PC is the age-old platform when it comes to gaming, but it's always evolving. While 2016 brought us a new generation of Nvidia graphics cards that redefined performance-to-price value, 2017 was the year AMD got back into the fold in a big way with high-end video cards and multi-core processors. The PC wasn't showered with exclusive games, but many of the year's standouts live on the platform. With both new hardware launches and platform-specific games, we had a strong year for on PC. Here's our look back at what made PC gaming special in 2017.
Quality Over Quantity For PC Games
When we think back to some of the greatest PC RPGs of all time, the likes of Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and the Ultima series come to mind. But in 2017, PC gamers were treated to something truly special in Divinity: Original Sin 2. The CRPG from Larian Studios had a somewhat unconventional path, in that the team used Kickstarter in 2015 to help fund the game's development. It then went into Steam early access in 2016 and fully launched in September this year. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a modern realization of the classic D&D RPGs that came before it, but when you factor the depth of character creation, dialogue options, story branches, and combat scenarios, its seemingly infinite permutations transcend the best of the genre. It even left its mark in GameSpot history by earning a 10/10 review score. Having sold a million copies in two months, we're not the only ones to think highly of Original Sin 2.
Looking at another PC-centric genre, Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (or PUBG) thrusted the battle-royal-style game into the mainstream. Like it or not, you can't talk about games in 2017 without mentioning PUBG. Even though it lives in early access, the game sold over 20 million copies in less than a year, and occasionally tops the free-to-play MOBA phenomenon of Dota 2 in concurrent players on Steam. Brendan "Playerunknown" Greene had been involved in developing battle royale game modes in the past, but nothing took off quite like PUBG. It tops Twitch views over League of Legends, and countless stories of winning chicken dinners are told everyday. There's something special about dropping 100 players on a desolate island with the sole objective of scavenging for weapons to murder each other. The game is set for an official release before the year ends, but the hours we've already poured into it are a testament to how well it executed this genre, technical shortcomings aside.
While those two games are arguably the biggest stories for PC this year, you shouldn't overlook incredible releases that didn't dominate the headlines. Total War: Warhammer II built off its predecessor by introducing new races and tactics along with a tight single-player campaign. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen may have just been an expansion, but it's a prime example of how post-release content can drastically change a base game for the better. Additional factions and the new bond system brought another layer to the fold in the already-deep XCOM 2. Lastly, if you browse the Steam marketplace for long enough, you'd realize how many visual novels (some much more obscure than others) are out there. But one stood out in terms of flipping genre tropes on their head: Doki Doki Literature Club. It may seem like a cop-out to say 'you need to see it for yourself,' but it's the best way to approach it.
Port Authority Concludes: Satisfactory
In this era of PC gaming, the quality of a port always comes into question. Thankfully, we didn't have the same caliber of issues as past years, and 2017 is indicative of how much things have improved. Regardless of your feelings on Destiny 2, there's no denying that it feels true to the PC platform in both technical performance and controls. Bungie brought on Vicarious Visions to port the once-console-exclusive franchise. The PC version came out seven weeks after the game hit consoles, but consistent framerates and proper performance scaling with graphics options made for a relatively smooth launch. Keyboard and mouse controls were on point, which drove home the notion that PC is the best platform to enjoy the game. You probably also did a double take when you saw it living on Activision-Blizzard's Battle.net ecosystem.
The long-standing fighting franchise, Tekken, also made its PC debut. By using Unreal Engine 4, Bandai-Namco was able to bring Tekken 7 to PC with relative ease. This entry is instantly recognizable for series fans, but newcomers would find a deep 3D fighter with the dramatic-yet-ridiculous narrative intact.
The quality of games ported from console is becoming more consistent, and it should be the expectation at this point.
Although there isn't a VR component yet, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard found a home on the PC. No PC game will have a perfect launch, but the highly-regarded survival-horror thriller, by-and-large, runs well. The Dark Souls-like game Nioh made it's way to PC about 10 months after the PlayStation 4 release, and it's better late than never. It's not a perfect port since it offers limited options, but it's another great game that came to the platform this year.
It wasn't all rainbows and sunshine for PC ports, however. Nier: Automata is one of 2017's standout games for its narrative accomplishments and fusion of many gameplay styles, but the PC version has technical issues that haven't been patched, even nine months after release. Resolution problems, sound bugs, unintuitive control schemes, and inconsistent framerate lead to the rare case of preferring to play it on a different platform. Many fans of immersive sims like System Shock 2 and the Deus Ex found Prey to be one of the genre's best. However, some had lost progress through Talos I with save-corrupting bugs.
You Get More CPU Cores! You Get More CPU Cores!
There will always be new PC hardware hitting the market, but it typically takes several years for something revolutionary to come. While you could say that 2016 was the year of powerful video cards, there's no denying that 2017 was the year of great processors. Intel had been largely unchallenged in the CPU space with its Core i5 and Core i7 lineups dominating mid-range and high-end gaming PCs, but AMD disrupted the market and changed expectations of what CPUs should offer. With the Ryzen family of CPUs, AMD brought quality multithreaded eight-core and six-core configurations at a much cheaper price than anything before it. For example, the eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 1700X can be found floating around $350 at the moment, which is similar to the price of Intel's quad-core i7-7700K CPU. While Ryzen isn't as effective in pure in-game performance, its price and core count is an extremely attractive option for those who multitask with demanding applications, such as gaming and streaming from the same system.
This new standard for CPUs means PCs are capable of doing much more, much faster, all at the same time, without breaking the bank.
Intel followed up by releasing its 8th generation in the Core series of CPUs. Since 2008, Intel's flagship consumer-level processors featured a quad-core configuration, but the company packed two additional cores with release of the multithreaded i7-8700K and i7-8700. Even the mid-tier i5-8600K and i5-8400 CPUs sport six cores, and the low-end i3-8350 and i3-8100 are now quad-core processors--i5 and i3 don't feature multithreading, though. It may not sound like much, but this new standard for CPUs means PCs are capable of doing much more, much faster, all at the same time, without breaking the bank.
If you don't pay close attention to the world of PC hardware, the takeaway is that we're getting more performance for our money and trends set in motion in 2017 will definitely be felt for years to come.
Half-step Forward For Video Cards
CPUs took center stage in terms of new PC gaming hardware in 2017, but there were still meaningful strides made with video cards. AMD made a splash again by releasing the much-anticipated RX Vega cards, putting the tired "wait for Vega" meme to rest. Both the RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 allowed AMD to compete at the high-end against Nvidia's GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, respectively. The comparable cards trade blows in gaming benchmarks; Vega wasn't the jump many were hyping it up to be, but it's important to remember that in PC hardware, competition pushes innovation.
Even Nvidia significantly outdid themselves at the high-end with the GTX 1080 Ti that came out in March. It outperforms the GTX 1080 by roughly 30-35%, which is the largest improvement between a Ti and non-Ti version of Nvidia graphics cards. The strong showing of AMD's RX Vega 56 also prompted Nvidia to put out the GTX 1070 Ti. At the sub-$500 price point for graphics cards, PC gamers have plenty of great options.
Renewed competition from AMD in PC hardware not only leads to better options for building computers, but we're getting more performance per dollar spent.
If you talk about video cards in 2017 though, there's no overlooking the cryptocurrency mining craze that drove prices through the roof. Etherium mining was most efficiently done with mid-range GPUs, which led to price spikes in the GTX 1070, GTX 1060, RX 580, and RX 570. Around June and July, these four cards were being sold for over double their suggested retail price due to scarcity and reseller markup. The effects are still felt today, but to much lesser degree; these cards still sell slightly higher than retail price.
Throughout 2017, prices for DDR4 RAM remained higher than years past.
The Oculus Rift and Touch controller bundle dropped to $400 and the HTC Vive dipped to $600. Virtual reality is getting cheaper, but you'll have to read our VR 2017 Report Card for all the details!
There's a lot to be happy about in 2017 when it comes to PC gaming. Some truly exceptional games hit the platform, like Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, that led to hours devising tactics with friends and basking in the glory of coming out victorious in hard-fought battles. If you played a multiplatform game, chances are it ran fairly well on PC, with a few exceptions. Overall, the quality of games ported from console is becoming more consistent, and it should be the expectation at this point. Despite video card price spikes, renewed competition from AMD in PC hardware not only leads to better options for building computers, but we're getting more performance per dollar spent. When we look back, it has been a strong year for gaming's oldest platform.
PUBG and Divinity: Original Sin 2 are exceptional games for the platform
Great ports, for the most part
AMD is competitive again in both CPUs and GPUs
More bang-for-the-buck and competition in the CPU space
VR is cheaper
Cryptocurrency mining over-inflated GPU prices for much of the year
RAM prices remain high
Technical bugs weighed down a few otherwise great games
TKC servers are well run and every attempt is made to ensure a fun gaming environment. No racist or rude behavior is tolerated on any of our servers. TKC tries to have round the clock administration for it's servers but obviously sometimes a server will have no admin playing so if you witness any abuse for any game please attempt to report the offending players nickname, and if possible GUID here: "Server Vistors Complaint". Just give as many details as you can remember such as what the player was doing/saying. In addition cheating is not tolerated on our servers. We are protected by any of a number of different cheat tools at any given time including; VAC, steambans.com, pbbans.com, ggc-stream.com, metabans, pbscreens.com and punkbuster, depending on the game. If caught cheating your information will be submitted to the appropriate cheat tracker and you will be added to their database which will ban your Steam ID, PB GUID or EA GUID depending on the game and website.
When available we also offer ways for players, in-game, to contact admins to report bad behavior. These come in the form of game server plugins. Players will, if the server has the option available, have the option to report a player using, @report [player] [reason] or @admin [reason] to call an admin to the server. If an admin doesn't respond in a timely manner, please use the @report option so we can follow up on it later or use "Server Vistors Complaint" as mentioned above. If an admin is not available, we also try to give the players the opportunity to use @votekick [player] or @voteban [player] [reason]. This allows the guests to our server the ability to kick or temporarily ban a player who is breaking rules.
Profanity - Many of the games we play have very bad language, some don't, that should make a difference in how we enforce our rules. For that reason we are going to implement a new rule, which will seem strange at first, but there is reason behind it. Bad language will only be tolerated on Teamspeak channels for games where there is bad language in the game. In other words, since there is bad language in Bad Company 2, bad language will be acceptable in the Bad Company 2 Teamspeak channel and on the Bad Company 2 servers. On our Half-Life 2 DM Teamspeak channel and game server, bad language will not be allowed. Future games will also be handled in this manner. The reason, we do not want to exclude members with different beliefs. If I buy a game and one of the selling points for me was the fact that it did not have bad language, that should be respected. I do not want a father or grandfather having to explain bad language to their children or grandchildren because they heard profanity on a TKC Teamspeak channel they thought was free of such things.
How to deal with with Mic/Text spammers - No one wants to listen to a lot of unrelated chatter either on the game server, or Teamspeak. No one wants to see a lot of text spamming either. It's distracting to some, and in the case of Bad Company 2, causes lag problems when the text log gets too long. If someone is talking or typing too much, respectfully ask them to stop. If they continue, you may have to mute or kick them, and if they continue after that, a ban might be in order. When on Teamspeak, a certain amount of "visiting" is fine, but the gamers who want to communicate tactical information to others playing shouldn't have to constantly interrupt talk about the latest CPU, or talk of what's going on at school. If someone is talking too much and you don't feel like you want to address it, PM a clan leader and we can handle the situation.
Team Switching - In some games this is a big no-no and if you are admin for one of those games, ask the player to go back, if they don't and you have the ability, move them back manually. If you continue to have problems, kick/ban them. In other games, like Bad Company 2, team switching usually isn't as big a deal. Sometimes friends or clan members might want to play together, in that case, try to facilitate them and swap some people around. This will show you to be respectful of community and they will probably be very appreciative of your efforts. If there is a mass exodus of people from a bad team to a good team, you can mention in-game that people need to stop. If someone is ignoring you and continues to unbalance the teams, just kick them off the server. For a game like Half-Life 2, teams change after each round, so trying to put clan members together is just a waste of time, that is why team switching is considered bad.
Hacking/Cheating - This is the most overused excuse for kicking someone off of a server. Players are unjustly booted off servers all the time simply because they were too good. That is not fair. Do not base a decision on cheating on a single round, if it isn't really ridiculous score-wise, sometimes people just have great rounds. But if they continue to have an unbelievable K/D ratio, then you might need to ban them. Sometimes it might be necessary to ban someone just because they are killing the server. For me, this is the thing I hate to do the most. That person might be doing nothing wrong, other than being really good at a game. Try to put yourself in their shoes and only ban guys who are really obvious. I don't want to see anyone being banned for an aimbot because they went 29-0. I and many others have had a better score than that, it DOES happen. You have to consider how the person is playing the game. Are they playing as recon? Are they in the heli with a really good pilot? Sometimes, if you are unsure, it might be best to ask the opinion of a clan leader. Remember, visitors to our servers have the ability and a forum to complain about unjust behavior from our server admins. If someone complains about you, you want to know that you did everything by the book.
Soldier Names/Nicknames - We will not allow names that are offensive to anyone. I think we can all use our best judgement here, but if you are unsure, ask another admin what they think of the name and come to a consensus before taking action. Players using racist names should be perm banned immediately. It does no good talking to someone like that because they're only goal is to cause trouble.
Banter and Trash Talking - Now its okay to joke around, but if several players are going at it constantly on the mic or in chat just nicely ask them to stop. If it continues warn them again that if they don't stop they will be kicked, if for no other reason that mic/text spamming. If they ignore this warning then go ahead and kick them. A certain amount of this is fine as long as it's good natured, however sometimes this can lead to hard feelings so you have to use your best judgement of when something is going too far or things are starting to get out of hand.
Racist/intolerant behavior - This is a subject that we will show no mercy on. If someone is being a racist, and that means they are hating on blacks, whites, browns, yellows, whatever the case may be, they get perm banned. No warnings, no kicks, just ban them. We don't need that kind of intolerant behavior on our servers. I don't care if the person is joking, I don't care what his real intent was, if he's spewing hate speech, he's gone. This also applies to someone who is spewing hate speech against a group of people, like Muslims, Christians, agnostics, atheists whoever. We are a gaming clan. This is our hobby and it's supposed to be fun. Everyone who comes to a TKC server should be respected and able to play the game hassle free. Not everyone believes the same, and if someone can't get over it and comes to our server with an agenda that includes racist or intolerant speech, I expect you guys to bring the hammer down swiftly.
Metabans - We will use Metabans only for cheaters and will verify each ban using Cheat-O-Meter. This will ensure that we are not forcing our Metabans followers into banning players we have banned for breaking rules other than cheating. If we deem you are cheating and Cheat-O-Meter doesn't really indicate cheating and we can not find information about you or your clan tag, meaning there is no website or previous information on you as a player or clan that we can cross reference, we will ban you on our servers, but not Metabans. Clans must have a website that we can find and access to be considered legit, otherwise we will view your tags as hogwash and your suspect behavior will be deemed as cheating. Again, we will not add a ban that is not supported by Cheat-O-Meter to Metabans.
We want everyone to have the best time possible so do your best to maintain a good gaming atmosphere, then everyone can have a good time.
To join TKC you only have to read our "Code of Conduct" and then apply for membership by filling out an online application. After submitting your application you will become a "member candidate". You will be allowed to wear our tags but only as (tkc), all letters in lowercase. As you progress, as seen by our members, you will be advanced to (Tkc), then (TKc) and then finally (TKC). You will receive emails at each step with detailed instructions on what you need to do. To obtain your full membership and the right to wear the (TKC) tags, you will have to pass a vote by the TKC members. Only those members who have gotten to know you will vote. An 80% yes vote will be required for full admission. Please keep in mind that full membership takes 8 weeks.
For you to be accepted you will need to display good manners, sportsmanship, and the ability to follow our rules. This applies to all game server activitiy and forum participation. If you do not feel you can meet our requirements we respectfully ask that you not apply as we have many who want to join and we can not waste time on gamers who are not serious about membership.
So now you're a member of TKC congrats! It is important for you to note that membership in TKC is not a lifetime privilege. Only the clan founders Big Flem and Squidward have lifetime membership and can not be removed. Clan leaders expect it's members to participate in clan activites when they can, and to be an ACTIVE member in the clan. We consider active members to be members who regularly post on the forums, participate in clan activities when possible, and communicates and develops friendships inside the clan. We do NOT consider a member to be active if they only ever play on our servers and nothing more. The leaders of this clan work hard to organize events and if you can't support these activities, can't check and post on the forums at least once or twice a week, then you are not TKC material and eventually you will be kicked from the clan. If you do not think you can meet these requirements as a member of TKC, then please don't attempt to gain entry into the clan as you will only waste your time, and ours.
Beyond administration positions such as "Clan Leader", "Division Leader", etc, the answer is no. However we do have achievable military style ribbons and medals that can be won for various acts. You may see each members ribbon and medal "Display Case" by going to the "Members" tab and under each members profile clicking the "Awards" icon. Below is each award and how you obtain that award. Note that medals also have an associative ribbon:
Ribbons(Hover over information icon for description)
In the past TKC had too many admins on our servers and things got a little out of hand. We are not looking for any new admins, however if we feel you will make a good addition to that team we will ask you. Being a server admin is not fun and games. It requires you to WORK, and follow server administrator rules which are well defined once you become an admin. Our admins are forced to stop playing whatever game they might be playing, and work to secure and maintain server tranquility reguarly. If you are an admin that does not mean you will get to run willy nilly and ban, kick, and torture at will. Admins who do not follow our rules will be stripped of admin duties and power. In addition there are more requirements of admins such as, reguarly checking our server admins forum. Once you become an admin you will be given access to this forum and you must check and read it quite often. It is a way for admins to help one another by posting their thoughts on what is going on, who to watch closely, etc. Do not ask us constantly to be an admin, that is the surest way I know to never become an admin. Our leaders will identify the best candidates for admin duties if we think it necessary.
No. In order to have an official TKC server it must meet certain standards. In addition, we might not want a server for a particular game, and if you aren't an admin, then you shouldn't have admin authority on any server. Official TKC servers have to be setup as close to identical as possible. This means that the clan leaders must have all access to any of it's servers including the ability to restart that server, gain access via FTP and game panel. It means that the clan leaders can setup the server with it's normal settings and add the usual addons. In short, if you want to have your own server then that is fine, but don't try to name it "Boom Boom Room" or tie it in any way to TKC.
Clan TKC maintains several servers that are open to it's clan members and the public. In addition TKC has other expenses that require money. To pay the bills TKC relies on it's members and visitors to donate. Without these donations, TKC will cease to exist. Please consider donating money when you can. We do our best to use the money wisely, to invest in TKC, to invest in PC gaming.
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