Battlefield 4 Tastes High Tickrate

Battlefield 4 arguably had the most ‘disastrous’ launch we have witnessed till now. Game was shipped uncooked it absolutely damaged player’s trust on DICE’s capability and lost faith in EA. They also celebrated ‘Player Appreciation Month’ almost 3 months after the launch to cover up the mess that DICE Stockholm made. The players suffered severe server and client crashes, choppy frame rates, poor netcode. Almost a year after the launch, DICE LA took over and Community Test Environment (CTE) was launched. It was basically a Battlefield 4 environment where involved players can help in testing new features, improved/changed content and provide constructive feedback. It is only for players with premium membership. It smoked a new life into the game as patches, netcode fixes, weapon balances took place. Since the introduction of CTE, the game’s condition is improved.

Yesterday, probably the best thing to the Battlefield franchise happened. DICE LA with support from Visceral Netcode research team started testing high tickrate servers that was said to be impossible previously for a game like Battlefield. There are 2 servers up running at 60Hz and 120Hz tickrate. This means that the time delay between receiving damage and shooting animation is non-existent. This change is not going to be in the retail version (non CTE) of the game anytime soon as these changes impacts the performance of the server. DICE LA can’t confirm if it is ever going to leave CTE.

It will be amazing for players participating in competitive matches. We hope that it eventually makes the way to the retail version. DICE LA is doing great job with Battlefield 4. They are even giving away all the future content of BF4 for free as seen hereLet us know your views in comment section.

Image courtesy of Berdu.

Megalodon Dwells in Battlefield 4

Presence of Easter Eggs spices up the experience and when done in a Multiplayer oriented game like Battlefield 4, it takes it to another level because it usually requires multiple people to be in the server and create the specific conditions . Yesterday, easter egg hunters figured out how to trigger the event. The event being ‘Calling the Megalodon’ ( prehistoric shark ) in the vanilla (non premium) map ‘Paracel Strom’. Popular YouTuber JackFrags has posted the footage of it. It was speculated to exist in the game since the launch. It appeared for the first time on Premium Multiplayer map called ‘Nansha Strike’ over a year ago.

With the latest Patch to the CTE ( Community Test Environment ) DICE included two easter eggs, one of which is discovered. This can not be found on the retail version of the game. However premium members can sign up to get access to CTE version which is constantly being updated. The event can be triggered under specific conditions mentioned below.

  • Any Phantom camo/paint should be unlocked and deployed on the weapon
  • Land on the Windmill and get struck by lightning
  • Find parrots on the palmtree, as the storm arrives and shoot the little light on the ship

Battlefield-ers have done it again! Just like they did in cracking Phantom assignments and others mentioned in UFO in GTA V . As I’ve played it for over a thousand hour, I’ve witnessed the effort required to solve the mysteries of it. Let us know your opinions in the comment section.

See you in The Battlefield, Soldier!

Image courtesy of Shadow6ix.

Boarding UFO in GTA V Possible, Easter Egg Hunters Think

 

Appearance of UFOs in Grand Theft Auto: V, in a mission named Alien Abduction surprised many players. Easter Egg hunters have been working hard and already discovered that 4 UFO exists in the digital world. Evidence exists that suggests the possibility of getting abducted by aliens without interfering with the game core processes.

A breakthrough was made by reddit user trainwreck42o which shows in his thread that the interior of the UFO can be loaded under specific conditions such as there should be no injuries (i.e. Full Health) and another unknown requirement which will trigger the script. The later condition should have specific variable (-1 or 999) so that the code can recognize it. The final step according to him is to discover the warp points which will take us into the loaded interiors.

Since the discovery, many theories have emerged which suggests the conditions and factors. It could be like PHANTOM Assignments and easter eggs like Yeti’s shout in ‘Golmud Railway’ and Megalodon encounters in ‘Paracel Storm’ (CTE) and ‘Nansha Strike’ maps in Battlefield 4 requires specific conditions to execute.

Since the launch, many players have been trying to find easter eggs like Jetpacks, Aliens and partially succeed. There are traces in the code of existence of a Jetpack in the game. Speculations and rumors surrounds the hunt. In spite of no major success, Easter egg hunters haven’t given up.

Players are coming together to crack the code! I am quite surprised with this breakthrough, are you? Let us know your views in the comment section.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of GTA Wiki.

Battlefield 4 Final Stand Revealed to Come with an Exploit to Catch Cheaters

DICE has recently revealed that the latest DLC for Battlefield 4, Final Stand, has an exploit intentionally left in the game by the development team. The company explained that they inserted the exploit in order to catch cheaters and proceed in banning them from the game.

“With Final Stand, we had that change in there, and there were a significant amount of players hit with the ban hammer, because they were using that cheat we knew about”. – DICE

It looks like DICE is experimenting with their own anti-cheat system in order to catch cheaters, having this be a test run for what’s to come. Though it revealed it to be very effective, “there are cheats out there that we don’t know about — we can’t find them all”. Battlefield 4 currently has two anti-cheat systems, PunkBuster and Fairfight. Despite the heavy anti-cheat protection, cheaters still manage to hide in the game.

DICE is said to also have a dedicated staff team members looking into the Battlelog, hoping to catch more cheaters and ban them in the near future.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Battlefield 4 Winter Patch Rolls Out, Brings Helicopter Physics and Mantle Optimizations

The long-awaited winter patch for Battlefield 4 has just been released by DICE. The change log states that the patch brings AMD Mantle optimizations and a few graphical improvements aimed at PC users.

Also, the patch brings a new game mode, namely Squad Obliteration. Anti-cheat measures have seen a few improvements as well, along with changes to the combat system and some minor fixes throughout the game.

A key feature seems to be the new real helicopter physics, allowing players to perform barrel rolls and loops. The complete patch itself is said to weigh in at around 1.34 GB.

The complete change log can be viewed below:

GENERAL IMPROVEMENTS

  • Added Squad Obliteration game mode
  • Added support for New player servers (rank 10 and down)
  • Added support for matchmaking into ranked servers (in addition to standard official)
  • Various anti-cheat improvements implemented
  • In combat system now temporarily disables squad spawning when squad mate is in combat
  • In combat system now temporarily disables Medic Bag healing based on damage taken and incoming suppression increase
  • In combat system now temporarily disables First Aid Kit healing based on damage taken
  • Decouple vehicle aiming from turning option added
  • Added Mastery Dog tags for several weapons that were previously missing
  • Added 3 new Premium playlists: ‘Large Scale Battles’, ‘The Battlefield’, and ‘Close Quarters’
  • Fixed an issue that would sometimes cause an error about stats not fetching, if connecting to a session after immediately being disconnected
  • Fixed an exploit related to CTF/Obliteration exploit using M224 Mortar/MAV/EOD Bot
  • PC – Several AMD Mantle optimizations
  • PC – Various graphical performance improvements
  • PS4/XBOX ONE – Fixed a case where the Battledash would not show after signing out of a profile while in the rent-a-server section
  • PS4/XBOX ONE – Fixed naming inconsistency with the server browser and quick match for Conquest Large
  • Xbox One – Fixed an issue where the user would sometimes not enter friends online session when joining through ‘Friends List’
  • Xbox One – Fixed an issue where Digital Premium Edition did not give premium access on Battlelog
  • X360 – Fixed an issue where performing a sign-in change during game would sometimes result in endless black loading screen
  • X360 – Fixed an issue where multiple users in the same squad would crash if the squad leader disconnected from a full server
  • Added option for player to separately toggle the slowdown and auto rotation components of aim assist. Server admins can now enforce a disable of the auto rotation component on ranked servers
  • All consoles – Fixed an issue where it was not possible to join a rented server that had a password set

AUDIO

  • Footsteps: Significantly improved audio of footsteps for enemies and friendlies so that they can clearly be heard. Also fixed an issue where grenades explosions or other loud sounds would mute footstep sounds
  • Fixed an issue where EOR music would not play in CTF
  • PC – TDM/SQDM: ‘Tension music’ now correctly playing for all teams in TDM and SQDM

ART

  • Updated the shading for many of the Dog tag country flags to make them more accurate
  • Animation: Cleaned up fast side to side movement of the character in third person
  • Fixed an issue where tracers would incorrectly show up on bullet impacts

USER INTERFACE

  • Fixed an issue where the soldier camouflage selected would change to default between rounds
  • Fixed the cropped “Ready” status on the F-35 and J-20 fighter jets so that it is now fully visible
  • Fixed a HUD related issue that would sometimes occur when players on the same server would use the FLIR/IRNV
  • Dog tags will now display stats both in game and in menus
  • Several hit indicator and crosshair improvements
  • Fixed an issue where a player’s health is displayed incorrectly when they get hit while regenerating health
  • Updated HUD Logic for several weapons so that they show “overheat” messages correctly
  • Tweaked Jet HUDs to be more clear
  • Improved scout helicopter crosshairs
  • All consoles – Removed an incorrect reference to parachute in the customization screen
  • Deploy screen – Added deploy screen advanced options to show vehicle passengers, more details on occupants and squad mates
  • Deploy screen – Improved squad mate selection when in vehicles

VEHICLES

  • All helicopters have new more agile physics applied (you can do both barrel rolls and loops!)

WEAPONS

  • Animation updates for m412 and sw30
  • Fixed an audio bug where the air missiles or TV guided missiles would play multiple times for one shot
  • Fixed an audio bug where the FAC boat cannons would loop indefinitely
  • Adjusted the graphics for the Kobra red dot reticle to make it longer to more closely match the actual reticle
  • Removed small animation played when going into sprint for any weapons that have a fore grip
  • Adjusted QBZ95 fore grip position in first person
  • Fix for RPK74 bolt cycle during fire animation
  • Improved HUD clarity for red dot sights against snowy/bright backgrounds – AND improved PS3/Xbox360 look as well
  • PS3/PS4 – Fixed an instance where a player would be unable to switch back to the bow from a secondary weapon if spawning as a passenger in a vehicle
  • X360 – Fixed an issue where Vehicle IRNV would not detect infantry on equal elevation properly

MAPS
HANGAR 21

  • PS3/PS4 -Fixed an issue where a user would get stuck when descending the ladder that leads to the lower Hangar
  • Fixed a sound bug that would cause the titan engine audio to become distorted
  • Fixed various smaller sound issues

HAMMERHEAD

  • Fixed an issue where user would encounter snowing VFX inside of the hallway west of objective B if spawning on squad mate.

PROPAGANDA

  • Fixed several collision issues based on community feedback

PEARL MARKET

  • Fixed a collision issue which would cause players to fall down from the big neon sign that is used as a bridge between 2 buildings
  • Fixed an issue where a user could see through the game world after destroying part of a building situated near the CN base

LUMPHINI GARDEN

  • Fixed several collision issues that would occur after the mudslide levolution was triggered. The mudslide has also been optimized to reduce visual glitches
  • Rush – Fixed issues with the EDO bot having no collision with several sidewalks around the US base first set of M-coms
  • Fixed an issue with an indestructible window in the house at the center of the map
  • Fixed an issue where a player could get stuck behind the pipes at Flag C and be forced to redeploy
  • Xbox One – Various issues collision near the valves and between them after the levolution event

SUNKEN DRAGON

  • Fixed several collision issues based on community feedback

ROGUE TRANSMISSION

  • Made collision conform closer to render mesh for destroyed track pieces. Moved collision volume in the level to accommodate the new changes to the adjusted object collision
  • Fixed several collision issues based on community feedback

ZAVOD 311

  • Fixed several collision issues based on community feedback

METRO 2014

  • Fixed an issue where users where able to get C4 kills through the roof
  • Fixed several collision issues based on community feedback

FLOOD ZONE

  • Fixed several collision issues based on community feedback

HAINAN RESORT

  • Fixed several collision issues based on community feedback

OPERATION LOCKER

  • Fixed several collision issues based on community feedback

SIEGE OF SHANGHAI

  • Improved collision issues on several skyscrapers

DAWNBREAKER

  • Fixed an issue where a user is unable to deploy Radio Beacon, MAV and similar gadgets on the boardwalk located north from the water and south from objective C
  • Fixed several collision issues based on community feedback

LOST ISLAND

  • Added collision in the ceiling of the cave so that is no longer possible to hide there with the little bird

GULF OF OMAN

  • Lights now no longer stay intact once building is destroyed

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information

Battlefield 4 Community Protest Against DICE, Plans to Close Servers

Battlefield 4 gamers are furious with developers Digital Illusions CE (DICE) for perceived failures in serving the online community. Under the banner WeAreBattlefield, the community is demanding:

  • Better in-time communication from DICE to admins;
  • To stop decieving admins with hidden patches;
  • That DICE establishes a communication pipeline with admins which is being listened to.

Since WeAreBattlefield remain sceptical that DICE will cede to its pleas unless drastic action is taken, as part of the protest, the community has announced plans to close the game’s servers on 3rd January.

Source: Gaming Enthusiast

Man, the Bow and Arrow in Battlefield 4 is Effing Powerful

Which gun is the most powerful in Battlefield 4? None; it’s the bow and arrow.

The Phantom Bow in Battlefield 4 is damn powerful, as the video below shows off. Kotaku reported the news from Reddit, with some awesome editing, music and so many ‘splosions. Makes me want to install Battlefield 4 again!

Source: Kotaku.

Battlefield 4: Final Stand to be Released on November 18

EA has announced that the final map pack for Battlefield 4 will be released this week, with Battlefield 4: Final Stand being made available for premium members on November 18.

Final Stand will include new weapons, gadgets, vehicles, and 4 new Russian arctic maps. As for the new vehicles, we can expect a Snowmobile, and a Hovertank. The Rorsch MK-1 railgun is included as a new weapon, while we have some new maps to choose from, too. Siberian is up first, while a “blizzard-ridden” Operation Whiteout and Hammerhead also make the cut, with Hammerhead having gamers take to a submarine base to duke it out, the military installation of Hangar 21 and Giants of Karelia, which is a “massive map designed around a weapons factory”.

Source: Polygon.

Win AMD’s VP Roy Taylor’s AMD R9 295×2 by Playing Battlefield

There is one thing I think we all can agree on, we like to game. What do we like more then to game? Well that’s an easy one, free hardware to game on. And how about you could win it simply by playing one of your favourite first person shooter games? Yes you read right, you can win an AMD Radeon R9 295×2 Graphics card by playing Battlefield 4.

AMD VP Roy Taylor is a big Battlefield 4 addict with over 300 hours of logged game time, and he has now teamed up with PC Perspective to generously give away his own personal 295×2 graphics card for the whole thing. hat’s the catch? You have to play Battlefield 4 with him and the Fragging Frogs during a special giveaway event. The winner will be selected randomly from those that play BUT to make things more interesting we will offering in-game “opportunities” to increase your changes of winning.

I don’t think I need to tell anyone here about this card, but in case you should have missed it in the past. It performs 11.5 terra flops with its 5632 stream processors, 8 GB total memory on dual 512-bit interface. The entire thing is kept cool with a closed loop liquid cooling system from Asetek.

Rules for the participation:

  • You must post to the thread on their forum (You can find it here)
  • Space will be limited on our Battlefield 4 server so everyone may not be able to participate.
  • TRY TO BE ON TIME – You must arrive by 1:15 PM ET or your spot in the game can NOT be guaranteed.
  • You must join Teamspeak for the event
  • You must play for the majority of the time we play Battlefield 4
  • Participants must reside in North America
  • Everyone who participates will receive 1 (one) raffle ticket entry
  • Anyone who knifes ROY (leonidoo in game) or SAM (Warsam71 in game) from AMD will get +5 additional raffle ticket entries !!!
  • Other opportunities (some kept secret) may be available to receive additional entries
  • The winner will be announced shortly after the event

Sadly the event is only open to people who reside in North America and I expect it to be crowded to get a slot, but it’s still a great deal and a fun way to earn a new GPU. And thumbs up to Roy for giving away his own card.

Thank you PC perspective for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of PC perspective.

Battlefield 4’s next Update Will Be Focused on Core Gameplay

Hooray! Another Battlefield 4 update, where loads of things are fixed but it seems whenever things are fixed, some already fixed stuff breaks, maybe not this time. (fingers crossed) The next update to hit Battlefield 4 will focus on core gameplay features such as soldiers movement and HUD changes, as well as a few small changes here and there. Dice say the new soldiers movement “closely matches the one in Battlefield 3, but without compromising the visual fidelity”.

The HUD is changing too, as of September onward the HUD will “only show what is important” with players being able to add more information to the HUD as they see fit. DICE are also working on weapons balancing and tweaking a few vehicles, reviving your fellow team mates is about to get better to. The Defibs will make a sound letting the player know that they are fully charged and ready to revive a fallen team mate. DICE has also promised improvements to the Rush, Obliteration, Obliteration Competitive, Capture the Flag and Carrier Assault game modes.

Now that is a lot of changes and I personally can’t wait to see the update go live, what are your thoughts? Let us know!

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

Battlefield 4 Free on Origin for 1 Week

The latest Battlefield is now free to play on Origin for a whole week!

That’s right, a whole week, 168 hours of EA’s latest FPS blockbuster for free. Don’t worry if you haven’t instantly jumped onto the download either. Origin have made it so the counter only starts to tick AFTER the game has downloaded and you launch it. As long as you have added it to your game library before 6pm BST on August 14th (that’s 10 AM PDT), you will still have the whole week. Also, if you decide to actually buy the game after the week is out all of your in-game progress will be saved.

This is the second promotion like this EA has done. The first was with Titanfall in June but they only offered it for 48 hours. It seems it must have been a success for them to do it again, this time for even longer. Its about time EA did something positive with BF4, its release hasn’t been very well received by the FPS community and with the latest BF4 DLC expansion, Final Stand, now being delayed till “Q3” maybe this will draw in some new customers for EA and get their older players back on.

To get Battlefield 4 you can download via Origin Here

Thanks to Game Spot for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Battlefield.

Battlefield 4 Dragon’s Teeth Out For Premium Members Today

Are you a Battlefield Premium member? Well if you are as of today you will be able to access the new Dragon’s Teeth DLC for Battlefield 4. The new DLC pack is available to buy and download via Origin’s Digital Distribution service on the PC. If you are not a Battlefield Premium service member than you will have to wait until July 29th to gain access to the same content.

The new DLC pack is also available for console users today but it will arrive in the following time windows:

  • Xbox One and 360 – 1:00 AM Pacific Standard Ttime to 5:00 AM PST/ 9:00 AM GMT to 1:00 PM GMT
  • PlayStation 4 and PS3 in North America – 2:00 PM PST to 6:00 PM PST/ 10:00 PM GMT to 2:00 AM GMT
  • PlayStation 4 and PS3 in Europe – 6:00 AM PST to 10:00AM PST/ 2:00 PM GMT to 6:00PM GMT

Battlefield 4 Dragon’s Teeth brings four new maps, new large vehicles, the new Chain Link game mode and a two-handed ballistic shield that can be used to protect against enemy fire. Dragon’s Teeth is the fourth piece of DLC offered to Battlefield 4 fans following on from China Rising, Second Assault and Naval Strike. The final piece of DLC, expected to be called Last Stand, will arrive soon.

Source: Softpedia

Image courtesy of EA/DICE

Testing AMD’s Mantle: Battlefield 4, Thief and PvZ Garden Warfare

Introduction


“Mantle is Game Changing” is AMD’s tagline for their newest low-overhead API. Mantle has been in the news constantly since AMD publicly released the concept on September 26th last year in their public live stream. The biggest claim to fame of this new low-overhead API is its use in EA’s Battlefield 4 blockbuster and the support it has from EA’s famous FrostBite 3 Engine. However, what is all the fuss about? How does Mantle actually perform in practice? Why should you even care about it? These are questions we are hoping to address today.

What’s Mantle all about?

So we’ve briefly introduced Mantle as a “thing” but at a basic technical level, what is Mantle? Mantle is an API, or application programming interface, that reduces the level of CPU workload required during gaming. Mantle does this by offloading tasks traditionally done by the CPU to the GPU and by simplifying the communication between the two. Compared to DirectX, Mantle uses less CPU capacity for communication between a video game and its graphics card resources, as such CPU bottlenecks can be reduced or removed by using the Mantle API. In short Mantle is an attempt to bring “console-like” optimisations to the desktop PC platform.

Who can make use of Mantle?

The AMD Mantle API is currently only supported on AMD GCN products: that’s 28nm HD 7000 or Rx 2xx series graphics cards and Kaveri APUs at the time of writing. For Mantle to work the game must be programmed in the Mantle API. This is the main reason why AMD is working so hard to push its API among game developers; it cannot go anywhere without developer adoption. The Mantle API is currently in the closed beta stage, but upon release it will be fully open source and made available to all game developers, hardware vendors and industry figures.

What games does Mantle support?

Mantle is supported by a range of top-tier game titles, as of writing these are:

  • Battlefield 4
  • Battlefield Hardline
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition
  • Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth
  • Star Citizen
  • Thief
  • Sniper Elite III

Mantle is supported by the Nitrous, Frostbite 3 and CRYENGINE game engines meaning the potential is there to expand it to many more game titles in the future that use those engines. The only three games on that list that are currently available to buy right now, with Mantle support working right now, are Battlefield 4, Plants Vs Zombies Garden Warfare and Thief. So you guessed it….today we are putting those three to the test.

Full details of game support can be found on AMD’s regularly updated list right here.

Why is Mantle important?

Mantle is important because it is the first significant attempt by anyone in the PC industry to dramatically reduce overhead on a graphics API. Although not specifically confirmed by Microsoft, Mantle has been one of the influential driving forces behind DirectX 12. DirectX 12 has been announced by Microsoft but is still in development. DirectX 12 will be Microsoft’s successor to DirectX 11.x and will also be a low-overhead API like Mantle. AMD claims Mantle will be easily “portable” between DX11 and DX12 so anyone who develops for Mantle now will be able to easily move to the next DirectX when it is released. As such Mantle is not an attempt to undercut the DirectX 12 API, but an attempt to fast track the development and adoption of low-overhead APIs.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0oz-EonmBw[/youtube]

Battlefield 4 Dragon’s Teeth DLC Gets Teaser Trailer, Coming July 15th

Battlefield 4 Dragon’s Teeth is the latest DLC for the base Battlefield 4 game. The new DLC will launch July 15th for Battlefield Premium members and 2 weeks later for everyone else. EA and DICE have released a teaser trailer ahead of its release which you can see below:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNDAvREdeLY[/youtube]

Battlefield 4 Dragon’s Teeth will add four new maps to the game, all set in Asia, called Lumphini Garden, Pearl Market, Propaganda and Sunken Dragon. Each map will have its own “Levolution Mechanics” and gamers will be able to use a ballistic shield: something they have been asking for since the game was released.  The DLC pack introduces a new game-mode too called Chain Link which EA describes as:

“twist on the fan-favorite Conquest mode that sees squads battle to link capture points in order to achieve victory”

Dragon’s Teeth is the fourth piece of DLC offered to Battlefield 4 fans following on from China Rising, Second Assault and Naval Strike. The final piece of DLC, expected to be called Last Stand, will arrive soon.

Image courtesy of EA/DICE

6400×1080: Testing Mixed-Resolution AMD Eyefinity

Introduction


Around a month ago we announced to you that AMD was releasing version 3.0 of its Eyefinity software package. One of the key new additions to AMD’s Eyefinity 3.0 software is the ability to support mixed resolution monitors in an Eyefinity configuration through a variety of methods. This exciting addition means you can mix and match a variety of displays so there’s no reason to scrap any mis-matched monitors if you want to do multi-screen gaming.

Mixed resolution support will be implemented in three different ways: fill mode, expand mode and fit mode. The first of those, fill mode, utilises the full resolution of all displays but as a result of that the resolutions created are not quadrilateral (i.e. are not rectangular). The next mode, expand mode, creates a rectangular resolution based on the vertical pixel count of the highest resolution display and the combined horizontal width of all displays. The resulting area that the smaller displays cannot show is designated as “unavailable area” because the displays lack the resolution to project it.

The final method is fit mode by which the vertical pixel counts are kept constant across all three displays so it will use the maximum common vertical height. In the example below you can see that you’d end up with three 1080p height screens but the middle one becomes 2560 x 1080. This differs to previous Eyefinity where it would simply set the middle display to 1920 x 1080, now you can use the extra width by sacrificing the height which is preferable to sacrificing both.

To test out this new AMD Eyefinity technology AMD have sent us over the required monitors to run a 6400 x 1080 configuration. The first is the central 2560 x 1080 resolution display, for this AMD sent us the AOC Q2963PM 29 inch panel. Despite being a 29 inch panel, the vertical height is the same as a 23 inch 1920 x 1080 panel because remember panel height is measured diagonally, the extra width doesn’t make this display any taller. To go either side of the AOC Q2963PM AMD also sent us two NEC MultiSync E231W displays. Together these three panels form a 6400 x 1080 resolution with a uniform vertical height that makes it look like a natural combination. For testing this high-resolution set up we are testing it with XFX’s R9 290X Double Dissipation 4GB graphics card on our usual high-end graphics card test system. We were tempted to use CrossFire 290Xs but decided to opt for one card to keep the results as realistic and accessible as possible.

EA Adds AMD Mantle Support To Three New Game Titles

AMD recently announced that it will be partnering with EA to bring Mantle to new game titles. AMD already works with EA to bring Mantle to titles such as Battlefield 4 but in the near future AMD and EA will also be cooperating to bring Mantle to Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. All three titles are powered by EA’s Frostbite 3 engine which incidentally also powers Battlefield 4. Those three games now mean that the Mantle API is supported by more than 40 games.

AMD’s Mantle API continues to pick up speed with its adoption. AMD’s Mantle has had some notable successes of late such as being supported by the CryEngine in March (the same engine used by most Crytek games and featured in some Far Cry titles) and being supported by the upcoming Civilization: Beyond Earth title. Despite Microsoft’s announcement of an equivalent low-level API back in late March, DirectX 12, AMD’s Mantle has continued to receive extended attention from game developers.

Source: AMD PR

Image courtesy of eTeknix

Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 Making Waves

Battlefield 4 has seen better days. With game launch woes and continuing server issues EA needs to step up it’s game if it’s going to want to stay relevant against the likes of Call of Duty or the recently released Titanfall.

But one thing you can definitely count on DICE for is easter eggs. This one for example is a monster of one. Ever see the movie Sharknado? No you say? What rock have you been living under? Go watch it…NOW!

But if you’re one of those lucky ones to have seen the movie you can relive all that amazing B rated goodness over again as long as you have 9 other buddies that are willing to lose their lives just so you can live to tell the tale.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6UM7-YFIOI[/youtube]

The people at IGN list out the rather easy steps to bring out the beast:

  • 10 players are needed to bait out the shark.
  • Load Battlefield 4’s Naval Strike DLC, specifically the map Nansha Strike.
  • Head out to the water’s lonely buoy with 9 other suicidal players, just outside of C.
  • Once all 10 players have gathered the shark will break the surface, landing atop of anyone brave enough to swim it’s waters

A huge thank you to the team at IGN for providing us with this information.

Thief Mantle API Support Delayed Until First Patch In March, Brings TrueAudio as Well

There have been rumors about Thief getting Mantle support, and it appears that Edios Montreal has finally made it official. However, players are not to expect AMD’s Mantle API at launch. Edios Montreal has confirmed that Thief will be launched only with DirectX support.

However, a match stipulated to be released in March will bring Mantle support, as well as TrueAudio. This will make Thief the first game to use dedicated DSP found on GNC 1.1-based graphics cards like the Radeon R9 290, R9 290X, R7 260 and R7 260X. The TrueAudio technology is designed to shift advanced audio processing from the CPU to the GPU’s DSP, giving both better performance and more immersive audio experiences.

“We confident this patch will ensure the best and fastest Thief experience for AMD Radeon customers”. Edios Montreal stated. “We’re sorry we couldn’t bring this to you sooner – although we will use this time to bring you the very best experience possible and will let you know when the patch is ready.”

Edios was known to become partners with AMD to make Thief a Mantle-supported title back in November. Other games announcing support for Mantle API consist of Star Citizen and Sniper Elite 3, while EA’s Battlefield 4 already received the update a while ago.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Battlefield 4 Experiencing Washed-Out Textures In AMD’s Mantle

Mantle is reportedly creating washed-out graphics in EA’s Battlefield 4 title. Have you noticed it? No? Well, it’s probably because the elements affected by Mantle are the sky and background props.

WCCF has taken a notice in this matter as well, and as far as anyone can see, it might be a Post Processing issue at hand. It can be fixed easily (although we must assume that testing was made with the Mantle API before launch, to what extent is visible in the images below), though it takes time in figuring out a fix that will not generate other problems afterwards. It is worth pointing out, before everyone goes on talking about its flaws like they are experts in this matter, that the Mantle feature is in its early stages, and it will take some time and tweaking before it will be properly tune to work on all hardware and games.

There aren’t any other issues present, as far as anyone can see, however AMD is apparently aware of the issue and is in process of releasing newer drivers with more fixes and tweaks, eventually support for other AMD graphics cards as well. There is also a possibility that users might be facing other issues with the Mantle API compared to DirectX, however nothing can be fixed with one go, especially nothing this complex. Users are also complaining about crashes on the Star Swarm Demo benchmark, having AMD already working on a fix for that.

All in all, Mantle is still in its early stages and all major fixes are bound to be fixed as soon as it gets out of the Beta stages. Until then, we will just have to wait and get along with whatever issues might occur, as nothing in terms of software is perfect and a lot of work needs to be done before achieving something stable and enjoyable.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of WCCF

EA Promises To Learn From Battlefield 4 Mistakes, Or So It Says…

The first weeks after EA launched the latest widely known massive multiplayer shooter title, Battlefield 4, it was impossible not to spot all the bugs and glitches when playing it, rendering the game unplayable and also highly unstable. It is said that it even went as far as building massive lawsuits against EA, claiming that the publisher had misled investors with their comments claiming that all was good despite knowing in advance that the game would be buggy.

There were also speculations that EA might have learnt a lesson from all of this, something which they have picked up during their recent investor call. According to EA’s Patrick Söderlund, he stated that the Battlefield 4 title was a highly complex game and that their focus to produce a highly innovative game that also delivered 60fps gameplay resulted in problems that they did not foresee. Söderlund goes on to state that he believes Battlefield 4 is a lot more stable since its launch, and that they are “taking multiple steps to evaluate what occurred and incorporate those learnings into our development process for future products, so we don’t experience the same problems again.”

“I would close on the fact that Battlefield 4 remains an amazing game with massive innovation, and we’re confident that gamers will be logging-on to play for a long time to come.” Söderlund stated.

There are also news about EA halting all future DLC for Battlefield 4 until all issues inside the current game have been dealt with (or at least the more severe ones). But what are the actual user opinions on this matter? Of course, the Battlefield 4 concept is ideal, but is the gameplay and overall experience worse that previous titles such as Battlefield 3?

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Battlefield 4 Developers Running ‘Player Appreciation Month’

DICE is thanking all fans for sticking with Battlefield 4 despite the entourage of persistent problems with an entire month of giveaways for players. Starting on February 1, DICE will push special community missions and initiate daily giveaways throughout the month.

Every day players log into Battlefield 4 in February, they’ll receive a Bronze or Silver Battlepack, which provide random XP boosts and camouflage skins. These two battlepacks will differ with bronze being handed out through the week and silver on the weekends. Two shortcut bundles, which immediately unlock all grenade types and handguns, will also be made available during February at no cost; however, Battlefield 4 Premium owners will get two additional shortcut bundles that unlock all DMRs and shotguns. Finally, at some point in February, DICE has confirmed a double XP weekend for a veritable treasure trove of boosts for new and seasoned players alike.

On top of these extensive bonuses large updates are inbound with returning fan favourite platoons, In this added social aspect you can team up with your friends to create your own social space and gather stats together. These already extensive developments are apparently only the foothold as over on the battlefield blog they can be quoted as saying:

“We’re also working on other feature additions that you’ve been asking for – stay tuned for more.”

DICE says it will continue to work toward improving the Battlefield 4 experience. The developer is actively working to improve the game’s netcode, which will hopefully result in a more fluid online experience, and promises to share more details on that at a later time. This with an increase in developer transparency lines up to be an extensive february for the Battlefield fans, be they currently active or returning.

Source via Jotstiq & Battlefield Blog 

Images used courtesy of EA

HIS R9 270X IceQ X² Turbo Boost 2GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


We have yet another R9 270X graphics card on the test bench for review today as we take a look at a second HIS graphics card in quick succession. This HIS R9 270X IceQ X² Turbo Boost 2GB graphics card we have here today comes with the same IceQ X² cooler we saw on the HIS R9 280X iPower IceQ X² Turbo Boost 3GB graphics card that we reviewed a few weeks ago, if that’s anything to go by then this graphics card will have impressive cooling performance. For those of you who are yet to read our AMD R9 270X review we encourage you to do that because today we are not reviewing the R9 270X per sé, but instead what HIS have done with their version of it. AMD’s R9 270X has a stock clock of 1050MHz core and 1400MHz memory, HIS have bumped that up to 1140MHz core and 1400MHz memory making it the highest clocked R9 270X we’ve tested so far.

The particular version of this card that we received was simply a card inside a plain HIS digital box. It came with just a DVI to VGA adapter but of course the full retail package for this will have different packaging and a wider range of accessories which are clearly listed on the product page here.

Battlefield 4 Banned In China

Electronic Art’s favourite multiplayer shooter game, Battlefield 4, has been banned in China starting this week due to the supposed discrediting of China’s national image in the futuristic plot line. The game is now deemed as a threat to national security in China.

It is said that the Chinese Ministry wants the game removed from physical shelves as quickly as possible, as well as all local online vendors. The Chinese ministry also wants the game uninstalled from consoles and PCs, as the game is now deemed illegal.

“Battlefield 4 is an illegal game, with content that endangers national security, and is all about a cultural invasion. Battlefield 4 relevant available downloads, patches, news, and other requirements [shall be] deleted within 24 hours.” the Chinese ministry stated.

The banning is based on the Battlefield 4: China Rising expansion pack that contains four maps on the Chinese mainland, new vehicles, new high-tech equipment, and ten new assignments. The plot consists of a fictional war in China stirred up by Admiral Chang who is out to topple the current government. Eventually, China and the U.S. team up to fight a common enemy.

News of the banning follows a report made by Chinese state-run newspaper China Military that said Battlefield 4 “smears China’s image” and is a form of “cultural invasion.” The country’s biggest social media website, Weibo.com, is already censoring out “ZhanDi4,” the Chinese translation for Battlefield 4. ZDNet reports that online users are still passing Battlefield 4 around via peer-to-peer download links.

The law office of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP submitted a class action lawsuit against Electronic Arts in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit is on behalf of Electronic Arts common shareholders, and claims that Electronic Arts allegedly issued “materially false” and “misleading” statements highlighting the purported strength of the company’s rollout of Battlefield 4.

Thank you Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of

EA Investors File Suit Over Battlefield 4

It looks like the PC version of EA’s popular game franchise Battlefield 4 has landed itself in hot water again. Two days ago we brought you the story of EA patching Battlefield 4, only to find new bugs within the game after the patch. Well now it looks like a lawsuit could be on EA’s hands with the securities firm of Robbins Geller & Dowd LLP filing a suit on behalf of a Mr. Ryan Kelly (and anyone else who purchased EA stock between July 4th and December 4th 2014).

However this isn’t the first time a lawsuit has been mentioned in regards to EA and the problem filled Battlefield 4 game (well the PC version anyway). Another law firm, this time being the Atlanta firm of Holzer & Fistel seemed to be looking at statements made by EA between July 24th and December 4th. Although nothing has yet to eventuate from Holzer & Fistel, it seems that the firm of Geller & Dowd LLP are going down the same path. However  this one looks legit with the first steps towards a class-action lawsuit against EA being logged in a U.S District Court. The suit will claim that EA lied during the development and release of the game, by repeatedly boasting of the “quality” of the game that they knew would be marred by technical woes after launch to boost sales.

It seems that both firms were looking at the promises made by EA during development of the game, stating that the “quality” of the game would be outstanding. It seems that EA might have been referring to the “quality” of the content and not the “quality” in terms of the functionality that the PC version of the game seems to be having problems with. Although this case seems bogus and would probably never make it to court, it does set a dangerous precedent. Of course it sucks when a game is released and is plagued with nothing but bugs, however the game has only just come out and EA have been working tirelessly to fix these problems which can be very hard to work out given the complexity of PC compatibility. A lawsuit for this reason just seems silly, we’ll keep you updated on more information about this case when it becomes available.

Thanks to Gamasutra for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Ubergizmo.

New Battlefield 4 PC Patch Fixes Some Bugs, Introduces New Ones

The Latest patch for Battlefield 4 on PC has fixed the “kill trading” bug, alongside the sound loop error and a bug related to the China Rising expansion’s SUAV not exploding properly. The phenomenon of kill trading, or when two players seem to die at the same time after shooting at each other, has had the time window of being able to get a kill after death decreased for players with higher latencies, which should alleviate the situation for many players.

However since releasing the patch, players have been reporting two new bugs. DICE has released a statement saying

“We have noticed that players who have SLI enabled (using two graphics cards at once to render a single screen) on their graphics card may be experience graphical flickering. Also we are looking into the issue where the revive bar would get stuck on-screen in some instances. Both of these issues have our attention and we are investigating both of them.”

DICE’s full patch notes for it’s December 16 update:

  1. Fix for a crash that would cause the game to stall, resulting in a sound loop. This should eliminate most of the problems relating to this.
  2. Fix for the SUAV (introduced in the China Rising expansion pack) not exploding when hitting enemy soldiers. While these indeed should be deadly, they were never designed for “road-killing opponents.
  3. Fixed one of the issues related to the so-called “Netcode” (see below for details).
  4. Fix for an issue where 4x the damage from a vehicle’s mini-gun would be applied to the chest when a player had the Defense Specialization equipped.
  5. Fix for player tags not always showing when needed to, resulting in players shooting team members.
  6. Fix for graphical flickering appearing on terrain.
  7. Fixed the instance where players suddenly would transition into Spectator Mode while playing the Defuse game mode.
  8. Fix for a Defense bug where none of the teams would win a round by letting the timer run out.
  9. Fix for players getting stuck in the revive screen after being killed.
  10. Fix for players getting stuck in the kill camera after being revived.
  11. Fix for the game mode specific ribbons being counted twice in the multiplayer progression.
  12. Made NVidia 331.82 or later driver versions mandatory for all players.
  13. Disabled DirectX 11.1 on NVidia cards that have outdated drivers.
  14. Fixed driver version not being properly detected on NVidia Optimus systems.
  15. Fixed a minor crash that could occur when bringing up the scoreboard.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SRxs5xYWuo&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLLpjKzWIuEfmHcyTF7Qxuh1gIZoF3pxWS[/youtube]

Battlefield 4 Multiplayer

Thank you Gamespot for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gamespot.

Battlefield 4 Graphics Performance Overview With Current Generation GPUs

Introduction


Battlefield 4 has been one of the biggest game releases so far this year for gamers on all gaming platforms. The FPS title from EA and DICE has got off to a relatively shaky start with numerous audio, graphical and gameplay problems across the various platforms it was released on. In fact for many Battlefield 4 owners the game is still in a dysfunctional or buggy state, but you can expect (or hope) that EA and DICE will begin to patch and fix the majority of the problems within the coming weeks as they have said they will. The shaky launch aside, what most PC owners/gamers want to know, if they haven’t already found out, is how do current generation GPUs perform in Battlefield 4 on the PC?

Today we put that question to the test with an extensive, albeit not entirely complete, range of current generation AMD and Nvidia GPUs. On the AMD side we have the R7 260X, R9 270, R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290 and R9 290X while on the Nvidia side we have a few more offerings with the GTX 650 Ti Boost, GTX 660, GTX 760, GTX 770, GTX 780, GTX 780 Ti and GTX Titan. All of the aforementioned graphics cards are current offerings and to the sharp-minded readers you will notice some graphics cards are missing. Mainly the current generation lower-end graphics cards from both AMD and Nvidia are absent, that includes the Nvidia GTX 650, GT 640 GDDR5, GT 640 DDR3 and the AMD R7 250 and R7 240. The main reason for not testing these graphics cards, other than that we didn’t have most of them, is because they simply aren’t that capable of running such a high end gaming title. Of course that’s not to say they can’t but given the nature of the resolutions we test (mainly 1080p or above) and the quality settings our readers like to see (very high or ultra) these GPUs simply aren’t cut out for the test. Arguably they are more aimed at gamers with 1366 x 768 monitors tackling medium-high details but I digress. The system requirements for Battlefield 4 reveal a similar picture, if you want a smooth gameplay experience then you need an AMD Radeon HD 7870 or Nvidia GTX 660 or better. However, those system requirements show you very little about what you can expect at different resolutions.  So without any further ado let us show you our results and show you exactly how AMD and Nvidia’s offerings stack up!

Sniper Elite 3 To Support AMD Mantle

Battlefield 4 was the first game announced to support AMD’s Mantle, but a patch has not yet been released to activate it. However, Rebellion Games has just announced that it also supports AMD’s Mantle technology and it will be implemented in its in-house game engine, Asura, meaning that Sniper Elite 3 will also make use of the Mantle API as well.

“It supports more platforms than almost any other engine we can think of and has important cutting edge features, including: tessellation, DirectX® 11 Compute Shaders, AMD Eyefinity technology, multi-GPU support and more”, says Rebellion’s CTO and Co-founder, Chris Kingsley. “Our first Mantle supported title will of course be our flagship 2014 game, Sniper Elite 3. And although we can’t talk about them right now we can’t wait to reveal even more titles with Mantle support in the next year.”

AMD is moving forward but with caution in its course to get game developers on board for its Mantle technology. While the adoption rate is fairly slow, having only two developers adopt it so far, it is still growing in numbers. Mantle is said that will be incorporated in 12 upcoming Frostbite powered games, one of them being Sniper Elite, which is a very popular game.

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Chip Loco