Tag Archives: players

The Sad Story Of Steve, The Pet Deathclaw Whose Life Was Cut Short By Fallout 76 Bugs

“This is how a Deathclaw is supposed to feel,” Hertell said. “This one doesn’t look like its about to die any minute.”
Screenshot: Mikael Hertell (Fallout 76)

Mikael Hertell really wanted a pet Deathclaw. He wanted one so bad he spent hours searching through Fallout 76’s broken wilds in search of one he could tame. He named it Steve. Steve was a good boy. Some might say a very good boy. That is, until Hertell went to sleep, woke up the next day and found Steve dead, killed by a glitch. That wasn’t the first time this happened to Hertell, either.

Before, Steve there was a Mega Sloth. There was also a gun—a legendary TSE (two-shot explosive) .50cal machine gun. Both disappeared. The gun vanished, Hertell believes, because of a glitch, something many players on the game’s subreddit have shared experiences of. What happened to the Mega Sloth is less clear, but Hertell, a YouTuber and musician who lives in Finland, thinks it died because of the unstable way campsites occasionally load in the game.

“What is the point of having near impossible to find weapons in the game if [Bethesda] won’t even acknowledge a bug that just deletes your most beloved guns from your inventory?” Hertell wrote in a frustrated May 1 Reddit post. “And I’m also out of my tamed sluggish mega sloth that i server hopped for ages [to get]…logged in and poof no sloth in my camp anymore.”

“I’m afraid to log back in, I lost my pet and my favorite gun i can’t afford to lose anything else :/”

What happened to the Sloth? Hertell still isn’t entirely sure.

Screenshot: Mikael Hertell (Fallout 76)

“I logged in and I noticed that there was no sound from the sloth but all the enemies that spawned were dead, looked around for a bit and found him hanging from the ceiling of one of the pre-existing buildings that existed inside my camp boundaries,” Hertell told Kotaku in an email. “To this day I have no idea what killed him because the only enemies there were low level mole rats.”

Whatever the bug was that took his first pet’s life, Hertell remained undeterred in his quest for an irradiated buddy. “I’m a huge pet lover irl and currently have three cats and a ball python in the house so it just felt like something was missing from my camp unless it had a pet in it,” he said.

The mysterious nature of pets in Fallout 76 also appealed to him. Nothing in the game tells you that you can tame wild animals. Even the game’s official strategy guide only mentions it in passing when discussing the perk card for Wasteland Whisperer, the skill that makes it possible to pacify wild creatures, and even then it doesn’t specify that these animals, if properly tamed, will follow you back to your campsite and hang out with you till death do you part.

Hertell crowdsourced information from random Google searches, equipped Wasteland Whisperer, and went out hoping for the best. The creatures have to spawn alone, and even then it doesn’t always work. Yesterday, after weeks of preparation and server hopping, Hertell finally found a lone Deathclaw and managed to woo it over to his side. He was elated. He posted about it on the game’s subreddit.

“God I hope this one doesn’t die like my megasloth…” he wrote.

Then today he logged back onto the game, and it had died. “Well that lasted a whopping 12 hours, I logged in and somebody was checking out my camp and he told me that a Supermutant killed my pet…” he wrote in a follow up post.

This time, the culprit was clear: bad loading times.

Screenshot: Mikael Hertell (Fallout 76)

Ever since Fallout 76’s Wild Appalachia update arrived at the beginning of April, loading into the game has become a slightly more wonky affair. It’s hit people with elaborate campsites the hardest, as different parts of the game world appear to occasionally load in at different times. This is what Hertell believes happened to him, and why Steve is now dead. “The problem is that now when you log in to the game the game loads you into the game world quite fast and then loads enemies relatively quickly or agonizingly slow depending on where you are spawning,” he told Kotaku.

“Same goes for camps,” he continued. They take a minimum of around 1.5-2 minutes to fully load into the world so you are stuck there waiting for them to load. My issue with the pet was that for some reason while my camp took a long time to load into the game (and as almost everything is client side in the game this holds true to every visitor I get) my pet deathclaw steve would load the same second you spawned near the camp along with enemies.”

Before Hertell could do anything, Steve was dead. A super mutant had killed him. Since pets in Fallout 76 don’t scale to match the level of the player they belong to, it doesn’t always take much to kill them, even if they’re a dreaded Deathclaw. And the pets don’t respawn. Once they’re gone they’re gone for good. If Hertell’s camp turrets had spawned in more quickly, they might have been able to save Steve. “I’m just pretty pissed really, i spend so much time getting the pet only for it to be killed in a matter of hours,” he wrote on Reddit.

Screenshot: xCryocide (Imgru)

The tragic story of Steve might seem like a strange, isolated incident, but it’s indicative of a broader tension within the game and its community. It’s possible to get a pet to get attached to in Fallout 76,, but almost everything about the world, going down to the very code its built on, seems intent on trying to extinguish that relationship at a moment’s notice. The subreddit is full of posts with people requesting an overhaul to the pet mechanic, or a little more attention for itso that more players can give it a try for themselves.

Based on his recent experience, Hertell warns players against trying until the feature is fixed, or at least the load times for campsites become more stable. “What good is taming a cat when it dies to the first radroach that decides to attack your camp,” he said. “[It] would be cool for Bethesda to actually make it work instead of leaving it in a sorry state that its in now but I feel like the only things that get patched are the ones that get a lot of public outcry and the pets aren’t that well known so I really don’t see them making any significant improvements to them in a while.”

Slowly but surely, pet taming might finally be starting to get the attention it deserves. There’s already a meta memorial service for Steve going on in the game’s subreddit, with some players calling on one another to celebrate the Deathclaw’s legacy in some way at their own camp.

“May the legend of Steve live on in campfire tales,” wrote one player.

Source: Kotaku.com

Anthem Players Have Turned Avoiding Bad Loot Into A Game

Anthem’s most dedicated players spend almost as much time complaining about the lack of loot as they do grinding for it, so why are they now avoiding so many of the game’s shiny objects? Because most of them are useless junk that isn’t worth dealing with.

The game limits the amount of loot players can collect while out on a Freeplay or Stronghold mission to 50 items. Once you’re capped, you won’t be able to pick up new stuff—and you won’t be able to drop any of those items you’ve already snagged until you go back to the Forge and see what they are. For high level players searching for only the rarest stuff, it’s important to keep those slots open in case that Legendary they’ve been desperate to find turns out to be the 51st item. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see players trying to weave between piles of loot in order to only pick up the stuff that’s actually worthwhile, which are indicated on the ground as orange pyramids rather than purple or blue ones.

Screenshot: Zealouszelotz

I’ve done it a couple times just on instinct because my overall inventory is almost full and breaking down new items is always a chore. On a few missions more recently, I started noticing that other people were getting really into it, and players have now started sharing some of these moments on the game’s subreddit.

GIF: Elie195

The new loot ritual is a testament to how a game’s systems can interact in complex ways to produce unexpected results. While less rare gear can be broken down into the ingredients required to craft Sigils, consumables that give players special buffs for the duration of a mission, it doesn’t take long to stock up on those resources. The game’s 250 slot vault, meanwhile, fills up quickly since players are encouraged to shift between different Javelins builds, each of which has dozens of unique Masterwork items associated with it. Players don’t have the time or patience to mess around with lower-power stuff.

GIF: VaultDudeYT

For that reason it’s not uncommon to see players lash out at piles of loot that don’t have anything good in them before flying away. In another clip recently shared on the game’s subreddit, one player tried to do just that, but a lightning storm had other ideas.

As one player in the thread wrote: “Legendary drops: literally less likely than being struck by lightning!”

Source: Kotaku.com

30,000 Players On The Same Game Server Is An Impressive Sight

One of the goals of Dual Universe, an upcoming massively multiplayer science fiction sandbox game, is to have every one of its players, potentially millions, playing on the same game server together. Earlier this month developer Novaquark ran a large-scale experiment, simulating 30,000 concurrent players wandering the same in-game planet. It’s a sight to see.

Getting everybody playing in the same place is an issue every massively multiplayer game faces. Techniques like multiple servers and instanced game zones ensure that there are never too many players in the same place at the same time. Dual Universe’s developers want everybody in the same universe. If a dozen players want to come together and build a base using the game’s robust construction tools, they can meet up without having to change shards or connect to their own instanced servers. If 30,000 players want to throw a massive party planetside, that’s fine too. Just watch.

The 30,000 players were AI, of course, aimlessly wandering the planet’s surface. It’s not quite the same as having 30,000 live users online at once, each with different connection speeds. There were alpha test players present for the event as well, however, and it seemed to work fine for them, without significant lag or the game crashing.

I’ve been following Dual Universe’s development for some time now, and I really like what I’ve seen. It’s got that mysterious science fiction vibe that endeared me to games like Anarchy Online. Maybe I’ll run into several thousand old friends when the game launches next year on PC.

Source: Kotaku.com

World Of Warcraft Fans Are Perturbed Over Pulled Portals 

Next week’s World of Warcraft 8.1.5 update gives both the Alliance and Horde factions centralized portal hubs, which is good. At the same time, Blizzard is removing a bunch of existing portals, making it harder to get around the game. It’s an odd change that has players asking Blizzard why, and they’re not satisfied with the answer.

Reported last week by the fine folks at Wowhead, centralized portal hubs are a common request from World of Warcraft players. Rather than catching boats and zeppelins, taking overly long gryphon trips, or hunting down existing portals scattered about the cities, a central location with portals connecting to most commonly traveled locations would be a boon to travel-weary adventurers. That’s what players had in mind. It turns out Blizzard had other ideas.

The new portal hubs are currently featured on the public test server and are going live next week. Located in the Stormwind mage tower and inside the gates of Orgrimmar, each hub features portals to seven locations:

  • The Burning Crusade expansion’s Shattrath
  • Wrath of the Lich King’s Dalaran
  • Mist of Pandaria’s Jade Forest
  • Legion’s Azuna
  • Faction-specific cities for Warlords of Draenor and Battle for Azeroth
  • Blood elf or draenei starting areas from The Burning Crusade

These hubs also feature a non-player character that will teleport players to the Blasted Lands, where the Dark Portal stands.

That’s not a bad selection, though there are some glaring omissions. There’s still no quick way to get from Orgrimmar to the Tauren hometown of Thunder Bluff. Alliance characters looking to get from Stormwind to Ironforge still have to take the tram. Portals to every major faction city can be found in the current expansion’s hub towns of Boralus and Dazar’alor, but lower-level characters still have to hoof it. There doesn’t seem to be an easy way to get to Karazhan and the Caverns of Time anymore. Worst of all, the Legion version of the floating city of Dalaran, still used by many as a teleportation hub, is being purged of portals, a move that will likely leave the city a shadow of its former self.

The news of the portal shuffling caused quite a stir amongst players unhappy with the changes. A massive thread in the official World of Warcraft forums titled “Stop Removing Portals” has garnered more than 5,000 replies, including one from community manager Bornakk attempting to put the change in a positive light.

“I understand that changes can throw people off a bit at first, but I also think they help keep the world of Azeroth feeling alive. When there are fewer portals, does the world feel a bit bigger to you? Do you like that? How difficult is it to get to the locations you mentioned without a direct portal?”

Bornakk’s comment alone drew nearly 500 direct replies, including this one from player Orctang:

“Nope, just feels like travel is being time gated. If you want the world to feel bigger make bigger zones that are more alive.”

And an excellent point made by forum contributor Synsha:

“You opened numerous pandora’s boxes of convenience throughout various portions of the game and have built a community that relies on that convenience. Taking it away now is akin to shooting your own foot.

Build on what you’ve built… don’t tear out the base and expect the rest of the building to just… figure out how to stand up on it’s own. It’ll fall. As will your community.”

In response to the overwhelming negative player feedback, Blizzard community manager Kaivax posted an extensive explanation of the developer’s decision. In his post, Kaivax talks about attempting to balance conflicting design considerations. On one hand, the team doesn’t want to make the game too portal reliant. “Too many eliminations of the distances between places can diminish a sense of the world having a meaningful size,” Kaivax said. At the same time, Kaivax explained they don’t want to make travel to any location too inconvenient. He also points out that removing portals is something that’s happened with the release of every expansion; it just never happened with Legion or Mists of Pandaria, and now the devs are playing catch-up.

“With new expansions, we’ve made a tradition of removing some of the portals from the previous expansion’s cities. The goal with that is to encourage transportation flow through newer places where players are more likely to interact with other players. We neglected to do that initially following Legion (and we never did that following Mists of Pandaria for various reasons), but we feel that we should have. We’re correcting that now.”

Kaivax ends his post by saying that the new changes are the direct result of feedback from players, and that “We believe that the numerous remaining means of quick access in the game make most locations quite reachable.” The post already has more than 3,700 responses, many of them negative.

My favorite reactions to the portal controversy comes by way of the World of Warcraft Reddit page, where user winner_in_patching is compiling a list of predictions for the “next unnecessary random change in WoW.” Here are a few.

  • After tirelessly listening to feedback on how the Open World is not dangerous, we have removed out of combat health regeneration. Fear not. Spending 8 hours at an inn will get you back on the sunny fields in Azeroth. (by CardinalM1)
  • Armor Rating now converted to Movement Speed Rating. Your movement speed is affected by how many armor pieces you wear. Your movement speed can be reduced to a maximum of 1% and a minimum of 70%. Cloth Armor users will have a combined Durability of 2 for all their pieces. Naked Players will gain a boost to their movement speed and also be entered in the monthly Transmog competition. (by sleepysnipersloth)
  • Flying mounts now get an exhaustion bar, rarity and levels. This is to ensure people enjoy the landscape instead of flying. (by Kremdes)
  • Trading now only works in major cities. With these changes we hope to make the world seem bigger, bringing players together and discourage giving others your righfully earned loot. (by runnyyyy)

Fortunately, none of these player-suggested changes will be in update 8.1.5, which goes live on Tuesday, March 12.

Source: Kotaku.com