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Friday, Mar 09, 2012

  

No PvP in Diablo III Launch

A PvP Update on the Diablo III Website says that as they count down the days to the announcement of a release date for Diablo III, Blizzard has decided that the PvP systems in the action/RPG sequel are not ready for release, but that rather than delay the game, they are removing PvP and will add it in a future update:

As we’re counting down the days until we’re ready to announce a release date for Diablo III, we’ve come to realize that the PvP game and systems aren’t yet living up to our standards. Today, we wanted to let you know that we’ve made the difficult decision to hold back the PvP Arena system and release it in a patch following the game’s launch. After a lot of consideration and discussion, we ultimately felt that delaying the whole game purely for PvP would just be punishing to everyone who’s waiting to enjoy the campaign and core solo/co-op content, all of which is just about complete.

While we work on making sure PvP lives up to its full potential, we hope you’ll find some consolation in the fact that soon, you’ll be having a blast leveling characters, finding items, learning the classes, and perfecting builds…and that when the Arenas do arrive, you’ll be all the better prepared for battle.

When the PvP patch is ultimately ready, it will add multiple Arena maps with themed locations and layouts, PvP-centric achievements, and a matchmaking system that will help you and your team get into fairly matched games quickly and easily. We’ll also be adding a personal progression system that will reward you for successfully bashing in the other team’s skulls.

We know a lot of you are looking forward to PvP, and we’ll be focusing our post-launch efforts on making sure the Arenas are as brutal, bloody, fast-paced, and awesome as we know they can be. In the meantime, we’re in the process of putting the finishing touches on what we think is a truly epic campaign and co-op experience for launch.

We’ll have a lot more info to share on the PvP system in the future, and we look forward to the moment we can get the game into your hands.

Mass Effect 3 "Biggest Entertainment Launch of 2012"

EA announces they have shipped 3.5 million units of Mass Effect 3 in the first week of availability of the action/RPG sequel, saying this makes it "the first pop culture event and the biggest entertainment launch of 2012." According to VentureBeat, EA estimates the game sold 890,000 units in North America in its first 24 hours of release.

Mass Effect 3 Face Import Workaround

The BioWare Social Network has a post from BioWare's Chris Priestly on a problem some users are having importing character faces from Mass Effect 1 or 2 into Mass Effect 3 (thanks Eurogamer). They are still working on this, but in the meantime, endorse a user-created workaround:

We are aware that some players are having issues importing the faces of characters from Mass Effect 1 or Mass Effect 2 into Mass Effect 3. The issue is likely in how faces were detected when imported from Mass Effect 1 into Mass Effect 2, and we’re working on the best way to correct it for affected players.

As our teams work hard to address the importing of face codes we would like to call out a fan made tool that may be able to help PC users in the short term:

Mass Effect Tools

And detailed instruction from a fan on how to use them here.

Tim Schafer on Psychonauts 2

An interview on The PA Report features Tim Schafer discussing possible ideas for Psychonauts 2 (thanks nin). There's also a funny story on VentureBeat on "How Tim Schafer Is Spending Your Money," discussing uses for their Kickstarter windfall.

Rainbow 6 Patriots Follow-up

GameInformer follows up on news of a shakeup on the Rainbow 6 Patriots team with word on what this means to the future of the next installment in this tactical shooter series. They confirm the departure of most of the game's original creative team, but refer to David Sears moving on to a different project as part of a mutual decision. According to Ubisoft, the game will be an evolved version of Sears' vision, and it is still expected for release next year.

MechWarrior Online Gameplay Trailer

A Role Warfare Interview on GameTrailers.com talks with Russ Bullock of Piranha Games about MechWarrior Online, the upcoming mech combat shooter in a video that contains a the first looks at gameplay. Thanks Hump.

New Via Digital Distribution

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Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Fraud Claim Dropped in Infinity Ward Lawsuit

A California State Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of Activision in dismissing one of two fraud claims in the litigation filed by Jason West and Vincent Zampella against their former employer, reports Bloomberg. Word is the "fraudulent-inducement" charge by the former Infinity Ward bosses is the one that was dismissed, while the "promissory fraud" accusation stands as part of this case, which is scheduled to go to trail on May 7th. West and Zampella allege they were fired to avoid paying royalties on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, while Activision in turn is suing EA for allegedly poaching the pair. Thanks Joao via Gamasutra.

Tribes: Ascend Next Month

Hi-Rez Studios announces an April 12th release date for Tribes: Ascend, their upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter remake they are describing as the "world’s fastest shooter. They celebrate the news with a new Llama Island parody trailer: "Tribes is all about speed and movement," explains Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios Chief Operating Officer. "In fact the community uses the term llama to refer to a player moving too slowly, like a plodding llama. So this video demonstrates the perils of trying to capture a flag while going too slow. The outcome is predictable but no less tragic." Continue here to read the full story.

New Wasteland Will Be DRM-Free

The Wasteland Survival Guide has an update from InXile on their plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of a sequel to Wasteland, Interplay's classic post-apocalyptic RPG (thanks No Mutants Allowed). They discuss how weapon rewards for supporters will be "entertaining" rather than imbalanced, and how the game will be DRM-free:

Thanks to everyone that contributed in the last rewards post. We got some great feedback and made some adjustments to the rewards. A few of the highlights are :

    DRM Free!
    The skill and weapon for supporters will not affect the game balance but will absolutely be entertaining
    Added a Wasteland 2 poster to a 'light' level
    Added a digital concept art book
    Did a solid pass on clarification of reward levels

We are excited to kick this off and will need your help to spread the word!

Avalanche Game Announcement at E3

Avalanche Studios will be announcing a new game project at this year's E3 in June, reports IGN, saying Avalanche CEO Christofer Sundberg informed them of this at the Game Developers Conference. The report is a little hard to follow, referencing 2013 and 2014 release windows, the fact that it won't be a movie tie-in, but refusing to rule out it's a Mad Max game. What it seems to say is the game is expected next year, is probably in development at their Swedish studio, and it will not be Just Cause 3 or a Renegade Ops sequel.

Legend of Grimrock Release Candidate

The Legend of Grimrock Blog has word that the first release candidate is being evaluated for the upcoming dungeon crawler. Here's word on the current state of the project:

Oh, and what was it specifically that I meant by the game being “almost done”? Well, we’re no longer in beta, baby! On wednesday, we built the RC1, or release candidate 1, version of the game. This means that we “freeze” the development of the game (by stopping adding new features, basically) and start concentrating entirely on getting the game as stable as possible for the release. If something pops up that absolutely needs to be added to the game, it’s quite possible that we’ll have to wait until we do an update. Among the last things we improved on the game were: additional polishing of some of the GUI elements, save/load game dialog overhaul, some improved monster animations and miscellaneous level tweaks. I know the list of changes doesn’t look that impressive or sexy at this point but we needed to move carefully so we wouldn’t introduce any new bugs.

Quoteworthy: AC3 Dev on "Cancerous" AAA Games Growth

"We think about [this push] as kind of cancerous growth. I think that will leave the AAA blockbusters as nothing more than the last of the dinosaurs," says Assassin's Creed 3 creative director Alex Hutchinson. "In my mind video games need to have the goal of educating people, entertaining people, or at least being artistic. If you're not pushing any of these things…then I think we’re in for a rough patch."

Sniper Elite V2 Trailer

This new trailer shows off more bullet drama from Sniper Elite V2 with another "kill cam" clip from the upcoming stealthy sharpshooting sequel. Word is: "When scoping out a group of SS troops, you may be able to avoid an unnecessary confrontation with survivors - by making sure there aren't any." Continue here to read the full story.

War of the Roses Trailer

This GDC 2012 trailer offers our first look at gameplay from War of the Roses, the Danny DeVito-free multiplayer action game in the works at Fatshark. This kicks off a new series: "The newly released video is the first in a set of gameplay trailers dubbed the 'Death Before Dishonor' series, scheduled to be released in steady intervals until the game’s launch this fall. Over 60 different weapons to choose from, tiered skill trees within a fully-fleshed leveling system, team-based tactical challenges as well as deathmatches for soloists, and steel-in-your-face action are just a taste of what War of the Roses will offer." Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I asked for advice on winning my argument in the autumn with MrsBlue over whether I could put our grill on the deck, but I made little or no headway on that front, so the man stove sat unused all winter. This recent spate of warm weather is going to put this to an end this weekend, as I plan on having my first proper hamburgers in months, which makes me extremely happy.

Rare Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Spirit Fencer.
Links: 30th anniversary of the greatest summer of movies ever. Thanks nin.
How a Dog’s Brain Works.
Science: Researchers: Time to re-examine LSD as treatment for alcoholism.
Images: Portal Companion Cube Cookie Jar.
Media: BeetleCam gets right up close to the lions.
The Most Expensive Coffee in the World.
The Funnies: Dilbert.



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