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Wednesday - August 09, 2017

The Iron Oath - Now on Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 19:13

The Kickstarter campaign for the tactical turn-based RPG The Iron Oath has been launched today:

The Iron Oath: Dark Turn-based Tactical RPG

A gritty turn-based RPG with a focus on tactics and the management of your guild within a dynamic world.
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  • Tactical turn-based Combat: Deadly foes, traps and destructible objects means one misstep could be your party’s undoing. Proper planning and execution is vital to your success.
  • A Large and Dynamic Overworld: 9 regions with over 50 hubs to visit. Cities can be overtaken, destroyed and rebuilt; while various factions can emerge, rise and fall. A playthrough can potentially last hundreds of years, resulting in many changes to the initial world state.
  • In-depth Guild Management: Control your guild's finances, resources, alliances and roster. Your characters will age, retire and frequently die in combat and you will need to recruit and train their replacements.
  • Character Development: Every recruitable character has their own personal backstory, incorporating events that have taken place during your playthrough. Their motives, alignment and traits all stem from this, but each of the three is subject to change as their career progresses.
  • Dynamic Dialogue: Characters will converse over a variety of subjects such as the current state of the world or relevant past experiences, along with offering their input on any decisions you face.
  • Decisions Matter: Your choices bear consequences and they can affect your characters, your guild and the many factions that exist throughout the world.
  • Detailed Pixel Art: Meticulously hand-crafted pixel art characters, animations and environments help set the mood for your journey.

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

General News - Open Worlds Are Rubbish

by Silver, 14:22

Strat-Edgy Productions talk about what works and what does not with open world games.

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Open worlds are rubbish, and they need to evolve to survive. What is the natural evolution of open words? What is the nature of the open world experience? Is it a playground? Is it a content delivery system? How do you use the open world in an RPG?

Let's take a look at Oblivion, Gothic 2, and Final Fantasy 15 and try to figure out why a game Like Mafia 3 fails to deliver an entertaining experience, and GTA 5 manages to deliver on more than it needed to.

Let's answer all these questions shall we?

General News

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

Details

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider - What is it?

by Silver, 13:51

Harvey Smith talks about Dishonored: Death of the Outsider and explains what its all about.

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Prepare to pull off the greatest assassination ever conceived in Dishonored: Death of the Outsider. Find more information here: https://beth.games/2r654cw

Death of the Outsider brings players back to the Empire of the Isles, with breathtaking visuals, intricately designed levels, and brutal combat systems that are a hallmark of the Dishonored series. With a new character comes a unique new set of supernatural abilities, deadly weapons and powerful gear, empowering players to become the ultimate assassin. And with Arkane Studios’ signature style, you can once again be as bloodthirsty – or as merciful – as you like.

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider releases on September 15, 2017, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

Death of the Outsider

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Steampunk
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Fallout Of Nevada - New English Translation

by Silver, 12:46

Fallout of Nevada is a campaign mod for Fallout 2 originally released for the Russian language back in 2011. A new version of the English translation has been released taking it to version 0.11 over on the NMA site, all possible thanks to Dionis.

Just when the echoes of war went silent humanity started spilling blood on burned earth again, ready to compete in survival and adaptability with any biological species that lived through nuclear holocaust. You were lucky your ancestors took shelter from the disaster inside one of the vaults in the state Nevada, and now you and your fellow citizens are ready to step outside and conquer the land once more. But were you really lucky, these lands don't welcome a creature that burned them to ashes in hellish fire in the past and the only option your supervisors think they have is to shield themselves from the outside world with security perimeters, for which functionality YOU must find a device. But perhaps the isolation made you weak and unprepared for the dangers of the wasteland, and when you meet few places of civilization that is still standing can you make a decision in a conflict, which side is right or wrong? Because even one man can change the fate of a whole community, or maybe you should walk by minding your own home vault, the walls of which can hide some dark secrets too. No one can give an answer except you. Anarchy, destruction, deceit and violence will be your companions. But most importantly remember you decide your fate in the wastes.
MOST IMPORTANT.
Fallout Nevada is not just a clone of the original.
It is not an assembly of other peoples ideas or mods.
It is not an expansion of the original story, it is a full conversion that borrows original game engine.
90 % of all content scripts story dialog characters quests, locations and etc are made from the ground up for this project.
You will see a completely new story more than a hundred quests. A new world map.
12 big locations and 12 new special encounters.
Watch video for more info on the game(though its a bit dated :)

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Thanks Luj1!

Fallout 2

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

Details

Tuesday - August 08, 2017

Non-RPG General News - Why do we spend Time playing Games we don't like?

by Hiddenx, 19:59

Rjshae spotted an older interesting article on Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

Why do we spend time playing games we don’t like?

We spend a lot of time playing games we don’t like. Remember The War Z, renamed to Infestation: Survivor Stories after receiving overwhelmingly negative reviews all around? On Steam, it has nearly 14,000 negative reviews which total 507,837 played hours of absolute garbage. Or what about Duke Nukem Forever, which is somehow sitting at ‘Mostly Positive’ at the moment? The 1500-odd Steam reviews that rightly acknowledge it as a flaming trash pile account for 10,013 hours those poor souls will never get back.

I’m fascinated by the lifetimes we cumulatively waste on games we end up hating, and so I decided to dig a little deeper. How long do we typically spend with a game before we decide it’s no good? Do we have to finish it, or do we make up our minds before the credits roll? Does it take us longer to nail down our feelings on a popular game versus an unpopular one? Why on earth don’t we just do something else?

To answer these questions, I took a look at the Steam reviews for a number of big games with ‘mixed’ reception – the kinds of games that defy a simple and immediate classification as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. By averaging out the hour counts of both positive and negative reviews, we can see a consistent trend between the two, with players spending on average two to three times as long with a game they enjoy than a game that leaves them disappointed. Not too surprising, but things get more interesting when we compare the average hour counts with the time it takes to beat these games, as estimated by howlongtobeat.com. Contrasting these values reveals that we often spend enough time with games we don’t recommend to see their credits roll – though whether we actually do reach the end or not is significantly harder to quantify. Judging from sampled review text, though, we push through as far as we can, even when crashes, bugs, and low framerates conspire against us.

[...]

Non-RPG General News

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

Details

Seven - Interview

by Hiddenx, 19:54

Ibisal spotted interview with the devs of Seven: The Days Long Gone on the Unreal Engine website:

Traversing Convention in Seven: The Days Long Gone

While isometric RPGs have made a comeback in recent years, they tend to be defined by classic expectations; modernized throwbacks to an earlier age of turn-based, tabletop-inspired gameplay.

With Seven: The Days Long Gone, Fool's Theory and IMGN.PRO look to challenge classic conventions, giving players the extensive character development expected of an isometric RPG, but also giving them the choice between stealth and real-time combat combined with the freedom of parkour-inspired movement in an open world.

Co-developing Seven: The Days Long Gone with IMGN.PRO, Fool's Theory may be a young studio, but the team's prior experience on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt means they certainly know a thing or two about creating an amazing RPG.
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What was the inspiration behind the creation of Seven: The Days Long Gone?

Quest Designer, Karolina Kuzia-Rokosz - We wanted to pay homage to classic isometric RPGs with a rich, mature, and story-driven world. Two of our biggest inspirations in achieving that were the book series "The Gentleman Bastards" by Scott Lynch and "The Broken Empire Trilogy" by Mark Lawrence.

You also cite Thief as an inspiration. What did that game mean to you and why does it still resonate with people today?

Project Lead, Jakub Rokosz - With its in-depth stealth component, Thief was something of a trendsetter back in the day. Mechanics such as hiding in the shadows, snuffing out lights, being aware of noise propagation, and distracting your enemies are all prevalent in modern titles. Most importantly, the Thief series placed emphasis on stealth over unconcealed aggression.

[...]

Seven

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Behind the Scenes: Cinematic Dialogue

by Silver, 10:51

A GDC talk about The Witcher 3 and its cinematic dialogue has recently been posted.

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In this 2016 GDC session, CD Projekt Red's Piotr Tomsinski explains the process for creating the dialogue animation system of The Witcher 3.

GDC talks cover a range of developmental topics including game design, programming, audio, visual arts, business management, production, online games, and much more. We post a fresh GDC video every weekday. Subscribe to the channel to stay on top of regular updates, and check out GDC Vault for thousands of more in-depth talks from our archives.

Witcher 3

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

Details

Cyberpunk 2077 - Physical Objects & Destructible Stuff

by Silver, 10:22

@Yongyea Cyberpunk 2077 will have physicalized objects and destructible environments.

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Cyberpunk 2077

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

Details

Grim Dawn - Ashes of Malmouth

by Silver, 08:31

@PCInvasion The Grim Dawn expansion is called Ashes of Malmouth. PCInvasion has some screenshots of the new expansion.

Grim Dawn expansion called Ashes of Malmouth. First shots

Crate Entertainment had revealed that the expansion for their APRG is called Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth.

Malmouth is one of the locations in Cairn that decimated during the Grim Dawn. It was a thriving centre of industry before an unassuming physician named Theodin Marcell, from the capital called Erulan, brought about the city's destruction.

Malmouth is divided into three main districts, The Candle District which housed the poor in terrible conditions, the Steelcap District which was the centre of industry, and finally Crown Hill which housed the wealthy. Thought to be a lost cause, things are about to change in Malmouth when the expansion launches later this year.

[...]

Grim Dawn

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

Details

Skyrim - Social NPCs Mod

by Silver, 06:52

@GameRant A new mod called Social NPCs for The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (original) has been developed that adds alot of sophistication to the NPCs.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim brought a bit more realism to non-player characters when it first released, giving each NPC a unique personality, daily set schedule, and new features like the ability for the player to marry certain NPCs. However, fans of The Elder Scrolls aren't content to leave the game as-is, and one mod has taken NPCs to the next level.

The Skyrim mod, called Social NPCs, expands vastly upon the standard functionality of NPCs in the game. Through complex programming, NPCs gain likes and dislikes and the ability to interact meaningfully with one another. The player has the ability to interact directly with the enhanced NPCs in The Honningbrew Meadery, as well as a new house that comes with the mod called "Comme il Faut House," which is named for the Comme il-Faut (CiF) AI architecture the mod is partially based upon. The work that went into the mod has been considered such a success that a team of computer science researchers are now publishing a paper based upon the mod and its underlying programming.
[...]

Skyrim

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

Details

Monday - August 07, 2017

Daggerfall Unity - 0.4 Fighters Update

by Silver, 23:41

Daggerfall Unity has an update on fighters for version 0.4.

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MEGA-UPDATE! We've got gameplay! Loot piles! QUESTS!
Get it here: http://www.dfworkshop.net/
The mods are here: http://forums.dfworkshop.net/viewtopi...
Installing the High Res textures is a pain in their current form as you have to rename them, but the rest are super simple.

-- Support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/zetaplays

Daggerfall

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

Details

Total War: Warhammer - Introducing Norsca Monsters

by Silver, 23:34

Total War: Warhammer has Norsca Monsters DLC as a pre-order bonus for the second game.

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While the bitter climate may never be tamed, the Norscans have brought many of the peninsula's most ferocious monsters to heel.

➤For more information for Total War™: WARHAMMER® II visit our steam page - https://goo.gl/Mdvt6H

➤Norsca Race Pack is free as an Early Adopter bonus when pre-ordering Total War™: WARHAMMER® II - https://goo.gl/waZuX1

Total War: Warhammer

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

Details

Caves of Qud - Willpower Changed

by Silver, 23:27

Caves of Qud has received an update that makes a notable change to the willpower stat.

Feature Friday - August 4, 2017

  • We're trying out a change to how Willpower works. It now modifies the cooldowns of all activated abilities, not just mental mutations. Each point of Willpower above 16 decreases cooldowns by 5%, down to a minimum 20% of the original cooldown or a minimum 5 rounds. Likewise, each point of Willpower below 16 increases cooldowns by 5%.
  • We reduced the power level of Freezing Hands and (to a lesser degree) Flaming Hands.
  • Freezing Hands: reduced the magnitude of the temperature decrease and reduced damage from (level)d4 to (level)d3+1.
  • Flaming Hands: slightly reduced the magnitude of the temperature increase and reduced damage from (level)d6 to (level)d4+1.
  • New liquid: sap.
  • Added sap to the list of potential cure ingredients for diseases and fungal infections.
  • Creatures now bleed appropriate blood types.
  • Robots now bleed oil.
  • Plants now bleed sap.
  • Oozes now bleed slime.
  • Fixed an issue that caused shields to not apply their AV bonuses when you blocked an attack.
  • Made the Berate messages more sensible.
  • Fixed the reputation formatting on the Reputation screen for factions that love you.
  • Fixed engraved and painted items occasionally spawning with no historical events depicted.
  • You no longer get "x pours out all over you" messages when other creatures get liquids poured on them.
  • Fixed an issue causing cloned liquid volumes to share the source volume's liquid mixture.
  • [modding]Added the following tags to specify what blood type a creature uses.
  • BleedLiquid, ex: <tag Name="BleedLiquid" Value="sap-1000"></tag>
  • BleedColor, ex: <tag Name="BleedColor" Value="&amp;W"></tag>
  • BleedPrefix, ex: <tag Name="BleedPrefix" Value="&amp;Wsappy"></tag>

Caves of Qud

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

Details

Weaves of Fate - Released

by Hiddenx, 20:39

The strategy RPG Weaves of Fate has been released on Steam:

Weaves of Fate is a unique and epic blend of isometric role playing and tactical strategy. In the far future, a demonic invasion throughout all of time has been triggered as a result of humanity’s actions. With the timeline shattered and paradoxes cropping up, the game follows multiple characters in different time periods as they deal with the resulting challenges and conflicts. As fate’s weaves fall apart and the timeline fractures, the incarnations of reality decide to intervene. To preserve fate and destiny, Death himself must become mortal and enter the human realm to fix things.

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Key Features

  • Level-up system: Make your heroes more powerful by upgrading their stats or unlocking new abilities and spells for them to use in battle.
  • Replayability: Replay levels for a better rating and extra upgrade points to spend on making heroes more powerful.
  • Powerful abilities: Teleport your character around the battlefield and obliterate enemies with powerful spells.
  • Deep and engaging story, spanning across multiple characters and time periods.

Weaves of Fate

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

Details

ELEX - Preview @ Writing Bull

by Hiddenx, 20:23

Writing Bull has made some ELEX-Let's Play videos together with game designer Jenny Pankratz:

Preview Let's Play mit Entwickler: Elex (01) [German]

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[]

 

ELEX

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development

Details

The Mandate - Dead in the Water?

by Silver, 14:54

@GameWatcher There has been no sign of life around The Mandate.

Just yesterday we broke the news that developer Playdek was quitting their troubled Kickstarter RPG Unsung Story. Today we have another Kickstarter RPG, that frankly we were personally more excited about than Unsung Story, but this one seems to be completely dead. We're talking about highly ambitious space strategy-RPG The Mandate, which raised $701,010 from 16,408 backers in 2013.

It is now August 2017, with the game two years out from developer Perihelion Interactive's estimated release date, and there have both been no updates from the developer since April. Furthermore Perihelion's own website is offline, and the developer itself may have been dissolved.
[...]
Recently backer 'Count Thalim' on the forum dug up legal documents suggesting that Perihelion Interactive has been dissolved, with The Mandate trademark not renewed since April. The final piece, The Mandate website and forum (which is still active with backers commiserating the game's demise), is due to expire on August 19 so it will be quietly taken offline then.

The Mandate

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

Details

Sunday - August 06, 2017

Witcher 3 - Enter The Devils Pit

by Silver, 22:46

@GameRant The Witcher 3 has a new mod called Enter The Devils Pit.

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Despite having been available for nearly two years at this point, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt remains a popular title for the modding community, as there have been a plethora of graphics mods, first-person mods, and even ones as simple as adding snow to the open world created since the base game's initial launch. Now, however, one fan has decided to make a fresh mod available called "Enter the Devil's Pit," which unlocks a brand new area that includes 20 new items, a bunch of non-playable characters (NPCs), bombs, potions, weapons, and much more.
[...]

Witcher 3

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

Details

Shadow of War - Now has a Marketplace

by Silver, 11:23

Middle-earth: Shadow of War will have a marketplace with in-game purchases. Needless to say this is a somewhat controversial move for a single player game.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Introducing the Market - Announcement

The innovative Nemesis System created unique personal stories through procedurally-generated enemies who remember every encounter and are differentiated by their personality, strengths and weaknesses. Middle-earth: Shadow of War expands this innovation with the introduction of followers who bring about entirely new stories of loyalty, betrayal and revenge. The Nemesis System is also expanded to create a unique personal world through Nemesis fortresses, which allows players to utilize different strategies to conquer dynamic strongholds and create personalized worlds with their unique Orc army.

An important aspect of the Nemesis System now comes in forging, customizing and leading your own army of unique Orc followers against the fortresses of Mordor. There are different ways to do this, including dominating Orcs by exploring the vast open-world and encountering them as part of Orc society, or players can acquire Orcs and other items through the Market (in-game store).

Through the Market, players can purchase Loot Chests, War Chests, XP Boosts and Bundles (accessed only with an internet connection).

• Loot Chests contain Gear (weapons and armor) of varying rarity. Equipping and upgrading these weapons and armor enhance Talion's character abilities. Loot Chests can also contain XP Boosts that help level up Talion faster.

• War Chests provide Orc followers of varying rarity to help forge a strong army. They can also contain Training Orders to level up and customize Orc followers.
• XP Boosts are consumables that help level up Talion faster.
• Bundles package up Loot Chests, War Chests and Boosts together at a great value.

 

To purchase these items, players can spend Mirian or Gold throughout the game as one progresses. Mirian is a type of in-game currency that can be acquired by:

• Defeating Treasure Orcs
• Destroying Gear for Mirian
• Destroying Orc followers for Gear (which can be destroyed for Mirian)
• Finding Mirian stashes throughout the game

 

Gold is another form of in-game currency that can be used to get higher level Loot Chests, War Chests, Boosts and Bundles of the aforementioned content. Gold can be acquired by:

• Purchasing through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store or by adding to your Steam Wallet using real money.
• Awarded in small amounts at specific milestones.
• Awarded for participating in community challenges.

 

Please note: No content in the game is gated by Gold. All content can be acquired naturally through normal gameplay.

What is Mirian and how do I earn it?

  • Mirian is a form of in-game currency that players earn by playing the game. Along with Gold, Mirian can be used to purchase Loot Chests and War Chests from the Market. Mirian can be acquired by:
  • Defeating Treasure Orcs
  • Destroying Gear for Mirian
  • Destroying Orc followers for Gear (which can be destroyed for Mirian)
  • Finding Mirian stashes throughout the game

What is Gold and how do I earn it?

Gold is a form of in-game currency awarded in small amounts at specific milestones and for participating in community challenges. It can also be purchased for real money through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store and by adding funds to your Steam Wallet. Along with Mirian, Gold can be used to purchase Loot Chests, War Chests and Boosts from the Market.

What can I get with Gold?

Along with Mirian, players can use Gold to purchase Loot Chests that contain Gear for Talion (weapons and armor), War Chests that provide Orcs for your army of followers and Boosts that help level up Talion faster.

Do I have to pay for Gold?

No, Gold is awarded in small amounts at specific milestones and for participating in community challenges. It can also be purchased through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store and by adding funds to your Steam Wallet using real money. Everything a player can buy with Gold can also be earned in the game over time for free, but Gold gives players the option to acquire these items faster. No Gold purchases are necessary to enjoy the complete game experience.

What do you mean when you say Gold can save time?

By simply engaging with the world and playing through Middle-earth: Shadow of War, you earn items like Gear for Talion and unique Orcs for your army. These are the same items that are found in the Market within Loot Chests and War Chests. Gold merely allows you to get your hands on them immediately, cutting down some of the additional time that would have been spent winning more battles, tracking nemeses, completing quests and assaulting fortresses.

Does Gold give me an advantage in the game?

No, Gold does not give you any advantage over other players. A player who invests enough time can progress the same amount and have access to the same content as a player who purchases Gold. Gold is not required to progress or advance in the game at all.

Are there unique items in the market purchased using Gold that you can't get through normal play?

No, all of the aforementioned items can be earned playing through the game. Gold merely allows you to get your hands on them immediately.

How much does Gold cost?

Prices for Gold will be communicated at a later date.

Shadow of War

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

Details

Phoenix Point - Early Character Models

by Silver, 11:16

A new video log series has started for Phoenix Point. The first one for August looks at early character models.

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In the first development VLOG of August, X-Com and Phoenix Point creator Julian Gollop takes you on a brief tour around the art an animation department of Snapshot Games to see how some of the early models are shaping up for Phoenix Point.

Phoenix Point is a squad focused turn based tactical game with 4X strategic elements. Phoenix Point was successfully funded on Fig in Jun 2017 and is scheduled for release in late 2018

There's still time to back Phoenix Point, and there are many physical and digital backer rewards to claim: https://app.crowdox.com/projects/1002...

Phoenix Point

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

Details

Diablo 3 - Rise Of The Necromancer Review

by Hiddenx, 09:25

Gears of Biz has reviewed the new necromancer class for Diablo 3:

Diablo 3: Rise Of The Necromancer

It had me at “you can blow up corpses.” Rise of the Necromancer provides a fantastic new character class for Diablo III in a dark wizard who loves the dead as much as Alice Cooper. As such, this downloadable content provides a reason for dedicated fans of Blizzard’s hack-and-slasher to revisit the game, and it even offers a little nudge for newbies to finally get with it and play one of the best action RPGs of all time. There’s one important caveat, though–all you get here is the new necromancer class and his undeadly accoutrements.

[...]

Diablo 3

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

Details

Secret World - Quest Design @ Angry Duck Gamer

by Hiddenx, 09:08

Angry Duck Gamer aka GabrielMP_19 takes a closer look at the quest design of The Secret World:

The investigation quest’s design in The Secret World

MMORPGs are generally not very well regarded in their quest design. Generally full of fetch and “kill X enemies” quests, many of them tend to be boring grinds until the endgame. In such a context, The Secret World’s (more recently relaunched as Secret World Legends) investigation quests are quite a breath of fresh air.

The Secret World was originally launched in 2012 as a story-focused MMORPG. Instead of medieval fantasy or science fiction, the two most popular RPG scenarios, TSW wanted to be different, focusing in conspirations in a lovecraftian urban fantasy. You control a person that has recently awakened magic powers and is called by a mysterious organization (which can be the Illuminati, Templars or the Dragons, it’s up to you). You are soon called to Solomon Island, a place in Maine where a zombie outbreak has begun (yeah, so much for originality).

There are many fetch quests in The Secret World, as it is in most MMORPGs. Still, while you’ll get plenty of “kill 10 zombies” quests, there is a special kind of quest that really sets the game apart: investigation quests. While in most quests you have clear objectives and a question marker to guide you, investigation quests are generally full of riddles and exploration without markers. While some of them can be criticized for their difficulty, they reward out of the box thinking and observation. To explain what sets some of the investigative quests in Secret World apart from other games, I’ll talk about four quests in the first area of the game, Kingsmouth Town.
[...]     
While The Secret World is filled with trash mobs and fetch quests, as any MMORPG is, really, those quests really stand out. Quests like The Kingsmouth Code, even with their difficulty, flesh the world and the lore more than any dialogue and they do so by gameplay, in which the player has to be active in this world. That is great quest design and should be adopted by more games. The Secret World may be an uneven game and even those quests are, but they show steps into the right direction.

Secret World

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Modern
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: Released

Details

Children of Zodiarcs - Review @ Buttonsmashers

by Hiddenx, 09:00

The Buttonsmashers checked out the tactical RPG Children of Zodiarcs:

Children of Zodiarcs Review

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A story-driven, tactical RPG set in the fantasy realm of Lumus; a world divided by affluence and poverty. Take control of Nahmi and her fellow outcasts, utilising a brand new deck and dice based combat system to strike a blow to the noble Lords’ and Ladies’ unquenchable thirst for profit.

Children of Zodiarcs

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

Details

Saturday - August 05, 2017

Aeon of Sands - Development Update

by Silver, 23:58

@IndieRetroNews Aeon of Sands is a love letter to dungeon crawlers.

Grimoire isn't the only game we should be talking about today, as we've also heard from the developers Two Bits Kid, based in Germany, that the dungeon crawler ' AEON OF SANDS ' is basically finished, although 90% of the mazes are in alpha state with all dialogues and graphics. Now for those of you that haven't heard of this game before, this dungeon crawler harks back to the days of Eye of Beholder or Lands of Lore and is a "Dungeon Adventure" story-driven RPG love letter to the golden Amiga, PC classics of the 90's.
[...]

Aeon of Sands

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

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Tower of Time - Preview @RockPaperShotgun

by Silver, 23:28

RockPaperShotgun tries out the early access version of Tower of Time and has a good time.

Tower Of Time is a splendid RPG with tactical real-time combat

You have to respect clever, and clever is oozing out of Tower Of Time [official site]. Not just an RPG with the guts to try its very own combat system far more intricate than us dungeon crawlers are used to, but also the use of Early Access in a way that makes it seem like an advantage to the player rather than the developer.

Tower Of Time is, at first glance, a traditional isometric-ish RPG, presented in beautiful swishy modern graphics. Click the mouse to move, click on things to interact, attribute skill points and skilfully assign attribute points, and worry about your armour. On top of that, and perhaps a touch crucially, it's also good at these things. It takes place in a familiar fantasy setting featuring a rural human world where cataclysmic events leave almost no sunshine, in which societies are falling as food becomes scarce, and a hero whose childhood marking by a hidden magical throne might make him the one who can change the future. Soon you learn of other regulars, the elves, the orcs, and so on. The writing is a touch purple in places, and definitely leans heavily on the old "for it was to be"-type fantasy stodge, but the atmosphere is immediately established and the characters likable.
[...]

Thanks SSIGuy!

Tower of Time

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

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Kingmaker - Harrim: Dwarf Companion

by Silver, 08:53

Pathfinder: Kingmaker introduces another potential companion called Harrim who is a brooding dwarf cleric.

Harrim: The Frailty of Life

Pathfinders! Today we introduce another one of your future companions: a brooding dwarf cleric called Harrim.

In the world of Golarion, religion is not a topic for abstract philosophical discussions, but a matter of life and death. Various deities directly interfere with the lives of mortals - some change them for the better, some for worse, and some just make them... Stranger.

During his life in the Five Kings Mountains, Harrim aspired to follow Torag, the Dwarven god of craft. Unfortunately, no matter how much he studied the holy books, he failed to meet the crucial requirement for a cleric of Torag: he never learned to make anything with his hands. It was worse than just regular clumsiness: Harrim couldn't forge a single nail or carve a wooden spoon to save his life. Some dwarves ridiculed him, others suggested that Torag must have cursed him - and this was what Harrim himself eventually believed.

Betrayed and forsaken by the god he was ready to dedicate his whole life to, Harrim went into exile, searching for some other purpose in life. He found it when he met a traveling cult of one of Golarion's most obscure deities - Groetus, the god of the End Times. A colossal skull-shaped moon looming over Purgatory, Groetus is waiting for the day when Pharasma, the goddess of death, won't be able to contain him anymore, so he can go to the Material plane and put an end to it. This fateful day is nowhere near - it would take aeons for Groetus to become free - but it's inevitable, and comes closer with each passing second. Groetus is patient, and so are his worshippers - hiding in shadows, listening to their god's faint whispers, meditating over their own mortality, and frailty of life.

It is said that the worshippers of Groetus slowly sink into madness. Harrim dismisses such slanderous rumors. The way he talks and acts might seem eccentric, but it has nothing to do with so-called insanity - he just delves deeper into the fundamental truths, understanding the world's nature and the inevitability of its demise... He's happy to explain his religion's teachings - though he rarely finds anyone willing to listen.

Harrim's philosophy hasn't made him a passive observer. He's always ready to use his god's power to heal his allies or bring punishment upon their enemies - though after the battle expect him to say something about the perishable nature of all mortals. He embraces the fact that death will eventually take everyone, but he doesn't hurry to meet it - so he has trained to wear heavy armor and wield a shield. Despite Harrim's bleak philosophy, he'll save your life more than once during the many battles that await you in the Stolen Lands.

Should you rely on Harrim's help in ruling your realm, you will benefit from his wisdom and charisma. A calm, level-headed man, Harrim is surprisingly good at making well-considered decisions, as well as talking to people - that is, until he starts rambling about the End of Days.

Dev response: Magus Archetypes

You may have missed this one: our mechanics designer has created a massive forum post, where he discusses all the archetypes our community has suggested for the Magus. He talks about which of them may work well with the game, which of them might be complicated to implement, how and why certain archetypes would or wouldn't work and much more! If you'd like to learn more about the thought process that goes into our class design, come on over to the forums and have a chat with us!

Hail to the kings!

Owlcats

Thanks Purpleblob!

Kingmaker

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

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Demiurgos - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 08:36

Only 3 days to go for the Demiurgos Kickstarter - Kickstarter update #8 presents two books that had a great influence on the game:

Update VIII: Theoretical Background & Vote the Truth Update

In this update we would like to talk about two of the books that had a great influence on DEMIURGOS: Path of the Leviathan and that have been a source of inspiration for us.

The historic Persian wars are meant to be authentically interpreted in the game, and the first book that we will present is by far the most important account of these events.

Herodot: Histories

Histories (greek ἱστορίαι historíai “explorations“) by Herodot is the only known preserved work of the greek author who is often labeled father of history, for he was one of the first individuals who aspired to pass on history objectively and scientifically. His monumental creation spans nine books and was written in the fifth century BC. It offers an overview of the years 700-479 BC; roughly 220 years. Beginning with the ancient oriental great empires Lydia, Babylon and Egypt and ranging to the origin of occidental culture in Ion, the text gives witness to the genesis of the Greek states and the Persian empire and culminates in the Greek-Persian battles of the Persian wars.

In our game we use Herodots „Histories“ as basis for our new interpretation of historic correlations. Many of the events described are to be integrated authentically into our own timeline. Demagogues and military leaders, ideologies and political systems, systems of thought and views of the world – all of these were as relevant and contemporary in the long 19. Century as they were in the time that this work was created in. It offers a rich palette of ideas and stories – actually too much to include in just one game.

Gustave Le Bon: Psychology of the Masses

Psychology of the masses is the main work, of Gustave Le Bon, a Frenchman widely recognized as being the founder of mass-psychology. Mass-psychology is a domain of social psychology and studies the behavior of groups of peoples. Le Bon represents bourgeois-elite conservatism which rejects any hope of cultural, social and political advancement based on the commencing “era of the masses”. The masses, empirically viewed, are entirely stripped of reason. Even the educated, the individual that is able to act reasonable, is guided by unconscious and baser instincts from the moment he becomes part of a crowd. Every forming mass of people is a growing gathering of opportunists. Masses level the collective intellectual capabilities to the lowest standard.

"In the masses, the dumb, uneducated and envious lose their feeling of nullity and impotence which is replaced by a perception of, although impermanent, raw and immense power."

Gustav Le Bon also foresaw our current government debt crisis. He assumed that politicians – driven by the opportunistic masses – would not be able to make larger decisions conflicting with the acute demands of the general public, for example potentially necessary cutbacks in certain areas of the budget. At the same time government spending increases for political reasons: to obtain new groups of voters.

"The uninterrupted growth of said spending inevitably leads to bankruptcy. Many states of Europe; Portugal, Greece, Spain and Turkey, have reached this status – others will follow soon. But this is not really something one has to mind much, for the public has, without much objection, slowly but surely accepted the cut of four fifths of all payments from the assorted countries….and in a time of general decline one has to be satisfied with living for the moment, without thinking of tomorrow – a tomorrow that we cannot influence."

Kickstarter Games

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

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Mount & Blade II - New weekly Blog

by Hiddenx, 08:13

You can get now information about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord every week:

Dev Blog 03/08/17

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

It is an exciting summer for TaleWorlds Entertainment: our community & communications team recently showcased Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord at E3 in Los Angeles, and next month they will visit Gamescom, Europe’s biggest games industry show, to give hands-on demos to quite a number of journalists.

In the meantime, there’s something that we want to talk with you about. We realise that we haven’t communicated with you as frequently and as openly as we should have. We failed at connecting with our community, and sometimes it might appear as if we are not paying you as much attention as you deserve. We are incredibly grateful for having such fantastic support and we were unsuccessful in letting you know just how much we appreciate you being there for us over the years.

We want to improve our relationship and communication with you – starting right now. We know that you can’t wait to get your hands on Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, and we understand that after all these years you have a lot of questions. Moving forward, we think that the best way to engage with you is by being transparent, by opening our doors to introduce you to our daily work, as well as by having clear channels to communicate with you about everything related to TaleWorlds Entertainment and Mount & Blade that we can – or cannot – talk about at this moment in time. We are striving to create the best game that we can deliver, which is a tough task that has taken us many years, and it is your support that motivates us to work harder!

That is why we are starting a new weekly blog! Every Thursday, you will get to know who is behind Mount & Blade, the diverse and talented team of designers, artists, programmers and others that make the game possible; you will glimpse our struggles and hopes, our daily work, and our favourite parts of the game… We hope that you enjoy the read – and also that it makes the waiting easier! This blog will be available in several languages, because we value all of our different communities and their languages, there are no “first class” or “second class” players for us. At the same time, as we will explain later on, we currently cannot confirm that any particular language will be supported by the game at the day of its release. So please keep it in mind that if this blog is available in, say, Catalan, it does not automatically mean that the game will release in full Catalan.

In the coming weeks we will start a series of short interviews with different members of the development team… and who could be better to start with than TaleWorlds’ founder and CEO, Armagan Yavuz! Armagan founded the company back in 2005 and he is still the driving force behind it. If you would like to know something in particular about him or his work, then leave a question in the comment section and we will pick one to add to our Q&A.

We are also working to improve our social media channels so that you know exactly where to reach us – but we will tell you more about that later this summer. In the meantime, if you want to talk with us and keep up to date with everything relating to TaleWorlds Entertainment and the Mount & Blade franchise, you can find us on our existing channels on Twitter and Facebook – as well as on our official forums, where we just opened a new Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord section where you can talk about the upcoming game.

Mount & Blade II

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

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The Tavern - Released

by Hiddenx, 07:57

Moral Anxiety Studio released their RPG/Visual Novel mix The Tavern:

The Tavern is a dark fantasy adventure standing between Visual Novels and RPGs. It merges complex, text-heavy plot and interactive gameplay. Talk to NPC-s, explore your surroundings, gather clues and make dozens of minor and major choices to discover the game's mysteries.

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Plot Description

You play as mercenary named Nalia - a single mother who tries to earn enough coins to survive the winter. Your children need you to come back, but how are you going to act seeing the cruelty and rottenness of the outside world?

After all, the monsters, dark magic and barbarians from Southern Tribes are nothing in comparison with the human iniquity.

Your story begins when you approach a weird, isolated tavern…

Features

  • Immersive, complex dialogues filled with player's decisions;
  • Narrative battles;
  • Multiple endings;
  • Unique, personal story;
  • Non-linear, elastic plot;
  • Estimated playtime - between 1.5 and 3 hours with branching, hidden parts of the story.

The Tavern

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

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