Minecraft streamer buys $4.5 million mansion

It turns out that Notch isn’t the only guy who can afford to splurge on some swanky digs thanks to the magic of Minecraft. 23-year-old YouTuber Jordan “CaptainSparklez” Maron recently splurged on a $4.5 million pad above the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, and while it may not be in the league of Casa Notch, Maron didn’t make Minecraft—he just plays it.

The house is 4100 square feet, according to Variety, with three bedrooms, five baths, glass-railed terraces on each of the three floors, an outdoor fireplace, sunken wet bar, and a terrace with a stainless-steel barbecue, “party-sized spa,” and infinity swimming pool. Suddenly John Carmack’s Ferrari seems a bit trite, doesn’t it?

Business Insider has the photos from the Nicholas Property Group listing. Keep on streaming, kids. Keep on streaming.

House

House

House

House

New Tomb Raider to offer 300 game-altering microtransactions

Rise of the Tomb Raider ice climb

Rise of the Tomb Raider still doesn’t have a solid release date on the PC, but what it does (or will) have is microtransactions. Yes, we’re delighted too. Creative Director Noah Hughes explained on the Xbox Wire that players will be able to use “Expedition Cards” to gain various modifiers or advantages, and while those cards can be acquired with credits earned in the game, they’ll also be sold for real money.

“Expedition Cards offer hundreds of ways to customize your Rise of the Tomb Raider experience. You can also set up challenges for your friends to see if they can beat your scores with the same card setup,” Hughes said. “We’ll have about 300 cards available at launch, and more will be added in the weeks that follow.”

Cards will come in two types: Foil, which provides the “strongest or strangest” effects and have unlimited uses, and the less powerful Common, which can be used only once. Some of the cards are “humorous,” such as one that enables Big Head Mode, while others have a more meaningful impact on gameplay: The “Bullet Resistance” card, for instance, which confers (as you may have already put together) bonus resistance to gunfire.

A Rise of the Tomb Raider season pass will also be offered, with three “major releases,” which I take to mean DLC—Endurance Mode, Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, and Cold Darkness Awakened—on tap along with “a steady stream of outfits, weapons, and Expedition Cards beginning on day one and continuing over four months.” The season pass will sell for $30 over the $60 price for the standard release of the game.

Bear in mind that this is all specific to the Xbox editions of the game, since those are the only ones that have an actual release date at this point. I asked Square Enix if all of the above will apply to the PC version as well and was told only that more details will be revealed “soon,” but in the absence of any information to the contrary it’s reasonable to assume that Expedition Cards, and the season pass, will be an across-the-board proposition.

Here’s all the post-beta Black Ops 3 changes


Betas are really meant to test network code and check things work rather than let people get a free go on something early. That often gets forgotten, so here’s a ton of changes posted by Black Ops 3‘s design director David Vonderhaar following player feedback from the COD beta.

It’s a good mix of major gameplay changes – Black Hat and Rejack are getting an overhaul – and minor tweaks, like adding more detail to the kill cam. And, if you played on PS4, then you should be getting an email soon about an exclusive dynamic theme as a thank you for all the shooting.

Some players were dissatisfied that the Black Hat equipment was too powerful. We agree. Our new hacking mechanic scales the hacking speed based on how close you are to the target, and will require precise aim to hack Scorestreaks in a reasonable time. Time-to-hack has been adjusted upwards across the board to make it more challenging to hack, especially at the higher end of rewards. Hackers now also appear as a red dot on the minimap for the duration of the hack, which, along with VO notifications that a Scorestreak is being hacked, provides players the ability to counter by hunting down the attacker.
• Rejack sparked its fair share of controversy during the Beta for a number of reasons, most of which were valid. Included in that list: putting players into Rejack did not count as a kill, and players were using Rejack to stack Scorestreaks. Now, putting a player into Rejack counts as a kill. Players receive kill credit immediately in-game, on the scoreboard and leaderboard, and in persistent stats. Rejack now also resets all Scorestreak progress so that it cannot be used continuously throughout a match to pad progress towards high-level Scorestreaks.
• We’ve talked a lot about the flinch mechanics during the beta — that’s when getting hit causes your weapon to move out of position. Our improved networking code would sometimes cause bullet flinch to stack, so we put a cap on how much you can flinch while ADS. While you will still flinch when shot, it will be within tighter constraints to keep you closer to your aim.
• We improved the feedback that you have downed your target by including the red “kill marker.” This marker will subtly grow in size with each subsequent hit, turning red upon dealing lethal damage as added reinforcement to confirm the kill.
• During the beta, any downward or backward player movement could make the grenade toss distances feel awkwardly short. This has been adjusted so that player velocity never negatively impacts grenade trajectory. We also tweaked grenade speed and distances.
• Players felt Concussion and Flashbang grenade types were very powerful. While both grenade types need to be in order to stay viable as equipment choices, we reduced the Concussion grenade stun time by 1 second and are now unlocking the Tactical Mask perk (the counter for both Concussion and Flash Bangs) earlier in the progression system at level 13.
• By popular request, we’ve added a “Time in Hill” stat for the scoreboard and leaderboards in the Hardpoint game mode.
• Players did not feel sufficiently rewarded for escorting the robot in Safeguard. Players now receive +25 score for every 3 seconds that they escort the robot toward the enemy base.
• Players wanted additional details about how they were eliminated. The Kill Cam and Final Kill Cam now show what killed you (including weapons, Scorestreaks, Specialist weapons, equipment, etc.) and what perks the player has equipped. Additionally, various weapon-balancing changes were implemented, including to the Razorback and M8A7.

Until Dawn’s terrifying audio experience has a psychopath stalk into your ears


Because you’ve always wanted to know exactly how it sounds to be hunted by something awful in a clown mask. To celebrate us killing off the teens of Until Dawn, Sony and Wimbledon Studios have created a binaural experience that’s, quite frankly, rather terrifying.

Revealed on the PlayStation Blog, the video is fully interactive. Will you hide under the bed or in the wardrobe when the psycho comes knocking? Mmm, just what you need on a Friday morning. Equally horrific choices.

Binaural means an audio experience that replicates the the human ear and as such is significantly better than surround sound. Go on, crank up those headphones…

Destiny: Xur weapons, gear, and location October 9-11. Knucklehead Radar!


Xur, Destiny‘s visiting weekend merchant, cigar aficionado, and dapper man about town, has returned to the Tower to once more throw out Exotic goodies like some kind of hysterical guest at a wedding where the confetti is guns and armour. Time to polish up those Strange Coins (only the shiniest are good enough for a classy gent like Xur) and get over to the Vanguard hall to peruse his wares.

Though actually, maybe don’t rush this week. While Xur has brought along a decent selection, it lacks any real must-haves, and once more presents a total dearth of weapons.

  • An Insurmountable Skullfort (Exotic Titan helmet) – 13 Strange Coins
  • Knucklehead Radar (Exotic Hunter helmet) – 13 Strange Coins
  • Claws of Ahamkara (Exotic Warlock gauntlets) – 13 Strange Coins
  • Legacy Engram (Heavy weapon engram) – 31 Strange Coins
  • Exotic Gauntlets Engram – 19 Strange Coins
  • Three of Coins – 7 Strange Coins

In all, it’s a ‘quite nice’ armour selection, though there’s nothing here this week that 100% demands you give up an Exotic slot. The Insurmountable Skullfort has one of the best armour names in the game, and is pretty useful for Titans who play with a great deal of get-stuck-in momentum, being that it starts you off with pre-loaded melee energy, converts melees into grenade cooldown, and bestows health regen during Storm Fist kills and Orb collection. But it’s not quite essential.

The Knucklehead Radar’s star ability gives you a full radar when scoping any primary weapon. Certainly very useful in the Crucible, especially if you find yourself losing a lot of snap-confrontations, and of course, the helmet’s increased Super energy from PvE kills is undeniably valuable. Though that perk has been appearing on a fair few of The Taken King’s Legendaries, so you probably don’t want to give up an Exotic slot for that one alone. And the Claws of Ahamkara? Not that great, unless you really, really build your game around melees. Its more relevant powers both speed up hand-thwacks and deliver a second charge of your special, souped-up version on every cooldown. Again, a good set-up, and could actually be a room-clearer is you have your Thunderstrike set up to chain lightning, but its value is rather, shall we say, “specific”?

If you’re absolutely adamant that you must buy something this week (maybe you’re trying to wean yourself off a horrific shopping addition by only buying pretend things), the legacy Exotic Heavy engram might be worth a roll, but do bear in mind that you’ll just be using it to fill out your year one Exotics list, and not all of those can be ported over to year two. And Gjallarhorn is staying dead. Don’t kid yourself.

As ever, Xur will only be around for a couple of days, from now until 10am UK / 2am Pacific on Sunday 11 October. After that, he’s gone for another week…

New Apocalypse synopsis reveals Raven will lead the X-Men


The super-team landscape is changing. Not only are the Avengers moving towards an all new lineup, but a newly released synopsis for X-Men: Apocalypse reveals that the X-Men will have a new leader in the forthcoming film. Up until now, James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier has been at the helm, but the synopsis suggests that Jennifer Lawrence’s Raven will soon head up our favourite band of mutants.

“Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god,” begins the official blurb. “Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.”

As first assignments go, it sounds like quite a challenging one for the new leader of the X-Men. It’s not clear just why Xavier has been sidelined, although this might be the beginning of his traditional role as mentor rather than out and out leader. We’ll find out for sure when the film lands in the UK on May 19 2016 and the US on May 27 2016.

The Fallout 4 Loot Crate is back, for now


After selling out so hard that it briefly incinerated Loot Crate’s servers, the official Fallout 4 Loot Crate is back for a limited time (note: GamesRadar+ receives a portion of the sales made using that link). It’s the same deal as before: $100 for what Loot Crate and Bethesda promise will be more than $150 worth of exclusive apparel and collectibles.

Orders from this round of purchases will start shipping out in December, a month after the first round. Even if it is an extra wait, it’s bound to be a whole lot cheaper than buying your Dogmeat plush and Vault 111 hoodie off the inevitable horde of eBay scalpers.