game mechanics

Starcraft Remastered shows off new ramps and plans for group matchmaking

Starcraft Remastered really didn’t have to do anything else after release. That’s not to say that no one would have wanted more, but it was already an update of a classic game onto modern hardware. But the team has still been active, and the latest much-delayed developer update is here looking back at the 20th anniversary celebration of the original game and the last few patches. More importantly, it’s looking to the future, and the future is ramps.

Yes, ramps. Mapmakers have managed to hack together ramps with northern facings and with extra width, but they’ve never looked very good (because they’re being hacked together in an engine that doesn’t really support it). No longer; the game’s next update will feature a new mapping system to allow for better ramp art along with its new ladder ranking system. The video also promises that group matchmaking is coming soon now that solo matchmaking is working as intended. Check out the video just below.

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RuneScape shows off an hour of its new mining system

Dig things out of the ground, put them together into more useful forms, sell those more useful forms, repeat. That’s the core loop of mining for RuneScape (and most MMOs with mining systems), so how can you improve upon that? Well, the latest stream from the development team shows off the developers working on doing just that, with a system that is at once simpler and more fun for players.

Yes, simpler; the team describes the new system on the stream as “you just kick the rock and [the game] does it for you.” But it also means that you can focus more on what you’re mining rather than the minutiae of mining. Check out the full video just below, complete with a look at the artisan workshop, Orikalkum armor, and the new smithing interface. It’s rather lengthy, but you can still dig it.

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World of Warcraft Classic is still under development, will begin with patch 1.12

If it seems like World of Warcraft Classic would be an easy project, you may not have spent as much time thinking about it as the developers. Heck, according to the latest development watercooler, it took some time for the team to decide what classic World of Warcraft should even be. The decision ultimately settled on patch 1.12, the last patch before the launch of The Burning Crusade, but that didn’t mean just loading it up and going.

It turns out that the classic code not only doesn’t like to play nice with modern video cards and anti-cheating software (because it’s more than a decade old) but has a lot of really inefficient ways of storing spell and ability data. So the developers have to also go through, piece by piece, to store everything in better formats and improve the experience across the board. Check out the full article to see the work going into making the classic experience work.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Cotic for the tip!

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World of Warcraft Q&A explains why you’re not getting your Mark of the Wild back

Remember when everyone was very excited about how World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth was bringing back class buffs like Mark of the Wild? Yeah, that’s not happening any more, but the latest community Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas explains why. As he puts it, class buffs were an experiment and they want to make sure that every class brings utility to a group, but there doesn’t need to be a separate buff for each class and Druids already have plenty of utility. So long, Mark of the Wild, we were all excited to see you again.

Hazzikostas also explains that there are no plans to change the current spec-limited nature of artifacts (although special transmog cases are being added for artifacts players might otherwise not frequently be able to transmog), no more major spec changes from the current test realm for 8.0, and no plans to remove old pathfinder achievements for flight. You can watch the entire Q&A just below or read the summary on Wowhead.

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SMITE launches Medusa’s Deathmatch

You might not want to look too closely at the latest patch for SMITE. Why? Well, it brings in the new Medusa’s Deathmatch map, and that probably means it’ll turn you to stone. Or it means that you’ll be fighting two enemy teams at the same time, forcing you to adjust your strategy to avoid giving ground to either side while still remaining competitive. If you already feel you know how to handle one other team, you might change your tune when you’ve got twice the enemies and twice the challenge.

The patch has also brought along several new skins and a variety of bug fixes, as patches tend to do. Of course, it’s also brought some issues along with it, which are already helpfully available in a thread on the official site; this includes some after-match placement errors, which are good to know about ahead of time. So jump on in and take on your enemies, possibly while watching everything through a mirror. (It’s a Medusa thing, you see.)

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The Divison’s new Shields are all about earning rewards for the sequel

When people know the sequel to their current MMO is coming out, they tend to be less inclined to complete in-game challenges in the current game. After all, why take part in The Division content now when the next game is on its way? The newest patch for the game has an answer for that: you want to earn shields. No, not the pieces of equipment that you tend to wear in various other MMOs, the unique collectibles that allow you to unlock rewards in The Division 2 for obtaining them.

Players can earn four shields right now, and more will be rolled out over time to give players new things to chase after. The patch also brings in new audio logs and various balance tweaks, so while you prepare yourself for the follow-up game you’ll still have plenty to do in the existing game. And, you know, hopefully you’re having fun anyway.

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Skyforge answers player questions about future plans

So what’s in the cards for the future of Skyforge? Players always want to know, and the most recent set of community questions and answers is covering exactly that. For example, the future does not appear to include new Invasion opponents or new divine form upgrades; while there are new enemy groups planned, they’re planned for a new form of challenge rather than more invasions. Nor are the developers willing to reveal any of the brainstorming about the next class to enter the game, although player requests for more support classes are being heard.

What is confirmed for the future at this point include new stories about the familiar areas of the game world, new improvements to the UI to make it easier to figure out how your character is progressing, and new class balance passes. There are also plans to keep a close eye on gear upgrading and areas where Elder Gods can be used, as both are part of the fun of the game. Check out the full Q&A if you want to know more about what happens next for the title.

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Fortnite on Nintendo Switch doesn’t include Save the World

You remember Save the World, right? The mode of Fortnite wherein you build a base and defend against zombies? The one that was supposed to be the entire focus of the game at one time? Because apparently it’s not in the latest port for the Nintendo Switch. The port only includes the battle royale portion of the game, and according to the developers there are no plans to change this.

So, you know, if you had been harboring any misapprehensions about the core focus of the game at this point, it may be time to let go of those illusions. It’s not a matter of the game just surprise-launching yesterday. In related news, the game reportedly has 125 million players, so it’s not hard to trace a line covering why the developers decided that porting the battle royale mode was the part that matters. Oh, well.

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Destiny 2 assures players that current high-end weapons will still be relevant with September’s expansion

The release of a new expansion for Destiny 2 might signal to most players that it’s time to bring their favorite guns to the nearest trash can while listening to “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes, but perhaps it’s not time to put old Vera out to pasture just yet. A recent interview on PC Gamer confirmed that players will still have a use for their existing top-end gear when Forsaken arrives, and hopefully not just to while away the time until a better gun shows up.

Details were not shared, but the assurance was that current stuff could be brought up to the same level as newer gear. It’ll likely be through some form of upgrade system and/or modifications, so whatever you’re doing right now you should keep on doing it. Of course, there’s always the possibility that you’ll still find an even better gun waiting for you… but at least then your old Legendary item will be replaced by something other than the launch of a new expansion.

Source: PC Gamer via Kotaku

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E3 2018: Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be a first-person-shooter and RPG both

The bad news, Cyberpunk 2077 hopefuls, is that there’s still no word on the alleged multiplayer elements for the game. The good news, or at least the news, is that there’s some indication of how that will be integrated. See, it turns out that the game is an FPS. Yes, it’s still an RPG, but it’s an FPS in the vein of titles like Destiny 2. Not entirely, of course, since that’s an MMO, but… well, it’s an FPS in which numbers pop out.

There is plenty of space to speculate about how that would ultimately have a multiplayer component. If it helps, it’s also worth noting that the game will feature vehicles as well, so that’s another new revelation which might merit a rewatch of the trailer. We’ve included that down below, if you’d like another look at the things you’ll be seeing as you play through the single-player portions if nothing else.

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Final Fantasy XIV rolls out more gambling money for the Make it Rain event

Amidst all of the violence and death covering Final Fantasy XIV, it’s important to remember that the game gives you the opportunity to divert yourself with something other than crafting. Want to race birds around? Play card games? Send your pets into battle? The Gold Saucer lets you do all of that, and during the Make It Rain campaign running until June 24th, players get extra MGP from pretty much everything you can do in the Saucer.

Obviously, MGP earned during the event can be spent on the rewards available year-round. You can also spend it on home versions of the various minor attractions from the saucer, if you’d like to play Cuff-a-Cur in the privacy of your own chambers and/or apartment. Those special decorations will only be available during the event, so you’ll want to get the time in now so you can enjoy those furnishings – or the other rewards of the Saucer – for the whole year.

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Path of Exile’s Incursion league launched smoothly with no crunch time

If you think that patching a game always means crunch time, misery, and developers sobbing beneath their desks, Path of Exile’s Incursion league launch shows it doesn’t have to be. The recap on the launch weekend makes it clear that there was no crunch time leading up to the launch, no major problems, and a smooth rollout all around. Most of the smaller issues were even sorted with hotfixes, which worked to the team’s advantage. And the changes have rocked the meta about, which also means that it’s more entertaining to see what players are trying.

Of course, some bigger issues couldn’t be fixed with hotfixes, which is why a larger patch is planned for next week to address three major crash issues. It also includes new 3D art for Apep’s Supremacy and Shadowstitch, which will hopefully give them a little more visual pop. The patch isn’t due until next week, but you can see the planned changes right now.

We checked out the Incursion update last night; you can catch our play through on Twitch!

Source: Incursion recap, Minor patch; thanks to Veldan for the tip!

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Twitch Prime subscribers get free access to Trinity Prime in Warframe

If you’re a Twitch Prime subscriber who plays Warframe or may want to play some Warframe, you can get something very valuable this month with a free Trinity Prime frame. Just link your Warframe account with your Twitch account, and in addition to the special syandana (read: cape) that you normally get, you’ll also get Trinity Prime as a new frame option.

Trinity Prime is an interesting choice, as she’s not a damaging frame but is a potent healing and support frame. She’s a bit squishy, which is worth considering when running solo, but in groups she can be an exceptionally useful support character. As with all version, the Prime variant is far more powerful than the base version, so you’ll be getting access to a potent healer in her best possible incarnation. Who wouldn’t like that? (Aside from the enemies your frames are fighting, they would probably prefer no healers.)

Source: Twitch blog; thanks to Alex and CapnLan for the tip!

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