The Haus

Sunday, September 8, 2002

Divine Divinity Demo Impressions

Despite having an inexcusably large backlog of games, I spent a few hours yesterday evening with the demo for the upcoming game Divine Divinity. Yes, that's its real name and yes, it's European.

Divine Divinity is billed as an RPG, but in the style of Diablo II. After putting in a few hours, it seems to be a game like D2, with greater depth and with a bit less graphical polish. The storyline is more interesting and varied than D2. The music is great; the voice acting is probably good too, but sounded bad on my computer (game demos sometimes do).

For me, the downer is the "action RPG" nature of Divine Divinity: combat is a clickfest, as in D2--in fact, one poll about the game asks which feature is best, the storyline or the frantic combat. Clickfest combat holds no interest for me. I have too many other, better games. If you liked Diablo II and want a similar game with more story and depth, Divine Divinity may be just what you're looking for. As for me, the demo just made me more eager to get back to Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale. And the major system crash the demo caused guaranteed that I won't see the end of the demo, but instead will uninstall as soon as possible.

More UT 2K3 Linux News

Epic's Mark Rein made this post indicating that the Unreal Tournament 2003 Linux client and server might be available at the same time as the Win32 version. Cool news! Here's the scoop:
Linux is now up and running pretty well. I've been told that we should be able to release the Linux client and server executables around the same time as the windows version ships. Official tech support isn't provided for the Linux versions. Currently Linux will only work well with Nvidia cards - apparently ATI's OpenGL Linux and Mac drivers don't support texture compression. Hopefully this is something they will soon fix. Mac development is just underway so it will still be a little while before it's done.
Did I mention that I like Linux? Thanks Linux Games.


The NFL season is officially in gear and my Red Wings had their first team practice on Friday. Yes! And next Saturday: Michigan at Notre Dame. Life is good.

Friday, September 6, 2002

Pondering the Imponderable

My Dad just sent me an email asking about a Win98 startup disk. That got me thinking. I remembered that I last updated my Linux boot disk about two kernel updates ago. Red Hat has a handy little program called qmkbootdisk that makes the process a snap. One caveat: make sure you run it as root. It doesn't prompt you to for whatever reason. Make sure to test that it works properly. The sanity you save may be your own.

Morrowind Expansion Confirmed

The rumored expansion for Morrowind has been confirmed. You can read the press release and the FAQ on the new product which will be entitled "Tribunal." It is expected to hit shelves in November. Thanks Blue.

J.t.Qbe comments: One of the new features will be a much-improved journal system, which Morrowind fans have been waiting for since the game was released. Sounds like there are many good new features on the way!

A.T. Hun comments: I want to hear about a Neverwinter Nights expansion! Of course, I suppose I should finish the game first. My Druid is close to level 13 where I get the Harm spell. Joy!


Boy, can I ever relate to this guy. All I can say is, "Ouch!"

MS: Not Engineered for Security

According to Computer Weekly, Brian Valentine, senior vice-president in charge of Microsoft's Windows development, admitted that their products "just aren't engineered for security." Here's a snip from the article:

"I'm not proud," he told delegates yesterday (5 September). "We really haven't done everything we could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security," admitted Valentine, who since 1998 has headed Microsoft's Windows division.

. . .

"We realised that we couldn't continue with the way we were building software and expect to deliver secure products," Valentine said.

Well, I'll give him high marks for honesty . . . Thanks Slashdot.

J.t.Qbe comments: Ok, on the one hand, duh. Just look at any Microsoft OS and you'll see clearly that security was not a design concern.

On the other hand, why is this guy saying these things? Either he's looking for a career change as an ex-Microsoft employee, or else Microsoft has something up its sleeve. A new product announcement is in the works, maybe? A completely new OS designed for the Palladium architecture?

Madden 2K3 Demo

EA Sports has released a demo for their stunningly popular Madden NFL 2003. You can download the 42.7M demo from EA's FTP server. I've been hoping they would release a demo of this bad-boy. I've heard great things about it, but I want to see first-hand if it is something I'd like to get. Thanks Blue's News.

Golden Oldies

While doctoring up an OS/2 Warp 3 installation disk this morning, I looked up a review I read a few weeks ago. Just RPG published a review of Soulbringer, a fantasy RPG which actually came out a few years ago. At the time it didn't get very high marks, but it apparently has stood the test of time: the review gives it an 'A'. In what is arguably one of the best bargains available, you can get Soulbringer and Planescape: Torment (considered one of the best RPGs ever) in one of those "dual jewel" packages for ten bucks at Walmart, Best Buy, and probably other places. I've spent time on both games, and they're both great fun.

No Old News

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