Diablo 4 Fixing Bad Menu Tricking Fans Into Buying Battle Pass

Demons try to sell players more battle passes.

Image: Blizzard

Diablo IV’s first season got off to a rocky start following a disastrous patch that nerfed a bunch of characters and builds, but some other, much smaller issues have drawn fan criticism as well, including a battle pass layout that has tricked some players into accidentally buying the premium version. Blizzard’s now rolling out a fix after one player accused the company of employing a “dark pattern” design to trick players.

“So Blizzard placed the ‘Activate Premium Battle Pass’ button right next to the button you have to constantly press to check your Season Journey,” wrote streamer Rurikhan in a tweet that blew up on July 20. “Guess what happened to me and at least 5 others on my stream. This is straight up Malicious Design.”

A clip accompanying the post showed the content creator accidently redeeming the season 1 paid battle bass using his freebie from the Deluxe version of the game. Players are constantly using the season tab on the menu to check their seasonal progress, and the location of the “Activate Premium Battle Pass” button makes it extremely easy to tap it unintentionally. There’s no pop-up giving players a chance to back out of the redemption either.

“When a UI element is designed to trick you into clicking it, it’s called a ‘dark pattern,’ commented gaming YouTube Rhykker in the thread. “IMO Blizzard needs to add a confirm button or something if they don’t want to be accused of using dark patterns. Simple ‘confirm’ pop-up would fix this.”

Others challenged why Rurikhan was upset. After all, it wasn’t a completely new purchase he had made, but an accidental use of his existing freebie. Blizzard probably assumed most players would be using it on Season of the Malignant. Not Rurikhan, however. “I was saving my battle pass for a future season since I don’t have time to commit to this one,” he tweeted.

But it didn’t take Blizzard long to address the complaint and a fix is now expected to roll out soon. “Just had a powwow with people on this post stream,” tweeted Diablo IV community manager Adam Fletcher. “We have a temp fix in the works that will at least ensure the cursor isn’t defaulted there and will instead be defaulted on Season Journey.” At least one player claims they were still denied a refund request after accidentally activating the premium battle pass.

While not the end of the world, it’s easy to see why players would hone in on any potentially exploitative design element in Diablo IV’s first season. The action-RPG is transforming into a live-service game complete with pricey cosmetics and repeatedly battered by waves of balance patches. Blizzard had previously encouraged players to take a break if they weren’t enjoying themselves, but logging off isn’t exactly the sort of thing Diablo has ever incentivized.



Twitter Owner Elon Musk Is Now A Fallout: New Vegas Bad Guy

Fallout: New Vegas might be a 13-year-old game, but fans of Obsidian Entertainment’s open-world RPG continue to tinker with and release mods for it to this day. Hell, just this week, New Vegas received 88 new PC mods and one of them is hilariously on point, replacing one of the game’s main antagonists with X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk, down to the cadence of his speech.

Read More: Twitter Keeps Sharing ‘Useless’ Video Game Knowledge That’s Actually Amazing

Created by modder NoUsernameSelected, the Elon House mod turns Robert Edwin House into Elon Musk. In case you don’t remember, Mr. House, as he’s commonly referred to in the game, is the CEO and president of The Strip, a district located in the heart of New Vegas. While cult leader Edward “Caesar” Sallow is the de facto villain, Mr. House can serve as another big bad if you refuse to work with him. Technologically and mathematically brilliant, he’s also arrogant, looking down on plebeians and eventually becoming so full of himself that he believes he must rebuild civilization under his command to save humanity. It’s not hard to see why one modder had the bright idea of replacing the New Vegas Strip’s CEO with one of our era’s wealthiest and most impetuous business magnates.

This is where NoUsernameSelected came in. Using artificial intelligence software such as the text-to-speech synthesizer ElevenLabs, OpenAI’s automatic speech recognition system Whisper, and the deep-learning text-to-image generator Stable Diffusion, NoUsernameSelected was able to construct a remarkable and uncanny recreation of Elon Musk in Fallout: New Vegas.


As you can see, when the player walks up to the screen, which would normally contain Mr. House, they’re greeted by a soulless-looking Musk. With the player—presumably NoUsernameSelected—choosing dialogue options to chat with Mr. Musk, you can hear just how accurate the voice sounds.

In an email to Kotaku, NoUsernameSelected said this is the most impressive mod he’s made thus far. As a big fan of the Fallout series, NoUsernameSelected thought both figures—Elon Musk and Robert House—were surprisingly similar, and figured someone should swap the two. Taking inspiration from a 2020 mod that replaced Mr. House with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, NoUsernameSelected sought to bring his vision to life. But first, he had to learn how to use AI tools.

”I’m more or less self-taught,” NoUsernameSelected said, crediting the nonprofit research group EleutherAI with facilitating his learning. “I thought it would take a while to make because I was learning how to use some of the tools involved for the first time, but I actually put this together in less than 24 hours from start to finish. I already had the Elon picture just from messing around in Stable Diffusion a few weeks ago. The rest was basically just figuring out how to rip the game’s voice lines open, transcribe them with OpenAI Whisper, voice them with Elon’s AI voice on Elevenlabs, and put them back in the game. The overall API and subscription costs were only a few dollars for [about] 600 lines transcribed and voiced. With the right know-how, this kind of content is actually surprisingly easy to create.”

With his previous modding experience being only small personal projects that haven’t been shared anywhere, NoUsernameSelected explained that artificial intelligence wasn’t the only tool that helped him out here.

“I also did a bit of manual batch editing in Audacity to make him a bit more robotic like House’s original voice through his speakers, because it was too ‘real’ and crystal-clear compared to the original voice acting otherwise,” NoUsernameSelected said.

Kotaku has reached out to X for comment.

Read More: World Of Warcraft Fans Trick AI, Hilarity Ensues

It makes sense seeing Elon Musk replace the most arrogant and calculating character in Fallout: New Vegas. Considering that Mr. House has amassed colossal wealth but has little regard for how his decisions may impact the lives of others, the parallels between the two are close enough.


New King Kong Game Is Very, Very Bad

Hey, good news! It’s been a long time, but we finally got a new King Kong video game. Bad news, Skull Island: Rise of Kong appears an ugly mess of a thing and it might be the worst game of 2023. Yes, even worse than Gollum.

Announced in July, Skull Island: Rise of Kong is the first King Kong video game in nearly 20 years. The last game featuring the loveable big ape who sometimes fights Godzilla was 2005’s *deep breath* Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie. That game was developed by Ubisoft and while not perfect, was a really interesting mix of first-person combat and third-person action. It had players switching between Kong and a human throughout the adventure, while experimenting with no HUD. Skull Island: Rise of Kong, on the other hand, is just a bland beat-’em-up with bad cutscenes, nasty visuals, and not much else.

Skull Island: Rise of Kong, out now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, was flying mostly under the radar following its Summer reveal. That changed on October 16 when users on Twitter began posting clips of the game, and the internet quickly began dunking on it.

In the clip above, posted by user RickDaSquirrel, we see a cutscene that appears to include a badly cut-out static jpeg standing in for a memory from Kong’s past. After remembering that picture, Kong awkwardly leaps into action, and then beats the ground as smoothly as a broken animatronic on some long-forgotten abandoned Disney ride.

Another clip from that same user, who was playing the game on Switch, shows awful performance problems during a small fight against some crabs.

YouTuber MKIceAndFire has uploaded a video showcasing the first hours of the game, and it only makes Skull Island look worse.

Combat looks boring as you fight the same basic enemies in similar-looking environments while music endlessly loops behind the action. At one point, Kong’s mom—who is looking for baby Kong in a playable flashback—leaps to the ground and a cutscene interrupts her landing, causing the impact sound to frantically repeat over and over again during the entire scene.

After Kong’s parents die, the young ape runs away during a storm and looks down at a puddle. This scene is meant to be sad. However, because the tech behind the game isn’t great, Kong’s reflection is a blurry, pixelated mess that lingers for far too long.

A screenshot of Skull Island shows a bad reflection of Kong.

So yeah, needless to say, this isn’t a great game. It’s possible that the later parts of Skull Island: Rise of Kong get better, but I’m not looking to spend $40 to find out.

Online the chatter has turned from dunking on the game to suggesting that this might be the worst game of 2023, beating Gollum. And I might be inclined to agree, especially because the actual worst game of 2023—that crappy Last of Us clone exclusive to the Switch—was removed from the eShop earlier this year.

So congratulations Skull Island: Rise of Kong, the internet now thinks you are either the worst or the second-worst game of 2023. Your trophy is in the mail.


Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Looks Blog by Crimson Themes.