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Monday, Nov 23, 2009

  

Final The Old Republic Classes Revealed

StarWarsMMO.net reveals the Sith Inquisitor and Jedi Consular as the final two previously unrevealed classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMORPG, offering translations from an article in the German PC Games Magazine (thanks Shacknews). Darth Hater has a few tidbits from an interview on the topic, and the Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has a confirmation from Sean Dahlberg:

Fans of Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will be in for a treat this week! Several magazines in North America and Europe will have articles that not only talk about The Old Republic but also reveal our final two classes: the Jedi Consular and the Sith Inquisitor!

We will be updating the HoloNet with information about both of these in December, but in the meantime, feel free to participate in discussions within the class areas for both the Jedi Consular and Sith Inquisitor.

New X-Motor Racing and Demo

A new version 1.22 of X-Motor Racing is now available automatically through the client for this racing simulation. Also, the X-Motor Racing Downloads Page has an updated version 1.22 demo with all the changes in the new version, which are as follows:

- Improved Force Feedback code
- Added 3D Tire Model Viewer
- Changes in graphics engine code
- Changes in Clutch Code
- Changes in Transmission Code

Steam Updates

Several new Steam updates are automatically available. There's a new Steam client that addresses Left 4 Dead 2 achievement issues. Several changes and fixes are included in a new Garry's Mod update. Finally, Steam also offers an And Yet It Moves patch with the same changes as the recent manual patch for the puzzle platformer.

Borderlands: Zombie Island of Dr. Ned Trailer

The launch trailer for Borderlands: Zombie Island of Dr. Ned shows off the DLC coming to the console editions of Gearbox's role-playing shooter tomorrow, and to Windows at a later time. The clip is available on the YouTube and also on Worthplaying.

Blizzard on Release Dates

Blizzard: ‘Who Knows’ When Diablo III Will Ship? on Techland has a bit from Rob Pardo on recent indications that Diablo III is a ways off. "We always announce all of our games too early," says the Blizzard executive video president, who admits this clarity has not helped them remedy the situation: "We realize that and go, ‘You know what? Next time we’re not going to do that.’ And then we always fail at that. But I’d rather fail at that than fail at making the game great. I think it’s safe to say that, yeah, (Diablo III) is not going to be out next year."

Aion Bans

Voodoo Extreme reports that during some unscheduled maintenance today in Aion, NCsoft banned some 16,000 accounts from their recently released fantasy-themed MMORPG for botting, cheating, and gold sales.

SOE Station Cash Bonus

Sony Online Entertainment announces a bonus for store-bought Station Cash cards this week:

Sony Online Entertainment brings the spirit of Thanksgiving to our players this week with a 25% bonus value for all Station Cash cards sold at retail outlets. For one week, starting Monday, November 23rd and running through Sunday, November 29th every customer will receive a 25% Bonus Station Cash reward during the promotional period on all eligible retail pre-paid card plans. This promotional offer will be valid for all Station Cash pre-paid cards at retail (excluding Free Realms Starter Cards). Station Cash cards are redeemable in the hit titles Free RealmsTM, EverQuest® and EverQuest® II. Cards must be redeemed this week to receive the bonus Station Cash reward.

Station Cash cards are available in multiple values and sold nationwide at the following retailers:

· 7-11
· Best Buy
· Blockbuster
· CVS
· GameStop
· Rite Aid
· Speedway
· Target
· TRU
· TWEC
· Wal-Mart
· Walgreens

Impulse Weekly Top 10

Gatherings & Competitions

On Sale

Flash View of Weekly Best Buy Ad Circular and Newegg's Pre Black Friday Sale.

  • Art of Guild Wars 2 on the Penny Arcade Store. Includes a free print.
  • DOOM Resurrection on iTunes App Store. $2.99 through Sunday.
  • Dragon Age: Origins on Direct2Drive. Save 20%.
  • Guild Wars on The NCsoft Store. Any campaign includes free Eye of the North.
  • RailWorks Challenger Edition on Steam.
  • RailWorks Colton & Northern Expansion on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Shrapnel Games on Gamers Front. All in-stock games on sale.

    Still on sale (previously reported)
     
  • 48 Hour Madness on GoGamer.
  • Alganon on Direct2Drive. Preorder and get beta access and in-game items.
  • Aliens vs. Predator on GameStop. Preorder and get three exclusive multiplayer skins.
  • Blood Bowl Dark Elves Edition on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • Capitalism II on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Colin McRae DiRT 2 on Steam. Pre-purchase and save 80% on DiRT.
  • Dungeon Siege II: Broken World Expansion on GamerDeals. Only $1.99. Thanks Batman.
  • Elven Legacy on GamersGate. Save 50%.
  • King's Bounty: Armored Princess on Steam. Save 10%.
  • King's Bounty: The Legend on GamersGate. Save 50%.
  • LucasArts Premier Pack on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.
  • LucasArts "There's Action, Adventure & Puzzles" Bundle on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Nemesis of the Roman Empire on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Ninja Blade on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Rogue Warrior on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • Scrapland on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • SFI Mission 4-Pack on the Strategy First Website. Four games for $19.99.
  • Star Wars Classics Pack on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures Premium Plus Pack on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Star Wars Galaxies: The Complete Online Adventures on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Supreme Commander Gold on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • THQ Classic FPS Bundle on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • Warlords Battlecry III on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • X-Com Complete Pack on GamersGate. Save 40%.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Brilliant Star Wars Tauntaun costume. Thanks ASLayerAODsk. That thing'll be dead before he reaches the first marker.

Demigod Patched

Stardock and Gas Powered Games announce a new patch is now available through Impulse for Demigod to update the action/strategy hybrid to version 1.2. The new version adds a new Demon Assassin Demigod to the game, new AI options, a new mod system, bug fixes, multiplayer improvements to reduce perceived lag, updated items and game mechanics, and more, all described in this changelog. They also note: "Demigod multiplayer 'epoch 3' is set to begin next week in which player rankings and records from epoch 2 are added to the pantheon vault and new stats begun from scratch." Thanks nin.

Jeff Strain's Console Zombie MMOG

Undead Labs lives, this is a new developer formed by ArenaNet cofounder Jeff Strain and based in Seattle, Washington. They announce their debut project will be an unnamed console-based zombie-themed MMOG they are calling an MMOZ. Word is: "Undead Labs is committed to bringing to life an MMO loaded with action, humor and, of course, a whole lotta zombies, because the world doesn’t need more dragons." Of course zombies may have jumped the shark already (if they could actually jump), but we probably shouldn't be expecting pony grooming games from a studio called Undead Labs. The Undead Labs Website is live with more info, and there's an Undead Labs' Jeff Strain Interview on Eurogamer where he really stresses that this is not a PC project: "This is a game that's designed from the ground up for console gamers. It's not a game that's being designed for PC and console or a game that's being designed for PC and being ported to console. Every MMO developer out there is dipping their toes in that water and finding it to be very, very chilly water, because console gamers have a very different set of expectations for how a game plays and how they interact with a game."

Ships Ahoy - Theatre of War 2: Centauro

The Battlefront.com Store is now offering sales of Theatre of War 2: Centauro, making good on 1C Publishing's announcement from last week that the expansion for Theatre of War 2: Africa 1943 was available through digital distribution. This page has details on the expansion, which is available individually, or as part of a bundle with the original game, which is required to play.

Gold - Twin Sector

Got Game Entertainment announces Twin Sector is gold, and this action/adventure game will be available for Windows on December 5, making for an unusual Saturday release. A playable demo for the game is available, and here's word on plans:

Weston, Conn.-November 23, 2009 - Got Game Entertainment LLC, a leading publisher of interactive entertainment games, today announced that the exciting physics-based action-adventure game Twin Sector has gone gold for the PC and will be available for an MSRP of $29.99 beginning December 5, 2009. Twin Sector is rated T10+ by the ESRB.

Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Twin Sector takes players on a gripping physics-based action adventure that will give them free interaction with their environment. Using the advantages of the powerful HAVOC®-Engine, innumerable puzzles, challenges and enemies await the players in a hostile and threatening futuristic environment. More than 15 missions loom among a strong sci-fi mystery storyline full of intriguing players and epic thrills.

"We're excited to bring this type of physics-based, first-person exploration and puzzling game to fans," said Howard Horowitz, Founder of Got Game Entertainment, LLC. "The Twin Sector team has polished this game to our high standards and we are ready to deliver an immersive and challenging action-adventure game to fans worldwide."

BioWare New IP?

Link hunters superannuation had a post we missed last week until noted on Develop, pointing to Daniel Roy's LinkedIn Profile that has the following entry on his résumé for his work as a Senior Producer at BioWare: "January 2008 — June 2009 (1 year 6 months) Senior Producer for unreleased original IP."

Heroes of Might and Magic VI Clue

Another superannuation tidbit shows us Liu yingpin's LinkedIn Profile that includes the following entry for June 2009 - November 2009: "Level Artist in the Game Hero (Might and Magic VI) Ubisoft." Presumably Heroes of Might and Magic VI, as Might and Magic is up to IX already.

Cancelled Civilization Online?

A post on n3rfed noted on (any guesses?) superannuation reveals an MMOG that's been cancelled by 2K Games that they speculate may have been an online version of Civilization. They point to word that Scott Jennings' was laid off after "working on an unannounced strategy MMO based on an IP I can't talk about." There's also word from Jon Jones' LinkedIn profile that includes the following clue: "...everything from avatar characters to ground units to different cultures’ architecture...developed the overall design of the city layouts throughout the various ages of history...and created a series of low polygon highly optimized building models with a small set of textures that can be reused across that nation’s entire series of buildings appropriate to that age."

Warcraft 4 Probably Years Off

The World of Warcraft interview on AusGamers.com talks with Blizzard's J. Allen Brack about World of Warcraft on the occasion of the MMOG's fifth anniversary and the 15th anniversary of the original Warcraft. When asked about plans for Warcraft 4, J. says that while it is not set in stone that the same team that made Warcraft III work on the next installment in the RTS series, "it does sort of make sense" to do it that way, which would mean the next Warcraft game is a ways off: "Warcraft 4 is certainly something that gets talked about on a pretty regular basis," Brack explained, but his next revelation throws a bit of a spanner in the works - the team that worked on Warcraft 3 is actually the same team that is working on StarCraft 2! While I think we're all excited about a Warcraft 4, in concept, they're going to finish up StarCraft 2, and then they're going to work on the two StarCraft expansions that we've announced, so they're booked for the next few years."

New BOH

The BOH Website offers a new version of this multiplatform "retro-flavoured game of exploration and action." Patches are available on the game's downloads page, where you can also find corresponding updated demos for Windows, Linux, MacOS, AmigaOS, and AROS. The update adds one-way passages and flying enemies, changes the function of teleports, improves the visual feedback of hits in the "vectors" theme, and more.

Crysis Back to the Future DeLorean

The Crytek Modding Portal has the release of a DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future that can be used in Crysis and Crysis Wars modifications. The car/time machine can be seen in action in a clip on the YouTube. Thanks Ant.

Borderlands Net Fixes Planned

Borderlands Interview, Part I and Part II on Are We New At This? both talk with the irrepressible Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software about Borderlands, the role-playing shooter. The two-part interview covers a variety of topics, with this bit from Part II reflecting on issues with multiplayer play online and on LANs: "I think that is the thing I wished was most different… And we’re investing more support in those areas. There are some awesome people here that really care, even after the launch, in correcting the troubles. We’ve already deployed some updates, for platforms, that have addressed some of these issues and we have more deploying as soon as we’re clear to do so. I think the connectivity issues that some customers are having will be soon cleared up and I think the experience has taught us and our publishing partner a lot which in turn will make the connectivity experience in our future games much better."

Gatherings & Competitions

Op Ed

IGN- Are You Tough Enough? Thanks Ant.
Video games are a unique animal. You can't change a movie's rating on the fly to suit your tastes. A game of chess won't get any easier unless you pick a chump to play. And you can't re-write Eminem songs to add extra profanity. But video games put those decisions in your corner - Choose Your Difficulty - and many force the issue right up front, before you're allowed to even start playing. If you're suddenly wondering why that is, the answer's pretty simple. A smart developer knows their game's dead in the water if they don't nail the difficulty.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Thanks Mike Martinez.

Morning Tech Bits

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

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