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Since we like to pick things around, we pick games, top champions, best tactics, hottest anime girls and so on, it’s no surprise that we also pick some interesting news from the gaming and tech world.
Dead Cells was already one of the most successful Metroidvania-style games that came out in the past several years on virtually all platforms, and it has finally conquered Android as well. After coming out this last June (2020), the game has not sold over 3 million copies and the counter is still hot. Shall I remind you that it is a premium purchase on every platform and, despite being kind of costly as well, this hit game has overwhelmingly positive reviews all over? Well, Motion Twin has a lot to be happy about, that’s all I will say and now they’ve dished out new content in a large update.
It’s titled the “Update of Plenty” (Crossbows reworked)
Yup, apparently this was as per players’ wishes. Crossbows and weapons, in general, have gotten a big rework, with some other items and the in-game economy as well. Official patch notes detail the rework, while we’ve kept our ear to the ground to see if this Update of Plenty really has made players happy. Apparently, using weapons now requires a whole new approach, but the game is not more difficult, universally speaking. Crossbows are now counted into the two-handed weapon category and player backpacks can now hold one extra weapon (one-handed) for diversity. If you have played Dead Cells, you know that this puts you at an advantage, where you can adapt to the situation better.
In-game economy revamp was also answering players’ needs, and Motion Twin does admit it was “peculiar” before. They emphasize that the thing they personally minded the most is that in later stages of the game, you would only spend gold on healing potions and nothing else most of the time. Not, they’ve removed Gold scaling to make the numbers small and comprehensive, while gear prices now scale with item level. The cost of rerolling affixes and refining has also gone up, while shop reroll is free, but it will make the new items more expensive.
Now, we said that Dead Cells is virtually one of the most successful Metroidvania-style games and this kind of attention to players’ needs is just what made it so. Motion Twin actually held pools where players voted on the changes they wanted to see, and they got them. This game has earned critical acclaim all over, on all platforms, in all audiences, and all major publications. Motion Twin was founded in 2001 and Dead Cells is their first and only project so far, and while they did want to go on to create more games, they are still a small team, reportedly up to 10 people, and still are mostly focused on this game. This has definitely resulted in their success, both critical and commercial.
Dead Cells was first available in early access for about 1 year and then it came out in 2019 for Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch simultaneously. The only thing missing was the mobile port and in the summer of 2019, Dead Cells iOS arrived to the iTunes App Store. This past June, in 2020, amidst the whole COVID-19 pandemic aftermath, the game managed to come out for Android platforms and now, after virtually two years, this is how the fans react to this game. On Steam, Dead Cells has an overwhelmingly positive review score. On the iTunes App Store, the iOS version has an enormous 4.8-star score out of several thousand votes. And, finally, on Google Play, the game already has several thousand votes and a score of 4.7 stars!
This 3 million units sold milestone is the first one after the last year’s 2 million mark, which was reached right after the game was released in May. Now, this Update of Plenty is Dead Cells’ 19th major update. It has hit PC and mobile versions of the game, while it may be late on consoles at the time of this writing. Also, it is perhaps worth noting that the game is currently on a -40% off on Steam, while the mobile version price is usually around $9 bucks. I think it is worth it for such a cool game that has this much attention and continuous support from the devs.
The Pokémon Company, in a collaboration with the Chinese conglomerate Tencent, has just announced PokémonUnite. The game will be a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) with Pokémon characters and other hallmarks adapted to the genre, inevitably producing unique and innovative gameplay mechanics. So, it appears that we are in for a treat and the entire web has been colored in yellow since the announcement on June 24th. There is already gameplay footage shown, which already shows that the game will practically have a genre of its own.
Being a MOBA at its basics, PokémonUnite gameplay footage shows that this map has two lanes, with a “jungle” section in the middle. Players score KOs and points to win. Wild Pokémon are scattered throughout this two-lane map and defeating and capturing them is a big part of the victory. You need to deposit your points into a “scoring zone” which is close to capture-the-flag type PvP action. This map shown in the footage seems to have 4 of these scoring zones and there are no towers, inhibitors, no nexus, or core. This means a lot of the traditional features in MOBAs are missing, but the real-time combat is, of course, kept.
Some of the famous Pokémon characters seen so far are Venusaur, Blastoise, Charizard, Snorlax, Pikachu, Lucario, Mechamp, Clefable.
And, many more are coming to PokémonUnite with the Pokémon Company and Tencent aiming to adapt the original game experience to MOBA rules and bringing that genre to a perhaps wider audience. The control scheme is along the lines of the genre’s hallmarks, with one side of the screen holding your 3 main abilities, auto-attack, and the ultimate ability. Pokémon’s will also have Unite Moves, which are multiple abilities performed by multiple Pokémon in unison, hence the Unite in the title.
The game is coming to Nintendo Switch, but also to Android and iOS, much to everyone’s delight. It will be free-to-play, or “free-to-start” with the in-game monetization system undoubtedly coming. Rumors so far predict microtransactions for new Pokémon added to the game, cosmetics, and perhaps other things. What is also confirmed is that the game will feature cross-platform play and various gameplay modes. The game is currently in development with no release date or even a vague window, but we sure do hope it’s coming soon.
They do have a plan! In the light of the recent Michael Keaton Batman negotiations and rumors, Warner Brothers have revealed that they have a plan to make it all fit. It appears that this will be a rare occasion when major feature films will follow in the footsteps of TV shows, for DC universe TV shows already explored the, you guessed it, the multiverse phenomenon. It has been extensively used in comic books and animated shows both from Marvel and DC, and now both cinematic universes are taking off in a cross-over arc of their own. However, it appears that one man might achieve the impossible, which is to be a part of both at the same time.
That one man is Michael Keaton…
While we all know too well that Michael Keaton’s Batman role in Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns movies did wonder for the character and also made his career, we might not have seen the full benefits of such an impactful performance. In my opinion, the movie Birdman, which stars Michael, sort of borrows a little bit off of this and uses it in its way. An old actor who used to play in a big superhero movie is now forgotten and struggles to get back his thunder… It’s the sum story of Birdman, but I believe it was an internal notion that Micahel was so well suited for that role because he could, as a joke perhaps, embody this in real life. I say as a joke because Michael Keaton has had numerous other roles since (Jackie Brown, Jack Frost, Cars, and many more) and his career is far from that, but it worked for the movie I guess.
And, after Michael was brought in for Spider-Man: Homecoming, it was a reminder to wider audiences that technology and trends can only go so far, but you will always need a real actor to do the job. You will always need someone who can inspire the audiences’ imagination just by standing there and saying a few lines but in a cool way. That role of Adrian Toomes a.k.a. The Vulture made a strong impact and it was decided that the character and Michael Keaton are now a big part of future Marvel movies. He is already appearing in Morbius (2021), but if you look at Michael’s future projects you will also see that he is rumored to play Batman on a DC movie set for 2022, titled The Flash.
Only rumors at this point but still…
As someone who was born in the ‘80s and grew up in the ‘90s, I would love this to happen. I grew up watching Tim Burton’s Batman movies and I wanted to be Michael Keaton if you catch my drift, same as the late Christopher Reeve in Superman movies. Of course, the implications of what they would do with that character Michael would portray are at this point even move speculation, but most community sources agree that it would be something close to Bruce Wayne in the animated TV show Batman Beyond, where he trains and equips his successor for the mantle.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
According to the recent wrap Warner Brothers held on June 24th, 2020, Mat Reeves’ Batman trilogy, was Robert Pattison is the man under the cowl, are their crown jewel, and the future of the character franchise. That is, sort of, the main and primary stream for Batman. However, in the light of the recent Justice League: The Snyder Cut reveal, now titled Zack Snyder’s Justice League, we will once again see Ben Affleck in character. So, if Michael Keaton confirms his participation in the upcoming Batman projects, we might have three actors all filling in different variations of the character, at a different time and possibly different universes. This is the primary reason the multiverse story seems legit.
Three Batman actors
I am overjoyed to see Ben Affleck as Batman once again in the proper Justice League movie cut. Post-production is currently underway and there are rumors that the movie might even be over 4 hours long. And, God, yes…please make that happen. I’ve been a big fan of Ben’s Batman portrayal since the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice extended edition. A little bit of trivia for you, Batfleck, as the fans began to call Ben, prepared for that role for around 20 months. That’s a year and 8 months in the gym and on various training regimes, which ultimately produced some of the best Batman action scenes ever recorded, and some of the best fighting scenes in Comic book themed movies.
While Ben will be seen in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, we won’t see him in the mantle anymore, unfortunately, as it seems. But, the Batman character will be a part of the future DC Universe movies, that presumably follow the same timeline in which Affleck’s Batman exists, so it is at this point confusing perhaps if Robert Pattison is replacing his version of the character or not. On the other hand, Matt Reeves was given complete creative freedom, according to online sources, to do whatever he wants with the character, so naturally, he went for a completely original storyline.
What we do know at this point is that Matt Reeves’ The Batman movie, set to be released in 2021, is the first in a new trilogy and that Robert Pattison has been working on his version of the character which I am also eager to see. If Michael Keaton Batman talks come to a positive conclusion and he does take on the role again, we shall see how it all fits together with the old fashioned way – by waiting for and watching the movies when they come out. Multiverse story would be the best way to solve all these “problems” with multiple movies and actors in same roles, but all in all, we as fans are in for one hell of a ride, because now that Marvel is done with their big guns, it’s time for DC’s movie franchise to flourish.
By Alec Sandar
UnlockGame just announced that their new fantasy rogue-lite mobile RPG titled Brave Dungeon is hitting the stores today, both Google Play and iTunes App Store, on June 25th. Now, what peaked out interest are some of the details they shared about the game, particularly some figures. The developers are promising that over 200 heroes are coming right from the start, which is also adding the hero collector genre into the mix. They are describing the game as a highly challenging and competitive experience, while the battle will adopt auto chess rules.
Going further into detail, UnlockGames reveals that they have chosen to follow the auto chess hallmark of alliances or factions. There will be 6 different factions to which those 200 heroes will belong to and they will be divided into classes, of course. So far, there are 4 classes to pick from, and, oddly enough, the core gameplay of Brave Dungeon will be dungeon crawling, but in a team. Yes, that is what they said and it is precisely what raises our interest in this title coming out today. We haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying it out, but an in-depth review is in order if things are as good as they promise they will be.
By Alec Sandar
Promised to us by All9Fun, Sins Raid is an upcoming mobile RPG that aims to innovate many of the hallmarks of the genre and bring an engaging and fresh experience in the 3D RPG mobile genre. And, judging by the trailer, they do intend on going further than anyone else in terms of visuals and graphics. The game was released in Asia and Oceania on June 17, 2020, while the release date for the rest of the world is near. What makes this news hot is the number of giveaways and rewards All9Fun is offering during the pre-register period, so if you are into this sort of stuff, check this out…
Sins Raid is announced as an innovative 3D RPG for mobile devices and it is coming to both Android and iOS Smartphones. The developer is promising a big character roster pool, a comprehensive but extended combat system, combo elemental system, in-depth character details (attributes, skills, gear, etc), and something more. Mainly, this game is incepted as a co-op team experience. It will support up to 10 players playing and working together in a “360-degree” combat environment. This means that each player will be at the center of the action, while all will work together towards a common goal.
Also, it will bring raid bosses, hence the name Sins Raid, and all this seems to have already reaped quite positive reviews from the community. Those who were chosen to play the game early report that the game is quite the guilty pleasure, combining perhaps elements of Final Fantasy with Diablo, and offering many interesting segments in its already diverse experience. iOS users gave it a 4.6-star score, in the countries where the game is already available, and most reviews praise it for its fun action and a well-thought-out multiplayer system.
What we know so far about the setting is that Sins Raid focuses on upcoming heroes who are pursuing knighthood. As they are initiated, they receive something called the breastplate of Carlos the Defender and it becomes their sword duty to defend the weak and helpless against the forces of evil. And, as it so often happens, evil and darkness are just at their peak and are threatening everything that is just and true.
All9Fun is expected to release the game for North America and the World during the summer, and, once again, it is bringing diverse battle modes. The mentioned 360-degree combat action will happen in arenas, filled with dangers, traps, and enemies. Players will have to master their environment as well as their skills, to eventually learn how to work together to overcome challenges. Boss fights are particularly expected to be tough and challenging, with some unforgiving mechanics like blowing player characters off cliffs.
As far as the pre-registration prizes go, All9Fun is happy that there is already a large portion of people registered and waiting for this title, so they have already increased the prize pool. Currently, people who pre-order Sins Raid will get an S-Class Crowd Control Hero Panda Master-Zen, while those who share their announcement on Facebook also get the chance for a bonus hero. The developers are promising more rewards as the number of pre-orders crosses different thresholds, so check it out and sign up if this is your cup of tea!
KARDS delighted everyone with a release earlier this year. It is a perfect blend of WWI phenomenon, history, TCG, and other goodies from the gaming niche. It brings back the World War II army atmosphere and represents it perfectly in a very clever setup and cool use of the history of warfare. Besides the genre mix with history, it also expanded the trade card genre with innovative mechanics and rules, never-before-seen in the genre. The game already did pretty well and now, 1939 Games are just winding up, bringing new single-player content and expansion Theatres of War by the end of this month!
Set for a release on June 30th, KARDS: Theatres of War is already available for a pre-order. You can apply for the upcoming expansion content right now while we are having 5 new single-player campaigns coming our way in a matter of days. The game’s developer, 1939 Games, shared the news eagerly and they are owed congratulations for their success so far with the game. If you don’t know, they started as a small studio from Reykjavik, Iceland, and they focus on fusing WWII with gaming. The entire studio came together in 2015, over this KARDS project, but the people working there are veterans in the biz.
However, once their KARDS project took wind, it soon received support from many private sources and even from the government of Iceland itself. Various big companies, like Tencent, Sisu Game Ventures, Crowberry Capital, and others have also invested, and the team managed to amass a budget of $3.6M. And, so far available only for PC via Steam, KARDS has Very Positive reviews since its release on April 15 2020. It is a completely free-to-play PC card game that has managed to gain popularity and it owes it to several things.
Firstly, KARDS brings several classes, card types, some trademark mechanics, and some new stuff. The classes are presented in different decks, and so far there are the Germans, the Soviets, the Brits, USA, Japan, and other factions. In visuals, the art style is very much reminiscent of the army posters and art of the WWII era, like Communist posters, drawings of war machines, and more. It is deliberately made to look like art from that time, while all weapons and war machines are historically accurate and faithfully represented by appropriate in-game value.
The game is an exclusively single-player experience and, unlike other card games, the emphasis is on the story, World War II history, and campaigns that contain real battles, dates, and historical figures. This is presumably what we can expect from the upcoming expansion campaign content, with 5 campaigns coming to further develop the storyline and to add content. 1939 Games are keeping a pretty tight lid on things concerning KARDS: Theatres of War, and we do not know if new cards, decks, and features are also coming, but here’s hoping!
By Alec Sandar
After revitalizing the entire Marvel franchise, and setting off in motion what would become the greatest superhero movie series of all time, Jon Favreau has again proven his worth by providing a much needed fresh perspective on one other big franchise, none other than Star Wars of course. What do I mean by starting the greatest superhero movie series ever? Well, if there weren’t for this man and his revolutionary thinking in terms of the making of Iron Man, we wouldn’t be where we are now.
But, perhaps it is best to start like this…
Marvel characters did have notable appearances in the first X-Men trilogy, in the early ‘00s. But, since the Blade trilogy, MCU was not doing anything. And, after Christopher Nolan nailed it with bringing back Batman to the big screen, they knew they had to find someone who would break through to the other side, sort of. They needed (we needed) someone who would think outside of the box as Nolan did, but in a completely new way. And, I do not know exactly what series of events lead to Jon Favreau being hired, but thank God.
Iron Man – the making of…
If you are not familiar with how exactly revolutionary the making of Iron Man was, Jeff Bridges, who was the movies main villain, called it “a $200 Million student film”. Here is a part of his reflection on the shooting which I think describes what I want to say about the movie best:
“It turned out that many times – 10, 12, 15 times – we would show up for days work, not knowing what we were gonna shoot. All the guys in the studio tapping their foot, looking at their watch, and we’re sitting in my trailer trying to figure out my lines, man. On the day!” – Jeff Bridges
Now, while this may have been quite a challenge for the entire cast, working without a hard script, provided the chance for everyone to embrace their roles and shine through in the best way, making it theirs and at the same time breathing life into the entire movie. And, if you hire a crew composed of Jeff Bridges, Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the likes, there ain’t gonna be much that you can achieve. Of course, the writing credits go to the legendary late Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who created the characters along with some more people, while the screenplay was also masterfully done by a team of ambitious writers.
Needless to say, Jon Favreau made all the right moves as a director and the leader of this project and Disney saw in him the opportunity to finally break through and punch a hole in the seemingly impenetrable membrane that had prevented something new and fresh to happen to Star Wars. I mean, sure, it is a saga that needs to keep its hallmarks, but there had to be a way to expand it without actually hurting the basic material. Again, it needed someone who would think outside of the box and Jon was involved.
Making a Disney TV show, set within the Star Wars universe, of course, featuring many familiar things and lore, but being set at a different time, a different place, and with different characters. And, making it space western was the key to success, in my opinion. It is so simple, yet nobody thought about it earlier. The bounty hunter and smuggler characters are inherently western characters, in both the movies, video games, animated movies, and lore, but as said, this is the first time anyone realized how cool it could be.
The TV series is set 5 years after the Return of the Jedi, where Darth Vader dies and Luke is the only Jedi left presumably, and 25 years before The Force Awakens, which may prove important in the future of the show. The show was directed but also written by Jon Favreau, while several more writers are credited, including the legendary Dave Filoni of the Star Wars animated TV shows. Pedro Pascal is incredibly cool, present and yet invisible at the same time, as the main character Mando the Mandalorian, while there are many more cool guest appearances throughout Season 1, seen so far, including another legend Clancy Brown, Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Taika Waititi, the comedian Bill Burr, and lots more. This is a recipe for success and it proved right for the show was the #1 watched show on Disney channels and it was rated highly by all.
Following a massive critical success of The Mandalorian Season 1, Season 2 was immediately announced for an October 2020 release, in only four months since this writing. Ever since the show was renewed for the second season, rumors, leaks, and fan speculation have been circulating all over the web. However, on a few occasions, the show’s cast has shared or teased some things about the upcoming season 2. Mainly, the show’s lead, Pedro Pascal, gave an interview where he teased something about Baby Yoda and revealed a few details about the material.
Quickly becoming everyone’s favorite meme, Baby Yoda is undoubtedly a key part of The Mandalorian. While we wait for October, Disney Plus is showing a documentary series titled Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, which is a sort of making of the show about the show. While we are all watching and waiting in anticipation, Mr. Pascal talked on the show and addressed fan theories about who and what Baby Yoda is. His official name is, as we know, The Child, but we don’t know much more about the mysterious force user.
Mr. Pascal admitted that, since the Child is central to the entire story of The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau did not disclose this even with him. It seems nobody knows what Baby Yoda is. Mr. Jon also explained that, while he does know what Baby Yoda is, his story is not still set in stone, because it evolves with the show, and Pedro Pascal agreed that it is for the better he does not know about it as well, for it fits with his character. Mando also does not know who The Child is and he is learning along with the audience. This is, in my opinion, one of the key features of the TV show, for we are on a gun-slinging adventure with this bounty hunter and we are living it alongside.
New characters and actors for The Mandalorian Season 2
Recently, the world has learned that we will be treated to quite a cast boost for season 2 of The Mandalorian. Firstly, Michael Biehn is coming in the role of another bounty hunter (identity unknown). Michael’s most celebrated roles are in The Terminator and Aliens movies, while he’s had many more praised performances. Rosario Dawson is coming as Jedi Ahsoka Tano, who was Anakin Skywalker’s padawan. Rosario is famous for Sin City, Clerks II, Daredevil TV show, and more. Also, Star Wars fans were delighted to hear that Boba Fett, the main bounty hunter from the official saga, is coming to Season 2 and that Temuera Morrison is reprising his role from the films. Katee Sackhoff is coming as Bo-Katan Kryze, the leader of a Mandalorian group, and Timothy Olyphant is coming as a character from a famous Star Wars novel trilogy Star Wars: Aftermath.
The latest news (June 2020)
This just in – announced in June 2020, the cast of The Mandalorian Season 2 was just reinforced with Sam Hargrave, who was the stunt co-coordinator for The Hunger Games movies, Deadpool 2, even the Avengers, and many more cool flicks. He is one of the hottest action coordinators currently in the movie biz, so this might mean we are going to have a much action-heavy and gritty season 2, with visuals, stunts, and thrills all around. While we were worried if COVID-19 will put a burden on the production, Mr. Hargrave joined and already worked on the set. He revealed some of the experience, saying that:
“They have a crazy way of shooting. Some of the stuff is traditionally shot, with the live-action and blue screen on the backlot, but they’ve also got this technology called ‘the volume’ where it’s just, like, the inside of a live game engine. It’s quite insane what technology nowadays is available to filmmakers. It was really eye-opening, the potential of this technology that Jon and the guys had been working on. It was a really fun learning experience.” – Sam Hargrave
Needless to say, we are in for a treat, as The Mandalorian Season 2 is promising to continue the story started in Season 1, which is the exploration of the significance of The Child and why everyone is after it. Also, we might learn more about the period during which the show happens, which is not long after Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, which is why the novel series dedicated to this period is so aptly named the “Aftermath”. And, much to my delight, it seems Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are all choosing not to ignore the Star Wars expanded universe books, which were rejected by the new trilogy, much to the readers’ disappointment. Many cool characters are coming and while we wait, perhaps it is time to revisit some of my favorite novels of the saga.
By Alec Sandar
The Monetization Structure
EVE Echoes producers dished out another launch preview, this time about the monetization structure of the upcoming game. The community was addressed by Exile, one of the game’s producers and a well-known name throughout the galaxy. Exile spoke about how they intend to keep the integrity of the player-driven market that they assure us will be the same as it is in EVE Online, which means it comes with the same risks as well.
Firstly, Exile paid homage to KAI, Lancdot, and NeroAugustus, as well as other developers that have all contributed greatly to creating the economic structure of EVE Online. It is, as he says, the pillar of the entire EVE universe and it will be so in EVE Echoes. This is why the need to keep the ‘sanctity’ of the economy is the top priority and, as always, pilots are also asked to give their contribution and to always be self-conscious about their actions. We must all work towards building up and protecting the health and the integrity of every key aspect of this game, in order for the whole thing to work.
That was the broad stroke of Exile’s introductory speech, while he also continued to present the concrete solutions the producer team will implement in the upcoming game. The basic guidelines consist of EVE Echoes being a self-sustain-oriented economic environment which will adhere to EVE Online monetization guidelines. So, the top three principles are as follows:
- EVE Echoes will have a sustainability-oriented healthy currency circulation on the in-game market (PLEX and ISK)
- EE will inherit EVE Online monetization guidelines, which includes avoiding trading products that jeopardize the market balance
- EE will aim for top stability and security of inflexibility and economic liquidity
Alpha Clones & Omega Clones restrictions
In order to further reduce potential abuse of the grey areas in the entire EE monetization system, and especially help prevent botting & cheating and even rapidly creating new characters, the developers have prepared certain limitations for in-game trades and business. Mainly, this concerns Alpha and Omega clone access and limitations for the overall economy.
- Limited market access
- Unlimited ITC Market[2} access in both high and low sec
- Cannot use Contract function
- Banned from using certain skills
- No access to Tech Lv. 8 or above
- Can access certain small ships and pirate cruisers
- 30 training points per minute limit
- Audit activates more often during trade, putting it on hold until verified
Omega Clones (VERY IMPORTANT):
- Divided into 2 categories
- 2in1 Combo Pack will cost $14.99
- Monthly basic – $4.99 Monthly
- Standard – $12.99
- Monthly Combo Pack – $14.99
Players who opt to get a Monthly Basic Omega Clone will get a bonus of 5 points per minute for skill point production, which will amount to a total of 35ppm and 70% skill training speed. The Monthly Standard Omega Clone will yield a 25 point per minute bonus, amounting to 55ppm and 80% skill training speed, and also with an increase to the stored free skill point limits. And, the Monthly Combo Pack (Basic + Standard) will yield an overall 25+5 additional points per minute, which will amount to a total of 60ppm and 100% training skill speed, with almost infinite free skill point store limit.
In EVE Echoes, the Cognitive Neuroscience will give a massive boost to the skill point production speed, like EVE Echoes players already know. This is why it is one of the best abilities in-game. In EE, Cognitive Neuroscience comes as a combination of 3 skills. Each with 5 proficiency levels:
- Cognitive Neuroscience (+5SP per minute) – $1.99
- Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience (+5SP per min) – $5.99
- Expert Cognitive Neuroscience (+5SP per min) – $29.99
Corporation Clones, Skins, and other additions
The Corporation Clones are Omega Clones reserved for Corporation members and they will be found in the Corporation interface page. However, Corporation Clones will be a bit different from Basic Omega Clones and will have higher authority overall. Ship skins will also be expanded in EVE Echoes, as per Exile’s report, and they will be purchasable with PLEX. Ship skins are something planned to be distributed over time throughout events and time-limited offers and things like that. There are some other things that are balanced out with the hopes of protecting the integrity of the in-game economy in EVE Echoes, so if you want to learn more I suggest you check out the official Facebook post.
By Alec Sandar
Another day, another news. Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the gaming industry in general and what it has become. We’ve covered the story surrounding Naughty Dog and their “interesting” take on The Last of Us Part 2 leaks. People were getting copyright struck just for posting memes about it. The word “golf” was censored and could even get people banned from Reddit or other Social Media Networks. All in all, it was a major PR disaster, and I personally think that they could’ve handled the situation much better than they actually did.
And then came the days for the review copies to be handed out. Spoiler Alert… We did NOT get one. However, it doesn’t really bother me since pretty much anyone who mentioned The Last of Us together in a sentence with the word “leaks” was denied a review copy. Even Forbes didn’t get one, and the only thing they did was to report on the news about the leaks. They didn’t go into any specifics, nor did they mentioned the word “golf” or anything that could remotely point out to the content of the leaked story. So, what did Naughty Dog do? After the fiasco surrounding the copyright strikes, bans, and whatnot, they decided to hand out the review copies only to their most trusted and loyal gaming websites (yes IGN, I’m looking at you).
Luckily, I’d rather observe the whole thing from aside, and decide for myself whether or not the game is worth purchasing. And I do trust some of the critics will fairly and objectively review the game and point out to both its good and bad sides (Angry Joe and Jim Sterling, just to name a few). Will the game be bad? I honestly don’t think it will be as bad as some of the memes make it to be. First of all, The Last of Us Part 2 was reported to be around 100Gb in size. That is twice as much as The Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, or The God of War. This alone should point out how massive the game will be. However, size isn’t everything, and that’s why we will have to wait and see for ourselves if the quality of The Last of Us Part 2 will be on par with its predecessor.
Other than that, there is interesting news about everyone’s favorite video game company, Electronic Arts. We all remember that EA had a very “sketchy” history with their video games monetizations and microtransactions. What was once the most beloved game company slowly started sinking deeper and deeper into the endless pit of greed. Luckily for them, there were two things that happened during the previous year that made it slightly emerge from that pit of greed. Those two things were Apex Legends and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. And both of those games were made by the same studio, Respawn Entertainment.
All of us remember how well Apex Legends was received. It still holds as one of the most popular Battle Royale games, and for a good reason. On the other hand, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was hands down the best Star Wars game in the past 15 years. It sold over 8 million copies in less than three months following its release, which is an enormous success for a single-player game. And not just that, critics were praising the game everywhere. I personally don’t know of anyone who could honestly say that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was bad. And when I thought that things couldn’t get any better, last month EA surprised everyone by releasing a completely free DLC featuring a lot of new content, cosmetics, and etc. And before any of you ask, no, this article is NOT sponsored by Electronic Arts.
Speaking of EA, there was another very interesting thing that they did recently. They released some of their most popular games on Steam. If you enjoy playing all of your PC games on Steam, then you are in luck. Some of EA’s titles like Command & Conquer Remaster Collection, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Dragon Age Series, Medal of Honor, Need for Speed, and many other games are now available for purchase at Steam, each one with a hefty discount tag. But that’s not all. It’s been officially confirmed that EA Access is coming soon to Steam, which is another welcome news.
With all that being said, it seems at least that EA is snapping out of its bad habits. Undoubtedly, we will get a sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and hopefully, the company will keep surprising us in the future. As for Naughty Dog, they are doing the exact opposite, unfortunately… With all the copyright strikes, bans, and even denying review copies to critics, one can’t help but wonder… “Do I really want to give my money to a company like that?” Well… you be the judge of that.
By Miserable Scribe
EVE Echoes Launch Preview Part I
EVE Echoes is coming soon, in about two months, and the developers have already shown that they are committed to the idea the original EVE Online game was founded upon – making the community part of the game. They have taken into consideration and acted upon all community feedback and now, NetEase Inc is announcing a “Launch Preview” where they will show how their team has solved the Script Cheats and bot farming problems, the original title had issues with, as well as many other questions concerning keeping the gameplay quality intact.
Open beta test has shown that this deeply immersive Sci-fi sandbox massively multiplayer online gameplay through the world of EVE Online we all love and respect can and will be ported to mobile without any problems or things missing from the original experience. On the contrary, EVE Echoes will be no less than a revolutionary step in mobile gaming. It took quite a while for the critically acclaimed space-based MMORPG to get ported to mobiles, but it finally comes out in two months and it will bring the untainted experience and quality which made the franchise the hit game it is and continues to be.
While the original game was developed and published by CCP Games and their subsidiary Simon & Schuster and launched in 2003, EVE Echoes release date is set for August 2020, and the development is entrusted to Netease Games, a veteran on the mobile gaming market, based in China. The devs have recently announced their plan to have a Launch Preview, where they will present some of the highlights of the upcoming game and solutions to common problems and concerns the community has, and it will happen sometime within the next two months.
Dealing with Script Cheats
The first thing that is addressed is Script Cheats, mainly bot farming. As presented in their first part of the Launch Preview, the players will take around 30 minutes to complete the process from creating their account to finishing up the tutorial. That’s when the bot would be usually introduced to begin farming ISK. Since a basic mission earns between 10 and 30k of ISK, and they take 5 to 30 minutes to finish, the math is simple. This amounted to roughly over 7 million ISK earned per bot. This is a serious threat to the health of the EVE Echoes gameplay since the game will feature the same level of free trade as the original EVE Online has.
The Alpha Clone
The devs explained that they are preparing for identifying and banning bots in a big way and they have unveiled the Alpha Clone. It is a way to deal with cheating and botting, as the alpha clone will be a tool they will use to deal with players looking for an unfair advantage and polluting the in-game market.
Alpha Clone will be able to:
- Access ITC (Interstellar Trade Center) fully and be a part of the player-controlled marked in EVE Echoes
- Access inCorp Hangar fully and interact with corp members
- Access the Planet Interaction, Encounter, Industry, and Combat fully and even team up with friends
Alpha Clone will not be able to:
- Access the regional markets and individual contracts because they are not public and therefore an easy target for cheats
- Store items into the Corp Hangar, because this would mean we would have bot corp as well. However, taking items from the Corp Hangar is still okay as they will mostly be newcomers
Empire Bank Audit
Also, Eve Echoes will be having 24/7 professional operators that will monitor the in-game economics, search and sweep non-stop for bots, and analyze all problems continually and to fight even the best-hidden bots there are. To help deal with bots, the State and Region Bank together with Bank of Luminaire from Caldari and Gallente have developed a system that will provide resources to help the auditors who find and fight hiddenbots.
They will monitor non-stop for suspicious market trades, contracts, Jettison items, Corp Hangar transactions, etc… They will not monitor the storage content of the Corp Hangar, fair market trades, and contracts. They are also working on a way to distinguish bots from real human players and they have a system of how to label a transaction or trade as *suspicions* which is presented in this first part of the launch preview for EVE Echoes. You can learn more about it on the official post.
By Alec Sandar
It is official folks! Justice League Snyder’s Cut is coming in 2021! Even Henry Cavil confirmed it via his social media account! It is coming in 2021 on HBO Max as a period of probably the most controversial rumors and theories ever. Fans from left and right were speculating, writing, researching, finding new clues, finding the truth. Many even made their versions of the movie, many of them quite cleverly made using some recycled footage and excellent editing. But, all that can end now as we will finally see the true product of Mr. Snyder next year!
Before you start doubting this thinking it is another wave of fake news, the confirmation comes from multiple official sources, such as HBO Max themselves, via their social media accounts, but you can probably see the announcement via every other DC related news or media outlet out there. Finally, Zach Snyder himself confirmed it and also talked about the upcoming cut. This is going to be even more serious than anyone dreamed of.
“It Will Be an Entirely New Thing” – Zach Snyder
Those were the exact words Mr. Snyder used as this upcoming Justice League Cut will cost approximately $20M according to online sources. It may come as a 4 (FOUR) hour director’s cut or there is another option to release it in six chapters in a TV movie style. Best of all, Mr. Snyder is gathering the entire original crew back to work on this cut and finally finish the movie as it was supposed to be, or even make it better. All of the original crew from postproduction is coming back, to finish the visual effects, editing, cuts, and score the movie.
What is important to note is that Warner Bros. Pictures officials admit that they acknowledged the fans behind an entire movement that came together under the slogan “release the Snyder cut”. This comes down from MR. Snyder himself, who says taht Mr. Toby Emmerich, Warner Bros. Pictures chairman, among all else, said:
“This is real. People out there want it. Would you guys ever consider doing something?”
This Wednesday, Zach Snyder held an online screening of Man of Steel, which was attended by many of the stars from the movie, including Henry Cavil who portrays Superman. At the end of the screening, Mr. Snyder gave the big announcement.
The movie is indeed coming in 2021 via the upcoming HBO Max streaming service which itself launches on May 27, 2020, in just a few days. We still have one year to wait for the Justice League Snyder Cut, but at least we won! This is a victory folks! Proof that united we can accomplish anything. Our voice was heard as we sang in unison! Congratulations everyone!
By Alec Sandar
Despite some hardcore fans loving Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, people mostly badmouth that movie to this day, twenty-one years since its release. It came out in theatres on May 16, 1999, and it was one of the most anticipated events in history, with people camping in front of movie theatres for several weeks. The unnatural hype turned into even more unnatural negativity when first feedback reached the media, and it has been thus since. I was among the few who liked the movie and still do to this day, but even I did not realize the true meaning of its theme and the events that took place, which were recently explained by Dave Filoni, well-known to all fans of the Star Wars phenomena.
For all of you who may not know him, Dave Filoni is a celebrated animation director and animator, TV producer and writer, and voice actor, and he is famous for his work on Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, which just had its last season in 2020, and the feature animated film that came out before it. He also worked on a couple of more projects, like Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Forces of Destiny. Star Wars Resistance, The Mandalorian, etc… Lastly, Filoni is known for directing Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series. Dave recently talked on a special show Disney+ prepared about The Mandalorian and what goes on behind the scenes. The show was more about the entire legacy of the Star Wars universe.
Filoni is undoubtedly one of the most respected experts on the Star Wars prequel era and he probably knows more about it than George Lucas himself. In the “behind the scenes” footage, he briefly talked about the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and has explained a few key points that audiences missed about the entire story, which now shine a new light on the movie. Best you read a direct quote by him:
“I love the lightsaber fight with Darth Maul. Not because it’s a lightsaber fight but because George is so good at crafting why that fight’s important…In Phantom Menace, you’re watching these two Jedi in their prime fight this evil villain…What’s at stake is really how is Anakin going to turn out. Because Qui-Gon is different than the rest of the Jedi. You get that in the movie and Qui-Gon is fighting because he knows he’s the father that Anakin needs. Because Qui-Gon hasn’t given up on the fact the Jedi are supposed to actually care and love and that that’s not a bad thing. The rest of the Jedi are so detached and they’ve become so political that they’ve really lost their way and Yoda starts to see that in the second film. But Qui-Gon is ahead of them all. That’s why he’s not part of the Council. So he’s fighting for Anakin. That’s why it’s the “Duel of the Fates.” It’s the fate of this child. And depending on how this fight goes, Anakin’s life is going to be dramatically different.” – Dave Filoni
This is just one part of the speech Filoni gave and we highly recommend you catch the entire episode of Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian show where he talks about other details from the saga. Filoni further explains how Obi-Wan Kenobi further affected Anakin the most and that his training shaped him into a man he was, and he then connects the dots slightly for us. Also, The Mandalorian Season 2 is coming this year, which is also something to look forward to, while it now may be a good time to rewatch the entire saga in a new light, a new hope…
By Alec Sandar
Apple iPhone 12 release date is set for September 2020, and while we’ve had several rendering of the body and official confirmation of the features included, it was all hectic so far. Some news reported that we will get a new Smartphone inside of a body of iPhone8, other sources confirmed the iconic iPhone 5, 5s, and SE look. And, most recently, we found out they were all right. Yes, the upcoming iPhone12 series will feature at least four models in the series, probably more, and it will probably have all of the leaked design renders we seen, which is a good thing.
Leaking all over the web
The leaks keep pouring in and sources now speculate that iPhone 12 will have the rumored 3D camera, which would be a game-changer for sure. The latest 2020 iPad Pro can do an environment mapping within 12 feet using the ToF and LiDAR sensors, so this is not that farfetched. This was made to enhance the AR (Augmented Reality) experience, among other things. But, what would be crucial for the deal was to get a 3D cam Smartphone for around $700.
Design leaks still pan out?
As far as the design, things were a bit hectic. Firstly, it was said that the upcoming iPhone 12 will come with the fan-favorite aluminum frame, then it was reported that it will use iPhone 8’s body, and then renders shown it looks a hell of a lot like iPhone 11 Pro, XS, and X. Well, it appears that all those news might be true. iPhone 12 will come in several different variations, three of which are almost entirely reliably believed so far:
- iPhone 12 – 6.1 inches like the iPhone 11
- iPhone 12 Pro – 5.4 inches
- iPhone 12 Pro Max – 6.7 inches
It seems that there will be a price for all this. Meeting the fans’ requests and bringing back the old design and making this upcoming Smartphone so affordable will have a few drawbacks. Firstly, it seems that the iPhone 12, as well as iPhone 12 Pro, will only have 64 GB of storage space, with no option of going up to 128 or 256! This may not be just because of the compact design but to make it more compatible with other functions and battery life.
No 120Hz refresh rate?
Speaking of battery life, there is more bad news. It seems that the dynamic screen refresh rate tech will only be reserved for one Smartphone in 2020, and that’s Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20. This is connected to Apple because they were supposed to outsource these touch screens, according to multiple online sources. It is called LTPO tech and it dynamically changes the screen’s refresh rate between 1 and 120Hz to preserve battery life when you do not need a high refresh rate, like when reading online articles. Apple is only to get this tech in 2021, according to a Tweet from Ross Young, a display analyst, whose often made good calls in the past about similar stuff and is considered a credible source.
Never mind the looks, what about the core?
As far as the rest of the rumored or expected specifications go, Face ID is virtually guaranteed as well as the Touch ID (in-display). But, the main event of the upcoming 12th series, the golden card, its big gun is its confirmed A14 chipset. This is Apple’s ace in the hole, as its performance is said to clock at 3GHz. Paired with the expected minimum of 6GB of RAM, this is going to be a beast for the widest of audiences. Of course, the fact that Apple announces their lowest price in history for these models makes this all the more compelling.
OF course, with these many fine features, we are worried about the battery, but there are thus far no leaks about it. Not one leak or rumor mentions the battery or charging methods, but we do know Apple is planning to include 5G for iPhone 12 as a series’ standard.
Should I start saving now?
Well, Apple did say that the upcoming iPhone 12 release date is in 2020. Reliable sources are expecting it to be in June or at least during the Summer of 2020, but this COVID-19 pandemic situation has made things impossible to foresee. As far as the pricing goes, They are still sticking to the slogan “the most affordable iPhone so far” while the experts are assuming this means anywhere from $650 and up.
By Alec Sandar
miserable scribe in episode:
Video game industry, what have you become…
All images and videos are property of Sony Play Station and Naughty Dog. we are not affiliated to them in any way. Links to official websites are provided.
Another lovely day has arrived. The sun is shining brightly, the sky is clear, what a wonderful day to… stay home. At least according to the weather forecast. Oh well, if I am stuck at home, at least I can calmly sip my morning coffee and take a look at what’s going on with the video game industry.
In the past few weeks, all that everyone was talking about were controversial leaks about the Naughty Dog’s upcoming AAA game, The Last of Us Part 2. Well, I decided to look more into the whole thing, and boy I was surprised. Everything about it looked like it came right out of some B production dark comedy movie starring Nicolas Cage in a lead role. But why? What happened that made it so hilariously interesting for people to talk about non-stop for over two weeks? Well, let’s dive deeper and see what’s going on.
First of all, let me be pretty straightforward about this one. The Last of Us was (and still is) a phenomenal game with amazingly crafted story and rich characters. Ever since it was released, gamers and critics alike were praising it like it was some newly discovered artifact that could grant immortality to everyone who lays their eyes upon it. And to be frank, it’s not far from the truth. Everything about that game was great, and I personally enjoyed every single moment playing it. So, it is only natural that everyone was freaking out once the sequel was announced back in December 2016. Now, after several delays, the game is set to finally launch in June 2020, but there’s a catch. The thing is, supposedly, the game’s plot has been leaked, and by the looks of it, gamers from all around the world are not too happy with it.
But why did this anger the gaming audience so much? Why is everyone outraged by the leaks, and what led to it? Well, in order to get to that, we first need to look at some interesting facts. The game has been delayed twice so far. Also, according to Kotaku, there’s been a horrible crunch period of 12 hours a day in order to meet the deadline. On top of that, numerous reports were stating that the work environment in Naughty Dog was more toxic than all of the Witcher mutagens combined together with the one that created Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and that’s without exaggerating. People were quitting the company left and right, they complained about the horrible working environment, and all of that resulted in the delays and crunch hours for the ones that were persistent enough to continue working on the game.
Supposedly, one of the employees eventually decided that enough is enough and went on to take vengeance upon the company. Now, according to Sony and Naughty Dog, leaks were caused by some “hacker” group, but whether or not this is true doesn’t make any difference since the damage has been done, and the effect is the same, regardless of who caused the leaks. Shortly after the details about some key plots elements of the game were revealed, the news spread like a wildfire, and what did Sony and Naughty Dog decide to do about it? You guessed it, they took the most logical and reasonable approach – they went on to douse the flames with gasoline. Yes, that’s right. They started issuing copyright strikes against anyone who even remotely mentioned anything related to The Last of Us Part 2. Several popular YouTubers got their channels copyright struck unlawfully, and needless to say, they were outraged about it. To make matters worse, Sony even started copyright striking people’s Reddit accounts for making memes about it. Yes, you heard it right. They were copyright striking memes. What I would really like to know, what kind of person would someone have to be to think they can silence the whole world?
But wait, why were all of the critics and YouTubers so negative about the game? What was it in the leaks that frustrated them so much? Well, first of all, let’s recall why everyone loved the original game so much. It had many interesting subjects people could relate to. It was focused on a good character building, a good story, and a rich gameplay experience was the cherry on a top. The chemistry between Joel and Ellie was simply amazing, and their bond was (and probably still is) one of the most memorable ones in the video games overall.
Now, what did we learn from The Last of Us Part 2 trailers? Well, one of the first things we learned was that Ellie is suddenly very interested in girls. I mean, that’s not a bad thing in today’s day and age, so I don’t really see it as a problem. What I do see as a problem is that those kinds of things are placed in the spotlight of the trailer. I mean, common, Naughty Dog, you are not making a freaking visual novel, you are making a post-apocalyptic survival video game. Yes, no one is complaining about the fact that Ellie is interested in girls but do you really need to use that as a selling point for your game and a spotlight of the trailer?
I understand that identity politics are becoming more and more present in modern games. Heck, I mean, if you look at some of the very successful RPG games like Bioware’s Dragon Age series, you will notice that these games are full of identity politics but it was done in such a way it doesn’t ruin the experience for anyone who’s not interested in seeing any sort of political propaganda in video games. If you take a look at it, one of the most interesting characters in Dragon Age 3 is a mage, Dorian Pavus. He is a very well written character, with a charming personality and a great story arc. The fact that he is interested in men is only one of the many character traits that define him. And unlike Naughty Dog, Bioware didn’t use identity politics as a selling point in their games. The original Mass Effect series is another example of amazingly written games filled with identity politics, but it was done in a very subtle and natural way.
Nowadays, game companies tend to shove it in our faces regardless of whether or not we are interested in it. I mean, I personally don’t mind it as long as it is optional for people who like that kind of stuff, and as long as the game has a great story. I don’t care if the main protagonist of the game is male or female, straight or gay, or even a robot for that matter. In fact, I think that people should be more concerned about robots in that regard. If you take a look at poor robots, nobody cares about them, and they are very open about it. I mean, you cannot even register to any of the major social media sites before proving you are not a robot beforehand. So, what if I want to identify myself as a robot? Am I not allowed to use Facebook or Reddit because of that?
To return to the topic at hand and explain why everyone is so angry about the story leaks of The Last of Us Part 2. Without spoiling anything to anyone, I will make a comparison to the story of the original Star Wars trilogy. Imagine for example, if one of the stormtroopers that were stationed on a Death Star had a son or a daughter that wasn’t there when rebels blew it up. Now imagine if that son or daughter grew up knowing that Luke Skywalker was the one responsible for the death of his/her parent. And just imagine if the story of one of the Star Wars movies would revolve around that person taking their vengeance upon Luke Skywalker for killing their parent… I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell wouldn’t be interested in seeing that movie. To make another comparison, I will use the story of Star Trek the Next Generation (since it is my favorite Star Trek series). Imagine if Captain Picard sometime in the past killed a person during a spaceship battle. Let’s say it was a Ferengi person, for example. And many years later, one of the family members of that person decided to take revenge upon Picard. Wait a minute… that was actually a plot of one of the Star Trek episodes… Luckily enough Picard survived. Boy, I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if he was actually killed by some random Ferengi we never seen before that episode… Now, why am I telling you all of this? I don’t know… I mean, it sure would suck for The Last of Us Part 2 if some random person would pop out of nowhere and decided to kill Joel and/or Ellie because they killed one of their family members/relatives during the first game. I wonder what kind of backlash would that cause… Maybe people would not like to see something like that happen to the characters they got so attached to during the first game… I don’t really know, maybe I am just overthinking… Also, imagine for a second if that was the actual story of the game, and… I don’t know, maybe some unsatisfied former employee of Naughty Dog decided to leak it to everyone else. Nah, I am probably imagining things. I mean, who in their right mind would just kill off their main cast of characters for the sake of random person nobody cares about? Not even the Game of Thrones does that. Well, with the exception of Joffrey… everyone hated that little grunt.
I am probably thinking too much about this topic. I mean, the day is still young, and I am already done with my morning coffee. In any case, I am looking forward to seeing what will happen to The Last of Us Part 2, because this sure isn’t the last I’ll be hearing about this game… at least not for a while.
By Miserable Scribe