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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

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World of Warcraft Goes To War
10:19 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has released a new beta of their upcoming MMORPG World of Wacraft. One of the most awaited features of the beta is the introduction of a player versus player server where it's a full out war between the two factions; The Alliance, featuring humans gnomes, dwarves and night elves, and The Horde featuring the orcs, trolls, tauren and undead races.

The war isn't completely chaotic though, there are some rules to it:

On the Horde vs. Alliance race war server, territories will be indicated whenever a player enters a new zone. The zone name will now include additional information to inform the player of the territories status. Additionally, the mini-map will be color coded to indicate who controls the zone: Green = Friendly, Red = Enemy and Yellow = Contested.

Players will be able to initiate player vs. player combat based on what territory they are in. Players in friendly territories are safe unless they decide to engage an opposing faction player in combat. Players in enemy territories will always be at risk and can be attacked by all players that belong in the territory. All players can be attacked in neutral (contested) territories.

Besaides the PvP addition, there are several tweaks and additions to the gameplay, such as an opening cinematic for each race, changes in the rest state, and several new quests and tweaks to old quests. The experience cap has now been increased to level 45 and spells and skills have been adjusted to suit this better. For the lengthy list of updates, follow the link provided below.

The new beta includes so many changes that the people who are included in the current beta will have to download the full game again. If everything goes well with the new beta, Blizzard will start Phase 3 and let more players join the beta.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft Patch Notes
Buy World of Warcraft

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IMG Reviews Feral's XIII
12:28 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of XII, the new cell-shaded first person shooter from publisher Feral Interactive and porting house Zonic. Here's a clip from the review:

XIII runs on a heavily modified variant of the Unreal engine, under normal circumstances this would allow the game to look almost lifelike in motion, but in order to retain true to the story’s comic book heritage the developers at Ubi-Soft performed a major overhaul on the graphics portion of the engine. Cel-shading has become more common in the intervening years since Sega used it for the first time in ‘Jet Set Radio’ for their Dreamcast console, yet it is still considered a mere ‘gimmick’ and a sign of a ‘kiddies’ game, the former in my opinion has never been true, XIII is testament that the latter is also false.
To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: XIII
Feral Interactive

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Linden Lab Releases Second Life 1.4 for Mac
11:29 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

Linden Lab has released a new update to the Mac version of their popular massive multiplayer online life simulator, Second Life. The new update, deemed version 1.4, adds many new features that allow players to further develop their "second selves", including support for personal "theme music", and even marriage from within the game. From the press release:

Version 1.4 features include:

  • Custom Character Animations – For the first time, Second Life Residents will be able to animate their avatars to do almost anything they can imagine. Using an open .bvh file format supported by products like Curious Lab’s Poser®, Residents can create and upload animation files to Second Life endowing their avatars with distinctive “moods” and movements. And, in creating everything from guitar-strumming rock stars to world-class swimmers, Second Life Residents are discovering they can live out their wildest dreams in-world. To date, users have developed realistic boxing matches, recreated action sequences from major movies and put together elaborate dance routines. The most talented Animators will have their hands full trading and selling their work – adding to an already robust in-world economy.

  • Theme music for everyone – Live streaming audio support allows Residents to link to Internet audio sources broadcasting among other things, live sportscasts, talk shows, DJ soundtracks direct from real world clubs to Second Life clubs and even programmed soundtracks for one’s own property.

  • Live Connections to the Real World - XML-RPC allows data and commands to be sent back and forth between disparate systems over the internet. In Second Life, this means computers outside of Second Life can communicate with Resident-created objects and scripts in-world. Some applications for XML-RPC include faster in-world blogging, the ability to send newsfeeds into Second Life and the capacity for store owners to manage their inventory remotely.

  • Profess Your Love - With the new Profile option, Second Life couples can make their relationships official. Married and connected Residents will be able to designate their partners on their profiles in-world where their relationships will be visible to the rest of the community. Can’t be married in real life? Try Second Life.
  • Check out the full press release for more information.

    PR: Linden Lab Releases Second Life 1.4 for Mac OS X
    Second Life
    Linden Lab

    Freeverse Updates Squabble
    11:29 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    Freeverse Software has released an update to their recently released word making game, Squabble. The update adds some minor enhancements to the game, as well as fixes various bugs. Here's a full list of changes from Freeverse:

    Changes from previous version:
  • If the bottom player box moves off the window Squabble switches from showing 2 words per line to as many words per line as will fit.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed human players to make illegal steals like AQUA from QUA or DREAD from READ.
  • Bots are prevented from doing a make/take within 1 sec of a tile turning over.
  • The Choose Players dialog no longer allows a human player's name to end with a digit (such names are reserved for bots).
  • The update is available for download from the link below.

    Download Squabble 1.01

    Freeverse Updates Big Bang Chess
    10:19 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

    Freeverse Software has released a new version of their free OS X integrated chess game Big Bang Chess. Besides various bug fixes the new version of the game also contains modifiable skins. If you have missed out on this game, here's what the official site has to say about it:

    Big Bang Chess is the start of a whole new universe of casual gaming. Visually stunning and featuring incredibly tight integration with Apple technologies, Big Bang Chess lets you enjoy a casual game within the context of all the great iApps that make using Mac OS X such a pleasure.
    To download Big Bang Chess, head over to Freeverse's download page linked below. If you want more information, just follow the link to the official site.

    Big Bang Chess
    Freeverse Downloads

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    Aspyr Ships Space Colony
    10:19 AM | Galen Wiley | Comment on this story

    In a press release earlier today, Aspyr Media announced that their space-themed living sim, Space Colony, is now shipping for the Mac. Borrowing popular elements from games like The Sims, Space Colony features open-ended gameplay where players must successfully build and manage their own space colony, complete with a variety of diverse crewmembers.

    Building on the idea behind the wildly popular Sims’ series, Space Colony adds a new dimension to people simulation and building strategy games. Not only must you create a successful space colony by harvesting space resources and fending off manic aliens, but you also must baby-sit your team of outer space misfits. Players lead dysfunctional crews through a series of unique missions to build a functioning space colony. Colonies begin very simply, with bio-domes, food synthesizers, ATM machines that dispense workers’ paychecks, recreation facilities or maintenance tools. As players move through the 24 levels, missions grow increasingly difficult – defending your stations from any number of crazed aliens, opening up tourist destinations to make your colony profitable, and, most importantly, keeping your crew under control so that they don’t kill one another.
    The game will be available in stores everywhere starting June 21. You can consult the links below for more information

    Space Colony
    IMG Preview: Space Colony
    Download Space Colony Demo
    Aspyr Media
    Buy Space Colony

    Mac Games News for Tuesday, June 15, 2004

    IMG Store: Pre-Order Republic: The Revolution12:39 PM
    Unofficial Unreal Tournament 2004 Sound Patch Released9:19 AM
    Danish Company Developing Mac-Only Game7:44 AM
    GarageGames Posts Contributor Interview7:44 AM
    Linux Devcenter Features MythDevelopers7:44 AM
    Mac Games Solutions Site,, Launches7:44 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, June 15, 2004 on one page

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