Colleges across the US and Canada are adopting virtual student IDs

Technology

The Verge 04 August, 2021 - 12:59pm 55 views

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Apple Wallet has supported contactless student IDs since 2018, with three US universities supporting the feature at launch. The program has been gradually expanding ever since. Yesterday, the company announced that its virtual IDs will finally arrive in Canada this fall. An unspecified number of additional US universities will adopt it for the first time as well.

The University of New Brunswick and Sheridan College will be the first two Canadian schools to use Apple Wallet IDs. The new US roster includes Auburn, Northern Arizona University, University of Maine, and New Mexico State University, in addition to “many more colleges across the country.” The University of Alabama, one of the program’s early adopters, will also be the first school to issue exclusively mobile student IDs (to students with eligible devices) this fall. (Those with Android phones can use the digital cards through Google Pay.)

Apple claims that “tens of thousands of college students” will have access to the feature during this upcoming school year.

In theory, the virtual student ID should offer all the functionality of a regular student ID — holders can access restricted areas of campus or pay for amenities like food and laundry by placing their iPhone or Apple Watch near a physical reader. Transaction history isn’t shared with Apple or stored on Apple’s servers.

The new student ID format is part of Apple’s larger effort to expand Apple Wallet’s functionality. The app can also store hotel room keys with the release of iOS 15 and will support driver’s licenses and state IDs.

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Amazon's MMO 'New World' Has Been Delayed Yet Again

Collider 04 August, 2021 - 03:19pm

'New World' will be a little older when it’s finally released.

The release date for Amazon’s highly anticipated MMO New World has been delayed yet again, from August 31 to September 28. The latest delay for the game was announced on Twitter by Amazon Studios with a message that touted the success of New World’s recent closed beta and emphasized that the additional time will be used to address player feedback. "We want New World's launch to be a smooth and fun experience for all players, and that means some improvements based on what you encountered during the Closed Beta,” the studio wrote.

The New World team emphasized that they plan to use the extra time gained from the delay to fix bugs, improve the game’s stability, and deliver a more polished experience. "We know this isn't the first time we've changed our launch date in pursuit of quality, and that it can be disappointing to wait a bit longer. But we want to be sure we deliver the highest quality game possible at launch," the studio concludes.

Amazon previously delayed the game from a scheduled February release to August of this year. Although it will surely disappoint fans who are anticipating New World’s launch later this month, it makes sense for Amazon Studios to take the additional time to ensure a smooth launch for its new MMO given its history. Amazon’s first adventure in the MMO market was cut short when they first unreleased and then canceled Crucible in October of 2020.

The fact that early reception of New World has been largely positive is also a good reason for the studio to handle the game’s wide release with care. The closed beta for the game saw New World peak at 200,000 concurrent players on Steam, ranking as among the most popular games on the platform at the time just behind established franchises like Grand Theft Auto V and Apex Legends. New World is now officially set for a release on September 28. See the full announcement below:

Amazon delays its MMO New World, again

MMORPG.com 04 August, 2021 - 01:56pm

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Amazon Game Studios has delayed its upcoming MMO, New World, to fall 2021. The game was previously scheduled to launch at the end of August, but the new release date is Sept. 28, 2021.

This is the most recent of multiple delays for the game. “We know that this isn’t the first time we’ve changed our launch date in pursuit of quality, and that it can be disappointing to wait a bit longer,” the developers said. “But we want to be sure we deliver you the highest quality game possible at launch.” The team cited feedback from the closed beta as a factor in pushing back the game.

You can read the full statement on New World’s Twitter page here.

The aforementioned delays started in April, where the studio cited problems created by the coronavirus lockdowns. In July 2020, the studio announced that the game would be delayed to spring 2021. Then, in February 2021, the studio delayed it once more to August, 2021. The original target date was May, 2020.

New World is an MMO where you’re tasked with colonizing a fictional landmass in the Atlantic. The game features 50-on-50 fights where entire groups clash to take the land. Amazon previously hosted a preview event with thousands of players to gather feedback. Then, it became a chaotic attempt to simulate mid-1600s war.

New World is one of three PC games announced by Amazon Game Studios at TwitchCon 2016. However, delays and cancellations have impacted all three titles. Their multiplayer brawler Breakaway was canceled during development. Their other title, Crucible launched in May 2020, only for the studio to un-release the game and bring it back into a closed beta. The team later ceased development of Crucible in October.

By ErdrickTiael on 08.04.21 3:09pm

Noooooooo. The Beta was just fine, the game is in playable condition and people were literally wasting hundreds of hours in the game with the knowledge that their progress would be wiped. Unless they’re planning on making PvE questing more interesting I’m not sure what more they can add in a month.

By SyFyFan on 08.04.21 3:21pm

when it’s a month isnt that usually bug fixes and the like? i dont think theyll be adding content in such a short time

incidentally, have you tried this game? is it good? ive been wanting to dip my toe into MMO’s again but i get so bored of them so fast since theyre all basically WoW with a different coat of paint

By Jigabachi on 08.04.21 3:24pm

I played it for 5 hours just to dip my toes in PvE and PvP. Didn’t want to get burned out on it but I know someone who put 120 hours in game within the week period that beta was open. The only major bug I heard about was the disappearing trees as well as the gold glitches some people were doing.

By SyFyFan on 08.04.21 3:30pm

there were reports of the game killing some 3090 graphics cards so i’m sure theyre looking into working with nvidia to get game ready launch drivers out.

By Jim Cherry on 08.04.21 3:31pm

They had since released a patch which resolves the graphics cards heating up insanely at title screen. Definitely not a good thing but players who run the game with Vsync ON, as well as just leaving their driver settings just all as the defaults, didn’t appear to run into issues.

It’s when a combination players who have overclocked their GPUs, tweaked their driver settings as well as forced VSYNC off, bricked their 3090s – although the players who purchased EVGA cards, were able to apply for a warranty cross-ship. But by no means did this issue only affect EVGA cards. The game was definitely doing something that’s caused intense heat to be generated on the card, but this was patched, with Amazon taking no responsibility or admitting it was a problem.

By gommerthus on 08.04.21 4:57pm

Gotta delay a bit more to get a jab in at the 40xx series cards.

By Shadowfire on 08.04.21 8:48pm

As someone who worked on a shipped MMO, I may have some insight for you.

As a result of the beta they probably have a mile-long list of bugs and almost all of them will be quick fixes. It’s just the sheer volume of them that is trouble. Everything from "if you do this sequence of stuff in the UI the buttons get greyed out" to "the pathfinding wigs out for this enemy type in this area" to "framerate hits the floor if you look a certain direction in this out of the way place". These can be handled incrementally, and on their own they’re no big deal, but together they make a real impact on the quality of the game. Most of the programmers, designers, artists and animators will be churning through these bugfixes right now, and QA will be making sure there are no knock-on bugs.

In addition, there are bigger systems and content that were previously cut from launch. Either they were just descoped entirely, or pushed to a post-launch patch, or rolled back to be redesigned or whatever. An extra month is enough time to take a handful of those – depending on how much is left to do on them – and get them into the game for the new launch date. A minority of the team will be working on this.

Lastly, delaying launch by a month pushes the entire live team’s work out by a month. Once the game ships it needs regular updates to keep people interested. Plenty has already been planned for this, but some of it will be modified based on the beta. The live team now has an extra month to build up content, to plan and to hit the ground running after launch day. Most of the team will be taking downtime after launch and managing that transition is tricky, so being able to stretch it out can be helpful.

That’s three different sets of work with three different scopes and three different timelines, but an extra month will let all of them be measurably better. The most immediate benefits will be diffuse, but they’ll matter in terms of retaining players. The further-out benefits will be more concrete. Lastly, let’s talk money. You can estimate it costs Amazon roughly $15,000 per month per person working on the game, and there are probably 150 such people. That means Amazon is spending over $2 million to delay the launch. They’re a hard-headed company, so I have to think they are confident they’ll make that money back and more over, say, the first two years of the game from those improvements.

By grahamwest on 08.04.21 7:50pm

Friends have said that the Grind gets real, hopefully they ease on that front. It’s actually a good sign that they’re willing to delay, probably, as the beta seems mostly solid but they’re not as willing to push out an unfinished product fast.

By Migol on 08.04.21 3:27pm

mmos tend to balance themselves over time so i wouldnt expect any balance changes for grind in the first few months.

By Jim Cherry on 08.04.21 3:33pm

Is there uh… any more information about the world/story of this game? Because a screenshot of a game called "New World", a subscript that talks about "colonization" as the goal, and the fact that everyone in the only screenshot looks to be a stereotypically white European seems like a PR disaster waiting to happen.

By k3omg on 08.04.21 3:51pm

i believe there was a lot of backlash when it was first announced so they stripped a lot of that out. now its just you get shipwrecked on this magic island and are trying to stop the corruption. I only played a bit of the beta but other than ruins, i think there are no indegenous people to displace, harrass, enslave, or otherwise cause a very bad time.

By MiniColossus on 08.04.21 4:18pm

You wash up on a magical lost island with no native inhabitants. You’re only fighting wildlife and other stranded people (corrupted and non-corrupted). NPC’s seem to have a wide variety of random skin colors. So they really took out the aspects you’re concerned with.

By Nakovi on 08.04.21 4:49pm

They’re saying it’s delayed to just "Fall 2021". It’s already Aug 4th at this time of writing and that’s not a lot of time if we’re honest.

If I were them, and it looks like there’s a lot of work ahead of them – I would have pushed it to Winter 2021 or even Q1 2022. Just another month or two is not a lot of time.

By gommerthus on 08.04.21 4:59pm

I have major issues with games celebrating the "Age of Exploration" from a purely European perspective, as much as I enjoy the visual aesthetic and storytelling potential of the era.

The erasure of Indigenous peoples from history and in pop culture is genocide. I don’t care that New World is set on "a magical island with no native life" if the people exploring that magical island look, dress, act, and use the weaponry of the soldiers who systematically murdered, displaced, and conquered the original peoples of the Americas and Caribbean. You’re still putting on the historical costume of a conqueror and by removing any mention of indigenous people, players get to experience the power fantasy of a conquerer without that darned colonial guilt.

The fact that the player is battling "unholy, corrupted" settlers doesn’t make it better: I’m sure the Catholic Church and other organizations used similar terminology to describe European settlers who attempted to co-exist with Indigenous peoples.

We don’t have to look far in video games to see how this exact situation has been fumbled: Greedfall came out only two years ago!

By Colin Munch on 08.04.21 7:50pm

Nonsense. The story isn’t about Colonialism anymore. It’s actually a very original story about a bunch of alternate-fantasy-history explorers arriving on a magical island and taming the newly discovered land while violently cleansing the savage and corrupted inhabitants so that they can make a new home for themselves there.

By Sethendal on 08.04.21 9:33pm

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Amazon delays New World another month

Gamesradar 04 August, 2021 - 01:32pm

In a statement touting impressive turnout for New World's recent closed beta, Amazon Games says it needs a little more time to iron out some kinks and address early access feedback. Instead of launching on August 31, as was the most recent plan, New World has a new release date of September 28, 2021.

"We want New World's launch to be a smooth and fun experience for all players, and that means making some improvements based on what you encountered during Closed Beta," reads the statement as shared to Twitter. "So we're going to take a few extra weeks to smash bugs, improve stability, and polish the game."

New World just wrapped its nearly two week-long closed beta after having attracted over a million players, who racked up more than 16 million hours of playtime. Amazon notes that New World was one of the most-viewed games on Twitch, as well as among the most played on Steam during its closed beta run. Despite New World's popularity, Amazon also acknowledges its somewhat fickle release schedule (this is the fourth delay so far, if we're counting).

"This was not an easy decision to make," the statement continues. "We know this isn't the first time we've changed our launch date in pursuit of quality, and that it can be disappointing to wait a bit longer. But we want to be sure we deliver you the highest quality game possible at launch. Thank you for your support and feedback. We're listening. We'll see you in Aeternum."

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