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Friday, November 5, 2004

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World of Warcraft ships Nov 23; Trailer Posted
7:17 AM | Johan Hansén | Comment on this story

As mentioned yesterday here at IMG, Blizzard Entertainment announced on Thursday that their long-awaited massive multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft will hit the streets on November 23 in North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Additionally, Apple is hosting a high-resolution QuickTime trailer of the game. If you're on the fence about World of Warcraft, of in the mood for some of Blizzard's top-of-the-line cinematics, be sure to give it a look.

In World of Warcraft you will be able to journey across the lands we all have learned to love in the Warcraft strategy games. Now you can see the ravaged world of Azeroth, the ruins of Lordaeron, the great deserts of the Barrens and the wondrous forests of Northern Kalimdor.

The game will be available in two versions. The basic version that will include the game and one month of free playtime, while the extended Collector's Edition will also include a World of Warcraft behind-the-scenes DVD, an exclusive in-game pet, a cloth map of the game world, a soundtrack CD, and an Art of the World of Warcraft coffee table book. You can pre-order both versions from the IMG Store.

Blizzard has also revealed the pricing for additional months of playing the game:

After the initial free one-month subscription ends, players of World of Warcraft will be able to continue playing under one of three different subscription plans. The month-to-month subscription plan costs $14.99 per month, the three-month plan costs $13.99 per month, and the six-month plan costs $12.99 per month. World of Warcraft subscription fees can be paid by major credit card, PayPal, and pre-paid game cards, which will be available in stores where World of Warcraft is sold.
In addition to this, word on the street says is that the open beta will start in a matter of days, so anyone wanting to demo the game before its official release will have their chance to do so soon enough. Stay tuned to IMG for more on this long awaited title.

World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft Trailer
Blizzard Entertainment
Buy World of Warcraft

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Blizzard on Raiding in World of Warcraft
2:43 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Blizzard today posted an "insider" interview on their web site that talks about how raiding works in the upcoming World of Warcraft. Raid' are assaults by larger groups of players on powerful monsters or dungeons and in World of Warcraft can include everything from a group of lower level characters tackling a quest well above their level to the epic end-game, high-level attacks against god-like foes.

Here's a clip from the interview with designer Jeffrey Kaplan:

A raid, as I would define it, is when it takes more than a standard group to kill a creature. Technically, people could be raiding the Deadmines for Van Cleef if they tried it with several players who were below the recommended level. So if some characters are level 15 and they want to kill Van Cleef, and they take two groups into the Deadmines, I would actually consider that a raid. Now the raiding that we are talking about today is end-game raiding, and that is designed for players that hit max level - level 60 - and who want to get together and kill dragons, or demons, or other high-end monsters.
To check out the entire interview, please follow the link below.

The IMG Store is currently taking pre-orders for the game, which is scheduled to ship on November 23rd.

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
WoW Interview: Raiding in World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

uDevGames Submissions Deadline This Saturday
2:32 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

The uDevGames game creation contest will soon be coming to an end as tomorrow, Saturday, is the final day for submissions. The game creation contest was established in 2001 to encourage innovation in Macintosh game development and to recognize the best developers in our community.

Voting for the contest will begin on Monday and the winner will be announced shortly after that. For more information, be sure to visit the uDevGames web site.


Freeverse Offers Special Savings to Apple Employees
2:23 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

If you're an Apple employee and interested in buying some Freeverse games, the company today announced that any Apple employee who places an order for any of their titles, including the latest Burning Monkey Solitaire 2005 edition, AirBurst Extreme, Big Bang Board Games, Robin Hood and Massive Assault on our web store will receive 25% off their order total.

So if you are an Apple employee, head over to the Freeverse web site to place your order.


MacOS X 10.3.6 Update Released
2:05 PM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

Apple has released another update to Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" today, providing even further enhanced functionality and improved reliability to the operating system. Gamers should note that the 10.3.6 update includes new OpenGL drivers as well as updated ATI and NVIDIA graphic drivers.

Here's a list of key enhancements:

• improved file sharing for Mac (AFP), UNIX (NFS) and PC (SMB/CIFS) networks
• more reliable network automounts and launch of network applications
• improved OpenGL technology and updated ATI and NVIDIA graphic drivers
• additional FireWire audio and USB device compatibility
• updated Calculator, DVD Player, Image Capture, and Safari applications
• improved compatibility for third party applications
• previous standalone security updates
To download the update, use Software Update found in the System Preferences.


IMG Store: Pre-Order The Sims 2, Call of Duty Expansion
10:19 AM | Tuncer Deniz

The IMG Store has begun to take pre-orders for Aspyr's The Sims 2 and Call of Duty: United Offensive. The Sims 2, scheduled to ship in May of 2005 is available for $49.95 while the Call of Duty expansion pack, due this month, is available for $29.95.

The Sims 2: With the introduction of genetics, you can control your Sims over a lifetime and pass their Sims’ DNA down from one generation to the next. The Sims evolve by genetically passing on physical and personality traits. Create and play your own virtual sitcom by choosing one of five different aspirations – Popularity, Fortune, Family, Knowledge, and Romance. These aspirations in life cause your Sims to have wants and fears. Will you give them a long successful existence or leave their life in shambles?

Call of Duty: United Offensive: This next chapter in the Call of Duty franchise raises the brand's trademark cinematic intensity to unprecedented heights with all new single-player levels, plus an enhanced multiplayer experience with new maps and new modes of play. Once again looking through the eyes of American, British and Russian soldiers, Call of Duty: United Offensive thrusts players alongside their squadmates into more authentic action across Fortress Europe's most historic battlefields.

For more information on these titles, please follow the link below.

IMG Store: Pre-Order The Sims 2
IMG Store: Pre-Order Call of Duty: United Offensive

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IMG Reviews Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII
9:56 AM | Tuncer Deniz | Comment on this story

IMG has posted a review of Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII, the new expansion pack for Battlefield 1942. Here's a clip from the review:

New to the Battlefield world with this expansion pack is the "Objective" mode. This multiplayer variation hopes to add some strategic elements to the occasionally frantic online experience by having players focus on assault and defense of specific points on the map instead of the usual free-for-all fest of 'Conquest' mode. Basically, on each new map that supports Objective mode (six of the new eight support it) the Allies take the offense and try to infiltrate the Axis base and destroy the objectives inside. Mission goals range from destroying U.F.O. prototypes in a secret hangar to infiltrating a mountain hideaway and stealing documents from a heavily secured base. I don't believe this new mode will be converting any hardcore Conquest players any time soon, but for players out there looking for a twist on the usual multiplayer madness, it's worth checking out.
To check out the entire review, please follow the link below.

IMG Review: Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII
Aspyr Media
Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII
Buy Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII

Bubblomania X 1.0 Released
7:17 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Multi-platform shareware game developers Swordlord have just released the OS X version of their bubbly action/arcade game, Bubblomania X.

The flashy title tasks players with popping colourful balloons that float up through the screen with a magic pin. While some of the bubbles contain power-ups such as lasers, bombs, or extra pins, other bubbles can provide nasty surprises in the form of the Killer Bubble, whose purpose in life is to hunt players down and finish them off. From the Bubblomania website:

The game features:
  • Colorful and flashy background graphics, and 6 sets of bubbles.
  • Several difficulty settings, including 'Always Shaking', 'Difficult Game' and 'Fast As Lightning', which can even be combined!
  • The 'Extreme Action Mode', for when you just want to go wild and throw your ammo at those poor fragile bubbles!
  • Great soundtrack, featuring Aura - the source of trance, Chris J. Emanuel, Moonspider and nic.
  • The updated title, which requires any processor powerful enough to handle OS X 10.1, sports a 30-day free play period, after which registration for the game costs $15 USD. Download the game by navigating through the links below:

    Bubblomania X

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    UT2004 Patch Coming; Duke3D Installer News
    7:17 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

    Über-productive programmer Ryan Gordon updated his .plan web page yesterday with news regarding two of the projects he's overseeing.

    First off, Gordon has confirmed that an upcoming patch to Epic Games's wildly popular online first person shooter Unreal Tournament 2004 is indeed on its way to the Mac, as reported earlier here on IMG. The list of changes to the shooter include improvements to Onslaught gameplay, improvements to the game's general gameplay, optimised networking code, and menu glitch fixes.

    In his update, Gordon notes that the 3336 patch that's floating around the internet is a beta patch, and suggests that this isn't necessarily the same build that will soon be released to the public:

    Patch coming soon for Linux/Mac. The 3336 patch you're hearing about is a beta. Generally we don't build every beta for non-Windows platforms unless it looks to convert to a final build.
    Elsewhere on his webpage, Gordon has updated the progress report of his team's OS X port of the classic 3D Realms title Duke Nukem 3D. While the game's OS X porting team has got the old title up and running to a certain degree, including basic gameplay, sound and music support, and "hi-res" graphics support (we are talking about a seven year old game here), the OS X port of the title is by no means stable and still cannot be considered a completed project. In his post, Gordon explains the difficulties he's run into dealing with the installer found on the game's original Mac OS discs:
    I got ahold of a retail Mac disc for this, and the damned game is packaged in some arbitrary installer format. Building a new installer around these discs is probably impossible based on current information, and I don't intend to reverse engineer the OS9 installer.

    For now, you can still cobble this together yourself on MacOS (install in Classic, build the OSX version, copy the right files where they should be)...I'll figure out a less stupid solution later.

    Rest assured that fans of both highly popular shooters can find further news on both these titles here at IMG as the projects progress. Check out Gordon's log by clicking on the link below:

    Ryan Gordon's .plan update
    Digital Extremes
    Epic Games
    Unreal Tournament 2004
    Buy Unreal Tournament 2004

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    Custer Heads North
    7:17 AM | Brad Custer | Comment on this story

    Our resident desktop guru Brad Custer has added yet another new creation to his growing list of desktop pictures. This latest wallpaper features Northland, the adventure strategy game.

    Here's a snippet of what Brad had to say:

    Northland from Freeverse came out in March, but another faithful viewer reminded me that I've never created a desktop for this title. I decided to correct that today. In this week's feature I wanted to create a wallpaper that optimized the great character art featured on the box art.
    Those who want to add a little viking fun to their life can download this latest creation at Custer's Desktops.

    IMG Desktops: Nordic

    Mac Games News for Thursday, November 4, 2004

    IMG Store: Two The Incredibles Games In Stock1:02 PM
    World of Warcraft to ship November 23rd12:24 PM
    MTX: Mototrax Goes Gold12:01 PM
    The Incredibles Demo Posted7:55 AM
    Dark Forces Mod for Jedi Academy6:00 AM
    Dungeon Siege II Q&A6:00 AM
    Glenda Adams Speaks Out On Mac Doom 36:00 AM
    Medal of Honor Patches Posted6:00 AM
    SimCity 4 Rush Hour Patch 16:00 AM
    View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, November 4, 2004 on one page

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