The RoundUp – November 2019

The RoundUp summarizes the past month in tech, gaming and Thermaltake.This RoundUp for November features: apps stealing game art, HALF-LIFE: ALYX, and more!

Welcome to, The RoundUp! Our monthly news show summarizing the past month in PC gaming, PC tech and new Thermaltake products! On today’s RoundUp for November: the developers of Outlast tease a new game, an app rips of a popular indie game, and a new Half-Life is finally CONFIRMED! All that and more, in this RoundUp for November.

GAMES RELEASED

RoundUp for Novemeber

source: gamivo

November saw a few interesting releases coming the PC’s way. Planet Zoo and the PC port for Red Dead Redemption 2 dropped on the 5th. Later we had the latest in the Need for Speed series, Heat, and The Definitive Edition of Age of Empires II. The end of the month saw the release of the long-awaited Shenmue III. And lastly, the newest game in the Star Wars universe, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, on the 15th.

MAJOR GAME UPDATES

RoundUp for Novemeber

source: Polygon

There was a few notable game updates for the month of November. First, the Apex: Legends firing range patch came through. This patch allows for players to enter the firing range either alone or with their squad. There they can test all weapons, items and characters available.[1]

The newest in Machine Games’ Wolfenstein series, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, got a major free update. Since the games release back in July, there hasn’t been a whole lot new for the game. The free update adds a new endgame mission in a new area, as well as new treasure maps and 11 new abilities.[2]

Another mainly single player focused game got a surprise update last month too, Portal 2! Its update implemented more local co-op fixes, allowing for players to play on the same system easier. [3]

Lastly, the popular indie game Stardew Valley received a big update as well recently. This adds new events for spouses, the ability to raise fish, a new end game mystery to solve, plus even more![4]

GENERAL GAMES NEWS

RoundUp for Novemeber

source: GamesRadar

The developers of acclaimed horror series Outlast have teased a new game. They tweeted a single image and the caption, “Announcement coming soon.”[5] There has been no announcements yet though from the posting of this RoundUp. Hopefully next RoundUp will have some more news.

It seems Anthem still can’t catch a break. Head of live service Chad Robertson recently left the game and Bioware, after fourteen years. This came less than 3 months after the former lead developer of the game, Ben Irving, also left Bioware.[6]

Ubisoft announced that they would be, “reflecting on its process for approving games”. This comes after the lackluster release of Ghost Recon Breakpoint. They are also delaying a bunch of their upcoming games[7] it seems, in order to ensure they will perform better.

source: Epic Games Store

The Epic Games Store underwent a big update.

The update allows users to see trending games, separate games by genre, recent game updates, and more. They are still planning on implementing a wishlist in future, as well as critic reviews.[8]

Human Head Studios, original creators of the Prey series, closed their doors. Their new studios under Bethesda called, Roundhouse Studios, will be working on some new currently unknown projects.[9]

PUBG has changed their lootbox system. In the past, their lootboxes required a key to open them (like CS: GO) which cost real world money. Now, you can use PUBG’s in game currency instead if you prefer. You can earn this from just playing the game itself.[10]

In quite possibly the biggest shock in gaming news of recent years, there is a NEW Half-Life game on the way! Half-Life: Alyx will be the first Half-Life game since 2007’s Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and will be entirely in VR. The game is set to follow Alyx Vance before the beginning of Half-Life 2, and is releasing March 2020.[11]

BLIZZCON NEWS

Blizzards annual convention was held at the very beginning of November, so sadly it missed the October RoundUp by a few days! So, if you somehow missed everything that was announced from it, here’s your run down!

OVERWATCH 2

Overwatch 2

source: YouTube

The sequel-but-not-sequel to Overwatch was unveiled (to absolutely no one’s surprise due to leaks). It’s set to be a PvE game, with a big focus on storytelling and lore. The Overwatch team also announced a new game mode. It’s called “Push” and basically revolves around teams having to escort a giant robot pushing a block. The team must remain close to the robot for it to push the block, but if the opposing team is close too, then the block isn’t moved. The team who manages to push the block the furthest towards the enemy spawn wins. Overwatch 2 is also set to be a stand-alone game, with the story modes locked only to people who own Overwatch 2. The “push” game mode is set to be released for all players on either game. The price of Overwatch 2 was not announced, nor was a release date given.

DIABLO 4

source: TechRadar

Another announcement that we all were “definitely not expecting”, was Diablo 4. The game is returning to its darker roots, with the cinematic trailer showing off the big baddie of this game in the series, Lilith. Three of the classes were also showcased: the barbarian, sorceress and druid, with more to come.[12] There is also no set date for this game either, however from what was shown at Blizzcon, it seems development is relatively far along. [13]

EXPANSIONS

Two expansions were also announced for World of Warcraft and Hearthstone respectively. WoW’s expansion is called Shadowlands and due for release next year. In this expansion, players travel to a realm of death and must align with a faction of their choice to fight against Sylvanas.

Hearthstone’s expansion on the other hand is called Descent of Dragons. It features tons of, you guessed it, dragons! As well as a new mode called, “Battlegrounds”. This expansion will be entering beta soon.[13]

CONTROVERSIAL NEWS

source: Polygon

Keeping with Blizzcon news, the president of Blizzard apologized during their opening ceremony for the treatment of player Blitzchung. J. Allen Brack, Blizzard president, stated that, “Blizzard has the opportunity to bring the world together… and we did not”. He further stated that they did not live up to the high standards they set for themselves in the way they handled it. The punishment for Blitzchung’s support of Hong Kong during his victory speech still stands though, albeit a little lessened from the original punishment.[14]

YouTube has done it again! Many content creators are concerned after the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act cracked down on YouTube for monitoring children’s watching habits. This was to cater ads for them, and is something YouTube legally can’t do. This means that as from January, content creators who make child friendly content are at risk of losing revenue entirely. Content that is deemed “child appealing” will be majorly demonetized, and comments and like buttons will be turned off. This is such a broad area as well, as both nursery rhymes and games like Fortnite can be appealing to kids, so it’s hard to know who will be affected, even if the content is really aimed for older viewers.[15]

source: steam

Steam recently removed nearly 1000 games from their store.

Many of these games seem to stem from a single Russian publisher who went under different aliases to publish several of these games. A rep from Steam stated that they had, “recently discovered a handful of partners that were abusing some Steamworks tools” and this was the reason for the ban. [16]

In further banning news, a popular Fortnite content creator is permanently banned from the game for cheating. “FaZe Jarvis” made videos revolving around him using an aimbot in game. The intent of the video was not to use the aimbot seriously, however, it still is against Fortnite’s terms of service[17]. Multiple other content creators have spoken out against Epic Game’s decision, and implored them to unban Jarvis, including Ninja and Dr Disrespect. However, the ban still stands as of the writing of this post.[18]

The creators of a wellness app have publicity apologized for taking a little too much inspiration from a game. One of the designers of “The Fabulous App” admits to using the 2019 indie game Gris for inspiration, but perhaps a little too much though. This resulted in multiple moments in the app looking almost directly the same as moments from the game itself. The animation has since been removed from the app.[19]

The Chinese government announced a gaming curfew for minors to tackle gaming addition. Minors cannot play online games between the hours of 10pm and 8am, and under 18s are only permitted 90 minutes of gaming during the week and 3 hours a day on weekends and public holidays. They have also put bans on the amount of money children can spend on lootboxes.[20]

TECH NEWS

source: WccfTech

Again, a new Nvidia GPU driver patch is coming to fix the last patch! If left un-patched, security holes can leave users open for DDOS attacks.[21] If you haven’t updated already, it’s best to do so ASAP just in case!

Intel’s been having a bit of a rough trot of it recently. Last month they came out and apologized for the lack of 14-nanaometer processors. They have been having issues with keeping up with demand for over a year, which has led to keeping prices more expensive.[22]

Onto AMD news now, and last month they released a budget CPU called the Athlon 300G. It is a very entry level chip; however, has an unlocked multiplier which will aid in overclocking.[23]

Last month also saw the release of AMD’s new Threadripper CPU, the Threadripper 3970X, to favourable reviews. Lastly, they also released the Ryzen 3950X. Both chips are recommended to be used with a decent cooler, specifically water cooling if possible[24].

Seagate (who also came out recently to say they don’t believe the Hard drive is going out of fashion any time soon[25]) released a new gaming SSD. The FireCuda 520 SSD is set to be incredibly fast, utilizing a PCI Express 4.0 bus. It comes in 3 capacities: 2TB, 1TB, and 500Gb.[26]

THERMALTAKE NEWS

On the Thermaltake front, we have had a pretty solid month!

We released a water cooler’s dream case, the Level 20 HT, coming in both white and black editions. We also brought out white editions of our much-loved ToughRAM! As well as adding on some additional speed options for our ToughRAM too, now also coming in: 4400 MHZ, 4266MHz and 4000MHz.

On the blog this past month you might have missed our post exploring the games classification system here in Australia. As well as my countdown of favourite chapters in Half-Life 2 to celebrate its 15th birthday and the announcement of Half-life: Alyx. We also collaborated with our builder Nick again to build a high-end gaming system!

We also produced some cool video content this past November! First, we surprised the winner of our PAX giveaway by hand delivering him his brand-new setup! Then we looked at our gorgeous new Level 20 HT in a first look and did a build in it too, to showcase all the things you can do with it!

And of course, don’t forget to check out our awesome fortnightly podcast Thermal Talk! Available on Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Podcasts. Additionally, the Video versions of the podcast go up on Friday a week after the audio. We’d super appreciate you giving it a listen!

SOURCES: 

[1] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/apex-legends-gets-a-firing-range-and-daily-challenge-re-rolls/

[2] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/wolfenstein-youngblood-gets-a-new-endgame-mission-areas-and-enemies/

[3] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/portal-2-just-got-a-new-update-and-it-improves-local-cooperative-play/

[4] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/stardew-valley-update/

[5]  https://www.pcgamer.com/au/makers-of-outlast-tease-their-next-game/

[6] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/bioware-loses-another-anthem-lead/

[7] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/ubisoft-is-changing-its-game-approval-process-after-breakpoints-disappointing-launch/

[8] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/epic-games-store-is-adding-open-critic-reviews-and-wishlisting/

[9] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/human-head-studios-is-closing-but-everyones-been-offered-jobs-at-bethesda/

[10] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/pubg-is-ditching-crates-you-need-to-pay-to-unlock/

[11] https://www.pcgamer.com/half-life-alyx-release-date-trailer-everything-we-know/

[12] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/diablo-4-trailer/

[13] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/blizzcon-2019-announcements/

[14] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/blizzard-president-apologizes-over-hong-kong-controversy/

[15] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/youtubes-ftc-compliance-system-for-kids-content-angers-and-worries-creators/

[16] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/1000-games-were-just-removed-from-steam-and-we-dont-know-why/

[17] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/fortnite-faze-jarvis-ban/

[18] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/ninja-says-faze-jarvis-shouldnt-be-permabanned-from-fortnite/

[19] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/wellness-app-apologizes-for-ripping-off-devolvers-gris-in-its-intro-animation/

[20] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/china-cracks-down-on-online-gaming-with-a-curfew-and-time-limits/

[21] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/the-latest-nvidia-gpu-driver-plugs-a-bunch-of-security-holes/

[22] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/intel-sincerely-apologizes-to-customers-for-lingering-cpu-shortage/

[23] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/amd-trots-out-an-overclockable-athlon-processor-with-vega-graphics-for-dollar49/

[24] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/amds-beastly-third-gen-ryzen-threadripper-3970x-will-cost-dollar1999/

[25] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/seagate-is-skipping-the-hard-drives-funeral-plans-to-have-50tb-hdds-in-2026/

[26] https://www.pcgamer.com/au/seagate-launches-a-fast-pcie-gen4-ssd-and-an-expandable-storage-dock-for-gamers/

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