  • microSD card slot: Compatible with microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC memory cards.
  • Please note: an update via an internet connection is required to use microSDXC memory cards.
  • Sensors: Accelerometer / gyroscope / brightness sensor
  • Operating environment: Temperature: 5 – 35°C / Humidity: 20 – 80%
  • Internal battery: Lithium ion battery / battery capacity 4310mAh
  • Please note: the internal battery cannot be removed. If the battery needs to be replaced, we plan to offer paid replacement via Nintendo Customer Support.
  • Battery life: Battery life can last for more than six hours, but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions.
  • For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge.
  • Charging time: 3 hours approx.
  • Please note: this is the time taken to charge while the console is in sleep mode

Nintendo Switch Dock
  • Size: 104mm x 173mm x 54mm
  • Weight: Approx. 327g
  • Connectors:
  • USB ports: two USB 2.0 compatible ports on the side, one on the back.*
  • *Launches with USB 2.0 support, but USB 3.0 support will be added in a future update.
  • System connector
  • AC adapter port
  • HDMI port

  • Size: 102mm x 35.9mm x 28.4mm
  • Weight: Joy-Con (L): Approx. 49g, Joy-Con (R): Approx. 52.1g
  • Buttons Joy-Con (L):
  • Left Stick (pressable)
  • Directional/L/ZL/SL/SR/− Buttons
  • Capture Button
  • Release button
  • SYNC Button
  • Buttons Joy-Con (R):
  • Right Stick (pressable)
  • A/B/X/Y/R/ZR/SL/SR/+ Buttons
  • HOME Button
  • Release Button
  • SYNC Button
  • Connectivity functions: Bluetooth 3.0 (Joy-Con (L)), Bluetooth 3.0, NFC (Joy-Con (R))
  • Sensors Joy-Con (L):
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Sensors Joy-Con (R):
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • IR Motion Camera
  • Vibration function: HD rumble
  • Capable of varied and precise vibrations.
  • Internal battery: 525 mAh Li-ion battery
  • Please note: the internal battery cannot be removed. If the battery needs to be replaced, we plan to offer paid replacement via Nintendo Customer Support.
  • Battery life: Approx. 20 hours
  • Please note: this time is an estimate. Actual time may vary depending on individual usage patterns.
  • Charging time: Approx. 3.5 hours
  • Please note: to charge the Joy-Con, you must attach them to a Nintendo Switch console or Joy-Con charging grip (sold separately).

So, what do you think? Of course, this is a lot of information to process at once, but is there anything that sticks out to you? Is the maximum resolution (which is almost identical to that of the PlayStation 4) better or worse than you expected? Would you have wanted more battery life on the console, or are you fine with 3-6 hours?

Source: Nintendo

New Spell Animations in World of Warcraft: Legion Patch 7.2

Balance Druids, Hunters and Death Knights are receiving new spell animations in 7.2. Some are just new particle effects, but Death Knight spells have received an overhaul beyond that.

Some animations may not be finished yet. This is just an early preview.

Below is a list of spells with visual updates to their animations.

Death Knight
  • Blood Boil
  • Death and Decay
  • Death Coil
  • Death Grip
  • Howling Blast
  • Raise Dead (New Ghoul model)
  • Efflorescence
  • Lunar Strike
  • Solar Wrath
  • Starsurge
  • Tranquility
  • Arcane Shot
  • Barrage
  • Bestial Wrath
  • Black Arrow
  • Bursting Shot
  • Butchery
  • Cobra Shot
  • Concussive Shot
  • Kill Command
  • Marked Shot
  • Multi-Shot
  • Piercing Shot

0.55.0 Pokemon GO Update Datamined: New Badge, Shiny Pokemon, Celebi as Incense Spawn and More Found

The latest 0.55.0 update of Pokemon GO have been datamined again and it reveals some pretty interesting addition that are coming to the game. The datamined master file revealed that their are another group of new badges coming to the game, confirmed that shiny pokemon are coming to PoGo and, that Celebi will be an Incense Spawn pokemon. There's more to the datamined master file and you can read them all below.

Note: For reference, you can try to datamine the master file yourself by going to this link later.

Introduced entire Unown family + badge

The new APK finally clearly shows how Unown family is going to play out. The new Badge that was added is called Badge Unown and stands for collecting the entire Unown family line:
We’ve already reported on the discovery of Unown in our 0.53.1 APK Data mine, so take a look there for more details. There is no information on when the badge will become available.

Four new sponsors!

The new APK shows four new sponsors added in the APK, surprisingly growing fast recently:
If you’re confused about the names, Niantic has been hiding sponsor names using kitchen and food appliances in order to protect and abide contracts with Sponsors. Read more here if you want to learn more.

Shiny Pokemon are here

We’ve been finding traces of Shiny code for months already, but we finally have concrete details on how it works and what’s measured by the app. The bold parts of the code below are new.
Evidently, the Pokedex is going to track number of encountered Shiny variants of a Pokemon specie, in the same fashion as it tracks number of caught and encountered. The same goes for genders and “costumes”. The change here is that Shiny Pokemon is not considered a Costume anymore.

Possible new Catch Bonus: Critical Catch

A new bonus/badge was added, but only a few references point to it, so it may as well be a test or a rework of an existing feature:
New In App Purchase Category: Avatar

In the last APK data mine we found new trainer customization options, but we reported that we don’t know how they’re going to be obtained. Speculation and wishful thinking led us to believe that they are going to be tied to achievements, however that’s not the case: you’ll soon be able to buy Trainer Avatar customization in the Store.
We’re quite disappointed.

Added platform support for Windows and OSX

We are not sure what this means, but in the supported platforms section of the code base, two new entries have appeared: Windows and OSX. Does this hint at a possible Pokemon GO release on desktop? No, that makes no sense, but it could be a measure to fight bots and GPS spoofers further.
In addition, the decoded file on Github Gists also have line that reveals Celebi as an Incense spawn pokemon.

This was also discovered by reddit and they delivered: they discovered that Celebi is planned as an Incense spawn!
This comes as no surprise, as Celebi is considered a Legendary Pokemon and this code likely hints a future Incense event!

We are very happy to see the community contributing to the shared knowledge and data mining. A redditor commented the following:
Perhaps some of those special incenses found in the code are going to be used for catching legendaries. You get the legendary incense and can pop it when it suits you to catch it.
This is possible, but we have no confirmation to share. If anyone wants to help the data mine, please use the link above.

World of Wacraft: Legion Patch 7.2 Legendary System Changes & New World Bosses

Improvements to the Legendary system are coming in 7.2 along with three new world bosses.

Upcoming Legendary System Tweaks

Many players are benched because of RNG surrounding Legendary items in Legion. Blizzard is trying to ameliorate these issues with improvements coming to the Legendary system in 7.2. We'll have to wait a few weeks as next week, content pushed will focus on quests and itemization comes later on.

I have thoroughly enjoyed most aspects of legion. I consider myself a top tier raider, however im not able to play at a high level because of the rng on top of rng legendary system. Ive been benched in 2 guilds because of it and ended up taking a break for 3 weeks due to frustration. Many others and myself included have had the displeasure of receiving 3 utility legendary in a row. This has to be the most terrible experience, I've had in all the years I've played wow (since early vanilla).

Blizzard, id really like to stress this, ill say it again. I cant begin to explain to you how terrible it feels to players, who have received 3 non dps increase legendary in a row. How can this amount of in-game tragedy be allowed? It is disgusting. You have created an incredible expansion, don't you have any pride? Why hasn't something, anything been done about this? Please, respond! Anything!

There are a fair number of additions/tweaks in 7.2 to the legendary system. They've not been introduced on PTR yet but they are coming and this is something we will be actively seeking feedback on. Some of the issues that you highlight are things that we are hoping to ameliorate with these changes.

Please have patience with us as we roll out new quest/feature content on PTR next week and then move into rolling out the item/reward/systems changes. It is a bit of staged progressive rollout to focus testing and feedback but there are additional changes coming. 

Please continue to supply feedback throughout this process though. :)

New World Bosses

Three world bosses have been added in 7.2. No loot assigned yet and the Dungeon Journal entries are also incomplete at this time. 
  • Brutallus
  • Malificus
  • Si'vash
  • Si'vashi Honor Guard

Dungeon Journal Entries




Alexei Stukov:Possibly the Next Hero to be Release in Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard shared a picture on Twitter yesterday and the point was to find Valeera. The picture contains a lot of Heroes and infested terran eggs, pointing at the possible release of Alexei Stukov as one of the next Heroes.

We know for sure the next Hero won't be an Assassin. You can find the eggs near the bushes next to Zagara.

Here's how the eggs look like in Starcraft.

Have you found any other Hero you cannot identify?

The Division Will Soon Have Cosmetic Microtransactions

Last week, UBI detailed what's coming to the Division 1.6 update. Down near the very bottom, that probably didn't get as much attention as it should have: "We’ll also be revamping the in-game store, adding a new currency and extending the range of items available for purchase at a special vendor." What that means, as this Premium Credits FAQ explains, is that in-game microtransactions for cosmetic items are on the way.

There was some confusion, and a spot of uproar, early last year over Ubisoft's approach to (and definition of) microtransactions in The Division. It said at the time that there would not be any—but that there would be "DLC packs" with arguably microtransaction-like character customization options available for purchase through "first-party stores." 

Premium Credits, as the new currency is called, will be a little bit different. They can be purchased through the in-game store, with real-money only—sorry, no grinding them out—and are used to by exclusive cosmetic items from a specific in-game vendor. Items can be shared between all characters on the same account (but not between multiple accounts), and stuff purchased with Premium Credits won't count toward your inventory capacity: You can continue to load up on Premium items even if your inventory is full. 

Ubisoft emphasized that Premium items are purely cosmetic, and will have no impact on gameplay. "We want to preserve a fair game environment and would not allow for players to get any form of competitive advantage based on money they spent on Premium Credits," the FAQ states. As for why they're being added now, well, it's the obvious answer. 

"While we want to offer more opportunities for you to customize your characters, we also need to find a way to do so sustainably without impacting the resources available for the main game," it says. "Monetizing them will allow us to keep creating more vanity option independently without any impact on the rest of the game production." 

Premium Credits will debut on the PTS as part of the 1.6 update testing, and all players taking part will be granted an unspecified amount in order to test the system. Those credits and items purchased with them, however, will not carry over to the live game. Premium Credits pricing will be announced "at a later date." 

Source: PCGamesN

Team Rocket Finally Beat Ash in Pokemon Anime After 20 Years

I haven’t admittedly watch the Pokemon Anime, also known as the Pokemon Animated Series, in probably a solid 15 years. As I grew older, my interest in the show wained and I just happen to start to enjoy many other different shows instead, never feeling the urge to come back to the series. That is until right now. As one would have Jesse and James, the original Team Rocket duo, have finally done what many felt was impossibe: beaten Ash Ketchum fair and square. No tricks, no cheating… it was such a big moment that the winners literally broke down in tears. This, folks, has been in the making for 20 years. Here is how it got setup in the latest episode, courtesy Kotaku for the full breakdown:

The set-up seems run-of-the-mill: Ash and co have a beach day, lapping up the sun and the waves. Team Rocket, meanwhile, has recently been contacted by head honcho Giovanni himself. He wants to know what their progress is, if they’re captured any good, strong Pokémon in the Alola region. They…kinda haven’t, at least, not enough to warrant an expedition into a new land. So they lie.

Sorta. The exchange with Team Rocket HQ motivates Jessie and James to go out there and see what they can find. That’s how they end up fishing for monsters nearby. Nothing really bites, so James decides to put on a scuba suit, which he can use to scout the waters first-hand. That’s how he comes across a Mareanie. Within the lore, Mareanie love to eat Corsola—and James’ helmet happens to be shaped like a Corsola (of course). The Mareanie attacks, and ultimately goes on to poison James. James’ face consequently turns purple, which causes the Mareanie to think James is also a Mareanie. IT THEN FALLS IN LOVE WITH JAMES.

…and that’s when Ash shows up. Team Rocket, as always, are sucked into trying to steal Pikachu—so they challenge Ash to a battle. Normally, an encounter like this would turn out the way it always does: Team Rocket getting its ass kicked, and then blasting off again. This time, however, circumstances aligned just right for Team Rocket to have the upper hand, and they didn’t even have to cheat to get it right.

The Mareanie, madly in love with James, fights with all of its might against Ash’s Rowlet. Mimikyu, meanwhile—who has been traveling with Team Rocket this entire time—absolutely HATES Pikachu, and gladly gives its all in trying to murder our favorite rodent. The power of love and hate combine to give Team Rocket the edge, and they actually defeat Ash, fair and square in a battle.

It’s truly unbelievable. I never thought this day would come.

Go watch the clip below:

Umbreon, Espeon and Tyrogue Models for Pokemon GO Leaked?

The Spriters Resource is a web page dedicated to hosting and publishing game sprites and other assets, usually with high levels of quality and precision.

The Pokémon GO community is in uproar of excitement this morning as TSR published a sprite sheet showing off Johto Pokémon, together with Espeon, Umbreon and Tryogue!

Another source claims that these assets were not found in the APK, but requested as models from Niantic’s servers. Usually, when reverse engineers tried to request assets, it would fail for all other Johto Pokémon.

It is very, very weird that they were able to obtain models for these three Pokémon! We are also trying to request the same models in order to confirm this information.

dronpes, a Silph Road admin, tried to give more information on the matter:
The spritesheet with those gen 2 species is very likely a fan-made spritesheet. It is not an asset available (in that form at least) in the APK. 
We’ve reached out to both the Spriters-Resource team (who are trying to track down where they acquired it) and another article writer who mentioned receiving a non-error server response when requesting those specific image assets. Neither has so far confirmed that Tyrogue/Umbreon/Espeon’s images are available when requested. 
At any rate, if they are served by Niantic’s servers, that change occurred back in mid-December, and not anytime recently. 
It is possible the eeveelutions and Tyrogue had their sprites prepared alongside the babies, but their candy/evolution mechanics have not yet been implemented in the client-side code. 
Hopefully that helps answer what that spritesheet is all about!

Final Fantasy XIV to Get a Live Action Series Based on a True Story

Square Enix is putting together a live action drama series based on a real story that happened in Final Fantasy XIV. Titled “Final Fantasy XIV Daddy of Light”, the drama will begin broadcast on MBS/TBS in Japan this April. Japanese actors Yudai Chiba and Ren Oosugi will be playing the part of the main characters.

This drama coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Final Fantasy mainline series and is inspired by the story of a father and son’s relationship that gradually changes due to their encounters in Final Fantasy XIV. The drama series will feature the real game, showing what it’s like to participate in the online game world.

According to the original blog, “The Father of Light” focuses on the story of a father and son who have issues communicating. The son, who plays FFXIV and wants to get in on some friend referral bonuses, gets his 60-year-old father to join the game after receiving a PS4 from his wife as a birthday present. The son helps him create a character and eventually joins him on his adventure through the game, helping him out without revealing his true identity.

Source: CinemaToday.

New Mass Effect: Andromeda Trailer Reveals an Exciting Link to the Original Trilogy

While gamers were was busy speculating about whether or not your dad dies in Mass Effect: Andromeda, the rest of the internet was chasing a story with slightly more meat on its bones: Who the hell is Cora Harper?

On to the big story: Cora was introduced in yesterday's Andromeda Initiative briefing. What makes her so interesting is that her surname, Harper, is shared by a very important guy from the original trilogy: Jack Harper, aka The Illusive Man, the leader of Cerberus.

It seems awfully unlikely that this is a coincidence, given that Mass Effect is a work of fiction and not a true story about space explorers going to another galaxy, in which case I would understand if two unrelated people shared a common surname.

Keep in mind that while Andromeda takes place hundreds of years after Mass Effect 3, the mission to Andromeda leaves during Mass Effect 2. That means that not only do these settlers have no idea about the Reaper attack, Cora could easily be The Illusive Man's daughter, or otherwise directly related. And that might explain why she's teamed up with the player's father, Pathfinder Alec Ryder. He's big into AI research, which is something Cerberus enjoyed as well.

As Kotaku points out, we also know that Harper was hanging out with asari commandos for four years, which is a decidedly un-Cerberus thing to do. So maybe she's not related after all, or she just rejected here pops' xenophobia.

I'm starting to think we'll see more call backs to the original trilogy than I had expected.

Skyrim Mod Support Possibly Coming to Nintendo Switch [UPDATED]

UPDATE: Best Buy Canada has confirmed that the Nintendo Switch Skyrim listing was posted in error.

A product listing on the Best Buy Canada website possibly leaks that The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim on Switch is the Special Edition of the game, complete with mod support.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is nearly six years old at this point, so Bethesda needed to come up with a way to convince consumers to purchase the game again on new-gen hardware. One of the ways it accomplished this was by improving the graphics and collecting all of the game’s DLC in one convenient bundle. Another way was by bringing PC mods to the console versions of the game, a revolutionary feature that seems like it will be making its way to the Switch version of Skyrim as well.

That is, if a Best Buy Canada product listing spotted by Informed Pixel is any indication. The product listing reveals that the version of Skyrim coming to the Nintendo Switch is the Special Edition that released on PS4 and Xbox One last fall, with all that game’s bells and whistles, including mod support. While the listing could have been posted in error, if it’s an accurate representation of what players can expect from Skyrim on Switch, then it confirms that Nintendo’s new console will support mods.

Console mods are a relatively new phenomenon, with Fallout 4 paving the way for other games on PS4 and Xbox One to have mods back in 2015. Mod support on PS4 and Xbox One is one thing, but Nintendo has historically had less of a focus on online gaming features in general, so if it does allow mods on the Switch, it will be a pretty big surprise.

Nintendo fans may be excited for the chance to try out mods for the Switch version of Skyrim later this year, but the feature may have some serious limitations. For one, the Nintendo Switch only has 32GB of memory, meaning those that truly want to take advantage of mods will likely have to spring for a new memory card. The Switch’s internal memory can be expanded with up to 2TB micro SDXC cards, but having to pay extra to have enough room for both games and mods could turn players off to the idea.

If Nintendo is serious about mod support, though, its odd that it chose to give its new system barely any built-in memory when compared to the competition. After all, we know that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s file size takes up nearly half of the system’s memory by itself, so large game downloads combined with other things like mod support seem like they will force hardcore gamers to purchase additional memory for the system.

While there are some roadblocks when it comes to mod support for the Nintendo Switch version of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, it’s still an exciting prospect, and shows Nintendo is serious about the Switch competing with what PS4 and Xbox One bring to the table. It also opens the door for future Nintendo Switch games to have mod support, which should give games even more replayability than they would have enjoyed otherwise.

A New Pokemon Go Device Might be in Development "To Avoid Danger"

If you didn't manage to get your hands on a Pokemon Go Plus, or you want one that's safer, you may be in luck. Along with Nintendo, The Pokemon Company is "thinking of developing a new device [so Pokemon Go] can be played more safely."

In an interview with Nikkei, Pokemon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara said player safety was always a concern while developing Pokemon Go, as the publisher was worried players would be too engrossed in their phones to be aware of their surroundings. The game was linked to a number of deaths last summer.

"We intended to make a game for people to play outdoors, instead of at home," Ishihara said. "The potential that players could become too involved in playing the game [that they might walk into danger] was already an issue at an early stage.

"To avoid the danger, we also released Pokemon Go Plus, the smartphone-linked wearable device, so that Pokemon Go players [did] not have to always be looking down at their smartphone screens. Together with Nintendo, we are thinking of developing a new device that can be played more safely."

Pokemon Go Plus was a wrist-mounted device that made playing the critter-collecting game safer and more convenient. It launched in September, after the release of the base game. The Plus was originally supposed to release in July, closer to the launch of Pokemon Go. However, the accessory was delayed. In its pre-sales phase, it sold out and started appearing on eBay for prices upwards of $100--some were even on sale for more than $200. Nintendo later apolgized for the stock shortages, promising to expand production.

Dauntless is a Monster Hunter-like Game Coming to PC this 2017

Dauntless was first revealed early last month with a flashy cinematic trailer, comparisons to Monster Hunter and Dark Souls, and not a whole lot else. A free-to-play co-op action game about hunting giant monsters—with developers formerly at BioWare, Riot Games, and Blizzard behind it—Dauntless quickly got me excited, but we only got to see a tiny amount of gameplay at the time. 

But leading up to PAX South this weekend, I got a chance to go hands-on with Dauntless and try to take down two of its Behemoths—an Owlbear type beast named Shrike, and an icy cross between a pangolin and a stegosaurus named Pangar. You can watch the video above to hear my full thoughts on the game, and the video below to see the full, unedited fights.

The demo I played was just combat, so I don't know how the loot, crafting, or other RPG elements will manifest themselves. Those details are important to making Dauntless feel like more than just hacking at a big beast. Also absent from the demo were collectible plants and smaller creatures scattered around the levels to fight while hunting for the Behemoth, both things that would go a long way to making the game world feel less empty than it currently does. But what I played was definitely fun, and it's encouraging that Phoenix Labs plan to add features that will make me want to come back even after besting each Behemoth once.

Dauntless is due to hit open beta this year, I'm told Phoenix is shooting for roughly in the time frame of fall, and you can sign up here.

Credits: Video by PC Gamer

Elisande's Secret Quarters Found in Nighthold Raid


A very nice easter egg/secret area has been found in the Nighthold raid, reached by dropping down in specific spots from the top of the raid after killing Gul'dan. There are some very neat touches in there, including a cake and chess models. The room isn't accessible by gliding in from the outside works as the doors are closed on both sides.

Maybe there will eventually be a World Quest in here, or even an actual story quest somewhere down the line, but for now it's just a nice addition to add some depth and reality to the Suramar palace/Nighthold.

Source: Reddit

Someone Just Beat Resident Evil 7 NG+ in Under 2 Hours


While most of us are still tip-toeing our way around the Baker estate, speedrunners are blitzing through Resident Evil 7 in mere hours. Twitch streamer 'Stirliing' currently holds the world record at 1:51:02, but runners will likely trim that time significantly as the competition and strategies begin to solidify. Right now, I'm just enjoying watching a new speedrunning scene emerge.

Stirliing's world record run is interesting to watch for several reasons, like how humorous it is to see him effortlessly sprint through areas that caused me a great deal of anxiety in my own playthrough. A lot of this has to do with the fact that he is playing on new game plus, which starts him off with an Albert-01 pistol—a veritable hand cannon that trivializes some of the early fights. Jack Baker, for example, usually takes almost an entire magazine of pistol ammo to stun for a few minutes.

There's no denying that at this stage RE7 speedruns are messy and full of little mistakes that cost seconds. I'm looking forward to seeing how things tighten up in a few months once runners begin to figure out the best routes through each level. If skips and glitches are found (and who are we kidding, of course they will be) we could see even bigger cuts to time. Remember, this is a game that took Andy around nine hours to beat when he reviewed it.

If you want to give speedrunning Resident Evil 7 a try for yourself, there's an achievement for beating the game in under four hours, which is a sensible place to start. Intrepid wife-saver James Davenport also has a guide for tackling the butcher room boss fight, which should help you shave some seconds off of your time. You can also join the community at speedruns.com to get the latest updates and tips.

Watch live video from on www.twitch.tv

This Monster Hunter-like Game, Toukiden 2 Will Be on Steam this March

Released in 2015, Toukiden: Kiwami was a pretty decent take on the Monster Hunter formula. Games aping that classic series are welcome as far as I'm concerned, especially since Nintendo seems to have a stranglehold on it nowadays. So it's good news that Toukiden 2 is releasing in the west this March.

That's according to a new trailer, embedded below, which specifies that it'll launch March 21 in North America and March 24 in Europe and Australia. It's easy to zone out on the story in games like this, but the general narrative gist is this: some entity known as Oni "ravaged" the world during the Awakening, during which time a lone Slayer – the player-character – got drawn into a portal, awakening ten years later in a strange village.

He doesn't stay there and lead a peaceful life however: that would make a boring videogame. I played a bit of the predecessor and found it to be a nice diversion if you're into loot grinds and protracted battles with oversized beasts.

Patch 7.2 New Artifact Traits and AP Use Explained, Group Finder Queues Changes Announced

With many players having a hard time understanding the new artifact traits and AP use in 7.2. Blizzard have made an official statement regarding this. Also, they have announced that changes to the Group Finder will be made next month. Check out all the details below.

Patch 7.2 New Artifact Traits and AP Use

With 7.2 bringing new artifact traits Blizzard have explained how exactly the current AP system will interact with the new traits. Long story short: use up all your AP tokens now, put all your AP into the 34+ trait without regret as it won't make a difference if you "save up". Oh and there will be a quest to upgrade the weapon to the new traits! Check out the full statement below.

There's also a warning about some weird plans people have made:

As many of you have noted, Patch 7.2 will be introducing several new traits to Artifact Weapons. We'd like to clarify how these traits will unlock so that you can best prepare for them.

After Patch 7.2 is available, players who have an Artifact Weapon of at least rank 35 will be able to further empower that Artifact through a short quest chain. Completing this quest chain will consume any ranks beyond 35, increase the overall power of your Artifact Weapon (to ensure that losing ranks 35+ isn’t a downgrade), and unlock access to the new 7.2 traits. Any Artifact Power spent on traits beyond 35 will be refunded and you’ll immediately be able to spend that refunded Artifact Power on the new traits.

Note that any Artifact Power tokens acquired before Patch 7.2 will not be usable on an Artifact Weapon that has had its new traits unlocked. If you’ve already reached Rank 54, feel free to use any tokens you earn between now and then on alternate specs; there is no need to stockpile those tokens for Patch 7.2. We’re also planning to apply a hotfix in the near future that will allow the current Artifact Power tokens to be sold to vendors.

Group Finder Queues Changes

Starting February 1, Spanish realms will be assigned to English queues. This decision was made, because of Ashran queues that have been a problem since the launch of Legion. Blizzard is confident that the change will provide the most positive results.

I disagree. because there's going to be a lot of players who will refuse to communicate in English and grouping up people with a language barrier is all but "positive". It's already happening on NA realms. Anyway, here's the official announcement of Blizzard:

Since the launch of Legion, we've been keeping an eye on the challenges facing characters on Spanish realms when trying to enter Ashran. Some players have had trouble accessing the zone—due in most part to long queue times—and we've been monitoring the situation to find the best solution. 

After considering our options, we feel that adding Spanish realms to the English queues for group content is the most appropriate fix. Not only should this get players into Ashran faster, it’ll also help with another minor but unpleasant problem—long queue times when using the Dungeon or Raid Finder tools.

So what does this mean for you? After maintenance on February 1, when a character from a Spanish realm queues for PVE (dungeons and raids) or PVP (battlegrounds, including Ashran) content using the Group Finder tool, they might be teamed up with players from both Spanish and English realms. 

We understand that this solution may not appeal to everyone, but after strong consideration, we’re confident it’ll provide the most positive results. 

This New The Division 1.6 Exotic Weapon is Extremely Overpowered!

The Division’s 1.6 Update has only been live on the Public Test Server for half a day now, and already players are finding that certain elements are not working as intended. In most cases, the changes are quick fixes, but there is one new aspect of update 1.6 that is downright broken: the combination of submachine guns Hildr and Eir.

Previously known as Valkyria, but now split into two separate weapons, Hildr and Eir are a submachine gun set – one of the weapons added to the new exotic category for update 1.6 and The Last Stand DLC. Along with being split into two weapons, Hildr and Eir were given a new unique weapon talent that boosts critical hit damage on Hildr by 1% (up to 100%) for every bullet hit using Eir. And it’s essentially broken.

Check out the video below to see what we’re talking about:

To make matters worse, the weapons can be combined with the new Seeker gear set for even more critical hit damage, since the full set bonus buffs that as well. It gets to the point that players can deal more than 1 million damage to AI enemies, and close to 100,000 damage on PvP enemies.

The good news is that players have found this overpowered combo in the Public Test Server, meaning that the developers at Massive Entertainment should be well aware of it by now and hopefully a change is already in the works. For those who are trying to explore the PTS and all of the new content included with The Last Stand DLC, unfortunately this means that PvP is not going to be particularly fun, especially in the Dark Zone. There is tons of video evidence out there of players using the Seeker Gear Set and the Valkyria combo to mow down enemy players in seconds – even 4-man teams are no match for the gun and gear.

It’s also completely possible to get similar results without Seeker, because the critical hit damage becomes multiplicative with the weapon, not additive. So instead of 90% crit hit damage for a certain number of consecutive hits, which is very good on its own, the player can get up to 9,000% critical hit damage. Then if Seeker is active, adding 1% critical hit damage for every bullet hit, things get blown even further out of hand, to the point enemies and players don’t even stand a chance.

While some may question how such an imbalanced combo could end up in The Division’s test server, this isn’t anything new for the hardcore. There are always a few details that fall through the cracks and lead to problems, it’s why Alpha Bridge is getting nerfed, but Massive is pretty good about responding to those issues, especially in the PTS. Hopefully, by the time The Last Stand DLC releases for all platforms, everything should be normalized. If it isn’t, though, expect everyone to be running around with Hildr and Eir, and most likely the Seeker gear set.

The Division PTS 1.6 is live now on PC.

New Evolution Stones Feature in Pokemon GO Leaked

The latest update of pokemon go has revealed some interesting things that will be coming to the game. One thing is the addition of the new evolution stones. So what are these evolution stones? We got some theory about it and you can read it below.

The Data Mining of 0.53.1 version revealed the presence of evolution ítems. Specifically these items are as follows:
  • Sun Stone which can evolve Gloom into Bellossom,
  • Dragon Scale which can evolve Seadra into Kingdra,
  • Kings´s Rock which can evolve Poliwhirl into Politoed and Slowpoke into Slowking,
  • Metal Coat which can evolve Onix into Steelix and Scyther into Scizor,
  • Upgrade which can evolve Porygon into Porygon2.

Nobody knows when these items are going to be available, but the purpose of this guide is to analyse how there are going to be obtained by trainers.

Pokémon GO Evolution Items

Nowadays there are two ways in the game to obtain items: buying them at the store or getting them by spinning PokéStops.

Buying Evolution Stones in the Store?

If the Evolution Stones become Store items, their value should be way higher than 200 PokéCoins, depending on the Pokemon you would like to evolve. For rarer Pokémon, the price should be higher – for example Porygon is rarer to obtain than Slowpoke.

The other option is that they could be sold in bundles, in the same fashion as the Christmas package/bundle was sold, for example a number of PokéBalls + a evolution item.

Evolution Stones as Stop drops?

If Niantic decides to introduce Evolution items as PokéStop drops, the drop rate of the stones should not be nearly as frequent as a Pokéball or a Potion, however, introducing new drops will also change the drop rates of current PokéStop items. So, a possible solution to this problem is to enable collection of evolution items only on the seventh day the player opens a PokéStop!

But of course, that spin should guarantee an evolution item drop.

A third option?

The third option is to introduce a completely new way to obtain items in the game: missions! In this case, the possibilities are almost endless, as the feature can be implemented in different ways, for example:
  • Capture a set amount of Pokemon of the same type
  • Evolve a set amount of Pokemon of the same type
  • Defeat a set amount of Pokemon in gyms
  • Walk a set distance with a specific Pokemon as your buddy

Personally, I would like Niantic to implement the “third options” and include Gyms in the matter. It would encourage trainers to have better Pokemon, to participate in Gym battles and to use them in battles. Want a Porygon2? Better learn to dodge with a Porygon like a beast!

However, this decision depends on Niantic, until then trainers will be looking forward to heard about the new surprises they are preparing for us.