Gaming Steve

PC Archives - Page 7

October 28, 2005

Blizzard Officially Announces WOW Expansion

World of Warcraft The Burning CrusadeSo it's official. The new World of Warcraft expansion has just been announced by Blizzard and The Burning Crusade web site has been opened. Again, I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but here are the details:

  • An increase in the level cap to 70.
  • Two new playable races, including the magical Blood Elves.
  • New starting zones in Quel'Thalas and beyond.
  • The entire new continent of Outland, reachable through the
    Dark Portal.
  • Many new high-level dungeons to explore in Azeroth, Outland, and elsewhere.
  • New flying mounts in Outland.
  • Many new and dangerous monsters, including epic world bosses.
  • Hundreds of new quests.
  • Hundreds of new items.
  • A new profession: Jewelcrafting.
  • Socketed items.
  • And much, much more...
One little tidbit, I just had lunch with my friend my Blizzard and it turns out that they don't expect the expansion to be released until Christmas ... of 2006! So expect lots and lots of changes until then, and even more complaining!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 12:00 PM | Posted to MMORPG | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

October 28, 2005

Lots of Juicy WOW Expansion Info

WOW! Yeah!Okay, I usually don't approve of gaming magazine scans, but the info in here is quite good ... and in English. Basically everything that I posted about yesterday is in here but in a lot more detail. What do you guys think? Here are the links (some people are having issues with these, there are others below): Pages 1-2, Pages 3-4, Pages 5-6, Pages 7-8, and Pages 9-10.

If those links don't work give these a try: Pages 1-2, Pages 3-4, Pages 5-6, Pages 7-8, and Pages 9-10.

Also a bit of info about the origin of the scans (this letter wasn't written to me, rather the person who posted the original scans):

This is Jeff Green, editor-in-chief at CGW, and was just alerted to the fact that this article has been posted here. Now, I'm a reasonable guy and also a smart guy, so I knew the article would get scanned and posted right away. I can deal.

However, the scanner dude who did this could have at least had the decency to give credit where credit is due, don't you think? We worked hard on that article, and while I suppose I *could* be a d**k here and ask you guys to take it down, I'm not, because along with being the editor of the mag, I'm also a huge WoW fan and like sharing the info anyway. All I want to do is have it at least acknowledged by the poster where he got it from. Kinda uncool to take our name off.

Okay, I'm done. And I'm off to BlizzCon! Yay!

And this isn't a joke post, btw--you can email me at jeff_green@ziffdavis.com if you want me to confirm, though I won't be able to answer ya until I get back from BlizzCon.

Thanks.

Jeff Green
Editor In Chief
Computer Gaming World
Eggbert, Level 47 Gnome Warlock

Posted by Gaming Steve at 10:00 AM | Posted to MMORPG | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

October 27, 2005

Finally, Some BlizzCon Details Confirmed

Blood ElfIn just one more day none of this will matter anymore, but I figured it was worth the post to straighten out what we know about the World of Warcraft expansion. My buddy from Blizzard said the following after he read last week's speculation article, "you can say you know someone from Blizzard who says that 'leak' is speculation at best, and a lot is just made-up stuff."

However, I was able to find out a few interesting things that will be revealed at BlizzCon on Friday.

  • Official title: “The Burning Crusade”.
  • Max level increased to 70.
  • 2 new races: Blood Elves for the Horde & unknown for the Alliance (unsure if the new Alliance race will be shown at BlizzCon).
  • New race for Alliance will NOT be the Pandarean.
  • Blood Elves can play mage, warlock or warrior. Still being determined if they can play rogue or hunter.
  • No new classes.
  • New profession: Jewelcrafting (exact details of how this profession will work are still being determined).
  • Flying mounts attainable at level 70, but they can only be used in the Outlands.
  • At BlizzCon attendees will be able to play as Blood Elves and will get to adventure in the starting area for the Blood Elves (other areas may be playable as well, including a 5-player group instance).

A few other interesting tidbits that I managed to find out. New raids will, if anything, require less people and not more. New high-level instances are going to be much shorter to allow for easier re-raiding and group looting. There will be tons of new areas opened up for players, including (perhaps) a raid instance in Tanaris that will allow to travel in the time and participate to the most important events of the story of Azeroth. Also the actual release of the expansion is a long way off (expected around May 2006). Hence a lot, and I mean a lot, can and will change from now until then.

And one final note ... yes, the level cap is going up to 70. Get ready to start grinding again!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 12:30 AM | Posted to MMORPG | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

October 20, 2005

World of Warcraft Expansion - Extensive Details?

WOW Blood ElfPerhaps the only thing we know for a fact is that in ten days at BlizzCon the new World of Warcraft expansion will be released. But until then let the speculation/guessing begin!

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit just came from the site WOWGuru where someone posted an extremely detailed overview of the WOW expansion plan. Who knows if this is accurate or total bullcrap, but it "seems" to be legit.

What I do know is that the expansion will be massive and not just a simple content update and according the post the expansion will be massive and include two new races, a new class, a higher level-cap, new transportation methods, a huge number of new instances and locations and more. Hence, I believe this post to be pretty close to the "real deal". Or it's the work of a very imaginative (and creative) poster, what do you think?

The original post is quite long, here are the highlights (even the highlights are long!):

Expansion Name: The "Burning Crusade"

Max Level Increased
The max level players may now reach has been increased to 75, and many new max-level raid instances have been added to the game world (Note, other sites are reporting the new level-cap to be 70 but I believe 75 to be the correct level-cap).

New Horde Race: Blood Elves
Racial Trait: Demonic Corruption - Blood Elves begin the game with +10 resistances to all types of magic. In addition, all of their resistances to magical spells and effects, excluding Nature, are increased by 8%. Available Classes: Warrior, Rogue, Mage, Priest, Warlock, Spell Breaker.

New Alliance Race: Draenei
Racial Trait: Unseen - Once every ten minutes, the Draenei may go invisible for fifteen seconds. This effect may not be canceled, and the Draenei cannot attack or cast any spells, and they are also considered to be "in combat" for the entire time of this effect. Available Classes: Warrior, Rogue, Hunter, Spell Breaker.

New Class: Spell Breaker
Spell Breaker - Among the Blood Elves, there are those who show such an amazing aptitude for magic that they can become almost immune to it's effects and can even twist the spells of others to benefit themselves. Spell Breakers begin the game with leather armor but are able to use mail once they reach level forty.

NEW AREAS

Undermine
This is a level 60-65 zone, and is now the main hub of neutral transportation.

Quel'Thalas
With the aid of the Horde and Argent Dawn, the Blood Elves drove some of the remaining Scourge out of Quel'thalas. The Blood Elves have started to rebuild their cities, and have unexpectedly found that some cities were untouched.

Gnomeregan
The new starting area for Gnomes. Gnomeregan can take the player to about level 12 after which they have to go to other areas.

The New Echo Islands
The new starting area for Trolls. These islands can take the player to about level 12 after which they have to go to other areas.

Northrend
The Horde and Alliance are now able to reach the continent of Northerend, thanks to the aid of the Goblins of Undermine. A zeppelin will take the players to the town of Valgarde in Northerend, where they will begin many quests to oppose the Scourge. Northerend is a massive level 65-75 zone, and contains many new max-level instances.

The Emerald Dream
The Emerald Dream is the primal heart of Azeroth. It is an echo of what the world would be like if intelligent beings had not altered its surface. The ethereal layer of the Emerald Dream shares the same space of the Physical layer one on top of the other - a parallel realm overlapping the physical world like an invisible and intangible layer. The Emerald Dream is a level 70-75 zone which will have players attempt to cleanse the Emerald Dream of the Nightmare - and, if the rumors that are told are true, Archimonde will once again need to be defeated by mortals...

UPDATED TRANSPORTATION
All boats from neutral cities, such as Ratchet, and Booty Bay now connect to Undermine. New boats have been added to Steamwheedle Port, Menethil Harbor, and Theramore which will take anyone on it to Undermine. In addition, there is a new zeppelin which will take the player to Undermine. There is also a zeppelin on Undermine which will take the player to the shores of Northerend, to a town called Valgarde. All goblin-owned transportations now have at least four level 62 Undermine Bruisers on them. Alliance-owned and Horde-owned transportation now force any members of the opposite faction on them into PVP, and are also now guarded by at least four level 60 guards.

NEW INSTANCES

Naxxaramas Necropolis
Within Stratholme, near the Slaughterhouse of Baron Rivendare, is the Naxxaramas Necropolis. Kel'Thuzad reigns the Undead Scourge from the Naxxramas Necropolis. This new 40-player, level sixty raid instance is equal in difficulty to Blackwing Lair, and will send the player to assault the Tower of Medivh.

The Tower of Medivh
This tower was described by Medivh as an Hourglass. As the sand particles flow slowly through the hourglass clock, time flows in different places of the glass, allowing one to see the past - and future - of Azeroth. This is a 40-player max-level raid instance, much more difficult than Naxxaramas Necropolis.

Caverns of Time
This is the lair of Nozdormu, one of the five great dragon aspects. Nozdormu, unlike most other dragons in the game, requires the aid of mortals. To repair damage done to the timeline, Nozdormu will send players on large raids into two 40-player, level sixty raid instances, and one 40-player max-level raid instance, the first two being equal in difficulty to Naxxaramas Necropolis, and the final being equal in difficulty to The Tower of Medivh.

Outlands
The desolate place of Outland emits flashes of light and streams of energy. Outland is currently a way station. Many portals are still active within some of the floating asteroids, leading to other worlds. This new zone is for groups of five or more max level players. Among the creatures that inhabit Outland are Felboars, Phase spiders, Draeni, Fire Elementals, Fungal Horrors, Succubi, Nether Dragons(composed of nether energy, and not related to real dragons).

The Black Citadel
Beneath the Black Citadel, there is a very large prison. Rumors have been created that heroes from past wars are still being held within this prison, and that even now the ruler of the Black Citadel tortures these heroes. Other rumors are that Kil'jaeden, the most powerful entity of the Burning Legion, dwells withing this Citadel, plotting the destruction of Azeroth. This is a large, 50-player raid instance.

Grim Botal
Rumors have emerged that Alexstrasza and her dragonflight are keeping anyone from getting near Grim Batol. They are protecting something deep within its walls, a secret power. Some say they are protecting a powerful artifact or creature.

Some have gone as far as to speculate that Deathwing has been held captive and imprisoned within Grim Batol, though, others believe in the possibility that the creature that now holds the essence of the Sunwell might be under protection of the Red Dragonflight. Anyone who dares to venture into this max level 50-player raid instance will find themselves standing against the power of the Red Dragonflight, Alexstasza, herself. This is equal in difficulty to The Black Citadel.

The Lair of Malygos
Malygos lives in Northrend in a deep and complex cavern. He is known to gather relics of arcane power, keeping them locked away from mortals. Frozen Orcs, Nagas, Trolls and Wendigos are many of the victims of the horror of Malygos' power, and to display what happens to those who venture into the Lair of Malygos. This is a 50-player max level raid instance, equal in difficulty to Grim Batol.

Icecrown Mountain
Icecrown Mountain is the most difficult instance to ever be in Azeroth, and will challenge anyone to stand against the power of not only the Lich King's armies, and his most trusted lieutenant, Anub'arak, but also the Immortal Lich King himself.

This is a 100-player max level raid instance, and will challenge the Horde and Alliance to work together to defeat the Immortal Lich King. To have the full 100 players, 50 players of max level on Horde and 50 players of max level on Alliance must work together, merging both groups of 50 into one large raid party. Upon Icecrown, Horde and Alliance may not attack each other at any time, but are instead able to aid each other. Leaders of the Argent Dawn have also worked together to teach the Alliance and Horde to understand both, Common and Orcish, so they may communicate as they work together to defeat the Immortal Lich King.

The Eye of Ysera
Deep within the Emerald Dream is the Eye of Ysera. The Eye of Ysera is a large golden dome that randomly appears in the Emerald Dream, and the dome in which Ysera dwells. No one has ever been able to enter or penetrate the golden dome. That is, until the Nightmare came... And once again, if the rumors were true, this is where Archimonde will most likely be...

Posted by Gaming Steve at 2:00 PM | Posted to MMORPG | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

October 18, 2005

The Forgotten Game God

atthecarn.gifLost in the mix of the such classic gaming legends Will Wright and Sid Meiers was Cliff Johnson, one of the best game designers of the late 1980s. Cliff created award-winning puzzle games for the Macintosh and and in many ways the forefathers for modern puzzle games such as Bejeweled and Zuma.

Of the many games Cliff released his most popular and beloved were The Fool's Errand, At the Carnival, and 3 in Three. All three games feature simple yet striking graphics, original puzzles, and a central storyline. I have many friends who almost failed out of college playing these games and they just as much fun today as they were back when I was in college.

Though random chance I was surprised to discover that only does Cliff have a great web site with new puzzles, but you can download and play all three of these games for free!

The Fool's Errand is probably the hardest of the three, At the Carnival has the most interesting setting (classic amusement park rides), while 3 in Three has the funniest story (the number 3 escapes a spreadsheet looking for freedom). If you like puzzle games definitely give these a try, they play great on modern systems and the graphics still look good to this day.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 2:30 PM | Posted to Classic | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

October 17, 2005

Gaming Steve Episode 23 - 10.17.2005

NYC Xbox360 EventAfter spending two days playing with the Xbox 360 I decided that I needed to do something special for this week's show. So I sat down with Nick Puleo from Evil Avatar, John Callaham from Gamecloud, and James Ransom-Wiley from Joystiq to dissect every aspect of the Xbox 360. We talk about the hardware, the interface, every single game at the event, and a lot more for over an hour and a half! It's like getting two shows in one, check it out.

Gaming Steve Episode 23 Program

  • 00:02:15 Game News:
    • EA Settles Lawsuit.
    • GameStop and EB become one.
    • GameStop cuts 700 jobs.
    • The Goverantor targets violent video games.
    • Judge sentences gamer to death.
    • Activision cards web users.
    • Game pirate walks the plank.
    • Xbox 360 backwards compatible with just Halo?
    • Steven Spielberg and EA get back together.
    • Blizzard is spying on you.
  • 00:21:55 GameTalk: Roundtable discussion of the Xbox 360 New York City Press Event with Nick Puleo from Evil Avatar, John Callaham from Gamecloud, and James Ransom-Wiley from Joystiq.
  • 01:52:45 SporeTalk: SporeTalk to calm down for a little while.
  • 01:55:04 Game Review: Dragonshard for the PC.
  • 02:06:03 RetroReview: The Vectrex Arcade System.
  • 02:16:06 “Name That Game!” contest winner from last week, a new clip, and a very cool prize!
  • 02:19:54 Final Thoughts on the NYC Xbox 360 press event.
Download the show (145 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 23 (MP3).

Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3).
Add the Gaming Steve Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator.
Vote for Gaming Steve on Podcast Alley.

Posted by Gaming Steve at 1:00 PM | Posted to Interview | PC | Podcast | Spore | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

October 12, 2005

Play Wolfenstein 3D in your Browser

Wolfenstein 3DWhen I first saw Wolfenstein 3D way back in 1992 it was one of the most amazing games I have ever seen. It featured full "3D" graphics, intense (and scary) first person action, and huge interactive levels. I was in college at the time of this game's release and it spread through the campus like wildfire. Everyone was playing this game and everyone was totally blown away.

Well, times sure have a changed! You can now the play the entire Wolfenstein 3D game in your browser ... using Flash. WolfenFlash 3D (requires the new Flash 8) plays exactly like the original and is still fun, but doesn't quite amaze me (or scare me) like it used to. What is amazing is that this entire game was so seamlessly translated into a Flash application. I can only imagine what things will be like 13 years from now ... where we'll play Xbox 360 on our cell phones. Now that's scary!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 12:30 PM | Posted to Classic | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

October 6, 2005

Star Control II Lives!

Star Control II IntroThe 1990s is often considered the "golden age" of PC gaming with some of the best games ever released at that time. Of course everyone remembers Civilization, TIE Fighter, Doom, X-COM, Myst, Half-Life, and so many more, but often lost in the shuffle of these classics is the excellent Star Control series. For those of you who have never heard of Star Control it was a trilogy of games released in the early/mid 1990s and all three are often considered some of the best video games ever made. Combining a nice mix of strategy, action, and adventure the Star Control universe is creates an complex compelling atmosphere unmatched by most modern games.

For those of you who have never played the original, or want to rekindle their Star Control love affair, you can now download and play Star Control II on your modern operating system! Back in 2002 the original creators of Star Control II Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III released the source code of the 3DO version as open source under the GPL. Since then, The Ur-Quan Masters (UQM) project aims to port Star Control II to modern operating systems and enhance the gaming experience with updated music and effects.

Of the three games released Star Control II is often considered the best and has almost a cult-like following. During the game you will create alien alliances (with 21 truly unique alien races to interact with), go on exciting missions, collect various resources, build a combat fleet, trade captured alien life forms for advanced technology, and, oh yeah, save the universe (no biggie!). The graphics might be dated, but the fantastic writing makes for a deep gaming experience.

Available for Windows, MacOS X, and Linux Star Control II might "look" dated but the gameplay holds up extremely well and will quickly suck you in. I just started playing again and I'm having a very hard time pulling myself away from the action. Definitely download this game and give it a try (and check out the walkthrough for a little history and how the controls work).

Posted by Gaming Steve at 4:00 PM | Posted to Classic | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

September 15, 2005

Sam & Max To Return (No, Really!)

Sam & MaxIt appears that the immensely popular Sam & Max adventure series, which has been threatening to make a comeback more times than John Travolta's career, is finally returning to the gaming world. Steve Purcell (the original creator of Sam & Max) announced at the end of his keynote speech at "The Future of Digital Entertainment" conference that Telltale Games has received the go-ahead to develop another Sam & Max game.

The new game will be completely original and will have nothing whatsoever to do with the canceled Lucasarts Sam & Max: Freelance Police title. So why after all this time have Sam & Max finally returned? It appears that Lucasarts lost the rights to the series and creator Purcell, who was familiar with Telltale from their days together in Lucasarts, went to Telltale to answer the legion of fans who have been begging for another Sam & Max game.

Not much is known about the game right now, but what is known is that Telltale Games will release the game in episodic format, much like their upcoming Bone series whose first episode is due for release later this fall (update: you can now download the demo/trail for Bone from Telltale).

This is the third attempt to make a follow up to 1993's Sam & Max Hit the Road, the first one being an Xbox-bound action/adventure title from now-defunct game studio Infinite Machine, and the second of course being LucasArts' ill-fated attempt at a sequel, Sam & Max Freelance Police. Both of those died before having a chance to live, but here's hoping third time's the charm!

Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:00 AM | Posted to Classic | PC | PlayStation 2 | Xbox |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

August 10, 2005

Man Plays Video Games ... And Dies

Game OverOkay, this may be a bit old but still newsworthy ... a 28-year-old man in South Korea died of heart failure after playing computer games almost non-stop for 50 hours. The man, identified only by his family name Lee, had planted himself in front of a computer to play on-line games on August 3rd. Over the next three days he only left his computer to go to the toilet and to take brief naps. "We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion," a Taegu provincial police official said by telephone.

To tell you the truth I am very surprised by this story. No, I'm not surprised that this guy died, I'm surprised that this guy died after playing for such a short amount of time. I mean, 50 hours straight? Sure that's a long time, but I know lots of people who have come close to gaming that long and have lived to tell about it. Heck, I myself have had several marathon Civilization gaming sessions where I played video games non-stop for more than 24-hours straight (okay, I have never played near 50-hours straight, but still).

And what about those dance marathons in years past? People used to dance for days, weeks, even months straight with little to no sleep (the record being 22 weeks, 3 1/2 days!). Of course, I'm sure that people used to die during those dance marathons, but still. Playing video games for 50 hours compared to dancing for five-and-a-half months ... this guy must have been in just horrible shape if he keels over after sitting down for 50 hours. Now if he died after playing video games and dancing for 50 hours, that would be impressive (and sad, of course).

Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:00 AM | Posted to Culture | PC |  Add this story to del.icio.us  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!