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


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

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Last updated Wed Jul 17 09:42:54 UTC 2024 is hosted by eukara.
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