GameSentral Rewind #002

Editor’s Note: This is the GameSentral Rewind, your daily look at the day’s top stories.

Destiny’s new Item Lock protects against weapons loss

Destiny Beta

Players who accidentally dismantle precious gear in Destiny are getting a useful fix.

You can now lock down precious gear in the game, so it’s not accidentally deleted, according to UI Engineer Daniel Hanson, in a post on the Destiny blog.

“One recurring story we keep seeing involves Legendary and Exotic gear getting accidentally dismantled by errant pets and over-enthusiastic children. We decided to empower players to protect their precious gear with Iron Locking.”

-Daniel Hanson, Destiny UI Engineer

To protect something in inventory from being dismantled, players will be able to highlight the item and click down on the right thumb-stick. It will remain locked until explicitly unlocked.

Ammo Changes

In other news, ammunition’s role in Destiny player-vs-player matches is also changing, with ammo drops set to become rarer and high damage weapons more limited.

“We believe that making ammo more scarce and important will provide players with more choices and more memorable encounters in Crucible. Special Ammo will spawn less frequently, it will take longer to pick up, there will be less crates located on the map, and the bricks you find will provide you with less ammo.”

-Kevin Yanes, Bungie PvP Crucible arenas designer

Full details will come in update 1.1.2’s patch notes.

“Internally, we’ve seen the arrival of Heavy Ammo create short bursts of intensity in a match that eventually reverts back to the neutral game. We think the transition back to regular gameplay is super important because it gives the team on the losing end of Heavy Ammo distribution a chance to rally back.”

-Kevin Yanes, on how play sessions changed in testing

Splatoon won’t have voice chat due to online negativity

Splatoon

Splatoon, Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U shooter that uses guns to shoot ink and playable characters who can transform into squid-like creatures, won’t have voice chat. That’s by design, according to the game’s co-director Yusuke Amano, because of the chatter in online shooters being so negative.

“When I played online games, I didn’t like the negativity I got and people telling me, ‘You’re crap. Go away,’ So we wanted to focus on the positive aspects of online gaming.

“I don’t want you to misunderstand – I’m not denying having chat in an online game does contribute to fun. But, as we’ve said, we want to grab new people.”

-Yusuke Amano, Splatoon co-director

Splatoon is coming to Wii U on May 29.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 set in ‘dark, twisted future,’ brings back Zombies

Call of Duty Black Ops 3

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will once again send the first-person shooting franchise into the future, where “cutting-edge military robotics define warfare,” according to an official description on the Call of Duty website. It will also see the return of developer Treyarch’s signature Zombies mode.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is the first title for next-gen hardware in the critically acclaimed Black Ops series. Developed by Treyarch, the award-winning creator of the two most-played games in Call of Duty history. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 deploys players into a dark, twisted future where a new breed of Black Ops soldier emerges and the lines are blurred between our own humanity and the technology we created to stay ahead in a world where cutting-edge military robotics define warfare. With three unique game modes: Campaign, Multiplayer and Zombies, providing fans with the deepest and most ambitious Call of Duty ever.”

-Call of Duty’s website, in its source code on Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s setting

Ken Levine’s next game starts with “passions, wants and needs”

BioShock creator Ken Levine wants to make characters more believable in his net game by focusing on their “passions, wants and needs,” according to comments he made to GameInformer.

“The whole system that I came up with and that we’re developing is based upon the fact that to make an interesting character, you have to have a character who has a bunch of passions, wants and needs. The player now has the ability to facilitate those wants or needs or go against those wants or needs or ignore those wants or needs. The reason I think the system is going to work is because it’s a very organic way to look at a character. It’s a quite systemic game. The system you’re in, the character’s feelings about you change, they go up and down. But the heart of a character is still wants and needs, and that makes it no different than anything I’ve ever written before.

“If you look at the characters and what they want and need, that’s the heart of what the characters are. It’s not their skin color, not their religion, not their sex. It’s what they want, what they need, and what’s in their way. That’s a function of talking about who they are and how they got to this place. Sometimes it’s skin color, race, or gender gets them to that place. But that’s a story.”

-Ken Levine, BioShock creator

Publishers fighting to keep abandoned games dead

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit group defending civil liberties in the digital world, is facing off against the Entertainment Software Association, the organization that represents most of the US’ major video game publishers. The EFF wants to allow players to put abandoned games back online and has asked the US Copyright Office for an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This would allow players to legally change the code of online games that are no longer supported by publishers, to reconnect them to new, third-party servers. This includes games like Battlefield 1942, Star Wars: Battlefront, SOCOM 4, Resistance: Fall of Man and Mario Kart Wii.

“This exemption would serve player communities that wish to continue using their purchased games, as well as archivists, historians, and other academic researchers who preserve and study videogames and are currently inhibited by legal uncertainty.”

-The Electronic Frontier Foundation

“Granting the proposed exemption would enable – and indeed encourage – the play of pirated games and the unlawful reproduction and distribution of infringing content.”

-The Entertainment Software Association

Despite both entities’ passion, neither is going to decide this issue – the US Copyright Office will later this year.

“Games abandoned by their producers are one area where Section 1201 is seriously interfering with important, lawful activities – like continuing to play the games you already own.”

-The Electronic Frontier Foundation, in response to the ESA’s statement

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