Blizzard Wins $7 Million In Bot Company Lawsuit (Gamespot.com)

Every regular, paying MMORPGer can’t stand bots. They destroy economies, ruin questing hub hunting grounds, get in your way, out-level and out-gather you, and generally wreak havoc on a game world. It’s nice to see at least one botting company having to pay back some of the cash they’ve earned doing most anything illegal in a game.


California Court orders World of Warcraft bot company to pay $7 million in damages to Blizzard Entertainment.

Blizzard Entertainment has won a lawsuit against a World of Warcraft bot company for $7 million.

According to a report on GamesIndustry, the suit was originally filed by Blizzard Entertainment against Ceiling Fan Software in December 2011. Ceiling Fan Software was allegedly behind a number of World of Warcraft bots, including Shadow Bot and Pocket Gnome.

California Court has ordered Ceiling Fan Software to cease operations and pay Blizzard Entertainment $7 million in damages. A statement posted on the Ceiling Fan Software website cites “two years of legal battles” by the organisation to “both pursue our right to operate and our customer’s right to play WoW as they choose”.

Ceiling Fan Software is accepting donations to assist with “outstanding legal fees”.

Parent company Activision Blizzard revealed a drop in World of Warcraft subscribers earlier this year. Despite dipping to 7.7 million active players, the publisher revealed that the game remains the most popular subscription-based MMO in the world.

Subscribers for World of Warcraft peaked at over 12 million in October 2010. The original World of Warcraft game was released in 2004, and was followed by four expansion packs:Burning CrusadeWrath of the Lich KingCataclysm, and Mists of Pandaria.

A film adaptation of the Warcraft universe is scheduled to begin filming in 2014.

GW2: $50 Heroic Edition, Free Weekend Revealed (GameSpot.com)

ArenaNet sold 3 million copies as of January 2013. Seven months later, they’re offering a special $50 bundle? Why now? I can only assume sales have dipped since then and this is an effort to revitalize those numbers. Plus, they’re offering a free weekend. In combination, those things seem odd to me.

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ArenaNet reveals $50 bundle that includes One Legacy armor, 18-slot Mithril Box, and 10 experience boosters; free weekend kicks off tomorrow.

ArenaNet today announced the Guild Wars II Heroic Edition, a $50 premium bundle that packs in a copy of the fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game and various digital wares.

Digital pack-ins include One Legacy armor, an 18-slot Mithril Box for increased loot carrying capacity, and 10 experience boosters that will help players level up faster.

A free trial for Guild Wars II will open for all players in North America and Europe beginning at 12:01 a.m. PDT on August 23. The trial period will end at midnight on August 25. Those interested in participating can sign up through the Guild Wars II website.

Guild Wars II was released in August 2012 and has sold over 3 million copies to date. ArenaNet announced earlier this week, citing data from DFC Intelligence, that the fantasy game is the fastest-selling Western MMO game of all time.

ArenaNet said Guild Wars II has the potential to see its player base double when it’s released in China. To bring the fantasy MMO game to China, ArenaNet has partnered with KongZhong Corporation. No date for the game’s release in China has been announced.

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Expansion Announced at Gamescom 2013 (GameSpot.com)

Well, this announcement surprised me. Diablo 3 was widely hailed as a massive failure for the franchise. I did not expect an expansion this quickly. But, heck, a new class, a new act, level cap increase to 70, and new loot mechanics sound great to me!

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New Diablo III expansion will include a new character class, a new act, and new loot mechanics.

Blizzard has officially announced the Diablo III expansion Reaper of Souls at Gamescom 2013.

Game director Josh Mosqueira introduced the new expansion during a Blizzard press conference at Gamescom 2013. Mosquiera said the game will feature a brand-new fifth act to pit players against new villain Malthael, a fallen angel. The expansion will take a darker tone than the original Diablo III campaign, Blizzard adds, and will be set in the gothic environment Westmarch.

Blizzard did not mention a release date for Reaper of Souls.

Reaper of Souls will introduce a new class, the Crusader, and increase the level cap to 70. All of the game’s classes will get new skills, passive abilities, and runes. The Crusader class is a descendent of the Paladin order and includes a version of the Fist of the Heavens skill seen in Diablo II.

Mosqueira said Diablo III’s end-game content would also be improved with a new feature, Loot Runs, and an upgrade to the Paragon system. Loot Runs will be entirely randomly generated dungeons designed to take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete, and the Paragon mechanic will now be account-wide, will have no cap, and will allow players to modify the base stats of their characters.

Blizzard says it wants to change the game’s philosophy towards loot, with the expansion now dropping less but better loot. Using the example of a playthrough in Act III, the Reaper of Souls expansions dropped 73 white items as opposed to 256 in the original game. The Act III playthrough also dropped six legendary items, as opposed to one in a Diablo III run.

Legendary items in Reaper of Souls will also now tailor themselves around character builds, adds Blizzard, such as a wizard weapon that has a chance to summon a hydra when killing an enemy. The mystic artisan will also return, allowing players to transmogrify items and tailor the look of characters. The mystic will also be able to enchant items.

The company had previously hinted at the expansion with a teaser website and the promise of a “special announcement” at the European trade show.

Diablo III launched on PC and Mac in May 2012. Blizzard will be bringing Diablo III to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in September, and to the PlayStation 4 in 2013.

Dota 2’s “The International” Tournament Awards $1.43 Million to Alliance (GameSpot.com)

The era of professional gamers is in full swing as Valve’s Dota 2 tournament, the International, came to an end this past weekend. The gaming took place on the main stage at Benaroya Hall (Seattle’s Symphony Hall) and the audience was packed with thousands of expectant fans and teams there to do virtual battle. With the biggest first price cash payout in the International’s history, team Alliance walked away with a cool $1.43 million for top honors beating 2011’s champs, Na’Vi.

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Alliance wins $1.43m at Valve’s Dota 2 tournament The International 3

Alliance places first in Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament, The International 3, winning $1.43 million.

Competitive gaming team Alliance from Sweden has picked up $1.43 million after finishing first place in Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament, The International 3.

Alliance won the grand final after facing off against team Na’Vi from the Ukraine in a best-of-five format, winning 3-2.

The International 3 event kicked off on August 3, with 16 of the best Dota 2 teams flown in from around the world to compete. The event was hosted at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Washington.

Alliance, who finished in first place, will be taking home $1,437,204. Na’Vi will be awarded $632,370 for second place. Malaysian team Neolution Orange placed third, and will be awarded $287,441 in prize money. The event marks the first time that no Chinese teams have placed in the top 3.

The prize pool for The International 3 totals at $2.87 million, establishing its record as the largest prize pool for a single competitive gaming event. Nearly 400,000 people tuned in live for the first day of the event, and 600,000 on the second and third days, surpassing last year’s peak numbers.

At the 2012 International event, team Invictus Gaming from China won $1 million for finishing in first place. In 2011, Team Na’Vi took first place with a prize of $1 million.

For more about the event, check out GameSpot’s coverage of The International 2013.

Valve’s Pipleine Helps Teens Seeking Careers in Game Industry (GameSpot.com)

“The new Pipeline program is a trial to see if Valve can take a group of high school students with minimal work experience and train them to be successful at a company like Valve.” I certainly wish I had been given this type of opportunity when I was a kid. I’d probably have a job in game development now instead of just writing a blog about game-related things.

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Through new program, Valve’s own teenage employees will discuss challenges and questions regarding breaking into industry.

Valve has introduced a new program called Pipeline, an initiative aimed at helping up-and-coming designers seeking careers in the game industry.

 According to its newly launched website, Valve’s Pipeline program will help answer questions like “What is it like to work on video games?,” “What should I study?,” “What colleges are best for preparing me?,” and “How do I get a job in video games?”

Valve’s Pipeline initiative is itself an experiment. Traditionally, Valve explained, the Half-Life and Steam studio has been known to mainly employ very experienced individuals.

However, the new Pipeline program is a trial to see if Valve can take a group of high school students with minimal work experience and train them to be successful at a company like Valve.

“We want to establish a connection to the world of teenagers that are asking many questions about getting into the gaming industry,” Valve said. “We look to answer many of these questions and are willing to reach out to the community and give them the information they need.”

The first wave of information from Valve Pipeline is expected to be released “within the next month or so.” For more, check out the video below, produced by Valve’s new Pipeline employees.

Tekken Revolution: F2P for PS3 on June 11 (GameSpot.com)

Will launch on June 11 with an initial roster of eight characters.

Namco Bandai has unveiled Tekken Revolution for the PlayStation 3.

Unveiled via GameSpot’s E3 2013 preview (at 19:30), the free-to-play fighter will be released on June 11. Tekken Revolution will allow players to spar against AI players in its Arcade Mode and human rivals in online ranked and non-ranked matches.

For the first time in the Tekken series, individual characters are now able to be specifically upgraded, with each character possessing Strength, Endurance, and Vigor attributes. Namco Bandai says the game will also feature new Special Arts and Critical Arts moves.

Specifics on additional characters, or how microtransactions could affect the free-to-play title, were not disclosed.

Tekken Revolution’s initial roster of eight characters will include King, Paul, Lili, Marshall Law, Asuka, Steve, Alisa, and Lars.

The last game in the Tekken series, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, was released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2012.

Original GameSpot Article

E3 2013: One Place To Watch

Just in case you were looking for a place to watch all the E3 2013 goings-on, look no further!

http://www.gamespot.com/e3/

E3 2013

For 18 consecutive years, the Electronic Entertainment Expo–or E3, as its friends call it–has been like the Super Bowl, the Kumite, and the WrestleMania of video games all in one. In a year with two new next-generation console announcements, not to mention all the games, this could possibly be the largest E3 ever!

As an industry- and press-only event, E3 is not open to the public, but don’t despair! GameSpot and Giant Bomb are here to bring you nonstop coverage of everything you need to know straight from the floor, with all the news, previews, trailers, and live video that you can take.

Join us beginning Monday, June 10, 2013, for some live E3 press conference action, and stick around for the rest of the week, because it’s going to get crazy!

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