The developers of Crucible are making a big change to the game: it’s heading back to a closed beta setup despite having already launched. The change comes as part of developer Relentless Studios’ efforts to respond to community feedback and improve upon the game.
Crucible, the Amazon Game Studios-owned free-to-play shooter, launched in full on May 20, 2020. Relentless Studios also laid out a roadmap before this decision, outlining the direction it planned to take the game, but it seems now that those changes will be applied to the game while in closed beta.
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In a post to the Crucible website, the development team admitted that the game launched before it was truly ready to do so, hence the move back to a closed beta; the change will be taking place tomorrow, July 1. The previously laid-out roadmap and steps that Relentless planned to take to improve the game will still be happening as planned, according to the post, and the only real difference is that those changes will be applied to the game in beta. That includes map, combat, and system changes to improve the Heart of the Hives experience, and game developers will also continue to engage with the community and solicit even more feedback on Crucible.
To that end, developers assured the community that the game would more or less remain the same to them while in beta. Players will still launch Crucible through Steam, keep all their current progress and customization items that have already been earned, and the game’s battle pass, reward tracks, and the in-game store will still be fully supported. The main change that players will notice is a dedicated time for developers to play the game alongside players each week and gather feedback from them; the game will still be accessible all the time throughout that, so it won’t affect anyone’s ability to play the game.
Anyone not currently part of the Crucible community has until tomorrow at 9 a.m. PST to get the game and be part of the ongoing closed beta. However, the Crucible website will allow new players to sign up in the near future as well.
Beyond that, the development team intends to stay active in communicating upcoming changes and updates to the team-based Crucible; when it exits beta once again, it’ll be because of community feedback and in-game metrics.
MORE: 10 First Person Shooter Games That Are Better Than Their Metascore
In the early hours this morning, Activision and Infinity Ward dropped Season 4 Reloaded for Call of Duty: Warzone, the second half of the content that was originally promised at the start of the season itself. Even though players are already knee-deep in the content itself, that hasn’t stopped the two aforementioned companies from promoting it, as earlier today they released a brand new trailer for the update, featuring a special guest.
The trailer itself was uploaded to Call of Duty‘s official YouTube channel and features a hilarious appearance by Barry Sloane’s incarnation of Captain John Price, which is fitting considering he’s the main Operator featured in Season 4.
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While the trailer itself is more comical than anything, featuring a funny bit about a fictional airline called Verdansk Air, it does show off some footage from the new update itself, most notably the new Juggernaut Royale mode. In the mode, a care package featuring a Juggernaut suit drops into the Warzone map for someone to pick up. Once the Juggernaut is sent to the Gulag, another suit drops, and that cycle repeats over and over again until there’s a winner.
In addition, players can also see footage of the new Fennec SMG and CR-56 assault rifle, both of which were added at the start of Season 4. The trailer itself is only a minute long, so there’s only so much that can be shown off, however, it’s still a good way for players to see all of the new Warzone content added this season.
In addition to the new Warzone content, although this trailer doesn’t cover it, Modern Warfare players also have access to a new map, a new weapon, new standard multiplayer modes, and more. So far, it seems like players have been loving the new content, particularly the new sniper Rytec AMR, thanks to its explosive and thermite rounds.
Unfortunately, beyond today’s update, it’s unknown what new content will be coming to the game in the near future. With the Season 5 set to start a month from now, many fans are clamoring for a more significant change to Warzone, particularly to the map itself, something the new update did not deliver on. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long for that content.
Call of Duty: Warzoneis available for free on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.
MORE: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Datamine Leaks New Multiplayer Maps
Released on June 19, 2020, The Last of Us Part II expands on every aspect of the first game’s gameplay. Everything from the movement to the interaction with the environment is made smoother and more in depth in this jaw-dropping sequel. Given the breadth of the gameplay, there are plenty of little tricks and maneuvers players may not realize are in their toolset.
Related: 10 Pro Tips For The Last Of Us 2 You need To Know
Fortunately, this list covers all the ground some may have missed while surviving the arduous journey through Seattle. Hopefully this makes the gameplay easier and more enjoyable so players can fully appreciate and absorb the magnificent story Naughty Dog crafted.
10 Completely Customize The Difficulty
Curiously, none of the trophies are associated with difficulty modes. As such, players can change the difficulty during the story without any penalization. The developers even went a step further and allow the player to completely customize the difficulty. Each aspect of the gameplay, from the resources to enemy resilience, is separately changeable from the easiest setting to the hardest, allowing for a fully customizable experience.
9 Open Safes Without Finding The Combination
Many valuable resources are locked behind safes scattered throughout the world. The combination usually sits somewhere close by or the players can deduce what it is through hints environmental hints. However, patient players can figure out the combination without finding the code in the game world. Like a real safe, turning the dial to the right number will trigger a subtle clicking sound. Players have to listen extremely carefully for it, but its presence shows the developer’s dedication to detail.
8 Play Different Songs On The Guitar
Guitars play an important role, with the story literally opening on a shot of Joel cleaning one. Characters sing tunes occasionally throughout the game, and the player can fool around with it during downtime in the world. Musicians will immediately notice the virtual instrument’s accuracy. Players have already started playing full songs on it and posting videos to YouTube. It also sounds beautiful, which may not be so realistic for an instrument that has potentially sat around unplayed for over twenty years.
7 Use Accessibility Settings To Find Collectibles
The game has an astonishing amount of accessibility settings to help differently-abled gamers enjoy the story. For gamers who want to find all the collectibles without referring to guides on the internet, they can use these options to better highlight collectibles in the environment. The high contrast option paired with enhanced listening mode gives both visual and audio hints to collectibles’ locations.
6 Stealth Kill From The Front
Stealth is the player’s best friend during combat encounters. Sneaking up from behind, grabbing an enemy, and silently disposing of them is the best and most resource-efficient method of dealing with foes.
Related: 10 Ellie Memes That Will Leave You Cry-Laughing
Players do not have to grab enemies from the back all the time, however. While in cover and an enemy turns a corner towards the player, they have a chance to grab them before the opponent enters full alert and calls their buddies.
5 Air Takedowns
Verticality plays a bigger role in this entry than the series’ debut. The open combat arenas allow the player to climb vehicles or snipe enemies from the balcony of houses. From these heights, players can also jump down on an enemy for an impressive aerial kill. It is just as messy as one would imagine it in real life, with both Ellie and the victim tumbling to the ground. This is not easy to pull off, but it looks incredibly cinematic.
4 Putting A Hat On Joel
One flashback sequence sees Joel and Ellie visit a museum shortly after they arrive in Jackson following the end of the original title. Players can pick up a hat and put it on various fossils around the museum. Be sure to pick it up each time and put it on every object in the area. Eventually players will be able to put the hat on Joel, leading a to a sweet moment and a trophy.
3 Enter Stealth After Being Spotted
Do not give up hope if enemies spot Ellie during combat encounters. It does not mean the rest of the bout must be a full frontal assault. Players can re-enter stealth by running away and having enemies lose Ellie’s trail. Take this opportunity for some creative kills, like planting a trap mine where the enemies saw Ellie, only for them to happen upon a deadly explosion, ending their post-apocalyptic careers.
2 Unleash Infected On Enemies
A few areas have both humans and the Infected out for blood. Ellie should take this opportunity to pit the two against each other. Take a brick or bottle and toss it towards the humans to draw the Infected’s attention. The zombies might not take out every human foe, but they will at least thin the heard. It is also entertaining seeing the AI interact with each other.
1 Shooting From Prone
Gunshots and certain melee hits occasionally knock Ellie to the ground. Players do not have to immediately stand up, however. They can stay on the ground and aim from this prone position. In fact, it may be advantageous to remain on the dirty floor and take out surrounding foes. Ellie is a harder target to hit from this position and the player feels like Solid Snake.
Next: 10 Hilarious Last Of Us Memes You’d Only Get If You Played The Game
Persona is a JRPG that originally spin-offed out of the Shin Megami Tenseifranchise. For those that are not aware, a Persona is generally the representation of one’s soul and will as they can be used as a power. Similar to the stands from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. This has resulted in many characters getting a unique persona and even some OC’s getting some thanks to fans. Just for fun, it would be interesting to see what fans’ personas would be based on their zodiac signs.
RELATED: Persona 5: 10 Best Confidants In The Game
As a way of making this more interesting, this will not use any of the main personas already shown in the Persona games, but specifically, the ultimate personas shown in Persona 5.
12 Aquarius – Metatron
The Aquarius show up between January 20-February 18 and they are known to be born quite shy. They have interests in being incredibly progressive and they can be quite eccentric when they have to be. What’s more, they can be quite helpful and love intellectual conversations. However, they can be a bit aloof at times and even uncompromising.
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Metatron is often considered the voice of God in the world of Shin Megami Tensei and by extension Persona. Often he is the one attempting to maintain order in the world. However, just like an Aquarius he can be quite aloof and would be very uncompromising.
11 Pisces – Ishtar
Pisces are incredibly friendly zodiacs that show up between February 19-March 20. They are known for their compassion and immense artistic capabilities. This is partly thanks to their connection with the god Neptune who is directly connected to music.
Ishtar is a goddess that represents love and fertility. She is also the Goddess Inanna who is directly tied with the zodiac sign of Pisces. Ishtar is also considered the Goddess tied to the creation of all life.
10 Aries – Chi You
Aries is courageous zodiac signs that appear during March 21-April 19. Whenever their presence is known, they are typically defined by their energetic and dynamic personalities. This strength allows them to be powerful leaders who can also be somewhat impulsive at times.
This makes them viable for the persona of Chi You, the half-bull war general known for his victories in a ton of battlefields. However, they both share a weakness with aggression, whether it’s being impulsive or Chi You when he cursed his people before his death.
9 Taurus – Cybele
Taurus’s are practical and reliable, often showing up around April 20-May 20, they are the signs that represents hard work. They are deeply connected to aspects related to the material world and are surrounded by love and beauty.
This makes Taurus’s fit with Cybele incredibly well. Cybele is the goddess directly tied with vegetation and wildlife, while also being directly related to material aspects such as towns and cities.
8 Gemini – Asura
Gemini is an expressive and animated zodiac sign that shows up during May 21-June 20. This expressive nature has resulted in them possibly having two distinct personalities. One that is incredibly gentle but also thought-provoking.
Yet in spite of that, this has resulted in them being indecisive as people. In a sense, this fits the Asura who is often depicted in a variety of distinct personalities depending on the text in question. Often the God’s of the moral phenomenon, they are sometimes depicted as either being partly good or evil like humanity.
7 Cancer – Alice
Cancer’s are thought-provoking zodiac signs that often show up between June 21-July 22. They are often heavily reliant on having people stay close to them and they are overall greatly compassionate people. However, they could be very moody to the point of being manipulative.
This fits Alice tremendously as depending on the theory she’s either from Lewis Carroll’s novel or an Aryan girl who is a dead spirit with a lot of magical power. It is said, that if kids are bad, she would take their souls and make them her friends forever.
6 Leo – Beelzebub
Leo’s are incredibly prideful and natural leaders. Showing up between July 23-August 22, they are dramatic and an incredibly dominant force to be reckoned with. When people think of leaders, they can certainly feel it with Leos.
However, this can result in them being incredibly arrogant and can even be seen as lazy at times. This fits the demon lord Beelzebub immensely as he represents arrogant pride and is a strong leader.
5 Virgo – Odin
Virgo’s are very responsible and they like to always pick out the details. They are also known for having a deep sense of humanity while also having a meticulous approach to everything. Showing up between August 23-September 22, this approach often can be seen as a form of wisdom to some.
Odin famously lost his one eye in order to pursue true knowledge and wisdom. He also has a strong connection with humanity and is known as the God of prophecy on top of that.
4 Libra – Vishnu
Libra’s are gentle and most level-headed of the zodiac signs that appear between September 23-October 22. They prefer having harmony in the forefront and as such dislike any form of confrontations.
This makes them very diplomatic and fits the harmonic energy of Vishnu. One of the primary deities in Hindu mythology, Vishnu’s general role is to maintain the balance of the world.
3 Scorpio – Kohryu
Scorpio’s are the assertive zodiac that appears between October 23-November 21, who are incredibly passionate and are true friends for those they care about. They tend to be quite decisive as people, thus making them into incredible leaders.
This also helps that they are an earth sign, thus making them very grounded with their approach. This makes the persona of Kohryu work incredibly well as it is the center of the constellations while also being the creator of the Chinese according to mythology.
2 Saggitarius – Lucifer
Saggitarius are the comedians of the zodiacs, with their expressive and curious nature, they show up between November 22-December 21. They are incredibly open-minded and they also like to have philosophical talks. But what makes them distinct is their desire for freedom.
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So it is only fair that the one that fits this is the king of hell himself, Lucifer Morningstar. Not only is he one of the most powerful characters in the entire SMT franchise but he is also an incredibly powerful persona. One that strived for the freedom of humanity.
1 Capricorn – Zaou-Gongen
Finally, there is the Capricorn who is the most serious, and responsible, of all the zodiac signs. Showing up between December 22-January 19, they can also be quite uncompromising at times and they are often pretty traditional with their worldviews.
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This fits extremely well the Persona known as Zaou-Gongen, as he is the most important mountain deity in Japan. Being the Shinto manifestations of three different forms of Buddha, they are heavily associated with traditional beliefs and are often the god that protects others like the Emperor of Japan.
NEXT: Persona 5: 5 Video Game Villains Joker Can Beat (& 5 He Can’t)
Whether they’re wise sages or multifarious dark knights, magic wielders are incredibly useful in the Fire Emblemseries. Capable of subverting the defenses of heavily armored foes, magic wielders have a great deal of flexibility, as they are capable of fighting both from afar and up close and personal.
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Despite their great flexibility, magic wielders in Fire Emblemrange greatly in quality, with some of the strongest and weakest characters in the series fighting with magic. Let’s examine the best of the best the series has to offer when it comes to spell slingers and look at the ten strongest magic wielders in Fire Emblem history.
10 Canas – The Blazing Blade
The only playable Dark Magic-wielder in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, Canas is an ideal example of an offense magic unit. Toting high base magic and solid resistance, Canas’s growth rates are reliable, allowing him to serve as a player’s primary source of magic offense once he’s recruited.
Additionally, as Canas is the only unit in the game capable of wielding Dark Magic (save for Athos who is recruited in the final chapter), every Dark Magic tome can effectively function as a personal weapon for Canas.
9 Saleh – The Sacred Stones
A sage who appears in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Saleh is notably one of the strongest units players have access to in Eirika’s route. Joining a player’s army in Chapter Twelve, Saleh totes impressive base stats that are further accentuated by is weapon ranks.
Upon being recruited, Saleh already has an excellent A rank in Anima magic, a B rank in Light Magic, and a C rank in Staves, allowing him to fill numerous roles in a player’s army.
8 Niime – The Binding Blade
Appearing in Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, Niime is recruited in the latter half of the game but provides incredible utility to players who choose to deploy her.
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Recruited as a level 18 Druid, while Niime does not have much room for improvement, she is luckily an excellent unit from the word go. Starting with an A rank in both Dark Magic and Staves, Niime can utilize nearly all Dark Magic in the game as well as most Staves, allowing her to excel in both offensive and supportive roles.
7 Leo – Fates: Conquest
Leo is a member of the royal family of Nohr and is one of the most useful magic units in Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest. As a Dark Knight, Leo possesses the excellent combination of high mobility and consistent access to 1-2 range spells.
As if a player’s reliable access to a pre-promoted Dark Knight isn’t phenomenal already, Leo has access to his own personal tome, the powerful Brynhildr which provides Leo with an excellent skill of the same name.
6 Annette – Three Houses
Annette is the primary offensive magic-user of the Blue Lions house of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and is without a doubt one of the best magic-wielders in the game. In addition to learning excellent offensive and healing spells alike, Annette has the unique utility of being able to learn the most amount of Rally abilities of any character in the game.
This means that when she’s not directly fighting foes, Annette can bolster one’s forces by providing additional strength, speed, resistance, and even movement.
5 Celica – Shadows Of Valentia
One of the few Fire Emblemprotagonists capable of wielding magic, Celica from Shadows of Valentia is one of the most capable magic wielders in her respective game. Celica’s high attack stat, excellent availability, and early access to the potent Seraphim spell allow her to dish out tons of magical damage as soon as her route begins.
Celica’s stats also grow at a very good rate, making her one of the best long-term options in the game.
4 Robin – Awakening
One of the primary protagonists of Fire Emblem: Awakening, Robin is capable of being one of the most deadly and effective magic wielders in the game. Capable of wielding both swords and tomes, Robin can adapt to situations on the fly depending on whether physical or magical damage would be more useful. Furthermore, as the player’s avatar, Robin has access to every class in the game, providing unparalleled flexibility when it comes to potential skills and utility.
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If players choose to utilize Robin as a magic-based class such as a Dark Flier or Dark Knight, they have the chance of outshining all other magic users in the game.
3 Asvel – Thracia 776
When it comes to magic units in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, no other unit comes close to matching the strength of Asvel. Possessing a tome with already an already high critical rate, Asvel’s critical rate goes up significantly if he is attacking an additional time.
This pairs in phenomenal fashion with Asvel’s Adept skill that frequently allows him to gain additional attacks. Although he does require some grooming to reach his potential, Asvel becomes a beast after a while.
2 Lysithea – Three Houses
Anyone familiar with Fire Emblem: Three Houses is likely aware of the magical menace that is Lysithea. While she’s a glass cannon lacking in the defense department, when it comes to dishing out magical damage, Lysithea has no equal.
Toting an excellent offensive spell list, Lysithea can make even the most overpowered enemies such as the Death Knight look like a joke with spells such as Death Spikes.
1 Pent – The Blazing Blade
Pent is easily one of the most overpowered and blatantly excellent units in Fire Emblem history. A sage from The Blazing Blade, Pent joins with an A rank in both Anima tomes and Staves, allowing him to be utilized as an offensive and supportive unit depending on a player’s needs.
These ranks are supported by phenomenal base stats that allow Pent to make short work of the vast majority of enemies he may face. While Pent’s growth rates could hypothetically be better, his base stats are high enough to allow him to contend with enemies in the game’s final chapters, making this a non-issue.
NEXT: Ranked: 10 Hardest Bosses in Fire Emblem History
Niantic’s AR mobile game Pokemon GO has been working through the box art Legendaries of the Unova Region, first Reshiram and most recently featuring five-star Raids for Zekrom. Next up is Kyurem, who will officially arrive in the game starting July 7, 2020, at 1:00 pm PDT according to a news update by Niantic today.
Kyurem in its base form is perhaps less well known to the general populace due to having a subdued role in Pokemon Black and White. While it is the headlining star of the sequels, Pokemon Black 2 and White 2, it takes on a different form by fusing with either Reshiram or Zekrom. There is currently no indication as to whether or not Pokemon GO will add the ability for Kyurem to fuse, however.
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What has been confirmed by Niantic is that Kyurem will appear in Raid Hour events every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. local time, on top of its general appearance five-star Raids. This should make the Legendary Pokemon easier to find, which most players should aim to do if they have Reshiram or Zekrom in case Pokemon GO adds an event related to fusion or Unova’s Team Plasma, much like there are plans to add new Team Go Rocket events in the game’s code.
While the release date for Kyurem Legendary Raids is arguably the headlining part of this news update, Niantic also talks about more events players can expect throughout the month of July. For instance, the July Research Breakthrough will be based around Larvitar, offering players the opportunity to catch a shiny variant, and weekly challenges for Pokemon GO‘s fourth anniversary start on July 3.
The Pokemon Company has confirmed more content coming to Pokemon GO in the long term that should keep players invested in the mobile game beyond its fourth anniversary. During the first Pokemon Presents event earlier this month, it was confirmed that the Mega Evolution mechanic will come to Pokemon GO sometime soon.
With the game currently working through Generation 5 Legendary Pokemon like Kyurem, there’s a good chance Niantic will begin to introduce Generation 6 Pokemon as a way of transitioning into the 3DS era that first introduced Mega Evolution to the main series. However, the game has dealt with technical issues leading to the delay of mechanics like friend invites for Raids, so when fans can expect to see larger additions like Megas is still up in the air.
Pokemon GO is available now in select regions on Android and iOS devices.
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Cover art for the in-fiction yearbook in BFF! — Best Friends Forever | Image: Taylor Dow/Heart of the Deernicorn
The Ennie award nominations are out, winners to be announced July 31 during Gen Con Online
Many people think of tabletop role-playing games as a monolith, a space occupied solely by heavyweights like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and a handful of other AAA titles. Of course, that’s the same as saying that the only two video games are Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto Online.In truth there is a glorious spectrum of modern tabletop RPGs, filled with novel games ranging in size from self-published micro-games to full-fledged make-believe worlds.
One of my favorite ways to keep track of the best tabletop RPGs is the annual Ennie Awards, handed out each year since 2001 at the annual Gen Con tabletop gaming convention. Gen Con is moving online this year, and so are the Ennies. This week, organizers announced the nominations for Product of the Year. We’ve included all the nominees in our roundup below.
The Ennies are unique among gaming awards. Judges are volunteers, who follow a strict set of ethical guidelines. Chief among them is the vow not to have any professional relationship with any RPG publisher in the lead up to the awards. They help ensure that the Ennies aren’t just a popularity contest by winnowing down the dozens upon dozens of submissions to only the very best. Once the short list has been created, voting on the final winners is open to all.
This year the voting period runs from July 3 through July 12. You can find the complete list of nominees for every category at the Ennie Awards website.
BFF! — Best Friends Forever
Created by the mother and son team of Terri Cohlene and Ross Cowman, BFF! — Best Friends Forever is a beautiful role-playing game that celebrates “girlhood, friendship, and adventure.” Players select from 17 different standees to represent themselves at the table, each one delightfully illustrated by cartoonist Taylor Dow. Then they head off on an adventure via a lavish map, hand-painted by Veta Bahktina. Gameplay is heavy on improvisation, with scenes set in primary school and middle school.
The Deck of Many Things
The Deck of Many Things isn’t an RPG at all, but a supplement for the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. They are reference cards, with information on all of the spells in the Player’s Handbook — including cantrips — up through level five. The high-quality, lenticular cards have an eight-frame animation that shows the effect of the spell in question in a Tarot-sized format.
A complete set — which includes a bonus deck of Animated Things, based on the wondrous item from D&D lore — runs for $300.00, and is currently on sale for $249.00. The team at Hit Point Press also offers a digital version.
Mörk Borg Artpunk RPG
From Free League Publishing — the same team behind the award-winning Tales From The Loop-themed RPG — comes a hardcore game called Mörk Borg Artpunk RPG. Described as a “pitch-black apocalyptic fantasy RPG,” it’s firmly entrenched in the old-school revival (OSR) genre, which celebrates the original tabletop games of the 1970s. Anyone who misses the devilish themes of first-edition D&D or who revels in the Dark Souls universe will get a real kick out of it. Otherwise, it also serves as an excellent coffee table book.
Mörk Borg Artpunk RPG is on sale right now through July 6 at 50% off at the Free League online storefront. It’s also available on Amazon.
Quest represents a profound rethinking of the RPG genre, one that has been custom-made for people who are new to these sorts of games. The core book itself is described as more of a guide than a reference manual, and character creation is accomplished via Mad Libs-style fill-in-the-blank character sheets. The game was created by T.C. Sottek, managing editor at our sister site The Verge, and edited by Polygon’s editor-in-chief Chris Plante. The gorgeous art is the work of Celia Lowenthal.
You can purchase the game on the official website, where there’s a host of free downloadable materials — including a starting adventure.
[Disclosure: Chris Plante has no direct influence over Polygon’s tabletop gaming coverage.]
Royal Blood is the latest rules-light RPG from the team at Rowan, Rook and Decard. Perhaps best known for Honey Heist, a comedic single-page RPG about bears stealing honey, this time around they’ve gone a slightly more traditional route.
To play the game, all players need is the rules booklet, a deck of Tarot cards, and a few coins. Players take on the role of the human characters in the deck, and are up against the decks’ more ephemeral characters. From the official description:
YOU are a Royal – half-magic, half-human. You’re one of the court cards from the tarot deck – the impetuous Princess of Wands, the calculating Knight of Pentacles, the empire-building Queen of Wands, and so on. You use magic like a brick through the window of the world.
THEY are the Arcane – Death, The Hanged Man, The Devil, The Lovers, The Star. They are reality-bending monsters that wear human skin like a suit.
TONIGHT, before dawn, you are going to corner one of them and take their power for your own in a heist the likes of which the worlds have never seen. The city is going to burn. It’s going to be beautiful.
You can find the game — which is available as a softcover and as a digital version — on the official website.
The Excellents: Excellent Princess Roleplaying
Fans of high-fantasy, femme-forward adventuring should check out The Excellents by Adriel Wilson and Chris O’Neil. The RPG runs on the Polymorph system, created by the team at 9thlevel Games, and only requires a single die for each player at the table. To run an adventure, players must fill out a Princess Diary, form a band, and then follow the lead of the Game Mistress. Stats include Crown, Heart, Sword, Shoes, Books, and Beast. You can pick up a copy on the official website.
Thousand Year Old Vampire: A Roleplaying Game
Tim Hutchings’ Thousand Year Old Vampire has been getting lots of attention since its Kickstarter campaign was funded in 2018. It’s a solo game — although it can also be played with groups — that relies on written prompts. Players take on the role of an immortal, and must deal with the consequences of their immoral acts as single-sentence experiences. That sentence then becomes a memory. Players are limited to only five memories overall, and must make the difficult decision on what to forget and what to keep with them as they move on in their journey.
A downloadable version is available now on itch.io.
Trilemma Adventures Compendium Volume I
Trilemma Adventures Compendium Volume I by Michael Prescott is a celebration of old-school RPG illustration, and a fantastic collection of short dungeons and adventures to boot. It’s fully compatible with 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons and plenty of other systems, and would make an excellent gift for your favorite Dungeon Master. Available as a hardcover book for $66, it includes an illustrated bestiary, unique magical items, and lots of bonus material like adventure hooks and in-fiction handouts. It also comes with a free PDF version of the book. It’s also available on DriveThruRPG.
Witch + Craft
Witch + Craft is an add-on supplement for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons inspired by Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service. It adds a new skill set known as “domestic magic” to the game, adding to the color and texture of fantasy worlds. It allows you to build a fighter who is also a carpenter, a wizard who happens to be an award-winning chef, and more. The book also comes with an all-new adventure setting called Cape Verdigris, a land filled with skilled craftspeople and a fun adventure to explore. It’s available in a print and a digital version for $35 and $10 respectively.
Zombie World is a card-based RPG that should be just the thing for fans of The Walking Dead or Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. Players begin by creating their enclave of survivors, and then make their way out into a dangerous world filled with the undead. The game boils down more complex concepts into physical systems that are easily managed at the table. The full kit includes a slim, 36-page rulebook, play mats for the Game Master and up to eight players, over 100 cards, and a dry erase marker. Copies range from $24.99 to $59.99.
It’s Dame Time. Introducing our NBA 2K21 Cover Athlete for Current-Gen, Damian Lillard. Whether he’s draining shots from the logo, taking it to the rack, or nailing a buzzer-beater, few players can take over a game today like Dame.
NBA 2K21 will be available to pre-order starting on July 2nd.
The post NBA 2K21: Everything is Dame – Damian Lillard Cover Athlete appeared first on Future Game Releases.
Joining the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board
Cards Against Humanity employees are unionizing following allegations of a toxic workplace made by former employees of the company. The union, which calls itself Cards Against Humanity Workers United, is working with the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United to demand recognition from the company’s owners, according to a Twitter announcement on Tuesday.
“Within the walls of our office, the trust between the staff and ownership has been eroded from years of abusive management,” the union said in its statement. “For too long, our employees have been kept in precarious, powerless, and outright toxic conditions. We acknowledge the removal of toxic management, but the issues in our company extend well beyond one person. In order for this business to survive, we need to confront both of these crises directly and without fear.”
Last week, Polygon published a detailed report about what former employees described as a racist and sexist culture that was pervasive at Cards Against Humanity. We spoke to 21 former employees about the company, many of whom described this culture as having trickled down from leadership. Several named former co-founder Max Temkin in particular. Temkin stepped down from the company on June 9, after allegations were made public on social media, but will remain “a one-eight shareholder.”
We, the workers, want to change Cards Against Humanity for the better. That’s why we’ve joined @CMRJB. Today we sent this letter to the owners of @CAH demanding voluntary recognition of our union. We’re optimistic they’ll do the right thing. #1upic.twitter.com/idBXUKLIKk
— CAH Workers United (@CAHUnion) June 30, 2020
The former employees told Polygon that people of color were often the most vulnerable at the company.
The Cards Against Humanity Workers Union said it has “built a shared vision of the future for CAH.”
“To reimagine the CAH workplace and company, we must first approach our work in a way that necessitates being anti-racist, practicing equal accountability, radical transparency, and collaboration,” the workers said in the union’s statement. “As we work to build out the future of CAH, it is vital that we formally institutionalize these values and broaden the appeal of the game.”
According to the statement, the union is demanding the company “immediately equalize [its] workplace,” where many of its employees are considered contractors without “official” employee benefits. “To move forward as a company, all 1099 / contracted employees must immediately be given the choice of becoming full or part time ‘official’ employees,” the workers wrote.
Cards Against Humanity Workers United also acknowledged the accusations regarding the game itself: that it “delights the comfortable at the expense of the vulnerable.” It said, in that regard, that it has failed to make its “anti-racist and anti-bigoted values explicitly clear.” Workers said unionization will help the company become “a better-equipped collaborator with the partners to steward CAH away from the many external and internal issues plaguing it.”
Cards Against Humanity has not responded to Polygon’s request for comment before publication time.
Update: Two Cards Against Humanity workers involved in the union, one a full-time employee and another a contractor, spoke to Polygon by phone on Tuesday. They told Polygon that workers began meeting informally to discuss the allegations made against the company. Because the company’s departments were often siloed off from each other, which is something multiple former employees told Polygon, members of the different parts of the company got together to introduce themselves — “and began trying to communicate with management” as a “rapid response collective.”
“We realized we that all, from all departments, had a lot in common and had a lot of the same goals and frustrations,” a worker said.
Unionization efforts began last week, the workers said. They said they’re “optimistic” that the partners will do the right thing in recognizing the union. The workers said management’s initial response to the allegations when they were first made public on social media was “inadequate,” noting that management was not clear what the consequences and results of the allegations would be.
Crucible was released on May 20. Sort of. After a month of open release and a complete lack of interest from almost everyone, Crucible is being taken out of release and moved back into a closed beta.
According to a post from the Crucible development team, players will have until noon ET on Wednesday to download the game from Steam before it’s closed to new players. In the near future, the post says, interested players will be able to sign up through playcrucible.com. While the game is closed, the development team will attempt to improve Crucible in the many ways it has already outlined.
The development team also plans to have regularly scheduled playtimes each week where the developers can directly interact with the closed-beta players. The developers at Relentless Studios are also putting together a small council of players that it hopes can help shape the future of the game to make it more appealing for everyone.
Steam’s public player statistics make it easy to see why Relentless Studios may have made the decision to move the game to closed beta. At the time of writing, the game has just under 150 players online. Just a few days after its release, the game hit its peak of 10,000 players and has been on a steady decline ever since, making it a catastrophic and very visible failure for Amazon Game Studios.
While games often go dark, with little to no updates, even as developers try to retool them into a better 2.0 version, it’s extremely rare that a game gets closed completely while it’s reworked.
Even if the scale of this move is unprecedented, there is still hope for success for Crucible. Games like the original Destiny and Rainbow Six: Siege both found greater success after big game-changing updates, and Fortnite went from a struggling game to one of the biggest of all time thanks to a change in genre. Unfortunately for Crucible, all of those games still exist and still earn their fair share of players. With such a crowded field, creating a popular multiplayer game requires more than some occasionally fun gameplay to stand out from the competition.
The post from the Crucible team includes no timetable for the game’s return, but mentions that when the game does return, its new version will be based on “community feedback and the metrics that we see in-game.”