Episode #43: What Podcast Awards?

Posted by jeffp2662 on September 09, 2011 in Episodes tagged with
This shows music is First Date by Starlit City

Launch Date for STAR WARS: The Old Republic Announced
BioWare and LucasArts are pleased to announce that Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ will launch on December 20, 2011 in North America and on December 22, 2011 in the European Launch Territories! The announcement was first made by BioWare co-founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk during their keynote address at the 2011 Eurogamer Expo in London, England. Speaking to a packed room of press and fans alike, Dr. Muzyka acknowledged the weight of the moment and the patience of the fans.
“This is an incredible moment for everyone at BioWare and our partners at LucasArts who have dedicated their lives to build this extraordinary game. We appreciate the patience from the millions of fans who have been waiting for the game’s release.”
Each copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic will come with 30 days of subscription time, after which you have the option to continue playing with one of the following monthly subscription fees: 

1 Month Subscription: $14.99 (£8.99/€12.99)

3 Month Subscription: $13.99 per month (one-time charge of $41.97/£25.17/€35.97)

6 Month Subscription: $12.99 per month (one-time charge of $77.94/£46.14/€65.94)

Diablo III Pushed To 2012
Diablo III will release in early 2012, Blizzard has confirmed.

In a statement, CEO Mike Morhaime said the delay is to allow Blizzard to improve the game before its release.

“With every game we make, the temptation is always very strong to launch as soon as possible,” Morhaime said. “However, we didn’t put so many years of work into Diablo III to release a game that was almost ready.”

Blizzard will extend the Diablo III beta, allowing for further testing and “potentially adding more testers than initially projected,” according to a press release.

Play DC Universe Online For Free Starting in October
Making an MMO that can compete with World of Warcraft is tough, but Sony Online Entertainment is giving it its best shot. DC Universe Online which launched to stellar sales in January, will be losing its monthly fee next month. Instead, the game will switch to a “freemium” model, where players can pay a variety of fees – or nothing at all – depending on what services and content they want.

While players will have access to the game’s basic content – character creation, quests, inventory, etc. – for free, more invested players might find it wise to invest a little money. $5 will give a player “Premium” status, which allows them more character slots, more inventory space, and more room for new characters. “Legendary” status costs $15 a month, and gives players the maximum amount of character and inventory slots, plus access to all of the game’s DLC. Free and Premium players will also be able to purchase à la carte DLC, while SOE will automatically transition current subscribers to “Legendary” accounts.

SOE insists that this change is not due to a lack of subscribers. “This is the right business model,” said Lorin Jameson, an executive producer for SOE. “If I can be honest, the game ended up costing a lot more than we thought it would, and this was our preferred business model from day one.” With the right kind of player base, a free-to-play model can be more profitable than a game with a monthly fee, as in the case of games like Lord of the Rings Online.

Here’s Why the NewXCOM is Nothing Like the Old X-COM
XCOM is no X-Com.
That is to say, don’t expect the upcoming first-person shooter XCOM from 2K Marin to be a new version of turn-based strategy classic X-Com.
In this video, the developers talk us through some of their reasoning, all while walking us through the game’s back-story, technology and gameplay.
The idea, they tell us, is that this game is meant to be an origin story. The developers want to make you feel what it’s like to be one of the squad members in the game, and not the top-down commander.
Fair enough, but I’d still love a new version of that strategy game. Could you make that one next please?

Early Dark Souls Players Thwarted in Typically Brutal Fashion
Dark Souls doesn’t launch in Japan until tomorrow, but some players have managed to get their hands on copies early and are playing away without a care in the world. That is, until From Software invades their games with level 145 Black Phantoms.
Utilizing Dark Souls’ game-invading mechanic to their advantage, the folks at From Software keep early Japanese players in check by sending the most powerful Black Phantoms possible into their games. The folks at Edge compared one of the invaders’ stats (level 145, 1900HP, and all abilities at the maximum 99) to their reviewers, and they didn’t even come close, even after 60 hours of play.
I’d advise early Japanese Dark Souls owners to avoid playing until the game launches, but this sounds too cool to pass up. Just try to die with some dignity.

Paradox’s Cartel: The True Syndicate Sequel?
By Jim Rossignol on September 21st, 2011 at 3:04 pm.
Paradox are developing a game called Cartel. The timing is interesting, because this is a game of two familiar halves: one real-time squad-based RTS action, the other on a global research and diplomacy map. And it is set in a near-future world of global mega-corporations, or “cartels”, battling for ultimate supremacy. Sound familiar? It should do. This is the antidote to EA’s new Syndicate being an FPS, and Paradox aren’t too shy about it. I talked to Paradox’s Shams Jorjani about what the Swedish publisher is up to, and whether this could be regarded as Syndicate: Total War.
Sadly, there are no images at this time. Boo.

Playing For Keeps: Dungeon Defenders
By Adam Smith on September 21st, 2011 at 10:40 am. 
Diablo 3 wasn’t quite as shiny and pony-strewn as some people were expecting, so it’s making this place seem a little grim and gothic at the moment. Time for something incredibly colourful and chaotic. So here are two developer diaries for upcoming 4 player co-op tower defence action RPG Dungeon Defenders. Not my description, but the description of developers Trendy Entertainment. There’s a LOT going on in these videos, the first one in particular, and I’m not sure I caught everything first time through. I did get a Torchlight meets Magicka vibe, although without the sadistic unfortunate friendly fire of Magicka and with an added build phase. Take a look.
Not only is there a lot happening on screen, there’s a lot happening behind the hacking and slashing as well. Levelling up, distinct classes, pets, crafting and loot are all there, and there’s a fully formed build phase as well, which is handily covered by this second developer diary.
Dungeon Defenders was announced back in August of last year but is nearly ready for release and is confirmed for PC, XBLA and PSN. Guess which one might be getting it late? That’s right. PSN. It’ll be on Steam and XBLA on October 19th, but not only will it arrive at a reasonable hour on your PC-machine, it also promises full and proper support for the capabilities locked within. Hopefully this includes all the control and graphical options you’d expect but, beyond that, it means mod support robust enough to allow total conversions, either at launch or soon after.
The game will also have its own online matchmaking system (DRM-free) to help players find sessions compatible with any mods they are running. 

Adding a full scale looting and levelling layer to a tower defence game seems eminently sensible to me. But then I am a big fan of both looting and levelling. It could add an extra layer of involvement and make me stick with the thing. That plus mod support is reason enough to plant this firmly on my radar.
There are more PC exclusive features to be revealed, say Trendy, and I’ll be finding out what those are before release. Also worth a quick mention is the price – the game will be on Steam but is already up for preorder at Gamersgate for £6.29. Lovely.

Cyanide’s A Game Of Thrones RPG Hints
By Jim Rossignol on September 21st, 2011 at 8:05 am.
Developer Cyanide and fantasy author George RR Martin seem concerned that people are confusing the Game Of Thrones RTS that their Montreal studio is making (and which is out soon) with the RPG being made by their French studio, which is out sometime in the far future. In fact, as Blues spotted, Martin has blogged about the difference, saying of his experiences seeing the first game: “Just to be clear. This is the RTS game, designed and developed by Cyanide’s studio in Montreal. A second videogame, an RPG, is also under development at Cyanide’s studio in France, but that one won’t be along for a while yet. The two games are very different, so please don’t get them confused.” Meanwhile, Cyanide have released the first fragments of information about the RPG game, which basically amounts to no information and a request that we read other blogs, as look at two screenshots. Hm. What we do know about the RPG is that Cyanide are saying it has a strong narrative focus, citing Planescape – Torment as an influence. Hm!

The Vampire: the Masquerade Retrospective Open Call
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Vampire: the Masquerade, FlamesRising.com is hosting an open call for new essays detailing memories and experiences of the property first published by White Wolf in 1991. The title of this series is the Vampire: the Masquerade Retrospective.

For more details on where to submit and what Flames Rising is looking for, please review the:

Vampire: the Masquerade Retrospective Submission Guidelines.

Kindred Spirits: World Of Darkness

By Adam Smith on September 19th, 2011 at 12:51 pm.
White Wolf are holding their Grand Masquerade at the moment, which makes me wish I was in New Orleans. That said, just mentioning New Orleans makes me want to be there so we won’t give White Wolf too much credit. If you’re not aware of them, they’re the company behind Vampire: The Masquerade and other related role playing games. Not the computer versions, mind, but the actual pen and paper, sit around and speak words to each other versions. The Grand Masquerade is their fan get-together and details about CCP’s upcoming World of Darkness MMORPG have been dripping out of it. Dripping like blood, you see?
This was revealed ages ago and there was even some scene setting footage at last year’s Grand Masquerade, but it hasn’t been heard of in a good while. It’s also the first time there’s been any real discussion of how it’ll actually play. It’s still in pre-production so everything could change but there will definitely be vampires. I’m willing to place a large bet on that.
Although keen on vampires, the game will allow players to remain mortal. Everyone starts that way and can choose to become one of the undead. Although even the undead can die, of course, and the game will have permadeath for characters. The game is sticking close to its pen and paper roots and will even have LARP crossover events, which doesn’t sound like something I’d particularly want to involve myself in. Unless they took place in a bar in New Orleans.
While vampires scurrying around in the dark might sound like a very different proposition to EVE Online, there will be similarities. The whole game will take place on a single server and Masquerade’s world is full of political manoeuvring and warring factions. That aside, there will also be nudity, gore and insanity. Although presumably not at the LARP events.
Characters have “humanity” points, which they lose if they do too many horrible or, presumably, inhuman things. Presumably, there will be some sort of balancing act to perform, with players trying to retain their humanity while being tempted by nasty plots and quests that promise power. It’s not confirmed but I imagine making a cup of tea and sighing about the terribly dark state of today’s world restores some humanity.
My favourite detail though? Even for mortal characters, the entire game will take place at night. And I bet the coolest vampires will still wear shades.

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