bug fixes

EVE Online outlines plans to spin out a new chat system in March

The small portion of EVE Online players who will be heartbroken over the loss of the game’s voice chat will really just be riding the forefront of the game’s chat changes. Significant backend changes to the game’s chat functionality are coming with the March update, and the short version is that chat in general is getting spun out to a separate platform on a different infrastructure.

Why such a significant change? Well, for one thing, it should help reduce the chat load on specific nodes during fleet operations, and it also serves to help split up the game’s functionality into more manageable chunks for the development team. It also gives the game’s customer service team easier access to chat logs, so that should be fun, too. You shouldn’t notice any changes in-game after the chat changeover, but players are encouraged to report any bugs that managed to slip through as always.

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EVE Evolved: Solving EVE Online’s botting problem

Practically every MMO on the market today has had to contend with botting and the range of issues that come with it, and EVE Online has always been a favoured target for bots. EVE‘s slow pace of gameplay and predictable PvE activities make it ideal for automation, and the nature of a persistent sandbox is that more time spent farming resources and currency will always be better. The issue seems to have escalated in recent months since the free-to-play upgrades expanded the range of ships and modules available to free users, and the community has been pushing CCP heavily for progress.

A team of bot-hunting players made the news last month when they took down eight ridiculously expensive supercarriers being controlled by bots, exposing just how big the scale of the problem is. The EVE security team responded with a ban wave hitting over 1,800 bot accounts in January and promises that they are “coming for the bots,” but one expert admitted in a recent interview that the war on bots may never be won. So just how difficult is it to tackle botting in EVE Online, and what could CCP do to improve things?

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I look at the difficulties in detecting and shutting down botters, how extensive botting may be in nullsec, and some things developers might have to do in order to solve the problem.

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One Shots: First steps into a wider world

Every MMORPG player knows that there is something incredible and magical in the feeling that you get when you take your very first steps into a new game. It’s the fresh scent of the unknown mixed with potential, excitement, and energy.

Reader François knows this all too well as he documents an early moment from Final Fantasy XIV: “The trees of the Shroud meet the sky as Kan-E-Senna watches a young adventurer depart for the other nations of Eorzea. A familiar sight for anyone who started in Gridania.”

Small pet peeve, but when your city has a name like “Gridania” and your street patterns are all twisty-turny, you’re going to make my eye twitch. Elves need to buy better urban planners, IMO.

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Worlds Adrift fears not this Blight

By the sound of it, the Blight is probably not a healthy, safe phenomenon for Worlds Adrift players to encounter. And yet, both the community and the dev team are anticipating the addition of this hazard in next Tuesday’s 0.1.7 patch.

The devs said that a movement has grown up around this addition: “You all seem really excited at the prospect of being engulfed by the Blight! So much so that we’ve had reports of a player group calling themselves ‘The Blightests,’ with each member going by a different name starting with ‘Father,’ who travel the skies and demand people follow the way of the Blight.”

A deeper look at the Blight should be coming soon to a YouTube near you.

There are many other projects on deck past this patch, including the alliance system, tutorial design, better FPS, and self-cleaning island storms (seriously). The team also has a humorous attitude toward a ship placement bug: “Began the hunt for Mildred, the ghost of World’s Adrift, who likes to mysteriously move ships about.”

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Choose My Adventure: Wrapping up our adventures in Project Gorgon

There’s a familiar situation to players of tabletop games wherein a sidequest becomes more important than the main quest, and you wind up taking further sidequests on in order to advance the original sidequest. And if things go egregiously awry, you start asking yourself what you’re actually pursuing the sidequest for in the first place. The first arc of Darths & Droids does a pretty good job of illustrating this phenomenon.

Anyhow, that’s where I wound up with my last week of Project Gorgon. It wasn’t that I didn’t have self-determined goals, it’s that most of them required a sidequest to complete a sidequest to complete a further sidequest so that I could… start grinding. It was all functional, but it kind of felt like staring at the bottom of a cliff knowing that I had a limited amount of time to actually scale that cliff, and not being able to quite muster the enthusiasm when I know that I’ll never get all the way up the cliff in time.

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Black Desert players protest lag, bugs, pay-to-win, and lack of account security

Agitators on the Black Desert subreddit are attempting to whip up press and players over a range of grievances players have with Kakao, the western publisher of the Pearl Abyss MMORPG. Complaints range from the ongoing and well-documented lag problems and bugs to misapplied bans and database compromises.

The biggest post on the subreddit as I type this, however, as well as one of the biggest in a long time, is a Valentine’s poem dedicated to Kakao calling it a “P2W scam.” Readers will recall that Black Desert has been fending off pay-to-win accusations since even before its western launch in 2016.

Still other players are petitioning Kakao for two-factor authentication, which they argue will not only make accounts more secure but reduce the number of gamers whose accounts are stolen and then banned by Kakao with no chance of appeal when the thieves use third-party software.

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Just Survive tests a patch for weapon tiers

If you were lucky enough to get a particularly high-tier weapon in Just Survive, you probably like the game’s various weapon tiers, because it lets you stand out further. As a result, you might not like the game’s latest test patch, which removes the lower tiers of weapons and armor while also adding in an upgrade system for higher tiers. On the other hand, if you’d been stuck without a decent weapon, you’ll probably be happy about the efforts made to balance things out slightly.

Armor in particular should scale up less aggressively, so hopefully players with excellent armor will no longer laugh off attacks in PvP by players with lower-quality weapons. The test patch also fixes various bugs and alters the HP of container items, making them easier to destroy. You can patch up and start testing the update now, if you’re so inclined.

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War of Rights’ Civil War battlefield is up to 16 maps

In case you haven’t been reading the newspapers hot off the wire, the Civil War is still waging (at least, on the test server). War of Rights continues to churn out updates for this North vs. South battle simulator, so let’s make a concerted effort to catch up with the latest!

Up to 150 players have been stress testing the game’s fights, and with January’s Update 93, the team was able to fix an audio bug that occurred with so much action. Update 94 added the Antietam: Skirmish at East Woods map and reworked the Bloody Lane skirmish area. Then moving into February, Update 95 improved the “morale loss scaling algorithm” and “reduced headbobbing by 50%.” Sounds good to us.

Finally, this week’s Update 96 added the Antietam: Cooke’s Countercharge and Antietam: Roulette Lane skirmishes, bringing the total number of maps up to 16.

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Perfect Ten: The top 10 sexiest monsters of Monster Hunter World

I remember my first time. Unlike many hunters, I didn’t stalk her. In fact, she bumped into me. I was just strolling down the beach, collecting some bugs and BAM! There she was. Larger than life. I was a little scared, and I admit I tried to hide in a bush. She saw right through it. She chased me a bit since, well, I was hiding in a bush, but admittedly, she was also a predator. She wanted me, badly, and I kind of wanted her. We moved from the beach to the forest and even went on a bit of a mountain hike where I was finally able to mount her. I gave a few quick stabs before pulling out my big sword, deeply penetrating her and finally cutting off her tail. Tail cutting is kind of what I’m into…

…eh? I’m talking about my experience in Monster Hunter World, of course. Although, come to think of it, some of the monsters are kind of sexy if you really think about it. You do want to thank about it? Well, considering the season, I guess I can we can try a top ten of the sexiest monsters of Monster Hunter World. I’ve already consulted with one of our sexperts and veteran hunters, Matt Daniel. We had some deep(ly uncomfortable) conversations about criteria and decided to rely on our… um, “gut” instinct. I’ll be going beyond looks and dip into monster personality plus kink factors. There won’t be any discrimination between newcomers or old veterans, and all genders are welcome here. Just, um, no rotting flesh, no matter how great your personality is. Sorry, Odogaron.

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Dragon Bones DLC and update 17 are live – and the new outfit system is not cheap

Elder Scrolls Online’s paid Dragon Bones DLC and free update 17 are finally fully launched on PC. While technically the update rollout was yesterday, the EU and NA servers were up and down throughout the afternoon after an extra-long maintenance and an emergency downtime to fix a fairly major experience exploit/bug. Multiple storage bugs are also being reported on Reddit, so heads-up there.

The headline feature of update 17 itself is the new outfit system, but players are reporting it’s expensive to access indeed: You’re looking at 1500 crowns (roughly $15) for an extra outfit slot, and yes, that’s per character, though you do get one freebie per toon. Altering that outfit will cost you another 400 crowns (though you can also buy those with in-game gold). Incidentally, subbing to the game nets you 1500 crowns every month, but it’d take you a long time to deck out alts that way.

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Fireflies and flocks of seagulls: Worlds Adrift adds beautiful touches to island creation

With the island creator toolset, players have been able to build new content for Worlds Adrift right alongside the dev team. The best of these projects have been taken and absorbed into the official game as a benefit of crowdsourcing. And now, these island creators have a few new options to add beautiful touches to their works.

The developers gave a quick animated preview of several visual effects that are in the works for the island creator toolset. These include flocks of birds flying about in the sky, drops of water, fireflies dancing about, and rocks and dust falling.

Bossa Studios said that the game recently saw “a massive spike in players” as it gets ready for Patch 0.1.7’s release. Other upcoming projects include the alliance system and fixing bugs that are impacting the client, inventory, and scalability.

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Camelot Unchained’s beta will launch on the 4th of July; we interview Mark Jacobs

You can go ahead and order extra sparklers because you’re going to need ’em this July 4th. That’s the auspicious day that Camelot Unchained’s beta one will finally launch after three years of delay, City State Entertainment has now announced. The studio has further confirmed that the “feature lock” date for the crowdfunded RvR MMORPG will be June 12th – at that point, everything for the beta will be set, save bug-fixing. And yes, everything that has been promised for the beta will make it for that launch (that doesn’t mean everything going into launch will be in beta – expect more builds going forward over the expected year of this beta).

CSE’s Mark Jacobs spoke with us just a few weeks ago to announce that the company had taken on a large external investment to speed up development of the game; he’s done the same this time ’round to answer our questions about beta and what to expect between right now and the 4th of July when those beta gates open. Read on!

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Guild Wars 2 griffon changes ruffles players’ feathers

While Guild Wars 2’s Lunar New Year patch  this past week had plenty for players to absorb and enjoy, it’s one change in particular that’s put some of the community into a grumpy mood.

One of the small fixes has resulted in a huge change to how the game’s griffon mounts perform: “Fixed a bug in which griffons could interrupt the delay that occurred after performing a diving wing flap by immediately pitching up.”

According to some players, the course correction turned the griffon into a more clunky and awkward flying mount — and they are not happy about it. The Guild Wars 2 subreddit post criticizing the change has received 1,314 upvotes and generated 263 comments.

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