Aion Video Podcast #3, Version 1.5.05 Patch Notes, Abyssal Maw Details

I make this solemn vow, I will pay one squintillion Aion Kinah to the person who makes it possible for me to play a revamped version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge, a la Turtles In Time: Reshelled. I just played the latter and it was such an awesome nostalgia filled ride, in the words of Disney’s Ariel; I want more!

Right, lets kick things off with console nooz shall we? It’s perhaps unsurprising in the wake of a recent sharp decline in sales and price cuts to the competition, to see that Nintendo is likely gearing up to finally cut the price of the Wii to $200.  Whot!? Only a $50 price cut some three years after launch? You sirs, must be joking. We’ll know in a month or so how gamers treat this bit of news, I suspect it’ll have little impact on sales, but then I was also one of those who never saw the Wii dominating every other console on the market so what do I know?

Unless you want to hear about Uncharted 2: Among Thieves first review being available in the Official PlayStation Magazine (biased much?) I think that’s pretty much it as far as big console news goes, plus we’ve got lots of MMO stuff to get to.

Lets be honest, the words “indie developer” and “MMO” rarely fill one with confidence going in. Usually MMO’s are just too massive in scale to be properly handled by indie development teams, which tend to be rather small and under-funded. That said, The MMOGamer’s recent interview with Divergence Online’s Ethan Casner has me intrigued.

The MMOGamer: What are some of the newer things you have added to Divergence Online to make it unique among some of the 3PS (third person shooter) games out there?

Ethan Casner: The biggest difference between our game and other 3PS games is that Divergence isn’t just a 3PS, it’s a 3PS MMORPG. To be fair, MMO combat will never compare to FPS/3PS combat, so I’d hate to be compared in that department to games such as Gears (of War). Our goal is to get as close to the feel of combat in a traditional FPS/3PS as possible, with all the capabilities of an MMORPG such as character progression and a persistent world populated by (hopefully) thousands of players at the same time.

There’s a lot more to read at the link, including talk about PVP and PVE systems, the UI and basic combat. It’s not like I’m sick and tired of “click to perform action” MMO’s like WoW et al, it’s just that anything that breaks up the monotony somewhat is welcome. Also, if it’s anything like Planetside was in its early days, count me in!

Speaking of a change of pace, it seems every time I turn around these days there’s news about Realtime World’s “MMOGTA” (just made that one up), APB doing the rounds. I’m mildly curious about this one, least of all because of the pedigree of the developer ( the studio developed the original Crackdown on 360, and one of the designers helped create Grand Theft Auto).  We finally get to see a wee bit of gameplay in the latest tattoo-filled developer diary, Viva Cologne, skip to 4.30 to get the good stuff.

I still think it’s a little weird that Mark Rein was playing the game and giving the play-byplay, I mean I know the game runs on the Unreal Engine, but surely there must have been a Real Time World’s staffer on hand to give us the run through instead? Still, the game looks gorgeous, and even though the actual gameplay segment is pretty brief it’s a relief to hear it controls just the way you’d expect any other shooter to.

Despite urging you all to go check out the newly free-to-play-ised Dungeons and Dragons Online last week, I must confess I haven’t personally been able to check it out yet (my time has been hogged by Fallout 3 on my newly repaired PS3 you see). Anyway, the guys at Massively put together a helpful little “noobs guide” that I figure will probably be pretty helpful to anyone deciding to give DDO a try.

If you’re in the mood to see something pretty (and who isn’t!) head on over to Bioware’s Star Wars: The Old Republic homepage to have a look at some of the amazing Coruscant concept art, there’s also a cool looking video revealing the Old Republic capital in all its glory. I need to keep reminding myself to keep my expectations in check, but after Mass Effect the thought of Bioware handling a Star Wars RPG has me giddy as a school girl.

On the subject of keeping your expectations in check, you might think Star Wars Galaxies to be all but dead and buried, however there seems to be some life in the old girl. In what looks like a brilliant piece of cross promotion, SOE will be releasing a quest series to Galaxies based on Random House Books zombie infested romp, “Death Troopers”, which sees zombies invade the Star Wars universe. There’s a really cool piece of promotional art to accompany the announcement, here’s hoping it’s actually as fun as it sounds.

Fun as it sounds seems like an appropriate segue into this latest trailer for Torchlight, which despite some dodgy voice acting is looking like it’s shaping up brilliantly. Torchlight is sort of the spiritual successor to Mythos, that neat looking MMORPG that former Flagship and Blizzard guys were working on up until last year. Torchlight won’t be an MMO at first, but Runic (the developer) does plan an MMO version of the game to follow soon after the single player release.

Sure Final Fantasy XIV is just around the corner, but most of us are still running around questing, raiding and earning FFXI gil. To that end, Massively’s done a nice little piece looking at the July Version update, which includes among other things, the mini-expansion “A Moogle Kupo D’Etat”.

The latest Aion Video Podcast, #3 was released late last week, you can find a bunch of links to it here or you could just watch it on YouTube. It’s an interesting one from a cultural standpoint, it’s called East meets West and  it shows again just how much effort the team at NCsoft put into making sure the game appeals to Western gamers. I still can’t get over just how good this game looks. It’s also nice that they acknowledge that yes, this is a Korean MMO at heart, but we’ve done everything we can to make you feel welcome without changing the seoul (nyuk! nyuk!) of the game. Also, it’s always great to hear from Lead Designer, Yong Chan Jee.

Unfortunately, since the open beta’s ended and the game isn’t out till the 22nd videos are probably as close as you’re going to get to Aion at the moment, unless you feel like poring over some version patch notes! The patch that went live just before the open beta ended supposedly fixed a lot of the issues folks reported at the time, so here’s to a smooth launch.

Also, a little reminder that starting September 18th, if you preordered Aion you’ll be able to start up your client and create up to two characters, pick their names and customise their appearance as part of the pre-select initiative.

Sweet! New World of Warcraft: Cataclysm details! We get a couple of paragraphs and some new screenshots detailing the Abyssal Maw, one of the new  dungeons coming with Cataclysm. The Abyssal Maw is home to the water elementals, a vast ocean prison constructed by the titans to hold the water elementals and protect Azeroth from their destructive rage. The Maw also contains a powerful weapon belonging to Neptulon Tidehunter, ruler of the aquatic realm, a weapon that both the Horde and Alliance alike will stop at nothing to possess. Hey I just report this stuff! Read everything here.

Welp, I’d best get off here, I’m going to see if I can get some ice-cream for breakfast and revice my long dormant main in Free Realms for a spin.

See ya Friday folks!


Freaky Nintendo painted fingernails.

Double Dragon: The Revenge – Gameplay walkthrough.