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Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% off the Two Worlds II!

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

Product Update - Valve
- Defense DLC (new multiplayer game mode with 5 new maps) added
- Two multiplayer Duell maps added.
- Additional languages Russian, Polish and Czech added

Product Update - Valve
- updated to version 1.3.5, contains some fixes of some rare crash bugs
- Additional languages Russian, Polish and Czech added

Kotaku

I've Never Seen a Magic System in a Video Game Without Glaring FlawsIn today's magically delicious episode of Speak Up on Kotaku, commenter Chris P. Bacon claims that while not one video game has portrayed magic perfectly, several have come close. He should know. He is a wizard.



I've always been a fan of magic users in games. A magician who always has a bag of tricks for any situation and an ace in the sleeve should all else fail. A sorcerer who can reshape reality with unthinkable powers. But, to this date, I've never seen a magic system in a videogame without a few glaring flaws.



Why is it that a warrior or rogue can jog an unlimited distance then swing a weapon for minutes on end while never breaking a sweat or slowing down even slightly, yet wizards often find themselves out of magic and just standing there with little to do. Muscles never tire, and yet magic energy from some unknown impossible source often does.



Now, of course magic needs its limitations, otherwise there would be no reason not to blast the strongest spell all day over and over again. A cooldown system is a fine enough choice, yet it becomes very robotic, going through a consistent rotation of the same spells thoughtlessly just about everywhere.



Then, there's the D&D style, as used in, for example, Baldur's Gate 2 wherein you think of what spells you'll want tomorrow within limited slots then fall asleep until you can use them 8 hours later. It's rather clunky, yet it does cause you to go through everything in your spellbook according to the direness of the situation. It does seem rather silly that a whole party has to wait 8 hours for the wizard to take a nap before he casts one little remove curse spell. Or resurrecting a dead friend first thing in the morning before you brush your teeth.



I should add here that I do love the game Magicka. Big spells took a little time to type in as quickly as you could, practice and premeditation definitely helped, walking was slow when ready to cast so you can't instantly disintegrate enemies on sight, you never just run out of steam and stand there like a dope, and there was all sorts of interesting combinations to try, always a perfect tool for the job. The only drawback is that this system required a very particular control scheme, one that not every game will necessarily facilitate. Also, no one I know owned the game so I just played it single player about a dozen times over and over.



Another honorable mention should go to Two Worlds 2, getting the spell cards and elemental levels was a pain and it was still a mana bar system but it did allow creativity, fun experimenting, and a certain uniqueness between every mage who didn't go with a cookie cutter I-read-it-off-the-internet model.



I thought of a method that may be interesting to try which combines the D&D model and the basic mana bar. You can preselect a limited number of spells which cast instantly but at variable mana costs. But you can also cast from your entire spellbook at variable casting times which leaves you open and mostly stationary. This way you can choose between a quick burst of instant offensive magic or a collection of defensive spells to be used quickly, but non-clutch needs such as long-term damage per second and basic over-time healing can be cast without eventually getting tired and watching someone swing a 6 foot long greatsword for the rest of the fight without as much as needing to sit down in a chair to catch his breath.



What are some other games systems or your thoughts on how magic should best be handled?



About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.
Announcement - Valve
Save 50% off Two Worlds II during the Midweek Madness! Offer ends September 22nd, 4pm Pacific Time.

Continue the journey to secure the fate of Antaloor and save it from the clutches of the Dark Lord Gandohar. A complex quest system and exciting main story draw you into the world of Antaloor, made richer by secondary quest scenarios, gameplay and atmosphere.

Plus, the new Pirates of the Flying Fortress is now available and is 10% off! It includes 12+ hours of main quests, dozens of new weapons including the crossbow, permanent potions and new armor accessories to increase the hero’s stats, and fresh fighting techniques!

Product Release - Valve
Pirates of the Flying Fortress, the new DLC for Two Worlds II is Now Available on Steam and is 10% off!

The Pirates of the Flying Fortress DLC provides 12+ hours of main quests, dozens of new weapons including the crossbow, permanent potions and new armor accessories to increase the hero’s stats, and fresh fighting techniques!

Discount ends September 27th, 10am Pacific Time.

Product Update - Valve
1.3 patch changes (04.08.2011):
--------------------
- Summoned monsters AI has been improved,
- Hero will no longer accelerate unnaturally when sprinting downhill,
- Enemies will now properly navigate around campfires,
- Village shops will now properly generate Necromancer items,
- Pathfinding of Steria (New Ashos) improved, so she wil not get stuck,
- Trampling mobs in towns will be properly recognized as a crime by the guards,
- Casting incantations are now randomly played with reduced frequency,
- Falling damage reduction spell has been improved,
- Jump Strike will now perform even when activated during a series of regular attacks,
- Empty spells are no longer marked as invalid,
- Arming during sprint will not stop the character when he is running,
- Font display in the Crafting Menu improved,
- Boat position is now marked on the map (does not apply to Xbox),
- Enemy spells have been improved,
- Display with magically created physical objects (e.g.: stones) improved,
- Knocked down units will no longer be sucked in by their own Tornado effect,
- Improved torch flame,
- Footprints on sand were added,
- If you jump out of a sailing boat, the boat will no longer continue to float away,
- You can now turn on looting animation at all times (instead of only when you're overloaded) in the settings menu,
- Physic based spells will not deal damage to friendly units anymore,
- PvP arenas now cleared after one of the players is killed,
- Positive homing missile spell will not target enemy unit anymore,
- The creation of spells with no effect cards is not possible anymore,
- Shopkeeper are always able to generate new wares,
- Display of gold piles laying on the ground improved,
- Fixed a rare occasion when the gate would be locked but had a regular 'open' icon,
- Display glitch when drinking a potion while looting has been removed,
- The hero will abort looting if attacked,
- Removed the rare occasion when the boat could damage hero upon disembarking,
- Mana and Health regeneration potions have been changed (their strength has been greatly reduced),
- A glitch was removed which caused the hero to hung occasionally when fighting with two-handed sword,
- Improved the 'dismantle' option on pads to reduce the possibility of accidental destruction of items,
- Break lock chance (using weapon) has been reduced. If the weapon breaks you receive its equipment parts,
- Waves properly rendered for DX10 ATI,
- When using Mana Shield, mana regenerates 3 times slower,
- Improved entering of interiors while having many summoned units with you,
- Display of comparing bow statistics improved,
- The formula for spell damage has been changed - spells will do less damage on higher Willpower levels,
- Improved Missile+Trap+Missile spell,
- Ricochet card cannot cause a missile to home in on subsequent targets anymore -although the homing card was not used or not applicable,
- Several terrain issues improved,
- Improved enemy pathfinding,
- Improved enemy combat AI,
- Improved several monster animations,
- Annihiated a rare species of Ants which were occasionally dealing triple damage,
- Some slowdowns after entering areas removed,
- Summoned monsters have been weakened in Duel and Death Match modes (multiplayer),
- It is now possible to customize safe area size,
- Atmosphere switching smoothened when changing locations,
- Player level (displayed on other players) will now be properly updated in multiplayer,
- New dagger stats will now be properly compared with equipped dagger instead of the weapon,
- PC - Added support for 3D - there are two available modes. Here is a detailed description of what you need to do on PC depending on your hardware and selected mode:
- "vendor specific stereoscopic" mode:
- NVIDIA:
- you must install NVIDIA 3dTVPlay (14 day free trial, after that you have to pay for it), navigate to NVIDIA control panel and enable 3d. You can do this only when:
1) your drivers are 280.xx or never,
2) you have only one 3d tv connected to your computer. If you have both a 3d tv and a monitor connected the 3d cannot be turned on. If you have more than one graphics card and your SLI is turned OFF, the 3d tv can be connected only to the first of them - otherwise it won't work. Again, if you have a monitor connected to the other card it won't work.
- 3D works on all 8600 and up NVIDIA cards,
- your 3d tv must be listed on the NVIDIA website - it won't work on other models,
- ATI:
- your drivers must be 11.3 or never,
- it works with any 3d tv,
- the tv can be connected in any way you like it but it must be a HDMI or DVI-2-HDMI connection,
- you can connect other monitors to your machine,
- if you have two graphics cards you have to disable the crossfire - the 3D won't work with that,
- "framepacked stereo " mode:
- choose the native tv resolution (usually 1920x1080),
- press the 3D button on your remote control and select the "top-bottom frame packed mode" (the name may vary depending on your tv model),
- play using the pad or software cursor - hardware mouse cursor will not work,
- works with any 3D tv, with any additional monitors connected whatever you like, SLI or no SLI, crossfire or no crossfire.

Kotaku

The Two Worlds II Game of the Year Edition is Beautiful — What is That, Velvet? I'm not sure what's more surprising, that somewhere a publication gave Two Worlds II a game of the year award, or the fact that yes, that is indeed velvet.



Before I get trampled by angry Two Worlds II fans, let me clarify that my surprise over said award is not because the game lacked quality. I enjoyed it heartily on the PC, though I played it at a time when anything with graphics north of Minesweeper would cause the internal temperature of my PC to rival that of the sun. The surprise mainly comes from the notion that a game as awful as the original Two Worlds could spawn a sequel good enough for some obscure publication to grant it top honors.



But top honors have obviously been granted, so TopWare Interactive is thanking fans with the lavish Two Worlds II: Velvet Game of the Year Edition on October 18. The gorgeous package contains the game complete with the Pirates of the Flying Fortress expansion; a bonus disc packed with art, videos, music, and two player-versus-player maps; a pirate head pin collectible that doubles as a powerful in-game item; and a lovely double-sided map.



The real highlight of the set is the box, covered in red (PC/Mac) or black (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) velvet with metal corners designed to look like antique brass. It is a thing of glory, the sort of container an ancient king would keep his video games in had ancient people spent less time killing each other and more time innovating.



But no, ancient people were stupid, and this box is ours come October 18. Their loss. Hopefully it doesn't end up being as expensive as it looks.


Product Release - Valve
Two Worlds II is now available on Steam!

Continue the journey to secure the fate of Antaloor and save it from the clutches of the Dark Lord Gandohar.

A complex quest system and exciting main story draw you into the world of Antaloor, made richer by secondary quest scenarios, gameplay and atmosphere.

Kotaku

Ship "Wreck" Maroons Video Game LaunchUpcoming PC title Two Worlds II was supposed to launch in the UK tomorrow. That launch has been pushed back to the end of February, however, after the freighter carrying all the games had a little trouble.



"We just received the container from China with the Collector's Edition and other components and they are wrecked," a representative of the game's publisher TopWare told game site Eurogamer.



"Several components were just a total wreck and unacceptable for us to give out to our fans. We are printing some of these in Europe now and the boxes are being air freighted from China."



"I cannot believe this but it is really happening!"



Since the boxes were not made of glass, we can only guess that either the ship survived the perfect storm or somebody forgot to line the crates with old newspaper!



Two Worlds II, originally planned for a February 4 release, will now be out February 25. Unless a truck explodes or the printing place is overrun with locusts.



Two Worlds II UK cargo "wrecked" [Eurogamer]


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