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August 13th, 2012

Darksiders II follows the exploits of DEATH, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, in a weaving tale that runs parallel to the events in the original Darksiders game. This epic journey propels DEATH through various light and dark realms as he tries to redeem his brother WAR, the horseman who was blamed for prematurely starting the Apocalypse in Darksiders.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve seen rumors of a third faction in Team Fortress 2 but only today do I find out that those rumors would come to full fruition today as robots have come to invade TF2!  Will man triumph over the advanced robotic race?  Only Will Smith knows the answer to the conclusion of this Mann vs Machine update.

This update will include a horde mode that allows 5 teamates to work together to hold back the machine invasion with new achievements and extra loot! “probably hatshatshatshatshats!”.

The update is due to go Live August 15th, and I know my friend Zack is going to be bolts deep in this one.

Mann vs Machine Update

About a week ago a friend asked me if I wanted a beta key to some new game. I didnt really know what it was about but I figured I’d give it a shot. If you haven’t heard of Smite, its somewhat of a mix between League of Legends and World of Warcraft.

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    First off, you’ll notice that in that picture is what looks to be an angry Zeus. If thats what you see, congratulations, you are correct. The basic idea of Smite is that you play as one of about 20 or so Gods in an arena very similar to the DotA or LoL map. The key difference between other MOBAs is that you play in the third person perspective, as you do in WoW. At first I didnt think it would really work out, but after playing a few games, it kinda grew on me.

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The UI is pretty similar to WoW as well.

Without going in to too much detail, I’ll say what I think is good and what I think is no good about Smite.

GOOD

1. If you’re big into DotA-likes, its a nice break from being teamed up with brazilians and losing all day.

2. Its always enjoyable to mess around with new characters with new abilities.

3. The games are fairly short (~30 minutes typically)

4. Most characters are pretty balanced (minus a few, Ill get into that soon)

5. The queues are fairly short, and I havent ran into too many DCs yet. Maybe 2 in 30 or so games.

6. The graphics are very nice aside from the poor rendering of creeps that are >100 or so feet away from you.

7. There is an auto-skill and auto-buy item option for new players.

8. I would say that the learning curve compared to LoL or DotA is very, very low.

9. The Gods are actual Gods from actual religions. Who doesnt want to run around killing Gods?

BAD

1. Ill start with the big one. The pure physical damage characters are broken. Kali, Artemis, and Bakasura are the big three. They are on par with others until late game. Once theyve built the cookie cutter items (again, more on that soon) they can easily sustain themselves with lifesteal and destroy entire teams.

2. The items are pretty meh. They are very similar to LoL. Theyre all “200 HP, 20% attack speed, 10% lifesteal”. Feel free to exchange lifesteal, attack speed, and HP with move speed, attack damage, magic power, etc.

3. The mini-map size is too small. Yeah, its a minor thing to the untrained eye, but considering in a game like this you need to watch the minimap like a hawk, it needs to be larger. Your player icon covers an area about 3x the size of your lane which conceals vital information.

Thats really all I have to say about it.

If you’d like a beta key, leave a comment or send an e-mail.

As the title suggests the WOOT DLC for Magicka has just been released and supposedly Paradox forgot to set the price!  The people over magicka will never cease to make me laugh.

* 4 new PvP maps
* 3 new Challenge maps
* 10 new Sporting Goods items, including dumbbells, water bottles, and the Elevennis Racket
* New “Athletic Techniques” magick, including Performance Enchantment and the crowd-pleasing Wave
* Waves upon waves of nasty creatures who hate teamwork, wizards, and robes
* The satisfaction of not having spent any money

Check out the full announcement here: http://www.paradoxplaza.com/press/2012/8/magicka-releases-%E2%80%9Cwoot%E2%80%9D-dlc-forgets-to-set-price

*UPDATE!* Not only is the new Magicka content free, but now you can get Magicka for 75% off on steam today!

In a press conference at Valve HQ in Bellevue Washington this afternoon, many suspicions were confirmed when Gabe Newell released this official statement:

“We’ve tooled around for a long time with balancing characters in DOTA2. We liked the direction Icefrog was headed towards by trying to make everyone in the game viable, but we didn’t feel his goals and ambitions quite aligned with what we wanted. We had a lot of complaints that there weren’t enough ‘absolutely broken’ characters in DOTA2. With the addition of Slithice we hope to remedy this.”

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When speaking of various DOTA2 heroes ’round the hearth at the inn, most names are thrown around freely. But there is one that is only spoken in hushed whispers, and strikes fear into the heart of the meek.

Slithice. Naga Siren.

Born a mere human, she was raised by wolves on the island of the Lotus Eaters. At a young age she was voted off the island after getting an ultra kill while playing hopscotch. Ever since, she has done nothing but dominate the field of battle, destroying ancients left and right, and putting even the strongest of warriors to sleep, and then devouring their souls.

In all seriousness, I hadnt messed around with Naga too much since her release. I didnt really play DotA 1 long enough to get annihilated by her enough to have fostered a hatred toward her. But now that I’ve given her a test drive several times, I can safely say that she is one of the most broken heroes currently available.

In a recent game, I decided to give her a whirl and see what I could do. 17 minutes in, we were down 10-1. With a fed Pudge, we were all but done. Down by several towers, and morale running low, my teammates had nearly given up hope.

How could you ever recover? 

After a few minutes of playing carefully (and a few lucky ganks) things started to look up. We got in some good teamfights, and our Phantom Lancer and I purchased diffusal blades so we could drive the Pudge (and others) to 0 mana before they could do any damage. we kept farming and playing carefully and eventually managed to even out the kills.

One more decent push and we were in their base, destroying barracks, killing heroes, and physically assaulting them. It was over. We’d won. But how?

Lets get down to WHAT naga siren does exactly. Shes a melee agility carry first off, which typically means that you’re very easy to kill, and should usually be picked off first in fight. Unfortunately for anyone playing against her, this is easier said that done.

Her first ability, Mirror Image, does exactly what you would think. It splits her into multiples of herself which deal damage at a reduced rate. While the damage is a bonus, the best part is the confusion it brings to a fight. Where there was one target before, there are now 4, and by the time you figure out who is who, youre toast. Buying a diffusal blade, which burns enemies mana on every auto attack, means that it gets applied 4x. You can burn 1k mana off an enemy within a few seconds, leaving them useless and vulnerable.

Her other abilities are great, but dont compare to her Mirror Image. She has a 5 second snare which is great for holding people still while you completely dominate them. She also has a high damage nuke, which is decent in early to mid game, but falls off in the later stages when people have 3k+ HP.

Her ult is what makes her absolutely broken. Siren Song puts all enemies in a large radius around Naga into a sleep state for 7 seconds. They cant be attacked, but this can be used in two ways. First you can easily just push lanes, and the second you are met with any opposition, pop the ult and run away. Or you can use it in teamfights to let everyone on your team position themselves to crush your foes.

Basically, Slithice is probably the most broken character currently in game. If youve never used her, give her a go.