TGS News


Fight The Power: 'Second Life' Players Virtually Protesting Over New Fees
Posted By: Raymond Padilla - Friday, October 31, 2008 9:58 AM

Linden Labs recently announced pricing and policy changes regarding the Openspace feature in its Second Life virtual world. Starting January 1, 2009, the upfront fee is being raised from $250 to $375, while the monthly maintenance fee is being raised from $75 to $125. As expected, numerous Second Life denizens are pissed off (a medical term) about the increase. GigaOM has reported that players are holding virtual protests over the new fees. Some players are holding protest signs, others are lighting themselves on fire, and some are moving to OpenSim, a Second Life competitor. Wagner James Au writes:

"Within 24 hours of the price hike announcement, more than 800 frustrated SL users, including influential members of the community, had registered with an attractive OpenSim variation. 'I’m moving to OpenSim!' has already become the metaverse version of the 'I’m moving to Canada!' threat we hear every U.S. Presidential election."

I never "got" Second Life. It always seemed overhyped and boring as hell to me. That said, it's cool that its players are so into it. It's even cooler that they're being active instead of apathetic about changes their perceive to be unfair. Viva la resistance!

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Mac Users Holding Out For A Hero Get Their Answer
Posted By: Raymond Padilla - Thursday, October 30, 2008 8:30 AM

NCsoft and TransGaming issued a press release today announcing City of Heroes for Apple's Macintosh platform. The press release states.

"City of Heroes for Mac will be available for public beta testing with the release of the game’s thirteenth expansion, Issue 13: Power and Responsibility later this fall. The official launch will occur pre-holiday this year with a special digital-only Mac edition of City of Heroes, available across all NCsoft West consumer territories."

This is great news for gaming-deprived Mac users. City of Heroes is a fantastic MMO with a loyal fan base. It has been able to survive and thrive while many competitors have folded. Hopefully the world of City of Heroes will soon be populated by the likes of Super Jobs and his sidekick Wonder Woz.

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X-Play 'Fallout 3' Review
Posted By: Jeffrey Kanjanapangka - Wednesday, October 29, 2008 5:46 PM

We feel for you... honestly we do.  Amid a flurry of quality games piling up, it seems like every gamer is coming to terms with making "tough" game-buying decisions.  Of course who should come to the rescue but your friendly, neighborhood X-Play review to help.

On the edge with Bethesda's Fallout 3?  Still arguing about V.A.T.S. or feeling like it's just "Oblivion with guns"?  Then catch X-Play's review of Fallout 3 right below. Then, make sure read the written review here to help you make another "tough decision".


The Path To 'Hellgate' Is Paved To Taiwan?!?
Posted By: Raymond Padilla - Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:28 AM

The fine (but oddly sooty) folks at Hellforge have reported that Hellgate: London might be resuscitated by Taiwanese MMO company Redbana. Namco-Bandai previously announced that it would be shutting the gates to...er...Hellgate on January 31, 2009. The Hell Forgers have discovered a curious announcement on the game's Korean web site that talks about a "re-opening of the Hellgate".

Adding more juice to the rumor is the fact that Redbana is ramping up its San Francisco operations. The game's developer, the recently dissolved Flagship Studios, was based in San Francisco. It's entirely possible that Redbana is looking to hire some old Flagship hands...or maybe the company just gets a kick out of a liberal city with two excellent bridges and loads of unemployed game developers. 

The saga of Hellgate: London and Flagship Studios has been long and messy. Both the game and the company were announced with tons of fanfare. The amount of hype was surpassed by the number of delays. When it was finally released, the game was a disappointment. However, Hellgate had its fans and they were disheartened by the January shut-down date. If this rumor pans out then there's a chance that loyal players of the game might be rewarded by having their characters transfer to the potential relaunch.

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'Fallout 3' Direct-Feed Gameplay Footage (Xbox 360)
Posted By: Jeffrey Kanjanapangka - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 5:15 PM

To celebrate today's launch of Bethesda's post-apocalyptic, action RPG Fallout 3, you're invited to take a stroll with us as we venture around with 15 minutes worth of Fallout 3 direct-feed gameplay footage.  In this video, we attempt to cram in: combat with V.A.T.S., lockpicking, multiple zones, and as many gorgeously cinematic deaths as possible.

Fallout 3 is available now for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.  Happy hunting and never leave home without your PIP Boy 3000.

Fallout 3 Direct-Feed Gameplay Footage (Xbox 360)


Bethesda Discusses Lack Of Child Killing In 'Fallout 3'
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 12:37 PM

Emil Pagliarulo, the lead designer on Fallout 3, wants to let you know why you won't be able to murder any children in Bethesda's RPG.

"This is a series that in previous installments allowed players to kill children, right? When Bethesda first started developing Fallout 3, we had early conversations about whether you’re going to be able to blow the kids’ heads off, but then we began to think, really what benefit would there be in killing the kids in the game? It just seems gratuitous, unnecessary and cruel."

That and it would have been impossible to get it past the censors and ESRB with an M-rating. We're talking AO territory here, folks.

When the original Fallout games were released, video games were harmless distractions and had no relevance. Today, things are different and Jack Thompson would be getting his disbarred, lawyering briefcase full of condemnation ready for a march to the courts.

In the end, the game is still amazing and doesn't suffer from a lack of child-killing. Don't hold it against them.

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'World of WarCraft' Hits 11 Million Subscribers
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:18 AM

The unstoppable force that is World of WarCraft keeps on truckin' with Blizzard announcing that they have hit 11 million subscribers world wide.

This includes players that are within their initial free month of play or accounts that have logged on through Internet cafes, which accounts for a vast majority of the players in China.

"It's been very rewarding to see gamers around the world continue to show such strong support for World of WarCraft," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard's CEO. "We remain fully committed to responding to that enthusiasm with a high-quality, constantly evolving game experience."

The MMORPG's next expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, will be released on November 13, 2008 for the PC and Mac.

In other news, Blizzard has not officially announced plans to print their own money, but insiders speculate that they are already doing so.

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Tip: 'Fallout 3' Locks You Into End-Game At Some Point
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:48 AM

If you're picking up your copy of Fallout 3 today (as you should) you'll want to know about something. You see, at the end of the game, Bethesda's RPG will lock you into the main quest and won't allow you to keep exploring the Wasteland. Furthermore, when you finish the last quest that's it: game over.

You will not be able to go back and do side quests unless you start over.

We're recommending you keep multiple save games if you want to explore everything. The lock-out happens in the last mission of the main quest so you don't have to worry about it just yet.

Just a friendly tip from your friends at G4tv.com!

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'Hellgate: London' Servers Going Offline February 2009
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Friday, October 24, 2008 2:29 PM

Hellgate: London (PC), the action-RPG from Bill Roper's Flagship Studios, was in a bad place with Flagship was shut down, but Namco Bandai stepped in to keep the servers running.

It looks like that could be coming to an end with Namco Bandai only pledging to support the servers until January 31, 2009. It's more than likely that the game's multiplayer component will end on that day.

Hellgate: London does not feature LAN play for multiplayer off of the official servers. Hopefully Diablo III isn't too far off. However, there's still a small chance that Namco will decide to keep the servers up past this date.

Are you a Hellgate player? How does this news strike you?

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'Fallout 3' Available For Pre-Order On Steam
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Friday, October 24, 2008 2:16 PM

Bethesda Softworks' Fallout 3 is now available for pre-order on Valve's Steam service in preparation for the game's October 28th release. The game will also be released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

"Fallout 3 is one of the most important PC launches of 2008," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "Last year, we were able to deliver major releases such as Bioshock and Call of Duty 4 to the millions of gamers connected to Steam. With Fallout 3 added to the line up of great titles coming to Steam, this year promises to be an even better holiday season for Steam gamers."

Fallout 3 Weapons & Combat

"We've heard from everyone already using Steam that it is a fantastic online platform for delivering PC games," said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks. "In addition to the leading edge service, the platform also exposes the game to millions of targeted gamers."

The PC version will cost $49.99.


'WAR' Enhances Realm Vs Realm Experience
Posted By: John Manalang - Thursday, October 23, 2008 8:22 AM

Mythic Entertainment further encourages players of their hit MMORPG, Warhammer Online, to participate in realm-vs-realm (RvR) battles with enhanced experience rewards. Killing enemy players in an Open RvR area will now grant players a 100% bonus experience rather than the previous 50%.

"With the addition of the new region-wide and RvR-wide chat channels we have seen a marked increase in Open RvR participation. In order to encourage this trend even further, we have made an additional adjustment to the experience awarded for killing enemy players in an Open RvR area. Previously we increased this amount by 50%. As of today, that bonus has been raised to 100%. With this change players killed in Open RvR will now be worth double the experience than those killed in scenarios!"

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is now available for the PC.

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'Fable II' Reviews Gets Molyneux 'Emotional'
Posted By: John Manalang - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 12:46 PM

This gentleman deserves all the credit he gets. Lionhead Studios boss Peter Molyneux expressed his welcoming gratitude over the multitude of positive reviews of his company's latest action-RPG sequel, Fable II. In fact, the man's "incredibly emotional" as he said during his interview with CVG:

"I found myself becoming incredibly emotional as I read peoples reviews and saw how differently the reviewers were reacting to Fable II. Some reviewers played Good, others Evil. Some enjoyed the combat more than the story. Some ended up rich and others poor, and it's the sheer variety in how reviewers have played the game which has struck us most. I'd like to say a personal thank you to every reviewer out there for their patience and belief."

We really felt all warm and fuzzy inside after reading that, no kidding. Did you get Fable II yet? If you did, what do you think of it so far? Fable II is now available for the Xbox 360. Hit the jump for X-Play's review of the game.

 

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Sony Releases 15th 'EverQuest' Expansion: 'Seeds of Destruction'
Posted By: Brian Leahy - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 10:52 AM

EverQuest, the landmark MMORPG from Sony Online Entertainment, has just seen the release of its 15th expansion pack after almost 10 years of uptime.

The expansion, titled EverQuest Seeds of Destruction, is available now as a digital download from Sony for $39.99 at everquest.com.

What could they still possibly add to this PC MMO? Hit the jump to find out.

EverQuest Seeds of Destruction Feature Set:

  • Mercenaries: Player-controlled NPCs are now available and will not only scale to the appropriate level but also think and act for themselves with limited player guidance. Designed for extra support or extra muscle in PvE encounters, mercenary archetypes include a variety of classes from all playable races.
  • Level Cap Increase: Players can now achieve level 85 with new high-level item sets, new alternate advancement ability lines and new spells.
  • 20 New Zones: Experience reimagined classic content and brand-new realms for adventurers to explore, including the eerie wasteland of the Void, the Battle of Rathe on the Plane of Earth and the ultimate Heart of Darkness in the Plane of Discord.
  • Access to All Previous Content: Includes all features and content from the 14 previous expansion packs.
  • Legends of Norrath: Includes strategic online trading card game, digital starter deck, booster pack and loot item.

For a 10 year old game, that certainly is a lot of new content. Mercenaries will definitely be a huge change to the PvE gameplay and new levels are always fun.

At this point, it'd be crazy to try and jump into EverQuest for the first time, but subscribers are lucky to have the continued support of Sony over all these years.

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'The Old Republic', 'WAR' To Consoles?
Posted By: John Manalang - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 9:08 AM

It may seem like publisher Electronic Arts is giving all the MMORPG love to PCs lately with Mythic's Warhammer Online and the upcoming BioWare MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. However, EA executive Frank Gibeau said that both titles are "under consideration" for home console versions.

In Gibeau's interview with EuroGamer, he said:

"We've got this product, and we've got Warhammer at play. So we're trying to look at the primary research required to understand how would you deploy it, what the client size looks like, how big is the back-end, what the play experience looks like... Once we've got some of those questions answered, we'll be able to decide which is the right play to go after."

Considering the home console roots of the Knights of the Old Republic titles, the universe of BioWare's upcoming MMO, a console version of the title could be possible. As for Warhammer, it would be an interesting take if console owners could play with the PC community online. But, let's say, if EA goes forward with bringing these two MMO titles to consoles, what will happen to the 360's Champion's Online or the PS3's DC Universe Online? Hmm...

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning is now available for the PC.

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'The Old Republic' Story Details
Posted By: John Manalang - Wednesday, October 22, 2008 7:19 AM

The story in BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic RPG was nothing short of awesome, and if you haven't experienced it, then you're completely missing out on some of gaming's most revered moments. With the announcement of the upcoming MMO project from EA and BioWare, Star Wars: The Old Republic, we expect the story elements to be an incredible experience once again in the upcoming "story-driven" MMO.

As mentioned in yesterday's announcement, The Old Republic will have a unique story for each player in the game, whether the player chooses his/her allegiance with the Sith Empire or the Galactic Republic. Lead writer Daniel Erickson gave out some details on the The Old Republic's upcoming tale, ranging from its relevance to the Knights of the Old Republic title to class choices.

Taking place about 300 hundred years after the events of the first KOTOR game, The Old Republic focuses on the high tension between the Republic and Sith Empire. Erickson's interview with Shack News revealed the following details:

On the way story will work in The Old Republic:

"We have classes in the game, and every class has a different story. Every class has a story that will take you from the first level of the game to the last level of the game, and none of those stories are the same.

In the same way, faction stuff is split out between the Empire and Republic. So the takeaway note from this is, if you roll a Jedi character and you play them from the first level to the last level, and then you roll a Sith and you play them from the first, you will not see one repeated quest, line of dialogue, or piece of content. It is a 100% different story experience.

That is not to say you won't see the opposite side of the conflict. It is about war. We don't play common people. We play huge heroes in the Star Wars universe, which means the war is important."

On the strength of class-based story:

"You are a Sith. You have a Darth Vader fantasy. You are now playing, for all intents and purposes, a Sith RPG."

On the idea of choice-based story in an MMO:

"You're 60 hours into the game on the light side, and you hit this huge choice. You know exactly what you want to do, and you look for the save button, and you realize there is no save button. I'm gonna make this choice, and this choice is going to be my choice forever. It makes not only the individualism of we're actually telling this story, but the power of making these choices stronger than they've ever been in any BioWare game."

Hit the source for the rest of the interview. Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available for the PC.

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