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Join Now: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon® Wildlands Open Beta (Steam)

Der offene Beta-Test zu Ghost Recon Wildlands von Ubisoft läuft und dauert noch bis zum 27. Februar 2017. In einem Beitrag im offiziellen Forum hat ein Community Manager nun die Veränderungen zusammengefasst, die die Entwickler seit der Closed Beta des Spiels vorgenommen haben. Dazu gehören auch technische Verbesserungen für die PC-Version.

Der aktuell laufende offene Beta-Test von Ghost Recon Wildlands enthält schon viele Anpassungen und Fehlerbehebungen, die die Entwickler bei Ubisoft anhand des Feedbacks zur Closed Beta vorgenommen haben. Der Community Manager Iker hat in einem Beitrag im offiziellen Forum die wichtigsten Veränderungen zusammengefasst.

Die PC-Version soll zwar bis zur finalen Version weiter verbessert werden, doch in die offene Beta haben es beispielsweise schon die Unterstützung von Adaptive V-Sync, ein Ultra-Preset und die Möglichkeit, die Intro-Videos nach dem ersten Start zu überspringen, geschafft. Außerdem wurden mehrere Fehler behoben, die beim Start des Spiels Meldungen über nicht vorhandene DirectX-11-Features oder zu wenig Videospeicher anzeigten.

Die Entwickler haben sich auch um Fehler gekümmert, die das Gameplay stören oder den Fortschritt bei Missionen blockieren konnten. Dazu gehören fehlende oder nicht korrekt funktionierende NPCs, Probleme beim Wiederbeleben eines Teammitglieds oder beim Nutzen von Fahrzeugen. Verbindungsprobleme waren ebenfalls ein Schwerpunkt bei den Veränderungen. So wurde die Synchronisierung bei Koop-Missionen verbessert und Probleme bei Fahrzeugen, Gegnern und Drohnen wurden behoben.

Damit Ghost Recon Wildlands bei höheren Schwierigkeitsstufen eine größere Herausforderung ist, wurden Anpassungen an der KI und den Missionen vorgenommen, außerdem gibt es im Extreme-Difficulty-Modus nun in der Mini-Map keine Anzeige der Bereiche mit Gegnern mehr.

Der Beta-Test läuft noch bis zum 27. Februar 2017. Spieler, die an der offenen Beta zu Ghost Recon Wildlands teilnehmen und die Vollversion dann bis zum 31. März 2017 mit dem gleichen Konto spielen, erhalten als Belohnung eine exklusive Mission mit dem Titel “Die Unidad-Verschwörung”.

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Join Now: Anno Online Open Beta

Of the three titles I saw at Blue Byte’s headquarters in Dusseldorf, Anno Online was the least surprising. Both because the F2P online genre is saturated with city-building games, from Evony to Lords of Ultima to The Nile Online, and because one of Blue Byte’s own The Settlers Online was successful enough that the company has grown from just 50 employees to over 300. Don’t be mistaken. Just because it’s predictable, that doesn’t mean it won’t be interesting.

I was shown around the world of Anno Online by the game designer Tom Boulton. As he explained to me, Anno Online is a simple city-building title. A player’s aim is just to build the most grandiose city they can, stringing together all the resource chains and Venn diagrams of desires and supplies to ensure that all their citizens get just what they need. With 120 building types and more than 800 buildings in each city, there’s a lot of maths to be done.



Looking down at the first city, I can see a grandiose cathedral being built at the centre of a prosperous town centre. As my eye travels out from the cathedral, I see the buildings shrink from the estates of the grand nobles, to the red-roofed blocks of the patrician class, to the small houses of the slogging citizens and then, on the outskirts, the field-scattered hovels of the peasants. Happy areas have celebrating citizens in the streets; unhappy areas have rioting peasants. It’s a classic Anno 1404 scene, but more iconic, and in Flash.



Back to that cathedral. To build the largest structures, players must band together and co-operate to complete quests like this. Boulton explained that there is a guild system, global chat, online leaderboards, stat tracking, and a mail system in place – as well as an avatar creation tool with 3.5 million combinations. Players can visit each other’s islands, though it’s not clear what they’d do if they did. Though Boulton didn’t show me exactly how they’d build the cathedral, he did imply that these major projects would take several realtime days to complete.



To get anywhere near that size of city, players need to start from scratch. Each player has access to nine island slots; the first five of these unlock as you play the game, the remaining four are microtransaction-purchased only. The starting island has a fixed layout, though the resources are placed pseudo-randomly. Once you’ve colonised that and got to a high enough development level, you’ll be able to build ships and send them out to colonise your other islands. As each island has access to a different resource, players will need to occupy each island to balance their economy – or specialise further and trade with friends.



Of course, the big question is always how Ubisoft is going to make its money from the game, without breaking it. Here, paying players can buy progress acceleration, as there’s a certain amount of built-in waiting for expansion and exploration in the game. That’s a dangerous move, as it encourages designing every action to take forever. However, the vast majority of the items they can buy are purely cosmetic.

Like the other two games I saw at Blue Byte’s Dusseldorf headquarters – Silent Hunter Online and Heroes of Might & Magic Online – this is more of an iteration from the existing game than a radical departure.

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Thanks, PCGamer.com

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Join Now: TrackMania² Stadium Open Steam Beta

TrackMania² Stadium is the comeback of the « Stadium » environment enjoyed by millions of players with TrackMania Nations Forever, this time as part of the ManiaPlanet environment allowing for improved services around the game, better graphics and powerful track editor.


Pre-Purchase TrackMania² Stadium now to benefit from the 10% discount and:

  • Unlock gains of Planets when you play, and get 5000 Planets to get you started
  • Unlock official times on 15 solo tracks
  • Play without limitation and get all the updates up to launch and after!

You can join the TrackMania² Stadium Open Beta without a pre-purchase by clicking the Demo Download button.


About the Game

TrackMania² Stadium is the comeback of the « Stadium » environment enjoyed by millions of players with TrackMania Nations Forever, this time as part of the ManiaPlanet environment allowing for improved services around the game, better graphics and powerful track editor.

TrackMania² Stadium is a whacky, crazy and fast paced take on the racer genre. Easy to get in thanks to a very pure gameplay, Stadium’s depth made it an eSports favorite for years, and brings the creative gamers to the mix thanks to its extensive level editor.


Key Features

  • A thrilling racing experience: Jump into your car and enjoy high-speed races with super-responsive cars where only your skills as a driver make the difference!
  • Easy to Learn, Hard to Master: Thanks to a pure and focused gameplay, TrackMania² Stadium is very easy to get into, but you’ll have to rely on all your skills to reach the top
  • Experience the Legend: Enjoyed by millions of racers all over the world, the Stadium environment is back, bigger and better, with even more possibilities!
  • Unlimited creative possibilities: ManiaPlanet provides all the tools to easily create and share with the TrackMania community. Whether you like to make videos, create your own tracks, car skins, or create a full-blown custom game mode, you’ll find everything you need here.
  • Competition for everyone: TrackMania Stadium has been an eSports favorite for many years, and is now coming back even stronger thanks to new Team and Competition management tools, embedded livestream capabilities and much more!


Download Beta via Steam Steam Store




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Sign Up: Silent Hunter Online Beta

It’s a certain sort of vicious bastard that enjoys the tough submarine simulations of the Silent Hunter series. I’m one of them. You’re not only fighting on the side of the baddies, you’re a Bond villain; a sneaky baddy attacking civilians with underwater steampunk bombs. The more hardcore the mode, the crueller it is to the player. At the highest levels, you’re setting up the clockwork in your torpedos and manually working out your position from the innumerable dials and charts. Silent Hunter Online is no different.

At first sight, Blue Byte have translated the series perfectly to online. In a presentation by Stefan Aluttis, Silent Hunter Online’s Live Producer, he raved about how the new game would let players hunting their prey co-operatively in realtime 3D combat. The setting of Silent Hunter Online is 1939-45, the highs and lows of the Second World War. You play the captain of an unterseeboot – a U-boat – targetting Allied shipping in the Atlantic.


The first part of the demo was a CGI trailer that was about as relevant to games as lemons are to an aardvark. However, the next part was proper in-game play, running in Flash 11 – I could see Aluttis’ wingman playing the game on the computer next to me. The interface for the U-boat’s bridge will be familiar to– the usual periscope in the middle of the screen, showing a 3D view, and numerous dials to the bottom right controlling orientation, depth and speed.

At the top of the screen are the ship’s officers, running the watch, engineering, weapons and so on. If you don’t fancy programming the torpedo’s clockwork curvature yourself, you can delegate to one of these chaps, similarly for plotting courses and manning the watch.

It differed in four ways from the usual Silent Hunter game. First, on the right of the screen was a list of your other submarines. You no longer control just one; you can have command of several and use them as a wolfpack, to lure destroyers away and close in on the vulnerable cargo ships. Elsewhere, there’s a strategic map, based on the actual maps used by the Kriegsmarine, which you use to command your wolfpack. This wolfpack can also be social – there’s a friends list and chat window for talking to the server, your team, or your wolfpack.


Second, there’s a microtransaction shop on the right. It has two resources – iron crosses (from completing missions) and premium RMT credits. Alluitis was keen to point out that you can achieve everything without money, but that credits can be used to upgrade your ships, to remove cooldown timers on repairs, reloads, and resupplies, and to speed up travel. Though players start with Type II submarines, they quickly unlock more modifications and ships by playing the campaign. Losing a boat in combat isn’t fatal either, as you’ll be given a basic U-boat again.

Thirdly, it differs from Silent Hunter in the 3D engine. Though Flash 11 appears powerful relative to old Flash, it still can’t cope with true 3D environments well. Sadly this means no torpedo-cam and no free-cam for players. Despite this, they’ve managed to cram Silent Hunter 5s assets into the game, as well as a complicated weather system.

Finally, it differs in that there doesn’t seem to be any true open roaming; the game consists of scenarios set along strict paths, set in areas like the Irish Sea or the English channel. Your ships have a home base where they can recover, but otherwise they’re focused on this task. The missions are affected by a server-wide dynamic campaign. If players are doing well against the AI enemies, the missions will get tougher, with ships in tighter convoys, with more destroyers, until the AI regains dominance. These campaigns are spread around the world with the longest travel time being a realtime day.



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Thanks, PCGamer.com

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