Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The DOTA legacy continues with v6.53!

Included in v6.53 of DOTA is a new hero - Rattletrap, the Clockwerk Goblin. I haven't had the chance to use Rattletrap, but I know and experience first hand that in the hands of a skilled gamer, Rattletrap can reach the GODLIKE status quite easily! Here is the fluff taken from the Dota-Allstars site!

The by-product of Goblin technological weapon research during the old War, Rattletrap the Clockwerk Goblin was shut away into storage for countless decades until the Sentinel found and reactivated him. Combat-wise, this goblin's capabilities know few bounds; his body is stocked with a huge array of armaments that destroy targets both near and far with ease. His trademark wrench can even extend itself like a grappling hook, allowing him to pick off individual targets with pin-point accuracy.

For those who haven't downloaded the latest map of DOTA, get it from DOTA's official map download site.

Here's the change log for you nit picky gamers:

* Added a new Sentinel Hero (Goblin Clockwerk)
* Localized script text to allow cross-language compatibility
* Completely reworked and improved the way RD hero picking is done
* Imported a temporary rune model to replace the default one until the death animation in 1.22 is fixed (thanks PGRu-Unexpect3D)
* Reworked Lycanthrope a bit

* Removed the "undroppable while in cooldown" mechanism added a long time ago to prevent item abuses. This mechanism is no longer needed as of Warcraft patch 1.22
* Improved Fire Panda's movement speed per level
* Observers and replays now see a $ symbol above a dying creep when a player gets gold for killing a unit
* Improved Drow's Marksmanship slightly
* Increase AOE on Dispersion
* Lowered Soul Keeper's base movement speed and increased cast point
* Improved Stifling Dagger
* Improved Open Wounds a little
* Decreased Mana Void's cooldown
* Lowered Infest manacost

* Fixed a minor bug with the order of the heal and damage operation on Purification when combine with Aphotic Shield on a nearby enemy
* Fixed a bug with Magic Immunity and Haunt
* Fixed a bug with Song of the Siren and Berserker's Call
* Fixed a bug with selling Aghanim's Scepter
* Fixed a minor bug with Soul Assumption and buying items
* Fixed a bug with Magic Immunity and Strygwyr's Thirst
* Fixed Berserker's Call interaction with Neutrals at night
* Fixed Stout Shield hotkey conflicting with Kelen's Dagger in the Goblin Shop
* Fixed a bug with Shackles and Berserker's Call
* Fixed a bug with Magic Immunity and Sand Storm
* Fixed Mana Leak to not trigger off of Exort/Quas/Wex
* Fixed -ah for observers

* Added Tavern colors (218144)
* Added a new blink animation for Antimage
* Improved Magic Missile cast effect (170262)
* Added a visual effect for when Dispersion is damaging units
* Improved Shapeshift animation (186555)
* Improved Chaos Knight's Blink Strike cast effect (222605)
* Added new icon for Ethereal Jaunt (227376)
* Added a visual effect when Necrolyte regains mana with Sadist
* Swapped icon positions of Sange and Yasha in the recipe shop
* Added a new Balanar hero story (by Grujah.Noob)
* Added a new Lina Inverse hero story (by Wyvernoid)
* Added a new Medusa hero story (by Inferno[DK])
* Added a new Sand King hero story(by Yousuckatdota)
* Added a new Shadow Priest hero story (by miel09)
* Added a new Warlock hero story (by Inferno[DK])

This version marks the first official simultaneous multi-lingual release. The first round of translated languages includes Russian, Korean and Chinese. More will be added over time. I'd like to thank Danat and DonTomaso for their dedication and support to this project. This would not have been possible without their contributions. Thanks to the following translators for their work as well: Aschen, Heintje, Etc., RiiNoA, zhangx05053, Sodoes, NightMare, Attly, c.lucifer, Orange_soso, Kua, Kaka, Sprite93, Danat, Vizakenjack, Lego-, Magot, PeaceHeaver, ill-Lich, Kariy, ptizza, Vanger, John Doe, CuPaKy3, Johny

The main feature of these translations, aside from being translated of course, is that the maps are compatible with each other. That means, I can have only the English version on my computer and then join a game where the host is using the Russian map without needing to download it. The Russian players will see the language of the map they downloaded, and I will see my own language. The core game code is what is used to authenticate the map as official and the strings are externalized from this. The same is true for replays. You can watch any 6.53 replay, regardless of the original language, using only your one map. This will make sharing replays worldwide a seamless process.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wrath of the Lich King! RAWR!

A quick game overview:
The Lich King Arthas has set in motion events that could lead to the extinction of all life on Azeroth. With the armies of the undead and the necromantic power of the plague threatening to sweep across the land, only the mightiest heroes can oppose the Lich King's will and end his reign of terror for all time. Blizzard Entertainment's latest expansion to World of Warcraft – Wrath of the Lich King – adds a host of epic content to the existing game world. Players will achieve soaring levels of power, explore a vast new continent, and battle other high-level heroes to determine the fate of Azeroth.

Features (at the moment!):
  • Master the necromantic powers of the Death Knight – World of Warcraft's first Hero class.
  • Quest to level 80, gaining potent new abilities and talents along the way.
  • Learn the craft of spell augmentation with the new Inscription profession.
  • Brave the harsh new continent of Northrend, the icy domain of the Lich King.
  • Engage in epic siege warfare, deploying mighty siege engines to lay waste to destructible buildings in your path.
  • Transform your hero's look with new character-customization options, including new hairstyles and dances.
  • Explore perilous new dungeons filled with some of the deadliest creatures – and greatest treasures – on Azeroth.
You can download Blizzard's Fansite Kit of Wrath of the Lich King and play with the goodies included like sample HTML files, avatar pictures some screen shots, artwork, fluff, and much more!

Some examples of the Fansite Kit's content:

Sample wallpaper (Utgarde Keep)

Sample Artwork (Azeroth Map with Northrend)

Sample Avatar

Friday, July 4, 2008

OMG! Diablo 3! Cain lives again!

The rumors are now true! Blizzard finally announces the development of Diablo 3! I just finished watching the sample game trailer - it rocks! The trailer starts out in a dungeon where a barbarian has to find Cain (a character from Diablo 1 & 2). As the barbarian moves through the water filled dungeon you could see the great water effects and the incoming demon horde charging the barbarian! The barbarin quickly dispatches the demons with impunity and with stunning character animation fluidity! Blizzard really ups the notch with a very stunning physics engine throughout the fight - demons flying everywhere after getting hacked it bits!

The next bit of the video showcases the new character class available in Diablo 3, the witch doctor! The witch doctor has some really cool spells like a locust swarm that eats enemies alive, some pets and a fire spell - all of these showcasing another string of cool 3d and lighting effects!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Canon's 1000D - switch to DSLR - NOW!

Taking up Nikon's challenge and a piece of the entry-level pie, Canon releases the 1000D - Canon's so called entry-level Digital SLR (DSLR). Although I remember Canon saying that their last DSLR release, the 450D was entry-level. But I guess the 450D is already so feature-packed, it almost qualifies as a mid-range DSLR.

Some 1000D specifications (full specifications):

  • 10.1 Megapixel CMOS and Digic III
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • In-Lens Image Stabilization
  • SD card compatible
  • Universal EOS design
  • 3fps continuous shooting
The 1000D price range may be about $800 (body only) and the $900-ish kit.

Photos and some text taken from Canon's 1000D page.

Nikon's new Full Frame monster, the D700!

Taken from Engadget's D700 article:

Well, we can finally put the D700 rumors to bed. The beast that houses Nikon's newest monster (near) full-frame FX format 12.1 megapixel CMOS (not dissimilar from that found in the D3) is officially announced tonight, and it takes UDMA CompactFlash, and comes packing with a live view 3-inch display, 51 point autofocus (with 3D tracking), scene recognition, four-speed active dust reduction, ISO up to 6400, 5 or 8 fps full-res shooting, HDMI out, and a whole lot more. Expect it in July for $3,000 US (for the body).

Also being released are the SB-900 speedlight (August, $500), and the PC-E Micro NIKKOR 45mm f/2.8D ED and PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D lenses (August, $1,800 and $1,740, respectively).