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When AI goes mad: A Grand Theft Auto 5 traffic jam

Image Honestly? It's still not as bad as the traffic in LA. [Image: Rockstar Games] ... Continue Reading

Dragon Age: Inquisition Easter egg is The Lord of the Pies

A Dragon Age: Inquisition Easter egg that a BioWare artist is dubbing "The Lord of the Pies" surfaced this week, and occurs when players manage to fall through the floor of the Skyhold area of the game. Shown in a video courtesy of YouTube user LeeCsM after the break, the secret, cavernous room with creepy music discovered under Skyhold houses what LeeCsM calls a "Nug with a top hat."

BioWare designers jumped into YouTube's comments to confirm that the Easter egg was placed in the game intentionally, with artist Graham Kelly noting that he "hid it under the level" and that players "weren't meant to fall through it." Kelly added that the hidden figure is "not a bunny either," but rather The Lord of the Pies. "I may or may not have hidden some of his smaller flock around the rest of Skyhold," he wrote. While we didn't find any pie, we enjoyed our time with Dragon Age: Inquisition in our review.
[Image: EA, LeeCsM (YouTube)]

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World of Warcraft once again tops 10 million subscribers

The last time we checked in on Blizzard's wildly successful online roleplaying game World of Warcraft, the MMO was bleeding players and subscriber numbers had fallen to 7.7 million. Thanks to the newly-launched Warlords of Draenor expansion, however, the game's fortunes have turned around.

According to an Activision Blizzard press release, Warlords of Draenor sold through more than 3.3 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability. Additionally, the publisher reports subscriber growth "across all major regions" has once again boosted the now decade-old online game's total subscriber tally above the 10 million mark.

"We're thrilled that so many players jumped in to play Warlords of Draenor on day one and are having a great time with the new content," said Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. "We poured a lot of hard work and passion into this expansion, and we appreciate all the kind words from players and the overwhelming support they continue to show for World of Warcraft."
[Image: Activision Blizzard]

Amazon's pre-Black Friday deals discount InFamous, Wolfenstein

Amazon has revealed its initial selection of holiday price drops, discounting several games and accessories ahead of the Black Friday sales rush.

Amazon's current pre-Black Friday deals include Wolfenstein: The New Order for $29.99, Infamous: Second Son for $32.94, Madden NFL 25 for $14.99, and The Wonderful 101 for $25.34.

Publisher NIS America also shares the spotlight with offerings like Danganronpa for $28.49, The Witch and the Hundred Knight for $19.99, Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited for $29.99, and Natural Doctrine for $46.99. Featured accessory deals include a Turtle Beach Ear Force Z22 headset for $59.99 and discounts offering up to 30 percent off Logitech PC gaming mice, keyboards, and controllers.

Other limited-time price drops will enter rotation throughout the week. Amazon will also offer PlayStation 4 hardware bundles for $399.99 apiece on Black Friday -- one featuring digital copies of Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Last of Us Remastered, and the other offering Lego Batman 3 and LittleBigPlanet 3. Neither deal is currently live.

[Video: Koei Tecmo]

Pretty platformer Ori and the Blind Forest delayed to 2015

Bad news for fans of the lovely and ethereal, as developer Moon Studios has revealed that Xbox One and PC platformer Ori and the Blind Forest will not make its previously-announced pre-holiday launch window.

"While we're extremely excited for all of you to get your hands on Ori and the Blind Forest as soon as possible, we made the decision together with our partners at Microsoft Studios that we'll need just a little more time in order to add a final layer of polish to - what we hope - will be an unforgettable gaming experience," reads a notice posted by the developers.

While Moon Studios does not have a specific date in mind, it is now aiming to launch Ori and the Blind Forest at some point in "early 2015."
[Image: Microsoft]

Joystiq Giveaway: 3 copies of The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity

For all of Assassin's Creed: Unity's foibles, from lackluster mission design to myriad, horrifying glitches in the initial release, one thing is undeniable: It's gorgeous. Ubisoft's digital recreation of Revolution-era Paris is a monumentally impressive work of digital artistry. Who can blame old Arno for constantly getting stuck on the environment? It's gorgeous!

That elegant facade was carefully designed by a talented team of illustrators whose work is compiled in The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity, the equally gorgeous tome. Joystiq is giving away three copies of this book. One grandprize winner will also receive the Assassin's Creed: Unity Abstergo Handbook as well.

How do you enter? Just use the Rafflecopter widget below between November 21 and November 28. Winners will be selected after the Thanksgiving holiday and contacted via email. Full rules and details after the break.

Joystiq Giveaway: 3 copies of The Art of Assassin's Creed: Unity

[Images: Ubisoft]

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GOG Big Fall Sale Finale: FTL, Fez, Sam And Max, Rogue Legacy

GOG.com kicked off its DRM-free Big Fall Sale Finale this morning, putting more than 700 games on sale until Tuesday, November 25. The sale is split into two 48-hour periods, the first a "recap of flash deals" that rapidly come and go, and a second period with the Big Fall Sale's daily bundles that starts on Sunday. Thrifty buyers may want to act fast, as some of the flash deals will expire within hours.

The deals include Fez ($5), Rogue Legacy ($3), Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition ($2.49), Pathologic ($2), System Shock 2 ($5), Rollercoaster Tycoon: Deluxe Edition ($3), FTL: Advanced Edition ($5) and the four primary Wing Commander games are $3 each, with the first two games bundled together. Sam & Max Save the World and Beyond Time and Space are $15 each, while The Devil's Playhouse is $17.49.

OG.com also has deals on bundles starting today, such as the Fedora Deluxe Pack, a five-game Tex Murphy bundle that players can download at 80 percent off ($7.16). The digital games distributor is also offering a movie bundle for $8.45 that features five films, including The King of Arcades, Pixel Poetry and Minecraft: The Story of Mojang.
[Image: GOG.com]

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Game of Thrones teaser offers a Stark reminder: Cersei is evil!

In fairness to Cersei Lannister, you could argue most of the characters in HBO's Game of Thrones would register 6.0 or higher on the Richter scale of Pure Evil. Yet when it comes to House Lannister's leading lady, every word drips with ice-cold vitriol, and every sentence veils her poisonous cunning. In other words... she's evil. Evil!

All of which makes her perfect to introduce the first official teaser for Telltale's Game of Thrones adaptation - you'll find the video below the break. As it suggests, actress Lena Headey reprises her TV show role in the upcoming game series, as does Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow. And of course, Peter Dinklage ghosts in as Tyrion near the end, confirming we'll see at least one other Lannister in the game.

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Titanfall Deluxe Edition welcomes new pilots to the fight

Publisher EA has announced that giant robot-pocked shooter Titanfall is being re-released alongside all of its DLC map packs in a bundle dubbed the Titanfall Deluxe Edition.

Exclusive to the PC and Xbox One, the $40 Titanfall Deluxe Edition includes the core shooter as well as the three map packs released for the game to date. Between Expedition, Frontier's Edge and the IMC Rising DLC, these downloadable additions add an additional nine maps to Titanfall's default complement of 15.

Titanfall Deluxe Edition is currently available for download on Origin, though Xbox One users will not see the digital bundle until next week. So far there's no word on retail version of Titanfall Deluxe Edition.

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Elite: Dangerous devs counter outrage with select refunds

To appease fans outraged at the recent announcement that freeform space sandbox Elite: Dangerous will not include an offline single-player mode, the game's developers are now offering refunds, but only to certain customers.

"Those who have pre-ordered an Elite: Dangerous release version from our online store and have therefore not yet played the game are eligible for a refund," writes David Braben, founder of developer Frontier Developments, in the latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter. "Those who have already been playing the game online in the Alpha and/or Beta phases, regardless of whether they backed the project via Kickstarter or purchased access to Alpha and/or Beta through our online store, are not eligible for a refund." Braben then adds that the developers will consider each case, even those that don't necessarily fit the above refund criteria, "with the thoroughness it deserves."

Finally, Braben explains why the planned single-player offline mode will not be included in Elite: Dangerous. "It is a creative decision, not wanting to produce an empty game. It is technically possible, but it would be a largely separate game development." Elite: Dangerous is slated to reach the PC on December 16, with an OS X release following three months later.
[Image: Frontier Developments]

Free Shadow of Mordor DLC drops today on PC, PS4, Xbox One

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor players will be able to put their warrior skills to the test in a free batch of DLC launching today, publisher Warner Bros. announced.

Today's "Power of Defiance" DLC pack includes a new character skin (seen above), introducing Lady Marwen's daughter Lithariel as a playable character. The bundle also adds the new Test of Defiance Challenge Mode, which disables Wraith powers during battles with Sauron's Warchiefs. If you're looking to take an easier route through Shadow of Mordor's storyline, the DLC additionally includes an Epic Rune that grants players an additional Last Chance after falling in battle.

Power of Defiance is available as a free download for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC versions of Shadow of Mordor. Additional expansions will launch in the coming months as part of Shadow of Mordor's Season Pass.

[Image: Warner Bros.]

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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 Joystiq.com/Twitch 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 review: Home despot

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