‘Minecraft: Pocket Edition’ Servers Will Greatly Expand How You Play the Game
You probably know by now that Microsoft has announced that Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$ 6.99] will become just Minecraft and will have cross-play with all other platforms using the bedrock engine. The other new feature that’s been announced is servers coming to mobile, which will greatly expand how you can play the game. In a video and blog post published today, Microsoft offered a few more details on how the servers will work. First a necessary clarification: Realms and Servers are a different thing. Realms are private, cloud-hosted worlds hosted by Microsoft that you have to pay to run. Servers, on the other hand, are community-owned and are open to everyone who wants to join.
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The servers will be offering activities like co-op exploration, PvP game modes, competitive builds, and more. I do share the concerns of many that going into a PvP fight against someone with a mouse and keyboard will be most probably a death sentence, but, as you’ll hear in the video, the server owners are trying to find modes and ways to play that will level the playing field. Are you interested in joining these servers once they become available later this summer?
Cross-Platform ‘Minecraft’ Play Coming in ‘Better Together Update’, Includes Massive Community Servers and Improved Visuals
Huge news out of E3 right now as Mojang and Microsoft just announced that Minecraft [$ 6.99] is going fully cross-platform in an update called Better Together, coming this summer. All of the Minecraft versions will be unified (so forget the Minecraft: Pocket Edition name, all will be called Minecraft), which means you’ll be able to play with every other Minecraft player regardless of platform choice, and that’s pretty huge. Keep in mind, though, that the Java version won’t be included in this move. And Mojang mentioned that it will include massive servers that you’ll be able to join in-game. The service will launch with four servers?Lifeboat, Mineplex, InPVP, and Cubecraft?with more to follow.
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Finally, we are also getting a huge free update to the visuals (which you don’t have to use if you don’t want to) that will bring improved lighting, shadows, water effects, and more. This is a huge move by Microsoft and one that will continue to move the various Minecraft versions towards feature parity. I’m very excited by this move because uniting the Minecraft world into one huge server of sorts is a fantastic idea. What do you all think?
‘PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator’ Tops Free Charts and Crashes Servers, Unsurprisingly
If you have any doubts about PewDiePie’s popularity, well, you shouldn’t have. If you do, though, and you need some proof, hop over to the App Store charts and check the Free category where you’ll find PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator [Free] sitting prettily as the top Free Game in the US store. That’s pretty good, isn’t it? The game also has a 5 star review average from over seven thousand reviews, so apparently people are enjoying it. It was so popular that developer Outerminds had to pull the plug on some of the game’s social features numerous times just to keep the game running. Again, all this was to be expected and it all shows how popular the PewDiePie brand is and how it can propel a game to the App Store stratosphere.
With over 1 million downloads in less than 24 hours. Pewdiepie's Tuber Simulator is #1 download app. THANK YOU ALL!! pic.twitter.com/rPhjBKRAzy
— pewdiepie (@pewdiepie) September 30, 2016
The game isn’t doing too bad on the Top Grossing part of the charts either, currently sitting at number 46, a pretty good spot if you consider all the server issues the game had to overcome. How are you all finding the game? Is it worth all the attention? We’ll have a review out very shortly, so stay tuned for that.
‘Pokemon GO’ Servers Died at Launch Because of 50 Times More Players Than Expected
Remember those glorious days back in the summer when you and your friends were dying to go grab some pokemon on Pokemon GO [Free] but couldn’t log in or the game kept crashing on you? Remember when it was so bad that Niantic had to pause the game’s worldwide rollout to try and get a handle on the server situation? Well, now we know exactly how badly the servers were overloaded and we can, perhaps, shed a silent tear for Niantic’s plight. Luke Stone, director of customer reliability engineering at Google, wrote a blog post talking about the Pokemon GO launch experience and how it was like nothing he had ever experienced in his career before, and he had a hand in numerous, big product launches.
I could just point to the image above and not say anything, and you’d understand what Niantic went through. According to Stone, within 15 minutes of launching in Australia and New Zealand traffic spiked way beyond any expectations, which was good news and bad news since it showed how popular the game was but at the same time, blasted the servers apart.
The teams had targeted 1X player traffic and had a 5X traffic as the worse (best) case scenario. Well, traffic went up to 50X really fast, and at that point there wasn’t much that could be done to help the servers cope outside gradually upgrading server capacity, which is what happened over the next two weeks. So, you should all pat yourselves on the back because you managed to briefly bring Google to its knees. You can read the whole analysis here.
Three Ways to Check If the Pokémon Go Servers Are Down
Pokémon Go has had some serious growing pains since its launch, but not every connection problem is due to overloaded servers or maintenance. These sources will let you know if your connection problems are on your end or theirs, and help you avoid wasting your time.
?Pokemon Go? Servers Could Use a Potion Right About Now
Folks interested in checking out the latest AR fad are in a bit of a tough spot right now. Pokemon Go [Free] servers have been on the fritz all day long. Players attempting to log in were met with a vague message stating that the servers were experiencing issues and to come back later. While it?s obviously easy to check out the status by launching the app, the game is annoyingly requiring a fresh log in with every launch, most likely due to the app?s inability to form a good login connection.
We?ll keep an eye out for when the servers come back online, but meanwhile check out the recently posted Pokemon Go map to pre-plan where you might visit once the game is back up and running.
Kabam’s ‘Spirit Lords’ Delisted from App Store, Servers Shutting Down July 8th
We live in a pretty amazing time where we can beam entire video games to our insanely powerful pocket computers right out of thin air. This digital gaming revolution has a ton of benefits, like being able to buy a video game in your underwear without getting arrested, but there are also plenty of drawbacks. The biggest one being that with always connected “games as services” once that game ceases to be profitable anymore the developers need to shut it down. Shut down the servers, shut down any further development, shut down anything that costs money pertaining to that game. Well, that’s exactly what’s happening with Kabam’s free to play hack ‘n slash RPG Spirit Lords. As players have found out through in-game notification and on Kabam’s official forums, Spirit Lords is shutting down its servers on July 8th. They’ve already shut off in-game purchases as of this past Sunday, and once the servers shut down the game will be completely unplayable and there will be no way of players accessing their profiles from that point forward.
As a small consolation, certain players who have spent money on IAP in Spirit Lords will have the opportunity to transfer their in-game currency over to one of Kabam’s more popular and profitable games: Marvel Contest of Champions [Free] or Star Wars: Uprising [Free]. The offer is good for anyone who has purchased one or more Moonstone packages in the game, and those players will be notified via in-game message on how to claim that offer. While it’s not a totally ideal situation, it’s nice that Kabam is at least trying to do something for those who have invested in Spirit Lords, and given that Star Wars: Uprising is more or less a Spirit Lords re-skin, it might be the best transition for currently active players.
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It still feels like a band-aid type of fix, though, and I think as we move even deeper into an all-digital age, not just in gaming but in many facets of our life, there needs to be a solution for this type of thing. Perhaps when a developer starts out designing a new game that relies on server connections, they could preemptively build in a simple way to make the game playable offline should the servers ever need to be shut off. I understand the need to be connected for security reasons and for saving player data, but I think most players would be happy if they could simply keep playing the game they’ve potentially invested a ton of time and money into rather than have it all simply vanish into thin air.
We’ll have to see how things play out in the coming years as the digital landscape matures, but for now it sucks if you were one of the not-quite-enough people who were loving Spirit Lords and now have to say goodbye to your beloved game come July 8th.
How to Make Sure Your VPN Is Honest About Its International Exit Servers
One of the best reasons to use a VPN is to get around pesky location restrictions on streaming movies and other content, but before you shell out money to a VPN that promises servers in dozens of countries, make sure they?re telling the truth about them. Trust, but verify.