culture

Cliff Bleszinski promises to detail Boss Key’s demise in his upcoming autobiography

For those of you who missed it over the past year or so, the path of Boss Key Productions was one of being founded by well-known talent, releasing LawBreakers with some buzz, then crashing and burning hard. Founder and face of the company Cliff Bleszinski promises that the circumstances around the studio will be one of the matters discussed in his upcoming autobiography, as he states that he has avoided interviews due to a need to tell this story in his own words and on his own terms.

Bleszinski has not yet shared any of the details about this section beyond the chapter introduction, which emphasizes the stress experienced working in the game industry. It’s unsure how much of it will involve information which was heretofore unavailable and how much will be Bleszinski’s personal reactions to the situation, but you’ll have to wait until more is shared about the book to find out.

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Archeage adds new content to its fresh start server

How long is a fresh start server really about a fresh start? You could argue at this point that it’s more of a fresh continuation for ArcheAge players. But perhaps that’s picking unnecessary nits; it just seems relevant as new content arrives on the aforementioned fresh start server, and you probably aren’t going to be visiting Reedwind as the first thing you do when you make a new character. But it’s there now, definitely.

The addition of Reedwind also brings with it the Thunderwing Titan, who can be fought in both Normal and Hard variants depending on gear and skill levels. Delphinad Ghost Ships will also be showing up on the high seas, which give players a chance to earn some new rewards while at the same time pitting them against difficult new opponents. If you’ve been enjoying your time on the game’s fresh start server thus far, you’ve got a bit more content to explore now; if you haven’t started because you were waiting for these additions, well, now is the time.

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The Daily Grind: How kind are you to opposing players in an MMO?

The old expression is that character is who you are in the dark. I think that’s true, but I also think character is who you are in EVE Online when you see someone in a dinky mining ship while you fly along in your decked-out warship. You could destroy that other person’s ship in a blink of an eye and face no consequences if you want to.

So what happens to that mining ship?

This isn’t just about other players, it’s about opposing players. If you have War Mode on in World of Warcraft and happen to be flitting through a low-level area, you can no doubt smash in the face of any players you stumble across. Do you do so? If you see someone struggling in a Notorious Monster fight in Final Fantasy XI when you can heal, do you cast a heal or wait until the player is dead to claim the monster for yourself? How kind are you not just to other players, but to opposing players in an MMO?

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Star Trek Online encourages players to make Foundry missions for a free Tier 6 ship

The Foundry in Star Trek Online allows you to make almost any sort of mission you can conceive of, but most of those missions have a pretty specific set of assumptions. After all, the players writing these tales are probably going to assume that the players are taking the role of a standard Starfleet captain rather than assuming that the mission will be experienced by a Jem’Hadar warrior. But why not flip that on its ear? And why not do so when being bribed by the promise of a free tier 6 ship?

Yes, the developers are teaming up with the Foundry Roundtable podcast, and for this month’s competition players are being tasked with making a mission based around either a Cardassian captain or a Jem’Hadar captain. The winner gets a free pick of several tier 6 ships, so there’s plenty of motivation to think about what it would be like to make an adventure just for these two races. And if you already play one of them, hey, there’s some extra reward in it for you.

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Mortgage company analyzes the price differences between video game housing, including Final Fantasy XIV

How much is your house worth in The Sims 4? Obviously, the game attaches a value to it, but that’s just game terms and doesn’t really match what we think of as the value of these things. This is why the UK-based mortgage company L&C Mortgages looked at the housing market in eight separate games to compare the costs and availability of a house in all of them, including the exceedingly market-limited houses in Final Fantasy XIV.

The comparisons are not perfect, since games like Fallout 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are single-player titles without players competing for a house. Still, if you’d like to see how the cost of virtual real estate stacks up, it should be at least mildly amusing. And hey, it also means you can mention your home is worth millions of dollars before muttering that it only applies in Eorzea. (Or Othard, if you want to be really pedantic. At this point you might as well be.)

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Stardew Valley mod sends a multiplayer farm owner into a coma for true MMO action

The multiplayer mode in Stardew Valley is a pretty standard multiplayer arrangement with one player serving as the host and everyone else serving as guests or indentured servants. This is not exactly unusual. But what if you could put the host to sleep forever and let everyone run around with abandon with no masters? Behold the latest mod to the game, which allows the host to basically become completely inert while others continue to play in the game world to great effect.

Of course, there are downsides to this, chief among them the fact that the actual host will need to leave the computer hosting the game powered on 24/7. (You know, like an actual server.) It also means that the host can’t actually participate while the game is frozen, which is fine for short jaunts away but can cause unwanted effects in the longer term. Still, it’s a step toward turning the game into your very own farmland MMO… with an absentee leader imprisoned in a void of darkness. That seems fine.

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Rumor: Players are losing their houses in Final Fantasy XIV in error

Housing in Final Fantasy XIV has some issues with limited space, so almost no one who has a home in the game wants to lose it. So if you want to spread chaos in the game’s homeowner community, claiming that people are losing their houses without warning is a good way to do it. There are more reports than usual of players logging in to find their houses gone, while they claim they had been in there and active in time to reset the timer.

Time to panic? Maybe not. That shiny “rumor” tag is there for a reason, chiefly the fact that at this point there’s no real confirmed reports of this happening to people. Reddit users have taken the opportunity to keep tabs on the house watchers on Balmung, and as of yet nothing has surfaced as abnormal there. (Balmung is one of the game’s largest servers and the unofficial RP server, which means housing is closely watched.) If there is a bug, it appears to be highly limited, but it’s still disconcerting to think about.

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The Daily Grind: How much of an MMO do you have to play before you feel you’ve got a handle on it?

MMOs are big. Really big. You wouldn’t believe just how mind-bogglingly big they really are. Although you probably would, since you’re here reading about them. And the sheer facet of scale means that it can be really difficult to establish a point when you’ve seen enough to have a good sense of the game.

Obviously, five minutes logged into an official World of Warcraft server won’t give you any idea about the game as a whole; pretty much anyone could agree on that. And at the other extreme, it’s unlikely anyone would expect you to play every piece of content in Star Wars: The Old Republic before you can decide on whether or not the game delivers on what you’re looking for.

Realistically, every game offers you a different amount of things in different combinations and in such arrangements that every game will require different amounts of time to evaluate. You could argue that a few matches in World of Tanks tell the whole story about the game’s mechanics, after all. But then, just playing and leaving means you miss out on the meta and the overall sense of what the game is like over the longer term, which can often be a pretty important element. So what do you think, readers? How much of an MMO do you have to play before you feel you’ve got a handle on it?

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Albion Online makes trade mission bundles much heavier

A little change can make a big difference in terms of balance. It’s what Albion Online did with its latest patch; all that’s really been changed is that trade mission packages have had their weight increased by around 400 kg. The thing is that a heavier package means using different pack animals to transport it, which in turn means not being able to rely upon using mounts with more survivability… and, in turn, it means that these trade missions become a lot riskier. See? Balance from a little change!

The patch also contains some other balance tweaks for faction leaders, as well as updating the marketplace UI with several quality-of-life features and fixing several bugs along the way. But the biggest change for the patch is, well, a little change that should make things harder for a lot of players who will rely on more vulnerable mounts now, which encourages more back-and-forth warfare, which is exactly the point.

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Warframe adds a new Platinum pack for Twitch Prime subscribers

Have you taken advantage of Warframe’s free giveaways for Twitch Prime subscribers yet? No? Then what are you even doing with your time? Do you need to get more stuff before you’ll take notice? Because the developers are going to give you more stuff. Seriously, the game just added a new pack for Twitch Prime subscribers adding in 50 Platinum along with a 7-day Affinity booster and a 7-day Resource booster.

This free pack will be available until September 14th and is free for everyone who is signed up for Twitch Prime; you’ll need to link that with your Warframe account, but that is not difficult. It’s also worth nothing that the Trinity Prime bundle is still available as well, and if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber you already qualify for these free goodies. Just take the time to grab them and they’re yours forever.

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

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Fans deploy a mod to fix Monster Hunter World’s alt-tab errors on PC

There are some bugs in Monster Hunter World on PC, if you haven’t noticed. A lot of them have been addressed, but one of the more egregious ones remains and tends to crash the game when you alt-tab out of the title… which is a problem, since everyone in the world does that. Fortunately fan-made mods are here to save the day, fixing the issue with alt-tabbing by correcting an error in the engine that handles fullscreen mode incorrectly.

The mod also adds in higher-resolution graphic support, the ability to hide the interface for screenshot purposes, and a few more technical additions like tricking the game into ignoring certain CPU cores for performance issues. Of course, given that the game is meant to be played online there’s a limit to how much can actually be modded, but it’s nice to see that the issue is being fixed… by an unpaid modder rather than the company releasing the game, but still.

Source: Steam via PC Gamer and VG24/7

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Riot and Tencent appear to be on unpleasant terms with one another

Some fans are still probably a bit miffed that Riot Games (maker of League of Legends and that’s all) teased them about the possibility of an MMO. But it seems like the studio’s parent company is pretty miffed at Riot in general. Gamasutra cites a report from several anonymous sources (which is unfortunately behind a paywall) that China’s Tencent (owner of Riot) and Riot are not on cordial terms due to differing opinions about mobile titles and the reported decline of LoL‘s playerbase.

The short version is that Tencent wants more mobile titles (which Riot does not wish to develop) and has shopped out something just short of a clone to other studios, while Riot is dealing with dropping numbers as other games move into the spotlight. An official statement from Riot disputes this report, stating that the company is happy with LoL at its current numbers and it remains a vibrant community, and relations with the studio’s parent company remain positive and supportive.

It’s also worth remembering that the studio does appear to be working on something new. Equally relevant are the issues surrounding any new games in China, with Monster Hunter World running into trouble and Korean developers unable to publish there.

Source: Gamasutra

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Final Fantasy XIV has a new season of the Feast after the end of championship preliminaries

Fans of PvP combat in Final Fantasy XIV will be able to find out who is the best among them when the Feast finals take place, but if you were hoping to qualify for that competition… well, your time is up. The preliminaries have ended, and with that contest season 8 of the Feast has come to a close. The next round for would-be champions is the semifinals, with the North American finals taking place at this year’s Fan Festival.

Those who didn’t qualify or didn’t wish to in the first place can still find something new to fight over, though, with season 9 starting now and running until the game’s next major patch. There’s also new armor available to players who rank highly, so if you’d avoided striving before because you disliked the old armor or already had it, you can get new rewards now! Assuming you amass sufficient victories to climb to the top of the rankings, of course.

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