Trion’s voxel MMO Trove has been on our radar since last year’s Game Developers Conference, largely because of its vibrant presentation inside a cooperatively-driven game. For followers of our Cube World coverage, this would be the most comparable title. Our very own Keegan Gallick and I caught up with Project Lead Andrew Krausnick to learn about some of the newest features and what to expect in the months leading up to Trove’s late 2015 release.

The rush to play Overwatch began early – promptly at 9AM, Eastern, today at PAX East. Blizzard’s first publicly playable demonstration of its team shooter pitted rows of faced-off gamers against one another, resulting in 6v6 cross-aisle combat.

PAX East’s doors opened at 9AM this morning to press, shortly followed by an impassible, amorphous mass of excited PAX-goers. At Intel’s booth, a monolithic Lian Li case housed Intel’s first NVMe consumer SSD, using PCI-e to interface with the device.

New conventions are tough. With the legacy of PAX Prime, East, and Australia backing it, Penny Arcade’s newest San Antonio addition kicked-off with an existing (and large) fan-base. To this end, foot traffic and exhibitors were of a higher caliber than what we’ve experienced at other gaming convention startups, but there’s still plenty of room for growth.

We don’t usually review conventions like PAX South; they’re established and we commit to days of interviews and gaming- or hardware-related content. The show itself is primarily an interface that enables this communication, and although an event like GDC or CES is impressive in its own right, we really don’t have much business talking about how the event performed.

After our “where did RTS go?” discussion with Pat Pannullo, former Tiberian Sun designer and current Grey Goo Lead Designer, we got a hands-on play session with the upcoming RTS. Grey Goo – conveniently “GG” – seeks to bring the genre back to its more “beer and pretzels” origins of the 90s and early 00s.

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The game still hosts a very real potential for a competitive scene, but it's specifically built to be an input-simplified RTS; the team wants to avoid the complexity of StarCraft – a game that uses heavy unit abilities, structure abilities, macro, micro, and meta play – and instead bring the focus back to core real-time strategy mechanics, the meta game, and epic battles. The resulting product is a game that scales to high competition just as well as it scales to casual LAN play (and Grey Goo does offer LAN), giving players a clear arc of progression if the desire to compete increases.

Hardware naming conventions tend to be about as sensible as salad names at a health bar. We've previously dissected the ASUS naming convention, Intel's chipset names, and AMD's chipset names. With the advent of DDR4 on Broadwell-E (X99 / LGA2011-3), it's time for manufacturers to shuffle the memory lineup around.

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We had the opportunity to speak with Kingston (HyperX) and Corsair while at PAX Prime 2014. Other memory manufacturers were unavailable, so we'll visit them in future posts. This content looks specifically at what the product names mean between Kingston's HyperX lineup and Corsair's DDR4 lineup.

Command & Conquer may not have been the definitive “first” game in the RTS genre, but it was a milestone in gameplay and mechanics that paved the way for future titles. The 90s and very early 00s saw the rise of “strategy” as a genre, with RTS championing its market dominance. In a very similar fashion to the present-day flood of MOBAs, early RTS and campaign strategy once comprised what felt like the majority of popular titles.

rts-wallAbout 25% of my RTS collection, ordered chronologically and then by series.

Command & Conquer was just a small piece of that. We saw the arrival of Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Empire Earth, Shogun: Total War, Ground Control, and the sleeping giants that spawned a decade of games – Warcraft and StarCraft; campaign games also grew, with large thanks to Civilization, Rise of Nations, Galactic Civilizations, and Hearts of Iron; city builders like Zeus, Poseidon, Caesar, Settlers, and Pharaoh also carved out a niche in the overarching “strategy” marketplace.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor—not Destiny—is my most anticipated game of September. I’m taking the road less traveled in games media by honing in on a game that, rather than offering me a horizontally-expanded refresh of its series, integrates a gameplay-enhancing system for a fresh take. Monolith Productions has prioritized the preservation of hack-and-slash combat with a Nemesis interface and engine that gives more weight to players’ battle decisions and encourages them to keep mixing up how they take control of a territory.

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I visited Monolith at their Kirkland, Washington studios and spent the afternoon previewing Shadow of Mordor's gameplay and story.

Goldeneye and Halo: Combat Evolved introduced me to PVP first-person shooters. I eventually worked up my chops enough for my friends to target only me when playing a free-for-all mode, but one day while playing Halo, my friend called me out for “screen-cheating.”

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I never heard of such a term and, given that split-screen multiplayer still puts it out there to use the whole screen space to win, I never thought of this dubious act as one that’s frowned upon. Given that he was (and still is) my friend, I instantly quit screen-cheating and never returned to form.

Half of GN’s team is presently in Whistler Blackcomb as a refresher off the tail-end of PAX Prime 2014 (full event coverage here), but that hasn’t stopped us from pumping out content – including this Star Citizen piece. We recently published an interview discussing the research and implementation of procedural generation within Star Citizen, the stretch goal set about “$10 million ago,” so to speak.

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Today’s content specifically explains customization within Star Citizen. We spoke with CIG CEO & Chairman Chris Roberts about character, ship, organization, and space station customization in Star Citizen, including ship tuning and painting. As a quick throw-in, we asked Roberts about adjusting or changing FOV in Star Citizen.

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