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Telltale's Batman Game Plans to Wrap Up Season 1 This Year [UPDATE]

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Fri, 2016-06-24 21:10

[UPDATE] Telltale's head of creative communications, Job Stauffer, has clarified the comments on Twitter. Telltale still aims to release every episode by the end of the year, but it won't sacrifice quality to meet that goal.

"[W]e're committed to a solid cadence of great content, but having the best content is priority," Stauffer told GameSpot on Twitter. "We'll work our hardest!" Stauffer also noted that the misquoted comments weren't his; they were Telltale senior director of marketing Richard Iggo's. The original story follows.

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We got our first look at Batman: The Telltale Series at E3 through a series of screenshots and details, learning that we'd be able to play the first episode this summer. Now, we've learned that its whole first season will release in 2016.

Telltale head of creative communications Job Stauffer talked to GamesMaster magazine (via GamesRadar) and revealed that "we'll have all five episodes out before the end of the year." With its unspecific summer release date, that could suggest the episodes will release monthly, something that's not entirely common for the episodic developer--since 2011, only the Michonne miniseries released all of its episodes one month after another.

We saw the new Batman game at E3 and was impressed by how Telltale was serving the Bruce Wayne character. "It's easy to forget how crucial he is to making the Batman an interesting hero, even the comics are guilty of underserving his side of the story," GameSpot's Tamoor Hussain wrote. You can read the full preview here.

Batman: The Telltale Series releases this summer for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and mobile devices.

Telltale's working on other games as well. We'll see the debut of The Walking Dead's third season this year, while another season of its Game of Thrones series is also on the way at an unspecified date. Additionally, Telltale's working on a Marvel series, though there has been no announcement on what the series will be about. It's coming next year.

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GS Top 5 News - Owning Mighty No. 9, Steam Summer Sale, Oculus Exclusives on Vive

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Fri, 2016-06-24 20:37
Keiji Inafune takes responsibility for Mighty No. 9, Sony class action suit settles, Clash of Clans dev bought for 8.6 billion, and ... BINGO!
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If The Witcher 3 Was a Noir Detective Thriller

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Fri, 2016-06-24 19:35

The Witcher 3's Geralt already uses his Witcher senses in a detective-like fashion, so reimagining him as a noir detective feels right. That's exactly what artist Ástor Alexander did in a series of pictures featuring Witcher characters in a noir style.

Alexander created three posters that look like they could each be for a different noir movie based on The Witcher 3's quests. The Wild Hunt one is in reference to the main plot of Geralt's search for Ciri, while the other two are based on side quests. The Last Wish is a quest that digs into Geralt and Yennefer's past together and lets you decide their future, while A Matter of Life & Death has you helping Triss and other sorcerers and sorceresses escape Novigrad. You can check out the three posters below and see impressively detailed close-ups of each character on Alexander's Tumblr page.

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The posters depict the characters in more modern ways, while keeping their well-known traits alive. Geralt's gun bears his five Witcher signs, Triss lights a cigarette with magic, and they all wear modern clothing. These posters do a fantastic job at capturing the noir feel and make me long for a detective game from CD Projekt Red.

In related news, there was some official Witcher cosplay at E3. It was part of the new Gwent game's showing, and it was excellent. You can check out Geralt, Triss, and Eredin here.

Gwent might have you playing entirely with cards, but it turns out that it's more like The Witcher 3 than you'd think. You can read GameSpot's preview of the fantasy card game here. If you like the way it sounds, you can even sign up for a beta, which starts in September.

If you're not interested in cards and just want more from The Witcher 3, I'm afraid you might be a bit disappointed that the last expansion, Blood and Wine, is the final adventure. It received a score of 8 in GameSpot's review, in which critic Kevin VanOrd said, "Geralt deserves to be called a legend, of course, not least because he stars in one of the greatest role-playing games ever made. Perhaps we will join him in yet another adventure, but if Blood and Wine is the White Wolf’s final interactive appearance, he at least departs in style."

You can read more of GameSpot's coverage of The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine through the links below.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild--All The New Things You Can Do

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Fri, 2016-06-24 18:52

Wild Possibilities

The gameplay possibilities in the expansive world of the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have expanded far beyond anything we've seen from the series previously. This is in part thanks to the plethora of new features and abilities added into the game. From expanded combat options to the introduction of a jump button, here's everything new we’ve noticed in Breath of the Wild.

See anything we didn't cover? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check back as we update this gallery with more features and abilities as we learn more about the game.


Sheikah Slate

Twilight Princess has its wolf transformation, Minish Cap has its shrinking hat, and Breath of the Wild has the Sheikah Slate: an all-important, all-purpose tablet. The Sheikah Slate is Hyrule’s equivalent of a smartphone. Link can press the slate up against panels to open doors, flip through it to organize his equipment and weapons, look through it as a scope to zoom in on far-off locations, and use it to view the world map. The Sheikah Slate can also gain access to special Runes, which grant it access to a multitude of useful abilities.

There’s a weird precedent in Zelda games for fourth wall-breaking items: Ocarina of Time’s Stone of Agony looks exactly like an N64 Rumble Pack, and Wind Waker’s Tingle Tuner is a straight-up GameBoy Advance. So when we look at the Sheikah Slate, it may be more than just an in-game tablet--it could be a glimpse of the NX’s controller.


Sheikah Slate Rune--Stasis

The Stasis Rune temporarily stops the motion of an object by freezing it in time. While an object is in this state, it can absorb any kinetic energy applied to it. For instance, if you perform Stasis on a boulder and strike it with your weapon a few times, it'll launch away once time resumes. The Stasis Rune provides a handy method for flinging an object over considerable distances.


Sheikah Slate Rune--Magnesis

The Magnesis Rune lets you move metallic objects,and can be used in a variety of ways, such as placing a large metal plank in between adjacent ledges to create a walkway or throwing a metal boulder at a pack of bokoblins.


Sheikah Slate Rune--Cryonis

The Cryonis Rune allows you to create pillars of ice from bodies of water, which can be used as stepping-stones to reach faraway areas, barriers that shield you from harm, or wedges that lift up obstacles.


Sheikah Slate--Remote Bombs

Bombs have always been something of a commodity in Zelda games: if you have enough, you're golden. If you run out, it seems as if they're nowhere to be found. Bombs in Breath of the Wild are a now a Rune for your Sheikah Slate and can be detonated remotely. During one playthrough, we tossed a bomb, watched it roll downhill, and detonated it near the base of a tree. The ensuing explosion toppled the tree, which crushed an enemy bokoblin. That's a level of control never offered by bombs in earlier Zelda titles.


Snowboarding

Link can snowboard using his shield, which you can trigger at will as long as you're going downhill. In addition to speeding up your movement, you can perform unique attacks while riding your snowboard. For example, you can shoot arrows a la Legolas from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: Two Towers film and even do a special spin attack that can knock down enemies in your path.


Stealth Mode/Sound Guage

Sometimes stealth in games can feel unfair--you're moving slowly, you've barely brushed against your surroundings, and yet still the enemy somehow knows you're there. Breath of the Wild adds stealth to Link's repertoire with a click of the left thumbstick, then goes the extra mile to add a sound gauge, letting you know how much sound your movements are making.

Link can sneak through tall grass and around corners to surprise bokoblins and other enemies, getting the jump on them and potentially knocking them out or stealing their weapons before they know what hit them. But the sound gauge is the most interesting part of this new ability. A small bubble to the bottom right of the screen indicates the volume of the sound you are making as you sneak through brush and run along toppled ruins.

If you think an enemy might be nearby, you can attempt to be quieter and immediately see if the game recognizes your attempt to make less noise. It's a small touch that will likely make a big difference in Breath of the Wild's moment-to-moment gameplay.


Wolf Link

Like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, Breath of the Wild will have amiibo support. While there will be new amiibo themed around the upcoming game, Nintendo hasn't confirmed what functionality the figures offer. However, it has confirmed that the recently released Wolf Link amiibo will work with the game, spawning the character into the world as a companion that can attack enemies or snatch nearby food items for you.

In addition, you can issue commands to your wolf companion, like “come here” or “stay.” Wolf Link will remain with you as a companion until he is killed, at which point, you won't be able be summon him back until 48 hours have passed in real-time. It's interesting to note that Wolf Link's health will be determined by the score you achieved in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD's amiibo-exclusive Cave of Shadows dungeon.


Cooking

Unlike past Zelda games, Breath of the Wild emphasizes survival. To fit with this new theme, Link can now cook food, allowing him to create meals that can recover his health and grant him ability buffs, such as a temporary boost in health or stamina. It's worth noting that cooking is the only way Link can gain health, as hearts are no longer found in the environment. This is a drastic change from past games, which have always featured hearts as random drops after defeating enemies or breaking specific objects.


Temperature Gauge

The idea of varying temperatures isn’t an entirely new one for Breath of the Wild. Ocarina of Time required you to wear the Goron Tunic to survive the blazing heat of the volcano atop Death Mountain, and the Zora Tunic gave Link the ability to breathe underwater. This time around, however, these changing temperatures can be dynamic. It doesn’t have to be a simple “wear this to survive here” mechanic; temperatures can vary region to region, even room to room.

Couple this with Breath of Wild's abundance of weapons and equipment and it’s not hard to imagine tiers of heat- or frost-resistant gear. Maybe the Goron Tunic is only good enough to get you up to the Fire Temple, but you’ll need an upgraded piece of armor to survive inside the temple’s inner chambers or boss rooms. All told, the temperature gauge adds a new consideration that could totally change how and when you explore new environments.


Beehives

Knocking a beehive off a tree and onto some foes is by no means new to this series (or to popular media for that matter). The mechanic first appeared in Skyward Sword, where you could grab one and throw it at an enemy, enraging its bees into inflicting additional damage. But in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, bees and beehives have evolved: they can now be used to inflict damage as well as inject fear and confusion into your enemies. For example, Link can shoot down a beehive with his bow, causing the bees inside to attack and scare nearby bokoblins into abandoning their weapons. This creates an opportunity for you to sway the odds in your favor by rushing the encampment and seizing the bokoblins only means of defending themselves.


Paraglider

Unfortunately, the paraglider seen in the Nintendo’s E3 livestream was not present in the playable floor demo. Past games in the series, such as Windwaker and Skyward Sword, had similar gliding abilities, but Breath of the Wild seems to take this ability further. For example, during the livestream, Link battled a Guardian boss as he rode on horseback and set fire to the plateau between him and the Guardian. Link then charged towards the boss, flipped off his horse, and engaged his paraglider over the fire. What happened next is the real kicker: the upward draft generated by the burning flames lifted Link high above the ground, giving him not only a height advantage but also more fall time, allowing for more slow-motion charged arrow shots. This is only one way we've seen the paraglider used outside of crossing great distances from up high.


New Combat Moves

Classic charged sword spins and powerful combo moves return, but they now drain your stamina. Breath of the Wild forces you to use these moves conservatively, as overusing them will penalize you with exhaustion and prohibit you from using defensive dodges and wind up attacks. However, there appears to be a new combat mechanic that allows you to “cheat” the stamina system: even without stamina, you can perform a “Perfect Dodge,” by executing a well-timed jump/dodge right before an enemy uses their attack, which slows down time for Link. In this slow-motion phase, a “Flurry Rush” button prompt appears; the more times you mash the Y button, the more Flurry Rush hits land on the unsuspecting enemy.

Link can also perform a “Perfect Guard,” by blocking right at the moment of impact from an enemy attack. This has a variety of effects depending on the attack you deflect. For example, if you perform the maneuver against an enemy arrow, it'll launch the arrow right back at the bad guy who shot it. Alternatively, if you perform a Perfect Guard against a melee attack, you'll deflect it and create an opening for a riposte.


Jump Button

Technically speaking, Link has been able to jump in previous games by using items like the Roc’s Feather, but this is the first time we’ve had a dedicated jump button, allowing us to leap across gaps from the outset of the game. No longer are we forced to run off the edge of cliffs hoping Link’s auto-jump launches us where we want to go. This free jump can be combined with the bow for some Matrix-style fun too: leap from a high platform and draw your bow, and time will slow as you rain down arrows from above. Sure, this bullet- (er, arrow?) time consumes stamina, but it feels really cool.


Durability

Traditionally, Zelda games have treated equipment as coveted relics; items granted to a worthy person. Each new sword or shield was a symbol of your progress and ability, and came few and far between (with the exception of Link Between Worlds). While it’s safe to assume that there are some permanent, special items you'll acquire over the course of your adventure in Breath of the Wild, Link is more of a scavenger this time around, sourcing weapons and armor from common enemies and the environment--a bokoblin's club can be your club, for example.

This ties back to the game's penchant for survival mechanics, specifically weapon durability. Now, when you use a weapon too much, you can actually break it--a first for the series. It's not clear if this applies to every weapon in the game. If the Master Sword is in the game, as the E3 trailer implies, we're willing to bet it will be immune (or you’ll probably have the ability to repair items). Either way, stripping away permanence and ownership of most items will likely force you to be a more conscientious adventurer, and it's an interesting twist for the series that keeps the focus on Link, rather than the tools on his belt.


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GS News Update: Batman Arkham, Mortal Kombat, Lego Publisher Pledges Nintendo NX Support

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Fri, 2016-06-24 08:28
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, publisher of the Batman: Arkham series, TT Games' Lego series, and NetherRealm Entertainment's Mortal Kombat and Injustice fighting games, has pledged to support Nintendo's NX.
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Until Dawn Dev Not Working on Sequel

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Fri, 2016-06-24 08:13

A sequel to PlayStation 4-exclusive horror game Until Dawn is not in the works, developer Supermassive Games has revealed. Speaking in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Pete Samuels, the studio's managing director, said Supermassive has moved on to new projects.

"There's a lot of speculation about what we're doing and what we're working on right now," he said. "We're not working on Until Dawn 2 at the moment. We're working on other things."

Continuing, Samuels indicated that the studio wants to produce games for more platforms, now that its exclusive publishing deal with Sony has ended.

"We have such a great relationship with Sony. We want to continue to work with Sony, and we are continuing to work with Sony on lots of things," he continued. "There's no concern or resentment or any bad feeling. They're a really important publisher for us, and I hope and expect that they'll continue to be that.

"We really want to push to bring those experiences, those cinematic storytelling narrative-driven games, be it horror or not, to other platforms as well."

Looking forwards, Supermassive will develop new properties, while pushing what it did in Until Dawn further, Samuels said.

"It seems that the next logical step for us now is to broaden that out into similar experiences, but with differences depending on the IP, the publisher, the platform, so on. That's what we want, and that's what we're really focused on now...to take what we did with Until Dawn and push that even further."

Prior to Until Dawn, Supermassive developed a number of smaller games and worked in a support role on first-party Sony games like LittleBigPlanet and Killzone.

Despite having very little marketing, sales of Until Dawn proved to be surprisingly strong, even to those at Sony. Supermassive's current projects include Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Tumble VR, which are both PlayStation VR exclusives.

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Pokemon Sun/Moon: Here's When Next Info Will Be Revealed

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Fri, 2016-06-24 08:10

Pokemon fans eager to learn more about Pokemon Sun/Moon don't have much longer to wait. The Pokemon Company has confirmed it will announce more details about the Nintendo 3DS games on Friday, July 1.

The information will be released at 6 AM PST / 9 AM EST / 2 PM UK on that day, according to a tweet from The Pokemon Company.

Unfortunately, there are no details at this time about what may be announced. Recent Pokemon Sun/Moon events confirmed things like the game's starting Pokemon and release date, as well as its Legendaries and main character names.

Pokemon Sun/Moon is due to launch on November 18 in the US and November 23 in the UK. At E3 2016, we learned about a new free-for-all battle mode and also got a peek at some awesome-looking 3DS models, one of which features Sun/Moon's Legendaries on it.

You can get a closer look at Sun/Moon's new battle mode in GameSpot's E3 stage show video above.

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Why Gears of War 4 Will Look Incredible on Xbox One and PC, According to Microsoft

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Fri, 2016-06-24 07:55

At E3 2016, Microsoft confirmed that Xbox One shooter Gears of War 4 is also coming to PC. Now, developer The Coalition has talked a bit more about the kind of visual experience people can expect from both versions of the game.

In an interview with Epic Games at E3 (via DualShockers), The Coalition technical director Mike Rayner talked about the benefits of working with Epic's Unreal Engine 4.

"One of the big advantages we have with Unreal Engine 4 is it is a cross-platform engine," he explained. "So when we build our game, we're testing it on Windows, we're running on Xbox One, and we're always keeping the game running on both platforms at all times."

Rayner added that developer The Coalition is hoping to deliver the "best PC gaming experience" for Gears of War 4. The studio is targeting the most high-end hardware, but the game will also run capably on a mid-spec setup, he said.

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On console, Rayner said Gears of War 4 aims to be a "visual showcase."

"And then on Xbox One, we put a lot of effort into really pushing the hardware to deliver the visual showcase that Gears is known for," he explained.

Also in the interview, Rayner talked about how Gears of War 4's use of DirectX 12 benefits both versions of the game. He also discussed the visual benchmarks for the game, including 4K on PC (for computers that can support it) and 1080p on Xbox One.

"It removes a number of layers between the client application and the graphics hardware," he said. "It really allows us to push the visuals and get the most optimal performance. Then carrying that over to PC, it lets us drive to higher frame rates and push the game as far as possible.

"One thing we were able to do with Gears of War 4, is we've authored all the content in 4K resolution, so on Windows 10, if you've got a system that can support it, you're going to get high-res texture packs," he added. "You're gonna get a premium, 4K visual experience. And on Xbox One, we've totally optimized it for 1080p."

Gears of War 4 launches on October 11. It is a Play Anywhere title, which means if you buy it digitally on Xbox One, you get the PC version free and vice versa.

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Top 10 Highest Grossing Disaster Movies

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Thu, 2016-06-23 20:40
Which disaster movies have made the most money at the box office? GameSpot counts down the Top 10 of all time.
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Predicting the Finals: Pro League Season 2

Guild Wars 2 News - Thu, 2016-06-23 20:02

The stage is set, and the teams are ready to battle. Tomorrow, the world’s top four teams in Guild Wars 2 will collide and test their might to determine who is the best team in the world.

Event Time: Saturday, June 25, at 11:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-7)

Livestreams:

Who will come out on top? The commentators for the event will give you a breakdown of who they think will take home the grand prize in the ESL Guild Wars 2 Pro League Season 2 Finals.

Joe “Storm” Nowasell

I’m expecting some fairly close series at the season finals, particularly in the semifinals. I think North American and European talent match up quite well and will give us some four to five game series. I would be shocked if any of the semifinals matches ended up as 3–0. Team PZ matches up well against The Civilized Gentlemen on paper, but this is Helseth’s chance for redemption, given his squad is yet to grab first at a live event. They’ll be out for blood, and I’m giving this very close series to The Civilized Gentlemen at 3–2.

Heading to the other side of the bracket, world champions Rank Fifty Five Dragons face off against Astral Authroity, who dropped their first series to a North American team just a few short weeks ago. Astral also previously lost to Rank Fifty Five Dragons at the Season 1 finals, all of which contributes to my decision to pick Rank Fifty Five Dragons to grab this series 3–1. I’m expecting an all-European finals where Rank Fifty Five Dragons will claim a 3–1 win and continue to reign dominant in the PvP scene.

Hans “Supcutie” Onsum

Team PZ has really stepped up this season in terms of cohesiveness and skill with the classes they play. They ended this Pro League season with a win over Astral Authority, which shows that improvement first hand. Muffins in particular has proven to be an extremely proficient mesmer player, considering he started playing it this season. PZ is very good at coming up with strategies and snowballing hard. Now more than ever, PZ has the ability to upset Europe. The Civilized Gentlemen (TCG), however, just went through with some pretty extensive roster changes this season. Despite having played together in the past, it’s possible that lack of synergy could be a weakness for them. Overall though, TCG has more experience in a competitive environment as well as in a LAN environment, and I think this might give them the edge.

In terms of strategy and adaptation, I would have to say PZ edges out. In terms of experience and tournament capability, I think TCG edges out. Overall I’m going to have to say my prediction for this matchup is 3–2, TCG.

Astral Authority has really struggled this season. They weren’t able to bring out a mesmer that was able to consistently win matchups, and they have had to fall back on comfort picks to compete. In all of their toughest matchups, they weren’t able to 2–0, and they even lost to PZ at the end of the season. Astral still has arguably the best synergy of any team, but they’re currently struggling to adapt to composition changes. Rank Fifty Five Dragons have done a great job this season. They struggled against Vermillion last season, but have improved and definitely are Europe’s top contender right now.

If Astral chooses to run thief, they will have to rely on choosing when to outnumber and be outnumbered in order to get a snowball rolling. This strategy is actually where they fell short against PZ, and it won’t be any easier vs. Rank Fifty Five. Not having a mesmer to deal with the enemy mesmer will have to be a very deliberate decision that Astral needs to consider carefully. Both of these teams are very experienced, and I don’t think they will be hindered in this area. That said, Astral struggled putting up a mesmer this last season, and lost to PZ with a thief. My prediction for this matchup will be 3–1 for Rank Fifty Five.

Christian “Heurix” Thomasser

This is going to be the closest finals series that we have ever seen in the history of Guild Wars 2. With Team PZ coming up and surprising the North American scene with a level of talent on par with frontrunners Astral Authority, the NA scene has shown that they finally have a true second contender from the region, something they haven’t been able to produce in quite a long time.

Since the changes mid-season to the The Civilized Gentlemen roster, they have bolstered themselves and seem stronger than they’ve ever been in their team history, but I am going to call for what I assume to be an unpopular choice, and favor Astral to come away with this finals win. While Rank Fifty Five is looking as strong as ever, and it is likely that they are more heavily favored due to their unreal levels of consistency and the arguably higher level play that captivated us in the Season 1 finals, I foresee an upset that the Americans will push into a final against TCG for a very close series win over the other European juggernaut. It’s a tough call; I expect this finals in Burbank to be filled with surprises.

Daniel “Jebro” Littleton

Rank Fifty Five Dragons is the most consistent team over season one and two, and I wouldn’t bet against them. Their rotations are strong, and player-wise they have some legendary carries such as Zan. The Civilized Gentlemen have superior rotations and I feel will win out versus Team PZ, but having formed late in season, they may lack a synergy to push them to win the finals. We will have to see. Either way, I see an all-European finals.

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ArenaNet Streaming Schedule for the Week of June 27

Guild Wars 2 News - Thu, 2016-06-23 20:01

We’ve partnered up with some our fans to showcase their creative and exciting Guild Wars 2-inspired content on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel. Check out next week’s schedule below!

Streams for the Week of June 27 Wednesday, June 29

Guildnews Podcast (by Sputti) (German)

10:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-7)

The week in review with the Guildnews crew.

Thursday, June 30

The Guild Wars 2 Art Show (by Rin Elenika) (English)

Noon Pacific Time (UTC-7)

This week’s creative guest on the Guild Wars 2 Art Show is Synsinsyn. Watch him reinterpret the world of Tyria in his unique style.

If you need help converting times into your own time zone, you can use this tool.

Thank you for watching!

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Justice League: The Major Things We Know So Far

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Thu, 2016-06-23 17:29

The Logo

Although we're more than a year away from actually seeing the Justice League movie, recent set visits revealed quite a bit about the November 2017 film, Justice League.

Warning: There are going to be spoilers for the film here.

The logo was revealed for the film, which incorporates a star. While that may not seem like a big deal, in the original comic series, the logo contained a few stars on its borders.


It's One Movie, Not Two

Producer Deborah Snyder has come out during these set visits and said that Justice League is a standalone movie and not part one of a two-part series.


They Are a Third of the Way Through Filming

It was revealed that it will be a 111-day shoot and at the time of the set visit, on June 15, it was day 31. Director Zack Snyder has been tweeting images from the set.


There's a Big Shift in Tone

Batman v Superman was dark, gritty, and grim. Justice League isn't going to be like that. Numerous reports state that the film will be geared towards all audiences and a bit lighter, overall, which includes a bit more humor.

Producer Deborah Snyder discussed this during Vulture's set visit: "What's really great is that where we were going is kind of what the audience was wanting, which is a good thing. We just had to take the characters from somewhere [dark] to bring them up to where they are now."


Ezra Miller's Flash Brings Humor to the Film

Numerous reports from the set are not only saying that the cast is in great spirits while filming, but they're also saying that Ezra Miller, who is playing Barry Allen, also known as The Flash, is bringing some good humor to the role. Many are speculating he will be the breakout star.


Steppenwolf is the Villain

There was been a lot of speculation as to who would be taking on the Justice League, and it was recently revealed to be Steppenwolf. We saw a hologram version of the character in a deleted scene from Batman v Superman, posted by Warner Brothers on YouTube. The character has not been officially cast yet, but previous reports suggested they have narrowed down the choice to a few actors

If you want to know more about Steppenwolf, get a quick 101 on the character here.


Willem Dafoe Plays Vulko

Willem Dafoe was cast, but up until now, who he was playing remained a secret. It was revealed during the set visits that Dafoe will be playing Vulko, the royal advisor to Aquaman. Dafoe will be in a full Atlantean costume and will be a supporting character, not a villain like many people speculated. Vulko will more than likely appear in the 2018 Aquaman film as well.


Amber Heard Plays Mera

Speaking of Atlantis, Amber Heard's role will be Mera, the wife of Aquaman and queen of Atlantis. While Mera has a pretty complicated background, she's a really dynamic and interesting character. However, the chances of Justice League getting into any of that are slim to none. Much like Vulko, her involvement in this film may be brief.


J.K. Simmons Is Getting Jacked for His Role

J.K. Simmons' trainer, Aaron Williamson, has been posting photos of the actor during his workouts, and he looks jacked. Simmons will be playing Commissioner Gordon in the upcoming film, and he's already ripped for the role.


Zeus Will Be in It

There will be a history lesson section to the film where Zeus appears. There wasn't too much else revealed as to how this character will be involved. It sounds like a quick cameo.


Atlantis, Themyscira, and More

Justice League will tell the background story of ancient civilizations and how they play into the film. We'll be seeing Atlantis, Themyscira, Krypton, and the mortal world. In addition, we'll be getting Atlantis during different time periods, building steam towards the solo Aquaman film.


How the Mother Boxes Play Into the Film

There's a little bit of conflicting information here. The majority of reports state that the Amazons, humans, and Atlantians have the three Mother Boxes in the movie. Each of them will be a different color. However, a report from Forbes says there are four Mother Boxes, with the fourth going to Krypton, Superman's home planet, which blew up in Man of Steel. The Mother Box will be the McGuffin for the film. They have great power within them and allow users the ability to travel great distances.


Justice League Takes Place Months After BvS

According to numerous reports, Justice League takes place just a few months after BvS. We'll still be able to see the aftermath of what happened in Dawn of Justice.


Superman Will Appear, One Way or Another

Major BVS spoilers coming! At the end of Dawn of Justice, Superman was dead. It seems a little strange that a Justice League film wouldn't contain the Man of Steel though. Producer Deborah Snyder talked about the fact that we will be seeing Superman. She's a bit cryptic, but it seems like Superman will be in the film:

"Obviously, Superman is part of the Justice League. And we know where we ended up with him. And there wouldn't be a Justice League without Superman, but I think his way back to us ... we don't want to really spoil that. But he is here."


Scientists Are Being Kidnapped

The reason the Justice League is getting together is to investigate kidnappings across the world. Early on, eight scientists have been taken by Parademons. As the story progresses forward, Cyborg's father, Silas Stone, is taken as well.


Batman Has New Toys

Batman will be debuting a couple of new vehicles in Justice League. The first is the Night Crawler, which was described as a tank on four treads that can also maneuver through tougher areas by having metal, spider-like appendages come out of it.

In addition, there's also the Flying Fox, an incredibly large flying vehicle that sounds more like a cargo plane than anything else. Producer Deborah Snyder discussed the vehicle while talking with SlashFilm: "[I]f you’re gonna have a whole Justice League, we have to find a way to transport them. So we have the Flying Fox. It fits all of them, but it also can fit a vehicle in it, so we can bring the Batmobile into the Flying Fox."


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Nintendo Explains Why Zelda Games Rarely Come Out on Time

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Thu, 2016-06-23 17:12

Some of the key designers behind Nintendo's famous Legend of Zelda series have spoken up to explain why new installments in the iconic RPG franchise have a history of being delayed.

Veteran producer Eiji Aounma told Kotaku that it's been his intention with every Zelda game to release it as soon as possible. However, Nintendo's creative ambitions often lead to delays.

"Every time we make a Zelda, we want to make something new," he explained. "It's hard to gauge how long that's going to take. And it's also hard to gauge at what point whatever we consider to be new is done."

The latest Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, was originally expected to come out in 2015. However, it was delayed to 2016 after Nintendo discovered "several new possibilities" for the project. In April this year, the release date moved back again, this time to 2017. When that delay was announced, Nintendo also confirmed the game was coming to the company's upcoming console, codenamed NX.

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As Kotaku points out, Ocarina of Time was originally pegged for 1997 but came out in 1998; Wind Waker launched in 2003, having been previously expected the year prior. Twilight Princess, meanwhile, moved from 2005 to 2006. That game ended up coming out for GameCube and Wii.

Zelda series creator Shigeru Miyamoto also chimed in on the subject of Zelda delays.

"I think there's different reasons for delays," he explained. "One could be that the direction just hasn't been decided, which is probably the worst kind of delay. And the other is that the direction has been decided but putting that into reality--implementing that--is taking time. So it might have taken us six months to do this much. It'll take us a year to do that much."

For Breath of the Wild specifically, Miyamoto said Nintendo needed to make sure it had enough time to work on its new physics engine and AI behavior, as well as refine the graphics.

"We had to make sure that design has enough time to create that. It just dawned on us that we're not able to do that in this schedule," he said. "That's what we realized about two years ago. In this instance, we never really experienced this, so that's why we had to delay it."

"First of all, it would be great if I didn't have to put a release date out at all," he added. "But I have to."

One of Miyamoto's most famous quotes is related to delays. "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad," the veteran designer said about pushing the Nintendo 64's release date out by three months, according to The Guardian.

For more on Breath of the Wild, which is the largest game Nintendo has ever made, check out GameSpot's roundup of everything we learned about the game at E3.

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12 Pics of the AMD Radeon RX 480 From Every Angle

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Thu, 2016-06-23 16:58


AMD is claiming that its upcoming Polaris-based Radeon RX 480 will deliver “VR capability common in $500 GPUs,” but for the much more affordable price of $200. Well, we got one in and you can expect us to put that claim to the test and more in our upcoming, in-depth review real soon, but in the meantime, here are 12 pictures of AMD’s new flagship GPU from every angle.



The reference card isn’t particularly flashy, but its simple chassis may appeal to minimalists. You’ll be able to get your hands on it beginning June 29 when it launches.



The RX 480 uses a two-slot design, which is pretty typical for most reference cards today. In terms of compute power, the card features roughly five teraflops of performance, has 36 compute units, offers a memory bandwidth of 256GB/s, and will come in 4GB and 8GB VRAM flavors.



There are four screw holes at the front of the card in case you wanted to add bracket attachments to the GPU. AMD also mentioned that there will be a VR certified version of the card to go along with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.



The AMD Radeon RX 480 uses a single six-pin power connector and has a 150-watt TDP rating.



There are small cutouts on the back of the card here that allow the fan to take in air.



A back shot of the AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card.



You can see the GPU back plate here.



The AMD Radeon RX 480 features three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and one HDMI port. The graphics card will support HDR for a wider color gamut (provided you have an HDR-capable display).



In case you’re wondering, the RX 480 won’t stand up by itself. We had to hold it steady to take this shot.



A closer look at the RX 480’s fan.



A closer look at the exposed back of the printed-circuit board (PCB).


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Mighty No. 9's Credits Are Nearly Four Hours Long

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Thu, 2016-06-23 16:56

If you're playing through Mighty No. 9 and make it to the credits, you may want to just go ahead and skip them, or take a nap, or watch a couple soccer games, or write your thesis. You see, they last for almost four hours.

This is because the lowest tier ($5) in the game's wildly successful 2013 Kickstarter campaign promised everyone a spot in the credits. Oftentimes, Kickstarter projects that offer this reserve it for higher tiers, only promising a mention on a website for those pledging at lower ones.

With more than 67,000 backers, almost all of which qualified for this reward (you can technically pledge less than the lowest tier; you simply don't get any rewards), that means Comcept was obligated to include what might be the longest credits sequence ever.

You can watch the credits in their entirety above; YouTube channel GameXplain recorded the whole thing, and it lasts just under 3 hours and 48 minutes. Hopefully nobody was waiting to find out if all rights were reserved or not.

Following a series of delays, Mighty No. 9 released this week to a mediocre reception. Creator Keiji Inafune says he shoulders the responsibility for the game's issues. You can read more about those problems in GameSpot's review.

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Game of Thrones Season 6 Finale Predictions - The Winds of Winter

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Thu, 2016-06-23 09:46
It's almost time for the season finale of Game of Thrones, so Lucy and Tamoor make some predictions for The Winds of Winter. What will Cersei's fate be? Will we see what's in the Tower of Joy? Has anyone seen Gendry lately? Beware: show and book spoilers within!
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NHL 17 Beta, First Gameplay, and Cover Star Revealed

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-06-22 20:10

An online beta was announced for NHL 17 tonight at the 2016 NHL Awards. Additionally, we saw the announcement of St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko as this year's cover star--see the box art at the bottom of this article.

All you have to do to get into the online beta is sign up on EA Sports' website by July 7. At some point after signing up, you'll receive a code that gives you access to NHL 17's Online Versus, HUT, and EASHL modes from July 28 to August 4.

The beta and this year's cover athlete was announced alongside the first gameplay trailer, which you can see for yourself in the video at the top of this article.

NHL 17 releases for PS4 and Xbox One on September 13.

You can see everything we know about NHL 17 here. This year's game introduces The World Cup of Hockey to the series and evolves Be a GM into a new Franchise mode, where you'll have complete control over things like players, ticket prices, marketing, and even relocation.

Additionally, NHL 17 brings a new mode called Draft Champions, which sounds similar to Madden's mode of the same name. You go through rounds of drafting players before taking them into games. You can read more here.

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Announcing the Guild Wars 2 World Championship

Guild Wars 2 News - Wed, 2016-06-22 20:02

Shortly before the launch of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™, we revealed the full schedule of competitive events for 2016, which included two seasons of Pro League and a World Championship. Since that announcement, we’ve crowned our Season 1 champions, and we’re just a few days away from crowning our Season 2 champions. This leaves only one major milestone left in the calendar—the Guild Wars 2 World Championship.

The Guild Wars 2 World Championship

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It is our pleasure to announce that ArenaNet is partnering with ESL, the world’s largest esports company, to host the Guild Wars 2 World Championship on September 17, 2016, at ESL Studios in Burbank, California. This single-elimination event will bring together three teams from North America and three teams from Europe to battle for a $200,000 USD prize pool—the largest in Guild Wars® franchise history.

To earn a spot at the World Championship, teams must first emerge victorious in the double-elimination qualifiers on August 6 and 7. There’s more on the line than the prize money; seeding in the qualifier event will be determined by overall regular-season placement in Season 2 of Pro League, as well as the final results of this weekend’s Season 2 Finals event. The qualifier will be open to existing Pro League teams. Tickets to the World Championship will be available for purchase a few months prior to the event for those interested in attending in person, and the event will be livestreamed on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel.

Keep an eye on the official Guild Wars 2 site and the Guild Wars 2 Pro League site in the upcoming weeks for more details on upcoming events, and don’t miss the Pro League Season 2 Finals, live on the official Guild Wars 2 Twitch channel on Saturday, June 25, beginning at 11:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-7).

We’ll see you in the Mists!

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Stronghold of the Faithful on Guild Chat: A Summary

Guild Wars 2 News - Wed, 2016-06-22 20:01

On this week’s Guild Chat, host Rubi Bayer invited members of the Guild Wars 2 raid team to delve into the design for Forsaken Thicket’s third raid wing, Stronghold of the Faithful. She was joined by Narrative Lead Bobby Stein, Game Designer Teddy Nguyen, and Game Designer Jason Reynolds.

Bobby and Teddy clarified that they want to strike a balance in which there are no core Guild Wars 2 storylines gated behind raids, while also ensuring that raids don’t lack flavor. If any lore teased in raids happens to be necessary to understand the core Guild Wars 2 story going forward, it’ll be presented to non-raiders in such a way that it’s easy for them to get caught up.

Teddy talked about the Twisted Castle, a mazelike structure that players must navigate to reach Xera. She explained the debilitating effect that slowly accrues as players are exposed to Xera’s magic, and the disorienting effect of the shattered architecture. She also gleefully described watching as players entered Stronghold of the Faithful for the first time, ran over the invisible flooring in the Twisted Castle, and plummeted to their deaths.

Jason discussed Xera, the final boss of Stronghold of the Faithful. Xera is a White Mantle leader and powerful mesmer who summons massive phantasms during the ultimate battle. He revealed that her name was originally pronounced in a slightly different way, but when Bobby added pronunciation guides to the script for the voice actors, he accidentally changed it.

Next up was a video of members of the audio team swinging various flaming objects in Sound Designer Drew Cady’s yard to create sound effects for the Phoenix Glider. Unless you’re a member of the audio team, don’t try this at home! By swinging a fireball in a pendulum motion, they created the sounds of the glider’s wings opening and closing, and Drew even burned his belt to capture the sound of embers falling away.

Drew talked about how contextual dialogue and player voices are used to bring the raid to life. Different professions will sometimes have different comments to make on their surroundings and events—for example, player mesmers are especially unimpressed with Xera’s skills. If you listen carefully throughout Stronghold of the Faithful, you may discover where Drew layered Xera’s screams into the background to foreshadow the final battle.

Catch up on this week’s Guild Chat with the video below!

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How Civilization 6 Balances Civics, Science, and Mayhem

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-06-22 19:37

When Civilization 6 launches this October, gaming’s longest-running 4X strategy series will receive its most significant update since it switched to hex-grid world maps. Lead designer Ed Beach was kind enough to walk us through several of the incoming changes--most notably “unstacking” cities by spreading districts across multiple tiles on the world map--when he appeared on our E3 stage last week.

But because Civilization is such a dense experience, we decided to sit down with senior producer Dennis Shirk to speak in greater depth about the new city building mechanics, political agenda system, and cultural advancement rewards.

GameSpot: Let’s start with the big change: cities that extend to multiple tiles. Why the decision to unstack cities, and how will this impact the game?

Shirk: What I'd wanted to do is change up the way the landscape basically affects your game. In Civ 5, you settled cities based on the resources that were in the area, but you didn't care necessarily about much else. Everything is built in the city center: buildings, wonders--everything goes there. It's not a very interesting decision, you just build it. That's the only choice you have: to build it, not to build it. By unstacking the cities, what [we’re] able to do is make you think about where you're putting down your settlement.

If you want a city to be a science city, you know you're going to build a campus district. Campuses get adjacency bonuses, for example, from mountains and jungle. So if you find that perfect spot and you put down your city that has a lot of mountains and jungle, you're going like, “I'm specializing this city to be science-generating.” That's also where you're going to build your library and your research lab or your university. And that's across the board for all the districts--they all have strengths and weaknesses based on where your city's located.

They also take up a tile. So every tile they're taking up, you're not going to be building a farm there or a mine. So you have to balance this out. You can't build all the districts there, you can't build all the wonders, because you've got to be able to keep your people fed. You still have to do those basic things to keep your civilization moving. So as you're putting down cities and districts in different places, you have to specialize. Do you want more culture out of a city? Do you want more production? So you have to play the map. And that's the coolest thing, figuring out this puzzle of the map.

Fresh water is a lot more important now than it was before. You can't just plop a city down in the middle of the desert and expect to do well with it because it will never grow. It doesn't have enough fresh water access. There are some new concepts. There are two things that you need to do to have a city thrive: You need its people to be happy--so they have to have enough amenities coming in, like luxury resources--and you need the housing. It's just a concept called housing, but it's basically your population cap. So if you don't have fresh water access out of the gate, you're going to be trapped at one population because you have to have water.

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So are maps still procedurally generated?

Yes.

Did that present any design problems? Because, in theory, you could end up with a map that's terribly inhospitable and makes the game either unplayable or just un-fun.

Oh, definitely. After we put the system in the game, the first time we fired up an archipelago map, we're like, “Nope, not going to work.” [Laughs] We had to make changes and adjustments to that. We found that players were restarting a lot if they weren't getting that perfect mix of mountains right away, because mountains are really powerful now for stuff like that. So we've had to re-tune the way the map generates and staggers stuff out.

But the district system [has] gone through many iterations, and it got to that sweet spot. We've made it so that, for example, not having mountains when you first come in can be offset by the amount of rivers that you have. We always have these balances in place now, where having the different challenges of different starting locations makes the game much more interesting. So you're not always going to have that same strategy when you come back in.I think that would be death for a game like Civilization, where it allows you to play the exact same way every time and you get to get away with it. That's not very interesting.

So you want to force dynamism on players, in a way; make them react.

Right, because you're not going to come back and play it anymore if you don't have those kinds of things. Something that [lead designer] Ed Beach had developed back on the Brave New World expansion when he was doing a lot of the AI work was a mayhem level. This is something that happens in the background; it's how they tune the game. You want this constant level of mayhem, kind of like the real world, where you never have quite this perfect world going on.

So if you're playing your perfect build or strategy, heading towards that culture victory, something will most likely happen somewhere that may take your attention off it for a little bit. Whether your ally is at war with somebody else and you have to make the decisions if you're going to help them or not, or it's happening directly to you. There's going to be something going on all the time.

How do you decide what’s an appropriate level of mayhem?

We obviously do a lot of watching what human players do, because you want the AI player to be as challenging to play as if you're playing against a human. We've also got many systems at the office that's literally just playing itself all day long, and then the AI guys are just reading the logs and watching. We never really had that on Civ 5. We'd always have to execute games manually. And this way it's just constantly running, constantly collecting data all the time.

That is slightly terrifying. It sounds like Skynet.

No, it's not quite teaching itself, it's strictly data that's being fed to another guy. That would be a little scary if we were like, “Okay, he's going to play, and you run an algorithm so that it gets better every single time, and learns from itself.” Yeah, Civilization is the start of Skynet, and then it all goes south. [Laughs]

Exactly! It’s interesting to hear that you guys design mayhem into the game. It almost begs philosophical questions about the nature of mankind. If you're making a game that is literally called Civilization and you feel there’s an inherent necessity for chaos and conflict, I don't know what that says about humanity. I'm guessing it wasn't intended as a commentary.

No, not at all. They're not even injecting mayhem. It's about controlling what the AI decides they want to do. So you have the knobs that you turn, and the mayhem level that they watch is just based on how the AI decides to play, how crazy they get, and making sure that's tuned to that perfect spot. You want that little bit of mayhem because it makes for interesting gameplay. In terms of real life, you don't want that at all. But real life may not be the most interesting game to play all the time.

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What about players simply who want to perfect their own little corner of the world? Can they treat Civ 6 like a world building game and not so much like a conquest game?

They can. Well, first off, aside from what you can do in-game, there's always going to be that world of modding: people that design specific scenarios, specific ways to play. But just as in Civ 5, if you want to play a builder game, you don't invite Montezuma and Genghis [Khan] to the party. You go into “advanced setup,” you make sure that you're setting the civs that are really going to all be builders. You choose all the builders in the game, and then just have a build-a-thon, and go from there. But if you want the party, you go random and see where they land.

So the idea of distinct AI personalities returns? Like, different Civilizations have pre-programmed behavior sets that will correlate with historical precedents?

Even more so now. Like in Civilization 5, Montezuma always played a very specific way. He'd probably be just rampaging and invading. But we have very specific historic agendas now, which allow the way you interact with the civs to be much more interesting. Like Theodore Roosevelt's is, when he's on his own continent, as long as other civs that are on his continent are not causing trouble, he's probably going to be friendly towards them. But if they're causing trouble--they're going to wars or starting wars--he's probably going to be their enemy.

So you can actually have some fun with this, because you might have Emperor Chin nearby, and he's causing you problems. You're trying to play that builder culture game. He's not necessarily going to let you do that because his historic agenda is that he's a wonder builder. He wants to have the most glorious civilization and as many wonders as possible. And if other civilizations are beating him in that wonder race, that's a problem for him. He might get jealous enough to go ahead and start stealing wonders from you, in terms of taking cities.

So maybe you do a little bit of baiting, and you start playing with this information, and you draw him into a war with you, because then Teddy Roosevelt will most likely come to your aid. And now you've basically got this formal war that nobody is going to be angry at you about--because you didn't start it--and in the end, you've come out on top. So there's a lot of things that you can play around with these agendas now that make the game so much more interesting.

Are civilization's historical agendas going to be apparent to players, or is it something they're just going to have to figure out over time?

No, the historic agendas are the one thing that they can see when they come in. It's discovering all the rest of how [leaders are] playing they have to figure out.

How do you actually pick which leaders represent each civilization?

This time around was based around what we thought the personality would do for the game because certain leaders are going to fill certain gaps. We want X number of leaders that act this way, some that act this way, some that act this way, so you can have that balance going into the game. So it's not just about if they were a great leader, it's what they do.Whenever we have a leader that we think would bring a really interesting historic agenda to the table, like Teddy Roosevelt with his Big Stick policy, that's usually how we choose them. Of course there's going to be a balance. Some are Civ stalwarts. Some places really expect certain things to be in the game. We also always want a percentage that have never appeared in the game before, so we try to keep a percentage of those as well.

So obviously players can set their own political agendas as well, but it seems like that system has changed slightly. Can you describe the new system a little more deeply, and explain how it will impact the actual gameplay?

Well, we split the trees now. Before you only had the tech tree, so culture players or builders were at the mercy of people who were driving hard science because they'd always have more advanced units and eventually could steamroll you if they wanted to. So I really wanted a way for the cultural player to compete in the world. So we have a culture tree and we have a tech tree. But the thing is, the culture tree is where all of your policies live: the ability to unlock new governments, the ability to unlock more cards, these policy cards.

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For example, you have militaristic cards, economic cards, you've got wild card slots, things like that. Now those are only unlockable in the civics tree, so if you're playing a hard culture game and you go deep into that tree, you could unlock some really advanced governments and a plethora of cards to choose from because you're the shining beacon of cultural awesomeness in the world. Whereas if you're playing a hard science game, you don't necessarily get to go as deep, you've got a more primitive government. You're not as enlightened, you're just strictly on the tech, you want more advanced units.

So as a result, if somebody is threatening you--one of those science players--they may have infantry and you've only got riflemen because you're not as far technologically. But because you've got all these great military policies plugged in, your riflemen are about half as much to produce and they've got all these benefits and their 50-percent stronger in certain areas because you've got that flexibility of government, and now you can stand toe-to-toe with these more advanced civilizations.

Will this affect diplomacy at all? Can you talk about anything that's been added, or any layers of depth or new mechanics that have been added to the diplomacy system?

We're not talking too much about diplomacy, but what I can say is, [leaders] also have random agendas, and they're hidden. An example would be, maybe [a leader] loves industry. That could be the second agenda that he has. You can't see it because you don't have exposure to the information. So if you're this weak-kneed culture civilization, his opinion will start going down; you don't know why.

So maybe to expose some of that information, you establish a trade route. And now that unlocks a little bit of visibility. You start getting rumors and gossip coming back. Still don't know what that hidden agenda is. The next thing you do is you send a delegation. He likes that, that's great, you get a modifier from sending the delegation. Plus the delegation starts sending you information. Now you realize, oh, he's an industry lover, that's why he didn't necessarily like me, that's why that negative modifier is there. So now you can kind of adjust to that as well.

And then of course you can keep going up the information chain to spies eventually, things like that. But [with] a lot of that information trading, you can become a merchant of information if you want, depending on the certain civ that you're playing--because you've got these different levels of visibility based on your engagement, you've got these different things that you're trying to discover.

Do you judge your coworkers based on which Civilizations they tend to prefer?

Silently, yeah. We don't say it verbally, but we always do.

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