Diablo II Patch 1.13 Enters Public Realms Beta Testing
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments
In a recent forum post Blizzard Entertainment's Bashiok revealed that the long delayed 1.13 patch for Diablo II has entered beta testing on the public test realms. The new patch will introduce a variety of bug fixes and updates as well as respecialization options, and a new mystery to be solved by players of Hell difficulty.
A new Mystery has been revealed!Head over to the page below for more information.
Blizzard Forums: Diablo II 1.13 Patch PTR Live
- Players of Hell Difficulty Realm games are hereby warned once again,
that a series of new and challenging tests await you! The answer lies
within Diablo's Bosses, which span across the world from the Den of Evil
to the Throne of Destruction...
- fixed an item dupe bug.
- Video improvements for Intel Mac machines with OS 10.5 or greater.
- Respecialization is now possible! Completing the 'Den of Evil' quest will now additionally reward 1 free respec which can be saved. Players who have already completed this quest should receive 1 free respec in Hell difficulty.
Q: How do I begin testing on the PTR?
A: When you start Diablo II change your Battle.net gateway to “ClassicBeta”. When you log in the 1.13 patch will be applied to your game and you can begin testing the changes made in the patch. Since it's a new realm you'll need to create a new account.
Q: How long with the PTR run for?
A: As long as we deem necessary to ensure the patch and changes are solid.
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Buy Diablo II
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story
Massively has posted a new interview with Runic Games' CEO Max Schaefer and lead designer Travis Baldree about the company's action RPG, Torchlight. The game gives players the chance to choose a character and venture from the safety of the town of Torchlight into randomly generated dungeon levels. Once inside they find a variety of monsters, a large selection of loot to find, and quests to complete.
Can you comment on some of Torchlight's similarities to Diablo?A Mac version of the game is planned for release in 2010.
Schaefer: I think there are interface conventions that are not just from Diablo and Torchlight that people use because there's no point in reinventing something that everyone already knows how to use and is already comfortable with. It's kind of just frustrating to figure out how interface works or how a skill tree functions when everyone already knows the standard way to do it. So we didn't want to reinvent how you control one of these games or what they look like, we just wanted to give you a new and fresh take on it.
And Diablo certainly didn't invent a lot of those things that people would say are striking similarities. We consciously used things from other games that worked and felt right. And I think every game does that. How many games use the WASD keys and mouse look controls? It's because it's good, and it works. People know how to do it.
Baldree: I think it gets down to the fact that the genre right now doesn't have that many games in it. Right now you have Borderlands, Rage and Fallout 3. All of which are post-apocalyptic, semi-RPG shooters. But the genre is so large at this point that the internal comparisons aren't made as much.
Follow the link below to read the full interview.
Massively: Torchlight Q&A
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Frank Pearce Travels Blizzard's Memory Lane
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story
Joystiq has published a new interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Frank Pearce about the history of the company responsible for the Warcraft franchise, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Blizzard's cofounder discussed the early days of the company, where the company name originated, the success of World of Warcraft, and the dangers of becoming complacent.
So that was Silicon & Synapse. How did it go from that to Blizzard Entertainment?Check out the link below to read the full article.
Joystiq: Warcraft Milestones
Right. When we incorporated, Alan incorporated us under the name Silicon & Synapse. That wasn't really a good name, because no one knew how to spell it. We went through a pretty extensive process to find a new name and came up with Chaos Studios. There were some trademark issues with that name. When it came time to publish a title under that label, we discovered those issues. We had just been acquired by Davidson & Associates shortly after we made the name change to Chaos Studios, so it seemed like an appropriate time to make another change so that we could publish under our own label. And we came up with Blizzard Entertainment.
We specifically selected to append Entertainment as compared to anything else, because we always felt like we wanted to have the option to do more than games. I mean games are our foundation, but we always felt like, you know, if we were creating our own franchises, we would want to someday seem them on the big screen or see them in novelizations or comic books, or whatever. And so, we were conscious of the name when we selected it to call it Blizzard Entertainment, because we knew we wanted to have the option to do more than games in the future.
Where did the Blizzard part come from?
You know, it is a complicated process. You look through the dictionary and make a list of big long words, and you start narrowing it down. [laughs] You get feedback from the people working at the organization, and then you get feedback from the legal department after they have done some trademark searches. And after that big extensive process, Blizzard is where we landed. One of the first things that Allen does as part of the process is to literally start perusing the dictionary.
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IMG Reviews BioShock
6:00 AM | Marcus Albers | Comment on this story
Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the award-winning first-person adventure/shooter BioShock from UK-based Mac publishers Feral Interactive. Travel to the underwater city of Rapture and uncover the secret of what happened to this once Utopian society. Here's an excerpt from the review:
Upon beginning the game, you find yourself taking a plane flight. Then it crashes. You don't know why it crashes into the water, or even what happened to everyone else after the crash, just that you need to get out of the water. Well, you might, as the game doesn't prompt you to move in any particular direction after the game starts. You might end up finding yourself swimming in circles for a little while until you spot the only way out: an island with a lighthouse. Naturally, the first thing you find inside the building is a submersible that takes you to an underwater city. Instead of waiting to dry off and check for phones or anything to report the accident, you happily enter the submersible, thus leaving any other surviving passengers out to fend for themselves.Follow the link below to read the full review.
IMG Review: BioShock
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The Making Of Syndicate
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment
Edge Online has posted a new article examining the creation of Syndicate, Bullfrog's classic isometric real-time tactical title. In the game players took charge of a four person team of agents as they engaged in a variety of destructive missions. Edge's article takes the form of an interview with Sean Cooper, who led the project.
Syndicate’s unusually dark feel was not restricted to its countenance. Long before Grand Theft Auto, the populations of Syndicate’s isometric stages were populated with bit-part, bitmap victims. Self-appointed moral arbiters may blanche at the suggestion, but engaging in wanton, pixel-based slaughter was one of the game’s principle pleasures, and was always designed to be just that. Visit the page below for the full article.
Edge Online: The Making Of Syndicate
“I wanted to flame them, I wanted to shoot them, I wanted to blow them up,” says Cooper of Syndicate’s sprites. “I think we didn’t quite implement it as well as we could have. I’d liked to have seen bodies flying through the air; I wanted to minigun people and have them pinned to a wall. All those things we so badly wanted to do, but we’d have been adding another year to the project time, or so it felt at the time. Memory constraints were the big problem.”
From the explosive gauss gun – originally an EMP weapon, according to Trowers – to what must be the most satisfying implementation of a minigun in videogame history, Syndicate was packed with a wishlist of excellent armaments, upgrades and gadgets. “Once we’d developed the gameplay and we’d got the squad-based shooter element, people started coming up with ideas for weapons,” recalls Cooper. “The persuadatron came out of nowhere, really – I don’t know to this day whose idea it was. I think Peter’s still convinced that it’s his. It created something interesting: being able to build an army, and was actually quite simple to do. It could be done a lot better… Ah, if we were to do it again now…”
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