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Heroes of a Broken Land

2014-11-25

Heroes of a Broken Land Review

Forgottenlor takes us to Heroes of a Broken Land, and shows us what it's like to be a demigod in this retro dungeon crawler.
» Continue reading the article...

Wave Of Darkness

2014-11-14

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.
» Read the article

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Picture Watch

King's Bounty: The Legend
Box Art

Poll Watch

Do You Still Play NWN Mods?
NWN Mods
12%

NWN 2 Mods
10.67%

Both NWN 1+2 Mods
13.33%

Never Played Any Mods
29.33%

Used to But Not Now
34.67%

Vote

Expected Releases

Nov: Raven's Cry
Dec: Bloom
Dec: Dead State
Dec: Lost Spirits of Kael
Dec: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Thursday - November 27, 2014

The Witcher Adventure Game - Released on GOG

by Abharsair, 20:31

Not sure if it qualifies as an RPG, but The Witcher Adventure Game certainly has some RPG-elements and we have plenty of The Witcher fans here (including me), so posting news about its release on GOG is probably warranted. The price in its first week is $8.99, after which it will increase to $9.99.

The Witcher Adventure Game takes players on a journey across the world of the Witcher as they assume the roles of four distinct characters known from the books and video games: Geralt of Rivia, monster slayer; Triss Merigold, cunning sorceress; Yarpen Zigrin, dwarven warrior; and Dandelion, roguish bard. Each character has unique skills and multiple ways of overcoming obstacles - the choice is yours: do you fight your way to victory, call on your charm or try your hand at diplomacy? It's the true spirit of board gaming brought straight to your computer screen. Set in the mature and brutal world of The Witcher the game features 4 unique heroes with different skills and approaches to problem solving. With clear, simple rules and intuitive mechanics, tons of quest cards allow players to tell a new tale every time they play. Look adventure in the eye in a world with which you'll fall in love!

Source: GOG

The Witcher Adventure Game

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Card-Based RPG
Platform: PC, Mac
Release: Released

Details

Dragon Age: Inquisition - sulky, uncommunicative companions investigated

by Redsocialknight, 17:56

I knew something was wrong! Multiple outlets are reporting that, if Inquisition seemed to have a lot less banter and charm than past Bioware games, that's a bug, not a change in tone.

That bit where Solas winds Sera up about her unexplored innate magical ability because she messed with his things? Mad bants - the kind some people are missing out on in Dragon Age: Inquisition because of a bug.

Some people have ploughed hours upon hours into the fantasy adventure only to be frustrated at the lack of chat between party members as they explore. There are pages of reports - on the EA Answers HQ support forum - of people only encountering a handful of occasions of banter in upwards of 10, 15, 20 hours of play, and longer.

BioWare has acknowledged the problem and is asking for 60+ hour game-saves, in which the player experienced the problem, for research purposes.

The causes aren't known but there's a workaround of sorts that has met some success.

Here's the partial workaround, courtesy of helpful user Maljester on the EA forums. Basically you mess with the audio settings until something resets. But it doesn't help in all areas -- Maljester reports that for him, Val Royeaux remains as bare of music and talk as ever.

Enchant_m3nt on the BSN Feedback thread had success with cycling/changing the audio settings to trigger banter and fix music/combat dialogue. I'd sadly had no luck with the mount/camp rest/teleport combo, and to my absolute astonishment - Houston, we have music and banter! (For those having trouble with the glitch, try the mount/dismount-rest, or trying the audio settings cycle to trigger banter/music.)

At first I ran around in the Hinterlands for awhile, trying out mount/rest. Dorian/Sera/Bull wouldn't talk, so I change from (Home Theatre - TV), get into combat, get combat noise, and 1min later, Dorian/Sera have a banter. Stumble into more combat with correct combat noise, 1 min later, get another banter between them. Run all the way to Redcliffe Village, Dorian makes an ambient comment (I have gotten ambient comments before, though), but then everyone stopped talking. 

For those with the glitch, keep an ear out as you're playing for music and combat dialogue - if they're both working, there should be a higher probability you'll get banter to trigger, too.

Source: EuroGamer

Dragon Age: Inquisition

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Steam - the Latest Holiday Sale

by Redsocialknight, 04:34

And now Steam's holiday sale is up. It's not quite as irresistibly wallet-busting as in previous years, but there's lots of stuff from the RPGWatch Curation List, including:

And as usual a bunch of classic series like Geneforge and Avernum can be had for a few bucks each. Myself, I'm going to listen to the 'Watch and pick up The Last Remnant -- not a game I would normally have considered, but you guys haven't steered me wrong yet.

[Update: some of the stuff Steam has on sale is cheaper today at Greenmangaming -- in particular you can get Dishonored at five bucks instead of ten. Thanks, JDR13.]

Source: Steam

Steam

Details

Pillars of Eternity - Voiceovers and the First Complete Playthroughs

by Redsocialknight, 03:57

Joshua Sawyer has posted Update #87 on the development of Pillars of Eternity. The Obsidian team just finished a "play week" in which developers were given the chance to play the whole game from start to finish rather than sticking to the limited span of the backer beta. Sawyer writes:

We learned a lot from the play week.  Most notably: Pillars of Eternity is a big game. 

Only two of our developers managed to finish.  One was a designer who developed a lot of the crit path and sprinted straight for the end.  The other found an early ending and decided to wrap his story up there. About half of the developers had not yet made it to Defiance Bay (the first big city).

In his wonkish way, Sawyer also breaks down a list of gameplay tweaks, including:

  • Combat was still too fast.  We increased the Recovery of most creatures and tuned the global Recovery factor to slow down combat overall. 
  • Melee Engagement needs to be communicated more clearly. (Yes it does!)
  • Standard casting and Recovery times were too long. The standard casting time was adjusted down to make casting feel less sluggish.
  • Hiring adventurers, buying items, crafting, and enchanting were all much too expensive. These have all been made more affordable.
  • All classes need a per encounter ability to use at 1st level. (Yes we do!)

They're also beginning to add voiced dialogue and character barks, as well as continuing to expand the variety of character portraits. A new Pale Elf and a couple from the Vailan Republic are below.

Source: Obsidian Entertainment

Pillars of Eternity

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Numenera - Back on Kickstarter

by Myrthos, 00:11

Monte Cook's Numenera is back on Kickstarter, this time you can get yourself a deluxe boxed version of the game rules, which are behind Torment: Tides of Numenera.

The Kickstarter has already been funded, but there are still 16 days to go if you want to join the crowd and help reach more stretch goals.

At Monte Cook Games, we love Numenera and we love Numenera fans. We want to give them the best, coolest, most wonderful products that we can create. 

Now that the game has been out well over a year, won many awards, and garnered an audience of enthusiastic fans, we'd like to do something special--but only if it's something that you'd like too. Our idea is to create a boxed set, like the RPG boxed sets of our youth, for this game. Only we'd love to make it absolutely beautiful and crammed full of all the coolest extra content we can come up with: character sheets, XP cards, and even a gorgeous cloth version of the poster map! With your help, we’re going to make it a reality. If this sounds cool to you, pledge now: This is a short Kickstarter, and once it’s over there is likely to never be another opportunity to get Numenera in a boxed edition!

(Already own Numenera? Don't worry--we've got some things that will interest you as well as those new to the game.)

Kickstarter

Details

Wednesday - November 26, 2014

Dragon Age: Inquisition - editorial mini round-up

by Redsocialknight, 21:54

Unsurprisingly, the internet has many opinions about the fancy new Dragon Age game. Here's a few of them!

Philip Hargreaves at The Sixth Axis actually likes the multiplayer mode.

Originally, Inquisition’s online multiplayer started out as its own standalone game. During the development of Dragon Age II, BioWare used the Frostbite 3 engine to create codename “Blackfoot”. Although never released, the co-op dungeon-crawling experiment lives on through the series’ latest instalment.

Someone at Gamefront has already finished the game (beating all our Watchers? Dart?) and didn't love the ending.

Inquisition has a few parts that give off that “ran out of money” vibe, the most egregious of which is the final battle with [...]

And that's where I stopped reading, fearful of spoilers. Lastly, Erik Kain at Forbes fuels all our worst fears by declaring that Inquisition is a great game ... for an MMO.

For that matter, Inquisition actually feels like a very good MMO, with much better quests and stories than your average title, built around a wonderful, richly detailed world. [...] 

Now, all of this has me wondering if BioWare isn’t just warming up, if Dragon Age: Inquisition isn’t just a test-bed for a Dragon Age Online. A blueprint of sorts, which we’re all beta-testing.

No.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Game Informer - 10 Signs That You May Be A Neurotic RPG Player

by Abharsair, 20:19

I'm probably guilty of at least a few of the 10 mentioned points and I have the feeling I'm not alone with that here on the Watch.

Every active quest in your journal nags at your soul
Most quests fall into two categories: The ones that you’ve completed, and the ones that stare at you, piteously, taunting you with your inability to complete them. ...

or

You will not rest until every inch of the map has been uncovered
Once I finally make it out of town, things don’t get much better. Actually, they get worse. When I pull up my map, I look at it like a larger version of the town map. It’s some kind of fractal nightmare. If there’s a fog of war-style haze obscuring my vision, I’ll methodically walk in a pattern like I’m mowing the lawn, in the event that I’d miss something. I rarely do. Ugh.

Actually, scratch that - I'm guilty of all the points. I guess it's time to create the RPGaholics Anonymous.

Source: Game Informer

Game Informer

Details

Blizzard - holiday sale is happening

by Redsocialknight, 18:57

PC Gamer reports that Blizzard has begun its own holiday sale.

Steam sales may be landmarks on the PC gaming discount calendar, but there is one event that's altogether rarer. A Blizzard sale comes but once a year: like Christmas, if, instead of reindeer, there were an all-consuming race of insectoid aliens.

Among the deals are:

  • Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty - £8.50/$10
  • Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm - £8.50/$10
  • Diablo 3 - £16.50/$20
  • Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls - £16.50/$20
  • World of Warcraft - £4/$5

The version of WoW on sale includes everything prior to Warlords of Draenor, so if you were curious about Pandaria but not that curious, now's the time.

Source: PC Gamer

Blizzard

Details

Blackguards 2 - German Release PR

by Gorath, 18:12

Usually games are more expensive in Germany than in most other countries, but this time the Germans get special treatment. Daedalic will relase two retail editions of Blackguards 2 in January. The standard edition only costs 19.99€, the premium edition 29.99€. The latter includes a DRM-free game on DVD, soundtrack and other digital bonus content, and a Steam key.

Here is the PR:

Blackguards 2 in zwei Editionen im deutschen Handel – „Box günstiger als digital“

Hamburg/München, 26. November 2014 – Daedalic Entertainment und EuroVideo Medien bringen Blackguards 2, den Nachfolger zum SRPG-Erfolg im Universum von Das Schwarze Auge, am 20. Januar 2015 in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz in zwei verschiedenen Editionen in den Handel.
 
Zum unverbindlichen Verkaufspreis von 19,99 € bieten Daedalic und EuroVideo eine Standard-Edition an, die das Spiel und ein Handbuch enthält. Für 29,99 € (UVP) erhalten Spieler eine Premium Edition, die neben der DRM-freien Fassung des Spiels auf DVD zusätzlich eine zweite, über einen Steam-Key aktivierbare Version, eine Soundtrack-CD, einen Strategie-Guide und ein Poster enthält.
Weiterhin wird Blackguards 2 über Steam, GOG und weitere digitale Download-Portale zum Preis von 29,99 € erhältlich sein.
 
„EuroVideo und wir bieten mit der Standard-Edition von Blackguards 2 eine Box-Version an, die deutlich günstiger erhältlich ist als die weltweit veröffentlichte Digitalfassung. Käufer der für 29,99 € erhältlichen Premium-Editionen erhalten natürlich auch digital entsprechende Zusatzinhalte, die ihr Geld wert sind. Mit der Standard-Edition wollen wir aber ausdrücklich den Handel unterstützen und einen Anreiz dafür schaffen, dieses Spiel als physische Kopie im Laden zu erwerben“, erklärt Carsten Fichtelmann, Gründer und CEO von Daedalic Entertainment.
 
„Wir hoffen, dass der Handel von diesem Angebot regen Gebrauch macht. Wir haben uns bewusst dazu entschieden, nur die Box-Version in zwei Editionen anzubieten, so dass der Handel Blackguards 2 zu einem starken Preis anbieten kann, aber auch die attraktive Premium-Edition im Sortiment hat, die die gleichen Inhalte bietet wie die zum gleichen Preis bei verschiedenen Online-Portalen erhältliche Download-Fassung“, ergänzt Steffen Hippe, Sales Director von EuroVideo Medien.
 
Mit Blackguards 2 veröffentlicht Daedalic Entertainment Anfang 2015 den Nachfolger zum erfolgreichen SRPG im Universum von Das Schwarze Auge: Wieder entführt der Mix aus Rollenspiel und rundenbasierter Strategie in den düsteren Süden Aventuriens. Gut drei Jahre nach den Ereignissen im ersten Blackguards-Spiel hat der Sklavenhändler Marwan die Macht über Südaventurien an sich gerissen und regiert die Region mit eiserner Hand. Den Blackguards ist Marwan als Betreiber der  „Neun Horden“-Arena in nicht wirklich bester Erinnerung geblieben – kein Wunder, dass die Schurken trotz ihrer kriminellen Vergangenheit nun wieder als erste Wahl gelten, wenn es darum geht, Marwan zu stürzen und sein Terrorregime zu beenden. Freiwillig mischen sie sich allerdings nicht in die aventurische Politik ein, dafür hat sich in ihrem Leben in den letzten Jahren zu viel verändert: Zwerg Naurim schwelgt in unermesslichem Reichtum und ausufernden Feiern, so dass es kaum einen Anreiz für ihn gibt, wieder in Abenteuern und Kämpfen Kopf und Kragen zu riskieren. Zauberer Zurbaran hingegen ist zurück in Gefangenschaft und muss sich als Sklave verdingen. Und der ehemalige Gladiator Takate hat aus all seinen vorherigen Abenteuern nichts Gutes gelernt und betreibt nun seine ganz eigene Arena, in der er sich am liebsten an der ganzen Menschheit für all das rächen will, was ihm angetan wurde. Es bedarf schon einer ganz besonderen Person wie der neuen zentralen Heldin Cassia, um die Blackguards noch einmal zusammenzutrommeln…
In rundenbasierten Kämpfen treten die Spieler von Blackguards 2 gegen Marwan und seine Armeen an – unter anderem erwarten sie dabei übernatürliche Kreaturen – Zwischenwesen, die halb Tier, halb Dämonen sind, erschaffen von Chimärologen im Auftrage Marwans. Wie auch schon im ersten Spiel bieten die Kämpfe in Blackguards 2 viele optionale Elemente – etwa interaktive Gegenstände, die sowohl Spieler als auch Gegner zu ihrem Vorteil einsetzen können, sowie zusätzliche oder alternative Questziele, die jeden Kampf zu einem einzigartigen Erlebnis machen.
Als Rollenspiel wartet Blackguards 2 nicht nur mit einem non-linearen Spielverlauf auf, in dem die Städte und Gebiete Südaventuriens erobert oder auch vor Marwan verteidigt werden müssen, sondern auch mit vielen Nebenquesten, die zusätzliche Spannung versprechen.
Zusätzliche Unterstützung erhalten die Spieler in Blackguards 2 von Söldner-Anführer Faramud und seinen Truppen: Künftig können seine Mannen in Kämpfen und darüber hinaus unterstützen – solange sie denn entsprechend entlohnt werden. Auch außerhalb des Kampfes bieten die Söldnertruppen wertvolle Dienste an – dann und wann erlauben sie etwa das „Verhör“ von Gefangenen, um an wichtige taktische Informationen für bevorstehende Schlachten zu gelangen. Spieler können sich so etwa Überraschungsangriffe oder zusätzliche Belohnungen freischalten.

Das Rollenspielregelwerk, das Blackguards 2 zugrunde liegt, wurde zudem an die Wünsche der Blackguards-Community angepasst: Viele Bereiche wie etwa Regelentscheidungen oder die Charakterentwicklung während des Spiels wurden zugänglicher und verständlicher gestaltet, ohne jedoch die DSA-Wurzeln aufzugeben.
Größere, komplexere Kampfkarten, viele neue Questen, Gegner, Waffen und Ausrüstungsgegenstände und vieles mehr erwarten die Spieler in Blackguards 2. Die Veröffentlichung für PC und Mac erfolgt Ende Januar 2015.

 So this time the retail version is cheaper than DL.

Blackguards 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Blackguards 2 - Official Release PR

by Gorath, 18:04

Daedalic isued a PR confirming the already circulating release for Blackguards 2, adding some details. Here's the whole thing minus the company blurp:

Blackguards 2 release date revealed 
Daedalic Entertainment announced that on January 20th 2015 gamers will be able to jump into even more challenging and strategic RPG battles as Blackguards 2 will be released worldwide for PC and Mac.

Listening to Blackguards fans’ feedback throughout the development process, Daedalic’s team added desired features, unique enemies as well as enhanced and improved gameplay. In Blackguards 2, battles will be even more epic, with their handling being significantly tweaked to make them more straight-forward, but also more challenging. Players can test just how fun these new features are in Blackguards 2 from January 20th onwards.

For £22.99 Blackguards 2 will be available on Steam, GOG and other major online stores, featuring full English and German localization as well as subtitles in Spanish, French, Russian, Polish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese and Korean.

Blackguards 2 will again be based on the RPG rulebook of The Dark Eye and will stay an SRPG focussing on turn-based, strategic battles with a group of scoundrels as anti-heroes.

 Our German readers should have at the other newsbit nearby. ;)

 Thanks  m00n1ight!

Blackguards 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Crusader Kings II - 'Way of Life' Role-Playing DLC Announced

by Killias2, 17:28

Paradox Development Studio has announced Way of Life, the next DLC for Crusader Kings IICrusader Kings II is a medieval grand strategy game where you play different members of a dynasty over time.  Although it shares much in common with fellow Paradox developed grand strategy series Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, and Victoria, its period and individual-level focus gives it a bit more of a role-playing feel than its siblings.  With this DLC specifically focusing on role-playing elements, I thought it may be of interest for the Watch.

Details:

Today we’re announcing that we’re in the midst of developing something new for Crusader Kings II, a project that will allow you to get even deeper into the role-playing aspects of the game. Way of Life, the next DLC for CK2, will let you become a better (or worse!) ruler and grant you more power over personal relationships than ever before.

Sure, it’s nice to have someone cozy up to you and be your lover while you’re sitting atop the throne, but what if you could choose who to seduce? Or, after getting into that relationship on the side, what if you discover that you just need some space and had a way to break it off? You know, without having your soon-to-be ex-lover assassinated. These things and much more, including hundreds of new events, are coming to Way of Life.

Crusader Kings II

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Historical
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Battle for Wesnoth - 1.12 Patch Update

by Killias2, 17:08

This is a bit off-topic, but we've covered Battle for Wesnoth patch notes in the past.  This may be of interest to a number of our readers.

The Battle for Wesnoth, a free fantasy turn-based strategy game, has been updated to 1.12:

This release features many improvements in all areas, including a completely revamped interface, a new multiplayer faction, dozens of new portraits, updated unit animations, hundreds of bug fixes, and a vastly improved map editor.

Check out the full patch notes for (lots!) more information.

Battle for Wesnoth

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Torchlight - Free for Limited Time

by Killias2, 16:40

Arc, a new gaming platform run by Perfect World, is giving away free copies of the original Torchlight through Sunday, November 30th.  If you like Diablo-style action-RPGs and have yet to try Torchlight, this might be your chance to do so.  They also have Torchlight II for 5 dollars during this promotion.  Perfect World owns Runic Games, who are the developers of the Torchlight series.  More instructions on redemption can be found here.

Torchlight

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Origin Store - "It's (Almost) Black Friday" Sale

by Abharsair, 15:10

EA's Origin has started its Black Friday sale a bit early this year. Between now and December 1st, you can get several games up to 75% cheaper than usual, including RPGs such as Mass Effect 1-3, DA:O, or DA:2. Dragon Age: Inquisition seems to remain at full price, though.

Origin Store

Details

Dark Souls - GFWL migration delayed

by Abharsair, 14:29

According to an official post in the Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Steam forums, the migration from GFWL (Games for Windows Live) to Steam has been delayed until December.

Attention Dark Souls fans!

- UPDATE 11/25/14 -
We are working hard to finalize the process to move your Dark Souls: Prepare to Die saves and achievements to Steam. We need to conduct additional testing and we are now targeting December to begin this process. We'll have more information in the coming weeks. Thank you very much for your patience!

Source: Steam

Dark Souls

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Melee: Battlegrounds - Medieval Combat Sandbox

by Abharsair, 12:49

I stumbled across Melee: Battlegrounds on Kickstarter, which is done by the same people who created the popular cRPG mod for Mount & Blade. They are asking for $130,000 and have so far gathered a little over $27,000, with 24 days left to go.

Medieval Combat Sandbox. Earn Equipment. Upgrade skills. Build Castles. Siege Engines. Experience Massive Battles. Fight, Die, Learn!

Melee: Battlegrounds is a pre-alpha stage standalone, 100% independent game being developed as the spiritual sequel to the popular Mount & Blade Warband mod cRPG, with the intention of making the best medieval combat game available by using what was good and improving on what can be done better. The game is made upon our own homemade engine which also will allow for heavy modding - mod anything you can think of!

 

 

Source: Kickstarter

Melee: Battlegrounds

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Unknown
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Tuesday - November 25, 2014

RPGWatch Feature - Heroes of a Broken Land Review

by Myrthos, 23:35

Forgottenlor takes the rol of demigod in the retro dungeon crawler Heroes of a Broken Land and penned down this review.

I chose a large-sized world (size four or six) and have played about 45 hours already, and am only beginning to come within sight of finishing. After so much gaming time, I've become increasingly aware of the limits of the game. I can forgive the painfully mediocre graphics, which have a hard time competing with Wizardry 6's 25 year old sprites. I can also forgive the repetitive and somewhat out-of-place sound track. For me that is part of playing an indie retro game.  However, for a game of this scope, which theoretically offers endless play, I would have hoped for more content. For example, there are skeletons, ghosts, rats, bats, slimes, and elementals in the game. Sure there are more than 10 different kinds of slimes, all with different colours and powers, but even so, after 40 hours I'm getting kind of sick of slimes. Also dungeons are divided into caves, mazes, towers, and mines. Even though the floor plans are random, I'm also getting tired of seeing the same tile sets repeat themselves.

Heroes of a Broken Land

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Grim Dawn - Grim Misadventures #59

by Myrthos, 23:28

This latest installment of development updates for Grim Dawn, features more information on the Kymon's Chosen faction.

Where the Order of Death’s Vigil represents the pursuit of forbidden knowledge and the manipulation of life’s essence, Kymon’s Chosen stand vigil against abominations and the tampering of what they consider to be the domain of the gods. Their promise of a brighter future for Cairn gives people hope where they had none, and their numbers have swelled following the Grim Dawn.

Kymon’s Chosen are followers of the enigmatic self-proclaimed prophet Thaidrus Kymon. Born to a great house of Erulan, Kymon grew up in the capital, witness to its many intrigues and scandals. Even as he was groomed by the members of his household to be the next great Kymon, Thaidrus was becoming disillusioned with the petty political rivalries and corruption around him. Much to the disappointment of his father, Thaidrus increasingly abandoned his political and martial training to immerse himself in books, devouring any writing on the pre-imperial histories and mythos that he could get his hands upon. He became fixated on myths from the dawn of humankind, when Empyrion the light-bringer was fabled to have ruled over the other gods, enforcing order in the world. Thaidrus became convinced the old myths were real and that only the return of Empyrion to the world could uplift humankind from their base existence. When his father took the extreme step of having the Kymon’s vast library removed from the manor house and set ablaze, Thaidrus resolved to leave home and experience the vast world for himself.

Thanks Archangel.

Grim Dawn

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Lords of Xulima - First Impressions from the CRPG Addict

by Killias2, 19:43

The CRPG Addict, known for his chronological journey through CRPG history, has posted his first impressions of recent indie RPG Lords of Xulima:

Overall, I had a lot of fun in the 4 hours I was able to devote to Lords of Xulima. I'll take Sr. Arribas's compliments about my blog in the spirit that they were intended, but the true inspirations of Xulima are the classic RPGs that I've written about, and like Might & Magic X did with its franchise, Xulima does a great job paying homage to the past while offering plenty of 2014 innovations. I recommend it....

 

Lords of Xulima

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth - New Expansion Planned

by Killias2, 19:19

According to the official website, a new expansion is being planned for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, the recently launched remake of 2011's action roguelike The Binding of Isaac.

Details:

once the holidays end, the nicalis gang will be jumping back into the abyss and digging into the very large design doc i have ready for em. i have big plans for this expansion, i hope to add a very huge chunk of gameplay in the form of a new game mode that will almost double the amount of things you can do, im very proud of this new design.

aside from this new game mode the expansion will feature a ton more enemies, bosses, new areas, endings and a new playable character as well as a slew of new unique items to play with…

However, for this expansion, the development team is asking for creative input from fans, especially regarding item ideas:

the biggest change for me when it comes to how im designing the expansion is this time im asking the vast and creative isaac community for ideas. 

this week ill be asking for item ideas, i will be cherry picking the top 10 items from this list and implementing them into the expansion.. so be sure to make them good.

If you're interested, read through the listed guidelines and post your suggestion(s) here.

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: Unknown
Release: Released

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GamesIndustry.biz - Girls Making Games

by Aries100, 18:55

Rachel Weber from gamesindustry.biz has penned an article in which she describes how 10 year old girls learn how to make video games.   Here's how she begins her piece:

It's not standard practice for me to feel jealous of ten year olds, but hearing about Girls Make Games over the summer certainly made me feel something close to it. The scheme gives girls who love games the chance to actually make them, as well as meeting developers and like-minded peers.

Here's a quote on what this camp has meant to some of the girls: 

Shabir tells me about another girl, a reluctant soccer player at a super sporty school. "She comes in, she's super shy, she's looking at the ground the whole time, does not make eye contact with anyone, not even her teammates. Over the course of three weeks, by week two, she had started talking. By week three she was raising her hand to answer and when she got the answer right she would do a little dance," says Shabir, her voice light with pride. "Her mom still emails us and she brings her to every event that we have here because it's impacted her personality so heavily. She's gotten better at soccer because she got better at making games. "

The industry seems to be encouraging this:

The industry itself has been supportive of the scheme, with Riot Games in LA, Bioware in Austin, Popcap in Seattle, and Double Fine all opening their doors so the girls can take field trips to real studios. Shabir would also like to see companies follow models set out by the tech industry and incentivize their staff for volunteering.

GamesIndustry.biz

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Dark Souls II - Scholar of the First Sin Announced

by Killias2, 17:21

Bandai Namco has announced that Dark Souls II will be coming to the PS4 and XBox One as "Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin," and that new features and elements added for this release will be coming to other platforms in the form of a free patch. While the PS4 and XBox One releases will contain the Lost Crowns DLC released earlier this year, the DLC will not be part of the free upgrade for other platforms.

New features coming to all platforms:

  • Additional NPCs added for an enhanced story experience. 
  • Parameter adjustments for improved game balance.
  • Augmented item descriptions. 
  • Improved online matchmaking functionality.

New features for the PS4/XBox One/PCs:

  • Additional upgrades to graphics, sound, performance.
  • Increase in maximum online players in single session (6 total).

However, it is unclear if the graphical and online improvements will be coming to DX9 PCs, or if they are only for DX11 PCs.  When asked, Bandai Namco suggested more information will be available soon.  In any case, the graphical enhancements may allow the game's visuals to be more inline with pre-release expectations, which included more ambitious lighting effects.

Dark Souls II

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

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Shroud of the Avatar - Released on Early Access

by Aubrielle, 07:52

Shroud of the Avatar has finally come to Steam Early Access, for those of you who can't wait to stride waist-deep into the treacherous Pre-Alpha sea.  Thanks, Benetar.

Shroud of the Avatar is currently in pre-Alpha. This game still needs a LOT of work, it will be under construction for some time, and data wipes will happen periodically.
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is a new type of third person fantasy RPG that combines a single player narrative with a sandbox MMO. It is being created by a team that includes: Richard "Lord British" Garriott the creator of the Ultima series, Starr Long the original Director of Ultima Online, and Tracy Hickman the author of the beloved Dragonlance Novels and Dungeons & Dragons modules.
We estimate reaching a Beta version with all features and content sometime in the middle of 2015. All features and plans listed here are subject to change. We may modify, add or remove features as we see fit during the development process.

Website for more information: www.shroudoftheavatar.com

More information.

Shroud of the Avatar

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Dragon Age: Inquisition - The Problem With Roleplaying Games

by Redsocialknight, 05:51

It's another half-hearted review of the new Dragon Age ("I quite like Dragon Age: Inquisition" he waffles) from Erik Kain writing at Forbes, but he uses this one to talk about his problems with looting and crafting in modern games in general. He gripes:

The only thing that’s really dragged the game down for me is the necessity of picking herbs and looting bags. This isn’t terrible at first, but it becomes enormously tedious after a while, simply because it’s such a big part of how you spend your time in this game.

Looting bags strikes me as pretty archaic in modern video games [...] There’s nothing good about picking up yet another basic weapon that’s not worth anything and is leagues worse than the gear you already have. [...] It’s so often less about playing a role and more about all the other stuff. 

“RPG elements” can just be code for “gamification of video games.”

"Gamification of games" is a little tail-swallow-y for me, but let's go with it for a second.

Gamification is often used in educational applications. Take some piece of work—say learning about biology or math—and have “leveling” and rewards and such for achieving certain things. [...] My daughter’s math homework is partly done online and finishing a unit rewards her with little sticker icons. When grades aren’t enough, XP will do the trick.

Gamification is inspired by video games but it’s come full circle and is used to create feedback loops in video games and genres that traditionally didn’t have “RPG elements.” Think of the leveling in Call of Duty multiplayer. It creates an addictive reward cycle as you rank up that’s not present in older shooters....

Anyway, his main point is that harvesting all that elfroot over and over is boring, which is certainly true.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: Released

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Fallout: NV - Fallout: Lonestar is Avellone-approved

by Redsocialknight, 05:49

I think New Vegas is enough of a favorite around here that a big new mod counts as news -- especially when it's one that Christopher Avellone has given his seal of approval. Hereisthecity reports:

Christopher Means set out to initially create a mod for the game that was just going to be a single town in his native Texas.

When Means attended GDC in Austin he met Chris Avellone, one of the designers for Fallout: New Vegas, and pitched his mod idea to the developer. Avellone was taken by the idea and convinced Means to broaden the project's scope, and even helped him recruit more Fallout community members to work on the mod.

Now the mod is looking more like a fully-fledged game project...

Most amazingly of all, this is an indie game project that does not appear to be asking for your money ahead of time.

Fallout: NV

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-apoc
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Release: Released

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