Archived News:

Saturday, Mar 09, 2019

Valve Layoffs Included Artifact Creators

Following the news of layoffs at his company, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell began responding to questions from the community on what's going on there. This video from the VNN rounds up those answers in one place for our convenience. Gabe explains that the layoffs were not related to hardware and virtual reality, but to personnel, and he denies any VR games have been shelved. We also learn that the contractor casualties number even more than the 13 full-time staff that was let go, and among them were Richard Garfield and Skaff Elias, developers of Artifact. Garfield, who also created Magic: The Gathering, responds to this by saying he's unsurprised by this given the card game's "rocky" launch, but expresses optimism about the quality of the game moving forward. The video speculates that this may represent a change in culture at Valve to focus more on completing software projects while expressing frustration that this is not the type of thing Valve communicates directly. Continue here to read the full story.

350K+ Apex Legend Cheaters Banned

A Respawn Check In on Reddit informs us what's going in in Apex Legends, EA's battle royale game (thanks PC Gamer). The post addresses what's being done about some technical issues like crashes, reconnecting, and server performance. But the lead story here is griefing, as they say they have banned more than 355,000 cheaters and are working on a way to address character select spammers:
As of today we’ve banned over 355K players on PC through Easy-Anti-Cheat. The service works but the fight against cheaters is an ongoing war that we’ll need to continue to adapt to and be very vigilant about fighting. We take cheating very seriously and care deeply about the health of Apex Legends for all players.

We are working on improvements to combat cheaters and we’re going to have to be pretty secretive about our plans. Cheaters are crafty and we don’t want them to see us coming. With that said, we can share some high levels things we’re doing:

  • We are reaching out and working directly with experts, both within and outside of EA, in this area that we can learn from.
  • Scaling up our anti-cheat team so we have more dedicated resources.
  • We are adding a report feature on PC to report cheaters in game that goes directly to Easy-Anti-Cheat.

We are very aware of the cases of players spamming during character select and the drop and then disconnecting shortly after. We’re keeping a lot of our strategy close to the chest so offenders don’t have time to build workarounds before we implement changes. Solutions won’t happen right away but we’re on it.

Anthem Patched

A post on Reddit announces a new update for Anthem is now live, updating BioWare's action/RPG to version 1.03. The patch notes show that this is a pretty big update, and includes fixes for stability issues that have plagued the game since its launch. Here's word from the post on high level fixes and changes as well as other changes they still have in the works:
High level fixes and changes

  • Respawn restrictions have been removed - Respawn timers are now based on the activity a player is in. Crit-Path, Agent Missions and other non-end game missions now have a respawn timer of 10 seconds. Strongholds, Legendary Contracts, and other end game missions now have a respawn timer of 30 seconds. The respawn timer Freeplay remains unchanged.
  • Loot Changes - Common (white) and Uncommon (green) drops will no longer appear for players that are level 30.
  • Improved stability for all platforms - this includes fixes for a number of issues that were causing crashes or connection problems
  • Audio Improvements - Fixed a number of issues that could cause audio to drop out

In addition to the above updates, we wanted to let you know of some other known issues that the team is working on fixing:

  • When loading into the game for the first time after a patch the Shields and Armor on a javelin will be incorrect. The first time a player enters and exits Freeplay or any other activity the issue will fix itself.
  • Players are not receiving their level 20 Match Consumables. Players were granted item blueprints instead of the recipes when they hit this level previously.
  • Some players may experience audio crackling while in Fort Tarsis.
  • There may be some instances where players are unable to quit out of a Quickplay mission through the map UI.
  • A number challenges may not be tracking properly, such as the objectives under the “Legendary Freelancer” challenge.
  • Some players may encounter a bug where they are unable to interact with any objects or players.
  • Visual effects on javelin thrusters are not functioning properly while stormy weather is present in game.
  • Inactivity messages may not be able to be dismissed after a player returns from being away.
  • There are a number of Origin error messages that some PC players may encounter, including Origin showing that it is offline when it actually online.
  • The UI may not display events for some players when an event has spawned nearby in Freeplay.
  • There is a bug where armor pips can change in between activities. This is both a display and gameplay issue.

WRATH: Aeon of Ruin Gets New Gameplay Video (and 3DFX Support)

In mentioning the announcement of WRATH: Aeon of Ruin, we joked that a Voodoo graphics card would be among the QUAKE-engine game's recommended specs. Now 3D Realms humorously tweets that since they've received a Voodoo 2 card, WRATH will include 3DFX support. On a more serious front, a video on IGN (thanks DSOGaming) offers 11 minutes of gameplay footage from the upcoming throwback first-person shooter: Continue here to read the full story.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Aftershock Impulse SFF PC on Vortez.
  • ASRock RX 590 Phantom Gaming X 8 GB Graphics Card on TechPowerUp.
  • Scythe Ninja 5 CPU Cooler on TweakTown.
  • Corsair K83 Wireless Keyboard on Vortez.
  • Silverstone Tundra TD02 CPU Liquid Cooling Heatsink on
  • SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless Mouse on APH Networks.
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