baronvoncarson tips news that today Valve released an updated version of Alien Swarm, a popular Unreal Tournament 2004 total conversion mod. The creators of the mod were hired by Valve, and they've helped turn it into a stand-alone game running on the Source engine. Valve is also releasing the code base for Alien Swarm and an SDK. The game is available for free on Steam.
Today BioWare unveiled the most impressive new class yet seen for their upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sarlacc Enforcers are "paragons of patience and planning, always waiting for the right moment to pounce on their quarry – even if it takes one thousand years." Gamespot had an interview with the game's developers to get a clear picture on how such a unique and innovative class was designed. Quoting: "Well, this is a stealth class, so the soloing experience of the Sarlacc enforcer is going to be a little slow. [This character] spends a lot of time slowly sneaking into position before unleashing potent close-ranged attacks, such as 'devour.' But once exposed, the enforcer heavily relies on companion characters to lure enemies close, so he/it can unleash his/its close-ranged attacks. However, the enforcer shines in a group, especially when paired with a Jedi consular that can knock enemies toward him. At this point, the Sarlacc enforcer can use his/its powerful suite of damage-over-time abilities, like 'digest' and 'regurgitate.'"
cremeglace writes "Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first."
Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."
An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."