Steam Overhauling User Reviews

about X hours ago from
Steam Overhauling User Reviews

Steam reviews have always been kind of a double-edged sword. They're a powerful way for customers to voice their dissatisfaction with a game, like in the case with Rockstar's crackdown on Grand Theft Auto V mods getting reversed because of reviews. But it also means that developers can be review bombed by an extremely effective user base, which might have problems with a game beyond game design, such as the recent case with Taiwanese horror game Devotion. Developers have long complained to Valve about the latter problem, which Epic took into account when not having user reviews on their store. That decision may have prompted Valve into today's announcement of overhauling user reviews on Steam.

In an extremely un-Valvelike move, the company has announced it is doing what it is often incredibly hesitant to do: hire a team of actual humans to do something. When a game gets an anomalous number of reviews at once, Valve dispatches a team of people to investigate the reviews and categorize non-relevant ones as off-topic. Review score went down because the game is broken? That's relevant. Score went down because the reviewer said something people don't like on Twitter? Likely off-topic. The thing is, what is determined to be "off-topic" seems broad enough to drive a truck through. 

Weekend Warrior – On Either Side Of The Division

about X hours ago from
Weekend Warrior – On Either Side Of The Division

The Game Developers Conference is starting next Monday, so many of the editors will be making their way to San Francisco to mingle, and probably also write about video games. For those making the trip, video game time might be light, but for everyone else, there's plenty to play! With The Division 2 finally out the door, most of us will be spending time in Washington D.C. snagging loot. Otherwise, Devil May Cry 5 is still on a lot of people's to-do lists.

What are you playing this weekend? Is anyone still playing Anthem? Can somebody tell us where to find this Carmen Sandiego we keep hearing so much about? Let us know in the comments.

Kyle Hilliard (@KyleMHilliard) – I am going to play my drums this weekend. I am writing it here in order to commit myself to it. I don’t play them enough, and it bums me out. Otherwise, I am still playing One Piece: World Seeker despite having beaten it. I want to do all the sidequests and get all the outfits! Other gaming commitments include Baba is You on Switch and finishing up Crackdown 3. Also, I am happy that Star vs. The Forces of Evil is back on TV. That’s a show not enough people talk about. It’s great. Finally, I will make a grilled cheese sandwich with mayo, so I can talk about my experience on the podcast.

Overwatch League Makes Overhaul So Games Are Played In Home Cities

about X hours ago from
Overwatch League Makes Overhaul So Games Are Played In Home Cities

The Overwatch League has made a lot of changes this season, some for the better and some arguably for the worse, but nothing quite as fundamental as changing the locations of where the games are played. Most sports make teams travel so that individual cities and arenas get their time in the sun to root for their team and boo the opponents, but esports has traditionally shied away from that, mostly due to logistical reasons.

Now it looks like Blizzard is hoping to change that for the Overwatch league. Nate Nanzer, the commissioner of the Overwatch League, announced the news today on Twitter.

The @overwatchleague is coming home - and away! Starting in 2020, all Overwatch League teams will be playing in their home cities. We’re super excited to see our original vision brought to life. Thanks to all of our fans for your amazing support!

Anthem Increases Drop Rate For Endgame Weapons

about X hours ago from
Anthem Increases Drop Rate For Endgame Weapons

The latest update for Anthem is now live and, thanks to the patch notes, Bioware has confirmed that they have made some changes to the game's criticized loot table to better emphasize endgame weapons when you're actually in the endgame. You might ask why it was different before this update and it seems like Bioware also agrees.

The new update is server-side, which means you don't need to actually download anything for it to take effect. On the grandmaster 2 and 3 difficulty levels, the drop rate for Masterwork & Legendary items has been increased. Masterwork & Legendary drop rates have also been increased for tougher enemies at all difficulty levels in general.

The changes come fairly soon after Bioware community manager Jesse Anderson wrote an extensive and lengthy response on the game's subreddit to player concerns. Anderson explained why Anthem differed between pre-launch and the final product, how reactive Bioware is to feedback, and strongly insisted that "Anthem is here to stay."

James Gunn Reinstated As Director Of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

about X hours ago from
James Gunn Reinstated As Director Of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Last year, Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director James Gunn was ousted from the upcoming third film in the series after lewd and offensive jokes from a decade prior were discovered on his Twitter feed. Disney initially stood by their decision, even as the cast and fanbase themselves stood behind Gunn. Now, according to a report from Deadline, Gunn has been reinstated as Disney has reversed their decision after nine months of saying they will not.

The Deadline report states that the decision to reinstate Gunn was made several months ago, when Disney chairman Alan Horn began meeting with Gunn several times to discuss his public apologies. Horn was convinced by Gunn's statements that the tweets represented an edgy younger self that he had long since moved past and the fact that Gunn only ever blamed himself and not Disney likely helped his perception with the higher-ups.

It likely helped that no serious director was willing to take Gunn's place and betray their colleague, with people like Thor Ragnarok director Taika Waititi publicly declining consideration.

Hello Games Announces No Man's Sky Online As An Update

about X hours ago from
Hello Games Announces No Man's Sky Online As An Update

After a bumpy and controversial launch, No Man's Sky has steadily improved over the years, culminating with a massive expansion in the form of No Man's Sky Next last year. Now Hello Games is announcing the next step in No Man's Sky's direction with what they're calling No Man's Sky Beyond. The first part of that that is No Man's Sky Online, which is a massive push for a social online experience.

Check out a very, very short teaser for Beyond below.

In terms of No Man's Sky Online, Hello Games is eager to emphasize the ways people have been playing the game since Next.

Jump Force's DLC Roadmap Announced

about X hours ago from
Jump Force's DLC Roadmap Announced

Bandai Namco has announced Jump Force's slate of DLC through August – featuring nine characters, including Seto Kaiba from Yu-Gi-Oh! – with more to come.

Kaiba and two other characters (TBA) are part of May's paid DLC component, and while three more are coming in August, it looks like the final trio won't come out until some time after that.

These fighters can be bought individually, and they are included in the game's Fighters Pass. The DLC also includes free content such as events, costumes, and a new stage: Valley of the End.

Fortnite Now Separates Crossplay Pools So Switch Only Matches With Mobile

about X hours ago from
Fortnite Now Separates Crossplay Pools So Switch Only Matches With Mobile

In the latest patch notes for Fortnite, among a number of changes and bug fixes were added, but a rather large change was made to the way matchmaking between consoles works that might not please some players. For the first time, crossplay is being separated into different silos, with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in one group and Switch and Mobile in another.

The patch notes do not go into many details for why this split has been made, only that they "expect an on-average better per-game experience for both Mobile and Switch players." Since Epic hasn't specified why, it seems relevant to look at the differences between the versions to figure out why they would want to separate it out.

Fortnite on Switch runs on a lower framerate by about half, which is probably the major reason. Outside of some very specific high-end phones, Fortnite runs similarly on mobile. The Switch analog sticks also have significantly more deadzone than either the Xbox One or PS4 controllers and it seems the Switch as a system has this issue on system-level. This means that fine-tuning aim can be harder on the Switch, but the gyro controls likely aid that a bit.

Auto-Chess Comes To Mobile Without Dota Involvement

about X hours ago from
Auto-Chess Comes To Mobile Without Dota Involvement

Dota Auto Chess has taken the world by storm in a way pretty much no one had ever predicted. The fan-made mode is one of the most played games on Steam, using assets from Valve's Dota 2 to create an engaging competitive title that has gotten big worldwide, especially in China. For a more thorough breakdown on what the game is and why it's blown up, check out this article Dan Tack wrote on the subject

Since the game was built on Dota 2 assets, the creators couldn't really make money off it. It was just a matter of time until the idea gets ripped off or Valve gets their own hands on Auto Chess, so it makes sense that the creators get their own game development studio to do it themselves. They're starting with Auto Chess on mobile devices, with a few small caveats.

The game will move on from the Dota 2 license, meaning that the mode's Dota heroes won't be making an appearance. Instead, they will be replaced by original heroes who bear more than a slight, if not legally deniable, resemblance to the Dota heroes they once were.