Archived News:

Monday, Aug 04, 2014

Warlords of Draenor Date Dated

Battle.net announces plans to unveil a release date for Warlords of Draenor a week from Thursday, at 12:30 pm EDT. They invite everyone to a livestream of the announcement of release plans for the next World of Warcraft expansion, and also extend an invitation to attend the event in person, though seating is limited. Here's word:
A storm of iron is headed Azeroth’s way—be among the first to witness its fury at the world premiere of the Warlords of Draenor cinematic! Join Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime, Chris Metzen, and World of Warcraft designers Ion Hazzikostas and Brian Holinka for the grand unveiling, streamed live from the Ace Theatre in Los Angeles. But that’s not all—we’ll also host a live interview with the WoW developers, announce the Warlords of Draenor launch date, and debut the first episode of a new animated lore mini-series: Lords of War. You won’t want to miss it!

When: Thursday, August 14 at 9:30 a.m. PDT

Where: Join us on WorldofWarcraft.com to watch the live stream, or attend** the event live at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, located at 929 South Broadway in Los Angeles. (Doors open at 8:30 a.m.)

Live Attendee Bonus: Anyone who joins us live and in person in L.A. will also receive a beta key for Warlords of Draenor.*

*Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to get there early! Beta keys will be given out to everyone who comes down for the live event.

**Please note: World of Warcraft is rated T for Teen; some content on display at the event may not be suitable for children ages of 12 or younger. Anyone 12 years of age or under must be accompanied by an adult.

Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon Beta

Those interested in participating Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon beta testing should slither over to the Slitherine website to register their interest. This sounds pretty exclusive, as they refer to "the lucky few" who will help them pave the way for a full release later this year. You can find all the details on this Ben Affleck-free computer wargame on this product page, and here's a quick rundown:
Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon is set during the Second War for Armageddon. In this hex-based, turn-based game developed by Flashback Games and The Lordz Games Studio, players will lead the Imperial forces of the Armageddon Steel Legion and Space Marines from a variety of Chapters against the Ork invasion through over 30 scenarios, on the hostile terrain of the planet and its gigantic Hive Cities. The game features a complex plot, involving known characters from the Warhammer 40,000 universe and while advancing through the campaign, the player will have the ability to carryover his core force from scenario to scenario.

Spiral Game Studios "Thrilled" to Close

The Spiral Game Studios website has word that they are closing down, oddly using the word "thrilled" to mark the occasion, which suggests this is more bookkeeping than anything, saying: "I am thrilled to announce the end of Spiral Game Studios. All content, IP, research and technology is being absorbed into the newly formed TREK Industries courtesy of the TREK Play label." This doesn't seem to have derailed anything, as they point the way to the TREK Industries website, where they lay out plans to release ORION: Prelude later this month. Thanks Gamer's Hell.

On Sale

  • CastleStorm on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Crazy Plant Shop on Steam. Save 25%.
  • Humble Flash Bundle: Dejobaan Games on Humble Bundle.
  • Killer is Dead - Nightmare Edition on Steam. Save 40%.

Evening Previews

  • Battlefield Hardline on myGamer.
  • Far Cry 4 on UbiBlog. Inside Kyrat.

U.K. Sales Charts

The new phone books are here! Also, the new GfK Chart-Track charts are now online reporting on game sales figures in the U.K. for the week ending August 2nd. It's déjà vu all over again on the full-price PC games chart where The Elder Scrolls Online maintains the number one spot, the top four positions remain unchanged, and the only new title compared with last week is Dark Souls II, which re-enters at number 17. There is a new entry on the all platforms/all prices chart, sort of, as The Last of Us: Remastered bumps Watch Dogs out of the number one spot. Here's their write-up:
‘The Last of Us: Remastered’ brings the critically acclaimed title to PS4 this week.

It debuts at the top of the All Formats Chart just like the PS3 original did over a year ago. It also becomes the 5th biggest launch of the year so far and the 4th biggest PS4 launch ever, sitting just behind ‘Infamous: Second Son’. Last week’s No1 ‘Watch Dogs’ (+3%) has to settle for 2nd place and ‘FIFA 14’ (+12%) also drops one place, down to No3. However, with the school holidays now in full swing, sales of all Top 10 titles (except GTA V) are up.

‘The Lego Movie Videogame’ enjoys the biggest Top 10 sales jump this week, an increase of 27% pushing it up one place to No4. Both Minecrafts are sitting pretty at No’s 5 and 6 with the Xbox 360 version (+11%) ahead of the PS3 version (+22%) by only 14 sales. All Formats No1 four weeks ago, ‘Sniper Elite 3’ (+3%) drops from No4 to No7, while FPS big guns ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ (+21%) and ‘Battlefield 4’ (+24%) both climb one place to No’s 8 and 9 respectively with sales up by similar margins. ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (-5%) rounds off the Top 10, down 3 places to No10

Star Citizen in Depth

Star Citizen and the triumphant, record-smashing return of Chris Roberts on Ars Technica looks at the rise and fall of space games and the Wing Commander series in particular in analyzing the current crowd-funded resurgence of the genre. They go on to take a look at dynamics of the Star Citizen's funding and the more direct connection this makes between its audience and its development, and describe how various aspects of development are being handled. There is also a look at the game itself, or games, as they discuss the distinct difference between the solo game and its MMOG side. Here's a bit on how multiplayer will work:
Zurovec explained that there will be lots of places where large groups of players—more than 50, at least—will be grouped together fighting for the same cause. However, he said, the most interesting bits will be the little things players can do on their own. "There will be an algorithmic component to mission generation," he explained. "We’re hoping to design a system that allows for missions that look customized, but are actually composed of atomic elements. That’ll fill up the universe."

There will also be massive setpiece missions, along the same line as big raid instances in World of Warcraft, but they will be the exception to mission design, not the rule. The goal with Star Citizen isn’t to force players into big group-required endgame content, but rather to let everyone be the hero of their own story within the larger evolving galaxy.

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

I've noticed a disturbing trend lately of television commercials advertising gloves and wearable compression sleeves which conspicuously mention the presence of copper, either woven into the fabric or little copper studs sewn all over them. This is obviously an attempt to capitalize on the idea that copper has some sort of therapeutic benefit for arthritis sufferers, which I find troubling, since there is no science at all to support this theory. The thing is, they are sneaky about this, as they discuss the benefits of the warmth and compression of the fabric, and make no claims at all about the copper besides repeatedly mentioning its use. It bothers me that in this day and age we are essentially still allowing the modern-day version of snake oil salesmen taking advantage of people's suffering.

Snake Oil Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Robots Initiate Work Sequence.
Links: Marvel Screened Guardians of the Galaxy for the Co-Creator of Rocket. Sniff.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Easter Eggs, Trivia & References. Spoilers. Thanks nin.
6 High-Tech Movie Facilities That Make No Sense.
Story: Police Ask for Public’s Help in Identifying Owner of 150-Pound Tortoise. Master Splinter.
Science: Gluten Sensitivity And Study Replication. Old but interesting.
Media: Kids React to Typewriters.
This Clever Song Has Some Thoughts About Gender Roles In Country Music. Thanks ViperFour.
Follow-up: It doesn’t matter that your ice cream sandwich won’t melt. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
The Funnies: ITworld cartoons 2014: The year in geek humor.
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