Call of Duty: Warzone - 10 tips that may save your skin
04.07.2020 05:00:09 A few fellow gamers & I have logged a decent number of hours in Call of Duty: Warzone. Below, you will find our collective thoughts....so far. 1. Pick a loadout and stick with it. One of my early mistakes was picking many weapons and not focusing on one set. This made me a little underpowered when going into matches in
The fast-paced RTS game Circle Empires Rivals is coming to Steam on April 15th, 2020
04.06.2020 18:00:10 Iceberg Interactive and Luminous are today very excited and happy to announce that their fast-paced RTS game Circle Empires Rivals is coming to PC via Steam on April 15th, 2020.
One of the first things that struck me when I started playing Half-Life: Alyx was the dirt under Alyx Vance’s fingernails. It’s a simple thing, but it’s not often that you see that level of fine detail in a VR game. Usually, virtual hands are either low-detail ghostly apparitions or gloved. This grit also tells us something about this character, a scrappy survivor raised in the aftermath of the Seven-Hour War in which the alien Combine conquered Earth, and it quickly establishes that she isn’t as buttoned-down as that MIT-educated nerd Dr. Gordon Freeman. Subtle as it is, it sets the stage for the best VR shooter I’ve ever played by a mile – and one of the best in any perspective.
The next thing that stood out, jarring me out of gazing at my hands like a first-time stoner, was probably the gigantic, 30-foot Strider leg that smashed down directly in front of me as it moved past, going about its business. That established, with great force, the immense scale of the mosquito-like alien tanks we first fought in Half-Life 2 – if you didn’t take them seriously as a threat before, it’s now impossible not to. The same otherworldly sound design that made the landscape of the gulag-like City 17 so memorable back in 2004 is in full effect here as well, and full-3D surround sound intensifies all of these recognizable pieces.
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Aside from the new perspective, Alyx feels very much like a traditional Half-Life game. It’s set up as a linear series of areas, starting with a normal City 17 neighborhood and then moving underground, through industrial areas like a distillery, high-tech Combine facilities, slimy alien nests, and more. Each chapter of the 15-hour campaign feels substantially different from the last, including one that relies heavily on an unkillable antagonist you have to work your way around, and some that are all but pitch black except for your wrist-mounted flashlight.
Combat is a major part of the journey, but so is puzzle-solving. Some hacking puzzles pop up when you go to unlock various Combine technology. None of them are terribly complex – for instance, there’s a memory-matching game where you connect points on a holographic sphere and a very cool-looking one where you trace the path of electricity through a wall and rotate connectors in a power-flow puzzle – but all of them make heavy use of VR’s ability to work in three dimensions, and some of them actually get tricky when they scale up in the later levels. Disarming tripwire mines by tracing a path through rings as a burning fuse chases you – while being careful not to accidentally trip the mine with your hand – can get fairly intense.
And then there's the environmental puzzles. In true Half-Life fashion, getting from point A to point B is often more complicated than it sounds. I’d sometimes wander around an area wondering if I’d hit a bug and an event that would open a path forward hadn’t triggered; I always felt like a goof a few minutes later when I figured out that the solution was a trick that’d been explicitly taught to me earlier, or was pretty clearly marked by a wire or something. It's all there, once you learn what kinds of cues to look for. All of this serves as a welcome cooldown and counterbalance to combat.
[poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=You%20should%20absolutely%20be%20up%20to%20date%20on%20the%20events%20of%20the%20series%20before%20you%20play%20Alyx."]This may be a prequel story, taking place five years before Half-Life 2, but you should absolutely be up to date on the events of the series through Half-Life 2: Episode 2 before you play Alyx. (You’ve had 13 years – it's time.) Alyx’s quest starts out as a simple mission to rescue her father, Dr. Eli Vance, and turns into a heist to capture a Combine superweapon stashed inside a massive floating vault above City 17 – but of course, it’s not that simple. The ending is fantastic and a must-see for anyone who’s been invested in this story, and rest assured there are plenty of surprises you should avoid spoilers for.
All the while your remote, lovably oblivious and blunt sidekick Russell (distinctively voiced by Rhys Darby) chatters away in your ear with some laugh-out-loud gags about vodka and sandwiches, among a great many other things. It’s a very similar brand of humor to what Valve gave us with Wheatly in Portal 2, although he’s not evil. Probably. His rapport with Alyx gives her a chance to shine as a character as well, allowing her to reveal her optimism about the future and naivete about the world before the invasion. Appropriately, Russ’ signal tends to be blocked out during the moodier, more horror-flavored moments, which lets Half-Life: Alyx create some fantastically spooky atmosphere.
Detail is one of the things Valve does best. Environments look amazing. You can see the hairs on the legs of the bloodthirsty, turducken-sized head crabs as they leap at your face trying to eat your brain – although counting hairs is hardly the first of your concerns at a moment like that because animal instincts kick in and cause a jolt of panic. Healing stations squash a gross antlion grub in a vial and then inject its juices into your fingers through delicate robotic needles. Just about every poster or newspaper clipping you see up on a wall is fully written, either in English or Russian (I assume, anyway – I can’t read Russian). Smashing open a supply crate yields a shower of packing peanuts as well as items.
[poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=Your%20hands%20are%20real%20objects%20in%20the%20world%20that%20collide%20with%20everything."]It’s remarkable, and so is the actual way you interact with all of these objects. Outside of Boneworks, I’ve never seen this level of physical interactivity in a VR world. Physics play a huge role because the vast majority of stuff that isn’t nailed down can be picked up and tossed around. Even better, your hands are real objects in the world that collide with everything realistically. Moves like sweeping your hand across a table to dramatically wipe everything off of it, pushing on a door – not its handle, but anywhere on it – to open it, and having to carefully move your hand between two bars in a fence instead of simply reaching through it like a ghost all make a huge, huge difference in establishing a feeling of presence in this world.
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[poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=The%20Gravity%20Gloves%20elegantly%20turn%20a%20weakness%20into%20an%20empowering%20strength."]In the beginning of Half-Life 2, Alyx equips Gordon Freeman with the Gravity Gun – but this is five years prior to those events. So here, Alyx straps on intricate Gravity Gloves that aren’t nearly as powerful as the gun, but are much more compact, always on-hand, and still extremely useful. Just point at any object you can see so it lights up, make a fist to grip it, and yank it toward you to send it satisfyingly flying your way so you can easily catch it out of the air. It’s the simplest of Jedi tricks but it works well after some practice. The secret here is that this is a clever way to cover up that moving around and bending down too much in VR is awkward and it’s much easier to bring objects to you than it is to move you to them. The gloves elegantly turn that weakness into an empowering strength.
That said, there isn’t as much physics-based mayhem as I expected coming off of Half-Life 2. Unlike the Gravity Gun, your Gravity Gloves have no launch ability, only a pull, so you can’t bisect enemies with saw blades and the like. Grenades have to be tossed with your normal human arms. It all works fine but as someone who loves the Gravity Gun I couldn’t help but want that full power in my hands. Room has to be left for a sequel, I suppose.
Instead, guns are your main instruments of defending yourself from lurching zombies, lunging headcrabs, dangling barnacle traps, armored Combine troopers, and worse. There are only three weapons (or five, counting grenades) in Half-Life: Alyx, but even the basic pistol you’re handed from the get-go has a powerful punch to it, and emptying a whole magazine into an interdimensional fascist feels awfully good. Keep in mind, though, that handling it, the shotgun, and the SMG are big adjustments if you’re not familiar with VR shooters and the more elaborate reloading procedures that are common when you’re holding a virtual gun in your hand.
[poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=Emptying%20a%20whole%20magazine%20into%20an%20interdimensional%20fascist%20feels%20awfully%20good."]When you pull your pistol’s trigger until it goes click, pushing a button is only the first step: rather than completely reloading, it ejects the empty magazine. Then you reach over your shoulder with your other hand and grab a new one, jam it into the handle, and – before you can fire – pull back the slide to chamber a round. But wait! If you don’t fire that last round before reloading, you can eject the magazine and slam in a new one without having to chamber a new round, adding a bit of nuance to master. You also have to be wary of reloading before you’ve fired all the rounds from a magazine, since you’ll waste whatever’s left in there – and half-empty mags can’t be stored in your backpack.
Upgrades from there change things up in meaningful ways. For instance, when you first get the shotgun it’s got awesome stopping power but it’s cumbersome, and you have to go through the reloading procedure of popping it open, inserting rounds, closing it (you can do this with a flick of your wrist if you want to be cool), and chambering a round every four shots. Upgrade that with the auto-loader, however, and you can slot six shells into the side and then hit a button to watch it mechanically load for you with an intricate animation. When you can blast away multiple times, the shotgun basically becomes a “delete enemy” button for anything at close range, which is why its ammo is relatively scarce.
For the pistol, just increasing your ammo capacity is a big deal since it reduces the time spent reloading, which is when you’re at your most vulnerable. But it’s the laser sight that was the biggest game-changer for me: suddenly having pinpoint accuracy from the hip feels almost like a cheat mode after having to slowly and deliberately line up your shots using the iron sights or holosight to avoid wasting ammo until you can afford the expensive upgrade.
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[poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=Valve%E2%80%99s%20level%20designers%20apparently%20delight%20in%20cleverly%20placing%20items."]Gleaming pucks of resin (the currency you use to upgrade your weapons at special stations), ammunition, grenades, and health injectors are scattered throughout the levels, almost to a ridiculous degree. It’s a little immersion-breaking to find items even when they make no sense to be there – like, why would a pistol mag and a hand grenade be stashed in an office filing cabinet? – but it’s necessary given the large number of hits to the face Combine soldiers can take before we get that familiar flatline sound effect. Like an Easter egg hunt, many of these items are placed in plain sight and meant for everybody to find, but I found that careful exploration after clearing out an area was nearly always rewarded. Valve’s level designers apparently delight in cleverly placing items where they’re hidden from view if you’re walking through a level from beginning to end but very obvious when going backwards.
My only issue with Half-Life: Alyx’s gunfights is that the heavily armored Combine soldier type can be boring to fight. They’re virtually always the last ones standing once you’ve taken out their smarter and more mobile escorts who throw grenades to force you out of cover, and that leaves you to simply plink away at them as they stand in the open until they start to spin up their miniguns. Then you take cover, wait for them to exhaust their magazine, and repeat until they fall down.
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Just like in previous Half-Life games, you have to move around a whole lot in Half-Life: Alyx, and there are several options that allow for everything from playing seated to room-scale immersion (and even a one-handed mode). As an individual blessed with a strong stomach and a coffee table I can move out of the way to create a decent-sized area, I played exclusively standing and moving, with the free movement controls instead of teleportation. With these, you can use the left thumbstick to walk around like you would in any first-person game, using the right thumbstick to make quick, 45-degree turns for when I didn’t want to get tangled up in the headset cord. You do have to “jump” gaps from time to time, but pulling down on the right stick lets you point at a target and release to teleport there as though you’d actually performed a feat of athleticism. That’s also useful for if you don’t want to crouch under barriers yourself (though that’s certainly an option) and for when you might get stuck on terrain.
04.06.2020 08:00:10 John writes, "When Valve Software announced Half-Life: Alyx I was truly surprised. When they said it was for VR only, I was floored. I know Valve had a few titles in the pipeline when they released the Valve Index headset, but I dont think many people thought a Half-Life title would be one of them. Yet here we are."
Train Station Renovation is coming to Steam Early Access on April 30th, 2020
04.06.2020 08:00:10 Live Motion Games are today very happy and excited to announce that their train station renovation sim "Train Station Renovation" is coming to PC via Steam Early Access on April 30th, 2020.
Dying Light 2 Dark Zones will Be More Intense due to Ray-Tracing
Developers Techland discusses how ray-tracing is making Dying Light 2 dark zones a whole lot scarier.
Speaking in the latest issue of OPM (Official PlayStation Magazine) Techland’s rendering director Tomasz Szałkowski opens up on how ray-tracing is improving their game and giving Dying Light 2 dark zones a more darker, scarier and intense feeling.
Dying Light 2 is the largest game created using our in-house C-engine. It is very important for us to achieve our ambitions in terms of graphics, which is why this will be the first Techland production to support ray tracing. We are implementing it in cooperation with Nvidia [on PC] and using the latest achievements in this domain.
Thanks to this technology, our shadows in sunny weather look like they really would (among other reasons, because they take into account the size of the sun in the sky). Ambient occlusion effects have gained spatial stability and no longer suffer from compromises tied to the specifics of effects affecting screen space (they operate only on what is visible on the screen, meaning the floor under a table doesn’t affect the displayed image when we look down at the tabletop)
Dark Zones are an important element of our game, which is why we are experimenting with secondary illumination (reflected off surfaces) from artificial light sources (such as the player’s flashlight), which will make the experience of exploring these regions even more intense.
While the quote only mentions PC, next-gen console buyers (PS5, Xbox Series X) can rest easy knowing that the next-gen version of Dying Light 2 will indeed support ray-tracing on both systems. Dying Light 2 currently does not have a release date as the studio announced a delay back in January. We most likely won’t hear about one anytime soon either, with the current COVID-19 pandemic happening and all.
The Division 2: Warlords of New York DLC Review - TechSyndrome
04.05.2020 07:00:09 Division 2: Warlords of New York DLC delivers the best looter shooter experience that one can expect from Ubisoft. With improvements in weapon mechanics, weapon mods and the unique yet fun boss fights, Ubisoft has proved that it can deliver a good game and bring the old userbase back to life with a proper and full-fledged DLC like this one.
TKC servers are well run and every attempt is made to ensure a fun gaming environment. No racist or rude behavior is tolerated on any of our servers. TKC tries to have round the clock administration for it's servers but obviously sometimes a server will have no admin playing so if you witness any abuse for any game please attempt to report the offending players nickname, and if possible GUID here: "Server Vistors Complaint". Just give as many details as you can remember such as what the player was doing/saying. In addition cheating is not tolerated on our servers. We are protected by any of a number of different cheat tools at any given time including; VAC, steambans.com, pbbans.com, ggc-stream.com, metabans, pbscreens.com and punkbuster, depending on the game. If caught cheating your information will be submitted to the appropriate cheat tracker and you will be added to their database which will ban your Steam ID, PB GUID or EA GUID depending on the game and website.
When available we also offer ways for players, in-game, to contact admins to report bad behavior. These come in the form of game server plugins. Players will, if the server has the option available, have the option to report a player using, @report [player] [reason] or @admin [reason] to call an admin to the server. If an admin doesn't respond in a timely manner, please use the @report option so we can follow up on it later or use "Server Vistors Complaint" as mentioned above. If an admin is not available, we also try to give the players the opportunity to use @votekick [player] or @voteban [player] [reason]. This allows the guests to our server the ability to kick or temporarily ban a player who is breaking rules.
Profanity - Many of the games we play have very bad language, some don't, that should make a difference in how we enforce our rules. For that reason we are going to implement a new rule, which will seem strange at first, but there is reason behind it. Bad language will only be tolerated on Teamspeak channels for games where there is bad language in the game. In other words, since there is bad language in Bad Company 2, bad language will be acceptable in the Bad Company 2 Teamspeak channel and on the Bad Company 2 servers. On our Half-Life 2 DM Teamspeak channel and game server, bad language will not be allowed. Future games will also be handled in this manner. The reason, we do not want to exclude members with different beliefs. If I buy a game and one of the selling points for me was the fact that it did not have bad language, that should be respected. I do not want a father or grandfather having to explain bad language to their children or grandchildren because they heard profanity on a TKC Teamspeak channel they thought was free of such things.
How to deal with with Mic/Text spammers - No one wants to listen to a lot of unrelated chatter either on the game server, or Teamspeak. No one wants to see a lot of text spamming either. It's distracting to some, and in the case of Bad Company 2, causes lag problems when the text log gets too long. If someone is talking or typing too much, respectfully ask them to stop. If they continue, you may have to mute or kick them, and if they continue after that, a ban might be in order. When on Teamspeak, a certain amount of "visiting" is fine, but the gamers who want to communicate tactical information to others playing shouldn't have to constantly interrupt talk about the latest CPU, or talk of what's going on at school. If someone is talking too much and you don't feel like you want to address it, PM a clan leader and we can handle the situation.
Team Switching - In some games this is a big no-no and if you are admin for one of those games, ask the player to go back, if they don't and you have the ability, move them back manually. If you continue to have problems, kick/ban them. In other games, like Bad Company 2, team switching usually isn't as big a deal. Sometimes friends or clan members might want to play together, in that case, try to facilitate them and swap some people around. This will show you to be respectful of community and they will probably be very appreciative of your efforts. If there is a mass exodus of people from a bad team to a good team, you can mention in-game that people need to stop. If someone is ignoring you and continues to unbalance the teams, just kick them off the server. For a game like Half-Life 2, teams change after each round, so trying to put clan members together is just a waste of time, that is why team switching is considered bad.
Hacking/Cheating - This is the most overused excuse for kicking someone off of a server. Players are unjustly booted off servers all the time simply because they were too good. That is not fair. Do not base a decision on cheating on a single round, if it isn't really ridiculous score-wise, sometimes people just have great rounds. But if they continue to have an unbelievable K/D ratio, then you might need to ban them. Sometimes it might be necessary to ban someone just because they are killing the server. For me, this is the thing I hate to do the most. That person might be doing nothing wrong, other than being really good at a game. Try to put yourself in their shoes and only ban guys who are really obvious. I don't want to see anyone being banned for an aimbot because they went 29-0. I and many others have had a better score than that, it DOES happen. You have to consider how the person is playing the game. Are they playing as recon? Are they in the heli with a really good pilot? Sometimes, if you are unsure, it might be best to ask the opinion of a clan leader. Remember, visitors to our servers have the ability and a forum to complain about unjust behavior from our server admins. If someone complains about you, you want to know that you did everything by the book.
Soldier Names/Nicknames - We will not allow names that are offensive to anyone. I think we can all use our best judgement here, but if you are unsure, ask another admin what they think of the name and come to a consensus before taking action. Players using racist names should be perm banned immediately. It does no good talking to someone like that because they're only goal is to cause trouble.
Banter and Trash Talking - Now its okay to joke around, but if several players are going at it constantly on the mic or in chat just nicely ask them to stop. If it continues warn them again that if they don't stop they will be kicked, if for no other reason that mic/text spamming. If they ignore this warning then go ahead and kick them. A certain amount of this is fine as long as it's good natured, however sometimes this can lead to hard feelings so you have to use your best judgement of when something is going too far or things are starting to get out of hand.
Racist/intolerant behavior - This is a subject that we will show no mercy on. If someone is being a racist, and that means they are hating on blacks, whites, browns, yellows, whatever the case may be, they get perm banned. No warnings, no kicks, just ban them. We don't need that kind of intolerant behavior on our servers. I don't care if the person is joking, I don't care what his real intent was, if he's spewing hate speech, he's gone. This also applies to someone who is spewing hate speech against a group of people, like Muslims, Christians, agnostics, atheists whoever. We are a gaming clan. This is our hobby and it's supposed to be fun. Everyone who comes to a TKC server should be respected and able to play the game hassle free. Not everyone believes the same, and if someone can't get over it and comes to our server with an agenda that includes racist or intolerant speech, I expect you guys to bring the hammer down swiftly.
Metabans - We will use Metabans only for cheaters and will verify each ban using Cheat-O-Meter. This will ensure that we are not forcing our Metabans followers into banning players we have banned for breaking rules other than cheating. If we deem you are cheating and Cheat-O-Meter doesn't really indicate cheating and we can not find information about you or your clan tag, meaning there is no website or previous information on you as a player or clan that we can cross reference, we will ban you on our servers, but not Metabans. Clans must have a website that we can find and access to be considered legit, otherwise we will view your tags as hogwash and your suspect behavior will be deemed as cheating. Again, we will not add a ban that is not supported by Cheat-O-Meter to Metabans.
We want everyone to have the best time possible so do your best to maintain a good gaming atmosphere, then everyone can have a good time.
To join TKC you only have to read our "Code of Conduct" and then apply for membership by filling out an online application. After submitting your application you will become a "member candidate". You will be allowed to wear our tags but only as (tkc), all letters in lowercase. As you progress, as seen by our members, you will be advanced to (Tkc), then (TKc) and then finally (TKC). You will receive emails at each step with detailed instructions on what you need to do. To obtain your full membership and the right to wear the (TKC) tags, you will have to pass a vote by the TKC members. Only those members who have gotten to know you will vote. An 80% yes vote will be required for full admission. Please keep in mind that full membership takes 8 weeks.
For you to be accepted you will need to display good manners, sportsmanship, and the ability to follow our rules. This applies to all game server activitiy and forum participation. If you do not feel you can meet our requirements we respectfully ask that you not apply as we have many who want to join and we can not waste time on gamers who are not serious about membership.
So now you're a member of TKC congrats! It is important for you to note that membership in TKC is not a lifetime privilege. Only the clan founders Big Flem and Squidward have lifetime membership and can not be removed. Clan leaders expect it's members to participate in clan activites when they can, and to be an ACTIVE member in the clan. We consider active members to be members who regularly post on the forums, participate in clan activities when possible, and communicates and develops friendships inside the clan. We do NOT consider a member to be active if they only ever play on our servers and nothing more. The leaders of this clan work hard to organize events and if you can't support these activities, can't check and post on the forums at least once or twice a week, then you are not TKC material and eventually you will be kicked from the clan. If you do not think you can meet these requirements as a member of TKC, then please don't attempt to gain entry into the clan as you will only waste your time, and ours.
Beyond administration positions such as "Clan Leader", "Division Leader", etc, the answer is no. However we do have achievable military style ribbons and medals that can be won for various acts. You may see each members ribbon and medal "Display Case" by going to the "Members" tab and under each members profile clicking the "Awards" icon. Below is each award and how you obtain that award. Note that medals also have an associative ribbon:
Ribbons(Hover over information icon for description)
In the past TKC had too many admins on our servers and things got a little out of hand. We are not looking for any new admins, however if we feel you will make a good addition to that team we will ask you. Being a server admin is not fun and games. It requires you to WORK, and follow server administrator rules which are well defined once you become an admin. Our admins are forced to stop playing whatever game they might be playing, and work to secure and maintain server tranquility reguarly. If you are an admin that does not mean you will get to run willy nilly and ban, kick, and torture at will. Admins who do not follow our rules will be stripped of admin duties and power. In addition there are more requirements of admins such as, reguarly checking our server admins forum. Once you become an admin you will be given access to this forum and you must check and read it quite often. It is a way for admins to help one another by posting their thoughts on what is going on, who to watch closely, etc. Do not ask us constantly to be an admin, that is the surest way I know to never become an admin. Our leaders will identify the best candidates for admin duties if we think it necessary.
No. In order to have an official TKC server it must meet certain standards. In addition, we might not want a server for a particular game, and if you aren't an admin, then you shouldn't have admin authority on any server. Official TKC servers have to be setup as close to identical as possible. This means that the clan leaders must have all access to any of it's servers including the ability to restart that server, gain access via FTP and game panel. It means that the clan leaders can setup the server with it's normal settings and add the usual addons. In short, if you want to have your own server then that is fine, but don't try to name it "Boom Boom Room" or tie it in any way to TKC.
Clan TKC maintains several servers that are open to it's clan members and the public. In addition TKC has other expenses that require money. To pay the bills TKC relies on it's members and visitors to donate. Without these donations, TKC will cease to exist. Please consider donating money when you can. We do our best to use the money wisely, to invest in TKC, to invest in PC gaming.
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