Archived News:

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2002

Diablo II Exploit Investigation

An update on has the initial response by Blizzard to this morning's report of character hacks in Diablo II (story). According to their investigation, no evidence has emerged that the hacks actually occurred, nor have they been able to reproduce the steps to perform the hack, for "The hack as described would be impossible, given the architecture of" They do invite further, detailed information concerning this or possible other hacks to be submitted to

Wednesday Screenshots

  • Global Operations
    ToTheGame serves up fifteen new, mostly dark Global Operations screenshots apparently captured from the ongoing beta test of the tactical multiplayer shooter by Barking Dog.
  • WarCraft III
    Another week, another new WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos screenshot at the official site to illustrate the 3D role-playing RTS under construction at Blizzard.
  • Goldenland
    Shacknews has posted a pair of new Goldenland screenshots, showing more from this isometric role-playing game being crafted at Russia-based Burut.
  • Disciples II
    In a further celebration of the game's gold status (story), the official Disciples II: Dark Prophecy site has been updated with a whopping 90 new screenshots of Strategy First's turn-based strategy title.
  • Cultures 2
    There are nearly a dozen new Cultures 2 screenshots (mixed with four familiar ones in the top 15) on BonusWeb, offering more scenes in the upcoming isometric management strategy game by Funatics.
  • Battlecruiser XP
    3000AD has released sets of screenshots of Battlecruiser XP1 and XP2, the upcoming expansions to their recent space simulation game.
  • Tale in the Desert
    Half a dozen new A Tale in the Desert screenshots are online at EuroGamer, showing more from this peaceful MMORPG in the works at eGenesis.
  • Diggles
    XGR has posted four new screenshots of Diggles, the oddball strategy game by German developer Innonics that's already out in their home country under the equally odd title Wiggles.
  • Attack Squadron
    Mad Doc Software sends word of a new batch of Jane's Attack Squadron screenshots for their upcoming flight sim set in World War II.

Star Wars Starfighter Gold

Star Wars Starfighter goes gold reports GameSpot, saying that the PC port of this space combat shooter by Secret Level and LucasArts that previously appeared on the PS2 and Xbox, is now complete and is expected to arrive on store shelves by January 22.

Mimesis Online Released

Although not yet noted on the official site, there is now a version 1.0 client for Mimesis Online available for download from FilePlanet (registration required), weighing in at a whopping 475 MB. The client is a free download but you'll need to pay for an account at the official site to play this science fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game by Tannhauser Gate. Update: The official site has now been relaunched with a new look and up-to-date information on setting up an account, as well as more download mirrors.

Miscellaneous MMORPG Mish-mash

The Camelot Herald has news of a small Dark Age of Camelot update, bringing the game to version 1.42b with a pair of minor fixes. In related news, Dark Age of Camelot Sells Over 200,000 copies heralds a milestone in the sales of this fantasy MMORPG by Mythic Entertainment, claiming the third spot among US-based MMORPGs. Elsewhere, Imaginary Worlds, Real Cash on CNNmoney looks at online gaming and mentions that Project Entropia, MindArk's entry in the field, is due in the second quarter of this year. Further, there is a brief Darkfall Online interview on Darkfall MMORPG Network, quizzing lead designer Claus Grovdal about the fantasy MMORPG in the works at Raxorwax. Lastly, if you'd like to engage in the Anarchy Online seven-day free trial but are choking on the 650 MB client download, they now offer to mail the CD to you for a shipping fee of USD 4.99.

Medieval Total War Preview

GameSpot's Medieval Total War Preview takes a look at this upcoming RTS follow-up that will do for medieval Europe what Shogun: Total War did for feudal Japan. The article describes the influence of the culture you play on your starting position, the maps screen interface, the massive battles, strategies, tactics, formations, morale, leadership, and more. Included are a dozen mostly new screenshots, some concept art, and a new gameplay video.

The Druid King Demo

Russian site Game.EXE has posted a playable demo of The Druid King, the isometric RTS with adventure and role-playing elements under construction at Bulgarian developers Haemimont Games. In case your Russian vocabulary doesn't extend beyond Da and Njet, not to worry, as you can also view the page through Babel Fish and the 85.7 MB demo itself is in English. Update: The demo turned out to be an old alpha version that was not meant for public distribution, so we have removed the links to it.

Gothic 2 Unveiled

Czech site GamePort sends word of the first eight screenshots of Gothic 2, the sequel to the third-person action role-playing game by Piranha Bytes that will now be published by JoWood Productions. The brief article offers the first details on the game, for which the story continues right from the ending of the original.

The GORE Dream Catches On

DreamCatcher Acquires 3D PC Blast-Fest GORE by 4D Rulers is the announcement that this first-person shooter that's been an independent project until now has found a publisher, as they've signed on with DreamCatcher Interactive. The release, which lists Spring 2002 as the game's projected release date, offers the gory GORE story, their unique weapon and stamina systems, and a description of gameplay: "In GORE’s revolutionary gameplay world, players will need more than a quick trigger-finger to demolish their opponents. The game’s 8 to 10 unique player classes allow each player to choose the character with the right weapons, strengths, and abilities for them. Most of GORE’s frighteningly lethal weapons have secondary-fire modes, a feature that gives players over 30 ways to demolish their opponents. But that’s just the beginning. Almost anything you see in GORE can be destroyed: weapons, health and stamina packs, ammo boxes, gas tanks and more. Don’t want a wounded enemy to get a health pack? Shoot it right before he touches it, and watch the pack explode with lethal force. Four game modes (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Tactical warfare) make GORE challenging for any level of player."

Drippings From the Fishtank

The Fishtank January update on Blue Monday offers the (slightly delayed for the holidays) update on what's up with all of the upcoming games on Fishtank Interactive's schedule. Included is word on plans for German and English Car Tycoon multiplayer patches around the end of January, the imminence of an Arx Fatalis demo, the completion of a German preview edition of Beam Breakers, the availability of AquaNox and Etherlords patches (and an AquaNox price reduction in German-speaking countries), that Wildlife Park has reached Alpha, the first pre-Alpha version of 1914: The Great War has arrived, plans for the first Call Of Cthulhu trailer by the end of January, and believe it or not, still more.

Diablo II Exploit

More Info on Char Hacks on the Unofficial Diablo II Messageboards (thanks Matthew Rorie) has details on the return of an exploit that can allow unauthorized access to Diablo II characters on that can result in the loss of items, PKing as the result of impersonation, and even the death of hardcore characters. They provide several tips on how to safeguard your characters against this sort of harm until Blizzard plugs this hole.

Call Sign: Charlie Q&A

HomeLan Fed's Call Sign: Charlie Interview talks with Tomas Roller of Outsider Development, the Slovak Republic-based developer currently at work on this upcoming tactical first-person shooter set in the Vietnam War. The discussion covers the origins of Outsider Development, the idea behind the game, the game's unusual setting, the single-player storyline, levels and settings, weapons, enemies and AI, the game engine, research, modifications, plans for a demo, and more.

Bill Roper Q&A

There's a Bill Roper Q&A on Warcraft3 Center talking with this vice president at Blizzard North, primarily focusing on progress on Warcraft III, their upcoming RTS sequel. Topics include the number of flying units that will be at each race's disposal, the Dread Lord's abilities, lumber harvesting, summoned creatures, sizes of the maps, textures, polygon counts, and more.

New World Order Q&A

There's a New World Order Q&A on Blue Monday talking with Jim Malmros of Termite Games to discuss New World Order, the upcoming first-person shooter formerly known as Decay. They discuss the decision to create NWO from the ashes of Decay, the main difference between NWO and other tactical shooters, the single-player storyline, the fact that they've discarded their class system, their DVA engine, plans to release tools and a demo, and more. The interview is also available in the site's native Spanish, and is accompanied by ten new screenshots.

Jedi Outcast Site

As noted in Raven programmer James Monroe's .plan, LucasArts has revamped their official Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast site (Flash advised) with a new look and more information on this upcoming lightsaber wielding 3D action game. The site offers new details on the game's characters, force powers and weapons, along with ten new screenshots, some concept art and wallpapers, and more.

Kenn Hoekstra Q&A

There's a Kenn Hoekstra Q&A on talking with the Raven Software project administrator about what's going on these days in chilly Wisconsin (thanks GameSpyDaily). Topics include the stress level at Raven with so many projects currently in the works, his job, the decision to ultimately include multiplayer support in SoF2, whether RtCW multiplayer has influenced them in this regard, the odd naming convention (or lack thereof) in the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series, his peculiar obsession with Thundarr The Barbarian, and more.

Tech Bits


GameSpot's Turok Evolution revealed has news on the upcoming console game based on the famed dinosaur hunter. They've also posted a First Look at Turok Evolution which includes screenshots and concept art, and cap the whole thing off with a gameplay movie. Likewise, there are also a pair of Turok Evolution previews on here and here.

Console Reviews: Halo (Xbox) on XGR, Star Wars: Obi-Wan (Xbox) on GamePen and Star Wars: Starfighter - Special Edition (Xbox) on The Armchair Empire.

New Allegiance SOC

The My Allegiance website has a new version 1.11 of the SOC modification for Allegiance, Microsoft's space game. The modification offers a new tech tree for the game, which they say is "running great," except for a few "bugs/balance issues."

Game Guidance

PlanetDiablo's Complete Guide to the Werebear is the latest in their series of guides on how to craft a Diablo II/Lord of Destruction character along a specific path, this time out showing Druids how to get in touch with the bear within. Also, the official Dark Space FAQ has been updated.

Game Development & Mods

GSC Game World (which hijacks your browser window width) has downloads of a Russian Cossacks: Art of War Scenario Editor, and there are some Cossacks mission editor screenshots on Worthplaying showing off the English version of the scenario editor that will be included with the UK version of the upcoming Art of War add-on for Cossacks. No word on how (or if) this differs from the English scenario editor on the Cossacks Downloads Page (story). Morrowind Summit's TES Editor Preview is another write-up about the editing program to be included with the shipping version of Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Finally, Tim Ferguson's Home Page has a bunch of new information about the id Software Quake III Arena cinematic formats (.cin and .RoQ).

The Mod Squads

HomeLan Fed's Cheating Death Q&A talks with the anonymous author of this Half-Life anti-cheating utility, who is a partner of HomeLan about this program, what it does, and why it's necessary.

Game Reviews

Other Previews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

More Security for Punxsutawney Phil is an article relating something I heard on the news this morning, describing how heightened security around the country will even impact Groundhog Day, as Punxsutawney, PA's annual episode of 'the shadow knows' will feature tighter scrutiny of the attendees than ever before. The print article doesn't relate the best part of the story I heard on the radio though, that the security detail will include bomb-sniffing dogs. I know these dogs are exceedingly well trained, but I still find myself considering the prospect that instincts will take over... if they are anything like Hudson the wonder dog (and Airedales are still used for bomb-sniffing) this could turn into quite a circus. Bringing dogs to a groundhog celebration for security... interesting concept.

Story of the Day: Plaque Meant To Honor Actor Insults Instead. The worst typo ever?
Bonus Story:
'Dumb' theft attempt lands man in jail. Thanks Christopher Ashbaugh.
Auction of the Day: Raisin Bran Box. Thanks Todd Davis.

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