FFXIV Early Access has Players Singing the Blues

FFXIV NA/EU Unable to Update
FFXIV NA/EU Unable to Update

The relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV as FFXIV A Realm Reborn should have been a crowing moment in a troubled past for Square Enix. But stability and load issues are leaving many, especially North American and European, players singing the blues.

This weekend was supposed to be a time of unbridled joy for anyone that pre-ordered FFXIV. A time to enjoy Eorzea ahead the influx of players on launch day. To get a head start and be out of the starting zones when the game launches. But server outages are causing the majority of NA/EU players unable to even get pass the start screen. And if by some luck you were able to get pass the start screen and into the character selection screen, you often end up with an empty screen because NA/EU servers just would not load.

The most frustrating part is not the inability to enjoy Early Access, but the seemly ineptitude of Square Enix. While server issues are common place and even expected in the launch of a new MMO, FFXIV ARR is not a “new” MMO. Square Enix cannot fall back upon the age old excuse of not knowing how many players to expect. FFXIV had an established player base and they had the pre-order numbers. And on top of that, many of the same issues were present during the final phase of closed beta which took place a mere week ago. One would think with potential pitfalls spotted and a very good estimate on player base, Square Enix would have been more prepared, if not overly prepared, for the coming relaunch.

I truly hope all the server issues are resolved quickly and that FFXIV ARR does not begin life the same way that FFXIV’s life ended. I have really enjoyed the game so far, the parts that I’ve been able to see anyways. I plan to post a review of FFXIV ARR in the coming week.

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Reclaim Earth Unlock the World

FireFall Reclaim Earth
FireFall Reclaim Earth

Are you ready to take back the Earth? Ready to finally take the fight to the Chosen? Well, get your Battleframes ready. Mark Kern, CEO of Red5 Studios, took to twitter earlier today to announce FireFall Open Beta Stage 2 is now underway.

For the first time ever in Firefall, you will be able to take the fight directly into the Melding against the Chosen. No longer are you limited to simply defending New Eden against the Chosen Incursions. It will be up to you, and your fellow Battleframe pilots, to fuel the newly constructed giant Melding Repulsors to generate enough power to start permanently pushing back the Melding. Each time the Repulsor is fired, more and more of the Melding will be permanently pushed back.

Once the Melding is pushed back far enough, you will discover secret Chosen fortifications that must be besieged and destroyed. Destroying these fortresses will unlock new Chosen technology that can be research crafted into future Battleframe gear and items. When the Chosen is defeated and the Melding is completely pushed back, you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor and fully explore the newly reclaimed area of Earth.

Just be aware, you will be competing against other pilots to see who does the most in helping to reclaim the Earth. Top pilots will be rewarded with special rewards and commendations as well as having statues built, in their honor, in the new capital. The number one pilot will be rewarded with the additional honor of naming the city itself.

The war against the Chosen will continue as more Melding pockets are discovered and then pushed back. And it is up to you and the other pilots to determine the course in which the war progresses. The success or failure of the war against the Chosen will rest heavily on those choices and your determination.

Not in the Open Beta, you can join the war at the official site.

 

SWTOR Game Update 2.3.1 Patch Notes

Game update 2.3.1 is schedule to go live for Star Wars: The Old Republic at 10 am UTC on August 21. Here are the full patch notes.

Highlights

  • The first Packs of Shipment Three are now available for sale on the Cartel Market! Most items in the Contractor’s and Freelancer’s Bounty Packs are not found in the Shipment One Cartel Packs or Shipment Two Contraband Packs.
  • New Galactic Reputation Organization! Players may now gain reputation with the Bounty Supply Company, a group loosely affiliated with the Hutt Cartel! Details under Legacy
  • Implemented changes to improve the overall experience for Free-to-Play players at early levels! Details under General

Cartel Market

    General

    • Authorization: Event Equipment Requisition has been removed from the Cartel Market. All players now have access to Event equipment.

    New Items

**Please note that Cartel Market updates are dynamic. Changes listed in Patch Notes may take effect several hours after the patch is made available.**

    • A new Bounty Pack, the Contractor’s Bounty Pack, is now available on the Cartel Market. Cost: 160 Cartel Coins
    • A new Bounty Pack, the Freelancer’s Bounty Pack, is now available on the Cartel Market. Cost: 320 Cartel Coins
    • Players can now purchase Hypercrates containing 24 Freelancer’s Bounty Packs. (Discounted by 10% for a limited time!) Cost: 6,912 Cartel Coins

    Bug Fixes

    • Armor sets from the Cartel Market now have updated icons that are uniform in design.
    • The art for the Grade 7 Starship Tactical Bundle now includes the Improved Power Conversion Module.

General

  • Implemented changes to improve the overall experience for Free-To-Play players at early levels:
    • Free-To-Play players can now train Sprint at level 10.
    • Free-To-Play players are now granted the Emergency Fleet Pass ability at level 10.
  • The Appearance Designer Kiosk and lore object have been removed from the GTN area of the Fleets and are now exclusive to the Cartel Bazaar hangar.

Bounty Contract Week

  • While in a group, players who have used different methods to complete the same Bounty Contract are now provided with the appropriate conversation when turning in bounties to clients on single-faction planets.
  • The appropriate error message will now display when a Friendly Drink is offered to a Shady Character who has already declined to provide information after one is offered.
  • Players are no longer able to remove the “Bounty Engaged” buff from themselves.
  • Aja Novar’s “Explosive Surge” ability no longer displays as a buff while being cast.
  • All Henchmen have broken their vow of silence during combat and will speak when fighting.
  • Interrogation Probes and Kingpin Authorization items no longer incorrectly display a debuff icon upon use.
  • The Carbonite Grenade no longer functions while players are dead.
  • The “Bounty Target Region” buff is no longer applied twice while completing Bounty Contracts on Nar Shaddaa.

Classes and Combat

    Jedi Consular

      Sage

        Telekinetics
        • The immobilize from Force Wake is now properly classified as a negative Force effect and can be dispelled by the appropriate abilities (such as Evasion or Force Shroud).

    Sith Inquisitor

      Sorcerer

        Lightning
        • The immobilize from Electric Bindings is now properly classified as a negative Force effect, and can be dispelled by the appropriate abilities (such as Dodge or Resilience).

Collections

  • The Diplomat’s Meditation Hoverchair now displays a level requirement icon in the Collections Window.
  • The description of Mood: Angered has been updated to correctly reflect its rarity.
  • The image for the Republic Hutball Away Uniform in the Collections Window has been updated to match the gear’s appearance in-game.

Companion Characters

    General

    • Unsummoning the target companion while in the process of giving them a gift no longer consumes the gift without providing affection.

    Lt. Pierce

    • Affection conversations now show Lt. Pierce’s custom appearances and use correct camera settings.

    Risha

    • Risha no longer appears to be in two places at once on the Smuggler starship.

    Skadge

    • Skadge has given up his ventriloquism hobby and will move his lips when saying the line “You got somethin’ to kill, or what?”

    Treek

    • Treek’s lips now sync properly with her words outside of conversations.
    • Players will now address Treek properly when speaking to her in French.

Crew Skills

    General

    • Players now retain all Advanced Training for Crew Skills that are deactivated due to a change in subscription status.

    Crafting Skills

      General

      • Players are now presented with a warning when Reverse Engineering gear that contains mods.

      Artifice

      • Crafted Dread Guard Relics now have a uniform material cost.

      Synthweaving

      • Synthweavers are no longer prevented from Reverse Engineering Willpower gear from Makeb.

    Gathering Skills

      Biochem

      • Buff icons for Biochem consumables now properly match the item icon.

Flashpoints and Operations

    Flashpoints

      Czerka Corporate Labs

      • Sith Warrior and Jedi Guardians will notice that Saber Reflect now appropriately reflects damage from CZ-2X Infiltrator Droids.
      • Once the CZ-8X Eradicator Droid is activated, there is no longer a rope present to cause line of sight errors.
      • Rasums Blys has brought in experts to fix his floor and Kolto tank, and their textures now display properly.

      Czerka Core Meltdown

      • The Vigilant now attacks his target in all circumstances when starting the second phase of the encounter.
      • Grounded the chairs that were floating around in the Jungle Habitat Room.
      • Experimental Berserkers now spawn more reliably during the encounter with The Vigilant if Data Integration Points are destroyed quickly.

      Taral V

      • Players are now able to complete the Flashpoint if they exit the phase while on the step to defeat General Edikar.

    Operations

      Scum and Villainy

      • Decreased the damage dealt by the Wealthy Buyer’s “Wrist Laser” ability in 16-Player Nightmare Mode.
      • Players who are caught Dash’Roode’s “Updraft” ability are no longer able to be knocked back by his other abilities.
      • Updated the Operations Chief’s “Terminate” ability to make the damage dealt through player shields more consistent.
      • The enrage timer has been increased by 30 seconds for the encounter with The Cartel Warlords in both Hard and Nightmare Modes.
      • The encounter with The Cartel Warlords has been updated in Nightmare Mode. When two Warlords are left alive, if both are brought below 50% health, they will enrage and gain increased movement speed and damage.
      • Made several adjustments to the encounter with Thrasher in 16-player Nightmare Mode:
        • Thrasher’s health has been increased by from 5.15 million to 5.33 million.
        • Thrasher’s enrage timer has been increased from 5 minutes to 5 minutes 35 seconds.
        • Thrasher’s “Roar” has been increased from 20 seconds to 35 seconds after falling below 50% health and summoning Snipers.
        • Snipers now pause for three seconds after entering Cover before using their “Snipe” ability.
        • Snipers now activate Defensive Protocols after 45 seconds rather than 50 seconds.
        • Turrets now target and attack immediately after spawning.
        • Turrets now deal increased damage.
      • Nightmare Mode players can no longer be knocked out of Thrasher’s arena by his “Stomp” ability.

Items and Economy

  • Commendations that are not gained because a player has reached the maximum quantity no longer count towards that Commendation’s Weekly Progress.
  • Item icons now visually indicate when they are unusable due to the target being out of range.
  • Regardless of where it was purchased, a Mercenary Contract will now consume on use rather than upon mission completion.
  • Descriptions for the following vehicles have been updated to indicate that only their initial purchase from the Cartel Market includes the Legacy Perk: Speeder Piloting I and that the perk is not included when retrieving the vehicle from Collections:
    • Aratech Rose
    • Czerka CR-17 Incendia
    • Czerka LD-1 Celebrator
    • Gree Solus Secant
    • Longspur Sportster
  • Toy animations now display correctly for players who lack the Galactic Reputation to buy the same item through the Bounty Supply Company.
  • The 2-piece set bonus from the Field Medic’s gear no longer stacks with the 2-piece set bonus from the Battlemaster Field Medic’s gear.

Legacy

    General

    • Players may now gain reputation with the Bounty Supply Company, a group loosely affiliated with the Hutt Cartel! Reputation Trophies for this organization are now available in new Bounty Packs, and a new vendor has been added to the Cartel Bazaar area to allow players to capitalize on this reputation.

    Achievements

    • Increased the reward to 20 Cartel Coins for the “Big Time” Achievement gained by earning Social 10 .
    • The Sand People Flayer is no longer required to obtain the “Champion of Tatooine” Achievement.
    • The SIS Watchman is no longer required to obtain the “Tyrant of Ilum!” Achievement.
    • The Space Combat Mastery Achievements for Saleucami Fleet Action and Javaal Fleet Action now update appropriately in the Achievement Tracker.
    • The icons for Jaesa Willisaam’s affection Achievements now properly represent their associated alignment.

Missions

    General

    • Ancient Allies (Republic)/New Frontiers (Imperial): These missions can no longer be accepted once the non-repeatable Terror From Beyond story mission has been accepted or completed.
    • Players who log out in a mission phase that will eject group members are now prompted with the standard “Unsafe Logout” dialogue box.
    • Intercept Course (Republic)/Best Foot Forward (Imperial): These leading missions are no longer available after players have accepted or completed the “Hutt Hospitality” mssion.

    Daily Areas

      CZ-198

      • Anti-toxin Recovery (Republic)/Anti-toxin Acquisition (Imperial): Mutated and Escaped Specimens no longer apply the “Womp Rat Fever” debuff.
      • Give and Take (Republic)/What’s Yours Is Mine (Imperial): Decreased the required number of Biotoxin and Kolto Containers from 8 to 6 and added additional containers in the faction-specific areas leading up to the Supply Yard. Additionally, the spawn times on these containers have been decreased.
      • Players who find themselves outside of the intended game world are now properly transported to the Medcenter.

    Class Missions

      Jedi Consular

      • The Forge: Qyzen Fess is now required to be present when confronting Nalen Raloch and upon returning to the Jedi Council during this mission.
      • The Vivicar Awaits: Treek now animates properly when approaching Lord Vivicar.

      Sith Warrior

      • Declaration of War: Treek will now animate properly during the conversation with Captain Treyyen.
      • General Minst: This mission now progresses as intended while interacting with the Ractor Vault Interface if players choose to ask HK-51 or Treek for any last requests.
      • Set the Table: If players select to kneel when introduced to Darth Vengean, Treek no longer attempts to accentuate her humble by sinking into the ground.

      Smuggler

      • Race the Devil: Treek no longer moves around erratically while players are talking to Fabizan during this mission.
      • The Endless Abyss: Companion Characters now follow properly while inside the Hi-Tech Lab.

      Trooper

      • Battle of the Gauntlet: Speaking to Aric Jorgan while aboard The Gauntlet no longer triggers a vivid premonition of future events in the form of the mission’s final cutscene.
      • Battle of the Gauntlet: Tanno Vik is now a required assistant when attempting to plant explosives at the railgun barrel during this mission.
      • Battle of the Gauntlet: Yuun is now a required assistant when attempting to override the Primary and Tertiary Security Systems during this mission.
      • Public Relations: Electing to rescue the senator during this mission will no longer present Troopers with an unlocked door that cannot be opened.

      Bounty Hunter

      • My Sponsorship: Mako now always provides her thoughts when speaking to Albea during this mission, even if another companion is active before the conversation begins.

    World Missions

      Hoth

      • Exploding Mines (Republic): While in a group, Troopers no longer cause the conversation to end abruptly if they elect to surrender while speaking to Korl Torin.

      Makeb

      • Players can no longer begin the first conversation of the Makeb storyline from the holoterminal on their groupmate’s personal starship.
      • Old Feuds (Republic): Players no longer incorrectly receive line of sight errors during the encounter with the Isotope-5 Prototype Walker Droid.
      • Stealing Thunder (Makeb): Lord Cytharat’s second personality has been quelled and his voice no longer undergoes transformation for only a single conversation line.

      Nar Shaddaa

      • Chemical Agent (Republic): Ganuk now understands that his random comments never lead to actual discussion, so his ambient dialogue no longer triggers a conversation.

UI

    General

    • The mapnotes for Czerka Corporate Labs and Czerka Core Meltdown no longer refer to Hammer Station.
    • CZ-198 is now labeled as a Level 55 area on the Galaxy Map.
    • Mission rewards in the Mission Log no longer overlap or cut off when more than five rewards are listed.
    • The elevator to Cartel Bazaar is now properly labeled in French and German.
    • The area map for the Cartel Bazaar has been updated in French and German.
    • The Guild Window now updates properly for players who purchased a Guild Rename before being promoted to Guildmaster.
    • Updated a misspelled word in the Cargo Hold tutorial.

    Chat

    • The Chat Window font size can now be increased to 30-point.
    • If players receive a whisper while in the process of replying to another whisper, the reply no longer displays the correct name while incorrectly delivering the message to the name who whispered most recently.

    Codex

    • New discoveries have been made about several species in the galaxy, and those seek knowledge will now be granted with a Species Codex entry:
      • Advozse
      • Anomids
      • Kaleesh

Miscellaneous Bug Fixes

  • The Group Finder Deserter Status is now applied appropriately in all instances after players log out of the character and back in.
  • The Jedi Consular’s starship navicomp has been repaired and now takes players to Hoth as soon as it is selected on the Galaxy Map rather than stalling until players click on the ship’s door to exit.
  • Tauntaun voices no longer carry such that their volume is the same regardless of their distance.
  • Several reward mailings that had the wrong information in their subject or body fields have been corrected.

League of Legends NA Accounts Hacked

League of Legends
League of Legends

Riot Games has announced that “a portion of [their League of Legends] North American account information was recently compromised”. And as of right now “usernames, email addresses, salted password hashes, and some first and last names were accessed” as part of that compromise. While it is unlikely that any passwords will be exposed as the result of the compromise, “players with easily guessable passwords are vulnerable to account theft”.

In addition to the account information, Riot is also “investigating approximately 120,000 transaction records from 2011 that contained hashed and salted credit card numbers” that were also compromised. Riot Games assures players that they are “taking appropriate action to notify and safeguard affected players” and that their “investigation is ongoing and [Riot] will take all necessary steps to protect players’.

Players with North American accounts will be required to change their passwords the next time they log in to “stronger ones that are much harder to guess”. All newly created League of Legends accounts will require email verification and two-factor authentication in the future.

You can read the full security update at the official site.

 

SWTOR 2.4 Patch Removes 8v8 Ranked Warzones

SWTOR Arena Tatooine
SWTOR Arena Tatooine

PvPers in SWTOR are finally going to get some real love from the devs at BioWare in the form of Game Update 2.4. For the first time since launch, the next patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic will be primarily focused on PvP content. So what can you expect from 2.4? Let’s take a look.

Warzone Arenas

The most exciting and anticipated content in 2.4 would have to be the new Warzone Arenas. Currently, all the Warzones in SWTOR are objective based team combat. As a team you must complete a series of tasks in order to win. However in the upcoming Arenas, your only goal is to eliminate the other team. It is Team Death Match at its finest. And since Arenas are small maps designed for 4v4 PvP, you will be able to do your killing in a much more intimate setting.

Each Arena match will consist of three rounds, win the most rounds and your team win the match. All ability cool-down will be reset at the beginning of a round, so no need to save that long cool-down ability for those late round clutch moments.

SWTOR Arena Orbital Station
SWTOR Arena Orbital Station

Look for Arenas on Corellia, Tatooine and an Orbital Station when 2.4 hits.

Ranked Arenas

For the first time you, as a solo player, will have the ability to queue for Ranked Warzones. The new solo queue system will match you with other players of similar rating and for the first time take your role into account. This means if you are a tank, then there will be a tank of similar skill ranking on the other team. So no more four healers against four damage dealers matches. The new matching making will only apply to solo queues and will have no effect on group ranked queues. Along with these changes, you will no longer be able to re-spec while in queue or while inside a Warzone.

Good Bye 8v8 Ranked

Lets be completely honest, while the original idea of 8v8 Ranked Warzones was awesome, the fact that these had to be completely pre-made teams, made the execution of the idea far from desirable. This combined with 8v8 never being supported very well, ahem pre-season for over a year, has led BioWare to remove 8v8 Ranked from SWTOR for the foreseeable future. While the return of 8v8 Ranked is always possible, don’t put to much stock into the idea until some of the underlying problems are fixed and server population gets much more healthier.

On the topic of pre-season for ranked PvP, the plan is to allow a small period of time for you to get familiar with the new arenas before Season 1 is officially rolled out.

If you want an early start or to help out with the testing of these new Arenas and 2.4 in general, then keep a sharp eye towards the Public Test Server stating August 16.

Calling All Mercenaries, SWTOR Bounty Contract Week Starts Tomorrow

SWTOR Bounty Contract Week
SWTOR Bounty Contract Week

Announced last week in the Titans of Industry Patch, the first Star Wars: The Old Republic Bounty Contract Week event will begin tomorrow August 14. Each day you will be able to take on one bounty contract on the planet of your choice. Success will be determined by the ultimate death or capture of your target and by how well, or poorly, you utilized the Bounty Brokers Association (BBA) underworld resources. After the successful completion of several contracts for the BBA, you will then gain access to high-profile targets available via Kingpin contracts.

All bounty contracts will be listed by the BBA in the Cartel Bazaar hangar of the Fleet. Contracts will be available to anyone level 15 and above. Each contract’s difficulty and rewards will scale to your level to ensure proper compensation and challenge.

Eternal Crusade Phase Three

Eternal Crusade
Eternal Crusade

Phase three for Eternal Crusade has dropped. In this latest phase, we discover the members of Manufactorum Behaviour, the team tasked with bring Eternal Crusade to the world of men. Check out the video below to meet the team, and maybe a little bit of early character design and gameplay as well.

FireFall Double Crystite Weekend

FireFall Double Crystite Weekend
FireFall Double Crystite Weekend

FireFall is running its first double weekend event this weekend. During the event, which will run until 10 am PDT Monday August 12, all Crystite drops and rewards will be doubled. This is a great opportunity to rake in some extra Crystite to spend upgrading your favorite Battleframe(s) or to research and craft that next level of gear.

Along with the double Crystite event, all Battleframes will be on sale. From now until August 20, you will be able to buy any Battleframe for only seven Pilot Tokens instead of the normal ten. In addition, when you purchase any Red Bean package you will receive a new rechargeable Glider Pad, a new “Top Run and Gun” helmet and a “Target” decal as a one-time bonus item reward. The Red Bean item reward will run until September 10.

In addition to these specials, Red 5 developers and rangers will be hosting group events for the five-man story instance, Blackwater Anomaly. Keep your eyes open for Red 5 devs in chat inviting people to these groups if you want to join in. And you never know, you may just get a small reward as well.

Countdown to ArmA 3

ArmA 3 Release Countdown
ArmA 3 Release Countdown

ArmA 3, the newest installment of the popular military simulator is set to be released on September 12. You can get your copy via digital download or as a physical box in retail locations worldwide.

At release, players are going to have plenty to do with the included 12 single-player showcases, 3 faction showcases, 9 multi-player scenarios and 10 firing drills. Modders and community content creators will have access to a new island Altis, a vast terrain of over 270 km and the currently available island of Stratis, at about 20 km. Bohemia Interactive has also announced an official campaign to be added after release via a free DLC.

You can get more details about ArmA 3 and its release at the sneak preview livestream scheduled for August 10 at 5 pm UTC.

SWTOR 2.3 Titans of Industry Patch Now Live

SWTOR 2.3 Titans of Industry Patch
SWTOR 2.3 Titans of Industry Patch

Patch 2.3 is now live for Star Wars: The Old Republic. The Titans of Industry patch, as named by BioWare, will allow players to explore a new level 55 Daily mission area along with two associated level 55 Flashpoints. Here are some highlights.

  • CZ-198, a new Level 55 Daily mission area, is now available!  CZ-198 is a small, private moon where Czerka Corporation’s most secret and dangerous data, research and technology is stored. The facility has recently entered an emergency security lockdown, and both the Empire and the Republic have descended on the moon in order to seize control.
  • New Level 55 Flashpoint: Czerka Corporate Labs! Infiltrate Czerka’s corporate headquarters on CZ-198 and take down Rasmus Blys, the Czerka scientist responsible for developing the company’s most dangerous weaponry.
  • New Level 55 Flashpoint: Czerka Core Meltdown! Race against time to stop the imminent meltdown of the CZ-198 research facility and battle against the terrifying security system known as “The Vigilant!”
  • Both new Flashpoints will feature the all-new role-neutral Story Mode, where the Group Finder will match the first four players of any role for fast queue times! Level 55 Hard Mode is also available for the new Flashpoints.
  • Tauntaun Creature Mounts! Head to Hoth, where players will find the Tauntaun Trainer and Tauntaun Handlers in Aurek and Dorn Bases.
  • New Companion Character! Treek can now be obtained as an additional Companion Character via the Cartel Market or Legacy Vendors in the new Cartel Bazaar hangar of the Fleet! Cost is 2,100 Cartel Coins or 1,000,000 Credits.
  • New Event: Bounty Contract Week! Each month, players can undertake contracts and pursue dangerous criminals throughout the galaxy! Adventures begin on Republic and Imperial Fleets with a mission given by mysterious Bounty Hunters who are toting a “friend” encased in Carbonite. The first Bounty Contract Week begins on August 14th.
  • The Cartel Bazaar is a new hangar on the Republic and Imperial Fleets with an Appearance Designer kiosk, a Galactic Trade Network kiosk, and a cantina. The Cartel Market Reputation Vendors have closed their shops in the Crew Skills area and have moved to the Cartel Bazaar.
  • PvP, Alderaan Civil War. This Warzone has been updated, and now capturing the side turrets (Objective Control Points) will not spawn a speeder that takes your team directly to that turret.

Head over to the official site for the full patch notes.