Fortnite is Highest Trending Game of 2018 on Google

Google has released their list of trending searches for 2018 and that includes a list of the top 10 video games. The highest trending game of 2018 should come as no surprise, it is Fortnite. The game has taken over the world this year with massive collaborations and a ton of media attention. At number 2 on the list is Red Dead Redemption 2, which also isn’t a surprise. Fallout 76 is number three, which goes to show that the trending game doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best. Right now on Metacritic, it has a user score of just 2.7. Monster Hunter: World lands at number 6 on the list. It is followed by Sea of Thieves, another game with a low Metacritic score.

The game that comes in at number 10 is a massive surprise, Zombs Royale. This is one that admittedly has flown under our radar until now. It’s a Battle Royale game for browser and mobile. While looking this game up, we first turned to Youtube, wondering if perhaps it had been made popular there by a big Youtuber. But, the video with the most views is at 1.3 million views from Fuszion, a channel with 6.3k followers. You can see the video below if you’re curious.

This list was just for the United States. There weren’t as many lists for other countries or globally. Other trends Other trends from Google in the US this year include Fortnite gifs topping the gif chart, Logan Paul in Actors, and the World Cup topped searches. Fortnite also makes an appearance in the list for How to, with the number 10 how to question is how to get the Boogie Down emote. It is also number 7 in the What is… list. Not too much of a stretch to assume it was mostly parents doing that search.

Here’s Google’s full list of the top 10 highest trending games of 2018.

  1. Fortnite
  2. Red Dead Redemption 2
  3. Fallout 76
  4. Far Cry 5
  5. God of War
  6. Monster Hunter: World
  7. Sea of Thieves
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  9. Kingdom Come: Deliverance
  10. Zombs Royale

 

Source: Google Trends of 2018

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Dragon Hound – Monster Hunter Meets World of Tanks

No matter how many games with monsters and hunters you might play, there is always a name that pops out: Monster Hunter. Capcom’s quintessential series has millions of fans worldwide and very few studios dare to pick a fight with it.

Dauntless is one of the latest entries in the genre and it seems to be doing well for itself, despite the predictable competition from Monster Hunter World. Oddly enough, the free-to-play co-op game is benefiting from the ‘Monster Hunter effect,’ as Capcom’s game opened the genre up and caused a spike in sign-ups.

Now, another monster hunting game is rearing its ugly, scale-ridden head: devCAT’s Dragon Hound, currently in development for PC using the Unreal Engine 4.

Mounted Hunter Online

DevCAT is the Korean studio best known for its acclaimed Mabinogi and Vindictus MMORPGs. The latter was praised as featuring some of the best MMO action combat pre-TERA and Black Desert Online, so it could be assumed that they would build on that. A sequel, or even a completely different game improving on Vindictus’ mechanics crossed my thoughts several times, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Instead, devCAT decided to risk it all and try something entirely new – for them, at least. Originally known as Project DH and introduced to the world during G-Star 2016, Dragon Hound holds a lot of promise while at the same time leaving a bittersweet taste. The reason for this is that Dragon Hound’s battles are all based on mounted combat, without the option to get off your mount and take a different approach to the battle.

Dragon Hound dragon attack

This may be personal bias, but no matter just how tactical or mechanically advanced the mounted combat may be, being stuck with your mount all the time sounds like a cop-out. It feels as they have this hugely promising battlefield and yet you are being severely restricted in your movement. The developers say that you should see your character as a centaur, which is more than enough evidence that you will never be able to fight on foot. Hopefully the matches won’t turn into boring sessions of circling around a dragon while shooting at it.

Dragon Hound’s Game Director is keen to say that despite all the Monster Hunter comparisons, his game is more of a mix between Monster Hunter and Wargaming’s World of Tanks. As odd as it may sound, this is probably due to the use of ranged weapons and horses, making you feel like you are controlling a vehicle. A tank, so to speak.

That being said, Dragon Hound still has significant depth to it, especially when it comes to monsters. So far, there are 30 different creatures planned and while the name may give you a hint on the kind of foes that await you, it’s not all about dragons. We’ve spotted other antagonists such as a huge boar-like animal and a bizarre dragon-giraffe hybrid.

Dragon Hound landscape

Getting Under Your Skin

Dragons are fire-breathing winged creatures with thick skin, but sometimes you will need to get under it to be successful – or at least, to pierce through it. Dragons and other creatures include internal damageable organs such as heart and lungs, weak points that don’t need to glow bright red for you to realize just how important they are. If you manage to hit these vital organs instead of aimlessly shooting around, the battle may be over sooner than you think. Obviously, it’s easier said than done.

Eyes are also noticeable weak points, so if everything plays out as expected, the creatures should have a lot more trouble finding out who and where to attack. The same goes for limbs, as a focused attack should severely limit a creature’s movement or ability to strike back. Each battle is expected to last 10 minutes on average, with larger creatures requiring around 15 minutes. It’s all very enticing on paper, but let’s see how it effectively turns out when all these features are properly implemented.

Dragon Hound bow and arrow attack

By now you are probably thinking which class to pick and what kind of weapons each one gets to use. DevCAT has decided not to include a restrictive class system, meaning that whatever your decision, you will always be able to equip the weapon that your heart desires. Dragon Hound’s arsenal is said to be comparable to the one used during World War 1, but there is clearly some thrilling steampunk imagination at work, as it is shown by the gigantic vehicle used to drag the fallen creatures and where your hunts begin. Long range weapons such as Gatling guns and shotguns evidently play a vital role in the gameplay, but you can also expect some melee weapons for those moments when you need to get up close and personal with the creatures.

It will certainly come as a big surprise to you that Dragon Hound won’t feature any PvP modes. In current days, this almost sounds like shooting yourself in the foot, but that is the plain truth. My guess is that the developers have fiddled and toyed with the idea until they decided that it wasn’t viable or that it wouldn’t add significant value to the game.

Far from considering Dragon Hound an actual MMO, they are labeling it a team-based multiplayer online game. There is no word on the maximum number of players that can participate in a raid, but there are other features such as a tower defense mode that requires a larger number of players.

Dragon Hound stable

Up in the Air

Intentionally or simply a remarkable coincidence, Dragon Hound seems to borrow Dauntless’ concept of the floating isles. The villages in devCAT’s game are floating and they are prone to rotation, switching positions on a weekly basis. Apparently, this was designed with the intention of creating some sort of artificial limitation to the way that players burn through content. By restricting the window of opportunity to attack certain creatures, it will delay those specific encounters for some days. If this is as linear as it was explained, we can’t say for sure, but let’s hope that there is always something to do while you wait for your next big hunt to open.

Dragon Hound is one of the few high-profile PC games coming out of South Korea’s G-Star 2018. In a sea of mobile releases, it’s always great to discover a new and exciting game that dares to think outside of the box. Considering Nexon’s penchant for western releases, we would say that Dragon Hound is highly likely to reach North America and Europe, but we are probably a couple of years away from that. In the meantime, I recommend you to keep an eye out on this one, especially if you are a fan of Monster Hunter and… World of Tanks. Because we have seen stranger things.

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Modder Releases an Unofficial Monster Hunter World Patch

While Monster Hunter World on PC is perhaps working a little more smoothly than most first supposed, it’s undeniable that the game is still causing some PC owners no end of problems. Enter one modder’s unofficial Monster Hunter World patch which seeks to address at least a couple of the issues that are still currently plaguing the game.

unofficial monster hunter world patch

The patch is called Special K and is created by modder Kaldaien, who many might recall as the modder who put out the FAR resolution fix mod for Nier: Automata on PC. The mod was released as both a way to help out the Monster Hunter World community and in direct response to what’s referred to as “anti-mod BS.”

This unofficial update for the action RPG brings fixes for HDR10 output for monitors that support HDR; adds the ability to take HUD-free screenshots; fixes an issue that causes the game to crash when alt-tabbing out of it; and even includes a way to “spoof” your CPU core count to improve hitching and lighten the game’s intense processor load.

Kaldaien alludes to continued support for this mod in the initial post, noting that they’re “working on various improvements for this game.” Considering Special K’s latest features were added only a minute after the mod was first shared on Steam, it’s possible that it will continue to add features.

As for official fixes to Monster Hunter World, the folks at Capcom have put out a post on the game’s Steam page addressing connection errors, particularly when players depart on quests several times. “We are currently investigating the cause of this and are working with Valve to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” reads part of the statement.

Our Thoughts

God bless the PC modding community. Ideally, these features will be officially patched in later by Capcom, but we suspect they’re perhaps more focused on improving the game’s network stability first. In any case, we’re looking forward to more fixes to Monster Hunter World on PC, but in the official and unofficial sectors.

Sources: Steam community page, Steam news page

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Monster Hunter World Has a Big Weekend on Steam

It’s perhaps no surprise that Monster Hunter World on PC was going to be a popular game, but now we’re getting something of a look at just how popular. New Monster Hunter World player numbers are showing that the action RPG has indeed drawn in plenty of eager hunters, though not without some bumps on the way.

monster hunter world player numbers

At launch this past Thursday, Monster Hunter World had hit a pretty high mark at 240,901. That number only rose over the past weekend, with a peak of 334,684 – nearly 100k over its launch concurrency. The numbers even saw the game rise above evergreen chart toppers like CS:GO.

According to estimates from Steam Spy, this puts sales of the game on PC somewhere between the range of 2 million and 5 million copies. Those numbers, however, are now made extremely inaccurate thanks to Steam’s meddling. That said, one member of the ResetEra forum with access to SteamSpy Premium has stated that owner numbers are around 2,376,000 at the time of this writing.

In spite of the game’s weekend surge, things aren’t completely smooth sailing for Monster Hunter World. The game has seen an aggregate of “Mixed” reviews on Steam, with most negative marks referencing the online multiplayer’s instability.

The title has also been pulled from Tencent’s WeGame platform in China, citing a large number of complaints and requests from Chinese authorities for the move. According to a statement, Monster Hunter World didn’t “fully comply with relevant regulatory and policy requirements”, though many in the region attribute this to a combination of Steam user complaints and a “clean up” of online content by authorities in the country.

Our Thoughts

We suspect that Capcom will crow about its hard numbers for the game’s launch soon enough, but it already seems that it’s doing quite well in spite of its online functionality being wobbly. Which, if we’re honest, is pretty much par for the course when it comes to online game launches nowadays. It feels like it shouldn’t happen, but it keeps on happening. Hopefully time will balance that all out.

Sources: VG247, RADII China via DSO Gaming

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Final Fantasy XIV Brings the Monster Hunter World Event Online

Final Fantasy XIV players are used to slaying dragons, but the arrival of Rathalos in the FFXIV Monster Hunter World patch is a whole ‘nother beast. A beast from a New World, you could say. The MMORPG’s part of its crossover with the monster slaying action RPG is now online, along with the next part of the Eureka expedition content.

ffxiv monster hunter world patch

Players who are ready to take on Rathalos will need to report to Kugane to speak with an NPC, be level 70, and have at least item level 320 or better in order to take on the first version of the fight. The Extreme version, which pares down party size from eight to four, requires item level 350 or higher.

As mentioned before, rewards for completing this new encounter will include things like Rathalos patterned armor, a Rathalos flying mount, and a variety of other Monster Hunter-themed goodies.

The latest patch has also brought online the Pagos Expedition part of the Lost Land of Eureka, opening up a frosty new location where players can further empower their Eureka weapons and get a variety of new rewards such as minions. There’s also a number of new items and other adjustments added with this patch, so take a look over the patch notes for more.

Our Thoughts

We’ve been very ready for this new crossover to arrive to Final Fantasy XIV! We hope that other, deeper and more robust crossover events will also come to the MMORPG, because this one definitely sounds like it’s been put together with a lot of love and respect for the Monster Hunter World title.

Sources: press release, official site

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Monster Hunter World Explains its Performance Issues on PC

Monster Hunter World‘s performance on PC continues to be a pretty hot topic ahead of the action RPG’s arrival to the platform, particularly since many people who have had their time with the most recent build of the game are experiencing some performance issues. So, why do some machines struggle? According to a Capcom employee, it’s because Monster Hunter World CPU demands are particularly taxing.

monster hunter world cpu

VP of digital marketing and platforms William Yagi-Bacon elaborated on why some are seeing a performance hit, particularly when trying to push the game to its maximum in terms of framerate and visuals. In short, the CPU is doing a lot of heavy lifting:

“To eliminate interstitial loading during active gameplay, MHW loads the entire level into memory. In addition to managing assets loaded into memory, it keeps track of monster interactions, health status, environment/object changes, manages LOD & object culling, calculates collision detection and physics simulation, and tons of other background telemetry stuff that you don’t see yet requires CPU cycle. This is in addition to supporting any GPU rendering tasks.”

While that is certainly a lot, Yagi-Bacon also explains that the MT Framework engine that distributes these duties does a good job of making sure all the cores and threads of a CPU bear the burden equally. To demonstrate, he quoted a series of screenshots of the game running in 3840×2160 at a variety of different settings which showed both the FPS and CPU load per core.

Our Thoughts

…so basically, you might want to either cross your fingers and hope for some day one drivers or patches to help alleviate the strain, or swallow your PC gaming pride and scale your settings down. Which, honestly, doesn’t look half bad even on low settings.

Source: ResetEra via VG247

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Denuvo Anti-Tamper to be Used by Monster Hunter World on PC

In what might be a blow of confidence for PC fans eager to get their mitts on Monster Hunter World, Capcom has confirmed that Denuvo anti-tamper protection will be used by the company in order to defend the multiplayer monster slayer from pirates.

denuvo anti-tamper

In an announcement made by Capcom, both Monster Hunter World and the upcoming survival horror game Resident Evil 2 will be utilizing Denuvo for copy protection. The use of this program is also confirmed on the Monster Hunter World Steam page, below the list of features on the right side of the game’s listing.

For those who are unfamiliar, Denuvo is an anti-piracy measure that also puts a limit on how many copies of the same game can be installed on multiple PCs – a maximum of five machines within a day. Often, Denuvo is cracked almost immediately by hackers, with the most recent build of the DRM being shattered earlier this month by a Bulgarian coder by the name of Voksi.

Another negative strike against Denuvo is a reported hit to a PC game’s performance, which will likely weigh on the minds of most PC users who are already perhaps concerned about how Monster Hunter World will run on new hardware at launch.

That said, there have been cases of Denuvo being removed, either due to being cracked despite its use or after some time has passed post-launch.

Our Thoughts

We’re not entirely sure what lack of confidence Capcom has in Steam’s own already involved DRM to lead them to using what’s probably gaming’s most-hated copy protection on top. Maybe they’re hoping to calm their investor nerves…but then again, putting a despised layer of DRM is probably not going to help sales, either.

Source: VG247

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FFXIV Gets Rathalos in August and Patch 4.4 in September

With the close of the recent Live Letter broadcast from Final Fantasy XIV, we can now confirm more than a few things that are coming to the MMORPG. For starters, a launch date for the FFXIV Monster Hunter World event has been announced, along with preliminary details for the game’s next major content patch.

ffxiv monster hunter world event

The fight against Rathalos will come to Eorzea on Tuesday, August 7th as part of Patch 4.36. Rathalos will come in two flavors: an eight-player Normal mode and a four-player Extreme mode. The fight will carry a few new mechanics that call back to the Monster Hunter game, including being knocked over and stunned by the creature’s massive tail swipes.

Rewards for the upcoming Trial continue the Monster Hunter World references, with a BBQ Spit furnishing items, a Poogie and Palico minion, new equipment sets patterned after Rathalos, and even a Rathalos flying mount. Patch 4.36 will also be introducing the next leg of the Forbidden Land of Eureka.

As for patch 4.4, players of FFXIV can look forward to that sometime in September. Subtitled “Prelude in Violet”, Patch 4.4 will bring another round of main and side quests; a new dungeon in the form of The Burn and a hard mode for Saint Mocianne’s Arboretum; the new Omega: Alphascape tier of raids; a new Trial where players must fight against Suzaku; and job adjustments that include increasing the number of Role Action slots.

More details for Patch 4.4 are expected to come at some point later, but for now a trailer for the upcoming Rathalos hunt is available for viewing below.

Our Thoughts

The Rathalos fight looks like a good time indeed and we’re definitely eager to collect those rewards, but we’re also looking forward to seeing what other details are coming out of Patch 4.4. As of right now, the new stuff arriving in this update seems to be following the regular trend of prior patches…but that’s definitely not a complaint, all things considered.

Sources: press release, Twitter

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Eorzea Invades Monster Hunter World on August 2

Well, we’ve gone from news that it’s happening, to news of it’s happening in August, to news that it’s happening on August 2nd. That happening is the Monster Hunter World crossover event, which is bringing a whole lot more than just a simple Behemoth to the New World.

monster hunter world crossover event

Naturally, the Behemoth hunt will be the leading feature of this collab as players are going to reportedly require “unique strategies” to battle it, as the creature sports impressive physical weapons and the ability to call down a powerful meteor.

The update has more Final Fantasy XIV callbacks than just that, however. The update will also let Insect Glaive users can dress up their weapon and Kinsect to resemble the Dragoon’s signature Gae Bolg spear, while everyone can dress their armor up to look like the Drachen set from FFXIV.

There’s also a Moogle outfit set for your Palico; Cactuar field traps that shoot off needles everywhere when triggered; an outfit that lets you dress your Poogie up like a Baby Behemoth; and evidently a fight against a giant-sized Kulu-Ya-Ku, who apparently has been granted its newfound girth by clutching onto a version of the Hydaelyn crystal.

Enjoy all of the FFXIV references you can handle in the trailer below.

Our Thoughts

Wow, they really went all in on this collab event! We were kind of expecting this to be just a few little fluff pieces and a Behemoth fight, but we have to say that the quality of said fluff pieces is pretty high indeed. We suspect fans of both games will find lots to enjoy with this collab.

Source: official site

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Monster Hunter World’s Producer Talks PC Visuals and Cross-Play

With the Monster Hunter World PC version now less than a month away, there’s more than a few questions on the minds of fans of the PC gaming platform – namely visual fidelity and the potential for cross-platform play. On those points, producer Ryozo Tsujimoto has offered some information.

monster hunter world pc

On the subject of visuals, many point to the portion of the PC version’s specs that state that 30FPS can be achieved on the recommended side of things with a resolution of 1080p and at High graphics preset. Tsujimoto elaborated on that further, saying that players can expect that “the visuals will have parity with the console versions” at launch. A post-launch update is also planned, which will possibly include some additional features to refine things further.

As for cross-platform play, it looks like that will not be available at launch. Additionally, there’s no word one way or the other about whether mod support via the Steam Workshop will be in the game, either at launch or later down the line.

Finally, Tsujimoto offered some word about keeping the PC version up-to-date with the console editions. According to him, the team will do its best to line things up, but the different version numbers between the platforms may make this difficult.

This line of thinking also extends to balance patches for the game. “If we find bugs that are happening only on PC for example, or issues arising after a title update, then we would put patches out on each platform as soon as possible,” said Tsujimoto. “If there was an issue common to all platforms, however, doing it piecemeal would be less preferable than fixing every version at the same time so that everyone has the same experience.”

Our Thoughts

It would be easy to assume that the early arrival of the PC version of Monster Hunter World could spell trouble for those who want to play this game exclusively on the platform, but all we can do is wait and watch between now and launch and hope that performance matters aren’t enough to deter most fans. After all, this is a market that is wildly underserved by Monster Hunter and we’d love for the series to have another smash.

Source: VG247

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