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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:
You hear it right former President of Blizzard North, David Brevik, joined up with Marvel to work on their MMO. Plans were in the work to do an MMO with Cryptic Studios (Champions Online, Star Trek Online) but that got canceled a while back. Now Grazillion Entertainment bought out NetDevil and David came with. While the idea of a Marvel MMO sounds amazing it will be a long time before we actually see it. Here’s the official press release:
Gazillion Entertainment Names Former President of Blizzard North and Diablo Creator David Brevik to lead Marvel Universe MMO Development
Acclaimed Game Creator Participates in MMO Industry Panel at San Diego Comic-Con
SAN MATEO, Calif. – July 21, 2009 – Gazillion Entertainment, a leading developer, publisher and operator of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games for wide audiences, announced today that former President of Blizzard North David Brevik has joined as Studio Director for Gargantuan. David will lead development efforts of the highly anticipated Marvel Universe MMO for PC and consoles, in addition to heading up the Gargantuan development studio which is located at Gazillion’s headquarters in San Mateo, California.
David Brevik has been a game industry innovator for nearly two decades. Among his many leadership roles, David served as President of Blizzard North for seven years. Notably, David was responsible for creating Blizzard’s Diablo series, for which he was Project Lead, Design Lead and Lead Programmer on both Diablo and Diablo II. The Diablo franchise is one of the top PC titles of all time with over 20 million copies sold. David also launched Blizzard’s online gaming service, Battle.Net and was involved in key initiatives spanning multiple game and technology projects at Blizzard Entertainment. Prior to joining Gazillion, David was a Director at Flagship Studios.
At the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con, David will participate on a panel Q&A entitled The State of MMOs: A Discussion with the Developer with other acclaimed game designers, including Craig Alexander (Turbine), Gordon Walton (BioWare), and Bob Ferrari (Sanrio Digital) on Thursday, July 23rd from 11am – 12pm.
“I’m a huge fan of comic books, Super Heroes, and MMORPGs, so the chance to lead the creative efforts for the Marvel Universe MMO is an amazing opportunity. Gazillion’s mission to bring MMOs to the mainstream while maintaining the depth in gameplay that enthusiast gamers demand is something that deeply resonates with me,” said David. “Marvel is a perfect fit for this mission, and I couldn’t imagine a better venue to announce our efforts than Comic-Con.”
“As the creative and technical force behind the Diablo franchise and Battle.Net, David is an immensely talented game industry veteran who is responsible for bringing role playing games and online gaming more generally to an extremely large and thankful audience around the world,” said Rob Hutter, CEO of Gazillion. “We’re thrilled that he’s chosen to bring his vision and design leadership to the development of our landmark MMO franchise with Marvel.”
Information about Champions Online end game content has been released along with some info on micro-transactions. End game content for Champions Online will be a system called OMEGA. To give players content at max level, Cryptic Studios has implemented a system that gives players five “hot spots” for crime. In order to complete these areas you’ll need to form a super group and defeat all the enemies or complete the mission completely. Once this is done a sixth, secret, area will be opened up and players can complete this for special badges and commendations. While the system sounds interesting, we’ll have to see how it plays out. Much more detail is needed in order to really asses how this system will work.
The next thing that was released was micro-transactions and how they’ll be implemented into Champions Online. What is a micro-transaction you ask? It’s a system where players will be able to pay money for items, gear, money, etc. Games like World of Warcraft offer this service in name changes, realm transfers and many other things. While some games opt to put this system in later down the line, Cryptic Studios had decided that it will go in right away. Here’s the official statement given on micro-transactions for Champions Online:
The Skinny on Micro-transactions
Champions Online will support micro-transactions, but contrary to the concerns of some people, the game is not ‘based’ on them. There are the basic tenets for our micro-transactions:
- The vast majority are aesthetic items, such as costume pieces, action figures, emblems, etc.
- A very few are account-level management tools, such as being able to rename a character
- Micro-transactions should never limit your ability to enjoy the game or reach the level cap
- Any micro-transaction that has a game effect can also be earned in the game through play
Hopefully they’re right when they say that you won’t have to purchase anything extra in order to experience the game fully. If all they’re trying to accomplish is to add a bit of novelty to the game, then that should go over just fine. However, if players have to start paying extra fees to get items that will greatly increase their chances of success at something, well that could have some bad effects. All-in-all it sounds as if Cryptic Studios really has things on the right track. I can’t wait to see the game release in September and do really well in the industry.
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 long awaited release of Street Fighter IV for PC is upon us. Steam is allowing those that ordered the game early the chance to preload it to save time. When the game does go live you can expect to wait a long time to get the full version. Steam is anticipating the huge load of downloaders and is letting those who have bought it already pre-load some files.
Not only do you save a lot of time by pre-loading your copy of it but you can save money. If you haven’t purchased the game already you can save 10%. So you get to play the game before others who have to wait in long lines, those waiting to download and those who haven’t even bought it yet. Street Fighter IV release date is set for July 7th so get on it!
The video game Rising Eagle- Gaza is a challenge by Kevin Bermeister to the President of Iran. He claims that since the Iranian President vowed to wipe Israel off the map. The game itself puts Iranian troops against Israeli troops in a first-person shooter. Players can choose to be either Iranian soldiers or Israeli soldiers but there are no Palestinian fighters.
The game is an upgrade to two previous versions which were set in China and Paris. Bermeister believes that since Iran President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, challenged Israel he would challenge him with his game. Bermeister was quoted as saying, “People will get to know each other in a competitive battleground environment, get to text each other, speak to each other, connect with each other and figure out that they’re human beings and they can get along with each other.” Somehow I doubt that will happen but at least Bermeister’s an idealist.
The game was made by an Israeli company Invasion Interactive. As you can guess the game’s not exactly fair. The Israeli Defense Force is meant to stomp out any adversary. They are the future of fighting and have an obvious advantage over their foes. It’s not surprising that Yaron Dotan, one of the game’s Israel-based designers, was quoted as saying, “I want this to upset people. I hope it causes the biggest shitstorm in history.”
The game also depicts photos of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a monkey. Dotan acknowledged that this would piss people off (no kidding) but doesn’t really seem to care a whole lot. The game itself is not much of a surprise with all of the protests that have been happening lately. I’m sure there are many people who would find it quite humorous to see Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s face morphed into that of a chimp since he’s such a chump. If you’re interested it the game it’s free to play and can be found here.
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.
I’d like to start off by saying that this kid has more problems than just a video game addiction. That being said here’s the story:
IGN.com reported the title – “Halo 3 Teen Killer Didn’t Understand That People Don’t Respawn”
Daniel Petric, 17, claimed he didn’t understand that people don’t re-spawn in real life. He shot and killed his mother, and severely wounded his father back in 2007. The parents forbid him from playing Halo 3 and as a result they ended up dead. The judge at the trial was quoted as saying:
This Court’s opinion is that we don’t know enough about these video games…
It’s my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing…
The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they’re there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.
Unfortunately gamers are under fire yet again. An unstable kid kills his parents and blames a video game. Games must be evil and we have to protect everyone from them now.
Columbine is another example of when games were blamed for the actions of mentally unstable individuals. Many other cases have had video games labeled as evil. The truth is that the games didn’t cause the problem the person(s) chose to do what they did.
Stereotyping gamers or video games has been happening for years now. The more these cases come up the more we’ll start to see the gaming world change. Should we blame all drug addicted teens problems on professional athletes that take steroids?
Frankly I think that kids don’t have much for role models today. Digital copies of themselves or heroes is far better than ones that think dog fighting is okay or ones that think tuna is really chicken.
The reality is that video games are what you make them. People that can’t separate fact from fiction should be receiving help. I think this case is nothing more than a sad, misguided youth who made a very stupid decision. Either way three people have lost their lives and gamers take another negative blow from the media.
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.