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Thursday, January 7, 2010

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Apple Games Features Civilization IV Colonization
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games has added a new feature article, this one examining the recently shipped Mac version of Civilization IV: Colonization. The stand alone game allows players to lead one of four European nations on a quest to colonize the New World. Apple's article includes an overview of the game's features, a description of the four starting nations, and some examples of the benefits of choosing founding fathers.

You guide colonists from one of those countries as they found new settlements, establish trading routes, gather resources and grow their population, manage relationships with native tribes and other colonies, develop their militaries, and eventually decide to throw off the yoke of European oppression. The winner is the first player to do so and defeat the forces sent by their King to squash the rebellion.

When you begin a new game, you choose between two governors, each of whom confers special bonuses. (See the chart below to learn more.) As the game progresses, you’ll have the opportunity to recruit founding fathers with even more potent bonuses, such as 50% faster travel time to and from Europe. (That comes in handy when you’re steadily angering your King and you want to make as many trades and import as many colonists as possible before he cuts you off.)

As in Civilization IV and its expansion packs, Beyond the Sword and Warlords, the relationships you establish with neighbors are key to your long-term success. Opening your borders to other European colonies will facilitate trade, but it will also allow them to possibly revolt before your citizens grow unhappy enough to do so, giving that player a chance to win. Angering them (or the native tribes), however, could pull you into a costly war and leave you without enough strength or allies to repel your King’s formidable forces.
Read the full review at the page listed below.

Apple Games: Civilization IV Colonization
Aspyr Media
Firaxis Games
Civilization IV: Colonization
Buy Civilization IV: Colonization

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Diablo III: Magic Find, Monk Resources, Necromancer Return?
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 3 comments

In recent posts on the Diablo III forums community manager Bashiok revealed new information about the upcoming action RPG. This time the discussion covered a variety of topics including magic find, Monk resources, the Necromancer's potential return, and champion monster difficulty.

On whether the Necromancer might return:
I've seen this said quite a bit. We're not specifically designing the witch doctor to leave room for a necromancer class. We're focusing on this game and making the classes fun. It's more of a case of, the witch doctor just isn't similar enough that it would prohibit us from adding a necromancer. Were one to be added in an expansion. Were an expansion to be made.

On the Monk resource system:
Yeah, we want to make sure there's one class that's just much much better than all the others at release. Then after a healthy amount of complaints we buff all the other classes and people think we're heroes.

It's game-dev psych 101 stuff.

On expansion classes:
Oh yeah, well it's like a rule that we can't make expansion classes fun.

And now I shall read a passage:

Laxamentum Prestolatio
Book 4; Passage 8; Line 13

And yae the onlookers felt the warmth of an expansion, and they cried out in cheerfulness. The masses moved hurriedly through the valley to greet it. Their voices unsilenced for their knowing was not of the creed.

May not any expansion classes meet the expectations of the whole
May not any onlooker feel great joy in their playing
Head over to the page below to read more.

GameBanshee: Bashiok Diablo III Comments
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
Buy Diablo III

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Jeff Vogel Discusses Avernum And Future Games
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 109 comments

A recent Active Time Babble podcast featured an interview with Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel. The veteran indie RPG developer talked about Avernum 6, the final chapter in the long running Avernum saga, as well as the difficulties involved with creating games and his plans for a new game series.

More about Averum 6:

Avernum 6 is the final game in the popular and long-running Avernum series. Explore a gigantic world, with a fascinating storyline, hundreds of quests, multitudes of side dungeons, and many hours of adventure. The game features clever enemies and dozens of interesting scripted encounters. Learn over 50 spells and battle disciplines. Hunt for hundreds of magical items or craft your own powerful artifacts.

Avernum is a world underground. It is a nation of people living in an enormous warren of tunnels and caverns, far below the surface of the world. Once a prison colony for rebels and thugs, it is now a wild frontier, full of adventurous souls looking for wealth, fame, and magical power. Avernum's sole link to the surface world: a single magical portal, small and difficult to maintain.

And then the Blight came. Almost overnight, the mushrooms Avernum needed to feed itself withered and died. Then the denizens of the low tunnels, the savage, reptilian Slithzerikai, emerged. Sensing weakness, they struck, destroying much of a weakened Avernum and creating waves of hungry, desperate refugees. Now chaos and hunger stalk this land, and none seem to be able to find a solution or a way to stop the Slith Horde.

In the midst of all of this chaos, you joined the army. You had a good, simple reason: Soldiers get food. And yet, through a run of good (or bad) fortune, you find that you have a chance to discover and confront Avernum's enemies. The nation of Avernum is rapidly approaching its final destiny, and you will be at the center of events. Can you save your homeland? And, if Avernum survives, what will become of it?
Click over to the page below to download the podcast interview. Jeff Vogel Podcast Interview
Spiderweb Software
Avernum 6

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Dragon Age: Origins Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Tech2 has posted a new review of Dragon Age: Orgins. Bioware's latest fantasy role playing epic challenges players to take on the role of a Grey Warden and defend the land of Fereldin from the monstrous Darkspawn. Tech2 gave the game a score of 4.5 out of 5.

From the review:

To start off, I've never been as big a fan of party-based RPGs as that of its hack-n-slash sibling. However, Dragon Age's incredibly intuitive and customizable party system has me smitten! The ability to pause and queue up commands (à la Fallout Tactics) really helps you alter the pace to your convenience. This fact is bolstered by its additive spell system, where you can use your spells/abilities in combination with others for some devastating results. For instance, my party's mage has a cone of cold spell, that freezes enemies in front of her. My warrior has a critical strike ability, that if used in conjunction with cone of cold, is capable of shattering a frozen enemy in one swift blow, regardless of how much health they have! Alternately, you can use your rogue's "grease trap" with a mage's fire spell to set your enemies aflame!

The way the abilities of all the classes come together, is only enhanced by the game's incredible 'Tactics system' that lets you program the way each character works in the simplest of ways. For instance, you can set your warrior to use his "critical strike" ability on any enemy that's under the status effect "frozen" to shatter them into oblivion. If you wish, you can even program your healer to heal all party members when they fall below a certain amount of health, or you can program your mage to cast a hex on the target of your main damage dealing party member! All this can be done with just a few clicks using a high intuitive Tactics menu, that pretty much lets you program your characters such that eventually you'll be able to kick back and relax, while
Read more at the website below.

Tech2: Dragon Age Origins Review
Dragon Age: Origins

Mac Games News for Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eschalon Book II Beta Testing May Begin In Early February6:00 AM
EVE Online Dominion Updates Explained6:00 AM
iGame Radio Episode 88 Available6:00 AM
Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, January 6, 2010 on one page

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