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Exclusive Interview Dives Deep On Destiny Spring Update

Bungie is rolling out info about its Destiny April Update through a series of three live streams, the first of which just concluded. Ahead of the stream, we were able to ask some questions of Ryan Paradis, the live events lead designer who has been in charge of preparing the update, and he provided additional detail about what’s on the way. If you missed the live stream, or you want to learn a little more about what you can expect, dive on in.

This week’s content reveals zero in on new activities, so we’ve focused on those in our questions. Specific details about gear, Crucible updates, and other facets of the Destiny experience won’t be explored until later. Read ahead to learn more about the April Update’s story, what you’ll be doing as you aim to hit the new light cap of 335, changes to King’s Fall, a major update to Prison of Elders, and more. 

What is the goal for the April Update? When you began development on this new content, what were the most important objectives for your team?

Our goal with the April update was to hit a few different fronts. We have a lot of fans who fell in love with exploration on the Dreadnaught, with our Strikes, and with the Prison of Elders, but they’ve moved past them. We wanted to revitalize some of these favorites, and at the same time provide new challenges and rewards. As the Live team has done in the past, we wanted to provide awesome new vanity items for players to both express themselves better, and to look like the badasses they truly are. 

Another thing that was really important for us to accomplish with this update was to provide players more choices in how to become more powerful. The raid is a great endgame option, because it’s challenging, requires tons of coordination, and features our most complex mechanics, but for players who aren’t routinely raiding, we wanted to provide viable endgame gear upgrade options in Prison of Elders, Strikes, the Court of Oryx, and Crucible activities.

What’s the top-level story idea for the April Update? How does the new story content dovetail from the events of The Taken King release?

The focus for the April update is on the Reef and what’s going on there after the devastation. While they’re beaten, they’re not down for the count, and Variks will be guiding you through the update. Although Oryx is dead, the Taken are still as strong as ever, and Variks is tasking you to stop them from resurging. The new story is intended to provide a small continuation of the Taken King storyline, and dovetail into our new Strike and Prison of Elders content.

Will there be new Grimoire cards to acquire? 

With everything we’ve added in this update, there are of course new Grimoire Cards to further expound on the deeper lore of Destiny. I don’t want to spoil any of the new lore, but there are new grimoire cards for some of the new activities, some of the gear you’ll encounter, and even some bosses you’ll be fighting. We know how passionate the fans are about the lore we put in the Grimoire, and wanted to make sure to scratch that itch with this update, too.

What’s the concept behind the Blighted Chalice strike? 

Variks is going to leverage your particular set of skills to track down a new Taken threat. The Blighted Chalice Strike is the conclusion of that questline.

King’s Fall is being updated with gear that goes up to light value 330. Are these the same pieces that were previously available in the raid, but at a higher level? Or are there new gear pieces/weapons? Have the King’s Fall fights themselves changed at all? Will this version of King’s Fall (with 330 gear) be a third difficulty?

With the increase in overall light, both current difficulties will be adjusted to provide additional challenge and commensurate rewards. The Challenge Modes will still be available, but we aren’t adding a third difficulty tier, or any new encounters. 

How will Court of Oryx change? Can you tell us anything about any of the new bosses or fights that Guardians might encounter there? Is the highest level fight still triggered with an Antiquated Rune?

With Court of Oryx, Guardians will continue summoning enemies with existing runes. No changes there. We have boosted the drops coming out of the Court to better prepare Guardians for the other challenges we’ve setup in this update, though.  

Next Page: Learn about the big changes coming to Prison of Elders. – The Feed

PSA: Microsoft’s Spring Sale Begins Today With $299 Xbox One

From today until March 28, Microsoft is launching a sale in celebration of the start of Spring, which drops the Xbox One price to a starting price of $ 299 immediately at participating retailers.

For all current bundles, the discount lops $ 50 off the price, such as the 1TB The Division bundle now costing $ 349. On March 22, a digital Xbox Store sale will begin and continue through the week until the 28th, which will have prices fall by 40% to 60% on several Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. For Xbox Gold members, the price drops a further 10%.

View the full details of the sale on the official Xbox website. For more on Microsoft, check out how Sony responded to Xbox's hopes for cross-platform play, and read about Microsoft's plans for extending digital sharing options. – The Feed

Bungie Dates Destiny’s 2.2.0 Spring Update

Details about exactly what the update will entail are slim, but we now know when it will release.

According to the latest Bungie Weekly Update, which you can read here, the spring update (now referred to as the April update) for the game will be available on April 12, 2016. Bungie is teasing New PVE challenges, new and updated gear, a new quest featuring the Blighted Chalice Strike, increased max light and rewards, and Sandbox and Crucible updates.

[Source: Bungie]


Our Take
New Destiny content has been light the past few weeks. It's good to hear something is on the horizon, though I am curious what will be included in the update. – The Feed

Everything You Need To Know From The Xbox Spring Showcase

Last week, Microsoft and Xbox held a big event showing off the releases coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 PC over the next few months. From announcements hinting at the future of the Xbox and Windows platforms to hands-on time with Xbox's biggest upcoming games, we had a lot of content come from this event, so we wanted to gather it all in one place to make it easy for you to find the coverage that most interests you.

Check out the articles that resulted from the Xbox Spring Showcase 2016 below.

Xbox One/Windows 10 Platform

Dark Souls III

Quantum Break

Killer Instinct

Forza Motorsport 6

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition – The Feed

Remastered Battlezone 98 Coming This Spring

Rebellion is bringing back Battlezone via Battlezone 98 Redux this spring on PC, and the title includes more than just a graphic overhaul.

The game – developed by Big Boat Interactive – features online multiplayer and support for Steam Workshop mods.

(Please visit the site to view this media) – The Feed

Next Hearthstone Expansion Due Spring 2016

The meta is going to shift again before you know it. Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime has put an expiration date on your “unbeatable” deck.

Speaking on Activision Blizzard’s year-end earnings call today, Morhaime spoke briefly about what’s coming for the popular free-to-play card game. While he wouldn’t speak about specific timing or lay out the plans for the year, we do know that the next expansion will arrive this spring.

The most recent adventure, League of Explorers, was released in November. It includes 45 cards. Whether the next add-on will be a single-player adventure or a card expansion remains to be revealed.

Activision reported today that Hearthstone now has more than 40 million registered users. League of Explorers sold over 20 percent more units in the first six weeks than the previous adventure, Blackrock Mountain. – The Feed

Console Players Can Let Out Their Inner Wardens This Spring In Prison Architect

Introversion Software's prison-sim is coming to consoles this spring. Double Eleven is porting Prison Architect over to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

The game lets players play warden and design the prison of their dreams – whether that means locking inmates away and throwing away the virtual keys or taking a softer, more rehabilitative-focused approach. Either way, you'll have to deal with troublemakers (surprise!), ensure that staff and inmates are safe, and try to turn a profit. The console version is getting an exclusive prison-warden mode that presents players with several premade installations so they can dive right into the game, as well as the ability to share prisons with other players online.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Joe liked the game on PC, and you can read his review here. – The Feed

Fable Legends Open Beta Delayed Until Spring 2016

Last week, we received an equivocating statement from Microsoft about the status of Fable Legends’ arrival in 2015. Today, we understand why as the open beta has been delayed.

Lionhead says that the game has become larger than originally anticipated, but wants more time for polish before opening it to the masses. Over the next few weeks, another 100,000 players will be added to the closed beta to provide feedback.

The open beta is now slated for Spring 2016. For more on Fable Legends, check out our coverage from Gamescom.

[Source: Lionhead]


Our Take
Free-to-play games seem to have developed their own language. Lionhead is talking about polish and improvement like they are delaying a full release, instead this is just about the open beta. The game definitely needed work when last I played it, but this sounds like the delay is at least another three months. Hopefully the changes make significant improvements to gameplay and interface that weren’t gelling quite well. – The Feed

[Update] EA Sports UFC 2 Launches Spring 2016, Adds Ultimate Team

Update: EA has released a trailer outlining the vision for its second licensed UFC game. The title is also confirmed for a Spring 2016 release.

The trailer mentions a new physics system and integration with whats' going on in the real world of MMA. The trailer below also shows some menu screens, and notably include an Ultimate Team mode. This will expand EA's extremely lucrative in-game transaction system to another sport. 

The publisher is dragging out its reveal, promising a full feature reveal on Friday, November 13.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Original Story:

EA is stepping back into the Octagon. The publisher has announced that the follow-up to 2014’s EA Sports UFC is in development.

The publisher confirmed the sequel today on Twitter, with a promise of more details coming tomorrow. Unfortunately, while we’re urged to “tune in,” specific information on where to do that isn’t available yet.

EA secured the UFC license from THQ prior to that publisher’s demise. For more on EA Sports UFC, you can read our review. EA Access members can play the original in the “vault.”

[Source: EA Sports UFC on Twitter, pictured: EA Sports UFC]


Our Take
This was inevitable, though announcing this game on day when eyes are on Rise of the Tomb Raider and Fallout 4 is a curious decision. Sure, those audiences don’t overlap perfectly, but the sophomore outing for this franchise deserves a bit of the spotlight to itself. – The Feed

Need For Speed Delayed Until Spring 2016 On PC, Console Closed Beta Soon

EA and Need for Speed studio Ghost Games have announced that the PC version of the next installment has been bumped to next year. The studio says that the move is a response to conversations with its PC community.

The developer says that it needs more time in order to achieve an unlocked frame rate for the game. “Part of the conversation includes hearing from our PC community that an unlocked frame rate in Need for Speed is a massive priority for you, and we fully agree,” the studio writes. “To deliver this, we’ve made the decision to move the PC release date to Spring 2016.”

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will hold on November 3. A closed beta is planned in the near future on those platforms in order to sure up online connectivity. For more, check out our preview from E3.

[Source: EA]


Our Take
After the frame rate and other visual issues faced by games like Batman: Arkham Knight on PC, EA is wise to hold Need for Speed until it’s ready. The past 12 months have been a period of harsh education for publishers, and gamers are no longer in a forgiving mood about broken releases (nor should they be). Given this delay for just the PC version, EA needs to ensure that the console releases work out of the gate without Driveclub-like issues. – The Feed