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Elite Dangerous promises bug-squashing patch by early May

Update: The devs have shifted the ETA to April 25th; we’ve updated below.

While Elite Dangerous’ community should be celebrating over the addition of player-created avatars and multi-crew ships with Horizons Update 2.3, instead they’re dealing with one of the buggiest updates to date for the space sim. Even following a rollback last week of the background sim data that manages political factions, there are still numerous issues that have yet to be resolved.

The good news is that there’s a patch coming to take care of much of this. The bad news is that players are going to have to wait until next month to see fixes for the login bugs, stability issues, weird errors, and frame rate drops.

“We’ve seen your feedback with regards to a number of bugs in the latest update,” Frontier reported on the forums, “and the development team have been busy working on a release that focuses on fixing a large number of the common complaints. The release is currently scheduled for early May.”

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APB Reloaded tackles console lag and crashes

With the soft launch of APB Reloaded on the PlayStation 4 have come some hard truths: namely that the game isn’t quite where the devs want it to be.

Players have reported both numerous crashes and severe slowdown with the console edition. Apparently the slowdown is thanks to APB’s incredibly high character detail that’s since caused issues whenever new players load into areas, and most of the crashes were due to a single memory issue. Fortunately, the devs say that they’re on the case and have fixes coming in the first patch.

APB soft launched on consoles on March 30th and will continue as such for 30 days until its formal launch. The team is giving players freebies if they log in to play during this period.

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Project Genom updates fans on a big dump and other behind-the-scenes progress

Technical issues are preventing Project Genom from updating the test version of the game at the moment, but while the developers work on fixing those code issues, the game is still being developed. The latest newsletter from the studio shows off a number of things that the staff has been working on, including an enormous dump. The Dump dungeon is about 70% finished, and it definitely looks like a varied and interesting pile of trash for you to adventure within.

New idle animations for NPCs have also been added in, along with several new facial builds for male characters and new beard options. There’s also a preview of some of the game’s high-level armor, which features hovering plates that can reconfigure to defend the wearer. It’s not quite as good as a patch offering players access to all of this stuff, but it’s a good sign that development is still rolling forward despite patcher issues.

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People are falling through the world in Black Desert

Whatever you do, don’t go to Shakatu’s Territory in Black Desert today.

“We are aware of a hole in the game world that is allowing players to fall through,” Kakao devs say, warning players to stay away from a certain spot in Valencia, though they may as well have just held up a sign that says, “Definitely a good idea to jump into this hole, yep! It’s totally safe! Nothing can go wrong!” because you just know people are swarming it to have a look.

Today’s 3 GB patch doesn’t just create rifts in time and space; it also revisits the “play your way” event, buffs housing space, balances multiple classes, adjusts loot distribution for multi-level groups, and adds reservations to the night vendor, among other post-Margoria tweaks.

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Kakao permabans Black Desert shovel exploiters

This past weekend, Black Desert devs disabled some unusual items in the game: shovels and empty bottles. It turned out that exploiters had been using the items to take advantage of an infinite gathering bug that allowed them to rack up an alleged 20 billion in coin apiece over the course of the last few months, potentially wrecking the economy.

Today, Kakao has announced that those who abused the bug have been banned:

“We previously informed you of our investigation and necessary actions to stop the potential abuse of an exploit in BDO. Unfortunately some Players would sacrifice the enjoyment of others for advancement at any cost. The use of exploits to gain an unfair advantage over other Players is an egregious violation of our Terms of Use. As such these Users have been permanently removed from the game. We wish to make our stance clear regarding this type of behavior; it will not be tolerated. During our investigation some restrictions were placed on the functionality of specific in-game items over the past few days. Actions of this nature, while inconvenient are rare and done for good reason, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

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TERA’s Civil Unrest causes actual unrest when it fails to function

One of the big centerpiece features of TERA‘s most recent patch was the Civil Unrest event, with players teaming up to take on other players over elaborate battlegrounds. It’s a pretty cool idea, and the only real downside is the fact that it does not appear to be working. At all. The most recent official post on the issue almost audibly conveys the frustration of not understanding why in the world it isn’t working, with the event working fine on test but not on live servers for reasons the staff can’t fathom.

The current proposed workaround is to hold the event at a time when staff members are in the office and able to troubleshoot, although several forum members are in the “be very angry” phase rather than the “talk about realistic solutions” phase. It’s frustrating for players and staff alike, as there’s no clear indication of what’s not working, but it seems that the promise of bringing civil unrest to the game was more prophetic than intended.

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World of Warcraft answers player questions regarding the new Legion companion app

World of Warcraft players can now make use of the Legion companion app, allowing players to manage missions and followers remotely. It’s the best way to keep up on small maintenance tasks while not actually sitting at home, unless you want to bring your laptop to work and surreptitiously play instead of doing the job you’re paid to do (you know who you are). At least, that’s all true if you’re running on iOS or Android; a new FAQ confirms that Blizzard has no plans to move the app over to other phones such as Windows or Amazon phones.

The app also contains built-in support for authentication for players who have the authenticator app on the same phone as the app itself, ensuring that you can make both options play nicely together. There’s also a known bug wherein characters who have champions are being registered as not having champions, which should be addressed shortly. Check on the answers to see if your problem is solved or explained among the more frequent issues.

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The Daily Grind: Should MMOs have long-term consequences for nonsensical actions?

On some level, I’m still amused by the fact that someone got held back in World of Warcraft: Legion as a direct result of really pointless actions. If you take the time to go to war with a faction and then very slowly bring your reputation down to the nadir for no reason whatsoever, you kind of deserve wherever you wind up. I can also understand Blizzard having a good laugh over the situation and then making sure that anyone so affected would be able to still advance the artifact quest…

But that’s a slightly sticky issue, isn’t it? I mean, on the one hand, that removes consequences from a set of actions. Sure, those consequences were completely invisible at the time, since no one could have predicted that you’d need to head back to the Cenarion Circle (and the new quests don’t actually tie into the reputation at all). But if you take that remarkably specific set of actions, doesn’t that mean that you should have those consequences? If you’re trying to break something to see if you can, does that mean you ought to still have something broken when you decide you want it?

I think it’s an interesting question with no real “right” answer, and thus, we’ll turn the question over to you. Should MMOs have long-term consequences for nonsensical actions? If you cause a faction to hate you for no reason, throw away a valuable item that takes up no space for no reason, or break a sequence of necessary quests through intentional actions, should that be reset? Or should those deliberate efforts to break the game carry the long-term sting of, well, breaking the game?

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Landmark’s post-launch patch tackles high-priority bugs

If you know anything about launch weeks, it’s that patches should be expected as the dev team tries to keep its head above the rising tide of players and bugs. So it is with Landmark, as the newly released game received its first post-launch patch today.

As you might expect, this isn’t so much of a content patch as it is an effort to stamp out particularly annoying and unfriendly bugs. Daybreak said that it had to prioritize the fixes and that it knows that there are plenty more out there. Of course, there are a few line items that improve the game in other ways, such as presenting a full emote list and allowing streamers to use the free camera mode on build sites.

Stay tuned for MJ’s Landmark launch impressions tomorrow!

Source: Patch notes

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The Daily Grind: Do you blame developers or players for rampant exploits in MMOs?

As long as I can remember, there has been a back-and-forth between players and developers on the subject of game exploits. I remember back in my first days of Final Fantasy XI there were players openly using third-party hacks and bots for various purposes, usually involving fishing, leveling Enhancing magic, and other tedious tasks. Right now The Division is mired in a long series of exploits, and as soon as one gets fixed, another one gets discovered and used. It’s a bit of a mess.

I’ve seen people defend it, of course, but a lot of those defenses don’t hold a whole lot of weight. Yes, the developers should have fixed bugs before they went live, but that’s what makes it a mistake instead of a design feature. No, no one should develop game mechanics so tedious that you feel the urge to automate them, but cheating doesn’t seem like the proper way of addressing that problem. At the same time, if the developers have left in something that makes the game absurdly easy, I can understand rolling back unethical gains made, but banning people seems kind of harsh if it’s not specifically harming other players. And that’s not getting into things like FFXI‘s Windower, which was technically an exploit of a very poorly coded port.

But I’m just one writer, and today my question is for you, dear readers. Do you blame developers or players for rampant exploits in MMOs? Is it a culture of entitlement or a natural result of poor QA?

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A new exploit hits The Division for unlimited damage

What’s the ideal amount of DPS for a weapon in The Division? Higher numbers are better, definitely, but an endlessly climbing number probably seems like it might have balance issues. Unfortunately, another exploit has wound up in the game, allowing players to boost their DPS to an arbitrarily high number. Which isn’t technically “unlimited,” yes, but once you reach the point that a single shot will kill anything a dozen times over isn’t that just splitting hairs?

You can see the exploit in action in a video below, although it’s fair to point out that you should not attempt to recreate this exploit unless you want to get caught and punished. No word yet on what sort of punishment that will be, though, as players still haven’t gotten a definitive punishment for people who exploited the last major known glitch. This is an ongoing struggle for Ubisoft.

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The Division’s Falcon Lost Incursion has a glitch, and players will be punished for exploiting it

There are going to be glitches when dealing with something as immense and complex as an online game. It’s nearly inevitable. Things will not be properly reflected in tooltips, clipping will go wrong, players will fall through the world, a boss in a major bit of content can be exploited for a trivially easy win. That last one has hit The Division in the Falcon Lost incursion, but players can rest assured that players who knowingly exploited the glitch will be punished.

No details of said punishment have yet been released, although it seems likely that temporary bans will be the route chosen.  There’s even footage of a community manager clearing the boss on a stream with a player accused by other community members of exploiting the glitch. Keep your eyes open for more information as Ubisoft decides how to deal with the players who managed to pick up rewards far more easily than intended.

Source: Reddit, Official Forums via FragHero; thanks to Pepperzine and Mr Gibbins for the tip!

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There’s never been a Landmark hotfix patch like this one; you’ll have to see it to believe it

A whole mess of bugfixes are on the table today for Landmark players, making the experience of crafting landscapes and mining for resources that much more pleasant. Fighting creatures should also be more pleasant, too, especially when it comes to fixing issues like not aiming projectiles at the target’s feet and weapons applying effects incorrectly. That’s the majority of the patch, then, improving quality of life while reducing nagging issues.

The patch also contains note about the sale of lumens and another upcoming wipe. The developers have confirmed that lumens will be sold for real money, but until the economy appears to be stable, that’s being intentionally avoided. Similarly, another character wipe is incoming in addition to a build site wipe; players who have made marketplace purchases will be refunded in lumens like always. It’s important to keep in mind as you tool around with the newest version of the game that you are indeed building castles in the sand, but you needn’t worry about running out of sand.

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