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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Heroes of Newerth, DotA cloning 101

To me HoN is just an updated version of DotA. Although I am sure many disagree with me; HoN is better than DotA. DotA is a great mod, made by countless hours in the WC3 mapeditor and it really has given results. Character design, balancing and items are all given a lot of thought and all input is used for positive change. But there are some things that one cannot change about DotA: User interface and Graphics engine, both of which are extremely lacking for an Action-RPG-RTS game such as this.
New Tremble, Tundra and Slith skins

The whole setup of interface (mostly keybindings/customisation options) is a lot better in HoN compared to DotA, and this shows very clearly if you look at these two games. You can quickly assess the situation with a quick look to your left to check your friends' hp and mana. And lets not get started on the modability, where HoN is totally open to mods which I suppose the WC3 engine is not.

Graphics is another sticking point for me. DotA is ugly, yes I said it... BLASPHEMY! HANG HIM! But lets be honest, HoN is not beautiful, but it looks good enough when zoomed out and runs smoothly on any semi-tops computer rig. WC3 runs even smoother, but it looks like it came from a second-hand internet shop for 3d-models.

I loved DotA and now I love HoN.
Give us your thoughs upon DotA and it's clones!

Oh mother...

Bioware have been keeping their games interesting and cuddly by bringing romance subplots to games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. I'm currently enjoying Dragon Age 2 as a female mage, trying my best to get on the good side of Merrill, the female elven mage.

Mother and Daughter
So as I get to the second act of the game my character buys a huge residence for her family. My mother is so proud of my success and is finally able to relax. Her daughter's got it all under control. But as I talk to her, she suddenly says that she better start looking for a suitable husband for me... *awkward silence*
She's completely oblivious of her daughters sexual orientation. I feel like I'll need to sit down and have a talk with her...

Awkward conversations aside, what are your thought about the game in general? And if you haven't played it, any particular reason? I'll be writing a short piece about my thought of the game once I finish it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Testing TERA

Around December 2009 I was lucky enough be chosen for the English focus group test of TERA. I had a blast playing it with some people from the official forums. Only a tiny portion of the game was being tested, but it had me entertained the whole weekend. And that's a bit rare in MMORPGs nowadays. So what's special about TERA? Here's a quick explanation from the official site:

TERA is the first true Action MMORPG, providing all of the depth of an MMO with the intensity and gratification of an action game. Players fully control their characters using the game's dynamic battle system.
Player actions can change the balance of power in a world threatened by dark powers as seven allied races try to work together to protect their lands from marauding monsters, underworld dwellers, and evil scheming gods.

I love you too, random female human.
If it's the first I don't know, there are a few others floating around (like Vindictus). But the part about "true action" is all but a lie. Click your mouse button, your sword swings. If you miss, you miss. No target select resulting in you being able to hit someone even if your weapon is off visually. It's all about hitboxes and a dynamic combat system. Being a pretty Unreal Engine 3 game doesn't hurt either.

Anyway!  This weekend En Masse Entertainment (the game's North American publishing company) are holding a Community Play Event. Everyone from the focus group tests are invited, as well as some people from the community. This time around we will be testing an English translated version of the client, more or less identical to the Korean release client. And unlike the FGTs, players won't be under an NDA. This means that we will be free to spread any screenshots and recorded footage of the game we get during the event.

I'm kind of excited to see what has changed since 2009. I spent a lot of time during the FGT just exploring the world. It was quite refreshing having such a huge and open world that still had a lot of detail to it. But back then I only got to see a few areas and most of the world was empty and unfinished. Hopefully I'll have time to both explore and try out PvE with all the classes.

So look forward to some screenies and hopefully a couple of videos, as well as my impressions of the game this weekend/early next week. And if you want to read others impressions and thoughts you should check out the Comunity Play Event forum over at the official site. Only participants can post, but the board is open for anyone to read.