The PAX Prime 2012 Experience
The gamer haven that is PAX Prime is annually hyped up for good reason. This year’s expo filled with video game goodness included speaking with developers, artists, playing demos, gathering swag, epic booth displays, crazy gaming set ups, and of course, being packed in a convention center full of other people that get it.
Although there were tons of things to see/do at Pax Prime 2012, the much anticipated Torchlight II demo always had a maxed out line of people. This upcoming action RPG is the second of the highly acclaimed Torchlight franchise. The original Torchlight was a sleeper hit that built upon what the hordes of seasoned veterans from Diablo II already knew and loved. One of the biggest improvements that Torchlight made on the Diablo franchise was that it allowed for huge amounts of modding—it even came with an editor and forum site that allowed making and sharing mods.
The biggest drawback to the original Torchlight was the lack of multiplayer. This missing aspect led to the player base to try and create their own multiplayer mods. Runic Games quickly picked up on this need and now, we have Torchlight II coming out on September 20. From the demo, it was immediately apparent that the graphic design remained largely the same but the particles, textures, and effects were substantially improved.
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The demo allowed players to try the multiplayer aspect, and everyone was beyond thrilled with it. Of course, after playing the game, players were rewarded with a Torchlight II swag bag, but the multiplayer aspect was really the draw. It’s good to see how far Runic Games has come, especially with the rumors that Torchlight II will be what Diablo III should have been… but please don’t cuss me out, Jay Wilson.
The original intention for Torchlight was to raise funds for an MMO. If Torchlight II becomes as successful—or even more so—than the original Torchlight, that Runic Games MMO may come quicker than expected.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) also made a showing at PAX Prime, with a tournament sponsored by Plantronics GameCom.
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Team Dynamic was in full effect and easily won the semi-finals against Murder Inc., only losing a few rounds. I snagged Todd Williams (aka Anger) of Team Dynamic right after they beat Murder Inc. for some perspective on the new CS: GO, and found that CS: GO is a lot more like 1.6 than like CS: Source because there’s much less gun recoil, which makes twitch gameplay more crucial. Anger was more used to 1.6 so it’s a game he got used to quicker than CS: Source. He said that immediately prior to this tournament, they had made some updates that affected the tournament gameplay, but he was able to get used to them on the fly. He also noted that playing the game online right now can be a little laggy, but it’s flawlessly smooth on LAN.
I also had the chance to speak with League of Legends game developer Morello, who worked on Guild Wars 2 for over three years. According to him…
…he made some mistakes.
When I asked him what these mistakes were, his response was that he primarily worked on the Mesmer class, which was the most underplayed class in Guild Wars I and continues to be in Guild Wars II. They are also currently the most underpowered class. He believes that there were a lot of things different they could have done with Mesmers, but thankfully, a lot of his poor design choices were screened out by others. He also mentioned that all in all, working on Guild Wars II was a positive experience that helped him grow while as a new game designer.
While hanging out with League of Legends senior concept artist IronStylus at the League of Legends PAX party, he admitted that Darius is probably overpowered right now, because he fills the same role as Garen but is more aggressive. Diana is mourned by many League players as being overpowered, and her restriction from the NA Regionals seems to be a clear agreement to that, but actually, the Reds insisted that it was because she’s so new, not op.
IronStylus’ love for Leona is quite well-known:
At the League party, I had the pleasure of meeting his lovely, self-described “warrior” wife Kathryn and learned that both Leona and Diana are based off of her. And Leona really does look like her! How awesome is that?
During the Riot Q and A, the question of adding more manly support came up, and Morello assured the concerned questioner that indeed, more manly support was needed and would be added soon (Riot has a two supports per calendar year schedule).
As for new maps, Morello answered this commonly asked question with the idea that new maps add no extra depth to the game. The League of Legends development team prefers to focus more on team/player interactions, champions, and items. They plan on taking a hard look at the current items in particular, and either reworking or adding more items so that items add more to gameplay. This does not necessarily include actives, but the items should “change how you think about your character.”
The developers also admitted to the mobility creep that many have noticed with the new champions. They plan to fix this not by buffing old champ move speed or by nerfing new champs, but through items. Also, with the rise in popularity and notoriety of ARAM, they are constantly looking into improve it. According to Morello, though, it’s hard to navigate which aspects to improve first. From his vague answer, I got the feeling that premade ARAMs will eventually happen, but in the far future. Finally, the current and omnipresent meta of solo top, solo mid, jungle and two bot was said to be “broken frequently,” according to Morello, and that although they encourage teams to experiment and play more dynamically, they do not think that the meta is as strong as much of the player base feels that it is.
Tl;dr PAX Prime is awesome, and you should probably go next year.
Finally, look who I met:
SnakeByte MiniMote: Review
The SnakeByte mini Wii-Mote combines a comfortable redesign with compact size without sacrificing performance. At $19.99 the SnakeByte Mini-Mote is a well priced alternative or upgrade to the Nintendo Certified remote.
Stan Lee’s Comikaze comes to LA Sep 15th-16th
I am sure many of you remember the slut fest that was Comic Con 2012. I am not talking about booth babes of the Prometheus Guy — that had to have been half android. I am talking about the commercialism that the con has turned into. Do not get me wrong, I loved me some Comic Con. I will not lie and say that the I did not feel like a was walking into a giant ad. The entire convention was chocked full of ads, trailers, and the general “Buy me! Buy me! Oh boobs! Buy me!” marketing. I felt dirty after each day. Maybe its was due to the sweat or the massive amounts of time I spent playing Guardians of Middle Earth. But I honestly could not shake that feeling — the one that tells you “hey everything is not ok here, and I have a bad feeling about this”.
Then comes Stan Lee’s Comikaze! It’s an event thrown “for the fans by the fans”. The convention will take place in Los Angeles, California in September and run Saturday the 15th (10AM-7PM) to Sunday the 16th (10AM-6PM). The body count at last year’s Comikaze was around 35 thousand on Saturday; that’s a lot of geeks! At the low low price of $30 for a full weekend or $20 for a day pass, you honestly have no reason not to go.
I personally can not wait to pick up Camilla d’Errico’s King Stan print. One of many exclusives to Comikaze. Noble Press will be at Comikaze covering the event in full force. We will be posting up our pick of favorite events and happenings before the convention itself. Also make sure to check back for news and interviews during the convention it self. Hope to see you all at this years Comikaze. To pick up tickets, check the link below. See you at the convention center!
The International: Livestreams of the event!
Watch live video from dota2ti on www.twitch.tv
If you are not able to check out the live games via the spectator client then make sure to watch the live steam of today’s main event. These games feature the best players in the world playing for a 1 million dollar first place prize and the title of world champion. Don’t forget to buy your pendants so you can win some in game loot while watching the games.
We will be at a local “Pub Stomp” checking out the games live while drinking some brews. I love that eSports is becoming a reality. This is an amazing time for us gamers.
Lake Forest Pubstomp
Buffalo Wild Wings – Lake Forest
23600 Rockfield Blvd, Lake Forest, CA 92630
Facebook Event Page
The OS: All About The New Devices!
This week on The OS we go all in with the new devices out of IFA. I talk a bit about the hardware in the new Tablets, Convertibles and Touchsreen Ultrabooks. Do they pack the punch that you need? I personally do not think so, but then again I am not the average consumer. Andy has all the news on the new Galaxy Note II, is it a phone, is it a tablet? Watch to find out our thoughts. Aaron Rowe talks a bit about that sexy new Samsung Windows Phone. Give me brushed aluminum and beast specks! Count me in on this next wave of Windows Phone 8 devices.
S.H.I.E.L.D Gets It’s Own TV Series
The Marvel universe is stepping into the small screen for a live action television series. At first, I was unimpressed until I found out Joss Whedon would be involved.
According to G4TV, the series is in pilot mode after being greenlit by ABC. The series will not feature the Avengers but will revolve around the espionage organization led by Nick Fury.
The pilot will be co-written by Joss Whedon, his brother Jed Whedon who is known for work such as Spartatcus: Vengence, and Maurissa Tancharoen who worked on Dollhouse.
Right now, there is no word if Samuel L. Jackson will portray Fury in this adaptation or if any of the A-listed stars will make an appearance. I’m sure we can count on Stan “The Man” Lee to make a cameo; that’s his thing. Joss has made a point the plot will be based solely on the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but doesn’t mean we won’t see any meta humans or mutants.
I am really excited for this. I recently just re-watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the spin off Angel, Firefly and Serenity. I was in Whedon fan boy mode when I first read the announcement and fell out of my chair. What do you think of the new medium Marvel is expanding towards?
Image Source: Marvel
Darksiders II For PC Updated: Now Less Crappy
So it has become painstakingly obvious that Darksiders II on PC was nothing more than a shitty console port. Even some members of Noble Press have noticed the games many shortcomings due to it being an afterthought. For those who have had to bear through it i have good news! Vigil has heard your complaints and now issued an update for the game, one would wonder why they didn’t just optimize the game for PC in the first place call me crazy but thats how i think it should be.
If you’re curious check below for a list of all the issues the update fixes and if you want to download the patch ASAP check the source link, let us know if these updates make this game playable finally happy hunting gamers!
**Also as a side note many of you have reported of a V-sync bug that causes lots of screen tear. That most definitely is the games fault not your monitor or your hardware this update does address that issue. **
In this Update your key mappings will revert to defaults.
Added Key Bindings option to the Pause Menu. (Previous location on the Moves List still there)
The V-sync graphics option is now functional.
Reaper Form now triggers correctly when using a Keyboard.
Video Settings save to the Steam Cloud correctly.
You can now sacrifice items below the 3rd row in the Possessed Weapon menu.
Target Reticules align properly at all screen resolutions.
Addressed crashes in Blackstone, including at the 2nd lever and during the Lilith cut-scene.
Various gameplay progressions fixes.
Mario Warefare (Official Trailer)
The guys over at Beat Down Boogie decided they needed to take Mario to a whole new level, thus creating Mario Warfare. This YouTube creation looks hilarious, the video starts off a little slow but as soon as they start queuing up the fight scenes you’ll quickly change your mind. By far my favorite scene is of Toad surrounded by enemy’s elegantly taking them out one by one. I’m eager to see this fan flick in all its glory, unfortunately no word yet on a release date but the trailer promises it will be coming pretty soon… more or less.
Source: Beat Down Boogie