Archive for the ‘ Gaming ’ Category

Ulduar Preview

For countless millennia, Ulduar has remained undisturbed by mortals, far away from their concerns and their struggles. But since its recent discovery, many have wondered what the structure’s original purpose may have been. Some thought it a city, built to herald the glory of its makers; some thought it a vault containing innumerable treasures, perhaps even relics of the mighty Titans themselves. They were wrong. Beyond its gates lies no city, no treasure vault, no final answer to the Titan’s mysteries. All that awaits those who dare set foot in Ulduar is a horror even the Titans could not, would not destroy, an evil they merely… contained.

Beneath ancient Ulduar, the Old God of death lies, whispering…. Tread carefully, or his prison will become your tomb.

As the next step in tiered raid progression in Wrath of the Lich King, Ulduar is set to blow players away with gorgeous setpieces, sprawling battlefields, and innovative boss encounters. Ulduar’s design aims to provide a fun, unique, and innovative raid experience, but it also includes additional challenges – and rewards – for seasoned raiders. In this sneak-peek at World of Warcraft’s newest raid dungeon, we’ll take a look at some of the new content that makes Ulduar rise above the crop of amazing dungeons already available in World of Warcraft.

Welcome to Ulduar
Many players have already gotten their Wrath of the Lich King raiding feet wet in Naxxramas and the Sartharion raid, but Ulduar is the first example of the expansion’s much larger, truly epic scope of raiding, as will be evident from the second you set foot in the instance. The most obvious difference between Ulduar and its predecessors is that the dungeon actually comprises two separate raid areas. The first section is an epic battle against a vast army standing between you and the entrance of the dungeon proper; in the second area, you will dive into the heart of the dungeon itself and finally discover the secrets of Ulduar.

Ulduar’s new master has rallied his own massive Iron Army to guard the entrance to Ulduar and to prevent any unwanted guests – including you, especially you – from reaching the inner sanctum. Thankfully, you’ll be able to face the Iron Army on even footing: although the main Horde and Alliance forces are focused on the forces beyond the Wrathgate and on each other, some who are better able to appreciate the true magnitude of Ulduar’s threat have managed to scrap together a small fleet of siege vehicles to aid you in the assault.

You and your friends will have to use these vehicles wisely to break through Ulduar’s defenses. A mix of motorcycles, demolishers, and siege engines will be at your disposal, each granting unique abilities to the pilot and the passenger. Motorcycle drivers, for example, can create pools of liquid tar that snare opponents and can be set on fire by area effect attacks, while demolisher passengers can load themselves into the vehicle’s catapult so that the pilot can launch them into the distance. If used judiciously, these and other abilities will help decimate the Iron Army and any other threats lying in wait between you and Ulduar.

One such threat is the Flame Leviathan. After you’ve plowed through the innumerable ranks of the Iron Army, you will be confronted by an enormous tank. Mimiron built the Flame Leviathan as part of the V0-L7R-0N weapons platform, which means that it packs quite a punch. Normal spells and abilities won’t be enough to take down this juggernaut, so you will have to rely on your siege vehicles to outmaneuver and defeat the boss. After wearing the massive war machine down, you will have to launch players onto the tank’s back to destroy its defense turrets and sabotage the Leviathan before you can move on. Of course, if you’d like an additional challenge beyond this naturally frantic (but extremely fun) fight, you can try your hand at one of the Flame Leviathan’s different Hard Modes (see sidebar).

Of course, the vehicle gauntlet, the Iron Army, and the battle against the Flame Leviathan are only the start of World of Warcraft’s most ambitious raid to date. Patch 3.1 will hit the Public Test Realms very soon, so you will be able to see for yourself what other challenges await beyond the gates of ancient Ulduar.

Hard Boiled
Ulduar brilliantly illustrates the new design challenges and innovations that come with the bigger scope of the expansion’s raids. In order to make raid content more accessible, it has to offer a lot of variety, but it also needs to include a very granular means for players to adjust a raid’s difficulty. This concept was first realized in the Burning Crusade with the introduction of Heroic mode, and Wrath of the Lich King is developing the idea even further with new Hard Modes.

Boss fights that have a Hard Mode are affected by certain variables which players can control and which change the encounter’s difficulty. For example, spread throughout Ulduar’s vehicle section are four defense towers you can destroy. The more towers you leave intact, the harder the encounter with the Flame Leviathan will be, but the loot will also be better.

Ulduar isn’t the first dungeon to include Hard Mode, but it certainly makes the most use of it. Out of 14 bosses, 11 will have a Hard Mode that offers additional challenges and rewards. Ulduar will appeal to a wide range of play styles, but the dungeon also has great longevity and a high replay value.

Ga-Ko Alarm Clock


It is here! My Ga-Ko alarm clock has arrived. I have barely even played MGS:4 because I’ve been busy with life and now I’m prepping for Burning Man, but I knew that I loved the Ga-Ko clock and that I had to have it. Here it is. It’s great. It Ga-Ko’s at you and you press a button on his foot to make it stop. Pictures and an action video after the break.

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Warhammer Online Release Date: Part 2

So, it looks like the date got pushed up. Multiple sites are now showing the Collectors Edition of the game is due to ship on Sept 16th, and they are listing that the servers will go live on Sept 18th.

That sounds a little more solid than a guess. 

Warhammer Online Release Date Set

After multiple delays and push backs EA has announced the release date for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. September 23rd. Link Here. I am excited. You should be too.

Has the Age of Conan Already Past?

The website WoWRiot has an interesting article up today about Funcom stocks and AoC’s performance. I think a lot of us who played the game have been expecting this, and I am also predicting an even bigger drop on the 20th of this month (the chart only goes to the 15th), as the 20th is the 2 month mark for people who subscribed on release day, and thats the day peoples accounts would have expired if they canceled after their initial free month. The 20th was the day my account went inactive.

Here is some more from the article, it seems pretty biased against Funcom, and I couldn’t tell you how much is actually fact, but interesting never the less.

It has been hard to separate the truth from the spin in the ongoing Age of Conan saga, but we’re seeing more and more evidence that neither players nor stockholders are satisfied with Funcom’s campaign of misinformation.

After repeated misleading press releases, Funcom still has no answers for people wondering where all the players are going.  Populations on all servers are down, forum activity is dropping, and the community at large seems content to simply pack up and go home.  Funcom refuses to acknowledge this fact, and seems comfortable giving no response to its waning Conan fanbase.

This negligent treatment of customers has investors fleeing in droves, dropping the share price of FUNCOM.OL down by 60% since Age of Conan’s launch (see image above).  In a climate where customers are outraged and the “company line” reports no problems, serious trouble is the unspoken implication.

You can see the rest of the article after the jump. Continue reading

RIP Nintendo (Updated)

Hah

**Check for the update after the break, at the end of this post, a nice video to confirm they don’t give a rats ass about core gamers**

Shigeru Miyamoto only recently made a remark that E3 is no longer a place to introduce new games for the core gamer. Additionally, it has been discovered that the legendary video game mastermind provided a response about making franchises such as Zelda and Mario more accessible. Unfortunately, it looks like those who have been hoping that the next Zelda would ramp up the difficulty won’t find the next Zelda game to be any tougher. If anything, the next Zelda title could be even less hardcore than we’re accustomed to. “Frankly, some of the so-called ‘franchise games’ are quite difficult for nongamers to play, so making accessible games for these players is key. With Zelda, we have to consider how to make it accessible for new gamers to pick up and play and enjoy just as hardcore gamers have. For example, we’ve got the Touch Generations series. Now, we’re not necessarily going to make our “franchise” games in that style, but we’ll take what we know and have learned — the philosophy behind those games — and incorporate it into franchise games. That’s a philosophy that’s very strong at Nintendo.” – Nintendoeverything.com

My feelings on this after the break (as if the title of the post didn’t make it obvious)

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Hellgate: London Update

Wow, this is getting very messy. IGN tries to clear it all up.

A significant number of Hellgate: LondonMythos and Ping0 staff have been made redundant, Gamasutrareports. Coming mere weeks after confessions from Hellgate executives regarding the game’s unfinished state, a sizeable rant by the company’s sole surviving programmer, and suggestions that the staff went considerably over-budget, the end of the line draws near for Flagship. Having accepted significant amounts of venture capitalist funding, Flagship currently has no way of repaying that investment, and presumably no way of paying day-to-day bills, despite EA’s claims of the game having one active million subscribers.However, Korean distributor and co-I.P. owner HanbitSoft later clarified that the majority of those subscribers were in their territory. And because of that, the firm has today taken control of Hellgate: London with the intention to maintain and update the game using in-house staff.

 

HanbitSoft states that the reason it is pursuing this course of action is because “It is hard for us to accept Flagship Studios’ requests for continued support in capital and funding any longer and because Flagship was being difficult”, and because it co-owns a direct stake in the IP, it therefore “has a say in reviewing and determining any course of action to be taken with Hellgate: London.”HanbitSoft is expected to take full control over the IP. HanbitSoft goes on to state that in doing so, it will be able to “properly manage and develop Hellgate: London into a good game with proper content”, with its own in-house team of developers.

The report further states that the online service of Hellgate: London, which started in January 15, 2008 acquired 100,000 early users within the first two weeks of operation during which time HanbitSoft earned 3 billion won (approximately 3 million USD) for the sales of Hellgate: London in Korea. However, the number of players in the game significantly declined due to the lack of general out-of-the-box content and the sparsity of ongoing content updates. Since its Open Beta launch, Hellgate: London has gone from being the 9th most played game in Korea to 52nd post-commercial launch.

Amusingly, Flagship knew nothing of the Asian revolt, and now intends to take all necessary legal action to retain control of Hellgate worldwide:

 

This story is an outright lie. We have no idea where they are getting their information from and have asked legal counsel to pursue the issue. We are mystified by Hanbitsoft’s conclusions and any attempt to take over the IP will be met with a strong and swift response, to “illegally take over the IP”. All right title and interest in Hellgate; London resides in Flagship Financing, LLC a wholly-owned subsidiary of Flagship Studios. We are outraged that Hanbitsoft would attempt to completely tarnish the reputation of its most vital developer. Hanbitsoft’s new management clearly does not understand the terms of its relationship with Flagship.

The saga continues, stay tuned.

Update: Hanbitsoft’s lawyers got in touch:

 

Please understand that the facts are (1) HanbitSoft is an exclusive licensee of both Hellgate and Mythos in Asia, with rights to sublicense the games; (2) in addition, HanbitSoft is a secured creditor who has been pledged the Mythos (but not the Hellgate) intellectual property as collateral for a loan; (3) Comerica, another secured lender, has been pledged the Hellgate intellectual property as its collateral for a loan; (4) Flagship Studios does not currently own the intellectual properties to either game, which are held in separate companies subject to the security interests of lenders, and Flagship Studios’ interest in those companies is also pledged to its lenders; (5) it is unfortunate that Flagship turned down additional investments HanbitSoft offered to make that would have allowed it to keep its doors open, but HanbitSoft hopes to work with Comerica and some of the team at Flagship to see if there is a way to continue to generate content to keep Hellgate online in Asia and to finish the development of Mythos.

Note point five: “would have allowed it to keep its doors open.”