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Friday, Nov 18, 2011


Minecraft Version 1.0

Notch tweets that Minecraft is officially out of beta, and the release version of the sandbox game is now available:

And Minecraft 1.0 is out. No longer beta. Thank you, everyone. =D

Battlefield 3 Patch Plans

The Battlefield Blog announces plans to patch Battlefield 3, saying updates are coming to DICE's military shooter sequel on all platforms:

The DICE team are hard at work supporting Battlefield 3. To date, we have implemented several server updates to improve stability and performance. Next week we are publishing a significant Battlefield 3 client update for the PC. Console patches take a bit longer due to the certification requirements for console content, but it will follow shortly after the PC update.

So what’s in the PC patch? You’ll see improved polish, stability, weapons balancing, squad control functionality, user interface enhancements, and several feature enhancements that address feedback the community has provided to date – plus we’re removing the so called “negative mouse acceleration” that some of you have experienced.

Regarding cheating and boosting, we continue to analyze data to identify and hold accountable (ban, wipe stats) players that cheat or boost. We’ve received questions about what to do when faced with unsportsmanlike conduct in Battlefield 3 – the best course of action is to click the warning sign next to their profile name in Battlelog, or head to the EA Help Desk and report your issue. These leads will enable us to follow up on the report.

We appreciate all the feedback. Keep it coming to help us with future improvements. Check back next week to confirm the patch launch date and the detailed fix list. Thanks for playing and sharing your feedback with us!

1600+ Modern Warfare 3 Bans

Robert Bowling tweets that the banhammer has struck over 1600 cheaters in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (thanks GamePro). Here's word:

Any attempt to cheat, hack, or glitch in #MW3 will not be tolerated. 1600+ bans issued. Updates in works. Please cont. to report offenders.

Skyrim Patch After Thanksgiving

The Bethesda Softworks Forums have word that patches for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim should come out the week after Thanksgiving, which is November 24 (thanks Gamer's Hell). Word is:

Wanted to let everyone know that the next PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 updates have been submitted for certification, and that the PC patch is coming too. The current estimate is that they will be live the week after Thanksgiving.

World of Warcraft Anniversary Nears

The World of Warcraft Website has word that Blizzard's MMORPG will be celebrating its seventh anniversary next week:

World of Warcraft turns seven on November 23, 2011! It’s been a truly incredible seven years, and we’d like to thank you all for joining us for yet another fantastic year. To celebrate, players who log into the game between November 20 and December 3 will earn a feat of strength added to their Achievements and a “Celebration Package” item. Using your item will get the celebrations rolling by shooting off fireworks*, applying a (visual only) tabard to your character, and granting a 7% bonus to experience and reputation gains while active.

We look forward to another year of adventures ahead and many more to come!

*Please observe all goblin and gnome fire hazard warnings and celebrate responsibly.

CrimeCraft GangWars Next Month

Vogster Online announced a December 5th launch date for the GangWars expansion for CrimeCraft, their free-to-play online shooter. They also off a trailer showing off the new Territory Wars feature "that pits the player-run gangs of CrimeCraft in combat for control of the lobbies and battle zones of Sunrise City." A new website is also online with details on new GangWars features.

Batman: Arkham City PhysX Trailer

GameSpy now offers a new trailer from Batman: Arkham City showing off the NVIDIA PhysX support in the upcoming Windows edition of the stealth/action superhero game.

Prototype 2 NYZ Trailer

A new Prototype 2 trailer introduces us to NYZ, the depiction of New York City in the upcoming open world action sequel. Word is: "As Radical's all-new vision for post-viral open-world New York, NYZ has been designed from the ground up to enhance PROTOTYPE 2's signature action-packed sandbox-style gameplay, and as a mechanism to tell the game's core narrative and side story missions." Continue here to read the full story.

The Secret World Templar Trailer

Capping off a week dedicated to the Templar faction in The Secret World, Funcom offers a new trailer introducing the Templars in the MMORPG. Continue here to read the full story.

Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition Detailed

A new trailer shows off the Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition. This feature outlines what this contains:

  • Premium metal case featuring commemorative artwork of Commander Shepard.
  • 70-page hardbound art book featuring hundreds of unique and gorgeous illustrations from the BioWare development team.
  • Limited edition Mass Effect comic by Dark Horse Comics, complete with unique cover artwork.
  • Join the ranks of the N7 with the premium fabric N7 patch.
  • Exclusive 4x6 lithographic print featuring a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.
  • A full collection of in-game content that can’t be found anywhere else!
    • N7 Arsenal Pack – Bring the firepower with the N7 Sniper Rifle, Shotgun, SMG, and Pistol.
    • Robotic Dog – A faithful sidekick to keep you company on board the Normandy.
    • Squadmate Alternate Outfit Pack – New appearances for your favorite squad members.
    • N7 Hoodie – For Commander Shepard’s casual days on board the Normandy.
  • Relive all the greatest moments of Mass Effect 3 with the digital soundtrack.
  • Xbox LIVE Normandy prop for your Avatar. (Available on Xbox 360 version only.)
  • Display your initiation in the N7 ranks with a collection of forum and social badges, avatars, and perks.

Star Wars: The Old Republic CE Detailed

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website offers a new trailer from BioWare's upcoming MMORPG called "Bringing Down the Hammer." Here's word: "The Hammer, a powerful prototype battle station developed by the Republic, was believed to have been destroyed during the war. However, this terrible weapon has re-emerged in the hands of the Advozsec, who are using it to conquer unaligned worlds in the Outer Rim. Setting out to stop the Advozsec’s campaign, an Imperial strike team assaults the Hammer and battles to take control." There's also another new feature on The Art and Making of The Old Republic on one of the elements in the collector's edition of the game, and TORWars also offers a Hands-On With ‘The Art & Making of SWTOR’ Book and a SWTOR Collector’s Edition Unboxing video.

Crusader Kings II Trailer

A new trailer from Crusader Kings II kicks off a series of live-action clips on the Seven Deadly Sins in Paradox Interactive's upcoming grand strategy sequel. These are not your parent's sins, as this clip introduces "Wroth." Word is: "Why did the live-action trailer ever die out, anyway? Actors are classy. Especially British actors. They're the classiest and snottiest of all. We're hoping that, through exposure to British actors, our game will absorb some of that snot." Continue here to read the full story.

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

Black Friday 2011- Kmart Video Game Deals.

  • 1C Publishing Games on Save 60%.
  • Avadon: The Black Fortress on Direct2Drive. Save 75%.
  • Call of Duty Warchest on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Deus Ex Human Revolution: Complete Collection on Green Man Gaming. Save 32%.
  • Mass Effect 3 Digital Deluxe Edition on Direct2Drive. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • Railworks 3: Deals on Wheels! on Green Man Gaming. Save 37-49%, plus 10% with code "RAILS-IMGRE-ENMAN".
  • RUSH on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Serious Sam 3: BFE on Direct2Drive. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • Ship Simulator Extremes on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Skyrim Meets Metal. Thanks Kiyo.

R.I.P.: Danger Mouse co-creator Mark Hall dies.

Ships Ahoy - Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades

The Real Warfare Website announces the release of Real Warfare 2: Northern Crusades via digital distribution, offering "the next step in this series of realistic real-time strategy games covering various periods in the development of present day civilization from the Middle Ages to today." Here's the deal:

This new title allows players to witness the key events in the history of the Teutonic Order in the 13th century, namely conquering the pagan Prussia. The player will act as a Komtur of the Teutonic Order as they relive the battles of the crusaders, regardless of the low manpower of the Order and the strong resistance of the heathens. All battles form a single storyline campaign.

As in history the Komtur is not simply limited to participation in battles. The strategic map places the gamer into a colorful and integral world and allows them to travel around the map in the real time. The mode features full freedom of movement, dialogues with locals, RPG elements, quest system and much more. However, sooner or later, the players will have no other choice other than to engage their faithful warriors into battle. This could be combat with other armies, large-scale sieges of towns and castles using various special assault weaponry and tools, and fighting right on top of the walls and fortifications.

Arvoch Alliance and Demo Now Available

StarWraith 3D Games announces the release of Arvoch Alliance, the next installment in their series of space combat simulations. The game can be purchased through the game's website, where they offer details on what to expect along with a trailer and screenshots. The downloads page offers the playable demo, which can be found on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell. Here's a bit from the announcement:

Arvoch Alliance features some of the most advanced space combat action available on the PC with realistic Newtonian style physics (which includes optional computer assistance for easier flight control), variable input support for a wide range of flight control devices (including HOTAS controllers and up to 10 simultaneous devices), extensive HUD and display systems to aid in real-time tactical decision making, diverse weapon and equipment options, adaptive AI skill/tactics, different environment conditions, multiple target selection options and subsystem tracking, 'cone-of-vulnerability' auto-aiming weapon system, defensive options including a proximity based countermeasure system and heat signature factor, pilot view control (including TrackIR), and more. The game provides many ways for players to develop their abilities and expand their tactics to keep gameplay fresh and challenging. Arvoch Alliance also includes spectacular new effects including blast waves, capital ships that break apart in pieces when destroyed, HUD movement tracking ladders, and multi-surface explosion animation.

Jurassic Park Metacritic Boosting

GameSpot reports on some shenanigans on the Jurassic Park: The Game Metacritic Page, where they spotted what they cleverly call "telltale signs" that Telltale employees submitted user reviews giving the recently released movie tie-in perfect 10/10 scores. GameSpot, no stranger to review controversy, explains what aroused their suspicions: "Between the reviewers' constant lionizing of Telltale Games, complete sentences, proper punctuation, and paucity of spelling errors, we began to suspect that the user reviews were not the product of actual players, but of Telltale representatives. Sure enough, a cursory Google search on the reviewers' user names backed up our suspicions. One of the reviewers was a user interface artist at Telltale; another was a cinematic artist. According to their LinkedIn profiles, both were relatively new to the studio, but they should have more than enough experience in the industry to understand this was a bad idea."

This recalls a controversy earlier this year when a BioWare employee submitted a positive user review for Dragon Age II, and GameSpot received the following explanation from Telltale on their policy in matters like this: "Telltale Games do not censor or muzzle its employees in what they post on the internet. However, it is being communicated internally that anyone who posts in an industry forum will acknowledge that they are a Telltale employee. In this instance, two people who were proud of the game they worked on, posted positively on Metacritic under recognizable online forum and XBLA account names." Both GameSpot and Metacritic are properties of CBS Interactive.

Jagged Alliance Online Closed Beta Begins

Closed beta testing of Jagged Alliance Online is now underway, offering invitees the chance to check out the online installment in the classic Jagged Alliance series of turn-based strategy games. They are still accepting applications from those hoping to participate, and offer this outline of the game to catch your interest:

  • Top-notch 3D graphics based on the Unity 3D engine
  • More than 100 missions in all corners of the world
  • More than 60 types of mercenaries with individual attributes
  • Hundreds of different weapons and countless equipment items
  • Expandable player-owned headquarters with many options for upgrading
  • New tactical challenges from a variety of mission objectives
  • Differentiated AI with a number of opponent types and traits
  • Special PvP missions with an honor system for players

Rebellion Plans to Make Better Games

Following the critical failure of Rebellion's recent games such as Shellshock 2, Rogue Warrior, and Aliens vs. Predator, Jason Kingsley says the studio is looking to reverse this trend. "It’s now a deliberate policy to move away from making games that might have been good for business, but not necessarily good for our reputation," the Rebellion CEO said in the latest issue of Edge Magazine. "You’re only as good as the deal you’re offered. If someone says 'Can you make me a game in nine months?' then the answer is, 'Probably. But it won’t be as good as a game where we’ve had creative input and the time to mature the idea'." Thanks MCV.

A Valley Without Wind Trailer; Guide; Giveaways

Games By Design offers some new updates about A Valley Without Wind, Arcen Games' upcoming procedurally generated side-scroller. The site offers a Status Report, a Getting Started Guide - Take Two, and a new video trailer, saying this is "far superior to the prior trailer in that it shows off a lot of the new spells, enemies, and visual effects that simply didn't exist when the other one was made." Arcen also announces their MineCon participation: "AVWW's beta will be on display at MineCon this weekend (Nov. 18-19), and to celebrate we'll be raffling off over 100 prizes Friday and Saturday during floor hours including copies of the game, along with our other titles. For those in attendance, all you have to do is stop by our booth in the indie kiosk area of the convention hall and sign-up to be included in every raffle drawing all weekend." For those not in attendance, they say they are offering giveaways on Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter.

League of Legends Player Base Doubles

Riot Games announces the number of League of Legends players has doubled in the past four months, and the MOBA game now has 11.5 million active monthly players and over 30 million registered users. To illustrate the success of the game, they offer this infographic.

Gamecock Postmortem

Why Gamecock Failed on is a postmortem on the rise and fall of publisher Gamecock, mainly told from the perspective of cofounder Mike Wilson, now of Devolver Digital. He describes the goals of the company and how these were impacted by breach of contract by its investors, its acquisition by SouthPeak Interactive, and the fallout of an economic downturn. He also offers an explanation for the the incident where they Gamecock-blocked Ken Levine's acceptance speech at the Video Game Awards. Thanks nin.

Back to Karkand Trailer, Details

The Battlefield Blog offers a new update on the upcoming Back to Karkand DLC for Battlefield 3. This includes a Gameplay Trailer and an explanation of the pack's added persistence: "The Back to Karkand expansion pack is much more than just maps. We are also adding a new layer of persistence in the form of ten Assignments. These will be tracked no matter if you play a base game map or expansion pack map, and add a new way to unlock things in the game."

Op Ed

truepcgaming - The Devil in the Details: RRP in New Zealand and Australia.
The problem only arises now that this retail model hasn’t changed. For New Zealand in particular, our dollar has done little else but climb against the American greenback for roughly a decade. Yet here I am, still being asked to spend $100 or more for the latest blockbuster game? With our dollars coming closer and closer to parity, this just makes no sense. The gamer in me is livid, and the complacent Kiwi counterpart is starting to side with him. The recommended retail price (RRP) of games has long been a thorn in the side of Australasian gamers, but lately it’s been digging in too hard and bleeding us too dry for us to ignore it. Now, as sore as I am, I’ve set aside my personal grievances to investigate how PC prices fare in this complex debacle.

GameFront - 6 Things Bethesda Must Fix In The Elder Scrolls VI.
To be fair, Bethesda did a much better job with this than most companies do when they port games with a big built-in console audience. Still, in an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to edit the game’s .ini file to change the Field of View or turn on tree shadows, if that’s what you’re into. And why can’t you change the graphics options while you’re actually playing the game? In fact, there’s no options menu on the title screen at all. Not. Cool.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

Getting to see it firsthand on TV last night, I am ever-more fascinated by the Broncos' ability to succeed with a college-style option offense, since I've heard the conventional wisdom my whole life that this was impossible in the NFL. I'm still not convinced this is viable over the long-term, but if they can actually have continued success this way, I wonder if other teams will actually attempt to adopt this in what is well known to be a copycat league. There certainly should be some unemployed former option QBs floating around.

Optional Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Freeway Fury 2.
Monsters Lawn.
Links: What 26 Video Game Characters Do With Their Down Time.
Stories: American boozing at its highest since late '70s. Thanks Devicer.
NBC Orders Pilot Of Drama Based On 1960′s ‘The Munsters’. Thanks Devicer.
Authorities reopen probe into Natalie Wood's 1981 drowning death.
Images: Return of the Jedi set photos. Thanks nin via Dubious Quality.
Media: NMA: Cost of Thanksgiving climbs to $50.
Puma Parkour.
Amazing Puppy Rescue on Busy Freeway After Car Crash. Crazy suspenseful.

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