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Friday, August 21, 2009

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World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm Announced
6:41 PM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Blizzard Entertainment today announced plans for the third expansion to World of Warcraft, its award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Unveiled at the company’s fourth BlizzCon gaming festival, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will bring sweeping changes to the world of Azeroth. Players will be able to adventure as two new playable races, achieve new levels of power, take on challenging quests and dungeons in all-new zones, and experience dramatic changes to familiar aspects of the game in the wake of a world-shattering disaster.

“In addition to revitalizing some of the most familiar and iconic areas of the game world, this third World of Warcraft expansion will add new features and a large amount of new content for players to explore,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re excited to be offering a first glimpse of Cataclysm for attendees of BlizzCon, and we look forward to sharing more information with everyone as development progresses.”

In Cataclysm, players will witness the face of Azeroth being altered forever, as the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing awakens from his subterranean slumber and erupts onto the surface, leaving ruin and destruction in his wake. As the Horde and Alliance race to the epicenter of the cataclysm, the kingdoms of Azeroth will witness seismic shifts in power, the kindling of a war of the elements, and the emergence of unlikely heroes who will rise up to protect their scarred and broken world from utter devastation.

Building on the foundation established in World of Warcraft and its first two expansions, Cataclysm will add a variety of new content and offer players the opportunity to rediscover Azeroth and experience the game from a whole new perspective. New features coming with the game’s third expansion include:
• Two New Playable Races: Adventure as the cursed worgen with the Alliance or the resourceful goblins with the Horde.
• Increased Level Cap: Advance to level 85 and earn new abilities, tap into new talents, and progress through the path system, a new way for players to customize characters.
• Classic Zones Remade: Quest to level 60 as you never have before. Familiar zones across the original continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms have been reforged by the cataclysm and updated with new quests and content.
• Flying Mounts in Azeroth: Explore Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms from a whole new perspective.
• Guild Advancement: Progress as a guild to earn guild levels and guild achievements.
• New High-Level Content: Explore newly opened parts of the world, including Uldum, Grim Batol, and the great sunken city of Vashj'ir beneath the sea, and enjoy even more high-level raid content than in previous expansions.
• New PvP Zone & Rated Battlegrounds: Take on PvP objectives and daily quests on Tol Barad Island, a new Wintergrasp-like zone, and wage war in all-new rated Battlegrounds.
• Archaeology: Master a new secondary profession to unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards.
• New Race and Class Combinations: Explore Azeroth as a gnome priest, blood elf warrior, or one of the other never-before-available race and class combinations.
For more information on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm visit Blizzard Entertainment’s official website at the link below.

Blizzard Entertainment
World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Apple Games Features Quake Live
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Apple Games has posted a new feature article on Quake Live, id Software's browser based first person shooter based on the Quake III engine. Recently released for Mac the game challenges players to master their shooting and dodging skills as they battle with other players. Apple's article includes an overview of the game's features and some tips and tricks for success.

When you’re done, a 10-minute test match against a human trainer named Crash (she’s a playable character too) determines your skill level, enabling Quake Live to recommend matches against others who sport similar abilities. If you’ve played enough multiplayer games online, you know how frustrating it can be to enter a match against opponents well above or below your skill set.

If you want to reset your rating, simply replay that session in the Training Center, where you’ll also learn more about rocket jumping and strafe jumping, a pair of key techniques used by advanced players. The former lets you access out-of-reach areas or simply leap higher by firing a rocket launcher or other explosive weapon at the ground while jumping; the latter involves moving to the left or right while jumping, which increases speed. You can view demonstrations of those moves and practice them until you’re ready to impress others with your superior skills.

You may even impress them enough to earn a clan invitation, the high point of any online player’s career. Not only does Quake Live feature plenty of team play, but it also offers many ways to interact with your teammates, including chat functionality, friend search, and easy ways to jump straight into matches with people you already know. In addition, each player profile functions much like a sports box score, giving you accuracy rates with specific weapons, information about previous matches played, win rates in each game mode, and more.
Click over to the link below to read the full article.

Apple Games: Quake Live
id Software
Quake Live

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World Of Warcraft: The Magazine Announced
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Future has announced an international partnership with Blizzard Entertainment to publish World of Warcraft: The Magazine, the official magazine of the record-breaking massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

The new quarterly publication will cover all aspects of WoW, from game content to the players themselves. Launching simultaneously in English, French, German, and Spanish editions, the new magazine will be available via subscription only, sold through World of Warcraft Account Management or direct from the magazine's website.

Each collectable issue will be packed with engaging, entertaining and comprehensive articles that cover all aspects of World of Warcraft through insider insights and player perspectives.

The first issue will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the release of World of Warcraft by showing how the game has evolved and taking a look into its future. In addition, the first issue will compare tactics from top guild leaders for Ulduar – helping gamers to build the best strategies for their raids. With plenty more content inside, the first issue of World of Warcraft: The Magazine packs 148 pages with insightful articles and beautiful artwork that World of Warcraft players are sure to enjoy.

“Building on the global online phenomenon, World of Warcraft: The Magazine will provide an insider’s view of the game in the form of a glossy, high-quality, quarterly print title with beautiful, high-definition art. There is increasing recognition that there is a huge demand among gamers for print products to support their online experience and vice versa. Future’s experienced team will create an essential magazine for World of Warcraft enthusiasts around the world. Future has a world-leading games media portfolio and this major launch builds on our position in the industry,” said John Gower, International Director of FuturePlus.

“Future produces some of the most respected gaming magazines in the industry, and we’re pleased to be working closely with them to make World of Warcraft: The Magazine a true standout product. Together, we look forward to offering World of Warcraft players a great mix of entertaining and insightful content in every issue,” said Paul Sams, Chief Operating Officer of Blizzard Entertainment.

“We’re bringing together an international team of player-writer experts to create in-depth articles about World of Warcraft’s design, art, lore and community, as well as all aspects of its gameplay. It’s really important that our magazine articulates multiple player perspectives, so that the editorial offers balanced – and sometimes even opposing – points of view on winning strategies and tactics,” said Julian Rignall, Editorial Director of World of Warcraft: The Magazine.

World of Warcraft: The Magazine is available as a one or two-year subscription. Pricing for one year is $39.95 in the US and 34.95 EUR or 29.95 GBP in Europe while two year subscription packages cost $69.95 in the US, 61.25 EUR or 52.50 GBP.

Those interested in subscribing should visit the website below on Friday, 21st August when BlizzCon starts, or visit Future’s booth at the event, near the entrance of Hall B.

World of Warcraft: The Magazine
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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The Witch Doctor Battles Evil In Diablo III
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

IGN has posted a new preview of time spent with a demo version of Diablo III, Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming return to the popular action RPG franchise. The preview details some of the capabilities of the new Witch Doctor class as well as the game's new healing mechanics.

Huge swarms of enemies rushed at me in a desert environment as I chose the Witch Doctor, the Necromancer-like wielder of weird magical arts and summon abilities. To turn monsters into a bloody paste, I had only a limited number of skills, but they all proved useful. I could toss fiery skulls into the air which detonated wherever I happened to hit the attack button, giving them a flexible and welcome range. The explosions also caused a fair deal of area of effect damage, making them ideal for wiping out packs of jittery fallen or skeletons or whatever other kinds of beasts decided to bunch together. With a piercing howl a menacing specter erupts from the Witch Doctor's body, which works to horrify enemies and send them fleeing for a limited time. To my side could be called zombie dogs in battle, which I think we can all agree are the best kind of dogs. Then finally, I could pitch out a corpse spider attack, which causes opponents, when killed, to erupt into ravenous swarms of sickly green arachnids that skitter toward and inflict violence on whatever's near. Using the dogs, corpse spiders, and fire bombs all during the same fight led to some satisfying scenes of destruction.

As tends to be the case in Diablo games and others like it, there are quite a few bad guys to absorb your punishment. I was attacked by hyena-like creatures, misshapen salamanders that popped out from beneath the earth, floating specters capable of unleashing deadly whirlwind attacks, giant demons carrying long jagged swords, four-legged ice mages, toxic bees, fallen guardians who could drive their minions to all attack at once, and slithering lizard people in crypts beneath the sands. The Witch Doctor's posture isn't exactly upright. Instead it's almost comically hunched so that you could mistake him for the gnarled branch of a tree if he wasn't moving. While he didn't seem very powerful with melee, his mana recharged pretty quickly in this build so it was no problem to launch a near constant stream of fire skulls and horrify the area when things got too dangerous.

It took me a few minutes to realize I wasn't spamming potions during all the fighting. I did have a few healing draughts on my hotbar (which, by the way, also accommodates skills, a change from Diablo II I barely even noticed), but in about 20 minutes of play time I only used one. That's because some enemies will seemingly randomly drop health potions on the ground. You don't pick these up. Instead, you just walk over them and they instantly restore your health as well as, to my surprise and delight, the health of my summons. Gold also seemed to be auto-collected from the ground as the Witch Doctor walked over it.
Visit the site below to read the full preview

IGN: Diablo III Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

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Solving Puzzles In The Sims 3 World Adventures
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Hooked Gamers has posted a new preview of World Adventures, the upcoming first expansion for The Sims 3 scheduled for release on November 17. Among other things the add-on will allows players to take their sims to a variety of exotic locales around the world where they can engage in a number of life changing adventures.

Your starting point is 'base camp'. From there you can mingle with locals, enjoy the wares that local businesses offer or accept challenges from mysterious strangers to find treasures and discover what's lurking in hidden caves. These challenges, and the way they have to be played, are something entirely new to The Sims franchise. Instead of completing random tasks you have to follow a set, puzzle-based story.

You might, for example, need a certain skill to open the door of a tomb, enter and find an artifact before you can open another door. Or you might need a specific item to be able to continue your quest, or uncover a secret first, which will lead you to the next level of your explorations. The artifacts you find can be taken back to Sunset Valley and put on display in your home where they will no doubt be admired by all your friends.

World Adventures offers not only puzzle-based gameplay but will also introduce new skills like Photography, Martial Arts, Nectar Making and a slew of new clothes and items. There will also be some new ways of making money. The locals in the three locations have new personality traits that are in line with their culture. Their looks and clothing have been adjusted in a similar manner. Your Sim can befriend these new Sims, fall in love and even marry them to add those new traits to the gene pool of future children.
Follow the link below to read more.

Hooked Gamers: The Sims 3 World Adventures Review
Electronic Arts
The Sims 3: World Adventures
Buy The Sims 3: World Adventures

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IMG Reviews Westward II
6:00 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the casual RTS title Westward II from Sandlot Games. Take charge of an old West settlement in this Age of Empires-inspired title. Here's and excerpt from the review:

Gameplay is fairly similar to other RTS games, namely in that it involves gathering resources to build a stable economy and micromanagement is available for all your settlers. What this means is that you decide the details. One might have four people working on wood and five on food. In the end, like in most games of this genre, it is about finding the best combination of resource use and making it as efficient as possible.

The tutorial is informative and helpful and gets you on the move quickly. All other topics of gameplay are shown while playing through the campaign. Overall it is very easy to play.

Follow the link below to read the full review.

IMG Review: Westward II
Westward II
Sandlot Games
Buy Westward II

Mac Games News for Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blizzard's Andy Chambers Delves Into SC 2 Single Player6:00 AM
Diablo III: Hands-On Demo Previews6:00 AM
EVE Online Economic Newsletter Available6:00 AM
id Developers Discuss Rage6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, August 20, 2009 on one page

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