Image credit: Valve The next mainline Dota 2 patch hit the game’s servers today, and with it came a litany of balance changes meant to address the most pressing concerns in the wake of the Kiev Major. With The International 7 looming on the horizon, it’s time to fine-tune the game that will be played for millions in prizes—and Valve started by taking a hatchet to all respawn talents. Advertisement Talents, special upgrades added in patch 7.00, allow a player to invest a skill point in a branching tree of upgrades to their hero of choice. While some options are fairly benign (more health, or some extra intelligence), others offer major changes to the hero’s skills or massive buffs, often becoming a cornerstone of the way the hero is played. Lately, heroes with talents that reduce their respawn times have been seeing a lot of competitive Dota play. It wasn’t solely because of said talents, but being able to take say, 30 to 50 seconds off your respawn timer means a bad teamfight can be salvaged. If you trade evenly in a fight, it even becomes an advantage, as your dead are READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
Just when you thought it was safe to stop summoning characters in Fire Emblem Heroes the first major update hits, bringing for new sibling characters to the game, along with a limited-time series of Paralogue quests celebrating their family bonds. Advertisement The launch summoning focus events have ended, making way for the Family Bonds Summoning event. Brother and sister teams Ephraim and Elrika from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones and Seliph and Julia from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War are now up for grabs. Along with the new crazy pairs comes the first series of Paralogue story extension maps, a trio of battles featuring the new characters in action. Players can also complete a series of Family Bonds missions for special rewards. I’ve managed to snag Elrika so far, but she’s awfully lonely without her brother. Dammit, Nintendo. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!
The PS4 Pro patched version of Fallout 4 gives players much more grass. The PlayStation 4 Pro support patch for Fallout 4 arrived this week, delivering 1440p resolution, increased draw distances and enhanced Godray effects. YouTube’s Candyland created a video demonstrating the small but significant enhancements players can expect from the patch. Advertisement While the enhanced resolution is an obvious benefit, things like draw distance and enhanced Godray effects are a bit more subtle. Take the screenshot above. On the left, the plain PlayStation 4 version, which looks just fine, until you see the game running with the Pro patch. The grass and bushes that would otherwise pop in as you travel are in full effect on the left, adding to the relatively realism and depth of the scene. It’s not just the grass, but texture details in general that benefit from draw distance. Check out the ragged edges of the roof in the picture above. Advertisement As for Godrays, these are shafts of light coming from the sun, peeking through clouds and other objects. The actual term for them is crepuscular rays, but Godrays sounds much cooler. The changes here are a bit more nuanced, but the Candyland folks…
Games built or patched to take advantage of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s extra power run significantly better on the newer console. Boost Mode is an upcoming feature that puts that power to work on non-optimized PS4 games, and as Digital Foundry discovered, it works pretty well. Advertisement Coming in PlayStation 4 firmware update 4.50, Boost Mode allows games developed before the release of the Pro to use the extra CPU speed and GPU power without requiring a patch. While unpatched games won’t suddenly sprout enhanced graphics features like patched and pre-optimized title, they should enjoy faster, more-stable frame rates and faster loading times. According to Digital Foundry’s tests with a beta version of the feature, it’s working as advertised. Advertisement The video, which you can watch in full below, begins with a look at Knack, one of the PlayStation 4 launch titles, and one that has received a PS4 Pro patch, illustrating the difference between a passive boost and a programmed one. While not as significant a leap as the patch provided, frame rates get a nice bump from pure Boost Mode. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!