TGS News


'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.

Source


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.

Source


'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.

Source


Mila Kunis Plays 'World Of Warcraft'
Posted By: John Manalang - Tuesday, October 21, 2008 8:15 AM

There are plenty of reasons to adore the entity known as Mila Kunis. Aside for being "feign-death" gorgeous, she's quite the comic, voicing the character of Meg Griffin in Family Guy. Not only that, but she played the sexy Mona Sax in the recent Max Payne feature film.

And, folks, to top it all of, Mila Kunis is an avid player of World of Warcraft, complete with raid-talk and "Twink"-build characters. Here's what Kunis had to say during the Jimmy Kimmel show:

“The problem is, if anyone plays Warcraft… I’m really good, I’m a really kick ass Mage… We’ll you’re your own person and you can get into a guild… You gotta be in a guild, because you gotta do raids that require thirty or forty people. But now with the expansion pack, they’re gonna have raids that require only like ten people. So that’ll really make things a lot easier… Oh my god, it’s such a good game. I love it.”

We love you too...


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'Call Of Duty' Departing Word War II?
Posted By: John Manalang - Monday, October 20, 2008 1:03 PM

Treyarch producer Noah Heller touched on the subject that their upcoming FPS title Call of Duty: World At War may be the last game that will support a World War II setting. With the exception of Infinity Ward's massive hit Modern Warfare the Call of Duty game series have always faced-off against the Nazi regime.

In Heller's interview with Official Xbox Magazine, he said:

"Since World at War was in development for two years, it was still in development when Modern Warfare... well, it hadn't even come out yet," Heller explains. "So our path was a little bit set at that point but we also knew that we wanted to show the end of the war."

Modern Warfare's success was based on its gameplay mechanics and amazing multiplayer options, so WWII or not, as long as the title plays great, we have no complaints. Call of Duty: World At War will be out this November 11 for the PC, PS3, PS2, 360, Nintendo Wii and DS platforms.

 

 

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'Diablo III' Hands-On
Posted By: Jeffrey Kanjanapangka - Friday, October 17, 2008 5:04 PM

Tagging along with the MMO Report on their annual trip to BlizzCon came with a couple perks:  The ever dynamic John Walsh baffling many gamers with off-the-cuff humor, the ever present danger of being mugged for your goodie bag and most importantly, the pleasantly well-thought out press room offered up by Blizzard. 

Nestled high and away the press room became a sanctuary over the chaotic alternative of the main expo floor to experience Blizzard's new offerings.  Finally with some down time (press lunch was beginning) this plucky member of the G4 team promptly made a B-LINE towards the demonically awesome Diablo III demo.

The Diablo III demo gave you the choice between three character classes: Wizard, Barbarian, and Witch Doctor. Each class can be either male or female, although the male Wizard was locked in this demo. I picked a female Barbarian aptly named Barbara and jumped into multiplayer alongside a female Wizard. The demo starts off in what’s left of Tristram, a place familiar to returning players. You’re immediately greeted by a soldier who gives you a quest that involves venturing into a cathedral and smiting a baddie called the Skeleton King.

The voice acting is high quality as you’d expect from a Blizzard game and the ambient sounds and music create a suitably creepy atmosphere. What stands out is just how alive the environments feel. Every location includes details like worn old structures crumbling as you pass and a variety of destructible elements on top of the familiar barrels. In the church I saw a fixture on a wall attached to a chain. Smashing it caused a chandelier to fall from the ceiling, which might have been useful if I hadn’t already cleared the room of monsters beforehand. Earlier on the outside I spotted a soldier standing near a well. Just as I approached, a zombie appeared from out of the well, grabbing the poor soldier as he screamed, and the well soon erupted with blood like a scene out of Army of Darkness. Quaint little touches like this go a long way in keeping the experience lively. Presentation overall is top notch. Locations are large, and moving from one to another was near instantaneous on the demo machine.

On the way to the cathedral I managed to finish up a sidequest. I encountered a ghost mother wailing about her daughter’s missing doll, which I found in a nearby treasure chest. Further exploration of the area turned up the ghost of the daughter, who instantly took the doll from my inventory.

Gameplay is streamlined in little ways that add up to better flowing gameplay. Gold can be picked up by simply walking over it, and doing the same with potions instantly replenishes your character’s health or mana. Playing as a Barbarian, I didn’t have as many moves to play around with as the spellcasting classes, but melee powers like Frenzy and Berserker state use the Barbarian’s version of mana which is orange instead of blue. Levelling up triggers a flashy explosion that damages nearby enemies. Rather than distributing points to different attributes, that part is handled automatically (right?) and all you have to do is pick which way you’d like your character to go on a skill tree.

As you’d expect, the bulk of the game involves hacking through hordes of enemies, and a few of the varieties in this demo showed off some interesting attributes. Just like in real life, zombies simply refuse to die. Even if you cut down a whole horde, some of their bodies will continue to writhe on the ground, and some will even grab onto you character if you get too close. Another type of enemy I fancied (and many agree) in particular were large, ogre-like creatures called Grotesques. Killing one will result in its body swelling up and exploding. As if that wasn’t disgusting enough, out spills a swarm of slimy, eel-like Lampreys. A giant leap from previous installments in the series as these details really kept the game lively and all of a sudden it doesn't really feel like "fighting through a horde". Dare I say it, it felt like an adventure.

On the second floor down in the cathedral, we encountered the Skeleton King. His spirit entered his physical body in a very epic manner and the fight ensued, with the king summoning several skeleton archers and shield bearers to fight for him. Once the king and his forces were defeated, the demo ended and the Wizard and I commenced our overly nerdy cheering to a small group of Press who had finished their lunch and were anxious to play.

Diablo III left me confident and excited with the fine-tuning and upgrading Blizzard has done with this legendary franchise.  The game is just ALIVE. The hub-bub over the art-direction I can fully attest to being unwarranted as the game's atmospheric tones can be felt through and through effortlessly. With no release date on the horizon all I can say at this point is that the ol' Blizzard "it's done when its done" is there for a reason.  While painful to endure I'd gladly wait years if that meant every second of the full version of the game was as spectacular as the demo.  In the meantime, I'm sure the "other" offerings from Blizzard will tide you over for quite a while... maybe you've heard of them?

 


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Blizzard: 'WAR' Players Returning To 'WoW'
Posted By: John Manalang - Thursday, October 16, 2008 9:28 AM

Blizzard executive Paul Sams said that more than half of the players in Mythic Entertainment's MMORPG, Warhammer Online, are already returning to the company's massive title, World of Warcraft, according to his interview with GamesIndustry.

The report states that the user-base of World of Warcraft has dropped in the time of Warhammer Online's release. "The good news is that we've seen a significant number of people, well over half, that cited Warhammer as their reason for leaving [World of Warcraft] - they've already returned," said Sams. He added that the same experience occurred when Funcom's MMO, Age of Conan, was first released.

Despite the competition, Sams said, "I think Warhammer is best positioned to succeed out of the various products that have come out thus far since World of Warcraft has come out". "Mythic and Mark [Jacobs] over there and his team, they're very, very talented," he said.

As of last week, game publisher Electronic Arts announced that Warhammer Online has over 750,000 players since launch. The latest World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, is due out this November 13 for the PC and Mac.

Source


'Diablo III' Coming After 'StarCraft II'
Posted By: John Manalang - Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:23 AM

We're crazy over Blizzard's upcoming RTS and action-RPG projects StrarCraft II and Diablo III--crazy enough to think that Blizzard would release them simultaneously. But, after reading Blizzard executive Rob Pardo's interview with Wired regarding the release of Diablo III, our idea was just...crazy.

When asked about Diablo III's release, Pardo replied first with, "when it's ready," but added, "We have a lot of development ahead of us before it will be something ... It will definitely be out after StarCraft II". The highly anticipated RTS sequel will be released as a trilogy.

StarCraft II and Diablo III will be available for the PC and Macintosh platforms.

 


Wow Patch Notes: 'World Of Warcraft' Updating For Lich King
Posted By: John Manalang - Tuesday, October 14, 2008 8:11 AM

At some point today, millions of people will clench their cheeks in anticipation as the latest World of Warcraft update downloads. The Echoes of Doom patch will be a major download in preparation for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion coming this November 13.

The wonderful folks over at WoW Insider has all the details and patch notes. The update will include the new achievements system, new talents, barber shop so you can get your hair did and much more. Make sure you hit the source for all the mind-numbing details. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King will be available for the PC and Macintosh platforms.

 

 


'WoW' Character Customization Requires Fee
Posted By: John Manalang - Monday, October 13, 2008 2:28 PM

Hey Azeroth inhabitants, like, do you think you need a makeover? Ever wanted to wrap-up that long, lavish Night Elf hair or put that shiny Troll tusk in another place on your face? In the future, if you're willing to pay a certain price, you may be able to do so.

The upcoming character customization option for World of Warcraft will require a fee to give your character a makeover. The post on WarCry reads:

"When asked to expand upon a button found by sifting through the Lich King beta's data files named "Paid Character Customization," [World of Warcraft production director J. Allen] Brack initially hesitated to give any answer at all. Several questions later, he went back to the matter, saying that he could, in fact, confirm that World of Warcraft would eventually have some form of paid character customization, though they themselves hadn't yet worked out any details."

But don't worry; as soon as Wrath of the Lich King comes out this November 13, you could still get your character's hair did just like those two generous ladies over there...hopefully.

Source


'Secret Of Mana', 'World Of Goo' Hits The Wii
Posted By: John Manalang - Monday, October 13, 2008 11:01 AM

Retro goodness mixes in with a new substance this week with new releases for the WiiWare/Virtual Console. SquareSoft's classic RPG tale, Secret of Mana (800 Wii points), arrives at the Virtual Console while World of Goo (1,500 Wii Points), announced at the recent Nintendo Media Summit, makes its debut for the WiiWare.

Joining Secret of Mana is also another classic--Capcom's Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition. Hit the jump for the full release.

Armchair physicists rejoice! The hotly anticipated award-winning World of Goo™ makes its WiiWare™ debut this week, inviting players to build infinitely fascinating structures out of Goo and uncover the mystery behind the World of Goo Corporation. Other cool additions to the Wii Shop Channel™ this week include Art Style™: CUBELLO™, the second installment in Nintendo's Art Style series, and a pair of classics for the Virtual Console™: SECRET OF MANA™ and STREET FIGHTER™ II': SPECIAL CHAMPION EDITION. Fun offerings like these are sure to heat up your October, no matter how low the autumn temperatures may go.

Nintendo adds new and classic games to the Wii Shop Channel at 9 a.m. Pacific time every Monday. Wii™ owners with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points™ to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel or at retail outlets. This week's new games are:

WiiWare

World of Goo (2D Boy, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone—Comic Mischief, 1,500 Wii Points): World of Goo is an award-winning, physics-based puzzle/construction game made entirely by two guys. Grab living, squirming, talking globs of goo to build structures, bridges, cannonballs, zeppelins and giant tongues. The millions of Goo Balls that live in the beautiful World of Goo are curious to explore—but they don't know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious. World of Goo Corporation is contractually obligated to state that everyone is a winner, and is enthusiastic to celebrate everyone's Goo building opportunities equally.

Art Style: CUBELLO (Nintendo, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 600 Wii Points): Art Style: CUBELLO mixes the strategy and feel of a traditional puzzle game with the precision and reflexes required in a shooter. As each stage begins, various colored cubes form into one large object called a Cubello, which floats and rotates as you play. Launch additional cubes from your magazine and try to connect four or more of the same color, removing them from the Cubello and eventually leaving only its core. Take on the challenge of either Stage or Endless mode and watch what happens when Bonus Time is activated. The straightforward controls and goal ensure that anyone can play, while offering enough depth that even advanced players will find themselves quickly addicted to the unique world of Art Style: CUBELLO.

Virtual Console

SECRET OF MANA (Super NES™, 1-3 players, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older—Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, 800 Wii Points): Good and evil battle for a young warrior's heart. There is one force in the universe that keeps good and evil in perfect balance. It is called the tree of Mana. But a magic sword has tricked a young warrior into upsetting this balance, spreading evil throughout the land. Thus, the warrior must undertake a dangerous journey to find the seeds of the Mana tree, which have been hidden for centuries. Only then can perfect harmony be restored. In this incredible adventure, things are not as they seem. Magic swords release evil as well as fight it. Treasure chests hold booby traps. Monsters are friends and friends are enemies. Potions give power, black magic takes it away. Dragons fly, weapons change. It's a world turned upside down that you must help the warrior make right. And the only way to succeed is to solve the Secret of Mana.

STREET FIGHTER II': SPECIAL CHAMPION EDITION (Sega Genesis, 1-2 players, Rated T for Teen—Violence, 800 Wii Points): STREET FIGHTER II': SPECIAL CHAMPION EDITION was the first STREET FIGHTER game released for the Sega Genesis console. The STREET FIGHTER series can be considered one of the first fighting games to popularize competitive video game fighting. This version of the game contains both the CHAMPION and HYPER rule sets, from the two editions released in the arcades. It also introduced an exclusive Group Battle mode that is now a general feature in most fighting games. Play as one of 12 different characters, each with their own distinctive fighting style. Try single-player mode or challenge a friend in this legendary, classic fighting game.


BlizzCon 2008 Epic Image Gallery
Posted By: Jeffrey Kanjanapangka - Monday, October 13, 2008 10:33 AM

Tagging along with The MMO Report as they made their way to this year's BlizzCon gathering in sunny Anaheim, California, we were able to take some interesting snapshots of the real life people that make up Blizzard's virtual worlds.

From the helpful, well-spoken Louisiana IT technican who plays an Undead Rogue in WoW to the cosplayer from Arizona who spent months engineering the wiring to light up her Epic armor properly... we here at G4 salute you for your gaming passion and the imagery it creates.

Click the image below for the BlizzCon 2008 image gallery

BlizzCon 2008 image gallery.


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'WoW' Player's 36 Man Solo Raids
Posted By: John Manalang - Monday, October 13, 2008 9:33 AM

We had assumed that we'd seen every hardcore WoW player out there, but alas, the internets have proven us wrong once again. A being known as Bradster currently has 36 accounts on World of Wacraft all for himself, and not only that, he plays them all at once. Again, he has three dozen accounts and he plays them all at once.

Here's word from the man himself:

"A lot have asked me, why create so many? The main reason is to invade Stormwind and Ironforge when they reach top level. I’m sure the Alliance will put up a big fight when that happens. We’ll see how it goes. If they don’t make level 70 before Wrath of the Lich King, then it will be at level 80. That is my main goal."

The Bradster pays $5711 in subscription fees per year. Well, if that's his "main goal" then...meh, we'd rather not go on about what are not his main goals, so we'll leave that up to you.

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'Spore' Expanding Twice
Posted By: John Manalang - Monday, October 13, 2008 9:21 AM

Electronic Arts is planning to expand your Spore universe further with two expansion sets. Arriving this November 19, the Creepy and Cute expansion pack will add over 100...umm, cute and creepy components to make your creatures more eccentric than ever.

The other untitled expansion is set to arrive in Spring 2009, and it will focus on space exploration. New planets, creatures and missions are expected, including an Adventure creator where users can create their very own intergalactic agenda. Spore is now available in stores for the PC and Macintosh platforms.

Now...will you be our friends?


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