Tag Archives: beta

SOE Releases New PlanetSide 2 Information as Beta Nears Completion

SOE has revealed what will likely be the last few big announcements regarding PlanetSide 2 as its November 20, 2012 release date creeps closer and closer.

End of Beta:
In order to ensure a succesfull launch of the full game, the PlanetSide 2 External Beta will be ending on November 16 at 11:59 PDT. It’s coming up fast, so much sure to get some time in so you’ll be ready for the real thing once it goes green! You can still sign up here if you’d like to try to sneak in before it ends!

Name Reservations Go Live:
Users that become Alpha Squad members before the launch of the game will be able to reserve their IDs before those other guys and gals can steal them! Make sure to sign up if you have a super amazing name you absolutely need to have.

SOE & Twitch Form Partnership:
Probably the biggest of the announcements, SOE will be working with Twitch to bring it’s players 1 click broadcasting support. PlanetSide 2 will be the first game to allow users to instantly broadcast their gameplay to people around the world through the service.

Troops Deploy to Amerish:
PlanetSide 2’s third continent, called Amerish, is now playable during the beta. Resembling the Scottish highlands, outfits will need to adopt new tactics to efficiently manuever through this new terrian.

PlanetSide 2’s Icy Continent Revealed

The newest theater of war in PlanetSide 2 has been revealed by Sony Online Entertainment.

The Auraxian continent of Esamir is a frozen landscape with a few new gameplay twists. Shield generators will take longer to disable, and soldiers will have new certifications to give them better weapon and vehicle handling. New sidegrades will be available for each empire as well: LMGs, Carbines, Assault/Sniper Rifles.

The new continent is available in PlanetSide 2’s external beta so get signed up and check it out!

PlanetSide 2 Alpha Squad Package Boosts Early Adopters

Get your drop-pod queued up and ready to go when PlanetSide 2 goes live!

SOE is offering the Alpha Squad Package to players that want to show their support for the game early, and get some perks along the way.

Essentially a pre-order for the new MMOFPS, buyers of this package will get a number of sweet bonuses:

-4000 Station Cash ($40.00 in-game value)
-an exclusive decal
-an exclusive title “Founder”
-an exclusive camo set
-a 6 month 10% experience and resource boost
-three weapon unlocks for each of the three empires
-instant Beta access

That’s a nice haul! If you’re interested in getting the Alpha Squad Package to set yourself up for the official launch of the game, or are itching to get into the Beta so you’ll have all the intel you need to get a head start on the competition, then click here!

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Closed Beta Begins

The invites are beginning to roll out for the upcoming StarCraft II expansion, Heart of the Swarm, as Blizzard has begun the closed beta session for the upcoming RTS title.

Players should be receiving notification in their Battle.net emails or will find the beta already added to their Battle.net Account Management page. In order to be entered into the beta, players should make sure their Beta Profile is up-to-date on their account page and some players who participated in the StarCraft II Arcade Beta will also receive early access.

This new expansion to StarCraft II adds a handful of new units to all three races as well as general gameplay and UI changes to improve the overall experience.

Stay tuned to GKick.net for more information on the Heart of the Swarm beta as it develops.

Blizzard Offers HoTS Beta Keys for Help With Arcade 1.5

People that want to increase their chances of getting into the Heart of The Swarm beta-test have a great opportunity avaliable to them for the next couple of days!

From now until the 29th, Blizzard is offering players that help them test out their Arcade beta 1.5 additional chances to win a key, one for each day they test! That’s an additional 3 chances!

“If you want to get in on the action, playing the Rate the Game beta contest is easy. First, visit your account management page, download and install the Arcade (1.5.0) Beta product you see in the game accounts section, then hop into the Arcade. To enter the contest, simply play, rate, and review an Arcade game. The first time you rate and review a new game each day the contest is running gives you another chance to win, so it pays to visit every day until the contest ends. At the end of the contest period we’ll randomly choose 500 eligible contestants to win StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta keys!” -Blizzard

Go here  to opt into the Arcade (1.5.0) Beta.

Remember! You can come back each day from now until the 29th to rate a game and get another chance to win a Heart of the Swarm beta key! There are only going to be 500 winners, so every day you play will really help!

Good luck!

Firefall Hits 500,000 Registered Members

The independent developer, Red 5 Studios have reached 500,000 beta registers. This is a huge achievement for them and have celebrated by revealing the System Requirements for Firefall allowing you to get your PC’s in shape for the floods of invites they will be sending out this summer. The commitment they have to this game is outstanding and they are definitely not compromising quality.

Check out the system requirements:

Minimum

  • OS: Windows XP (32/64-bit)
  • PROCESSOR (AMD): Dual Core @ 2.6 Ghz (Athon 64 x2, Athlon II x2, Phenom II x2)
  • PROCESSOR (Intel): Dual Core @ 2.2 Ghz (Core 2, Core i3, Pentium Dual Core)
  • GPU: DirectX 9 compatible AMD or Nvidia video card with 1GB RAM (AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4550 or Nvidia Geforce 8600)
  • MEMORY: 4 GB

Recommended

  • PROCESSOR (AMD): Quad Core @ 2.8 Ghz (Athlon II X4, Phenom, Phenom II X4)
  • PROCESSOR (Intel): Quad Core @ 2.4 Ghz (Core 2 Quad, i5, i7)
  • GPU: AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4850 or Nvidia Geforce GTS 450
  • MEMORY: 4 GB

“The feedback and support from our community has been an integral part of the development process,” said Mark Kern, CEO of the studio. “We’re treating Firefall as a service, which means it’s critical that we’re continually adding value and fun for players. Having a large and growing community lets us know that we’re on the right track. But more importantly, their feedback helps us stay on the right track.”

After a statement like that, I really think companies like Blizzard should be taking after companies like Red 5 Studios. Making a game and ignoring half your community isn’t always the best idea. Fortunately, a lot of the independent companies seem to care about feedback.

Also, you may have not heard, but Red 5 Studios is also releasing a Firefall Manga to add to the story of their game.

Final Beta Weekend for Secret World Open to Everyone Who Registers By Friday

Secret World is preparing for launch on July 3rd with a final beta weekend coming this Friday at 12pm EDT. The beta weekend will end on Monday at 3am EDT. If you were looking forward to playing now is your chance. Anyone who signs up on their website for the beta will receive access by Friday.

This will be the 4th and final beta weekend. If your looking for more information, Funcom released an extensive official announcement for you to get all the information you need on this upcoming beta weekend.

Be sure to sign up soon, there’s only two days until the beta!

 

First Impressions: Torchlight II

In October of 2009 Runic Games released it’s first game, a dungeon crawler called Torchlight. There was quite a bit of buzz surrounding the launch as Runic Games is comprised of quite a few former members of Blizzard North, who brought the world the hugely successful Diablo and Diablo II games. The game became quite successful, especially for an independent studio, selling over one million copies as of July 2011. Now Runic has announced the continuation of the story in the upcoming Torchlight II. That being said, I was excited to see an email granting me access to the latest Torchlight II Beta Weekend. This weekend was mainly designed to be a stress test for the servers, so single player offline and LAN mode were not available for play.

The first thing I noticed about the game was just how many options they’ve added. In Torchlight, there were only three classes available, Destroyer, Alchemist, or Vanquisher and those characters had no customization options. Torchlight II brings us the Outlander, Embermage, Berserker, and Engineer classes. All four are available as male or female with varying facial features, skin color, hair styles, and hair colors. There are also more options for your companion pet. Along with Torchlight’s cat and dog are the ferret, chakawray, hawk, panther and wolf. These companions help carry items, attack bosses, run to town to buy and sell while you are mid-dungeon and provide adorable, furry (or feathered!) moral support. In case you were wondering, my pet was a ferret named Sir Worthington III and yes, he kicked lots of butt.

Torchlight II keeps the same cartoonish art style as its predecessor but with more polished graphics. While specific hardware specs haven’t been released, Runic has said that the game is built on the same engine which will be a huge bonus for laptop owners or players who may not have the biggest and best graphics cards on the market. The game really shines in its ability to create rich, colorful, detailed backgrounds and settings while not taxing your system. Spell graphics and details have also been ramped up quite a few notches. The UI was redesigned to give it a cleaner, more intuitive feel as Torchlight had a slightly clunky interface that took up quite a bit of screen real estate. The new system is very unobtrusive and a nicer to look at. Modding will be available through Torchlight Editor shortly after after launch.

The story picks up where Torchlight left off and tells the tale of what happened to the game’s heroes after they saved the world from Ordrak. A mystery person has stolen the essence of Ordrak and is stealing power from the elemental Guardians and it is up to your character to thwart the villian and save the world, with the occasional help of your friends of course. I found the story to be more engaging than the original with more entertaining quest text and voice acting. Runic has also announced that cut scenes will be featured in this game to enhance the story, though I didn’t come across any before I hit the beta level cap. In addition to the single player campaign,  Torchlight II features the multiplayer mode that was sorely lacking from Torchlight. While I didn’t get an opportunity to play with friends, as none of us ever seemed to be on at the same time, creating games was quick and easy. You are able to set the number of people allowed in your game, make it public or private and even set a password if you wanted.

Combat is very similar to the first game, but with more skill point options. I only got a chance to test out the Engineer, but I had the option of building the character using the Blitz tree, the Construction tree, or the Aegis tree. The blitz tree is the bruiser melee dps tree, giving you two handed weapon buffs, stuns, slows and your general in your face, giant swirling hammer attacks. Construction is more of what you would think an engineer would be and is your gadget tree. If you are a fan of James Bond’s toys, this is definitely the tree for you. Healing robots, spider shaped land mines and all kinds of things that can explode and do your dirty work for you can be found here. Lastly, the Aegis tree is your typical tank tree. It is full of damage reduction, spell shields, increased armor and health gains.

All in all, Torchlight II is already a fairly impressive, polished game. I only came across one small bug in all my playtime, where I entered a cave and accidentally left it as soon as I zoned in and was unable to get back into it until I entered and left a different cave. Other than that the experience was totally smooth, with minimal server lag, and no issues zoning in and out of towns or dungeons. Torchlight II feels like the developers really listened to fan input and took their likes and dislikes to heart when designing the game and its features. Graphically, the game is quite stunning, contains a huge world with multiple towns, zones and lots of places to explore. Torchlight II will be available on PC at launch, with a Mac port soon after. While the game doesn’t have a release date other than Summer 2012 as of yet, it is available for preorder on Steam and at a $19.99 price point, it promises to deliver a fantastic game that’s well worth your money.

Blizzard Announces Multiplayer Replay, Global Play, Clan System for Heart of the Swarm

In the latest Developer Update, the StarCraft 2 development team announced some big UI changes coming for Heart of the Swarm, the upcoming expansion to SC2, including implementation of some huge features that players have been asking for since the release of the game.

Planned to launch “at or around the launch of Heart of the Swarm” include:

- Multiplayer resume from replay: This feature is key for many major tournaments and local events that rely on smooth, error-free execution. This feature will allow games that are ended prematurely to be resumed from a replay, meaning issues with Battle.net disconnections or lag should no longer cause regames or early results. While it isn’t LAN, it’s a big and important feature.

- Clan/group system and unranked matchmaking: While no details were given, it was revealed that Blizzard is planning a clan/group system of some kind to launch alongside Heart of the Swarm. In addition, the ability to play in unranked games will allow players to match against like-skilled opponents while they test new builds, off-race, or experiment in the game all without affecting their position on the ladder.

- Multiplayer replay viewing: A part of many major events is the ability for multiple casters to view the same replay. In the past, this relied heavily on timing - as in both casters with the same replay file loading it independently and clicking “Play” at the same time. While this usually works, there are many cases where timing is off. Now, multiple players will have the ability to view the same replay at the same time. In addition, this is extremely useful for coaching as it allows both players to have a seamless viewing experience over their replay together.

- Global Play: Finally, and perhaps the biggest feature, is the implementation of Global Play - a feature initially revealed for Diablo III - into StarCraft II. This feature, in addition to multilanguage support, would allow players to be able to play on any region’s ladder or against any other player regardless of where they are in the world, a long desired option. Previously, players would have to purchase additional copies of StarCraft II that are local to the region.

These features, and more, will be discussed more in-depth as we get closer to the release. In addition, news about how participation in the StarCraft II Patch 1.5 beta could earn players a spot in the upcoming Heart of the Swarm multiplayer beta is coming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that!

Diablo III Beta Anticipated For Q3 2011

During today’s Activision Blizzard earnings call, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime announced that the company is planning on releasing the Diablo III beta by Q3 of this year, meaning sometime around July-Sept, just before BlizzCon 2011. The company is also going to be “driving hard to launch Diablo III this year,” Morhaime said.

Speculation was rampant leading up to today’s call as Morhaime had announced during February’s financial call where he announced that the company would have more news regarding the Diablo III beta on the next call. Whether or not Blizzard can deliver on their targeted 2011 release window remains to be seen, but with the beta starting so soon, the company could have enough data to make project a release date in time for a BlizzCon announcement.

Stay tuned to GKick.net for more information on Diablo III and the upcoming StarCraft II expansion, Heart of the Swarm.