Further Reductions at Activision Blizzard Affect Esports Team

Categories: Esports

Shortly following Microsoft’s decision to release 1,900 employees, additional reductions have been implemented at Activision Blizzard.

Reports from CharlieIntel suggest that a significant portion of the esports department at Activision Blizzard has been dismissed. This occurred merely two days after the conclusion of the Call of Duty League’s Boston Breach Major I tournament.

Scott Parkin, the former senior manager of esports operations at Activision Blizzard, expressed his discontent on Twitter regarding the situation.

“They went through with it,” he stated. “They made us work knowing what was coming and dismissed us on our day off. Their disregard for basic decency is appalling.”

Commentator Matt Morello also revealed his dismissal as part of the recent cuts.

“Sadly, today, I was dismissed from Blizzard along with numerous other talented esports professionals,” he mentioned.

On Monday, Microsoft named Johanna Faries, a former executive at Activision, as the new president of Blizzard. She is slated to begin her new position on February 5.

At present, there is no concrete figure on the total number of employees dismissed in this latest wave at Activision Blizzard. It remains uncertain whether these dismissals are included in the previously announced 1,900 job cuts. However, it is speculated that the esports team now consists of roughly a dozen remaining members. According to Insider Gaming, the esports department is expected to undergo restructuring under a “new business model” that aims to realign with the team’s evolving objectives.

The 8 Best Comic Books Ever, Ranked

Categories: Comic
The 8 Best Comic Books Ever, Ranked

SUMMARY

“Frank Miller’s Sin City is a standout neo-noir comic that extends beyond superhero narratives to blend pulp and crime-noir elements in a serialized format reminiscent of TV or film dramas. Preacher, penned by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, captivates with its mix of supernatural and religious motifs set against the backdrop of a small Texas community, enriched by an eclectic array of characters. Meanwhile, Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale is recognized for its deep detective-thriller storyline that highlights Batman’s prowess in a more realistic, street-level context, effectively capturing the dark, noir essence of Gotham City.”

Selecting the finest comic books ever crafted presents a formidable challenge, as every era brings forth groundbreaking works from giants like Marvel, DC Comics, Image, and Dark Horse, among others. Yet, certain comic books and graphic novels distinguish themselves as truly exceptional.

The comic book medium has seen a significant expansion since its inception in the 20th century. The evolution of popular culture and artistic methods has reshaped the portrayal of comics and their characters over the decades, with each era contributing a wealth of notable stories. While DC and Marvel are known for some of the most celebrated comics, publishers such as Dark Horse and Image have also produced notable works. Our list reveals which publisher’s offerings have been deemed the most iconic, critically acclaimed, or significant.

Comic Sin City

Sin City (1991-2000) – Frank Miller (Dark Horse)

While Frank Miller is renowned for his contributions to Batman and Daredevil, his non-superhero narratives, like Sin City from Dark Horse, are equally noteworthy. This black-and-white comic, a stellar example of the neo-noir genre, unfolds in a grim city governed by authoritarian rule in the U.S., drawing heavy inspiration from pulp fiction and crime-noir from film and television.

Miller’s narrative approach in Sin City mirrors that of a serialized crime drama on TV or film, set within the comic book medium. Despite a less favorable reception to its second film adaptation, the initial 2005 movie adaptation was well-received.

Comic Preacher

Preacher (1995-2000) – Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon (Vertigo)

DC Comics, one of the industry’s leading publishers, is typically associated with superheroes, but their Vertigo line has spawned several timeless non-superhero classics. Preacher, by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, became a cult favorite with its dark, supernatural/religious narrative set in a small Texas town.

The story focuses on Jesse Custer, a preacher who becomes imbued with a celestial entity that blends absolute good and evil, potentially making him the most powerful being in existence. The narrative expands from a local to a national scale, introducing an array of eccentric characters along the way.

Comic Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: The Long Halloween (1996-1997) – Jeph Loeb, Richard Starkings & Tim Sale (DC Comics)

Among the vast collection of Batman comics, The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale is often cited as one of the most significant and influential. It plays a key role in shaping the Dark Knight Trilogy and showcases Batman’s detective skills, a frequently overlooked aspect of his persona in film adaptations.

This detective-thriller explores Batman’s iconic noir elements and his formidable presence, crafting a captivating crime saga that underscores the potential for grounded, street-level storytelling.

Comic Kingdom Come

Kingdom Come (1996) – Mark Waid & Alex Ross (DC Comics)

Kingdom Come, an alternative narrative within the DC universe, offers a reflective deconstruction of the superhero genre. Written by Mark Waid with art by Alex Ross, this miniseries examines the decline of traditional superheroes and the emergence of reckless new vigilantes.

This shift reflects the challenges traditional heroes face in adapting to new threats, with Batman attempting to thwart Lex Luthor amid escalating tensions. It stands out as one of the most profound stories within DC’s Elseworlds series.

Comic V For Vendetta

V For Vendetta (1982-1985) – Alan Moore, David Lloyd & Tony Weare (Vertigo)

Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta, another significant Vertigo title, ventures into a dark political dystopia where a totalitarian party has transformed the UK into a fascist state. The protagonist, V, wearing the iconic Guy Fawkes mask, ignites an anarchistic uprising against the oppressive government. The comic delves into intense political themes, weaving a complex narrative filled with moral ambiguity.

Comic Batman The Killing Joke

Batman: The Killing Joke (1988) – Alan Moore, John Higgins & Brian Bolland (DC Comics)

Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke is another seminal Batman comic, notable for its profound impact on the character of the Joker as portrayed in The Dark Knight Trilogy. This one-shot comic offers a dense and impactful narrative, emphasizing the Joker’s philosophical musings on madness, which Batman uniquely challenges.

Comic Batman: Year One

Batman: Year One (1987) – Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli (DC Comics)

Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli is recognized as one of the definitive origin stories within comic book lore. Following the noir-inspired overhaul initiated by Dennis O’Neil, Year One provides a gritty crime drama that tracks Bruce Wayne’s rise as Gotham’s guardian alongside the parallel rise of Commissioner Gordon.

The Sandman (1989-1996) – Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, Dave McKean, Mike Dringenberg (Vertigo)

The Sandman, a flagship series from DC’s Vertigo imprint, is celebrated as Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece. It features the character Dream, one of the seven Endless, as he confronts the need for change even among beings more powerful than traditional gods. The series is lauded for its imaginative and ethereal depiction of metaphysical concepts, personified by the Endless.

Understanding the Pity System in Wuthering Waves

Categories: Gaming

SUMMARY

“In Wuthering Waves, the pity system activates upon the expenditure of 80 Tides on any banner, ensuring the receipt of a 5-star character or weapon. This system is designed to carry over across multiple banners, providing players the opportunity to accumulate Tides and enhance their chances of obtaining premium items. Effective management of the pity count is essential for maximizing the efficiency of banner pulls, particularly as the game does not feature an integrated counter for tracking these efforts. This strategy is key for players aiming to optimize their results and make the most out of every game session.”

Wuthering Waves is now accessible, and its gameplay, reminiscent of Genshin Impact, is earning positive feedback due to its engaging action RPG elements. Created by Kuro Games, this gacha game boasts dynamic, fluid combat and expansive world exploration, drawing clear parallels to the likes of Breath of the Wild—and naturally, Genshin Impact as well. Players can enjoy the game on both mobile and PC platforms, complete with controller support, and there are future plans to expand to consoles.

Wuthering Waves includes a unique banner system within its gacha mechanics, where players use a currency called Tides to acquire new characters and weapons. Most gacha games have a pity system integrated into their structure to prevent players from facing disheartening outcomes. This system essentially serves as a safeguard, activating after a player has spent a certain amount of Tides to ensure they receive their desired character or weapon. The efficacy of these systems can vary, and here’s an explanation of how it functions in Wuthering Waves.

Mechanics of Wuthering Waves’ Pity System

The pity system in Wuthering Waves is intricately tied to its banner mechanics. The game operates with a standard permanent banner using one type of currency, and a rate-up, limited-time banner using another. The guidelines for deploying Tides on these banners are as follows:

  • Every 10 attempts on either the permanent banner (Tidal Chorus) or the limited-time banners guarantees at least one 4-star character or weapon.
  • Every 80 attempts on any banner ensures the acquisition of a 5-star character or weapon.
  • While weapon banners guarantee the rate-up weapon once pity is triggered, character banners offer a 50/50 chance between the rate-up character and another 5-star character.
  • If a player loses their 50/50 chance on the first pity trigger and reaches another pity trigger, they are assured the rate-up character on their next attempt.

The system is triggered when 80 Tides are spent on any banner, as illustrated in the description above. At this point, the player is automatically awarded a 5-star character or weapon. Significantly, there are no uncertainties with weapon banners, making the choice between acquiring a new character or weapon simpler—weapons always cost a maximum of 80 Tides, whereas a desired character might require up to 160 Tides.

For the Tidal Chorus banner, the pity operates slightly differently. It is still limited to 80 Tides before activation, but this banner does not guarantee a specific character after 160 Tides, as it features a continuous pool of characters instead of a rate-up character.

Pity System Continuity in Wuthering Waves

Great news for players of Wuthering Waves—pity points do indeed carry over from one banner to the next. This feature allows players who may not achieve their goal of acquiring a 5-star character or weapon within a limited-time rate-up banner, despite spending up to 50 Tides, to retain their accumulated pity count. This count will then be applied to subsequent similar banners. Consequently, Wuthering Waves maintains separate pity counts for four distinct banner types: permanent character, permanent weapon, limited-time character, and limited-time weapon banners.

Mastering the tracking of pity can prove highly advantageous in gacha games, particularly in those with rapidly changing metagames. Although Wuthering Waves is relatively new and its metagame has yet to fully develop, understanding when to strategically spend Tides can significantly enhance an account’s potency with minimal resource investment.

Generally, players face a strategic choice regarding pity: either concentrate on limited-time banners where they can achieve pity twice (requiring 160 Tides saved or accumulated during the banner’s duration) or focus on highly desirable limited-time banners. By adopting this strategy, even when pity triggers across various rate-ups, the outcome is likely to substantially benefit the player’s roster of characters and weapons, thereby optimizing their overall game progression.