Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn’ patch 2.45 release set for Dec. 9

Good news to “Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn” players as patch 2.45 will be released on Dec. 9 packed with bug fixes to the remaining issues that patch 2.4 failed to resolve. The game’s director Naoki Yoshida revealed some of the major inclusions in the new patch at the latest “Letter from the Producer” Q&A session.

According to Yoshida, dragoons will receive a major update through the patch. Gamers have been complaining that dragoons die easily after taking magical attacks twice. Players also added that it has been difficult to participate in the end-game content.
Other changes in dragoons included in patch 2.45 are: increase in magic defense; reduction in recast times of some skills; decrease in damage taken during blood for blood battles; and increase in DoT damage on certain actions.

Yoshida also spilled some teasers and previews for the upcoming “Heavensward” expansion pack, which is bound for release next year. The expansion pack will include brand new limit break for dragoons, housing areas in Ishgard as well as new maps, a new race, and new jobs.

Meanwhile, Sony is extending the upgrade plan in which players can switch from PlayStation 3 to 4. The plan was supposed to end on Dec. 31, but the Japanese company was swayed by the request of buyers and, therefore, extended the plan until March 31, 2015.

Furthermore, the company is offering a free trial service for PS3 and PS4 players on Dec. 11 for PS Plus members and on Dec. 24 for non-subscribers. However, these dates are still tentative.

“Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn” is the 14th installment in the series and the second multiplayer online RPG of the “Final Fantasy” series. Like other role playing games, players can create and customize their character’s appearance as well as job type. They can then join the massive world and embark in their own adventure, explore the land or go on quests.

Orcs Must Die! Unchained Announced for PS4

Robot Entertainment, creators of the award-winning Orcs Must Die! franchise, announced today during the PlayStation Experience keynote that its highly anticipated multiplayer game, Orcs Must Die! Unchained will come to the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system in 2015. Orcs Must Die! Unchained finds players joining forces, charging in with teams of heroes that battle head-to-head to attack and defend ancient strongholds. For the first time in Orcs Must Die!, teams of players will be responsible for both sides of the battle, building traps to stop enemy assaults while summoning their own armies to lead in siege against the enemy defense.

orcs_must_die_unchained_1

“We’re so glad Robot Entertainment is bringing Orcs Must Die! Unchained to the PlayStation 4 for the first time via our Third Party Production group,” said Adam Boyes, VP of Publisher & Developer Relations at Sony Computer Entertainment of America. “Their fast-paced action and unique style and humor are a perfect fit for console, and we’re thrilled to have them on PlayStation.”

“We’re very excited to welcome PlayStation 4 players to our community,” said Robot Entertainment CEO Patrick Hudson. “Orcs Must Die! Unchained delivers a unique blend of tower defense and competitive multiplayer action along with the game’s signature humor. We can’t wait for PS4 fans to jump in and start slaying Orcs!”

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Orcs Must Die! Unchained is set in the familiar world of its humorous fantasy predecessors, years after the finale of Orcs Must Die! 2. With the discovery of dozens of new rifts and magical worlds beyond them, heroes have come from far and wide to wage all-out war for control of these valuable gateways. In the years since Orcs Must Die! 2, the War Mage and Sorceress have rebuilt the once-mighty Order. Their new enemy, the Unchained, is not the mindless horde defeated twice before, but instead an organized army led by powerful heroes.

Features

Attack and Defend – White-knuckle Fortress Siege action puts you into the thick of competitive siege warfare. Unleash your minions and charge into the heart of the enemy stronghold and build an impenetrable gauntlet of traps to hack, grind, flatten, gibletize and incinerate your foes. Your team must master both tactics to triumph.
Choose Your Hero – Dozens of unique and powerful heroes offer deep gameplay options at all skill levels. Old friends the War Mage and Sorceress return to face new enemy heroes like Blackpaw, Midnight, Stinkeye, and Bloodspike. Whether players prefer might and majesty or scum and villainy, there’s a hero for everyone.
Collect & Customize – Collect and upgrade powerful heroes, over-the-top weapons, devious traps and fiendish minions. Build an arsenal from an enormous variety of options, and customize a strategy for every match. New heroes, weapons, traps, and minions are continuously added, and your collection will never stop evolving!
In development for PlayStation 4 and PC, the PC version of Orcs Must Die! Unchained is currently in Closed Beta. For more information about Orcs Must Die! Unchained, visit OrcsMustDie and follow the development team on Facebook and Twitter.

World of Warcraft developer AMA highlights

Last night, World of Warcraft developers Tom Chilton, Ion Hazzikostas, Cory Stockton, and Brian Holinka held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the /r/wow subreddit along with the occasional responses from community managers Jonathan Brown (Zarhym), Micah Whipple (Bashiok), Josh Allen (Lore), and Randy Jordan (Kaivax). Over the course of the AMA, the developers answered questions pertaining to class balance, Warlords features, garrisons, character models, and slight teasers for future content. We’ll pull out a few highlights here, but we suggest heading over to /r/wow to read everything. Subreddit moderator aphoenix compiled a handy summary of the AMA to make finding the developers’ responses quick and easy — but remember to read the developers’ full responses rather than take the summary as direct quotes.

Flight in Warlords of Draenor

Aedeus asked:
What’s the deal currently with your stance on flying, any new developments, or insights?

Ion Hazzikostas: Overall, we’re happy with how ground travel in Draenor has played out thus far, and we’ve heard a lot of feedback to that effect as well, though we of course recognize that there are players who feel differently. We’ll have more to announce about our 6.1 patch plans in the very near future, but as the focus of our endgame outdoor content remains in the main Draenor zones, our reasons for disallowing flight in 6.0 continue to apply in 6.1. Whether you’re navigating your way to Orumo the Observer in Shattrath Rise, trying to reach a treasure cache atop a column in Spires, or working your way around the ledges encircling The Pit, you’re engaging in gameplay that simply would not exist in a world with unfettered flight. It was never our intent to make large-scale navigation of the world inconvenient, and in 6.1 we’re going to be improving our flight path system to always take the most direct route between two points, even if you have not discovered some of the intermediate nodes. Please keep the feedback coming – if you’re unhappy with the design, some of the most helpful feedback would be specific examples of situations or systems that feel frustrating without being able to fly in Draenor.

Plans for garrisons in future expansions?

SharkRaptor asked:
how do you feel about the success of Garrisons, and are there plans for a similar system in future expansions?

Tom Chilton: Super happy overall with how garrisons have worked out, at least for now. One of our goals for the expansion was to add a feature that felt like it gave players new gameplay that feels important and thematically tied to the expansion. We’ll have to wait and see on future expansions. Certainly, we have a goal of providing awesome new gameplay that mixes up your experience for future expansions, but that can take many forms (be it “garrisons 2.0”, elements of garrisons mixed in with other new stuff, other new stuff completely, etc). Regardless, new stuff that fits an expansion well and doesn’t feel like an already-solved problem is definitely cool!

On mobile garrisons and the future of the feature
pyrofox1313 asked:

It seems as if a lot of the elements of Garrisons (follwer missions, work orders, etc.) were designed with the mobile Armory in mind. Will we be seeing an update to the mobile app to include Garrions features?

Josh Allen (Lore): Not likely. It’s a really cool idea (one we’ve heard a lot), but as the Garrison is intended as a Warlords-only feature, there are several other potential improvements we could make to the mobile app that would have more long-term use, if we decided to expand its feature set.

I should clarify: it’s intended as a feature that we don’t have to bring along with us into the next expansion (like a new profession would be, for example). However, it’s something we can bring along if we want to, or even repurpose a lot of the same tech to provide something else. Opens up a lot of options for future expansions.

Tweaks to new character models
Stanzilla asked:

Are the already released new character models still being tweaked and worked on? Because some of them are just looking very broken, human female for example, commonly referred to as TEAM FOREHEAD.

Elder Scrolls Online’s PS4 And Xbox One Delay Explained

Elder Scrolls Online’s PS4 and Xbox One versions still haven’t been released. However, ZeniMax Online Studios decided to throw console gamers a bone today and share a few details on its development.

In a new blog post on Elder Scrolls Online’s website, game director Matt Firor emphasized that the Xbox One and PS4 editions of the game aren’t “just ports” of the original PC/Mac game. They’ve put a lot of time into customizing the MMORPG for those platforms.

“We have completely replaced the PC user interface with a console-specific UI designed from the ground-up with a controller and a living room play experience in mind,” Firor said. He added that both versions will also support voice chat – a necessity considering how few console gamers have keyboards for text communication.

Firor said that the console versions of Elder Scrolls Online are “playable and fun” now. However, they’re not ready to release them yet or even provide a date. They still have big tasks to finish.

“First and foremost, we want to make sure that two of our most important systems still in development—the Justice and Champion Systems—are included in the console release. Those two systems will introduce a huge amount of content to the game, and we know everyone is looking forward to the new types of gameplay they provide.”

The Justice and Champion systems are major features coming in the January update on PC and Mac. The Champion system is a progression system for players who have hit the cap of level 50. These players earn Champion Points through everyday activities and can spend them on ability changes or passive bonuses. Their Champion progression will also be unlocked for their other characters, even if they’re below level 50.

The Justice system allows players to become criminals. They can rob or kill NPC’s throughout the world. Stolen items can be sold to fences. This behavior may draw the attention of the guards, though. Players can pay off their bounty or kill any guards in their way.

Eventually, the Justice system will be expanded so that players can hunt these law-breakers. ZeniMax decided to make sure that the Justice feature has a “solid foundation” before they add this player-versus-player aspect.

“These are large changes to the game, and go hand-in-hand with our vision to add more freedom and sandbox-style elements to the world. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and we just need to make sure that we phase it in carefully to ensure the best experience for everyone.”

Elder Scrolls Online debuted on PC and Mac in April. The PS4 and Xbox One versions were first scheduled for June, but Bethesda delayed them by six months. They’ve obviously missed that new deadline. Firor says that more news on the console editions of ESO will be forthcoming in “early 2015,” though.

Aion left hanging after Landmarks fails to vote on 807 Park

The fate of an apartment building at 807 Park Avenue remains uncertain after a meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday failed to draw a quorum. Without the required number of commissioners in attendance, the panel could not vote on the proposal, New York YIMBY reported.

The current plan — put forth by owner Aion Partners — calls for the demolition of the building, located between 74th and 75th streets, and the construction of a 12-story building. Currently, 807 Park Avenue — which was once owned by Sean “P. Diddy” Combs — has its original façade.

Rendering for 807 Park Avenue

Some of the commissioners are reluctant to approve the razing of the building. Local residents have also opposed the plan. Aion, a real estate investment firm, has been renting out the apartment-like townhouses at the location for as much as $40,000 per month, The Real Deal reported. The commissioners present at the meeting reportedly liked the design for the new tower, according to the website. PBDW Architects is designing the building. Aion has said that the ceilings in the current building are too short. [NY YIMBY] — Claire Moses

Neuer’s nomination for FIFA’s Ballon d’Or raises many eyebrows

The three finalists for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or are out — and one of them is a head-scratcher. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo made the final cut, and with good reason. They are two of the best individual players on the planet, if not the best. But the third is German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, an eyebrow-raising choice.

Messi, of Barcelona and Argentina, is a deserving candidate. He led Argentina to its first World Cup final since 1990 and was named the tournament’s best player. In spite of being hampered by an injury that kept him out for six weeks early in the 2014-15 season, he spearheaded Barca once more throughout the year and broke the all-time scoring records for La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. At 27, the record four-time winner of this award is undoubtedly still in his prime and worthy.

Ronaldo, of Real Madrid and Portugal, is too. He led La Liga in scoring for 2013-14, set a new Champions League record for goals in a season — 17 — and in so doing helped end Real’s decade-long European title drought. He won this prize last year and in 2008, and merits a third.

Messi had 52 goals and 21 assists for club and country in 2014; Ronaldo had 55 and 19. In the context of one another, these nominations make sense – this prize is voted on by national team coaches and captains and select members of the media, by the way.

But when you add in Neuer, of Bayern Munich and Germany, things get murky. Unlike the other two, who are forwards, Neuer is a goalkeeper. And this gives us a problem of definition for this award — the highest individual honor in soccer.

FIFA’s own website sets the parameters for the prize in two different ways. On the dedicated Ballon d’Or page it says the prize recognizes “the best individual talent for the past year in world football.” Yet in the press release announcing the finalists, it calls it the award for “the best player of 2014.” Wikipedia, meanwhile, and for what that’s worth, reckons the award is given to the player “who is considered to have performed the best in the previous year.”

There is real ambiguity here among the three different criteria. Having the “best individual talent” is not the same as being the “best player.” Nor does either equate to having “performed the best.” These may seem like semantics, but they underscore how vague this award really is. Perhaps that’s because this prize is an amalgamation of the FIFA World Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or — which were merged into one award in 2010. The former was said to be given to the best player, the latter to the best performer.

The trouble is, even when you are the best, you can be outperformed. Injuries and circumstance are the variables there.

Now, here’s where it gets really sticky: Are you considered the “best” or the “best performer” or even the “best talent” for how you did individually or how your team did thanks to your individual efforts? Soccer, perhaps more than any other sport, is a team game that doesn’t allow for easy statistical quantifying. Analytics have come a long way, but it’s still desperately difficult to measure a player’s share in his team’s success.
From a team perspective, Neuer was the big winner among these three this year. Bayern won another domestic double and Germany won the World Cup, where he was named the top goalkeeper. He was crucial to both campaigns. But how do you compare an attacker to a goalkeeper? One is tasked with scoring or creating goals, the other with preventing them. That’s like comparing a sword to a shield. Or a sports car to a policeman’s radar gun. Or the sun to sunscreen. Well, you get the idea.

It’s hard to quantify whether a goalkeeper can have as much of an effect on a team’s fortunes as an outfield player. An argument could be made that a great goalkeeper saves fewer goals, compared to an average one, than a great striker can add, relative to the standard forward’s output. Arguments could probably be made to reason the opposite point as well.

Looking at the history of this award, however, it is, by and large, reserved for forwards and attacking-minded midfielders. That’s both protocol and fact. So it follows that Neuer was included among the finalists in recognition of his teams’ achievements. But Messi’s teams won nothing this year, while Ronaldo won at the club level but saw his country falter at the World Cup, getting bounced in the group stage.

We had this problem last year, too, when Franck Ribery came third, even though his Bayern side had just won the treble. The World Cup only complicated matters further this year.

Who wins this award, then, will depend on how the voters judge the ill-defined criteria for this award. If this is an individual-as-part-of-a-team-performance award, Neuer should win it. If it counts for the greatest contribution to a club’s success, Ronaldo should have it. And if this a prize in recognition of almost single-handedly dragging your country into the final of the biggest tournament in the sport, it should be Messi’s.

Nominees for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2014 awards revealed

The contenders for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the best player of 2014 and for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2014 award were announced today on FIFA.com, francefootball.fr and YouTube.

In alphabetical order, the FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees are: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Manuel Neuer (Germany), while Nadine Kessler (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA) will contest the women’s award.

The candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football and FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football awards were also announced. In alphabetical order, the contenders are: Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid CF), Joachim Loew (Germany/German national team) and Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico de Madrid) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award, and Ralf Kellermann (Germany/VfL Wolfsburg), Maren Meinert (Germany/Germany U-19 and U-20 national teams) and Norio Sasaki (Japan/Japan national team) for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award.

All the nominees were confirmed after a voting process which was open to the captains and head coaches of the men’s and women’s national teams of the 209 member associations as well as to international media representatives selected by FIFA and France Football voted for candidates.

The percentages of the collected votes are as follows (number of votes/number of associations):

Voting for men’s awards:
Member associations (captains & coaches): 87%
Media representatives: 94%

Voting for women’s awards:
Member associations (captains & coaches): 83%
Media representatives: 77%

The voting procedure for each of the awards is supervised and monitored by the independent observer PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Switzerland.

The shortlist of 15 forwards for the FIFA FIFPro World XI was also announced, completing the final shortlist of 55 players also featuring five goalkeepers, 20 defenders and 15 midfielders.

The forward shortlist is (home country, club):
Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City FC); Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid CF); Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid CF); Diego Costa (Spain/Chelsea FC); Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid CF); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris St-Germain FC); Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich); Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona); Thomas Muller (Germany/FC Bayern Munich); Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona); Marco Reus (Germany/Borussia Dortmund); Arjen Robben (Netherlands/FC Bayern Munich); Franck Ribery (France / FC Bayern Munich); Wayne Rooney (England/Manchester United FC); Luis Suarez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona).

See the full list on FIFA.com

In addition, the three nominees for the FIFA Puskás Award for the “most beautiful goal of the year” were announced. The three final goals are: Stephanie Roche – 20 October 2013, Peamount United v Wexford Youths, BEWNL (Ireland Republic); James Rodriguez – 28 June 2014, Colombia v Uruguay, 2014 FIFA World Cupâ„¢; Robin van Persie – 13 June 2014, Spain v Netherlands, 2014 FIFA World Cupâ„¢.

All the awards will be presented at the FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on 12 January 2015 during a televised show to be streamed live on FIFA.com and FIFA on YouTube.

In addition to the above awards, the recipient of the FIFA Presidential Award and the winner of the FIFA Fair Play award will also be revealed during the award ceremony.

World Of Warcraft Collectible Figure: Preorder Beautiful Statue Of Orc Hero Grommash Hellscream

The figure is set to ship at the end of August 2015. Gromm is one of the most celebrated of all the Orcish leaders during the early days of the Horde. A deadly blademaster and closest confidant to Warchief Thrall, Gromm was both the beginning and ending of the terrible demon curse that befell the once noble Orcs of Draenor. He was the first to drink the blood of Mannoroth, sending the horde into a hellish rage, but was also the orc who dealt the twisted demon his fatal blow.Expected In August 2015

Gromm’s figure stands 18 inches tall. He is in mid-stride, wielding his famous axe Gorehowl from atop the dead corpse of Mannoroth. All the rage in the world etched on his face. “Art directed by Nick Carpenter (Vice President, Art & Cinematic Development, Cinematics), sculpted by staff Senior Sculptor Brian Fay and featuring an original paintmaster by Senior Illustrator Laurel Austin, the full terror and awe of Grommash is realized in 3D sparring no detail.”

Chaos Reborn, New Strategy Title From X-Com Creator, Hits Early Access Next Week

The figure retails for $350. You can head over to the official page to put in your pre-order. Currently, there is no limit to the number of figures that will be created. So order as many as your heart desires.

Gromm Hellscream is alive once more in Warlords of Draenor, the fifth expansion to World of Warcraft in which Gromm’s son, Garrosh, travels back in time to rewrite the history of the Horde and all of Azeroth.
You can pick up Warlords of Draenor over at the battle.net store.
So, which other Warlords do you want to see rendered in beautiful collectible figure form? Tell us below in the comments. Pre-order Gromm Hellscream HERE.