Path Of Exile Dev Takes Hard Stance Against Crunch

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Crunch is currently one of the hottest conversations in the games industry, with big-budget titles like Epic's Fortnite, NetherRealm's Mortal Kombat 11, and Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2 reportedly pushing developers to extremely long work weeks. In light of this information, Path of Exile developer Grinding Gear Games has vowed to avoid allowing such a thing happen to its staff.

"A big topic in the gaming industry recently is development crunch. Some studios make their teams work 14 hour days to pack every patch full of the most fixes and improvements possible," writes Grinding Gear Games' CEO Chris Wilson. "I will not run this company that way."

The news comes via Reddit where Wilson chose to answer growing concerns over the state of the game. "However, one thing that the Q&A doesn't address is how we got here," Wilson leads the post, referencing a Q&A scheduled for later this week. "I wanted to personally post an explanation of what has been going on behind the scenes at Grinding Gear Games that led to this state."

Days Gone Keeps Getting Updates; Here Are All The Patch Notes

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Days Gone has suffered from a variety of nagging since launch, with multiple reports of audio and bug issues affecting the game. Developer SIE Bend Studio has released a slew of patches that operate as quick-fixes to some of these issues.

The Oregon-based developer took to Reddit to announce three separate patches that have recently hit for its zombie-infested, open-world action game. The three patches--patch 1.05, 1.06, and 1.07--are short and sweet, and handle auto-save functionality, dropped audio, streaming complications, and more. You can read the full patch notes below to see what's been changed and fixed over the past few days. These are all available now.

General Fixes

Apex Legends Bans Up To 770,000 As Respawn Continues Fighting Cheaters

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Last week, Respawn Entertainment announced continued plans to deal with Apex Legends cheaters but didn't specify what those plans were. While the California-based studio still isn't sharing any specifics, so as to avoid helping cheaters cheat, Respawn is finally prepared to talk a little about what's happening behind the scenes. That includes bans being handed out to a quarter of a million players.

Respawn's executive producer, Drew McCoy, penned another blog post about what's happening to cheaters in EA's battle royale. "We can’t share details on what we’re doing so as to not give a head’s up to the cheat makers," McCoy writes. "But what we can say is that we’re attacking this from every angle: from improvements in detecting cheaters, to bolstering resources and tools, to improving processes and other sneaky things to combat sellers and cheaters."

According to McCoy, Respawn has shared "some high-level stats" on the progress thus far. You can read the full statistics below.

Game Of Thrones Showrunners Tease Remaining Season 8 Episodes

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Game of Thrones Season 8 finally reached its much-anticipated third episode "The Long Night" last weekend, and gave us the epic Battle of Winterfell. While the episode caused a mixed response amongst fans and critics, it delivered a number of dramatic moments as the forces of the living took on the Night King and the White Walkers. Now showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have made an intriguing comment about the remaining episodes. Warning, major spoilers ahead!

Fans will know that in the episode, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) killed the Night King, ending the war against the White Walkers. There was no suggestion in the show that he wasn’t dead--he shattered into glass and his army was destroyed. However, when Benioff and Weiss were asked on Jimmy Kimmel Live if that was the last we are to see of White Walkers, they gave a particularly cryptic answer.

"Yeah, we're not going to answer that," Benioff told Kimmel. Which certainly isn't the conclusive reply you might expect. Of course, they could just be playing it safe and simply refusing to say anything about the episodes that are left. However, bearing in mind the Night King’s supernatural powers and his own ability to raise the dead, perhaps we will actually see the White Walkers again. Remember, there are still three very long episodes of the show to go.

Oculus Quest Review - No PC? No Problem

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Oculus Quest Review - No PC? No Problem

VR gaming has largely been a difficult space to navigate from a consumer perspective. PC-based platforms require a decent rig, the room to prop up external sensors, and the willingness to deal with wires--not to mention the high cost of entry. As vast as VR worlds can be, the setup requirements have been somewhat restricting. Oculus Quest forgoes all of that by delivering a standalone VR gaming platform with the features we've come to expect from the high-end. It's not perfect, but Quest is an example of the ideal VR experience.

Quest offers a whole lot more than its cheaper, entry-level counterpart, the Oculus Go. With Quest, you get six degrees of freedom (6DOF) for positional tracking thanks to the headset's four inside-out sensors--formally called Oculus Insight. This translates to roomscale capability without external sensors. In many ways, it's an improvement over the requirements of beefier PC-based headsets which rely on base station sensors (save for the upcoming Rift S) since you're no longer tied to a dedicated space for VR. A potential drawback of inside-out tracking, however, is the headset's inability to pick up controller movements that fall outside the range of the sensors, though it hasn't been an issue in our experience thus far.

Detective Pikachu's Voice Could Have Sounded Very Different

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Detective Pikachu features Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds lending his voice talents to the title character, but he had a very different direction in mind for his vocal style. His idea was to style it after film noir, a genre known for its gritty monologues and fatalism.

Reynolds described his take on The Tonight Show (via THR) as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit had a baby with Blade Runner." But that concept quickly got push-back. He characterized the studio's reaction as, "Or maybe just do Ryan Reynolds ... Maybe shut up and do the other thing."

It seems the actor is happy that his voice made the movie so cheerful and bright, though. He said he's glad that a movie that's "just a nice adventure" is being released right now because "the news these days is just like pouring hot lemon juice into your eyeballs." Evocative!

Where Is Xur? Destiny 2 Location, New Exotics, And Invitation Of The Nine Guide (May 3-May 7)

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Where Is Xur? Destiny 2 Location, New Exotics, And Invitation Of The Nine Guide (May 3-May 7)

The latest timed event in Destiny 2, the spring-themed Revelry, is winding down this weekend. You've only got until the next weekly reset on Tuesday, May 7, to dive into the Verdant Forest, complete your Triumphs, and unlock the game's latest Exotic weapon, the Arbalest. If you're still struggling, we've got a guide that can help nabbing Arbalest go a little quicker. And if you need more Exotics, good news: the snake-faced Xur returns once again with a bag full of them.

Head to Io to find Xur this week. He's hanging out in the Gaint's Scar region. From the spawn point, ride your sparrow north and head to the cliff wall on the left side of the area. Look for a cave entrance: Inside, you'll find Xur waiting and, as usual, acting a little weird.

Rocket League Review Bombed After Epic Acquisition Announced; Steam Steps In

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The popular competitive esport Rocket League has become the latest victim of review bombing, following news that developer Psyonix is being acquired by Epic Games. Concerns that the acquisition would mean the game will be pulled from Steam led to a flurry of negative reviews on the platform, before Steam's new anti-bombing tool was deployed to stop it.

Steam reviews recently dipped from "Very Positive" down to "Mixed." That prompted Steam to implement its tool that excludes periods of "off-topic review activity" from the aggregate score. The negative reviews are still visible, and they almost universally reference the Epic acquisition, but they're no longer counted in the average.

Concerns about the game's exclusivity stemmed from a statement (via The Verge) that mentioned the game will be coming to the Epic Games Store later this year. It said "in the meantime" it will still be available for purchase on Steam, and that "thereafter" it will continue to be supported--reportedly through the release of patches and DLC.