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  • Recent Status Updates

  • Recent Posts

    • Final Fantasy XIV's Patch 6.2 will drop in late August and will include the highly anticipated Island Sanctuary feature. In a new live letter, the FFXIV devs revealed more about what activities players can expect. Island Sanctuary is like a mini-farming sim within FFXIV. Players can create buildings, take care of creatures, and grow crops--all without having to level up gathering and crafting classes. These areas will essentially act as a "base of operations" that players can create and customize. Players can also collect materials on the island and create tools. These tools will help players grow and cultivate crops on the island that are different from estate crops--plants you can grow if you own a house in-game. Materials will also be limited to the island and reside in a separate inventory space. For the crafting element, players can create "handicrafts" that can be exported for island-specific currency. Earned currency can then be exchanged for special items. For those without houses, Island Sanctuary is a pretty exciting development. Players can also visit each other's islands, and for the interior decorators among the players--it is a customizable venue. It also looks like Island Sanctuary is a completely separate feature from the rest of the game's economy, so there shouldn't be any major Marketboard fluctuations. Estate crops being entirely separate from Island Sanctuary's crops is a surprise, though. In other live letter announcements, Patch 6.18 releases on July 5, and players will be able to travel between Data Centers after the update. Patch 6.2 will be called Buried Memories and include relic weapon quests. They will be tied to the infamous Hildibrand quests, an optional set of side quests. But for those looking to get the new weapons, getting started on the rather long Hildibrand quest line now would be a good idea. We'll likely get another detailed Live Letter before 6.2 drops, so stay tuned for more details. View the full article
    • In addition to offering access to a library of games across console, PC, and the cloud, Pass Ultimate also offers plenty of additional perks for subscribers. These include discounts and free items within the service, as well as through third-party applications like Discord. Best of all, this perks have no additional cost. However, not every perk lasts forever and new things are added fairly regularly, so your time to claim them is limited. Check in on your Xbox console, Xbox Mobile App, or even the PC Xbox App to see what is offered. Once you've claimed it, be sure to check in on the relevant game or service to see if your items are there. Here are all the perks available to claim as of July 1, 2022 Assassin’s Creed Origins - Deluxe Pack This pack includes the Ambush at Sea mission, The Desert Cobra pack (with 1 outfit, 2 legendary weapons, 1 legendary shield, and one mount), and 3 Ability points. Discord Nitro - 3 months This bonus is valid for first time Nitro users and grants 3 free months of Discord Nitro features like custom emoji usages, a profile banner, per server avatars, 2 Server Boosts a mouth and HD video. The Elder Scrolls Online - Cliff Ram Pack This perk adds a goat mount, face tattoos and two crates to your in-game collection. Eternal Return (PC) - Skins and Boosts Premium Bundle This bundle lets Eternal Return players obtain A-Coin and XP Boosts as well as 3 skins: Midnight Shinobi Yuki, Champion Jan, and Magnolia Orcle Hyejin. Fall Guys - Robo Rabbit Grants access to the Robo Rabbit skin for Fall Guys. Fifa 22 - Supercharge Pack For Ultimate Team, this pack includes 10 players rated 80 or above or your choice of one of four Team of the Season Loan Players. Halo Infinite - Pass Tense Razorback Bundle This bundle includes a bright green “Pass Tense” Razorback Vehicle Coating, four 2XP Boosts, and four Challenge Swaps. Hulu (No Ads) - 2 Month Free Trial Exactly what it says: two months of the No Ads tier of Hulu for free, if you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Idle Champions - Year 3 All-Star Pack Includes the Mastermind Krull Skin and gold chest and champion unlocks for Avren, Havilar, Krul, Melf, and Nova. Madden NFL 22- Face of the Franchise Pack Grants Face of the Franchise and The Yard: General Player Class Starting at Level 10 and a Tom Brady Gear Capsule. Marvel’s Avengers - Ms. Marvel Future Suit pack Includes the titular Future Suit for Ms. Marvel, as well as 3 day hero’s catalyst and a 3 day fragment extractor. MLB The Show 22 - Launch Bundle Includes 10 free packs for the game’s Diamond Dynasty mode. Naraka: Bladepoint - Awakening Bundle Adds the Viper Ning outfit Awakening and Xbox-themed headwear to your game. Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis - June Member Monthly Bonus 5 N-Half Scape Dolls and 50 Photon Chunks to assist in battles and item strengthen respectively in the online RPG. Smite - Slipknot Starter Pack Includes Poseidon, Chaac, Raijin, their Voice Packs, and more content. Smite is included with this pack. Super Animal Royale - Season 4 Includes the Green and Black Thomas Gun, Green and Black Sniper, Green and Black Onesie, and Green and Black Nightcap cosmetics. Worlds of Warships: Legends - Mythical Might Bundle Grants two ships for World of Warships: Tier V UK cruiser Leader, Tier III French Premium battleship Turenne, as well as other in-game goodies. Yu Yu Hakusho Get season 1 for Microsoft Movies and TV at no additional cost. View the full article
    • Baldur's Gate 3 is set to get one last major content update, Patch 8, prior to leaving early access. Patch 8 looks to be a fairly substantial update, nearly doubling the size of Larian Studios' upcoming RPG. "Patch 8 is drawing near, and it's going to be roughly 40 GB (so make sure you have space free!), bringing the total install size for Baldur's Gate 3 to approximately 104 GB," Larian Studios writes in a Steam blog post. "As with our previous patches, saves made on Patch 7 or prior will no longer be compatible when updated." Larian Studios is also using Patch 8 to do a little "digital house-cleaning," as the update will remove the ability to download Patches 1-5. "Patches 6 and 7 will remain available for download, but we encourage all players to update to the most recent version of the game in order to get the latest fixes and content updates," the studio writes. If you'd like to continue your Patch 7 save file when Patch 8 comes out, follow these steps: Right click on the game in your Steam library Select properties Click the BETAS tab In the list under "Select the beta you would like to opt into," select Patch 6 Close the properties menu Larian Studios also notes that you should remove any installed Baldur's Gate 3 mods before updating the game and downloading Patch 8. Though Larian Studios has not confirmed whether it will add any more playable classes to Baldur's Gate 3, the studio has added new ones with the past few major patches--the Barbarian class was added in Patch 7, for example, joining Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard. Larian Studios seems to be pulling from Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition for inspiration in the design of Baldur's Gate 3's classes, so Patch 8 could see the addition of the Bard, Paladin, or Monk. Even though this is the last major early access update for Baldur's Gate 3, the game won't launch in 1.0 this year. Baldur's Gate 3 is set to leave early access in 2023. The finishing touches--such as the conclusions to companion romances--are being saved for the 1.0 build. View the full article
    • When World of Warcraft's Dragonflight expansion ushers in a significant rework of the game's current talent system later this year, it will do so with the goal of putting players in control, even if that means letting players make "bad" builds. Blizzard has outlined its goals and philosophy behind the new talent tree system in a new blog post, giving players of the long-running MMORPG more details on what to expect come the arrival of Dragonflight. Certain core abilities, like basic class-defining combat abilities, non-combat related abilities, and group buffs or spells, will be obtained by each class prior to level 10 without needing to invest any talent points. As for the rest of a class's toolkit, players will need to select them via the game's talent trees, which are reminiscent of the talent trees from the early days of the MMO. One talent tree will be for the class as a whole, while another will be for a chosen specialization for that class. Players will earn their first class tree point at level 10 and their first specialization point at level 11, after which points for each tree will alternate with each level gained. At level 70, players will have 31 class points and 30 specialization points. That level of freedom will allow for what Blizzard calls "very bad builds," though the goal is "to keep the player in the driver's seat of their character's growth within their class." "There are limits and guardrails here, such as those abilities that are automatically given," the blog post states. "And furthermore, our goal in designing the trees is not to trap players in complicated choices in order to make a functional build; in fact, it's the opposite--it's to set up the trees with intuitive paths that lead you to reasonable builds." Talents higher in the tree will be more common, while talents lower in the tree will be more specialized and geared towards specific max-level builds. Major abilities or talents that grant powerful utility that Blizzard expects to be major parts of a class or specialization will be easily obtained from the beginning of the talent trees so they don't constrain other build choices. Blizzard uses the post to address concerns some players had about having to "re-buy" with talent points certain abilities that were a baseline part of any given class in the game's most recent Shadowlands expansion. Blizzard says it hears that feedback primarily as a concern over each class having "less stuff," but that it hopes players won't feel that way when presented with 61 talent points to do with as they see fit. "After starting with your basic class and spending 61 points in a tree, will you feel 'pruned?'" the post reads. "Openly, our goal is that you don't. We'll be watching for feedback on this. Our goal is for a Dragonflight character to feel like it has a similar amount of power and complexity--which can be hard to quantify--as a Shadowlands character. The main difference is you getting to choose which active buttons and passive bonuses make up that toolset, and potentially having combinations that were previously impossible." Dragonflight is slated to arrive later this year, though the lack of a playable alpha roughly six months prior to the game's planned release has some fans concerned and asking for Blizzard to delay the expansion to next year. View the full article
    • Online co-op is finally coming to Halo Infinite via a test flight this month, and some fans are upset that they'll have to be within 1000 feet of their friends while playing the campaign. 343 recently announced that it would begin an early test on July 15 and shared more news on how the co-op would work in Halo Infinite. To keep the game from breaking, it created an "Area-Of-Operations," limiting how far players can move from another in-game. "If you stray too far from your Fireteam, you will get a warning to return to the team. If you ignore that warning and continue, you will be killed for going AWOL and be spawned back on your nearest teammate," 343 said. A player will be warned when they're 800 feet away from another player and then killed once they reach 1000 feet. While previous Halo games did traditionally have limits on how far co-op players could be apart from one another, the open-world nature of Infinite led some to hope that such a limitation would not exist. As such, some fans are upset, with Reddit user Jarvar 17 posting on the Halo subreddit to express their disappointment. Reddit user LionstrikerG179 posted on r/Halo Reddit a screenshot displaying how far 1000 feet look in-game. The co-op beta will only be for the online campaigns, and fans will have to wait a bit longer to play split-screen couch co-op. If players want to try co-op early, they must sign up on the Halo Insider program. This isn't the only pushback 343 has been getting, as some fans have criticized the company for their Juneteenth Cosmetic and lack of Forge mode, which is still in development. For more Halo Infinite news, check out these stories: Halo Infinite Could Be Getting A New DMR Weapon Halo Infinite Online Campaign Co-Op Test Begins In July, Here's How To Sign Up And Everything We Know Halo Infinite Dev Explains Why The Studio Isn't Fixing Hit-Detection Issues Right Now View the full article
    • Enabling the newly added Nvidia DLSS feature for the PC version of Monster Hunter Rise comes with the unfortunate side effect of giving furry friends and foes a shaven appearance. Via Rock Paper Shotgun, the feature comes as part of a new update for Monster Hunter Rise released alongside the game's Sunbreak expansion, which in addition to new content has brought a number of changes and quality-of-life improvements to the latest entry in Capcom's long-running series. That includes DLSS support on Steam, which uses AI-powered upscaling to boost in-game frame performance at higher resolutions. That sounds great on paper, but unfortunately enabling DLSS currently smooths out fur and feathers to make the game's creatures look significantly less furry or feathery, which is a problem. It's particularly noticeable for the game's cat-like companions, the Palicoes, which look like they just got buzz cuts at the barber down the street. Why exactly this is the case is currently unclear, but one Reddit user in a thread about the issue speculates it could be because Monster Hunter Rise's TAA anti-aliasing option handles fur rendering, and since DLSS replaces TAA, hair and feathers aren't displaying properly. Changing the DLSS settings between quality, performance, or balanced mode doesn't seem to fix the problem. For the time being, it might be best to keep DLSS turned off until Capcom issues a fix. While a slight boost in frames-per-second is always nice, having to stare at poor fur-less Palicoes doesn't seem worth the cost. Capcom has outlined its plans for Monster Hunter Rise through the end of the year with a content roadmap, which includes a free update in August 2022. Free fall and winter updates will follow, with additional updates planned for 2023. View the full article
    • To celebrate nearly 25 years of Sucker Punch Productions, the studio has released a blog post offering an update on some of its most beloved series. However, Sly Cooper and Infamous fans be warned--this one does not end too happily for us. According to the blog post, Sucker Punch has "no plans to revisit Infamous or Sly Cooper right now, and no other studio is currently working on projects related to those franchises either." The team says this is because as its games "continue to grow in scale and complexity, they require the full attention" of the studio. Which, you know, is a great reason that makes complete sense, but is still a bit of a bummer. "These characters are very special and near and dear to our hearts," Super Punch added. "So while we’d never say never to re-opening those doors down the road, for now there are no Infamous or Sly Cooper games in development." However, while there were no further updates on the Sly Cooper series (apologies to my fellow Sly stans), the studio did offer a bit of consolation to Infamous players. In the coming weeks, Sucker Punch will be performing maintenance on the Infamous 2 UGC servers to "keep them up and running a bit longer," though how long "a bit longer" might be is not clear. The team also said they are currently working on getting Infamous Second Son's Cole’s Legacy DLC on the PlayStation Store in all territories, meaning players who did not splurge for the collector's edition of the game will finally get a chance to play it. The team finished off the blog post with a thank you to their fans, writing, "your love and appreciation are what fuel us to keep making new games and new worlds, and we look forward to continuing to bring new and exciting ideas to life for many years to come." Sucker Punch says it is "not yet ready to talk about whatever might be next," but will share more later on down the road. Considering the studio did not mention Ghost of Tsushima among its list of inactive series, it seems likely its next project could see us returning to feudal Japan. View the full article
    • Nintendo has announced another slate of games for its Nintendo Switch Online subscription service, this time filling out more of the Genesis catalog that that's included as part of the Expansion Pack. Those include a compilation of Mega Man games, a stylized brawler, and a game best known for its memes. You can catch up with the early Mega Man games in Mega Man: The Wily Wars, a compilation of the first three games in the series with some graphical revisions. If you beat all three games you can unlock a Wily Tower to confront a new boss. In Comix Zone, you play as a comic book artist drawn into a comic world. You'll have to beat your way through legions of mutants, hopping between comic panels as you go. Target Earth is a side-scrolling shooter that pits you against Chron cyborgs with customizable loadouts. Finally, Zero Wing is a side-scrolling arcade shooter, but it's probably most recognizable these days as the source of the "All Your Base" memes that set the internet ablaze in the early 2000s. Zero WingAs part of the announcement, Nintendo also reiterated that the original Pokemon Snap has been released on the Nintendo 64 library. That photo safari game was a fan favorite for years before finally getting a sequel, New Pokemon Snap, last year. The N64 library is also part of the Expansion Pack. The Nintendo Switch Online service includes online play for some games, cloud saves, and a selection of NES and Super NES games for $20 per year. The Switch Online Expansion Pack adds N64 and Genesis games, as well as access to expansions like the Animal Crossing: New Horizon Happy Home Paradise expansion and the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course pass for $50 per month. View the full article
    • In honor of its seventh anniversary, Rocket League is holding a special in-game event to celebrate the occasion--no RSVP required. Rocket League's Birthday Ball event brings with it a multitude of new features including new challenges, limited-time modes, and free rewards--including a very special type of reward that players have never received in previous events. The game's official anniversary isn't until July 7, but Rocket League developer Psyonix is kicking the festivities off early on July 6. Keep reading for a detailed look at all the gifts you can expect to unwrap during the Birthday Ball event. New LTMs Two limited-time modes will be available during the Birthday Ball event. The first is a new version of Heat Seeker, which will be playable in teams of two instead of the standard three-player team. The chaotic LTM will run from July 6-13. Knockout mode is also making a return, allowing players to face off in an eight-person free-for-all where only the strongest survive. In this mode, drivers have the ability to block, attack, and grab other cars as they engage in vehicular combat. Getting knocked out three times will get you eliminated, but other players aren't the only thing you have to look out for--environmental hazards like spikes and lasers will pop up on the playing field, and making contact with them will result in an instant KO. New store items The following items will rotate through Rocket League's item shop while the Birthday Ball event is live: Fennec car (Titanium White) Fancy Formal decal (Fennec) Anniversary Edition Spyder Wheels Anniversary Edition Top Hat Topper Rocket League's Anniversary Edition Top Hat TopperNew challenges and a special reward The Birthday Ball event also includes event challenges with rewards unlike any other. For the first time in Rocket League history, players will receive up to 300 Credits for completing event challenges. Credits can be used to purchase premium items from the item shop. In addition to Credits, players who complete the event's challenges can also claim the following rewards: Golden Goat player title Precious Metal avatar border Golden Eggs, which unlock blueprints from the Champions Series 1 through 4 Rocket League's Birthday Ball ends on July 19, so players will have plenty of time to complete challenges and collect the event's free loot. More details about the event can be found in Psyonix's Birthday Ball blog post, but if you're already itching to unwrap some free loot, connect your Epic Games account to your Rocket League account to redeem some colorful cosmetics from Rocket League's collaboration with Fall Guys. Rocket League is free to play on console and PC. View the full article
    • Friday 'Nite is a weekly Fortnite column in which Mark Delaney takes a closer look at current events in the wide world of Fortnite, with a special emphasis on the game's plot, characters, and lore. Though it's likely intrinsically linked to the game's next major--and yet unnamed--villain, the vibrant Reality Tree is the fan-favorite star of the Fortnite Chapter 3, Season 3. This towering growth near the western shores of the island is one of the most visually striking places of interest (POIs) in the nearly five-year history of the game. With its impenetrable base standing tall and its otherwordly foliage, it's a sight like no other. Even this season's working roller coaster can't compete. Though the tree itself is a new sight to behold this season, its special properties are giving fans a heavy dose of nostalgia. As its twisted roots spring up and out of the ground all across the island, places it comes in contact with are shifting as though they're endlessly cycling through a multiverse that somehow includes Fortnite islands of the past. When Epic introduced a wholly new island for the first time ever, way back with the 2019 launch of Chapter 2, many fans missed the Chapter 1 island. In Chapter 3, many fans can't help but look back on Chapter 2 more fondly. It's a common human reaction, even among Fortnite's younger players who've hardly lived lives long enough to feel nostalgic about anything, to remember the "good old days." In Fortnite, that nostalgia centers on maps players can't access anymore. But with the Reality tree, those long-gone settings are re-emerging in unpredictable ways. From a narrative perspective, it's probably bad news that a shadowy baddie has this much influence over Reality Zero, the home of Fortnite's island. But from a fan perspective, this fantastical tour of reborn landmarks and POIs is satiating a long-held demand for Fornite islands of yesteryear. At the time of writing this, two locations on the island are chaotically changing with each new round. What was once the Butter Barn in the south-center of the map is now sometimes pieces of Coral Castle or The Coliseum from Chapter 2. Other times, it resembles Neo Tilted, a futuristic take on Tilted Towers from Chapter 1, Season 9. Up north, the POI formerly known as Logjam Lumberyard is now Logjam Lotus, periodically shifting between past locales such as the pirate-themed Lazy Lagoon, as well as the aforementioned Coral Castle, and more. Dataminers have revealed that more of Fortnite's current reality will be bent and re-shaped by its mysterious tree in the weeks ahead. As the season isn't set to end until mid-September and a new update comes out every Tuesday, the nostalgia train has perhaps hardly left the station. With this in mind, I asked the Fortnite community to tell me which POIs and landmarks they'd like to see resurface on the island this season. To my surprise, answers varied wildly, with remarkably few repeats despite dozens of replies. Here are some of the many past hangouts Fortnite fans hope to see on the island soon thanks to the Reality Tree's unique powers. Those who expounded on their picks often backed up what I already suspected: We're each nostalgic for some POI from our earliest Fortnite days, when the game was brand-new and there was so much to learn. It's not necessarily that the game is worse now, though perhaps some would argue that. It's just that people, by their nature, like the cozy feelings that rise up when they think of some unreachable time in their past. This is true in Fortnite as it is in many parts of life. The Reality Tree is thus an interesting experiment in fan service. A live-service game like Fortnite will change dramatically and frequently, meaning some seasons are remembered more fondly than others, some vaulted weapons are missed dearly, and the memories we each have exploring the island can't really be replicated because the game is always moving forward, always being reinvented. Soon, we'll probably learn the reality-bending powers of this "Bloomwatcher" constitute yet another existential threat to Loopers everywhere. But until we understand it better, I and many other fans are content to use its powers to recall each of our earliest landings in a game that is in a constant state of change. View the full article
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