Rocket League patched to ban file-fiddlers

I find  the inclusion of the Wasteland arena in Rocket League’s competitive playlists questionable—it doesn’t make sense to me that a lone, non-standard map should be included in a highly regular, sports-like format. Its like playing one in every five NFL matches at The Oval. Some people are bothered by the wide, sloped Wasteland map more than me, it seems, and they’ve been deleting its files to avoid it. This, Psyonix has declared, is just not cricket.

Patch 1.12 is in place, meaning that anybody found to have fiddled with their game files will receive an automatic time-limited matchmaking ban, giving them a chance to sheepishly verify the integrity of their game cache.

Reaction on the Steam forums is mixed, with some indulging their caps lock to demand Wasteland’s removal and others simply sick of hearing it.

Also in the patch is a handful of bugfixes:

  • Skill Rating calculation has been fixed on the League Rankings screen and now accurately reflects your MMR
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Ranked Reconnect popup to appear improperly during gameplay
  • Fixed an issue that caused players to lose input in the Muting menu
  • Competitive games are now properly labeled on the in-game score card
  • Players will no longer incorrectly appear to be in a party on the scoreboard
  • Fixed an issue that allowed Ballcam to be enabled/disabled erroneously in the post game screen
  • Fixed an issue that displayed party members’ cars incorrectly in the main menu
  • Fixed an issue with how the Max FPS slider capped frame rate
  • Fixed an issue causing users with large Steam Friend Lists to experience graphical hitches

Player beats Dark Souls without being hit

Once upon a time, beating Gwyn,  Dark Souls’ final boss, was itself a badge of honour. It was no small thing to have bested the unofficial Hardest Game. These days it takes a little more to impress. Some people try ‘onebro’ runs, taking on Dark Souls without leveling up. Others use Rock Band controllers because they like to feel themselves going hollow in real life too. Last year, speedrunner Otsunari beat the game without taking damage. These achievements have now been eclipsed by The_Happy_Hobbit’s spectacular 4.5-hour run in which he never gets hit.

Let’s clarify: even blocking would contravene a no-hit run. Hobbit did away with armour and opted for a range of intimidating weapons that shine when swung with two hands, dodging every single incoming hit. The exceptions are the final boss fight against Gwyn, in which he bravely parried Gywn’s gargantuan flaming sword, and occasional quits and reloads to reset enemies and boss encounters gone wrong (but no save files were altered at any point). Environmental damage, like falling and poison, was considered a-okay so long as it wasn’t part of an enemy attack. The scripted death that forms part of the Seath the Scaleless fight was also ignored.

This was all a bit easy, of course, so the run was no-magic-allowed. I am off to wallow in my own inadequacy.

X COM 2 post-mission loading can be skipped, but not without risk

You may have heard recently that hitting the caps lock key during the XCOM 2 post-mission screens can cause the game to load much more quickly than it normally does. And it’s true! I can’t confirm this personally because I don’t have XCOM 2, but developer Firaxis recently told Eurogamer that it is in fact a real thing: Hitting caps lock at the proper time will cause the game to advance almost immediately. But every yin has a yang, as they say, and in this case those dramatically improved loading times could lead to crashes.

“Hitting the key, through a rube-goldberg-esque series of events, forces all outstanding load requests to be filled immediately in a single frame. This causes a massive hitch, and potentially could crash the game,” the studio explained. “If you don’t care about those adverse effects the synchronous load is faster.”

It’s a risk that some players are willing to take, because despite the fact that XCOM 2 is an extremely good game, it does suffer from a number of rather significant technical and performance issues. Publisher 2K told us last week that it is “looking into” the complaints, and committed (albeit with no specifics) to improving the game in future patches. For now, you have the option to roll the dice if you just can’t stand all the waiting, and you may want to give the “Stop Wasting My Time” mod a look as well. It speeds up the in-game action by removing most of the brief-but-cumulatively-annoying pauses that occur after firing weapons, killing enemies, or going into cover.

Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono apologises for SFV server issues

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Street Fighter 5 has escaped from its cosy review environment and straight into the ignominy that accompanies the servers not working. Errors 21400, 10007 and 2100d have been making life miserable for many players who would like to play their new game online, to the degree that Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono has issued an apology

Capcom is now reporting that the servers are back up, although users may experience intermittent disconnects. Note Ono’s use of “the most”, too: though server problems are the most frustrating problem, Street Fighter is being hammered with negative Steam reviews—54% negative, in fact. Though there’s the standard self-righteous internet rage in there, themes are emerging in the anger: the lack of DirectInput controller support; no ability to rebind keys; a perceived lightness of content.

Our own fighting game guru, Nathan, was less than impressed with Street Fighter 5’s roughness in our review-in-progress, but what have your experiences been? Can you get online? Do its features meet your needs?