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The Witcher 3′s Card Game Gwent Is Fun, Here’s How To Get Started

If you’re playing The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, you’ve probably run into some annoying merchants that want to suck you out of the immersive yet somehow still-open world experience with a couple of hands of Gwent, a lightweight mini-game that can take even more of your time. It’s fun and easy, and there are a number of associated and incredibly lucrative questlines, so if you want to get started with Gwent there’s an easy way to do so.

Before you even start hammering on the quest chain (conveniently located in your quest log under secondary quests), you’re going to want to pick up Northern Realms Siegemaster as your general from the innkeeper in White Orchard. This will make life a lot easier, because weather cards require thinking and planning, and we’d like to eliminate that from our strategy whenever possible, yeah? Siegemaster can double the value of your siege row and will win you quite a few rounds.

Get started on the Gwent questline as soon as you can to start collecting rare cards that will tip the scales in your favor. You should also plan to play every merchant you come across, but keep in mind you’re only going to get a card drop from them for the first victory. You can sit around farming coins and crafting mats forever, but honestly it’s mostly a waste to beat folks more than once.
If you’re having trouble, note that spies are the overpowered goodness that will take you from a Machop tier player to a Machamp.

Just keep throwing spies at your opponent’s board until they capitulate and pass, while you hoard a stocked hand – there’s no normal draw phase in Gwent which means card advantage is a serious thing. When you play those opponents who just love to swarm monsters in the front row and horn to create 100+ power abominations, just smile and keep drawing – you’ll win the next two rounds. Decoy cards are especially useful in this respect, so when your opponent throws a spy your way you can pick it up and turn it right back at them!

If your goal is to catch em all and become the very best, there’s an awesome Gwent tournament in the game that has some hefty rewards (and a substantial entry fee!). Just keep throwing decoys and spies around and you should be a pro in no time.

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[Update] Ubisoft Says Deactivated Far Cry Keys Purchased With Stolen Credit Card, EA Confirms

Update: EA has confirmed Ubisoft's assertion that the fraudulent keys in question were purchased from Origin. The company provided us with additional detail.

"A number of activation keys for Ubisoft products were purchased from Origin using fraudulent credit cards, and then resold online," an EA representative told us via email. "We identified the unauthorized keys and notified Ubisoft. If you are having trouble with an activation key, we recommend you contact the vendor who sold it to you for a refund. We strongly advise players only purchase keys from Origin or trusted resellers. For more information on our policy is available here: http://help.ea.com/en/article/should-i-purchase-my-ea-downloadable-games-from-cd-key-sellers/."

EA has since removed Ubisoft games from Origin. The publisher says this was to "protect against further fraudulent purchases."

We removed Ubisoft games from Origin to protect against further fraudulent purchases. We've followed up with EA with a request for more information, including why Ubisoft games were targeted and how removing that publisher's catalog improves security.

EA has declined to provide further detail at this time.

Original Story:

In an update to yesterday’s story about deactivated Far Cry 4 keys, Ubisoft has provided additional information about the situation. The company says that players affected are, essentially, in receipt of stolen property.

"We strongly recommend that players purchase keys and downloadable games only from the Uplay Store or their trusted retailers," the company said in a prepared statement. "We regularly work with our authorized resellers to identify and deactivate fraudulently obtained and resold keys. In this case, we confirmed activation keys were recently purchased from EA’s Origin store using fraudulent credit card information and then resold online. These keys may have been deactivated. Customers who may have been impacted should contact the vendor where they purchased the key for a refund."

We approached Kinguin, one of the retailers in question yesterday about the matter. At that time, the company told us something quite different.

"The banned game copies in question were acquired through licensed wholesale distributors and as such the origin of the ‘keys’ is the publisher himself,” said Kinguin chief marketing officer Bartłomiej Skarbiński.

We've reached out to Kinguin again for comment on this revelation. We'll update should we receive a response.

 

Our Take
Consumers still lose out here, but Ubisoft is operating appropriately. Given fraudulent and illegal activity, the company must protect itself. This is a hard and painful lesson for affected users and, quite frankly, it isn't fair. The best course of action is to contact your retailer and hold them accountable. Please let us know what happens.  

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Humble Card Game Bundle Casts Some Magic, Unfurls Some Scrolls

The latest Humble Bundle wants you building decks, tapping mana, and going on epic adventures. Shuffle up, because this deal is all about card games.

The Humble Card Game Bundle includes a number of collectible-style and deck-building games. At the base “pay what you want” level, you can get Mojang’s Scrolls, a Dinosaur starter pack for SolForge, Star Realms, and Talisman: Digital Edition (with Prologue and two character packs).

If you pay more than the average (currently $ 7.75), you’ll get Magic 2015 and the Garruk’s Revenge expansion, Dominion Online’s Season Expansion (the core game is free), and an additional two SolForge starter packs and in-game gold.

At $ 12 or more, you’ll get the Intrigue and Prosperity expansions for Dominion Online, a deluxe pack for Scrolls (two exclusive avatars and two additional decks), and Card Hunter with a one-month premium membership.

Finally, at $ 35, you’ll get a physical copy of Star Realms, a promo card, and a t-shirt. This bundle supports Block by Block (involving youth in urban planning), Save the Children, and the World Land Trust.

You can check out all the details on Humble Bundle’s website. For card game enthusiasts, this is one to investigate.

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BlazBlue: Battle Cards Mobile Card Game Nearing Release

BlazBlue is a fighting game franchise, but its next entry will take the form of playing cards.

The game will release soon (though, there is currently no exact release date outside of early 2015) for iOS devices and pits the fighters of Arc System Works' fighter against each other in card battles. The game will launch with nine fighters from BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma: Azrael, Bang, Hakumen, Hazama, Jin, Noel, Ragna, Tager, and Taokaka. More fighters are planned to be added post-release.

The game will be free to play, and you can find more images in the gallery below. For more on the game, head here.

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Humble Card Game Bundle deals out Scrolls, Star Realms

Humble Bundle has a new promotion on deck: digital card games. From Mjoang’s newest (and previously most litigious) Scrolls to the granddaddy of deck-builders Dominion, the Humble Card Game Bundle has plenty to offer those looking for a reprieve from…
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Learn The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Characters’ Names With Trading Card Mock-Ups

Star Wars fans have pored over the first Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens trailer for every bit of information possible. Thanks to some retro card mock-ups issued by director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, we now know the names of the characters featured in that trailer.

In an exclusive reveal to Entertainment Weekly, Abrams and Lucasfilm showed off the art, which unmasks just a little bit more of the Star Wars mystery. The cards reveal the names of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and Kylo Ren (unknown actor), and are made to emulate a series of Topps brand cards that ran in promotion of the 1977 original film. Oh, and the ball droid seen in the trailer is formally known as "BB-8." Told you it was adorable.


Image source: Entertainment Weekly

It's interesting to note that, despite speculation over the gender of Kylo Ren, the card (above) explicitly refers to the character by a masculine pronoun. We still don't know exactly who portrays Kylo Ren in the film.

For the whole host of cards, visit Entertainment Weekly's exclusive story. If you're looking for more ways to embed yourself in the Star Wars universe, take a peek at Kyle's piece about games that'll help you fully experience the new trailer.

[Source: Entertainment Weekly]

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Walmart enhances new PS4 bundle with $50 gift card

To celebrate Green Monday – yes, today is yet another retail holiday – Walmart is attaching a $ 50 gift card to online orders of Sony’s new choose-your-own-game PlayStation 4 bundle. Alongside the console, the $ 400 bundle offers buyers a digital copy …
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Pokémon Trading Card Game And Mario Kart Super Circuit Now Available On Virtual Console

Perhaps in response to Mario Kart 8's recent DLC launch, and the upcoming Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, Nintendo has launched a pair of somewhat timely Virtual Console games.

Available now, you can grab the Game Boy Advance's Mario Kart Super Circuit for Wii U, and the Gamy Boy's Pokémon Trading Card Game for 3DS. The former was made available as a Virtual Console download as part of the 3DS Ambassador Program, but this is the first time that latter has been made available. You can check out trailer for both games below.

Pokémon Trading Card Game
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Mario Kart Super Circuit
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The obvious timely Virtual Console choice ahead of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire would have been any of the classic core Pokémon titles, but neither Nintendo or Game Freak seem keen on releasing those games any time soon, as evidenced in a recent interview.

 

Our Take
I'm always happy to see new Virtual Console games launch, but I still feel like Nintendo is falling short overall.

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Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Generation leads Konami’s card game to mobile

Not to be outdone by Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone or its lifelong animated rival Pokemon, Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh collectible card game will soon spawn a virtual adaptation on both iOS and Android devices.

Dubbed Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Generation, the game…
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The Pokémon Trading Card Game Online Arrives In Canada’s App Store

In August, The Pokémon Company announced an iPad port of its digital trading card game. Today, Canadians get a crack at it early, as the Pokémon TCG Online is now soft-launched in that territory.

If you’re not in Canada, there is still reason to be excited. Soft launches typically signal that broad distribution will be happening soon, though no release date has been announced.

You can practice against the computer or challenge a friend to a duel. There is also a tutorial mode if you’ve never played or simply need a refresher.

For more, check out our preview coverage of the game on iPad. 

[Source: Apple via Kotaku]

 

Our Take
I recently started playing on PC since I’ve never played much, and I was surprised by how well the game is designed. The PC experience needs some improvement, but with the UI/UX examples that exist on iPad (Hearthstone, Ascension, and others), I’m hopeful it will be a good fit. 

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