Return to Neverwinter

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2013 - 07:14 PM |
Tagged: neverwinter, hero of teh north, gaming, beta

Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has information on how you can try to get into the Neverwinter beta which will take place in February and March.  For those of you screaming "shut up and take my money", you can invest in a Founders Pack which apparently for those of you who can't make up your own character and have to pretend you are actually Salvatore's famous Drow.  If you fork over your cash you will get swanky outfit, a pseudo-Guenhwyvar and strangely a giant spider mount which is just odd to ride above ground in daylight.  Still, if that is your cuppa, head on over.

As well, it is likely we will be trying out the Crysis 3 Multiplayer open beta after the podcast tonight, so fire up Origin and download it if you want to join in on the action.

"I’ll retreat there, probably around February 8-10, March 8-10, and March 22-24, which is when Neverwinter‘s beta will take place. With its user-generated content and D&D trappings, it should be a healing sort of environment for discombobulated old nerd-wraiths like me. The more excitable among our kind – and those with wallets full of platinum – will like invest in Founders Packs, which are fashionable pre-order garments of the online-gaming catwalk. Or something."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

SimCity Beta Opens This Weekend: Best Hour of Your Life?

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2013 - 03:12 AM |
Tagged: SimCity, beta

When we first heard about the new SimCity we collectively swooned: it looked to be the best implementation possible for a SimCity game. Each subsequent information release made us slightly less warm to the upcoming game. While being honest about things that your users hate is better than surprising them at the end: best-case scenario would have been to provide the product we want.

EA has just announced beta access this weekend. The expected bad news: Origin might spend longer setting it up than you will spend playing it.

The beta will run throughout this weekend, but that is not the only time constraint which beta testers will need to endure. So it turns out that all EA needs or wants from us in their beta test is a single hour of playtime. Consequentially, that will be all the time they will give us. That seems somewhat ludicrous to me given the time it will likely take to install and setup the game as well as the typical amount of time required to do anything meaningful with a traditional SimCity game.

Beyond that, the signup page is now closed with still several days to go until the beta opens. Yikes.

It is like EA is trying to drown its publicity to prove that PC-centric titles do not sell or something. Oh well, I will still probably be purchasing the title when it comes out March 5th -- but EA certainly does not respect the value of "Shut up and take my money".

Source: G4TV

AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta is Now Available

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 26, 2012 - 01:57 PM |
Tagged: amd, catalyst, catalyst 12.9, beta, driver

You can grab the latest Catalyst Beta driver today, the 12.9 beta driver and Catalyst Application Profiles for CrossFire today.  For the beta driver you must pick your card and OS version as normal, from there scroll below the current WHQL 12.8 driver and you will see the beta.  Why would you want to grab the driver?  It could make your Panda bears perform better and for those on laptops, the introduction of AMD Enduro Technology will allow you to set separate power profiles for every installed application, determining if it uses hybrid graphics or only the APU.

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http://support.amd.com/us/Pages/AMDSupportHub.aspx

Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta: AMD Catalyst Mobility support for AMD Enduro Technology

AMD Catalyst Mobility now includes support for AMD Enduro Technology.
AMD Enduro Technology for Notebooks delivers:

  • Unbeatable battery life
  • GPU accelerated performance for gaming, video, and compute apps
  • A Seamless and automatic experience

New Enduro Technology features found in Catalyst 12.9 Beta:

  • Re-designed Catalyst Control Center user interface
  • View all profiled applications
  • View recently run applications
  • Profile applications based on power source
  • Expert mode control and customization
  • Performance centric AC
  • Battery centric DC

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Performance highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta (versus AMD Catalyst 12.8)

  • Up to 10% in Lost Planet 2 in single GPU configurations

AMD’s latest Catalyst Application Profile: AMD Catalyst 12.9 CAP1 (to be used with AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta)

Find the latest available AMD Catalyst CAP here : http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/crossfirex-app-profiles.aspx

  • World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX11, DX9): Fixes texture flickering observed when enabling high graphics settings with CrossFire enabled
  • World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX9): Resolve corruption when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center
  • World of Warcraft - (DX9): Resolves performance issues observed with the 64-bit variant of the client
  • Tribes Ascend: Improves CrossFire performance
  • F1 2012: Improves CrossFire performance, resolves texture flickering in reflections

Resolved issue highlights of the AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta driver

  • Tri and Quad CrossFire + Eyefinity configurations – Users will no longer see lower than expected performance in certain DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications
  • FireFox – corruption is no longer observed on CrossFire configurations
  • Enabling Overdrive settings no longer increases clocks in all power states
  • AMD Video Converter support is available in AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta Windows 7 and Windows Vista packages

Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta Linux Driver: New OS Support
This release of AMD Catalyst Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems

  • Ubuntu 12.10 early look support
  • RHEL 6.3 production support

Source: AMD

Get an End of Nations Beta Key from PC Perspective and NVIDIA!!

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | July 28, 2012 - 01:20 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, end of nations, beta

Looking for something to do August 10-12th?  We have some good news for you! 

The wait for End of Nations is over. NVIDIA and PC Perspective are inviting our lucky readers to join the global conflict in Trion's End of Nations closed beta weekend on August 10-12th.

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Wage sprawling 56-player battles in this year's most anticipated MMO real-time strategy game for three action-packed days, absolutely free!

To get started, gear up with the ultimate weapon —an NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card - then click the link below to get your FREE beta key!

Click right here to get an assigned key!  And have fun!!

We have 1000 keys up for grabs!!  So get one and pass it on to your friends as well!

Source: NVIDIA

Announcing the new Catalyst 12.6 WHQL and 12.7 Beta

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 29, 2012 - 03:56 PM |
Tagged: amd, catalyst, catalyst 12.6, catalyst 12.7, whql, beta

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AMD announced two new drivers today, the final WHQL build of the 12.6 beta that many are currently using as well as a new beta version of 12.7.  These represent the first new drivers on AMD's new release schedule, instead of a new driver every month they plan on now releasing a new driver once it has been proven to improve performance and been fully tested.  The 12.6 offers the same benefits as the 12.7, the difference is that the 12.7 introduces a new feature called the Video Codec Engine which is designed to provide powerful GPU support for video encoding tasks in applications such as vReveal and ArcSoft MediaConverter.  Check out AMD's blog post here for more details and scroll down to read the highlights of the 12.6 WHQL driver.

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Resolved issues in AMD Catalyst 12.6 WHQL and Catalyst 12.7 Beta

  • Using AMD Radeon HD 7900 and AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series in TriFire or QuadFire configurations with AMD Eyefinity will no longer result in a BSOD when launching a DirectX application.
  • Multi-display configurations will no longer BSOD at the desktop on AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs.
  • Additional fixes for AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series GPUs hanging the system upon entering sleep.
  • Some occurrences of this issue may be related to an outdated motherboard BIOS, however. Please ensure that your motherboard BIOS is up to date.
  • Resolves AMD CrossFire technology scaling issues seen in AMD Catalyst 12.4 with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • AMD Catalyst Control Center: Overdrive page is no longer intermittently missing
  • AMD Catalyst Control Center: GPU Activity gauge is no longer intermittently missing
  • Using AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series GPUs in an AMD CrossFire technology config no longer results in system hangs after cinematics in Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Heroes and Generals: Blocky corruptions in scenes with smoke effects under the DirectX 11 mode are no longer experienced.
  • DiRT Showdown: Improves scaling for AMD CrossFire technology configurations using the AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series
  • HDMI audio is no longer disabled if the connected HDTV is powered off/on.

Source: AMD

Caspian Servers Now Open To Public In Battlefield 3 Beta

Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2011 - 10:23 PM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, caspian, bf3, beta, battlefield 3

The Battlefield 3 open beta is almost over; however, the full experience of a 64 player map with vehicles has not been accessible to the general public.  Until now, that is.  EA has announced that the once password protected Caspian map will be available this weekend to stress test the servers.  To give you an idea of the map, PC Perspective was able to get onto one of the Caspian servers during our live stream.

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The EA representative noted that the beta may be prone to crashes and network issues, and that they are (likely) not indicative of the final product.  They are currently experiencing a bug where users may be kicked from the server with a message indicating it was due to an administrator's actions.  The representative noted that the message does not mean that the user was kicked by an administrator but rather was due to being dropped from the server (due to network issues).  Starting Friday afternoon, PC players will be able to log onto the Caspian maps, which will be available until the end of the beta on Monday, October 10th.

Have you tried out the Caspian Battlefield 3 beta map yet?

Source: EA

Tweak Windows 8 With The Metro UI Tweaker Utility

Subject: General Tech | September 25, 2011 - 06:56 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, windows, Utility, ui, tweaker, microsoft, Metro, developer preview, beta

Are you trying out the Windows 8 Developer Preview that was released earlier this month and finding the new Windows Explorer Ribbon and Metro UI start menu frustrating? If so, Lee Whittington has just the tweaking utility for you!

A freeware tool developed for The Windows Club dubbed Metro UI Tweaker (for Windows 8) is the first third party tweaking tool for the upcoming operating system. It provides several tweaking options to make the transition to the Metro UI more palatable including the ability to completely disable (or enable) the Metro Start Menu and new Ribbon interface in Windows Explorer (which can also be easily hidden without the need for this tool via an icon in the corner). When disabling the Metro Start Menu and Ribbon, the Metro style Task Manager and new lock screen will also be disabled.

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Such sweeping changes are not the only tweaks possible, however. The Windows 8 utility also lets you add power options including sleep, restart, and full shutdown to the Metro interface (when clicking on your user name’s picture), as well as adding any application or file to the Metro Start Menu.

Now at version 1.0, the Metro UI Tweaker is available for download from here for those adventurous enough to use a beta tweaking tool on a beta operating system. How do you feel about the new Windows 8 interface? Will you be checking out this tool? Let us know in the comments.

Battlefield 3 Beta Releasing Next Week On All Platforms

Subject: General Tech | September 23, 2011 - 06:12 PM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, beta, battlefield 3

PC Perspective’s own Scott Michaud has been eagerly awaiting the launch of Battlefield 3, and was kind enough to keep me in the loop on the important aspects of the upcoming multi-platform multiplayer shooter. One aspect that many gamers (including myself) worldwide are likely salivating over is the imminent Battlefield 3 beta launch next week. Specifically, the Battlefield 3 beta will be available for download starting September 29th, 2011 for the general public and the 27th for those who pre-ordered or purchased the Limited/Tier 1 edition of Medal Of Honor.

The beta will be available on all major platforms, including PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. In order to play the beta on the Xbox 360 and PS3, the game will show up automatically in the Xbox Live Marketplace and Playstation Network respectively. On the PC side of things, gamers will need to download EA’s Origin client first, and then download the Battlefield 3 beta from the free games section of the Origin client.

The open beta will last until October 10th, and until then there are no caps or time limits regarding how far you can rank up or how often you can play. The map in question will be the “Op: Metro” map from the Alpha. Unfortunately, any ranks or stats you gain from the beta will not carry over into the final game.

While many gamers will be playing the beta on Xbox 360 and PS3, there will likely be a good number of gamers who will play it on the PC for the PC experience. During the EuroGamer expo, DICE General Manager Karl Magnusson spoke to NVIDIA, and stated that 1.5 million copies of Battlefield 3 had been pre-ordered and that DICE was happy to be back on the PC. Further, he stated that they are enjoying the feedback from gamers and whether it is the visuals, audio, or game play that they are enjoying, “all the feedback we get is really freakin’ cool.”

The minimum (and recommended) system requirements for the PC are as follows: 

  Minimum Recommended
OS Windows Vista SP2 32 bit Windows 7 64 bit
Processor 2 GHz dual core  quad core
Memory (RAM) 2 GB 4 GB
Hard Drive 20 GB 20 GB
Graphics (GPU) DirectX 10 with 512mb RAM DirectX 11 with 1GB RAM
Sound DirectX compatible DirectX compatible
Peripherals Keyboard, mouse, DVD-ROM Keyboard, mouse, DVD-ROM

 

Have you been following the development of Battlefield 3 and are you looking forward to the open beta? Let us know in the comments.

Source: EA