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Monday, May 28, 2012 Memorial Day (USA)


On Diablo III Balance Changes

A Game Design Update on the Diablo III Website speaks of player comments about balance in Blizzard's action/RPG sequel, and offers an overview of their philosophy towards tweaking the game. They offer some statistics on how the game is being played, say the next patch will be mainly to address service issues, and that the version 1.03 patch that will follow will offer their first-post release balance changes. They also go into detail on the issues that play into balancing Inferno mode, and their outlook on that. Here's an overview on patching versus hotfixes for balance:

Regarding the changes to Lingering Fog, Boon of Protection, and Force Armor: we determined these skills were simply more powerful than they should be, and we felt their impact on class balance and how each class was perceived warranted hotfixes as soon as we were able. However, we don't want you to be worried that a hotfix nerf is lurking around the corner every day. If a skill is strong, but isn't really breaking the game, we want you to have your fun. Part of the enjoyment of Diablo is finding those super-strong builds, and we want players to be excited to use something they discovered that feels overpowered. A good example of this is the monk Overawe rune, which many players have identified as being quite good. We agree it's good, but we don't think it's so far out of line that we're going to swoop in and hotfix it out of existence.

Star Wars Game Announcement This Week

MCV says a new Star Wars game will be revealed on May 31st as part of Spike TV's pre-E3 coverage, reports MCV. There are no details at this point other than the reveal will apparently include in-game footage.

Digital Chocolate Layoffs? Hawkins Out As CEO

Gaming pioneer Trip Hawkins has stepped down from his position as CEO of social/mobile games developer Digital Chocolate, according to a report on TechCrunch, which cites an update on the company's blog that currently returns a 404 "not found" error where Hawkins explains he is "transitioning into a consulting and advisory relationship with Digital Chocolate." They also have an unsubstantiated report that Marc Metis is now interim CEO after serving as president of the company, and that Digital Chocolate has laid off up to 180 staff in India, San Mateo, Russia, and other territories. Though the layoffs are unconfirmed, they note a tweet indicating that "the doors have closed" for Digital Chocolate Mexico.

Coincidentally, today is the 30th anniversary of the launch of Electronic Arts, which Hawkins founded on May 28, 1982. The AIAS Hall-of-Famer also formed the ill-fated 3DO company in 1991 before creating Digital Chocolate in 2003.

On Aliens: Colonial Marines and Delays (Or Lack Thereof)

An interview on Strategy Informer sits down with Brian Burleson of Gearbox Software about Aliens: Colonial Marines, their long-awaited first-person shooter based on the Aliens movies. They discuss the influence of the coming Prometheus movie on the project, uncover some details about the story, and learn what needs to be done to get the game set for release. Interestingly, Brian contends the  recently announced February 2013 release date does not represent a delay for this game that was first revealed in 2006, but back in 2008 SEGA did in fact formally announce the game was due later that year. Then in early 2009 they stated the game would be released that year, though by that summer it was announced it was being held back for the release of Rebellion's ill-fated Aliens versus Predator. Most recently, when rumors emerged that the game would not be released in 2011, Gearbox president Randy Pitchford was  quick to say "It looks to me like whomever made that post on NeoGAF made an interpretation that could be misleading or inaccurate."

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track has the new list of the 20 bestselling full-price PC entertainment titles in the U.K. for the week ending May 26th. Diablo III holds the top spot again, while Sniper Elite V2 enters at number eight. On the all-platforms chart there are three new entries in the top five: DiRT Showdown at number four, Dragon's Dogma at number three, and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier at number one.

Op Ed’s Trevor Longino - Diablo III style DRM could make us ‘lose a chunk of gaming history.”
Games like Diablo III with bespoke constantly online DRM could be lost to gaming culture at large if for any reason the games publisher or developer stops supporting that infrastructure. So when you lose that online connection, you lose a chunk of gaming history.

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Memorial Day Consolidation

Memorial Day Mobilization

Memorial Day Tech Bits

Memorial Day Safety Dance

Memorial Day Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ADATA SX900 256GB SSD on Guru3D.
  • HIS Radeon HD 7870 IceQ 2GB Video Cards in CrossFire Overclocked on TweakTown.
  • Panasonic Lumix GF5 Camera on t-break.
  • Roccat Isku Gaming Keyboard on ProClockers.
  • Samsung Series 5 Ultra Notebook on t-break.
  • SteelSeries Kinzu V2 Pro Edition Mouse on Vortez.
  • TERA on Ten Ton Hammer.


Out of the Blue

Today is Memorial Day here in the U.S., commemorating the sacrifices made by soldiers and their families. This is a solemn occasion, which will not benefit from any of my typical attempts at glibness.

Somber Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Slimer.
Build and Destroy Live.
Stories: Cop Fired For Speeding 143 MPH While Drunk Gets Job Back. Thanks Boing Boing.
NYC lawyer loses $100K suit over healthclub that stopped supplying yogurt and cereal.
Science: Schoolboy solves puzzles posed by Sir Isaac Newton that have baffled mathematicians for 350 years.
Images: SpaceX mission control vs. NASA mission control.
Media: Clever Dog Has His Own Way Of Climbing On The Counter.
"Imperial March" - (The Mechanical Version).
The Funnies: Nailed it!

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