Gamescom 2019: Submarines Are Coming to World of Warships

During Gamescom today Wargaming made it clear that Submarines are coming to World of Warships. Closed testing on submarines is set to launch in the next couple of weeks and as usual, players who are participating in the World of Warships Supertest will be the first to try it out.

The first test will include 4 submarines representing the US Navy and the German Kriegsmarine. More details about the submarine models are set to be announced later on during Gamescom.

“World of Warships has continually evolved with new gameplay mechanics, innovative game modes and rich content since its release,” said Artur Plociennik, Executive Producer of World of Warships. “The uniqueness of submarines poses very interesting design challenges for our team, which we hope to be able to turn into novel new gameplay tactics for our players and to make online naval combat more exciting than ever before. We are always looking for new ways to make our audience happy and we’re aiming to fulfill every player’s fantasy of WW2 submarine operations.”

Of course for fans of the game, it has been clear that this has been coming since Halloween last year when Steampunk submarines were added to the game for a bit of limited time fun. Previously, however, Wargaming had said they would never add submarines to World of Warships. But as the demand for them never faded it was really only a matter of time.

As we learn more about the Submarines we will be sure to update this news post.

 

Source: Press Release

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Blizzard is Skipping Gamescom 2019

It is time once again to add to the list of “WTF is Blizzard thinking?” list that we’ve been collecting this year. This time it’s the news that Blizzard is skipping Gamescom 2019. Now, there might be a lot of people, especially those in North America who aren’t familiar with Gamescom and why Blizzard’s absence is so noteworthy. Gamescom has 370,000 visitors with 1037 exhibitors making it by far the largest gaming event in the world. In comparison, E3, which is often thought to be the biggest and most important had just 69,000 attendees in 2018.

Gamescom has, in the past, been a very important location for Blizzard themselves. It is where they’ve debuted some of Overwatch’s most beloved animated shorts and World of Warcraft expansions. They’ve also often giving players the first chance to play new content for games before they’re released.

But, with nothing big and new to show off this year it clearly isn’t worth the cost for Blizzard to attend. We can only imagine how much it costs for Blizzard to go to Gamescom. In the public area, they take up nearly if not actually half an entire hall. In the business area, the Activision-Blizzard area is half of one floor of a hall. They send a huge team of developers from California and let me tell you, the cost of hotels in Cologne during Gamescom is insane. So, on the surface, it may seem totally insane for Blizzard not to be attending…it actually makes a lot of sense.

Plus, Gamescom is in August and with such a big dry spell like Blizzard is having this year it makes sense for them to save what they do have for Blizzcon in early November. Blizzcon, in case you were curious, had more than 40,000 attendees in 2018.

So while this might be the right thing for Blizzard to do those of us who are Gamescom regulars are most certainly going to feel their absence.

 

Source: PCGamer

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Battle Royale Weekly: Gamescom and a New Battle Royale Game

Battle Royale Weekly was delayed just a little bit while we waited for news to come out of Gamescom. Now that the big push is out of the way though we can dive into things. We’ve got trailers for a few different games, Fear the Wolves Early Access has a start date, there’s a new Battle Royale game, and Fortnite is once again bringing in all the money. You can find all of that and more in this week’s edition of Battle Royale Weekly.

 

Battlefield V

Battlefield V is making a big splash at Gamescom this week. It’s playable on the convention floor and for anyone who isn’t there, we got a new trailer to watch for the Devastation of Rotterdam as well as possibly the first glimpse of the Battle Royale mode. The game will be going into beta in early September and will feature the new map.

Source: Press Release

 

Battlerite Royale

Last week Battlerite Royale got a gameplay reveal trailer that is sure to please. The game will be coming in September and beta sign-ups are now available.

Source: Press Release

 

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Blackout

If you’ve been itching to get your hands on Blackout you’ll finally get your chance starting on September 10th for PS4 owners. PC and Xbox One players will have to wait until September 14th for their chance to play the beta of the battle royale mode. The game will be launching on October 12th.

Source: Press Release

 

The Darwin Project

Last week, The Darwin Project reached the number one spot in the Microsoft Store for free games. They also launched a partners program for content creators who meet their requirements. The program officially launches in September.

Source: Official Site, Twitter

 

Dying Light: Bad Blood

Dying Light: Bad Blood is at Gamescom this week, but if you aren’t then you’ll be able to get your hands on the game in September as it goes into Early Access. If you’re very very lucky you might be one of the few selected for a one day preview of the game this coming weekend. Keys for it will be handed out on August 22nd so if you’ve signed up for the beta make sure you keep an eye on your inbox.

Source: Press Release

 

Fear the Wolves

At Gamescom, Vostok revealed that Fear the Wolves would be hitting Steam Early Access on August 28th after being previously delayed. To go along with the announcement we got a Release Date Trailer.

Source: Press Release

 

Fortnite

Revenue for Fornite on iOS has reached $200 million just 5 months after it launched. It took 3 months to reach the $100 million mark, which means that people are spending even more on the most popular game in existence right now. Thanks to new information from SensorTower we know that this was primarily from players in the United States who account for 63% of the total spent so far. That’s $126 million and 12 times the amount of the second highest country, the UK who accounts for just 5% of the total. What does this mean? Americans REALLY love Fortnite. $200 million puts Fortnite up there with the King of mobile, Clash of Clans which brought in the same amount of money in the same amount of time. Based on their estimates, SensorTower projects that Fortnite will gross over $450 million in 2018 on iOS alone. This means that Apple will be getting an additional $75 million in platform fees on top of the $60 million it has made so far since March. With numbers like that is it any wonder Epic has decided to skip Google Play? SensorTower estimates that in doing so Google will miss out on at least $50 million in revenue this year alone.

Source: SensorTower

 

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PUBG is getting a training mode. This mode will allow 5-20 players to practice on a 2x2km map. This is part of the Fix PUBG Campaign that was announced earlier this month. The campaign is an effort by the developers to make PUBG a better, more stable, and fairer game. The training mode will allow players to practice all aspects of the game including driving vehicles, practicing parachute landings, and mastering the peek shot amongst other things.

Source: Steam Announcement

 

Realm Royale

Hi-Rez has split up into three developers so that each one could focus on a particular game. Titan Forge Games will focus on Smite, Evil Mojo Games will work on Paladins, and Heroic Leap Games will develop Realm Royale. This couldn’t come at a better time as Realm Royale has seen its population on Steam drop nearly 95% in terms of concurrent players after 2 months, a shocking number to say the least.

Source: PC Gamer, Steam Charts

 

Stormdivers

Gamescom 2018 was only open for a few minutes before Stormdivers was announced. It was one of the very first press releases out the door and yes, it is, in fact, a Battle Royale game. It is being made by renowned Finnish studio Housemarque, who is known for games like Nex Machina and Resogun. This game brings us up to 35 Battle Royale titles we’re following. Check out the futuristic Battle Royale game in the official trailer below.

 

To be totally honest it’s a bit of a surprise that more new Battle Royale games weren’t announced. Gamescom isn’t always the best place to display new games so it is possible that there won’t be any. It’s also equally possible that there is a press embargo on some of the newer titles, so we will just have to wait until next week to get the full scope of what went down at Gamescom. If you’d like to just have the Battle Royale games of Gamescom 2018 we have another article just for you. Next week we also have PAX Prime to look forward to, which means even more opportunities for announcements and new games. If there are any new indie Battle Royale games made in North America, this is likely where we’ll find them.

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How Not to Release a New Premium Ship: The World of Warships Graf Zeppelin

Stormy seas wrecked the PR department of Wargaming around this year’s Gamescom. The premature release of a new Premium Tier 8 carrier, the German Graf Zeppelin, has caused a ruckus among the World of Warships community. Now known as “Grafgate”, the affair was a perfect blend of classic clusterfuck ingredients including hasty decisions, an outraged mob, and beloved pillars of the community getting sacked. So what happened?

Wargaming gamescom 2017

Wargaming meets gothic architecture. And Kölsch. Image by Wargaming.

Sailing to Gamescom

The release of the Graf Zeppelin was scheduled to coincide with Gamescom. Which makes sense, with the ship being German and all. However, in a mildly bemusing simile to the Graf’s actual history, things moved too quickly and the first playtests of the ship indicated it wasn’t quite ready yet. Feedback was mixed, but the overall opinion of testers was that it was in a very strong position, fielding three torpedo bomber squadrons that gave it immense striking power. Though the Kriegsmarine would likely not have redesigned a ship because it was deemed “too powerful”, these are different times and Wargaming decided to redesign the Graf Spee, possibly to avoid another ‘FochGate’. In one sentence, FochGate saw an overpowered tank released in World of Tanks, which prompted community contributor SirFoch to give a very bad review of it, for which Wargaming revoked their cooperation with him, which resulted in community outrage.

Back to ships. They replaced the torpedo bomber squads with dive bombers resulting in much lower overall striking power. Forsaking buffs in other departments like, say, fighter power, the ship was now pretty much useless and not worth its spit, much less the 50$+ Wargaming intended to ask for it in the store. However, Gamescom loomed and Wargaming went ahead and tossed Graf Zeppelin into the water, hoping it would learn to swim on its own. It sank spectacularly.

Graf Zeppelin release

Visual representation of the release of the Graf Zeppelin.

Oh, the Humanity…

With the Graf Zeppelin being about as useful as a real Zeppelin in a naval battle of World War II, community unrest grew. At first Wargaming took a defensive stance with an ‘adapt your playstyle’ rhetoric, but the avalanche of negative feedback soon spiraled out of control. Even a premium damage control consumable couldn’t put out the fires that burned through the forums at this point, spreading to Reddit.

Backed against the proverbial wall, Wargaming once again lashed out against one of their community contributors, iChase of iChasegaming, stripping his community contributor status. This tactic of fighting fire with kerosene resulted pretty much as was expected, further inciting the community. What had iChase done to draw their ire? Apart from using some moderately strong language and recommending everyone not to buy the new premium ship, he instigated that the person responsible for the premature release should be fired from their position. You can find the full video here.

Though iChase took this development with grace in a new video, the community responded with overwhelming support for him. Accusations of Wargaming silencing people who talk bad about shiny premium ships were the natural conclusion.

Thumbnail image for iChase’s review of the Graf Zeppelin.

Repair Party Engaged

Wargaming eventually admitted they were in the wrong. Both for releasing the Graf Zeppelin as it was, and for ceding their cooperation with iChase, offering an apology in an official update. To address the former, Wargaming gave players the opportunity to get a refund for their ships no matter how many battles they had played, as well as consolidation prizes to encourage them to stick with it anyway. Giving options to leave everyone happy.

To address the latter, they had reached out to iChase in a Skype call and talked to him there, apologizing and offering to reinstate him as a community contributor, which he has declined for the time being. Nevertheless, it’s a positive sign that the devs were willing to make amends, rather than push forward and insist on their ways. All in all, a happy ending, though people are a bit wary as Wargaming seem a little trigger happy on revoking community contributor status. However, now’s a good time to take a closer look at the arguments and draw conclusions.

Damage Assessment

So what to make of all this? Broadly speaking, there are two sides involved in this skirmish; Wargaming and the World of Warships community, iChase in particular.

Wargaming’s actions in releasing the Graf Zeppelin when they did is understandable. Events like Gamescom create a lot of hype in the gaming community at large, and it’s the time where new premium items would sell especially well. On the other hand, the backlash from the community for a failed premium item was swift and severe, as would be expected when one pays the price of a full AAA title for a single virtual item in a F2P game, only to find out it is garbage.

In hindsight, a pre-order with lucrative bundles “only available during Gamescom” might have been the wiser move. Oh, and while it’s hard to admit, a swift update along the lines of, “We wanted it to be ready for Gamescom but realized it was not,” might look like admitting incompetence on the surface, but actually speaks of game designers taking sensible decisions and valuing community feedback. Lashing out and making an example of iChase, somewhat shortly after the SirFoch incident, certainly was poor form at best and could’ve likely been avoided by either talking to him ahead of time, maybe issuing a warning, or just letting the responsible parties cool off over the weekend.

Graf Zeppelin specs

Stats in-game may differ.

Internetiquette

In the other corner, iChase certainly took a more measured approach than SirFoch, and though he did not quite manage to keep his language in his initial review PG-13, he largely stayed on top of things. Which compounded the issue for WG, as it made it look more like they were reprimanding him for telling people not to buy their new digital toy. However, it’s important to note that iChase did speak up and suggest that someone should be fired over this, and as it was not live but a well-edited video, it wasn’t a spur of the moment remark. Or at least, he had plenty of opportunity to prevent it from appearing on YouTube. But he didn’t.

Is this too strong a remark? Many would argue that it is not. However, if we imagined the situation not on the internet but in an office for a moment, someone demanding someone else be fired is a very serious accusation which you shouldn’t throw against anyone unless in grave circumstances. The question over whether community contributor status makes you a ‘colleague’, a ‘favorite customer’ or anything in between is up for debate, but he was not ‘just another forum goer’. iChase has since released a new video in which he acknowledged Wargaming’s apology and said he did not mean that anybody really should lose their livelihood and Wargaming should know him better than that. However, as everywhere else on the internet, it’s easy to get things ‘into the wrong throat’, as the Germans say. Or they rub you the wrong way, as others would put it.

How Now Grau Cow?

Graf Zeppelin ingame

Not as flammable as a real Zeppelin. Still very incindiary.

In hindsight, which is a comfortable 20/20, the whole situation is a prime example of things happening too quickly and tempers boiling over, though I’d like to reiterate that iChase’s language was nowhere near as strong as SirFoch’s was a couple months back. Some people, like fellow community contributor Flamu, have pointed out that Wargaming should have learned from the last time. On the other hand, it seems that a rather thin skin was maintained indeed. It seems unprofessional by Wargaming. However, as the lines between employee and customer blur, it seems like a natural development. At any rate, the situation seems to be largely resolved. Whether or not iChase picks up the mantle of community contributor again in the future remains to be seen, but I wish him the best of luck whatever he chooses to do. Though I’ll add that my money personally is on him accepting reinstatement in less than a year.

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Gamescom 2017: Hands-On Blade & Soul Gunslinger

As I’m sure many fans are already aware, the highly-anticipated Blade & Soul Gunslinger class will be available on September 13. Additionally, the update that brings the new class will also include the crafting system revamp that should streamline the crafting guild systems.

While at Gamescom 2017, I had the opportunity to get my hands on the Gunslinger, which Blade & Soul fans have been eagerly awaiting since it was first teased last year. Even though I only had a few minutes with the class, it was easily the most fun I’ve had with any Blade & Soul class to date and it’s possibly one of the most stylish ranged classes I’ve ever used in an MMORPG. Toting dual pistols, the Gunslinger is both quick and deadly.

Blade & Soul Gunslinger

 

Flame and Shadow

Similar to the other classes in Blade & Soul, the Gunslinger utilizes two distinct specializations that cater to different play styles and fill different roles. The first specialization is Flame, which is focused on building up charges to unleash explosive rounds. Up to five rounds can be stored at once and then unleashed to do heavy amounts of damage. During the initial build up, the Flame spec Gunslinger might feel a bit weaker than the other damage-focused classes, but the burst from the explosive rounds is enough to put a dent in any boss or finish off an unsuspecting player.

While the Flame spec is focused on heavy burst via its explosive rounds, the Shadow specialization builds up meter to achieve Lightspeed. During Lightspeed, the Shadow Gunslinger’s abilities have amplified damage and quicker cast speeds. When compared side-by-side, the Shadow spec has more sustained damage while Flame has more burst damage, but both kits are designed to build up to a certain point and then unleash a ton of damage. Picking a spec will mostly come down to personal preference, but I felt the Shadow spec to feel smoother and less reliant on a single skill than Flame.

Blade & Soul Gunslinger

There are also a few similarities that both specs share as well. One really cool aspect of the Gunslinger is the ability to grapple across the ground (granting crowd control immunity) or into the air for a few seconds. While airborne only a few skills are active, but it should prove to be an annoyance for any melee classes. It’s also a good way to build some meter/charges and do some damage without getting punished. They also share the Tombstone ability, which pushes the Gunslinger into an overdrive type state for a few seconds.

 

The Mobile Mage

I’ve always liked the idea of playing mage classes in MMORPGs, but scenarios usually don’t play out in-game how they do in my head. Being able to manipulate the elements, unleashing massive fireballs, crowd controlling enemies with frost magic, and throwing lightning bolts like Zeus sounds fantastic on paper. Unfortunately, most MMORPG mage classes aren’t that exciting.

Usually, you’re forced to be stationary while pressing 1 and 2 repeatedly with the occasional 3 or 4 thrown in for good measure. In some games there is a bit more complexity, and often times the systems are really interesting, but almost all mages archetypes are required to stand still while casting or at least have animation locks.

Until recently, this was my experience with Blade & Soul as well. I initially enjoyed both the Force Master and Warlock, and while they didn’t suffer from the stationary gameplay as classes in similar games do, they both felt much slower than the other classes in Blade & Soul. Trying to do boss fights that required a lot of mobility or PvP can feel frustrating, especially when other classes seem to be able to hop around the map with ease.

Well, if you’re like me and want a class that feels like a mage but doesn’t have that tacked-on sluggish feeling then the Gunslinger might be the right choice for you. It can be extremely agile while simultaneously putting out a lot of damage and supporting the rest of the party. Of course, speed and damage aren’t the only things that matter in a class. There’s also style, and the Gunslinger bleeds it. Every one of the Gunslinger’s abilities looks and feels way over-the-top, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your style preference.

Blade & Soul Gunslinger

Crafting Changes

For those who haven’t seen the latest Blade & Soul news, a major crafting update is launching alongside the Gunslinger. With the new crafting system, players can have up to three simultaneous tasks for each guild. Additionally, the level cap for each guild is being increased to five and varying amounts of items can be crafted with a single task. Players who have already put a significant amount of effort into crafting can expect some form of compensation at a later date.

An update wouldn’t be complete without new items. Here is a list of new items for each crafting guild:

The Forgekeepers

  • Empyrean Spirit Stone – Used to upgrade legendary weapons
  • Transformation Stone
  • Master Field Repair Tool
  • Void Fragment
  • Ascendance Stone
  • Galaxy Fragment

Radiant Ring

  • Brilliant Key – Key used to obtain class-specific weapon
  • Ivory Beluga Orb
  • Smelting Orb
  • Aransu Orb

Soul Wardens

  • Shield Bases – Exchangeable for Soul Shield Primers
  • Shield Engravings – Used to enhance attributes for a specific set of Soul Shields
  • Serpent Calling Bell
  • Purification Jar

Acquired Taste

  • Dragon Soups – Increases combat EXP by 100% and 200%
  • Mild & Spicy Dumplings & Dumpling Soup – Recovers 100% HP and gives various combat buffs

Silver Cauldron

  • Cactus and Prickly Pear Potions – Instantly recovers HP
  • Persistence and Awakened Potions – Raises Max. HP or AP

Earthseers

  • Revival  & Resuscitation Charms – Revives yourself or a party member
  • Cooldown Reset Charm – Resets all cooldowns

 

In order to smooth the transition, all crafting and gathering requests will be disabled from September 9 until the update is applied on September 13.

Blade & Soul Gunslinger

Are any of our readers excited to try out the Gunslinger once it goes live next week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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