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Joystiq Streams: That's a tiger in my Far Cry 4 and I'm happy to see you

Smell that fresh air! Glory in the plush, pink suits! Grapple hook a gun-toting lunatic to an elephant and grab a drink, because it's time to head into the wilds of Far Cry 4 and see what there is to see.

Today on Joystiq Streams, our very own Ludwig Kietzmann (@LudwigK) will climb back up the mountain after completing his 4.5-star review of Ubi's new open world shooter. Joining him for the stream and feeding your chat questions directly into his earholes will be Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello).

All the action starts on at 4:00PM EST, just like it does every Tuesday and Thursday. Remember: if you dig these streams, make sure to follow us on Twitch and we'll serve up a whole lot more.
[Images: Ubisoft]

Joystiq presents Humble Weekly Bundle, made just for you

The Joystiq staff tried to package and send out boxes love to everyone on the internet, but shipping costs were crazy, so we helped prepare this Humble Weekly Bundle instead!

The Humble Weekly Bundle Joystiq edition includes Beat Hazard Ultra (plus DLC), Intake, Dungeon of Elements and The Dream Machine chapters 1 - 4, all for whatever price you care to pay. For $6 or more, add on Slender: The Arrival and Primal Carnage. Pay at least $15 and also get Costume Quest 2.

Joystiq's Humble Weekly Bundle supports The AbleGamers Foundation, an organization that advocates on the behalf of the disability community to make games more accessible for players of all types. We spoke with AbleGamers COO Steve Spohn this year about the climate facing players with disabilities.

"When we are denied something, the walls come down around us and we're locked, trapped," Spohn said. "When you break that barrier the walls come down again, and you feel like you can rejoin the world. What we do is for the people. That's what this is about. Giving people a sense of control over their own lives."

Check out the Humble Weekly Bundle Joystiq edition right here, or use the sweet widget below.

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Call of Duty franchise tops $10 billion in sales, Advanced Warfare biggest digital console launch

Activision announced this morning that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the "biggest entertainment launch of the year." Believable, since the overall franchise has reached sales of $10 billion worldwide and making money is what Call of Duty does. Curiously, no Advanced Warfare sales data accompanied this announcement like in prior years.

Analysts have speculated the franchise is in decline, but Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg previously deflected this by saying, "Preorders are a good barometer for day one, but I don't think they reflect the overall demand for the product."

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MMO dev: Steam Greenlight still 'a big black box' for indies

Fairytale Distillery is an independent studio based in Munich, Germany, with four full-time developers and a handful of freelancers who help out as needed – and they're all making an MMO for PC, Mac and Linux called Das Tal. It's not as massive as EVE Online or as intricate as World of Warcraft, but it's a huge project for such a tiny team to tackle. Fairytale Distillery co-founder Alexander Zacherl seems to have a solid development and launch plan that sees Das Tal thriving until the late 2020s, when he expects it to shut down.

With just two founders and two developers who work on the game daily, Fairytale Distillery is overextending itself trying to handle all aspects of launching an MMO. Everyone on the team has hands in designing, developing, marketing and selling the game, Zacherl says.

Part of promoting and selling Das Tal was the game's Greenlight campaign on Steam. Das Tal was approved for sale on Steam on November 6, after 91 days on Greenlight. During this process, Zacherl noticed a shift in Steam's approach to Greenlight – approved games aren't announced in batches anymore. Instead, it seems as if games in the top 100 are constantly getting the go-ahead with no official announcements, he says.

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Far Cry 4 gets a 'live updates' blog too

In a post-Battlefield 4 world, where games launch with known (and significant) technical issues, standard practice is constant updates to quell negative word of mouth. Ubisoft's developing a shared strategy with Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 with blogs featuring "live updates."

Both the ACU and Far Cry 4 sites provide details on current and upcoming patches. On the one hand, it's great that publishers are providing these patch details on launch day to customers. But that also means consumers are being trained to not trust a game's quality at launch. Is that really the lesson triple-A publishers want to provide?

Explore Alaska Native stories with Never Alone's ice climbers

In a week stuffed with all-guns-blazing, triple-A new releases, something like Never Alone is a distinct anomaly. Out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC, it combines challenging puzzle-platforming with a story infused with Iñupiat folklore that comes direct from the source.

Co-developers Upper One Games and E-Line Media collaborated with "nearly 40 members" of the Alaska Native community, including elders and storytellers, and the project was funded by the Cook Inlet Tribal Council to ensure its cultural authenticity. The end result is a 2D platformer in which an Iñupiat girl and an Arctic fox struggle against an immense, eternal blizzard as they climb and clamber together through the harsh Alaskan landscape.

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Elite: Dangerous devs nix offline single-player mode

Elite: Dangerous designer David Braben revealed that studio Frontier Developments has ditched a previously announced offline single-player mode in favor of immersing players in an online persistent universe.

"Going forwards, being online lets us constantly both curate and evolve the galaxy, with stories unfolding according to the actions of commanders," Braben explained. "Exploration is also a key factor, too, and it is important that what a single player explores matches what other players explore whether single or multiplayer - a complex, coherent world - something we have achieved."

Braben continues: "Galaxy, story, missions, have to match, and it does mean the single player has to connect to the server from time to time, but this has the added advantage that everyone can participate in the activities that can happen in the galaxy. A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering."

A single-player mode was originally announced as part of last year's Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter campaign, which earned more than $2 million in backer pledges. A recent thread on the game's official forums has drawn thousands of responses, many of which express disappointment regarding the game's new direction. A studio representative notes that requests for refunds will be granted on a "case by case basis."

Kickstarter backers will get access to a playable version of Elite: Dangerous on November 22. A public release will follow on December 12.

[Image: Frontier Developments]

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris dev diary talks puzzles

Image Crystal Dynamics' latest developer diary for Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris discusses the game's puzzles, which change based on the number of cooperating players solving them at a given moment. Temple of Osiris will launch on December 9 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.... Continue Reading

Joystiq Streams: Inquisiting together in Dragon Age: Inquisition

The Joystiq that inquisits together, stays together! This maxim is undeniable as a fearless band of adventurers shall prove on today's Joystiq Streams. Last week, Alexander Sliwinski (@sliwinski) gave viewers a guided tour of Dragon Age: Inquisition's first hour, but it was a lonesome affair. This week, he'll have friends with him as Susan Arendt (@susanarendt), Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello), and Richard Mitchell (@TheRichardM) join him in exploring Inquisition's standalone multiplayer game.

All the Dragon Age: Inquisition glory goes down at 4:00PM EST on, just as it does every Tuesday and Thursday. If you want to catch all of our streams, like tomorrow's Super Smash Bros. for Wii U stream, make sure to follow us on Twitch.
[Images: Electronic Arts]

Holy crap, your wallet is screwed today

November 18 is the new October 7. Last month's $300 day tamed before it began, as the launch of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor moved up a few days while Dragon Age: Inquisition was delayed to the industry's new busy day, today. It's okay, friends, we're here to guide you through today's retail chaos.

Dragon Age: Inquisition reached Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC today, and was received well in our five-star review of the game. Joystiq Streams took Dragon Age for a spin earlier this week, so those that want a taste of the game's first hour should watch the archived video. Meanwhile, Ubisoft dished Far Cry 4 out to current-gen, last-gen and PC players, a game deemed the "undisputed king" of open-world shooters that offers a "staggering number of adventures."

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Far Cry 4 creative director sends a message in a bottle to pirates

Alex Hutchinson, creative director at Ubisoft Montreal, tweeted a message today to people having difficulties with the field of view in Far Cry 4 on PC.

Oh, snap.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Dragon Age: Inquisition's women, and the remarkable ordinary

This article is spoiler-free.

There's this scene early in Dragon Age: Inquisition when you, as the Herald of Andraste, gather your advisors around the war table and talk about what the Inquisition's next move should be. Your council is a pretty savvy lot. You've got a Seeker of the Chantry, wise in the ways of the church; a Spymaster, with eyes and ears seemingly everywhere in Thedas; an Ambassador, who understands the necessity of playing politics; and an ex-Templar, training soldiers for those times when diplomacy and manipulation aren't enough. It's not actually that important of a scene, as the war table serves as the menu for choosing side missions that earn you extra goodies like Inquisition perks and coin, so you'll see your posse take their places around the table quite frequently. What struck me, though, is that in my version of the game, four out of the five people at the table are women.

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Gaming for the X-Files Fan's Soul: The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Sometimes you have an itch that simply can't be scratched. Characters you loved disappear into the recesses of fanfic and Netflix binge watching, long gone plot threads from dead TV shows, comics, and novels dangling in your memory. What you really want isn't necessarily more of the old stuff. Would new episodes of The X-Files really be awesome? Seeing Mulder and Scully with iPhones, instantly looking up info on demigod worshipping cults via their Twitter feed just seems wrong. What you really want is just something new to scratch the itch, something that captures the tone, texture and feel of that lost fiction love. If you're an old X-Files freak, The Astronauts' The Vanishing of Ethan Carter will soothe your mind and body.

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Four years and $11K: Glorkian Warrior's crippling mistakes

Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork took Pixeljam four years to create, first Kickstarted in 2010 with $11,200 and finally released on iOS in March 2014. An argument could be made that Pixeljam co-founder Miles Tilmann has spent enough time thinking about that little pink alien with the weird name, but he's not done yet. In a post on Tilmann's new personal blog, he outlines the mistakes Pixeljam made during those four years, presented with the perfect vision of hindsight.

Before diving into the post itself, Tilmann tells Joystiq that this isn't the happy-ending success story many independent developers may dream about.

"Glork hasn't really made much money at all," he says in an email. "None of our games have, actually! We had our best week of sales when we launched Glork on mobile earlier this year, but after the Apple featuring ended, sales went down to pretty much nothing. The Mac / PC release has been much less successful than the mobile version. Pixeljam doesn't actually pay its employees anymore, since it can't support itself based on our existing sales. We make money doing non-Pixeljam-related things these days."

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Valve teases new Dota 2 content with mysterious comic

Something is coming to Valve's popular multiplayer online battle arena Dota 2, though beyond an ominous, intriguing comic and some cryptic words, it's not clear what that something might be.

"A mysterious figure, a ruthless assassin, and an infinite number of possibilities. The Foreseer's Contract is coming soon," reads an update to the Dota 2 blog which then links players to the Dota 2 oracle, where they'll find a short comic book. The comic is intentionally vague, but it tells the story of an assassin enlisted to murder, well ... everyone. Once she receives this mission she mugs for an unseen camera, then the comic ends, leaving players to wonder exactly how this plot point ties into the rest of the game.

Valve claims that more information will be available this week, though it doesn't specify when. That nebulous uncertainty means it's your turn to speculate on what the Foreseer's Contract might be and what it means for the future of Dota 2. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image: Valve]

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Far Cry 4 review: Home despot

Posted on Nov 14th 2014 9:00AM