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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

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Diablo II Update Removes Need For CD In Drive
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 11 comments

Blizzard Entertainment has released a new patch for Diablo II and its expansion Lord of Destruction. The update brings the game to version 1.12 and adds the action adventure game to the list of Blizzard titles now free of CD key checks. The update also fixes a problem experienced by Intel Mac owners.

More about the patch:

Downloadable Installer Support
- If all required Diablo 2 '.MPQ' files are installed on the hard drive, the game will no longer require the CD to play.

For users that originally performed a 'Full Installation' and wish to run without the CD, all '.MPQ' files should be copied from the Diablo 2 CDs to the Diablo 2 directory. Most users will only need to copy D2Music.mpq from the Diablo 2 Play CD and/or D2xMusic.mpq from the Lord of Destruction CD. Mac users will need to copy these music files and rename them to 'Diablo II Music' and 'Diablo II Expansion Music' respectively.

Anyone who did not perform a 'Full Installation' will need to re-install from CD again to ultimately play without the CD. In this case, a 'Full Installation' is required, followed by file copy step noted above.

Bug Fixes
- Fixed an incompatibility between Rosetta and OpenGL mode on Intel Mac.
The patch can be downloaded from the link listed below or directly from when signing in.

Diablo II 1.12 Patch Download
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Buy Diablo II

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IMG Reviews Machines at War
2:26 PM | Marcus Albers | 1 comment

Inside Mac Games has posted a review of the RTS game Machines at War from developer Isotope 244. Here's a clip from the review:

Machines at War looks a lot better than it plays. All attacks damage the scenery, and all damage is kept until the end of the match. As such, it's quite common to see gigantic piles of wrecks on the main battlegrounds, and you can actually use the environment to figure out what's been going on. Overall, there's nothing wrong with how MaW looks.
To read the rest of the review, follow the link below.

IMG Review: Machines at War
Machines at War
Isotope 244
Buy Machines at War

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Fable: The Lost Chapters Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Macworld's Game Room recently posted a new review of Fable: THe Lost Chapters. Created by Lionhead Studios and brought to the Mac by Feral Interactive, the game invites players to take the role of a legendary Hero and create his life story from child to old man.

The plot, in a nutshell, is that you’re a young lad who has been spared from his village’s destruction at the hands of brigands. You’re cast into a reluctant student at an academy where you learn the art and trade of becoming a hero. You’re faced with key decisions along the way-do you steal from people? If so, you’ll develop a reputation as a thief. Do you help a mother with her sick child? If so, you’ll earn the respect and love of the townspeople. Those decisions will have a cumulative effect both on your character’s appearance and abilities, though the game’s designers don’t seek to punish you or reward you one way or the other.

Unlike many RPGs, you don’t start out creating a character with a profession—no level one half-elf lawful evil rangers here. You’re only allowed to play as a male, and as you play, you can decide what your character’s strengths will be, determining for example if they’ll be better and wielding swords or shooting arrows. Again, this will even affect your character’s physical appearance. Emphasize melee combat such as swordfighting early on, and expect to appear more heavily muscled and scarred. Focus on crossbows and expect to have a leaner physique. Focus on magic, and find yourself ultimately covered in arcane tattoos. Eat and drink to excess and develop a gut. It’s quite remarkable. You can even develop friendships and fall in love; there are dozens of hours’ worth of quests and missions to go on; you can also boast of your skill and accept challenges that will give you special rewards. The game has branching endings depending on what alignment you prefer and a few alternate missions you’ll be tossed if you go down the path of good or evil as well, so there’s a little replay value, though not a lot.
Check out the full review at the link below.

Macworld's Game Room: Fable Review
Feral Interactive
Fable: The Lost Chapters
Buy Fable: The Lost Chapters

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StarCraft II: The Zerg Homeworld
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has once again updated the official StarCraft II website, this time with information about the Zerg homeworld of Char. The update includes a list of the planet's main features, a brief history of the world, two new pieces of artwork, and a new screenshot.

There has been a great deal of speculation over the zerg choice to occupy Char, given its harsh environment and total lack of any organic life forms to exploit. Theorists are evenly split among the ideas that Char forms a useful jump-off point to the core worlds of terran and protoss space, that its inhospitable nature makes it easier for the zerg to defend it, or that Char's high radiation levels promote an increased rate of mutation in zerg organisms to enable forced evolution of specialist strains.

Regardless of the reasoning, the zerg presence on Char has ensured that the planet has remained a cauldron of battle. Protoss and terran forces have attempted infiltration missions on the planet with varying degrees of success. Huge and bloody battles were fought there amongst the zerg themselves as the Queen of Blades overthrew the cerebrates controlling the Swarm. Four years ago three entire fleets met their demise when they confronted the Queen of Blades on Char. The Queen of Blades emerged as the dominant power in the sector after an apocalyptic battle that destroyed a Terran Dominion fleet, a protoss armada, and finally the UED expeditionary force. Since then the zerg have remained curiously quiescent, apparently content to remain on the worlds they infested so rapidly during the initial invasion.
Head over to the link provided below to read more about Char.

StarCraft II: Char
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Depths Of Peril Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has published a new interview with Soldak Entertainment's Steven Peeler about Depths of Peril, the unique action RPG which combines elements of hack and slash with strategy. In the interview Peeler talks about his history, the beginnings of Depths of Peril, and the challenges that come with crafting a dynamic world.

RPS: What challenges did you face putting it into action? What sort of advice would you give people trying something similar?
There were a bunch of challenges with getting the factions and dynamic world working. I’ll just talk about a couple of them though.
The first challenge, one that I think a lot of “hybrid” games fail at, was finding a good balance of strategy and action and doing both well. It seems to me, a lot of “hybrid” games end up trying to take too many features from both genres. You tend to end up doing both halves badly and have a big mishmash of random features that don’t work well with each other. In Depths of Peril, we knew we wanted to primarily be an action RPG, so we chose very carefully what strategy elements to include so that all of them enhanced the gameplay and all together created something unique and fun.
The other big challenge which I touched on earlier was testing and fixing bugs. In a linear game, when a game crashes at the first left turn on level 5, it’s most likely because the player did something specific that crashed the game or the game is coded/scripted to do something specific right there. In other words, many times you know what caused the problem and can reproduce it fairly easily. However, when you have multiple factions that are constantly adventuring or raiding one another, monster uprisings, attacks on the town, and many other dynamic things going on in the game world, it is rarely obvious what happened if the game crashes. I’m not saying that linear games are easy to test or debug, but a dynamic game is much harder to track down these things. Depths of Peril however is pretty stable and has fixed most of our bugs a long time ago.
For the full interview click over to the link provided below.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Depths Of Peril Interview
Soldak Entertainment
Depths of Peril
Buy Depths of Peril

Mac Games News for Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spore Creature Creator Released12:04 PM
Age Of Empires III: Asian Dynasties Announced For Mac6:00 AM
Apple Games Features Monopoly For iPod6:00 AM
Neverwinter Nights 2 Reviewed6:00 AM
StarCraft II: Tychus Findley & Worker Units6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, June 17, 2008 on one page

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