No Man’s Sky Beyond: Our Wishlist for the New Update

Hello Games must have been reading our minds because I kid you not I was wondering when they were going to be announcing their next update for No Man’s Sky just yesterday. Now 24 hours (and one Twitter meltdown by yours truly) later, we have an idea of what is next to come for the space exploration game. They made the official announcement of the next update called Beyond, a large three part update that is proclaimed by Hello Games to be even bigger and better than previous updates (you can find the announcement on the game’s official website).

Beyond is being described as a culmination of three updates interwoven into one. The announcement of the update gave us just the first of the three updates to the game, which includes all new multiplayer and social experiences. The game will now be a full online experience where players can interact with one another. Hello Games is refraining from calling it an MMO because their are no subscriptions or microtransactions, but in essence… it’s an MMO now (hence my Twitter meltdown).

The bad news in this announcement is that they only announced that first part of the update and are going to announce the other two over the next two weeks. The good news, though, is that we get to let our imaginations run wild with ideas of what the other two parts to Beyond might be. I have a couple of things that I would personally love to see added into the game that are not completely out of the realm of possibility.

Our buddy Simon, who you guys would recognize from our CoD podcast, joked that he would never play the game unless there was a battle royale mode that spanned multiple planets in a star system. As sarcastic as he was when he said it, my ideas arent terribly far off from what he brought up. They also are two interconnected ideas so I feel like they would fit in with the theme of Beyond as a whole. The first part of it being a true, fleshed out PvP experience.

PvP

The past two and a half years since launch, Hello Games has been committed to bringing narrative, exploration, cooperative play and crafting to the heights they currently, and have done a fantastic job. Now that the PvE experience has reached the potential Hello Games envisioned initially, it feels like the right time to shift focus towards new PvP experiences.

There are a couple ideas I have conjured up on how they could potentially approach PvP. They could do a traditional matchmaking system where you have ground or air combat with whatever multi-tool or ship you have in your playthrough and just do match made games, or another thought I had was implementing PvP star systems. You could have a designated filter on your galaxy map that will show you which star systems are PvP enabled and which are PvE only.

Updated Faction System

The third piece to my dream Beyond update would be to add depth to the faction system. There are currently faction based quests and ways to gain or lose reputation with the different factions in the game, but it still feels a little shallow and you dont entirely feel like apart of a certain faction. I would love to see them have you ally more closely with these factions and build on the bits of lore that you find within the universe.

How They Would Intertwine

These two concepts would work very well together because the updated factions and lore can attribute to why the PvP events are happening. You can even have full faction based PvP if you so choose. Have conflicts between Gek and Vy’Keen players scattered in different star systems. Another idea is have PvP arenas of sorts in certain Vy’Keen systems (I chose them because they are the brutish warrior race). These two concepts play so well off of each other so I feel like these would be such great pieces to the game.

Other Ways it Could Impact the Game

With an improved faction system I feel like it would be a great opportunity to continue world building by adding new, complex building types that are unique to each faction. For example, in a Vy’Keen system, you might see remnants of warrior base camps on planets or intricate well made Gek cities. This would make each planet feel more alive and unique.

With PvP, it gives them an opportunity to add new types of mods for the multi tools to help cater to combat more and even add new vendor types that can help you better equip yourself for battles.

The possibilities for Beyond are endless at this point and this is all just wild daydreaming but I would love to see those changes implemented into the game. The evolution of No Man’s Sky has been amazing and I hope they continue to bring new exciting things to the game (like my ideas listed above) so that the game can continue to captivate the fans that stuck with them through this development cycle.

What big changes do you want to see hit No Man’s Sky in the Beyond update when it drops this Summer? Sound off below or let us know on Twitter!

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Shaggy’s Fate With Mortal Kombat 11…

It has been a great time over the last month with some amazing Shaggy memes hitting social media out of no where. The memes have been taking the beloved character of Scooby Doo, and they have been turning him into an all mighty demi-god character that is Shaggy. Through the time of the memes it has been noticed by higher ups at Nether Realm thanks to a petition to introduce Shaggy into the Mortal Kombat Universe as a DLC for MK11. At first it seemed like all fun and games just some jokes with the community that was a distant dream to happen in the game… Then Ed Boon started making tweets about Shaggy…

Hi? Lo? Mid? Grab? I will mix your shit up in fighting games! – Ed Boon

This started to pick up some traction by the community and people started to hope that this might become a real thing, such as myself. There were many fans of the genre starting to draw up concept art, think of names for combos, and voice lines for the character’s fatalities and intros. This was going so far at one point this is what exploded the internet…

Hack and Slash Shaggy variation 😂

-Ed Boon
When Ed Boon dropped this photo on twitter everyone took a second to think.. wait did we do it? Is this going to happen. Even myself I told everyone I’m going to dedicate my life to become the best Shaggy one trick in MK11… People started to think if they could have the rights to Shaggy which it did seem possible with Nether Realm and Scooby Doo being owned by Warner Bros. there is a possibility…Sadly it was finally confirmed that we would not be seeing the lovable mystery solving goon that is Shaggy with a tweet of #RIPShaggy. It was fun while it lasted but it is defiantly crazy to see how far a petition can go in the gaming industry.
Thanks for checking out our article on Shaggy’s Fate with Mortal Kombat 11. Make sure to leave your thoughts in comments below. What was your favorite idea for Shaggy as a character in Mortal Kombat 11? If you could see any character introduced to the franchise who would it be? Make sure to follow us on social media!
-Brandon Maj

Madden 19 First Thoughts…

We are getting close to the start of the NFL season, and that means madden is here! Myself and Manny got our hands on the Hall of Fame edition of the game nearly a week ago, and so far we have had a very good time. I have always been a huge fan of the madden franchise where on the other hand Manny hasn’t purchased a current Madden since Madden 13 and hasn’t played one since Madden 16.

I have to say, this is the most fun I’ve had in Madden in almost 3 years now. Last year really fell short for me and I quit playing after only about two months of being released. Where most Maddens I continue to play until after Christmas. I have always been a huge fan of Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) for the excitement of pack openings and the grind to make your team better throughout the season and different holiday events that pop up through the year. So, I will admit ALL of my time spent on the current Madden has been all in MUT over the past week of the game. I really enjoy the different aspects this year to make it much easier to figure out what you want to do and the game is much more straight forward for MUT. This is my first time ever playing MUT Squads (a new game mode that was implemented in last years Madden to allow you to play MUT with your friends.) Manny and myself have played a few matches so far and overall it has been really fun to play with your friends in this game mode. We did a huge pack opening the first day of launch and it was incredibly fun we got some amazing cards in our packs. Manny even pulled a 90 overall Legend card which blew my mind. There is a new addition to MUT this year that I’m sort of having a bit of a love-hate relationship with currently. That is the new upgrade progression system. Now there are cards in the game that you can upgrade with new tokens. Which yeah is really cool and all but at the same time I feel like it makes it so much easier now to get a really good team, which is something I always loved about the grind it meant a lot when your team’s overall was around an 85. Well, after the first week my team overall is already a 79… which usually took me about a month to achieve, and I know if I spent more of my tokens I could probably break the 80 overall threshold. Which scares me because the grind is what always kept me around playing Madden to get my team as close to a 90+ as possible, and I have a feeling I may hit that in the first month if I keep grinding like I am. All in all the Madden Ultimate Team is very fun again this year like most. Now for the gameplay.

This years Madden has the smoothest gameplay I have ever felt in a sports game. Most of you are probably thinking “shouldn’t the newest game always feel smoother then the last?” Well yes it should but honestly Madden 18 felt clunkier then 17, and others have felt worse then previous years. This one has it all so far. The passing and running are very fluent while the new player movement system is fantastic and really allows you to combo different special movements with the ball carrier. Also hit sticks on defense seem to make a much bigger impact, but are also way harder to land now. You pretty much either force a fumble, or you are giving up a huge play. I really love that they have fixed a lot of the gameplay issues from last year. The only thing that is bothering me when it comes to actual gameplay is when you begin running on a play the ball carrier or defender doesn’t accelerate like old maddens. It’s very slow, and feels kind of weird. The two best parts about the new player movement system in Madden 19 has to be the celebrations and the fact that different players are slower then other players. To touch on this first, in most Maddens my 90+ speed running back would get caught by a 67 speed Defensive lineman running down the sideline, which was super unrealistic to me. They have finally fixed this problem! The second portion the statement previously… touchdown celebrations are in the game and they are so fun and exciting! Everytime you score now you just get so excited to see which celebration your character will go with after you choose. It really makes scoring feel even better now in Madden 19!

I am going to give Madden 19 an 8.8 out of 10. The MUT is extremely enjoyable, and from what Manny has told me about franchise you have so much more control this year as a player with bonus rewards mid game and different goals throughout the season. The only things so far holding me back to give the game a higher rating is the MUT progression system, MUT Squads not allowing you to play with just 2 players, and the acceleration aspect of the game. That being said the game has some amazing new additions with player movement, and prior to Madden 19, the highest I would have scored another Madden would be around a 8.2, so this game takes the cake with the new motion system! Let us know why you thought of the article and your options of Madden 19 in the comments! Make sure to hit the star so we know you enjoy the article! Untill next time.

-Brandon Maj

Country Roads, Take Me Home

Since it’s announcement on May 30th, Fallout 76 has been the talk of the town and there are several reasons why. It all started with the games lengthy announcement: a 24 hour live-stream filled with a whole lot of nothing, topped off with an appearance by industry icon Todd Howard. Throw in an online only announcement and the implementation of player controlled nukes and you have a game full of both excitement and controversy, but Bethesda wouldn’t have it any other way.

After their E3 Showcase last month, many people were worried that Fallout 76 was going to be filled with PvP griefers among other issues. For me personally, I even had my own reservations about the different direction they were taking the game… but then I remembered, this is Bethesda we are talking about. The game studio that has made two of my favorite games of all-time (Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3) and haven’t put out a bad title… ever? So I put my own reservations aside and decided to wait until I knew more details about the game.

Now after details continue to emerge about a lot of the controversial aspects of the game, I am all in for Fallout 76. The biggest concern I had from the start was that with the game being online only and having PvP that it would take away from the core focus of the game which is rebuilding America. Thanks to clarification from Pete Hines, it seems as though the PvP will not be something that’s a constant issue for players that want to focus on the PvE and building aspects of the game. My concerns with the nukes – which would allow players to bomb a part of the map potentially destroying other players C.A.M.Ps – were also squashed with the explanation that they would not be so easy to obtain and use. Players will have to find multiple keys spread across the map, fight their way into heavily guarded bunker, and blindly launch the nuke. They will not be able to purposely attack other players, and those in the blast radius will be notified.

So hopefully this little article helps put your minds at ease as well. Bethesda seems to be putting mechanics in the game to assure that the game’s focus stays rebuilding the country and not a free for all. While we eagerly await the BETA, which is set to launch this October, let us know what you guys are excited about most with Fallout 76!

Black Ops 4 Beta Dates

The dates have finally been announced when the beta will drop for Black Ops 4, the upcoming installment for the Call of Duty franchise. It has been a sigh of relief the last few years when the developers have allowed us to indulge on early gameplay for multiple reasons. The biggest of course is for the not so hardcore fans to know if they will be interested in the newest Call of Duty. Then another benefit for the hardcore fans is they will be able to express their opinions of different gun balances pre launch. Even though some people may view the Call of Duty as a second evil to EA with their microtransactions, it really has been much appreciated that we have been getting betas for the past few games. Yes, for most part the franchise has become stale, but I will argue that the recent Call of Duty installment betas have lead to a much more polished game release.

Multiplayer Beta Dates:

Playstation 4 (First Weekend):

Start: August 3rd 10am PT / 1pm ET

End: August 6th 10am PT / 1pm ET

Playstation 4 and Xbox One (Second Weekend):

Start: August 10th 10am PT / 1pm ET

End: August 13th 10am PT / 1pm ET

PC:

Start: August 10th 10am PT / 1pm ET

End: August 13th 10am PT / 1pm ET

Black Ops 4 Blackout Beta: Classified

There are a plethora of different elements the community is eager to get their hands on in the beta. Black Ops 4 is trying it’s best to make Call of Duty feel innovated again, but this could be its ultimate downfall. As much as the community complains about Call of Duty being stale by not taking risks, these same people lash out when the game does change (jet packs). There is potential for a pivotal year for Call of Duty with the addition of new combat changes such as self healing, medics, five man matches, and BATTLE ROYALE… this could be a huge turning point for the franchise. If pulled off correctly, fans will find their love for the game again. But if the additions lack, it could be the final dagger to the heart for the franchise. As a long time Call of Duty lover… I really hope this could be the change we are needing.

Let us know what you think about the upcoming Call of Duty game, Black Ops 4. Are you interested with the changes? Are you buying in on a AAA title making a battle royale game mode? Are you excited for a possibly new tactical game play with self healing? Or do you just want Call of Duty to die already?

-Brandon Maj

Two Cups of Expectations, a Dash of Nerves, a Sprinkle of Faith, and a Bucket of Excitement…

There are many of you out there who rememeber one of the most impactful days in our gaming lives… April 27th 2004. The day City of Heroes was released. This game has a very large cult following even after its death on November 30th 2012. I’m sure many of you have a very close connection with this game whether it was endless nights of grinding, new friendships, and maybe even relationships that sparked over this game… City of Heroes was so special to me because it created a very close bond between my dad and I. We would stay up late on school nights (maybe even be “sick” for a double exp weekend that started on a Friday)… After playing this game for years with my dad, and then dragging friends into it, it was absolutely heartbreaking when we found out the game would close at the end of the year in 2012. Maybe the Mayans were right about the world ending in 2012 because all of our favorite game was put to rest…

– City of Heroes (Digital Trends)

Many of us have tried to fill the void that was City of Heroes with other games such as Champions Online, DC Universe, or other similar game styles, but truly nothing has fulfilled this hole. Luckily there is a light at the end of the tunnel, a very faint light at the moment, but nonetheless a light. For the past five years or so there has been talks about spiritual successors of City of Heroes that have been in the works even since the announcement of NCSoft pulling the plug on City of Heroes. Since about 2014 there have been two heavy hitters in the spiritual successor creation, Valiance Online and City of Titans. An additional two successors that may be a little less known are Ship of Heroes and Heroes and Villains.

Out of all super hero based MMOs the one that seems to be the furthest along is Valliance Online. They are already at the stage of an investor alpha test (which I have gotten my hands on). I have only played it for a few hours, and I will say it felt great to put the spandex on, but it definitely felt like an alpha, No Duh. Obviously the basis of the game is there, but some combat mechanics are a little wonky. A few issues I was running into were: My Commander character’s pets will stop attacking a target after X amount of time, my brawler was having issues hitting targets when I entered combat even though the enemies could attack me. All in all it felt amazing to get back on the streets running some missions and fight some perps. Valiance Online has been taking strides to improve the alpha with constant updates through hearing back from the community feedback. The community is just like us, people who love City of Heroes. Therefore Valiance Online is trying to give us the game we deserve. The game will eventually get to the point of a full release we of course hope sooner then later!

-Valiance Online Steam Community

Out of the spiritual successors, City of Titans is the first one that I heard of and grasped onto very tightly at its announcement. That being said sadly City of Titans has been the one with the most setbacks (it seems). It may have been all speculation, it may have been things said from the company, or a mix of both, but the community has been expecting the game to be further along then it currently is. As of right now we are getting some very beautiful in game videos of combat techniques, movement, character design, and a view of the city we will get to play in. Out of all the projects City of Titans seems to be the most beautiful of the upcoming games, but at the same time this is the one people are starting to fear may end up in development hell forever. They have been making some progress after switching their engine over, which may have been the most brilliant move on the company. (Switching to a new engine gives them the possibility of making the game look like an upgrade from City of Heroes graphics to potentially being the most beautiful MMO to ever release). Which is very exciting, but fans speculate that this may have set them back further then we hoped. There is supposedly going to be some sort of content for us super hero fans to get our hands on by the end of 2018. We will just have to wait, wait, wait, and see if this will be worth it in the end.

-Missing Worlds Media Youtube

Of the four that I previously mentioned Heroes and Villains may be the one that has the least amount of exposure. Their first teaser was released over FIVE years ago which looked very pretty, but in the last year there hasn’t been a whole lot shown of the game other then some absolutely stunning concept art. They do keep up with a weekly update every Friday which does show some promise that the studio is still posting information towards their project while remaining very consistent. This game could have some serious potential with dedicated Plan Z developing the game, but as of right now they might be at the bottom of the totem pole with the spiritual successors .

-Heroes and Villains concept

Now it’s time for the true dark horse of the competition, Ship of Heroes. The unique aspect on this game is it’s going in a slightly different direction then all of the other super hero based MMOs. It’s going to be more of a cosmic based super hero game. By that I mean very heavily space oriented. You will get to have your own ship and travel the galaxy. This game is taking more of a Guardians of the Galaxy approach rather than an Avengers approach which could work out in their favor if City of Titans, Valiance Online, and Heroes and Villains come out around the same time Ship of Heroes will be the one outlier that will be different giving you a reason to play even if you fall in love with one of the other successors. This game only dropped its first video on YouTube ONE YEAR AGO. This game may be further along than a lot of these games that have been open for a few years now. Ship of Heroes has been keeping up with a pretty solid amount of video content on Youtube.

-Ship of Heroes Developer Stream

It will be a very exciting journey till the successors release. Which one are you most excited for? City of Titans? Valiance Online? Ship of Heroes? Or Heroes and Villains? Let us know in the comments! Thank you for your support and hopefully this pulled your hearts strings a little reminiscing about City of Heroes with us!

-Brandon Maj

Here are the links to check out these upcoming projects! Make sure to check them out and like their facebook pages!

https://cityoftitans.com/

https://valiance.shogn.net/home

http://www.heroes-and-villains.com/phpb/home.php

https://www.shipofheroes.com/

Don’t Let Your Dreams Be Dreams with Dreams

So in the past couple episodes of the podcast you guys have heard me going crazy about Media Molecules current project Dreams, but I wanted to take some time here to sort of expand on why I am so excited to get my hands on this game. Since the game was announced back in 2013 everyone has been curious as to what this project entails. Now with E3 in the rear view mirror we finally have a pretty good grasp of what we will be getting from Dreams and that is literally whatever we want.

This is the first reason I am so excited about this game. It gives you the tools to do whatever you want. If you want to play a unique story, it has three different stories to play through. Have you always dreamed of making your own game? Have you ever felt you could make a good narrative with a phenomenal story idea? You can actually make a game from scratch. You design the levels, the characters, the items/weapons, the animations, create the voices, and even make the music all yourself.

The music creation tool is another thing that has me all sorts of excited. One of our news stories on the podcast was about the show that the Molecules put on to wrap up E3 and it was incredible. It did a tremendous job of showing off the extent of detail in the music creation tool reflecting well on the entire game. Just thinking about being able to perform a concert with friends on a PS4 is mind blowing. Whether you want to be the next Skrillex or Metallica, the video game allows you to create any style of music. Music is just a small piece of the puzzle within Dreams.

The beauty of it all is that the puzzle can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. If you just want to make a fun platforming single level you have all the tools to do that. If you want to make the next Witcher game with a full score and set of voiced characters you can do that too. Dreams truly gives you the freedom to innovate and create how you would want. To top it all off, it streamlines all of these features for ease of use. In their E3 showcase, the presenter of the demo explained how quick and easy it is to animate an object you create in the game. He completes the whole process in less than a minute which would take an actual game animator a full thirty minutes. The fact that they have managed to make this game creation tool so user friendly is astounding.

I know many people who have watched how the game creation tool works and have said “that looks cool and all but I don’t have interest in making a game so it’s just not for me.” Well, for those people consider this; even if someone doesn’t want to make games in Dreams, they still have the opportunity to play other people’s creations. So you can have a shooter, platformer, and RPG all in one experience with Dreams.

Just from the demos shown on it this far, I can tell that Dreams is going to be an incredible experience not only for creative types, but for everyone. I for one, cannot wait to see what things I can dream up with this ambitious project. There is no word on a release date for Dreams sadly, but Media Molecule has already stated that they are going to be releasing a beta for the game before the year’s end. Be on the lookout for that, and be sure to share your awesome creations with us when Dreams does come around!