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Shacknews Recent Articles http://www.shacknews.com/rss?recent_articles=1 en-us Watch 10+ Minutes Of Non-Linear Uncharted: Lost Legacy Gameplay http://www.shacknews.com/article/100711/watch-10-minutes-of-non-linear-uncharted-lost-legacy-gameplay http://www.shacknews.com/article/100711/watch-10-minutes-of-non-linear-uncharted-lost-legacy-gameplay <p>If Uncharted 4 was the end of Nathan Drake and family's tale, Uncharted: Lost Legacy may be giving us a glimpse of what the future holds for the series. Though fan-favorite Chloe Frazer was missed throughout 4, Nadine Ross was a wonderful addition with quite an imposing presence and it will be interesting to see what an adventure focused on the two will deliver. We've seen what the pair can bring to cinematic sequences and some scarce scatterings of gameplay but, now, we've got a full 13-minute clip that shows off the open exploration of the Western Ghats in India.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pOSPd7o0Iic"></iframe></p> <p>The gameplay begins with Chloe getting a view from up high of this large area right before she heads down to jump into an all-terrain&nbsp;vehicle with Nadine. The areas for open-exploration were a change to the Uncharted formula initially introduced in Uncharted 4 and the space in this clip feels a bit denser than what that game had to offer.</p> <p>After some stealth combat where Chloe takes down an entire squad of soldiers, the two lead women travel to another spot where we see the vehicle's winch function put to use. This was an element that really brought Uncharted 4's open areas to life and it looks like it will get the same attention in Lost Legacy. You'll also catch a couple new additions to gameplay like a personal map you can pull up and the ability to pick the locks of supply crates to acquire better gear. Toward the end, we get a bit more combat right before a tease of inevitable puzzle gameplay right at the close.</p> <p><span>Uncharted: The Lost Legacy comes PS4 on August 22nd as a standalone title, but Nadine Ross is initially introduced&nbsp;to the Uncharted series in Uncharted 4.&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 26 Jul 2017 07:30:00 PDT -Shack Staff The Fable Card Game From Ex Lionhead Devs Is Available Now http://www.shacknews.com/article/100726/the-fable-card-game-from-ex-lionhead-devs-is-available-now http://www.shacknews.com/article/100726/the-fable-card-game-from-ex-lionhead-devs-is-available-now <p>Fable is dead. Long live Fable! Lionhead Studios, the creators of the Fable series, was shut down in 2016 <g class="gr_ gr_80 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Style multiReplace" id="80" data-gr-id="80">but &nbsp;former</g> devs have kept the series alive with a crowd funded collectible card game. The game is set within the world of Albion where the series largely took place, includes popular characters, allows you to choose to align with good or evil to change available abilities like in the original trilogy, and it's available on Steam and Xbox One today.</p> <p>Fable Fortune is part of the growing genre of collectible card games but mixes up the formula a bit with quests. At the beginning of matches you choose a quest, having to summon a certain type of unit for example, and, at their resolution, you must choose to align with good or evil. Doing so gives you access to different abilities you can use during a match and you can switch your alignment multiple times.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/fmddZsXJ9hY"></iframe></p> <p>Similar to other card games, you chose a specific character to play with and they come with predetermined play styles, powers, and a few unique cards. The current six playable characters are Alchemist, Knight, Gravedigger, Merchant, Prophet, and Shapeshifter.</p> <p>Fable, a series given birth way back in 2004, rose to infamy as a Microsoft exclusive despite Lionhead co-founder Peter Molyneux recklessly steering the hype train. The main series of games were all action-RPGs that were praised for their incredible depth as players did nearly everything they wanted with the fantasy worlds, though they never quite reached the levels promised by Molyneux.&nbsp;</p> <p>The franchise was in the midst of a huge shift with Fable Legends last year, a free-to-play action title with asymmetrical multiplayer elements. It cost roughly <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/94628/fable-legends-reportedly-cost-75m-to-develop">$75 million to develop</a>&nbsp;but was canceled along with <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/93615/fable-legends-cancelled-while-lionhead-studios-will-soon-be-closed">Lionhead Studios being shuttered</a>. &nbsp;</p> <p>Fable Fortune was in development before the doors closed at Lionhead and was crowd funded when ex-Lionhead devs set up a Kickstarter. Development was then taken over by&nbsp;<span>Flaming Fowl Studios, where the former Lionhead developers currently work, and Mediatonic.&nbsp;</span>If you want to give it a shot, Fable Fortune is available on <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/469830/Fable_Fortune/">Steam</a>&nbsp;and <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/fable-fortune-game-preview/9mswwjwrf4wc">Xbox Live</a>&nbsp;for $11.99. If Fable Fortune finds a way to climb to the highest tier of a genre that is getting more and more crowded, Fable could find new life in the gaming industry.</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 06:55:00 PDT Charles Singletary Yonder: All 26 Sprite Locations http://www.shacknews.com/article/100727/yonder-all-26-sprite-locations http://www.shacknews.com/article/100727/yonder-all-26-sprite-locations <p>In Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, Sprite are a very important aspect of the game. Finding these allow you to clear something called Murk, gaining access to new areas. Finding all 26 Sprite won&rsquo;t be easy, but our guide will show the precise locations and unlock criteria for all Sprite in Yonder.</p> <p><strong>Note</strong>: Images appear <em>above</em> the descriptions of where to find each Sprite.</p> <h2>Grasslands - 5 Sprites</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-lumie-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Lumie Sprite</strong>: The first Sprite is located after you get off the ship and can move around in the cave. Make your way through the cave, eventually seeing an altar. Approach it and interact to get the Lumie Sprite.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-lock-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-lock-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Lock Sprite</strong>: Locate the Lock Sprite after completing the &ldquo;Get the East Docks Open Again&rdquo; quest received in Fairmont. Complete the quest, then jump to the boat just off the dock and retrieve the Lock Sprite.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-grumble-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-grumble-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Grumble Sprite</strong>: This Sprite is obtained right after you clear the Murk from the South Field Farm. Just approach the stacks of hay and you&rsquo;ll be able to interact and retrieve the Grumble Sprite.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-curio-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-grumble-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Curio Sprite</strong>: Players can acquire the Curio Sprite by completing a quest called &ldquo;The Grasslands Shrine,&rdquo; which is located just up the hill behind Goldlake. Repair the Shrine and interact with it to get the Sprite.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-smudge-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-smudge-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Smudge Sprite</strong>: Smudge Sprite is found west of Fairmont, and northwest of the South Field Farm. This Sprite is often thought to be in Sunderwind Wilds, but it&rsquo;s in the Grasslands.</p> <h2>Dapplewood Forest - 3 Sprites</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-romp-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-romp-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Romp Sprite</strong>: When you meet Bob in Dapplewood Forest, he&rsquo;ll give you the &ldquo;Got Fish&rdquo; quest. Return to him with five Dip fish and he will reward you with the Romp Sprite.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-glow-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-glow-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Glow Sprite</strong>: Glow Sprite is found by completing a quest called &ldquo;Wet Weather Gear, Dear.&rdquo; You&rsquo;ll need to bring a Raincoat to the quest giver, at which point you&rsquo;ll be rewarded with the Glow Sprite.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-sap-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-sap-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Sap Sprite</strong>: The Dapplewood Forest Sap Sprite is found on the far east side. You&rsquo;ll have to complete a quest called &ldquo;Dapplewood Forest Shrine,&rdquo; where you bring 10 Vine and four Twine that location.</p> <h2>Crestfall Coast - 3 Sprites</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-pitcher-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-pitcher-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Pitcher Sprite</strong>: You can find Pitcher Sprite by entering Mocha Bay in Crestfall Coast. You&rsquo;ll be able to snag this Sprite without having to complete any quests or jump through any hoops.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-pouch-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-pouch-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Pouch Sprite</strong>: Players can obtain Pouch Sprite by completing the &ldquo;Juiced in Time&rdquo; quest in Mocha Bay of Crestfall Coast. Deliver Festival Juice to Jubilee and she&rsquo;ll turn into Pouch Sprite.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-cub-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-cub-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p>Cub Sprite: Cub Sprite can be found in Crestfall Coast, about as far to the south of the region as you can get. Turn two small statues to face a larger one and you can grab the Cub Sprite from the large statue.</p> <h2>Radiant Sands - 2 Sprites</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-shore-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-shore-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Shore Sprite</strong>: Players can find the Shore Sprite on the northwest part of the island. You&rsquo;ll see a stone archway near the water, and a lighter colored stone hanging from it. Smash it to get Shore Sprite.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-shades-sprite-1.jpg" /></div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 300px;"><img width="300" height="169" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-shades-sprite-2.jpg" /></div> <p><strong>Shades Sprite</strong>: The Shades Sprite can be found on the east side of Radiant Sands. You&rsquo;ll have to accept the &ldquo;Radiant Sands Shrine&rdquo; quest, and bring back three pairs of Sunglasses. Buy them in Bobbintoff.</p> <p>The remaining Sprites will be added to this guide shortly.</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 22:00:00 PDT Bill Lavoy How I Beat Dark Souls 2 Using a Ladle, Part 2: Timber http://www.shacknews.com/article/100725/how-i-beat-dark-souls-2-using-a-ladle-part-2-timber http://www.shacknews.com/article/100725/how-i-beat-dark-souls-2-using-a-ladle-part-2-timber <p>The difficulty of FromSoftware's "SoulsBorne" games gets blown out of proportion. They're challenging, sure, but even new players can hone their skills and triumph over the likes of Ornstein and Smough, Darklurker, the Nameless King, Ludwig the Accursed, and Old King Allant. All you need is a little patience.</p> <p>That said, have you ever tried to cut down a giant, angry tree with a spoon? I have.</p> <p><em>This diary chronicles my attempt to play through Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin using only the Handmaid's Ladle. Miss an earlier entry? </em><a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100683/how-i-beat-dark-souls-2-using-a-ladle-part-1-leave-luck-to-heaven-and-rng"><em>Get caught up here</em></a><em>.</em></p> <aside> <p class="pull-quote">Here's the thing about sprinkling magical damage all over a broken spoon: It's still a broken spoon.</p> </aside> <h2>Wharf Rats</h2> <p>Across five SoulsBorne games, Dark Souls 2's the Last Giant is the easiest first boss that players encounter. He's ponderous, predictable, and susceptible to most types of damage. As if that weren't enough, you're bound to come across a few resins that add elemental damage to your weapon if you search the Forest of Fallen Giants, the boss's domain. With or without resins, you'll be yelling "Timber!" in no time.</p> <p>Unless you're going up against The Last Giant with a broken spoon.</p> <p>The Handmaid's Ladle is a deceptively powerful weapon once you apply mundane to it. Until then, and even after, you have to work around its flaws. Pitifully low durability tops the list. After 20 hits, give or take a couple, the ladle will break. Fighting with a shattered spoon isn't a problem if your weapon is mundane. The infusion ignores damage and scales with your lowest stat. Without mundane, a broken Handmaid's Ladle deals zero damage.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QTP7vxjg694?list=PLnv1hUEbJ00goFiTXkkbBigPGAeHIQ8LV" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>I discovered this when my ladle snapped less than 30 seconds into my fight against The Last Giant. Equipping a different weapon was out of the question: I had embarked on a ladle-only run. Trembling in a corner, I used a Homeward Bone to teleport out of the boss room. As my screen faded, Last Giant watched without moving. He was probably shocked. Can you blame him? I was probably the first person to flee his lair.</p> <p>Repairing the ladle was out of the question: I had no souls, and since I couldn't deal damage, I couldn't farm enemies to gain souls and pay the blacksmith, Lenigrast, to repair my weapon. As a matter of fact, I couldn't afford the 1000 souls to buy the key to his forge so I could let him in and get him back to work. (Side note: What kind of blacksmith can't pick a lock?)</p> <p>I had two choices. Scrap the character and start over, or reallocate my stats. Starting over was a bad idea. It had taken three tries to get a mundane stone by trading with the crows in Things Betwixt and about an hour to get my hands on a ladle. To reallocate my stats, I would need to find Cale the Cartographer in Forest of Fallen Giants and get the key to the locked mansion in Majula, where a Soul Vessel&mdash;an item that lets you reconfigure your character&mdash;can be found.</p> <p>Or I could just run over to Lenigrast and have him unlock the mansion's front do&hellip; Oh.</p> <p>Far from feeling discouraged, I was energized. The appeal of a challenge run goes beyond picking a ridiculous weapon and killing bosses with it. Challenge runs are about meeting an obstacle, devising a plan to neutralize it, putting that plan into action, and reveling in your genius when you succeed. That exultation is arguably more rewarding than finally slaying a tough boss after countless tries.&nbsp; (And I know a little something about that.)</p> <p>My plan unfolded thusly. First, I went back into the forest and found Cale in his hidey-hole, crawling around in the dirt on his hands and knees. After mashing X to skip through his spiel, he handed over his key. Back in town, I plundered the mansion and left with a Soul Vessel in hand and a skeleton hot on my heels.</p> <p>I could have killed him, except, well, you know. Spoons.</p> <p>Returning to Things Betwixt, I handed over my Soul Vessel to the cackling old firekeepers. Rather than keep my stats even across the board, which I'd need to deal mundane damage, I dumped four into Attunement, raising it to 10 to give myself a single spell slot, and put the rest in Intelligence to use a single, important spell.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/dark-souls-2-wharf.png" alt="" width="700" height="446" /></div> <p>The next leg of my trip took me to No-Man's Wharf, one of my favorite areas in the game. I normally love running around killing off pirates and setting sail across the smooth, glassy surface of its dark waters, but I wasn't there to sightsee. I needed to talk to Carhillion of the Fold, an NPC who sells magic spells <em>if</em> you've got at least 10 INT. Completing our transaction took a few tries. I knew the area well enough to run straight through and find him sitting at the end of a pier. So did the enemy horde that gave chase each and every time. Getting fed up with the riff-raff, I summoned an AI-controlled phantom to distract the enemies while I chatted with the wizard and bought Magic Weapon, a buff that adds magic damage to any melee weapon.</p> <p>Look, in my book, "ladle-only" extends to companions, but only for boss fights. No way would I summon a phantom to help kill a boss. I just needed him to buy me some time, and he did. No harm, no foul. (I vowed not to make summoning phantoms in levels a regular habit, even if I had no designs on taking them into a boss fight. I've stuck to that promise so far.)</p> <aside> <p class="pull-quote">To succeed, I had to learn and appreciate the nuances of a boss I had dismissed hundreds of hours earlier.</p> </aside> <h2>Timber</h2> <p>There's a reason I was so keen to defeat The Last Giant. For one thing, bosses grant lots of souls, and I was flat broke. For another, the game opens up considerably once you bring him down. You get a key that leads to the second boss of Forest Fallen Giants, and beyond him, The Lost Bastille, where I would find another blacksmith&mdash;one not locked out of his own forge, I mean&mdash;and infuse my ordinary spoon with extraordinary damage.</p> <p>The third reason, really, was that that damn tree embarrassed me. I ran away! No one runs from Last Giant! Outside his fog gate once again, I cast Magic Weapon on my ladle and reentered his arena determined to do my best impression of Paul Bunyan sans axe.</p> <p>And I did. Four hours later.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/dark-souls-2-that-damn-tree.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Here's the thing about sprinkling magical damage all over a broken spoon: It's still a broken spoon. Every light attack chipped off fewer than 10 hit points. I switched to heavy attacks, upgrading my damage per hit to a whopping 15 to 22 HP. Heavy attacks are slower, so I got in fewer licks, but the damage evened out.</p> <p>The problem, I came to realize, was that I didn't know this enemy at all. As hit points flaked away from Last Giant's life bar, it occurred to me that I'd spent maybe 30 minutes of the 1200 hours of spent playing SoulsBorne games battling this boss. He's relatively simple, so I never bothered to learn more than the bare minimum of strategy: run around his ankles like a little dog and hack away at his legs while he stomps.</p> <p>It's a viable tactic even when running a challenge build like this one, but I'd invested all of my levels into Attunement and Intelligence. My character wasn't a glass cannon. He was a wet sheet of paper. Invariably, the Last Giant stomped on me. With only five Estus Flasks (recovered by racing through levels and grabbing Estus Shards followed by teleporting to safety or getting pummeled in a corner), zero life gems, and no souls with which to buy more, deciding when to heal took on huge significance. Too early, and I'd left without flasks for later in the fight.</p> <p>Small breakthroughs occurred as the hours wore on. I checked my inventory and discovered I'd picked up three medium-sized life gems somewhere. I don't often use life gems during boss fights because they restore life slowly; I like to pop gems during levels and save flasks for major encounters. At that point, I was happy to have an edge, albeit a temporary one. Unlike flasks, gems can't be restored. Desiring more, I pushed a couple of enemies off ledges and exchanged the paltry souls they gave me for all 10 of the life gems sold by an old crone in the forest.</p> <p>Those 13 gems became the most important, most precious commodities in my meager inventory. Plunging back into battle against the Last Giant, I changed tactics, swigging Estus first and only deigning to pop life gems if I thought I had a real chance at victory.</p> <p>My penny-pinching was for naught. Over a series of near wins, I ran through all 13 gems. I was left with the bare essentials. Estus Flasks,&nbsp;a&nbsp;broken spoon, and Magic Weapon. And then I realized that that was as it should be. Dark Souls is perhaps the quintessential example of the "man against self" conflict. The Last Giant wasn't my enemy. My dependence on weapons like dual maces and on items like life gems had dulled my instincts.</p> <p>I'd become dependent on crutches. There were players out there who had pulled off fists-only was. A spoon wasn't much, but it would be enough. It had to be.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D96snnrZcKQ?list=PLnv1hUEbJ00goFiTXkkbBigPGAeHIQ8LV" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Over the next few attempts, I didn't attempt to cut down the Last Giant. I watched him. After some experimentation, I found an even better weak spot than baiting him into stomping around like a toddler throwing a tantrum. During the first phase of his fight, if you hug the side of his left foot, he'll bend down and try to backhand you with his right hand. To evade his strike, all you have to do is walk&mdash;not run, not roll, just walk&mdash;behind him and then quickly return to his toes. You'll have just enough time to get in two heavy strikes or three quick ones before the boss bends down and swats at you again, and you won't have wasted stamina rolling, letting you conserve energy for attacks.</p> <p>Eventually, I baited him flawlessly, not needing to heal until he began his second attack phase at 50% life remaining&mdash;tearing off his left arm and wielding it like a club. This phase was trickier. The bend-down-and-backhand move was purged from his arsenal. I had to find a new way, a safe way, to bait him.</p> <p>The next two dozen or so attempts were more painful than the first few dozen. I'd get impatient and reckless during the first phase. I'd spent so long on the first phase that I found it difficult to adapt to his second set of moves. By the time I'd caught on, I'd died and had to try again. Recklessness is the number one cause of death in SoulsBorne games. I had to muster every last scrap of patience and hold on to them with a death grip.</p> <p>I steered clear of his stomps and tried to goad him into swinging his makeshift club at me. As soon as he wound up to swing, I'd scurry between his legs, take a swing or two at the closest one, then work my way behind him. He would sense me behind him and begin to stomp. That was my signal to get clear&mdash;the shockwaves from his tantrums deal damage, making his stomps twice as risky to instigate&mdash;then wait for him to turn around. When I did, I'd make a nuisance of myself until he swung again. Rinse and repeat.</p> <p>PlayStation 4 records video segments to a maximum of 15 minutes. My final and successful run at that damn tree ate up nearly all of that. At last, I heard the telltale <em>SLICE</em>. The Last Giant jerked, then toppled. I gasped loudly. My wife bolted upright on the couch from where she'd been lounging, probably fighting the urge to nod off (not that I blame her). A surge of euphoria lifted me out of my chair and to my feet. I pumped my fists and let out a barbaric yawp.</p> <p>At last, I heard the telltale <em>SLICE</em>. The Last Giant jerked, then toppled. I gasped loudly. My wife bolted upright on the couch from where she'd been lounging, probably fighting the urge to nod off (not that I blame her). A surge of euphoria lifted me out of my chair and to my feet. I pumped my fists and let out a barbaric yawp.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/dark-souls-2-war-cry.png" alt="" width="700" height="393" /></div> <p>As much as I love these games, and Dark Souls 2 in particular, they had become routine by 2014 when Dark Souls 2 was released. Not routine in a bad way. Just a known quantity, albeit one that I loved. The jubilation I'd experienced from previous runs in each game was meted out over a series of small victories: locating the weapon I wanted to use for the playthrough, discovering a secret passageway I'd somehow missed before.</p> <p>This rush had a different source. It took me nine hours to complete the first level of Demon's Souls when I brought the game home on the day it released in 2009. If I could hop in a time machine and relive any gaming memory, it would be that one. Every death had been a learning experience, every inch of progress a discovery.</p> <p>Bringing down the Last Giant with a broken spoon was gratifying in a similar way. My usual bag of tricks was unavailable to me. To succeed, I had to learn and appreciate the nuances of a boss I had dismissed hundreds of hours earlier.</p> <p>That newly-in-love feeling had been at its most potent and addictive back in 2009. Future entries had better mechanics, items, worlds, and lore than Demon's Souls. Nonetheless, they had all felt familiar in ways great and small. All it took to rekindle (if you'll permit me a pun) my passion for the series was for arguably the easiest first boss in the franchise to become a threat again.</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 14:15:00 PDT David Craddock How to Catch a Nackle Fish in Yonder http://www.shacknews.com/article/100723/how-to-catch-a-nackle-fish-in-yonder http://www.shacknews.com/article/100723/how-to-catch-a-nackle-fish-in-yonder <p>Yonder is as relaxed as games get these days. Everything you do is slow-paced, but everything serves a purpose. In the case of fishing, players can use fish as currency while trading, and might be required to catch fish as part of a quest, or to pay a farm hand who wants food. Today, we&rsquo;ll tell you how you can start fishing in Yonder, and where to snag the elusive Nackle fish.</p> <h2>How to Catch Nackle Fish in Yonder</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 2560px;"><img width="2560" height="1440" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-nackle-fish-1.jpg" /></div> <p>Before you can start fishing, you&rsquo;ll need a Fishing Pole. This is obtained by traveling to Goldlake, which is northwest from Fairmont, the first village you encounter. Once there, talk to an NPC named Theodore. He will give you the Fishing Pole, but also a quest called &ldquo;A Knack for Nackle Fish.&rdquo; This quest is the perfect opportunity to practice and learn how to catch fish in Yonder.</p> <p>Head to the East Docks, which is a location you should be familiar with by now. It&rsquo;s just to the southeast of Fairmont. This is where you can snag the Nackle Fish for the quest, but also where you can learn the mechanics of fishing in general.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 2560px;"><img width="2560" height="1440" alt="" src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/yonder-nackle-fish-3.jpg" /></div> <p>Approach the water and follow the on-screen instructions to cast your line. This will be left-click if you&rsquo;re on PC and using a mouse and keyboard. You can move the bobber around in the water, dangling it in front of fish that you want to catch. On the flipside, you can move the bobber away from fish that you know you don&rsquo;t want to catch.</p> <p>When a fish bites and takes the line, you&rsquo;ll be given two indicators in the form of a red and green arrows. You want to position your Fishing Pole so that the arrow is green. If the arrow is red, you may break the line. On PC, you can position the Fishing Pole by moving the mouse around, and when the arrow is green, follow the on-screen prompts to reel the fish in. This would be the &ldquo;A&rdquo; key on PC.</p> <p>We caught our Nackle fish at night, but they seem to be somewhat rare. It will help you to move your bobber away from smaller fish, focusing instead on medium sized and larger fish. At least this way you can be sure that the fish you&rsquo;re catching are worth a bit at a trader.</p> <p>Grab one Nackle fish and take it back to Theodore to complete &ldquo;A Knack for Nackle Fish,&rdquo; and then you can go fishing whenever and wherever you please in Yonder.</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:45:00 PDT Bill Lavoy Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition Now Available for Preorder on Consoles http://www.shacknews.com/article/100722/pillars-of-eternity-complete-edition-now-available-for-preorder-on-consoles http://www.shacknews.com/article/100722/pillars-of-eternity-complete-edition-now-available-for-preorder-on-consoles <p>Some may have missed the original announcement made on June 21, but Paradox Interactive <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/99088/cities-skylines-lands-on-xbox-one-this-spring" title="Cities Skylines coming to consoles">is bringing Pillars of Eternity and Cities: Skylines to consoles</a>. The popular PC games will have their day in the console sun later this year, in both physical and digital formats.</p> <p>Today, Paradox Interactive announced you can now place a preorder for Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition, which will be available for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting August 29, 2017. As the title implies, the new release gathers Pillars of Eternity itself, along with The White March &ndash; Parts I &amp; II. The games and their expanded content have been &ldquo;fully remastered and adapted for a big-screen experience with enhanced UI and controller support,&rdquo; as per a press release issued to mark the occasion.</p> <p>Pillars of Eternity is an isometric, party-based RPG developed by Obsidian Entertainment and first announced under the name &ldquo;Project Eternity&rdquo; in a 2012 <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity/description" title="Pillars of Eternity crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter">Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign</a>. The initial goal was to raise $1,100,000, but the campaign ended at more than triple that number. The PC edition of Pillars of Eternity was finally released in March of 2015, most of a year after the original estimate, and was favorably received by most critics and fans. A sequel is in development for projected release in 2018, following a successful <a href="https://www.fig.co/campaigns/deadfire" target="_blank" title="Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire crowdfunding campaign on Fig">Fig crowdfunding campaign</a>.</p> <p>Those interested in Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition can currently preorder it from the <a href="https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/pillars-of-eternity-complete-edition-ps4/" target="_blank" title="Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition on PlayStation Store">PlayStation Store</a>&nbsp;or <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/pillars-of-eternity-complete-edition/bs34vnw7h61f" title="Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition on Xbox One" target="_blank">Xbox Live</a>&nbsp;for $49.99. 505 Games will handle distribution of the physical edition, so check your favorite retailer if you would like to order the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Pillars-Eternity-Complete-Xbox-One/dp/B0734S1N4V/shack0a-20" target="_blank" title="Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition on Xbox One">Xbox One edition</a>&nbsp;or the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Pillars-Eternity-Complete-PlayStation-4/dp/B0734T77S2/shack0a-20?th=1" target="_blank" title="Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition on PlayStation 4">PlayStation 4 edition</a>. Then mark your calendar for the great adventure that awaits you in late August and beyond.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Full Disclosure:</em></p> <p><em>Jason Venter backed the original PC version of Pillars of Eternity during its initial Kickstarter campaign, and it is possible/probable his name even appears somewhere in the closing credits as part of his backer reward.</em></p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:02:00 PDT Jason Venter NES Classic Bundles in Stock at ThinkGeek Right Now http://www.shacknews.com/article/100717/nes-classic-bundles-in-stock-at-thinkgeek-right-now http://www.shacknews.com/article/100717/nes-classic-bundles-in-stock-at-thinkgeek-right-now <p>Are you one of the millions of people who were disappointed by Nintendo's poor supply chain management of the NES Classic console. <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/nes-classic-bundles/" target="_blank">ThinkGeek has NES Classic Edition in stock</a>&nbsp;right now, but only if you buy a bundle.&nbsp;There are 6 total bundles with prices ranging from $139.99 to $219.99. U.S. sales only and bundles are limited to 1 per customer. ThinkGeek released the following statement:</p> <p>"DRINK AGAIN FROM THE NOSTALGIA FIREHOSE!</p> <p>We were bummed when we heard that Nintendo halted production of the NES Classic Edition and had no plans to produce it again. After Nintendo shipped the last of them back in April, we shed a tiny pixelated tear and waved a fond goodbye. But then one of the buying ninjas at GameStop revealed they'd gotten their hands on a supply (sometimes it's good to have Corporate Overlords). Timmy thinks it involved some big Colombian banana cartel, but we don't ask questions of the ninjas in Grapevine. Mostly because we can't ever find them.</p> <p>But wait. There's more. Literally. With your super-awesome, hard-to-find, not-marked-up-on-eBay NES Classic Edition you're going to score some bonus Nintendo goodies."</p> <p>Please take a look at the <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/nes-classic-bundles/" target="_blank">6 different NES Classic console bundles</a>&nbsp;available right now at ThinkGeek.</p> <h2>NES Classic Edition + 3 Canvases, Puzzle, Puppet</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 350px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/NES-Bundle-1.jpg" width="350" height="350" /></div> <p>Price: $139.99</p> <ul> <li>Classic NES Box Art - Exclusive Canvas Art - 3 Total</li> <li>The Legend of Zelda: Classic 550pc Puzzle</li> <li>Mario Piranha Plant Puppet</li> </ul> <h2>NES Classic Edition + Book, Lamp, Puzzle</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 350px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/NES-Bundle-2.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="347" /></div> <p>Price: $149.99</p> <ul> <li>Playing With Power Book</li> <li>Mario Question Block Lamp</li> <li>World 1-2 550pc Puzzle</li> </ul> <h2>NES Classic Edition + Slate &amp; Shield Backpack, Travel Mug</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 350px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/NES-Bundle-3.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="350" /></div> <p>Price: $159.99</p> <ul> <li>Breath of the Wild Sheikah Slate Sketchbook</li> <li>Breath of the Wild Shield Backpack</li> <li>Zelda Travel mug</li> </ul> <h2>NES Classic Edition + Tetris Lamp &amp; Book</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 350px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/NES-Bundle-4.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="350" /></div> <p>Price: $149.99</p> <ul> <li>Tetris Stackable LED Desk Lamp</li> <li>Playing With Power: Nintendo NES Classics</li> </ul> <h2>NES Classic Edition + Mega Man Helmet, 8-Bit Pin Set</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 350px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/NES-Bundle-5.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="350" /></div> <p>Price: $169.99</p> <ul> <li>Mega Man Helmet Replica</li> <li>Mega Man Collectible Enamel Pin Sets</li> </ul> <h2>NES Classic Edition + Mega Man Helmet, Proto Man Buster, Mega Buster Mug</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 350px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/NES-Bundle-6.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="350" /></div> <p>Price: $219.99</p> <ul> <li>Wearable Mega Man Helmet: Scale Replica</li> <li>Proto Man Buster Replica</li> <li>Mega Man Buster Gun Mug</li> </ul> <p>A reminder that these <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/nes-classic-bundles/" target="_blank">NES Classic console bundles</a>&nbsp;are only in stock right now at ThinkGeek. This may be your last chance to finally play with power. Classic power!</p> <p><strong>UPDATE:</strong> All bundles sold out in less than an hour.</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:30:00 PDT Asif Khan How to Play Splatoon 2 http://www.shacknews.com/article/100721/how-to-play-splatoon-2 http://www.shacknews.com/article/100721/how-to-play-splatoon-2 <p>Splatoon 2 isn't your run-of-the-mill, team-based shooter. Like the Wii U original before it, Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch offers competitive play focused more on territory control and less on "frags." Movement is the cornerstone of Splatoon 2, as you would expect from shooters, but Nintendo put a twist on movement by letting players swim through the ink bathing arenas, providing an exhilarating combination of quick movement and tactical options.</p> <p>This guide covers the basics of how to play Splatoon 2, including general controls and some tips and tactics that will get you up and running&mdash;or rather, swimming&mdash;whether you want to play online or go through the game's campaign.</p> <h2>How to Play Splatoon 2: Shooting</h2> <p>Anyone who has played competitive third- or first-person shooters on consoles will feel at home in the bright, colorful world of Splatoon 2. Shoot ink from your currently equipped gun by squeezing the ZR trigger on your Switch Joy-Con or Pro Controller. There are several different weapons available, each with unique attributes such as rate of fire and power.</p> <p>Unlike other shooters, shooting your opponents is only one way to use your weapons. Each team sprays ink of a specific color. In most matches, the team that covers the most ground wins, so don't be afraid to open fire on the environment even if no opponents are in sight.</p> <h2>How to Play Splatoon 2: Movement</h2> <p>Splatoon 2 incorporates motion controls for snappy, precise aiming. Motion controls are enabled by default; tilt your Joy-Con or Pro Controller to aim the camera. If you prefer to play Splatoon 2 with a more traditional control scheme, go into the options menu to <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100668/splatoon-2-how-to-turn-off-motion-controls">turn off motion controls</a>.</p> <p>To refill your ink, or to move fluidly through the environment, step into any patch of ground painted in your team's color and press ZL. You'll enter Squid Mode, diving into ink and swimming below the surface. When you pop back up, your weapon will be topped off.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WIx_J0TMfgU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h2>How to Play Splatoon 2: Secondary Fire</h2> <p>The R trigger on your controller of choice is used to throw bombs. Press and hold R to get a look at a bomb's trajectory before you lob it, or tap R to drop a bomb near your position when opponents get too close for comfort.</p> <p>Now that you've got a handle on Splatoon 2's basic controls, the game world is your canvas. Consult our <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100582/splatoon-2-tips-secrets-strategies-and-collectibles" target="_blank">Splatoon 2</a> guide hub for info such as <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100576/splatoon-2-how-to-start-the-single-player-campaign" target="_blank">how to start the campaign</a> and everything you need to know about <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100665/splatoon-2-all-amiibo-gear" target="_blank">Amiibo gear</a>.</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:15:00 PDT David Craddock August Xbox Games With Gold Features Free Bayonetta, Trials Fusion http://www.shacknews.com/article/100720/august-xbox-games-with-gold-features-free-bayonetta-trials-fusion http://www.shacknews.com/article/100720/august-xbox-games-with-gold-features-free-bayonetta-trials-fusion <p>Games With Gold has an awesome lineup for August, including Bayonetta, featuring the spectacled, raven-haired, pistol-wielding librarian. The game also joined Microsoft's growing list of backward compatible titles for Xbox One.</p> <p>Bayonetta will be free for Games With Gold members from August 1-15. Red Faction: Armageddon, which also is now backward compatible on Xbox One, will finish out the month as the freebie from August 16-31.</p> <p>As for the games created for Xbox One, Slime Rancher kicks things off and is free the whole month from August 1-31. Trails Fusion fulfills the weird cross-month title, being free from August 16 to September 15. All four titles will save you almost $90.</p> <p>You still have time to <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100452/xbox-games-with-gold-for-july-are-underwhelming">grab a few of July's free games</a>. Runbow, Kane &amp; Lynch 2 and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean can still be had if you are desperate to fill out your library.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Jfnu49hQ26E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:00:00 PDT John Keefer Illfonic Abandoning Friday The 13th is '100% Not True,' CEO Says http://www.shacknews.com/article/100718/illfonic-abandoning-friday-the-13th-is-100-not-true-ceo-says http://www.shacknews.com/article/100718/illfonic-abandoning-friday-the-13th-is-100-not-true-ceo-says <p>Earlier today, <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-07-25-friday-the-13th-dev-working-on-a-new-horror-game-but-fans-arent-happy">Eurogamer reported</a>&nbsp;that fans were concerned that Illfonic's announcement of zombie shooter Dead Alliance meant that Friday The 13th's development would be neglected along with the various bugs that need to be addressed. We reached out to Illfonic and Gun Media to get a statement and it looks like there's simply some crossed wires on the origins of Dead Alliance. Illfonic announced that they were working on Dead Alliance back in May and it has a release date set for the end of August. It was originally called Moving Hazard, a game that has been around for over a year,&nbsp;and that should alleviate the majority of concerns for the community.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's the full response from Illfonic's CEO,&nbsp;Chuck Brungardt:</p> <p>"I wanted to address the concerns that IllFonic has abandoned Friday the 13th: The Game for Dead Alliance. This is 100% not true. Most major and independent studios have multiple teams working on multiple projects at the same time. This is critical for the survival of the studio, especially with the ups and downs <g class="gr_ gr_32 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="32" data-gr-id="32">with</g> the game industry. Dead Alliance was started way before Friday the 13th: The Game. It was a co-development by Psyop Games and IllFonic then titled Moving Hazard. Psyop Games released Moving Hazard to Steam Early Access well over a year ago and it gained interest from Maximum Games for a console port. We&rsquo;ve had a team who remained working on what turned into Dead Alliance for consoles that <g class="gr_ gr_46 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="46" data-gr-id="46">has</g> always been separate from the Friday the 13th: The Game team. IllFonic still remains a small studio to this day but we are growing.</p> <p>With the recent success of Friday the 13th: The <g class="gr_ gr_37 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="37" data-gr-id="37">Game</g> we have been increasing our staff on the title. We originally had about 20 internal team members working on Friday the 13th: The Game and are now up to about 30 internal team members. We also have opened a second office that sole purpose is to support <g class="gr_ gr_38 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="38" data-gr-id="38">development</g> of Friday the 13th: The Game. In <g class="gr_ gr_39 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="39" data-gr-id="39">addition</g> we are continuing to staff up more team members for continued support of the game. So we assure you, continued support for Friday the 13th: The Game has not been abandoned, in fact, it&rsquo;s quite the opposite."</p> <p>Let's hope this means Illfonic will be able to address Friday the 13th's issues in the near future.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:46:00 PDT Charles Singletary Radeon RX Vega Benchmarks Leak Ahead of SIGGRAPH Reveal http://www.shacknews.com/article/100719/radeon-rx-vega-benchmarks-leak-ahead-of-siggraph-reveal http://www.shacknews.com/article/100719/radeon-rx-vega-benchmarks-leak-ahead-of-siggraph-reveal <p>Less than a week before AMD plans to unveil its new flagship gaming GPU to the world at the SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles, benchmark runs from 3DMark&rsquo;s FireStrike tool were briefly uploaded to the 3DMark website. The good folks over at <a href="https://videocardz.com/71090/amd-radeon-rx-vega-3dmark-fire-strike-performance">VideoCardz</a>&nbsp;first reported that the benchmark results were uploaded to the 3Dmark database by a user tagged &lsquo;TheGameTechnician&rsquo;. The tag is believed to be that of Jason Evangelho, Senior Tech Marketing Specialist at Radeon Technologies Group. If these results are from Evangelho, the benchmarks are about as &ldquo;official&rdquo; as the public will get prior to SIGGRAPH.</p> <p>The results themselves show three runs that have performance in the neighborhood of <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/94544/nvidias-gtx-1080-will-cost-599-and-launch-on-may-27th" target="_blank">NVIDIA's Geforce GTX 1080</a>&nbsp;and a good deal quicker than the GTX 1070. The benchmarks are believed to have been run on reference-style cards, as custom designs from AIB partners are not expected to be available at launch. These scores fall in line with what was seen out of official reviews for AMD&rsquo;s Vega Frontier Edition card that was released earlier this month. The Vega Frontier Edition cards and the gaming focused Radeon RX Vega are believed to be using the same silicon.</p> <p>A performance profile similar to the GTX 1080 has been expected from the RX Vega for a few weeks now, based on Vega Frontier Edition benchmarks and reactions from the AMD&rsquo;s RX Vega Roadshow. <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100648/amd-shows-off-radeon-rx-vega-in-budapest">Those events</a>&nbsp;featured a few showcases in the last month allowing gamers to play on masked rigs featuring the RX Vega and what was thought be a GTX 1080. Reports from those demonstrations were inconclusive, though both of the PCs were said to have performed similarly.</p> <p>Pricing for the Radeon RX Vega continues to be the biggest remaining question surround the card&rsquo;s launch. AMD is expected to pull the covers off everything within the next week.</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:30:00 PDT Chris Jarrard Blizzard Lays Off Composer Who Created Iconic World of Warcraft Music http://www.shacknews.com/article/100716/blizzard-lays-off-composer-who-created-iconic-world-of-warcraft-music http://www.shacknews.com/article/100716/blizzard-lays-off-composer-who-created-iconic-world-of-warcraft-music <p>Music is usually an underappreciated aspect of games, sitting in the background to give ambiance to your play. But in some cases, great music can enhance it immeasurably. Blizzard has had some iconic themes in its games, from World of Warcraft to Diablo 3, StarCraft 2 to Overwatch. Unfortunately, the composer of much of that music is now out of a job.</p> <div class="articleImage left" style="width: 254px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/russell-brower-blizzard2.jpg" alt="" width="254" height="256" /></div> <p>Russell Brower, Blizzard's&nbsp;<span>senior audio director and composer, has been laid off because of changes to the inner workings of the sound and music divisions within the company.&nbsp;<span>"<span>I&rsquo;m extremely proud of the amazingly talented team I helped build and the creative output we&rsquo;ve accomplished together over these past 12 years," Brower <a href="https://www.facebook.com/russell.brower.1/posts/10155626817891518" target="_blank">wrote in a post on Facebook</a>. "As the company has grown, the topography of the Sound team has adjusted accordingly, and the last couple of years have been no exception. With the success of a 'sound de-centralization' initiative, my current position of overall Sr. Audio Director/Composer is no longer relevant and is being eliminated."</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Brower said that there is a chance he will continue as a&nbsp;freelance composer with Blizzard on future projects, and more will be&nbsp;known in the future. But for now, he is working to finish up a solo album that should be completed soon.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>"<span>I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to EVERYONE reading this: all of our Players, Music Lovers, and the countless new friends I&rsquo;ve made worldwide, for the incredible and indelible life experiences I have enjoyed while at Blizzard," he continued. "Especially the Players - each of you have truly enriched our lives by playing our games, meeting us at&nbsp;</span><a class="_58cn" href="https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/blizzcon?source=feed_text&amp;story_id=10155626817891518" data-ft="{" tn="" :="" n="" type="" :104=""><span class="_5afx"><span aria-label="hashtag" class="_58cl _5afz">#</span><span class="_58cm">BlizzCon</span></span></a><span>&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span><a class="_58cn" href="https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/nerdtacular?source=feed_text&amp;story_id=10155626817891518" data-ft="{" tn="" :="" n="" type="" :104=""><span class="_5afx"><span aria-label="hashtag" class="_58cl _5afz">#</span><span class="_58cm">Nerdtacular</span></span></a><span>, attending our music concerts the world over, enjoying our soundtrack albums and sheet music - the list goes on and on. We have so much to be proud of and I am truly grateful to each of you and to all my Blizzard colleagues for putting up with me over the last 12 years and teaching me so much."</span></span></span></p> <p>if you can't recall any of Brower's music, World of Warcraft players will recognize the "Invincible" theme from Wrath of the Lich King. It was given special mention as being "<span>imbued with emotion and portent"&nbsp;</span>when his WoW soundtrack was <a href="http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/52/" target="_blank">inducted in the Classic FM Hall of Fame in 2014</a>. Video Games Live played the track in 2013, with Brower directing the orchestra. &nbsp;</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K1eBQF8F62g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:55:00 PDT John Keefer Gamescom PUBG Invitational Announced, Will Have $350k Prize Pool http://www.shacknews.com/article/100715/gamescom-pubg-invitational-announced-will-have-350k-prize-pool http://www.shacknews.com/article/100715/gamescom-pubg-invitational-announced-will-have-350k-prize-pool <p>Coming hot <g class="gr_ gr_22 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="22" data-gr-id="22"><g class="gr_ gr_22 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="22" data-gr-id="22"><g class="gr_ gr_22 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="22" data-gr-id="22">off</g></g></g> the news that PUBG has <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100700/pubg-hits-5-million-sales-in-only-4-months">surpassed 5 million units sold</a>, Bluehole, Inc. has announced that they've partnered with the ESL gaming network for a PUBG Invitational that will take place at Gamescom on&nbsp;<span>August 23 &ndash; 26, 2017 in Cologne, Germany.</span></p> <p><span>The offline tournament will feature the top 80 PUBG players and influencers as they compete for a prize pool valued at $350,000. The contest will include Solo mode, Duo mode, Duo First Person Perspective mode and Squad mode across the four-day event, where the best overall score from three games played will determine the winner. Starting on August 3rd, Bluehole will be allowing players to purchase vanity items to customize their characters with and the proceedings from that will go toward the prize pool. They'll also be getting access to First Person Perspective servers and a new rifle with a patch update.</span></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Ku9MzKHcyII"></iframe></p> <p><span>&ldquo;From very early on we knew that the success of PUBG was reliant on the passion of its community. We want to celebrate this by inviting eighty of the top players from around the world to compete in the first offline invitational,&rdquo; says Bluehole VP and Executive Producer Chang Han Kim in a press release for the announcement. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been incredibly rewarding to see how quickly our community has grown, and can&rsquo;t wait to hear about everyone&rsquo;s experience this summer."</span></p> <p><span>There's some sweet gear coming to the&nbsp;community in the next&nbsp;major patch via&nbsp;three new crates. The crates will contain items inspired by the Battle Royale movie and the first and second crates, named the&nbsp;Wanderer Crate&nbsp;and&nbsp;the&nbsp;Survivor Crate,&nbsp;will be free to open. Each of these crates will include one set of the themed clothing, on top of other cosmetic items. The third crate named the&nbsp;Gamescom Invitational Crate&nbsp;will have the most diverse pool of themed clothing, but you'll have to purchase a $2.50 key to open it.</span></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/PUBGRe.jpg" alt="PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>If you're not one of the lucky people invited to the tournament, it will be broadcast each day at 4 pm&nbsp;CEST on Twitch, Facebook, Youtube, Mixer, and Twitter. There will also be interactive coverage with participants will be available on social media. If you're attending Gamescom, select attendees will be able to meet the Bluehole devs and play the latest build of the game. You also may want to work on your skills before August arrives because those same attendees may get a shot to enter the tournament and get some of the&nbsp;massive&nbsp;prize pool.</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:24:00 PDT Charles Singletary Professor Einstein Robot Shows AI Has a Way to Go, But It's all Relative http://www.shacknews.com/article/100714/professor-einstein-robot-shows-ai-has-a-way-to-go-but-its-all-relative http://www.shacknews.com/article/100714/professor-einstein-robot-shows-ai-has-a-way-to-go-but-its-all-relative <p>AI has come a long way in the last decade, so much so that <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100708/unregulated-ai-can-be-a-danger-to-humanity-elon-musk-says">Elon Musk thinks government should step in</a>&nbsp;before we get a Skynet and terminator situation. Of course, then we get robotic products like the new Einstein robot from Hanson Robotics, and things don't seem quite so scary.</p> <p>The new Professor Einstein bot is rather cute and can answer some basic questions in an offline mode. However, don't stray too far from the pre-arranged questions or the bot may just look at you and stick out its tongue. In an online mode hooked to home wi-fi, it can pair with the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stein-o-matic/id1234590818?mt=8&amp;ign-mpt=uo%3D4" target="_blank">Stein-o-Matic&nbsp;iOS companion app</a>&nbsp;for games, videos and provide more details on the theory of relativity, or give you a biography of who Einstein was.&nbsp;</p> <p>The little bot is an interesting novelty, but with a rather steep $300 price tag (although <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/112487205535?ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT" target="_blank">a special on eBay</a>&nbsp;can get it to you for $250). It is <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1240047277/professor-einstein-your-personal-genius" target="_blank">the culmination of a Kickstarter project</a>&nbsp;by Hanson and raised almost $113,000 (882,205 in HK$) to fund it. The project went through several iterations before finally settling on this final version.</p> <p>Here are some basic&nbsp;specs:</p> <ul> <li>ARM7 processor</li> <li>Two NiMH rechargeable batteries, for three hours of uncharged life</li> <li>A&nbsp;microphone on its chest, with two additional mics on the sides of the head</li> <li>A&nbsp;camera in its chest for tracking faces and maintaining eye contact</li> <li>Infrared sensors keep the robot from walking off of a table</li> <li>Nine coreless DC motors with custom gearboxes for movement, with&nbsp;five motors in the face alone for different expressions.</li> </ul> <p>Hanson is building&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFpK8Dqb1Fg" target="_blank">a reputation for life-like robots</a>, and thinks that robots offer better interactions than their virtual counterparts. Hanson CTO Andy Rifkin, who used to be a senior executive with toy company Mattel<span>, said that studies have shown &ldquo;physical embodiment can yield measurable learning gains&rdquo; in some educational settings (via <a href="http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/home-robots/professor-einstein-is-a-fun-wacky-robot-that-loves-to-talk-about-science" target="_blank">IEEE Spectrum</a>).</span></p> <p><span>It will be interesting to see how popular the robot becomes, especially given the high price and the short attention spans that can afflict today's children. If nothing else, it can be a cute paperweight that can be used respond to your spouse or kids if they annoy&nbsp;you.</span></p> <p><span>"Albert, stick out your tongue."</span></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zmiur4cVuR0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:00:00 PDT John Keefer What You Need To Know About AMD Ryzen Threadripper http://www.shacknews.com/article/100710/what-you-need-to-know-about-amd-ryzen-threadripper http://www.shacknews.com/article/100710/what-you-need-to-know-about-amd-ryzen-threadripper <p>AMD&rsquo;s CPU division has had a very successful 2017 thus far. The company released its first new CPU design in years, named Ryzen, back in the first week of march. Designed to directly compete with Intel&rsquo;s mainstream CPU market dominance, Ryzen arrived to serious critical acclaim. The heavily multi-threaded chips pack on the cores and have shown to provide a superior value to some of Intel&rsquo;s pricer options. Hot off the heels of the original Ryzen release, AMD is planning on diving headfirst into the high-end desktop computing market (HEDT) that had previously been left for Intel to own alone. AMD has dubbed its HEDT platform Threadripper and early word indicates that the new chips live up to aggressive name.</p> <p>The launch of Threadripper is expected to take place the first week of August and will be centered around two new CPUs, 1920X and 1950X. The Threadripper 1920X will feature 12 cores and 24 threads with a base clock of 3.5GHz. The 1950X will be a 16 core part with 32 threads and a base clock of 3.4Ghz. Both CPUs are expected to have boost clocks of 4.0GHz. While AMD is being tight-lipped about official pricing, the 1920X and 1950X are expected to sell for $799 and $999, respectively.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/threadripperpackaging.jpg" alt="Threadripper's packaging kind of looks like a foam mailbox" width="700" height="525" /></div> <p>If the early word on pricing is accurate, the AMD Threadripper chips will offer a tempting value when compared to Intel&rsquo;s newest 12 and 16 core HEDT CPUs. The Core i9-7920X is a 12 core, 24 thread CPU running on <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100055/intels-new-i9-skylake-processor-lineup-and-specs-leak">Intel&rsquo;s new X299 platform</a>&nbsp;and is expected to sell for $1199. The Core i9-7960X sports 16 cores and 32 threads with an expected launch price of $1699. Neither of these Skylake-X chips have hit the streets yet, but it&rsquo;s safe to assume that they will need to be extremely fast to justify the premium pricing in light of the impending Threadripper release.</p> <p>Both Threadripper CPUs will support a massive 64 PCI-E lanes. Like Intel&rsquo;s HEDT platform, the chips will support quad-channel DDR4 ram and up to 1TB of it if 128GB DIMMs are used. The CPUs are expected to be fully unlocked for users interested in overclocking Threadripper. On the system integrator side of things, Alienware is expected to be the exclusive provider of Threadripper systems from the large OEMS, although offerings from the smaller boutique vendors are expected.</p> <p>With Threadripper, AMD will continue to use the groan-inducing naming system for its motherboard chipsets that first appeared this spring with the Ryzen 7 release. The Ryzen 3, 5, and 7 series CPUs are compatible with AMD&rsquo;s B350 and X370 chipsets, which share a very similar naming scheme to Intel&rsquo;s years-long naming system. The Kaby Lake launch in January of this year used the new B250 and Z270 chipsets, with product numbers that followed 2016 Skylake chipsets, the B150 and Z170. While AMD&rsquo;s chipset names are obviously meant to one-up the Intel offerings, they make things much more confusing for new builders trying to buy compatible components. Deciding that disrupting and confusing the mainstream chipset naming conventions was not enough, AMD has dubbed their HEDT chipset the X399. The HEDT platform Intel release earlier this month goes by the name of X299.</p> <p>Official word on the specs and specifics of Threadripper are expected to be revealed at this month&rsquo;s SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles. All of the top motherboard vendors are expected to officially unveil their new X399 motherboards to the public. Expect the boards to be pack to the gills with all the ports, DIMM slots, and PCI-E lanes that enthusiasts have come to expect from HEDT platform. Don&rsquo;t be surprised if some of the boards are rotten with RGB lights and aggressive heatsinks. Some early photos of X399 boards have also made their way online in the last week.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/07/1496150690319.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="727" /></div> </div> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;">ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme X399</div> <p>Official word on Threadripper could come later today when <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100541/heres-when-video-game-companies-will-release-second-quarter-earnings-results">AMD is expected to release its second quarter earnings report</a>. You can also check back in with Shacknews during the SIGGRAPH conference for the latest news on Threadripper and what it will mean for the PC gamer. For those interested in building a new HEDT gaming system, will you being choosing Threadripper over Skylake-X? Let us know in the comments.</p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 09:45:00 PDT Chris Jarrard Killing Floor 2 Finally Coming to Xbox One and Xbox One X http://www.shacknews.com/article/100713/killing-floor-2-finally-coming-to-xbox-one-and-xbox-one-x http://www.shacknews.com/article/100713/killing-floor-2-finally-coming-to-xbox-one-and-xbox-one-x <p>Fans have been killing Zeds in <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/97646/killing-floor-2-sells-over-one-million-units-on-steam-early-access">Killing Floor 2 on PC and PlayStation 4</a>&nbsp;since late last year, with Xbox One users left to twiddle their thumbs or play something less entertaining. But developer Tripwire has heard the lamentations of those gamers and has decided to give them their own Zeds to kill, along with a few special bonuses.</p> <p>In addition to the already released DLC&nbsp;of Tropical Bash, Descent and Summer Sideshow, Xbox One players will get a special Freezethrower weapon for the Survival perk that will spray Zeds with liquid nitrogen and freeze them in place. They can then be shattered for a bit of extra satisfaction. The Freezethrower will also come with eight different skins. The Xbox One version will also offer a cosmetic Wasteland Armor with five different skins.</p> <p>With the game will support Xbox one, it is also being developed with Xbox One X in mind, complete with "4K support, increased&nbsp;performance, high resolution textures and shadow maps, and increased shadow-fade-out distance." The game will also support Microsoft's Mixer streaming service.</p> <p>Killing Floor 2 will be coming to both Xbox One on August 29 and Xbox One X&nbsp;when the console launches on November 7. Both versions will sell for $39.99.</p> <p>If you need a refresher on what the game is, check out this PS4 Pro interview with game director David Hensley.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1hsJv5168Ys" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 09:15:00 PDT John Keefer World of Warcraft Felmyst Fan Server Shut Down 5 Hours After Launch http://www.shacknews.com/article/100712/world-of-warcraft-felmyst-fan-server-shut-down-5-hours-after-launch http://www.shacknews.com/article/100712/world-of-warcraft-felmyst-fan-server-shut-down-5-hours-after-launch <p>Many World of Warcraft fans miss the old vanilla days of the game. This has spurred some die-hard players to recreate versions of the game that don't include all the expansions and updates, called legacy servers. Unfortunately, Blizzard is not a fan as it again has sent out a cease-and-desist to the user made Felmyst server team recreating the first expansion, The Burning Crusade.&nbsp;</p> <p>The launch of the Felmyst server, spearheaded by user Gummy52, had been highly anticipated in the legacy WoW community. While many other Burning Crusade servers exist, <a href="https://gamerant.com/world-of-warcraft-burning-crusade-legacy-server-live/" target="_blank">this had been the highest profile</a>&nbsp;because of its adherence to the way Blizzard's first expansion had played. Several thousand players had logged on in anticipation of the server's launch late last week, but no sooner was the server up, a Blizzard cease-and-desist letter had forced the server down five hours later (<a href="https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/07/blizzard-shuts-down-legacy-wow-fan-server-hours-after-it-goes-up/" target="_blank">via ArsTechnica</a>).</p> <p>The crux of the C&amp;D was in Felmyst&nbsp;"allow[ing] users to play altered and/or illegitimate copies of&nbsp;WoW&nbsp;online, without the need for a legitimately purchased copy or subscription... As you know, Blizzard has never authorized and, in fact, expressly prohibits the forgoing activity," the letter said. "Our client's copyrights are extremely valuable and Blizzard takes this matter very seriously," the letter continues. "As you can appreciate, your activity causes serious and irreparable injury to the value and integrity of our client's products and intellectual property."</p> <p>The Felmyst site has since been taken down, <a href="https://felmyst.com/" target="_blank">except for a heartfelt note&nbsp;from Gummy52</a>&nbsp;and a short video of the C&amp;D letter. There is also a<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/wowservers/comments/6p753r/of_course_im_sorry_that_none_of_us_got_to_play/dkn3tbr/" target="_blank"> follow-up post on reddit</a>. Gummy knew that Blizzard was cracking down on legacy servers, but said he had so much time and effort invested in the project that he kept plodding ahead. He also announced that he had muscular dystrophy, which kept him on his current course rather than changing to something that would invite less scrutiny.</p> <p>"<span>The warning signs to expect notice from Blizzard were there but receiving it that quickly was something I don't think many expected," he said, but he kept working on it anyway, a move he says he doesn't regret.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>"So why did I make this project? I love the game and community, especially the community," he said. "The old game was a great way to meet people and see new faces. It makes me happy, and programming makes me happy. Of course, I am sad that things didn't turn out the way I'd hoped but I don't think I'd change any of the decisions I made. I gambled that we could cap the servers at 3k and enjoy a close community. Sadly, I did not win that gamble, though on some level it was nice to see so many people eager to enjoy something I worked on. This project gave the last four years of my life a sense of purpose that I thoroughly enjoyed."</span></p> <p><span>Fans have not been happy, but given the situation, you really can't blame Gummy, other than continuing to pursue a project that could have been shutdown at any time previous. Blizzard <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/94018/blizzard-shuts-down-fan-hosted-server-nostalrius-running-vanilla-world-of-warcraft">C&amp;D'd the popular Nostalrius server</a>&nbsp;in April of last year. Blizzard talked with the creators and <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/94330/blizzard-finally-discusses-shutting-down-vanilla-world-of-warcraft-server-nostalrius">even considered launching their own "pristine realm,"</a>&nbsp;but nothing came of it. The Nostalrius team eventually gave their code to the <a href="https://elysium-project.org/" target="_blank">Elysium project</a>, which has <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/98042/world-of-warcrafts-fan-run-server-nostalrius-returns-this-month">since launched a Nostalrius-style setup</a>&nbsp;with as yet no repercussions from Blizzard.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>While the situation is indeed frustrating, Blizzard's track record means that these type projects are undertaken at the creator's peril. You never know what will bring the eyes of corporate big brother on to the project, complete with C&amp;D letters ready-made to go out on a moment's notice. Truth is you can only be lucky&nbsp;for so long. Popularity brings scrutiny, and while Blizzard like a rabid fan base, don't expect it to ever be happy with projects using their IP and assets.</span></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R_UmcOEeJbs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Tue, 25 Jul 2017 08:45:00 PDT John Keefer Splatoon 2: How to Beat the Octo Samurai http://www.shacknews.com/article/100709/splatoon-2-how-to-beat-the-octo-samurai http://www.shacknews.com/article/100709/splatoon-2-how-to-beat-the-octo-samurai <p>Gather the six Zapfish and you&rsquo;ll unlock the Boss Kettle where the Splatoon 2 campaign&rsquo;s second battle arena awaits. Your foe, the Octo Samurai, carries a huge ink roller he waves around like a sword. As per Sheldon&rsquo;s Request, you also need to utilize a roller. In other words, there&rsquo;s going to be a lot of ink splashed around the arena.</p> <p>Your first concern as the battle begins is mere survival. Until you&rsquo;re familiar with the Octo Samurai&rsquo;s attack patterns (and even after that), it&rsquo;s a good idea to strafe at a moderate distance. As you do so, splash down ink with your roller and dip into your trail when you need to refill your supply. It doesn&rsquo;t hurt if you&rsquo;ve also purchased the upgrade so you can carry more ink with you. By marking up the ground, you make it easier to move quickly to the sides if the battle makes the necessary. You can also circle more quickly and perhaps even get in a few attacks from behind, if you&rsquo;re feeling brave.</p> <p>After you fight the Octo Samurai for a while, it will speed toward you on a bike. Dodge that rush, then dash in and counter with your ink. You can probably get in a few quick attacks, but be sure to back away as the bike transforms back into an oversized sword. You can repeat this pattern as needed, until finally you splash enough paint on your foe that it a large tentacle appears. Hit that appendage with everything you&rsquo;ve got, until you deal some severe damage.</p> <p>Now the Octo Stomp will attack more ferociously. He has gained a downward strike attack that you need to avoid, in addition to his prior techniques. You want to make sure there&rsquo;s plenty of ink you can use to swiftly move to the sides. Then you can counter, but watch out for another new attack: a whirling swing. Fortunately, there&rsquo;s a sound cue you can use to steer clear of that technique. Listen for a high-pitched shriek, then back quickly away to avoid taking damage.</p> <p>Once you are familiar enough with those attacks and deal enough damage, a tentacle emerges again. After you harm that tentacle enough, it recedes and the battle&rsquo;s third phase begins. This final phase is much like the previous ones, except the downward thrust can produce a long line of ink that you must also avoid. The boss likes to repeat that attack two more times in succession, and then he&rsquo;ll be a bit winded. His fatigue allows you to move in close and splash some more paint on him before retreating.</p> <p>Naturally, the Octo Samurai will mix his new attack with the others you&rsquo;ve been avoiding up to that point, so be ready for anything as you spread more paint around and eventually deal a final blow. Then you&rsquo;re ready to resume your Splatoon adventure and hopefully find out more about the whereabouts of Callie and the Great Zapfish.</p> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:54:00 PDT Jason Venter Unregulated AI Can Be a Danger to Humanity, Elon Musk Says http://www.shacknews.com/article/100708/unregulated-ai-can-be-a-danger-to-humanity-elon-musk-says http://www.shacknews.com/article/100708/unregulated-ai-can-be-a-danger-to-humanity-elon-musk-says <p>Elon Musk is on the cutting edge of technology. From SpaceX to the Tesla to a new hyperloop train system, Musk stays informed on all the latest in electronics to both make life easier and benefit the planet. There is one area, however, that he thinks needs immediate government regulation: Artificial Intelligence.</p> <p>&ldquo;I have exposure to the very cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it,&rdquo; Musk told the National Governors Association this past weekend. &ldquo;I keep sounding the alarm bell, but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don&rsquo;t know how to react, because it seems so ethereal.&rdquo;</p> <p>AI is making incredible leaps, from Google's AlphaGo AI beating a human grand master at the strategy board game Go to Facebook's various AIs communicating in their own language. And there are currently no limits to its expansion. Musk is looking further down the road, though, where super-intelligent AIs could become a problem.&nbsp;</p> <p>Current work on "stupid" AI could eventually lead to what the AI community calls "artificial general intelligence," along the lines of the futuristic movies we see, such as Skynet from The Terminator and VIKI from I, Robot.</p> <p>"AI is a rare case where we need to be proactive about regulation instead of reactive," Musk said, "because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it&rsquo;s too late.&rdquo; He said that government stepping in after&nbsp;&ldquo;a whole bunch of bad things happen&rdquo; won't work because AI represents &ldquo;a fundamental risk to the existence of civilization.&rdquo;</p> <p>David Ha, who is working on Google Brain, disagreed with Musk to a degree <a href="https://twitter.com/hardmaru/status/886673806932066304" target="_blank">via Twitter</a>, seeing more of a threat in AI being used to&nbsp;<span>&ldquo;mask unethical human activities.&rdquo;</span></p> <p><span>Check out Musk's full talk below. His comments on AI start around the 48-minute mark.</span></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2C-A797y8dA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p></p> <p></p> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:35:00 PDT John Keefer Pokemon Go: How to Find and Catch Lugia http://www.shacknews.com/article/100707/pokemon-go-how-to-find-and-catch-lugia http://www.shacknews.com/article/100707/pokemon-go-how-to-find-and-catch-lugia <p>Developer Niantic Labs delighted Pokemon Go fans earlier this weekend by rolling out Legendary Raids, special events that pit your band of merry monsters against some of the toughest&mdash;and rarest&mdash;Pokemon in the game. Lugia, a silver-and-blue bird that rose to notoriety after it graced the cover of Pokemon Silver on Game Boy Color, is one such legendary pocket monster. Catching Lugia is no easy task, but there are steps you can take to add this silver feather to your cap.</p> <h2>How to Catch Lugia in Pokemon Go</h2> <p>If you want to find Lugia, you'll have to find a Legendary Raid. Refer to your game screen and travel to a gym when and where these events take place. Every Legendary Raid centers on a major battle against a Legendary Pokemon, some of the strongest in the entire game. If Lugia is named as your boss, you'll have a chance to capture it at the end of the fight. Of course, you'll have to make it that far first.</p> <p>The best way to win a Legendary Raid is to get together with friends ahead of time. Not just a few, either: players who have conquered raids are reporting going in with more than a dozen trainers. Coordinate with your group so that each of you puts his or her best Pokemon on the front lines. Lugia and other Legendary Pokemon have tens of thousands of hit points, so prepare for an epic brawl.</p> <p>Like any other battle, you'll win this one by being prepared. While Lugia takes adequate damage from most types, it's especially vulnerable against Rock, Ghost, Dark, Electric, and Ice Pokemon. Make sure to bring along items that raise your chance of capturing Lugia after the battle, such as Golden Razz Berries.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YpQyj7AsmS8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h2>How to Use Lugia</h2> <p>Each Legendary Pokemon that Niantic added to Pokemon Go comes with exceptions, and Lugia is&hellip; well, no exception. Lugia cannot be assigned to guard one of your gyms, but it excels at leading attacks against rival gyms.</p> <p>Looking for more tips on catching Legendary Pokemon in <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/pokemon-go">Pokemon Go</a>? Check out our guide to adding <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100705/pokemon-go-how-to-find-and-catch-articuno">Articuno</a> to your roster.</p> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:30:00 PDT Shack Staff Sign up for the Rocket League Tournament of Doom http://www.shacknews.com/article/100693/sign-up-for-the-rocket-league-tournament-of-doom http://www.shacknews.com/article/100693/sign-up-for-the-rocket-league-tournament-of-doom <p>It is time. We need to have a good old Shackbattle in Rocket League. 3 on 3. I&nbsp;was&nbsp;inspired by <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100609/wwes-xavier-woods-holds-impromptu-windjammers-tourney-at-evo-2017" target="_blank">Xavier Woods' impromptu Windjammers tournament at EVO 2017</a>&nbsp;and will be using a similar award system for the winners of this summer's Rocket League Tournament of Doom. First place splits $300 in Space Bucks (XBL/PSN/Steam/eShop). Third place splits $150 in Space Bucks. Second place, nothing.&nbsp;</p> <p>It is never easy to get everyone in the same place on the same day, so I have a few suggestions for how we go about this. Depending on the number of teams that sign up, I suggest a weekend bracket and weekday bracket. Once we have it down to the Finals and third place games we could figure out a time that works for the&nbsp;teams. If the team enrollment is lower, we will keep the tournament to one day. Either way, we plan to broadcast the tournament live on <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/shacknews" target="_blank">Shacknews Twitch</a>&nbsp;channel.</p> <h2>Rules:</h2> <ul> <li>All entrants must have a Shacknews.com account and have made at least 1 post to the Chatty.&nbsp;</li> <li>All 3 players on the sign-up sheet have to be in attendance for the tournament (no subs).</li> <li>Rounds leading up to the Finals will be best of three.</li> <li>This tournament will be single elimination (no loser's bracket).</li> <li>Finals will be a best of five match.</li> <li>First place team wins $300 Space Bucks.</li> <li>Third place team wins $150 Space Bucks.</li> <li>Second place team, nothing.</li> </ul> <p>Sign up for the <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gXbrbJsvpnGTx2cByW4CtTMh1ytL5LXyeTvtFi_KCK4/edit?usp=sharing" target="_blank">Rocket League Tournament of Doom</a>&nbsp;here. Please also indicate <a href="http://whenisgood.net/s8ypjk5" target="_blank">when is good for you</a>&nbsp;here.</p> <p>I will provide an update once we have the time settled for the tournament. In case you missed it, check out the Finals from last year.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k5hZgBHdHQ8?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Please use the comments section for coordinating teams and any suggestions you may have for me regarding the Shacknews Summer Rocket League Tournament of Doom.</p> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:20:00 PDT Asif Khan Pokemon Go: How to Find and Catch Articuno http://www.shacknews.com/article/100705/pokemon-go-how-to-find-and-catch-articuno http://www.shacknews.com/article/100705/pokemon-go-how-to-find-and-catch-articuno <p>After over a year of anticipation and demand by fans, legendary Pokemon have been added to Pokemon Go. They appear during Legendary Raid events, and Articuno is near the top of every Pokemon trainer's must-catch list. Articuno is crafty and pops up rarely, but following our guide will raise your odds of adding this legendary pocket monster to your collection.</p> <h2>How to Catch Articuno in Pokemon Go</h2> <p>Like many of his legendary pals, Articuno only appears during a Legendary Raid in which he is featured as the event's boss. On top of that, Raids pose a challenge even to veteran Pokemon trainers. Trainers who team up are more likely to survive and capture Pokemon.</p> <p>Gather your friends and meet at a Legendary Raid spot, represented as gyms in-game. Make sure you've got at least one Pokemon in your collection powered up and ready to rumble; it's not uncommon for Legendary Pokemon to boast life gauges of 40,000 hit points or more. You'll also want to make sure you've got the right pocket monsters for the job. Articuno is weak against fire, steel, electric, and especially fire. Beware, though: this Pokemon shrugs off attacks from Ground, Bug, and Grass Pokemon types.</p> <p>Scrape and claw your way to the end of the Legendary Raid and hang tough against Articuno. Don't let up when he's on the ropes. Like any other Pokemon, Articuno must be captured. Bring some Golden Razz Berries&mdash;which boost your chances of capturing critters&mdash;into the Raid to give yourself an even better chance of sticking the landing.</p> <h2>How to Use Articuno</h2> <p>Triumphing over Articuno is a sweet, sweet victory, but there are some stipulations to keep in mind. For instance, you can't use Articuno to defend one of your gyms. He's extremely valuable as a weapon to attack other gyms with, however. In other words, put him on offense, not defense.</p> <p>Want to catch more info on <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/pokemon-go" target="_blank">Pokemon Go</a>? Check out on Pokemon Go hub for more news, tips, and guides, such as strategies for <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100707/pokemon-go-how-to-find-and-catch-lugia" target="_blank">finding and capturing Lugia</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UEniAICstd4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:15:00 PDT Shack Staff Roblox Is On Track To Pay $30 Million To Children Content Creators http://www.shacknews.com/article/100704/roblox-is-on-track-to-pay-30-million-to-children-content-creators http://www.shacknews.com/article/100704/roblox-is-on-track-to-pay-30-million-to-children-content-creators <p><a href="https://www.roblox.com/">Roblox</a>&nbsp;is a free-to-play game that has evolved into a creative platform that is home to over 29 million games created by their community, which is largely made up of kids of various ages. In a <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2017/07/21/the-deanbeat-robloxs-kid-developers-make-enough-robucks-to-pay-for-college/">report from Venturebeat</a>, it turns out some of those kids are making enough money to pay for their own college education.</p> <p>The game works by giving users access to this "imagination platform" where they can make in-game assets from their ideas and sell them to other players for an in-game currency called "<g class="gr_ gr_655 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="655" data-gr-id="655">Robux</g>". That currency can then be turned into real-life money. Roblox has surpassed 56 million users and that wave of users uses Roblox for over 496 million hours every month so, in the right creative hands, someone could turn Roblox into their personal ATM.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zwyGPW7Zp4k"></iframe></p> <p>The report confirms that Roblox has paid out $18 million to their 1.7 million creators so far and CEO Dave Baszucki announced they&nbsp;expect to exceed $30 million in payouts by the end of 2017. This is no doubt a great opportunity for kids with a creative inclination, but Vice President of Developer Relations <span>Grace Francisco&nbsp;</span>points out in an interview with Gamesbeat that the company recognizes its "<span>opportunity to change the diversity of the tech industry in a grassroots, bottom-up way".</span></p> <p>The&nbsp;game has a growing number of women in its company (40% in the US currently) with the majority of developers aged 13-20. With their evolving internship program, Roblox could certainly turn into a pipeline that influences Silicon Valley for the better. Roblox is available on&nbsp;<span>PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Devices, Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.</span></p> <p></p> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:45:00 PDT Charles Singletary Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Showcases Dominance on UK Sales Charts http://www.shacknews.com/article/100703/crash-bandicoot-n-sane-trilogy-showcases-dominance-on-uk-sales-charts http://www.shacknews.com/article/100703/crash-bandicoot-n-sane-trilogy-showcases-dominance-on-uk-sales-charts <p>If you were serious about playing console games in the late 90s and the early 00s, you could hardly help but notice Crash Bandicoot, a furry critter who for a while looked like he might enjoy a lengthy career as Sony&rsquo;s official mascot. That didn&rsquo;t happen, and Sony ultimately decided it could do just fine without a Mario or a Master Chief. Even so, Crash clearly stuck with a lot of players in the UK and that has recently worked in Activision&rsquo;s favor.</p> <p>UK sales charts for the week ending July 22, 2017 have just been announced, and they reveal that Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy was able to spin and dash its way to the top spot during its third full week on the market. The PlayStation 4 exclusive was ranked third last week, and managed to fend off strong competition from Splatoon 2 (a new Nintendo Switch arrival that was only on the market for 1 day at the point totals would have been tallied), Grand Theft Auto 5, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. A lot of the other games rounding out the top 40 have been available for several months or even years.</p> <p>Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy collects reworked versions of three classic PlayStation games: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. The compilation was put together by Vicarious Visions, rather than the original development team at Naughty Dog. It has been favorably received by critics and fans alike, and in North America has an MSRP of $39.99 USD.</p> <p>The Chart Track software charts monitor software on all formats, and you can view the latest top 40 software titles for yourself at the <a href="http://www.chart-track.co.uk/index.jsp?c=p/software/uk/latest/index_test.jsp&amp;ct=110015" target="_blank" title="Chart Track top 40 software in UK">official Chart Track site</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AZatNJfCu4g?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:30:00 PDT Jason Venter Bungie Extends Destiny 2 Open Beta Date http://www.shacknews.com/article/100701/bungie-extends-destiny-2-open-beta-date http://www.shacknews.com/article/100701/bungie-extends-destiny-2-open-beta-date <p>The Destiny 2 open beta has accomplished what it set out to do, namely find errors and issues in the game and address them before the game's launch in September on console and October on PC. Apparently, Bungie thinks it is going well enough to extend the beta an extra day to July 25, ending at 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET.</p> <p>Players have found numerous errors and problems during the open beta, such as <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100658/destiny-2-how-to-fix-the-olive-error-code">Olive</a>,&nbsp;Moose, Weasel and <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100646/destiny-2-how-to-fix-the-termite-error-code">Termite</a>. Bungie has already <a href="https://twitter.com/BungieHelp/status/889536214872629249" target="_blank">rolled out beta update 1.04 to the PlayStation 4</a>&nbsp;to address various issues with the flora and fauna, but wants "<a href="https://twitter.com/BungieHelp/status/889198446476840960" target="_blank">additional service testing</a>" with players. Bungie has also promised players that they are <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100687/destiny-2-pve-improvements-coming-says-bungie">listening to their concerns</a>, and have PvE improvements planned.</p> <p>If you are playing the beta, be sure to check out our various guides, including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100659/destiny-2-countdown-pvp-guide">Countdown PvP</a>, <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100645/destiny-2---how-to-access-the-farm-social-space">Accessing the Farm Social Space</a>, and whether <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100643/destiny-2---hawthorne-and-the-exo-stranger">Hawthorne is the Exo-Stranger</a>.</p> <p>Destiny 2 is scheduled to launch on Xbox One and PS4 on September 6, and on Pc on October 24. The delay on PC is to make sure they <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100282/e3-2017-destiny-2-outlines-beta-and-pc-release-dates">get the play right</a>, given this is the first time the series will appear on the PC platform.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vcCuMxNeR8I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:55:00 PDT John Keefer
Slashdot: News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters
Having a Woman On Your Team Ruins Your Chances For VC Funding
Donald Trump Says US Military Will Not Allow Transgender People To Serve
US Is Slipping Toward Measles Being Endemic Once Again, Says Study
Upcoming USB 3.2 Specification Will Double Data Rates Using Existing Cables
US Defense Budget May Help Fund 'Hacking For Defense' Classes At Universities
Google Enters Race For Nuclear Fusion Technology
Degenerative Brain Disease Found In Nearly All Donated NFL Player Brains, Says Study
AT&amp;T Loses Record Number of Traditional TV Subscribers In Q2, Drops 156,000 DirecTV Satellite Customers
Toyota's New Solid-State Battery Could Make Its Way To Cars By 2020
China Forces Muslim Minority To Install Spyware On Their Phones
Sperm Counts Among Western Men Have Halved In Last 40 Years, Says Study
Cloudflare Wants to Eliminate 'Moot' Pirate Site Blocking Threat
Motorola Unveils the Moto Z2 Force, a Smartphone With Double the Cameras and a Shatterproof Screen
India's Transport Minister Vows To Ban Self-Driving Cars To Save Jobs
Trump Says Apple's Tim Cook Has Promised Him He'd Build Three US Factories: 'Big, Big, Big'
Trolan's LJ
Oh yeah
Pointless entry to signify life
Communications Update; Part Deux
Communications Update
CCNP... completed
Things you overhear...