Shacknews - David Craddock

Starry-eyed spacefarers won't get far in their mission without understanding the fundamentals of mining for materials in Mass Effect Andromeda. From mineral nodes to motherlodes, our guide will help you get the most out of mining as well as teach you how to upgrade your nomad vehicle.

The Basics of Mining in Mass Effect Andromeda

Materials earned through mining can go toward upgrading and crafting gear for your characters. On any planet, look for rock formations that stick out in the environment like the proverbial sore thumb. These formations consist of minerals, and are usually brighter than surrounding rocks. Collect them by picking them up.

Once you pick up your Nomad, your aptitude in mining will increase dramatically. The Nomad brings nearby deposits to your attention by way of an icon that appears on your map. These icons signify larger clusters of minerals than those you come across while traveling on foot.

Head toward a mining icon on your map until the computer icon in the upper-left-hand corner of your screen begins flashing. Pull up your mining computer by pressing right on your d-pad and take note of the graphs. Those readings communicate the relative size of elements in the deposit you're chasing.

You may not see any lines on your graphs at first. Don't worry; that's the game's way of telling you that you need to push forward. Drive around and keep an eye on the readings; they'll begin to appear. Larger lines indicate larger deposits. No numbers accompany the graph, so you'll need to grow wise in the ways of reading graphs.

Once you notice a suitably large supply of the element you want, deploy a probe to retrieve it. Take notice of the orange line that encircles probes. You cannot launch other probes within that radius, which means you'll have to settle for putting one probe to work per deposit.

Upgrading Your Nomad

Your Nomad is good for more than sniffing out mineral deposits. A bevy of modifications facilitate tighter movement on terrain as well as defensive measures that may come in handy should you bump into any hostiles while exploring unfamiliar planets.

Nomad upgrades require materials, and each one carries a steep price tag. All upgrades are nonessential; they're strictly quality-of-life improvements. Consider putting materials toward gear first, Nomad second.

Improved Suspension

Boosts the Nomad's top speed while in driving mode. Good for climbing hills faster.

Defense Fortification

Adds 25 percent more shielding to the vehicle's exterior.

Vertical Thrust

An increase of 40 percent to your ride's jump jets. The most superficial of the bunch.

Need help deciding what to upgrade once you're swimming in materials? Visit our Mass Effect Andromeda guide hub for tips, strategies, and detailed walkthroughs. 

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Today Heroes of the Storm kicks off the open beta for its "Heroes 2.0" Update, a massive overhaul of the underlying systems with a big emphasis on letting players earn all the cosmetic items they'd like with the addition of Loot Chests. I talked with Heroes of the Storm producer Kaeo Milker about the changes, and how the company is focusing on turning Heroes into not just a great game, but a great free-to-play experience as well. Check out his thoughts on where that distinction lies, as well as the esports scene and cross-pollination with other Blizzard projects.

With the 2.0 update it seems like there's some cross-pollination between teams–ideas like loot boxes, sprays, things like that. How does that happen? How does the culture work?

It's really rooted in the fact that we're a bunch of gamers. We're all playing games, we play all games. We've been very fortunate in the last couple years to have added a couple of really awesome Blizzard games to the mix in the form of Hearthstone and Overwatch. We all play a lot of them. Hearthstone is our other free-to-play game and it has some mechanics in it that are specific to free-to-play games that they got to explore some spaces that we hadn't done before.

While Heroes is a free-to-play game, when we first went out, we kind of scraped the surface of free-to-play, and we learned a lot from them about how to be a better free-to-play. Some of the choices that we made in Heroes 2.0 is about making sure that people have access to all the cool stuff that we make whether they're spending money or not. That's what I'm really excited about, this reward system of loot chests–which again, it's kind of a hybrid of card pack from Hearthstone and loot box from Overwatch, there are things borrowed from both of those.

We tried to give the best of both worlds, where we gave you this surprise and delight of opening something cool and hoping you get something fun and unique, and being able to give that to you very often, so it's not something you have to wait for but something you get showered with and get to enjoy. We looked at all of those things and thought, what's the best parts of that we can bring into our game?

You said one of the priorities was making it feel like there's more frequent rewards, something a loot box really plays into that. Is it like, you also play Hearthstone and Overwatch and you think, 'oh that's a good idea' or is there some kind of Council of Elrond situation?

It probably feels like that but it's not, really. A lot of these mechanics and ideas are things we've wanted for a really long time–some things we wanted at launch. Some of these things we didn't have time to implement and some we weren't quite sure how we wanted to go. We got to have Hearthstone and Overwatch blaze a trail and say, cool, I like that, that works well, I want to do that, or leave that part out, or pivot it this way. I think more of our experience as players comes into play here than any kind of behind-the-scenes decision at Blizzard. It's much more about what feels good, what do we enjoy, what feels good.

One thing you have to balance more than a lot of other games is the esports scene. You're constantly adding new stuff to your game, but you're also constantly having esports competitions. How do you manage that to make sure you don't throw things into chaos too often but you also reward players?

Our priority is doing what's right for the game, so sometimes that means doing something that might be disruptive to esports. We have one little buffer which is that esports generally plays on a tournament realm, so pro players and esports can be played on a version of the game that might be a version or two behind. There's a little lag there. So if we're in a mode where we're rapidly changing a bunch of things because the game just demands them at that moment, it doesn't have to throw esports into upheaval. They have a little time to catch up and then it will update once we stabilize from the live game.

Something very different about this game though is that we do constant evolution. We do patches every 3-6 weeks, we do major patches on the 6-week mark. We can do balance updates as often as every week and we do them when the time is right. It is changing a lot but that's part of the fun of this game. Something we value in our players is the adaptability. Teams make strategic choices, composition choices, the way they choose to execute–we like to see how they roll with that. So we stabilize enough that they don't feel like they have no ability to focus in and get good at something, but on the other side, the game is moving, and you got to move with it.

Do you loop them in when you're planning? I also follow Hearthstone closely and I know that they've at least once in a while looped in pro players to say, "this is what we're thinking about, what do you think?" Have you done anything like that?

We've reached out to individuals like that. We also try to front some of the ideas that we're kind of kicking around, either on our forums or on Reddit or whatever. We also use our PTR a lot to test things. Actually for Heroes 2.0 it will be a four-week actual beta, where everything from the beta will come into play so they'll be able to check out all the progression changes and balance changes. We're really big on getting that feedback, it's valuable to us.

It feels like you aren't overreacting to the current meta, per se. When you introduce new heroes, it isn't necessarily a response to this other hero that's very popular.

No, no, that's not the world we want to live in. We come from–our team made StarCraft 2, WarCraft 3, some made the original StarCraft, so we have this long history of making very tightly balanced competitive games. The lesson you learn is that knee-jerk reaction is going to throw you into total chaos. And if you listen to that kind of outpouring of sentiment about something being unbalanced, if you immediately just react-react-react to that, you miss out on everything else that happens.

There's a moment of confusion and rejection and then they start embracing it and then they start doing amazing things with it. And we'd never get to that amazing thing if we were always like "okay fine, we'll fix it, we'll fix it." It's a very measured approach we take to this stuff. There's a big difference between something that's broken and something that players just haven't figured out yet. We try to make sure we're approaching it delicately and not undoing the work that we've done. We make all these things knowing that there are things that are going to happen that we haven't imagined yet. It could be amazingly good things, it could be amazingly bad things, but our preferred method is to watch that with minor course corrections rather than sweeping changes. Especially sweeping changes before things are settled.

That's one of those things we were talking about [during our play session]. Cassia's pull from the back-row is going to be something that everybody calls overpowered for the first weeks until they figure it out. Do you have those discussions? You know, "I bet this will make the meta do this," or "I bet this will make people think this."

We try to have those conversations but it's so weird how, when you get this to scale with tons of players–even with our team, we have hundreds of players on our team, playing this constantly, all about playtest–and then that barely touches on what happens when we take it to the company at large playing. And then that barely touches when we have one day of PTR on our game. It's just crazy how surprising it is, and we've been doing this long enough to know that we don't know.

So you find it hard to predict.

Yeah, our thing is that we want to make these tool kits to hand players and watch what we do with them. And we're watching at the extreme ends of that stuff, to make sure there's nothing bad coming out of it. We're constantly surprised by the good that comes out of it. I'm more surprised by the good things than the bad things. You kind of know when you get into bad territory, but when someone combos something or they do something amazing you didn't anticipate or wasn't by design. This game keeps growing every 3-4 weeks and we add new heroes, which gives you one extra thing in their tool chest. Watching the meta shift is really fascinating and rewarding.

From a branding or marketing perspective–my background is in marketing, so I'm fascinated by that side of the industry–this feels like a soft relaunch. Get new players, get back lapsed players, that sort of thing. Was that an objective or was it, while putting these tools together you thought, this is enough stuff that we should put a name on it?

It's a combination of those things. As we've gone along, this is a game we've been working on constantly and we've made massive improvements to, and I think the people who have been here the whole way, they see this as practically a relaunch moment. They give us this feedback. And we think, oh, that's cool, there's a lot of good stuff coming in.

But for us, Heroes 2.0 is where we finally felt like these core components, most notably for this free-to-play stuff, was like: let's be good at free-to-play. Let's actually give them access to the stuff in our game, and so they don't have to pay money for it. Let's have progress that rewards all the time. That was something that was valuable to us and as players we weren't getting that out of the game, we knew that. We were looking for an opportunity to do it. I'm someone who plays the game every single day for hours a day. I do that without this stuff right now, but this adds an extra layer on it where I always feel like I'm accomplishing something, getting something back.

And it feels nice, to unwrap a little gift.

Yeah, I mean, it's fun. There are people who stream just opening card packs in Hearthstone or opening loot boxes in Overwatch because it's fun to watch, hey, what did I get? That surprise is a cool experience, especially when you get stuff that's actually cool, good stuff in the game. This is a really cool moment for us, the game is in such a better place than what it was. So we are taking this moment to say, hey, check us out. If you didn't before, check us out now. And if you ever did check us out along the way, come look at it again, see all the amazing things we've done. It really is a different animal than it was at launch. It's exponentially different now. It was always a great game, it was always a fun game, it's just building all the things around it now that make it a great free-to-play game.

I think that's a key takeaway here. Now it's a "great free-to-play game," specifically. I want to pick your brain about what you see as the distinction and how you've seen the free-to-play market change since Heroes launched.

My team, and Blizzard as a whole, have predominantly made boxed products over the years. As a team, we would work on a product, for many many years as Blizzard fans know. It takes a long time to make a Blizzard game. We'd work on them, we'd release them, and then, whew, we're done. Then in two years we'll release an expansion, and that will be something that augments and adds new content and it's a big level up. Depending on the game, maybe there's multiple expansions, maybe there's only one, and then you go on to another game.

We knew that Heroes was going to be free-to-play, we were going to spend a considerable amount of time transitioning from a boxed product to a games as service, which means we're always adding new stuff. That was a huge shift for us, it took us a long time, and I think we're just getting good at it now. This is three years after we really went to alpha, where we were operating it like a live game.

That's a big shift, but the next thing is, what's a free-to-play game? Well, you can play it and you don't have to spend any money. We had that, you didn't have to spend any money. But there's this whole other world to it, where like, the vast majority of free-to-play players don't spend any money, because you don't have to. That's what brings in these huge numbers of players. So for us looking at it, we were like, it is technically free-to-play, but I think people come in and say, there's stuff that I want access to that I don't have access to. There's this entire section of the game that I can't play at all unless I spend money. We looked at that and said, let's open this thing up. We've made so much amazing content and only a fraction of our players have seen it. So this idea that we could expand the reach of all this, give people access to it, that's really exciting to us.

And again, it's not what we're used to. What we're used to is a box where you pay your money and we say "here's everything!" You paid your money and we give you a box that has everything and you're done. This is a thing that's like, we're doing that but without the box. That's exciting because, we make games for people to play them. That's what you do as a game developer. Our focus is not about a business model or monetization, our focus is on making a great game. So this gives us tools to have as many people as possible see all the cool things in our game. It's a really cool opportunity for us and something I wish we'd had in the beginning, so I'm really glad we have it now.

The hardcore gaming circle has an instinctive, gut reaction to the phrase, "free-to-play." It has a bit of a bad reputation. I think Blizzard is better than most at doing it right, but what do you see as the reason that gamers have that recoiling reaction and how have you avoided it?

There's a lot of perceptions, a lot of realities too, of games–particularly mobile games, because a lot of free-to-play has historically been on mobile–that there are things built in to the game that the point is really to corner you into a point in time where you have to spend money. There is a perception of that and I've certainly played games that I've felt that way.

That's not our intention with Heroes. It never was. If there was a time that someone felt that way it would have been, there's a thing that I want, and I cannot get it. If I want this amazing skin, it's killer, I love Uther, I love the Judgement armor set, but I can't get it. I will just never be able to get it without spending money. There's something about that just inherently doesn't feel good. Even though, at the end of the day, it's a game but it's a business too. But when you're rationalizing that as a player, that sucks, I want that and I can't get it.

I think we're trying to be the best player-advocates we can by giving you something that feels good as a player, without putting you in a position that doesn't feel good. What I want is, I want people to come play Heroes of the Storm. If they spend money, great. We'll give them opportunities to spend money but we're not going to corner them, we're not going to force them. This is about, come play a fun game and have lots of cool experiences. You can unlock all the content in the game for free, but if you want to spend money? If you don't want to wait for it or make the choice of spending your shards on this skin or that skin. But this is not a system where, we don't spend our days worrying about how we'll force you to spend money. We spend our days thinking about how to make the most fun game possible.

This Heroes of the Storm interview was conducted at a media event where transportation and accommodations were provided by Blizzard.

Shacknews - John Keefer

The fight for consumer VR dollars must be really getting brutal. Samsung has stuck its neck out yet again in an ad for its new Gear VR; this time one that may not upset women, but could have the SPCA knocking on it corporate doors.

Here's the setup: An ostrich accidentally gets its head caught up in a Gear VR, and uses it to learn to fly. Apparently, the scene the flightless bird sees puts it in a gorgeous sun-drenched clouded sky, making it want to get off the ground. Of course, adding Elton John's Rocket Man would add to any motivation. In the end, we see the shadow of the bird as it lifts off into the wild blue yonder. Samsung's tag line is "so you can do what can't be done."

The ad tries to be clever, forgetting that an ostrich's eyes would never be able to properly use the device, or that the extra weight of the Gear VR might damage the bird's neck in some way. And that faceplant? Ouch! Granted, that probably wasn't a real bird, but it continues Samsung's history of strange marketing choices.

This is nowhere near as egregious as some of its other ads, which sometimes came off as tone-deaf and even sexist.  Back in 2013, Samsung paraded a bunch of 1950s stereotypes of drunk silly women during a launch event to promote it's Galaxy S4. Then later that same year, another ad had a male skier stalking a woman on the slopes with his Galaxy Gear Smartwatch after the guy had asked her for her phone number on the ski lift. 

And then to promote its VR products, it has had numerous ads where people rip off the headsets in terror. This was meant to show just how realistic VR can be, but people recoiling from your product isn't really the best look.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Nostalgia is in full swing in the RPG space these days. From new forays into Wasteland, to Pillars of Eternity, and the Torment: Tides of Numenera homage, new isometric RPGs have been keeping fans busy, reminding them of the old days when the genre was full of choices for adventure and loot. Beamdog has contributed to that in its own way with Enhanced Editions of Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II and Icewind Dale. Now, it has announced PlaneScape: Torment Enhanced Edition coming on April 11.

Chris Avellone, the mastermind behind the original game in 1999 as lead designer, will help Beamdog make sure the game stays true to its original form. "Beamdog has worked hard to ensure the feel and tone of the Enhanced Edition matches the original game, " he said in a release announcing the game.. "At the same time, they've also taken advantage of current generation technology to allow for improvements to the interface and feel--it's the best way to play Planescape: Torment, hands-down."

In its previous remasters, Beamdog has added new content and new characters, but don't expect that this time around. "We deliberately didn’t add any kits, classes, races, spells or items from Baldur’s Gate or Icewind Dale to Planescape: Torment — Enhanced Edition. We felt that doing so would distort the unique atmosphere of the original game,” a Beamdog spokesperson told VentureBeat.

So the game will stay true to the form that made it one of the best RPGs of all time. “We made a conscious decision not to tamper with the original writing,” the spokesperson said. "For the few instances where new writing was needed — i.e., for a couple of additional journal entries, special ability descriptions and the Steam Achievements — Chris Avellone wrote the text personally. In addition, Chris requested to do an editorial pass of all the text in the game, and we happily obliged.”

The remastered edition will be available on Steam for $19.99 when it launches. and will also be available on Mac and Linux. iPad and Android tablet versions will run $9.99.

Shacknews - John Keefer

Samsung has held a leadership role in mobile VR space, with its Gear VR, but the space is getting more crowded, especially after Google announced its Daydream and a sensing remote last year and then opened it up to all VR developers this year. Samsung responded at today's Galaxy S8 event with the unveiling of a new Gear VR and controller, coming April 21 for $129.

While the new unit combo is much less than Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, it still runs a bit more than the old Gear VR and the Daydream, which ran for $80. However, the controller appears to be an upgrade over the Daydream one, as it comes with a good trackpad and trigger button on the back, making it fairly ergonomic in the player's hand.

In addition, Oculus has improved its Oculus Home experience for Samsung, with quicker loading and clearer resolution. A VR web browser has also been added, which is actually readable while using the headset. 

Finally, Oculus has said that when the unit launches next month, there will be 20 compatible games, with 50 more planned to arrive a few months later.

If you already have a Gear VR and don't want to upgrade, you can buy the controller separately for $39.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Heroes of the Storm is getting some major changes to its underlying systems, albeit in a way that should feel familiar to players of Blizzard's other popular online games like Overwatch or Hearthstone. The team is treating this as a sort of soft relaunch, dubbing it "Heroes 2.0" to signify the breadth of the changes. They're ambitious, and you can start trying them out today in the open beta.

Ramping Up the Loot

At the center of the changes is a new progression ramp. Blizzard has found that high-level play was tending to turn into a grind, with wide gaps between rewards. It set about reorganizing its leveling structure so that players would feel rewarded more often. Rather than 10-15 hours of play for a single level, you'll now earn them after only a few hours. To that end, the Hero level cap has been raised to be functionally infinite. Your player level will be the sum total of all your Hero levels.

Each new level up grants you a Loot Chest, and you'll get bigger (Rare and Epic) loot chests at particular milestones. You can also receive Hero-specific loot chests at every 10 Hero levels. Some items will even be exclusive to chests, and if you get a bad roll, you can use in-game gold to reroll your chest. The goal is to make almost everything in the game available to players, including those who opt to spend no money at all.

Those Loot Chests will feature some of the cosmetic items players already know, like Portraits, but the launch of 2.0 will also include several new loot types. Those include:

  • Announcers: Let some of your favorite Heroes call out your takedowns, kill streaks, and more
  • Voice lines: Cheer on your allies and jeer your opponents with quotable catchphrases
  • Emojis: A massive collection of stylized and Hero-specific Emojis make chat much more expressive both in and out of the game
  • Banners: Raise a flag whenever you assert your dominance on the battleground
  • Sprays: Make your mark on the field of battle by dropping unique icons and tags on the terrain
  • Portraits: Show off your personality and expertise on loading screens and in your profile

All of this is organized in the new Collection interface, which keeps track of all your items, lets you customize up to three Loadouts per Hero with your chosen skins, mounts, announcers, and more. You can craft cosmetic items using Shards. The update will also add Gems, which replaces the real money currency. You'll get 1,000 Gems as a reward for reaching Player level 5, and then you'll keep receiving them occasionally as you progress from there. Gold will remain in the game, for purchasing new heroes and rerolling Loot Chests.

An Amazon Enters the Nexus

Finally, today's updates are also adding a new hero to the Nexus. To mark Diablo's 20th anniversary, Cassia the "Javazon" war matron is being added. Cassia is a ranged Assassin character who is especially hearty thanks to her Avoidance trait that grants 65 Physical Armor against Basic attacks while moving unmounted.

Her Basic abilities include Lightning Fury, a javelin throw that splits in two after hitting its first enemy, and Blinding Light, which blinds enemies in a target area. Cassia can also do bonus passive damage to blinded enemies, whether or not she was the one to blind them. Fend lets her charge at enemies, at the cost of reduced damage to non-Heroes.

Her Heroic abilities are powerful and very distinct from each other. High-level players will likely get the most use out of Valkyrie, which can pull an enemy into her range from the back-line, and knocks away any other Heroes in her way. It's a great tool for breaking up enemy formations. Less seasoned players like myself can choose the set-and-forget Ball Lightning, which bounces between enemy Heroes and even Cassia herself, doing heavy damage each time it hits an enemy.

This Heroes of the Storm feature was conducted at a media event where transportation and accommodations were provided by Blizzard.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

A European retailer may have accidentally narrowed down the release date for Red Dead Redemption 2.

VG247 reports that the Polish retailer Media Markt listed the game's release at October 3. That in itself isn't too uncommon, as retailers often make placeholder dates that aren't necessarily correct.

The added intrigue in this case comes from a reply given by Media Markt to a Polish game site, when it inquired about the source of the date. A Media Markt rep said the date came from the game's distributor, according to a translated reply. After the story was published, Media Markt's PR manager reached out to explain that the prior reply was in error. The store listing was also changed to a December 31 placeholder date.

It's enough oddity in one place that this could be a genuine slip-up with some rushed damage control–but it just as easily could be a misunderstanding or error. October 3 is a Monday, so if this is legitimate, RDR2 would probably hit on October 4 in North America. 

For the time being the official release date stands at the much more vague "fall 2017."

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Nintendo Switch System Update 2.1.0 is now available for download and it is a delightfully painless fast experience.

How to Perform Nintendo Switch System Update 2.1.0

In most situations, the Nintendo Switch will automatically download the most recent system update while it is connected online. You can verify your current menu version and manually start the update if necessary.

Verify Your Current Menu Version and Manually Start the Update

1. From the HOME Menu, select “System Settings.”

2. Scroll down the menu on the left-hand side and select “System.”

  • The current system menu version will be displayed under “System Update.”

3. Select "System Update," to start the system update process.

The Switch warns you before beginning the update's download.

This update doesn't seem that big. I was able to download it in less than 2 minutes. 

Within 5 minutes, my Nintendo Switch was fully updated and ready to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. 

Nintendo's patch notes only state that Switch System Update 2.1.0  provides "general system stability improvements to enhance the user's experience."

Shacknews - David Craddock

Characters in Dark Souls games have fought a losing battle with memory loss, and Lapp, a character introduced in Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City, is the latest victim of the undead curse. Our guide will help you find Lapp, take you through his quest to regain his memory, and acquire his armor.

Where to Find Lapp the First Time

Start by heading to The Dreg Heap, the starting point of The Ringed City expansion. Head straight out from the first bonfire and drop down to an ashy platform. Turn left and make for the ruins. Within, turn to the right to spot worn stones and drop down into the library.

Leave the library and immediately hug the wall to your right. There's an angel nearby, a powerful new enemy that fires streams of projectiles. Sprint to the building up ahead, pass through the egress on your right, and hang a left. A nearby tower will collapse, forming a makeshift bridge. Take a stroll across the bridge and you'll run into Lapp.

The easiest way to snag Lapp's armor for yourself is to kill him right here. By doing so, however, you'll miss out on the appearance of a fan-favorite character. Cut Lapp down if you cannot curb your avarice, or continue on.

Finding Lapp the Second Time

Your next encounter with Lapp takes place in the Earthen Peak Ruins, an area Dark Souls 2 players should recall. Go to the Earthen Peak Ruins bonfire and you should see Lapp hanging around. Talk to him and he'll tell you about a treasure he's hunting for. You didn't have anything better to do, right?

Trudge out into the swamp and go past the cottage. Beyond you'll come to a cave near large, thick roots. Enter the cave and follow the trail to its terminus, where you'll be able to pick up a Titanite Slab. Return to Lapp and talk to him again.

Finding Lap the Third Time and Fourth Times

Conveniently, Lapp moves to the Inner Wall bonfire. If you haven't found it yet, look toward the gate that leads to the elevator, then head across the room.

Your fourth brush with Lapp leads to the item he needs to regain his lost memories. He's in the swamp. To find him, stick close to the left-hand wall until you reach a ladder. Climb up and move left into a circular room. Lapp is there. Your next objective is to find the Purging Monument.

How to Find the Purging Monument

Travel to the Ringed Streets bonfire and proceed through a metal gate flanked by suits of armor. Turn to your right and find a broken statue sitting on the ground. Words scratched into the wall above it read Show me your humanity.

You need some distance between your character and the statue to make good on its demand. Return to the bonfire room leave through the door that leads to the swamp, then use a White Branch or cast Chameleon. You'll turn into a Humanity. Go back to the statue and climb the ladder that appears to a garden in full bloom.

Grab any items you find and search for the Purging Moment. Return to Lapp—still in the circular room where you last talked with him—and tell him about your discovery.

How to Get Lapp's Armor

Progress through the content to Shared Grave, a bonfire where you'll battle Darkeater Midir. Kill the boss, cross the stone bridge and follow the path to the right until you come to Lapp. He's back in possession of his memories and gives you a tip about a treasure nearby as repayment for your work in helping restore him.

Approach the broken staircase, as Lapp instructed, and wait for a cutscene to play. Lapp reveals his true identity, a recurring character who should be familiar to long-time Souls players. Work your way back to where you last spoke with him and retrieve his armor from the ground.

Are you eager to meet an old friend but haven't managed to find a way into the Ringed City? Check out our guide for how to access the new areas.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Paul Pepera, co-founder of System Era and co-creator of Astroneer, passed away suddenly yesterday, March 27. He was 31 years old.

System Era Softworks shared the news on its blog. "Many knew Paul in this industry as an artistic tour de force. His talent left an imprint on this game industry that inspired countless others. He was one quarter of our founding team, and a boundless source of inspiration and beauty. Most of all to us, he was a warm and compassionate close friend. Somewhere, maybe a star burns a little brighter. Safe travels, Paul. We miss and love you."

The Shacknews staff's condolences go out to Paul's friends and family.

Paul Pepera, third from right.


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