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Friday, Oct 21, 2011

  

World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria Announced

The World of Warcraft Website reveals the Mists of Pandaria, a new expansion for World of Warcraft introducing a new continent, a new neutral race, and a playable monk class to the MMORPG. The Mists of Pandaria Website is online, here's a Mists of Pandaria Preview Trailer and here's a bit from the announcement:

In the upcoming expansion, players will be able to explore the long-lost continent of Pandaria, which has remained hidden from the world since the sundering of Azeroth over ten thousand years ago. In the aftermath of the Cataclysm played out in World of Warcraft’s third expansion, Pandaria’s heroes are emerging from their land’s lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains to choose sides in the escalating war between the Alliance and the Horde and to share the extraordinary secrets of their ancient martial arts. As tensions between the factions near a breaking point following the discovery of this new world, players will be called upon to explore Pandaria’s exotic expanses, make contact with its strange indigenous creatures, and unlock the world-changing secrets that have been hiding in the mists for millennia.

New features coming in the game’s fourth expansion include:

Continue here to read the full story.

Free Diablo III with World of Warcraft Annual Pass

The World of Warcraft Website has details on a new World of Warcraft annual pass program. Word is those who make this commitment will get several perks, including a free copy of Diablo III:

  • Diablo III FREE – Download the digital version via Battle.net for free when the game launches early next year. This is the full game, not a trial edition.
  • Tyrael’s Charger WoW Flying Mount – Ride for the Archangel of Justice on all current and future characters on a single World of Warcraft account. Tyrael’s Charger will arrive via in-game mail with the upcoming launch of patch 4.3.
  • Access to the Next WoW Expansion Beta Test – Get a guaranteed spot in the beta test for the next World of Warcraft expansion (at a time to be announced in the future).

Batman: Arkham City Specs

GeForce.com now offers the system specs for the upcoming Windows PC edition of Batman: Arkham City:

Minimum System Requirements

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or 7
CPU: Dual-Core CPU 2.4 Ghz
RAM: 2GB
Graphics Card: NVIDIA 8800 or ATI 3800 with 512MB of VRAM
Sound: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista or 7 compatible sound card (100% DirectX 9.0c-compatible)
DVD-ROM: Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive
Hard Drive: 17.5GB free disk space
Input Devices: 100% Windows XP/Vista or 7 compatible mouse and keyboard

Recommended System Requirements

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7
CPU: Dual-Core CPU 2.5 GHz
RAM: 4GB
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or ATI Radeon HD 6850 with 768MB+ of VRAM (DirectX 11 compatible)
Sound: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista or 7 compatible sound card (100% DirectX 9.0c-compatible)
DVD-ROM: Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive
Hard Drive: 17.5 GB free disk space
Input Devices: 100% Windows XP/Vista or 7 compatible mouse and keyboard or Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

Blizzard DOTA Trailer

The BlizzCon Website offers "the first official trailer for Blizzard DOTA," offering a look at this upcoming StarCraft II map "in stunning high definition." Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield 3 Launch Trailer

The Battlefield Blog now offers the Battlefield 3 launch trailer with cinematics and gameplay footage from the upcoming continuation of the first-person shooter series. Word is: "Our launch trailer gives you a preview of the intense single player campaign. A sinister power is rising in the Middle-East, and Marine Sergeant "Black" discovers how far he would go to defend his country." Continue here to read the full story.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Cargo! – The Quest for Gravity on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Grand Theft Auto Weekend Deal on Steam. Save 66%.
  • L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition on GameStop Impulse. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • Ubisoft Action Pack on GOG.com. Save up to 60%.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Metaverse

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Fan dressed as referee causes massive fight on field. Thanks Ant. Now I've seen everything.

Portal 2 "Major Update" Free Next Year

Valve announces plans for a second free add-on for Portal 2 coming to their puzzle/platformer early next year. Word is this will include the recently revealed improved editing program:

October 21, 2011 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the second game add-on for the year's highest rated multiplatform game, Portal 2, is in development and targeted for release early next year.

This major update will feature an easy-to-use in-game map editor that will let users design, build and share their own single-player and co-op test chambers with the community, who will be able to view, play and vote on them with a simple click.

Portal 2 was released April 19, and currently holds a Metacritic score of 95%, making it the top-rated multiplatform game of 2011. Its first content update, "Peer Review", came out two weeks ago.

Postal III in December?

Postal III will get a worldwide release in December following the debut of the first-person shooter in Russian next month, reports GBase.ch (in German), attributing this information to Vince Desi, CEO of developer Running With Scissors. Postal III originally carried a 2008 release date when it was announced over five years ago as the next installment in this shooter series known for its envelope-pushing outrageousness.

Orcs Must Die! DLC Next Week

Robot Entertainment announces Artifacts of Power, the first DLC for Orcs Must Die!, their just-released action/strategy hybrid. They say this will be released on Tuesday via Steam, and is the first of two planned DLC packs, a topic they remained tightlipped about as recently as ten days ago. Here are the items the $2.49 pack adds: Continue here to read the full story.

Mass Effect 3 Early Access Demo in January

The BioWare Social Network shares details on a playable demo for Mass Effect 3 expected in January 2012 to offer samples of single-player and multiplayer play in BioWare's action/RPG sequel to owners of an online pass for Battlefield 3 (thanks GameSpot). They also announce that over the next couple of months they will reveal a way to get access to this demo with no purchase required:

Hello everyone! It's going to be a Happy New Year! Mass Effect 3 will have a pre-release demo in January 2012. This demo will have both single player and multiplayer sections, giving fans a taste of what's to come on March 6, 2012. Be first to the front lines in the multiplayer section of the Mass Effect 3 demo! Redemption of the Online Pass for Battlefield 3 will unlock this early access. But rallying for war is just getting started - in late November / early December, BioWare will announce other ways for fans to engage the enemy with their friends online from day one!

What are the details of the Mass Effect 3 pre-release demo?

  • The Mass Effect 3 pre-release demo will launch in January 2012 (exact date TBA).
  • The demo will include both single-player and multi-player sections.
  • The demo will be released in all regions where the game is

How can I get early access to the multi-player portion of the Mass Effect 3 demo coming in January 2012?

  • Owners of Battlefield 3, on any platform, who activate their Online Pass will automatically be granted early access to the multiplayer portion of the Mass Effect 3 demo. There is no need to enter any other codes, the early access will be applied to the EA Account associated with the Online Pass. Note: BF3 Origin Customers automatically have the BF3 Online Pass.

Continue here to read the full story.

Modern Warfare 3 PC Details, Minimum Specs

This Modern Warfare 3 trailer offers a behind-the-scenes look at Strike Packages and their impact on multiplayer play in the military shooter sequel. This page on the Call of Duty Community Website now offers a FAQ and other details on the Windows PC edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (thanks Simon), focusing on what's being added to the PC edition based on feedback from Modern Warfare 2, including dedicated servers, lobby system, matchmaking with a party, matchmaking for public games, Steam Integration, and more. They explain: "In addition, we're supporting PC specific features that give you even more control over your experience like RCON, Custom Game Saving, NoGFX / Audio Card Requirement on DS.exe, Voice Chat, and SSAO." They mention that the game will include LAN support, and discuss a couple of items that may change after launch: It will not ship with mod tools, but that they "are continually evaluating features to support post launch and this is one requiring further discussion," and that the PC edition of Ground War will support a maximum of 18 players, "but it may increase post launch." They also offer minimum PC specs:

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
OS: Windows® XP / Windows Vista® / Windows® 7
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6600 or AMD Phenom™ X38750 processor or better
Memory: 16 GB free hard drive space / 2GB RAM
Video Card: Shader 3.0 or better 256 MB NVIDIA®GeForce™ 8600GT / ATI® Radeon™ X1950 or better
Sound Card: DirectX® 9.0C or later

Naval War: Arctic Circle Beta

Paradox Interactive is now accepting signups to beta test Naval War: Arctic Circle, the icy real-time strategy game in development at Turbo Tape Games. You should sign up by next Friday, and those accepted into the beta will be notified by November 7th. Here's the blurb on the game to help you gauge your interest:

Naval War: Arctic Circle will challenge players as they navigate the world’s deadliest ocean vying for dominance and complete control of the arctic seas, strategically controlling naval units above, below and on the surface of the frigid waters. The time has come where global peace has expired and tactical warfare is the only means to secure the treasures of icy depths. Will you be able to reign over the waters in the struggle for the valuable resources in the Arctic? Naval War: Arctic Circle is set to release in Q2 2012 for a suggested retail price of $29.99/€29.99.

Out of the Park Developments' Hockey Plans

The OOTP Developments Forums announce that the team behind the Out of the Park series of baseball games is heading out of the rink to create a Windows and OS X hockey simulation for release late next year (thanks Robert). Word is: "As in OOTP, our upcoming hockey game will let you take over a team and make all the decisions: hire and fire coaches; sign, release, and trade players; oversee financials; and dictate game-time strategy, including when to pull your goalie, which lines to use when, and more."

Blizzard on Gold Sales

The World of Warcraft Website has some thoughts on Blizzard's stance on gold selling, following the announcement of the Guardian Cub item that will facilitate cash for gold transactions:

With all that in mind, we come to the new tradable Guardian Cub pet. By letting players trade this pet, we’re giving those who want to participate in the Pet Store without spending real money a way to buy the pet with gold instead. This also means that players can buy one for the purpose of trying to sell it in-game, creating the potential for players to exchange real money for gold in a way that does not lead to account compromises. Of course, all that comes with the pretty important caveat that demand for the pet will be finite, and there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find a buyer.

While this one little pet can never come close to “solving” the above issues with third-party gold selling and account compromises, it may help us determine whether we’re able address these ongoing problems in a safe, creative way that ultimately has a positive impact on the game experience overall. Our hope is that through all of our increased efforts we can make World of Warcraft a safer, more secure, and more enjoyable game for all of our players.

Bethesda Calls DOOM 4 Rumor "Bollocks"

An unconfirmed rumor on Kotaku from a "source claiming to be close to the publishers of the recently-launched Rage," says the launch of id Software's DOOM 4 is indefinitely postponed due to issues with the RAGE launch. This includes a quote from Bethesda's Pete Hines saying they "don't comment on unannounced games," but as noted on VG247, he proceeds to do just that, as he tweets that this is "complete bollocks," adding: "Re: DOOM 4 rumor, games are done when they are done and no title under development at id has been postponed – indefinitely or otherwise."

Op Ed

Bitmob.com - The realification of video games.
While I did complete the game, I left many tasks incomplete, and I have returned to the medieval streets simply to explore. This is partly for its own sake and partly to quench my excitement for the upcoming installment.

It has become increasingly apparent that what attracts me to video games are not the video games themselves. It’s not the fantastical worlds, the impossible creatures, nor the far-flung technologies. It’s the medium’s ability to provide experiences based in reality that I cannot otherwise experience due to their respective barriers to entry. Perhaps it is an unintended response to gamification: the realification of video games.

Ugh. Did I just coin a word that’s uglier than gamification?

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The good news? They actually carry ground beef at BJ's that satisfies MrsBlue's strict standards, as it is of the grass-fed "humanely raised" variety. As is the BJ's way, this is much cheaper than elsewhere, but is also in keeping with their ways by only being offered in bulk. So now I have three pounds of ground beef that only cost around $10.00. The bad news is we have no plans for company. Who is up for some burgers?

Bulky Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Lab of The Dead.
Links: Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal?
Stories: NBC's 'Fear Factor' trailer lives up to the hype.
FBI’s DNA database upgrade plans come under fire.
Man Allegedly Beat Woman with Frozen Armadillo. Thanks Neatorama.
Science: Old American theory is 'speared'.
Possibility Is Thrust of 100-Year Starship Study. Thanks j.c.f.
IQ 'can change in teenage years'.
Images: Occupy Mordor.
Media: Duck Tron. Thanks Robert.
Comedian Bill Burr Gives a Tour of New York.
Wrecked Russian Semi Remains Road-Worthy.
The Funnies: Got Game?
Follow-up: Global warming 'confirmed' by independent study.



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