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What we know on the New World in game shop.
One of the norms of MMOs in this day and age is the guarantee that they will come with an in-game store. Amazon Games is no different, with the New World in-game shop offering players plenty of cosmetic items. Here is what we know if going to be featured in the in-game shop, and to answer to old drama regarding is New World pay to win?
New World ingame store
The New World ingame shop’s purpose is to be an optional way to support Amazon Games on New World. The core of the shop will sell transmog, which you can activate by going into an individual character slot and changing its appearance. We are not too sure exactly how much content they are going to put on the New World in-game store, but it seems that there might be quite a few options the more and more the game ages.
While getting store exclusive outfits, Amazon Games did post a blog detailing their store in some detail back in May. One of the things they mentioned is that some of the outfits are going to be store exclusive slight tweaks to outfits already in the game. That way there are a few varieties you can get by doing things in-game, which should detract from that sense of accomplishment.
Moreso, the New World in-game shop features other cosmetics like weapon skins, emotes, company crests (guild logos) and furniture for player housing. There does seem to be store exclusive guild crest icons, especially since there are three guild crest icons locked behind the New World pre order too.
Is New World pay to win?
There was a big debacle over New World being pay to win back in May. During an NDA test, New World seemed to imply that they nerfed rested XP, instead offering ways to get more XP if you got items from the New World ingame shop going live at the game’s launch. Of course, someone broke NDA, because it was very paid to win, causing YouTubers like KiraTV to pick up on it.
New World was once called out for being pay to win by many, with Kira highlighting the red flags of the in-game shop back in Alpha.
The aftermath of the video and the leak enraged fans worldwide. It meant that Amazon Games was forced to issues statements regarding the debacle. Since then, a tonne has changed and has no reference to pay for convenience New World in-game shop transactions. It will more than likely change at some point when the game is fairly aged. We can easily speculate that microtransactions like boosts getting implemented, or things like server changes, which has been a standard cash shop option for decades at this point.
Back in July, Amazon Games spoke to Eurogamer about the New World in-game store. They definitely heard the feedback, but may still eye up the quality of life improvement transactions in the future. You can make the judgement for yourself when it gets to that point.
When we know more about what is coming in the New World in-game store, we will update the article.
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Today, Microsoft unveiled its new console, Xbox One, from its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. There’s still going to be news coming out between now and another announcement at E3 in June (which we’ll be at), but this is what we saw so far.TV, TV, TV
This is just barely a gaming console. Microsoft is pitching it as something more like a Living Room Entertainment Box. For about half of today’s presentation, no games were even mentioned; instead, Microsoft opted to show the ways Xbox One is integrated with TV. It functions sort of like an amped-up Google TV: it’s a command center that hooks up to a cable box and allows you to control what’s happening on TV through gestures and voice control. You can switch between TV, games, and a web browser–all through a single system. Say “Xbox on” and the console fires up, then “Switch to TV” or “Switch to internet” and it flips over.
Xbox AnnouncementALWAYS ONLINE
One big, controversial rumor was that the Xbox One would require an internet connection to play any games. That’s turned out to be both true and false. Your games are downloaded to the console’s hard drive, but certain features in certain games may require an internet connection. It’s up to the game-makers to decide if they want to use those.
[Update: According to Kotaku, you will need to connect to the internet at least once a day, even if you’re not looking to play a game online.]
But there are apparently some restrictions on used games. The first time you use a game, it gets tied up to your Xbox account. If you want to move that to other accounts, you’ll need to pay a fee.NEW LOOK
This is actually a pretty major departure from the Xbox 360’s design at launch. The controller, as predicted, looks fairly similar, but the sleek black console-box is a far cry from the white-and-green 360 we saw before a black version was adopted. That makes sense: after all, if this is something meant to work as more than just a console, it needs to be able to disappear in the living room.
Xbox OneNEW HARDWARE
The Xbox did get a bump in power (obviously): it’ll have 8GB of RAM, USB 3.0, a fancy Blu-ray player, and an HDMI in port, but more interesting is probably the overhaul of Kinect. The Xbox’s motion-sensitive camera looks like it’ll be better at picking up movement, with a 1080p camera replacing the lower-res VGA sensor of the last generation. Microsoft also announced that the gadget would automatically respond to a specific user’s voice and movement patterns. In other words, it knows you, and just you. Apparently that new Kinect is a mandatory feature, too.GAMES
This is last for a reason. For better or worse, Microsoft seems to be backing off the idea of a console devoted only, or even mostly, to games. Even an announcement seemingly about the popular Halo game series ended up being an announcement about a live-action Halo TV series.
There’s a racing game (Forza Motorsport 5) and the new Call of Duty: Ghosts (in a promotional video, they made a big deal out of the game featuring a dog, for some reason). There’s also a partnership between Microsoft and EA for a slew of sports games, including the next edition of the popular FIFA series. More original franchises, they say, are on the way. We’ll probably see more when Microsoft takes to the more game-centric E3 next month for another announcement.
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Few things are confirmed about the legendary Apple Car beyond it being some sort of large-scale automotive project. As usual, the iPhone maker is being as secretive as possible — yet there have been far too many reported hires, deals, and other developments for its auto work to be purely experimental. Here’s what you need to know to get up to speed with the Apple Car.
Also read: Green Authority — The best electric motorcycles you can get
How much will the Apple Car cost?
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
No one can say. Apple is likely years away from finalizing a design. We do know that EVs are costlier than gas guzzlers, and that vehicles with self-driving tech are even more expensive. While the margins for EV production are bound to come down as the industry transitions, it’s hard to imagine an Apple Car cheaper than the Tesla Model 3, which starts just under $40,000 without government incentives. You can get EVs for less — a barebones trim of the Nissan Leaf starts a little over $27,000 — but Apple won’t want to be seen as a budget pick.
If Apple focuses on its usual “premium” market, prices could rise even higher. For reference, adding a self-driving package to the Model 3 raises its price tag by $10,000, and you’re looking at another $10,000 if you want to boost range from 262 miles to 353. Apple will probably want to avoid the wallet-shredding costs of luxury EVs like the Tesla Model S or Porsche Taycan.
When will the Apple Car go on sale?
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
In late 2023, well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecast a launch sometime between 2025 and 2027, assuming full-scale development was already underway, according to AppleInsider. He cautioned though that the car could arrive in 2028 or later, depending on changes in the EV market and self-driving tech, which might force Apple to adapt. Bloomberg backed up this idea with a report in November 2023, claiming that while Apple is aiming for 2025, Titan insiders are skeptical about avoiding delays.
All predictions should be treated skeptically until Apple makes an announcement. There was a point — around 2024 — when publications like the Wall Street Journal were rumoring a launch as soon as 2023 or 2023. That would’ve required the project to fire on all cylinders, and even then many people (rightly) thought those dates were too optimistic.
All predictions should be treated skeptically until Apple makes an announcement.
Sure enough, the company has run into many stumbling blocks, including not just layoffs and refocusing, but multiple leadership swaps. Steve Zadesky, one of the project’s originators, left in January 2024 (Reuters). The most recent departure was Doug Field, who in September 2023 seized an opportunity with Ford (Macrumors). Apple software executive Kevin Lynch, best known for shepherding the Apple Watch, has since taken the project’s helm, Bloomberg says.
The bottom line
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
There are a lot of unanswered questions beyond the ones we’ve raised. What sort of OS will the Apple Car run? Will it have a windshield display, given Apple’s interest in augmented reality? How far and fast will it go?
Also read: Green Authority — 10 of the best electric skateboards you can buy in 2023
The bottom line is that while development seems to be picking up, Apple is still getting its ducks in a row, which means it’s too early to be talking about specs, prices, or dates with any confidence. What we do know could flip on a dime. The company could decide to scale back its ambitions, for example offering a self-driving platform for the big automakers. Or it could scrap its investment entirely — but with the rhetoric out of people like Cook, it sounds like we should expect something in the next few years.
In the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization (SEO), various factors come into play to determine a website’s visibility and ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). One such factor that has long sparked debates and discussions is the impact of domain extensions.
Such conjectures have since created massive gold-rushes for certain domain extensions, and significant gluts across a few others, but is there any truth to them?
In this article, we will delve deep into the topic and explore what we know about the impact of domain extensions on SEO, and its long-term implications on blogs and websites.The Relevance of Domain Extensions
Domain extensions give visitors a hint about a website’s purpose or niche. For instance, .gov is commonly associated with government entities, .edu with educational institutions, and .org with non-profit organizations.
From a user’s perspective, such extensions can influence trust and credibility. However, from an SEO standpoint, extensions have a minimal direct impact on ranking algorithms.Google’s Perspective
Google, the world’s foremost search engine, has stated that they do not consider domain extensions as a ranking factor.
Their algorithms focus on other aspects, such as quality content, relevant keywords, user experience, and backlinks. Google’s primary goal is to provide users with the most relevant and useful search results, regardless of a website’s extension.Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs)
Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) are extensions assigned to specific countries or territories. Examples include .uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany, and .br for Brazil.
ccTLDs are often used by businesses or websites that target specific geographical regions.
They can influence local SEO by indicating the website’s relevance to a particular country or region.New Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs)
In recent years, domain extension has been significantly expanded by introducing new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).
These include extensions such as .technology, .blog, .store, etc. While gTLDs offer more flexibility and creativity in domain name choices, their impact on SEO must be improved. Google treats gTLDs similar to traditional domain extensions, focusing primarily on content and relevance.Other Vanity Domains
One domain extension that has gained popularity among tech startups and technology-related businesses in recent years is .io.
Originally assigned to the British Indian Ocean Territory, .io has been embraced by the tech community as it can be interpreted as “input/output” or “Internet organization.” .io Domains for your website is among a long list of vanity domain names, such as the .Pro or .Me that has taken the internet by storm in recent years.
While they don’t have any direct impact on SEO by themselves, extensions such as the .io have been used by leading startups across the globe, who often post high-quality content, so by mere association alone such extensions can add value, often in the form of high CTRs, or better perceptions.Geographic Considerations
Search engines often prioritize local results for relevant queries, so having a country-specific domain extension can improve visibility in local searches. However, it’s important to note that the impact of geographic domain extensions on SEO is relatively minor compared to other SEO factors.Domain Authority & Backlinks
Domain authority, a metric developed by Moz, measures a website’s overall strength and credibility. Various factors, including the quality and quantity of backlinks, influence it. Some argue that certain domain extensions, such as “.edu” or “.gov,” may be perceived as more authoritative, given the trust associated with institutions that use these extensions.
As a result, these extensions tend to receive higher CTRs in search results, which definitely is a ranking factor worthy of consideration. This also explains why, for years, SEOs have strived to acquire backlinks from the above-mentioned domains, all due to their perceived authority.Incidences of Spam
While Google has completely sworn off this debate pertaining to domain extensions, there is definitely some truth to this, especially when it comes to the big picture.
Its affordability has also meant that marketers and SEOs can create multiple .info sites, often with no intention of adding value to readers, with their sole purpose being sending wrong signals to search engines.Factors That Truly Impact SEO
While domain extensions may have a minor influence on SEO, focusing on factors that play a more significant role in search engine rankings is crucial. These include:
Content Quality: Creating valuable, informative, and engaging content that meets the needs of your target audience is paramount.
Relevant Keywords: Conducting thorough keyword research and incorporating relevant keywords naturally into your website’s content can improve its visibility on SERPs.
Backlinks: Earning high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites within your industry can enhance your website’s authority and search engine rankings.
Mobile Optimization: With the increasing use of mobile devices for browsing, having a mobile-friendly website is essential for SEO success.
Social Signals: Retweets, upvotes, shares, and more on social media sites are considered strong signals for search engines regarding the quality and authority of a webpage.Conclusion
While domain extensions can influence user perception and potentially impact SEO indirectly, their direct effect on search rankings is minimal.
If you’re an avid console gamer, you know how exciting it is to hear about all the new console news being released. Whether it’s a brand new console or a remix of an older model, there’s always something to look forward to.
We’ve had relative silence when it comes to the new models of each of the main three consoles, but details are slowly trickling through. Here’s what we know about each console so far.What’s New for the Nintendo Switch?
If you think about what Nintendo has done with their past portable consoles, it’s easy to see that that the Switch will get a luxury and budget-friendly variant. The 3DS, for instance, had both the larger XL version and the cheaper 2DS without the 3D vision.
Rumors have stated that both a luxury and economy version are currently being developed, with a release date of late 2023. The luxury version will be aimed at “avid gamers,” which could tackle some issues people have with the console, such as low processing power and no native ethernet support. The budget version may strip off some of the unneeded features of the console to lower the price, such as controller vibration.What’s New for the PlayStation 4?
The PS4, however, already has its luxury and economy versions: the PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim, respectively. As such, Sony’s sights are less on remixing the PS4 and more pushing ahead with their new console, presumably called the PlayStation 5.
There has been confirmation that Sony is working on a successor to the PS4, and some of the details coming out sound very good. For one, Sony has learned from the awful PS4’s backward compatibility issues, which left a foul taste in the mouths of gamers who adopted the console early and wanted to play their PS3 games. Not only will the PS5 be fully compatible with PS4 games, but PS5 players can still play online games with PS4 owners.
Sony has also confirmed that PlayStation VR owners need not fear – their kit will work on the PS4. PSVR is the best option for anyone who wants to get into virtual reality console gaming, so this will be a breath of relief for people who invested in the unit.
The PS5 won’t slack off in the specifications department. It uses a bespoke 8-core AMD processor, a GPU that borrows from the Radeon Navi line, and support for 8K televisions. As such, this is not simply another rehashing of the PS4; this is a deliberate and significant jump ahead of the previous unit, ready for the future of gaming.
If this sounds exciting, it’s best to start saving for it now. While a price point hasn’t been confirmed yet, the console won’t be released until mid-2024 at the earliest.What’s New for the Xbox One?
With Microsoft’s odd naming pattern for their consoles, we have no clue what their next console will be called. At the moment we know it’s under its codename “Project Scarlett,” and it boasts a range of features that will please any Xbox fan.
One of its most impressive features is its full backward compatibility with every Xbox console. That’s right, it can go as far back as the original Xbox! If you’ve been a loyal Xbox gamer until now, this will be a great time to dust off that collection. It will also carry over all your previous achievements to your new console.
Project Scarlett’s specs are somewhat similar to the PS5’s, with a processor using the Navi architecture and support up to 8K resolution. The new console has boasted an impressive 120FPS limit, which will be a good selling point if the games manage to achieve such levels with the hardware.
Project Scarlett’s main focus is to get rid of the loading screen. If it can’t achieve that with a game, it will instead focus on making it load as fast as possible.The Next Generation
In the console wars, each company has to bring their best to prevent themselves from being left behind. Whether it’s a brand new console or a new version of an existing one, the rumors of these new consoles show that the gaming world will be an exciting place in the coming year or two.
Which are you looking forward to the most? Let us know below.
Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.
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WoW Dragonflight expansion revealed: What we know on WoW Dragonflight
Here is everything we learned from the new WoW Dragonflight expansion reveal.
The next WoW expansion announcement has been revealed, featuring the next expansion World of Warcraft Dragonflight (so the leaks were true). The Dragonflight expansion brings us to the Dragon Isles, which is the ancient 10,000-year-old home of the Dragons. The elemental magic has now returned, and so, the Dragon Isles is now filled with the Dragon, and soon to be the platters.
During the next WoW expansion announcement, we got a new rendered trailer showing the Dragons returning home. Also, we got some feature looks. Here is everything we learned from the World of Warcraft Dragonflight reveal.
World of Warcraft Dragonflight features
Like all World of Warcraft expansions, we got a glimpse of what we can expect from the Dragonflight expansion. The new expansion features five new zones, a new race and class, along with some other major features.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment.
There are going to be five new zones in Dragonflight. Four are going to be leveling zones, which feature the different dragon flights. Expect a green, bronze, red, and blue zone. There is also a new starting zone exclusively for the new Dracthyr race.
The Waking Shore is a wild untamed land, and the elements are going crazy. There are lava mountains, proto-dragons, and other things coming to life. It is also filled with ancient ruins from when the Dragonflights had to leave the Dragon Isles. This zone is also a Red Dragonflight zone, which means that Alexstraz is the main character of the zone, and they guide the alliance and horde in their expedition. The zone is also the home of the Black Dragonflight and the ancestral elemental giants, Djaradin are here in their Molton caves.
The Ohn’Ahran Plains is the second zone in the Dragon Isles. The zone is a wild plains area, filled with the Centaurs, and wild Proto Dragons. This zone also features a wild god that guides the centaur to the plains. So, expect some Kalimdor and Druid like narratives in this zone. This is also the home of the Greens who live in groves.
Azure Span is the third zone that players venture through. This is home to the Blue Dragon Flight, which has a Grizzly Hills theme, filled with fog, and dense woods but with a deeper high fantasy forest, that has a tundra and snow and ice mountain. There is a new type of Gnoll that populates the area. You also get to see the Tuskar race here once again. We also get female Tuskars and kid Tuskers, which was previously a male-only race in Northrend!
Thaldraszus is the final zone. It is an intact zone, and the seat of power of the Dragonflights. Filled with great caves, and more. There is also a hub for the Bronze Dragonflight. This zone also features a new city for players to visit. The city contains different hubs and gardens for their dragons, along with an auction house in the city. This is also where the giants aqueducts and the tower from the cinematic is located. We also get more information from Tyr, the Titan and his stone titan units that protect the place.
New WoW Class – Evoker
Meet WoW’s new race and class combo. Image via Blizzard Entertainment.
There is a new class coming to World of Warcraft. The class is a three spec class, which features two DPS specs and a healer spec. We got a preview of two specs, the Devastation and Preservation specs. One being a ranged DPS and the other a healer spec
DPS – Devastation – Red and Blue magic. Red is fast and explosive, while blue is focused and overwhelming.
Healer – Preservation – Green and Bronze – Bronze uses quick heals, while Green uses strong heals.
There is a new Empower mechanic, exclusively for this class. The empower mechanic requires you to hold the key down to increase the power of the skill. We also got a preview of a skill that the Devastation spec uses. It appears you turn into a dragon and fly across the battlefield. It looks like the Frost DK spell where you call the Ice Wyrm in, except you are the wyrm in this instance.
The new class also seems only accessible to the new Dracthyr race. It is a custom humanoid race hybrid with dragons that have a dragon form, similar to how Worgans work. These races start on the new Datrgon Isle starting zone and have access to this class. This is also a hero class and starts at the same level as the Demon Hunter does.
World of Warcraft’s expansion feature, Dragon Riding is a new take on flying in zones. As you play through the expansion, you will learn more about how to ride dragons. You can experience unique animations, movement systems, physics and gravity aesthetics to make it work. However, it works exactly like flying for the zone. Essentially gives flying at the start of the expansion that you work on as you play through the zone.
Dragon riding also comes with unique dragon customization. You can choose what Dragonflight it represents, along with the armor pieces, horns, tails, scales, face and more. It takes the customization of the other mount attempts but is greatly enhanced.
Complete revamp of the World of Warcraft User interface. You can make Huds for specs, save profiles and move absolutely everything around the UI. It is like an ELV UI built straight into the game. Similar to how FFXIV has a custom UI built into the game.
WoW Talent Trees
The new UI features class and spec trees. The class side contains some improvements to your spec or class, but, you can get combinations from other specs and really make your mark on class fantasy, rather than spec fantasy. The spec tree contains the usual decisions you want to make for the content you are doing. In addition, players can make talent profiles for their class, so they can easily switch between, Raid, M+, PvP and more.
Crafting Orders – Place crafting orders at an NPC and send orders out to players in the server, friends, guild, etc.
Crafting experience quality and gathering. Can get different quality versions of the items you make. You can get added bonus, better item levels, etc. Crafting and gathering professions can get stats too, Get crafting specialization points through the Dragon Isles that allow you to specialize in different focuses. ETC, weapons smithing vs Armorsmithing is similar to old school world of warcraft professions.
The Dragon Isles city also has crafting hubs filled with work orders and crafting tables. Devs want to add the community feeling back to the profession system in-game.
New gear for every profession. New slots on your character that have stats you can equip for your profession progression. It will likely help you get those higher-quality crafts and gathers.
This is all we have on the new World of Warcraft Dragonflight expansion. No doubt we will get more information on the game in the future as Blizzard unleashes the yet undated testing period for the expansion.
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