Action RPG

Dark Souls director ponders easy mode, wants survival to be "satisfying rather than difficult,"

Tom Senior at

Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki has been weighing up the pros and cons of an easy mode for From Software's rock solid RPG, Dark Souls. Dark Souls aficionados love that difficulty, they CRAVE it. Wouldn't an easy mode undermine the sanguine joy of overcoming a seemingly impossible challenge?

“I personally want my games to be described as satisfying rather than difficult," Miyazaki told Metro "As a matter of fact, I am aiming at giving players sense of accomplishment in the use of difficulty. Having said that, however, it is true that Dark Souls is rather difficult and a number of people may hesitate to play.”


Torchlight 2 release date announced, it's out in three weeks

Tom Senior at

"The official Release Date for Torchlight II is Thursday, September 20th, 2012" writes studio head Travis Baldree on the Runic forums, kindling a flame of hope in the souls of disgruntled Diablo 3 players.

"Will it let me hit monsters ... offline?" they ask, cautiously. Why yes it will. "Will there be mods?" Yup, seems likely. "Will item drops be meaningful, giving me powerful new toys to play with regularly?" Well, I can only hope, but the videos Tom took when he spent some time with Torchlight 2 looked very promising. Each class has access to some delightfully destructive abilities, and that signature sense of impact from Torchlight 1 has translated into the sequel's big, outdoor zones nicely as you can see for yourself in our Torchlight 2 class guide videos below.


Diablo 3 1.04 update to make Legendary items Legendarier with extra abilities

T.J. Hafer at

Diablo 3's 1.04 patch is just on the blood-drenched horizon, and it's bringing a host of player feedback-driven changes. Among the most notable of these is a massive overhaul to the stats and graphics of Legendary items. "Soon after we released Diablo III, many of you commented on Legendary items," Blizzard's Andrew Chambers said in a blog post today. "Most of those comments were fairly harsh, but they were also dead-on accurate."


Diablo 3 Starter Edition now available, play for free up to level 13

Rob Edwards at

Those yet to dip their toes in Diablo 3's lava pools can now try the game for free via the Diablo 3 Starter Edition. The demo is available now exclusively through Available exclusively through Battle.net and you can grab details on how to download it on the Diablo 3 blog. You'll be able to fight as far as level 13, which should take you up to the first proper boss, the Skeleton King.


Diablo 3 patch 1.0.4 to make Diablo 3 easier, reduce repair costs, improve items

Tom Senior at

Blizzard have been sketching out their plans for the important 1.0.4 patch for Diablo 3 over on Battle.Net. The update aims to rebalance the difficulty of the action RPG's toughest sections and give players more reason to team up. Easier mobs, tweaked monster abilities, more loot, better legendary items and reduced repair costs will arrive alongside a host of class ability changes that may have us all rethinking our favourite builds.


Diablo 3 invulnerable wizard exploit hotfix arrives

Tom Senior at

Blizzard have hotfixed Diablo 3 to squash the invincible Wizard exploit that went public yesterday. "We will continue to carefully monitor this issue and welcome anyone with information about bugs or hacks to submit a detailed report to our Hacks Team by emailing hacks@blizzard.com, or by completing the Hacks Report web form," reads a Blizzard forum post on the issue.


Diablo 3 exploit makes Wizards immortal

Tom Senior at

Diablo 3 players have discovered an exploit that apparently renders Wizards invulnerable forever. Kotaku spotted a note on the Blizzard forums describes how triggering two skills in quick succession can put the wizard into god mode. The exploit was posted publicly ten hours ago, in which time a number of live streams have popped up showing naked Hardcore Wizards rolling through Hell and Inferno, farming all sorts of goodies without difficulty.

There haven't been any blue posts from Blizzard employees, but expect this to get hotfixed pretty fast. We'll have to wait and see if Blizzard roll back the profits of those caught farming.


Diablo 3 always-online requirement "critical" to D3's "long-term integrity" says Blizzard boss

Tom Senior at

Blizzard co-founder and president Mike Morhaime has posted a lengthy statement on Diablo 3 on the Battle.net forums to explain some of the reasoning behind Diablo 3's always-online requirement and the real money auction house

Morhaime seems keen to tackle "the perception that the online requirement is nothing but an ineffective form of copy protection that has already been cracked." He mentions that Blizzard haven't yet encountered any functioning cracks, but suggests that security isn't the main purpose of the online-only requirement.

"I fully understand the desire to play Diablo III offline; however, Diablo III was designed from the beginning to be an online game that can be enjoyed with friends, and the always-online requirement is the best way for us to support that design," he says.


Diablo 3 real money auction house gets gold trading, game guide explains magic find

Tom Senior at

The Diablo 3 real money auction house has been updated to let people buy and sell in-game gold for real money. Gold can be shifted in packets of 100,000 for as little as 27p / 41c. Gems, dyes, crafting materials, blacksmithing plans, jeweler designs and pages of training are also available. The Diablo 3 game guide has also been updated with a list of the many 'orrible monster special abilities that can be randomly assigned to any hero group. There's also a very useful article on the maths behind magic find, interesting reading for high level item hunters. Also, if you've been wondering what the advantages are to dual wielding vs. a two handed weapon, Blizzard have explained that as well.


Bioware announce free to play Ultima Forever, beta sign-ups live

Tom Senior at

Ultima Forever is a new free to play, cross platform action RPG from Bioware based, at least tangentially, on the classic Ultima RPG seies. You'll be able to take control of the fighter or the mage and charge off on a quest to save the land of Brittania for Lady British. You can sign up for the beta now using your EA Origin account on the beta signup page. There aren't any screenshots about so all we have to go on at the moment is a bit of concept art, which doesn't exactly capture the spirit of Ultima. Scantily clad women in antlers, anyone?

Diablo 3 digital edition restrictions relaxed

Chris Thursten at

Opting for the digital edition of Diablo 3 will no longer place a temporary cap on your progress through the game, Blizzard has announced. Players buying the game on Battle.net post patch 1.0.3 were finding their characters locked at level 13 and limited to Act I until their credit cards were verified, a process taking up to 72 hours. With 1.0.3a, this has been fixed - but there are plenty of restrictions still in place for new buyers.


Diablo 3 72 hour level cap is a bug, fix incoming, other restrictions still apply

Tom Senior at

Blizzard have sent a statement to Kotaku following up on yesterday's news that those buying the Diablo 3 digital edition find themselves limited to a starter edition of the game for up to 72 hours. The level cap is described as an "unintended consequence" of security measures added to tackle credit card fraud and "reduce gold spam and other harmful activities that can have a negative impact on the game experience."

An incoming patch is set to lift the levelling limits for new players, but it will leave all other starter edition restrictions in place. That means you won't be able to post in public chat, drop items for other players, visit the auction house or join public games (you can still jump into games with those on your friends list). The Blizzard statement notes that "these are temporary (often lifted within a day and at most 72 hours) associated with digital purchases for the protection of players."


Diablo 3 real money auction house "expected" to go live in Europe this Friday

Tom Senior at

Get your Euros, Pounds and Rubles ready, folks. Diablo 3's real money auction house will finally go live this Friday according to an in-game notification spotted by Eurogamer. The US real money auction house launched last night with minimum bids set at $1.25 and a maximum set at $250. Blizzard take $1 for every sale and a 15% cut when you cash out auction house earnings, expect similar rules for the European auction house.


Diablo 3 hotfix removes monster damage boost in co-op, Inferno teams breathe sigh of relief

Tom Senior at

Blizzard hotfixed in a significant change to Diablo 3 multiplayer over the weekend. Previously monster health and damage would stack depending on the number of players in the game, now Blizzard have completely removed that damage buff. Monsters will still have more health, but they won't be any stronger. That applies to co-op games across all difficulty tiers, and is excellent news for groups getting wiped in seconds by top tier hero mobs on Hell and Inferno.

The hotfix was announced on the Diablo 3 blog along with a few other minor fixes, including news that smashed vases and ash pots will now drop slightly less gold, HOW COULD YOU DO THIS BLIZZARD?


Diablo 3 patch 1.0.2.b smooths out auction house transactions, fixes Barbarian crashes

Tom Senior at

The game changed when I dipped into Diablo 3's auction house for the first time recently. I was staunchly determined to make it through to Inferno on my own loot finds alone, but the challenge was proving too high in the latter stages of Hell. I needed a one handed weapon with massive DPS and perhaps a little bit of bonus life steal. The chances of a decent rare item with those stats dropping seemed near to nil, and I was being regularly mauled by the deadly hero mobs that start popping up in Hell. I caved.


Blizzard offices raided over Diablo 3 refund policy after Error 37 strikes Korean gamers

Tom Hatfield at

It seems like the start of a joke, "Did you hear about the company whose DRM was so bad it's illegal?" There's a sour punchline for Blizzard. Tim sends word of a report in the Korea Times stating that Blizzard's Korean offices have been raided by the country's Fair Trade Commission. By "raided" we don't mean they formed a geared up 24 man team of healers tanks and DPS specialists to battle security. Instead some Very Serious Men turned up and seized a bunch of documents looking to secure evidence against the company.


Diablo 3 patches incoming: "we’re planning to just straight-out buff Legendary items"

Tom Senior at

An illuminating blog post on Battle.net outlines a number of significant changes that will be made to Diablo 3 in the coming weeks. An imminent client patch is set to fix a number of "service issues," but future patches will make changes to class balance, gems, the blacksmith and legendary items. Here's a list of the solid changes that Blizzard say we can expect from future updates, and a summary of their thoughts on class balance and Inferno difficulty.


Diablo 3 build videos: PC Gamer's Demon Hunter and Barbarian

Tom Senior at

Thanks to the rune system, each Diablo 3 class has access to an impressive array of different builds. Some are great at clearing mobs, some can be custom designed to blast Diablo 3's bosses straight back to hell, others are less effective, but more fun to use. We're making some videos of a few of our favourite builds and strategies in Diablo 3. Today we're showcasing Chris Thursten's arcane archer Demon Hunter, and my speed freak Barbarian.


Diablo 3 sells 6.3 million, 3.5 million in first day

Tom Senior at

In spite of all the launch controversy, Diablo 3 has done astonishingly well. Blizzard announce that they've shifted 6.3 million copies, 3 and a half million of which were sold in the first day. The launch broke Amazon records for pre-orders and day one sales, and became Gamestop's biggest PC game launch of all time. That number doesn't include the entire Korean market, where apparently Diablo 3 has become the most played game in Korean Internet game rooms.

No wonder Blizzard's servers took a beating when the game went live last week. Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime reiterated that the team "regret that our preparations were not enough to ensure everyone had a seamless experience" when logging on.


Diablo 3 update nerfs Monk, Wizard, Demon Hunter

Tom Senior at

Blizzard are in the process of making their first round of hotfixes for Diablo 3. Monks who rely on the Mantra of Healing with a Boon of Protection rune, prepare to be sad. A post spotted by Videogamer on the Diablo 3 forums from community manager Bashiok says that the skill has been severely nerfed. "We recommend discontinuing its use until the rune is replaced with a new rune and mechanic in a future patch."

"The Boon of Protection rune was approximately ten times over its budget on the benefits it provided, and it was quite simply a mistake on our part to let the rune ship as it was," he added. "We don't intend to take these quick and drastic measures often, but considering the severity of the issue, we felt it important to correct it swiftly."