Wave Of Darkness
Wave Of Darkness Interview
A sequel to Legends of Dawn? It's called Wave of Darkness, and Couch has gone into the darkness to bring you all the dark details from the developer.
» Continue reading the article...
Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms
Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms Preview
Aubrielle discusses Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms, the refreshingly mature ARPG arriving next week.
» Read the article
NWN 2 Mods
Both NWN 1+2 Mods
Never Played Any Mods
Used to But Not Now
Rollers of the Realm - RPG...With Pinballs? by Hastar
Double Fine Studios - Project Cancelled - Layoffs by Hastar
Polygon - Games are better without damsels to save by Kyrer
Skyrim - Skywind Official Development Video #3 by kopija
Dragon Age: Inquisition - Available Now by Archangel
Forum WatchPSA: If You're Playing Dragon Age, Leave The Hinterlands by azarhal
Post a Picture of Yourself! by pibbur who
Unofficial Patch 1.8 released! by Wesp5
Why do people enjoy RTwP (Real-Time with Pause) combat ? by JDR13
Winter has come by Jaz
RPGWatch - Looking for News Editors
We are back again with the quest for new news posters. Our latest group of candidates turned out to be not very active, so here is your chance to do better.
I'm sure there are some of you who think you can do this, so why not give it a try and contact me via PM.
Before you do, be aware that it does take time to post news. We are looking for people with some stamina who can invest a number of hours per week and continue for a long, long time.
So, if you still think you have what it takes and want to join the glorious ranks of RPGWatch editors, contact me.
Sunday - November 23, 2014
Video Gamer - Changing Review Policy
Tom Orry has written an editorial announcing changes in their review policy.
The reason is this:
There's also an increasing likelihood that the game we review will have changed by the time it's in your hands on 'Day One'. It now seems more likely than not that a game will receive a patch between the time the disc is printed and it goes on sale. We need to account for this in our reviews.
Tom Orry announces that the changes in review policy will be these:
We will only award a game a score if we've been able to test all aspects to our satisfaction, offline and online.
We will award a game a score based on the experience at the time. Review conditions will be stated in the coverage.
Review text and scores may be updated once we've tested the game in consumer conditions, with the game released and online servers populated with real players.
Review text and scores may be updated if a title receives significant and game-changing updates post release. This does not include DLC unless offered for free to all.
If review text or score is changed the original text and score will be archived on the page.
Dragon Age: Inquisition - Impressions @ Giant Bomb
Patrick Klepek at Giant Bombs has written about his impressions for this game.
Here's a quote about his impressions:
It only took a few minutes to get up to speed. It's entirely possible series fans are upset how action-friendly BioWare's made Inquisition, but it also means just about anyone can understand the basics by the time the first combat sequence is over....... Even though Inquisition represents the third game in the Dragon Age series, it's not the conclusion of a trilogy. There's dangling threads from the previous games, but everything hasn't been building to this event. It's simply another chapter, and one that invites newcomers as much as it rewards veterans.
Double Fine Studios - Project Cancelled - Layoffs
A yet undisclosed project fell through so that the developer had to let 12 people go from the company. A quote from Tim Schafer:
"One of our unannounced projects was unexpectedly cancelled by its publisher, forcing us to reduce our staff by 12 people," Double Fine founder Tim Schafer said in a statement to GameSpot. "Our remaining projects -- Broken Age, Massive Chalice, and Grim Fandango Remastered, were unaffected." Double Fine did not disclose the nature of the project or the publisher who canceled it.
Dragon Age: Inquisition - Impressions @ Inc Gamers
Tim McDonald from Inc Gamers has written a piece about his first impressions playing Dragon Age: Inquisition. A quote in Bioware has marketed this game:
But BioWare have been making all the right noises about Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’ll have a tactical camera, they say; it’s being designed primarily for PC, they say. Considering the ludicrous Kickstarter and post-Kickstarter success of several other tactical CRPGs (Project Eternity/Pillars of Eternity, Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2,Torment: Tides of Numenera…) it’s not entirely impossible that EA has actually taken notice of this and said “oh, go on then, make a proper CRPG.”
A quote on the options when starting the game:
Graphics aside, there are a number of other options. There are subtitles for both ambient dialogue and full conversations, and there are separate options for text and speech language (although in my version the only available language is English, so that’s kinda superfluous to me). There’s even a Friendly Fire option for that full Dragon Age: Originsexperience, but as it’s turned off by default, I’m not touching it. While I miss having to very carefully aim my abilities, if Dragon Age: Inquisition wasn’t designed around friendly fire then I suspect turning it on would make me very sad, very quickly.
A quote on the tactical camera:
I fucking hate the tactical camera. It is incredibly, absurdly, stupendously useless. The tactical combat itself might be fine - it's got auto-pauses, and I can select skills and click on enemies, and I can even see which other characters I've assigned to attacking that enemy and what skill they're going to use. That's pretty great. I still can't shake off the MMO feeling for some reason, and I've still got worries that the game was designed to be played in the third-person view and the tactical combat was slapped on afterwards, but there's clearly been at least some thought given to battling in this way.
Polygon - Games are better without damsels to save
Claire Hosking has written an opinion piece for Polygon. It it, she argues that game
don't need to have damsels in distress to save. And that they are better this way.
The starting point for Claire Hosking is this:
Anita Sarkeesian's Feminist Frequency series has amazing influence for someone who's simply doing what so many have done before - making videos about about their opinions on books, TV, film and video games.... Anthony Burch, Joss Whedon and Tim Schafer - have listened and encouraged their followers to take note, while Saints Row creative Director Steve Jaros has said, "I actually think [Tropes vs. Women creator Anita Sarkeesian's] right in this case" when a video was critical of an aspect of the game.
Claire Hoskings argues that when a female character has to e.g. rescued by the player she becomes just a thing to fetch. She does so with a quote from Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes in Video Games, part 1:
...[damseling is] a plot device in which a female character is placed in a perilous situation from which she cannot escape on her own and must be rescued by a male character, usually providing a core incentive or motivation for the protagonist’s quest. In video games this is most often accomplished via kidnapping but it can also take the form of petrification or demon possession for example."
Games like Bioshock or Gone Home use audio logs and environmental narrative to flesh out characters you’re searching for; they’re games about entering their world and understanding their life. It’s an interesting game design question — there are many, many reasons why a character might be interesting to find or deliberately trying to keep something from you. Every one of them says more about the character than just someone being taken away and locked up.
While they are damsels, they exist for others and no longer have their own initiative or interactions......It also frequently portrays love as transactional — save girl, get kiss — rather than something that springs from spending time with a person and getting to know them. None of this makes for good writing. The fact damseling happens overwhelmingly to female characters has a particular meaning in a society that has historically restricted women’s freedoms and denied them equal autonomy with men.
Friday - November 21, 2014
Skyrim - Skywind Official Development Video #3
Wasteland 2 - Review @ RPG Codex
Vault Dweller and Eric S has reviewed this game for RPGCodex.
A quote about the setting:
Setting & Atmosphere
Wasteland takes places in an over-the-top post-apocalyptic universe that doesn't concern itself with realism... It's a Philip K. Dick-esque version of post-apocalypse, governed not by the most likely survival scenarios but rather by "but what if..." possibilities; weird, strange, yet undeniably fun... t's hard not to smile when you hear a choir singing "James King foresaw the doom of all, His book predicting man's great fall, And bade brave men to light the way, For those who lived through judgment day..." on the radio while traveling. I'd say it's this attention to detail, the well-presented moral dilemmas and the reactivity that make this world interesting and definitely worth exploring.
A quote on skill use:
Most skills are useful, used often, and require constant investing, which is a good thing. I split my skills between 4 characters, creating a leader/talker, scientist/healer, container opener (lockpicking, safecracking, alarm disarming, trap removing) and a ‘significant other' (perception, weaponsmithing, toaster repair). Originally, I was planning to put a couple of points in non-combat skills and focus on weapon skills, but I had to keep all skills as high as I could and ended up leaving many unopened containers, unexplored dialogue options and various untouched items of interest.
A quote on quest design:
NPCs comment on everything, making quips about quests you've completed and things you've done. Radio chatter scolds or congratulates you on your failures and successes. Even when the choices you've made don't have major consequences, everyone always has something to say about it. The game tracks and acknowledges every single thing you do down to the equipment you're using, which can be mind-boggling at times.
Wasteland 2SP/MP: Single-player
Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms - Now on GOG
Shadows: Heretic KingdomsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Shadow of Mordor - Play as Lithariel in a Free DLC
A new free DLC for Shadow of Mordor gives you the chance to play as Lithariel, Warrior Leader of the Resistance.
Shadow of Mordor has gotten itself a new DLC pack today, and happily it’s quite free. In the Power of Defiance DLC pack, you can play as Lithariel thanks to a new skin, undergo a new challenge, and receive an epic rune.
The new challenge obtained through playing as Lithariel, the Warrior Leader of the Resistance, is the Test of Defiance. Taking on this challenge strips you of your ability to enter wraith-mode or save the game, nor can you retreat from a battle. Lithariel has one life, and you must make the best of it to kill 6 Warchiefs and 15 captains. However, if you equip the new Epic rune “Defiant to the End,” you’ll have one extra shot to take care of business before saying good-bye to life.
The Power of Defiance DLC is free for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It’s available now to download.
Source: Pixel Dynamo
Shadow of MordorSP/MP: Single + MP
Elite: Dangerous - Backlash Over Online-Only Emphasis
Frontier Developments has had a rough week after the studio announced that Elite: Dangerous's single-player offline mode would be cut. Refunds are being given to some.
When Frontier Developments announced a week ago that they’d scrapped Elite: Dangerous‘s promised offline singleplayer mode, they were a little hazy on what would happen for folks who wanted a refund. It was a feature Frontier had listed on the Kickstarter that raised over £1.5 million, after all, and one they still teased as Elite went through its expensive paid alpha and beta stretches. Well, Frontier now have some vague policy on refunds, and it’s questionable: if you’re played at all, you can’t have one.
Creator David Braben explained in this week’s Elite newsletter that they’ve started going through refund requests and chiefly follow two simple rules. If you simply pre-ordered the game from Frontier, you can have a refund. If you’ve played in the alpha or beta phases, regardless of whether you backed the Kickstarter or bought access later, can’t get a refund. If you don’t fit into either category – perhaps you’re just a plain old regular backer who wants a refund – Frontier are still working on that. Braben says:
We want to make sure we treat each person’s situation with the thoroughness it deserves, and have contacted each of them to ask that they bear with us over the next few working days if their circumstances do not fit either criteria above as we look into individual requests.
Honestly, I think they should be a lot more forthcoming with refunds and set out a very clear refund policy. Yes, folks may have played the alpha or beta for a while but those were perks – expensive perks. In the end, the finished game isn’t what they were sold. This might not be a dealbreaker for everyone, but it is for some. Even folks who intended to play primarily offline might still have gone online to check out progress on the game they’d paid a lot for, as that was the only option. And Kickstarter backers who haven’t played it should definitely have the option of a refund.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Dragon Age: Inquisition - HD Concept Art
Are you a Dragon Age: Inquisition fan? Want some new desktop backgrounds?
Dragon Age: Inquisition lead concept artist Matt Rhodes has been busy sharing a variety of highly detailed and wallpaper-worthy pieces of concept art from the game on his personal blog and ArtStation page, so if you're looking for something new to adorn your desktop with or simply want to revel in the work that goes into bringing a video game to life, you now have a definitive destination.
Thursday - November 20, 2014
Sketch Tales - On Kickstarter
Scetch Tales is a First-person action RPG sandbox game, where you can transform the game by drawing anything while playing and is currently on Kickstarter.
In the game you draw your character and play with it, while drawing the objects in the game world around you.
- Gameplay level - anything you meet in the game world you can redraw or duplicate. For instance, different kinds of weapons, animals and NPCs, parts of buildings and elements of nature.
- Exploration level - search the world to find new tools and Sketches – scrolls, that allow you to draw new types of objects and creatures.
- Educational level - while playing Sketch Tales, you will improve your real-life drawing skills. Evolve from simple black & white drafts to complete paintings in full color.
- Technical level - easy and accessible ingame drawing editor with the opportunity to make almost unlimited frames for animation.
It certainly is something different.
Shroud of the Avatar - Release 12
Shroud of the AvatarSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Hero-U - Post-Funding Update #59
Corey Cole brings us a development update for Hero-U, which contains amongst others a new release date, which is now set to October 2015.
Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption funding campaign on Kickstarter. We’ve gone through many changes since then. Our original delivery estimate of October 2013 proved to be ridiculously optimistic. We based it more on the amount of time we could pay the team based on the Kickstarter contributions than on the actual requirements of building a unique new game. At that time, it didn't occur to me that we could use a combination of Kickstarter and other funding sources for the game.
I have resisted posting a new release date because we have had so many unknown factors, each causing more delays. Now that we are at 90% complete on art and music, and making good progress on the game writing, Lori and I have committed to a release date of Oct. 15, 2015. So, yes, two years into a one year project, we have exactly as much time remaining as I originally estimated the whole project would take. Project estimation is evidently not my top skill.
Actually, it’s that the project is not what we thought it would be when we began the Kickstarter campaign. However, the real issue turns out to be in the work Lori and I are doing, which in turn involves some promises we made during the campaign.
Release: In development
Dragon Age: Inquisition - Bioware Aware of Community Concerns
Mark Darrah has made this thread at the DAI forums to adress the concerns raised by the community after the release of this game. A patch is being worked that'll adress these
Hitching and frame rate issues in cutscenes
Feedback on keyboard and mouse controls
General user interface optimizations for PC
We've been following these issues closely and are looking into them. Player experience is a top priority for us. Our goal is to address as many of these as possible in our upcoming patches, including some in our next patch, which is underway. We'll release further details in the coming days and will continue to monitor your concerns.
Final Fantasy XIV - Barraged With DDoS Attacks
Final Fantasy XIV's servers have sustained a barrage of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. Nobody knows who's responsible, or why they're doing it.
Earlier today, reports surfaced that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has been under attack from a Direct (correction: Distributed) Denial of Service (DDoS) assault. A post on the game’s official site confirms the attacks, but assures players that no character or personal information has been compromised.
According to the official post, the game’s servers have been hit by “an anonymous third-party” for several days, which has affected login to the game servers in North America and Europe. To clarify, a DDoS is a targeted attack that, as the official post explains, “attemp[s] to increase the server load to an extensive level by flooding the network of the targeted servers using a massive number of computers.”
DDoS attacks are somewhat commonplace for most high-profile online systems; World of Warcraft‘s expansion launch faced a similar attack last weekend. They are usually resolved quickly, but this time around the attackers have apparently been changing their methods constantly to thwart attempts to block them from overloading the servers.
Square Enix apologized to players for the interruptions, and has assured everyone that they will “continue to monitor and work on recovery from every possible angle.” No word yet on who may be responsible for the attacks or what their ultimate goal may be.
Source: Pixel Dynamo
Final Fantasy XIVSP/MP: Massive
Lineage Eternal - Set for Worldwide Release??
Lineage Eternal, the next installment in the immensely popular (and beautiful) Lineage franchise, is headed for release, and players outside of Asia may even get to see it.
After unveiling a glimpse of Lineage Eternal in a recent gameplay trailer, NCSoft has released more information ahead of the upcoming G-Star show in Korea.
Announced in 2011 at a previous G-Star event, Lineage Eternal : Twilight Resistance is the next incarnation in the astronomically successful Lineage franchise. With Lineage II still massively popular in eastern markets NCSoft is looking to build on this with this latest release. A closed beta for Lineage Eternal has been announced for this winter, and the game is expected to release well after this with a surprise announcement for western fans.
Traditionally, releases in the Korean market have meant a long wait for us in the west to get our hands on the bleeding edge of eastern gaming. Publishers such as NCSoft have required players to validate account and this validation has fundamentally localised releases in the eastern market. Rather than continue with this status quo, it is rumoured Lineage Eternal will allow users to sign up using a new NCSoft platform with a PlayNC, Facebook or Google+ account.
If this is accurate, we could well see a simultaneous worldwide release of Lineage Eternal, which would be a massive step for NCSoft as well as its global fan base. If Lineage does release globally, it could capture a huge market and see off competition from games such as Lost Ark in one stroke. With dynamically generated dungeons, 20 man raids, guild PvP, massive 500 player environments and cloud based mobile gaming support, it’s already shaping up to be far more than just another Diablo 3 competitor.
Thanks to N4G and PixelDynamo for the scoop.
WoW - Subscriber Count Spikes Following Draenor Release
World of Warcraft, like the common cold, refuses to die. Subscriber numbers have spiked following the launch of their latest expansion.
We reported back in October that the World of Warcraft subscriber base was sitting at 7.4 million, but with the arrival of the Warlords of Draenor expansion last week that number has surpassed 10 million.
It's a familiar pattern with expansion releases: indeed, the same thing happened when Mists of Pandaria released, pointing to the logic behind Blizzard's desire to annualise expansion roll-outs. Still, the pattern indicates that World of Warcraft isn't going away any time soon. The expansion pack itself has sold a whooping 3.3 million copies already.
While the numbers are impressive, the Warlords of Draenor expansion was beset with launch difficulties fairly uncommon to Blizzard. Widespread problems accessing overcrowded servers has prompted the studio to reward players with five days of free access.
We published our Warlords of Draenor review in progress last week, with a final verdict arriving soon. I spoke to designer Ion Hazzikostas last month to coincide with the MMO's tenth anniversary. He thinks the game has another ten years in it.
Source: PC Gamer
Epic Battle Fantasy 4 - Turn-Based RPG
A while back, Benetar tipped me off to Epic Battle Fantasy 4, a lighthearted turn-based RPG heavily inspired by Final Fantasy and other JRPG classics. Thanks, Benetar!
Epic Battle Fantasy 4 is a light-hearted turn-based RPG, heavily inspired by old classics. You will battle through waves of adorable enemies, grow your characters, explore a diverse world, solve puzzles, and finally, save the world from the destructive Godcat.
Over 140 different enemies to slaughter, from fluffy animals to gods.
Over 170 different items of equipment, and 150 different usable skills, allowing for lots of character customization.
Lots of humor and references to video games and anime.
Inspired by 16-bit era RPGs, minus the annoying features like random battles or save points.
A mix of orchestral and electronic background music by HalcyonicFalconX. Full Soundtrack included!
25 hours of gameplay, plus Newgame+, survival and boss rush modes.
Suitable for both casual and hardcore gamers.
Rollers of the Realm - RPG...With Pinballs?
We've been tipped off to Rollers of the Realm, an RPG that takes place on a series of pinball tables. Quirky, but unique. Thanks for the tip, Black Rune!
Rollers of the Realm™ combines the frantic physics of classic arcade pinball with the character-driven adventure of fantasy role-playing games. Bounce, spin, and battle through scenes of an epic storyline with a band of medieval misfits tasked with reclaiming the world from dark and ancient magic. Winner of a "Best in Play" Award at GDC Play 2014, IndieCade finalist in 2013.
A new spin on pinball: includes physics-based puzzles and combat with unique nudge and flipper mechanics.
10 hot-swappable player characters (represented by balls), each with a unique size, weight, and stats.
Unleash devastating special abilities: flaming swords, animal companions, hailstorms, bombs!
Upgrade stats and special abilities as your party levels up.
30+ Campaign levels to discover and replay. Fully-voiced storyline.
Combat focused: battle grunts, elites, bosses... and more.
Loot drops: gold, score and mana multipliers, power-ups, and treasure.
Arena Mode: 5 challenging boards with Steam Leaderboard support.
Neverwinter - Rise of Tiamat Expansion Launches
The deliciously playable and ever-popular Neverwinter launched its Rise of Tiamat expansion, including a 25-player instance and an iconic Forgotten Realms villain.
In the culmination of the Season of Dragons, Rise of Tiamat follows the events of the fourth Neverwinter module – Tyranny of Dragons – and the Siege of Neverwinter event. Starting today, adventurers will venture to the Well of Dragons, a new adventure zone that has been ransacked by the Cult of the Dragon. With the summoning of Tiamat from the Nine Hells looming over the land of Faerûn, adventurers must band together to battle one of Dungeons & Dragons most fearsome villains.
“Our team is extremely pleased to bring Tiamat to Neverwinter, as she is one of the most iconic villains in Dungeons & Dragons lore,” said Rob Overmeyer, executive producer of Neverwinter. “In order to have her live up to expectations, we created one of the largest in-game encounters ever made for our game. It’s a testament to our team’s goal of delivering a quality Dungeons & Dragons and gameplay experience.”
Wednesday - November 19, 2014
Dragon Age: Inquisition - The Dawn Will Come
Ever wondered what would happen if David Gaider and a composer sat down and wrote something together; well this is what you'll get: a song called The Dawn Will Come from the DAI soundtrack. You can hear it here.
Thanks to Lux at the DAI forums for finding this.
Dragon Age: Inquisition - Rumor of DRM breaking SDD drives
You might have heard the rumor by now that the Denuvo anti-tamper technology on Dragon Age: Inquisition and also Lords of the Fallen is reducing the life expectency of SSDs by performing large amounts of writes to your hard disk. There are several threads on the topic. Here is one on Reddit. The source of this information appears to be Russian.
The company itself denies these rumors and states that: "Denuvo Anti-Tamper does not constantly read or write any data to storage media" and: "Denuvo Anti-Tamper does not continuously encrypt and decrypt any data on storage media. To do so would be of no benefit in terms of security or performance".
Unless there is some actual proof that can be reproduced and/or verified, this rumor is just what it is, a rumor.