So Much Nostalgia

So Much Nostalgia

Age of Empire 2 gets…an expansion?

Age of Empires 2 is really one of those games everybody should have played as a kid. Not only was it my introduction to RTS games, but it taught me an incredible amount about military history and William Wallace (oh, that tutorial). And after having been rereleased on Steam recently, the game has seen a bit of a resurgence. Enough of a resurgence in fact, to warrant an expansion. 14 years AFTER launch.

The expansion, named “Forgotten Empires” will be released in the fall of 2013. Here’s a break down of what to expect;
• Proper spectator features
• Twitch.tv integration (including chat ingame)
• Forgotten Empires civs, units, tech tree and balance changes (can be toggled on and off at will in settings)
• New game modes: Treaty (no rush mode), Capture the Relic (akin to neutral flag CTF)
• New campaigns: Four new campaigns, all set in the Italian peninsula over its long and messy history (Fall of Rome, Mercenary fighters, the Byzantine campaigns to reconquer Italy, etc).
• New map size: Ludicrous (4x the area of the previous largest)
• New map scripts: Acropolis, Golden Pit, new Megarandom, etc.
• New AI: Uses competitive builds and does not cheat.

Awww yeah. Nostalgia trip: engage.

Salty Bet: Both of the greatest and Strangest Things I've encountered on the Internet

Salty Bet: Both of the greatest and Strangest Things I’ve encountered on the Internet

5:1 Odds on…Guile??

Some people like to bet. Some people like to gamble. And while there is a ton of gambling in video games (online poker, those slot machines in Borderlands 2, MMO loot tables), but I don’t think that people would normally say gambling and gaming are closely associated. However, have you ever wanted to bet on on your favorite character in a Tekken Match, or on your friend in a massive Street Fighter tournament? Well, you can. Salty Bets is a streaming service that has been running a (thankfully I think) Money free betting service focused around a sort of open source fighting game:

“Spectators hoping to bet on matches create an account at the Salty Bet website. Once your account is established, you’re given 400 Salty Bucks to wager on the site’s battles as you see fit. There’s no actual money exchanged, which is probably a good thing given how unpredictable and often baffling the fights seen on Salty Bet can be. Whereas you’d expect to see Street Fighter matches and the occasional Mortal Kombat bout, Salty Bet relies instead on MUGEN, the infamous fighting game platform that allows users to create their own custom characters. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see Marvel Comics’ Punisher character throwing down against Rock Howard from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, or a wildly racist riff on Iron Man. The characters and potential matchups are limited only by the creativity of the MUGEN community.”

I, for one, hope this is an actual step towards IRL betting on gaming. Can you imagine the bets that might be slung around at the Star Craft World Championships. Hell, that might already be happening…

He just wants to play League...

He just wants to play League…

Satan wants to be an AD Carry

League of Legends is a pretty damn popular game. Religion is also popular, yet a very devise topic. Almost as devise as the pre-LoL game discussion of tactics, or who gets to be an AD carry. However, while Riot allows names including Jesus, Allah, and other dieties, it will not allow the word Satan. Well, some Satanists have started a petition to change that. No, I am not making this up.

This game does not filter the word “Jesus” or any other god’s name from their game. They are blocking Satanists’ right to freedom of religion by preventing them from using the name Satan. The support team gives players no method to contact anyone aside from them. When going on the open forums the mods will lock your post if you ask about the filtering of the word “Satan.”

To be honest, as oddly specific as this is, I think they may have a point. If you allow Jesus, and Allah, and all the many other versions of the name of deities and gods, why not allow the name of the so called Fallen Angel? And I mean, from a purely linguistic standpoint, Lucifer does just mean “Morning Star” in Latin…so…

True Dat...

True Dat…

Gold-Farm-Ception

Gold farming is pretty much a feature of most modern MMOs: there a people that, via botting, determination, or less than legal means, acquire vast sums of in game currency, and sell it in exchange for real money. This is VERY frowned upon by the MMO developers, generally found annoying by most players, yet continues to be a very real undercurrent in game economies.

Well here’s a story about gold farming that just boggles the freakin’ mind:

Katrina Fincham was a gold farmer with a sense of humour. After making more than $75,000 real-world money in World of Warcraft, she converted the cash into something more solid: Bars of gold bullion. And then the gold was stolen, and her insurance company won’t pay up.

In Australia, gold farming is recognised as a legitimate income source, as long as farmers include details on their annual tax return. Fincham – working full-time as a nurse – did this, and set up a real-world business: Virtual Item Sales. She made thousands, working late hours to meet online demand.

The final twist? Turns out it was an inside job, but Fincham herself was not involved. Her then-boyfriend, who she’d met online, tipped off the criminals in exchange for a paltry $500.

Please. PLEASE. Make this a short-film of some sort….

Bye-Bye...

Bye-Bye…

XBOX Abandons the PC

There’s always been a feud between console gamers and PC gamers, yet through it all, Microsoft has been playing both sides. The Xbox was, for a long time, the premier console, and Microsoft made some damn fine computer software. Yet now, Microsoft Games is pulling the plug on the Xbox.com PC Marketplace.

“As part of the upcoming Xbox 360 system update, Microsoft Points will be retired, and the Xbox.com PC marketplace will be closed as of August 22, 2013. We encourage you to spend your Microsoft Points balance prior to this change. Although you will not be able to purchase new games, you can continue to enjoy previously purchased content by downloading them through the Games for Windows LIVE client software as usual.”

I’m so distraught…