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Wednesday, 30 September 2020

October's PlayStation Plus games should be announced today, will they be spooky?

It's PlayStation Plus day once more which means you only have a week to download the September free games, have you done that yet? If not, here's some handy links for Street Fighter V and the iconic battle royale, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

We are expecting the October games to be announced today at around 4.30pm, assuming Sony stick to the usual pattern. Most people expect a horror game for Halloween month, so suggestions include a Resident Evil or, more likely, The Evil Within 2, but is that expectation backed up with facts?

Well for October 2019 we got MLB The Show 19, a distinctly unspooky game, but also The Last Of Us Remastered which ticks the box. 2018 bagged us Laser League, which unfortunately shut down a few months later, and The Bridge, a puzzle game, so a rather rubbish month. 2017 did follow the spooky pattern and gave is the Amnesia Collection, but 2016 failed miserably to evoke the spirit of Halloween by giving us Transformers Devastation, but I'm going to forgive that because it's an awesome game.

It seems that if it's an odd numbered year we get a spooky game, if it's an even numbered year we don't, it's the Star Trek movie pattern! That means if Sony follow the pattern, we will not be getting a scary game for October 2020. Will my cunning hypothesis be right? Find out at around 4.30pm today!

I will say one thing: I really hope it's not another blimmin' Call of Duty game, my PS4 hard drive seems to be packed with CoD games I didn't buy.

If you have got PlayStation Plus (and presumably you have because if not you've just wasted a good two minutes reading something that doesn't apply to you) then remember that the next batch of PlayStation Plus games will also include the PlayStation Plus Collection for PlayStation 5, a library of PlayStation 4 games that you can play on day one on your new console.

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Here are the first games that will appear on the service.

  • God of War
  • The Last of Us: Remastered
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
  • Battlefield 1
  • Monster Hunter World
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • The Last Guardian
  • Ratchet and Clank
  • Infamous: Second Son
  • Days Gone
  • Bloodborne
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Batman Arkham Night
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Persona 5
  • Until Dawn
  • Resident Evil: Biohazard

 


PS5 pre-orders from ShopTo will not reach some customers on launch day

ShopTo has announced that not all PS5 pre-orders will be fulfilled for launch day, after the company received its stock allocation from Sony and the number was less than the pre-orders that the retailer took. Eurogamer was able to get hold of an email that ShopTo was sending out to customers that were told they will not be getting their PS5 day one, and the email says:

"We have received the allocation details from Sony and, unfortunately, we regret to inform you that we will not be able to fulfil your pre-order on day one/release date. Sony may notify us of additional stock with extra allocation for day one and you have already reserved your place in the queue. Some customers may cancel their pre-orders and that may allow yours to be next in line."

ShopTo boss Igor Cipolletta did not state how many PS5s Sony had allocated to ShopTo, but stated he hoped Sony would either allocate more or communicate when they would receive the next batch to fulfil orders. However, he also said that technically ShopTo only asked people to register their interest, and then go into their pre-order section to confirm or remove their interest. Those who confirmed interest would then be given a pre-order. According to Igor people who did not confirm interest or had more than one order are being sent this email.

Sony has not really managed the pre-orders for the PS5 well. The company had stated it would give potential buyers plenty of time but then only notified about a day earlier they were going live, and did not give times or from which retailers the console would be available. Sony had apologised for the way pre-orders were handled but even the second batch of pre-order availability was not properly communicated.

Source: Eurogamer


Sackboy: A Big Adventure video has Sumo introducing Sackboy, digital deluxe and special editions detailed

Sumo Digital has released a new video for Sackboy: A Big Adventure and this one introduces Sackboy. If you have played the LittleBigPlanet games then you do not really need an introduction to the mascot of the series, but not everyone will have so it is a nice little primer before people play Sackboy: A Big Adventure. In the video you can see some shots from different levels of the game, and Sumo has confirmed no two levels will be the same with various gameplay elements and styles being introduced.

The Sackboy: A Big Adventure Digital Deluxe Edition will be available for both PS4 and PS5, and it will include:

  • A digital art book showcasing the beautiful, crafted worlds of Sackboy and the weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit them.
  • A digital soundtrack featuring an eclectic selection of tracks from the game.
  • A digital comic called The Gathering Storm
  • 4 x Sackboy costumes of PlayStation icons which you can use to customise your Sackboy:
    • Jin from Ghost of Tsushima
    • Sam Porter Bridges form Death Stranding
    • Connor from Detroit Become Human
    • Deacon St. John from Days Gone
  • 4 x Sackboy emotes based on each PlayStation icon mentioned above to show off to your friends.
  • 20 x Sackboy avatars wearing different costumes from the game.

The Sackboy: A Big Adventure Special edition will only be available on PS4, and that will include all the content of the Digital Deluxe Edition, a physical copy of the art book, and a Sackboy plush. However, the Special Edition will not be available in the UK, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Serbia, Switzerland, Norway, LATAM, or Mexico. Sackboy: A Big Adventure will be a PlayStation 5 launch title and will be available from November 12th for both PS5 and PS4.

Source: PS Blog


Godfall is available to pre-order digitally for PS5, intro cinematic released

Epic Games and Counterplay Games have released the introductory cinematic for PS5 console exclusive Godfall. This set up shows how the story came to be with the Valorian Knight Macros playing the Order until war breaks out, and his army is victorious. The player's character is one of the Valorian Knights that opposed Macros, and these knights are fighting to save their civilisation and stop Macros from ascending to a god like status.

Here is the cinematic's description:

"If I'd left well enough alone, Macros would still be bullying rivals and battling enemies. Instead, he's on the brink of godhood and our civilization lies in ruins. But Macros forgets what he said to me that day: Gods belong in the sky."

Epic Games and Counterplay Games have also confirmed that Godfall is now available to digitally pre-order Godfall for PS5 on the PlayStation Store. These editions are the same as the ones that appeared earlier on the Epic Games Store. Those three editions are the Standard Edition, the Digital Deluxe Edition, and the Ascended Edition. The link to pre-order Godfall on the PS Store is here. The content and prices of the editions can be found below.

  • Godfall Standard Edition £69.99 – includes base game
  • Godfall Digital Deluxe Edition £89.99 – includes base game and first expansion
  • Godfall Ascended Edition £99.99 – includes base game, access to first expansion, gold themed goods including Gold Valorplate skins for Silvermane, Phoenix, and Greyhawk, 5x Gold weapon skins, Gold Shield skin, Gold Royal Banner skin, unique multiplayer lobby title, and Orange Valorplate skin for Vertigo.

Set in an high fantasy world, there are five realms of Apeiron to venture through in Godfall and, which have been split between Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and Spirit. Through the game, there's definitely been some influence and crossover from looter shooters and action RPGs, with a main goal being to find loot and continually upgrade your character build. However, that will not be the only factor in how well you do in battle. There's also plenty of Dark Souls to see in the combat, with tense battles that require positioning and timing to succeed, though it emphasises offence over defence. If you dominate the combat space, you'll be much more likely to succeed.

Source: YouTube 


Some of Pokémon Go's lockdown bonuses are being rolled back tomorrow

Niantic have announced that they will be rolling back some of Pokémon Go's in-game bonuses that were created to help players deal with the lockdowns and restricted travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 9PM UK time on Thursday, 1st October, the following changes will be made:

  • Hatch Distance will return to normal for Eggs.
  • The increased effectiveness of Incense will now apply only while walking.
  • Your Buddy Pokémon will now bring you Gifts only when you have nearly run out. This will happen only once per day.
  • You will still have a higher chance of getting a Gift when you spin a PokéStop. However, you won't be guaranteed to get a Gift.

However, many bonuses will remain:

  • The maximum number of Gifts you can carry in your Item Bag at a time will remain at 20.
  • You will continue to receive three times the Stardust and XP for your first Pokémon catch of the day.
  • Incense duration will remain at 60 minutes.

There will also still be the ability to take part in raids remotely, the increased distance with which you can interact with Gyms and PokéStops will stay, and so are the changes to the Go Battle League.

The timing of this all feels a bit strange. While many countries locked down heavily in March, restrictions started to be lifted through the summer as the worst of the first peak of Covid-19 cases subsided. Governments have then faced a difficult balancing act in what is reopened and the kinds of restrictions that will remain in place. Through all of this, Pokémon Go's bonuses have remained the same, helping players to continue to engage despite no longer commuting, going to school, or staying closer to home during leisure time and holidays.

However, we're now seeing Covid-19 cases rise once more through many European countries, and we're now facing the prospect of imposing fresh lockdowns once again. While the changes being made by Niantic are fairly minimal and could be seen as a way for the game to encourage people to still regularly get exercise each day, it's debatable whether rolling back any of the changes sends the right message at this time.

Source: Niantic


October's Games with Gold features four free spooky games for Halloween

Microsoft have announced the free Games with Gold for October, with the usual line up of two Xbox One games and a pair of backward compatible titles. Can they throw some more interesting games into the mix this month?

Well, yes and no. I hope you weren't expecting any big AAA blockbusters, but there's some good spookiness being thrown into the mix for Halloween.

Here's the four games:

Of the lot, Maid of Sker and Costume Quest are the two main highlights.

We awarded Maid of Sker a creditable 7/10 when it launched back in July, with Steve saying:

"Maid of Sker is a great addition to the survival horror genre and offers a wonderfully intimate and local threat that takes its influences from Welsh folktales. Eschewing the combat and weaponry of many entries into the genre, its gameplay loop of sneaking and hiding proves compelling and successfully manages to keep you feeling in danger at all times. When you add in some excellent sound design and atmosphere you have a Victorian horror that deserves a rousing reception. There may not be a welcome in these valleys but this is one vacation that genre fans should have no reservations about taking."

Meanwhile, Costume Quest is a bit of a cult classic from Double Fine, who are obvious a Microsoft-owned studio these days, and we've not got much of a clue about Slayaway or Sphinx from the original Xbox.

Four Halloween-themed games makes sense, but the last 6-12 months of Games with Gold have definitely felt a little lacklustre. It seems pretty clear that Microsoft are focussing much more on Xbox Game Pass and stuffing that subscription service with more free games – though don't forget you do have Xbox Live Gold bundled into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The recent announcement of the acquisition of Bethesda and all its studios was quickly followed by the reveal that Doom Eternal would be added to the Game Pass library on 1st October, and with the announcement that Brutal Legend and Forza Motorsport 7 will follow on 8th October, it's a much more attractive proposition.

Don't forget that you can still pick up some of September's games, if you're quick:

Source: Xbox


Hotshot Racing Review

There was a time in gaming where azure blue skies were a prerequisite if you wanted to race a car. Ferris wheels, suspension bridges and helicopters always hove into view, as inexplicable slot machine rolls span above the track. With a history that spans Outrun, Virtua Racing, Sega Rally, Daytona USA and Ridge Racer, the arcade racer was a bountiful form that's lost its footing in recent, photo-realistic times. Sumo Digital's Hotshot Racing isn't just an attempt to revive the genre, it's a knowing love letter to the racers of the past.

Hotshot Racing looks like the missing link in that inimitable arcade racing history. Its low-poly art-style sits above Virtua Racing, but behind Ridge Racer, and its simple but charming outlook is designed to tickle all of the most nostalgic parts of your brain. There's a Ferris wheel here, a beach-side patch of road there, but beyond the most obvious pastiche there are smaller elements that speak to the arcade racing veteran. If you're of a certain age, there will be unduly asked-for gasps and laughter at every turn.

We know that the folks at Sumo Digital are utterly enamoured with the racing genre, and Hotshot Racing is them splurging their love all over the screen. The drifting mechanic is a straight take on the single button launch found in Outrun and Ridge Racer, and getting your back end out is joyfully simple, as it were.

Drawing further on that arcade racing heritage, drifting not only looks exceedingly cool, it also steadily tops up your boost meter, with four segments to fill. It certainly ups the speed of the game, bounding you around the track with a heap of motion blur in tow, but you soon learn that it's not the race-winning mechanic you'd expect it to be.

Hotshot Racing boasts some serious rubber-banding, launching cars forward to challenge you, or helping you get back to the front if you're stuck at the back of the pack. You'll find that no matter what you do, you'll be embroiled in a constant battle for position. That boost might get you a few seconds respite at the front, but any advantage it gives you will soon be lost. I soon started to simply hold onto the boost until the end of the third lap and use it to speed my way into the lead at the last moment.

That should render Hotshot Racing virtually inert, but instead you'll still find that you're enjoying yourself. All that rubber-banding actually keeps things so close that you never switch off. You're never bored, sat at the front with a commanding lead, but are instead you're fighting for every win.

Hotshot Racing's biggest problem is actually that it's all over a little too soon, and its means of drawing you back in are distinctly limited. There are four cups, each made up of four races, giving a total of sixteen tracks. While you will initially be wowed by the loving homage to Sega Rally, Virtua Racing et al, the jungle tracks and sphinxes as scenery, you'll feel like they ran out of ideas by the time you've seen your third Ferris wheel. The tracks are also beset by a distinct lack of drama when all the mechanics are there for some intense drifting action.

Each cup has three difficulty levels, and as you ramp things up you will need to know exactly what you're doing in each and every race. There's something pretty major to affect that though, in the shape of the game's… "interesting" collision mechanics, which see your car bounced around like it's a plastic go-kart rather than half a ton of metal.

If you take the wrong knock you'll end up straight in the barriers, from which you'll then have to crawl back into contention. Admittedly, the rubber-banding will probably help you out, but it all adds an element of frustration that the vivid sun-soaked visuals can't quite block out.

There are a variety of ways to pass your time beyond the GP mode, with classics like the Time Trial available for you to try and perfect your performance, and there's the very welcome addition of a four player split-screen mode where you can clash with some of your retro arcade racing buddies until your heart's content.

There's also a bevy of unlocks for each and every racer, and their individual cars, which is a fun little diversion, but you earn so much money that you can probably buy nearly every part you want within a single cup.

Unfortunately PC isn't the best place to play Hotshot Racing right now, as besides a few occasional performance hiccups during races the game seems to have a real problem identifying controllers correctly. I actually played the majority of the game on the keyboard, making it a real throwback to my earliest racing game memories. Maybe that was Sumo Digital's intention?


CD Projekt Red now in mandatory crunch to finish Cyberpunk 2077 [Updated with statement]

With less than two months to go before the release of Cyberpunk 2077 on 19th November, studio-wide overtime is being mandated on CD Projekt Red employees, according to a new report by Bloomberg. Citing an internal email, the team have been informed that they must work six-day weeks between now and release, as they try to troubleshoot as many bugs as possible for a day one patch.

CD Projekt Red's Adam Badowski wrote that studio staff would be required to work "your typical amount of work and one day on the weekend". He continues, "I know this is in direct opposition to what we've said about crunch. It's also in direct opposition to what I personally grew to believe a while back — that crunch should never be the answer. But we've extended all other possible means of navigating the situation."

Update: Badowski has posted a statement confirming the "final sprint" and that "This is one of the hardest decisions [he's] had to make," though emphasising that employees will be paid for overtime.

The company has gone back and forth on the issue since reports emerged about excessive crunch time during the development of The Witcher 3, but mandatory crunch goes against promises by senior staff in recent times. Following criticism of this and with Cyberpunk 2077 looming, co-founder Marcin Iwiński told Kotaku in May 2019 that the company would be "more humane" in its approach to crunch time and that while the studio might ask employees to work overtime, it would not be mandatory. "If they need to take time off, they can take time off," he said. "Nobody will be frowned upon if this will be requested."

Still that didn't rule out crunch as a way of getting the game finished. Following a delay from April to September, co-CEO Adam Kiciński stated in a Q&A conference call that, "We try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage. We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately."

Of course, the underlying issue is that crunch never went away and it seen as a necessary evil to get games finished throughout much of the industry. Even with crunch not being mandatory, there's still peer pressure to put in overtime, to try and demonstrate that you're a team player by forgoing time off. That can then be exacerbated if a game is delayed late in development, effectively adding more crunch time, and with many developers now working from home, the lines between work and relaxation are sure to have been blurred even further.

At the very least, Polish laws dictate that extra working hours must be paid to workers, so CD Projekt Red's employees will and have been compensated for their overtime.

Source: Bloomberg


Assassin's Creed Valhalla's new story trailer shows the start of Eivor's journey

Ubisoft has released a brand new trailer for Assassin's Creed Valhalla with the latest look giving a bit more of a look at the story. There is some focus on Eivor's brother Sigurd, whom Eivor states they will support no matter what. Sigurd's wife also makes an appearance and it is hard not to notice she has a striking resemblance of Kassandra from Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. The trailer also mentions some of the main people that will be in Eivor's journey including King Alfred of Wessex, and the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok.

Ubisoft has also announced a new podcast series to accompany Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and that is called Echoes of Valhalla. The first episode went live today and it is called "The Sons of the Great North". It is not an especially long episode, clocking in at 16 minutes, and it gives a background to the Vikings and why the chose to look for new lands. The podcast's description reads:

Comedians, well-known experts and reconstructed scenes will bring to life the glorious eras of the people of the North, relating the story of the Vikings as you have never heard before.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is launching on the 10th of November, a week earlier than previously announced, to line up with the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The game will be be releasing for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia. For the home consoles, if you're not hitting the next-gen on day one there's free cross-gen upgrades, like using Smart Delivery on Xbox.

Source: Press Release


Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered listed by the Korean ratings board

The Korean Games Rating and Administration Committee are at it again, leaking games before they have been officially announced. This time they have listed Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered.

This isn't the first time we've heard about the game, back in August Amazon listed and just as quickly deleted a listing for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered for Xbox One. The game has a launch date of November 13th which would put it just after the launch of the next-gen consoles. The title was listed for Xbox One and Switch but we would expect PlayStation and possibly next gen versions are also on the way.

The game has also been listed by  Australian retailer Mighty Ape. Back in June Venturebeat reported that, following the success of Burnout Paradise Remastered, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit was coming to Switch and other consoles . EA have not officially announced the remaster.

Hot Pursuit launched way back in 2010 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii and scored 8/10 in our review. 

Hot Pursuit is a refreshing reboot for a series that's become tired and disjointed, with Criterion's grip tightly controlling the direction of the game as much as the publisher.  As a result, this latest Need for Speed is the best it's been for years, and although it's naturally not going to be a game for everyone, anyone looking for a solid racing game this Christmas with a significant emphasis on online competition should find this is well worth investigating, especially if you liked the demo.

The Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remaster isn't the only EA game that has been leaked multiple times but remains unconfirmed by the publisher. The Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster has also popped up on various retailers, perhaps the Korean Games Rating and Administration Committee could confirm that one as well?

Source: Destructoid


Predator: Hunting Grounds gets a new map and 4v4 mode today – here's the patch notes

The latest update for Predator: Hunting Grounds is out today, adding a new map and a new 4v4 multiplayer mode to the game.

The new map is Excavation which, while still being set in the jungle, features a multi-level cave system for the Fireteam and Predator to try and explore. However, much more interesting is the new Clash game mode, which ditches the asymmetrical multiplayer that the game has been built on until now, in favour of a straight up 4v4 firefight.

Rounds of Clash last around 15 minutes each, with two Fireteams of four humans spawning into the map – any of the four maps in the game will support it – and being pushed to reach and capture a location. The twist is that each team has a Predator meter that fills up as you take points and kill enemies, which allows you to unlock and respawn as a Predator when it's filled up.

It's a surprising twist on the game's PvPvE multiplayer so far, and it will be interesting to see if it gets much traction in the community.

Here's the patch notes:

Predator: Hunting Grounds update 2.05

Free Update #5

  • [FREE] Mercenary ('87) weapon is now unlockable for all players at Level 90
  • New Unlockable Cosmetics

General

  • Increased loadouts from 6 to 12
  • Fixed melee weapon icons being stretched in some cases.
  • Fixed an issue where inputs may sometimes not work properly in the weapon customization screen
  • Boars spawns now prioritize being closer to the Predator
  • Fixed an issue where the D-pad would become unresponsive when hovering over private match or tutorial and making a party
  • Improved d-pad icons for better readability
  • Added audio stinger for when connecting to a match
  • Crossplay accounts can now invite friends when on the "waiting for players" screen
  • Fixed a bug where server blades in the Bug in the System mission could be destroyed without breaking the server door first
  • Fixed various bugs with mission interactables and environmental damage sources
  • Fixed collision issues with the medical building sunroof in Backwater
  • Fixed multiple exploitive locations, stuck spots, and locations prone to unintentional clipping, throughout all maps
  • Fixed a bug that would cause the game to sometimes crash

Fireteam

  • General
    • Fixed an issue where the player could be claimed while standing up from a self revive
    • Fixed first person animations not always playing when zoomed in with a scope
    • Fixed FT melee icons being shrunken down on customization screens
    • Fixed an issue where the Fireteam would sometimes not have a backpack
    • Increased amount healed from Medical Kits that appear throughout the map
    • Fixed up inconsistency with impact sounds for the local player
  • Weapons
    • General
      • Fixed weapon stat calculations on customization screen
    • 2XL
      • Reduced damage
    • AR-W
      • Increased ammo resupply from guerrilla ammo drops
    • QR-4
      • Increased extended magazine ammo capacity
  • Gear
    • U.A.V. Scanner
      • Fixed not being able to muddy up after using the U.A.V. Scanner
      • Fixed sprint animation when holding the U.A.V. Scanner
      • Fixed weapon selection not being consistent after using the U.A.V. Scanner
      • U.A.V. scan no longer spots Predator blood trails
    • Self Revive Syrette
      • Reduced Cost
    • Medical Kit
      • Reduced healing amount
  • Classes
    • Assault
      • Fixed assault having two default outfits
  • Perks
    • Body Armor:
      • Reduced cost
    • Iron Lungs
      • Increased cost
    • Double Time
      • Reduced movement speed bonus
    • Flesh Ripper
      • Reduced cost
    • Multitasker
      • Increased movement speed bonus
    • Weapons Training
      • Increased recoil reduction.
    • Ice Cold
      • Increased cost.
    • Silent
      • Reduced cost.
    • Fast Hands
      • Reduced cost.
    • Gearhead
      • Reduced cost
      • Fixed an issue where Quick Release sped up the reload animation but did not resupply the clip ammunition any earlier.

Predator

  • General
    • Kills that occur from self destructing will now count properly as kills and give rewards
    • Predator will now hold their primary weapon in customization screens with different idle animations
    • Cloaked Predators now have reduced visibility when viewed from a longer distance
    • Fixed an issue where weapon selection hotkeys not working for Predator when using KBM
    • Fixed an issue where the Fireteam head not always disappearing in long claim cinematics
    • Fixed an issue where Predator rotation getting wonky in customization screens
    • Adjusted medical building (Backwater) sunroof button so Predator can use it
    • Adjusted predkour trees to improve branch connections and mounting from the ground, throughout all maps
    • Fixed an issue where Predator melee weapons would sometimes not hit world objects (such as health packs)
    • Improved Predator melee lock in
  • Weapons
    • Smart Disc
      • Tints now apply to controlled smart disc, not just the one you're holding
      • Increased base flight speed.
      • Increased boost flight speed.
      • Increased boost duration.
      • Reduced return speed.
    • War Club
      • Increased damage of the second hit in the combo
    • Plasma Caster
      • Increased AoE radius
    • Alpha Sickle
      • Increased damage
  • Gear
    • Fixed an issue where armed bear traps would sometimes appear as disarmed
  • Perks
    • Observant
      • Reduced cost.
    • Fast Hands
      • Reduced cost.
    • Medic
      • Increased cost.
  • Classes
    • Samurai
      • Increased resistance to fireteam melee attacks
      • Increased melee damage
      • Reduced stamina regen rate while melee attacking
      • Increased stamina regen rate
      • Increased stamina
    • Scout
      • Increased Energy.
      • Increased predkour speed.
      • Increased stamina regen rate while melee attacking.
    • Alpha Predator
      • Reduced energy.
      • Reduced health.
      • Increased stamina.
      • Increased melee damage.
      • Increased perk points.
      • Increased speed.
    • Elder
      • Increased perk points.
      • Increased predkour speed.
      • Increased energy.
      • Reduced stamina.
      • Increased health.
      • Reduced melee damage.
    • Berserker
      • Reduced resistance to fireteam melee attacks.
      • Reduced stamina regen rate while melee attacking.
      • Increased stamina.
      • Increased melee damage.
      • Increased stamina regen rate.
    • City Hunter
      • Reduced perk points

In our review for Predator: Hunting Grounds, Jim wrote:

Predator: Hunting Grounds is a decent multiplayer romp with just enough content and ideas to make it worthwhile. It's a huge improvement over Ifflonic's last game, Dead Alliance, and one that's definitely pumped up thanks to having a popular license to lean on.

You can read the full Predator: Hunting Grounds review here.

Source: illfonic


Predator: Hunting Ground guides from TheSixthAxis


Ys Origin Nintendo Switch Review

I've played plenty of Ys games at this point, and while each modern entry or port of a classic one has plenty of differences from the last, the red-haired protagonist Adol has remained a constant. This sword-swinging adventurer has been at the forefront of every entry in this series of standalone journeys, serving as the one familiar anchor for all of these various adventures to form around. Ys Origin isn't about Adol's first adventure or his troubled youth, though. Instead, this prequel is set 600 years before any other entry in the game, and while the world and characters are incredibly different, the fast-paced action-adventure DNA of the franchise is more apparent than ever.

Ys Origin is an older entry in the long-running Nihon Falcom franchise, originally coming out nearly 14 years ago. It's seen various ports to Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and even the Xbox One, so this Nintendo Switch release is simply bringing a classic journey to yet another platform.

You've got two different characters to play as initially before later unlocking a third by beating the game, and while none of them are series poster-boy Adol, they're just as fun to play as and end up having a heck of a lot more character development and growth. Yunica is a close-range brawler with a beefy giant axe, while Hugo is a mage gifted with wild long-range abilities.

What's great about this character choice is that each protagonist doesn't just have a different playstyle, they have surprisingly different story arcs as well. Each one is thrust into the same scenario of climbing a daunting tower to rescue the two goddesses who helped make the land of Ys flourish, saving them from from nefarious demons who seek to obtain the power of the Black Pearl. Beyond that, their motivations for navigating the tower, as well as what ends up happening to them on their journey, differ enough to easily warrant a playthrough with each hero, even if you aren't the type to replay a game.

The gameplay and pacing are the icing on the cake if you want to dive into the main story multiple times. Despite being a 14-year-old top-down action game, Ys Origin has some of the tightest and smoothest combat I've ever seen from an ageing dungeon crawler. You can dole out a simple single button combo string that can be mixed up with some dash attacks or jumping attacks, and then there's various powerful skill attacks that can sometimes double up as handy navigation tools. Yunica's Whirlwind is a powerful attack, for example, but it can also help you leap through the air during tricky platforming sections.

Over-leveled enemies and punishing bosses will keep you on your toes throughout the game, but at the end of the day, dishing out the same string of attacks over and over can prove to be a little mind-numbing during the lengthier sections of the game.

One of the most interesting gameplay features of this game is actually actually the absence of a particular feature. In Ys Origin, you ain't got no dang map! While most exploration-heavy RPGs provide a mini-map to keep track of your dungeon progress with, Ys Origin is built around the idea of relying solely on yourself and your own intuition to navigate the winding pathways of the tower and figure out where your next destination is located.

This is a really rewarding experience that scratches the same sort of itch that Souls games and Bloodborne do. However, considering this game has a leveling system that can mean life or death, getting turned around and lost by the lack of a map can also end up leading to frustrating encounters with wildly powerful enemies.

Being a port of a 14-year-old adventure game also means that Ys origin looks and runs pretty flawless on the Nintendo Switch. Whether you're playing handheld or docked, the framerate never hitches and the old-school polygonal sprite artwork of the game pops on the big screen just as much as it does on the small screen. A quirk from earlier ports of this game removed the blood splatters and mild viscera from the game, but a newly added blood setting lets you tick those boxes back on if you so choose.


Crusader Kings 3 update 1.1 makes heritage less confusing and much, much more

Update 1.1 is out now for Paradox Interactive's excellent Crusader Kings 3, fixing reams and reams of bugs, tweaking gameplay, and making bastards far less common an occurrence. Also, the Pope can no longer publicly be a cannibal or wear the wrong clothes, so that's his weekend ruined.

It's a huge update that addresses many of the complaints and quirks that have been found by the community since the game's release, and addresses some of the more unintentional jokes and memes that have sprung up around the game, as well as some of the more undesirable gameplay styles.

The so-called 'North Korea mode', in which you could steamroll past some of the penalties for holding too many domains in your own name, has been nullified through completely removing all levies once you go past 10 counties, and stopping buildings from functioning if you keep it up for over a year. Those are some pretty harsh sanctions!

Then there was the excessive number of bastard children being found in the game, for which Paradox have made the 'confused heritage' event only apply to players because "the AI was going a bit wild with it and turning everyone into bastards unnecessarily."

Speaking of AI, this has been tweaked to be smarter and more realistic in how it moves its armies around, while also making a White Peace a more frequent outcome of war.

Now, brace yourself for some almighty patch notes:

Crusader Kings 3 Update 1.1

Game Balance

  • A woman being close to the fertility cutoff cap (3 years) now gives the 'Low Fertility' marriage penalty.
  • Being unable to inherit titles no longer blocks claim inheritance. The Castrated, Bastard, and Disinherited traits still block claim inheritance. Only from within your dynasty for Disinherited
  • Building a new Temple now gives much more piety, you can't do it too often anyways
  • Cities and Temples now follow the same cost scale as Castles
  • Clan rulers now desire fewer spouses the lower their tier is. The Piety penalty only triggers if they are below desired spouses. The numbers are: Baron/Count wants one, Dukes two, Kings three, and Emperors four.
  • The Piety hit from being below desired spouses has been doubled.
  • Confederate Partition now ignores land held by vassals with title allegiance when there's titles with their own separate succession (E.G., elective titles, titles with their own gender laws). This means no more creating a kingdom where all the vassals will go with another title
  • Courtiers you have a kid with are now slightly more likely to stick around
  • Creating a title will now cause vassals dejure under it to lose title allegiance if their allegiance is to a title of the same tier. E.G., creating the empire of Italia as the HRE will cause the Italian vassals to lose allegiance to the HRE
  • Denying Call to Arms now costs Fame, potentially reducing your Level of Fame. Denying offensive wars has a small impact, but denying defensive calls have a massive impact.
  • Denying a defensive war now reduces opinion with your ally by -50 for 25 years (decaying)
  • Denying an offensive war now reduces opinion with your ally by -20 for 5 years (decaying)
  • Slashed the opinion modifier from Diplomacy by half
  • Diplomacy skill now gives a prestige mult % (with offset)
  • Electors should now be less inclined to form or join independence factions, unless they're another faith than their liege
  • Fixed pregnancy chance remaining unchanged for significant fertility spans before dropping drastically. Now the reduction in pregnancy chance is gradual instead. E.G., before the couple's fertility dropping from 53% to 52% would cause the chance of pregnancy to drop from 3% to 2% per month, while now it'll go from 2.52% to 2.47%
  • For player cultures, the culture head now updates within a month when one ruler becomes bigger than another
  • For player dynasties, the dynast now takes at most one month to update when someone else becomes more than 10% stronger, rather than up to a year
  • Giving away a holding of the wrong type as an ambitious or greedy character will no longer incur stress
  • Greedy gift-receivers now no longer demand insane amounts of additional gold
  • The AI is now much more likely to demand the conversion of heretical vassals, if their refusal would result in them being marked as criminals. This should make the AI less likely to collapse to heresy.
  • Heresiarchs will no longer accept demands of conversion.
  • Denying a conversion request now gives the liege a revoke reason, in addition to the imprisonment reason they already got.
  • Outbreaks of heresy now increase the Fervor of the affected Faith much more positively. This means that large faiths are more likely to bounce back to max Fervor after a Heresy outbreak.
  • If a vassal asks for something in return for you asking them to convert faith, denying their request no longer gives you an imprisonment/revoke reason on them (you're being impious by not parting with simple material wealth!)
  • If you have Partition and your primary title has a special election form, the heir to that title will be the primary heir for your Partition and get a share as long as they're a valid player heir, even if they otherwise wouldn't have been part of the Partition, or later in the Partition order
  • Increased cooldown on asking vassal to convert faith to 15 years
  • Inheritance succession can now go up to 6 generations upwards to find a distant relative rather than just 3
  • It is now harder to murder someone you're at war with, or murder their vassals/courtiers
  • The maximum success chance/secrecy of Abduct Schemes are now 85% (down from 95%).
  • It is now practically impossible to abduct someone you're at war with, with a lesser penalty to their vassals/courtiers
  • It's now much harder to scheme to abduct Rulers (especially Foreign Rulers) and subjects of a foreign court.
  • Knights will more often gain prowess and blademaster traits in battle
  • Large realms are now unlikely to convert religion in wars
  • Lowered the attack stat of Pikemen
  • Lowered the recruitment costs of MaA
  • Made a number of interactions unavailable if you're at war with the target (E.G., it makes no sense to ask the Pope for money while you're at war with her)
  • Made diplomacy affect the opinion gained from gifts much more (x3)
  • Military prestige/piety maintenance costs no longer reduce you Fame/Devotion gain
  • Opinion from multiple elective titles no longer stacks for each title with the law, it happens once per vassal based on their title allegiance's law.
  • Outnumbering the enemy now further increases the survivability of your knights
  • The Pechenegs are now a bit more stable at game start
  • Rebalanced debt so that it now comes in levels. The higher the level, the harsher the penalties. Penalties include levy reductions, to make severely indebted realms collapse easier.
  • Reclusive characters will no longer host feasts
  • Removed the stress loss for lustful characters when renouncing celibacy, as it could lead to free stress loss
  • Significantly nerfed the 'resurging saoshyant' modifier
  • Slightly reduced the cost of Main holdings
  • Vastly empowered the Mongol Empire's armies. Now you will truly learn to fear the horsemen of the steppe!
  • Temujin & co now starts off with substantial prowess scores.
  • Temujin now starts with a full roster of knights, as well as a few Han siege engineers.
  • The Mongol Empire is now much more aggressive, and will attack several times per year, if opportunity arises.
  • Weak realms are now much more likely to agree to subjugation by the Mongol Empire.
  • The Borjigin Dynasty is no longer obscure, and starts with a few Warfare legacies unlocked.
  • Ask to Take the Vows cooldown increased to 10 years.
  • Ask to Take the Vows now costs piety to use, rather than giving you piety.
  • Ask to Take the Vows improves the opinion of your Court Chaplain and Head of Faith when used.
  • The 'Take the Vows' interaction can now be used on characters of 10 years or older (used to be only Adults).
  • The 'Take the Vows' interaction can now be used on characters that are married or betrothed.
  • The 'Take the Vows' interaction can now be used on characters that stand to inherit titles, this means that it's possible to prune your partition inheritance by disinheriting children using this tool.
  • The AI acceptance values of Ask to Take the Vows have been massively reworked to take many things into account. Most notably having a Learning Education makes children much more likely to want to go to church.
  • Using Ask to Take the Vows on someone now moves them away from your court, into the court of a theocrat in the realm (if there's one) or into the pool.
  • You can not force characters married/betrothed in the incorrect lineality to Take the Vows (i.e. Women in a Patrilineal Marriage).
  • You now need a Strong Hook to force acceptance of Ask to Take the Vows. Weak Hooks give a bit of acceptance instead.
  • The AI is now more inclined to buy certain MaA based on their culture
  • The AI is now more inclined to recruit their cultural MaA
  • The AI is now much more likely to request money from their Head of Faith, especially if their HoF is very rich
  • The AI is now reluctant to betroth boys to old women, regardless of them sharing their dynasty or not.
  • The AI now only wants to spend money on recruiting guest claimants that have claims on bordering realms
  • The AI (primarily War Defenders) will now consider White Peace more often, to avoid dragging wars on needlessly. They'll look at how long the war has lasted for, and compare that to their current War Score. This should reduce the number of extremely drawn-out wars.
  • The AI will now account for Bankruptcy when considering White Peace. Starting at -100 gold, the AI will then progressively pursue White Peace more as they fall deeper into debt (-2 years of income, and -4 years of income), offsetting this by how close they are to winning (at 80 or above War Score, the AI will try to 'toughen it out' as the winnings from the war is more likely to outweigh the expenses of maintaining their army).
  • The AI will now only demand conversion from vassals if they have the money to pay their demands, if the vassal is unlikely to simply accept straight-up.
  • The AI will now take age and fertility into account when marrying away any character of a reputable house, not only their own. This should make it less likely for interesting characters to end up in fruitless marriages.
  • The Exclave Independence game rule now triggers closer to succession for AI rulers
  • The Inbred trait is now much less likely to be inherited, but further reduces fertility
  • The Renown gain from alive dynasty members is now capped at 2/month (100 alive members)
  • The Strong Blood dynasty modifier now only improves the chance of characters with no inherited genetic traits getting a positive one by 400%, rather than 40 000%. +400% means that the chance of getting Comely for instance is 2.5% instead of 0.5%
  • The holder of Jerusalem is now unlikely to accept Populist demands
  • The opinion hit from being unallied as a Clan vassal has been increased to 15 for non-powerful vassals, and 30 for powerful vassals.
  • Titles automatically destroyed due to a ruler getting unlanded now gives that rulers claims if they received claims on the counties they lost
  • Turks are now more likely to assimilate to local cultures than they were
  • Under Partition, higher-tier titles no longer reduce the number of counties you get. In practice what this tends to mean is that in some (but not all) cases where your primary heir would get only one or two counties, they get one more
  • Very non-zealous characters will now revoke titles from other-faith vassals if that'd be the best for the realm, presuming that there's no tyranny loss.
  • Viking vassals are now more restricted when it comes to overseas conquests
  • Wandering characters who decide to marry will now prefer to marry a character traveling with them, rather than creating a spouse
  • Winning a Great Holy War as the attacker now refills all the levies and garrisons in the counties taken
  • Wounded Knights are now less likely to die in battle
  • You can now manage the focus of your children even if they're landed, as long as you're their liege
  • You may now revoke the last county of someone who holds a duchy or higher that is impossible to revoke (E.G., a head of faith title). That will lead to that higher title getting destroyed
  • You must be at peace to create a new faith.
  • Your liege now gets "opinion of predecessor" towards your heir when you die, if they end up your heir's liege and your heir had no liege or a different liege
  • wandering characters with absurd amounts of gold will now tend to spend it all on improving themselves (no more inviting wanderers with 7000 gold and banishing them!)
  • Added more restrictions to the check for if characters are willing to cheat on their partners
  • Alan culture now starts with Compound Bows researched in 867 as well as 1066.
  • Germania can no longer be created by spiritually-headed Christians, who must create the HRE instead.
  • Increased the Level of Splendor gain from the "Dynasty of Many Crowns" decision from 75 to 1000
  • Increased the area for Stammesherzogtum to include parts of Bavaria and northern Germany, so all German cultures are able to gain the innovation.
  • Increased the base fortifications slightly for castle holding upgrades.
  • Indimitated vassals are now slightly-less-deterred from joining factions
  • Jarl Haestinn now starts at Fame Level 5 instead of 6
  • Made the 'Religious Construction' county modifier focus more on bonuses for temple holdings specifically instead of development in general.
  • Nerfed the 'Supplies' siege event to grant a total of 20% Siege progress, down from 40%.
  • Peasant Leaders now get a discount on raised levy maintenance, making popular revolts less likely to succumb to crippling debt
  • Peasant and Populist Faction Leaders now gain gold contributions from faction members when war is declared, so that they can pay army maintenance. The gold is removed once the war has ended.
  • Reduced the chance of children reincarnating with an ancestor's sinful personality traits
  • Removed claimants with pressed claims from the pool of potential court physicians
  • Removed extra 6th holy site of Alexandria from Waaqism
  • Removed extra 6th holy sites of Wadan and Kisi from the Siguic and Bidaic faiths, respectively
  • Restricted the Intrigue(Scheming) event "Confused Heritage" to players only, as the AI was going a bit wild with it and turning everyone into bastards unnecessarily
  • The AI is now less likely to want to spend gold on Guests during war, and when their coffers are running low
  • The AI should now be more inclined to build Castle holding upgrades
  • The regional innovation Stammesherzogtum now also reduces the likelihood that vassals will join Independence Factions
  • There is now a 5-10 year grace period on game start before Populist Factions will form
  • Vassals are now increasingly likely to join factions the more in debt their liege is
  • Zbrojnosh Men-At-Arms now counter Pikemen in addition to Archers.
  • restoring the HRE is now easier & more rewarding, whilst still requiring a decent amount of prestige, realm size, & controlled kingdoms.
  • Independence faction now has domains of all faction members as war goal
  • When you successfully ask a vassal to end an offensive war, the defender now gets a small opinion bonus towards you.
  • The maximum penalty for being over your domain limit is now -100% taxes/levies, increased from -90%.
  • If you vastly exceed your Domain Limit for more than one year (the grace period for new inheritances/conquests), all buildings will deactivate until your domain limit is lowered.

AI

  • Discouraged the AI from doing naval invasions when land invasions are feasible
  • Gave the AI dancing lessons
  • Gave the AI some self-confidence lessons. Just because its liege is a complete coward, that doesn't mean it should avoid making or joining factions. It should only do so if they themselves are cowed
  • Increased the AI willingness to spend on Duchy Capital buildings
  • Informed the AI of the existence of the player when it is trying to spread out to avoid attrition
  • Informed the AI that if it has nothing else to do in a war, it might as well defend the wargoal
  • Russian Vikings are now much more unlikely to conquer overseas
  • Should now be better at merging small army stacks
  • Sternly told the AI that when it's trying to support the player, it shouldn't try to retreat just because the enemy is coming right at it (except if it hasn't yet arrived at the player's location)
  • Taught the AI how to count. It will now when deciding whether to raise its troops consider all its troops, not just its levies. So it won't refrain from raising its troops just because its levies alone would be pointless to raise
  • Taught the AI to be a bit better at avoiding pushing 3rd party claims that'll lead to the claimant going independent. It's still happy to push such claims for close family members
  • The AI is more likely to acquiesce to a faction demand when they're deep in debt
  • The AI is no longer more eager to join a claimant faction if the claimant is close to death, but instead less likely
  • The AI is now more likely to create holy orders, but gets less likely to do so the more holy orders a faith has
  • The AI no longer minds matrilineal marriages for men and patrilineal marriages for women in most cases when those marriages are within the same dynasty
  • The AI now wants to recruit guests that they have a positive relation with, for example Friends or Lovers
  • The AI should no longer attempt to call the player in against their own heir or spouse (they wouldn't accept, so they should presume the player wouldn't either)
  • The AI should no longer bother the player with offensive call-to-arms if they're the primary defender in a war.
  • The AI will now properly revoke Holy Order leases if they're of another faith
  • The AI will now use Ask to Take the Vows under certain circumstances.
  • The AI will now wait longer to send a new ransom request to the player after they previously denied one.
  • The distance the AI is willing to raid is now based on its tier
  • Told the AI it might as well support the player if there's no enemies around as long as there's enemies *somewhere*, rather than running off on its own to go siege something
  • Told the AI that considering the threat of enemies when you're at sea makes some sense even if they can't get to you while you remain at sea
  • Told the AI that counting the player's enemies twice if they're movement locked and trying to decide if the player needs help or not might lead to some silly decisions
  • Told the AI that hunting down enemy armies in enemy territory is a good idea if it is safe to do so, even if it is currently in a defensive mode
  • Told the AI that it is a good idea to raise more troops when it already has troops raised
  • Told the AI that it might actually be a good idea to try to avoid running into enemy units while raiding
  • Told the AI that it really doesn't make any sense to try to retreat from a dangerous enemy while at sea
  • Told the AI that it shouldn't bother sending support to the player while the player is just moving around at sea. Only once the player is standing still or making landfall does support make much sense
  • Told the AI that it's fine to hunt down enemy armies that aren't in either the attacker or defender's territory
  • Told the AI that just because it thinks a battle's about equal, that doesn't mean it should refrain from piling more troops into it to be 100% sure
  • Told the AI that maybe it shouldn't pretend it can't see your units when it actually can due to you being in or on the border of its liege's territory
  • Told the AI that when deciding where to raid, it might make sense to measure the distance by sea, not as the crow flies
  • Told the AI that when it has decided to either retreat or stand on fight, there's no point doing other things like hunting nearby enemy units, or trying to merge with a friendly stack
  • Told the AI that when supporting the player while the player is at sea, it makes sense for it to go to the same province, rather than stay on land
  • Told the AI to not bother pushing the claims of vassals of vassals. Its own, its direct vassals, and its courtiers should be plenty
  • Vikings should now mostly prefer to conquer contiguous areas overseas (their vassals can still go their own way though)
  • When granting titles, the AI now has a small preference for giving away titles it more recently acquired, instead keeping its older titles

Interface

  • Add a situation warning you of when a vassal may leave your realm due to inheriting a foreign title.
  • Add character list filters for: not my faith, not my religion, not my culture, not my culture group, has no claims, has claims on me, and not player dynasty.
  • Add developer easter egg character portraits to the credits view
  • Added a Current Situation item for Vassals that could be granted to their Rightful Liege
  • Added a descriptive text in the Dynasty View that tells how you pan it
  • Added a game concept for Gifts
  • Added a warning/suggestion in the current situation list for when having too few wives
  • Added an alert for when your primary heir is of another dynasty and you don't have any members of yours in the (current) succession line
  • Added game concept for the Unreformed Pagan Combat Bonus, making it clear that it only applies in counties of one's own faith
  • Added missing "+" sign in tooltips about "X's opinion of you: 50"
  • Added shortcut listings for the encyclopedia and character finder
  • Added war start date to war tooltip
  • Added warnings to the take vows interactions about kicking out potentially useful people
  • Allow left mouse drag in dynasty tree
  • Changed the name of the vassal contract modification confirmation interaction from "modify" to "modify vassal contract"
  • Clicking a region in a cultural innovation tooltip now highlights it on the map
  • Clicking on the checkbox or label will now also register the allow marriage button
  • Contribution scores are no longer shown for GHW participants who can't have them.
  • Crown authority tooltip only shows cost of locked levels
  • Deceased rulers no longer shown an heir in the character window
  • Directed GHWs now have a more accurate victory message
  • Disallow wasting a hook use on a feudal contract negotiation if its already fair or in favor of the vassal.
  • Display text in the realm view when the player has no vassals
  • Don't show rally map icons on water, they are never valid there.
  • Faith doctrine names should now be tooltippable in far more cases
  • Fix borders not always being cleared when they could be.
  • Fix the rally point icon when placing or moving rally points from blocking the click to actually move them if not hitting the map.
  • Fix weak hooks suggesting you can force someone into a faction when the interaction requires a strong one.
  • Fixed "Opinion of Liege" in character list entries not providing a breakdown when tooltipped
  • Fixed "kinswoman" and "kinsman" in some cases being swapped
  • Fixed Call to War and Offer to Join War interfaces in some cases selecting wars that cannot be selected. Now only auto-selects if there's only one war and it can be selected
  • Fixed a handful of cases where localization would treat other players in MP as if they are you
  • Fixed a misplaced space in the scheme success chance breakdown
  • Fixed a number of cases where coats of arms could end up blank
  • Fixed a superfluous Education Trait entry in the Encyclopedia
  • Fixed a variety of interface functionality treating sessions where people can hotjoin but there's just one player, as if they're an actual multiplayer session. Could cause things like the "Player" mapmode to appear
  • Fixed baronies showing up in the Ask For Claim interaction
  • Fixed broken tooltips in the battle events list in the battle summary
  • Fixed dead Popes being called king-bishops
  • Fixed deleting a rally point not fully deselecting it, leading to clicking another rally point in the military view in some cases simply panning to that rally point without opening the rally point window
  • Fixed directed GHWs (e.g. Jihads) showing incorrect war chest shares and scores for the person winning
  • Fixed directed GHWs showing warscore share rather than rank
  • Fixed doctrine tooltips in the faith view linking the doctrine itself, leading to pointless recursion
  • Fixed dynasty modifier icons sticking around in the dynasty window after the modifier has been removed
  • Fixed education focus icons in their tooltip lighting up on hover as if they were buttons
  • Fixed faith doctrines in the encyclopedia and similar on the main menu sometimes saying "All <blank>:" rather than "All Adherents:"
  • Fixed faith hostility descriptions "Evil" and "Hostile" not being tooltippable in some places
  • Fixed it not being possible to filter by traits in the spouse interface that aren't shown (E.G., filtering by a specific education)
  • Fixed links being unclickable in some tooltips
  • Fixed links in the console output being unclickable
  • Fixed mercenary troops not getting accounted for in a number of military strength breakdowns
  • Fixed missing culture names in Guardian/Ward interactions
  • Fixed pushing the claim of a courtier saying they "stay" your vassal rather than "become" your vassal
  • Fixed regnal numbering failing in some cases when names contain non-ASCII characters
  • Fixed some of the things that can block changing a focus not showing up in red with a warning symbol
  • Fixed succession UI saying "From Realm's <blank>" rather than "From Realm's Partition Succession"
  • Fixed the "<child> has no reason to stay at court" message claiming the child is your stepbrother or sister rather than child
  • Fixed the "Realm will lose land when Vassal dies" alert showing up in some cases where the land won't actually leave the realm since the heir will become your vassal
  • Fixed the "powerful vassal" text in the vassals list not having a tooltip
  • Fixed the Allow Marriage checkbox
  • Fixed the Claimants list for titles in some cases including people who don't actually have a claim on the title
  • Fixed the Expose Secret interaction showing the effects of the Blackmail interaction
  • Fixed the Find Concubine window in some cases showing someone who is already your concubine
  • Fixed the Select Beneficiary having a game concept on the send interaction button, making it hard to click. Fixed the effects description *not* having a game concept for "Beneficiary"
  • Fixed the achievements box in the Game Rules window only having a tooltip on the "Achievements (Not) Available" text rather than the whole area
  • Fixed the center of the Resign from Council button not being clickable
  • Fixed the character portrait in the Load Game window highlighting when you put your mouse over it, as if it were a button
  • Fixed the character window strength breakdown listing "Attacker's/Defenders' Allies' Military Strength" rather than simply "Allies' Military Strength"
  • Fixed the combat predictor in some cases ignoring some of your armies, thus predicting far worse odds than reality
  • Fixed the declare war tooltip in the war declaration screen telling you about things blocking the war declaration twice
  • Fixed the election candidate view showing the health icon twice on candidates
  • Fixed the game pretending you could swap councillors (and then doing nothing when you clicked the button) in cases where the current councillor isn't eligible for the other's council position. Now it'll say Reassign instead, and lead to the current councillor being fired
  • Fixed the game sometimes claiming a marriage has no chance of children despite both parties being fertile
  • Fixed the game sometimes saying that the development progress will "change by x" when it'll actually "decrease by x"
  • Fixed the hotkeys for the mapmodes hidden under "additional mapmodes" not working in the lobby
  • Fixed the math sometimes overflowing for combat predictions for large battles, leading to it just saying the odds are even despite them being anything but
  • Fixed the prestige icon in the Arrange Marriage view causing the prestige tooltip rather than the prestige gain breakdown tooltip
  • Fixed the progress bar under "total soldiers" in the military view not having a tooltip; now gives the same tooltip as the label above it
  • Fixed the rally point progress bar occasionally going offscreen
  • Fixed the realm name of dead rulers being misplaced
  • Fixed the religion filters and similar for character lists not always working. Was for instance broken in the election window
  • Fixed the tooltip for the achievements icon in character selection covering the ironman checkbox
  • Fixed the unit banner for stationary units turning invisible when you have the war overview window open
  • Fixed the victory screen of Directed GHWs saying you didn't participate enough rather than showing your participation rank
  • Fixed titles sometimes showing up twice in the title finder
  • Fixed traits with gendered names such as "Pretty" having their names based on the target rather than schemer in romance schemes
  • Fixed troop counts being massively wrong until you unpause. Now they'll only be a little bit off (since a lot of things can change on the first day)
  • Fixed unpause tooltip in single-player sometimes saying "Game is Paused by UNKNOWN"
  • Fixed word salad in the Level of Splendor toasts
  • Fixed you in some cases getting a "your child can marry" notification for someone you have no power to marry off
  • Fixed your heir display taking a day to update after your heir dies. Now instant for player heirs
  • Got rid of strange glow on the "no character selected" portrait when creating a claimant faction
  • Hovering over options in the dropdowns in the Barber Shop will now show the resulting change on your character model. No more having to click through the options one by one
  • Improved consistency between Call to War and Offer to Join War interfaces
  • Improved the look of faction entries when the faction is at war to push its demands
  • Improved tooltip placement in the title window for the titles in the "De Jure Part of" list and the De Jure Hierarchy list in the holding view
  • In the character view, hovering over the military strength of the character will now list knights with their cultural name rather than yours
  • Invalid savegames can be toggled on or off when the save window is up
  • Knights no longer have such a disproportionate effect on army quality levels. This has no impact on gameplay; just makes the quality level more representative of the actual effectiveness of the army
  • Level of Splendor triggers now correctly show their name rather than just a number
  • Made it clear in the Knight game concept that Knights represent both the character *and* their retinue of troops; a Knight isn't single-handedly causing 30 casualties
  • Make sure absolute control is displayed correctly in the domain tab
  • Make sure the friends panel can be expanded if at 8 or more
  • Make sure the page number and close button are not drawn over each other in tutorial windows
  • Make sure the right mouse button is registered when clicked to pan to the army from the outliner
  • Make sure the views on a faith are not shown when the player hasn't selected a character yet
  • Make sure to switch between click to show/hide on the tooltip for notifications
  • Minor GHW layout improvement
  • Only show the click to unlock text in lifestyle perks if it's available
  • Only show the continue button if the credits list is still scrolling
  • Only show the map icon and progress bar for tasks that have a councillor appointed to it
  • Only show the select button in the MP lobby if the game has not been started yet
  • Opening a dynasty tree now pans to you (if you're in it). Otherwise it pans to the dynast, or the founder if it is a dead dynasty
  • Outdated information should no longer stick around in the character window
  • Peasant and Populist revolts will no longer get dynasty-based names for governments that use such names
  • Potential scheme agents with positive acceptance score are now listed as "Will join" rather than "Can be convinced"
  • Remove double toast when a dynasty member makes a cadet house.
  • Remove starting fervor info from the faith creation screen, it does not vary so it is unnecessary information.
  • Remove the description for secondary characters on the bookmarks screen
  • Removed dagger icon next to scheme start effects to make the less awkward when used with personal schemes
  • Scheme Agent acceptance tooltip now shows the full breakdown directly in the list.
  • Select the correct text flavorization when a title can't be granted
  • Shift+F11 will now generate a picture of your current map mode and put it in your screenshots folder
  • Show a message in the window when you have no vassals and are about to convert to a new faith
  • Sort by name for Knights in the battle result window now uses first names instead of titled names.
  • Stopped showing the opinion of players of the faction target when creating a claimant faction
  • Successful conversion is now sent as a message rather than a toast
  • The "Allow Marriage" button in the interaction list now looks far less out of place, and the full button is tooltippable
  • The "Pending Crusade Participation" alert now only shows up if the head of faith would actually be upset at you for not participating
  • The "will not accept" icon and tooltip now only shows up on interactions where there's no combination of options that'll lead to the recipient accepting. No more "will not accept" on ransom when they'll gladly accept as long as you're willing to pay
  • The 'Alliance Expired' message now shows clickable links for the character names.
  • The AI trying to ransom itself from your prison will no longer be called "Ransom Yourself"
  • The Appoint a Councillor window now no longer appears under other windows until clicked
  • The Great Holy War interface now tells you how much of the war chest you'll get when the war begins
  • The Hajjaj version of the Pilgrim trait now has unique art
  • The Muslim caliphates are now named "Sunni Caliphate" and such, rather than "Abbasid"
  • The Romance interaction now uses the correct notification header
  • The Success Chance and Secrecy modifiers are now not shown for Discovered schemes, to prevent being able to deduce who's scheming against you (only total chance is shown)
  • The army tooltip now shows commander advantage rather than martial
  • The automatic pausing from having died no longer gets unpaused when you dismiss the succession screen; you now have to manually unpause instead
  • The battle predictor is no longer as pessimistic about your odds. Now a predicted 50% edge is enough to get "you'll probably win", while before you needed a 133% edge. The other categories have had their thresholds tweaked as well
  • The breach siege event pictures now have the correct aspect ratio and properly updates to show the different breach levels.
  • The character relation description will now include spouses and concubines of landed rulers.
  • The concubine and blackmail interactions now show all their effects
  • The faction interface now clearly shows who has been blocked temporarily from joining a faction, and until when
  • The game will no longer claim that your guest's claim on a title that's already in your realm, or which has no holder, is useful
  • The house & dynasty view now looks nicer for houses and dynasties with no living members
  • The lost titles section in the ruler transition window is no longer shown where there's no lost titles and is expanded by default.
  • The on-map council task icons are now always shown when you have the council window open
  • The raid loot info now shows up in province tooltips when you have a raid selected rather than a raid army
  • Tracked decisions now show as alerts instead of in the suggestion dropdown
  • Unit movement arrows are more visible when moving through heavily-forested provinces
  • When a war goal has multiple options (E.G., claim wars, holy wars), those are now sorted by tier then roughly by distance from your realm, rather than in arbitrary order
  • When looking at the list of knights and potential knights, potential knights only have their portrait darkened rather than their entire entry, so it no longer looks as if buttons like "Recruit to Court" are grayed out
  • When revoking a title, the new domain size is shown correctly now
  • When viewing a battle you're not involved in, it'll no longer say it's "your" commander and "your" realm
  • You can now hover over innovations in modifier breakdowns (E.G., "Manoralism" in the building cost breakdown) to see the full info on the innovation
  • You can now queue movement waypoints for gathering armies using shift, rather than being limited to just the shortest available path
  • You no longer get the Dangerous Faction alert for a faction that's at war with you. The ongoing war is presumably enough of a tell
  • You now get a notification in the lower-right corner when a part of your realm gets sieged by someone you're hostile to
  • Improved Bookmarks screen scaling on different aspect ratios
  • Fixed missing description in Secret Exposed notification
  • Don't show the cost of removing a title law if there is no cost.
  • New Stress indicator look and placement
  • Fixed various text overflow issues with localized text
  • Added visible "close" button to Toasts
  • More info for pinned characters in Outliner
  • Fixed an issue where Sinful and Virtuous traits were not highlighted in the Character Window
  • Clearer state of army in Army View
  • More feedback on pause/unpause

Art

  • Added ethnicities for East African, South Indian and Slavic, and Arctic/Circumpolar
  • Added lighting for Corridor Night event background.
  • Fixed a CoA that was showing debug pink
  • Large map names look better, at a small cost to tiny map names.
  • Tweak to Knights Templar coat of arms
  • Updated some character portraits in the credits list
  • Fixed a large amount of portrait clipping issues between clothing, headgear and hair.
  • Lowered some headgears to better rest on a character heads rather than floating.
  • Improved teenager animations to not be neutral but also show more personality like adults.
  • Adjusted animations to cause less intersections.
  • Increased map readability by changing the colour slightly for titles that had similar, or the same, colour.
  • Visual Map improvements in the African region.
  • Fixed a number of lakes floating around.
  • Added FXAA as an anti aliasing option
  • Improved visuals of Bookmarks screen (New Game) and Main Menu
  • Fixed some errors on the Bookmarks map
  • Frontend menus have been tidied up
  • New Siege Window layout and art
  • Improved HUD visuals
  • Color coded Education Trait Icons
  • Increased contrast of character portraits
  • Cleaned up file structure
  • War Overview now looks cooler
  • Culture Window looks cooler too
  • Great Holy War is actually great
  • Culture icons are now unified to always display as a candle
  • Added Easter Egg DNA for Henrik Fåhreaus, Debbie Lane, Hanna Löhman, Maximilian Olbers, Bianca Savazzi

Localization

  • A more flavourful description added for when murder by hunting "accident"
  • Added Vote Strength to game concepts
  • Added a first person present tense text for the "join faction" effect
  • Added an alternative text for holy war if one has the pluralist doctrine
  • Added clarification on the modifier text for the Condottieri innovation
  • Added description for Parliament Special Building
  • Added dynasty names
  • Added localization for Yazidi bishops and theocracies
  • Added missing character name to bastardry reveal event
  • Added missing whitespace in Fabricate Hook event titles
  • Added some missing perspectives for effects
  • Added some uppercase loc commands for cases where a 'you' is displayed instead of a name
  • Added text for the first-person version of losing one's guardian
  • Added the alternate localization 'Ritual Suicide' for non-Christian Faiths with the 'Consolamentum' tenet
  • Children who reincarnate as an ancestor with sinful traits now acknowledge that isn't actually a good thing
  • Clarified some of the information in the reactive advice about education
  • Clarified the effect of the perks 'Sound Foundations' and 'Friendly Counsel'
  • Clarified the effects of the "Found new Kingdom/Empire" decisions
  • Correct loc command for seduction tooltip if you're already friends
  • Corrected a few befriend events that did not start with an uppercase letter
  • Dynasty prefixes in effects and decisions are now more consistent
  • Fixed a broken game concept in the Pluralist doctrine tooltip in German
  • Fixed a bunch of grammar and typos
  • Fixed a capitalization error in one of the female south slavic names
  • Fixed a number of typos and grammar issues
  • Fixed a recursive 'MAX_RECURSION_DEPTH' recursion bug in the event No Time For Myself
  • Fixed a scope mis-match in the lover reveal event which caused the event to describe people having affairs with themselves
  • Fixed an error that caused rulers to use their own name instead of the name of the potential spouse on some marriage acceptance breakdowns
  • Fixed an error that caused the Consecrate Bloodline decision to refer to "The Papacy Himself"
  • Fixed error that would occasionally cause titles to be presented as " 's Primary Title"
  • Fixed grammatical error in Great Holy War victory desc
  • Fixed several minor grammatical errors.
  • Fixed the missing text for polyamory tenet compatibility
  • Fixed the tooltip for the war chest distribution
  • Fixed typo in "Shunned" game concept text
  • Improved the text of the 'Secret Revealed!' event for lovers
  • Learning requirement for temporal condemnation is now shown as an int
  • Re-named the 'West African' culture group to 'Guinean'
  • Reduced the fowl feast event texts so no scroll is required in the English version
  • Removed the tooltip link in GHW dynamic titles
  • Removed unused strings from hastings bookmark
  • Renamed the 'Initiate Consolamentum' decision to 'Initiate Endura' to be more correct
  • Renamed the Temporal Condemnation interaction to Condemn Sins so it's a verb like other interactions
  • Renamed the Wendish Empire to the Southern Baltic Empire
  • The greeting in the secret documents letter is now more mysterious
  • The tooltip for candidates in an elective succession now correctly displays the name of the candidate instead of the person who nominated them
  • Updated Tutorial text
  • Updated loc for using a strong hook on someone
  • Updated the building localization so that the text colours are consistent among all building entries in the encyclopedia
  • Updated the confirmation button name for the "Dynasty of Many Crowns" decision
  • Updated the cultural titles for Iranian culture-group rulers, including unique titles for Muslim and non-Muslim rulers
  • Updated the description for bastard secrets to fix possible grammatical issues for certain scopes
  • Updated the description for bastard secrets to fix possible grammatical issues for certain scopes "
  • Updated the error messages for incompatible tenets when creating a new faith
  • Updated the event text for "Earned Responsibility" to accurately use the player character's gender
  • Updated the event text for "Twist of Fate" for when your dead heir was already an equal or higher tier ruler than your current character
  • Updated the explanation for Fervor's impact on Popular Opinion
  • Updated the name of Tengriism's religious group from 'Shamanic' to 'Steppe' to be more consistent with the naming scheme of other religions
  • Updated the name of the 'Crusader King' trait for Muslims
  • Updated the names for 'c_hordalandi' and 'b_sunnhordalandi'
  • Updated the tooltip for Divine Marriage to clarify how it works
  • Updated the tooltip for when powerful vassals block a succession law change
  • Various typos and grammar issues fixed
  • Various typos fixed in traits and interactions
  • Added localization to some triggers that were missing it

Game Content

  • Add define for the desired number of spouses in polygamous faiths – allows to specify the value per primary title tier level
  • Added a new "Ayyar" cultural Men-at-Arms for Iranian cultures
  • Added a new Suggestion to recruit men-at-arms when a player has fewer regiments than expected for their rank
  • Added a notification toast when your liege changes to inform you who your new liege is and why they became your new liege.
  • Added animations, AI balancing, localization, and other small things to martial events
  • Added more mythological names for warhorses and added animations to events
  • Removed traits that were unused
  • Reviving Taltosism now allows you to choose between vanilla Taltosism & swapping out one tenet for a scripted alternative whilst promulgating the restoration.
  • Reviving Taltosism will now convert Magyar Group counties more generously, especially in Mogyer areas with less German influence.
  • Updated the 'Establish Batrican Supremacy' to have more accurate and easier to understand requirements
  • Updated the martial lifestyle event "Under Siege"
  • added "the Apostate" nickname when reviving Taltosism.
  • made Reviving Taltosism more visible, flexible, & meaningfully challenging.

User Modding

  • "image = blah" now works in combat effects
  • Add can_declare_war trigger to see if a character can attack another character for a set of titles using a CB with an optional claimant.
  • Add console command to dump out landed title hierarchy from barons up their de jure liege's.
  • Add current_day trigger
  • Add current_month trigger
  • Add holder_ignore_head_of_faith_requirement which will suppress the head of faith warnings in history when giving someone a title, useful to represent a historical person holding a head of faith title due to conversion or other representation but not affecting actual gameplay.
  • Add player_heir order of succession type, it will always grab the player heir of the person evaluating the succession.
  • Add set_mother effect to change the mother of a character.
  • Added FaithDoctrine.GetNameNoTooltip; GetName now is tooltippable
  • Added add_piety_no_experience and add_prestige_no_experience effects to add/lose to them whilst not changing the persistent experience gain.
  • Added console command print_naval_distance, to find the naval distance between two provinces
  • Added console commands pause_on, save_on, and pause_and_save_on. These force the game to pause and/or save at a specific date, or when a specific event triggers (for any character in the game)
  • Added define AI_USE_VASSAL_OF_VASSAL_CLAIMS
  • Added define DEBT_MODIFIER_THRESHOLDS. Debt now gives a character modifier based on this, as well as a combat modifier
  • Added define MARRIAGE_OWNER_IS_MATCHMAKER that lets the AI logic for marrying skip the interaction redirect logic when figuring out who it can marry off. As long as that matches the actual redirect logic for the actor, the result is the same but faster
  • Added define MAX_HEIRS_IN_LINE_OF_SUCCESSION_TOOLTIP
  • Added define MAX_MONTHLY_PRESTIGE_GAIN_FROM_ALIVE_MEMBERS
  • Added define MAX_QUALITY_POWER_MULT
  • Added effect generate_building
  • Added effect set_can_be_named_after_dynasty = no to suppress such naming for titles. You can also put can_be_named_after_dynasty = no in the title definition for historical titles
  • Added global data system promote GetGeographicalRegion. E.G., GetGeographicalRegion( 'world_europe_west_iberia' ).GetName
  • Added graphics defines PRESTIGE_LEVEL_PATH, DYNASTY_PRESTIGE_LEVEL_PATH, and PIETY_LEVEL_PATH
  • Added link "activity" for getting the activity a character is participating in
  • Added link "house_founder". Added link "last_house_head"; same as "house_head" if there is one, but if the house is dead it'll give you the last person to be head of it
  • Added on-action on_concubinage_end
  • Added on_vassal_gained on-action
  • Added tab-complete for virtually every console command where that makes sense (E.G., add_trait, show_title, change_culture)
  • Added title transfer type swear_fealty
  • Added trait flag blocks_from_claim_inheritance = yes and blocks_from_claim_inheritance_from_dynasty. Being unable to inherit titles no longer blocks claim inheritance
  • Added trigger debt_level
  • Added trigger has_relation_to, matching the data function HasRelationTo
  • Added triggers ai_reserved_gold and ai_war_chest
  • Allow title laws to define if they are shown in the title law UI or not.
  • Allow title laws to define when they can be removed or not.
  • Disabled the use of the "inheritance" and "abdication" title transfer reasons, as using them could break a variety of things
  • Dynamic descriptions now log when they make use of loc that does not exist
  • Eliminated "break" effect
  • Enable the AI to use scripted guis based on the ai_is_valid and ai_chance in definitions. By default a scripted gui will not be used.
  • Fix copying coat of arms only working across the same scope types. Can now correctly copy from a title to a title, a title to a dynasty, etc.
  • Fix set_title_name and reset_title_name not updating the name on the map instantly.
  • Fix some in game coat of arms not refreshing the shown texture when given a new coat of arms by effect.
  • Fixed adding an is_shown to a council task not actually hiding it in the council window when not fulfilled
  • Fixed grant_titles_interaction's effects being applied after the titles are given out, rather than before
  • Fixed the game crashing or presenting other issues if you tried to create a title with no tier, barony tier, or county tier. This creation will now get outright blocked
  • Fixed the vassal_count trigger having the behavior of the domain_size trigger rather than actually checking the vassal count
  • Fixed title_will_leave_sub_realm_on_succession not properly accounting for heirs changing liege due to inheriting a higher tier title
  • Gaining a title you have an explicit claim on no longer causes the on_explicit_claim_lost on-action
  • Important actions now support "icon = blah"
  • Improved performance of *_character_to_title_neighboring_*, *_character_to_title_neighboring_and_across_water_county_*, *_neighboring_realm_same_rank_owner, and *_neighboring_and_across_water_realm_same_rank_owner
  • Remove court physician as being a required cached scripted relation.
  • Remove friend and lover as being required cached scripted relations.
  • Removed set_title_and_vassal_change_type and set_add_claim_on_loss, integrating them into create_title_and_vassal_change instead. This lets us ensure that all title and vassal changes are properly set up, and log errors at read-time if you forget to set the transfer type
  • Removed unused desc system from doctrine groups
  • Scripted Guis used by the AI can have an ai_frequency in months defined for how often they will be evaluated like character interactions.
  • The "character:history_id" link now no longer logs an error on runtime if the character doesn't exist (when used in a event target comparison); it will instead error during load time if referencing someone who isn't in the history database at all
  • The AI values tooltip in debug mode now shows which rough budget categories the AI has put its money into
  • The ai_will_do of call_ally_interaction is now respected by the AI
  • The on-actions in title_on_actions.txt (except on_title_destroyed) now provide scope:transfer_type so you can determine how the title/vassal change happened
  • To make the above optimization possible, none of them work with barons or baronies any more
  • You can now use "==" in place_in_line_of_succession for when you really do want to check equality (since "=" will throw an error since usually it makes little sense )
  • do_ghw_title_handout now also handles dejure vassalization
  • x_traveling_family_member now includes adult children too
  • The trigger_event effect now supports delayed = yes/no
  • Updated the info doc for character interactions
  • The AI desire for matrilineal marriages is now scriptable through the ai_wants_matrilineal_marriage scripted rule
  • Added trigger domain_size_excluding_grace_period
  • Map Editor – Map Object Editor – UX improvements (grouped by layer, more compact)
  • Map Editor – Map Object Editor – can create/edit/delete map objects types in editor
  • Map Editor – Export & Import tool added for merging map changes by area
  • Map Editor – Starts up faster
  • Map Editor – Claims less memory
  • Map Editor – Cursor change while editor is saving
  • Map Editor – Height map can be reloaded while in editor

Databases

  • Added Saka culture to the Tarim Basin.
  • Added additional rulers in Sapmi for both bookmarks. Both to add more variety with independent tribes, as well as splitting up the large realm of the Finnish ruler in Oulu.
  • Added the Guiyi Circuit as an independent realm in 867 to better represent the history of the area in and surrounding Xia.
  • Afar and Somali cultures now start the game with their Men-at-Arms innovation unlocked.
  • Aquitaine now has Salic law (male only title-specific succession) in 867.
  • Changed Andrew the Apostle's culture from Scots to Greek
  • Changed a few Prussian dynasty names to sound less German.
  • Changed a few additional counties in eastern Cumania to be of Kipchak culture.
  • Changed the names for a couple of duchies in eastern Germany. Ostmark is now named Nordmark, while previous Nordmark is named Mecklenburg (the Billung Mark).
  • Connected the Benin dynasty to its founder, to avoid a disconnected dynasty tree.
  • Ekundayo of the Benin dynasty no longer lives to be more than 200 years old (causing her to still be alive in 1066!). She now passes away at a more reasonable age.
  • Fixed the count of Grisons accidentally being independent in 867.
  • Fixed two Dukes of Poland being presented as full Kings between 1031 and 1058
  • House of Wittelsbach is now playable in 1066. Otto I (count of Scheyern) has been granted the county of Rothenburg, which encompases the area of Scheyern Castle.
  • Improved the historical setup for Mosul in 867.
  • Improvements to Cumania in 1066. A couple of fictional vassals was added to reduce the Khan's domain size and avoid vassals with a disjointed realm.
  • Kashmiri culture no longer starts with Elephantry unlocked, since they are mostly situated outside the sub-continent of India.
  • Kirati culture now start the game with the Elephantry innovation unlocked.
  • Luticia is now independent in 1066, to represent the Slavic uprising.
  • Made several changes to the De Jure setup in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Made several government updates to the Russian principalities and their vassals. They are now consistently feudal, with occasional tribal vassals to represent recent (or semirecent) conquests.
  • Made sure that Khazar still has counties of their culture in 1066 within the kingdom of Caucasus.
  • Made the island of Socotra de jure to the duchy of Socotra.
  • Members of the Contarini dynasty are now Cisalpine.
  • Ostyak and Permian cultures now have their Men-at-Arms innovation Forest Warden unlocked in 1066
  • Prince Ibrahim Aghlabid of the Sultanate of Africa is now a vassal under his father.
  • Rhodri the Great's dad, Merfyn, is now suitably oppressive.
  • Ruler of Naissus is no longer tribal in 1066.
  • Saint Peter now keeps the name "Petrus" upon becoming the first Pope instead of getting a random papal name.
  • Sami culture now starts with their cultural Men-at-Arms unlocked in 867, and two additional innovations in 1066.
  • Tangut characters Xingge Pochou and Fuyun Ezangquhuai are no longer both married and betrothed.
  • The dynamically-named Child of Concubine/Consort trait has been split into separate "Child of Concubine" and "Child of Consort" traits
  • The ruler of Magdeburg is now a Theocracy in 1066.
  • Updated and fixed several holding types within Tibet.
  • Updated and fixed the names of Popes Eugenius II and III.
  • Updated and improved the Polabian setup, mainly in 867, and added a number of Polabian names for the area to have less German names under Polabian rule.
  • Updated history for Rethel and it's historical rulers.
  • Updated the culture setup in the Steppes slightly.
  • Updated the history and setup for the Karakhanids.
  • Various improvements and changes have been made to the history of the western half of Byzantium in 1066, to more accurately represent the themes used at the time.
  • Volga Bulgaria is now feudal in 1066, to represent the fact that they were more sedentary than not. Especially when compared to their nomadic neighbors.
  • corrected the date of birth of Alfred's youngest daughter so that she is no longer his eldest.
  • gave the House of Wessex a fixed motto.
  • slightly adjusted Insularist setup in 867 Scotland
  • Updated the kingdom of Sao's coat of arms.
  • Corrected the Saffarid-Tahirid war to make the Saffarid the attacker, rather than defender. If the Saffarid successfully win the war, they will gain the duchies of Herat and Nishapur.
  • Daju culture no longer has the Early Medieval era unlocked in 1066.
  • Split up the much too big viking count north of Sweden in 1066 into smaller realms
  • Updated a number of holdings in Bohemia, 867, to have the holding type match the ruler's government.
  • Updated several holdings in east Africa to be tribal if held by tribal rulers at game start.
  • The province of Zeeland now begins under the control of the HRE in 1066

Bug Fixes

  • AI will ignore unit targets in attrition areas
  • Cancelling construction that costs prestige or piety no longer gives you Fame or Devotion; just the prestige/piety cost back
  • Don't count the court physician in the relationship tab as a relation.
  • Fix not being able to reform your faith with the same doctrines, entirely different doctrines is only required if creating a new faith instead of reforming one.
  • Fix temporal head of faith titles not following the player heir if the realm heir differs from the player heir from an elective primary title.
  • Fix the mass ransom button being usable when the person we ransom to cannot pay the gold.
  • Fix the player heir not always being the passed on house head if the player heir and realm heir differed due to a primary title being elective.
  • Fix the prisoner action buttons not always matching up to if the interaction could be done.
  • Fixed the special contracts, march etc, having the incorrect name until you had the right innovations for them.
  • Fix unnecessarily handling controller input and rotating/zooming the camera. This will avoid some issues with black maps after loading into the game, if a connected controller constantly sent unexpected inputs.
  • Fix war participant tooltip not listing the number of knights but just repeating the word knight.
  • Fixed Divorce not being available if your faith requires divorce approval by the spiritual head of faith, but you don't have a spiritual head of faith (no head, or temporal head)
  • Fixed GHWs in some cases resulting in the Crusader King unlanding another beneficiary to get the capital, rather than just directly getting the capital in the first place
  • Fixed an issue where a modifier for elector voting would not print text properly
  • Fixed characters of the non-dominant gender of a faith getting claims on their dying parent's titles. E.G., now men won't get such claims in a Female Dominated faith
  • Fixed characters who change liege not always getting properly updated. This could for instance lead to their liege's vassal limit usage not updating
  • Fixed excommunication being available for faiths with Communion but non-spiritual heads
  • Fixed factions not disbanding when they lose or white peace their faction war
  • Fixed granting an unlanded character titles in rare cases causing them to become independent
  • Fixed house and dynasty modifiers never expiring when they have an expiry date
  • Fixed it being possible to give your primary heir titles they won't get in partition by first giving them a title that they will get in the partition
  • Fixed it in some cases being possible to on your death continue playing as someone who didn't actually inherit any titles from you
  • Fixed it in some cases being possible to revoke a character's last county while they still hold a higher-tier title
  • Fixed it in some cases not being possible to revoke a character's last duchy or higher
  • Fixed merging units together ignoring knights for the purpose of supplies, leading to merging armies of just knights causing them to lose all supplies
  • Fixed newly created and historical characters that start with a focus being considered to already have changed it once, preventing you from changing it again in the case of childhood focuses
  • Fixed people who lose land in a war sometimes erroneously ending up as the vassal of the conqueror
  • Fixed prestige gain from alive house and dynasty members getting the "Monthly Prestige Gain" modifier applied twice
  • Fixed several issues of text overflowing in the UI in some languages
  • Fixed siege phase time and morale loss modifiers applying via the owner of the holding. E.G., the owner having the Military Engineer trait would make it faster for others to siege their holdings
  • Fixed sieges not immediately starting if a hostile army is standing in a holding that ceases to be occupied (E.G., due to a 3rd party war resolving)
  • Fixed taking someone's primary title sometimes unlanding them entirely even though they should still have vassals to steal a county from
  • Fixed taking the last physical land of a spiritual head of faith causing the head of faith title to be destroyed
  • Fixed the game in some cases (like the "Disallow Marriage" checkbox) thinking people have been rulers for far longer than they actually have been
  • Fixed the game in some cases blocking interactions saying "You is already considering a proposal from you" after interacting with yourself
  • Fixed the game in some cases releasing people from prison when it shouldn't, such as when they become rulers
  • Fixed vassals in some cases going independent or becoming a vassal of your liege if your primary title has its own succession laws and doesn't go to the same heir as the rest of your realm
  • Giving out a title while above your domain limit will no longer give you stress. Previously it'd give you stress without warning you
  • Guests with claims will no longer accept staying if you promise to press a claim that you cannot declare a war for.
  • It is no longer possible for the county capital's fort level to go below 1, which would render it unsiegeable
  • Made the Crusader helmet show up in the barbershop
  • Remove incorrect warning about adjacent vassal contract levels if its display method is a radio button, they are unique picks already.
  • The Promote Christian Settlements decision now gives Hungarian culture all innovations and innovation progress of Mogyer culture
  • The Reclaim Britannia decision no longer changes effects based on dejure drift
  • Titles with title-specific succession laws (E.G., Male Preference) that match your realm law are no longer considered separate when calculating partition splits, so they'll no longer always go to your primary heir unless the law is actually distinct from your realm laws
  • Vassals of vassals are now able to declare war on vassals of their liege's liege
  • When your spouse is also your heir in your latest save, we don't clone them to show them twice in the main menu
  • Your children will no longer leave your court just because they're bold. So daughters won't run off in male-dominated society, and sons won't run off in female-dominated society
  • A Head of Faith will no longer forsake their religion if your spouse is charming enough
  • A bastard born to a landed woman and a landed man will now get her house as default
  • A betrothal in your own court will no longer be talked about as a marriage
  • A faction will no longer courteously greet you before calling you a tyrant
  • A zealous character will now sweat a bit about committing adultery
  • Added a 10 year cooldown to childhood events if the child decides to kill the animal instead of adopting it. You monsters.
  • Added a cooldown to the "Know Thyself" upcoming death event to reduce the level of spam telling you about being at death's door
  • Added a text variant for placing a vassal under house arrest
  • Added a trigger in one of the options for clan.1201 so that rulers can't give away their only title in the name of diversity
  • Added an alert for when you have no player heir to your titles but there's someone in your dynasty who can inherit
  • Added encyclopedia link for attrition in a tooltip
  • Added grandparent checks to scheme modifiers
  • Added in events about upgrading relationships
  • Updated conditions for rival in seduction events so they don't bonk you in the head while imprisoned
  • Added missing background to the event Domain of Debauchery
  • Added missing error icon next to 'Holy War for County' when Piety Level is Sinner
  • Added missing perspectives to effect loc
  • Added missing tooltip about prestige loss in rival upgrade event
  • Added prisoner and jailor to custom loc key and trigger
  • Added triggers to notifications so that marshal vassals don't gain opinion of themselves when they do something good
  • Agent in scheme is now properly exposed
  • Alawites & Qarmatians may no longer go on Hajj, though they have access to pilgrimages as usual
  • All Hajj events now have the pilgrimage activity theme
  • An imprisoned vassal will no longer scream about rebellion
  • Apply army maintenance modifier to unraised MaA reinforcement cost
  • Assyrians no longer have access to cataphracts
  • Austria & Switzerland will now be correctly drifted into a restored Carolingian Empire
  • Babies will no longer be assigned commander traits through a yearly event
  • Barons married to other landed characters will no longer be naked
  • Bastards can no longer create Cadet Branches
  • Betrothal toast will now trigger if either participant isn't an adult
  • Blocked Vlach rulers from taking the Unite the Slavs and Unite the Southern Slavs decisions
  • Blocked the "Making Acquaintances" event and its options if the child already has all the traits/opposites that they can get from the event
  • Blocked the seduction of characters who are imbeciles or incapable
  • Butr culture now starts with Mubarizun unlocked in 1066
  • Byzantine characters now use royal headgear instead of ducal headgear
  • Calm doesn't like impatient
  • Capital duchy modifiers are now correctly recalculated after moving the capital or destroying the duchy
  • Character modifiers coming from difficulty settings are now applied correctly when loading save games and starting multiplayer games.
  • Characters are now more reluctant, or outright forbidden, from leaving their partners behind
  • Characters can no longer get different tiers of the same congenital trait
  • Characters that should be naked no longer wear cloaks
  • Characters using the northern portrait set no longer toss away their crown when they become emperors.
  • Characters will no longer be as desperate for your friendship in foreign special diplomacy event
  • Characters will no longer be doubly motivated to murder to move up the succession
  • Child preacher in event must be of age 4 or older
  • Children are no longer allowed to partake in an Intrigue challenge event
  • Children are no longer encouraged to pick up more spouses
  • Children can no longer be educated by hardened criminals
  • Children can no longer be granted a bishopric as they are too young to handle both managerial tasks and religious duties
  • Children can no longer start a literalist debate
  • Children, imprisoned, and incapable vassals can no longer demand that you host a feast
  • Clarified the development growth modifier from the terrain in the county capital to specify the capital holding name, instead of simply the county name.
  • Clarified the name for the different culture group opinion penalty by making it say "Foreign Culture Group", rather than "Culture".
  • Cleaned up cooldown for the befriend scheme
  • Clicking the Too Few Spouses issue now opens the Find Spouse interaction
  • Compassionate character are now told that blackmailing people is stressful
  • Corrected several holding names in Europe.
  • County task icon tooltip no longer shows big empty are when there's no councillor for that task.
  • Courtiers can now marry even if they're out and about
  • Courtiers of Theocracies and Mercenaries will no longer wear inappropriate clothes
  • Crusader Helmets will now always show up when appropriate
  • Devouring people will now have a clearer impact on your stress level
  • Don't apply army maintenance modifier to prestige cost
  • Dukes now understand that an Emperor can be their Rightful Liege when they're deciding if they want to join an Independence Faction
  • Dynasty Heads/House Heads can now only use their special calls to war for conflicts where they are a primary participant and the target is not already involved
  • Enabled the Nowruz festival event for all Iranian culture group characters, instead of only Persians.
  • Establish Norman Culture decision now have the effects displayed
  • Event childhood.1002 no longer triggers if child has both traits that the event can give
  • Excommunicated characters can no longer Take the Vows.
  • Family members of a prisoner will now be miffed if you snatch the prisoner up as your concubine/consort
  • Feudal Elective nominations now check the title holder's lieges' laws when determining eligible candidates
  • First Marriage event is not blocked from triggering multiple times for divorcees
  • Fix court bishop income tooltip when using theocratic lease
  • Fixed AI's caving to populist demands when they really shouldn't
  • Fixed Scalloway using incorrect cultural names.
  • Fixed Unify the Burgundies preventing culture conversion if the character was already Occitain
  • Fixed a bug sometimes preventing concubines from being shown properly in the marriage window.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the ransom prisoner event to occasionally display the payer's current gold total instead of the actual amount of gold they paid in ransom
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Counties from joining Claimant Factions
  • Fixed a bug where the faith of an attacker in a holy war did not lose Fervor when that attacker was defeated
  • Fixed a bug where there would be a small gap between neck and torso at lower levels of body fat
  • Fixed a bunch of errors popping during runtime
  • Fixed a couple of Decisions not refunding their Prestige cost properly if the player opts out
  • Fixed a couple of Scheme events for landed characters firing for unlanded characters
  • Fixed a localization error in the Holy War Casus Belli effects that referred to the attacker's vassals as 'your vassals' even when you were the defender
  • Fixed a typo in the A Spain United event
  • Fixed an error which caused the event 'Differences in Faith' to trigger for counties of your own religion
  • Fixed an error with the Unite the Slavs decision that prevented the De Jure drift effect from working correctly
  • Fixed an event stating that your lover revealed your secret when you in fact did it yourself, by claiming a bastard as your own
  • Fixed an inverted value that caused children with a 'bad' education affinity to do better at their education than children with a 'good' affinity
  • Fixed an issue with the CB cost breakdown not showing properly for the Independence CB.
  • Fixed behavior in the achievements window
  • Fixed being able to send multiple Blackmail interactions to the same character while waiting for their first response
  • Fixed broken capitalization in house and dynasty tooltips when you are the house or dynasty head
  • Fixed broken god reference in a death transition text
  • Fixed children with preexisting Guardians not being selected by default when using 'Offer Guardianship' on them
  • Fixed embracing English culture sometimes converting landed spouses or family members without their consent
  • Fixed faulty gender of a Roman
  • Fixed imprisoned characters sometimes being chosen to be mercenary captains or Holy Order Grandmasters
  • Fixed loc in seduction event
  • Fixed lowborns getting kinslayer traits when murdering other lowborns
  • Fixed perspectives for a number of Interaction triggers
  • Fixed runtime errors in script
  • Fixed some errors with tutorial concepts in the encyclopedia
  • Fixed some rank/tier game concept confusion
  • Fixed some siege logic that was causing infinite sieges in allied land when it was a part of the enemy realm.
  • Fixed sorting knights by name in the battle overview window.
  • Fixed the AI recruiting guests because they themselves had a good claim, rather than the guest
  • Fixed the kingdom of Pontus capital being set outside its de jure area. The capital is now set as Trebizond.
  • Fixed the mixed usage of possessive pronouns in the notification for Allied Combatants Captured
  • Fixed the revoke title interaction so it shows titles properly in the interface.
  • Fixed the show/hide invalid savegames logic
  • Fixed typo the name for the County of Padua, which was incorrectly named Paduan.
  • Fixed up some grammar when exposing Secrets
  • GHW title recipients who own the target title will no longer conquer it from themselves
  • Gnosticism's stress loss for granting titles now scales correctly
  • Guardian remove themselves from guardianship if their ward is imprisoned
  • Guardians will no longer keep teaching your kids after fleeing the realm
  • Guests with claims on your vassal's vassal's titles will no longer arrive due to these claims
  • Hajj decision has unique text to distinguish itself from the normal pilgrimage decision
  • Head of Faith looks at incest as a divorce reason based on faith's doctrines
  • Highborn people will now be more skeptical about marrying lowborns
  • Hindu Shahis are correctly feudal now
  • Historical characters will no longer be their own parent
  • Holstein moved to Saxony/Germany, due to being pre-Danish union (mostly)
  • If people start to murder your courtiers the experience will now be much smoother
  • If you instantly regret romancing someone the game will now accept that you've moved on
  • If you promise a vassal to educate their child they will now be miffed if you try to return the child
  • If you're trying to elect a kinslayer as your heir you will now get a functional tooltip
  • If your liege declares war on your war-target your war is invalidated
  • Imprisoned AI rulers will now attempt to ransom themselves
  • Imprisoning someone for having a Secret Lover when it's criminal does not cause tyranny when done via the secret exposed event
  • Infertile spouses will now no longer wish each other 'a long life and many children'
  • Intended achievements where you need to start as a particular can now also be accomplished after that character's death
  • Interaction-acceptance now considers personality ONCE
  • Intrigue event about zealous agent now exposes the scheme as well as the agent if you fail the duel
  • It's now possible to negotiate an alliance even if your family is very inbred
  • Khotan & Dzungaria now start entirely feudalised, rather than partially clan
  • Knights that kill or wound commanders now have a chance to increase their prowess/gain prestige
  • Korosten is now appropriately vassalised to Turov, the local tribal power
  • Landless nuns now wear habits
  • Level of splendor will no longer give 0 acceptance in marriages
  • Losing a Liberty War now only gives the attacking faction members a hook on their liege, instead of everyone attacking the liege (which included participants of completely different wars).
  • Lovers exposed during feasts have a trigger to ensure none of them are imprisoned at the time
  • Lowborn bastards no longer try to belong to a House
  • Lowered the amount of gold the recipient needs to have to unlock the Demand Payment interaction
  • Lowered the penalty for negotiating an alliance with your primary heir
  • Made sure effects are applied to the correct scope in rival upgrade events
  • Made sure marriage action looks for consort instead of concubine
  • Made sure reformed faiths get a new shiny icon
  • Made sure that all loc strings in the game are localized
  • Make a sieging standing army use proper siege animation. Also play victory animation when winning a siege
  • Married couples will no longer be exposed as if they have an affair if they're also lovers
  • Mercenary and holy order captains will now abdicate from those positions when getting titles
  • Milete faith's have Same-Sex Relations set to Shunned by default
  • More events now take place at the proper location
  • More information given if a new religious movement is founded
  • Moved blocking traits from Declare Bloodline Holy decision to be stress impacts instead
  • Moved the effects of the Convert County Task conclusion event into the immediate block to stop the event script from overwriting player changes between the event firing and resolving
  • Mystic will no longer stick their nose in religious matters that are of no concern to them
  • Naughty children go straight to jail with no education
  • Negative opinions for concubine or polygamous marriages now specifically checks for number of spouses and concubines
  • Neighboring ruler war resolution message will now name the war
  • Newly made nuns/monks are only sent to monastery of their faiths or to their liege's pool
  • Nikephoros Palaiologos is no longer Duke of Bulgaria in 1066
  • No more distance education
  • Non-relevant mercenaries should no longer use the Palace Guards cultural Men-at-Arms.
  • Now check for the correct scope when blocking attempts on joining one's ally in a war against one's liege
  • Now show the correct name when offering an opportunity to ransom a character that's not landed
  • Now showing the culture or religion trigger for Restoring the Roman Empire decision as it didn't print correctly as a tooltip
  • Only the Byzantine Emperor now wears the Imperial Crown
  • Order members can not be asked to (re)join a holy order
  • Outremer culture no longer discovers up to 7 new innovations every time a new ruler adopts it
  • Outremer culture now correctly retains all Innovations that its parent culture has discovered instead of only some of them.
  • Pecheneg ruling dynasty now relates to Khan Kura
  • People are now less eager to marry people they are terrified off
  • People that are terrified of you are now more likely to agree to marriage, as long as they don't have to marry you
  • People will no longer judge you harshly for breaking a betrothal to an Eunuch
  • Physicians are no longer in two places at once when sick
  • Pilgrimage decision preview will now give the correct minimum sum you will have to pay
  • Player now gets notifications about their right-hand person
  • Player unit graphics are now prioritized over other unit graphics when they occupy the same position.
  • Player's reaction to someone recovering from illness is now based on their relationship with the character and the previous sick person's opinion of the player
  • Populist uprising wars no longer invalidate on succession if the new liege does not personally hold the target title
  • Prevent CTD when loading save with some incorrect landed state
  • Prioritized what "Call To War" interaction and action to show
  • Properly clear occupations when liege invalidates vassal's war by attacking the same target
  • Rebuffing the advances of a romantic interest now correctly ends their scheme instead of forcing you to become soulmates anyway
  • Reforming to feudal now grants the same amount of random buildings as previously built in the province
  • Refusing to attend a feast when faith has 'Ritual Celebrations' tenet now results in loss of piety, rather than devotion
  • Relocated an oddly-positioned tooltip when refusing a blackmail threat from another player in an MP game
  • Removed an outdated reference to an old button in the 'Fabricating Claims' reactive advice
  • Removed anachronistic Mogyers from Pannonia in 867
  • Removed excess slaughtering from Iberian mercenary names
  • Removed excessive warning in Take Stewardship of the Sacred River decision
  • Removed incorrect holy sites of Jerusalem, Mosul, and Mecca from Yazidism. Replaced them with more suitable unique Holy Sites of Sinjar, Baalbek, and Lalish.
  • Removed incorrect info about fabricating claims from the title integration council task tooltip.
  • Removed redundant tooltip when offering to join a war you're already fighting in
  • Removed some game log spam in multiplayer
  • Removed the 'is diplomatically available' from the is_shown trigger for Temporal Condemnation so that it's failed conditions are only shown when failed
  • Removed the multiple message and variations of the same condition for attempting to join or create a faction when underage
  • Replaced fake Mogy├½r names
  • Required baronies in befriending events are now checked for in the event trigger
  • Reshaped the Thar Desert slightly for a better setup and to connect the counties of Ludrava and Vikramapura to one another.
  • Restructured how bastard secrets are exposed to ensure that the piety loss/opinion loss from adultery only happens once
  • Reworked and clarified a condition for Faith Reformation and Head of Faith title creation ΓÇö holy sites must be within your realm, and held by you or vassals of your faith
  • Right trait is now referenced in elections
  • Rum now no longer takes dynasty names, always retaining its title name regardless of the holder's culture
  • Saladin's Helmet (DDE) will now appear for marshals of duke+ rank and duke+ rulers leading an army, as it's too opulent and fancy for common knights
  • Same Faith only has one entry in the Laws section of the encyclopedia
  • Secret exposure notification now removes the correct hook
  • Show both siege weapon and standing unit during siege if army has siege weapons
  • Show maximum possible tax and levies for bishop in the endorsement tooltip
  • Sick characters now dress the part
  • Sneaky people will now wear sneaky clothes
  • Socotra & its historical rulers are Yemeni instead of Bedouin
  • Splendor levels are no longer over-explained in the encyclopedia
  • Split the Take Vows decision into two, one for asking someone to a go to a holy order, the other to a monastery
  • Spouse will no longer reveal their own scheme or a scheme they're part of
  • Spread Assyrian culture a little
  • Spymasters will no longer try to dig up dirt on themselves
  • Steward can no longer target themselves when discovering a claim for their liege
  • Stopped swearing fealty to the Mongol Khan ending the wrong wars
  • Stress gain/loss from deceased siblings is now calculated before friendship/lover/rivalry/opinion modifiers are deleted
  • Stricter checks on titles so that one does not give away their primary title in an event in the name of diversity
  • Svend II of Denmark now spawns as either bisexual or heterosexual
  • Temujin's kids will no longer be educated child prodigies
  • The "Form the Swiss Confederation" decision can now be undertaken even if the HRE doesn't exist
  • The "New Cultural Era" toast will now show the correct culture's cultural head character.
  • The " Cannibalism" decision can now only be taken once per Faith.
  • The 'Form Outremer' decision now correctly transfers all Innovations known by your former culture to the new Outremer culture.
  • The 'I'm not done with you yet' option in Torture events will now apply the correct effects
  • The 'Pacifism' and 'Dharmic Pacifism' tenets now correctly provide +1 Domain Limit to all adherents.
  • The 'Too Few Knights' warning will now only appear when you have too few knights, not when you have too many!
  • The 'Unrepresented' event now only fires for clans, and cannot poach lands from player characters
  • The AI will now shy further away from old marriage-partners
  • The Arrange Marriage screen now allows you to toggle the 'matrilineal' checkbox prior to selecting a recipient.
  • The Catholic Pope now wears the correct clothes
  • The Consecrate bloodline decision now gives the bloodline trait to descendants even if the family tree has dead members
  • The Decision to unify Iberia now displays the condition that you must have an Iberian Kingdom as your primary title
  • The Domestic Affairs task now correctly gives an opinion boost of your direct vassals if you're a vassal yourself
  • The Embracing/Abandoning Celibacy and Searching for Physician decisions are now available even when commanding an army
  • The Exclave Independence game rule no longer fails if the heir of a dead character is at war for 5+ years
  • The Head of Faith can no longer Excommunicate themselves
  • The Jewish Head of Faith now wears the correct clothes
  • The Mongol Empire will no longer destroy itself when winning a war
  • The Mongol Empire will now always declare the correct wars when arriving
  • The Pope can no longer publicly accept cannibalism
  • The Pope will now always wear the correct clothes
  • The council window resets to the player council tab when opened so the empty council position works correctly.
  • The death notification toasts now show death reasons properly. They are always delayed to the next event tick after the death happens now, it was inconsistent before.
  • The decision to Create the Kingdom of Israel can only be done once per campaign
  • The declare war window will no longer show claimant CBs for characters whose claims can't actually be used
  • The distance check for joining Holy Wars now checks realmborder-to-wartarget distance instead of capital-to-capital distance
  • The duration of the Private Army from your spouse is now determined by their martial skill rating
  • The elope scheme will now run smoother
  • The enabled criteria for Special Buildings will now always show up
  • The event 'Faction Organizing' no longer fires for factions you're already at war with
  • The event for discovering bastard secret now mentions the bastard by name and shows their portrait in the bottom left
  • The game will no longer tell you to take more concubines when you've had enough
  • The potential guardian to a ward who's a courtier now checks if the ward or requester is of interest to them. To educate the courtier of a count is of no interest to a foreign emperor.
  • The tutorial widget in the bookmark window will no longer show up for a fraction of a second when opening that window for the first time
  • Toast about one's foreign guest enjoying the dance is now displayed properly
  • Tooltip cleanup for
  • Two players having a child together will no longer have a screaming competition about the name
  • Tyranny now also gets added even if the vassal declines the title revocation
  • Unlanded characters will no longer have random dungeons
  • Updated Reclaim Britannia decision
  • Updated loc for a councillor being blocked from being fired from the council
  • Updated loc for culture innovations effects
  • Updated localization for culture promotion modifier
  • Updated requirements for creating the Empire of Germania to give correct tooltip
  • Updated the event loc for An Insulting Accusation to imply that the character's believes in their vassal's innocence
  • Updated the location triggers for befriend outcomes so that the correct location can be fetched when trying to befriend unlanded characters as an independent ruler
  • Vassals and Lieges no longer receive a penalty to Negotiate Alliance when you're already at war
  • Vassals can no longer call their liege into their own wars
  • War important actions and suggestions will no longer show up when the player is in debt.
  • Warning about your realm priest not endorsing you will no longer lie about levies
  • West Slavic cultures are now easier to differentiate on the map
  • When being courted by a pregnant woman, the option to bring you a wolf pelt is unavailable unless your religion allows for women combatants
  • Fixed an issue when opening the marriage window for the 1st time and the player would get the wrong default sort order.
  • When requesting gold in exchange for ending a war at the behest of your liege, the shown gold amount now correctly corresponds with what you actually receive.
  • When setting title color from another title, shift it more, so gradient border is always present
  • When the 'Generate Families' game rule is on, rulers who had a spouse and children generated will no longer receive the wedding event after game start
  • Witches can now host a Grand Rite
  • Women will now be punished for having too few consorts
  • You are no longer malnourished and obese for life
  • You can no longer Demand Conversion from imprisoned foreign rulers
  • You can no longer ask your house head to approve your divorce if you are the house head (just do it)
  • You can no longer attempt to find dead people's secrets
  • You can no longer be tortured to confess a secret you don't know
  • You can no longer demand liberty from a chill liege
  • You can no longer grant a vassal who's at war with the recipient
  • You can no longer lose a friend you didn't have
  • You can no longer owe a favor to yourself because of a necklace
  • You can no longer remove your vassal's guardians all nilly willy
  • You can now condemn your vassals for their sins even if you're pious
  • You can now declare war for your claims while imprisoned
  • You can now help your allies in religious wars they start
  • You can now marry your concubines/consorts without having to dismiss them first
  • You can now only call people of the "right" faith to Great Holy Wars
  • You can now scheme to claim thrones even while feasting
  • You can now take other ruler's concubines as your concubines if you've imprisoned them
  • You no longer is the real father, you ARE the real father!
  • You now kick hostile Holy Orders from your holdings with a few choice words
  • You wife will now leave your kids behind if she flees your tyranny
  • You will no longer be encouraged to give away your last county
  • You will no longer be stressed out if a spouse you dislike dies
  • You will no longer be told twice about your ransom offer being accepted
  • You will no longer call newly independent rulers your vassal
  • You will no longer get a broken event if your liege declares war against someone you're already warring with
  • You will no longer have to spend the rest of your life fabricating one hook
  • You will no longer refer to someone else's claims as your own
  • You will no longer think less or more of yourself depending on how good you are at romancing someone else
  • You will now be told only once that you've successfully blackmailed someone
  • You will now be told why you can't debate people 24/7
  • You will now only be notified of the establishment of Norman culture if you're in Europe
  • You'll no longer get events in third person about how virtuous you are
  • Your de jure liege is no longer called your de jure vassal
  • Your mentor will no longer ditch you in the middle of your education
  • Zealous people are no longer more likely to say goodby to their religion
  • Adaptive tenet now correctly requires you to have a pluralist religious attitude
  • Added Welsh/Cumbrian cultural names for Hereford & Herefordshire.
  • Added an extremely minor piety cost for changing to a different version of Mohammad's Succession
  • Added missing children to Alfred the Great.
  • Adjusted 867 Bulgarian de facto setup & history
  • Adjusted historical & de facto setup for Wales in 867, making south Wales more fractious and splitting up Deheubarth. Hywel ap Rhys retains the duchy in 867, even though Deheubarth wasn't technically founded till 920, to represent the waning but still extant power of the Morgannwg kings, since we use the duchy as kind of a catch-all for the most powerful southern Welsh realm.
  • Adjusted loc & circumstances surrounding acquisition of the Hajji/Hajjah trait, basing it on who can undertake the Hajj rather than being for all Muslims
  • Adjusted loc in one of the Claim Throne Scheme events to remove erroneous title references
  • Allowed Shia Zandaqa heresies to crop-up in Shia counties more consistently
  • Baron-tier rulers no longer display the request claim interaction
  • Betrothed will no longer attempt to divorce when one is made a concubine
  • Blind characters can no longer become knights
  • Blocked off Promote Christian Settlements decision in 1066, as it's already happened.
  • Characters will no longer easily ransom characters they are at war with if asked to do so by said-characters' liege
  • Corrected several edge cases related to creation of a de jure target kingdom title vs. a titular one
  • Corrected various duchy holders having no land in their appropriate duchies without good reason
  • Counts are properly assigned to de jure dukes after successful GHWs
  • Destroyed kingdom titles when Uniting the West Slavs now have their de jure drift into your primary kingdom title
  • Extended cn_issus cultural name to Armenian
  • Forming Outremer now requires you to be specifically king-tier, a non-Byzantine Group culture, and only control half of the Arabian Peninsula
  • k_austria & e_france can now maintain their primogeniture after obtaining it via decision
  • Made Aethelred I significantly more unlucky whilst Alfred is alive and heir
  • Made Dismantle Empire decisions use the standard decision cost flow rather than stealth-grabbing 10k prestige on declaration
  • Made Form the Archduchy of Austria easier, more flexible, & slightly less anachronistic
  • Made c_madoi fully tribal in 1066
  • Made cannibalism more hygienic & mod-friendly
  • Made d_takrur clan in 1066, made d_djolof tribal in 1066
  • Made forming Switzerland easier, cheaper, more flexible, & more historical
  • May only join holy war defenders who are either of your own faith, or which are being prosecuted against someone within your religion who you could not holy war yourself
  • Neatened clan-tribal divides in the Horn of Africa
  • Reduced mild anachronisms in 867 East Francia along Saxon borders
  • Reduced verbosity of Mend the Schism decision
  • Removed erroneous duchy from Unify Burgundies decision
  • Removed duplicate cost checks in requirements list from several decisions
  • Removed inappropriate prestige/piety requirements from a number of older decisions
  • Replaced incorrect piety requirements in some decisions with piety level requirements
  • Restoring the HRE can no longer be done using a hook on cooldown
  • Restoring the HRE can no longer be done whilst at war with your Head of Faith
  • Restoring the HRE no longer requires holding the electors
  • Restoring the HRE will now apply gender-exclusion laws correctly (according to faith preference).
  • Restoring the HRE will now de jure drift all of Germania into the HRE, if Germania does not already exist at the time.
  • Reworked Norse/Norwegian names in Norway & North Atlantic to be more accurate
  • Sanitised all Welsh places names to use Welsh as standard, with English/Norman cultural names.
  • Split feudalising tribes important action out from wrong holding important action
  • Split the family of Bleddri out of the royal family of Dyfed
  • Spouses can no longer be both happy and unhappy with their spouse when at exactly -20 opinion of them whilst being seduced
  • Stopped non-familial guests showing up in your court if they have claims on your titles
  • Stopped revealed parents losing x3 piety levels instead of x1 in bastardy secret reveals
  • Temporal Head of Faith titles now require independence or a liege of sufficient tier to create
  • The Patriarch of the East now claims to be a Patriarch, not a Pope
  • The Patriarchs of the East are/were now Assyrian, not Mashriqi
  • Titular crusade titles are now properly assigned where appropriate, instead of doubling up or confiscating non-titular titles
  • Transferred Memel from Courland to Samogitia
  • Unifying the Burgundies will now only convert your culture to Occitan if you weren't already Occitan
  • Warhorse modifier is properly applied
  • The Ecumenical Patriarch now wears the correct clothes
  • Added a clarifying tooltip for the second option in the "Family Epic: Rich Source Material" event
  • Added trigger to check for already known secrets when trying to revealing secrets as stress relief
  • An appropriate sexuality is now set based on the sex of one's crush in the case where one gets a crush before realizing one's sexuality
  • Barony location now shows its name when attempting to befriend independent rulers
  • Checking rivalry relationships before adding appropriate rivalry modifier on a yearly event
  • Having concubines no longer protects you from forcefully becoming a concubine
  • Seduction compliments now only has two outcomes, good or bad
  • The Sicilian Parliament and Hall of Heroes are now built on the correct type of building slot
  • Walking Dog modifier is removed when dog dies
  • Removed double tooltip text for befriend interaction if you're already friends
  • Fixed an OOS related to stress events potentially using unsafe randomly generated numbers.
  • Fixed missing text in an event option in a Murders at Court story cycle event
  • The founding of a Holy Order as di Canossa is saved as a global flag for the Give a Dog a Bone achievement
  • Vassals who agree to a Conversion Demand during a heresy outbreak can no longer immediately re-convert to the heresy

Source: Paradox


Torchlight III will exit Early Access and fully launch in October for PC, PS4, and Xbox One

Torchlight III will be coming out of its Early Access phase on October 13th, Perfect World Entertainment has announced. That day will mark the full release for the new entry to the series for PC, PS4, and Xbox One with a price tag of $39.99. Those who played the Early Access version of Torchlight III on PC will get the upgrade to the full version for free. The Nintendo Switch version will not be released on October 13th and will instead be released later in 2020.

Max Schaefer, CEO of Echtra Games and co-founder of the Torchlight franchise, said:

"The full release of Torchlight III wouldn't have been possible without all of the incredible work from the entire Echtra team and our excellent community of Early Access players/ We've put our heart into this new adventure and it has been awesome getting so much support from players while the game has been in live development. With the significant changes we've made throughout Torchlight III's journey in Early Access, we have done our best to meaningfully integrate players' feedback as much as possible into the game as we march toward launch. Next month, we can't wait to welcome all players to the Frontier!"

In Torchlight III, players will be able to create a character based on one of four classes. Those classes are The Dusk Mage, The Forged, The Railmaster, and The Sharpshooter. Each of these characters can be equipped with Relics too such as Electrode that emits an electric surge and Coldheart that lets players freeze or slow down enemies. Pets are also part of Torchlight III and all players will get the Glittersprite regardless of platform though the appearance will differ. Those on Steam will get the Violet one, Xbox One players will get the Verdant one, PS4 players the Azure one, and Switch players will get the Ashen Glittersprite.

Source: Press Release


EA Play joins Xbox Game Pass on Xbox Series X|S launch day

Microsoft has confirmed that EA Play will be part of Xbox Game Pass on November 10th, the day of the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. The EA Play portion will be available to those who subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and will be available on Xbox Series X|S as well as the Xbox One family of consoles. This offer will then roll out to PC subscribers in December, though an exact date is yet to be confirmed for when that will happen.

The subscription price for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is £10.99 per month, or to Xbox Game Pass for PC, which is currently £3.99 per month but will jump up to £7.99 per month at some point in future.  Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam or Origin, EA Play on its own is £3.99 per month or massively discounted to £19.99 if you buy a full year. It features a large library of EA's games, going back to the late 2000s, and through to the last year or two to include FIFA 20, Titanfall 2, Need for Speed Heat and more. However, on Xbox, with backward compatibility, the EA library is larger than on PlayStation 4, so you might miss out on some PS3/360 gems there.

It's more than just games, giving members 10-hour free trials of new titles a little in advance of their release, discounts on games to keep, and other member-only content and benefits. That obviously joins the library of Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games on console, and PC games on PC. Microsoft have long committed to releasing all their first party titles into Xbox Game Pass on day one, whether it's a smaller effort like Grounded or the biggest games in their line up, like Halo Infinite or Forza Motorsport.

EA's games are not the only ones that will be hitting Game Pass. With Microsoft's purchase of ZeniMax all of the games from studios such as Bethesda, id Software, and Arkane will be available on the service day one.

Source: Xbox.com


The Walking Dead Onslaught Review

The adventures of Rick Grimes and his band of not-so-merry men (and women) have become a true cultural institution over the 10 seasons (and counting) of the AMC series, not to mention the original Robert Kirkman graphic novels. The series has been hugely influential in gaming circles too, inspiring a legion of zombie games, including the excellent Telltale adventure series and the recent Saints and Sinners VR game.

The key selling point for Onslaught is that it is an official product, and therefore features characters from the series itself, with Daryl, Rick, Carol, Michonne, and Eugene all playing a part here. Developers Survios have also created the narrative in collaboration with the show's writers, so it all looks set to be a great addition to the series… or does it?

I still find the whole experience of VR gaming to be fresh and exciting and will freely admit that even relatively shallow games can be enjoyable due to the increased immersion. It's therefore particularly damning when I say that The Walking Dead Onslaught is woefully short of content and feels like a repetitive grind through a limited set of assets. While the somewhat procedurally generated supply runs promise unending gameplay, the whole package is just dull and disappointing.

The much-heralded storyline developed with the TV show's writers is paper-thin and wouldn't amount to more than a disposable sub-story in a filler episode. The whole premise is that Daryl is separated from the rest of the crew and gets caught up in a woman's search for her daughter. In the process he must travel through a series of identikit environments and deliver some truly uninspiring dialogue, only for the story to not even resolve at the end. Yes, Daryl is voiced by Norman Reedus, but the whole thing is so generic and predictable that it feel like a waste. To make matters worse, series fans can't even just power through the story mode as you have to unlock each chapter through playing the rudimentary survival part. It's no surprise that Andrew Lincoln has no part in it – Rick instead being played by a replacement actor.

You begin both story and survival modes with basic weaponry – a knife and a pistol at first –  but slowly unlock more effective weapons as you find them out in the wild. There are a decent range of eighteen melee and ranged weapons, with some melee options like crowbars and pipe wrenches that are only available when salvaged within a level. Unfortunately some of these weapons are so over-powered that there is little incentive outside of a trophy for using anything else. Once you find a machete and a fire axe, you're golden and can take on hordes of walkers with little risk. The guns are effective, but the obligatory scarcity of ammo makes them a last resort to reserve for the largest hordes. This is a real shame as the gunplay is pretty enjoyable, as it so often is in VR.

On a more positive note, there are various accessibility options available to players with different levels of VR experience. Movement can be through teleport or direct control, view changes can be adjusted, and there is an option for the left-handed too. This is good to see and shows Survios' rich experience in the VR field. I used the direct control and navigating the spaces using the Move controller's buttons was fairly intuitive, although there were some frantic moments when I got stuck on scenery with walkers shambling towards me.

You make good use of both hands throughout the game, as your dominant hand holds weapons whilst your off-hand can collect items, grab and push walkers, or be used to support your primary in adding stability and strength to your attacks. I didn't have any major issues with the controls, aside from a few tracking drops which could easily have been due to over-exuberance on my part. Melee weapons can be swung or stabbed at enemies and dismemberment is frequent. Simply poking a walker in the head with a sharp weapon is so effective that you don't really need to be swinging anything too vigorously.

To unlock the story you have to grind through the supply runs and level up Alexandria. You collect a range of items in supply runs from foodstuffs to building materials and these all have uses in developing your home. Food unlocks new town members who can be recruited to staff the five buildings and increase the effectiveness of things like ammo and health pickups. These new town members are also the currency which opens up new story chapters. Other items open up improvements to the buildings and weapon upgrades. This adds length to the game if you are aiming for the platinum, but it feels like grinding busywork rather than genuine content. The grind is exacerbated by the limited range of environments and over-familiar feel of everything.


Pokémon Sword & Shield Crown Tundra expansion releases in October

Nintendo has confirmed that Pokémon Sword & Shield's Crown Tundra expansion will be released on October 23rd. Crown Tundra is the second expansion for Pokémon Sword & Shield, following the Isle of Armor which released in June. Crown Tundra takes players into a cold and snowy landscape as they join an expedition to solve the mystery of the Legendary Pokémon Calyrex.

Crown Tundra's co-op mode will allow players to explore Pokémon Dens, and Legendaries from past games will also be available.There will be a couple of new Legendary Pokemon in the region too. Regieleki is an electric type Pokemon while Regidrago is a Dragon type. There are also going to Galarian variants of Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres. There is also the Dynamax Adventure mode where up to four players can team up and face off against Dynamax Pokemon in raid battles. The Galarian Star tournament will also be taking place in the city of Wyndon where players will face off against characters previously met in the game, as well as being able to team up with them as well to tackle the tournament as a pair.

In our review for Pokemon Sword & Shield, Jason wrote:

Pokémon Sword and Shield is a positive step in a new direction, but one that is held back by a fear of the Unown. It's still an incredibly fun new adventure, and the Pokémon selection and variety is the best it's ever been. That said, it would be incredible to see the Wild Area become the new norm for the series, but as it stands, many of the new features feel more like spraying your sofa with Febreeze when really you need to buy a new sofa. Sure, it smells and feels new, but it's not, and you should really just commit to moving on from what was normal, and forge a new path into a new sofa. Look, just go with it.
You can read the full review here.
Source: Twitter

Elite Dangerous: Horizons will be free for all players from next month

Frontier Developments has announced that Elite Dangerous: Horizons – the expansion and series of content that released from 2016 to 2017 – will be free to all owners of the game from October 27th. The Horizons season of content allowed players to land on planets, multi-crew co-op, weapon crafting, and ship launched fighters. Players are also able to drive the SRV Scarab ground vehicle to explore points of interest and check in at space ports on the planet surfaces.

Elite Dangerous Horizons will still be available for purchase up until October 26th so players can get exclusive rewards. Players who have already bought Horizons will receive an exclusive Azure paint job that is compatible with all 41 ships currently in game.

Of course, the game has continued to evolve and grow significantly since Horizons' release and Frontier have discussed what the next step for the long-running game will be. Coming in 2021, Elite Dangerous: Odyssey will be a paid expansion that allows you to actually step out of your vehicles for the first time and set foot on the landscapes of the millions of planets in the game's recreation of the Milky Way.

Odyssey will bring with it newly enhanced rock and ice planets. Rocky planets will now be covered in more realistic canyons, ridges and barren seas, while ice planets bring with them the risk of cryovulcanism. However, across the board, your interactions with planets will be transformed.

Planets will be able to have light atmospheres, tapping into data that Frontier already had for each planet and now presenting it to players. They will also be able to play host to buildings and settlements that are on a "human scale" compared to the scope and size of the planetary bodies that they're built upon.

There will be new flora, which has all been designed to be a blend of recognisable to us as plants, and seem plausible while remaining alien. A new sampling tool will let you extract genetic data that can then be traded for rewards at starports. Sounds just a little bit No Man's Sky, in my opinion, but these days that's no bad thing!

Elite Dangerous was released way back in 2015. When it was released then Dom reviewed it, and he wrote:

Elite: Dangerous is a phenomenal piece of simulation software, masquerading as a game. I felt like Mal Reynolds, Captain Picard and Luke Skywalker at various points, while at others I felt like a delivery man who was able to make a cup of tea whilst travelling to the next drop off. The emptiness of space can be overwhelming, and Elite: Dangerous revels in that a little too much, but for the brave, or foolhardy, it offers an experience that is unlike anything else on Xbox One.

You can read the original Elite Dangerous review here.

Source: Press Release


10 Second Ninja X is coming soon to Nintendo Switch

Four Circle Interactive has announced that its fast paced platformer 10 Second Ninja X will be released on Nintendo Switch, and the team has partnered with Thalamus Digital to make this happen. A release date for the Switch version of 10 Second Ninja X is yet to be confirmed however. 10 Second Ninja X was originally released in 2016.The news of the Switch release came via a Tweet from Four Circle Interactive, along with a new trailer for the game which you can view below.

In our review for 10 Second Ninja X, Stefan wrote:

10 Second Ninja X is a pretty simple game. You've got an absolute maximum of 10 seconds in which to run, jump and flip your way through each level, destroying all the robots that are standing around as quickly as possible. The trick is that, though you have 10 seconds, many levels can be completed in barely three or four, giving you a puzzle to solve in determining the right plan of attack and then challenging you to execute it to perfection.

If you're a fan of the kind of ultra-difficult, ultra precise platformers that gained popularity a few years ago, then 10 Second Ninja X is right up your alley. It doesn't reach the same heights of controller breaking frustration, which is probably a good thing, but with minimalist controls, short and to the point levels, and a whimsically silly story, there's quite a lot to like here.

You can read the full review for 10 Second Ninja X here.

Source: Twitter


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone update 1.27 brings Season 6 content

The latest update for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare & Warzone is being rolled out by Infinity Ward to mark the start of Season 6. Update 1.27 sets the foundation for the latest season, which sees the introduction of a fast travel system thanks to the underground rail system, two new weapons with the SP-R 208 and AS VAL, two new operators as Farah and Nikolai are added, the limited time event Armored Royale in Warzone, new mulitplayer maps of Broadcast and Mialstor Tank Factory, the new Gunfight map Station, the new Ground War map Verdansk Riverside, and the new multiplayer mode Killstreak Confirmed.

During Season 6 the Butterfly Knife weapon will be added, the limited time event of Haunting of Verdansk will take place between October 20th and November 3rd, and various modes will be added. Those include Hard Point Hills & Kills, Gun Game Team Deathmatch, HQ Firefight, Gunfight Tournament, and Snipers only Team Deathmatch. The full patch notes for update 1.27 can be found below.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare/Warzone 1.27 update patch notes

PLAYLIST UPDATE:

MODERN WARFARE:

  • Ground War
  • Gunfight Blueprint Customs
  • Face Off – Station
  • Killstreak Confirmed
  • Season Six Mish Pit – Season Six maps Broadcast and Mialstor Tank Factory in mosh pit game modes

WARZONE:

  • BR Quads
  • BR Trios
  • BR Duos
  • BR Solos
  • Plunder Trios
  • Armored Royale Quads

GENERAL FIXES:

  • C4: Slight delay when performing a quick detonation. A beep will now play when quick detonation is triggered. Also reduced throw initial velocity by 30%
  • Fix for a bug where, after reviving a teammate in Survival, there will be a 5 second delay before the user is able to use their weapon again
  • Fix for an issue where players could obtain unlimited Stopping Power rounds
  • Fix for an issue where the defending player had a long respawn timer after the HQ was taken back and all players were dead while in a Headquarters match
  • Fix for an issue where it was possible to put a molotov or grenade into a planted bomb causing it to kill the defusing player

WEAPONS:

  • Fix for two issues where the player's watch and/or Heartbeat Sensor would not be entirely visible when using the XRK Chainsaw attachment on the Finn LMG
  • Fix for a bug where explosive and thermite rounds do not function as intended on the Chronic variant from the Blunt Force II bundle
  • Fixed an issue where the muzzle selection screen for the Finn LMG was hard to view in the Gunsmith menu
  • Fixed an issue where the player's left hand will not properly grip the weapon when the 23.0" Romanian barrel is equipped on the AK
  • Fixed a few bugs where the prone hipfire viewmodel positioning was not appearing as intended and could disappear in certain circumstances
  • Origin 12: Reduced very close damage in Warzone
  • Shotguns: Increased damage of slugs in Warzone
  • XRK ChainSAW – FiNN LMG:
    • Adding a description in Gunsmith nothing the attachment does not allow for weapon mounting
    • Increased brightness on the Tac Laser attachment

WARZONE:

  • Fixed a collision issue in the south corner of the Stadium
  • Fix for an issue where a fence with a white tarp over it near the Hospital was allowing players to see through it on one side
  • Fix for an issue where, on occasion, the train would appear as a white placeholder icon on the map
  • Implemented fixes to help properly track Warzone wins
  • Fixed a bug where players were unable to damage enemies with gunfire while on an ascender
  • If a player has their minimap set to not rotate, they will see inaccurate pings on the heartbeat sensor. This has been fixed
  • Fix for a rare issue where the Train's supply boxes could vanish during longer rounds

PC:

  • NVIDIA Reflex is now available in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, including Warzone, and will deliver latency improvements in GPU-intensive gaming scenarios on GeForce GTX 900 and higher NVIDIA graphics cards
  • Improved stability and performance

Source: Infinity Ward


Amazon have listed a PlayStation 5 branded Spider-Man 4K movie collection

Amazon have listed a new collection of Spider-Man movies, six discs in all with both a blu-ray and 4K UHD disc for Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Mam: Homecoming, and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse . That's not unusual, these sort of collections pop up all the time but what is different about this one is it's branded with the PlayStation 5 logo.

The new product seems to be part of the "PlayStation 5 4K Movie Essentials" line from Sony Pictures, we would assume that other movies will be joining the line in the near future. Sony created the blu-ray format which was a key selling feature of the PlayStation 3 but was slow to take up the 4K UHD format. However, now the disc based PlayStation 5 will ship with a 4K blu-ray drive Sony have clearly seen an opportunity to flog a few movies.

In other Spidey news, with the announcement of a Marvel's Spider-Man remaster for PS5 last week Insomniac have understandably been bombarded with questions from fans curious about what this means for the game.

In answering those questions, it's been clarified that no, you won't be able to transfer a save file from the original PS4 version of the game, but you will then be able to run through the game and earn all those trophies (and a fresh platinum trophy) all over again.

The Spider-Man remaster will be bringing across all of the enhancements that Insomniac have made to the game engine and the game assets to take advantage of the PlayStation 5. This means that the game will feature higher detail game characters for Peter Parker and others, it will also feature ray tracing and other enhanced visual effects, and the game take advantage of the console's SSD, 3D audio and DualSense controls.

Clearly the remaster and the Ultimate Edition in general is geared more towards newcomers to Insomniac's take on the Spider-Man universe, giving those that haven't played the game on PS4 a way to start from scratch but also have next-gen finery. I'm sure that some people will be tempted to pick it up to replay the original adventure, but it's a slight shame there's not at least the option to import a save. After all, while not confirmed, you would have to expect that saves will transfer between generations for Miles Morales, and all the other cross-gen games. Spider-Man's status as a separate remaster likely has some backend implications for how Sony's consoles handle save files.

Speaking of which, last week's announcement also revealed that Spider-Man: Miles Morales was a cross-gen game, coming to both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, with an upgrade path to next-gen. It was a surprising turn of events, considering the tone of Sony's statements about their first party games over the past half year, but a welcome one for those unable to upgrade at this time to be able to still enjoy some of Sony's upcoming games.

You can read our full review of Marvel's Spider-Man here.

Source: Amazon


Dirt 5's latest gameplay shows a race taking place in South Africa's Cape Town Stadium

Codemasters has released some brand new footage for Dirt 5 and this footage shows a race taking place in South Africa's Cape Town Stadium in an Ultra Cross event. The track itself is a mix of dirt and tarmac and it goes through through the stadium, the parking lot, and the outer area to allow for the mixing up of the surface environment. The gameplay itself shows what Dirt 5 will look like on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. The footage is approximately 3 and a half minutes long.

Robert Karp, Development Director, DIRT 5, said:

"Cape Town Stadium in South Africa is ideal for both our Playgrounds custom arena creator mode, and atmospheric, technical and flat-out fun races. Going from the perimeter, through the parking lot and into the stadium is an exhilarating experience."

Codemasters has confirmed that Dirt 5 will be a launch title for next gen consoles, meaning it will be available on November 10th for Xbox Series X|S, and should be making its way to PS5 on November 12th/November 19th depending on which region you are residing in. The current gen release will be on November 6th. The game was originally expected on 9th October, but this was nudged back by a week to 16th October before this latest delay. Unfortunately for Codemasters, they've had to push things back by another couple of weeks.  The next-gen versions will both be enhanced with faster loading times and graphics modes to offer frame rates up to 120Hz on TVs and screens that support this.

There will be a sprawling career mode with 130 events, with nine race types and Throwdown challenges mixed in for good measure, but you can pick your own path through the career. As you race, you earn Stamps that can be spent to unlock the Main Event chapter ending showdown, but you won't have to take on every event in the career if you don't want to, meaning you can skip some modes you don't like so much. Alternatively, if you come up against an event you don't like the look of, you'll be able to enlist the help of some friends. The game will feature full on four player split-screen co-op throughout the career, with the best finisher in your group being used to set your progress. Dirt 5 is being developed by Codemasters Chesire, the former Evolution team behind MotorStorm, DriveClub, and OnRush.

Source: YouTube


Teslagrad 2 is in development confirms Rain Games

Rain Games has announced that is now developing Teslagrad 2, a sequel to the 2013 side scrolling platformer Teslagrad. Teslagrad 2 will follow in the original's footsteps with it also being a side scrolling platformer with Metroidvania elements chucked in. The visual design will be similar to what players will have experienced with the original. Teslagrad 2 will take players to the region of Wyrmheim, a place inspired by Rain Games' home of Norway. There will be a lot of Viking and Nordic influences throughout the game.

Peter W. Meldahl of Rain Games, said:

"Teslagrad was our first game as an indie team and the response was amazing. From then on, fans have been asking us about a sequel, and it has never been far from my mind. This game has been rattling at the back of my mind for 6 years while we've been working on our games, I've hoarded the best ideas from those years to use for Teslagrad 2."

Rain Games is not just working on Teslagrad 2. The studio is also developing Mesmer, a game set in the same world as the Teslagrad series, and is Kickstarting a project called Girl Genius – Adventures In Castle Heterodyne. In our review for the original Teslagrad, Stefan wrote:

Teslagrad is a game with flaws, with the difficulty level and a fairly short length the two main offenders, but it's also a charming title, and one which I enjoyed playing.

Hopefully, by the time the PS3 release rolls around (it's currently on PC), some of the kinks can be worked out, because the art style, music and non-verbal storytelling help it to stand out from the crowd. There's a lot of variety and plenty of clever ideas in the gameplay which combine to make some great moments and puzzles within the game.

You can read the full Teslagrad review here. Platforms for Teslagrad 2 are yet to be confirmed.

Source: Rain Games


Port Royale 4 Review

Port Royale 4 is a trading and town management game set in the Caribbean during the 18th century. The opening CGI video gives the impression that you'll be getting involved with an awful lot of piracy, but while that is part of the game, it's by far one of the smaller aspects of a game that is trading and town managing more than anything else.

You'll want to start by playing through the tutorials, which do a good job of explaining not only how to control the game, but also how to actually play the game. You'll need to learn how to manage ships and convoys, how to lay out trade routes, the ins-and-outs of naval combat, and more in just a couple of hours. These tutorials are indispensable as the game's UI is a little… unique.

While strategy and management games on console have come a long way over the last decade, Port Royale 4 is not quite as intuitive as the best examples. It's manageable with a little guidance and practice, even if you occasionally open the wrong menu by accident and have to put up with using analog sticks for most menus.

The first few hours of a game at least are going to be spent trading between towns belonging to your chosen nation. Thankfully it's pretty easy to tell which goods you should be buying, selling, and ignoring thanks to a bar that fills up based on demand in that town. If it's full, the town has a large surplus of the resource and is selling it cheap, but if a bar is empty, the town needs that resource and is buying it for a higher price. If you then buy too much of it, the price per unit will increase as their stores dwindle, cutting into your profit.

You'll probably begin by managing this manually, personally ordering your ship between towns and buying and selling things yourself, but you'll soon get an extra ship or two and be able to set up a trade route. Once you've made a trade route, by way of a lengthy process of picking all the towns on the route and setting out instructions for buying and selling in each one separately, ships you assign to it will run it automatically. This allows you to focus elsewhere whilst your ships rake in doubloons, or whatever.

You'll also need to plan each trade route's, well, route. There are a few things to consider when you're at sea: sailing against the wind makes your ship slower, while sailing through storm-prone areas can damage your ships, not to mention avoiding any areas that happen to be populated by pirates or hostile nations. The route planning aspect can be used to cut out unnecessary time wastage on your trade routes and really maximise profit. Most of the time you can just use waypoints to move it away from the red areas on the map where storms are likely and you'll be fine, but the option to really optimise them is there if you want it. The same goes for your purchase instructions, where you can set specifics about how much to purchase, or you can just select which items you want to buy and sell in each town and leave the game to decide the amounts automatically based on supply and demand. This is very welcome as choosing specific amounts for everything would likely double what is already quite a lengthy process in a game full of menus.

As money starts rolling in, you can start to expand your fleet by purchasing or building newer, bigger ships and sending them to discover other nations' towns. At that point you'll be able to plan more expensive, but even more profitable trade routes to these more distant areas.

Managing towns is another aspect to consider. Obviously you can fully manage your own hometown as the governor, but you can also manage your nation's other settlements once you've got approval to set up a business and then built them up to be large enough. From there you can start constructing the relevant buildings in towns to start producing resources – after all, you then don't have to buy it, so there's more profit! – and eventually become governor of those settlements as well.

Managing each town is more than just catering to your business needs. You'll need to keep the people fed, healthy, and happy, partly by trading the resources they need, but mostly by placing hospitals to reduce the risk of plague, markets to distribute food, and trying to keep noisy factories out of sight. It works well, but can become a bit of a juggling act later in the game when you're managing multiple cities at a time, and all your trade routes, and likely defending them from pirates and hostile nations as well.

It's also around this time that repetition sets in. There's only so many times you can improve a town into a bustling trade centre before you realise you've already done this, especially with the obtuse Fame points system. You earn these from being successful at town management and completing tasks, but you earn them at a slow rate compared to the need to spend them on working through building chains and captains to give your trading empire a boost.

There's also only so many times you can plot a trade route before the clunky menu and controls make what was a finicky, but rewarding process early on into a bit of a chore, especially with the more expansive routes. Unfortunately, the turn based combat falls into this category as well. It has some decent ideas like manoeuvring to fire from both sides of a ship, but after a while it becomes clear that it lacks depth and is disproportionately affected by consumable skills rewarded for completing tasks for towns. I started automatically resolving any battle where I was likely to win pretty quickly, reserving the turn based combat for the rare fights that required my attention because I was at a disadvantage.

This also ruins any dream of just being a pirate. The game does allow you to engage in piracy, but it just doesn't seem worth it when it is so heavily reliant on combat, one of the game's weaknesses.

The Caribbean itself looks really quite nice. It's as sunny and colourful as you'd expect, even if those colours are mostly blues and greens from the ocean and trees. It's almost unnecessarily pretty, considering you'll spend the majority of your time zoomed all the way out because, for some reason, time moves more quickly when you're zoomed all the way out. You can pause time and you can speed it up to 3x, but zooming in forces the game to run more slowly. Zooming out also turns my PlayStation 4 Pro into something that sounds like a jet engine as the fans speed up drastically. It's surprisingly that this trading and city management game is the game to tax my system the most, but here we are.


Xbox Series X will give users 802GB for game storage from its 1TB SSD

Xbox Series X previews have been emerging over the last 24 hours, with a select handful of outlets getting to go hands on with preview units and test it out in certain limited scenarios. A lot of the focus has been on backward compatibility, how the Series X can enhance games and you to hop between games with Quick Resume, but some other details have also come out.

In particular, it's been revealed that the Xbox Series X will reserve around 20% of its 1TB SSD for system functions, presenting users with 802GB for installing games. Adding a 1TB SSD Expansion Card to the system will grant an additional 920GB storage in real terms.

Comparing this to an Xbox One X with a 1TB and this is actually quite a small, but not insignificant space saving. The current gen system provides 781GB of space from its 1TB hard drive to users.

Of course, this is also with the Xbox Series X being able to take advantage of its SSD in new ways. Games optimised for the new consoles will be able to reduce their file sizes by removing duplicate assets as well as using stronger compression formats than before. At the same time, there's also Quick Resume, which caches a game's RAM usage on the SSD to be loaded in and resumed later. This has been reportedly possible with up for five games that, with developers having access to up to 13.5GB of space on Series X, would use 67.5GB of the system's allocation to store five games.

What does this mean for the Xbox Series S and its 512GB SSD? Well, we don't know for certain, but it will obviously be more limited by whatever requirement the system has. One thing that will definitely be smaller is the SSD space needed to support Quick Resume. The Series S has less RAM allocated to developers (believed to be 7.5GB for next-gen games), and so each game's cache will be reduced. Microsoft could also limit the system to allowing for fewer games to be kept in Quick Resume. Not only that, but game sizes should be reduced further on Series S by the system targeting 1440p instead of 4K.

Either way, both Xbox Series consoles support external USB hard drives, both for playing current gen games – the raw CPU power still enables increased performance and reduced load times – and for backing up Xbox Series enhanced games.

All of this raises some questions for the PlayStation 5, though. With a smaller 825GB internal SSD (albeit a speedier one), how much of that will Sony be able to give to users? And will they have similar quick resume features that siphon off more space from game installs?

IGN via VideoGamesChronicle


Sky Broadband and TV customers to get access to Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War beta

Activision and Sky have partnered up for a promotion that will allow all Sky Broadband and Sky TV customers get a beta code for Call of Duy Black Ops Cold War, without having to pre-order the game. All Sky customers have to do is register with the free Sky VIP loyalty scheme, and on October 8th those who sign up will get codes. Players will be able to choose a beta code of PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

David Rey, Managing Director at Sky Broadband, said: "As the official broadband partner, it's fantastic to join forces with Activision and offer our loyal customers access to the online beta. Our Superfast Broadband gives customers the reliable service they need for a smooth gaming experience – a perfect partner for one of the most iconic games around. "

 Jim McMullin, VP of Product Management at Activision said: "Having Sky Broadband as the official Broadband partner of Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War is great for our gamers. We know that smooth, uninterrupted gaming is crucial to our community, and Sky Broadband provides the speed and reliability that gamers need."

Activision & Treyarch have also confirmed that the world premiere for Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Zombies will be taking place on September 30th at 10am PT/6pm BST.

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War will be available November 13th for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS5. The upgrade path for the game is a bit muddled, and you can get all of the details here. Those pre-ordering the game will be getting some bonuses for other games in the Call of Duty franchise. Sergeant Frank Woods will be joining the Demon Dogs in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer and the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone battle royale, which will continue independently from the main games.

Source: Press Release


FarmVille will be shut down at the end of the year on Facebook

Zynga has announced that after 11 years of being active the original FarmVille game will be shut down on Facebook, due to the discontinuation of Flash support on the social media site. The date of closure will be December 31st, and players will be able to make in app purchases up until November 17th, though doing so seems a bit pointless given how little time is left before FarmVille's closer. Zynga has stated players should use any in game credits as soon as possible, so they do not disappear forever. In a statement, Zynga wrote:

Dear valued player,

Following an incredible 11 years since its initial launch back in 2009, we are officially announcing the closure of the original FarmVille game on Facebook. As previously stated, Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash Player for all web browsers, and Facebook will stop supporting Flash games on the platform completely after December 31st, 2020. FarmVille will therefore be directly affected as a result of this.

We're aware that many of you have been with us since the very beginning, helping to build an incredible global community of players over the years who've enjoyed this game just as much as we have. For that we say thank you.

In advance of sunsetting the game, we would like to point out that in-app purchases will be available up until November 17, at which point the game's payment system will be completely turned off. Thereafter the game will not be accepting any in-app payments and any refunds will not be processed during this time. FarmVille will, however, continue to be playable until December 31st, 2020, at which point it will be shut down completely.

Any remaining credits that you have during this period should be used before December 31st, 2020. We are also working on fun in-game activities to be announced soon that are designed to make your remaining time with FarmVille even more enjoyable. We hope that the in-game experiences we've developed over the years have provided you with the highest level of entertainment that we strive to fulfill here at Zynga. 

Farmville 2: Tropic Escape,  and Farmville 2: Country Escape are still available to play, with FarmVille 3 set to launch on mobile.

Source: Zynga


Yakuza: Like A Dragon will come to PlayStation 5 four months after Xbox Series X|S

Sega have confirmed that Yakuza: Like A Dragon will arrive on PlayStation 5 on 2nd March 2020, coming some four months after the 10th November release on all other platforms, including PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC. That's slightly earlier than the previously announced date.

Update: Sega have now clarified that upgrades will be available for the game physically as well as digitally.

Of course, the game will still be playable on PlayStation 5 up until that point with the PlayStation 4 version played via backward compatibility, but the enhanced release that will better take advantage of the SSD and sheer power of the console will have to wait until March. Come March, anyone that has bought the game digitally on PS4 will be able download the PS5 version with a free upgrade to the next generation. This contrasts with Xbox's Smart Delivery, which will be available across both digital and retail copies of the game.

It's all just a bit bizarre, and has us wondering what's going on behind the scenes. Clearly it's some kind of business arrangement, extending from the Xbox One ports of recent Yakuza games, but a timed exclusive that's this short and that only nets an advantage for the next-gen console is just very odd. That's nothing to say of the major shift in game genre.

 

Set in 2019 following the events of Yakuza 6, Yakuza: Like a Dragon follows the story of Kasuga Ichiban, a member of the formidable Tojo Clan who, much like Kiryu Kazuma, takes the fall for a crime he did not commit in order to protect the honor of his clan. When Ichiban emerges from prison almost two decades later in 2019, though, he's found that the world has changed immensely and moved on without him. Stuck as an outsider in an unfamiliar town, he gathers a crew of unlikely allies in order to find out the truth behind what happened while he was behind bars.

The game is a pretty major departure beyond just having a new lead, with new turn-based RPG encounters. Part of the reason for this switch to an RPG battle system is that Ichiban is obsessed with Dragon Quest, and the regular thugs you run into on the street will often transform into otherwordly warriors (in Ichiban's head, at least) once battle begins.

Source: press release


Monster Hunter World: Iceborne title update 5 trailer shows off the content

Capcom has released a brand new trailer for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne title update 5, and this trailer gives a glimpse of Fatalis, Arch Tempered Velkhana,  and the new armour sets. The trailer also looks at the collaboration between Monster Hunter World: Iceborne and Universal Studios Japan. Seliana Fest, this year's fright fest, is also shown with additional armour sets such as buff body, Demonlord, and Frankie.

The fifth title update is expected to go live on October 1st. Since the inception of the Monster Hunter series worldwide sales have reached 61 million units. Monster Hunter: World is where Capcom finally struck gold with the game shipping over 15 million units since January 2018, and according to Capcom it is the first game in the company's history to hit that number. The expansion Monster Hunter World: Iceborne also pulled in impressive numbers with 4.1 million units shipped up until January and has no doubt sold many more since then.

Dom reviewed Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, and he wrote:

Monster Hunter: World is deservedly Capcom's most successful game to date, and the Iceborne expansion amplifies everything positive about it. More incredible monsters, new lands and a wealth of ways to upgrade your Hunter will have fans in rapture, while new players yet to experience the delights of monster hunting can rest assured that there's never been a better time to join the hunt.

You can read the full Monster Hunter World: Iceborne review here.

Source: YouTube


Tennis World Tour 2 Review

Tennis is a simple sport at heart. Rackets, a net and a ball are all you need to play, but beneath its simple exterior, tennis is a sport that is hard to master and takes skill, pure athleticism and nerves of steel. Tennis World Tour 2 manages to capture that easy to play hard to master essence of the sport, with some of its own additions to mix things up.

Tennis World Tour 2 has all the modes you'd expect, with Exhibition, Tournament, Career, Tennis School, and Online. Exhibition will let you play as any of the professional tennis players in the game, whereas in career you create a character and guide them through the rankings. At the start of a career, your character will have poor stats and only be invited to play at small exhibitions or tournaments, but as you progress you can earn spots at more lucrative events, earning experience to feed into your character and build them around different archetypes. You might prefer a defensive player, offensive player, or one that favours precision. That can be enhanced by choosing agents and trainers to boost your progress.

You also earn cash rewards to unlock new gear, but an issue arose here where even after equipping gear not all of it would actually show as equipped. It seemed to affect clothing in particular, where I was stuck wearing the starting shirt despite wanting to change.

The controls will feel familiar to tennis game fans, with face buttons corresponding to top spin, lobs, slices, and so on, but timing is key. You have the choice of quickly tapping a button to make the return or holding each button to try and be more precise. By default labels will pop up saying if the hit is perfect, too soon, too late. It didn't always seem to make too much a difference as you can score points off any hit if you're lucky, and In the end I switched those labels off and that makes Tennis World Tour 2 a much better experience.

You also have access to wildcards, which is a new take on the card system from the first game. These are unlocked through packs and can give advantages to players or incur penalties on opponents. You can take five cards into a match and use them at any time to give you a slight advantage. You can, for example, improve the precision of a specific shot or decide to reduce an opponent's stamina for a short time. You can have up to five cards equipped, but if you don't want to use them there is nothing stopping you from having no cards equipped.

If you need to brush up on your skills, or learn from scratch, you can visit the Tennis School. This tutorial mode starts from the basics and moves up to more advance features to improve your game. It is a solid tutorial mode and you really cannot progress until you have got basics down, but some of the challenges can be a bit frustrating as the aiming system feels like it could be a bit more precise when you choose where to hit the ball towards.

The aforementioned equipment change bug is a minor annoyance, but others can affect how the game plays. At certain times, maybe once every few rallies, your player can feel like they're lagging and not reacting properly to a shot, even when you press the button on time. It sometimes felt like I was fighting against my own player when I was moving them around the court. It's the exception rather than the rule, but sports games have to aim for perfection in translating your intent to the game, and Tennis World Tour 2 sometimes drops it into the net.

Tennis World Tour 2's online multiplayer is also solidly put together. You can have quick matches or take part in the online rankings, similar to FIFA's divisions, though there are fewer ranks to get through. Depending on the rank you are in you will have different match types to compete in, from the shorter founders matches to the longer champion matches. Soon after launch, it can take a little while to find matches, but the inclusion of a timer is a nice touch to show how long you have been waiting for. Thankfully, once in a match I had no issues with lag or delays against other players.


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