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All Posts by SBFord

All Posts by SBFord

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Fans of Action RPGs will want to check out the ten minutes of gameplay footage from Bombshell. Bombshell was shown off to attendees at this weekend's QuakeCon. Bombshell is developed by Interceptor Entertainment, a studio that lent its expertise to several of the Duke Nukem titles. Bombshell is expected to be released later this year.

The video shows some item modification, accepting a quest and lots of bullets.

Find out more about Bombshell on the official site.

Hi-Rez Studios has revealed a milestone in the lifetime of SMITE. Since inception, over ten million unique players around the world have played the game. To celebrate the big news, one of the original beta heroes, Retro Herc, has been reactivated and will be rewarded to all players who win ten PvP matches in August.

To celebrate, Hi-Rez have recruited Kevin Sorbo, star of the Hercules: The Legendary Journeys TV show, to create a new in-game Hercules voice pack. There will also be a special “Retro Herc” skin featuring the original God model from the game’s PC beta. All of the above can be unlocked for free for players who win 10 PvP matches in August.

Join the other ten million by heading to the SMITE site to get started.

After several recent updates focused on combat, the Crowfall team decided it was time to show off more of the game's progress, this time shining the spotlight on the Art team in a new post called "A Castle, A Keep & a Crow.

The post features a great looking concept piece as well as a "greybox" flythrough video from a stronghold created for the combat milestone. Lastly, a new video series called "Murder of Crows"  debuted that aims to profile Crowfall team members and a look at behind-the-scenes jobs that each does.

You can check it all out on the Crowfall site.

Recently took time to sit down with Wallace Santos from Maingear Computers and Thomas Petersen from NVIDIA this past week. Part one of this video series talks about NVIDIA GameWorks program and how they are helping studios and developers make their games better. It covers every aspect of the program from building relationships, how the technology is being used, and how certain games (especially Batman Arkham Knight) are even being repaired by the GameWorks engineers.

It’s hard to believe that it’s July, and we’ve already seen a number of highly-anticipated titles release in the first half of the year.  Pillars of Eternity, The Witcher 3, and Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward are all out, The Elder Scrolls Online has launched on consoles, and there have been open beta or “live” releases for Trove, Heroes of the Storm, and Skyforge

Read more of Som Pourfarzaneh's Five Games to Five Games to Watch in the Second Half of 2015.

The first big patch post-Heavensward is here, and Victor's been trawling through it like a good little Lalafell. Let’s take a quick look at what you get with the introduction of FFXIV Patch 3.05!

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s Eorzea Reborn: Savage Alexander & Seal Rock PvP.

The Witcher 3 received its 1.07 patch this week, bringing with it much needed inventory improvements and an alternative movement mode. Unfortunately, it also brought a brand new problem. This week, Chris takes the issue and looks at the larger problem of unfinished games and post-launch patches. Plus, a meaty Diablo 3 update, Chris Roberts responds to Star Citizen drama, new Fallout 4 gameplay, and more!

Read more of Christopher Coke's The RPG Files: Witcher 3 Gets Inventory Patch, More Problems.

The Neverwinter team has gone on record as having heard the voices of the community about abusive behavior by some when using the 'vote-to-kick' feature. According to a new post on the Neverwinter site, players had been particularly abusing the system at or near the end of a boss fight effectively reducing the pool of players who would have access to drops.

A pair of fixes will be implemented soon:

  • It will no longer be possible to kick players near or at a boss fight. All players who contribute to its defeat will have a chance for loot.
  • The ability to kick players while rolling for an item using the need/greed/pass interface will be disabled.
As of this writing, there is no firm date for deployment of the fix, but both XBox One and PC players will be pleased to know the fix will be released for both platforms.
Read the full note on the Neverwinter site.

The Skyforge team has posted a brief note to let North American players know that they are aware of server load issues, queues, drop outs, and "significant lag". To fight these problematic issues, server maintenance has already been completed and new upgrades will be deployed over the next several days.

Until these upgrades are complete, players may experience occasional queues while attempting to sign into Skyforge. After these issues have been resolved, we’ll be awarding everyone with a special in-game gift to thank players for their ongoing patience and understanding as the team weathers these growing pains.

Read the full note on the Skyforge page.

Reworded for clarification, though the line between "stepping away from" a position and "resigning it", even pending reassignment in the same company, is very thin. Still, thank you for your suggestions.

We have been hearing from several industry leaders about yesterday's news of now-former Daybreak Game Company CEO and President John Smedley stepping away from the company for a time. Of particular note, Scott Hartsman spoke very candidly about the news and what it means to the industry.

He's a guy who loves games to his core, always led with his heart, and there are easily 1,000 people's careers, mine included, that he's touched or helped grow in meaningful ways.

All the way back to the beginning, he was the one who believed in the game that would become EverQuest, from inside a PS2 Sports Game studio.  That's the kind of guy he is - The one who believes so deeply and thoroughly in games that he leveled up an entire mode of gaming and fostered the creation of the first real runaway success in a genre.

The world, and the games industry, would be a lot better place with more people who believed things like that and dared to act on them.

Let us know what you think of Hartsman's thoughts in the comments below.

During today's QuakeCon inaugural address, Fallout Anthology was announced. All Fallout titles, including New Las Vegas and Tactics will be included and will be shipped in a mini-nuke. Fallout Anthology will be available in North America and on October 1st in the rest of the world.

When I think about the vision behind Pathfinder Online, it's hard for me not to get excited. As a fan of Iceland's greatest export, EVE Online, I have spent the last few years pining for an MMORPG that takes the sandbox structure of EVE and transports it to a more familiar fantasy universe, and what better universe than Paizo Publishing's wonderful pen and paper RPG, Pathfinder? On paper, Pathfinder Online seems like a sandbox fan's dream come true: ambitious and nonlinear; a total deconstruction of the tired tropes that have come to plague the genre since World of Warcraft paved the way for countless others to follow. But in practice, Pathfinder Online struggles to bring to life much of what it aspires to achieve.

Read more of Steven Messner's Pathfinder Online: A Seed of Potential Planted in Barren Soil.

Lord of the Rings Online has a unique music system and battle weary players have taken a real liking to its nuances. ABC files number into the many thousands with music being played at any street corner and at all hours with genres ranging from Mozart, to Led Zeppelin. This could make for ripe event planning… Enter the fan-created event, Weatherstock!

Read more Lord of the Rings Online: Announcing Weatherstock 2015!

Matt Higby, formerly with SOE and Daybreak Game Company, has penned his thoughts about John Smedley stepping down as president and CEO of DBC. It's an interesting, inside look at the man and his profound effect on those he has worked with. We present it here in its entirety without comment.

It's tough to overstate how gigantic of an influence Smed has had on my life and the lives of many of my friends, both through the games he helped create, the company he built, the mentorship he shared and the opportunities he opened up. Although we argued about a ton of things over the years, one of the best things about him as a leader is I never felt like I wasn't allowed to make my case - I even won a couple of those arguments from time to time. He taught me a ton and always treated me super well - I owe him a great deal.

John ran SOE like a family, he knew just about everybody and did everything he could to take care of people over profits, promote from within, and make the workplace fun and rewarding for everyone. Loads of people there are 5,10,15 year vets - that's not normal in games. I think his loyalty to the people he worked with is something generally omitted from his public persona which is really a shame since it feels so central to his identity to me.

Something else a lot of people don't really get is that he was also extremely hands on - with everything - at all levels. I remember watching him do tech support for a network routing issue at a place we were doing a market research study for FreeRealms - 5 other engineers in the room and John was the first one rolling up his sleeves to diagnose the DMZ problems. He would personally approve game design docs for sub-features, webpage layouts, advertising verbage, art style, promotions - the works. If it happened at SOE, Smed was involved; he knew everything about it, and if he didn't write the original plan he sure has hell made some changes to the original plan for it at some point. Definitely not a corner-office, bean counting CEO type - he wanted to get his hands dirty.

For us gamers, he's the kind of maverick, passionate, risk-taking leader you want running a company. He loves to push the envelope - for better or worse. One of the #1 things I always hear said about Smed is that he's a "bull in a china shop" - couldn't agree more. This can create a lot of havoc of course and makes reliable product development & management a bit of a challenge, but it's better than the alternative of insipid reliably-profitable clones that most industry CEOs are interested in cranking out of the cookie-cutters. The games landscape today would be way more bland without Smed - there can be no arguing this.

Smed will be back pushing a giant envelope full of something that will blow our minds over a mountain of freshly smashed china soon. For now, I am happy he's taking some time off to get some rest, I hope he takes plenty. I think he needs it, and I know he deserves it.

Participate in the discussion on Reddit, linked above.

Fedeen Games has announced that both the iOS and Android versions of Forsaken World Mobile are now available worldwide. In addition a trio of servers are now live to serve players. Two servers are US-based, one in the EU.

Check out the game pages for your favorite mobile device at the links above.

Reto-Moto has announced that a large new patch has been deployed to Heroes & Generals that includes new weapons, weapon enhancements, ribbons, ribbon levels, balance updates, big fixes and tweaks.

Of particular note is the overhaul of the Factory map that makes big improvements to the layout and structure of the map, as well as in its objectives. Players will find more cover and an overall improved gameplay experience.

Performance issues have also been addressed thanks in large part to community feedback.

You can read the full changelog on the Heroes & Generals site or check out the update video below.

In an unexpected move, is reporting that John Smedley has resigned as the CEO and president of Daybreak Game Company, formerly Sony Online Entertainment. Current COO Russell Shanks will temporarily step into Smedley's place until a replacement is found.

“I can confirm that John Smedley will be taking some time off from the company for the near-term and transitioning to a different role to be determined,” a spokesperson for Daybreak told GamesBeat. “Upon finalization of his plans, further communication will be provided.”

While not confirmed by a company spokesman, the resignation comes on the heels of the recent Twitter war Smedley engaged in after Julius Kivimaki from Lizard Squad received what Smedley ascertained was a too-light sentence for his part in a bomb threat that caused a plane he was flying on to be grounded.

From our story on July 9th:

A day after the sentencing of a member of Lizard Squad and subsequent Twitter tirade by Daybreak Game Studio's John Smedley, it appears that all of DGS's titles and its website are under DDOS attack, with players unable to log into either.

The altercation between Smedley and remaining Lizard Squad members began after Julius Kivimaki, the now-convicted criminal of more than 50,000 counts of computer crimes, was sentenced yesterday. Smedley took to Twitter to express his strong feeling that the sentence meted out by the court in Finland was too light.

A Twitter user claiming to be a member of Lizard Squad announced the attacks were imminent. Within minutes, the predicted DDOS began.

At this time, all Daybreak games are down and the team is actively working on a solution.

Shortly after this series of Twitter posts, and the subsequent DDOS attacks on all of Daybreak's games and its site, Smedley removed himself from the social network completely, leading, perhaps, to today's announcement.

Smedley has been a lightning rod of controversy over the years that he has been with the company, yet has been instrumental in the MMO and computer video games genres beginning with EverQuest, one of the first MMOs to hit the internet, and continuing through more recent MMOs including EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, and Landmark.

You can check out more at and a co-attendant thread on the forum, as well as leave your thoughts in this article's thread.

Thanks PudgyBunnyBry!

Neverwinter will be expanding on August 11th with Strongholds, the seventh module since being released two years ago. To celebrate the impending release, Cryptic Studios has released a brand new trailer. Finally, players will have a place to call home.

Once your Guild Hall is secured, complete quests throughout Faerûn to rank up your stronghold while building new structures that unlock abilities for your guild. Once players have had time to conquer and fortify their keep, we will unleash an all-new, MOBA-like 20 vs 20 guild battle.

Read all about Strongholds on the Neverwinter site.

Blizzard has kicked off a Hearthstone event in San Francisco with the name of the next expansion, The Grand Tournament. TGT will include new cards and a new play mat. To celebrate the announcement, a new trailer was released.

The expansion will feature 132 new cards and is expected to go live in August.

We’re celebrating The Grand Tournament with an exciting bundle pack offer! Starting next week, players will be able to pre-purchase a bundle of 50 Grand Tournament card packs for $49.99. In addition to 50 Grand Tournament card packs ready to bust open upon launch, the bundle also includes a triumphant new card back!

Check out the brand new Grand Tournament page on the Hearthstone site.

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