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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

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Vendetta Online: Bug Fixing, Expanded Dynamic Warfare
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Guild Software has posted a new development update for its sci-fi MMO, Vendetta Online. The post details recent debugging efforts as well as plans to expand and improve Border Skirmish dynamic warfare options.

We've been a little derailed from my previous post. As some of you are aware, we've been trying to debug some Border Skirmish issues for several months. These are the sort of bugs that give any developer a headache: they only happen when you're not looking, not simulating, and not otherwise trying to debug the issue. Over the last few months we've added some significant monitoring and instrumentation to the server-side, to let us see what is happening in Border Skirmish, and try to correlate the sporadic issues with other evidence.

The problems became a bit worse, recently, which is actually good news. Common problems are much easier to track down than occasional, sporadic problems. It was my hope to be releasing new and updated BS gameplay this week, but instead we're firmly on the course of tracking down the issue. The entire company (other than me) has been allocated to locating and squashing this particular problem, so in the meantime I'll be providing whatever releasable content that I can. We hope to have this resolved this week, although it's difficult to say with problems of this kind. Our goal is to track it down and mitigate it as much as possible within this current week, before getting back to "improving the game" tasks. One way or the other, it's going to be critical to expand Border Skirmish into Dynamic Warfare, as well as any other battle-driven gameplay, so it's best that we resolve it sooner rather than later.

Border Skirmish is planned to be expanded and improved in a couple of major ways. For one, we're looking at having several skirmishes of various types, some at the same time, some during off-times. Different battle scales will allow people with slower machines to participate in the war, and also potentially create different gameplay. The lowest-scale battle, for instance, will probably be fighter combat that takes place in dense asteroid fields (where the caps cannot go). Add the possible combination of sector fogging (another thing in development) and you get some pretty wild close-quarters combat requiring good piloting skills. Each battle scale will still have the same general parameters as existing Border Skirmish: the first to lose a certain number of casualties will retreat. The casualty limits will be considerably smaller for the smaller skirmish types, but the battles themselves may still be lengthy (we may start to impose player limits on some sizes). The effects of multiple skirmishes will be added together, to have a more far-reaching impact over a larger arc of time. The plan is to have a greater and more visible purpose over a given week, and then perhaps over a month. The winners and losers potentially gaining and losing access to some interesting and significant resources. I don't want to go too far into the specifics there, because things are still a little fluid and I dislike over-promising in content (I have enough problems with deadlines, obviously), but you probably get the general idea. We intend to couple this with in-game notifications (game-news, etc) as well as some web-status page, to try and keep people aware of the status of the ongoing war.
Click over to the page below to read more.

Vendetta Online News
Guild Software
Strategy First
Vendetta Online

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StarCraft II: Q&A Roundup
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzplanet has compiled a list of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty questions recently answered on Blizzard Entertainment's official forums. The answers cover a variety of topics related to units and buildings in the upcoming game. StarCraft II will return players to the war torn galaxy seen in the original game, with a new storyline and new multiplayer action.

What is the current role of the Protoss Phoenix?
The Protoss Phoenix has anti-gravity now and it is great at harassment, especially with more than one Phoenix in a pack. These harassment groups can easily lift workers and other strategic targets like Queens to be taken out while floating in the air.

Karune, does this ability render the Phoenix inoperable for a short period of time? Or can it lift units into the air and attack them afterwords?
edited: The Phoenix in the latest build uses energy (4 per second) when casting anti-gravity, thus the same Phoenix is not able to attack the target it is lifting with anti-gravity.

If you’ve got a mothership to cloak your base, and you have like 4 dark pylons that you use to constantly cloak your mothership. Would this be possible, this way you could hide an expansion with use of permanent invisibility?
You can cloak your Mothership with your Dark Pylon’s Null Shield.
In this case, the enemy can’t see anything in your base without a Detecting unit.
Head over to the links below to read more.

StarCraft II Questions March
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

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Blizzard Asks For Fan Input On Next Diablo II Patch
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 10 comments

Blizzard Entertainment is asking fans for their input on what should be included in the upcoming version 1.13 patch for the popular action RPG, Diablo II. The company is asking visitors to its forum to offer the single most important inclusion they would like to see in the update.

We’re in the process of working on Diablo II content patch 1.13, and we want to try to include the Diablo community’s most important changes in our production schedule. To achieve this we’re asking for your input on what you’d like to see in this patch. However, we’re making it a bit stricter than a full-blown wish list.

If you were to get an advance look at the patch notes for Diablo II 1.13, what is the one patch note you would want to see?

Our goal is to get an overall sense of the single most important request from every member of the community. We want as many posts as we can get for the largest cross section, so if you have friends who used to play Diablo II or just don’t frequent the forums as much as you do, let them know this is here so we can get their “#1 patch note” too.

Please be mindful that we’re not going to be able to make every change mentioned, but hopefully with your feedback we can prioritize and do our best to cover as much as possible.

Visit the link below to read more and offer suggestions.

Diablo II Forums: Tell Us Your #1 Patch Note
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II
Buy Diablo II

Mac Games News for Tuesday, March 3, 2009

IMG Previews Command & Conquer: Red Alert 37:32 AM
City Of Heroes Mission Architect Feature Previewed6:00 AM
Eschalon Book II: New Screenshots, Weapon Changes6:00 AM
Hacker Evolution: Untold Released For Macs6:00 AM
ShiveringKittens iPhone Promotion Benefits ASPCA6:00 AM
Surviving In Kivi's Underworld6:00 AM
Wolfire Week in Review - Overgrowth Top 5 in modDB Contest6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, March 3, 2009 on one page

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