Bloodborne Patch 1.09 Adds Much Needed Item To Insight Shop

Bloodborne has received a new patch yesterday, and while it doesn’t specify exactly what has been altered, the few specifications we’ve been given sound quite promising.

The most noteworthy addition in this patch is the inclusion of Blood Rocks, the exceptionally rare item used to upgrade weapons to +10 has been added to the insight shop for a measly sixty Insight, the game’s secondary form of currency.

To also help players in their journey to upgrade the new weapons added in the DLC,  they’ve lowered the Insight cost for Blood Stone Chunks from 30 to 20.

Here are the patch notes in full, courtesy of Playstation Japan.

Changes to weapons
The strength and stamina cost for several weapons has been adjusted.

Changes to Insight Shop
・In order to trade for the Blood stone Chuck, the necessary amount of Insight has been changed from 30 to 20.
・Trading for the Blood Rock is now possible. 60 pieces of Insight are required.
※ A certain portion of the main game must been cleared in order to access the above.

Several other fixes and adjustments have been made.

Please look forward to the implementation of the newest update.
Thank you for playing Bloodborne. Keep up the hunt.

As mentioned earlier, the patch is quite vague, however, fans have begun uncovering what the ‘several other fixes’ could be. There seem to be a lot of added Blood Gems, as well as some move adjustments for the new weapons. You can find this info here though I’d suggest taking some of this with a grain of salt.

New Bloodborne Patch Fixes Co-op Woes

A little while ago I wrote a piece on why Bloodborne’s online functionality was essentially ruined in my eyes. It garnered a lot of attention – mainly negative – and I had many comments from people saying they enjoy the changes and hope they will stay as they now are.

I am elated to say that Bloodborne just received a new patch that directly addresses my main problem with the changes that patch 1.04 implemented.

Here is the update directly from Sony:

-If a player uses the Beckoning Bell or Small Resonant Bell while using a password, it will be clearly indicated that a password is in use.
-If the level difference between the host and the guest when matched using a password is large, the guest’s stats will be adjusted to match the host’s.
-Other bug fixes and matching improvements.

Wow. The way From Software has handled this couldn’t have gone better. While the details on how exactly the scaling might work is vague, what we can safely take away from this is that you can no longer summon an exceptionally high-leveled player into your world to make the game easy.

The spirit of Bloodborne has been restored, and my faith in From Software has been strengthened. I am glad they’ve seen why their last update was so damaging, and I am excited to see where they can take this game in further updates.

New Patch for Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

Witcher

CD Projekt Red’s Witcher 3 is one of the more open-ended, massively expansive games in recent memory – with such an immense vault of side-quests to do it’s scarily easy to lose minutes, hours and days without even making much progress into the Main Storyline.

With all this good came – in the form of bugs and glitches – some bad, well, quite a bit of bad.

Happily though Projekt Red witcher have been active pointing their Silver Sword at these monstrous bugs and a new patch has heralded the fixing of many of them.

The Full list of changes can be found here.

  • Mutagen bonuses will no longer be saved incorrectly
  • General stability in gameplay and the UI improved
  • Fixes the inability to interact with Roche on Oxenfurt Bridge during the quest ‘Get Junior’
  • Geralt will no longer appear soaked after leaving menus
  • Fixed the gate in the crypt in the quest ‘Scavenger Hunt: Viper School Gear’
  • Players no longer have to worry about accidentally using their ‘Potion of Clearance’, as it will no longer be placed into the quick slot if you run out of other edibles
  • There’s no longer a perpetual loading screen during the Ice Giant fight in the ‘Lord of Undvik’ quest
  • When your gold hits 65535 it will no longer reset
  • Fixes skills not being removed by the ‘Potion of Clearance’

Must Read: Guidelins for Beginners

These changes and quick fixes are no doubt a god-send to players looking to trek through the muddy swamps of Velen or snow-capped spires of the Skeligge Isles without having to worry about things such as disappearing gold or sudden drenchings.

World of Warcraft, The Fury Of Hellfire Is Coming

Hellfire

On Wednesday the 24th of June the next patch in Blizzard’s flagship MMO’s latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor will go live.

Patch 6.2, deigned by Blizzard ‘Fury of Hellfire’ aims to satiate the swelling appetites of the plethora of players who find themselves sitting on their hands at level cap, but how will they attempt to do this?

Take a look yourselves at the very Gul’dan-heavy Patch trailer:

After the grunting and growling Orcs are done grunting, growling and making things explode, Blizzard gives us a look at a few of the features that will be introduced in the new Patch – so, what does the small-nation-sized World of Warcraft player-base have to look forward to come June 24th?

Garrison Shipyards are the first thing shown in the Trailer – created with the goal in mind of countering the warped remains of the Iron Horde’s naval warfare, the Shipyard serves as the first major construction expansion onto your Garrison and allows you to exert your control over a whole new, very watery domain – the seas that border the illusive Tanaan Jungle.

Available for those who have reached Level 100 and already have Garrison Level 3, this expansion will give those who are just running the monotonous daily chores of their Garrison and yearn for a sparkly new one to undertake.  Allowing you a great measure of control over what you do with your sea-based forces, including customizing your crew and choosing what vessels to deploy in order to counter the vessels you’ll be facing, the vast blue expanse between you and Tanaan Jungle will soon be yours for the taking.

Which brings us squarely to the next feature in the trailer – the much discussed and desired, Tanaan Jungle.

A brand new Level 100 Zone – accessed through a series of quests in your Garrison wherein you set up an aforementioned Shipyard and ultimately establish a forward base to storm the Jungles from – as you’re used to by now you’ll be undertaking chapter-based quests within your Garrison that send you deeper and deeper into the zone as the story within it unfurls as well as earning you more resources for your base.

With more rare creatures, treasure and an entirely new zone to discover and area hubs with intimidating names like ‘The Felforge’ and ‘Kil’jaeden’s Throne’, players have a lot to look forward to with Tanaan Jungle – and that leads us straight into the final thing shown in the trailer before it returns to the flashy cinematics of Orcs being scary and Orcish. In the heart of Tanaan Jungle, the Hellfire Citadel Raid.

The grand, looming spire. Home to uncountable twisted and malformed Fel horrors and the dark, sinister minds that composed them – a threat to Draenor and Azeroth – Hellfire Citadel sets 10-25 players against multiple areas chocked full of bosses. Beginning in the Iron Bulwark and eventually culminating in a climactic showdown with Archimonde himself in ‘the Black Gate’. Hellfire Citadel aims to be a fan-pleaser with Lore callback bosses such as Mannoroth.

With all this and much, much more on the way come this Wednesday – such as new armour, pets and a new feature entirely called ‘Timwalking – fans are biting their fingernails at the tantalizing prospect of more content to romp their way through.

Why Bloodborne’s Patch 1.04 Is Fundamentally Damaging

Bloodborne Patch

When patch 1.04 for Bloodborne was being hinted at , I was ecstatic to see my favourite game of 2015 so far being given careful post-launch support. The game was was a masterpiece of design and atmosphere, but despite everything it got right, there were a few things that needed fixing.

I never would’ve expected however, that the patch would not only fix some problems with the game, but single-handedly sabotage the entire design philosophy of the series. It was shocking and disheartening, and I actually wondered if it was a practical joke.

It isn’t a practical joke, and I am having trouble even coming up with a cohesive explanation to why From Software would do such a thing to their own baby.

Summoning Is Sacred

I must admit that I am tempted to simply post this video and leave it at that, as it perfectly encapsulates one of the main problems with this patch – the ability for any player of any level to summon any player of any level.

If you have played Bloodborne or another Souls game, you’ll know that the games are based on what is essentially a glass floor of balance. They’re so carefully crafted that the way in which you take on foes and bosses is beautifully executed, offering some relief when you can gain a few levels, while always challenging you despite how good you become at the game.

This among many other things that I will discuss later are disregarded when you can simply have your high-leveled friend join your game with a maxed out Ludwig’s Holy Blade and some spells to five-shot any boss you’ll encounter.

Furthermore, the fact that you can summon anyone so long as the boss isn’t killed means that you can literally have someone smack their way through the majority of the game with you, doing literally nothing but following on auto-pilot as they reign down chaos.

While some might think that this only affects those who choose to utilize this feature, there is still an inherent problem with the very idea.

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 We’re In This Together

 When I say this, I don’t just mean through jolly cooperation, I mean as a community at large. We all play the Souls games and Bloodborne for differing reasons, but we are all privileged enough to feel the intense satisfaction of overcoming our fears, weaknesses, and ignorance to defeat the game’s toughest challenges, and that is an idea I cherish.

 When I’m struggling through a hard area, I can think to myself that there are many other people in the same situation as me. We’re all in this together and we’re all toughing it out to be granted the endless enjoyment of such a unique franchise.

 Except that this all counts for nothing when the game is reduced to what I will call Casualborne. A game where you can steamroll every single hurdle through what is now the equivalent of a ghost writer.

Where is the satisfaction in summoning help in the form of an extremely high leveled player? Where is the sense of achievement you’d earn by completing a nefariously designed area? The truth is that if you utilize this feature, you will experience none of this and it’s a damned shame. It goes against the basic design philosophy of this series: overcome through patience and perseverance.

 As someone who not only supports this series wholeheartedly, but also wishes to preserve the essence of what makes this series such a stand-out in an age of absolutely tepid triple A titles and pre-order culture, I cannot just watch it happen and accept it.

 You should be proud that you are amongst a small group of gamers that enjoy such a masochistic and skill-demanding experience, and you should not let your precious memories of this franchise vanish into nothing but memories of having a friend do everything on your behalf.


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 We’ve Only Just Begun

 I don’t want to give you the wrong impression that this only impacts the single-player experience, as this is also potentially catastrophic to the online experience, and that is where my true worry comes into play.

Bloodborne, like the games before it, has a unique online feature that allows a player to jump into the single-player world of an unsuspecting victim so that the invader may slaughter him and earn some precious echoes.

 This mechanic is one that has been fully embraced by the community since Demon’s Souls, and it is a mainstay feature in this series. This patch ruins it too.

 Picture this scenario if you will. You as an honest player spend dozens of hours enjoying Bloodborne and learning the mechanics. After a while you decide that you want to go head to head with someone in the form of PVP, but when you ring your Sinister Resonant Bell and find yourself in the world of another, you come to a sad realisation… it’s been set up.

 You join the world of a player your level, and as you go forth weapon in hand, you see that he has a friend (or three) that are not only incredibly high leveled, but possess the advantage of having home field and preparation on their side. You quickly get ambushed in what can only be called a pre-planned ganking scenario, and you find that you are completely helpless to the overwhelming power of these foes.

 That is exactly the scenario you will be seeing more and more of as this patch becomes more and more exploited by a community that thrives on ganking montages and yoloswaggin’ PVP videos.

 I’d be foolish to think that this is the first time players have summoned friends to mess up unsuspecting invaders, but at least before we had fair-game in the form of level and item restrictions… mostly. This is made even worse when you consider how many exploitable bugs Bloodborne had that allowed any player who so chose, to immediately glitch their way to enormously high levels with unlimited currency.

 It’s a big amoeba of small problems that form into one hideous entity that even Miyazaki himself couldn’t have drawn on paper.

Bloodborne Werewolves

 Of Pandemic Proportions

 If you were under the impression that these kinds of scenarios would be reserved for only small groups of friends, you’d be sorely mistaken, as even those who hate this patch can still be directly involved in it. I’ll explain how with another hypothetical scenario.

You want to experience the world of cooperation and so you think to yourself “I’ll ring my Small Resonant Bell and help someone out on my favourite boss so that I can have a repeated viewing”. After waiting a brief moment, you find yourself pulled into a world that at first seems normal. When you reach the boss fog however,  you realise that you have a friendly summon who is so powerful that the boss music doesn’t even get to start before the creature is dead and you are on your way out. You, who is a sucker for challenge and likes to experience the grind of slowly whittling away at a boss’s health until he finally collapses cannot enjoy this, because even you are thrust into the new-found community of boss cheesers. Something I don’t believe is far and few between, by the way, especially when you consider how Reddit has been behaving since the patch hit.

It hasn’t even been a single week and the Bloodborne subreddit already has threads and comments popping up with people asking for specifically high-leveled players to help on bosses.

 There are even community-based passwords in place on Facebook, Reddit, and the Bloodborne Wiki that enable you to instantly summon the help of anyone who is also using the password in the community. It’s no longer about finding a summon of equal strength, but now just a waiting game until an obligatory tank comes in and slaughters everything for you.

 The idea that we have entire communities set out to cheese a game that is meant to be legitimately overcome makes my blood boil, but I can’t really do much about it.

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 A Little Bird Told Me

Beyond everything I’ve talked about, what is perhaps the most discouraging thing of all is the response to this patch. It has been overwhelmingly positive from what I and some close friends have witnessed.

 It seems that amongst the fans that I have encountered and several articles that have surfaced covering the details of the patch, most people welcome this change, claiming that it’s now a more social experience like they had hoped it’d be.

 What?!

 Since when was a single Souls game about social play? Do you not remember how you couldn’t use any form of party chat on Xbox 360 with the original Dark Souls? Do you not remember how before Dark Souls II’s horrific voice-chat, the only way to communicate in the game would be via gestures? Do you not remember the purposeful design of camaraderie through the conquering of bosses, not through direct interaction? Do you not remember the ‘prepare to die’ slogan the encapsulated the type of experience you’d be in for? Do you not remember how Hawkeye Gough had the only items that could even allow you to directly speak to a player but only by means of a few key phrases? All of this was done deliberately, and this patch again destroys the idea and the design.

 The idea of Dark Souls and especially Bloodborne more than all, is to be absorbed in a world and thrust into scenarios that would make anyone quiver in fear. You are meant to be scared, isolated, alone, confused and lost. These emotions make it much more rewarding when you tackle a difficult stretch, and they would all be irrelevant if this were a directly social experience.

You aren’t thinking about the atmosphere or the labyrinthine design of the castle you’re in, if all you’re doing is teasing your friends while you casually swing your swords with your brains off, steam-rolling even the toughest of foes without blinking an eye.

 It’s almost as if nobody wants to play a Souls-like Souls game any longer. It’s like they want the title of ‘I beat an extremely difficult game’ without actually having to put in any work, and that is discouraging to say the least.

DICE Finally Fixing Rubber Banding In Battlefield 4

Rubber

DICE has released a statement that claims a permanent fix for the infamous ‘rubber banding’ problem is on its way. Although this is undoubtedly good news, I have problems with it. The following are quotes from the original text.

As you know, we’ve been looking into resolving the “rubber banding” that some players on certain platforms have experienced with Battlefield 4 after the recent release of Naval Strike. 

I find it irksome that they conveniently leave out the part where rubber banding has been happening since launch. Their neglect of the issue for an entire six months makes me feel ambivalent towards DICE and their apparent understanding.

We’ve found that the root cause of the issue was a configuration of certain hardware types dedicated to 64-player matches.

That’s wonderful news, but DICE does understand that the players (myself included) have been telling them on their message boards that the rubber banding is most prevalent on 64 player maps, right? That Obliteration is almost entirely fine, as is Rush? It’s almost as if they don’t listen to anything their community tells them. Six months to figure out the root cause is inexcusable.

We have invested in new hardware to resolve this issue and deployed new higher-performance servers this week. In preparation, we conducted a significant amount of testing before installing the new servers to ensure they would correct the issue. We are already seeing performance improvement with 64-player matches and expect this to continue.

I hate to bring up the length of time again, but it took this long to think of trying new hardware when only your biggest game-types are having rubber banding? It’s as if the janitors are taking over for DICE as they celebrate the sales of the game.

While the process took longer than we would’ve liked, we wanted to be 100% sure it was done right and that the long-term solution was properly in place. Our objective is to deliver the best player experience possible. We feel this solution helps us deliver that to you. Stay tuned to our official channels for more information.

BF

I don’t want to doubt the sincerity of DICE when they say that they want a great experience for their fans,  but a culmination of confusing post-launch press statements and the game’s obvious lack of polish are making a persuasive argument.  EA’s blatant disregard for quality makes me want to opt out of any future games in the series either way.