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Blainie

Stream Schedule (18th-24th July)

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Check out the first weekly schedule for our Twitch channel, along with a short background on each streamer!

As you have most likely read in our previous announcement, we are going to be starting up our own Twitch channel. Here's what we have planned for you this upcoming week:

Day Time (CEST) Game Streamer
Wednesday 20th 15:00 - 18:00 Heroes of the Storm KendricSwissh
Thursday 21st 20:00 - 22:00 Diablo III Deadset
TBC TBC TBC TBC

To give a bit of background to our streamers this week, we'll start with Kendric. He has taken the world of HoTS by storm, appearing as a commentator for a number of tournaments, as well as consistently creating high-quality content for both HoTS and Overwatch. Here at Icy Veins, he is known for guides as a Warrior and Support player in HoTS. You can find him on Twitch, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Moving over to Diablo, we've got our resident guide writer, Deadset! He constantly keeps our Diablo site up and running with numerous builds, while still managing to keep high quality content flowing on his YouTube for the game! He's one of the few professional Diablo players and it's easy to see why. If you want to see more of his content, you can check out his Twitter, YouTube and Twitch

Note: I'll add a description for our last streamer as soon as we finish up the scheduling!

If you're looking for any more information on the schedule or feel that we have missed anything out, let us know below in the comments. If not, then we can't wait to see you on the planned days at twitch.tv/icyveinscom!

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      One of the most typical aspects of competitive free-to-play games is that they almost ubiquitously require players to spend a steady amount of money to stay in the loop. One of the most egregious examples of this might be Hearthstone, for which it is technically possible for a given player to build a competitive deck through sheer playtime. However, doing so would be extremely time-consuming and would require of this player that they focus on a single deck, leaving them extremely vulnerable to metagame shifts (which forcibly occur every time an expansion is released) and unable to experiment. The key to creating a dependence on microtransaction lies in making in-game currency gains so anemic that players feel forced to make steady real money purchases. Going back to our Hearthstone example, and assuming a steady rate of 8 matches per hour, your average player (50% win/loss ratio) might be able to purchase a pack after some 7.5 hours of playtime, daily quests notwithstanding. Since individual packs cost $1.50 USD, this time could be valued at about $0.20 an hour, making a minimum wage job rather appealing by comparison. Although you are hopefully enjoying yourself playing Hearthstone during this time, any player looking to be a serious contender will absolutely have to invest into the game.
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      b) How much is a legendary Heroes of the Storm item worth?
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      You look like candy. I don't mind spending you at all.
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      Moral and design concerns
      It is with much noise and celebrating that Heroes of the Storm moved away from its standard microtransaction system to embrace loot chests fully back in May 2017. Most of the changes brought in by Heroes 2.0 would ultimately serve to support the introduction of randomized microtransactions.
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      Hey MVP! Don't mind my skin and banner, by the way. Cough. But they do look nice. If only you had them, you could be just as good as I am...
      The human demand for gambling is undeniable. Unlike video game addiction, however, gambling addiction is recognized as a mental disorder. Whether certain whales are affected by the disorder is difficult to tell, but vices ultimately tend to affect the most vulnerable of us. Controlling certain behaviour is excessively difficult, if not impossible, but knowing that my favourite games may be subsidised by people whose lives are compromised by gambling problems is always a sad thought. And although I generally try and avoid making unfounded assertions, I can't help but to question the effects of exposing children and adolescents to gambling, regardless of the form. This is particularly worrisome as younger gamers are being groomed by popular mobile games to see such microtransactions as completely normal.
      TL;DR
      Electronic Arts' massive blunder with Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot crate system caused a global awareness of randomized microtransactions, prompting reactions from several political figured around the world. Random microtransactions would be considered a form of gambling by US law, but existing jurisprudence tells us that they are unlikely to be controlled unless objective harm can be proved, just as with physical collectible cards. Random microtransactions exploit human behavioural weaknesses to generate significantly more profit than traditional transactions.
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      The Basics of BL3
      We'll be covering all the new features and what you can look forward to in separate articles, including all the changes from BL2, but we also wanted to take a look at the basic info for the game in case you weren't familiar with the franchise or just wanted to know what it's really all about.
      Release date: September 13th, 2019 What is it: a 1-4 player co-operative PvE focused FPS, drop in-drop out "looter-shooter" with leveling Character builds: each of the 4 Vault Hunters (classes) has 3 skill trees and 3 different active abilities to choose from, as well as a huge amount of guns, shields, grenades and class mods, all with their own properties and stats Itemization: Loot rarity up to legendary (and beyond?), item manufacturers give unique properties to items (Hyperion guns have shields attached, Atlas guns have tracking bullets, Maliwan have different elemental properties you can cycle through, etc.), different item components (barrel, sight, etc.) change the properties of guns which takes the number of guns in the game into the billions Extremely unique weapons and items: guns with legs, grenades that split into more that then split into more etc, guns that mock you when you miss, guns with infinite ammo, guns that fire hails of bullets in a descending arc, shields that drop booster packs when you get shot, and much more Quests, experience, leveling, side-challenges that give you paragon-like points to distribute across all characters Vehicles and vehicle customization, both cosmetic and systemic (different gun turrets, wheels vs. hover pads etc.) Sci-fi/space setting, with 5 different planets to visit, your own spaceship home base A lot of humor/satire in the storyline, quests and characters A big focus on the endgame
      Stay tuned for the detailed rundown of Borderlands 3's new and returning features, and we hope you'll enjoy this addition to the site and perhaps even give the game a try. Also, here's the full gameplay reveal live-stream, in case you wanted to see more:
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