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Thread: The Gaming News Thread

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    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default The Gaming News Thread

    So...how about a thread containing gaming news? There have been a couple lately that have caught my attention.

    Potential Half Life 2 Episode 3 News

    Essentially, the wait for Episode 3 will be longer than the wait from Half Life 2 to Ep 1 and Ep1 to Ep 2 which may not be good news. Valve may give a general release date at the end of the year:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Interview with Valve's Dough Lombardi
    Kikizo: When are we going to start to hear about Episode Three? Because the gaps seem to be quite long based on the first couple of episodes.

    Lombardi: Yeah, the next time you play as Gordon will be longer than the distance between HL2 to Ep1, and Ep1 to Ep2.

    Kikizo: Won't you announce or show anything on Episode 3 this year?

    Lombardi: We may at the very end of the year.

    Kikizo: What do you think about the distance between the episodes, though? Is there a benefit to having a longer wait?

    Lombardi: I think our philosophy was that, we spent six years on Half-Life 2 and upwards of $40 million, and basically 80% of the company ended working up on it for a good chunk of that time. And that was just too much; nobody wanted to do that again. There was this trajectory with Half-Life 1 costing a lot less than that, and taking two years or whatever it took. HL2 was six years and a lot more money, so if we were to keep going down that path it was going to get more expensive, and take even longer. And what we wanted was an alternative to that. We wanted to deliver the games more quickly, and we didn't want to be taking the risk of $40 million or $50 million to make the thing, because at that point you're like, "oh my god we have to sell 2 million copies or else we're having non-consensual sex", right? [laughs]

    So I think we were successful in that it's been less than four years since Half-Life 2, and we've gotten two episodes out; each of them had new technology, each of them had new gameplay - arguably Ep2 had more new gameplay than Ep1, but I think that we were successful in giving players more time with Freeman, more time with Alyx, giving them new experiences, telling them more of the story, in a much quicker fashion. I mean, "episodic" conjures up this notion of television where it comes once a week for 12 weeks or whatever, and so maybe there's a better word for what we're doing! You know what I mean? But I think the goal is to get away from that 'half a lifetime, mountains of money' to produce the next thing, and we've succeeded in that - and maybe we could have chosen a better word to describe what we were doing.

    Kikizo: In fairness though, these episodes are kind of five to ten hours each, depending on how bad you are...

    Lombardi: And I mean to be truthful, games that aren't calling themselves "episodes" are kind of getting around the same [length]!

    Kikizo: Exactly.

    Lombardi: So I think while we maybe didn't choose the right word, our intentions were... we were trying to be honest, and saying we're not giving you the fifteen plus hours that we gave you in Half-Life 2; we're giving you a little less and we're going to give it at a more rapid pace, and we're going to move the price to be more according.

    Kikizo: I think people are happy with that. Well, we could talk all day, because you know I'm a fan, but we'll leave it there. Thanks for your time Doug.


    Starcraft 2 Trilogy

    Thats right, starcraft 2 will be a trilogy. Essentially, there will be one game for each race. Each game will have a full campaign of like 35 missions and will feature one faction. Unfortunately, it seems like each campaign will be just different views of the same event...

    I don't know what to think of this. I'm grateful that Blizzard is attempting to polish the game slowly rather than rush it out, but I'm kinda thinking that they're trying to milk Starcraft 2 for as much money as possible

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Blizzard's Rob Pardo reveals sci-fi RTS will now be three separate products; Terran campaign Wings of Liberty will arrive first.
    ANAHEIM, California--For many, this morning's keynote address from Blizzard president Mike Morhaime was a bit anticlimactic. After revealing Starcraft II, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, and Diablo III at three consecutive events, Blizzard had nothing new to report on a new game from the company. That changed during the Starcraft II panel, as Blizzard's Rob Pardo revealed that rather than a single real-time strategy game, Starcraft II will now be released as a trilogy.


    After bemoaning the fact that Starcraft II was shaping up to be an undertaking far larger than the previous game, Pardo said the first game in the series--subtitled Wings of Liberty--will focus on the Terrans. Specifically, it will seek to resolve the conflict between Jim Raynor and Kerrigan, which was the crux of the original Starcraft. The second game, Heart of the Swarm, will focus on the Zerg, while the final game, Legacy of the Void, will be devoted to the Protoss.

    Pardo noted that each release will be a fully fledged campaign, featuring 26 to 30 missions apiece. The celebrity World of Warcraft designer also noted that while the ending of each game will be set, the middle of the game will play heavily to player choice, allowing for branching storylines. Pardo also said that the second two releases could be considered expansion packs, but that "we really want them to feel like stand-alone products."

    Unfortunately, Pardo did not reveal when the first game in the trilogy will arrive. For more on Starcraft II--now the Starcraft Trilogy--check out GameSpot's previous coverage.


    Diablo III's new class

    Well....its a wizard. Don't really know why they wouldn't just keep the sorceress, but whatever...
    Wizard Gameplay Trailer

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    In its first panel, Blizzard explores in depth the newest class as well as the top-level skill system for third installment of seminal dungeon crawler.
    ANAHEIM, California--Blizzard president Mike Morhaime didn't have much to reveal during his opening remarks this morning. However, what news he did have to offer pertained primarily to Blizzard's newest game, Diablo III. Of note, the developer took the lid off of the third of five classes that will appear in the final version of the game: the wizard.

    As shown during the brief trailer for the class earlier this morning, the wizard will resemble in large part the sorceress from Diablo II. Area-of-effect magic that damages multiple enemies at a time appears as if it will be the wizard's specialty, and the teaser cinematic highlighted damage spells that radiate out from the player as well as ones that jump from one monster to the next.

    Not skipping a beat, Blizzard returned to the stage in Hall A of the Anaheim Convention Center to give eager attendees a look at Diablo III's class design. The session offered deeper looks at the newly unveiled wizard, as well as the previously announced barbarian and witch doctor. Lead designer Jay Wilson, lead technical artist Julian Love, and technical game designer Wyatt Cheng began with what everyone wanted to know: Who is the wizard?


    Wilson, Love, and Cheng.


    In short, the wizard class is an iteration on the sorceresses from Diablo II, according to Cheng, who said that her specialty lies in channeling the powers of the universe to wreck destruction from afar. One of Blizzard's primary challenges in creating this class, noted Cheng, was creating a class that was familiar to those who enjoy playing the role of "blaster cannon," but also bringing some innovation to the ranged-damage class. Blizzard's answer here was to invoke a caster class that was rooted in pen-and-paper-style wizards, one that draws power from the universe, as opposed to aligning with good or evil, summoning, or pure elementalism.

    Cheng also expounded on the wizard's character philosophy. "She's super ambitious, smart, and powerful," said Cheng. "She's the kind of person that would drop out of college to start a dot com."

    The first of the wizard's spells shown was one that Dungeon & Dragons acolytes will know well: the magic missile. Functionally, it acts similarly to the firebolt in Diablo II. However, Cheng noted that giving players a raw-power spell as their first introduction to the wizard sets the tone of universal power. The technical designer then explained electrocute, which is an elemental spell in the vein of chain lightning.

    Next up was slow time, which Cheng said would be a component of the reality-control kit. Slow time presented numerous challenges to Diablo III's design, he said, noting that it could really wreck multiplayer matches. The solution, then, became to implement the spell as a bubble effect emanating outward from the wizard.

    Cheng then introduced the disintegrate spell, which he described as "a real face-melter." Again a callback to pen-and-paper forerunners, the disintegrate spell was actually a failed experiment with the barbarian class. It uses a charge mechanic in which players hold down a button and then sweep their mouse across the screen to aim the ray of power. The longer an enemy is targeted by the spell, he said, the more damage it will do.

    Cheng then handed the presentation over to Jay Wilson, who spoke at length about Diablo III's skill system. Wilson began by explaining Blizzard's process in arriving at the skill system as it is in its current state. That process involved analyzing what worked in the original Diablo and Diablo II, as well as World of Warcraft. From Diablo, Wilson noted that skills were obtained from books, and though that system was exciting, it presented a number of challenges, including low class differentiation and character customization.

    Moving on to Diablo II's skill tree, Wilson said that though it resolved the problem of class differentiation, it forced players to focus on only a few skills that were often unimportant. He also bemoaned the lack of a re-spec option, which would let players easily reset how they had divvied up their skill points. As for World of Warcraft's system, itself an evolution of Diablo II's skill tree, it didn't create the immediate impact on a character that Blizzard sought for DIII, among other detriments.

    So as for what Blizzard sought to do with Diablo III, Wilson said that such a system must be simple to understand, compelling for both the early game and when players move on to hard difficulty modes, allow for a large variety of character-build options, and support six active skills. Those being the top-level goals, Wilson then regaled the audience with failed ideas, ranging from skill rings, to radial beads, to a skill wheel, to the Horadric skill cube.

    "A lot of these turned out to be different ways to do the same thing," Wilson noted. "Different, but worse isn't better; better is better." From these experimentations, Wilson said that the folks at Blizzard arrived on two ideas they liked: randomly dropped skills, and modifying skills through item drops.

    As it stands today--and to be clear, Wilson noted that this system is far from final--Blizzard is currently leaning toward a skill system that is an evolution from Diablo II that incorporates active and passive skills, synergies, skill runes, and the ability to re-spec a character. This system has several issues that have yet to be resolved, he said, bringing up such challenges as the intimidating number of choices and skills. Likewise, assigning skills is still unintuitive, and there is no way to enhance skills beyond their initial power level.


    Wizard concept art.

    Returning to the idea of modifying skills through item drops, Wilson unveiled the rune system. This will represent a deviation from how runes worked in Diablo II; randomly dropped runes will enhance spells in Diablo III. As one example, Wilson said that the witch doctor's base skull of flame spell lets players toss a flaming head at enemies. With a rune of multistrike, the skull will bounce instead of explode on impact, hitting more foes. If you add a power rune, the skull explodes and leaves a burning flame pit on the ground to do additional damage.

    Finally, Julian Love described how special effects will factor into character skills. From an art perspective, the formula is divided into two components: "stuff you do, and then what monsters do as a result." In the case of the wizard, they wanted the class to be a light show in which all of her abilities create screen-illuminating effects. As for how monsters react to these skills, Love said that monsters can die in several different ways, and those include being eaten alive by the witch doctors' swarm or exploding after what he called a "critical death." Diablo III will also feature hand-crafted deaths along the lines of what was seen in Diablo II.
    Last edited by Kekvit Irae; 11-11-2008 at 18:15.
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

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    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TevashSzat View Post
    So...how about a thread containing gaming news?
    *stupid political impersonation*
    I'm Kekvit Irae, and I approve of this message.


    Seriously, though, we do need this kind of thread. Kudos on the initiative.

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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Well I now am adding blizzard to my black list, for sucking as much mula outa the starcraft croud as possible. :/ Stupid game companies... cant they be content with just making good games with out making them rentals or 3 seperate mini games that cost 50$ a peice. Rage end.

    Other than that I like the new idea of a news thread.

    Hope to see some good stuff come out of it.
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

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    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Sure makes sense to have a thread like this than dig up old threads just to add an update.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Veho Nex View Post
    Well I now am adding blizzard to my black list, for sucking as much mula outa the starcraft croud as possible. :/ Stupid game companies... cant they be content with just making good games with out making them rentals or 3 seperate mini games that cost 50$ a peice. Rage end.
    From what I hear each one will cost less than 50$, perhaps 30 or so, overall that would still make the game more expensive though, but if the content fits the price one might forgive that.


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    World of Warcraft: 3.0.2 Wrath prepatch released today (15/10/08)
    Common Unreflected Drinking Only Smartens

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    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread


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    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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    Some odd news.

    Killer Instinct Characters Appear in Viva Pinata
    Sounds odd that they would put them (hidden) in a whats generally a kids game.

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    Member Member Decker's Avatar
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    This was posted in the Backroom:
    Basically, you're either a pirate... OOOOOR.... a stupid person who got caught up in the fun
    EA CEO bein crazy
    "No one said it was gonna be easy! If it was, everyone would do it..that's who you know who really wants it."

    All us men suffer in equal parts, it's our lot in life, and no man goes without a broken heart or a lost love. Like holding your dog as he takes his last breath and dies in your arms, it's a rite of passage. Unavoidable. And honestly, I can't imagine life without that depth of feeling.-Bierut

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    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Bioshock 2 will be called The Sea of Dreams. A 15 second teaser trailer is avaiable.
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008...ges/#more-4243


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    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Dragon Age comes to 360 and PS3

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Game Informer names unnamed consoles that will host BioWare's spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate next holiday season; PC version still on track for "early 2009."

    In 2004, Canadian developer BioWare unveiled its all-new fantasy role-playing franchise, Dragon Age. The game was assumed to be PC-only, until 2005, when studio heads Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka told GameSpot that "there will be other versions that will be on other platforms." However, it wasn't until Electronic Arts' presentation at this year's E3 Media & Business Summit that the game was officially confirmed as coming to consoles.

    Now, BioWare has revealed exactly which consoles Dragon Age will arrive on--and when those versions will ship. The November issue of Game Informer lists the game as arriving on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in "holiday 2009," several months behind the PC edition. As first revealed in June, the original version of the RPG, now called Dragon Age: Origins, will arrive in the first quarter of next year.

    When asked for comment, BioWare reps confirmed the GI story's accuracy and that it had not previously named consoles for Dragon Age, but they declined to comment further. However, the article flatly states that the console editions of the game will reflect the "core PC experience" with some interface tweaking and will not be watered-down console ports.

    Dragon Age: Origins is also notable for being BioWare's first PS3 project. Its confirmation also raises the possibilities that other upcoming BioWare titles--such as Mass Effect 2--may find their way onto Sony's console. The first Mass Effect was initially an Xbox 360 exclusive published by Microsoft Game Studios but was ported to the PC after IP-holder BioWare was bought by EA, which is ardently console-agnostic.


    Well, yep apparently a few months after Dragon Age comes out in June 09, it will seem that the console versions are coming in "holiday" 09.

    While, I don't look more and more what should be PC exclusive titles becoming multiplatformed, at least PC will get it first and not a couple moths late like GTA IV among others
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    From what I hear each one will cost less than 50$, perhaps 30 or so, overall that would still make the game more expensive though, but if the content fits the price one might forgive that.
    I put a single copy on reserve at my local Game stop. I went in and asked if i was still only reserving one copy or if it went to 3 seperates. They said only one copy and I would need to fork up some more cash if I wanted to reserve the other two. I said heck to the no and asked for my 10 bucks back. It bought me lunch
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

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    Bureaucratically Efficient Senior Member TinCow's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    While I like BioWare products, I must admit that I'm getting really sick of the Aurora Engine in all of its incarnations. I don't find it to be a very user-friendly engine.


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    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mailman653 View Post
    Yea, IMO that is really just ridiculous. I suppose they don't want the Muslim population to get outraged like they did with that one Danish cartoon, but seriously.....its the soundtrack for a GAME and had no intention of being religiously provocative...
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

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    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TevashSzat View Post
    Yea, IMO that is really just ridiculous. I suppose they don't want the Muslim population to get outraged like they did with that one Danish cartoon, but seriously.....its the soundtrack for a GAME and had no intention of being religiously provocative...
    Not to turn this into a backroom topic, but I don't believe that having quotes in the Qu'ran in music pieces is the same as having a picture of Muhammad (something that is expressly forbidden by Islam) published. I believe this is just yet another move to "political correctify" games. Make everyone happy, and all that.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Gaming News Thread

    Many companies employ people whose sole job is to make sure that the company products are cfine with the different religions and customs of the countries they are released in.


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    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Err, what exactly is offensive about quoting the Koran and who was going to be offended? Do I even need to list any of the games Sony has published with unimaginably nasty rap lyrics in them?

    What a load of... words Sony wouldn't do a recall over.

    I wasn't buying the game anyway, but if I can find a source for that music track I'll give it a listen. Anyone got a link handy?


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    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
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    You can please some of the people all the time, or all the people some of the time, but you cant please all the people all the time.

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    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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    Last edited by Mailman653; 10-22-2008 at 01:10.

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    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mailman653 View Post
    If Bioware wanted the news to be a surprise, they should've been like Blizzard with Starcraft 2 and Diablo III and actually stayed quiet instead of having all those people blabber about it everywhere....Seriously that must be one of the least kept secrets....
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

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    Member Member ElectricEel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kekvit Irae View Post
    ... I believe this is just yet another move to "political correctify" games. Make everyone happy, and all that.
    You know what the verses included - heard in the game's background music on a jungle level - are? I quote:

    1- In the 18th second: "كل نفس ذائقة الموت" ("kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death').

    2- Almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "كل من عليها فان" ("kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish').
    Hearing that chanted in the background, in what's supposed to be a sappy, family-friendly game? That would have raised more than a few eyebrows, Qur'an verses or not. Add the whole media hubbub around Islam and this could've really blown up in their faces, PR-wise. I can't really fault them for the recall.

    Apparently the person who chose that song for the background music didn't know arabic, and mistook the verses for generic jungle chants, resulting in a ridicously inapproriate choice for background music.

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    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Ahh, so now it makes a bit more sense. The offensive part is that the clown who picked the lyrics didn't know they were lyrics, he just figured they were amusing noises made by foreigners.

    Still, the right way to save face here is to out him and fire him, and maybe a member or two of your editorial oversight staff as well. Sony was in a no win situation, but IMHO they made it worse rather than better.


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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Yes, let's fire everyone who makes a small mistake because he doesn't speak every language on earth.


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

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    Lesbian Rebel Member Mikeus Caesar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    Yes, let's fire everyone who makes a small mistake because he doesn't speak every language on earth.
    Or at least have the foresight to find out what it says.

    It's like those muppets you see with Chinese tattoos, and they don't understand why Chinese people always laugh at them.

    I'd laugh at you if you'd written 'i am an utter muppet' on your body...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranika
    I'm being assailed by a mental midget of ironically epic proportions. Quick as frozen molasses, this one. Sharp as a melted marble. It's disturbing. I've had conversations with a braying mule with more coherence.


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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    I thought when you have a lack of foresight in your job you get a huge government bailout?


    "Topic is tired and needs a nap." - Tosa Inu

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    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mailman653 View Post
    Good thing E3 is becoming a bit bigger in 09, because from what I heard, E3 08 was a real downer and not a spectable as it was previous years, which may be a good or bad thing depending on how you think of it.
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

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    Undercover Lurker Member Mailman653's Avatar
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    Last edited by Mailman653; 10-24-2008 at 19:03.

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    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Fallout 4 due by 2011?

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    What we heard: It's been all of 10 years since Interplay and Black Isle Studio's Fallout 2 arrived to rapt critical reception for the PC. And if executive producer Todd Howard has his way, fans of the franchise shouldn't have to wait another decade after Fallout 3 for another postapocalyptic role-playing fix.

    Speaking to Reuters, Howard addressed the franchise's long absence from the gaming scene, saying the latest installment has been too long in coming. "I think it's good for people to miss things," he said. "Ten years between Fallout is a bit long, but I think there's this nostalgia factor."

    And then things get a little screwy. Seemingly unaware of the average gamers' excitability factor, Reuters then floated mention of "Fallout 4," and paraphrased the game's executive producer as saying, "he believes three years is a good time frame between games." Not unexpectedly, this one-two combo exploded with its own atomic ferocity across many a gaming Web site, with the common consensus being that Howard had confirmed Fallout 3's successor as being a mere three years off.

    The official story: "He wasn't trying to say anything about how long it will be between the Fallout 3 and the next one," said a Bethesda Softworks representative. "Rather, it was a comment about the fact that 10 years was too long between the last Fallout games and Fallout 3. We aren't setting any kind of timeframe or timetable for the next Fallout. We haven't even released this one yet, though at least we're now very, very close."

    Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus...that a date is officially confirmed. However, given the massive hype, decade-long anticipation, and amount of critical praise Fallout 3 has already received, a sequel looks likely. Keep in mind, though, there was a four-year gap between Elder Scrolls III and IV.


    Well, it looks like Fallout 3 is going to be pretty awesome so I think it would be excellent for the series to keep on going
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

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