Posts Tagged ‘BioWare’

A Naïf In Neverwinter Nights: Exploring Roleplay In An Erotic Fantasy Server

Role-play has always been a curious concept to me despite spending half of my life believing it was little more than adults wearing fake armor and speaking in phony English accents. When I became obsessed with pen and paper RPGs, I forced three of my friends to try Dungeons and Dragons. Our awkward adventure was akin to four naive boys going on a journey, finding a dead body, and then never talking about it ever again.

But last week I discovered that Neverwinter Nights, the classic 2002 RPG, is not only still popular but also home to dozens of serious role-playing servers. Digging deeper I found that many of those servers are “adults only,” hinting all too plainly at what kind of desires they catered to. I couldn’t resist. What could this virtual Sodom have that was so compelling that people would spend time in a decade-old RPG just to experience it?

I needed to find out.

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Have You Played… MDK2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I can’t even remember how much of MDK 2 I ever played. The reason I remember it is because it accompanies a rambling anecdote, and that it’s really bloody weird that it was made by BioWare.

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Mass Effect Andromeda Now Officially Due Early 2017

Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] was officially due to launch towards the end of this year, though chatter from the moneymen made clear it’d be slipping into next. Now it’s proper-super official: BioWare have announced that the sci-fi shooter-RPG will be blasting off to a new frontier in “early 2017.” But hey, it sounds like they’ll give us a peek at it during E3 next month. Fingers crossed for a hanar crewmate, gang!

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BioWare Goose Cam: Mass Eggfect

I like my geese like I like my coffee: under surveillance as they reproduce to the soundtracks of popular videogames.

Fortunately for me, BioWare have put a goose under surveillance as she incubates her eggs atop the developer’s Edmonton studio and are livestreaming the whole thing. The header image is from the official Dragon Age Keep account which has been reimagining the geese as BioWare characters.

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Wot I Think: Baldur’s Gate: Siege Of Dragonspear

Sixteen years ago, BioWare bridged the gap between Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2 with, more or less, “And then some other stuff happened.” Now Beamdog has gone back, filling in the gaps with Siege of Dragonspear [official site]. Is it worth putting the band back together for one more trip to the Sword Coast? Here’s Wot I Think.

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Mass Effect Andromeda Details Slip Out

BioWare have been keeping a tight lid on Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s [official site] plot, but it seems some details have appeared in the form of a customer survey. Not the world’s most reliable format, as these tend to be, “How would you feel about a game that featured a race of evil melons as the main antagonists?” before asking you about your mobile phone usage, but likely indicative of the direction in which the game is heading. So if you want all your news about the game to be carefully spoon-fed to you via the appropriate PR departments, look away now.

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Nebulous: Mass Effect Andromeda Due In Early 2017

Last time we talked about vague release windows for Mass Effect Andromeda [official site], you told me were planning to spawn a child in time for its launch. You told me you would name that child Ianlusive Manfred. Well, I’m not going to argue with you again, but I will tell you to wait a few months to to begin spawning. BioWare’s RPG is now due in 2017, some time before the end of March.

If you’re really desperate for scraps, hey, folks have dug up a better look at the guy from that trailer?

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Former BioWare Writer David Gaider Joins Beamdog

Davey G, Davey G, where ever will your next job be? You’ve left BioWare – after 17 years writing there! – all footloose and fancy-free. Oh what a happy day, hip hip hooray, you’ve found a job at Beamdog!

Should Hallmark wish to create a greetings card solely to mark former BioWare writer David Gaider joining fellow former BioChap Trent Oster’s Beamdog, they can reach me through the usual channels. That is what’s happened, though. Gaider has become creative director at Beamdog, those folks who’ve been revamping and expanding ye olde Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale.

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Goodbye-O-Ware: Writer David Gaider Leaves BioWare

After seventeen years in the scribbler’s hotseat, writer and designer David Gaider has left BioWare. Gaider joined the RPG-builders back in 1999, putting in some time on Baldur’s Gate 2 before moving onto Knights of the Old Republic. His contributions to the Star Wars universe include snarky murderous human-hating droid HK-47 (a terrifying vision of our machine-doomed future presented as comic relief) and Carth Onasi, a sad space-man. Gaider’s greatest contribution to CRPGs came as lead writer on Dragon Age: Origins, the beginning of the series that, along with Mass Effect, has come to define modern BioWare.

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BioWare’s Jade Empire Is Free On Origin

BioWare may be all about dragons and space-robots nowadays, but a decade ago they’d set aside their wizard hats and pulse rifles to binge hard on martial arts movies. The result was Jade Empire, from that interesting phase when BioWare shifted from, y’know, RPG-y RPGs, to their more action-focused modern ways. It’s a mess in a lot of ways, but it may be interesting to you. It won’t cost you much to find out, as EA have set Jade Empire free on Origin for a while.

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Mass Effect’s Shepard Pops Back To Say Goodbye

Mass Effect won’t be the same without Shepard, will it? All things pass, and all flesh is grass (or cybergrass), but I’ll miss the old girl. Still, she has come back one last (?) time in a short video to say goodbye and hand over to… whoever the hero of Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] will be. Casting suggestion, BioWare: that there Jennifer Hale is great, isn’t she?

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The Old Republic Awakens: Story Expansion Out Now


Things I never expected to hear myself say: “I’d quite like to go back to Star Wars: The Old Republic” [official site]. This SHOCKING turn of events is in the wake of news that its new expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, restores a little of the KOTOR-era Bioware magic that was sadly lacking from the majority of the base game. I suspect most of us expected that EA would leave the over-hyped and, at least initially, underperforming MMO to die a slow, quiet death on its own, but instead it seems they’re taking advantage of unchecked consumerism excitement around The Force Awakens, and making TOR a far more appealing prospect for people who can’t get enough of Far Away / Long Time Ago. Steven’s hands-on report last week detailed why this is worth paying attention to, especially if you’re more of a solo roleplayer, and now the expansion’s actually out. Trailers and whatnot below.
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Dragon Age: Inquisition GotY Edition Coming In October

Well blow me down! BioWare are releasing a DLC-bundling Game of the Year Edition of one of their RPGs! It’s been a while since the last – long years of me grumbling about EA’s add-on pricing and decision to stop making easy ways to buy the whole thing.

The GotY Edition of Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site] is coming soon too, on October 6th. It’ll include the base game along with all its story DLC, its gubbins DLC, and the gubbins from its Deluxe Edition. EA haven’t stated a price, but I bet it’s cheaper than the – strewth! – £102.46 it currently costs individually.

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Have You Played… Dragon Age II?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I don’t want to talk about reused environments or mages running rampant or plot holes or spawning enemies or… I don’t care. I want to talk about Kirkwall, more specifically how I really like Dragon Age II [official site] following up on another tedious ‘roam the world saving it from ancient evil’ fantasy gufffest to focus on one city over a few years. It’s great that, isn’t it? Pay attention, boring fantasy RPGs.

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Not Dinosaurs: Dragon Age’s Trespasser DLC Released

You’ve inquired, exsanguinated, and imbibed your way across half of Thedas, but now the adventures in Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site] are drawing to a close. BioWare today released the final DLC for their fantasy RPG, named Trespasser (no, not dinosaurs), and say “Character relationships and big moments are at the forefront of the Inquisitor’s final adventure.” That makes me imagine it may be like Mass Effect 3‘s Citadel DLC, which gave the whole gang a big old send off before they went away to die, become cyborgs, and whatnot. The base game’s on sale to mark the launch too.

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ME3-ish Combat But No Old Friends In Next Mass Effect

I have no flupping idea what to expect from Mass Effect Not-4, aka Andromeda [official site], given all signs point to it being a clean break from the Shepard saga. But the reveal that combat will be similar to Mass Effect 3’s frantic shooty fare does start to make it a solid thing in my brain, rather than an entirely abstract concept with a few twinkly stars in it.
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Dragon Age: Inquisition’s New Story DLC – The Descent

Depending on where you stand on the Darkspawn fence, this could be either good or bad omen for the future trajectory of the Dragon Age series. Dragon Age – Inquisition [official site] is getting what basically looks like a Diablo-style descent into the depths of the Deep Roads – an enormous network of tunnels that originally belonged to the dwarven empire and is now full of bad dudespawn. Named The Descent, the single-player DLC – which, confusingly, ends up looking like a weird single-lane MOBA in the trailer – is launching on August 11th.

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Six Hours Of World-Saving – Dragon Age: Inquisition Demo

As a sprog replaying demos again and again to draw out the stretches between getting new games, I loathed timed demos. I’d happily replay the same two or three levels over and over. As a growed-up, mind, I’d much rather have a one-off timed chunk to explore a game and see what it’s really about. It’s especially handy for open-world games – difficult or pointless to section up.

It’s high time that Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site] got a demo, and I’m glad that it’s a timed one. It’s on Origin. Six hours of singleplayer isn’t bad, and it offers unlimited multiplayer time too.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition MP Gets Easier, More Difficult

If you’ve mastered the multiplayer side of Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site], killing everything and saving everyone a dozen times over, good news: the game’s latest update has added a new ‘Nightmare’ difficulty setting to tackle and new rare weapons to collect.

Conversely, if you’ve barely scratched Inq’s multiplayer and find it a bit overwhelming, good news: the update also added a tutorial, which teams you up with AI characters on a guided experience through your first adventure.

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