Knights of the Old Republic 2 gets a major update on Steam

Aug 21

Obsidian’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 has received a substantial update today, courtesy of Mac publishers Aspyr Media. As well as making the game available to Mac and Linux folks, they’ve added a bunch of features PC players can enjoy as well. The game should now have native widescreen support, as well as resolution options all the way up to 5K (assuming you’ve got the monitor for it, or can downsample.) Knights of the Old Republic 2 will also now support gamepads, so you won’t need to set up Xpadder just to use your favourite controller. In terms of Steam bits, the game now has Workshop support. This includes an easy way to install the popular ‘Sith Lords Restored Content Mod,’ filling in some of the parts of the game that were missing at launch (because Obsidian were forced to ship too early by publishers LucasArts.) Steam achievements and Steam cards cloud saves [edit: sorry, no cards, I got a little over-excited there] are part of the package now too. In conjunction with this update, Knights of the Old Republic 2 has 25% off its $10 USD asking price until 28 July....

Read More

BORDERLANDS ONLINE PREPS FOR ANOTHER CLOSED BETA TEST

Jul 28

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time for your daily installment of Things You’re Never Going To Have! Probably not, anyway. Borderlands Online has opened registration for the second wave of closed beta testing, although the game’s developers have not yet specified when this second test will be taking place. A new PvP mode will be introduced that functions as a capture-the-flag scenario with the series’ recurring mascot robot Claptrap, but no new PvE features appear to be in the pipe. Borderlands Online is currently in development by Shanda Games for the Chinese market, with no announcement of a port or localization or anything for an American release despite being based off of an American IP. Life is strange like that. You can check out a video of the PvE gameplay just past the break and let yourself decide if you’re missing much....

Read More

MMO BURNOUT: WHY I WANT AN ASSASSIN’S CREED MMO

Jul 28

I play a fair amount of single-player stuff when I’m not playing MMOs, and at the risk of outing myself as one of those infernal dudebros, I love the Assassin’s Creed franchise. And I do mean love. I’ve got an Altair poster in my office and an Ezio action figure on my desk. I even own all of the series’ portable and mobile games, the latter of which is firmly against my religion. I know that Unity had more than its share of technical issues, and I know that Ubisoft is no one’s favorite thanks to annualization and its Uplay DRM. But I can’t help it. Assassin’s Creed kicks holy ass and I want an Assassin’s Creed MMO. mapI won’t spend a lot of time delving into the series’ gameplay here except to say that it’s an incredibly addictive mixture of platforming, parkour, swordfighting, and collection minigames, with the later installments adding everything from grenades to sailing ships as the historical timeline moves forward. Visceral combat in the vein of Assassin’s Creed isn’t exactly the MMORPG genre’s forte, but games like TERA and even Age of Conan have proven that stylized action can be done on a massive scale. Parkour might be another matter because thus far few MMOs have attempted it, certainly none to the degree that Assassin’s Creed typically employs. Blade & Soul’s movement system shares some similarities, though, and Black Desert’s purportedly does too, so I wouldn’t assume that it’s impossible. notredameAn Assassin’s Creed MMO might run into trouble when it comes to world size, particularly if the designers are keen to make an open-world game that supports thousands of simultaneous users as opposed to something heavily instanced. And let’s face it, the world and its absurd level of detail — as well as the fact that basically every inch of it can be explored — is a large part of this franchise’s charm. Sure, there’s a story, and it’s got some interesting bits about secret societies, historical figures, and the like, but to use Unity as an example, I’ve already spent over 20 hours in the game since buying it on Steam last week, and I couldn’t tell you the first thing about its narrative...

Read More

Stranger Than Fiction: The Ouster and Possible Return of the CEO of Red 5 Studios

Jul 18

Back in October, a reader suggested I check out Firefall, an open world MMO shooter. At the time my curiosity with shooters had picked up after playing the pseudo-shooter World of Tanks. I spent a few hours playing Firefall but lost interest as there didn’t seem to be much to do. These days, if a game isn’t compelling to me from the get-go, I don’t invest more time in it. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze. What I didn’t know was the history of the game and the nutty things going on inside Firefall’s developer, Red 5 Studios. Last month, a Red 5 employee took to Reddit to post a richly detailed post on why the CEO was removed by Red 5. Among the many gems in that thread were tidbits like this: Red 5 staff was informed about PvP being cut through the same forum thread the players were The whole Reddit thread and comments are worth reading, even if you have no interest in Firefall or Red 5. I find it fascinating that so much time/money was spent on things that weren’t meaningfully aligned with advancing Firefall or the game development capabilities of the studio. One insight I gleaned from the thread is that is a good resource to hear what employees think of their company. (I’ve previously used it for compensation benchmarking.) Granted, as with any online reviews you have to take what the reviewers say with a grain of salt. The story doesn’t end there. The former CEO tweeted this today: So how about this: Mulling over an offer to return to Red 5, but only on my terms and only if The9 steps out....

Read More

Guide to Weak Spots in World of Tanks

Jul 18

Weak spots are specific areas of a tank that can be penetrated more easily than other areas where the armor is thicker and/or sloped. Here is a list of common weak spots across tanks: The cupola, which is the hatch on top of the turret View (range) ports Machine gun ports Lower front glacis, especially on German tanks Hatches elsewhere on the vehicle Weak Spots (KV-1s) For almost every tank in the game, the rear and side armor of the hull (body) and turret tend to be weaker than the front armor, which is why flanking is so critical in World of Tanks. In general, you want to avoid targeting the following areas of an enemy tank: The mantlet, which is the heavily armored section where the gun attaches to the turret Areas which are heavily sloped or angled relative to you The following video provides illustrative footage of penetrating tanks in their weak spots: Aside from consistently hitting enemy tanks in their weak spots, make sure to protect your tank’s weak spots via proper angling and leveraging physical cover. The following video provides a more advanced look at weak spot targeting and protection with footage from an “Ace Tanker” Mastery battle for the IS-4: To protect your tank against penetrations, you can angle your hull armor to increase the effective armor and chance to ricochet incoming rounds, as discussed in my guide on angling. For more advanced videos, check out my “Road to Unicum” tank reviews in which I share what I’ve learned as I progress towards account Unicum rating (top 1%). I talk through how I’m reading each battle as it unfolds and discuss key decisions and mistakes. My hope is that these videos meaningfully help other players improve their gameplay. Recommended Tools and Resources There are some amazing web sites, mobile/tablet apps, and desktop applications that enable you visualize the armor of tanks with 3D models, and you can use these to understand their weak apots. Here are the ones I recommend. tanks.gg This relatively new site allows you to view the 3D models of every tank in a web browser. You can mouse over various parts of the tank to see the penetration values. You...

Read More

League of Angels – Fire Raider Launches On Mobile Platforms

Jul 13

  The team at GTArcade are celebrating today as they proudly announce the release of their first ever free-to-play mobile MMORPG game, based on the hugely successful browser MMO, League of Angels – Fire Raider. The game builds on the foundations set by the original League of Angels game and uses the detailed lore and background story of the characters to provide players with a story-driven mobile MMO gaming experience that boasts both highly impressive graphical qualities and controls that have been perfectly designed for mobile gaming platforms. Fire Raiders promises to wow players with its visual attention to detail, utilizing hand-drawn characters and backgrounds to offer a truly vibrant and immersive exploration experience. Every character is given a unique look and special effects to accompany their abilities, offering a true quality feel to the games varying features and inhabitants. The same hugely appealing elements can be seen in Fire Raiders as the challenge and allure of collecting and raising powerful angels and heroes is stronger than ever with over 100 unique characters for players to discover and recruit. Find your perfect team of warriors and enhance their skills and abilities how you see fit, uniting them under a single banner and taking your loyal companions to the darkest depths and beyond....

Read More