Archived News:

Thursday, Dec 28, 2017

BattlEye Bans a Boatload in PUBG

BattlEye tweets that an eye-opening number of players have been banned from PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS by their anti-cheating service (thanks MP1ST). People must really like chicken dinner by the number of them willing to flout the rules to get one. Word is:
Update on the number of PUBG bans: 1,500,000.

Diablo III Anniversary Event has details on "The Darkening of Tristram," an event that will kick off in Diablo III on January 1st to celebrate the anniversary of the action/RPG series. Here's what to expect:
Diablo’s anniversary is right around the corner, along with the Darkening of Tristram event! Whether you’re a series veteran craving nostalgia, or a newcomer hungry for your first taste of the franchise’s past, this loving homage to the earliest days of Diablo is for you.

Read on for more, including a closer look at the anniversary dungeon and its unique rewards.

Stop the Cultists
Your journey begins on the trail of a group of mysterious cultists causing trouble in Sanctuary. As you hunt them down in Adventure Mode, you’ll uncover clues leading to a portal into Tristram’s past, and the terrifying darkness that took hold of the town so many years ago. . . .

Explore the Cathedral

Follow the clues and you’ll soon find yourself in a realm of glorious RetroVision™, where an all-too-familiar cathedral looms. Explore the depths and you’ll discover familiar enemies and iconic items, all brought to life in the Diablo III engine. Meanwhile, deep beneath the catacombs, the Dark Lord himself awaits any intrepid adventurer who dares to challenge him. . . .

Discover Precious Loot
What is a Diablo game without shiny new loot to call your own? Completing activities in the anniversary event yields unique transmogrification effects, achievements, portraits, pets, and more.

While some rewards are easy to find, others may have you scouring every nook or unlocking every achievement before you can get your hands on them. Can you earn them all? There’s only one way to find out!

Your Journey Begins…

Exclusive rewards and challenging enemies await you, but they won’t last forever! The anniversary event begins January 1 at midnight PST and ends January 30 at the same time. Enter the dungeon, reap your rewards, and survive the evils within—or die in the process, never to be heard from again. . . .

Escape from Tarkov Testing Plans

Battlestate Games announces they are conducting load testing for Escape from Tarkov as they gear up for an open beta for this "hardcore realistic story-driven online multiplayer game that combines features of FPS/TPS, combat simulation and RPG with MMO elements." This post discusses plans, and includes details on a new year event that will include free access to some of those who are registered on the game's official website. Those who pre-purchase the game will get beta access, and they also plan an open beta next year. Here are the details:
Battlestate Games kick off the load testing of the Escape from Tarkov game servers before the official start of the Open Beta testing at the beginning of 2018. Also the studio starts a holiday event which will allow the game to be purchased with a 25% discount during the week, and some of the users will receive a free 7-day access to the game. A full description of the event, participation requirements and instructions for redeeming the gift can be found on the project website in the news section of .

Moreover developers released the last update of the game in 2017. This version of the game introduces the complete Shoreline map along with new weapons and weapon modifications, including AKMS, AKMN, Gyurza pistol and Trijicon REAP-IR thermal sight, as well as new equipment like customizable Ops-Core helmets. Moreover, several gameplay systems have been seriously redesigned, most importantly, deployment and extraction system, weapon mastering and dynamic changing of its size. Other notable changes include customization of helmets and head gear slots. The end of the Raid screen now features the opportunity to view the list of characters killed during the game session. Furthermore, players can now take dogtags off deceased enemies, which contain info on nickname, level and PMC affiliation. The complete list of new developments and changes can be found on the official project Forum and in social network communities.

At this point, users purchasing any game package get access to the Beta testing and can start playing immediately after purchase.

Learn more about the project testing plans and the estimated completion time frame, and purchase the game on the official website of the project .

PUBG Looks to Rebound from Rubber Banding

This Steam post has details on PC 1.0 update #1 for PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS, which is now live in the battle royale shooter. Changes include a new balanced map-selection ratio, a change to replays to prevent using them to cheat, and a bunch of bug fixes. This also has some fixes for intermittent lag issues that have plagued some players, but they say a combination of issues contributes to occasional rubber-banding, and that clearing up this issue further remains a top priority. Here's word:
Before we dive into the patch notes, we would like to sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused by the intermittent lag and character position readjustment issues our players are experiencing during matches. Creating a smooth playing environment to allow our players to fully enjoy Battle Royale was one of our top priorities for PC 1.0 launch. However, a multitude of causes have triggered the in-game lag issue to become worse or happen more frequently in the last few weeks. In the process, we were not able to implement the measures to visibly address the issue more quickly.

Contrary to most expectations, there is a combination of causes that lead to the in-game lag and character position readjustment issues. The issues cannot be attributed to one or two causes and have stemmed from a combination of different factors which is why we need to continuously work on resolving and investigating the problem. We upgraded our game engine to the latest version and made changes to the game when we added new content. The problem resulted from these changes as well as several other causes.

In this patch, we have removed some inefficiencies in server infrastructure and optimized in-game servers to alleviate the problem. More specifically, we made adjustments to reduce the bottleneck during the game server launch phase and also resolved some server hitch issues.

Resolving the intermittent lag and character position readjustment issues are still one of our top priorities, and we are continuing to work on analyzing and fixing any remaining issues every day. After today’s update, we will be running some internal tests and deploying more updates to gradually mitigate the problem. We are currently examining several measures including server optimization and server logic modification to address the multitude of causes. On top of this, we will continue our efforts to further investigate remaining causes.

We will keep you updated on our progress going forward. We would like to apologize again for the inconvenience and we will continue to do our best to resolve the issues.

Hanako: Honor & Blade Trailer and Sale

+Mpact Games celebrates Hanako: Honor & Blade winning the best multiplayer game in Indie DB's Indie of the Year 2017 awards with a new trailer showing off combat from the early access action game (the trailer actually preceded the award, but we love a good segue). Those inspired by this honor for Honor & Blade or the video can pick up a copy on Steam, where it's currently on sale for 50% off. Here's a refresher on the game:
Journey Across Feudal Japan, on a symbolic campaign representing a personal trial of life and death of a lost loved one. Experience multiple levels and game modes to bring peace or chaos, in (up to) 24 player online battles.

Choose Warriors destined to decide the future of Japan: The Kenshi (Swordsman), Naginatashi (Pikeman), or Ninja (Assassin). All featuring their own style of combat, movement and weaponry.

Master Combat through discovery of different attacks, abilities and combos. Our combat system features multiple offensive stances driven by your movement, defensive techniques (such as the grappling hook) and abilities (ranging from acrobatic combos to multi-enemy sweeps to multi-hit combos).
Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Yeah, they were not fooling around about that cold snap, as it is pretty darned frosty around these parts. This is actually the warm part of the cold snap, as it's supposed to even closer to zero degrees next week. I've accomplished a couple of tasks appropriate to the weather, as I dug out my long underwear for an extra layer, and replaced the tires on MrsBlue's car, which were getting too worn for general driving, much less dealing with wintery roads. And of course that gives me a plan B, as if the weather doesn't break you'll eventually find me in my long johns trying to warm myself by a tire fire.

Fiery Links: Thanks Ant.
Play: Military Wars Strike.
Of a Feather.
Story: Knowing how the news media works protects people from conspiracy theories.
Science: NASA Wants to Launch Exoplanet Probe in 2069.
NASA uses 450,000 gallons of water to shield launch vehicles from acoustic damage.
Media: NORAD vs. Santa - Robot Chicken.
A Gigantic Hot Wheels Track That Starts From A Second-Story Window Is Basically My Childhood Fantasy.
Dropping a GoPro down our new well. Thanks Hypothermia.
Follow-up: U.S. to end search for Argentine submarine that vanished in November. Thanks RedEye9.
The Funnies: xkcd- Phone Security.
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