bug fixes

Sea of Thieves ends sky ships, teases new cosmetics and customization

Sea of Thieves set sail with a brand-new patch this morning with better ammo crate positioning, UI tweaks, and new ship scuttling tips, plus tons of bug fixes, including the demise of “sky ships” – that fun bug where ships floated up to the sky when sinking. Also? No more earworms! “Players will no longer play the same shanty twice in a row.”

Do note that Rare says it’s still aware of bugs with not being able to view your character customization, the grey screen at launch, delayed achievements and commendations (stilL!) and missing DLC.

What’s on the horizon? “There’s rumour that a new shipment of clothing, items, weapons and ship customisations are on the horizon and heading for the Sea of Thieves!” Rare hints. “If you are saving yer coin for a pair of trousers, you might want to keep a weathered eye out for this arriving soon!”

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VR-based ARK Park has patched in free locomotion and better tutorials

How’s virtual reality dino land ARK Park doing since its early access launch one month ago? Magic 8 Ball says reply hazy. Steam’s aggregated review score is currently “mixed,” with even even positive reviews admitting the game lacks content and scope, which lines up neatly with our own impressions of the game.

Snail (apparently rightly) believes one of the game’s major problems is the movement system, and it’s just addressed that with what it’s calling a “major update,” which is already being received well by the community.

“One of the biggest issues is locomotion. You wanted free movement so here it is! Our dev team has been working hard on the movement system and now you have the option to choose between teleportation and free locomotion.”

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Citadel: Forged With Fire lets you bring your tamed creatures with you through fast travel

Fast travel is important with Citadel: Forged With Fire, but it had an obnoxious and somewhat weird little quirk: Hopping through a portal wouldn’t bring the mount you tamed through the portal with you. So you would have to wait for it to catch up with you from half a world away, and while the mental image might have been hilarious it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Not so any longer, though! The game now allows tamed critters to follow you through quick travel, so you both wind up at your destination at the same time.

The patch also fixes several bugs and improves the appearance of some unpowered magic structures, which makes for a smaller patch overall with one major quality of life fix. So you no longer get the mental image of a horse booking it across all sorts of landscapes to get to where you teleported, but you also don’t need to stand outside of the portal and wait for that horse like the world’s most nonsensical Lyft driver. Swings and roundabouts.

Source: Steam page

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The Survivalist: Four hopes for the future of ARK Survival Evolved

As we explored last week, game development isn’t always an upward trajectory. Some things soar, and some things crash. Our last Survivalist conversation was about four ways that the ARK: Survival Evolved that launched was better than the early early access build and four ways that it was worse. Since launch, development has continued, some on the base game and quite a bit on expansions. Whether the overall game as it stands right now is better or worse depends in part on what aspects are more important to you and likely which expansion you play. (Let’s hear it for Aberration!)

Even with improvements made to the game since launch, there are areas that could really use some attention. Today, I’d like to focus on four things that I really want for the future of ARK!

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OrbusVR adds in new pet breeding and gear combination

In the real world, walking up to someone and asking if you can put your dragons together will probably get you arrested. In OrbusVR, it’s a very normal and good thing to ask with the latest patch, which allows you to combine two existing dragons in a little dragon hutch to result in a new baby dragon. It’s the first pass on the game’s breeding system, and it makes sense that you would start with dragons as opposed to more common real-life pets. (After all, as alluded to above, dragon breeding is illegal in real life.)

The patch also contains a new system for improving your gear. If you’ve got a sword with some secondary stats lower than your existing sword, for example, you can combine the two into one sword, and the new sword will automatically gain any stats that were higher from the other sword. Combine that with new pillar teleportation, new sound design, and more bug fixes, and you’ve got reasons to be excited about the game’s latest patch.

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds adds map changes and red zone shrinkage

Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene does not have kind words for people who dislike the red zone in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. In his own words, people who die to the red zone are just not good players, and thus deserve to die in the red zone until they get better, because it’s so obvious that it’s arriving. His statements were unambiguously in favor of the red zone working in the way it did at the time he made those statements.

So, naturally, the most recent patch for the game shrinks the size of the red zone and its duration.

The patch also contains three new areas on the map for players to fight over, along with faster grenade spawns and an assortment of bug fixes. There’s also more testing going on for the game’s Codename: Savage, if you’re curious to see how that new map is coming along. All good things for the future of the game.

Source: Polygon, Steam

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Stardew Valley’s multiplayer mode is about a month away

Ready to go farm with, adventure alongside, and marry your friends? Stardew Valley’s multiplayer mode may be here before you know it. In fact, it could be coming as soon as May.

Lead Designer Eric Barone put out this statement on Twitter this week: “Update on Stardew Valley multiplayer: still making good progress on fixing bugs, if all goes well it should be ready in about a month.”

Back in March, we announced that beta testing and quality assurance had commenced for the multiplayer mode on this popular indie title. Stardew Valley puts players in the role of a young person who takes over an overgrown farm from his or her grandfather. While the land is worked, the player can interact with locals in the community, uncover secrets, and go on fighting expeditions in a mine.

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The Division turns up its visuals for Xbox One X players

Patch 1.8.1 has arrived in The Division, bringing with it the “Xbox One X Enhancement Patch” that adds 4K rendering and other shiny, purdy visual improvements.

Players will get to experience a pair of new global events for experienced fighters. In the Blackout event, players will run around shocking people and trying to perform one-hit-kill melee attacks. In Onslaught, there are many different types of damage that have to be juggled depending on the enemy faced.

The update also includes 40 new commendations, two legendary difficulty missions, division tech increases, a global events vendor, and plenty of bug fixes.

Source: Patch notes

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The Survivalist: ARK Survival Evolved’s early early access vs. launch

When a game is being created, you usually expect that development to move the title in a positive direction and make it better, right? The state of the game when it launches should be much better than when it started. Well, sometimes that doesn’t quite happen. In ARK: Survival Evolved’s case, I think there are instances when it did just the opposite; certain aspects of the launched game were worse than the earlier versions. However, that’s not the case for everything: There were also a number of ways the game was definitely improved. Does one outweigh the other? Is the game better, or is it worse? It might depend on which features you feel are more important for the game and the side that they fall on.

While not exhaustive in either case, here’s a list of four ways that early early access ARK was better than the launch and four ways the launch version is better. Then tune in next week for four hopes for a better future.

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TERA’s Godsfall update hits PC on April 17, En Masse runs down console bugs

PC players, heads up: TERA is launching Godsfall next week on April 17th. En Masse is calling it “one of the most significant updates of the year” with new abilities for the Berserker, Brawler, Lancer, Warrior, Mystic, Priest and Slayer classes dubbed “Apex” skills.

“Nothing lasts forever in the world of TERA, not even its mighty gods. The Godsfall update introduces a time-traveling story quest, available to level 65 characters of the seven chosen classes with an item level of 439 or higher, taking players back through time to defeat the powerful dragon Khemadia. Players will find themselves facing their own personal demons as they progress through the quests, including their Temper, Self-Doubt, and Guilt in this god-killing, time-traveling mission.”

Not one of those classes? You’ll be waiting for your own update later in 2018.

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Portable forts and a replay function parachute into Fortnite

Just when you thought that Fortnite’s battle royale couldn’t get any crazier, Epic Games keeps upping the ante with ideas like Port-a-Fort.

That’s right: There are now portable forts in the PvP mode that can be deployed in mere seconds. But that’s not all that came with the recent Patch 3.5. Fortnight also added a cinematic replay system, an updated version of the 50v50 limited time mode, four cyberpunk heroes, and neon weapons. On the downside of this patch, guided missiles had to be disabled due to a bug.

And going back to that replay system, it sounds like there may be a contest brewing in conjunction with it: “With a suite of cinematic settings you can now capture your most memorable moments, highlights and cinematics. We can’t wait to see what you create. You have an opportunity to win phenomenal prizes with the replay system… very soon.”

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Perfect Ten: Why trend-chasing doesn’t work at all for online games

Video games have always been a remarkably insular field; that’s the nature of development. Someone produces Super Mario Bros, and a few years later Sonic the Hedgehog sounds like a really good idea for some reason. But then you have games like The Great Giana Sisters, games that don’t try to just copy parts of what made the inspiration good but just copy the whole thing with one or two changes.

For normal video games, this can work out decently; a game that just doesn’t get much traction still sells some copies, hopefully. Just because Croc wasn’t Spyro didn’t mean that no one bought the former. But for online games, these trend-chasing games are almost always dramatic failures that litter the landscape. Why is that? Well, there are pretty good reasons, and today seems like a good time to talk about that.

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Radical Heights has only barely topped LawBreakers’ all-time player count

It’s important to note that Radical Heights has only just been sent out into the wild, and its surprise launch was less “highly anticipated” and more “utterly unexpected.” Comparisons after a day in the wild are going to be hard to make. Nevertheless, after a day in release, the title has managed to pass the all-time player high for Boss Key’s LawBreakers… barely. It’s within 1000 players of that game’s all-time player high, a number that you may recall was pretty weak for a title published by a major company and with lots of marketing behind it.

The game’s Steam page currently lists its reviews as “mixed,” with many players bemoaning its obviously early development state causing numerous bugs and performance issues. It’s apparently not even developed enough to allow playing as a female character, which seems like a pretty basic option to leave out of a release. That doesn’t mean that the game’s going to be unable to pull itself together and continue turning up in popularity, but looking at the day one numbers, this is something less than a good sign.

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