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Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Batman: Arkham Knight on PC finally gets patched, Destiny players get to play some The Taken King maps early, the original Borderlands heads to Xbox One, and a composer wins big against Bungie.
Bungie lets Destiny players try The Taken King maps before release
Destiny players will be able to try out some of the competitive maps coming as part of The Taken King, the game's upcoming expansion. Alongside changes to the gameplay experience coming on September 8, players can play on the new Crucible maps with new modes for every new map until September 14, the day before the expansion goes live.
The new maps will be available to all players, regardless of whether or not they pre-ordered The Taken King, but players won't have access to everything in competitive multiplayer. According to a community update, players will need to visit their class Vanguard in the expansion in order to earn their new subclass.
In preparation for the expansion, Bungie is making changes to the game for all players, under Update 2.0. Character level caps will be raised to 34 for all players, with The Taken King bringing it up to 40 at launch. Players can level up their character by gaining XP alone instead of relying on Light from items, with character levels and light now separate statistics. Character levels will be increased, grandfathered into the highest possible Light level from all gear in the character's inventory and vault.
In more general changes, bounty slots have been increased to 16, with incomplete Year One bounties being automatically dropped on September 8 and incomplete Year One exotic bounties automatically completed. Year One bounties with Eris will be retired, though reputation with Crota's Bane can continue to be earned through The Taken King quests. Motes of Light will grant XP to weapons and armor, class-specific armor materials will be depreciated in favor of unified materials, and collections and exotic item blueprints have been added to the tower.
Batman: Arkham Knight on PC gets patch to fix game-breaking issues
Warner Bros. has finally released its patch for Batman: Arkham Knight on the PC, in order to fix major issues with the game. Quietly released on September 3 before being pulled and officially released on September 4, the patch fixes a number of issues that made the game virtually unplayable for a number of players.
The "interim" patch notes state it has reduced frame rate hitches, added optimizations for system memory and VRAM usage, improved performance on all GPUs, updated the in-game settings to make them more comprehensive, and fixed low-resolution texture bugs. Some issues relating to the game being played on systems where it is stored on hard drives instead of SSDs have also been fixed.
A list of things to coming future updates have also been offered, including support for SLI and Crossfire, DLC and Season Pass content, and additional updates such as Photo Mode. Bug fixes for Windows 7 memory issues when a PC has more than 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GPU have not yet been offered to players, with the developers also working on Windows 10-specific issues with some AMD GPUs.
Warner pulled the game from sale shortly after launch, to allow it to fix the game-breaking issues. At the time of publication, the game is still unavailable to buy on Steam.
First Borderlands game heading to Xbox One via Backward Compatibility mode
Owners of the Xbox One will be able to play the original Borderlands on their console under its upcoming Backward Compatibility mode. The sequels for the first person shooter have already made their way to the Xbox One, but the original was made only for the Xbox 360, something the Backward Compatibility mode will help solve.
Existing Borderlands owners can continue their game where they left off, as save files, add-ons, and achievements earned, downloaded, or created on the Xbox 360 version will all be accessible on the Xbox One. While those taking part in the Xbox One Preview Program can play the game now, other Xbox One owners will have to wait until Backward Compatibility becomes available to all players sometime in November.
While being able to play the game on the Xbox One will be welcomed by fans, they will not be able to take screenshots or capture gameplay in video clips. GameSpotreports the features are disabled from the game because of what Microsoft claims are "licensing" issues. "Support for Xbox One features on Xbox 360 titles in Backward Compatibility are in the hands of the publisher to enable," a Microsoft representative advised.
Former Bungie composer wins legal fight over share forfeiture
A composer who formerly worked for Bungie on music for Halo and Destiny has ended his legal action against the company. A final ruling by an arbitrator appointed by the court has declared Bungie must honor arrangements it made with Marty O'Donnell, involving a "considerable" amount of stock.
According to Venture Beat, the arbitrator found Bungie had violated its contract with O'Donnell when he was fired, forcing him to surrender all his stock and not take part in a profit sharing scheme. It has been revealed he will be receiving $142,500 in profit for work conducted in 2014, with O'Donnell also entitled to recover other stock and payments, the values of which are unknown due to Bungie not being a publicly traded company. O'Donnell, however, is no longer allowed to publish music he created for Destiny unless he gets permission from Bungie beforehand.
Court papers reveal the composer created music for Bungie called "The Music of the Spheres," which would be used throughout Destiny. O'Donnell was keen to release the music as a standalone work, but got frustrated by the lack of effort by Bungie and Activision to do so. After a trailer for the game was produced in 2013 for E3 using different music, O'Donnell complained about Activision allegedly overstepping its role as publisher, urging Bungie employees not to publish the trailer online.
The event started a course of events that eventually led to O'Donnell's termination, and the main point of the lawsuit. According to O'Donnell's stock ownership agreement, he would give up unvested founders' shares if he left voluntarily, something O'Donnell did not do, with Bungie later attempting to take them by legal action.
The arbitrator notes "The forfeiture effectively stripped O'Donnell of all rights that he would have enjoyed as a holder of shares," and ruled to restore those rights. Bungie's legal team objected, claiming O'Donnell would become a "bothersome presence at board meetings and in the company," but the complaint was dismissed.