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Saturday, Jul 30, 2011

Heroes of Newerth F2P, Some Players Protest

As noted on Kotaku, DOTA-inspired strategy game Heroes of Newerth is now officially free-to-play. Here's a little on how this works: "The new basic account is a free account new players receive when they sign up. Once a player has surpassed a certain threshold of play time, or purchase Goblin Coins, their account is upgraded to a Verified account. Players who were already paid users will have Legacy accounts. Legacy accounts receive a lifetime of free access to all HoN heroes and are able to play in Verified Only games, to ensure that experts and beginners are separated. Legacy accounts can no longer be purchased." despite the efforts to strike this balance between free and premium play, the - Heroes of Newerth "Non-constructive Complaints" Forum shows a good deal of player unhappiness at this development. Thanks Yair.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution PC FOV Option

A post to the Eidos Forums by programmer Jim Offerman says that the ability to adjust the field of view will be present in the windows edition of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the upcoming action/RPG prequel. A previous statement said the ability to adjust FOV would not be included, so this represents a change in plans. The new post is extremely short, simply saying: "I just wanted to let you know: we've recently added an in-game FOV setting to the DXHR PC!" Thanks Shacknews.

iRacing Interview

There's an interview on GameSpy talking with the developers of iRacing about this racing MMOG, and the changes in its recent version 2.0 update. They discuss the various elements that prompt them to claim this is the most realistic racing simulation on the market, but the conversation concludes with a contrasting explanation that this does not make it inaccessible: "I think people have the misconception that iRacing is a hardcore racing sim because, I think, most people envision a simulation as being hard. But I think when you come into iRacing, the way that we set up the series and the service is that you have to start out with a lower horsepower, entry level type vehicle. You work your way up to the more powerful cars, but you start with the Miata and it's something that you can get your head around. It drives like my car on the street drives, and it takes away that hurdle of not being able to control the car while to learning how to sim race."

Quoteworthy - John Carmack on Game Violence

"People just play games now and I never took seriously the violence in video games debate. It was basically talking points for people to get on CNN and espouse their stuff on there," says id Software Technical director John Carmack. "And I really think, if anything, there is more evidence to show that the violent games reduce aggression and violence. There have actually been some studies about that, that it’s cathartic. If you go to QuakeCon and you walk by and you see the people there [and compare that to] a random cross section of a college campus, you’re probably going to find a more peaceful crowd of people at the gaming convention. I think it’s at worst neutral and potentially positive."

Serious Sam 3: BFE Origin Spoof

Fork Parker tweets a spoof press release from Devolver Digital saying they've scrapped plans for a digital distributions service called "Krundle" in what seems an obvious spoof on EA's Origin service. The announcement describes incentives like nachos an "undetonated cold war explosives," that were planned. "I think we could have revolutionized hot I make a sh*tload of money," said CFO Fork Parker. "But the reality is Steam is an amazing digital platform. That's where we want to distribute or top-tier titles like Serious Sam 3: BFE to generate the kind of revenue it takes to buy things like velvet-covered jet skis. Holy crap, did I just invent those?" Thanks nin via Kotaku.

Op Ed

Kotaku - Sexual Video Games Are Good For Us.
I've since realized something: What I wanted, in those times, when I was digging around for those flavors of the unfamiliar that I called "aberrant," was proof that video games could speak to human identity, all the private spectral shades thereof. I hoped that they could help us glimpse compelling inner worlds of others through psychology, sociology, inter-relationships, sexuality. That's why I wrote that column back then.

And games about romance and sexual identity—the less-familiar the better—are still so appealing to me. Maybe even moreso. If sex and death are the two constants of human life, then given how many games we have exploring murder and death, I want to see them evaluating all kinds of avenues for sexual expression, too.

Saturday Previews

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on WSJ.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

The severe storms around here last night caused a blackout which lasted a couple of hours. After our last power outage it took about an hour of restarting my PC to get it to boot properly, and this time around it was about twice as bad. The machine actually came back the first time, as the UPS shut it down properly, but the keyboard and mouse were not powered up, and it took a couple of hours of rebooting after that. This seems to be hardware related, and I think I should take this as an omen that it's time to buy or build a new machine before this one goes completely tango uniform.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Happy Clicks.
Links: LeisureDive.com. Thanks Neatorama.
Wrongulator. Thanks Boing Boing.
Images: Space Trek. Thanks Boing Boing.
Holy Smokes Batman! The Bat-Signal Shines Over Pittsburgh.
Media: Music Vest Commercial 1985. Thanks Devicer.
Godzilla: History, Biology and Behavior.
Will It Blend? Magnets.
The Funnies: Dilbert and Dilbert.