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Monday, October 27, 2008

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Lineage Revitalized With Two New Expansions
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

NCSoft has released two new expansions for its online fantasy MMO, Lineage. Episodes 6 and U introduce a variety of new content to the game including new maps to explore, monsters to slay, spells to hurl, and quests to complete. The releases coincide with the launch of a new website and forums.

Here is a partial list of changes in the two expansions:

Lastavard Expands
* 6 new maps added!
o Lastavard is divided into two large parts, the upper and lower areas. The lower part of Lastavard consists of the basement up to the third floor. The upper part includes the fourth floor and the Holy Land. Throughout the dungeon you will find Dantes, the eight Supreme Court Justices and more.
o Find ways to open up new passages on the fourth floor by defeating the justices and enemies that you encounter.
* New mops:
o Cursed Dark Elves are the soldiers of Lastavard that lost their souls when the commander of the otherworld appeared. They were reborn into soul-less monsters full of hatred.
o Supreme Court Justices are the elders on the first through the fourth floor. Each has their own strength and can unlock the many new passageways of Lastavard.
o Guardian Spirits summoned from the otherworld have appeared around the dungeon.
* Brand new boss - Girtas is the God of Death who was summoned in the ritual by Dantes. His power is amplified by devouring the souls of the Lastavard Dark Elves.
* New Quests added!

Mac Client Fixes:
We’ve made many improvements to the Mac client.
* Links are now aligned with text.
* Briefly disconnecting from the game will no longer cause a crash when you reconnect.
* The calculator now functions.
* Links will highlight when they are moused over.
* There is sound when you equip or unequip items.
* Using triple arrow with Sayha’s crossbow when you only have 2 arrows left will no longer cause the game to crash.
* An environmental sound slider has been added to the Game Options menu.
* The command /ver will now function.
* Mac users will no longer move slower than PC users.
* Lag fixes have been made to several areas including Fire Valley and Lair of Valakas.
* The character select screen is now animated.
Head over to the pages below to learn more about Lineage and its latest expansions.

Episode 6 & Episode U Feature List
Lineage Patch Notes

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Pirates Of The Caribbean Online Anniversary Celebration
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In celebration of the upcoming 1st anniversary of Pirates of the Caribbean Online (October 31st), Disney Online has released a new Developer Diary from Greg Wiatroski as well as a new Lore Journal entry for the official website. Additional details about the Pirates of the Caribbean Online Anniversary celebration will be released later this week.

Ship Customization
We know that being able to express yourself is a huge part of the online game experience. We've always planned on letting players be able to make their ships as unique as they are. We plan on letting players customize their sails, masthead, and many trim pieces and accessories for starters. We've been debating having different pieces affect the gameplay mechanics. This would let players customize their ships for the style of play they prefer.

Loot and Inventory System
We would love to add a more traditional inventory system to Pirates. Think something along the lines of bags and slots - like your traditional RPG. This would allow us to do lots of things - like player trading, for instance. Hand in hand with the new inventory system, we'd like to offer the players more rewards. Again, think of the more traditional RPG loot: weapons that boost certain attributes so the player has to make some decisions about what skills they want to be better at.

Basic vs. Unlimited
We are always re-evaluating the access for Basic Players. Traditionally we add features for Basic members when we add something more for Unlimited Members. So keep watching the release notes, we are constantly adding to the game!

GMs and GM Ships
Our Community team is really excited about the opportunity to make in-game appearances. I was able to participate in the event we did to announce the upcoming Halloween event. I can honestly say it was really fun and we learned a lot from all of you. I think the players can look forward to many more events like this including meeting some very famous Pirates, participating in treasure hunts, pirate bounties, and other exciting adventures.
Follow the links below for more information about the online game.

Disney Online
Pirates of the Caribbean Online

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Diablo III Fansite Kit Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has released a fansite kit for Diablo III, its upcoming return to the popular action RPG franchise. For those interested in starting their own Diablo III website the kit features a variety of content including art assets, avatars, and a FAQ sheet.

The assets in our official Diablo III Fansite Kit are a potential bonanza for those who wish to build their own Diablo III related fansites. This downloadable package contains the following content, including some exclusive assets:
• Art assets including concept art, hi-res logos, and wallpapers
• Site design elements including borders, backgrounds, fonts, and stylesheets
• Exclusive content: Forum avatars / Messenger images
• Diablo III fact sheet and FAQ
• Sample Diablo III text content
• Site building tips
Click over to the link below to download the fansite kit.

Diablo III Fansite Kit
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

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Penny Arcade Adventures Discussed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Adventure Classic Gaming has published a new interview with Hothead Games' Joel DeYoung and Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik about the episodic adventure game based on the popular comic series. The interview includes discussion of the game's 1920's setting, the combat system, and the Torque Game Engine.

To what extent are past stories from the webcomic related to the story in the game? Aside from Tycho and Gabe, what other characters from the comic will appear in the game?
On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is a totally new setting for Gabe and Tycho. Think of it as placing them in an alternate universe. Sitting around on a couch talking about video games didn’t exactly make for the most riveting gameplay, so they are instead placed in a story as operators of a detective agency that specializes in the occult. You play alongside Gabe and Tycho as you unravel the mysteries in the 1920s setting.
You’ve already seen the Fruit F*cker and Anne-Claire (Annarchy) and we’ve hinted at another character who will be making an appearance in Episode Two. But we’re staying quiet on who else you’ll recognize from the strip—it’s part of the fun to discover these things for yourself. Suffice it to say that there will be many familiar faces throughout the series that we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Why did you choose to use a combination of real-time and turn-based combat for the game?
We call it a dynamic turn-based system. The turn-based aspects are meant to appeal to players that like working out the best strategy to fight enemies. But we didn’t want the player to be sitting around just watching moves play out. So we made some aspects of the combat more run-time to always keep the action going. Add to that the block mechanic and the special attack mini-games, and the player is very involved in the heat of battle.

Why was the decision made to use the Torque Game Engine for the 3D framework? Did Mike Krahulik draw out a 3D sketch of his 2D characters to be used in the modeling?
We chose Torque for two reasons. It helped us get up and running very quickly which gave us more time to focus on core gameplay, the game’s fun factor, and getting the look right. It also supports Mac and Linux out of the box and that was really important to us.
Mike didn’t create any art in 3D as he works exclusively in 2D. However, He did work very closely with our 3D artists to ensure that the translation was loyal to his original work. He was also very involved in feedback on the style of the 2D cutscenes since those were designed to look like the comic.
Visit the site below to read the entire Q&A.

Adventure Classic Gaming: Penny Arcade Adventures Q&As
Hothead Games
Penny Arcade
Penny Arcade Adventures

Mac Games News for Friday, October 24, 2008

Righteous Kill Now Available3:34 PM
IMG Reviews Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare8:31 AM
Custer Goes East6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II: The Changing Face Of Eschalon6:00 AM
Gish Creator Releases Meat Boy6:00 AM
StarCraft II: Discussing The Colossus6:00 AM
ToCA Race Driver 3: New Demo Available6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, October 24, 2008 on one page

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