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    Arrow UT3 Titan Pack Revealed


    It has been exactly 1 year and 3 months, or 458 days, since Unreal Tournament 3 hit store shelves in late 2007. In that time it has been a roller coaster for many of us, with a plethora of issues with the game we wanted fixed and general disinterest in the game seeming widespread. However, Epic hopes to combat all of that with their upcoming "Titan Pack" expansion pack for the PC and PS3. Will all their wildest dreams come true? We'll let you decide.

    The first, and probably most important, reveal this week was that the Titan Pack will be free, gratis, no cost. This was certainly the question lingering on everyone's mind after the hint about the pack was dropped late last year. Surely the second most important piece of information is that the pack is due for release on March 5th, 2009. I know, I know, two weeks!

    First, let's go over the content then we'll review a little of the new gameplay.


    A Load of Content...

    Included in the Titan Pack will be a total of:

    • 16 environments - 4 Warfare, 3 vCTF, 6 Deathmatch, and 3 CTF maps – that are new to the PC and PS3 versions
    • Three bonus pack maps, CTF-Face, CTF-Searchlight and DM-Morbias (with preview pics)
    • The namesake Titan mutator, which lets players overwhelm opponents as a 15 foot tall titan, or crush them as a 30 foot tall Behemoth
    • Greed and Betrayal, two gametypes that breed new-found fervor throughout the competitive UT3 arena
    • Two powerful weapons, the Stinger Turret and Eradicator Cannon artillery
    • Two valuable deployables, the X-Ray Field and Link Station
    • The Slow Field power-up, a portable version of the Slow Field deployable
    • Stealthbender, a new vehicle that carries two spidermine trap deployables, one EMP mine, and one each of the new Link Station and X-Ray Field deployables
    • Two new characters, Nova and Kana (Liandri and Ronin, respectively)
    • 57 awards attainable as Steam Achievements and PS3 Trophies
    • Broad improvements for PC and PS3: Significant AI enhancements, especially in vehicle gametypes; networking performance upgrades; greatly improved menu flow and UI usability; better mod support
    • Client-side demo recording, highly improved Server Browser, a new maplist system, plus mid-game mutator and gametype voting functionality for PC
    • High demand PS3 features including PS3 Trophy support, two-player split-screen support, and mod browsing

    Gametypes

    Whew! That's a quite a load of content there! I was happily surprised with some of these additions, not only is Epic making sound decisions with the game (the Steam integration is a personal favorite of mine, and I'd love to see it expand even further) but they are loading the game down with a lot of new content to hopefully inspire people to come back. So, what is all this new stuff anyway? Let's have yet another run-down of just the new gametypes.



    Titan
    The Titan mutator brings a fresh game mechanic to all the classic Unreal Tournament gametypes. Fill your Titan meter by killing enemies (with bonuses for multikills and killing sprees), capturing flags or nodes, and completing other game objectives. When your meter is full, you can transform at any time into a giant with a super powerful rocket launcher, massive hit points, and a devastating ground pound attack. Killed Titans self-destruct after a short countdown, so get out of the way if you assassinate one! Once you’ve become a Titan, fill your meter again to transform into a Behemoth. Behemoths are huge (almost 30 feet tall) walking mountains of destruction, but they self destruct after thirty seconds. It’s important to pick the right time to transform into a Titan, as this mode also has several limitations. Titans can’t drive vehicles, or carry flags, orbs, or Greed skulls. Titans also can’t capture Warfare nodes, or pick up any weapons or powerups.

    Betrayal
    This instagib game type pits players against each other, while they cooperate in temporary alliances. Only one player is the final winner, and the difference between victory and defeat often lies in knowing when to betray your teammates.

    Opponents have a score above their head, reflecting their value if the player gibs them. Current teammates are blue. Every kill by a teammate adds one point to the team pot, shown at the top of your HUD. Teammates can betray each other using the alternate fire of the rifle, which shoots a blue beam. Assassinating a teammate gives the assassin both the score over that player’s head, and all the points accrued in the pot. However, the assassin becomes a Rogue for 30 seconds, during which he is not on any team, and his former teammates can garner a score bonus for getting payback by killing him. The score above a Rogue’s head is red for his former teammates. Once the rogue timer has counted down, the rogue can join a new team. Daggers beside each player’s name shows the number of times that player has betrayed his teammates.

    Greed
    Greed is a CTF gametype that is almost entirely based on the UT2004 mod of the same name. Greed is a fast paced team game played on CTF and VCTF maps. When a player dies, he drops a skull representing his life force, along with any other skulls he was carrying. Silver skulls are worth 1 point, Gold skulls are worth 5 points, and Red skulls are worth 20 points. Deliver skulls to the enemy base to score them. As the clock winds down, players will end up fighting over huge hoards of skulls, with each side desperately trying to stop the other team from scoring them while players try to survive all the way to the enemy base.


    Maps

    Now, how about those maps... Let's have a quick run down of those as well. There are 19 new maps total. Three of them being the maps including in the earlier UT3 Bonus Pack and five of them the maps previously exclusive to the 360 version of the game. The others are a mix of maps we already suspected and some brand new ones.



    Deathmatch
    Dark Match - In preparation for the assault on Oxida Nova, Izanagi bombers targeted supply lines and other sites of important infrastructure. This power station was one of the first to be hit, and is now left to defend itself while running only on auxiliary reserves. Attack forces have moved in, and the facility's lights haven't even been restored. This level provides a unique twist on deathmatch in a darkened laboratory lit intermittently by a particle accelerator and emergency lights, and by muzzle flashes and explosions. (As suspected this is not a gametype, sadly)

    Ocean Relic - This ancient structure was discovered in the depths of an ocean rift 53 miles off the southern coast of Absalom. While the planet's seemingly endless supply of sentient Nanoblack has kept the facility active, its origins and ultimate purpose remain a mystery. This level features the slow field powerup, a portable version of the slow field deployable.

    Eden, Inc. - This industrial complex was once a hydroponic research facility focused on saving rare and endangered species. When their grant ran out, funds dried up and all work was suspended. Months later, demo crews moved in to pave the path for a new highway and found that many of the research seedlings had taken root and continued to grow. This level features the introduction of deployables to deathmatch, with both a spidermine trap and an X-Ray field deployable available.

    Turbine - Axon Research Corporation has many geothermal power stations just like this scattered across the northern reaches of Taryd. They form a tight grid that supplies power to the research facilities and military installations common to the area. This level features the return of a classic Unreal Tournament deathmatch layout.

    Koos Barge - Continuing their long tradition of expertly crafted sea vessels, Koos Shipping now offers barge services across all of Taryd's oceans and waterways. While the prices are exorbitant, they're the only line that guarantees that your shipment will arrive on time and undamaged, even when shipping lanes take them across the frozen polar regions. (Previously exclusive to the 360)

    Lost Cause - The Necris have not revealed the original purpose of this crumbling structure, nor have they explained why it was decommissioned. It stands on the cliffs of Absalom as a monument to history, a living link to the Necris ancestors.

    Capture the Flag
    Morbid - Morbias Station Gamma is a transport hub that services overflow traffic passing through Taryd's jumpgates. The Station offers a terrestrial shuttle, storage facilities (with quarantine services for live cargo), and a social center where guests can meet incoming visitors or hold private meetings in a neutral setting. Designed for use with the Titan mutator, Morbid includes heavy blast doors that can only be operated by Titans.

    Nanoblack - Giant vats of Nanoblack are processed and stored in facilities like this one across Omicron. The structures are largely self-sustaining once operational, and are upheld with much reverence by those who respect the power and significance of the Nanoblack seething within. Public access is highly restricted.

    Shaft - The substrata mines of Taryd produced over 800 gigatons of Tarydium last year alone. Production never stops here, not even for war, and mining drones will remain operational even as chaos erupts around them.



    Vehicle Capture the Flag
    Stranded - Civilian contractors are often used to reliably transport supplies and equipment over short distances on Taryd, but when this cargo ship full of Axon supplies ran aground in Izanagi territory, a military unit was quickly dispatched to defend the area until a full extraction team could be assembled.

    Rails - Even areas of new construction can be exploited as weak points in Oxida Nova's defenses, so the Iron Guard has established a series of mobile turrets to patrol the perimeter of this worksite. With several city blocks of terrain to cover, including an access point through the city's canal system, protecting this site will be a challenge to even the most experienced of teams. (Previously exclusive to the 360)

    Suspense Necris - Suspense is the only bridge across the Alluvion strong enough to support the weight of heavy combat vehicles. It is under attack by Necris forces that control one river bank. (Previously exclusive to the 360)

    Warfare
    Hostile - Many research vessels were lost in the early days of Na Pali exploration. When the terrain or local fauna proved to be too dangerous for recovery, equipment was often abandoned and forgotten. But when it was learned that the Necris had moved in to recover this equipment for their own purposes, the NEG dispatched military salvage units to reclaim their property.

    Confrontation - Confrontation Canyon serves as a training ground for Axon forces, improving unit readiness by providing highly realistic, stressful training across the full spectrum of infantry and mechanized conflict. It is the premiere facility for heavy armor training, and all forces must complete courses here before assignment to a Leviathan unit.

    Cold Harbor - Axon's Stealth Research Division managed to get some of the early specs for the Necris Nightshade vehicle and have been attempting to retrofit that technology onto their own. The Necris have moved to stop this research, and despite the blockade that sealed the harbor when the NEG enforced the armistice, they have maintained a foothold here and are fervently working to destroy all remaining Axon research. (Previously exclusive to the 360)

    Downtown Necris - The Necris are invading territories throughout Taryd, infecting conquered areas with Nanoblack to terraform them to suit their own needs. You must push back the Necris forces and restore order to this sector. (Previously exclusive to the 360)


    Initial Thoughts

    So how does the new content play out? Well, largely, you'll have to decide for yourself, but I believe that the new gametypes will gain quite a bit of interest. While they don't seem to be anything major on the surface, they can drastically alter the gameplay of the maps they are played on. Additionally, Titan can be played on any map on any gametype and more than one person can be a Titan at a time. Because of this, you can hoard your Titan meters and have your whole team change at the same time in the same place. This can have a rather drastic and game changing effect in whatever gametype you are playing. In Warfare, for example, you can rip nodes and the core to shreds. The Titan and Behemoth have only the Rocket Launcher and the Shock Rifle and their movement is seriously nerfed, so picking the right time to transform is paramount to your success with this mutator enabled.

    Betrayal seems gimmicky on the surface, but is actually quite fun in practice. Even with bots, the practice of knowing when to betray and how to avoid the people you betray can be quite challenging. Getting accustomed to this gametype will probably take time, as the variety of strategies you can use are quite wide. However, the fact that it is instagib is sure to put a good number of people off of it without even trying it. I say, TRY IT! It's clever and fun, and you won't regret giving it a half-hearted shot.

    Greed is an interesting take on CTF, it is not played alongside CTF, but replaces the gametype altogether. The goal is to capture as many skulls as you can in the enemy's skull collector (basically their flag stand) as possible. When attaining various numbers of skulls you get additional powerups, but when you die you lose the skulls you are carrying so there is a fine balance between hoarding skulls and capturing them quickly.


    Conclusion

    Ultimately, the contents of the 2.0 patch and the Titan Pack constitute quite an enormous change in gameplay and functionality for UT3. While the content of the Titan Pack might not seem as amazing as first envisioned by many, it contains enough content and enough variety in gameplay that it should keep people interested for a while. The Steam achievements, server-side improvements, better map vote, and cooler UI will definitely make people take a second look at UT3 and hopefully keep them interested for a long time to come.



    source: http://beyondunreal.com/articles/titan-pack-reveal/
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    Default Re: UT3 Titan Pack Revealed

    Wow. Awesome. I was just looking for this update yesterday on epic forums but couldn't find it. I can't wait to get this patch. And it's FREE. UBER.

    Jousting w/ Words - Tips for budding Freelance Writer

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    Noblesse Oblige
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    Default Re: UT3 Titan Pack Revealed

    UT3 Titan Pack - Hands-on Preview Article by Andrew Burnes

    Without Unreal there would be no Gears of War, as evidenced by the super-sized Malcom that presides over the lobby at Epic Games' North Carolinian office. And while Gears is substantially more profitable, the successful studio isn't about to turn its back on Unreal Tournament III, the latest release in the ten-year-old franchise. Having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, and thousands of man hours, Epic is ready to unleash the Titan Bonus Pack, a free Unreal Tournament III expansion, due for release March 5th on PlayStation 3 and PC. Planet Unreal was there to preview its contents, as were several other outlets from across the world.
    Releasing as two separate downloads, the first component, a 300MB patch, will feature: 57 Steam and PlayStation 3 Achievements; dramatically improved artificial bot intelligence; improved artificial bot vehicle intelligence; enhanced network performance; streamlined user interfaces with access to advanced tweaking options; improved server browsers; mid-game mutator, map and gametype voting; client-side demo recording; PlayStation 3 split-screen gameplay; and a PlayStation 3 mod browser. The primary function of the patch is to enable support for the 800MB Titan Bonus Pack, a sizeable offering of free goodies, generously given away for free at a time when microtransactions and premium downloadable content are discussed and planned for during a game's initial development phase.
    Including official bonus pack maps DM-Morbias, CTF-Facing Worlds and CTF-Searchlight, the TBP also includes vCTF-Suspense Necris, DM-Koos Barge, vCTF-Rails, WAR-Cold Harbour, and WAR-Downtown Necris, previously exclusive to the Xbox 360 Unreal Tournament III release. While an extra 8, all-new maps are also included, the main focus of the TBP is the eponymous Titan, a 15 foot monster capable of dominating every arena, and every mod, thanks to Epic's decision to develop this unique addition as a mutator - as simple as adding Big Head mode, the Titan can be loaded into a map in seconds. To become this wonderfully overpowered goliath, players must kill a sufficient number of enemies to fill an experience gauge, located bottom right of the screen. Multi-kill combos and dominations increase the fill rate of said experience gauge, which, when filled, flashes to indicate that a player can hit 'r' to initiate the Titan transformation. At this time you are bedazzled by blinding effects, lose all weapons, gain a much-improved view of the world, and subsequently regain motion control with a unique, fast-locking Rocket Launcher and Skymine Turret-style Shock Rifle in one's inventory. Each automatically regenerates ammunition.
    The Titan's extreme viewpoint precludes firing at the immediate ground, enabling skilful enemies to whittle down the gigantic number of hit points available to the beast. To counter, a Titan player can tap 'e' at any time to initiate a powerful ground-attack that instantly kills opponents in close range, and knocks back-and-down those at the periphery of the its radius. With successful kills a second experience guage fills, though at a far slower rate, unless a Titan is able to 'Assassinate' the opposition's death-dealer. Once complete, the second experience guage prompts players to press 'r' once more, initiating a transformation into the imposing, 30 foot-high Behemoth. This giant is the ultimate Unreal Tournament III weapon, capable of destroying anyone, and anything, in an incredible radius with its ridiculously overpowered ground attack. Thankfully, for those at the receiving end of its destruction, the transformation lasts for just 30 seconds, though the beast's death brings with it one final act of destruction - a gigantic explosion with the destructive force of a Redeemer. A Titan's early death brings about a less-destructive explosion, though an audible countdown does at least give player's several seconds to evacuate.
    Time spent on the 16 new maps showed the use of Titans in free-for-all matches to be untenable, with one player gaining an early lead and subsequently transforming into the beast, and subsequently annihilating all opposition in seconds. While it can be both amusing and startling to have a Titan suddenly appear in the pitch-black of DM-DarkMatch, where sections are intermittently lit by particle accelerators and emergency lights, most players will rapidly become infuriated with the dominance of one player in other, standard, Deathmatch arenas. In team modes, however, the Titan mutator is far more balanced, and entertaining.
    As Steve Polge, lead Unreal Tournament programmer, explained, "he's basically this ultimate support guy," being unable to start Node captures in Warfare, pick up flags in CTF, operate vehicles in vCTF, or pick up Skulls in Greed, one of the two new Titan Bonus Pack game modes. Similar to Quake 2's HeadHunters mod and Quake 3: Team Arena's Harvester game mode, Greed tasks players with killing enemies, collecting their fallen, metallic skulls, and subsequently delivering them to the heart of the enemy's base. Successful runs will likely net a few captures, but with the addition of a Titan, or a coordinated group of players, entire teams can sweep the map, collecting Silver (1 point), Gold (5 points) and Red (10 points) Skulls, before delivering them for a near-instantaneous win. Additional strategy has specific team members defending bases, or a Titan camping spawn areas for easy kills, with allies holding back to sweep up Skulls for easy captures.
    At launch, everyone will want to be a Titan, admits Polge, but in the long term, players will have to balance the number of Titans per players - what use it to have 6 Titans when none can capture the enemy's flag that is sat right there, at your feet? A nimble player in a Manta will outrun and outmanoeuvre the lumbering giants to successfully capture numerous Greed skulls, players will learn to team-up against Titans, and others will realise that there are paths and teleporters that circumvent their area of operation entirely. For a while, the Titan will be a de facto 'win button,' and on maps such as WAR-Cold Harbour, where teams spawn in a single location, they will be dominant, requiring administrators to use the improved map list functions to temporarily disable their use.
    As for the Titan Bonus Pack's other maps, Polge was happy to admit that each has its own hook, or gimmick, to ensure a more varied, interesting experience, that builds upon the standard serving of circle strafe, shoot. "We wanted to make sure that each map had a hook that worked, that was an interesting, but not inbalancing part of gameplay." The aforementioned Cold Harbour can only be won by holding a Countdown Node that causes incoming missiles to home-in on the enemy's otherwise invulnerable Core. Lifts and other Nodes provide transportation and vehicles to prevent the enemy from reaching the mountain's summit to recapture the single, required position. WAR-Hostile gives one team a full-selection of vehicles, and the other fast access to Nodes and several Stinger Turrets, the new base defence weapon that rapidly spews damaging energy capable of knocking down enemy infantry. If the vehicle team gains control of the central Prime Node, a secondary Countdown Node opens, control of which will instantly destroy the infantry team's Core. If the infantry team is able to hold the Core for 60 seconds the tables are turned, and the vehicle team's Core instantly becomes vulnerable.
    DM-DarkMatch is the first pitch-black Unreal Tournament III map, set inside a damaged power station. Occasionally illuminated by the particle accelerator's energy discharges, emergency lights, weapons fire, and explosions, a DarkMatch-exclusive player 'aura' permanently illuminates several feet of map around each player, though this can not be seen by enemies. Further enhancing their SDK, Epic will allow the DarkMatch aura effect to be implemented into third-party maps by including 'DARKMATCH' at the start of the map's worldinfo name. DM-Ocean Relic, meanwhile, features the portable Slow Field power-up, for the first time. Immune to hit-scan weapons, players must utilise secondary fire modes to kill the wearer, or, suicidally, enter the field where time flows at full speed for the possessor. All projectiles entering the field are slowed, giving the wearer a huge advantage in standard deathmatch modes. As with all new aspects of the TBP, co-ordination is required to defeat the game's new additions, even in Deathmatch, but arranging temporary alliances outside of a same-room LAN setup will be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
    DM-Eden, Inc., a hydroponic research facility, is, according to Polge, a "nod to BioShock." Along with the new art, it introduces the deployable Spider Mine trap, and the deployable X-Ray Field, a new Unreal item that inflicts minor damage in its radiated area of effect, but also amplifies damage received from standard weaponry. In addition, a black-and-white graphic filter amusingly shows the bone structure of those who enter the Field. CTF-Morbid is a Morbias remake explicitly designed for Titan's, in that impenetrable doors to the flag rooms can be only opened by the giants, and no lifts or other escape methods exist for the flag carrier. Those seeking to avoid a Titan's gaze can utilise the Translocator, though the number of rockets bounding between bases makes any movement challenging, even with few players. If a player reaches Behemoth status, no enemy will be safe from its ground attack, capable of killing all who dare enter the central area.
    WAR-Confrontation is the game's biggest map. A central Prime Node controls access to the enemy's Core, though individual players will be hard-pressed to reach or damage them due to their positioning down lengthy tunnels. Instead, secondary Cores grant access to Leviathans stored behind impenetrable doors located by each team's spawn. Successfully driving to the enemy's base and deploying the Ion Cannon in front of the Core requires co-ordination from the entire team, and support from other vehicles, all the while defending the access Node. Of special use on Confrontation is the Stealthbender, a Hellbender retrofitted with Nightshade stealth technology. The Stealthbender comes equipped with an X-Ray Field, EMP mine, Spider mines, and a Link Station, a new deployable that emits arcs of Link Gun energy that strike the ground in a manner not dissimilar to a Tesla Coil. Friendly vehicles are quickly repaired, while enemy vehicles take rapid, heavy damage. Inefficient teams incapable of ending Confrontation quickly will find the enemy deploying their own Leviathan, or transforming into Titans, who are capable of damaging the Cores.
    vCTF-Stranded introduces the Eradicator Cannon, a fixed-position artillery piece, similar in operation to the Self-Propelled Mobile Artillery (SPMA) vehicle, except with longer range, more power, more artillery rounds per shell, and greater defence, being that they are positioned in the heart of a team's base. Addressing Stranded, Polge said, "One of the nice things about doing map packs is that in a way you have more time to give attention, from a play-testing point of view, to individual maps. A map like Stranded, which I really like playing CTF on... I'm always ‘asymmetric maps are cool, but they usually break down,' because one side ends up dominant. Once people figure it out, there's just one side that's just... but you know, I think vCTF-Stranded stood the test of time for us, and we played it a lot, and we were able to make it work. Whichever side you were on you had people complaining that the other side was too strong." vCTF-Rails has drivable rail-mounted turrets capable of going right to each team's base, underground access, and a full complement of vehicles. In addition, flag carriers can pilot the turrets all the way home. And rounding out the 'hook' arenas is DM-Turbine, a remake of the original Unreal Tournament demo map. Those maps not mentioned, such as DM-Koos Barge, each have their own visual theme, ensuring the map cycle remains fresh.
    The second Titan Bonus Pack game mode is Betrayal, a somewhat confusing Deathmatch hybrid played with modified Insta-Gib rifles. At map load each player is placed into a three-man, blue-coloured 'team.' With primary fire the objective is to kill everyone else, with each kill increasing your personal score. If the enemy player has numerous kills to his name your score further increases. Each of these kills, either by you or your two teammates, increases a shared 'pot.' Once it is at a sufficiently high level, or even if it’s not, you can alt-fire kill your teammates to grab the entire pot for yourself, again boosting your score by a significant amount. Once this 'betrayal' has been initiated, a thirty-second countdown timer begins, during which time you are team-less. In this brief window, the players you betrayed can get a 'retribution' kill, boosting their score significantly. After thirty seconds, or death, the cycle begins anew until one player reaches the required score limit.
    According to Steve Polge's pre-match briefing, Betrayal relies heavily on tactics to boost scores as quickly as possible. In practice, gameplay deteriorated into a free-for-all within seconds in an effort to stay alive. Decisions to kill or ignore players are supposedly based on their scores, positioned above their heads, but in the heat of insta-gib battle, there simply isn't enough time to evaluate this information while dodging laser beams of death. The main problem with Betrayal, it would appear, is that one must kill, or be killed, making the mode feel somewhat superfluous when Insta-Gib Deathmatch already exists. Perhaps, in time, clans and gamers will 'get it,' but in the short time available to us, we certainly did not.
    Time was also spent with the PlayStation 3 release, the main changes being the addition of split-screen gameplay, as present in the Xbox 360 edition, Trophies, and a mod browser. Available through the Community section of the PlayStation 3 menu, the browser shows mods, maps, game types, mutators and custom characters that Epic has personally tested for functionality and quality. These approved addons can be installed through the browser with one button push, with all downloading and extracting carried out automatically. For addons not available in the list, players can still download and import via their PCs and Sony Memory Sticks, but with the new browser a great deal of new content is opened up to those who previously had no idea about third-party content, or had no inclination to experiment with it and the timely method of installation. "It's a very easy way for people to get into mods, to see the cool stuff that's out there. It's something for people who are historically a console person, it's kind of a new experience. I think it's different from something like LittleBigPlanet just because there's so much more... you can go further afield from what the original game was." Polge later stated that out-of-date usage statistics showed around 50% of players had not tried multiplayer, and that the new mod browser will certainly assist them in extending the longevity of their purchase. Asked whether the mod browser would be released for PC, perhaps to appeal to casual players who don't follow sites such as Planet Unreal, Polge said, "we've talked about it. With the PC version, because we're controlling it, I don't know if it's as useful... People who are on the PC... It's something we've talked about. Mark [Rein] was a big fan of doing it. We would like to, it has its own different set of issues to work on."
    When quizzed on the possibility of a new retail release including the Titan Bonus Pack, Polge said, "I probably can't say anything. I actually don't know anything, and if I did I probably couldn't answer." Asked again, "no, as far as I know, there's not going to be a new SKU." If not a new SKU, how about an Unreal Tournament IV? Is 1.5 million copies sold enough to guarantee another game not called Gears of War? "I guess right now we don't have any announced plans for any of our next products. I think it [Unreal] has been a really strong franchise for us. We still see potential in it, but we certainly don't have anything to say at this point about what our next plans are." Would Steve be interested in going back to single-player Unreal? "I'd love to do a single-player focussed game again." Internally, rather than through a partner, such as Legend of Digital Extremes? "Again, I can't say what we would or wouldn't do. Our experience has been that we in general we feel like doing stuff, our franchises, in-house. It serves them better. It would depend obviously, maybe we could find the right partner to do stuff like that, but, it's hard to send stuff away. Cause we care about it more than anyone else." "I certainly don't know of any plans for us to do anything with Unreal Championship. It had some cool elements. I don't know whether we would revive it as another Unreal Championship game, or take some of the stuff from it and put it in another game," added Polge, when asked about Unreal Championship's future, now that the fully-fledged Unreal Tournament is on Microsoft's console.
    Turning back to Unreal Tournament III, I asked whether overall customer reaction to the game was positive, rather than negative, as the vocal minority who fill the official forums would have you think. "I think it's a combination of a couple of things. I mean, the fact is, unfortunately, there was some stuff that obviously the community really wanted that we didn't have at release. I think it was sort of multiplied by, I mean, last Christmas, 2007, was such an overwhelming first-person shooter Christmas. I think part of the problem was people start off... I mean, there was so much stuff out there it was hard to keep people's attention. I'd say we've had a lot of positive feedback. We certainly go read all the forums, so even when we're not posting on stuff we're constantly reading, so we've read all the feedback. Honestly, you have to have a thick skin. You have to recognise, the people who are complaining about your game are complaining because they like your game. I mean, in some way, I realise this sounds kind of weird, but even if they say they think your game sucks, they care enough to complain about it. But, you know, honestly, I've been to forums for every FPS I've played, and they all have people talking about how terrible 'whatever' is, and how they can't believe that, you know, this game is so broken, or whatever, because of whatever issue they have. And it's not to say that issues aren't valid, it's just that yeah, it really is, there's a very vocal, passionate, group of people. We can't do everything for all people, partly because of what some people are complaining about is in opposition to what other people are complaining about. Some people complain 'this' is too weak, and other people are saying it's too strong. There's no way we could ever satisfy everyone, but certainly, we listen to our community. I think people will see with the patch and the Titan pack that we've really addressed the things people were wishing for."
    Discussing the accessibility of Unreal Tournament III to the less skilled, Polge made clear that "the biggest issue is to make sure you get people of similar skill levels playing together. And that's one of the things we've tried to improve with like our Quick Match. Now we do a much better job of matching rankings and hope that's one way players can get a much better game." Polge likened their system to Microsoft's TrueSkill, and confirmed that it is present in both the PC and PlayStation 3 releases.
    Switching to the Make Something Unreal Competition, Epic's success with Red Orchestra and Damnation was mentioned, though I wondered if Epic had considered polishing mods or other addon content to sell over the Games For Windows Marketplace. "You know, we're just not very big. It's hard for us, we just have more on our plates than we can handle as it is. People think of Epic as this big huge company. We've grown a lot recently, but we're still about a hundred people now, and for games now... the size of Epic... it's hard to do multiple projects. We're really very lean considering we're doing more than one thing at a time. Certainly, we've talked about that kind of [microtransaction] stuff. What we've done in the past is, of course, we've had like Game Of The Year editions, or whatever that included some cool mods. Certainly something like that is possible. The thing is, sadly, it takes a lot of effort to get something tested enough to put out on Xbox Live or whatever, so it's hard to say whether we could find... I mean, we just have not enough time to do the stuff we'd like to do. I would love to do something like that."
    During lunch, I ask Steve if the Titan Bonus Pack would be released on Xbox Live for the Xbox 360 edition of Unreal Tournament III. "Not at this time." Further prodding revealed that the reason for this lay at Microsoft's feet, or more specifically, a limitation they impose on the amount of code allowed to be included with a patch. Code could be removed, but this would prevent the Titans from working, or the game modes, or even many of the hooks included with new maps. Additionally, Microsoft's iron-tight control of Live prevents Epic from deploying a mod browser, five of the maps are already on the system, and so is split-screen multiplayer. So please, if you're an Xbox 360 user and you want these new features, petition Microsoft to ease their restrictions, rather than lambasting Epic. And who knows, it may work. Restrictions on Xbox Live Arcade download limits were reduced following many, many complaints.
    And finally, what of Epic's future? To paraphrase multiple answers, "no comment." We did run into Cliff Bleszinski, however, who teased that we can't know anything of his current project "for two years."
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: UT3 Titan Pack Revealed

    what are those arcade gaming console for ......

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    Today this ends
    I'm forgiving what I've done

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    Default Re: UT3 Titan Pack Revealed

    dunno..but they are inside EPIC's office.
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