EA ditches microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II

It’s as if EA heard a million voices cry out in terror — and it’s not staying silent.

Electronic Arts has announced it is turning off all in-game purchases on Star Wars Battlefront II, on the eve of the game’s worldwide launch, after a massive outcry from fans.

The company confirmed the news in a blog post late on Thursday, admitting that the microtransactions it built into the first person shooter were “overshadowing an otherwise great game.”

The game, which is due to launch globally on Friday, was made available to fans early through EA’s subscription service, EA Access. But early players soon discovered unlocking top hero characters like Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader could take up to 40 hours, unless players paid-to-play.

When the news hit Reddit, the furore grew.

The game’s developer EA DICE responded by announcing it would reduce the number of credits needed to unlock the top characters by 75 percent. Now, it’s gone further.

In a statement, EA DICE said.

It’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right.

But while microtransactions are gone for the launch, they’re not gone for good. EA said it will spend time “listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning” once the game is launched, but in-game payments will be back.

“The option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay,” the EA blog post continued. “The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.”

In-game payments are not new. Often used as a way for players to pay for cosmetic elements like new character skins, some players argue they can help developers to keep improving the core game over time. But when payments become a major impediment to gameplay, or a game becomes virtually unplayable without forking out cash, gamers are quick to speak up.

The only question that remains is whether fans will be placated enough when microtransactions return.

EA has been contacted for comment.

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Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/ea-star-wars-battlefront-ii-ditches-microtransactions-reddit/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Tesla reveals a new Roadster, due in 2020

At Tesla’s Semi event, the automaker dropped its new Roadster. It’ll have a 620-mile range via a 200kWh battery pack.”You’ll be able to travel from LA to San Francisco and back without recharging,” CEO Elon Musk said. The new Tesla Roadster will do zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds, and it’ll blast through a quarter mile in 8.9 seconds, before reaching a top speed of over 250 MPH.

Oh, and it’s a four-seater.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/17/tesla-reveals-a-new-roadster-due-in-2020/

Throwback Thursday: The Horrible Adorables!

This mini series could take over the world. In fact I think a lot of…

Article source: https://blog.kidrobot.com/throwback-thursday-horrible-adorables/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

OnePlus 5T costs $499 on Nov. 21: Face unlock, dual cameras

Four months after introducing the OnePlus 5, the phone manufacturer is at it again with its latest marquee phone, the OnePlus 5T.


The dual camera is designed for clearer portraits and low-light shots.

Sarah Tew/CNET

OnePlus confirmed ahead of the launch event that the 5T will keep its headset jack, a port that’s now an endangered species on high-end phones. The company has also now confirmed at the unveiling on Thursday in New York that the 5T has dual rear cameras and the thin bezels that give the 6-inch screen a larger screen-to-body ratio that are so in right now.

The OnePlus 5T goes on sale Nov. 21 and starts at $500 for the 64GB version — see the pricing breakdown below.

OnePlus has made a name for itself creating high-value handsets that undercut premium phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus. But phone prices have crept up as OnePlus has added pricier components, including a second camera on the back, to keep pace with ballooning prices on the high end. Compared to a $950 or $1,000 Galaxy Note 8 or iPhone X, OnePlus hopes buyers find its $500 and $560 handsets comparatively reasonable.

The OnePlus 5T goes after Apple’s iPhone X with face unlock, which the company says will work with 99 percent accuracy so long as it can see your eyes and nose. It’s not secure, though, and won’t work for mobile payments. For that, you’ll need to use the fingerprint reader on the back.

OnePlus 5T prices

OnePlus 5T prices around the world

OnePlus 5T hardware specs

  • 6-inch AMOLED screen, 18:9 ratio display
  • Dual 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel rear cameras that focus on low-light and portrait photography
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • Up to 8GB RAM
  • Face unlock (not secure enough for mobile payments)
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Slider button on side controls notifications
  • 3.5 millimeter headphone jack
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat (Android 8.0 Oreo beta will come in late December)

Like other OnePlus phones, the 5T runs a relatively clean version of Android — called OxygenOS — that doesn’t throw a lot of extra apps and skins on top of the software. OnePlus claims this gives phone owners up to 20 percent greater power efficiency. 

This is a developing story that we’ll flesh out with photos and hands on impressions just as soon as we have them. Come back soon!

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Article source: https://www.cnet.com/news/oneplus-5t-watch-the-unveiling-live/#ftag=CAD590a51e

Create Instagram stories in your phone’s web browser

Also, the Pinterest-like ability to save posts is coming to your phone’s browser. If there’s a travel destination or savory meal you want to remember for late, you can bookmark posts and visit all your saved examples.

These features will take a few weeks to reach everyone, so don’t be disheartened if they aren’t available right away. When they do, though, the mobile web version of Instagram will be considerably closer to its native app version. There are still clear reasons to download the app if you can (receiving notifications and posting video in particular), but there isn’t as much of a rush as there was in the past.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/16/create-instagram-stories-in-your-phones-web-browser/

2019 Subaru Ascent three-row SUV headed for LA Auto Show

subaru-ascent-promoEnlarge Image

Subaru’s teaser for the Ascent debut doesn’t offer much in the way of hints.


Subaru has been without a three-row crossover since it killed off the rather ugly Tribeca. But that’s about to change, and best of all, it’s finally going to be attractive.

Subaru announced on Twitter that it will unveil the production version of the 2019 Ascent three-row SUV on November 28, as part of the Los Angeles Auto Show. If you don’t happen to be at the show with an accredited media badge, Subaru will livestream the event.

Everything we know about the Ascent comes from a concept of the same name, which Subaru showed off earlier this year at the New York Auto Show. It has seating for seven and many of the design staples featured on the Forester and Outback. It will ride on a modified version of Subaru’s global vehicle platform, and under the hood will be a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four engine.

The Ascent concept was derived from the beefy Viziv-7 concept that first heralded the arrival of a three-row Subaru ute. The Viziv-7 debuted at last year’s LA show, boasting sharp edges, crazy lighting and a healthy dose of blue trim. Surprisingly, it didn’t change much between this concept and the Ascent. So hopefully the changes between concept and production won’t be too drastic, either.  


Subaru Viziv 7 concept

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/2019-subaru-ascent-three-row-suv-headed-for-la-auto-show/#ftag=CAD7f780fb

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