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Shenmue 3 - One Year Later...
Posted: Jul 01, 2016, 01:32 am by RPGWatch
One year after Shenmue 3's Kickstarter, the developers only have a few words about the game's development.
One year after launching its successful Kickstarter campaign, developer Ys Net and its head Yu Suzuki have released an update on how development of Shenmue III is going. It doesn't answer a lot of questions, but it is something.
According to Suzuki, the team is creating a prototype build for the game began back in January - which he points out is when the project really ramped up. He continues, saying both the game's battles and facial expressions are starting to take shape, leading to lots of cheers from his team. "It makes me feel it will turn out to be a good game," Suzuki says in the video.
The creator closes by asking fans to continue their support of Shenmue III. Not explicitly saying it, but potentially asking for more backing via the game's still-running PayPal campaign.
Shenmue III was announced last year alongside its Kickstarter campaign at Sony's E3 Press Conference as a joint production between Ys Net and Sony. It was met with large fanfare, meeting its funding in full in under 13 hours, and the developer has opened a second crowdfunding effort (the aforementioned PayPal campaign), as well as having been relatively quiet regarding the status of the game, its funding, and which backers would get what rewards.
No release date has yet been provided for Shenmue III, which is assumed to be still early in its development cycle, though its crowdfunding pages point to a December 2017 launch. Sega has recently shown an interest in re-releasing the first two games in the series.
Suzuki has an uphill battle in front of him, one it may be hard to win. It seems to me that having such a long-awaited, highly-anticipated game comes with a big pro and con. The pro, perhaps most obviously, is the game stands a good chance of being successful, and one could surely argue that it already is. The con, however, is that Suzuki is facing a lot of expectations, from a lot of people. One year after Kickstarting his game, his approach seems dicey, at best. Being this secretive with a game people have invested a lot of money and time into could end up being to his detriment. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out, and I wish the best for Suzuki and his game, but, as of now, I have my reservations about how good this game will actually be.
Dark Souls III - Embracing the Bad Times
Posted: Jul 01, 2016, 01:32 am by RPGWatch
Game Informer takes an introspective, thought-provoking look at using games as a lens through which to see our own lives. For the author, it's Dark Souls.
Halfway through my second semester of teaching, I popped Dark Souls into the disc drive of my PS3. I had already played through the game before, understood its insistence on making you earn your victories through many, many failures. But I felt drawn to replaying through it for some reason, so I created a new character, and became hollow once more.
Lordran, the setting of Dark Souls, took a different shape this time. It was no longer just a spooky kingdom filled with all sorts of baddies that I had to get before they got me. Instead, it was an absolutely haunting place, a world of the dead and the damned, a realm of silence. I actually took the time to examine my surroundings. The algae green stone bridge guarded by the fiery Hellkite Dragon, the mountains of bloated blue corpses that lay at the bottom of New Londo Ruins. I witnessed a kingdom that had, perhaps in another age been one of great beauty and wonder, fallen so short of its promise and sunken into ruin.
I saw the unhappiness of my life reflected back at me in fragments, being fed to me in bearable installments, and I was engaging with it in a battle doomed to fail because I was confronting that misery without actually confronting it. Instead, simulating confrontation through an interactive assemblage of fantasy archetypes. But that was important for me...
Sometimes, as silly as it sounds, it's easy to forget the human experience is not a universal one, and that we are all different entities constructed out of our own personal experiences and socio-economic circumstances. Each and every one of us prescribes different amounts of emotional and logical value to objects and experiences we come across in our lives. Someone might have some kind of deep moving emotional attachment to Watch Dogs, a game I truly despise, or Bubsy 3D. Unlikely? Sure. But it's certainly within the realm of possibility. Besides, who am I, the guy who chose Tales From The Borderlands over The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt for his Game of the Year, to judge anyone on what they find meaning in?
Perhaps in the end it's as simple as the right game at the right time, and for me in the fall of 2014, that game was Dark Souls because it allowed me to get away from my troubles without really getting away from them. Lordran is, to me, just as much my home as that little duplex in the heart of Georgia was, filled with memories good and bad, and an essential part of my experience as a person, cracked and broken in more places than the human eye can see, but also housing pockets of light burning well into the neverending night.
XCOM 2 - New Patch released
Posted: Jun 30, 2016, 07:13 pm by RPGWatch
The June 2016 patch for XCOM 2 is out - it's necessary for the DLC Shen's Last Gift:
The XCOM 2 team continues to work to improve your XCOM 2 experience and have fixed a number of bugs in both the base game and the Alien Hunters DLC. New balance changes have been added including additional bonuses to swords to make your Rangers more effective in combat. Downloading this patch will also install the hooks needed for players to access the new SPARK class and narrative-driven mission in Shen's Last Gift.
Gameplay - Base Game
Fixed an issue where units would not have their mission starting abilities and Gremlins would not follow
Fixed an issue with Wet Work where kills were not being tracked for the correct unit
Fixed an issue where Burning and Poisoned damage was causing free kills
Damage caused by Psi abilities will now ignore armor
Faceoff may now only target units that are not mind-controlled (by the shooter's team)
Fixed damage preview for abilities that modify damage based on incoming damage amount
Fixed an exploit where replacing a PCS would not always remove the value it gave when equipping
Magnetic Swords are now referred to "Magnetic" rather than "Conventional"
Fixed an issue where the unit flag would not properly show a unit as concealed when loading a save game
Fixed a crash that could occur after selecting an AOE ability and then another (disabled) ability
Fixed an issue where Proximity Mines were not damaging every unit in a group move situation
Blademaster grants +10 Aim to melee and Hunter's Instinct grants +15 to melee crit
[MP] Matches will no longer immediately end for the user when winning during the transition before their turn
Gameplay - Alien Hunters
Fixes instances of Alien Ruler soft hangs
Avenger Defense no longer fails if a Ruler is in the evac zone
Fixed an issue where the Skulljack objective caused MECs to stop appearing in tactical
Fixed a crash that would occur after the Archon King completes an Icarus Drop
Alien Hunter weapons have range bonuses/penalties applied
Fixed an issue where Alien Rulers were missing health after increasing the difficulty during a playthrough
Fixed an issue where Alien Hunter weapons would be lost after upgrading through GTS
Central can no longer bleed out on the Nest mission due to it causing a soft-fail state
Removed Freezing Lash's minimum range of 3 tiles which prevented units from using the ability when standing next to an enemy
Berserker Queen's Faithbreaker ability no long targets robotic units
Removed "Return to Resistance HQ" button from the Hunter Weapons POI complete popup to prevent players from getting into a state where project times are incorrect
Fixed an issue with Effects being ticked twice a frame
Optimizations to path solving memory footprint and performance
Fixed an issue where unnecessary game states were created on the Geoscape
Updates to allow Steam Workshop DLC to be enumerated before native script packages are loaded. Will allow mods that override XComGame.upk to work through Steam Workshop
Removed button labels in save/load list that are not hooked up to anything
New flag bForceReselectAllGroupsForSpawn for use with multi-part mission schedules
Armor hit rolls have been deprecated as the game treats armor as 100% chance to absorb damage
Armor is now handled directly by ApplyWeaponDamage
ApplyWeaponDamage now has a bIgnoreArmor flag so that psionic abilities properly ignore armor
Tactical Quick Launch menu now supports the grenade slot correctly
Debug command X2ShowFullObject to display a game state object's data
Bonus weapon ammo (e.g. Heavy Ordnance and Field Medic) is now handled through a delegate on ability templates: GetBonusWeaponAmmoFn
X2DownloadableContentInfo has new hooks:
AbilityTagExpandHandler, so new localization tags can be added
FinalizeUnitAbilitiesForInit, which allows special manipulation of a unit's ability list before the abilities are created in a tactical match
Effects now have the ability to be redirected from their initial target
EffectShouldRedirect figures out who gets the redirected effect
New character template flag, bDiesWhenCaptured
Character templates can now have forced first, last, and nick names
Character templates can implement the delegate GetPhotographerPawnNameFn so as not to be forced to use soldier pawns for pictures in the strategy game
Countries can now be hidden from character customization
Deprecated X2AbilityMultiTarget_SoldierBonusRadius (though it continues to work for now). Base classes X2AbilityMultiTarget_Radius, _Cone, and _Line now support increasing the AOE range based on passive abilities in a generic fashion.
Effects may add projectiles to a volley conditionally by registering in the EffectsForProjectileVolleys array and implementing the function GetProjectileVolleyTemplate. Effects that are always on should still use the perk system, but this callback allows for game state checks to add or not add the projectile to a volley.
X2Effect_GenerateCover can now generate cover for mobile units, instead of forcing it to disappear when the unit moves
DarkMaus - Review @ HardcoreGamer
Posted: Jun 30, 2016, 07:13 pm by RPGWatch
The Action RPG DarkMaus was released in January already - here's an older review from HardcoreGamer:
Explicitly and proudly influenced by Dark Souls, indie developer Daniel Wright's DarkMaus is one of the most successful translations of From Software's design philosophies into another genre. A top-down action game that looks absolutely nothing like a Souls game, it nevertheless distills the challenge and tension-filled atmosphere so common to those games remarkably well. Wright's obvious goal was to take the familiar mechanics of Dark Souls - restorative campfires, weapons, loot collection, leveling and progression - and transplant them into a completely unique type of game. Like Dark Souls, DarkMaus is difficult and potentially punishing, but like its inspiration, DarkMaus also requires players to learn its systems and play in a patient and meticulous way. Dark Souls punishes the brash and careless, and so does DarkMaus.
In DarkMaus, Daniel Wright has created a focused, challenging experience that successfully translates the core tenants of Dark Souls - careful approach to combat, high level of initial difficulty, wise use of resources and character development - into a game that looks deceptively innocent and benign. As a lone developer, Wright wisely chooses not to overreach and the game is stronger for it. There's not much story but the juxtaposition of the cute little mouse against the ominous landscapes and brutal, Souls-like combat is a winning and effective combination. Other than Dark Souls itself, there really isn't anything else remotely like DarkMaus.
Vampyr - Encouraging Evil Choices
Posted: Jun 30, 2016, 07:13 pm by RPGWatch
In their upcoming title Dontnod wants to encourage evil choices but not without implications. Feeding will make you stronger, but you'll have to deal with consequences and moral decisions. Kotaku goes into more detail on how dontnod's Vampyr wants the decision to be more than just a simple choice.
As players explore early 20th century London and engage in the game's central conflict of reluctant vampire vs. vampire hunters and monsters, they'll be able to learn more about the civilians around them. Reid is a former doctor, and the idea is that he doesn't want to give in to his thirst for blood, but the reward for doing so will just be so tempting. Kill too many civilians, though, and the districts of London will plunge into chaos. The developers want you to tempt you to be the bad guy, but they don't really want you to go too far.
By gathering clues about the civilians, players may find the occasional justification for the next person they take out. "You could discover that someone who seems to be very gentle is beating his wife," Beauverger said. Then again: "You could discover that someone who seems to be a very shady character used his money to help his poor in the streets."
Blizzard - Unannounced Diablo Project
Posted: Jun 30, 2016, 07:13 pm by RPGWatch
Blizzard are in the process of hiring a Game Director for an unannounced Diablo project according to wccftech. This was picked up originally by website Blizzpro.
Picked up by website Blizzpro, the new vacancy for a game director might very well suggest that Blizzard is in fact creating a complete new Diablo game. Of course there is also the possibility that Blizzard is looking for a new game director for an upcoming new Diablo 3 expansion - just like they did with Reaper of Souls expansion from 2014.
Only time will tell whether Blizzard is working on Diablo IV, instead of a new Diablo 3 expansion. Check out the job listing down below:
Blizzard Entertainment is seeking a game director with outstanding communications skills, proven experience in creative direction, strong ability in system design, and a stellar track record of shipping AAA games to lead the Diablo series into the future.
Be the vision holder for the franchise, setting the creative goals for the team.
Direct game design while successfully partnering with the production director to deliver and maintain an epic gaming experience.
Discuss games with the player community via press announcements, forum posts, interviews, and public appearances.
Maintain an awareness of global player behavior and customs to ensure that design decisions are relevant for international regions.
Coach and guide creative team members toward achieving their career goals.
Establish and maintain a creative environment, resolve personnel challenges, motivate qualified developers, and foster a culture of success.
Knowledgeable and passionate about Diablo games
A minimum of 5 years' directing video game development
Shipped multiple AAA products as a game director or creative director
Outstanding communications and relationship-building skills
Recognized ability to guide and inspire large development teams
Able to work well in a team environment and communicate effectively with all development disciplines: programming, art, design, sound, and production
Exhibited ability to coach and mentor employees at all levels of an organization
Great sense for what makes a game fun to play
Unrelenting self-motivation and initiative
Bachelor's degree or equivalent work experience
Experience developing online games, action games, and / or role-playing games
International game experience
Higher educational degree
REQUIRED APPLICATION MATERIALS
Cover Letter which should include:
Why you are interested in working at Blizzard
What games you are currently playing
**Only submittals with Cover Letters will be considered.
In this update we'd like to share more information on the advantages and side effects of Mental Conditions in Stygian's challenging combat scenarios.
As we emphasized before, sometimes it helps to be mad in a world gone mad!
Increases Action Points but gives the character a small chance to lose control and attack the nearest enemy unit in combat.
Increases Reaction but gives the character a small chance to attack an ally in combat.
Increases Mental Resistance but gives the character a small chance to enter a catatonic state and lose a combat round.
Increases Critical Chance but gives the character a small chance to lose a certain amount of Sanity after killing a foe.
Increases Supernatural Defense but gives the character a small chance to lose his Physical Defense bonus entirely for a turn.
Slightly increases the success chance of a repeated combat action but gives the character a small chance to automatically repeat a failed combat action until getting a success or passing a High Difficulty Will check.
Total War: Warhammer - Blood Knights Update
Posted: Jun 30, 2016, 01:12 pm by RPGWatch
A huge patch comes out today for Total War: Warhammer, which will include the feared Blood Knights.
The first Total War: Warhammer update will be out on June 30...and it is a big one. Highlights include the addition of five new multiplayer maps, unit rebalancing across all races, changes to enemy AI that will make sieges against it more difficult, and the coming of the Blood Knights.
"Once the order of The Knights of The Blood Dragon, these noble warriors were dominated and given The Blood Kiss by the vampire Walach of the Harkon family. In undeath, their skill is no less potent: they are among the most powerful cavalry in The Old World," the very lengthy patch notes explain.
"Tier 5 Shock Cavalry, Blood Knights are recruitable from the Vampire's Keep building (along with the Black Coach). Heavily armoured and shielded with a high Charge Bonus, they smash into infantry with ease, and with the Anti Large ability, they are apt to take on larger foes. They also have the Frenzy ability, meaning they deal more damage as long as their leadership is high. Blood Knights can also be directly improved with two technologies: Turning Knightly Orders (bonuses to Melee Attack, Melee Defence and Charge Bonus), and Delusions of Grandeur (Upkeep and Recruitment Cost reductions)."
Despite the amount of ground the patch covers, Creative Assembly said it's just the first in a number of planned updates, so it may not make all the changes you were expecting. "For example, while multiplayer has seen some attention in this update, it's in line for more focused improvement, additional features and rebalancing in an upcoming update," the studio wrote. "Many of these changes are in testing right now, and as long-term stability and balance are of principle importance to us all, we don't want to rush the process."
The release of the patch will also see the launch of Total War: Warhammer's DirectX 12 mode as an opt-in beta. There are "some outstanding issues still to solve" with the DX12 implementation, so it's being kept in beta for the time being. More information on that, including the system requirements, is on the Total War Wiki. And as long as you're here, you should probably also take a look at our rundown of the best Total War: Warhammer mods, right here.
Tyranny - Dev Diary #5 - Combat System
Posted: Jun 30, 2016, 01:12 pm by RPGWatch
There's a new dev diary from Tyranny and this one is focused on combat mechanics.
...Our combat is real-time, with the ability to pause at any time to issue commands to a party of up to 4 characters, including your own. In addition to the spells and abilities each character can use, we've also added companion combos - abilities that allow your character and a companion to work together in concert to create a powerful effect. Abilities use a cooldown system, allowing you to use most of your abilities multiple times per encounter. Combat is based on your character's skills, and the more you use those skills, the more experience you'll gain.
With that overview in mind, let's dive into some specifics!
When you perform an attack in Tyranny - whether it's a basic weapon attack, casting a spell, or using an ability - your Accuracy is compared to the target's Defense to determine how well the attack does. As with Pillars of Eternity, each attack can have one of four possible results: Miss, Graze (attacks deal less damage, status effects are applied for a shorter duration), Hit, or Crit (attacks deal greater damage, and status effects are applied for a longer duration).
Your Accuracy is determined by one or more character skills. A basic attack will use the skill associated with the weapon you're attacking with. A spell will use the magic skill for that type of spell and the character's Lore skill. If more than one skill is used, their values are averaged together to produce the final skill value. Accuracy bonuses from weapons or abilities are added to that base value to determine the final Accuracy for the attack. The skills used to determine Accuracy are also the skills you gain experience in for that attack.
Each attack targets one of five possible Defenses: Parry, Dodge, Endurance, Will, or Magic. Enemies and party members have different strengths and weaknesses in these defenses, making some attacks better options against one type of enemy than another.
Accuracy is compared to Defense, and the resulting difference is used to modify the combat result table. Higher Accuracy results in a greater chance to Crit or Hit, reducing the chance to Graze or Miss. A lower Accuracy has the opposite effect, making you Graze or Miss more often.
Damage in Tyranny works similarly to Pillars. We have multiple damage types based on the armor a character wears: Slash, Pierce, Crush, Burn, Shock, Frost, Corrode, and Arcane. Different enemies have strengths and weaknesses against different types of damage. To maximize the pain you inflict, you'll want to target your enemies with damage types they are weak against.
Armor is still important to mitigate damage, but we also wanted to give more options for different character builds. Heavier armors (bronze or iron) provide Armor, which reduces damage dealt down to a minimum of 1. We've also added a new stat to lighter armors called Deflection. Deflection provides a chance that an attack will be downgraded one level (IE: a Crit becomes a Hit, a Hit becomes a Graze, or a Graze becomes a Miss). Deflection can be increased by the Finesse stat, and by talents and other items you can find in the game.
Tyranny handles hit points differently than Pillars did. Instead of the combination of Health and Endurance, we have a single Health bar to focus on. As attacks deal damage, your character's Health is reduced. When it reaches 0, a character falls unconscious (or dies, depending on game options). Characters can be revived using special abilities or consumables, or they will regain consciousness at the end of combat and begin regenerating Health.
We've also added the Wound system. When your character falls unconscious, they will gain a Wound - more than one on the hardest difficulty settings. On harder difficulties, you'll also gain a Wound when a character reaches low health. When a character is Wounded, their max health is reduced and all of their skills suffer a small penalty. Wounds can stack and will remain on a character until they rest.
System Shock - First Impressions
Posted: Jun 30, 2016, 01:02 am by RPGWatch
In case you haven't gotten a chance to check out the demo yet, PC Gamer provides a bit of gameplay footage from the new System Shock. They really like what they see.
Remember Citadel? Absolutely, and if there's one thing that really stands out about the new System Shock reboot, it's that five seconds in, I'm home. To be exact, I'm in the Citadel Station that I think of when I fondly remember the series, rather than the blockier, low-resolution version of it that passed for the future back in 1994. Evil AI SHODAN is back in her original home, orbiting Saturn. All around are the corpses and blood splatters marking the human population's last stand-a failed one. As the hacker accidentally responsible for the whole mess, you enter the story hoping to prevent things from getting even worse.
And yet, saying that the alpha demo is simply the same does it a disservice. This isn't just an HD remaster, but a complete rebuild intended to take advantage of what was almost unthought-of technology for the time. It even adds a few clever tricks of its own. It's System Shock, but it's also new license-holders Nightdive Studios proving they can handle the franchise-System Shock 3 is on the way, in partnership with Otherside Entertainment. This is a chance to put their own stamp onto it.
Microsoft - No More Forced Win 10 Installs
Posted: Jun 29, 2016, 06:43 pm by RPGWatch
It seems Microsoft has finally gotten the hint. After a $10,000 lawsuit over a forced Windows 10 installation, Microsoft will no longer be hoodwinking us into forced installs.
You might have heard the recent news about Microsoft losing a lawsuit and awarding a California lady $10,000 over an unwanted Windows 10 installation. While the tech giant can be mighty persuasive when it comes to making people install and download its Windows 10 operating system whether they like it or not, this news still came as a surprise for many-there are many companies with shadier practices, and most of them are hardly penalised for it.
Perhaps fearing that this would spark off a series of lawsuits it can't keep up with, Microsoft has decided to stop forcing the Windows 10 installation down its customers' throats by allowing them to dismiss the upgrade. Previously, if you click on the red "X" at the top right hand corner of the upgrade prompt, Microsoft will pretend that you are playing hard-to-get and download the operating system for you anyway. Now it won't!
"Since we introduced a new upgrade experience for Windows 10, we've received feedback that some of our valued customers found it confusing," said Windows and Devices Group EVP Terry Myerson to The Verge. "We've been working hard to incorporate their feedback and this week, we'll roll out a new upgrade experience with clear options to upgrade now, schedule a time, or decline the free offer."
Ah, thank you for making our computers less complex to use, Microsoft. We are glad you understand that no means no, and clicking the big red "X" on the prompt means "No, I really don't want to upgrade now, and please don't ask me to upgrade to Windows 10 ever again for as long as Microsoft exists."
But juuuuust in case you change your mind, the free upgrade offer will only last one more month. After that, you have to fork up $119 for the operating system.
I Am Setsuna - New Artwork
Posted: Jun 29, 2016, 06:43 pm by RPGWatch
Square Enix has released beautiful new watercolor images for I Am Setsuna. Setsuna will release on July 19.
Square Enix has shared some new artwork for upcoming JRPG I am Setsuna. Included are watercolor portraits of new locations and various characters protagonist Setsuna is said to encounter during her journey.
I Am Setsuna draws inspiration for its battle systems from Chrono Trigger, as its developers have said since the game was first announced in March. When we first got our hands on it at PAX East. we found the combat to be an interesting blend of the old and the new. You can check out the combat systems yourself in a gameplay trailer released last month.
Some PlayStation Network preorder incentives were also announced. Two dynamic themes will be available at the moment of preorder. The first, called Kuro (or black) is a night-time theme, while Shiro (white) shows the same background image but during the day. Both of those can be seen below. Those who pre-order will also get an exclusive digital track titled Eternal Winter by composer Tomoki Miyoshi that will automatically download on release day. Additionally, those who preorder through Steam will get a bonus exclusive digital track titled The Warmth of Hope.
I Am Setsuna will be arriving to PlayStation 4 and PC on July 19 for $39.99.
Unsung Story - New Update
Posted: Jun 29, 2016, 12:32 pm by RPGWatch
In a new update for Unsung Story, Playdek informs us that more information about the schedule of the beta will be expected in August.
Here is an update on our current progress towards an Unsung Story beta release. First off, we have released the product spoken of in our updates, and have been getting resources onto making a beta playable version of Unsung Story tactics. The second platform release of the other product took a little longer than expected, so getting onto content work is behind about a month. We apologize for being off a month with this update, as we had hoped to have more specifics for you in May. We have fortunately been able to start getting some agreements in place for outside design assistance on the character classes and mechanics, and we will be able to update you on those specifics later next month.
We are also starting the process of getting additional concept art work contractors in place as well for world and level design, and look forward to sharing the new art work with you. Our beta game play and content goal still remains the same, which is two levels and two character schools, with each school having multiple class variations. We need to spend a bit more design time on the characters for the beta goal before we can provide an updated timeline estimate for the beta release, but we should have a good handle on that by August.
As of now, we estimate to have new art, screenshots and design details to show by September, and we will have another design update for you next month.
We know that we have one method of restoring faith in this project, and that is through delivering on a great tactics game, which we intend to do. Thank you again for your patience and support.
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