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World of Warcraft designers offer 30-minute deep dive into Warlords of Draenor's changes

In the latest episode of WoW Source, lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas, lead class designer Kris Zierhut and senior game designer Brian Holinka discuss the upcoming player-vs-player and class changes for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. Warlords of Draenor is the fifth expansion to the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The new content takes players to Draenor, home of the orc and draenei races, in addition to raising the game's level cap and adding new content. Speaking about the game's PvP, Holinka explained that adjusting crowd control effects from the previous expansion was a "very high priority." "There's a couple of big problems that we had in PvP [in Mists of Pandaria] that we really want to address," Holinka said. "Things that players...
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Defense Technica arrives on Xbox 360 today

Defense Technica, developer Kuno Interactive's multiplatform tower defense/strategy game hybrid, arrives on Xbox 360 today. The Xbox 360 incarnation is available now in the Xbox Games Store for $9.99. A free demo of the game that tasks players with defending their core from "an onslaught of unrelenting biomechanical terrors" by using and upgrading tower defense weapons, is also available for download. Defense Technica was released last year for Mac and Windows PC and is available for $14.99 on Steam. You can watch a trailer released last year alongside the PC versions to see the game in action.
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Armello: the sneaky, treacherous race to the throne

"What we've always loved in board games is treachery," says Trent Kusters, co-founder of game studio League of Geeks. "Treachery in board games is great. It's like one minute we're buddies, but you know at some point one person is going to stab the other in the back." Kusters is demoing the alpha build of Armello, League of Geeks' debut title for PC and tablets, which is currently seeking funds on Kickstarter. It's a digital board game. Players tap on their hero character to move it around as they would on a physical board. They roll virtual dice like they would physical dice. And they commit acts of treachery, they plot and scheme and form alliances just like they would in a traditional board game. "That's what we wanted to set up," Kusters says, "the ability for people to create...
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Train Jam 2014 offers up first batch of games

The first batch of games conceived out of Train Jam 2014, a 52-hour game jam held on a train travelling from Chicago to San Francisco, are now available on the event's official website. At the time of writing, the growing list currently offers 18 games available to freely download for Windows PC, Mac, Oculus or Android, or play online in a browser. Games include Android title Disconnect from Rami Ismail, Brice Puls and Benedict Fritz; Off the Grid by Ryan Wiemeyer, Jamie Sanchez, David Laskey and Chris Wade; Space Jeff from Matthew Hudgins; and, Oculus Team by Alicia Avril and Andrew Gleeson. The event, which took place March 13-15, offered a way to rally developers heading to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and create games whilst in transit. Train Jam was organized...
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Developers from CCP Games to wrestle MMA fighter during Eve Fanfest

This year's Eve Fanfest, the annual celebration of all things Eve, will include an event called "Eve of Destruction" in which 10 developers from CCP Games will face off against mixed martial arts fighter Gunnar Nelson, the studio announced today. According to a press release from CCP, the individuals will engage in "actual physical combat" against Nelson (photo above), an Icelandic UFC fighter who is a practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. During Eve of Destruction, Nelson will partake in 10 back-to-back bouts of one-on-one wrestling against members of the CCP team. There will be only one win condition: submission. The format is a gauntlet — each match will run for as long as it takes, and the breaks between the fights will last only as long as is required for the next combatant to...
Review
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7.0

Fract OSC review: dead or alive

Who knew club music could feel so lonely? Fract OSC, a hybrid of rhythm, puzzle and exploration games, abandons you inside a broken synthesizer. It's a dark and quiet cavern littered with orbs, boxes and planks that occasionally react to your existence. The environment is distant as it is cold. There are no characters, human or otherwise, and the architecture is sharp and alien. If your office copy machine could dream, perhaps this would be its fantasy: a Tron-like wasteland free of pesky humans. Your job — as the only living thing here — is to fix the synthesizer from within. Don't expect any help. There's no explicit instruction. At first, the goal appears to be find the stations plotted around the landscape, which once discovered, act like a web of futuristic monorail...
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9.0

Starbound review: space jam

In its best moments, Starbound feels infinite. As a kid, I remember daydreaming about discovering a game that never ends. These days, that dream seems a lot less far-fetched thanks to the popularity of games based on procedural generation — that is, content that is made up by the game on the fly rather than painstakingly put together by level designers. Even within that growing space, and even in its current early access form, Starbound is one of the most impressive never-ending games I've ever played. Progression is sometimes gated in arbitrary ways, and some content is obviously unfinished, but any problems I had faded to background noise in the midst of my planet-hopping, universe-spanning adventures. Starbound is one of the most impressive never-ending games ever ...
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8.0

Octodad review update: PS4 and more

If you haven't played Octodad: Dadliest Catch since it was released on PC, you'd be forgiven for initially assuming the PS4 version was just a straight port. It looks the same, it plays the same; it was, at least for the first half hour or so, the exact experience I remember from my first playthrough. That began to change once I reached the supermarket and found that the mango soda I needed to retrieve for my family had been perched not atop a free-standing pyramid of crates but a sort of half-pyramid flush with one of the supermarket walls. With the added support to crawl up, the once highly-irritating climb had become about 100 percent less infuriating It's a minor change, but representative of the several tweaks that have been made to make the paternal cephalopod's outing so much...
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GameSpy shutdown taking Borderlands, Civilization titles offline 'temporarily'

The impending shutdown of online-service provider GameSpy Technology will "temporarily" take Borderlands and some Civilization games offline as publisher 2K Games moves them from GameSpy to Steamworks, while nearly 20 other titles will lose online support, 2K announced today. GameSpy Technology, which provides the online back-end for dozens of games, announced earlier this year that it would close May 31. On that date, 2K said today, online service for eight different games will "temporarily" be halted as the publisher migrates support from GameSpy to Valve's Steamworks platform. The titles in question are Sid Meier's Civilization 3, Civilization 3: Conquests, Civilization 3: Play the World, Sid Meier's Civilization 4, Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword, Civilization 4: Colonization, C...
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Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure delayed until May

Adventure game Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure will now launch for Windows PC and Mac on May 7, the developer announced in a recent video update. Originally slated to launch April 22, the two week delay is to allow the game's creators to add more polish to the game. Tesla Effect tasks players with investigating crimes and questioning witnesses in post-apocalyptic San Francisco as "down on his luck" private investigator and series icon Tex Murphy. Tesla Effect starts after the events of 1998's Tex Murphy: Overseer, the game combines live-action with full-motion scenes and features interactive dialogue. Players can pre-order the game for $19.99 from GoG and Steam now. Those who pre-order Tesla Effect will receive the Tex Murphy Live Jazz soundtrack upon release and fourth Tex...
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World of Warcraft's Noblegarden lays eggs for players April 21-28

World of Warcraft players can partake in the egg-filled feast of Noblegarden April 21-28, according to a Battle.net post today. According to in-game lore, the annual Easter-like celebration traces its origins to ancient druidic festivals. Throughout Noblegarden, players can search low-level towns for brightly colored eggs, which can be hidden or sitting in plain view. Those eggs can contain prizes like chocolates, costumes, rare items and toys. The Noblegarden festival also offers daily quests, known as the Great Egg Hunt, as well as festival-appropriate clothing and merchants hungry for Noblegarden chocolate. You can check out the full list of seasonal items, including pets and mounts, in Battle.net's Noblegarden 2014 page. For more on the future of World of Warcraft, be sure to...
Opinion
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Game of Thrones is the first 'free-to-play' TV show, and gaming is racing to catch up

Game of Thrones is a massive hit for HBO, both in terms of the raw numbers of people watching and the cultural impact the show has had on television in general. It maintains the cable channel’s status as the home of prestige television, as HBO is a place you go when you want to keep up with what people are talking about on Monday morning.It's also a giant "victim" of piracy. 1.5 million people reported downloading the episode "The Lion and the Rose" on its first day of availability online, with upwards of 200,000 people sharing the same copy of the episode. This is a record-breaking event in the world of media piracy, but HBO doesn't seem to care. Why does a cable channel get to sit out of the piracy discussion, and even crack jokes about the popularity of its content when the question...
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Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings will help players meet in the real world April 26

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft developer Blizzard Entertainment is encouraging players of the collectible card game to meet in the real world with Fireside Gathering events scheduled for April 26. In Hearthstone, players gather around virtual tables for card battles. Fireside Gatherings invite players to assemble around real world tables to build decks, play tournaments and otherwise delve deep into the game. Those who do will unlock a special card back. You can see a list of April 26 events being held from Alabama to Hawaii on Blizzard's official Fireside Gatherings page, where you'll also find information on how to host your own event. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is available on Mac, Windows PC and iPad with Android device and iPhone versions to come. For more on the game and...
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Wasteland 2 adds Linux support in major Early Access update

Wasteland 2's Early Access release now supports Linux, delivering on its Kickstarter promise to support that platform, Mac OS and Windows PC. The support arrived in a major update to the beta, inXile Entertainment said. In addition to Linux support, Wasteland 2 added another major area to its map, a new vendor screen, and about 400 other changes, all of which may be seen in these patch notes. Wasteland 2 added Mac OS support in late February "With these major systems implemented, Wasteland 2 is in the final stages of development," inXile said, adding that the Early Access release now includes more than 40 percent of what is expected in the final game. Wasteland 2 was one of the earliest major video game successes on Kickstarter, raising $2.9 million two years ago. A final release...
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Political-based strategy game ReignMaker now available for PC via Steam

ReignMaker, a game built around political strategy and match-3 tower defense combat from indie developer Frogdice, is now available via Steam for Linux, Mac and Windows PC. The game was Greenlit last month. In ReignMaker, players build and defend a city against would-be usurpers. It includes four culture spectrums, 10 different troop types and 50 towers spread across three continents. According to Frogdice, political decisions made throughout the game will affect the story and culture of each player's kingdom. "As your capital city improves, you will have access to more powerful spells, mightier elite troops, and better battlefield gear and armaments," the game's description reads. "Along the way you will also earn achievements, complete quests, and fill your Bestiary with enemies." F...
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5 Comments

Guild Wars' nine year anniversary festivities kick off April 22

ArenaNet will launch a series of in-game festivities for the original Guild Wars' nine year anniversary on April 22 that will run through to April 29. While some of the events have already been implemented, the complete event will open the Shing Jea Boardwalk, the Dragon Arena and Rollerbeetle Racing. Special non-playable characters will also appear, and there will be a 15 minute fireworks display at the beginning of every hour in the Great Temple of Balthazar, Lion's Arch, Shing Jea Monastery and Kamadan, Jewel of Istan. During the anniversary period, the game will also offer players special items that foes will drop. There will be festive items like bottle rockets, sparklers and champagne poppers, alcohol like hard apple cider, hunter's ale and iced tea, as well as sweets like...
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The Elder Scrolls Online's guild bank disabled

The Elder Scrolls Online developer Zenimax Online Studios disabled the game's guild bank feature today on European and North American servers, according to a post on the game's official forums. The developers did not explain why the guild bank feature was disabled in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game or when players might expect it to return. The halt could be in response to a bug that Reddit user Mistress-Rarity described earlier today. "Some of you may already be aware," Mistress-Rarity wrote, "but a game breaking bug has hit ESO that allows characters to duplicate stacks of materials in their bank. It is so simple, in fact, that it is possible to do it by pure accident. I will not explain this exploit, but it is the first result of googling 'ESO Item Dupe.'" The...
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Chroma Squad gameplay video shows you everything you missed at PAX East

A video from Chroma Squad developer Behold Studios shows off 30 minutes of gameplay featured during the demo at PAX East, which took place last weekend. Chroma Squad is a tactical role-playing game in which players control a Power Rangers-esque squad for a TV show. When the cameras aren't rolling, players will cast actors, purchase equipment and craft Mechas. In the video above, game designer Mark Venturelli walks players through creating a studio, recruiting actors and putting together a squad. Once in battle, Venturelli also briefly touches on the role of the audience, how to take out enemies and more. Alpha access to Chroma Squad is currently available to Kickstarter backers and those that pay $25 through the game's website for the Beta Tester Edition. The game is expected to...
Opinion
107 Comments

Blizzard silenced Hearthstone players, and it made the game amazing

A well-constructed Mage deck in Blizzard’s free-to-play collectible card game Hearthstone has the satisfying ability to take the enemy’s figurative arm over your knee to snap the bone in two.The Polymorph card allows you to turn any minion on the board into a sheep that can only hit for one damage, with one unit of health. It can take out some of the biggest threats from your opponent. The Fireball card costs four mana and deals six points of damage to whatever it hits. But the Mage's holy terror of doom is Flame Strike. It’s not a complicated card. You don’t have to set it up in order to bring destruction on your enemy. You don’t have to build your deck around it. It costs seven mana to cast, and deals four damage to every enemy minion on the board. It all but destroys your...
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Three indies discuss the future of free-to-play games

The phrase itself conjures up emotions.The free-to-play model as it's been used in the last few years is divisive. Some see it as a way to lower the barrier to entry, to invite players into games without an upfront financial burden. Others see it used as a crass business model designed to get players to pay to win. It's not only players who wrestle with the revenue model. Developers we've spoken to are aware of its less than stellar reputation, even as they see its potential benefits. And some of them, particularly independent developers, are looking for ways to invoke the free-to-play model without the baggage associated with it. The free-to-play model is evolving, and the developers at Carbon Games, FrogDice and RobotLovesKitty showed us how. CARBON GAMES: AIRMECH ARENA Only a...
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