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Monday, July 20, 2009

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WoW: Warrior Q&A
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Blizzard Entertainment has posted the latest in its series of World of Warcraft class Q&As. This time Ghostcrawler and the World of Warcraft Development Team focused on the Warrior. The discussion covered a range of topics including the Warrior's role in the game, elements unique to the class, and future plans.

Q: Where do warriors fit into the larger scope of things currently and where do you see them going from this point forward?
A: Historically, warriors have always been one of the most dominant classes in World of Warcraft. In Molten Core and for raids afterwards, warriors were THE tank, no question. DPS warriors could also top the damage meters, and were a very potent PvP force. We think we allowed the warrior class to overshadow some other classes, which is probably to be expected given the iconic nature of the plate-wearing fighter in RPGs that long preceded World of Warcraft. We think they are in a fairer place now, in that there is room on the stage for other classes, yet they are still a very powerful and popular class to play. The warrior class has been a very tricky one to balance, largely due to the way rage converts into damage (which converts into rage, which converts into damage...), and we haven’t completely nailed that design just yet.

One of the things we want to do in the future is take a hard look at the Arms and Fury trees. There are several talents which just haven’t weathered the course of time well and pale in comparison to some of the newer Wrath of the Lich King talents. We’re happiest with the Protection tree -- we made a conscious effort to pare down that tree and remove a lot of mandatory talents in order to give the warrior more flexibility to take some more fun or utility-oriented talents. We need to make the same pass on the dps side of things. The reason we haven’t done so yet is that warrior dps is in a pretty good place and we don’t want to have to nerf the class across the board just to make some talents a little sexier. We will eventually do this though. We also need to make some decisions about the difference between Arms and Fury. Traditionally, Arms was the PvP tree and Fury was the PvE tree. We understand some players prefer that model, but we don’t like the way it cuts off such a big chunk of the class from players who might not have much interest in the PvP or PvE parts of the game. However, we would like to reinforce a little more the kits of Arms and Fury. Everyone (I hope) gets the difference between Frost and Fire mages. Arms is supposed to be about weapons and martial training and feel “soldierly.” Fury is supposed to be about screaming barbarians in woad. You get a sense of that, but it could be stronger. With the death knight, we allowed all three trees to more or less be able to tank. There is a desire among some players and designers to see Arms tank with a two-hander while Prot tanks with a shield. We’re still not sure that’s the direction we’ll go -- it’s a ton of re-design and will never work for say the druid or paladin classes.

WoW: Warrior Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Third Flyghty Beta Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Nostalgic Software has released the third Beta version of Flyghty for Macs. The simple 2D flight simulator has evolved to include both land and ocean environments with a choice of Civilian and Military options. The sim allows players to practice a variety of maneuvers including take offs, cruising, loops, and dogfights with enemy planes.

Use the Civilian options to practice takeoffs, landings, cruising, inversion, loops, stalls, dives, head/tail winds, up/down drafts, and fog. Also, various failures like engine-out or stuck-elevator can be challenging.

The Military options include an aircraft carrier, battleships, and machine-gun dogfights with enemy planes. Only the tough survive and score well.

Control is via keyboard, mouse, track pad and (soon) joystick. Choose between native versions for Intel Macs or PowerPC Macs.
Head over to the site below for more information.

Nostalgic Software

Cocoa Touch Games Becomes Koko Tap
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Cocoa Touch Games has announced it is changing its name and URL to Koko Tap effective immediately, in response to a written request from Apple indicating that the indie game developer was infringing on Apple’s trademarked phrase “Cocoa Touch.” Koko Tap is an independent game studio that has created a variety of games, including Cloud Girls and Bug Bounce, and is currently working on their eighth title, Dr. Bongo’s Bouncing Steel Spheroid Emporium.

Established on May 13, 2008 in Waterloo, Ontario, initial trademark searches during the company's formation failed to turn up public records covering the term “cocoa touch” in either Canada or the United States. Apple’s own press release on that day regarding the new iPhone SDK did not indicate that the term was trademarked. 

“Since receiving the notification from Apple on July 16, we’ve determined that they did file for a trademark in March 2008 and, therefore, we will certainly respect Apple’s request,” says David Janik-Jones, founder of Koko Tap and Widget Monkeys. 

“However, the initial trademark filing was registered in the offshore location of Trinidad. This location does not permit online searching of their records—you need to be on site to review patents and trademarks—which meant that we had little opportunity to perform our search effectively to discover Apple’s trademark.”

Koko Tap will be updating all of their games on the App Store over the upcoming few weeks to reflect their new branding and website thanks, in part, to Apple’s permission to complete the changes at our “earliest convenience.” These changes, including scoring databases, should all be completed before the end of August. Koko Tap is hoping at that time to coordinate with Apple to expedite the approval of their updated apps to the App Store, and to also update our identity on the App Store once all the requested revisions are finished.
For more information click over to the site below.

Koko Tap

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Jeff Vogel To Update Original Avernum
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

In a recent post on his blog, The Bottom Feeder, Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel revealed plans to release an updated version of the original Avernum. The update was mentioned in an article extolling the virtues of rereleasing games for newer hardware.

I own my own intellectual property (or, as the cool kids call it, IP).

Why is this so awesome? Because then I get to rewrite and rerelease my older games, letting me make a bunch of money for a small amount of work. For example, Exile: Escape From the Pit came out in 1995. Its first rewrite, Avernum, came out in 2000. So, in 2011, over a decade after its previous iteration, I plan to release a super flashy new version of Avernum, with really sharp new graphics and sounds, a new dungeon or three, and some nice new features added. It won't be a huge amount of work. It'll be a great new product. I will clean up.

I once wrote a game called Nethergate, which developed quite a cult following. Then, as time passed, it became very shaky and outdated. So, two years ago, I released Nethergate: Resurrection. It took two months to do it. I really liked this game, and putting out a newer, nicer version was very rewarding, both emotionally and financially.

A lot of people have complained to me over the years about doing this. I don't understand it. It's good for me and its good for players. There are several good reasons to exploit your old IP.
Read the full post at the page listed below.

The Bottom Feeder: Joy Of ReReleasing Games
Spiderweb Software

Mac Games News for Friday, July 17, 2009

A History Of Interactive Fiction6:00 AM
Diablo III: Inventory Upgrades, Group Play Dynamics6:00 AM
EVE Online: Recent Engineering Upgrades6:00 AM
Kivi's Underworld Reviewed6:00 AM
Penumbra Collection Available For $5 This Weekend6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, July 17, 2009 on one page

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