The Banner Saga Now Available on Xbox One and PlayStation®4
By Myll_Erik|January 12th, 2016|Releases|Comments Off on The Banner Saga Now Available on Xbox One and PlayStation®4|
Stoic, an independent game development company, and Versus Evil, one of the leading independent video game publishers, today announced that the epic Viking RPG strategy game The Banner Saga launches on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and to the Xbox One via the [email protected] self-publishing program today for a SRP of $19.99 / €19.99 /£15.99.
The Banner Saga, which launched to much critical acclaim on both PC and mobile devices has received several awards and nominations, including winner of the 2014 Geekie Awards for “Best Video Game,” winner of 2014 Game Developers Choice: “Best Debut” award, finalist placement for “Excellence in Visual Arts” category at the Independent Game Festival, 3 BAFTA Award Nominations, and winner of Pocket Gamer’s 2015 Best Adventure/RPG Game and Best Android Game of the Year.
“Merging the story and gameplay of Banner Saga with a refined controller interface makes it a very enjoyable console gaming experience. Despite the technical challenges we initially faced in porting the game, we’re extremely happy with the end result of many months of hard work to deliver a worthy console version,” said John Watson, founder and technical director at Stoic.
The Banner Saga is a single player driven Viking saga, where a player’s choice in travel, conversation and combat determines the outcome of their own personal story as well as the survival of an entire civilization. The game also features stunning 2D animation and art, a unique tactical combat system and a cast of unforgettable characters, all of which drive this epic journey forward. Players will enjoy a beautiful and haunting original score by Grammy nominated, two-time BAFTA winning composer Austin Wintory conducting The Dallas Winds orchestra, as well as a powerhouse trio of acclaimed YouTube sensations: Peter Hollens, Malukah and […]
Russian activist rock band Pussy Riot claimed responsibility on Sunday for the pitch invasion that briefly interrupted the World Cup final in Moscow.
Just after Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved a shot from Kylian Mbappe in the 51st minute, three women and one man emerged into the run of play from the other end of the stadium. One made it to the centre circle.
Dressed in suits and what appeared to be old-fashioned police uniforms, the pitch invaders approached players. One woman shared a double high-five with Mbappe, while Croatia defender Dejan Lovren pushed the man, helping a steward to detain him.
The invaders were quickly tackled by security, and the match resumed after a delay of about 1 minute while France were leading 2-1.
Pussy Riot, long a thorn in the side of Russian President Vladimir Putin, released a statement on social media after the incident to say the action was a protest. The band issued a list of demands to the Russian government, including to free political prisoners, end “illegal arrests at protests” and to “allow political competition in the country.”
The statement also referenced the case of Oleg Sentsov, a vocal opponent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, who was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit terror acts. He denies the charges and has been on a hunger strike since mid-May.
The group said the police uniforms symbolised how Russian police’s actions fall short of their “heavenly” depiction in literature and called for reforms. It wasn’t clear if they used the uniforms as a ruse to enter Luzhniki Stadium amid tight security.
Pussy Riot member Olga Kurachyova told Reuters she was one of the pitch invaders and was being held at Luzhniki police station. She said she could not speak further because police were trying to take her mobile phone away from her.
“The citizens in question were taken to the local police station,” the Moscow branch of the Russian Interior Ministry said. FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The event’s local organising committee said it did not have further information.
Police said they were investigating the four on suspicion of violating rules for spectating at a sporting event — which carries a maximum fine of up to 10,000 roubles ($160) or 160 hours’ community service with a ban on attending sports events of up to three years — as well as illegally wearing a police uniform, which carries a fine of 1,000 to 1,500 roubles.
A video circulated on Russian social media and retweeted by the band after the match appeared to show two of the protesters, still in police uniforms, being harshly interrogated at a police station. The independent television channel Dozhd identified one of them as Pyotr Verzilov, who is married to Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.
Under barking queries from a man off-camera, Verzilov says: “I am for Russia, just like you — if you are for Russia.” The man off-screen responds: “I sometimes wish it was 1937” — referring to the year in which Stalinist purges were at their height.
The balaclava-clad women of Pussy Riot rose to global prominence with their daring outdoor performances critical of Putin in 2012 that sent two members to prison for nearly two years. They were released three months early in December 2013 under an amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of Russia’s constitution.
In 2016, the group also released a music video criticising Russia’s staging of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The video included clips from an incident in the city when Cossacks beat activists with a whip as they tried to perform a song beside a wall covered in the Olympic logo.
The pitch invasion was the first significant security lapse in the five-week tournament that has won hosts Russia widespread praise for organisation and efficiency. Putin was watching the game alongside his French and Croatian counterparts and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, among other dignitaries.
The protest was briefly shown on international TV broadcasts, even though FIFA policy is usually to cut away when fans and others run onto the field.
Lovren told reporters the incident had interrupted the game at an important moment for his team as Croatia wen on to lose 4-2.
“We’d been playing good football and then some interruption came,” he said. “I just lost my head and I grabbed the guy and I wished I could throw him away from the stadium.”
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.
Today's the day: Albion Online is now available on Steam! Click here to visit the Steam store page.
To celebrate the launch, the Mists of Albion buff is now active ingame until May 23 at 10:00 UTC. This buff gives a 25% Fame boost to gathering, crafting, killing monsters, and all other activities. Dive right in and start earning that extra Fame!
The next major content update for Albion Online, Merlyn, is coming soon. In this Dev Talk, Robin Henkys, Game Director of Albion Online, describes some of the features coming with this update.
No time to watch the video? Read on for a written description of his talk:
The Key Idea: Strengthening the Royal Cities
The primary goal of the Merlyn update is to increase the importance of the various cities on the Royal Continent. Each of the continent's cities has its own visual identity and biome, but economically they play a secondary role to Caerleon. With the Merlyn update, we're looking to change this.
The first step toward strengthening these cities will be to introduce two types of economic bonuses: refining bonuses and crafting bonuses.
Each Royal city will be particularly good at refining a particular resource – and to encourage cross-continent transport, it will always be a resource that is not common to the region. If you refine this particular resource in this particular city, you will get a lot more refined resources out of your raw materials.
From a narrative perspective this is due to the city having mastered the effective use of a scarce resource. After all, even in the real world, we only ever become efficient at using resources when they become scarce and expensive.
In addition, each city will be particularly good at crafting particular sets of items. We're aiming for a good balance between items that make sense in the local biomes (such as bows in Lymhurst) and items that are less typical for the area to make each city valuable.
Note that while Caerleon itself will not receive any of these bonuses, home territories in the Outlands will remain strong. Crafting in these territories will always be at least as effective as crafting your items in the city with the highest bonus, so players who are already doing their crafting in black zones can continue to do so.
Resource Distribution Changes
To make the various Royal cities more attractive for gatherers as well, the Merlyn update will see a rebalancing of resource distribution. Enchanted lower-tier resources will be far more common near each biome city, while the amount of lower-tier resources in the Outlands and around Caerleon will decrease.
With these economic changes, we're confident we will see the economic standing of the outlying Royal cities increase significantly.
Improved Marketplace UI
To support this increased economic activity, we're also finally bringing the updated UI to the Marketplace. This will significantly improve the ability of players to track trade volumes and average prices, and will greatly streamline the trading process throughout the world of Albion.
But what about players who want to participate in PvP, and currently have Caerleon as their only home option? For these players, we'll be introducing a new feature with the Merlyn update: faction warfare!
The outlying cities have discovered powerful new magical resources within their territorial borders, and have used them to buy their freedom from the king. These "free cities" immediately began fighting among themselves, vying for control of these resources, with each city trying to establish itself as Albion's greatest.
To gain the upper hand in this conflict, the cities' leaders have begun hiring mercenaries to fight for them. When players sign up with a faction, they gain the ability to kill and loot members of opposing factions wherever they encounter them.
They will also be handsomely rewarded for any PvE and faction PvP activities they engage in while signed up. Each faction has access to a unique set of rewards, which include new baby animals (which can be grown into powerful faction mounts), as well as new crafting patterns which can be used to create a wide variety of different capes, opening the cape slot as a new tactical option for Albion players.
In addition, faction warfare will introduce two new activities to the world of Albion: outpost capturing and trade caravans.
In outpost capturing, faction-flagged players can attempt to claim outposts belonging to opposing factions by killing the faction champion guarding the outpost.
And with trade caravans, players can transport valuable faction goods to smuggling posts in order to exchange them for larger amounts of different faction goods, all while running the risk of getting attacked by an opposing faction's members.
All in all, these faction warfare features should really breathe life into PvP on the Royal Continent, and we're very excited to bring them to life.
That's all for today – we'll be sharing more details on these and other features of the Merlyn update in upcoming Dev Talks, so stay tuned!
Albion Online's third GvG Season starts on June 23. To prepare for this occasion, we will release a patch that includes combat balancing changes, updates to siphoned energy and red-zone GvGs, and various quality-of-life improvements. In this Dev Talk, Michael Schwahn, Combat Designer for Albion Online, discusses what's coming with this patch.
No time to watch the video? Here's a written summary of his talk:
1. Combat Balancing Changes
5v5 GvG Meta
One major focus of this balancing patch are the current heavy CC builds, particularly the double tank dive meta.
These builds are currently too dominant and hard to counter, which is not what we intended
Warrants some larger changes to some of the items in this build
Main offenders that enable the current meta:
The Rampant Staff, in particular, needs more counterplay options
Improving Underused Items
We also want to improve and buff underused items, particularly all three Holy Artifact items. We will also buff some underused helmet, armor and shoe items. Some of the items to be improved include:
Artifact Holy Staffs
Scholar Cowl and similar armor pieces
Ranged damage dealers like bows and Frost Staffs
Bringing Solo Builds More in Line
We also want to tone down some solo builds, such as the Great Nature Staff – and particularly its kiting ability. These staffs already have such a strong survivability that their attack should be somewhat reduced: for example, their DoT range will be decreased, which will require staying closer to enemy targets to keep the DoT effective.
Reworked IP Scaling
We're also reworking the item power scaling for offhands, and they will be entirely tied to item power after this patch, meaning:
Offhands get the full bonus of the Destiny Board specializations
Offhands also get the full item quality bonus from their quality level
This is not just on top of current item strength: the scaling curve has also been adjusted, so items may end up either a bit stronger or a bit weaker than their current state.
Food Progression Curve
With this patch, the progression of food will be a bit flattened at the highest levels, meaning high-end food will not be quite as powerful as it is currently. This is to somewhat reduce the snowball effect, as high-end food is very expensive, and can be used to undermine the IP cap on certain zones.
2. Reducing Snowballing in the Outlands
For Season 3, we're making several changes that will reduce the snowball effect between smaller and larger guilds in the Outlands:
First, we're changing the amount of siphoned energy each territory produces. This will bring Mercia and Anglia a bit more in line with each other – there will still be a difference in the energy these regions produce, but it will not be as extreme as it is currently. The goal of this change is to reduce some of the current snowballing in these territories, and to add a bit more strategy and balance to which territories a guild chooses to defend.
Second, in order to give smaller guilds more of an even footing, we're introducing a soft gear cap for red-zone GvGs. These soft caps will only be active during the GvG fight itself; open-world red zones overall will stay untouched.
3. Other Adjustments and Improvements
Better loot in yellow-zone Hellgates: as these Hellgates are now full-loot, we're scaling the rewards they offer up accordingly. They will still not be as lucrative as those found in red and black zones, but should offer rewards that are appropriate to their challenge.
Freely attack guild and alliance members in Hellgates: this will allow for less restricted play in Hellgates, as players will not have to worry about avoiding their fellow guild/alliance members when they appear in an enemy group.
As always, you can view the most up-to-date stats and numbers in the NDA Balance Playtests thread on our forum.
That's all for now – stay tuned for more updates over the coming weeks!
We're celebrating summer with discounts on all packs and upgrades. Whether you've been waiting to dive into the game or are ready for an upgrade, now's the time. The following prices are valid from now until July 5 at 17:00 UTC:
Veteran Packs now cost USD 19.77 (regularly USD 29.95)
Epic Packs now cost USD 32.97 (regularly USD 49.95)
Legendary Packs now cost USD 65.97 (regularly USD 99.95)
Veteran-to-Epic Upgrades now cost USD 13.20 (regularly USD 20.00)
Veteran-to-Legendary Upgrades now cost USD 46.20 (regularly USD 70.00)
Epic-to-Legendary Upgrades now cost USD 33.00 (regularly USD 50.00)
Remember that you can upgrade Veteran and Epic Founder Packs to higher-tier Starter Packs as well.
Make sure to take advantage of this offer – head on over to our shop to grab your discounted pack or upgrade now!
Robert Lewandowski said after Poland were eliminated from the World Cup with a 3-0 defeat to Colombia that his side lacked the quality needed to progress, admitting “it’s not like we lost by a whisker.”
Poland entered the World Cup ranked highest of the four teams in Group H at eighth but ended up being the first team out of contention for the knockouts with a lacklustre performance in their first two matches.
After two defensive lapses against Senegal led to a 2-1 defeat in their opener, the Poles looked second-best by miles all night against Colombia and talismanic striker Lewandowski summed it up with his nonchalant comments after the defeat to Los Cafeteros at the Kazan Arena.
“Maybe that’s all we could do. Let’s be frank, it’s not like we lost by a whisker. So we fought, we tried to do our best, but at the moment we could not do anything more,” the prolific Bayern Munich striker told Polish TV.
“Many things did not go as they should today, during this World Cup… I was alone, we fought, I fought, I did everything I could, but fighting is not enough to win World Cup matches, you also have to have quality, and we had too little of that.”
Poland led their qualifying group almost from start to finish, finishing with eight wins, one draw and a defeat with Lewandowski leading Europe’s qualifying campaign with 16 of the side’s 28 goals.
Their offensive play on Sunday appeared limited to launching long balls towards Lewandowski, who often had to fall back in the hope of receiving more service.
Colombia did well to shut down the striker with two players always close on his heels, and Poland did not have the quality or the skill to switch their tactics.
“Tonight practically we used all our forces that were available when it comes to our offensive playing,” Poland coach Adam Nawalka told reporters. “We tried to attack but there was no fluid play.
“Unfortunately we were not efficient and effective. The opposing team were better in terms of quality and ball possession.”
Colombia’s opening goal in the 40th minute forced Poland to be more offensive, and it ended up providing more space for the free-flowing Latin Americans. The second and third goals came in the space of five minutes for Colombia.
“We know that we were trying to cover the opposing players but step by step we tried to play even more offensively,” Nawalka said. “It was clear there was more and more free space for the Colombian team, and they really put it to good use and that’s why they won.”
Mohamed Salah is considering his international future with Egypt, a source has confirmed to ESPN FC, because of his unhappiness about being drawn into a political row during his stay in Chechnya with his national team during the World Cup.
CNN first reported on Sunday that the Liverpool forward was deciding whether to return to the Egypt team after the World Cup.
Before the tournament began, Salah was pictured alongside Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen Republic, at Egypt’s base in Grozny. Kadyrov declared Salah to be an honorary citizen of Chechnya in a ceremony with the player.
“Mohamed Salah is an honorary citizen of the Chechen Republic! That’s right!” Kadyrov wrote in a social media post. “I gave Mohamed Salah a copy of the order and a pin at a celebratory dinner that I gave in honour of the Egyptian team.”
Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya since 2004, is a controversial figure on the global stage because of his hard-line rule over his people and a series of contentious comments, particularly against the gay community.
CNN reported that Salah was uncomfortable with the criticism that followed the photo and is unwilling to being used as a political pawn. A source with knowledge of Salah’s position on the matter confirmed this stance to ESPN FC, adding that the player is now considering his future with his national team.
The Egyptian FA later on Sunday tried to play down the reports, insisting Salah was still happy, saying: “Reports that Salah wants to leave are completely wrong.”
“Mo is still with us now and he is happy in the camp. He is eating and laughing with his teammates. He is training well and that means no problem.”
The Chechen controversy is the latest that Salah has experienced while on international duty, with the forward winning a battle against the Egyptian FA in April over the use of his image rights.
Salah, who was forced to miss Egypt’s opening defeat against Uruguay as a result of the shoulder injury he suffered in last month’s Champions League final against Real Madrid, is still expected to play for Egypt in their Group A finale with Saudi Arabia on Monday before flying home and embarking on a summer break. Egypt have no chance of advancing to the World Cup knockout stage.
Whether Salah ever plays for Egypt again will now be under consideration as a result of the events in Chechnya during the tournament.
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_