Blizzcon 2010 Announced!

Well, it’s about that time of year. After Blizzard’s press release yesterday I kind of figured they were getting ready to announce Blizzcon. The event will run Oct. 22-23 at the Anaheim Convention center again despite the rumors floating around about Vegas as a possible location.

Of course, the announcement of Blizzcon is only the beginning. Expect lots of hype for the upcoming Cataclysm expansion as well as Starcraft II and Diablo III. Don’t forget that tickets will be going on sale within the coming months and be prepared! It looks as if Blizzard plans on implementing the same queue system from last year. This means tickets will sell out incredibly fast and they will only be available for online purchase.

More information about the convention can be found at the official website for the event.

Personally, what I find most exciting about Blizzcon’s date is that it gives us a good window for the Cataclysm expansion’s release date. Blizzard has never released a major patch, let alone an expansion before the convention. Instead, the try to push them out the week after the convention, slightly before Christmas. So, look for Cataclysm to hit shelves early November!

Video Games Help Save Lives!

As a former student of Michigan State University, I feel obligated to post this. It might be a little bit out of the ordinary from the other gaming news I post, but I feel as if it’s pretty cool and deserves a post.

Taken from: http://kotaku.com/5494790/in-this-life+saving-minesweeper-game-the-mines-are-real


Every year upwards of 20,000 lives are lost in war-torn countries due to unexploded ordinance such as land mines. Can a video game educate children about land mine avoidance where traditional methods have failed?

That’s the hope of Corey Bohil, a visiting assistant professor at Michigan State University’s Department of Telecommunication and project lead on Undercover UXO. Undercover UXO is a simple computer game that sees players navigating a pet through a maze in order to find food. Throughout the maze are the telltale warning signs of unexploded ordinance – dead cattle, disturbed ground, and the shells of burnt-out vehicles – which the player must report to a local inspector lest they risk losing their pet.

“The goal of the project is to teach children in Cambodia and other at-risk areas to recognize and avoid unexploded ordnance,” said Corey Bohil. “If the player recognizes the indicators and avoids them, then the pet finds the food and everyone is happy.”

The project began life as a student project in a class taught by Bohil called “Collaborative Game Design.” The motivation behind the game’s development were shocking statistics from the United Nations Mine Action Service, which estimates annual unexploded ordinance related deaths at around 20,000, along with the failure of traditional teaching methods.

“For years the local communities would try to teach people how to avoid landmines,” Bohil said. “They would have presentations made to community elders, publish booklets, and nothing would work.”

New FFXIV Screens Released

As a long time hardcore WoW player and gamer I can’t possibly explain how excited I am for the new Final Fantasy MMO.  I’ve been involved in the WoW raiding community for about four years now, but before that I was a hardcore FFXI player. I had to say that I was a little worried about this new release, but with Square releasing new screens like this I’m incredibly pumped.

More Screens available at the link below:

http://www.thelostgamer.com/2010/03/11/final-fantasy-xiv-receives-a-ton-of-new-screens-artwork/?nggpage=2

Portal 2 Info Released!

Taken from: http://kotaku.com/5486758/portal-2-adds-multiplayer-co+op-new–familiar-characters

Officially released details on Valve’s sequel to Portal were scant. Fortunately, retailer GameStop comes through with some major details, including the addition of a two-player cooperative campaign mode and all-new characters.

Gametops’s description of the PC and Xbox 360 game indicates that Portal 2 is due later this year—the online retailer lists an October 26 release date—bringing with a cast of “dynamic new characters” and “never-before-seen areas of the Aperture Science Labs.” And yes, as hinted at earlier, players will be reunited with GLaDOS.

The only details on Portal 2′s multiplayer mode from GameStop are that it will feature its own unique story-driven campaign. The “new mode forces players to reconsider everything they thought they knew about portals,” requiring players “to not just act cooperatively, but to think cooperatively.”

Here’s the full product description.

Coming this holiday. Portal 2 is the sequel to 2007′s Game of the Year and draws from the award-winning formula of innovative game play, story, and music that earned the original over 70 industry accolades. Features single and multiplayer co-op modes. The single-player portion of Portal 2 introduces a cast of dynamic new characters, a host of fresh puzzle elements, and a much larger set of devious test chambers. Players will explore never-before-seen areas of the Aperture Science Labs and be reunited with GLaDOS, the occasionally murderous computer companion who guided them through the original game. The game’s two-player cooperative mode features its own entirely separate campaign with a unique story, test chambers, and two new player characters. This new mode forces players to reconsider everything they thought they knew about portals. Success will require them to not just act cooperatively, but to think cooperatively.

First Screens Of Warhammer 40K: Space Marine

Taken from: http://kotaku.com/5480264/first-screens-of-warhammer-40k-space-marine

It’s been nine months since THQ officially announce the Warhammer 40K action RPG Space Marine, and we’re finally getting the first screenshots for the game. Are they worth the wait?

Announced in May of last year and shown in footage form at E3 a month later, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine seems to be a title that THQ and developer Relic are taking their own sweet time on. As evidence to that, these are the first two screenshots that have surfaced for the action RPG.

I’d say that if the game’s visuals are this gorgeous, Relic can take as much time as they need to make sure the game plays as good as it looks.

Scalpers Getting $300 For StarCraft II Beta Keys

Taken from:

http://kotaku.com/5476373/scalpers-getting-300-for-starcraft-ii-beta-keys


Not that I’m sharing this in a run-go-get-it sense. But some enterprising key recipients have chosen not to participate in the StarCraft II beta. Some 49 keys are being auctioned on eBay right now, with bids reaching up to $305.

Most of the keys are cards given out at BlizzCon 2008, which provide access to one of the company’s upcoming betas – in this case, StarCraft II, which started on Wednesday, or the Diablo 3 beta, whenever that begins. The cards also came with a code for a polar bear mount in World of Warcraft. Other keys on sale were said to be acquired by different means. Caveat emptor.

Three keys are listed at Buy-It-Now prices of $375, $450 and $949, although that last one includes a guy’s full Battle.Net account, which features two level 80 World of Warcraft characters. No one’s bid on that yet. The highest bid on a key so far is $305.

Starcraft II Closed Beta Announced!

Taken from: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/blizzard-entertainment-begins-closed-beta-testing-of-starcraftr-ii-wings-of-libertytm-2010-02-17?reflink=MW_news_stmp

IRVINE, Calif., Feb 17, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Blizzard Entertainment announced today that the closed beta test for its highly anticipated real-time strategy game, StarCraft(R) II: Wings of Liberty(TM), has begun. Thousands of gamers around the world have started to receive invitations from the company to participate in the first phase of the beta test. In addition to providing feedback on the multiplayer balance of StarCraft II, testers are also getting a first look at Blizzard Entertainment’s revamped Battle.net(R) service, which will be the online platform for StarCraft II, World of Warcraft(R), and future Blizzard Entertainment(R) games.

“Gathering concentrated feedback from our players is an important step for us as we head into the final stretch of development for StarCraft II and the new Battle.net service,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to having our players’ help in polishing the overall experience and preparing for launch.”

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment’s 1998 hit StarCraft, which has been hailed by players and critics worldwide as one of the top real-time strategy games of all time. Sporting a vibrant new 3D-graphics engine, StarCraft II will once again center on the clash between the protoss, terrans, and zerg, with each side deploying legions of veteran, upgraded, and brand-new unit types. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is currently slated to ship in the first half of 2010.

In addition, Blizzard Entertainment will again offer unparalleled online play through Battle.net, the company’s world-renowned gaming service. A new version of Battle.net will be launched alongside StarCraft II with several enhancements and new features to establish it as the premier online gaming destination for Blizzard gamers.

For more information on StarCraft II and the beta test, please visit the official StarCraft II website at http://www.starcraft2.com. To set up a Battle.net account and sign up for a chance to participate in the StarCraft II beta test, please visit the official Battle.net website at http://www.battle.net.

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