Divinity: Original Sin 2 Announced, Prototype Playable at PAX

Divinity: Original Sin II, the sequel to last year’s acclaimed RPG, is in the works, Larian Studios has announced.

As it did with the previous game (attracting $944,000), Larian is turning to Kickstarter to secure funding for the project. Before the crowdfunding campaign goes live on August 26, however, it’s first asking fans what kind of rewards they want to see it offer. You can share your thoughts and vote at Original Sin II’s official website.

Details on the game are nonexistent at this point, though Larian is calling it “its most ambitious RPG ever.” With the Kickstarter coming in just two weeks, we should know more soon.

Those attending PAX Prime, which runs August 28-31 in Seattle, WA, will be able to play a prototype of the game that is said to highlight “some of the game’s unique features.” Attendees can also meet members of the development team and win prizes.

Original Sin landed on PC in June 2014 and went on to win GameSpot’s PC Game of the Year award. A version of the game known as the Enhanced Edition is currently in development for both Xbox One and PS4, with those updates also coming to PC for free.

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Author: Chris Pereira

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Random Drug Tests for Marijuana and More Coming to This Pro Gaming League

The Electronic Sports League (ESL) has shared new details about its newly announced drug-testing program and policies, which come in the wake of an Adderall scandal at a tournament earlier this year.

First, the ESL has announced a list of prohibited substances, which the group decided upon after conferring with experts in the field. Among the long list of substances is marijuana.

The drug is banned during competition, but recreational use before the start of an event won’t lead to a punishment. “Using it during the tournament–from the start of the first day until the end of the last day of competition–is strictly prohibited,” the ESL said in a statement.

Tests will be conducted randomly using saliva tests. The ESL originally planned to use skin tests, but changed its mind after “investigation and consultation” with experts, including World Anti-Doping Agency and Germany’s Nationale Anti-Doping Agentur.

“While choosing the kind of test we want to use, we had to consider a couple of important factors,” it said. “How invasive the method of testing is, and how reliable will the results be, and how quickly will we get them? Tests will be performed at our discretion at any time during tournament days, and will take place in a designated testing area. Naturally, player’s privacy comes first.”

Random testing will begin at ESL One Cologne later this month in Germany. Going forward, the ESL said it might expand testing and even make it regular–if this is the case, the group will give notice to players.

“We don’t want to exclude the possibility of performing a larger number of tests among all/majority of players at a later stage,” the ESL said. “Should the testing policy and method change, we will inform the players accordingly.”

If a player has a legitimate prescription for a medication containing one or more of the banned substances, such as Adderall, they should notify the ESL immediately and be prepared to show proof.

“In this case, they have to disclose this to us as soon as possible, but no later than the first match is scheduled to start, the ESL said. “They will be required to provide proof (a letter from a physician, for example) that they need this specific medication.”

In terms of punishments, players who test positive will face a range of possible penalties. This could include the deduction of prize money and/or tournament points, a disqualification, or up to a two-year ban from all ESL events. The ESL said it will examine every situation individually. And again, the group is aiming to “ensure players’ full privacy.”

These new measures come in the wake of professional Counter-Strike player Kory “Semphis” Friesen openly admitting, via Motherboard, that he and his Cloud9 teammates used Adderall during the recent ESL One Katowice tournament in Poland. “We were all on Adderall,” he said.

They will not be retroactively punished, however.

Anti-doping protocols are commonplace in traditional sports. With the rising profile of eSports, cheating is likely only going to increase, the ESL said, which makes these anti-doping measures all the more important.

“The growing visibility and popularity of eSports, as well as increasing prize pools, make it not only more tempting for teams and players to break the rules, but also more damaging to our sport as a whole when they do,” the ESL said last month.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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International gang made millions in illegal profits by hacking press release sites

US authorities have charged 32 members of an international ring of hackers and financial traders. The group allegedly stole press releases from financial wire companies before they were due to be published, making millions from trades based on the information. “This international scheme is unprecedented in terms of the scope of the hacking, the number of traders, the number of securities traded and profits generated,” said Mary Jo White, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a press statement.

The SEC claims that two individuals, Ivan Turchynov and Oleksandr Ieremenko, organized the scheme over the course of five years, with the pair allegedly hacking into at least two newswire services and stealing more than 150,000…

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Author: James Vincent

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Leaked Fallout 4 Gameplay Video Emerges on Pornhub

A secretly filmed recording of Fallout 4 gameplay has been published on the adult video website Pornhub, amid a game of cat-and-mouse between Bethesda’s legal team and those who want to spread the footage online.

Low-quality amateur video of the post-apocalypse RPG was captured, against Bethesda’s wishes, during a behind-closed-doors demonstration at Gamescom. The off-screen picture is partially obscured by other journalists in attendance, but nevertheless shows new glimpses of Fallout 4’s baseline gameplay mechanics.

Snippets of the video show the game’s unnamed hero mowing down a horde of zombies, and aiming through sights on an automatic weapon, then later, accessing computer terminals, lock-picking, and interacting with his Pip-Boy.

Since the seven-minute video first emerged, Bethesda’s copyright and legal team has embarked on a takedown operation, with the video being pulled multiple times from sites such as YouTube, as well as other file-sharing websites.

However, for reasons that are not clear, the video has not been removed from Pornhub. GameSpot’s editorial team has decided against linking to it.

A community of Fallout 4 enthusiasts, determined to spread the footage, have amassed various links on the Sugarbombed forum. Fans eager to see the new gameplay have been warned that some websites, claiming to offer Fallout 4 footage to download, may in fact be spreading computer viruses and spyware.

The Fallout 4 release date has been set for November 10 across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. It is expected to offer more than 400 hours of content for its most dedicated fans.

Further reading: Fallout 4 Interview – “We’re Probably Doing Too Much”

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Author: Rob Crossley

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How internet-connected sex devices became the weapons of a patent troll

In September 1993, David Rothschild saw the future of sex: it was teledildonics, a word used to describe internet-enabled sex toys that allow partners to remotely pleasure one another. Twenty-two years later, the most promising use for the technology appears to be patent trolling.

Earlier this year, ownership of Patent 6,368,268 B1 — sometimes referred to as “the teledildonics patent” — transferred to Tzu Technologies, LLC. Within a month of transfer, six lawsuits had been filed against companies deemed to be infringing on the patent — including, oddly, Kickstarter, whose sole infraction seems to have been hosting the crowdfunding campaign for Frebble, a children’s toy that allows kids to remotely “feel” the platonic touch of a family…

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Author: Lux Alptraum

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PS4 System Update 3.00 Adds Twitter Video, YouTube Broadcasts, and More

First details of the next PlayStation 4 system software update have emerged online, with multiple reports suggesting Sony is preparing to introduce a number of key new features to the console.

Among the list of more than a dozen new additions, the PS4 3.00 update is expected to introduce the option to publish 10-second video clips to Twitter, as well as host live gameplay broadcasts via YouTube.

A new Communities section will also be added, allowing fans with similar tastes to meet and share their passions. Users can also post comments in the What’s New community feed, while across the system there will be layout redesigns in key areas such as Live From PlayStation and Messages.

Sony has not officially announced what it will include in the next PS4 system update, nor has it offered a release time. The information on the 3.00 firmware gradually emerged online as some PS4 owners–mainly based in Japan–were invited to beta test the new build. A trickle of information on the new system software began to appear on sites such as Gematsu, Pocket News, and Reddit.

Look below for a list of what’s new in the PS4 3.00 update.

Key additions

  • (Events) has been added to the function items. All events associated with PlayStation are now brought together, enabling you to discover, participate in and watch these events in a centralized area.
  • (Communities) has been added to (Friends). (Communities) is a feature that enables you to find players who have similar tastes and interests. You can join an existing community or create your own community. You can also play games, join parties or talk about shared interests with members in the community.
  • You can now go to (Now Playing) to see what games or parties members of the community are enjoying right now. You can also easily start a game, join a party or send a request to watch a member’s gameplay in (Now Playing). You can access (Now Playing) from What’s New, (Friends), (Communities), the message screen in (Messages) or Profile.
  • The layout of the message screen in (Messages) has been improved. From the message screen, you can now select (Now Playing) or easily start a party. You can also add your favorite groups to [Favorite Groups] in (Friends).
  • You can now broadcast your gameplay on YouTube™.
  • You can now upload video clips to Twitter (10-second limitation).

Extras

  • The layout of (Live from PlayStation) has been improved. In addition to broadcasts, you can now view video clips and screenshots.
  • You can now change the speed for automatic text scrolling in (Settings) > [Accessibility] > [Auto-Scroll Speed].
  • [Community], [Requests to Watch Gameplay], [Events] and [Current Song] have been added to (Settings) > [Notifications] > [Display Pop-Up Notifications].
  • You can now post your comments for activity feeds in What’s New.
  • You can now enjoy fun conversations with your Friends using (Stickers) in (Messages).
  • (PlayStation®Plus) has been added to the function items. You can now see all of your PlayStation®Plus benefits, such as free monthly games, exclusive discounts, news and more, in one place.
  • Accessibility features are now available when playing content from Blu-ray Discs™ or DVDs. Application of these features has also been expanded.
  • You can now restrict the use of games while looking at age level information and rating icons.
  • You can now create a sub account for a minor by selecting [New User] in the screen for selecting a user.
  • You can now adjust settings for Web filtering services from (Settings) > [Parental Controls]. You can use the service to block objectionable websites from being displayed in the Internet Browser. (Additional fees may apply for use of the service.)

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Author: Rob Crossley

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