PC Gamer
Doom 3 BFG Edition thumb
id Software is Dooming us like we've never been Doomed before. Publisher Bethesda Softworks has announced the Doom 3 BFG Edition, which will feature the series' entire catalog, including Doom, Doom 2, Doom 3, and Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, as well as an added "Lost Mission" with seven new levels. The release date and pricing are TBA, but it's coming sometime this year. Check out the trailer inside.

In addition to new content, id has spent the past year addressing complaints about Doom 3's darkness and difficulty (enter the new "armor-mounted flashlight"), tweaking its lighting and rendering, and adding 3D monitor and 5.1 surround sound support. Many of the modifications are bigger news for the console versions, as we've already been blessed with smooth framerates and the famous Duct Tape Mod.

"Doom 3 was enthusiastically embraced by gamers worldwide at its release," said id Software's John Carmack in today's statement. "Today, the full experience has been enhanced and extended to be better than ever, and is delivered across all the platforms with a silky smooth frame rate and highly responsive controls."

If id were working on it, this definitive Doom collection would be an excellent precursor to Doom 4, and Polygon's Russ Pitts made the same leading statement to id's Tim Willits, who repeated back, "If one were working on that, it would be a perfect precursor."

So, yeah, it seems likely that we'll get a Doom 4 re-announcement sometime this year.
PC Gamer
I was really impressed by how highly player input was valued at Paragon Studios' City of Heroes Player Summit last month. I've been to player summits for every major MMO out there and all of them have been primarily focused on the developers telling the players what's coming next--except for this one.

In Palo Alto, California, 100 players sat in a room with developers and were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas for new armor styles, a new power set, and a complete zone revamp. The developers and players then spent hours working together to pick their favorite options and flesh them out to be built into the game.

For each category, everyone in attendance was encouraged to write down their idea with a brief description. The developers then went through the whole stack and picked their 10-15 favorites and asked the player who wrote it down to come up to the mic and explain it and answer questions from the devs about it. From there, the list would be wittled down to a single choice that the group when then design together, with an open mic for players to come up and give input.

Post-Apocalyptic armor set
The players decided that they wanted a post-apocalyptic armor set in the game, and took turns walking up to the microphone to suggest specific costume pieces or overall looks that they thought should be incorporated. During the entire process, one of the dev team's artists was on stage with a tablet, drawing everything suggested and asking the player that suggested it for input or advice on tweaking it.

Of course, the dev team didn't take every idea exactly as it was suggested, but they were able to work with almost every idea tossed their way.

Some of the big words tossed out during this process were: Assymetrical, metal stitched into leather, bike chains, dead tires, mesh shirts, piercings, broadsword, chainsaw, baseball bats, and tattoos.

Below is the final drawing whipped up by the artist on the fly during the panel. This is currently guiding the developer's design of the in-game armor set, but, of course, the final version will likely incorporate a lot of these ideas in new ways and add some of the dev's other ideas as well.

Radiation Armor power set
The City of Heroes players in attendance must've been pining for Fallout's destroyed-world setting during the summit: they're follow-up selection was Radiation Armor as the next power set to be added to their game. There were a lot of really cool ideas suggested, though, including my two personal favorites: air and cyborg power arms.

Players pitched a lot of really gross ideas for the radiation-themed set (how many times can one character vomit green goo, people?), and almost all of them got fleshed out as if they'd be built into the power set, with designers up front guiding the discussion to make sure it had all the usual tools in its arsenal.

We met up with Powers Designer Phil “Synapse” Zeleski to see how the designs for the Radiation Power Set are coming along. Here's the list of powers as they stand now:

Half Life — Toggle: Self, +Res(Lethal, Smash, Toxic)
Design Notes: It makes sense that a character wrapped in irradiated metal should have a high amount of resistance to lethal, smashing and toxic damage.
Gamma Boost — Auto: Self, +Regen, +Recovery, +Special
Design Notes: The goal with this power is to give you what type of regeneration or recovery you need most at any given time. The scale of the bonuses change depending on your current health level: while health is high your regeneration bonus is very low, but your recovery bonus is very high. Conversely, the lower your health gets the greater the regeneration bonus, but the lower your recovery bonus.
Proton Armor — Toggle: Self +Res(Energy, Fire, Cold, Negative, Slow, Endurance Drain)
Design Notes: Energy damage resistance should be high, while the other resistances are moderate.
Fallout Shelter — Toggle: Self +Res(Hold, Knockdown, Immobilize, Disorient, Sleep, Psi, Toxic)
Design Notes: This is the set’s status shield. It will also grant a small amount of resistance against Psionic and Toxic damage.
Radiation Therapy — Self, +HP, Foe –Regen
Design Notes: Very useful when tanking large groups, this power grants you a small amount of HP for each nearby foe you hit. Affected foes have their regeneration rate significantly reduced for a short time.
Beta Decay — Toggle: Foe Taunt, -DMG, Self +Rech
Design Notes: This power reduces the damage of nearby foes and grants you a recharge bonus per nearby foe up to a maximum of 10 foes. Beta Decay will also taunt nearby foes.
Particle Shielding — Self, +Absorb over Time, +Regen
Design Notes: This power will constantly apply a small amount of damage absorption every few seconds for its duration. Additionally, for the duration of the power you also gain a high amount of regeneration.
Ground Zero — PBAoE, High DMG(Energy/Toxic), Self Rez, Special
Design Notes: This power will deal a high amount of damage to nearby foes. You can also use this power to revive yourself if you have been defeated. Ground Zero has a very long recharge time.
Meltdown — Self, +Res(All), +Recovery, +Dmg, Foe –To Hit
Designer’s Notes: The big one: when activated, nearby foes will have their chance to hit significantly reduced for a short time and you will gain a good amount of resistance to all damage types, a large recovery bonus and a sizeable damage bonus for a short time. When this power wears off you’ll lose a minor amount of HP and Endurance.


Kings Row Zone Revamp
The zone revamp panel was the most interesting to me because the developers responded to every suggestion, explaining why or why not they would want to incorporate that into an MMO's zone. It gave a lot of good insight into the process, and gave players plenty of opportunity to vent about areas of the game they really didn't like--while encouraging them to also think about reasonable solutions that might fix their issues with it.

We met up with Lead Developer Matt “Positron” Miller to find out what he took away from the panel, and what the team plans to do with the player feedback they recieved there. His response:

"We are actually in the process of doing revamps to a couple zones, using the same guidelines we gave the players, and we got some great insights into what our players’ expectations are. I think it’s fair to say that we have, at one time or another, considered revamps for many of the zones in the game. The limiting factors come down to prioritization of resources. What does improving Zone A get us over Zone B? When we came up with the idea for a panel on revamping zones we knew that the players would likely have many of the same ideas and inspirations that we did.

"One thing I think threw players for a loop was the question 'Would you change the level range?' Almost eveyone said no, but as we dug deeper during the panel we found that the players were pretty flexible with this answer, which is a relief to us. Being handcuffed to a specific level range (especially one where there is an abundance of content already) isn’t always ideal. It does ramp up the 'who moved my cheese' factor to a zone revamp, which we are always aware of, but in the end we can adjust the levels of zones to create a better flow and more interesting things to do across all levels.

As for which zone is getting looked at because of that panel, there are several, but that list definitely includes King's Row. As I mentioned, at least one that was talked about was already on the schedule (and being worked on as we speak), but there are some great ideas that we want to delve into further for Issues 26 and beyond."
PC Gamer
The Elder Scrolls Online
A lot of information about Bethesda's upcoming MMO has been coming out over the past couple weeks since its announcement, and the reveals aren't always encouraging. There will be a Thieves Guild questline? Awesome. Character customization is being sacrificed for PvP balance? Not awesome.

Yesterday, EDGE revealed the first details of The Elder Scrolls Online's dungeon systems, which the developers call "public dungeons." From the details we've uncovered about them so far, however, that might be a bit of a misnomer. Here's what we know—and don't know—so far.

What we know
1. There will be instanced dungeons that are open to everyone
Game director Matt Firor told EDGE that these dungeons are areas of the world "designed for people who are not grouped together to go into to fight." The article mentions a low-level Daedric catacomb as one example. He also says that public dungeons were his favorite part of EverQuest and they've clearly inspired their design for their own public dungeons.

2. They will be prevalent
No specific number is given, but Firor says that "there are a lot of them." In our video, the developers refer to a player just stumbling across a public dungeon while playing in the open world.

3. You will be able to solo them
Now this is a weird one that really makes me wonder if the "public dungeon" label is a bit misleading. The way that a public dungeon is described in the article makes it sound like a lot like an open-world zone without quests and with more enemies.

Firor explains, "Each one of these public dungeons is soloable... but they’re also dangerous. Lots of creatures, very close together. Basically, if you solo it, you’ll need to find a place to heal, and then you might find another player there who’s exactly like you, and needs help, and then you can fall in together. You’ll have met someone that, hopefully, you’ll want to stick around with later on.”

4. There will also be private dungeons and end-game raids
The instanced private dungeons and raids will host groups of up to six players

What we don't know
1. If there will be bosses
Bosses are never mentioned, although it seems likely that there will be some in each public dungeon area. All indication is that those bosses, if they exist, will still be soloable. That's very uncommon for what most MMO players will think of as "dungeons," but DC Universe Online does have a similar sort of content (although not public): instanced areas with dense enemies and soloable bosses.

2. How big they are
The only specific dungeon mentioned is "a grand series of catacombs with lofty ceilings and walls of rusty brown stone," which sounds expansive and, importantly, non-linear. The only mention of the number of players a public dungeon can contain is found in a different interview and is vaguely defined as "many."

3. If PvP will be allowed inside
So far, it sounds like public dungeons will be allies-only affairs. The author of the article asserts that public dungeon's are key to the socializing aspect of the game, designed to encourage players to meet one another, team up, and work together.

When Firor explains the inspiration behind public dungeons, he seems to indicate that there will be no PvP: "When you think back to the fun MMOG moments in the first generation, it’s standing there, terrified, in an enclosed space, waiting for someone to come along and save you. We can’t do that punitive gameplay that they did in those days, but we can put people together in places where they want to work with others.”

4. How exactly they're different from open world zones
If any number of players can run inside a public dungeon without grouping up, and that area hosts vast non-linear terrain and enemies that are soloable, what makes public dungeons different from open-world zones? Is it simply that there's a loading screen to enter it, or is it something more?

The most obvious potential answers would be that there are no quest hubs, that it's designed to be more challenging than the open-world content of the same level, or that enemies don't respawn inside of it. But nothing was specifically called out in the interview.

So what's our best guess?
If we're stepping into the uncertain land of speculation, it sounds to me like "public dungeons" will be parts of the open world that players can run into at any time that will have slightly more challenging enemies inside of them.

Location-wise, it could be very similar to the group-quest areas on Star Wars: The Old Republic's planets. Those areas in TOR are seamlessly hooked into the open world, but in TOR still break players into separate instances based on who you're grouped with--in TESO it would all be one big instance that anyone can run into at any time. In TESO, they would likely be areas of the world that would obviously appear more challenging--something that's typical for Elder Scrolls games.

For example, you could be running around a mountainside and see a door in the side of the cliff. As you approach, you see that it's labeled as the entrance to a Vampire lair. Any player can run inside of it, but you'd expect that the enemies inside, being a badass vampire clan, will likely be more difficult to take down than a couple of wandering wolves in the forest.

As you fight your way through the cave, I'd expect there to be multiple paths to travel and respawning vampires. You may also run into another player who's desperately fighting for his life against the hordes of undead blood-suckers. You save his life and he decides to help you. As you push deeper into the cave together, you spot a more powerful vampire in the distance--he's a boss. You take him down and he drops a rare item for everyone that helped. You may find a helpless prisoner then asking you to escort him to the cave entrance. You can leave at any time, or keep killing vampires for hours as other players come and go.

Again, most of this is still speculation at this point, but it is along the same lines of the general philosophy and goals for public dungeons that the developers have expressed so far. We'll keep an eye out for more details on all aspects of The Elder Scrolls Online as more information continues to be released, and will keep you updated on the site.
PC Gamer
The mystery "triple-A RPG" coming from CD Projekt RED is based on Cyberpunk, the pen and paper RPG by Mike Pondsmith. The game was teased today during the group's Summer Conference, and is in early development by Witcher veterans. We don't know much yet, except that it will feature the expected cyberpunk RPG trappings: customizable characters, multiple classes, plenty of weapons and implants, and a non-linear story.

It's a "mature RPG for mature audiences," said CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwinski during the conference. It also features amazing jackets, judging by the art debuted at the conference.
PC Gamer
Retro City Rampage thumb resize
Raise your hand if you like DRM-free distribution of new indie games and old classics! OK, now put your hand back on your mouse -- you need it for clicking on GOG's latest release lineup, which was revealed at CD Projekt Red's Summer Conference today. It includes Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers, Retro City Rampage, the first three Tomb Raider games in a $10 (~ £6.45) collection, Sid Meier's Colonization, and indie adventure game Resonance.

Both Resonance and Tiny and Big are available for pre-order with a discount, and those who put down cash for Resonance now will also receive a four-hour playable demo before both it and Tiny and Big release on June 19.

Retro City Rampage, a parody of all that is '80s gaming, will be released "approximately" July 1. The cereal commercial below had to be included because it's great.

The "remastered for Windows" Tomb Raider collection and Sid Meier's Colonization are already available for $10 and $6 respectively.

PC Gamer
day z map
Day Z is played on Arma 2's main map, Chernarus. It's a 225 km² foresty facsimile of the Czech Republic, and it's easy to get lost in (literally and figuratively). You don't spawn with a map or a compass, so you're left to use landmarks and road signs to orient yourself.

There's already a handy virtual Day Z map online, but Bohemia has put a wall-worthy paper map of Chernarus up for sale. Also included are hard copies of Operation Arrowhead areas Sahrani, Takistan, Shapur and Proving Grounds and eight Arma 2 postcards. Click over here to buy a Chernarus map.

I've been using mine (Bohemia was handing them out at E3 2011) throughout my Day Z diary. It beats asking bandits for directions.

PC Gamer
The Wizard is one of the toughest classes to survive as on Hell and Inferno. Here are the Wizard builds we've found to be most fun and effective so far. Our Diablo 3 class build guide has builds for every class in Diablo 3: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. Be sure to check back often—we're updating it almost every day.

6/4: Added Infernal Wizard I

See the build: Wizard Infernal Wizard I

This week is all about builds that will get you through Hell and Inferno difficulty alive. Theme builds are fun, but once you get to a certain point, inefficiency will get you burned to a crisp. This build focuses on Arcane damage and good, sustained Arcane Power along with great crowd control to combat the deadly enemies you'll face. Electrocute and Arcane Torrent ensure that you can keep at range while making efficient use of your Arcane Power. Hydra will give your enemies something to hit that isn't you, which is invaluable, while Blizzard and Diamond Skin can assist you in your all-too-frequent retreats before you get pounded into wizard pâté. Energy Armor is a great survivability increase, and saves you from one-shot kills, which are disturbingly common among Inferno's cast of baddies. Since this build forsakes Teleport, make sure to stack movement speed to make up for your lack of a "GTFO" button.

Preferred stats: Weapon Damage, Intelligence, Vitality, Movement Speed

Wizard build: The Storm Mage
See the build: Wizard Storm Mage

Bring the chaos and destruction of the raging storm to bear, unleashing lightning and ice an an unpredictable maelstrom of destruction around you. This build does best at mid to close range, with Shock Pulse flooding the field before you with volatile bolts while your runed Ray of Frost and Frost Nova send cold annihilation in all directions. Diamond Skin and Storm Armor will let you survive to get in close enough for your AoEs to have maximum effect, while also discounting all of your damaging spells significantly, so the storm never really stops raging. Blizzard gives you a longer-range option for dealing mass murder.

Preferred stats: Weapon Damage, Intelligence, Attack Speed, Max Arcane Power


Wizard build: The Z Fighter (Ranged)
See the build: Wizard Z Fighter

The week of theme builds continues with inspiration from Akira Toriyama's Dragonball universe! Note that you will be required to yell the names of your attacks loudly into your monitor for this build to function. Unleash volley after volley of devastating energy attacks in true Dragonball fashion with Magic Missile, Arcane Orb (SPIRT BOMB!) and Disintegrate (Kaaaaaaa meeeeeeeee...) Teleport lets you zip around the battlefield like a boss. When it comes time to power up, Storm Armor will take you to the next level. And against the greatest of foes, unlock the transformation power of Archon -- it's just a shame there isn't a rune that makes it turn your hair gold and spiky.

Preferred stats: Weapon Damage, Intelligence, Vitality, Max Arcane Power


Wizard build: The Glass Cannon
See the build: Wizard Glass Cannon - Updated 5/17

A primal urge within all of us wants to see big numbers flash on the screen when we attack, and this build lets you get the biggest digits of any class in Diablo 3. Core skills get a bonus effect on crit: your primary, Electrocute, and Storm Armor lash out lightning attacks, and Meteor's molten fire boils over when it crits. The Critical Mass passive reduces the cooldown on your spells by 1 second every time you crit, and Arcane Dynamo lets you boost your next attack by 75% to achieve truly absurd single-hit numbers to brag about to your buddies. The other abilities center on making sure you crit as often as possible, with Disintegrate, Frost Nova and Explosive Blast all hitting multiple targets with some absurdly high weapon percentages--each with its own chance to be crit. With all these perks tossed in, an explosion from Volatile blast is doing 800% weapon damage before crit and with no gear stats calculated in (that's 1,200% or higher on a crit)!

Preferred stats: Critical Chance, Critical Hit Damage, Weapon Damage, Intelligence


Wizard build: The Battle Mage
See the build: Wizard Battle Mage

Not every Wizard is squishy, but the battle mage is one of the most coveted archetypes that rarely makes it way into games because, frankly, it's usually way overpowered. The first step is to give your Wizard a melee weapon: Spectral Blade takes it one step further by making your primary attack a massive, magical sword that heals you when it crits. Next, you've got to bolster your defenses so you can stand on the front lines without crumbling like wet tissue paper. Diamond Skin, Ice Armor, Archon and the passive skills Galvanizing Ward and Blur turn you into a veritable tank with insane armor and a ton of sweet spells. The last thing you need to complete your battle mage toolkit is a couple devastating aoes to unleash when things get hairy. Arcane Torrent and Energy Twister can both be runed into the perfect tools, and the Unstable Anomaly passive gives you a boost right when you need it most.

Preferred stats: Armor, Intelligence, Vitality, Elemental Resistance
PC Gamer
Screen Shot 2012-05-30 at 18.41.54
Tom was lucky enough to interview Maria Aliprando, Nick Konkle and Brian Wheeler a few weeks ago. They're the gameplay and PVP designers for the Elder Scrolls Online.

Watch the exclusive interview after the jump. You might want to grab a beverage too; it's a whopping 17 minutes long, and includes heated debates about about fire and frost and all kinds of mystical things.

The interview is also available on YouTube.

For more on The Elder Scrolls Online, visit our hub page - it's gets regularly updated with the freshest Elder Scrolls Online info we can find.
PC Gamer
Hitman Absolution
"Sir, Agent 47 is cornered. Our high powered team of female assassins is ready to roll in there and take him out."

"You can't just roll in and take out Agent 47. He's a machine. A cold blooded killer."

"We have a plan, sir. We've disguised them as a team of BDSM queens who are in turn disguised as a team of high-powered action-Nuns."

"Roger that. No, wait. UN-roger that. Everything you just said to me was complete gibberish. Are they trained, can they shoot, will they check their blind spots?"

"Uh, well we've ordered them to walk directly forwards in slow motion while shedding their clothes, but, maybe they'll check their blind spots. Maybe. Don't worry, sir. Everything will be just FINE."

Moments later...

PC Gamer
World of Tanks Brit Tanks thumb
Recently, Wargaming.net announced that British tanks were coming to World of Tanks, it's an exciting time to be a Brit who's into blowing things up. To celebrate, Wargaming.net gave us a peek at their planned British army tech tree, and I've speculated a little about what we can expect from the Queen's own angry houses.

Historically, British tanks featured high penetration, low calibre guns, in World of Tanks terms this means that they'll rarely bounce straight off enemy armour, but won't do that much damage when they hit, forcing British gunners to place their shots carefully. This won't be too hard however, as British tanks were famed for their accuracy when firing on the move. This came from the fact that their guns were carefully balanced to brace against the shoulder of the gunner, giving him perfect control when aiming... and a hell of a scare every time it fired.

Let's have a look at the proposed British tech tree.

British tanks are separated into two broad types. The central tree hosts the old 'infantry tanks', like the Matilda and Churchill, currently available as premium tanks on the Soviet side. These rolling fortresses were meant to accompany infantry into combat and support them. As such they don't move very fast, or sport the biggest guns, but they are heavily armoured, capable of bouncing even the toughest shells while their fast firing guns chewed through vulnerable lighter tanks. As the war went on the concept of the infantry tank would eventually be abandoned, and the later entries in the tree, the Caernevon, Conqueror and FV215, are true heavy tanks built with bigger, heavier guns.

The counterpoint to the infantry tank was the cruiser tank. A fast moving, lightly armoured tank with a strong gun, it was intended to exploit gaps in the enemy line and break through, operating further forward than the plodding infantry tanks. These are represented by the right hand tree, with tanks like the Crusader and Cromwell, notoriously fast, and hard hitting, but vulnerable under fire. Eventually these would be superseded by the Centurion, a more versatile 'universal tank' that was one of the best in the world at the time.

I'd expect British medium tanks to be similar to the US, fast moving, accurate and a lot of fun to play, but not as easy to pick up or as hard hitting as the Soviets. The heavy tanks on the other hand represent an interesting challenge, they're likely to be hard to hurt, but struggle to dish out damage, at least until the late tiers. Still, if you enjoyed the Matilda's feeling of slow moving invincibility, then you can expect more of the same.

Let's take a look at some of the coolest looking new tanks:


You might remember the Crusader from Call of Duty 2's tank level, which depicted its desert duel with the Panzer IV. The Crusader was far quicker than the Panzer, and could easily penetrate the German tank's armour, but it was comparatively short ranged. The British solution was to use that superior speed to quickly close the distance in a reckless cavalry charge.


The Cromwell was famed for its Rolls-Royce Meteor engine, an absolute beast of a machine based on the airplane engine that powered the Spitfire. The result was a medium tank that could reach speeds of 40 mph (64 kph). That's comparable to most of WoT's light scout tanks, only far tougher, and with more firepower.


The Comet used a similar engine to the Cromwell, but sported a larger gun and more armour. The result was the loss of the Cromwell's fabled speed, but a much better all round tank, capable of taking on German Panther's head to head.


The Centurion might well be the most sought after tank in the game when the update goes live. Generally considered to be the forerunner of modern tank design, and mounting a world beating gun that could penetrate almost any tank in the world. The real challenge will making sure it isn't too overpowered, but still fun to play.

Finally, all British tanks are required to have a 'Boiling Vessel' (kettle) built in. It'll take more than a war to separate us from our beloved tea!