PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Age of Wulin screenshots show a Wuxia wonderland">Age of Wulin thumb replacement







I'm as much of a fan of improbably pretty martial arts movies as anyone. Yet for some reason, while games based on the ancient art of kicking someone in the face are common, those that share the fantastic setting of Chinese Wuxia movies are not.



Enter Age of Wulin, which is doing its best to plug a Jade Empire shaped hole in my heart. The free to play MMO is clearly inspired by the likes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers, and wears its preposterous martial artistry on its sleeve.



We've got our hands on some new artwork for the game, so enjoy these lovely images below.























PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Dota 2 gets Heropedia and new heroes: Wisp and Luna">Dota 2 - Wisp







Dota 2's expansion gathers pace with the arrival of this week's second update. This one introduces the heropedia, which presents a breakdown of every character's stats, lore background and skills, with short videos of every ability. You can browse it now on the Dota 2 site, or access it via the "Learn" tab in the Dota 2 client.



The grand roster of heroes has also been expanded with two new characters, Luna the Moonrider, who's much more dangerous than she sounds, and Wisp, a glowing ball of light with some unusual abilities. Find out more about them, and absorb the latest patch notes below.



Luna The Moonrider - Moontastic Agility Carry



As titles go, "Luna the Moonrider" isn't likely to instil much fear, until you actually see her and notice that she's riding a giant panther. Then you'll notice that the giant panther is wearing a hat, but while you're busy noticing that, you'll be taking a hit to the face from a rebounding magical chakram. Then as you're trying to pull your senses together she'll be activating her ultimate ability, which turns day to night and starts zapping you with bolts of searing moon energy. "What the hell, moon!?" you'll probably cry.



The ability videos in the updated heropedia were done by Dota cinema, who have also done a couple of overview videos for the new heroes. Here's one for Luna.







Wisp - Utility Glowing Hero Ball Thing



No Warcraft 3 sprite was left unused in the formation of Defence of the Ancients. Even glowing balls of light can become characters, as Guardian Wisp demonstrates. According to his bio, "Wisp occupies all planes at once, the merest fraction of its being crossing into physical existence at any one moment," which sounds grandiose, but it's best thought of as a sentient glowing ball who just wants to help. It does this by tethering itself to heroes, increasing their movement speed and stunning anyone who touches the strand. For its ultimate trick, it can teleport to any point on the map for 12 seconds, taking any tethered hero along for the ride.



See these abilities in action in the Dota Cinema overview of Wisp.







And here are the latest patch notes:



HIGHLIGHTS:



Added Luna

Added Guardian Wisp

Dota 2 now uses the CELT codec for increased voice communication quality.

Added a testing tool to the Workshop tab that allows contributors to see their models on a hero before submitting.

Added Heropedia to the Learn tab.



 



GAMEPLAY



Bloodseeker: Fixed a bug where he could get healed by friendly heroes dying in the area around him that he didn't deny.

Pudge: Fixed a bug that was sometimes causing Pudge's Dismember to do an extra tick of damage

Pudge: Fixed a bug that allowed Pudge to deal damage without hurting himself by quickly toggling Rot.

Rubick: Fixed a rare case where Rubick could get permanently stuck with Telekinesis Land.

Rubick: Fixed a bug where Rubick would gain permanent Spectral Dagger buffs until he died.

Rubick: Fixed a bug with Poison Release that would cause you to steal the wrong ability from Shadow Demon.

Tiny: Fixed Aghanim's Scepter siege damage vs backdoor armor

Fixed being able to use a different player's items in your combine, if that item was in your stash at the time



 

VISUALS



More Rubick spell animations

Various Rubick visual effect improvements and fixes

Haste animation added for Bloodseeker

Adjusted Ogre Magi's sidearm attack animation

Logos removed from waterfall and mid river areas to safeguard gameplay

Tweaked dire banner position left of fountain shop

Roshan timer appear only after 10 seconds have passed from death

Reduced Gyro's model scale a little

Removed ambient effects on Razor and Morphling when hexed



 

UI



Fixed some cases where icons could get stuck on the screen

Fixed new heroes not showing up in the hero picker if you had custom view set (They'll now appear in the top left of the grid view, for you to then place as you like)

Tournament Panel: Fixed game list not refreshing unless you opened a different tournament and then back.

Tournament Panel: Increased the size of the live games and recent games.

Tournament Panel: Fixed details button not working properly for the last few games.

Fixed Spectator label cutting off number of spectators.

Fixed Live games not displaying correctly after opening a Tournament.

Fixed a recent bug with the shop not closing when a unit is selected

Fixed some bugs with losing commentator perspecting when pausing and unpausing

Added backpack preview to couriers

Back button in the loadout takes you back to the backpack if you arrived via a backpack right click

Fixed some slots on the backpack not being right-clickable if they were not on page 1

Fixed the first equip from the backpack sometimes not working properly

Added inspect button near the hero panel for heroes that have custom items

Updated the replay skill filter to have more usefull categories.

Fixed dragging an item onto itself not turning its icon back on.

Cheat commands are now echoed to chat

Added a testing tool to the Workshop tab that allows contributors to see their models on a hero before submitting.

Fixed Mute button on the scoreboard not working.



 

AUDIO:



Dota 2 now uses the CELT codec for increased voice communication quality.



 
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Diablo 3 digital edition restrictions relaxed">Diablo 3 Numbergeddon







Opting for the digital edition of Diablo 3 will no longer place a temporary cap on your progress through the game, Blizzard has announced. Players buying the game on Battle.net post patch 1.0.3 were finding their characters locked at level 13 and limited to Act I until their credit cards were verified, a process taking up to 72 hours. With 1.0.3a, this has been fixed - but there are plenty of restrictions still in place for new buyers.



Unverified digital copies of Diablo 3 will still have restricted access to the auction house, trade, chat, public games, and they won't be able to change their server region. As Blizzard explained last week, these measures are supposed to combat credit card fraud by making freshly-purchased accounts less useful as spambots, and therefore less attractive to unscrupulous types. The full explanation is available on the Battle.net forums, if you're interested.



There's no doubt, though, that it's an inconvenience. On one hand, gold selling and associated underhandedness has to be combated somehow - but on the other hand, isn't that exactly what the real money auction house was supposed to do?
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Why the MacBook Pro makes me angry">macbook pro retina







Last week, I had a chance to sit down and play with the new MacBook Pro for a while. That's the one with 2880x1800 pixels crammed into a 15.4inch 'Retina' screen. It makes me angry – angry enough to resurrect a rant I had in the magazine just a few issues back.



Over the last ten years' monitor manufacturers have been selling us short with screen technology, and it's really annoying that Apple has been the lone voice to call them out.



Before I begin, let me be clear. I have no love for Apple: I've only ever owned one Apple product (the best it's ever made, the iPhone 3GS) and I won't be rushing out to buy a Retina-screened MacBook. I won't buy one because no-one needs to spend £2300 on a PC of any kind. The fact you can't upgrade it at a later date and it's apparently quite hard to recycle are big black marks against it too.



But from a user's point of view, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is the best laptop in the world right now. Leaving the design to one side, even before you get to discussions about the resolution and whether or not you can see the pixels, comparing that 16:10 screen with its exceptionally rich IPS colours to a typical 16:9 TN panel reminds me of the first time I drank a cup of 'proper' well roasted coffee after being raised on sub-Gold Blend instant. That was when I first realised that appreciating quality doesn't make you a snob.







Using the Retina display isn't life changing, nor will it ruin every other screen in the world for you. It's not a necessity and it's not something you should bankrupt yourself to own. It's not even noticeably different for working on - who really writes or designs databases while squinting to see rough edges of pixels? But it is a perceptibly better, more pleasant, quality technology in a Robert M Pirsig sort of way. It is, more importantly and the focus of my anger, the future. Retina is simply better than any one of a number of screen 'innovations' over the last decade.



For games, it's astounding. Only Diablo III and Portal 2 supported the native 2880x1880 resolution when I tested it, but they look incredible. They're pin sharp and colourful, because they're fully anti-aliased without the need to turn fake anti-aliasing on. And because you don't need to turn AA on, both games were smooth and playable (only just for Diablo III, moreso for Portal 2) with every other image quality setting turned up to it highest setting using the built in GeForce GT660M. To put that in context, that graphics card is the equivalent of a bottom barrel GeForce GT640 on the desktop.



The effect of using the MacBook Pro for me has been to confirm something I've argued for years: people who make monitors and graphics cards have wasted vast amounts of money and time on perfecting technologies like anti-aliasing and stereoscopic 3D, when the best thing you can do to games is increase the resolution.



The depressing thing is that the desktop display which has something close to the 221 pixel per inch density of Retina has already been made. In 2001. That's right: Apple is winning plaudits for its 'Retina' displays a full decade or more after IBM was trying out a similar but forgotten philosophy. Its T220 monitors and R50 laptops from the early 2000s were both in line with what Apple is doing now, with resolutions of 3840x2400 pixels in a 22inch LCD and 2048x1536 on a 15inch notebook. But then IBM quit the hardware business before they had a chance to hit mass production prices. It sold its assets to Lenovo and everyone raced to the bottom as far as displays went, even to the extent of abandoning the Golden Ratio of 16:10 ratio in favour of the TV standard 1080p.







They got lazy. They tried to foist crap like stereoscopic 3D and glasses on us. Last year's line-up of gaming laptops was just pitiful, as performance and quality were sacrificed by almost every manufacturer in order to include an expensive 3D display no-one wanted or could even use, because the graphics processors weren't powerful enough for alternative frame rendering.



There have been some good things in display-land. eIPS has been brilliant over the last couple of years for weaning us off of sub-standard TN panels. Now, in the wake of the MacBook Pro we just have to hope that someone is working on a cost effective, high density eIPS display for release within the next few months. Otherwise Apple's next Cinema Displays and the inevitable Apple TV will be the devices to intro it. Again.



There are counter arguments to all this, and reasons behind Apple's timing. Even with the hardware at the MacBook Pro's disposal framerates aren't especially high, especially considering the generally low requirements for Diablo and Portal. Introducing higher density displays any earlier would arguably have been too much for graphics cards to keep up with. And as ever, reviewers - and I include myself - need to take some blame for lack of ambition on behalf of hardware vendors because of our relentless focus on price.



By the same logic, though, NVIDIA and AMD would have sold more graphics cards, like they used to gamers upgraded regularly. Plus, 2560x1600 - the resolution of a 30inch display, was playable with a mid-range card several years ago.



Despite being a resolution junkie, I was initially sceptical about Retina displays when they were announced on the iPhone and iPad, and I still can't really see the advantage over competing tablets and handsets with fewer pixels at those screen sizes. But on the desktop and laptop front I'm convinced. I want this kind of display for all systems, and soon. And so should you.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Carrier Command: Gaea Mission coming to North America">Carrier 3



Rising Star Games, until now an exclusively console-focused publisher, are teaming with ArmA creators Bohemia Interactive to release the military RTS Carrier Command: Gaea Mission in North America this fall. We've been keeping an eye on the game at E3, but the until now, we weren't sure if it would be released in North America. This trailer gives you a taste of the real-time strategy action, based on the old Carrier Command from the 80s.







The press release for the North America announcement describes the gameplay in Gaea Mission as requiring players to "manage multiple vehicles in real-time while acquiring and manufacturing upgrades, weapons and enhancements to guarantee victory on the battlefield." More info can be found on the game's official site.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Let there be loot: Diablo 3 increases high-end item drop rates">Infernal Warrior0000





A hotfix just went live in Diablo 3 to significantly boost your chances of finding gear with item levels 61 through 63 (the highest in the game). The change only affects Hell difficulty Act III and forward. Read on for some crunchy numbers.



According to Blizzard, the exact adjustments are:



Hell – Act III and Act IV



iLvl 61: 9% to 13.9% (old drop rate to new drop rate)

iLvl 62: 1.9% to 3.45%

iLvl 63: 0% (no change)





Inferno – Act I



iLvl 61: 17.7% to 23.9%

iLvl 62: 7.9% to 12.6%

iLvl 63: 2.0% to 4.8%







Inferno – Act II



iLvl 61: 18.6% to 23.3%

iLvl 62: 12.4% to 18.6%

iLvl 63: 4.1% to 9.3%









Inferno – Act III and Act IV



iLvl 61: 24.1% to 27.1%

iLvl 62: 16.1% to 21.7%

iLvl 63: 8.0% to 16.3%





PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Football Manager developer speaks out on Eidos split">Football Manager 2012







It's one of the great breakups in gaming. Up there with John Romero leaving id Software, or West and Zampella walking out on Activision. The story of how the developers behind Championship Manager, one of the most profitable and successful game series of all time, left their publisher Eidos, and abandoned the franchise they'd spent years building to start again with Sega and Football Manager.



Until now everyone involved was legally unable to talk about what happened, but yesterday Sports Interactive's Miles Jacobson and Eidos' Ian Livingstone finally spoke about why the two split nine years ago.



The pair were brought together by the Game Horizon conference, where Edge reports Jacobson was asked about the situation. He replied “During our times with Eidos and Domark there were some run-ins. But legally I’m not allowed to talk about this unless I get permission.” At this point Livingstone agreed to let him continue.



Jacobson claims Sports Interactive felt they weren't getting enough respect at Eidos, with Jacobson saying “There seemed to be an attitude at the time in the industry that anyone could make games.” They were also asking for increased royalties on the series, arguing that they shared as much risk as Eidos.



Livingstone said he was concerned that Sports Interactive would leave Eidos in search of a better deal, believing they were speaking to other publishers, which Jacobson denied. So, while Sports Interactive worked on Championship Manager 4, Eidos signed Beautiful Game as insurance against such a split. Ironically it was this action that prompted Jacobson and the Collyer brothers to finally leave. "They told me that BGS were making a platform game," said Jacobson. "I thought our number was up."



So nine years later, we can finally understand why it all happened. Neither side trusted each other, both were convinced the other was out to undermine them. In such situations, the break up was inevitable.



You can read the full story over at Edge.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Day Z livestream with Dean Hall and the Arma 3 dev team">day z livestream







Good morning from San Francisco (and the zombie apocalypse). I'll be livestreaming Day Z with its creator this morning for a few hours, starting at 9 AM PST / 4 PM GMT. Click here to watch along.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Dishonored videos show multiple methods of aristocratic assassination">Dishonored - pistols and cutlasses







There's more than one way to sneak into a brothel. At least that's what my dad taught me. Apparently Harvey Smith was raised on similar pearls of wisdom, because Bethesda have just released two Dishonored videos which show two radically different approaches to the problem.



The videos show the same demo Chris saw for our Dishonored preview back in April. The mission is to assassinate the Pendleton brothers, two slave driving mine owners who are hanging out in the Golden Cat brothel. It's accomplished twice over, and in style.



The first video (above) shows a cautious fifteen minute long stealth fest, the player sneaks through the shadows, takes out guards silently, clambers over ledges and makes extensive use of the game's blink and possession powers. The second video (below) is an eight minute slaughterhouse, where the player storms through the building, butchering anyone in his way in a storm of nimble, magical violence.



Which one do you prefer readers? And how do you plan to play Dishonored?



PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to SEGA closes offices in France, Germany, Spain, Australia and Benelux. London HQ will remain">Sega thumbnail







SEGA have just announced that many of their European offices are about to close. New distribution partners have been announced across France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.



The veteran developer/publisher are "realigning" their strategy and closing all offices apart from the London headquarters. The UK office will be responsible for managing European distribution from July 1st, assisted by Koch Media, Level03 Distribution and 5 Star Games.



“SEGA is entering a new and exciting phase that will position the company as a content led organisation maximising sales with strong and balanced IP such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager and the Aliens franchise,” said Jurgen Post, COO of SEGA Europe.



Rumours of closures originated at E3 but were quickly snuffed out by Studio Director at Sports Interactive, Miles Jacobson. His crytpic tweet may or may not have something to do with the sport they call "footkick."



Good luck to all at Sega Europe with their transition into the digital-heavy strategy. Our sympathies go out to those affected negatively by the changes.
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