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Blog: The indie’s guide to surviving events

Whether you’re looking for feedback, exposure, press or just dev chit-chat, leaving your office for a few days might be good for you. Here’s some tips to follow if you plan on doing just that. …

Gamasutra News

Don’t miss all the great VR-focused sessions and events at GDC 2017!

From the 50+ VR-focused sessions at GDC 2017 to the two full days of game/entertainment VR talks during VRDC @ GDC to the special VRDC mixer, here’s a rundown of all the cool VR/AR stuff at GDC 2017! …

Gamasutra News

Diablo III Anniversary Events Live In New Patch

Diablo III's 2.4.3 patch is now live, and among its contents includes a remake of the original Diablo's cathedral in Diablo III, as well as Diablo crossover content for titles like Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and Hearthstone.

For full patch details click on the source link after the video.

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[Source: Blizzard] – The Feed

Best of 2016: Gamasutra’s top games, devs, events and trends

This is it — the whole kit and kaboodle. As 2016 shuffles off this mortal coil, Gamasutra staff reflect on the events, trends, games and — most importantly — the devs that shaped the year that was. …

Gamasutra News

Plants Vs. Zombies Heroes Adds Weekly Events And Holiday Content

The collectible card game starring PopCap's massive Plants vs. Zombies franchise has introduced weekly events. Plants vs. Zombies Heroes players can now take on weekly in-game events in both single- and multiplayer matches to unlock a new card each week.

As players win matches, they earn tickets, which can be redeemed for new cards. Winning in single-player earns you 10 tickets, while a multiplayer victory nets you 15. If you don't earn enough tickets to unlock that week's card, you can pay for the rest using the game's gem currency. This seems like a likely solution, as the current card for this week's challenge costs 2,000 tickets (or 500 gems). Players can use the featured Hero class of the week to boost the number of tickets earned.

To add to the content drop today, Plants vs. Zombies Heroes is getting in the mood for the holiday season with new Feastivus packs and an all-new card. The Jolly Holly card is an amphibious member of the smarty class with the effect of freezing zombies next door when played. The Jolly Holly is included in the Feastivus Bundle and the Feastivus Mega Bundle. The former includes a Valkyrie, a Winter Squash, and 15 additional cards, while the latter packs in four Feastivus Bundles plus a bonus Kernel Corn. Each Feastivus Bundle costs $ 4.99, while a Feastivus Mega Bundle is $ 19.99.

To learn more about the events system, including tips from the developers, head over to the Plants vs. Zombies Heroes blog.


Our Take
In the crowded space that is the CCG section of the App Store, it takes a lot to stand out. Weekly events and new content is always gives players an excuse to drop in and pour some time into a game, so this is a good start for PvZ Heroes. I liked the game when it first launched, so this is good incentive for me to add it back into my rotation of daily games to check in with on my phone. That said, the price for the weekly event card is super high as it stands now. Here's hoping that gets adjusted. – The Feed

9 Themed Holiday Events We Want For Pokémon Go

The Halloween event for Pokémon Go is winding down, and by most accounts, it was a big success for Niantic and its popular app. The event, which ran most of last week and through the early part of this week, doubled candy acquisition through egg hatches and monster captures, and quadrupled the speed at which your buddy character found candy. In addition, "spooky" Pokémon like Gastly, Cubone, Meowth, Zubat, and Drowzee, as well as their evolved forms, were made much more common, giving players the chance to finally snatch a strong Gengar, or add Marowak to their Pokédex.

It also catapulted the app back to the top of the charts in the app stores, as it again overtook mainstays like Clash Royale, Game of War, and Candy Crush Saga. Because of this increased engagement (and revenue) during the event, it would be smart for Niantic to make a habit out of themed Pokémon Go events for other holidays. While the company hasn't announced its intentions for future events, we have some ideas for what Niantic could do as its juggernaut app continues to evolve.

When Pokémon Go launched in July, it focused on the original lineup of Pokémon as found in Red/Blue. However, several monsters are still unaccounted for. In addition to Mew, Mewtwo, and Ditto (oddly enough), the legendary birds Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres are all MIA. What better time to introduce this trio of birds into the game than with a holiday that for many centers on the consumption of a bird? In the core games, you only have one shot to catch these three birds, but that likely wouldn't be the best idea for a game like Pokémon Go. If Niantic does want there to be some kind of exclusivity with these three creatures, they could make it so you can only catch them during the week of Thanksgiving. Since many people travel or have long weekends, those who really want to catch them could likely have the chance to as long as the spawn rate isn't as low as some of the rarer creatures during this week.

The holiday season means different things for different people, but for many it includes the exchanging of gifts. That's why the holiday window in December would be a perfect time for Niantic to finally implement something players have wanted for a long time: trading. Since trading Pokémon seems contradictory to the developer's strategy of driving players to travel across the land, searching far and wide for monsters, I would imagine that trades within the game would consume some form of currency. Whether that's stardust, coins, candy, or some entirely new kind of trade-focused currency, Niantic should celebrate the holiday season by either gifting players enough to execute a few trades, or make trades cost less until after Christmas.

New Year's
With a new year should come new opportunities. For Pokémon Go, that should mean new creatures to catch. As the calendar turns over, Niantic should consider bringing the app into Gen II. That means 100 new Pokémon to catch and new types of Poké Balls. Some aspects of Gen II, such as egg hatching and new Pokémon types (like steel) are already in the game, so any event Niantic could throw would likely focus primarily on these new additions. For the first week of 2016, Niantic could make those new additions the only monsters that pop up to help trainers get a head start on filling in the new National Pokédex, or make the new Poké Ball types more common.

Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day puts a focus on partnership, so why not reflect that in the game itself? Niantic could make it so that all Pokémon spawn two at a time. While this might not be advantageous for creatures like Pidgey or Zubat, it would be great to have two shots at catching that Snorlax that randomly pops up three blocks from your house, or having two Dratinis to catch as you build up to your Dragonite. Taking cues from its Halloween event, Niantic could also focus on the candy aspect of Valentine's Day and put a multiplier on the candy you receive from your buddy Pokémon. Even if your human partner doesn't get you candy, at least your Pokémon partner will.

Ash Wednesday
Sure, it might be a bit of a stretch and not the most reverent use of timed events in the history of gaming, but the name is almost too perfect not to have something going on. The easy answer? Make the Pokémon that Ash has in the anime spawn more frequently. That would not only include the likes of his mainstays like Pikachu, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Pidgeotto, but also later, lesser utilized additions like Primeape, Muk, and Lapras. And no, I don't actually think Niantic is going to do something special for Ash Wednesday.

St. Patrick's Day
While there is much deeper meaning to St. Patrick's Day than celebrating Irish culture, the mainstream look at the holiday is just that. With the notion of luck on people's minds, Niantic could capitalize by making Lucky Eggs more common as drops, and rare hatches in eggs more common. Niantic could also shower players in green Pokémon if they want to go really basic. 

First Day of Spring
With the progression of the seasons into the warmer months, many seek to shed their storage spaces and clear out unneeded clutter. Niantic could encourage players to do the same in Pokémon Go by offering triple candy for Pokémon transferred to the professor and 100 stardust for every 10 of any item discarded. I'm at the point where I regularly clear out my Pokémon and lower tier items anyway, so it would be nice to get more (or in the case of items, anything) for my clearance. Either that, or Niantic could go the exact opposite route and provide players with more storage to build up clutter free of charge.

For Lent, Niantic should give up Pidgey, Weedle, Caterpie, Rattata, and Zubat. Seriously. We have enough of them. Instead, rotate other less common Pokémon in their places. Do three Pidgeys spawn at your office every hour? Maybe one hour you'll get Sandshrew, Diglett, and Voltorb instead of those three Pidgeys. It would definitely help players who aren't around an urban area feel like they can catch better creatures.

Every Easter, children wake up to hunt for eggs hidden all over their house. Obviously the direction of the themed event should focus on eggs, but there are a few different directions Niantic could take. The easiest one would be to make the eggs hatch faster by putting a multiplier on them much like the multiplier that was put on buddy Pokémon for the Halloween event. Another route Niantic could take would be to make all eggs that spawn, regardless of distance, act as a 10km egg. With 2km eggs producing the same monsters and candy as 10km eggs, you'd actually get upset when you get the 10km eggs during the event – an interesting twist. Both of those events would also encourage players to spend money on in-app coins so they could purchase more incubators, meaning the events would be lucrative for Niantic. If Niantic wanted to go a different route, however, I doubt any player would scoff at a few incubators being gifted to every player to help them hatch more eggs. Of course, unlike the other hypothetical Easter events, that wouldn't boost in-app purchases; it would only boost player engagement.

What holiday events would you like to see from Niantic? – The Feed

Yahoo eSports and ESL partner to create new events and ramp up coverage

Leading eSports broadcaster and organiser the Electronic Sports League (ESL) has entered into an two year partnership with fledgling reporting site, Yahoo eSports. …

Gamasutra News

EA Giving $1 Million To Five Organizations, Announces Play To Give In-Game Events

EA has announced that it is donating a total of $ 1 million to five charitable organizations. To celebrate, it is also giving players the opportunity to earn in-game rewards by completing challenges.

The Play to Give campaign begins alongside EA Play on June 12. Included games and challenges are:

  • Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline – The community can earn a gold battle pack in each game by reaching a total re-supply score of 45 million and 5 million respectively. The event runs June 12 through June 17.
  • Star Wars Battlefront – Anyone competing in a multiplayer match between June 12 and June 14 can earn triple score and credits.
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes –  From June 12 through June 14, if you field a female team against droids, you’ll get 50,000 credits, 1 Rey shard, 1 Leia shard, and 25 Jedi Knight Guardian shards. Completing the quest again awards shards for Leia, Rey, Barrios Offee, and Ahsoka Tano.
  • FIFA 16 – EA will be running an Ultimate Team Play to Give Cup. If you win the tournament, you’ll get a Rare Mega Pack. You can play the tournament again, with subsequent wins earning you premium coins.
  • Madden NFL 16 – Complete a short objective list between June 12 and June 19 to win 2,040 coins and a Pro Pack.

EA’s $ 1 million donations during the event will be split among the following charities: 

  • He For She
  • National Center for Women & Information Technology
  • CODE2040
  • SpecialEffect 

EA Play will be running during E3 next week from June 12 through June 14.

[Source: EA] – The Feed

Darkest Dungeon Gets Town Events And PS4 Delay

Darkest Dungeon just released on Linux, and it is also about to get an important update. Unfortunately, the game is also getting a console delay.

Darkest Dungeon is one of the more challenging yet rewarding strategy games of the year, so it’s good to see the developer Red Hook Studios continues to support the title after release. In a recent blog post, the studio dished out some important new details on Town Events. These events will trigger randomly throughout the campaign when players return to their hamlet. Some of these events will be related to quests. For example, after successfully completing the Ruins Gather Holy Relics Quest, players might trigger the All Saints Day celebration, which will send the Abbey into a zealous celebration that makes all treatments free for a week. Town Events will be included in an upcoming patch that should release mid-to-late May.

Unfortunately, not all of the Darkest Dungeon news is good, and console players will have to wait a bit longer to find out why Red Hook Studios' macabre adventure is so rewarding. The planned PS4 and Vita releases of the game were originally planned for right around this time of year, but both ports have been pushed back to sometime in late July or August.

Read our Darkest Dungeon review here.

[Source: DarkestDungeon]


Our Take
I’m really intrigued to see these Town Events firsthand. Darkest Dungeon is easily one of the best games I’ve played this year, so it’s too bad that console players will have to wait a bit longer to finally dive in. – The Feed

Marvel Heroes 2016 Offering Free Netflix-Inspired Daredevil Character, Along With Events and Costume Pack

The second season of Marvel's Daredevil is out on Netflix, and if you need more Matt Murdock in your life, the MMO Marvel Heroes has got you covered.

In celebration of this new season, Marvel Heroes is giving a free playable Daredevil character inspired from the Netflix series to players who log in at any time this weekend. Along with the free update, Marvel Heroes has released a Daredevil costume pack for $ 34.99 with a pre-order for Elektra, and a 25% off sale on Daredevil and Punisher costumes. The game is also hosting a bunch of events, giving away bonus experience points, and offering new achievements. You can find out all the details here on their official website. Below you can browse the costumes available in the new costume pack.

For more on Marvel Heroes, you can read how David Brevik stepped down as CEO and watch the launch trailer of the game here. – The Feed