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By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 Oct, 2017 At 04:25 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Blizzard has another milestone achieved with their latest hit game Overwatch.  Overwatch has now reached 35 million players and is still growing.

A statement was released by the company

We are excited to announce that Overwatch has reached 35 million players and counting!

What a bunch of misfits and freaks we got here-we love it!

Thanks for teaming up with us, heroes.

It is always good to see a new IP succeed so well. Keep on playing!

 

Source: Blizzard PR

By Jonathan Balofsky On 9 Aug, 2017 At 11:10 PM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Here is some incredible news.

 

StarCraft II will now be used as an AI Research Environment

 

 

Testing our agents in games that are not specifically designed for AI research, and where humans play well, is crucial to benchmark agent performance. That is why we, along with our partner Blizzard Entertainment, are excited to announce the release of SC2LE, a set of tools that we hope will accelerate AI research in the real-time strategy game StarCraft II. The SC2LE release includes:

  • A Machine Learning API developed by Blizzard that gives researchers and developers hooks into the game. This includes the release of tools for Linux for the first time.
  • An open source version of DeepMind’s toolset, PySC2, to allow researchers to easily use Blizzard’s feature-layer API with their agents.
  • A series of simple RL mini-games to allow researchers to test the performance of agents on specific tasks.
  • A joint paper that outlines the environment, and reports initial baseline results on the mini-games, supervised learning from replays, and the full 1v1 ladder game against the built-in AI.

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For example, while the objective of the game is to beat the opponent, the player must also carry out and balance a number of sub-goals, such as gathering resources or building structures. In addition, a game can take from a few minutes to one hour to complete, meaning actions taken early in the game may not pay-off for a long time. Finally, the map is only partially observed, meaning agents must use a combination of memory and planning to succeed

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Even StarCraft’s action space presents a challenge with a choice of more than 300 basic actions that can be taken. Contrast this with Atari games, which only have about 10 (e.g. up, down, left, right etc). On top of this, actions in StarCraft are hierarchical, can be modified and augmented, with many of them requiring a point on the screen. Even assuming a small screen size of 84×84 there are roughly 100 million possible actions available.

Gaming has come a long way and Blizzard has definitely been a part of that journey. For StarCraft II to be used like this, shows just how well developed and innovative the design was for the game. Hopefully the research that comes from this will be helpful to the scientific progress. Gaming is helping move society forward.
By Jonathan Balofsky On 25 Jul, 2017 At 11:07 PM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Blizzard Classic Games Team recently did a survey talking about Wacraft 3 and the plans for it’s future.

Some very interesting things were discussed including balance changes,

 

Adjusting balance is a delicate process. We’re believe gradual change is the correct approach, because the Warcraft III ecosystem has been unchanged for so many years. We think good balance starts with competitive map pools. We are crafting a diverse selection of maps to encourage various gameplay styles; there will be maps that result in fast, frenetic games and others that allow for deeper, macro oriented play. As the community helps us make refinements and becomes comfortable with the new pools, we will introduce balance changes with a focus on maximum optionality between races.

Before people get too worried though, they also added that they are aware that too many changes can ruin the game.

 

There are two types of crazy ideas. The first kind: larger control groups, different AI or pathing, and the like would fundamentally break gameplay – and tend to get shouted down by our hardcore players. The second: like convert World Editor from JASS to LUA or add a fifth race are amazing, but would lead to a new game. We have some big ideas that people will be excited about – and we’re excited too – but first we need to get the basics right, and earn the community’s trust to make larger decisions in the future.

Warcraft III’s future seems to be in good hands and the team knows not to mess with the formula too much but does want to improve things. Now if we could only get Warcraft 4.

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Jun, 2017 At 03:20 PM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Will we be making our way back to the world of Diablo II and Warcraft III in HD very soon?

A new job posting for a “UI/UX Visual Designer” role at Classic Games in Irvine, California has included an interesting part.

“Classic Games is looking for a renaissance designer to harmonize that which was, with that which will be. Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo await your machinations. If you have the desire to rise to that challenge, we’d love to hear from you.”

This is following a previous posting for Blizzard for a “Lead Software Engineer, Engine” role. This  one explicitly mentioned the following:

“Compelling stories. Intense multiplayer. Endless replayability. Qualities that made StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II the titans of their day. Evolving operating systems, hardware, and online services have made them more difficult to be experienced by their loyal followers or reaching a new generation.

“We’re restoring them to glory, and we need your engineering talents, your passion, and your ability to get tough jobs done.”

The posting’s  ‘Responsibilities’ heading also included a part about “implementing, maintaining, and own infrastructure for the Diablo franchise”

Will you make the journey back to hell?

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Jun, 2017 At 03:00 PM | Categorized As News, News, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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A rating has revealed that a new Diablo collection will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One.

Diablo III Eternal Collection has been rated for PS4 and Xbox One by the ESRB. This collection will seemingly have the base game, Reaper of Souls expansion and the Rise of The Necromancer DLC,

 

It would be nice if it turned out that there was more to this, than just content that is already available, and a dlc character class pack. Maybe there is some story content we do not know about?

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 26 Mar, 2017 At 01:22 PM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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It has been rumored for a long time and now it is finally revealed to the fans. StarCraft: Remastered is indeed real.

Blizzard Entertainment presents a modern take on the original StarCraft experience in StarCraft: Remastered.

StarCraft introduced many revolutionary new features that have since become staples of the real-time strategy genre: asymmetric factions, meticulous balance, and a strong emphasis on deep strategy and high accessibility. After more than ten years, StarCraft continues to headline gaming tournaments worldwide.

This is absolutely amazing news. The game looks absolutely amazing. Hopefully this isn’t the only remaster, and the rumored Warcraft III and Diablo II remasters are also real. Will you be getting this game? Let us know!

By Amy McGarey On 19 Jul, 2016 At 03:51 PM | Categorized As PC Games, Previews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarworld-of-warcraft-legion

Today marks the availability of the Legion Pre-Expansion for World of Warcraft. Servers will be down today until 11:00 PDT, so lets take a look at a few of the changes being made to the game.

Transmogrification

Transmogrification is getting an overhaul and will closely resemble Diablo III’s system. Under the new system, whenever you have collected an equippable soulbound item, the appearance of that item will now be stored in a new collections tab called Appearances. Items under that tab will be account bound. You will be able to save outfits and swap them at the Transmogrifier. Also, whenever you change your character’s spec, your outfit will automatically change. Currently under the interface options you can hide helm and cloak. Those options will be moved to the transmogrifier along with the new option hide shoulders.

transmog

Player vs Player

A few changes will be made to PvP to prepare for Legion. Starting today, Honor Points and Conquest Points will be removed as currency. Items that were able to be purchased with the old currency will now be purchased with Marks of Honor, which can be earned through Battlegrounds, Arenas, and Skirmishes. Gear will be normalized during PvP combat. What this means is you will receive a pre-determined set of stats for your class specialization. Your item level will give a small boost to those stats. The goal of these changes is to provide a more balanced PvP experience to all players.

Other Notable Changes

Gnomes will have the option to be hunters, however there is no word on whether or not their pets will scale down to gnome height. The talent system will undergo some big changes. Dual specialization will be removed. Players may now change from any three (or four) specializations at any time, as long as they are out of combat. Major Glyphs will be removed from the game, as well as most minor glyphs.

The Legion Pre-Expansion Patch should get players hyped up for the new expansion, which releases August 30. World of Warcraft: Legion is available for pre-purchase starting at $50 USD.

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Today Blizzard released another Overwatch short, this time featuring the two samurai Genji and Hanzo. In the short we get more backstory on the rivalry between them and why Hanzo hates Genji so much. Is it because his robot suit looks cooler than his sweet robot kicks? Watch the video to find out!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 11 Mar, 2016 At 05:37 AM | Categorized As News, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarDiablo 3 may have been out for some years now but it seems Blizzard has not abandoned Diablo 2. The company has released a new patch (patch 1.14a). Read below to see what changes are now in

 

It’s been a long time coming, but today we’re releasing 1.14a for Diablo II.

This update focuses on system glitches introduced by modern operating systems. In related news, you can finally retire those old Mac PowerPCs. Included with the update is a shiny new installer for OSX.

We’ve also begun working to improve our cheat-detection and hack-prevention capabilities. There’s still work to be done, but we’re making improvements every day.

There is still a large Diablo II community around the world, and we thank you for continuing to play and slay with us. This journey starts by making Diablo II run on modern platforms, but it does not end there. See you in Sanctuary, adventurers.

 

The wording of the announcement definitely is saying more is coming. Would this be just big fixes, or perhaps the rumored graphical overhaul that has been talked about for some time?

Source

Here are the patch notes

 

Diablo II v1.14a Patch Notes

Specific Changes & Improvements
– No need to run in XP mode anymore, Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 compatibility complete
– Mac installer and compatibility for 10.10 and 10.11 has arrived
– First client run will migrate saved characters to avoid issues from Windows system
admin changes

Known Issues
– Mac 10.9 and earlier are not supported

By Amy McGarey On 24 Apr, 2014 At 11:26 PM | Categorized As Conventions, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Blizzard has just announced this year’s dates for BlizzCon – Friday, November 7 through Saturday, November 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Tickets will be going on sale on two separate dates. The first is May 7th, starting at 7 p.m. PST and May 10th, starting at 10 a.m. PST. Standard tickets will cost $199 plus tax, but there will also be a limited pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner ticket which will cost $750 each. These will go on sale May 14th at 9 p.m. PST and the $750 fee will include general admission to the convention as well. The proceeds of the Benefit Dinner will go towards the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

Once again, if you can’t make it to Anaheim in November, Blizzard will still sell Virtual Tickets so you can live stream the event from home. BLizzard has yet to announce pricing and further information.

Blizzard has had a busy, yet successful year with the recent release of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls and Hearthstone on PC and iPad. What will also make BlizzCon worth visiting is news and demos of the new MOBA, Heroes of the Storm and the new World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor. With so much win on the way, you really can’t miss this year’s BlizzCon.