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Monthly Archives: May 2020

This home-made aluminium RAM light kit looks stunning

When it comes to PC building, some people really go the extra mile, and that’s a bit easier to do when you’ve got access to a suite of CAD software tools and a set of computer-guided aluminium machining tools in the garage. Redditor MakiRole has designed and built a custom aluminium RGB lighting kit for a set of G.Skill Trident Z Neo RAM modules, and it looks amazing.

As you can see in the video below, computer-guided machining isn’t as simple as slapping a metal blank into the machining tool and letting it rip – there’s the painstaking process of creating the design in CAD to exact specifications, then building a routine or path for the tool to follow once you’re ready to start milling. MakiRole wound up replacing most of the shielding on his Trident Z Neo sticks with custom-cut parts, as you can see in the video below.

The pièce de résistance here is the set of channels cut into the cap for each module. These channels accept strings of RGB lighting, which together with the other lighting MakiRole has enabled on his motherboard – a water-cooled, aluminium-clad X570 AQUA by ASRock – looks clean as hell.

Minecraft Dungeons will be getting cross-platform multiplayer

Minecraft Dungeons is out now, and it’s a decent little romp through a rather violent version of Minecraft’s blocky world. As with most things though, it’s better with friends – and for the time being, you’re limited to playing with friends who own it on the same platform you do. That may be changing in the future, though – developer Mojang Studios says it’s working to implement cross-platform play.

Minecraft Dungeons is available on the PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch, but at launch, the online co-op is limited to friends playing on the same platforms. However, Pure Xbox unearthed a passage in the official FAQ that indicates cross-platform play is in the works.

“At launch, cross-platform play is not supported in Minecraft Dungeons,” the FAQ reads. But it continues: “Our goal is to let everyone play together regardless of platform, and we’re looking forward to enabling cross-platform play in a future free game update.”

For now, the site says you’ll have to purchase copies (or use Xbox Game Pass) on the same systems in order to play together.

The next-gen Scorn demo was running on an RTX card

The drippy, fleshy new trailer for Scorn was some of the first footage we’ve gotten to see that’s meant to be representative of the Xbox Series X – but that in-engine trailer was running on a PC graphics card, the developers have said.

Speaking with WccfTech, Scorn game director Ljubomir Peklar explained that while the footage shows what the studio expects Scorn to look like on the next generation Xbox console, it was running on consumer PC tech – specifically, an RTX 2080ti and an AMD Ryzen processor. That hardware powers a 4K, 60fps gameplay experience. Hitting 60 fps is “simply a necessity” for PC players using a keyboard and mouse, Peklar said, because “when a game runs at 30 fps you start losing the established details once the camera starts moving.”

And what details they are. Scorn looks like an entire gameworld made of quivering tripe and beetle carapaces that was built by an architect working mostly from biology textbooks on the human reproductive system. Everything oozes or drips, translucent membranes cover most surfaces, and smooth bone plating takes the place of clothes.

Halo 3 PC will begin public testing in June, here’s what to expect in the beta

We learned last week that Halo developer 343 Industries was planning on opening up Halo 3 to public flighting in early June, and the company has since confirmed that this will indeed be the case. Halo community manager Tyler Davis says the test will run during the first half of the month, and he provided a rundown of what you can expect to see in the test slice of the game.

The test is meant to give 343 some information about the reliability of its distribution pipeline, look at updates it’s made to challenges, and to make sure all the supporting systems are whirring away as they should be. It’ll also be a test of a selection of single-player campaign missions and some new features.

The test flight will include access to Forge, Theater, the complete challenge system, and updated customisation options for Halo 3. The campaign missions will be playable on all difficulty levels, and will support both solo and online cooperative modes. In the announcement post, Davis says the missions Sierra 117, The Storm, The Ark, The Covenant, and Halo will be included in the initial public flight.

Escape from Tarkov hits 200k concurrent players

Escape from Tarkov’s 0.12.6 patch and the accompanying global progression wipe that reset player progress seems to have reignited interest in the survival shooter. BattleState Games says Tarkov hit 200,000 concurrent players in the days following the patch launch.

“Hello, Tarkovites,” BattleState’s chief Nikita Buyanov wrote on the Tarkov subreddit. “Need your opinions – how is the 0.12.6 patch, what is good, what is bad. What is needed more than before. Please, tell.”

Patch 0.12.6, or ‘the wipe’ as players refer to it, also made some major changes to the game. Those include Steam Audio, a binaural audio system that makes it easier to tell where things are happening relative to your position and direction in the game world. The patch also changes the rules for Tarkov’s economy by only allowing crafted items or items with ‘found in raid’ status to be sold on the flea market.

Buyanov signed off by noting a new milestone for Escape from Tarkov: “And thank you for your dedication and interest,” he wrote. “We broke 200k online and made a record!”

This Skyrim mod turns dragon shouting into kiss blowing

Skyrim’s Dragon Shout has been one of the game’s most distinctive features since the game launched in 2011 – it featured prominently in the TV advertisements and nothing was better than yeeting an enemy off the side of a snow-capped mountain once you unlocked the power. This mod changes that angry shouting into blowing a rather forceful kiss.

It’s a Dragon Kiss, if you like. The Blow Kiss – Shout Animation Replacer is exactly that: a replacement animation for the Dragon Shout. Once you’ve got it installed, using your shout will cause your character to bend slightly at the waist, gently lift their left palm to their mouth, and then blow a devastating ‘kiss’ in whatever direction they’re facing, resulting in highly entertaining ragdoll effects on anyone standing in range.

There’s something extra devastating, you have to imagine, about getting launched over the side the battlements by someone making such a loving gesture. It gives the Dragon Shout a bit of Bayonetta attitude – and if you need some more stylish combat animations to complete the effect, there’s a mod for that, too.

The new Trackmania will have free to play and paid subscription editions

When the new Trackmania launches – after a brief delay – June 1, there will be three points of entry for players who want to speed along its gravity-flouting tracks. Those include a free-to-play starter edition and two paid subscription editions, each geared for fans of different intensities.

“Trackmania is a universal racing game and with three levels of engagement, we aim to fit every player’s gaming preferences,” said Florent Castelnerac, managing director at Ubisoft Nadeo. “The Starter Access, which is free, is a great foot in the door for new players. The Standard and Club Access will support creation and sharing tools for our more advanced players.”

The free-to-play Starter Access for Trackmania will grant players access to a selection of 25 tracks that are rotated out on a quarterly basis. Starter Access players will be able to earn medals and post scores on regional leaderboards, and they’ll be able to try out other player’s creations on the Arcade Channel. They’ll be able to try out the track, replay, and skin editors, and compete in the weekly Nations League for casual competition.

Escape from Tarkov banned 3,000 players the day after the latest wipe

The latest major patch for Escape from Tarkov landed this week, along with a global character wipe that set all players back to the starting line. Naturally, that meant it was prime time for cheaters who wanted to gain an early advantage. Battlestate Games says it banned 3,000 cheaters on the first day following the deployment of the latest patch.

Escape from Tarkov uses BattlEye as an anti-cheat solution, the same system used in Arma 3, Rainbow Six Siege, PUBG, and many other online games. BattleState Games says the BattlEye dragnet caught and banned 3,000 cheaters May 29. That’s not a huge number, granted, but it seems Battlestate Games wants to put some additional focus on cheating in general.

To that end, the company says it will be publicising the results of major ban waves from here on out. Both the number of cheaters caught in this first post-wipe wave and the fact that BattleState will publish the numbers were announced Friday via tweet from the Russian studio’s official Twitter account.

Call of Duty: Warzone now has duos

With solo, trio, and quad squad configurations available, it was getting a little weird that Call of Duty: Warzone didn’t allow teams of two into Verdansk. But as has been strongly hinted in datamines, duos mode has been planned for some time, and now it’s finally arrived.

The mode does exactly what it says on the box – there’s now a mode for teams of two players in Warzone, which potentially makes organising a co-op night a bit easier than if you needed three or four total players. Duos mode maintains all the rules of normal Warzone: there’s still the trip to the gulag to deal with if a team member bleeds out before someone can revive them, and the last duo with a surviving member wins the match.

But as Activision points out in the Mode Recon blog post announcing the arrival of duos, the two-player mode does demand some shifts in how you approach a match, particularly from the squad role assignments perspective. “Assault rifle-sniper builds are great, but if neither of you has an answer for vehicles or a close-range battle with a shotgun, you may be in trouble,” the post says.

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