MORDHAU - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Sin Vega)

War often changes, as slapstick peasant-bothering stabfest Mordhau proves. Developers Triternion have announced details about what players can expect in the near future of the (mostly) melee fighting simulator, including ranked play, new maps, and a reduction in the undeserved powers of horse-riding cowards. The much-requested mod support is still only a maybe.

(more…)

MORDHAU

Mordhau developers Triternion have posted an update discussing what they've been working on lately, and what they have planned for the future. Topping the list of post-release priorities are a couple of "fully-fledged" new maps, one a sprawling town and the other a Mediterranean-inspired castle keep, that will be playable in all game modes.

"Feitoria is a sprawling town and accompanying village that will alternate between crowded streets, chokepoints, and more open areas and will have an emphasis on verticality and interiors as well. Currently, progress is going well on Feitoria, and our level designer is working on optimization, interior/background polish, and configuring the map for game modes," Triternion wrote.

"Castello on the other hand, is a southern-European/ Mediterranean inspired castle keep and walled courtyards. It will have a similar feel to Grad, but with a more involved castle section, including portcullis control and close-quarters fighting. At the moment, Casello has begun its final art pass, along with some fine-tuning of the lighting and post-process effects."

The new maps are the priority right now but the developers said they are aware of issues with the existing maps, and will be working to tighten those up as well.

Ranked play is on the way, with six tiers ranging from Bronze to Elite, each divided into five ranks. Farther down the road is a new 64-player attack-and-defend mode that's still in the design stage. Triternion said it's working to ensure the mode works with all existing maps, "as our levels are designed to be usable in all game modes when possible," and there's currently no timeline on its launch beyond a very vague "in the future." Developers are also looking into ways to tweak the Frontline game mode to help reduce stalemates, but again, a schedule hasn't been set.

To help reduce toxicity and racism in the game, a client-side chat filter is also being worked on. Aside from maps, this may be Mordhau's highest-priority: As we reported earlier this month, Mordhau has a serious problem with racism and toxicity, and seems ill-prepared to deal with it.

"While muting players removes anything they’ve said, you can only do that after they’ve said it," Triternion said. "We plan on adding a filter that will automatically remove inappropriate or offensive messages before you have to see them, which will help to curb toxicity quite a bit."

Other in-the-works tools to help combat griefing include a more detailed vote-kick screen and a system to enable players to tell if someone is placing structures to disrupt gameplay. "We’re also looking into other ways to prevent griefing with toolboxes and firepots, to prevent players having to rely on votekick to deal with them in the first place," the developers wrote.

Triternion is also "well aware" of the demand for mod support, but it's attention is currently focused elsewhere. "At the moment, development is focused more around our short-term goals of increasing the amount of content that the base game provides and we’ll look into an SDK and mod support in the future," it wrote.

All of these changes and additions are in various stages of development, quite early in the process in some cases, and elements may ultimately be changed or canceled outright. There's also currently no timeline for any of it: "We focus more on ensuring they are up to our standards as opposed to setting hard deadlines," Triternion wrote, "so things will come when they're ready."

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ollie Toms)

Fortnite: Battle Royale is, so far, the pinnacle of the decade-old battle royale game genre. It’s no understatement to say that we haven’t seen a game enter the mainstream in this way since Minecraft – but it’s not the only battle royale out there, and the genre has never before seen such quantity nor such quality. We’ll go over a handful of our favourite battle royale games like Fortnite below. Each of these games has been picked out for taking the genre in new directions, or adding a particular feel or flavour to the genre that we haven’t found anywhere else. If you’re looking for Fortnite alternatives, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more colourful selection than this.

(more…)

MORDHAU - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

An astonishing figure has entered the turmoil of Medieval Europe. Striding through the sparks and the screams of Mordhau s eternal battlefield is Lord Humungusse: a man with a vast body and a tiny soul, and a lack of fear matched only by his lack of combat abilities.

(more…)

Supraball - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

Summer. The heat age. Scorch season. Spring’s hangover. It’s the mid-point of the year and you know what that means. No, not “mojito time”, Geoff, put those away. It’s time we told you what the best games of the year are so far. There are quite a lot of them. Just look how many videogames have escaped from their developers in the past six months and are now running amok through the blistering streets, getting stuck in the melting tarmac, like ants in jam. It’s unsanitary. So allow us to round up these unruly games and trap them in a handy list. Here are our favourite sword swingers and space ‘splorers so far this year (and a couple of DLCs for good measure).

Okay, Geoff, now> bring the mojitos.

(more…)

MORDHAU - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Mordhau developers Triternion have released an official statement responding to the claims they planned to introduce a toggle to hide women and non-white characters from their medieval murderfest. Those claims, I should say, were made by Triternion themselves, in an interview between two of the company’s artists and PC Gamer. The official statement says that they never had plans for a toggle on non-white characters, that they discussed but dismissed the idea of a toggle to hide women characters, and that the two artists were “were ill-informed of this decision.”

(more…)

MORDHAU - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

Mordhau’s developers Triternion have denied on Twitter that they ever “had plans to add a toggle to hide other ethnicities or ‘disable characters that aren t white'” in their hacky-stabby medieval multiplayer game. This is bold, given that they previously told PC Gamer explicitly that a plan to add such a toggle was their “current thinking.” Let’s unpick this mess.

(more…)

MORDHAU

Content warning: Slurs and references to racist and sexist language.

Update 2: Triternion has published a statement reiterating that it won't be adding an option to toggle off non-white and female characters. Two developers told us that this 'feature' was a possibility, but Triternion is now calling it a misunderstanding, placing the blame on a lack of PR experience and "answering some questions in a misleading way". 

A gender toggle was apparently discussed, however, but the studio claims that this idea was dismissed because it would undermine player customisation. The two members of the studio we spoke with were apparently not informed about this, despite the team being small—there are only 11 of them—and the idea being thrown out shortly after launch. 

The toxic community will be addressed, Triternion says, but no plan to deal with racism in chat and on the forums has been proposed. "At the moment we are stretched thin with major important content additions," the statement reads, "and unfortunately we do not have the staff nor systems in-place to moderate everything to our intended level of standards".

You can read the full statement here.

Update: After this article was published, Triternion stated on Twitter that it does not have plans to include a setting which disables the appearance of "characters that aren’t white," and never did. This contradicts statements developers Mike Desrosiers and Andrew Geach made to PC Gamer last week and which we reported in this article.

During our interview, we asked, "Are there plans to increase, on the character creator side, the diversity of the characters players can create? You've talked in the past about adding female playable characters and changing character's skin tones ... is that something you guys are committed to doing?"

Desrosiers replied, "That goes back to a similar situation as the chat filters. Whatever stance we take officially, some group of people are going to be upset with us. And so, ideally we’d put the power in the players’ hands, and give them the option to enable and disable different things.

"There has been endless debates about it, and it attracts a lot of toxicity, a lot of stuff we’re not interested in attracting to the game itself, any more on top of what’s already present. But we’re definitely always looking at ways of expanding [our customisation]."

Later, after Geach explained how Triternion might go about creating new character customization options, such as female characters, black characters, and Middle Eastern characters, we asked, "So current thoughts on that, as Mike said, maybe adding that and then giving the option for players to disable it? Is that the current thinking?"

Geach replied, "Yeah, that seems to be the current thinking. It’s not set in stone, it depends how our community is in the future. Maybe if it calms down in the future, the game still has a lot of players, a lot of toxicity, a lot of racism, a lot of politics, everything, people argue in chat about all sorts of nonsense."

In April, another member of the Triternion team confirmed plans for a “simple client-side toggle” to let players “disable” female characters after they were added to Mordhau. This was partly to address the “valid” complaint that female characters would be unrealistic.

“We are still looking into adding female characters post release as was promised…The realism complaint is valid, so when we add them we might add a simple client-side toggle (for both female and male characters) which would let you disable them,” they said in a Steam discussion post.

The original article follows.

Original article: Nobody expected Mordhau to get this big—especially not the first-time developers who made it. What started as a janky fan project made for the competitive Chivalry: Medieval Warfare community has become one of the best multiplayer hack-and-slashers on PC, and it's sold more than a million copies. But for some players, Mordhau's fun combat has been tainted by a growing toxicity problem that sees racist, sexist and homophobic slurs thrown around in both the in-game chat and the official forums, seemingly without repercussions.

It s clear that Mordhau's developers are unprepared and unwilling to meet the problem head-on, and some players have had enough.

As an example, one of the forum’s most popular threads is titled ‘Post your kniggas,’ in which players share images of their character builds. The thread started in 2017 when Mordhau was in alpha, and has attracted more than 2,600 comments since. One of those comments says "step up my kniggas," another says "listen here, faggot." When one player questions the racism in the thread’s title, another responds: "you are gay."

In other forums, a thread with that title may be deleted on sight—but the Mordhau devs don't have a problem with it, or its contents. "It is one of our longest and oldest [threads], as well as among the most active threads on our forum, full of creative loadouts from our community," says Andrew Geach, speaking on behalf of the team. 

"As for the title itself, we as a team don’t find it racist or offensive, and considering the thread’s content, we find it even less so. We do understand however that some people may interpret it as being racist or inappropriate if taken out of context."

It’s clear that Mordhau's developers are unprepared and unwilling to meet the problem head-on, and some players have had enough. Alongside the posts described above sit those lamenting toxicity in the game. "Chat was today an overflowing septic tank of personal insults, racial slurs, and general vitriol and hate. Not a single person was kicked," says a post from this weekend. The same is true on the game’s subreddit, where toxicity is a common discussion topic. "There's such rampant racism in this game and it's really making me not want to play it," reads a post from last week.

Another reason for the problem is that there’s no way to directly report players in Mordhau—you have to take a screenshot, send it to the developers on the official Discord and hope for the best. You can vote to kick players during a match, but those votes often get lost in the heat of battle.

Community-run servers are, on the whole, friendlier places than the official servers, and some have active mods that punish abusive players on sight (click here for a few recommendations). Duel servers are generally pleasant, too.

Mordhau also suffers from a lack of moderators. Community manager Jax said last weekend that the team was "trying to improve our moderation, but we're a small team and there are a lot of you."

"I do apologize on behalf of the team for some of these... 'people' that are spouting off terrible things in game," Jax said in a forum post. "All I can say at this point in time is that we're working on improving the situation."

Geach says that any user caught using racist or sexist slurs is "pretty much banned on the spot". Around 300 users have been banned on the forums, and around 300 on Discord, for offences including racism. But the lack of moderators, combined with a misunderstanding about what constitutes racism and what doesn't, means that the developers are allowing even the most blatant offenders to persist.

One Mordhau player with more than 110 hours under his belt got in touch with me last week to flag a user who was constantly posting racist comments on the game's forums.

"We white people just can't have anything to ourselves, can we?" the user in question posted recently. "Now we can't even play our fucking video games in peace, without some nog like yourself screaming bloody murder over the lack of negroids." The user’s account is still active, and if you spend five minutes on the forums you’ll find many like them.

This is not just about a lack of resources—the developers are currently unwilling to take a hard stance against any toxicity. In a recent update, they added the option to mute players by clicking on them in chat, but in an interview before that update, they told me they didn’t want to add any sort of word filter, partly because "people might claim we’re censoring."

"We want to put the power in the players’ hands," said Mike Desrosiers, an artist who worked on the new mute function. "If we take an official stance and we put an official filter list on all the words in chat, people will, first, find a way around it, and it might catch innocent words, or people might claim we’re censoring. So we’d rather put the power in the player's hands." 

Similarly, when describing the team’s approach to banning players, Geach errs on the side of caution. "We do of course act on inappropriate posts or discussions when seen personally. That being said, we don't try to police our players too tightly. We allow for discussion on most topics, within reason." 

Other developers of competitive multiplayer games are happy to take a more hardline approach. Rainbow Six Siege aggressively filters slurs and has a manual moderation team, while Rocket League has a similar system. Many multiplayer games don’t police their chat that tightly, but most have fleshed-out reporting systems, which Mordhau does not.

Whatever stance we take officially, some group of people are going to be upset with us.

Mike Desrosiers

With plans for playable female characters and a choice of ethnicity on the horizon (you can only create white male characters at the moment), I expect the vitriol to get worse. The Mordhau team seem to expect that too, and say their current plan is to let players 'disable' these new options if they want. "That goes back to a similar situation as the chat filters," Desrosiers says. "Whatever stance we take officially, some group of people are going to be upset with us. And so, ideally we’d put the power in the players’ hands, and give them the option to enable and disable different things.

"There has been endless debates about it, and it attracts a lot of toxicity, a lot of stuff we’re not interested in attracting to the game itself, any more on top of what’s already present. But we’re always looking to expand [our customisation]."

Geach says that if the team add "a Middle Eastern person or a female or a black person," they’d do it "properly."

"We’d put the real work into it, not just a band-aid to appease people. We’d dedicate artist time to new scalps, new texturing, it might come along with a larger content patch, so it’s not just shoehorned in."

Geach says giving players the option to disable characters that aren’t white and male "is not set in stone" and "depends how our community is in the future." 

"Maybe if it calms down... the game still has a lot of players, a lot of toxicity, a lot of racism, a lot of politics, everything, people argue in chat about all sorts of nonsense."

For now, toxicity in Mordhau is unlikely to abate anytime soon. Whenever the topic of female characters is raised on the forums, it sparks furious debate, with players often citing worries about historical accuracy. "When you're done adding females and naggers, can you add orcs and hobbits? It’s not supposed to be historically accurate after all... you see how the fucking slippery slope ruins everything yet?" reads one comment on a recent discussion.

Without a sea change in how the Mordhau developers police their chat and forums, comments like this will continue unchecked.

[Correction: This article originally attributed a quote regarding character customization to Andrew Geach, but it was said by Mike Desrosiers. It has been corrected.]

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ollie Toms)

The battle royale game genre has been around for a good decade or so, but in the past year or two it has absolutely skyrocketed in popularity, thanks mostly to the mainstream success of Fortnite: Battle Royale. It’s no understatement to say that we haven’t seen a game enter the mainstream in this way since Minecraft – but it’s not the only battle royale out there, and the genre has never before seen such quantity nor such quality in its games.

We’re gonna go over a handful of our favourite battle royale games like Fortnite below. Each of these games has been picked out from the ever-expanding sea of battle royale games out there, because it takes the genre in a new direction or adds a particular feel or flavour to the genre that we haven’t found anywhere else. If you’re looking for Fortnite alternatives, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better selection than this.

(more…)

MORDHAU - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Matt Cox)

If you’ve ever watched a professional fencing match, you’ll know they kind of suck. People move too thin swords too quickly, becoming blurs that only a few can parse. You expect duels to look like sword fights in movies, forgetting that movies don’t largely consist of downtime and headaches over who’s even winning. Pretend swordsmen have the edge. Pretend swordsmen get to take on five foes at once, prowess unambiguous as bodies hit floors.

You should watch “Trix”, below. He’s a Mordhau fighter worth beholding.

(more…)

...

Search news
Archive
2019
Jul   Jun   May   Apr   Mar   Feb  
Jan  
Archives By Year
2019   2018   2017   2016   2015  
2014   2013   2012   2011   2010  
2009   2008   2007   2006   2005  
2004   2003   2002