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Wednesday - June 21, 2017
Tuesday - June 20, 2017
Monday - June 19, 2017
Sunday - June 18, 2017
Saturday - June 17, 2017
Friday - June 16, 2017
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Picture Watch

Darklands
Box Art

Poll Watch

How much will Grimoire sell
This is Skyrim stuff
11.9%

5 figures easily
2.38%

somewhere between 10 and 50K
30.95%

Below 10K
21.43%

In the low 1000's
23.81%

3 figures only
2.38%

Somewhere around 100
7.14%

Vote

Expected Releases

Jul: Grimoire
Jul: Demons Age
Jul: Shadowhand
Jul: Children of Zodiarcs
Jul: Pyre

Forum Watch

XCOM Enemy Unknown or XCOM 2? by henriquejr
Flares and Repairs... by cartooncorpse
So far, so good! by cartooncorpse
Hellblade by Zloth
What 4x should I play? by Zloth

Wednesday - June 21, 2017

Shadow of War - Improvements for the Nemesis System

by Hiddenx, 19:14

Twinfinite reports that Shadow of War's Nemesis system will be better in comparison to Shadow of Mordor:

5 Big Improvements Coming to Shadow of War’s Nemesis System

More Variation, More Choices

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system was easily the most unique aspect about the game, making it something truly memorable that even garnered multiple Game of the Year Awards. Well Monolith isn’t content with what they had in the first title, as they’ve drastically improved the Nemesis system, adding in more variation and choices than ever before. At E3 2017 we got an extensive hands-on session with the game, where we got to see a few of the new changes in action.

The basics of the system are intact, requiring you to damage enemy chieftains and leaders before you’re able to dominate them. Bringing up the main menu displays a whole hierarchy of enemy forces, leading all the way up to the army’s leader. During my time with Shadow of War I decided to first take down an enemy Warchief, warping him to my side in order to boost my forces and weaken the enemies’ before taking the Fortress Siege head on. Of course, much like the first game, in order to make the Warchief appear I needed to meet a few requirements.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Shadow of War

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

Details

Diablo 2 - Remastered Edition Coming?

by Hiddenx, 19:02

AusGamers thinks that Blizzard will remaster Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3:

It Sounds Like Blizzard are Remastering Both Warcraft III and Diablo II

In a new Blizzard job posting looking for a Senior Software Engineer, the description hints at possible remasters coming for both Warcraft III and Diablo II. Yeah, this is pretty exciting news! This is in addition to the existing StarCraft HD remaster that is coming this year.

It's hard to read the following and not take it that Warcraft III and Diablo II remasters are on the way.
Compelling stories. Intense multiplayer. Endless replayability. Qualities that made StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II the titans of their day. Evolving operating systems, hardware, and online services have made them more difficult to be experienced by their loyal followers or reaching a new generation.

We’re restoring them to glory, and we need your engineering talents, your passion, and your ability to get tough jobs done.

Diablo 2

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

Details

Alzur's Legacy - The Witcher Fan Film

by Hiddenx, 18:56

An Indiegogo campaign for the Witcher movie Alzur's Legacy has been launched:

ALZUR’S LEGACY (under Polish title “Half Century of Poetry Later”) is a short fan film (about 30’ long) based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher Saga. The project is being developed by an independent group of filmmakers engaged in film, TV and stage play production on the daily basis. The project is being developed as a non-profit endeavour and none of the creators or actors gains financially from it. Copyrights of “ The Witcher” belongs to Andrzej Sapkowski an other entitled parties.

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[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Indiegogo Games

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

Details

Pillars of Eternity - Comes to Consoles

by Myrthos, 16:29

Pillars of Eternity will become available for PS4 and Xbox One as a Complete Edition on August 29, 2017.

Paradox Interactive Bringing Pillars of Eternity and Cities: Skylines to PS4 and Xbox One

Best-Selling, Award-Winning Games Launching on Consoles This August

STOCKHOLM - June 21, 2017 - Paradox Interactive, a publisher of best-selling games across many genres and platforms, today announced that Pillars of Eternity, the critically acclaimed role-playing game (RPG) from Obsidian Entertainment, and Cities: Skylines, the smash-hit city-building game from Colossal Order, will both be released for new console platforms later this year. Both award-winning titles have been redesigned for console players with controller-friendly gameplay and UI, and will be available in August for their respective platforms.
 
Pillars of Eternity, originally the result of a crowdfunding campaign by over 75,000 backers, first released for PC platforms to broad critical acclaim, winning several awards for its rich story and deep, original world. Now, the original game, alongside the expansions The White March - Parts I & II, will be released as Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition for the PlayStation®4 and Xbox One consoles on August 29, 2017.

Rediscover the world of Eora in the debut trailer for Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition:

Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition features:

  • Award-winning writing, story and artwork of Pillars of Eternity, along with the expanded world and content of The White March: Parts I & II
  • Countless character creation options, from races and classes to character backgrounds which drive your personal story
  • An epic universe to explore, filled with intriguing party members and companions, a variety of in-game factions, and a lovingly rendered world to traverse
  • New UI and controls designed from the ground up, presenting the Pillars of Eternity experience like never before

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Thanks Pinx!

Pillars of Eternity

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

Details

.hack//G.U. trilogy - coming to PC

by Silver, 11:29

RockPaperShotgun reports that Bandai Namco is bringing to pc the .hack//G.U. trilogy of games. They were originally released on ps2 as single player action rpgs.

...
Bandai Namco say that these remasters boast "updated 1080p, 16:9 widescreen picture, and 60 fps frame rate, gameplay balance changes and additional features to be announced in the upcoming months." Expanding a little, they say Last Recode will have "enhanced battle balance and game pacing to provide an optimal experience as well as a new Cheat Mode allowing players who want to just enjoy the story to start the game with full stats."

I've not touched the transmedia world of .hack myself, so here's over to Bamco for the official word:

"[. . .] the world of .hack focuses on the mysterious events surrounding a wildly popular in-universe massively multiplayer role-playing game called The World. .hack//G.U. begins after the events of the original .hack series with players assuming the role of Haseo as he tracks down a powerful Player Killer named Tri-Edge who killed his friend's in-game avatar Shino, and put her in a coma in real life.

I'm a big fan of ‘if you die in the game, you die in real life' premises but I suppose I could settle for comas.

General News

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

Details

XCOM 2 - Inside Look: Assassin

by Silver, 07:33

This video for XCOM2 expansion War of the Chosen explores the assassin.

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Get an in-depth look at one of the Chosen tasked to take on the resistance: The Assassin. SUBSCRIBE for Inside Looks at new characters and enemies, features and insights from the XCOM 2 development team: http://2kgam.es/XCOMYT

XCOM 2

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Kingmaker - Growing a Story

by Silver, 00:16

Pathfinder: Kingmaker has a new update on the story and how Owlcat Games will expand on the original modules. Thanks Purpleblob!

Dear Pathfinders,

I've wanted to do a Pathfinder RPG for quite some time. When the opportunity came up, Owlcat explained they wanted to do something surprising - take one of Pathfinder's existing Adventure Paths (an interconnected series of six modules that act as long story) and turn it into a computer RPG.

So my first thought is - what the hell do you need me for?

...but the next thought was - I wonder how you could take a module and make it a compelling experience, especially if players may have already read it/played it. This wasn't anything new to me - it happened all the time in my early gamemastering days. Any time a new published module came out, every gamer would buy it, tear off the shrink wrap, then scour every page so they'd know how to find every secret and magic item.

Then innocently, they might prompt their idiot gamemaster to run the adventure. I know because I was one of those GMs. (And um, one of those players.)

But back to the question. So how do you implement a story that others may have already experienced?

There were a few simple answers - one is, what really makes the adventure? The players around the table. In the computer game, those players are you - and your companions. And all of you can bring stories of your own which can be interwoven into the plot and depending on who you travel with, suddenly the adventure has not one story but several, depending on your choices and which allies you've selected.

Second, when implementing a story many hold dear, be respectful to the franchise and the original content. One of the challenges is that the Kingmaker story is one a lot of Pathfinder fans have experienced and loved, so we want to be respectful of that - there are certain touchstone moments that are key to the experience and we want to preserve the moments that are heart and feel of the original story.

Third, expand the story in new ways. With Pathfinder, this is easy to do because the modules themselves are structured with an open-world feel, so the ability to add events, dungeons, and encounters is easy - the Kingmaker plot wasn't gated in the first place, so the adventure already has room for all these elements.

This is especially true of the characters in the Adventure Path. There are some in the Adventure Path that are described only as an event... and the GM is allowed to integrate them into the game as they see fit. And so have we. Veterans of the pen-and-paper adventure will find existing characters and NPCs in new areas, new ways, and sometimes, even with a new arc.

This also gives us room to introduce new allies, new foes, and a variety of side quests - some of which may grow naturally from the module's original content, and veterans may appreciate it even more because they'll understand the reason for these new elements perhaps quicker than most.

One example is the gnome explorer Jubilost, who players can encounter trying to ford a river early on in the Adventure Path... but in the computer version, you don't just encounter him, he has the potential to become a companion in your party.

Part of the reason for this addition is because Jubilost... despite his sharp tongue... is a great walking encyclopedia for any party, and a great way to introduce both the player and their character to the Stolen Lands, so having him as a companion in that role makes sense, and across the entire game as well.

But the evolution of Jubilost's role is just one example - we've taken many of the characters and expanded their roles and woven them into the plot and events in ways that Adventure Path veterans will understand - and some that will be a surprise. Expect a lot more content both from the Adventure Path itself and off the beaten path as well.

We'll have more to come in later updates, so stay tuned!


Chris Avellone

Narrative Designer, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

Kingmaker

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

Details

Tuesday - June 20, 2017

Battle Chasers: Nightwar - Preview @ COG

by Hiddenx, 19:22

COG thinks Battle Chasers: Nightwar could be the sleeper hit of the year:

E3 2017: Battle Chasers: Nightwar Preview – JRPG Sleeper Hit of the Year

Battle Chasers: Nightwar preps for its final release…

Way back at E3 2016 I had the privilege of sitting down with comic book artist/writer and legend Joe Madureira for a first look at Airship Syndicate’s, Battle Chasers: Nightwar. Funded on Kickstarter to the tune of over $850K, Battle Chasers is on the home stretch as it nears its October 3rd release on Steam, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. A lot of work has been done in the year since I first sat down with Joe and I was extremely excited to sit with him once again at E3 2017 to take a look at the near-final version of the game.

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Featuring fully voiced characters pulled from Joe Madureira’s cult favorite Battle Chasers comic book the upcoming turn-based RPG stands on its own from its written counterpart. Joe was quick to point out that fans both well versed in the comics and those brand new to the universe would have no problems jumping into the game. Superbly animated, drenched with style and promising hardcore, strategic turn-based action it should keep any RPG fan fully invested in its world. I’ll readily admit that I’m somewhat of a superfan of Joe and his work so my enthusiasm might be a bit higher than the average fan but I’ll also say unequivocally that Battle Chasers: Nightwar has enough meat to stand on its own against its peers in the turn-based RPG genre. As I said last year, if you’re a fan of old school games like Chrono Trigger or newer entries into the genre such as I Am Setsuna, then you should be proper excited for what Airship Syndicate has in store.

[...]

Battle Chasers: Nightwar

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

Details

Greedfall - E3 2017: First Look

by Hiddenx, 19:17

Dread Central checked out Spider's open world RPG Greedfall at the E3:

E3 2017: First Look At GreedFall Promises a New World of Conflict

I always love getting to cover games made by Spiders. Unfailingly janky and riddled with bugs, I still can’t help but spend days trapped in their narrative webs. I’ve come to describe them as the Cannon Films of massive open-world companion based RPGs: full of heart, a fraction of the budget. The scale of what they manage to create has always been the biggest selling point. Even the relatively constrained Of Orcs and Men painted a picture of a much larger and more interesting world (still crossing my fingers for a sequel). They’ve gotten progressively more bold and expansive with every game, with The Technomancer my 2016 guilty pleasure. If you need a better sense of how I feel, go ahead and read the last paragraph of that review.

Spiders is looking to once again up the ante with GreedFall, a new IP set amidst the struggle of a colonial expansion. Familiarize yourself with the trailer, because it has guns and and monsters and is awesome:

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[...]

GreedFall is an ambitious concept, made even more intriguing by the unique setting. On the border between magic and science, the era is one where schools of alchemy and medicine exist side by side. Industry and firearms are quickly pushing back the wilds and superstition, but very real magical monsters lurk just beyond the treeline. With the expansive world, unrestricted exploration, and multiple factions, the people at Spiders promise an experience that can keep you entertained for weeks.

[...]

Greedfall

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

Details

Ash of Gods - 80% funded

by Hiddenx, 18:58

The Kickstarter project Ash of Gods is 80% funded with 3 days to go. Update #8 explains the combat system:

The Combat System and Its Features

We'd like to start this update with the state of our campaign — over the last two days we’ve had several larger tiers picked by the backers, which puts us at 80% of our goal. We are very excited about this, but also worried it may turn out to be somebody’s sick joke.

Either way, today we continue our previous update on game design. This time we're going to give you more detail about Ash of Gods' combat system.

 THE PROTOTYPE

As you probably already know, we're devoting a lot of time to the development of the combat system. Initially it was a table-top prototype in which we played hundreds of games with paper tokens in order to understand how the game would work.
The next step was the creation of the web-prototype which we tested with players. We didn't just note down the players' suggestions. We also incorporated some of their comments in the final solution. Currently we’re still actively using the prototype and following the same principles to test new classes. It doesn't have graphics, but if you play the prototype you can already clearly see how the combat system works. The best way of doing this is to look for an opponent on our Discord channel.

Right now we're continuing to work on the fully-fledged combat system, and although it's still buggy, we expect to be able to start testing the real system very soon. For the time being, however, let's tell you a bit more about its capabilities and features.
[...]

Ash of Gods

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

Details

Shadow of Mordor - New Patch Speculation

by Silver, 16:00

@Destructoid Shadow of Mordor has received a new patch of which no-one knows what it does.

There's a new patch for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and no one seems to know what it does. Update 1.10 released today and it's mostly substantial in size -- reports indicate about 6GB on PS4, 2.27GB on Xbox One, but only 8.1MB on PC. Most curious, developer Monolith and publisher Warner Bros. haven't made any mention of this patch's function.

For context, Shadow of Mordor released in September 2014. Its most recent update on PlayStation was in October of last year when it received 4K support for the PS4 Pro. Ever since then, it has been all quiet with regard to this game.

Of course, Monolith has been busy with another Lord of the Rings title, the upcoming Shadow of War. This is rampant conjecture, but this update might be affiliated with Shadow of War in some way. The most obvious reasoning would be that it allows for imported saves from Shadow of Mordor, so that players can continue the battle against their most memorable nemeses.
[...]

Shadow of Mordor

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

Details

Darkest Dungeon - Crimson Court Released

by Silver, 02:29

@PCGamer Crimson Court has been released for Darkest Dungeon on Steam. The base game has also received a hefty update as well.

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The Darkest Dungeon expansion The Crimson Court is out today, bringing with it the villainous vampire-hunting Fanatic, a new hero named the Flagellant, and also an update to the base game that makes a pile of changes and bug fixes laid out in some not-terribly-detailed patch notes. As befits a moment of this magnitude, there is also a trailer.
[...]

Darkest Dungeon

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

Details

Monday - June 19, 2017

Ni No Kuni 2 - Hands On Review

by Hiddenx, 20:26

Digital Trends has checked out the J-RPG Ni no Kuni: Revenant Kingdom:

‘Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom’ hands-on review

'Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom' aims to bring more Studio Ghibli magic to PS4 and PC

Offering a whole new world filled with familiar flourishes, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is getting ready to solidify the next JRPG multiverse.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch remains one of the most distinct RPGs of the last console generation. Combining a dream team of RPG developer Level-5 (Professor Layton, Dragon Quest VIII) and world renowned anime house Studio Ghibli (Spirited AwayMy Neighbor Totoro), the promise of a playable Hayao Miyazaki film set many gamers’ imaginations on fire. The game received a warm, if somewhat mixed reception, earning praise for its beautiful aesthetic, but criticized for its slow and grindy pace, in the vein as ’90s JRPGs. More than five years later, however, the announcement of its sequel has been stoking the flames of excitement for fans of both JRPGs and anime. We recently had a chance to play a brief demo on the E3 show floor.

[...]

The Ghibli touch

The creative dream team from the first game has returned for the second, bringing all of the charm we would come to expect from a Ghibli-infused project. Yoshiyuki Momose, a former Ghibli animator and character designer who worked on films such as Spirited Away and Grave of the Fireflies, returns as the animation lead, character designer, and storyboard artist. Fans of Ghibli films will feel right at home in Ni No Kuni 2, as its characters would fit right in. The studio’s signature warmth and charm pervades every little detail of the world and its inhabitants.

Also crucial to the emotional impact of Ghibli films are their musical scores. Longtime Miyazaki collaborator (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Nausicaa and the Valley of the Winds…basically every one of his films you can think of) and composer from the first game Joe Hisaishi returns to score the sequel. Hisaishi masterfully weaves western and eastern motifs together into music that is as memorable as it is heartwarming, and we fully expect his compositions for Ni No Kuni 2 to hit that same bittersweet nostalgia we know and love from his work.

Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom comes to PS4 and PC on November 10, 2017.

Ni No Kuni 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC, PS4
Release: In development

Details

Devolver Digital - Sums up the Industry

by Silver, 14:49

Devolver Digital had a 'conference' at E3 this year which came after the Bethesda presentation. Irony knows no bounds. Thanks Luj1!

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Non-RPG General News

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

Details

Phoenix Point - The Fiction of Phoenix Point

by Silver, 12:08

Retcon Raider looks at the fiction of Phoenix Point.

Part 1

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Part 2

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Phoenix Point

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

Details

Pillars of Eternity - Too Many Words

by Myrthos, 10:55

Jeff Vogel explains why he feels that game designers don't always edit there text in such a way that all words actually matter to the player. As an example he uses Pillars of Eternity.

Pillars of Eternity wants to have a really elaborate world and story, which is fine. It wants to have a creative game system, with new, innovative sorts of character classes and spells, which is great.

However, it doesn't do a good job of communicating stuff to the player, because there's no editing and care in giving out information. The game just floods the player with text, important bits buried in gushes of irrelevant detail, practically training the player to think that the words aren't really important. (Again, I played a huge chunk of the game without reading anything but the quest log.)

To illustrate this, I'm going to go, step by step, through the introduction and character creation, the stuff anyone who tries the game is sure to see. Let's see what the game thinks is worth the player's time and how good a job it does splitting up vital knowledge from static.

"So What? You're Just Scared of Words, You Sub-Literate?"

No, I have a problem with the pacing. The human brain can only absorb so many random facts about game systems and lore at one sitting. This stuff needs to be carefully paced out, or it'll just slide off of the brain.

But character creation in this game floods the player with tons of facts, both about the game and the world. I came out of it feeling numb and confused, and almost none of it stuck.

So. You start the game. You pick your difficulty. And then you begin the eleven (!!!) steps of character creation.

Thanks rjshae.

Pillars of Eternity

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

Details

Bloom - Development Update

by Myrthos, 10:37

In a new development update for Bloom there is information on the itimization system, polishing, weather and the upcoming demo, for which the following is still left to do:

  • Currently we have some persisting bugs scattered around (stack breaking is still happening, it is has been a low priority since it is cosmetic....but isn't something I would let anyone play). 
  • The fun thing about bugs is after you squash one, you find another here or there. Especially in edge cases, like when you despawn a plant while the plants effect is on you....it won't execute the leave trigger and end the effect. This was pretty rare before, but with the harvesting interactions on plants it became a LOT more common with a certain plant.
  • Our lovely grass clumps also keep getting in the way when you try to interact with creatures / plants. Most maps have them scattered around, so this is something that pops up more than is ideal. In order to fix that we will need to add a special exclusion to keep the auto-targeting from being able to target grass specifically (though an easier / cheaper fix is just to try and sort that in the interaction itself....but it would still cause problems doing that). 
  • Run / knockbacks are also being added soon, which is needed to balance combat. Currently things are just too hard without a way to dodge / push away hostile creatures, players would die before they reach the 3rd screen.... 
  • The other big thing is just flavor events + dialogue need to be looked at more. This doesn't seem like it will be a big task, just more of a polish issue and getting them set up right with portraits or backgrounds and their proper fonts / so on.
  • And finally the bestiary / inventory descriptions needs to be added (so players can look up information). These aren't really critical to game play....but for the demo it is something I want players to have (so they can better understand what they are facing, and how they might be able to deal with it). 

So, overall we don't have a "lot" to get to a playable demo...but still enough to frustratingly hold it back a little longer.

Bloom

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

Details

NWN - Interview with Trent Oster

by Silver, 05:18

It is the 15th anniversary of Neverwinter Nights. The Neverwinter Vault decided to talk to Trent Oster to commemorate the game.

Learn the story behind one of the true RPG legends' creation.

Bernhard "niv" Stoeckner and other members of the Neverwinter Vault community put together this in-depth interview with the game's Project Director/Producer Tent Oster.

If you're interested in learning about the creation of a legend, you're in for a real treat.

Nowadays, when most people hear the name Trent Oster, they think of him as the CEO of Beamdog and the Enhanced Editions of Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, Icewind Dale, and Planespace: Torment released on GOG and elsewhere.

But fans of Neverwinter Nights will remember Trent as the Project Director/Producer (and other roles) of the game they love so much. I've had the opportunity to reach out to Trent with a few questions about the development of NWN and how it changed in the last fifteen years.
Fifteen years later, Neverwinter Nights is still going strong with thousands of online players every day. What do you think about what the NWN community has done since NWN took flight? What surprised you the most?

Trent:
I think the community has done awesome work. The volume of really cool adventures even in the early days was amazing. I've probably been most surprised at the longevity of some of the online worlds and the lengths the operators have gone through to enhance and improve their worlds.

What are the key elements for a pen & paper campaign? Was there ever an adventure you'd wanted to play in? How does that translate to a video game?


Trent:
The key elements of a pen and paper game are a fun group, a flexible DM who can tell a great story, and enough snacks to last till the wee hours. When I was younger I would occasionally buy a module and want to play it, but our group was typically too low level. Lost caverns of Tsojcanth comes to mind as one such adventure. I think playing with friends in a video game can translate well, it removes all the logistics management and simulation load from the players and the DM, but computer games impose some hard limitations in what a player can do. Having a live DM and some powerful tools can help mitigate that a bit, but you still don't have the full freedom of pen and paper.

NWN is sometimes considered as a self-owned, self-hosted mini-MMO toolkit. This model might not be profitable in modern times which could be why we haven't seen other games following it. What do you think about the online gaming landscape in 2017?

Trent: I think we really focused on a simple plan: to give players value for their money. Anyone who buys Neverwinter Nights gets a fun game, the tools to tell their own stories, and the potential to run their own server. When we launched new content, players got an expansion with a new single player story, some new tilesets, new monsters, and new items. I think today the cost/value is still a good metric and some companies are doing well while others are not.
[...]

NWN

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

Details

Kingmaker - Characters and Animation

by Silver, 01:05

Pathfinder: Kingmaker continues to make progress towards its goal and has had a couple of updates. The latest is about character animation and the other about a potential companion.

Pathfinders,  

We have prepared a brand new video for today's update. As you've certainly guessed by our headline, it's all about characters and animation. Our technical director Alexey Drobyshevsky lets you have a first look at the inventory system and how putting on items works. He is also showing off some of our combat animations. Please be aware that the shown footage is still work in progress and we're still ironing out some kinks. With that in mind, we hope you will enjoy our new video and, as always, we can't wait to hear your comments and feedback.

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[...]

Dear Pathfinders,

We continue our story about those who will accompany you on your journey to the Stolen Lands. Many heroes rightfully call themselves Pathfinders - from the mighty Fighters to the cunning Rogues - but nobody is as good at literally finding paths where there seem to be none as the Rangers.

Ekundayo, or Ekun for friends, isn't too talkative. Even after earning his trust, one would need a lot of patience to learn something about his past. An experienced Ranger, a former mercenary, a devout worshipper of the dwarven god Torag... A soul on the verge of despair. When you meet him, he has nothing left to lose and only hopes to live long enough for a bloody revenge. Will you let his hatred consume him - or will you give him a new hope, a new place in life, a new home to fight for?

Ekun's family came from the South, from the hot deserts of Thuvia, but he's never seen the land of his ancestors. His true motherland is Absolom - the great city in the center of the world, where one can meet people of every known nation, every religion, and every creed. After the death of his parents, he went to seek his fortune in the northern continent of Avistan, where he traveled back and forth before ending up in the turbulent Stolen Lands.

In battle, Ekundayo relies on his trusty bow, sending death from afar, but he also can protect himself in close combat, armed with a sword. He has no need for heavy armor but handles shields well. A faithful hound accompanies him, always ready to help.

Ekun is a man of action, not a scheming diplomat. Should you decide to rely on his help in ruling the kingdom, you will benefit from his physical abilities and combat skills. He can do well protecting you and your people - or enforcing your orders, even the unpopular ones.

Kingmaker

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

Details

Sunday - June 18, 2017

Elder Scrolls Online - Morrowind Review

by Hiddenx, 09:38

HardcoreGamer has reviewed The Elder Srolls Online: Morrowind:

Review: The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind

Ever since the original release for PC in 2014, The Elder Scrolls Online has received countless updates and numerous expansions, revamping the gameplay and adding new content to keep players interested. The newest addition, The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, is meant to be more than just another basic expansion with a vast new location, new character class and other additional content and features. This new chapter is designed in a way to not only cater to veteran players but also serve as a good entry point for newcomers, where a freshly created level one character can travel alongside someone at level 50 and the game will make it work for both players.

If it wasn’t obvious from the title, the new location in The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is Vvardenfall, an island in the Dunmer province of Morrowind, which is the setting of the third mainline Elder Scrolls game. This content takes place approximately 700 years before The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, but despite some differences, the unique environment of Vvardenfall is recognizable immediately when starting this area, taking only a couple minutes of exploration to find a domestic Silt Strider ready to ferry the player to a new destination. New and old characters have immediate access to Vvardenfall, and while there is plenty to do here, traveling to the other parts of Tamriel can be done at one’s leisure.

[...]

Closing Comments:

The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind is an impressive new addition to an already solid MMO. The Elder Scrolls Online has been constantly evolving since its initial launch, and the new content introduced in this chapter builds upon these improvements. There’s plenty to do in Vvardenfell, a land with consonants to spare,  but one of the greatest strengths of this title is the level of accessibility. Any type of character build can work in this game, and players of all levels can play together and things will balance themselves out so everyone can have a good time. Plus, for the times when you may want to play alone, this MMO does actually provide a good solo experience. Whether someone is a long time player, new to the game, or has played before and taken a lengthy break, anyone can jump in and experience new adventures in Vvardenfell.

Score: 4/5

Elder Scrolls Online

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

Details

Beyond Good & Evil 2 - Trailer Breakdown with Michel Ancel

by Hiddenx, 09:33

Ubisoft's Michel Ancel talks about Beyond Good & Evil 2:

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Michel Ancel joins Chris Watters to give a scene-by-scene breakdown of the E3 2017 trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2.

Thanks Farflame!

Beyond Good & Evil 2

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Call of Cthulhu - E3 Trailer

by Hiddenx, 09:29

A new trailer for Call of Cthulhu has been released at the E3:

CALL OF CTHULHU Trailer E3 2017 (New Horror Game)

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Thanks Farflame!

 

Call of Cthulhu

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Historical
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Conan Exiles - Free DLC Trailer

by Hiddenx, 09:25

Farflame spotted a Conan Exiles trailer for a free DLC:

Conan Exiles – Expansion Teaser Trailer

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Conan Exiles is coming to Xbox One Game Preview on August 16th, 2017! A free expansion update will release at the same time on both PC and Xbox One, expanding the game world and bringing your journey from the scorching desert to the cold, frozen highlands in the north. The expansion update will be revealed in full later this summer.

Conan Exiles is an open-world multiplayer game, where you must survive, build, and dominate in the savage world of Conan the Barbarian. Currently available in PC Early Access on Steam, Conan Exiles will hit Xbox One Game Preview on August 16th 2017 followed by full release on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in Q1 2018.

Conan Exiles

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

Details

The Island of Eternal Struggle - EA Release

by Hiddenx, 09:03

The turn-based RPG The Island of Eternal Struggle has been released as Early Access:

No face? No problem.

A soldier flees a secluded island controlled by powerful deities, consumed in an endless war with one another. Ian sets out for a peaceful life, but soon finds out his past can't be escaped so easily. The war catches up with him and threatens the entire planet. With the world's balance at stake, he teams up with others--fighting their past to restore peace at any cost.

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The Game

A faceless soldier, a warrior, a cyborg, and an oracle... while it may sound like an introduction to an awkward bar joke, it's not. It's the cast of The Island of Eternal Struggle--a 2D turn-based RPG developed by Wimbus Studios. The game places heavy emphasis on battle-system interaction, deep character-class customization, and a rich storyline with humor and depth.

  • Classic turn-based RPG gameplay, but with unique and exciting "action commands"--enabling interactive and fast-paced combat sequences.
  • Job class based character growth. Final game will include 24 different jobs such as Templar, Discomancer and Booze Hound and 500 different skills and abilities.
  • A unique "Soul Slot" system, allowing each character to have a different loadout of skills and combat bonuses.
  • 2D visual style inspired by the classics.
  • A lovingly crafted soundtrack with styles as diverse as it's instrumentation.
  • Mini-games? Of course!
  • Unconventional enemies--from adult mutant turtles and balding eagles, to bears on roller-blades wielding switchblades.
  • If you want to save, talk to a hobo.

 

The Island of Eternal Struggle

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

Details

Saturday - June 17, 2017

XCOM 2 - Interview with Jake Solomon

by Silver, 13:36

@PCGamesN Jake Solomon talks about the XCOM 2 expansion War of the Chosen and shares his thoughts on Phoenix Point.

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XCOM 2

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Beyond Good & Evil 2 - Announced at E3

by Hiddenx, 13:35

IGN: Beyond Good and Evil 2 will have more RPG elements than its predecessor:

E3 2017: Beyond Good and Evil 2 Is a Massively Ambitious RPG

Dynamic character storytelling on an interplanetary scale.

I can’t recall how many times during my meeting with the development team of Beyond Good & Evil 2 I thought to myself, “This is impossible.” While the trailer shown at Ubisoft’s E3 conference was more of a development announcement, our post-show meeting was where the concept and true potential of BG&E2 really came into focus. The goal is a seamless multi-planet world populated by dynamically-generated characters, with unique stories being told and optional social interaction throughout. I may have initially scoffed at these ambitious ideas, but by the end of our meeting I was enthralled, not to mention giggling like a child out of sheer amazement at the fact that this could really work.

[...]

Beyond Good & Evil 2

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Battle Brothers - Update 1.1 released

by Hiddenx, 11:08

Update 1.1 for Battle Brothers has been released:

The Conclusion: Update 1.1 Released

The 1.1 update to Battle Brothers is here and brings a bunch of additions and changes, as well as various bugfixes – see below for the complete changelog. Also, we’re talking about what we’ll be doing next.

The Conclusion
Making Battle Brothers a reality has been a great ride. Back when we still worked our evenings and weekends on the game, we never imagined quite how many and how much people would fall in love with it, and all the support we’d get from you. Playing the game now ourselves, we’re genuinely happy with how things turned out. For all its flaws, Battle Brothers is fun to play, it’s satisfying to see what we achieved with our means, and we’re happy to say that we’ve learned a lot on game development as we created our first game together.

A part of game development is making tough decisions on where to spend your limited time. In creating Battle Brothers we, too, had to make concessions in order to make the game happen. Unfortunately, this now makes things like translations and mod support unfeasible, as much as we’d like to offer them, and expanding the game beyond its initial concept an increasingly unwieldy endeavour.

We’ve thought long and hard about where we want to go from here. After working on the same game for almost five years now, we’ve come to realize that it is time to move on. Creating Battle Brothers has always been about building the game we want to play ourselves, and furthering ourselves as game developers, and we believe that taking all the lessons learned here to create a new game dear to us is the right next step to take.

Development on Battle Brothers is concluded with today’s update – although we’ll of course continue to provide bugfixes, as necessary. We have a very good idea of the game we want to create next, and we’re enthusiastic to get started. It won’t be Battle Brothers 2, but if you enjoyed playing Battle Brothers, chances are good you’ll really enjoy our next game, too. We look forward to tell you all about it in the future. It’ll even have legs!

Changelog

  • Added 18 new illustrated events.
  • Added 3 new player banners.
  • Added 63 colored variants of most common helmets for more customization options.
  • Added more options to customize campaign difficulty by introducing separate settings for 'Economic Difficulty', 'Combat Difficulty' and 'Starting Funds'. See tooltips for more information.
  • Added optional 'Reset Equipment After Battle' setting to automatically place equipment back into the inventory slot it was in before battle, if possible.
  • Added additional ambient sounds for settlements.
  • Changed combat log to show more detailed information, including hit chances, dice rolls for enemies and damage to shields.
  • Changed 'Bags & Belts' perk to also remove the fatigue penalty for carrying items in any bag slot.
  • Changed fatigue cost of ‘Indomitable’ perk active skill to 20, down from 25.
  • Changed various minor things to improve game balance and pacing.
  • Fixed 'Lone Wolf' perk effect sometimes not updating correctly after movement.
  • Fixed potentially wrong healing time displayed in medical supplies tooltip.
    Fixed specific ambitions not being recorded as fulfilled when engaging two enemy parties in quick succession.
  • Fixed issue with 'Armed Courier' contract during an active late game crisis.
  • Fixed two potential issues with the 'Siege Fortification' contract.
  • Fixed issue when retreating at a specific point during the 'Free Greenskin Prisoners' contract.
  • Fixed game potentially hanging when loading an ambush with a large number of opponents.
  • Fixed auto-loot sometimes granting loot to the player even if not having won the battle.
  • Fixed cultist conversion events also changing daily wages.
  • Fixed situations at settlements sometimes not being resolved correctly.
  • Fixed tavern rumors about famed helmets incorrectly referring to them as weapons.
  • Fixed various minor issues.

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Kingmaker - Reddit AMA Summary

by Silver, 02:56

Pathfinder: Kingmaker had a reddit AMA recently which has been summarized over on the Paizo forums here. There is a lot of new info there so it is worth checking out.

...
Character Creation:
-The Game includes all the races and Classes from the Core Rulebook. It also includes Alchemist and Inquisitor. The Rogue is from Pathfinder Unchained, the Barbarian unchained but can choose between normal and Unchained Rage, the Monk is as yet undecided.
-There are no plans for Occult class characters right now.
-Arcane Trickster is in the game already, other Prestige classes are planned as well. Dragon Disciple seems likely. As does Aldori Swordlord.
-There are already more than 15 spells to choose from for each of the three first spell levels, with more to come. There will be over 300 spells total by the time the game is launched.
-Bardic masterpieces are in.
-There are around 10 Animal Companions in the base game.
-There are around 10 Familiars in the base game. No word either way on Red Pandas. I remain hopeful. Avellone is petitioning Owlcat to allow Owlcat familiars.
-There will be more than 300 feats.
-There will be NO Grippli, not even as a stretch goal, due to licensing issues since Grippli are WotC IP. While the information was delivered tongue in cheek, there will be no Deep One Hybrids either.
-Since there is no mounted combat, Cavaliers seem vanishingly unlikely. Similarly, Paladin Mount bonds.
-There are pregenerated builds and recommendations for all the choices and options.
-The current plan for Character Creation is point buy. The Devs have stated that they may also consider rolling characters as an optional alternative.
-Stats will be point buy by default, with an option for rolled stats due to backer demand.
-Magus is the second Stretch Goal.
-You can become a fallen Paladin.
-They want to add Aldori Swordlords.
-Multiclassing is in the game.
-Item creation feats, crafting, and Profession skills are not in the game. There will be talking skills (e.g. diplomacy, intimidate, bluff, etc), knowledge skills (e.g. Geography, History, local, nobility, etc), and movement skills (e.g. climb, swim, acrobatics, etc). The actual Skills have not been confirmed yet beyond Perception. At least one video shows a "Thievery" skill.
-You will be able to select portrait for your character, these will all be Paizo approved. the ability to use custom portraits is still in discussion.
-You will be able to select face, hair style, skin tone, hair color (and gnomes will definitely have crazy colors available for them). Owlcat is also trying to add different body types, is am not promising it right now.
-You can select a deity your character will worship. Divine classes will have to select specific deity. Paladin codes will be referenced to, but not strictly mechanically upheld.
-Because there is no mounted combat, Paladins have different versions of divine bonds, most common of them being a weapon bond.
-There will be favored class bonuses, including racial options, but probably not all of them.
-Character creation design is not finalized, but Owlcat plans to include character background in some form in it.

Multiplayer and Modding:
-Base game is Single Player only.
-While DM Tools and Multiplayer were floated as possible stretch goals early on, the Devs want to focus on making a good Single Player game first and foremost and so they don't want to promise that they will be available.
-Modding is a seperate issue that they are not focused on at this time.
-There are no plans for a DM client option. This si something to examine for Future Games.

Regarding Companions:
-There are either 10 or 11 Companions in the Base Game.
-Companion characters are a mix of New characters, iconic Pathfinder characters, and characters already existing in the AP.
-Amiri, the Iconic Barbarian, is a companion with a lot of backstory and events happening around her throughout the game. Amiri is the only Iconic Companion.
-Jubilost Narthropple is a companion. He a cantankerous gnome, is kind of a jerk, and you can fail to recruit him if you screw up your attempt to help him out with his wagon. He's also a character from the original AP.
-Valerie is a blonde haired Human Woman from Brevoy. She is also a Fighter who Worships Gorum, and a failed Paladin of Shelyn.
-A halfling that looks suspiciously like Lem is a companion.
-A bard is a companion. He decides to join you because he wants to record your story. This companion has not been seen yet and may or may not be the halfling.
-Octavia is a female Half-Elf wizard/rogue/arcane trickster.
-There is a Blonde male who looks like an Elven inquisitor of Sarenrae.
-There is a Half-Orc who definitely looks like a Magus (or maybe he's the bard)?
- There is what looks like either a Taldan or Ulfen Human male Fighter.
-There is an either Garundi or Mwangi man in light armor. He is probably from Thuvia.
-There is a Goblin Companion. This Goblin is sadly, not an Alchemist.
-Harrim is a Dwarven Cleric of Groetus. He has a Mohawk looking hairdo.
-Finally, there is what I believe looks like a Tian Woman, but others tell me looks like Jiselle the iconic Swashbuckler. Further Videos and investigation of teh Blogger kit realeased in teh music update show that she is a Player Fighter Character.
-There will be companion Romance, but it isn't the only relationship option. This Includes LGBTQ+ romance options. This kicks in as quickly as Module 1.
-Companions can disagree with you, leave you, and even turn on you if they don't like you. They do NOT need to be in your party for this to happen. Companions are living people and don't stop existing just because you leave them home.
-The story can change considerably depending on your party composition.
-Each companion has an expandable novel style bio that expands as you learn more about them and progress in the game.
-You can take 5 Companions with you in a party at one time.
-You can level up your companions based on your own preferences, even changing their classes if you wish, there is however a suggested path, and you can have them auto-level if you wish instead.
-You will also be able to choose from several AI behaviours for your party members, allowing them to use spells and abilities or spend resources on their own.
-Each companion will have one or several levels in a predetermined class when you meet them. You can level them any way you wish from there on out, but their "starting class" is preset.
-Chris Avellone really wants to write Amiri and Jubilost. But negotiations as to who gets to do what are still ongoing.
-Companions definitely have an opinion, will act on that opinion, and will act strongly on that opinion (leaving the party is only one possible ending for companions you butt heads with). Mentions have been made of Companions turning on you as well.
-There are some companions that simply are impossible to influence with your charms, only your actions.
-Some of the companions come from as far as Absalom and even Thuvia and you will be able to talk to them about those lands.
-Companions' stories carry through (heroic and tragic, though both are not set in stone for each character) throughout the game to the very end.
-Companions have their own choices of deities. (Presumably these are preselected for them).

[...]

Kingmaker

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

Details

Bard's Tale IV - Updating the Legacy

by Silver, 01:45

The Bards Tale IV has received a new update about the series lore and how it is being updated. Michael Cranford is back to assist InXile and there is also a progress report here about The Bards Tale Remaster from Olde Skuul.

Updating the Legacy

First, we've got a write-up from Brian Fargo on updating The Bard's Tale series for the 21st century:

Hard to believe it's been nearly two years already since the game's Kickstarter campaign. I want you all to know that I'm very pleased with the way The Bard's Tale 4 is shaping up. The visuals are outstanding, the level design is strong, the puzzles are clever, and much of the personality and charm is starting to make it in. We've also worked out a deal to have someone very special provide input - you can find out about him at the end of the update. It's really coming together now and I can't wait to show you more.

Games today demand a deeper lore and sense of world than back in the day. My goal is to broaden the Bard's Tale world without losing the key people, places, spells, bard songs, etc. When we created Bard's Tale back in 1985 we were young and excitable...more interested in mapping dungeons and torturing our players with teleporters, brutal combats, spinners, and darkness areas, than we were in telling a coherent story. We threw everything except the kitchen sink into those games - Nazis, ninjas, zen masters, robots, vampires, lizard men. We weren't exactly concerned with it making sense. Why did Mangar trap Skara Brae in ice? Does anybody ever say?

Well, we're for sure going to keep all the villains: Mangar, Lagoth Zanta, and the Mad God Tarjan. And we gotta keep Roscoe's and Garth's and the Adventurer's Guild. Skara Brae's in there too, and the bard songs, the old spell names, along with all of the character classes including the ever popular Archmage. But knowing the lore is a bit thin and inconsistent (a lot of players made up better stories during their play-throughs than the games actually told) we needed to add some depth to the world. How do we stay true to the spirit and substance of the original games while adding the depth, history, and personality that today's players expect from a modern game?

Maybe we should start by figuring out how the events of the first three games fit together. How are Mangar, Lagoth Zanta, and Tarjan connected? What ambition drove them? Where did they come from? In what kind of world would beings of such power exist? What is the history behind it all? And can we give it all a unique flavor that will allow it to stand out from other fantasy games?

[...]

Bard's Tale IV

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

Details

Friday - June 16, 2017

Pillars of Eternity II - Gameplay @ IGN

by Hiddenx, 20:42

IGN shows some pre-alpha gameplay of Pillars of Eternity II:

Pillars of Eternity 2 Gameplay Walkthrough -
IGN Live: E3 2017

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The new Pillars of Eternity 2 is here! Join us as the team shows off new gameplay.

Thanks rjshae!

Pillars of Eternity II

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

Details