Shacknews - John Keefer

Microsoft has released its Games With Gold list for March, with Borderlands 2 and Evolve Ultimate Edition topping the list

The free Xbox One games will be Layers of Fear and Evolve, while the Xbox 360 games will be Borderlands 2 and Heavy Weapon. As with all the Games With Gold releases, the dates are staggered:

  • Layers of Fear is free for the whole month of March. You'll save $19.99
  • Evolve Ultimate Edition is free from March 16 to April 15. Save $49.99
  • Borderlands 2 will be free from March 1-15. Save $19.99
  • Heavy Weapon will be free from March 16-31. Save $9.99

A few of the February Games With Gold are still free if you want to grab them. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed runs through the end of the month, as does Lovers in Dangerous Spacetime. You have until March 15 for Project Cars: Digital Edition. 

Games With Gold titles are only free if you have an Xbox Live Gold membership.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Titanfall 2's highly anticipated Live Fire free update is finally going live tomorrow, adding a new 6v6 multiplayer mode, two maps specifically designed for it, as well as a complete overhaul of the matchmaking system.

The new Live Fire Mode throws 12 players together onto a map in a pilots-only match with no respawns, and only a minute to eliminate the opposing team or hold onto a neutral flag as time expires. There will also be two new maps for the mode: Meadow, which reintroduces zip lines, and Stacks, a highly vertical map that encourages attacks from above.

The other big feature is what developer Respawn has dubbed Mixtape matchmaking, which eliminates the old way of joining a match in favor of creating a list of your favorite modes.

There will also be a double XP event this weekend, starting tomorrow and ending on Monday, to encourage players to try the new mode.

Respawn put out two sets of patch notes. The first came out before it had release certification for the DLC, who the second was added when the coming server update was announced:

NEW CONTENT:

  • Live Fire: A new Pilot vs Pilot elimination game mode! It’s a 6v6 round-based with no respawns, you will have one minute to eliminate the opposing team in order to win the round. You can also win the round if your team is holding the neutral flag when the round timer ends. The team to win 5 rounds first wins the match.
  • New Live Fire Map - Meadow, a lush location with grassy lanes and rocky outcroppings that provide site lines for long engagements and sneaky routes for flanking. Also zip lines are back!
  • New Live Fire Map - Stacks, an industrial location of open areas that sandwich a dense center point framed by towering structures. The verticality encourages attacks from above and rushes from the outside lanes.
  • New Faction Leader animations! Faction Leaders now play a randomly selected animation during the beginning dropship animation.
  • New Audio for the DLC Commander Intros.
  • Added a new execution, "Late Hit". Deliver a flurry of Stim fueled punches that pummel your enemy to the ground .

NEW FEATURES:

  • Mixtape Matchmaking: A complete overhaul of our multiplayer matchmaking. This new feature will allow you to create your own “mixtape” of modes to your heart’s desire.
  • Gamepad: Custom Button Mapping (Pilot & Titan)
  • Gamepad: Crouch Button - "Hold to Crouch" Option ("Toggle" is still default)
  • Gamepad: ADS Button - "Toggle" Option ("Hold to ADS" is still default)
  • Controls: “Hold to Rodeo” Option (“off” is still default)
  • Advanced Hud: Disable Party-Member Coloring on HUD (some colorblind players may prefer this)
  • Community FAQ: New section of the FAQ to highlight upcoming patches, DLC drops, trailers, and creations from the community
  • New Sounds for the Stim Pilot Execution, “Late Hit”.
  • Added Film Grain Slider
  • New ambient environmental sound effects to bring the livefire maps to life. Meadow is a fusion of virtual reality and natural forest ambiences while Stacks is a fusion of virtual and industrial sounds.

GAME IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Holo pilot decoy can now deploy on ziplines.
  • Holo pilot decoy is more resilient when stepping over things and colliding with walls at certain angles.
  • Holo pilot decoy is now visible in the threat scope and sonar grenade pings.
  • Holo pilot decoy no longer runs on top of dome shields.
  • Holo pilot decoy no longer crashes into the ceiling and dies when running through doorways.
  • Holo pilot decoy should be more resilient when started during wallruns.
  • Kraber can no longer be shot as a semi-automatic if the player presses the reload button at the same time as the fire button.
  • Titans that are invulnerable while performing executions will have their lifebars colored gold and flashing to communicate their invulnerability.
  • Added some out of bounds triggers and props to block off areas for Crashsite and Complex.
  • FOV is now saved per-user.
  • When switching weapons while editing a loadout, the game will now preserve your mod choices if possible.
  • Ronin now shows his sword in the loadout menus.
  • Credit purchasable items now show a credit symbol instead of a lock symbol.
  • Friends' names will now show up green in chatroom and in-game.
  • Prime Titans can now use Nose Arts.
  • Network Admins can send messages to the network in-game, rather than only through titanfall.com
  • Added extra text to make clear that Warpaints are not supported on Prime Titans.
  • Capped max range of Reapers' weapons in Attrition.
  • Toned down the excessively loud dropship sounds in Attrition.
  • Adjusted Volume Falloff of Cluster Rocket Explosions so you don't hear them from across the map anymore.
  • Added some lobby text notifications to inform players that they are waiting on the party leader before restarting matchmaking.
  • Nuclear Eject damage no longer fills your Titan Meter.
  • Reduced the area affected by the Nuclear Eject screen shake.
  • Increasing crit damage Pilots deal to Reapers in Multiplayer.

TITAN BALANCE:

Tone

  • Reduced Salvo Core's damage.
  • Removed the damage falloff from Salvo Core rockets.
  • Increased the cooldown of Sonar Pulse.
  • Reduced the projectile size of the 40mm.
  • Tone Burst Loader Improvements:
  • Slight presentation tweaks.
  • Updated audio cues.
  • Leaving ADS now clears the charges

Northstar

  • Removed the damage falloff from Flight Core rockets. This should make her more consistent in dealing high damage.
  • Increased dash regen rate.

Ronin

  • Increased dash regen rate.

Scorch

  • ADS'ing with his primary weapon will display the projectile's path.

Ion

  • Fixed a bug with Vortex Shield where reflected bullets would deal a high amount of splash damage.

WEAPON BALANCE:

Devotion

  • Added very far damage settings, reducing its damage at distance.
  • Added more kick to the first shot to make using single shots more difficult.
  • Increased view kick during sustained fire to create a slightly larger spread.

Archer

  • Fixed the homing speed so it will once again track targets as expected.

MGL

  • Reduced the projectile speed.
  • Increased the fuse time.

MISC BUG FIXES:

  • Fixed being able to be shot by snipers behind the cover of the amped wall if the shooter is really close.
  • Fixed sentries so they now properly track targets through the amped wall.
  • Fixed tracers not showing up when shooting through friendlies with bullet weapons.
  • Fixed the MP R201 not dismembering stalkers and ultimately being less effective as other similar weapons against stalkers.
  • Fixed bug with using A-Wall/Hard Cover while phase shifted.
  • Fixed some cases where players could plant turrets in mid-air.
  • Fixed HUD display incorrectly showing number of Electric Smoke charges.
  • Fixed case of scoreboard counting a Titan termination on a piloted Titan counting as 2 pilot kills.
  • Fixed MOTD not displaying over a certain character limit.
  • Fixed Charge Rifle with Quick Charge mod skipping cooldown after firing and switching weapons.
  • An elusive Nessie has still not been found…last seen in the mission Blood and Rust…
  • Fixed bug with getting doomed with Stealth Auto Eject while in the midst of melee. Also fixed rare case of being stuck permanently in a "Ejecting Titan" cockpit animation.
  • Fixed some cases of being stuck inside of level geometry with Rodeo.
  • Fixed Grenade indicators not showing up sometimes.
  • Fixed incorrect bullet hit detection immediately after being damaged.
  • Fixed some cases of being stuck inside of level geometry with Phase Rewind.
  • Fix Asian languages not always word wrapping correctly.
  • Fix input duplication between chat messages and the game.
  • Fix pick up ammo sound incorrectly playing in MP.
  • Fixed issue with browse not highlighting a network when clicked from lobby.
  • Fixed hover FX not playing in NPC kill replay.
  • Fixed Ion's Laser Core FX appearing offset from crosshair.
  • Fixed showing the turret placement hint when player spawns, but doesn't have a turret, due to watching a kill replay with the turret placement hints.
  • Fix camera becoming disoriented when navigating the store.
  • Fix formatting issues in stats page.
  • UI bug fixes when browsing networks and in the chatroom.
  • Fixed a bug with the nose art menu that left the player on a blank page sometimes.
  • Fixed a bug with SP achievements not correctly counting all Pilot Helmets collected. (Will trigger when opening main menu)
  • Fixed some stats related issues with player melee.

PLATFORM SPECIFIC FIXES:

PS4:

  • Accepting a game invite while the game is not running will now properly connect you to the invited lobby.
  • General stability improvements.

PS4 Pro:

  • Increased sun shadow resolution.

X1:

  • Stability improvements when browsing the store.
  • Fix not being allowed to start multiplayer after resuming the game from suspend when the player's profile is not linked to an Origin account.
  • Fixed being able to accept invites to a game that the player is already participating in.
  • General stability improvements.
  • Correctly grab the system voice permissions from Xbox and honor it in game.

PC:

  • Added Adaptive Supersampling. When enabled and running faster than the FPS target, the game will dynamically increase rendering resolution up to 2x the target resolution to improve AA quality. If the maximum supersampled resolution exceeds 16K in either dimension (e.g. when running at Eyefinity/Surround resolutions), this option will be unavailable.
  • Added Very High to the Model Quality tiers.
  • General stability improvements.
  • Added Model Draw Distance to allow pushing draw distances further out.
  • Added description for Triple Buffered in the VSync description text.
  • In an effort to reduce hitches from texture streaming, the "Texture Quality" setting has been renamed to "Texture Streaming Budget" to more accurately reflect the setting's function, and the tiers have been renamed to indicate the VRAM amount needed. A warning has also been added when the game detects that the chosen tier uses more memory than currently detected. The goal is to only use about ~75-80% of the VRAM when the game is running to avoid GPU memory management hitches.
  • Spun D3D texture creates off onto a dedicated thread to avoid driver stalls and added throttling to the number of textures that are made live by the streaming system every frame. The throttling mechanism is simplistic and can be improved, but we want to get this out earlier to see if we're on the right track in reducing texture streaming stutter before investing more engineering effort. If you were previously experiencing stutter, please provide feedback on whether stuttering has noticeably improved after this patch.
  • Adaptive Resolution FPS Target is no longer capped by max monitor refresh rate and instead caps to maximum supported FPS (144).
  • Improve VRAM detection accuracy.
  • Improved SLI/Crossfire compatibility. Players are recommended to not use TSAA when running in multi-GPU mode because TSAA can negatively affect performance scaling.
  • Improved frame rate stutter detection tools.
  • Enabling adaptive resolution while VSync is set to Double Buffered should now reliably force VSync to Triple Buffered.
  • The game now prevents the screensaver/lock screen from coming up due to idling while the game is running.
  • Added additional info to rare startup error "Failed to CreateGameWindow. Resolution Unsupported?" and a speculative fix for it.
  • Fixed adaptive res FPS target incorrectly resetting to 60.
  • Fixed texture streaming being disabled on GPUs with < 2GB of detected VRAM.
  • Fixed the game crashing on startup if a user has AMD GPU drivers installed, but is no longer using an AMD GPU as the primary adapter.
  • Fixed memory leak experienced on Crossfire setups.
  • Fixed various UI scaling issues when running in Eyefinity/Surround ultrawide resolution.
  • Added text clarifying "Invite friends" functionality doesn't work while the Origin overlay is disabled.

An here are the additional notes.

  • New logging to report player connection quality to help us track down reports of laggy games and disconnects.
  • Drastically reduced requirements for Match Loss Protection - Increased chance of not receiving a match loss for joining a game late that we do not expect you to win. When joining matches late if the game has progressed far enough you will see a message notifying you that you will not receive a loss.
  • Increased direct Pilot hit damage for Gravity Star.
  • Increased damage on the Flatline, R-97, Spitfire, L-Star, Double Take, EPG, and Thunderbolt.
  • Decreased damage on the Volt.
  • Regen no longer resets Pilot loadout names.
  • Assists count as Weapon XP again.
  • Nerfed Pilot Sentry.
  • Firestar will no longer display "Thermite Attached" if detonated on friendly Titans.
  • Fixed Ion Vortex Shield drain being framerate dependent.
  • Fixed bad AI navigation on Complex.
  • Fixed collision on Crashsite to prevent players from going into walls.
  • Fixed Legion Overcore not being available after using Smart Core.
  • Fixed "Fairfight category is incompatible".
  • Fixed various stability issues.
Shacknews - John Keefer

The speculation about Overwatch's next hero has run wild after yesterday's faux interview with child robotics and AI genius Efi Oladele. Would the hero be an 11-year-old or would it be a new Omnic she might create? According to Gabe Director Jeff Kaplan, it is the former, but we likely have not gotten the full story.

Kaplan gave an Overwatch talk at DICE 2017, showing various slides of art. In one, a huge four-legged mech was prominent, but he quickly warned speculative Reddit users that "the hero in the center is not the hero that you think it is,” which was similar to his comment on the official forums earlier in the week about character Doomfist.

However, after the talk, he confirmed to Polygon that Efi was the next hero, with more info coming "over the next week."

The revelation of a combatant 11-year-old seems odd. In yesterday's story about Efi, it was revealed that she liked the idea of drones doing her work for her, and that she really wanted to create a new Omnic, the game's sentient robots. Those details could mean that Efi may not be killable, but eliminating her toys would eliminate her. And while the four-legged mechanical marvel in the slide and previous trailers for Overwatch may not be the actual hero, it could still appear in the game very soon.

Granted it's all speculation at this point, but hey, we'll learn more over the next week.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Update: After this story went live, Kaplan apparently clarified his remarks to Polygon, stating that Efi will be part of the next character's story, but that the new character had not been confirmed.

Original Story: The speculation about Overwatch's next hero has run wild after yesterday's faux interview with child robotics and AI genius Efi Oladele. Would the hero be an 11-year-old or would it be a new Omnic she might create? According to Gabe Director Jeff Kaplan, it is the former, but we likely have not gotten the full story.

Kaplan gave an Overwatch talk at DICE 2017, showing various slides of art. In one, a huge four-legged mech was prominent, but he quickly warned speculative Reddit users that "the hero in the center is not the hero that you think it is,” which was similar to his comment on the official forums earlier in the week about character Doomfist.

However, after the talk, he confirmed to Polygon that Efi was the next hero, with more info coming "over the next week."

The revelation of a combatant 11-year-old seems odd. In yesterday's story about Efi, it was revealed that she liked the idea of drones doing her work for her, and that she really wanted to create a new Omnic, the game's sentient robots. Those details could mean that Efi may not be killable, but eliminating her toys would eliminate her. And while the four-legged mechanical marvel in the slide and previous trailers for Overwatch may not be the actual hero, it could still appear in the game very soon.

Granted it's all speculation at this point, but hey, we'll learn more over the next week.

Shacknews - Greg Burke

Welcome to another edition of Shack’s Arcade Corner, where Greg Burke makes it his business to parade around like a huge monster and fight off any takers. That’s why in this episode of Shack’s Arcade Corner, he’s tackling Primal Rage.

Greg checks out this versus fighter from Atari Games released in 1994 and discovers exactly what makes these brawlers so primal in the first place. The Virtuous and Destructive Beasts are ready to duke it out with red T-Rexes, ape-beasts, stegosauruses and more. It’s a throwback to the Stone Age here at Shacknews as Greg risks life and limb to bring us one of the best arcade fighters ever — at least, to some of us.

Check out our look at Primal Rage below!

For more videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the Shacknews and GamerHub.tv YouTube channels.

If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Arcade Corner, please let us know in the comments section or tweet @shacknews & @GregBurke85 with #ArcadeCorner.

Shacknews - -Shack Staff

If you’ve got a free afternoon (and even if you don’t) you should take in some Sentinels of the Multiverse with us! Tune into our Shacknews Twitch channel at 4 PM ET/1 PM PT to check out Asif Khan, Jason Faulkner, RaqibMarvelous, and tehMorag as they engage in card combat with the colorful card game.

Watch it all go down via the stream below or head on over to our Twitch page to hang out with all the other viewers in chat. Make sure to subscribe to our Twitch channel for more awesome streams and content as well!

Shacknews - John Keefer

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, unless of course you are a cheater. An pro Overwatch player ran into someone in a match using his account name and aim-botting at the same time. In the end, justice prevailed.

Overwatch expert Kephrii, aka Brian St. James, is the highest ranked Widowmaker player in the world. So when he saw another Kephrii playing Widowmaker in a match against him and his team, it became personal (via Engadget). The real Kephrii kills the imposter several times, and he even becomes a but agitated when he realizes the guy is cheating as well. "Guys, he's cheating," St. James tells his team between rounds. "I told you this; that Kephrii is cheating, he's aim-botting." 

In the end the real Kephrii is rewarded with play of the game. In posting his video on YouTube, St. James is matter-of-fact: " I was playing with LG Superplouk and we got matched against a Hacker who named his account Kephrii after me. It's kind of flattering that he thought to name his aimbot account after me, but he's still a dick for hacking."

Of course, cheaters vs. pros happens on occasion in Overwatch, but seeing the pros wipe the floor with them is always satisfying.

Shacknews - John Keefer

BioWare has teamed up with Cards Against Humanity to create a Mass Effect expansion for the popular game. But don't expect anything family friendly. The cards are all about sex with aliens and boning metal women. We doubt these are the "meaningful" side quests that Mass Effect> Andromeda was aiming for. 

The limited-edition 14-card pack is now on sale for only $1, and the site jokes that the pack was created in the hope that "they would let us play the new Mass Effect game early. That did not happen, but here we are anyway." 

In actuality, the expansion actually sprung from a meeting a few years ago at the San Diego ComicCon between the CAH team and the developer. The two sides were so excited about the prospect that work began on the cards later that same evening. More than 700 cards were created, but only 14 made the final cut. 

“Whenever we’d look at the list of cards their team preferred, it was only cards about fucking,” CAH's Trin Garritano told Polygon. “We had to push through a few non-sex cards just to widen the appeal of the deck. It was an incredible problem to have and I am still absolutely tickled by this.”

While Mass Effect did have some highly publicized erotic moments, it is likely these cards are more NSFW than the games were. “I mean one of the white cards is ‘an armored Krogan war-clitoris’ so I guess that’s up for debate?”

The cards were created by BioWare writers Karin Weekes, Ben Gelinas, and Sam Maggs, with art done by illustrator Cara McGee.

Shacknews - John Keefer

A Twitch gamer running a 24-hour charity stream for the Make-A-Wish Foundation has died off-camera during the marathon.

Brian “PoShYbRiD” Vigneault, a 35-year-old World of Tanks player from Virginia Beach, Va., had stepped out around 3:30 a.m. CST for a smoke break, but did not return. Fans following the stream became concerned, thinking that maybe he had fallen asleep. When a friend saw him online in a Discord chat channel, he reached out, but apparently the person responding was a member of the Virginia Beach police department. The detective later confirmed that Vigneault had died. No official cause of death has been released.

According to his Twitch profile page, Vigneault was active in doing charity streams, giving 100% of the proceeds to various organizations. "So far this stream has raised over $10,917.20 for various veterans and children's charity organizations," he said on the page.

A moderator on his channel posted that "Our dear friend and fellow streamer, PoShYbRiD has passed away on Feb 19th. The family has chose to not release the details of his passing. We feel it is best to just remember him for who he was, and not think about what happened." A GoFundMe page has been set up to benefit Vigneault's wife and three children.

World of Tanks developer Wargaming.Net offered it condolences in a statement: “Wargaming is saddened to hear of the loss of streamer and tanker Brian Vigneault, aka ‘PoShYbRiD,’ a devoted player of World of Tanks and contributor to the Make-A-Wish foundation. We offer our most sincere condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

 

Shacknews - Donovan Erskine

Pre-orders for the upcoming Nintendo Switch came and went pretty quickly, so it’s understandable that many weren’t able to secure one for launch day. If you were one of those people, there’s still hope. Gamestop announced today that there will be a limited supply of consoles set aside for walk-in customers on launch day. 

In a press release, GameStop encouraged those unable to snag a console early to attend their “midnight launch events.” Be aware that fans will show up in large numbers to try and get in on that walk-in deal; so your chances of being able to purchase a Switch on launch day without a pre-order are slim, but still worth a shot.

Gamestop also revealed that they will have two different Nintendo Switch bundles available for purchase on their website. As of now it’s unknown as to when these offers will go live. Bundle 1 will get you a Switch console, a Switch pro controller, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for $429.99. Bundle 2 will get you everything included in bundle 1, along with Piggyback’s official guide to Zelda: BOTW for $454.99.

Nintendo fans aren’t new to the struggle of trying to get their hands on the company’s new hardware. Last years NES Classic was so hard to get a hold of that some stores were only receiving shipments in the single digits. Prices on eBay even reached $500.

GameStop had came under fire earlier this month when reports started to surface that the company was randomly cancelling pre-orders. The company issued a statement vigorously denying the report.

Were you able to secure a Nintendo Switch pre-order? Or do you plan on being the first in line on March 3rd to claim your hot new hardware?

 

...

Search news
Archive
2017
Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2017   2016   2015   2014   2013  
2012   2011   2010   2009   2008  
2007   2006   2005   2004   2003  
2002