Paradox has an interesting take on DLC. Instead of offering trinkets for pennies like larger companies like EA does they instead release content that would otherwise be full expansions.

Most game’s expansions consist of 3 parts. A path, new features, and content. Typically after the expansion is out support ends for the core game and if you want further bugs fixed you must buy the expansion even if you do not intend to play the new content.

Paradox has a new take on expansions, and DLC in general. Yes they still have trinket DLC for graphics and little things that EA has, however like with an EA game that is option. They add little to nothing to the game and harm you not at all if you don’t take it. Of course for an EA game sometimes it harms you not to take these trinkets. Paradox’s application of expansions however as it pertains to DLC is how DLC should be used. Instead of making a traditional expansion with the 3 parts mentioned above the expansion comes only with one part, content.

Whenever a expansion-dlc is released by Paradox a patch is released. This contains all the patched fixes as well as the new game features. Where support for the core games ends with other companies at expansion release support for the core game continues with Paradox. The Sword of Islam DLC added game mechanics, events, and new features for Christians as well as Muslims. However if you played as muslims you would get a totally new interface, different game mechanics,different story events, and different gameplay. In the lines of content. If you don’t want to play as muslims you don’t have to buy the DLC and you will still get all the same fixes and content added for Christian players. This new expansion will work in the same way.

The upcoming expansion adds many gameplay elements for the Byzantines and orthodox christians in general. You can create churches indepedent of the Ecumenical Patriarchy and each orthodox nation will get its own representative. New features exist dealing with the byzantines in particular as well as events making them more realisitic in terms of how they worked in real life. In history the Byzantines were the continuation of the Eastern Roman Empire, they did not use a feudal system and were more like a nation that we see today. They had a standing professional army and specific succession rules not covered in CK2. Most of these realities are going to be added in with this expansion dlc.

Standing armies:

Now as your technology progresses you can raise a standing army. This standing army works similar as in a EU3 game where it is always up instead of raising levies and you get to choose what it consists of instead of having to build structures in a province to enforce Knights and Pikemen for example. These contructed armies also reenforce similar to EU3 and use a manpower pool as well.

Byzantine Additions:

The byzantines can now designate heirs by giving them the trait “born in the purple” that can only be given to children who meet certain requirements. For them the only people who can receive the title of Emperor has to consist of people with this title.

Additionally they added the various holy sees into the game that were seats of Patriarchs in the past. Using this mechanic you can do things such as reform the traditional Roman Empire by being recognized as emperor by the west as well as end the schism between eastern and western christianity.

Additional events for the Byzantines are promised as well as addtional punishments. When imprisoned you can now blind or castrate your prisoners which disallows them from inheritance or holding titles in your empire as well as likely other unannounced effects.

Gripes:

I really have nothing against this DLC other than a couple of things, mostly due to game mechanics.

First of all my issue is with ending the schism. When the schism is ended the remaining western christians become a form of heresy. Its not yet announced what kind it is but in the game as it stands now you can go on holy ways against heretecs which could potentially break the game making it incredibly easy. Normally you need some kind of claim or cassius belli to declare war, a holy war is not only a free cassius belli but allows you to take large amounts of territory in one war rather than just 1 province.

My second gripe against this is the whole Roman Empire thing. The Byzantines considered themselves the Roman Empire, really because they were. Romans have owned their territory since the early days of the empire much of it not leaving Roman hands since mid antiquity. They really were the same Roman Empire in terms of continuity from ancient times when the ruling authority decided to split the empire into east and west administrative regions. Unfortunately in CK2 when you form an empire or a new nation your monarch regnal numbers reset. So I suspect once you become the Roman Empire when you have ruler named Constantine he will not be Constantine XI but Constantine I which would make no sense. To the Byzantines they were always Roman so the line of emperors of the past would be respected. Then again hopefully we will see a reworking of this whole mechanic all together as when in reality the Castillians formed spain they continued to number their rules in the line of Castillian kings not restarting everything from scratch as the game does now.

If those are my only two gripes on this expansion it should be good, and I suspect that those two issues will be resolved before it’s release as there is already much complaint about it on their forums.

Update: Paradox has stated they plan of fixing the gripes above.

Once Paradox releases the NDA for this expansion we will provide further coverage on additions not announced as well as a play-through video to give an idea on how the features work.

~ Kanaric

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition OOOOOOOOOOOMG, one of the greatest franchises and most memorable RPG that comes to my mind is getting an enhanced edition.  No longer will us nerdlings have to mess around with mods, praying that they’ll work let alone praying the game will work on our four generations ahead operating systems.

First and foremost I want to say that this is most of the original team from Black Isle and Bioware before the Black Isle studio shut down and believe me these guys are still top notch powerful people.  The enhanced release of this old windows 95/98 game will come with a plethora of features newly added for this amazing release including:

A new adventure with a setting in the Underdark that possibly adds SIX HOURS of gameplay to an already extremely long game.  My grades… I feel them slipping.

Three new characters that include new classes to the first Baldur’s Gate game such as a Rasaad Yn Bashir the Human Monk, Dorn Il-Khan Half-Orc Black Knight, and Neera the Half Elf Wild Mage.  Each of these come with four hours of gameplay equaling up to 12 hours just for the new characters!

Lets add up real quick, 4+4+4+6=18 extra hours of game delight.  Oh god my body…

Not only does it come with all this extra time to waste your life away, but it also comes with an immense amount of enhanced features such as A LOT BETTER MULTIPLAYER, Baldur’s Gate II style gameplay added into the engine, Better user interface and ongoing support from the mod community “WAY TO GO, every game needs this.”

The game will also come with brand new cinematics that are hand painted by Nat Jones, most famously known for 30 Days of Night comics.  You can check his website out here http://www.natjones.com/

Once again this game will be released September 18th and also if you pre-order from www.Beamdog.com you will get an extra 10% off and a special icon for the Baldur’s Gate forums.

The Secret World

http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/sign_up_now_for_our_free_three_day_trial

I wrote the review of this game a little while ago so scroll down check it out and see if you want to try it out. It is worth the 5 minutes it will take you to sign up, that is for sure.

If you get into the game and like it hit me up inside! Healbrew is my name, you should be able to get me from any server but my home server is Leviathan…don’t worry I am not really an RP’r.

I hope you’re as ready as I am, prepare to die edition is coming to PC August 24th and I’m not sure my body will be able to contain the anger this game is going to ensue and I can’t promise my mouse will survive.

Prepare to Die edition will include:
New Bosses – Including Black Dragon, Sanctuary Guardian, and more
PVP Online Matchmaking System – Quick matching for co-op or PVP
New Areas – Including Oolacile Township, Oolacile Sanctuary, Royal Wood and more
New Enemies – Including Wooden Scarecrows, Chained Prisoner, Stone Knight and more
New NPCs – Including Hawkeye Gough, Elizabeth (keeper of the sanctuary) and more
New Weapons and Armor – Equip some from the new bosses, enemies, and NPCs

Once again this will be released August 24th, but PS3 and XBOX users will be able to download Artorias of The Abyss DLC which will be out later on in the Winter so make sure you have another controller on hand for the imminent destruction.

The Mid-Week Madness

Dead Space 1 and 2 75% off on Steam

Are you ready to not sleep for awhile?

The two games are both normally 20$. If you can’t do the money math like me because you are not Jewish, that is both games for 9.98$. If you ask me both games are worth the 20$ bucks, so that means they are a steal right now.