25 jul. 2011

Star Wars Galaxies XP Frenzy

A new hotfix when live across all US and European severs early this morning for Star Wars Galaxies that just about doubled XP for everything and will most likely be in effect until the game closes down.
It seems SOE is trying to make the last few months of SWG as enjoyable as possible for the remaining players.
Bonus Everything
  • Everyone logged in will earn Double XP, Double GCW Points, Double Heroic Tokens, Double GCW Tokens from Battlefields and City Invasions, Double Pet XP and Loyalty, Double Duty Mission Tokens, Double Chronicles XP, Double Chronicles Silver Tokens, increased chance to earn Gold Chronicles Tokens, increased RLS chance, increased chance to catch real fish (instead of junk loot and collection fish) and bonus Restuss Commendations!
  • NOTE: The RLS chance has been increased to 5 times the normal value.
Fan Faire 2011
  • The Fan Faire 2011 items are now available to be claimed in-game.
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24 jul. 2011

SWtoR Pre-Order Box Art Revealed?

So it seems that yesterday a Polish retailer Empik.com added details for the Star Wars: The Old Republicpre-order and posted up an image of the box art, which was then quickly removed.  Rumors are now flying that Bioware will announce the pre-order this Thursday during Comic-con in Seattle.
It’s also worth mentioning that Walmart has the release date set as 11/01/11 and seems to be open for pre-orders, however does not mention any of the above pre-order bonuses.
I guess we’ll wait until Comic-con and see if any dates are announced.
Update: Via swtorstrategies.com it seems that the release date status on the EA site has been changed from TBD to TBA.

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23 jul. 2011

What Won’t China Steal?

Straight out of the “are you f#cking kidding me” file comes World Joyland, a theme park located in Changzhou, China. What makes this theme park so special is that is based off of Blizzard’s popular World of Warcraft and Starcraft intellectual properties, which by the way it’s not paying Blizzard to license.
That’s ok though because the theme park owners have an iron-clan solution to avoid being sued into the ground.  One, they’re located in China and two they named the WoW area, Terrain of Magic, while the Starcraft area is called Universe of Starship, so no one will know it’s based on WoW and Starcraft.
Legal matters aside, do they realize that the reason Disney was so successful at one point was because they made a theme park targeting kids?  What 5-8 year old is going to bug their parents to take them to a WoW or Starcraft theme park?  And if you’re not a kid and excited to go to a WoW theme park I think you might have to re-evaluate your life or at the very least stop playing WoW.
Continue below to see some of the images from World Joyland.

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22 jul. 2011

FFXIV Previews Patch 1.18 Settlements

Today Square-Enix revealed more information about Final Fantasy XIV’s upcoming 1.18 patch, which will include new settlements.  The new settlements or outposts, six in all, will be intended as landmarks and bases of operation for players.  There players can find useful NPCs, such as merchants or smiths and some quests to do.  Future FFXIV patches will add more enhancements to the settlements as well as bring new quests.
There will be two new settlements in each of the three main regions, The Black Shroud, La Noscea and Thanalan.  Below we have a screenshot for each of the 6 outposts and you can find more information about them and patch 1.18 on the FFXIV site.

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21 jul. 2011

Black Prophecy Early Impressions Review

Over the last week I had some time to checkout the recently launched NA version of Black Prophecy and as far as first impressions go, it’s not a good one.  Starting off with the installation, I knew it wasn’t going to be a smooth ride as Gamigo required you to download 6 separate files, one of which was a broken link, so I had to wait a few hrs for them to notice  and fix it.
Once installed I logged in, created my character and was ready to go.  The game begins with you taking the role of a random crew mate on a ship that is attacked and you have to man the turrets.  The tutorial is meant as an introduction to the games weapon systems and normally I would gloss over something like this, however this is where I ran into my first bug.
Upon completing the turret tutorial, the game looped back to the beginning and I was forced to redo the whole thing.  While not a huge problem, it wasn’t that long,  the reason I’m pointing it out is because this was a bug from the European launch 4 months ago. Quite embarrassing and pathetic to have such a simple bug not fixed 4 months later for the NA launch.
However this seems to be the theme with the NA launch of BP as I heard players complaining in the chat channels of other bugs from the EU version that are still not fixed. Aside from bugs, I’ve had multiple game crashes and freezes, even today 10 mins ago when I logged in to take a few screenshots.  There was also a big lag issue the first few days that seems to have been resolved now.

Once you complete the intro tutorial you’re taken to a hub station where the ships commander, being impressed with you, offers you a spot in his flight crew.  You then proceed to complete more missions which are just more tutorials to help you learn the aspects of the game.
Once you complete all the tutorial and prologue missions you’re given the option to select which of the two races you want to become, the Tyi or Genides.  The basic difference between the two races are that Tyi are cybernetically altered humans while Genides are genetically altered, and obviously they have different ships types.  Once you select your faction the real game begins.
You start off in your faction’s hub station where you’re greeted by their ambassador who has a few missions for you.  At this point of the game, there have only been 2 types of missions that I’ve come across. Missions you receive from contacting NPC’s in the hub stations or other stations, which tend to be storyline missions, or Terminal missions you get from inside the hub station.
Picking up a mission from the terminal is basically like playing a single player game, they’re all instanced missions and they start as soon as you accept it. They have both solo and group missions, but there is no direct connection with these missions and the Black Prophecy universe.  It feels like you’re in a training simulator rather than a thriving, active galaxy.

The NPC missions you get from hub stations are a little better.  They provide some backstory, require you to travel to locations and complete some sort of objective.  On these type of missions you’ll definitely run into other players doing their own thing and since it’s open PvP you’ll also run into many opposing faction players who will kill you constantly.
Which brings me to the weapons systems and ships. Being a noob, I was under the impression that shields were useful, however after being killed oh, lets say 100 times and only getting a few kills in return, I decided to do some research in the BP forums.
Well it appears that shields and energy weapons are useless in the lower levels.  There are 3 weapon types available, energy, mechanical or explosive.  Energy weapons are good against shields, but deal little to no hull damage and mechanical and explosive do hull damage only.  To kill someone, you only need to do get their hull to zero, shields don’t matter.

Now you would think that since there are shields in the game, you would have to get rid of them first before doing any hull damage.  If you ever played any of the X-Wing games this is how it worked, but not in BP.  Shields only block a percentage of the damage with everything else going through dealing hull damage. Early on shields only block a very small percentage of damage, 10-20%, so using energy weapons is a waste since your only hurting shields and causing little hull damage.
If you use the strategy of using mechanical or explosive weapons only, you’ll deal a ton more damage with only a small fraction being absorbed by the shields.  I was using 2 energy weapons and 2 mechanical, so basically I had 2 weapons that did shit.  Once I learned shields don’t matter and changed to 4 mechanical guns, my kill-death ration switched to positive.
From what I read, even at the end levels shields only block 60-70% of hull damage so it seems they might never be useful.
Despite that and the bugs, the game is actually ok so far.  The biggest plus are it’s graphics, which are absolutely beautiful, some of the views are breathtaking.  While it’s a bit of a grind, what I’m really looking forward to is getting into some clan battles.  In later levels clans can construct their own hub stations and take over resource hubs in other areas, which sounds like good old fashion PvP fun.
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20 jul. 2011

Michael Pachter: "I'm getting my mom an Xbox 360, and you are too" Continue reading on Examiner.com Michael Pachter: "I'm getting my mom an Xbox 360, and you are too"

After some key moves from Microsoft recently, industry analyst Michael Pachter says he has to get his mom an Xbox 360 with Kinect, and he thinks you should, too.
Considering Microsoft's acquisition of Skype, Pachter is predicting "Videochat 2.0" via Xbox Live.  Game design program director at Digipen University Ben Ellinger explains Kinect's chatting abilities as such:
The microphones and the way they deal with sound on the Kinect is really sophisticated.  Combined with the visuals, you get this magical effect where Kinect knows who's speaking, it knows who you are, it can center the camera on your face properly.  If you get the infrastructure in there well enough, that's a science-fiction app.
In addition to all of the other things you can do with an Xbox 360, the abilities of Kinect combined with the implementation of Skype over Xbox Live means you could call your mom by just asking your Kinect to dial her up.  As Pachter puts it, "Skype, Kinect, Xbox 360.  I can talk to my mom from my living room?  You know what?  I'm getting my mom an Xbox 360, and you are too."
The Xbox 360 is evolving from just a game console into an all-encompassing entertainment experience.  According to  Ellinger, Microsoft's gameplan is "to own the living room."
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19 jul. 2011

Sony Online Entertainment restores service for PC online games

Online game addicts rejoice! Sony Online Entertainment has now restored service for its PC online games.
Similar to the restoration of the sister network, the PlayStation Network today, the SOE restoration of The Station online gaming service will happen in phases. Sony discovered hackers had attacked the PC online game service on May 1, about 11 days after it discovered the hacking of the PlayStation Network.
The restoration will begin with the return of all of Sony’s PC online games, from EverQuest to Free Realms. SOE will also restore game forums and web sites and require players to reset their passwords. SOE also promised better security as a result of consulting with respected outside security firms. The company pledged to take better care of the personal information of its 24 million users. The company said it is possible that 12,000 users had their credit card numbers stolen.
Sony is launching new security technologies such as software monitoring, penetration and vulnerability testing, and increased encryption.
SOE is offering a “welcome back” program for all Station account holders, including 30 days of free game time plus one day for each day the servers were down, or 15 more days. Players will also get 500 Station cash, SOE’s virtual currency, which can be used to purchase items in games.
Lifetime subscribers will received in-game currency instead of game time, since they are not on a monthly billing cycle.
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12 jul. 2011

Third-party smartphone app developer Sourcebits raises $10M for global expansion

India-based smartphone and tablet application developer Sourcebits has raised $10 million in first round funding. The investors — the company’s first — are Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures India, who each invested $5 million.
Sourcebits will use the funding to set up sales and engineering centers in the U.S and engineering teams in India and Europe. Outsourcing your app development to India will definitely get easier.
Sourcebits is a third-party application developer with 300 engineers and designers. The company claims it does application development for many Fortune 500 companies. Some of the most popular apps developed by Sourcebits include Robokill, Knocking Live, Daily Deeds, Night Stand, Skyfire, and Beast Farm. The company does app development for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Windows Phone 7 platforms.
The company was at number 38 spot on Lead 411’s latest Technology 500 list last December.
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11 jul. 2011

The stable version of Google Chrome 11 is now available

The folks at Google clearly is not still for a second, we are constantly offered upgrades, updates and changes to their services. A few days ago they released the stable version of Google Chrome 11, the 2 nd most used browser in Argentina, which comes with some interesting new addition to the correction of errors that users are reporting.

The new addition of Google Chrome 11 is the ability to record your voice using only HTML, for example in Google Translator can record what you want to translate interface and we will respond in the language you're translating.

There is also talk a lot of effort being made by Google to reduce the weight of the Chrome installer currently exceeds 20Mb, so you have to download it to check the weight, enjoy the new functionality and see the new logo for Google Chrome that was released recently in the beta versions of the browser
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