The Root Of Nightmares Raid Will Introduce An Ancient Enemy In Destiny 2: Lightfall – GameSpot
Amid raid leaks and spoilers, Bungie took to Twitter to announce the upcoming raid for Destiny 2: Lightfall will be called The Root of Nightmares–which starts on March 10 at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET. Players will have 48 hours after its launch to complete the new raid under Contest mode.
Bungie’s official description reads, “Ferried from an unknown time and place, a haunting presence has been detected. We must now confront the ancient threat growing at our doorstep.” The image shows a Fireteam of six Guardians standing inside the Pyramid architecture, but the space is overgrown with strange, pointy flora. It’s unusual to see something so bright and organic inside the Pyramid ship, but the growth of flora was hinted at when the Traveler shoots the Pyramid ship in the Lightfall launch trailer.
Ferried from an unknown time and place, a haunting presence has been detected. We must now confront the ancient threat growing at our doorstep.
The Root of Nightmares raid opens on March 10, 2023 at 9am PST. Contest Mode will be enabled for 48 hours.https://t.co/856URKsgYp pic.twitter.com/8hJQcrqJxC
— Destiny 2 (@DestinyTheGame) February 27, 2023
Although the developer teased that the new raid deals with an ancient enemy, the title hints that the story might take a deeper look at the paracausal phenomenon of “Nightmares” in Destiny. Players first saw Nightmares on the Moon in Destiny 2: Shadowkeep when the Pyramid ship lying beneath the surface had woken. Several seasons later, Season of the Haunted brought back the Nightmares through Emperor Calus’s Leviathan ship, where the Guardian and Eris Morn helped Zavala, Crow, and Caiatl cope with their grief and stop Calus from joining The Witness. Recently, Season of Plunder introduced relics of a powerful being named Nezarec and hinted at this Disciple’s relation to the Lunar Pyramid.
If you need a recap of the past expansions and seasons from Beyond Light to the present story, check that out. Bungie also shared patch notes about major changes happening in Destiny 2 with Lightfall’s launch. Destiny 2: Lightfall launches on February 28, along with Season of the Defiance.
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Developer release candidates for tvOS 16.4 & watchOS 9.4 are out
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Apple has released the release candidates for watchOS 9.4 and tvOS 16.4 as it winds down testing the new updates with developers.
Developers can download the release candidate builds from the Apple Developer Center webpage or update hardware that is already running a beta operating system. Beta software for the public will soon follow the developer version, which people can access via the Apple Beta Software Program or by updating their beta devices.
The new build number for the tvOS 16.4 beta is 20L497, up from 20L5490a, while the watchOS 9.4 version is 20T253, up from 20T5249a.
So far, new features include new emoji, a renewed attempt for the HomeKit architecture, and Mastodon rich link previews in iMessage.
AppleInsider and Apple strongly suggest users don’t install beta operating systems or other beta software on “mission-critical” or primary devices, as there is the small chance of issues that could result in the loss of data. Testers should instead use secondary or non-essential hardware and ensure they have sufficient backups of their critical data at all times.
Diablo 4: Blizzard Says ‘Beta’ Has Become A ‘Twisted Word’ And I’m Calling Shenanigans
The Early Access Beta weekend for Diablo IV ended yesterday and unfortunately, Blizzard chose not to extend it by a day despite numerous login and connectivity issues making it basically unplayable for most of Friday—or about a third of the entire beta experience.
Blizzard responded to these issues in an interview at Eurogamer with the game’s general manager, Rod Fergusson. Eurogamer asked: “Did you have a metric for success for this weekend, something in particular that you were looking at? And if you did have one, did you meet it?”
Fergusson’s response [bold sections I’ve highlighted]:
Yeah. Part of it is the number of players. “Beta” has been a twisted word that has become “marketing beta”, which means demo, and for us this was a true beta because we wanted to be able to test that load and what does it mean to get a lot of players in? And Friday was a little bumpy because of that, but the way that we looked at it is the issues we find now are issues that will be a lot smoother at launch. And so this weekend was to prepare for next weekend, and next weekend prepares for launch.
We ended up doing six really big hotfixes that fixed dozens of issues, so we saw server stability come back up and the queues went down, and so we’re feeling really good about that particular aspect.
So we had goals around how many people were going to be playing because we really wanted to test the servers, and so we’ve exceeded the number of players we thought we were going to get.
Now, I’m of two minds on this one. Obviously, a beta exists to test the game at scale similar to what you might encounter at launch, and certainly more than what you can achieve with play-testing. Whether a developer is looking for bugs or performance issues or testing out connectivity under stress with an online game, a beta can help illuminate problems. These can then be fixed and everybody is happier come launch day.
On the other hand, if the word beta has become “twisted’ it’s only because of the game industry—including Activision-Blizzard—using betas as “‘marketing betas” all the time. This includes last weekend’s Early Access Diablo IV beta which was for pre-order customers only (unless you did the KFC deal or found some other promotion). I’m pretty sure that making beta access a pre-order bonus is a type of marketing, creating an incentive for consumers to pick up the game ahead of release. The word beta may indeed mean “demo” now, but that’s by design. That’s the logical outcome of making betas pre-order bonuses or tied to particular perks or platforms.
Sure, it can serve as both a demo and an actual beta—why not?—but it’s silly to say that gamers should only consider it to be the former when they’ve only gotten into it in the first place by paying for the game. Once it becomes a perk you get by paying for something, it’s no longer just a testing beta, it’s an early access demo. That it may be a demo also is beside the point. People have now paid for something and lost a day of that something to connectivity issues and that’s not great.
Fortunately, it sounds like Blizzard has made some major improvements and we’ll see how these carry over to next weekend’s open beta and finally the June 6th launch.
Personally, other than these frustrations I quite liked what I played of Diablo IV and I’m excited to play more next weekend. It’s not perfect but it’s very good and hopefully the team at Blizzard fixes its most glaring issues and shortcomings in the next couple of months.
Google Opens Up Access to Bard AI Chatbot
Google today began allowing users to sign up to use Bard, its AI-powered chatbot that rivals Microsoft’s Bing chatbot. First announced back in February, Bard is an experimental conversational AI service for Google Search.
Those interested in Bard can join Google’s waitlist to get access, and some users have reported getting invitation emails just hours after signing up. There are a long list of sample functions that Google says Bard can perform:
- Explain why lightning might strike in the same place twice
- Help you write your first novel
- Draft a packing list for your weekend trip
- Outline a blogpost about your summer mocktail recipes
- Explain why large language models might make mistakes
- Generate an art studio tagline
- Suggest high-protein options to add to a vegan diet
Bard beta access is limited to the United States and UK at the current time, and there is an unknown wait time. Google does not allow Google Workspace accounts to request an invitation.
According to Google, Bard is using a “lightweight and optimized version of LaMDA,” so the chatbot will offer a different experience than the OpenAI-powered Bing chat interface.
Bard is not designed to replace Google Search, and Google instead says it is “complementary.” Google warns that Bard learns from a wide range of information that includes real-world biases and stereotypes, so the chatbot can provide inaccurate, misleading, or false information. It will improve over time based on feedback, and Google plans to add capabilities like coding and more languages in the future.
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