steam_powered

Steam has announced that it has a new genre on its platform, Family Gaming! This is great news especially since they will be offering games from this category at up to 50% off. Steam has partnered up with some new companies to bring you these great times. Here’s the official release from Steam:

With a slew of new games from several partners, today Steam is announcing the launch of the Family Gaming genre. Save up to and over 50% on select titles! Including six Nancy Drew games from new Steam partner Her Interactive and six new collections from Sandlot Games.

Your kids will thank you. No kids? No problem. There are some seriously fun
games you won’t be afraid to admit that you love. (Super Granny anyone?)

Check out the fancy Steam Family Games Sale page.

Make sure to check out what family games they have available.

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.

WoW-Dead

I can’t believe I’m about to open this can of worms but here we go. I read an article today called WoW Is Not Killing Itself which was a response to the article MMO Weekly 14/07/09. If you’re not in the mood to read both articles I can sum them both up for you quickly.

The MMO Weekly 14/07/09 article talks about how WoW developers are making the same mistakes that all other MMO devs make. They’re only putting out content for “hardcore” people who put in countless hours to see end game content. He goes on to state that only 5% of WoW players ever see the hardest end game content. Max level characters only have raiding and “gear grinding” to look forward to.

WoW Is Not Killing Itself responds by picking apart almost every argument he puts up and says, “You’re wrong”. The author goes on to explain that all of the content in WoW is meant for all types of players. That being 80 isn’t just a gear grind and even “casual” players have something to do. Wasn’t that much easier than reading massive amounts of text?

I hate to be the one to tell both of these authors this, but this topic has been debated for years now. The cold hard facts are that WoW has the biggest player base subscription. Sporting over 11 million players worldwide, World of Warcraft is appealing to players for whatever personal reason they have.

End game content can only go so far. If you bundle everything up into one big package you’ll have to label all of the content “grinding”. You grind your levels, you grind for gear, you grind for items, and you grind for money. This isn’t just WoW either; this is every single MMORPG that’s out there. There isn’t anything else to do at the end of a massively huge questing game.

Most players, I said most, don’t care about the story line of a MMORPG. They just want to have their “shiny” new gear and hang out with a few friends. There’s nothing wrong with that and Blizzard is a master at creating content to accommodate just that. Until some game developer comes up with something completely new and revolutionary that will change the way MMORPG’s are played and put together, we will continue to see the same kind of end game content from all MMO’s.

Don’t get all down in the dumps about it; there is plenty of hope in the future. The next few years look to bring out new MMORPG’s that just might be something fresh enough to catch the attention of people who are looking for a new game. History always repeats itself, and WoW redefined MMORPG’s. Another game will come along that will do the same, we just have to wait.

Champions Online Play Shot

We’ve all been waiting for it, Champion Online open beta! For all of us that didn’t get the chance to test in closed, our chance is coming on August 17th. According to  a blog post on VG247 the open beta will go on 24 hours a day 7 days a week until it’s completed. Closed beta testers will see more game time in the form of full weekend play and extended regular hours.

Pre-World of Warcraft days, there weren’t many people that participated in open betas and even less that got the chance to do closed beta testing. Now that MMORPG’s have become so popular open beta testing is more for the gamer than the development staff. Gamers get the chance to play the game for free for a certain amount of time before its release date. This gives gamers the chance to decide if they want to pay-to-play or not. Take advantage of this opportunity to check out a new MMORPG.

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.

World of Warcraft Tier 9 armor has been released, in concept drawings anyway. Not to be rude to development staff but it looks so much like older versions of the armor. Also, it could just be coincidence, but they all look alike. Below are the concept drawings for the new Mage, Hunter, Priest, Shaman and Warlock Tier 9 armor sets.

Alliance Mage

t9-mage

Horde Hunter

t9-hunter

Alliance Priest

t9-priest

Horde Shaman

t9-shaman

Alliance Warlock

t9-warlock

street fighter 4

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!

wow_wrath_of_the_lich_king

Not that it comes as any surprise to us Blizzard has decided that along with all the other services they make you pay more for, they’re going to add a faction transfer. While the idea sounds great I can see quite a bit going wrong with it. Just like being able to change your name, complete appearance, realm and now faction. This is leaving a lot of room for scammers, farmers and spammers. Here’s the official post about what they’re discussing as far as changes go.

We wanted to give everyone a very early heads-up that, in response to player requests, we’re developing a new service for World of Warcraft that will allow players to change their faction from Alliance to Horde or Horde to Alliance. There’s still much work to do and many details to iron out, but the basic idea is that players will be able to use the service to transform an existing character into a roughly equivalent character of the opposing faction on the same realm. Players who ended up creating and leveling up characters on the opposite factions from their friends have been asking for this type of functionality for some time, and we’re pleased to be getting closer to being able to deliver it.

As with all of the features and services we offer, we intend to incorporate the faction-change service in a way that won’t disrupt the gameplay experience on the realms, and there will be some rules involved with when and how the service can be used. The number of variables involved increases the complexity of implementing this service, but we plan to take the time needed to ensure that it lives up to expectations before officially rolling it out. We’ll go into much more detail on all of this here at http://www.wow-europe.com as development progresses. In the meantime, we wanted to let you know that because this type of functionality requires extensive internal testing well in advance of release, you may be seeing bits and pieces of the service in the test builds we use for the public test realms moving forward.

BillyMays_5B1_5D

Today Billy Mays has passed away. The causes are still unknown but his wife was quoted as saying he didn’t feel good before he went to bed. He was also involved in a rough landing at the Tampa Bay airport on Saturday but they don’t think it’s related. Even though he was very much in the public light his family is asking that the details of things remain private.

With so many celebrities dying lately it only goes to show that the generation that brought us video games is starting to fade away. The OG’s (original gamers) are starting to die off. Hopefully bright new minds will take their place and impact the world just as others before them have done. We will miss you Billy Mays.

ChampionsOnline-1050

Champion Online open beta is set for mid-August. The release date is set somewhere in September so this makes sense. MMORPG.com reports that Colin Campbell spent some time with Cryptic studios and found out this piece of information. While not 100% for sure, we’ll see if the open beta for Champions Online comes in August or not.

You can read the full story here.