The Diablo III Forums have word that Blizzard has been quelling a rise of the machines in their action/RPG sequel, announcing several thousand players have been banned for botting. In response to a criticism that this action is belated, a later post notes that they have been taking such actions all along, but are planning on being more communicative about the process. Here's word:
We've recently issued account bans to several thousand Diablo III players who were found to be using botting programs while playing. In addition to undermining the spirit of fair play, botting, hacking, and other forms of cheating can also cause technical problems with the game as well as contribute to performance issues with the Battle.net service. To learn more about our exploitation policy for Diablo III and how it may affect your gameplay, please visit our official support site.
As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and enjoyable online environment for legitimate players is very important to us, and we'll be continuing to keep watch on Battle.net and take action as needed. In the meantime, if you wish to report the possible use of botting programs to Blizzard, please see this thread for more information. (We will also be adding the ability for players to report this kind of behavior directly through the game client in a future patch.)
The Indie Royale Website now offers sales of The Xmas Bundle 2.0, a selection of indie games available for a low price. The bundle features Colour Bind, Offspring Fling!, Serious Sam Double D, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, Puzzle Bots, and Little Kingdom. It also includes Namiko, an award-winning Game Jam project, and those who shell out more than $8.00 will also receive a chiptune album.
The MechWarrior Online Forums have details on a new patch that's now live to update the MMO shooter to version 1.2.168. This is said to be the game's largest content update so far, adding a new conquest mode, three new mechs, an economy update, a new map, and more. Here are some details:
Massive new additions to MechWarrior Online will be live today as Piranha Games and Infinite Game Publishing announce “Conquest Mode” – the highly anticipated mode that allows for capturable locations in the Inner Sphere, greatly altering gameplay strategies. In addition to Conquest Mode, three epic new Mechs are available today as well as a new twist on an urban environment that will force you to walk the precipice of darkness (and ledges): River City Night. For beginners, the developers have addressed ease-of-advancement issues faced by new players by implementing an entirely new reward system enabling a more rapid advancement toward purchasing more powerful Mechs. Existing players will also benefit from economy changes.
“Conquest mode is a huge addition to how the game is played and one that I think veteran players will enjoy” said Bryan Ekman, creative director at Piranha Games. “We’re also excited to see how new players react to the changes in advancement at the beginning of the game. One issue we’ve heard repeatedly is that MechWarrior Online has a steep learning curve. We feel this content update drastically improves this aspect of the game and look forward to hearing the feedback from new players.”
Paradox Interactive offers a new "Beta Cliché" trailer to promote The Showdown Effect, the upcoming 2.5D multiplayer "shootfest" from Arrowhead Studios (Magicka), since they explain the game is set in "a world where fast-paced combat meets over-the-top movie clichés." Additionally, this page is where to sign up if you are interested in beta testing the game in advance of its release, currently scheduled for March 2013. Word is the beta will get underway "soon."
Codeweavers now offers sales of a new version 12 of their Crossover software that enables OS X and Linux users to hold their noses and run Windows software without actually having to license a copy of the OS. This includes a new experimental Mac driver they say will lead to faster ports in the future. A free trial is also available.
EA is now offering sales of Zero Dark Thirty map pack, providing owners of Medal of Honor Warfighterthe promised opportunity to get to experience this tie-in with the new film release that was previously a preorder bonus. The pack can be purchased through Origin and it is also available on GameStop PC Downloads. Here are the details on the maps in the pack:
Darra: The Darra gun market is widely accepted as the largest black-market weapons manufacturer in the world, home to dozens of back-alley shops and self-taught mechanists. Take arms in this manufacturing village for intense vertical combat.
Chitral: The wreckage of a helicopter leads the way into the Chitral Compound, one of Bin Laden’s alleged hiding outposts. Roam the treacherous hills and navigate the unforgivable terrain to take down enemies and achieve victory.
The Bethesda Blog announces that the new The Scorchers DLC is now available for RAGE, id Software's first-person shooter. Word is: "RAGE: The Scorchers, the official add-on DLC for RAGE, is now available on Xbox 360, and Steam for $4.99 (or 400 Microsoft Points). PlayStation 3 players in North America can expect the content later this afternoon and those in Europe will be able to download it tomorrow."
The Iron Sky: Invasion Website now offers new playable demos for the Windows and OS X editions of Iron Sky: Invasion, the space simulator that pits players against the menace of moon Nazis. The downloads are hosted on this page, and word is that it includes the tutorial along with the first 30 minutes of gameplay. There is also a new patch for the full version of the game on that page for the OS X edition, while owners of the Windows version can get the update automatically from within the game. The new version is said to address "some small issues."
The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has details on Rise of the Hutt Cartel, the first expansion for the Star Wars: The Old Republic, the sci-fi MMORPG. This is due in Spring 2013, and will be USD $19.99, or $9.99 for subscribers. Here's what this will offer:
The first Digital Expansion for The Old Republic™ introduces an aggressive new enemy threatening the future of the galaxy: the Hutt Cartel:
Experience 5 new levels, including story-driven missions, as the level cap increases to 55!
Face-off against a frightening new enemy when you battle the nefarious Hutt Cartel.
The fate of the new planet Makeb is at stake... and in your hands.
Stay tuned for more information coming soon - Over the next few months we will reveal more exciting new features!
Digitalmindsoft announces Call to Arms, a new installment in the Men of War series of military RTS series. They have kicked off their own internal fundraiser for the game on this page, which offers details on the project and rewards for those who back its development. Word is this will take the franchise out of its familiar World War II setting, and place it in the present day:
Welcome to the Call to Arms crowd funding page, a real-time strategy game developed by Digitalmindsoft and the true successor of the Men of War series.
Like you, we fought countless battles across Europe, but time stops for no man and change is coming. The era of modern warfare has begun!
Call to Arms offers an innovative new look into modern era combat. Initially offering two playable factions, 20 realistically modeled vehicles and heavy weaponry, as well as over 60 firearms and customization, our new game offers the very best in tactical gameplay.
Similar to Men of War: Assault Squad, Call to Arms also includes our innovative "direct control" feature, a 3rd person action mode used to operate your unit's aim and movement. Whether advancing with a Humvee, infiltrating with a Scout Sniper or crashing through buildings with a M1A2 Abrams, everything can be controlled by you!
Aside from the modern theme, what will change compared to the classic Men of War? We believe it's time to improve the series and the engine it’s running on. This is where we require your help! We have raised enough funds to begin the project, but with your assistance, we aim to create the best strategy experience yet. Every cent offered will go back into development to create higher resolution graphics, engine optimizations and greater content! So what are you waiting for? Check out the reward list and let’s work together to create the greatest gaming you’ve seen!
This Kickstarter is hoping to scare up funding for War for the Overworld, described as a "mix of real time strategy and god game" from Subterranean Games, who say this will be influenced by Dungeon Keeper, Overlord, StarCraft, and Evil Genius (the project has been endorsed by some original Dungeon Keeper developers). The campaign is about halfway done and half-funded, and to help push them over the top they say they will release a demo sometime today to show off the game, saying: "In this new demo, you have the ability to summon Blood Imps, cast Possession, construct rooms and command your imps to dig out areas of earth and claim tiles - it's seriously awesome and we cannot wait for you guys to get your hands on it!" Thanks Kwantum.
A few days ago the developers at Maxis subjected themselves to a reddit AMAA session to discuss SimCity, the next installment in EA's urban planning series. In this case, the offer to ask then anything provoked a number of questions about the controversial decision to make being online a requirement to play the game, and Techdirt points to a separate thread compiling comments from the session on this proposed DRM. Thanks Shok.
We are entering day three of our plodding transition to FiOS here. A technician arrived this morning to address how we are not getting incoming calls and that one of our phones is using the wrong number. Every step of this process has involved the person we are currently dealing with questioning the statements made by the people we previously dealt with, and today was no different. Apparently this may take a really long time to straighten out, and we are in danger of losing one of our old phone numbers along the way. I just keep reminding myself that as long as the house isn't burning we're still ahead of the game.