Tag Archives: update

A New Set Of Pre-Cataclysm Challenges Is Live In Anthem

Screenshot: BioWare (Anthem)

Over the weekend, BioWare’s loot shooter Anthem received a new set of Challenges called “The Oncoming Storm.” They appear to be a precursor to the game’s upcoming Cataclysm event, which will introduce a new limited-time mode, but players have already run into some difficulty trying to complete the Challenges due to bugs and crashes.

The Oncoming Storm” consists of three parts, all of which take place in the game’s freeplay mode. The first revolves around destroying a new set of crystals that have started appearing around the world. The second requires you to complete three separate “Crystal World Events,” activities that randomly pop up and reward you with a crystal once finished. And to complete the third, you just need to kill crystallized enemies, which are effectively Scar fighters with crystals on their backs. Getting all of this done rewards you with Coin, one of Anthem’s standard in-game currencies that can be spent on armor and materials, as well as some new decals specific to the activity to customize your Javelin with.

The Challenges are nothing to write home about, and they’re not a reason to jump back into the game by any stretch, but they at least give people who have continued playing something new to do beyond running the same Stronghold mission on loop and complaining about the loot drops at the end.

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When BioWare first showed off how parts of Cataclysm would work in late May, the studio said that the event would be preceded by a two-week build-up period in which the world would slowly change and small things would be added. “The Oncoming Storm” Challenge descriptions briefly went live in the game early last week. More recently, a storm has appeared off in the distance on the northern part of the map. While the Cataclysm mission itself has been live on a public test server for PC players to try out for weeks now, the full event, including new story missions, now seems likely to come to the full game in early August. Back when Anthem first came out, the Cataclysm was scheduled to arrive some time in May.

Screenshot: Kotaku (Anthem)

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But even the introduction of these new Challenges hasn’t gone off completely without a hitch. Several players in the Anthem subreddit have reported that the game has been crashing more than usual while they’re in freeplay. The Challenge that requires killing crystallized enemies also appears to be bugged at the moment. The game only seems to count those killed with melee attacks or gunfire, as opposed to Javelin gear or ultimates.

It’s still not too difficult to get the 60 kills necessary to satisfy that part of the Challenge, but it does add another small frustration to a continually growing pile.

Source: Kotaku.com

Sea Of Thieves Gets Monthly Updates And The First One Is Pretty…Explosive

Sea of Thieves, Rare’s chill pirate hangout game, has been on the upswing lately. After an expansive (and excellent) Anniversary Update that brought story quests and cooking to its cartoony high seas in May, Sea of Thieves is upping the ante yet again with monthly updates. Log into the game now on Xbox One or PC and you’ll be greeted by the very first one, the Black Powder Stashes.

Like the name suggests, the update brings quests that send players off in search of gunpowder barrels. As you complete voyages and score the extremely expensive booty, you’ll be able to earn new titles and exclusive cosmetics for your ship.

As far as updates go, it seems a little light—the most interesting thing here is the way gunpowder adds some more tension to the Sea of Thieves loop. Ferrying loot back and forth becomes a lot more intense when that loot can blow up your entire ship with one lucky shot from a foe.

The prospect of monthly updates, however, is exciting. While it lacked variety in much of its first year, Sea of Thieves has only gotten better with time, and its developers remain vocal about their plan to continue that momentum. Giving players a reason to log in and see something new on their voyages every month is an excellent move. It brings Sea of Thieves closer in line with other live service games like Destiny 2, with one important distinction: You can’t play sea shanties in Destiny 2

Source: Kotaku.com

Bug-Riddled Update Shows Why Fallout 76 Needs A Public Test Server

Screenshot: Kotaku (Fallout 76)

This week marks eight months since Fallout 76 released as a buggy mess. Since then, Bethesda’s online survival game has improved a lot. But while it has had a lot of good days, the arrival of patch number 11 yesterday was not one of them. Instead, it’s renewed players’ calls for Bethesda to try updates out on a public test server before dropping them into the main game.

The update is pretty sprawling, encompassing balance changes to Fallout 76’s battle royale mode, new quality-of-life improvements to make starting out as a new player less daunting, and tweaks to the game’s premium currency economy. It also introduced a host of new problems, like legendary loot not dropping from enemies and weird new “death zones” around the map that automatically kill anyone who stumbles into them. All of the bugs being reported by players and rounded up in a post on the game’s subreddit have made patch 11 reminiscent of the game’s other two-steps-forward, one-step-back updates.

One of the biggest issues is related to Power Armor. “We’ve made behind-the-scenes improvements to the Power Armor system to help address lots of bugs,” Bethesda wrote in the game’s patch notes. “As a result, you may notice your Power Armor pieces have moved into your inventory or Stash.” However, some players have reported that the pieces have gone missing altogether. It’s not clear how many people were ultimately affected, but players with multiple sets of the rare and expensive armor appear to have been hit the hardest.

“I’ve lost an entire set of T-60 fully modded PA,” wrote one player on Reddit. “Furious as I spent ages getting the caps to buy plans (I’m not that market savvy so I never have too many caps as I have limited time to play). I know I’m never getting my PA back but its so demotivating to go and do it again.”

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Others have had the opposite issue, with existing sets of armor inexplicably duplicating. “I logged in and spent 10 [minutes] putting all my frames back together,” wrote another player. “Then I put them back in my stash where they disassembled and I ended up with 812 pounds in my stash while I was still over encumbered with duplicates. Had to put everything back together a second time.”

The update has also made some controversial changes to how players earn Atoms, the game’s premium currency. Players used to be able to collect them by completing basic Challenges early in the game. In an effort to make the early game less harsh, Bethesda replaced those Atoms with useful items like Stimpaks and Disease Cures. But it didn’t add those Atoms back in elsewhere, effectively decreasing the amount players can initially earn just by playing the game.

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This change comes alongside the addition of a new item called a Scrap Kit, which can only be purchased with 50 Atoms, the equivalent of 50 cents. This item automatically scraps a player’s junk and deposits it in their Stash. While not a game changer, the Scrap Kit is certainly a more convenient time saver than doing all of those things manually. It also means players who have one can adventure out into the Wasteland without worrying about dying and leaving all of the scrap they’ve collected behind when they respawn. What’s annoying players is that they have to pay for the privilege. Similar to Repair Kits, which Bethesda added to the game in the spring, this effort to monetize around the edges of gameplay while the game still has plenty of bugs has left a bad taste in many players’ mouths.

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The game’s new greenhouses aren’t helping either. The buildings are bonuses that players can only unlock by purchasing the Green Thumb Bundle for 1,500 Atoms, or approximately $15. But some of the players who have it say it’s a pain to try and place in the environment, causing repeated error messages unless it’s placed on perfectly flat ground. It doesn’t play nice with concrete or other foundations, and you can’t stick real plants in it either. Worst of all, some players say the greenhouse doesn’t even keep out the rain.

At a time when Fallout 76 has generally been on the upswing thanks to new content and clever new mechanics like player-owned vending machines, the latest update has proven to be a frustrating flat tire on the road to redemption. Anthem, another online game whose trajectory has had a lot in common with Fallout 76’s, added a public test server at the end of May. Since then, BioWare has spent weeks working with PC players to get its next big update right. It feels like Fallout 76 is long overdue for the same treatment.

Source: Kotaku.com

Bethesda Wants To Make Fallout 76 Easier For New Players

Screenshot: Fallout 76

Fallout 76’s world can be a brutal, especially for players just starting out. Hunger, thirst, disease, radiation—there’s no shortage of maladies in Appalachia. In the game’s next big update, Bethesda is determined to dial down the danger, at least early on, so new players can actually spend more time exploring Fallout 76 in peace.

“We’re looking to make a few adjustments to help new and low-level characters have more gradual introductions to some of the game’s mechanics and challenges,” Bethesda said in a blog post late last week announcing the major changes coming in Patch 11. The biggest of these changes include:

  • Reducing the cost to fast travel for players under level 25
  • Giving players under level 15 higher disease resistance
  • Making food take 50 percent longer to spoil
  • No longer wiping out stat bonuses from food and drink after fast traveling
  • Making encounters with higher level enemies outside of the Forest, the game’s starting area, more rare

The studio says it also plans to make rewards from Fallout 76’s checklist-driven Challenges completed earlier in the game more useful for low-level players. Right now, a lot of these activities grant ammunition for guns players don’t have, or crafting materials for things they can’t yet make. New players might racking up high-level ammo while they’re hurting for first-aid, fresh water, and food.

Patch 11 will also make item effects and their descriptions clearer.
Screenshot: Bethesda (Fallout 76)

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These basic necessities can be so scarce early on for players who don’t know where to look for them that it’s become common practice in Fallout 76 for higher level players to search out those who are still in the single digits and leave them little gift bags full of Stimpaks, Rad-Aways, and grilled meats, and boiled water.

While players have done a good job of papering over Fallout 76’s holes with creative role-playing, making the game’s onboarding process a much smoother experience will go a long way toward helping it find new players as Bethesda continues to add post-release content. Patch 11 is supposed to arrive later this month.

Source: Kotaku.com

Ship-To-Ship Combat And Everything Else Shown At Warframe’s Fan Conference

Changes to quest structure and enemy behavior, ship-to-ship space combat, and a new, sprawling open-world area are just a few of the things coming to Warframe later this year and beyond.

Digital Extremes shared some new information and a bunch of trailers for the updates they’re working on at this year’s TennoCon held over the weekend in London. At the top of the list is the Empyrean expansion, first teased at last year’s conference, which will let players team up to control combat spaceships in a new type of mission. The studio went into detail about what Empyrean will entail with a new 44-minute demo.

The video shows three players in a customizable battleship called a Railjack setting off to explore the solar system in search of aliens to kill and loot to grab. While onboard, each player can help manage the ship’s shields, weapon systems, and special tools like EMP blasts. They can also disembark and get inside their Archwings, exosuits for flying through space that have traditionally been confined to a particular set of missions, to head out and board enemy ships. In the trailer, it’s reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed’s naval combat, but if the enemy ships housed mini-dungeons.

Digital Extremes says Empyrean will also have a new type of quest built around a feature called Squad Link. According to the studio, Squad Link will coordinate missions between different squads of players in different parts of the map. One group of players might pursue an enemy Railjack that’s protected by a powerful shield, while another group on the surface of a nearby planet then gets a distress call with the location of a limited-time objective to destroy the power generator for that ship’s shields. The expansion is also supposed to have overhauled graphics and updated enemy AI to make battles more dynamic.

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There’s also a batch of smaller updates headed to game:

  • A new introductory quest that ties into the game’s new opening cinematic.
  • Duviri Paradox, Warframe’s third open-world area. Based on the trailer, it may be more sinister and surreal than the current ones.
  • The New War, the next chapter in the game’s cinematic narrative quest line. Information is scant, but the trailer is pretty.
  • “Nightwave Series 2: The Emissary,” the game’s next season of weekly challenges and rewards that’s based around a mysterious child who can cure the infested (currently live on all platforms).
  • Wukong Prime, the enhanced version of the original Wukong suit. It comes complete with a crossbow, nunchaku, and looks that can kill (also currently live on all platforms).

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While the studio’s announcements were light on release dates, Warframe’s future continues to look bright despite the game originally coming out six years ago.

Source: Kotaku.com

Armored Mewtwo Is Coming To Pokemon GO On July 10th

Mewtwo is coming back to Pokemon GO raids but will be sporting a new look. This armored version is based on Mewtwo’s appearance from the upcoming Pokemon anime film Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution.

Niantic and The Pokemon Company released a teaser video showing off the new Mewtwo in action. The return of this more potentially more powerful Mewtwo will only be a limited time event. Players can start fighting this armored Mewtwo on July 10th.

Beyond the teaser and the release date, not much else is known about this upcoming Pokemon GO event and this new version of Mewtwo.

Source: Kotaku.com

Crash Team Racing PS4’s Got A Save-Corrupting Bug, But A Fix Is On The Way

A nasty bug that’s been causing PlayStation 4 players of Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled to lose their save files is getting patched on July 3. In the meantime, Activision warns PS4 players to steer clear of time trials.

According to blog posted today by Activision, the PlayStation 4 save-corrupting bug occurs when the size of players’ race ghost data gets too big. Race ghosts are created when players participate in Time Trial races, acting as AI opponents for them to practice against. Users who have encountered the bug, several of whom emailed Kotaku directly, had their save files irreversibly corrupted.

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Developer Beenox is aware of the issue, and a patch is planned for deployment on July 3. In the meantime, Activision suggests PlayStation 4 players avoid Time Trial races until the ghost data is clear. Players who complete a race while connected online fromnow through July 4 will receive a gift of 2,500 Wumpa coins (used to buy customization items) as a “we’re sorry” present.

The July 3 patch release coincides with the launch of Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled’s first Grand Prix event, through which players can earn special cosmetic items and a new playable character by competing in special races.

Source: Kotaku.com

World Of Warcraft’s Rise Of Azshara Update Is Live And There’s So Much To Do

It’s a big day for World of Warcraft as the long-running MMORPG upgrades to version 8.2 with the massive Rise of Azshara update. Players can now explore two new zones, earn gnome and tauren heritage armor, learn to fly in the Battle for Azeroth zones and gain the ability to hide all of their armor but their pants. Truly, it is the dawn of a new Azerothian age.

Internally, and by that I mean inside my head, I’ve been referring to Rise of Azshara as the gnome update. One of the two new zones introduced, the mechanical city of Mechagon, is a gnomish paradise, and I hope my smaller World of Warcraft characters can spend most of their lives living there. The Mechagon Island zone is sort of an extension of my favorite spot in the expansion, and I can’t wait to explore its junk-covered hills, meeting and making all sorts of mechanical toys, minions and equipment using the new junkyard tinkering feature.

Mechagon Island leads to Operation: Mechagon, a new eight-boss mega-dungeon that’s only available in the advanced, Mythic difficulty.

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Meanwhile, in non-gnomish content, Horde and Alliance players will be plunged into the Nazjatar zone, home of Queen Azshara and her naga armies. I don’t know why she gets top billing, but her zone, which is a vast kingdom beneath the surface of Azeroth’s ocean, looks mighty impressive so far.

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In Nazjatar, players can collect something called Prismatic Manapears, which can be exchanged for special upgradeable Benthic gear. This unique armor, intended for use in the Nazjatar zone and the upcoming Azshara’s Eternal Palace raid, will grant the owner special benefits, such as increased damage, increased mount speed, enemy debuffs and such.

This is one of those World of Warcraft expansions where I log in and have no idea what to go after first. Do I work towards earning exalted with Gnomeregan so I can get the new gnome heritage armor?

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Do I level an alt so I can get the tauren heritage armor, which replaces cloaks with a huge, wooden totem?

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There are also new quests to complete. The war campaign continues, advancing the Horde versus Alliance battle at the center of the Battle for Azeroth expansion. There are new island expeditions and a vast new PVP battleground to get wrecked in. Hell, I haven’t even completed the first half of the flying in Battle for Azeroth achievement, and now the second half is live in the game. Should I complete that and get the mechanical parrot mount? I just don’t know.

Oh wait, let me just look through these update notes one more time. Of course, it was staring me in the face this whole time. One moment.

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Did I mention players can now turn all of their armor invisible except for their pants? It’s pants party time, people. PANTS PARTY.

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Check out Blizzard’s hand Rise of Azshara survival guide video for a list of things to do if pants parties aren’t your thing.

Source: Kotaku.com

Red Dead Online’s Newest Mode Feels Like The Wild West

In the past few weeks, Rockstar has added three new PVP modes to Red Dead Online. Two of these modes aren’t that interesting, but one, featuring horses and shotguns, is a great use of Red Dead Online’s wild west setting.

Last month, Rockstar released a large update for Red Dead Online that added poker, along with more missions and numerous balance changes. This update also moved the game out of beta. Since then, Rockstar has made small updates that have added three new PVP modes: Public Enemy, Head For The Hills and Sport of Kings.

Public Enemy and Head for the Hills are fine PVP modes where players try to kill a player who is marked as a target and try to escape to a location while others try to stop them, respectively. Though I did like the moments of utter chaos that can occur in Head For The Hills, I’m not itching to play more of these two modes.

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In Sport of Kings, eight players are split into two teams of four, and all players are riding horses and carrying sawed-off shotguns. While on horseback, players need to capture a torch and then light the enemy team’s signal fires. Light all of the enemy team’s fires first and your team wins the round. Do this three times and your team wins the match.

On foot, this mode might be dull, but adding horses makes everything fast, deadly and a little out of control. The close range and high power of shotguns make things intense.

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Since you are on horseback, picking up the torch requires timing and planning. Your horse can’t turn on a dime, so it’s important to aim just right before galloping over the torch to collect it. This also means that players often ride into the same area in nearly straight lines at full speed. I saw many players miss the torch or get there too late and end up ramming into other horses. This can send people flying, killing them in the process.

Once you have the torch, Sport of Kings becomes a high-speed pursuit. Your teammates can try to block enemy players from reaching or shooting you. Having the torch is exciting, and dodging an enemy trying to cut you off feels great. Of course, these pursuits also expose one of the big issues with this mode. If you get stuck with bad teammates or a player who is AFK, matches get a lot harder, but not impossible, to win. Even with an AFK ally, my team and I have been able to win. Other matches I played were lost due to players not pulling their weight.

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When the other team has the torch, Sport of Kings becomes a game of balancing defense and offense. Sitting back and just protecting your signal fires isn’t always the best choice, so you need to push forward and try to cut them off or take out their teammate, who will respawn, but not right away. But if you get too aggressive you might leave your signal fires unprotected. I had a few rounds where I was carrying the torch and the enemy tried to stop me but made a mistake, letting me slip by them and light all their signal fires in a few seconds. It felt exhilarating.

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Rockstar giving all players sawed-off shotguns is a perfect fit for this mode. They are powerful enough that you can get one hit kills at close range and with a bit of luck. In several matches, I was able to turn a losing game around with a lucky blast of shotgun pellets. But shotguns are also wildly inaccurate and inconsistent. That might sound frustrating, but when everyone else is missing shots too, it’s less annoying and more enjoyable.

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In a lot of other PVP modes in Red Dead Online, winning is all about having the fastest headshot skills and avoiding skilled snipers. That isn’t what I want out of Red Dead Online. Instead, Sport of Kings feels more like the wild west action I prefer, complete with bullets flying everywhere, missed shots, and close calls. I feel like a cool cowboy when I weave around a few bad guys, take a few down, then whip around and light their signal fires.

There are dozens of great online shooters in the world, from Gears of War to Overwatch to Fortnite to Counter-Strike. If I want standard deathmatch or battle royale, I can play those games. But none of them can replicate the action of the wild west, something Red Dead Online is uniquely positioned to do and does so well in Sport of Kings. Hopefully, we’ll see more modes like this in future updates.

Source: Kotaku.com

Captain Olimar Got Done Dirty In Latest Smash Patch

The most recent Super Smash Bros. Ultimate update addressed a number of concerns in the competitive community, most notably the strength of characters like Captain Olimar. The developers hit the Pikmin protagonist with a number of changes in order to knock him down a peg, but those changes had the side effect of severely limiting his ability to block incoming attacks.

Captain Olimar has received a ton of animosity for his advantages in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Much of his strength in previous versions of the game revolved around his small frame, which made it hard for opposing players to land attacks. The game’s ver.3.1.0 patch, which dropped late last week, addressed this by enlarging his hurtbox, or the space around his model that tells the game he’s been hit. As you can see in the comparison images below, this change made the hurtbox around Olimar’s helmet significantly bigger.

The hurtbox around Olimar’s head grew larger in the ver.3.1.0 patch (original images c/o Meshima)

Pichu, another character who has found success in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competition thanks in part to her small frame, also received a hurtbox adjustment, but with one key difference: the size of her shield was also increased to compensate for the Pokémon’s increased vulnerability. Unfortunately for Olimar players, the intrepid space captain wasn’t given the same consideration, which has proven to be devastating for his defensive options.

Like almost every aspect of the Super Smash Bros. franchise, blocking works a little differently in these games than it does in most other fighting games. By holding the block button, players can surround their chosen characters with a protective bubble known as a shield. This bubble shrinks in size over time and also when it’s attacked by an opponent, reducing its effectiveness. At a shield’s maximum size, it should block most attacks outright, but as it gets smaller, players can utilize what is known as a shield poke to attack the vulnerable portions of an opponent’s character that are no longer inside the protective bubble. There are exceptions—condolences to Mr. Game & Watch in Super Smash Bros. Melee—but, generally, a character with a maximum shield shouldn’t be able to get hit.

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That is where things have now gotten precarious for Captain Olimar. With an increased hurtbox but no such expansion on his shield, slivers of his vulnerable bits are constantly sticking out of the bubble’s protective space. The competitive community was quick to pick up on this discrepancy and has produced a mountain of evidence of how this negatively affects Olimar’s ability to mount a capable defense, some of which comes from actual tournament play.

Another technique known as shield tilting, which allows players to shift the shield to other portions of a character’s body to cover an exposed hurtbox, has been raised as a possible solution for Captain Olimar players who have suddenly found themselves without a viable shield, but that still poses the problem of making the lower half of his body vulnerable. And what happens when the shield shrinks? Should players even bother blocking at that point? This is an obvious oversight by Nintendo, and many fans think this is a step too far, even the players in the competitive community who had formerly been calling for Olimar nerfs.

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Where one stands on the latest Super Smash Bros. Ultimate patch has a lot to do with what you value in competition. There’s no doubt that characters like Captain Olimar, Pichu, Peach, Daisy, and others were very strong before this patch, but it remains to be seen how the extensive changes made to these top tier characters will affect tournaments moving forward. Olimar’s shield issues, however, fly directly in the face of basic game mechanics that have existed for 20 years, hobbling a character who, while powerful, doesn’t deserve to be removed from competition entirely due to hamstrung defensive options. Here’s hoping the developers fix this oversight in the next patch.

Ian Walker loves fighting games and loves writing about them even more. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax.

Source: Kotaku.com