Final Fantasy 16 Producer Suggests PC Players Just ‘Buy A PS5’

Final Fantasy XVI, the upcoming installment in the long-running JRPG series, drops on June 22 as a PlayStation 5 exclusive. That exclusivity is a bit of a bummer as other Final Fantasy games, such as Final Fantasy VII Remake, were also available on PC. And the last mainline entry, Final Fantasy XV, was multiplatform. Unfortunately, at least for now, the new Final Fantasy game will remain on PlayStation 5 only, according to the game’s producer.

Producer Naoki Yoshida, colloquially known as Yoshi-P, was interviewed at a Mahjong tournament over the weekend, where he was asked whether Final Fantasy XVI would come to PC, something Square Enix confirmed when it revealed the game almost two years ago. However, despite that detail found in the footnote text at the bottom of the trailer, Yoshi-P said the release information is wrong, according to a “rough translation” by the Japanese gaming news Twitter account Genki_JPN. In fact, there may not be a PC version coming at all, as Yoshi-P is apparently suggesting folks go out and buy a PS5 instead.

“Nobody said a word about a PC version releasing,” Yoshi-P said. “Why is it like a PC version is releasing six months later? Don’t worry about that, buy a PS5! Sorry, I went overboard. We did our best so please look forward to it.”

It’s interesting Yoshi-P is purporting that a PC version isn’t planned. Scrubbing through some old Final Fantasy XVI trailers, such as the “Awakening” one from September 2020, it was definitely stated that the game is “not available on other platforms for a limited time after release on PS5,” suggesting it could possibly hit other consoles in the future at the very least. Such was the case with the Final Fantasy VII Remake, where the “limited time” window was about a year. However, all recent marketing for the game, from newer trailers to its official website, now makes no mention of it coming to PC. This is unfortunate considering other Final Fantasy games are on more platforms than just PlayStation and the fact that Sony’s newest console can still be difficult to find. But in the grand scheme of things, knowing how deep Square Enix’s relationship with PlayStation is, it’s not surprising. At least the exclusivity deal should take advantage of the PlayStation 5’s hardware so that there’s no loading.

Kotaku reached out to Square Enix for clarification but did not receive a reply before publication.

Alongside sticking firmly to PlayStation consoles, Final Fantasy XVI has been rated mature for certain types of content featured in the game. Specifically, according to a translation on the Brazilian Ministério da Justiça website, for hate crimes (yikes) and sex scenes (nice).

 

Rocket League Players Are Using Machine Learning To Cheat

Rocket League’s stalwart players have had enough. For over a week, fans have been complaining that the game—it’s soccer with screaming, customizable cars—is being terrorized by a bot trained with machine learning, and that developer Psyonix is doing nothing to save them from it.

The offending “God-tier” bot is called Nexto, one of many Rocket League bots trained by the application programming interface (API) RLGym, which treats “the game […] as though it were an OpenAI Gym” through bot-against-bot tournaments. While most of the available RLGym bots do not use machine learning (which lets algorithms make predictions based on sample data), the couple-months-old Nexto does, and it uses it well.

Though it’s been available to battle with RLGym for a while, recently, “a person made their own tools to use a bot online and just took Nexto from the public repository to use,” one of the gym’s authors wrote in a Reddit Q&A. These new tools are “scary easy to install and use,” one widely upvoted Reddit post says. “I can easily see this spiraling out of control within weeks if some sort of fix isn’t implemented.”

Players are desperate for a fix.

“I am not sure why the dev team has been silent on the issue,” another Reddit post says. “What’s the plan to address the cheating if any? Or is this just the future of the game.”

“There’s been quite a few people finding evidence of bots playing in ranked recently and it’s genuinely kinda concerning,” says a popular tweet. “I hope Psyonix finds a way to prevent this soon because this could become a huge issue going forward…”

The developer has told PC Gamer that it was aware of the issue and is “actively investigating solutions.” In an email to Kotaku, it said that it currently had “nothing more to share at the moment. If players run into a suspected cheater during a ranked match—or any match—they can report them in-game or contact our support team. As a reminder, the use of cheats or other exploits by players violate Epic’s Community Rules as well as the Psyonix Terms of Use.”

Psyonix also instructed RLGym “not to publicly release any more bots of this caliber until they get the situation under control,” its authors said in that Q&A.

Rocket League fans should try not to despair in the meantime—bots are breakable.

“One silver lining of this whole ordeal is now there are a ton of people looking for behaviors to exploit,” the RLGym author said in the Q&A. “Hopefully someone will come up with an easy way to beat it consistently soon.” For car soccer’s sake.

  

Destiny 2 Showers Players With Armor Mods Ahead of Lightfall

Destiny 2 is fixing a bunch of stuff for the month and change ahead of February’s massive Lightfall expansion. Players won’t have to grind so much to get into Grandmaster Nightfall missions. Iron Banner will be much more generous with armor drops in the weeks ahead. And armor mods, one of the most fun but esoteric parts of Bungie’s loot shooter, are finally getting unlocked for everyone.

Destiny 2 sucks for new players. You can have plenty of fun, but some of the most interesting parts of the game are locked behind dozens of hours or more of grinding, unlocks, and luck. One of the things that new players have difficulty accessing is armor mods, which drastically change the ways you can play the game, but which are only sold on a rotating basis by a single in-game vendor named ADA-1 who is hidden in the far corner of the main social hub. While longtime players have access to all of them, new players can get stuck with huge holes in their arsenal when it comes to crafting fun builds. No longer.

Yesterday, Bungie unlocked all standard armor mods for all players. While raid mods and artifact mods will still need to be earned, Warmind, Well, and Charged with Light and other powerful mods no longer need to be found. Even if you just started playing Destiny 2, you can start experimenting with different synergies or, more likely, copy the best builds making the rounds online.

ADA shows a Protective Light armor mod for sale.

Screenshot: Bungie

“With big changes coming to buildcrafting in Lightfall, we want to give everyone a chance to enjoy all of the standard mods in their current state for the rest of the Season,” Bungie wrote in Thursday’s This Week At Bungie (TWAB) blog post. The studio will outline how mods will work differently in next week’s preview. In the meantime, however, players can enjoy some other quality of life improvements.

Grandmaster Nightfalls now unlock at 1580 power and only require you to hit 1595 to reach the difficulty ceiling. Focusing costs for Trials of Osiris, Crucible, and Gambit weapons and armor have also all been reduced to 25 Legendary Shards. And most importantly, the remaining Iron Banner events this season will make it almost twice as easy to hit the rank reset and earn a full set of the hot new vintage Iron Banner armor.

Things have been extremely touch-and-go in Destiny 2 recently. While Season 19 has been applauded as one of the more fun and less grindy updates in some time, there have also been plenty of technical bugs and multiplayer complaints getting in the way. Last week’s Iron Banner session had all sorts of issues, not the least of which was players grinding tons of matches without managing to complete a set of armor. The upcoming changes should help earn some good will back ahead of Lightfall when Destiny 2 will likely once again start to feel like a completely new game again.

           

War Thunder Players Once Again Post Military Documents On Forum

An unclassified look at an F-15E Strike Eagle

An unclassified look at an F-15E Strike Eagle
Photo: aviation-images.com (Getty Images)

You may remember that one of the funniest stories of 2022 was the way that players of War Thunder—an arcadey online shooter featuring real military vehicles—just kept on posting military documents in the game’s forums. Not as acts of espionage, but to win arguments about specs.

I am incredibly happy to report, then, that this is shaping up to be one of 2023’s funniest stories as well.

The last time we checked in on these guys it was some tank players, who despite ban after ban just kept on sharing detailed, classified information on currently-operational Main Battle Tanks and their armaments.

This week we’ve seen a similar thing happen, only now it’s about fighter aircraft. As Massively OP report, earlier this week a player “shared military documents related to the F-16 fighter jet in order to win an argument”. The problem is that those documents, while not designated as classified military documentation like the tank guys’ stuff, was still restricted material “under the jurisdiction of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a State Department-enforced law that limits disclosure and transmission of US weapons data and information to foreign individuals, including distribution on the internet”. So, not classified, but still not the kind of thing you should be posting in a video game forum.

Then, just a day later, someone else was at it again! This time a different user posted excerpts from over a dozen weapons system manuals for the F-15E. Again, these weren’t classified—indeed they were for systems old enough that they had been declassified—but like I’ve already said, just because something isn’t classified doesn’t mean you can freely post it on internet forums where anyone in the world can see them. So they were deleted as well.

I said this last year but I will say it again now, the fact that a video game’s forums have become one of the greatest opsec hazards of the modern age, just because some dudes want to argue over a weapon’s statistics, is very funny.

Warzone Will Wipe DMZ Progress In Season 2, Dividing Players

Warzone 2.0’s DMZ extraction mode has been one of the most popular parts of the battle royale sequel, but a controversial upcoming change has some players wondering if they’ll stick around. Infinity Ward recently revealed that player progress will be wiped when Season 2 goes live next month, eliciting more than a few groans and head scratches from some of the mode’s biggest fans.

DMZ has players face off against both one another and mini-armies of AI-controlled opponents as they race to collect loot before successfully reaching the extraction point and escaping to safety. It basically takes many of the ideas that made Escape from Tarkov a hit and adapts them for the feel and player expectations of a Call of Duty game. While still technically in beta and not without its flaws, DMZ has been a huge success overall. However, with season 2 going live on February 15, players are now preparing to face the mode’s first official reset.

“All-new missions are coming to Season 02 including a refresh of your current Faction mission progress and an inventory (Contraband and Keys) reset,” the Call of Duty studio noted toward the end of yesterday’s patch notes preview. “We will be detailing all the need-to-know intel for DMZ ahead of Season 02 in an upcoming blog.”

Players were immediately split, both on the precise meaning of these changes as well as their merit. Longtime extraction mode players saw it as part and parcel of the subgenre. Others, coming from the battle royale and Call of Duty side of the shooter ecosystem, appeared to be both shocked and unenthused. This lead to similar conversations playing out between players.

“Why reset DMZ keys and contraband?” asked one player in the comments on Twitter. “So bad, I’m done playing DMZ. All the time I grinded was for nothing,” responded a second. A third weighed in, “Wipes are a part of almost every extraction shooter out there…it’s nothing new so don’t know why you expected DMZ to be different.”

While keys and contraband are already lost if you die during a round of DMZ before extraction, faction rank is something players grind out over the course of days and weeks. By completing specific in-match missions, they can increase their faction rank and unlock new rewards. The reset means that players who have yet to complete all current content before season 2 begins will lose out on being able to access those unlockables. It will also potentially force players to grind out tedious low-level faction quests all over again.

“Yea I don’t know why this is a thing, they should be building onto it and not resetting all my Tier 5 factions,” tweeted the Twitch streamer Marksman. “Doesn’t quite make sense, but I won’t be re-doing all the missions again, so prolly done with DMZ.”

In extraction shooters like Escape from Tarkov, players acquire all kinds of equipment and loot that sticks with them outside of individual matches. The result is that over a long enough period of time, some players will build up huge arsenals while others will be at a constant disadvantage. Occasional resets effectively wipe the slate clean and let everyone restart from an equal playing field.

Warzone 2’s DMZ mode, on the other hand, doesn’t greatly advantage longtime players over newcomers. Grinding faction rank will unlock extra gear slots, but isn’t the same as rolling into a match atop a small armory. It also seems that, while DMZ is still in beta, many players weren’t aware progress would be reset between seasons until now, leading to a mismatch in expectations, especially for players newer to the subgenre.

Of course, we don’t know exactly how all the changes heading into season 2 will pan out for DMZ. The patch notes themselves point to plenty of improvements. It’s possible the reset and new faction missions won’t feel that onerous in practice, either. Activision did not immediately respond to a request for comment to clarify the situation.

Update 1/31/23 2:28 p.m. ET: Infinity Ward wrote on Twitter today that players won’t have to grind for insured weapon slots again after Season 02’s reset. However, that still leaves open the question of whether players will have to complete old challenges again.

Marvel Snap Players Think An Objectively Nice Emote Is Toxic

Fans of Marvel Snap, the hugely popular, free-to-play card game, have come to a conclusion: the Ms. Marvel emote, the one where she’s grinning cheerfully, winking a bit and throwing up a thumbs up, is actually toxic as hell. Ms. Marvel might as well be giving you the finger and stomping on your entrails after she stole your wallet.

Most of the time, when I see gamers calling something “toxic,” I turn into Inigo Montoya from The Princess Diaries—“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” “Toxic,” I usually think, is a word for awful on-again, off-again college relationships, or for U.S. tap water. I wouldn’t normally use it in reference to a giddy superhero, wind flowing through her cartoon blowout, as she gives a supportive thumbs up, but most respondents to streamer SanchoWest’s Twitter inquiry about the toxic status of the emote would tell me I’m dead wrong.

“Do you see [Ms. Marvel] as a toxic emote?” SanchoWest asks.

“Put simply……… yes,” says one popular reply.

“I hope so, because if you see me use it just know I’m trying to be toxic,” another respondent admits.

In Snap, you can use a few different emotes, which, other than Ms. Marvel, include Deadpool with arrows in his head and snapping Thanos , or pre-written phrases like “Snap?” and the Patrick Bateman-esque “I am confident,” to communicate with other players as soon as you join a match with them. Ms. Marvel is a popular after-match spam, though, so I can understand how her thumb in that context becomes a defiant hate speech symbol.

One Redditor said in a thread, “When people use the Ms. Marvel thumbs up emote after I lose…I want to dive through my monitor and punch my opponent’s face until it’s nothing but a pile of bone and brains.” Oh, OK. But Ms. Marvel is the toxic one? Yeah, OK. That makes sense.

Have you guys heard of the word “rude”?

Popular Elden Ring Ending Proves Players Are Thirsty For Ranni

FromSoftware’s mammoth role-playing game Elden Ring features six different endings, all with their own proportions of esotericism. The Age of Fracture ending, for example, really only requires you to beat the game, while other endings like the Age of Duskborn or Blessing of Despair need you to follow a series of obscure steps to get a rune that unlocks them. None of the six endings, however, are quite as nebulous and complicated as the Age of Stars ending, which PC Gamer noticed that, bizarrely, more Steam players have unlocked than the standard ending.

The Age of Stars ending, to put it lightly, is involved. It wants you to fully prove your commitment to the petite winter witch Ranni, and rewards you with one of her four hands in holy matrimony. You also get the option to complete the game with her by your side, which is what earns the “secret” Age of Stars achievement.

But, hey, you know women—you have to navigate several treacherous bogs, (including Siofra River Well), defeat the crazed Starscourge Radahn at Wailing Dunes, find and talk to the right people (like Blaidd the Half-Wolf), and follow all their instructions in the right order, to get there. That’s like when I had to confirm my League of Legends boyfriend didn’t have a 4chan account before committing to him.

It’s much easier to derail Ranni’s questline than stay on it, too. I unfortunately (though, in my defense, accidentally) kicked my League boyfriend off Ranni’s path after he had already completed its requirements by triggering the blazing Age of Chaos ending out of curiosity, encouraging him to open the mysterious door even though, in hindsight, it looks evil. I’m sorry! You know women!

As punishment, I also kicked myself off the path by getting bored with it right before reaching the end. I didn’t have the heart to defeat quest-mandatory boss Astel, Naturalborn of the Void, who may look like an eldritch mosquito, but it’s not their fault.

Ranni’s fickleness doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for most Elden Ring players, at least not those who played on Steam.

“25.9% of players have The Age of the Stars achievement, which is the ending unlocked by Ranni’s questline, while 19.6% have the Elden Lord achievement,” the default ending achievement, PC Gamer writes. “Obviously there are some caveats here as well as the fact this is just Steam players, the main one being that some players will have been through the game twice and achieved both.”

According to TrueAchievements, which tracks Xbox and PC achievements, slightly more people reached the game’s default ending than Age of Stars. But its Steam stats still feel notable, and perhaps an indication that I need to sit in a vat of macerated blueberries until my skin takes on Ranni’s ethereal blue. Violet Beauregarde, but make it RPG.

 

Call Of Duty Is So Old It’s Bridging Generations Of NBA Players

The age difference between the NBA’s oldest and youngest players is so vast that someone who grew up playing the Super Nintendo can find themselves on the court alongside someone who grew up playing Fortnite.

You don’t need me to tell you that, you can just look at Wikipedia lists of “oldest NBA players” if you the thought ever strikes you, but this post isn’t going to be about you sourcing your own trivia expeditions, it’s about some public quotes being made that put that age difference into stark relief.

Last week, veteran Mike Conley—who is 35 years old—was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Talking with the press after the move, Conley mentioned the much-vaunted youth of Minnesota’s roster (which is a bit of a myth among fans and the press, the Timberwolves are only the 12th-youngest team in the NBA), and how 21-year-old Anthony Edwards asked him “You play Call of Duty?”

Edwards, a child of the 21st century, plays Call of Duty a lot. Thing is, the series has been running so long that, yeah, Mike Conley has played Call of Duty. He has played a lot of Call of Duty, to the point where he’s done entire interviews about it, like this one with Kicks On Fire in 2016:

Man, my history with Call of Duty goes way back, seriously, since like 2007. Modern Warfare, World At War, I mean all those got me hooked. My rookie year and I was just getting into the league, I had a lot of free time and that was one of things that I got into was playing video games and Call of Duty was one of my favorites and each game that comes out I get it and play it as much as I can before the season gets started.

I think it’s because it’s competitive. It’s another way to keep your competitive juices flowing and that’s something I love to do. You get to team deathmatch and you can have a bad game, you can’t find a way to help your team, but you get to the next game, and it’s like you’re the man and that feeling can carry over (in CoD or in the NBA). It’s easy to pick up and you can learn your way through playing.

He even lists his all-time favourite (at the time, anyway) as being 2008’s Call Of Duty: World At War:

I’d have to go back, was it World At War that first had the dogs attack? The one where you can send out dogs because you had certain killstreak going and you can have dogs chasing people around, I thought that was pretty cool. I’m a dog person and I love German Shepherds so it was cool to see them in the game.

I just think it’s lovely that a 35-year-old man and a 21-year-old can bond over the same video game series. It must be great for team chemistry, and a lot easier than playing for the Lakers, where Lebron is so old he’ll try and get you playing GoldenEye with him:

Overwatch Players Want The Mei Murder Grenade To Be Real

Mei from Overwatch 2

Image: Blizzard / Kotaku

Overwatch 2 doesn’t have a Mei homing grenade, but it could, and the promise of a weapon that would single-handedly seek out the ice-loving pain in my ass is enough to have players daydreaming about the possibilities.

Read More: Everything That’s Happened in the Microsoft- Activision Merger Saga

The official Overwatch Twitter account shared a video of a dev build where, as suggested by a player, Cassidy’s Magnetic Grenade “[finds] Mei anywhere on the map and immediately [eliminates] her.” In the clip, which takes place on the Shambali Monastery map, Cassidy hucks his grenade a few feet in front of him just for it to careen down an alley, bypassing several other characters to stick to a Mei standing at the very end of it. She then, predictably, dies.

Though the tweet also makes it very clear that the team “won’t be implementing this suggestion,” players can’t help themselves. Dozens of quote tweets are begging for this “buff” to be added to the game immediately, with Overwatch commercial lead Jon Spector replying with “don’t let your memes be dreams!” OWL player and streamer Jack Wright wrote “push it live, you won’t” while Overwatch news account Overwatch Cavalry brought up the iconic 2018 meme where a sign from an OWL event that read “Let Zen walk” resulted in the dev team animating a horrifying walk for the hovering omnic monk.

The almost universally gleeful reaction to a grenade that can seek out and destroy Mei anywhere on the map is understandable—even after she was temporarily disabled from the game because of an Ice Wall bug back in October 2022, she’s still an incredibly frustrating character in the hands of a good player. Her Ice Wall can block a moving point, cut off healers from injured players, and ruin quite a few ultimate abilities, and her Cryo-Freeze healing ability means she can often be tough to take down. “This fucking Mei” is practically an official Overwatch slogan at this point.

Though Mei won’t be personally targeted by Cassidy’s Magnetic Grenade, Mercy players do still have to deal with the aftermath of her getting nerfed into the ground earlier this month. In happier news, Overwatch’s reworked matchmaking means I finally made Platinum support this week. Ranked really does suck less!

Who’s Best In Overwatch 2? Stats Show Most Players Don’t Care

Hero shooters like Overwatch 2 are always in flux when it comes to character pick rates. Balance changes, reworks, and new additions throw a wrench into the machine, so a period of high usage for a character can mean a lot of things. But while Overwatch 2 only launched four months ago, we can still learn a bit from the heroes currently living their best lives as the top picks.

In a post on the official Overwatch website, game director Aaron Keller broke down some stats around character pick rates in Overwatch 2’s third season. While the season is ongoing, the team is apparently pretty satisfied with the state of the game’s balance, as it won’t be making any big changes between now and the midseason patch. So it stands to reason the following pick rate stats are going to be pretty much the same until then.

One of the bigger takeaways I have looking at the stats is that the Overwatch meta doesn’t always determine what characters are well liked.

Case in point, Keller first lays out the support picks, which he says feel well-balanced across different skill tiers, with “most” characters being viable regardless of what level you’re playing at. Brigitte is my secondary support character behind Baptiste, so it does my heart good to see she apparently has the highest win rate across most skill tiers, with Zenyatta coming in the lead among the top 500 players. Both enjoy a nearly 55 percent win rate. That pair is followed by Kiriko and Moira, whose win rate hovers around 45 percent. Despite all this, Keller says Ana, Kiriko, and Mercy are actually the most used support heroes right now.

As for tanks, Reinhardt is king with a 58 percent win rate in Bronze through Platinum ranks, with Sigma winning out with a 55 percent win rate in Masters and up. Keller points to Roadhog as a particular pain point for tank players, and recent reworks have made him more situational. It sounds like Wrecking Ball, who received a notable buff with the addition of a regenerating shield, is a bit of a wild card. His win rate apparently bounces between 51 to 55 percent, with a low pick rate in lower ranks, but he is apparently the most-picked tank among the top 500. Wrecking Ball has always been a weird outlier for the tank role, and the numbers really make it clear just how unpredictable he can be.

Last up is damage characters, and after Sojourn got a few numbers moved around, more characters are entering the spotlight again. According to Keller’s analysis, Cassidy has ascended to the top of most-picked damage characters for all ranks except top 500, where he’s neck-and-neck with poster girl Tracer. At lower ranks, Symettra and Torbjörn have the highest win rates, with Symettra having the highest win rate in the game for all ranks lower than Masters.

It’s interesting looking at win rates and pick rates juxtaposed against one another, because while the sickest of competitive sickos have their opinions on the meta and that’s its own conversation, for a lot of players, they just pick who they like.

Win rate not always equating to higher pick rates is a common thread among all three roles. Cassidy is edging out the other damage players in terms of pick rate, but in most ranks, the raw numbers say Symmetra and Torb are arguably the top of the role in terms of winning matches. Kiriko is one of the most picked supports, but in most ranks support characters like Brig and Zenyatta ostensibly have higher success rates.

These stats are cool to see, but most of us are just picking the characters we vibe with regardless of where they sit in the meta. Soldier: 76, Orisa, and Baptiste aren’t showing up anywhere in this blog post, but they’re still my favorites and I’ll stick with them to the bitter end.

Unless they make Cassidy’s homing grenade find Mei anywhere on the map. Then we’ll reassess.

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