Tag Archives: polygon

Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal has a caveman riding a T. rex, leading a herd of dinos into battle

The first trailer for Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, the upcoming new show from Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky, immediately throws us into the caveman-versus-mammoth-versus-dinosaur action.

Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal (yes, that’s the full title) centers around a caveman who befriends a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. They bond through a shared need to survive, and the trailer makes it clear that in this harsh, prehistoric world, there are many, many threats. Just in the trailer alone we get mammoths, water snakes, giant spiders, pterodactyls, and some fearsome humanoid creature wearing a dinosaur skull. It’s a tough world out there for one lone caveman — having a dinosaur BFF is sure to make things easier.

Sure, it’s not historically accurate, but it does look awesome.

The show will be entirely without dialogue, focusing instead on the action, music, and animation. Already, the trailer shows a gorgeously animated prehistoric world and harrowing action sequences.

Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal premieres on Adult Swim on Oct. 7.

Source: Polygon.com

Monopoly Socialism is a bad game created as ineffective parody

Monopoly Socialism: Winning is for Capitalists, a new board game from Hasbro Gaming, is one of the most mean-spirited board games I’ve ever played. Vanilla Monopoly itself is a dated, frustrating experience even in the most favorable settings. This self-described parody version, which I purchased online and picked up in a Target store here in the United States, forgoes any pretense of being fun to play. Even as a joke gift, it’s difficult to recommend for a number of reasons.

In Monopoly Socialism there are no properties to buy. Instead, the majority of the spaces on the game board are taken up with “projects,” a word that (perhaps inadvertently) brings to mind urban housing developments of the 1980s and 1990s. The game’s brand of jokes rely on partisan political humor; Marvin Gardens and Park Place are nowhere to be found, replaced with the Healthcare For All Hospital, the No-Tip Vegan Restaurant, and the Together We Rise Bakery.

Players take turns rolling dice and moving around the board, just like regular Monopoly. But, instead of paying for things on their own, virtually everything is funded with money from the Community Fund, which gets stocked with $1,848 dollars during game set-up. A cheerful instruction booklet points out that’s the same year that The Communist Manifesto was published.

The trick is that since there are only a few ways to put any additional money into the Fund, it dries up before much of anything is accomplished. Then the game ends.

Chance cards included with the game include multiple “I voted” cards which allow you to foil other players plans. Charlie Hall/Polygon

The cheerful directions tell you that you can win, but it’s largely impossible. When you land on Free Parking “nothing happens.” Charlie Hall/Polygon

It’s technically possible for one player to win by developing 10 projects around the board, but it is highly unlikely to actually happen given the capricious nature of random dice rolls. The several simulated games I played through all ended in bankruptcy, which I’m confident is an intended feature. If someone actually does get close to winning, those same instructions also encourage players to act in their own self-interest to thwart them. Bribery is encouraged.

Monopoly Socialism is essentially a single-use board game. The majority of the digs at socialism live in the deck of 44 Chance cards. During a single playthrough you’ll burn through all of them at least once, leaving nothing fresh for your second game. That’s probably for the best, since the Chance cards themselves are incredibly callous. In fact, some don’t have anything to do with poking fun at socialism at all. Instead, the game seems to run on conservative agita over topics like organic foods, waste reduction, and concerns over plastic pollution in the environment.

The most common outcome on a Chance card is uncovering negligence, corruption, or absenteeism among the labor force. As the manual points out, instead of a $200 income as in traditional Monopoly, everyone at the table is given a $50 “living wage” each time they pass Go. Reading between the lines, the game’s designers are saying that with no incentive to work nothing gets done. The community itself crumbles from within on nearly every Chance card. Other concepts singled out for ridicule include a minimum wage increase (“Sucks to be a small business owner!”) and the impending collapse of the Social Security system (“Benefits have increased. That’s great news … for OLD PEOPLE.”). Another shows antipathy toward supporting public schools (“Don’t have kids? Tough luck.”).

The game has caused no shortage of chaos on social media, which has likely helped spur on awareness of Hasbro’s latest effort. On Aug. 21, historian Nick Kapur arrived on the scene, whereupon his well-considered take eventually went viral. He rightly points out the history of the Monopoly franchise as an anti-capitalist teaching game designed by a woman around the turn of the last century, and the irony that it’s now a leading product line for Hasbro, one of America’s top companies with more than $4.5 billion in revenue last year.

A day later, Republican senator Ted Cruz responded to Kapur’s detailed thread. “Why do Leftie academics so fear pointing out the manifest failures of socialism?” he chided. Cruz then goes on to list several failed socialist and communist experiments that could also serve as additional Monopoly variants.

Returning to Target’s website this week, it appears that the game is no longer available for sale online. Some stores still report they have it in stock. Polygon reached out to Target and Hasbro Gaming last week but has received no response.

Meanwhile, the game has turned into a collector’s item on eBay. Second-hand copies were going for $79.99 last week, a $50 mark-up from the original $19.99 retail price tag. Today several have a “buy now” closer to $150.

Source: Polygon.com

A horror game where the devs spook you out in real time

The Blackout Club, on its surface, is a simple co-op stealth game. The structure is similar to that of Left 4 Deadup to four players jump into a randomized game where they must complete objectives while dodging cultists and monsters of varying strength levels. The entire thing has a teen adventure vibe to it; we play kids who have been blacking out and hearing voices. Players use nonlethal tools, dodge adults, and slowly upgrade their skills.

That’s a nice, enclosed gameplay loop, but there’s an extra layer to the game that manifests through the “Enhanced Horror” mechanic. Players can opt in to Enhanced Horror, which means the game can record their voices. When they finish a mission, they can hear other players asking questions to the “Voices” that have been possessing the citizens of Redacre, and the Voices answer in real time. (The Voices are actually developers speaking directly back to players while staying in character.) These Voices can even show up in the middle of a gameplay match and talk to players, dropping hints about the lore behind the game.

That means there are two sides to The Blackout Club — the stealth game on the surface, and the community metagame underneath, trying to seek out what they call “God Encounters” and piece together lore.

It’s hard to tell how high this mechanic can scale up. It’s something that relies on a high amount of developer manpower. Right now, The Blackout Club is a niche title. But it’s that experience, and the tight-knit community, that makes the game shine.

I decided to meet with one of the players trying to solve these puzzles and piece together the story. We explored Redacre together … and experienced a God Encounter that took my breath away.

Catching up on the facts

I meet Xaviul on Discord after a recommendation from developer Question Games. We find common ground in that we both approach The Blackout Club in character, playing scared teens running from possessed adults and the mysterious, invisible creature known as the Shape. That means that most of the monsters we’re dodging are adults we’ve grown up with — maybe even our own parents. The Shape spawns when we break enough doors and shove away enough adults so he can punish the naughty children on the loose.

The monsters all controlled by one of the Voices, the game’s main antagonist, Speak-As-One. If one Voice is capable of setting out the events of the entire game, what are the other seven capable of? Which ones do players choose to follow? And what story are the developers telling through their presence?

Xaviul is one of the community researchers who is elbow deep in these questions. She co-hosts a Blackout Club fan podcast with a group of her friends, dedicated entirely to the game’s lore. The developers have noticed her efforts, and so this encounter would be tailored specifically for her and her character.

I decide to take a break from being a cynical 28-year-old and dive into the mind of a terrified teenager, sneaking around with a new friend.

Getting into character

In the world of The Blackout Club, Xaviul and I are both mid-2000s teenagers connected by a few things: We live in the same town and we’ve both been losing consciousness for long periods of time. We’re also keenly aware of the sleepwalking adults in our town of Redacre and the Lovecraftian labyrinth that uncoils beneath the town.

In character, I ask if Xaviul knows the founder of the Blackout Club, Bells, who serves as the tutorial’s protagonist and who has since mysteriously vanished. “Not personally. But she’s kinda become a rallying point for all of us sick of being scared of all the things that go bump in the night, y’know?” she says. “Knowing your parents are complacent in all this, at the best? Makes it hard to stay home and play nice.”

As we start our initial objectives, we’re all business. We check each others’ equipment and sketch out a loose game plan. I ask her about her in-game activities. Has she heard a Voice before?

“I’ve heard a few Voices before, at night,” she shares with me. “Usually with other kids. Sometimes when their Voices come to visit, you get brought along for the ride.”

We set out at midnight, which seems like a fitting hour considering the circumstances. Things quickly go to hell. We complete our first objectives quickly, but when we are forced to venture underground, we trigger a few too many traps. Cultists find us and we have to fight them off. The Shape, an invisible and invincible force that seeks to consume our minds, is chasing us both down. A brainwashed adult is dragging me by the ankles, reassuring me that they’ll get me back on the right path.

That’s when the Voice intervened.

Face to … face?

The Voice chats with us, and I admit that we’re in a bit of a pickle. Xaviul is running desperately from the Shape, and I’m desperately clawing at a nearby trash bag in the hope that I can find some way to escape. It’s not an ideal time for a conversation, but Laugh-Last has enough power that he’s able to teleport us to a place I’ve never seen before and is totally inaccessible in normal play.

Was it the moon? Another dimension? I was genuinely so surprised and awed that I lost my voice a little.

This is where Xaviul took charge. These are the kind of encounters she prepares for; the community lovingly documents each conversation and answer from each Voice, trying to figure out a way forward. And she clearly had some history with this Voice, Laugh-Last. They discuss the conflict between the Voices, the one who had been shattered and cast to the winds, and Laugh-Last grants us some hints.

I’m going to break character here to admit that while I was doing my best to stay in character, and I had planned the loose timing of this encounter before hand, I was still agape at being transported to the moon. This is the kind of tale The Blackout Club wants to build, spinning a web with the biggest fans and researchers. I was on board with that premise, but the presentation blew me away.

This experience revealed the rich veins of content running beneath the janky, if fun, core gameplay loops of The Blackout Club. Sure, the game is about stealing foam canisters and putting posters up around the neighborhood, and thats how I’ve spent the bulk of my time. But the game’s most dedicated players are literally on a whole new level.

Those two layers aren’t so far apart, and for players with the curiosity and patience to scratch at the surface, they’ll find an experience that isn’t like any other game in 2019. The Blackout Club is horror, but it’s oddly wholesome in its own way, from the emphasis on community and camaraderie to the in-game reasons combat is nonlethal. There’s heart there.

This particular scenario is one that had some planning behind it, and it’s the sort of thing that was largely centered around Xaviul. An average session of The Blackout Club won’t have spectacle of this scale, and as the game grows, it’s not clear how these God Encounters will scale with the playerbase. But it’s still amazing to see how the game rewards its most dedicated players. This kind of experience will be saved for a scarce few who put in the time.

That said, getting to watch Xaviul conduct her investigation reinvigorated my interest in The Blackout Club. I plan to spend more time roaming the streets, and keeping an ear out for that telltale laugh, and seeing what the Voices have in store for me.

Source: Polygon.com

Disney’s new Star Wars ride looks right out of a movie set

The first interior look at the massive Star Wars ride, Rise of the Resistance, shows off an army of Stormtroopers that looks straight out of a movie set.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens its doors in Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios on Aug. 29. Both the Orlando and Anaheim versions of the land are incomplete, however, as the final piece de resistance so to speak of the immersive experience is set to open doors on Dec. 5 in Florida and Jan. 17, 2020 in California.

A sneak peek at D23 showed a brief tease of the ride to come, which will put guests right in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. The teaser showed Galaxy’s Edge hero Vi Moradi instructing young heroes about their mission to come, along with towering AT-ATs contained within the ride. According to the Disney Parks Blog, Rise of the Resistance is “one of the most ambitious, advanced and immersive experiences ever undertaken by Walt Disney Imagineering” and if the sheer size of the preview picture is any indication, that might ring true.

In addition to the ride, Walt Disney World has one more Star Wars attraction planned: Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, an immersive hotel experience that’s basically some really expensive live-action Star Wars roleplaying.

Source: Polygon.com

Look at this amazing kaiju game a player made in Dreams

Ruckus: Just Another Natural Disaster is not a title you can buy at GameStop, or load up on Steam. To play it, you need to have a different game: Dreams on PlayStation 4. Dreams is in beta right now, and the Media Molecule-developed experiment allows players to make their own games. While the experience isn’t fully out yet, players are using Dreams to make incredible things. Take, for instance, this awesome-looking kaiju game.

It’s not just that the giant salamander character is cute as heck. Ruckus emphasizes the details, allowing you to rampage the city however you’d see fit.

Want to eat airplanes? Go ahead.

Want to throw your environment at airplanes to knock ’em down? Go for it!

Maybe a more Shin Godzilla laser is more your style?

Really, you should just watch the official trailer, which was released today along with the full game:

Look at his flips! What a good boy. The newscast element is a nice touch, too.

While not featured in the trailer, it seems that the creators are also experimenting with different types of weather, like snow, storms, and whirlwinds.

Apparently, even the planes are playable — though they don’t seem very effective against the salamander.

You can try Ruckus right here.

Source: Polygon.com

World of Warcraft Classic’s launch was great or a disaster, depending on your race

On Monday, Blizzard launched World of Warcraft Classic and it hit nearly a million viewers on Twitch before the servers even went live. When the floodgates opened, the server problems were surprisingly minimal … unless you chose to play as one of the more popular races.

As a Tauren Shaman, I started in Mulgore. The number of giant cows grazing for quest items in the starting field slowed the game to a laggy, but playable, mess. I moved at a normal speed, but the Horde players around me flickered in and out of reality. Trying to attack enemies without them getting stolen by another player was frustrating, but surmountable.

After a short break for dinner, most of the mob had moved on. The lag had dissipated. There were still plenty of Tauren around, but the questing experience felt normal for the first time.

But Taurens aren’t quite as popular as some of the other Horde races. Friends of mine who played as orcs, for example, had a worse experience. Rather than brave the masses — attempting to kill monsters before another player could get to it — they went on a pilgrimage after a frustrating first few hours.

Through their starting zone of Durotar, across a channel, into the Barrens, and over to Mulgore they went. A 30 minute run to come quest with the Taurens. At one point, the game even started to teleport them backward every few feet; one step forward, two steps back. But by all accounts, their experience ended up better with the Taurens than with the orcs.

Not being Tauren, they ran into their own issues in Mulgore. Fewer quests meant they left the zone a bit under-leveled. Overall, though, they likely ended a much higher level than they would’ve had they stayed with the pack. But this is a first-night experience only. A week from now, Orcs won’t need to travel three zones away just to get to level 10.

As World of Warcraft Classic ages, players will spread out drastically. Questing will be easier for everyone. The day one population problems are happening because everyone of the same race is bottle-necked in a small area. The more popular the race, the worse time you have.

World of Warcraft Classic did have some other issues, like players randomly crashing out and having to start the multi-hour queue over again. This not only happened to one of my friends, but to World of Warcraft Classic’s biggest streamer: Asmongold.

For a Blizzard launch, the overall experience was surprisingly smooth. But that’s coming from a level 12 Tauren Shaman having a peaceful time grazing in the Barrens. I doubt my Orc friends will be so quick to forget their first day pilgrimage.

Source: Polygon.com

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey beginner’s guide

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey starts with a warning that it won’t help you much. As we pointed out in our review, “No shit.”

Diving into Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is baffling and often frustrating. There’s an underlying logic to the game, though. It just takes some work to figure it out. This guide is here to walk you through the game’s first hour (or so). Each section is a step along your evolutionary journey, and we’ll fill in what you should be learning from each. Before we get into the walkthrough, through, let’s talk about the point of the game.

Survive for eight million years

Your goal in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is to guide your lineage through eight million years of survival and (small-scale) evolution. You’re not going to evolve your hominids into humans. You’re just going to learn to be better hominids.

You’ll do this by earning Neuronal Energy, which you’ll use to make new connections in your hominid brain, unlocking new skills and abilities. Those skills and abilities make your survival easier. Over time, you’ll learn to lock these new neurons so they stick around in subsequent generations. But for now, let’s just get you through your first hours on Earth.

Hide as the infant

When you first take control of a hominid in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, you’ll be the infant from the game’s prologue cutscene. The jungle is full of spectral hyenas and scary sounds. But they aren’t real (for the most part).

This is an introduction to the game’s fear of the unknown mechanic. Your job as that infant is to face your fear — ignore the spectral dangers — and get somewhere safe. That’s it.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey intelligence showing a hiding spot
You just need to get the infant to a Hiding Spot.
Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

Pull up your intelligence, and start looking around. You don’t care about any plants or items right now. You’re just looking for a hiding spot. When you find one, memorize it to make it a persistent icon on your HUD, and then start making your way there. Once you’re safely hidden inside, control will transfer to an adult.

Retrieve your clan’s lost infant

The next goal you’ll have in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is to retrieve that lost infant you just hid. The confusing part is that there’s no guidance about how to do it — to the point where you can just completely forget about that lost kid. But this is your goal for a reason.

It’s here to teach you two things. First, you should always carry an infant with you. Carrying an infant earns Neuronal Energy that you’ll use to learn new skills and abilities (to evolve). Second, it’s to show you that infants usually survive when an adult dies — and then someone else can go retrieve them.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey using your senses to find the lost infant
Listen for the lost infant.
Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

When you take control of the clan’s adult, follow the river downstream (or go to the downriver end of the clan’s shelter). Get very close to the edge of the cliff, pull up your senses, and then switch to hearing. Look around until you see a yellow spot to focus on. This is probably the infant. Listen close and identify the sound. If it’s not the infant, keep looking. Once you identify the missing kid, memorize its location, and then set off.

Soothe the infant

We’re breaking this one out as its own step because it too subtly teaches you another of the game’s underlying mechanics — rhythm and sound.

When you approach the infant’s hiding spot, you’ll get a prompt to soothe it. Your goal is to successfully soothe it a few times so it comes out to you. This is visually represented by the rings above and below the gauge closing. Just mashing the button won’t work. There’s a call and response aspect to soothing the baby — hit the soothe prompt, wait for the infant’s response, wait a beat, and then do it again.

This rhythm and sound mechanic is going to come up a lot. There’s a prompt, you hold down a button, there’s an auditory cue, and then you release the button. It happens in grooming, making stone tools, fishing, and prying up liftable rocks. It’s super subtle and never explained, but knowing to think of it this way will help you immeasurably through your eight million year journey.

Return to the settlement and evolve

Once you’ve retrieved the infant, head back to the clan’s settlement. Pull up your intelligence and look back the way you came. You’re looking for a diamond-shaped icon with blue leaves.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey sleeping spot
The sleeping spot in your clan’s settlement.
Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

Climb back up to the settlement to return the infant, and then find the sleeping spot. It’s a pile of cycad fronds surrounded by blue flowers.

You can lie down anywhere to take a nap — which you’ll need to do when your dopamine levels get low — but you can only evolve (and mate) at a sleeping spot. Lie down, and then hit the button to open the evolution menu.

The menu is a representation of a neuron (and your current store of Neuronal Energy is represented by the white circle in the middle). There are four points that branch off of it that correspond to four ways to interact with the environment: Motricity (dexterity and movement), Kinesics (communicating with your clanmates), Perception (sensing your environment), and Memory (intelligence and identifying things in your environment).

In Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, you (and the infant you’re carrying) learn by doing. Moving around, climbing things, and jumping will train Motricty. Eating, sniffing, and hearing things will train your Perception. Training these neuronal branches will unlock additional neurons down their paths.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey unlocking the Motricity skill
The Motricity skill will let you make tools.
Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

Right now, only worry about Motricity. You want to make sure that one’s unlocked. (If it’s not, move, climb, and jump for a while.) This allows you to switch items from one hand to another. And that means you can …

Alter items (and collect some honey)

Altering items will open up a lot of new things to do. Let’s start simple. The video below will show you how to do everything listed here.

Look around to find a natal grass cycad — there are plenty around the clan’s settlement. Hit the button to switch it to your left hand (it was LB on our Xbox One controller). Now, hold down the same button to alter it. With the first button held down, the alter prompt will switch to another button (RB on our Xbox One controller). Your goal is to hold it down just until you hear the chime prompt. While you’re learning, aim to release too early — if you wait too long, you’ll destroy what you’re trying to alter. When you’re successful, you’ll create a natal grass cycad’s stem.

There’s a couple things to note here. First, this is to show that your right hand is active, while your left hand is passive. When you alter something, you actively use the item in your right hand to alter the item in your left. (If you get mixed up, you just have to hit the button to swap hands.) This also means that you only interact with the environment with the item in your right hand.

With your new stem in your right hand, climb up above the clan’s rock shelter. Turn and head toward the waterfall. Look above you along the cliff to spot a beehive. Climb up next to it (ignoring the beestings) until you get a prompt to dip. This dips your new stem into the beehive to retrieve some honey. Climb down and eat it.

You don’t have to do this, but we walked you through it to teach you several survival tools. First, you altered an item to make a new tool. Second, you accessed a food source you couldn’t before. And third, the honey you ate buffed you against a condition. Let’s talk about conditions.

Conditions

In the bottom left of your HUD, next to the eye icon, there might be a series of tiles to indicate your current condition(s). These include things like thirst, broken bones, cold, poisoned, and bleeding. If you’re suffering one of these effects, the tile will appear with a shaded background to show the countdown until the condition goes away.

Certain foods will buff you against these conditions or alleviate them if you contract them. These appear as the same icons with a shield around them. The buff’s countdown is the blue shading behind the tile. The honey you just ate, for example, buffs against getting hurt by animal venom (like snakes). Horsetail heals and prevents broken bones. Kapok Fiber heals and prevents bleeding.

These buffs and medicinal uses appear around the item’s icon in intelligence mode. For non-food items, like stones or branches, the tools you can make out of them will appear instead.

All rocks are not the same

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey using granite to alter obsidian
Granite can alter obsidian, but not all stones behave the same way.
Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

Speaking of stones, not every stone in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the same. Altering a granite stone with a granite stone will make a granite grinder. Altering an obsidian stone with an obsidian stone will break the stone you’re altering. Altering an obsidian stone with a granite stone, however, will create an obsidian scraper.

A quick side note: Creating a stone tool means several successful rhythm timings in a row. It takes practice and patience.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey creating a sharpened stick from a dead branch using an obsidian scraper
Sharpened sticks are very exciting.
Panache Digital Games/Private Division via Polygon

Place your obsidian scraper somewhere safe, and then find a dead branch. Strip it by moving it to your left hand, and then altering it with an empty right hand to create a stick. Now, move your stick to your left hand and pick up your obsidian scraper. Alter the stick with the scraper to make a sharpened stick. You can use this for fishing or defense.

Explore, experiment, and learn

You’ve got a lot of tools (both figurative and literal) at your disposal now. We’ve also introduced you to some (most?) of the game’s underlying and unexplained mechanics. The rest is up to you. You won’t always be successful, but that’s OK. Learn what you can, and try again.

Source: Polygon.com

Mega Man Zero collection coming to consoles and PC in 2020

Capcom announced on Tuesday that it’s bringing the Mega Man Zero games to modern platforms with the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. The collection will be released on Jan. 21, 2020.

Included in the collection are six games, previously released on handheld platforms between 2002 and 2007:

  • Mega Man Zero (Game Boy Advance)
  • Mega Man Zero 2 (Game Boy Advance)
  • Mega Man Zero 3 (Game Boy Advance)
  • Mega Man Zero 4 (Game Boy Advance)
  • Mega Man ZX (Nintendo DS)
  • Mega Man ZX Advent (Nintendo DS)

The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection will be released physically for consoles and digitally for all platforms, with the PC version coming to Steam. The collection is priced at $29.99.

Capcom says the collection will offer a few modern perks, including “new optional HD-smoothing filters,” an easier Casual Scenario mode, and a new save system for mid-mission saves. The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection will also include an in-game gallery featuring more than 600 pieces of artwork and a music player featuring original and rearranged compositions.

Source: Polygon.com

5 leveling tips for World of Warcraft Classic

World of Warcraft Classic is a nostalgic nightmare. Running through the old, familiar plains promises to delight veterans and newcomers alike. But this is also World of Warcraft without any of the modern improvements.

If you’ve grown accustomed to the 8-12 hour leveling expectation that comes in modern World of Warcraft expansions, Classic’s average leveling time will upset you. Unless you end up an extremely hardcore player, you’ll likely spend more time leveling in World of Warcraft Classic than you’ll ever spend in the endgame. And you’re probably going to need some help to hit level 60.

Here are five tips to help you get started on your leveling journey in World of Warcraft Classic and make the most of your in-game time.

It’s going to take a long time

It’s going to take the average player at least six or seven full days worth of in-game time to hit the cap of 60. To be clear, we’re not saying seven days of playing really hard and going to sleep, spending time with loved ones, eating healthy. We mean seven full days worth of time, or 168 hours.

Since it’s going to take you a minute to get to the endgame, you best enjoy it. Get a second monitor or a laptop and catch up on TV shows while you play. We hear Succession is particularly good.

No matter what you do, don’t burn yourself out and go too overboard. World of Warcraft Classic is the pinnacle example of a marathon, not a sprint. You probably won’t hit 60 for a few months. That’s OK. Pace yourself.

Use a leveling add-on

WORLD OF WARCRAFT classic undead grouping up Blizzard Entertainment

You might see it as against the Classic experience, but an add-on will drastically speed up your leveling time. Classic doesn’t tell you where to pick up items for your quests, or where the monsters you need to kill live. If you want to know where to go, you need to read the quest text and decipher it using your map.

Or you can just skip all that nonsense and have an add-on tell you where to go and what to pick up.

We recommend using Azeroth Auto Pilot – Classic. It keeps track of what you need to do, and tells you where you need to go next so you can maximize your time.

Installing add-ons is easy. Download the Twitch app, go to Mods, and click on World of Warcraft. Change your game version in the upper-right corner to World of Warcraft Classic, and start searching for add-ons you might want to use. You can also look through the Popular section to find great options.

If you want to download something not on Twitch — like the popular ElvUi interface add-on — you’ll need to find it online. Download the Zip file and extract it to World of Warcraft > Classic > Interface > AddOns on whatever drive you have Classic installed.

Check out this giant list of awesome add-ons for World of Warcraft Classic.

It’s OK to ignore your class quests

In World of Warcraft Classic, every class comes with flavor quests tailored to their role. But these quests aren’t just for lore, they also provide you with unique abilities. But just because you get a new class-specific quest doesn’t mean you have to do it immediately.

Class quests will throw off your groove when you get them. Sometimes that’s OK, and the ability you get will ultimately speed you up. Other times the adventure is a total waste at your current level. For example, Horde-only Shamans have a bunch of quests to create their signature Totems. To get the Water Totems, Shamans need to travel all the way to the Eastern Kingdoms. This takes a very long time in Classic, and you’re better off waiting until you can find a Mage to port you to Undercity.

For other classes, it may be different. Some of your quests may be very easy, some of them may be a lot of work. If you’re on a groove, don’t bother with the class quests. Wait until you absolutely need them before you spend an hour trying to get to one quest location.

You can check out WoWHead’s section on class quest guides to discover your quest locations and rewards.

Here’s how you want to prioritize questing

Westfall, as depicted in World of Warcraft: Classic. Blizzard Entertainment

In World of Warcraft Classic, there are neutral zones that any faction can use, and there are faction-specific zones. Stick your faction’s zones whenever you can.

When questing through faction-specific zones, you get a few benefits. Unless you’re on a faction heavy server (meaning your server is mostly Horde or mostly Alliance), you’ll find a smaller population in your faction-specific zones. That means you’ll spend less time waiting for enemies to spawn so you can kill them.

If you’re on a PvP server, you’ll also reduce your run-ins with enemy players. The less time you spend dead/defending yourself from the enemy faction, the more time you can spend completing quests.

Here are the faction-specific zones and their level ranges. For a complete list of zones and their leveling bracket, check out any of WoWHead’s class guides.

Alliance

  • Darkshore (11-19)
  • Loch Modan (10-18)
  • Westfall (9-18)
  • Redridge Mountains (15-25)
  • Duskwood (10-30)
  • Wetlands (20-30)

Horde

  • The Barrens (10-33)
  • Silverpine Forest (10-20)
  • Stonetalon Mountains (15-25)

Do your Dungeons

Leveling takes a lot of time. It’s slow, and it’s long. It can also be tedious, especially if you’ve been in The Barrens for the past 50 hours.

Dungeons in World of Warcraft Classic are a great way to boost up your experience and save yourself from the madness of questing. If you can find a group of friends around your level — or randoms in general chat — you should hop in to complete a dungeon or two.

For Horde players, you’ll gain access to the Ragefire Chasm in Orgrimmar around level 13. Unfortunately, Alliance players will need to wait until level 17 for The Deadmines in Westfall. The Wailing Caverns in the Northern Barrens also becomes available for both factions around level 17.

The leveling process for World of Warcraft Classic is time consuming, but also very peaceful. If you follow our advice, don’t burn yourself out, and use some tools to make your life a bit easier, the next 170 hours are going to breeze by … relatively speaking.

Source: Polygon.com

CS:GO pros arrested in alleged match-fixing scheme in Australia

Australia’s Victoria Police have made multiple arrests in an alleged Counter-Strike: Global Offensive match-fixing scheme. A press release, issued late last week, says they were tipped off by a company that took some of those bets. In all over 20 suspect wagers were uncovered, leading to six arrests.

Players allegedly arranged to throw matches and subsequently placed bets on those matches, according to police.

“It’s believed at least five [league] matches were impacted,” says a police statement. The investigation is still ongoing.

Gambling is a popular pastime in Australia. Data published in 2018 indicates that, on average, adult Australian adults wager nearly AU$11,000 each on an annual basis. Adjusted to U.S. dollars, that’s roughly $7,500 per person, per year. Not coincidentally, that also means Australians lose more money than gamblers anywhere else in the world; a staggering AU$23.7 billion in losses, or the equivalent of about $850 for each Australian adult in today’s U.S. dollars.

Given the preponderance of gambling in Australia, the industry itself is highly regulated. Two organizations are involved in the investigation, including the Victoria Police’s Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit and the Organised Crime Intelligence Unit. While police action involving sports betting is not uncommon, esports is a new frontier in Australia. Commissioner Neil Paterson said it was a “first of its kind” investigation.

“Esports is really an emerging sporting industry and with that will come the demand for betting availability on the outcomes of tournaments and matches,” Paterson said. “It’s important that police and other agencies within the law enforcement, gaming and betting industries continue to work together to target any suspicious activity.”

Those arrested range in age from 19 to 22 years old. None were named in the press release. The agency who cooperated with police is called Sportsbet, and maintains an online portal available to Australians who want to gamble on esports. Polygon has reached out for comment.

Source: Polygon.com