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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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World Of Warcraft Version 3.3.0 Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Blizzard Entertainment recently released a new update for its popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. In addition to the usual bug fixes, balance changes, and content additions the 3.3.0 patch features the new Icecrown Citadel dungeons, cross-realm dungeon finger tool, and an improved introductory experience for new players.

Some of the updates in the latest version:

Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Halls
Looming over the stark wastes of Northrend, Icecrown Citadel awaits those who would see the Lich King and his Scourge brought low and the threat they pose wiped from the face of Azeroth. The heroes who venture within will face some of the greatest horrors yet seen. But before you burst into the front gate of the citadel, an alternate means of entry beckons. Journey through three separate wings of the new five-player dungeon, Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Halls, and follow Jaina Proudmoore or Sylvanas Windrunner into the Lich King's domain.

Icecrown Citadel: The Frozen Throne
All across Northrend, many battles have been fought against the vile Scourge. Countless lives have been lost since the Alliance and the Horde first reached these frozen wastes, but the champions of Azeroth continue to march forward -- and Icecrown Citadel, the cornerstone of the Scourge's power and the home base of the Lich King, is their final target. Tirion Fordring and the Argent Crusade have forged an accord with Darion Mograine and the Knights of the Ebon Blade to form the Ashen Verdict. This coalition's strongest combatants, along with the champions of the Alliance and the Horde, will lead the charge against the citadel. In the new Icecrown Citadel raid dungeon, Azeroth's mightiest will face terrifying challenges before ascending to the Frozen Throne, where the Lich King and his runeblade, Frostmourne, await to deliver the heroes to their deaths....

Cross-Realm Dungeon Finder
The Dungeon Finder is now available, providing players with quick and easy access to five-player parties. This feature connects all realms within a battlegroup using an advanced matchmaking system, making it easier for players of all levels to find a dungeon group. In addition, players can reap additional rewards through the Dungeon Finder by choosing the Random option, which is available to both pick-up and pre-formed groups. Check out the User Interface section for more details.

Getting Started and Quest Tracking
A number of changes have been made to World of Warcraft's introductory experience, including updated character and class information at the character-selection screen, more robust tooltips with images, improved health and mana regeneration at lower levels, and adjustments to various classes designed to make it easier for players to get started. In addition, all-new quest-tracking features have been added to assist players in finding objectives, including new interface functionality in the quest log, the map ("M" key), and the Objectives pane.
Click over to the links below for more information.

World of Warcraft 3.3.0 Patch Notes
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Bioshock Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Mac|Life has released a new review of Bioshock. The first person adventure title drops players into the undersea world of Rapture where they must avoid being killed by the bizarre denizens of the city while seeking a way to escape. Mac|Life gave the game a score of 5 out of 5.

From the review:

You’ll also pick up cash, food, ammo, and tonics throughout the game. Tonics give Jack extra power, such as the ability to avoid detection by security systems for longer periods of time or the knowledge to hack an enemy gun turret to make it fight for him. Unconventional strategic elements pull BioShock out of the mass of conventional first-person shooters--you’ll find yourself solving puzzles to hack vending machines to get lower prices or previously unavailable items, photographing enemies to learn their weaknesses, and collecting a fuel source known as ADAM to buy upgrades to suit your fighting style.

The developer put a good amount of work into this port, and it shows. Outstanding graphics and sound meet top-notch voice acting, and the dark tension created by the environment and storyline almost never fades. Add in frenzied, inventive combat and clever enemy AI that switches fighting tactics on the fly, and you have a game that stays interesting for more than 12 hours of play. We did see a few small bugs, namely some grammatical errors in menu screens and choppy framerates in the end sequence, but these could all be fixed in updates.
Read the full review at the page listed below.

Mac|Life: Bioshock Review
Feral Interactive
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Chris Sigaty Discusses StarCraft II
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard has posted the results of an interview with Chris Sigaty at the IgroMir Game Show which took place in November in Moscow, Russia. The developer discussed the upcoming StarCraft II, the much anticipated return to to the company's popular sci-fi RTS franchise. The game will feature an expanded single player campaign and more options for fans of multiplayer action.

Blizzard: What’s the reason behind the achievement system in RTS? What influence it might have on the overall game style?
Chris Sigaty: We added the achievement system to help guide players through the content. We thought they would add a lot to StarCraft II as a reward system, and to let you know that you are accomplishing some cool things. As you earn achievements you actually unlock avatars, which you can display on your profile, and decals, which will appear on your units in game.
So what we hope it will do for the overall gameplay is that as you go through the campaign, you can use the achievements as a guide to help suggest things that you should go do. For example, after you've finished the campaign, the achievements (and the unlockable rewards) could be a good incentive for you to try the special challenge mode we've added to the game, or play some cooperative skirmish matches. We’re hoping that those achievements can encourage players to try play modes that they might not have tried on their own.

Blizzard: What interesting SC II features will be offered through
Chris SigatyWe’ve completely revamped for StarCraft II and that’s what we’re hard at work on right now. Our goal with and StarCraft II was to completely integrate into the game, so effectively you have an always connected experience with StarCraft II and Features like achievements, and being able to communicate with your friends even across games like World of Warcraft, are possible because of the changes to
We've also made improvements to our skill-based matchmaking system compared our previous games. There’s a new league and ladder system that ties right into the automated matchmaking system. This league and ladder system will serve both hardcore and casual players alike, and make sure that you're competing only against players that are close to your skill level.
We’ve also added some things for the players that aren’t interested in the competitive side. So for example, we now can do a co-op skirmish, and you can play through the custom games with friends. We make playing games with friends on your team even easier than ever, with our new party system. With the party feature, you can invite your friends into a party and then jump into custom games or start your own games as a party. As you complete matches, you'll always stay on the same team with the friends you've added to your party. You can also do the same thing for the anonymous match make games where you play 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 and that sort of thing. So overall it’s a much more cohesive experience.
Visit the page below to check out the rest of Q&A.

Chris Sigaty IngroMir Interview
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty

iGame Radio Episode 87 Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Episode 87 of Omaha Sternberg's iGame Radio podcast is now available for download. This podcast features a review of Galactic Assault: Prisoner of Power, a review of geoDefense Swarm for iPhone, and information about PopCap Games' iPhone titles.

Episode 87:

  • A review of Galactic Assault: Prisoner of Power by Virtual Programming, an average turn-based strategy game with an interesting storyline that tries to take over the gameplay, and a tutorial that isn’t.
  • Also, a review of the tower defense game, geoDefense Swarm for the iPhone by Critical Thought Games. In a genre filled to the brim, this game stands out from the crowd with cool graphics and good gameplay. But beware, the lucky charms may kill you!
  • Plus, Omaha gives a brief report on her foray into the PopCap Games studio here in Seattle, to discover what’s new with their iPhone games. Can you guess what the mystery iPhone game is?
Check out the podcast at the web page linked below.

iGame Radio: Podcast 87
iGame Radio

Mac Games News for Tuesday, December 8, 2009

BOH Update, Holiday Discount6:00 AM
Emberwind Now Available6:00 AM
Planet M.U.L.E. Released6:00 AM
Tim Willits Discusses Rage6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, December 8, 2009 on one page

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