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Friday, December 4, 2009

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DOFUS 2.0 Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Ankama has announced that DOFUS 2.0, a game-changing update to the popular tactical MMORPG, has been officially launched worldwide. Version 2.0 features an upgraded graphics engine, rewritten server and client code, and new manga inspired visuals.

“DOFUS 2.0 marks a very significant time for us as it is truly the most important update the game has ever seen, allowing us to deliver a whole new experience for players,” said Cedric Gerard, International Marketing Manager at ANKAMA. “It brings a wealth of enhancements to a vibrant world that millions of players have made a remarkable online community over the past four years, so we’re incredibly pleased and look forward to DOFUS 2.0s reception amongst gamers.”

DOFUS 2.0 delivers a unique gaming and entertainment experience for newcomers. Filled with eye-popping manga-inspired visuals and performance upgrades, the launch of 2.0 revolutionizes the DOFUS experience. The graphic engine, server and client code have been completely rewritten to offer a wealth of detail and an unparalleled gaming experience.

DOFUS is one of the top five online games in the world with an amazing base of 25 million players, and is translated in seven different languages throughout the world.

DOFUS stands apart in the crowded MMORPG field as half video game and half interactive cartoon, delivering an engaging concept in online gaming unlike anything on the market. Its beautiful manga-inspired graphics, robust tactical and turn-based gameplay and one-of-a-kind offbeat humor helps to further set it apart from other MMORPGs. Players can choose sides in an epic war and battle to conquer new territories, as well as choose from 12 unique character classes and participate in robust community-driven crafting systems, economies, guilds and alliances.

Set in a magical fantasy world, Amakna, where adventurers set off to recover the six missing Dofus’ – magical Dragon’s eggs – with hidden, mysterious powers that captivate any who behold them. Along the way players will experience a beautiful online world and meet others – friends and foes – who will help enhance and affect their gameplay status.

DOFUS 2.0 is set to engage new players via the all-new additions, as well as the critically-acclaimed, turn-based combat, compelling story, whimsical humour and community-driven economies and adventure. The game features a free to play section, along with a varied subscription model which allows gamers the flexibility to play as they like.
At launch, DOFUS 2.0 will only support new characters. To celebrate the launch milestone, Ankama is offering a special incentive by offering double XP and double drop rate from December 2 through December 16, 2009. Character migration from DOFUS to DOFUS 2.0 is in the works.

Click over to the sites below for more information.

Ankama Studio

Guitar Hero World Tour Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mac|Life has published review of Guitar Hero World Tour, the Mac incarnation of the popular musical rhythm game. GHWT offers 80 songs, new online and offline gameplay modes, and a Music Studio feature for composing and editing original rock and roll anthems. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 3 out of 5.

From the review:

The best part of World Tour is its soundtrack. More than 80 songs span 40 years of quality rock and rolling. Highlights are too numerous to mention, but let’s just say anyone who doesn’t get excited about playing “No Sleep till Brooklyn,” “Living on a Prayer,” and “Eye of the Tiger” must be dead inside.

The recording studio feature is an appealing addition--you can bring up a blank musical sheet and lay down notation for guitar and percussion, gradually building an original composition, which you can then play in the game. It’s probably more enticing for console gamers, since the composing process is awkward, especially for GarageBand-savvy Mac users. But adding extra songs to the game’s soundtrack is a cool novelty.
Read the full review at the link below.

Mac|Life: Guitar Hero World Tour
Aspyr Media
Guitar Hero World Tour

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Jeff Kaplan's History Of Warcraft
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Game Informer has posted a new interview article on the history of Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft universe, with a focus on the company's recent World of Warcraft efforts. Jeff Kaplan discussed the reasons for Warcraft's popularity, exclusivity to the Mac and Windows platforms, and the company's plans for the future of the franchise.

GI: The World of Warcraft movie is in the works. Do you think the Warcraft lore can appeal to non-gamers as well as the very large crowd of gamers that it’s appealed to already?
JK: Totally. One of the things that Warcraft has going for it is that even though it’s set in the fantasy genre, it’s a very accessible intellectual property in so far as we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We constantly pay homage to current events. We make a lot of pop culture references, which I think makes it a very inviting and safe universe for people who are not traditionally fantasy fans to get into.

GI: Do you think the future of the Warcraft games is going to be largely online, or do you think there’s room for more single-player experiences in the Warcraft universe? And do you think the series will remain on PC only?
JK: The way that we’re looking at Warcraft these days is as an intellectual property that we love, that’s existed for 15 years at this point. I don’t think it exists in a single game or a single game type. Obviously, we transcended the RTS into the MMO, but beyond that with the Warcraft comic, all the Warcraft novels that have come out, the Warcraft movie that’s now being worked on, I think we’re now seeing Warcraft as something that goes beyond any one particular game type.

Blizzard has always proven in the past that we have a keen interest to be online and be multiplayer, but to never under-represent the single-player experience. That’s very important to us as well. When you see StarCraft II in all of its glory -- and it is turning out to be glorious -- you’ll see what I mean. Everybody knows StarCraft from the multiplayer competitive scene. That’s it’s place in history. But the single-player experience is simply mind-blowing. It’s something that we’re extremely proud of. The same goes for Diablo, where the single-player experience is extremely strong. Even in World of Warcraft, our earliest design philosophy was that you should be able to achieve maximum level even if you’re just playing by yourself. One of our development mantras was that the game should be fun even if nobody else is playing it. I don’t think we’ll ever lose sight of that single-player experience.

To touch on the PC question, we don’t ever decide “Hey, we’re making a PC game,” or “Hey, we’re making a console game.” What happens is that a development team will move onto its next project, and the creative leadership of that team will decide what kind of game they want to make. Later it will be decided what the appropriate format or the best blank canvas for that game is. That’s what we’ll make it on. If it happens to be PC or console or both, whatever it is, that’s what we’ll do.
Visit the site below to read the full Q&A.

Game Informer: Jeff Kaplan On Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
Buy World of Warcraft

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Dustin Browder Discusses StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Team Liquid has posted a new Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty Q&A with Blizzard Entertainment's Dustin Browder. The questions cover a range of topics related to the game's units, interface, and design challenges. StarCraft 2 will pick up a few years after the end of Broodwar and will follow the story of the Terrans.

TL: What types of challenges do you face when trying to balance the needs of the casual player versus the rage of hardcore players like in the progaming community. You had mentioned the macro mechanics being a big one.
DB: Sure that's definitely a big one – it's a place where we feel we can definitely do better but it then does break other systems. You know a great example I love reading on Teamliquid and elsewhere were not so much that you guys were missing clicks – some people said that and I didn't agree with that – but that we were missing the difference between a macro player and a micro player. That we were destroying the sense of style of the player. I could be playing a micro game and you could be playing a macro game with both the same race, and we are still playing a very different game from one another. And when I saw that I was like “Ohh!” I was opening my eyes like “Thanks! THERE IT IS! That's great! That's genius! That's exactly what we need to try to accomplish”.

So yeah, it's always a challenge. It's very easy to make units and abilities and missions and UI that appeals to the hardcore gamer. It's also very easy to make those kind of decisions that appeal to the very casual gamer. The real challenge is making it easy to learn and difficult to master, which makes everybody happy. The casual gamer has learned it easily, the hardcore guy is finding it very difficult to master. And like I've said before, and you see this in World of Warcraft all the time – there's not a hardcore gamer and a casual gamer, there's a continuum. Casual gamers can and will become hardcore gamers if you let them. If you create a game that's easy to learn, the casual guy will come and sit down and play. And if you make it really difficult to master, what you are allowing him to do is play week after week, month after month and still learn something new. Then there's always some reason for him to come back and so he'll become a hardcore gamer over time. I can't tell you how many soccer moms I've raided with – it's ridiculous. These people according to conventional gaming wisdom would never be hardcore gamers, but they have better gear than I do! And I'm the archetype of a hardcore gamer, buying 3 or 4 games a month and staying up into the wee hours of the morning to play. Yet here are the soccer moms out there with their purple gear and epic mounts.

So what is that? I don't know but it's not the usual breakdown between casual and hardcore. You've made a game where they are allowed to get into it and enjoy it easily but they have a lot of trouble mastering it and become us. So that is the goal, and that is always challenging. That's when it's easy to come up with something for the casuals but doesn't have any depth – so what's the point? It's very easy to come up with something that has a lot of depth and nobody will understand. So we definitely go back and forth, and that's one of the reasons it takes us so damned long to make our games. Cause this stuff is hard – we're smart guys but we're not geniuses, so we have to work at it and put a lot of effort into it. So we just grind on it until we've got it to a place we are happy with.
Check out the page below for the rest of the interview.

Team Liquid: StarCraft II Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

Mac Games News for Thursday, December 3, 2009

Apple Games Features EVE Online: Dominion6:00 AM
Din's Curse: Ranger Class Revealed6:00 AM
Emberwind Coming To Macs December 8th6:00 AM
Shane Dabiri Discusses The History Of WoW6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 3, 2009 on one page

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