Overwatch 2 Patch Launches Single-Player Mode To Teach Heroes

Overwatch 2’s sixth season is ongoing, and now that Blizzard has rolled out its new PVP mode, new support hero, and the long-awaited story missions, today, it unleashed out a balance patch and a new mode called Hero Mastery. The latter will let you take part in some solo skill-based challenges to learn how to use a different hero. However, it’s only available for a small group of heroes at this time.

Unlike most Overwatch 2 modes, Hero Mastery is a single-player joint that has a tailored obstacle course designed for specific heroes, where you’re graded based on how quickly you reach the finish line. This is meant to help you train in a character’s specific skillsets, such as Mercy’s flight or Tracer’s teleporting Blinks. Blizzard plans to roll out courses for each hero eventually, but right now the mode is only playable as Tracer, Reinhardt, and Mercy, with Sojourn and Winston being added “in the weeks ahead.”

That’s a real small hero pool for a new mode, and I’m bummed that none of my favorites are part of it yet. But the mode does seem like it’s meant to help people learn new characters, so I might not get much out of playing them as Soldier: 76, Sombra, or Lifeweaver.

Beyond Hero Mastery, Overwatch 2 is also bringing back its anniversary event on September 19, just a few weeks before the sequel’s one-year anniversary in October. This will bring back all the game’s seasonal modes, and return Legendary skins to the in-game shop, alongside new challenges to earn credits.

As for the actual balance patch, there are a few small but significant changes in this new patch that mostly boil down to damage, shield, and healing numbers moving up and down. There’s nothing super-exciting, like a rework or fundamental changes. But tanks like Zarya and Orisa are getting some noticeable tweaks that will help them act more defensively. Check out the full patch notes below:

Overwatch 2 Anniversary 2023

We’re celebrating the first year of Overwatch 2! Come and play returning event game modes, including Battle for Olympus, Catch-A-Mari, Starwatch, and Mischief and Magic! You’ll also be able to take part in new challenges that reward Overwatch Credits, which can be spent on returning Legendary skins from the in-game shop. Join the celebration when it begins on September 19!

New game mode – Hero Mastery

Hero Mastery is a new, single-player game mode that allows players to test their skills with individual heroes on custom courses. Push your expertise to the limit for high scores and dominate the leaderboards. Are you up to the challenge?

● Each hero can be played on three unique courses of increasing difficulty. Flex your skills and unlock up to five stars on each course.

● Hero Mastery courses are scored on various factors, including time, eliminations, heals, and escorts. Each hero has individual stats that are tracked as well. Plus collect all the Mastery Emblems to show off your prowess!

● Hero Mastery is launching with a limited-time event that includes exclusive rewards. Courses for Tracer, Reinhardt, and Mercy are now available, along with courses for Sojourn, Winston, and more premiering in the weeks ahead.

Ping system updates

● Owned entities (such as Torbjörn’s Turret, Symmetra’s Teleporter, or Illari’s Healing Pylon) now have a lower priority as ping targets than enemy heroes.

Hero Updates

Zarya

Projected Barrier

● Health increased from 200 to 225.

● Cooldown decreased from 10 to 8 seconds.

● Size increased 15%.

Developer Comment: Zarya often spends both barrier charges on herself as it is usually more consistent for building energy. The change to Projected Barrier incentivizes using the barrier for her allies more often.

Junker Queen

Jagged Blade

● Impact damage increased from 50 to 65.

Developer Comment: This change rewards throwing accuracy with the Jagged Blade without directly affecting Junker Queen’s self-healing.

Orisa

Fortify

● Cooldown begins when the ability is activated instead of when it ends.

● Cooldown increased from 12 to 16.5 seconds.

● Overhealth bonus decreased from 125 to 100.

Developer Comment: The Fortify cooldown has been adjusted so that the effective uptime remains the same. However, Orisa is no longer incentivized to cancel the ability early to begin the cooldown immediately, which makes the interval between uses consistent and more susceptible to counterplay.

Ashe

The Viper

● Reload time decreased from .25 to .2 seconds.

Developer Comment: Ashe has the longest total reload time of all heroes to balance out the advantage of being able to shoot after a partial reload. However, we are shortening it slightly to make the full reload from empty less punishing.

Bastion

A-36 Tactical Grenade

● Impact damage decreased from 30 to 15.

Configuration Artillery:

● Can no longer deal critical hits.

Developer Comment: The A-36 Tactical Grenade is now more reliable after having its projectile size increased recently, so it doesn’t need to be quite as damaging. The change to Configuration Artillery is a bug fix from what was intended for the ultimate, and we’ll monitor to see how this impacts Bastion’s performance.

Mei

Endothermic Blaster

● Damage increased from 65 to 70 per second.

● Duration before slow falls off between primary fire hits increased from 0.5 to 0.6 seconds.

Deep Chill

● Bonus damage can now also be triggered with Mei’s quick melee.

Developer Comment: Mei is still underperforming after her last set of changes, so we are increasing the effectiveness of primary fire and improving the quality of life to Deep Chill.

Support Passive

● Duration until support passive activates increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds.

Developer Comment: Support heroes have received individual improvements to their survivability and are quite strong overall, so we’re reducing the impact of the role-wide passive.

Baptiste

Regenerative Burst

● Instant healing decreased from 50 to 40.

● Heal over time decreased from 50 over 5 seconds to 40 over 4 seconds.

Developer Comment: Regenerative Burst’s overall healing output has been too effective after gaining the bonus instant heal for low-health allies, so we are reducing its total healing slightly.

Kiriko

Protection Suzu

● Now passes through enemy heroes.

Developer Comment: The Protection Suzu no longer knocks back enemy heroes, so the projectile doesn’t need to impact them either. This quality-of-life change prevents accidental activations when thrown into groups with both enemies and allies.

Bug fixes

● Fixed an issue with the Daybreak challenge being reset to 0 and not receiving progress after

completing games.

● The Save-a-Mari challenge now specifies the difficulty requirements for completion.

● Resolved an issue where the Progression Level badge wasn’t promoting. Players who have already reached levels where the badge should now be promoted to the correct badge now.

● Fixed a bug with the Option ‘Relative Aim Sensitivity’ not accepting a value of 0%.

● Fixed an instance where equipped Competitive Titles would reset after a relog.

● Fixed a bug with Matches Played showing as abandoned for matches played on another platform.

● Fixed gaps and other environment issues in Mischief and Magic.

● Fixed navigation issues that could occur with a controller in Winston’s Lab.

● Fixed the missing sound effects for Training Bots respawning.

● Fixed a bug on controller/gamepads that prevented some characters from flying diagonally.

● Resolved a bug with the Overtime bar not burning all the way down in Competitive, making it difficult to tell when the round is over.

● Fixed an issue that prevented players from immediately equipping Golden weapons after purchase.

Maps

Dorado

● Fixed a bug in the environment near the final point that sometimes allowed Mei’s Blizzard to go through the environment.

New Junk City

● Fixed areas on the map that players could become stuck in.

● Fixed lighting issues in specific areas on the map.

● Added the intro when loading into the map. You will now be greeted with ‘Welcome to New Junk City.’

Suravasa

● Fixed some fountains on the map that allowed some turrets to be hidden.

● Fixed a few areas that did not have correct lighting.

● Fixed areas on the map that players could become stuck on.

● Fixed areas on the map that allowed players to stand outside the playable space.

● Fixed gaps in the geometry in several areas across the map.

Co-op missions

Rio

● Fixed a bug that could occur after the Artillery lands that resulted in your camera looking at the sky after regaining control of the camera.

Toronto

● Fixed an interaction with the train that could force players outside of the map boundaries.

● Fixed a bug with lighting that could occur on this map when changing graphics settings.

Gothenburg

● Fixed a location in spawn where players could become stuck.

Heroes

Bastion

● Fixed an error that resulted in the vertical knockback on Bastion’s Tactical Grenade being reduced.

Echo

● Fixed a bug with Duplicated Illari’s displaying the incorrect VFX colors when casting Captive Sun.

● Fixed an interaction with Duplicated Symmetra turrets persisting through the duration of Duplicate.

Illari

● Fixed an interaction with Genji’s Deflect and Illari’s Healing Pylon. Deflecting the pylon should now correctly heal Genji’s allies.

● Fixed a bug that prevented the Stay Dead voice line from being equipped.

● Resolved an interaction that allowed Illari to see underneath the map if they were slept by an Ana Sleep Dart while using Captive Sun.

● Fixed an interaction with Illari’s Pylon indicator being disabled if it was Hacked by Sombra.

● Fixed an interaction with Symmetra’s Teleporter that allowed Illari to place a Pylon in mid-air.

● Fixed several instances that resulted in the Pylon being destroyed instantly after deploying.

Junker Queen

● Fixed a bug where Junker Queen recalling Jagged Blade in the same frame as it stuck in an object (by holding Secondary Fire and aiming at an object the same distance away as the Knife’s recall range) would cause a pingable knife to be stuck in the world.

Kiriko

● Fixed a bug that made it difficult to Swift Step to allies in rooms with low ceilings.

Lifeweaver

● Fixed a bug allowing friendly EMPs to destroy your Petal Platform.

Ramattra

● Resolved a bug that prevented the damage increase from Zenyatta’s Discord from being correctly applied while Ramattra was Blocking.

 

Survivor Patch Finally Fixes Performance

Good news! With the latest Star Wars Jedi: Survivor patch, the game is finally achieving a near-consistent 60fps throughout all its action and exploration, translating to a much smoother experience. However, to achieve this some visual cuts were made, and that has added some quirks that might be distracting for some players.

Even before the recent patches, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was a fantastic game and one of my favorites of 2023. Respawn’s sequel to 2019’s Jedi: Fallen Order expanded on that original game with more planets, lightsabers, enemies, and abilities. It also continued the story of Jedi Cal Kestis as he and his ragtag group fought back the Empire and looked for a place to escape all the violence in the galaxy. Still, as great as Survivor was, the game’s performance was a bit all over the place, especially in its large hub world and during intense fights. Patch 7 seems to fix that by removing ray-traced visual features.

As covered extensively in a new video from Digital Foundry, Jedi Survivor’s latest patch includes big improvements to the game’s performance mode, which is supposed to offer up a higher framerate at the cost of some visual fidelity. As mentioned at the start, the good news is that Patch 7 succeeds, and Jedi: Survivor now runs at a nearly locked 60fps, even in previously troublesome areas. This is fantastic, as it makes it look and feel smoother, which helps a lot in a fast-paced action game like Survivor

Digital Foundry / Lucasfilm / EA

But as also pointed out in the video, Respawn achieved this improved performance by removing ray-traced reflections from Performance mode. Now, on the one hand, this trade-off seems fine as RT lighting and reflections are still in the game, but now only in the game’s Quality mode which runs at 30fps.

Yet, the problem is that some areas of the game without ray-traced lighting look darker than before. Worse, the removal of RT reflections means some areas with shiny floors or water now feature some hard-to-ignore artifacts from the game’s use of screen space reflections.

Personally, I agree with Digital Foundry’s suggestion that Respawn, in a future patch, should turn off SSR on water, as the artifacts are the worst here and it would likely look better without it on at all.

But even with some of these new visual quirks, I’m happy Star Wars Jedi: Survivors performance mode is now running at 60fps most of the time. I think the visual trade-offs here make sense. And these improvements and tweaks might be a glimpse at how the next-gen game will look when it arrives on PS4 and Xbox One in the future.

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Baldur’s Gate 3’s Latest Big Update: All The Patch Notes

Baldur’s Gate 3 continues to evolve. The hit fantasy RPG received its much-anticipated and sprawling Patch 3 update today, which brings Mac support, a Magic Mirror feature to redesign your player character’s appearance, and an overwhelming number of bug fixes and tweaks.

Larian Studios’ patch notes are always a pleasure to read, and the ones for Patch 3 are no exception. They also include spoilers though, so new players beware. The development team is still promising new features and epilogue scenes in the future, but in the meantime there’s plenty to chew on for both PC and PlayStation 5 players.

On Sony’s console, for example, Baldur’s Gate 3 now matches colors more closely between the spells you’re using onscreen and how the PS5 controller lights up in your hand. Neat! More importantly, Larian says it’s improved optimization and performance, including when it comes to framerate. It’s still aiming to hit a solid 60fps in performance mode, but 30fps should be more consistent across every area in the game in quality mode.

One noteable change in the gameplay itself revolves around NPC reactions. One change reads, “NPCs will no longer run away from anything but the [REDACTED] to improve interactivity and flow.” Druids and Necromancers on the Baldur’s Gate 3 subreddit are rejoicing, since it means they can now summon their minions without frightening away everyone in town.

Other modifications are much more escoteric. “Fixed Shadowheart looking like she’s either in pain or about to sneeze in the background of a dialogue with Thulla,” reads another part of the patch notes. In case you’re wondering what the hell that refers to, fans quickly found an exact screenshot of the expression.

Some changes weren’t even part of player feedback. “Nobody asked for this, but we made the ceremorphosis scene on the nautiloid more horrifying,” reads one note. “These patch notes are massive, they fix so much, add so much, and even then add shit like this, just cause,” a fan wrote in the comments on Reddit. “Studio is incredible.”

Here’s the full list of Patch 3 changes in Baldur’s Gate 3 if you’ve got the time to read a small novella:

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Baldur’s Gate 3 is now fully supported on Mac!
  • A Magic Mirror that lets you change your appearance is now available at camp!

Combat

  • Cazador now cannot turn into or remain in his Mist Form if in magical sunlight, such as that created by the Daylight spell.
  • Fixed Ansur’s Stormheart Nova blasting right through the ice shields you can hide behind.
  • Grym suddenly got eerily smart and was avoiding the Crucible in the Adamantine Forge. With a nervous laugh, we dumbed him back down a little.
  • Fixed Level 4 or higher Divine Smite allowing you to add Divine Smite as a reaction, allowing for two Divine Smites in 1 attack.
  • Fixed the Divine Smite damage increasing over the cap of 5d8.
  • Made several improvements to the Poltergeist enemy: they are now revealed on being attacked or hit with Radiant Spirit Guardians; they will not turn Invisible again if they are still in a character’s See Invisibility aura; in Balanced and Explorer Mode, they have disadvantage on Dexterity Saving Throws when Invisible; the range of their attacks has been reduced; and they won’t try to keep distance from the player in combat so that they are easier to find.
  • Fixed the Sneak Attack damage bonus not increasing to 6d6 at Level 11.
  • Fixed a case where multiple Smokepowder Arrows could be used for free while the Extra Attack feature was active.

PS5

  • The colours on the PS5 controller will now match elemental damage types more closely.

Performance

  • Improved performance in the Lower City. More to come!

Art

  • Made dye colours more intense and more visible on some armours. This will only affect newly dyed items.
  • Dragonborn characters can now select any of the barbarian piercings.
  • Fixed Shadowheart going blonde when equipping a hat.
  • Improved the reflection in the Spectator’s eye in the Underdark.
  • Fixed face tattoos disappearing when zooming out.

Flow and Scripting

  • Fixed a bug where companions temporarily leaving the party (e.g. being sent to prison) would forget their partnership history and act unusually cold towards you.
  • Fixed a bug letting you trade with Cazador while he begs for mercy.
  • Improved the Astarion romance flow if you agreed to spend a night with him before going to camp by disabling some less important camp moments.
  • Fixed some dialogue options only showing up once when talking to Withers.
  • Fixed a blocker where if you knock Orin’s Slayer form into the chasm, you can’t get her Netherstone.
  • Fixed an issue causing Dammon to enter combat and die at Last Light, preventing Karlach’s story from progressing.
  • Added a journal step for when the tieflings leave the Emerald Grove. The Forging of the Heart quest will also close if Dammon is no longer available in the region.
  • Fixed the game thinking you’re dating Gale instead of Karlach in one of the dialogues with Karlach.
  • You now need higher approval for Shadowheart to confess her Shar worship to you.
  • Myshka the cat will now follow you around if told to, even if you don’t have Speak with Animals.
  • Halsin, Jaheira, and Minthara will no longer be able to undergo Volo’s icepick lobotomy. It’s just not their kind of pastime.
  • Fixed not being able to cut Vanra out of the hag by interacting with her Knocked Out body if all of her mushrooms are destroyed.
  • Lae’zel will no longer tag along (whether dead or alive) after you slit her throat when she ambushes you at night.
  • Fixed a bug allowing you to yoink the Orphic Hammer right out of the so-called Impervious Sphere in the House of Hope if someone else in your party is in an interactive dialogue with the sphere.
  • Fixed a flow issue in Shadowheart’s endgame romance dialogue to make sure Karlach appears alone in Avernus if Shadowheart says she’ll meet her there at a later point in time.
  • Fixed Karlach’s journal mistakenly saying you arrived in the Shadow-Cursed Lands when you arrive at the Rosymorn Monastery Trail.
  • Wyll should now acknowledge Karlach approaching him for the first time more consistently.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Shadowheart swimming scene to not play for some players.
  • The Narrator no longer thinks you’re a mind flayer when you’re not.
  • Fixed companions talking about killing Gortash after meeting Orin even if the former is already dead.
  • Fixed issues with Astarion discussing topics that are no longer relevant.
  • Reworked the interaction between Nere and Minthara:The ‘Travel to Moonrise Towers’ quest no longer sends you to Minthara after saving Nere – he has a lyre of his own now. He gifts it to you if you saved him from the cave-in. This lyre can now be used to call for the drider through the Shadow-Cursed Lands, like Minthara’s lyre does. Both lyres have new descriptions.Nere no longer mentions Minthara in his Speak with Dead.You can ask Minthara for a safe passage to Moonrise if you’d heard about it. She will ask to raid the Emerald Grove first. If this happens, Nere can be asked about Minthara and then Minthara can be asked about Nere.The journals for ‘Travel to Moonrise Towers’ and ‘Follow the Convoy’ were updated accordingly.Saving Nere no longer creates a danger zone if the duergar was killed before clearing the cave-in.
  • During your date with Karlach, Tender Henk will no longer walk away to reveal another Tender Henk standing behind him. Staring.

Gameplay

  • The following spells will now correctly break the Sanctuary condition: Call Lightning, Evard’s Black Tentacles, Polymorph, Hunger of Hadar, Fear, Ice Storm, Flesh to Stone, Divine Intervention, Hypnotic Pattern, Slow, Stinking Cloud, Banishment, Glyph of Warding.
  • Level Up will now queue all characters who can be levelled up so you don’t have to click on them individually.
  • Fixed some corpses never showing the ‘(empty)‘ tag after you loot them.
  • Fixed not being able to use some reactions while in disguise.
  • Cazador’s staff, Woe, now correctly unlocks the Blight spell when equipped.
  • Fixed several magic items and Volo’s Ersatz Eye losing their power after you are killed and revived.
  • Fixed the Spell Sniper feat not working on attack spells.
  • The Spell Sniper feat will now correctly reduce the Critical Hit threshold by 1.
  • Fixed the Idol of Silvanus buff disappearing after Long Rest.
  • NPCs will no longer run away from anything but the Dark Urge Slayer form to improve interactivity and flow.
  • Mummies raised through Create Undead can now Jump to follow you around better.
  • The Everburn Blade now correctly sets explosive surfaces and explosive objects alight when hit.
  • The Misty Escape feat will no longer break concentration.
  • Reading shop signs will no longer be considered a crime.
  • The Cutting Words reaction is now set to Ask by default.
  • Summoned zombies and skeletons will no longer be able to pick up loot and disappear with it when dismissed.
  • The Azer summon’s Overheat ability is now available on its hotbar when summoned.
  • The Nimblefinger Gloves now correctly apply their Dexterity bonus to gnomes, halflings, and dwarves.
  • Fixed an Animate Dead exploit allowing you to summon 2 skeletons from the same corpse.
  • Optimised how the game handles object selection on controller.
  • Fixed Sovereign Spaw being able to resurrect hirelings with Animating Spores. We taught him to not use this on player characters anymore.

UI

  • Your selected trade mode (trade or barter) is now saved to your player profile.
  • Added an option to the Default Online Settings to let you automatically listen in when another party member enters a dialogue in multiplayer.
  • Clarified whether something is a Resistance, a Vulnerability, or an Immunity in the Examine window.
  • Added a notification for when another player in your party is trading.
  • Fixed spells being interrupted by climbing, allowing you to attack twice after climbing down from a crate.
  • Updated the Character Sheet on controller to place active Conditions above the list of Notable Features.

Level Design

  • Fixed some small holes in Act I that weren’t letting tiny characters through them.

Writing

  • Added a dialogue option to the first in-person dialogue with the Dream Visitor to avoid only having two antagonistic choices.
  • Rewrote some spell and action descriptions that were too vague.

Audio

  • Fixed Raphael’s boss fight music sometimes being incomplete or missing.
  • Fixed some VO not playing in dialogues on PS5 split-screen.
  • Fixed audio cutting out with 3D Audio enabled on PS5.
  • Optimised audio in merged split-screen cinematics.

Cinematics

  • Improved contact when petting Ketheric’s good girl, Squire.
  • Added some lovely blood spurts when Volo carries out his expert operation.
  • Fixed Wyll’s horns clipping into Karlach’s face during an Act II romance scene.
  • Fixed missing music on the Wyll path of Karlach’s endgame scene in Avernus.
  • Placed a nice purple picnic blanket in a romantic scene with Gale and fixed a camera spin if you choose to prefer to spend your time with him on a bed.
  • Fixed Shadowheart looking like she’s either in pain or about to sneeze in the background of a dialogue with Thulla.
  • Added some missing Boo squeaks.
  • Reworked the intro of the scene when you approach the altar at the Temple of Bhaal and fixed some bugs.
  • Updated cameras, facial expressions and head directions to better suit the tone in dialogue with Shadowheart.
  • Fixed some pops and camera issues when you start dating Lae’zel, including Lae’zel’s body flying elsewhere and then back again mid-dialogue.
  • Boo will now be framed in the shot as intended when you talk to Jaheira after recruiting Minsc.
  • Fixed Scratch floating in the air while you pet him by the posthouse in Rivington.

CRASHES AND BLOCKERS

  • Fixed a crash when listening in on conversations in multiplayer.
  • Fixed a crash when loading a savegame made during an Active Roll in dialogue.
  • Fixed a crash when previewing wall spells.
  • Fixed a crash when walking away from a triggered trap.
  • Fixed a crash when switching between controller and keyboard and mouse while

Starfield Players Are Still Waiting For It’s Frist Big Patch

Art shows a space ship sitting over a giant canyon.

Image: Bethesda

Bethesda released another tiny update for Starfield on September 25 that addresses a handful of minor bugs and performance issues on PC. The studio promises a much more massive update is still on the way as fans wait for further tweaks and much needed quality of life improvements.

“This update addresses some issues with performance and stability as well as a few general gameplay issues,” Bethesda wrote on its website today. “We are continuing to work on a larger update that will add features and improvements that we noted in our last update notes.” Here are the full patch notes for Starfield update 1.7.33:

GENERAL

  • Characters: Fixed an issue that could cause some characters to not be in their proper location.
  • Star Stations: Fixed an issue where Star Stations would be labeled as a player-owned ship.
  • Vendors: Addressed an issue that allowed for a vendor’s full inventory to be accessible.

GRAPHICS

  • AMD (PC): Resolved an issue that caused star lens flares not to appear correctly AMD GPUs.
  • Graphics: Addressed an upscaling issue that could cause textures to become blurry.
  • Graphics: Resolved an issue that could cause photosensitivity issues when scrolling through the inventory menu.

PERFORMANCE AND STABILITY

  • Hand Scanner: Addressed an issue where the Hand Scanner caused hitching.
  • Various stability and performance improvements to address crashing and freezes.

SHIPS

  • Displays: Fixed an issue that would cause displayed items to disappear when applied to in-ship mannequins.
  • Displays: Fixed an issue that would cause items stored in Razorleaf Storage Containers and Weapon Racks to disappear after commandeering another ship.

It’s the second update the sprawling open-world RPG has recieved since it arrived on September 1. Another very small “hotfix” went live on September 13 that addressed exactly three bugs in major quests and more general stability improvements on Xbox Series X/S. Big ticket items like more PC display options, better accessibility features, and improvements to actual gameplay remain MIA at the moment.

Nvidia DLSS support was a big sore spot at launch due to Starfield’s exclusive partnership with rival GPU maker AMD. While players eventually modded the graphical upscaling tech into the game themselves, Bethesda has promised to provide an official fix. Brightness and Contrast controls, a HDR Calibration Menu, and FOV Slider are also all still on the docket, as is a button to automatically eat food found out in the world rather than losing it in the inventory screen.

Starfield’s now been out for almost a month, and the lack of more major updates is certainly striking in contrast to recent blockbuster RPGs like Elden Ring and Baldur’s Gate 3. Bethesda’s space exploration hoarding sim didn’t launch with any major bugs or performance issues on Xbox Series X/S, but has had a somewhat rockier reception on PC.

And while many critics have praised the game, they’ve also pointed out a lot of annoying UI issues and systems that feel dated. The lack of accessibility options has been especially bad. It’s unclear how much of that will change in the months ahead, but Bethesda and Microsoft have already said they are committed to ongoing post-launch support and future DLC expansions for the space exploration epic.

Buy Starfield: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

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New Starfield Patch Kills Mud Puddle And Credit Exploits

Today, we mourn the loss of something great. A quiet little spot in the middle of a big galaxy. A puddle that simply wanted to help you and was always there, ready to provide. And now, following Bethesda’s latest Starfield patch, it’s gone. Gone, but not forgotten.

Shortly after the release of Bethesda’s massive space RPG Starfield, players discovered an exploit that had appeared in previous games developed by the studio was alive and well in this newest one. In Akila City, in the middle of a dirt road, was a small puddle of mud. And if you got close to this puddle, and gave it a moment of your time, it would provide you with the entire inventory of a nearby shop thanks to a “merchant chest” that was buried underground there…but not buried deeply enough.

This small, humble puddle provided many players, myself included, with stacks of free-to-grab ammo, credits, and other valuable items that could then be resold to other vendors or hoarded for later use. After a few days, the puddle would refill its items, never stopping you from getting what you needed. A hero unlike any other.

And now it’s dead. Bethesda killed it in Starfield’s 1.7.33 patch. Also dead after that patch: another popular money-making exploit that relied on a similarly easy-to-reach merchant chest. A dark day for us all.

Bagpipe Master

I’ll never forget that magic mud puddle. It provided me with so many guns that I sold to a nearby vendor for extra credits. Countless aliens and pirates across hundreds of planets lay dead and rotting thanks to the ammo provided by that once-glorious magic mud puddle. I made a habit of always visiting the puddle to grab some gifts and say hello to it whenever in Akila City. It was nice. In a universe so cold and filled with death, the puddle—my puddle—stood out. A constant. A beacon of hope. Something everybody could rely on, no matter what.

Now I fear what I’ll find the next time I land on that dirtball. Instead of some mud-covered hope buried in a friendly puddle, I’ll find the empty corpse of a friend, of someone who never let me down, murdered by a software update. Rest in peace, Magic Puddle. You were too good to last forever in such a cruel world.

Buy Starfield: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

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Every Change In Cyberpunk 2077’s New Phantom Liberty 2.01 Patch

A TV show host in a gold jacket holds his arms open.

Image: CD Projekt Red

CD Projekt Red said it plans to move on from Cyberpunk 2077 now that its big Phantom Liberty DLC and 2.0 systems overhaul are out, but it still has a few things left to patch. A new 2.01 update that went live on October 5 fixed corrupted save issues on PlayStation 5 and a bunch of other issues, including a wrecked cop car that used to haunt the streets of Night City.

Out today on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, Cyberpunk 2077‘s developers write that patch 2.01, “fixes the most common issues players have encountered and improves overall performance on all platforms, especially in Dogtown.” A new region added in Phantom Liberty, Dogtown is bustling with dense detail that occasionally made players’ framerates take a hit. It sounds like that will be less of a problem now.

Buy Cyberpunk 2077: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

The company is also saying a corrupted PS5 save issue that players began to report after version 2.0 went live has also been solved. “Addressed the issue of corrupted saves on PlayStation by increasing the maximum save file size limit,” the patch notes read. This will prevent new save files from being corrupted in the future, but won’t fix the ones that are already broken, so if you were encountering the issue you’ll have to start from a file that was still working.

The rest of the update is full of the hyper-specfic bug fixes that underline all of the fascinating and occasionally broken things that can crop up in an open-world sci-fi RPG. A lot of the changes seem to revolve around cars, which received a major upgrade in 2.0, including more robust police chases and highspeed shootouts. For instance, patch 2.01, “fixed an issue that could cause all traffic to disappear after completing the [Moving Heat] quest.”

It also stopped several cars from spawning underground, including Flavio’s in the “Going-Away Party” gig, and a Militech SUV in the “Lord Giveth and Taketh Away” gig. But my favorite change by far relates to a busted cop car that was apparently roaming around like a ghost with unfinished business. “A wrecked NCPD cruiser without wheels won’t be patrolling the streets of Night City anymore,” CD Projekt Red writes. Pouring one out for the headless pigs.

Here’s the full 2.01 patch notes:

Phantom Liberty-specific

  • Balls to the Wall – When talking to Paco, repeating the blue dialogue option from the Corpo lifepath will no longer block progress.
  • Dog Eat Dog – Fixed an issue where it was possible to earn multiple Relic points by triggering the first meeting with Songbird more than once.
  • Firestarter – Fixed an issue that could cause V to get stuck in the wall or roof after performing a Finisher on Kurt Hansen.

Moving Heat

  • Fixed an issue that could cause all traffic to disappear after completing the quest.
  • Fixed an issue where triggering combat in the garage in specific scenarios could cause various disruptions to quest flow.
  • New Person, Same Old Mistakes – Fixed an issue where the gate to Bill’s hot dog stand was closed.

Somewhat Damaged

  • Fixed an issue preventing the player from scanning the Neural Network system.
  • Various fixes for devices in the bunker.
  • The Killing Moon – Fixed an issue that caused the doors leading to the shuttle to not open.

You Know My Name

  • Fixed an issue where V could remain connected to the sniper nest, blocking quest progress, after repeatedly switching cameras at the end of the sequence.
  • Reed will now wear his party outfit during the dialogue with Songbird.
  • Addressed an issue where some phone calls necessary to continue the main story began with a delay.
  • Various visual fixes for animations, lighting, scenes, VFX, and more.
  • Performance improvements for both PC and consoles, especially in the Dogtown area.

Quests & Open World

  • Automatic Love – The distortion effect caused by talking to Johnny and selecting a specific dialogue option at the end of the quest will no longer persist on the screen.
  • Ghost Town – Fixed an issue where the quest could get stuck on the “Defeat Nash and his people” objective if the game was saved during combat prior to Update 2.0.

Gig: Breaking News

  • Fixed an issue where Ted Fox’s car didn’t spawn.
  • Fixed an issue where the gig wouldn’t trigger after approaching the quest area.
  • Gig: Going-Away Party – Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to get in the car with Flavio because it spawned underground.
  • Gig: The Lord Giveth and Taketh Away – Fixed an issue where the Militech SUV spawned underground.

Killing in the Name

  • Fixed an issue where leaving the quest unfinished could block clue scanning, preventing the player from progressing in many quests.
  • Fixed an issue where the Bartmoss Collective website wasn’t visible in some cases.
  • Playing for Time – Fixed an issue where healing and radio icons disappeared from the HUD after the car chase with Takemura.
  • Space Oddity – Fixed an issue where the quest didn’t activate if the location was approached prior to Update 2.0.

The Heist

  • Fixed an issue where Jackie wasn’t present in front of the Afterlife.
  • Fixed an issue where, when riding the elevator to the 42nd floor with low FPS, V could fall through the floor and die.
  • The Prophet’s Song – Fixed an issue where completing the quest could cause the police system to turn a blind eye to V’s crimes.
  • The Ripperdoc – Fixed an issue where, if the player got into the driver’s seat from the passenger seat, Jackie would return to the noodle stand and refuse to drive to the ripperdoc.
  • Fixed an issue where NCPD Scanner Hustles could remain uncompleted even after looting the necessary containers.
  • Fixed an issue where some Iconic weapons wouldn’t appear on wall of the Stash in V’s apartment.
  • Lowered the value of the Attribute check required to enter the area where the Thermal Katana can be looted.

Gameplay

  • Made it possible to properly switch to Arm cyberware by cycling through weapons.
  • Addressed an issue that could cause V to become invulnerable to all damage.
  • A wrecked NCPD cruiser without wheels won’t be patrolling the streets of Night City anymore.
  • Fixed an issue where some obsolete mods in the Inventory and Stash weren’t properly exchanged for a new weapon mod.
  • Fixed an issue where weapons obtained pre-Update 2.0 could have a Tier that’s too high when compared to the player’s level.
  • Removed various obsolete Crafting Specs.
  • Disassembling a Budget Arms Slaught-O-Matic will now give 1 crafting component.

PC-specific

  • Fixed an issue where the UI could show controller inputs when playing on keyboard and mouse.
  • Players unable to get achievements due to an issue that prevented Phantom Liberty achievements from unlocking on PC before a backend fix implemented on the day of the release will have them retroactively unlocked on GOG and Steam after loading a save from that playthrough. For the Epic Games Store, the issue is still under investigation.
  • Fixed an issue where, after installing Update 2.0 but not the expansion on GOG, a pop-up saying “Phantom Liberty downloaded – please return to the main menu to access new content” could appear in the in-game menu.
  • Improved image quality of DLSS Ray Reconstruction in the Ultra Performance setting.

Console-specific

  • Addressed the issue of corrupted saves on PlayStation by increasing the maximum save file size limit. Note: this won’t fix saves corrupted before the update.
  • Fixed an issue where launching the game without an internet connection would prompt the player to log into GOG My Rewards again.

Miscellaneous

  • Various crash fixes on PC and consoles.
  • Vehicle radio volume has been adjusted so it’s no longer too quiet compared to other sounds in the game. If you’ve turned down the volume of other sounds in order to better hear the radio, you may want to re-adjust the volume before you continue playing.
  • Added sounds for the Basilisk that were missing.
  • Fixed an issue where the player could earn an infinite score in Trauma Drama by shooting at enemies dropping from a helicopter repeatedly.
  • Growl FM and Dark Star websites will now be visible when playing without Phantom Liberty.
  • Fixed an issue where disconnecting the internet didn’t result in an error message being displayed in My Rewards and Cross Progression tabs.
  • The song History by Gazelle Twin and Trash Generation will now be disabled when the “Disable Copyrighted Music” option is turned on.
  • Fixed an issue where hair didn’t cast shadows when Ray Tracing was enabled.
  • Players who pre-ordered Phantom Liberty but didn’t get the Quadra Sport R-7 “Vigilante” will now receive it.
  • Several improvements and changes to Ukrainian localization, including fixes for lines where the translation lost its original meaning.

REDmod

  • Fixed an issue where tweak mods would not compile in REDmod.
  • Added Phantom Liberty support to REDmod.

Every Change In Armored Core 6’s Latest Big Patch

It was only a matter of time, I suppose. Everyone’s favorite broken Armored Core VI build is no more. FromSoftware released a new update for the mech shooter that makes its beloved Zimmerman shotguns less godlike. 621’s days of skating around Rubicon smashing and staggering everything in sight with ease are over.

The update went live on October 5 on PlayStation 5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, and the patch notes list a ton of changes to Armored Core VI’s arsenal. While the game has a stellar single-player campaign, it also boasts an online multiplayer mode that’s collected a loyal following. In the interest of steering players toward a more varied set of loadouts, and also keeping the competitive meta fresh and fair, it really appears to have worked overtime re-calibrating everything from plasma rifles to tetrapod legs.

In addition to reducing the attack power and impact of Zimmermans, the fan favorite “Songbird” grenade launchers have also had their damage nerfed. Several bazookas have had their projectile speed increased, and handguns like the HG-003 Coquilett and HG-004 Duckett should be a lot more viable now. Tank treads EL-TL-11 Fortaleza have seen their defense take a big hit, and my favorite frame core, the IA-C01C: Ephemera, has seen its AP taken down several notches.

Gameplay-wise, the most notable change is to Armored Core VI’s assault boost and boost kick. Punching the right stick (R3) sends the mech into a high speed mode that players could use to crash into other mechs. That will now cause less damage, as will the impact dealt by boost kicks coming out of the assault mode. But not for everyone. “Decreased Impact/Accumulative Impact dealt by Boost Kick from all leg types except Reverse Joint,” FromSoftware writes. Reverse-jointed players have been celebrating the news all over the game’s subreddit. Their OP rooster kicks remain intact.

Yesterday’s patch follows a substantial rework last month that made a bunch of the boss fights in the game a lot easier. A lot of players had complained about the “skill check” at the end of chapter one in the form of the Balteus encounter. Some negative reviews on Steam were especially angry about it. The Sea Spider and IB-01: CEL240 fights in later chapters were also particularly challenging. Patch 1.02 made all of them more forgiving. It was welcome news for new players.

Today’s update may end up being a little more controversial. Here are the full 1.03.1 patch notes:

Balance Adjustments

Weapon Units

EXPLOSIVE THROWER “DF-ET-09 TAI-YANG-SHOU”: increased Effective Range/Total Rounds, decreased Reload Time

LINEAR RIFLE “LR-036 CURTIS”: decreased Recoil/Charge Time

LINEAR RIFLE “LR-037 HARRIS”: increased Chg. Attack Power/Cooling, decreased Charge Time

SHOTGUN “SG-026 HALDEMAN”: decreased Direct Hit Adjustment

SHOTGUN “SG-027 ZIMMERMAN”: decreased Attack Power/Impact/Accumulative Impact/Direct Hit Adjustment

HANDGUN “HG-003 COQUILLETT”: increased Total Rounds

HANDGUN “HG-004 DUCKETT”: increased Total Rounds

BURST HANDGUN “MA-E-211 SAMPU”: increased Total Rounds

NEEDLE GUN “EL-PW-00 VIENTO”: increased Total Rounds

BAZOOKA “DF-BA-06 XUAN-GE”: increased Projectile Speed, decreased Reload Time

BAZOOKA “MAJESTIC”: increased Projectile Speed, decreased Reload Time

BAZOOKA “LITTLE GEM”: increased Projectile Speed, decreased Reload Time

DETONATING BAZOOKA “44-141 JVLN ALPHA”: increased Projectile Speed, decreased Reload Time

GRENADE “DF-GR-07 GOU-CHEN”: increased Total Rounds/Projectile Speed, decreased Reload Time. Rounds now explode upon reaching their Effective Range, even if they don’t make contact

GRENADE “DIZZY”: increased Total Rounds/Projectile Speed, decreased Reload Time. Effective Range also adjusted. Rounds now explode upon reaching their Effective Range, even if they don’t make contact

GRENADE “IRIDIUM”: increased Total Rounds/Projectile Speed, decreased Reload Time. Reduced sway caused by accumulated Recoil. Effective Range also adjusted. Rounds now explode upon reaching their Effective Range, even if they don’t make contact

PLASMA RIFLE “IA-C01W1: NEBULA”: decreased Chg. Attack Power/Chg. Impact/Chg. Accum. Impact, increased Charge Time

SIEGE HAND MISSILE “WS-5000 APERITIF”: increased Reload Time, decreased Guidance

GRENADE CANNON “EARSHOT”: decreased Reload Time. Rounds now explode upon reaching their Effective Range, even if they don’t make contact

GRENADE CANNON ”SONGBIRDS”: decreased Attack Power/Impact/Accumulative Impact. Rounds now explode upon reaching their Effective Range, even if they don’t make contact

STUN NEEDLE LAUNCHER “VE-60SNA”: decreased Impact/Accumulative Impact/Direct Hit Adjustment/Attack Power on consecutive attacks

LASER CANNON “VP-60LCS”: increased Total Rounds

DIFFUSE LASER CANNON “VP-60LCD”: increased Total Rounds

PULSE SHIELD LAUNCHER “EULE/60D”: increased Total Rounds/Pulse Shield Durability, decreased Weight/EN Load

LIGHT WAVE CANNON “IA-C01W3: AURORA”: decreased EN Load. Energy Firearm Spec now applies to this weapon

DUAL MISSILE “BML-G1/P31DUO-02”: increased Attack Power/Impact/Accumulative Impact/Guidance/Projectile Speed

DUAL MISSILE “BML-G1/P32DUO-03”: increased Attack Power/Impact/Accumulative Impact/Guidance/Projectile Speed

DUAL MISSILE “BML-G2/P08DUO-03”: increased Attack Power/Impact/Accumulative Impact/Guidance/Projectile Speed

ACTIVE HOMING MISSILE “BML-G3/P04ACT-01”: increased Guidance/Homing Lock Time/Projectile Speed

ACTIVE HOMING MISSILE “BML-G3/P05ACT-02”: increased Guidance/Homing Lock Time/Projectile Speed

NEEDLE MISSILE “EL-PW-01 TRUENO”: decreased Guidance. Projectiles now follow a stable trajectory

CORAL MISSILE “IB-C03W3: NGI 006”: decreased Chg. Attack Power/Chg. Impact/Chg. Accum. Impact/Direct Hit Adjustment

LASER ORBIT “45-091 ORBT”: increased Attack Power/Direct Hit Adjustment/Ideal Range/Effective Range/Projectile Speed

LASER TURRET “VP-60LT”: increased Projectile Speed/Laser Turret Attack Frequency

Frame Parts

HEAD “AH-J-124 BASHO”: increased System Recovery

HEAD “HD-011 MELANDER”: increased Attitude Stability/System Recovery

HEAD “HD-033M VERRILL”: increased System Recovery

HEAD “HD-012 MELANDER C3”: increased Attitude Stability/System Recovery

HEAD “DF-HD-08 TIAN-QIANG”: increased Attitude Stability/System Recovery

HEAD “VP-44S”: increased Attitude Stability/System Recovery

HEAD “VP-44D”: decreased Attitude Stability

HEAD “VE-44A”: increased Attitude Stability/System Recovery

HEAD “HC-2000 FINDER EYE”: increased System Recovery

HEAD “HC-2000/BC SHADE EYE”: increased System Recovery

HEAD “HC-3000 WRECKER”: increased System Recovery

HEAD “HS-5000 APPETIZER”: increased Attitude Stability/System Recovery

HEAD “EL-TH-10 FIRMEZA”: increased System Recovery

HEAD “EL-PH-00 ALBA”: increased System Recovery

HEAD “20-081 MIND ALPHA”: increased Attitude Stability/System Recovery

HEAD “20-082 MIND BETA”: decreased System Recovery

HEAD “IB-C03H: HAL 826”: increased Attitude Stability

CORE “NACHTREIHER/40E”: increased Attitude Stability/Generator Output Adj.

CORE “IA-C01C: EPHEMERA”: decreased AP/Anti-Energy Defense/Anti-Explosive Defense/Attitude Stability

ARMS “AA-J-123 BASHO”: decreased Anti-Kinetic Defense/Anti-Explosive Defense

ARMS “AA-J-123/RC JAILBREAK”: decreased Anti-Kinetic Defense/Anti-Explosive Defense

ARMS “AR-011 MELANDER”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “AR-012 MELANDER C3”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “DF-AR-08 TIAN-QIANG”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “DF-AR-09 TIAN-LAO”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “VP-46S”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “VP-46D”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “NACHTREIHER/46E”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “VE-46A”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “AC-2000 TOOL ARM”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “AS-5000 SALAD”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “EL-TA-10 FIRMEZA”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “EL-PA-00 ALBA”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “04-101 MIND ALPHA”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “IA-C01A: EPHEMERA”: increased Recoil Control

ARMS “IB-C03A: HAL 826”: increased Recoil Control

BIPEDAL “AL-J-121 BASHO”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “AL-J-121/RC JAILBREAK”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “LG-011 MELANDER”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “LG-012 MELANDER C3”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “DF-LG-08 TIAN-QIANG”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “VP-422”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “VE-42A”: increased AP/Attitude Stability/Jump Distanc

BIPEDAL “2C-2000 CRAWLER”: increased Attitude Stability/Load Limit/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “2C-3000 WRECKER”: increased AP/Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “2S-5000 DESSERT”: increased AP/Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “EL-TL-10 FIRMEZA”: increased Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “EL-PL-00 ALBA”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “06-041 MIND ALPHA”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “IA-C01L: EPHEMERA”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

BIPEDAL “IB-C03L: HAL 826”: increased Attitude Stability/Jump Distance

REVERSE JOINT “KASUAR/42Z”: increased Attitude Stability

REVERSE JOINT “06-042 MIND BETA”: increased Attitude Stability

REVERSE JOINT “RC-2000 SPRING CHICKEN”: increased Attitude Stability

TETRAPOD “LG-033M VERRILL”: decreased AP

TETRAPOD “VP-424”: decreased AP

TANK “EL-TL-11 FORTALEZA”: decreased Anti-Kinetic Defense/Anti-Energy Defense/Anti-Explosive Defense/Attitude Stability

Inner Parts

BOOSTER “AB-J-137 KIKAKU”: increased Upward Thrust

BOOSTER “BST-G1/P10”: increased Upward Thrust

BOOSTER “BST-G2/P04”: increased Upward Thrust

BOOSTER “BST-G2/P06SPD”: increased Upward Thrust

BOOSTER “ALULA/21E”: increased Upward Thrust

BOOSTER “FLUEGEL/21Z”: increased Upward Thrust

BOOSTER “BC-0600 12345”: increased Upward Thrust

BOOSTER “BC-0400 MULE”: increased Upward Thrust

BOOSTER “IA-C01B: GILLS”: increased Upward Thrust

BOOSTER “IB-C03B: NGI 001”: increased Upward Thrust

FCS “FCS-G2/P05”: decreased Close-Range Assist

FCS “FC-006 ABBOT”: decreased Close-Range Assist

FCS “FC-008 TALBOT”: decreased Close-Range Assist

GENERATOR “AG-J-098 JOSO”: increased EN Capacity/Supply Recovery/Energy Firearm Spec

GENERATOR “AG-E-013 YABA”: increased EN Capacity/Supply Recovery/Energy Firearm Spec

GENERATOR “AG-T-005 HOKUSHI”: increased EN Capacity/Energy Firearm Spec

Expansion

EXPANSION “PULSE PROTECTION”: increased Resilience

EXPANSION “TERMINAL ARMOR”: increased Duration

  • Adjusted Attitude Recovery rate according to Total Weight. ACS Strain now dissipates much faster on lighter ACs, and slightly slower on heavier ACs
  • Adjusted various Boost Speed rates according to Total Weight
  • Decreased top speed during Assault Boost for heavier ACs
  • Decreased Boost Kick attack range for Tetrapod legs
  • Increased EN Consumption while hovering with Tetrapod legs
  • Decreased Impact reduction effect during Assault Boost
  • Decreased Impact/Accumulative Impact dealt when colliding with enemies during Assault Boost
  • Decreased Impact/Accumulative Impact dealt by Boost Kick from all leg types except Reverse Joint
  • Adjusted damage dealt by certain weapons when attacking the pulse shield deployed from PULSE SHIELD LAUNCHER “EULE/60D”

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a bug with CORAL OSCILLATOR “IB-C03W2: WLT 101” where charged attacks would have stronger tracking than intended when using Tetrapod legs
  • Fixed a bug where the attack warning marker would not display for an enemy AC firing DETONATING MISSILE “45-091 JVLN BETA” equipped to the left back slot
  • Fixed a bug where the attack warning sound would not play correctly for an enemy firing GRENADE “IRIDIUM”
  • Fixed a bug where charged attacks from LIGHT WAVE BLADE “IA-C01W2: MOONLIGHT” and CORAL OSCILLATOR “IA-C01W7: ML-REDSHIFT” would clip through certain structures/objects
  • Fixed a bug where reloading with a full magazine would cause certain weapons to fire unintentionally
  • Other bug fixes

Xbox’s Worst Exclusive, Redfall, Gets 60fps Mode In Major Patch

Vampire hunters catch one on the streets of a quiet New England town.

Image: Arkane / Bethesda

After months of silence, vampire shooter Redfall is receiving its biggest update yet following a disastrous launch back in May. The second big patch will add the Game Pass multiplayer game’s long-awaited 60 frames-per-second mode on Xbox Series X/S, as well as a host of gameplay improvements and bug fixes.

“Today’s update brings Performance Mode to Xbox Series X/S, stealth takedowns, a bevy of new controller settings, and a lot more changes to Redfall,” the development team wrote on Bethesda’s website. While the 60fps mode is the biggest addition, a raft of accessibility features and improvements to stealth gameplay and aiming sensitivity are also welcome changes. Whether it’s enough to begin addressing some of the deeper disappointment around Redfall’s lackluster enemy encounters and unfulfilling progression system remains to be seen.

Redfall was panned by many critics and players when it launched earlier this year. Expected to be the first-party blockbuster that would end Microsoft’s drought of console exclusives, it instead failed to live up to the months of marketing hype that preceded it. In addition to bugs, performance issues, and complaints about the core gameplay loop, it also launched on the “next-gen” Xbox Series X/S with a “next-gen” price tag of $70 but without the 60fps performance option that players on PC would have access to.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer apologized for the situation at the time, but a report by Bloomberg later revealed other issues underlying the game’s rough development. Made by Arkane, best known for immersive sims like Prey and Dishonored, Redfall was instead an online multiplayer game that at one point was planned to include microtransactions as part of a push by parent company ZeniMax into live-service monetization. While those features were stripped out, a lack of development resources and constant turnover reportedly made it hard for the studio to deliver on Redfall’s confusing blend of genres and gameplay mechanics.

Recently, Bethesda marketing head Pete Hines said in an interview that despite the harsh reception, Redfall wouldn’t be abandoned. Instead, he expected new players joining Game Pass a decade from now to give the game a shot and enjoy it thanks to ongoing post-launch support. With Cyberpunk 2077‘s recent 2.0 victory lap after a botched release, many are wondering if Redfall can pull of something similar, or if Microsoft will pour the money into it required to make that happen.

If it does, it will still have a big uphill battle to fight. The game only has a few dozen players on Steam at any given moment. Still, Redfall’s second update is a start.

Mortal Kombat 1 Switch Patch Adds Missing Mode, Technical Fixes

Two fighters face off in Mortal Kombat 1.

The Switch version of Mortal Kombat 1 released in an absolute state. It’s one of the widest gaps in quality we’ve seen between Nintendo’s device and its console contemporaries. But for better or worse, NetherRealm Studios and the port teams at Shiver Entertainment and Saber Interactive are still supporting it, and making efforts to edge it nearer to justifying its $70 price tag.

The Switch version’s latest patch went live on October 11, and promises some general “visual improvements” to the notably fugly port. But on top of general polish, the patch also brings Invasions, a feature previously missing on Switch, that has been live in Mortal Kombat 1’s other versions since launch on September 19. Invasions’ seasonal events marry the game’s fighting mechanics with a board game mode and RPG mechanics. Each season lasts about six weeks, meaning while the other platforms’ versions of Mortal Kombat 1 are reaching the end of the first season on October 30, the Switch port is getting a late start.

Buy Mortal Kombat 1: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Missing an entire mode wasn’t great, but the Switch port’s biggest issues were technical,both in its graphics and performance. YouTubers, like Madlittlepixel, have taken the updated Switch version for a test ride, and while it’s still a poorer experience on the handheld, there’s less chugging, smoother fights, shorter load times, and fewer crashes.

NetherRealm / Madlittlepixel

The full list of updates reads as follows:

  • Season 1 of Invasions
  • Gameplay balance changes
  • Leaderboards fixes
  • Visual improvements and general bug fixes
  • Performance improvements
  • Stability fixes
  • Localization fixes

Ultimately, a Switch version is never going to reach the heights of the PC, PlayStation 5, or Xbox Series X/S, because this is vastly older and lower-spec tech, but at least there are some notable improvements here. It still feels egregious to charge the same amount of money for a demonstrably worse version of the same game, however. For more on Mortal Kombat 1’s better versions, check out Kotaku’s review.

Patch Notes For Diablo 4’s 1.2 Update Over 10,000 Words Long

Diablo IV’s second season, the “Season of Blood,” is set to go live next week, bringing with it some big changes that Blizzard hopes will improve the action-RPG and bring back players. And while we’ll have to wait to see if Patch 1.2.0 can pull that off, I can at least tell you that, yes, update 1.2 is massive, with the patch notes for it stretching across seven different sections totaling 10,000+ words.

Diablo IV, released in June across PC and consoles, is the latest entry in Blizzard’s popular and long-running demon-killin’ franchise. The game offers more or less the same classic looting and dungeon-crawling action the series is famous for. And like Diablo III, Blizzard’s latest ARPG features seasons that bring new enemies, items, and weapons into the game. However, the game’s first season didn’t go over well with fans due to how long it took to level up and other annoyances, some of which had existed in the game since launch. Blizzard has since corrected some of those problems, but this massive upcoming update seems focused on addressing many of the other lingering issues players have with the ARPG.

Buy Diablo IV: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Diablo IV’s season two and 1.2 update land on October 17 across all platforms, and ahead of that, Blizzard published a very long changelog detailing every tweak, change, balance adjustment, addition and fix coming next week. It’s far too long to post entirely here, and covering every change would take a long time.

But here are some highlights that I think all players, even those who’ve barely played the game since launch, will appreciate.


  • Items can now be marked as Favorite. Items marked this way cannot be sold or salvaged. Items in the Stash can now be marked as Junk or Favorite, too.
  • The Stash can now be searched and filtered to more quickly find items.
  • Using the Sell all Junk option will now only sell Junk in the active Inventory tab.
  • Streamer mode has been implemented. Players who wish to hide identifying information—such as their character name or Battle.net username—can find these new settings in the Connect Options menu.
  • Additional stashes have been added to Capital cities near important Vendors.
  • Auto-run has been added. When pressing the bound key/button, the player will continuously move in the direction they or their mouse cursor are facing until another movement action or Skill is initiated.

Blizzard

  • Blizzard added an in-game announcement for upcoming World Boss spawns and these big enemies now spawn every three and half hours instead of every six hours.
  • The Minimap has been zoomed out to display a wider area.
  • Two additional character slots have been added, totaling 12.
  • Gems will no longer drop from regular sources, and can instead be crafted at a Jeweler using newly added gem fragments, which will now drop instead of gems. These fragments are stored in your materials tab, so they won’t fill up your inventory anymore.
  • And crafted gems can be salvaged back into gem fragments at a jeweler.
  • The overall responsiveness of Mounts has been improved and Blizzard says they are now less likely to get stuck on things or slow down unexpectedly. Mounts will also auto-jump over obstacles more consistently.
  • The mouse cursor no longer needs to be at the edge of the screen for keyboard and mouse players to achieve full Mount speed.
  • Base Mount Movement Speed has been increased by 14%. Your Mount’s top speed remains unchanged.
  • The speed boost from Spur has had its duration increased by 50% and when using Spur you can now break through barricades.
  • Manual Mount Cooldown has been reduced from 10 seconds to 5 seconds.
  • The cooldown appearing after you’ve been forced to dismount from taking damage has been reduced from 30 seconds to 15 seconds.
  • The cooldown for the Mount Combat skill has been reduced from 10 to 3 seconds.

According to Blizzard, the following loot adjustments have been implemented per World Tier.

  • World Tiers I and II: Unchanged.
  • World Tier III: Only Legendary, Unique, Uber Unique, and Sacred Rare items will drop. Players will instead receive additional crafting resources.
  • World Tier IV: Only Legendary, Unique, Uber Unique, and Ancestral Rares will drop. Players will instead receive additional crafting resources.
  • Gold drop rates have also been increased in World Tiers III and IV to balance out these changes.

Blizzard has also made changes to dungeon visuals and layouts, in an attempt to cut back on backtracking and add more visual diversity to each area. However, the company acknowledges these changes might not be enough and will listen to player feedback.


Some Diablo IV endgame changes include:

  • The time between Legion Events has been reduced from 30 minutes to 25 minutes.
  • The experience reward for completing a Legion Event has been increased by 75%.
  • World Boss health and damage has been increased. Also, the quality of rewards received for defeating a World Boss has been significantly increased.
  • The warning that indicates when a World Boss will spawn now broadcasts an hour in advance versus 30 minutes previously. Players are also notified 15 minutes before a World Boss spawns.

The patch notes also explained that the experience bonuses for being in a party and for playing in Higher World Tiers have been made multiplicative to increase effectiveness later in the game. Also, XP gained from killing higher-level creatures has been boosted “significantly.” Side quests will also offer better rewards in season 2, after the patch, and all renown rewards will persist between seasons and new characters. No more grinding a bunch of the same shit every time you start a new game or season.

Blizzard also confirmed that 700 Platinum can now be earned from the Battle Pass. Previously players could only early 666 Platinum.

And that’s…not even half of all the changes and tweaks coming in the next big patch. You can read the full 10,000+ words over on Blizzard’s official website. But the short story is that Diablo IV is hopefully going to become a less annoying, time-consuming, and grindy ARPG after patch 1.2.0.

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