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Shack News
Shacknews Recent Articles http://www.shacknews.com/rss?recent_articles=1 en-us Top 10 Rare Games http://www.shacknews.com/article/103836/top-10-rare-games http://www.shacknews.com/article/103836/top-10-rare-games <p>On episode one hundred of Shack's Top 10 we are taking a look at the top 10 Rare games. Not hard to find games, Rare games. Rare has pioneered several genres of console games and is back with a vengeance with the upcoming release of <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/102973/how-to-download-and-install-the-sea-of-thieves-final-beta">Sea of Thieves</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Games mentioned: GoldenEye 007, Battletoads, Perfect Dark, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Killer Instinct, Blast Corps, Banjo-Kazooie, Sea of Thieves, and Donkey Kong Country. You will have to watch the video to see which Rare game takes the number one spot.</p> <p><span>For more&nbsp;videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/Shacknewsgames" target="_blank">Shacknews</a><span>&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWdXbx28xPxbotxGIQDjIbA" target="_blank">GamerHub.tv</a><span>&nbsp;YouTube channels.</span></p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xbZRu5b4ndc" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>This is our 100th Top 10 video at Shacknews! Take a look at this special message from Greg.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"> <p>Today's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Top10?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Top10</a> (Uploading Soon) Marks My 100th Episode! <a href="https://twitter.com/shacknews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@shacknews</a> Shout Out to <a href="https://twitter.com/CraigSkitz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CraigSkitz</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/THENervousNick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@THENervousNick</a> <br />Thank you for Inspiring and Supporting me! <a href="https://t.co/o5mhRSU9rF">pic.twitter.com/o5mhRSU9rF</a></p> &mdash; Gregors (@GregBurke85) <a href="https://twitter.com/GregBurke85/status/974761609255043073?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 16, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>What were your favorite Rare games? Let us know in the comments section!</p> <p>If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Top 10, please let us know in the comments section or tweet&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/shacknews" target="_blank">@shacknews</a>&nbsp;&amp;&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/GregBurke85" target="_blank">@GregBurke85</a>&nbsp;with #Top10.&nbsp;</p> <p><span>In case you missed any&nbsp;of the over 100 episodes, check out our&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhcdG2mGcVVIJawKlVfPDWW99k20maIaf" target="_blank">Shack's Top 10 YouTube Playlist</a><span>.</span></p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 16:35:00 PDT Greg Burke Sega R Teasing A New Sonic Racing Game http://www.shacknews.com/article/103835/sega-r-teasing-a-new-sonic-racing-game http://www.shacknews.com/article/103835/sega-r-teasing-a-new-sonic-racing-game <p>Sega fans and Sonic enthusiasts alike were given a special treat earlier today. As a bit of a finale for the Sonic the Hedgehog&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/south-by-southwest" target="_blank">South by Southwest</a> panel, Sega revealed a new teaser trailer for a game that should blend the blue speedster's blazing haste with good old-fashioned internal combustion.</p> <p>The teaser trailer on offer is exceptionally vague &mdash; not only does it lack any type of in-game footage, it doesn't technically even show the name of the game. It's clear from the lettering that Sonic Racing is part of the title, but the situation is muddied by the well-lit letter R, which is reminiscent of the old racing title Sonic R &mdash; a game that did not actually feature vehicles.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p>[ TOP SECRET ] <a href="https://t.co/OVQ6n77Rh4">pic.twitter.com/OVQ6n77Rh4</a></p> &mdash; Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) <a href="https://twitter.com/sonic_hedgehog/status/974760424271855617?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 16, 2018</a></blockquote> <p> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </p> <p>It wouldn't be far-fetched for fans to assume the new title will be similar to Sonic &amp; Sega All-Stars Racing, a kart racer starring the Sega crew that released back during the Wii heyday. That game was more than a bit similar to N64 classic <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/diddy-kong-racing" target="_blank">Diddy Kong Racing</a>, where players could pilot either a car, a bike, or a hovercraft. As might be expected, numerous hazards and offensive countermeasures kept the action tense, and gamers could compete in difference race modes for single or multiple players.</p> <p>We're not saying that the new game will follow in the All-Stars Racing formula; we're just saying we wouldn't be surprised. In fact, done properly, a modern take on Sega's own kart racing franchise could be a lot of fun. Until Sega decides to let fans know more about the game, however, there's really no telling just what to expect.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 16:10:00 PDT Kevin Tucker Modojo Rewind: The Mobile Revival http://www.shacknews.com/article/103833/modojo-rewind-the-mobile-revival http://www.shacknews.com/article/103833/modojo-rewind-the-mobile-revival <p>The wheels of time are ever turning, sending the world rumbling forward into uncharted waters. We can't pretend to know where the waves may lead us; fortunately, the power of hindsight does allow us draw our own conclusions about things yet to come. Following up on layoffs and closures in <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103755/modojo-rewind-ios-oh-yes" target="_blank">last week's Modojo Rewind</a>, this week saw the mobile landscape change shape once again. For some, it means bringing old titles back to new life; for others, it means taking a top-tier release and adapting it to mobile hardware. Either way, old strategies seem to be falling away in favor of making the most out of a rapidly changing market.</p> <h2>Regarding Mobile Revivals</h2> <p>There's one big trend in the mobile games development scene right now: studios seem very keen on bringing unexpected games to the mobile market, oftentimes ones that players believe shouldn't be running on mobile hardware. Some developers have been working on translating big-name games to the mobile medium &mdash; for instance, <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103764/what-time-does-fortnite-mobile-come-out" target="_blank">Epic Games is bringing Fortnight to iOS devices</a>, and the once-popular open world title&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103809/ark-survival-evolved-coming-to-mobile-devices-ios-closed-beta-underway" target="_blank">ARK: Survival Evolved will be coming to both iOS and Android devices</a> later this year.</p> <p>This trend continues even in the mobile gaming news we've seen aside from new releases. Halfbrick, the development team behind hit mobile titles Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103783/fruit-ninja-developer-halfbrick-slashes-half-its-staff-in-layoffs" target="_blank">recently laid off half of its staff</a>. The crew that were cut were among the last responsible for original game development; consequently, the ones that remain are reportedly working solely on new projects based around the two aforementioned franchises, allegedly since they've been the only profitable ventures so far.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fEWYiBNcJvc" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Gamers whose electronic entertainment experience&nbsp; dates back decades may be surprised to hear about a resurgence of the old Heroes of Might and Magic brand. Ubisoft has put out a few series entries after rebranding to the pared-down Might and Magic monicker, and the latest release will see the series return in <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103816/might-and-magic-elemental-guardians-gearing-up-for-global-release" target="_blank">Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians for mobile devices</a>. The game is set to release soon, and Android players can get a jump on the action by pre-registering to get notified of its launch.</p> <p>Though some players may not be old enough to remember, popular toy retailer Toys 'R' Us used to be a sort of haven for game players and collectors. Unfortunately, the company hasn't been doing too well business-wise, and this week&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103804/toys-r-us-refusal-to-grow-up-ends-in-bankruptcy-liquidation" target="_blank">Toys 'R' Us began preparing liquidation plans</a> that will likely close between 600 and 800 U.S. stores. It's sad news, especially considering how many gamers have fond memories of the place, but we're not surprised to hear of difficulties competing against giants like Target or Amazon.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w3Gt42kVgCw" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>The last item of business is a public service announcement: Nintendo recently released the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103775/nintendo-switch-firmware-update-500-fixes-play-time-display-error" target="_blank">new Nintendo Switch firmware version 5.0.0</a>, and it includes several new tweaks and some special options for parents. However, some users are reporting that their&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103829/third-party-switch-docks-may-be-bricking-systems-after-latest-firmware-update" target="_blank">third-party docks have been bricking Nintendo Switch systems</a> after updating to the latest firmware. The details are both slim and varied, but users who don't want to risk losing their game data are advised to switch back to the official Nintendo Switch dock with haste.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 15:40:00 PDT Kevin Tucker Monster Hunter World - All Mantles http://www.shacknews.com/article/103159/monster-hunter-world---all-mantles http://www.shacknews.com/article/103159/monster-hunter-world---all-mantles <p>Monster Hunter: World is more than just upgrading weapons, crafting armor, and slaying monsters. There are also useful pieces of equipment to collect, such as the mantles. These poncho-looking items offer unique effects that can boost different elements of your game, so getting your hands on all of them is a good idea, especially if you want to improve a certain aspect of your playstyle.</p> <h2>How to Get More Mantles</h2> <p>Mantles are rewarded for reaching certain milestones throughout the campaign and for completing tasks for various vendors. You can only equip one mantle at a time to begin, but eventually you'll unlock the use of two. Each mantle can be used an unlimited number of times during a hunt, but they do have lengthy cooldowns.</p> <p><strong>Ghillie Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/02/Monster-Hunter-World-Ghillie-Mantle.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The Ghillie mantle will be the first one you receive in Monster Hunter: World, and it&rsquo;s earned after you unlock the botanist research center in Astera. The Ghillie mantle, as its name suggests, conceals you from enemy view temporarily,&nbsp;preventing monsters from spotting you. The effect expires if you perform an attack or take damage, but is extremely useful if you want to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103173/monster-hunter-world---gettin-yolked-in-the-forest" title="Getting Yolked in the Forest Monster Hunter: World">transport an egg</a> back to a campsite or need some breathing room during a fight.</p> <p><strong>Glider Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/02/Monster-Hunter-World-Glider-Mantle.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The Glider mantle is unlocked after you first venture into the Coral Highlands. This mantle increases jump air time and grants the power to ride strong winds while also making it easier to mount monsters. While this is helpful in getting around Coral Highlands and jumping on monsters, it&rsquo;s not as useful as some of the other mantles in Monster Hunter: World.</p> <p><strong>Vitality Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/02/Monster-Hunter-World-Vitality-Mantle.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>You will receive the Vitality mantle after completing the assignment quest <strong>Into the</strong> <strong>Bowels of the Vale</strong>, which tasks you with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103098/monster-hunter-world---how-to-kill-the-odogaron">killing the Odogaron</a> in the Rotten Vale. Speak with the field team leader to receive this mantle upon your return to Astera. The Vitality mantle negates a fixed amount of damage, after which the effect expires. This means that you are completely invulnerable while the mantle absorbs a set amount of damage. It can withstand the dive bomb from <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103345/how-to-kill-the-nergigante-in-monster-hunter-world" title="How to Kill Nergigante in Monster Hunter: World">Nergigante</a>, making it a must-equip when facing off against that particular elder dragon.</p> <p><strong>Bandit Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/02/Monster-Hunter-World-Bandit-Mantle.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The Bandit mantle can be earned by completing the optional quest called <strong>Redefining the &lsquo;Power Couple'</strong>, which is an armory quest that tasks you with killing a Rathian and a Rathalos within 50 minutes in the Ancient Forest. This mantle causes monsters to drop rare trade-in items when you attack them. These trade-in items can be sold to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103799/how-to-make-money--zenny-fast-in-monster-hunter-world" title="How to Make Zenny Fast in Monster Hunter: World">make Zenny fast</a> at the provisions section of Astera.</p> <p><strong>Waterproof Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/02/Monster-Hunter-World-Waterproof-Mantle.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The Waterproof mantle can be unlocked after you gain access to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103184/monster-hunter-world---how-to-unlock-high-rank-quests-rewards-weapons-and-armor">the high rank quests and armor</a>. Once you've reached this section of the game, you can earn the mantle by completing the delivery quest for the armory titled <strong>Armory R&amp;D: Waterproofing</strong>, which requires killing a high rank Jyuratodus for its scales and fins. This mantle reduces water damage, nullifies waterblight, reduces mobility restrictions in muck, and negates them entirely for deep water.</p> <p><strong>Iceproof Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/02/Monster-Hunter-World-Iceproof-Mantle.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The Iceproof mantle is unlocked by completing the <strong>Armory R&amp;D: Weatherizing</strong>&nbsp;optional quest. This quest tasks you with hunting high rank Paolumu for their high rank drops. The Iceproof mantle reduces ice damage and nullifies iceblight.</p> <p><strong>Challenger Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/monster-hunter-world-challenger-mantle.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>To unlock the Challenger mantle you will need to complete the <strong>The Red and Blue Crew</strong>&nbsp;in Monster Hunter: World.&nbsp;This is an optional quest (7-Star) that requires you to hunt a Rathalos and Azure Rathalos in the Ancient Forest. You can kill or <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103008/monster-hunter-world---how-to-trap-a-monster" title="How to Capture Monsters in Monster Hunter: World">capture the monsters</a>, giving you all the options you need for completion. The Challenger mantle will cause monsters to attack you, making them easier to lure. This could be used to save some stunned teammates, or to lure a monster into a trap. The mantle expires as soon as you are attacked.</p> <p><strong>Rocksteady Mantle</strong></p> <p>The quest to unlock the Rocksteady mantle becomes available after defeating three different tempered elder dragons. The quest is called <strong>A Summons from Below</strong>. The Rocksteady mantle eliminates damage reactions, prevents wind effects, protects your healing, and grants tremor resistance. You also receive less damage from attacks.</p> <p><strong>Fireproof Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/fireproof-mantle-monster-hunter-world.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The Fireproof mantle is earned by completing an optional quest called <strong>The Fiery Convergence</strong> (7-Star). This quest, however, isn't unlocked until you complete an optional quest called&nbsp;<strong>The Sleeping Sylvan Queen</strong> (6-Star). The Fireproof mantle will reduce fire damage, nullifies fireblight and blastblight, and prevents damage from hot environments. It's particularily useful fighting in the lava areas of the Elder's Recess, although Cool Drink also helps with that.</p> <p><strong>Thunderproof Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/monster-hunter-world-thunderproof-mantle.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Getting your hands on the Thunderproof mantle is as easy as finishing the optional quest <strong>Gone in a Flash</strong> (4-Star).&nbsp;Unfortunately, there are several other optional quests that act as prerequisites to that one:</p> <ul> <li>Snatch the Snatcher (2-Star)</li> <li>Landing the Landslide Wyvern (3-Star)</li> <li>White Monster for a White Coat (4-Star)</li> <li>Man's Best Friend (5-Star)</li> <li>Bazelgeuse in the Field of Fire&nbsp;(7-Star)</li> <li>Gone in a Flash (4-Star)</li> </ul> <p>The Thunderpoof mantle is a must-own for Kirin fights in Monster Hunter: World, as it removes the debuffs from Krin's attacks. Basically, you don't need to abuse Nulberry&nbsp;if you're wearing this mantle.</p> <p><strong>Impact Mantle</strong></p> <p>The Impact mantle can be unlocked by first completing five level one tempered monster hunts (a late-game type of monster in Monster Hunter: World), at which point you will receive the quest <strong>Showdown: The Muck and the Maul</strong> (9-Star).&nbsp;The Impact mantle adds a stun effect to most of your attacks, or increases the power of your stun effects. It knocks monsters down, basically.</p> <p><strong>Apothecary Mantle</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/apothecary-mantle-monster-hunter-world.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>To unlock the Apothecary mantle, you will need to research 10 monsters to their maximum level (which increases when you&nbsp;unlock high rank content) and then complete an optional quest called&nbsp;<strong>A Portent of Disaster</strong> (8-Star). When equipped, the Apothecary mantle increases the chances your attacks will trigger a status effect when it is built up.</p> <p><strong>Evasion Mantle</strong></p> <p>The Evasion mantle is unlocked by first completing five different threat level two tempered monster hunts. The next step is to finish the optional quest <strong>New World Sky, New World Flower</strong> (9-Star). The Evasion mantle increases the invulnerability window while evading (rolling/dodging) and grants a temporary attack boost for evading a monster attack at the very last moment. This is perfect for those hunters who live life on the edge and want to be rewarded for their precision.</p> <p><strong>Immunity Mantle</strong></p> <p>The Immunity mantle is likely going to be one of the last mantles you unlock, as it requires you to completely research 15 different large monsters. With this completed, finish the optional quest <strong>A Blaze on the Sand</strong> (8-Star) to earn your new poncho. The Immunity mantle removes and nullifies all abnormal status effects while it lasts.</p> <h2>Other Mantle Equipment &ndash; Smokers</h2> <p>Aside from the sweet poncho-mantles you can earn in Monster Hunter: World, you can also unlock other pieces of equipment for use in the mantle slot. These are boosters that have a small area-of-effect that offer short-term buffs.</p> <p><strong>Health Booster</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/02/Monster-Hunter-World-Health-Booster.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The Health Booster places a smoker that gradually restores&nbsp;the health of anyone standing in it. This is a handy tool if you run out of potions or if your Vigorwasp&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103041/monster-hunter-world---all-palico-gadgets">palico gadget</a> is on cooldown. An excellent choice if you can't think of another mantle or booster that should take its spot. This one is unlocked after your first encounter with&nbsp;Zorah-Magdaros, and is basically locked into one of my mantle slots.</p> <p><strong>Cleanser Booster</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/02/Monster-Hunter-World-Cleanser-Booster.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Complete the optional quest <strong>On Nightmare&rsquo;s Wings</strong> (4-Star), and then head to the armory and speak with the lady there to receive the Cleanser Booster. This piece of equipment places a smoker that removes any abnormal status effects and elemental blights. It's a must-have for fighting in the Rotten Vale, as it will allow you and your team to cleanse yourself of the nonsense poison there.</p> <p><strong>Affinity Booster</strong></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/affinity-booster-monster-hunter-world.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>To get the Affinity booster you will need to complete several optional quests obtained from the Research Base in Monster Hunter: World, the last being <strong>RRRRRumble in the Waste!</strong> The Affinity booster is the last of the three available boosters, and its smoke increases your&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103046/monster-hunter-world---what-is-affinity" title="Affinity in Monster Hunter: World">affinity</a> rating.</p> <ul> <li>A Tingling Taste (6-Star)</li> <li>Stuck in Their Ways (6-Star)</li> <li>A Sore Site (7-Star)</li> <li>RRRRRumble in the Waste! (7-Star)</li> </ul> <p>Mantles are&nbsp;arguably the most versatile pieces of equipment&nbsp;you have in Monster Hunter: World. There is a mantle for just about every play style, and as your strategies change depending on a <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103045/monster-hunter-world---monster-weaknesses">monster&rsquo;s weaknesses</a>, so will your mantle, which is why it&rsquo;s ideal to collect them all.&nbsp;</p> <p>With your mantle collection complete, take some time to look over our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103000/monster-hunter-world-guide-and-walkthrough">Monster Hunter: World guide</a> for more insight into the various collectible items in this massive game.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 15:15:00 PDT Sam Chandler SXSW 2018: Sega Announces Sonic Mania Plus http://www.shacknews.com/article/103828/sxsw-2018-sega-announces-sonic-mania-plus http://www.shacknews.com/article/103828/sxsw-2018-sega-announces-sonic-mania-plus <p>During SXSW 2018's gaming expo, Sega took the stage for the Gotta Go Fast: The Official Sonic the Hedgehog panel to discuss the legendary gaming character and upcoming projects based on him. The panel was helmed by Sonic Product Development Director Austin Keys, Sonic Mania Animation Director Tyson Hesse, and TV Animation Production Coordinator Jasmin Hernandez.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/sega-announces-sonic-mania-plus-inline.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="427" style="undefined" /></div> <p>During the <a href="https://schedule.sxsw.com/2018/events/PP99104" target="_blank">panel</a>, it was revealed that Sonic Mania Plus will be arriving this summer at the low price of $29.99. It was include two new playable characters, an expanded four player competition mode, and new Encore mode. The physical release will include a holographic slip cover, 32-page art booklet, and reversible Genesis/Mega-drive sleeve. We will update this story as more information is made available.&nbsp;</p> <p>Sonic most recently came to the homes of players via Sonic Mania, a well-received classic take on the franchise with some new elements mixed in for good measure.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iaT5rurlVBg"></iframe></p> <p>Stay tuned to Shacknews for more updates from SXSW 2018, like the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103820/sxsw-2018-dollar-kill-club-lets-players-kill-each-other-for-real-money" target="_blank">newly debuted Dollar Kill Club from the Rumble Monkey platform</a>.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:55:00 PDT Charles Singletary Weekend Console Download Deals for March 16: PlayStation Hits the Great Indoors http://www.shacknews.com/article/103831/weekend-console-download-deals-for-march-16-playstation-hits-the-great-indoors http://www.shacknews.com/article/103831/weekend-console-download-deals-for-march-16-playstation-hits-the-great-indoors <p>It's St. Patrick's Day weekend and for the adult readers of this site, there's probably a good chance that they'll be feeling the effects of the holiday on Sunday. That means it's a great time for video games! In fact, the PlayStation Store has deals on games set in the Great Indoors, which includes some of the best first and third-party games on PS4, while also heavily discounting a handful of first-party collections for PS3.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Xbox One is offering up deals on some of its best puzzle games, like Rime and Plague Inc.: Evolved, while Nintendo is spotlighting some Square Enix games and also discounting Shacknews favorite Enter the Gungeon on Switch. Check out the full list of deals below.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Ratchet-and-Clank-Collection-3.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /> <p class="caption">Ratchet &amp; Clank Collection (PS3)</p> </div> <p>Here's our selection of this weekend's console deals:</p> <h3>Xbox One</h3> <p>The following games are a part of Xbox One Games with Gold/Deals with Gold. An Xbox Live Gold Subscription is required to receive these discounts.</p> <ul> <li>Trials of the Blood Dragon - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/store/p/Trials-of-the-Blood-Dragon/BPPR6D5C2GLF">FREE!</a></li> <li>Superhot - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/store/p/SUPERHOT/BVZ0D05W8MP2">FREE!</a></li> <li>Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Call-of-Duty-Infinite-Warfare---Launch-Edition/BTBXS3M5QQSM?rtc=1">$30.00 (50% off)</a> (Digital Deluxe Edition with Modern Warfare Remastered also on sale)</li> <li>Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Gold Edition - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Call-of-Duty-Advanced-Warfare-Gold-Edition/C20HL06X0V8W?rtc=1">$19.80 (67% off)</a> (Digital Pro Edition also on sale)</li> <li>Call of Duty: Ghosts - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Call-of-Duty-Ghosts/BVTFP7L3CVL8?rtc=1">$19.80 (67% off)</a> (Hardened Edition also on sale)</li> <li>Goat Simulator - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Goat-Simulator/BV0NM309K1TL?rtc=1">$3.30 (67% off)</a> (DLC also on sale)</li> <li>Farming Simulator 17 - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Farming-Simulator-17/C45KV8Q992HV?rtc=1">$13.20 (67% off)</a> (Season Pass and Expansions also on sale)</li> <li>Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Shiness-The-Lightning-Kingdom/BSC9DFLVJK69?rtc=1">$7.50 (75% off)</a></li> <li>Candleman - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Candleman/BS95882KBB4F?rtc=1">$10.49 (30% off)</a></li> <li>Farming Simulator 15: Complete Edition - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Farming-Simulator-15-Complete-Edition/BR4JVNQWJ607?rtc=1">$10.00 (75% off)</a></li> <li>Gas Guzzlers Extreme - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Gas-Guzzlers-Extreme/BRQH5GKV7912?rtc=1">$6.25 (75% off)</a></li> <li>Monkey King Saga - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Monkey-King-Saga/BP2RJV5BK3JQ?rtc=1">$6.99 (30% off)</a></li> <li>Seasons After Fall - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/Seasons-after-Fall/BVJRH8WMB3BG?rtc=1">$5.00 (75% off)</a></li> </ul> <p>The following deals are available to all Xbox One users.</p> <ul> <li>Rime - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/rime/bsqz03s3rv54">$17.99 (40% off)</a></li> <li>Song of the Deep - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/song-of-the-deep/c503xk54w8jj">$3.75 (75% off)</a></li> <li>Plague Inc: Evolved - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/plague-inc-evolved/bss43mtlgfqr">$7.50 (50% off)</a></li> <li>101 Ways To Die - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/101-ways-to-die/bvwdccl77443">$5.00 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Find the full list of games in the Xbox One <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://www.xbox.com/en-US/promotions/sales/amazing-indie-puzzle-sale">Amazing Indie Puzzle Sale</a>.</li> <li>Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/store/p/wolfenstein-ii-the-new-colossus-xb1/C4LLMHFQ1BXQ">$30.00 (50% off)</a> (Digital Deluxe Edition and Season Pass also on sale)</li> <li>Disneyland Adventures - <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/store/p/disneyland/9N6Z8DQXSQWH">$19.49 (33% off)</a></li> </ul> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FOESbs0Z-ys?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h3>PlayStation 4</h3> <p>The following deals are available to all users. PlayStation Plus members may be eligible for additional discounts.</p> <ul> <li>Uncharted 4: A Thief's End - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-CUSA00341_00-UNCHARTED0000000?emcid=ps-ga-871">$19.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Grand Theft Auto V - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP1004-CUSA00419_00-GTAVDIGITALDOWNL?emcid=ps-ga-871">$35.99 (40% off)</a></li> <li>Star Wars Battlefront II - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0006-CUSA05770_00-BATTLEFRONTII000?emcid=ps-ga-871">$29.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Battlefield 1 Revolution - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0006-CUSA02429_00-BATTLEFIELD01REV?emcid=ps-ga-871">$23.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>For Honor - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0001-CUSA05218_00-FHGAMEPS40000001?emcid=ps-ga-871">$25.79 (57% off)</a> (Gold Edition, Deluxe Edition, and Season Pass also on sale)</li> <li>Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0001-CUSA02902_00-GRWNCSANORMAL000?emcid=ps-ga-871">$25.79 (57% off)</a> (Gold and Deluxe Editions also on sale)</li> <li>Titanfall 2 - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0006-CUSA04027_00-TITANFALL2RSPWN1?emcid=ps-ga-871">$8.99 (70% off)</a></li> <li>DOOM - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP1003-CUSA02085_00-DOOMNORTHAMERICA?emcid=ps-ga-871">$22.49 (25% off)</a></li> <li>Infamous Second Son - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-CUSA00223_00-SECONDSONSHIP000?emcid=ps-ga-871">$9.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>BioShock: The Collection - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP1001-CUSA03979_00-BIOSHOCKCOLLECTN?emcid=ps-ga-871">$25.79 (57% off)</a></li> <li>Star Trek: Bridge Crew - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0001-CUSA05893_00-STARTREKBRGCRW01?emcid=ps-ga-871">$24.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Firewatch - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0146-CUSA04107_00-FIREWATCH0000000?emcid=ps-ga-871">$7.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>NBA 2K18 - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP1001-CUSA08500_00-NBA2K18000000000?emcid=ps-ga-871">$35.99 (40% off)</a></li> <li>Find the full list of games in the PlayStation 4 <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/grid/STORE-MSF77008-GREATOUTSIDESLP4/1?emcid=ps-ga-871">Great Indoors Sale</a>.</li> </ul> <p>The following deals are available only to PlayStation Plus members.</p> <ul> <li>Knack - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-CUSA00068_00-KNACK00000000000?emcid=ps-ga-871">FREE! for PlayStation Plus</a></li> <li>Rime - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP2346-CUSA05796_00-RIMEGAME01NA0001?emcid=ps-ga-871">FREE! for PlayStation Plus</a></li> <li>StarBlood Arena - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-CUSA04511_00-WDIPROJECTD00000?emcid=ps-ga-871">FREE! for PlayStation Plus</a></li> <li>Grand Kingdom - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP1063-CUSA04646_00-0000000000000000?emcid=ps-ga-871">FREE! for PlayStation Plus</a></li> <li>Uncanny Valley - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP2187-CUSA03868_00-UNCVALLEYPS4000U?emcid=ps-ga-871">FREE! for PlayStation Plus</a></li> </ul> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/q59tHyhDMkI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h3>Nintendo Switch</h3> <ul> <li>Lost Sphear - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/PrgTa2FuWXRw4JUC8B9vSXTL0IAF2BzP">$34.99 (30% off)</a></li> <li>I Am Setsuna - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/3pfGE8w11fe5wcAX911nmjmSv_7HPpo5">$19.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Spelunker Party! - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/inIBhY10qv7-hJFJTlgWcO0dnNJPWnJp">$14.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>NBA 2K18 - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/JIz8BautoI63EqFxP_vWPTxNvzWFcbEF">$29.99 (50% off)</a> (Legend and Gold Edition also on sale)</li> <li>WWE 2K18 - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/pSzatMVxrqcYMe0XCSwMd3y2QEL_xmL7">$29.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Human Fall Flat - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/MIRrQptFmrJbubnsLDhVpW33hmOWlXkO">$7.49 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Enter the Gungeon - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/xvRPM54km9Cu8JwKfymfbpHYYBwMLe3x">$11.24 (25% off)</a></li> <li>Mutant Mudds Collection - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/MSxQjTklT3yjFo8mRvBb4vpd3eLRad8W">$7.49 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Bleed - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/RdXjg0kUiaO4qVVoHIYZXVcBOCh_YvSP">$8.99 (33% off)</a></li> <li>Tumblestone - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/LQugW4OoMpKpTLLwLm6RiJ3Ci0srl5Ri">$5.99 (60% off)</a></li> </ul> <h3>Nintendo Wii U</h3> <ul> <li>Tumblestone - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/YJezcLeLPlBRlbJthp_wFioMoqPOikPA">$9.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>The Bridge - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/x8SKkimDmNS8zKnUV4CqFbPUsUSgXdan">$3.99 (60% off)</a></li> </ul> <h3>Xbox 360</h3> <p>The following games are a part of Xbox 360 Games with Gold/Deals with Gold. An Xbox Live Gold Subscription is required to receive these discounts.</p> <ul> <li>Quantum Conundrum - <a href="https://marketplace.xbox.com/Product/Quantum-Conundrum/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802584111ff">FREE!</a></li> <li>Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - <a href="http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/COD-Advanced-Warfare/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d80241560914">$19.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Call of Duty: Ghosts - <a href="http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Call-of-Duty-Ghosts/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802415608fc">$15.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Farming Simulator 15 - <a href="http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Farming-Simulator-15/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802464507e1">$4.99 (75% off)</a> (DLC also on sale)</li> </ul> <p>The following deals are available to all Xbox 360 users.</p> <ul> <li>Come back next week for more Xbox 360 deals.</li> </ul> <h3>PlayStation 3</h3> <p>The following deals are available to all users. PlayStation Plus members may be eligible for additional discounts.</p> <ul> <li>Ratchet &amp; Clank Collection - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-BCUS98282_00-RATCHETCOLLECPS3?emcid=ps-ga-871">$7.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Jak and Daxter Collection - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-NPUA80618_00-JAKDAXTERCBUNDLE?emcid=ps-ga-871">$4.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Mass Effect Trilogy - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0006-NPUB31093_00-STOREBUNDLE00123?emcid=ps-ga-871">$11.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Infamous Collection - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-NPUA80480_00-INFAMOUSCOLLECTN?emcid=ps-ga-871">$5.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>The Sly Collection - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-NPUA80711_00-PS3SLYCOLLECTION?emcid=ps-ga-871">$6.74 (55% off)</a></li> <li>Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception GOTY Edition - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-BCUS98233_00-UNCHARTED3GOTYDL?emcid=ps-ga-871">$4.49 (55% off)</a></li> <li>Red Dead Redemption - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP1004-NPUB30638_00-PSNREDDEAD2V0004?emcid=ps-ga-871">$12.89 (57% off)</a></li> <li>Find the full list of games in the PlayStation 3 <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/grid/STORE-MSF77008-GREATOUTSIDESLSP/1?emcid=ps-ga-871&amp;platform=ps3">Great Indoors Sale</a>.</li> </ul> <p>The following deals are available only to PlayStation Plus members.</p> <ul> <li>Spelunker HD - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP2038-NPUB30152_00-SPELUNKERHDPS301?emcid=ps-ga-871">FREE! for PlayStation Plus</a></li> <li>Mugen Souls Z - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP1063-NPUB31464_00-HDDGAME000000001?emcid=ps-ga-871">FREE! for PlayStation Plus</a></li> </ul> <h3>Nintendo 3DS</h3> <ul> <li>Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/dVEKMs-ySdvNnZ6xrtDF2hUy0fIlWExY">$19.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/fpPVVfPUILmQVZQ2P-bYzKRZmRELjlpa">$19.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Final Fantasy Explorers - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/AeR8r8xpysXYILP3ZuBJqM8iT_yZ85zl">$19.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Terraria - <a href="https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/SZ3F_kGkZ3-h94LPtVjK9mX3FJlefiVH">$9.99 (50% off)</a></li> </ul> <h3>PlayStation Vita</h3> <p>The following deals are available to all users. PlayStation Plus members may be eligible for additional discounts.</p> <ul> <li>flOw - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP9000-PCSA00135_00-FLOWPLAYSTATIONV?emcid=ps-ga-871">$2.39 (60% off)</a></li> </ul> <p>The following deals are available only to PlayStation Plus members.</p> <ul> <li>Exile's End - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP1023-PCSE00941_00-0000000000000000?emcid=ps-ga-871">FREE! for PlayStation Plus</a></li> <li>Grand Kingdom - <a href="https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP1063-PCSE00879_00-0000000000000000?emcid=ps-ga-871">FREE! for PlayStation Plus</a></li> </ul> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:30:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Threading the Needle: The Making of Quake Team Fortress http://www.shacknews.com/article/103827/threading-the-needle-the-making-of-quake-team-fortress http://www.shacknews.com/article/103827/threading-the-needle-the-making-of-quake-team-fortress <p><em>Last December, Shacknews published </em>Rocket Jump: Quake and the Golden Age of First-Person Shooters<em>, David L. Craddock's book-sized account of the making of id Software's Quake franchise and other influential FPS games from the 1990s. Presented unabridged, the following chapter is an oral history that recounts the making of the Team Fortress mod for Quake. The <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101156/rocket-jump-quake-and-the-golden-age-of-first-person-shooters">full edition of Rocket Jump</a> is available for Mercury subscribers and <a href="https://unbound.com/books/rocket-jump/">up for pre-order</a> in hardcover and digital formats from crowdfunding publisher/platform Unbound.</em></p> <hr /> <p>Following the release of Wolfenstein 3D in 1992, John Carmack started a tradition. Any developer interested in locking and loading a first-person shooter of its own could cut id Software a check and license its technology. Apogee was one of many companies to secure a license, building two Blake Stone titles as well as Rise of the Triad on the foundation Carmack had built.</p> <p>The release of Doom over a year later sparked widespread interest in the engine, dubbed id Tech 1. Droves of "Doom clones" followed. Some titles, such as Digital Caf&eacute;'s Chex Quest and Raven Software's Heretic, stuck close to id's template&mdash;the latter swapping out shotguns with magic wands and the former yanking out hellish landscapes and inserting bright color palettes that would have looked at home on the back of a cereal box.</p> <p>In the weeks leading up to June 1996, the industry shook from the foreshocks set off by previews of id's next game, Quake. It would trade pixels for polygons and 2.5D engines for six degrees of freedom. Denizens of its Lovecraftian world would fly apart in showers of gore and dismembered limbs instead of slumping to the ground as one-sided sprites that twisted to match the player's viewpoint, only ever revealing one side of artwork.</p> <aside> <p class="pull-quote">"We were having a lot of fun playing it, so I guess we weren't so surprised that people liked it. The wonderment was more around how fast the word of mouth could travel and how fast a TF community developed within the Quake one." -Ian Caughley</p> </aside> <p>More importantly to aspiring developers like Australian players John Cook, Ian Caughley, and Robin Walker&mdash;whose preternatural reflexes and astounding decision to aim with a mouse instead of keyboard keys made him the envy of his opponents&mdash;Quake would offer total access to the scripting language id Software's designers used to make the game tick.</p> <p>At the outset, their plans were humble: assign Quake's default weapons to certain characters to put a spin on conventional deathmatch, group them into teams, and play ordinary deathmatch. They called their mod Team Fortress. Almost by accident, the three friends did more than switch up the game's elements. They made something new&mdash;and arguably more ambitious than id Software's 3D masterpiece.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-walker1pcgamer.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">Robin Walker. (Image courtesy of PC Gamer.)</p> </div> <h2>Any Town, Australia</h2> <p><em>While Doom opened the floodgates to user-created hacks known as mods, Quake and QuakeC promised to take custom maps and game modes to the next level. An old-school hacker and programmer, Carmack practiced the credo that information should be shared. Pro developers could license Quake's engine to build commercial-quality titles, and thanks to QuakeC, even kids like Cook and Walker could dabble in game design by changing the way Quake played. But before Quake, before Doom, and long before id, there was the BBC Micro, pen-and-paper games, and a small town where two boys grew up dreaming big dreams.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER [co-creator of Team Fortress, programmer/designer at Valve, 1998-]</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;For perspective, John and I met when we were five or six years old.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK [co-creator of Team Fortress, programmer at Valve 1998-2016, founder of Sodium, 2016-]</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We went to the same elementary school, and our fathers played guitar together. There would be these guitar jams where you'd have 10 people from around the town getting together and playing away. They were at Robin's dad's house.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We grew up in the same town of 800 people. We went to primary school, high school, and college together.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;He had a house out in the woods. It was a house they built themselves, so basically a log cabin out in the woods. It was a fun place. I'm pretty sure I was around three years old when I went over to Robin's house for one of those. He would have been four or five then.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Then when we got to Valve, we immediately moved to opposite ends of the company. We're like, 'This is great, but you need to get away from me.' It was a mutually agreed upon separation.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;When we were in elementary school, which was right near my house in this small town, he wouldn't get picked up until an hour and a half after school let out. He would just play in the yard at the school by himself, or with one of his siblings. Since I lived just down the street, I would come and play with him.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-hexen1.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">Raven Software's Hexen, sequel to Heretic, let players choose between three archetype classes, each with unique weapons and powers.</p> </div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I had a BBC [Micro] computer growing up, and you basically couldn't buy BBC games in Australia, but you could write code. All the games I had were ones I'd typed in from the backs of computing magazines, so most of the games I played as a kid, I had the code for.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Both Robin and I, and our friends, were all very interested in board games, card games, and roleplaying games. We would make card games ourselves, and make our own board games. We played a lot of stuff like Talisman. When computers came around, we had some games, but we wanted to make our own games. There wasn't really a lot of knowledge about computers, though, in this era and in this place. Luckily Robin's father was a programmer for IBM. Without him, I wouldn't have actually known that computer science existed.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;My dad was a computer programmer, so we'd immediately start hacking around with stuff even back then. My brother and I made a Miner 2049er clone with eight levels. When we finished it, we started making more levels because we had all the code there, and levels were just a bunch of raw data sitting at the end of the code.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;From age 13, I decided I wanted to make video games. I thought, I should go to school, learn how to program, work as a programmer for a few years until I know enough stuff, and then get a job making games. That was my original plan. The point was always to make games.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The most fun part of programming, to me, is the problem-solving of it. I've always enjoyed writing code irrespective of what the code is supposed to do. I've enjoyed working on databases as much as I've enjoyed working on Team Fortress.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In junior high, I did a play-by-mail game. You had a sheet for strategy or roleplaying, like, 'Here's your character and the situation. What do you want to do?' We'd fill out a bunch of options and mail it back. They would process a turn, and you would get post mail back with the next steps on it. And it would be multiplayer, so sometimes you'd have lots of people posting things. I could never actually play them because they were all in the states.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Whatever code needs to be written, I've enjoyed it, which has served me very well. It's made it so I can enjoy myself while working on any part of [development].</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I made my own that I played at the school. I started out by having a strategy game, which I'd modeled on a white board in my bedroom. People would submit&nbsp;their turns. I'd take [their letters], and I would process them and then give them letters the next day.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;When computers came around, I realized I could automate that stuff. I wrote a program to do it. While I was entering these play-by-mail [answers] into the program, I thought, Oh, I could just have people play the computer version instead. I realized I could make it a multi-terminal program, so I did that. It was early days.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-bbc1.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">A BBC Micro computer.</p> </div> <h2>Party Scene</h2> <p><em>Walker and Cook's passion for games and programming computers led them down the same path, at least at first. They graduated from the same high school and enrolled at the same Australian university, intending to write software for a living. Shortly after entering college, their daily schedules diverged, but their nighttime routine became a fixture.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;John and I were both doing computer science at RMIT, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. It's a really fancy name, but it's a tech college. I couldn't deal with college very well.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I was a year behind Robin in college, and I was a lot better at it than he was. He was just not interested in showing up to classes at all, basically. He was six months into his [first] year, and he basically wasn't going, so he got a job.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;John stayed in college, and I started working as a programmer full-time at NEC, working on embedded systems. By day, he'd go to college and I'd go write code that ran on remote power stations in Australia and Tasmania.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I was finishing my year, but by the end of that year, we'd made Team Fortress. The next year I actually deferred university for a year so that we could work on Team Fortress. I ended up never going back to university.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY [co-creator, Team Fortress]</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I was a friend of Robin's brother, James, at university, and we met through him. When James went off to Singapore, I spent more time hanging out with Robin. We were having lots of LAN days as well as running gaming competitions at a local Internet cafe. John, I met through Robin.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Ian was a friend of my brother's, so he was a good friend of ours. He came to LAN parties a bunch and participated [in Team Fortress] on a design level.&nbsp;At night, we had modems and we played Quake deathmatch online on one of the seven or eight servers in all of Australia.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We were very active in the Quake clan scene. We played competitively and traveled around to tournaments. We also had friends we'd met in IRC as well. The Quake community was a big part of [the attraction to the game].</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We just played in Australia. The farthest we went was from Melbourne to Brisbane for a tournament. That was a 20-hour drive. Two of us drove the car, which was stacked with computers. The other four people took the bus. I was one of the few people who had a driver's license, so I had to do the driving. That was fun.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I have very fond memories of that time because everyone sort of knew each other. The total population of Quake players was probably sub-100, so you knew everyone. It didn't really matter what server you ended up on, because there'd be people on there you knew.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We did well. Robin probably didn't tell you, but he was the best Quake player in Australia for several years. He's too modest. There wasn't a final tournament that he decided everything, but he was definitely great.</p> <aside> <p class="pull-quote">"Just the fact that people wanted to do it, and then followed through and did it, made us also feel like, hey, maybe we should be doing more." -Robin Walker</p> </aside> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I remember, in those early days, being one of the only people who used the mouse, so playing on Ziggurat Vertigo was awesome. It was an exercise in cruelty.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;He would have been using the mouse in Doom first. By the time Quake came around, it was all mouse [and keyboard].</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There was a group of us who had LAN parties regularly. I can't remember if it was every week or every two weeks, somewhere around there. Technically I'd dropped out of college at this point. I was working as a programmer, and I shared a flat with John.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Robin's parents had a flat in Melbourne where the kids got to live. After James left, Robin was living there with his sister Jane. The flat became the hub of much gaming. I was involved from the start, I think.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The Internet really wasn't that good for multiplayer games at the time. We just had dial-up, so it was too slow for Doom and Quake being popular, and Diablo was the other [popular] one.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/tf-doomDM360.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">"Fortress,"&nbsp;a custom Doom map, influenced the design of Team Fortress. (Doom on Xbox 360 shown.)</p> </div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Every weekend or thereabouts, we would have regular LAN parties at our house. Everyone would lug their computers over at that time, and we alternated between playing Quake Test and Duke 3D. This was the height of LAN parties, at least in my life.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Next thing you know, you've got 14 people in a two-bedroom flat with their big computers and their big CRT monitors stashed all around. People underneath the table, other people on top of the table, that kind of thing.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We liked Duke 3D a bunch: its versatility, its combat, its deathmatch. The primary reason we mixed it in with Quake Test instead of just playing Quake Test was because while Quake was full 3D, which was much more interesting, Duke had a much broader set of weaponry: trip mines, pipe bombs, and so on that were really fun.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I remember when the demos of Quake first came out, none of us had the hardware to run it properly. We were all huddled around a machine playing it at like 320x200 pixels in the middle of the screen.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We had a cyber cafe just down the road from us. We met people through that. It was an early Internet cafe. We played games there, and we ended up helping the owner run tournaments for video games. He wasn't getting enough traffic from people just [using the Internet], so we showed him how to install Quake and got people around to play there as well.</p> <p><em>Walker's, Cook's, and Caughley's mutual interest in Quake went deeper than its brown, polygonal surface. They took a keen interest in id Software's semi-regular updates about the game's design and technology. The fact that players would be given access to QuakeC, a customized programming/scripting language with which to design modifications for the game, was an even more exciting prospect than Quake itself.</em></p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We had gotten a bit bored with all in deathmatch and started playing team-versus-team in whatever we were playing. I can't recall if the games supported it, or we found some way to mod differently colored player models.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;But it wasn't really till Quake came out as the most moddable game to date, thanks to QuakeC, that we saw the potential to make the team-versus-team game we wanted to play.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;These days I think we would think of [creating mods for] those games more like content editing. Quake was the first game to say, all right, here's all the game rules. They gave you access to everything. You didn't have the engine, but you had all the rules for the game at the fingertips and you could go in and change them all.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We were programmers, so as soon as someone said, 'We're going to write a scripting system so you can write code,' that seemed instantly far more powerful, and it was, compared to what you could do with Doom and Duke.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The foresight of John Carmack was to do two particular things: the client-server architecture of the game, which made it easy for people to have a large-scale game that's server authoritative; and his adding of the QuakeC modding system.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We'd done some Doom modding and had built Doom maps, and I'd messed around with the way you could sort of hack game rules together. We'd build our own deathmatch mods that were fun and ridiculous. We kept talking about what we would do with Quake when they released Quake C, because we were pretty excited about that.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Not only did we like Quake, but it was clearly [inviting users] to work with it. Without QuakeC modding platform that was created, we would not have made Team Fortress. The idea of mods didn't exist before that, really. Not in a product-like fashion. That was huge.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Literally the day they released Quake C, we started on TF. We were waiting. We'd already started by taking Quake Test weapons and dividing them up into classes, all that sort of stuff. John came over and started writing TF, just hacking away with Quake C.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-QuakeC1.jpeg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">QuakeC.</p> </div> <h2>Class Warfare</h2> <p><em>Cook, Walker, and Caughley didn't crack open Quake's ribcage and dig into its guts without a game plan. Before the game and its toolset were released, they discussed design ideas and jotted them down on a Blizzard Entertainment-branded notepad that Walker had pulled out of his Diablo II Collector's Edition box. Those scribbles, combined with inspiration gleaned from the games they played at LAN parties, impelled them to go outside their wheelhouse and design a team-oriented shooter.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Five minutes down the road there was another group of people, and we'd go down and have LAN parties at their house. They were primarily Doom players, and they'd play this Doom map called Fortress. It was a really neat, 2v2 map.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We were super impressed by the extra layer of strategy that the game added. It's hard to remember how basic FPSes were back then in terms of the gameplay options that were available.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You spawned inside a room and chose to drop down into the real map by falling into one of two or three different holes, and in each hole there was a different loadout of weapons. Rocket launcher, versus a plasma gun, and other stuff [in the third hole].</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The enemy had a base, and your team had a base. You had to run up into their base and press a button. That would unlock the next area of their base. In the first areas of each base, you had basic weapons: the double-barreled shotgun. But once you unlocked the next area of their base, then they would have access to the rocket launcher and a couple other weapons.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Then you would go and you'd have to fight them [when they had] better weapons, trying to get to the third part of their base and unlock it, which would have more weapons&mdash;the plasma rifle, specifically, being the best one. Then you'd have to get all the way through the third [section] and hit a button, and you'd win a map.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It was a super rudimentary way of making a choice about loadout, but we played a lot of that and really liked it.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So, the whole time you're balancing offense versus defense, who stays back [to guard the base] and who goes out. There's also a nice progression ramp. It's like, okay, it's getting harder and harder to get through because [progressing] powers them up.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-QTF1.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">(Quake) Team Fortress.</p> </div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We named Team Fortress as a nod to that map. I think the main thing we took from it was, hey, classes seem like an interesting thing to focus on. I tried to find the map years later. I've talked publicly about this in the past and have always hoped that someone might ping us and say, 'Hey, I made that!' It's never happened.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Doom didn't really support [enough customization] for the gameplay to work exactly how they intended. You'd press the last button, and nothing would happen. You could also go into their base and get their [better] weapons, but the agreement was, 'No, don't do that. These are the rules of the game.'</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;It was a map that really could only work on LAN play, and Doom didn't work well on the Internet anyway. But you had to know the rules and [communicate with other players] because the game didn't enforce the rules.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We made plenty of Doom maps and none of ours were interesting in any way, but then we played that, and it was like, hey, here's someone subverting [the norm]. It's like, well, I can't show a menu to players, so how do I do handle selection? Handle it from a level-design perspective: We'll partition it into spaces. That stuff was cool.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We did make a version of the fortress map for Duke Nukem 3D, though. We fell in love with Duke Nukem for a little bit. It was really fun, but it just didn't have the modding capabilities that Quake did, so we went back to Quake.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Team Fortress is literally a team-based version of the [Doom] Fortress map. Probably 10 or 15 years ago, I spent a bunch of time looking for the Doom Fortress guy. I never found him. It opened my eyes to good design.</p> <p><em>[Author's note: On December 11, 2017, one week after&nbsp;</em>Rocket Jump&nbsp;<em>was published, I finally tracked down the Doom Fortress map that inspired Walker, Caughley, and Cook. You can&nbsp;<a href="https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/deathmatch/d-f/fortress">download it here</a>.]</em></p> <p><em>In the beginning, plans for Team Fortress were modest. Over hours of programming and informal play tests with friends, the scope of the game grew organically into what Walker would later describe as an "obvious" conglomerate of mechanics.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The first couple of versions of Team Fortress didn't have teams. It was pure deathmatch.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The weapons of the first classes were all based on existing Quake weapons. We just tweaked them to adjust damage.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We made someone who had a rocket launcher, because the rocket launcher in Quake was awesome. We made the Scout, the Sniper, the Heavy Weapons Guy.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/quake1-dm.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">Deathmatch in Quake.</p> </div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;A lot of stuff in TF didn't come from game design. The Heavy Weapons Guy and his assault cannon came from Predator. It was an amazing movie; we loved it.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I think we knew we wanted to work up to some sort of challenge. At first, all of the characters looked the same, which was sort of confusion. Basically, we just sort of split up the Quake weapons amongst [the classes].</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I think there were five at the time. We had a fairly standard, what I would think of as a fairly obvious set of initial classes. We started with a fast-moving class to the opposite end, a heavy, slow-moving class, and divided Quake's existing weapons amongst them.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We did the thought experiment to learn how to apply the fortress, but decided not to do it. We decided to do it later. That's always the way you decide not to do things: You decide to do them later.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We played a lot of Dungeons &amp; Dragons like everyone else, so we thought [character] classes made a lot of sense. We also had a bunch of different people at our LAN parties, too.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We played Hexen a lot at our earlier LAN parties, and one of the things we would do was make levels for it. You could make levels so quickly that you could make them while people were playing the game. We'd have two groups of three go through levels and see how quickly they could get through them. We'd time them so it was competitive. We really liked how the classes interacted with each other.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;At the same time as playing lots of multiplayer FPS, we were also playing other [genres] such as RPG and RTS. In these games you often controlled a team of characters with different skill sets, and we wanted this in our team-versus-team FPS. I remember Syndicate being a particular influence.</p> <aside> <p class="pull-quote">"What of his first questions to us, during the first lunch we were having after flying in from Australia, was, 'So, tell me what's fun about team play?' We just looked stunned at each other." -John Cook</p> </aside> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;These games also had your typical rock-paper-scissors mechanics and taught us that each class would need both strengths and weakness as well as easy kills and nemeses.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We had a very broad spectrum of [players with different] skills. There were some people who were not really hardcore gamers at all, but who wanted to come home to LAN parties and play. Classes seemed an obvious thing for us to do as a way to make sure everyone was having fun.</p> <p><em>Relying on suggestions and comments from friends as well as stories from other realms of pop culture, Team Fortress grew to incorporate more complex weapons that had transformative effects on moment-to-moment gameplay.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The strange thing was we were hardcore deathmatch [players], too. When we were at those parties, all John and I played was one-on-one deathmatch. We played as competitively, and in tournaments, as you could in those days. It always struck me as sort of incongruous that what we played was so different from what we worked on. We played TF when people were there, but at nights we'd play deathmatch.</p> <div class="VideoContainer" style="width: 100%px;"><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xg0zSvIGNWM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The order that the classes are listed in the menu is the order in which they were built, to give you an idea of when things came on. We released five classes originally.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Between deathmatch and TF, one was easier to play because you only needed two people. The player counts were low in those early days. That was a material factor. In a lot of our LAN games, if we didn't have enough people, we couldn't really get a fun game of TF going. But if there were only three or four of us, we could always have fun deathmatches.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There was a lot of stuff that was emergent, like being able to blow yourself across the map with a concussion grenade.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There was definitely class impact. The Soldier was absolutely the class made for anyone who wanted to do deathmatch. We kept the rocket launcher and core gameplay. When I look at that stuff, my takeaway is that there wasn't any effort spent on trying to build good team mechanics into those early classes. We were influenced a lot by our [habits].</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Since we had lots of people during the LAN days, we had lots of play styles represented. We also listened to the feedback from players. For example, the Pyro was added after QuakeWorld came out to help out players with slow network connections.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Originally it was, you throw the concussion grenade and it knocks people away, isn't that cool? There were customers who thought, I'm going to throw the grenade at my feet and shoot myself across the map. That became this key part of all clan play in the Quake version of Team Fortress.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I think the Pyro largely grew out of a mod done by another guy, whose name I can't remember. That feels terribly unfair to him. The early Quake-mod days were like that. There was a lot of sharing of mods and techniques, things like that.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;As you can imagine, when you consider the slight time delays involved with the server telling a game where the enemy is, followed by the game telling the server that the player fired in a certain direction, it becomes quite difficult for the server to calculate if a weapon hit its target. This is compounded by the server not being able to trust the game, since a cheater could be playing with a modified game designed to make weapons always hit.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The Pyro's main weapon, the flame thrower, did not need to be targeted accurately. Instead of looking along a line to see if the weapon hit, we looked in an invisible box in front of the player, as if that area was filled with flames, because it was. If the weapon hit its target, they would be lit on fire, causing damage over time so, once you hit your target, you didn't need to keep hitting them.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Couple this with the fact that faster units would typically have less health, and a pyro could be quite an annoyance&mdash;deadly&mdash;in a confined space. On the downside, they had no range, so were almost useless out in the open, though the flames could be used to make it a bit harder to see where your head was&mdash;always a good thing when there are snipers about.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The most frustrating class was definitely the Pyro. There were a lot of things we wanted to do, like set whole areas on fire. We got that working, but the performance was bad. Having 20 flame sprites on the screen started to slow things down.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Plus, it turned out that area denial is not that fun in FPS games. Running through areas is fun, but having a grenade that sets a whole area on fire for half a minute is not a good gameplay idea.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/tf-pyro1.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">Working in QuakeC, Cook and Walker rejiggered Quake's grenade launcher as a flamethrower for the Pyro class.</p> </div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It was a bit of a game in and of itself: Trying to figure out how to get Quake to do something was fun. If you managed to figure it out, you wanted to tell everyone. I think that's why you see things like grappling hooks showing up everywhere. It was such a neat that to even be able to get Quake to do that. I think everyone wanted to try it.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The Sniper was the class we had the most fun making, mainly because it was fairly straightforward to implement. You aimed and shot forward using the mouse. We wondered, 'How do we get the charging mechanic right for powering up? How do we make it slow to shoot but still rewarding when you get head shots?'</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We played a lot of matches of just us playing Snipers against each other. We did try a few [implementations], and that one sort of balanced the difficulty of shooting and feeling like you really accomplished something when you shot someone.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We were a group of people who got together a lot or LANs, and you could yell out to each other. I think the clarity of design we reached years later, when fundamentally we had a design for 32 people who don't know each other&mdash;and who probably won't know each other again after this game&mdash;and they're all going to have their own individual goals, and a small view of everything going on&mdash;our goal was to make it so that as they all individually and locally optimize for their experience, optimization at the team level falls out of that.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;They could look left, look right, and see teammates doing some stuff and go, 'Man, we're working well as a team,' even though we started with the base assumption that they were all ignoring everyone else, because it turns out that's the way most players work.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Really, a lot of the time spent making Team Fortress was spent working out, what are the capabilities of QuakeC? What are the extents of this game engine? What can we take advantage of to do more gameplay? You can't just do anything. You have to understand limitations and work with them to make the best game we could.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I feel like we had a shallow understanding of teamwork and so did obvious stuff. There's a combat medic: A medic is an obvious [class] to build if you're trying to have people care about each other. But this is the core problem of multiplayer game design: You're trying to get a bunch of people to work together as a team, but they want someone else to play Medic; they want someone else to [defend the base].</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The Demolition Man had a tool we used in a bunch of maps that let him alter the map. He had a big bomb, he could go put it [somewhere], if it blew up before the enemy stopped it, it would destroy a wall and his team could get through. We didn't keep that concept in TF2 because we kept finding that it was a perfect example of everyone wanting someone else on the team to do that.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;A lot of decisions, like how concussion grenades, were based around us asking: What can we get Quake to do? What are its capabilities as a modding platform? I ended up writing a pre-compiler for it just to, okay, we want to make this thing; how do we do it?</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/tf-demoman1.png" alt="" width="25%;" height="25%;" /> <p class="caption">QTF's Demolitions Man.</p> </div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At a design level, you were constantly torn between providing enough value to that [type of scenario] so that when someone does it, the team is rewarded and happy, but not such that everyone feels like, 'We're screwed if someone doesn't do it, but I don't want to do it, so I'm going to jump into Demoman, do it, then flip back to the class I actually want to play.' We didn't like making players make that kind of choice.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We could take a small amount of code and have the pre-compiler generate a large amount of code so we can deal with all these limitations of the system.QuakeC didn't have a lot of conditionals. You couldn't concatenate strings together. I had to make a system that was, okay, I want to concatenate things, so really, I need a giant if-else statement which handles all the different ways these four strings can be concatenated so we can share a status bar at the bottom of the screen. It was limiting, but it was still awesome.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At a design level, you can create choices for players that are not really choices. They're more like induced friction or punishment. It didn't seem like a good long-term strategy. I think the Medic is a good example of that. TF's Medic is not really a fun role. We made him a thing that needed to exist if teams wanted to be competitive by making him powerful, but that's not really a good solution.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The Medic seemed very simple to build initially: Just add a healing pack and you are done, right? But getting him fun to play and actually heal other players required constant tweaking and we didn&rsquo;t really get him good until TF2.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We had a much better solution [for the Medic] in TF2. I'm sure it's far from perfect, but at least we understood that the right way to treat this class was to make it the single most important person on the battlefield for specific points in time, and make him be the way teams can break stalemates. I think that was a lot more successful.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It certainly was pretty crude. We just printed a bunch of text to the screen, and made the person hit a number that corresponded to the [option] on the screen that they wanted. If you wanted to make a menu with a bunch of transitions, that was never going to happen. if you wanted to just print out some text, you could.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;A lot of the things we were dealing with [were new problems]. You couldn't add any data to a Quake entity, so every entity had the exact same data. The player has a variable for the amount of nails ammo they've got; that means every other entity has that variable as well. But you couldn't add variables, so what you'd end up doing is [repurposing data].</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If you wanted to tell someone they were on fire, you just printed a message to the screen: 'You are on fire.' That's literally what we did.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;So, on a flag, item 'nails' is a piece of data that will store a data that means a completely different thing: the skin that should be shown when it's dropped by a red team member.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-redClassesWikia.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">All classes in QTF sporting red-team colors.</p> </div> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There were things that seemed like a limitation, like saying 'You are on fire' and flashing that on the screen instead of showing flames. People just thought that was funny. The low fidelity was consistent enough that that was just how the product was. People accepted it. They found the [humor] in it.</p> <aside> <p class="pull-quote">"It came completely out of the blue to us. The idea had never occurred to us that we be planning to sell, or that anyone would want to buy it." -Ian Caughley</p> </aside> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The code was such a mess because there's all that kind of stuff where you're stuffing things that mean [something different] into pre-existing variables, and the variable names are all misleading.</p> <p><em>When the going got tough, Cook and Walker took comfort in the fact that they weren't the only ones trying to flip the script on Quake. A burgeoning community of amateur developers was hacking the game and pollinating email lists and Internet forums with their results.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Quake C was a puzzle in two parts. One part was the standard coding to get what you wanted. The other part was: I want to do this specific thing, and at face value there's no way Quake will allow me to do this, but maybe there's some way I can make it. Sometimes you'd come up with solutions where you'd completely misuse something from the way it was intended just to get what you wanted. Every now and again we'd get something to work that we didn't think we'd ever be able to get to work. It was a puzzle in that sense. I really enjoyed that. It was really fun.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The nailgun is one of the guns we brought over from Quake to give to the Scout. We wondered why people always switched over from it to the base shotgun. Does it not do enough damage? Well, it does good damage, but you have to [land a lot of hits], and the nails are slow.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We were doing that sort of stuff, but at that time, everyone was doing that sort of stuff. The Quake C mailing list was full of people saying, 'Oh, wow, I just realized that if you do this and this, you can do this!' It was a global effort, which was one of the fun things about it. Steve Bond and John Guthrie at that time, at Quake Command, were doing all sorts of bizarre stuff. They weren't making mods so much as they did short-form experiences. The Quake Rally guys were turning the whole damn thing into a vehicle-based game.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If you have a LAN party where a bunch of people come over, you play the game and see what's fun, and make it better.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Once you saw that someone had done something, it was just as much fun pulling it apart [as building mods of your own]. The grappling hook is a good example. I can't remember who built the first grappling hook. I think it pre-dated CTF, but I can't remember. But once you saw it was possible, you wanted to learn how to do it. That was really fun.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-banner1.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">A view of the blue team's base from high atop red's fortifications in the classic 2fort map for QTF.</p> </div> <h2>2 forts</h2> <p>Team Fortress. Team Fortress Classic. Team Fortress 2. No matter which version players tried first, no matter which class they favor, no matter the art or gameplay styles they prefer, the words "Team Fortress" call to mind a vivid scene: Red and blue teams fighting to defend their flag and capture the opposing team's. For most players, this scene plays out a map that's been synonymous with Team Fortress players as well as its developers since 1996.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At some point, we shipped our first map. I want to say that was the third release, but I'm not super sure.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We couldn't really work out how to get the fortress mode working in a more generic environment. It was kind of what we wanted, but instead we went ahead and did capture the flag because we understood it. I started making a map for that, which was 2fort.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; It's amazing how well this map did considering it was one of our earliest. I think a lot of its design came from John. He did a great job of making different parts of the map suit&nbsp;different classes and allowed for many different strategies.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;CTF and 2fort had such a symbiotic relationship for the longest time. We really only had one map for some period of time; we were simultaneously making the game using the map, and making the map.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;2fort was basically the map which Team Fortress was developed on from that point on. Every time we were playing it, we were playing on an updated version of 2fort.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; It developed as we added more classes with the second version, making it even better with multiple ways to get everywhere.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Inevitably, each class had sort of a place to be on the map. You've got this case where the classes were molding themselves to fit the map, and the map was molding itself to fit the classes. In retrospect, it didn't surprise us that 2fort was the most popular map. It embodied Team Fortress's gameplay better than anything else.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;All the classes were balanced around being fun on 2fort, the roles of the classes. The core gameplay evolved at the same time at that map, so it's not a surprise that it worked the best out of all the maps.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You end up with these relationships between classes and areas. The Sniper needs a place to be. Snipers want to be up above enemies, and have a place to retreat, so the battlements show up. Once the Engineer appears, you think, What's the Engineer's role in this? or Where would Soldiers hang out? You have all these places where classes end up in terms of 3D positions in the map, and we would iterate on those rooms just to make them more fun to be in as a Soldier, or an Engineer, [or other classes].</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/TF-2forttfc1.png" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">2fort as seen in Team Fortress Classic, developed using Valve's then-nascent Half-life SDK (software development kit).</p> </div> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I don't know how we just decided that it was 2forts facing each other across a bridge. I don't know who builds forts like that in real life, and why it's a '2' instead of 'two.' That's just how it worked, but it worked out well.</p> <p><em>Newer fans may be surprised to learn that 2fort was not packaged with Team Fortress right at its humble beginning. Likewise, the idea of fighting over sheets of cloth affixed to poles was a concept that arose shortly after Team Fortress's initial release. Cook and Walker weren't the only ones to take their design in that direction. David "Zoid" Kirsch, creator of the popular Threewave CTF mod, got there first, but players still debate over which implementation was more popular.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It was the third version when we added Team Fortress map goal support. We never specifically coded Capture the Flag into TF. This was before Threewave [CTF mod], if I recall. The only reason I remember that is because there was this fight online between various fans about who came up with flags first, like it was Quake that had invented flags.</p> <p>The reason I point this out is because it wasn't clear that Capture the Flag was going to become [the de facto mode of play]. We wanted to build something that hopefully would support [the type of gameplay] people wanted to do.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Zoid [Threewave CTF creator David Kirsch] had contracted at id for a while, and that's when we talked with him. He was helping test the new version of Quake World. The new version broke Team Fortress, so he talked to us about that.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We thought that things like flags could be thought of generically. They could be an object, and the game rules could be encoded by the map maker into the object. Say, if the player touches this, it should be attached to the player; if the player carrying it dies, it should fall to the ground, or maybe it should return back to where it was, or return back to where it was after a certain amount of time&mdash;all that sort of stuff.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We thought of ourselves as in competition with Threewave. I think Zoid was a lot better at communicating to people. He was friends with all the big Quake sites, and [Threewave] CTF was held up as the most popular Quake mod. It wasn't. It was us. Team Fortress.</p> <div class="VideoContainer" style="width: 100%px;"><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XNc0PGAKacs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We wrote some code that started polling all the Quake servers in the world every 15 minutes or so, and left it running for a few weeks. It pulled off data that anyone could pull off a Quake server at that time. The data showed us that there were more people playing TF than Quake itself. More than anything else. That was a shock to us. That was something that caused us to believe we had some hope at doing it professionally.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It showed that there were around 2500 people playing Team Fortress, and only 1500 people playing [Threewave].</p> <p>CTF is simple in concept: Each team defends their flag while waging assaults on the enemy base to steal theirs. For all its versatility, QuakeC made executing such a seemingly straightforward mode quite tricky.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;No one really had a good way to teach anyone things inside of Quake; you could just put text on the screen. One of the positives of TF's map system was that level designers had a lot of power to control exactly how the game played out on their map. One of the negatives was that level designers had lots of power.</p> <p>What that meant was you might play two maps that both call themselves CTF maps in TF, but they might have subtly different rules.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Robin pushed for this, to make it so people could do more with their maps. He spent a lot of time making a system so that the map makers could do a little bit of programming without all the setup and do more interesting things with the maps. That's how you ended up with maps like The Rock and other [gameplay] variants.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; I would say about six months in, Robin decided to re-write the code behind the objectives. I think he did most of the design and implementation of this bit on his own, and what he came up with was pretty amazing. He effectively wrote a 4GL language that map builders could use to define map behaviour and objectives and opened up modability like never before.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; Now map makers with little coding experience could build games, not just maps. Well, at least within the context of TF. This is when we saw so many more ways to play TF get developed. So many of the game modes that are seen today in FPS were created by map designers using Robin's toolkit.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;If you touch the flag on this one after it falls, it's returned; on the other map, maybe it sits there for 30 seconds and you have to defend it [until it returns to your base]. That was entirely up to the map maker. We unified those decisions across the [CTF] maps we shipped as a way of promoting the rules we thought were best.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Robin tried to make a C&amp;C map for Team Fortress. You would get stuff from the enemy base and take it back, and build up structures. These structures would rise out of the ground and power-up your weapons as you [upgraded them], but we hit the wall, technically, on what we could do. In terms of dynamic worlds, Quake wasn't suited to that.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In particular, I think one thing that confused lots of people who came from Threewave to TF was that in most TF maps, if the enemy dropped your flag somewhere and your team touched it, it didn't return to the starting point. It had a timer above it, and you had to [defend] it where it fell for 20 or 30 seconds; then it would return.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We liked that because it meant that instead of the only place you defend your flag being your starting point, we liked the fact that [defending a dropped flag] caused teams to suddenly have to spring up defense in another place.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-2fortTF2_1.png" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">2fort as seen in Team Fortress 2.</p> </div> <p>Team Fortress didn't make its way online until late August of 1996. Once it did, feedback trickled and then flooded in from the mod's growing fan base. Weeks ahead of release, Cook and Walker availed themselves of a more immediate method of feedback.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;At that point, we were having LAN parties, and we'd have games where someone would complain about X, and we'd immediately change X and start the server back up again.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We didn't spend tons of time coordinating what stuff we would add. We just went at it as we could, and trusted that we could fix it up on the weekend when we were playing it with other people.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; Early on we were all contributing everything. Lots of coding, tweaking the 3D player models, new textures, map design. None of us had great artistic skills, so after the mod had a little initial success, we started getting more art contributions from the other people in the community. This made the game look much more awesome.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;On any given Saturday or Sunday where we'd play for hours, we'd go through several versions of Team Fortress on that day and just keep changing things. Everyone sort of contributed to design ideas. In the later versions of Team Fortress, as they got bigger and bigger, John and I started alternating. On one update, one of us would do 75 percent of the coding and the other one would relax. I don't remember organizing it that way. We just fell into that [routine].</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I was trying to finish school, get to my second year of classes. Sometimes it would just be: He did the capture-the-flag system, I did the pyro class. We'd sort of bounce back and forth that way, just taking a big piece.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At that time, I was like any 22-year-old: I thought I was right and that&nbsp;John was totally wrong, and that if he'd stop working on the game it'd turn out so much better. Now I can look back and realize that if not for him, I would have petered out much earlier. The game was better for having two of us with [preferences] for what should be in it.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; Modding was such in its early days that the whole community was super interactive and supportive. The first gamers to download and play our game would have been other modders; we were all trying out each other's ideas.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Part of the issue was we didn't know anything about source control. I think we were forced not to work on the codebase at the same time because we didn't have a tool to share code.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There's the old military [proverb]: Strategy never survives contact with the enemy. I think you could adapt that to, 'Game design never survives contact with the player base.' We start shipping updates, players start playing it, and that changes everything. Feedback changes things, ideas change things.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/tf-tf2meetthepyro.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">The Scout (left) and Pyro, as seen in TF2.</p> </div> <p><em>Thanks to the advent of social media, blogs, YouTube, and indie publishing channels on platforms such as Steam, fans are able to follow nearly every step of a game's development leading up to its release. On August 24, 1996, the date of the initial Team Fortress release, Walker and Cook didn't think of themselves as developers. They had made a mod for a game, and they published it with all the fanfare they felt such an effort deserved.</em></p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At some point, we put it on cdrom.com. There was no official release.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The first release just contained Scout, Sniper, Soldier, Demoman, and Medic. We added some stuff that wasn't all Quake. The Medic had a medikit, and the Sniper had a sniper rifle. The rest of them, I'm pretty sure, just used Quake weapons.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;There was ftp.cdrom.com. He had a directory on the FTP for Quake mods. We had downloaded Quake mods from there, and we were kind of done making Team Fortress with its five classes.&nbsp;We put it up there with a little readme file that said, 'Hey, we made this thing, check it out.'</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We were subscribed to all the Quake C mailing lists, but we didn't really say much. We hadn't really entertained the idea of releasing it. It was written for our LAN parties, so we had a group of Quake players who showed up every couple of weeks and we'd just play it. Those were our core customers and play testers for quite a while.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We kind of forgot about it until people emailed us and said, 'This is pretty fun. Are you going to do any updates?' We said, 'Oh, sure. If people like it.'</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The initial Team Fortress, at least for the first few versions, you played on Quake deathmatch maps. There weren't flags or anything because there weren't maps built with the idea of [CTF] in mind.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It was more that we found [ftp.cdrom.com] useful because we were doing our own mods, so we would give back to the community. We put new versions up and mailed the people who had written us [to let them know]. We got some more play-time in, and more people kept mailing us to the point where we built a website for it and hosted it off the university. It was a very organic process.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I think our allergy to self-promotion was true, even back then, and I think it absolutely hurt the rate at which the game was adopted. Something about the two of us even then, we just really didn't like the idea of promoting what we did.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You downloaded maps separately. We thought about how Quake had this ecosystem of mods coming online. We thought about maps in the same way. We wanted it to be that people would find good maps, instead of ours shutting down other people from making and playing other maps.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I think the way Quake worked was that you installed mods separately from how you chose your map. So, you could effectively play TF on any map, but only TF maps would link to our objective system. But we were very open about how to write a TF map, and collaborated with other map makers as much as we could.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I'm reasonably sure that once we had done the big objective code re-write, we didn't do much of our own map making from that point forward. Other map makers were better at it than us, and we were too busy playing their maps.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;In hindsight, that was silly, but that was the idea: Here's the game, and you can get the maps separately. We put the maps up separately from the game, so it was almost an invitation for people to make their own maps.</p> <div class="VideoContainer" style="width: 100%px;"><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/l62OY19rZ7k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p><em>At first, Cook and Walker were as bemused by the attention as they were delighted. Learning how to promote their efforts proved more difficult for them than building the mod.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We pretty quickly started focusing on what people were saying online, what they wanted. But we still weren't thinking of ourselves as [professionals]. If you'd asked us then, 'Are you guys game developers?' or 'Do you work in the games industry?' we would have said no. That never even occurred to me.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I think we're still learning how to [self-promote]. We were proud of the product and thought it should speak for itself. We know now that doing that is doing an injustice to a product. If it's good, it's worth telling lots of people about, telling people why you're excited about it. It's just not quite in our nature. Even though you know it's worth telling people about, you also know it's a bunch of work for you, a bunch of socializing.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Even as a kid, playing Way of the Exploding Fist, which was a game that I just loved and played the hell out of--it would start up with a Melbourne House logo, and I never connected the dot that Melbourne House meant Melbourne, the city near me. The games industry to me seemed like it was in the UK, and to a lesser extent, the US. The UK dominated it. I had a BBC and a Commodore 64 later on, and everyone making games seemed to be all over Europe.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;As more people kept contacting us, we got more interested in making it. Just knowing people are consuming your work and going and playing with it was pretty awesome.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In that period from 1996 to [2004 when Steam shipped], as a mod maker, your biggest problem was, fundamentally, distribution. You could make a really good game, but you didn't have a good way to get it to customers in a way where they could give you money in return. You could put it online and people could download it, but if you decided you wanted to sell it, there wasn't an opportunity for you. There was this narrow window we went through.</p> <aside> <p class="pull-quote">"Another Gabe thing was, 'Deliver all your value as fast as possible. If you have value in this Team Fortress but it's not being delivered to our customers, fix that. Get it in there for them.'" -John Cook</p> </aside> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The guy who was writing the story for Kanon also produced the TF promo movie which I think was the first FPS promo to have classical music as its track instead of heavy metal. It was pretty awesome at the time, and I think influenced future music choices across the industry.</p> <div class="VideoContainer" style="width: 100%px;"><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-NoyXRUFh4E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Once things like Steam appeared and you no longer needed a publisher to connect to a whole bunch of publishers... It wasn't just Steam. Really, the whole Internet just got to a point where a whole bunch of people were buying [products] through it. If we had done what we did four years later, we would never have gone to Valve, because I think we would have been far more convinced we could have done it ourselves. It all seems incredibly naive to me in retrospect.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;John and I have talked since about how much we threaded the needle in life. That the path we followed didn't exist before Quake, and it was a path that ended not long afterwards.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We were having a lot of fun playing it, so I guess we weren't so surprised that people liked it. The wonderment was more around how fast the word of mouth could travel and how fast a TF community developed within the Quake one.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;It was also very awesome that we could effectively develop our game iteratively. Companies do it all the time now with early access, but it was a new concept back then for games. I guess that's because games still came from ships, but mods came from the net, so in a way the free mod market back then was the pre-cursor to the modern online game markets.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Looking back now, I should be surprised how many people donated their time and artwork to the game, but like I said, there was lots of sharing within the modding communities.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At some point, some game developers started contacting us, including Activision. They said, 'We love your game. Let us know what you guys are doing next.' I think they assumed a level of professionalism that was not there. But that did make us think, oh, maybe there are some real opportunities here.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-TF2ftp.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">Originally packaged as part of Valve's Orange Box bundle in 2007, Team Fortress 2 continues on as a free-to-play title.</p> </div> <h2>Platforms</h2> <p><em>Walker's and Cook's proficiency in game design and in wrangling QuakeC grew in parallel to the Quake community's enthusiasm for Team Fortress. With more experience came more ambitious character classes and styles of play.</em></p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;By the time the Engineer was added, it was later in the cycle. We were a little more thoughtful about the product at that point.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The sentry gun came from a love of Aliens. Everyone loved aliens. They started as a concept: 'Oh, man, we've got to have that in the game.' But the Engineer, which we didn't get to until later, is a much more rounded concept than that.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We really wanted to make [a class] that was easier for a non-hardcore FPS player to play. Between that and a lot of playing Command &amp; Conquer, we decided building structures would be a fun thing. From there we just tried a bunch of ideas, and the dispenser and sentry gun came up.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The Engineer was a lot of fun to make. The sentry turret felt like we were doing something that had never been done before in an FPS, and it had all these implications on map design and game balance beyond just adding a character with a new gun.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We understood that the Engineer was a class that should exist to draw in people who wanted to be in combat and have an impact, but didn't necessarily want to do it directly. Maybe they don't have the aiming skills they would like, or maybe they just want to spend more time thinking about which way enemies would be coming in, and where enemies would get to, and exploit that.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The sentry gun was a tool to serve game design problems we were interested in solving, which I don't think is how we started out. That's game design: Things you want to do come from all over the place.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Balancing got easier as it took off on the Internet because you could just go play with other people and see what they were doing, and make changes appropriately. Just because of the situation, we were very comfortable updating live, basically.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The Spy is a perfect example of [design ideas] coming from lots of different places. If I remember correctly, the Spy came from a bug. For a while, we had a bug that made players appear like they were on the other team. There's a chunk of code responsible for making sure you're the right color and the right skin, depending on the team and class you picked. At some point we had bugs where players would look like they were the wrong class or the wrong team.</p> <p>Somewhere amidst all that, as we worked on fixing it, we thought, Hey, that might be an interesting idea for a class.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It was, 'Okay, we'll just do a big update, and some customers will like it and some won't.' We could take a lot of risks by just updating [the game].</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-tf1spy.png" alt="" width="35%;" height="30%;" /> <p class="caption">QTF's Spy, looking dapper.</p> </div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We did an obvious set of things. The Spy should be able to look like any class. At that point we had target ID: When you mouse over a teammate, you get info about their name and health and so on; Spies needed to be able to fake all of that. The Spy was a nightmare to code. There are so many exceptions in the code that exist just for the Spy. There were a bunch of things we could do in TF that were kind of hard to do in Quake, the big one being that if you were a Spy on team red disguised as an enemy on team blue, then team blue players saw you as team blue, but team red players also saw you as on team blue.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;That meant your own teammates saw you as an enemy. The number of times we'd see new players trying to kill a Spy only to be confused because, hey, this guy's not taking any damage, and how did this enemy get into our spawn area? We fought that as much as we could in Quake.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Eventually we did beta releases, but at the start, a lot of it was just, okay, let's make some logical guesses about gameplay changes and see what happens.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The Spy invented this whole other concept: Everywhere you've got a piece of code that says, 'Is the player I just shot, or bumped into, or am looking at, or whatever&mdash;is that player on my team? If so, do this. If not, do that. Or, is it on my team but disguised as being on the enemy team?' Those are exceptions you have to think about, and in some cases, code, because any of them could be a giveaway.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;You play, and you watch other people play, and you see how they're actually using [items]. You have some creative process afterwards to take that data and turn it into something actionable. Like, okay, they're using it or not using it in certain situations: Why is that? You come up with a theory for that, and come up with an idea for a [solution]. You say, 'Okay, here's a more fun way to do the same thing.'</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;One of my favorite things with the Spy, which is one of the dumbest, simplest tricks, was running backwards. One of the mini-games we'd play in our one-on-one deathmatches was to run backwards. I don't know why. We played a lot of Quake, so we just tried everything. We'd do one-on-one deathmatches where you were only allowed to move backwards. You had to run past your [opponent] to be able to shoot at them, and then circle around them.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;It was a strange way of playing, but fun. You'd play the map so well that you could get across lava jumps and [other obstacles] just by jumping backwards because you knew where everything was, you'd played it so damn much.</p> <p><em>Over 1996, Team Fortress garnered more attention from players. The transition from tinkerer to developer happened so quickly that it took Cook's and Walker's mutual friend, Ian Caughley, to point it out, and to suggest taking the next big step.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Quake 2 was coming out, so the expectation was that Quake 1 was going to die, or was going to [lose support] in some way.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We had another friend at college who had just a little bit of money. He said, 'We should all start a company.' This was Ian; he was the third co-founder.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I was only part-time since I was completing my second degree. I was still coding and designing, helped a bunch on the promo. I was also doing a lot of managing of third parties that were providing art, sound and music. Also, importantly, I was paying the rent and buying the food.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; Ian's super fun to work with and a smart guy, a good programmer. There wasn't any good reason that he didn't work on Team Fortress that much, other than that most of that work was happening at our flat where it was just John and me, so we could share code easily between the two of us. When we started working on TF for Quake 2, [Ian joined in].</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Ian said, 'We should start a games company and make games because we have an opportunity.' We said, 'Yeah, sure, that sounds cool.'</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;It just felt like the natural progression. I don't think we delusions of making it big, but we thought we could make some good games people would pay for. We started working on our TF2 which would have much more map interaction and a setting more grounded in reality, and a game called Kanon which was to be a story driven team based co-op.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We also kept improving TF, supporting the map builders and adding better art, and put it out as 'donateware,' which made us tens of dollars.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I guess another factor was we did a donation drive, and a lot of people donated to us. The primary reason we did that was just because people kept telling us they wanted to donate. Just the fact that people wanted to do it, and then followed through and did it, made us also feel like, hey, maybe we should be doing more.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We had no idea how to monetise what we had. I can think of much better ideas now, and those at Valve giggle at those ideas as small-time.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In retrospect, looking back: Oh my god, we didn't know what the hell we were doing. We were so screwed. If Valve hadn't bought us out, I think we would have failed massively.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/tf-hl1dm.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">Immediately after joining Valve full-time, Walker and Cook helped the team finish Half-life's multiplayer modes.</p> </div> <p><em>The roadmap for Team Fortress was simple: id was developing Quake 2, so the trio of Team Fortress Software would break ground on Team Fortress 2 tailor-made for the Quake 2 engine. Fans weren't the only ones interested in seeing what lay in store for the mod.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I don't have any recollection of us [receiving interest from] anyone in the Australian games industry. It was a big, successful place, I guess. I just managed to avoid it. It was strange.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I got interviewed by one of the main Australian newspapers a few years later. They ran with the only quote they got from me in the end, which was, 'We never heard from anyone in the Australian games industry.' They used it as a damning statement; I didn't mean in that way. It did seem like everything interesting was happening around Quake, first-person shooters, and online.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Scott Lynch reached out. He saw an opportunity for Half-life to be like Quake where it would be a good platform for mods and to build things. He had this idea that Team Fortress 2 could be a mod that was sold for both Quake 2 and for Half-life, because Half-life was supposed to come out around the same time as Quake 2, which it did not, obviously.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We got interest from a bunch of publishers who were interested in what we were planning to do next. We did some contract work for EA or Activision on some games. We built a version of Quake for arcades for a company. They wanted to build an arcade box that played Quake, and take it over to id to see if they could get id's blessing to manufacture them. We wrote software for them so you could play through Quake through a timed mode. We did a bunch of random pieces like that while working on the Quake 2 version of TF.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The Valve guys liked the idea of us coming in and co-working with them to educate them on what makes a good modding platform. What do mod makers need and look for in a game engine that makes it able to be modded extensively?</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I think the main difference between them and everyone else who had talked to us--we'd by then sort of gotten used to publishers mailing us to say 'Hey, we're interested in doing X and Y,' and those turning into long email threads that never went anywhere--the difference was that within a few days, maybe overnight, us saying, 'Yeah, we're interested,' and Valve replying back to say, 'Okay, here are your plane tickets. Let's do this.'</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/tf-tfclogo.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">TFC, created as a feature of and selling point for Half-life's multiplayer offerings.</p> </div> <p><em>Walker and Cook packed their bags and headed to Seattle to meet the powers that be&nbsp;at Valve. Although there was some buzz around Half-life, meeting with Gabe Newell and the folks at Valve was like being set up on a blind date.</em></p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At the time when Valve contacted us, no one knew anything about them. There was a small number of screenshots of Half-life. So, they were working on stuff, but no one really new anything about them at this point. We probably had more visibility to Ritual, who was working on Sin at the time, which looked much cooler [than Half-life]. There was more media out for it.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Everyone was very excited about Half-life coming out and knew Valve from the promos. Then they offered us free flights, free accommodation, and three seats for three months at Valve. It blew our little modder minds.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;When we first came over, it was March of '98, so they were working on Half-life. We co-worked with them for three months.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Ian, John, and I sat in a room at Valve and worked on porting over Team Fortress. I think we showed up and said, 'Hey, we've been working on this thing we're calling Team Fortress 2 for Quake 2. Instead of porting Team Fortress, why don't we bring Team Fortress 2 over?'</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I think they were happy with that, so we started working on Team Fortress 2&mdash;the first version. If you asked me to recap all the versions, I'd need to spend some serious time thinking.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Valve wanted the next thing we did, be it TF2 or something else, to be built on their engine, and they saw the best way to make that happen was to put us on the floor with the Half-life folks. We never felt like they wanted to influence what we were building, just how we were building it. They were a bit busy with their own game, and Valve was helping us with lots of connections, too. They introduced us to Sierra to look at publishing and to their lawyers so that Sierra didn't do us over.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The idea was we would work on Team Fortress 2 for Quake 2 and for Half-life. They'd interact with us, sort of see what was there.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;It was an odd combination of fun loving and hard working. Everyone was super friendly and did lots of things together. Everybody spent a lot of time at the office, but there was some game playing, but mostly work. Lots of the people there were working for reduced wages and shares in company, so everyone was very success focused.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I remember when a box full StarCraft games turned up, it created a slight dip in productivity. Even though we were clearly only working at Valve, not for Valve, they were very open about everything they were doing.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Compared to more public industry figureheads like John Carmack and John Romero, Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell was an enigma. He stepped out from behind his wizard's curtain to talk with Cook, Walker, and Caughley about the future of Team Fortress and games as a platform. The long-time friends did more than listen. They were mesmerized.</em></p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Gabe used to talk about eSports back then. He'd say, 'We want arenas of people cheering on people playing your game.' He was thinking so far ahead. It was dizzying in a lot of ways.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Gabe is like that. The world will never, sadly, be able to fully understand him. For years I just sort of assumed that all CEOs, people who had managed to achieve the things he's managed to achieve, were lucky.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;He was certainly intimidating to work with. What of his first questions to us, during the first lunch we were having after flying in from Australia, was, 'So, tell me what's fun about team play?' We just looked stunned at each other. The notion of breaking down elements like that hadn't occurred to us yet. I probably still couldn't tell you what's fun about team play. So, he was challenging, but he understood the future.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I've since met many CEOs, very big people in terms of what they've achieved, but Gabe remains a really interesting fellow.</p> <div class="VideoContainer" style="width: 100%px;"><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xqqEvg6Rg-4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></div> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Valve basically was taking advantage of Quake's modding ecosystem to hire people. They were looking for anyone who had made anything interesting with Quake, and with other games, but Quake was certainly a focus. They were one of the earliest companies to look on the Internet for people doing interesting things, and try to hire them.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Gabe, specifically, had a lot of admiration for Carmack had made it so other people could add value to his game. That was something he wanted to capture himself. Gabe worked at Microsoft, and he'd worked on Windows for a long time. All the thinking over there was about platforms. You're making a platform that lets developers quickly add value to customers, and lets customers communicate back to developers. That's what he wanted games to be.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;He's an intellectual force. There's no one quite like him. I love working with him for that reason. He's a pretty amazing guy.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;We didn't have the high-level thought of, Maybe we'll end up working here. We were way too naive to think of that. But the entire time we were there, they were actually interviewing us pretty heavily. I look back and realize, 'That was actually an interview question this person was asking me.'</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;At the end of the day, I suspect it was a three-month job interview; we just didn't know it.</p> <p>Once it dawned on Walker, Caughley, and Cook that they had been going through an extended interview process, the next step seemed logical.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p><b>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</b>Valve was being very smart, in my humble opinion, and using the modding community as a way to find people who were thinking outside the box, were self-driven and had skills. They were offering jobs to many of the top names in the scene.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;It was a bit unfortunate for them that we had incorporated. They could have just offered us jobs, but I think they wanted to do right by us, and didn't want to just discard the work we had done. They basically gave us back pay to when we started the business and we gave them the rights to TF.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;About a month and a half into that, they said, 'We've watched you guys work. We're interested in just buying you guys out if you're up for it, and you would stay here.' We took them up on their offer, obviously.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;It came completely out of the blue to us. We had been talking to a lawyer one week earlier when they asked if we had plans to sell the business. The idea had never occurred to us that we be planning to sell, or that anyone would want to buy it.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Gabe called us all into his office and said, 'We like working with you guys, and it seems like you like working with us. We should make this a permanent deal. What do you think?' I thought, Fuck yeah. Yes.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/tf-tfcblueteam.jpg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">Meet the Team: All of TFC's classes sporting blue duds.</p> </div> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;In retrospect, based on everything I've done since, whenever we say, 'Hey, come work at Valve for a little while,' we're asking you to do that because we think seeing you work is the single best way to find out if we want to hire you.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;It was good, too, because we had no idea what we were doing with our game company. It's very different experience when you're saying, 'We're going to build this and make money.' There's a lot more to think about [when you run a company] than just, 'I'm going to make the game better and see if people like it.'</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I've never worked anywhere else besides NEC, my company [TF Software], and Valve, so it's hard for me to speak to the rest of the games industry. Valve was a concentrate of the smartest bunch of people I'd ever met in my life. I remember having a couple of thoughts.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;One, I didn't realize people could be that smart. That's sort of a goofy thing to say, I guess, but I'd never met people who seemed to be so good at thinking through the problems they're working on. And not just one or two people, but sitting in a room where there was a whole group of them. I learned more in that first month or so at Valve than I had in years prior.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I was struck because I'd never met people that smart before. I didn't even know people that smart existed in the world. I was just blown away. I was always the best programmer in the vicinity all the time.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;My first several years at Valve were ones where I got addicted to self-improvement. I met people who made me want to be better. I'd never had such a strong desire to get better at something, because I guess I'd never realized what I could aspire to. That was the truth of it. I'd never met a group of people who made me want to get better.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;For years, I got addicted to be able to look back to a year earlier and say, 'Holy crap, I was an idiot. I didn't realize how much I didn't know.' I tried to drain as much knowledge out of these people as I possibly could.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Suddenly, here are these people at a whole new level. I must continue to work with these people and learn from them, because this is like nothing I've ever experienced before.</p> <p><em>Like his friends, Caughley was having a blast at Valve, but turned down Valve's offer. As much as he enjoyed working on Team Fortress, his path in software development amicably diverged.</em></p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I had a girl and a city that I loved and wanted to come home to. I was also felt like everyone there was amazing, and I wasn't quite amazing enough. They didn't make me feel that way; it was just me.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;They were nice enough to print Caughley the tool down the side of the Engineer's spanner in TF Classic, both imortalising me into the game, and [good-humoredly] letting me know what they thought of my decision to not stay.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Walker and Cook became full-time developers at Valve Software in early 1998, roughly eight months before Half-life was due to ship out to stores. Both developers jumped in with both feet, helping tidy up loose ends on Valve's to-do list. Once the game was more or less complete, they turned their attention to revamping Team Fortress in the form of Team Fortress Classic, a version customized for Half-life's more robust engine and feature set.</em></p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;After Half-life shipped, we spent some time thinking about what was next. Really, we were thinking about how to make the Half-life SDK as good as possible. One of the things we realized was, if there's not enough people playing the game multiplayer, Half-life is not going to be a good platform to make mods on.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We, along with other people at Valve, helped build their SDK. We did the work, and there were many of our ideas [incorporated into the product]. Half-life's multiplayer [deathmatch] was still in development. We helped out there.</p> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/tf-counterstrike1.jpeg" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">Cook's and Walker's efforts on Half-life's SDK made modifications like Counter-Strike possible.</p> </div> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Even if the tech was good, there needed to be an active customer base. Half-life's deathmatch itself wasn't that popular. We said, 'We have this valuable property in Team Fortress. We should get that working in Half-life and bring those customers over to introduce them to this game mode that we think is really fun.'</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The Valve guys had all been thinking about single-player, so we collaborated with them on multiplayer. From there on out, it was Robin and me being a part of figuring out, how does multiplayer work? How does the SDK work? We were part of all that.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;We looked at all that Quake C code and said, 'We can't rewrite all this from scratch. It would take too long.' I sort of get teased at work for my initial estimate: 'Oh, man, we could probably do this in three or four weeks.' I think it took us three months.</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;At that point, we'd been working with Quake for years. As any programmer will tell you, if you spend two years with a product with a bunch of code, being play tested by thousands of people around the world, you fix a ton of bugs. If you decide to go and rewrite that, you have to be careful. You'll write cleaner code, but in all the places where the code is cleaner, you've actually not brought over bug fixes and design changes that were nonobvious and made the game better.</p> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;But that was part of making the SDK as successful as possible. I feel like that was a good move, because out of that came Counter-Strike. Without that, without the level of people playing multiplayer in Half-life [and Team Fortress Classic], I don't think Counter-Strike would have been made, or it would have been made for some other game platform.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;The decision [had] two tracks: We're going to make Team Fortress 2, and we're going to make the game's multiplayer environment as good as possible, because that would in turn create opportunities.&nbsp; Another Gabe thing was, 'Deliver all your value as fast as possible. If you have value in this Team Fortress but it's not being delivered to our customers, fix that. Get it in there for them.' That was really it.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><em>David Ogilvy is regarded as the father of modern advertising. In 1968, he published a paper on management principles in which he wrote, If you ever find a man who is better than you are - hire him. If necessary, pay him more than you would pay yourself. Another popular story goes that Ogilvy once gifted each of his company directors with a set of Russian nesting dolls.</em></p> <p><em>Opening the dolls one by one, the directors found a note folded in the smallest doll that read, If you always hire people who are smaller than you, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If, on the other hand, you always hire people who are bigger than you, we shall become a company of giants.</em></p> <p><em>Reflecting on their journey, Walker and Cook agreed that it was the prospect of surrounding themselves with giants that attracted them to Valve more than the chance to continue developing Team Fortress games.</em></p> <aside> <p class="pull-quote">"One of our fears in that conversation was, 'If we can't get some kind of similar development process, our games will be worse than all these mods.'" -Robin Walker</p> </aside> <div class="articleImage" style="width: 50%px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2017/10/TF-2forttfc2.png" alt="" width="65%;" height="65%;" /> <p class="caption">The many twists and turns of 2fort, as seen in TFC.</p> </div> <p><strong>JOHN COOK</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I was always impressed by the community scene that emerged, especially the clan players. There was a lot of really smart players organizing games, battling rivals and just making the game better. Great players are what make a multiplayer game great.</p> <p><strong>IAN CAUGHLEY</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Three things. First, as new games were developed after TF, I felt it was clear that our game had a reasonably significant influence on the design of FPS games. I think we showed that the community wanted more from multiplayer FPS than just deathmatch, that they could work as teams and wanted to, and game developers saw that and built games for those players. We showed that players wanted more interesting goals than killing everyone, they wanted to work out strategies and work as a team to put them into action. And now we have games like the amazing Overwatch and team MOBAs.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Second, people are still playing TF&mdash;Team Fortress 2 counts&mdash;and we're coming up to our 20-year birthday.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Third, it took Valve 10 years to come out with TF2, and when it came out, it was very similar to the original. I know they went through a lot of iterations to get there, and it was amazing to see them decide that the original had so many things right.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ROBIN WALKER</strong></p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I'm a realist. I think there are people who want to say that things got created because a specific kind of person was really smart. I look at TF, and so much of it seems really obvious, and so much of it comes from lots of people. TF is a huge bundle of things, and in some cases, we were people who created things that other people proposed. It's hard to know where we started and where TF began.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I remember a conversation with Gabe [Newell] and a bunch of people at Valve, not long after we joined Valve. I can't remember who proposed the theory, but there was this idea that game developers were all going to lose to the mod community. That the mod community had done more iteration on game design through its sheer number of people, in a couple of years of [playing and creating mods for] Quake, than the games industry had done for years prior.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;It wasn't that they were smarter than the game developers; it's that they had a fundamentally better method for creating games. Iterating in public, iterating in front of your customers, was a fundamentally superior way of doing games.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;One of our fears in that conversation was, 'If we can't get some kind of similar development process, our games will be worse than all these mods.' I think that was accurate. Today, game developers don't necessarily choose to take advantage of that [style], but we have the opportunity to build products in the way that mod makers were building them for Quake and the games that followed. You can see a huge amount of innovation that happened as a result of that.</p> <p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;There was this period of time where a ton of people, far more than John, Ian, and I, were channeling their thoughts into a bucket for Team Fortress. It was super fun to be a part of that.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Last December, Shacknews published Rocket Jump: Quake and the Golden Age of First-Person Shooters, David L. Craddock's book-sized account of the making of id Software's Quake franchise and other influential FPS games from the 1990s. Presented unabridged, the following chapter comes from the full edition of Rocket Jump, available in full for Mercury subscribers and available to pre-order in hardcover and digital formats from crowdfunding publisher/platform Unbound.</em></p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:15:00 PDT David Craddock Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Potion List and Buffs Explained http://www.shacknews.com/article/103832/warhammer-vermintide-2-potion-list-and-buffs-explained http://www.shacknews.com/article/103832/warhammer-vermintide-2-potion-list-and-buffs-explained <p>Warhammer: Vermintide 2 may not have <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103800/warhammer-vermintide-2-secrets-tips-and-tricks" target="_blank">what players would consider actual secrets</a>, but the game does have its fair share of relatively unexplained mysteries. Beyond the effects of Tomes or Grimoires, many players are left wondering what potions do, specifically the ones not tied to health. Fear not, for we've got all the information players need to get the most out of potions in Warhammer: Vermintide 2.</p> <h2>Potions and Potion Buffs in Warhammer: Vermintide 2</h2> <p>Aside from healing potions, there are really only three potions in Vermintide 2: potions of Strength, of Speed, and of Concentration. Each one is color-coded, and players who understand the buffs they receive from potions are in the best position to make use of their enhanced powers.</p> <p>&bull; <strong>Healing Draughts</strong> are among the most common potions. In Vermintide 2, healing droughts restore about 50% of the player's health. They're <strong>green</strong> in color, same as the player's health bar.<br />&bull; <strong>Medical Supplies</strong> work similarly to Healing Draughts and take up the same inventory space, but heal 75% of the player's health and can be used to restore the health of allies.<br />&bull; <strong>Concentration Potions</strong> are used to increase the regeneration rate of the hero's active career skill. They're colored <strong>purple</strong> to visually correspond with the player's cooldown timer.<br />&bull; <strong>Strength Potions</strong> provide Warhammer: Vermintide 2 players with a temporary bonus to damage output and the ability to pierce through enemy armor. They're <strong>orange</strong> in color. <br />&bull; <strong>Speed Potions</strong> provide heroes with a drastic but temporary increase to movement and attack speed. They're colored <strong>blue</strong>.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/warhammer-vermintide-2-potions-consumables-bombs.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>In addition to potions and other healing items, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 has a number of other consumables. Namely, players will spot both regular <strong>Bombs</strong> and <strong>Incendiary Bombs</strong> out on the battlefield, the likes of which can be used to do big damage to bosses or groups of enemies. Players will also be able to spot Grimoires, which provide bonuses to end-mission loot at the expense of the party's maximum health, and Loot Dice, which can also potentially increase the level of loot boxes.</p> <p>Lastly, players will also spot Tomes, which take up the healing item slot and provide similar bonuses to the overall loot box level. For players who want to make the most out of their missions, check out our <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103705/all-tome-locations-in-warhammer-vermintide-2" target="_blank">list of all Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Tome locations</a>. Beyond that, stay on top of the latest with Fatshark's newest release by checking out our <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/warhammer-vermintide-2" target="_blank">Warhammer: Vermintide 2 home page</a>.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:00:00 PDT Kevin Tucker Weekend PC Download Deals for March 16: GOG.com St. Patrick's Day Sale and More http://www.shacknews.com/article/103830/weekend-pc-download-deals-for-march-16-gogcom-st-patricks-day-sale-and-more http://www.shacknews.com/article/103830/weekend-pc-download-deals-for-march-16-gogcom-st-patricks-day-sale-and-more <p>A slow month for PC gaming sales continues, as gaming retailers continue to lay low on the massive sales. That doesn't mean there isn't <i>anything</i> out there, however.</p> <p>The big standout sale for the weekend comes from GOG.com, which is offering a massive Star Wars bundle and several recent DRM-free hits as part of its St. Patrick's Day celebration. A big Square Enix publisher sale is up on the Humble Store. And lastly, it's probably a good time to catch up on the Far Cry series, so find those deals over on the Humble Store and the UPlay Shop.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Star-Wars-The-Force-Unleashed-1.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /> <p class="caption">Star Wars: The Force Unleashed</p> </div> <p>Here's our selection of this weekend's PC deals:</p> <h3>Amazon</h3> <ul> <li>Football Manager 2018 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Football-Manager-2018-Online-Game/dp/B0753N57PS/?tag=Shack0a-20">$33.49 (35% off)</a></li> </ul> <h3>Direct2Drive</h3> <ul> <li>Middle-earth: Shadow of War [Steam] - <a href="https://www.direct2drive.com/#!/download-middleearth-shadow-of-war-standard-edition/5012596">$35.69 (30% off)</a> (Gold and Silver Editions also on sale)</li> <li>Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus [Steam] - <a href="https://www.direct2drive.com/#!/download-wolfenstein-ii-the-new-colossus/5012999">$25.49 (50% off)</a> (Digital Deluxe Edition also on sale)</li> <li>Prey [Steam] - <a href="https://www.direct2drive.com/#!/download-prey/5012599">$17.59 (50% off)</a></li> <li>LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.direct2drive.com/#!/download-lego-marvel-super-heroes-2/5012987">$24.63 (30% off)</a></li> <li>Batman: Arkham Knight [Steam] - <a href="https://www.direct2drive.com/#!/download-batman-arkham-knight/5010746">$6.46 (66% off)</a></li> <li>Find more heroes in Direct2Drive's <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://www.direct2drive.com/#!/promotion/701">Be A Hero Sale</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>Fanatical</h3> <p>Use the code <b>SPRING10</b> for an additional 10% off of your purchase. Restrictions apply.</p> <p><a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/bundle/fear-bundle">Pay $4.99</a> for F.E.A.R. (w/all DLC), F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn DLC, and F.E.A.R. 3. These activate on Steam.</p> <p>Or <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/bundle/batman-arkham-knight-bundle">pay $13.59</a> for Batman: Arkham Knight and all of its DLC. These activate on Steam.</p> <ul> <li>Tekken 7 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/tekken-7">$23.99 (52% off)</a> (Deluxe Edition also on sale)</li> <li>BioShock: The Collection [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/bioshock-the-collection">$17.99 (70% off)</a></li> <li>WWE 2K18 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/wwe-2-k-18">$29.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>XCOM 2 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/xcom-2">$17.99 (70% off)</a> (War of the Chosen also on sale)</li> <li>NBA 2K18 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/nba-2-k-18">$35.99 (40% off)</a></li> <li>Find more from the 2K library in Fanatical's <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/publishers/2k-games">2K Sale</a>.</li> <li>Cities Skylines [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/cities-skylines">$6.89 (77% off)</a> (Deluxe Edition and DLC also on sale)</li> <li>Agents of Mayhem [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/agents-of-mayhem">$7.49 (75% off)</a></li> <li>Superhot VR [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/superhot-vr">$18.74 (25% off)</a></li> <li>Project CARS 2 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/project-cars-2-game">$28.79 (52% off)</a></li> <li>Dragonball Xenoverse 2 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.fanatical.com/en/game/dragon-ball-xenoverse-2">$16.49 (67% off)</a></li> </ul> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HKXYBIOXinE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h3>GamersGate</h3> <ul> <li>Sid Meier's Civilization VI [Steam] - <a href="https://www.gamersgate.com/DD-SID-MEIERS-CIVILIZATION-VI-ROW-GN/sid-meier-s-civilization-vi">$30.00 (50% off)</a> (Digital Deluxe Edition also on sale)</li> <li>Mafia III [Steam] - <a href="https://www.gamersgate.com/DD-MAFIA3-GN-ROW/mafia-iii">$16.00 (60% off)</a> (Digital Deluxe Edition and Season Pass also on sale)</li> <li>Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel [Steam] - <a href="https://www.gamersgate.com/DD-BLPS-GN/borderlands-the-pre-sequel">$12.00 (70% off)</a></li> <li>Find more Mega-Sellers in GamersGate's <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://www.gamersgate.com/campaign/id/5739/">2K Mega-Seller Sale</a>.</li> <li>Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.gamersgate.com/DD-NARUTO-SHIPPUDEN-ULTIMATE-NINJA-STORM-4-REL/naruto-shippuden-ultimate-ninja-storm-4">$7.50 (75% off)</a> (Road to Boruto expansion and Season Pass also on sale)</li> <li>God Eater 2 Rage Burst [Steam] - <a href="https://www.gamersgate.com/DD-GOD-EATER-2-RAGE-BURST-RELEASE/god-eater-2-rage-burst">$12.50 (75% off)</a></li> <li>Believe it! There's more anime in GamersGate's <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://www.gamersgate.com/campaign/id/5654/">Bandai Namco Anime Action Sale</a>.</li> <li>Unreal Deal Pack [Steam] - <a href="https://www.gamersgate.com/DD-UNREAL-DEAL-PACK/unreal-deal-pack">$4.00 (90% off)</a></li> <li>Kerbal Space Program [Steam] - <a href="https://www.gamersgate.com/DD-KERBAL-SPACE-PROGRAM/kerbal-space-program">$20.00 (50% off)</a></li> </ul> <h3>GOG.com</h3> <ul> <li>For St. Patrick's Day, buy a Mystery Hat! Mystery Hats go for $3.00 and contain one mystery game. Find your Mystery Hat at <a href="https://www.gog.com/" target="blank">GOG.com</a>.</li> <li>Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/star_wars_the_force_unleashed_ultimate_sith_edition">$7.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/star_wars_knights_of_the_old_republic_ii_the_sith_lords">$3.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/star_wars_xwing_vs_tie_fighter">$3.39 (66% off)</a></li> <li>Find the best of the Star Wars games on GOG.com, with a maximum discount offered when you purchase the entire bundle. Find what's available in the <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://www.gog.com/promo/20180312_star_wars_bundle">GOG.com Star Wars Bundle</a>.</li> <li>Shadow Warrior 2 - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/shadow_warrior_2">$19.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Pyre - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/pyre">$15.99 (20% off)</a></li> <li>Abzu - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/abzu">$9.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/dying_light_the_following_enhanced_edition">$29.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Ruiner - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/ruiner">$9.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Absolver - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/absolver">$14.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Broforce - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/broforce">$3.79 (75% off)</a></li> <li>Yooka-Laylee - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/yookalaylee">$13.59 (66% off)</a></li> <li>Pillars of Eternity: Definitive Edition - <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/pillars_of_eternity_definitive_edition">$29.99 (25% off)</a></li> </ul> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VRXz_DS9zqE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h3>Green Man Gaming</h3> <ul> <li>Green Man Gaming has embraced March Madness. There are new deals every 24 hours and the discounts only show up after you add the products to your basket. What are these mystery deals. Visit <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://www.greenmangaming.com/march-madness/">Green Man Gaming</a> to find out.</li> <li>BioShock: The Collection [Steam] - <a href="https://www.greenmangaming.com/games/bioshock-the-collection/">$19.80 (67% off)</a> (Individual games also on sale)</li> <li>Dawn of Andromeda [Steam] - <a href="https://www.greenmangaming.com/games/dawn-of-andromeda/">$12.00 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Chivalry: Medieval Warfare [Steam] - <a href="https://www.greenmangaming.com/games/chivalry-medieval-warfare/">$3.75 (85% off)</a> (Deadliest Warrior and Complete Pack also on sale)</li> </ul> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iRWexlrZJc4?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h3>Humble Bundle</h3> <p>Subscribe to <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/monthly target=" blank="">Humble Monthly</a> for $12 and receive Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, and Mafia III, with more games added every month. These activate on Steam.</p> <p><a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/games/bob-ross-bundle">Pay what you want</a> for Crayon Physics Deluxe, Draw a Stickman: EPIC Collector Pack, Draw Your Game, and three episodes of Joy of Painting. Pay more than the average $9.73 for Passpartout: The Starving Artist, Drawful 2, the Joy of Painting E-Book Vol. 3 + 24 + 17, and a coupon for 50% off the Jackbox Party Pack 4. Pay $15 or more to also receive Corel Painter Essentials 6, the Corel Painter Essentials Mystic Mountain Essentials Brush Pack, and Bob Ross: The Happy Painter Documentary. The games activate on Steam.</p> <ul> <li>Rise of the Tomb Raider [Steam] - <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store/rise-of-the-tomb-raider-20-year-celebration">$19.79 (67% off)</a> (All expansions also on sale)</li> <li>NieR: Automata [Steam] - <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store/nier-automata">$29.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>World of Final Fantasy [Steam] - <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store/world-of-final-fantasy">$19.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Find other Square Enix games, including the Final Fantasy series, in the Humble Store's <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store/promo/square-enix-publisher-week">Square Enix Publisher Sale</a>.</li> <li>Far Cry 4 [Steam] - <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store/far-cry-4">$11.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Far Cry Primal [Steam] - <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store/far-cry-primal-standard-edition">$19.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon [Steam] - <a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store/far-cry-3-blood-dragon">$5.99 (60% off)</a></li> <li>Find other Far Cry games in the Humble Store's <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="https://www.humblebundle.com/store/promo/far-cry-sale/">Far Cry Sale</a>.</li> </ul> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SDlUfL7uwc0?rel=0" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h3>Origin</h3> <ul> <li>Dead Space - <a href="https://www.origin.com/usa/en-us/store/dead-space/dead-space/standard-edition">Free!</a></li> <li>The Sims 4: Cats &amp; Dogs Expansion - <a href="https://www.origin.com/usa/en-us/store/the-sims/the-sims-4/expansion/the-sims-4-cats-and-dogs">$19.99 (50% off)</a></li> </ul> <h3>UPlay Shop</h3> <ul> <li>Far Cry Gold Pack - <a href="https://store.ubi.com/us/far-cry----gold-pack/5823123488a7e36b398b4567.html">$42.00 (65% off)</a></li> <li>Far Cry Primal Apex Edition - <a href="https://store.ubi.com/us/far-cry-primal-apex-edition/56c4948588a7e300458b4760.html">$27.49 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Far Cry 4 Gold Edition - <a href="https://store.ubi.com/us/far-cry-4-gold-edition/56c4948488a7e300458b474e.html">$29.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Far Cry 3 Deluxe Edition - <a href="https://store.ubi.com/us/far-cry-3-deluxe-edition/56c4948488a7e300458b4748.html">$9.00 (70% off)</a></li> <li>Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon - <a href="https://store.ubi.com/us/far-cry-3-blood-dragon/56c4948488a7e300458b4744.html">$4.50 (70% off)</a></li> <li>Far Cry 2 Fortune's Edition - <a href="https://store.ubi.com/us/far-cry-2-fortunes-edition/56c4948488a7e300458b4742.html">$3.00 (70% off)</a></li> <li>Far Cry - <a href="https://store.ubi.com/us/far-cry/56c4948488a7e300458b4740.html">$3.00 (70% off)</a></li> </ul> <h3>Steam</h3> <p>As well as regular discounts, Steam has a couple of additional weekend deals.</p> <ul> <li>Call of Duty: WWII - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/476600/Call_of_Duty_WWII/">$38.99 (35% off)</a></li> <li>Call of Duty Franchise Collection - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/bundle/6465/Call_of_Duty_Franchise_Collection/">$198.73 (81% off)</a></li> <li>Activision Collection - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/bundle/6451/Activision_Collection/">$252.71 (75% off)</a></li> <li>Looking for Call of Duty games a la carte? Check out what Steam has for the <a style="text-decoration: underline;" 5e98a5="" onmouseover="this.style.color='black';" onmouseout="this.style.color='#5e98a5'" href="http://store.steampowered.com/sale/cod/">Call of Duty Weekend</a>.</li> <li>Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/612880/Wolfenstein_II_The_New_Colossus">$29.99 (50% off)</a> (Season Pass also on sale)</li> <li>RPG Maker MV - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/sale/rpg-maker/">$19.99 (75% off)</a> (FREE WEEKEND until 3/18 at 1PM PT)</li> <li>Poly Bridge - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/367450/Poly_Bridge/">$3.59 (70% off)</a></li> <li>Warhammer: End Times Vermintide - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/235540/Warhammer_End_Times__Vermintide">$7.50 (75% off)</a></li> <li>NBA 2K18 - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/577800/NBA_2K18">$29.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Endless Space 2 - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/392110/Endless_Space_2">$19.99 (50% off)</a></li> <li>Braid - <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/26800/Braid">$5.09 (66% off)</a></li> </ul> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Third-Party Switch Docks May Be Bricking Systems After Latest Firmware Update http://www.shacknews.com/article/103829/third-party-switch-docks-may-be-bricking-systems-after-latest-firmware-update http://www.shacknews.com/article/103829/third-party-switch-docks-may-be-bricking-systems-after-latest-firmware-update <p>Nintendo hardware typically agrees with accessories built by other manufacturers, but it looks like<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103775/nintendo-switch-firmware-update-500-fixes-play-time-display-error" target="_blank"> the recent release of Nintendo Switch firmware version 5.0.0</a> may not be playing so friendly with third-party Switch docks. Reports are appearing online stating that users with off-brand Switch docks are seeing their systems becoming completely unresponsive following the firmware update, with docks manufactured by Nyko drawing the most concern.</p> <p>One of the first reports of a system bricked following the update came from YouTube user Spawn Wave, who posted a video explaining how his Nyko dock seems to have caused a fault in the console following the installation of the latest firmware.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/elOqMKln_WI" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><a href="http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2018/03/third-party_nintendo_switch_docks_could_be_bricking_consoles" target="_blank">Nintendo Life</a>&nbsp;reports that a user named invictus4000 experienced a similar issue with a Nyko dock. Though their system wasn't bricked, the Nyko dock reportedly caused the system to stop recognizing when it was docked, even when using the official Nintendo dock. This seems similar to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/NintendoSwitch/comments/7l6ug4/update_nyko_portable_charging_dock_broke_my_switch/" target="_blank">reports from other players</a> over the past few months who saw their charging ports die after plugging their Switch systems into Nyko docks.</p> <p>As for what seems to be causing incompatibility issues, a report from&nbsp;<a href="http://nintendoenthusiast.com/blog/2018/03/15/psa-not-use-third-party-switch-dock-5-0-update/" target="_blank">Nintendo Enthusiast</a> states that the latest Switch firmware includes "massive changes to the system's coding" that are able to disrupt the way that the Switch communicates with third-party docks. In what's painted as an effort to keep hackers and modders from messing with the Switch's software, Nintendo may have updated code that was used in some part of the docking process.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/offical-nintendo-switch-dock.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /> <p class="caption">It's probably best to stay with Nintendo's own Switch dock for now.</p> </div> <p>It's so far unknown if Nintendo or third-party accessory manufacturers will address the issue. Spawn Wave has stated that Nyko contacted him with an offer to replace the Switch and attempt to pull any data that may still remain in the old system, which could be seen as acknowledgment of the problem; that said, Spawn Wave had repeatedly opened and tooled around with his NIntendo Switch, so it's hard to say if his bricked system can really be blamed on the dock or the firmware. Until the issue is resolved one way or the other, users should probably stick with their original Nintendo-branded Switch dock.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:00:00 PDT Kevin Tucker Get Sea of Thieves Free With Purchase of Xbox One X At Participating Retailers http://www.shacknews.com/article/103826/get-sea-of-thieves-free-with-purchase-of-xbox-one-x-at-participating-retailers http://www.shacknews.com/article/103826/get-sea-of-thieves-free-with-purchase-of-xbox-one-x-at-participating-retailers <p>The release of Rare and Microsoft's pirate adventure is drawing near. After months of alpha and beta testing, the full retail version of Sea of Thieves will be launching on March 20. Yesterday, Rare&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103813/rare-teases-the-kraken-in-sea-of-thieves-launch-trailer" target="_blank">released a launch trailer</a> that gives a sneak peak at the full game and the terrifying Kraken. If that trailer sells you on the game or you were already committed beforehand, you have several way to acquire the game. If you want to experience Sea of Thieves at 4K and get the game for free, Microsoft has just the offer you want.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/sea-of-thieves-launch-trailer-inline-1.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="381" /></div> <p>Beginning March 18 and running through March 24, those who purchase a brand new Xbox One X console from a participating retailer will also get a free copy of Sea of Thieves. You can grab the Xbox One X from Amazon <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Xbox-One-X-1TB-Console/dp/B074WPGYRF/?shack0a-20=undefined&amp;th=1" target="_blank">right here</a>. If you are interested in getting the game for free but are unable to splurge for the Xbox One X, Microsoft also has you covered. A new Xbox One S bundle will be offered as well. Available March 20, the bundle will get you a brand new Xbox One S console, 1 free month of Xbox Live, and a copy of Sea of Thieves. You can&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Xbox-One-1TB-Console-Thieves-Bundle/dp/B078XCDS4J/?shack0a-20=undefined&amp;th=1" target="_blank">pre-order this bundle from Amazon</a> right now and get a nice discount.</p> <p>Players who already own an Xbox One console or are looking to grab the game for Windows 10 can <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Thieves-Xbox-One/dp/B01GW3PZW6/?shack0a-20" target="_blank">pick up the game here</a>. If Sea of Thieves is really tickling your pickle, Microsoft is also making a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Xbox-Wireless-Controller-Thieves-Limited-one/dp/B077YD7PFK/?shack0a-20" target="_blank">limited edition Xbox One S controller</a> available that has an exclusive Sea of Thieves paint job. Finally, those who need more storage for their Xbox One game can grab the new <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Drive-Thieves-Special-STEA2000411/dp/B078HKPBX5/?shack0a-20" target="_blank">Sea of Thieves 2TB Game Drive</a>. The drive can hold loads of games for your Xbox One and comes with an exclusive Sea of Thieves paint job. Additionally, purchasing this drive gives you an exclusive black Blunderbuss rifle to use in-game.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/get-sea-of-thieves-free-with-xbox-one-x-inline1.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="332" /></div> <p>Any way you look at it, there are many great way to get into the pirate game this weekend in preparation for the big launch on Tuesday, March 20. We will see you on the open seas!</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 10:45:00 PDT Chris Jarrard New MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Gameplay Trailer Showcases Biome Update http://www.shacknews.com/article/103825/new-mechwarrior-5-mercenaries-gameplay-trailer-showcases-biome-update http://www.shacknews.com/article/103825/new-mechwarrior-5-mercenaries-gameplay-trailer-showcases-biome-update <p>MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is the first installment from the iconic series to hit PCs in the last fifteen years. The game will feature PvE combat and a career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice. The devs at&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/piranhagames" target="_blank">Piranha Games</a>&nbsp;just dropped a new trailer that focuses on their latest build update.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/mechwarror-mercenaries-biome-update.png" alt="" width="700" height="357" /></div> <p>This trailer showcases new updates to some of the biomes that will be playable at launch. Check out the video to see more about the different weather elements and terrain you will have to navigate when MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries releases later this year.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sa043A2fjCY" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Shackers can find out more about the game at the <a href="http://www.mw5mercs.com/" target="_blank">official MechWarrior 5:&nbsp;Mercenaries website</a>.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 10:15:00 PDT Asif Khan Star Wars Battlefront 2 Alters Progression System, Loot Boxes, The Deal (Again) http://www.shacknews.com/article/103823/star-wars-battlefront-2-alters-progression-system-loot-boxes-the-deal-again http://www.shacknews.com/article/103823/star-wars-battlefront-2-alters-progression-system-loot-boxes-the-deal-again <p>On March 21, EA and DICE are making crucial changes to the progression system and loot crates of Star Wars Battlefront 2, changes that should have been made a long time ago. Are they enough for you to return to battle?</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NsNLd_T-YLY"></iframe></p> <p>Via the <a href="https://www.ea.com/games/starwars/battlefront/battlefront-2/news/progression-update" target="_blank">official website</a>, EA and DICE have revealed that a major update to the game's progression system is incoming, included significant changes to the loot boxes. First up, player progression will now be linear and not tied to the random generation of star cards. Star cards will only be earned through gameplay and aren't available for purchase. When players use classes, hero characters, and ships in multiplayer, they will earn experience points for them. Once you gain a level, you'll receive a skill point that can be used to unlock or upgrade Star cards. This type of progress brings the title closer to DICE's previous Battlefield games' style of progression.</p> <p>Though this is a massive change, players can keep what they've already earned and unlocked, including Star cards. Thus, this new change will heavily impact new players, but shouldn't break the experience if matchmaking in multiplayer does its job. On the subject of loot crates, they will no longer include Star cards and cannot be purchased at all. These crates are now earned by logging in daily, completing milestones, and through timed challenges. The contents of these crates <g class="gr_ gr_27 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="27" data-gr-id="27">is</g> limited to cosmetic items, such as emotes or poses, and credits. New appearances, like different alien races, are coming to the game in April as well.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/star-wars-battlefront-II-2-loot-box-progression-change-re3.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="378" style="undefined" /></div> <p>These seem like good changes, but are they enough? I personally enjoyed my time with the Star Wars: Battlefront 2 beta and will consider grabbing the game at a good deal, but will this move the needle with the game's player base in a significant way? Dive into&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/chatty" target="_blank">Chatty</a> and let us know what you think.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:35:00 PDT Charles Singletary Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Suffers Slight Delay http://www.shacknews.com/article/103822/pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire-suffers-slight-delay http://www.shacknews.com/article/103822/pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire-suffers-slight-delay <p>Obsidian&rsquo;s first original IP, <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/89083/pillars-of-eternity-review-role-playing-rebirth" target="_blank">Pillars of Eternity</a>, is on the verge of receiving an ambitious sequel in <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/102121/pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire-thinks-bigger-with-new-trailer" target="_blank">Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire</a>. We dropped a write-up for the preview build we were given access to and have more write-ups coming, but we all will have to wait a little bit longer for the full retail version.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/pillars-of-eternity-II-2-deadfire-release-delay-map-april-re3.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>Pillars of Eternity was met with critical acclaim and a retail performance that ultimately saved the developer. Deadfire is an attempt to take the franchise to another level and, rightfully so, Obsidian wants to get it right, Via email, the team shared that they have been hard at work on tuning up the game and incorporating the feedback they&rsquo;ve received from those players the backer beta. Because of this, they&rsquo;ve decided to move the game back a few weeks so polish and finishing touches can be implemented. The new release date is Tuesday, May 8, 2018.</p> <p>The original release date for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire was April 3, so this is nearly a full month delay. It will likely disappoint fans to hear this, initially, but an extra layer of polish couldn&rsquo;t hurt for a game with so many moving parts. If you read my <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103207/pillars-of-eternity-2-deadfire-hands-on-establishing-a-series" target="_blank">hands-on with Deadfire II</a>, you&rsquo;ll notice that there were a lot of things at play even in that small slice.</p> <p>The team also teases more Deadfire-related news and content coming in the weeks and months ahead, so stay tuned to Shacknews for updates on what could be one of the best RPGs of the year. Feel free to check out our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/98958/pillars-of-eternity-2s-josh-sawyer-on-crowdfunding-isometric-rpgs-and-storytelling" target="_blank">interview with Obsidian's Josh Sawyer</a> where he discusses the sequel, crowdfunding, and more.&nbsp;<a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/560130/Pillars_of_Eternity_II_Deadfire/" target="_blank">Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire arrives May 8 on PC</a> with a console release planned for later in the year.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 08:55:00 PDT Charles Singletary This Weekend in Esports: What to Watch from March 16-18 http://www.shacknews.com/article/103821/this-weekend-in-esports-what-to-watch-from-march-16-18 http://www.shacknews.com/article/103821/this-weekend-in-esports-what-to-watch-from-march-16-18 <p>Welcome to This Weekend in Esports, a brief overview of what to watch in the world of competitive gaming for the coming weekend.</p> <p>For this weekend, it's time for the fighting games to take over.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Final-Round-2018.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="350" style="undefined" /></div> <h2>Final Round 2018</h2> <p><b>Game</b>: Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, etc.<br /><b>When</b>: March 16-18<br /><b>Where to watch</b>: <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/capcomfighters" target="blank">Twitch.tv/CapcomFighters</a>, <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/tekken" target="blank">Twitch.tv/Tekken</a>, <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/bifuteki" target="blank">Twitch.tv/Bifuteki</a></p> <p>This is a massive weekend for the fighting game community, because not one, but <i>two</i>, championship tours kick off this weekend. The first one is the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103438/capcom-pro-tour-2018-schedule-for-street-fighter-5-detailed">Capcom Pro Tour</a> for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. All the practice time for the game's best players is at an end. That includes <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/102451/menard-wins-capcom-cup-2017">defending Capcom Cup champion Saul "MenaRD" Leonardo Mena Segundo</a>, runner-up Hajime "Tokido" Taniguchi, the returning former Capcom Cup champion Du "NuckleDu" Dang, last year's points leader Victor "Punk" Woodley, wild card Seonwoo "Infiltration" Lee, and Street Fighter legend Daigo "The Beast" Umehara, just to name a few. Beyond the player field and all of their storylines, the Street Fighter meta has changed tremendously with the switch to Arcade Edition. New V-Trigger IIs are in place, along with a rebalanced character roster. Which player and which character will be the one to watch. Shacknews will be following this tournament to find the answers.</p> <p>If that's not enough, the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103646/tekken-world-tour-2018-schedule-for-tekken-7-revealed">Tekken World Tour</a> is also kicking off its season at Final Round. One top player who will not be present is <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/102097/qudans-knocks-out-echo-foxs-two-best-to-win-tekken-7-world-championship">defending world champion Son "Qudans" Byung-moon</a>. But the rest of the Tekken's top players will be there, including the killer Echo Fox duo of Jinwoo "Saint" Choi and Hyunjin "JDCR" Kim. Tekken 7 grew into must-see status over the course of 2017 and this year will be no different and all of it is set to begin this weekend.</p> <p>Elsewhere, Dragon Ball FighterZ continues its growth as a competitive fighting game, having siphoned a lot of the competitive Marvel player base to take over as the team fighter of choice. The player to watch will be Echo Fox player and FGC jack of all trades Dominique "SonicFox" McLean, who won big at a packed Winter Brawl 12 event. The road to the finals will be no easier for this this weekend, as he competes with more of the FGC's best, including even more Street Fighter pros like Leah "gllty" Hayes and Gustavo "801 Strider" Romero crossing over into the anime fighter realm. Winter Brawl 12 runner-up and Marvel legend Christopher "ChrisG" Gonzalez will also be present and will likely find his way to the top 8 again. Let's see if he and SonicFox cross paths again and see if ChrisG is able to adjust at all from last time.</p> <hr /> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/NA-LCS.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <h2>LCS - Week 9</h2> <p><b>Game</b>: League of Legends<br /><b>When</b>: March 16-18<br /><b>Where to watch</b>: <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/riotgames" target="blank">Twitch.tv/RiotGames</a></p> <p>The Spring Split for League of Legends is coming to a close this weekend. Three teams have already packed it in, eliminated from playoff contention. That leaves seven teams still playing musical chairs, with only six seats available.</p> <p>Cloud9 and Echo Fox have certainly entrenched themselves in the playoff picture with identical 11-5 records. So are 100 Thieves and Clutch Gaming at 10-6. It's likely that Team Liquid and Team SoloMid, both at 9-7 will take the other two spots, but the intriguing storyline of the weekend is that Counter Logic Gaming isn't completely out of it just yet. After a brutally rough start, CLG is one of the hottest teams in the NA LCS. They're riding a four game winning streak, which will likely extend to five if they can beat bottom-rung OpTic Gaming. The Sunday match with Team SoloMid will be a must-win, but even if CLG closes the season on an incredible six game run, they'll still need help to get in. Keep an eye on the Golden Guardians vs. TSM on Saturday and OpTic vs. Team Liquid on Sunday, because there's a chance that one of those teams bringing up the rear could be a major spoiler.</p> <hr /> <p>So what will you be watching this weekend? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.</p> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 07:30:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia All Achievements in Sea of Thieves http://www.shacknews.com/article/103819/all-achievements-in-sea-of-thieves http://www.shacknews.com/article/103819/all-achievements-in-sea-of-thieves <p>A complete list of all the Achievements in Sea of Thieves has been announced by Rare, and it looks like there will be a few challenges available for any pirate looking to claim them all. The Achievements range from advancing through the different levels of the vendors to more unique actions like boarding an enemy ship via a cannon.</p> <h2>All Achievements in Sea of Thieves</h2> <p>There are a total of 60 Achievements to unlock in Sea of Thieves, and they&rsquo;re all a little bit different from what you&rsquo;ve come to expect from games. Instead of keeping some Achievements secret and unable to be read, Rare has allowed you to read them all, but there&rsquo;s a catch, they&rsquo;re written in riddles. If you want to get your hands on all of the Achievements, you&rsquo;re going to need to decipher what they mean. However, we&rsquo;ll be updating this list with information on how to unlock them once we solve the riddles ourselves!</p> <h2>Gameplay Achievements</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Sea-of-Thieves-Gameplay-Achievements.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="197" /></div> <p><strong>Now Bring Me That Horizon [10G] </strong></p> <p>"With the capstan raised and the sails unfurled, 'Now bring me that horizon!' a pirate yelled."</p> <p><strong>Full Billow [5G] </strong></p> <p>"When the wind grabs the sails a pirate will hoot, 'Full billow mateys, we are full speed en route!'"</p> <p><strong>Handbrake Turn [10G] </strong></p> <p>"When you find yourself needing a new direction, turn hard and weigh anchor to plot a correction."</p> <p><strong>I Wanna Be a Pirate! [10G] </strong></p> <p>"Cashing in rewards is always a pleasure, made even better when a number's the measure."</p> <p><strong>Shopping for a Promotion [5G] </strong></p> <p>"Even a pirate wants job recognition, so buy a Promotion to show your position."</p> <p><strong>I'll Drink to That [5G] </strong></p> <p>"Nothing says being social, like crews drunk down the local."</p> <p><strong>What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor? [10G] </strong></p> <p>"A tankard or two may make you blue, have a few more and you will surely spew."</p> <p><strong>#BeMorePirate [5G] </strong></p> <p>"A new peg leg, an eyepatch, a hat and a hook, maketh the pirate to complete the look."</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/BeMorePirate-Achievement-Sea-of-Thieves.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="197" /></div> <p><strong>Aye of Reach [5G] </strong></p> <p>"Head to the Weaponsmith to extend your Reach, please excuse the pun, it was a figure of speech."</p> <p><strong>Blundarrrrbuss [5G] </strong></p> <p>"Visit the Weaponsmith to empty your coffer, we hear there's some buckshot on special offer."</p> <p><strong>Colourful Sails [5G] </strong></p> <p>"Many people claim pirates had black sails, visit the Shipwright and she'll prove they're folk tales."</p> <p><strong>You Fight Like a Merchant [10G] </strong></p> <p>"Block an attack as you scream 'parlay!', then strike them down to ruin their day."</p> <p><strong>How Appropriate! You Fight Like a Chicken [10G] </strong></p> <p>"When an attack is blocked then fret you may, as being counter-struck will ruin your day."</p> <p><strong>But You Have Heard of Me? [10G] </strong></p> <p>"Halfway to Mastery is an important occasion, mark it with a Promotion to display jubilation."</p> <p><strong>Self-Entitled [10G] </strong></p> <p>"Pirate Titles are earned in many ways, and owning ten will leave enemies agaze."</p> <p><strong>In Good Company [5G] </strong></p> <p>"A Trading Company item is great to behold, but upgrade it five times for a beauty untold."</p> <p><strong>Did Everyone See That? [10G] </strong></p> <p>"Meeting a rival pirate stood on their ship, will become legend if you send them in for a dip."</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Did-Everyone-See-That-Achievement-Sea-of-Thieves.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="197" /></div> <p><strong>Ignoring the Rules of Engagement [15G] </strong></p> <p>"To shoot from behind is a cowardly act, unless it's with a blunderbuss as matter of fact."</p> <p><strong>Kraken Good Job [15G] </strong></p> <p>"A number of tentacles appeared from the ocean, you quelled the beast without showing emotion."</p> <p><strong>Perfect Dark [15G] </strong></p> <p>"A lady once sailed through a storm at night, turned off her lights did she to show off her might."</p> <p><strong>Friends Not Foe [10G] </strong></p> <p>"A pirate salute proves you follow the Code, then upon you a new friend was gratefully bestowed."</p> <p><strong>A Titanic Ensemble [10G] </strong></p> <p>"A pirate once said that when you are sinking, playing some music is more helpful than drinking."</p> <p><strong>Bone-Cronch [10G] </strong></p> <p>"Patiently wait for a skeleton to 'cronch', then blow it away to ruin its 'lonch'."</p> <p><strong>Dead Pirates DO Tell Tales [10G] </strong></p> <p>"The Ferry of the Damned opened its gates, and a tale you did tell through the circle of eights."</p> <p><strong>Hold My Grog! [50G] </strong></p> <p>"To fire oneself and nail a deck landing, requires a good aim and much understanding."</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Hold-My-Grog-Achievement-Sea-of-Thieves.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="197" /></div> <p><strong>I Don't See Your Ship [20G] </strong></p> <p>"One thing all pirates do share in common, is the first memory of watching a ship sink to the bottom."</p> <p><strong>Laden With Treasure [20G] </strong></p> <p>"If you are of chests aplenty, this achievement unlocks at twenty."</p> <p><strong>On a Whole New Adventure [10G] </strong></p> <p>"To be a good crewmate is thinking of others, so vote on a voyage from your sisters or brothers."</p> <p><strong>Tactical Chunder [20G] </strong></p> <p>"There is an old saying that to win a sword fight, a tactical chunder will ruin their sight."</p> <p><strong>When You're a Professional Pirate [20G] </strong></p> <p>"Being Commended is a pirate's delight, times it by ten and we'll celebrate all night."</p> <p><strong>You Can Always Trust the Untrustworthy [30G] </strong></p> <p>"To plunder one's captain is a good ploy, but take it to port to experience the joy!"</p> <p><strong>Become Pirate Legend [50G] </strong></p> <p>"Your dedication to piracy shall never be questioned, once you earn the hideout of Pirate Legend."</p> <h2>Legend Achievements</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Sea-of-Thieves-Legends-Achievements.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="197" /></div> <p>The set of Legend Achievements in Sea of Thieves are based on the exploits of the community as a way to immortalize specific events.</p> <p><strong>Legends &ndash; "Cronch"&nbsp; [5G] :&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/Polygon/status/874077866157146112">The Tale Behind the Legend</a></strong></p> <p>"The month of June had a legend told, of a Griffin who 'cronched' a banana and was a sight to behold."</p> <p><strong>Legends &ndash; "The Greatest Race in History" [20G] :&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEyrqv1mS_k">The Tale Behind the Legend</a></strong></p> <p>"Sometimes hostility is not the answer, try racing a ship to see who's the faster."</p> <p><strong>Legends &ndash; "This is Unacceptable!" [25G]<strong>&nbsp;:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D551JqlNRn4">The Tale Behind the Legend</a></strong></strong></p> <p>"Give a chest away or have it stolen, once it's cashed in your story is woven."</p> <p><strong>Legends &ndash; "The Skullduggers" [5G]<strong>&nbsp;:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsDmIve-H-E">The Tale Behind the Legend</a></strong></strong></p> <p>"A legend was told of a five-piece band, who played shanties together and best witnessed first-hand."</p> <h2>Trading Company Achievements</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Trading-Company-Achievements-Sea-of-Thieves.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="197" /></div> <p>There are three Trading Companies to work for in Sea of Thieves (Gold Hoarders, Merchant Alliance, Order of Souls) and each of these will have their own Achievements to work toward.</p> <p><strong>It's a Pirate's Life for Me [5G] </strong></p> <p>"Into a Golden voyage a dagger was struck, but when voyage was completed you proved your luck."</p> <p><strong>Master Gold Hoarder [20G] </strong></p> <p>"The Hoarding of Promotions is one to embellish, to reach the top is a memory to cherish."</p> <p><strong>Taking Orders [5G] </strong></p> <p>"From the Captain's table you searched for a hoard, and upon completion you earned the reward."</p> <p><strong>Master of the Order [20G] </strong></p> <p>"First scale the heights in the Order of Souls, then to Master the Order is one of the final roles."</p> <p><strong>I Am Not Obsessed With Treasure [5G] </strong></p> <p>"A vote for the Alliance was one well placed, completing the voyage will give you a taste."</p> <p><strong>Master Merchant [20G] </strong></p> <p>"Becoming a Master Merchant is no doubt vital, so celebrate your reputation with a new-found title."</p> <h2>Commendation Achievements</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Sea-of-Thieves-Commendations-Achievements.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="197" /></div> <p>As you play Sea of Thieves, you&rsquo;ll begin to unlock various Commendations. These Commendations mark certain accomplishments you&rsquo;ve made in your journey as a pirate, from sailing for the Gold Hoarder to handing over skull to the Order of Souls. Attached to certain Commendation levels are Achievements that can be unlocked.</p> <p><strong>Seeker of Lost Maps [10G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for purchasing 250 X Marks the Spot voyages!"</p> <p><strong>Golden Voyager [20G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 500 Gold Hoarder voyages completed!"</p> <p><strong>Sailor of the Gold Horizon [20G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for sailing 1,000 nautical miles on Gold Hoarder voyages!"</p> <p><strong>Hoarder of Barnacled Gold [15G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 1,000 Shipwrecked Chests sold!"</p> <p><strong>Keeper of a Glittering Hoard [30G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 150,000 gold earned from Gold Hoarder voyages!"</p> <p><strong>Hoarder of the Captain's Gold [50G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 1,000 Captain's Chests sold!"</p> <p><strong>Merchant Adventurer [10G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for purchasing 250 Merchant Alliance contracts!"</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Merchant-Adventurer-Achievements-Sea-of-Thieves.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="197" /></div> <p><strong>Merchant Voyager [20G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 500 Merchant Alliance voyages completed!"</p> <p><strong>Sailor of the Merchant Alliance [20G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for sailing 1,000 nautical miles on Merchant Alliance voyages!"</p> <p><strong>Black Powder Merchant [15G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 1,000 Gunpowder Kegs delivered on time!"</p> <p><strong>Merchant Forager [50G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 1,000 Banana Crates delivered on time!"</p> <p><strong>Gilded Merchant [30G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 150,000 gold earned from Merchant Alliance voyages!"</p> <p><strong>Seeker of Lost Souls [10G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for purchasing 250 Cursed Captain Bounty contracts!"</p> <p><strong>Voyager of Lost Souls [20G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 500 Order of Souls voyages completed!"</p> <p><strong>Sailor of the Whispering Bones [20G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for sailing 1,000 nautical miles on Order of Souls voyages!"</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/Sailor-of-the-Whispering-Bones-Achievement-Sea-of-Thieves.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="197" /></div> <p><strong>Hunter of Cursed Captains [15G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 1000 Skeleton Captains defeated!"</p> <p><strong>Mercenary of the Ancient Order [30G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 150,000 gold earned from Order of Souls voyages!"</p> <p><strong>Master Hunter of Villainous Skulls [50G] </strong></p> <p>"Awarded the Commendation for 1,000 Villainous Skulls sold!"</p> <p>You can read the announcement in its entirety over on the <a href="https://www.seaofthieves.com/news/sea-of-thieves-achievements">Sea of Thieves site</a>. It&rsquo;s going to take players quite a while to unlock all 60 Achievements in Sea of Thieves, but with some incredible artwork tied to each piece, it will be well worth the effort. Be sure to check out our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103424/sea-of-thieves-guide-and-walkthrough">Sea of Thieves guide</a> for more tips and tricks for being a pirate.</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 23:50:00 PDT Sam Chandler SXSW 2018: Dollar Kill Club Lets Players Kill Each Other for Real Money http://www.shacknews.com/article/103820/sxsw-2018-dollar-kill-club-lets-players-kill-each-other-for-real-money http://www.shacknews.com/article/103820/sxsw-2018-dollar-kill-club-lets-players-kill-each-other-for-real-money <p>The SXSW 2018 gaming expo floor opened its doors today and one of the first things you&rsquo;ll see upon entry is a booth with some comfortable seating and what looks like a rogue-like twin-stick shooter. If you look a bit closer, you&rsquo;ll notice people buying into the experience at $5 a pop as they play for a chance to immediately cash out with more money after playing the Dollar Kill Club, the first original game from the Rumble Monkey platform.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p>The doors just opened for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sxswgaming?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sxswgaming</a> and the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/rumblemonkey?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#rumblemonkey</a> booth is already packed! Swing by to play <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DKC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DKC</a> for real&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sxsw?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#sxsw</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/gaming?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#gaming</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/moneymatch?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#moneymatch</a> <a href="https://t.co/X0iXo01k1I">pic.twitter.com/X0iXo01k1I</a></p> &mdash; RumbleMonkey (SXSW GAMING 2018) (@RumbleMonkey) <a href="https://twitter.com/RumbleMonkey/status/974337503019794432?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 15, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p><a href="https://www.rumblemonkey.com/" target="_blank">Rumble Monkey</a>&nbsp;got its start by allowing players of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103761/the-witchwood-is-hearthstones-first-new-expansion-for-the-year-of-the-raven" target="_blank">Blizzard's Hearthstone</a> to play against each other for real cash, not virtual currency or any other kind of substitute. Even the Match Money that you can use to cover entry fees will be converted to real money in the event that it&rsquo;s won. Playable for the first time at SXSW 2018&rsquo;s gaming expo, Dollar Kill Club is the platform's first original experience to take advantage of its money-earning formula and its an interesting take on a casual tier for esports.</p> <p>Dollar Kill Club is a twin-stick shooter that pits players against each other in a small arena with the ability to shoot either a straight stream of projectiles or a spread. As per usual with the genre, there&rsquo;s a dodge roll and obstacles occasionally drop into <g class="gr_ gr_21 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="21" data-gr-id="21">the space</g> and can be used strategically to avoid attacks. The buy-in for the game was $5 on the show floor and you can take out enemies $1 at a time while trying to keep your own bounty intact.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uaOykLtP7vo"></iframe></p> <p>I watched a few matches and the game seemed like your typical, twin-stick fare but with the added excitement the real money brings. Even as a spectator, I was on edge with each dodge-roll near-miss and the <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BgWweLpB94z/" target="_blank">overall vibe was excitement even if that $5 entry fee went down the drain</a>. Dollar Kill Club is quick and easy, which could present issues for those without self-control, but could open up the door to different types of experiences being added to the Rumble Monkey platform, either by original creations and implementation into existing titles. Could you imagine throwing in a dollar before air-dropping into a battle royale type game? Stay tuned to Shacknews for more SXSW 2018 coverage and look out for a conversation with Rumble Monkey's founder and CEO.</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 21:25:00 PDT Charles Singletary You Can Now Filter Mixer Streams Based on Age Rating and Language http://www.shacknews.com/article/103817/you-can-now-filter-mixer-streams-based-on-age-rating-and-language http://www.shacknews.com/article/103817/you-can-now-filter-mixer-streams-based-on-age-rating-and-language <p>When you're looking for a gaming stream to watch, it can often be difficult to settle on something. You might have concerns about what kind of content is shown in case you want to share it with the entire family. Or you might need to consume your favorite streams in one particular language. If you're looking for content on <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/100059/microsoft-relaunches-beam-as-mixer-adds-support-for-co-op-streaming">Mixer</a>, Microsoft has made it a little simpler for you to filter through what can be a ton of noise. You can now search through Mixer for streams by rating and language.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p>Looking for a family-friendly stream? or perhaps one en espa&ntilde;ol? fran&ccedil;ais? Now you can search by rating and language!<a href="https://t.co/B4JmyQwcvK">https://t.co/B4JmyQwcvK</a> <a href="https://t.co/6OXvFLaIVc">pic.twitter.com/6OXvFLaIVc</a></p> &mdash; Mixer (@WatchMixer) <a href="https://twitter.com/WatchMixer/status/973944345324744705?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 14, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>So if you want to search for Japanese-speaking streamers for what may be an interesting mix of games that aren't out in the west yet, you can filter your search results for simply Japanese-speaking streams. Or maybe you know a relative you want to share streams with who only speaks Spanish. You can sift through Mixer for someone who's speaking Spanish to easily customize your experience.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NJwnLdAfl3o"></iframe></p> <p>If language isn't something you're concerned with, you can also search by rating instead. This should help keep things clean if that's what you're looking for. Everyone knows it can be ridiculously difficult to find appropriate content online when it comes to livestreams, so hopefully this makes things a little easier if you're interested in using Mixer in addition to Twitch to supplement your streaming addiction.</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 19:30:00 PDT Brittany Vincent The Bob Ross Humble Bundle Won't Cost You Too Many Happy Little Trees http://www.shacknews.com/article/103818/the-bob-ross-humble-bundle-wont-cost-you-too-many-happy-little-trees http://www.shacknews.com/article/103818/the-bob-ross-humble-bundle-wont-cost-you-too-many-happy-little-trees <p>If you've ever fancied yourself an artist or have been looking for an inexpensive way of creating visually on your PC, the latest&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101360/humble-bundle-coo-discusses-reaching-100-million-raised-for-charity">offering from Humble Bundle</a> may be right up your alley. The Humble Bob Ross Bundle is here to hook folks up with some fun and informative digital downloads to get their creative juices flowing.&nbsp;</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/bob-ross-humble-bundle-article.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="303" /></div> <p>Right now players can pay what they want to get their hands on Crayon Physics Deluxe, Draw a Stickman: Epic Collector's Pack, and three digital episodes of Bob Ross Joy of Painting. Art enthusiasts who pay more than the average $9.65 will also unlock <g class="gr_ gr_12 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="12" data-gr-id="12">Passpartout</g>: The Starving Artist, Jackbox party game Drawful 2, and three Joy of Painting ebooks, on top of everything from the last tier. Finally, those who pay $15 or more get all that as well as Corel Painter Essentials 6 plus their&nbsp;Mystic Mountain Essentials Brush Pack, along with the&nbsp;Bob Ross: The Happy Painter Documentary.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hM26p8ZXWg0" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Overall, that's a whopping grand total of $187 worth of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/102661/video-game-release-date-schedule-2018">fun and inspiration</a> to help you make some happy little trees of your own. Potential artists have the next&nbsp;<a href="https://www.humblebundle.com/games/bob-ross-bundle?hmb_source=navbar&amp;hmb_medium=product_tile&amp;hmb_campaign=tile_index_4">12 days to grab this current bundle</a> before it goes away, but Bob Ross will live on forever in the hearts of people everywhere.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 18:00:00 PDT Blake Morse Shack's Arcade Corner: Commando http://www.shacknews.com/article/103810/shacks-arcade-corner-commando http://www.shacknews.com/article/103810/shacks-arcade-corner-commando <p>Donkey Kong wasn't the first platform game, but it set the genre's mold going forward. Capcom's Commando arguably made as big an impact on run-and-gun scrollers.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="369" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_EnH7gzhG70" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Designed by Tokuro Fujiwara--more famous for Sweet Home, an 8-bit survival horror RPG that inspired Resident Evil, and designer of the inaugural Mega Man--Commando casts you in the role of a generic soldier named Super Joe. But who cares? Story takes a backseat to action in run-and-gunners, and Command's got action in spades. The premise is simple: Run around the screen shooting at everything that moves. Instead of fighting bosses at the end of each level, soldiers swarm your avatar, putting your reflexes and hand-eye coordination to the test as you dodge and weave around bullets and grenades.</p> <p>Commando touched down in arcades in May 1985 but arguably made a bigger splash on the NES, selling 1.1 million copies globally and earning praise from the likes of Computer Gaming World magazine and the "best arcade-style game of the year" at the 1986 Golden Joystick Awards.</p> <p>Mercs, a sequel, followed in 1989, but today Commando is perhaps more well-known for spawning the Bionic Commando series, where Super Joe puts in a cameo appearance in the inaugural game.</p> <p><span>For more great videos, including interviews and gameplay, check out the&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/shacknewsgames" target="_blank">Shacknews</a><span>&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/gamerhubvideos" target="_blank">Gamerhub.tv</a><span>&nbsp;YouTube channels.</span></p> <p><span><span>If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Arcade Corner, please let us know in the comments section or tweet&nbsp;</span><a href="https://twitter.com/shacknews" target="_blank">@shacknews</a><span>&nbsp;&amp;&nbsp;</span><a href="https://twitter.com/GregBurke85" target="_blank">@GregBurke85</a><span>&nbsp;with #ArcadeCorner.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>In case you missed any&nbsp;of the over 100 episodes, check out our&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhcdG2mGcVVLvVZOKICmUdV-cuNp7sUPc" target="_blank">Shack's Arcade Corner YouTube Playlist</a><span>.</span></span></p> <p></p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:00:00 PDT Greg Burke Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians Gearing Up for Global Release http://www.shacknews.com/article/103816/might-and-magic-elemental-guardians-gearing-up-for-global-release http://www.shacknews.com/article/103816/might-and-magic-elemental-guardians-gearing-up-for-global-release <p>The mobile gaming scene is ripe with opportunity for developers to create new experiences or rebuild on classic gaming foundations. This story is an example of the latter, as Ubisoft is reigniting the fire of longrunning fantasy RPG series&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/heroes-of-might-and-magic-series" target="_blank">Might and Magic</a> in the new mobile title strategy title known as Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians.</p> <p>Players that aren't necessarily familiar with the Might and Magic series should have no problem coming to terms with Elemental Guardians, as the game plays out similarly to other strategy-based mobile games on the market. Players can collect and level up a variety of creatures, the likes of which are used across various 5v5 battles scenarios. Custom heroes can also be created, and daily quests will offer new items and special rewards.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fEWYiBNcJvc" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians has been kicking around a soft launch phase for a while now, being available to Android players in one form or another for about a year. The game is also currently available on iOS in Canada, though many U.S. players still haven't had a way to officially play the game. Hopefully that will change soon, as Ubisoft is reportedly trying to get Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians to players across the globe on May 31.</p> <p>Until then, Android players in the United States can head over to the game's&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubisoft.runeguard#1" target="_blank">Google Play Store page</a> in order to sign up for pre-registration, which will basically send a push notifications to users once the game releases. iOS players can also pre-register for the game through <a href="https://www.ubisoft.com/en-us/game/might-magic-elemental-guardians/" target="_blank">the official Might and Magic: Elemental Guardians website</a>.</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:30:00 PDT Kevin Tucker The Crew 2 Gets a June Release Date, Collector's Edition, And Beta http://www.shacknews.com/article/103815/the-crew-2-gets-a-june-release-date-collectors-edition-and-beta http://www.shacknews.com/article/103815/the-crew-2-gets-a-june-release-date-collectors-edition-and-beta <p>It feels like an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/102398/ubisoft-delays-far-cry-5-and-the-crew-2">eternity since Ubisoft announced</a> a sequel to their relatively new racing IP, The Crew. But, it would seem that fans of the open-world racer won't have much longer to wait for The Crew 2 as today Ubi has revealed the release date will be June 29 for PS4, Xbox One <g class="gr_ gr_256 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="256" data-gr-id="256">and</g> PC.</p> <p>Along with the release <g class="gr_ gr_314 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="314" data-gr-id="314">date</g> it was also announced that The Crew 2 will be getting a special "Motor Edition" which will give players a <g class="gr_ gr_443 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="443" data-gr-id="443">three day</g> headstart on playing the game on June 26 as well as a few other extras. According to a press release from Ubisoft, the Motor Edition will also include:</p> <ul> <li>The Crew 2 Gold Edition and season pass <g class="gr_ gr_557 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="557" data-gr-id="557">lets</g> players enjoy new vehicles, outfits, additional content and much more.</li> <li>The Motorsports Deluxe Pack, which includes unique outfits and vehicles, including the <g class="gr_ gr_556 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del" id="556" data-gr-id="556">FORD</g> F-150 RAPTOR RACE TRUCK 2017, PILATUS PC-21 AIR RACE EDITION 2002 Plane and the ABARTH 500 MONSTER TRUCK EDITION 2008.</li> <li>A customized, 11.81&rdquo; x 5.9&rdquo; American The Crew 2 license plate that comes in a high-quality collector box, an exclusive Steelbook&reg;, the official Roadmap of the game and four original stickers.</li> </ul> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/the-crew-two-release-date-motor-edition.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Players who pre-order any version of The Crew 2 will be able to get their hands on the Legendary Motors Pack, which includes the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Touring Car 2016, and the HARLEY-DAVIDSON IRON 883TM&nbsp; 2017. On top of that, Ubisoft is incentivizing players to revisit the original Crew by making 19 vehicles, including an exclusive water vehicle, unlockable in The Crew 2 by completing monthly challenges in The Crew 1.&nbsp;</p> <p>If all that wasn't enough, players&nbsp;<a href="https://thecrew-game.ubisoft.com/the-crew-2/en-us/home/index.aspx">interested in participating in The Crew 2 beta can now sign up</a> for a chance at playing the game early.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GYjWPYhnHbE" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>The Crew 2 is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/102661/video-game-release-date-schedule-2018">revving up for launch</a> on June 29 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:55:00 PDT Blake Morse Shadow of the Tomb Raider Announced, Won't Be Xbox Exclusive http://www.shacknews.com/article/103814/shadow-of-the-tomb-raider-announced-wont-be-xbox-exclusive http://www.shacknews.com/article/103814/shadow-of-the-tomb-raider-announced-wont-be-xbox-exclusive <p>Tomb Raider has been all the buzz lately &mdash; the new games from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/crystal-dynamics" target="_blank">Crystal Dynamics</a> have been solid, polished experiences, and there's a new Tomb Raider movie that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103797/tomb-raider-2018-is-the-rebooted-game-without-the-fun" target="_blank">isn't totally terrible</a> as well. To capitalize on the hype, Square Enix has already set in motion plans to release a new Tomb Raider game later this year, and now we have our first details. The next chapter in the Lara Croft saga is called Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and unlike the previous release Rise of the Tomb Raider, this one won't be an Xbox One timed exclusive.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"> <p>Experience Lara Croft&rsquo;s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider. Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be revealed April 27th. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on September 14th, 2018. <a href="https://t.co/jujMf47kJH">pic.twitter.com/jujMf47kJH</a></p> &mdash; Tomb Raider (@tombraider) <a href="https://twitter.com/tombraider/status/974269327477129217?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 15, 2018</a></blockquote> <p> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </p> <p>There's really not much known about the title so far. According to Square Enix, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is meant to represent "Lara Croft's defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider," but fans would be forgiven to think the same was true about both of the games that have released since the series was rebooted. It also seems like the game isn't being developed by Crystal Dynamics, but instead Eidos Montreal, though this hasn't yet been confirmed. That said, there is a new trailer that should players fans a taste of what's to come, the likes of which can be seen above.</p> <p>This latest Tomb Raider release was first teased back in 2015, when Square Enix's own Phil Rogers made mention of a new series entry in the works. The game was officially confirmed just in December of last year, but according to Gamespot, it took&nbsp;<a href="https://www.gamespot.com/articles/shadow-of-the-tomb-raider-release-date-apparently-/1100-6457389/" target="_blank">a leak through the official website source code</a> for players to learn this new release date.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N9etrD8CPE8" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Now that the cat's out of the bag, Square Enix has promised that series fans will learn more about the game soon, as the team will be presenting a special reveal for Shadow of the Tomb Raider on April 27. Beyond that, players can expect to romp through the latest Lara Croft experience when Shadow of the Tomb Raider releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 14.</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:50:00 PDT Kevin Tucker Rare Teases The Kraken in Sea of Thieves Launch Trailer http://www.shacknews.com/article/103813/rare-teases-the-kraken-in-sea-of-thieves-launch-trailer http://www.shacknews.com/article/103813/rare-teases-the-kraken-in-sea-of-thieves-launch-trailer <p>After many alpha and beta test sessions spread throughout 2017 and early 2018, Microsoft and Rare&rsquo;s pirate adventure, Sea of Thieves, is almost ready for its big launch. All the swashbuckling action is slated to arrive on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs March 20. To celebrate this event, Rare has released the official launch trailer for Sea of Thieves and it is a doozy.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/r5JIBaasuE8" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>The trailer gives glimpses of the action that made the game a hit with early access players and streaming viewers, including sword fights, ship fights, and lots of plundering booty. A closer look at the snippets in the trailer reveal some of the content that Rare has been holding back for the full release, including player outfits, emotes, and ship customization.</p> <p>The highlight of the trailer is most certainly the first real glimpse of the Kraken, a legendary sea monster that supposedly haunted the oceans and lived in the nightmares of anyone who spent their lives at sea. In the trailer, the Kraken appears to have its way with one of the pirate ships. I&rsquo;m sure everything worked out swimmingly for that crew.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/sea-of-thieves-launch-trailer-inline-2.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="373" /></div> <p>If you are interested in getting in on the pirate fun, you can check here for info on <a href="After many alpha and beta test sessions spread throughout 2017 and early 2018, Microsoft and Rare&rsquo;s pirate adventure, Sea of Thieves, is almost ready for its big launch. All the swashbuckling action is slated to arrive on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs March 20. To celebrate this event, Rare has released the official launch trailer for Sea of Thieves and it is a doozy. The trailer gives glimpses of the action that made the game a hit with early access players and streaming viewers, including sword fights, ship fights, and lots of plundering booty. A closer look at the snippets in the trailer reveal some of the content that Rare has been holding back for the full release, including player outfits, emotes, and ship customization. The highlight of the trailer is most certainly the first real glimpse of the Kraken, a legendary sea monster that supposedly haunted the oceans and lived in the nightmares of anyone who spent their lives at sea. In the trailer, the Kraken appears to have its way with one of the pirate ships. I&rsquo;m sure everything worked out swimmingly for that crew. If you are interested in getting in on the pirate fun, you can check here for info on how to acquire the game for PC. Xbox One users can grab a pre-order here (this digital copy also supports Play Anywhere and will work on PC). Additionally, Microsoft has introduced an all-new Sea of Thieves controller that works perfectly for the Xbox One and PC. If you need even more coverage on Sea of Thieves and live for reading scalding hot takes, take a look at this scorcher from the Shacknews Staff." target="_blank">how to acquire the game for PC</a>. Xbox One users can&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Thieves-Xbox-One/dp/B01GW3PZW6/?shack0a-20" target="_blank">grab a pre-order here</a> (this digital copy also supports Play Anywhere and will work on PC). Additionally, Microsoft has introduced an all-new&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Xbox-Wireless-Controller-Thieves-Limited-one/dp/B077YD7PFK/?shack0a-20" target="_blank">Sea of Thieves controller</a> that works perfectly for the Xbox One and PC. If you need even more coverage on Sea of Thieves and live for reading scalding hot takes,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103064/if-you-dont-like-sea-of-thieves-you-dont-like-video-games" target="_blank">take a look at this scorcher</a> from the Shacknews Staff.</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:45:00 PDT Chris Jarrard Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Item Color Rarity Guide http://www.shacknews.com/article/103812/warhammer-vermintide-2-item-color-rarity-guide http://www.shacknews.com/article/103812/warhammer-vermintide-2-item-color-rarity-guide <p>One of the bigger criticisms drawn against the previous Vermintide release was a loot system that felt unbalanced. For Vermintide 2, the team at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/fatshark" target="_blank">Fatshark</a> took a new approach to loot drops and loot upgrades that so far looks to be providing players with steadier rewards. With that said, items and other equipment players receive will still retain the previous game's color-based rarities, with white or neutral items being the most common and red Veteran items being the most rare. To help heroes better understand their loot, we're breaking down each color rarity tier and taking a look at other attributes players might spot on new weapons and armor.</p> <h2>Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Red Items, Blue Items</h2> <p>As with weapons and items in the prior Vermintide release, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 uses a color coding system to identify item rarity. From what can be seen in-game so far, there are four different rarity levels that weapons and other accessories can be:</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/warhammer-vermintide-2-green-item-properties.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>&bull; <strong>White</strong> items are the neutral standard, correlating to being <strong>Plentiful</strong> in supply.<br />&bull; <strong>Green</strong> items represent <strong>Common</strong> weapons and armor, being good but not particularly rare.<br />&bull; <strong>Blue</strong> is the color that represents <strong>Rare</strong> items, where players can expect higher stats and unique attributes.<br />&bull; <strong>Orange</strong> items are known as <strong>Exotics</strong>, being more rare and more powerful than Rares.<br />&bull; Lastly, <strong>Red</strong> items are referred to as <strong>Veteran</strong> items, being the highest in quality, power, and rarity.</p> <p>It's worth noting that weapon rarities and attributes, like many other things in the game, are based around random number generation. In a nutshell, this means that no two otherwise similar weapons will necessarily be identical; likewise, it means that some Rare weapons may ultimately be stronger or more useful than Exotic weapons of a similar power level.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/03/warhammer-vermintide-2-sienna-exotic.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>Players will also eventually be able to upgrade their weapons using the Rarity Upgrade mechanic. Dumping five of the same item with the same rarity into the Upgrade crafting menu will create a new item of a higher rarity, meaning five green items can be used to craft one blue item, and so on and so forth, all the way up to crafting red items.</p> <h2>Vermintide 2 Weapon Traits and Attributes</h2> <p>In addition to being a specific rarity, items and particularly weapons will also have additional attributes that can help shape a player's behavior in battle. Among these attributes are default weapon properties as well as Weapon Traits, which provide specific buffs to different combat attributes.</p> <p>Regular attributes seem to be determined entirely at random &mdash; general power appears to be tied to rarity level, the likes of which is capable of increasing the median power range for that weapon type. With that said, both orange and red items appear to have identical damage ratings, so players don't necessarily need to look for the rarest loot to achieve the highest damage output.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ic_F0dRxQWY" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>As far as abilities are concerned, <strong>Weapon Traits</strong> are the types of attributes players will want to search for in new weapons. Different types of weapons can have different Traits, with melee weapons getting the chance to increase attack speed or ranged weapons replenishing ammunition with every headshot. There are 26 different Weapon Traits in total, and players who find a weapon with a powerful Trait would be wise to hold on to it.</p> <p>Stick with us as we keep exploring further and further into the latest Fatshark release, and stay on top of all the hottest news and guides by checking out our <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/warhammer-vermintide-2" target="_blank">Warhammer: Vermintide 2 home page</a>.</p> Thu, 15 Mar 2018 13:15:00 PDT Kevin Tucker
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Trolan's LJ
Oh yeah
Pointless entry to signify life
Communications Update; Part Deux
Communications Update
CCNP... completed
Things you overhear...