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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

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Final NWN Update In Beta Testing
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 12 comments

Years after its original release Bioware's Neverwinter Nights is still receiving updates. Version 1.69, said to be the final patch, is currently in beta testing. The hefty patch weighs in at a whopping 350+ megabytes. It will be the largest official free update ever released for the game.

In addition to a host of bug fixes the update will feature a dragon's hoard of content additions including horses, horsemanship feats, trident weapon feats, and the Purple Dragon Knight prestige class.

Here's a list of some of the content planned for NWN 1.69:

- New Purple Dragon Knight Prestige Class
- 8 New Tilesets
- 17 New Music Tracks
- New Creatures (over 100 new appearances)
- New Placeables (nearly 350)
- New Visual Effects (over 100)
- Added missing Trident weapon feats. Tridents are now classified as a "Martial" weapon, rather than a simple weapon.
According to Bioware representatives the likelihood of NWN 1.69 being in Universal Binary format is low, although a UB version may be released at some future date.

Those interested in participating in the beta testing will need the original NWN as well as both expansions. Check out the links below for more information.

NWN Forums: Mac 1.69 Beta Available
NWN Mac 1.69.8101 Beta
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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EVE Online Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room has posted a new review of EVE Online. The massively multiplayer online game offers a break from the swords and sorcery of others titles and plunges players into the immense void of space where they will contend with thousands of others trying to succeed in the game's vast universe. The Game Room gave EVE Online a score of 3.5 out of 5 mice.

From the review:

You spend your entire time within the game flying from system to system, first in a small vehicle, then in gradually larger ones—everything from nimble, lightly armored frigates to heavily armored battlecruisers. You’re only limited to what you can fly by your budget and your skill set. And unlike most MMOGs, you don’t gain skills by getting experience. This is the future, where you can simply “plug in” new skills to your head. That means that your pilot can learn new abilities—say, how to use cybernetic implants, or the finer points of calculating an enemy’s trajectory to aim guns at them effectively—whether you’re playing the game or not. It’s clever, because it keeps you constantly coming back to the game to check on the status of your pilot and to begin picking up new skills, and it gives you an incentive to fly out and try out the new skills as they’re mastered. Some skills—at least at low levels—may only take an hour or two to gain a basic proficiency in. Others can take weeks or months (of real time) in order to learn.

PC-based EVE players interested in wasting as little time as possible between skill building have long relied on a Windows app called EVE Monitor to let them know that their pilot’s skill training is complete, even if the game isn’t running. Fortunately, Mac users can get the same using EVE Skill Monitor, a free Dashboard widget.

In between space flights, you spend time in stations. Almost every solar system in EVE—and there are many—features at least a few outposts you can visit. Some may be state-owned while others may be corporation-controlled. Many of these feature non-player characters—agents, as they’re referred to in the game—who may be willing to give you work in exchange for ISK, the currency in the game, which you can then use to buy new skills or new equipment on the open market. Some of the missions are milk runs—ferrying cargo or passengers from one system to another—while others may involve quelling pirates, recovering stolen goods, or other dangerous activities. Most players cut their teeth on EVE by depending on these agents to line their pockets. Successfully completing missions for agents will improve your standing with them and may lead to bigger and better missions with their colleagues. Fail them, and don’t count on getting decent work out of them again.
Head over to the link below to read the rest of the review.

Macworld's Game Room: EVE Online Review
CCP Games
EVE Online

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WoW: Graphics Upgrades A Possibility?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments recently examined the possibility of Blizzard Entertainment introducing graphical upgrades for it's now three year old MMO powerhouse, World of Warcraft. Quoting a Blizzard representative, concludes that changes to the graphics engine are unlikely to happen soon, as the company is interested in keeping the game available to as many players as possible.

WoW has been around for 3 years now, and in that time computer games' graphical capabilities have soared, while the appearance of WoW has remained the same. Surely, with all the money Blizzard rake in, they could afford to improve the graphics engine. Users on the US WoW forums asked the questions: Why haven't they done it? Could Blizzard make the gameplay like the amazing WoW cinematics?

Nethaera commented :
Could we? Most likely so. But that would mean limiting who could play the game. We also enjoy the style that we have and while we continue to make improvements, want to be very careful in how we go about doing it so that we can allow people to play without the need of needing to do massive upgrades.

Blizzard have always stated that they want WoW to be accessible by as many players as possible - not just the ones with top-end machines. Keeping the system requirements relatively low means players can continue to play on mediocre computers and laptops. However, if you do happen to have a mighty super computer with all the bells and whistles, WoW will look and play a lot better, so players do benefit from having hardware that packs a punch.
To read the rest click on the link below. WoW Graphics Upgrade Unlikely in Near Future
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

MacPinball Update Introduces New Table
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

BaKno recently updated MacPinball. Version 2.5 introduces a variety of bug fixes and enhancements including the addition of a new table for players to enjoy. MacPinball is a 3D pinball simulation which features 1 or 2 player modes and the ability to post high scores online.

Updates in version 2.5:

New table added
Now you can play on three different tables
Real bouncing effects on flippers
Faster response on shooter control
Top 100 score aligned
Minor bug fixes
Follow the links below for more information about the game.

MGF: MacPinball 2.5

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Nethergate: Resurrection In Game Tunnel's Top 5 RPGs Of 2007
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Game Tunnel recently released its list of the best computer role playing games of 2007. Among the winners is Spiderweb Software's unique RPG, Nethergate: Resurrection, which took 4th place in the rankings. This is not the first time a Spiderweb title has been on Game Tunnel's best RPG list. In 2003 Geneforge 2 was named RPG of the Year.

Though I've been through intense and rigorous training, nothing has prepared me for the sight I've just seen.  In searching through an old mine, my group has come face to face with something out of the hideous shadow.  Half-man-half-monster creatures have attacked us.  Twisted and acting by some magic power, they killed one in our party before we could move on.  Trained in a Roman military academy to become a Centurion, my background has made me among the most feared fighting force in the world, but today, it is I who fear.

Nethergate: Resurrection is the rebirth of Jeff Vogel's Nethergate, updated with new quests, items and visuals, the game has been redesigned from the ground up.  Unlike Spiderweb's other great RPGs, Nethergate focuses on a historical setting.  Players take on the role of either the Celts fighting for their freedom, or the Romans, who are struggling to maintain their oppressive dominion. Each of the two separate storylines is fantastic and gripping, and Nethergate's dungeon exploration has few equals, with thousands of items scattered about in chests and pots just waiting to be discovered.  Excellent and enjoyable, Nethergate's unique setting for role-playing makes it a memorable journey worth taking.
Read the rest at the link provided below.

Game Tunnel: 2007 RPG Game Of The Year
Spiderweb Software
Nethergate: Resurrection

Mac Games News for Monday, December 31, 2007

Apple Games Features Sims 2 Bon Voyage & Sonic For iPod6:00 AM
Gish Goes Universal6:00 AM
Midnight Mansion Updated6:00 AM
Need For Speed: Carbon Examined6:00 AM
Peggle for iPod Reviewed6:00 AM
Peggle, Chuzzle Now Available For Mac OS X6:00 AM
Pirates Of The Caribbean Online Post Mortem6:00 AM
StarCraft II Community Manager Interviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, December 31, 2007 on one page

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