Multiplayer

Why Minecraft's new EULA is good for the game

Phil Savage at

At the start of the month, Mojang developer Erik "Grum" Broes reiterated to server owners that charging Minecraft players for perks was against the rules of its end-user agreement. It sparked a vocal backlash from the community—particularly the moderators and patrons of the game's largest servers. Shortly after, Mojang officially updated the rules around server monetisation—relaxing certain criteria, but expressly forbidding the selling of non-cosmetic game features. Eventually, Notch stepped in, defending himself from criticisms of being "literally worse than EA".

Clearly then, Mojang's response hasn't placated the largest communities in the Minecraft multiplayer scene. So is there any validity to their concerns? I've rounded up some of the arguments for and against the new EULA, and have emerged largely in agreement with Mojang's plans. Let me explain why.


What I learned about CS:GO after watching the Twitch stream of someone I beat

Evan Lahti at

I played a vitamin D deficiency-fostering amount of CS:GO over the long weekend. In one of my dozen-some competitive matches (CS:GO’s excellent five-on-five matchmaking mode), I noticed that one of my opponents was livestreaming.

After we won, we booted up the archived video together, commenting in Mumble as we watched. It was a rare chance for my CS:GO group and I to see ourselves through an opponent’s eyes (and comms)—what did it look like to play against us? These were my takeaways.


Don't Starve multiplayer expansion coming this summer

Omri Petitte at

Klei's season-survivor Don't Starve excels as a single-player experience, where a world full of dark forests, Moose-Goose, and warm beards tickles that roguelike itch in all the right ways. A missing and seemingly expected element of the genre—and a subject of heated debate across multiple closed threads on the game's official forums—is multiplayer support so friends can huddle together against winter's chill or place hats on neighboring pig-folk. Surprise: Klei's planning a multiplayer expansion out this summer and free for current Starvians.


Watch Watch Dogs' multiplayer hacking modes in action

Emanuel Maiberg at

Ubisoft has finally released a video that delves into a number of Watch Dogs’ multiplayer modes and it’s one video you'll definitely want to watch.


The Flock trailer shows the asymmetrical stealth horror game in action

Tom Sykes at

As any fool with a spirit level would be able to tell you, multiplayer has never been all that symmetrical, but that hasn't stopped developers from attempting to unbalance it even further. Left 4 Dead's competitive multiplayer, for example, is as asymmetrical as a Shoreditch haircut, pitting a team of zombies against a team of normals and giving each an opposing goal to achieve. The comparatively minimalist The Flock takes things in a tenser, less action-packed direction, using elements of Capture the Flag and Doctor Who's 'Blink' episode to fuel a shadow-drenched horror game for four players. It looks faintly bloody terrifying, as you can see from the first gameplay trailer, below.


Battlefield 4 update adds loadout presets to Battlelog

Omri Petitte at

Up until today, swapping out weapons and equipment in the thick of a Battlefield 4 match wasn't easy. Sifting through piles of unlocks lengthened spawn times and hampered momentum for players on a roll (well, that and occasional teleporting soldiers), but a fresh Battlelog update hopes to simplify inventory management with the addition of preset loadouts for the game's four kits.


TowerFall Ascension review

Marsh Davies at

Gamers aren’t the only ones who blame lag. Indie devs cite it for the current abundance of local-multiplayer-only platformers, of which TowerFall Ascension represents an exquisite pinnacle. Up to four players can plug in pads and then plug each other with arrows, darting around numerous screen wrapped 2D arenas. Its versus mode alone marks the high tide for single screen deathmatch, but the true delight is its brutal two-player wave survival campaign, a thing of rare, beautiful balance and jubilant chaos.


Hearthstone leaves open beta, full release now available

Omri Petitte at

Just a few days after Blizzard prophesized the impending end of Hearthstone's beta, it's decided to surprise everyone by releasing the Warcraft-ified online card battler after three months of testing. The game is free to play, and the only requirement to get started is to hit the giant purple Play Now button at the official site.


Hawken on Steam: examining the state of the game after two years of new mechs and balance changes

Omri Petitte at

Ever since its open beta began in December 2012, Hawken's basics have been easy to pick up. Big, stompy robots shoot and scoot with agile dodges. The modes are a slice from the same shooter pie everyone's familiar with, and it's a snap to load up and jump into a team deathmatch in less than a minute. Maps paint worlds of well-worn neon-lit cityscapes and desolate badlands. Hawken is like the mohawked, studded-jacket-wearing punk brother of MechWarrior Online: a youngster with a brash streak, but definitely its own brand of cool.

Hawken's also growing up. It transitioned to Steam last month, moving away from a dedicated launcher and enticing new recruits with an Early Access initiative and a couple purchasable bonus packages. Now it's once again fully Free to Play. Two years of patches and adjustments have streamlined Hawken and stripped away unused features, making it easier to get into than ever. After two weeks of playing Hawken on Steam, I'm still skeptical of its F2P monetization, but faster-paced combat reminiscent of Quake and new mech classes kept me coming back for more.


Titanfall's titanic 48GB install "almost all audio," Respawn says

Omri Petitte at

Titanfall is upon us, and that means Respawn's fast-paced FPS has high-fived Spyglass for luck before dropping onto many a hard drive with a 48GB shockwave. That's a staggering size for a strictly multiplayer shooter, and many pilots want to know the reasons behind the significant storage chunk. Speaking to Eurogamer, Respawn Lead Engineer Richard Baker provides an answer: uncompressed audio.


MechWarrior Online gets DirectX11 visuals, new Banshee assault mech

Patrick Carlson at

Like a pilot with a full compliment of jump jets at her fingertips, MechWarrior Online is always on the move. The shooter has seen a host of changes in recent months, and this week brings more tweaks under the hood in the form of DirectX 11 support as well as a new assault mech chassis.


MechWarrior Online's Launch Module to bring heavily improved matchmaking on April 29

Omri Petitte at

Even a game about titanic, stompy robots with laser cannons and violent paint jobs isn't immune to the challenges of multiplayer matchmaking. Piranha's MechWarrior Online is loads of fun of the heavy metal variety, but balancing various weight classes and pre-formed groups against public players sometimes delivers some frustratingly lopsided rounds. Pilots should scratch the date of April 29 into the side of their cockpits, as that marks the new Launch Module's, well, launch. The module will overhaul MechWarrior's system for matching similarly skilled players together in evenly balanced teams. It's all explained with plenty of text and pretty charts in an official forum post.


Videoball hands-on: a local multiplayer electronic sport for the living room

Wes Fenlon at

Diablo 3 2.0.1 patch will remove Paragon level cap, add point-based system

Omri Petitte at

Diablo 3 historians will probably mark the time after patch 2.0.1's sweeping changes as "post 2.0.1." The upcoming update's major systems revamp—such as the removal of the real-money and gold auction houses, scaling difficulty, and the implementation of clans—marks a divide between the old (and dubiously designed) Diablo and a new Diablo far more in tune with what players want. Its end-game Paragon system will get a complete rework as well, and in an official blog post, Blizzard explains how the new system will work in Reaper of Souls.


Project Stealth screenshots tease upcoming asymmetrical indie multiplayer

Phil Savage at

It would technically be possible to describe Project Stealth in a way that wasn't just, "it's like Spies vs Mercs from the old Splinter Cell games." Possible, but pointless, because, however you did it, you'd still be describing something that was just, "it's like Spies vs Mercs from the old Splinter Cell games."

It's a "community-driven" indie project that offers 2v2 multiplayer matches in which a team of spies tries to use their sneakability to outwit a team of mercenaries. It's being build in Unreal Engine 4 and, well, basically it's like Spies vs Mercs from the old Splinter Cell games. Its creators have now relaunched the game's website, and posted a new set of screenshots.


EA taking lessons from Battlefield 4 for future launches

Omri Petitte at

Perhaps the closest thing associated with Battlefield 4 is its shaky launch. Well, that and rendezooks, but I have a feeling that smooth performance is more important in the eyes of EA's investors. In a conference call held yesterday (transcribed by Seeking Alpha), EA's leadership discussed what it learned from BF4's release and that it's applying those lessons to upcoming major launches such as Titanfall.


Battlefield 4 getting tweaks to infantry weapons, including shotguns and DMRs

Omri Petitte at

Funny fact: Battlefield 4 has a lot of guns. You wouldn't think that were the case in multiplayer, as the majority of BF4 players have tended to prefer a few all-around beastly weapons—the Assault's M4A1 or the Engineer's MTAR-21, as examples—that sadly diminishes the chances of seeing more specialized firepower during a match. In a Battlefield Blog post today, DICE outlines some of the upcoming changes to footsoldier weapons as an effort to boost the variance of gun popularity and choice for players.


World of Tanks' upcoming 8.11 update to introduce combat between nations

Phil Savage at

In its regular game modes, World of Tanks models an alternate history in which sovereign states engage in an armoured warfare arms race, only to deploy their tanks in an evenly balanced inter-country free-for-all. All in all, it's a pretty inefficient way to run a war, which could be why the multiplayer tankfest's upcoming update introduces the more nationalistically beneficial Confrontation mode. It unites vehicles of the same country of origin, and pits them in a team against an opposing national force.


Arma 3 teases multiplayer content reveal: "Dream a little bigger"

Patrick Carlson at

A lighting strike. A fiery tank in the distance. That's some of what Arma 3 developer Bohemia Interactive has left us to work with after teasing a new multiplayer project on Tuesday. More details on the new content will be uncovered in Februrary, according to the team's latest update, and according to the tease, the new content's scope is grand.


BioWare still undecided on Dragon Age: Inquisition multiplayer

Emanuel Maiberg at

Dragon Age: Inquisition producer Cameron Lee has made a suspiciously uncommitted statement about a multiplayer mode for the game: "The Mass Effect multiplayer stuff is really good, so we've certainly looked at options like that, but we haven't decided on anything in terms of multiplayer at this point," Cameron tells OXM at a preview event. The statement is the latest in what is now a years-long tease about a multiplayer mode, which would be quite the novelty for a fantasy role-playing game of this type.