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Monster Hunter: World to Receive a 40GB High Resolution Texture Pack DLC

Capcom has announced Monster Hunter: World will receive a 40GB High Resolution Texture Pack DLC. The High Resolution Texture Pack will require 8GB of graphics memory (VRAM) and is free. Earlier this month, Capcom acknowledged that the PC is the 2nd most popular platform for Monster Hunter: World. Capcom's spokesperson was happy that the PC version of the game had broadened its appeal to users in Europe. Capcom has more expansions and content coming for the action game.

"We have announced Monster Hunter World Iceborne and will have more news to share in the future. Given the success of Monster Hunter World, it will be a key project for us," he said. "There is also more to come that I'm not allowed to discuss yet, if you want another interview with me on behalf of Capcom in the future."

Posted by cageymaru March 21, 2019 3:46 PM (CDT)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Receives RTX Treatment in Latest Patch

The latest patch for Shadow of the Tomb Raider has enabled support for real time ray tracing and NVIDIA's DLSS. To enable the features, gamers will need Window 10 update 1809 or higher, NVIDIA RTX 20- series GPU, and NVIDIA's latest drivers 419.35 and up. Nixxes announced the creation of a Beta, enabling the ability to switch back to an older version of the game, if problems arise.

We have just released the thirteenth PC patch for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, build 1.0.280. This patch focuses primarily on the release for the Nvidia's Ray-Traced Shadows and DLSS. While we expect this patch to be an improvement for everyone, if you do have trouble with this patch and prefer to stay on the old version, we have made a Beta available on Steam, Build 279, that can be used to switch back to the previous version.

Posted by cageymaru March 19, 2019 9:55 PM (CDT)

Hunt Showdown is On Sale at The Humble Store

As we've noted before, Hunt Showdown is one of the best looking, and best playing, multiplayer shooters around, and it gets better with every update. While it normally goes for $30 (and will likely be even more expensive once it leaves early access), the Humble Store has the Cryengine-based co-op shooter on sale for $21.

Hunt's competitive, match-based gameplay mixes PvP and PvE elements to create a uniquely tense experience where your life, your character, and your gear are always on the line. At the beginning of each match, up to five teams of two set out to track their monstrous targets. Once they've found and defeated one of these they will receive a bounty-and instantly become a target for every other Hunter left on the map. If you don't watch your back, you'll find a knife in it, and your last memory will be of another team of Hunters walking away with your prize. The higher the risk, the higher the reward-but a single mistake could cost you everything.

Posted by alphaatlas March 15, 2019 11:57 AM (CDT)

The Latest Battlefield V: Firestorm Reveal Trailer Details Battle Royale Mode

Electronic Arts has released the Battlefield V: Firestorm reveal trailer that details the game's new 64-player Battle Royale mode. It will feature a ring of fire that slowly creeps in to shrink the map, squad revives, artillery strikes, combat vehicles, high-reward objectives that offer the best loot, and the signature Battlefield V weapons and gun mechanics. The Battle Royale mode will be available to all Battlefield V players on March 25. Battlefield V is currently 50% off on Origin.

Firestorm is Battle Royale, Reimagined for Battlefield. Dominate on the largest Battlefield map ever with epic weapons and combat vehicles as a deadly ring of fire closes in. Scavenge, fight and survive to become the last squad standing. The fury of Firestorm will grow after launch, with new features and improvements coming to all Battlefield V players, including an initial introduction of a Duos mode in April as part of Chapter 3: Trial by Fire.

Posted by cageymaru March 14, 2019 11:10 AM (CDT)

Update 5.0 for Hunt Showdown is Out

Hunt Showdown's 5.0 Update is out, and among other things, it seems to make make the already visually stunning game look even better. The developers have added times of day to the Lawson Delta and Stillwater Bayou Maps, meaning you can now hunt in "Daylight, Nighttime, Golden, and Foggy" conditions. The developers also made a number of performance optimizations, added the Immolator AI, introduced a new pistol, and re-balanced shotguns. You can read the lengthy patch notes on the Steam announcement page. As we noted yesterday, the developers announced that Hunt: Showdown is coming to the Xbox One "this spring," but as far as I can tell, no-one knows if the game will support crossplay with PC. Some company representatives allegedly gave ambiguous answers to the question on the forums and the official Discord, and one staff member said "We will announce more information in the near future!"

With 5.0 we are finally able to take another look at how shotguns work in Hunt. We've never really been happy with the RNG gameplay their current implementation caused, spreading the individual shot pellets randomly within the spread cone defined by the crosshair. The changes we have done allow us to do two things: Make sure a certain number of pellets are more likely to hit closer to the center of the crosshair to help normalize damage between shots. And on the other hand, allow us to push shotgun gameplay closer to how real shotguns work. In video games, shotguns are often seen as room sweepers that pepper large areas, while in reality, the choke is actually quite narrow, requiring some aiming to be effective and being lethal at quite impressive distances still. Shotguns in HUNT will feel a bit different now, allowing players to reach out further with them, but also require more precise aiming to score hits. We also tried to make shotguns feel different now, with the Romero and its Handcannon variant having more range and a tighter spread pattern than the other shotguns to give them a meaningful place in the arsenal. Please spend some time playing with shotguns and also play AGAINST shotguns using other weapons to get a feeling for these changes and let us know how you feel about them. We plan on doing additional tweaks based on your feedback over the next weeks!

Posted by alphaatlas March 12, 2019 9:59 AM (CDT)

Hunt: Showdown Is Coming to Xbox Game Preview

Crytek has announced that Hunt: Showdown is coming to Xbox Game Preview this Spring. Game Preview allows Xbox users to support and play games that are still in development. Follow the game's development on social media to find out when the game is released.

It is official: Hunt: Showdown will be coming to Xbox Game Preview this Spring! Game Preview gives Xbox players the chance to support and play games--like Hunt: Showdown--that are still in development. Here's our sweet new teaser to celebrate the announcement--and a clip from a new song written exclusively for the game. Check it out, and tell all your Xbox-loving friends! We'll be announcing the exact date on all of our social media channels, so follow us on Discord, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Posted by cageymaru March 11, 2019 6:22 PM (CDT)

Windows 10 Update Mitigates Spectre Related Performance Slowdown

A big Linux release over the weekend added the "Retpoline" Spectre mitigation to the Linux kernel, but BleepingComputer reports that Windows got the same treatment. Google shared the Retpoline software mitigation technique last year, shortly after they publicly revealed Spectre and Meltdown, which Microsoft says "works by replacing all indirect call or jumps in kernel-mode binaries with an indirect branch sequence that has safe speculation behavior." Microsoft claims the update that brings the mitigations is enabled by default in Windows Insider Fast Builds, but if you want to verify the Spectre protection status yourself, they posted a fairly straightforward Powershell tutorial. In a nutshell, just download the SpeculationControl module from a link in the guide, unzip it, open a powershell console via the start menu, and copy the commands into the console. Note that I couldn't get the script working without changing "Import-Module.\SpeculationControl.psd1" to "Import-Module SpeculationControl.psd1".

Retpoline has significantly improved the performance of the Spectre variant 2 mitigations on Windows. When all relevant kernel-mode binaries are compiled with retpoline, we've measured ~25% speedup in Office app launch times and up to 1.5-2x improved throughput in the Diskspd (storage) and NTttcp (networking) benchmarks on Broadwell CPUs in our lab. It is enabled by default in the latest Windows Client Insider Fast builds (for builds 18272 and higher on machines exposing compatible speculation control capabilities) and is targeted to ship with 19H1.

Posted by alphaatlas March 04, 2019 10:15 AM (CST)

Latest Nvidia Drivers Patch Security Vulnerabilities

Nvidia released the 419.17 drivers a few days ago, and as we noted, they featured a number of new SLI profiles, GPU video encoding improvements, and the usual round of bug fixes and enhancements. But yesterday, Bleeping Computer found that the new drivers also came with fixes to a number of security vulnerabilities, with CVVS V3 scores ranging from 8.8 (High/Serious) to 2.2 (Low). Nvidia claims that all of the most serious vulnerabilities should be fixed by simply installing the 419.17 drivers, and at least some of them were already patched in older Quadro and Tesla driver releases, but one vulnerability in particular requires manual intervention. CVE-2018-6260, which appears to be related to the performance counter exploit researchers published last November, requires manual user intervention to patch. The 419.17 release notes describe the fix, which I've quoted below.

The NVIDIA graphics driver contains a vulnerability (CVE-2018-6260) that may allow access to application data processed on the GPU through a side channel exposed by the GPU performance counters. GPU performance counters are needed by developers in order to use NVIDIA developer tools such as CUPTI, Nsight Graphics, and Nsight Compute. In order to address CVE-2018-6260 the driver needs to be updated and additional steps listed below are needed to disable access to non-admin users. For more information about CVE-2018-6260 visit the NVIDIA Security Bulletin 4772. Access to GPU performance counters should be disabled for non-admin users who do not need to use NVIDIA developer tools. Restricting access to GPU performance counters can be accomplished through the NVIDIA Control Panel->Developer->Manage GPU Performance Counters page (NV Control Panel v8.1.950). Refer to the Developer->Manage GPU Performance Counters section of the NVIDIA Control Panel Help for instructions.

Those release notes suggest the fix may not even be necessary for users who don't have the "developer settings" checkbox enabled, and the vulnerability page notes that it requires "local user access" to exploit anyway. Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas February 26, 2019 8:42 AM (CST)

NATO Experiment Manipulated Soldiers Through Facebook

The NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence published a report (PDF warning) on the challenges governments face with online security, and Wired managed to spot a particular interesting experiment within the multi-section report. As part of an experiment, the independent NATO organization used Facebook to to try to manipulate soldiers during a military exercise. Over several weeks, the researchers posted fake webpages and groups, promoted them with targeted advertising, and gradually lured members of the military exercise into them. Eventually, the researcher were able to identify "a significant amount of people taking part in the exercise and managed to identify all members of certain units, pinpoint the exact locations of several battalions, gain knowledge of troop movements to and from the exercises, and discover the dates and active phases of the exercises." The researchers note that several of Facebook's existing countermeasures were effective, but they weren't enough to stop the researchers from effectively infiltrating the exercise.

The researchers also tracked down service members' Instagram and Twitter accounts and searched for other information available online, some of which a bad actor might be able to exploit. "We managed to find quite a lot of data on individual people, which would include sensitive information," Biteniece says. "Like a serviceman having a wife and also being on dating apps" "Every person has a button. For somebody there's a financial issue, for somebody it's a very appealing date, for somebody it's a family thing," Sarts says. "It's varied, but everybody has a button. The point is, what's openly available online is sufficient to know what that is."

Posted by alphaatlas February 19, 2019 8:30 AM (CST)

Team Cherry Announces Hollow Knight: Silksong

Team Cherry has announced that the sequel to the best selling Hollow Knight video game is in production. Hollow Knight: Silksong will feature Hornet in a completely new adventure. Hollow Knight: Silksong started off as a DLC for the original game, but the 3 man development team kept adding in ideas from Kickstarter backers and themselves until it became apparent that it deserved to be a standalone game. They said that they are going to pack the game with lots of new enemies, styles and themes. The 2,158 Kickstarter backers of the original game will receive the game on their platform of choice for free. Hollow Knight: Silksong will be coming to PC, Mac, Linux, and Nintendo Switch in the future.

Thanks to the incredible support of players and Kickstarter backers, what started out as a tiny game jam idea has become a game bought and played by over 2.8 million people! Hollow Knight: Silksong is the epic sequel to Hollow Knight, the award winning action-adventure of bugs and heroes. As the lethal hunter Hornet, journey to all-new lands, discover new powers, battle vast hordes of bugs and beasts and uncover ancient secrets tied to your nature and your past. Experience a stunning orchestral score! Hollow Knight's award-winning composer, Christopher Larkin, returns to bring melancholy melodies, symphonic strings and heart-thumping, soul strumming boss themes to the adventure. Challenge Silk Soul mode! Once you conquer the game, test your skills in an all-new mode that spins the game into a unique, challenging experience.

Posted by cageymaru February 14, 2019 10:01 AM (CST)

Nvidia Claims Latest BFV Update Can Increase RTX Performance by 40%

EA DICE posted patch notes for Battlefield V yesterday, which briefly mentioned that they were adding DLSS and RTX "optimizations" to the game without going into any detail. But that update was delayed until today, and now, Nvidia just published some more specifics. They claim that, with addition of Deep Learning Super Sampling, framerates in Battlefield V can be increased by up to 40% with RTX on. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip.

DLSS is available with the following GPUs, with DXR ray tracing turned on, at the resolutions listed below: 3840x2160: All RTX GPUs, 2560x1440: RTX 2060, 2070, and 2080, 1920x1080: RTX 2060 and 2070 Now, you can play Battlefield V with DXR ray tracing at higher settings, resolutions and detail levels across our entire range of GeForce RTX GPUs, thanks to the addition of DLSS. The following are our new recommended settings for 60 FPS Battlefield V gameplay: RTX 2060: 2560x1440, High Quality Preset, Medium DXR, DLSS On. RTX 2070: 2560x1440, Ultra Quality Preset, Medium DXR, DLSS On. RTX 2080: 2560x1440, Ultra Quality Preset, Ultra DXR, DLSS On. RTX 2080 Ti: 3840x2160, Ultra Quality Preset, Ultra DXR, DLSS On.

Posted by alphaatlas February 13, 2019 10:18 AM (CST)

Location Bounty Hunters Had Access to GPS Data

In January, Motherboard found that AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint were unwittingly compromising their user's privacy and security. The telecommunication giants were reportedly selling data to third parties in bulk, a practice they've been criticized for before, who in turn were selling data about specific customers to "bounty hunters" that can locate nearly any phone in the U.S. for about $300. Telecoms claimed they were going to address the issue, but the publication kept digging, and earlier this week, they released a new series of reports claiming that practice was not an "isolated incident." They say that around 250 bounty hunters had access to the location data, some of whom accessed it "thousands or tens of thousands of times." Additionally, some of the requests used GPS data instead of cell tower data, which is sometimes accurate enough to tell where a user is inside a building.

A list of a particular customer's use of the phone location service obtained by Motherboard stretches on for around 450 pages, with more than 18,000 individual phone location requests in just over a year of activity. The bail bonds firm that initiated the requests-known in the industry as phone pings-did not respond to questions asking whether they obtained consent for locating the phones, or what the pings were for. "The scale of this abuse is outrageous," Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at campaign group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Motherboard in an email.

Posted by alphaatlas February 08, 2019 9:05 AM (CST)