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Titan Quest: Ragnarök Brings the Classic ARPG Back to Life

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The original Titan Quest was released way back in 2006, and it became an instant classic in the action RPG community. The original game and the first expansion pack Immortal Throne eventually found their way onto Steam, where the game grew even more. This solidified Titan Quest’s place in the hall of memorable action RPGs.

Titan Quest was developed by a small Massachusetts studio called Iron Lore Entertainment. The game was published by THQ, which spelt a number of concerns. Following the closure of THQ back 2013, the fates of the games underneath its publishing label were left up in the air. Thankfully though, Nordic Games, which would eventually become THQ Nordic, stepped in to save the games, one of which was Titan Quest.

Which brings us back to today! Titan Quest has, seemingly out of nowhere, received an all new expansion pack! Titan Quest: Ragnarök features the heroes traveling to the uncharted lands of northern Europe. Players will get to traverse the realms of the Celts, the Northmen, and the Asgardian gods in the all-new fifth story act. An all new class – the Runemaster – has arrived as well. Master their magical abilities to fight with both sword and spell!

The level cap has gone up to 85, which means more masteries for your character to grow into. New armor sets, new weapons don’t mean anything if there aren’t new baddies to slay, and Ragnarök has us covered. Dark creatures inhabit the forests of Germany, and you may find yourself going toe-to-toe with the deities of Asgard itself! The game’s engine has also received some polish, as new graphical effects and shaders have been added.

An eleven year old game receiving a new update is something that always warms our hearts, so why not join in the fun? If you’ve never played the original Titan QuestTitan Quest Anniversary Edition (which combines the original game and the first expansion into one game) is currently 80% off on the Steam Store. Sitting a comfortable $3.99 USD, this welcoming price should be great for any action RPG fans! As always with new Steam releases, Ragnarök has a launch discount of 25% off, which brings it to $14.99 USD.

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Gaming News

Star Wars Battlefront II Temporarily Disables Microtransactions

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The rabbit hole just got deeper.

At this point you’ve probably heard of the Star Wars Battlefront II loot crate fiasco. After some insightful players discovered that the amount of time it takes to unlock new heroes the old fashioned way was absolutely ridiculous, EA “reduced” the hero unlock costs. Unfortunately they also forgot to mention that the general in-game currency generation was reduced as well which essentially meant that we were back to square one.

Well that was the final straw with the community and no one was having it. After fans and the gaming community let their voices be heard, EA has announced today that all microntransactions have been disabled… for now. You can read the full statement from Oskar Gabrielson, a GM from DICE on the official website.

The most interesting thing to take away from this is line: “The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.” While we didn’t stop the microtransactions completely, we’ve forced them back for the time being. Now, “changes to game” include what exactly? Will they make the loot crates cosmetic stuff only? One of the biggest complaints was that raw power could be gotten from the loot crates, making the game pay-to-win.

The community remains cautiously optimistic about this. Part of it is glad that we were able to actually change something about a game – a triple A game, no less. The other part thinks this is all smoke and mirrors, and that EA isn’t actually going to change anything meaningful. They’re going to temporarily disable the microtransactions, but after they lose some heat they’ll quietly reinstate them with all of the nastiness that comes with it.

At this point, we think the damage is done. The game is still probably going to sell simply because of the brand and for the people who don’t really care about this kind of stuff, but EA firmly reminded everyone what kind of treachery they’re capable of. Remain vigilant everyone!

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Gaming News

Super Bomberman R Update 2.0 Launches

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When Super Bomberman R launched alongside the Nintendo Switch back in March this year, many were surprised by its sudden appearance. Konami hasn’t quite been the same ever since the Silent Hills incident, and no one was really expecting new games from them much less a new Bomberman game, but lo and behold.

Released to some rather lukewarm reception, Super Bomberman R was praised for, well, being a new Bomberman game which are always great party games. The game however lacked a lot of content at launch, and to even more surprise Konami actually supported the game over time with new updates and content patches. Such is the case today with Super Bomberman R‘s 2.0 update.

In this update, Super Bomberman R reaches its next major patch milestone, and for good reason – there’s an all new game mode called Grand Prix. In Grand Prix mode, matches consist of two rounds and the team with the most points wins. Losing a life isn’t the end – you’ll be automatically resurrected after a certain time has passed.

Grand Prix has two modes you can choose from: Basic and Crystal. Basic mode is a regular old fashioned Bomberman match where you simply need to blow your opponents to smithereens to win. Crystal is a new mode where the two teams have to collect crystals to earn points. The Bomberman Bros. have unique abilities to them, but they can also equip cartridges which grants them abilities of other characters.

You’ll be able to play Grand Prix mode in local wireless mode with up to six Switch consoles. There are also a bunch of new characters and two stages available for purchase in the shop. Konami has also added a bunch of accessories based on their franchises like CastlevaniaSilent HillZone of the Enders, and Mystical Ninja among others into the shop as well. It’s some sort of Konami revival!

Update 2.0 launches today, so get to bombin’! You can read the full patch notes on the official website.

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Gaming News

Starcraft II Free-to-Play Launches Today

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Earlier this month during BlizzCon 2017, we found out that Starcraft II was officially going free-to-play. If you remember though, Blizzard offered a Starter Edition of Starcraft II which let you play through a few missions of the first campaign, Wings of Liberty. You could also play custom multiplayer maps freely, among other modes.

Now, Starcraft II is going free-to-play, again, but with even more options this time! If you haven’t experienced Blizzard’s legendary real-time strategy series yet, now’s the perfect time. Starting today, you’ll be able to access the full Wings of Liberty campaign, the first story campaign of Starcraft II. This campaign tells the story of Jim Raynor who’s still recovering since the events of the original game.

If single-player isn’t your thing, then hop into some competitive multiplayer! Custom games and the Arcade remain free as they were, but now you can play the regular versus mode against actual opponents and compete on the ranked ladders. To prevent smurf accounts, you’ll need to play unranked mode for ten days before you can enter the ranked mode.

Co-op mode has expanded as well. All commanders are available for use, but you can only raise them to level 5 if you’re a free player. Raynor, Kerrigan, and Artanis, the three starting commanders, can level up to maximum even if you’re a free player.

And now for some bonuses for existing owners. If you own the original version of Starcraft II but have not yet purchased the second expansion pack Heart of the Swarm, you can get it free by logging into the game between November 8 and December 8. Legacy of the Void and the Nova expansions packs will not be free and must be separately purchased.

Finally, if you owned any version of Starcraft II period, you’ll receive a special Eidolon Ghost skin and three portraits to use for your in-game profile.

You can grab the game from the official website.

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Gaming News

Star Wars Battlefront II Reduces Hero Unlock Costs After Controversy

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Amidst the loot box controversies swarming the game, Star Wars Battlefront II recently came under fire for another controversial subject: the unlock times for heroes. In order to play as your favorite Star Wars universe heroes like Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, you must first unlock them through either in-game credits or getting lucky with the loot boxes.

Last week a Reddit user from the Battlefront subreddit performed a detailed analysis on how long it would take to unlock a single hero. Long story short, a single hero costs 60,000 in-game credits. Players would average about 275 credits per match, which came out to nearly forty hours without spending a single credit to unlock one of the heroes. Just one!

Needless to say the community was NOT happy at all with this revelation especially after Electronic Arts promised that the game’s loot boxes would be optional in every sense of the word. It’s true that you don’t exactly have to pay real money to get all the good stuff quickly… but you better be willing to spend a lot of time with the game to get anywhere substantial.

Thankfully though, the gaming community and fans everywhere rallied together and let their voices be heard. Electronic Arts seems to have gotten the message, as today they’ve announced that they’re reducing the unlock costs for all the top heroes by a whopping 75%. Luke and Vader have now gone from 60,000 credits to 15,000 credits to unlock; Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Leia sit at 10,000 credits while Iden rests at 5,000.

Their reasoning beforehand for the ludicrous costs were that they wanted players to feel accomplished when they finally unlocked their favorite Star Wars character. The community didn’t really take it like that though – they saw it more as a smoke screen to EA’s true intent of coaxing players into buying loot crates.

Whatever the case, the most important thing to take away from this is that your voice (and wallet) matters. Do not be afraid to speak up, or better yet refuse to buy a game that’s covered in some shady practices, especially when they’re dealing with a legendary franchise such as Star Wars.

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Gaming News

Journey Back to Vana’diel in Final Fantasy XI’s November Update

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If I told you that Final Fantasy XI, an MMORPG that is now about fifteen years old, is still receiving major content updates, how would you react? Well you better figure it out soon because Final Fantasy XI’s November content update has officially dropped!

The biggest piece of content in this patch is the new Dynamis-Divergence battle event. To participate in this event, players will need to have to completed the previous event Dynamis-Tavnazia first, where they’ll earn a Diabolos-related key item. Players will also need to have completed the final chapter of Rhapsodies of Vana’diel. After meeting the prerequisites, players can then challenge the challenging foes in the Dynamis-Divergence.

To celebrate the release of this patch, the game will also be hosting a “Return Home to Vana’diel Campaign”. If you’ve previously had an active PlayOnline account that is now disabled, you’ll be able to log in and play with your old characters from November 10 to November 24 for free! To you help you get started after a long time away, there’s a set of systems to boost your progress, including a mechanic that automatically increases your item level, a week of complimentary items.

If you’ve never taken a step into the world of Vana’diel, the Final Fantasy XI Ultimate Collection Seekers Edition, which as you can probably guess from the grandiose name contains the game and all of its expansion packs, will be 67% off on the Square Enix store at $9.99 USD. Although if you’ve never played the game before, it might be a little hard to do so in today. The game has definitely aged a lot, but if you’re looking for a unique and interesting experience that modern MMOs don’t really offer anymore, we highly recommend checking it out for just a little bit. Who knows – you might end up loving the game!

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Gaming News

Electronic Arts Acquires Respawn Entertainment

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In a press statement released earlier today, Electronic Arts has officially acquired Respawn Entertainment, the team behind the critically acclaimed Titanfall games. EA has already been the publisher for Respawn’s games so far, so this deal builds on the already existing partnership.

With this acquisition, Respawn Entertainment will continue to develop more games including the ones already in development like the next Titanfall game, a new game set in the Star Wars universe, and a new, untitled virtual reality game.

Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, states that the partnership “…is grounded in a shared desire to push the boundaries and deliver extraordinary and innovative new experiences for players around the world. Together, we’ve brought this to life in the Titanfall franchise, and now with the Respawn team joining EA, we have exciting plans to accomplish even more amazing things in the future.”

Respawn will join EA’s “Worldwide Studios” organization, which just sound like a brand label to host all of EA’s external developers. While Wilson’s statement is pretty generic PR talk, we’re actually curious about what this means for Respawn’s future.

Unfortunately, like most things related to EA, the community is not too keen about this decision. Just last month EA had shut down Visceral Studios, the team behind the Dead Space franchise. EA has a particularly nasty habit of acquiring smaller studios and changing things so much that the studios eventually go under. This is also a bit of a twist considering that Respawn Entertainment was founded because the team members, like CEO Vince Zampella of Infinity Ward fame, were fed up with corporate interests and executive meddling. Only time will tell what how the studio will do now under EA’s wing, but we wish them the best. What do you make out of all this?

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