Aion's Upheaval Expansion Now Live With Server-First Raid Competition 


Aion’s Upheaval Expansion Now Live With Server-First Raid Competition 

The newest expansion for Aion, Upheaval, is now live on North American servers! Players can explore the zones of Cygnea and Enshar, challenge themselves with two new raids, Stonespear Reach and Drakenspire Depths, and delve into the new and revised Stigma system to unleash the full extent of their power.

Speaking of the new raids, the first party to defeat the Dragon Lord Beritra in Drakenspire Depths on each server and for each faction “will be rewarded for their bravery and dedication,” according to NCSoft. There’s no word on what exactly that reward is, so I’m going to throw “fashionable bikini plate mail” out there as a wild guess. Yes, even for the dudes. Prove me wrong, NCSoft, prove me wrong.

WoW 5.3: New Battleground: Deepwind Gorge | World of Warcraft


WoW 5.3: New Battleground: Deepwind Gorge | World of Warcraft

All new battleground set in the Valley of the Four Winds in Pandaria.

World of Warcraft patch 5.3 is bringing with it some big changes to the PvP system. In addition to that, it’s introducing a new arena and a new battleground. More information has come out on Deepwind Gorge, the new 15 player battleground.

Set in the western part of the Valley of the Four Winds, the goal of Deepwind Gorge is to gather 1600 resources before the opposing faction does.

How to Get Resources

The mechanics behind Deepwind Gorge aren’t exactly new. It’s more or less a different take on the Eye of the Storm formula from World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade. You capture bases (northern Pandaren mine, central mine, and southern Goblin mine) to generate points.

You can also capture a “flag” of sorts; in the base of each faction, there is a cart of gold that can be stolen by the enemy team and returned to their base for 20 honor and 200 resources.

When capturing an enemy cart, you’re limited to your normal movement speed. This means that, potentially, classes with moves like blink can outperform those that lack such mobility spells.

It does not matter whether the capturing team’s cart is in their base or not, either side can capture a cart at any given time. This means that these matches most likely won’t drag on very long.

Just like the other battlegrounds that revolve around capturing a flag-like item, the cart can be dropped and returned to its original base by a cart-returning team’s player or it can be picked up again by a cart-capturing team’s player.

This gorge is too deep for me.

Although it is essentially a different version of Eye of the Storm, I am looking forward to playing it. For all its similarities, Deepwind Gorge actually seems like an improvement on the resource and flag battleground formula. I can’t wait for WoW 5.3 so I can see whether or not I can use Demonic Gateway when capturing a cart.

Indie Royale Mayhem Bundle Offers 7 Games on The Cheap


Indie Royale Mayhem Bundle Offers 7 Games on The Cheap

5  

This Indie Royale round is a bit more chaotic than normal, game-wise.

Indie Royale is back again, and this time they’ve brought the 7-game Mayhem Bundle with them. The Mayhem Bundle features a pack of “anarchic” indie titles, such as Lucius, Droplitz, Burn Zombie Burn!, and a mystery game.

The minimum price as of writing is $5.49, and as with other Indie Royale bundles, this minimum will rise as more people grab it up. Buys who pay more than $8.00 will receive a digital copy of the chiptune album Phonetic Symphony by Chipzel.

The full list of games included in the bundle are as follows:

  • Burn Zombie Burn!
  • Lucius
  • Plain sight
  • Primal Fears
  • Alien Shooter 2: Conscription
  • Droplitz
  • Mystery game!

The Mayhem Bundle will be available for 10 days, after which you will not be able to get these titles for this cheap again! Keep in mind that the longer you wait, the more the bundle will cost. Early-adopters, as always, will get the best deal. Head on over the official site and take a gander at donator statistics and ponder over a purchase.

Microsoft Congratulates Sony on PS4 Launch


Microsoft Congratulates Sony on PS4 Launch

Xbox tweets a picture of congratulations for Sony.

Goodwill and sportsmanship, not trivial bitterness, is spreading between official Xbox and Sony camps following the launch of the Sony PlayStation 4. The official Twitter account for Xbox tweeted the image above to the PlayStation twitter. Xbox had this to say in its tweet:

Congrats @Playstation. From, #Xbox.

The praise and congratulations did not stop just at the official @Xbox channel, but continued on through other Xbox executives and team members. Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios also named the following Sony executives by name in a tweet:

  • Jack Tretton
  • Shuhei Yoshida
  • Adam Boyes

Congrats to the PS4 team @PlayStation, @amboyes, @CEOJackTretton, @yosp on the launch of PS4.

— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 15, 2013

While the Xbox itself does not launch for another week, Albert Penello, Direct of Product Planning at Xbox also sent word of congratulations to Sony. He also included that he is looking forward to the next generation of consoles.

Congrats to all my friends @PlayStation and @amboyes and @yosp on the launch of PS4. Great job, looking forward to Gen8!

— Albert Penello (@albertpenello) November 15, 2013

One of Xbox’s most well-known public figures, Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb took to the twitter scene as well to give PlayStation and the executives their praise.

Congratulations to @Playstation on their North American launch cc  @yosp @amboyes

— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) November 15, 2013

Sony was just as congenial in return as they wished Microsoft and Xbox good luck on their launch for the One, which is set for November 22nd. One such tweet was by Yoshida to Larry, and it included an emoticon.

@majornelson @PlayStation @amboyes Thanks Larry, your turn next week! 😀

— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 15, 2013

Despite all the console-wars talk, it is easy to see that both companies are able to act so professional and congenial to each other. While Xbox took the first step for Sony’s launch of the PlayStation 4, it will be at least a week before we will see if Sony will respond in kind.

Interested in more news regarding PlayStation 4 and Xbox? Check out these other articles:

  • Sony Representatives Releases Expected Failures Numbers
  • Xbox One to Include New Media Achievements
  • Microsoft Has New Tactics to Debut Xbox One Changes

Make your WoW gold before virtual realms!


Make your WoW gold before virtual realms!

Merged Auction House is coming to WoW. Your gold making will suffer!

If you missed the announcement, in the upcoming Patch 5.4, this feature is being tested on the PTR:

Patch 5.4 adds Virtual Realms, which will essentially merge lower population realms. This will allow you to keep playing on your current realm, but do arenas, raids, and dungeons with people in your realm group, as well as use a merged Auction House and trade with other players in your realm group.

Yes, merged Auction Houses are coming your way. What does this mean for you? If you’re currently making gold via arbitrage (selling into scarcity), your life is about to get much, much harder. Ask any Guild Wars 2 player how much fun using the Trading Post is for arbitrage. If you’ve not played, the short answer is that everything is a commodity and nearly all common materials are sold at or even below cost.

Depending on the sizes of the merged Auction House, WoW players may soon find that the bulk of the market will become commodity markets instead. Make your gold now, before 5.4 rolls out!

Sony suspends 93,000 online accounts after illicit logins


Sony suspends 93,000 online accounts after illicit logins

Sony suspended 93,000 user accounts on several of its gaming and entertainment networks after unauthorized login attempts on those accounts, it said Wednesday.

The attempts occurred on the PlayStation Network, Sony Entertainment Network, and Sony Online Entertainment, and the company says that bulk login information likely acquired from other sources was tested en masse on the networks. Only a “small number” of the attempts were successful, and no credit card information was leaked.

In a blog entry on Sony’s U.S. Playstation site, Sony Chief Information Security Officer Philip Reitinger said that “less than one tenth of one percent (0.1%)” of the networks’ users may have been affected.

“These attempts appear to include a large amount of data obtained from one or more compromised lists from other companies, sites or other sources,” he wrote.

Sony is not aware of any breach of its own databases in relation to the login attempts, including credit card data, it said. But in some cases unauthorized purchases may have been made through the accounts, which will be refunded by Sony.

The PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network accounts that were successfully logged into during the attempts now require password resets. The affected Sony Online Entertainment accounts have been switched off, and users have been notified by email on how to have them restored.

The attempts occurred between Oct. 7 and Oct. 10. About 60,000 of the accounts were on the PlayStation and Sony Entertainment networks, while about 33,000 were on Sony Online Entertainment.

Sony was the victim of a massive attack in April on its Qriocity and sister PlayStation Network, in which its servers were hacked and around 100 million accounts were stolen from company databases. The networks were shut down globally for a month and a half, but there has so far been no widespread credit card fraud associated with the attack.


Man behind Mario's voice plays Mario Maker; and he's hilarious | Mario Maker


Man behind Mario’s voice plays Mario Maker; and he’s hilarious | Mario Maker

0  

Charles Martinet (Mario’s voice) sat down and played Mario Maker, sharing his fondness of the little italian plumber.

The voice of Nintendo’s famous Mario, Charles Martinet, sat down and played the new Wii U game Mario Maker, showing his true personality and love of the character. 

Throughout the YouTube video from NintendoLife, you can see Martinet commenting on how Mario would react to the levels and doing his remarkable Mario voice. 

A Child at Heart

Watching Charles Martinet play Mario Maker shows exactly how passionate voice actors are about their characters. Getting extremely into the game, Martinet explains how amazing the level design in Mario Maker is, and how difficult they could be to regular gamers. 

Being part of the Nintendo world behind the scenes, Martinet has grown quite familiar with the Italian plumber, as he’s done all the Mario voices in the Nintendo franchise, plus a few other characters, like:

  • Luigi
  • Wario
  • Waluigi
  • Baby Mario
  • Baby Luigi
  • Toadsworth

Martinet made his first Mario voice debut in 1995 on Interplay’s Mario’s FUNdamentals, but is widely known for his first appearance in Mario 64 in 1996. 

Since the 1990s, Martinet has become a voice all gamers can recognize at an instant – a part of our childhood. 

What do you think of Charles Martinet playing Mario Maker? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Apple emphasizes user-privacy efforts in response to PRISM accusations


Apple emphasizes user-privacy efforts in response to PRISM accusations

In an open letter published to Apple’s website Sunday, the company outlined its policies for responding to government requests for information and promised to work to safeguard user privacy.

Early this month, The Guardian broke the story about a U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program–code-named PRISM–under which the NSA has reportedly been monitoring the Internet activities of Americans. The report claimed that the NSA has been directly monitoring the servers of major computing and technology companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

Since that tech-world bombshell, many of these companies, including Apple, have denied working with the NSA in any capacity other that required by court order. Specifically, an Apple representative told the Washington Post that the company does “not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.” Other companies have issued similar statements.

These same companies have attempted to further assuage user fears by revealing exactly what cooperation has occurred, but they’ve reportedly been hamstrung by “gag orders” preventing them from revealing such details due to national-security concerns.

Last week, Google requested from the Justice Department permission to publish aggregate information about national-security requests. Facebook and Microsoft have made similar requests, and it appears the U.S. government–under increasing pressure to provide some transparency about its data-monitoring programs–has conceded.

In an open letter, titled Apple’s Commitment to Customer Privacy and posted to the company’s website, Apple reiterates that it was unaware of the PRISM program before the press asked about it on June 6, 2013. The letter also repeats, verbatim, the company’s earlier statement about government access and court orders. However, Apple also provides some hard data about the number of information requests it has received.

As part of the summary data the government has apparently authorized companies to release, Apple says that from December 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, the company received from U.S. law enforcement organizations between 4,000 and 5,000 requests for customer data. Those requests specified between 9,000 and 10,000 accounts or devices, and the requests “came from federal, state and local authorities and included both criminal investigations and national security matters.”

Apple further says that among those requests, the most common came “from police investigating robberies and other crimes, searching for missing children, trying to locate a patient with Alzheimer’s disease, or hoping to prevent a suicide.” The statement claims that when receiving such requests, Apple provides only the narrowest possible amount of information, and only if appropriate. The statement notes that Apple sometimes refuses to fulfill inconsistent or inaccurate requests.

Apple also outlines the kinds of data it does not provide to government agencies. FaceTime and iMessage messages, which are encrypted, cannot be provided to government agencies because Apple chooses not to retain that data. Location information, Maps searches, and Siri requests are never retained in personally identifiable form.

Apple concludes the letter by promising to “continue to work hard to strike the right balance between fulfilling our legal responsibilities and protecting our customers’ privacy as they expect and deserve.”

The statement closely echoes a recent press release from Facebook outlining that company’s policies for providing customer information to government agencies, as well as providing aggregate numbers for information requests it has received.

AMD releases "RAGE" Performance Driver


AMD releases “RAGE” Performance Driver

AMD has released a new performace driver for their graphics as id Software’s RAGE is now available in some countries.

According to the details revealed by AMD in a release note, this new driver improves game’s performance on single GPU configurations. AMD also announced that Xfire support for RAGE will be released in next few days.

RAGE screenshot

This new performance driver is also acompatible with AMD Radeon 6000 and AMD Radeon 5000 series of graphics cards. You can download the driver from HERE.

Earlier today it was confirmed by Tim Willits, Lead Designer of RAGE that PC version of the game does not feature advanced graphical options, more details HERE.

Illustrator CS3 updated for performance, reliability


Illustrator CS3 updated for performance, reliability

Adobe has released Illustrator CS3 13.0.1, an update to the latest major release of their illustration software for Mac OS X.

A free update for registered users of Adobe Creative Suite 3, the software is available for download either from Adobe’s website or using the Adobe Updater software included with CS3.

The new release “addresses issues related to overall performance and reliability in several key areas,” according to Adobe. The company lists fixes for LiveColour, PSD file import, Chinese IME, printing, graphic styles, colour management, transparency, and Live Effects among the improvements in this new release.