valve

Steam company known primarily to MMO players for the Dota franchise.

PUBG pushes out custom match patch, apologizes for insensitive cash-shop items

PlayerUnknown’s Battleground’s update 18 is live on PC servers today after a brief stint on the PTS. As we previously reported, the update adds new weapons, a new truck, and the new custom match creation mode, which allows players to combine their selected game mode with other presets, like weather, spawn types, and maps. And yes, that includes the zombie mode that for some reason everyone wants in spite of the fact that every new zombie game is instantly mocked. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Meanwhile, PUBG Corp and Bluehole have apologized for upsetting Korean fans with the addition of an offensive Japanese military symbol on a pilot’s mask and the inclusion of an AI bot named Unit 731, presumably after the Japanese army division known for chemical and biological experimentation on Korean, Chinese, and Russian captives during WWII. There’s your history lesson for the day.

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SuperData: Fortnite’s success hit League of Legends and PUBG hard, but not all online games are struggling

There’s a new thinkpiece out on how Fortnite happened and what it all means every week lately, but SuperData’s latest might be a comfort to the rest of the industry. Analyst Bethany Lyons argues that Fortnite’s wild success isn’t coming at the expense of all other games.

Fortnite Battle Royale has grown without disrupting the bottom line or player base of a surprising number of free-to-play games. For example, the title has increased its console revenue in May at a rate of 12% month-over-month, while other free-to-play console games stayed more or less consistent,” she writes.

So that’s revenue. What about users? Other games are still growing, some even faster than Fortnite, she says, particularly in the free-to-play console market, which is encouraging competitors to focus there. And streaming? Seems hours-watched on Twitch for the big games have stayed fairly even too as Fortnite has taken off.

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Grab a Survived By closed beta key from Digital Extremes and MOP

Digital Extremes’ retro permadeath/bullet-hell MMO Survived By entered closed beta yesterday and rolled out a patch with a new 10-man raid, hardmode dungeons, UI buffs, and a graphics upgrade. But what good does that do you, person reading this who has no closed beta key?

We can fix that: In celebration of the CBT, DE has granted Massively OP 2000 keys to get our readers into the game right now. Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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Warlords Awakening just sunset in Korea, and now it’s coming to Steam early access here

As we reported in June, Paywith’s Warlords Awakening MMOARPG is coming westward, with a launch planned for October and an early access date now set for July 26th. The base game will run for $11.99, on up to the top bundle at just shy of 30 bucks.

What we didn’t immediately realize last month is that this game is a rebrand and remastering of Elite Lord of Alliance aka Kuntara Online: The Elite Lord’s Awakening aka ELOA, licensed to a new company. That would probably be fine, except that as MMO blogger Murasama has pointed out, the circumstances surrounding the Korean relaunch of the game last autumn and its recent sunset are concerning. In spite of what appeared to be a respectable playerbase and following in its home country, Playwith shut down the game in Korea just a week ago, and it’s not clear how long the western version will be supported.

It certainly wouldn’t be the first temport we’d ever seen, though for $12, it’s not much of a cash grab. Caution is probably advisable in the meantime, and y’all know the early access rules anyway.

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Bless Online has added a new elite dungeon and pushed out the planned class balancing patch

Live in Bless Online today is the Migra Turris elite dungeon for endgame players. It’s a level 45 zone intended for a 5-man party to roll through once per day, with five bosses to beat down for a chance level 45 heroic weapons, depending on how quickly you can take them down.

“Players can obtain additional rewards depending on the number of boss monsters they defeat in a limited amount of time (25 minutes) after ‘Time-attack’ starts after talking to Yitzhak the NPC on the first floor of the Elite dungeons. If a player manages to defeat 3 boss monsters in 25 minutes they can obtain ‘Ymir’s Skin’ when destroying the Supply Box that can be found in the dungeon. If a player manages to defeat 4 boss monsters in 25 minutes they can obtain ‘Ymir’s Skin’ and one ‘Ymir’s Horn’ at a certain probability when destroying the Supply Box that can be found in the dungeon.”

What else is in the patch? The promised new targeting mode, bug fixes, and a balance pass for Paladins, Guardians, Zerkers, and Rangers. Check out the Migra Turris preview video below for a taste of what’s in store.

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Black Desert overhauls node and conquest wars, extends and buffs its summer events

It’s been a rocky morning for Black Desert, as its planned patch maintenance took a few extra hours and is currently causing some unresolved file corruption issues over on Steam, but the patch is indeed live. And it’s a bit of a mish-mash patch.

For starters, Kakao says it’s extending the Termian Waterpark and Mysteries of Summer events an extra week in the west as Pearl Abyss did in the east, with double rewards from the Waterpark during that time and reduced requirements for the Mysteries turn-ins. Wheeee! And don’t worry: If you did the events before today’s maintenance and the change in rewards/difficulty, you’ll be compensated appropriately too.

A new event is also kicking off today and running into August; players will be chopping down trees (and apparently performing other soft gathering skills) to collect Serbianca’s Vouchers, which they can then exchange for logs to construct the Epheria frigate.

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The Culling 2 has been canceled as devs agree it was ‘not a game that you asked for’ and return to work on The Culling

Earlier this week, we covered the shaky launch of Xaviant Games’ The Culling 2, a battle royale title that was billed as a new-and-improved sequel to The Culling. The game wasn’t received well on Steam; there appeared to be almost no players actually playing, reviews were nearing rock bottom, and players of the original game were rioting over their belief that Xaviant abandoned the first game, which was much more respectably received with over 13,000 “mixed” reviews.

Xaviant has accepted the reaction, and in fact, has responded with a video that will probably make you feel terrible for the devs involved. “It’s been a lot to take in, but we’ve been having a lot of discussions and one thing that has emerged very clearly for us is that The Culling 2 was not a game that you asked for, and it’s not a game that you expect as a worthy successor to The Culling,” Xaviant Director of Operations Josh Van Veld admits.

Consequently, the sequel has been canceled and will be pulled from digital shelves with full refunds to those who bought it. The company will be returning to The Culling and doubling down on the parts of it that made it unique and got all those good reviews in the first place, specifically by bringing back the original game’s day-one version and putting The Culling back into development, then ultimately turning it free-to-play.

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Ubisoft believes The Crew 2 is performing as well as The Crew – ‘its digital performance is outperforming’

The Crew 2 might be struggling to garner praise on Steam, where its beta ratings were poor and its post-launch reviews are merely mixed, but Ubisoft is projecting contentedness with it all the same.

“Its activity is trending in line with The Crew 1, which had benefited from a Christmas launch. Its digital performance is outperforming,” the company CFO said during Ubisoft’s investor conference call yesterday, as quoted by GIbiz. “What we can say is the game is performing in line with the activity of the prior one. It’s really on par from where we stood with the prior one. We know also the prior one had a kind of slow start and started to pick up as we built up more content and activity in the game. So if we do that, I think there would still be significant part of the sales of that game in the next three quarters” – that’s because the first Crew game had a second year almost as strong as its first.

Overall, Ubisoft reported earnings far outperforming expectations, at $444.8 million net bookings, leading to a record first quarter, with the rest of 2018 projected to look sweet indeed thanks to the new Assassin’s Creed title and The Division 2.

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Citadel Forged With Fire is revamping character creation, PvP, and mana tomorrow

It’s been a hot minute since we checked in with Citadel Forged With Fire, but Blue Isle Studios is pushing through the negative early access reviews to deliver a hefty patch tomorrowday. Character creation is getting the biggest punch-up.

“As many players noted during our first year of Early Access, our character customization options were quite limited: Players were historically only able to modify two physical components (ie: head type and hairstyle). With this update we’ve upgraded this with a total of thirteen new customization options, all of which (aside from head and hair) can be precisely tweaked and modified with full slider support!”

The company does note that hitboxes/jump height won’t be affected by the character changes, so it shouldn’t affect PvP. That said, PvP is getting rebalance of its own, raid spells will be harder to craft, damaged structures will appear on the map, spawn rates should be “dramatically” sped up, resource yields will go up, mana management should be less irritating, weapon trees will revert to their old layout, and you can finally delete your old toons.

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Happy birthday, Albion Online – you launched one year ago today

Can you believe it’s been a whole year since hardcore sandbox Albion Online officially launched? I cannot, but that might be because its separate Steam launch wasn’t that long ago. Sandbox Interactive has a recap of its first year up on the game’s official site today, and yes, it does mention the obnoxious DDOS attacks that took the game large out of commission last summer for what seemed like weeks as the hackers tried to blackmail the devs. That frustrating period was followed by several updates, as you’ll recall, including Joseph (PvP and PvE content), Kay (GvG content and the map overhaul), and Merlyn on the way. The devs pepper the commentary with major guild political movement too for those of you who love your popcorn and drama.

To celebrate, Sandbox has a raffle going for some pretty decent packs, so go check that out if you’re curious. The company has also begun a new round of referral rewards, which is definitely going to be the easiest way to get to ride around on a bighorn ram.

Happy birthday, Albion – here’s to many more.

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No Man’s Sky’s Next update drops next week with absurd amounts of space and land content

Don’t call it an MMO yet, but Even More Multiplayer is making its way to No Man’s Sky with its “Next” update. Hello Games today dropped a new trailer showing off how the “limitless procedural universe” is coming along. In fact, you haven’t got long to wait to play it yourself, as it’s rolling out next week on July 24th (Europeans have to wait an extra three days to the 27th for some reason).

“The new mode will be added to the limitless procedural universe across all platforms next week via the No Man’s Sky NEXT update, coinciding with the game’s launch on Xbox One, in a publishing partnership with 505 Games for physical retail. With this launch, players across Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam for PC will be able to explore, fight and survive with friends as they voyage across the vast celestial sandbox.”

Hello Games is touting a whole slew of features, including small-group exploration, the chance to “prey on others to survive,” building shelters and colonies, exocraft racing, custom race track creation and sharing, “epic space battles,” unlimited base building, fleet control, capital ships, “challenging multiplayer missions,” and a massive visual upgrade. Holy crap. Maybe that’s why the game’s recent reviews on Steam are pretty positive, eh?

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PUBG is testing custom matches, so you can roll your own zombie survival game… hey wait a second…

It’s a big day for PUBG as its latest patch has just hit the test server, and it’s a doozy: It’s the one that finally allows custom matches. Players will be able to combine their selected game mode with other presets, like weather, spawn types, and maps. Apparently “zombie mode” is the one to watch; according to RPS, regular players have been jonesing for this option ever since influencers started streaming it. Now everyone can whip up a humans-vs.-zombies match in PUBG, and we have finally come full circle in the world of survival/battle royale games.

Over on Steam, players are ascii-spamming – is there a better word for filling a comment section with word-art of your demands for the devs? – about the game’s ongoing desync issues. There are new weapons and beat-up ol’ trucks in testing now too; you can preview those down below if that’s your thing.

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Defiance 2050 performs better than its predecessor but hasn’t won the community over

With last week’s launch of the revamped and rebooted Defiance 2050, Trion Worlds was betting on players flocking back to the sci-fi MMO shooter now that it’s seen improvements and adopted a free-to-play model. However, it doesn’t seem as though the community is giving its approval for the latest version of this game, at least according to Steam, where Defiance 2050 is weathering “mostly negative” reviews.

One common complaint is that the relaunched MMO isn’t really that much different or better than the old game — yet players have to start over from scratch (in an eerily similar situation to last year’s Secret World Legends reboot). Other frequent criticisms include the proliferation of lockboxes, server instability, old bugs that haven’t been fixed, and not enough recognition or extras for players coming from the original game.

Site Kitguru ran Defiance 2050 through a series of benchmarks and compared it to the original game, stating that it “improves upon its predecessor with a more detailed experience.” It was also noted that there was a choppier frame rate on larger resoutions, better AI, and no apparent reason for the reboot on PC.

Source: Steam, Kitguru

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