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Tuesday, November 2, 2004

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Final World of Warcraft Stress Test
7:48 AM | Conrad Quilty-Harper | Comment on this story

In advance of the final testing stage for the long-awaited Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment are inviting the public at large to participate in their "free", week-long open stress test.

The final stress test started yesterday at 1:00PM Pacific Standard Time. Players wanting to check out the game before the open beta need to sign in to gaming website Fileplanet, sign up for the test, and once the client file has been downloaded and installed, start playing. Testers will automatically reserve their place on the open beta by signing up to the stress test. While participation in the stress test itself is free, a paid subscription to Fileplanet is required to download the game client.

From the news announcement;

In preparation for the upcoming free open beta test, Blizzard will be conducting a final stress test for World of Warcraft. Starting today, November 1, at 1:00 PM PST, players who would like to get a sneak peek of the game prior to the free open beta test will be able to visit FilePlanet, sign up for the final stress test, download the game client, and begin playing. In addition to helping us further test World of Warcraft's server infrastructure under heavy loads, final stress test participants will automatically have their free open beta test slots reserved, and their account and characters will transfer over to the free open beta test seamlessly!
The full news announcement along with an FAQ is available at the link below -

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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World of Warcraft Open Beta FAQ
11:23 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

With the anticipated open beta test of their MMORPG World Of Warcraft just around the corner, the developers at Blizzard Entertainment have posted a lengthy and detailed Q&A aimed at answering the many questions fans of the game have been asking over the last few months.

The Q&A covers just about all the basics for fans wanting to get in on the action, including who will be able to participate, where and what gamers need to do to sign-up, and whether or not there will be a limit to the number of players involved:

Will there be a limit to the number of people who can play the World of Warcraft open beta?
Yes, we will have to limit the number of players. However, a maximum number of players has not yet been determined. At this time, we simply recommend that if you wish to play in the open beta that you download the game and create an account as soon as the open beta is ready. Once we fill our servers to capacity, we will remove the World of Warcraft downloader and account-creation pages.

How will I know if I get into the open beta?
If you can download the client and create an account, then you are in the World of Warcraft open beta. After creating an account, you must enter the account name and password you had chosen during the account creation process at the World of Warcraft login screen to play the game.

Also of note, scrolling down to the bottom of the page will reveal the beta test's system requirements, which will probably hold for the final version of the game:
  • Mac® System OS X 10.3.5 OS:
  • 933 MHz or higher G4 or G5 processor.
  • 512 MB RAM or higher. DDR RAM recommended.
  • ATI or NVIDIA video hardware with 32 MB VRAM or more.
  • 4 GB or more of available hard drive space.
  • MacOS X 10.3.5 or newer.
  • A 56k or higher modem with an Internet connection.
  • Be sure to check in with us for progress reports as the development of the highly-anticipated online role playing game comes to a close. Anxious to get your hands on the title? Head over to the IMG Store and pre-order your very own copy of the game:

    World of Warcraft Open Beta FAQ
    Blizzard Entertainment
    World of Warcraft
    Buy World of Warcraft

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    Worms: Forts Under Siege PC Gold
    7:56 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

    In a post on the Team 17 forums, game developer "Spadge" posted a small news update on Worms Forts: Under Siege, the latest game in the extremely popular Worms franchise. The European PC and console versions of the game have now gone gold, and are scheduled to ship later this month. There are also plans for a North American release of the game, and publishing deals have been made there.

    As the game has just gone gold there has yet to be any word on a Mac version of the title, however a small teaser in Spadge's post should keep fans of the popular series' hopes up:

    With respect to new formats/platforms, no official statement regarding specific development has been or is unlikely to be made by T17 on these devices until 2005 at the earliest. However we can confirm that we are on the development programme for both Sony PSP and Nintendo DS machines.
    While this doesn't have to say that a Mac version is going to happen, there's still some hope left. The previous game in the series, Worms 3D was ported to Mac by the talented programming team at Zonic, and published by Feral Interactive. Let's keep out fingers crossed that a similar deal can be cut with this title. Any further news on a Mac version of Worms Forts: Under Siege is sure to be found here on IMG as soon as it becomes available.

    Feral Interactive
    Feral Interactive
    Worms 3D
    Worms Forts: Under Siege
    Team 17 Forum: Brief update/news
    Buy Worms 3D

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    Halloween Warcraft 3 Map Available
    7:49 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Alright, so we're a few days late, but we didn't want our readers missing out on a good thing.

    In their constant efforts to provide customers with fresh new content, the generous folks over at Blizzard Entertainment are offering a free Halloween-themed bonus webmap for their highly regarded real time strategy title Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

    Extreme Candy War 2004 is a four-vs-four or five-vs-five player, medium-sized holiday map created with the Outland tileset. The new map is the 27th to be offered by Blizzard on their aforementioned title's Bonus Map page. Players interested in trying the map on for size can download the 2.5 MB file through the link below:

    Warcfraft III Bonus Maps
    Blizzard Entertainment
    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Buy WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne

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    Battlefield 2 Q&A
    7:49 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Gaming giants Electronic Arts have recently posted a quick Q&A session regarding Digital Illusions' upcoming online shooter, Battlefield 2.

    In the Q&A, Digital Illusions' executive producer Scott Evans handles fan-submitted enquiries regarding the new game's customization features, physics engine support, and the game's new missile targeting system:

    Mike Martin: Could you explain how the new missile targeting system works on jets and helicopters and does it have something to do with laser targeting?

    Scott Evans: Battlefield 2 has both heat seeking missiles and laser designation devices. The Special Forces kit gets the laser designator in Battlefield 2, which allows this soldier to "paint" an enemy target with a laser beam. Once this is done, a pilot can fire laser guided missiles into the target. It's very much a teamwork activity. Many vehicles in Battlefield 2 fire heat seeking missiles which are basically fire and forget – they home in on a heat source. Pilots can defeat these missiles by dropping flares, which create a heat signature that can spoof missiles into missing... until they run out of flares. :)

    Battlefield 2, sequel to the highly-popular online fragger Battlefield 1942, brings the WWII title up-to-date with modern combat, weapons, and vehicles. While the PC version of the game is currently slated to be released in the first quarter of 2005, there hasn't been any official word from Mac game publishers Aspyr Media as to whether an OS X version of the game is in the works. Readers interested in the genre can head over to the IMG Store, where the Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition and the Secret Weapons Of WWII expansion pack are available for purchase.

    Battlefield 2 Q&A
    Aspyr Media
    Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition
    Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII
    Buy Battlefield 1942: Deluxe Edition
    Buy Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII

    Audio Overload 2 Beta Updated
    7:49 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Emulation expert Richard Bannister has updated the beta version of his "video game music player" Audio Overload 2.

    Audio Overload is a music player of songs composed for older gaming consoles. The application supports audio files from over ten obsolete gaming consoles, from the Atari ST to the Sega Game Gear. While there's currently only a Mac OS X version of the utility, Windows and Linux versions are expected to be released soon.

    The latest version of the application, 2.0b2, fixes several Mac-specific bugs, features new sound libraries, and addresses normalising issues within tracks. Readers interested in checking out the file can download it from the link below:

    Richard Bannister's Audio Overload 2

    Mac Games News for Monday, November 1, 2004

    IMG Reviews Homeworld 211:05 AM
    OS X Compatible Battletech Board Game8:31 AM
    Aspyr Announces Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour8:30 AM
    'The Incredibles' Games Released for OS X8:22 AM
    Myst IV Patch Coming8:20 AM
    The Gamesome Mac talks game design with Paul Dana8:14 AM
    Second Life Secures More Financing6:56 AM
    Vendetta Online Launches6:56 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Monday, November 1, 2004 on one page

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