Blizzard hit with privacy suit
Thank to Krank for letting me know about this story:
"An Albany, Calif., attorney has filed suit against Blizzard Entertainment and its parent company Cendant Corp. for extracting information from some users playing Starcraft over Battle.net. (...)Gamespot has the full story. I hope that this lawsuit will teach other companies not to steal private information. It will also give Blizzard a reason to release a new version of Starcraft. I still cannot understand why Blizzard did this (see below); how could they ignore all the privacy laws and think that all Windows users are too lazy or dumb to check the content of the packets sent away?
Driscoll, [the attorney,] representing a non-profit consumer watch-dog organization called Intervention, Inc., is not asking for money damages but wants Blizzard to accept returns from Starcraft buyers for a full refund and to supply a new version of Starcraft without the part of the program that can upload registry information."
If you want to help me updating this page and are still a War2 addict, send me a mail. The only pages that still have to be updated are the main and the downloads page. I also have quite a few new scenarios that could be added. I am afraid I do not have enough time to update this page regularly.
Starcraft steals private information
Blizzard's newest game, Starcraft, illegally retrieves your name and e-mail address from the registry and sends it to Blizzard if your CD key is wrong. Go to Slashdot.org (where I have found this) for more info and comments.
I had considered buying the game (I have not played it yet, nor seen it in action), but now, I will never buy any software from that company again. It is totally outrageous what Blizzard is doing, and I cannot understand nor tolerate such actions.
I write software myself, and I know how piracy hurts the industry - but illegal actions are not the right response.
Finally, the crappy NT server has been replaced with a Linux server. The drawback is that most links are still broken. I will do my best to fix them. If anyone wants to help me with that, please send me a mail.
Starcraft is out
Finally, the sequel to Warcraft 2 is out (at least in the USA) - Blizzard's Starcraft has hit the shelves yesterday. I am not sure whether I will buy it, after all, it does not have any groundbreaking new features, but the graphics are excellent for sure.
OGR's all time classics
OGR has a special about 50 all time classic games at their site. What is surprising is that Total Annihilation (rank 31) beat Age of Empires (not in list). There are lots of cool classics in the list, and there is also a list of top games before the PC got popular (e. g. Elite, the best space combat/trading game ever). Thanks to Yehat for the link.
The best RTS game was Warcraft 2, "more addicting fun than any title has a right to have." The number one is, guess what, Doom, the most popular game of this century: "The editors could think of few experiences as laden with adrenaline as their first deathmatches (Glenn actually brought up a couple, but they're not fit for print)." :)
It also becomes obvious that the game industry has restricted itself to some established genres, and only few people (Peter Molyneux, Richard Garriot, Sid Meier) are willing to try something completely new :(
Kali 1.43 out
"The latest software is Kali95 Version 1.43. This version introduces built-in TCP/IP support so you can see the running servers for popular games like Quake 2, QuakeWorld, and Jedi Knight."Get Kali from this server or have a look at the list of all kali mirrors. Many people keep asking me what the best way to play multiplayer games over the Internet is, and the answer is clear: Kali. If you are too cheap for a life-time $20 fee, there still is ICQ. I would not consider the Internet Gaming Zone a good option; it is very slow, a pain to install, and it's from Microsoft.
New 2D/3D graphics adapter
2d+3d graphics with tv outputThe card cost only $149 - which is not much for a card with 8 MB and a TV adapter, but the price also shows that the new Voodoo 2 chip is going to dominate the market eventually.
3dfx voodoo rush 8mb
These cards are new oem packed with drivers and manual; see the following site
New Warcraft 2 Server!
"Are you tired of Kali STL#1 going down? Warcraft KPUD as well? Well, Kali is hoping to solve this problem once and for all.Our new Warcraft2 server is now online and running. We will do everything in our power to make sure this server is running at all times.This new server replaces the 4 previous servers (War2Humans, Orcs, Clans, and Azeroth). Those servers were just never used.The new server has a 400 user limit and is reserved just for Warcraft2 players.
Comments? Suggestions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Translation of my strategy guide
Intini Giovanni has started a translation of my strategy guide at his War2 page. It will be a great help for people who speak Italian better than English.
This page has had more than 10,000 hits. Thank you!
I have finally updated the link to Cyberkarkas' page. He is the creator of the best War2 gifs out there :)
Dune 2 remake
Dune 2, the first popular real time strategy game (altough Herzog Zwei was the first RTS game ever, made 1992), will have a comeback as Dune 2000. 5 years after the release of this classic, RTS games have been refined and fine-tuned, but the concept is still the same. According to the preview at PCGamer, the new version will offer multiplayer support and a few new features. I am interested to see Westwood's new RTS title (to be released this spring).
This page has found a new home!
This page has won Goto's award!
I have won the Editor's choice award from Goto, a search engine that does not only list all pages. The editor also picks out the best ones, so that page may be a good starting point when looking for quality sites. Of course I am proud to be the only non-official Warcraft 2 page there :)
Due to a crappy router between here and Zurich, the European server "Mordor" (www.mordor.ch) has been unavailable for nearly 24 hours, and so was the mirror page and counter. Please resend any emails from January 12.
Unfortunately Netlink, my ISP, was also affected, so I could not receive or send mails anymore. I still cannot send email so please be partient when waiting for a response.
New version of Warmaker (2.0):
New version of PudMaster for Mac
The tools page has now again the latest version of PUDMaster for Mac (400 K).
Happy new year!
Another year has passed, and Warcraft2 has been the ruling RTS game then. This year, Starcraft is probably going to take its place (or Age of Empires). Thus I am planning to finalize this page, i. e. I will no longer add new PUDs (if someone is interested in helping me out with the PUDs section, I will update it for a last time), but I will keep posting news.
Starcraft beta test sign-up extended
Due to a hardware failure, you could not load the sign-up form after some time. To give everybody a fair chance, Blizzard has decided to add a new sign-up period that will start this Sunday, December 12, 00:00 PST. The form will be up for 24 hours, so there is no need to hurry. People who have already signed up do not have to do it again.
Starcraft beta test sign-up today
Do not miss it; it will be open for 6 hours, starting at 6 pm (PST), December 19. Go to Blizzard's page and be prepared for high lag, because the server will be hopelessly overloaded.
A new War2 page has opened its gates, Orcish HQ. It has the most complete download list I have seen so far.
Starcraft beta test announced
Yes, there will be a public beta test for Starcraft! The sign-up will start at 6:00 pm PST on Friday, December 19th, and only be up for 6 hours! Of all the entries, 1,000 lucky people will be chosen to get the game. You can read about all beta test conditions and more at Blizzard's page.
IRex from Gamestats has a good statement about that:
After clicking your heart out for 6 hours and getting in at the last minute you will not be chosen. Do yourself a favour and ask if this is really that important? Are you really going to beta-test or do you just want to play the game before everyone else?
We read our e-mail, we watch the forums and newsgroups, and we know that you want this game to come out NOW. We
also want to get the game into your hands as soon as possible, but we want to make sure that Starcraft is everything you
expect from Blizzard. Starcraft is a project that has been two years in the making. It would be an injustice to you and the
development team to ship the game before it is truly ready.
Starcraft will definitely and officially not be released this year:
As many of you know, we have been working day and night to get Starcraft into your hands by this Christmas. (...) Unfortunately, it has become clear to us that in order to bring you the best game possible, we are not going to be able to release the game before the end of January. (...)
We read our e-mail, we watch the forums and newsgroups, and we know that you want this game to come out NOW. We also want to get the game into your hands as soon as possible, but we want to make sure that Starcraft is everything you expect from Blizzard. Starcraft is a project that has been two years in the making. It would be an injustice to you and the development team to ship the game before it is truly ready.
New random map editor
"WarMaker is a random map generation utility for creating Warcraft 2 maps (puds). It easily generates maps with random terrain in about 2 seconds on a Pentium computer. The various terrain aspects of the map are quickly adjusted with slider controls. You can save and load your adjustments and settings too. WarMaker will also save you time when creating your own custom maps. By using a WarMaker generated map as a starter map, you can edit it with the Warcraft 2 Map Editor and put in your own personal touches or modify the terrain to your liking in less time than it would take you to create a map from scratch."
Win 300 games!
This sounds unbelievable, but a formerly addicted gamer has decided to get rid of all his games and started a contest where you can win 300 games. The games will all go to one lucky person so check it out! The best games of this year and earlier times are all part of these 300:
Jedi Knight, Total Annihilation, Age Of Empires, Riven, Comanche 3, Myth, Dungeon Keeper, Hexen 2, Triple Play 98, Warcraft 2 and many other well known titles!
Thanks to Smog for the hint.
Gamecenter's picks of the year
Gamecenter has assembled a list of the best (and also worst) games of the year. This year's best games were:
Age of Empires, Diablo, Dungeon Keeper, GoldenEye, Interstate '76, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, The Last Express, Lose Your Marbles and X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter.
Thanks to Omer for the hint.
Blizzard's current release schedule
This information was taken from PCGames (Europe). The dates make sense:
Diablo Hellfire December 1997 Starcraft 1st quarter 1998 Warcraft Adventure 2nd quarter 1998 Diablo 2 4th quarter 1998
Computec chooses the game of the year 1997
Computec, publisher of PCGames, Europe's largest game mag, has chosen Dungeon Keeper to be the game of the year '97 (in fact September 96 to August 97). Because Age of Empires was released after August 97, it was too late for its election - but it has a good chance to become the game of the year 1998 (note that the selection is over all genres).
First, there was the game tournament, and then, I have been struggling with a flu rather than Ogres and Mages :(
That's why there have been no updates lately. The page will now be again updated daily as usual.
Shlonglor's page is gone
Shlonglor's page, one of the most popular ones, has been removed from the server. No one knows yet why. His page have always been packed with updates, and he will leave a gap behind him :(
News from Area S: Adam from Blizzard Entertainment has said that the beta would be announced "any day now". So stay tuned!
Death Knight's domain has shut down and I have removed the link :(
"What was better when it first came out? Age of Empires or War 2?"
You can answer this question at Smog's poll.
Combat equation section reviewed
I have fixed a few typos in my combat equation section. It gives you an insight on how battles are managed in Warcraft 2. If you haven't read it yet, check it out!
AoE in the stores today!
In the USA, you can now buy your favorite RTS game. Age of Empires should soon be available in Canada and Europe, too. So what are you waiting for ;)
I think most people who loved Warcraft 2 will love Age of Empires as well.
Kali 1.2 is out
A new version of Kali has come out, version 1.2! It supports AoE. You can get it at the Kali ftp server. People outside the USA should look at my listing of Kali mirror pages.
Warcraft 3 is coming
News from www.games.no: Bill Roper, software designer at Blizzard, has confirmed that the production of War3 has started (and no, I don't speak Norwegian). Thanks to SuperClaus for the info.
Shlonglor has written an article about the future of Kali and its unique situation in the market.
There is now a finished Total Conversion available. It's called Funcraft: Deride & Plunder and you can get it at Camelot. It introduces four new heroes that are well known from "Monthy Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail."
I have written a preview of Netstorm, you can read it at Gameoutpost.
Blizzard has updated their Starcraft page. Check it out!
Age of Empires demo out!
Download it at Download.com! (23.6 MB)
Don't forget to check www.microsoft.com, www.gamecenter.com, or www.shareware.com if the connection is slow.
For more info about the game, go to my Age of Empires page.
My page has been selected for the Peon Slayer's Warcraft2 Site Award!
PUD Master for Macintosh has been updated.
Spiridon's War2 page no longer exists, but he is planning to make a new War2 page some time. I have removed the link and put up a link to Peon Slayer's War2 page. Check it out!
News from OGR: Funny Dark Reign bug:
The difficulty levels are mixed up. "Hard" is actually easy while "easy" is medium and "medium" is hard. That's why you guys who have the game already did always win in the hard difficulty setting :-)
A patch to fix this will be released soon.
From RTS world: AOLers Get WarCraft II
AOL's Worldplay has just launched a Win95 version of WarCraft II for play on it's service. Apparently you don't need the game to play. So if you're on AOL and want more information, the keyword is Warcraft.
You can get the demo of 7th legion, a game that has a setting similar to the one of AoE, at ogr.com.
This page is the only page with the Mac version of Weapons of Our Warfare, Cameron's famous Warcraft II campaign. It's 3.5 MB, you can download it via http or ftp.
I have added some new strategies submitted by Pin Head to my strategy guide. They are under a new section ("readers' strategies").
Killkrazy has written an absolutely outstanding Warcraft 2 novel, check it out at his page!
Renhöek's download page has moved to Cykadelik's War2 page. I have removed the broken link.
News from Area S: 7th legion is said not to have a demo version! This sucks; I will stick to AoE if I cannot test the game.
The Myth beta test subscription has started now! Unfortunately, only U. S. residents are allowed due to time constraints :-(
Sorry for not updating the page in the last two days, but I was pretty busy then.
Quency has composed a War2 rap. Get it on my tools page.
I have added new pictures from Cyberkarkas to my War2 picture gallery, and I had to see that he wants to take his page down! To sign a petition that will make his keep his page, go to Dioxide's War2 page.
PUD Master for Macintosh has been updated.
Starcraft news from Gamestats:
One-thousand players will be chosen at random to beta test Blizzard's upcoming and much hyped real-time strategy game.
Blizzard will be announcing the beta test on their website over the next few weeks and then taking 1000 lucky gamers down the beta test highway. The beta test will be of multiplayer StarCraft only. Good luck!
Dark Reign is now available in the U. S. and Canada. If you liked RA, you'll like DR; otherwise, wait until the reviews are out :-)
According to Area S, the new RTS game Conquest Earth blows. People are "pissed that this game was released in its present state." Go to Area S to read more about it.
Warcraft server is up again. Ah! Finally piece and quiet again on the KPUD server and two Warcraft Central servers up for all who want to play a game with just anybody. Don't forget to update your server list on Kali.
Newbies have taken over -]Warcraft KPUD. Because the server -> Warcraft <- has been shut down some days ago, all newbies have now moved over to the next server on the list, the KPUD server. Yesterday it was even full (400 people), so no one could get in anymore :-(
I hope that the -> Warcraft <- server will be up again soon.
Greek fonts rule again in Kali. Normally, symbol fonts are not allowed in KChat, but there is one that is not on the "banned fonts" list yet. It is a fairly common font, I think it comes with all installations of MS Encarta, MS Encarta demo and some (if not all) Win95 releases. This means that cryptic fonts rule again ;-)
To turn these fonts off, disable File/Settings/Chat/Allow user font settings, and you will see that no one speaks Greek in KChat :-)
To confuse some newbies, download the font here. I hope that this bug won't be fixed too soon ;-)
I have reviewed the bug and the foundry hop section of my strategy guide and removed a few bugs ... uhm, typos :-)
Thrakerzog has made a new tilset. It changes the swamp tile set so if you have the expansion, you can use the new tileset! Otherwise, you had better get that expansion ;-)
Renhöek's download page has moved. I have updated the link. If you need a program that cannot be found on this page (e. g. War2 Alpha), go to his download page!
War2 expansion set for $15. If you don't have it yet, get it! There are cool new heroes, a new tileset and some pretty hard single player levels. Not to mention the funny new song (track 18) :-)
Since some of the PUDs on this page only work with the expansion set, it's really worth the $15! You can get the expansion at 4CDs. If there is a place where you can get it for less than $15, tell me!
A demo of Age of Empires is going to be issued soon. The exact release date of the demo is not known yet.
I have added a link to a very funny War2 page. The link to Brett's War2 page has been taken out because it has not been accessable for several weeks now. If it works again, I will gladly reinstate the link.
I have reviewed the birds section of my strategy guide and added a new air strategy submitted by Skyren.
Kusgam has made a new gif, "Peon in Black".
PUD Master for Macintosh has been updated.
Kali 1.1w is out. It had been announced at September 3 but the file was not on the server then.
**** What's New in Version 1.1W **** -Added support for: Hexen II, Chasm, Total Annihilation, Carmegeddon, SuperKarts, New MotoRacer demo -Macro keys no longer replace input text. -Now if you send a private message to someone who is away, you get a private message in response saying they are away (it no longer is a posture response).
The KPUDs are going into the final phase of testing. The final set will consist of the very best War2 PUDs ever made. To vote for these, go to that page!
You can already order Activision's Dark Reign even though it's not finished yet. What well you get? A Dark Reign Calendar: "This handy calendar features the sultry Miss Togra atop her favorite piece of 27th century hardware." Whow what a truely innovative PR gag. Just imagine Tomb Raider 2 with a full size poster of Lara Croft :-) Don't tell me I am talking BS here because she ain't real, the guys at Core design have hired an actress who impersonates Lara at presentations. That's what attracts the (90% male) audience ...
Don't think such cheap PR tricks are limited to games. Two years back at the Telecom '95 (world's biggest business presentation of communication technology in 1995), there was a presentation of the latest VR technology. A girl with nothing but a skin-tight bodysuit and some sensors controlled a cyberspace animation. No one watched the screen, all guys were gazing at her ;-)
A funny gif made by Cykadelik has been added to the image gallery.
I've added a page about lag and what to do about it to the strategy guide.
Added Cyberkarkas' newest gifs to my image gallery. His pictures are truly brillant, you must see them!
Reptiles Tilesets: Due to technical problems, my page seems to be the only one that has non-corrupted version of the tilesets available :-)
You can get the tilesets on my tools page.
The second Webring was no longer working, I took out the logo and the html code. As a consequence of this, the page loads a bit faster now :-)
Sierra is going to release a Diablo expansion pack. Details are still unknown. However, it is sure that the expansion is neither going to be called "You only live twice" nor "Give Diablo a chance" ;-)
Skyren has made a cool button for my page! Use it for links to this page. Thank you, Skyren!
My Age of Empires news will be on my Age of Empires page from now on.
I have won Dark Son's Graphical Award!
Added links and a counter to my Age of Empires page. I'll add the hits from yesterday to the counter as soon as the statistics from the server are updated.
I have reorganized the links at the bottom of the AoE pages so these pages are now independant from this one.
Danath's campaign project needs help! Go to his page to see what you can do for that promising project.
Interview with Rick Goodman about Age of Empires. He answered my questions about the game and stated his view of strategy games. Read it here.
The echo from Ensemble studios surpassed my wildest expectations. Now even Bruce Shelley, lead designer of Age of Empires, has answered my questions about Age of Empires! Read it!
Due to the comprehensive information I have got about Age of Empires, I made a new page for it with links to all pages related to Age of Empires.
Telcontar's Warcraft II domain now has its own
After some testing yesterday, I had screwed it up :-)
Now it works well. Post news about Warcraft or other strategy games and join the discussions there!
I have added the system requirements to my Age of Empires page.
I have corrected a few mistakes in the spells pages from the strategy section. Only five sections must still be reviewed now!
I have joined the Kali button program and put their button on my links and on my tools page. You can put that button on your page if you link to the proper address and follow some other guidelines (e. g. not putting Kali into a bad context). Some of the guidelines seem to be satire since it's free advertisement after all.
I have added preview pictures of all tilesets on my tools page. If you haven't got them, check it out!
Chris Vuong has pointed out that you get some resources back for the oil platform when the oil patch is empty. This might be useful to know in some situations.
I've joined the Agile Web builder program; by putting their button on my main page, I'll get free updates :-) For more info, click at the Agile button at the bottom of this page.
As promised, I have made a page with info about Age of Empires from Ensemble studios.
My news section has grown a lot, so I have reorganized it. Game previews are now separated from other news.
The page about the origin of real time strategy games has been updated; I am still looking for more submissions, though.
Brand new info about Age of Empires!
I managed to get an interview with Dave Pottinger and Mr. Grinch, two programmers of Age of Empires, at Heavenweb.
I will put up a page with more info about that game tomorrow.
I am still looking for the origin of real time strategy games; Detonator had told me about Herzog Zwei. This seems to be a sequel of an older game, does anyone know more about that?
I had accidentally deleted the links for no frames. Well, here it is again, this time on the very top. Frame haters will have their links at the bottom of each subpage. I have also moved the counter to the bottom of the page so Netscape users will not have to wait until it is loaded to see the rest of the page.
I need a good banner and a button for link exchanges; are you a talented artist? If so, click here.
I am looking for the roots of strategy games: how did this genre start? How did it become so successful? What were the early games like? I need your help to increase my list with old games!
I have changed the layout of this section. Do you like it?
I have joined the Anti Cheaters Alliance Webring. The icon is at the bottom of this page. The goal of the Webring is to prevent cheating in online games. Cheating/hacking has ruined Diablo and would have ruined Warcraft if Blizzard had not made a patch. To enjoy a game, you must be sure that no one is cheating you (with programs like War2hack), and it should be the goal of all on line gamers to annihilate cheating. However, there are always people who think cheating is fun (sigh).
Kali 1.1v is out. You can download it at the kali ftp site.
-Fixed problem of getting Ping not low enough message when trying to join a game for the second time and having acceptable ping.
-Fixed problem with Kali not returning after launching a game, if you were on a server before launching.
-Fixed problem with not coloring nicknames.
I have written an article about the future of real time strategy games, Quo vadis, real time strategy?
My page has been chosen as Ultimate Warcraft site of the week!
PUD Master for Macintosh has been updated.
Cameron's page has moved (well, not really, he has renamed his main page). I've updated the link.
My page has been chosen as Thy World of Warcraft site of the week!
It looks like Kali 1.1u has a bug with the chat font colors. Go to the Kali page to find out whether you really need 1.1u. I stick to 1.1t and wait for 1.1v where the bug will probably be fixed. Shlonglor's page has more info about the bug.
For frames freaks :-) Frames/No frames
The PUD Universe has been updated.
I've added a cool gif made by Drammel to the picture gallery.
I've added a small new page to the strategy guide: the definition of the word "strategy", in a contrast to "tactics". It is mainly an excerpt from a mail that I have written to Skyren, and Mutant's War2 page has inspired me to put it up.
Pudland is online again (since yesterday).
Kali 1.1u is out. The new version has not been officially announced yet, but you can download it at the kali ftp site.
I have made a new PUD, get it on my PUD page.
I have reviewed the first three parts of my strategy guide. If there are still some mistakes in the first three parts, please inform me. I hope I can finish the last two parts as soon as possible.
I have also added a short section about the differences between guard and cannon towers; it should be nothing new for experienced players but may be helpful for beginners.
I have added a new jungle tileset made by Hellmage.
I have won four awards!
War2Unit has been updated.
Subscribing for beta testing for Microsoft's Age of Empires is finished. Their strategy was pretty cheap anyway. The forms had been up long ago, only the links have not been revealed then. Today, they have been put up at a "random time". Now some people had found some of the minor pages (10 betas for 10 game magazines had been given out plus 50 from the MS AoE main page) and got the beta before other users had a chance, and some game mags have hidden their links very well. Of course they intended to maximize their hits and to get new readers. But Microsoft will most likely get worse beta testers because the subscription was not quite fair - they've hurt themselves with that strategy. (Blizzard, for instance, had given out 1000 betas for Warcraft and picked a set time.)
PUD Master for Macintosh has been updated.
I've corrected some typos etc. in my strategy guide.
The last major chapter for the strategy page, expansion strategies, has been written. I will now check some of the older pages again and correct mistakes there. Of course I am always looking for reader's strategies!
A new link has been added.
I've added a new volcano tileset made by Chris Fuller to the tools page.
It was indeed OgreL0rd@aol.com who initiated this pointless email bombing against Pudland - go to his guestbook to find out why. (I could not figure out yet - it's a pity that such guys even get any attention for such foolish actions.)
Microsoft's Age of Empires goes into beta testing: the first 50 people who will sign up next Monday will get a free beta version. Age of Empires is one of the most promising real time strategy games for this year. Will it become Microsoft's first exciting game?
I've tweaked the design of some pages that did not look good on some resolutions while the server was down.
Pudland is temporarily down due to mail spamming from the OgreLord clan - I hope they will put up the page again soon.
Two animated gifs made by Loser14411 have been added to the picture page.
I've won a new award!
A new link has been added.
I've won a new award!
A new version of PUD Master for Macintosh has been released.
Dennis has written a nice little game where you can polymorph dragons. All those people who have problems with their mouse aiming skills should play it ;-) You can get it on my tools page.
A new cool animated gif made by Joe has been added to the picture page.
Kali 1.1t is out.
I've added two new tile sets to the tools page, jungle and glacier, made by Cameron.
I've added a new link to the links page.
A new cool animated gif, Monty Peon by Firebrand, has been added to the picture page.
Blizzard has released the War2 Macintosh patches. Macintosh users should install it to prevent cheating.
Another page for the strategy guide: attack strategies. It starts with sneak attacks and ends with the big battle against the whole town.
I've written a short review of Dark Colony, another real time strategy game that has been released in these days.
I've added a new wall-in to the towers section of the strategy guide.