World of Warcraft Classic - Launch Day

about X hours ago from
World of Warcraft Classic - Launch Day

This is the beginning of a series of semi-regular entries that details Dan's return to World of Warcraft Classic – the ups, the downs, and all the Barrens chat in-between. Join us for a look at the WoW that once was, 15 years later.

MMO launches are historically rocky affairs, with login issues and server crashes. Fifteen years later, WoW's classic launch is no exception. With giant server queues that had friends and guildmates waiting 6-8 hours to get online, WoW Classic's launch felt much like the old days in many ways that go beyond the core gameplay and design elements.

I was lucky enough to get in line to play around 45 minutes early, so my own wait time was only around an hour. Stepping into a pair of worn leather shoes as an undead rogue, the elements that sucked me in and captivated me those many years past began anew, albeit with some interesting issues that go with packed launch servers. Questing – especially quests that focus on slaying certain NPCs or special monsters – was out of the question, as players formed lengthy queue lines to tag important creatures and score quest items. For me, grinding was the only option, and it wasn't entirely unpleasant.

Overwatch Has A DPS Problem

about X hours ago from
Overwatch Has A DPS Problem

If you are playing Overwatch with random people, you usually have a pretty good idea how the match will unfold when the hero select screen appears and roles are assigned. In my experience of playing this game almost every night for the last two years, the best odds of success come from a group that selects two tanks, DPS, and support heroes, and the worst odds come from a team that loads up on DPS. That’s how the game is designed. Yes, I may luck out from time to time and land three snipers who are ridiculously talented, but all too often, DPS-heavy teams would lead to disaster for me. After all, Overwatch is designed around the idea of balanced teams.

Overwatch Has a DPS Problem

about X hours ago from
Overwatch Has a DPS Problem

If you are playing Overwatch with random people, you usually have a pretty good idea how the match will unfold when the hero select screen appears and roles are assigned. In my experience of playing this game almost every night for the last two years, the best odds of success come from a group that selects two tanks, DPS, and support heroes, and the worst odds come from a team that loads up on DPS. That’s how the game is designed. Yes, I may luck out from time to time and land three snipers who are ridiculously talented, but all too often, DPS-heavy teams would lead to disaster for me. After all, Overwatch is designed around the idea of balanced teams.

The Impressive New Tech Behind Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare

about X hours ago from
The Impressive New Tech Behind Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare

With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward is showcasing impressive tech through a new engine that is able to deliver photorealistic character models and gorgeous scenery within gameplay. The engine has been slowly making itself apparent through Infinity Ward's recent games like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.

In fact, seeing the early parts of this engine through those games was one of the main motivating factors for current studio art director Joel Emslie's return to the studio. "I looked at Remastered and I looked at Infinite Warfare and I was like, ‘Man, the production value of this game," he says. "There’s so much potential and this new engine was five years in development. Parts of that engine were alive and well in Infinite Warfare, and you could see it.”

We spoke with Michal Drobot, principal rendering engineer at Infinity Ward Poland, about the tech his team created for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

The Impressive New Tech Behind Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare

about X hours ago from
The Impressive New Tech Behind Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare

With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward is showcasing impressive tech through a new engine that is able to deliver photorealistic character models and gorgeous scenery within gameplay. The engine has been slowly making itself apparent through Infinity Ward's recent games like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.

In fact, seeing the early parts of this engine through those games was one of the main motivating factors for current studio art director Joel Emslie's return to the studio. "I looked at Remastered and I looked at Infinite Warfare and I was like, ‘Man, the production value of this game," he says. "There’s so much potential and this new engine was five years in development. Parts of that engine were alive and well in Infinite Warfare, and you could see it.”

We spoke with Michal Drobot, principal rendering engineer at Infinity Ward Poland, about the tech his team created for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed May Be The Inspiration For A Huge Plot Twist In The Rise Of Skywalker

about X hours ago from
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed May Be The Inspiration For A Huge Plot Twist In The Rise Of Skywalker

A month ago, the exceptional YouTube channel Star Wars Theory offered up a new take on Rey's parentage:  she may be a clone. This crazy idea gained more traction yesterday, when new footage for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker showed Rey in black garb with a red double-sided lightsaber.

Rey may in fact turn to the dark side in the film, but I have a feeling she won't. We will instead see multiple Rey clones, perhaps dozens of them, all serving The Emperor, except for one of them: the Rey we have been following since we met her on Jakku. She will remain on the light side.

In Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we were led to believe Rey's parents were insignificant, drunken nobodies. That may still be the case in The Rise of Skywalker, but I have a feeling we're going to learn she was adopted. The blood in her veins will be from Jedi that were used in a cloning experiment. The cave sequence in The Last Jedi basically showed us the concept of clones. Even though she was looking in a mirror, when Rey snapped her fingers, the timing was different, implying something is off, almost like each one had independent thought and were repeating the actions of the real Rey.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed May Be The Inspiration For A Huge Plot Twist In The Rise Of Skywalker

about X hours ago from
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed May Be The Inspiration For A Huge Plot Twist In The Rise Of Skywalker

A month ago, the exceptional YouTube channel Star Wars Theory offered up a new take on Rey's parentage:  she may be a clone. This crazy idea gained more traction yesterday, when new footage for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker showed Rey in black garb with a red double-sided lightsaber.

Rey may in fact turn to the dark side in the film, but I have a feeling she won't. We will instead see multiple Rey clones, perhaps dozens of them, all serving The Emperor, except for one of them: the Rey we have been following since we met her on Jakku. She will remain on the light side.

In Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we were led to believe Rey's parents were insignificant, drunken nobodies. That may still be the case in The Rise of Skywalker, but I have a feeling we're going to learn she was adopted. The blood in her veins will be from Jedi that were used in a cloning experiment. The cave sequence in The Last Jedi basically showed us the concept of clones. Even though she was looking in a mirror, when Rey snapped her fingers, the timing was different, implying something is off, almost like each one had independent thought and were repeating the actions of the real Rey.

Replay – Friends: The One With All Of The Trivia

about X hours ago from
Replay – Friends: The One With All Of The Trivia

We already took a look at Friends: The One With All of the Trivia on a previous episode of Replay, but felt a strong desire to revisit it this week. The game was released for PlayStation 2 and PC in 2005, and features over 3,000 questions, 700 clips from the show, and is hosted by the show's Janice and Gunther.

It's one of those games that made us say "this can't be real" when it was announced back in the day, and continues to hurt our brains when we think about it existing today. Enjoy the episode, everyone. We'll be back with another live episode in just seven days! Thanks again for the support!

Replay – Friends: The One With All Of The Trivia

about X hours ago from
Replay – Friends: The One With All Of The Trivia

We already took a look at Friends: The One With All of the Trivia on a previous episode of Replay, but felt a strong desire to revisit it this week. The game was released for PlayStation 2 and PC in 2005, and features over 3,000 questions, 700 clips from the show, and is hosted by the show's Janice and Gunther.

It's one of those games that made us say "this can't be real" when it was announced back in the day, and continues to hurt our brains when we think about it existing today. Enjoy the episode, everyone. We'll be back with another live episode in just seven days! Thanks again for the support!

How Ubisoft Kept Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Alive

about X hours ago from
How Ubisoft Kept Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Alive

A single-player, story-focused game like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey can be a refuge for gamers who don’t want to play theoretically infinite battle royales, MMOs, or team-based shooters. If you invest enough time in Ancient Greece, you can complete every quest, get every reward, and explore every location. While that concept is comforting, it doesn’t place Odyssey in a completely different space from service-driven titles; regardless of the game, keeping players immersed and excited is important to sustaining interest. Developing a post-launch strategy tailored to the needs of a massive open-world RPG, Ubisoft has spent the months since Odyssey’s release rolling out an impressive array of improvements and new content to continually surprise players – and along the way, the process turned a good game into a great one.

Developing and releasing Odyssey required hundreds of people spread across multiple studios. The game is staggeringly large, so even though you can technically see everything it offers, completionists can easily spend 200 hours exploring the far corners of the map. So even though Odyssey isn’t a multiplayer live-service game, its audience behaves similarly, coming back regularly to continue making progress.