Patches & Expansions Category

We’re not even going to try to sort out the patches from the updates from the iterations from the campaigns and expansions and expanshalones. If it’s something going into an MMO that’s already out, it lands in this category! [Follow this category’s RSS feed]

The Black Death backs up and unloads a dump truck of beta info

No skimpy dev diary for you today, Black Death fans, because this studio is getting downright serious about sharing its progress on the beta of this medieval survival sandbox.

The Black Death’s dev team is obviously going flat-out these days if this post is any indication. Large AI improvements are in the works for NPCs that changes based on their type (beggars will ask for gold, spearmen will flank, etc.). Finding resources will be easier now that the beta has “fully procedural” spawns popping up based on where players are moving.

Other projects include the change from item quality to rarity, equipment slots for characters, a better UI, and improved visuals. This build should be loaded onto the beta test server already, so players can run it through its paces this week.


EVE changes fleet fight notification tool to fix a persistent rejection bug

When big groups of ships fight in EVE Online, it can put a real strain on the game’s servers. Sure, it might just look like a bunch of colored lights drawing lines aggressively at one another, but a lot is going on under the hood. For that reason, the folks at CCP Games have an automated tool to let them know when players intend to have a large-scale space battle. The only problem with it is that it was auto-rejecting requests that should have been totally valid, and the programmers couldn’t figure out why… until now.

Turns out that the explanation was fairly simple. The code was set up to check if a request was within 24 hours and reject it based on that, but the requests really just needed to be in before the usual server downtime. That code has been fixed so that you now must file your request an hour before the downtime starts, but otherwise you’ll be able to progress normally. So now it’ll be easier to get people together for truly massive space battles, followed by taking all of their stuff. Or having your stuff taken, which frankly is just plain rude.


Overwatch’s BlizzardWorld map and skin bonanza are live

As I type this, my husband is sitting in an Overwatch queue grumbling over “unexpected server error occurred”: Yep, it’s a Blizzard patch day!

Assuming you folks can defeat the login server boss, you’ll eventually be treated to the long-awaited and wonderfully goofy BlizzardWorld map (access it straight off by playing in arcade mode). As originally teased at BlizzCon 2017, the map is effectively a themepark stuffed full of artifacts and settings from Blizzard’s multiple franchises – in fact, it pretty much looks like a partial replica of Stormwind with rollercoasters. May as well re-use those assets, right?

Blizz is also touting “over 100 new items” and a mech-ton of legendary and epic skins, including Black Cat D.Va. I will never see my husband again. Sizzle reel inc!

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EVE Evolved: The Citadel conundrum

The hot topic on everyone’s lips in EVE Online right now is Citadel proliferation: The galaxy is rapidly filling up with an uncountable number of citadels and other Upwell structures that are cheap to build, difficult to destroy, and powerful force multipliers in combat. There have been some amazing battles over the structures in nullsec since they were first introduced, but some star systems are now littered with them and a number of serious gameplay issues have bubbled to the surface.

CCP announced plans for a total structure warfare overhaul to an excited crowd back at EVE Vegas 2017, and this week we got the final details of what’s coming in February 13th’s extensive Upwell 2.0 update. The patch will introduce moon mining in highsec and wormhole space, rebalances structure combat, and aims to resolve many of the most pressing structure problems with a set of sweeping changes to the vulnerability and reinforcement mechanics. It all sounds great in theory, but some players have expressed serious concerns with several parts of CCP’s plan.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I delve into some of the problems with structure warfare in EVE today, how Upwell 2.0 plans to pull things back from the brink, and some of the changes that players are speaking out against.

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Albion Online kicks off its mobile testing on Apple devices

One of the big selling points for Albion Online right out of the gate was the promise of a game that could be played on pretty much any device in the same world. PC, Linux, mobile devices… same thing, across the board. That goal is getting closer to being a reality with the game’s new closed beta on iOS platforms. If you’ve got the game and either an iPad or an iPhone, you can jump in and start playing.

You’ll need to have at least a starter or founder pack to take part in the closed beta, but assuming you do you can log in and, well… play. It’ll have all of the same features and options as the desktop client, it’ll just be on a mobile device. There are some light system requirements in terms of recommendation, so be sure to double-check your device before logging in and reporting bugs. But, you know, do log in and report bugs.


Wisdom of Nym: Reviewing Final Fantasy XIV’s new housing rules

I’ve been leery for a long while now of Final Fantasy XIV’s “you get your details just before patch day” stance vis-a-vis the housing situation. Thankfully, that isn’t quite what happened; we got our information, at least in broad strokes, before the patch notes thanks to the live letter. We’re getting six wards in four districts for a grand total of 1,440 new housing plots, which should put a pretty thorough dent in the game’s current shortage; it’s not a doubling of the existing size, but it’s another half increase again.

The new housing rules, though, are probably going to make some bigger changes. And they’re changes that we can analyze and speculate about, even though some of them have some potential impacts we just won’t know about until later. So let’s start in, piece by piece, with the question marks and the known quantities.

And I will also be laughing at the frustration of people who screwed the system and are now sad about it.

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Age of Conan’s Saga of Zath fresh start progression server launches tomorrow as sub prices drop permanently

Back in December, Funcom announced that it had plans for the effectively maintenance-moded Age of Conan, and those plans included Saga of Zath, a fresh-start progression server. And now, it’s almost here: The studio now says it’s launching tomorrow on January 24th.

“Saga of Zath is a new limited-time server running on a PvE ruleset identical to Crom. You create a new character on this server, and play through a special Saga Quest as you progress. Completing objectives in this quest awards exclusive cosmetics, titles, and up to Tier 6-quality raid gear! There’s also a special Saga-exclusive Hoard you can purchase, featuring tradable items! The server is only open until May 15th. Once over, the server closes and your Saga character is transferred onto Crom with their inventory fully intact.”

Funcom designer Mussagana has been all over the forums the last few days explaining how everything works. Specifically, parts of the item shop will be disabled on this server, the raid finder will be turned off at least temporarily, experience gains will be normal, and yes, there may be other servers in the future if this one does well.

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World of Warcraft Refer-a-Friend experience boost gutted to match Heirloom leveling speed

So, were all of the experience boosts you had in World of Warcraft there to get your character to max level as quickly as possible, or were they there to ensure that you didn’t have to languish in zones where you were going to be leveling through awkwardly anyway? How you answer that question will make a lot of difference in how you see the changes made to the game’s Refer-A-Friend system, which has reduced the massive experience boost from the service from 300% to 50% and removed any stacking with heirlooms. In other words, at this point the biggest boost you can get to experience while leveling is 50% across the board, however you get it.

Considering that a referred character with heirlooms was often used as a quick way for a player to game the system with two accounts under the same person, this is obviously going to impact a portion of the player community. Some players are calling for a reduction in price for the level 100 boost token that also comes free with the Legion boxed expansion, claiming that this is just a way of forcing people to pay more to completely bypass the leveling process in short order. Others are pointing out that this plus the 7.3.5 patch changes means that you and your referred friend can both just enjoy the leveling experience together, moving faster but still being able to see a good chunk of the zone with players who may not be familiar with all of it.

In other and wholly unrelated news, there’s been a round of hotfixes to correct some bugs. Hey, we said it was unrelated.

Source: Refer-a-Friend Changes, Hotfixes, Reddit; thanks to Louis for the tip!


Survival sandbox Rust leaves early access on February 8

Remember Rust? It was a survival sandbox and – wait, no, this one was actually one of the first ones! It made people angry because you didn’t get to choose stuff like race or gender or whatever, you just got dropped into the game naked and primed to be axed in the face by some guy. See, it’s different because most games start you with clothes and let you make your character before the face-axing stage. Anyhow, it’s leaving early access on February 8th.

If you thought that this meant the online game was going to be done updating forever… well, for one thing, that’s a heck of a theory you have going there, and for another thing you’re wrong. The shift mostly means that the game is switching to a more monthly update cadence for more stable releases. If you’ve been fond of early builds but wanted to wait for release to really play the game for a while… well, you’ll get your chance soon.


Closers welcomes players to the sky ship

En Masse’s Closers is sprinting through open beta these days, and with today’s patch, there’s more to test and enjoy than ever.

The Sky Bridge hub arrives with this update, bringing a whole bunch of new quests, challenges, and crafting events for players to experience. The hub coincides with a level cap increase to 70, so either the developer is really pumping out the content or the western version is catching up with its eastern counterpart.

To get players up to speed — and up to the level cap — Closers is running a pair of bonus events over the next two weekends. In addition, anyone who gets up to level 70 by February 5th will receive a care package with a superclocked equalizer, a random epic skill cube, and a victory talisman box. There’s also celebration box for all players to get just by logging in after the patch updates today.

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Broke Protocol adds a chase cam and armored car for your epic escapades

There can never be too many ways to check yourself out, which is why department store changing rooms have all of those mirrors. It’s also why Broke Protocol, the blocky crime simulator, has added a chase camera option to the mix in a recent update.

“Accurate shooting from this position is not supported to prevent rampant wallpeeking but it does offer a nice change of perspective and a GTA-style feel to the game,” the team said.

And with a new camera, how about some new toys for your crime sprees? The Heavy Armor update is adding an armored car (more of a tank, really) for both good and bad guys to use. The patch also upgrades the physics to include push back on explosions, so the team said to expect to see bodies flying through the air on a more regular basis.

Source: Steam #1, #2


Swivel guns and a wipe are making their way to Worlds Adrift

Despite reportedly struggling with issues caused by Worlds Adrift’s 0.1.5 patch, the team is forging ahead with the next update. It’s still a week or two away, but a preview of the patch notes are up, and they include some new weaponry for players to slap on the side of their airships.

Yes, we’re talking about swivel guns. Swivel guns are deck-mounted shotguns that might not have the range to be effective against other ships, but they are incredibly deadly against fleshy creatures that might attempt to board your vessel.

Other changes coming with 0.1.6 are the ability to have up to three characters on an account, newbie tooltips, and lots of additional visual and special effects.

The team also said that testers should expect a wipe in the near future: “The anticipated wipe is still coming and will be one of a few to follow, however the reason behind the delay has mainly been due to the new world and island implementation taking incredibly long to export, making the devs step back and re-access the previously planned implementation approach.”

Source: Patch notes


Wisdom of Nym: Does Final Fantasy XIV have too many content subdivisions?

Here’s a fun question for you about Final Fantasy XIV: What’s the difference between a trial and a raid in the endgame?

At first glance that’s the sort of obvious question to prompt eye-rolling and derisive smirks. That’s obvious: A trial is just a contained boss fight in a specific arena, while a raid is a mini-dungeon followed by a boss fight! And then you remember that a whole lot of raids, such as all of Deltascape and the last fight of each Alexander wing, don’t actually have any sort of dungeon attachment. So maybe a raid just means that they’re thematically linked… oh, wait, except that we’ve had sequences of trials linked like that with the Warring Triad.

Two difficulty modes? Well, yes, that means they have different names, but not different structures. Oh, let’s also remember that Extreme Primals, much like Alexander and onward, have a largely token-based loot system! Figured out the difference yet? It gets more fun when you remember that raids are technically different from alliance raids. Or that technically, Praetorium might qualify as a raid!

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