The Diablo III Forums have word that the Scrolls of Companion and Scrolls of Reforging have been dropped from the Diablo III beta among the recently announced systems changes for Blizzard's action/RPG sequel (thanks VG247). Here's word:
Nethaera Community Manager A few more changes have made their way in to Diablo III beta patch 10, including the removal of Scrolls of Companion and Scrolls of Reforging, and we’ll be updating the patch notes to reflect that.
In both cases these are features we felt were underdeveloped and just not quite good enough for the game in their current state. The companion pets felt like they were mandatory to maximize play efficiency and some of the pets were too cutesy for the gritty, dark world of Sanctuary. Neither of those are issues we felt like we could solve without a lot of additional work, and we’re trying to close in on a solid release date for the game, not move further away. When weighing these systems against releasing the game, we decided to cut these scrolls and stay on track for the game’s release.
We think we can make companion pets into a much cooler system (both mechanically and visually), and evolve the reforging scrolls into a more meaningful system at some point in the future. For the time being, they will not be in the initial release of the game.
Firebase Industries announces a PC edition of Orbitron: Revolution, their indie shoot-em-up that's available for Xbox 360. They offer some screenshots of the PC edition and the following rundown on what to expect:
All new screenshots of the PC version running at 1080p. The PC version supports variable resolutions from 1280×720 and up to 1920×1200. Players can use either the keyboard controls or Xbox controller for PC. The UI and HUD have all been created for display in 1920×1080 so there shouldn’t be any ugly upscaling issues when running in full HD. On our hardware at Firebase we achieve 60fps and the game has been rewritten to accomodate this framerate which is up from the Xbox 360′s 30fps.
We really wanted to give PC gamers a excellent version of the game and not a straight conversion of the Xbox 360 version. I think we have achieved something that the PC audience will really enjoy!
GameSpot has word on some layoffs have struck at THQ, following recent word that the company was shifting focus away from licensed entertainment for children. "THQ confirms a reduction in force to the company's administration and publishing organization," reads a statement they received. "As recently announced, the company is exiting the kids' licensed games category, and is focusing on its core game franchises and developing its digital initiatives." The number of jobs lost is not specified.
The critically acclaimed Fantasy/Roleplaying RTS returns in a sequel set to push the boundaries of the genre even further. Our story begins long after young Arthur pulled the enchanted sword out of the stone, united the war-torn land of Britannia, gathered the Knights of the Round Table and secured peace in Camelot aided by the might of the Holy Grail. Where legends normally end, King Arthur II begins on its own gruesome tale...
Reddit has a heartwarming story from the forums of Legend of Grimrock, following recent word on an overhaul to the GUI for the upcoming dungeon crawler. It turned out that questions about adding on-screen arrows for navigation were from a disabled gamer who was looking for a way to play the game, which inspired the developers at Almost Human to immediately drop resistance to the idea, and implement the requested changes. Thanks nin via Kotaku.
The BioWare Blog now offers a new trailer from Mass Effect 3, BioWare's upcoming action/RPG sequel. This provides a look at multiplayer classes in the game, and is accompanied by a lengthy write-up on the topic. Continue here to read the full story.
Aliens: Colonial Marines is delayed to fall, reports GameInformer, who got word on the setback to the upcoming Aliens shooter from developer Gearbox and publisher SEGA, who say: "Aliens: Colonial Marines is a process of creativity and invention and those don't necessarily follow the structure of an assembly line." The game was previously expected this spring, and here's more on the delay:
While setting clear goals, deadlines and predictions is helpful, they are often subjective. We don't want to sacrifice the creative process just for the sake of following a blue print. We prefer to have the creative discovery shape that blue print because our goal is to make a great game, and we are prioritizing this goal over the previously targeted date.
Fredrick Wester offered a frank criticism of Sword of the Stars 2 during the recent Paradox Convention, as the Paradox Interactive CEO called releasing the space strategy sequel in an unfinished state a "big mistake." according to Strategy Informer. He went on to explain this turned into a Kobayashi Maru scenario: "Sometimes you’re stuck in a situation where you can only choose between two really bad outcomes. Looking back I’m not sure what I could have done." He does offer an outlook on how they will attempt to prevent a repeat of this scenario:
We’re changing our QA processes based on this game, and we’re changing the whole model of how we make games with third parties. We’ve added amendments to existing contracts to prepare, to try and stop it from happening again."
"But it was bad, and I’m the first to admit it was my fault and we’re doing our best to fix it."
The Evochron Mercenary Website now offers a new version 1.808 of this space combat and exploration game. As always, there is also a new playable demo offering the chance to sample the updated version. Here's a change list for the new version:
MDTS accuracy improved and aligned for various FPS rates.
Incorrect timing rate on a few specific system configurations fixed.
2D server program introduced and updated for improved compatibility.
Faster updates for clan territory control stats and player built stations.
Multiplayer performance improvements to reduce lag with higher player counts.
Technologizer - Why History Needs Software Piracy. Thanks Ant via VC&G. Software pirates promote data survival through ubiquity and media independence. Like an ant that works as part of a larger system it doesn’t understand, the selfish action of each digital pirate, when taken in aggregate, has created a vast web of redundant data that ensures many digital works will live on.
Piracy’s preserving effect, while little known, is actually nothing new. Through the centuries, the tablets, scrolls, and books that people copied most often and distributed most widely survived to the present. Libraries everywhere would be devoid of Homer, Beowulf, and even The Bible without unauthorized duplication.
The main difference between then and now is that software decays in a matter of years rather than a matter of centuries, turning preservation through duplication into an illegal act. And that’s a serious problem: thousands of pieces of culturally important digital works are vanishing into thin air as we speak.
Man, it's hard to get a gauge on the weather these days. After being dumped with repeated snow storms last year, this year we've had minimal precipitation, and most of that has been rain. I feel bad for the doggies. They hate the rain almost as much as they love the snow.