Monday
Nov102014

Get Your Tickets NOW for the Smite World Championship

Unfortunately the Legendary Passes are already gone, but have no fear there are still tickets to be had. We can only hope that the Swag that you would have gotten from the Legendary Pass will be on sale at the Cobb Energy Centre. Now if you don't know if you should go to this event, then my answer to your confusion is that you should definitely attend. I made it out to the Launch Tournament and have been dying to get back to see some more, ever since. So now that I've got you ready to go, lets give you a link to where you can pick up one or more of these tickets, oh and for a little bit more incentive, here's the prices, and what you get:

Golden Pass: $100

This ticket grants general admittance to the event and seating in the Mezzanine (level 2). Golden Passes come with everything included with the Standard Pass, with the addition of Golden Pass exclusive Pins, an exclusive T-Shirt, an exclusive SWC 2015 Poster, and an exclusive to SWC 2015 piece of in-game content. All ticket sales are final.

Standard Pass: $50

This ticket grants general admittance to the event and seating in the Grand Tier (level 3). Also comes with a goodie bag, a dog tag, an exclusive water bottle, and SMITE pins. All ticket sales final..

Now I do want to point out that this is a 3 day event that starts Friday, January 9, 2015 at 8:00 AM - Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 7:00 PM. Now I know that some of us have to work on that Friday, but know this, the real meet of the tournament is going to be Saturday and Sunday, two days that most of us can make. So what are you waiting for?

Get Your Tickets

Oh and here's a little something about the actual event:

On January 9th, 2015, the world's 8 most elite SMITE teams from 5 regions will gather in Atlanta to fight to become the SMITE World Champion.

An intense three days of competition awaits players and spectators alike, culminating in a best of 5 grand final competition on Sunday. Don't miss your chance to watch the action live in person at Atlanta's renowned Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

The Prize pool for the SMITE World Championship keeps growing and you can contribute to it by joining in the Odyssey. Every week we're releasing exclusice items in-game. Each Odyssey item purchased will contribute towards the prize pool for the tournament and will also earn you exclusive rewards! These rewards will only be available during the Odyssey event.

Who’s playing in the event?
The World Championship LAN will be comprised of the 2 regional champion teams from North America, Europe, China, and Latin America for a total of 8 teams from across the world.

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Monday
Nov102014

US President Makes Stance on Net Neutrality

Barak Obama has come out in support of changing customer broadband service classification. Now I know that anyone who has looked into Net Neutrality, and has been praying that the ISPs don't get to hold the power, are interested to see this reclassification to Title II. This would allow for the FCC to control it, and not the ISPs who have been rumored to throttle service, give preferential treatment, and more. Now its not like this is going to happen tomorrow, but one has to think that this is definitely something we would like to see.

As you can see below there is a letter from Obama, I hope you take the time to read it, and I hope that this comes to pass. Companies, such as Altered Confusion, are literally holding onto hope that this comes to pass because if the ISPs can get a better strangle hold the small guys, like us, will disappear. The reason is that we don't have the deep pockets to pay the ISPs. 

 

An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.

“Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.

When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever. Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy. After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it. Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules — not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.

The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone. I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online. The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe. These bright-line rules include:

  • No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.
  • No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
  • Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
  • No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.

If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital. But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet’s openness.

The rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which increasingly means on a mobile device. I believe the FCC should make these rules fully applicable to mobile broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks.

To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past. For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider. It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information — whether a phone call, or a packet of data.

So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies.

Investment in wired and wireless networks has supported jobs and made America the center of a vibrant ecosystem of digital devices, apps, and platforms that fuel growth and expand opportunity. Importantly, network investment remained strong under the previous net neutrality regime, before it was struck down by the court; in fact, the court agreed that protecting net neutrality helps foster more investment and innovation. If the FCC appropriately forbears from the Title II regulations that are not needed to implement the principles above — principles that most ISPs have followed for years — it will help ensure new rules are consistent with incentives for further investment in the infrastructure of the Internet.

The Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy — and our society — has ever known. The FCC was chartered to promote competition, innovation, and investment in our networks. In service of that mission, there is no higher calling than protecting an open, accessible, and free Internet. I thank the Commissioners for having served this cause with distinction and integrity, and I respectfully ask them to adopt the policies I have outlined here, to preserve this technology’s promise for today, and future generations to come.

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Friday
Nov072014

Harebrained Schemes Ready to Talk About Their Next Game

Harebrained Schemes is the team that you might recall brought us Shadowrun Returns, and so much more. So you know that they make polished games that one can get lost in. This game, Necropolis, appears to be one of the toughest, and yet easiest to lose time in. In this game you will have to venture forth into the Necropolis, an ever changing maze, in order to seek fame and fortune. Now of course the joke's on you because the owner and controller of this ever changing world needs adventurers to enter, and then die, so that their essence can power further test and experiments being performed in its depths.

The one thing I am sad to see is that this game is not due out until 2016, but  here's hoping it comes out early. I would love to ramble on about this new game, but I think the Press Release will best sum it up, and you too will see that this is a game that we're going to have to put on our wishlists.

Welcome to Necropolis - a game of brutal combat and survival, set in a magical deathtrap that shifts and reconstructs itself around you. Will you find the exit, or die trying?*

 

*SPOILERS: You'll probably die trying.

The archmage Abraxis took his secrets to the grave.

There, in the depths of a huge complex constructed by magic, lies the greatest collection of magical items and treasure that the world has ever known. After all his conquests and victories, Abraxis retreated to his Necropolis to work his magic, in darkness far removed from the rest of civilization.

 

The mazes and corridors of the Necropolis shift and change at the whim of the Brazen Head, a magical intelligence created by the archmage. Part butler, part taskmaster and part tormentor, the Brazen Head mocks, goads and pushes adventurers deeper and deeper into Abraxis' domain.

This is because, unlike most tombs, the Necropolis invites adventurers in; it needs them. Those who die within its walls feed the magic that powers the shrine. It is a trap, a self-perpetuating machine feeding on souls. Dead adventurers spirits turn arcane wheels, and their corpses are repurposed as Automatons; magical marionettes that prowl the corridors searching for intruders.

And the Necropolis is much, much bigger on the inside than the outside. Oh, and it shifts and changes at the whim of the Brazen Head. And it’s filled with Abraxis’ greatest enemies, and every monster ever encountered during his adventures. Did we not mention that?

Thousands have entered the Necropolis. Legend says, somewhere inside, undead and immortal, Abraxis presides on an onyx throne. In ten centuries, only one adventurer has escaped, and I’m afraid he emerged quite mad. But you... I’m sure you’ll make it out just fine. You seem like the adventurous type.

Features

  • AN ADDICTIVE THIRD-PERSON COMBAT SYSTEM. At its core, Necropolis is an action game. Unlike other popular Roguelikes, Necropolis features a combat system based on timing and animation. It’s fast and deadly - learn to anticipate enemy attack patterns, time your actions for maximum effect, and use smart combinations of heavy and light attacks to defeat your enemies. You can’t just button-mash and win.
  • AN EVER-CHANGING DUNGEON. Every playthrough offers new threats, room layouts, magic items and more. The system is designed to shift and change, even as the adventurer moves through it, and there are areas that allow the player to change modify or “reroll” their current layout.
  • SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. Collect components to create magic potions, and locate mystical books to upgrade your adventurer with runes and spells. The Necropolis is a living labyrinth filled with mystery and wonder; can you unlock all its secrets?
  • A LIVING ECOLOGY OF THREATS. Monsters interrelate in the Necropolis. Learn to exploit a Monster’s favorite food, or least favorite predator.
  • STYLISH VISUAL DESIGN. The world of Necropolis is one not quite like any other. Necropolis features a dark, low-poly aesthetic full of strange shapes, funky colors and unexpected constructions..

In all seriousness, if this team of developers can keep doing what they are doing, this is definitely going to be the kind of game that stands out and definitely will grab even more attention than their previous titles.

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Friday
Nov072014

Blizzard Announces New IP, Overwatch

Welcome to Overwatch™

Soldiers. Scientists. Adventurers. Oddities.

In a time of global crisis, an international task force of heroes banded together to restore peace to a war-torn world:

OVERWATCH.

It ended the crisis and helped to maintain peace in the decades that followed, inspiring an era of exploration, innovation, and discovery. But after many years, Overwatch's influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded.

Overwatch is gone… but the world still needs heroes.

HOLY CRAP Blizzard is going to do something that doesn't have anything to do with StarCraft or Warcraft. They have just announced an online first person team shooter called Overwatch. I know what everyone's first thought is, how do I sign up for a chance to get into the beta, well here's a link (of course you will need a Battle.net Account). Currently there are 12 announced heroes for the game, and of course they all play slightly different. There, of course, is your basic class types, Offensive player, Defensive player, tank (loves to help take the brunt of the damage in any situation), and of course support (someone's got to put these guys back together again). 

There are currently 2 different game modes that you will be able to play around with:

Payload: The attacking team's objective is to move the payload to a delivery point, while the defenders must halt the attackers' progress until time runs out.

Point Capture: Two teams battle over control of the map, one team on offense, the other on defense. The attackers' goal is to capture critical objectives, while the defenders must maintain control over them until time runs out.

Is it just me or does it feel like Blizzard wants a Team Fortress-esque game to call their own and mold into something that is different, but still very much Blizzard. I guess we will find out, and I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what this game is going to give us down the road.

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Friday
Nov072014

EFF Wants Ability to Give Gamers Abandon Game Access

So this is actually a very interesting turn of events. As you may know there are many people out there who try to find all the 1s and 0s to keep online games alive on third party servers, but of course there is the DMCA that basically says you're not allowed to do that. Well it turns out that the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), a non-profit organization, has filed an official exemption request, with the Library of Congress, that would allow for the resurrection of many online games that people, at one point purchased. Of course they won't be able to get the publishers to host it on their own hardware, but they would like a chance to have others host the game so that content that individuals paid for can still be accessed an enjoyed. 

Now my question is would this only extend to hosting of the game? I personally think that that would be the safest route, there's always a chance that anything more could end up in some serious legal issues of code stealing tampering, and of course if you can look at the code there's a chance that you will be able to exploit other games that are still active under the publisher. One of the reasons I don't think that this will be an easy road is that developers and publishers might come under fire if the game breaks or does not perform as it should on these third party servers. 

I guess that all we can do right now is wait but it would be interesting and pretty damn cool if games that were once thought dead could come back to life. Personally I can't think of a game that I have that would benefit from these, although this might extend to restoring online portions of games that also have an off-line mode, and that would basically affect myself and almost ANY gamer who has ever played a video game.

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