E3 2018: Fallout 76 confirms private servers, mod support, and no living NPCs

As players continue to try to wrap their heads around Bethesda’s vision for Fallout 76 (and fear a gaming apocalypse in which their previous single-player game is “ruined” by MMO elements), the studio is doling out more details about this “always online” survival sandbox.

So here’s a few new things you should know. First up, yes, there will be private servers for the game in case that you would like to create a pocket universe just for you and your friends. Next? Hunger and thirst meters, which are standard survival game staples, will be part of Fallout 76. And just in case you were confused about this point, the studio specified that there will be no NPCs other than robots and recordings.

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Steam Workshop modding is live in Dark and Light today

Modders, start your engines: The Dark and Light dev kit is officially available as of today, meaning that modding and uploading those goodies to the Steam Workshop for the early access title is now happening. It’s apparently a little bit behind schedule, but it’s already attracting some player love; I spy nine mods already as I type this, including tweaks for workbenches, magic, weapons, gardening, lamps, and creature textures. The improved building mod might be the most useful so far!

“Aspiring programmers and modders will have the full power of the Unreal Engine’s modding tools to introduce new content and unlock extensive game functionality for an open environment. Blueprints for gameplay mechanics such as spells and AI behavior trees will be accessible, alongside source art. Snail Games hopes players will put their own stamp on the world of Archos, by importing custom artwork to transform the game world visually, experiment with the entire ecosystem and devise their own game modes.”

As far as official content goes, the game’s most recent update tinkered with optimization upgrades and smashed bugs.

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The Daily Grind: Have you ever run unauthorized MMO modifications?

In the earliest days of Final Fantasy XI, you couldn’t alt-tab without crashing the game. Thus, the Windower program, a little add-on designed to force the game to allow alt-tabbing like basically anything else in the world. The add-on was also disallowed, but the developers eventually adopted a “don’t be an idiot” approach to it; you have native window support now, but if you still want to use it for its other functionality, just don’t shout about it in-game and you’ll probably be fine.

Of course, it’s hardly the only unofficial modification that affects a game’s functionality; multiboxing in World of Warcraft, various map add-ons for City of Heroes, the DPS trackers for Final Fantasy XIV. Every game has stuff that’s not technically allowed, but isn’t any sort of cheating tool; it’s just there to improve your life as a player. So have you ever run unauthorized MMO modifications? Not cheating tools, those are a different story, just mods that alter the functionality of your chosen games?

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Check out one determined modder’s Final Fantasy XI retexturing project

For what amounts to a PlayStation 2 game from 16 years ago, Final Fantasy XI looks really good, even now. But… well, that’s the caveat right there, isn’t it? The game was designed for a PlayStation 2 in 2002. It has aged very well, but it’s still an older title with older models and animations and textures. What a good thing, then, that one fan has decided to overhaul all of the textures in the game with an HD texture pack to draw out all of the game’s potential.

You can check out a trailer for the pack just below; the modder, Amelila, had worked on an adaptation of Ronfaure into Skyrim before he realized that the same skills could be used to make FFXI more attractive. Modding the game has always been something that enterprising fans have engaged with, but it’s good to see that even as time has marched onward, fans have continued to find ways to make the game that much prettier.

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Diablo II is being recreated in StarCraft 2 by an enterprising fan

You probably have enough of Diablo II in Diablo III at this point to satisfy any urges you might have to play the classic game in a more modern engine. But if that’s not enough for you, why not take a hop and a skip over to StarCraft 2? Because someone is literally remaking the game via the real-time strategy title’s map editor.

Yes, this is a thing that’s happening. User egod123 is rebuilding Diablo II in this wholly different game. Sometimes life is amazing.

The project has been in the works since 2014 and is aimed at recreating the game faithfully while also adding in two additional challenge game modes, with an option for fans to start testing the maps as of today. Hopefully this one won’t attract the banhammer from the Blizzard legal team, although given that it’s being made as a mod of another Blizzard game anyhow, that might be an interesting case to see happen.

Source: Patreon via PCGamesN


Fan creates a Final Fantasy XIV UI in Final Fantasy XI

For those of you who were wondering when Final Fantasy XI started supporting add-ons… it didn’t. The game has never supported add-ons, and using Windower and its associated add-ons is totally not allowed and could get you banned. Except that it won’t, and functionally no one is particularly concerned about it. So you have players who use the software and its various functions to do awesome stuff like turn the game’s interface into the interface from Final Fantasy XIV.

Obviously, it’s not a perfect translation; FFXI is a very menu-driven game and FFXIV is not, there are lots of different mechanics at play, and the hotbars alone are a rather experimental bit of additional coding. But it’s pretty neat to see the older game gussied up to look like its newer cousin. And if you want something to slightly ease the adaptation curve, you could do worse.

This is what add-ons exist to do.

Source: Reddit


TERA cracks down on third-party programs, causing a community firestorm

TERA has put a hit out on third-party programs that access the MMO — and players that might be using them for “malicious” purposes.

On April 26th, En Masse posted a notice on the forums informing players that any and all third-party mods are a violation of the game’s TOS — without exception. Players were then urged to uninstall any such programs, and En Masse said that it would be combing logs for evidence of cheating that would lead to bans.

Initially following the notice, the studio continued to forbid players from discussing third-party programs (including the announcement), but subsequently changed its mind as players got heated over the add-ons, the possibility of bans, and the suppression of conversation.

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The Daily Grind: Do you use plugins for your main MMORPG?

As one of Massively OP’s resident modding nuts, I am drawn to MMORPGs that offer plugin support and modding APIs. World of Warcraft’s modding was a whole secondary game for me, not just playing with other people’s work but cobbling together my own (pieces of junk that don’t remotely compare to the pros’ — I know my limits!). Lord of the Rings Online, EverQuest II, and Ultima Online likewise helped feed my urges, as did classic Guild Wars and City of Heroes (though that was all unofficial).

Now, I have The Elder Scrolls Online’s plugin community to keep me busy, and while it’s no single-player modding folder monstrosity (hundreds of gigs of files across the three big TES games!), it’s still fun!

But I was reminded the other day that there are some mods that are still pariahs in the MMORPG community when commenters joked that gearscore addons are worse than murder and slavery.

So, do you use plugins for your MMORPG? If not, is it because you have something against plugins or because the game doesn’t properly support them?

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Working As Intended: Two decades of Elder Scrolls housing

The Elder Scrolls Online‘s wildly anticipated Homestead patch has rolled out today, introducing housing for the first time for the MMORPG. But it’ll be far from a first for the franchise, which has been well-known for its housing systems for over two decades. In today’s video installment of Working As Intended, we’re taking a trip back through my (often gloriously overmodded) installs of Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, and then ESO itself to reminisce about just how far the series’ housing content has come. Bring your own silt strider!

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Stardew Valley comes to console next week, updates multiplayer progress

Chucklefish Games announced today that adorable farm sim Stardew Valley is destined for console, and soon: It launches on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next week with preorders already up, coming full circle back to its Harvest Moon roots.

Why cover this here? Earlier this year, Stardew creator Eric Barone revealed he was working on a co-op multiplayer mode for the game, originally planned for the 1.1 patch. That patch landed in October, bringing with it new farm maps, new spouses, new buildings, and new crops, as well as brewing… but no multiplayer.

“Multiplayer is still under development,” Barone posted just five weeks back. “I know it’s taking a while, but it should be worth the wait.”

In the meantime, there’s a mod for that — literally. Modders have crafted a plugin called Makeshift Multiplayer as a “temporary solution” until the functionality is baked into the main game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go download all the Stardew Valley mods.

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WildCard recombines ARK versions back into one game, adds SOTF modding and VR

Remember back when Studio WildCard split ARK into two stand-alone games, Survival Evolved and Survival of the Fittest? Well, ignore that. The studio is recombining the two back into one single game, which means the mod-turned-game-turned-mod/server will no longer be free-to-play. However, the Survivor Leagues where folks battle it out for cash prizes and the dedicated eSport ranking will continue in SotF.

Why the change? According to devs it’s to allow unlimited modding support. Jeremy Stieglitz, lead designer, programmer, and co-founder of Studio Wildcard, said that Steam Workshop support for SotF is “pretty much the most-requested feature for the game at the present time.” The reintegration will allow players to move assets from the main game and put them into Survival of the Fittest as well as give modders access to work with new content as soon as it comes out for either of the two versions. If you want to catch Survival of the Fittest in action, the July Survivor League Championship will stream on Saturday, August 6th, at 11 a.m. EDT. on the game’s official Twitch channel.

SotF isn’t the only thing returning to ARK: Survival Evolved, either. An early implementation of Oculus VR support is enabled again as of v245.94, and devs expect more improvements in the weeks ahead.

Source: Studio WildCard press release, VR announcement


WildCard defines ARK: Survival Evolved’s upcoming Primitive+ mod

Nestled far, far down ARK: Survival Evolved’s Community Crunch 57 post is a little gem for anyone who is curious about the upcoming Primitive+ mod. Devs have taken a moment to define this upcoming total conversion mod to let players in on some of the goodies that await them. Basically, primitive here means no electricity. That means no AC units, no omni-directional lights, no fridges, no metal structures, and no fabricators. But when devs taketh away, they also give: There are windmills, muskets, dozens of new resources, 11 new crop seeds, new rafts, and three new building tiers (lumber, cement/brick, and adobe). In total, Primitive+ adds 230 new items that are not a part of the core game. And it won’t stop there either, as devs committed to continue active development of the mod. You can see some of the changes yourself in this gallery:

The post also includes results for the summer cup semi finals, winning videos of community content contents, from building to video making. You can tour the ARKitect winner — a community library — in the clip below, then check out other videos on the official site.

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Worlds Adrift’s free Island Creator tool has launched on Steam

One of the hooks of Worlds Adrift is that players can make their own worlds — and with Bossa Studios’ new Island Creator, you can get started doing just that. Today.

The studio believes that its Island Creator, downloadable freely from Steam, marks “the first time a game has allowed the player community to have such a profound impact on a persistent, shared universe,” though we’re pretty sure you’ll be down in the comments in 20 seconds proposing examples that at least come close.

“At the start, there will be more procedurally generated islands, but through the Island Creator we’ll definitely be including islands created by the community, even before the game is launched,” says Bossa. “Our plan is to add new islands submitted by the community every month, so we expect the balance to soon grow in the favour of the community. We released the tool exactly for this reason.”

Check out the official video guide to the new tool below.

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