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Tuesday, June 30, 2009



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StarCraft II: Interview, Preview, Trailer, And Screenshots
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

StarcraftWire.net and IncGamers has posted a large collection of new articles and images revealing new information about Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The posts include a new developer interview, preview, gameplay video, 31 new images, the release of StarCraft II tech trees, and confirmation that the game will not have a LAN mode and will not be coming to consoles.

From IncGamers Develpor Interview

So what's Battle.net all about and how is it different?The new Battle.net will completely revolutionise the current version, but Blizzard is still looking to making this experience free for anyone buying StarCraft II or future games that use Battle.net. One idea which has been discussed in different iterations is microtransactions, meaning the service is free, but added value services like starting a custom tournament, league, or the like would cost a small amount of money.

"Obviously those things have been discussed but nothing has been decided," said Browder to us, and mentioned the small add in the current Battle.net. "We spent a lot of money on Battle.net, right, so we need some way to sustain it," he continued, but "current mockups don't include ads."

Rob Pardo added: "Pretty much all of it [is free] as far as Europe and America is concerned, Asia is a little different how they do things, [but] there will be certain features that you pay for." He mentioned WoW as an example, where "value added services" like server transfers are paid for, but "you can get the full experience of Battle.net with all the features just from buying the box."

The StarCraft II and Battle.net teams are looking to make Battle.net more than just a meeting place. Chris Sigaty said: "We are definitely a company that is very aware of technology and were things are going, and all of us have involved in all things that have happened in the world since Warcraft III, Facebook, Myspace, all these sort of social networking sites." He also made reference to gaming-specific networks like  Steam and Rupture as other "sites that attempt to bring gamers together," but pointed out that they are looking at the full spectrum."

"At the core we want to make sure people get into meaningful games and play against people of their skill level and therefore have fun.

"Our aim is to deliver far better than we have done in the past, and basically connect players because the social side is important," said Sigaty.

An example is the current Battle.net forums, which are currently the only social side to the network, but Blizzard has plans to be able to reach them directly from within the game without having to exit the game and open a browser window. "Whether it will be directly available at launch with Battle.net is something I don't know if it's going to happen," Sigaty said.
Head over to the links below to check out all the new StarCraft II information.

IncGamers: StarCraft II Preview
IncGamers: StarCraft II Dev Interview
IncGamers: StarCraft II Game Video
IncGamers: StarCraft II New Screens & Art
IncGamers: StarCraft II Official Tech Trees
IncGamers: No LAN Mode For StarCraft II
IncGamers: StarCraft II Not Coming To Consoles
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty



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Exploring Space In EVE Online Apocrypha
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld has posted a new review of Apocrypha, the latest expansion for CCP Games' sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. The latest addition to the game features wormholes, Tech 3 modular ships, NPC agents capable of assigning epic mission arcs, and the arrival of Premium Graphics for Mac users. Macworld gave Apocrypha a score of 4 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

Apocrypha makes it a bit easier for new players to get into the game. New players get a bonus to their learning ability to make it easier to get started with the skills they need to pilot bigger and better spaceships. Players who buy the Apocrypha retail package (distributed by Atari and sold anywhere you can get PC games) get a couple of bonuses; a special ship and a standings boost that lets players experience EVE Online style warfare right away, without having to slowly improve standings by playing missions that increase their reputations with different factions within the game.

The new player experience also introduces an “epic mission” arc, a series of dozens of interconnected missions given to you by non-player character “agents” within the game. If you follow the epic mission arc to its conclusion, you’ll be well set-up to play the game for a long time, because you’ll have quite a bit of in-game money to use and you’ll have amassed an impressive amount of equipment and standing with various elements within the game. Unfortunately, much of the epic arc involves combat missions. I hope that CCP will expand the types of epic arcs in the future to include other types of play, for new gamers more interested in becoming industrial titans, researchers and so on.

Social gaming is a key part of the EVE Online experience. While it’s possible to play solo in EVE, it is, frankly, boring. Players are strongly advised to join a player-run corporation (the EVE equivalent of a guild) as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Apocrypha really doesn’t do anything to streamline that process or familiarize new users with it. I hope this is something that CCP can work towards in the future.
Click over to the link below to read the full review.

Macworld: EVE Online Apocrypha
CCP Games
TransGaming
EVE Online


Plants Vs. Zombies Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

OSX Reality has published a new review of Plants Vs. Zombies, PopCap Games' recent entry in the casual games market. The tower defense title challenges players to make use of a variety of plants to defend their home, and their brain, from a horde of hungry zombies. OS X gave the game a 5 star rating.

From the review:

Thanks to great pacing the learning curve is gradual. Slowly easing players into more challenging stages, but not to the point of frustration. As you progress through the game you’ll be given new plant types to aid your fight against the ever expanding zombie ranks. At the start of each stage you’ll be able to choose which plants to take with you, choose wisely only specific plants can counter certain zombies.

Not only will you have to face a multitude of zombies that vary from stage to stage, you’ll also deal with environmental challenges too. I don’t want to spoil the game, so I’ll just give one example of environmental challenges. In night stages you won’t be able to use Sunflowers to produce sun, instead you’ll have to rely on mushrooms. Initially mushrooms produce sun at a very slow rate, but over time they will become comparable to Sunflowers. You’ll have to adjust your game plan to compensate for your limited supply of sun by using cheaper defensive plants early on.

Besides gathering sun to produce more plants, once in a while zombies will drop coins, which can be used to purchase upgrades such as a rake that will kill the first zombie in each stage, last for three stages. You’ll also be able to grow a zen garden, the plants in your zen garden produce coins, so take good care of them.

Even after you beat the game, there’s still plenty of fun to be had in survival mode, which should keep you busy for quite some time.
To read more follow the link listed below.

OS X Reality: Plants vs Zombies Review
PopCap Games
Plants Vs. Zombies



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City Of Heroes Issue 15, Going Rogue Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Boomtown has posted a new interview with Paragon Studios' Matt Miller, Senior Lead Designer for the super hero themed City of Heroes. The Q&A covers some of the content planned for the Issue 15 update as well as some of the new experiences players can expect from the upcoming Going Rogue expansion.

Boomtown: In your own opinion what will be the main feature of Issue 15?
Matt Miller: I think the villain Strike Force which frees Reichsman is the star of the issue.

Boomtown: Where are you trying to steer Mission Architect with the new features?
Matt Miller: We want players to be able to tell the stories they want to tell, and we want players to be able to easily find the stories that they like to play. All the new features in Mission Architect apply to one or both of those tenants. One of the main elements we’re bringing to the table for Architect is the use of key phrases. Players and authors alike will be able to tag stories with key phrases that they feel best define what the story is about. They will then be able to search for arcs that contain these phrases. For example, you can tag and/or search for an arc with the phrases of ”Solo Friendly, Comedy and Canon Related Story.”

Boomtown: Looking forward the first paid expansion has been announced – Going Rogue. Please explain to our readers what the new expansion will bring.
Matt Miller: I can’t release much information yet. Hopefully the name alone, Going Rogue, provides a good foreshadowing to what the game will encompass. But among other things there will be new zones, the ability to switch a hero to a villain and vice versa, and difficult tasks for level 50 characters to do that make them more powerful.

Boomtown: Free Issues expanding the game continuously has always been one of City of Heroes trademarks. Why was it decided to release Going Rogue as a paid expansion?
Matt Miller: Scope. Going Rogue is well beyond what we could normally do in the scope of a free update. We will continue to provide our players value in the form of future Issues, but Going Rogue is going to feature a breadth of new game content that warrants expansion pack-style treatment.
Visit the site below for more of the Q&A.

Boomtown: City Of Heroes Q&A
NCsoft
TransGaming
City of Heroes
Buy City of Heroes


Mac Games News for Monday, June 29, 2009

Apple Games Features Spore Galactic Adventures6:00 AM
CLUE Accusations And Alibis Now Available6:00 AM
Diablo III: Blood Pools, Health Bars, Tomes Of Knowledge6:00 AM
The id Software Acquisition Discussed6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, June 29, 2009 on one page


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