Van Helsing II Pre-order starts today!

What a rush at the office…

But a rush worth being in: Van Helsing II just made it into closed beta, and it will be released on April 17!

Pre-order it now and check out the awesomeness of the sequel ;) Here is the official video that I made for this occassion:

Dear Friends,

the time has finally come to open our second pre-order season. Some of you might already know the drill, some of you might be new, so let me give you a taste of what is ahead of us: last May marked the release of our first Action RPG, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, the first of three planned games, a steampunk trilogy set in a gothic-noir universe.

We never would have made it this far without you, at least not as an indie company.

Now the adventure finally continues and we are ready to announce the release date for the second installment in the Van Helsing trilogy, as well as open the pre-order for various supporter packages in various price ranges. There is still tremendous work ahead of us, but we are positive that the game will be released on April 17th with a plenty of amazing features!

And now we ask you once again to show your generous support. It’s quite easy, actually: purchase one of the special packs, and in return we will provide you with pack-exclusive materials as a token of our appreciation. These packs are to support our work and the dedication pays off: the higher the price range, the more exclusive the gift.

To see the list of packs and to pre-order the game, visit

Back in the game…

Sadly enough, both ways. Nevermind though, I have plenty off stuff ahead of me!

With the start of the info dump on WoD, I finally gathered my will to gear up and start ganking, and getting back to the usual drill in WoW. If I’ll have the energy left I’ll write a longer post about the mechanic changes of WoD and what I think about them. Until then, visual proof!

Incompetent gamers and their hate against devs

Oh man do I fear the consequences of this post – it is like poking a beehive with a stick. Nevertheless,  I’m still going to write this because I have to get this great load off my mind. As most of you might know, I am working for NeocoreGames since last May as community manager, video editor, and as a game tester. As I always do, I try to do my best at this job, similar to what I did during my WoW career ;) . So far I put several hundred hours into our latest game, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, not only because it is a great game to play with, but also to be able to answer all questions of the community.

And now there is this guy. He is quite infamous of his Youtube channel (MPC4Utube), where he posts videos about “bad” games. In reality, he shows his own lack of knowledge about games in these videos, generating numerous video replies ridiculing this fact:

He is also well known for his abusive behaviour on forums, which caused him to be banned from almost every possible gaming community on the planet. As I am a Steam moderator on Van Helsing’s official page, I can prove this quite easily:

tx

Needless to say, his username is tx3000 (before he starts returning with different aliases after getting banned). Now the other players whose name I edited out because I do not want to offend them were reported by tx3000 as well. Quite pathetic, isn’t it? Now for the bans (because obviously he’s been banned for this behaviour): he accuses me (who posts under the alias Megapull_Neocore on forums) of banning him when he posts useful information. Here is the ban list of our Steam forum, it is kind of sad and happy at the same time as at least we have only one guy to deal with and the community is very helpful and kind otherwise – kudos to you guys out there for making a great group of gamers (alliteration, yay)!

Continue reading

Back to Vanilla

During the past few months the need to play WoW was so strong that I have ventured to the Feenix Warsong realm to level a hunter – vanilla style. I have to say that I am impressed with the server, the population and the stability is great and almost everything works the way it used to be back then.

lok

Yeah, that’s me. I have completed the Hunter epic quest recently, and I did it all by myself after I put my frustration aside. It was actually harder to do than it was on retail because on the server, all mobs have a 50 yard reset leash which means you can’t kite stuff indefinitely. Imagine killing the Winterspring demon without kiting… yeah, I did just that! I kited that bastard around two trees and if the routing was 100% perfect, I could pull it off so after an hour of trying, I finally managed to kill him. The Burning Steppes dude was a pain in the ass as well, because you have to melee him, and it takes a lot of time to kill him but if you make one mistake, you are dead. I specced into Scatter Shot though, so I had room for one mess-up, which helped a lot:

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Of course, PvE was not everything that I did, oh no. I have some other characters on this realm, a full D2 rogue with AQ daggers, and my resto druid, Maedwe in Feralheart gear. With the rogue, it is obvious that I am in Silithus/EPL/STV and I am pwning it up 0-24 ;) I wrecked a full T2 Thunderfury-wielding Warrior, and I had several awesome kill streaks in good ol’ Silithus as well, not to mention sabotaging ally raids :)

But is this enough? I miss retail – because that’s where you can play with your friends in a truly awesome way. We’ll see what the future brings.

Mixed feelings

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As I mentioned it earlier, me and my friend are quite psyched about the upcoming WoW expansion. However, in the last couple weeks there were some changes that I feel quite unhappy about. The first of this was the announcement about paying for instant lvl 90 characters. I get it that after a while it is tedious to level up a character, and I know how annoying can it get. Still, I do not like that my favourite game is heading towards the microtransactional way. Leveling is a core element of any RPG, and it should not be overridden with a quick purchase.

On the more positive side, they made this announcement:

We are looking at reducing or completely removing baseline Resilience, but it’s a big change and requires other larger changes to go with it. Changes that big we tend to wait until an expansion (Warlords) to make – as well as a lot of testing and feedback from y’all during beta. We do have some changes with Season 15, but they won’t be a huge departure from where we’re already at, mainly tweaks to existing numbers.

Lore has made a couple posts on PvP Power/gear on the Arena forum so make sure you read these too:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/11206631080?page=4#64
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/11206631080?page=5#87

And this is awesome! Once more we can oneshot blue geared, freshly dinged people and cause much frustration in the long-dead outdoor PvP! Yeah, it’s the little things in life that make you happy…

Jumping back to the negative side, it seems that WoD won’t have a boxed release, it will only be available for online purchase. This does not bother me all that much, but I’d miss those well-designed boxes full of artworks.

But despite all this, I am sure that WoW will never be a bad game, even with Ghostcrawler leaving ;) On the serious side, I don’t get why everyone was so happy about him leaving and starting to work for Riot. The well-known faces of Blizzard leaving the company is never good to see – for me at least. All in all, I think I’ll have another swing at the game in a couple weeks and see what it has to offer for me.

The Chimera in Van Helsing II

Yeah, I have been slacking with the blog posts big time during the past months… The reasons are that I had insanely much stuff to do recently, and my personal life wasn’t too lifting either. Combining the exam period with the rush that began towards the release of Van Helsing II while accepting an internship at a local newspaper – does not leave you with an abundance of free time.

Nevertheless, here is my latest work, a “techvideo” that introduces the latest additional feature of Van Helsing II, the Lair Beast, better known as the Chimera. I put the term “techvideo” in quotes since this is really not a tech video although it started out as one. I have recorded the model from our editor, then I recorded the wireframes as well with green screen and combined the two with some masking & chroma keying. I used Vegas (as usual) and Adobe AE for this, and boy it looked awesome. Nevertheless we have scrapped this version since some viewers could think that wireframes are a graphic bug or something. Therefore the final version was just a showcase of the model in action in combination with some gameplay elements.

c2ed

Recording the gameplay was fun since we had to edit the config files for the monsters to work and I removed some annoying skills from their ability list so they will look nice in the video :) Also, this vid features our new logo animation for the game, and I think that we have nailed it.

Here is the official video and the previous version with a bonus scene and some added wireframes – note that the music is a placeholder and there are several sounds missing from that one as I get the sound mixed only for the final release of a video :)