Stuff Bubbling in the Cauldron…

A mish mash of info about what I'm working on for the site and what's going on (that I know about) in the BioWare player stratosphere currently, while we play catch up.

Dragon Age 2 Talent Builder Updates

I am in the process of finishing up the Rogue class, Rogue companion, and Tallis companion data page updates and additions. Since it has been a while since the last talent builder update, I decided to sit down and go over every Rogue ability tooltip in the game and compare them to those in the talent builder instead of just relying on patch notes. Fixed a bunch of typos while I was at it.

I still have to collect new data to get accurate linear equations for Bursting Arrow (which was misnamed in the 1.03 patch notes as "Burst Shot"), and Tallis's abilities Drop Dead and Dagger. For the curious, abilities with specific damage numbers tied to your character's Damage value, as displayed in your character attributes screen, scale linearly. I collect around 20-30 data points (character damage, ability damage) for each ability and then crunch the numbers with a linear regression calculator. The talent builder uses slopes and intercepts with 4-5 decimal places of accuracy to get correspondingly accurate ability damage values to display in the talent builder. Any less and the resulting ability damage values tend to be off by a point or few.

Then repeat the entire process for the other two classes. At least those don't have any new companions to document.

Giveaways

We've got swag from our personal haul from NYCC '11 to give away, namely a few XBox Normandy Avatar Prop codes and maybe an omni blade or two later on! We had to stand in line for over two hours directly under the air conditioning vent for these codes, so I hope you put them to good use. At least we got the chance to play the demo first-hand (impressions/summary post inc). Hammering out the entry and reward process details with Danny, but rest assured, it'll be easy and non-invasive, as usual.

That Tallis Costume...

Yes, I won that Tallis Costume thingy at NYCC...by default. It is apparently rather difficult to create a complex costume from scratch in less than 10 days, so the odds were in my favor. I actually wasn't even wearing all of the costume pieces I had brought to the convention that day, including the red wig/ears, which I had already packed away, when Jessica Merizen picked me out of the crowd. It was the end of the day at NYCC, and I had just been lurking around the Dragon Age/Mass Effect community trivia contest crowd, kinda bummed that we missed the Dragon Age panel because the line was insanely long, and the number of people who wanted to attend it far exceeded the space available in the panel room.

Anyways, I'll write a post about the full costume details and point out some construction decisions made (not all good, not all bad, a few simplifications to fit the skillset, tools and materials available to me) later on. I haven't worn a costume since I was a preteen, so this cosplay thing - constructing and then wearing it - is quite new to me. Especially with those time constraints, it was a rather stressful entry experience.

NYCC '11 footage and pix

We recorded on video most of the Mass Effect panel on Saturday, Oct 15. Sadly we had a brain fart and didn't record a Mass Effect 3 demo Engineer playthrough, took a lot of pictures of powers and upgrades though. Both are stuck on devices for which I need new cables to transfer onto my computer. They're in the mail and should be arriving in a couple of days.

I'm surprised that there has been no footage of Mass Effect 3 Engineer gameplay on the web (until now), considering that there is nothing new about ME3 at NYCC this year. There's really nothing new to report about it...the demo allowed you to play your choice of Soldier, Engineer, and Sentinel (no Adept! D:). Soldier seemed to be the most popular choice when we were there.

Basically, all of the abilities from ME2 made a comeback, and each class got one new ability. The two classes we haven't see any footage of yet are the Vanguard and the Infiltrator, which are probably being saved for some reveal later on. All we know now is that the Vanguard's new ability is called Nova.

Dev Tracker

SWTOR has such a nice and accessible dev tracker... I think BSN needs one too. It's harder to make that happen with BSN, especially thanks to the over usage of fuzzy dates on posts, but it's still doable. I made some strides before NYCC, at which point I had to take a break to attend. Will resume after accomplishing a few other tasks.

SWTOR Press NDA Lifted

Members of the press who have been included in SWTOR's closed beta testing program are now allowed to talk about the Beta, starting today. That's why you're seeing a thousand and one articles about the beta flooding the Internetz. Regular folk in the closed beta are still under the NDA. I could live with that...just let me into the beta!

Wrath of Heroes NDA...still there

If you were wondering why we haven't released any other Wrath of Heroes beta guides and webapps, it's because both Danny and I are in the WOH beta and are bound by the NDA. When I wrote the Mourkain Temple guide, I wasn't in the beta, so I could blab about everything I watched or read. After having played Mourkain Temple extensively, nothing in my guide really changes, except perhaps the line of sight commentary (it's a tad worse than I had originally explained it to be). Technically, we're allowed to talk about any info that has already been released by BioWare Mythic, so we might figure out a compromise. I've got plans (and data) for a little team and tactics builder on the back burner for now too.

Also, BioWare Mythic has resumed Wrath of Heroes beta testing this weekend, making time rather difficult to juggle >.<

Art of the Mass Effect Universe

A few blurry/discolored shots of the Art of the Mass Effect Universe artbook (slated to be released February 21, 2012) pages shown during the NYCC Mass Effect panel
on Saturday, October 15th were collected by Vertigo_1. Also, UGO has a bad quality snap of one of the pages shown. It looks like probably from an unreleased camcorder video of the panel.

BioWare Pulse - Episode

Mac Walters talks about Mass Effect: Invasion. It's a monthly 4-part series, so expect the next issue in November, etc. and the last issue in January...just in time for the ME3 demo...coincidence? A couple of pages of artwork from the Art of the Mass Effect Universe book were shown as well, and Dark Horse promises that it contains over a hundred pages of never before seen official concept art spanning all three Mass Effect games. Question is, does its content overlap with the Art of Mass Effect 3 artbook being included in the Mass Effect 3 Collectors Edition?

Mass Effect 3 Demo Early Access

Early access for a demo; they're really doing stuff like this now. Redeeming your online pass for Battlefield 3 automatically qualifies you for early access to the Mass Effect 3 demo, which will include both singleplayer and multiplayer modes. Other methods of getting early access will be announced as they get sorted out. Expect a date for demo release to be announced in November. My cohort will follow up with more details posted by BioWare Community Manager Jessica Merizan.