Why the Scorpio Alone Won’t Save Xbox

The launch of Scorpio was an attempt to regain [both mind and] market share. After months of people comparing resolutions and FPS of the launch-PS4 and Xbox One, Microsoft decided they needed to do something. With whispers of a PS4.5, they knew if they wanted to even walk into the shadow of PS4’s sales numbers they’d need to come out with better tech. And if the spec rumors are true, they will do just that this fall.

Unfortunately, for both Microsoft and the consumer, their engineering feat alone will not drive people to turn on their consoles. If Microsoft’s business team does not make deals with developers for second or third party exclusives, it doesn’t matter how good the games look on an Xbox One. Tech specs don’t matter if you don’t have beautiful games to showcase them.

Things were looking up for Microsoft when they announced their Universal Windows Platform (UMP) system. Players could now play a selection of games they’d purchased on the Xbox Live store on their Windows 10 PC. At first glance, it sounds like an amazing value proposition, finally you could buy your games in one place and play them across multiple devices, unfortunately for all involved, it was a great idea – that was only half-baked.

The problem that Microsoft created for themselves with the UWP system was: even with the release of the Scorpio Microsoft could no longer say that a game was “exclusively on Xbox.” Gamers have no reason to spend that much on a system, with the power equivalent to a Nvidia 7xx GPU, when their computer’s hardware made that GPU obsolete years ago. Players now had no explicit reason to buy an Xbox aside from brand loyalty and the fact that they might have friends on the same system.

But I did not write this piece to simply rain on Microsoft’s parade. They now have the strongest console on the market, and they’ve positioned themselves in a place of strength, they now need to take advantage of that position.

Despite PC’s becoming the ultimate powerhouses, some still find it a stretch to achieve 4K on two individual lenses on a VR device. If out of the box the Xbox Scorpio can provide players with a VR opportunity that they can’t get on their PC or their Playstation 4 (regular or Pro) they may have a winner on their hands. Now, Xbox CEO Phil Spencer has already said that the Xbox “Scorpio” will offer a VR experience, although he hasn’t delved into whether that will be software or hardware driven. He’s also brought up that he does not want Scorpio exclusives, and that he dislikes the “closed” ecosystem of the VR hardware developers, both of these comments – together in the same interview – gave me one idea, and that’s that with the strongest console platform on the market, having the ability to offer gaming experiences on both Windows and Xbox – Microsoft would win E3 in one swift movement if they provided consumers with a machine that lets them experience VR regardless of the platform. At this point,  people are investing in VR sets in a way reminiscent of the war between Betamax and VHS; people didn’t know where to put their money on such a split market. If Microsoft gives people, of all VR camps, with a platform that they can use, despite who comes out on top 5 years from now, they’d have won more than E3, they’d have created a tectonic shift in the industry.

If you haven’t purchased an Xbox yet, what would Microsoft have to announce at E3 to win you over? And if watching this after E3: did any of their announcements excite, surprise, or – even for a moment – make you want to consider purchasing either of their consoles?

tl;dr
– Creating the strongest dedicated gaming machine on the market was an attempt to regain mind (and by proxy) market share. 

– Unfortunately, for old and new Xbox owners alike, the graphic fidelity of your games is irrelevant if you only use the console to watch Netflix. 
– Xbox CEO promised the console will be VR compatible and would not have “Scorpio exclusive” games – locking out Legacy Xbox One owners from new titles. 
– To regain the position in the industry they held last console generation, Microsoft would have to call armistice in the VR war by allowing the Scorpio to run any V game, as if it were platform agnostic. 

 

@WASDmeta

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Dev Stream – March 2017

UPDATE 5/23/17: May’s Patch Notes

(March’s) Dev Stream w/ PLAYERUNKNOWN, Marek & Pawel*

  • We are planning on monthly updates during Early Access in conjunction w/ Test Servers.
    • We’ll develop for three weeks, and then send the update out to the test servers for a week. If things are working well then we’ll we’ll push it to the other servers.
  • We do not plan to change stance adjustments.
  • No plans to implement locks on vehicles.
  • Considering random crate drops for the end of rounds. But we won’t be giving higher ranked winners random crate drops, we don’t want the game to be a grind for crates.
  • “I don’t think we can do a rejoin mechanic.”
  • Helmets and vests are not designed to be put into backpacks “We want to avoid the situation where you shoot someone in the head and they immediately equip another helmet.”
  • We are trying to make the HUD as minimal as possible while still trying to provide all necessary information.
  • We should have an announcement for estimated release time RE: Austrailian servers next week.
  • We will have oceanic servers, just no ETA.
  • There are no plans for Linux or Mac support at this time, there are not enough people interested in playing to justify the development time necessary to implement.
  • Keys with microtransactions won’t be implemented until after full release.
  • Equipment skins will be coming after we work on game optimization
    • We’ll have cosmetic skins for weapons, vehicles, and your characters.
    • But we plan on keeping them relatively.
  • The reason crates get more expensive the more you buy is to enforce a soft limit on the number of crates you can buy a week. To create an economy based on our skins, so limiting the number of crates you can obtain a week is important to make sure there is rarity within items. So there’s value in the marketplace.
    • These items will available on the Steam marketplace. We will implement a system like CS:GO where you can buy keys and keys will be used to open crates.
    • All the skins you have, you’ll be able to sell on the Steam marketplace eventually.
  • We are looking at other ways for you guys to open crates, maybe a time release system. We do want to give players that don’t necessarily have money to spend on keys, we do want a way for them to get them skins.
    • You’ll also be able to find skins in the crates in the world as well but that will be after full release.
  • We’ve considered adding C4 as a remotely detonated charge.
  • PU said they’re going to continue to working on positional audio, but Toone said it’s “spot on” and only needs work in spectator mode.

Environmental

  • We are going to adjust the final circles to make them a little bit slower, but no we are not reducing the damage.
  • We do have plans for weather and possibly night maps. We first need to fix performance in the game first. We would like to add snow, but it’s very CPU heavy.
    • If we do add night maps, it will not be dynamic. We don’t want your environment changing in the middle of a match.
  • We may add more environmental sounds, but we don’t want to overly distract you from the gameplay.
  • We don’t want to add fog effects outside the circle, we don’t want to punish people harder for being outside of it. Battle Royale is supposed to be about the fight, not the environment.

Ranking

  • We are going to work on the reward points.
  • Our ranking is an ELO based system.
    • You start at about 1200.
    • Kills are worth 20% and win points are worth 100%.
    • Kills are based on who you killed (their rank) and who you died to.
  • Eventually, we have proper matchmaking when the ranking system is pretty stable.
    • We do want to add ranks above people’s heads in the lobby as well so you know who you’re up against.
    • There will be ranked competitive games, like 5V5
    • We plan to have unranked matches so you can go in and just have fun and learn the game without concern for your rank.
    • We will have separate ranks for solo on co-op.
  • We will have ranks for your ratings as well, that will be implemented sometime in the future.

Guns

  • There is currently [virtually] NO bullet drop, but we are adding air resistance, with full plans to add bullet drop in the future.
  • We are considering adding a second option to scopes, red dots to ACOGs etc.
  • Muzzle attachment changes:
    • The compensator reduces the vertical recoil of the gun.
    • Flash Hider changes muzzle light, particle effect, and a small compensator buff w/ partial horizontal recoil decrease.
    • Suppressor makes a small change in deviation in random spread, and reduces the attenuation range of your weapon while adding a little audio spread mechanics to your sound. So you can still hear it, but it makes it harder to pinpoint by about 20 degrees.
    • We will be changing muzzle flashes as well as line attenuation, so they will be able to be seen from longer distances.
  • We may add more calibers to the game, depending on the weapons, but really what our intentions with the weapons is to really just balance the classes more than anything else. To make sure there are good pistols, good SMGs.
  • The UMP is one of the weapons that we need to rework because it’s way too weak right now. It’s one of the weapons that aren’t currently using real world values for the muzzle velocity.
  • This is subject to change: Verticle foregrip significantly reduces horizontal recoil by a large amount, and angled foregrips reduce both horizontal and verticle but by a smaller amount.
  • No tracers on bullets, further than what is currently available on the sniper rifles.

Game-Play

  • The reason you have FPS drops in towns is because of the numbers of objects in towns etc. So what we’re doing in the next 5 weeks is making the towns look simpler at distance.
    • Currently, the towns are CPU limited, we’re trying to optimize it to use the GPU correctly and to its full potential.
  • We are currently using BattleEye to deter cheaters.
  • Parachuting is connected to ping, we could make it client side, but other than that there’s nothing we can do.
  • Vehicle physics will be worked on.

Upcoming Features

  • Next optimization pack is expected around April 15th.
  • Streamer specific features will be coming.
  • We will be coming out on consoles, but not until the PC version is complete.
  • We are looking into the eSports scene, but we want it to grow organically. The hardest thing for us is figuring out tournaments, IRL, ’cause making Battle Royale viable is a tough sell. Personally, I started Battle Royale ’cause I thought it would make a great eSport.
    • But we will have a really complex statistic point system, but that’s later down the line.
  • Mod support will be coming, but will not be looked at until after we’re satisfied with the game optimization.
    • Mods will run on separate servers, but we’ll talk about that later down the road.
  • Will later implement a hardcore first person mode.
    • Slightly reduced UI
    • No crosshairs
  • Our jumping mechanics are put on hold until our vaulting system is complete.
    • Vaulting is at least 2 months out. w/ the initial plan being the end of May.
    • Plan to have a vault / climb / jump feature that is Battlefield-esc.
  • We are thinking about distinct impact sounds when shots connect – maybe just for headshots. But we have plans for… if you hit someone with a vest it will give a puff of dust rather than a puff of blood, so you know that that person is wearing a vest.
  • No ETA on a replay feature.
  • Additional maps are confirmed, and one is currently in the works.
  • We’re adding a “play again” button to take you directly into matchmaking. But because of the nature of the game, there will be some downtime between hitting play and landing on the ground.
  • You will eventually be able to use med kits and stimms while in a car.
  • We do have plans to make environments more destructible, but optimization has to come first and destruction kind of messes with that.
  • We will be implementing range finders and binoculars.
  • We’re working on first person mode, but it will take time to implement.
  • Motorcycles [with side carriages] are coming.
  • Plan to implement FOV sliders.
    • Field of view will only increase, players will not be able to make it less than 80.
  • We do have plans for more death screen statistics.
  • When we go to full release, yes we’ll probably do a wipe of all stats.
  • We do want some kind of leveling system when it comes to weapons, and stuff like that, unlock special reloads for your character etc, it will have no effect on gameplay. But this will take a while.
  • Will make it so that map markers can be seen by the entire team.

Bugs

  • The bleeding meter is supposed to stop when someone starts to revive you, it’s simply bugged atm.
  • “Closed Connection” bug should be fixed within the next week for the remaining people suffering from it.
  • Spectate mode is buggy and will be fixed.

PlayerUnknown’s Talk w/ Twitch Streamer Oshi7

  • The circle position is always random, and is only prevented from going to the edges of the map.
  • There will be other maps in the future, but the current one took roughly a year to make, so won’t be any time soon.
    • The map that players are currently playing on is 100% complete (when it comes to content), we’re just working on polishing it right now.
  • We’re pushing daily updates to the servers, trying to optimize them to the best of our ability. Unreal Engine wasn’t made for open worlds or 100 players on a map, but we’re going to brute force it anyway.
  • There will are two bigger optimization updates on the 7th of April and the 14th of April.
  • We do have plans for consoles, but only after the full PC release.
  • I have a few other game modes I’d like to add, but I’d really like to see what the modding community will come up with. After full launch.
    • We will be giving people the ability to write core code without directly giving them C++ Access.
  • First person hardcore will come without a crosshair, and a limited User Interface, there is no ETA at this time.
  • I’ll probably be working on this for another year at least; not just the game but setting up for eSports.
    • We have our leaderboards, we have ELO-based ranking. But we want it to grow organically, I just want to give the community the tools to build whatever they want.
    • I always wanted to create a community sport.
  • We’re adding take-downs.
    • Standing take-down
    • Crouch take-down
    • You need to be sneaking up on someone that isn’t moving.
  • We’re rewriting our propagation algorithm for foliage to make it look a little bit more natural, and add a little bit more cover, so there will be a bit more bushes and stuff like that; cause right now it’s a little bit bare.
  • We will make it so that foliage isn’t tactical. We don’t want it so that people that turn foliage down can see you hiding in the grass, and people with it on can’t.
  • We will have 2D replays and 3D replays with floating spectator cameras.
    • We’ll also have a record feature so you can analyze your moves, and look at your teammates’ movements.
    • [Call of Duty esc} kill / death cams that rewind 5 seconds and shows you how you were killed.
  • The bug that makes houses not propagate is being worked on, but it’s very elusive. We do know of it, we’re just trying to track it down.
  • Asked if he’ll have to reduce draw distance to increase performance: I like the 100 people, but we haven’t even touched performance, up until the start of early access we were only adding content, it’s just now that we’re starting to work on optimization.
  • We are kind of happy at the level of customization with the weapons. No changing barrels etc. We’re happy with the calibers we have, I just want to add new weapons, if anything a few more scopes…
    • We want to add a few more SMGs a few more ARs. I just want to work on balance first.
    • We want to make it so that you’re not just maining ARs
  • Battleroyale is the fight between you and the other player, it shouldn’t be a fight between the UI or your surroundings.
  • We want to add a gun range map, but it’s not a high priority. Right now the way that we’ve built the game, it’s really hard to make a single player thing without a lot of work.
  • We had to remove the crossbow for a moment, but we will be putting it back in.
  • RE footsteps: “All the sounds need to be tweaked, all of these things will be changed.”
    • Jumping system is on hold, but sounds in relation to jumps will be worked on as well.
  • We’re in early access beta, so it’s all about performance, it’s all about optimization. There will be more content, but it will be 80% optimization.
  • No plans in adding mounted weapons to boats, mods can always do it, I feel it’s a little OP for Battleroyale.
  • There will be Twitch integration. These are things that will be coming closer to full launch.
  • The know-down feature “issue” in which you’re revived with almost insufficient health is intentional.
  • Skins are not something we’re working on right now, but we won’t be looking at that until the game is fully released.
    • What I really want to do is make sure we have a skin economy, that’s why the crates quickly increase in price, there’s a soft limit to how many you can buy.
    • There will be keys to open those crates, but not in EA.
    • You’ll be able to find those skins in the world, we don’t want to punish people that can’t afford to buy keys to open crates.
    • There are big bugs with the reward system, but give us time, we’ll fix them.
    • Clothes will only be cosmetic.
  • When you start reviving someone their revive meter I should I stop, but it’s bugged right now.
  • We want to add air drag to bullets.
  • The pan does deflect bullets.
  • Animations are still being polished.
  • We’re going to have emotes eventually.
  • Right now the European servers…the problem is not that we have [bad] servers. We’re updating servers daily, it’s due to what we put on them – buying more servers won’t increase the performance the way we want, we’ve been focusing on stabilizing servers first, and we’ll continue to do daily server updates.
  • We hope to be at full release in 6 months.
  • We really don’t want to give serious rewards for winning cause that will lead to farming. We really don’t want to give something that’s valuable for winning cause that will lead to farming and cheating and people doing 20 man teams in solo just so they win.
  • We will have leveling for “skills” with your AR, so you can unlock special reloads. It will add nothing to the game, they’ll be tactical reloads – they won’t go any faster, they’ll just look cooler.
  • No KSVK.
  • We’d like to implement C4 so you could put explosives on cars and walk away and trigger them when other people walk up by.
  • There will be full in-game replays, much like CS:GO.
  • And more ways to change your keybindings.
  • This is the set price, it will not increase from $29.99
  • No combat stances.
  • No plans for traps or other hazards other than the bombs.
    • We want to add more destruction, we want to add more environmental things but.
  • We’re working on the fuckboi cabin.
  • No sound when the electric field progresses.
  • Swimming under the water is faster.
  • We do want to do snow, in the way that as it falls it piles up, and to show your footprints but that’s really performance heavy, so it won’t be anytime soon.
  • Texture quality will be improved over time.
  • Squad waypoints should be in the first monthly update.
  • We will be adjusting grenades.
    • They currently can be cooked though, and that will stay in game.
  • We won’t be implementing the feature that makes you limp if you’re shot in the leg / aim badly if you got shot in the arm. We really don’t want to punish you that much for getting hurt, you’re already losing HP.
  • I’m happy with loot at the moment. It needs to be tweaked and tuned, but it forced you to keep looting. This idea that you land and are geared within 2 or 3 minutes is not something we want.
  • There is currently a 10% chance of getting a rain-ey server.
  • Opening doors, getting into cars and picking up loot are all server-side operations, so they will be quicker when performance is improved.
  • We announced on our Dev log yesterday that we’re looking into ping lock.
  • Points are for cosmetic and crates, rankings are ELO rated. (more about this in my previous dev post.)
  • The red zones are also random, we only put them in there to make you say “Oh shit.”
  • I have other game modes plans, but for now just working on optimization focus
  • We have our custom games, which are gonna start out pretty basic, but as we work on the custom game platform you’ll be bale to do so much more – give your own experience to Battleroyale.
  • After early access you’ll be able to buy keys with points and then use them to open crates.
  • Microtransactions will never affect gameplay ever.
  • We may later implement a way to change your username.
  • Colorblind mode will be implemented in the next major patch (roughly three weeks from now.)
  • (Contrary to what he said on his last stream) Okay there is bullet drop, but it’s very minimal. It’s gravity based… there is bullet drop, but because most of the bullets are supersonic they do drop very little over time. Once we add air drag it will all change…
  • The way [loot] works is… you have residential buildings and military buildings. Military buildings have a higher chance to spawn military weapons, but you’ll still find shit loot. And residential buildings have a higher chance to spawn “residential” weapons or less powerful weapons but you’ll still find – every now and again – high-value stuff.

Vault Dude’s video summary of today’s impromptu interview.

@WASDmeta

Welcome to the Battlegrounds

After seeing this game show up on Twitch in early January I couldn’t help but groan at the appearance of another “survival shooter” game. If there were ever a case of market saturation in the video game industry, it would have been the past 18 months with this kind of the hill-esc genre. But it wasn’t until March that I realized this game would break the mold. And for those asking “Is this a copy of H1Z1 or Arma?” First answer this question: If someone ghost authored a book, co-authored another, and then finally had the power and support to write his own book would you accuse him of plagiarising himself?

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds’ (PUBG) freshest contender is another early access survival shooter, Escape from Tarkov. EFT is about the grind for loot; the gamble of going in with your best items and doubling down, or coming back with nothing. In stark contrast, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is an emotional rollercoaster that leaves people screaming expletives when they get shot, but then yelling “Let’s go again!” at the top of their lungs; or pumping their fists after a win, going in overconfident and getting shot within a minute of landing on the ground. I couldn’t count the times that a streamer would end a match saying “That was so stupid, I shouldn’t have done that.” Which is a drastic change from the norm. When you die in this game it’s not due to bad game mechanics or a bug – when you die in this game it’s your fault, which means you can get better and improve. Never before have I seen a game in alpha look so polished, even more so than games that have been fully released.

For a game based off of everyman-for-himself type warfare, PUBG is a game that thrives on its social aspects. Even after a player has died, their spectating mode allows for fallen teammates to be a second set of eyes to their surviving ones. Although they are no longer rising through the ranks they can still be “in the game” by being a spotter and helping their friends shoot their way to the top.

Not only do duos and team pairings allow for excellent team play, but they bring about the moments that have people sitting around tables years after this game is long dead reminiscing about “the time that…”  Their game mechanics and combat system provides opportunities for plays that will be shared among friends, across Twitter, and find their way to the top of Reddit before the match is even uploaded to YouTube.

If pressed I’d have to describe a video game as a relationship. Of course, any connection we have to another living thing is a relationship but – aren’t some of today’s modern games living? People spend hours with them away from other things and other people, focusing on no other stimuli than what’s in front of them and the people with them in-game. My opening paragraph was written yesterday, and I opened by asking if PU’s Battlegrounds is a game that will have the power to pull gamers from their long-term relationships with other games. I wanted to know if players would abandon their guilds or gaming partners, if they would feel no twinge of remorse canceling their long established plans to have a good time with like-minded people, and last night my question was answered.

I was watching someone on Stream, who started off their duo match by telling their partner that in six hours they’d have to leave for a previously scheduled CS:GO scrim that he had to take part in.  When the six hours was up it was clear that he genuinely didn’t want to stop playing PU’s BG. He felt that the six hours he had previously spent playing the game wasn’t enough, even going so far as to call his teammates to see if the scrim wasn’t canceled or postponed. PUBG is a game like this that makes people not want to leave their computers to get up to eat or use the bathroom, and that fact will change the space of gaming for our foreseeable future.

There’s a lot more I can say about this game but, after just a few days of watching, I want to keep it less than a thousand words. This game breathes authenticity. While other games force competition by sponsoring tournaments and matches before people even get their hands on the game: this community has become naturally competitive, with no forcing on the part of the devs. With players from CS:GO and CoD coming in with levels of communication that can only be rivaled by professional players, this game will continue to grow into the champion I know it will be. I couldn’t help but sit in awe when I saw that professional Twitch streamerSacriel, had created his own replay system, allowing him to look back at the mistakes he’s made in-game and analyze them – making sure he does not suffer death the same way again. A creation of his own design that would do well to be implemented in PUBG.

Of course, there are things that could be fixed. I’ve seen too many times, that players get caught in their menu and die before they can leave. I assume the game sends your inventory data to the server as you close your menu and because of this there is a temporary pause, but that pause is just long enough for you to be downed and slaughtered. I’d like it if the moment you took damage: your inventory would close itself, and any saving that needed to be done would happen in the background so you could at least attempt to defend yourself. And although bright yellow text pops up reminding you the player zone is about to change, when your head is in the game and you’re searching for enemies sometimes that text goes unnoticed. Implementing an audio indication of some kind might aid in people running for the circle at the last minute – but maybe that’s the point.

I don’t know what PU’s BG has in store. All I know is, now that PlayerUnknown is at the helm of his own team, he will do more than just mod. His team and this community will alter the face of online competitive gaming forever.

tl;dr
– With a genre oversaturated with games, the man who has helped create the best one now has the ability to create his own, and what a beautiful thing it will be.
– It is both exhilarating and infuriating, but it always leaves you coming back for more. Any death is a fault of yours, not the game, simply illuminating the brilliance of the game design.
– Is made for both solo and social players. You can have fun playing alone, or coordinate plays with your friends that you remember for years and leave you climbing to the top of the leaderboards.
– Like a carefully crafted MMO, this game will have you leaving long established friends and communities, compelling you to return to fulfill that desire to be the last man standing. It will hook you, and never for a second will you be left wondering WHY you’re hooked, the reasons are obvious.
– It instills genuine competition and isn’t forcing it down the community’s throat.
– Could definitely make a few tweaks and improvements, but this is one of the most polished games I’ve seen, let alone for one still in alpha.
– I don’t know much, but I know this game will change the face of the multiplayer genre (and shooters alike) for years to come.

@WASDmeta

On My Radar – Week 2

In an attempt to give this blog a little more personality I’m going to share the games on my wishlist more often – even if they’re not early access or yet to be released. So, here’s On My Radar, Week 2:

Mr. Shifty

I’m a little behind on this one, entering beta last month Mr. Shifty was recorded and played by a variety of popular YouTubers, but it wasn’t until today that it came across my screen.

I was initially terrified by the gameplay – I know my limitations, and fast paced twitch-response games are beyond those limits – but the game’s controls are so intuitive that that’s not something you need to worry about. The game provides a momentum and inertia to the button presses and combat actions that your movements acquire a flow. Upon starting a round you’d swear the obstacles you see are impossible to traverse, but a few tries later the impossible has been conquered.

Another standout of tinyBuild Games‘ creation is that every hit comes with a sense of impact. Whether it’s through sound design mixed with aforementioned game mechanics, it feels as if every punch you land is a real one, giving the game weight and substance you rarely get from an Indie game.  The music also does an excellent job of getting you into the rhythm of things.

Mr. Shifty - Eliminate Threats


Today I found out about a game that came out in 2015 called Evoland 2 (developed by Shiro Games). And I can’t believe I hadn’t come across it before.

Maybe because at the time I was primarily a console player, but Evoland 2 is an extremely refreshing change from your classic RPG. It’s irreverent, in the fact that it makes fun of the most annoying RPG tropes; straddles the fourth wall, with one of the characters saying “I can’t open this chest, I guess the developer forgot to…” within the first hour, and innovative in its time travel implementation.

What makes this game so interesting, and unlike any RPG I’ve ever seen, is that as the characters travel through time the game’s graphics change. When the characters are thrown into the past the graphics degrade, sometimes with the characters commenting that they feel less detailed, and as they travel into the future the graphics improve. The game is sometimes a 2D sides roller, sometimes

I’ve only known about it for less than a day, but it’s already at the top of my Steam Wishlist. If and when I get my hands on it, I will be sure to share my impressions.

Evoland 2 - Metal Gear

evoland-2-gameplay-street-f

@WASDmeta

Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, Addresses Scalebound Cancelation and First Party Line-Up

Re: “Should Microsoft Be Concerned with This Year’s Xbox Exclusive Line-Up?”

“In terms of the lineup itself, I am incredibly proud of the lineup this year. I’ve said before it’s going to be an interesting year for us because we don’t have Gear / Halo FPS. But I look at Crackdown, State of Decay, Sea of Thieves, Halo Wars 2, and maybe there are some things we haven’t talked about yet. But in the long run I know having a strong first party is important to this.” – Phill Spencer

“We are absolutely investing [in first party studios and projects.] Sometimes when we start something new we talk about it too early. I’ve learned when we try to do something ambitious with a new team / IP I’d rather not run out there and put a target on it too early…  But if I take Scalebound specifically, I would work with [Platinum Games] again in a second, I think they do great work. What we were trying to go do didn’t work for us, and I think that’s a collective us, and the thing that caused me the most consternation is that we just put it out there for everyone to just kind of watch.

We start and stop things all the time, game development is about creative push and finding where the line is and what’s gonna work and what’s not gonna work. So, investing in new party stuff, absolutely. I’m probably gonna be more careful about when we announce things…But I’m really proud of the lineup we have this year.”

 

@WASDmeta

Standouts from Escape from Tarkov Scav Livestream Interview

Update 10/3/17:

Update 6/27/17: EFT Closed Beta Announcement

  • Scav mode, available once per hour, provides you with a fully randomized character with random appearance and items. Provides you with the opportunity to collect all the loot you can, and if you get out alive you can transfer the loot to your main character stash.
    • Available later this month in alpha.
    • When you finish the raid successfully a Scav Transfer window will open allowing you to drag and drop the items you looted onto your main character.
  • The bigger your Omega Container the more items you can keep, even if you die before the end of the raid.
  • Scavs are less stealthy than other characters, talk loudly, “respond” to other characters.
  • As a Scav you may randomly spawn with A.I.Scavs. If you decide to kill one A.I. Scav the others in the vicinity will turn on you.
  • Scavs do not always join at the beginning of the game, they may join during the middle or towards the end of the raid.
  • Battlestate Games plans to become more storyline oriented and are working to make quests a major part future of the game.
  • Players have to first do all the raids, escape from tarkov, and learn why you were there in the first place. Later they will implement free roam so you can take advantage of the open world.
  • They are currently working on the first set of skills. Repeatable actions that allow you to upgrade your skills. They would like there to be 10-15 skills at the launch of the Scav faction.
  • Have plans to build a shoreline location w/ an abandoned hotel, and a village / swamp, all double the size of the current woods map.
  • Want to add the MPX, Russian APS (Stechkin Machine Pistol) and Lobaev Arms DVL-10* firearms.
  • Want to implement a stalker-esc arena mode, planned for the end of the summer. Features 1v1 and 2v2 matches 5-8 minutes each
    • Are considering two sub arena modes, one that allows you to bring your own weapons and risk losing them, and another that lets you play as a Scav.
  • Top tier weapon mastery will let you tactically reload while aiming down sights
  • Are aiming for closed beta to be around early summer and open beta late summer.
  • Will look at console releases following the full release of Escape from Takov on PC.
  • Are considering a Karma System. If you have low karma traders may stop trading with you, your weapons might jam up more, etc.
  • Do not want to implement pay to win features. If you run out of weapons on your main character NPC players might send you free things “We will find a way…it will be okay.”
  • Will let you customize your character appearance: both face (at the character creation) and clothes during the game.

*thank you to the anonymous commenter for the correction. 

@WASDmeta

Escape From Tarkov – GDC 2017

While at GDC 2017, we will introduce a new game mechanic/faction for the highly anticipated MMO/FPS. Previously seen only in videos, Battlestate will be showcasing gameplay based on a special faction within the game called the Scavs.

Scavs are marauders who remained in the city of Tarkov after the government lockdown in order to seize property left behind by citizens, while also fighting any forces attempting to restore law and order in the city. The Scavs will be a playable faction and will cause plenty of trouble for those playing as Operatives of the two Escape from Tarkov PMC factions (USEC and BEAR).

Soon, players will be able to enter Escape from Tarkov raids as the renegade Scavs – and upon doing so,  they will be assigned a random player name, equipment, and weapons. The Scavs can group up in packs of up to four players. If a Scav player survives the raid, they will be able to move collected loot into the stash of their main character. The opportunity to play as Scav will be limited in frequency, so it’s best to jump into the Scav role while you can!

“Playing as a Scav is like playing the game without rules, one where the players can experience quite different gameplay with a focus on reckless abandon,” commented Nikita Buyanov, COO of Battlestate Games and Project Lead, Escape From Tarkov. “The Scav player is spawned together with AI Scavs. Scav tactics change up the overall style of raid gameplay, and in most cases, complicating the lives of BEAR and USEC players, while also fighting amongst themselves.”

After GDC 2017, Scav gameplay will be added to the upcoming closed beta version.

tl;dr
– Scavs enter the game with a random player name, equipment, and weapons. If they survive the raid they can move the loot they acquired in the raid to their main character.
– Scavs can group up, with up to four people in a group.
– Are only available once an hour, or by paying in-game currency.
– Are in opposition of the BEAR and USEC PMC’s but can also fight within their own faction (Scavs appear as AI to other human players.)
– After GDC 2017, Scav gameplay will be added to the upcoming closed beta version.

What’s the point? You no longer have to go into a match with bare fists or risk your best gear. You can go in with a generic character and generic weapons, and anything you loot in that raid becomes yours to keep. If you end up with nothing, there’s no loss – none of your main character’s items are forfeited.

 

@GuanxiGaming