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Playback.dem 2024-06
Mon Jul 1 20:37:00 UTC 2024 - Link


Welcome to a new mini-feature on Frag-Net, where we try to have a round up of interesting news on the community along with a status report on our gaming network.

Frag-Net Announcements

New on Frag-Net

Not much, we were mostly on vacation.

Gaming News

Game Releases

We’ve had DOOM: The Dark Ages announced. Honestly, when I saw the first couple shots during the Summer Games Fest (more on that later) I expected it to be the much anticipated HeXen reboot. That’s something Phil Spencer would have liked, anyway.

We also got an estimate for the release date of GTA 6 (which is in Autumn 2025). I don’t think we need to mention how anticipated this release is.

Valve trademarked Deadlock (not, not that one. We’ve already gotten access to the playtest and are writing down our thoughts for future reference. Stay tuned?

The Year Without a E3

There was no Gaming Santa this summer. We at Frag-Net are still kind of sadden in a way about how there was no E3 this year. We admit that it was often a subject of ridicule, even amongst ourselves and at times we even wished that E3 would just end already. Well, it’s a tale of be careful what you wish for. Being the first real year without even a sliver of hope of there being an E3 just seems odd. Maybe it will come back some day, but probably not.

It would be neat if there was some kind of community oriented celebration and previews of games, similar to Comic-Con (or Fan Fusion) but you still have the official sponsorship etc. E3 just became too corporate for it’s own good, presentations became outrageous over-produced glorified advertisements instead of conferences talking about what the hardware and line-up would actually be. Yes, we get it’s a consumer show focused on selling a product, but it really did become a mockery at the end.

So yeah, we are sad in a nostalgic way that E3 is gone, but E3 wasn’t E3 for a very long time, and deep down we all knew it. A tradition has been lost, but a new one begins.

Summer Games Fest

Speaking of glorified advertisements, the Summer Games Fest kicked off this month trying to fill in the void left by E3.

Other Events for the Non-E3

In addition to the Summer Games Fest, these other events also happened in what is currently known as “Non-E3”:

06/04 OTK Games Expo @ 12:00 PDT, 2024
06/06 Guerrilla Collective @ 10:00 PDT, 2024
06/07 Access-Ability Showcase @ 08:00 PDT, 2024
06/07 Day of the Devs @ 16:00 PDT, 2024
06/07 Devolver Direct @ 17:00 PDT, 2024
06/08 Wholesome Direct @ 09:00 PDT, 2024
06/08 Future Games Show @ 12:00 PDT, 2024
06/09 Xbox Games Showcase @ 09:00 PDT, 2024
06/09 PC Gaming Show @ 13:00 PDT, 2024
06/12 Black Voices in Gaming @ 12:00 PDT, 2024
06/11 Nintendo Direct (Rumored) @ 07:00 PDT, 2024

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Will Require Constant Internet Connection

The official statement:

To deliver the highest-quality visuals while also reducing the game’s overall storage space on your hard drive, Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will use texture streaming across all game modes. This means you’ll need a continuous internet connection to play any game mode, including Campaign. If you’re on a console, Campaign can be played without a premium subscription service such as Game Pass Core or PlayStation Plus.

The size of these games is a problem waiting to be solved, but streaming of game assets is a future none of us preservationists want to think about.

Gaming News: Community

And of course we have to highlight what’s been going on in the community!

Errant Signal Releases Children of Doom: 1999

Errant Signal reminisces about 1999s hot first-person games. Of course Quake III Arena too. Go play some.

PandaMonium Releases New Video! Sega Rally Championship

If you’ve got almost 5 hours free-time to spare, go watch this incredible celebration, documentary, review of SEGA Rally Championship and its SEGA Saturn version.

Hardware News

MiSTer Clone Updates

If you’ve read our recent Features then you’d know we’re all-in on FPGA technology for all sorts of hardware replication goodness. Soon you can get your hands on a more affordable clone of the DE-10 Nano and build a more budget friendly MiSTer FPGA system.

Sony PlayStation 5 stops advertising 8K capability

From the get go it seemed a bit optimistic, but Sony scrubbed the 8K support claims off their PS5 boxes. I think people are still fine with 1080p anyway… right?

All in All

That’s pretty much it. See you end of July!

Playback.dem 2024-05
Sun Jun 16 03:52:44 UTC 2024 - Link


Welcome to a new mini-feature on Frag-Net, where we try to have a round up of interesting news on the community along with a status report on our gaming network.

Frag-Net Status Report

Happy early summer! Hope the heat isn’t too bad where you are.

First up let’s address the delay for this month’s entry! Off screen, we are in the midst of a giant move, plus had tickets to a convention.


There was a very minor hiccup that lead to a very big mistake. Turns out we had not been properly uploading the 2024 Gaming calendar! This giant oversight has been fixed. We apologize to anyone who was using this calendar to not miss the “non-E3” season.


We always have something cooking behind the scenes, but sadly as mentioned above, life events and other obligations got in the way. We hope to give you an exciting summer of new content however!

Our interview article teased a couple months back is nearly finished, so expect that in June! In addition, our staff eukara and Xylemon got to release some articles they penned a while back.

Enjoy the features and stay cool!

Gaming News

Blue’s Stories of Note

Here’s what our favorite gaming news site, Blue’s News has listed as the top stories for May 2024 that you should be aware of, list is oldest to newest:

The anticipated Hades II goes Early Access, Microsoft extinguishes multiple studios, we learn the same lesson again that copyright laws and digital ownership need massive reform, Sony goes crazy with Helldivers 2 (read below), and GTA 6 gets a release date. Another crazy month in these crazy times.

Valve Working On New Game, “DEADLOCK”

There has been rumors and leaks of a new Valve game title DEADLOCK, with a US Trademark filing being the latest indication this game is the real deal. It’s supposedly a 6v6 multiplayer third person shooter, but that’s all we know. Let’s just say here at Frag-Net, we can confirm we have heard from people around us there is a semi-private beta test going around, so ask around for an invite but you didn’t hear it from us!

Or just watch the 90+ leaked videos…

Thanks to Blue’s News

RIOT Games’ Kernel Anti-Cheat Causes Mayhem

In another sad tale of perverse anti-cheat methods, players of League of Legends were in uproar over the new kernel level rootkit, sorry we meant “anti-cheat”, called Vanguard. A supposedly small but vocal minority made allegations that Riot had bricked their PCs while many more had matchmaking difficulties and so on. Riot went into full damage control mode, posting a Reddit megathread and then a follow-up post:

Overall, the rollout has gone well and we’re already seeing Vanguard functioning as intended. We’ve already seen a hard drop off of bot accounts in the usual places, and we will continue to monitor this.

Since 14.9 went live, fewer than 0.03% of players have reported issues with Vanguard. In most cases, these are common error codes such as VAN codes 128, 152, 1067, -81, 9001, or 68 that are easily solved through player support or troubleshooting, and account for the vast majority of issues we are seeing. There are also a few trickier situations that have popped up that we’re actively looking into; driver incompatibilities for example. If you’re running into issues like this please contact Player Support.

As Blue’s News stated following these posts:

If their claim of 125 million active users is accurate, that’s still a whopping 37,500 players suffering from problems caused by a rootkit being installed by a free-to-play game.

Perhaps the real cheaters are companies who force rootkits onto our systems.

Thanks to Blue’s News

Microsoft Closes Multiple Bethesda Studios

Microsoft in traditional “embrace, extend, extinguish” fashion has closed mutliple studios under Bethesda, who Microsoft purchased a couple years back. Blue shared [the scope from IGN] ( which had a list of studios affected:

Arkane Austin – This studio will close with some members of the team joining other studios to work on projects across Bethesda. Arkane Austin has a history of making impactful and innovative games and it is a pedigree that everyone should be proud of. Redfall’s previous update will be its last as we end all development on the game. The game and its servers will remain online for players to enjoy and we will provide make-good offers to players who purchased the Hero DLC.

Alpha Dog Studios – This studio will also close. We appreciate the team’s creativity in bringing Doom to new players. Mighty Doom will be sunset on August 7 and we will be turning off the ability for players to make any purchases in the game.

Tango Gameworks – Tango Gameworks will also close. We are thankful for their contributions to Bethesda and players around the world. Hi-Fi Rush will continue to be available to players on the platforms it is today.

Roundhouse Games – The team at Roundhouse Games will be joining ZeniMax Online Studios (ZOS). Roundhouse has played a key role in many of our recent game launches and bringing them into ZOS to work on The Elder Scrolls Online will mean we can do even more to grow the world that millions of players call home.

With this consolidation of our Bethesda studio teams, so that we can invest more deeply in our portfolio of games and new IP, a small number of roles across select Bethesda publishing and corporate teams will also be eliminated.

This is the result of a recently annouced plan to cut 1,900 jobs as IGN also notes:

Layoffs are sweeping the video game industry, with a number of high-profile studios cutting staff or shutting down. In stark contrast to a year of blockbuster video game hits, one of the biggest ongoing industry trends in 2023 was the prevalence of mass layoffs, and they have continued into 2024. While actual figures are difficult to obtain, estimates suggest the number of workers laid off in games last year approached or exceeded 10,000. A recent GDC survey of developers suggests one-third of all game developers were impacted by layoffs last year, either directly or by witnessing them happen at their company.

Sure feels like because of those new-fangled language models being on Microsoft’s mind lately, something else had to give. Sure hope that won’t bite them in the ass

We wish for the best for all those who were laid off, it’s been an incredibly rough time in the industry.

Thanks to Blue’s News

HELLDIVERS 2 Goes to Hell and Back

HELLDIVERS 2 released earlier this year earlier this year with the PC port being a huge success. However, it seems everyone but Sony was unhappy about this. If having a service like Steam wasn’t already cumbersome enough, a patch came out at the start of May forcing a PSN account requirement to play the game.

This did not go well to say the least. Review bombs occurred (with over 200,000+ negative reviews at one point). And this even resulted in a community manager getting fired for their alleged role in the review bombings. Then the community created a petition to get them rehired.

Sony eventually backed down on the PSN requirement, but the game was delisted and remained so in more than 100 territories over this whole fiasco. Near the end of the month, there was even a new CEO at Arrowhead Studios and there was a huge player count drop.

Perhaps this will have greater consequences on the industry going forward with requiring accounts and alternative launchers, but we shall see.

Thanks to Blue’s News

Nightdive Breaks Promise on Ports Despite Reaching Funding Goals

Nightdive posted a Kickstarter update that addresses some questions:

Is System Shock still coming to MacOS and Linux?

Unfortunately no, plans for MacOS and Linux releases of System Shock have been shelved.

This is incredibly disappointing, especially because they made their funding goals. Let’s be clear, incentivizing people to give you cash for a port then not doing it is bad. Sadly it’s not the first time that crowd-funding goals become broken promises. Some of us here at Frag-Net were burned with Killing Floor 2 doing the same exact thing.

While you can play the game with Proton (probably) it sends a message of a company that does not value its customers and long-time supporters. We hope Nightdive will reconsider in the future.

Thanks to GamingOnLinux

Gaming News: Community

And of course we have to highlight what’s been going on in the community!

Mod Appreciation Week (May 26th - 31st)

For the 9th year in a row, ModDB celebrates the Mod Appreciate Week, where users are encouraged to share their favorite mods while sporting the hashtag, “#modlove2024”. You can also be picked at random chance to receive a free game. While that is great and all, we say you should just share a mod you love for just the sake of it. Go revisit and play an old classic or something new, there’s an almost endless supply of great mods out there! Thief: The Black Parade an incredible mod by an industry veteran that won MOTY last year.

FixTF2 aka SaveTF2 Deluxe

The Team Fortress 2 Community is launching another campagin to get Valve to address the issues that have been plaguing TF2 for the past few years now (which is sad as TF2 player to say). A petition is even hosted on the site with over 200,000 signatures at the time of writing. An event happened on June 3rd bearing the familiar hashtag, #fixtf2. It’s unknown how Valve will react, if they even will. Here’s a blurb from the site:

Team Fortress 2 is a game that has stood the test of time for almost 17 years. It’s still beloved by millions as one of the greatest video games of all time. This makes it all the more shameful that Valve has refused to take substantive measures to eliminate this botting crisis.

It is wholly unacceptable to let such a beloved IP get ravaged by nefarious actors intent on destroying the game adored by so many.

TF2 doesn’t need new content updates, it doesn’t need new microtransactions, it doesn’t need new weapon additions. What TF2 needs is a solution to the bot crisis.

Enough is enough.

You can sign the petition here.

Thanks to Blue’s News for the story

DNF 2001 Mod: Countdown to Destruction Releases

The community that has embraced a leaked prototype of Duke Nukem Forever has produced a set of updated levels. Specifically the ‘Lake Mead’ chapter. A total of 3 updated levels are available.

Check out the mod here

Vogons User Creates Voodoo 4 FGPA for Laptops

User sdz on the vogons forum has created a homebrew clone of the Voodoo 4 for use in laptops. There never were any official 3dfx Voodoo powered laptops, so this is cool on many different layers. Utilizing FPGA technology, custom PCB and other regular off the shelf components.

View the original thread here.

SourceWorld for Half-Life 2 Announces Upcomming Demo & Release New Media

This relatively young HL2 mod has released a lengthy news post announcing that there will be a demo, but no release has been set. The post also highlights screenshots of the “Inter-Dimensional Travel Device”, along with new models, a custom Objectives System, Experience Points, and even a custom “save” system. SourceWorld is a self described “ambitious project” that is centered around procedurally generated levels and “Multiverse and inter-dimensional travel” being developed by the two person Bronco Development team.

Read all about it here!

Round ’Em Up

And here’s a bunch more new we couldn’t fit but felt was worth sharing! Was a big one this month!

April Leftovers


Big or small, we track them all.







All in All

And that’s it! We hope you enjoyed our latest entry in this newish series and have some fun in the sun! Like we said, we’ll make sure June’s Playback.dem won’t be as delayed.

If you have any news you think we missed, should share on Frag-Net, suggestions, or even complaints, let us know. You know where to find us!

Happy Fragging

New Feature: Death of x86
Fri Jun 14 01:28:32 UTC 2024 - Link

A new feature was just posted! This time it’s about the future of x86, or rather the fact that it has none. This is going to be one hot topic for some, as many identify x86 as the de-facto PC Gaming platform.

Staff member Marco has some commentary on his own to provide:

“I’ve been hoping for over a decade that we’ll finally see some competition in the laptop space, one that challenges the x86 monopoly. I always envied the battery-life and performance achieved in handhelds, tablets and other portable devices (all without the need for a fan). One of the reasons I started developing FreeCS is because I wanted to migrate away from it and still be able to play my favorite tactical shooter. The only reason we stuck with it, is because quite frankly people were too blinded by compatibility to see the benefits. People also tend to be a lot like electricity, going the path of least resistance - until big corporate shoots itself in the foot big time.
Windows and x86 have been stagnating for a damn long time, but something big needed to come around to force people to re-evaluate the path we’re heading.
Luckily, Apple has shown that the stuff we’re currently using sucks quite hard. I’m sorry, there is no nicer way to put it. Maybe something will finally be done about it.
You should read what this Feature has to say. There’s some cool stuff on the horizon after all.”

You can read the Feature right here.

New Feature: Not Just Cheats
Thu Jun 6 00:14:24 UTC 2024 - Link

We have a new Feature to share with you. It’s called Not Just Cheats and is available here.

The new Playback.dem will also be posted shortly. We haven’t forgotten, but it’s been a busy month over here at the site!

Playback.dem 2024-04
Wed May 1 18:30:41 UTC 2024 - Link


Another month, another recap of the news on the Gaming world, community, along with a status report on our gaming network!

Frag-Net Status Report

There was a minor hiccup early in the month, where the master server froze unexpectedly. We made a change to the service so that it peforms a little bit of ‘self-maintenance’ to prevent this from happening.

Gaming News

Blue’s Stories of Note

Here’s what our favorite gaming news site, Blue’s News has listed as the top stories for April 2024 that you should be aware of, list is oldest to newest:

A jam packed month! BlizzCon is canceled, Gearbox is bought after leaving Embracer who are splitting up into three companies! SEGA has layoffs and is parting ways with Relic while Atari brings back Infogrames, and many new releases. Wow!

The news of SEGA & Gearbox was last month but was included because the news wasn’t in our last Playback.

April Fools

As is tradition in our region of the world, every April 1st is the day of pranks and all sorts of tomfoolery. Blue’s News compiled a great list of the gags you may have missed this year. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 respectively! Here’s some highlights:

We were sadly too busy this year for our own prank, but you never know what we will be up to next year… ;)

Accused Farms launches Stop Killing Games

Ross Scott of Accused Farms fame (Freeman’s Mind, Civil Protection) has launched a campaign about video game preservation called, “Stop Killing Games”. Anyone who has followed Scott knows he has been very vocal about this issue in the past, but this is his biggest effort yet at bringing awareness and a way to tackle the problem. This handy website helps give you clear and easy ways of contacting government organizations, signing petitions, and updates on legal actions regarding preservation efforts such as a lawsuit aimed at Ubisoft regarding “The Crew”.

This is an issue we take very much to heart here at Frag-Net. We as archivists ourselves have seen first hand how much has been lost and have been victims of copyright abuse ourselves. Please checkout the site and FAQ for more information and take some time out of your day to help change law. Here’s a snippet from the website:

This site is dedicated to real-world action on ending the practice of publishers destroying videogames they have sold to customers.

An increasing number of videogames are sold as goods, but designed to be completely unplayable for everyone as soon as support ends. The legality of this practice is untested worldwide, and many governments do not have clear laws regarding these actions. It is our goal to have authorities examine this behavior and hopefully end it, as it is an assault on both consumer rights and preservation of media.

Take Action Here

Thanks to Blue’s News and Gaming On Linux

Microsoft Releases MS DOS 4.0 Source Code

Speaking of preservation, Microsoft has given the public the source code to version 4.0 of MS DOS. They did this a few years back with 1.25 / 2.0 but they were under a restrictive license. This time however, they have release 4.0 under MIT, along with re-licensing the other version to MIT as well! While DOS has been heavily studied, reverse engineered, and even rewritten from scratch, it’s still great to have this for preservation efforts. It’s one of those rare times we can actually say, “Thanks Microsoft!”

Grab your copies here.

Wine 9.7 and 9.6 Releases Along with Proton 9

For those non-Windows gamers, Valve partner in crime CodeWeavers have released two new versions of WINE! In case you don’t know, WINE is a layer for Linux and other systems that allows Windows software to run like a native program. Valve also contributes to the project as Proton is powered by it. Here’s the changelog from the releases this month:

  • Build system support for ARM64X.
  • Some restructuration of the Vulkan driver interface.
  • WIDL improvements for ARM support as well as SLTG typelibs.
  • Support for advanced AVX features in register contexts.
  • More Direct2D effects work.
  • Support for RSA OAEP padding in BCrypt.
  • Interpreted mode fixes in WIDL.
  • Various bug fixes.

See your local operating system’s package manager for installation or checkout WineHQ if you like it the hard way.

For users of Proton

  • Previously playable only with Proton Experimental: Sonic Colors: Ultimate, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and Yuri’s Revenge, Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun and Firestorm, Aisling and the Tavern of Elves, Snares of Ruin 2, Insanity’s Blade, Bloody Walls.
  • Fixed Proton 9.0 regressions:
    • Overwatch 2 no longer randomly crashes.
    • Video playback in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition works again.
    • Total War: WARHAMMER II no longer has clicking audio while playing videos.
    • Call of Juarez: Gunslinger no longer crashes on start.
    • Sea of Thieves is able to play videos on Steam Deck.
    • Borderlands GOTY Enhanced is playable again.
    • Mars First Logistics is now able to upload to Steam Workshop.
    • Neverwinter, Star Trek Online and Champions Online are playable again on Nvidia setups.
    • Fixed input issues with Worms Armageddon.
    • Main menu video is looping correctly in Call of Cthulhu.
  • Fixed Civilization V Touch Only option in the launcher not working.
  • Improved cutscene desync in Immortals Fenyx Rising.
  • Limited number of cores seen by the following games making them playable on a high core count CPUs:
    • Far Cry 2
    • Far Cry 4
    • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
    • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
    • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
    • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
    • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising
    • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution
    • Outcast - Second Contact
    • Prototype

Round ’Em Up

And here’s a bunch more new we couldn’t fit but felt was worth sharing!

Gaming News: Community

And of course we have to highlight what’s been going on in the community!

Fallout London Gets BBC Coverage

The drop of the next-gen update for Fallout 4 has affected the very popular mod “Fallout: London”. It’s an extremely rare occurence that mods are covered by the mainstream press, and to our knowledge there has never been a report on a modification breaking due to software updates.

Battlefield 1918 20th Anniversary Edition Released

Near the end of March the classic WW1 themed Battlefield 1942 mod “Battlefield 1918” has received major updates.

This special update features new maps and a new army, the fearsome Force Publique! Read more here.

Grab a full copy here or upgrade your current version here!

Thanks ModDB

Round ’Em Up

And here’s a bunch more new we couldn’t fit but felt was worth sharing!

Thanks ModDB

All in All

And that’s it! We hope you enjoyed our first entry in this new series. Writing these articles will help us document the things that are happening and select info will go right into our game event & anniversary calendars.

If you have any news you think we missed, should share on Frag-Net, suggestions, or even complaints, let us know. You know where to find us!

Happy Fragging

- Older news are in the Archive

AvP 2000-
Descent II-
Deus Ex-
Doom II-
Duke 3D-
Hell Denizen-
HeXen II-
Jedi Academy-
Jedi Knight-
Jedi Knight II-
NZ: Portable-
Quake II-
Quake III-
Red Alert-
Red Alert 2-
ST: Elite Force-
Tiberian Sun-
The Wastes-

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