Shacknews - John Keefer

Queen Elizabeth was the ruler of the Britain in Civilization V, but Firaxis has switched gears and brought back Queen Victoria to run the country in Civilization VI. The move was revealed in the company's first look at England, its abilities and special units for the upcoming sequel.

For the uninitiated, Victoria became queen in 1837 a month after her 18th birthday and ruled for 63 years. Her reign became known as the Victorian era, which saw the country grow immensely in all areas of culture, science, military, politics and industry. 

England's unique district will be the Royal Navy Dockyard, first created in Portsmouth in 1496. The country will also get two of it's own special units, The Redcoat as seen in previous games, and the Sea Dog, the equivalent of sanctioned pirates under the rule of Queen Elizabeth I in 1560.

Civilization VI changes up game play a bit from Civ V. A player’s empire will now spread across the map as each city spans multiple tiles, allowing players to custom build their cities in order to take full advantage of the local terrain. The title will also feature a dynamic diplomacy system, which will allow interactions between other civilizations to change over the course of the game. No word on whether Brexit will be a strategy available later in the game.

Civ VI is scheduled to come out on October 21 for PC.

Shacknews - John Keefer

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will be getting another update for PC on August 1, this time adding a DLC pack with two new dungeons and some long awaited cosmetic options to the Crown Store.

The Shadows of the Hist pack will add two four-player dungeons: Cradle of Shadows dungeon, where your group will team up with the Dark Brotherhood Argonians to fight off some rogue assassins; and the Ruins of Mazzatun, where slavelords must be overcome and prisoners freed. Each will have normal and veteran versions, with new gear, achievements and goodies. There will be no charge for the pack for ESO Plus members, but others can expect to pay 1,500 crowns.

In addition, The Style Parlor is being added, where players can change their race, appearance and name, while also adding new hairstyles, adornments and markings for the cost of a token at the Crown Store. Costume dyes also become available, with ESO Plus players getting to change the color of their wardrobe. If you don;t have the membership, one-time-use dye stamps can also be purchased.

Along with the new items, the update will add a variety of fixes and changes:

  • Console text chat
  • Aetherian Archive and Hel Ra Citadel Trial improvements, including Normal and Veteran modes, revamped rewards, and level scaling
  • Dragonstar Arena improvements, including increased monster difficulty and revamped rewards
  • The ability to trade bind-on-pickup items to group members in dungeons and Trials
  • The introduction of the Cyrodiil town capture system
  • Champion Point cap increase
  • Rebalancing and adjustments to Racial Passive abilities
  • Improved Undaunted reward chests (Gold, Silver, and Bronze)
  • Improved Clothier Surveys
  • Improved face effects and animations
  • New achievements for each of the scaled Trials
  • Ability tooltip tags that display the primary role for certain abilities
  • Ongoing Cyrodiil performance improvements
  • 17 updated older item sets that now drop at Champion 160 (six available in Aetherian Archive, seven available in Hel Ra Citadel, and four available in Dragonstar Arena)
  • Four new crafting styles: Akatosh, Dark Brotherhood, dro-m’Athra, and Minotaur

While PC users will get the update first, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One users can expect the release on August 16.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Bungie has announced a scheduled server maintenance for Destiny will be taking place today.

The server maintenance period will start at 8am PT as Guardians will not be able to log into Destiny in preparation for the upcoming downtime. At 9am PT, Guardians that are logged into Destiny will be removed from their activities as that’s when the game’s servers will be taken offline.

The maintenance period appears to be a rather long one as it’s expected to last at least six hours, with its conclusion planned to occur prior to 2:00pm PT.

As a result, Bungie.net sign-in and Companion app services may be restricted during the downtime, although all services will be restored once the server maintenance is completed.

The last server maintenance occurred just 20 days ago prior to the start of Bungie's Rise of the Iron livestream. Prior to the start of the stream, the trailer for Rise of the Iron leaked online, which gave us quite an eyeful of what to expect from the upcoming expansion.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

The Division’s Underground expansion is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One players, although as is the case when Ubisoft releases any sort of major update for the game, Agents should expect some hiccups today.

According to the official Division Twitter account, Ubisoft is aware of a number of issues players are having with the release of Underground. Xbox One owners are being told to make sure their Season Pass is unlocked via The Division’s In-game store in order to begin downloading Underground, while PC owners are having a more difficult time.

Agents who own the PC version of The Division will need to restart their Uplay client in order to access the Underground expansion, with some players not even being shown as owned, despite owning the Season Pass. Ubisoft says these issues should be resolved, but just be aware a quick restart of the Uplay client may fix everything.

If being unable to play the Underground expansion wasn’t frustrating enough, Ubisoft is also reporting a number of connectivity issues that lead to Delta errors and extended waiting queues have started popping up. These are currently under investigation, so try to be patient today as it appears everyone is home today to try out the new expansion.

Shacknews - John Keefer

The Ninja Gaiden series hasn't had a new game since Z in 2014, and hasn't had a great game since before that. Depending on how you read your tweets, that could be changing.

Series composer Keiji Yamagishi has revealed that he has started on his next project. "I’m pleased to announce that I’m working on a new project related to Ninja Gaiden. I’ll be able to share more news in July!" Granted, he specifically name it, and said it is "related" to the series, but fans of the bloody third-person hack and slasher will probably get excited any way.

Co-developers of Ninja Gaiden Z, Team Ninja and Comcept are wrapping up or moving on from current projects. Team Ninja is supposedly in the final stages of completing its current project Nioh, while Comcept and Keiji Inafune just released the lackluster Mighty No. 9, so preproduction could already be under way for another joint project. Either way, we should know something more next month.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has revealed Batman: Return to Arkham will no longer launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on July 29.

The announcement was made by Warner Bros. representative Steve Grayson on the company’s official forums. The reason for the delay was to give Virtuous Games additional time to deliver a more polished Batman experience.

As a result, Batman: Return to Arkham no longer has a release date. “We know this is disappointing news, but we feel the extra time will allow the team to create the best gaming experience for our fans.” Grayson writes.

This isn’t the first time the Batman: Arkham series has had issues with its development as the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight was poorly optimized, which took several months just to get the game at a playable state on the platform. While delaying Batman: Return to Arkham in hopes to improve its experience is a step in the right direction, not having a new release date has us a bit worried for its future.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Anyone who has a PC, especially with an older Windows operating system, has experienced the incessant pop-ups asking you if you want to upgrade to Windows 10. In some cases, users have reported that the OS will try to install itself without approval. Even tech-savvy writers have gotten caught up in the hard-sell tactics Microsoft has instituted to force an upgrade, making it almost impossible to say no.

Well, Microsoft has gotten its wrists slapped by a California court, ordering the tech giant to pay $10,000 to Sausalito-based travel agency owner Teri Goldstein, who reported that an aborted install of the OS slowed her work PC to a crawl and caused hurt her company. She sued for a new computer and lost wages after MS support was unable to help her. She won her case, with Microsoft choosing not to appeal to avoid further litigation costs, but denied any wrongdoing.

“I had never heard of Windows 10,” Goldstein said. “Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update.”

While the fine is essentially pocket change for Microsoft, the ruling could have further ramifications if others decide to follow Goldstein's suit. While some business sectors may be able to avoid an upgrade, Microsoft is already making it nearly essential for gamers to install Windows 10 if they want to play any of the latest Xbox One games using Play Anywhere. Even newer PC games are going the Windows 10 route, as developers eschew the older Windows 7 and 8.1.

Of course, that could be moot come July 29, when the free upgrade ends and Microsoft begins charging for the OS. The reviews have been good, and folks may finally give in as opposed to having to shell out extra bucks when a game they really want only uses Windows 10. 

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Sony will be cutting ties with Ustream on August 1, 2016, and as a result, PlayStation 4 owners won’t be able to use a number features from the service.

The features that will be terminated include the ability to broadcast gameplay to Ustream and viewing Ustream broadcasts from “Live from PlayStation” on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and the PlayStation App.

As a result, PlayStation 4 owners will now only be able to broadcast their gameplay on YouTube, Twitch, or dailymotion while also being able to view broadcasts from these services.

Considering the rise of both Twitch and YouTube Gaming, it’s surprising Sony didn’t stop Ustream support sooner to further improve customer experience on more popular services. Now let’s see how long it takes Sony to kick dailymotion to the curb in favor of just Twitch and YouTube support.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Sony will be cutting ties with Ustream on August 1, 2016, and as a result, PlayStation 4 owners won’t be able to use a number features from the service.

The features that will be terminated include the ability to broadcast gameplay to Ustream and viewing Ustream broadcasts from “Live from PlayStation” on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and the PlayStation App.

As a result, PlayStation 4 owners will now only be able to broadcast their gameplay on YouTube, Twitch, or dailymotion while also being able to view broadcasts from these services.

Considering the rise of both Twitch and YouTube Gaming, it’s surprising Sony didn’t stop Ustream support sooner to further improve customer experience on more popular services. Now let’s see how long it takes Sony to kick dailymotion to the curb in favor of just Twitch and YouTube support.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Microsoft has yet to officially reveal its lineup of free games Xbox Live Gold members could download for free in July, but that hasn’t stopped an alleged leak of next month’s games from popping up online.

According to NeoGAF member ekim, July’s Games with Gold lineup includes The Banner Saga 2 and Tumblestone on Xbox One, while Xbox 360 owners will be able to download Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and Tron: Evolution for free.

The Banner Saga 2 was originally expected to release on consoles on July 26, which makes its availability on July 1 a bit of a surprise. It could be possible Stoic and Versus Evil struck a deal with Microsoft in order to offer the game ahead of its original release date.

As of now, take this information with a grain of salt until Microsoft makes its official announcement, which we hope takes place later today.

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