Apex Legends patch resets account progress, Respawn shuts down servers

Apex Legends’ latest patch is here, but it came with a few issues. The update released on Wednesday, version 1.1, was supposed to introduce a few quality-of-life changes to the game and a few outstanding bugs. Instead, it reset some players’ account progress entirely.

After early reports of this bug, Apex Legends’ official Twitter account noted that it was a known issue, but developer Respawn Entertainment took no further action at the time. As more reports of the bug surfaced, Respawn said at 1:40 p.m. ET that it had begun to shut down some of the game’s servers in order to perform maintenance and try to fix the issue.

In the meantime, Respawn has recommended that players who are still in-game refrain from buying or crafting any cosmetic items in hopes of avoiding the bug. There’s no word yet if the developer will be able to roll back accounts and restore lost progress, but Respawn said that it will update players when it has found a solution to the bug.

The patch itself is relatively small and contained a few minor bug fixes as well as some behind-the-scenes anti-cheating measures. The biggest feature of the patch is the addition of an option that allows you to party up with the squad you just played with. This feature serves as a way to let players queue back up with strangers they’ve met in-game.

For a full look at all the changes that came with this patch — or if you’re looking for something to read while the servers are down — here are the full notes for Apex Legends patch 1.1.


Quality of Life

  • Added the ability to party up with the last squad you played with. After the match you will see buttons in the lobby that display the last two people you played with and can invite them to your squad.

You can choose to allow invites or opt out in the Friends menu.

  • Additional behind-the-scenes improvements for squashing cheaters.
  • Added Mute button during the intro and Legend selection.
  • When using the Report Player button for PC, you now have the option of selecting Cheat or Other.

Made small improvements to the UI for customizing Legends.

Running out of memory.

CPU errors best explained by overclocking/overheating.

  • Added better collision to the turrets on Supply Ships.
  • Stability fixes to all platforms.

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed issue where the Battle Pass rewards page would not have a default item selected, resulting in a mostly blank page.
  • Fixed bug for PS4 and X1 where sometimes attempting to use a keyboard to chat could cause a fatal script error.
  • Fixed bug with Banner Cards not showing up during and at the end of a match.

JUMP PAD PHASE WALK INTERACTIONS

  • Octane’s Jump Pad no longer affects players when using Into the Void ability.

Source: Polygon.com

Players Say The Latest Apex Legends Update Wiped All Their Progress

Shortly after the latest update for Apex Legends went live today, some players began reporting that they’d lost all of their progress in the game after logging back in. Respawn said on Twitter that it was looking into the issue, and would provide an update as soon as possible.

Apart from apparently breaking players’ save files, today’s 1.1 update didn’t change much. The biggest addition was a new option to immediately re-party with your squad from the previous match. Otherwise, the patch notes were pretty minimal. Yet after the update went live some players immediately took to the game’s subreddit to report that all of their unlocked characters and cosmetics had vanished.

“This is great, only the update wiped my stats, level, battle pass levels, unlocked legends, skins, crafting metals, legend tokens and refunded my coins for buying the battle pass and reset everything back to 0,” wrote Reddit user UrsineVulpine.

In a follow-up tweet, Respawn suggested that players not make any purchases until it was able to get to the bottom of things.

“Until the issue has been resolved we recommend players do not buy or craft anything. We’ll continue to provide updates, along with an ETA, as information comes in,” the studio wrote.

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Some players have decided to not let their game update until Respawn reports that the bug has been fixed, but it’s unclear if that will have any effect, since player progress is stored on the Apex Legends servers. It’s unclear how widespread the problem is, but it doesn’t appear to be isolated to a single platform, with players from both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 reporting that their accounts have been reset. There are currently hundreds of reports on the official Electronic Arts support page about the issue as well. EA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For now, Respawn wrote in a Reddit post that it has taken the game’s servers offline while it tries to restore players’ progress.

Source: Kotaku.com

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey 1.2.0 Update Launches Tomorrow; Full Patch Notes Listed

Ubisoft has announced the latest update for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Patch 1.2.0, will go live on Xbox One, PS4, and PC tomorrow, April 4. The update is 4.1 GB on Xbox One, 4.4 GB on PS4, and 3.9 GB on PC.

Patch 1.2.0 implements in-game support for several upcoming content drops in Odyssey. The largest of those content drops–the first episode of Odyssey’s Fate of Atlantis DLC, titled Fields of Elysium–releases April 23. Patch 1.2.0 adds in-game support for upcoming Lost Tales of Greece side missions as well. Like the Fate of Atlantis DLC, you can expect these Lost Tales of Greece missions to launch at a later date.

The update adds new features to Odyssey too. Patch 1.2.0 implements custom gear loadouts, allowing you to quickly switch between your favorite combinations of armor and weapons for different combat encounters. Lost Tales of Greece missions will also be highlighted in the Quest log, making it easier to keep track of how many you have left and which tasks you still need to do to complete each one.

The rest of Patch 1.2.0 outlines fixes for some of Odyssey’s balancing issues and bugs. The full notes are outlined below. Be warned, the patch notes for this update do contain spoilers for certain mid- to late-game storylines.

In our Assassin’s Creed Odyssey review, Alessandro Fillari gave the game an 8/10, writing, “…Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s ambition is admirable, which is reflected in its rich attention to detail for the era and its approach to handling the multi-faceted narrative with strong protagonists at the lead. While its large-scale campaign–clocking in at over 50 hours–can occasionally be tiresome, and some features don’t quite make the impact they should, Odyssey makes great strides in its massive and dynamic world, and it’s a joy to venture out and leave your mark on its ever-changing setting.”

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Update 1.2.0 Patch Notes

Balancing

  • The Legendary sword, Prometheus’ Sika, now has a warrior engraving as intended.
  • Addressed an issue that prevented Primary attributes from upgrading.
  • Players will now take damage when the oxygen bar is depleted.

Miscellaneous

  • Players can now change the resolution modifier by increments of 10%.
  • The newly added Viewpoints with TU1.1.4 will now be automatically completed when the region was discovered already.
  • [PC] Added support for MSI Mystic Light.

Bug Fixes

Legacy of the First Blade

  • Addressed a visual issue with the reward for looting the three letters in The Last Magi.
  • Addressed an issue in Smoke and Fury where a Persian NPC wouldn’t participate in combat.

Lost Tales of Greece

  • Addressed an issue in Daughters of Lalaia where Thyia could sometimes be MIA in the cinematic when interacting with the Magistrate in Phokis.
  • Untracked Lost Tales of Greece quests will now appear blue instead of white.

New Game Plus

  • Addressed an issue in New Game+ where players sometimes could become stuck in the Forge.
  • Uncollected Orichalcum nodes are now present in the world in New Game+.
  • Addressed an issue where players could lose their items in New Game+ upon looting the same item with a higher level.
  • Legendary Upgrade in New Game+ will no longer make the item higher level than the player.
  • Addressed an issue where A Friend Worth Dying For couldn’t be started in New Game+.

Main Game

  • Quest
    • Addressed an issue that prevented Myrrine from reaching her destination.
    • Addressed various quest progression issues upon killing and confirming the kill of various NPCs.
    • Addressed an issue where snakes wouldn’t be inside the bathhouse in Enough Is Enough. Enough Hiss Enough.
    • Addressed an issue in Moving On where the quest would be completed when the requirements weren’t met.
    • Addressed an issue where players couldn’t upgrade their spear at the forge.
    • Addressed an issue in Paint It Red where the quest markers would sometimes disappear before reaching the destination.
    • Addressed an issue where The City That Cried Wolf couldn’t be completed as the wolves wouldn’t spawn.
    • Addressed an issue in Bare It All where players couldn’t loot the Amulet.
    • Addressed an issue where players were missing the sub-quest Speak No Evil.
    • Addressed an issue in The Doctor Will See You Now where players couldn’t process with the quest after getting the forceps.
    • Addressed an issue where Nikolaos will have a different hairstyle after the conquest battle in The Last Fight of Aristaeus.
    • Addressed an issue where players were missing all main story quests after a loaded game save.
    • Addressed an issue in Throw the Dice where the quest items could sometimes be missing at the intended locations.
    • Addressed an issue where players couldn’t interact with the Sphinx or complete the quest Lore of the Sphinx.
    • Addressed several issues where NPCs could sometimes die after a cut scene.
    • Addressed an issue where the Eagle Bearer in Would the Real Eagle Bearer Please Stand Up can be killed by the player before speaking with him.
    • Addressed an issue in Ashes to Ashes that prevented players from completing the quest.
    • Herodotos will no longer slide right after the dialogue is finished in Regrets.
  • Character and AI
    • Addressed several behavior issues with Lieutenants once they have been assigned to the Adrestia.
  • Adrestia and Naval
    • Addressed an issue where enemy ships could exceed Level 99.
    • Addressed an issue that caused Athena/Octopus’ bows to be missing.
  • Graphics, Animations, and Audio
    • Addressed some graphical issues that occurred in various regions.
    • Addressed various lighting issues.
    • Addressed various gear texture issues.
    • Improved an animation when activating Rapid Fire while crouched.
    • Addressed an animation issue with the Fury of the Bloodline ability when attacked by another NPC.
    • [PC] Addressed an issue where the game looked washed out with FreeSync 2 enabled on HDR monitors.
  • Abilities, Perks, and Engravings
    • Increased the invulnerability window at the end of Fury of the Bloodline.
    • Addressed an issue where players couldn’t use combat and melee special abilities under certain circumstances.
    • Elemental resistance now works as intended and provides bonuses to the player based on the total value.
    • Hephaistos’ Workshop Tier S2 20% discount is now applied properly.
    • Addressed an issue that caused the Crit Chance at full health perk to not work as intended with overpower attacks.
  • User Interface, Menu, and Subtitles
    • Addressed various localization issues.
    • Addressed various UI/HUD display issues.
    • Addressed various lip sync issues.
    • Addressed an issue with the Transmog System where the hidden item slot wasn’t working as intended under certain circumstances.
    • Addressed an issue with the Sceptre of Samothrace where its visual wouldn’t be available as a Transmog option.
    • Addressed an issue where Aya’s lieutenant would be missing a legendary perk after Title Update 1.1.4.
    • Addressed an issue that could cause a double fade when accessing the Engraving section of a blacksmith.
    • Addressed an issue where fast travel was grayed out.
    • Addressed an issue that caused the Level 99 pop-up to display a wrong message.
    • Addressed an issue where the Olouros Fortress location is not marked as completed.
    • Addressed an issue where Tomb locations wouldn’t be marked as completed upon activating the Stele.
    • The Pond of Tainaros is now marked as a Historical Point of Interest.
    • Addressed an issue where unused ability points could be missing after Title Update 1.1.4.
    • Addressed an issue that could occur when scrolling rapidly between Mercenary tiers.
    • [PS4] Addressed an issue where PlayStation®Vita system controls overlap with the ability menu.
    • [PC] Addressed an issue where the Skip button during cut scenes has Controller feedback while using M&K.
    • [PC] Addressed an issue with the Benchmark tool where the Adaptive Quality option didn’t function.
    • [PC] Addressed an issue with the HDR option that would be displayed as off while activating after changing graphics settings.

Source: GameSpot.com

Horny-Looking Game Actually Just A Series Of Menus

Screenshot: Game Of Sultans

For the past month, every time I’ve logged onto Instagram, I’ve seen an ad for Game Of Sultans. These ads are, in a word, horny. Busty suitors compete for your love and the ability to sire your heir. The ads included flavor text like “my girlfriend’s character is already queen!” Whose girlfriend, you ask? There was only one way to find out. I had to play the game.

This made me laugh so much
Screenshot: Game of Sultans

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Turns out, it’s not very horny. As advertised, this looked like it would be a game about having children and marrying them off. Having played my fair share of Princess Maker and Long Live The Queen, I thought I might as well give it a shot. Spoiler alert: that is not what the game is about.

In the opening cutscene for Game Of Sultans, you learn that you’re a prince at your father’s deathbed. He dies due to old age, and you ascend as sultan. You’re given a chance to name this young king, and I hit the random button until it landed on Hardy Castenada. An appropriate name, right? I thought it might add to his fortitude.

From there, you enter menu hell. I quickly found out that you don’t even unlock the ability to get married until you’ve played through most of the lengthy tutorial. Game Of Sultans is more about raising the overall strength of your empire than anything else. You do that by training your viziers, which you do by spending the in-game currency of gold coins on them. You earn gold coins by either levying them—an option nested under the Imperial Parliament screen, which can be completed by tapping a button—or by winning battles on the campaign. In order to win battles, you have to have soldiers, which you can also earn by levying them.

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During battles, you’re basically just matching up a bunch of numbers, like the overall power of your empire and the number of soldiers you have, against the numbers of the enemy. Are your numbers higher than their numbers? Great! Put your phone down and return to find more gold after the game has finished scrolling through about a minute’s worth of tedious animations.

Bad.
Screenshot: Game of Sultans

Game Of Sultans is a spiraling tangle of a game. Even after playing a healthy amount over the past day or so, I’m still finding new parts of this game. You can join Unions with other players, or you can have your Viziers fight other players’ Viziers in the Arena. There’s events in the Frontier, where you can earn gold and rewards from hunting. You can gain allies from other nations, who will give you gifts. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time slapping a Barbarian, which has also earned me some gold and other random awards as all the players in the game collectively wear their health down.

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The attractive ladies and their royal children are possibly the smallest part of the game. You’ll gain one wife during the tutorial, Canfeza the Dancer, and I got another one via leveling up. Her name’s Cecilia, which makes me feel weird (one of my Kotaku coworkers is also named that).

You can also find new wives via random encounters in The Masquerade, which you can only visit three times every couple of hours. Visiting your wives in your harem will raise their charm and intimacy with you, and also introduces the chance of them giving you a baby. I’ve had four so far, and I was already able to marry one off. In this game, all you need to do to raise children is feed them, which ages them rapidly. You only get food for your kids every couple hours, but that was enough to raise one kid to an adult and find him a wife. He seems pretty happy!

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I’m finding that I’m playing through all the rest of the bloat in this game just for the chance to have more babies. The ads for Game of Sultans really made me want to have those babies, and by gum, I’m gonna do it. But you’re not able to visit your wives or raise your children very often throughout the day—at most, you can visit a couple times every few hours. That is, unless you pay real money to buy packs of items that will shorten or temporarily eliminate all the timers. Did I not mention the timers? Everything, everything in this game is on a timer, and some of them are as long as three hours. Not only do I want this game to be hornier in a figurative sense, but also, in a literal sense. I feel like Hardy should have a shorter refractory period than three hours.

I still haven’t deleted Game Of Sultans off my phone yet. I still want to see what my babies will look like when they grow up. While I’m waiting for all my timers to reset, though, I should probably just start a new game of Princess Maker. That game won’t make me wait all day just to see my partner.

Source: Kotaku.com

Battlefield 5’s real-money currency arrives April 4. Here’s what it buys.

Battlefield 5’s premium real-money currency, appropriately called Battlefield Currency, arrives on Thursday, April 4, Electronic Arts said Wednesday. With it, players will be able to spend real cash for things like cosmetics, special characters, and XP boosts.

EA was very careful to lead this announcement with a reminder that “player skill will continue to be paramount with the addition of Battlefield Currency.” The virtual dough is good only to buy customization options or to skip the time input needed to acquire Chapter Event rewards.

EA’s announcement did not say in what amounts Battlefield Currency will be sold, what they will cost, or what the Battlefield Currency prices will be for the cosmetic items and time savers.

When the currency goes live on April 4, players will be able to acquire new epic-level cosmetic items, as well as the common, uncommon, and rare items that may already be unlocked for Company Coin (the freely earned in-game currency).

Later in Chapter 3 of Battlefield 5’s “Tides of War” live service (this chapter just launched March 28), the game will introduce Elite soldiers, which can be bought with the new currency. Elites are essentially a ramped-up version of a character skin. Elites are usable in all multiplayer modes (the new Firestorm included) and are a package of cosmetic items, character voice overs, and animations. The Elites have a character name, biography, and a “Special Assignment” that, when completed, unlocks a signature melee weapon.

Then, further on in the spring, players will be able to purchase XP boosts or “Tier Catch-Ups,” which allow players to acquire Chapter Reward items without slogging through the gameplay necessary for them. Those reward items typically include cosmetics, but also deliver weapons.

Thursday’s rollout of Battlefield Currency will be accompanied by two bundles, the Starter Pack and the Premium Starter Pack, all of which contain player and weapon skins, plus a chunk of the new change (500 Battlefield Currency in the Starter, 3,500 in the Premium Starter). Prices for these were not given. More details are available in this FAQ.

Battlefield 5’s premium currency has been known for more than a year. In October, a month before the game launched, EA DICE explained why it was holding back the availability of premium currency. Plainly, both it and Electronic Arts are still sensitive to the presence of premium currencies following the loot crate controversies of 2017, in which Star Wars Battlefront 2’s warped progression system at launch alienated many and created a good deal of bad will toward both studio and publisher.

Source: Polygon.com

Fortnite’s Dusty Divot has started to fill with lava, heralding big changes

Fortnite’s latest season has reached the midway point, and Dusty Divot has started to fill with lava. This could herald some major changes on the horizon.

The appearance of lava at Dusty Divot only started on Wednesday, though the dig site that the lava filled has existed for a few weeks now. The dig site had a few Easter eggs in it, like dinosaur bones, meteors, and relics from seasons past. These objects were slowly destroyed by players over the last few weeks, revealing a number of extra chests in the pit. When players destroyed the last object on Tuesday, the dig site at the center of the Divot began to fill with lava.

Some players have speculated that this is an April Fools joke that landed a little too late but this seems larger than a single goof by Epic. The Divot itself has been at the center of fan theories ever since hints of a volcano first started to pop up in the middle of last season. Most of the theories revolve around the idea that Dusty Divot will fill with lava, so this recent development feels like a first step in that direction.

If the Divot does fill with lava, it will finally replace one of the map’s longest standing landmarks. Dusty Divot first appeared in season 4, replacing Dusty Depot when the meteor crashed onto the map. Since then, the area has grown and changed, first spawning a bustling research village. After The Visitor emerged from the pod hidden inside the meteor, near the end of season 4, the village was abandoned. The scientists left, trees and grass filled the area and grew around the dilapidated buildings.

What will happen with the area next? Dusty Divot occupies an important section of Fortnite’s map as the easiest place to reach either the east or the west. If the Divot fills with lava, we’re probably getting a lake full of lava at least for a little while. After that, it’s possible the lava could harden at the start of next season, forming a layer of igneous rock that could one day be home to the map’s newest city.

We’re sure to see a few more changes to the map, and Dusty Divot in particular, as season 8 continues. While nothing is out of the question for Fortnite, it does seem like a full area transformation won’t happen until the end of the season, which comes on May 8.

Source: Polygon.com

The Division 2 has a lot to say, but it’s very hard to hear over all the gunfire

Here at Polygon we’ve really enjoyed Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, racking up hundreds of hours in the game as a staff. It’s an incredible technical achievement, one that vastly improves on the rocky launch of the 2016 original. Moving and fighting in the world feels extraordinary, and the environments more than live up to Ubisoft’s other legendary open-world titles. But the narrative in this game is a mess.

After diving deeply into the lore of the original, Cass Marshall and Charlie Hall hit the ground running in Washington, D.C., with the goal to scoop up every bit of information they could find. Now that they’ve completed the main campaign, they’re left with more questions than answers.


The Division 2 mines Washington for set-pieces

Charlie: I played a ton of Tom Clancy’s The Division. I love its methodical, tactical take on classic cover-based shooting. In that game, the missions stood apart from the open-world environments, which largely blurred together into a generic New York City movie set.

With The Division 2, Ubisoft has really improved on its environmental design. There are so many grand locations throughout Washington. Where’s your favorite place to have a gunfight in our nation’s capital, Cass?

Cass: It’s difficult to choose! There are so many stunning set-pieces in this game. I think my absolute favorite has to be the planetarium, where the domed screen displaying the majesty of our galaxy is slowly torn open by True Sons.

Charlie: What was surprising to me, however, is how little the locations themselves matter to the narrative of the game. Take the three final engagements in the third act. The settings themselves look extraordinary and are completely different from each other. But if I toss them up in the air, it makes little to no difference narratively if I fight the Outcasts in the Capitol building or the True Sons on Roosevelt Island. The factions themselves aren’t really connected to the environments, which serve as little more than backdrops.

The Division 2 - a player stands in front of a wall of American imagery Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft via Polygon

The Native American and First Nations museum; the stand-ins for the World Bank and the Smithsonian; NASA headquarters, with the giant pool and the simulated International Space Station — they’re all gorgeous. But, narratively, they’re just beautiful places to shoot guns.

Only rarely does the game ask me to engage with the history or the symbolism of these places. Often it feels like I’m just storming another set of barricades to pile up the enemy dead wherever there’s room.

Another recurring theme is that none of these buildings are really important to the country’s future. I’m here to retrieve a bit of tech, perhaps. Or I’m on a mission to kill someone hiding out here. The trappings of the environments are unimportant. Later in the game, it almost seems like the writers want to ram that point home by taking me just below the surface of Washington, showing that everything at street level is just this thin veneer on top of the greasy, filthy gubbins that actually keep the city itself alive.

Trying to pinpoint the actual story of The Division 2

Cass: The core thesis of The Division 2 seems to be that we are rebuilding America, and the evolution of the settlements highlight our successes. But ultimately, the further you get into the game, the more obvious it is that the city can never really be rebuilt in any meaningful sense — because that would mean an end to shooting enemies and making the flickering numbers over their heads go up.

These problems were less apparent in the first Division game. We were in the immediate aftermath of a crisis and all the gunplay felt justified, to an extent. But The Division 2 takes place seven months later, and the premise doesn’t work as well. Even moving through a settlement can be a little jarring, thanks to all the NPCs thanking me and relentlessly praising me. In response, I can only turn and half-jog away.

My agent is just a vehicle to interact with characters like Kelso and Ortega, but they don’t evolve at all! I fully expected some kind of plot twist, like being betrayed by Kelso, but instead the game just points me toward the next building full of people to shoot. Forever.

Charlie: I absolutely thought that Kelso was in cahoots with President Ellis there at the end. The way she shows up late in one of the last missions, just sort of shuffling into the middle of a gunfight: “Oh, sorry. I had a thing. I’m here now, though. It’s cool. Got a spare mag?”

Perhaps they’re telegraphing something later on with her. It’s honestly hard to say.

Overall, though, that final act felt like a rush job. I put down the entirely forgettable general leading the True Sons, made my way back to the front of the Capitol, and … nothing happened. I hit the inventory button to take a selfie with the in-game camera, and then it literally cut me off mid-screencap to do this weird jump cut to what passes for an ending cutscene. And it’s just the four main characters sort of standing there silently, setting off some fireworks.

Were their faces somber because of all the people that they’d lost? Were they supposed to be having deep feelings about what it means to be an American? Or were they just blank-faced because not enough attention was paid to giving them actual character arcs of any kind?

And then Black Tusk comes out of nowhere to occupy the city. There’s an introduction of this super-powered, super-ominous new faction, and the only explanation I got was a few lines in a tutorial menu.

I honestly thought that I had broken the mission or hit a bug. That’s how abrupt the ending felt to me.

Cass: I think part of the reason this stuff is so jarring is because The Division 2 is such an unrelentingly competent game. The audio recordings and echoes are hit and miss, but the found footage is all compelling and incredibly well done.

Charlie: I have to disagree with you on the collectibles. They felt a lot less meaningful and interesting to me this time around. I think they’re asked to carry too much of the game’s narrative weight.

The Division 2 - a mural of the Dollar Flu Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft

There was an absence and a feeling of loss in New York City, and a lot of the collectibles in The Division helped to fill that vacuum in with human drama and personal frailty. I went into The Division 2 expecting more of that. What I got instead was a series of items and experiences being used as the plot summary of a bad techno-thriller. Several echoes actually lace together this elaborate conspiracy, this ham-fisted attempt to take over the country that should have never worked. And yet it did.

Big spoilers, but: It turns out that some shadowy figure took advantage of the Dollar Flu to seize control of the government. It did so by bankrolling a small group of Black Tusk operatives to stir up chaos behind the scenes in Washington. It was Black Tusk that paid off the Secret Service to assassinate the president. And later, it was Black Tusk that swooped in when things began to stabilize around his successor. This isn’t particularly deep or compelling.

Meanwhile, Keener is droning on about maybe he’s going to reach out to us, maybe he’s not going to reach out to us. I’m beginning to think that Keener might not be on the wrong side of history here. If The Division helped to bring about this future, then maybe it was the enemy all along.

But why would the game want to undermine you like that so casually, so awkwardly? Either ask me to make the big heel turn or don’t, but don’t beat around the bush like this.

The Division 2 is a political game that’s ‘not political’

Cass: Then there’s the fact that the entire story is just loaded with political imagery. A museum exhibit that replicates fighting through Vietnam! The entire intro monologue! The broken television screens of American imagery! I’m a Canadian, so some of this might have flown over my head, but gosh, this game has a lot to say. Well, not say. More like frantically point at.

At one point, I got a bounty to kill a True Son named Jefferson who is capturing civilians as a tribute to his forefather Thomas Jefferson, who kept actual slaves. The tagline is that I need to end his forefather’s legacy of slavery.

The Division 2 - a museum sign explains the issue of water rights for First Nations people in America
Did you find this? And did you stop to read it?
Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft via Polygon

So, I’m being told that the Founding Fathers are bad, and that they did bad things that need to be atoned for. But then The Division 2 sends me to reclaim the Declaration of Independence, which Jefferson drafted, and waxes about how it’s an artifact that’s important to the people.

Later on, a museum display explains that there’s a modern cultural genocide going on around the First Nations people. That’s a very poignant, heavy thought that is in the game, but it’s utterly missable; I wouldn’t be surprised if most players ran right past that sign to pick up a sweet purple item.

The game tends to throw ideas out there and then not follow up on them. Sometimes, those ideas contradict each other. Sometimes, they would have made for a far more interesting story if the developers had followed up on them … but they end up feeling scattershot and left behind.

This isn’t a problem that’s specific to The Division 2; every game-as-a-service title has to deal with the constant hunger for “content.” Instead of digesting the base experience, players tend to look ahead to the next one. I hope we see Massive Entertainment shoring up the base game, and reworking or expanding on some of these narrative elements. I suspect that won’t be the case, but we can hope.

The Division 2- a shattered memorial to America, juxtaposed with a makeshift bar Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft via Polygon

Charlie: Agreed. When I think about “content,” I think of story in addition to gameplay. But if the past is any precedent for this series, then I really shouldn’t expect much in the way of narrative to be coming down the pike. I don’t expect anything to be done to move the storyline of these characters and this city forward. I’d love to be proven wrong.

What’s more likely is that we’ll get a new selection of guns. We’ll get a new collection of branded gear sets. If there’s any messaging that I’m walking away from The Division 2 with, it’s that our nation’s seat of power is just a beautiful, empty playground for modern gun culture, a place where niche brands like 5.11 and SilencerCo can feel right at home next to entirely fictional ones, and that most people can’t even tell the difference between the two.

I love the gameplay in The Division 2. I think it’s excellent and I’m excited for more of it. But it’s incredibly ironic to me that the only thing that’s changed in Washington after 50 hours of the main campaign is that the killing power of all the weapons in the game has increased exponentially.

I don’t see myself putting the game aside anytime soon. I’m looking forward to the level 30-plus gameplay. But I wanted a more interesting, coherent narrative — in addition to the gameplay incentives — to keep me grinding away.

Source: Polygon.com

Apex Legends Servers Down, Update Bug Causing Lost Progression

Respawn has put out a warning that there’s a pretty serious bug in Apex Legends right now. It’s tied to the battle royale title’s latest update–which is live now–and it deletes your in-game progress.

To stave off the bug, Respawn wrote a quick post on Reddit advising all players to “not buy or craft anything” until the issue is resolved. The post did not list any specific platform, so it’s implied the bug is affecting all versions of Apex Legends on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

It also seems like players can no longer log in to Apex Legends’ servers either, regardless of platform. Most likely the servers have been shut down in order to stop players from logging in and losing their progress. However, Respawn has not issued an official statement in regards to the server shutdown.

We’ll continue to update this story as it develops.

The update in question, Patch 1.1, is (ironically enough) a quality-of-life patch for Apex Legends. Patch 1.1 adds a feature that allows you to invite the squadmates you just played with to join you in a party. So if there’s ever a random teammate you meet online that you want to play with again, you can easily find them. The update also implements a mute button on Apex Legends’ intro and character select screens, and creates an option to report players for cheating or “Other.” Octane’s jump pads no longer affect Wraith while she’s using her Into the Void ability as well.

Patch 1.1 implements a few bug fixes too. The three of them are outlined below. If you’re curious, Respawn has posted the full patch notes for Apex Legends’ latest update on Reddit.

Apex Legends Patch 1.1 Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue where the Battle Pass rewards page would not have a default item selected, resulting in a mostly blank page.
  • Fixed bug for PS4 and Xbox One where sometimes attempting to use a keyboard to chat could cause a fatal script error.
  • Fixed bug with Banner Cards not showing up during and at the end of a match.

Source: GameSpot.com

Borderlands Game Of The Year Edition Is Out Now

Fans of the Borderlands series can rest easy, as developer Gearbox announced Borderlands 3 during its PAX East panel last week. Also during the panel, Gearbox confirmed the remaster of Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition. The release date for the remastered Borderlands: GotY is nearly here–here’s exactly when it unlocks and how to get it for free on PC.

[Update: Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition is out now on PS4 and Xbox One. You can pick it up from the PS4 and Xbox One digital stores right now; if you’re waiting for the PC version (free upgrade or otherwise), it’ll be live later this afternoon, as noted below. Additionally, Gearbox has shared a bunch of new information about Borderlands 3, including confirmation of its release date: September 13. We also got the first details on its playable characters.]

The official Twitter account confirmed that Borderlands: GotY drops tomorrow, April 3. It’ll be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at 7 AM PT / 10 AM ET. Steam customers who own the existing Game of the Year Edition can download an update for free at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. It’s possible to obtain physical copies of the game on consoles, but they’re limited to US and Canada stores only.

When the Borderlands: GotY launched in October 2010, it gathered the original Borderlands with all four of its DLC packs–The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, and Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution–into one package. This remastered version will do the exact same, but will also bring about some new additions like gameplay tweaks (such as a new minimap, for example), a series of new guns, new character customization options, and more. Gearbox is also altering the campaign’s final boss, making it “more engaging, challenging, and rewarding.”

Further, an Ultra HD texture pack for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection will be available the same day as the Borderlands: GotY drops. According to the official Borderlands website, the UHD texture pack will affect “characters, vehicles, weapons and environments.” Gearbox didn’t specify how the UHD texture pack will affect the game, so it’s unclear if it’s receiving more frames per second, higher graphical fidelity, or both.

Borderlands: GotY is currently not live on neither the PlayStation 4 nor Xbox Store. However, it’s currently available for pre-order through GameStop for $30 on both platforms.

Source: GameSpot.com

The Original EverQuest Has Not Aged Well

Ten years ago I wrote a story about EverQuest, the online role-playing game I was so obsessed with it cost me my job and a relationship. Now I’m revisiting the game, playing on the new progression server opened to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and I can safely say I am in no danger of falling under its spell again. Old school EverQuest is rough.

Launched last month as part of EverQuest’s anniversary celebration, the Mangler server gives players a chance to re-live the game from the beginning. It’s the 1999 experience with a few modern improvements, developer Daybreak’s version of the much-demanded World of Warcraft Classic. The user interface is updated. There are no experience or death penalties. Expansion packs are added at a rate of one every 12 weeks. Otherwise, it’s a similar experience to the one I played and enjoyed back when the game launched. I was so stupid back then.

Players choose between the original 12 races, with the four races added in later expansions greyed out. There are 14 classes available, with placeholders for future classes Beastlord and Berserker. When the Shadows of Luclin expansion launched in 2001, new, more detailed character models were introduced to the game. Those models are not present. That’s fine. I prefer the original.

For my race I picked half-elf, because I’ve always had a soft spot for the shunned mongrels of elven society. For class, I went with Bard. To this day, I’ve never encountered a character class in an online role-playing game as satisfying to play as EQ’s Bard. They are the ultimate support class, granting party members health, mana, haste and a host of other beneficial effects. At the same time, their ability to run super-fast while slowly killing hordes of pursuing monsters with damaging songs makes them excellent for solo players.

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Eventually, at least. Bards have to spend a lot of time paying their dues before coming into their own, hacking away at low-level creatures with a one-handed weapon. They get a damaging song early on, but it has a wide area of effect, so singing it has the potential to make a lot of otherwise peaceful creatures quite angry.

I spawned in the human city of Freeport, dreams of speeding across Norrath to the tune of Selo’s Accelerando. But before I could play the famous run fast music, I had to reach level five. It’s harder than it sounds.

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For starters, I do not remember Freeport at all. Back in 1999, running the game at 800 by 600 on a Pentium II PC, I knew that filthy city like the back of my hand. Now I am running at 1920 by 1080 or higher, and every muddy texture looks exactly the same to me.

Exactly.

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The.

Same.

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There are signs all over East Freeport pointing to West Freeport, all of which feel like they are pointing in different directions. I spent more time my first day back in Norrath running around the town, desperately trying to find my way out.

I did manage to use the find function on the game’s mini-map to locate the Bard guild, turning in my letter of intent, officially becoming a member. I picked up a few bard songs to scribe into my spellbook when I reached the appropriate level. Then I set off for adventure! Well, I looked for adventure. Again, Freeport is confusing. The map doesn’t help much.

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Eventually, I made my way to the killing grounds outside of West Freeport’s gates. The portion of the zone between the city and the adjacent East Commonlands zone is packed with creatures for newbies to kill. The famous giant rat, skeletons, low level orcs, snakes, beetles, and the occasional wolf roam wild, waiting for young players to come and bat at them. And bat at them. And bat some more. Did I mention batting?

Creatures in early EverQuest take much longer to die than the ones in most modern online role-playing games. They also give a lot less experience. At level one in, say, World of Warcraft, killing between eight and ten creatures is guaranteed to advance a player to level two. It’s quick and it’s easy. In old school EverQuest, between 30 and 50 creatures have to die before you’ll ding to the next level. Or more, depending on what you’re fighting.

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Fortunately, the combat is incredibly exciting. First, a player must hit auto-attack. Then, they stand near their chosen target until it eventually dies. Then they run to the next target. An hour later, they are level two.

My god. At one point in my life, that was exciting. I would sit in front of my monitor for hours on end, watching my character do the same thing over and over again. I would ignore phone calls for this. I would call in sick for this.

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To be fair, back then I had a lot more online friends. I was part of a guild, and my guild members depended on me. I felt useful to them, and that feeling was intoxicating. Now I am playing with strangers. Some of those strangers are not great. Last night I listened to a conversation in general chat about what will happen to America’s avocado supply when Trump’s wall is built. I’m in no rush to catch up with those people, level-wise.

I’m going to keep playing old school EverQuest for a bit longer. I am level four right now, after four or five hours of play, and I can taste Selo’s Accelerando. Bard speed is only 50 or 60 kills away, and then the world of Norrath will be my oyster. My dirty, primitive, frustrating oyster.

Source: Kotaku.com

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