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Aion-BG

If you haven’t already done so head on over to Fileplanet and download a copy of the Aion Game Client. You don’t need an account, you can use the public download. You must have a beta access key to enter closed beta. This is the sixth and final beta test before open beta.

If you were one of the people who did wait to the last minute you’ll find that the lines to download the patches are incredibly long. You don’t have to download the patches from the NCSoft launcher. You can download the patches through mirror sites. AionSource.com has a great post by Beklyn who shows you different mirror sites you can download from.

Don’t waste anymore time get the game so you’re ready to play on Friday!

We were given the chance to beta test NCSoft’s AION this weekend. The live event went from July 31st – August 3rd and focused on Elyos and Asmodian Levels 1-30. While we didn’t make it all the way to 30 we did get the chance to check out the game up to level 10. I have to say that I was a bit skeptical of this game just because of NCSoft’s history of repeating content in games. I also was not a big fan of Guild Wars once it got into full swing but was very interested when it was in its early development. I hope that won’t be the case with AION.

From first impressions I can tell you that AION is a mix between Guild Wars and Lineage II. Even if you have a less than adequate PC you can still run AION with all low settings and it’s still gorgeous. On full settings the graphics are even more amazing and most top end machines don’t even hiccup when playing. So the beauty of the game definitely caught my attention but I was more interested in the questing and crafting systems. I doubted I’d even get to see any type of crafting since the focus of the event was simply leveling so I hunkered down and went in search of those who needed help.

Like most any other MMO you’ll find that locating quests is pretty easy. NPC’s have a blue triangle above their head and require that you perform certain tasks in order to gain experience. While the system isn’t much different the story line certainly is. Much of the translation needs to be fixed because certain words, I think, need to be changed. Without giving away too much of the story I can tell you that your first 10 levels are rich with story about how you got to be where you are. You’re also not stuck in the “noobie” zone for that long. You will move very quickly from the starter area to the more advanced area quite quickly.

Some of the things I really enjoyed about this game are, obviously, the wings you get once you ascend. I like that there are no bags and you get a default “cube” that can be expanded by purchasing new cube slots. Another interesting thing that I think holds a lot of potential is death penalties. Of all the systems I’ve seen for death penalties I think I like AION’s the best. You can buy back any lost experience from a Spirit Healer. The more you lose and the higher your level will increase the cost greatly. Lastly, I love the fact that priests get to wear chain mail armor with a mace and shield. There’s nothing better than a battle cleric who can take a beating, no more of this cloth crap.

Now let’s look at some of the downsides to the game, which so far there aren’t many. The UI needs quite a bit of work because customization is pretty much nonexistent. Certain game functions could also do with customization like not being able to zoom in and out on your character without a mouse wheel. If you don’t have a mouse wheel than you’re pretty much stuck with whatever view they give you, which makes it hard to see. Spells and skill get “chain” effects which means upon using one another may appear. The only problem with this is you can’t queue up spells and abilities that don’t have chains. Lastly I think the flight system could also use a bit of work because there is a glide feature that frankly doesn’t glide all that well. I found myself dive bombing towards the ground more than I was gliding gracefully.

So far this game has done extremely well in closed beta. I’ve beta tested many popular MMORPG’s and this is by far one of the best weekend events I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. Things ran pretty smooth and as for the player base you could tell there were quite a lot of experienced people on. This made it much more enjoyable and worth putting time into. I see this game being able to rival many of the top MMO’s out at the moment and I’m hoping it does.

We’d like to share some of our experience in closed beta with you the fans. Here are a handful of screenshots we took for your viewing pleasure:

lucasarts-logo

I am very happy to announce that LucasArts has teamed up with Steam to bring you some of their games. Apparently this is only the first of many game packages to come from LucasArts to the Steam platform. You can buy LucasArts games like The Dig, Star Wars Starfighter, LOOM, and the Indiana Jones series. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get older games for cheap instantly.

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) made Valve change the cover art for L4D 2. They claimed that it was too graphic in nature. As seen above the original cover art for L4D 2 was the original hand missing the thumb, pinky and ring finger. The ESRB stated that the cover art was too graphic in nature and that Valve needed to redesign it.

So apparently it’s okay to have a chewed off thumb but not the thumb, pinky and ring finger. The ESRB states that the thumb is fine but the other two fingers make the photo too graphic. So Valve redesigned the new cover as seen below. So what’s the rule of thumb with this case? It’s okay to have one chewed off thumb and two folded fingers but it’s not okay to have three missing appendages.

The ESRB only commented on the fact that it’s within their guidelines to have the picture changed. If anyone is curious as to what those guidelines are you can find them here. So remember that it’s okay to have one missing finger when you make a photo for a video game but only if it’s the thumb. Even the official L4D blog reported on how silly the guidelines where. You can read the blog post “Rules of Thumb” on their official blog.

Christians protested Electronic Arts Dante’s Inferno at this years E3 expo. Rumors floated around that protestors had set up outside of the convention center and drew the media in. As you can see from the picture many of them had signs that made EA out to be a horrible company. 1up’s Steve Watts wrote about the protest and had some interesting things to report. One of the protesters was reported as saying, “This disrespects ourselves, the Bible, the Christian belief. We don’t need this right now in our society.

Apparently the protesters were protesting “Electronic Antichrist”. Almost all of the gaming news companies covered the story and gave their report of what happened. After all was said and done though word leaked that the entire protest was staged by EA as a publicity stunt. Word of the protest spread and real Christians started posting about it and were very upset by it. Kris Pigna of 1up.com reported on the fake protest here.

It seems that many Christian organizations said that they were upset by the misrepresentation of Christians by EA. A video game blogger, Andy Kirchoff, who writes for Catholic Video Gamers was reported as writing, “Gamers of all varieties will buy this product if its, well, actually a good game. So instead of engaging in a shamelessly anti-Christian stunt to promote your poor excuse of a product, maybe you ought to work on making this game, you know, something better than a blatant God of War rip-off and make it, ya know, something worthwhile?

While I agree that gamers will buy a good game regardless of if they’re Christian or not EA may have taken their motto of “Challenge Everything” a little too far. If they were attempting to promote a game like Test Driver by staging a M.A.D.D. protest we can only assume the real organization would be, well, mad. Either way EA got its publicity from the stunt and video game sales will determine if it worked or not.


I’m very happy to see Star Wars: The Old Republic class release of the Smuggler. This was by far my most favorite character/class in all the Star Wars games. The idea of being free to roam the galaxy and answer to no one just appeals to me. Even though some people see them as ruffians with no sense of self worth, they have limits.

SWTOR Smuggler was officially announced yesterday on the website. Here is the description given by the developers. Don’t forget to check the website and see the videos of the Smuggler in action.


Quick, Clever, Answers to No One

Sometimes luck is more important than skill, but it never hurts to have both.

Lawlessness has become common in the wake of the devastating war between the Republic and Empire. Shifting political allegiances and marauding pirates have made independent space travel a dangerous enterprise. Cut off from traditional supply routes, entire star systems waver on the verge of collapse. An adventurous spirit who’s not afraid to break a few rules can make a handsome profit hauling cargo to these hotspots, but it requires fast reflexes, fast wits and a fast draw with a blaster. Even then, the life of a Smuggler is always a gamble.

Stacking up enemies as fast as they stack up credits, Smugglers only survive in this galaxy by being slick, sneaky and street-smart. Whether sweet-talking an attractive alien or bargaining with a hardened criminal contact, the Smuggler’s charm is a notorious asset, and often the ticket to turning around a deteriorating situation. If circumstances get too complicated, though, count on a Smuggler to always have an escape plan. Experienced in flying under the radar, Smugglers are amazingly elusive. Yet when backed into a corner, they quickly become cunning and often deadly combatants.

Above all else, Smugglers make their own destinies. Despite their affinity for credits, Smugglers have been known to turn down lucrative opportunities when the clients have demanded too much control. Some Smugglers are even more discriminating—refusing to work with slavers and representatives of the Sith Empire. It’s a business where one is always looking for trustworthy allies, but they are often few and far between. Whether running an Imperial blockade or shooting down a double-crossing gangster, Smugglers are always flying by the seat of their pants. Every deal carries the chance for wealth beyond their wildest dreams… or an anonymous death in the harsh void of space.

Relations with the Republic

Faced with choosing an allegiance in these uncertain times, Smugglers have been forced to consider the implications of trying to operate under the tight controls imposed by the Sith Empire. Though never the most patriotic members of Republic society, many Smugglers have decided that siding with the Republic is siding with freedom, and of course, freedom is everything.

The Republic has never indulged a systematic prejudice against Smugglers. Generally speaking, they have more commonly tangled with laws and law enforcement measures from specific star systems, not the greater Republic. Thus, it has not been overly difficult for the Jedi and the Republic military to accept Smugglers as allies in resisting the growing dominance of the Sith Empire.

As many of you know E3’s expo was from June 2-4 this year and with the wrap up there’s been plenty of talk about what was shown. At most E3 expos you’ll find game footage and trailers for the years upcoming video game releases. We’ve compiled a list of our top five favorite E3 game trailers.

Battlefield Bad Company 2

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Grand Turismo 5

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Super Mario Galaxies 2

Today is Day 2 of the Sniper update for Team Fortress 2. They released two new maps for the game as well as a new game mode.

Payload Race is going to be the new game mode for TF2. Basically it’s the same as the previous payload system except both teams will be pushing a cart. I can’t wait to play it.

Here’s the two new maps that were released, Sawmill and Nucleus

Sawmill

Nucleus

villains poster

IGN put out a list of the top 100 comic book villains of all times. Stating that comic books have been with us for over 75 years now and their inspiration is priceless.

Every good hero needs a villain to test their true strength against. If it wasn’t for villains superheroes would get bored very quickly. Some of them wouldn’t even exist at all.

You might be asking how this is important or relevent to a gaming blog. The answer: if game developers didn’t have stories like comic books to read we gamers wouldn’t have much of selection in games.

The inspiration of game developers is almost just as important as the games themselves. Without a good story to be inspired by so many games would have never hit the market.

Take a look at and read the top 100 comic book villans from IGN.

For any StarCraft player the next few months might be filled with nail biting and sleepless nights. Blizzard has annouced that sometime in the near future they will be allowing players to participate in their StarCraft 2 beta testing.

You can sign up right now for a chance to be a part of the beta program. All you have to do is go to Battle.net and fill out the option in your account. Here’s what Blizzard had to say about the whole process:

“The StarCraft II beta-test period is coming in the months ahead! If you’d like a chance to participate, now’s the time to let us know. Simply go to the “Beta Profile Settings” page in Battle.net account management to go through the new beta opt-in process and upload a snapshot of your system specs. During this process, you’ll also have the opportunity to opt in to future betas for other Blizzard Entertainment games. Please note that even if you’ve opted in to our betas previously, you’ll need to complete this new process and upload your current system specs to have a chance to be invited.

For more information, see the FAQ — or create a Battle.net account to opt in now. If you have an unused beta code from BlizzCon 2008 or WWI 2008, visit this site to enter your code.”