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    UFC Launches Tournaments In Partnership With Esports Fight League

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    ufcesports.jpg

    The UFC has launched its partnership with the Esports Fight League (ESFL), kicking off two tournament series to determine the best EA Sports UFC 4 players on the planet. The first partnered event happened this past Sunday, with more to come soon.

    The tournaments, which feature more than 30 players duking it out to become the inaugural UFC esports champions, will take place over four weeks during December and January. The match-ups air on the UFC Twitch channel Sundays at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT and include players from both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you head to that channel during non-tournament hours, you can expect to find classic fight footage, original streams starring fighters, and video podcasts.

    EA Sports UFC 4 launched on August 14 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more on our impressions of the game, check out our review. For more information on how EA Vancouver has updated the game since launch, check out the September and October updates

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    Patch 9.0.2 Hotfixes - December 2, 2020

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Patch 9.0.2 Hotfixes - December 2, 2020
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    Achievements

    • Players can once again earn the achievement Straight Six from the Elegon raid encounter in the Mogu’shan Vaults.
    • Removed the Draenor and the Broken Isles Pathfinder achievement requirements for released spirits to quickly fly back to their bodies.

    Characters

    • Fixed an issue where Kyrian players using a flight path with the Unburden buff would encounter issues on the resulting flight.

    Classes

    • Death Knight
      • Unholy
        • Clawing Shadows (Talent) damage is now properly capped at 5 targets while inside Death and Decay.
    • Demon Hunter
      • General
        • Growing Inferno (Potency Conduit) damage is now capped at 10 times Immolation Aura's base damage.
        • Updated the names and icons of several Legendary Memories to better represent their effects.
        • Throw Glaive now correctly throws 3 glaives per Fel Bombardment (Legendary Effect) stack.
    • Monk
      • Windwalker
        • Storm, Earth, and Fire can now be cancelled.
    • Warlock
      • General
        • Fixed an issue where Fel Commando (Potency Conduit) would not enhance a Felguard that’s under the effect of Glyph of Wrathguard.
    • Warrior
      • General
        • Fixed an issue where, when Signet of Tormented Kings (Legendary Effect) would trigger a second Ravager, any existing Ravagers would stop dealing damage and generating Rage.

    Creatures and NPCs

    • Sinrunner Blanchy now has new custom sounds. Now ride forth on this noble steed and avenge her unjustly demise.
    • Added new sounds for the Hulking Deathroc mount. He is now less chatty.
    • The rewards from Gorged Shadehound can now be looted once a week.
    • Blackthorn Ambushers and Mire Tricksters in Ardenweald will no longer cast Swift Slash.

    Dungeons and Raids

    • Corrected an issue causing Castle Nathria to show up in the Adventure Guide prematurely. This will return next week!
    • Plaguefall
      • Margrave Stradama
        • Fixed an issue that caused Infinitely Divisible Ooze to drop for players in healer specializations.
    • Sanguine Depths
      • Fixed an issue where Essence of Z’rali could no longer be picked up after dying multiple times while holding the naaru.
    • Spires of Ascension
      • Oryphrion
        • Improved the visual performance on Empyreal Ordnance. Instances of this should now leech less anima from graphics cards.
    • Vault of the Wardens
      • Dreadlord Mendacius’ summoned Grimguard now deals appropriate damage.

    Items and Rewards

    • The Overflowing Ember Mirror trinket now properly notes that it deals 33% of the remaining absorb for the explosion when it expires.
    • Fixed an issue where the Unbound Changeling trinket was granting less Haste than indicated in the tooltip. Additionally, the Unbound Changeling transformation that provides all three stats (Critical Strike, Haste and Mastery) has had the stats reduced by 16% and the transformation now persists through death.
    • Strength of Blood offered by Ta’tru now increases Strength by 10 and is comparable to the other stat potions he barters.
    • The Tuft of Smoldering Plumage trinket now correctly instantly heals players that suffer lethal damage.
    • Fixed an issue where the minions summoned from the Satchel of Misbegotten Minions trinket would sometimes run in place if they triggered on a target that died. The minion should now rush to your current target or the location where the previous enemy was defeated.
    • The Enchanted Chest in Ardenweald will now respawn instantly when looted.

    Player versus Player

    • PvP trinkets should no longer break stuns that weren't breakable with conventional stun breaks (e.g. Ice Block).

    Quests

    • Covenant Campaign
      • Venthyr players will no longer sometimes incorrectly receive the Gracious Guest debuff, preventing them from completing the Ember Court scenario.
      • Some material costs for Ember Court restock quests have been adjusted to account for current market values.
      • Fixed an issue where Night Fae players could complete the Maw quest "Setting the Ground Rules" without having first done the Night Fae quest "Do What We Cannot." Players who did not do this quest and have the campaign chapter "For Queen and Grove!" displaying as incomplete should be fixed the next time they return to Oribos.
    • Ardenweald
      • “That Darn Fox” will once again provide quest rewards, including the adorable pet vulpin Renny.
    • Battle for Azeroth
      • Lady Sylvanas Windrunner is now in the appropriate phase for turning in the Horde quest “A Cycle of Hatred.”

    The Maw: Eye of the Jailer

    • Fixed an issue which prevented some Maw daily quests from granting bonus rewards while in War Mode.
    • Mawsworn Crossbows no longer deal excessive damage to enemy players in War Mode.

    Torghast, Tower of the Damned

    • Patrician Cromwell and Synod have had ability adjustments to bring them more in line with other bosses.
    • Observer Zelgar, Kosarus the Fallen, Binder Baritas, and Warden of Souls have had minor ability adjustments to be more melee friendly.
    • Kosarus the Fallen now gains stacks of Enrage at a slower rate while under the effects of Predator's Gaze and his health has been reduced by 20%.
    • Reduced the health of enemies when 4 or 5 players are present.

    World Quests

    • To prevent phasing issues, “Tied Totem Toter” must now be completed before being eligible for the World Quest “Trouble at the Gormling Corral.”
    • Picking up an Acolyte's Spear will no longer stop players from using their Purity Chime during “Vesiphone’s Vicious Vesper.”
    • Fixed an issue during the Bastion World Quest "Remedial Lessons" where players could destroy the Mirror Fragments and Mirrors of Ancient Teachings, blocking progress on completed objectives.
    • Fixed an issue where the Kyrian Wings could continue outside of the intended course area during the Bastion World Quest "Flight School: Flapping Frenzy.”

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    Sea of Thieves Introducing Seasons In 2021

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    sea_of_thieves_treasure_dig_skeletons.jp

    Sea of Thieves has made a boatload of improvements since it’s shaky launch in 2018, but next year will see the game’s biggest change with the introduction of seasons. The switch brings a new progression model, regular live events, and, of course, a ton of that sweet (pirate) booty. 

    Each season will last around three months, with a special live event kicking off each one (and three events in total during each Season). Season One begins in January with a new Merchant Alliance quest. The event tasks players with locating a missing shipwreck by collecting clues scattered across land and sea. 

    As with many live service games, Rare promises seasons will reward players for simply engaging in Sea of Thieves’ various activities including Pirate Trials, which offer new ways to play existing content. That way, they’re always progressing regardless of how many quests they actually complete. Dedicated players can also purchase the new Plunder Pass, Sea of Thieves’ take on the paid season pass, to earn exclusive rewards as well as a featured live event each month. Rare promises each season will dole out “hundreds” of rewards as well as feature regular quality of life updates to maintain smooth sailing throughout. 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Rare also shared that the competitive Arena mode will receive no further updates going forward. The reason is simple: people aren’t playing it nearly as much as the primary Adventure mode, so all development resources will shift to support that aspect of the game. The Arena will still be available to play for those that enjoy it, just don’t expect anything new for it. 

    When done right, seasons have proven to be a fun and effective hook for keeping players engaged in ongoing games. It seems natural Sea of Thieves would take a shot at it, especially since it’s silently grown into a legitimately popular game. Rare boasted over 15 million players in 2020, their best year yet. It’s always cool to see a good redemption story, and hopefully 2021 maintains the game’s upward trajectory. 

    What do you think of having seasons in Sea of Thieves? Let us know in the comments!

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    Cyberpunk 2077 Includes Refused’s Weakest Songs To Date

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    cyberpunk2077-you_look_like_youve_seen_a

    There's a band in Cyberpunk 2077 called Samurai. In the game's world, Samurai is fronted by Johnny Silverhand. In the real world, however, that band is Refused, who lends their talents to Cyberpunk by writing and performing all of Samurai's in-game songs.

    Refused is one of the most influential punk/hardcore bands of all time. Their 1998 album The Shape of Punk To Come is a cross-genre experimentation of what hardcore and punk rock truly is and what it can be. It combines those typically harsh genres with the more palatable sounds of techno, jazz, and swing. Naming an album something as declarative as The Shape of Punk To Come might seem a bit arrogant (it's a nod to Ornette Coleman's 1959 album The Shape of Jazz to Come, and also a “f--- you” to punk and hardcore scenes of the ‘90s, as they tell it now), but luckily for Refused, their prophecy was correct. The Shape of Punk to Come was the shape of punk to come, setting the groundwork for pretty much every punk, hardcore, etc. album that came after. Bands like Paramore and Linkin Park cite the album as an influence. Tom Morello said that when Zack de la Rocha quit Rage Against The Machine, he considered asking Refused's singer Dennis Lyxzén take his place.

    While Refused actually broke up in 1998, a few weeks before The Shape of Punk to Come even came out, (their last show was in a house in Harrisonburg, Virginia, which coincidentally a friend of mine lived in two decades later), the mythos of the band and the vision of The Shape of Punk to Come propelled the band to a mythological status, far more popular after breaking up than they ever were while active. That is until 2012, when the band began sporadically playing shows again, up until 2015, when they released their first album in nearly 20 years, Freedom. Refused came back as a massive band, propelled by the attention they continuously gathered after splitting up. The band has remained together since then, putting out new releases and touring around the world, especially the high-paying festival circuit.

    The point is: Refused is a legendary group. They are, easily, one of my favorite bands and The Shape of Punk to Come is one of the most important albums of my life. And I can't understate what that meant for me as a kid. Hearing this Swedish punk band disassemble not only punk rock, but capitalism, poetry, and punk rock all within 12 songs was a huge deal. If anything, they were the first punk band I ever heard that was, like, actually good at their instruments. I didn't fully grasp the politics I was hearing at the time, but I felt them, and that feeling means as much to me now as it did back then.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Refused plays Samurai in Cyberpunk 2077, and has released five songs under the Samurai name for the game's soundtrack, which you can listen to on Spotify. They are, in essence, the sound of developer CD Projekt Red's Night City, the band that scores your trip through its tech dystopia.

    On the one hand, I love the fact that a band as political as Refused is in a game as big as Cyberpunk 2077. It's delicious to me that a band that mentioned Marxist theory, called for a dismantlement of capitalist systems and the reclaiming of art and culture by the working class all within the liner notes of an album will now be shown to the "keep politics out of video games" crowd. I truly cannot wait for them to discover a song like "The Deadly Rhythm," rife with lyrics about the injustices of labor practices, after thinking Samurai's rock songs are pretty cool. But I digress.

    On the other hand, the songs Refused wrote for Cyberpunk are not especially great. There are moments when the Refused I know and love shines – a verse here or a chorus there – but for the most part, the Samurai songs come off as pretty mediocre rock songs. They sound like the third-best band playing a show at a bar on a Tuesday night. Nothing ever reaches the heights of the rest of Refused's consistently strong discography.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    The songs recorded as Samurai are Refused at their most toothless. Vague lyrics about revolution or oppression do little to rouse any emotion in the listener. This is less the call to arms past Refused songs have been, and more a half-assed acknowledgement that, "Things are kinda bad, but whatever."

    Maybe that dip in quality is partly because Refused’s involvement in a game seems fundamentally flawed in the first place. The game industry is an example of what Refused told me they were fighting against. For all of their artistic merits, games are also commercial products sold by massive companies. And those companies offer greater rewards to the people at the top than the workers who create the games. Maybe Refused shouldn't be in Cyberpunk 2077 at all; but at the same time, I shouldn't believe that people remain the same people they were in their 20s, and that they don't grow up or change sounds.

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    It Looks Like Kratos Is Heading To Fortnite

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    god-of-war-kratos_screams.jpg

    Hot off the heels of Galactus’ somewhat epic defeat (pun intended) kicking off Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 5, it looks like everyone’s favorite God-slaying papa will eventually join the fray. A series of leaks and teasers suggests Kratos, or more accurately his skin, is coming to Fortnite. He'll join the likes of The Mandalorian’s Mando, Baby Yoda, and other hunters across multiple realities. 

    The hubbub began when PlayStation users (including Hypex, a prominent Fortnite leaker) in multiple countries shared screenshots of a PlayStation Store ad promoting the god of war’s Fortnite debut. The ad has reportedly been pulled down from the store, but not before the below image made the rounds on social media: 

    kratos_in_fortnite_ad_image.jpg

    Not too long after the image made waves, the official PlayStation Twitter account tweeted an in-game audio log from Jonesy, who references a guy that “has vanquished multiple gods with his bare hands in a fit of uncontrollable rage”. Unless Asura’s Wrath is making a surprise comeback, it seems all but confirmed that we’ll get to see Kratos throw down alongside/against a Mandalorian, which fits the new season’s theme of spotlighting hunters.  

    Incoming audio transmission from @FortniteGame 🔊 pic.twitter.com/SdpmU7OmkM

    — PlayStation (@PlayStation) December 2, 2020

    Since Kratos hasn’t been formally unveiled yet, we still don’t know if he’ll be a PlayStation-exclusive skin (probably), when he’s coming, or how many V-bucks he’ll cost. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’d expect that information to come sooner than later. The only question now is who else will drop into the game? Samus? Master Chief? Is Fortnite just Smash Bros. now? I’m 100% on board for that, actually. 

    Fortnite’s Galactus event proved to be as massive as the world-eater himself, with a record number of Twitch and YouTube viewers tuning in for the fun. If you missed the big event, you should check out our archived livestream featuring our reactions as well as an unexpected bonus stream after the dust settled. 

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    This Dragon Age 2 Cosplay Brings Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard To Life

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    dragon_age_2_cosplay.png

    With Dragon Age Day coming up, I thought now would be the perfect time to share a cosplay that I'm still not convinced is a still from an unannounced film that doesn't really exist. There are so many amazing characters in the Dragon Age-verse, and some not-so-amazing ones, but in the spirit of sharing something not often seen, there is one particular Dragon Age 2 cosplay that brings Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard to life in exquisite detail. 

    The Knight-Commander of Kirkwall is a highly controversial and provocative character for the restrictions placed on mages in the second Dragon Age game. She later goes full-on batshit crazy thanks to the "red stuff" (thanks, Varric) known as Red Lyrium. But let's be real, she was on the downward spiral long before the corrupted version of lyrium made it into the picture, with a distrust for mages in Thedas that drove her to look away from massive atrocities committed by the Templars under her charge. 

    While skirting Hawke's rise to the elite in Kirkwall, Meredith continued to descend into madness in a city where the veil is thin, blood magic is high, and demons can be found around every corner. This character is known for her baggage and an immense amount of self-justification, making her an incredibly complex archetype in the Dragon Age universe, a complexity that one cosplayer brought to life in stunning detail: 

    Dragon age II. Blessed are the peacekeepers, the champions of the just

    Blessed are those who stand before the corrupt and the wicked and do not falter!@BehemotCat as Knight-Commander Meredith
    photoart @kmitenkova

    thanks to @davidgaider and @bioware for Thedas <з pic.twitter.com/7NNDQOTP98

    — кира (@kmitenkova) November 15, 2019

    This cosplayer goes by "Commander Behemoth on Twitter @BehemotCat and her take on the Knight-Captain is nothing short of breathtaking. From the chantry setting in the background to the harrowed look in her eyes, this rendition of Stannard has to be one of the best ones I've ever seen! 

    Dragon age II. Blessed are the peacekeepers, the champions of the just

    Blessed are those who stand before the corrupt and the wicked and do not falter!@BehemotCat as Knight-Commander Meredith
    photoart @kmitenkova

    thanks to @davidgaider and @bioware for Thedas <з pic.twitter.com/rVv3RVC4me

    — кира (@kmitenkova) November 15, 2019

    Not only is the costume and makeup scarily close to the real deal, the cosplayer's photoshoot also shows the character's decline into madness due to the red lyrium's influence. Everything about this set is perfect, and I couldn't wait to share ahead of Dragon Age Day on December 4. It's incredible and really shows the power of the cosplay community.

    What do you think about this Dragon Age 2 Knight-Commander Meredith Stannard cosplay? Have a cosplayer you'd like to see get that spotlight love? Sound off in the comment section below, or hit me up over on Twitter to send me those recommendations! 

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