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PC Gaming News: Diablo II Patch and More

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments
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Age of Booty Sets Sail
Yesterday Capcom announced that the PC version of Age of Booty is now available to purchase directly from the company here. Developed by Certain Affinity, Age of Booty is a casual real-time multiplayer strategy game that puts players at the helm of their own pirate ship "with the goal of sending your enemies to the briny deep, and looting and capturing towns for your pirate faction." Age of Booty retails for $9.99.

New Free Realms Screens
Sony Online Entertainment unleashed seven new screenshots from its upcoming game, Free Realms. Slated for a release date of Q2 2009, the free online virtual world developed especially for kids and families entered closed beta a few weeks ago. According to SOE, the game "brings to life a whimsical virtual world where gamers can explore, compete, raise pets and socialize." 

Runes of Magic Trailer, Screens
Frogster uploaded a new trailer from the upcoming MMORPG, Runes of Magic. The clip showcases the evil super villain in the game's first chapter, Rise of the Demon Lord. According to the company, the new in-game trailer tells the story of the Demon Lord’s dark powers as he unleashes a wave of chaos and destruction upon Taborea. Runes of Magic is scheduled for a full launch on March 19th. Head here to check out the video, or click to the left to see two images yanked from the video.

Codename Panzers: Cold War Multiplayer Demo
Yesterday Atari released a multiplayer demo of its upcoming real-time strategy game, Codename Panzers: Cold War. The demo offers support for both online and LAN play, and provides gamers a taste of the Domination mode. Players must seize control of a nuclear weapon located on the Islands of Hope (map). "Players will have access to the full range of units available in the multiplayer game, and will be able to capture several Points of Interest including a radar station, HQ and radio station, each of which affords special strategic and tactical advantages." Head to the official website and click on the little box at the lower left-hand corner to download the 500 MB file.

Steam Client Updated
Gamers using the Steam client will notice a new update that will take place once the software restarts. Today's update fixes the "endless update" bug when trying to download Empire: Total War as well as a "game is unavailable" bug related to the same game. Yesterday Valve issued a large number of fixes and updates for the Steam client, fixing the issue when the client stalled during "download starting," a shutdown problem with HL2.exe and more. Valve also issued an update to Team Fortress 2 yesterday as well as added the complete collection of Penumbra to the Steam library.

Resident Evil 5 PC Still Possible
Blues News points the way towards a report from about the possibility of Resident Evil 5 heading to the PC. Although hinted at earlier this year by CD Projekt, several members from the publisher thus have refused to comment on its existence. Nevertheless, VideoGamer questioned Capcom about the PC version, only to receive a "I can't give you an answer to today" comment. Many will tune into that sentence and say that the company did not deny a PC version, yet they haven't confirmed one either. Still, if Street Fighter IV can find it's way onto the PC, it's certainly likely that a Resident Evil V Special Edition could arrive as well.

Burnout Paradise Coming to Steam
The Criterion Games website announced that Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box is heading to Valve's Steam service. Although Criterion offered no additional details, Burnout Paradise already arrived on the PC last month, complete with all of the downloadable content packs previously released on the console versions. A 2.92GB demo also made circulation last month, offering gamers a chance to check out a few cars and the game's entire open-world setting for a limited time.

Diablo II Patch Soon, Blizzard Wants Community Input
You can't say that Blizzard doesn't support its legacy software. As a prime example of that, a forum post over on back on March 3 reveals that Blizzard is working on a Diablo II content patch, v1.13. However, Blizzard wants community input, asking Diablo II fans what they want to see in the patch. "We’re making it a bit stricter than a full-blown wish list," the post reads. "Our goal is to get an overall sense of the single most important request from every member of the community. We want as many posts as we can get for the largest cross section, so if you have friends who used to play Diablo II or just don’t frequent the forums as much as you do, let them know this is here so we can get their “#1 patch note” too." The post goes on to warn gamers that not every request will make it into the patch, but Blizzard will do what they can to cover as much as possible.

More to come tomorrow.

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  • -5 Hide
    my_name_is_earl , March 8, 2009 1:37 AM
    ?? Diablo 2? Shouldn't they try to work out D3 instead? What a waste of man power.
  • 2 Hide
    cichy69 , March 8, 2009 3:45 AM
    my_name_is_earl?? Diablo 2? Shouldn't they try to work out D3 instead? What a waste of man power.

    don't be so selfish... many people are still playing diablo 2
  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , March 8, 2009 3:59 AM
    I'm 100% sure that Resident Evil 5 will make it to the PC. Every other main title of theirs did. I don't know why people get so paranoid about a game series with a long history of being on the PC as if for no apparent reason the next will make its way.

    What might extend the wait is them preparing the coop for us PC gamers. I have a gut feeling that they are trying to work out a deal with valve for the game to be sold on steam and use it as the method of finding other gamers to play with.
  • Display all 14 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    raffish315 , March 8, 2009 4:30 AM
    Oh man! Does this mean it will be another super-long period before Diablo III storms out of Blizzard?
  • 1 Hide
    MoUsE-WiZ , March 8, 2009 5:24 AM
    Blizzard needs to fix TPPK. I'm not sure how many years it's been around now, but I'd guess about 8. It survived 1.10. And 1.11. And 1.12. And a handful of letter minor patches. Actually, if you count hydra PKs, it's been in the game from release. The worst part is they *CAN* fix it, as demonstrated with hammers in 1.10, and just don't bother.

    If they seriously manage to go one more patch without bothering to fix this exploit I'll be boycotting D3.

    Well, maybe not.

    But I might consider not pre-ordering the collector's edition.

    Or at least not 8 copies of it.

    But then I wouldn't be able to multibox properly. Well, whatever, at the very least I'll continue to harass WoW GMs about D2 hacks?
  • 3 Hide
    seboj , March 8, 2009 6:13 AM
    my_name_is_earl?? Diablo 2? Shouldn't they try to work out D3 instead? What a waste of man power.

    You obviously don't know Blizzard very well.
  • 0 Hide
    Flameout , March 8, 2009 8:53 AM
    diablo 2 is just a treasure hunt game now
  • 2 Hide
    exfileme , March 8, 2009 9:12 AM
    Diablo II is still the shizzle on the manizzle, and don't you forget it!
  • 2 Hide
    exfileme , March 8, 2009 9:16 AM
    Now that I think of it, I'm betting Blizzard is using this community-inspired Diablo II patch as testing grounds. Just think of it... whatever Diablo II fans request and winds up in this patch may very well be incorporated into Diablo III. I may be wrong of course (definitely wouldn't be the first time), but it would make sense.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , March 8, 2009 11:10 AM
    Diablo II need proper widescreen support + higher 4:3 resolutions too.
  • 1 Hide
    LuxZg , March 8, 2009 2:05 PM
    I think it's very nice from Blizzard to do this new patch, specialy in this way. They are a mighty company, and they have built it all on 3 game franchises: Diablo, Starcraft and Warcraft. So why not support one of their 3 most successfull franchise names while they are building a new version behind the curtains?

    Btw, there is one other such example, and from a way smaller company (which indeed has much less resources than Blizzard): Worms. They were released in 1999. and still get official patches quite regulary. Oh, if only more games were like this.

    Anyway, I went through some of the 1000+ comments that have already built up on Blizzard forums. And most are both easy to do, and logical. First off, larger stash and easier management of the stash. Like you guys said, it's a "treasure-hunt" game, with way too many things to collect, and no way to collect it all. Other suggestion was an ability to redefine your characters specs, by "moving" points from one skill to another; and another well needed thing I should say, as people don't want to replay whole game 10x just to get their character build "perfect". Third thing was to offer higher resolutions, and widescreen support. Shouldn't be hard to do it, and again, this is a very needed change as technology went way beside 800x600 resolutions. And than there are ofcourse bugfixes and stuff.

    But is any of these things a bad point for a game, even for a 10y old game? Nope. People play it, my wife plays it a lot, and I guess a lot of people will be made happy with those several changes.

    So i'm all for it, and I just hope it won't take a year or two to do it :D  :p 

  • 2 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 8, 2009 5:47 PM
    Part of the reason for the continuing popularity of Diablo 2 are the available mods like Median XL. With the Glide3-to-OpenGL-Wrapper you can enable graphics acceleration and add things like a clock to keep track of time. It works great on Linux using Wine and with PvPGN you can run your own server. Blizzard even removed the CD check in the 1.12 patch.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , March 9, 2009 11:59 AM
    ArticleYou can't say that Blizzard doesn't support its legacy software.

    Well that's not phrased correctly imo! They don't support their software. Developers care about their little children, but blizzard doesn't give a rats about the customers paying and playing the games.
    The single most important feature they could implement would be to launch multiple instances of the game from the same computer ; or simply allow d2loader (cost me my last sets of keys a few weeks ago to try that) ....
    The second most important would be to make direct3d work on windows xp again (will lag if you've got a g80 or bigger card from nvidia or ati).

    ps. burnout paradise - a bit pricy, but quite fun game. No lan multiplayer sadly, but otherwise worth the investment.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 9, 2009 2:21 PM
    @ jhansonxi

    D: I've been playing D2 since it came out and never knew about that mess you explained. What have I been missing?! *shakes fists at the heavens*
    I love this approach Blizzard is taking. They've still patched the game all this time, and it just feels like this is the last hoorah: "Thanks for buying and supporting this game consumers. Here's a special treat! No, it's not DRM, it's a feature wishlist (of sorts)!"