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Friday, Jul 15, 2011

  

Steam Download Changes

Steam News announces some new underlying download technology for Valve's online service. Here's a chunk:

As of today, you can download some of the content on Steam using all-new server and client code to get the job done.

The new content system is designed to do two things: deliver better download rates in more places around the world, and also to simply streamline the publishing process on Steam, ultimately making it possible to ship more games than we would have been able to with the old system.

The maximum aggregate bandwidth of the system will be greater than the current system; this will help us satisfy spikes in demand when there’s a big release. We will also be able to send content from more places, to better serve people all around the globe. All the content on the new system is sent via HTTP; this is more firewall-friendly than the current system, and will automatically take advantage of web-caching proxies installed at ISPs.

Another way that the new content system improves the bandwidth picture is by requiring each user to download less data. With the Steam content system that’s been in place for a few years now, if an individual file on disk were modified by a game update, your client had to download the whole file. That can be painful when the file in question is really large. The new system supports delivering only the differences between the old and new files, meaning game updates will be much smaller overall.

Metacritic Dropped "Corrupt" Site

Metacritic stopped including the scores of an unnamed site in their aggregation of videogame review scores due to "corrupt practices," at some point in the past, reports Computer and Video Games by way of the A Jumps B Shoots podcast. "There are many reasons why I would drop somebody. There's corruption - people can be bought, absolutely," said Metacritic co-founder Marc Doyle. "Yes. On one occasion I did discontinue my coverage of a publication's reviews because of what I considered to be corrupt practices."

F.E.A.R. 3 Trailer

A new behind-the-scenes trailer shows the creation of weapon sounds or F.E.A.R. 3, the horror-themed first-person shooter sequel. Big badaboom! Update: There seems to be a problem processing the clip, hopefully this will clear up soon. The embedded trailer follows. Continue here to read the full story.

On Star Wars: The Old Republic Class Intros

An update to the Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has an update from BioWare Senior Video Editor Brian Arndt, who discusses the creation of the introductory cinematics for each of the classes in BioWare's upcoming MMORPG. He starts by describing the enthusiasm for getting to create sequences that begin with that iconic scrolling text before giving more of an intro to these intros.

Depths of Peril Patches

The Depths of Peril patches page has new patches to update the Windows and OS X editions of Depths of Peril to version 1.018. The Changes Page has details on what this changes in Soldak Entertainment's action/RPG.

New Via Digital Distribution

Games

  • Air Conflicts: Secret Wars on Steam. Not in North America.
  • Arma X Anniversary Edition on GamersGate.
  • Arma X Anniversary Edition on Steam.
  • Depths of Peril on the Mac App Store.
  • Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 on Steam.
  • Trapped Dead on Steam.

Patches

On Sale

  • Air Conflicts: Secret Wars on Steam. Save 10%. Not in North America.
  • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Assassin's Creed- Brotherhood (Mac) on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Call of Duty®- Black Ops Annihilation Content Pack on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • City of Heroes Going Rogue: Complete Collection on Steam. Save 67%.
  • Freedom Force vs. the 3rd Reich on GOG.com. Save 60%.
  • James Bond: Blood Stone on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Full Spectrum Warrior on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.
  • Saints Row: The Third on Steam. Pre-purchase and receive Professor Genki's Hyper Ordinary Pack.
  • Trapped Dead on Steam. Save 20%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: High speed MotoGP cornering at 1000fps. Thanks Ant.

PC Call of Duty: Black Ops Annihilation DLC This Month

Activision Publishing announces the Annihilation DLC will be released in 13 days for the Windows and PlayStation 3 editions of Call of Duty: Black Ops (our remedial math puts this at July 28, give or take two weeks). Here's word:

Call of Duty: Black Ops has shattered sales records and drawn millions of gamers online since its November 2010 launch, with Black Ops fans logging billions of gameplay hours to date. Annihilation features four new multiplayer maps comprised of a Cuban cliff-side golf course, a 1960s American Drive-In theater and much more. Additionally, the fan-favorite Zombies are back in the mythical paradise of Shangri-La, overrun with a new species of zombie and innovative gameplay surprises around every corner.

"With Annihilation, the team at Treyarch and Activision has shown its continued commitment to bringing new and unique content to our fans," said Treyarch Studio Head, Mark Lamia. "Players are getting four of the best multiplayer maps to date with Hangar 18, Drive-In, Silo and Hazard. They also get a brand new dose of thrills in Shangri-La, our latest Zombies offering, packed with deadly traps and dark secrets buried within the shifting walls of an ancient and mysterious temple."

World of Warplanes Economy Detailed

Wargaming.net announces details on how the economy will work in World of Warplanes, their upcoming flight combat MMOG. Word is the game will use the same system as World of Tanks:

The new game recently announced at E3, will have the same economic profile as the highly-acclaimed World of Tanks, with Gold, Credits, and Experience as main currency to gain and spend for continued advancements.

World of Warplanes will feature a global interaction with World of Tanks, which will begin with sharing Gold and Free Experience between the two games for players, who have registered accounts in both of them on a single email. This feature will allow Wargaming.net community to plan their expenses and leave exactly the amount of Gold and Free Experience they want on either of the games.

Blizzard's Real ID Testing Live

Battle.net announces Blizzard's Real ID party feature is now live in Word of Warcraft, allowing players to party up with their Real ID friends of the same faction, regardless of the realm they play on. The Real ID Website and FAQ have further details. Here's a bit:

When delving into the depths of Azeroth's darkest dungeons, it always helps to have some friends at your side... now you're able to issue a call to arms no matter what realm they play on. We're pleased to announce the new Real ID Party feature is now available for testing! This new feature will allow World of Warcraft players to invite their real-life Real ID friends of the same faction to a party regardless of the realm they play on, and then queue up for a 5-player regular or Heroic dungeon.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

Battle.net outlines more hotfixes now live on the server side of World of Warcraft, Blizzard's MMORPG. The list of July 14th changes follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Patch

A new unofficial patch is now available for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, updating the action/RPG from defunct developer Troika Games to version 7.6. The main feature of the new version is to restore some tunes from the game's soundtrack for plus players. Currently available for the English edition only, the patch is available on its exclusive home at The Patches Scrolls.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

We're going to have the guy that built our fence out today to look at the hole Hudson the wonder dog created to help secure the yard once again (currently the hole is being blocked by a little barrier I MacGyvered). The idea is to replace the broken wood... I think we should ask if titanium is an option.

Optional Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: The Z-Word.
Links: Map of the United States According to A New Yorker.
Dominos Does It Again.
Stories: The fine print: North Dakota may not be a state. Thanks Neatorama.
McDonald's argues it is not a restaurant in Russia. I'd agree. Thanks Neatorama.
Science: Male flirts less happy at work.
Images: Awesome 8 Bit Artworks. Artworks?
More "Amazing Spider-Man" Photos.
Media: Space Shuttle Endeavors Final Launch From an Airplane Window.
Retirement Community Lip Dub.
Kenny Powers - K-Swiss CEO video (Uncensored). NSFW. Thanks nin.
The Funnies: How commercial airplanes SHOULD be laid out. Thanks nin.



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