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10041  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: FALLOUT 3 on: July 11, 2008, 05:23:27 PM
Now that Australian players apparently will have to smuggle the game in like some sort of toxic contraband (, and a few thousand other news links) at the risk of getting fined or arrested if they play it, the game suddenly seems so much more appealing to me.  icon_twisted

This reminds me that here in the U.S., over-air music stations (i.e., not satellite) have to "bleep" the word "drugs" from the fun Nickelback song "Rockstar." I kept imagining they were censoring some body part name or something until heard the song unbeeped. I mean, the song's making fun of washed up rock stars who get strung out on cheap drugs. And they get censored for it. Bizarre.
10042  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: July 11, 2008, 05:13:19 PM
Just use a SharpieTM, and write "Turbo" over "Normal," and then write "Normal" over "Power Saving."  icon_mrgreen

Perception is the only thing that matters.  icon_twisted
10043  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 11, 2008, 05:08:27 PM
In the French section of the EU forums saw a dev commending the TaranUI compilation mod, which does a variety of tweaks and changes to the hotkey trays, chat windows and other things. I don't know if there's an English language version of the mod yet, or if it matters per se.

Here's Google tools translation (obviously, some of this is off icon_razz)
TaranUI Compilation by Taran
Ver1.01, July 11, 2008
Created by Arnaud Servotte

TaranUI is a modification interface for the game Age of Conan. Some changes are the result of a total rewrite of the code by hand while others are the result of other modders, hence the term "compilation".

O oo ° bars sorts:
# New semi-transparent skin with 48 slots all assignable to a keyboard shortcuts (see explanatory image on the Hot Keys).
# New skin background for 2 floating bars.
# 42 slots fixed + 9 pages 6 slots of the main bar + 2x20 slots bars floating cover the number of shortcuts of sorts to 136!
# New horizontal skin for the tonnage of lag [ain't that the truth?-bj icon_lol].
# The mini-buttons control pets appear on the text TaranUI above the main bar.

O oo ° Portraits:
# New skin portraits and caches protraits when boss.
# Fixing a bug that moved all the windows in case of long names.
# Changing the animation bars life / mana / endu made for a more fluid.
# Display texts in white on the various bars status for better readability.
# Changing fonts displaying names.

O oo ° Bar XP:
# New skin of the bar xp to give an impression of fireball.

O oo ° Bar cast:
# New semi-transparent skin of the bar cast to give an impression of fireball.
# Display texts in white on the bars for better readability.
# TIPS: Remember that you can move bars cast via the menu of options Thursday (Options interface> Advanced> Bar countdown).

O oo ° window combos:
# New semi-transparent skin of the bar combos.
# Last horizontally thereof.
# TIPS: Remember that you can move the bar combos (run and a combo rather than pursuing it, move the bar).

O oo ° Minimap / Region Map / World Map:
# Elimination of buttons and zoom slider on the minimap.
# Légé reskin round of the minimap.
# Elimination of buttons and the zoom icon eagle on the map of the region and the world map.
# TIPS: Use the mouse wheel to zoom / dezoomer.

O oo ° Bouttons above:
# Addon SmallTabs by Mwbidwel

O oo ° window:
# Addon Viper's Group Window by Rorasho.

O oo ° Messages displayed on the screen:
# Remove black bars which invaded the screen.
# Replacing the image of small swords when gaining new skills.

O oo ° Changes in various colors of texts:
# Based on the addon MirageUI by LedMirage. (I do not make any changes at this level, given that a future patch will do it himself).

Among the other authors addons included, we have:

-- MirageUI by LedMirage: ui I served basis but the fact remains biggest thing now, the only thing I have kept the changes
color made to chat and the panel guild and friends.

-- SmallTabs by Mwbidwel: addon to lessen the central icons above the screen. I just decentralized and relinké Changes Image
to Folder "CustomUI / Taran /" for ease of the installation level and the désinstalation especially.
-- Viper's Group Window by Rorasho: addon amending group window at the graph.

-- Leave the game completely [exit the game?]
-- Unpack simply files \ Customized \ and \ Default \ of the archive in the folder \ Age of Conan \ cd_image \ Gui \ keeping the structure
the archive.
-- Start Thursday [?????]

-- Leave the game completely [exit the game?]
-- Please delete ...

\ Age of Conan \ cd_image \ Gui \ Customized \ (all files and record in this case)
\ Age of Conan \ cd_image \ Gui \ Default \ gfx \ CustomUI \ (delete the file TaranUI)
One thing that I like (though it may well be possible to do this manually, I haven't experimented enough to know), is that it breaks the chat windows into actual chat windows/tabs on the far left, and system/quest/combat messages on a separate window/tabs on the far right.
10044  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTORO Volume 2: Mines of Moria (paid, full-box expansion) on: July 11, 2008, 03:57:15 PM
For me, LOTORO grows in esteem in my memory the more I run into things (UI, interface, chat and chat channels, LFG mechanisms, grouping, etc.) in AoC that Turbine handled in much (imho) smarter, easier-to-use/understand fashion.

And there are things (such as the player created music and concerts, and events) that really stand out, that I do miss. I think once I hit the AoC level cap with my main character, I might be open to re-visiting even if the expansion's not out yet.
10045  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: July 11, 2008, 03:52:21 PM
This is more a lengthy "first look" impressions piece, but had something new the other day:

10046  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTORO Volume 2: Mines of Moria (paid, full-box expansion) on: July 11, 2008, 01:09:03 PM
Total PC Gaming (UK gaming mag/site) had an interview on the expansion:

Since I gave up on LOTORO after feeling my couple of 45 characters had run out of fun things I could do, there's some promise here:
"Most of Moria is high-level. We’re introducing levels 50-60 in the expansion, so you’ll be in the 45-60 range in Moria, mostly. There are places around Moria, in Eregion that you’ll be able to go to at lower levels but there’s a lot of content that you’ll want to be with other folks in.

However, over the last year we’ve learned that you need alternate types of content, so we’re gonna have large, group encounter-type things that you would expect in a place like Moria, but we’re also gonna have small, two or three-person instance encounters that we found people really love. In fact in other MMOs that’s where players have migrated when they’re not doing the big raids to get the big loot.

Continuing the motif that we’ve had shortly after launch, we’ll make sure there’s solo material everywhere, especially when it comes to the epic story, so that you can encounter some of the epic story in the cool moments in LOTRO."
And this quote is almost a dig at AoC (which I enjoy, but I'm not naive about):
"We’re the next-gen MMO, we’re highly polished, high-quality, triple-A, not broken… it sounds trite, but people ask me what I think is one of the biggest features of World Of Warcraft or Lord Of The Rings Online, and I say that it’s because we ship the games finished. Not broken. This sounds like it’s not a big deal, but it is because of the scope and scale and complexity of these games
While it's basically true, if you go back in Turbine's forums to the months after launch, you'll see a lot of the same screeching and anger about balancing issues and problems that you see after every MMO launch along with the reams of "I've had enough of this crap! I'm going back to WoW!" posts, and devs occasionally getting bent out of shape about players' accusations, complaints and such.

And don't get me started about the instance where Legolas (NPC) runs around and aggros every single damn enemy on the entire map. icon_razz

But definitely overall LOTORO was one of the smoother MMO launch experiences I ever had, and I'd like to re-visit but probably not until the expansion releases.
10047  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa interview with producer Starr Long on: July 11, 2008, 12:54:20 PM
Because you can change the subject once, but then it goes back to the first subject automatically (I changed my posts' topics here on occasion to other things, but the default is always the original subject heading). :-) So blame it on Daehawk (who created the initial post). ;-)

This reminds me of my job, because every time I create an article from a template, MS Word fills in the file name initially with the headline from a story I wrote back in November 2006 (when I started my then new job). Bizarre.

Ten Ton Hammer has a Q&A with TR producer Starr Long:

I'm afraid the couple of things that might draw me back remain around the corner, just like they always do...
Ten Ton Hammer: What’s the status of the Personal Armor Units? Are we getting any closer to a time when these game enhancements would be released? Is there anything we can do to help? *winks*

Starr Long: We are working on some tweaks to the design right now. From there we will be doing some modifications to the art we’ve made for these. We really want to make them right so we are taking our time. Unfortunately this means we are months away before you can play with them. We are actively working on them, but this stuff can be pretty complicated and getting it right is key.

Ten Ton Hammer: How’s the crafting revamp coming along? When will we begin to see the fruits of that labor?

Starr Long: We are working on a prototype of the revamp for internal testing and evaluation for the end of this month. Our goal is to get a “better” crafting system to the players within the next several deployments.
I thought PAUs were "just around the corner" 5 months ago, and now they seem to be further away. Strange...
10048  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Notes July 10 on: July 11, 2008, 02:59:47 AM
See my little dev posts update. Basically, the EU community manager said to look for some more info in the next AoC newsletter (which will have a letter from the game director hopefully talking at least some sort of timeframe for content updates, the PVP stuff in particular). I know that's not much help, it's just all the info I've been able to glean on that so far.

One nice 'quality of life' improvement (for resource gathering at least) is the inclusion of icons on the map marking resource-rich areas (you could apparently do this via mods before, but it's nice they're finally implementing it themselves):

And I believe also new, is each of your character slots now shows what the current server load is:
10049  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: July 11, 2008, 02:51:25 AM
So I had an interesting exchange with one of the founders of the guild I left in chat Tells...

"Why did you leave the guild?
*pause, as I was busy on a quest*
No answer, huh?"
[That sort of obnoxiousness alone supported my leaving that guild]
"Because you guys filled it up with foul-mouthed urchins who spend all night bragging about their bodily functions. I just got sick of it."
"They're not urchins actually. They're adults.
Sorry we offended your delicate nature." [I believe this was an attempt at sarcasm :p]
I spouted a few things one last time before putting him on ignore.

I couldn't make stuff like this up if I tried.  :p If I have to leave a guild again, I'll cover my mouth and give no reason...

I haven't had that unpleasant a conversation with anyone since I left my newspaper editor job 2 years ago. What makes it awkward is the L60 zones (Atzel, Thunder River) are relatively cramped and I just keep running into the guy. It's like getting a divorce and running into your spouse at the deli every time you go out for lunch...

Anyway, I had to put him on ignore before things got out of hand. A nice fella from the Quarter to Three forums (I briefly re-visited there while GT was down) invited me today into his tiny, informal guild (maybe 7 people at this point). And the tank from my fun instance last night helped me out with a quest. So the night ended positively, as it turned out. :-)
10050  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GOG to Sell Cheap Downloads of Classic PC Games on: July 11, 2008, 12:42:38 AM
I'm running into enough Vista 64-bit compatibility problems to be wary of things that say "Vista-compatible" cause I keep seeing an asterisk that say "64-bit operating systems not supported." :p

If they can find a way for me to run Darkstone, Over the Reich and Achtung Spitfire (apparently the disk-check is part of the reason those won't run in XP or Vista), Crusader No Remorse/No Regret (they'll run if you screw around with DOS emulators), and some even moldier oldies, they might hook me.
10051  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: First review of 'The Dark Knight' on: July 10, 2008, 10:49:49 PM
I think I read too many reviews now. I've still yet to read one that was anything approaching negative, but some complain the movie's a half hour too long, that inserting Two-Face as a villain sort of waters down the primary Batman-Joker conflict, that the fight scenes are still too claustrophobic (a somewhat common complaint about Batman Begins by some, though it didn't bother me fwiw) etc.

I'm getting too much like other Batman/Bale/Nolan fans. I read a review and thought, "Two pages on how great it is and then you backtrack into 'it's good but not Great,' complain and give it 8.5/10?" MADNESS!!!!! DIE DIE DIE!~!!....

No. I need to get a grip. I think I'll stop posting review links at this point and just try to prep myself to try to see a midnight show, and onwards and upwards. :-)
10052  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: July 10, 2008, 10:08:20 PM
I spent about 3 1/2 hours in the, I think it's called, Soldiers' Camp public group instance in Thunder River last night. A Guardian I had teamed with last week had me on his friends list I assume, so he invited me to fill out of his group of L65-69 players.

We had a pretty good time. I liked that all the quests (except maybe one, and you turn it in just outside the entrance) come from NPCs *inside* the instance so there's no fumbling around trying to figure out where to get the quests in there, or where to turn them in.

This tank guy is something of a micro-manager at times but I've gotten comfortable playing alongside him. Towards the end he was actually commending me for my seeming to know intuitively when to use my Goad skill to pull someone off him (when he occasionally drew a 2nd heavy onto him) and when to just be a DPS tool. smile I just don't get to team up often enough to know what to do, so sticking with this team for that long gave me some time to get used to playing that way.

We were all agreed thought that the quest rewards there were a joke (a bow, and then mostly what appeared to be cheap and mostly useless gems). I'm not sure even the gem crafter in the group was excited about them.

And for one brief shining moment I had a shot at an L70, 175 damage 2-hand sword, but I lost the 'roll'...  disgust

10053  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Notes July 10 on: July 10, 2008, 09:49:08 PM
I underlined a few things that seemed of interest (or in some cases just quest titles to try to make it easier to read).

There's a lot of "quality of life" changes/fixes that should go over well. There's a tweak for healers that may make them less prone to inadvertently becoming a tank. biggrin

But zero experience for doing grey quests? Many higher level players come back to Tordealbach's Tomb, or the group instances in Noble because the quest exp is decent (even if you only get 1 exp per kill at that point). If this applies to the group instances (I don't know yet), I really think a lot of players will get bent out of shape about it.

I'm not sure Guardians will be pleased with the shield change, though maybe it'll be too negligible to notice.

I think maybe the change in getting the crouching-to-standing animation change to trigger faster might fix the problem I've been having with dismounting in combat (basically my character gets stuck in the "sitting on the horse" animation and I have to run around and jump a lot before it gets unstuck).

Everyone's starving for more content though, and I'm afraid you won't really find any of that in this particular update.
10054  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Notes July 10 on: July 10, 2008, 09:43:14 PM
Part III (finale). I'm not sure how the "grey quests give zero experience" change will go over, given how many high levels go back into older group instances later on.


Mage (General)
    * Magic splash damage is doing individual rolls for each target, instead of dividing the adjusted damage on your main target and then applying the magic bonuses again.
    * Magic splash damage is not critting by itself anymore, but will crit if you crit against the main target.

    * You don't loose your apprentice level anymore when you level.
    * If the mentor goes up a level, your apprentice level will also level up accordingly.
    * If the mentor goes up a level and that makes him/her be more than 20 levels above the pupil, the apprenticeship is terminated.
    * If the pupil goes up a level and that will make him equal to the apprentice level, the apprenticeship is terminated.
    * When you disband the team, or kick an apprentice from your team, he will lose his apprentice status correctly. When you reinvite him to your team, he can be reapprenticed again.

    * Some goals (those marked as providing team credit) for Raid quests will now correctly update the other raid members goals (not just the members of one of the teams). Quest loot drops for raids should now also drop for all raid members with the goal active instead of just those from one of the teams.
    * If a raidleader invites a character not in a team, the character will be placed randomly in a team in the raid. (if space). no new team will be created. - if a teamleader uses invite to raid, a group invite will be sent out to the character instead of a raid invite (that will fail).
    * Changed loot roll from 0-99 to 1-100.

    * The extra question marks that showed up in the confirmation message when deleting mail has been removed.
    * Fixed the layout of popup menus so the selection marker is not extending into the borders.
    * The feat GUI now remember which tab was selected the last time it was open.
    * Fixed an issue causing the minimap view to move downwards if the pet GUI grew to large.
    * As long as you keep the left mouse button pressed, camera auto follow mode will no longer pan the camera behind you.
    * The "/ooc" chat command will now send the text to the OOC channel rather than the vicinity (Say).
    * The extended shortcut bars are now fully visible if empty. When containing one or more items only filled slots will be visible unless an item is being dragged or the mouse is over the bar.
    * The quest journal map now hide the waypoint labels when zooming out to far (like the normal region map does).
    * Fixed an issue causing buffs placed outside the currently visible area of shortcut bars to still flash when ending cooldown.
    * Hotkeys are loaded and saved per conan account and not per windows account.

    * The target of a charge is now rooted while the charge is in progress. This will prevent the charge attack from missing the intended target.
    * If attacked while dancing and autodraw weapon option is off, you will go to idle instead of combat

    * Grey quests will no longer give XP. [If this applies to group instances, there will be a riot I believe smile-BJ]

    * You will no longer lose money when trying to buy a unique item you already own.
    * You will now correctly see items that other players have equipped.
    * Inventory overflow bag added. If the game gives you an item while your inventory is full, the game will now put the item in a special loot bag that only you can access. This will happen for cases where you use an item in the world, like some chests, tradeskill gathering and gathering quest items. The loot bag looks like the normal mob drop, but with a blue color on it. A message will be given on screen and a tutorial flag pops in the first time this happens. The bag will exist for about 5 minutes time.

    * Pets should no longer get far behind you if you are sprinting.
    * Certain group buffs won't keep you in combat anymore, when you have pets in the group.
    * Fixed an issue that could lead to the camera clipping through water surfaces.
    * you can now zone to the team leader’s instance even when teamleader is bound.
    * Self inflicting spell damage will be visible as damage numbers for everyone.
    * Loot bags can now be closed by pressing ESC.
    * Fixed another issue with being knocked off a ladder when trying to climb off it.
    * It is now allowed to use 'in guild' names.
    * The client player's tombstones should now have a pulsating effect to distinguish from other players tombstones.
    * You can now move your character to automatically stand up from benches.
    * If a player is knockbacked to a position that is under water, the player will start swimming when the knockback is complete.
    * Prices should appear correctly again in the tradeposts.
    * Fixed an issue that caused dexterity to give too much bonus to evade.
    * Fixed an issue that caused shielding bonus to be incorrectly calculated, giving much more damage reduction while wearing a shield than intended.
    * Placing a trap directly under someone will now trigger the trap immediately, instead of when the character first moved.
10055  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Notes July 10 on: July 10, 2008, 09:33:07 PM
Part II:
    * Walkthrough tips for the Tortage Beach tutorial are now more visible.
    * Minor visual adjustments to the cutscene played in Mithrelle's Mansion during the Rogue Destiny quest Awakening II - "Mansion of the Wizard"
    * Eiglophian Mountains - "Cannibal Commotion": The goal marker for Attadeus now points directly to Attadeus rather than the entrance of his cave.
    * Khopshef Province - "Stygian Superstitions": Quest marker moved closer to quest objective.
    * Khopshef Province - "Troubles of Thuthmekri": Derekhar should now agro when attacked.
    * Khopshef Province - "Lusts of the Flesh": You will now get a cask of Tainted Ale to give to Tuthmekri. Players who want to finish this quest will unfortunately have to delete it from their quest journal and get it again.
    * Poitain - "Order Silks in Poitain": Completed quest now has a description.
    * Tarantia Noble District - "The Chef": This quest will now complete properly. If you picked up the recipe, you can ask Juan about it. If you've not picked up the recipe, Juan will not ask for it at all.
    * Tarantia Noble District - "The Love of a Countess": Goal markers have been modified for simplicity.
    * Tarantia Noble District - "The Love of a Countess": Player should have an easier time talking to this NPC, without her getting too upset.
    * Tarantia Noble District - "Paetus & the Nemedian Crown III": This quest now has coordinates to get to Pallantides.
    * Tarantia Noble District - "Patterns in Insanity": The Junk Seller will not give you a pattern if you already have one.
    * Tarantia Noble District - "Obtaining the Noble Arena Key" now works. Aquilus will now duel the player, and complete the quest. The goal text has been modified as well.
    * Tortage - "Tarisha's Sacrifice": Changed goalmarker for the Pirate's Gold Earring to an X instead of the small radius so it will be easier to locate now.
    * Tortage - "Tarisha's Sacrifice": Collecting a Cannibal's Tooth waypoint has been altered to cover the entire area of the Cannibals.


    * Long robes and dresses should appear with less graphical errors when the player is wearing one and running or attacking.

    * Resolved an issue which was causing players to recieve a message stating that a spell was on cooldown and be unable to cast even though the cooldown had finished in the GUI.
    * The tooltip for "Cold Nerves" now shows up as intended, in green color and with a percent sign. Other feats affecting stats with percent values should also show up correctly.
    * Castingbar will not be stuck anymore if you move right as the spell finishes.
    * A new tab named "Nametags" has been introduced in the Interface options. All nametag related options were moved there.
    * The options "Show target's target" and "Show team buffs" were moved to the "HUD Options" tab.
    * The option "Show quest item effects" was moved to basic interface options.
    * The dropdown "Show vicinity tag" was removed.
    * The options "Enable target highlighting" and "Enable target decals" were moved to the Targeting section of the interface options.
    * Option to block team invites should now work again
    * The pet GUI now show the correct icon to the left of each pet name.
    * The control mapping GUI should no longer falsely report a key as reserved any more.
    * Members of the group is now informed if the group leader change the loot options

    * The client should now disconnect from the chat server after camping.
    * The chat server interface queue will now clear when the client logs in.
    * The Crouch ability should now properly indicate when it is on cooldown.
    * Made the attributes give their correct modifications (lower) so skills like fasthealing needs more than 1 point to work properly.
    * If you move while sitting down, you will automatically abort the sit down animation [this *may* be the dismounting-in-combat bug I've encountered too-BJ]
    * When an item gives invulnerability bonus for several different reasons, the bonuses will now be summed up and not shown individually in the tooltip.
    * Heal spells are no more generating a small amount of hate when they ticked, even when not actually healing anything.
    * Pets will now have a lower chance of breaking crowd-control effects, in most cases.
    * Solo players will now have their kill XP proportionally reduced if other players damage their mobs (this was already happening for groups). [Huh? This doesn't sound good-BJ]
    * 'Shield of the Risen' tooltip should now show the correct time remaining
    * A list of recent messages are now stored per chat channel so that when subscribing or unsubscribing chat channels to a chat window the content in the window will be instantly updated to display the history for the new set of susbscribed channels. When enabling or disabling timestamps on chat messages the entire scrollback buffer for the affected chat window is updated to show or hide timestamps.
    * Fixed a bug causing the cooldown timer to sometimes appear out of sync on items/spells/abilities that was displayed multiple places.

10056  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / AoC Notes July 10 on: July 10, 2008, 09:32:07 PM
Notes from EU forums. I think the third post's update notes were "missing" from the first post originally so it covers some of the same areas but lists different fixes/changes.
Patch Notes Part I

Mage (General)
    * Dark Meditation is now a self-only channeled spell and will no longer stun the user.
    * Dark Meditation now has new effects associated with it.

Rogue (General)
    * Mountaineer will now reduce duration of the effects of Bruised Body by 50%/100% and Broken Bones by 25%/50% per respective rank.

Soldiers (General)
    * Surging Health will now increase in power with more feat points invested.

    * Golden Lotus Extract now has a new particle effect.

    * Clickable abilities - Unstable Mind, Reaver Stance, Blood Rage Stance, Haste, Dance of Death, Armageddon Falls, Impale, and Adrenaline Rush now have spell effects.
    * Fearsome Agility will now proc more consistently at all ranks, rather than reducing in rate for rank 4.
    * Fearsome Agility will now trigger off any melee hits, not just hits that land
    * The bonus granted by Fearsome Agility has been increased from 5% to 10% evade chance at max rank, and stack.

Dark Templar

    * The variance on damage dealt by unholy-based Soul Covenants has been reduced to make the damage more consistent. Average damage was not modified by this change.
    * Covenant of Arms should now have the correct base damage across all levels
    * Covenant of Arms should no longer disappear from the player's spell book or fail to appear after training multiple ranks
    * Covenant of Putrescence should now have the correct base damage across all levels
    * Covenant of Putrescence now deals unholy damage instead of poison damage Unholy-based
    * Soul Covenants now gain a significant percentage of the Dark Templar's unholy or magical damage.
    * Malacodor's Blight, Sadistic Soul, Blighted Touch, Blighted Soul, Touch of Death, and Curse of Gwahlur now gain a minor amount of the Dark Templar's unholy or magical damage
    * Talisman Mastery has been modified to be a percentage increase of the modified damage of a Soul Covenant instead of the base damage
    * Pact of Malacodor will now cost 1% of health every 2 seconds over the duration of the effect. This reduces the health cost to 15% over 30 seconds instead of 25%.
    * Reaper of Malacodor will now cost 2% of health every 2 seconds over the duration of the effect. This reduces the health cost to 30% over 30 seconds instead of 50%.
    * Fixed an issue which caused Reaper of Malacodor to not always proc on secondary targets.

Herald of Xotli
    * Desecrating Essence should now scale more consistently across all levels. Additionally, the variance between minimum and maximum damage has been decreased to be more consistent.
    * Burn to Death now receives a substantial portion of the Herald's bonus magical damage on its damage over time effect.
    * Burn to Death now applies a separate debuff for all Herald of Xotli players.
    * Spreading Flames will now always tick 5 times, instead of occasionally only ticking 4 times.
    * Inferno, Tongue of Xotli, and Phoenix Cloak's gain from bonus magical damage has been increased.
    * The area of effect damage from Inferno has been renamed to Inferno instead of Lash Field.
    * Phoenix Cloak and Burning Skull have had their base damage slightly increased.
    * The following abilities now properly scale with the Herald's bonus magical damage: -Avatar of Xotli -Bonds of Anguish -Burning Hex -Burning Skull -Burning Words (Word of Command) -Chains of Anguish -Desecrating Essence -Fiery Weapons -Flame Cleave -Hatred of the Living -Hellstep -Improved Burning Skull -Knowledge of the Underworld -Searing Curse -Searing Hatred -Spitfire

    * Frozen Hatred pulsing AoE is now an AoE proc with a 100% chance instead of a passive effect.
    * Frozen Hatred pets will now benefit from the Unholy Power feat.
    * Parasitic Souls will now benefit from the Unholy Power feat.
    * Flesh of the Wight now has an animation associated with it.
    * Void now has a persistent effect on the pet while the buff is running.
    * Melee pets will now do splashdamage.
    * Scythe Shield now lasts 1 hour instead of 30 minutes
    * Scythe Shield's casting time has been reduced from 3 seconds to 1.5 seconds
    * Quell the Ether's casting time has been reduced from 3 seconds to 1.5 seconds
    * One with Death now lasts 1 hour instead of 15 minutes
    * One with Death has been changed to debuff invulnerability ratings by 50% per stack instead of health
    * The Unholy Power feat will now increase the magical damage dealt by the Undead Minion: Corruptor and Undead Minion: Necrotic Bomb
    * Siphon Unlife's damage component should now scale better relative to the heath of undead minions across all levels. This solves some issues with Siphon Unlife dealing inconsistent damage to the minion in some level ranges.
    * Siphon Unlife and Frenzy will now avoid selecting undead minions which have been recently affected by Siphon Unlife or Frenzy. This should solve issues with the same pet being targeted shortly after Siphon Unlife or Frenzy expiring, instead of targeting pets with higher health.
    * The core buffs placed on all Necromancer pets are now visible in the pet's buff GUI. This should allow Necromancers to better see the impact of their pet-oriented feats, as they are not displayed on the player.
    * Deathless Acolyte: Arcanist will now gain the correct bonus from Unnatural Dexterity ranks 2 and 3

Priest of Mitra
    * Blessing of Mitra now has an effect and animation.

    * Using your bow/crossbow while not in combat mode will not block you from moving for the length of that animation anymore. Instead, your attack will now be aborted.
    * Linebreaker should now have a knockback effect.
    * Piercing Shot combo line should scale properly
    * Shield Bash now has an animation.
    * Epic armor is now available with a new look for each tier.

    * Female characters should now properly display dodge, parry and block animations again.
    * Female characters using a weapon-combination consisting of either a One-Handed Blunt weapon or a One-Handed Edged weapon in their right hand, and a Dagger in their left hand, should no longer swing the Dagger as if it was a One-Handed Edged weapon.
    * Neither Male nor Female characters should have animation issues causing their legs to slide around without animation when fighting with a weapon combination consisting of a One-Handed Blunt weapon equipped in their right hand and a Dagger equipped in their left hand or no weapon in their right hand and a Dagger in their left hand.
    * Thrown weapons have had their range increased: Light throwing weapons now have a range of 15 meters, up from 12. Heavy throwing weapons now have a range of 18 meters, up from 16.

Massive PVP
    * Border Kingdoms - Several World Design and collision tweaks here.
    * Thieves' Guild building now has an icon.
    * Siege weapons should now work properly, and will display a message if your target is out of range.
    * You should now learn the proper resurrection points in massive siege battlefields.
    * You will receive notification when you are about to be teleported out of a siege battle zone during a battle you are not involved in.
    * Players should no longer be teleported out of a Massive PvP battle if they log back in directly after they lost connection.


    * If your pet does the most damage to a target for a minigame, you will now get credited for the kill instead of the pet.

    * Fixed some collision issues in Kyilliki's Crypt.
    * Many collision fixes in Oasis of Zaara.

    * Raid bosses and Group bosses will now die in a dignified way, and refuse to be fatalitied anymore.
    * NPC combo "Rupture" is now named "Breach" and will now use the appropriate icon.
    * Tiggle Knucklebone has been removed from Lacheish Plains.
    * Yakhmar will now spawn minions at a correct interval. These minions are also weaker than before.
    * The Half Giant in Conall's Valley will no longer slide around.
    * It is now possible to spawn the Dark Beast boss in Sanctum of the Burning Souls just by interacting with the Sacrificial Altar while holding a Ritual Chalice. The specific quest requirement has been removed.
    * The camera movement has been toned down when moving around on a War Mammoth at walk-speed.

    * Larozzo should now show that he has a tradeskill quest for players.
    * The correct message should now be displayed when mining Aurichalcum.
    * Stonecutter: Players should be able to hand in Basalt and Adamant again.

10057  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 10, 2008, 09:23:14 PM
The game's regularly sent newsletter should have some updated info soon from the game director on the status of the promised PVP changes/improvements, according to this post (in German from EU forums):

My attempt to make sense of the Google translation:
Gaute [Godager] (even if you longer trust him) is writing in a letter from the Game Director with details on individual topics, including the reasons why the PvP update was not done in June, when it is supposed to be expected, or on the test server to be tested, etc. ..

It is therefore an official response soon. As Community Manager, answering such comprehensive questions is simply an impossible position because we are not directors or game producers, who have a detailed overview of the entire development of the game and all the detailed plans.
He was presumably replying to a frustrated poster there.

If I've learned anything from scouring the different language AoC forums it's that players get angry and bent out of shape, in all languages. Being upset that your favorite game isn't living up to one's expectations is the universal language of gaming! :-)

fwiw. This is roughly like giving a single saltine to starving PVP players but it's something. Hopefully the next newsletter will bring more details on the status of the PVP improvements talked about some weeks ago.
10058  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Welcome Home! on: July 10, 2008, 09:20:38 PM
Meanwhile I was being accused of denigrating OO because I spoke highly of this place over there. How is it that I offend people without even trying? biggrin
10059  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: July 08, 2008, 04:11:10 PM
Now that it's technically been released, reviews are coming fast.

10060  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 08, 2008, 03:19:31 PM
Ah, OK. I think though if you're not logged into the US boards, the Dev Tracker (it's a text link in the black bar towards the top of the main page there) doesn't work (takes you to the forum search page instead).
10061  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC official forum Dev Postings of note on: July 08, 2008, 12:57:32 PM
A feat post of interest today from the EU forums (too bad I can't read German, there are lot more dev posts in that language):

Night of the Harvester feat bug fix on the way
This is a known issue, as it was modifying the effect of Consume Life and not Essence Harvest. This has been corrected internally and will probably be in next week's patch.
I'm not really sure which character uses it, but don't put points in it (or additional) until the fix goes in.

I finally reset my US forums login info so I could fish around there too. The caveat is you may (I think) need to be logged in to the US forums in order for the US message board thread links to work.

One thing of interest there:

Update on API scripts/documentation (important for UI tweaks and other mods)
It seems that we have ran into some snags with the release of the full API documentation. I was aiming for this week but it seems we will have to push it back some more to give the guys some more time. However, we will have something for you guys to snack on in the mean time.

I did receive what looks to be a mod pack with a few scripts and a tutorial to boot. So we will try to push this out to help make it much easier for you guys to develop your own custom mods in the future. The pack will contain a tutorial to help the upcoming modders and some scripts for the experienced modders. So look for the updates on that coming up.
10062  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: July 08, 2008, 12:44:31 PM
I don't obsess about the chain-kill stuff, but at 65 I might start trying for it more often. If you're solo, this apparently gives a nice xp boost temporarily. See thread:
Chain kills come from killing mobs at the same time, usually AE, while SOLO. These mobs MUST be same level or higher. They must die in succession ( 1 by 1) because if any of them die at the EXACT same time, you will not get credit for those kills. The reward is increased XP gain per chain kill.
I've never had more than 2, but had a breakthrough last night while trying to finish off a hunt by taking out 4 Atzel Lookouts.

It's tough to pull off intentionally because the chances you're going to whittle several targets down at varying rates is pretty slim. See the first screenshot below and I kind of lucked out.  icon_cool

10063  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: FALLOUT 3 on: July 08, 2008, 12:37:03 PM
Man, 3 years without a post. I wonder how many people back in spring 2005 thought the game still wouldn't be even close to releasing yet in summer 2008.

Well, Bethesda posted Fan Interview #2:
The first two questions will leave you wondering what the *heck* kind of people hang out at those forums there anyway.  saywhat icon_lol

Anyway, lot of details on interface, traits/perks, inventory, combat etc. etc. I'd highlight something but there's just too much to pick something out.
10064  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I'm playing Diablo 1 and I'm having FUN! on: July 07, 2008, 09:47:45 PM
Diablo 1 was in the good old days when Blizzard games would let you "spawn" a copy on a computer strictly for LAN play. The spawned version would only let you join a game hosted by someone with the full version and CD-ROM in the drive. I'm not sure if that works now that the game's been patched and so forth. Can you patch a spawned version?  icon_confused

You can definitely still have a good time with the first game if you can cope with the 640X480 chunky graphics. I maintain it's an entirely different sort of gameplay experience because you can't just run out of trouble, and it almost feels like a turn-based game in comparison to DII (I mean that in a good way). And I think at least one run through Diablo I is a good prep for Diablo II. You'll better understand the Hidden Cow Level, you'll feel goose bumps when you hear Cain in Diablo II because you got familiar with his Sean Connery wannabe voice etc.

The DII skills system is oceans beyond Diablo 1's gameplay, but I could argue Diablo was in some ways a "purer" experience. You just clicked, squashed, used a few simple skills, and obsessed over loot.

Dammit, I should see if I can still run the game. Vista, especially 64-bit, is proving very finicky with games of this age. tear

Back in '96-'97 I was in a really fun Diablo guild, "Alliance of Divine Harmony." We had a regular meeting every Saturday evening. I would send whispers during the "formal meeting" back and forth with guildmates I'd played a lot with. After the meeting, we would organize guild games together. It was great. I only wish I could find an MMO guild today that well organized, and that emphasized playing and having fun together that much.  icon_smile

The founder Flagstaff was great, although he eventually got all stressed out about the guild, esp. after he reconciled with an old girlfriend, got married, had a kid. Not much room for Diablo after all that, of course.  icon_smile Ultima Online's fancy new monthly-fee, gigantic online world features eventually tore our guild apart basically although I did keep some of the veterans in touch via a free message board for maybe a year after UO's release. I felt bad I couldn't keep the guild together somehow long enough for Diablo II. I never found any sort of guild home for D2.

Because of Diablo's wacky "loose everything on you and all your loot when someone/something kills you" style, guilds like "Diablo Rescue Squad" would turn up, focused on helping you get your loot back or help you beat a nasty boss you couldn't tackle alone. I seem to recall some "bounty hunter" guilds. Quite a lot of variety in guilds and groups in the game's heyday.
10065  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Forget Diablo III, Dragon Age is coming. on: July 07, 2008, 09:38:26 PM
I really see them as apples (Fallouts 1/2), oranges (Diablos) and mangos (Baldur's Gates). Other than isometric viewpoints, I didn't see much in common in how they played/felt. That said, I don't ever remember reading about this game at all so thanks for the heads-up and I'll keep an eye out.  icon_smile
10066  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: First review of 'The Dark Knight' on: July 07, 2008, 07:50:20 PM
Variety posts its enthusiastic take (refreshingly imho, no stars or numbers - though the summary may be all you need to read icon_biggrin):

Variety review
Having memorably explored the Caped Crusader’s origins in “Batman Begins,” director Christopher Nolan puts all of Gotham City under a microscope in “The Dark Knight,” the enthralling second installment of his bold, bracing and altogether heroic reinvention of the iconic franchise.

An ambitious, full-bodied crime epic of gratifying scope and moral complexity, this is seriously brainy pop entertainment that satisfies every expectation raised by its hit predecessor and then some.

That should also hold true at the box office, with Heath Ledger’s justly anticipated turn as the Joker adding to the must-see excitement surrounding the Warner Bros. release.
It’s a tribute to Ledger’s indelible work that he makes the viewer entirely forget the actor behind the cracked white makeup and blood-red rictus grin, so complete and frightening is his immersion in the role. With all due respect to the enjoyable camp buffoonery of past Jokers like Cesar Romero and Jack Nicholson, Ledger makes them look like -- well, clowns.
To be fair, Variety's editor-in-chief grumbles in his blog about comic book movies taking over, and getting too much acclaim, and basically not being worthy of getting compared with "the classics." That seems to come from a "comic book movies are dumb by their very nature" cynicism. If you ask me.  icon_razz

I'd love for TDK to make it so that "comic book movie" exits the vernacular as a "negative" term and becomes something positive. Most people use the phrase as a synonym for "brainless summer movie designed to make a zillion dollars." Since TDK has been described as "brainy," maybe it'll at least alter the phrase's meaning in the future.  icon_smile
10067  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo clones: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly :) on: July 07, 2008, 07:07:21 PM
My "master list" is missing some good console Diablo clones, esp. the Champions of Norrath and Champions: Return to Arms games (but I wanted to keep it PC-centric):

And Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, which threw out the PC Baldur's Gate games' party stuff in favor of more of a straight Diablo style game.

I've seen columns throwing in stuff like Baldur's Gate and Fallout as "Diablo clones," but I think party-based or turn-based stuff (Fallout 1-2) were very different animals and dont't really deserve to be lumped into Diablo clone territory unless you feel every isometric RPG is really a Diablo clone.

For me, my somewhat limited PC Diablo clone lists tend to be:

-Titan Quest *with* the Immortal Throne expansion (an important distinction imho -- I found it a huge improvement over the original game in features and quests, and by then they had fixed most of the early bugs and problems)
-Darkstone (I think you would've had to have played it in 1999 *before* Diablo II came out to have some nostalgia about it; its randomized quests [from a large pool of available quests] was imho a truly unique feature that I'm surprised nobody else has picked up on - DIII's "random scripted quests" feature reminds me a bit of it)

-Sacred (I loved the expansiveness of its world, its quest variety, its mounts -- I just never felt it quite recaptured Diablo's combat dynamic, and I still felt that way when I tried Sacred again yesterday, and it's just punishing in its difficulty sometimes to the point of feeling unfair)
-Nox (I just felt it was more of a PVP game, and the skewed camera view was sort of love/hate)
-Fate (I appreciate it. Just didn't "do it for me" somehow.)
-Divine Divinity (It has one of my all time favorite quest "twists," where a once friendly area turns entirely against you and you have to fight your way out of it against a bevy of guards intent on bringing you down).

-Restricted Area

Of all those things, for me only Titan Quest recaptured the satisfying "combat splurch" of combat in Diablo I/II. There's certainly things it didn't recapture, but for me it's the Diablo clone that most addicted me to clicking everything in sight and thus damaging my wrist tendons.  icon_razz

I got a few kicks from bargain clones Harbinger and Restricted Area, but mostly if I compare them with better Diablo clones or "the real thing," they're just disappointing.
10068  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: First review of 'The Dark Knight' on: July 07, 2008, 05:32:45 PM
Batman on Film's Webmaster ("Jett," aka a Texan named Bill Ramey) posted his review today:

While he's not exactly what you would consider "objective," I think sometimes fanboys are really the hardest to please on this sort of thing. And obviously he was pleased.  icon_cool I wonder if the movie ads will pick up his quotes.  icon_wink

Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT transcends the genre. To label it a “Comic Book Movie” isn’t fair or accurate. It’s simply a great film.

Heath Ledger’s interpretation and portrayal of this iconic villain is one for the ages. His Joker can be truly be considered one of the greatest movie villains of all time.

All this talk about an Oscar nomination for Heath is totally legitimate. Anyone who suggests that it’s nothing more than a sympathetic reaction to his unfortunate passing earlier this year is full of it.

He’s THAT good.

He's still crazy about Bale too.

I bought a copy of The Long Halloween Batman 13-issue series last year. I dug it up yesterday to read a bit. There are actually quotes from the series used verbatim in the movie, which is pretty cool. Including the "I Believe in Harvey Dent" stuff, and a line used during the meeting of the "triumvirate" (Batman, Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent) on a rooftop ("He does that").

Nolan's Batman movies are their own animals, but I enjoyed picking out bits from Frank Miller's "Batman Year One" when I watched Batman Begins. I assume part of that is David Goyer's (a big comics enthusiast and historian of sorts) involvement on the storylines and affection for the comics.
10069  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Age of Conan Impressions on: July 07, 2008, 04:11:09 PM
Blackjackian's at 64 over on Thog.

I'm still having fun. If I enjoy a game's combat mechanics, I can play it for years (that's what kept me in City of Heroes for years, yet COV never really did it for me in that regard).

I am however disappointed that the quest ambitions ballyhooed in numerous interviews (You'll sneak into somewhere to assasinate somebody! You'll engage in a verbal debate! etc.), by the 60s has mostly deteriorated (imho) into "Ew, I'm mad! Go kill 25 Atzel Dopes to make me feel better!" and "Ew! I want vengeance! Go kill a few whozits and I'll be avenged!" For the most part, I don't even get a big Foozle to battle.

It's mostly that and repeating "reward poster" hunt quests ad nauseam if I want to level. Because I enjoy the combat, and I have a fair amount of fun just chatting in my guild channel, I keep moving along. But I miss the more interesting (if not rocket science) quests of earlier areas. I'd be happy if they even just re-did the earlier quests at later levels (free prisoners, set a few huts on fire, etc. etc.).

The few times I run into a quest that's remotely interesting, I'm always thinking, "Why didn't this quest's creators get to do *more*? Why'd they give all the work to the "Go kill 25! Go kill 35! Go kill 12 of these and 18 of those!" guys who should be transferred to the Dungeon Runners team at NCSoft?  disgust

That's just my shallow PvE take on things. I've enjoyed all the Destiny Quest stuff, and only wish there was more of that in the game, and that the meat 'n potatoes PvE quests took more inspiration from the Destiny stuff instead of from, I dunno, Lineage and Dungeon Runners. If they're going to put so many hunt quests in the game, they might as well steal LOTORO's Deeds and Traits stuff, and at least reward you for grinding away at killing 100 Atzel Wardens.
10070  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: First review of 'The Dark Knight' on: July 07, 2008, 03:18:20 PM
Reuters posted its review today. Mostly glowing, aside from a distaste for Aaron Eckhardt as Dent.

I wouldn't say it has spoilers per se, but it may delve into some plot detail stuff more than you may want. So, be forewarned.  icon_neutral

He makes an interesting point that TDK makes roughly the same point the current Hancock tries to make (that super heroes could cause more harm than good, so are you really sure you want them in your city?), albeit in a more successful fashion.

I might see it later on IMAX at one of the museums in our region. My favorite multiplex here in Virginia is apparently adding an IMAX screen, not until November this year.
10071  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Anybody got an MSI Wind? on: July 07, 2008, 04:32:11 AM
to see that upgrading the bios isn't so simple..
An external USB floppy drive is one option, but surely it’s easier to make a bootable USB flash drive and boot the netbook from that, right? Wrong. While netbooks (and most laptops) can be booted from a USB flash drive, the catch is that you still need a bootable DOS floppy to create one...

Fortunately, there is a craft way around this and after the cut we’ll show you how to create your own bootable USB flash drive for BIOS upgrade purposes without using a floppy drive.
Their directions aren't that hard -- I'm just saying Average Joe/Josephine who bought a Wind because it's cute might not be so clued in on how to do this sort of thing. icon_neutral It'd be smarter to get this sort of thing straightened out before they put it out to market, imho. It's a computer afterall, not an MMORPG.  Roll Eyes icon_razz

A UK site called Geekanoids has impressions/mini-review of the rebadged Advent UK version (apparently just a Wind with the Advent name stuck on it):

There's a slideshow at the end with a lot of close-up pics.
10072  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: First review of 'The Dark Knight' on: July 07, 2008, 04:14:17 AM
Oh, way back in February, director Chris Nolan wrote a tribute of sorts to Ledger for Newsweek. Here's the link:

Quote from: Director Chris Nolan
When you get into the edit suite after shooting a movie, you feel a responsibility to an actor who has trusted you, and Heath gave us everything. As we started my cut, I would wonder about each take we chose, each trim we made. I would visualize the screening where we'd have to show him the finished film—sitting three or four rows behind him, watching the movements of his head for clues to what he was thinking about what we'd done with all that he'd given us. Now that screening will never be real.

I see him every day in my edit suite. I study his face, his voice. And I miss him terribly.
It's sounding like he and his film editing crew did Heath Ledger proud.  icon_cool

10073  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo clones: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly :) on: July 06, 2008, 06:45:02 PM
I also forgot Sierra's disappointing Throne of Darkness, about in the same era as Nox. Throne's dev Click Entertainment actually had two members of the original Diablo dev team on it (nobody major though). The ballyhooed "formations" feature didn't really add much to it and it came and went from the market without much of a blip.

Sigh. I can install Sacred but it won't start up in Vista (keeps asking for Disk 1 even though it's in there). Not sure if it's my CD-DVD drive compatibility or what.

Found this post at forums that seems to say if you disable autoplay in Vista, and then install the game, it should work. Though not sure if it'll do in 64-bit Vista.

I guess the problem with trying to go back home in games, is that every new Microsoft OS locks out more older games from play.  disgust
10074  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo clones: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly :) on: July 06, 2008, 06:16:05 PM
Good catch. I added it to my list.  icon_cool I can't believe I forgot it too! I attended a fun Westwood "launch event" at a now defunct LAN gaming center in Virginia. I got to play Nox on their machines a bit, they gave us free pizza and Nox T-shirts and stuff. I did a little write-up for the Gone Gold site, and that to this day is my only real foray into gaming journalism, I like to say.  icon_smile I had so much fun, but the gaming lan center went out of business once broadband became more commonplace.

I can't seem to find the game box or game though. I did end up buying it though it wasn't really my cup of tea. It had a funky 3/4 view "semi side" camera angle, and they played up the PVP aspect of the game more than the single player.

As for Shadowflare, I'm sorry but the crude graphics make the original Diablo look like the Mona Lisa.  saywhat My eyes are hurting. However, it does play pretty fun, pretty much like the original Diablo in combat style.

Attached a Shadowflare pic. It's not going to show up very big due to the low rez.

I'm going to try to get Darkstone, and maybe Sacred reinstalled, and its expansion. I wish I could find Divine Divinity but I seem to only have the box for it. ADDENDUM: Dang, I can't get Darkstone's installer to run in Vista 64-bit. Tried compatibility modes.
10075  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Diablo clones: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly :) on: July 06, 2008, 06:01:49 PM
While I never played anything that really was a true Diablo Killer (Titan Quest was fun, and the Immortal Throne expansion was awesome, but I didn't run around saying it was better, only that it was different and fairly fun in its own way - until I got a serious case of wrist tendinitis from overplaying Immortal Throne. Not fun.  tear), I have played a heckuva lot of Diablo clones over the last 10 years.

OK I guess I'll try for an all encompassing list that includes stuff I never played.  icon_smile I'll include some links, to Wikipedia if I can't find an official site.

-Revenant (1999)
* Wiki:

-Darkstone (1999) [I ran a fan site, "Shadow's Darkstone Tomb," and message board for years, Delphine devs would visit my board, and Prima made me an affiliate fan site for a while. I miss those days tear. Have a lot of fond memories of it but of course once DII released the following year, Darkstone was a moot point for most]

-Nox (2000) [Westwood's Diablo clone took a slightly different "skewed" viewing angle, and played up its PVP aspect quite a bit. I attended a fun "Nox launch event" in Va., got to meet a Westwood representative, and wrote a brief column about my experience for the GG site]

-Divine Divinity (2001) [I tend to call it "Diablo with a much deeper storyline and quests"; sequel called "Beyond Divinity" in 2004, see below]
*Official site:

-Throne of Darkness (2001) [first and last game from Click Entertainment, co-founded by a couple of Diablo dev team members]

-Dungeon Siege (2002) [I tend to consider this more of an RTS/RPG but they did hawk it as a "Diablo killer"]
*Official site:

-Harbinger (2003) [so-so $29.99 bargain sci-fi Diablo that had a paucity of skills and looked better than it played, alas] (2004)
*Official site::

-Beyond Divinity (2004) [Divine Divinity followup, didn't get much traction in the U.S. market; played up Necromancer-style summoning]
Official site:

-Sacred (2004)
Official site:

-Sacred Underworld expansion (2005) [added 4 new areas, 2 new characters including two "pre-built" ones you could start playing in the new areas right away]

-Fate (2005) [whose dev now works on Mythos though that seems to be morphing into more of an MMO and less of a Diablo clone]
*Official site:

-Restricted Area (2005) [Another budget Diablo clone, this time trying for a Fallout feel]
*Official site:

-Silverfall (2007) [Extremely strange and often painfully difficult French Diablo clone with a distinctive cell-shaded style, and tough combat that sometimes feels more like an MMO than Diablo. Has some merits, but I would only try it at a bargain bin price. I bought it but couldn't really bring myself to play through the whole thing. There weren't enough online players for the co-op to be much use. Monte Cristo released a map editor, to little attention; and a poorly reviewed PSP version]
*Official site:

-Sacred 2 (September 2008, tentatively) [with a new 3-D engine, for PC, XBox360 and PS3]
*Official site:
Last release update was here:
Though the addition of a PS3 version may push things back if they want a simultaneous release on all three platforms.

I've also read about a few shareware and freeware Diablo clones over the years. One of the better ones [it's pixelicious though] seems to be:

Shadowflare (freeware, 2005)

Gonna try this now and will update this post if it's terrible.  icon_wink
10076  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I'm playing Diablo 1 and I'm having FUN! on: July 06, 2008, 05:36:29 PM

Quote from: faide on July 03, 2008, 08:53:16 PM

Quote from: happydog on July 03, 2008, 08:40:30 PM

I have a confession... I have never even considered play a Diablo game until two days ago  paranoid
After watching the DIII video and thinking "That in some ways reminds me of Gauntlet", am now thinking about trying out a Diablo game.

So can this game be purchased now days? Should I look for DI or DII? Will only playing now make me not want DII?

You can get the Diablo Battlechest which contains both games and the D2 expansion.  It shouldn't be hard to find, I still see it on the shelves at most places.
Bchest's a good deal, just make sure if you get DII that you're getting a package that includes the terrific Lord of Darkness expansion.

I agree, I have endless affection for Diablo but the crude (by today's standards) graphics, inability to sprint (if you can still find Sierra's Hellfire expansion, that at least adds sprinting in town) and lack of skills (as opposed to Diablo II's relatively varied and intricate skill system) make it hard for me to stomach today. I burned out on Diablo II and the expansion far quicker than I did on Diablo. I got a few DII characters into the 60s, but somehow my interest faded off in 2001 into military shooters and other things.
10077  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: July 06, 2008, 05:29:18 PM
Got some help from a 63 guildmate flame mage type this morning. Some real showstopper powers...

Lava ball? Not sure what this is, it doesn't move, but it splats nearby targets with flame.

A fiery hold skill.

A flamethrower type spell, reminds me a bit of Diablo's inferno, in that it keeps flaming as long as you hold the hotkey down, I think.  icon_twisted
10078  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Jumpgate Evolution on: July 06, 2008, 03:34:37 PM
Tentonhammer mentions there's a "guild beta" signup going on. The idea is to get the e-mails (with permission) of all your guildmates so your entire guild can signup for the Jumpgate beta at one time:
10079  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Early word on "Iron Man" on: July 05, 2008, 02:16:06 PM
I was combing for some Dark Knight stuff, and came across a Jon Favreau video interview that touches on the Iron Man sequel, and some artwork he has seen regarding the Captain America movie due out in 2011 (he's not involved with it). He was at the Hellboy II premiere, in Los Angeles I think.

EXCLUSIVE: Jon Favreau On Iron Man 2, Marvel, Avengers and More

He's not keen on Thor getting a cameo in Iron Man 2, but who knows if he really has a say in it. Getting it done in time for summer 2010 means he really won't have time to work on other projects, though he mentions they'll save a lot of time in terms of already having suits done and figured out, the cast signed, and other things in place.
10080  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: AoC Character Art, etc on: July 05, 2008, 08:36:58 AM
I joined a full Catacombs (a group instance in Noble/Tarantia) team late tonight, at level 62. The team spread was about 57-66, and all us lower levels were apprenticed. What's kinda frustrating is that if you have a time around the same levs as the instance enemies, you'll get good exp. but most likely will repeatedly have your group's faces planted in the dirt over and over.

If you come back to it when you mathematically are several levels above the mobs, you'll have maybe just slightly less pain (we team wiped, and had people dropping, quite a bit tonight), but you get 1 exp per enemy, and by then the quest rewards for the instance aren't much better than a typical delivery quest. That said, the group dynamic can be very fun, and people pretty much have to play tightly and supportive or they're screwed in instances period.

Some screenies...
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