Do Matchmakers Work? Are They Worth The Money? | CentSai
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Does Matchmaking Services really work? - Motivated to Marry
Do Matchmaking Services Really Work?
Hard to swallow pill: Apex's issues aren't the ONLY problem. Apex Players are the bigger problem, and that means it might be you.
Edit At The Top - Thanks for gold, but don't drop any more awards on this. The last time I told people they might be the ones who are awful, I got like 19 awards and then everything I posted after that got downvoted to hell for like a month. Share, x-post, vote how you will, and I really am thankful for the recognition but man, I'm gonna get brigaded again. People bitch (rightfully so) about quitters, teammates with 90% lower stats/levels, and specifically TTV Wraiths here literally every single day. These are real issues, problems that every person without a full pre-made has to face in addition to getting put in games without teammates at all. There are 4 ways to play Apex. Playing to win, playing to meme/troll, playing with friends, and playing like you're a selfish piece of garbage who thinks it's TDM and you deserve every priority until you quit. A lot of you are in the last category. A lot. Want to have fun and try to win, but don't have a pre-made? You have a 1 in 20 chance that your randoms will be able to: 1. find the ping button 2. last the whole match 3. let you loot your own building upon landing 4. let you loot your own kills 5. cooperate in fights 6. not punch you off of ledges while you're spotting enemies 7. not spam their banner if they're killed and don't quit 8. not spam the beacon like you don't know they're dead 9. not run off alone, die, quit, and send you hate mail If your random is a ttv Wraith (or a Wraith at all, usually) your odds are cut down to 1 in 50 that they can meet the very basic expectations listed here. The facts are demonstrated here in the sub pretty starkly. "1v(however many), a clip of me being awesome" posts by the dozen, but no one even bothers to post team plays or cooperative action. They don't get any attention. It's just "cheer for me, look at me, I'm the best", and it's rewarded. That's not to take away from excellence, sure there are a lot of great plays, but it's another situation where individual performance is psychologically more rewarded than team play. The marketing for Apex came from streamers who don't play like good teammates unless they're playing scrims or with their friends. Streamers, by and large, paired with randoms and just left them down until they got called out for it. The community downvotes everything that isn't making Apex out to be the best game ever while simultaneously bitching about it themselves. "It's not a bad thing if I say it, but you're a little bitch if you don't think Apex is the pinnacle of gaming" is the attitude. More selfish behavior, and it gets reinforced in this little echo chamber of a subreddit. Essentially, the people have made the game a shitty experience. The reward system in-game isn't built around encouraging team play if you can shoot well, but the external gratification reward system around here actively discourages criticism of the game, the developers, the publisher, the active account stats that are being hidden deliberately, and any other thing that isn't kneepad lip service. The matchmaking puts experienced players as either doomed to sweat or doomed to babysit, if they even have a full team. Apex Legends Feels Bad To Solo-Queue In, but if you replaced all of the other players with bots it would get markedly better. This tells me, plain and simple, that Apex players are what's making playing Apex suck. How often do we see posts of how "I was gonna leave these noobs like the asshole I am, but I didn't and we had wholesome fun"? As though people need a special reward for not being absolute shit teammates. Oh, better yet- how often do we see posts of how "my team all quit, but I still won", and "There should be a penalty for abandoning casual games"? It's pretty obvious that there's a bigger problem than shitty connectivity, overpriced events with $5 weapon charms but currency in $10 minimum increments, or the disaster that is the testing and QA department. Apex has a lot wrong with it, but the people are the. Fucking. Worst. It's like all the worst parts of CoD, R6S, and primary school jammed into one cross section of the population. If you're unlucky enough to be a solo-queue in Apex, but you're lucky enough to get a full team, watch all the shit you can't stand other people doing and count how often you've done something similar. If you want better teammates, be a better teammate. Then at least you're not alone when you get disconnected and come back dead, or the map doesn't exist, or there's another set of skins that are broken, or a Legend's abilities stop working, or another Legend starts absorbing entirely separate roles at no cost, or the waterfall only blocks your shots, or you get jumped by a team hiding inside a rock, or you make it to level 500+ without seeing an heirloom shard, or people start shooting while they're downed, code:leaf/net/null...
Source: https://www.bungie.net/en/News/Article/49132 Tyler Duncan and Jeff Fox are on the front lines of what’s happening with Destiny development. As members of the Bungie Test team, they help to organize the testing of the game across many different groups within the studio. They’re used to seeing the latest builds of the game and helping to coordinate testing – from playing through scenarios and activities to organizing mass PVP sessions involving dozens of Bungie employees. Testing happens in every videogame studio and the more testing you can do, the better. The function is so essential to a studio’s day-to-day operations that it’s easy to take it for granted. From designers to developers, engineers to marketing folks, Bungie team members are often invited to playtest sessions. You show up to the playtest lab, put on the headphones, play for a while, and then share your experiences with others. That fundamental process of play, feedback, and communication is part of the lifeblood of a game studio. It's so essential, in fact, that the alternative – developing games without that rigorous testing – is unthinkable. So what happens when all of these time-tested and finely tuned processes get upended by something like the COVID-19 pandemic? How do you continue to carry on such an important development practice when everyone is working remotely? As Fox and Duncan will tell you, you get creative. Before we talk about adapting to new circumstances, let’s paint a picture of a typical test at Bungie. Like most game studios, Bungie has playtest labs where developers can gather on regular basis to test a build of a game. As you might expect, these labs are constantly busy, with lots of teams looking to book time to get a session in and to share feedback with each other about how a particular area of development is going. Maybe it’s the scenario team who is testing out the difficulty of a particular mission, or the audio team making sure that the weapon sounds are where they want them to be. In general terms, testing can be broken up between traditional QA (quality assurance) testing and playtesting. Traditional testing is about analyzing and validating design and engineering implementations. Are there bugs or glitches that need to logged and fixed? Are things working as intended? On the other hand, playtesting is about the intended experience for players. Does an event have the desired effect on the player? Does it convey the right mood? Is it fun to play? As playtest coordinator at Bungie, Duncan’s role is focused on organizing playtest sessions across the studio. “[It’s] a very hybrid role,” said Duncan, who has been with the company for almost three years. “It’s more akin to a lab manager. We have to do a lot of similar to IT work, in terms of troubleshooting [things] like hardware and software issues. We have the test background, so we know how to debug through things, how we get audio up and working.” There’s also the organizational aspects, working with teams to decide which content is going to be tested, which team members will attend the tests, and more. A typical busy week at Bungie HQ will see the playtest labs being used every day, with multiple sessions per week, scheduled and set up in advance by Duncan and his team. It’s no wonder then, that the playtest labs are some of the busiest parts of the studio during a normal week. Enter the COVID-19 crisis and the idea of “normal” has been thrown out the window. In late February, Bungie began a massive effort underway across all parts of the studio to gear up for an extended period of remote working. That meant everyone would be leaving the studio… including testing. No more playtest labs, no more in-person sessions to play and discuss. In short, things were changing. Facing the Problem “It was the whole stages of grief,” said Duncan, when asked about his initial reaction to the news that they weren’t going to be allowed in the studio any longer. “There was definitely some denial at first. My team specifically was like, ‘Oh, we don't need to be home. There's a lot we can do in the studio.’” Initially the team talked about using the potential down time as an opportunity to tidy up and make some improvements around the labs. “[We thought] we could do things like improve the hardware, do a lot of the manual labor that needs to be done to get re-organized,” said Duncan. At the same time, the team was already aware that a pause in playtesting wasn’t going to be acceptable. “We [were] thinking about how do we help teams playtest from home,” he said. “We were doing an exploratory process [asking], ‘What are our different options? What is viable and not viable?’” The complications of remote testing while working from home pile up quickly. There’s the basics of making sure that everyone has a powerful enough machine to play on (in the case of PC testing). Then there are the inherent security risks with removing expensive development kits from the studio. And with internet connections being what they are, it’s unreasonable to expect remote testers to use their home bandwidth to download a new build of the game remotely each time they wanted to hold a testing session. With these restrictions in mind, how do you continue the rigorous testing schedule that is one of the keys to shipping new Destiny experiences on time? The answer, it turns out, was in the cloud. Enter Stadia Jeff Fox has been with Bungie for seven years, working as a test lead. Alongside Duncan and others on the Test team, Fox has helped test a huge variety of Destiny gameplay, including activities, matchmaking, networking, and more. His most recent project was launching Destiny 2 on Google’s then-new Stadia streaming service. “It was definitely unique because we’d been historically on traditional platforms – Sony PlayStation, Xbox, PC,” Fox said. “Going into this weird new streaming platform in the cloud was a unique challenge. It was also really exciting from that perspective as well; once you’ve been in QA long enough, everything is kind of very similar. So getting a fresh new perspective on a different platform opens up new challenges [and] it’s always great to move into that.” By the launch of Destiny 2 on Stadia, Bungie developers and testers were becoming more familiar with the platform. That experience, combined with a workflow that was designed for ease of use, and it wasn’t long after the studio-wide “work from home” orders were issued that the idea of shifting a chunk of all-up testing onto the Stadia platform came up. “Using Stadia in the ‘work from home’ transfer seemed like the easiest thing we could have done, and the fact that we already had our game stood up on that platform made it kind of a no-brainer to start looking into that,” Fox said. Whereas a traditional test session is preceded by a relatively lengthy process of propping a build onto multiple consoles or PCs in the testing lab and working through any technical snafus that may crop up, testing on Stadia was a relative breeze. “On Stadia we can publish a build in a way that all of the instances we use automatically get the build distributed to them at the same time,” said Fox. “We're able to very easily get a pool of up to 300 instances or so with the game ready to play at a click of a button, which is fantastic. You can't do that any other way when we're running a big studio playtest like that.” Testing also places a high level of importance on uniformity of setup – in a playtesting lab, everyone is using the same equipment as much as possible. As Fox pointed out, this is even easier with Stadia. “It's all cloud-based,” he said. “There is no physical hardware in studio. You can use a variety of compatible controllers. The best thing about developing Stadia [is that] there's literally no hardware at all on the desk. It's all in the cloud so we didn't have to worry about that at all.” While playtesting with Stadia has its distinct advantages – ease of setup for both players and coordinators, hardware uniformity – it’s taken some work to get there. That’s in part because traditional playtesting success is often the result of long-standing rituals and routines. The teams schedule a test session, the coordinators work to get the lab set up with the correct build, and everyone knows the process of where and when they need to be at the lab. It’s a scripted routine that is the result of a lot of learning over time. Moving to a new system requires new communication paths, and new rituals to form, not to mention the very real changes that have come when an entire studio is learning to function remotely. It’s something that Bungie’s Test team is still focusing on as the weeks go on. “In terms of stabilizing and having a normal day to day, we've just about got there,” Duncan said. “[The] first thing was, let's get teams playtesting again. Then we started to transition to wrapping our old team rituals or processes back into the Stadia thing.” While there’s still more work to go, the team is feeling good about the progress made so far and the potential this kind of cloud-based testing has for Bungie. That’s in no small part due to Bungie’s willingness to adapt, said Fox. “I was surprised at how quickly people were able to pick up on the process,” Fox said. “Generally when you say, ‘Oh yeah, we'll stream it over the network. It will be fine!’ people are [going to be] pretty skeptical. But the overall feedback has been really good. This is working for us now during work from home.” Duncan is even more bullish on the future. “This is going to change everything,” said Duncan. “We are in a new tradition. Just because we used to have every team playtest in labs [in the past], it doesn't mean we stop doing that. But the process is evolving and changing. And we need to continue to be flexible. “The future is now. What we thought was impossible is definitely not the case.”
So with this ban, roll back, and threats of perma-bans looming on the horizon from the e-mail sent out by Massive, I think it's time we have a little chat. And what better way to start off a chat than with an analogy.
Game Development and Ethics
Imagine for a moment that you are a game developer. It isn't easy living, it doesn't pay well but it puts food on the table and keeps the lights on, and you want to put out a game people will enjoy. That's the dream, for the most part. But let's say you, like any coder worth their salt will admit, are prone to making mistakes in coding or causing unintentional glitches. It happens to everyone in every industry, including gaming right? No big deal. But then imagine instead of being an ethical individual who can stand by their work, good or bad, you instead choose to pass the blame. And not to Charles on the 3rd floor who assisted you on that mechanic you were tasked with creating. No, you pass the blame off onto the customer. "They just aren't using my product correctly, the poor fools!" If you did this, then you would be called Massive Entertainment. Listen, I am not here to justify myself using the DPS glitch or anyone else abusing it. I knew what I was doing, I'm not stupid. However, what isn't right about this situation, perhaps more unethical than the use of the glitch, are two things: 1) Massive released an unfinished product, lied about the state of it, and act like that is an alright thing. And 2) Banned players and rolled back accounts using a script that is flagging innocent players as well as "not so innocent" players instead of taking credit for the glitch themselves.
On point 1, everyone here is aware how out of balance WONY and TU8 was/still is. The level cap being only available to people who bought DLC was a great way to say to everyone else, "Sorry, but here at Massive Entertainment, we don't value the time you put in prior to us making [NEW THING]. Buy [NEW THING] to continue playing the game with everyone else or you'll be unable to play the game as it was originally intended because you lack [NEW THING]." Then, people had their season pass reset. (I was included in this btw.) Good work Massive, thank you for not valuing my time. Especially since these events are all timed for a week or maybe two and your average turn around for proper fixes in the pass are known for being months long. GG NO RE Indeed. Nothing screams "I don't respect my playerbase or consumer" quite like not respecting their time spent. All your builds were fucked, all the gear was scrapped, and your exotics were dismantled. No amount of 5 seconds reduced from a 40 second cooldown on some god-forsaken holster is going to make it worthwhile if its talent is pure shit. Just saying. The sheer disrespect for the player's time is crazy. Enemies take forever to kill on anything above challenging, only 2 builds really exist at the moment but drops are crazy bad, so it takes more time to grind out better gear. Time investment is through the roof and it kills it for people when a simple sit down session once or twice a week results in nothing gained. Then we get to point 2...
On point 2, you revert back people's account. Usually, in the industry, this is reserved for one kind of incident only. A major fuckup by the developer in handling people's account information server-side, usually an accidental deletion of account info or a massive fuck up on an update. That is usually the only acceptable time to roll-back accounts as well. But instead, here we have Massive. There is no accountability from Massive on the glitch being their fault in the first place. Instead, let a script decide who lives and who dies. Step right up ladies and gents and roll the dice! See if you get banned and reverted 2 weeks or not! Legitimate progress made? Who cares! At Massive Entertainment, its not our problem that players find the broken shit we left behind! Its their fault for using it, not our fault for not properly performing Quality Assurance. Not once was the thought about the player's time ever brought up. Not once did they think that doing this will cause people to lose two weeks of progress, painstaking progress at that considering the slog that is the current game pacing.
The Systemic Issue
And I think that's the moral of the story here and the crux of my issue with the developers. There is nobody taking blame for the issue. There is nobody standing up and saying, "yup, that's our bad. We will fix it as soon as possible. Its our fault, not yours." No apology for the fuck up or disappointment despite the overdone hype. No learning from past mistakes and hiring proper Quality Assurance and Testing. Bugs that have been around since launch are still in the game, let alone with WONY bringing bugs back from Division 1! How do you even manage to pull that off? Let me also point out this was a glitch IN-GAME. This isn't something someone did by injecting code or by using a script. This was something so easy to do, some people did it by accident and didn't know. It is NOT the same thing, by any stretch of the imagination, as hacking. Listen Massive, let me level with you for a second. Should players have used the DPS glitch? No, they shouldn't have. In a perfect world, they wouldn't have. But we don't live in a perfect world and if we did you wouldn't have released the update in such a buggy, broken, unbalanced state like it was. And instead of doing what's ethically right and taking the blame as you should, you are punishing players for your mistakes. That isn't just unbelievable, its saddening. The glitch exists because you put it there, intentionally or not. Rolling back accounts and throwing around bans and the THREAT of permabans does only 1 thing: It shields your fragile ego from criticism.
The Consequence of Incompetence and Ego
It is now going to prevent people who find these game breaking glitches from coming forward. And due to that, it will never be officially recognized or noticed. Instead, these glitches will be shared by only a handful of players, and now the integrity of the game's fairness is ruined. Why would I report it if I am now flagged? If I do, there's a chance you may fix it and ban me permanently now. Hell, if you use the same script you use now, there's a chance if I ever log in again and play with any random player in matchmaking I may receive a permaban. So yeah, you won't have a massive amount of people running around abusing a glitch anymore. Cool. Instead, you'll just have glitches that are still abused but in quiet. Now you won't ever really know if you lost that fight legitimately in the DZ to good player or just a glitcher anymore. Because a simple bug report isn't how these kinds of issues are fixed. They are fixed when they get out of hand and ruin Massive's bottom line. When Massive said it ruined the "game's economy" and everyone is sitting here questioning what that means considering you can't trade things for money in game, what they really mean is "it ruined our wallets". "It ruined our cash flow because we fucked up. But we can't admit that to you, the player and consumer. Instead, we are going to pull the wool over your eyes and blame you." Doing this has ruined any faith I had in the game ever having any integrity. Primarily because Massive Entertainment LACKS integrity. With that, I'm not sure if I can ever return to this game. I loved this game, I loved the premise since The Division 1 was announced. But I refuse to continue to play a game where the development team doesn't step up, take the blame where its due, and then proceeds to wipe people's legit progress. I am miffed my progress is scrubbed, sure. But I'm pissed other people are now screwed out of 2 weeks worth of horrid grind. That's fucked. Edit: Shoutout to Strawberryweeb, radialoyster, JRLanger, Pappsterchu, Someoney, Japanagan, ConsoleOps, RussRemidi, and 1 Anon for the gold. You the real MVP. Same to the anons out there who gave other awards. Thank ya Agents! Edit 2: Getting awards I didn't know existed on the platform. Me rn CheckOutMyGun for a double gold award all the way across the web. So intense. Ghost-2-Ghost for the TIL Award. Learn something new everyday my dude! BIG SHOUTOUT TO THE ANON THAT GAVE ME 15 RANDOM AWARDS. MADE ME LAUGH HARD AF badgerfan20945, Ric3PaddyDaddy, MadDawgGamer, Jellha, and 4 other Anons for Silver. Thank you for steppin' up! electricweiner, HauntingTsundere, and xK1LLSW1TCH15x for the Stonks Rising. Better sell your Turnips fast today. marco5565 and Wizzy313 for the GOAT. Son, its time to take the G.O.A.T. Based_oj for the Bless Up. Papa Bless! Aidenfred, Agent_Xhiro, The-Duck-Man64, MrValentingod, risonss, Nightwing__x, ColonelLutalo, and Un_Forasteroo for the TAKE MY ENERGY! You are the bacon in the fridge for all creatures that cry out in hunger! china27 for the Helpful (Pro) award and CaniSmellYou for the Helpful award. Glad to be of service! Bamhour, yasuoionia, Shining_Paladin, ibthemoddog, Spoiler84, Slinkyhammer, Violaeh, Infidel_Life, and 3 Anons for Platinum awards. That's too generous of you. An Anon as well as Dichromaniac and V0LK3 for the S H D award. You now activated for the Third Wave. Another Anon and again Nightwing__x for the Bravo! award. Did I do a good job mom? Arcade2799 for the Plus One award. +1 Yet another Anon with the All-Seeing Upvote. Illuminati confirmed. One more Anon with the Healthcare Hero award. Gotta stop the Green Flu whatever the cost. Anon back at it again with a Safe and Social Award. Quarantines are safe and a good place to find hookups? Gotta give it to another Anon for the Home Time award. Being stuck at home due to Covid sucks. Most importantly, I would like to thank StarsRaven for the "I would like to thank..." award, for allowing me to thank them while thanking them so I can thank them while I thank them. Edit 3: It has come to my attention that this post here as well as a link to a thread on this subreddit mentioned within the post are discussing whether or not the CoC was updated just prior to the bans without forewarning and after the March 17th cutoff date for rollbacks. Would be HIGHLY unethical on Massive's behalf if true. Credit to: ghost-2-ghost
Requirements: An ISP that gives you your own IP (no sharing across several households, CGNAT/CGN is something you want to avoid at all cost when signing up to an ISP). A routemodem capable of port forwarding (pretty much any router except in most cases the cheap ones you get from your ISP). An Xbox.
How to: You start with your Xbox. Make sure it connects to your router just fine and has online access. It will probably say Moderate NAT under network settings. Go to advanced settings, here you write down the IP of your console. Should be 192.xxx.xxx.xxx. It doesn't matter if you set your IP manually or automatically, though I prefer to automatically set the IP on the console and have the router remember the device and always give it the same. If you don't have that option, it's better to manually give the Xbox its IP. The important thing is that port forwarding happens per IP. So if your console IP changes (which is its local IP in your network, not the IP your network has been given by your ISP), the port forwarding will not work anymore and you have to change the IP in the router rules. That's why if you can, enable all settings that always give your console the same local IP. Now on to the router. Find out how to get to the port forwarding rules. There is typically a page where you have all your devices, find your Xbox either by recognizing the name (should be the same name that you can set in the Xbox system settings) or the IP you wrote down. From here you should be able to select it and in a best case scenario turn on an option "allow automatic port forwarding". Check that option. Now you have to add rules for your console. Ports are either TCP or UDP. They are used for various different things, for communication, for matchmaking, for synching achievements and savegames, pretty much every traffic on Xbox has its own port. If it can't use that port, it uses fallbacks, leading to slower loading times or failing matchmaking. So you really want an open NAT, which basically just means that your console can use all its services as it should. You now need to create separate rules for a number of ports, so that traffic can freely flow over them without your router blocking them. TCP 53 UDP 53 TCP 80 TCP 88 UDP 500 TCP 3074 UDP 3074 UDP 3544 UDP 4500 UDP 61017 TCP 61018 TCP 61019
Create these, apply them and your console should instantly have an open NAT.
If however you have a double NAT on your Xbox, you either have CGNAT from your ISP, then there is nothing you can do. Or you have two devices acting as routers. This can be a modem and a router, in this case only use one device as a router and put the other one into "bridge mode". This will just forward all traffic through it and not try to route your traffic. I like to use the device that is closest to the actual line (so mostly the modem) as the router, unless it has really limited options itself.
One more thing: If you also play on your PC, make sure to enable the ports for that as well. Xbox Live uses them across devices. You can find out your PC IP by clicking the search icon in the taskbar, entering cmd and pressing ENTER, then entering ipconfig and pressing ENTER. There could be multiple adapters in here, typically the top one is the one you are actually using and that needs to get the ports forwarded. Check the standard gateway, it should point to your router IP (192.xxx.0 or 1.1 in most cases) if it is in active use. Then go to your router and forward the same ports as above for your PC IP.
I never thought I would be at this point, 37m, still single and not for lack of trying. I started off being a super introverted nerdy guy who didn’t tended to get overly nervous when talking to girls. That seemed to wear off a bit in undergrad, and I managed to break through that barrier. In my late 20s, I thought I had found the one…but unfortunately, I did not really have a good idea of what love was. I suppose we were more “comfortable” than really in love, and I made the mistake of proposing to her. After a rather rocky engagement where she showed her much darker side repeatedly, I ended it. I felt like my world ended, and never thought I would get married. That was several years ago, and I fell into a deep depression. Thankfully, I met a group of friends that helped pull me out of it. Two years ago, I met a wonderful woman who I fell madly in love with. Talking to her was easy, simple and quick/witty….and it kept going for a long time. She did make some different choices in her life prior to me, and things imploded, partially due to family. Again, I felt like nothing would ever be the same, and I wouldn’t ever meet another person. We tried recently to reconnect and be friends, and once again it was easy. The killer? She was in a relationship with a guy who wholeheartedly cheated on her with multiple partners…and she thought that him “being there” trumped fidelity. Then she just ghosted me for a while saying that she started to get into an emotional tailspin after reconnecting. I completely understood, as I felt the same way. A few days later, I saw on Instagram that she’s on vacation with that guy. I’m wresting with this complex emotional soup of anger, jealousy, resignation, sadness, and a bit of happiness for her? I know I have no right to feel jealous at all as we aren’t even together. I don’t know, I think she and I won’t ever be able to resolve it, and I only want her to be happy in life. I just need to find my own happiness again. Before we reconnected, I had tried so many different types of OLD, and well as some speed-dating events. I’m 37, a doctor, no debt, exceptional cook, kind to others, hardworking, varied hobbies and interest, life of the party and have had all my female friends call me "a catch." What am I doing wrong? Recently I signed up for a matchmaking service (the same company that does the speed-dating [which is online now]), and after giving the agent my information, the first thing she tells me is that it’ll take a long time, since most women are only attracted to men who are taller than 5’9. I didn’t think 5’7 was that bad, but my goodness that was a severe blow to any sense of hope I had. So I decided to take a break for a while, and focused more on improving my own skills and my own physique. I need to lose some more weight, so a Peloton and keto diet are on deck, which seem to be working remarkably well so far. I feel better about that, but there’s still a feeling that as I get older, I may never have the family I thought I could have…call me a dreamer, but I always imagined meeting someone who hasn’t been married either, and who doesn’t have kids, and would love to have those first experiences together. I have always been an upbeat, optimistic and hopeful romantic, but guys and gals, I’m really starting to feel the crushing loneliness. COVID certainly hasn’t helped anything, but I am just getting to a point of frustration…how do I feel re-inspired? Should I even try dating right now or should I just focus on myself? How should I cope with the potential of being a dad in my 40s? Ugh, sorry, this is a first post and it sounds so melodramatic!
I have played and loved Fortnite since halfway through Season 4. In the almost two years that I have played the game, I have only taken one extended "break" from the game. After coming back to the game, I quickly remember why I put the game down and uninstalled it in the first place.
Like I said in the title: I have only taken one extended "break" from the game, which was almost two months that I didn't play the game at all, about two weeks into this current Season. After coming back to the game, I quickly remember why I put the game down and uninstalled it in the first place. A little bit of context to the kind of player I am. I am a true "casual". I can build, I can edit, but I do all of these things much slower than the average kid playing this game that just grinds and grinds. I have 504 total wins and a 7% win ratio overall that I have accrued since downloading the game. One of my original squad mates was extremely good and often carried the squad to wins back during Season 5, 6 and 7. I wasn't really able to start holding my own in fights until Season 7 of Chapter 1. I play on PS4 and the entire squad of PS4 players that got me into the game and that I played with for the majority of the seasons I've played haven't played Fortnite for like 6-7 months. They all gave up playing the game because of how "sweaty" the games got and how spammy the metas were as well. The bad taste that the mechs and other awful additions to the game left also probably contributed to them leaving the game. I am 28 years old, working full time, am married, and do not and have not had time to grind creative mode, mess with key binds, try out new exploits for builds, etc. I am able to play Fortnite/ video games anywhere between 3-4 hours a week on average, depending on work and family plans, etc. My little nephew got a Nintendo Switch for Christmas at the end of last year. He was so excited to finally be able to play Fortnite, especially with his uncle. I was excited to duo up with him. Even though he is young, I helped him to start building and he quickly was able to start building ramps and build one by ones to protect himself. For months and months he has been the only person I've played with, with the rare exception of a random squad fill if I was waiting for my nephew to get on, or if he lost internet connection (he has terrible internet service in his town, they live in the middle of nowhere). During the time playing with my nephew, the SBMM system was put into place, and the AI bots were added to the game. I noticed right away how easy the opponents were, AI or not, when that system was just released and I was playing duos with my nephew. I attributed it to his account being so new and the fact that he had no/ poor stats. As my nephew improved mechanically and we won a decent amount of matches together, we naturally started seeing less AI and new players in our lobbies. We would occasionally get a very good player and be destroyed, but that's okay because as I told my nephew, it would be ridiculous to expect to win every fight and/or game. However, before I took the almost two months break, it seemed like something was wrong with the matchmaking as both my nephew and I were getting absolutely destroyed in most matches. That, along with an increased workload at my job meant that I took a much needed extended break from the game. Some time in, my nephew expressed to me and my sister that he missed playing with his uncle, so I decided to give the game another try. The game is as sweaty as ever. It makes near unplayable. This week, my nephew and I have had a player knock and thirst my nephew, and then chase me from Lazy Lake all the way to Dirty Docks after I picked up my nephew's reboot card and was trying to reboot him. In another match, my nephew and I landed in Slurpy Swamp and we were able to eliminate the other 4 players that landed there. One team was an AI team. As we were healing and looting up getting ready to go to zone (the next zone's edge was at the agency and stretched all the way to the Yacht), when a helicopter came into Slurpy that carried a squad that had the Drum Gun. The Drum Gun. That means they eliminated all the teams at Agency, killed Midas, got the Drum Gun and then went way out of zone searching for more elims as the storm was coming in. Needless to say, after burning through over 1000 mats defending myself from this duo that attacked us in Slurpy, they eliminated my nephew and double SMG sprayed me after I was run out of materials. Stuff like this just puts a bad taste in my mouth. Whatever happened to being able to have a chill, fun gaming session? We keep getting stomped by these creative mode warriors, and makes me want to uninstall the game again. Literally the only thing keeping me playing Fortnite is the shared gaming experience with my 9 year old nephew.
Stadia user here. Just want to clear up a few of the statements made on the subsequent comments on that thread. I'm not a Stadia fanboy by any stretch, and the launch was absolutely a dumpster fire (to use your terms), but the service is (in my opinion) quite good. Sure lag can occasionally be a problem, but not any more than any other systems I've played. 98%-99% of the time, I'm gaming at 4k, 60fps. Combine that with the load times (in game) and you're ahead of the game. I honestly find that the most time I am having trouble is when I'm playing on my phone in an area of the house with not great wifi signal. A bunch of the posts in that forum were citing D2 numbers that were abysmally low. Yep. They were.......in December. When those numbers were posted. Since then, Google has opened up the service to anyone with 1 month free Pro status and a free tier afterwards. The numbers are decidedly better. I never have to wait for matchmaking to fill out anymore. Another big complaint about the service is the games and titles they're bringing. Well, since they're bringing your game over... Boom. There goes that argument. Basically what I'm saying is that if you haven't tried the free month of Stadia yet, you really should try it and make up your own mind. Most of the YouTubers who were bashing it were (and are) just trying to appease their fan bases. Try it with an open mind. If it doesn't work for you, then continue playing on your PS4/5 and your XBoxes. But if it DOES work for you, enjoy playing with quick load times, no waiting for downloads, playing on multiple screens (tv, laptop, phone) like I do. Thanks for your time and I can't wait to try DbD on Stadia.
Might approach dating again but I'm not looking forward to it
Hey guys, Just wanted to type out my thought process on this subject and maybe get some opinions. I feel sure that I'm not the only one in this position. I've got backstory and down at the bottom, the position I'm thinking in. So, very long series of stories into only one wall of text, I grew up with very low mental health, self-esteem and physical health too. Was massively overweight and, paired with the low self-esteem, I had grown up being more comfortable away from other people. I've continued to be a bit of a hermit, while I chased careers. Now I'm in my late 30s, but I've gradually been carving much better mental and physical health, lost half my bodyweight, kicked booze and porn, got a career secured (I mean, as secure as can be given the circumstances) and I'm just in a much much better place overall. There's lots of transformation that happened overall but all that growth was done alone. With that, we approach the subject. I wanted to to have a girlfriend this whole time, something real Disney-like, but I've been so insulated and preoccupied (probably still socially closed off and possibly a little asexual too) that I hadn't met anyone. I'm still insulated today. I've been on online dating sites since they began to take off but I found the act of reaching out and trying to catch someone's attention was exhausting, so I never could keep up with it for long. (Mind you, the way I hear about online dating lately, seems like it was never gonna work out.) I want to believe that it could help me, from the safety of being at home, but I think it's a loss I need to accept. 2 years ago I did end up meeting a girl, randomly. She was just friendly to me, she was also stunning, and I think that's all it took for me to fall for her, really hard. We connected on a ton of levels and I thought the whole thing was fate, righting a wrong, better late than never. Felt amazing for me to finally see what falling for someone felt like. I had no damned clue what I was doing, I was just hoping for everything to become clear as time passed and as our connection deepened. Unfortunately, she was way too young, nearly half my age, and just wanted to be platonic. She broke off completely, our friendship couldn't continue after I admitted my feelings. Took a long time to get over the heartbreak and the loss of that friendship (it was short lived but really significant) but I did, thanks to therapy. Now I have that as part of my backstory too. Since then, I thought that I shouldn't give up. Not after the thrill of just having a really good friendship like that, so I gave a shot to speed dating, which seemed encouraging at first, but it ended up being a great way to spend some cash and never hear back from the ones I wanted to hear back from. A lot like online dating. Finally had some hope come in from online dating too, some conversations were really encouraging, but that fell apart when, coincidentally, all of them had found someone else already and stopped chatting with me. Found out about a matchmaking service, too, which I was thinking about, 'till the world went into lockdown. Here I am now, in the middle of the 2020 pandemic, with all that backstory, externally processing my thoughts onto a reddit post. Haven't thought for long about dating the past few months, having written it off as a bad move to try while COVID's out there. I feel, though, that there won't be a "best time" even when vaccine rolls in, whenever the heck that is. I'm not that social, so I won't suddenly become extroverted and meet everyone I can when things open back up and we're all safe. So, I'm starting to think about approaching these virtual speed dating events or see if the matchmaking service has adapted to the lockdown similarly. I really want to believe that it can work out, y'know, that I can still meet someone and have a great connection, but the means I'm considering (speed dating, matchmaking service or regular meetups with randos) are just not encouraging. I know dating won't ever become easy, I hear that everything about a relationship is difficult (to do right) but while I want that challenge, I struggle to find the optimism to keep up with it. Well, they do say that showing up is half the battle. I want to shake life up. Maybe I'll give it another go but it's taking some effort to build myself up to just this part. I know that being stuck wanting and never doing anything about it is a bad way to live but I feel like I'll just run out of steam and find myself back here, kind of bitter but still wanting. Any ideas for culturing this kind of hope, or approaching from a different angle? Thanks for listening :D
after coming from a top 10 US WoW guild, reaching 7.5k mmr spamming visage only in NA, and playing Dota for 8 years this is what ive realized...
that this game is just a big circus and there are like 4785435 different variables that can instantly decide the outcome of any match and it's only become a more and more relevant fact as time has gone on. all the matchmaking experiments for example, and role queues especially. every player in roles has to play 20% of their matches with all 5 roles selected. each game of role queue you play there's almost a 100% chance one of your players is on a role that isn't native to him. that's enough to lose a divine/immortal game. a lot of the times these guys straight up tell me they just dont care cuz it's not the role they wanna play. it's a problem especially now because of this trash dual lane meta (which never needed to exist and makes the first 10 min of the game utterly stale) because if one lane loses the game is basically over. you just tp back and bash your head against the lane you just lost because there's literally no other play. they snowball the advantage and there's nothing anyone can really do unless the lane winners feed, which doesn't happen often at immortal. if you rotate after losing a dual lane you are forfeiting the game outright. if you play classic queue people will fight over roles every time you queue and you'll have generally the same experience. emotional people forced onto roles they aren't good at. at immortal you can't carry as hard because there's simply not as large of a gap between you and the other players. so all these elements of course naturally become more and more relevant the higher mmr you reach. this is in my opinion the real reason why game's get harder at higher mmr. you have to play more consistently, but you also have to grind harder to beat the 50% system. i think this is why moderating immortal games should be important. since valve has made close to 1 billion dollars or whatever im sure it would be easy. there are more smurfs in immortal than ever before because they made it so easy to gain the mmr. boosters are cashing in like crazy. even in a perspective of fun, most immortals just wanna smurf with their friends, cuz immortal games suck. this is of course what all the archons and legends are raging about. playing against 30-0 tinkers every game, etc. the 100 hours thing makes no difference because there's already thousands of accounts that are active in ranked and ready to be boosted and sold. even when i was playing on an ancient account to play ranked with friends (because there's no other way to enjoy the game with my lower mmr friends LOL), there was smurfs on the enemy team almost every single game too. it's also probably easier for me to tell who's smurfing than it would be for a legitimate ancient player, so amidst all the complaints people have in lower mmr about their games, there's probably a lot more going on that they don't even see. no one in dota can have any true goal. you reach immortal but it leads you nowhere. you reach top 100 and it leads you nowhere. you just encounter the same empty all pick experience that dota has always been. in WoW i just applied to a guild, proved myself, and that was it. i was given the opportunity because i proved myself. it wasn't even just about skill in game but how you carry yourself as a person as well. you have to write an application. top guilds wanna see who you are, because it matters. in this game it's impossible because you aren't treated as a person and who you are doesn't matter, and thats largely because of the monetary factor. you don't get opportunities. nobody does. only the 50 hand-picked pros even get to REALLY play captains mode and experience dota for what its supposed to be. you watch truesight and get goosebumps and hyped up, then you queue and feel miserable and empty and everyone around you is hate-filled and has 0 expectation of ever making a single friend on dota or going anywhere with the game. it's not even worth it to look for a team or try to play captain's mode. based on whatever random patch or experiment valve is conducting at the time, you lose/gain mmr for all kinds of random reasons. having played literally only 1 hero the whole time i've seen these patterns extremely clearly. because Visage himself rarely changes my experience has been most impacted by the changes to all the other aspects of the game. if you don't want to spam the few best heroes, you're just gonna have a bad time. so many different examples over time i wish i could remember them all. like when i was sitting in 45min queues just to go up against one other top 200-300 player and i get to counter pick him mid because i got last pick so i roll over him and all his divine teammates. so they change the pick order and hide people's heroes, and now side laners just get owned randomly in their matchups because no HC or offlaner can see who they're laning against. all of these problems are just a product of the fact that all pick is an unfixable minigame. it's literally been a process replacing one problem with 2 more problems and it's been going on for so long that the game is just degrading. player count doesn't even increase for a single day when new patches or battle pass comes out lol. it's actually just gone down. if your 4 pos rotates mid in the first 10min, the enemy HC just gets free farm and you lose. if your 5 pos rotates, and your HC cant farm lane or doesn't know when to go jungle, or gets invaded by the dual lane momentum advantage, you lose. you can play offlane and make a TB go 0-4 in lane then he jungles and comes out with 800 gpm at 30min because the jungle is so massive and safe for carries for some reason. so you can't stop him unless you can somehow get your whole team to understand they have to shut down this TB, and then somehow overcome the other 4 players blasting spells in your face. but half your team is on roles they don't play, and most of them don't speak your language, or maybe the enemy mid got a sick dd rune at 4-6min and snowballed, or whatever other crazy factor, so you just lose to the 0-4 800 gpm TB. of course the game has always in some way been this way. sometimes you just lose because of a draft, or someone is emotional and tilts, or whatever. that's fine. it really is. in essence it's part of what makes dota so cool. it's a 10 player game. but what's not fine is this game becoming more and more about abusive, random, imbalanced mechanics and meta-states like neutral items or dual lanes. look how many changes neutral items alone went through since their release and how much they ruined the game. when carries would just 6 slot at like 20min with 3 neutral items lol. all the shrine and outpost changes. even valve's philosophies. they wanna try to make patches every 2 weeks, doesn't work. now they're gonna try to release hero changes a month after the main patch. will it matter? i mean, it's clearly all just a big experiment. additionally, obviously tons of people have gained/lost all kinds of mmr throughout this entire process for all of these varying reasons. dota has always been about heroes being stronger, having advantages over others, etc. but troll warlord with bkb, aegis, satanic, has basically 4 lives lol. there's actually nothing in the game to deal with this. if he just has a nice dual lane start he will have the advantage to be unkillable and perma root/bash any hero he hits for more than 1 second. there's a few other similar ones but troll is the funniest and most blatant example of something that just goes unchanged. in perspective, why did mirana ever need 3 leaps with 0 internal cooldown, why does qop need 1300 blink range at level 1? why did she need 40% MS slow on her shadow strike? lol if qop's blink gained range as it levels up like it used to the hero would probably feel okay. it's not fun to just chase a mirana that can triple leap instantly. just add a 2 second ICD or something? if she's not strong enough give her more dps or strength gain or something? why 3 leaps? what even is void spirit or pangolier? how can a hero just have 4 spells with ~15 sec cooldowns, and one of them has 2 charges, he can immune himself, get phys absorbs, disable, and obliterate people constantly? its just been in the game for like a year now lol. if he gets one good rune and gets a double kill on a side lane the game is just over. it's not even a problem that he's strong, it's that there's nothing you can ever do in the game anymore to make a difference. there's very little optimization of the game and so much focus on new features that it's just utterly ruined. you can just tell even from a design-philosophy standpoint, it's all wrong. everyone's helpless, and the more everyone feels this way about themselves, each other, and the game, the worse they'll feel and the more they'll hate and mistreat others. it's all a butterfly effect. dota may be better and more polished now in a way, but go watch games from 2013-2015 where your carries had maybe 2-3 items at 35min and see how much more cleanly the games played out back then and how much more fun and involved team-based aspects of the game were. it's so chaotic and saturated now that it's impossible to feel that anything you're doing matters unless you spam the top 1/2 pos heroes. the best way i saw to deal with troll in a pro game was where they just picked qop/void and infinite blinked around the map killing all the other heroes lol until they were strong enough to push and just avoid the troll the entire game, even when he had an aegis they took rax under his nose. i just don't think this is fun. immortal games should be moderated and have mmr decay. captains mode should be the primary ranked experience for leaderboard players. valve should be encouraging competitive team-based play for their competitive team-based game instead of this ALL PICK minigame. even just stimulating battle cup would make a difference. they make you spend 5$ per team to play just so you can get a temporary icon lol, like what? literally the tiniest, most simple, easy change, like just letting the players play for the entry fee pool which would be like 25$, would probably make people actually wanna play it. literally give any reason for anyone to play with their friends or make friends or see any purpose/hope whatsoever in doing so in a competitive dota environment. any of this obvious stuff would obviously benefit every ranked bracket and the overall health of the game and COMMUNITY organically. hopefully it's easy to see why, and to also see why it's so important. happy, friendly people = a better, more fun game. pretty much everything about the game is currently terrible aside from one fundamental fact, which is that it's the most in-depth and challenging game, and it's also been shown in studies that dota is the most isolated gaming community of all besides World of Tanks. this is cool, but this also reveals also how important it is that we don't have this total dystopian hatred and rage-fueled community of anti-social dota players hurdling around an increasingly dysfunctional video game and how important it is that EVERYBODY comes together for common goals to make things better for all of us. telling people to just quit dota or saying valve isn't repsonsible or whatever else isn't going to stop this machine which is impacting millions of real people who experience real feelings while they play the game, who feel that dota is the only fun game for them, and increasingly so in a society and point in history where there's really not much else to do than chill on your pc, because society is just collapsing in all kinds of ways and depression/suicide rates are higher than ever before in human history. instead of any of this changing or improving it just gets worse each year. the game becomes more of an experiment, while valve just helps boosters/sellers/buyers as they've been doing forever. even those battle pass "ranked seasons" a couple years back were literally only used by boosters to be abused because the player pool was so small they could easily match up with each other win trade. it's really terrible. in regards to the monetary aspects of the game, pros deposit 600k a year clean and spend thousands on professional analysts, coaches, maids, literally whatever they want. while every t2 or top 10-100 mmr player (gunnar xcalibur) have earned like 15k$ in 6 years lol and have 0 resources. it's not even an exaggeration. not only do they make like 1/10th of a minimum wage, but they spend 10x the hours, and at the end of it all they have as much chance at winning the lottery as they do of going pro. meanwhile notail is on truesight saying it's a beautiful game and everyone should love it so much. imagine being a t2 player or top 10 immortal and listening to this garbage all the time and you deposit your 1k$ that you earned from your last 500 hours of dota? ok... why don't you use your platform to speak about the truth and to care about others instead of lying outright to those which are the bedrock of your community and your success, a bunch of anti social gamers who probably need help more than most people in the world? i don't admire these people whatsoever. even as a 9-10k mmr player your best time investment is to spam queue and be griefed in pubs by spanish/russian players as you invest an additional 20,000 hours of your life on top of the 10 years and 20k hours you already invested, knowing in your heart you're never going pro or going to make anything out of dota. a good chunk of these guys probably have PTSD and psychosis. should they "just quit"? you have chinese teams match fixing. nobody seems to care at all that arteezy broke contracts bouncing between EG and secret just to maximize his profits lol. nobody cares that sumail has said that he wishes he was good at something else. people behaving like this and the entire scene being totally irresponsible doesn't even consider the larger factor, which is that these guys bootcamp with each other literally all year long bathing in money and the only difference between their scrims and the tournaments is just that they're playing in front of people or on a stage. it's seriously not that hype. they just have to perpetuate the hype fantasy to you because that is their job. that's how cosmetics sell. whether you aspire to ever accomplish anything with this game, or you just inevitably, naturally think about ways it could easily be improved. the "pros" are just there to keep you dreaming, and to keep you hating one another, and to keep you spending. PPD is the only player who ever talked about how wrong everything is and even he couldn't make a difference. he tried to run leagues, talk to valve about tourney structures, etc. its clear what valves intentions are. so now he's retired lol. he cashed out, tried to make a different but couldn't, so oh well. even the cosmetic market is impossible to de-saturate. i used to love trading keys and trying to get legendary qop wings, or playing year beast/diretide for the first time and getting some unique items. nothing is cool anymore. beyond that, some heroes still have like 0 cool items or any sets at all lol. somehow despite all of this, people just wanna scream about how the coordinators down and they need immortal treasure 2. so what i've realized is that dota, as an isolated community, is a perfect example when trying to analyze what's wrong with humanity, society, or the world at large. there are very few interference variables from the "outside" so to speak, since we are so isolated from other communities. mentalities, philosophies, etc from other gaming communities don't spill over as much into this one. we don't have a lot of younger players, as an example. i never really hear people talking about politics, etc. likely because dota has its own politics. in this example it's extremely easy to see patterns, the correlations, and the cause and effect behind the events when a corporation is able to brainwash millions of unwashed masses into a voluntary, downward spiral of hatred, self-loating, abusive behavior, and destruction, where these masses literally fight to protect and preserve something so terrible, and so harmful to them, just because it's comfortable. just because it enables them to continue consuming some somewhat nice product or service. if you look at what's happened with Valve, Dota, and it's players, you can see it's the exact same problem with the entire world, if you have any idea about what's going on in the world. im just bored. it's all so boring and tiresome. i just want to play some captains mode please......
The design proof of SBMM and how it's even worse than we imagined.
Hello Reddit, Let me preface this with some background about myself, I am an indie game developer with several years of experience in planning and designing systems for use in games. I spend a lot of time not only creating games, but playing them for enjoyment and getting inspiration to use in my own projects. I picked up MW a few weeks after launch and have both enjoyed and hated many aspects of the game. Infinity Ward in particular got my attention recently because they have been increasingly silent towards the community about the development of the game, so much so, that it really had me suspicious behind the motivation of this silence. I'll provide some other background information such as how I got this information, as well as outline a few other aspects that are interesting but not necessary to read. You are free to skip down to the actual proof of concept, under the header of "Practical Application of a Virtual Coaching System... Based Upon a Determined Playstyle of a Player"
How I got this information
A general trend I've noticed for any AAA studio, any game system they create is often designed with the assumption of patenting the system. We've already seen some examples on this subreddit as well as other places about some of the predatory patents companies like Activision or EA have published. Patent applications are generally published 18 months after they are filed, and the best way to gauge the intent of many of these larger companies is to look at the patents they have developed and published. The patent system allows for some level of transparency because it shows where the business is dedicating it's resources towards. However with the publication date being 18 months out from the filing date, it can sometimes make it difficult to figure out what current systems are designed in a predatory way or an unintended design flaw. There is a separate database that only stores applications for patents, I searched this separate database to see if I could find anything pertaining to some of the systems I've observed in the game, and yea, the patent for what the community refers to as "SBMM" is in there.
Other Notes and Patents
Interestingly, many of Activision's patents are riddled with references and acute details of SBMM and other game design systems that players have complained about. They use them as examples to explain how their patents would function, but in doing so, they reveal some of the designs they use to implement it in their own games. Surely, what better way is there to describe their own invention than by explaining how they have used the ideas in their own games?
System and Method for Validating Video Gaming Data
Abstract: The present specification describes systems and methods for filtering a video game user's match performance data or loadout data through validation mechanisms. For the performance data, the validated, signed performance data are written to a leaderboard service of the video gaming system. For the loadout data, the validated, signed performance loadout data are transmitted back to the client device and used when playing a game. Free computing and/or networking resources of the client game device are used as an intermediate between the client devices, validation services, and/or leaderboard services.
In general, this patent seems to touch upon issues related to cheating within multiplayer games. Specifically, in games like Call of Duty (which this one is clearly based on since it has a Call of Duty Ghosts leaderboard image as an attachment), it signifies how a server can validate custom user loadouts to ensure that they are not modified outside of the parameters the game developers have set. For example, being unable to modify the damage of your bullets. Or when they add store shop items like skins for your weapons, it will compare your loadout to your purchase history to ensure you actually own the skin. This all seems entirely reasonable and I don't consider any of this to be an issue. But, they also reference ways this can be used for leaderboard purposes as well, ensuring users cannot modify their post match results to send to their leaderboard service, guaranteeing that player data is authentic. They even describe what kinds of data can be gathered for the leaderboard:
a) "Data related to a plurality of scoring events that occur during a match. For example, high scores, kills or captures, fastest time periods to achieve certain scores, clearing or achieving specific game levels and/or win specific matches by a set of 'N' number of top performing users, ranking of the user with reference to the top 'N' users; and,
b) Data associated with in-game events such as, but not limited to, movement of the user throughout the virtual environment or topographical map of the game, interaction of the user's avatar with various virtual characters or elements in the game, virtual elements or items used and/or won, damage taken, perks acquired."
Now, on it's own none of this is surprising, as nearly all games try to gather player performance data and is usually just displayed back to the player when they request it. The second description is a little more interesting since it involves gathering more specific behavioral data, but still seems rather harmless. I am including this section because it seems that the next patent is an extension of this system to ensure leaderboard data is authentic.
Practical Application of a Virtual Coaching System... Based Upon a Determined Playstyle of a Player (SBMM Patent)
"Abstract: The present specification provides methods and systems for determining a player's playstyle based on a plurality of traits, extracted and determined from gaming parameters, and using the playstyle to present recommendations to a player via a virtual coaching system to help the player improve or modify the player's gaming skills for multiplayer video game play."
From my understanding, the intent of this patent is to provide a system for allowing players to find similar people of skill so the player can try to understand, learn, and increase their own skill. The game would offer coaching advice through an in game analysis of performance data between the player and others within the match. It collects various data about the player during matches, analyzes the data, and is able to provide constructive feedback to help the player get better at the game. Now this all sounds good on paper, right? Figure 2 Figure 2 indicates a generalized overview of how this whole system comes together. Figure 3 Figure 3 shows a flowchart on how they process this data, but what is really concerning to me is the last few parts, "Stored statistics are analyzed to determine one or more of the player's traits. Determined traits are used to determine the player's playstyle." They infer the ability to derive specific player traits from the data they gather, which only seems possible if they were tracking a large variety of individual player data.
"The claimed inventions herein represent a practical application of analyzing videogame data to generate a specific categorization of a player, identify corresponding other players, and generate and present areas of improvement based on other player data in a manner that is tailored to a multiplayer videogame environment."
"... may receive player performance data regarding the player's level in the video game, number of kills, frequency of deaths, points scored, treasure obtained, geographical location in a virtual world corresponding to a level in the video game, materials used, weapons used, frequency of game play, player speed, player movement, player success at specific challenges, player reaction to specific challenges, causes of player death, player selected teams, divisions, or other groupings, among other data (collectively, "Player Performance Data")"
"... processes one or more portions of the Player Performance Data in order to derive numerous outputs related to the player's playstyle, what causes the player to die, what are the player's weaknesses, what are the player's strengths, the overall performance of the player, changes in play strategy or tactics that could result in improving the player's performance, among other outputs."
So here they define "Player Performance Data." In general, it's how they define the data that is used to determine what a player's skill level is in relation to everyone else. They define some of the factors as to what this data would include, because it encompasses two main factors, player behaviors and quantifiable match performance data.
"For example, for a first person shooter game, statistics such as, but not limited to, weapon kills, headshots, grenade kills, accuracy, and deaths tend to be strongly correlated, either positively or negatively, with the player's scoring rate and are therefore stored. Personal statistics such as, but not limited to, knife kills, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone kills, and mine kills tend to not be strongly correlated, either positively or negatively, with the player's scoring rate and are therefore not stored."
"... the term "playstyle" comprises a combination of player traits which are indicative of certain behaviors, such as, but not limited to, how the player prefers to engage opposing players or how the player prefers to move in the game, and where each of the individual traits are determined from gaming parameters that quantify the player's performance in the game, such as, but not limited to, kill/death ratio, average kill distance, loadout/weapons/armor used, distance travelled, average speed, linearity of movement, or use of crouch, jump, or strafe."
"In an embodiment, the server determines a player's set of traits, and therefore playstyle, on the basis of one or more gaming parameters that are associated with that player. The one or more gaming parameters may be used to identify one or more traits that indicate the playstyle. In an example, a player trait of how the player engages in combat is partially indicative of a playstyle and may be identified using multiple gaming parameters such as, and not limited to, kill/death ratio, average kill distance, loadout/weapons/armor used, self-identification, or any other data. Similarly, another exemplary player trait partially indicating playstyle is how player moves during a game, which may be identified using multiple gaming parameters such as, and not limited to, distance travelled, average speed, linearity of movement, use of crouch, jump, or strafe, among others. In embodiments, the one or more traits that indicate a playstyle are combined to determine the overall playstyle of the player."
In essence, they track almost everything you do in the game and give you a performance score related to such factors. The way you play, from what paths you take and how fast you get there, to other metrics like K/D and average kill distance, are all tracked and stored in a database tied to your player profile. The entire way you play is tracked and stored in their databases.
"In embodiments, a player's playstyle is determined by a query from a database of the [server]. For example, in an embodiment, the [server] queries the average kill distance, total distance travelled, and average speed of a player in a first person shooter game to determine that player's playstyle. In an embodiment, a record representing the player's playstyle may be: avg_k_dist, total_dist_travelled, avg_speed..."
"The best players may be determined by referencing certain game statistics that are indicative of the player's performance, such as kill/death ratios, points scored, tokens earned, ranking, or other Player Performance Data, and comparing such data for all players to determine a set of players that are better than the player requesting improvement advice."
"Embodiments of the present specification seek the best players with the same classification of the playstyle, as the first player. In some embodiments, playstyles are evaluated and defined by metrics associated with a game type, for example, an FPS, and include, but are not limited to, average kills distance (defined as the average distance from a first player to a second player killed by the first player when the kill occurs), total distance travelled, average speed, kill-to-death ratio, score-per-minute, and player level. In another embodiment, the best players are sought that exhibit a similar playstyle as the first player. For example, the best players are searched who exhibit engagement and movement patterns (playstyle based on one or more traits) within some similarity threshold."
"The best players are identified based on one or more factors, which may vary based on a type of game or the context of the game. In an example of a FPS game, players with a high kill-to-death ratio, high score-per-minute, high level, or any other factor indicative of skill or performance may be identified as best players. In one embodiment, a specific percentage of the players with the highest performance are identified as the best players. In some embodiments, the player traits for identifying the best players is weighted depending on the game or the context of the game. For example, the player traits, or underlying player gaming parameters, may be weighted on the basis of total wins, total kills, win to loss ratio, kill-to-death ratio, experience, and level. In some embodiments, the best player(s) is determined by calculating averages and standard deviations of a particular metric among a certain number of players in one or more matches and identifying players scoring at least one standard deviation above the average as the best player(s). For example, in some embodiments, the averages and standard deviations are calculated from the metrics of players from 500 matches. Those players scoring at least one standard deviation above the average for a metric are considered the best players."
"... the first player is compared with the best players of similar playstyle, which were identified at 204. For a particular playstyle and/or context, embodiments of the present specification define the most important traits and/or statistics for success. These are the statistics that correlate most closely with a player being among best players. The statistics and/or traits to identify the best players may be combed through a machine learning algorithm, through human intervention, or through a combination of both. The machine can mine large and evolving datasets to derive and learn patterns to continuously improve its understanding of which statistics correlate highly with besting a best player. Programmers (humans) can manually define the statistics to compare."
The data they hold are thrown into a machine learning algorithm to create datasets of what factors into making a good player "good". The entirety of the system maybe not be fully implemented. It seems that a very basic version of this system is incorporated into the game at this time, and are actively updating it as time goes by. Additionally, this system only works if there is enough data to support how the player interacts with the game. Early on, the matchmaking system felt very aggressive and I'd assume this is because they wanted to force the players into new undesirable situations to gather data since they had almost none. (Beta could have also been used to obtain some data as well) Now that they have accumulated more data, they can start placing players who have similar playstyles against each other in the same match. This process is even defined below. Figure 4 Now figure 4 is the last piece of the puzzle in what they plan to do with this data.
"The result is the machine will have various models for different games/levels/modes/contexts of what statistics/traits are important to being successful within each playstyle. For example, for a "sniper" playstyle, it may be determined that shooting accuracy is a statistic that best correlates with overall player success. For a "run and gunner" playstyle, it may be determined that movement speed combined with total number of kills is a statistic that best correlates with overall player success. Accordingly, the correlation process identifies a subset of gaming parameters or statistics (of a larger total number of gaming parameters or statistics) that most strongly correlates with overall player success in a game."
"The best players may be determined by referencing certain game statistics that are indicative of the player's performance, such as kill/death ratios, points scored, tokens earned, ranking, or other Player Performance Data, and comparing such data for all players to determine a set of players that are better than the player requesting improvement advice."
"[software] for comparing the player with the best player(s) that have a playstyle similar to the player, determining improvements based on the discrepancies identified in the playstyles, presenting recommendations to the player so that the discrepancies are reduced/removed/minimized, thereby improving the player's gaming skills,"
Another concern I have is, at some point this data can become a universal tool tied to overall player accounts. These metrics may end up being tied to your Activision/Blizzard account which would determine what kind of players you play against in future unreleased games. Unfortunately, I can assume that SBMM is here to stay, because judging by the rest of the patent, they have not even finished rolling out the entirety of what they have planned behind the scenes. The first step is to gather data by forcing matchmaking between similarly skilled players. They can then analyze this data in some computer model that can spit out what different players did to perform better. They seem to be using this data in machine learning to determine what makes a good player "good" and what makes a bad player "bad". I can only assume the next phase is going to introduce a coaching tool that would display what players can do to improve in a particular situation. They explain how that would work as well,
"The information may be in the form of recommendations that enable the player to improve gaming skills. The player may request or ask for recommendations or advice during, after, and/or between game play sessions. In some embodiments, the player requests information related to their performance, such as for example, how their performance can be improved. The player may ask for recommendations or request information either verbally or through one or more options provided by means of a graphical user interface, by the gaming system.... such as "How did I do in the last match?", "How do I improve my skills?", "What strategy should I use?", "What role should I play?". "What division should I use?", or "Why did I lose?", among other questions."
I am very concerned with the direction of game development these days and I hope by bringing attention to issues like this will in some way allow for greater oversight on these practices. I may be a game developer, but I am a gamer first, and these large studios have clearly lost their "gamer" identity by making ideas that sound good on paper, but are not practical. In this case, they took their original concept, matchmaking, gathered data that supported players generally aren't getting better, or do so at a slower rate, and want to provide a faster, automated, and convenient way of increasing the player's skill level, which is referenced within the patent. This system may be designed towards players who do not have the time to commit to researching, practicing, and improving their skill level on their own, or those who find it daunting to do so. In general I am all for giving players tools and resources to promote a healthier gameplay style that is suited and fitted to what they enjoy, but this is reaching a new territory in competitive gaming. I am not a fan of this system, and I have many reservations about implementing such a system in any game because of some of the consequences it has produced in this game, among other issues that will present itself as they roll out more of the features. More than anything, I am not comfortable with such data being recorded, this feels as though it's breaching numerous privacy barriers and it's unsettling how far this can go. This kind of service should be completely opt-in, so that the player understands all of their actions in the game are going to be tracked to spit out some performance number. It seems that with Activision's hard push towards dominating eSports, they are figuring out more intricate ways to determine player skill level in competitive games which I assume they will use for their own gain. Modern Warfare is a proof of concept of how they envision the future of eSports. Lastly, the question I have to you all is, do you believe this level of tracking is acceptable? Do you think that every single aspect of your gameplay should be recorded, analyzed, and stored just so that the game can pair you up with similar people or provide "coaching" solutions to you? I would even argue this detailed tracking of player performance can be used nefariously as well. If this is the direction the game is heading towards, I can certainly see why the development team has been completely silent on the issue. Edit: After reading some comments, there are some that are confused as to why this is a big deal. First let me address why I find these findings troubling: the data they gather can be used for more than just the purpose of skill based matchmaking. They have already admitted that conventional match making systems are sub optimal for business purposes, and are figuring out ways to extend this system in other areas like enticing the player to make in-game purchases.
Matchmaking System and Method for Multiplayer Video Games
"Furthermore, conventional systems fail to assess a quality of gameplay used to tune matchmaking processes to optimize player combinations. Conventional systems also fail to reserve gameplay sessions for players in a way that minimizes the time that a player must wait to be matched. Conventional systems further fail to leverage matchmaking processes in other contexts, such as influencing game-related purchases, suggesting group formations, training/identifying non-player characters, and/or otherwise extending the use of the matchmaking process. These and other drawbacks exist with current matchmaking processes utilized in multiplayer video games."
They are spending a lot of resources into trying to create a fun and engaging match making system, but one that can also be used to influence the player into making decisions. However, with the general reception of the current implementation, they failed to accomplish the first goal of making it an enjoyable experience. Additionally, with so many variables being tracked, they can create a uniquely identifiable fingerprint in the same way advertising companies are trying to identify users based on mouse movements on a web page, browser choice, typing speed, etc. Ultiamtely with the goal of identifying who the user is, to display an ad relevant to them, and entice the user to buy it. Now translating this back to game design, the developers can use this data to identify a subset of players that would make purchases based on SBMM. Just look at the battle pass, they have conveniently given everyone the ability to earn free guns. In the future they will find a way to lock something behind a paywall, and I can imagine the game will try to pair you up with players who are better than you who own such items to make you think you need to buy it. It may not work on you, but it could work on someone else, and that's all they care about. On the surface the intent is to gather this data on how to improve your skill in the game, but they can also do that without SBMM. The outcomes would be the same, the data would just take longer to produce accurate results because in the traditional matchmaking system, lobbies would have far more variety. Judging by what I've seen, read, and experienced, SBMM was very aggressive after release, whereby players where constantly yoyo-ing between good and bad matches. And I suspect it was due to gaining as much data as possible while there was still a huge player base as machine learning models require a lot of data to be useful at all. The proposed coaching system they included in the patent is a great idea, but it can also be accomplished without the SBMM they defined along side it. Again, it would have just taken longer to build the necessary models for the player.
When is solo mode coming to the current game mode? LINK
Solo Mode is actually coming to the game TOMORROW in a special form which we call Dark Haze. We're excited to hear what you think about it. ~Graeme LINK
Is it a BR or a game with a BR mode? There seems to be a lot of locked portals in the hub, suggesting the game might be more than a battle Royale? LINK
While our focus right now is on building a great Battle Royale, our plans for its future expand beyond BR. We created the construct of the Hyper Scape as a way to grow not only the game experience, but also to build the lore. ~JC LINK
When do you plan to nerf the minigun? Literally everybody just runs around with that gun and all the others are clearly inferior to it. LINK
We have plans to nerf the Hexfire already. JC would like it tomorrow, but it will come soonish. "Producer Soon" ~Graeme LINK
Are there any plans to add wall running/wall jumping? Were these ideas tested internally? LINK
We don't currently have plans for wall running, as we have focused our mobility and traversal on the double jumps and hacks you currently see in the game. We are monitoring feedback so are keeping our minds open for ideas like yours in the future. ~Thomas LINK
How often do you plan on doing updates for the game starting at launch? Are you doing weekly updates? In these updates are you targeting bug fixing and balancing or adding more things to the game? Enjoy the game a lot by the way. LINK
We will have more to say about our seasonal cadence soon, but we are planning to roll out regular balance updates for our hacks and weapons, starting with the Hexfire ;) As far as new features and adding new things to the game, we have some cool things planned. ~Thomas LINK
Does console also get a opportunity to get the twitch items and the 10 tier battlepass once its launched on console? LINK
The contents of the Technical Test battle pass are exclusive to players of the test. But the game will have cross progression once consoles launch, which means you can have those items on console if you jump into the TT now, so get in there! ~Graeme LINK
Do you guys have more hacks planned? I’m already seeing streamers saying they want more. Also, you guys should have a event that respawns everyone that is currently “dead” that would make some games crazy ! LINK
We definitely plan to add more Hacks in the future. Hacks are a key part of creating an interesting and diverse gameplay experience for us, so we'll certainly be adding more. ~Thomas LINK
Will you be adding a "career profile" where you can see overall wins, kills, highest kill game etc? (or is there a way to check already that im unaware of?) LINK
The idea of a career profile is something we are looking into doing for the future. It's more a question of when than if right now. ~Thomas LINK
Hey! I love the game. I have one question though, when are you planning to release on consoles? LINK
We're planning another live phase on PC, but as for consoles, we'll be releasing later this year. ~Graeme LINK
I have two What is your guy’s balancing methods toward each guns and is there lore to the Crown Rush mode ? LINK
The goal of our balancing is to build a game where all weapons are accessible for all types of players while making sure they have solid depth to please competitive players. We're also focused on designing them in a way to support multiple playstyles. We are closely monitoring the gameplay data and community feedback right now to keep on top of any exploits or unbalance that arises. ~Thomas LINK
We're focused on PC and server stability at the moment, but will come back soon to console specific features. ~Thomas LINK
How did you guys decide 'time to kill' Loving it so far. Any map plans? LINK
We plan for Neo Arcadia to evolve season after season. ~JC LINK
Hey! I know that this game is completely knew but where do you see this game going in the future. Do you guys have a roadmap planned that includes changes to the maps, new weapons and game midway? Merci! LINK
We are just at the starting point today. From here it's a blank page that we plan to explore and expand over time. ~JC LINK
will there be a leave squad penalty. my whole squad leaves almost every game LINK
We're monitoring player behavior on topics like this very closely. Leave Penalty is not something in from the beginning, but we'll see if it becomes an issue. ~Graeme LINK
Hey guys. Your game looks so amazing. I was wondering if you guys could give a slight hint at how ready the console version is. Also would you guys consider duos and more offensive hack abilities later down the line. LINK
We're examining different team mode sizes for the future, and investigating more offensive and defensive Hacks going forward. ~Graeme LINK
Any plans on possibly lowering the TTK on low fuse or unfused weapons, so players stand a chance against players with fully fused arsenals? Also will there be changes made to certain hacks? Namely walls. The out of map glitch Is one thing but what about their size? With the speed quick mobilty, walls completely bail out players at times due to the size of it blocking off pathways. Its easy to lose players in the city. I would really love to be an ambassador for a game that will really truly blossom such as Hyperscape. Love and enjoy the game Ubi! Don't do anything to ruin it! LINK
We know that TTK is always a big topic, and it is always a critical part of our balancing process. One of the big design goals of this Technical Test was to get good data and feedback on this so we can look at its overall balance. ~Thomas LINK
There are a lot of unique mechanics shown in Hyper Scape, but also a lot of features seen elsewhere. What were some places you all as devs have drawn inspiration from? LINK
We've drawn a lot of inspiration from old school shooters like Quake and Unreal, which I personally played a ton of in their day. ~Graeme Tribes! ~JC Quake 2 for me. ~Thomas LINK
When are you planning on releasing the game in more territories/countries? LINK
In our next PC test phase, which is coming quite soon, many more territories will be included. ~Graeme LINK
There are multiple layers of anti-cheat mechanics and processes, including hardware banning, to carefully tackle cheating issues that come up. ~Thomas LINK
Do you imagine a future where as Devs, you directly work on fostering an esports scene, or would you rather be more independent of it? LINK
The game is inherently competitive but the players will be the ones to tell us if it will be an Esport in the future. We'd like the community to decide. ~Thomas LINK
Will there be in game events that occur on a randomised basis when there is no streamer left in a lobby? Have you any plans to roll the technical test out to further regions or allow people from other regions to queue with friends from allowed regions? Finally with such a high mobility game, network performance is everything, what is in place to mitigate any ping advantage and at what tick are the servers running? LINK
If there are no streamers in your match, Hyper Scape's host AI, Ultimate Grace, will manage the playing of effects cards throughout it, with a smaller pool of effects to choose from than our streamers have access to. For example, Low Gravity is not one of Grace's options. ~JC LINK
How has COVID-19 affected the production, design, reveal and launch of your game? LINK
Launching a game during all of this has been the second* biggest challenge of my career. The core of the team is still working from home, and the production has gone very smoothly despite all these challenges. I'm incredibly proud of the work this team has done to deliver Hyper Scape on time and in such a solid state. ~Graeme *the biggest is working with JC LINK
Was really shocked to receive a technical test drop. And really enjoyed the game. Was curious if like myself console gamers who receive tech access on pc will get early access on consoles perhaps? And is there plans for a solo mode in the future! Thanks for all the hard work LINK
Console will launch on Season 1 release. What's cool to remember is everything you unlock during Tech Test on PC will carry over to your console account. ~Graeme LINK
Hey! I just got a drop and everything works fine, right up until I get to 2/3 RC things installed and then it says that a file called vulkan-1.dll was not found and doesn't allow me to complete the installation. Please could you see why this might be and if other people have had this problem and fixed it, please inform me as to how, thanks :) LINK
Make sure you update your video card drivers to the latest version, and be sure you have a card that supports Vulkan. ~Graeme LINK
Will there be event integrations (love gravity or unlimited ammo for example) happening on other livestream platforms? I.E. YT Gaming, FB Gaming, etc LINK
We've partnered hand in hand with Twitch to build a best in class extension, the Crowncast, and have been focused completely on that platform at the moment. ~Graeme LINK
I’m not an engineer, just a normal scrub. Why did you decide to use the Siege engine (Anvil Next?), for a game like this? What advantages does what was considered a “Frankenstein” engine have compared to some of the other tech that’s in Ubisoft? LINK
Starting with Rainbow 6 Siege gave us the opportunity to start with tech and server architecture which had already shipped and been improved over the years. This is obviously a very different game so we had to implement a lot of different tech to achieve the 99 player count and map size of Neo Arcadia. ~JC LINK
Do you plan to add skill-based matchmaking to Hyper Scape's casual modes? LINK
Our focus right now with Tech Test is making sure our servers are running properly. Regarding matchmaking we're gathering feedback and data on the subject right now and remain open to altering it in the future. ~Graeme LINK
I have so many lore questions after seeing gameplay and checking the site, but to start off, what is a Casulink? All 8 playable characters have it behind their name and was wondering. LINK
Casulinks are what we call the starting champions in the Hyper Scape. They are unique people with names and backstories, but you will meet our hero characters in the near future, who our game's overall storyline will follow. ~JC LINK
Can you give us a clue on what new modes or content we can expect on Full Release? LINK
There will be new mechanics and modes coming in the future for sure. You asked for a clue so I will be very obscure. Maybe we should do something with these four lobbies? ~JC LINK
Will the game be playable on cloud streaming services such as Geforce Now? Considering Ubisoft's ongoing support for the service, it's only natural that a question like this could come up. More and more people would like to experience the game, myself included. LINK
We're currently confirmed for PC, Xbox One, and PS4, and as a team we're looking at what other platforms we'll release on in the future. ~Graeme LINK
With crossplay can it be console vs console only? LINK
We're looking closely at crossplay implementation right now, so we can't say much further on the topic at this time. ~Graeme LINK
I'm getting so fucking tired of this game honestly I barely even want to play it anymore but I made myself keep going because I wanted the event gear that they decided had to be a timed exclusive for some reason because ADDING CONTENT TO THE GAME AND THEN REMOVING IT IS SUPER SMART AND HEALTHY FOR THE GAME???? I try to get orders done every day because they make the steel gain pitiful through regular play because you're not supposed to unlock things by playing the game because this is after all a Ubi$oft game and they want to give you the least amount of enjoyment possible so that you're more likely to spend money, but then they make the orders fucking unbearable shit like capturing 20 zones so that you have to fuck around like an idiot fenagling people in and out of the zone and crying when your teammate rushes in to defend a zone that's about to be captured. Or how about completing 12 matches as a vanguard??? Oh yeah do 12 fucking matches as the class that has the least fucking diversity that's real smart design. If you don't like warden raider or kensei go fuck yourself basically. Doing 4 tribute matches is a shitty order too, you can rarely find a tribute match so you have to turn matchmaking off and play with bots and the bots on your team will always be braindead asswaffles who die in 1v1s even though they're a higher level bot than the enemy, so either your tribute match will end in the first 2 minutes or it'll go all the way into overtime so getting 4 done can either be the quickest order or the longest, and on top of that IT ONLY GIVES YOU 750 XP! On the topic of orders that give 750 XP, the allied warrior order is easily the worst order and obviously the most hated one in the game, but have they removed it??? NO! Because they want you to harass your friends into playing the game to boost their player count. The whole order system fucking sucks. If you don't play for a few days you miss out on the only meaningful steel gain you have and if you do play constantly it doesn't even give you enough to do. This game is full of stupid ways to try to get people to play it when they don't want to anymore because it's a LiVe sErViCe multiplayer game that tries to stretch one game into 5 years of content instead of just making a game and then making a sequel for people who enjoyed the first one. The entire live service design is self defeating because it incentivizes making the game worse to extract more money out of players, and ubisoft expected a fucking fighting game to be as popular as a shooter game so they made For Honor follow the same dumbass formula as rainbow six, except it actually works in rainbow six unlike this fucking game. I remember the older Soul Calibur games before SC6 hopped on the same fucking live service bandwagon actually had you unlock the characters THROUGH GAMEPLAY! IMAGINE THAT? UNLOCKING GAME CONTENT BY PLAYING THE GAME??? IN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME BASED ON COMPLETING OBJECTIVES RATHER THAN GRINDING FOR ABSTRACT VIRTUAL CURRENCY CALCULATED TO TAKE SO LONG THAT PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO PAY TO SKIP IT??? Then they realize that fighting games aren't popular enough so they decide they need market appeal for China so they hamfist the fucking wu lin into the game in an obvious marketing move. Of all the wu lin the only one I like is zhanhu because their armor actually looks good, even though there's not much variety too it. Other than zhanhu you have Screechy McEarbleed, Oldman Shinkick, Captain Hook, and Stick Man. They all have a few things in common. One, they're all kind of crappy, two, they're all loud as fuck, and four, dodge attacks. Even though they're not very good characters they successfully manage to be the most contradictory annoying motherfuckers ever. It doesn't help that half of the fucking bots in AI matches are tiandis, doing dodge attacks that you can hear from across the map and so slow that you could parry it by slamming you face into the controllemouse. Everyone's probably noticed that while both the male and female version of tiandi like to recite an entire fucking shakespeare play every time they do any attack, the female one is decidedly more annoying. You may have also noticed that the female zhanhu has waaaaaaaaay louder out of stamina panting and long fall screams. I don't know why they did this, but it's annoying. I'm not going to lie I haven't played pvp in this game since april of 2017 and I credit that choice with my mostly intact sanity, and I think if I hadn't stopped playing pvp I would have quit a long time ago, but the AI modes are for the most part more relaxed and easier to enjoy in general, but it's not without issues. The obvious one is that occasionally a level 3 bot finds it's way into your relaxed rep grind, and then suddenly you're standing on a bridge with your ps4 over your head about to finally rid yourself of this game. Fortunately the level 3 bots have been tuned down a lot, but there's still issues with the AI in this game that aren't even exclusive to the high level bots. Most people know that the bots react by reading your inputs, and a such even level 1 bots dodge things that players can't dodge consistently, like gladiators toestab. I've dodged that move maybe 4 times ever and the level 1 bots dodge it with about 50% accuracy. Also characters that rely on lightspam to do any meaningful damage like orochi or nuxia are basically shit tier against AI because they have the same likelihood to block a fast light attack as a slow one. Level 2 bots take a considerable leap. Level 1 bots don't execute, don't guard break, don't use revenge, and rarely use combos. In contrast, level 2 bots do execute, they do guardbreak (and counter guard break), they do use revenge, and seem to get it as soon as a second person even looks at them, and they use most of their moveset, but they still don't feint or parry. Level 2 bots are hardly unassailable, but they definitely amplify everything that's annoying about fighting bots, and if you have a bad team it's even worse. Level 2 bots with a good team is actually more fun than level 1s but you're not going to get good teams most of the time. Also here's an unexpected thing that pisses me off: LADDERS! Half the time I go up a ladder my character goes up a few rungs then goes back down, and right before climbing onto it you slow down for some reason, but when a bot grabs the shield banner in breach they get sucked halfway up the ladder as soon as they go near it. While we're on the topic of breach I have a few things to say. I actually like breach, it gives pretty good rewards and it's probably the most fun AI mode, but there's still problems with it. The first is that some characters just kind of suck for breach and if your team isn't coordinating you might end up being the only one defending the ram as peacekeeper who can't do shit to the pikemen. It's also pretty clear that defending is faster than attacking, but you do get more xp for winning as attackers than defenders to be fair. The bots know as soon as the shield banner spawns but to be fair if you're paying attention to the clock so do you, but if feels pretty unrealistic they way that the bots know instantly, honestly it'd be better if it just showed on screen as soon as it spawned so that everybody knows. The most annoying part of breach though is probably the commander. He's just a bullshit artist and there's no debate about it. Some people think that he has to be otherwise he'd get destroyed instantly but this is a rant so fuck constructive criticism. His overhead unblockable that does 60 damage and knocks you down IS BULLSHIT not because of the move itself because that shit is fucking easy to avoid, the bullshit part is that if you get hit by something else while he's winding up you can't parry it when it hits you. If you're locked onto him and you get hit by any other enemy there's a window where you're stunned and can't parry his attack that KNOCKS YOU DOWN AND TAKES HALF OF YOUR HEALTH. Or if he shits out a grenade and you roll away to not get hit by it then he hits you with his heat seaking overhead attack that knocks you down and takes half of your health. And if you don't roll the explosion staggers you and you can't dodge or parry his attack that knocks you down and takes half of your health. If he knocks you down with revenge you can get up in time to not get hit but it's sketchy. There's also his zone attack which is just the highlander zone attack but unblockable. The issue with this move is that sometimes you just can't parry it??? am I the only one who has this issue?! Sometimes you can dodge the first and if you try to parry the second it just does a heavy attack like the old unlock exploit with raider where they would unlock as they did the unblockable so you couldn't parry it. Fortunately that got fixed but I have no fucking idea what's up with the commander doing that. There's also some light attack that he does that does 60 fucking damage but only if it hits you while he's locked onto someone else?? No idea what's up with that either but it fucking hurts my damn feelings. There's also the issue of revenge. For some reason the commander is able to get revenge even when only one person is attacking him. Fortunately it's just an interrupt and it doesn't actually shield him at all but it's still fucking annoying. Then there's the issue of infinite revenge if he gets pushed out of his arena. I get why they did this but it's honestly just the worst. People just keep attacking him instead of letting him walk back to the place where he isn't invincible and you can't do anything about it other than wait for them to die. Speaking of boss battles, let's talk about Test your Metal. Or Mettle. Idk. It's fun if you have a good team and awful if you don't, because this is an obligate multiplayer game and your enjoyment will be determined by how awake your teammates are. If your teammates all leave they get replace by level 3 bots. Don't expect these level 3 bots to be good though. For some reason as soon as they're on your team they forget the controls. I wouldn't have too much issue with test your metal if there weren't daily orders requiring you to play it. I'm not always in the mood for something difficult and forcing me to play this annoying ass game mode and on top of that requiring me to revive 3 people is not okay. First off revive orders are stupid in general and I hate them but also the enemies in test your metal actually know how to do executions so even if your whole team dies in a round you might not be able to revive them. There's a lot of annoying things about the specific enemies in test your metal too, like Tozen and his fucking arrows, Gudmundr and his slow ass fake out heavies that do 50 damage, Appollyon and her 60 damage attack that completely depletes stamina, and everything about Ranja. If you've been playing for a while you may remember the first test your metal, it was hard but fun, and people generally liked it. Then they removed it. This seems to be something ubisoft likes to do, add a fun PVE mode to a mostly pvp game then delete it. If you play rainbow six you might remember the quarantine event. That was a lot of fun and they clearly put in a lot of work, then they removed it. At least for that they're planning a full game for it, but I don't know why they're so against having PVE content for this game. Arcade is fucking laughable, tied to a $30 expansion that comes with characters that you either might already have or might not even want, and the mode itself isn't even that good. I've only played it once when someone invited me to play it with them since you don't need the expansion to join someone else who has it, and it wasn't that great. This game has a really fun combat system that's pretty unique, and it's totally squandered by being a PVP focused multiplayer game. I don't know why Ubisoft does this, they take really great ideas and fucking ruin them just to make a little more money. I guess they have to keep their bank accounts full to keep Vivendi away. If a well made singleplayer game with a combat system like For Honor ever got released I'm pretty sure they'd lose like 30% of their players. TL;DR Ubisoft is ruining this game by intentionally designing it to be manipulative to get you to play it more and spend more money instead of just making a game worth playing.
=> Logo The Division 2 is heading back to where it all began in The Division 2 Warlords of New York, a narrative-driven expansion that brings the action from Washington, DC to the summery streets of Lower Manhattan. Coming March 3, Warlords of New York features a new open-world map for Agents to explore, along with a new story that puts them back on the trail of rogue Division Agent Aaron Keener.
The Division always had the goal to restore order, continue the government and keep society together. But this is also a brutal and thankless task that faced the agents against brutal and merciless adversaries. But the most dangerous enemies of them all have always been the Division Agent that went rouge and took all their knowledge and technology and turned against the society they once swore to protect.
=> Attack It is now eight months after the outbreak of Green Poison that brought down society and killed millions. The agents of Washington D.C. are called back to New York City, where it all started. A biological attack has hit Lower Manhattan and it is your job to hunt down the man responsible. Aaron Keener, callsign “Vanguard”, he is an Agent from the First Wave. The First Wave was activated shortly after the initial outbreak and had the responsibility to restore order, but they were eventually abandoned and left to die in the Dark Zone. That is the moment where Keener lost faith and went rogue. He disappeared and gathered all the tools to engineer his own biological weapons. Now eight months later, Keener has returned to New York and he has attacked The Division Headquarters and killed dozens of top Division Agents and countless innocent civilians. And it seems, he is just getting started. Keep in mind, Keener knows the city inside and out and he is as lethal and as cunning as they come.
=> Aaron Keener After disappearing in the first game, Keener has resurfaced, surrounded himself with other rogue Agents, and used them to unite New York’s violent factions under his own banner. Worse, he’s working to create a new bioweapon even more potent than the Green Poison that brought society crashing down. Keener is not only looking for revenge, but he also seeks chaos, because he believes this is the only way humanity can thrive. And he is not alone. He recruited four other Rogue Agents that not only have the skill but also the determination to achieve that goal. These agents have worked their way up within factions ruling over Lower Manhattan. If we want to get to Keener, we need to go through them first.
Vivian Conley => Image Vivian Conley is a former counter-terrorism intelligent agent and chemical engineer. Conley’s last known location was the Two Bridges sector of Lower Manhattan. A hurricane-ravaged New York City a few months ago, so it’s a far cry from the thriving urban sector it once was.
Javier Kajika => Image He is a master of stealth and infiltration. He was a black-ops hitman for the U.S. government. Since the collapse, his loyalty goes to whoever will feed his need for blood. Our latest intel locates Kajika somewhere in the Battery Park area. This is the part of the city that’s taken over by swamp. The terrain is rough and scattered with giant sinkholes that used to be subway tunnels. Odds are, he knows that you are coming for him and he plans to use the dicey terrain to get the drop on you.
The Cleaners => Image Both Conley and Kajika work with the Cleaners. A former New York City sanitation unit that believes only fire can stop the virus. Conley was recruited by the cleaners when she went rogue and thanks to her technical expertise, they’re deadlier than ever. The Cleaners are ruthless and their “Cleansing Fire” takes no prisoners.
James Dragov => Image Dragov is a former police officer and a heavy weapons and defense specialist. His relentless fight for justice made him a legend on the force. But now, his allegiance has changed. Dragov took hold of the Financial District and has been using it as the center of his Black-Market operation. The intel suggests, he is still there. But be careful, major flooding has transformed the entire district into a mudslide.
Theo Parnell => Image Parnell is a drone engineer and skilled hacker. He’s managed to stay off the grid, so all we can say for sure is, he’s a true mater of decoys and deception. Keener’s arranged for the Rikers to protect him at an unknown location in the Civic Center area.
Rikers => Image Dragov and Parnell have both been linked to the Rikers. Ex-Cons from Riker-Island prison. Regardless of who their enemies were in the past, they’ve agreed to band together. Their motto: “Power by Numbers” and just like Keener, they thrive in chaos.
Before you arrive at the Base of Operations with Agent Alani Kelso, you should be warned: A lot has changed in New York. The days when Division Agents were seen as knights in shining armor are long gone. The people that you will meet are survivors. Ever since Keener and his rouge agents took over Lower Manhattan there’s been a distrust of Division agents amongst civilians.
Agent Faye Lau has been the acting commander of The Division in New York City and is leading the hunt for Keener. Her methods are “unconventional”. But we’re in a race against the clock and Lau knows what it takes to get results quickly. => Image
Paul Rhodes You’ll also find Paul Rhodes, now the leader of the civilian settlement. Because he’s so tapped into the city he may be able to help you track Keener and his rogue agents. => Image
=> The Map SHD Agents are being sent to Lower Manhattan in response to a recent biological attack resulting in the death of numerous civilians and SHD Agents. Your job will be to hunt down Aaron Keener who orchestrated the attack and who we believe is planning to launch future attacks. Considering the delicate scenario, once sent to New York, you won’t be able to return to Washington D.C. for the duration of the entire operation. However, once you’ve reached Level 40 and finished the main campaign missions, you’ll be free to switch between Washington D.C and New York as you want, enjoying the brand new endgame and seasonal post-launch activities.
Five main campaign missions
The renewed battle for New York unfolds across five main campaign missions (four of which can be tackled in any order), along with open-world activities and eight interconnected side missions that let Agents further interfere with Keener’s plans. Once you’ve finished those, you’ll have a new endgame to contend with, which affects not only New York but Washington, DC as well.
All is connected
There are five distinct investigation threads, each linking the main and side missions together and leading you through the narrative.
5 Main Missions
8 Side Missions
Main missions and side missions are now linked together.
Improved Boss fight mechanics
Unique Skill Mod rewards
Map Expansion: Lower Manhattan
4 Named Zones
Fog of War – Explore the map to identify points of interest and activities.
Wide range of Open World activities as well as new secrets and collectibles to find.
Four New Named Zones
Warlords of New York’s Lower Manhattan contains four new named zones to explore: the Financial District, Two Bridges, Battery Park, and Civic Center. These areas make up a massive former Dark Zone that encompasses places like Wall Street and Chinatown, all recently smashed by a summer hurricane into a treacherous, twisted landscape. The new zones are open only to Agents who’ve reached Level 30 and World Tier 5. Each zone levels up along with your Agent, letting you explore freely as you climb toward the new level cap of 40.
In The Division 2 Warlords of New York, enemy levels always scale to player level, regardless of the activity you choose. You’ll be able to explore the map and play any mission you want, whatever order you prefer since missions will be scaled according to your level, alongside the Open World. Choose your own path, agents! Of course, it’s still possible to play missions with other agents since enemies will scale their power to the group members in the session. Once you finish the new main campaign missions and reach the new level cap at 40, all world activities will scale at max level too, including those in Washington D.C. Playing the main campaign missions will sure help to get to the maximum level and finish your objective. However, exploring New York has its own rewards! Not only will you encounter Control Points, Supply Drops, patrolling enemies and other activities, you can also pick up loot from the different containers spread around New York, new collectibles, puzzles and much more! All these activities scale with your level too and make New York truly your own playground!
Fog of War
=> Fog Upon the arrival in New York, what Agents should expect is an unexplored territory where the entire world map is initially covered by Fog of War. While the Fog of War is active, question marks will appear on the world map, and it is up to you to find what’s hidden in the area. GPS navigation won’t be available until the map is explored, but once you clear the Fog of War, all markers on the world map will be revealed. Even in the dark of the Fog of War, you’ll be able to see clues that will help you through the hunt for your primary target: Aaron Keener. Agents, you’re the Light in the Dark.
Factions of NYC
While the Rikers and Cleaners may be familiar names to the veterans of the first game, they are not quite the same factions as you might remember. In the months passed between the two games, the factions have re-organized themselves after the loss of their leaders, grown more battle-hardened and are now more tactically minded in combat. In addition to these, you will also find the occasional Last Man Battalion soldier together with the Black Tusk, as the remnants of the once-powerful mercenary group are now under Black Tusk command.
Rikers – Escaped inmates from Rikers Island Prison.
Cleaners – Former sanitation workers who believe the way to stop the virus is to burn it out.
Peacekeepers – Civilian group made up of battle-hardened survivors and former JTF members.
With TU8 / Warlords of New York, we get a new level cap – Level 40. Your adventures in New York require an upgrade to your firepower, which is why in The Division 2 Warlords of New York, players will be able to increase their Level from 30 to 40 and are presented with our new end-game. Gear Score, a term our veteran players know, will no longer be the way to measure how powerful your agent will be once you venture into Lower Manhattan. Players who don’t own the expansion will continue to protect Washington D.C. in World Tier 5, at Level 30 and an increased 515 Gear Score. They won’t be able to join New York players or Level 40 agents in the Level 40 Washington D.C or New York activities, but will still share public spaces such as Settlements or the Base of Operation. The Division 2 Warlords of New York owners who didn’t complete the main Washington D.C. campaign and World Tiers can, if they wish to do so, start from Level 30, World Tier 5 and transfer to New York, using the Level 30 Boost that comes with the purchase of the expansion.
Level 30 Boost Clarification
An unlimited-use level-30 boost is included in the Warlords of New York expansion, available on March 3.
A single-use level-30 boost is available in the in-game store now.
The single-use can still be purchased by players who have already pre-ordered the expansion. This is not intentional, and players who purchased both products accidentally can contact support for a refund.
Coop level 30 and level 40
If you are playing content in Washington D.C., level 30 and level 40 players can play together, there are no restrictions. The level 30 player will be buffed to level 40 – like when you play with a sub-30 player – and everybody will be able to do their job. The Raid will have a level 30 and a level 40 version, currently it has not been defined how exactly it will work there.
Four New Skills
You’ll also be able to unlock four new Skills, including a decoy, an incendiary sticky bomb launcher, a trip-wire trap, and an explosive sticky bomb launcher.
Warlords of New York will also see a large number of new exotics, named items and gear be introduced to the game.
At launch you won’t be able to upgrade exotics to level 40, as they would like you to focus on the new exotics and items in general. They do want to allow you to bring them up later and are looking at interesting ways of doing it that also make exotic materials more useful.
A New Cohesive End-game Experience
A major focus during the development of Warlords of New York was to create a compressive, cohesive end-game experience with clear goals after having reached Level 40. A number of features will come together to shape this new end-game experience, including SHD Levels, Legendary difficulty, Seasons and more.
A new infinite progression system unlocks points to improve your agent on a regular basis. Once you hit level 40 – the new level cap – the SHD Levels replace the old Field Proficiency system. Instead of earning a cache with loot, you now have the opportunity to invest points into one of four distinct Core Attribute categories that give your agent a permanent upgrade.
There are a total of four Core Attribute categories (Offense, Defense, Utility, Handling) and one Scavenging category. Defense, for example, also has subcategories and in each sub-category you can invest a total of 50 points. For example, you can increase your Total Health through these SHD Level Points and each point gives you 0.2% more health as permanent upgrade. That means, when you max out that category, you have 10% more health. Scavenging has, in contrast to the other categories, no cap and can be invested in as much as you want. Through this category, you get access to resources. As you level up the SHD Level, your watch will also get visual improvements and will look more impressive.
As mentioned, the SHD Level System has clear defined caps and when you max out a category, you don’t get 400% more damage. It gives you an increase that you will notice, but it is not mandatory to max out all categories to be able to play the Raid for example.
Account vs. Character
At the moment it has not been specified if the SHD Level can be leveled per account or if it is character bound.
Core Attribute categories are:
The Core Attribute categories upgrades are finite. Once maxed out, the SHD level points can be spend into the fifth, scavenging category – yielding credits and crafting materials.
Critical Hit Chance
Critical Hit Damage
The Scavenging category gives players resources, including:
The look of your Agent’s wristwatch, representing SHD Level, will become increasingly impressive over time, signifying players’ reached milestones to other Agents.
Heroic Difficulty for the other Factions
Heroic difficulty missions will no longer be exclusive to Black Tusk, and all factions will be available in Heroic difficulty.
The new Legendary difficulty will become available to Level 40 agents and it is The Division 2’s pinnacle difficulty. While the raid was all about puzzles, coordination and teamwork, Legendary Difficulty is designed to test how good players are at every aspect of combat. A new, elite sub-faction of the Black Tusk will be sure to keep you on your toes through a new legendary AI.
Legendary difficulty scales depending on whether Agents play solo or with a team.
Active on three Strongholds
Players who feel Heroic difficulty isn’t challenging enough can try Legendary difficulty in the three original Strongholds, featuring the toughest AI yet.
District Union Arena
The Black Tusk got a visual makeover in Legendary missions, trading all-black outfits for all-white ones.
Enemy AI has been toughened, and cooldowns and wind-up times have been shortened to get a more pure and deadlier version of the original Black Tusk Archetype to provide a challenge for the top players.
The goal is, that the difficulty does not come from enemy health or damage, but from their AI and tactics.
You will need min-maxed gear that is optimized for that sort of content and does its job in terms of effectiveness or damage.
Some Archetypes also got new abilities to make them more deadlier. For example: The legendary Black Tusk Tank now has a Wasp Hive equipped – so the closer he gets, the more dangerous he is.
Since Gear 2.0 is also part of TU8, it is now possible that difficulty = loot quality. But how does that work? When you look at the stats on the equipment they have defined what “average rolls” for the attributes are and the higher your difficulty is, you have less bad rolls on your gear. So there will be a big difference in terms of how good the rolls on your gear are between normal difficulty and legendary difficulty.
Something they have on the radar and when this is something the community wants, then that will be something they look into.
=> Image Independently from Global Difficulty, directives allow you to activate gameplay modifiers on main missions, side missions, and open-world activities; increasing the overall difficulty and granting you additional XP. You will be able to activate up to 5 directives, scaling up the XP reward multiplier for each active directive. As seasonal XP is gained by all activities that yield XP, activating directives will also boost your seasonal XP gain.
You can select from these Directives:
Start with less ammo & lose rounds left when reloading. Enemies don’t drop ammo & no ammo is shown on the mini-map.
When one skill is activated the other is put on cooldown.
Fog of War Revisited
Mini Map and directional threat indicators are removed.
Armor never regenerates after an encounter. It can be manually healed.
Enemy bullets may be of special types. What type depends on the enemy faction.
With Warlords of New York the behavior of Control Point changes. Before it was a constant fight against the factions and you really had to defend your Control Points. With the update, once you have taken a Control Point it is yours and it will stay that way. Then it is up to you if you want a very peaceful map and let it stay that way.
If you want more action, you can reset the map by changing the Global Difficulty. You can select from normal to hard and every time you change that difficulty, the map is reset – including Control Points. When that is not enough – directives can be applied on top of that. Both Global Difficulty and Directives affect every activity you can do in the Open World – Control Points, Supply Drops or Hostage Situations. Of course get rewards and loot that reflects that difficulty. Also – as shown in the screenshots – activating more directives gives you up to 125% more XP while doing activities. Global difficulty settings will apply both to New York and Washington, DC. Some surprises will be injected into the game to ensure that every time you replay something, there will be something to make it a little different.
Seasons is a key aspect of the new end-game experience. Each 12 weeks long, a season will task you to hunt down manhunt targets and earn unique rewards in the process. Seasons will become available for all players when reaching Level 40, allowing you to earn a new skill mod and unique seasonal gear and cosmetics by progressing through the seasonal level system. While participating in Seasonal events will yield additional Season XP, all in-game activities will reward Seasonal XP, allowing you to progress through the seasonal track while engaging in the activities of your choosing. In addition, an optional purchase will be available in the in-game store, which increases the overall rewards gained per season. As a top-level overview, a season is a calendar of in-game activities that ensures that you will have new activities to participate in on a weekly basis. In a nutshell, these activities can be categorized into:
Seasonal Manhunt Targets
Reimagined Global Events
After you have completed the vast new narrative experience in Warlords of New York and reached level 40, Seasons will be waiting for you with a whole new set of rewards, activities, and opportunities.
A breakdown of Seasons
Once you finish the story of Warlords of New York and reach the new level 40 endgame, Seasons bring further progression opportunities and playstyles. Starting one week after the release of Warlords of New York and lasting 3 months, Seasons revolve around the manhunt, a multi-step journey hunting down Rogue agents; players can also look forward to reimagined Global Events, new gear, Leagues, and apparel – all with a unique thematic that not only applies to loot but also encounter design.
Every Season pits players against a new target, aided by their local network. The Manhunt takes players across a large and varied set of locations in both New York as well as D.C. – unlocking step by step as targets become available throughout the Season. Finishing the Manhunt will grant a new unique skill mod used by the target players are tasked with taking down. Further down the line, we will communicate how players can attain the unique mods of previous Seasons. Part of our effort to provide players with more meaningful and nuanced gameplay opportunities is to streamline the width of content added to The Division 2, with the goal of more focused and fun experience. Narrative elements have been entwined with the Manhunt’s story, the gameplay of a particular Season and its Live service, rather than delivered as static story missions such as Classified Assignments. These types of story missions might make occasional appearances but will no longer be the main way we deliver new narrative content going forward.
Throughout a Season there will be a multitude of different activities to provide players with varied and rewarding gameplay. Our fresh take on Global Events will have Agents facing completely new types of challenges never before seen in The Division; new gear sets added in a Season will be designed with the intention of keeping a living and interesting meta-game, and Leagues give players with a more competitive attitude a go-to area to check their standing.
Players progress through a Season by gaining Season Levels, each unlocking a reward in the Season Track. Season Levels were developed as a direct response to the previous years’ learnings and player feedback with the intent of making progression feel predictable, ensuring that no matter the mercy of the RNG Gods, you benefit from playing. To reach this goal we have designed the Season Track to feel directed, flavorful and meaningful featuring named weapons and gear. Additionally, Gear Caches will contain season-specific loot tables. The Track has been balanced so that impactful rewards are granted early, to ensure not only the most committed players get to enjoy these and avoiding putting pressure on those who play at a calmer pace. A total of 100 levels can be attained over the 12 weeks of a Season; presently we estimate an average player will gain a level every 30 minutes to 1 hour of gameplay with no additional experience modifiers. These numbers are still in flux. Those who wish to progress faster and perfect their leveling efficiency will be able to do so by completing seasonal activities or participating in XP multiplier events throughout a Season. Anyone who owns Warlords of New York will have access to all Seasonal content for free. Those who wish to gain additional rewards when gaining Season Levels can purchase a Season Pass unlocking an additional track of gear from that Seasons’ loot table, seasonal apparel, apparel keys, crafting materials and more. To keep the playing field fair, we made sure all gameplay affecting rewards on the additional reward track can be attained through normal playing. Gear available in the Premium track will be non-curated random rolls.
Premium Progression track
Each Season has two progression tracks. One that is free for everybody and a Premium Progression track. You need to purchase access to the Premium Track and it gives you more rewards. But there is no exclusive game changing gear on the Premium track it is just more of the same equipment and they are of course random rolled. The only thing truly exclusive are the apparel items that you get from the Premium track. The exact price of the Premium Track is still in discussion.
What happens to player's that choose to stay in D.C?
Traveling back to New York to hunt down Aaron Keener and his posse of Rogue agents will start a whole new chapter of The Division 2 for many players – with a whole new endgame, infinite progression system, seasons and more becoming available at level 40. For those who choose to stay in D.C. all Year 1 content will still be available, along with level 30 versions of Dark Hours (as well as Raid #2 once released) and the level 30 endgame. To minimize the division of playerbase, any level 40 player will be able to join level 30 activities with level scaling. All players, regardless of the ownership of Warlords of New York, will continue receiving Quality of Life changes, in addition to core system improvements such as Gear 2.0 and improved UI/UX flows. Apparel Events, Global Events and Seasons are exclusive to owners of Warlords of New York.
There will be no new Dark Zone in the Warlords of New York expansion. All these changes apply to the existing Dark Zones in Washington D.C.
Dark Zone Rework
“The Dark Zone is a place for wolves and not sheep” With TU8, the Dark Zones get a general overhaul that tunes them into a places for players that are ready to face the challenge of another player. So if you are a player that is ready to fight other players and has no issue with the lawlessness of the Dark Zone, then this new and revamped Dark Zone is made for you. What they don’t want to do is to draw in players into those areas that are not looking for this sort of challenge. In essence, if you are a more PVE focused player, you have a lot of other activities and the Dark Zone does not have to be a place to go for you.
Player Count is still 12
After the matchmaking changes from Title Update 6 that had the goal to put players into Dark Zone Sessions that already had players in them, it became clear, that the best experience is with 12 players. They made internal tests with 16 players and it just became too crowded – but they will monitor how things develop.
VOIP on by default
Like in the old Dark Zone, VOIP is on by default, but you still have the option to turn it off.
New Social Menu
There is also a special social menu that allows you to see players in a 100-meter radius and this also allows you to mute players that are rude.
No Signature Ammo
There will be no more Signature Weapon ammo in the Dark Zone, so you will not be able to use Signature Weapons in the Dark Zone.
More Ammo Crates
There will be Ammo Crates at every Extraction Zone.
The Dark Zone is a good place to get some of the best gear in game and there is also exclusive DZ gear.
Clean loot is gone
Clean loot is gone, all loot you get needs to be extracted. The contaminated loot is no longer scrambled, so you see what you just picked up and you can decide if you want to keep and extract it or not. If you don’t want to keep it, you can deconstruct the contaminated loot and earn Dark Zone Resources from that. But even currency needs to be extracted.
New ways to earn XP and currency
Dark Zone XP and Dark Zone Resources can only be earned from things that have to do with interacting with other players. Kills, Extractions, Revives, protection of Extractions, killing rogues or going Manhunt.
More Extraction Zones
Since pretty much everything in the Dark Zone is contaminated and needs to be extracted, there are also more Extraction Zones per Dark Zone – three to be exact.
Grey rogue status is removed
The Grey Rogue status that was introduced with The Division 2 is removed. You are either rogue or you are not.
Faster Rogue toggle
The Rogue Toggle was introduced in Division 1 when it became clear, that going rogue on damage to other players can be exploited. That is why the Rogue Toggle was introduced that had to be pushed for multiple seconds while the other players around you got a notification that someone was about to go rogue. With TU8 that mechanic is still there but it is a lot faster – it takes about 300ms to register and then you are rouge. On top of that, it also does not impact what you are doing. So when you are aiming at someone, you can still do that, press the Rogue Toggle and open fire. But while you can toggle rogue faster, the other players still get a notification that someone is going rogue so that you have at least a chance to react.
New Dark Zone Perks
The Dark Zone Perks have also been revamped: They’ve removed the things that had the goal to avoid PVP (like shortening the extraction process). On top of that, the Dark Zone Rank now means something, because you can only earn XP for that rank through interaction with other players.
Occupied Dark Zone becomes Invaded Dark Zone
With TU8 they are stepping away from having “normal” and “occupied” Dark Zones. Now both Dark Zones have the same rules and it makes basically no difference, what Dark Zone you venture into. The former “Occupied Dark Zone” is now just an “Invaded Dark Zone” – so as before you face the Black Tusk. The Manhunt mechanic of the old Occupied Dark Zone is now applied to all Dark Zones.
Gear 2.0 will also impact PVP
They also want to highlight, that all the Gear 2.0 changes, how the builds are put together or how Skills now scale, have an impact on how PVP plays and how encounters play out. So PvP will be very different once that drops.
Title Update 8
Warlords of New York expansion will be accompanied by the FREE Title Update 8 for all The Division 2 players on March 3rd. We have been hard at work reworking a number of core areas of the game while also keeping both Washington D.C’s end-game and the new, level 40 New York City end-game in mind. A lot of these changes have been heavily influenced by community feedback we’ve received since launch.
New Level 30 Power Level
Gear Score 515
Reworked brand set bonuses to better fit common playstyles
Return of the so-called” God Roll”, allowing items to potentially drop with maxed out attributes in all areas
Core attributes for all items
Improved UI to at a glance identify the quality of an item
More powerful, build-defining talents
Talent requirement has been removed
Gearsets and Exotics revamp
Mod slots have been redistributed and are now linked to specific gear slots
The Division 2 Warlords of New York launches on March 3 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and UPLAY+, and is coming to Stadia later in March. In the meantime, players can begin setting the stage for Warlords of New York with Episode 3 – Coney Island: The Hunt, which arrives on February 12 for Year 1 Pass owners, and will be free for all Division 2 players on February 19. Episode 3 features two new missions set in Coney Island, two new Classified Assignments for Year 1 Pass owners, and a new Firewall Specialization that can deal massive flamethrower damage while also buffing allies who stand behind the Firewall’s shield.
On March 3, Division 2 Agents will enter the new open world of Lower Manhattan in the Warlords of New York expansion. Pre-purchase the expansion now at the Ubisoft Store, and you can take advantage of a special promotion to get The Division 2 for $3 — a discount of 95% off. It’s the lowest price ever for the fight to save Washington, DC, and if you bundle in the Warlords of New York expansion, you’ll have two cities full of sinister foes and powerful gear to explore. The promotion is available now through March 2 at the Ubisoft Store; read on for more details on what the available bundles include.
Prices are from the official announcement and could not apply to all countries
The Division 2 – $3
The Division 2 base game
Warlords of New York Expansion – $30
Requires base game to access
Warlords of New York Expansion
Level 30 boost
Level cap increase to 40
Warlords of New York Edition – $33
The Division 2 base game
Warlords of New York Expansion
Level 30 boost
Level cap increase to 40
Warlords of New York Ultimate Edition – $53
The Division 2 base game
Warlords of New York Expansion
Level 30 boost
Level cap increase to 40
Year 1 Pass Content
The Warlords of New York expansion is launching on March 3rd.
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