Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Warcraft Patch 1.24 and the future of DotA

Warcraft patch 1.24 has been released. Every previous version of DotA won't work on the latest patch that's why IceFrog is now preparing for the new version to work on the latest patch. This will be the start of the patch upgrades of all the DotA players as well as the LAN shop owners to the latest patch because the new version will definitely only work on 1.24. In addition to this, the map size limit upgrade from 4mb to 8mb is a huge help for IceFrog since newer heroes and additional gameplay requires additional space on the map.

We've seen a lot of changes recently in the game. Lots of remade skills for old heroes and new heroes were added at the same time. But still, the latest stable map is 6.59d. While many of us have welcomed the recent changes, a few others still play 6.59d. And since this is the latest stable map, this is also the map being used most of the time in official tournaments. With this, I hope that there will be more gameplays and skills added to increase the uniqueness of each hero.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jump to .NET

Starting on the next month, I'll be fully engaged in .NET projects. It has been four years of development in COBOL, QuickTest Professional and a little bit of C#. I'm looking forward to giving this blog a ramp up in terms of technical articles relating to .NET and other related stuff.

In the meantime, I'll try to write COBOL and CL tutorials in general as a tribute to my work there. It's been fun writing codes for procedural programming and as I move on to OOP, yet again, I'm bringing with me the respect, understanding and great knowledge I gained from legacy languages.
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Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to use Warcraft Version Switcher

Warcraft Version Switcher allows you to have multiple versions of Warcraft without having to install the game multiple times. Why is there a need to do so? Well, there are various reasons on why I think gamers use this but some of the reasons are as follows:

1. Playing in different Garena rooms. Currently in the Philippines, Warcraft patch 1.20, which is probably the oldest most used patch these days, is needed to be able to play in the pubs. So if you want to downgrade to 1.20, you need to use Warcraft Version Switcher.

2. Watching custom map replays. Tournament games are always played with the latest available patch of Warcraft and you won't be able to watch replays of these games if your patch version is older than theirs. Sometimes, when you had a good game in Garena, you also save your own games and watch the replays and chances are it has a different version than that of the tourney games.

3. Avoiding maphacks. With Warcraft patch 1.23 and the upcoming release of 1.24, the majority of the update is on the custom map maphacks. These versions allows the game to detect differences between originally made custom maps and those that are "purposely" modified to inject cheats in the game.

Installation Procedures:

1. Back to the installation, just download and extract Warcraft Version Switcher in any of your folders.

2. Search for zipped files of the Warcraft patches preferably 1.20 to 1.23. You need these zipped files instead of the downloadable executable files because it contains the following files:

Game.dll, Storm.dll, War3.exe and War3Patch.mpq

3. You don't need to extract these patches on your local drive. Just store them in the WVS folder of your Warcraft Version Switcher.

4. Lastly, open the wvs.exe. Click the Switch version and choose the patch you want to use by double-clicking it. Open the Reign of Chaos or Frozen Throne icon on the right part of WVS.

5. After the game launches, verify the patch version on the lower right side of the screen. This is the version of the Warcraft patch you have chosen. Have fun!
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NBA Video Game Ideas Part 1

As much as we all want to have all those detailed information in a video game, chances are only 20% or maybe 5% of the requests come to life. Here is what I have in mind:

1. Jump ball - Well, NBA 2K Sports has already incorporated this for many years now. How come NBA Live hasn't or probably rejected this idea? I know this rarely happens even in actual NBA games but hey it is still supposed to be included.

2. Technical and Flagrant Fouls - I think I've actually seen technical fouls called in the NBA Live series. I just forgot what year that was. Anyway, besides the defensive three and the excessive timeouts, I think these should be put on the game too and not just the players alone but also the staff specially the coaches. I know they're probably taking this feature away because of it may bring some negative aura to the game and more specifically the NBA but hey, like us, they're also humans who can't always control their temper. Maybe they can have a sort of "impatience" meter for each player and staff as well when things don't go their way or simply just got annoyed with the call. It can also affect the flow of the game in both ways - positively or negatively. Also, since player injuries can actually occur in the game, why not add flagrant fouls too. Also, they can also be rescinded or reduced after the game. Also, have the technical accumulations system in the NBA brought in the game as well. For example, a player has already been called 15 technical fouls in the season, he'll automatically get a one-game suspension.

3. Awkward shots, buzzer beaters and the 0.5-second difference - Have you ever watched actual NBA games wherein impossible shots still go in? Plus a foul? Three-point play or even four-point play? It's not that I'm trying to increase the possibilities of these shots happening frequently in a single game but at least it can still happen. Also, the buzzer beaters for both NBA Live and NBA 2K have been limited because they are not allowing the gamers to continue shooting the ball even after the buzzer sounded. Also, in the actual NBA game, there have countless times wherein less than a second is left in the clock and they are still calling plays. However, this isn't a possibility in the video games. Accuracy in stopping the time should have been better in video games instead of the actual game itself since it only computer generated.

4. Summer Leagues and Pre-season games - Off-season is all about developing skills, finding a potential and building chemistry. And gamers would love to have that experience in their game. The season and playoffs games are what the gamers are really looking forward to. But come offseason time, they look forward for more light and casual games like these playing with potential starters, role players and even discovering undrafted players.

5. Fatigue Factor - The fatigue meter has been in the game for a long time now. However, it is only in a per-game basis. How about accumulating fatigue for the entire season and playoffs? In this way, the video game will be able to replicate the actual NBA season wherein superstars play minimal minutes at the end of the season because the coaches try to get them fresh come playoffs time.

6. Customization galore - Let's face it. EA should be the one who has a lot of advantage in this area of the game. They have Maxis, the creators of the The Sims franchise. Is it too much to ask for a lot of customization for someone who has long been best at customization in simulation games? Maybe they should adopt some of the technologies used in other games they've developed themselves and be able to incorporate it into NBA Live. In Dynasty mode, after the first season, incoming rookies are called only by their numbers. Why not try to develop some sort of speech mechanism for their surnames to be called when the actual game is played? Also, creating an expansion team would be great. It has been present in the early years of the NBA Live series but they haev scraped off the idea eversince.

I think that's about it for now. I'd like to add a lot more. Hope some of these ideas will be considered by the developers.
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