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Tuesday, April 21, 2009



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Diablo II Ladder Reset, Patch 1.13 Coming Soon
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Diablo community manager Bashiok has revealed that a ladder reset for Diablo II will be coming soon and will coincide with the release of version 1.13 of the classic action RPG. When the reset occurs all current ladder characters will be moved to non-ladder status, requiring players to create new characters for the new ladder season.

We’re preparing for a Diablo II ladder reset to coincide with the release of the 1.13 patch that’s currently in development. We don’t have a final release date for the patch yet, but we’re providing early warning as a reset could occur as early as the end of April. We’ll be providing updates with more certain dates once the patch is closer to release.

Please be aware that with a ladder reset all ladder characters are moved to non-ladder. This means that your characters will still be accessible but will no longer have access to ladder-only features and games. In order to play in the new ladder season after the reset you will need to make new ladder characters.
Visit the Blizzplanet site below to read more.

Blizzplanet: Diablo II Ladder Reset
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
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IMG Reviews Jeopardy! Super Deluxe
11:50 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the latest home version of the popular game show, Jeopardy, to become available for the Macintosh. Jeopardy! Super Deluxe puts you in the middle of the television show, playing against computer opponents, human players, or yourself in a solo round of play. Here's and excerpt from the review:

Another aspect of playing solo is the game’s “Daily Clue” feature. Jeopardy! Super Deluxe grabs daily questions from the game’s web site. When you click on the Daily Clue button, a calendar window opens (starting with the current month). Each day on the calendar has a category listed. The player can click on any day and choose to answer the single question for that day. You can also select previous months and answer any of those questions you missed since the game was released (questions start in the middle of February 2009). Once you answer a question, it is no longer available. A new question is available every day.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Jeopardy! Super Deluxe
Jeopardy! Super Deluxe
Buy Jeopardy! Super Deluxe



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Using Social Networking to Promote Games
6:00 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

Over the weekend, Jeff over at Wolfire Software discussed the use of social networking websites such as FaceBook and Twitter to promote their upcoming game, Overgrowth. Interestingly, instead of relying on gaming websites to create interest, Wolfire has found it more effective to target social networking websites.

Part of our strategy for getting the word out about Overgrowth revolves around various social networks. Pretty much the only way we grow is organically through word of mouth. This is why we take social networking sites very seriously, because we are able to grow without being dependent on (insert giant news site here) to randomly write an article on us.
Please follow the links below to learn more information.

Wolfire Software
Overgrowth



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Discussing EVE Online's Apocrypha
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

MMORPG.com has posted a new interview withCCP Games' Peter Oskarsson about the latest expansion for EVE Online, Apocrypha. The update to the company's sci-fi MMO features a variety of new updates and additions to the game including wormhole travel and the long awaited arrival of Premium Graphics for Mac users.

When a game begins new distribution, there naturally tends to follow an influx of new players who may have seen and picked up the game for the first time. As a result, I asked Petur to go into more detail about the expansion's New Player Experience: "EVE is an open-ended game," he began. "If you choose a profession, you're not tied to it, you can change whenever you want... What new players were facing before this expansion was having to decide beforehand, without actually knowing where to head in EVE. Now, the progress is more non-linear. You decide that it's cool to fly a new ship, you try that... you want to try mining or resource management, you can try that... You slowly build up your character instead of building it first and then using it. So you have more informed decision making than you did before."
Up until the launch of Apocrypha, EVE Online made use of static ships. By this I mean that if you built a ship, that ship looked exactly the same as every other ship of its class. Not that they didn't look great, but they didn't have a whole lot of diversity in them. This is what makes the introduction of Tech 3 ships into the game so important. For the first time, players will be able to choose their own ship designs (from a set of pre-existing modules, of course).
"We haven't had a lot of players playing with them yet," Oskarsson answered, referencing the amount of time it takes in-game to actually build a new ship. "But what we can gather from data and feedback from the test server, players love it. The idea of putting together your own ship [is great]."
Head over to the link below to read more and view the entire video interview.

MMORPG.COM: EVE Online Apocrypha Interview
CCP Games
TransGaming
EVE Online



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City Of Heroes Fans Create Thousands Of Missions
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

Eurogamer has posted a new interview with City of Heroes lead designer Matt Miller. The developer discussed the surprising fan reaction to the new mission building tools included in the most recent update to the super hero themed MMO. In 24 hours 3,800 fan created missions arcs were available, an amount Miller says would have taken nearly five years for the developers to include in the game.

"We are simply astounded at the response we've gotten for it," writes Miller on the official website.
"I feel like everything we have worked on has really been worth it when I see that within 60 minutes we had 360 entire Mission Arcs (each containing up to 5 missions) available for other people to play. By midnight on day one we had over 2600 arcs, and exactly 24 hours after launch we were already at 3800 arcs.
"We did some data mining of our own," he adds, "and 3800 surpasses the amount of content that we, the developers, have made for all of City of Heroes and City of Villains combined. In just one day our users did more than we could in almost five years."
Miller says fans are reviewing each other's work on the forums, furthering the star-based scores implemented in the Mission Architect tools. Players have even produced in-game advertising on posters, comic covers and machinima, we're told.
"We never expected anything like that even in our wildest dreams when designing the feature, and I think that is totally cool," says Miller.
Click over to the link below to read the rest of the interview.

Eurogamer: City Of Heroes Surprising Results
NCsoft
TransGaming
City of Heroes
Buy City of Heroes


An Insider's View Of The Activision Blizzard Merger
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

WoW Insider recently posted a new article examining the merger of Activision and Blizzard Entertainment. The piece offers a former Blizzard employee's perspective on the new company as well as some of the rumors and fears surrounding the merger.

So if most publishers control what their developers produce, does Activision control what Blizzard does?
No. There are obviously certain considerations, such as funding, that a developer must be aware of when making their game, but Blizzard is in a unique situation in that they (and WoW) are such a cash cow that any A-B interference would likely result in an inferior product -- and, subsequently, lower sales. They know that Blizzard does things right, and will continue to do so in the known future, resulting in greater profits for the publisher.

What's up with this money-making scheme of releasing Starcraft II as three games? This is because of their post-merger greed, right?
I've been hearing this a lot lately. Even our own Mike Schramm commented that the Blizzard that let people play Warcraft 2 on Battle.net for free isn't the same Blizzard that's releasing three Starcraft II games.
This really, really confuses me. Why would anyone familiar with Blizzard's work be put off by them releasing expansions? Because that's exactly what the last two Starcraft II titles will be -- expansions. One will add the Zerg campaign and one will add the Protoss campaign, as well as likely multiplayer additions and enhancements to the experience. The single-player campaign for each game will be incredibly robust as well, with tons of in-game engine cinematics and branching events. 
Devs explained to me that they had three choices once they realized the depth of the Terran campaign:
- Shorten and pare down each campaign, resulting in campaigns about as long as Warcraft III, and release it as one game.
- Make the campaigns as robust as possible and release the Protoss and Zerg campaigns in expansions.
- Put everything in on game exactly how they want it and have Starcraft II come out in 2014.

They said the the choice was obvious, and I agree. It's about delivering the player the best experience.

Won't this merger result in a lot of stupid cross-promotions?
Probably. Activision isn't known for its advertising or marketing subtlety. We dealt with it a little at work -- Activision sent us a ton of copies of Guitar Hero Aerosmith that none of us really cared about (but hey, extra Rock Band guitar, right?), as well as posters in the office with Activision desperately trying to equate our flagship properties with their licensed crap. Yes, Activision, clearly Zeratul is on the same level as the main character from Kung Fu Panda.
The best I can hope for is that we'll never see World of Warcraft advertised on KFC combo meal boxes. Blizzard seems to consider the insulation of the WoW universe important, which is why we'll likely never see in-game advertising or "Lars Umlaut " as an NPC.
To read the entire article click over to the page linked below.

WoW Insider: Activision-Blizzard Is Not Blizzard
Activision
Blizzard Entertainment


Mac Games News for Monday, April 20, 2009

Follow Us On Twitter!11:34 AM
Elven Legacy Reviewed6:00 AM
Rubber Ninjas Now Available6:00 AM
Shadowbane Servers Shutting Down May 1st6:00 AM
The Sims 3: New Screenshots6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, April 20, 2009 on one page


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