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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

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EVE Online: An Unholy Rage Against The Illegal ISK Trade
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a recent blog post CCP Games has revealed the results of its latest efforts to deal with illegal trading of its EVE Online in-game currency, ISK, for real world money. Codenamed Unholy Rage the effort was launched on June 22 and involves identifying illegal activity and discouraging it through the banning of accounts.

In the weeks and months building up to June 22nd we monitored and analyzed activity of ISK sellers, and in particular, their supporting groups of macro-miners, ratters, mission farmers and other RMT related units. The information obtained by this research was then used to identify further RMT type accounts and to prepare lists to process in the action.  The preparations also included identifying various items of interest that we wanted to monitor and measure, such as market activity, server performance, petition trends and so on, as our intent was to examine the effects of the action in a scientific way and in as much detail as possible.  Finally, a lot of work was put into gathering information on and collecting lists of RMT type accounts to be targeted in the operation.
During scheduled downtime on June 22nd a little over 6200 paying accounts were banned in one go.

The effects were immediate and dramatic.  First and foremost, we saw a massive drop in the load on our server.

While the number of accounts banned in the opening phase of the operation constituted around 2% of the total active registered accounts, the CPU per user usage was cut by a good 30%. That is a whole lot of CPU for the rest of you to play with, people.
Another great improvement is that space is now suddenly full of belts of oversized asteroids that were previously sucked up by hoards of macro miners of the RMT persuasion.  Regular players are now starting to see mining as a viable means of making some ISK and they are moving in to take over the business.

To read more about Unholy Rage follow the link to the page listed below.

EVE Online Blog: Unholy Rage
CCP Games
EVE Online

Mega BrickBash 3000 Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

BravoBug Software has announced the release of MegaBrickBash 3000 v1.2, an update for the fast-paced arcade game. Mega BrickBash 3000 is a space-themed arcade game for Mac that features over one hundred levels in which players must must bounce, shoot, and break your way through brick obstacles. 

Version 1.2:
• Rocket Launcher weapon ammo increased from 3 to 4 rockets
• Increased speed of Nuke weapon
• Increased frequency of ‘emergency’ magnet drops in levels where ball can potentially get stuck
• Fixed bug where ball speed would not reset properly if speed pills taken before level reset
• Small changes/improvements to some of the levels from the main level set

It is the year 3000, and you are working at a deep space construction site when somehow your platform ship drifts off course. You find yourself trapped in an alternate dimension, surrounded by strange power structures and bouncing energy spheres. What a lucky coincidence then that your spaceship is in the shape of a giant paddle! Perhaps if you smash your way through the brick-like structures that surround you, you'll find a way to get back home.

Mega BrickBash 3000 includes over one hundred levels filled with more than twenty brick types including: solid steel, stone, dynamite, locks and keys, and glass. You must keep your reflexes frosty, because each brick might drop you one of a dozen power-ups including: bonus points, speed enhancers, laser guns, rocket launchers, nukes, and the dreaded ice cube. The official level editor is included with the game so players can create their own level sets and give them to friends.
Mega BrickBash 3000 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. The full game costs $15. Follow the links below for more information.

Mega BrickBash 3000
BravoBug Software

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StarCraft II: Single Play Preview, Interview, Mission Guide
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

IncGamers has released a new collection of information about Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming return to its sci-fi RTS franchise with StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first in a planned trilogy. The new revelations include a lengthy hands-on preview of the single player aspect of the game, a video interview with Chris Metzen, and a guide to some of the missions players will encounter in the game.

First thing is first, the single player mode will no longer be used as a mere tutorial for multiplayer, but a gameplay experience in its own right. It will be "very different [from] the multiplayer experience, that really gives you a chance to try out some new mechanics and play a crazy little mini-game each time you sit down to play a mission," Browder told us.

Examples include traditional collection missions, but with the twist of a race with the Zerg for the same item, or resource gathering in an environment where lava can kill any unit by touch and will drench the mineral patch in irregular intervals.

Heroes won't be such a big part of the story any more either. In the original game, only two missions did not feature a hero unit. Blizzard obviously took this idea to a whole new level in WarCraft III, but has taken a big step backwards for StarCraft II. While it's cool to control a hero, it's less cool to have to protect him/her like a prized possession. "If you have got to hide Raynor in the back of your base it's not cool," said Metzen and we can only agree.

A couple of maps will still feature hero characters, but they will be designed to be more classical "adventure" type games such as the installation missions from the original game. In that case the hero is needed to complete the mission. Metzen also mentioned possibly allowing a gimmick to let the hero "take a knee" instead of blowing up, therefore forcing you "to get a Medic there to get him back on his feet."
Head over to the links below to read and see more.

IncGamers: StarCraft II Single Play Preview
IncGamers: StarCraft II Video Interview
IncGamers: StarCraft II Missions
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Apple Adds New Trailer For Plants Vs Zombies
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games has added a new Plants vs Zombies game trailer to its website. PopCap Games' recent entry in the casual games market challenges players to make use of a variety of plants to defend their home, and their brain, from a horde of hungry zombies.

Get ready to soil your plants in an all-new action-strategy game from PopCap! A mob of fun-loving zombies is about to invade your home, and your only defense is an arsenal of 49 zombie-zapping plants. Use peashooters, wall-nuts, cherry bombs and more to mulchify 26 types of zombies before they can reach your front door. Each zombie has its own special skills, so you’ll need to think fast and plant faster to combat them all. But be careful how you use your limited supply of greens and seeds… as you battle the fun-dead, obstacles like a setting sun, creeping fog and a swimming pool add to the challenge. And with five game modes to dig into, the fun never dies!

• Play five game modes: Adventure, Mini-Games, Puzzle, Survival, plus the stress-free Zen Garden
• Conquer all 50 levels of Adventure mode -- through day, night and fog, in a swimming pool and on the rooftop
• Battle 26 types of zombies including pole-vaulters, snorkelers and “Zomboni” drivers
• Earn 49 powerful perennials and collect coins to buy a pet snail, power-ups and more!
Visit the site below to view the trailer.

Apple: Plants Vs. Zombies Trailer
PopCap Games
Plants vs. Zombies
Buy Plants vs. Zombies

Mac Games News for Monday, August 17, 2009

Cruising The Wasteland In Rage6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II: Area Size, Weapon Characteristics, Imbuing6:00 AM
EVE Online Apocrypha 1.5 Coming August 206:00 AM
Quake Live For Mac Launches Tomorrow6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, August 17, 2009 on one page

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