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Monday, March 1, 2010

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Two Worlds II: Desert City, Reputation, Romance
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump recently released a new Two Worlds II newsletter. The fifteenth edition of the newsletter includes information about the game's reputation system, details about the desert city of Cheznaddar, and a brief Q&A. Two Worlds II will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

[dredd] Are there any more interactions between the game character and the different NPCs, something like a love affair, maybe?
RP: You hit the nail on the head, dredd! The hero will be linked more and more to the emotional worlds of the Antaloor residents - love stories included. I use the plural - stories - intentionally here, by the way. In the bigger cities, the player can start a little love adventure of his own if he wants to. Of course platonic friendships with certain NPCs are also possible - and in return for his friendship these nice guys will actively help the hero to solve various problems in the world of Antaloor.

[zonaren7] Will it be possible to “stack” weapons and armament items like we could in “Two worlds I”?
RP:We've retained the principle of weapon and armor upgrades, zonaren7 - and we've even expanded the system. Thanks to CRAFT, every player can now break down his weapons and armored items into specific basic elements like fabrics, woods and metals. And he can use these basic elements to upgrade the weapons of his choice. However, this procedure gets more expensive each time you use it, and the effects become weaker... but we can guarantee you vastly improved balancing this time around.
Click on the link below to read the full newsletter.

Two Worlds II Newsletter
Two Worlds II
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WoW Twitter Q&A Transcript
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has posted the results of a recent Twitter Q&A with developers about recently released content for World of Warcraft. The question and answer session included discussion of the Icecrown Citadel and Fall of the Lich King as well as other aspects of the game.

Q. How do you feel about the limited attempts mechanic that has been use in Trial of the Crusader and Icecrown Citadel?
A. We're not crazy about how they worked out. They were designed in essence to save players from themselves. In the past, some people would make 400+ attempts on new bosses. That's not healthy and at some point you're not measuring skill but tenacity. Yet, that's not what happened. Guilds just made alts to get around the limitations, and things like disconnects and accidents make losing an attempt really frustrating. We like gating because if nothing else it lets the community focus on more than just the final boss in the zone. If we do limited attempts again it would probably be limited to optional bosses like Algalon.

Q. Will existing races get a more "epic" start to the game, similar to the goblin/worgen starting experience?
A. We have big plans in store for both the trolls and the gnomes in regards to their starting experience but you probably already know that. ;)

We are also planning to spice up the starting zones for all of the other races as well. You can expect gameplay changes to the actual zones, as well as improved quest flows and all new items to match.

Q. Will there be any type of water mount, like, submarines?
A. We actually have two brand new subs that we made for Cataclysm. These submarines will be used as transports. We have one for gnomes and one for goblins. The subs are huge too! Both are about the size of the Gunships from Icecrown. ;)
Visit the page below to read the full Q&A

Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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New Star Tennis Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Out of Eight recently posted a new review of New Star Games' New Star Tennis, its latest sports title. The game features a full tennis tour with 66 tournaments, a variety of court styles, training challenges, and a detailed career mode spanning 15 tournaments.

From the reveiw:

In New Star Tennis, you start out as a wimpy fifteen-year-old with thoughts of grand tennis victory. You get to customize your name, date of birth, nationality, skin and hair color, and height. Unfortunately, you can only start the game as a very bad novice player, and this has serious negative consequences that we will delve into shortly. The world of New Star Tennis has almost-real players, using the one-letter-off mechanic done in previous games; you can tell who they are if you are familiar with tennis. In a sexist move, New Star Tennis does not allow you play as or against women; this would not have necessarily added anything different to the game, but the option should have been present. Apart from the career mode, you can partake in quick matches using any of the real/fake tennis stars included with the game. New Star Tennis does not include multiplayer in any fashion, either on the same computer (with a keyboard and a gamepad, for example), over a LAN, or on the Internet. The game also lacks doubles competition, a staple of tennis simulations.

During your wondrous career, you must maintain your energy, skills, lifestyle, and happiness. Energy is expended by practicing and playing in tournaments and replenished with old-fashioned rest. Your lifestyle is improved by buying things with the money earned in tournaments, a simplification that has interesting philosophical ramifications. New Star Tennis lacks relationship and family options present in previous titles, so they only way to enhance your life is to buy stuff. If it were only that simple in real life. You can get happy by betting on horses or in a casino, playing darts, or kart racing. The betting mini-games are simplistic with the usual options from previous games, darts uses the mouse and some semi-random targeting to increase uncertainty, and the kart racing is a poor replica of New Star Racing. You can choose up to three activities to do per week, but almost all of your time will be spend training.
Follow the link below to read the full review.

Out Of Eight: New Star Tennis
New Star Games
New Star Tennis

BlizzCast Thirteen Now Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has released the thirteenth BlizzCast, a series of podcasts created by Blizzard's Community Team and focusing on the company's current and future game offerings. Number thirteeen covers the StarCraft II beta as well as information about developments in the Warcraft and Diablo universes.

Rob Simpson: Now that we're here at beta, what are some of the biggest changes that beta testers can expect relative to the BlizzCon build and how have these changes been received so far internally?
Dustin Browder: That's a difficult question to answer, it's been so long for us since that BlizzCon build. We've seen so many versions of the game come through since we did the last BlizzCon. We've been doing a lot of work on the base building and macro mechanics for the protoss. Trying to make sure that the protoss have an interesting way to sort of focus on their economy and base building. Previously, protoss players could buff all of their probes to get a resource bonus every time their probes collected resources. We've changed that, removed it completely. Put in an ability called “Time Warp” which allows you to speed up production on any protoss building that has been targeted by this ability. This allows players to choose which things they want to go faster for the protoss. Do they want to make their upgrades go faster, do they want to build workers faster, do they want to build stalkers or immortals faster, maybe void rays faster? All kinds of choices. It is like the previous mechanic, something you do have to go back to your base and use repeatedly. The difference is, previously there was no choice about what to do with it, you just had to use it on your probes. Now you will choose which building to use it on. So there's actually a lot of strategy and a lot of choice for the player about how to manage your own economy. This is something we've been focused on for StarCraft, we want to make sure that StarCraft isn't just a tactical game, but also an economic game as well. You as a player have to choose, do you want to build up your economy, get a stronger base from which to attack, or do you need military forces right now, right?

Rob Simpson: The new Galaxy Map Editor won't be available initially in beta, but what can people expect when they finally get their hands on it and when would you guys like that to be?
Chris Sigaty: So the editor is something that we're talking a lot about. We would like to potentially release it in what we're calling our major content patch update that's planned for pretty late in the beta to be honest with you. The question really is, will it be far enough along and in a spot where we can allow people to look at it and publish and will we have enough time to react to that? So it's something we're looking at closely. We've discussed it, but I can't say that it will or will not happen at this point, I don't know. It's a goal, but on the periphery of whether it will happen or not, that's probably my best answer to that. What we hope to get from having the editor out there early is get some people started on some cool ideas for maps so that when the game launches they can have some cool stuff up very quickly on the service basically, so that other players can download it and have some other options out there. We feel like we're going to hit a lot of the cases that players would have not only with just their multiplayer maps but we will have some cool mod maps that we're going to do on our own, but they're largely just glimpses at things rather than entire answers. The earlier we can get the community started, the better, it's just the time window is shorter than we have talked about.

You haven't asked this question yet, but I'll answer it ahead of time. We were targeting three to five months for the beta, we're really at a three month period of time for the beta at this point. We are still targeting the first half of this year, so with that in mind, it really shortens the window of time with our major content patch coming out pretty close to the end whether it's even worth it putting out the map editor at that point.
Check out the latest BlizzCast at the page below.

BlizzCast Episode 13
Blizzard Entertainment

Mac Games News for Friday, February 26, 2010

Apple Games Features WarBirds Dogfights6:00 AM
id Developers Discuss Original Quake Public Beta Release6:00 AM
More Din's Curse Creatures Unveiled6:00 AM
World Of Warcraft Twitter Q&A Today6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, February 26, 2010 on one page

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