Community Chronicle: 12/10/14

It’s been quite a strange week for the gaming news, with two big stories refusing to go away. I’m sure you’re all aware of the travails of Driveclub and its online servers, which looks to be an ongoing saga for a while yet to come, and emphasising the need to really perfect the online infrastructure of a major game before release. Of course, the other lesson learnt is that it’s quite difficult to dig yourself out of a hole…


Ubisoft contrived to start a spiralling discussion about game resolutions and frame rates with Assassin’s Creed Unity, as Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand first explained that the game would be coming out at 900p30 on both platforms, while saying that this was “to avoid all the debates and stuff.

As you can imagine, this did not go down too well in some circles, with #PS4NoParity trending on Twitter and a widely held suspicion that this was down to a platform parity clause with Microsoft.

On the first day of this debacle, Starman wrote:

This won’t go down well, though I bet it’ll be patched up to 1080 like AC4 did.

I guess this shows how much devs are getting fed up of so much focus on resolution & fps rather than game details. You reap what you sow or something like that.

However, Ubisoft rapidly tried to backtrack, saying first that Pontbriand had been “misinterpreted”, then that specs are “not cemented“, before another round of interviews with other members of the team brought more ill advised and confusing statements to the fore. Finally, a wholly more considered blog post was released, with Pontbriand stating quite emphatically that “Ubisoft does not constrain its games. We would not limit a game’s resolution. And we would never do anything to intentionally diminish anything we’ve produced or developed.”

Though it hasn’t exactly cleared everything up for everyone, CR8ZYH0RSE said, “If only they released this statement in the first place after the “locked at 900p” fiasco, then maybe it could’ve been put to bed.” Meanwhile, following on from my own opinion that they could have simply said “30fps allows them to make the game world prettier and have more NPCs on screen than any previous Assassin’s Creed game”, Forrest_01 agreed, putting it plainly that “They totally should have just said that & left it at that.”

From the hullabaloo surrounding a game still a month away from release, there was a similar level of frustration at the troubles that Evolution and Sony have had with Driveclub. Having seen some mixed reviews (though I rather liked it), its launch saw their servers crumble under the pressure of even just the full retail version of the game, let alone the PS+ edition, which has been postponed for an unannounced period of time. For those with the full game, the central challenges system has temporarily been switched off too. Simply put, you can play the game, but it’s a shadow of what it’s meant to be.

As Bunimomike wrote:

It has been… an absolute and unmitigated disaster when we look at how they’ve handled things. I can easily forgive a delay as the game is unique; a unique entity with which they had an awful lot more to do to it. However, with that much time on their hands (to at least plan ahead) and the ability to stress-test servers with and without people playing, how the hell can the launch be handled so badly?

TonyCawley also asked:

I just don’t understand how this happens with such regularity when any new online game releases. They must know the servers are going to be very busy. Destiny managed to do OK on release, they must have properly anticipated a very busy release, how come everyone else can’t do the same? I honestly don’t understand.

Isn’t it a simple case of renting some extra servers for a couple of weeks at release to handle the initial traffic?

It’s a shame because a number of commenters have also been having a lot of fun with the game. It’s certainly not for everyone, and some haven’t found it a good fit for them, but boeboe, for example, said “I’m in driving heaven. Driving the Ferrari F430 Scuderia whilst the sun comes up over Scotland, one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in a long time. I am literally stunned at the negative/lukewarm reaction this game has got, online connectivity aside.”

Camdaz also joked about the game’s visual realism and detail as he said, “The lighting effects are really good and can be blinding when the sun is head on in cockpit view….. Has anyone found which button you press to fold down the sun visors?”

Naturally, I’m having to cherry pick comments, so I think that we’ll have to get a WeView put together for Driveclub not too long after the server issues are fixed.


It’s quite subdued in the achievements again this week. While many people enjoy and praise the Nemesis system in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Gastos – the podcast’s Lewis – couldn’t get over the bland and repetitive story, and having finished it has no intention of returning to the game.

Youles followed up on his play time last week by finishing the Watch Dogs Bad Blood DLC to 100%, noting once more that he enjoyed the story missions much more than the main game. He also saved Churchill in Sniper Elite 3 to restore that game to 100% as well.

Plenty others have been plugging away at Alien, with tactical20 playing it in small doses rather than marathon sessions, and Jones81 saying it’s one of the best games he’s played in ages. Of course, Destiny has also featured quite heavily in peoples’ game time, with element666 getting his first legendary weapon, CR8ZYH0RSE whiling away the time on the PS3 version of the game as he waits for his PS4 copy, and LegendishThingy fully upgrading his Invective shotgun, and nearly getting to the end of the Vault of Glass Raid.

Keep pluggin away, Thingy, it’s worth it!

A inferior race doesn’t need the forums – which are still down – to get your latest trophies into his tables, and you can head over to page 2 to view the latest 2014 leaderboards.

Following from recent efforts, if people want to keep sending photos in, I’ll be happy to post them, but gaming places isn’t a regular feature. If you fancy it, just use the submission form below, get in touch with me on Twitter at @teflon, or just send me an email out of the blue to [email protected]

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  1. “the forums – which are still down”
    Are there any plans to get the Forums back up? I know they weren’t the liveliest of things, but it would be nice to get them running again.
    Or maybe, it’s time for a different approach, wasn’t there (briefly) a chat room? That may get some of the conversations away from twitter, which seems to have been the main reason for the decline of the forums over the past couple of years.

    • Yeah it’d be good to have some way to organise meets, and have some slightly more detailed chats about certain games and trophies. Does anyone know what actually happened to the forums yet. Was it a hack or corrupted code?

      • I have no idea. I would have thought if it was a hack or some form of security breach, we would have been told, but who knows.

      • It wasn’t a hack or any data corruption. All the posts are still there, but they just won’t show up. For a number of reasons (chiefly that we’re busy!) it’s taking longer to fix than usual, but we’re also weighing up our options.

        I’ll keep on nagging on your behalf though. :)

      • As a non-Twitter person the lack of lively forms is a bit of a downer. Not that it’s anyones fault, except maybe mine for not getting on with learning how Twitter works? The forums have been good over the years, it’d be a shame to see them go but I’d understand if they had to.

    • Sadly, I think that the forums are gone. There have been issues in the past with the forums but everything was resolved in quite a short time period but this has gone on for so long now it seems obvious that there is no will at all by the powers to keep them going.

      Maybe Twatter killed them in the end :(

      • Yeah, I remember last time the forums went down and we switched from the WordPress one to the BB one, it took a couple of weeks, but it doesn’t seem like anything’s happening. I get that everyone is busy with their own lives, but it would be nice to at least know if we’ll ever see it again…

  2. Thanks for the mention. Still absolutely loving alien, been playing it all day but im not sure it’s good for your mental health playing for long stretches. I also tried hard mode for a bit but that was insane, dropped it back to normal but it’s still tough. When the aliens stalking you through an area its this weird feeling of intense stress and fear mixed with pure adrenalin, possibly game of the year for me if it holds up til the end.

    Meant to get on mordor and destiny but alien is just so addictive. With this and outlast and the pt demo i think horror has got to be the most interesting genre in gaming at the mo, daylight was pretty good aswell

    • Ps i wonder what Ridley Scott thinks about it?, it’d be pretty cool if someone got him to have a go on it for a feature or something. No idea if he likes gaming though!

    • Absolutely loving Alien: I’m a huge fan of the film and I think that CA have done a great job; the audio in particular is outstanding.

      I started on hard difficulty and I’m persevering, but I find playing it draining: being stalked by the alien is genuinely stressful, having to hold L2 to stifle the sound of Ripley’s panicked breathing while the monster hesitates in front of your hiding place is one example of the game’s genius!

      • Couldn’t agree more, the audio in both music and effects is outstanding. Yeah those locker bits are tense!, the alien actually found me in one even those i was silent!.i’ve tested a few things out and literally is totally unscripted, that must have taken a lot of work to get right

      • Yeah, the alien AI is impressive; the androids and humans seem to use a more standard predictable approach, but it really feels like the alien is hunting you.

        I think it’s the combination of the unpredictability and the powerlessness that creates the stress. Playing it is a labour of love at times!

        I’m saving ‘crew expendable’ for when I’m feeling a bit braver. Hoping for some helpful advice from Lambert as I crawl through the air ducts: “not that way Dallas!”

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