PC

February 22, 2014

Upgrade to the desktop App for Battle.net

Blizzard Beta Launcher

In the months ahead, the game launchers for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III will be automatically updated to Blizzard’s new desktop app for Battle.net. This update is designed to improve the launcher experience and streamline Blizzard gameplay. But you don’t have to wait until then to check out the new launcher, the open beta test is underway and you can download and install the app now – I would highly recommend doing this, I love the app is absolutely brilliant: http://www.battle.net/en/app/

So, what does this app give you?

Single Sign-On
Log in once to access all your games and stay logged in for up to 30 days, easy.

Install and Auto-Update Games
Install games directly through the app and, you can leave the app running on your desktop and keep them up-to-date automatically even while you’re away from your computer.

Get the Latest News
No need to check elsewhere for the latest news and update information, the app is a central hub for this information. You can filter news based on the games you play.

For more information about the launcher visit: https://eu.battle.net/support/en/article/launcher-update-testing

January 9, 2014

A New Perspective from Carnegie Mellon Student Developers

A tech demo was recently released for a puzzle game centered around the idea of forced perspective. While this idea is nothing new, a similar concept was put forth in the game A Tale of Scale a few years ago, this new tech demo is getting people fired up about what could be the next portal. The video below will give you a sense of what it can do.

 

Pillow Castle Games is keeping pretty tight lipped about further developments of the project, save for saying that a full game is coming. Keep an eye out for this one to warp your perspective soon, and you can learn more about the project

January 3, 2014

Reports from the Frontier – A Starbound Journal

starbound logo

Greetings, Universal Travelers.

I have journeyed long and hard in order to bring you this information. After many arduous hours of mining, murdering, and mayhem, I am finally ready to tell you all about Starbound, and just how awesome it is.

The player starts as someone lost and abandoned by the culture from which they come. In a derelict ship, with no fuel, they beam down onto an unfamiliar planet. Anything can be waiting for them at the end of your quantum journey. It could be a village of friendly robot merchants, or the tomb of an ancient bird-man warlord. It could even be nothing, a planet with only resources and wildlife.

The first good point here: The player wants to wander and get lost. After the initial introductory quests that show how to construct a crafting table, an anvil, and initial armor and weapons, the game lets the player loose. It helps that the quest one gets after building an anvil is to construct a resource heavy marker that summons a boss which will almost assuredly destroy you.

Once that happened to me, I realized that I needed to leave my starting planet to find more resources. That is when the scope of the game hit me.

star map

Each of those star blips are individual systems with 2-5 planets within them. The only thing that limits where one can travel is the fuel reserve (fun point, the interstellar spaceship that the player uses is fueled by wood and coal) and the progression made (achieved by killing that boss I mentioned earlier).

In terms of how the game actually plays, those players with experience with Terraria will feel right at home save for a few mechanics associated with specific weapons (the Starbound spear is worthless, while the Terraria spear is surprisingly useful). You run around, gather resources to craft things, explore to gather more resources, and then build.

One thing that sets Starbound apart from other exploration games is the sheer amount of things that you can find to decorate your buildings and ship. The art associated with all these things is great too, as long as you can appreciate pixel art. For a game in early beta, it sure is nice on the eyes.

starbound house

Chucklefish also does a good job of paying attention to the community, and what players are doing. The beta was released with modding tools and people have taken advantage of that, as have the developers. There are currently 765 mods in the official mod forum, and that number rises every day. They have already integrated a few different mods into the main game, with the permission of the creators of course. These include automatic turrets, a skyrail system a la Bioshock Infinite, among other balancing mods. They way that Chucklefish is working with the community is commendable, and how I think all early access games should do things in the future.

All that said, the game is still in early beta. Crashes happen semi-frequently, the launcher is finnicky and likes to lock up on some computers, and the multiplayer takes some thinking to figure out. Also, there have been two universe wipes since release with one more looming on the future. One thing that concerns me is the lack of incentive to stay on one planet. Once I got my more advanced gear, I started to wander the universe, stripping resources out of planets and killing everything to get gear, then moving on to the next planet and doing it all again.

I am very excited about the future of this game, and cannot wait to see what Chucklefish is planning for the future. They have announced ship progression and customizable ships as possibilities for the future, as well as the implementation of the questing system. That said, there will not be a shortage of things to do in the game for the foreseeable future.

Anticipate more updates from me on the progress of the game, and even more to say once the actual release date is announced.

November 13, 2013

The Stanley Parable: A Game About Games

stanley parable

It is nearly impossible to explain what The Stanley Parable is about. It is a game about the nature of games, how a player interacts with the world, and what happens if the antagonist is the game itself.

At it’s core, The Stanley Parable is a first person exploration game. All of the interaction comes through choice. Choosing a door to walk through, choosing which button to press, or even choosing to do nothing at all. You play as Stanley, an office worker who may be asleep, crazy, bored, and everything in between.

To reveal anything about the gameplay experience is to ruin that experience for you. It is very much a narrative driven game, with the majority of the entertainment value coming from the narrator, given life by the incomparable Kevan Brighting, and his interactions with the player. If you are sensitive and can’t take constructive and not as constructive criticism, you may want to stay away. The narrator will hurt your feelings and make you feel worthless but, to be fair, you do the same to him multiple times.

In technical terms the game is fine, with serviceable graphics that never get in the way of the experience. The game is still based in Source, so the physics that come along with that engine work well (even with a dearth of interactive objects). The music is fantastic and hugely varied. It only shows up every so often but when it does the score will command your attention. The controls will be familiar to anyone who has played a first person game, save for the lack of one usual input variation that leads to a hilarious achievement.

I had issues starting up the game upon first install, but upon reinstallation the issues ceased. Besides that there were no bugs that I personally have noticed in my ten hours or so with the game.

Mind Control

What really stuck out to me was how The Stanley Parable reflects on the absurdity of game mechanics and storytelling. We do it all for a weird sense of self gratification, the accomplishment of the objective. Be it an actual scripted objective like every mission based game, or the “I’m going to steal a helicopter and try to jump out onto a bus” self generating objectives in an open world game, it’s all there to give the player a sense of accomplishment. The Stanley Parable deconstructs this to the point where one second the objective could be to press a button so that some booming voice will say “Eight!” over and over and the next the objective is to figure out what the game wants you to do. In the end, the game doesn’t want you to do anything. It’s a game. And The Stanley Parable knows that.

You can complete The Stanley Parable in about 15 minutes. Your first play through will probably take about half an hour. But there is so much to explore within the crazy world that Galactic Cafe thrusts you into that it could easily eat up much more. Not for twitch gamers or people who want to get to the top of the leaderboards, but if you value narrative then I implore you to check this one out. At least get the demo off of Steam. If anything, you’ll get a chuckle out of just how ridiculous it all is.

In its purest essence, The Stanley Parable is a commentary on routine, achievement, the government, video games, and life itself. I love getting lost in it’s world and losing myself within it. Everyone needs to play this.

October 22, 2013

Ah…There is a certain beauty in the stillness. Let’s kill it!

tattooed kittyWith the upcoming Diablo III expansion ‘Reaper of Souls’ comes a brand new class, enter ‘the crusader’. The Crusader is a mid-range melee class wielding a flail/sword and a shield, but also has mid-ranged spells at their disposal using Wrath as their energy source. The class is based on the Paladin from Diablo II. Resourceful and resilient, Crusaders are a different breed of holy warrior, trained to wield powers unlike any before. They are a group of men and women chosen for their prowess and cunning on the battlefield, and also for their unyielding dedication to the Light; their purpose, to hunt down the enemies of Zakarum and rid Sanctuary of their corruption – they will not let anything stand between themselves and their goal finding strength in their unshakable confidence in their cause.

The Crusader

Background of the Crusader
The origins of the Crusaders lie during the time of Rakkis’s crusade against the Western Kingdoms. As Rakkis’s paladin forces moved westward, one of the leaders of his forces sensed Mephisto’s taint in the Zakarum faith, and secretly founded the Crusader order. The order was specifically founded as a separate entity from the paladins for fear of carrying over corruption into their new sacred duty. Over the centuries, the Crusader order was hardened through combat with the foul evils plaguing eastern Sanctuary as their quest to cleanse the Zakarum of Mephisto’s taint, the corruption of Sanctuary as a whole drove them on and they were intent on achieving this goal through any means necessary.

Male and Female Crusader

Primary Skills

Punish
Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Smash your enemy for 130% weapon damage, plus 10% of your shield’s block amount as damage. Your strikes heighten your battle senses, increasing your block chance by 2% for 3 seconds.

Slash
Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Ignite the air 5 yards in front of you with Holy fire, causing 135% weapon damage to all enemies caught in it.

Justice
Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Hurl a hammer of justice at your enemies, dealing 140% Holy weapon damage.

Scourge
Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Scourge your enemies for 120% weapon damage. Striking an enemy surrounds it in hallowed threads which have a chance to jump to 3 nearby enemies.

Secondary Skills

Shield Bash
Costs 25 Wrath. Bash all enemies in front of you with your shield, dealing 270% weapon damage as holy, plus 10% shield block amount as damage as holy. / Enemies struck have a 20% chance to be stunned, increased by 25% of your shield’s block chance. / The skill can also be used to reflect projectiles.

The Fist of the Heavens
Costs 25 Wrath. Call a lightning bolt down from the sky, dealing 220% weapon damage to any enemy within 8 yards. When the lightning bolt hits the ground, it splits into 6 piercing charged bolts that fire outward, dealing 50% weapon damage to enemies they pass through.

Sweep Attack
Costs 25 Wrath. Sweep a mystical flail in a wide arc through enemies 20 yards before you, dealing 230% weapon damage to all enemies caught in the arc.

Blessed Shield
Costs 25 Wrath. Hurl a celestial shield at enemies, dealing 200% weapon damage and 10% of shield block amount as damage. The shield will ricochet to 1 targets nearby.

Blessed Hammer
Cost: 10 Wrath Summon a blessed hammer that spins around you, dealing 125% weapon damage to any enemy hit. Hammers have a 100% chance to pierce.

Defensive Skills

Shield Glare
Cooldown: 12 seconds. Light erupts from your shield, blinding all enemies 30 yards in front of you for 4 seconds.

Judgement
Cooldown: 20 seconds. Pass judgment on all enemies in an area, rooting them in place for 4 seconds.

For more information about Diablo III and what the game is all about check out the game guide here: http://www.battle.net/d3/en/game/what-is. While you’re at it, you could grab yourself a virtual ticket to Blizzcon 2013, along with your ticket you get a Diablo III in-game gift – the Murkalot, this is a murloc based on the Crusader. The crusader sounds like a fun character to play, I can’t wait. For gamers who love their MMOs there are often difficult decisions to be made regarding how many games you play at any one time, in my own experience I have a main game that I play in-depth, WoW, and try to play other games in my downtime – but Diablo III is a bit of a rogue element, it’s definitely going to be getting a good share of my time once the expansion is released. Killing monsters and looting dungeons hand-in-hand with some apt one-liners… bring it on!

September 21, 2013

Diablo III Planned Auction House Closure

D3 Auction House Image

Earlier this week Blizzard announced the news that it would be closing the Diablo III Auction House after strong pressure from the community had made it clear that the auction house was in fact undermining the core gameplay. Many players felt that the ability to log in and buy upgraded items both in the gold and real money auction houses had killed the essence of the game, leaving you unable to upgrade your character without using the AH facility, after all what was the point in grinding away and working at a profession when it didn’t actually pay off, you could make more gold selling items, and you could get better upgrades in the AH. Also, when you do reach a challenging level, all you had to do is buy some more gear in the AH and then blitz through it, but that misses an essential part of the game, learning how to exploit your abilities and working out the tactics required for success. Not to mention the feeling you get when you get that drop from a mob. To be honest, the AH has made it less enjoyable for me to play Diablo III and so I’m personally looking forward to the shutdown date of March 18, 2014.

There are of course players whose gameplay is based on the AH integration and feel that Blizzard are taking away a part of the game that means that their style of play will be affected and feel that this will reduce the number of players once the AH is removed since that is what some players signed up for when they bought the game. Although I don’t agree with this sentiment, I do understand it, and understand that the removal of the AH will have an effect on trading perhaps leading to an increase in scamming. But I hope that the majority of gamers will play the game for the features that make it the great game that I know it to be and will get the most out of the experience by fighting for every level and gear upgrade. Also, the planned roll out the new Loot 2.0 system, being developed concurrently with Reaper of Souls, should mean that drops will be that much better and go some way to offset the loss of the AH.

Blizzard is currently working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down and have said that they will keep us informed as they work through the process, the video clip below provides more information from Blizzard on the reasoning behind their decision. Blizzard have also stated that “We do not have plans to implement an offline mode. While the always-online requirement made the auction house possible, the auction house was never the driving factor in our decision to make the PC version of Diablo III require an Internet connection. The game was built from the ground up to take full advantage of Battle.net, which provides a number of important benefits, including persistent server-side character saves, a seamless PC multiplayer experience, cheat prevention, and Real ID and BattleTag social features.” RPS.

August 23, 2013

Hot News from Gamescom 2013

TK MMORPG Update PictureIf you’ve never been to Gamescom you are missing out, with the latest in the hardware and software sector it’s one of the years most prominent events. At Gamescom you can immerse yourself in the multi-faceted world of gaming and technology, have fun and experience all the latest game premiers. If you can’t be there, here are a few of the highlights that you might want to check out, as we get more information be sure that we’ll bring it to you here at The Gamers Blog. Here are a few of the announcements so far that I’m particularly excited about.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is coming to the PC
Ubisoft has finally confirmed that The Division is indeed coming to PC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F-Xu1S9wv0#t=12

Firaxis prepare to upgrade XCOM with their Enemy Within expansion
Enemy Within will be available on PC and Mac, while Xbox 360 and PS3 will get the “Commander Edition” that includes a copy of Enemy Unknown and the Slingshot and Elite Soldier content packs. Set in the confines of Enemy Unknown, it’s the same game just with more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4KdSli869U

Diablo 3 unleashes new terrors, in the new expansion, Reaper of Souls
Named after its new lord of darkness, Maltheal, the fallen angel of wisdom who has now become the angel of death. The expansion will add new zones to fight through, a new class called the Crusader and raise the level cap to 70 for all of Diablo 3′s current classes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb7QJwQ58T0

New screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The third game in the excellent Witcher trilogy will conclude Geralt’s story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0i88t0Kacs

Dedicated Servers for Call of Duty: Ghosts
Call of Duty: Ghosts on PC will will once again feature dedicated servers enabling more seamless updates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxnx3W-HA18

Crytek’s new CryEngine
Now just called ‘CryEngine’ features revolutionary PuddleTech. Crytek’s Carl Jones explains “We have revolutionised many parts of the engine: we have overhauled our entire lighting system, built movie quality character rendering and animation solutions, vastly improved the speed and effectiveness of our Sandbox editor, and even our rendering has changed with tessellation, pixel accurate displacement mapping and now physical based rendering; all of this while maintaining our first principal: that making games should be real-time, all the time.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF1zjDSqPoo

August 14, 2013

i49 Exclusives Update – Epigenesis and War of the Vikings

EPIGENESIS EXCLUSIVE FIRST LIVE MATCH AT INSOMNIA49
AUGUST 8, 2013 2:45 PM

Multiplay are proud to announce that for the first time ever, the game Epigenesis will be played live on stage, in front of the Insomnia49 audience. Epigenesis is a neon-pulsating sports / fps hybrid where players compete in a futuristic ballgame where the rises and falls are as tall and deep as the potential for strategy. In each play, players must both capture nodes and make their surrounding environment sprout crazy tactical mechanisms that help towards ultimate match victory.

The teams will be playing three matches on Saturday, with the presentation beginning at 10:30 AM. Besides this the game will also be showcased at the Logitech stand all weekend, so you can catch a less tense version of the virtual sport that’s yet to sweep the nation in a much calmer setting.

PARADOX INTERACTIVE AT INSOMNIA49: BRACE YOURSELVES, VIKINGS ARE COMING!
AUGUST 6, 2013 1:27 PM

Muliplay have worked with Paradox in the past to bring flagship titles such as War of the Roses to gamers via their online services and solutions, and now are happy to be able to provide a showcase for this particular upcoming title at the UK’s biggest gaming festival. War of the Vikings is a multiplayer close-quarters combat simulator set during the Viking Age in a Saxon controlled England. Featuring intense close-quarters combat, authentic settings and weaponry, rich levels of customisation, large-scale 64-player battle, and stunningly beautiful bears, War of the Vikings will continue Paradox’s trend of publishing really interesting and engaging combat-orientated period pieces.

Representatives of Paradox will be showing the game live on stage at Insomnia49. They also have 3000 early access alpha keys to give away for the game during the event. It’s a great time to be a Viking fan!

Courtesy of Multiplay – http://insomniagamingfestival.com/news/

August 14, 2013

Press Release News – Game and Multiplay at i49

GAME AND MULTIPLAY TEAM UP FOR UK’S BIGGEST GAMING FESTIVAL
AUGUST 1, 2013 2:14 PM

The UK’s leading video games retailer, Game Retail Ltd, is teaming up with global games service provider Multiplay to support the UK’s gaming community at Multiplay’s Insomnia UK Gaming events.

Whether it’s huge eSports Tournaments on PC and Consoles with thousands of pounds to be won, an Exhibition Hall bursting at the seams with the latest games & technology, or simply a group of friends coming together to enjoy the games they love; the Insomnia “iSeries” festival has long been a social hub for the UK gaming community.

Commencing with Insomnia 49, which takes places over the August Bank Holiday weekend (23-26 August), GAME will be the official retail partner for Insomnia for the following year, providing expert staff and a whole range of stock to give Insomnia attendees a destination for all their gaming needs throughout the weekend.

Whether gamers want to enjoy earning GAME Reward points on Steam Credit top-ups, grab a new console game or PC game code for GAME’s PC Download store, or pick up high-spec accessories for a competitive advantage, attendees won’t need to leave the event, or look further than the GAME stand at Insomnia.

Craig Ting, Community Manager, Game Retail Ltd, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Multiplay to support the UK gaming community at the gamer’s equivalent of Glastonbury this August and beyond. Multiplay has a long heritage in working closely with the UK gaming community, listening to its needs and delivering on community ideas and feedback. Coupled with GAME’s ambition to grow and support the UK’s most valuable community of gamers, we can’t wait to get started in supporting Insomnia in both a retail and community capacity.”

Craig Fletcher, Managing Director, Multiplay added:

“We’re thrilled to be working with GAME and are excited about what this partnership means for our attendees for Insomnia 49 and beyond. Teaming up with the UK’s number one gaming retailer allows us to engage our loyal community with some fantastic show offers. Having them on-site means that attendees can play even more games and take part in high stakes tournaments.”

Tickets for Insomnia 49 from 23 rd-26 th August are available at:http://insomniagamingfestival.com/tickets/.

For more information on Insomnia gaming events and Multiplay, please visit:http://insomniagamingfestival.com/.

To find out more about GAME community events that are happening throughout the year, please visit: www.game.co.uk/events.

July 13, 2013

2013 World of Warcraft Arena Pass

“Prove your skills in combat with the 2013 World of Warcraft Arena Pass! Compete with the best players in 3v3 Arena matches for rewards, glory and a place at the top of the leaderboard.”

The 2013 World of Warcraft Arena Pass gives players a dedicated competitive environment based on the World of Warcraft Arena system. Players will be able create up to 11 level 90 characters per registered World of Warcraft account, each character will be based on one of a set of template characters with the ability to choose from some of the best items available in the game. You can set up your Arena team just like you would a normal PvP group in World of Warcraft, once created, you can compete with your fellow teammates in the special Arena Pass Battlegroup.

What you can earn for your in-game characters:

  • Participating in at least 50 rated Arena Pass games on one character and with the same team will be eligible to receive the Armored Murloc pet.
  • If you are a member of one of the top 1000 teams at the end of the rated phase and have participated in at least 100 rated Arena Pass games on a character on a qualifying team, you will receive the “Vanquisher” title for live characters level 71 and over.

To sign-up for the Arena pass you must:

  • Have an active subscription to World of Warcraft with an account in good standing, e.g., not flagged or banned for any reason.
  • Have a World of Warcraft account that has been upgraded to Mists of Pandaria.
  • Have a valid credit card to pay the registration fee for the Arena Pass, which is $20 in North America and €15/£12 in Europe.
  • Reside in a country or territory that allows participation (you will see the full list when registering).
  • Complete the required information on the registration page to register for the Arena Pass.
  • Meet all eligibility requirements listed in the Terms of Use.

For more information on the 2013 Arena Pass please visit: http://www.battle.net/wow/en/community/arena/arena-faq

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