Brink: An Update on Updates

Just wanted to give everyone an update on where we’re currently at with our upcoming game updates for Brink.

Xbox 360

We’ve been hard at work investigating the lag issues some players of the Xbox 360 version of Brink have reported. We’ve now completed modifications to improve network performance and will be rolling these out in a title update for the game.

This update has been submitted to Microsoft, and we expect it to be available next week.

This title update is also going to fix an isolated freezing issue reported by some German players who should no longer experience that problem once the update has been installed.

Details on PC and PS3 after the break…

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Brink: Updates Now Live & Free DLC

Update (5/15): With PSN back up, the configuration change for Brink is being rolled out tonight and will be available worldwide soon. Want to know if you’ve gotten the update? Look for “Big Teams” in the public match settings (see screenshot above).

Original Post: We have been working on updates for Brink to address the lag issue that some people have reported they were experiencing.

In the meantime, we have made a configuration change for 360 users (which will be available to the PS3, once PSN is up) that alters the number of human players when matchmaking for “Campaign” and most ‘Freeplay’ modes to eight total human players. This new configuration will allow those connecting to and hosting matches (particularly those with lower upstream bandwidth) to more reliably find and connect to quality hosts via the match-making process – resulting in less lag and more fun.  This change is being rolled out today and will be available worldwide.

For players who haven’t been experienced lag, we’ll still support 8v8 on all maps via a new ‘Big Teams’ configuration in Freeplay, and through custom settings in Private matches. There is no download required for this update and it will be available automatically the next time you log in to play Brink and launch either campaign or standard Freeplay matches. This should allow players new to the Ark as well as veterans to find quality matches suitable to their preferred play style.

We are also releasing an incremental update for PC players via Steam that addresses AI, GPU, and server issues. See the full release notes on Steam. Many of these fixes are being included in the full update for the 360 and PS3 versions.

We would like to thank you for supporting Brink and for your continued feedback. To show our appreciation for your support of Brink, we will be making the first DLC for Brink available for free when it is released. This DLC is planned for June and will offer additional maps and new content for players. We’ll continue to provide announcements about the next title update, as well as the first DLC release as that information becomes available.

– Splash Damage & Bethesda

Brink: An Update from Splash Damage

Wanted to share an update on Brink from Splash Damage’s Paul Wedgwood – the Game Director on Brink.

Now that Brink has been released in North America, we’ve had hundreds of thousands of people create their character and join the civil war for the Ark. Seeing the game out there being played and enjoyed by so many is very exciting for us, and we’ve been hopping into multiplayer matches ourselves to get in on the action with all of you.

Before we dive into this blog update, we’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who’s been sharing their feedback about Brink. We keep a close eye on what all of you have been saying about the game and wanted to give you an update on what’s been happening on our end:

Xbox 360

We’ve now put up our first game update on the Xbox 360, which went live at launch. It addresses several of the issues raised in some of the early US reviews of the game and brings with it some major improvements.

Most importantly, this update significantly reduced texture loading times thanks to improved hard-drive caching. It also improves client prediction when playing online – in other words, you’ll experience much less “rubber banding” in multiplayer. We’ve also fixed several issues that could lead to the game freezing, and resolved an issue where Brink would insist on playing all of the training videos rather than just the introductory one.

If you’ve not yet got the update, simply restart the game while your Xbox is connected to the internet.

We’ve also been getting new reports of lag when playing online, especially in matches with lots of human players. We’re all huge multiplayer fans here at the office and we know how important a lag-free online experience is. We’re urgently investigating this issue and seeing what we can do to improve things in that area. Stay tuned.

Information on PS3, PC, and the game’s upcoming statistics site after the break…

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On the Brink, Part 3: Making All the Right Moves

Brink’s now available, but before you get started, here’s one last update from the Official Game Guide writer, David Hodgson. This time around, he discusses SMART techniques and weapon strategies.

And in case you missed it, here are David’s first and second posts.

By now, you know that the Official Game Guide for Brink covers all of the Campaign and Freeplay map missions in meticulous detail, and that there’s copious information on creating and tailoring your character to your own play-style. But what about some advanced maneuvers and weaponry? Fortunately, the guide has this covered, too.

SMART is a key technique to utilize throughout every mission. Short for Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain, SMART enables the more lightweight and dexterous types to maneuver across obstacles too high for the more cumbersome, heavy-weight (but heavy-hitting) teammate. Knowing the precise movement techniques, how they work, and when to use them, is imperative. Which is why the guide has a large section of the Gameplay chapter devoted to just this type of scenic mastery. The guide doesn’t simply rehash the video instructions on SMART that come with the game. Instead, it provides a master class of techniques, beginning with the basics. There’s sprinting (and how inertia affects the height and distance of your SMART maneuvers), climbing, mantling, and vaulting (what each is, and why one of these maneuver types is much more advantageous than the others), as well as sliding (useful for moving under scenery, as well as into enemies), and wall-jumping (the key technique to a more proficient use of game space, and the key to unlocking all the shortcuts dotted throughout the maps, which are flagged throughout the walkthrough too).

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Happy Brink Day!

Shooter fans have been blasting their way through the Ark since midnight, and reviews of Brink are already pouring in. Here are a few to get started:

  • MSNBC (9/10): “Brink is wickedly fun.”
  • The Sixth Axis (9/10): “Looking for an intense online shooter with more guns than Texas? Come on in, the water’s fine.”
  • Eurogamer (8/10): “Brink is an exceptional team shooter, smart, supremely well balanced and with a unique, exciting art style.”
  • GamesRadar (8/10): “The mechanics of Brink’s shooting, free running, and objective-oriented classes and skills are fantastic.”
  • The Guardian (4/5): “Brink deserves to be ranked among the finest co-op games available.”
  • CVG (8/10): “Hidden behind Brink’s fancy new visuals and slick new style is a quintessentially old school team-based multiplayer title delivered with some noteworthy polish, real replayability and clever quirks.”
  • The Sixth Axis (9/10): “Looking for an intense online shooter with more guns than Texas? Come on in, the water’s fine.”
  • FrontTowardsGamer (9/10): “Obviously, this game is a brilliant departure from the run of the mill shooters out there. “
  • GameSpy (4/5):  “Brink’s greatest strength is that it presents these many tasks intuitively through an interface that constantly updates to provide players of each class with new jobs to do at the push of a button.”
  • IncGamers (8.8/10): “Brink is team-based in the truest sense.”
  • VGRevolution (9.4/10):But, if you are looking for a team based first person shooter where the game mode is about completing objectives then look no further.”
  • AusGamers (8.2/10): “… this is a different breed of first-person shooter: faster, sexier and made for online play.”
  • GamingNexus: “If you’re looking for a solid team multiplayer game, Brink is a highly polished example with some enticing new ideas.”
  • ArsTechnica: “I tip my hat to the PC version: sir, you have delivered the goods.”
  • Crave Online: “A intuitive class-based shooter with style dripping out of every pore.”

Elsewhere check out the Top 5 Reasons to be Excited for Brink at MLG and 15 Ways to Dominate at OXM UK.

Just for fun, here’s the official launch press release copied below. See you on the Ark!

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Around the web: The Final Countdown to Brink

Counting down the minutes until Brink’s launch, I thought I’d share some of the latest news for Brink and our other titles.

Get news on RAGE, Prey 2, and Skyrim after the break.

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Brink European Community Tournament Recap

Alistair Hatch, our European PR Manager, reports on our European community tournament held at Splash Damage’s office last week. Read details below…

Brink Community Megathon 2011

A short while ago we ran competitions with leading games websites in each of our key PAL territories for a chance to fly to London and compete in a Brink tournament before it launches this week. Eurogamer (UK), ESL (Germany), JeuxVideo (France), 3djuegos (Spain), Everyeye (Italy), Fz (Sweden), Insidegamer & 9lives (Benelux), and Gamespot (Australia) all provided one editor and three competition winners to shoot it out on Splash Damage’s innovative new shooter.

Held at the Splash Damage’s studio, the tournament kicked off with a titanic clash between old sporting rivals – UK and Australia. Perhaps it was the jetlag, or just the very fact that they’d spent 24hrs on an aeroplane, but Australia narrowly lost to the UK team in a tightly fought opening match.

Read more after the break…

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Brink Community Q&A, Part 2 (plus a dedicated server update)

Update: The Brink PC dedicated server is now available in the “Tools” section of Steam. We expect an updated version of the server will also be released in a few hours.

As we count down the hours to Brink’s release, here’s part 2 of our community Q&A with Paul Wedgwood. Thanks to everyone for sending in great questions!

If you missed the part 1 of the Q&A, you can catch up here.

Can we have some details on clan support?  – ZernoK

We’re working on something for our stats site that will involve clans. More details on that soon!

How is the multiplayer lobby going to work?  – Asian Jello

Brink doesn’t have multiplayer lobbies in the traditional sense – you can jump directly into your buddies’ matches using the friends list. If none of your friends are online – don’t worry. Brink will first check if there’s a match already going that matches your parameters. If there is, you can hop right into the action. If not, it’ll start a new match with AI filling out the rest of the players until human players join in and replace them seamlessly. For us, it was really all about getting you into the match of your choice as quickly as possible and minimizing the time you spend waiting around.

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