A one-of-a-kind movie tie-in with the recently released Ready Player One put the popular game platform Roblox in the hot seat with players
The event involved players rushing all over the game to decifer clues, grab keys, and go on a huge Easter egg hunt. The culmination of this event was a 10-question quiz about Roblox, after which successful entrants would be transported to a victory field to grab a golden egg and win a special hat.
The problem was that the game bugged at the end of the quiz, keeping players from advancing. More and more players reached this stage as the game held them back, eventually fixing the bug and allowing everyone into the final arena at the same time. Those who were first to answer the quiz felt robbed of their fair shot at a win.
is not known for being a happy place. It’s shown even in mass media as a cutthroat world of war
. Dealing with exploits is key to making sure that this world ripe for unfairness is, well, as fair as possible, mechanically speaking. If abuse happens, traditional developer wisdom seems to be “shoot first, ask questions later,” and as players, we’re often fine with this. We don’t want to play with cheaters, right?
But what happens if the cheating is unintentional? What happens when the bug is so ingrained into the system that even casual, lapsed players accidentally took advantage of it just by returning to the game? How would you react if, shortly after resubscribing to a game, you had items or experience points taken and had your account suspended or banned? These are the things CCP Games’ Senior Project Lead of Player Experience David Einarsson had to deal with when tackling the ghost training bug.
Even if you’re a winner you could be still be a loser in Guild Wars 2 — if you cheat. ArenaNet announced that it was taking strong action against a member of a recent monthly automated tournament who participated in deliberate manipulation.
“Due to account sharing, and a history of RMT purchases, one of the accounts on the winning team has been suspended for three months and had all rewards removed from it (for this mAT),” the studio said. “We have permanently blocked the main account of the player responsible for playing on the shared account during the mAT.”
The studio also told players that a weird bug has slipped into the game that’s reducing the number of gathering tool charges down to one and working to correct it.
But hey, at least we can all now sit in chairs! That makes up for pretty much anything.
Exploit, bug, or something in-between? Grinding Gear Games just pulled a new Path of Exiles
Beastcrafting recipe after it accidentally released it into the wild with the wrong attributes. When players discovered that they could spam this recipe to make quick and powerful items, the market took a small hit before GGG took the recipe down for further adjustment
“When we fixed and released it, it was with the same rough balance values that we set during development, which were unrealistic given the actual rate that people found beasts on the live realm. Also, players had saved up almost a week worth of Beasts, so once they found that the recipe was a bit too cheap, they could hit it quite a few times,” the studio said.
Although some players are crying “exploit” or “dupe” (perhaps because they didn’t get to it as fast as their comrades), it doesn’t look like the studio is going to be penalizing players who took advantage of the unbalanced recipe during its short lifespan.
Bad news for the Dark and Light fans who were eagerly working on their mobile fortresses, as the game’s developers had to push out a rollback and that meant players lost a whole lot of progress. An apology was offered to the players, but apologies don’t let you fly a doom fortress through the sky while laughing at the people stuck on the ground, does it?
The bright side (to an extent) is that the developers also cancelled the game’s Friday stream so that everyone could be troubleshooting the game to avoid something like tis happening again, so it does appear to be getting taken seriously. That also doesn’t fix lost progress, but it is edifying. Another development stream is planned for this week to discuss the upcoming air cave, so at least you can rest assured that there will still be places to explore when your mobile fortress is finally complete.
The second installment of Star Citizen’s Calling All Devs is out now, and if you want to see what it’s like when developers sit in workspaces or empty studios and hobnob with one another on Skype video calls, your prayers have been answered. If you want to get a whole lot of information about upcoming game releases, you’re out of luck. The video is 17 minutes long and not exactly filled with densely packed information so much as it’s filled with a solid minute of admiration for a developer’s beard.
To be fair, it is a very large beard.
Unfortunately, the Reddit thread on the video does not have a full summary, but it does provide some idea of what is actually in the video. Ship buying and trading, for example, will both not be in patch 3.1; there’s some discussion in there about how trading will be more based on the in-game contract system rather than just a pop-up UI window. Hotfixes are definitely possible and have already gotten rolled out for 3.0, although there’s no certainty about them. If you would still like to watch the video, we’ve provided it below.
So, has World of Warcraft seemed a bit more… buggy to you lately? Because there have been some notable bugs since the whole worldwide level scaling thing. There’s the unintentional raid boss health bump; there’s an unintended issue wherein enemies in Heroic dungeons have less health than the normal scaled version. It’s kind of a mess, and that’s why the game is undergoing another round of maintenance today starting at 10:00 a.m. EST. Yep, on a Friday.
It’s going to be a long maintenance, too, running until 6:00 p.m. EST, so hopefully you didn’t have the day off with plans for an extended session in the game. There’s no official word about what will be changed in maintenance, although there are obviously several possible bugs to be patched out. We’ll see what’s getting changed when we see the list of updates today, but considering that the original patch ran long on maintenance, don’t be surprised if today runs longer than expected as well.
Another four-week silence from the ROKH development team has been broken by the latest update on the state of the game. The last lengthy silence was apparently the result of a legal dispute, but this one was just a matter of identifying and hopefully fixing a variety of bugs and issues within the game. Both teams involved with the game have been picking through the code and identifying issues, trying to compile build times, understand some of the tangled mess within the code, and make the whole thing work better.
Among the main issues explored are freezing problems when players would attempt to alt-tab to another window and crashes while exploring the map, both of which could be… well, rather serious long-term problems. The current plan is to roll out an improvement patch in December for NDA testers, so if you’re still eager to see what this Mars-based survivalbox has to offer, you’ll need to wait a little bit longer.
The latest Crowfall Q&A video changes tack about halfway through. For the first half, lead designer Thomas Blair and executive producer Gordon Walton helpfully discuss various player questions like how the team is preparing for the next major release and why they haven’t shown up frequently at conventions. But then the video becomes a journey into a side of development we all know about but rarely see – the process of hunting down and fixing bugs in the game.
Picking out specific bugs shows the full interface and the testing process, starting with the reported bug of Roasted Bloodworm causing 12 damage instead of healing it. If you think that fixing it is as simple as changing a plus or minus sign somewhere… no, first it requires hunting down why it has the problem in the first place, looking at all of the components, and so forth. You can see it for yourself in the video just below. (Fair warning, it’s lengthy.)
At long last, the vicious mule exploits of Pathfinder Online have been addressed. No longer will players group up with their friends and attack their own mules for… some reason. Actually, it probably wasn’t an exploit in the first place, it was just a minor issue from the last patch that has been fixed now. Regardless, in-game mules can breathe a bit easier now.
The patch also brings out various other bug fixes, like no longer making ammunition messages permanent floating fixtures if your character could not fully restock and preventing the housing maintenance cost window from closing in error when paying ahead. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but players who enjoyed the various elements brought out with the last patch will doubtlessly be happy to see the array of fixes correcting issues.
Here is a fun bug indeed: Overwatch has a glitch that’s been accidentally slinging seasonal bans at players who did not deserve them. It’s not a particularly widespread issue, having only impacted about 200 accounts, but it has concerned Blizzard and stirred the team to resolve it and restore affected players to their glory.
“We recently identified a bug that, in extremely rare cases, can cause players to lose their skill rating progress and receive a seasonal ban from competitive play without any prior penalties for leaving early or being kicked for inactivity,” Game Director Jeff Kaplan posted in the forums. “This bug is a high priority for our team, and we’re working on a fix to prevent further instances of it occurring as we speak. In the meantime, we’ll be removing the seasonal ban for all players affected by this bug as well as restoring their skill rating.”
On a happier note, Blizzard published a new 12-page comic starring everyone’s favorite Russian heavy hitter, Zarya. Keep your eyes open; another Overwatch hero or two might be popping in to say hi during this one.
With the popularity of this month’s Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire
, the pressure is on for ArenaNet
to keep the game running as smoothly as possible for all veteran, new, and returning players. While we have been hearing positive word-of-mouth about the expansion, there have been some serious issues that have kept many players from enjoying it – including our own columnist.
Login difficulties are the start of ANet’s woes, and the studio is racing to fix them. Even more dire are instance creation problems, which were serious enough to elicit a statement by Mike O’Brien, who said that the team has been “working on the connection and story instance creation problems that have been cropping up during peak hours in Europe.” The Guild Wars 2 boss said that the team believes the underlying issues have been fixed but will be keeping an eye on the situation to make sure this is true.
Meanwhile, there are smaller bugs and corrections that have been addressed via hotfixes to bolster the new expansion.
Early access or no, players expect their games to work right when they’re shelling out money for them. The developers of the reworked Dark and Light are cognizant of this fact, and as such are working hard on a build to eliminate some of the more serious bugs that have been dragging down the game experience in its testing phase.
One of the more notorious issues is the “black screen bug” that continues to keep some players from entering the game itself. Other bug fixes include help with taming Nidhogs and Goblins, preserving data for soul stones, and retaining donation totals for vendors.
“As an early access game, we’re expecting to face a number of bugs ranging from minor to severe — with new content, new bugs are bound to show up as well,” the team said. “Our main focus is to try and make Dark and Light the best experience possible, both in terms of content and stability. We’re working to tweak existing content, like the exceedingly-difficult Ice Cave, while fixing bugs and creating new, exciting content to keep Archos’s Adventurers busy for a long time.”
Curious whether Dark and Light is worth playing (and paying)? Check out one player’s impressions after the break!