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Dragon Quest XI patch condones virtual horse neglect

A terrible precedent

Some might tell you that the latest Dragon Quest XI patch sounds great, lifting the cap on framerate and adding more key binding options to the game our Noa called "a beauty of a JRPG". These people are incorrect. The patch has introduced a grave injustice by allowing people to leave their horses behind. Just think of the sort of monster that would leave a digital horse alone in a land of slimes. The game previously punished such monsters by sometimes making the game crash but now Squeenix say that was a "bug" and they have "fixed" it? So people can abandon their horse without consequence? Terrible. Terrible patch. Terrible news. A terrible precedent.

Squeenix noted in Friday's patch notes:

  • We've identified a bug which can sometimes cause the game to crash when the player is 300m away from their horse on the field, this has been fixed.

That's not a bug; that's a feature. Look after your damn horse. This animal is your best friend and even lets you sit on its back, the least you can do is bring it with you everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I cannot imagine what Squeenix were thinking by condoning virtual horse neglect.

Don't be distracted by that by some of the other, nice-sounding changes in the patch:

  • Players are able to choose between three (Low, Medium, High) pre-set graphic settings before launching the game
  • People's names (such as "Robert") have been removed from the list of prohibited words when selecting the main character’s name at the beginning of the game.
  • It's now possible to move the command selection cursor using the left stick, and by extension WASD on keyboards, with very few exceptions in certain screens.
  • It's now possible to select which key exits the game (by default this is set to Esc) and it's also possible to bind the Esc key to a different function.
  • More frame rate options have been added; 90 fps, 120 fps, 144 fps as well as the option to leave the frame rate unlocked.

Putting the evidence together, I've concluded that a horse-hater named Robert wields an unusual amount of influence over Squeenix. As Americans say: you do the mathematic.

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