Tuesday Morning PC News

Let's kick off this morning's update with some news on the recently released Black Isle Studios RPG, Icewind Dale. Those of you who have already purchased this game may have run into a snag in the form of bugs. Bugs that plague installation, 3D support and of course, gameplay itself. You are all probably wondering if there is a patch. Unfortunately there isn't one just yet. Black Isle Studios did however has post up a trouble shooting FAQ that concisely covers each and every known bug thus far.

What PC update can be complete without a story on EverQuest? Apparently not this one. The producer of EverQuest, Brad McQuaid mentioned that Verant is working on yet another expansion pack for the hit online RPG. This new expansion doesn't raise the experience cap or include any new character classes and races. Instead what EverQuest devotees get is an entire new continent to traverse and new character graphics. The Scars of Velious transpire on a desolate, frigid contintent filled with ice giants, frost dragons, and probably other players camping at spawning points. EverQuest: The Scars of Velious should be released this December.

Summoner's Assistant Producer, Anoop Shekar, posted a few new tidbits on several aspects of the game yesterday at Volition's official board.

Shekar on combat: There will be no timebar in Summoner. Characters attack, defend, casts spells, etc. simultaneously. This means that after you cast a spell you will not have to wait and just watch that one spell being cast. Other characters and monsters will be doing their own things at the same time. When you have control of a character and you want to cast a spell the game will pause, allowing you to have a clear view of the battlefield and giving you ample time to choose what course of action you would like to take. After the decision is made the game automatically unpauses and the game continues in real-time.

When you are in dungeons there are no "random" encounters. All the monsters will exist in the level as you travel through it and it will be a seemless gaming experience. When you are traveling on the Worldmap you will get in to random encounters but they will basically be seperate levels in the game and once you are in a random encounter it will behave like any other area in the game, just on a smaller scale. Our random encounter areas are like no other game's.

One thing I forgot to mention about our combat system is our Chain Attack System for melee combat. When you are controlling a character who's involved in melee combat at the time which his/her weapon strikes an enemy you can hit one of the d-pad buttons on the controller and if your timing is right you can chain another attack to the last one. You can keep chaining attacks right after another and depending on which direction you choose it will have a different effect on the enemy. The more chains that you perform in a row the more difficult the next chain will be. This feature makes melee combat more exciting and tactical, thereby giving Summoner a greater depth. It's not necessary to use the chain system, but it's there for people to get more out of the battles.

Shekar on character development: Character development will be somewhat a combination of Japanese style RPG's and western style. All the 4 main characters have their own background and they are all important to the story. Each one has their own unique abilites. However, while playing through the game you can choose how to develop each of those abilites with skill points. Everytime a character gains a level he/she gets a number of skill points to distribute among their many weapon and spell based skills. For example, if you'd rather Joseph be more adept at wielding a sword rather than an axe then add more skill points to his sword skill.

There is a Worldmap in Summoner, which you use to go between major locations. It is similar in style to the maps in FFVII and FFVIII.

Look out for Summoner to hit several major platforms(including the PC) late this year.

Lastly the four basic character classes for Wizards & Warriors have been revealed. Warriors, wizards, rogues and priests. Ok ok, I know none of these aren't exactly what I would call original. What makes character classes unique in this game is that they aren't permenant. As the player takes his character through guilds and amasses skill points, the character can be altered to a new form retaining all the skills of his/her former profession while having the option of earning new abilities. This flexibility allows for some interesting combinations as you advance. Wizards & Warriors is slated for release this fall.

This concludes my long winded update. Now get back to what you really want to do. Looking at those Final Fantasy IX pics. I know you want to. :)

Let me also take this opportunity to say it's great to be working at RPGFan again.



Date Updated:
July 11th, 2000

Time Updated:
6:19 AM


Related Links:
  •   Icewind Dale Trouble Shooting FAQ