Players  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Players  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Five Early Frontrunners for the Cover of Madden NFL 18 Sat, 11 Feb 2017 14:25:18 -0500 Jonathan Moore

With Super Bowl LI behind us, and a historic comeback that forever etched the New England Patriots into the stones of the NFL pantheon, it’s time to look ahead to next season. And with only a few weeks left until the start of free agency and even fewer until the combine, it’s time to start our pre-pre-pre-season predictions for who is going to grace the cover of Madden NFL 18 when it launches later this August.

Each of these players had breakout or historic runs during the 2016-17 season, from becoming the all-time leader in Super Bowl wins and winning Rookie of the Year to being athletic monsters and team MVPs.

That’s why we think they’re perfect candidates for the lauded cover of Madden NFL 18. Here’s to hoping they shake the cover’s legendary curse if they get the nod.

Tom Brady (QB) – The New England Patriots

What can we say about this legendary 6th-round draft pick? Over his vaunted career as a signal caller for the New England Patriots, Tom Brady has taken the team to seven Super Bowls in 16 seasons (winning five of those), been named Super Bowl MVP four times (including in Super Bowl LI), been to 12 Pro Bowls, and holds numerous NFL records.

If that’s not enough, with his win in Super Bowl LI, Brady surpassed Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw in most Super Bowl wins by a quarterback.

That’s not to mention this beast essentially carried the New England Patriots to a Super Bowl win after the arguably devastating loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski to back surgery just before the playoffs in the 2016-17 season.

During the playoffs, Brady had his fifth-best playoff completion percentage at 65.5%; his fourth-highest playoff QB rating at 97.7%; and his highest number of completed passing yards in the playoffs at 1,137 yards – or roughly an entire third of his total passing yards for the whole 2016 regular season. 

And all of that is even more impressive when you consider the fact that Brady is set to turn 40 this year and start his 17th NFL season. 

Tom Brady’s Full 2016-17 Stat Line: Source: Wikipedia

Matt Ryan (QB) – The Atlanta Falcons

While Tom Brady may have been the MVP for Super Bowl LI, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan was the undisputed regular season MVP. Nabbing the honor for the first time, Matt Ryan led the Atlanta Falcons to only their second Super Bowl appearance in the team’s 50-year history.

The number three overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft, Ryan hasn’t had the same playoff success as Brady, but his career regular season stats are nothing to balk at. Ryan ranks seventh in total passing yards among active NFL QBs, and has only thrown 114 picks in 5,064 pass attempts.

What’s more, his 2016 regular season stats were off the charts, helping him win the NFL’s top regular-season honor. A quick look shows that Ryan had his best regular season in completion percentage, passing yards, yards per attempt, yards per game, total touchdowns, and passer rating (at 117.1).

Ryan also took care of the pigskin. In the regular season, Matty Ice only threw seven interceptions (the fewest he’s ever thrown). In contrast, he threw 38 touchdown passes, second only to Aaron Rodgers, who threw 40.

Since joining the Falcons in 2008, Ryan has been relatively consistent, too, and he’s secured for the team a combined 85 regular-season wins and an NFC Championship. He’s gone to the Pro Bowl four times and holds the NFL record for most consecutive games with 200-plus passing yards at 45.

Sure, Ryan’s struggled in the postseason, but so have other NFL greats like Peyton Manning, Warren Moon, Dan Fouts, and Dan Marino, just to name a few.

Matt Ryan’s Full 2016-17 Stat Line:

Source: Wikipedia

Julio Jones (WR) – The Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones is hands-down one the best receivers in the NFL today. For all intents and purposes, Jones is undeniably an alien living among us making circus catch after circus catch just for shits and giggles.

Part of the Saban Football Dynasty, Jones was forged in the fires of college football legend – and he’s taken what he learned playing for the Alabama Crimson Tide and translated it into a winning formula for the Atlanta Falcons.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Jones averaged 100.6 yards per game in the 2016 season, bringing in just over 1,400 yards on 83 total receptions. That’s about 400 yards short of his monster 2015 season, where he set a receiving yard record of 1,871 yards, surpassing the legendary Jerry Rice to claim the second overall position in NFL regular season receiving yards by a wide receiver – second only to the now-retired Calvin Johnson.

Jones also took care of the ball in 2016, fumbling zero times, something he hasn’t done since 2012. But what really pushes Jones above the rest of the wide-out pack are his intangibles, such as strength, agility, and awareness. Just reference his ungodly athletic catch in Super Bowl LI if you need proof – not to mention the other “routine” receptions he gets game in and game out.

Throw in Jones’ ridiculous 2016 post-season stats and plays where he was arguably even deadlier, and he’s a great contender for the next Madden NFL cover.

Dak Prescott (QB) – The Dallas Cowboys

Sure, Dak Prescott only just finished his first NFL season, but it was a breakout season for the young rookie from Mississippi State. Not only did he win rookie of the year, but he filled in for the much maligned Tony Romo, winning the NFC East, getting a first-round bye, and taking the Dallas Cowboys to the NFC Divisional Playoff round.

Although the Cowboys ultimately lost that game to the Green Bay Packers, where Prescott arguably had the worst first half of his nascent NFL career, the young rookie had a monster regular season through the air and on the ground.

A dual threat quarterback haunting the nightmares of secondaries around the league, Prescott not only threw for a whopping 3,667 yards, with 23 touchdowns to only four interceptions (a 67.8% completion percentage), he also ran for 282 yards on 57 attempts, scoring six touchdowns. What’s more, Prescott was selected to his first Pro Bowl in his first year as an NFL QB. 

Let’s take a quick look at how Prescott compares to other notable QBs in their rookie seasons:

Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts):

  • 16 games played
  • 56.7% completion percentage
  • 3,739 passing yards
  • 26 touchdowns
  • 28 interceptions
  • 15 carries
  • 62 rushing yards

Dan Marino (Miami Dolphins):

  • 11 games played
  • 58.4% completion percentage
  • 2,210 passing yards
  • 20 touchdowns
  • 6 interceptions
  • 28 carries
  • 45 rushing yards
  • 2 rushing touchdowns

Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers):

  • 16 games played
  • 60.0% completion percentage
  • 4,051 passing yards
  • 21 touchdowns
  • 17 interceptions
  • 126 carries
  • 706 rushing yards
  • 14 rushing touchdowns

Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks):

  • 16 games played
  • 64.1% completion percentage
  • 3,118 passing yards
  • 26 touchdowns
  • 10 interceptions
  • 94 carries
  • 489 rushing yards
  • 4 rushing touchdowns

Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers):

  • 14 games played
  • 66.4% completion percentage
  • 2,621 passing yards
  • 17 touchdowns
  • 11 interceptions
  • 56 carries
  • 144 rushing yards
  • 1 rushing touchdowns

As we venture into the offseason, it appears more and more that Jerry Jones and the Cowboys are looking to keep Prescott as the team’s starter and are set to release or trade long-time quarterback Tony Romo. That means that Prescott will only see more snaps in the season to come and become even more proficient in an offense he’s proven he can run with extreme efficiency.

Dak Prescott’s Full 2016-17 Stat Line:

 Source: Wikipedia

Ezekiel Elliott (RB) – The Dallas Cowboys

A veritable football and athletic maven, Ezekiel Elliott was the wind to Prescott’s sails in a nearly unstoppable Dallas Cowboys offense. Also in his rookie year, Elliot was the NFL’s best running back of the 2016 season.

With crazy stupid stats like 1,631 yards rushing on 322 attempts, 5.1 yards per carry, a whopping 108.7 yards per game, and 363 yards receiving on 40 targets, Elliott cemented his position as one of the best rookie running backs of all time.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the best rookie RB performances for comparison:

Earl Campbell (Houston Oilers):

  • 302 carries
  • 1,450 rushing yards
  • 8 yards per carry
  • 13 rushing touchdowns
  • 12 receptions
  • 48 receiving yards

Eric Dickerson (Los Angeles Rams):

  • 390 carries
  • 1,808 rushing yards
  • 6 yards per carry
  • 18 rushing touchdowns
  • 51 receptions
  • 404 receiving yards
  • 2 touchdown receptions

Barry Sanders (Detroit Lions):

  • 280 carries
  • 1,470 rushing yards
  • 14 rushing touchdowns
  • 3 yards per attempt
  • 24 receptions
  • 282 receiving yards

Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings):

  • 238 carries
  • 1,341 rushing yards
  • 6 yards per carry
  • 12 rushing touchdowns
  • 19 receptions
  • 268 receiving yards
  • 1 touchdown reception

From the looks of it, Elliott is in amazing company, and he’s set to grow exponentially in his second season with a Cowboys offense led by (another) rookie phenom in Dak Prescott. With the stats he put up during the 2016 season, as well as being selected to his first Pro Bowl, being named First-Team All-Pro, being named the NFL’s 2016 leading rusher, and being chosen as the PFWA NFL Rookie of the Year, it’s hard to argue against Elliot being on the cover of Madden 18.

Bonus: Derek Carr (QB) – The Oakland Raiders

Could it be? Are the Oakland Raiders relevant again? With third-year quarterback Derek Carr at the helm of a burgeoning offensive juggernaut, the potentially soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders are poised for a huge and momentous 2017.

Before going down to with a broken fibula in Week 16 at home against the Indianapolis Colts, Carr was in the driver’s seat of a Raiders post season appearance, perhaps with even a first-round bye and home-field advantage. That’s right, the Raider’s season was looking that good. But with Carr down for the count, Oakland’s finest fizzled out and quickly found themselves on the sidelines.

Statistically, it’s difficult to say that the 2016 season was Carr’s best: he’s been on a steady (and reliable) trajectory since being drafted in round two by the Raiders in the 2014 NFL draft. In those three years, he’s passed for 11,194 total yards on 1,055 completions, scoring 81 total touchdowns. 2016 did see his highest completion rate at 63.8%, his fewest amount of interceptions at 6, and his highest QBR at 96.7%. And that was through 15 games.

With the Raider’s upper management making stupid smart moves in the draft to sure up their offensive line, a freakish DE/OLB in Khalil Mack, and a well-seasoned and competent head coach in Jack Del Rio, Carr and the Raiders look poised to make another run at the Super Bowl in 2017.

Derek Carr's Full 2016-17 Stat Line:

Source: Wikipedia


Every year, it’s really a toss-up as to who’s chosen to grace the cover of the latest Madden game. And there are always worthy players who never make the cover, no matter their stat lines or accomplishments. It’s also highly probable that greats like Aaron Rodgers, Le’Veon Bell, Joey Bosa, LeGarrette Blount, Jarvis Landry, Khalil Mack, David Johnson, and Antonio Brown could grace this year’s cover. Only time (and voting) will tell.

Who do you think should be on the cover of Madden NFL 18? Sound off in the comments below!

DOOM's Free Patch 4 Has Doubled Its User Count Mon, 24 Oct 2016 05:23:58 -0400 Damien Smith

DOOM received its fourth free update on Wednesday. Since its release and the addition of the new Arcade Mode, the user count for the game has at least doubled.

The new update added in a ton of new Snapmap content, plus some changes and additions to multiplayer. But the Arcade Mode seems to be the real draw for fans. 

With the release of the patch, user counts have increased from 2,000-5,000 users during peak times to over 10,000. Even during off-peak hours, the numbers have increased from just between 500-1,000 to between 1,500-2,000. Arcade Mode has really got fans excited about the game once again.

In this Arcade mode, players get to play through the campaign levels and attempt to achieve the highest scores they possibly can.

The more demons they kill -- and the more stylish, accurate and aggressive their rampage on the forces of hell is -- the more points they earn. And this seems to be most of the reason that the player count has increased so quickly. Lots of players must have returned so they could attempt to get their names ranked on the leaderboards.

Have you played the new Arcade Mode? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!

World of Warcraft: Legion player has claimed to have reached the max level Mon, 05 Sep 2016 00:31:21 -0400 David Martinez_1224

Players of the World of Warcraft series need to have a special kind of dedication if they want to be the best. Well, it turns out that a player of World of Warcraft: Legion, has reached max cap level in under five hours and twenty eight minutes. The unnamed player dedicated his time to exploring in World of Warcraft, and is now an impressive level 110.

The evidence for this was accomplished via live-stream on The only actual name available is the player's Twitch username, Fragnance. Eurogamer has also reported that Fragnance is still streaming the game, anxious to get his shadow priest up to level 110 as well. The character he used to reach level 110 with was the demon hunter, a newly introduced class from the last expansion pack. The name he used for the demon hunter was Sicklikeme.

Despite the game launching only yesterday, that hasn't stopped this hardcore player from reaching a high max level. Time will only tell if other players will pass him or at least catch up to him.

Is Overwatch the Harbinger for the End of MOBAs? Tue, 19 Jul 2016 04:52:04 -0400 Erro23

Last month it was reported by MonteCristo on Twitter that Overwatch had dethroned League of Legends from its top spot as the most played game within PC Bangs in South Korea. A major feat, to say the least. And one that  begs the question: is this the beginning of a trend that sees people leaving MOBAs behind in favor of new IP's? 

League of Legends is the most successful MOBA and game ever. By far the most popular and lucrative, it seemed only a couple of years ago everyone I knew was playing League, with new people joining daily. However, are we starting to see a decline in the amount of users, and the subsequent wavering of what has been seen as an almost infallible titan in the market?

With the worldwide release of Overwatch, League of Legends was knocked to the 2nd spot in PC bang rankings in South Korea -- marking the first time it had been knocked out of the top spot in 204 weeks. I use League of Legends as an example purely because of the size of the market it takes up. It's a big fish in a tiny pond -- kind of like a blue whale in a public swimming pool. It's far too large to ignore, hence why these numbers are significant. It just wouldn't carry as much weight to say that Overwatch has dethroned smaller MOBA's like Heroes of the Storm, SMITE and Dota 2. 

It is impossible to ignore the hype that the release of Overwatch generated. It permeated all levels of society and was all anyone I knew wanted to play or talk about. Now we have to wonder whether it has the staying power to disrupt the oversaturated (and frankly stagnant) MOBA industry as a whole?

MOBAs have become complacent in their success; and they've reached a pinnacle of success from which they can only fall. Overwatch is just the first game that has managed too wrestle that top spot from League of Legends and MOBAs as a whole -- which for a game that costs around £40, is a feat unto itself. Overwatch is just the first game to manage to do this, and it sure won't be the last. It just proved that it was possible. (This quote from Iron Man 2 Sums it up nicely.)

The MOBA genre in general has reached critical mass and has nowhere else to go but down from now on -- especially with numerous reports of disenfranchisement within the most popular game in the genre, and high profile streamers such as Dyrus hopping onto the Overwatch bandwagon. If the worlds largest and most successful MOBA is starting to show cracks and leak members, how long can the smaller ones dwarfed by this giant hope to last? 

What do you think? Do you think this is shows the beginning of a downward spiral for MOBAs or do you think that they'll be able to reign supreme regardless? If you've stopped playing, then why? Leave us a comment at the bottom. 

Evolve Player count increased to 1 million after going free-to-play Thu, 14 Jul 2016 04:49:26 -0400 Joseph Ocasio

Last weekEvolve surprised the game industry by re-constructing itself into a free to play shooter. Since the co-op shooter from Turtle Rock Studios (the team behind the original Left 4 Dead) and 2K Games went free to play, the player count has gone from a couple hundred actives to now over 1 million people playing the game.

If that wasn't enough, according to Steam Charts, the game has peaked at more than 51,000 concurrent players recently. This is up from June’s peak of only 234 concurrent users. As a big thank you to fans, 2K and Turtle Rock Studios are now offering the Blood Eagle skin for Griffin to anyone that logs in between today and Monday.

Evolve was originally released in 2015, to mostly positive reviews from critics. But general audiences weren't as enthusiastic as critics, with most feeling the game featured too little content and was just being made to exploit consumers out of their money for DLC.

Street Fighter V draws in 5000 players for Evolution 2016 Fri, 01 Jul 2016 04:56:08 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Last night Joey Cuellar, one of the founding members of the Evo Championship Series, shared that Evolution 2016 will have 5,065 players for Street Fighter V.

Cuellar then shared registration numbers for each title this year. It's important to note that outside of the Smash Bros. titles, Street Fighter V still outnumbers all the other games combined. Despite the game's lackluster reception at launch due to lack of content, its place within the fighting game community has been well established.

With many yearly events and the Capcom Pro Tour, Evolution is considered by the community as the premiere event to win. The tournament attracts players both domestically and internationally. Year after year, players use the results to at Evo to decide who the top players really are. Evolution 2016 is scheduled to take place July 15-17 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Overwatch Reaches Over 7 Million Players In Less Than Two Weeks Fri, 03 Jun 2016 04:37:12 -0400 Captynplanet_8219

Since Overwatch's release on May 24, there have been more than 7 million players who have logged in to duke it out in Blizzard's new MOBA-esque first person shooter. Over 119 million hours have been played and eleven million payloads have been capped. Those are some pretty insane stats for a game that has been out for less than two weeks. 

It doesn't really seem like the hype train for the game is going to slow down anytime soon. Overwatch has consistently pulled about 70,000 viewers on Twitch every night since its release, and once the tournament scene and competitive mode eventually get released, Overwatch is only going to get more popular.

The continued support that Blizzard has promised to provide Overwatch is promising. Bans have already been rolling out for players taking advantage of the hacking community's efforts.

Some game companies make promises about community reformation which never seem to end up coming to fruition (I'm looking at you Riot), so it's nice to see Blizzard already cracking down on people who are negatively affecting others' experience with Overwatch

The balance changes announced recently for McRee and D.Va are somewhat concerning. Buffs and nerfs coming out less than two weeks after a game's release is a little quick in my opinion, and I'm a little bit wary that Blizzard may end up pandering to the pleas of forum posters about difficulties that can be overcome with better understanding of the game. 

Concerns aside, Overwatch is definitely a huge success and I've been having a great time with it so far. If Blizzard can stay consistent with adding further content and maintaining the game's support, we'll be seeing a lot of chain lighting slinging gorillas smacking down robots for years to come. 

Fantasy SMITEball: 5 rosters we wish we could see in SMITE Mon, 21 Mar 2016 09:57:21 -0400 Seth Zulinski



Support Allied
ADC Allied
Kukuklan Mid Only Allied
Jungle Allied
Solo Allied

Legend has it if you light a candle in the bathroom and whisper "Fam" into the mirror three times, then blow it out, Allied will appear with meme music. 


Allied is the 5 best rappers streamers Smite Players you know. 


Currently handling the caster's desk as well as he handled Support, Hunter, and (despite his naysaying) midlane, Allied retired after the end of Season 2 during Rosterpocalypse, and is now sitting tight next to F. and crew as he brings some of the best commentary in the business to official SMITE broadcasts. While we're happy for insight, Allied himself gets a bonus Dream Roster, as we'd happily watch him play any (or even every) role some future day in competitive SMITE.


Did we miss any of your favorite players or SMITE personalities? Do you have your own Dream Team or Smite Villains comps you'd pit up to ours? Then let us know below, as we're always ready to take another challenger in the Fantasy SMITE league. 


The Femme Fatales

 (Still) The ProfessionalMogee 
 Dark and StormyFrozenSorrow
 Resident FoodstuffTheBestTaco
 Done With This Smitten

It's no secret - the girls came out to play in the gaming world a long time ago. While these five might not currently be SPL, they're all excellent Smiters and can hold their own on competitive grounds. Mogee specifically (the only repeat name in our list, if you noticed) is a multigame professional player, while HelloKellyLink is the much adored (and missed!) ex-HiRezKelly, avid Cupid enthusiast, ranked leagues hero, and stage host of the SWC 2016.


Don't let their looks fool you, though -- forcing a handicap is liable to land you in the loser's bracket faster than you can make squishy emote hearts in chat. This roster would be a strong first step in telling the SMITE scene that "girl's got game", and an easy crowd favorite at any event. 


Maybe don't name the team after any greek monsters, though. Just a suggestion.  


The Good, the Bad, and the Twitch-y

Saltshaker DMBrandon
The Professional Mogee
Analysis Wolfy2032
The Velvet Voice Mezmoreyez
Kukulkan Only Allied

SMITE is definitely a MOBA built upon its community. The pro players, the HiRez cast, the fans in the seats - and the streamers. While these five might not be the top 1% of players worldwide (though ex-pro Allied did win the Xbox championship at SWC 2016), but they're all some of the most memorable, watchable, and cheer-able personalities that Twitch and SMITE together could handle. 


With Allied leading the charge and the other four being no competitive slouches themselves, there's hardly a team that could get louder screams from the audience than these 5.


Except, of course, maybe...


The Hometown Heroes


 If the obvious heroes or the "love-to-hate" villain picks aren't your thing, how about a ragged band of hometown heroes, loveable misfits, and the closest thing to the People's Champions' you can get without being asked how well you can smell? 


This roster has all of that and more. From Incon, Dare, and Lassiz (some of the better names in the game that have yet to lift Mjolnir) pulling every fan from the hills and towns for miles around, to oft-underrated MattyPocket, and then equipped with an actual unknown in the Ranked Queue Hero Oceans, this Dream Roster has everything you could want in the biggest underdog story since The Mighty Ducks. 

\n don't say?


...that's a team already? 


SMITE Season 3 has this exact roster? It's called Team Flex, and they're battling their way into the SPL from the bottom in a heroic underdog tale? 


Well then. 




Rebel, rebel, rebel

Support 1 iRaffer
Support 2 Paindeviande
Jungle 1 Weak3n
Jungle 2  DJPernicus
Solo Divios

 All that said, sometimes there just isn't much fun in cheering for the favorites. I mean sure, it's fine because they'll win more likely than not, but where's the story in it? Where's the personality? Where's all the trash talk? 


Sometimes a good villain can be just as fun to follow as the hero of our story, and if the cheers (and boos) of the SWC 2016 for PainDeviande's NME are any indication, there's more than a few of us are cheering for the "Jokers" of the SMITE scene. Ranging from "pretty salted" to "incredibly divisive personality", from "funny jerk" to "full-on supervillain", these five are some of the best players in the business that you should not take home to mother. 


Much like every other bad habit, though, these boys are hard to quit - and maybe, just maybe, we'd all enjoy watching the bad guys win for a change. 


The Dream Team

Support Eonic
ADC Snoopy
Mid  MLC_st3alth
Jungle  Adapting
Solo   CycloneSpin

 Every sport has them - names that just  glow with victory. The high-money  heroes. The ones leading the charge to  success, leaving even highly-regarded  professionals in the dust. They simply  seem to be "a cut above" the  competition, even when the competition is some of the best in the world. 


While it would've been easy to just list "Cloud 9 from Season 1", this roster has picks even more potent - several players in consideration for "best in the world", a player who's name has become synonymous with "crushing midlane" ever since dominating SWC 2015, and the winning jungle of the SWC 2016. 


Go ahead, try and pick 5 other players you'd send into this line-up for a "fair fight".


We'll wait. 


It's not secret -- we all have our favorites when it comes to players, comps, and teams vying for the Mjolnir trophy in the SMITE Pro League. While there's currently not a Fantasy League set up to build your very own Top 5 for SPL, we still went to task at finding 5 rosters we wish we could see up on the SMITE stage. 


I mean, we can always dream -- can't we?  

Is Drug-Testing necessary in eSports? Tue, 23 Feb 2016 04:15:10 -0500 Eric Adams

The eSports industry is growing day by day. It's not surprising to see that, after a generation of people playing Mario and other video games, professional video game playing is becoming a valued commodity. Now that TV networks are looking to cash in, it only seems fair that we take eSports seriously in every way. This includes banning those who cheat, and handing out discipline to people who gain some type of unfair advantage. So how does someone gain an unfair advantage while playing a video game?

Adderall and Other Drugs

Remember the film Limitless? Bradley Cooper decides to take a pill and all of a sudden he can use his entire brain. He becomes the smartest guy alive, only to crash when he is off the pill. Well, the real-life alternatives to such a drug are popular medications such as Adderall, Vyvanse and plenty of other drugs that allow you to focus for extensive periods of time.

What does this have to do with the ESL (Electronic Sports League)? Well, imagine you're playing Halo while on Adderall and everybody else is just playing for fun -- without the help of substances. You most likely will have the sharpest focus of everyone playing, along with better reaction time. That's an unfair advantage. This is why drug testing is needed in eSports.

 During an interview last year, Cory "Semphis" Friesen admitted to using Adderall, and it did not surprise the interviewer -- nor did it surprise many fans. In the interview, the interviewer remaked that everyone at ESLN was on Adderall, which Friesen confirmed.

The fact that many fans expect these eSports professionals to use amphetamines is the problem. When Friesen made the comments, it put the spotlight on a large issue for the ESL. Although the new drug testing laws will prevent people from using performance enhancing drugs, it will do nothing to penalize those who have used before.

 Pills are not the only drugs being tested for. The ESL announced a long list of the stimulants, narcotics, and cannabinoids that it will be testing for. The list is based on the list of substances tested for in the Olympics. One noticeable omission is marijuana. The ESL has stated that the only time they will be testing for marijuana will be on the first and last day of tournaments.

Taking a Stand

 For eSports to be taken seriously and be viewed like any other sport, they needs to be treated like any other sport. This means that the drug users and cheats of the sport need to be disciplined if they violate the rules. Allowing people to take a performance-enhancing drug in order to gain an unfair mental or physical advantage would take away from the sport's credibility.

 The ESL is a growing company that is bringing in millions of viewers each year. The 2014 League of Legends championship attracted more than 27 million viewers, making it more popular than Game 7 of the 2014 World Series of Baseball. It is officially time to take eSports seriously, and that means holding competitors to a higher standard. Drug testing will allow the ESL to move forward in a professional manner, and do so credibility. We're looking at the start of a global gaming phenomenon; the cheaters need to be left behind.  

SMITE Combine for Xbox One is happening this weekend Thu, 04 Feb 2016 08:15:56 -0500 Auverin Morrow

SMITE has added the Xbox One to its Pro League. And this weekend, players hoping to take part in professional play can show off their talent in the SMITE Combine. 

Happening February 6-7 -- that's this Saturday and Sunday -- the Combine will give players the chance to show potential teammates and organizations what they're made of. Scouts will be watching these players battle it out, and they'll be recruiting the best of the best for their teams. 

The Combine will be played as a single-elimination bracket. The top 40 players will go to the quarter finals, and top 10 of those players will split up to play in a best-of-three Grand Finals match. It should be noted that only the matches in the Quarter Finals, Semi-Finals, and Grand Finals rounds will be scouted. Because of Combine's format and the way spectators watch the matches, it's not possible for them to scout every player at every stage of the Combine. 

Anyone with an Xbox One who is interested in participating in the Combine is welcome to sign up. In order to sign up, players must meet the following requirements:

  • Account must be level 30
  • Must be ranked at least Platinum 5 in Leagues: Conquest
  • Account must be in good standing
  • Must be at least 13 years old
  • Must be able to use official VOIP software of SMITE (Curse)

If you satisfy these prerequisites and would like to sign up for the Combine, head over to TierMonster to do so. 

To keep up with all the action as the Combine gets underway, you can tune into the official SMITE Twitch channel, or follow @SmitePro on Twitter.

Rocket League welcomes over 8 million players and new DLC Tue, 01 Dec 2015 17:30:59 -0500 astik_anand

Developers of Rocket League, Psyonix, revealed yesterday on Twitter that the game has attracted over 8 million players since July. This comes right after its latest DLC, the Mad Max inspired Chaos Run, was released earlier yesterday.

Chaos Run is now available for PC and PS4. The $4 DLC comes with new cards, decals, a free new arena called Wasteland, and more. Wasteland is not really part of the DLC, but the free update that comes along with it. You can find out what all the new DLC brings, right here.

DLC Contents:

  • 2 New Battle-Cars, Ripper and Grog
  • 12 New Decals (six for each new Battle-Car)
  • 2 New Paint Types (Camo and Sun-Damaged)
  • 2 New Wheels (Ripper and Grog)
  • 2 New Rocket Trails (Sandstorm, Nuts and Bolts)
  • 3 New Toppers (Boombox, Cow Skull, Mohawk)
  • 3 New Antennas (Bomb Pole, Radioactive, Retro Ball - Wasteland)
  • 5 New Trophies (PS4) and Achievements (Steam)

The free update, on the other hand, will also bring a new post-apocalyptic theme music -- "Scorched Earth," by Kevin Riepl along with some garage surprises.

In other news, another free DLC based on Portal is also expected today for both PS4 and PC. The DLC will bring some Portal items like rocket trails and antennas to the game. 

Psyonix hinted earlier that the game might be coming to Xbox One as well, though no official announcement has been made. 

Stay in tune for more Rocket League DLC news. Be sure to leave a comment.

Fallout 4 now the highest played 3rd party title of all time on Steam Wed, 11 Nov 2015 18:32:08 -0500 Daniel R. Miller

November 10, 2015 may very well be remembered as the day over 450,000 people across the globe mysteriously called in sick to work. According to Steam's game statistics page, Fallout 4 has shattered Grand Theft Auto V's previous record of over 300,000 concurrent users and has become the most played third party title in Steam's history.

This is not the first time a Bethesda franchise has set this record on Steam either. When The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim first launched in 2011, it drew in a crowd of 280,000 users which stood until Grand Theft Auto V was released on Steam earlier this year.

It's important to note that this record only applies for third party titles; in other words, games not developed by Valve. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and DotA 2 still draw totals that double Fallout 4's.

Quick take: More than anything, this record is indicative of the growth that Steam has seen as a platform for PC gaming, which can also be attributed to the decline of physical game distribution. So it's not that there weren't that many people playing Skyrim, it's that more of them were playing with hard copies. Regardless, it's still neat to see so many people come together on one day to play one great game.

10 Prospects To Draft Onto Your Squad in Football Manager 2016 Wed, 11 Nov 2015 04:14:16 -0500 Justin Andress

Can you feel the excitement building? Can you hear the roar of the crowds? The shouts and hollers of players on the field? Can you feel the anticipation for another year of the best sports simulation around? That’s right, we’re just a few days away from the release of Football Manager 2016! This year’s iteration promises to be something really special. The good folks at Sega and Sports Interactive are delivering a ton of new changes that are designed to make FM16 the most popular release yet.

Chief among the changes being made — at least according to series fans — is the inclusion of the “Create-A-Club” mode, a game mode that “allows you to name the club, add yourself and friends to the line-up, edit the squad to your heart’s content and even choose the colours.”

Sure, you know what you want your team name to be, and you know what colors your players will rock as they race onto the field. Now all you need is some quality players to round out your squad.

This is Football Manager, though, so you can’t actually expect the developers to take it easy on you, can you? Of course not! While you’re fighting your way to the top of your chosen league, you’ll have to deal with the same issues any manager would encounter, both on and off the pitch. One of those issues: the salary cap. That’s right, there’s no such thing as an unbeatable squad right out of the gate. You’ll have to manage your finances and make the most of your purchases. Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of names that are certain to put you on the road to a title.

Abel Ruiz

Abel Ruiz

Don’t sleep on the FC Barcelona youth striker. In real life, the goal-scoring machine is set to be a really valuable player, but that hardly compares to his value in FM16. Pick him up early if you want to give your squad the best chances at being a contender down the line.

Anton Mitryushkin

Anton Mitryushkin

Nineteen-year-old Russian goalkeeper Anton Mitryushkin is something to behold on the pitch. Year after year, the up-and-comer has proven himself to be a wall that no soccer ball can pass.

The youth player won’t be an amateur for much longer, so it’s absolutely necessary to get him on your team if you’re in the market for a cheap goalie early on (and if you’re not, you should be).

Riechedly Bazoer

Riechedly Bazoer

On the field, Bazoer still has some maturing to do. In FM16, he’s like the next Pelé. He excels at a tough-to-find position (the Regista), and he’ll only improve as you play him. Expect to pay $15 million for him right out of the gate, but considering how much FM16 loves the guy, that’s a steal.

Considering how his price (and talent) soars as the game progresses, you’re doing yourself a favor nabbing him early, especially before he’s drafted by an opponent and he becomes a problem for your defense.

Carlos Gruezo

Carlos Gruezo

Midfielder Carlos Gruezo comes from a tradition of football players. The son of a former footballer, the people behind Football Manager 2016 clearly expect great things from the Ecuadorian.

His success is assured in the game, so you’re only cheating yourself if you don’t nab the youngster from Stuttgart as soon as humanly possible.

Simone Scuffet

Simone Scuffet

If you passed on Mitryushkin, then you should definitely keep Italian firebrand Simone Scuffet in your sights. Obviously, a high-performing goalie is key to a top notch squad. Unfortunately, great goalies are few and far between, and organizations who have one tend to pay top dollar to keep them.

So, keep an eye on the youngest goalkeeping talent out there, and make sure that Calcio Como’s Simone Scuffet is near the top of your list.

Toni Trograncic

Toni Trograncic

Bayern Munich’s teenage star Toni Trograncic is still unshaped, it’s true. He’s what you’d consider a long term investment. Especially since the kid is so young that there’s no telling which position he’ll play when he comes of age.

What is certain, though, is that Trograncic is one of the most technically skilled players of his age group. In other words, it doesn’t really matter where he’ll end up, because he’s going to dominate.

Ike Ugbo

Ike Ugbo

On the off chance you’re an under-18 footballer in Europe, you’re probably already very afraid of Ike Ugbo. This season, he opened Chelsea’s Youth season by knocking out a hat trick right out of the gate, a number that put him on path to becoming one of the organization’s leading all-time scorers.

And he’s only 16. Get him now, people, while the getting is good!

Joel Asoro

Joel Asoro

Sunderland’s 16-year-old acquisition is certainly one to grab first thing. The club has placed a lot of importance on his development, and for good reason.

Described as a “fox in the box,” Asoro is swift-footed and deadly from the inside. He’s already shown a lot of talent as both a striker and an attacking midfielder, so he’s certain to fit into your squad wherever you need him.

Jonathan Silva

Jonathan Silva

Series vets will recognize the name Jonathan Silva. The defensive wunderkind has repeatedly been the bane of club owners who haven’t drafted him early on (you know he made your life miserable in FM15).

The Argentinian’s value is guaranteed to spike after the first season, so be sure to invest some cash in him while he’s young and feel that much more confident that your defense has an extra layer of protection. 

Andrija Zivkovic

Andrija Zivkovic

In the case of Andrija Zivkovic, we need only prove our point by doing a little simple math. If you pick up the playmaker in your inaugural season, you’ll drop about $1.1 million to acquire him.

If you pass on the potential winger and wait until 2017 to acquire him, then that price tag jumps to about $40 million. So … yeah, buy him. It’s just common sense.

If you play it smart and use some of these players before they become big names, you can be dominating Create-A-Club mode without breaking the bank. 

Red Bull Battle Grounds: The Archon grand finals and who will be there Fri, 18 Sep 2015 06:03:42 -0400 Ryan Mayle

Red Bull Battle Grounds is heading back to Washington D.C. for the grand finals of its Starcraft 2 Archon Mode tournament. Starting June 19th, pairs of players have been competing in qualifiers up to this point in a brand new system of competitive Starcraft II. This has been a huge change from the typical 1v1 style that Starcraft is known for.

In Archon mode, each side is controlled not by one person, but two. So not only will players need to monitor their own bases and armies but also communicate with one another about how to strategize against the other players.

The real question is, who will be playing this weekend in this tournament?

Choi "Bomber" Ji Sung and Mun "MMA" Seong Won.

Bomber and MMA are both Terran players. Last year Bomber was able to win Red Bull Battle Grounds in a 4-0 match against Cure. Then MMA was able to climb far into Starcraft II World Championship Series walking away with 2nd place.

Kim "viOLet" Dong Hwan and Maru "MaSa" Kim

Also representing Terran, viOlet was able to come in 3rd/4th place at the 2014 Red Bull Battle Grounds: Detroit and Atlanta, so he has experience playing against Bomber. MaSa from ROOT Gaming is also no stranger with the competition as he also had to go against HuK for the finals of the SHOUTcraft America Winter.

Chris "HuK" Loranger + Jang "MC" Min Chul

Both Protoss players, HuK is no stranger to the competition from playing at Red Bull Battle Grounds in Atlanta. Then his partner MC has had experience with contender MMA, defeating him 4-2 in the 2014 WCS Season finals in Europe.

Park "DongRaeGu (DRG)" Soo Ho + Yoo "True" Ki Sung

As the two Zerg players in the tournament, DongRaeGu is no stranger to the Red Bull tournament by coming in 1st place in the 2014 Red Bull Battle Grounds: Global held in Calfornia. However, his partner True is a newcomer to this stage, with plenty of potential to prove.

Who will be able to win it all? As of right now it is anyones guess. However, we will be able to find out this Saturday at 12:30PM EST when the stream begins on Red Bull Battle Grounds' website.

Guild Guide: Nailing down what you need for guild officers Fri, 24 Jul 2015 09:49:44 -0400 Eliot Lefebvre

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If there is one thing I want to accomplish with these columns, if nothing else, it's taking apart the idea that officers are the power core of any player grouping. Because having a group full of leaders with no one who's willing to follow is a very real and very damaging possibility. Guilds should not be running on the same basic principle as medieval feudal kingdoms, and officers should not be appointed based on who's been around the longest and who you like the most.

Properly appointing officers - and recognizing, as an officer or a member, what the "right" number of officers might be - is a huge part of responsible leadership. It's also something that gets overlooked frequently in favor of making people officers as a reward for long service or giving more privilege to officers. It results in guilds that are either top-heavy, filled with officers who can't be official, or both.

So let's open up the discussion, here. How many officers do you need in a group, how do you make sure your officers can do their job, and how do you organize everything fairly?

Why did we appoint a master of robots?

A numbers game

If your guild is more than 10% officers, I would start to worry. More than 20% is almost certainly excessive if you're not doing a very specific themed guild, probably in a roleplaying setting in your MMO of choice. 40% and up means that the whole thing needs some serious structural changes.

At 10%, every officer is responsible for nine other people within the group. Obviously, in most MMOs and other settings, it doesn't precisely break down like that; most officers will have specific duties to attend to that affect everyone in the group. But it means that in terms of overall workload, each officer should be shouldering about that much responsibility, providing about that much functionality to the group as a whole.

Smaller guilds and groups are where this problem becomes particularly obvious - a group of 10 people needs one officer to manage guild-ish things, and much smaller than that you probably have an informal gathering with no need of a direct leader. In bigger groups, you need a bit more guidance, but not a whole lot more, more to coordinate specific tasks while spot-checking with other officers.

Far too many organizations I've seen view this sort of thing as a hierarchy, but the point of having officers isn't to make one player the Uncontested Leader while everyone else is a loyal minion. The point is making sure that everyone's coordinated and having fun, and an officer's first job is basically to help make sure that players group together, work smoothly, and know what they're doing. Officers should not be everywhere in an ornate power structure. The point is when the person who formed the group is leading people and is being asked to do more than can be done alone, there are people to offer assistance.

Do you trust these people as authorities?

Power to the people

Games can vary wildly in terms of what powers an officer can have and what privileges you can or can't be extended. In some MMOs, guilds have a huge number of things to do that can only be done by guilds, leading officers to have access to an array of powers that others might not have. Meanwhile, games like League of Legends leave player groupings mostly in the hands of the players themselves, with little in the way of official power to even be had.

Officers have more powers than other users, usually, which is a siren song for certain player types. But if the focus is on all of the cool things officers can do, something has gone wrong with the structure of the group as a whole.

Power, in this case, is something given out less as a gesture of trust and more as a gesture of needing certain abilities to do your job effectively. If you're in charge of overseeing supplies and crafting for the entire group, you are completely out of luck in the event that you don't have access to the guild bank or the like, and you need to be able to withdraw and use from it freely.

If other players can't do that, a reason needs to be established, and it needs to be clear - in both word and deed - that the reasoning is less "we don't trust you non-officers" and more "we have someone coordinating long-term crafting and don't want her to log in and find that all of the metal was removed to craft Level Stupid swords."

I'm not saying that trust isn't a component, just that it shouldn't feel like the main component. Officers should have the power they need to do their jobs. If you're running a League of Legends group and your goal is to have teams capable of playing at a high level, officers need the power to kick people out of the group if they're not performing up to snuff. At the same time, it should be made to feel less like a special benefit that only the officers get and more like a tool to be used when in extreme situations.

And now we know exactly who the boss is.

When hierarchy matters

Officers should not be in an elaborate hierarchy, no. But there does need to be some level of hierarchy simply so that people answer to one another. If you have three officers in World of Warcraft working on raid coordination, you need someone to coordinate the coordinators, so people aren't split up uncomfortably and working at cross purposes.

The point here is, again, that your officers should not be paying tribute at the feet of the High King, whose sword makes worlds burn. (Unless you are running some very specific and frankly disturbing roleplaying thing, in which case, you know, you do you.) You're trying to accomplish something with limited time and resources, and the easiest way to do that is making sure that all of the officers are talking to the same people and making decisions on the same grounds. The only "authority" someone has here is the ability to say "yeah, Simon already scheduled something to run then, we should reschedule." A heavy truncheon of authority it is not.

That's not to say you won't run into clashes between the officers. Sometimes two people don't work well together, which is where a hierarchy becomes far more important. If you have two excellent raid officers who really don't like one another, hierarchy helps immensely here - you have someone central to converse with, and the individual parties can keep their interaction to a minimum. There's no need for outright competition between them, no jockeying for position, just both submitting to someone who's making decisions based upon neutrality.

Officers lead a guild, but they don't lead it in the sense of pointing in a direction and expecting everyone to follow gamely along afterward. The point is that members and officers alike work to find a direction, and the officer corps helps shape and encourage that direction as best can be done. Gentle guidance rather than leading from the bully pulpit, in other words.

It's a big and complex topic, which means there's no way to cover all of it in a single piece. But it's something to think about whether you're organizing a group or just a member of one. Does your group have officers who help guide, or does it have people who lead and expect you to follow? Because only one of those is going to work well in the long run.

Guild Guide: Making events people show up for and enjoy Fri, 15 May 2015 05:33:56 -0400 Eliot Lefebvre

The group that plays together stays together.

I don't think anyone would contest that.  In fact, I can't think of a single guild leader or officer whom I've ever seen express doubt that guild events are useful or necessary.  Far more often, what I see are complaints by people who are supposedly doing everything right but somehow still wind up with unattended events and things that get rescheduled over and over until they're finally just cancelled due to lack of interest.

You don't get any real silver bullets when it comes to issues like this, but there are certainly elements that contribute to whether or not people are going to show up for your next major event.  More often than not, they're the sort of things that people just plain don't think about.  So today, let's take a look at making sure that your events are received with all the excitement you think they're due, and more importantly that people actually show up like they're supposed to.

So, this isn't a great time to bring it up, but I have to leave in five minutes.

Know your times

Let me start with a very basic pet peeve: if you list an event as starting at 9 PM Eastern, it should start at 9 PM Eastern.  The time for everyone to get ready to go is before the start time.  If someone can't manage to be there for a specific time, that's understandable, but no event should start off with fifteen minutes of waiting for someone to finally roll in.

But knowing your times extends beyond that.  If the event is scheduled to run for a specific timeframe and you're approaching that limit without being done, you may need to stop and reschedule.  Odds are that at least some of the players involved budgeted their time to cover, well, the stated time period, not any and all add-ons to that timeline that might occur.  This also happens when events don't start at their listed time, so that's another reason to make sure that things start when they start, neither before nor after.

You also need to keep the schedules of your members in mind when you're handling all of this.  It is difficult if not impossible to actually make a schedule that is completely compatible with everyone and leaves no one out, but it is possible to make sure that your event isn't just leaving out large groups of people for the heck of it. If your clan consists of lots of people who work on the weekend, don't schedule major events to start at noon on a Saturday; you're shutting out dedicated members who would like to take part, and if they don't feel welcome, they'll just leave.

Your goal is always to make something that as many people as possible can attend.  That means being aware of the times you schedule and making sure to use up the time you've been allocated.

That feeling when you're all trapped in one person's ego project.

Don't make it about you

In an MMO, there is always content that you need done that other people don't.  There are always going to be things that you want that you don't have.  That's natural, and it's totally natural to want the help of others in getting all of that.  But there's a thin line between "I really want this, can you help me" and "come to this event which is all about getting this thing for me."

This is the sort of thing that happens a lot when farming for particular items that are unusually rare or trying to get upgrades from specific content - someone will make an event that has a distinct benefit for them, but is actually counterproductive for everyone else.  If you're trying to get a rare mount, for example, but the whole point of the event is that the organizer gets first pick of that rare mount... well, how many people do you think are going to sign up for that?

For that matter, would you even be running the event if you already had it?

Group events and content need to be focused around play that multiple people can enjoy, not just getting one person what they want in the most efficient fashion possible.  If you're asking other people to give up their time to help you, then you need to be willing to provide them with something to make them want to help and take part.

Some themes work better than others, naturally.

Have a specific goal and theme

Let's say you belong to a group of like-minded League of Legends players, and you have to choose between two events.  The first event is specifically meant to be a chance for players to practice with and against a new character, so the plan is to hold specific matches with one person playing the new character per team and everyone else running old standbys.  The second is just a general gathering to show up and fool around in the game or something.  Which one would you want to attend?

I'm going to guess it's the former, and there's a good reason.  The former has something it can accomplish.  The former is an actual event.  The latter is just farting around on the vague premise of structure with no real reason given.

With any event, you want to feel as if your time spent was not completely or even partially wasted.  You want to feel like you accomplished something.  And much like having a focus for your group ensures that you're all marching in the same direction, having a focus for your event means that you can judge whether or not it's having an intended purpose.  You're setting aside a block of time to do something specific, not just whatever you would normally do even if you weren't attending a specific event.

Round 1 is easy, round 45 is harder to smile through.

Keep it relaxed

During the most stressful bits of content, it can be a really rough ride to keep players relaxed and happy.  It's understandable, really; when stuff is going down, it's going down, and if you're collectively banging your head against a raid or the like people are going to start getting annoyed.  Or even if you're just doing something as simple as farming in an MMO and it's not going well, with few to no drops showing up.

As the organizer, your job isn't just to make sure that things start on time and stay on target.  Your job is also to make sure that everyone is not glaring at their screens and cursing your name.  Or if they are cursing your name, at least have them be cursing for the right reasons.  (I'm not entirely sure what reasons you could possibly have to want people cursing your name, but I'm not going to pry into the particulars of your personal life.)

Voice chat can sometimes be particularly useful for this just to keep a jovial atmosphere and to keep people reminded that there's a bunch of thinking human beings on the other end of the screen.  But it's more than just that.  It's about being upbeat and fun to play with, even if things are going bad.  It's about making people feel like this event is fun rather than a prison that people cannot escape until the time is up.

If you have a successful event in the strictest sense that ends with everyone unhappy at the tone of it, no one will come back for the next one.  But if you have an event that's technically a failure but keeps everyone happy?  They'll be willing to try again. 

Failure stings less when just being there was a fun ride.

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Evolve Playerbase Down To 4,000 - 25% Off On Steam Sun, 22 Mar 2015 16:43:24 -0400 Dino Becker

Right now, Evolve is on sale for 25% off on Steam. But does anyone care?

Turtle Rock Studios' new game has had very mixed reviews from the start. A lot of critics considered it to be a masterpiece. Others compared it to the dirt under their feet.

These perspectives don't seem to have changed much. In the week Evolve launched, up to 27,403 players were playing at the same time. Not long afterwards, its playerbase plummeted dwindling down to a pitiful ~4,000 players.

Why did this happen? Some say it's because of its lacking single player. Some say it's because of their baffling DLC prices. And others say it's because of their unnecessarily extensive progression system. Either way, aside from the glowing reviews they received from critics, Turtle Rock had a lot working against them.

I think it's a mixture of the above reasons. Evolve was a new franchise with an idea unique enough to revolutionize shooters. Both sides have a fair chance at winning. There is a definite distinction between good and bad players. And it's deep. (Yes, it is.)

But when you start a new franchise, you need to make it enticing enough on all fronts for players to keep playing your game. Or perhaps more importantly, to pick it up in the first place. I believe that Turtle Rock became overconfident when they were handed awards left and right, and figured they could get away with charging a premium for their DLC content.

The progression system was a silly mistake. The idea was fine, but terribly implemented. It caused players to quit before they got to the good stuff.

Regardless, I still think Evolve is a very strong game once you get past all of these things. As you can see from the chart, once the number of players reached 5,000, the number of players dropping Evolve almost stopped. Those are most likely the players that did get past Evolve's shoddy progression system and got to the point were they could enjoy the game in its full glory.

If Evolve really was as bad as we make it out to be, then shouldn't their playerbase have nearly vanished by now?

What do you think? Did you try Evolve? Or are you going to try it out now that it's cheaper? Let us know in the comments!

Destiny Averaging 3.2 Million Players Daily Mon, 13 Oct 2014 09:50:54 -0400 AJ_Labate

Over the weekend, Bungie released some intriguing data concerning Destiny in their weekly update.

Although the game itself has received mixed reviews, the powerhouse title is averaging 3.2 million players per day according to their daily play figures. The average player has logged in 20 times in the month since the release.

The average play time per player is approximately three hours.

Although Activision hasn’t officially released the sales figures, it’s clear to see the success that Bungie’s latest game has sustained over the first month since its release on September 9th.

These numbers should be very exciting for Bungie to see, considering that the figures are substantially better than the totals of both Halo 3 and Halo Reach, Bungie’s last two games, combined.

"When we see the raw numbers, it's easy for us to say that the destination was worth the journey,” said David Dague Bungie’s community manager. "Stay tuned for the next evolution of our shared adventure."

Although Destiny has ruled the spotlight, it is unclear whether or not it can survive the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Last year the figures showed that players logged about 1900 years of Call of Duty every day, while Destiny is recording closer to 1100 years of gaming per day.

Those numbers will take a bit of a hit today, as the PlayStation Network servers will be down from 10 AM  to 5 PM PST in order to perform some routine maintenance.

With the upcoming release of the expansion “The Dark Below” DLC in December and the holiday season looming, Destiny is poised to go toe-to-toe with the #1 best-selling FPS franchise Call of Duty.

Crysis 3: Why I Am Playing a Shooter From Last Year Fri, 15 Aug 2014 05:38:52 -0400 Bob Nat

This month PlayStation Plus has given its members Crysis 3. I never played this game before thinking “what the heck” I downloaded.

Surprisingly I am having fun with the multiplayer. Bullets blazing across the screen as men in blue and red glowing suites dive for cover in a heated battle. Soon I was back into the crazy mayhem of what makes these types of games enjoyable; the shooting.

The interface has a similar look to the one in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. In addition to its similarity to Call of Duty games it has optional challenges like ‘get three kills in a row’ or ’kill an enemy with his own gun’.

A good friend of mine got me into shooters years ago. We would play Call of Duty for nights, handing the controller to each other after every match. He is the guy that yells to me "hey Bob we are playing Cards" in The Card Game That Made Me Howl. Ever since that I enjoyed the fast paced world of online shooters.

I was playing a lot of Battlefield4 regularly until a few weeks ago. The domination game mode was fun though the game kept freezing on me. The prospect of a new shooter seemed what I needed to fulfill that itch.

I never say “this will be my new shooter." You never know it might be fantastic or dual. So much of the enjoyment figures on the players. Will there be enough people in the lobbies? Will they just be sitting in a corner or actively running around?

So far the multiplayer has been engaging. I only spent a few hours into it, making it to level 14 or 15. I’m sure much of the flux of new players due to it being free for plus members. It will be fun to see if  players will stay or move on after a few weeks of play.

You play as a ‘Nano’ wearing Super soldier based off of Prophet, the character from the single player. You get several ways to equip your character with multiple weapons, perks and dog tags to choose from.

Abilities like’ going invisible’ adds a new strategy into your approach to the game. There is a light outline to your character and with time your eyes get more familiar with what to look for. With added perks such as the ability to have quieter footsteps and a bow player can play a sneaky character.  

Many times I would be running around like a gun crazed mad man after some guy yelling; “Hey come back I want to introduce you to my friend; Bullet. He wants to say hi with a bang!” when I receive an arrow in the head. The kill cam reviled a cloaked enemy from the rafters to be the shooter.Bowman in game ready to take a kill shot.

Other perks increase your reload speed, armor and can turn you into a battle-axe. Nothing was as fun for me then going into an area with a light machine gun and mowing down the completion.

The maps are wild with terrain that is as fun to explorer as it is to play on. Multiple levels of stare wells, turrets and hidden areas to stalk your advisory make it fun and engaging to play the same maps over and over again.

During a face-off between a teammate of mine and an enemy I went around the corner to the long hall way found in the museum level. Finding some boards covering up an entrance to the hall I was able to breakthrough them. Flanking our opponent was very satisfying.

At the end of the match you get a nice a highlight reel of your kills. Seeing my character break through the boards and shooting the enemy in the head during the highlight reel for that match was even more satisfying and made me want to continue to the next match.

All in all I am enjoying this game and it has satisfied the itch. I am glad I got it as part of PSN plus subscription. Looking at the current price on the Playstation store it will set you back twenty dollars. The average length single player is alright though I found the story to be a little pulpy for my tastes. The going invisible mechanic and buffing up the nano suite that acts as more armor is interesting mechanics adding to the overall enjoyment though can become repeatable as you progress through the story. 

Luvinia World: How One Passionate Gamer Helped Bring Back the Game that He Loves Wed, 11 Jun 2014 08:36:13 -0400 Lacey_6683

Online games come and go. No matter how attached we might become to a particular MMORPG, it will eventually close. It's not at all unusual for some to spend years on their character, patiently leveling it up from a level 1 newbie to an uber, maxed-level pro. What happens when the game you love closes down and your character is lost forever?

This is the exact situation that faced the players of Luvinia Online last year. When the game's San Francisco-based publisher Outspark closed their doors on February 2013, the community grieved. One gamer fought back. Convinced that Luvinia Online had a thriving community, he launched a campaign to bring back the MMO he loved. To drum up support for a relaunch, he created a Facebook page, Youtube video, and posted in forums about finding a new publisher for the game.

Luvinia Online


Susan A., Head GM of Luvinia World, specifically credits that particular player who was apparently instrumental in drumming up support for Luvinia. In an interview she said that, "One player in particular went on what was to become the LOVE LUVINIA Campaign... All of this attracted the attention of the SOA Games team who were quite impressed by the determination of the community in general."

So cheers to that gamer! You did what many others wish they could have done, bring back a formerly dead MMO back to life.

Here is a question for everyone to ponder: if you could bring back just one MMORPG, which one would it be and why?