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Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012

  

TRANSFORMERS Dinobot Destructor Pack DLC Next Week

Activision announces they will release a Dinobot Destructor Pack next week as DLC for TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON, their morphing action game. Here are some screenshots and concept art, and here's word:

Now that fans have experienced the epic single-player campaigns and multiplayer modes of TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON, we wanted to let you know that the team at High Moon Studios listened to fans and have been hard at work on exciting downloadable content to support the growing Fall of Cybertron community.

We are thrilled to announce that the legendary DINOBOTS will be playable in online multiplayer modes with the "Dinobot Destructor Pack," set to launch next week for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

The DLC pack will include the following characters, which includes their full body + individual body parts for use in the multiplayer character creator.

  • GRIMLOCK (T-rex)
  • SLUG (Triceratops)
  • SNARL (Stegosaurus)
  • SWOOP (Pteranodon)

Ships Ahoy - Diaspora: Shattered Armistice

The Diaspora: Shattered Armistice Website offers the release of this community-created Windows, OS X, and Linux game (though the Linux version is not compiled) set in the Battlestar Galactica universe. The site is working as of this writing, but it has been up and down all day, so some patience may be required to contend with the demand for this. Here's word on what this features:

  • Fly the MK VII Viper, the Raptor or the new MK VIIe strike variant.
  • Take part in furious battles against Cylon forces.
  • Play multiplayer missions against your friends as Colonial or Cylon forces.
  • Completely voice acted throughout.
  • Original soundtrack inspired by the show
  • Create your own missions and share them with the included mission editor.

Quoteworthy - EA Hates Single-Player Games, Or Not

"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers. I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365." -- Frank Gibeau, President, EA Labels. Thanks supererogatory via Destructoid. Frank walks back from that in a follow-up on Kotaku, where explains that these aren't the droids we're looking for: "I still passionately believe in single-player games and think we should build them. What I was trying to suggest with my comments was that as we move our company from being a packaged goods, fire-and-forget business to a digital business that has a service component to it. That's business-speak for ‘I want to have a business that's alive and evolves and changes over time'."

NPD: U.S. Video Game Player Totals Drop

USA Today summarizes a new report from the industry analysts at NPD Group that states the number of game players in the U.S. have declined by about 5% over last year, a counterintuitive result that may inspire questions about their undisclosed methodology. Here's word:

About two-thirds of Americans, 211.5 million, play video games in the U.S. That's about 12 million fewer, a 5% decline, than last year, NPD Says.

The number of mobile and digital gamers grew over 2011, while 2011's largest gamer category, core gamers, who focus on playing traditional console game systems, declined by 2%.

Overall, mobile gamers grew to make up 22% of the gaming population, an increase of 9%. Digital gamers, who primarily acquire games through free and paid downloads, rose 4% to account for 16% of all gamers.

On Sale

  • King's Bounty: The Legend on GOG.com. Save 60%.
  • NecroVision on Steam. Save 75%.

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Diablo III Crowd Control Change Plans

A new Developer Journal on the Diablo III Website talks about work going into the upcoming version 1.0.5 patch for Diablo III, discussing plans to change how crowd control effects work at higher difficulty levels in the action/RPG sequel. This outlines the reasons these effects are diminished as you progress in the game, but also how there is a certain dissatisfaction in how this makes one's character feel weaker as it progresses, and they provide graphs showing how higher level characters tend to drop such effects from their builds. They list various proposed ways to change this that all have downsides before describing the solution they arrived at with the assistance of developers from the StarCraft II and World of Warcraft development teams that involves giving monsters a crowd control resistance stat that builds when CC effects are applied and ebbs when they are not, offering examples of how this will operate.

Ubisoft Scrapping Always on DRM

Ubisoft will stop using its always-on DRM scheme that required an internet connection to play their PC games, Ubisoft's Stephanie Perotti states in a Rock, Paper, Shotgun interview. The quotes about dropping the unpopular anti-piracy protection are highlighted separately, noting that it has been over a year since they last shipped a game using this DRM, and this will continue to be their policy going forward. "We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game, and from then you are free to play the game offline," the publisher's worldwide director for online games tells them. "Whenever you want to reach any online service, multiplayer, you will have to be connected, and obviously for online games you will also need to be online to play. But if you want to enjoy Assassin’s Creed III single player, you will be able to do that without being connected. And you will be able to activate the game on as many machines as you want."

Call of Juarez Tease

The Call of Juarez Facebook Page has a teaser image with tomorrow's date, suggesting we should check back for some sort of announcement related to Techland's western shooter franchise. It looks like this may involve a return to the past, but this is not clear. Presumably we'll know soon enough. Thanks VG247.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Beta Underway

The StarCraft II Website announces the beginning of beta testing of the Heart of the Swarm expansion for the real-time strategy sequel (thanks BlizzPlanet). They offer a FAQ detailing on how participants are being selected, and the following explanation of what the testing entails:

The Heart of the Swarm beta test has begun! This multiplayer-only test will initially be limited to a select group of pro-gamers, members of the press, Arcade contest winners, and shoutcasters. Beta test participants are not under NDA, so you’re likely going to see live streams of matches, screenshots, and casts of impromptu Heart of the Swarm throwdowns starting . . . mmm, NOW!

We will soon be inviting other players to participate in the beta, so be sure you’ve opted in by clicking on the "Beta Profile Settings" under the Account Management section of your Battle.net account (or just click here). Signing up from a Battle.net account that’s actively playing StarCraft II will help your chances of being selected. Note that opting in doesn't guarantee beta access.

We'll also be working with several fansites and community personalities to provide more opportunities to join the beta test, so keep an eye out here and throughout the StarCraft II community for details as they emerge.

For those who are in the beta already, we appreciate your assistance in helping us test the game. If you’re interested in joining the beta, we wish you luck with the opt-in and (future) giveaways, and hope to see you in a match soon!

RIFT Storm Legion in November

Trion Worlds announces a November 13th release date for Storm Legion, the previously announced MMORPG expansion. They lay out a couple of offers for RIFT players:

Additionally, players who pre-order the Standard or Infinity editions of the game will receive early access to one of the Storm Legion dungeons, Exodus of the Storm Queen, as well as an in-game cape for their character.

The Infinity version of Storm Legion comes with the early access to the dungeon, the cape, a personal transporter (Brevanic Portal Generator), a new mode of transportation (Cyclone Mount) and the pint-sized evil that is Mini Regulos!

DOOM 3 BFG Edition: No PC DOOM/DOOM II Multiplayer

The Bethesda Softworks Forums offer a DOOM 3 BFG Edition FAQ with more on the upcoming first-person shooter bundle (thanks Badboy). While this will include multiplayer support for all three DOOM games on consoles, PC gamers will not be given the chance to relive classic DOOM and DOOM II multiplayer:

What multiplayer is included for DOOM 3 BFG Edition?
ONLINE multiplayer for Xbox 360 and PS3:

    DOOM: 2-4 players per map
    DOOM II: 2-4 players per map
    DOOM 3 and Resurrection of Evil: 2-4 players per map
    Lost Mission: N/A
OFFLINE multiplayer for Xbox 360 and PS3:
    DOOM: 2-4 players per map
    DOOM II: 2-4 players per map
    DOOM 3 and Resurrection of Evil: N/A
    Lost Mission: N/A
PC Multiplayer
    On PC online Multiplayer for DOOM 3 and Resurrection of Evil is 2-8 players.
    On PC there is no multiplayer options for Doom and Doom II.

Natural Selection 2 Steam Preorders & Free Upgrades

The Natural Selection 2 Website announces that preorders are now underway on Steam, and that Unknown Worlds' action/strategy sequel is to be released next month, though they have not nailed down the exact date yet (thanks Joao). They outline the choice between the Standard and Deluxe editions, though between now and the game's release the only version being sold is the Deluxe edition at the Standard edition price. They have been accepting preorders on their website for some time now, and explain that anyone who took advantage of this prior to today will be getting a free upgrade to the Deluxe edition as well as a second copy of the Standard edition to give to a friend. Here's what the Deluxe edition includes besides the game itself:

  • NS2 Official Soundtrack (almost 1 hour of music)
  • Digital Art Book (40 pages)
  • Exclusive wallpapers and avatars
  • Exclusive new in-game marine armor

TERA Server Merges

A Fall Producer Letter on the TERA Website announces server merges are coming this month for the MMORPG. Here's a server merge FAQ, and here's word:

Fall is a season of changes, and the world of TERA is going to be busy for the next few months. First on the list of change is our server status. We’ve got several metrics to measure server activity—and many of ours are below the mark. We’ve also been listening to the issues our players have been having in the game: lack of resources, lack of groups, extended wait times for dungeons, and so on. We feel that the best way to address these problems is to increase the number of simultaneous players on our servers. To that end, we will be merging servers on September 18, 2012.

Where some might look on this as a negative, I feel differently. By combining our servers, we facilitate a more unified community and give players a more full, alive world where finding groups, locating rare items (for lower prices!), and getting into dungeons quickly are the norm. Most importantly, combined servers will allow us to run more regular, player-focused events where we get to interact with our players. You can find a link to our detailed FAQ regarding this process at the bottom of this letter. It will be updated further as we get more information.

Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm Trailer

This trailer offers a look at Rising Storm, the upcoming expansion for Red Orchestra 2 that was going to be a modification before being upgraded to a commercial add-on for the World War II shooter sequel. The clip is comprised of highlights from demonstrations at gamescom along with a couple of new bits. Word is: "In the video, the producer of Rising Storm, Tony Gillham, explains some of the new features that the expansion is going to introduce, such as booby traps, spawn bunkers and banzai charges for the Japanese forces. On the US side, we also see the flamethrower, a great weapon for clearing out bunkers." Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Greenlight Adding Listing Fee

The recently launched Steam Greenlight program has a problem with its signal-to-noise ratio, as Valve has been flooded with legitimate submissions as well as joke entries from the collection of comedian known as the internet. To combat this, they announce they are adding a one hundred dollar submission fee, which will be contributed to charity. Here's word:

Two things we’ve noticed so far. First, there are a ton of legitimate submissions that people want to see. Second, there is unfortunately a significant amount of noise and clutter being submitted, either as a joke or by fans not fully understanding the purpose of Greenlight.

So, with those things in mind, today we’ve made two updates to how Greenlight works.

The first update is a $100 fee for someone to post to Steam Greenlight. The proceeds will be donated to Child’s Play. We have no interest in making money from this, but we do need to cut down the noise in the system. (Note: Anyone who has already posted a submission to Greenlight will not have to retroactively pay for any existing submissions, but will need to do so for any future submissions.)

The second part of this update is to improve your window into Greenlight and help you find “your kind” of games. The next time you visit Steam Greenlight you’ll be shown a smaller, manageable list of games that you haven’t rated. This view is a mix of popular games and new games to Greenlight.

In the end, we’re very interested in maintaining an environment that is fair and beneficial to everyone involved, and one that fun and rewarding to join.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

It's hard to believe the NFL season begins tonight, especially since it's a Wednesday. For now I'm happy that the Giants are getting underway immediately, though it's going to be more than a little weird following the team's first four games, as they play tonight, 11 days from now, then four days after that, then ten days after that. This is because they are scheduled for four nationally televised games this year, 75% of which are being crammed into the first 25% of the season. Since this is part of the price of being champions, I'm going to avoid complaining about this. Anyone want to see who can pick more winners this year? I'll take the G-men tonight.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Escape from the Very Bad Planet.
Links: Play the Theme to Mario on a Mario Guitar.
Science: Newfound 'Tatooine' Alien Planet Bodes Well for E.T. Search.
Images: Poorly Dressed: Betraying Your Company Loyalties I See.
Worst pun you'll see all day.
Media: How to Troll Snipers in Battlefield 3.
Why Pixar Movies are Secretly about the Apocalypse. NSFW.
Plaxico Burress on Gun Safety.
Guy Plays "Highway to Hell" on Guitar During a Traffic Jam.



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