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Friday, Jan 20, 2012


The Old Republic Ilum PvP Follow-up

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has an update on the PvP problems that were just patched out of the Star Wars MMORPG (thanks nin). Though some players abused the problems that followed the version 1.1 patch, they say they will not be implementing a rollback, but they repeat a warning they will be taking actions in cases they feel the situation was exploited "to an unreasonable degree." Here' part:

The amount of Valor granted from these activities was significantly more than intended and we are now carefully investigating players who were on Ilum during this period, and present at some of these 'camping' events. I can reassure you that those who were involved and who gained an unfair advantage over other players inappropriately will be carefully reviewed and action will be taken to restore game balance. This could include Valor adjustments or account actions in accordance with the severity of the issue.

We have made the decision not to enact a mass 'rollback' of Valor points for all players in the game, or even on Ilum. This would unfairly penalize some players who may not have been present during this event. Rest assured though, anyone and everyone who is found to have exploited the situation to an unreasonable degree will be investigated and actions taken as needed. Our in-game metrics are able to give us precise details on where players were, what they were doing and what rewards they gained.

We take any sort of situation where one group of players gains an unexpected or unintended advantage over other players very seriously and will act to ensure that all players can have a fair and fun game experience.

Diablo III Senior Game Producer Departs

Blizzplanet has word via Twitter that Diablo III Senior Game Producer Steve Parker is no longer working at Blizzard Entertainment. He says: "Hey Twitter, I’m no longer working at Blizzard or on D3. I’ve had a great 5 years there and those guys are going to do an amazing job with Diablo." They have a other tweets suggesting this was all amicable.

PC Alan Wake Next Month; Requirements; XP Issues

There's an Alan Wake PC FAQ on the Alan Wake Community Forums dealing with the upcoming Windows edition of Remedy's third-person shooter/psychological thriller, saying its release on Steam is planned for February (thanks Joystiq). Word is there will be no Mac edition, nor will there be a demo. They answer other questions, and offer the following system requirements, subject to change:

OS: Windows Vista or Windows 7 (see below for Windows XP)
PROCESSOR: A dual core processor is required:

  • AMD: Athlon X2 2.8GHz
  • Intel: Core 2 Duo 2GHz

VIDEO CARD: DirectX 10 compatible or later with 512MB RAM

  • AMD: ATI Radeon 3650, 4450, 5550, 6450 or higher (per series)
  • NVIDIA: GeForce 8600GT, 9500GT, GT120, GT430, GT520 (per series)

SOUND CARD: DirectX 9.0c compatible
INPUT: Mouse and keyboard, Xbox360 controller also supported

The goal is to get the game working fully on Windows XP SP2 and newer. There are still some minor (but technically challenging) issues we need to solve to get it to work 100%. We will announce official support after our testing has finished.

Driver: San Francisco Patch

The Ubisoft Forums offer a new patch to update the PC edition of Driver: San Francisco to version 1.04. This is not for the Steam edition of the driving action sequel, which they say will get its own automatic update in the coming days. The download is mirrored on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. Here is the change list:

  • Crashes that might happen when entering the online lobby have been fixed
  • Social Options are now working as expected on Windows XP
  • Menu navigation is not disrupted anymore by specific action sequence

AMD Radeon HD 7900 Driver

AMD Support now offers a new 8.921.2 RC11 Catalyst reference driver for AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series GPUs. The drivers provide a number of gaming performance improvements along with several bug fixes.

Mass Effect 3 Footage

The BioWare Blog has some new footage of Mass Effect 3 from GTTV, as the gaming show did a preview of the upcoming action/RPG sequel. Word is: "Last night, GTTV aired an episode featuring developer interviews, a closer look at gameplay, some secret reveals, and the first public footage of multiplayer. And yes, it’s true, our newest major character to the franchise, James Vega, is voiced by the phenomenal Freddie Prinze Jr. He brings something special to the role and is a huge Mass Effect fan! Something we always love to hear."

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

R.I.P.: Etta James, Singer, Dies at 73. Thanks Lesaonar.

World of Warplanes Introduces German Aircraft

The World of Warplanes Forums now offer a teaser trailer showing off some of the German aircraft to be included in's upcoming MMO aerial combat game. Here's word on what to expect:

The first iteration of the German tech tree will be available upon the game's release scheduled for 2012. World of Waplanes will expand its fleet of German warbirds to more than 90 models.

"German engineers were never afraid of innovative design in their aircraft," said World of Warplanes producer Anton Sitnikov. "They embodied their ideas into impressive mass-production models and astonishing prototypes, and we are proud to include them into World of Warplanes."

German warplanes are famous for their fast altitude climbs and power dive attacks. Players will be able to control such famous Luftwaffe machines as the Bf. 109G, one of the most dangerous opponents of the allied forces, and the Me. 262, the first jet fighter interceptor used during WWII.

Continue here to read the full story.

Ubisoft Changes Anno 2070 DRM

Guru3D has a follow-up to the recent incident where they reported problems creating a performance review for Anno 2070 because the DRM in the strategy sequel was triggered by them changing graphics cards in their test rig. In spite of a report where Ubisoft claimed this was working "as intended," the latest news is this aspect of the game's copy protection is now being dropped. Here's word they got from the developers at Blue Byte:

Just wanted to let you know, that we now remove the graphics hardware from the hash used to identify the PC. That means everyone should now be able to switch the GFX as many times as he/she wants.

Incidently, that Anno 2070 VGA Graphics performance review is now complete.

bitComposer Name Change

The publisher formerly known as bitComposer Games GmbH announces a name change, saying they will henceforth be known as bitComposer Entertainment AG. They indicate they hope this will make it rain for them: "We hope the name change will open up the capital market in the medium and long term." Here's more:

The name change to AG will increase bitComposer’s common stock capital to €1m, and the company is on the way to achieving capital market maturity.

Any contracts that have been signed with bitComposer Games and bitComposer Online will remain unaffected by the name change.

Julian Gollop on XCOM Remake

An interview on Edge Magazine talks with Julian Gollop, asking the creator of the original X-COM about XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the the recently announced revival of the strategy series, which is also being revisted as a first-person shooter. Though he's not involved in the new projects, he does have an opinion about what the remake should address:

Yeah, of course. Mainly in the realm of accessibility, which some people might call 'dumbing down' In the early 90s of course you didn't have in-game tutorials or help, because it was all in the big thick manual. Today people do not read manuals, they expect the game to teach them how to play it. Which is fair enough. In Shadow Wars we put a fair amount of effort into making the game accessible, teaching the systems as you're playing the game, hopefully keeping the player interested as they're learning.

This is the major thing, but it doesn't mean you have to dumb anything down in the sense that the full complexity of the game would be eventually revealed to the player as he learns all the systems. That was one thing that was difficult about the original UFO [X-COM was known as UFO in the UK]. It put you there and forced you to make decisions straight away without much idea of what you were supposed to be doing!

Half-Life: Dreamcast

Mod DB now offers Half-Life: Dreamcast, a PC version of a Dreamcast version of Valve's first-person shooter that was cancelled back in the 20th century. Word is: "The Dreamcast game contains a host of unique content that has not appeared in any other iteration of Half-Life, but up until now it was all confined solely to this forgotten port." Half-Life on Steam is required. Thanks Ant.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews


Out of the Blue

I'm on standby to hear from the veterinarian, as I am going to bring Hudson the wonder dog in for an EKG today, as we want to get a baseline on a heart murmur she has developed over the past couple of years (though she seems almost as active as ever at the age of 11+). The guy who does this is apparently some sort of rock star who travels from vet to vet, and he will not wait around, but since I don't want Huddy at the vet on standby all day, the doctor agreed to call me to bring her in while he is examining another dog... I just need to be ready to fly over there like it's an organ transplant to catch him in time. Wee!

R.I.P.: Freestyle ski champ dies week after injury. Thanks

Standby Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: The Most Frustrating Situations in Games.
Civilizations Wars: Ice Legends.
Links: Gamers Nailin' It.
Mad Men Countdown.
The Best Fictional Scientists From TV and Movies. Thanks
Stories: Average age of car is record-setting 10.8 years old. 11+ & 9+ here, so yeah.
Images: World’s Largest Video Game Controller.
Ahhh so the whole “we serve food” thing is a front for organ harvesting.
Avoiding The Cops FAIL.
Media: The Golf War.
The Future of CGI.
Sh!t New Yorkers say. Accurate.
The Funnies: Skyrim Hoarders.
Horrible Cards - The Oatmeal.
Follow-up: The Leap Second Gains a 3-Year Reprieve. Thanks j.c.f.
Did Volkswagen's New Star Wars Super Bowl Ad Ripoff This Adorable Dog?

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