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Thursday - September 29, 2016
Wednesday - September 28, 2016
Tuesday - September 27, 2016
Monday - September 26, 2016
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The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

2016-09-28

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Review

Pessimeister goes in-depth in this Warlock of Firetop Mountain review.
» Continue reading the article...

Avadon 3: The Warborne

2016-09-22

Avadon: The Warborn Review

Forgottenlor ventured into the third game of the Avadon series to see if he could continue his enjoyment of Spiderweb games.
» Read the article

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Thursday - September 29, 2016

Vampyr - New Screenshots

by Myrthos, 15:51

Here are some new screenshots from Vampyr and the acoompanying press release.

 

The violent side of Vampyr's Jonathan Reid explored in screenshots detailing combat.

Vampyr, the new Action-RPG from acclaimed game-development studio Dontnod, explores combat on the flu-ridden streets of 1918's London. All manner of dangers prowl London during a bout of the lethal Spanish Flu. From Vampire hunters to mutated abominations, Jonathan Reid will face foes as well as friends on his mission to discover the truth behind his new affliction. 

Armed with an array of conventional melee and ranged weaponry, attack and dodge foes to fill up Jonathan's Blood Gauge, required to unleash powerful vampire attacks. From impaling enemies on a spike, to draining them of blood at a distance, as Jonathan's Blood Gauge fills during a combat situation, his Vampire affliction will start to overtake his more human side, unleashing destructive spells and abilities against those who try to stop him. 

A non-linear skill tree will unlock through experience gained new, more powerful attacks and abilities. Jonathan is able to equip these abilities in any order, effectively allowing players to create their own archetypes to match their play-styles. Play aggressively and deal greater damage, or more securely, focusing on crowd-control and keeping enemies at bay. Skills can be evolved two different ways, for example, Spring, a skill that allows you to rush instantly to a distant enemy, can be developed to either deal area-of-effect damage or grant temporary invincibility. The choice is yours. 

Combat difficulty can be affected by player actions out of combat. Feeding on civilians provides a huge XP boost, which will make combat situations easier - but that comes with caveats; an increased danger on the streets, and narrative consequences for the world's citizens, to name a few. Full brawls are not the only options open to Doctor Reid, he can also stalk his prey, or even utilize his vampire speed and agility to avoid combat entirely. 

Players will have to investigate who to feed from, and who to spare, conscious of their need to increase their strength. Jonathan's Vampire impulses will always be working against his human side. 

Take up the plight of Jonathan Reid when Vampyr releases in 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Vampyr

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

Details

Kingdom Come - Collaboration with Deep Silver

by Silver, 14:49

Warhorse Studios who are developing Kingdom Come: Deliverance are partnering with Deep Silver to help bring the game to more players.

Dear Warhorsians,

we at Warhorse Studios are happy to announce a collaboration with Deep Silver, the publishing label of Koch Media, to publish Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Co-publishing combines the core strength of both companies. While Koch Media will use its worldwide distribution channels and partnerships to achieve best retail results, we stand behind the vision of Kingdom Come: Deliverance and retain freedom in the development of our game. We will keep our communication as open and honest as we did from day one of our Kickstarter campaign.

In 2011 we set out on our quest to create a medieval RPG with no magic or dragons. Two years later it seemed like we hit a wall. The studio was on the edge of closure before we even started, but there was hope. On January 22nd 2014 we started our Kickstarter Campaign and exactly 35,384 backers made our dream come true. On February 20th 2014 you “kick-started” the project and the realdevelopment of Kingdom Come: Deliverance started. Today over 30,000 new backers have joined and, together with your feedback, we are creating an outstanding game.

With the exclusive co-publishing deal between us and Koch Media we have reached the next important milestone in releasing Kingdom Come: Deliverance. This is a great opportunity to bring Kingdom Come: Deliverance to more players around the world.
With Koch Media as a strong publishing partner, we will now have the chance to reach an even wider audience, while staying in charge of all creative and communication activity. Koch Media will publish the game physically and digitally for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as the physical PC versions under its Deep Silver label. Warhorse Studios will remain solely responsible for worldwide PC digital distribution. Both digital and physical versions will share a common release date to be announced in the near future – the release date however remains in 2017.

You, our Kickstarter Backer and the Kingdom Come: Deliverance Community won’t have to face any changes in the game, your backer rewards or assistance. Everything stays as it was and the promised rewards will be delivered in 2017, shortly after the game is released.

Our communication channels will continue to work in the way you are used to and we will be answering all your messages and mails.
We are convinced that sharing our passion and combining Warhorse Studios with Deep Silver’s professionalism will help us make the game even better.

Best regards,

Dan Vavra

Kingdom Come

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

Details

Stardew Valley - Magical Buildings and Divorce!

by Silver, 13:08

PC Gamer looks at the latest update for Stardew Valley from developer Eric Barone. Version 1.1 is basically finished and available on the Beta branch currently.

The list of new features and fixes is pretty extensive, but highlights include two new marriage candidates, the option to divorce your partner, four new starting farm maps (Riverland, Forest, Hilltop, and Wilderness, plus the original Standard farm layout), Coffee as a new spring/summer crop, Evil Shrines (what kind of farm is this?), and a new Cellar upgrade option for your house that lets you age cheese and alcohol.

The update also adds an entirely new quest, along with several quest-related locations, that unlocks the new "magical construction" feature. Magical buildings can be placed on your farm like regular ones, and include things such as obelisks that teleport you to certain locations and a "Junimo Hut" that will automatically harvest nearby crops.

The list of bug fixes is shorter, and I can't say that there's anything in it that really leaps out at me as a major, must-fix issue. Wild plums are now labeled as fruit, you can no longer tap a stump, you'll no longer lose hay to a hopper if you don't have a silo, and your baby should now be born properly even if you pass out in the mines on the eve of birth. Okay, that one is obviously vital.

Barone said he wants to do "a little beta test to catch any bugs" before he pushes the update to everyone. "I am trying to keep this kind of low-key, so I'm just going to be posting about it here... no twitter or reddit this time," he wrote. (Sorry, Eric.) "If you decide to help me out by playing on the beta branch, I appreciate it very much. Thank you!"

To opt into the beta and play with the update right now, right-click Stardew Valley in your Steam library, select Properties, click the Betas tab and then select "beta" from the dropdown menu. Assuming you've done it properly, the [beta] tag will appear next to the title, the game will update, and you'll be on your way. Barone also warned that while it's "very unlikely" playing the beta build will mess with your saves, you should back them up anyway.

Stardew Valley

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

Details

Wasteland 3 - Brian Fargo Interview @MMORPG

by Silver, 12:31

Brian Fargo is interviewed by MMORPG about the just announced Wasteland 3.

MMORPG: This is exciting news! Aside from the general reception of WL2, what made you want to go ahead with a sequel so fast?

BRIAN FARGO: I guess anything seems fast in comparison the time between Wasteland 1 and 2. It's been several years since Wasteland 2 came out, and we've been chomping at the bit to push forward in the RPG genre. There are so many wonderful opportunities to dial in the bleakness of a Wasteland world. With Wasteland 3, this time we head to Colorado, and we had so many new ideas for the game based on that that we just couldn't wait to get started on the next installment in this ice cold post-apocalyptic setting. Of course, we are in the final stages of wrapping up Torment, with our writing staff finalizing their work and moving to Wasteland 3's pre-production. The Bard's Tale IV is deep in production and that will not be affected by this, but with two studios working on games, we need to start looking to the future as well.

MMORPG: Will the sequel be using the Pillars engine like Torment, or will it be using the WL2 engine?

BF: We'll be using a modified and updated version of the Wasteland 2 engine, which will provide a significant visual upgrade from Wasteland 2. Unity has come a long way since we first started using it and we've just gotten better at using it. Additionally, we're utilizing the Pillars of Eternity conversation editor again, which is the same we used in Torment, which allows our writers to quickly mock-up and step through branching conversations. We're building on years of experience with the technology so that also helps let us do more. I think people will quite impressed when they see the video.

Wasteland 3

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Tyranny - The Tidecaster Eb

by Silver, 09:20

A new dev diary and a look at a potential companion called Eb.

Eb is a member of an order of mages that study manipulation of water in all its forms, as well as spells that harness the pull of the moons, or that focus the light of the moon Terratus Grave into searing rays. Though their magic makes them formidable in battle, the School of Tides devoted their efforts to the study of the arts and cornering trade along the coasts. While these efforts gave the school prestige and acceptance, they've also turned the school into a peaceful order, one unready for war.

Kyros' conquest of the Tiers would take several years of war through the mountains, but the School of Tides were defeated with ease. Before the first Disfavored or Scarlet Chorus troops crossed into the Tiers, agents of Kyros sent threats to Occulted Jade, Archon of Tides and the school's founder and guardian. Unwilling to bow and unwilling to fight, Occulted Jade fled, taking nearly all of her disciples across the sea to parts unknown. Only four Tidecasters remained behind to fight, and of them, Eb was the youngest.

Tyranny

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

Details

Bard's Tale IV - Exploration

by Myrthos, 09:15

The latest update for The Bard's Tale IV is about exploration.

Recently, lead designer David Rogers and I have been working on what we've been calling the "Adventuring Tools and Content Keys" systems for the game, and for this update we thought we'd share some details about how it all works.

Basically, what the adventuring tools and content keys do is give us some control over how you explore and experience the world of Bard's Tale IV. Now, right from the beginning, we made the decision that BTIV would be a game of free exploration. You'd be able to go in any direction you chose, ignore the main story to do side quests if that's what tickled your fancy, or just noodle around and find cool stuff. We therefore made Skara Brae and the land it resides in, Caith, big places with lots of space and lots of story, scenery and secrets to get lost in. Skara Brae is a city now, with multiple levels of sewers, catacombs, and crypts below it, while the lands that surround it are vast and varied, with broad fields, haunted villages, deep forests, treacherous fens, and looming mountains, all riddled with caves, ruins, dungeons, and hidden places, all ripe for exploration.

However, another decision we made early on was that we didn't want you to be able to grind through any of these areas all in one go. We wanted there to be doors you couldn't open the first time you found them, or rivers you couldn't cross, or ruins you could see but not reach. We wanted there to be mysteries that you couldn't unlock until you'd traveled to new areas and learned new things. We wanted to make sure there were always places you wanted to come back to, and that returning to previously explored lands would always be rewarding and fun, unlocking new areas, secret content, interesting lore, and of course, awesome loot.

On top of that there is also a new video:

This clip is meant to illustrate the tone that we are looking to capture for our environments and creatures in The Bard's Tale IV – a captivating and expansive landscape for you to explore, and a menagerie of creatures inspired by myth and Celtic folklore. We’ve also been feverishly working on the combat system and have made some amazing progress, but we don’t want to show our hand on it quite yet. For now I hope this gets your imaginations running wild and sets the mood for what I'd like to talk to you about today.

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Bard's Tale IV

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

Details

Wednesday - September 28, 2016

RPGWatch Feature: - Warlock of Firetop Mountain Review

by Myrthos, 22:13

Pessimeister sent in his review of the recently released The Warlock of Firetop Mountain review.

Fighting Fantasy came into existence in 1982 when Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone released the hugely influential original game-book "The Warlock of Firetop Mountain". The series distinguished itself from Choose Your Own Adventure by making "YOU" the hero and incorporating a simple role-playing system that used two dice replete with character defining statistics and rules for combat. Even as early as 1984, attempts were made at bringing these books into the world of video games, with several famous titles being made for systems at the time such as the C64 and ZX Spectrum. 

Fighting Fantasy declined in popularity in the mid-90s but rose again via the Wizard Books relaunch of the brand starting in 2002. The books remain formative role-playing experiences for many fans around the world.c

Teleport directly into the modern day - the series has had a reimagining or rebirth of sorts via companies such as Inkle and TinMan games releasing game versions of classic titles such as the Sorcery! series, House of Hell and Forest of Doom, effectively reinterpreting game-book experiences for new and old audiences alike.

Warlock of Firetop Mountain

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

Details

King's Quest - Episode 4 released

by Hiddenx, 21:56

Episode 4 of King's Quest is out now:

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In his latest adventure, King Graham recounts the time he had to rescue Prince Alexander from Queen Icebella's Frozen Castle. Available now!

 

King's Quest

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

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Evolves in Early Access

by Hiddenx, 21:50

PC Gamer asked Swen Vincke how Divinity: Original Sin II will be improved with the help of Early Access players:

How Divinity: Original Sin 2 will evolve in Early Access

Combat balance and system tweaks galore, Game Master mode, and more are on the way.

Something always goes wrong when you launch a game, says Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke. You wouldn’t know it by looking at Divinity: Original Sin 2’s Steam page a week after it launched in Early Access, where it’s sitting at 96 percent positive reviews. But something did go wrong when Larian released Original Sin 2 on September 15: they all forgot to press the launch button.

“For some reason we forgot to push the button, literally,” Vincke said, laughing over Skype. “That’s no joke. In the past you had to ask Steam to release it and they’d release it for you at the appointed time. Now they have a system where you put in the date and time, and so we thought it would just release automatically. But apparently you have to still type in that you want to release. So we were waiting there, together with everybody, waiting for it to release, and nothing was happening. We felt really stupid. [laughs] Goes to show, you should always read the fucking manual!”

[...]

How Larian collects feedback

PC Gamer: Let’s start with things that you already had in mind that might need to change, and the feedback that’s influencing you in one direction or another.

Swen Vincke: There’s two parts to the question: What feedback are we looking at, and what do we do with it?

We obviously have the channels like forums and Twitter that we’re reading. Everybody’s reading a lot of it. We’re filtering things that we think are useful out of that. On one side that’s bug reports. Things are going wrong, there’s so much you can do in the game. On the other side there’s opinions and suggestions. Lots of good suggestions. Those go in a database and we go through it and say, ‘that makes sense, that’s actually better than we were planning.’

At the same time we’re also doing qualitative analysis. We have a little tool that’s shipping with the game, so people that want to can send data back to us. The data contains, ‘Where did you go in the game, what skills did you pick, what tags did you select, which dialogue options did you do?’ So it gives us more analytical data about what people are doing in the game away from the subjectivity of an opinion. That is dominantly being used for balancing, so we can see that if nobody’s managing a certain fight, then we probably overdid it on that fight. But also, if nobody is using a certain skill, it means we probably should do something about that skill.

[...]

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Wasteland 3 - Officially Announced

by Silver, 21:21

@BluesNews At the Wasteland website they countdown to next week for further news on Wasteland 3 which has been officially announced. Expect a crowdfunding campaign on Fig and a snowy Wasteland.

What is Wasteland 3?

  • A party-based role-playing game, with a renewed focus on our trademark complex story reactivity and strategic combat.
  • By including vehicles, environmental dangers, and a revamped, more fluid action system, we are evolving on Wasteland 2's deep tactical turn-based combat and unique encounter design.
  • Play by yourself or with a friend in story-driven synchronous or asynchronous multiplayer. Choices open up (or close off) mission opportunities, areas to explore, story arcs, and tons of other content.
  • Your Ranger Base is a core part of the experience. As you help the local people and improve your Ranger Base, quests and narrative will force you to make decisions on how to lead.
  • The game will be set in the savage lands of frozen Colorado, where survival is difficult and a happy ending is never guaranteed. Players will face difficult moral choices and make sacrifices that will change the game world.
  • Wasteland 3 will feature a deep and engaging story utilizing a newly-revamped dialog tree system from the celebrated writers of Torment: Tides of Numenera
  • Simultaneously releasing to Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
  • Explore a New Frozen Wasteland
  • You start the game as the sole survivor of Team November, a Ranger squad dispatched to the icy Colorado wastes. This is a land of buried secrets, lost technology, fearsome lunatics, and deadly factions. No one here has ever heard of the Desert Rangers. Your reputation is yours to build from scratch, and your choices may save this land or doom it. With a renewed focus on macro-reactivity, you'll be picking between warring factions, deciding whether locations are destroyed or saved, and other far reaching decisions that have a marked impact on the shape of your world.

Bring a Friend
For the first time in the history of the Wasteland franchise, you will be able to take a friend with you on your journey into the post-apocalyptic wastes! Wasteland 3 opens up the possibility to play through the campaign with a friend; both of you controlling your own squad of Rangers.

The core of Wasteland 3 will still be a rich single-player experience. If you play with a friend while both online together, you'll be able to share many missions, and join up to hit key story beats, but you can also split up and cover more ground. Once a game is started, you can play Wasteland 3 while your friend is offline, and do a lot of missions without them. Be aware, however, that the actions you take while your friend is off-line are not without consequence!

By making the decision to include multiplayer early on in the process, we will be able to design a game that is true to the core principles of the Wasteland franchise and our studio. Wasteland 3 can be played as an offline, single-player game, and is built from the ground up with a focus on story and reactivity that makes no sacrifices to the multiplayer experience. At the same time, co-op players will enjoy working together to change Wasteland 3's highly reactive world... or finding ways to destroy what their friend has worked to accomplish.

Wasteland 3

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Legrand Legacy - On Steam Greenlight

by Hiddenx, 21:07

You can vote for the Action J-RPG Legrand Legacy on Steam Greenlight now:

Trailer:

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LEGRAND LEGACY is an exciting new game that blends classic JRPG components with modern mechanics, hand-drawn visuals, and a twisted storyline.

 

Steam Games

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Unknown
Genre: Unknown
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Female Character

by Myrthos, 21:00

Last week an update for Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem became available featuring the update for 0.2.8, including the female gender that you can select now as well.

Hi everyone!
Today we are happy to present you the female character!
It was a stretch goal during our Kickstarter, and one of the most demanded feature, so here is a small video presenting her, and her customization options:

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A list of other new and updated features can be found at the link.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

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

Details

The Surge - New Screenshots

by Myrthos, 20:51

Here are three new screenshots for The Surge.

 

Sci-fi action RPG The Surge shows off CREO's modular exo-armor.

Deck13's upcoming sci-fi action RPG The Surge today reveals the industrial armor sets of international corporation CREO, a company that set out to save the world. Set on a dying Earth in a not-so-distant future, something went very wrong inside CREO, and you, as a new employee find yourself trapped in a sector of the company overrun by malfunctioning drones, robots, and security personnel. 

The LIQUIDATOR, featured in the first screenshot, is fitted with industrial attachments for use in areas prone to hazardous material spillage. Built around the slogan "quality protective gear for the safest workplace", the Liquidator offers super-human resistance to radiation, fire, and toxic spills, with mobility aided by the exo-skeleton. 

The second screenshot features CREO's PROTEUS medium physical protection armor set. An experimental set equipping certain of CREO's security personnel, the PROTEUS is an advanced and light-weight armor granting a small health regeneration effect. It also only needs medium core power cost allowing for a little extra juice for implants. 

This last screenshot features a mix of armor sets. LYNX was developed for workers requiring speed, flexibility, and precision. Far from standard issue, few CREO workers would benefit from its inherent advancements in hydraulics. It features low core power cost, but this comes at the cost of physical and elemental protection against radiation and other environmental hazards. We also see elements of MG GORGON and BLACK CERBERUS armors, designed for heavy security and riot control actions. 

Each item in The Surge serves a purpose for CREO, often originally separate to combat. Be it industrial, manufacturing, for lifting or handling hazardous materials, or on-site security, the player will cut off and equip thousands of combinations of items salvaged in battle. 

The Surge will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2017.

The Surge

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Hero-U - September Update

by Myrthos, 20:22

A new development update for Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, is about the story of the game and the status of the development.

How do you tell a story in an interactive medium? How do you give players agency while giving them a good story and keeping the game size manageable?

How can a game writer tell a strong story while also making it the player’s story for each and every player?

There isn’t any single answer. Action games minimize the story, and instead provide an experience to players. Most role-playing games focus on combat while telling a bit of story between (and sometimes during) fights.

Lori and I set a higher bar in our Quest for Glory games. We told stories in which the player was the hero, but players also had the freedom to explore. And yes, fight some monsters to prepare them for tougher challenges.

...

We’re making great progress. Adam immediately started to bring new tools to our development process, such as ways of showing the interaction points for all of the objects in a scene. This is a great way to make sure that every object has a waypoint and that they’re in the right places.

Currently we’re working on mini-games such as trap disarming and puzzles. Joshua is getting back to the combat system after adding many new features to the game and Composer systems.

Our target is Beta at the end of the year, and release once the game is absolutely solid. Due to the complexity of character interactions and the scripts, we expect to have an extended beta of around 3 months.

Hero-U

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

Details

CRPG Addict - The Economy Sucks: SSI GoldBox

by Silver, 13:53

In a guest post at the CRPG Addict there is an in-depth look at why the economy of the SSI Gold Box games was useless.

Unfortunately, as many fans know, there is one glaring flaw in these games: they essentially lack any sort of useful economy. Money, in almost every game in the series, is essentially useless, because of the fact that the party is given copious amounts of it, at every turn, as a reward. Unlike most other games of the era, there is simply nothing worthwhile to spend money on. In an average play-through your party will throw away literal mountains of copper, silver, gold and platinum.

My goal, in this article, is to examine the how's and why's of this situation, and to essentially assign responsibility for this state of affairs as I see it. During the course of this post we will discuss several points about these games. SSI's company line that they were forced to use the rules as written, the changes made by SSI to the written rules, how money sinks were avoided, and how they clearly followed treasure tables, while ignoring written rules in the DMG that were supposed to be used in conjunction with said tables.

Let's begin.

[...]

1.0 Rule changes

SSI has always stated that their license with TSR required them to follow the AD&D 1st edition rules. Their stance is that any issues with the economy were endemic to the rule set. From the CRPG Addict's discussion with SSI Producer Victor Penman (contained in a posting on Champions of Krynn):

I asked Mr. Penman about [the problems with the in-game economy], and he attributed this problem mostly to the AD&D rules, which gave experience rewards based on both enemy hit dice and the amount of treasure collected.... TSR required SSI to use official rules for both experience and treasure... Penman somewhat brusquely told me that, "Following the rules and providing XP were our concerns, not what people spent money on."

Unfortunately, this statement is heavily inaccurate as SSI modified the AD&D core rules substantially in order to fit them into the paradigm of the game they wanted to make. Changes were made at several levels in order to adapt a table top, human moderated experience, into a computer based, pre-programmed experience. In some cases, rules were changed as their written implementation would not work in actual play. The rest of this article examines the many changes that SSI was not afraid to make to AD&D 1st edition rules.

CRPG Addict

Details

Diablo 4 - Wishlist @Gameranx

by Silver, 03:30

Gameranx list the things they want from a hypothetical Diablo 4.

Intelligent Stash Management

The stash in Diablo III is an unpleasant holdover from the first game in the series. It's has limited space, a hassle to manage, and discourages players from hoarding too many items. It's been derided as "inventory Tetris" for a reason.

Tabs and multiple containers partially solve the problem, but it's still impossible to automatically sort the inventory or find specific items. The addition of filters and a search function would be a godsend.

Weapons Worth Keeping

Weapons and armor in Diablo III are disposable. Players replace their gear at a constant pace-finding new loot and equipping it is what defines the game's itemization treadmill. But what if there was an incentive to keep your weapons and have them level up with you? This would only come into play in the end-game when you have the most powerful weapons.

The system could be similar to the Urshi-type Greater Rift system recently introduced in an update to Reaper of Souls. Instead of gems, you could also upgrade weapons. Items have always been a core component to the Diablo experience and Diablo 4 should bring that back.

Whatever the case, the system would have to complement existing leveling and progression systems and not introduce any degree of complexity to the casual experience, and it's doubtful that Blizzard has any intentions of turning Diablo into Path of Exile.

The Gift of Giving

For many, trading was an unpleasant aspect of Diablo II that forced the most hard-core players to spend time bartering for the best equipment instead of playing the game. The marketplace became the endgame, and players would have to spend countless hours farming-not for the "best in slot" items they wanted, but for the currency they needed to acquire these items from players who already had them. Diablo III took trading in a different direction, encouraging players to spend real money on upgrades. Just as before, the marketplace felt more important than the game itself.
...

Diablo

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

Details

Cyberpunk 2077 - Living City & Seamless Multiplayer

by Silver, 03:18

@GamePressure they speculate on the potential features of Cyberpunk 2077. They base this on the list of projects which submitted for grants from the Polish GameINN program. Being speculation nothing is confirmed yet.

CD PROJEKT S.A. - head of the capital group that includes CD PROJEKT RED, developer of Cyberpunk 2077- applied for a grant for something called City Creation, which, according to the official description (as translated from Polish by GamePressure), is "a complex technology for creating a huge living city, playable in real time, which (the technology) is based on rules, AI, and automation, as well as supports innovative processes and tools for making top-notch open-world games."

Another noteworthy feature CD PROJEKT needs extra funds for is Seamless Multiplayer „a complex technology for making unique multiplayer gameplay mechanics, including the ability to search out for opponents, manage game session, replicate objects, as well as support for different game modes along with a unique set of dedicated tools". This type of seamless multiplayer seems similar to what Ubisoft is going to offer in Watch Dogs 2, in which people will be able to join another player's session at any time.
...

Cyberpunk 2077

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Spellforce 3 - Preview @GamePressure

by Silver, 03:12

GamePressure previews Spellforce 3 and asks if the mix of RTS and RPG will work in this incarnation of the series.

In the upcoming installment of the SpellForce series, the players will revisit the land of Eo, this time uncovering its past. If you had played the previous parts, you will remember that after the tragic ritual of convocation, Eo was divided into small islands, which came out untouched only thanks to the power of the main god of the land. He created great columns, in his honor called the stones of Aonir, thanks to which the chunks of land surrounding these shrines made it through the catastrophe. In SpellForce 3, we will visit Eo before this cataclysm and learn more about the events that led to it.

We know where the action takes place, and we also know who the antagonist is going to be. In the third SpellForce, the players' nemesis will be the mysterious faction of Arcane. But these are about the only things we know about the story. That, plus the fact that finishing the whole thing will take around 30 hours. However, the developers emphasized that this is only counting the time required for finishing the main storyline - additionally, the game will offer, among others, combat against AI or other players online. It's hard to tell what the end result will be - the developers spoke of co-op dungeon raids and complex social mechanics modeled on Battle.net, but their words seem to suggest that they exaggerated a bit announcing this mode with such a flair.

Spellforce 3

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

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Tuesday - September 27, 2016

Tale of Wuxia - Review @ CRPG Book

by Hiddenx, 21:18

Felipe Pepe released another sneak preview on his CRPG book. This time with a review for the relative unknown RPG gem Tale of Wuxia.

Felipe on Twitter:

There's a BR article on how modern games are dull circulating online. Not all, you just need to look beyond the hype. Like Tale of Wuxia.

From Steam:

About The Game

Tale of Wuxia is a role-playing and single-player PC game, made by Phoenix Games and Heluo Studio. Added lots of new stories, gameplays and systems, it is a new version of Legends of the Wulin. The game engine used by Tale of Wuxia is U3D.

Tale of Wuxia has been dedicated to providing gameplayers with a player-defined platform, where they can customize their own Wuxia. Instead of being restricted to characters’ basic properties and martial arts, in this new version, gameplayers can also choose the personalities and talents of their own. The new talent system makes characters more distinctive. For example, the hard workers are good at monotonous missions, the slyboots prefer changeable missions, while the jade trees are more popular among girls. Different talents come with different gameplays, greatly increasing the fun in playing.

  1. Stories on game maps are equipped with many new systems, picturing a more free and real Wuxia world. Furthermore, the ultimate fun lies in character progression.
  2. There are more interaction between characters, even NPCs have their own emotions.
  3. Multiple endings.
  4. Lots of hidden stories needed unlock by special conditions.
  5. Added lots of new stories.
  6. The number of girls a character can have relationship with has been increased to more than 10.
The current version contains a free DLC - The Return of Devaraja

Tale of Wuxia

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

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Rogue Wizards - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 07:42

The RPG Rogue Wizards will be released today:

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The Council oversees the elam families, aristocrats who are descended from the first humans in Rilfanor, and the banlits, who were originally people born without magical abilities. The Guild has never admitted banlits because of their lack of magical capacity; and they've never admitted women because they believed women were too weak-minded to control such power.

Now, many generations later, the elam magic is weakening, and latent magic talent has reappeared among the banlit population. Many of the elam are in denial, but some of them want to take the radical step of allowing banlits, including women, into the Guild.

In your quest you'll explore randomly generated dungeons, collect treasures, master magic, avoid traps, solve puzzles, and of course cleanse the dungeons of all the evil minions within. Every dungeon is unique, no two locations will ever be the same.

It's not all dungeon-crawl. Feel at home in your very own Wizard Tower where you can enhance and customize the way you play by building a thriving town, brewing your own reagents, crafting or buying your own gear, powering up your magic, and recruiting help.

Rogue Wizards

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

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Earthlock - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 07:33

The Adventure RPG Earthlock: Festival of Magic will be released today:

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Snowcastle Games’ four year long passion project and first major title, Earthlock: Festival of Magic arrives on Steam. A tribute to true turn-based RPG fans, Earthlock: Festival of Magic will test even the most strategic of players.

Key Features of Earthlock: Festival of Magic

  • Explore the vast and magical world of Umbra
  • Highly strategic turn‐based battles
  • Harvest magical materials and craft items on your home island
  • Talent Table: combining a classic 'skilltree' and equipment to customise your character's progression
  • 30+ Hours of gameplay

Desert scavenger Amon soon finds himself in his life's adventure when he crosses paths with a most peculiar creature back home in Zaber. Join Amon and other remarkable heroes in this turn-based fantasy RPG, on an unforgettable journey across the world of Umbra; a mysterious, beautiful but harsh planet that stopped spinning thousands of cycles ago.

 

Earthlock

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

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Underworld Ascendant - Bestiary

by Silver, 06:17

The latest issue of The Stygian Sentinel for Underworld Ascendant looks at the games bestiary and announces some new hires at the developer.

A Look Inside the Underworld Ascendant Bestiary

As mentioned before, we're holding off on showing our work on the Underworld Ascendant Vertical Slice until its far along and polished. In the meantime, we thought you'd be interested in a peek under the hood at the design work involved.

When you interact with a denizen of The Stygian Abyss in Underworld Ascendant, you're encountering many hours of work involved in bringing it to life... Modeling, animation, AI, and -- what we'll cover a bit today -- a core set of underlying design principles that dictate its role in the game.

The inhabitants come in three main forms:

CATALYSTS - Beings who possess robust behaviors, advanced combat tactics, and, if intelligent, can converse, trade, or engage with the player. (Ex: The Lizard Men.)
CONFOUNDERS - Creatures who enhance or detract in combat, like The Wailing Haunt or Lich, or act as environmental hazards, like The Ripper or Lurker.
COLLABORATORS - Inhabitants with useful behaviors that the player can exploit, like the Earth Clot, a bulky, gelatinous mass that can be prodded down hallways to break traps or act as cover.

One of the core design principles of Underworld Ascendant is to educate the player about the rules of the simulated dungeon world without overt hand-holding. The goal of "teaching players to teach themselves" underlies the game's level design, narrative, and even the combat design.

For instance, there are four tiers of CATALYSTS, whose roles in combat...

TIER 1 - Teach the player the basic moves & skills of the CATALYST.
TIER 2 - Make sure the player is paying attention
TIER 3 - Challenge the player.
TIER 4 - Provide a fight to remember.

In the Vertical Slice, the player will not only face creatures from each category, he/she will find that a mix or an entrant from a higher tier can make for a much different encounter.

Underworld Ascendant

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

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Masquerada - Release Date Trailer

by Silver, 03:59

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows now has a release date of September 30th and a release trailer to go with it.

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COMING TO WINDOWS AND MAC VIA STEAM, GOG & HUMBLE STORE ON SEPT. 30TH!

Navigate the masked deceptions and deadly magic of a vividly Venetian city in this fully voiced pause-for-tactics RPG.

In the turmoil-ridden Citte della Ombre, religion holds no sway. Only the songs sung of one’s deeds will carry an Ombrian’s legacy beyond death. Those who hold even the smallest morsel of power will make every effort to ensure their songs live on. Enter the Mascherines - masks that grant their wielders the power to channel the elements and cast destructive magic.

Masquerada

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

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Sunless Skies - Details on Game @EGX

by Silver, 03:04

At EGX the Sunless Seas developer talked about their new game coming to kickstarter 2017 Sunless Skies. They also talked about an expansion to Sunless Seas.

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The team behind Sunless Sea and Fallen London will reveal the title and details of their new game. Plus there will be heaps of new information on Zubmariner, the upcoming expansion for Sunless Sea.

Sunless Skies

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Steampunk
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Torment - Colin McCombs EGX Talk

by Silver, 02:58

Colin McCombs EGX talk about Torment: Tides of Numenera.

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Torment: Tides of Numenera is set in a wonderfully bizarre world filled with incomprehensibly advanced technology. Colin McComb, creative lead for the project, discusses the process for creating believable characters and responsive stories for a game set a billion years in the future.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

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

Details

Monday - September 26, 2016

GOG - 17 new Titles ready for GOG Connect

by Hiddenx, 22:41

You can get the following titles on GOG for free if they are already in your Steam library:

  1. AI War: Fleet Command
  2. The Last Federation
  3. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
  4. Shadow Warrior (2013)
  5. Hotline Miami
  6. OlliOlli
  7. Ziggurat
  8. Dex
  9. Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut
  10. Cossacks Anthology
  11. Teslagrad
  12. The Masterplan
  13. Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore a Fedora
  14. Two Worlds Epic Edition
  15. X Rebirth
  16. X: Gold
  17. Anno 1404: Gold Edition

GOG

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Pamela - Abilities, Store Kiosks, and More

by Hiddenx, 22:27

In this dev-blog you can learn more about the game Pamela:

Dev Blog 50 – Pamela Abilities, Store Kiosks, and More

Welcome to the 50th P.A.M.E.L.A. dev blog from the team here at NVYVE Studios! It’s been a nice sense of routine for us to put these together each friday, and we do hope that you all enjoy checking in every week!

This has been another solid week, with everyone accomplishing some great work (except for Adam and Alayna, who were super sick and in quarantine most of the week… but are now recovered!). We’ve finished up our huge sprint of mo-cap work, which is kind of a huge relief as there was quite a large list to work through. To provide a highly dynamic combat experience, each NPC has almost 200 unique animations for movement, attacking, dodging, being hurt, retreating, etc. The number of animations we’ve done for these new characters is roughly twice the amount we used to record, which means less repetition and much more organic reactions to the player.

In art news, Mathew finished up a huge batch of awesome high-detail props for the Garrison security area, which will go a long way towards fleshing out the area’s military feel. Patrick finished up a datapad model, which will be scattered throughout the world and contain lore for the player to track down, as well as almost finishing a few new shield models the player will be able to equip. Good stuff!

The programming team made some huge progress this week as well; several Pamela abilities have been implemented, store Kiosks for buying items have been created, and more which you can read through below.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Pamela

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Star Citizen - News @ PCGamesN

by Hiddenx, 22:18

Farflame spotted some Star Citizen newsbits at PCGamesN:

Chis Roberts talks about the comparison with Elite Dangerous:

Star Citizen right not to ape "basic, bare minimum" approach of Elite: Dangerous, claims Chris Roberts

More info about single player Squadron 42 and some videos:

In Squadron 42, they plan to turn out a single-player game that tells a story worthy of Wing Commander, and preserves the player freedom of Star Citizen’s space sandbox.

Drama or rather "drama" between ex-devs and Roberts about his demands:

Former Star Citizen devs claim impossible standards wasted months of development, Roberts responds

Star Citizen

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Tahira - Review @IndieGames

by Silver, 12:38

@IndieGames they review Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire and find it a worthy game following in the footsteps of titles like The Banner Saga.

At first glance, the core game loop of Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire really does seem a lot like that of The Banner Saga. Where the latter puts a lot of emphasis on the toll the journey takes on the people, however, Tahira's emphasis is on its desparate fights. The Astral Empire's soldiers outnumber Tahira's people badly, which means the player absolutely must take advantage of the environment to win.

The first time I lost a battle in Tahira, it was a long, drawn-out affair. This was the second battle in a row with no break. My remaining units were tired, their injuries unhealed and their skill points unrestored. We held up pretty well for a while, but eventually I realized that if I didn't fall back, I'd be overrun. I had to sacrifice some units so the others could flee. My second line, too, fell, leaving me with only my four named heroes, the ones whose deaths would earn me an instant defeat. Clever use of positioning, abilities, and supplies let me hold out until there were only two archers left... when one miscalculation led to my defeat.

It's through such mechanics that the combat of Tahira really supports its story. Your units can get more powerful, but there are still only a limited number of them. The enemies, however, have units upon units to throw at you, which can make it feel like things are exactly as bad as the characters say it is.

Tahira

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

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NieR: Automata - New Character, Location Details

by Aubrielle, 10:11

Square Enix has released new character and location details for the upcoming sci-fi/post-apocalyptic ARPG NieR: Automata. It releases for PC and PS4 sometime in 2017. The cast of characters is fully detailed at the link.

Square Enix has updated the Japanese official website for NieR: Automata with new screenshots and details about the game’s recently announced characters and two of the game’s key locations: the Bunker and Resistance Camp.

Before anything, if you missed it, catch the game’s newly released Tokyo Game Show 2016 trailer here.

NieR: Automata

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Dark Souls III - Ashes of Ariandel Extended Look

by Aubrielle, 09:44

Winter finally comes to the brutal world of Dark Souls III with the upcoming Ashes of Ariandel DLC.  FromSoftware gives us a closer look.

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Dark Souls III

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

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