Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2015 - 10:24 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, ea, battlefront
So I'm reading PC Gamer and I see an article that says, “Star Wars Battlefront Will Not Use Microtransactions”. Given the previous few Battlefield games, this surprised me. Granted, these titles weren't particularly egregious in their use of payments. Everything (apart from expansion packs of course) could be achieved through a reasonable amount of play. That said, it takes a lot of restraint for a developer to not just ratchet the requirements further and further to widen their net, so I can see the problem.
Regardless, by the third paragraph I notice that the representative never actually said that they won't (according to the snippets that PC Gamer quoted). The phrase is simply, “not part of the core design of how it works”. Granted, I would expect that EA would poke PC Gamer to correct them if they did intend to release a game in about six weeks, so I feel like their interpretation is correct.
That doesn't change that, according to the quotes, the only thing they promised is for the currency system to be fully accessible without payments. I'm not fully convinced that it will only be accessible without payments, though.
Subject: General Tech | September 19, 2015 - 07:56 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ea, Star Wars, Star Wars Battlefront, pc gaming
EA has announced a beta for Star Wars: Battlefront, which will apparently be open for everyone. This will take place in “early October” and contain three game modes, each of the two known ones with a single map. I expect that the third, unknown mode, Drop Zone, will also come with its own map, but it could technically reuse Hoth or Tatooine from Walker Assault and Survival, respectively.
If you are not a fan of online gaming, then EA is supporting single-player Survival mode. You will apparently require an internet connection, but it is unclear whether you need to have it active to play the offline mode, while you play it. Squadron Fighter mode will not be available in the beta, but Walker Assault has a bit of aircraft play, so you should get a taste of the controls (if you can ever find an available vehicle).
EA has also mentioned their Star Wars Battlefront Companion app. This will not be some kind of Commander Mode. It will apparently have a card game and social component. It will be available during the beta as a website, but the iOS and Android app will be “prior to the release of Star Wars Battlefront”.
The game will come out on November 17th, while the beta will be available in early October.
Subject: General Tech | June 17, 2015 - 07:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Star Wars, gaming, ea
EA showed what they described as in game footage of the new Star Wars: Battlefront which was gorgeous and seems to capture the feel of that universe quite well. Tthe more realistic of us worry that this might be in game footage in the same sense as Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs footage from last year and most of us are just hoping EA doesn't find a way to screw this game up more than they already have. From the video below we can see that first and third person views are supported, flying vehicles have been included and jetpacks will be available. We also learned that Luke can apparently time travel from the future into the past. It is hard not to be excited about this release, one can only hope it does not all end in tears.
HEXUS also has a few more EA videos on their page right here.
"EA revealed new video trailers, footage and information about all its hottest gaming titles at the E3 show yesterday. The one and a half hour long presentation, available in full here, included information about Star Wars: Battlefront, Mass Effect Andromeda, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, the Need 4 Speed reboot, a plethora of sports title updates (plus an on-stage interview with Pele) and more."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Lady Beserkers & Corpse-Carrying In XCOM 2 Footage @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- No worries, Fallout 4 fans. That dog is not going to die @ Polygon
- Kick-Off Delayed: Blood Bowl 2 Now Due In September @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Check Out The Afro Samurai 2: Revenge Of Kuma Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Dark Souls 3 Announced, Miyazaki Directing @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Square Enix E3 presentation offers compelling mix of sequels @ HEXUS
- Shadow Warrior 2 Announced Packing Four-Player Co-op @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2015 - 08:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ea, free to play, battlefield
Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Play4Free, Need for Speed World, and FIFA World are set to disappear in three months. According to the site for one of these games, Battlefield Heroes, that corresponds to Tuesday, July 14th, 2015. The other three might be plus or minus a little bit, but it sounds like it will be a simultaneous shutdown. Refunds will not be provided, even if you have premium credit remaining unspent on your account. I guess that means that you should burn whatever you have left over while the servers are still running; EA will not accept new accounts or payments though.
The announcement, made by Executive Vice President of EA Studios, Patrick Söderlund, assures players that other EA free-to-play titles are growing in player base and content. He uses Star Wars: The Old Republic as an example, which will receive updates over the year, including ones that build on its narrative.
But this is one of the problems with “free-to-play” and other genres with an authoritative online component: timed life. These titles are not going to be critiqued and celebrated in University courses over the upcoming decades and centuries. It is a difficult balance. On the one hand, it is interesting to create a universe that evolves and possibly mutates based on player interaction. Those experiences disappear though (and so does the money you tie into it). That doesn't mean “don't play them” -- just be aware what you're investing your time, money, and self-expression into.
Subject: General Tech | February 11, 2015 - 06:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, ea, battlefield hardline
Battlefield Hardline is in public beta for those who have tired of Battlefield 4 and are looking for a new online Frostbite 3 shooter to play and [H]ard|OCP has run benchmarks to show you what kind of performance you can expect. They gathered together three cards from the two companies, a GTX 980, 970 and 960 as well as an R9 290X DD, 290 and 285 with a mix of default and factory overclocked frequencies. As of yet there is no Mantle support in the beta so both vendors are using DX11 in the tests, with the top four cards at 2560x1440 and the remaining two at 1080p, all set to 4X MSAA and Ultra settings except for the Dustbowl map. The GTX 980 takes top spot but the most interesting results are the 290X and 970; the difference is so minuscule that they essentially perform at the same level and the same can be said of the pricing. Also worthy of note is that in only one test did the cards use more than 3GB of RAM and never hit 3.5GB.
"We hopped on the open public beta of Battlefield Hardline this past week and tested performance in all three maps with six video cards to find out how this game performs. We will talk about each map in the beta, and our experiences in terms of performance and gameplay experience so that you will know what to expect in the full game."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- A Beautiful Relic: 37 Mins of Homeworld Remastered @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Atari reboots Asteroids as a sandbox survival PC game @ HEXUS
- Early Access Impressions: Darkest Dungeon @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wot I Think: Sunless Sea @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Premature Evaluation: Besiege @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Sid Knows Best: Poppa Meier Builds Starships @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | December 9, 2014 - 09:46 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ea, origin, on the house, SimCity, simcity 2000
Origin, EA's digital distribution platform, occasionally runs a promotion that is called “On the House”. The best way to think of it is an abrupt, 100%-off sale. If you “purchase” the free game before they put a price tag back on it, then it is yours to keep. Today, the promotion has been applied to SimCity 2000. Log in to the Origin Store and add it to your catalog.
EA is using money hacks...?
On a related topic, can you believe that SimCity 2000 is just a few months away from its 20th birthday? Some believe that it is the best of the series, although I have never played it. This is one of the many titles that I overlooked, jumping from the original SimCity (Super Nintendo, rented a few times) up to SimCity 3000: Unlimited, which I played until SimCity (2013) launched. Ironically, I received a free copy of SimCity 4 because of the launch issues, so I now have everything from SimCity 2000, onward.
SimCity 2000 is currently free, but will go back up to its regular price at any time.
Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2014 - 06:23 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: moba, free to play, ea, dawngate
Just a couple short weeks after VentureBeat reported, and I discussed, that multiple free-to-play games were on track to make over a billion dollars this year, EA has announced that their competing MOBA, Dawngate, is canceled. The servers will be up for about three more months if you would like to get some last-minute play time in before it goes away. Any money that you spent will not go away, though; EA has committed to full refunds for any transactions that occurred during the beta.
As for employees of the developer, Waystone Games, the open letter thanks them for their dedication, but it does not specifically mention lay-offs or closures. The end of Dawngate could be the beginning of something new, or it could be similar to the recent cancellation of Medal of Honor, where Danger Close was shut down and its employees scattered (many to DICE LA).
Development of Dawngate has ceased, but the game will remain playable until February 2nd, 2015, give or take a few days (depending on how literal they were about "90 days").
Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2014 - 06:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: giveaway, gaming, ea, dice, battlefield 4, amd
For the next month, until August 12th, Battlefield.com, AMD and Sapphire will be giving away video cards, DICE giftcards and BF4 Premium memberships to the best screenshots submitted to their blog.
Daily Prize Package: An AMD Sapphire graphics card, a $50 DICE online store gift code, and a BF4 Premium membership code on your platform of choice.
- Saturday, July 12 – EXPLOSIONS
- Sunday, July 13 – HELICOPTERS
- Monday, July 14 – VISTAS
- Tuesday, July 15 – INFANTRY
- Wednesday, July 16 – TEAM PLAY
- Thursday, July 17 – NAVAL
- Friday, July 18 – PARACHUTES
Why not team up with the Fragging Frogs to play BF4 and work together to make the best screenshot submissions you can?
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | June 17, 2014 - 11:54 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: battlefield, medal of honor, ea
Last year, we got Battlefield 4. The year before? Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The year before? Battlefield 3. The year before? Medal of Honor (Reboot). We will not be getting a new Medal of Honor this year, because Danger Close was shut down in June 2013. Danger Close developed the two recent Medal of Honor titles and, as EA Los Angeles, many of the previous Medal of Honor titles and many RTS games (Command and Conquer, Red Alert, Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth).
Many of their employees are now working at DICE LA.
So, when a new Medal of Honor title should be released, we get Battlefield: Hardline. A person with decent pattern recognition might believe that Battlefield, or its spinoffs, would fill the gap left by Medal of Honor. Not so, according to Patrick Söderlund, Executive VP of EA Studios. As was the case at E3, where both studios (DICE and Visceral) repetitively claimed that Battlefield: Hardline was the product (literally) of a fluke encounter and pent-up excitement for cops and robbers.
Of course, they do not close the door for annualized Battlefield releases, either. They just say that it is not their plan to have that be "the way it's going to be forever and ever". Honestly, for all the hatred that annualized releases get, the problem is not the frequency. If EA can bring out a Battlefield title every year, and one that is continually a good game, then power to them. The problem is that, with an annual release cycle, it is hard to get success-after-success, especially when fatigue is an opposing, and (more importantly) ever-increasing force.
It is the hard, but lucrative road.
Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2014 - 06:29 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ea, offline, shutting down
Because of how popular it once was, the GameSpy shutdown will affect numerous titles, many of which have been up and running for over a decade. Several games have fallen back on GamesRanger or Steam to perpetuate support, while others are going to sleep for a very long time. EA claims that, despite trying to come up with a solution, several of their titles will go offline on June 30th.
At least this spy would never stab me in... the back... nevermind.
In the following list, I will omit entries which are not for the PC, Mac, or Linux.
- (PC/Mac) Battlefield 1942, and expansions.
- (PC) Battlefield 2, and expansions.
- (PC/Mac) Battlefield 2142, and expansions.
- (PC) Battlefield Vietnam
- (PC/Mac) Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, and expansions.
- (PC/Mac) Command and Conquer: Generals, and expansions.
- (PC/Mac) Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3
- I assume Red Alert 3: Uprising was not listed because it was not online... apparently?
- (PC) Crysis
- (PC) Crysis 2
- (PC) Crysis Wars
- (PC) EA Sports 06
- (PC) F1 2002
- (PC) Global Operations
- (PC) James Bond: Nightfire
- (PC) Master of Orion III
- (PC/Mac) Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and expansions.
- (PC) NASCAR Sim Racing
- (PC) NASCAR Thunder 2003
- (PC) NASCAR Thunder 2004
- (PC) Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
- (PC/Mac/Linux) Neverwinter Nights, and expansions.
- (PC/Mac) Neverwinter Nights 2
- (PC) Star Wars: Battlefront
- (PC) Star Wars: Battlefront 2
It is possible that titles which support directly joining an IP address might, in fact, continue to work. That said, it might not work for every title. At least it is something to try if you and a group of friends wish to get an organized match going.
The part that confuses me, however, is that GameSpy is going offline at the end of the month. Why then does EA, after being unable to find a workable solution, have an extra month of service? You would think that a solution to provide an extra month would work ad-infinitum, unless they have paid for GameSpy's servers to stay open a little longer for their titles. Then again, who am I to complain about an extra month?