New Anthem Update Fixed Loot Bug, Much To Player’s Annoyance

For a brief period on Friday, March 8, a bug in Anthem was causing players to receive above average amounts of Masterwork and Legendary items. However, the issue was quickly rectified with a rather large update, Patch 1.0.3, which reinstated Anthem’s grind. As you can probably surmise, Anthem’s playerbase is not happy about the bug being patched.

According to Kotaku, when the bug was first discovered, players went to Reddit to ask BioWare to keep the changes in the game. The bug might have stuck around for a bit longer too, but Patch 1.0.3–which was originally scheduled to go live March 9–surprisingly went up a day early. “We’re dropping the new [Anthem] patch ahead of schedule so you can all benefit from the updates and fixes, including improved stability on all platforms,” EA said in a tweet. And unfortunately for those who were enjoying the increased drop rate for Masterwork and Legendary items, the update just happened to patch the bug as well.

Patch 1.0.3 was not created to address the bug, though, and actually fixes many notable problems in Anthem. The update removes respawn restrictions in the game, allowing you to return to the fight in Critical Path, Agents, and non-end game missions after 10 seconds, and to Legendary contracts and other end game missions after 30 seconds. Common and Uncommon items drops also no longer appear for players who are level 30. Audio improvements have been implemented as well, which should fix instances where the game’s audio randomly cuts out completely. Patch 1.0.3 improves stability across all platforms too–designed to address any possible console crashing issues like the one that was plaguing PS4.

Neither BioWare nor EA have followed up on whether the loot drop rate will again be increased to the same level as it was on March 8. The full patch notes for Anthem’s most recent update can be found on EA’s website. The highlights are outlined below.

Anthem 1.0.3 Patch Notes

General Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixed a number of issues that were blocking players from accessing the Forge
  • All missions should now properly end when all conditions have been met
  • The inbox now properly displays information on PC (the inbox is found in the newsfeed)
  • Fixed an issue that would cause players to be unable to interact with NPCs in Fort Tarsis
  • The vault is no longer accessible from the Forge. This change was made to improve performance
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the game to hang when entering menus while on an expedition
  • Titans will no longer respawn on missions after they are defeated. Example: if players defeat 2 out of 3 titans and then wipe on the third, the first two will not reappear when players respawn during a mission
  • Server shutdown messages should now appear less often
  • The ability to Quickplay into a Stronghold has been added back to the game
  • Mouse button 4 is no longer bound to the back button for PC players
  • Crashes that occurred while selecting certain conversation options when interacting with an NPC have been fixed
  • Players should no longer get stuck at the end of the Tomb of General Tarsis mission
  • Players should now run into less issues during Quickplay missions. Additional improvements to Quickplay will be coming in future updates
  • Players should no longer get stuck behind fogwalls on missions or in strongholds as often
  • Players should now receive credit for the There Be Giants challenge when they are downed and when the event is active
  • Improved the audio when defeating creatures to provide better feedback
  • Changed wording for server shutdown messaging to better indicate that it is just the players server shutting down, not the entire game server
  • Players may now launch an expedition from anywhere within the launch bay and Fort Tarsis.
  • PS4 led lights will now change based on the javelin being used
  • It should now be harder for players to get stun locked by certain enemy compositions
  • The values on max flight time inscriptions have been increased
  • The appearance of the N7 vinyl on Legion of Dawn armor has been improved
  • Haluk will now properly face players during certain dialogue scenes
  • The message “Open the Cortex to track the legionnaire Challenges” will no longer pop up after completing the appropriate challenges


  • The quality of loot from Stronghold chests has been improved, no more common and uncommon drops
  • Fixed an issue that would cause players to get stuck at the entrance to the sewers in the Temple of the Scar Stronghold

Creature Updates

  • Titans: We have made several balance changes to all variations of Titans
    • Reduced overall damage mitigation from 100% to between 70% and 75% depending on the damage type.
    • Increased the time that weakpoints are exposed.
    • Fixed an issue that prevented effects from applying and thus preventing combos.
    • Increased the damage the Titan takes from weakpoint hits.
    • Lesser Titan’s weakpoint’s have been changed to always be active.
    • Improved the collision on the ring and seeking projectile attacks. This should make them easier to dodge.
    • Decreased the radius of the seeking projectile attack.
    • Decreased the damage done by the self-destruct ability.
  • Frozen Scar Enforcers and Scrappers can no longer move or attack while frozen
  • The Monitor’s health has been greatly reduced in the Heart of Rage Stronghold.
  • Force
    • Players will be less likely to be repeatedly staggered by heavy attacks.
    • Adjusted the force applied by some creature attacks down which will lower the frequency of player’s being staggered.

Damage and Item Scaling Changes

  • Adjusted the damage scaling of secondary damage sources. These now scale with Average Item Power. This will allow these damage sources to better scale in the Grandmaster Difficulties. This will increase the scaling of the following:
    • Melee Damage
    • Combo Damage
    • Ultimate Damage
    • Status Effects
    • Item Procs (e.g. Proc from Yvenia’s Thunder)
  • Item Power scaling has changed to better reflect the actual power of the item based on its rarity. This is applied to all items retroactively. Players will see the Power of their items go up.

Gameplay Bug Fixes

  • The Ultimate ability bar will no longer appear full at the start of a mission when it isn’t actually full
  • Weapon recoil will now stop once an exo is looking straight up
  • Fixed a number of animation issues that could occur when the Colossus was using its shield.
  • It should no longer be possible for the Interceptor to become Frozen while starting up their ultimate
  • Interceptor Aura damage will now deal the correct type of damage based on the active aura
  • Players can no longer equip abilities from one javelin to another
  • The Colossus can now use gear faster after being attacked by a heavy hit from enemies
  • The Colossus can now shield charge through destructible objects such as explosive canisters or harvest nodes
  • The Colossus now recovers faster after crashing into walls

Item Balance Updates

  • Increased the base health of Wind Wall and Bulwark Point to provide better scaling in higher difficulties. The duration of these has been reduced to 20 seconds, down from 60 seconds
  • Burst Mortar’s damage has been increased to 300, up from 145 and its cooldown has been reduced to 6 seconds, down from 10 seconds. Its description has also been fixed.
  • Flak Cannon’s damage has been increased to 42, up from 30
  • Battle Cry’s description has been updated to explain that it also reduces the resistances of affected targets
  • Wraith Strike’s damage has been increased to 250, up from 200 and it will now apply elemental effect to targets based on the active aura
    • Note: Description text for Wraith Strike will be updated in 1.0.4.

Item Bug Fixes

  • Wind Wall should no longer block or interfere with other player abilities
  • Ranger Grenadier Component will now correctly lower the cooldown of grenade abilities
  • Fixed an issue where certain weapons were not firing where the crosshairs were aimed
  • The Ice Blast ability for the Storm javelin now has the primer icon correctly displayed

Inscription Bug Fixes

  • The Thruster Delay Recovery Inscription is now correctly applying a bonus
  • The Overheat Delay Recovery Inscription is now correctly applying a bonus
  • The Weapon Reload Bonus Inscription is now correctly applying a bonus
    • Note: These will have non-updated text values until the next patch (1.0.4)

Masterwork Item Balance Updates

  • Increased the base damage of the following Masterwork Weapons.
    • Ralner’s Blaze
    • Rolling Carnage
    • Cycle of Pain
    • The Last Stand
    • Glorious Result
    • Insult and Injury
    • Sentinel Vengeance
    • Gnosta’s Balm
    • Vassa’s Surprise
    • Soothing Touch
    • Renewed Courage
    • Artinia’s Gambit

Masterwork Item Bug Fixes

  • Ralner’s Blaze – Will no longer roll with incorrect inscriptions
  • Ablative Shielding now provides the proper boost in shield and armor
  • Badge of Devastation will now generate more ultimate charge when triggered
  • It should no longer be possible to stack the effect from Gunslinger’s Mark more than once

from GameSpot – Game News

Best Buy Sale Includes Huge Deals On Mario Games, Red Dead Redemption (US)

The start of a new week means we’ll have a brand-new batch of game deals at Best Buy–but this isn’t just any old week. Sunday, March 10–also known as Mario Day–kicked off a week of celebration for Nintendo’s lovable mustached plumber, and as a result, several retailers are running major discounts on Mario games all week. That includes Best Buy, where you can save 50% on a select Mario game when you buy a Nintendo Switch. Best Buy has four games left to choose from as part of this deal: Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Mario Tennis Aces, and Super Mario Party. This deal is only available through Saturday while supplies last, so if you’ve been planning to buy a Switch, now’s a good time to pick one up.

For those who already own a Switch, you can still get Mario games at a discount this week. Like other retailers, Best Buy is selling digital downloads for various Mario games for just $40; however, the codes seem to be unavailable as of this time. We’ll update this post if that changes.

Don’t worry, it’s not all about Mario this week; in fact, quite a few big games are on sale at Best Buy right now. Red Dead fans will be pleased to see that Red Dead Redemption: Game of the Year Edition is just $10, and Red Dead Redemption II is still marked down to $40. Meanwhile, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is on sale for $15, BioShock: The Collection is down to $20, and Just Cause 4: Day 1 Edition is selling for just $40. Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition is available for just $20, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience is just $15.

See our full list of picks from this week’s Best Buy game sale below, and browse the full catalog of options on Best Buy’s website. As always, these deals are available now through Saturday, March 16.

Shop Best Buy’s weekly game deals:

from GameSpot – Game News

Pokemon Go Dev’s Harry Potter Game Opens Pre-Registration For Some

After months of silence, Niantic and Warner Bros. have revealed some new details on their upcoming Harry Potter mobile game, Wizards Unite. The title is scheduled to launch for Android and iOS devices later this year, but some prospective wizards are able to sign up for it right now.

Pre-registration for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is now open for Android users on Google Play, giving those who are interested in the title a chance to sign-up and potentially receive early access. Pre-registration is not yet available on the App Store, but the developers tell iOS players to “stay tuned for more updates” on that front.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a Pokemon Go-like take on J.K. Rowling’s beloved series. As a member of Statute of Secrecy Task Force, players must explore the real world and locate Foundables–important people and items in the wizarding world–and dispel the Confoundable magic that’s trapping them.

While the basic premise of Wizards Unite is similar to Pokemon Go, there are numerous elements that set it apart from Niantic’s hit Pokemon game. As we learned during our recent hands-on session with the title, Wizards Unite bears many similarities to a traditional RPG. The game places a bigger emphasis on story, with voice-acted characters, and features RPG elements like skill trees and potion brewing.

Niantic and Warner Bros. still haven’t announced a release date for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The game was originally scheduled to launch in 2018 but was delayed into this year. You can read more about the title on the official Harry Potter: Wizards Unite website.

from GameSpot – Game News

Halo Infinite Could Adopt Games As Service Model

Halo Infinite appears primed to get its big debut at E3 2019, but it may be a very different kind of game. Comments from Kiki Wolfkill, the head of Halo trans-media at 343, has added more reason to believe that the studio is imagining this as an ongoing game or live service.

“We have to be able to change content quickly,” Wolfkill said at Fortune‘s Brainstorm Design conference. “We can’t afford to wait three years every time we drop a new product and have it be a black box because the games kids are playing are changing every week.”

The reference to a three-year development cycle as outdated, paired with the title of Halo Infinite itself, would seem to suggest that Microsoft and 343 are planning this entry as an ongoing game of some sort. That would also make sense alongside her reference of games that kids are playing currently. It sounds like a reference to games like Fortnite, which issues regular challenge updates and new equipment between its large seasonal updates.

Wolfkill also referenced “having a set of rules that people can engage with and buy into for years to come.”

As the head of of trans-media, Wolfkill’s focus is how to tell different kinds of Halo stories across a variety of media. That means she may not be directly involved in game development, but she probably is planning other media and storytelling that takes advantage of the story established in Halo Infinite. That could mean we see stories regularly updating in the game and continuing through other media, or criss-crossing through both.

The studio recently had to respond to concerns about microtransactions, following a job posting. It has also specified that it will not have paid loot boxes.

This news comes as Halo head of franchise development Frank O’Connor has recently confirmed that Halo Infinite will hit PC and Xbox One, rather than wait for the next generation of consoles. And given the popularity of battle royale, we’ve seen a good deal of speculation about Halo adopting the play format–though 343 is staying mum on the subject.

from GameSpot – Game News

Niantic’s Harry Potter Game Mixes Pokemon Go With RPGs

After a teaser trailer late last year, Pokemon Go developer Niantic has revealed more about its next AR game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Co-developed by WB Games under the Portkey Games label, Wizards Unite takes Pokemon Go’s foundation and puts a wizarding world spin on it. But where Pokemon Go is largely about collecting, Wizards Unite is focused on immersing you in its world, from a voice-acted story to involved RPG-like skill trees.

We recently went to Niantic’s San Francisco office to learn more about Wizards Unite, which included a hands-on demo of the game. The Pokemon Go parallels are front and center; instead of PokeStops, for example, Wizards Unite has greenhouses and inns where you can get various items. The map works the same way, but to fit the theme, crooked buildings dot the map as owls fly overhead. It also includes some of the quality-of-life features that Pokemon Go got over time: AR Plus, a photo mode, and at least the promise of better battery life optimization.

Because this is Harry Potter, though, there’s a hefty story behind all of this, and that’s where the differences begin. Wizards Unite is set in the present day, many years after the events of The Deathly Hallows, and centers around a “calamity” that has put the wizarding world at risk. In short, everything important to the wizarding world has been scattered, and–in accordance with the International Statute of Secrecy, a law designed to protect the wizarding world from Muggles–you are recruited to the Statute of Secrecy Task Force to keep the secrets of magic contained.

In practice, this means going out and finding traces of magic in order to contain them. In true Harry Potter fashion, they have cute names: Foundables are the scattered items, and Confoundables are whatever is trapping a Foundable and putting it in danger. You tap the traces like you would a Pokemon and enter an AR-optional encounter; we saw Harry Potter (the Foundable) being targeted by a dementor (the Confoundable), Harry’s Nimbus trapped in ice, and Buckbeak the hippogriff in chains, for example. In order to free them, you have to trace a glyph on the screen to cast the appropriate spell.

Spells also come into play in combat, which really sets Wizards Unite apart from Pokemon Go. Combat isn’t complicated, but it is involved. Attacks are turn-based but on timers, so you need to trace your offensive or defensive spells quickly and accurately to do the most damage and keep yourself healthy. You can find traces around the world that lead to these fights, but there are also dungeon-like “fortresses” where groups of up to five can take on harder combat challenges against all manner of dark wizards or creatures for various rewards (though what those rewards are isn’t set in stone yet).

Spells and combat are really just scratching the surface. In many ways, Wizards Unite is more like a typical RPG than like Pokemon Go. You brew potions using ingredients you find as you walk around, which vary based on location, weather, time of day, and even lunar phase. You listen to voice-acted characters–both existing and new, though the existing ones are voiced by soundalikes–give you story details and tips. You collect parts of a much larger, long-term story as you play. You swap between professions, like Auror or Professor, and level up within each one’s lengthy skill tree to improve things like your spellcasting ability. You place Portkeys to turn wherever you are into a wizarding world location for a short amount of time, using the AR features to view places like Ollivanders in 360 degrees.

Everything that Wizards Unite has going on is overwhelming to list out on paper, but in practice it was actually not too hard to follow. In the short demo we played, we managed to see bits and pieces of everything. For Harry Potter fans, at least, it isn’t too difficult to understand what’s happening, despite how much is going on. But whether this makes Wizards Unite the kind of game you open up every time you walk somewhere–to the point that you walk more so you can play–remains to be seen.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launches later in 2019.

from GameSpot – Game News

New PS4 Exclusive Days Gone Goes Gold

After years of development, Sony Bend has completed production of the new PS4 exclusive zombie game Days Gone. In a post on Twitter, Sony Bend confirmed that the game had reached “gold” status, meaning the team has finished development of the project.

With the game completed, it can now be sent to manufacturers for mass production. In the middle of the shot you can see a developer holding what could be the “gold” master disc.

Days Gone puts you into the boots of a biker named Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter who travels around the apocalypse on his bike. He fights against zombie-like creatures known as Freakers, among other enemies.

GameSpot’s Edmond Tran and Alessandro Fillari recently played the game, and came away with the impression that the game feels familiar–but that might not be a bad thing. For more, you can check out GameSpot’s interview with Days Gone’s creative director John Garvin and game director Jeff Ross.

Days Gone launches on April 26 exclusively for PS4.

from GameSpot – Game News

Apex Legends Bans 355,000 People On PC For Cheating, And That’s Just The Beginning

Apex Legends developer Respawn has no time for cheaters. The developer confirmed in a Reddit post that as of March 8, it had banned more than 355,000 players on PC alone.

Respawn uses the Easy-Anti-Cheat tools for the PC version of the battle royale game. It’s working, but Respawn acknowledged that fighting against cheaters is an “ongoing war.”

“We’ll need to continue to adapt to and be very vigilant about fighting [cheaters],” Respawn said. “We take cheating very seriously and care deeply about the health of Apex Legends for all players.”

Respawn added that it is working on new anti-cheat measures, but the developer doesn’t plan to openly communicate its plans–and that’s intentional.

“We’re going to have to be pretty secretive about our plans,” Respawn said. “Cheaters are crafty and we don’t want them to see us coming.”

On a high level, Respawn said it has already begun communicating with anti-cheat experts within EA and outside of it. Not only that, but Respawn has begun to scale up its own internal anti-cheat team, while the studio also plans to introduce new reporting functionality for bad behaviour.

Also in the Reddit post, Respawn said it’s aware of players spamming during character-select and then disconnecting. “We’re keeping a lot of our strategy close to the chest so offenders don’t have time to build workarounds before we implement changes,” Respawn said about addressing this. “Solutions won’t happen right away but we’re on it.”

Additionally, Respawn said it’s working on improving general stability and performance on PC, and to that end, it’s releasing patch soon that will address some of the known crashes. AMD is visiting Respawn’s offices soon to discuss best practices; Nvidia already came by to the studio.

Respawn also said it’s aware that people are asking for Apex Legends to allow players to re-connect to a match if they drop out. However, there are no plans for this because it “opens up a lot of risk” for abuse, while Respawn said the efforts that would be required to release such a feature would take away from other, more pressing matters. Finally, Respawn said in the post that it’s aware of issues related to slow performance at the start of matches. The studio is looking into the matter, but it might not be a simple, quick fix.

“If this could be fixed by spending money on faster/more servers we would do it, but unfortunately there is no silver bullet on this one,” Respawn said. “We’re just rolling up our sleeves and digging in. We’ll keep you updated on any progress we make.”

It appears this latest update from Respawn is related only to PC; given the closed nature of consoles, cheating by way of third-party software is generally less common on console than PC, though cheating does still happen on PS4 and Xbox One.

In other Apex Legends news, the latest weapon balance patch is out out, while a future update will address hitbox concerns.

from GameSpot – Game News

PAX Australia Sets Dates For 2019 Show

PAX Australia organisers have announced the dates for this year’s show. The annual event will take place October 11-13 at the Melbourne Convention Centre, organisers announced in a tweet that includes an image of a block-shaped Ibis.

There is no word yet on when tickets will go on sale or what the programming lineup– including panels, speakers, music acts and more–will look like yet. But those details and more–like who the keynote speaker will be–should become available in due course, so keep checking back with GameSpot for more.

2018’s PAX Australia was the first to feature combined efforts between PAX and EB Expo. Specifics about 2019’s show are unavailable at this point, so it remains to be seen if this partnership will continue in 2019 or what other changes and updates there might be in general.

Last year, Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett gave the keynote address, while other big names like Bethesda executives Pete Hines and Tim Willits attended the show. For more on PAX Aus 2018, check out GameSpot’s hub with all of our written and video coverage.

PAX Aus is just one of the show’s global events. The next PAX is PAX East which comes to Boston, Mass. starting on March 28.

from GameSpot – Game News