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Saturday, Mar 23, 2013

  

RuneScape 3 This Summer

Jagex is working on RuneScape 3, reports PC Gamer, saying this free-to-play browser MMORPG update will be released this summer, though they are not clear if it will just become RuneScape at that time, as did RuneScape 2 when they did their first such upgrade. Here's word:

Wait, did Jagex just skip a number? Nope, RuneScape 2 showed up way back in 2004, and it assumed the moniker of RuneScape to serve its role as an overhaul of the original. RuneScape 3 might similarly shed its numerical appendage once released, since its incoming changes keep the core game the way it is now and instead focuses on client and engine improvements.

Jagex says existing avatars and accounts will carry over and continue seamlessly in RuneScape 3′s new adventures. It’ll also keep maintaining a Java-based client for old-school enthusiasts and those with lower-end hardware. The new hotness, however, is the arrival of a sleek HTML5- and WebGL-based client that boasts a visual boost across the board—sharper graphics, increased viewing distances, deepened colors, and other perks. The Wipeout-like HexGL is a worthy demonstration of what that combo of browser-based gaming looks like.

CONSORTIUM Kickstarter Redux

A second Kickstarter is underway for CONSORTIUM, a proposed first-person RPG from Interdimensional Games, saying this would represent "A new breed of role playing game that obliterates the fourth wall!" CONSORTIUM had a crowd-funding campaign late last year which was cancelled after a couple of weeks. At the time they were emphasizing the game's connections with Amen: The Awakening, as it is being designed by Gregory MacMartin, project leader on Cavedog's long-cancelled shooter, but there is more of a focus now on how their design will accommodate many different approaches to the game, which is shown off in a new work-in-progress trailer they are showing. This seems to be working, as the new campaign has attracted more than double the funding in a few days than the original one did in two weeks. They are also running a Steam Greenlight campaign which has a more concise description. Here's that:

Imagine a game with the true first-person freedom and immersion of HALF-LIFE combined with the character interaction and development from THE WALKING DEAD or MASS EFFECT, finally spliced with the consequences of actions like in the original DEUS EX.

  • Built with a modified version of the SOURCE engine (real-time lights and shadows), immerse yourself into a world with a completely original art style, bringing to life the idea that what you are experiencing is really being streamed to your computer from a parallel universe...
  • Unravel a mystery stretching back thousands of years, and uncover the secret of humanity’s altered destiny...
  • Freely explore the fully realized Consortium command vessel ZENLIL, a quadruple-decked aircraft patrolling the globe from 45,000 feet.
  • Step inside the skin of a Consortium Bishop – the world’s most powerful peacekeeper. With advanced weaponry at your disposal you have the ability to either kill or incapacitate your foes. The choice is yours, but your actions actually alter the course of the game, and along with that, the perceptions and reactions of others.
  • Dive into deep, realistic and meaningful conversations with 21 different cast members.

Continue here to read the full story.

World of Warcraft Patch Notes

The World of Warcraft website now offers patch notes for a version 5.3 patch soon to be released on the Public Test Realms for Blizzard's MMORPG. The list of new features is pretty lengthy, covering things like a brand new Battleground, a new arena, and new scenarios. They say the patch will also include assorted bug fixes, but none are listed at this time. There's also a new blog update on how item upgrades work in version in 5.3.

Researchers: Battlefield Play4Free Vulnerable

Ars Technica has details on a security vulnerability in Battlefield Play4Free reported from the Black Hat security conference they say could be used to hijack the computers of users of Windows XP and 2003. Word is: "The proof-of-concept exploit, demonstrated last week at the Black Hat security conference in Amsterdam, allows attackers to surreptitiously execute malicious code on default systems running Windows XP or Windows 2003 that have the Play4Free title installed. There are close to 1 million players of the first-person shooter game, and about 39 percent of Windows users are still on XP." They have word from EA that they are "investigating" this report, but do not have immediate comment.

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Mobilization

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Legal Briefs

Hardware Reviews

  • G-Technology G-Drive Mobile USB 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive on Nikk Tech.
  • Kingston HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive on TweakTown.
  • PowerColor HD 7790 Turbo Duo 1 GB on techPowerUp.
  • SilverStone Sugo SG09 on OCaholic.

etc.

Out of the Blue

The past few weeks I've been experiencing odd behavior on some embedded YouTube videos. On some, but not all, I'll find the area on the screen to activate buttons doesn't line up with the buttons, but will be somewhere below. I can figure this out from having to click below the big red arrow to play them, but those menu controls at the bottom don't work at all, because presumably the area to click is "behind" the iframe, so to speak. I haven't had any luck Googling this, so I don't know if this is actually a problem elsewhere, or just for me, but after updating flash, shockwave, and my graphics and mouse drivers, I'm sort of stuck with a mystery at this point.

Mysterious Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Back to Zombieland.
Stories: Game of Thrones: Why does it inspire such devotion among fans? Thanks brother19.
Images: Beauty Among The Ruins. Thanks Cutter.
Media: This is really clever - a dancing Airplane. Thanks nin.
NFL Sound FX- (2012) Best Sounds.

Friday, Mar 22, 2013

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Announced

Blizzard Entertainment announces their promised PAX East reveal is Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a free-to-play virtual card-based game with cross-platform support for Windows, OS X, and iPad. The game is being shown off this weekend to PAX East attendees, and they say that beta testing will begin "soon." Here's word:

Boston, Mass.—March 22, 2013—Pull up a chair across from an old friend at the tavern table and prepare for a few rounds of lively card-vs.-card warfare. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. laid its virtual cards on the table today with the unveiling of Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™, a new cross-platform free-to-play game for Windows®, Macintosh®, and iPad®.

In Hearthstone, players build card decks centered around one of nine iconic Warcraft® character classes and duel each other for fun, glory, and the chance to win awesome new cards. PAX East attendees are able to go hands-on with Hearthstone this weekend, and Blizzard will begin beta testing for the game very soon—no, seriously.

“We’ve always loved collectible card games at Blizzard, so it’s been exciting to bring everything we love about the genre to life in Hearthstone,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re putting a lot of focus into creating a fun new game that’s easy to pick up and play, but also has a lot of depth. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Deceptively simple in design but epically engaging, Hearthstone will be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games. Whether players prefer to wield magic or arms in battle, strike from the shadows or head on—or have never given any of that much thought—they’ll be able to jump right in, create a deck, and get in on the card-slinging action.

Continue here to read the full story.

Defiance Beta Event Underway

The Defiance Beta Page has details on the third beta event for Defiance, Trion's MMO tie-in with the Syfy network's new TV series. Word is the NDA is being lifted at this time, so this will lead to videos and impressions of the game showing up online.

Grimlands Cancelled

gamigo AG announces they have decided "not to proceed with the development" of Grimlands, the MMORPG though they keep hope alive for the MMORPG they announced almost two years ago. They hold out the possibility they will pick this up again when funding appears, but it doesn't sound hopeful:

Development halt for Grimlands
The intensified focus on publishing and distribution and reduction of high-risk development projects has been pushed further forward. With this in mind the decision has been made not to proceed with the development of the MMORPG, Grimlands. The game still requires substantial additional funds to be brought to completion. Even other games in the "development pipeline" are to be critically assessed anew according to opportunities and risks.

SimCity Patch

EA Support has details on a new patch that's now automatically available for SimCity to update the urban planning reboot to version 1.8 (thanks Quboid). The following patch notes outline general gameplay changes as well as specific fixes for road behavior and some messaging fixes. Continue here to read the full story.

Splinter Cell Blacklist Walkthrough Trailer

This new trailer from Splinter Cell Blacklist, offers a developer walkthrough from the next installment in Ubisoft's stealth/action videogame series. Word is: "In this latest asset, game director Patrick Redding showcases three different approaches to tackling the Abandoned Mill level via the Ghost, Panther and Assault play styles." Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Intel’s Pentium launched 20 years ago today. Thanks nin via Slashdot.

Legendary Heroes Beta Access for Preorders

Stardock announces closed beta testing of Legendary Heroes, their upcoming "more than a traditional expansion pack" for Fallen Enchantress, their fantasy-themed strategy game. Word is that in addition to new content, this provides "more of a top to bottom improvement to the core game play" for Fallen Enchantress, which was designed to do the same for Elemental: War of Magic (aka game-who-must-not-be-named). Speaking of which, those who did purchase Elemental before November 2010 will be receiving this as part of their original purchase as Stardock continues to make amends for it rocky launch. Fallen Enchantress owners are entitled to a discount, while a standalone version is also planned for those just jumping in. And speaking of jumping in (the segues are rolling like Segways today), those who preorder Legendary Heroes will get immediate access to that closed beta. This forum post offers more complete details about what this entails, offering a recent changelog comparing Legendary Heroes to Fallen Enchantress.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 - Siberian Strike Next Week

CI Games announces the Siberian Strike DLC is due on March 27th, offering the promised additional content for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, the just-released sharpshooting sequel for Windows and consoles. Here are some screenshots and here's word on what this will add to the CryENGINE 3 shooter:

WARSAW, POLAND — March 22, 2013 — CI Games, a fast-growing international publisher and developer of interactive entertainment, today announced Siberian Strike the upcoming DLC for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 will be available on Wednesday, March 27 for Xbox LIVE® Arcade for 800MP, PlayStation®Network for 9,99 €/9,99 $/ 8,99 £ and Steam for 9,99 €/9,99 $/8,99 £.

The Siberian Strike DLC expands upon the single player storyline, taking players to an isolated Siberian location where new open world maps invite players multiple paths for solving the new tactical missions. Shut off from guidance by spotters, players must find their own path through the new location using the map and their elite sniper skills.

Continue here to read the full story.

Torment Kickstarter Adds Chris Avellone Goal

The Kickstarter for Torment: Tides of Numenera announces a new stretch goal for inXile entertainment's upcoming RPG, saying that Planescape Torment designer Chris Avellone will join the development team if they surpass the $3.5 million threshold, which is under $700K away with a fortnight remaining in the campaign. Word is: "At $3.5M, Chris will be joining our design team. He’ll have two primary roles. First, he will be reviewing and providing feedback on all creative elements of the game, including the story, characters, and areas. His input will be invaluable as a resource to Colin in further detailing the creative vision for the game. Second, he’ll be designing and writing an eighth companion for the game, working with Colin and Monte to craft a companion ideal for both Torment and the Ninth World of Numenera."

Lara Croft: Reflections TMed

Square Enix has filed a U.S. Trademark registration for Lara Croft: Reflections, reports Siliconera. Noting the recent indication that there are no plans for single-player DLC for the new Tomb Raider game, they proceed to speculate about what this implies. Thanks OXM.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Patch Has No Season Pass

Steam News announces the release of a new patch to automatically update Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve's teamplay shooter. Though a rumor emerged yesterday that this would include some sort of season pass to financially compensate community map authors, the patch contains no such feature. VG247 points to a follow-up on PCGamesN saying they've discovered strings mocking their scoop: "CSGO_Ticket_CommunitySeasonOneSpring2013_Leak" and "lol."

Door Kickers Announced

Indie developer KillHouse Games announces Door Kickers, a top-down real-time tactics game in the works for Windows later this year (mobiles to follow) that will allow players to plan and execute SWAT missions. A trailer from the game is online, showing this is somewhat reminiscent in appearance to Frozen Synapse, and here's word: "You're in command of a SWAT team: Analyze the situation, plan team routes, choose equipment and breach points and coordinate multiple troopers to reach the hostage room before the bad guys get to press that trigger. Its all about timing, coordination, breaching charges, flashbangs, hostages with a gun to their head, and precision shots that save the day - but this time in a top down perspective, and you’re the mastermind." The game is currently offered at a 25% prerelease discount, which grants immediate access to the latest build. Continue here to read the full story.

Blood of the Werewolf Announced

Scientifically Proven Entertainment, an indie studio formed by Nathaniel "Than" McClure, veteran of Call of Duty development, announces Blood of the Werewolf, which they call "a brutal throwback to our favorite white knuckle platformers of old." The game is coming to Windows (they are hoping to land on Steam) and consoles "early this summer," and there's an interview on Nintendo Life introducing the project. For more, the game also has a Facebook Page and there's a reveal trailer on the YouTube showing pre-beta footage of the game in action. Continue here to read the full story.

Lords of Xulima Announced

Spanish indie developer Numantian Games announces Lords of Xulima, a role-playing game of the throwback 2D isometric, turn-based, single-player variety planned for release this year for Windows, OS X, and Linux. They say this is "inspired by old school classics like Ultima, Might and Magic and Wizardy but with modern graphics, design and interface." Further: "The game is set on a mythical lost continent called Xulima where the world makers lived in ancient times. The game features a vast challenging world where you will have to create and command a six character party in an epic story of gods and men." They offer a trailer and point the way to their Steam Greenlight campaign. Continue here to read the full story.

Resident Evil 6 Pre-Purchase Steam DLC Unlocked

Capcom Unity has word that those who pre-purchase Resident Evil 6 on Steam (which are only underway for a few more hours) are now entitled to a free copy of the Onslaught DLC: "Onslaught DLC mode will also be available for those who pre-ordered the game on Steam. It can also be purchased separately for $3.99 or €3.99. as you can see from the video it plays like a single player mercs match except your opponent is playing on their own map and you can send your combo kills (shown as sort of moss covered baddies) over to the other players game to overwhelm them."

The Repopulation Crafting Trailer

There's a new PAX East trailer from The Repopulation on the official website for the upcoming MMORPG, showing off the sandbox game's crafting system. Here's word: "We are happy to have a new crafting preview video now available. Clocking in over 20 minutes this is our longest video yet and really drills down into the fundamentals of the crafting system. The video focuses on the recipes involved in creating a fitting. The resource attribute system is shown and explained as it is used in the refining process for the metal used with the fitting." They invite attendees of PAX East to drop by booth #581 today or tomorrow to see the game. Continue here to read the full story.

BioShock Infinite Budget Rumor Denied

Irrational Games' Ken Levine has taken to Twitter to deny a report from the New York Times on the budget for BioShock Infinite, Irrational's upcoming first-person shooter prequel. The Times quotes an unnamed analyst saying the game will end up costing $200 million, divided equally between development and marketing. As hard as it is to imagine a paper nicknamed "The Old Gray Lady" could be off-base about video games, Levine indicates this story is inaccurate, saying: "200 million for Infinite? Did someone send some checks to the wrong address? #unnamedanalyst." He follows sarcastically: "Analyst: @IGLevine 's American girl doll collection cost 200 million." Also, VG247 notes that IGN's review exclusivity has scored them a Waking Up in Columbia trailer and a Columbia Raffle and Fair trailer, each with gameplay walkthroughs narrated by Ken. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Patches

Morning Interviews

Op Ed

Original-Gamer.com - Exclusive Reviews: Crowding One Voice and Shunning Others.
In other media mediums like music or movies, exclusive reviews aren’t used anymore as they appear to be naive with major outlets being shunned, which goes for all those independent bloggers too. Apparently though, this doesn’t affect the decision making made over at Take-Two Interactive. In fact, looking at the layout of the ‘review-in-progress’ that has been posted as of the publication of this editorial, there are several locations that IGN and Take-Two use with different retail partners to take advantage by posting advertisements in strategic places where readers can’t ignore an Amazon link telling where gamers can purchase the game.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Today is World Water Day in what has already been declared the "International Year of Water Cooperation" by the United Nations. Dealing with the world's supply of fresh water is serious business, so here's to making progress in managing our supply and demand of H2O. There's also a World Water Week planned for September, so on some level we can consider today a dry run.

Dry Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Strike Force Heroes 2.
Links: The Arrested Development Documentary Project Kickstarter. Thanks nin.
Social Farting vs. Social Smoking. Thanks Cutter.
Images: For These Amazing Cosplayers, The Stage Is Their Laboratory.
Media: Everything Wrong With The Dark Knight In 4 Minutes Or Less.
Pee-wee Herman Plays Black Ops.
1 beer in 1 second.
Sledder Has Close Call.
The Funnies: Dilbert.
Savage Chickens.



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