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H1Z1: King of the Kill gets new content, Just Survive gets bug fixes and concept art

Fresh off its TV e-sports debut, H1Z1’s King of the Kill branch is on the verge of an update that’s expected to optimize its hit registration code, which’ll build on region-locking to fine-tune the game’s performance. In the upcoming test server patch, Daybreak will also revamp the shotgun, add skirmishes back to the game, update arena play, tweak the UI, and swap in new vehicle skins.

“We are making tremendous strides towards our goal of delivering you with a game that is consistent, competitive, fair, and fun to watch,” Daybreak says. “Our next big priorities are ranked team games and overall gunplay and gameplay balance. We will be sharing more on our future plans soon.” There’s still no word on the launch of the game and its console port.

Meanwhile, stuff is happening over in Just Survive too! Really! Daybreak has wiped the live servers again, fixed a ton of bugs and exploits, and released some (genuinely beautiful) concept art. It also fixed some anti-exploit policing — the one “where anti-exploit code could falsely register and kill players jumping on rooftops.” Back to the rooftops with you.

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Camelot Unchained’s Seattle studio finally has an office

Remember last June when Camelot Unchained startled everyone by announcing it was opening a second studio in Seattle? The team out west has been working on the game for many months now, but finally, it’s getting a home.

“The crew out in Washington now have an office space they will be moving into at the start of next week,” the game’s latest newsletter reveals. “After quite a journey, the lease is signed, the moving can begin, and maybe we’ll even convince them to appear on our streams a little more often.”

Also, may we say that this particular developer has impeccable taste in vintage 2015 t-shirts featuring a mascot rather near and dear to us:

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LOTRO Legendarium: 10th anniversary interview with Standing Stone’s Rob Ciccolini

As Lord of the Rings Online players revel in the varied activities of this year’s 10th anniversary celebration, the crew at the newly formed Standing Stone Games has a huge task ahead of them: To capitalize upon this monumental milestone and prepare to shuttle players into the “endgame” of the books.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini to talk abut the anniversary, its hiccups, and upcoming Mordor expansion. As the page turns on a new chapter of both the game and its development team, it truly feels like we’re about to venture into the unknown in more ways than one.

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World of Tanks overhauls its matchmaking system

Calling Patch 9.18 “one of the most significant ever” for World of Tanks, Wargaming overhauled the game’s matchmaking system this week as part of a concerted effort to address some troublesome areas.

So how does this matchmaking overhaul make the game better? “The improved matchmaker assembles teams choosing from a set of server-based algorithms — templates — so that both camps always have the same number of vehicles at the top/middle/bottom of the list. It also limits the number of SPGs per side to 3 at the most and significantly reduces the instances of map duplications.”

In short, fewer unfair matches and more battles in which you’ll have an honest shot at victory. The update also changed SPGs to become long-range artillery support for teams and revised the light tank lines to spread them all of the way to Tier X.

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Build your very own Space Shuttle Endeavour in Star Conflict’s new event

Feeling nostalgic for the shuttle program? How about the Cold War manifested in an escalating space industry? MMO space sim Star Conflict has you covered: This week, it’s launched an event called Space Race as part of its Ancestral Heritage patch to help you recreate that bygone space tech age. Oh, and there are now plasma cannon. Did we mention that?

“While the American Space Shuttle Endeavour and the Soviet Spiral Aerospace System are visually almost indistinguishable from their historic predecessors, the space engineers of Star Conflict have introduced significant improvements. Now featuring plasma cannons and special combat modules, both spacecraft have become dangerous opponents even for the ships common to the fifth millennium. The Space Shuttle Endeavour is perfectly suited for steadfast pilots and can function as a full-fledged Frigate-class warship capable of protecting its allies in combat. Taking advantage of its heavy armor protection, players can activate the Endeavour’s ‘Phase Demodulator’ module which forces enemies to focus their fire on it and away from other team members in the fleet, providing cover during a fight. The Spiral Aerospace System will appeal to all pilots that like to rapidly change their tactics, as its two special modules allow it to function either as a single or two separate spacecraft. In its unified state, the Spiral is a potent Engineering vessel capable of assisting its allies in various ways, while in its separated state the detached module can, for a limited time, act as a very powerful interceptor.”

Through May 14th, Conflicteers will zip through multiple types of missions for rewards that’ll help you build your very own shuttle. Check out the vids below to get your nostalgia on!

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The Stream Team: Ranger danger in Osiris New Dawn

Osiris: New Dawn just launched its new patch, and Massively OP’s MJ is diving into a brand-new world to play the new Ranger class. Honestly, she just wants to explore the new landscapes, which are pretty spiffy-looking. Maybe she will stumble across a dungeon, but hopefully not before she has a bit more of an arsenal built up. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to check out the latest changes.

What: Osiris: New Dawn
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 28th, 2017

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The Repopulation updates graphic shaders, QA pipeline ahead of May update

How’s The Repopulation coming along? Well, it’s coming. Last week, the newly installed Idea Fabrik developers discussed how the planned May update is progressing with bug fixes and a smoother pipeline for actually identifying, reporting, and correcting issues. The big news, however, is the new shaders that provide a big visual upgrade to the game world (though the team notes flora isn’t in — you can check out the before and after shots below).

“The lore team is looking at shoring up a few things, getting a consistency and looking at future ideas,” Hobble writes. “A new launcher is being built, this may or may not make 15.10.1, but there are a few inconsistencies to do with Steam/Stand Alone that we wish to sort out.”

And Hero Engine also brought back online the EU server, which was taken down for database issues yesterday.

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World of Warcraft breaks a popular add-on for world quests to fix performance issues

The current flow of clearing World Quests in World of Warcraft is pretty straightforward. You see that there’s a world quest out there offering a reward you want, you head for it, you’ve got an hour left. You reach the location, then you find other people killing everything around you and not letting you get a hit in. Well, unless you were using World Quest Group Finder, which allowed you to auto-form and auto-join ongoing groups, ensuring that you were always in the right group to take on group or solo quests as you arrived.

You know where this is going. The addon’s functionality has been prevented with the latest update by Blizzard.

Lest you think this was a purely malicious act, the official rationale is that the addon was causing serious performance issues affecting everyone in the game, and by forcing manual prompts rather than automatically forming groups players will enjoy a smoother play experience. At the same time, it was a popular addon which shored up a major weakness in the world quest structure, so players are quite unhappy that it’s not working. The most recent update to the addon alters its functionality to still provide utility despite the changes, but it’s still going to require more work than just showing up and teaming up from here on out.

Source: Official Forums, Addon Page; thanks to Sally for the tip!

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Final Fantasy XIV’s latest live letter discusses inventory, benchmarks, and housing in Stormblood

The anticipation for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is pretty high among the game’s players at this point. It’s just under two months away, and there’s still so much left to learn about what it’ll be like. The latest live letter from producer and director Naoki Yoshida certainly does answer some questions, though, like how much players can expect in terms of inventory expansion: Basic inventory will add 40 more spaces, and 10 more slots will be added to each Armoury Chest category.

Moving your housing (which will not be available at expansion launch) will be a matter of buying the new land and then indicating you wish to move; if you buy a larger plot of land than your existing spot, you’ll have your furniture stored for convenience. Players can also look forward to receiving the full set of artifact armor in a box for the level 70 job quests, and there should be a benchmark available in the near future… like, say, right now. There’s a lot to digest from the live letter, so feel free to take a look at GamerEscape’s point-by-point summary while you wait for the benchmark and figure out what to do with 130 new Armoury Chest spots.

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‘This universe is going to be awesome’: Chris Roberts on Star Citizen’s evolving moons

On this week’s Around the Verse, Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts and Sandi Gardiner bookend two key segments. The first is a studio update with Foundry 42 checking in from Frankfurt; Brian Chambers describes the team’s efforts on procedural planets, spawning, moons, performance capture, the conversation system, NPC AI, and missions headed into Squadron 42.

The moons “are getting cooler every week, and they’re actually a really great test example where we’re sort of pushing our tech for the planets, which will also pay off on the more involved planets like Hurston or ArcCorp or Microtech and beyond,” Roberts says. “So it’s a great test bed, and it’s kinda fun for me, and we share it with you guys, but I sort of see the progress weekly in it, and it gets cooler and better. So this universe is going to be awesome.”

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World of Warcraft walks back claim that 7.2 is the ‘biggest patch ever’

In a livestream Q&A sessionWorld of Warcraft’s Ion Hazzikostas admitted that the studio probably shouldn’t have slapped the label of “biggest patch ever” on Patch 7.2. The game director said that this was an objective measurement of all of the content that was included, but not every player would experience all of it due to the variety.

Hazzikostas fielded several questions about the gradual unlocking of Patch 7.2’s content, including the still-to-come raid. He said that the unlock schedule for Tomb of Sargeras will come in May, with the raid opening up sometime in mid-to-late June. Another raid is reportedly in the works for Patch 7.3 on Argus.

Other topics discussed were the cross-realm zone lag, why Blizzard isn’t scaling players for the artifact challenge, paragon emissary chest rewards, the Legion assault schedule, and why the studio isn’t awarding Legionfall rep for the assaults (spoiler: It’s a dumb reason). You can watch the full Q&A below!

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The Daily Grind: Why is MMORPG server downtime still a thing?

Massively OP Kickstarter donor John has a very simple question to kick off our morning: Why the heck is server downtime still a thing?

“How can any modern MMO still have server downtime after something like Guild Wars 2? Are we bad consumers? Do we not care? Obviously doable and I work for a company with a web frontend and plenty of places easily have the same without (planned) planned downtime.”

I’ve always found that curious too. I can understand why pre-Guild Wars 2Guild Wars 1, really — games would be locked into their server downtime/uptime paradigm, but new MMOs? What’s your excuse? Why don’t all MMORPGs have a rolling patch system like GW2’s? Why is MMORPG server downtime still a thing?

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Path of Exile issues Patch 3.0 manifesto

Does anyone not get a little excited and cynical when they hear the phrase “game manifesto” these days? It’s such a loaded term, fraught with seriousness and import. And yet sometimes, just sometimes, it can be used to discuss something as seemingly trivial as damage-over-time skills in MMOs.

The Path of Exile team published the first part of its Patch 3.0 “manifesto” series, talking about the design philosophy and changes that will come to the game with this fall’s expansion. And yes, this initial post has to do with the different types of DoT effects and how some will be buffed, some nerfed, and some both buffed and nerfed.

Another significant 3.0 change (now in testing on a server near you!) are some tweaks to the popular Cyclone skill. The improved skill will use pathfinding to move around obstructions so that you don’t have to stop being the Tazmanian Devil. See it below!

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