New Year, New Versions

With the new year, comes new versions of great applications, and new games as well.

The first is Activision Blizzard’s and UpperDeck’s “WoW Miniatures Game” or “WoWMinis”. This is the latest offering of Blizzard and UpperDeck for the widely popular MMORPG – World of Warcraft. After the huge success of the WoW Trading Card Game (WoW TCG), they are going to release highly detailed WoW minitatures for a more exciting table-top RPG gaming.

Follow up:

Locally here in the Philippines, the most popular is Warhammer, with WoW Minis coming will it get the #1 spot? We all know the history and relationship between Warhammer and the Warcraft franchise, we all know how many WoW players already pledged that they will leave the game and move to the coming Warhammer Online. Is this Blizzard’s attempt to “balance” things out by taking a chunk of Warhammer table-top RPG players before they lose their WoW players over to Warhammer Online?

But who cares, as long as there is competition, gamers can only expect the bar to get higher and higher, and thus more quality products and games for all of us RPG’ers.

WoW Minis will available this Fall 2008.

Second, again from Activision Blizzard, the promised (last year) patch for WarCraft III RoC and TFT – Official No-CD Patch! Yes its been out sometime already if you do not know. WarCraft III RoC/TFT v1.21b features the No-CD Patch – officially. No need to find cracks or patches out there (which, if you don’t know how to search, you will end up with a patch that comes with a virus). This move however is a double-edged sword to ActiBlizz (to shorten their long name), in countries like the Philippines where pirated and illegal copies of WC3 are rampant, mostly in iCafes, this only means that they don’t have to worry about the illegal no-cd patches, and means for the others that they can run illegal WC3 copies more easily.

On the other hand, this could also mean that the official retailer of WC3 in different countries can easily sell official copies of the game. Locally, the iCafes do not have to worry about losing CDs because there is no need for one. They also do not need to worry about installing virtual drives (which has been the solution for a decade [read: no-cd patches have always been illegal as per the EULA, but virtual drives are not]). But it is too late. I believe the reason they made this move is because of the popularity of DotA and other great map mods like Tree Tag and Tower Defense maps especially here in Asia where iCafes are popular (as I mentioned, putting CDs out just to run the game is risky business).

And finally, this move of ActiBlizz can and will send ripples to the “CD-Required” games. Will other games follow-suit? Example, will ActiBlizz release StarCraft II without the need for the CD? Will games both old and new be “CD Not Required” in the near future? As a collector, this is good news, I can keep my original CDs safe and in good condition, and I don’t have to mount CD images to my virtual drives.

The 1.21b patch is only an 800kb download if you already have 1.21 or 1.21a patch.

Third, a new version of IM-History is out, and finally, the much requested new IM support – Pidgin (formerly “GAIM”) for both Windows and Linux! As a Pidgin user for both Windows and Linux platforms, this is great news. I can finally have my Pidgin chat histories stored safely online, no more worrying about syncronization or worrying about lost conversation (especially at the office where I do not keep chat histories). I use Pidgin portable when outside home, my chat histories are stored not on the machine I am using but on the USB. With the new version out, I can keep all my chat histories in one place. Thank you very much for this nice new year’s gift and kudos to im.history!!

IM.History is available for both Windows and Linux, and tracks histories of:
1) Skype
2) Yahoo! Messenger
3) ICQ (Classic, Pro, and Lite)
4) Windows Live Messenger & Windows Messenger
5) Miranda
6) QIP
7) Trillian & Astra
8) Pidgin (Linux)
9) AIM
10) Pidgin (Windows)

Here are the websites that you can visit to know more:
WoW Minis
WarCraft III Patch Download page
IM.History Download page

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