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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

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Blizzard Releases World of Warcraft 1.12
11:31 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 6 comments

Blizzard has released World of Warcraft 1.12. The update adds cross-realm PvP Battlegrounds, new objective-based PvP battles, the Rogue talent review, and the expected huge array of gameplay improvements, balance tweaks, bug fixes, and other changes as detailed in the release notes.

To grab World of Warcraft 1.12, log onto World of Warcraft to download the latest patch. Incremental patches are also available for download from

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
MGF: World of Warcraft Full 1.12
MGF: World of Warcraft Incremental Patch 1.12
Buy World of Warcraft

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Tuning in Lugaru 2
11:34 AM | Anthony Wang | Comment on this story

The Wolfire blog has been updated with a new post about music in Lugaru 2. Due to popular demand, they have included one track with excerpts from Mikko Tarmia's songs. Music in Lugaru 2 will accompany Turner, the warrior rabbitt as he progresses through the game.

Be sure to check out the Wolfire Blog for more updates and to learn more information, please click on the links below.

Wolfire Blog
Wolfire Software
Lugaru 2

Barefeats: MacPro Game Benchmarks
11:34 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

Barefeats puts the new MacPro to the test and pits it against the previous king... the Quad G5. Barefeats has already released some intriguing benchmarks for productivity aplications and memory pairings, but this series of tests focuses purely on Mac gaming.

The four benchmarked games are all universal binaries that include Quake 4, Doom 3, Halo and UT2004. These tests were all done using the stock GeForce 7300:

As expected, the Quad-Core G5 with the GeForce 7800 GT dominated this test session. We fully expect the Radeon X1900 XT to give the Mac Pro the edge once it arrives in our lab (est. Sept 14th).
Follow the link below to see the full benchmarks and analysis of the new MacPro.

Barefeats:3D Games -Mac Pro versus Quad G5

Barefeats: MacPro Memory Upgrades
11:34 AM | Evan Holt | Comment on this story

Barefeats has published an informative article on upgrading the memory in a MacPro. The memory in a MacPro isequivalent to server memory, which means it fetches aheftier price for it's added benefits.

This also means that you have to keep two important things in mind:

The memory has to be upgraded in pairs
This memory requires heat spreaders

The MacPro also adds a new functionality to the Mac market called "Quad Channel", which occurs when you populate both riser cards with matching pairs. This ability should add speed improvements to the tasks that you run on your Mac. Barefeats takes a closer look at Quad Channel to determine if it is really of any added benefit including using Mac games as benchmarks.

It occurred to us that certain games are written in such a way that they saturate memory bandwidth. We tried Doom 3, Quake 4, and Unreal Tournament 2004 with high quality settings at high resolution. Only one showed any gains with Quad Channel memory config [Unreal Tournament 2004]
Follow the link below to read the full article and decide for yourself how much memory you should put in your MacPro and how you should install it.

Taparo Releases Impulse Logic Puzzle Game
11:34 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Taparo has released a new puzzle game. Impulse give players the task of bringing a ball to it's target after navigating a tricky course of obstacles. It features over a hundred levels of unique logic puzzle gameplay.

Impulse has a simple game concept: the ball must hit the goal object. Different bombs, obstacles, special elements and force fields provide varied levels. The interactive timeline at the bottom of the screen lets you control the time and guarantees an original gameplay.
To learn more about the game head over to the Taparo site at the link below.


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Second Mindware Studios Q&A on Cold War
11:34 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Phoronix has released another interview with a Cold War developer, this time with Patrick Rak, the game's Chief Programmer. The interview covers the game's creation as well as the possible future of Mindware titles on the Mac platform.

Phoronix: Likewise, will there continue to be Macintosh ports of your titles? Such as Runesoft had done with Cold War for Mac OS X.

P.R.: Well, to put it straight, Mac version of Cold War is not really a port per se. We just compiled Meng on Mac, spent some time preparing big-endian data, and that was it. About two weeks of work, plus few more weeks spent for QA and testing. And then once that much again when we were asked to prepare the universal binaries for the Intel based Macs. That's what we call portability here. So although we don't run a Mac version of Meng daily as we do with Linux, it is very likely that we can easily prepare a Mac version of any of our future games as long as there is any demand for it.

To read the rest click on the link below.

Phoronix: Mindware Interview
Cold War
Buy Cold War

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WoW: New Realms, Battlegroup Updates, Paid Transfer Options
11:33 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In recent days Blizzard Entertainment has announced the opening of two new World of Warcraft realms: Undermine, a PvE realm and Anub'arak, a PvP realm. Both realms will be added to the Battlegroup listings for Cross-Realm Battlegrounds. Undermine will be in group 10, while Anub'arak will land in group 11.

In other news, player requests have led to all new realms now being eligible for Paid Character Transfers after six months of being open, instead of the previous three. This change is intended to give communities on new realms a chance to establish themselves before other characters join.

We are pleased to announce the opening of two new EST realms: Undermine which is a PvE realm and Anub'arak which is a new PvP realm. Undermine is being added as a part of Battlegroup 10 and Anub'arak will be a part of Battlegroup 11 once Cross-Realm Battlegrounds are released. These new realms will provide a great place for new and old players alike to begin fresh adventures within the world of Azeroth. Enjoy!

Based on popular feedback, all new realms will now be eligible for Paid Character Transfers after 6 months of being open, instead of the previous 3 months. Realms not yet open for transfers will remain closed for 6 months, meaning if a realm has been open for 2 months, it will require another 4 months in order to be eligible as a transfer destination realm. All realms which are currently available for transfers will remain available. This extension was made to allow communities on new realms enough time to establish their position on the realm before allowing other characters to join.

For more information about the changes, please visit the Paid Character Transfers page and the Battlegroups page, at the links below.

WoW: Paid Character Transfer
WoW: Battlegrounds Info
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

Games Industry is Failing Women, Says EA
11:33 AM | Eddie Park | 6 comments

An interesting article by the BBC currently circulating in the games community centers around some statements made by EA's Chief Operating Officer David Gardner. Speaking at a conference in Edinburgh, Gardner stated that the games industry continues to fail the female market, noting that 40% of teen girls play games, compared to the 90% of teen boys that currently play.

He added that tapping the demographic could add a billion dollars to sales, noting franchises popular with females such as the movie Titanic and the game series The Sims, both of which hold record-breaking sales.

The Sims is really a game about relationships - and that's what girls want - they want relationships, they want to be able to chat.
Gardner went on to state that several EA creative studios are run by women, and that investing in new talent would be a critical step in accessing the female demographic market.

BBC - Games industry is 'failing women'

MMOs - Social Pasttimes or Harmful Addiction?
11:33 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Games have long been called dangerously addictive by various personages, but the surging popularity of MMOs in recent years, coupled with a few sensationalized MMO-related deaths in Asia, have made them particularly choice targets. Taking a look at the issue, a recent publication by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign challenges the notion that MMOs isolate and desocialize gamers. A study conducted by professors Constance Steinkuehler and Dmitri Williams found that MMOs tend to socially function more like coffee houses, allowing players to be exposed to world views different from their own.

"By providing places for social interaction and relationships beyond the workplace and home, MMOs have the capacity to function much like the hangouts of old," they said. And they take it one step further by suggesting that the lack of real-world hangouts "is what is driving the MMO phenomenon" in the first place.
They do concede that MMOs don't necessarily provide an outlet for strong emotional bonding, but that the social relationships formed expose players to non-similar views, something they note has been lacking for decades in American society.

On the flip side, the Washington Post has published an article titled "Lost in an Online Fantasy World," which portrays MMOs as dangerous gaming obsessions on par with pornography and drug use. A quote by Stanford grad student Nick Yee, who has surveyed over 40,000 MMO players, points to status and attainability as powerful draws in MMO gaming:

"People feel like they lack control in real life, and the game gives them a social status and value that they are less and less able to achieve in the real world," Yee said. "As a result, the real world gets worse and the virtual world gets better in comparison."
The article does make some concessions, noting that timegrabbers such as television and book reading have yet to create a large number of dependence clinics, and adds that the negative view of games may have much to do with the view of them being dangerous.

EurekAlert - Some online video games found to promote 'sociability,' researchers say
Washington Post - Lost in an Online Fantasy World

Mac Games News for Monday, August 21, 2006

Macgamestore: Spelvin Digital Download4:19 PM
Apple Posts Newest Hot Deals12:56 PM
IMG Reviews Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac12:45 PM
IMG Looking For News Reporters10:53 AM
Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge in Final Beta8:22 AM
Facade Reviewed8:22 AM
Mindware Studios Q&A on Cold War8:22 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, August 21, 2006 on one page

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