AV Valhalla

* Update: 11/26/2020: Ubisoft announced patch 1.0.4 for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, and it is scheduled to arrive today (conveniently, just before black Friday).

Here are the download sizes, and patch arrival times for each system:

  • Xbox Series X|S: ~5.3 GB @ 1pm CET | 7am EDT | 4am PDT | 11pm AEDT
  • Xbox One: ~4.9 GB @ 1pm CET | 7am EDT | 4am PDT | 11pm AEDT
  • PlayStation 5: ~2.5 GB @ 1pm CET | 7am EDT | 4am PDT | 11pm AEDT
  • PlayStation 4: ~4.1 GB @ 1pm CET | 7am EDT | 4am PDT | 11pm AEDT
  • PC: ~4.3 GB @ 1pm CET | 7am EDT | 4am PDT | 11pm AEDT

The patch promises to fix various issues, such as screen tearing (xbox consoles), and overall world stability. Hopefully this takes care of the floating horses (and cows), and the fact that Eivor would at times get stuck in some odd places across Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla‘s giant landscape.

Here is a full run down of the patch’s notes:

Quality/Performance Mode Introduction

Added an option to the game that allows players to choose between Performance or Visual Quality.

Feature breakdown:

  • This option is available for Xbox Series X|S & PlayStation 5 versions of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.
  • Choosing Performance allows the game to adapt the resolution and graphic settings to maintain 60 FPS.
  • Choosing Quality enables the game to run maximum resolution and graphic settings while maintaining 30 FPS.
  • Default values since the launch of the game are as follows:
  • Xbox Series X / PlayStation 5: Performance
  • Xbox Series S: Quality

Miscellaneous

  • Added a new background image to the title screen.
  • Added various VFX to enhance visuals.
  • Added an option that will automatically assign all nodes on the path when acquiring a central skill.
  • Added rune categories to the rune menu. All runes are now categorized in Weapon & Armor runes.
  • Added a warning when switching from a language that supports TTS to one that doesn’t.
  • Sliders can now be moved with left/right arrows on M&K and controllers.
  • Increased fabric limit to 82.
  • Added fabric to traders once the settlement has reached Level 6.
  • Added offering altar requirements to the world map.

Balancing

  • Updated gear quality and gear to their correct values.
  • Added Assassination damage stats on the character stats page.
  • Removed duplicate gear from inventory.
  • Heavy and light attack stats will now adjust correctly based on acquired skill nodes.
  • Heavy attack modifiers will no longer be applied to range attacks.

Performance and Stability

  • Improved stability and performance.
  • (Xbox Series) Improved experience on Xbox Series S | X consoles including screen tearing
  • (PC) Addressed a VRAM/RAM leakage issue when alt tabbing to desktop.

Save Games

  • Corrected some instances where Load Game would not display save games correctly.
  • Renamed Cloud saves to make them more distinguishable from regular saves.
  • Removed Cloud saves from the Save menu. This will ensure that it cannot be overwritten unintentionally.
  • Added a notification when a cloud save retrieval has failed.

Graphics, Audio, Animation

  • Addressed various graphical issues across the board.
  • Addressed various FX issues.
  • Addressed various instances of clipping issues.
  • Addressed various visual issues with Eivor’s cloak.
  • Addressed various instances of player or NPC animation issues.
  • Addressed various audio issues.
  • Addressed various lighting issues.
  • Shadow resolution on High will now use correct values.

World

  • Addressed various texture or object placement issues.
  • Addressed some instances where the player could become stuck in specific locations.
  • Fish in Norway will now spawn in bad weather.
  • Crows will no longer randomly fall from the sky in Asgard.

Gameplay, Combat, AI

  • Addressed various bow-aiming issues.
  • Improved NPC and Boss behavior across the board.
  • NPCs will now react to the player stealing…so think twice before stealing!
  • Addressed an issue where dogs would start levitating when Eivor starts to pet them.
  • Blocking Springald projectiles will now consume stamina, as intended.
  • Zealots that were hit with a sleep dart can now be stun attacked. Sleep tight.
  • Zealots will no longer heal themselves while in player vicinity.
  • Guards who clearly saw Eivor shoot their ally will now turn hostile. 
  • Guards will now hear the impact of dead bodies dropping to the ground.
  • Improved guard reactions to whistling.
  • Improved disguise behavior in distrust zones.
  • Shooting bows from the Longship now consumes arrows.
  • Players will now be able to air-assassinate sleeping NPCs.
  • Improved fish-reeling behavior.
  • Addressed an issue where the horse wouldn’t use the gallop animation in combat.
  • The crowd will now cheer during drinking games.
  • Reworked sliding mechanic.

Quests, World Events, Side Activities 

Assasin's Creed: Valhalla Horse
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla has had issues with floating horses, and other fauna, issues which patch 1.0.4 intends to fix.
  • Addressed an issue where the assassination sequence wouldn’t play for some targets.
  • Addressed various texture issues during cutscenes.
  • Addressed various issues with quests or world events that prevented players from completing them.
  • Players can no longer use the fishing tool or the horn during the drunk walk with Tewdr
  • Sub quests will now display the correct “Part of” parent quest.
  • The memory stream can now be chosen when starting a New Game if Hold Alternative option is set to ON.
  • Increased frequency of experienced travelers.

User Interface / HUD

  • Addressed various issues with the User Interface/HUD.
  • Addressed various localization issues.
  • Addressed various Mouse- and Keyboard-related input issues
  • Secrets will now be discovered when synchronizing a Viewpoint. (This does not apply to Pathfinder difficulty)
  • Experienced travelers are now highlighted on the world map and on the compass when in proximity.
  • Addressed an issue where the map wouldn’t update once players got intel from an experienced traveler.
  • Increased Odin’s Sight radius and enemies will now be highlighted for longer.
  • Improved radius in which Synin reveals keys.
  • Reduced Synin’s view distance of materials.
  • Improved the objective beam behavior.
  • Settlement building beams can now be seen using Odin’s Sight.
  • Improved enemy target-lock mechanic.
  • “Sell all trinkets” will now be greyed out after all trinkets were sold.
  • Bosses’ power levels will now be displayed on their health gauge. This does not apply to regular enemies.
  • Regular brightness settings will no longer apply to HDR exposure settings.
  • The Codex will no longer foreshadow or spoil some events.
  • (A11y) Desktop entries and content on Layla’s laptop are now narrated when Menu Narration is ON.
  • (A11y) Colorblind filters are now applied correctly to mini-quest log and raid tutorial.

Abilities and Skills

  • Addressed an issue where players couldn’t use any abilities anymore when the Dive of the Valkyries ability was interrupted.
  • Ally NPCs or horses can no longer trigger body traps.
  • Addressed a display issue where the poisonous powder trap could become invisible after using Synin.
  • Adjusted chain-assassination behavior. Players will no longer be able to assassinate a target who was tackled to the ground.
  • The Secondary hand slot will no longer be available when a two-handed weapon is equipped (pre-heavy dual-wield skill).
  • Flaming powder traps will now explode when walking over the arrow.

Raids

  • “Force Open” will now be displayed correctly even if nearby allies are in combat.
  • Addressed an issue where allies would not help Eivor to open a door during Raids.
  • Allies will now return to the longship once a raid is complete.
  • Added a timer until players can restart a raid that was just completed.

Photo Mode

  • Effect values can now be adjusted with arrow keys or WASD.
  • The no-filter option will now work correctly.
  • The Territory panel is no longer displayed in Photo Mode.
  • Changing filters will now work as intended.
  • Addressed an issue where an Online Service Error could occur temporarily when looking at photos on the world map.
  • Snow FX will now center to the camera instead of the player in Photo Mode.

System

  • (PC) Updated readme files to show correct PC specifications.
  • Added additional checkpoints to some boss fights.
  • Addressed an issue that led controllers to vibrate constantly.
  • Addressed an issue where players could become stuck in a black screen after closing the menu with start.
  • (PC) Updated the autodetect config for Nvidia Geforce 1650 S.

Stay tuned to our site, as our review of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla will arrive this week detailing whether the patch fixed some of these issues, or if by contrast, lots of work remains to be done on the game by Ubisoft.

For more information concerning Patch 1.0.4 visit Ubisoft’s own site here.

* Update 11/18/20: Since we first made this report, Ubisoft deployed a ‘hot fix’ that fixes the “Seer’s Solace” quest bug in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.

Because this is a server side fix, gamers do not have to download an update. As long as their console is connected to the internet, the quest bug should automatically receive the fix.

We are still waiting for patch 1.03 (rumored to arrive at the end of the month), as the screen tearing problem on Xbox consoles has yet to be fixed. However, playing on a 120Hz Variable Refresh Rate capable screen seems to fix the issue. Unfortunately, the vast majority of gamers play on 60Hz TVs, so we expect Ubisoft to address this bug sooner rather than later.

 

The latest installment in the long running Assassin’s Creed series, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, takes the series into a new and exciting nordic direction. The game has been a monumental success for Ubisoft, as its launch coincided with the Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5 launches.

However, despite the game’s commercial success there have been issues.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Has a Horrible Screen Tearing Issue on Xbox Consoles

Ubisoft has yet to comment on the reasons why Xbox consoles are having to deal with screen tearing issues when the PlayStation versions are free of such hindrances.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is running on the same Anvil engine that powered its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.  I can testify that AC: Odyssey is one of the more stunning looking open world games on Xbox One X. There is not a trace of screen tearing present on that title which makes Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s issues all the more unexcusable.

Clearly, Ubisoft didn’t optimize for Xbox Consoles, as even the mighty Xbox Series X is struggling with the issue. So, how bad is the screen tearing? Terrible.

I am currently playing the game on my Xbox One X for this site’s official review, and while in motion, in both gameplay and cutscenes the screen can tear every few seconds. It is very noticeable. So noticeable in fact, that unless Ubisoft patches the game before I submit my final review, I will be forced to deduct a full point off the over all game’s score.

It is a shame, as Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla might be the best entry in the series so far, but the frequency at which the screen tearing occurs has toned down my enjoyment of the game to a large degree.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
Traversable lands in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla stretch as far as the eye can see, and far beyond. Regrettably, the Xbox versions of the game suffer from  frequent amounts of screen tearing.

Patch 1.02 Has Broken Some People’s Playthrough

I have to assume that the eventual 1.03 patch will be massive. Because it seems that PlayStation 4 owners escaped the screen tearing issues only to run into a game breaking bug if they installed patch 1.02 (which most people did).

Installing the patch causes the “Seers Solace” quest triggers to disappear, thus making further progress into the game’s story an impossibility. This particular quest happens early (2 hours) into the game. So, many of these gamers have uninstalled the game, and installed it again without updating to patch 1.02.

Performing the steps mentioned above will fix the quest issue, and yet, uninstalling the game isn’t a viable alternative for many gamers. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is very ‘Skyrim like’ in the sense that you can choose to go your own way through the gigantic Norwegian map right from the get go. You can traverse dozens, if not hundreds of virtual miles while raiding Viking camps, plundering riches, and completing a plethora of interesting side-quests (it takes after The Witcher 3 in that area).

If you are completist, is it likely that you can spend 10-20 hours just doing all of these extracurricular activities before you even get to follow the main story quests. For those gamers, uninstalling isn’t an option, nor should it be.

Then there is the gamer camp that supports ‘in-game’ purchases (which is, in my opinion, one of the evils of modern gaming). Gamers in this camp are reporting the loss of their purchases after uninstalling and reinstalling the game. Needless to say, Ubisoft has dug itself into a deep hole here.

Ubisoft has been irresponsible in releasing the game in this ‘buggy’ state, but at the same time these issues are likely a result of COVID-19 impacting the playtesting and work hours that are required for the completion of an open world game of this magnitude.

Let’s us hope that – the yet to be announced – patch 1.03 can solve all of these issues, as Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is an amazing game that is being hindered by some strange bugs at the moment.

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By Samuel Rivera

An avid video game player and book reader, Samuel has been playing video games for the last 31 years. He has played nearly every PS1 JRPG known to man, and loves Ocarina of Time more than any other game.