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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

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Heroes Of Newerth Now Free To Play
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Heroes of Newerth, the session-based, multiplayer, action- RPG developed by S2 Games, is now free-to-play. While the game mechanics and style of play will remain the same, existing player accounts and new accounts will be separated to create "a smooth transition as novice players enter the game."

"With the transition to free-to-play we're opening HoN up to new audiences as our players can now easily introduce the game to their friends," said S2 Games CEO and co-founder Marc DeForest. "S2 has a serious level of commitment to our players to continuously improve both the game and their experience. With the new account types and match-making standards in place, both novice and existing players will benefit from the upgraded structure."

"In just over a year's time we've grown to be a community of 460,000 unique active players and over 90 percent of all accounts are active, which is a direct testament to the game's quality," said DeForest. "We have gone to great lengths to ensure that the superior experience HoN delivers will remain untouched for our loyal fan base during and after the free to play transition.

There are now three account types under the new free-to-play model:

  • Basic – The standard, free account new players will receive upon sign up.
  • Verified – Basic accounts that have been upgraded through a show of commitment to their account, by either purchasing Goblin Coins or surpassing a certain threshold of play time.
  • Legacy – Paid user accounts that existed prior to the free-to-play model. These accounts receive a lifetime of free access to all HoN heroes and are able to play in Verified Only games, to ensure that experts and beginners are separated. Legacy accounts can no longer be purchased.

Basic and Verified accounts will have access to a rotating pool of 15 free heroes while Legacy accounts will have free, permanent access to all heroes after a short waiting period as initial access to a newly released hero is limited. Basic and Verified accounts can choose to purchase a new hero upon release, which permanently adds it to their personal pool of heroes. Legacy accounts may choose to purchase early access to the hero at that time before it is released to them for free.

To ensure that all HoN players have a positive gameplay experience, each account type will have a different level of access to the matchmaking system. Players with Basic accounts are only eligible to participate in one mode of matchmaking which assigns them to All Pick games. Verified and Legacy accounts are eligible to queue up in matchmaking for Verified Only games allowing them to play in higher quality games with more experienced players. This system creates a level playing field so Legacy and Verified players can be confident the matches they participate in will be high quality games.

To learn more about HoN or to create an account and download the game, visit the link below.

Heroes Of Newerth

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Dota 2 First Public Showing At $1 Million Tournament Event
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Valve has announced The International, a new tournament which will offer the first public glimpse of Dota 2, its upcoming action strategy title based on the popular Defense of the Ancients mod for Blizzard's Warcraft III. The Dota 2 tournament will take place August 17th through the 21st at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, and will award the winners a prize of $1 million.

The International features the 16 best Dota teams in the world competing in the Dota 2 Championships through a group stage, double elimination playoff format over the course of Cologne's five-day trade show.

The tournament will be broadcast in four languages (Chinese, German, Russian, and English) free of charge. The winning team will receive $1 million.

"The International is the first public Dota 2 event and will give the tens of millions of gamers playing Dota around the world their first look at the new game," said Gabe Newell, president and founder of Valve. "I have had the good fortune to watch the competitors as they prepare for the tournament, and the level of play is extraordinary."

In addition to the cash prizes awarded by Valve, NVidia is providing all the hardware for the event.
Dota 2 is scheduled to be available for Mac and Windows PCs later this year.

Valve Software
Dota 2

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Jeff Vogel Discusses Avernum: Escape From The Pit
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel recently posted a new blog entry detailing his reasons for developing Avernum: Escape From the Pit, the upcoming rewrite of the original Avernum. In addition to an updated engine and improved graphics the game will include an entirely new skill system, a large new town, new hidden dungeons, new hidden characters, a new starter dungeon.

We've been very determined not to half-ass this adaptation, and, when all is said and done, we will have put almost as much time into it as into a whole new game. It's been a little rough, and yet, I don't see how I had a choice. The first Avernum trilogy is my first creation and still one of my most beloved, and if we didn't rewrite it then it would have just disappeared. I can't abide that.

Other terrifying decisions. For the first time ever, we will be selling a new title for $20. When we released our first game, wayyyy back in 1995, we charged $25. At the time, that was a fair and unsurprising price for a shareware game. These days, the constant downward pressure on prices can no longer be ignored. Also, the market is developing in ways that finally make me think that we can make more money at lower prices.
Read more at the page listed below.

The Bottom Feeder: Avernum Escape From The Pit Announced
Spiderweb Software
Avernum: Escape From The Pit
Buy Avernum: Escape From The Pit

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Diablo III: Auction House & Online Only Play
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 16 comments

At a recent press event Blizzard Entertainment allowed participants to try out a demo version of the upcoming Diablo III action RPG. In addition to the demo experience the company released some new information about the upcoming title. Among other things Diablo III will require an always on internet connection, will not allow offline play or local characters, and will introduce an auction house for the sale or purchase of in-game items for either real world money or in-game coin.

Don’t Need It? Put It Up For Auction!
Nearly everything found in the game, including gold, can be exchanged with other players directly or through the auction house system. So say you’re a witch doctor and you’ve just found an incredibly rare, incredibly powerful axe that only barbarians can use. In the previous Diablo games your best option might have been to sell the axe to an in-game vendor, but in Diablo III, you now have the ability to list that axe in the auction house for your fellow barbarian players to bid on. And you know another player will probably appreciate the true value of that axe more than some heartless vendor who’ll likely just melt it down for scrap…

Will I need to be connected to the Internet to play Diablo III?
Yes, players must be online in order to play Diablo III. Diablo III was built from the ground up to take full advantage of the new version of Blizzard’s powerful Battle.net platform.

Players will have access to several features through Battle.net, including an advanced achievement system as well as the Diablo III banner system; a powerful co-op and PvP matchmaking system; comprehensive stat-tracking; persistent characters that will not expire and are accessible from any computer that has Diablo III installed; a persistent Real ID friends list across multiple Blizzard games, along with cross-game chat; a shared stash accessible by all Diablo III characters on the Battle.net account; and the ability to have friends seamlessly jump in and join you at any time during your quest against the Burning Hells. Together with the security-related benefits that Battle.net provides, these Battle.net-based features are integral to the Diablo III game experience.

Check out the Blizzplanet page linked below for more information about the latest Diablo III information.

Blizzplanet: Diablo II Press Event Overview
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

Mac Games News for Tuesday, August 2, 2011

IMG Reviews The Next Big Thing6:10 AM
LEGO Batman Digital Download Available For Pre-Order6:10 AM
Asphalt 6: Adrenaline Available At MGS6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, August 2, 2011 on one page

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