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Monday, February 7, 2011

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Boosting Luck of The Draw In World Of Warcraft
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a new blog post World of Warcraft lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street discusses changes to the game's Dungeon Finder feature. The post focuses on the Luck of the Draw buff, which is intended to award extra experience points to players grouped with strangers as a means to offset the drawbacks of working with an unfamiliar team.

The intent of Luck of the Draw is to help make up for the lack of coordination, communication, and familiarity that pick up groups suffer relative to organized groups of guild members and friends. Cataclysm dungeons, especially on Heroic mode, are quite challenging and ask for more group organization than the Wrath of the Lich King dungeons did. Therefore, Luck of the Draw became relatively weaker in Cataclysm. I'm painting the picture with unfairly large brush strokes here, but in general, Heroic dungeons are of appropriate difficulty for organized groups, but just brutal on Dungeon Finder groups. Players wonder, and rightly so, why Dungeon Finder supports Cataclysm Heroic dungeons at all when the chance of success is so low.

We think buffing Luck of the Draw is a good way to go about correcting the difficulty differences because it makes things slightly easier on PUGs without depriving the organized groups of a fun challenge. We also think the bonus is modest enough that it won't encourage organized groups to split up and just PUG instead - - the success rate for PUGs relative to organized groups is just that far behind. We still think you'll have more fun and a greater chance of success running dungeons with friends, but when that isnít possible, we hope this change will make Dungeon Finder a more pleasant experience. Also remember that patch 4.0.6 is adjusting the difficulty of some bosses that are particularly unforgiving, such as Ozruk in Heroic Stonecore, though to be fair, we are buffing some underperforming encounters as well. In addition, we are offering larger Justice Point rewards for players who just prefer the faster pace and greater success rate of normal dungeons, and by the time 4.1 comes out everyone will have access to more powerful gear, making the older content even easier. But then there'll be new challenges to face!
Check out the link below for more information.

Buffing Luck Of The Draw
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Vendetta Online Updated
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Guild Software has released game and status updates for its massively-multiplayer online space strategy game, Vendetta Online. The status post includes information about work to bring playable capital ships to the game. The game is now at version 1.8.163.

There has also been a hell of a lot of work put into bringing playable Capships to VO. We were genuinely shooting for the 31st of January, overshot that and then were looking at tonight, but it has just not panned out yet. Still, the work is ongoing, and should not be very far off. I think people are going to be very excited when we are able to drop in this content.. the shipyard stations alone are huge (literally). There have been a number of technical challenges with bringing extremely large physical objects to the game, while still maintaining a certain degree of detail, all of which has required some added work and research. All of this has gone pretty well, I'm happy with how things are visually shaping up, but it has also made for some delays.
Read more at the link below.

Vendetta Online Status Update
Guild Software
Strategy First
Vendetta Online

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Two Worlds II Dev Diary Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

SouthPeak and TopWare Interactive have posted a new video developer diary for Two Worlds II, the recently released fantasy RPG game from Reality Pump. The video offers details about the single and multiplayer experiences as well as various gameplay modes.

Two Worlds II sends players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and features detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

Click on the link below to view the new video.

Two Worlds II Dev Diary
Two Worlds II
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Diablo III Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Armchair Empire has posted a new preview of Diablo III, the much anticipated next installment of the popular action RPG series from Blizzard Entertainment. The preview offers an overview of what is currently known about the character classes, rune system, artisan abilities, and inventory management in the upcoming game.

One area that was a nagging concern for gamers in Diablo II was the inventory, as it tended to get filled up pretty fast, especially if you were a pack rat, requiring players to constantly warp back to town to unload all of their goods at the vendor. In this game, Blizzard appears to be taking some steps to remedy the problem. The main inventory doesn't look vastly bigger than its predecessor, but there is now something called a talisman, where players can hold up to 13 charms. I remember constantly getting bogged down by these charms in Diablo II, so this will be a very welcome change being able to shunt quite a few to another area entirely. It's important to note, also, that players only receive the stat bonuses of charms when they are placed in the talisman. They have no effect when just sitting in inventory. Finally there is the stash, adventurers' trusty chest for dumping heaps of goodies and gold into. We don't know just how much we'll be able to fit into them yet, but Blizzard does promise it'll be "huge".
Visit the page below for the full article.

The Armchair Empire: Diablo III Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo III
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Mac Games News for Friday, February 4, 2011

The Sims Medieval, Dragon Age 2 Available For Pre-Order3:00 PM
Darkest of Days And AI War: Fleet Command Now At MGS6:00 AM
Quake Live Update Adds Premium Maps6:00 AM
Two Worlds II Reviewed6:00 AM
Wolfire Says Counterfeit Lugaru Selling On Apple's App Store6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, February 4, 2011 on one page

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