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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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Diablo III: Displaying Damage, Auto Loot Grab
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In recent posts on the Diablo III forums community manager Bashiok has revealed new information about the game. This time the discussion covered the topics of displaying damage output, and handling automatic loot-snatching. Diablo III is Blizzard Entertainment's long awaited return to the popular action RPG franchise.

On displaying damage output:
Well good news then, this has been part of the character sheet for a long time now. I don't foresee any reason why we'd remove it, but in any case just the normal disclaimer of this being a work in progress.

An example!

I have a barbarian with a halberd that adds 1-9 lightning damage in addition to its other stats. I mouse over his attack in the character sheet and it breaks down the damage for me in a tooltip:
Total Damage - "54.2 - 164.6"
- -
Physical Damage - "27.0 - 79.0"
- Physical Damage Bonus - "26.2 - 76.6"
Lightning Damage - "1.0 - 9.0"
Oh and the physical damage bonus is from Strength.

On automatic loot-snatching:
Inventory management and the systems that surround it are something we're obviously interested in, but not something that can really be tuned until we have more of the item game fleshed out and tuned itself. It's hard to know exactly the best way to handle inventory management when the items, types, pickup frequency, and removal frequency can't really be measured with any real accuracy.

Gold is picked up automagically, and it's because it's one of those things that you always want to pick up. You'd never not pick up gold, unless you're playing Diablo II maybe. PAH-ZING! If there are other item types we feel fall into that category they may be automatically picked up when you walk over them too.

We want inventory management to include player choice and interaction, and so while we're definitely not opposed to new ideas and while we're certainly drawing inspiration from many places, we want to maintain that inventory management doesn't become an automated process.

Click over to the GameBanshee page below to read the rest.

GameBanshee: Bashiok Diablo III Comments
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
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Torchlight Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 14 comments

TorchlightInsider has posted a review of the PC version of Torchlight, Runic Games' single player action RPG. The game gives players the chance to choose a character and venture from the safety of the town of Torchlight into randomly generated dungeon levels. Once inside they will find a variety of monsters, a large selection of loot to find, and quests to complete. Insider gave the game a score of 9.5 out of 10.

From the review:

As usual in this genre, the itemization is a big part of the game, but don’t worry about it being single player. The drop rate for rares and uniques is fluid enough that you’ll find yourself well-stocked in a single playthrough, as well as starting to get a compilation of set items. There is a shared stash, so any items you find in your quest can be transferred to other characters if you find something that you like that doesn’t quite fit your class. Items cannot be transferred between Hardcore and Softcore characters. The inventory is easy to navigate and easy to manage, without any inventory tetris. Although for OCD players, there is room for inventory management in terms of color-coding any socketable items you find. Not that I do that *cough*.

The part that impressed me the most in this game, which I find to be the bread and butter of an A/RPG was the monsters. Difficulty was slowly ramped up throughout the game by monsters becoming more and more interactive with one another, smarter in their attacks on my hero, and trickier in their skills and abilities. The boss battles were well-designed.

Because of the good monster design, combat was very interactive. While most games of the genre end up degrading into a “kite and rightclick, kite and rightclick” or “summon and watch them destroy stuff” style of gameplay, the summoner Alchemist I played was very active, requiring me to resummon while also casting crowd control and buffing my minions with an AoE buff. I never felt like I wasn’t involved nor in danger when playing my summoner.
Head over to the links below to read more.

TorchlightInsider: Torchlight Review
Runic Games
Buy Torchlight

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Blizzard's Dustin Browder Discusses StarCraft II
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Gamasutra has published a new StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Dustin Browder. The lead game designer discussed a variety of topics related to the game including the differences between the single and multiplayer experience. StarCraft 2 will pick up a few years after the end of Broodwar and will follow the story of the Terrans.

Even between the single-player and the multiplayer, there have been design differences that mean there are discrepancies in terms of what units are available.
DB: Totally.

Do you worry about that being unintuitive, especially for people who are new to StarCraft?
DB: Not really. We did for a little bit, but then we looked back at our previous games and realized that our solo campaigns have never prepared anybody for an online experience at all. That never worked, right? We always sort of touted it that way -- "It's going to prepare you" -- but it never really did.

Looking back at that, we feel that never really works anyway. This lets us make a much more compelling solo play experience. It can run free and be its own gameplay experience with all kinds of units and all kinds of upgrades, which wouldn't have been possible if we'd restricted ourselves to only the multiplayer set, because the multiplayer wants to become small.

It wants to be reasonable. It wants to be enough that you can keep everything in your head -- so not only do I know what I can do next, but I know what you can do next, and I can play the game in my head a little bit before we actually engage.

You want that sense of there being a very limited number of opening moves in chess, and then a larger set of second moves, and so on.
DB: Yeah. And how many moves can I think ahead of you? That's determining whether I can win or not. So the multiplayer experience needs to be really tight, while the solo play experience doesn't have to be that tight in that sense.

But if we restricted ourselves to the multiplayer units [in single-player], we would ultimately lose a lot of gameplay. We've got a lot of tools that we're going to use -- our challenge mode, like our tutorials, like our improved score screen and improved replay screens -- all to try to help players make that transition from solo play to multiplayer so they can acquire the right skills, instead of leaning on something that never really worked with to begin with.
Visit the page listed below for the full article.

Gamasutra: StarCraft II Q&A
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

iGame Radio Episode 84 Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Episode 84 of Omaha Sternberg's iGame Radio is now available for download. This podcast features an interview with Paragon Studios' Matt Miller, and reviews of Virtual Programming's PipeMania and Dead Panic for Apple's iPhone.

What's new in episode 84:

  • An interview with Matt Miller of Paragon Studios about Issue 16 of City of Heroes, and how CoH made it to the Mac. Most memorable quote? “We had Transgaming show up and with no work from us they showed us a demo of our game using their Cider technology running on a Macintosh.” It’s that easy, folks, to get games on the Mac. Bribe Transgaming. ;-)
  • Also, a review of Pipe Mania for the Mac by Virtual Programming. Help Junior and Fawcett perform the most fashionable job in the world…plumbing. Wait, what?
  • Plus, a review of Dead Panic for the iPhone by Sean Maher. Can the dead panic?

Click on the page link below for more information.

iGame Radio: Podcast 84
iGame Radio

Mac Games News for Monday, October 26, 2009

6th Annual Luxtoberfest Awards This Wednesday6:00 AM
Apple Games Features HD Vendetta Online Trailer6:00 AM
Quake Live Q&A6:00 AM
The Sims 3 World Adventures: Shang Simla Revealed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, October 26, 2009 on one page

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