Shacknews - David Craddock

CD Projekt Red announced that The Witcher 3's standalone CCG, Gwent, has entered closed beta on Xbox One and PC (via GameSpot). CDP Red will be staggering Gwent's beta. "Invites are going out in waves, so don't worry if you didn't receive one yet! We'll be adding more folks over time," per the company's Twitter account. The first batch should go out this afternoon to those who registered on Gwent's official website. The PS4 beta isn't schedule to begin until "later," according to CDPR. Gwent originated as an mini-game in Witcher 3, but player feedback prompted CD Projekt Red to spin it off into a standalone product. "Gwent is an example of how the community can have actual impact on game developers," said CD Projekt Red's Marcin Momot. "What we created as a part of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, is now, because of your involvement, a standalone game and a totally different experience that firmly stands on its own. The closed beta is another step in the process--you can now help us shape the game into something you can call your own." You can sign up for Gwent by visiting its website.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

The Coalition and Microsoft have teased Gears of War 4’s upcoming Halloween special event which could possibly see the resurgence of its iconic Pumpkin Head.

The official Gears of War Twitter account tweeted the following message just a moment ago:

As you can see from the image attached to the message, it appears Gears of War 4 will continue the tradition started by Gears of War 3 of replacing the heads of all players in various multiplayer modes with giant pumpkins.

Of course, these weren’t normal pumpkin heads as each they all had an evil look to them and were much wider than a character’s normal head. Judging by the teaser image released today, it appears The Coalition might have a new look for the Pumpkin Head as its eyes are more hollowed out, although it still appears to have its two-slit nose and intimidating smirk.

Gears of War 4 received its first bonus XP event on the weekend of October 15th, which The Coalition extended by an additional day due to it having issues keeping its servers online while it ran. While we don’t know yet if the upcoming Halloween event will also offer bonus experience points, we at least know players should expect to see way more pumpkins in the game than they’re probably comfortable with.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Magic Leap appears to be working on an augmented reality device, that is, according to some newly-discovered patents which the company applied for.

The patent, which was submitted to the U.S. Patent Office, is for “virtual or augmented reality headsets having adjustable interpupillary distance.”  In other words, either a VR or AR headset with a dial that can change the distance between the device’s images and the wearer’s eyes, which is commonplace for such a device these days.

What has piqued our interest is not only the fact Magic Leap is now working on a headset, but the fact that what they’ve drawn up is much sleeker and slimmer than what’s currently available on the market. This is even more impressive considering previous patents have shown headsets with a much larger headset that is similar to its competitors, such as the Microsoft HoloLens.

While patents have a tendency to resemble the final product of a device, we’re hoping in this case, Magic Leap has figured out a way to create an augmented reality device that is sleek and portable enough to warrant real-world applications.

[Via UploadVR]

Shacknews - John Keefer

Season 2 of Elite Dangerous has been warping along nicely, with the latest Horizons expansion The Guardians dropping today. The update is massive, not only adding new features, but also making a massive number of changes to the game.

The expansion itself offers new fighter launch bays in the larger ships, with a choice of fighter craft to populate them. NPCs can also be hired to pilot ships as well. Passengers are now available, and players can command passenger ships or fit their existing ships to transport dignitaries, tourists, prisoners or even illegals. And finally, much more has been added to the galaxy, from dockyards to neutron stars or ancient archaeology sites.

The Guardians expansion is available to anyone with a Horizons season pass. If you don't have one, and don;t feel like dropping $29.99 to get it, the original game is also being updated to version 1.7 for free. Both 1.7 and Horizons 2.2 have a huge laundry list of fixes, changes and modifications. The changelog weighs in at a massive 16,500+ words.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Epic Games has unleashed Countess from behind the shadows in Paragon today.

Countess is described as a burst caster whose greatest strengths are the combination of misdirection and unpredictability. In her overview video published today, we can see Countess can be quite the formidable opponent if put in the right hands. She can easily single out and assassinate enemy Heroes with the use of her abilities, and then retreat back into the shadows.

Countess has a number of notable abilities, such as her Dark Tide attack which lets loose a large wave to damage all enemies caught in its blast. If enemies are foolish enough to go for a closeup attack, she can use Blade Siphon to damage everyone around her, even being able to replenish a percentage of her max health if she kills an enemy.

Shadow Slip and Feast appear to be her deadliest abilities as the former can allow Countess to teleport to the highlighted enemy, while the latter deals a huge amount of damage against a single enemy. The combination of these abilities could mean serious trouble for any enemies caught in her way, so never lose sight of what Countess is doing on the battlefield.

Countess is now available to play for free in Paragon, which is now available for free on PC and PlayStation 4.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Dishonored 2 is due out in a couple weeks, and if you haven't been innundated with enough game information already, then Bethesda has a new video discussing Emily Kaldwin, her powers, motivations and what she might do when she regains her throne.

Narrated by Arkane Studios' game director Harvey Smith, with additional comments by lead designer Dinga Bakaba, we find how some of Emily's powers were chosen, focusing on her royal background. Domino, for example was created to resemble a leader's ability to make people share the same fate for their actions. Along those lines, Mesmerize lets her enthrall a group of people.

We also get a bit more description on Far Reach, which is a bit more intricate than Corvo's Blink. Shadow Walk shows a bit of her darker side, while Doppleganger allows her to duplicate herself as a distraction. Each ability has various upgrades that can aid your playstyle.

Smith said that the story will show Emily having to depend on herself for the first time, while making also putting on display how differently NPCs treat her than they would Corvo. The main story line has her trying to gain back her throne, but she also see what bad leadership can do, influencing her that changes may be in order once she is Empress again.

Dishonored 2 comes on for PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 11.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Rockstar Games spent the better half of last week teasing the world its major Red Dead Redemption 2 announcement, but this week, the studio has announced it will be hosting a special Halloween event in Grand Theft Auto Online.

Grand Theft Auto Online’s special Halloween event kicks off on Friday, October 28th as the new LCC Sanctus Motorcycle will be available for purchase. The motorcycle has been designed to absolutely terrify all that bear witness to it in the streets thanks to its skull-studded design.

A new Adversary Mode, called Lost vs Damned, allows players to fight on either the side of good or evil. During the battle, the game’s day/night cycle will switch every 60 seconds. Depending on the time of day, one team will gain increased Armor, Health, and superior Weapon loadouts. This means if you’re caught on the wrong side of the day/night cycle, you better keep it low key until either the sun rises or sets.

In addition to this weekend’s Halloween event, Rockstar will celebrate the third anniversary of GTA Online by rewarding all players who log in a special GTA$250,000 gift, which will deposit into your Maze Bank account by November 4th. There will also be a 30% off sale for a number of fan-favorite items until November 7th, 2016, which includes the Pegassi Speeder, the Liberator Monster Truck, and the Custom Donk, to name a few.

Last, but not least, the Nightlife Premium Race will kick off today and last until October 31st. Players will be challenged to take the high road over Downtown Los Santos in an attempt to win the race.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Season 2 in Overwatch Competitive Play will be coming to an end on November 24 next month, and the dev team already has changes on the public test realm for Season 3, most notably the way skill ratings will be calculated going forward.

"When Season 2 started, we had WAY more players in Gold and Platinum than we initially intended, and way fewer in Bronze and Silver," Principle Designer Scott Mercer explained in a post on the community forum. "This was the result of how we calculated your initial SR for Season 2. We tried to partially reset player SR at the start of Season 2, but the results were not as we expected. Instead, below-average players started Season 2 at a higher SR than they should have been given their performance in Season 1. This meant that as they played in Season 2, their SR would often drop to a lower value, which didn't feel great. It also meant that there was a much wider variation of skill in the Gold and Platinum tiers than we wanted. This is something we want to avoid in Season 3."

In plotting out the change, Mercer said fairness is more important than giving everyone a fresh start, with skill ratings to start lower in the beginning to avoid drastic drops despite a relatively even win-loss record.

"This change will mean that some players will not start in the same tier for Season 3 that they were placed in for Season 2, and that your SR gains from winning will be a little higher at the beginning of the season," he said. "After you play enough matches, however, your SR gains and losses will go back to normal."

Mercer said the changes will be closely monitored on the PTR to "see if our goals are being met." As with anything on the PTR, more changes could happen before they are poatched onto the live server, but he said they will try to give everyone advance notice to significant changes, such as possibly having to reset placement matches.

In another change, Season 3 will begin on December 1, giving players only a week of downtime between seasons instead of two. Blizzard will have a countdown timer in place to remind everyone when the new season starts.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Techland has revealed a new Halloween Community Bounty will be taking place between October 28th to October 30th, called Zombiefest, that will finally decide once and for all which side is the real predator: Survivors or Night Hunters.

The special Zombiefest event will take place in Dying Light’s Be the Zombie game mode, which all participants will receive a Gold-tier weapon. New ranks will be displayed for those who win or lose their matches, which will reflect the final result. These ranks include Crippled Carnivore, Mutilated Stalker, Superior Challenger, Savage Widow Maker, Hunted Hunter, Indisputable Apex Predator, and more.

Dying Light fans can track the cumulative score at with the new ranks being active for only three weeks. Players across PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One can take part in the Zombiefest event, which kicks off on October 28th at 12PM PDT and ends on October 30th at 11:30PM PDT.

Shacknews - John Keefer

The World of Wracraft servers are currently down to add in the new 7.1 update that will let players Return to Karazhan as a mythic dungeon, tackle three bosses in the Trail of valor as a raid, and continue the Suramar story line leading to a new raid in nine weeks.

In addition to all the new content, Blizzard has also done a sweep of the various classes, professions and game mechanics for balances and fixes. Here are just the class changes:

Death Knight

  • Blood
    • Icebound Fortitude has returned, reducing damage taken by the Death Knight by 30% (remains at 20% for Frost Death Knights).
  • Frost
    • Frozen Pulse now triggers if you have fewer than 2 full Runes (was 1).
    • Frozen Pulse damage reduced to 60% of Attack Power (was 72%).
    • Glacial Advance now hits targets in melee range more reliably.
    • Razorice now increases Frost damage by 3% per stack (was 2%).
    • Obliterate damage increased by 20%.
    • Howling Blast damage increased by 50%.
  • Unholy
    • Death Coil damage increased by 50%.

Demon Hunter

  • Agonizing Flames damage bonus to Immolation Aura reduced to 30% (was 50%).
  • Felblade is now usable against targets in melee range even if the Demon Hunter is rooted.
  • Distance from which Soul Fragments can be used for Soul Cleave, Soul Barrier, and Spirit Bomb has been increased to 25 yards (was 20 yards).
  • Demon Blades will now trigger while on the global cooldown (was delayed until after the GCD). This is not a gain to throughput.
  • Spirit Bomb healing from damage increased to 15% (was 10%).
  • Soul Barrier now lasts 12 seconds (was 8 seconds).
  • Abilities learned have been spaced out:
    • Sigil of Silence – Level 101
    • Empower Wards – Level 103
    • Sigil of Misery – Level 105


  • Mastery: Harmony now includes Frenzied Regeneration.
  • Ysera's Gift will only heal party or raid members.
  • Living Seed now copies 25% of the crit heal (was 50%).
  • Seeds of the World Tree now increases that amount by 8%/point (was 10%).
  • Owlkin Frenzy will now only affect Lunar Strike (and not Solar Wrath or Stellar Flare).
  • Swiftmend healing increased to 770% of Spell Power (was 700%).
  • (Balance, Guardian, Feral) Druids how have Regrowth in place of Healing Touch.
    • Regrowth is castable in Moonkin Form.
    • Talents, artifact traits, and legendaries have been updated to affect Regrowth where appropriate.
    • (Restoration) Regrowth has 40% additional chance to crit (was 60%).
  • Activating Incarnation no longer triggers a global cooldown for any spec.
  • Incarnation: Chosen of Elune once again provides the armored Moonkin model.
  • Galactic Guardian:
    • Now causes Moonfire to generate 10 Rage (was 15).
    • Now increases its direct damage by 300%.
    • Now has a spell alert.
  • Restoration
    • Prosperity now reduces your Swiftmend cooldown by 3 seconds (was 5 seconds).
    • Cultivation healing increased by 20%.


  • Track Mechanicals granted to all gnome and goblin hunters, as well as any hunter who uses the Mecha-Bond Imprint Matrix.
  • Posthaste now lasts 5 seconds (was 8 seconds).
  • Vulnerable now increases damage by 50% (was 25%), stacking up to 2 times (was 3 times).
  • New Hunter talent (replacing Dash):
    • Trailblazer: Your movement speed is increased by 25% anytime you have not attacked for 3 seconds.
  • Survival
    • Raptor Strike damage increased by 100%.
    • Carve damage increased by 150%.
    • Butchery damage increased by 35%.
    • Throwing Axes damage increased by 25%.
    • Animal Instincts has been redesigned: Flanking Strike now also reduces the remaining cooldown of a random one of the following abilities:
      • Flanking Strike
      • Mongoose Bite
      • Aspect of the Eagle
      • Harpoon


  • Arcane
    • Arcane Blast damage increased by 17%.
    • Arcane Missles damage increased by 17%.
    • Arcane Orb damage increased by 17%.
    • Arcane Charges now increase mana costs by 125% (was 100%).
  • Fire
    • Pyroblast damage reduced by 6%.
    • Flamestrike damage increased by 15%.
    • Aftershocks damage increased by 15%.
  • Frost
    • Brain Freeze now also increases the damage of your next Flurry by 50%.
    • Waterbolt damage increased by 25%.
    • Water Jet damage increased by 100%.
    • Lonely Winter now increases the damage of affected spells by 25% (was 20%).
    • Flurry damage increased by 5%.
    • Ice Lance damage increased by 5%.
    • Frostbolt damage increased by 5%.
    • Ray of Frost damage increased by 5%.
    • Frost Bomb damage increased by 5%.
    • Comet Storm damage increased by 5%.
    • Ebonbolt damage increased by 5%.
    • Frozen Orb damage increased by 5%.
    • Blizzard damage increased by 10%.


  • Effuse now heals for 250% of attack power (was 200%).
  • (Windwalker, Brewmaster) Crackling Jade Lightning now costs 20 Energy, plus 20 Energy per second.
  • Brewmaster
    • Brewmaster Monks now gain 15% additional Armor from gear.
    • Brew-Stache now lasts 4.5 seconds (was 1.5 seconds).
  • Mistweaver
    • Sheilun's Gift now activates Soothing Mist.
    • Chi-Ji Crane Heal now heals for 135% of spell power (was 150%).
    • Soothing Mist now heals for 64% of spell power per tick (was 55%).


  • Retribution Aura no longer ignores tanks (including self).
  • Flash of Light now heals 450% of spell power (was 425%) and costs 18% of base mana (was 16%).
  • Holy
    • The Rule of Law talent now increases the radius of Tyr’s Deliverance by 50%.
    • Light’s Hammer now costs 35% of base mana (was 40%).
    • Sanctified Wrath now extends Avenging Wrath by 5 seconds (was 10 seconds).
  • Retribution
    • Holy Wrath now deals 200% of your missing health in damage to 4 nearby enemies, up to 120% of your maximum health.
    • Blade of Wrath has been redesigned: (Passive) Your auto attacks have a chance to reset the cooldown of Blade of Justice.
  • Protection
    • First Avenger: Avenger’s Shield now add +50% damage to the first target, and +10% Grand Crusader proc chance.
    • Bastion of Light now has a 2-minute cooldown (was 3 minutes).
    • Crusader’s Judgment now has 2 charges, and Grand Crusader now also grants a charge of Judgment.


  • Mindbender now returns 0.5% of your mana per tick (was 0.75%).
  • Discipline
    • Power Word: Solace now returns 1% of your mana per tick (was 0.75%).
    • Clarity of Will’s cast time is now 2.0 seconds (was 2.5 seconds).
    • Contrition now increases Atonement by 3 seconds (was 2 seconds).
  • Holy
    • Renew healing increased to 62% of spell power (was 55%).
    • Desperate Prayer now heals and increases health by 30% (was 20%).
    • Divinity now lasts 6 seconds (was 8 seconds).
    • Heal now heals for 500% of spell power (was 475%).
    • Prayer of Mending now heals for 175% of spell power (was 150%).
    • Prayer of Mending now avoids jumping to targets that already have Prayer of Mending, if possible.
    • Binding Heal now costs 2.5% of mana (was 3.0%).
    • Holy Fire damage increased to 200% of spell power (was 150%).
  • Shadow
    • Arcane Torrent now generates 15 Insanity.
    • Power Word: Shield cost increased by 51%.
    • Shadowform has returned as a new spell for Shadow Priests:
      • Assume a Shadowform, increasing your Shadow damage dealt by 10%, and reducing your Physical damage taken by 10%.
      • You may not cast any Holy spells while in this form.
      • The shadowy visual is now tied to Shadowform.
      • Voidform now acts to intensify Shadowform. It automatically triggers Shadowform if not already active, and you gain the effects of both.
      • When Voidform ends, you return to Shadowform.
      • The damage of all Shadow Priest abilities has been reduced to compensate for this, resulting in no net gain or loss of damage.


  • Kingsbane now generates 1 combo point.
  • Hemorrhage, Marked for Death, and Ghostly Strike show up on the caster's nameplates.
  • The cast time for all Assassination poisons has been reduced to 1.5 seconds (was 3 seconds).
  • Outlaw
    • Saber Slash damage increased by 10%.
    • Pistol Shot damage increased by 10%.
    • Ghostly Strike damage increased by 10%.
    • Blunderbuss damage increased by 10%.


  • Fire Elemental, Earth Elemental, and Feral Spirits now all have totem timers.
  • Earthquake Totem has been renamed to Earthquake and no longer summons a totem.
  • Torrent now provides a 30% bonus to Riptide’s initial heal (was 40%).
  • Elemental
    • Earth Shock damage increased by 15%.
    • Frost Shock damage increased by 15%.
    • Stormkeeper now also makes the affected Lightning Bolts and Chain Lightning instant.
    • Stormkeeper now has a 1.5 second cast time.


  • Demon Skin and Demonic Circle have swapped talent locations.
  • Devour Magic has returned for Felhunters.
  • Doomguard’s Doom Bolts damage increased by 13%.
  • Affliction
    • Unstable Affliction now afflicts a target with up to 5 Unstable Afflictions at once.
    • Compounding Horror trait redesigned: its buff causes your next Unstable Affliction to deal (32% Spell Power) Shadow damage instantly, stacking up to 5 times.
    • Soul Effigy is now immune to AOE damage.
    • Agony damage increased by 5%.
    • Unstable Affliction damage increased by 5%.
    • Siphon Life damage increased by 5%.
    • Drain Life damage increased by 5%.
    • Drain Soul damage increased.
    • Phantom Singularity damage increased by 5%.
    • Corruption damage increased by 10%.
  • Demonology
    • Demonwrath now generates Soul Shards more consistently.
    • Demonic Empowerment now increases health by 20% (was 50%).
    • Thal’kiel’s consumption deals damage equal to 8% of pet health (from 6%).


  • Inspiring Presence now affects party and raid members only.
  • Hamstring is now on the global cooldown, and can once again trigger Tactician.
  • Bladestorm damage increased by 8% for all specs.
  • Fury
    • Raging Blow damage increased by 8%.
    • Rampage damage increased by 8%.
    • Execute damage increased by 8%.
    • Bloodthirst damage increased by 8%.
    • Odyn’s Fury damage increased by 8%.
    • Furious Slash damage increased by 8%.
    • Dragon Roar damage increased by 8%.
    • Ravager damage increased by 8%.
    • Enrage now increases damage taken by 20% (was 30%).
  • Warpaint now modifies the Enrage damage taken increase to 15%.

For all the other changes, check out the full patch notes.


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