10 Best Destination Dupes for Digital Nomads
Have you heard of the term “destination dupe”? One of the hottest buzzwords in travel currently, the dupe trend has become a huge hit on TikTok. But what exactly is a “destination dupe”?
For the uninitiated, “dupe” stands for “duplicate,” and the idea is to provide an alternative travel option for a specific city. Essentially, this trend assumes that instead of going to city A, you can have a similar experience in city B with fewer crowds and a lower budget. While no two places are the same, two different locations can provide similar attractions like beaches, a growing tech scene, or abundant cultural amenities.
In this article, we’ll present ten different “destination dupes” and explain why the alternative travel option could be a better choice for digital nomads.
10 Best Destination Dupes
1. Instead of Bali, Indonesia, try Da Nang, Vietnam
It’s undeniable that Bali is a more popular destination compared to Da Nang. The lure of the place is even captured in the novel and movie Eat Pray Love, where a woman travels to Bali to find some sort of spiritual peace. Although that image of Bali as a holy, pristine place is still alive and well today, the throngs of tourists may obstruct your view of the most important sites.
If you want a similar experience to Bali that’s a bit more off the beaten path, try Da Nang. Da Nang is a seaside town with a vibrant cultural history, providing all of the beachside relaxation and cultural exploration that Bali is known for. In addition, its growing digital nomad community means you’ll be able to strike a balance between feeling at home and integrating with the local community.
2. Instead of Lisbon, Portugal, try Tbilisi, Georgia
The Portuguese capital has become a digital nomad hub of sorts in recent years. Sometimes compared to San Francisco with its mountainous urban landscape and iconic cable car system, Lisbon’s charms have attracted many remote workers to sojourn in the city.
Lisbon has recently suffered from the consequences of its own success, however: with a housing crisis that led the government to discontinue its Golden Visa program, digital nomads are looking for a similar alternative.
Tbilisi, Georgia might just be the cure. Tbilisi is rich in quaintly beautiful architecture and authentic cultural experiences while being easy on the wallet. With its digital nomad community growing, Tbilisi should be high on any digital nomad’s list.
3. Instead of Berlin, Germany, try Krakow, Poland
Berlin is famous (some might say infamous) for its eclectic cultural scene and nightlife. Formerly the city split in half by the Berlin Wall, it’s now turned into a playground for techno lovers and indie artists.
Krakow, Poland offers a similarly lively cultural scene that rivals that of Berlin. With attractions like the world-class Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow and the Wawel Cathedral, Krakow offers a wide variety of cultural amenities to take advantage of as a digital nomad. If you like Berlin but want something a little more unique, Krakow could be for you.
4. Instead of Chiang Mai, Thailand, try Medellín, Colombia
Thailand is a common choice for both tourists and digital nomads alike, and it’s not hard to see why: Thailand is where exquisite temples meet modern shopping malls and delicious street food. Chiang Mai in particular is a thriving digital nomad hub, with a wide selection of cafés and leisure spots to meet digital workers’ needs.
If you want a similar experience but would rather brush up on your Spanish, Medellín might be the place for you. It boasts a low cost of living and a sizable community of digital nomads who are attracted by the pleasant climate in the “City of Eternal Spring.”
5. Instead of Barcelona, Spain, try Valencia, Spain
Barcelona is an iconic city filled with awe-inspiring sights, including the in-progress Sagrada Família, the whimsical Park Güell and much more. It seems that everywhere you turn in the city, you happen upon another Gaudí masterpiece blended seamlessly into the urban environment around it.
Though the Catalonian capital has a lot going for it, it’s also quite an expensive city. For digital nomads who are drawn to Spain but aren’t set on a specific place, Valencia could be a great choice. Also situated along the Mediterranean coast, Valencia offers a similar beach feel with less hustle and bustle and a lower cost of living. As a plus, Valencia is also considered the birthplace of paella, arguably Spain’s most famous dish.
6. Instead of Austin, Texas, try Guadalajara, Mexico
Austin has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the US for several years now. As many tech workers have moved out of California, many of them landed in Texas and specifically Austin. Nowadays, Austin is a city with a solid tech scene that attracts people due to its abundant recreation opportunities, vibrant music scene, and pure weirdness.
That being said, Austin is now experiencing some growing pains, among them a highly rising cost of living and congested roadways. If you want the tech scene and cultural diversity of Austin without some of its drawbacks, Guadalajara, Mexico is a great option. In Guadalajara, you can enjoy cultural amenities like the Guadalajara International Film Festival and the Guadalajara International Book Fair, one of the largest book exhibitions in the world, at an affordable cost of living.
7. Instead of Tokyo, Japan, try Taipei, Taiwan
Tokyo has long attracted visitors from abroad due to its captivating mixture of traditional and modern. The city impresses visitors with its world-class public transportation system, impeccably clean streets, and delicious street food.
Tokyo is an expensive city, though, and also a crowded one, especially with the rise in tourism in Japan prompted by a weak yen. For those looking for a mix of modern and traditional in an urban setting, Taipei is a great alternative travel option. Its public transportation network rivals that of the larger Tokyo, and its street food options are cheaper and more diverse. All in all, digital nomads can have a similar experience in Taipei for a much lower cost of living.
8. Instead of Dubai, UAE, try Baku, Azerbaijan
Dubai is a city of opulence situated in the middle of the desert. Its Burj Khalifa currently holds the title of tallest building in the world, a representation of Dubai’s ambition and drive. That spirit has certainly been attractive to foreign residents, with a whopping 83% of Dubai’s population born overseas. If you are fascinated by the idea of Dubai but want to try something a bit more authentic, Baku, Azerbaijan may just be the right place for you, especially if you’re an architecture buff.
At the crossroads of East and West, Azerbaijan is a patchwork of the different cultural forces that have passed through the so-called City of Winds. In addition to ancient constructions like the Maiden’s Tower, a mish-mash of modern building styles are waiting to be discovered. Azerbaijan’s second oil boom in 2006 led to a sudden architectural boom that has gifted Baku with a wide variety of architectural wonders, ranging from the Art Nouveau Nizami Museum of Azerbaijani Literature to the Stalinist Government House.
9. Instead of Silicon Valley, USA, try Bangalore, India
Silicon Valley has long been Northern California’s success story. The region is home to a synergy of top-notch educational institutions, motivated professionals and venture capital matched nowhere else in the world. For those who want to join a startup, the Bay Area is one of the best places in the world.
That doesn’t mean that it’s the only place, however. There are plenty of other places that offer great infrastructure for startups while beating the Bay Area on items like cost of living. One of those places is Bangalore, India. Bangalore is India’s tech hub, a place with a high concentration of educated professionals looking to start new businesses. Its cost of living is much lower than that of the Bay Area while still offering a wealth of opportunities, making it a great choice for a digital nomad.
10. Instead of Sydney, Australia, try Wellington, New Zealand
Besides its iconic landmarks such as Bondi Beach and the Harbour Bridge, Sydney is known for its strong coffee culture. Sydney certainly has a lot of positives to attract visitors, but as with many of the locations on this list, many visitors can also mean high prices and large crowds.
For an antipodal city with a similar waterfront vibe and a more relaxed pace of life, why not check out Wellington, the capital of New Zealand? With around half a million residents in the greater Wellington area, the city is large enough to support a wide range of activities and attractions without being overwhelming. Its restaurant and café game also punches way above its weight. For digital nomads searching for a relaxed lifestyle down under, Wellington is a great “dupe” to Sydney.
All in all, no one destination can ever truly compare to another. Each place is unique, shaped by its distinct geography, culture, and history. However, as a digital nomad, it’s always worth the effort to consider new destinations that may be less well known but offer similar advantages. For that reason, “dupes” serve their purpose.
10 Long Games to Binge Over Winter Break 2023
As winter sets in, hunker down, lose yourself in these long games, and immerse yourself in new worlds. These deep, complex titles demand days of marathon gaming sessions where your tenacity pays off.
Let your imagination run wild in sweeping worlds with vivid characters and intricate narratives. These 10 epic PC games give over 100 hours of gameplay—perfect for whiling away frosty days.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt casts you as Geralt, a monster-hunting Witcher roaming an expansive open world brimming with secrets and adventures. With its deep RPG systems and morally ambiguous choices, this 100+ hour epic immerses you in dark fantasy brought to life.
Around every corner, something awaits to reward the curious—combing through this rich, vibrant realm always pays off. Fans of the Netflix show can now experience the monster-hunting action and gritty storytelling firsthand.
Rushing the main story takes 60-80 hours, but you can pour 200+ hours into side quests and wander the stunning landscapes before tackling the DLC expansions. Hearts of Stone, sends Geralt on adventures in the existing No Man's Land area. Then, Blood and Wine introduces a new Toussaint region that doubles the first expansion's length.
Estimated playing time for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
* Main story: About 70 hours.
* 100% complete: Over 200 hours.
2. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Delve into Skyrim's snowy peaks and verdant valleys, a Norse land where every choice you make shapes your journey. As the Dragonborn, you're thrust into a sprawling narrative where dragons return to a fractured world. With its nonlinear open world and endless quests, this genre-defining RPG will keep you cozy through the Winter.
Roam freely in this colossal world, where the thrill of exploration is unparalleled. Fight towering dragons, uncover secrets tucked away in dark dungeons, or wander the countryside as you see fit. Your actions carve your path from a heroic dragon-slayer to a crafty thief.
Skyrim's rich lore and detailed environments make every playthrough unique. Spend hours perfecting your skills, aligning with factions, and impacting the world's balance. Whether you're battling dragons or simply absorbing the lore of the game’s universe, Skyrim's world is yours to conquer.
While the main quest takes around 30 hours, completing all side content can push playtime over 200 hours. And with mods, the possibilities are endless. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Radiant system continues to generate random quests, so it's unending.
Three major DLC game expansions extend your adventure:
* Dawnguard plunges you into a feud between vampires (Volkihar Clan) and elite vampire hunters (Dawnguard).
* Hearthfire lets you design and build a customizable home to reside in.
* Dragonborn allows you to tame and ride dragons in Skyrim.
Skyrim’s rich lore and detailed environments make every playthrough unique. With infinite quests and entire new lands to uncover, lose yourself for hundreds of hours and still discover new legends over the winter break.
Estimated playing time for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
* Main story: About 34½ hours.
* 100% complete: Around 231 hours.
3. Baldur's Gate 3
Baldur's Gate 3 brings the revered RPG series into the modern era with a visually stunning return to the Forgotten Realms. Create unique heroes to lead through sinister mysteries and dark prophecies across intricately modeled fantasy cities and dungeons.
You control a motley crew with deep character customization, uncovering mind-flayer conspiracies in a richly detailed medieval world. Every decision influences the quintessential D&D realm as you fulfill heroic dreams. Baldur's Gate 3 earned an outstanding 96 Metascore, pushing player freedom to the limit.
Focusing on just the main quest provides a hefty 44 hours of playtime. But completists can pour over 100 hours into side adventures across taverns, temples, and more before uncovering all secrets. Whether you're a series veteran or newcomer, Baldur's Gate 3's moral choices and engaging characters hook you in for a lengthy journey.
Estimated playing time for Baldur’s Gate 3
* Main story: About 44 hours.
* 100% complete: Around 100 hours.
4. Red Dead Redemption 2
Saddle up for an unforgettable journey in Red Dead Redemption 2. This gritty western prequel has you roaming 1899 America as Arthur Morgan, an outlaw navigating the death of the Wild West.
From picturesque mountains to dusty frontier towns, the game brings Old West America to life with unrivaled detail. Lose yourself in this world as you hunt, explore, and battle rival gangs and government forces. Red Dead 2 is a benchmark in open-world gaming with immersive gameplay and a sweeping story.
Focusing on the main story takes around 50 hours. But completists can pour over 180 hours into fully experiencing Red Dead's dynamic world. Get swept away in this poignant tale of loyalty and the slow death of the outlaw era.
Estimated playing time for Red Dead Redemption 2
* Main story: About 50 hours.
* 100% complete: At least 180 hours.
5. Persona 5 Royal
Persona 5 Royal masterfully combines a high school drama with metaphysical heist elements in this JPRG. You play as Joker, a student wrongfully accused of assault and transferred to a new school. You team up with other outcasts to explore the Metaverse, where suppressed psyches morph into distorted realities.
The game weaves an intricate narrative, balancing everyday student life with the fantastical adventures in the Metaverse, where battles against shadowy figures in surreal dungeons await. This dual-life dynamic creates a compelling experience as you navigate turn-based combat and social interactions, uncovering the truth behind Joker's predicament.
Persona 5 Royal is not just combat; it dives deep into personal stories against a jazzy soundtrack. With around 100 hours required for the main story and over 140 for completionists, it offers a rich, immersive experience. This edition's extensive post-game epilogue adds even more depth, making it an exceptional journey in the JRPG landscape.
Estimated playing time for Persona 5 Royal
* Main story: About 100 hours.
* 100% complete: At least 140 hours.
6. Cyberpunk 2077
Get lost in the neon-bathed dystopia of Night City in Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red's ambitious open-world RPG drops you into a high-tech future where body augmentations, corporate interests, and vice run rampant.
You play as V, a cyberpunk mercenary whose ambitious heist goes wrong, and you must navigate through the seedy criminal underbelly. Combat blends hacking abilities and gadgets with frantic gunplay for thrilling gameplay matched by an intricate main quest.
Night City brims with side activities from illegal racing to shadowy mercenary gigs. Character customization lets you craft unique hybrid classes to match your gaming style. And choices throughout alter the story in weighty, unexpected ways.
Cyberpunk 2077 delivers a gritty, adult sci-fi tale matched by immersive world-building. With over 24 hours for the primary campaign and 100+ to obtain 100% completion, it's an expansive future playground where you decide:
* Who to trust.
* Who to work for.
* How much body chrome to add.
The Phantom Liberty DLC represents Cyberpunk 2077 at its best - an engaging 12-hour expansion extending Night City's shadowy adventures.
Estimated playing time for Cyberpunk 2077
* Main story: About 24 hours.
* 100% complete: At least 100 hours.
7. Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition
Fallout 4 drops you into a vast post-nuclear war Boston Wasteland. As the sole survivor, every moment is vital, and every decision shapes this post-apocalyptic world.
The deep RPG progression systems and unrestricted sandbox gameplay let you create a unique journey. From battling raiders to building entire settlements, Fallout 4 tailors the experience around your gameplay choices. The main story takes around 33 hours, while completionists can play for up to 212 hours.
Winner of 200+ awards, including the 2016 BAFTA, Fallout 4 is a testament to ambitious game design. This edition includes the acclaimed core game and six add-ons, including Automatron and Nuka-World. Determine the fate of civilization however you see fit in this genre-redefining post-apocalyptic RPG.
Estimated playing time for Fallout 4
* Main story: About 33 hours.
* 100% complete: At least 210 hours.
Kenshi is the definition of an open-world sandbox RPG in this Sword-Punk adventure. With no set quests or paths, you forge your destiny in this harsh yet atmospheric single-player PC game.
Survival is a relentless challenge as you battle bloodthirsty cannibals, brutal slavers, and wild beasts. You are no chosen hero; you must earn your strength and significance. Kenshi's unforgiving realism means you are not inherently superior.
Explore diverse landscapes, recruit followers, and build your settlements, as every choice shapes your emergent story. Your actions dictate your role, whether lone wanderer, settlement leader, or martial arts master. With 273 hours for 100% completion, forge your saga however you see fit in this genre-defying RPG.
Estimated playing time for Kenshi
* Main story: About 83 hours.
* 100% complete: At least 270 hours.
9. Assassin's Creed Valhalla
Assassin's Creed Valhalla plunges you into the heart of 9th-century England, a land ripe for the taking by Viking raiders. As Eivor, a Viking warrior, you lead your clan from the icy shores of Norway to conquer the fertile lands of England. With over 96 hours of gameplay, engage in a gripping narrative that intertwines Templar and Norse mythology.
In this open-world action RPG, your saga unfolds based on your decisions. Engage in brutal battles, lead fiery raids, eliminate foes by stealth, and forge alliances to establish dominance. The game's advanced RPG system creates a deeply personalized journey from every combat or conversation.
Three expansions extend the game even further:
* Wrath of the Druids whisks you to mystical Ireland to uncover Druidic secrets.
* The Siege of Paris concludes the Viking saga against the forces of Charles the Fat.
* Dawn of Ragnarök has you take the mantle of Odin to rescue his son Baldr from the dwarven realm.
See your legend evolve as your Viking settlement expands, unlocking new quests and activities. Assassin's Creed Valhalla offers an immersive Dark Ages experience where your decisions shape your path to glory.
Estimated playing time for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
* Main story: About 96 hours.
* 100% complete: 130 - 160 hours.
10. Elden Ring
Elden Ring is a masterpiece by Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin, redefining open-world gaming with its expansive dark fantasy universe. Elden Ring is a challenging game where you can't mash buttons to victory. Patience is required.
Set in the Lands Between, a realm rich with cryptic lore, intricate landscapes, and formidable boss battles. The shattered Elden Ring and the resulting chaos set the stage for an epic adventure. Enter as the Tarnished, rejected, and exiled; you must rise to power and rebuild the shattered Elden Ring that controls this expansive open world.
Elden Ring sets a new bar with its seamless world design, blending breathtaking landscapes with legacy dungeons full of secrets. Traverse these stunning environments on foot or horseback, alone or online. Extensive customization and strategic combat allow you to approach each challenge as you see fit, from stealth to all-out assaults.
Characters have complex stories; the creatures you encounter add to the game's rich narrative. The world seamlessly combines vast landscapes with dark dungeons. You can explore these stunning settings on foot, horseback, alone, or with friends online. The gameplay sets a new standard in the RPG genre, with many options for building your character and tackling battles.
Elden Ring rewards perseverance and exploration, inviting you to uncover its hidden stories at your own pace. Elden Ring is a masterclass in gameplay and narrative. It offers an adventure that's both challenging and profoundly rewarding.
Estimated playing time for Elden Ring
* Main story: About 30 hours.
* 100% complete: Around 100 hours.
As winter tightens its icy grip, now is the time to escape into sweeping realms of fantasy, history, and imagination. Lose yourself in legendary lands with these 10 long video games. Adventures expansive enough to make the bitter cold fade away. Burrow in, fire up your PC, and don't emerge until spring.
What is a Cyberdeck?
Cyberdecks are custom crafted personal computers that allow users to connect to cyberspace. These customized devices offer endless possibilities for techies to get creative and make their own stunning pieces of technology. Cyberdecks can be complex or simple depending on the user's needs and abilities and are often made to reflect a cyberpunk-style aesthetic. Standard cyberdecks are usually around the size of a paperback book and made of plastic, weighing approximately half a kilogram. Standard cyberdecks include a single-board computer with a display and keyboard.
Origins of the cyberdeck
The term cyberdeck stems from the 1984 novel Neuromancer by William Gibson, a science fiction genius who is said to have envisioned the internet and virtual reality before they existed. Laptops were not yet fully established in the 1980s, but they were already a prominent feature in Gibson’s cyberpunk world. Neuromancer depicts characters carrying chunky portable desktops known as cyberdecks, allowing them to access the Matrix, sci-fi’s forefather of the internet.
Why build a cyberdeck?
Cyberdecks are custom-made systems that take significantly more effort to design and build. So why build a cyberdeck in the first place? Building a cyberdeck from scratch gives users the freedom to include any type of component they choose, giving them greater control over every piece of equipment. Users can pick and choose components based on their individual requirements, allowing them to improve their decks and build something truly spectacular. From wiring and lights to cooling tubes and engraved panels, cyberdeck projects give gamers ultimate control.
What do I need to build a cyberdeck?
First, users should select a Single Board Computer or SBC. This can be overwhelming as there are hundreds of options with different capabilities to choose from. SBCs come with a pre-set amount of RAM and include a microprocessor, memory, and input and output functions. Alongside RAM, SBCs usually comprise a motherboard, power system, graphics, and sound chips. Raspberry Pi powers most custom cyberdecks, as they are user-friendly and have lots of available accessories. Users should also consider peripheral accessories like a mouse, which are often easier to choose as they depend on personal preference.
Next, users should find a suitable display, carefully selecting a size, resolution, and interface that meets their visual requirements. High resolution may be better for clear visuals and sharper images, leaving low-resolution displays for secondary use like showcasing system statistics. Finally, just like laptops, cyberdecks also require a reliable case. Designers can use 3D prints, hard cases, sheet metal, or even wood or acrylic.
If this sounds exhausting, there are a myriad of helpful online resources designed to help newbie or seasoned creators build their next project. Some even provide handy lists of basic parts required to build a cyberdeck. The beauty of constructing a cyberdeck is that users can include anything they like on a budget to suit them. It may appear to be an expensive hobby, but creating an outstanding deck does not have to break the bank. Many components are available for purchase on sites like eBay or Craigslist, or from e-waste recycling providers. These are treasure troves of electrical components that may nicely complement your next cyberdeck project. Second-hand or thrift stores should stock glue or cables as required.
Some cool cyberdecks as inspiration
If you are looking for cyberdeck inspiration, YouTube has some great resources as a reference. Fans and aspiring deck builders can check out the top custom Raspberry Pi cyberdeck projects, including an impressive six-screen device created with 3D printing. This particular invention includes six single-board computers that can be split into individual display systems and operated independently. Moreover, experienced cyberdeck builders also post video tutorials detailing how to build specific models and offer a detailed explanation of parts and components. The Hackaday Cyberdeck Contest is a great place to admire the work of others and push the boundaries of our own creative skills. Some cyberdecks are seriously cool, and luckily, their creators are willing to share them with the world for inspiration.
Cyberdeck newbies may feel overwhelmed with how to build a cyberdeck, but there are ample online resources available to ease the process. Before starting, creators must draw a detailed plan and diagram that accounts for the amount of space available. They should also try to maximize the number of ports and limit cable runs or crossings. Designs should be neat and compact, which requires research and forethought. Fortunately, there are plenty of cyberdeck designs and resources available online to inspire creators of all abilities.
Overwatch League Canceled, But Why?
Six years after the Overwatch League was formed, the popular event is coming to an end. Activision Blizzard is moving away from the esports league and taking its competitive Overwatch 2 scene elsewhere, the company announced in early November. Read on to find out the latest Overwatch news and what’s been happening in the space.
What is Overwatch?
Released in 2016 by Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch is a competitive multiplayer team-based shooter; essentially, Overwatch is a 5v5 game played either with strangers across the internet (known as "solo queue") or a group of friends working together (known as "premades"). In a typical Overwatch match, two teams are running around a large area shooting each other while they either protect or defend an objective.
Overwatch has a couple dozen maps that vary wildly in size and construction. One map may find players escorting a priceless artifact through the streets of a futuristic African city; another may have them fighting over a small piece of territory in a research station on the Moon.
When first launched, Overwatch maps came in four different modes:
* Assault has one team attempting to capture two control points on a map within a limited amount of time. Once the offensive team captures both points or runs out of time, the teams switch from offense to defense and vice versa. The team that makes the most progress toward capturing their opponent’s points wins.
* Escort has each team alternate between offense and defense. In this mode, the mobile payload (usually representing an important object in Overwatch’s lore) has to be escorted past three checkpoints by the attacking team. Once the team reaches the third checkpoint or runs out of time, like in Assault mode, the two teams switch sides, and the former defenders now try to do better than the attackers.
* Hybrid is a combination of Assault and Escort. The attacking team needs to capture a point, like in Assault, and then escort a payload, like in Escort. Hybrid maps, including King’s Row and Eichenwalde, are generally more popular than maps of other modes because Hybrid allows for a variety of strategies to work depending on whether players are trying to capture or escort.
* Control is essentially a King of the Hill mode. Teams fight over a central location and attempt to gain control of it for a certain amount of time. Once the time is up, the next round starts in a wildly different part of the same map. Teams have to win two out of the three sections of the map in order to claim victory.
Heroes are the playable characters in Overwatch and are hands-down the best part of the game. Each hero offers a unique style of play, thanks to having a unique weapon, set of abilities, and ultimate skill. During gameplay, players can switch between heroes in the spawn room. Heroes come from a variety of national and ethnic backgrounds and occasionally speak in their native languages, exchanging specific dialogue with each other based on their character history and background.
New heroes are added to the game over time as free updates. Before playing the new heroes, players must unlock them by leveling up their Battle Pass to a certain level during the season they were added. Heroes can also be unlocked by purchasing the premium Battle Pass that season or by completing a set of hero challenges after the season. The game originally launched with 21 heroes, and 18 heroes were added over time, for a total roster of 39 heroes at the time of this writing.
Heroes are classified under one of three roles:
* Tank heroes are like the offensive linemen or centers of the game. Physically much larger than their counterparts, tanks generally have large amounts of health and armor, and they are almost always on the front lines.
* Damage heroes are like three-point shooters or cleanup hitters. Although every character in the game can do damage, damage heroes focus on it almost exclusively and are designed to secure eliminations (or “picks”) quickly. More than half of the game’s heroes are in the damage category, meaning there is an extremely wide variety of play styles among them.
* Support heroes are arguably the most important in the game, roughly akin to catchers in baseball or goalies in soccer. Supports spend much of their time preventing their teams from dying. All supports have the ability to heal their teammates from damage, but they each do so in different ways.
An ultimate is a hero’s superpower, their most powerful ability. Each hero’s ultimate is unique, and all ultimates have the power to tip a game from defeat to victory when played at the right time. Each hero builds up towards their ultimate; once their ultimate meter is at 100%, it is ready to go.
Hero selection and team composition are the foundation of competitive Overwatch strategy. Teams must consider how the heroes work with each other and how they work against the other team.
Overwatch 2, which launched in October 2022, is an upgraded version of Overwatch that adds a massive amount of new content and freshens up some of the game’s core features. For example, the upgrade brought in a new user interface, rebalanced the heroes, and introduced a shift to a free-to-play model, with premium seasonal passes completely replacing the game’s hot-topic loot box mechanic. In terms of gameplay, Overwatch 2 sticks to the core objective-focused map modes but switches things up with 5v5 instead of 6v6 matches.
Some of the other changes introduced in Overwatch 2 include the following:
* Significant changes to many of the abilities and play styles of some of the game’s iconic heroes, including Orisa, Doomfist, and Bastion.
* New maps, including Esperança, Colosseo, and New Queen Street.
* Assault mode was removed. A new competitive quick play mode called Push was added.
* New cosmetics and Arcade modes.
What is the Overwatch League?
The Overwatch League was an international esports league produced by Blizzard Entertainment that comprised 20 city-based teams and featured the best Overwatch players on the planet. With $5 million in prizes, thrilling storylines, guaranteed player salaries, and cutting-edge production value, the Overwatch League was the world’s premier professional esports league.
Running from 2018 to 2023, the Overwatch League followed the model of other traditional North American professional sporting leagues by using a set of permanent, city-based teams across North America, Europe, and Asia that were backed by separate ownership groups. The league used the regular season and playoffs format rather than the promotion and relegation approach used commonly in other esports and non–North American leagues, with players on the roster being assured a minimum annual salary, benefits, a portion of winnings, and revenue-sharing based on team performance.
The league began with 12 teams for its inaugural season, which started on January 10, 2018, and expanded to 20 teams for the 2019 season and 19 for 2023. The 12 teams participating in 2018 were from across the United States, Europe, and Asia, and each invested $20 million in franchise fees.
History of the Overwatch League
When the Overwatch League was announced in 2016, it was billed as a way to legitimize esports. It imagined an esports program that operated like the National Football League or National Hockey League, where teams—tied to cities—had a permanent spot and traveled to the home areas of other teams across the world for games. Though traditional sports owners bought into the Overwatch League, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, that vision never really came to fruition.
For the first few seasons, the Overwatch League operated primarily out of the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles, save for a few “homestead” weekends where teams tested the home-and-away game format. Some teams even planned multimillion dollar arenas, like Philadelphia Fusion’s $50 million Fusion Arena. (The lot remains empty, but owner Comcast Spectacor said it still intends to build a multiuse arena there). The home-and-away setup fizzled out as the Overwatch League transitioned into strict online play during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Things got much, much worse for the Overwatch League when big sponsors dropped support for Activision Blizzard following the California Civil Rights department’s lawsuit against the company for a toxic work environment. In-person events kicked up again in 2022, but interest in the league—and in Overwatch 2—continued to dwindle into 2023.
Why did it get canceled?
* After the conclusion of the 2023 season, two-thirds of the Overwatch League teams decided to leave the league, prompting Activision Blizzard to abandon the current model.
* Activision Blizzard will pay nearly $120 million to 20 contracted teams as they move toward creating a new competitive framework for the game.
* The closure of the Overwatch League was no surprise, given Activision Blizzard’s overblown ambitions, financial burdens, and the impact of a scandal about a toxic work environment that led sponsors to cut ties and a decline in interest from fans.
The move to cancel the Overwatch League was announced in a post on X from the official Overwatch League account, which stated that the organization will focus on “building our vision of a revitalized esports program” moving forward.
No details have yet been provided about what will potentially replace the Overwatch League; however, Activision Blizzard is adamant that competitive Overwatch 2 isn’t done for, whatever this new format may be.
The first definitive signs that the Overwatch League’s future could be in doubt came earlier this year when an Activision Blizzard financial report revealed that teams were set to vote on a new operating agreement.
Under the terms proposed by Blizzard, Overwatch League teams voting not to continue with the program were eligible for a $6 million termination fee. This gave teams participating in the Overwatch League a strong financial incentive not to continue their partnership with the program. Teams who hadn’t already paid their franchising fee for the year were set to earn even more following forgiveness of the fees owed to Blizzard, resulting in approximately $12–$13.5 million in incentive per team to let the league crumble.
Although Blizzard managed to attract some top players from around the world to its competitive program, delays in the development of Overwatch 2 and concerns over allegations of a toxic work environment at Blizzard led to the Overwatch League losing advertisers in recent years, putting the organization’s financial future in doubt. Blizzard may simply see continued investment in the Overwatch League as financially unsustainable as it continues to cut costs across the company.
What does the future hold for the competitive Overwatch scene?
Although the Overwatch League will be gone forever, the Overwatch esports concept is very much alive and well. According to industry insider and investigative journalist Jacob Wolf in early November 2023, Activision Blizzard hopes to run the next iteration of its Overwatch esports program in partnership with ESL FACEIT, a leading esports organizer and broadcaster and subsidiary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund. ESL FACEIT is the company behind the broadcast and promotion of Activision Blizzard’s other esports organization, the Call of Duty League.
With negotiations between ESL FACEIT and Activision Blizzard apparently beginning long before the Overwatch League team owner vote was called, it appears that serious doubts about the league’s future had been long-standing.
Although the Overwatch League has been incredibly influential in legitimizing esports on the global stage, it has proven a very expensive venture for franchise owners, and the big, expensive bet on the Overwatch League has finally been called off.
A Preview of Gangs of Sherwood
Discover a whole new take on Robin Hood, the legendary English outlaw in Gangs of Sherwood, the upcoming cooperative action-adventure game from Nacon. Whether you’re a fan of the story, or a cooperative action game player in search of a new medieval-cyberpunk challenge, prepare to find your fortune and free old England from oppression in Gangs of Sherwood.
Many movies, as well as strategy and action video games have taken their inspiration from the timeless story of Robin Hood. It’s been awhile since the last Robin Hood movie, and over two decades since Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood captured the spirit of medieval Nottingham, pitting our hero against the evil Sheriff.
Offering an original twist on the traditionally medieval setting, Gangs of Sherwood transplants the derring-do to a dystopian era, where the medieval and futuristic collide. The good people of England have never been so oppressed by the Sheriff of Nottingham, so get ready to rise up in this explosive action game. If you’re a lone wolf, feel free to play solo, or gang up with up to 4 players to rob the rich and lead the rebellion. Read on to discover the story behind the game, as well as storyline, gameplay, and of course, Gangs of Sherwood release date!
Who’s behind Gangs of Sherwood?
Gangs of Sherwood is developed by premier Belgium based game developer Appeal Studios, a subsidiary of THQ Nordic. Appeal are responsible for the Outcast action-adventure franchise. The publisher behind Gangs of Sherwood is French video game company Nacon. Nacon is renowned for several popular game franchises, including the Warhammer universe.
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen?
Before we get into the characters and gameplay of Gangs of Sherwood, let’s set the scene by reminding ourselves of the legendary tale of Robin Hood. While the story of a handsome, Lincoln green clad hero fighting for the oppressed and outwitting the nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham is the popular version of the legend of Robin Hood, the truth is a slightly murkier shade of green.
A skilled archer and swordsman returning to northern England from the Crusades, Robin finds his land taken by the oppressive Sheriff of Nottingham, and the country misruled by Prince John.
Ever faithful to the rightful king (Richard the Lionheart), Robin and his gang of merry men rob the rich and give to the poor. An honorable outlaw defending the people against tyranny, Robin Hood and his gang hide out in Sherwood Forest. Since first appearing in ballads, poems and tales in the 15th century, there have been many variants of the story or Robin of Locksley, yeoman, archer and outlaw, this interesting article helps to pin down the truth about Robin Hood.
Gangs of Sherwood story and characters
How did we get here? Returning from the Crusade with the Philosopher’s Stones, the King harnessed the power of the stones to greatly advance the motherland through technology. As we all know, power corrupts, and the Lionheart stone was seized by the Sheriff of Nottingham, degenerate oppressor of the English people! Fight the forces of evil in the beauty of Sherwood Forest and on the streets of the dystopian town of Nottingham, where the medieval peasantry and futuristic steel meet.
At the start of the game, Robin and his gang are in the midst of an uprising against the Sheriff of Nottingham and have been ambushed in his hometown of Locksley. The resistance movement in Gangs of Sherwood features the four iconic heroes from the legend of Robin Hood:
* Robin himself, archer extraordinaire who can take out enemies from afar and trick them with his special arrows.
* By his side is Little John, a reformed royal knight who specializes in smashing enemies up close with his (literal) fist of steel.
* Maid Marian is the Sheriff’s daughter, an assassin of noble birth, who prowls the battlefield attacking when the time is right.
* Last, but certainly not least, Friar Tuck protects his allies with his magnetic shield barrier and heals them with his medicinal mead.
While you can take on the Sheriff and his minions alone, Gangs of Sherwood is primarily intended to be played in co-op multiplayer mode. Gangs of Sherwood gameplay reflects this: each character possesses a unique, customizable gameplay, as well as unlockable combos and fragments to take on increasingly formidable enemies. Strategy, thought and coordination are all required to reign supreme in this game.
Roaming the medieval-futuristic land of Sherwood and Nottingham, Robin Hood and his sidekicks must battle a range of enemies. To attain victory in combat, players must combine fast, light attacks with devastating heavy attacks, and make use of their grappling hook to launch themselves into the air to perform aerial combos. Players must take advantage of their surroundings in Gangs of Sherwood, trapping enemies with falling objects or luring them into pits. Standard moves are complemented by Rebel Ability, a means of inflicting maximum damage, and Rebel Instinct, a foil that assists when taking down stronger enemies.
The mission based gameplay and design exude creativity, from the cyberpunk/medieval setting to enemies including laser crossbowmen. Varying your attacks and scrapping with style will boost your combo score, earning more gold. Gold is totted up at checkpoints, and can be cashed in for attack bonuses and health bars. Gold, as well as artifacts can be found along the way, unlocking unique advantages for the rest of the mission. Players must also help out villagers, another source of gold!
After completing each level, your gold as well as achievements can be used to access upgrades and new moves before returning to your hideout. The hideout features vendors who will sell you various items to enhance and customize your characters, as well as new clothes to make them look the part while robbing the rich. Higher difficulty settings and new modes unlock after completing the main adventure, so head out into the forest today with your bow in hand, and save
England from her cruel oppressors!
We hope that you have enjoyed this journey into the unique action-adventure universe of Gangs of Sherwood. Remember the release date: 30 November 2023 on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. We hope that you enjoy Gangs of Sherwood, be sure to also visit Acer’s Game Pass to discover all of your favorite games, past, present and future.
For gamers on a budget who require optimum performance at an approachable price, check out Acer’s Nitro V 15 Gaming Laptop - ANV15-51-59MT. This laptop boasts a 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display with 144 Hz refresh rate, in addition to a powerful Intel® Core™ i5-13420H Processor with up to 4.6GHz. On top of these features, the NVIDIA® GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card promises to impress, delivering crystal clear graphics as you take on the Sheriff of Nottingham!
2024’s Acer Global Press Conference - Pre Event
What is the United Nations Climate Change Conference?
The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP) will commence on November 30th, 2023, and aims to assess the impact of climate change measures implemented by party members over the past three decades since its inception. Member countries are currently working towards limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C (34.7°F) above pre-industrial levels by the year 2100. They are also encouraged to adapt to the existing effects of climate change that we are currently experiencing.
What is happening at COP 28?
The world is in its climate era, and we have the opportunity to help. By collectively reinventing our systems as circular, regenerative, and carbon-free, we can reduce our impact on the planet while embracing a climate-positive lifestyle. Making an impact at COP means embarking on a five-year journey of making small but significant changes to the way we treat our planet.
The event opening takes place on November 30th, with cross-cutting themes like technology and innovation, inclusion, and finance filling the schedule until December 12th. The final two days will be for party members to make final negotiations based on the themes and discussions held throughout the event.
Technology and Innovation
It is hoped that COP28 will act as a catalyst that facilitates the ecosystem of governments, corporate parties, academia, investors, and start-ups to inspire change in how climate solutions are developed and deployed. The aim is to use technology and innovation to bring the world back on track to mitigate the rise in global temperature, requiring a transformation even bigger than the Industrial Revolution.
COP28 aims to bring everyone together in a more inclusive way than previous COP events. The topic of inclusion addresses the lack of systematic measures in place to promote inclusivity and will explore ways to empower the next generation to transition to a low-carbon economy. These groups may include youth, entrepreneurs, gender groups, and Indigenous Peoples, whose voices are valuable for protecting the future of our planet.
This key topic is closely linked with Climate Transition and Adaptation and addresses urgent issues like water and food security, youth empowerment, renewable energy, and trade dynamics. This will help party members realize the importance of funding sustainable transformation mechanisms to address climate change issues. Effective financial strategies are crucial to creating a more resilient world and members are encouraged to meet issues with adaptive solutions for sustainable prosperity.
How is Acer aligning with COP28 themes?
We will host an Acer Global Press Conference in Dubai and share our unique technology concepts designed to serve people and the planet. With our theme, Conscious Technology for a Brighter Tomorrow, we aim to promote technology, envisioned with our planet in mind. We aim to align with COP28 to showcase our concepts and expand our network of collaborators and customers with a similar focus on addressing climate change issues. As a global ICT company that evolves with various industries and lifestyles, we aim to push for more innovative eco-solutions and long-term sustainability through our technology.
How does Acer contribute towards the goal of a sustainable future?
Sustainability is a concept, but the longevity of our planet requires action from everyone, everywhere. That is why we recognize our impact and take action, aligning our initiatives with the objectives of COP28. We carefully consider the environmental impact of every stage of the product lifecycle and actively work towards reducing our carbon footprint. Our 2025 Sustainability Goals reflect this, including plans for the Acer Group to reach 60% renewable electricity usage, and reduce the average computer energy consumption by 45%. The Acer Group has pledged to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and reach net zero emissions by 2050, developing a sustainability-focused strategy starting from three major aspects: operations, products and services, and value chain.
Vero is our range of eco-friendly products that offer consumers the chance to reduce their carbon footprint and join Acer in advocating for circular economies. From production to recycling, sustainability is the primary focus of our Vero products. They are made from recycled materials and are still subject to high performance and testing standards to ensure the quality of Acer products. We also offer a laptop and battery recycling initiative for our products to encourage responsible device disposal and promote less technology waste.
Aside from laptops, we also have an intelligent AI-powered smartbike for those looking for an effortless commute option around the city, while leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Acer ebii is characterized by simplicity and features a lightweight aluminum alloy frame for ultimate transportability. It runs on a single-side hub motor for maximum efficiency and includes AI features to create a more personalized riding experience.
The Acer Earthion platform unites employees and supply chain partners to tackle environmental challenges together and motivate each other to collectively reduce their carbon footprint. Acer’s 21-Day Green Challenge showed just that as it encouraged more than 7,000 participants to develop “green” habits and cut an equivalent of 152 tons of carbon emissions.
This year’s COP28 event kicks off on November 30th and will include climate-focused themes and discussions designed to protect our planet. Set in stunning Dubai, member parties from around the world will assess their progress and consider how to achieve climate goals. Acer is also fully committed to the fight to save our planet. We will present our sustainable technology concepts and goals for protecting our planet in the years ahead. Facilitating sustainable living is our intention, and we achieve this by creating conscious technology like Vero laptops and the Acer ebii ebike. With humans at the heart and our planet in mind, we will continue to design products and solutions that break barriers between people and technology while leaving a lighter touch on the earth.