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Monday, August 17, 2009

Quake Live For Mac Launches Tomorrow
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 23 comments

Speaking at the QuakeCon 2009 event id CEO Todd Hollenshead recently revealed that Quake Live will finally be released on August 18 for Mac and Linux users. The browser based shooter is adapted from the Quake III engine. Also speaking at QuakeCon John Carmack mentioned the upcoming addition of a premium subscription service, implemented due to lackluster performance of the current in-game advertising model.

During his QuakeCon keynote address, Carmack explained to the crowd that in-game advertising was not enough to support the web-based title.

"The in-game advertising stuff has not been big business," he admitted. "That's not going to be able to carry the project."
Quake Live subscriptions will allow players to configure and run their own private servers for the shooter. Carmack also noted that the game will never go entirely pay-to-play.

"Quake Live is gonna be Quake Live for the foreseeable future," he said. "It's only just now that we're going to be able to put it to the test."
For more information head over to the Macworld and Shacknews pages below.

Quake Live
Macworld: Quake Live Mac Aug 18
Shacknews: Quake Live Premium Subscription Service
id Software

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Eschalon Book II: Area Size, Weapon Characteristics, Imbuing
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Basilisk Games has released a new series of answers to fan questions about the upcoming RPG, Eschalon: Book II. The Q&A covers a variety of topics related to the game including the size of the land, special weapon characteristics, and item Imbuing in Book II.

You mentioned three major regions for Book II, a temperate region, arctic region, and a volcanic region. About how large are these regions in comparison to the familiar Thaermore? In adddition, about how long can we expect this game to be? (ballpark estimate if necessary)
The main region of Mistfell, where 60% of Book II is played, is about the size of Thaermore in Book I. The other two regions make up the remaining *40%. This doesn't include dungeons.

*Note that the arctic region (the Northland Expanse) is actually HUGE, but not all of it will be mapped and explorable. I don't think that too many players would enjoy crossing 30 screens of white-out blizzard conditions where not a single living thing exists. Well, except for the dreaded Ogrin. Yeah, you don't want none of that.

In book I, it seemed like chosing which weapon type to train in was almost trivial - the only in-game consequence I could discern was some weapon groups have unique/higher level weapons avaliable earlier in the game than others. In Book II, will there be any more distinction between the different weapon type?.
Yes. Most notable are things like Hammers and Axes being more durable, and gives you bonuses when bashing items. Swords are less durable and require more maintenance, but come in more varieties. Piercing weapons are the lowest damage-inducing of the group, yet once highly skilled you can deliver multiple strikes per round making them highly attractive. Thrown weapons are priced and configured to be a more useful choice.

There are likely to be additional differences in weapons when the game is final. We are always playing around with this sort of thing.

However, as we were able to imbue items in Book 1, but were not able to imbue with abilities I am wondering if that is something that would be/has been added to Book 2. What I mean is you can find items with +2 to move silent, +2 to pick locks....etc, but we couldn't create those stat/skill modifiers when imbuing. I think this would be a great addition and give a person more thought in how they imbued their items.
Imbuing items has been expanded and updated. As of now it doesn't include Imbuing of Skills. We'll see what we have time for.

Ultimately, Book II will be a bit better at handling updates than Book I was. So, if the game ships and there is some feature (such as Skill Imbuing) that doesn't make it in before we go gold, there is always the possibility of adding it afterward via a patch. I do plan on offering a few "bonus content" patches in the months after the game ships to keep interest up (and thus revenue flow) while we work on Book III.

Head over to the link below to read all the answers.

Basilisk Games Forums: Book II Q&A
Basilisk Games
Eschalon: Book II
Buy Eschalon: Book II

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EVE Online Apocrypha 1.5 Coming August 20
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

CCP Games has announced that Apocrypha 1.5, a mini-expansion for its popular EVE Online sci-fi MMO, will be available Thursday, August 20. The expansion will feature the addition of small and medium ship rigs, several new epic mission arcs, specialized cargo holds, and factional warfare improvements.

EVE Online Apocrypha 1.5 will be released on 20th, August, 2009. This mini expansion will bring new and exciting content to New Eden including four new Epic Mission Arcs, one for each of the main Empire factions. These arcs will be at Level 4 mission difficulty to provide a challenge even to experienced mission runners. Multi sized rigs will be available, allowing pilots to fit smaller rigs on smaller ships while maintaining the same effect. Changes have been made to Factional Warfare; lag has been reduced substantially allowing for much smoother fleet fights, loyalty point stores now offer substantial discounts on Navy Issue ships while incorporating unique faction modules to pilots. Players can earn loyalty points for the stores both by completing agent missions and by killing player ships belonging to the enemy militia. Black Ops Battleships now have a dedicated fuel bay that can be used to store fuel for their covert cynosural generators and jump drives while the Orca and Rorqual now have a dedicated bay for storing ore.

In addition to all of this new content we have made multiple changes to the scanning and probing mechanics, added to our ‘Need for Speed’ initiative to reduce lag and improve performance along with a host of other fixes and changes.
Check out the links below to learn more.

EVE Online Apocrypha 1.5
CCP Games
EVE Online

Cruising The Wasteland In Rage
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

GameSpot has posted a new preview based on hands-on experience with Rage, id Software's upcoming combination of first person shooter and action racing title. The preview provides an overview of the game's post-apocalyptic setting and action elements.

After a quick drive through the wilderness, we discovered a shack off the beaten path inhabited by Crazy Joe, a rambling nutcase wearing stained clothes and an enlarged foam novelty hat in the shape of a floppy alien monster. Joe will be one of a number of eccentric characters that id hopes players will find memorable, along with Dan and the other characters that give you odd jobs (and end up at odds with). We took two steps outside Joe's shack and found an ugly mutant skulking on the hill so we dispatched it with a toss of a "wingstick," a player-crafted boomerang that swiftly and effectively knocked out the brute before returning home. Apparently, Rage will have items you can craft and automatically build once you have both the formula and the parts, though designer Matt Hooper explains that the game won't have a giant list of junk. Rather, there will be a handful of useful and powerful items that will come in handy throughout the entire game.

After our brief conversation, we hopped into our buggy to head to Wellspring, but we were sidetracked by bandits driving similar buggies and witnessed our first onboard battle. The car combat in Rage looks fast and brutal, and because the buggies were extremely nimble and could make very sharp turns, the battle we watched was less of a back-and-forth joust and more of a demolition-derby-style smashup. All buggies were equipped with nitrous to grant instant bursts of speed, as well as onboard machine guns that chewed each other up part by part, sending fenders and headlights (and at one point, one of the buggies) flying through clouds of dust.

We dispatched our foes and made our way to Wellspring--a neutral zone where guns aren't allowed--to visit key locations, such as item shops and the local watering hole where you can take bounties to slay bandits. Wellspring is the location of your personal car garage, which will grow over time as you recover or purchase new vehicles. All vehicles will have four basic statistics: acceleration, suspension, traction, and armor--but you can swap out more or less any major part of your car to enhance its performance. These include stickier tires, a faster engine, and many different types of weapons. The town is also the place to meet key characters, including the mayor, a crotchety old Teddy Roosevelt-esque codger; the sheriff, a lean, tough-talking codger; and the race track manager, who is less of a codger and more of a race jockey. These key contacts are meant to be memorably quirky, but they will also give you a variety of missions that are kept on file in your character's journal. The next mission we took was to hunt down a tribe of bandits to the north known as the Shrouded Clan that was terrorizing the area with remote control cars armed with C4 explosives
Read more of the preview at the link below.

GameSpot: Rage Preview
id Software
Rage: Campaign Edition
Buy Rage: Campaign Edition

Mac Games News for Friday, August 14, 2009

City Of Heroes: More Issue 16 Details, New Screenshots6:00 AM
Isotope 244 YouTube Video Contest Underway6:00 AM
QuantZ Action Puzzler Now Available6:00 AM
StarCraft II: First Person Shooter Custom Maps Possible?6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 14, 2009 on one page

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