Kind of a slow news week so don't expect anything earth shattering...
If you're a fan of EA/Dice's Battlefield 3 and got online this week then you probably experienced some very noticeable lag across all the servers. The issue was intermittent but was serious enough to knock some players off of game servers. I experienced this myself on Thursday night ending up in a crash to desktop. My stats weren't updated till the next day.
Today I was greeted with this popup from my Origin client...
It says that some players are having issues with connectivity to Origin but the problem is being addressed. Other than that popup there's been no official statement on this week's server issues as of this recording.
In other Battlefield news, BF3 close quarters DLC is now available for purchase on Origin for 14.99. If you're a fan of the double experience points weekends that EA's been running for the past month you're going to love the Double XP event next week from July 2 to July 8. Premium members get a full week of Double XP, everyone else gets the perk from the 2nd to the 4th.
On a personal note, I've been playing BF3 Deathmatch maps as support recently and it offered me a unique opportunity to compare and contrast between BF3 and MW3. In short, it was a much more enjoyable experience. Unlike MW3 I was able to do more than provide a moving target. Since most of the online multiplayer in Call of Duty is nothing more than variations on the deathmatch theme I don't think I'm out of line to say Infinity Ward really needs to get its multiplayer act together .
If you're into Mass Effect 3, EA has released a new package called the N7 Digital Deluxe edition for $79.99 which gives you most of the offerings of the Collectors Edition minus the Male and Female figurines. It's basically the same deal that the Diablo 3 collector's edition was. There is a boxed collectors edition that's available from stores like Amazon and Best Buy that includes the Sheperd figurines in addition to the digital deluxe edition's offerings.
From the Origin Store page...
• 70-page digital art book featuring hundreds of unique and gorgeous illustrations from the BioWare development team.
• Limited edition digital Mass Effect comic by Dark Horse Comics, complete with unique cover artwork.
• Exclusive 4x6 lithographic digital print featuring a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.
A full collection of in-game content:
• N7 Arsenal Pack – Bring the firepower with the N7 Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, SMG, and Pistol.
• Access to an additional downloadable mission and character
• Mechdog Companion – A faithful sidekick to keep you company on board the Normandy.
• Squadmate Alternate Outfit Pack – New appearances for your favorite squad members.
• N7 Hoodie – For Commander Shepard’s casual days on board the Normandy.
• Relive all the greatest moments of Mass Effect 3 with the digital soundtrack.
• Display your initiation in the N7 ranks with a collection of forum and social badges, avatars, and perks.
Check it out here....
In hardware news Both ASUS and Sapphire have announced a new AMD/ATI 7970 card. Both are overclocked with 3 GB of memory and extra cooling and power circuit upgrades. The ASUS card is due for release in the third quarter of this year while the Sapphire card is available for 479.99. Clock speeds for the ASUS card haven't been released for their card but the Sapphire offering comes in at 1310 MHz. Sapphire's card is a dual slot design while ASUS requires 3 slots much like it's CU2 line.
Both cards will require one 6 and one 8 pin PCI-E power connection.
ASUS(Matrix HD 7970) http://rog.asus.com/114502012/graphics-cards-2/preview-rog-matrix-hd-7970/
Sapphire (7970 (Dual X cooling)OC 3GB) http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1962/16/
In other AMD news a new AMD 12.6 catalyst beta driver is available. There's also a 12.7 CAP (application profile update) Interesting to note that a fix for COD'WAW is in the 12.7 CAP. The 12.6 beta driver has a tweak for COD Modern Warfare.
In any case I'm still confused about AMD/ATI's driver releases. I thought dropping the monthly releases was supposed to simplify things....
Something's up when you have to tweak drivers for such an old game. How can there be issues with a game that uses a five year old engine?
Finally Star Trek online is having a sale on ships. They're offering 20% off till July 2nd. That's an ok deal but since most ships cost multiples of the Cryptic points you buy it's going to leave you with some strange leftovers in your Cryptic account.