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  1. Titan Quest is my favourite ARPG of all time. Sadly, Titan Quest developer Iron Lore was shut down due to some funding issues despite everyone agreeing that Titan Quest, and especially its expansion Immortal Throne, was rather brilliant. Former members of Iron Lore went on to form Crate Entertainment though and through some kinda deals with former publisher THQ they were allowed to bring their Iron Lore engine with them and use it to start making a spiritual successor to to Titan Quest called Grim Dawn. As a massive TQ fan you can imagine I was rather excited when I found out! So what is Grim Dawn? Grim Dawn is an action role-playing game intended for digital distribution on the PC. It is being developed by veterans of Iron Lore entertainment, the makers of Titan Quest. Grim Dawn is being built with Crate's own improved version of the Iron Lore engine and toolset; the same technology used to create Titan Quest. As a spiritual successor, Grim Dawn will attempt to better perfect the magical formula of exploration, character advancement, and loot collection pioneered by Diablo. Players will be thrust into the dark, war-torn world of Cairn where a once proud empire has been brought to ruin and the human race driven to the edge of extinction. Cairn has become ground zero of an eternal war between two otherworldly powers, one seeking to use human bodies as a resource, the other intent upon destroying the human race before that can happen. This cataclysmic war has not only decimated human civilization but is warping the very fabric of reality and, in its wake, giving life to new horrors. For humankind it is the dawn of a grim new age where iron has replaced gold as currency and the importance of salt as a weapon makes it far too valuable to waste on food. Small enclaves of human survivors exist scattered throughout the world, holed up in hidden refuges. These humans have quietly watched the warring invaders destroy one another and have become wise to the strengths and vulnerabilities of their otherworldly foes. A few survivors have begun to exhibit strange new abilities after surviving possession or exposure to the warp. These unnatural powers are feared by some but give many new hope of launching a resistance to fight the "outsiders" and reclaim what's left of their world. They're implementing a moveable camera this time, a more advanced conversation system, and destructible environments. They're also planning on releasing through Steam (among others) and the game will of course have the same kind of brilliant co-op multiplayer that we all know and love from Titan Quest: Combine any of five distinct skill classes each with multiple skill trees in which to specialize. Advance your class mastery up to 75 levels to unlock dozens of powerful skills and synergistic modifiers. New classes will be periodically released through downloadable content. Destructible environments give evidence of your massive battles while collapsing stonework and flying shards of furniture can be used tactically to cause further injury to your foes. Dynamic Weather brings the world to life with region-specific climates and a variety of weather effects. A sunny day can cloud over with mild rainshowers that builds into a booming thunderstorm. Variable wind gusts blow grass and affect objects like windmills and window shutters. Gameplay systems designed to expand for 200 levels of character progression, equipment, and enemies to fight makes for ridiculous amounts of replay value. Connect with old friends or make new allies in glorious multiplayer. Specially balanced multiplayer encounters will put your teamwork to the ultimate challenge. Collect blueprints that allow you to combine salvaged components into unique crafted items and then, later, use those basic crafted items with higher-tiered recipes to complete items of unprecedented badassness. Camera rotation enhances the three-dimensionality of the world and gameplay while levels are still designed so that players are not forced to rotate the camera. Refined loot system drops less junk items and ensures more consistent rewards from hero and boss monsters. Satisfying enemy damage and death effects with an option to enable blood and gore. New quest and conversation system will allow players to choose quest paths and rewards, interact with NPCs in more interesting ways, and an intuitive quest creation wizard will make life a lot easier for modders. An NPC faction system lets the player improve their relations with different NPC groups to earn rewards as their favor increases such as merchant discounts, new items, and additional quest lines. However, aiding one faction could turn a rival faction into your enemy. Choose which side you will support! The ability to spend money to reclaim skill and attribute points alleviates the fear and frustration of having to make early, uninformed decisions that could permanently nerf a character. More features are in the works and will be announced as Grim Dawn nears release. Screens: The game is still early in development though they recently successfully did a Kickstarter to allow them to actually finish the game in a timely fashion. And for those wondering, yeah I of course backed them hard and even went for the $100 tier: "Boxed Special Edition of the game with physical game disk and soundtrack. This is for those fans who just want the boxed game at a lower price without a lot of other physical goods. + Small fold-out paper map + Everything from the Digital Deluxe Edition including the expansion and a digital copy of the game with access to the alpha and beta. Boxed and with a map And I'm in the alpha and the beta, woohoo! Latest update regarding the release date of each: Our current estimate is that alpha may be ready by the end of this year or early next year. We're working our hardest to make this happen as soon as possible but we need to produce a certain amount of continuous, playable content and complete certain technical tasks before this can happen. We expect beta to follow 4-6 months after alpha and then estimate August 2013 for the full release. I'm sure no one wants us to rush and release the game before it is ready though. After all, this is part of the reason we've avoided a standard publishing deal. So, please be patient; it will all pay off when we reach the finish-line. Edit (thanks to JPR for this info): missed out on the kickstarter but want to support Crate Entertainment and gain acces to either the alpha, beta, or both? you still can by pre-purchasing the game on the Grim Dawn website: As you can see, at least $35 gives you beta access on top of all the other stuff. They also have an excellent taste in beer which is always a plus in my book, never trust a guy who doesn't like a good beer: They released also some early gameplay vids of a few of the classes: Today Gamebanshee wrote about two former 38 Studios (of Amalur and dramatic closure fame) joining the Grim Dawn team: Im a refugee of 38 Studios. When it closed - scratch that - imploded violently, my love of Titan Quest (and the modding tools!) drove me to contact Arthur about working on Grim Dawn, probably one of the best decisions Ive made in a while.
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