From sailing the high seas as part of a Pirate Crew to living the life of an Outlaw in the Old West, this year is shaping up to be another great one for games.
Our 10 Most Anticipated Games for 2018
The epic trilogy concludes. Part Three in our journey to build a new gaming rig, with all the graphs and numbers you can handle.
Benchmarking Our New Gaming PC
Turning iconic Blizzard heroes into anime inspired robots isn't as easy as it sounds.
Blizzard Interview - Talking Heroes of the Storm Mecha Skins
Where we took at look in our hardware room and noticed both a Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 240 Closed Loop Watercooler and Geforce GTX 1070 Founders Edition just sitting there.
Hardware Mod - Liquid Cooling + Geforce GTX 1070
Overwatch
Overwatch

PC | PlayStation 4 | Xbox One
Genre: Action
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Official Site: http://eu.battle.net/overwat...
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Thursday, 11 January 2018
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:21pm 11/01/18 | 0 Comments
As per yesterday's streaming partnership news for the Overwatch League with Twitch comes the official kick-off of the first season with 12 teams representing major cities in Asia, Europe, and North America. Already off to a good start, viewer numbers for today's matches have so far been sitting around the 300,000 mark.

And with all games taking place at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, it's definitely one of the most impressive esports presentations we've seen for regular season play.

You can check out the action, which is streaming live right now, below.

Watch live video from OverwatchLeague on www.twitch.tv


Viewers can also tune in MLG.com and the MLG app (on iOS and Android), OverwatchLeague.com, and the Overwatch League companion app (for iOS and Android). Blizzard fans will also have easy access to the Overwatch League’s web presence via a new Overwatch League tab in the Blizzard Battle.net Desktop App.

The first season of the Overwatch League will run from today until June, with playoffs and finals happening the following month in July. Matches will bep layed each Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday AEDT - so be sure to check out the official site for full schedule info.
Friday, 8 December 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:22pm 08/12/17 | 0 Comments
Starting next week on Wednesday, December 13 on all platforms. In addition to the return of snowball fights and new Brawl called Mei’s Yeti Hunt, which a group of Meis against a runaway Winston who needs to be stopped before he gets his super. Plus, new seasonal skins and cosmetic items.

Although we don't have footage, we've got the next best thing. Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan talking about the event.





Tuesday, 28 November 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:19pm 28/11/17 | 0 Comments
With the Overwatch League set to kick off its inaugural season one of the big questions has been, 'what does that mean for the current state of competitive Overwatch?' Well, in addition to name changes, a restructuring that makes sense with the ultimate goal for teams and players being a path to the professional Overwatch League.

It's not complicated, but the below video does a good job of breaking it down.



Okay, so here goes my attempt. Overwatch Contenders will be the new home of regional seasonal play, where our own Overwatch Pacific Championship will become Contenders Pacific. And sometime after that a specific Australian (Australia and New Zealand) Contenders league.

At a minimum, the top six teams from existing tournaments will be invited to join their region’s Contenders for 2018. The new Contenders regions, Australia and South America, will hold open qualifier tournaments to determine entry. Contenders will not be region-locked, although online matches will be played on each region’s server. As with the Overwatch League, it’s important for us to have the best players in the world competing at every level of competition.


The hierarchy of how it all work is straight-forward. The in-game Overwatch Open Division will continue, broken into the same regions as Contenders. There the pathway will be open for players and teams to compete both locally, regionally, and then hopefully one day make it to the Overwatch League.

Australian region Overwatch teams in the Open Division will be invited to compete in Contenders Trials in February.
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:37pm 22/11/17 | 0 Comments
Where Joab chats to Overwatch's Principal Game Designer Geoff Goodman and Lead Character Artist Renaud Galand about the new map, BlizzardWorld. The happiest place on earth, or whatever version of earth we find in Overwatch. Great insights into its creation so be sure to check it out.

Fan service at its best.



AusGamers: Were people eager to work on the map as fans of Blizzard?

Renaud Galand: Absolutely. I think that, that actually shows in and of itself because we have a lot of artists who actually worked on the map who worked on StarCraft, worked on World of Warcraft, worked on Diablo and they were super-excited to be able to work on that map.

Geoff: It's also cool, like, Blizz... Blizz is a big company but everyone knows each other so we're all "let's get art the director from Hearthstone over here and he can come over and check it out", everyone was sort of helping us out, "This isn't quite right," or "what do you think about this?" So it's kind of just this whole fun process the whole time, like there's little Easter Eggs everywhere.

Renaud: Oh my god, so many! So many. I don't think we have a map that's had that many Easter eggs.


Click Here to Read Our Full BlizzardWorld Interview!
Friday, 17 November 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:45am 17/11/17 | 0 Comments
That's right Overwatch is free-to-play this weekend starting tomorrow until Tuesday November 21 across PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Which is good timing because new hero Moira has just joined the ranks. Announced at BlizzCon, Moira is a shadowy scientist that used biotic abilities to dispense both healing and damage.

Here's a breakdown of her abilities.



Biotic Grasp
Using her left hand, Moira expends biotic energy to heal allies in front of her. Her right hand fires a long-range beam weapon that saps enemies’ health, healing Moira and replenishing her biotic energy.

Biotic Orb
Moira launches a rebounding biotic sphere; she can choose between a regeneration effect that heals the allies it passes through, or a decay effect that deals damage to enemies.

Fade
Moira quickly teleports a short distance.

Coalescence (Ultimate)
Moira channels a long-range beam that both heals allies and bypasses barriers to damage her enemies.
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:39pm 14/11/17 | 0 Comments
Speaking with Windows Central, a representative of Blizzard noted that the studio has been impressed with the new Xbox One X console, and it plans to utilise all that extra power in an upcoming Overwatch update. Dialblo III, which runs at a silky smooth 60fps in 4K already on the console, points to something special coming to Overwatch fans on Xbox.


The statement notes that the "Overwatch team is excited with great possibilities Xbox One X opens. The team is currently exploring how the game experience can be enhanced on this platform to leverage the console's incredible hardware, and is working on implementing 4K resolution in the game on Xbox One X". Also going on to say that work will need to be done on the UI to support the new resolution and we will be getting full details on the upcoming update at a later date.
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
Post by Joaby @ 06:30pm 08/11/17 | 0 Comments
At BlizzCon this weekend just past, Blizzard and the Overwatch team revealed the game's newest map. A theme park called "BlizzardWorld" -- a hybrid map that starts with players attacking out of a Hearthstone Inn before gradually touring all of Blizzard's games.

Well, all of them except for one.



"Blizzard exists in Overwatch, Blizzard games exist in Overwatch," Geoff Goodman, Principal Game Designer at Team 4, explained to us in an interview at the event. "Overwatch doesn't exist in Overwatch, that's maybe a little too meta."

Lead Character Artist Renaud Galand quickly interjected, however.

"I think we do have one tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny Easter egg, Renaud said. "One little, like, Overwatch touch in the map. I'll let you play it and discover it. It's one little character hiding somewhere."

Renaud could be talking about the Heroes Arcade — where Soldier: 76, D.Va and Sombra all have high scores — but the way he worded his hint makes me think it might be something different. Something meta.

Stay tuned to AusGamers for the full details in our forthcoming interview with Geoff Goodman and Renaud Galand, where we talk in detail about BlizzardWorld, Moira, and how the team is making Overwatch easier to watch.

Check out the video below for a closer look at "BlizzardWorld".


Sunday, 5 November 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:17pm 05/11/17 | 0 Comments
Overwatch’s presence at BlizzCon this year, outside of the awesome spectacle that was the Overwatch World Cup, was a tad predictable. In that just about anyone could have guessed “new map, new hero, new animated short”. But, that’s not to say that what we got wasn’t impressive. The new map, called Blizzard World that celebrates the worlds of Diablo, StarCraft, and Warcraft within the Overwatch universe is just, well, awesome.

Check it out.



It’s a shame then that we have to wait until 2018 to play it.

As for the new hero, Blizzard is bringing Moira - a Talon geneticist - a healer and damage dealer that Overwatch Jeff Kaplan jokingly described as “OPAF”. And it’s not hard to see why as in the debut spotlight trailer, Moira looks incredible. Like an evil Zenyatta crossed with Mercy and a dash of Tracer.



And finally, because it’s been a while since we got our last Overwatch Animated Short comes a new entry that dives into the history of everyone’s favourite plasma-shield bearing German – Reinhardt. Another stellar effort from Blizzard’s animation team, and this time one that focus quite heavily on action. Which is great because as a Reinhardt main, getting to see the rocket charge and shield defence utilised in such a dramatic way is like a dream come true.



Do we have enough of these animated shorts to warrant a cinema run yet?
Monday, 30 October 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:18pm 30/10/17 | 0 Comments
Team uniforms and team colour palettes - in game. Of course, it makes perfect sense. Throw in a top-down interactive map, third-person smart camera, kill feed replays, automated tournament interface, and auto-pauses during disconnects and Overwatch's latest esports-focussed overhaul sounds like the next logical step for the game as we gear up for the Overwatch World Cup. And the Overwatch League.

speaking of the league the announcement comes alongside the firsti mages of team uniforms and colours - as per below.





And here's Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan talking through the changes.



Oh, and friendly reminder! Australia takes on Canada at BlizzCon this weekend. We'll be providing stream links and details closer to the event.
Friday, 6 October 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:57pm 06/10/17 | 0 Comments
As they qualified for the Season Two Playoffs, joining three other teams in the finals taking place at Blizzard eStadium in Taiwan. So be sure to tune in tonight (Friday, 6 October) at 10pm AEST, as Blank Esports go up against Ardeont. The elimination playoffs will continue tomorrow with the two finalists going head-to-head Sunday at 8pm AEST.

All the action will be streamed below.

Watch live video from FullCircle on www.twitch.tv


Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:25pm 04/10/17 | 0 Comments
And "with spooky new content". That, as per the new teaser will at the very least mean more frighteningly festive skins for characters like Reaper and McCree. Also the return of Overwatch's first PvE mode the horde-style Junkenstein's Revenge. Like with the recent return of Lucio Ball we should probably expect some updates.



What would be great would be a completely new Junkenstein tale as told by Reinhardt. The event will begin on October 11 and run until November 2.
Friday, 22 September 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:53pm 22/09/17 | 0 Comments
Online titles always have a way of bringing out the worst in people. And the best. Which is why the former always tends to stick out even when it might only represent a tiny fraction of the community. As part of Blizzard's ongoing efforts to create a more welcoming Overwatch environment as of next week it will start dishing out permanent bans.


And, it sounds pretty serious.
Starting Wednesday, September 27, any player who accumulates three or more seasonal bans may be permanently banned from Competitive Play, removing their ability to participate in any future matches in that mode.

There's no way that Blizzard would implement such harsh measures without the need for it, so the situation must be causing a lot of issues for players. Also, Blizzard notes that "once an account is permanently banned, it currently cannot return to good standing".

For more info on the ban, head here. And remember, if you join a match and see Hanzo on your team, stick it out to the end.
Thursday, 21 September 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:57am 21/09/17 | 0 Comments
Covering the American cities of Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia. Bringing the total number of teams for the first season of the long-awaited Overwatch League to 12 - covering Asia, Europe, and North America. But mostly, North America. Which is to be expected, especially with the recent announcement of the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles.

Which is where all preseason and regular season games will take place when Overwatch League competition begins January 10, 2018. Preseason play is expected to commence on December 6.

“We’re excited to kick off the inaugural season of the Overwatch League,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. “We have the very best team owners in esports and we will celebrate our professional players better than any league ever has!”
 
“With the first 12 teams in place, we’re now just a few short months away from the inaugural season of the Overwatch League,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This is a huge milestone for the league; we can’t wait for the action to get underway and to see some of the top competitive Overwatch players in the world facing off to become the first-ever Overwatch League champions.”


The three new teams announced today come from established names in esports and regular sports - Comcast Spectacor (Philadelphia), Team Envy (Dallas), and OpTic Gaming (Houston).
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:25am 30/08/17 | 0 Comments
With the recent news that Deathmatch game modes were coming to Overwatch, Blizzard has released both standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch into the Overwatch PTR wild. This comes alongside a new map designed for the modes called Chateau Guillard, plus the latest escort/payload map set in the Australian outback called Junkertown.


In terms of rules, this definitely sounds like standard DM.

In Deathmatch, eight players go head-to-head until one player scores 20 points. Players will earn 1 point whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage. This scoring will be tracked on a brand-new scoreboard. The first player to 20 points wins!

In Team Deathmatch, two teams of four players face off until one team scores 30 points. Players will earn 1 point for their team whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point for their team whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage. If players are resurrected before they respawn, the corresponding point for their death will be deducted from the enemy team’s score. This scoring will be tracked on our default scoreboard. The first team to 30 points wins!


For full patch notes, head here. The update also brings some changes to Junkrat, Orisa, Roadhog, and Widowmaker. With all of the above hitting the PTR we should expect these changes to go live across PC and console in the coming weeks.
Tuesday, 22 August 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:39pm 22/08/17 | 0 Comments
And it's the former home of both Junkrat and Roadhog! Somewhere deep in the Australian Outback? Check. A makeshift town created from scraps and ruins and rusted bits of metal? Check. A warm colour pallete that gives off a Mad Max by the way of Looney Tunes vibe? Check. An awesome place to for a new escort/payload map? Bloody oath mate.

Here's a quick tour of the awesome looking Junkertown.



And to go alongside the new map announcement is a new cinematic short starring Junkrat and Roadhog, where after being exiled from Junkertown are looking to sneak back in. And blow it up.



No word on when the new map will be released, but we have to assume that it'll be soon. The announcement comes as part of Blizzard's presence at Gamescom this week, where people at the show will be going hands-on with the new Australian-themed map throughout the week.
Friday, 11 August 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:54pm 11/08/17 | 0 Comments
Alongside a new map set in Widowmaker's family estate in France designed specifically for Deathmatch free-for-all. The two new modes come as part of Overwatch's expanding Arcade Mode, and are both playable now on the Public Test Realm on PC. As per the latest Developer Update video Blizzard has spent time to ensure that these modes aren't simple throwaways.

As highlighted by the new map, and a bunch of modified versions of existing Payload and Capture maps. Another cool feature as part of Team Deathmatch is that Mercy's ultimate ability not only brings back players but also takes away kill counts from the opposing team.



And before you can say, "But Blizzard, you said no Deathmatch for Overwatch", Game Director Jeff Kaplan notes that this was the case until the launch of the Arcade. Which opened up a bunch of different avenues for the team to experiment. And this, according to Jeff, "is just the beginning".
Thursday, 10 August 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 06:25pm 10/08/17 | 0 Comments
With Jack Etienne of Cloud9 purchasing the team for London, and sports industry leaders Stan and Josh Kroenke purchasing the team for Los Angeles. This comes after last month's announcement of the first seven cities and teams. And the beginning of a steady stream of Overwatch League news as the massive and exciting esports endeavor ramps up for its inaugural season of competition.

If you're wondering if the Los Angeles announcement sounds familiar, that's because this represents the second team for the City of Angels. Great movie. Ahem. Today's announcement brings the team make-up covering Asia, Europe, and North America.

“The Overwatch League has amazing momentum and today’s announcement is another step towards building a successful global league,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. “We’re thrilled to be bringing together more leaders from esports like Jack of Cloud9 and traditional sports like Stan and Josh of the LA Rams, Arsenal Football Club, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, to create an amazing competition that celebrates and rewards players and fans in London, Los Angeles, and beyond.”
 
"Overwatch is a global game, with heroes - and players - from around the world, so it's important to us that as many Overwatch League fans as possible have local or regional teams to root for," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "In addition to broadening the competitive field for Season 1, we're excited that today's announcement helps set the stage for more epic intercontinental rivalries."

We'll have more news on the Overwatch League as it breaks.
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:10pm 09/08/17 | 2 Comments
Sure, it might currently be winter in both Australia and Westeros, but in the world of Overwatch summers if officially here. With the Overwatch Summer Games 2017 now live, bringing back Lucioball with a new Sydney-based stadium. Plus, a new skin for Junkrat that puts him in the green and gold of our Olympic athletes. Also, Soldier 76 shows off his legs in a new summery outfit perfect for a dad.

Go Aussie!



Soldier 76 is need of a tan. Stat!



Summer for Mercy means only one thing - Kid Icarus cosplay.



For McCree it's a summer job as lifeguard.



And for Sombra it's whatever this is.



Running from 9-29 August, in addition to the return of Lucioball the Overwatch Summer Games will see the introduction of over 50 new seasonal items plus the return of all the great stuff from last year.
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:56pm 02/08/17 | 0 Comments
With a new Sydney-themed Lúcioball map. Plus a return of all the skins from the last Summer Games event, and new one too - including new ones for Junkrat and Mercy. The return of Lúcioball also brings some changes including removing the ability to “boop” enemy players and revamping his ultimate ability.

The Summer Games is also the first event where the changes to Loot Boxes, that drastically reduce the number of duplicates will factor in to the cosmetic drops. So, that means more Summer Games loot for everyone.

Here's Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan detailing the event.



Competitive Lúcioball. Enough said.
Thursday, 27 July 2017
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:32pm 27/07/17 | 0 Comments
A few weeks ago Blizzard revealed the first seven cities that were joining the upcoming Overwatch League - which is still on track to commence later this year. Basically, it's an esports endeavor that is aiming to follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest sporting leagues in the world like the NBA and NFL. And now, we've got new juicy details about players, salaries, and team structure.

Including the revelation that all 30 million Overwatch players are considered Free Agents in respect to the Overwatch League. In that teams can recruit new players from the entire Overwatch player base. A cool sentiment, if not exactly true. Because, well, there's no way coach is gonna pick me. So I'll keep biding my time reading science and match books to one day conquer the financial markets. And then buy the team.

Ahem.



What we do know though is that Blizzard and the Overwatch League are putting together detailed scouting reports for teams based on things like performance during Seasons 3 and 4 of Competitive Play and other tournaments.

In true sporting league fashion an official player signing window for the Overwatch League will run from August 1 to October 30, with the following details provided about a standard Overwatch League Player Agreement:

  • Teams will sign players to one-year guaranteed contracts with the option to extend the contract for an additional year.
  • The minimum salary for players is USD $50,000 per year.
  • Teams will provide players with health insurance and a retirement savings plan.
  • Teams will distribute at least 50% of their team performance bonuses (i.e. money from winning playoffs and other League events) to their players directly.


  • A minimum USD $1 million is expected to be awarded to the Overwatch League inaugural season champion. And in terms of the teams themselves, numbers will sit between 6 to 12 players with no region locking. That means players will be able to join a team from any corner of the globe. Also the teams will provide player housing and practice facilities for the duration of the season.

    This is all starting to come together, and we're excited to see those first few Overwatch League matches.