Tag Archives: news
Just wanted to point everyone’s attention to this announcement:
Arenanet will be ramping up beta tests and will eventually release this Guild Wars 2 this year.
When I was in college, I was fascinated by a Japanese horror movie called Ring. I found out this movie, which spawned American versions, was based on a Japanese book series. I bought those books and I loved them intensely.
I had almost forgotten about my love affair with Sadako and the Ring Trilogy (quadrilogy if you count Birthday) when a recent announcement on the Anime News Network had me foaming at the mouth in a good way.
Koji Suzuki, author of the Ring novels, is making a new book to add to the series, called S. With this book, Sadako returns, apparently. Instead of videotapes, however, the supposed transmission method for the curse is cloud computing, which is an absolutely delcious concept.
I look forward to reading this novel when it comes out, preferably before I die from a metastatic cancer virus outbreak (a little Ring novel humor there, nevermind). Cheers!
It’s been a while since I covered Final Fantasy XIV. I’ve been reading up on the news for it, but there was nothing particularly of note until just recently.
A few hours ago, Naoki Yoshida posted a new Letter from the Director on the Lodestone website and this letter was a rather substantial one for one reason. He added a two-minute video showing of the auto attack function that’ll be making it patch 1.18 of the game. While it’s not 100% perfect as of yet, citing the need “to make major revisions to enmity algorithms, tweak the motion of certain actions (as seen in the above video), and also rebalance a handful of them,” among other things, the news is quite exciting, to be sure.
In any event, you can expect the following changes in the lineup for the future of Final Fantasy XIV:
- Auto-attack functionality will be prioritized in 1.18.
- Attack motion diversification and fine-tuning are planned for 1.19.
- Battle classes only will receive auto-attack.
- The stamina gauge will be abolished with the introduction of auto-attack.
- Recast timers will be adjusted for certain actions obtained via quests and guild marks whose action costs were managed solely through the stamina gauge.
- Certain actions dependent on the stamina gauge will have their effects adjusted.
- Characters will be made able to switch between passive and active modes while moving.
- Multiple attacks during auto-attack is also being planned for the future.
Sadly, the testing means that the changes will not take effect as soon as originally planned, and Yoshida estimates “two more weeks beyond the anticipated mid/late-June release date” before the changes to the battle system can be released. I guess July should be an interesting month, then, don’t you think?
Most everyone in the MMO gaming and blogging community has probably heard of the acquisition of Cryptic studios by Perfect World. It was nice to know, thanks to Mr. Jennings of Broken Toys, that Cryptic was bought by Perfect World for almost double the base price that Atari paid for the company.
In reference to my previous post about my blogging habits and about how it’s okay to be wrong, assume we have at least two different viewpoints. On the one hand, we can have a viewpoint where the acquisition can be seen as a “complete mess”, made potentially worse by the fact that a predominantly F2P MMO developer bought the game company(inaccurate wording, but give me a break) for double the price. On the other hand, we have the the generally positive, cautiously optimistic viewpoint that this can be good in the short term for both companies (from a PR and development standpoint), but cannot be accurately predicted in the long-term.
I have no qualms with either viewpoint, and will generally leave my personal bias out of this discussion. Both sides have some good points and bad points, and though the research on the cautiously optimistic viewpoint is more pronounced, acknowledging the possibility of catastrophic failure on the part of Cryptic is something that should be considered and thought, since acknowledging a potential unsavory future for the company and the history of gaming leads us to try and steer clear of it.
With the naysayers in this case, I think the issue of relevance may be a factor in how their perception has come to see this situation. Some of them may have come from an earlier point in time in STO’s lifecycle, and thus have not experienced changes made to the game. Worse still, there’s no pertinent information in the above linked blog post to conclude that Cryptic games will “nosedive” after this acquisition.
As for the cautiously optimistic… well, for lack of a better way of putting it, you can’t be full-blown optimistic about this one, so a measured dose of skepticism may be needed given Cryptic’s track record. So long as people support Cryptic in the future though, and Perfect World can infuse the game with renewed vigor that adds onto the changes Cryptic has made to its games, then it should be good.
As for me, the best part of this is the possibility that curious members of the gaming community will try other Perfect World games, realize it isn’t as bad as it seems, and partake of Perfect World’s offerings outside of Cryptic games and the Torchlight MMO.
Better still, Perfect World now has two companies that have a deep knowledge of how to offer player-created content to the public. If Cryptic and Runic Games can be convinced to share resources and information with Perfect World, it would be an amazing bit of gaming to realize a F2P fantasy MMO with player-created content set in a completely original world. F2P MMOs would no longer be constrained by the stigma of grinding, but instead be connected to player-made content, and that would be awesome.
That said, I have to once again look up at the infinite vastness of space, consider the immeasurable number of possibilities, and say to myself, “Gee, I don’t know. I could be wrong.”
Of course, Being wrong never stopped a man from hoping though.
Over on Bitmob, Brad Grenz wrote an update regarding the PSN issue that I think should be shared to people to quell some of the fear, uncertainty, and doubt currently plaguing the gaming public.
Grenz found a post on the Beyond3D forums that detailed what some quick thinking and even quicker researching could do. Writes Grenz,
One member of the Beyond3D forum, deathindustrial, was curious about the outdated server software claim and did a very brief amount of very interesting research into the issue….
(Beyond3D’s community has a unique combination of technically knowledgable user with a low rate of console fanboyism, allowing for an honest discussion of things like the PSN data breach without the conversation devolving into another proxy battle in the great fanboy wars.)
As it turns out, it is fairly simple to use Google’s webcache to show what version of Apache the PSN servers were using back in March. According to a page request archived by Google on March 23, 2011, at that time Sony was running version 2.2.17 of the software. You can see from Apache’s website that 2.2.17 is the latest stable version of the webserver available even today. This is a direct repudiation of the claims being made that Sony’s webservers were out of date by as much as five years.
In connection to this, the poster, deathindustrial, also noted the exact quote said by Dr. Stafford, the “security expert,” during the testimony before congress. Instead of turning there, it might be better if I link to Pete’s post over on Dragonchasers from a few days back, which has the quote written down but also put in video form. As it stands, Stafford had “no information about what protections they had in place,” which sort of makes his testimony a rather moot point.
Of course, we’re all still waiting for word on Sony’s PSN servers, but if we spread the word and get people to think more rationally about the situation, it may prove to our benefit that folks don’t jump to conclusions about the reputation of an entity as important as Sony.
I just had a thought about this. Seeing as Sony’s already mentioned and apologized for flaws in their security, it’s probably good to note that up-to-date servers may not necessarily mean completely secure servers (though I doubt there is something like a completely secure server, anyway, but I digress).
I’ll take my own advice and not make the logical leap from one idea to the next without thinking about it further. Apologies to all.
I checked back on the post that this write-up is based on, and there appears to be another wrinkle in the entire thing. Bitmob commenter Psycho Logikal is asserting that the news post written on Bitmob is inaccurate, for lack of a better way of putting it.
According to Psycho Logikal, the research done was in reference only to a subset of the servers Sony was using for PSN. If such is the case, then the article from Bitmob would be inaccurate to a certain degree by virtue of bad wording, but contains otherwise useful information.
I’ll watch the discussion for more information as it becomes available.
While this is specific to America, it does set a wonderful precedent for video games in general. Icrontic reports that the National Endowment for the Arts has added “digital games” as a form of art that will be eligible for grants from the US government.
Here’s the pertinent portion of the text from the link Icrontic got:
The Arts in Media builds on the success of The Arts on Radio and Television. All project types that were previously eligible remain eligible. In addition, the expanded category now includes:
- All available media platforms such as the Internet, interactive and mobile technologies, digital games, arts content delivered via satellite, as well as on radio and television.
- Media projects that can be considered works of art.
What does this actually mean for developers? It means that if a developer wants to create games for people, doesn’t want to charge money for them, but still wants to be able to eat, there is an option. One can apply for a grant, and potentially get paid by the government to be a creator, just as painters and sculptors have been able to do for many years.
And for the public it means that we may begin to see some video games of the ‘public’ works’ variety, games which are released for the world to enjoy, which may have good production values, but which are also not part of the commercial video games world. What these games will look like, we have no idea at this point, as it’s a completely new thing. The projects that receive funding are chosen by the agency, and there are not many guidelines or descriptions for what kinds of projects will be accepted.
Of course, that means that while grants are available, video game proposals may still not get chosen. The point, remains, however, that it is a step towards having society see video games as a new form of art, and that should give us pause.
Planning on Getting Fallout: New Vegas? You may want to wait a while for the definitive Game of the Year version, as Bethesda has announced three DLC packs for the game, which will be made available over the course of the next three months.
The three packs, dubbed Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road will not only give the Courier of New Vegas some new adventures; it’ll also flesh out the finale of the game by introducing Ulysses, the courier who wouldn’t take the job you took, and his reasons for doing so.
Seeing as the full press release has tons more spoilers than what I just mentioned above, I’ll just leave this link here, and a copy of the main body of the press release after the cut.
I was supposed to put up a third installment of the Final Fantasy XIV Extended Look today, but it seems Square Enix had other plans for me.
The development team for Final Fantasy XIV finished their scheduled maintenance a few hours ago with the implementation of an incremental patch known as Patch 1.17a.
According to the information posted on the Lodestone, this patch adds new sidequests and a new means of acquiring rewards and skill points for players. Known as the Guild Tasks Board, the system will apparently allow players to perform missions for the guilds of Eorzea. Finding the required items and turning them into the proper NPC will yield rewards and skill points for the active class at the time when the task is completed.
In addition to some bug fixes and system tweaks, the patch also includes a stylistic element, providing a 3-D visual notice when one is in a group with four or more members.
The full patch notes can be found at the link posted above, and I will update the third part of my extended look, namely a feature on the current state of questing in-game, once I’ve investigated the Guild Tasks Board and tried it out for myself.
Kotaku reports that Nintendo sent out a release earlier today which confirmed the rumors that the company would be coming out with a new console.
While the new console has no official name yet, the announcement (which you can see the English version of above) states that the new console will be shown at the E3 expo in Los Angeles in June.
Furthermore, the announcement reads, “Sales of the new system have not been included in the financial forecasts announced today for the fiscal term ending March 2012.” This certainly begs the question, “When will it go on sale?” We’ll probably have to wait for E3 to know more, so until then, sit tight!
Image Source: Kotaku
Square Enix’s various online game websites recently announced that the company would be temporarily suspending services for Final Fantasy XI and XIV beginning today, March 13, 2011, as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that affected the country recently. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has asked its customers to not use power unnecessarily in order to conserve electricity as TEPCO has noted they “expect extremely challenging situation in power supply for a while.”
Square Enix has complied with the request and will be shutting down their game servers to conserve electricity, providing updates as more information becomes available. The company also added that “players will not be billed for any PlayOnline service throughout the April billing cycle,” though that will also be updated as additional information becomes available.
It’s quite unfortunate that this had to happen to Japan and to Square Enix. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan as they go through this trying time.
Following the break is a list of all the affected services of Square Enix’s online division as taken from the FFXIV Lodestone.