Sunday Bits

TODAY: BlizzCon 2019 kicked off this weekend, with reveals for Diablo IV and Overwatch 2 – Grab a cuppa and get yourself ready for The Outer Worlds with our handy guide

BlizzCon 2019 Event Roundup

The hellishly demonic BlizzCon 2019 round-up

This year’s BlizzCon has been hotly anticipated and happened over the weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center, California. It’s a huge event that’s grown to ridiculous proportions since it was first held back in 2005 with around 8,000 attendees, with last year’s BlizzCon 2018 drawing in over 40,000. In fact, Blizzard Entertainment has only skipped two years from holding it; 2006 and 2012.

BlizzCon 2019 was already rumoured to have a number of major announcements that were all-but-confirmed leading into this year’s November 1-2 date for the event. We’ve rounded-up the biggest and juiciest highlights straight from the Dreadsteed’s mouth:

Diablo IV

The official announcement of Diablo IV has finally happened and Blizzard are taking a much darker tone with this follow-up from Diablo III. It’s set many years after the millions slaughtered by the High Heavens and Burning Hells, with humanity facing a pretty bleak future.

“After the destruction of the Black Soulstone, the defeat of the Prime Evil, and the fall of Malthael, Angel of Death, countless lives have been lost and the denizens of Sanctuary find themselves struggling through the darkest of ages. Years have passed and, as some semblance of regular life starts rebuilding, a threat as old as the land itself begins to stir.”

Sanctuary is going ‘open world’ with five distinct and highly dangerous regions that can be accessed in any order and at any time, “all seamlessly connected for uninterrupted journeys.” This means we’ll be getting actual ridable mounts for the first time as we roam zone to zone. The Barbarian, The Sorceress and The Druid are all revealed classes at BlizzCon, with a further two being kept quiet for now.

Overwatch 2

A new era dawns as Overwatch 2 is revealed by Blizzard with promises of all your accomplishments and loot collections being “carried forward” into the sequel. That means all those skins, player icons, sprays, emotes etc. will transfer over. Overwatch and Overwatch 2 players will also get to battle against each other in PvP, and the sequel’s heroes and maps will be playable in the original as well.

The biggest change in Overwatch 2 is a new focus on story as co-op missions are being introduced that support up to four players. “Play an active role in the next chapter of the Overwatch saga through a series of intense four-player missions. Fight back against Null Sector, uncover the motives behind the omnic attacks, and confront a rising wave of new threats.”

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (TBA 2020)

The next expansion to the goliath beast that is the World of Warcraft MMO has been announced as Shadowlands. The very fabric of reality is now threatened by a dark and ancient force as the veil between life and death has been torn asunder. “With a single act of destruction, Sylvanas Windrunner has ripped open the way to the afterlife. Azeroth’s staunchest defenders have been dragged into all-consuming darkness. An ancient force of death threatens to break its bonds and unravel reality.”

World of Warcraft

Five new zones are introduced with Shadowlands: the gleaming Bastion, the vibrant Ardenweald, the war-torn Maldraxxus, the gloomy Revendreth and the bleak eternity that is The Maw. A new player hub city called Oribos will host all the newly arrived souls in the Shadowlands, and four Covenant factions await your pledged allegiance offering their own Sanctum and unique rewards.

Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons (December 10, 2019)

The war between the League of E.V.I.L. and the League of Explorers continues for Hearthstone as the new Descent of Dragons expansion takes flight in the skies above Dragonblight. The dragon to end all dragons, Galakrond, is introduced as five new Hero cards – one for each of the five classes.

League of E.V.I.L. classes get a new keyword called Invoke to make use of Galakrond and increase his strength by empowering his battlecry to a second and third form. Sidequests are also be introduced which are new cards offering powerful rewards but are easier to complete than normal Quest cards.

There are going to be a lot more dragons with Descent of Dragons. Surprise! “Whether you’ve aligned with Explorers or E.V.I.L., each hero class will get its very own Legendary Dragon to reign over ice and sky. It should come as no surprise that dragon cards are big, impactful Legendaries with Battlecries that are sure to turn the fight in your favor.” The new Dragon Breaths will get more powerful when you’re holding a dragon.

Getting Started

The Outer Worlds Guide

Do you like Fallout but weren’t that enamoured with Fallout 76? Obsidian, the developer behind Fallout: New Vegas – which features a number of the franchise’s creators – have a new first-person RPG out, and it’s a lot of fun. Nevertheless, it can be a bit overwhelming to get into. So let’s get started in The Outer Worlds!

Make the character you want to play

Let’s start off with character creation, which is a vital part of any RPG – but it’s difficult to work out exactly where you should put your skills. You can make your character look like whatever you want, but until you actually play the game you won’t know if lockpicking is a useful skill to level up – or whether you should pump points into guns. While you should definitely have some combat experience in there, don’t worry – in Outer Worlds you honestly can play how you like, for the most part. At a certain point you can even talk your way out of trouble – just don’t bother putting points in Leadership if you don’t want to play with companions.

Explore everywhere, but feel free to come back later

The Outer Worlds rewards exploration. Multiple times you’ll get a mission with no obvious place to go – or just with one route to take – and just searching around, checking out documents or terminals, finding alternate paths, or chatting with people can yield results. More importantly, The Outer Worlds isn’t as vast as a Fallout game, so it won’t take you as long to explore everywhere – and feel free to stop pursuing a quest if you’re not getting anywhere. Come back later and you may have more information to help you!

Talk to everyone

This sort of goes with the one above – talking to the characters in the game can yield additional helpful points about quests you may be on – but it also goes for story as well. If you see a named character in The Outer Worlds, go up and chat to them. If they don’t have info for you, they’ll undoubtedly have something for you – even if it’s just a fun story! It’s always worthwhile. Especially if they’re wearing a giant moon on their head (trust us).

Try all types of guns

While you’re pretty free to play The Outer Worlds pretty much how you want to, let’s be honest – you’ll probably need to do some shooting occasionally. However, if you don’t want to simply pump all your skill points into weapon use, the best way to upgrade is to simply get better guns – or at least, ones you’re comfortable with. As soon as we found the Plasma Carbine we were in love – but you may prefer some decent sniper rifles, or some powerful shotguns. Pick up, experiment, and focus on the ones you like – just don’t forget to repair them!

Don’t forget to use your combat powers – including companions’

The easiest thing to forget about in The Outer Worlds is that you and your companions have special abilities to make combat less stressful. Parvati has a powerful close-range melee attack, for example, and Ellie fires multiple shots to a single target. And you? Don’t forget to use Time Dilation. It’s essentially a slow-motion function, which allows you to target enemy body parts easier – and quickly take them down. It’s like VATS in Fallout, except more natural!

Treat it like Fallout meets Mass Effect

Here’s possibly the most important part, especially for people who haven’t played The Outer Worlds yet, or have just started – it is not entirely Fallout. It gets compared to Fallout: New Vegas in particular (including by us!), but that’s not entirely accurate. In terms of controls and many systems, Outer Worlds feels a lot like a Fallout game – but it’s not a true open-world title. In fact, the actual gameplay is probably closer to Mass Effect or Knights of the Old Republic – occasionally large areas, a lot of talking, but just generally fun to explore. And being set in space, of course.

That’s all the basics you’ll need to get started in The Outer Worlds. As long as you’re imagining a mix between Fallout and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and are prepared to try everything, talk to everyone, and explore everywhere – you’ll get on with the game fine! Enjoy!

Weekly Giveaway

Europa Universalis: The Price of Power

Enter a bonus giveaway for the Europa Universalis: The Price of Power Kickstarter we are doing together with Aegir Games. To participate you have to visit its Kickstarter and put down a pledge for the full game and send us your Kickstarter backer name via email.

Everyone that enters will also receive a free key for Iconoclasts on the system of their choice, and the chance to win two Nintendo Switch Lites! The winner of the first giveaway for the actual board game was announced last week, so check your emails for that announcement if you missed it.

This giveaway is open as long as the Kickstarter is in progress. The Kickstarter is set to end this upcoming Thursday and winners will be announced the following day.

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