Elder Scrolls Online vampire guild to give players a free ticket to the dark side

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Patrick Carlson at

Inside the social economy of The Elder Scrolls Online, almost everything is up for sale—even vampirism. But House Annunaki, an Ebonheart Pact vampire guild in TESO, wants to turn that economy on its head by offering the precious vampire bites for free beginning May 1, according to the most recent issue of developer Zenimax Online's Tamriel Chronicle.


Warlock 2 review

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Phil Savage at

My empire is in ruins. It had such a strong start, too. My cities were spreading, my resources finely balanced, my army developing into a fearsome force of monsters and heroes. Now they're gone, consumed on three sides by the continuously spawning might of huge, armoured, fire breathing reptiles. I am defeated. By turtles.


Three Lane Highway Revisited: Dota 2, performance and play

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Chris Thursten at

Three Lane Highway is Chris' sometimes earnest, sometimes silly column about Dota 2.

I wrote the following article a couple of weeks after I started playing Dota 2, back in July of 2012. Now that I'm approaching my two-year anniversary with the game I've been thinking a bit about why I'd recommend it to other people. There are lots of reasons, obviously. It's exciting, deep, and there's a badger tied to some balloons in it. There's also a mammoth-rhinoceros-minotaur guy who can alter the properties of matter and a shit load of skeletons, albeit fewer of the latter now than there used to be. There are lots of wizards.

What I'm saying is that there are many reasons to like Dota 2, but that doesn't necessarily help somebody face down that vertical learning curve. The game is arguably less forgiving now than it was in beta: the community is larger, and more players are willing to create new accounts to beat up newcomers. The game has had time to settle, and in that environment it's easier to feel like a total outsider.

Outcast Reboot HD trailer shows first footage of the remade open-world classic

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Phil Savage at

We're now two weeks in to the Kickstarter campaign for Outcast Reboot HD. So far, it's had a pretty positive reception, raising a respectable $225,000. Unfortunately, the Fresh3D Inc team need to raise $600,000, meaning there's some way to go before their open-world adventure can be airlifted out of the late-'90s. To help raise awareness, the developers have made a sensible move: releasing footage of the game, showing the HD Reboot part of Outcast Reboot HD.


We've updated our list of the best Minecraft adventure maps to include 40 favourites

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Tom Senior at

Minecraft's adventure maps have only grown in scale and ambition since we made our first best-of list. Custom maps leverage Minecraft's famous building tools to create curated experiences in exotic worlds. Some are set on floating islands or inside grand mansions, while Zelda Adventure, Crafting Azeroth, Adventure Time Adventure Map, FarCry 3, PortalCraft and Star Wars take place in blocky recreations of more familiar settings. Our old list collating the best adventure maps held 25 of our favourite choices, but there are so many great maps around that we've extended the list to fit more quality stuff in. Head over to our list of the the 40 best Minecraft custom maps for our new collection, with links to all the maps included. Go forth, and adventure well.


Evolve interactive trailer lets you switch perspectives across a single match

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Phil Savage at

This is a clever use for YouTube's annotations feature. Rather than a giant, unavoidable "oh please, why won't you just subscribe" box, this new Evolve trailer lets you jump between the perspectives of the four humans and one monster fighting it out across a single round. Can't handle that much choice? Just pop it in Commentary mode, and watch eight minutes of action from Turtle Rock's upcoming co-op shooter.


Arma 3 video guide teaches you how to be Zeus

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Phil Savage at

Bohemia Interactive have released a whole series of community guides, focused on teaching the game's players to be better soldiers. This latest one is a little more ambitious: teaching how to be a better god. Specifically the god Zeus, who sits atop the battlefield as game master of troops, tanks and tactical assaults. The video is devoted entirely to Arma 3's new Zeus multiplayer mode, and features Shack Tactical's 'Dslyecxi' explaining how to get the most out of its birds-eye military management.


Darkwood trailer teases impending Early Access scares

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Phil Savage at

Can a top-down game be terrifying? If you're an RTS player, you already know the answer. Breaching a fog-of-war with a small, exploratory force, only to run head-long into a 20-unit Mammoth Tank assault? Pant ruining, let me tell you.

Darkwood is hoping that the top-down view can also provide more atmospheric scares. The horror roguelike showed off its twisted, creeping dread through a couple of pre-alpha trailers released last year. Now, a new video is preparing players for an upcoming Early Access release.


Meet Aztez, the Aztec-themed brawler with impeccable style

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Ian Birnbaum at

Trends and fads come and go in gaming, just like they do everywhere else. First came the Zombies, then came the roguelikes, then, well… zombies again. If Aztez, an Aztec-themed brawler, is part of a new trend in historic side-scrollers with incredible art styles, then it is a trend I heartily endorse.


Hearthstone Help: The Best Decks Explained

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Tim Clark at

Still getting crushed by a stream of Murlocs? In the first of a series of articles, our friendly Hearthstone expert shows you why some decks seem so unfair, and how to counter them.

The Elder Scrolls Online devs discuss bugs, black market in "state of the game" address

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Omri Petitte at

While heroes across Tamriel journey to reclaim their souls from that jerk Molag Bal in The Elder Scrolls Online, the MMO's devs have kept to their own quest to vanquish lingering glitches and loopholes such as a pretty serious duping exploit and the dreaded Spell of Disappearing Bank Items. In a message posted today on the official forums, director Matt Firor addressed these issues and other problems in a general evaluation of TESO's current state and the studio's plans for improving it.


Dark Souls 2 secrets guide: shortcuts, estus shards and more

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PC Gamer at

Like Dark Souls' Lordran, Dark Souls 2's Drangleic is a world packed with secrets. There are secret paths to ferret out between areas. Bosses that you may never face in a normal playthrough. Estus flask shards and Pharros' Contraptions and Souls Vessels to find. We've compiled a guide to Dark Souls 2's most vital secrets. If you're just starting out (have you read our beginner's guide?) or a seasoned veteran, you'll find a wealth of useful information for your journey through Drangleic.


EVE Fanfest 2014 schedule includes panels with physicists, actual cage matches

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Even if you don’t play EVE Online, it’s a great game to read about because of all the weird things that happen in and around it. Most of that stuff happens in the game, but a lot takes place at CCP’s annual EVE Fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland, and EVE Fanfest 2014 already sounds like it will be pretty intense. The convention will include live cage matches, for example.


New Project CARS trailer claims it's the best looking racing game on the planet

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Slightly Mad Studio describes Project CARS on its YouTube page as “the most authentic, beautiful, intense, and technically advanced racing game on the planet.” Well. They’ll feel rather silly when that Martian-developed racing game launches and absolutely crushes them, but until then, the latest trailer for the game looks like a strong claim to the title.


Reinstall: Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail

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Richard Cobbett at

Poor Larry Laffer. Few characters have ever been so misunderstood or unfairly looked down on than Al Lowe's perpetual but loveable loser, thanks to a couple of basic misconceptions about the series—that the Leisure Suit Larry games are sex games rather than comedy games about sex, and that Larry himself is some kind of sex monster, rather than a guy who spent at least his first trilogy specifically looking for love. Really. No fewer than three times is he happy to settle down after finding Miss Right. The whole 'ultimate pervert' thing comes far more from marketing than the action in the actual games.


Watch Watch Dogs' multiplayer hacking modes in action

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Emanuel Maiberg at

Ubisoft has finally released a video that delves into a number of Watch Dogs’ multiplayer modes and it’s one video you'll definitely want to watch.


DayZ update adds new village and bow crafting recipe; removes mouse acceleration

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Phil Savage at

DayZ has received a new stable update, and one that introduces some significant features to the game. More importantly, it removes some significant features. So, as we welcome a new village, a recipe for bow crafting and the ability to melee attack with a frying pan, we also bid good riddance to mouse acceleration (or, to go by its scientific name, "weird floaty mouse times").


Mad Catz R.A.T. TE mouse review

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Dave James at

The bizarre-looking Mad Catz R.A.T. is one of my favourite gaming mice of all time. The original R.A.T. 7 took over from my beloved Logitech G9 thanks to its comfortable design, accurate sensor and reassuring weight. So when I heard there was a new, Tournament Edition (TE) R.A.T. design on the way I was intrigued.


Dragon Age: Inquisition digital deluxe edition detailed, bonuses include mounts and skull thrones

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Phil Savage at

Later this year, Bioware will release Dragon Age: Inquisition. That's pretty exciting. So exciting, that six months before release, EA are confident in people's willingness to pre-order the game. And if people will pre-order the regular edition of the game, maybe they'd instead prefer the "Digital Deluxe Edition"; the contents of which are now listed on Origin. If it sounds unlikely, maybe you're underestimating people's love for thrones made out of dragon skull.


AMD Never Settle Forever scheme offers new batch of games and indie bundles with cards

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Dave James at

AMD have just refreshed their freebie-touting Never Settle program for giving away games in return for spending cash on Radeon silicon. The Never Settle Forever program is extending the range of AMD’s generosity and is including the low-end Radeon R7 cards as well as the standard Radeon R9 cards.

We’ve now got three tiers of rewards depending on what graphics card you end up selecting for your home rig. The top-end Radeon Gold Reward is there for anyone who picks up a new R9 290 or 280 series graphics card, which includes anyone wealthy enough to have spent £1,100 on a new Radeon R9 295X2. With the Gold Reward coupons you get to choose three free games from AMD’s pool of titles.