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Have there been any updates to the tools for working with ini files?

In my case right now I am doing a fully functional options menu. Now I looked into doing things with save game and it seems like a bad way to handle saving what video mode the game is currently in or if the player should switch weapons on pickup.
Its all very basic options menu stuff. FOV and all kinds of stuff like that which is pretty much all in existing INI files. I can do console commands to modify the settings but not sure how to read them.

Have there been any updates to the blueprint system on this front?

You mean something like this?

https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?3851-(39)-Rama-s-Extra-Blueprint-Nodes-for-You-as-a-Plugin-No-C-Required!&p=179747&viewfull=1#post179747

Yep and it works great.